If you have read my previous piece here on CVLT Nation, you know I’m a BDSM lover without a kink-oriented community in my country of Paraguay. So, after giving you some context about my situation, I’m ready to start writing about the everyday mechanics of a (mostly) solitary kinkster.
Trying to think of safety measures or strategies for a kink community that is still very small, or non existent, like mine, can be challenging. I feel really vulnerable knowing that I don’t have a safe space to explore my kinks. So there’s a need to create safety for myself, to explore more freely and eventually grow as a person from knowing myself better and for sharing that with other people.
Although I don’t really know how vetting works within big BDSM and kink communities, and I admit that my research on the subject has been pretty lazy, I’ve developed some procedures that have kept me safe when meeting other kinky people online and in real life.
This might not work for every isolated kinster like me, but perhaps it can serve as insight or inspiration to others.
In person meetings
Unsurprisingly, I find that common sense is the best safety tool we’ve got. This is what I do to feel safe when meeting like minded strangers for the first time.
1: Name the fears. What does this mean? It means I ask myself, “what is the worst thing that could happen?” and I name those things. For instance, the worst that could happen is that this person will try to kidnap me. Or, the worst case scenario is that I won’t like this person IRL as much as I thought I did online.
2: After naming the fears, I think of ways to prevent them from becoming reality. These are some of the steps I take most often:
- I send my location to a friend and I usually tell them that I’m going on a first date with someone, just so they know what the situation is.
- Usually, I agree on a sort of safeword or code with that same friend. Like texting them the name of their pet, or their mom, when I get home safe.
- If I get into a car with someone, I also text the plate number to that same friend.
- I also send that same friend all the information I have on the person I’m meeting, like their real name, their job, social media handle, stuff like that.
- Meet in a public place. This should be self explanatory. When I’m in public, I have more ways out from a situation if I don’t want to be there, and more ways to end it and go home without being followed, including maybe asking a friend to come and get me.
3: Filter. Filters are like common sense hard limits.
When I go out with someone, I always ask them if it’s alright that I send their name and plate number to a friend. To this day, no one has had any objection to that. Some seem surprised at first, but end up being pretty understanding when I explain politely that it’s something I do to feel safe. That’s one of my filters.
Although I haven’t had to do it yet, if some guy gets all offended or angry because of my safety measures, I wouldn’t want to stay on that date. That’s a dealbreaker for me. I should mention here that most people who approach me through kink-related sites are men, and I personally feel that a woman meeting a man for the first time is in the most vulnerable position.
Other useful filters might include finding out what are your prospective play partner’s opinions on subjects you’re not willing to compromise. I found out the hard way that one of those subjects for me is feminism, when I had to stop seeing someone after they started throwing around words like “feminazi” in my presence.
The important thing here is not making job interview out of our filters. My opinion is that if I discover that I’m not really interested in getting to know the person, maybe I shouldn’t be playing with them either.
These common sense filters also apply to online kinky friendships. If someone sends an unsolicited dick pic – bye. If someone can’t write with proper grammar and spelling (beyond what’s acceptable via text message) – bye. If someone thinks that FetLife messages are just for sexting – bye. If someone clearly hasn’t read my profile before contacting me – bye. And I don’t even bother to write back.
This attitude might seem a little harsh, or rude. But it’s really not my job to explain to other people how they should approach me (or anyone, for that matter) when it’s clearly written in my profile what I like and don’t like. And someone who can’t make a conversation starter from the information I give publicly isn’t really worth my time.
After finally writing down all these things I do, I’ve come to think that it’s pretty basic advice for everyone, really, and that it applies to any kind of online dating. So I would really love to hear from the readers on this. What do you do to stay safe? And how do you vet your play partners?