What does a long-term D/s relationship in SL look like?

I have been canvassing some people about this very question for the last few weeks and everyone seems to have a different idea but most end up saying the same thing “It is very difficult to maintain that type of relationship with time zones, and RL interruptions.” 

So that is the opening fact to talk about long-term relationships.

Of course time zones are very critical as I have mentioned in the past, and RL interruptions are bound to happen, but I beg to differ on the latter point. I like to think about it as a RL relationship. We personally know that if two people want to be in a relationship and each person really wants it then they will make up time for it, and work around any issues that are happening in their personal lives. That is the hallmark of a good relationship.

Carrying that to SL I would expect the same to happen. Nothing out of the ordinary happens as both people talk, make sure they know when they will be coming in. Reserving time in RL to meet in SL, etc… These actions will lead to a healthy long-term relationship. Now that doesn’t mean the Domme and sub are best friends and have to share everything, it just means that each person respects the other’s time and makes an active effort. One of my favorite subs changed her RL schedule so she could fit mine and we could meet for longer periods of time inworld, oh yes and she was in Europe and I’m in the U.S. It can be done if both people try.

But if after only a few days you start to see the signs of non-commitment (false logons (in and out), logons at different times than normal, unclicking the friend box so their Domme or sub can’t see their online presence, and many other behaviors), then don’t fool yourself believing that this is going to be anything long-term.

I’ve only had three real long-term subs and it was difficult but extremely rewarding. It is a good way to come into SL and enjoy the virtual world as it was meant to be.

How do you know at the beginning if this is going to work? I personally tell the sub that if she really means it then we need to make a schedule of times to meet at first. I let her set the schedule and I adjust my time (since I’m very flexible with time), if the commitment is there, she will be inworld on time and consistently. We can then take it from there.

I’m open to comments in this very issue from both RL and SL relationships. It goes without saying that compatibility needs to be there, but I just wanted to look at the meeting issue for now.

The Contents of a Sub’s Inventory Matter

Last night I was talking with a new person in SL (will try not to use av anymore, since we are all people). She was only about fifteen days old and was a bit frustrated about how Mistresses didn’t want to have anything with her because of her SL age.

I can understand her frustration since we all were there once and back in my newbie days I could barely keep my hair in between TPs but yet I expected for people to talk to me as if I was part of the group already.

As the conversation progressed, I got to thinking of how the inventory that a sub already has really makes a difference.

If she already had cuffs, gag, harness, collar, maybe iControl, a Mars Ring, etc…, it would make the life for a Mistress that much easier. I enjoy good BDSM equipment to be used along in the play, specially if I am familiar with it allowing me to make easier transitions with my words as I make the sub do different things to please me or to punish her.

Even better if the sub has already set #RLV folders and she lets you know ahead of time, or you discover them when you are using the collar. The flow of the words is seamless.

So the newbie sub didn’t have any of these equipment. I recommended that she get some of the basics, and look for good quality freebies. The main issue of course being that the amount of equipment out there is very large. Some key systems for cuffs, harnesses, and gags requires a course on their use. It is frustrating in some cases and in others it causes the sub to run away because the equipment takes away from the flow of each interaction.

I told her “you can see how this is frustrating and some Mistresses prefer someone that has been around and possibly has some equipment that is common in SL.”

Of course the other side of this coin is this: Should the Mistress buy all the equipment for the sub? Or make her buy it all. Some subs believe that the Mistress is fully responsible (financially of course), for getting each sub equipped.

The way I do it is simple. I tell the sub that this is a shared arrangement. I pay for the land and the house where we live, I will buy certain things for her, and she is responsible for the rest of the things that I want. She can find freebies or buy them, but I have to approve all the purchases ahead of time so that way I know what I will be working with. That is not too much to ask.

Inventory does matter in the beginnings of a D/s SL relationship.

Limits? or Limiting Fun?

So hanging out at the Secret House and read a profile that goes something like this in the 2nd Life tab:

“Very submissive …. willing to do anything for my Mistress including transformation and total power exchange. If my Mistress takes pleasure in doing something to me, that is my pleasure.”

OK …. Looking good so far. So I turn to the Picks area and there is a limits tab so let’s see what she puts in there:

No RLV restrictions
No mutilation
No kill
No messing with my hair
No collar
No voice, phone, or cam 
No restriction of my ability to communicate or travel in SL
Let’s have some fun together

Her limits have just eliminated 40% of the BDSM experience and it is obvious that all she wants to do is have a quick session of play and move on. How can you have TPE with all these limits? By the time everything is followed it starts to look like vanilla sex.

Just a quick thought for tonight. I did IM the AV and she continued to tell me things that she didn’t like and wasn’t willing to do. That hit one on my hard limits “submissives that are not really submissives.”

No thank you !!!.

Kink v.s. Fetish

Someone asked me “What is the difference between a kink and a fetish?” These concepts are used by some people as if they mean the same thing, but it is important to know the difference.

So what is a kink?

A kink is normally sexual behavior considered to be outside the normal parameters of a sexual encounter. So what is normal? Think normal sexual behavior as being vanilla sex with a willing partner. The kink will be adding something not normal to the act in order to enhance the sexual experience. Normally you also would have two people engaged in the kink, but it can also be just one (or several).

Here is an example: You engage in touching your partner everywhere while having sex, soft touches as part of foreplay, using your mouth and hands on them. This would be considered normal behavior, but your partner (or you) grow bored with this vanilla sex and introduce spanking, or biting, or using objects to stimulate the touching, you are now engaged in a kink because it enhances your sexual experience. How does spanking enhance the experience? As those of you that have experienced it know, the blood flowing to the butt cheeks begins to accumulate and flow with each spank, this pool of blood makes them red and starts to put pressure in the genital area from the inside and the sexual enhancement takes place.

Kinks help the growth of a sexual relationship between partners, and help in heightening the physical and mental parts of the sexual encounter. One thing to always remember about engaging in kinks is that they must be safe, sane, and consensual between all the parties involved.

Some people argue that safewords and consent are not really needed in SL since it is just pixels, but for those of you that have experienced the powerful feelings in SL you know safety and consent are paramount for both parties.

So what is a fetish?

Whereas a kink is something done to enhance a sexual encounter between people, a fetish replaces the sexual enhancement with an object, a ritual, or even a particular person. Normally, the subject of the fetish is some kind of object and the person that has the fetish can’t become sexually aroused without the object, ritual, or person (or type of person) being involved.

An example of a fetish can be a fascination with leather, or hosiery, or high heels (infinite list). It can also be the fascination with some kind of ritual (doesn’t have to be sexual), like being treated like a bride, or being a maid. The sexual arousal happens only if the ritual or action is happening as the person expects or the fetish object is present and being used the correct way.

As you see, there is some overlap but the terms are very different situations. Your sub may have a fetish for being spanked only with a cane, or a paddle, but definitely not with a hand. Or your sub likes being spanked because of the sexual enhancement, but it is not required for sexual arousal. You could do other things with your partner. If spanking is a fetish and not a kink for your partner, she may become dissatisfied with you if you don’t do it every encounter.

The number of kinks and fetishes is probably unlimited so how do you communicate what you like and don’t like?

How about just trial and error using safe words? This approach is appropriate for a new relationship with a sub that may not know her limits but it will take time and patience from both of you.

Some avatars in SL carry a fetish/kink list which someone made up and they grade their willingness to participate in certain fetishes. The list is in a notecard and they will probably tell you that they have it and give it to you. If you contact Nubia Renfold in SL she has volunteered to hand them out if you need one.

Another option (that is becoming very popular), is the use of f-list as it can be shared with anyone (that the person wants), and it has several hundred (yes hundred) fetish and kinks in the list. A Mistress or sub can easily look at it and search it to get acquainted with the person’s preferences.

The bottom line is to know whether your sub (or you) is engaging in a kink or a fetish. If you can tell the difference between the two, then your overall relationship will grow and be much more enhanced.

Do you really have time for me?

So there I am at Secret House, I engage in conversation with a very promising sub (good profile, good SL age, etc…). We talk for about 40 minutes or so and things are going well.  So I ask if she is looking for a long-term relationship and she says yes, that is what she wants.

Looking even better. So then I ask “tell me more about your SL life and experiences,” and this is what she offers up (mind you, none of these are in her profile).

“Well Miss, I currently have two Mistresses, one that takes care of me and my main one that is not in SL as much anymore but I still love. When she comes in I love to spend time with her.

I also have two subs of my own and they are like my daughters and best friends, love them to death and will do anything for them.

I’m also a Panther in Gor and play in three different SIMs, three different roles, and I really enjoy that RP.

I have two alts to play different characters in Gor and sometimes I login with all three at the same time for long role plays that may take days.

I didn’t copy and paste the IM to keep with the TOS but I am not exaggerating the details. Everything above was said.

She may have detected my astonishment over the Internet because she was obliged to say “… but don’t worry Miss, I will have plenty of time for you and you will be my number one priority.”

WTH !!!!!!!

At that time I had to say no thanks, and told her so. She got really exasperated about it, but I did have to say it directly. Are you really going to have time for me?

I covered aspects of this post in a previous post but had to make a comment on this particular incident since it is such a glaring example.

WOW !!!

RLV or not RLV? That is the question.

So the conversation suddenly turned into the merits of RLV for use in SL so I decided to do a piece on RLV.

What is RLV? It is short for “Restrained Love Viewer.” Talk about a loaded set of words. We are going to restrain your love inside your viewer. In reality is a way for one avatar to control another avatar in many ways.

One of the main tenants of the BDSM lifestyle is that it should be consensual and that one person is allow to exert control over another in mental and physical settings. RLV allows the duplication of the physical control in SL. The system is based on one avatar giving permission to another (consent) to control their SL experience in the viewer. To make it clear, RLV is not one script that allows control, it is a module (within the viewer) that takes functions that are built into the viewer and allows one avatar to control them for another.

Let me give you an example. As you know there is a function inside the viewer that allows you to teleport your friends to your location. This is built into the viewer and as you know makes your experience much better (pushy DJs trying to get you to their event notwithstanding). Using RLV you could force your friend to teleport (existing function) to you without their permission or without them having to push any buttons. As you can see this is control, and that is part of a D/s relationship.

So take any function in the viewer and image that another person can run it for you. Put clothes on and off, stop you from IMs. stop you from teleporting, restricting your camera view, etc…..

This control is part of the appeal of D/s and BDSM and  RLV is built into collars, equipment, clothes, and many other items to create this physical control.

Should you use it? I say yes but not as a replacement for your words but as an enhancement of your visual experience. Once a sub sees themselves on their knees and not voluntarily, or you removed their clothes without notice (and many other RLV functions), the emotions and feelings of the moment are enhanced as you talk through it (recall my Words post).

So use RLV as an enhancement and not a replacement of the experience. How and when to use it is a matter for another day and it is truly the part of discovering the many fetishes that you may be interested in.

Below is my attempt at a semi-technical discussion of what RLV is and how to get it working.

The official Linden Lab Second Life Viewer doesn’t support RLV at all. Linden Labs has made a strategic decision not to support it since it is mainly an adult type of tool and in my opinion, if they ever want to sell Linden Labs to a big corporation (Microsoft almost bought them a while back), they can claim that BDSM behavior is not a part of their viewer design. If you want to use RLV you must use a different viewer.

In order for anyone to use the full power of RLV you must be using a third party viewer that enables RLV and Phoenix/Firestorm is the most popular. You must enable it on the viewer before it works.

Now, the most common tool to perform these RLV functions is the now ubiquitous collar and it uses the Open Collar standard which is very much available in SL for free in many places. Temple of the Collar is the most popular place to get it.

There are many other tools available besides the open collar (Mars Ring, iControl, etc…) but they are all limited by what the viewer can do and a basic open collar can do most of the functions that other products (that cost more money) can do.

Part of the RLV design is also a set of safe words to allow you to get out of the control situation pretty much at any time (but sometimes you can’t, the controller of the RLV object would have to be present).

Very basic discussion but it should help you get going if needed. Visit the Open Collar site if you want to learn the functions of a RLV collar.

Good Hangout Places

People keep asking me where are all the good places to hang-out and indulge in the BDSM life style with other women.

I actually have been compiling a list and rating places and will publish it next week so stay tuned.

In the mean time, I have to say that there are very few places that cater strictly to Mistresses and female subs and that are worth visiting.

So if you have visited the Secret House, Amelie’s Garden and Dungeon, or the Lesbian Society, you have come close to the only places that cater strictly to women BDSM fetishes and where the clientele know what they are doing in the BDSM world. Only women are allowed and normally it is strictly enforced (a more in depth review next week of these and other places).

There are hundreds of other SIMS that cater to BDSM but normally it is women and men at the same time, or the women only place is just a mixture of video game players looking to act out BDSM and not women that really feel it inside and are serious about it. In these places you will find a large group of switches  (see my previous post on switching).

What to do? I say start in one of the first three that I mentioned above and stay there for a while. Traffic will come. What is the sense of going to a place that has a good reputation and semi-decent traffic just to arrive don’t see anyone around and poof away. Stick around and you will be surprised what can happen.

Words in SL

So I heard a Mistress said the following last night. “In Second Life words are worth 1,000 pictures.”

I didn’t talk to her about this after I heard it in open chat, but she is 100% correct.

Second Life is so visual, that the user’s eyes and mind are served an entire plate of goodies to digest and enjoy. Second Life even creates automatic text (think Xcite, or other products) that tell you what you are feeling or saying (albeit the grammar and gender use may be totally wrong).

After we get over the initial excitement of seeing our avatars engaged in all kinds of positions and situations without having to bend our real bodies to do them, everyone starts to get that empty feeling and you start seeing statements like this in profiles: “not a pose ball chaser”; “emoter with more than one sentence”; etc…

Some people are turned off by this and criticize others as arrogant, and other similar terms.

I tend to agree with the fact that we must use words, and rely less in visuals, pose balls, automatic emoters, and such. It is a visual world yes, but is not a silent film where we are fed the dialog.

The big debate then becomes, do you emote? or do you Role Play (RP)?

My answer? It doesn’t matter if the two people doing it agree and enjoy doing it in the way they agree. Two months ago I met a most visually lovely, and very intelligent person. Very submissive and probably a wonderful long term companion. Our only problem? She was only into RPing. Even though we talked for about an hour at the end she basically said “Great Miss, let’s get started. Do you want me to meet you at a bar and you can pick me up?”

Definitely not compatible with the way I use words in SL, but I bet she can be very descriptive and enhance any meeting with her words. Too bad we didn’t click.

Topping from the Bottom

Since I referenced the topic of topping from the bottom in a previous post, some people have asked me to elaborate further so here is an explanation for it.

In a Dominant/submissive (D/s) relationship, the Dominant is the one in control of the situation throughout. A true submissive will get enjoyment, pleasure, arousal, and surprises as the Dominant gives commands that have to be obeyed or the submissive is subjected to physical or mental (consensually for both) tasks and activities.

Here is the main point:

At no point the submissive is there to contradict, ignore, negotiate, refuse, or pull away unless it is a violation of a hard limit and a safe word (and yes you should have safe words in Second Life) is used.

Very simple right? If the person at the other end is a true submissive and you have a contract/agreement in place concerning hard limits, soft limits, and safe words, then the submissive is to proceed as indicated.

Here is the tricky part of this, someone that is going to top from the bottom or is not a true submissive will probably will not agree to a contract that is so restrictive so they will try to have a laundry list of things that they will not do leaving you with the things they prefer rather than the things you want to do. Since you are not meeting them in person is hard to tell what is in their heart, but it is the first step to topping from the bottom in the relationship.

Why would anyone do this? Here are some possible reasons:

  1. The Dominant is weak, untrained, or not a Dominant at all (just playing one in SL), and the sub is trying to move the meeting along giving her clues of what to do.
  2. The sub is really a Dominant trying to turn weak Dominants into subs (some AVs take pride on this). You already know my opinion on switches (see previous post on the subject).
  3. The sub is trying to steer the Dominant into the things she likes, instead of what the Dominant wants to do. This is the most common reason.

How can one detect this inside SL?

The main thing before doing the contract and establishing the relationship is to have a period where you get to know each other. This implies that you have two people that are not playing a video game but have identified themselves as Dominant and submissive.

During this trial period, you put the submissive through several activities and watch how they interact with you. You must be able to recognize when the submissive is trying to top from the bottom.

Here is an example:

Back story of this scenario (this happened in SL): Day five of their trial period, some rules have been established and the submissive in several occasions has stated things like: “I like to serve and be deeply controlled”; “I need a strict and severe Mistress”; “I like to be naked on a leash”; and “I want to be used as a sexual toy.” I don’t see any ambiguity there specially since the Mistress clarified the meaning of each statement along the way. RLV folders have not been established.

So about an hour into this interaction, the submissive is leashed and on her knees and the following dialog takes place:

Mistress: undress for me

sub: you … you’re serious Miss?

Mistress: very serious

sub: why don’t you use the RLV? (topping from the bottom very directly here, she enjoys RLV or thinks the Mistress doesn’t know what she is doing)

Mistress: do as you are told without questions

sub: reluctantly starts to remove her dress

After doing several non-sexual things with the submissive here comes another example:

Mistress: put your clothes back on

sub: are you kidding me? you don’t want me anymore?

Mistress: looking sternly at ….. “GET YOUR CLOTHES ON IMMEDIATELY”

sub: dresses reluctantly

A few minutes later as they are discussing the contract they are working on at the moment, and the sub is on her knees and leashed as before:

sub: may this girl undress for you again?

Mistress: No

sub: but why not?

Mistress: Do you know what it means to top from the bottom? …….

You can imagine the rest but at the end this Mistress rejected the sub. It is obvious in several places that the sub is trying to steer the Mistress into doing what the sub wants to do.

This is just an easy example, but always think how this enters into your dialogue so easily.

 

 

Closeness and Response Time

I may have to file this under topping from the bottom (another subject to deal with), but subs please don’t approach any Mistress within one inch of her face two seconds after you IM her from across the room.

You would never do that to a person in RL. If they smile at you from the distance, would you immediately go over there and stand right in front of their face? I’m guessing that the intent here is to get the Mistress’ attention and possibly claiming your territory so other subs will think the Mistress is now busy with you (clever technique by the way).

Most Mistresses will be turned off by this and you will end up walking away with your tail between your legs. Don’t overplay your hand.

Along these same lines is the sub that requires an answer one second after they finish typing an IM to a Mistress (e.g., Mistress are you there? are you busy? you don’t want to see me anymore?). Possibly all three if you keep doing that.

You should give her some time to respond, very silly of you to think that you are the only IM she has at the moment. Of course you may have worked that by standing next to her way too close after a very short meeting.

Bottom line, yet another two-ways to walk away alone for the night or for long-term.