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Safety When Meeting
Safety When Meeting
Like it or not, there are nasty people out there. OK, fair enough, like it. After all, this is a piece for subs, what should I expect? *grin*
OK, like it or not, there are people out there who are nasty in bad ways. So how do you protect yourself? It really is not all that difficult to take a few simple precautions that just make sure you are as safe as possible. Do that and you can look forward to enjoying the fun nasty ones and avoiding the not so fun ones that much more easily.
Before Anything Happens
These are some simple considerations to make before getting to the point of actually playing with someone.
If you are meeting up with, or planning to meet up with someone from a community of some description, the chances are that others will know them and know of their reputation. Munches are great for this, often weeding out those people who tend to take advantages of others. Even in communities that are not so selective, you will still find that people know of the reputations of others.
Discovering the reputation that someone has can be a good way of finding out what they are like. Are they really the sophisticated Dom/me they appear on line? Are they monogamous or do they like to keep a string of submissives? Are they a good teacher? Do they respect safewords or have they thrashed some poor sub senseless in the past without her consent?
It is worth noting that people's opinions are biased. Some Dom/mes will hold others up to unfair standards, with many looking down upon others. There can be jealousy, either from a sub who wants to play with the Dom/me or has been scorned, or from a Dom/me who may wish they were the one to play with you. Then there are the cases where friends will put each other in the best possible light, even if it is not entirely truthful.
So, reputations can be a good guide as to the kind of person they really are, just balance them with your own impressions and remember they may be, for whatever reason, a touch biased.
Let A Friend Know
Make sure a friend knows that you were meeting up with someone new and has the details in case there is a problem. You do not need to tell them everything. A blind date can be a good excuse.
Try to make sure they have the name and contact details of the person you were meeting and details of where you are meeting. Also, importantly, make sure they have a time to expect to hear from you by or to call the police. A quick phone call does not have to interrupt things all that much and it guarantees that, should something go wrong, the police are checking you are OK. Make it clear to your friend that you will call and that if they do not hear from you, that you really do mean for them to call the police immediately and tell the police that you asked them to do so. If you forget the phone call, the police will no doubt give you a hard time but it is much better than the alternative of not getting help.
This is one of those overkill measures. You are really very, very, unlikely to need it. Simply having it in place though gives you a great deterrent if things get difficult and the confidence to deal with things if needs be. After all, what kind of an idiot would try anything non-consensual if you warned them that a friend will be passing their details to the police if you are not heard from soon?
A lot of people are protective of their identities. After all, they may not want this part of their life to influence the rest of their life. That said, it does not take much to be safe: a mobile number that you have called them on to check is genuine, the registration plate of their car, their name - basically anything that you can reassure them they can not be easily traced by, but that the police can trace them by in an emergency. If they are not willing to offer you that much protection, do you really want to be considering playing with them?
Meet Somewhere Public
Rather than meeting up at a home or somewhere private, pick a bar or a hotel lobby. This way, if there is a problem, they can not do anything without causing a scene. There is also the side that, if there should be a problem, someone is likely to remember them.
Have A Get Out
Organise for a friend to call on a mobile, or even drop in to wherever you are meeting, if they have not had a call telling them everything is fine. That way you have a good excuse to leave if things just are not working out.
Alternatively, let them know at the beginning of the evening that you have to visit a relative later, or check in on a friend. That way, if you do not get on, you can always leave. If things are going wonderfully, you can always appear to make a quick phonecall to cancel.
Assuming everything has gone well and you do both decide that you want things to go further then there are, once again, a few easy things to consider to ensure all goes well.
Do Not Go Back To Your Place
On a first meeting, try and avoid going back to your place. Getting up and leaving is generally much easier than trying to kick out someone who does not want to go. It also means that they are not able to just turn up on your doorstep at some other time.
Take A Taxi
If you are moving on to somewhere more private, take a taxi, rather than letting them drive. That way you know if they really are going to where you both arranged to move on to. If they change locations on you, or there is anything you are uncomfortable about, the taxi driver can either take you to somewhere you feel safe or, at the very least, you know they will let you out.
Use A Hotel
Rather than moving on, if you have met in a hotel lobby, why not use on of the hotel's rooms? Certainly you will have to be a little quieter and you will not have the opportunity to set it up with all of your favourite toys, but it does leave you somewhere you can always shout loudly for help if you need it.
Until you are completely confident that they will respect safewords, it is worth limiting how much bondage play you use. After all, in an emergency, you want to be able to get up and run.
This does not mean you can not use bondage, just keep it lighter. Cuffs you can quickly let yourself out of let you play with the image but leave you able to get free. Ankle cuffs and spreader bars are less of an issue as, so long as you have your hands free, you can always free your ankles yourself - just do not let them lock you in to anything.
Blindfolds, mental bondage, symbolic bondage, they can all add incredible levels of intensity without ever actually making it impossible to leave.
Do Not Be Afraid To Safeword
Establish safewords before you play at all. Once you have them, do not be afraid to use them. While no one likes to over use them, it can be good to make sure that they will be respected.
I, for one, will do this from the other side - on a first scene I often build up to the point where a sub will use their safeword, partly to reassure them that they can and partly to reassure myself that they will do - after all, I would rather have the feedback than a sub who is too nervous to say anything.
The point is, safewords are essential to playing safely, especially with a new partner who can not possibly know every aspect of what you do and do not enjoy. Establish your safewords early on and do not be afraid to ensure they are respected. If, at any point, your safewords are not respected, stop things - they clearly are not safe.
This may seem like a long piece but there really are not all that many things you need to consider: Find out about the person you are playing with; organise a backup plan with a friend; ensure they are who they say they are and do what they say they will; avoid taking any unnecessary risks and most importantly of all, do not be afraid to call a halt if you are uncomfortable in any way - you can always sort the problem out and start again another time.