Why twitter (or any social media for that matter) is not the place to look for BDSM advice.

Posted: July 24, 2016 in BDSM

Firstly, I will say that the irony of this is not lost on me. However allow me to justify why I take that position.

If you want to know about something, ask an expert.

If you want medical advice, you ask a doctor. If buying a house, you would find a surveyor to ensure the house is structurally sound, as well as a lawyer to verify the history of the house.

But in those examples, the experts are professionally qualified people in their fields. Who classes as a BDSM expert?

Someone who claims to be an expert.

Anyone, especially on social media, can claim to be an expert. And there are many that do. But there are no qualifications to quantify someone as an expert; no baccalaureates in bondage, no certificates in CBT, and no diplomas in domination.

How about someone with lots of experience?

There are even a few issues with this.

Firstly, on social media they can claim all kinds of experience and ‘training’ in the field, but you don’t really know?

Next, have they had appropriate experience? An area such as BDSM can attract abusers who disregard the key to BDSM: Respect. Without respect, it is no longer consensual, no longer safe, and no longer BDSM.

But finally, consider this. Do you know someone in real life who has a lot of experience in a field you are unfamiliar with? Have you ever asked them a question related to their field? Did you understand the answer?

In all fields, there is specific terminology that is peculiar to that area. Sometimes the terminology/jargon may be a familiar word, yet have a different meaning to what is commonly understood. Just because someone is experienced does not mean they are able to communicate their expertise effectively to you.

Another danger to consider with social media

With social media, we can all enjoy a certain amount of anonymity; we can express things we could not express with vanilla friends, family, or work colleagues. But that anonymity also applies to the so-called BDSM expert; they’re not qualified, they’re not a professional, and they’re not accountable for whatever trouble you can get into.

I recently read about someone widely regarded as a ‘BDSM expert’ who’d used their apparent authority to influence a 17 year old girl. He was held to account for his actions in this instance, but I dread to think how many other cases of the naive being exploited are going unreported.

Stay safe

Having said all that, there are some pieces of advice I would wish you to consider.

  • If you are arranging to meet someone you’ve met online, tell someone you trust where you are going. Ask them to call you at a pre-appointed time during the meeting to ensure you are safe. A pre-arranged ‘codeword’ may also be useful, so your friend really knows you’re fine if you use it, and to call the police if you don’t.
  • If you want to know about BDSM, find a local munch; they are for socialising and learning, so you can ask questions. Within a group, someone who is not what they claim to be are more likely to stay quiet, or be corrected by the more experienced members.
  • There are also various seminars and play parties devoted to particular specialities, such as rope work, hypnosis, corporal punishment etc. Talk to the organisers before you go. Learn.
  • Do not rush into committing to anything, no matter how well you think things are going. The right person will wait for you to be ready to move on.

And always remember that without respect, consent and safety it is not BDSM, it is abuse.

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