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I will admit that I was not really expecting the differences between the online culture and real world culture.

No, not around the things that are overarching and constant in our culture, but about the little details around BDSM protocol. Ok, let me back up and provide some context here. In the world of BDSM, there is a distinct subculture, with its own set of rules and expectations around behavior. In some groups, like Leather groups for example, there is the understanding that one does not speak to a clearly collared slave or submissive, but instead you’d speak to their owner. In swinger groups, single men are abundant, and therefore are frequently barred from gatherings, while single women are rare and welcomed with open arms and free drinks. But in the virtual world, there’s a whole ‘nother set of rules and assumptions to learn about. The virtual BDSM culture takes a lot of cues from high protocol groups in the real world, and is really relaxed at the same exact time!

How does online culture differ from real world culture?

virtual bdsm culture 800 539 4566Well, for starters, everything really important online is through text. While the images and actions you take in the virtual world are fun and pretty and provide a lot of entertainment, what you’re communicating is actually more meaningful. Where in the real world, being able to meaningfully smack a paddle into your palm can punctuate a sentence, turning a tease into a threat, in the virtual, you have to take the time to actually spell out what you’re saying and doing. Having good storytelling skills becomes very, very important. You also need to keep in mind that everyone behind an avatar is an actual real human being. It’s easy to loose sight of that, but in the virtual world, it’s very deeply important to remember that those are in fact actual humans, so being a douche at a BDSM club online isn’t as much of a consequence free goof as you may think.

Online, because of all the animated furniture and RLV enabled scripts, it’s possible to mis-click and make a major faux pas. If you accidentally click on a bit of furniture that someone else is using, you can wind up in some deeply compromising positions virtual world blog Harper 800 539 4566with them. And here’s the important part: if you didn’t ask for permission before you try to share a chair with someone, in the virtual world you’re committing the equivalent to assault. People around you will absolutely respond to what you just did, even if it is an honest accident, as if you’d done the same thing in the real world. An example: There’s a chair that if one person sits in it, you can get some cute poses. But, if someone else sits in the chair with you, it defaults to some sudden and surprisingly intimate sexual positions. If a Mistress is in a chair, and you ‘join’ her without asking, it’s the same as if you did that in the real world. Try sitting in my lap in the real world so you can grind your dick on my tits, and you’ll find out how quickly you’ve made a huge mistake.

What you may not expect in the virtual world is how quickly other people will call you to the carpet for you mistake. Public shaming and naming is a big part of the virtual BDSM world. If you’re into some public humiliation, you’ll find it real quick! But if that’s not your cup of tea, taking the time to learn how to move and ensure that you don’t “accidentally” engage in sexual play by “mistake” is your best bet for avoiding a scolding.

As for me? I’m adjusting to the culture shock really well!

I’m still liable to assume that when someone tries to animate my avatar without asking first that they’re mistaken. But, do it twice and you’re getting an earful. The culture differences between online BDSM and offline BDSM aren’t that great a gulf, after all. It all comes down to respect and consent. Ask if I’d like cuddle you in a chair, instead of just sitting your ass down and treating my avi like a digital sex doll. Get consent first, because, hey, who knows? Maybe I’ll cuddle you. Maybe I won’t. But you’ll definitely never get what you’re wanting by staring, or trying to just take without asking.