Sunday, June 21, 2009

Intimacy, Alter- Egos and Informed Consent

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One of the issues that continues to be raised is that of security and safety online. This does not only refer to physical security ..but if one is embarking on an online relationship of a more intimate and potentially long-standing nature, emotional safety and security is paramount.

Note: This post does not refer here to mutual masturbatory, fantasy or cyber ' role play games' (or even the cyber equivalent of a one-night stand) where the identity and real time circumstances of the O/other may be of variable interest to B/both involved. It refers to relationships of a more progressive , emotionally invested and intimate nature.

It is important to know as much as possible about the person with whom Y/you are investing time and emotion and for W/whom Y/you are potentially going to be making some significant life changes; changes that may affect Y/you and Y/your children, extended family, employment, finances and even may involve relocation . In D/s online relationships this is particularly important given the power exchange elements that are involved.

Leaving 'sane' alone at this time... D/s raises the ante and the risk for B/both parties.

Power exchange requires
trust and
Informed Consent.

Informed consent is agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only after all the relevant facts are disclosed. This does not apply only to medical procedures. In contracts an agreement may be reached only if there has been full disclosure by both parties of everything each party knows which is significant to the agreement and is pertinent to making an informed decision. Informed Consent is required of B/both parties in a D/s relationship.

It is a principled and dare I say, even respectful approach. To give and accept 'power', there needs to be a great deal of honesty - about real personal circumstances eg: gender, married or otherwise attached, age (especially relating to State statutory 'rape' laws), health (communicable diseases, serious or ongoing physical and mental illness etc), criminal record (perhaps even current incarceration) and a pragmatic assessment of the availability of time to maintain the relationship online ... to name but a few elements.

Before power exchange is embarked upon and certainly the moment emotional investment, ongoing need or dependence on each O/other becomes apparent to E/either, knowing and being able to confirm as much as possible to W/whom and under what circumstances power is given and accepted is a basic requirement. Once emotions are engaged this becomes a non-negotiable essential!

Where P/people are in an existing relationship or have at least physically met and assured themselves of compatibility and that T/they are W/who and what T/they present T/themselves to be ... technology facilitates ongoing communication; particularly useful when work or other commitments keep the couple apart.

However, where a relationship commences and is conducted largely online in addition to keyboard:
1) What can assist in the
establishment phase of a long distance relationship where there is no existing real time/offline relationship?
2) How can sound foundations and trust between P/people embarking on a more intimate or even the more complex D/s style relationship be achieved realistically?


Voice adds another essential level of knowledge and intimate connection. When voice through headset is used.. via 360 ... all contact is free of charge. This is very helpful to T/those W/who would otherwise need to pay interstate and international call costs.

Cheap, simple and
Most P/people online have a computer capable of taking a headset that can be purchased from under $20 from Walmart, Tandy or Office Depot.


No longer restricted to businesses (which recognised the importance of face to face and voice contact) the effectiveness of video-conferencing is now readily available with the addition of a cam and headset to most pc's and laptop users. When cam is used - not for 'sexual' purposes - but to actually see the O/other talking on headset in real time... to see their face , their eyes, their personal gestures and ahhhhh - their smile!!!! ... then this takes the relationship to a whole new level.

Of course there is no substitute for standing in front of E/each O/other but at the most basic level ... what T/they
actually look and sound like in real time, how T/they interact with Y/you 'face to face' adds another essential element of knowledge and security - and yes, intimacy. After all, if O/one is to pledge O/one's love, commitment and devotion it is helpful and sensible to know to W/whom one is thus pledged at the most basic of levels - otherwise, caveat emptor applies.

When voice and face are combined even with two cam screens at the top of the pc screen.. a level of real time exchange is achieved. .. NOW there is a deeper level of communication! .. There is no substitute for eye to eye even if it has to be done via a camera.

Cams may be purchased from as little as $30 new and much cheaper through E-bay. . *w* .. and it's a blast when a few are on talking and waving and dogs and cats are running amok in the background! *LOL* Small price to pay for another level of security, to enhance a relationship and strengthen foundations.

Cell Phone Cam:

Most cell phones now have an inbuilt camera and video which can be used to take and send pics. This is a very simple method of staying in touch and keeping each O/other up to date on a daily basis. Y/you may need to check charges with Y/your telephone company, but often this costs little more than a text message depending on Y/your carrier.

The above are quite common methods of communication in 2007 and many internet cafes, public libraries and college/University libraries have pc's audio-visually equipped and available for use.

In light of recent circumstances and events. If Y/you are concerned that 'alter' and simultaneous identities have been adopted to get 'close' to Y/you and IF this concerns Y/you, a group voice conference with cam involving all parties can remove doubt and go some way to ensure that Informed Consent is available to Y/you in Y/your online relationships.

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Sunday June 17, 2007 - 08:19am (EST) Edit | Delete


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Again, great points, raven.

As you said, informed consent is vital since it's something that NEEDS to be done. And it's not simply for the "submissive" party, but for both.

Also as for the voice/cam/picture portion. There are cameras that are both digital and for web use that are under $20 (usually 10-15) everywhere from Dollar Stores to Walmart *or their sister stores*. Mics are also available in all price ranges, starting relatively low and going into the higher range. No one says that they have to be the most high tech, expensive models available, but simply a way to see and hear each other on a new level. Seems a small price to pay if you're "serious" about each other.

I've noticed through my interactions that there are people that I've cammed with, people that I've voiced with, and people that I've exchanged pictures with and then there are people that I don't take the time or energy to find the headset or camera for. The people that I've "seen" and "heard" are usually the people I'm closest to, whereas the people that I've never bothered with aren't people that I feel connected to.

To me that says something. It says that if I'm not intested enough to see or hear a person then I'm not serious about the "relationship" *in my case friendship*. So to me, someone who I don't ask to see or hear, or someone that I just don't consider seeing or hearing isn't really in the "inner circle". I'm not as close to them, don't feel as connected to.

I agree that voice/cam/pictures are one way to assure each other that you want to know them more. That you are who you say you are. That they are who they say they are. And at this point, with all the "outing" it is probably the safest way to go.

Saturday June 16, 2007 - 06:42pm (EDT) Remove Comment

i cannot think of a more delightful way to get to know friends, than to be able to voice chat on Yahoo, or see them on cam. preferraby, both are the way to go. goodness knows i've voiced with a few wonderful friends lately, and also *smiles affectionately* through phone calls.

the moment that someone states they don't have a microphone, cam, or headset, i am a bit sceptical, as this sets off alarm bells for me. too, it can be said about "supposed" close friends who refuse to give their phone number, even after supposed trust has been established. where does this trust really go?

yes, i do understand, at times, the inability to voice or cam due to hubby or wife being around, or financially unable to afford a headset or cam, but c'mon, if you can afford the internet for the usual cost of 40ish dollars a month, you can afford a one-time fee of 15 or 20 dollars to buy a microphone. IMHO

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 09:49am (EST) Remove Comment

another wonderful blog from you, dear blondesis! i am not going to voice what ~ember~ and Jessa have already said ~ i could not agree with them more!!! there need to be an ability to hear and see the One that you are exploring with ~ call it accountability regarding who O/one is. many times i have declined further contact with Ones that do not have webcams and/or headsets w/mics, and have gotten excuses ranging from not wanting their r/t partner to know what they are doing to not having the resources available. to me, if someO/one is not willing to do these two simple things, then perhaps T/they are not who or what T/they say they are... *shrugs*

Saturday June 16, 2007 - 09:32pm (EDT) Remove Comment

Amazingly good. You made some excellent points. Typing is one thing, but the more real you make it the better. I remember seeing you for the first time- you were just what I expected, but it injects an element of reality into things, makes the other person so much more multi-dimensional and changes the construct of them in your head. (you have a great voice too!) Whether you're doing it to check someone out, or just add an extra dimension to your relationship, it makes a big difference. I seem to recall we did it just on a whim, but it made you much more real- now I can "see" you when you type too.

You're so right about trust. Without that, you have no basis for a relationship that can keep itself alive and healthy. Eventually, before you can go to the next level, You need some reality to develop trust. Without trust, doubt is an insidious little worm that can strangle any relationship, especially a D/s one. Excellent post, raven. As usual!

Saturday June 16, 2007 - 06:51pm (PDT) Remove Comment

and i will say that i have spoken in r/t and on cam to A/all of Y/you and several more and there is no better way to 'get real' than to see each O/other when distance is involved. Y/you were A/all as Y/you claimed to be.

So much fun and some great highlights - waving at Fen and thinking how much He really DID look like the CIS chap Gil-something, having a smoke, coffee and a chat with Leatherneck, waving and grinning like a child at erotica, laughing uproariously with Nemmie, bekka taking me on a tour of her home and her china collection, lushy with the divine Dougall 'talking' in the background and laughing with lushy and pandy as Mac wrestled with technology, seeing that TQ looks EXACTLY like the pic on His page.

There is an added richness and connection that goes beyond the limited dimension of a keyboard and where friendship - and yes, love is concerned - it removes the fantasy element and establishes a reality-based approach which ensures more realistic expectations.

After all ... how can one seriously express undying love and total commitment and yes, even make demands when the face and the expressions of the 'beloved' is unknown.

It is a compulsion ingrained in the human condition to seek and search the features of the face of the beloved, to 'read' the non-verbals, to 'touch' in every way possible.

And if an online relationship is to go beyond that limited dimension, seeing and talking to each other in real time even via cam and headset sure does minimise and unexpected surprises ... and *w* also helps with immediate recognition and comfort when meeting at airports and coffee shops!

So, let's brew the tea and coffee, get the cams up and have a party P/people!

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 03:06pm (EST) Remove Comment

By Mandate of the International World Beautifcation Treaty of 2002...I am not allowed by Law to show My face on any image capturing devices. I know, I know...I can hear the sighs of relief and shouts of gratitude from here.

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 03:36am (CDT) Remove Comment

*LOL* ... but You are soooo handsome SDS!

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 11:18pm (EST) Remove Comment

isn't technology amazing? i've yet to get a webcam to work again on mine .. one day i will .. i had one once and all that the men wanted to see was me naked so i threw the blasted thing out.. then tried later down the road and puter had been fried so that didnt work and that is where that stands!! .. i loved seeing you on webcam .. you are just like your pics .. son has a new puter .. me im content with what i have .. no patience to learn the new vista program .. ~giggles~ .. anyways .. i do hope all is well with you sister and Aragorn .. that things are falling into place nicely for Y/you .. take care and be well .. and enjoy Y/your life together .. ~huge smile on my face~ ~big hugs and lots of love~ belle

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 10:55am (CDT) Remove Comment

I agree that if you want to get to be even closer with someone you're developing intimacy with, seeing and hearing them can make them more "alive" in your mind. I'm not a big cam or voice person unless it's at a real intimate stage- but I don't like to wear those "hello, my name is" tags either, so don't go by me.

I would like to remind everyone, however, that when it comes to meeting security, just knowing what someone looks like isn't a lot of help. Yeah, you can be assured the person you're talking to doesn't look like some of your other friends (unless the person is skillful with makeup and wigs), but I see it more for building on something that's already there. I would refer people back to the security blogs you did a few months ago for the best advice I've seen on that. Teddy did some great blogs too, but those were deleted 3 or 4 identities ago. *sighs*

After reading some of the things I have recently, I know that psychopaths can look very charming, and people with explosive rage can be very sweet unless enraged. Remember Scott Peterson? Don't, for heaven's sake, forget to be careful before you make that meeting. Raven, you're such a voice of care and concern for all of us, thanks for watching out for our welfare in every way. (Maybe it's time to re-run those security blogs...I might know a good forum for that *winks*)

Sunday June 17, 2007 - 11:01am (PDT)

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