September/October 2002
Is It Real Or Is It Bullshit?

by Justin Medlin

So your looking for your first real time group or experience. How can you be sure that the person that you are talking to is actually who they say they are, are what they say they are and even close to being the perfect Dom or sub that they present themselves to be? First be prepared to do your homework, and to ask questions forthrightly. And its just as important to know what answers to discard. The following is MY OPINION OF WHAT SHOULD BE ASKED AND INQUIRED ABOUT.....IN NO WAY DO I MAKE ANY CLAIM THAT THIS IS THE BE ALL END ALL "LIST" OF WHAT YOU SHOULD ASK.


So your all ready to step out and find a group of like minded people in your locality...

  1. Ask your online contacts who live in your area what they know of the group (if you have r/t contacts even better) have they attended, what was their impression, did they feel safe, did they feel that their privacy was respected? Ask more than one person if possible. Ask everyone that you can find, one person's opinion is an opinion 30 people with the same opinion may be on to something. Next check the group itself out as much as possible. Do they have a web site? How can you contact them for information about the group without showing up cold turkey? How many responses do you get from your inquiry? Is it a mixture of Doms and subs responding or is it all Doms (or subs for that matter)? How do they answer the following?
  2. Where do they meet (is it in a public restaurant with a private dining room or hotel conference room, or someone's home?) Make sure its in public. Predators and weenie wackers do not like public venues.
  3. Do you have to provide your real name, address or telephone number? If you have to provide any or all of the above mentioned info before you even meet them, run like the road runner on steroids, particularly if you value your privacy.
  4. How is the information for location and times distributed? Is it on a web site or yahoo groups listing, where any predator, news reporter or law enforcement official can get to it easily? Is it protected and some way such as being sent to only those who have requested to be added to their list and have rsvp`ed "yes I will be attending" type announcement?
  5. Do you have to use your real name or even introduce yourself at the meeting?
  6. Do they have any type of "buddy system" where you can meet with someone in the WIDE OPEN public sub to sub or Dom to Dom depending on how you identify? Mall food courts are good for this.
  7. What do they list their primary focus to be? Education, Socialization? To Get Themselves Laid? What references do they have to back that up.... can they provide any phone numbers to other groups or clubs who would vouch for them? Email addys are fine, but one person can have 12345678900987654321 email accounts.
  8. How much does it cost to attend?
  9. How should you dress? Do they encourage or discourage fetish wear? Toys?
  10. What is proper protocol for the group....if your told that all subs will kneel and serve all Doms or some such thing as that, politely decline or at your option invite draw them a map of perhaps where they should go.

Here is a typical response that I give to someone who requests info from our group in Greenville South Carolina, L.O.C.K.

Dear XYZ,
LOCK is a pansexual BDSM munch group located in Greenville South Carolina. We are an education based munch group whose main purpose is to provide good worthwhile information and provide a forum for people of like interests to meet and socialize. We have four meetings a month, one for each week of the month and they are as follows: 1) LOCK Social, first wed of every month 2) Doms Only Meeting second sat of every month 3) subs Only Meeting second saturday of every month 4) Discussion Only Munch third Saturday of every month 5) Main Munch With Demo fourth Saturday of every month The first three meeting are open to everyone on our list who rsvp's that they will be attending. Before we allow someone to attend the Demo Munch we require that they attend two of the first three meetings at some point so that they can meet us and we can meet them face to face. We at LOCK take the privacy of all those that attend as well as our guest presenters very seriously. LOCK is not here to provide any one with sexual partners, play partners or any other type of partner. LOCK does NOT cater to swingers. LOCK does not provide a forum for those seeking "aol masturbatory" material. LOCK demos depending on the topic may include partial or complete nudity by one of the presenters, i.e. caning, flogging, needle play. We do not allow fetish wear including cuffs or obvious collars. We do not allow toys of any type to be brought in other than that needed by the presenters. As far as the public around us is concerned we are just another online computer group and we have no desire to frighten the villagers who did not come out to participate in what we do. Should you need any other information or have any other questions please do not hesitate to let us know.
PR/Events Coordinator

Imagine writing one of those 10 times a week lol. I always answer each one personally, no form letters. When you are satisfied with the answers you receive and comfortable, go check that group out. If its in public you can always haul ass if need be.
So Your Gonna Meet Someone 1st Time This next list I think is BASIC info that you need BEFORE you meet someone.

  1. References.....and not just email addy's, phone numbers, etc. DO NOT let this slide just cause you have "known" this person online for 6 months and talked on the phone so much that AT&T is sending shares of stock each time you pay your phone bill. Ax murderers can be quite charming. Get more than one reference. And the longer the person has claimed to be in the scene, the more they should have. Anyone who states that they have been "in the scene" for 10, 20, 30 years but has no references because they have been completely private scare me. Have they been in prison the last 30 years? You have been playing for 30 years, have had 6 different subs and you can't put me in touch with any of them? Are they all dead? CYA!
  2. Do the math. Anyone claiming to have 15 years experience and is age 23??? Need I say more??
  3. Are they willing to provide: picture, picture of drivers license, home telephone number, home address? Doms, the sub should be willing to provide you with the SAME.
  4. Are they willing to meet in a *VERY* public place?
  5. Do YOU have a safety net set up?
  6. Are they insisting on play or service at the first meeting? Run.
  7. Are they pushing for an overnight visit? Run. In the same hotel or your home? Hang Up.
  8. If you are a sub is the Dom willing to come to your town? Why not? Is he/she willing to pay his own expenses? If not double check your check book and run.

Those are basics. Add what you personally need to be comfortable. Does all this seem like a lot to go through to find a group or ,meet someone? You're alive to read my article today and hate it. I would like to think that you will be around in the future to read and hate more :) Dead people have trouble getting good internet connections, finding play partners and God knows I ain't into necrophilia. Be well and stay safe.

Justin Medlin

Now that I have your attention feel free to email me. I may or may not respond to the emails, but I promise to read all of them.

Copyright Justin Medlin © March 2001
Reproduced by permission of Justin.
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