In some ways, the internet has been a boon to kinksters. It’s so much easier to find kinky people with compatible fetishes than it was before the Naughts, and in most ways that’s a good thing. More people are able to discover that they are kinky. They’re able to get guidance from more experienced kinksters. They’re able to find toys and clothing and erotica (like mine) that is directed specifically at them. They can even meet potential play partners online.
But the internet has created a new problem. It’s easier to find people who are compatible with your kinky needs, but it’s likely that most of those kinky people will be hundreds of miles away. It’s frustrating as hell to have a hot potential slave begging for your attention and knowing that actually meeting up with them is going to be challenging, unless you have the budget to travel frequently.
I get a lot of messages from guys asking to play. Just this morning, a boy messaged me from halfway across the country, asking if he could serve me. It’s definitely flattering, but it raises what I see as a serious problem created by the internet. Distance play (or remote play or online play) tends to frustrate me a great deal.
My basic philosophy about dominance is that being served by a boy ought to in some way make my life better, even if only for an hour or two. How it makes my life better can vary a lot. Maybe it looks like my cock getting sucked. Maybe it looks like my sadism being satisfied by feeling the impact of my crop on his ass or the grunts of pain as I torture his tits. Maybe it means my dishes getting done or my boots getting polished. There are a lot of different ways my life can be made better when a boy serves me. And by being served, I am providing the boy with something that makes his life better: a stinging ass, my dick in one of his holes, an opportunity to do chores for me, or something else that touches his need to feel inferior or submissive in some fashion. The power flows from him to me but the pleasure flows in both directions.
Distance play rules out most of that. I can’t spank his ass or pinch his tits. He can’t suck my dick. He can’t do my dishes. So remote play restricts us to a fairly narrow range of activities. I can give him orders to torture himself, mostly tit torture and cock and ball torture. I can give hm orders to fuck himself with a toy. I can make him jack off or make him beg to cum and refuse to allow it. I can make him do something humiliating, such as drink his own piss or write on his body. I can make him send me nude or humiliating pics of himself. I can verbally abuse him. And that’s about it.
Twenty or thirty years ago, I think being able to do that sort of thing online might have excited me, simply because it would have represented sexual contact of some sort. But nowadays most of that feels tame because I’ve experienced a lot deeper things through traditional in-person play. Telling a guy to jack off is a lot less satisfying than actually jacking him off, because there’s a lot less physical intimacy and sensory in-put involved. Sure, watching him jack off I can see and hear what he’s doing, but when I’m lying next to him, with one arm holding him and the other wrapped around his cock, I can feel his body tensing and quivering. I can feel the solidity of his dick in my hand and hear the tiny gasps he makes. I can stroke his cock the way I want to stroke it and respond to his body, making my strokes faster or slower or changing the grip or what part of him I’m stroking, and so on. I can’t do any of that online. I am reduced to a mostly passive spectator urging him to pleasure himself.
And he is much more in control of the process, stroking his dick exactly the way he likes it, knowing that he’s gonna pleasure himself instead of hoping and wondering if I’ll pleasure him. He’s giving up much less power.
So for me at least, that completely changes the dynamic. Instead of me being the active, in-control partner and him the passive recipient, he becomes the active partner and I’m a semi-passive voyeur. I am not empowered by it and doesn’t feel like my life is much improved. The boy, however, is getting things he wants: a sense of being controlled and humiliated and used. His life is improved while mine is not. His needs are being met and mine are not.
That means that the power dynamic is reversed. The power is running from me to the boy. His needs are getting met and I am serving him. That’s literally the opposite of what I want from kink. In some sense, online play tends to make the dom the servant and the sub the master.
I see that a lot on Fetlife. The Gay Masters and slaves forum gets a lot of questions from doms wanting suggestions for tasks they can give their slaves. This to me embodies the whole problem of online play. Slaves want to feel obedient, so they need to be given tasks. But there aren’t a lot of tasks a slave can do online that rise above the level of make-work and cam performing. So the master winds up wracking his brains to invent something that makes the slave feel obedient. To me, that’s the master serving the slave. The slave isn’t adding value to the masters’s life.
This is one of the biggest reasons I enjoy findom. When I take tribute from a boy, I know that I am being served and my life is being improved in a small way. The slave is making a small monetary sacrifice to my power. That means that the power is flowing to me and not away from me. And to me, that makes all the difference in the world. Because the power is flowing toward me, I feel empowered when I give a cashslave some sort of command, such as ordering him to humiliate himself or controlling his orgasm. For me, findom is primarily a way to engage in genuine power exchange at a distance. (The money is nice, but it’s definitely a secondary consideration; I’m never gonna get rich off it, but it will occasionally buy me something nice or cover a meal.) In person, I have little interest in findom, because there are so many much more physical ways for me to use a boy.
Perhaps my dislike of online play is particular to me and other more experienced kinksters. I can imagine that novices might find it more thrilling. And online play is definitely a safer way to start exploring submission, because there is much less risk of physical injury or sexual trauma. It does allow a novice to develop a persona through which taboo desires can be expressed and explored. For some isolated people, online play may be the only option.
But fundamentally, online play is a pale shadow of playing in person. Part of me wants to say that it’s not real, but I think that would be unfair to those for whom it’s a vital lifeline. But the dynamics are different. It’s less visceral. And as I’ve said, the power dynamics tend to run the wrong way. Because of that I think it’s less true.
What do you think? Have you had satisfying online sessions? Do you think I’m wrong here, or have you forays online been unsatisfying?