There are 3 main ways of exchanging information on the net. Web sites like this one, newsgroups or mailing lists and chat rooms. Newsgroups are used for individuals to post their views on various topics. These may generate discussions as more and more people respond to the posting with their own experiences and views. Mailing lists, serve a similar purpose but instead of having to remain connected to the net to collect and read the information it is e-mailed to you. The main problem with both newsgroups and mailing lists is that if they are popular they can become so crowded with information that it is difficult to pick out which bits you want to read. But the most exciting and one of the most useful of the features of the net are the chat rooms.

Yackety Yack - DO talk back!

All of the net content providers such as, MSN, AOL and CompuServe offer Chat rooms but if you use a free ISP you can use a system called Internet Relay Chat (IRC) for the same purpose. To gain access to IRC you need to load an additional program onto your computer. There are several but mIRC and pIRCh are 2 of the more popular ones. These can be downloaded free from the Internet or they are sometimes available on the cover disks given free with computer magazines. Once you have tried and decided to go on using one you should really register your use and pay the small fee requested.

Chat Rooms

Chat rooms/sites/channels, they are given various names, differ from other forms of communication on the net in that they are live. When you join one you see a list of the nicknames being used by others in that room and they will see that you have joined them. Each time you type a line of text and press enter it is sent via the server to all of the others and you get to see what they type. In this way you hold a conversation.


If you decide that you want to talk to just one person or a small group without everyone seeing what you are saying there are ways in which you can do that too.


Although you are actually typing and reading most people call the system 'chatting' and refer to 'talking' and what you 'say' and 'hear' rather than what you type or read. There are many little conventions on this theme and TYPING IN CAPITALS is referred to as shouting and is considered impolite, sorry! The feeling is rather like being on a conference call on the telephone except at local call rate. On the Net the Scene is usually referred to as BDSM, a shortened version of Bondage & Discipline, Domination & submission, Sensual Magic (or sadism and masochism if you prefer). A male dominant is referred to as a Dom and a female dominant as a Domme. Subs and slaves are not differentiated by gender. Although there are general conventions like these each room also usually has its own rules and customs.

Getting help

Newcomers to a room can't do better than to ask one of the people running the room (usually denoted by some sort of symbol next to their nickname) where to find the rules, read them, then just sit and watch what goes on for a while to absorb the way that they are interpreted and applied.

Why Chat?

Chat rooms are used for many purposes. They are meeting places for friends, places to gather or provide information, to discuss and exchange views, to chat up potential playmates, to have fun, to get into in role play, and yes, even to indulge in cyber-sex. That said, in most rooms, as with most physical locations intense sexual play is considered best kept a little more private. Not all rooms encourage all of these activities, some are heavily into role play others are for discussion and discourage acting out fantasies. You don't even have to make an isolated decision as it is very easy to switch from one to another or even to have several running on your screen at the same time. The choice is yours.

Choices, Choices!

There are thousands of chat channels, web sites, and newsgroups devoted to BD, D/s, SM on the net. Many have a heavy American bias because they are still the main users but there are a very few which have UK and Europe specific content. For chat rooms on IRC DALNET try #submissionuk. Look for someone with a @ beside their name and let them know you read about the channel here. They will be happy to greet you and introduce you to others.

Beware the dark side of the force!

The Scene on the Internet is much like the Scene anywhere, there is something for everyone, it is just a case of finding it. Many of the people who use the net are regular real time players, some with a great deal of experience. Just be aware that there are also those whose only experience is on the net and through reading books. Some have good imagination and literary skills and can type a great Scene but for real I wouldn't trust them on the other end of a feather duster let alone a flogger! There are also those who delight in mind games, pretending to be a gorgeous blonde Dominatrix when they are really a fat bald property salesman. Just keep your wits about you, take nothing at typeface value and try letting your fingers do the talking.


I have put what may be new terminology or conventions in italics in the text and included a brief explanation of the terms below.

Be safe. Enjoy!