OK so not just bondage related here. This is unfortunately the kind of thing that just applies to anyone new to kink.

When you’re new predators will try to prey upon you. They honestly will!
When you are new is when you most need to be careful. Plenty of people will promise you anything, say anything, they will lie… to get into your pants.

These same people will talk about honesty, they will talk about honour, they will ‘talk’ with great conviction.

No not everyone you meet will be a predator, not everyone will be conniving and manipulative. Not everyone will lie to you. Not everyone, but some will. They will pick on you specifically because you don’t have experience, the particular vital experience that would allow you to know that you’re dealing with a predator, that’s why they go for you, because they know you aren’t equipped with a fully functional bullshit detector yet.

People who have met these scene predators often look back at the bullshit they were once fed and wonder how they could have eaten it, how could it not have made them throw up at the time? How could they not smell it?

It is because of those people that you must be careful. The temptation to dive headlong into a new world is massive, the temptation to believe it when someone tells you exactly what you want to hear.

You must, without destroying your faith in humanity be wary, you must defend yourself. And you defend yourself with sense, with caution and with learning and with finding out about people before taking the breaks off and diving into the deep end.

If that sounds a bit of a buzz kill it really doesn’t have to be. Learning the proper safety and training for skydiving does not I promise diminish the thrill of the actual jump. And avoiding the bad outcomes of an avoidable mistake is worth a little effort.

I am NOT saying don’t trust anyone, I am saying take care of yourself and exercise reasonable caution while entering a new world that you’re unfamiliar with. Predators function by exploiting the newcomers ignorance.

I’ve said this before about rope work but get plenty of references before you play with people, and if you go to the trouble of getting references pay attention to what they say. Talk to people, people that know them, people that played with them. Observe how they play and conduct themselves.

It sounds like a lot of effort but chained up in some cellar without the option to walk away isn’t the moment to think “Hang on I don’t know a thing about this guy” or “Hey I said not to do that!”.

Sadly there are also complete fucktards who see the scene as an endless supply of dumb newbies that will swallow any crap and then be too ashamed or frightened to speak out against them. In the worst cases blackmailers and cynical manipulators that threaten to ‘out’ people report them to social services, publish the pictures or whatever.

This kind of behaviour leads to people leaving the scene; and who can blame them with this kind of early experience. This also plays into the hands of the less than ethical as it removes people who could warn those that follow from the scene.

You do have to sort the wheat from the chaff. The good people in the scene do understand that, others are less prone to be sympathetic to the idea that you need time to find your feet before you let someone sweep you off them.

There are great people in the scene though, wonderful, generous, warm hearted sadistic, masochistic, kinky, perverted and depraved… absolutely lovely people and you shouldn’t let the few bad ones blind you to that.

See also Identifying predatory behaviour