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[Image of Little Miss Naughty]Playing it Safe
by Mija

Talk about lacking originality. I'm sitting here, more than 6000 miles from home, having once again crossed an ocean to be with the man I met three and a half years ago on, whom I've fallen in love with, and all I can think to write is this:

Be safe.

Safe? What sort of advice is that for a naughty girl? I mean, it sounds like odd advice when it comes from someone who frequently sports bruises from being whacked, who has met people over the Internet, and who doesn't just play*, but lets another person punish them like a child. But it's true nonetheless. We all need to take care of ourselves, both on- and off-line. We live in a scary world where very bad things can sometimes happen.

As I recall kneeling bare bottomed in front of a sofa, bent forward as I tearfully counted the whacks from a heavy paddle which rocked my body forward, I wonder what does it mean to be safe? To take care?

I think the reply to this can be as individual as the person answering. But it means that we need to be aware of what we're doing. Being spanked by another person (and, given the legal issues involved, spanking someone) requires a good deal of trust. That trust shouldn't be blindly given to any person with a cute nick and a website. Before meeting someone, in person or even on-line, check them out. Find out who knows them and what the opinions and experiences of others can tell. Read their posts on I mean, even when you go on a blind date you probably know something about the person you've been set up with.

Most important to me is feeling like I know the person. This means time spent corresponding, on the phone, whatever. In my little world, anyone not willing to spend this sort of time for us to get to know each other is signaling they probably wouldn't be a good person for me.

Pablo, my partner, and I corresponded daily (or almost daily) via e-mail and phone for over a year and a half before we met in person the first time. Part of the reason for this was that the distance between us was very great. But the other reason was our own respect for each other's need for caution. The time worked for the good because we knew each other very well as people long before we knew each other physically.

Finally, when meeting someone for the first time, don't keep it a secret. Choose a public place and make playing either optional or, better still, leave it to the second meeting. Arrange to do a safe call** or two, giving the person's licence or other identification to a friend. Anyone who cares about you will expect that you'll be careful. Hopefully they will be too.

Knowing all of this, I made the mistake once of agreeing to meet and play with someone I'd simply chatted with on-line (I know, insane, totally insane). The person I met wasn't dangerous - I'm sure he's a nice guy. But he was a much heavier player than I was at that time and not having communicated my experiences and limits, I got hurt. Worse still was how I felt about myself for taking something that for me is intimate and turning it into something casual and damaging. Still, I was lucky. All I have are regrets and some almost-faded scars to remember my mistake.

Back to the present. It would be a shame to let ourselves be scared back into hiding, fear keep us from connecting with others. But it's the responsibility of each of us to protect ourselves.

Now back to our regularly scheduled spankings. . . .

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*I'm using "play" here to refer to scene activity - for me that means getting spanked and other stuff.

**Tell a friend that you'll call them by a certain time and that if you don't they should assume something bad has happened to you. And then let the person you're meeting know that you have a friend expecting your call.

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