More advice for FAG

Here are more of the letters that came in for FAG. It isn't all of them — there's not enough room on even the net for all of the letter that poured in for you, FAG. You may feel isolated and alone right now, but there are tons of people out there who are worried about you and want to help. ¾ Dan Savage

As an aspiring fetishist, I've been searching for a partner (for life as well as "play") in NYC and have found that there really are no good ways to tell the bad kinky people from the good kinky people in advance. The best approach is to go into it with your eyes open and your heart, mind and body well-protected. Here are 10 things that FAG needs to know. At first I thought that it might be a little too graphic for a 15-year-old kid, but then I thought: "Hell, the kid is out there actively surfing the net for a hook-up and thinking about going home with some 38-year-old chickenhawk." So perhaps what he needs most of all is a big fat reality check:

1) Never get tied up on the first date. This is a rule I learned from going to open group discussions held by a NY organization called Gay Men's S&M Activists (GMSMA). They're really nice, friendly SANE people who sponsor valuable educational sessions.

2) Learn the rest of the rules. It's doubtful that any BDSM club or group would permit you to attend meetings at your age. But as you are an avid Web surfer, you should first be looking at as many informational sites as possible. Leave aside the wanking and the porn sites for a while and read some resource sites. Learn some basic rules of the road, like these: Negotiate limits in advance; insist on a "safe word"; always make sure a friend has a verifiable name, address and phone number for the person you are hooking up with, as well as knowing what time you are expected home and what the friend is supposed to do if you don't check in on time.

3) For most fetishists, domination is mental — not sexual. BDSM is not just about the sex act. Most doms and subs (including me) get off on the mental aspects of control. The sex is just how the control issues are acted out in a physically pleasurable way. (OK ... maybe with some erotic pain too.) But you have to be extra careful because a bad head trip can be much more dangerous than a lame screw, and the combination can be terrifying ¾ like with the guy who I kind of liked, who on our third date backhanded me across the face and then put a knife to my throat. When he saw my boner deflate, he knew he'd crossed a line. He backed off right away, but it was still pretty scary. Now I know to clarify up front that extreme abuse and "knife play" are among the things that turn me off.

4) A good top knows that the bottom is in control. Domination/submission scenes can be a very erotic way to play our your fantasy role, but some guys are absolutely not playing. Some guys really are sadists, and many such doms prefer physical abuse to actual "sex." They will not respect you or your limits, and the sex act can include brutal punishment and serious physical injury. (If that is what turns your crank I'd recommend therapy. These are not the model for a healthy, loving, caring, productive "relationship" that will enhance your life.) Usually such guys will not even consider hooking up with a novice but that is no guarantee of safety. Good BDSM tops, on the other hand, know that your safety is their responsibility. It's part of the game. We bottoms get a liberating charge out of abandoning control to another man. Talented doms enjoy reading your desires. Testing your body and mind. Helping you test your body and mind. Until you get close to the edge of your limits. And then together you keep going ... how far do you go? A good top knows that ultimately the person in control is you: the stopping point is defined by your limits, not his desires.

5) Be careful whom you trust. You can end up dead. And that is no joke.

6) Here a kink there a kink. BDSM is supposed to be "safe, sane and consensual." But as I found out with my "knife play" friend, that means different things to different people. There are some pretty scary and potentially dangerous kinks out. You've been living in BDSM fantasy land for a while, FAG, before you step out into the real world you've got to realize that kinks are very personal things. Not everyone will be into the things you are into, so I'd advise that you be a little less eager and willing to hook up with just anybody who says they'll "enslave" you.

7) Play safe. Unfortunately a lot of BDSM practitioners prefer unsafe sex. Don't do it. No matter how much he may make you think you want it. And if he doesn't respect your decision, dump him.

8) Reality is often not as good as fantasy. After a few bad experiences, you'll figure this out. Either they don't like what you like, or don't do it the way you like it. Just because you like being submissive doesn't mean you don't have a right to enjoy the sex. Domination is an art, and not every top knows how to satisfy a bottom. Be confident enough in your desires to hold out for a guy who wants to make your dreams come true.

9) BDSM will eventually seem a lot less "kinky." In the end, your kinks will most likely take a back seat to other things in life. I've been exploring my kinky side for about six years now, and ultimately I would love to meet a man with whom I can have a great relationship AND lots of kinky sex, but that hasn't happened yet. Now that the fascination has worn off it has become just one more thing in life that I really like ¾ like chocolate, working out, cable TV, kissing.

10) Vanilla is still fun. Some people prefer kink to all other kinds of sex. But I tend to think of it as something extra on the menu along with a whole lot of other stuff.

I hope this list will help FAG and any other aspiring fetishists out there in Savage-land. ¾ Bottom Dude Seeking Marriage

I'm a 31-year-old hetero female sex slave, and you are absolutely right to tell FAG not to go to that man's house. I met my master online, but he offered references and encouraged me to have a time set up to call a friend during our first meeting. Any dominant who objects to simple precautions during a first meeting is not to be trusted. Especially if he says, "But if you loved me/ trusted me/ were a real submissive you wouldn't need that." And NO responsible dom would play power games with an inexperienced teenager. FAG should call the police. How many other horny teenage boys has this creep "picked up from school"? Were any of them ever seen again? The most likely scenario is that he's just a garden variety creep who likes having sex with 15-year-old boys, but I think the police should excavate his basement just in case. Finally, sex for teenagers is like learning to drive. It's dangerous and sometimes fatal, but we accept that it's something they need to do on the way to becoming an adult. Encouraging a teenager to go straight to BDSM is like handing him the keys to an 18-wheeler. Wait, FAG. —Kindly Insist: No Kink Yet

I am an experienced, 53-year-old gay male dom. Before I begin my response, I want to be clear that I have no sexual interest at all, real-world or electronic, in kids FAGs age. My partners are almost exclusively in their mid-20s to late 30s. I do, however, very occasionally encounter boys in their teens who are exploring aspects of their sexuality, including submission. Those who have managed to ferret out real-world places to meet dominant men who share their interests are usually pretty sharp. I've never personally met a submissive youth who didn't understand the importance of being very, very careful.

The Internet is another matter. On the rare occasions that I encounter a young person (certainly under 18, but even sometimes over that age) who is looking for an older man who will fulfill his fantasies about domination and submission, the kids are usually so desperate to meet someone they can at least talk with that they are clueless about the dangers involved. My advice to them — given repeatedly if we have multiple chat conversations — is very much the same as that you gave FAG. I warn them about taking people at "face value" when one has not met them personally. I warn them about the inherent danger in arranging what amounts to their own disappearance in order to meet an unknown person at an undisclosed location. And I urge them not to do so. If a kid is determined to have such a meeting, I tell him he must leave detailed information about the person he is meeting, the meeting arrangements, and even about the content of the chat conversations they've had either with a friend, or if that's not possible in a sealed envelope either in his school locker or in a safe place at home that will be discovered during a police search of his room.

You also asked what readers would do if they knew of a man who was into d/s hooking up with underage guys. That's a hard one. Not all older men are predators. Some have safe, caring, and even very long-term relationships that began when their partner was young. And not all 15-18-year-olds are immature kids. I began my first long-term relationship (not my first sexual relationship) with a man when I was 16. Granted, he was a friend and high school classmate, but we were pretty young. That said, if I knew or had sufficient reason to suspect that a man was stalking and victimizing teenage boys or girls, I would bring that situation to the attention of the police. —Gay Male Dom

Back when I was 17 and interested in doing a guy in the ass with a strap-on, you gave me some great advice, Dan. You told me that the best way to find a kinky young person is to make one. FAG needs to hang out with guys around his own age. When he finds someone he wants to be involved with, he can slowly introduce the idea of some kinkiness. From the experience I've gained since I was 17, I have to say that if anything FAG is kind of lucky because other gay guys his age probably aren't set in their ways about what they like and what they don't. —Your Biggest Fan

As a very gay, very kinky kinkster (I've owned three men in my time), I absolutely agree with you, Dan — FAG should not go to that man's house. Any good master (or mistress) understands that he or she holds a great responsibility. Good grief, some folks can't even take care of a houseplant, and we're talking here about owning a human being. And, sorry, FAG, no matter how "nice" this guy is, taking a 15-year-old out of school and out of society isn't responsible. You need to finish high school and go to college so that you can have a life besides that as some dude's sex slave. Now, as far as contacting the authorities, this "nice" guy is breaking the law. He’s probably a pedophile. And he could be very dangerous, either intentionally so or just from irresponsibility. And you should call the police. But consider this first: Why did he make his offer? Did he come up to you because you were 15? Or did you come on to him? Does he think he's doing you a favor because your life is so fucking miserable? The point is, have you led him on and seduced him into making this offer? Or is he a predator who's looking for an innocent kid who may not have the experience to know he's bad news? I've had kids come on to me online — and I'm willing to chat with them, but not about dicks and holes and sex. I'll discuss the mechanics and spirituality of being a slave, or just life in general.

Secondly, realize that calling the police on this may very well make your parents (and everyone else) very aware of your situation — that you're gay, and that you've been dreaming of being some dude's sex slave. I think it will be very difficult to remain anonymous in such a situation. The local press (and homophobic groups) will eat this stuff up for lunch. And if your teachers and classmates don't know you're gay, they will.

Finally, as to what a horny, sexually aware adolescent should do besides wait for legality ... well, the Internet is useful. When talking to folks, be honest. Settle for cybersex, or phone sex. And if the relationship is still doing well by the time you're 18, well, then it's worth the investment to meet the guy in person. Even then, any decent master (or top, for that matter) is willing to give references. Contact them. And ask others in the chat rooms what they know about the guy. There are also online bookshops — use them. Buy some stuff, have it sent to a post office box (Mail Boxes Etc is perfect for this). I suggest going to and looking up books on Master/slave relationships. Learn about how much of your fantasy can become real. I sure wish there'd been an Internet when I was 15 and desperately horny. —Served In Reality

Some notes for FAG:

1) There are virtually no 15-year-olds in the BDSM community — you're rare, so get used to waiting a bit.

2) Ask potential doms about giving you a "scene negotiation and limits checklist" to fill out. A real dom will not only demand that one of these be filled out, but will have one handy to provide (at least they should e-mail you a link or something).

3) Safe words — discuss them, decide on them, and use them in a d/s scene. If you're tied up and don't want to be, you should feel comfortable knowing that saying your safe word will put you immediately back in control of your body. Anyone who suggests that safe words are not absolutely necessary should send up a red flag.

4) Safe call — this is someone you have set up in advance to call or have call you — if contact is not made when scheduled, your safe call person will either visit where you told them you were going to be, call the police, or both. Don't forget to call.

That's the bare-bones minimum level security needed. But there are other things you should do. So take a step back, FAG, and do some research before you submit to someone. Once you learn about it more (and get a little older), you'll still be able to get slutty when the mood strikes you, but you'll be able to do it and have fun rather than worry about predators. —Jules

Having been a teenager (long ago) and having taught high school for the past 10 years, I know that all teenagers are incredibly horny and 90 percent of them feel lonely (straight and gay alike). Even though FAG feels he can't meet someone who will fulfill his fantasy, he needs to realize 99 percent of his classmates feel the same way. The boys want sex all the time and the girls want sex with someone who "loves" them. For most, it just doesn't happen. Hey, we all know American Pie is not reality! Just remember that. And when it does happen, the girl ends up in the teen-mother school I currently teach in! —Teach

FAG, I am in the same predicament as you. I am 15 and gay. I feel as lonely as do you and most of the other gay kids of our nation, but being kids, we aren't supposed to be sex objects yet. We should be enjoying other things until we are sexually active adults (after all, sex isn't the only enjoyable thing in life). Right now, I'm focusing like hell on my grades. Please don't go near that fucking 38-year-old guy, FAG. And remember: You aren't alone. —Also Fifteen And Gay

As a supporter of the BDSM community and a former computer crime investigator, I hope to offer a unique perspective to FAG's situation. First, as you advised, he should not have any contact with this sick fuck. More likely than not, this perverted piece of shit has been involved in the enticement of children for quite some time, and is certainly very good at it. FAG's genuine (and somewhat normal), fantasy is better than this person's wildest dream (it doesn't get much easier than someone willing to do something he would normally have to force a child into). Now, going to the police is certainly a good idea, but in order for a report to be filed his parents would most certainly have to be involved, which I am sure could be potentially very difficult. So what other options are there? I would definitely recommend a visit to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Web site ( On this site, FAG will be able to, and should most definitely should, report this activity via the "cyber tip line." He can fill out as much or as little of his personal information as necessary, however, it is recommended that he be as thorough as possible. He should include chat sessions, e-mail addresses, etc. The folks over at the NCMEC are wonderful people and act as a clearinghouse of tips to law enforcement regarding situations just like this. I absolutely agree that FAG is in a very difficult position right now, and I know he may not have experienced how amazingly disgusting some humans can be, but he is a very smart young man to seek the advice of others before his life could become a very tragic story. And Dan, I think your advice for him to just stick it out for a couple years is fantastic! There will be much fun for him to look forward to! —Lucien

I was just reading the question proposed by you for FAG. As much as you I am deeply concerned for FAG. You asked several questions. I work at an organization in Baltimore City and County for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This is not a plug for the agency or the work we do but this is a very serious matter and one that should be addressed properly and promptly.

Tips for Internet Dating:

1) Meet the other person in a public place.

2) Always have a cell phone or money in case of an emergency.

3) Tell someone who you’ll be meeting, where, and when you will be meeting them.

4) Give the other persons cell phone, home phone, and address to a friend.

5) Watch your drink at all times. Beware of date rape drugs!

6) Age is more than just a number!

Should FAG go to the cops? Of course he should! This is a crime. You were exactly right when you said there is no telling what this man will do to FAG. There's is a very good chance that he will be raped, brutalized, and or killed. This man has no qualms about approaching an innocent young boy who is just discovering himself and interested in finding someone with whom he can share his fantasies. What makes anyone think that he'd have any qualms about hurting FAG?

Thank you so much for printing this question by FAG. It's important that we make as many people as we can aware of the other people that can be on the other side of the computer line. We take chances every day and some chances just aren't worth the risk! And it's especially a fitting topic because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and with people such as yourself writing or printing such topics and keeping the issue in the public eye, no one can say that "it doesn't happen!" —Tracy

How does a young person (or indeed, anyone new to BDSM) learn to tell the "good kinky people from the bad"? The tried-and-true way is networking. You go to leather bars or meet people in leather clubs so that you have a support group, people you know and trust. That way when you meet someone new you want to "play" with, you can ask around about him. Most of the time you can find someone who knows him and who'll tell you if he’s safe or not. And if you meet someone who wants to carry you off to be a slave on his remote ranch, but who nobody knows? Then you've got a good clue that the guy’s not a safe player. There are other little safeguards you can take — like leaving the guy’s name and phone number with a friend before going off for a kinky sex date, so that if you’re not heard back from your friend can check up on you — but there’s really no substitute for a good, strong network of supportive friends. There are various ways of achieving this — one good one is to look up local leather/S&M clubs. For younger gay guys I might suggest some of the clubs for "boys" like the D.C. Boys of Leather, or Los Angeles Boys of Leather. There are similar ones in many cities now. "Boy" in the leather world is a term for a submissive or "bottom" person of any age, really, (certainly over 18) but these clubs often attract a twentysomething age group from what I've seen, and are more aimed at community service and social bonding than sex, so they’re probably a good bet to get a jump-start into the leather scene.

You mention Internet access. The Internet has been both a blessing and a curse to the leather scene, if you ask me. A blessing, because it can be much easier to find other kinky folks out there. And a curse because I think it lures people into thinking that if you've read a few Web sites you know all you need to know to go around tying people up. In my (experienced) opinion, there is no substitute for learning from other people in person. There are workshops and classes all over the country these days, either as part of large leather events or smaller regular ones run by leather/S&M clubs. The advantages of these classes is not just better information presented in a real-time format (sometimes even hands-on format), but that it gives you another chance to be around the people who know how to do the things you want to try, so you’re meeting the people you want to meet. has a good listing of clubs and events nationwide, and also links to several columnists who write about various leather community issues-it's a great source of real information.

My above advice is predicated on FAG waiting until he's at least 18. Kinky sex can be dangerous and needs to be approached with maturity and seriousness. It takes time and experience to hone your instincts for telling a safe player from an inept one (or worse, a dangerous one), and as a young person who hasn't had the time to develop that, it's best to go very slowly and very cautiously. —Kinky Newbie's Older Brother

You answered a letter from Fifteen and Gay about a potential "lover" he met online and asked for reader advice for kinky, connected young folk. Mine is fairly simple: wait. Power exchange can be a fun thing, but at 15, how much power do you really have to exchange?

But that doesn't really address how to get involved with someone, and obviously FAG and people like him aren't having much luck with the local folk. It's hard when you're kinky, gay, or both and still at an age where people aren't in a position to be open about it easily. So get involved with an online group. On Usenet, there's soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm (and, though that's gotten pretty heavily spammy). There's also soc.motss for gay (though not necessarily kinky) talk, and for the bisexual. There are other groups, as well — hosts some poly, gay, bi, and kinky groups alike, and no doubt similar services have the same. Why groups? Because when these groups do get together for socializing, they, in fact, do so as a group. In public, in the day or early evening, usually just to get to know people and without any expectations that any particular single (or poly) people are going home with any particular other people. It's a good way to meet people with similar kink interests and know that a whole bunch of other people know, and can vouch for (or not!) as well. And most of the groups do local meetings of some sort, whether rarely or regularly. Obviously these are more common in larger areas, but even smaller towns sometimes have a surprising number of kinky folk living around.

Most of these people won't play with someone underage, but while three years may seem like a long time to wait, you at least know you're going to get three years of getting to know people and figuring out who is safe and who isn't. Most importantly, chances are someone who hangs out in a group is not simply trolling for sex, let alone trolling for a victim. Yes, you still get bad folk, but the chances are lower. Some 40-year-old guy trolling for 15-year-olds? Probably not safe. But a dozen people of varying ages who regularly go out for pizza who just happen to also be into kink? A lot more likely to turn up a safe partner.

If FAG absolutely must meet someone online who he found in a one-on-one chat, though, there's a few rules:

1) Meet in public — a coffee house or a restaurant. Use your own transportation.

2) Bring a friend. Tell your putative partner you're going to. If he objects, bail. If he can't understand why you're taking precautions, he probably doesn't want you to.

3) Just talk. Don't go home with the guy that first meeting. After you're done with food or coffee and have left, ask the friend what he thought of the guy. listen.

4) Meet in public at least a few times before agreeing to get tied up in the guy's basement (or whatever). If anything about him gives you (or your friend, who probably should go with you at least twice) the creeps, return to masturbation, which doesn't carry any real risks.

5) Stick to e-mail or IM for communication for now. Only give out phone, address, location of high school, and other stalker material if numerous meetings suggest the guy is really safe.

If the choice is either "with someone who might be unsafe" or "a bit lonely and stuck with masturbation," take the latter. Masturbation may not be as fun as a partner, but it's a heck of a lot more fun than being beaten, raped, abused, or worse. —Long-Winded But Well-Meaning

I am 37 and active in the BDSM scene for years. I have had my share of 16- and 17-year-olds who want me to teach and train them; they are told, in no uncertain terms, to come back when they're 18 and I will consider it, but no sooner, and even then it's not a promise. Please tell your readers that quality BDSM players don’t troll online for 15-year-olds and, regardless of age, quality BDSM players never agree to meet anyone they've met online for an immediate BDSM scene. Rather, if we find we have common interests, we arrange to meet at a public venue — a coffee shop or bar — and talk first. —Diva BDSM Educator, Positive Sex Activist, and Dominatrix

Consensual sex is where both parties are legally, emotionally, physically, and morally able to participate; when they both know and fully understand what activities are to happen; understand the possible physical, emotional, spiritual, and social consequences there are likely to be; and are willing to withstand them and/ or take the necessary precautions. Coercive sex is when one person overpowers another. But, cooperative sex is a bit trickier. Cooperative sex is when you get in over your head and go along with it because you don't want something you perceive as worse to happen. Or it's when someone doesn't give you all the facts you need to make a sound decision for yourself. If FAG were to go to his friend's house, he likely will find himself in that icky "cooperative" mode. He may not fully understand what being a slave really means. He may find a house full of people who want to use and abuse him. He likely will feel trapped because he A) doesn't have his own transportation; and B) isn't likely to call Mom to come pick him up. The online friend knows this. The online friend is counting on it. The online friend is a rapist. Just in case, FAG can find a sexual assault service program by calling 1-800-656-HOPE from anywhere in the country. All services are confidential. The phone line will hook him up to a rape crisis center in his area. —RCC Exec

As a maintainer of a large online sex tips community, some of the best advice I've seen came from out of the bondage community, though anyone can use it — the Meeting An Internet Stranger protocol.

First, write down on a card where you're going. The address, the town, the name of the people you expect to meet — everything. Put it in an envelope and give it to a friend/ relative you trust. Tell them that you're going to meet some people you met over the Internet and here are all the details.

Tell the people you're going to meet that you're following the MAIS protocol. If they seem to get upset and accuse you of not trusting them, run — do not walk — away from them. It is important that someone know where you expect to be, and that the strangers you are meeting know there is someone else (a third party) who knows this.

Second, meet on neutral, public ground — a restaurant or someplace like that. Do not ever go straight to their home. Get a feel for who they are and trust your instincts. That last bit is the best rule of thumb for any situation. Trust your instincts. They're usually right. —Techieguru

Here's a link for FAG, that lonely queer kid: It's an Australian-based site for queer youth all over the globe. It's one of the most popular gay sites in the world, so I'm sure FAG will find someone nice in the personals section that is his age, because the personal restrict you to being 25 and under, to siphon out the creepy old men. And although this site is mainly for looking for friends and relationships, I'm sure someone out there shares FAG's sex slave fantasies. Tell FAG not to worry; pretty much every non-hetero person feels the same way until they graduate, but college or university will take care of that soon enough. —Benjamin

Answering your call for advice for FAG. Advice for kinky teens is hard — as you say, most responsible adults won't play with them, most responsible kink stores and organizations won't let them in. It makes it hard to get information and advice, let alone play partners. Figure out what you're willing to try, what you don't want anything to do with, and what you might be willing to learn more about but don't want to commit to. Good how-to books are the best source of handy checklists and definitions, but porn movies, books, and magazines can provide plenty of ideas too. Just remember they're not always right about how to do it safely.

Once you figure it out, tell your partner. Then he'll tell you what he wants, and you'll negotiate. A good play partner respects your limits. If he pulls the "I'm the dom, you'll do what I say and like it" trick while you're still negotiating — dump him, he's a poser.

Do too little, not too much, especially the first few times. I know you've got years of frustration built up, but things that sound really hot may be too much in reality. If not, you can always do it again and work up to it. Always leave them wanting more.

Pick a safe word to stop the action right away, and maybe a slow word, to take a break or ease up, even if you think you won't need them.

I agree with you about this guy — chances are he's a jerk, and it's too big a risk. But since the issues of meeting strangers don't go away when you turn 18, a little more advice: Meet in a public place first to talk. If you get a weird vibe, even if it seems like nothing, trust it, and leave, or don't go someplace more private. If you're in a city with a kink club, you can even play in public — it may take a little getting used to, but there's dozens of people around to stop him if you yell safe word. Most of them have rules about what kind of sexual contact you can have.

Get a reference or five — preferably somebody you know in common.

Meet the local perverts. There may be organizations, like NYC's GMSMA, but those are probably not open to teens. The "munch" or "burgermunch" — a gathering of BDSMers to eat and chat in a restaurant or food court — would probably take under-agers, since there's no sex or nudity. That's a good source of friends and advice and dish on who's considered responsible in the community.

Tell someone where you're going and set a "silent alarm" — someone to call for help if you don't check in at a certain time. You can even have a friend watch or wait outside the room and listen for screams.

Don't agree to bondage right away — you want to have a fighting chance if the guy turns out to be Hannibal Lecter.

Check out the newsgroup soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm. Lurk and read the FAQ.

Good introductory books include Sensuous Magic, by Pat Califia, and Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns, among several others. You might be surprised how much your local Barnes and Noble carries.

Once FAG goes to college things get easier. Not only is he legal, but several colleges, including Columbia, NYU, Bard College, and the University of Washington at Seattle, have on-campus BDSM organizations that offer an introduction to the scene. —MS

I've been a huge fan of your column for years now, but never had a problem exotic enough to write in about ... and still don't. But I want to comment on Fifteen And Gay's situation.

I work for a large online personals site that caters to all kinds of kink and non-kink, and have seen a few very nasty examples of what can happen when people are not cautious about meeting new friends. I've spoken to people who have been stalked for weeks after a single date, videotaped without their consent or knowledge, drugged and raped ... and these are the ones that come to me instead of the police. The Internet can be a great place to meet people, but it can also be very, very scary. Here's what I tell my customers when they're venturing out into the real world:

1) Have your first "live" date or meeting in a public place. Don't go to their house, don't invite them to yours until you've spoken in person.

2) Whatever you plan to do later you can spend an hour or so having a cup of coffee or a cocktail or something. Anyone who is unwilling to go along with this is probably up to something.

3) Always arrange for your own transportation. Whether its a cab company number or your car or the bus or whatever be able to get yourself to and from wherever you're going.

4) Make sure someone knows where you're going to be. Have someone you can trust, and can give some actual details to — the name of the person you're going to meet, the place you're going, when you're going to be back, or when you're going to call if you're not coming back that evening. Again, anyone who would object to this is probably not someone you should trust. It’s been my experience that the kinkier folks — the decent ones, at least — are, if anything, more understanding of these precautions than their vanilla counterparts. Perhaps they're more accustomed to meeting strange people, or setting up safety guidelines before they start to play... I don't know. But I agree with you that any 38-year-old man who would agree to meet a 15-year-old kid for anything is no one anyone should trust. —Heard Too Many Horror Stories

The poor young man has a hard row to hoe, no matter which way you look at it. It's hell feeling different when you are a teen. Respectable, nice BDSMers won't talk to him if they know how old he is because he's underage; and most of us are terrified to even give information to someone that age. Certainly, anyone who is willing to meet with him, knowing his age, and take him somewhere for an evening of debauchery is not his friend. Nice people do not take advantage of the young. And the 38-year-old man has demonstrated he is not nice people by being willing to commit a crime (sex with a minor). There are lots of nuts on the Internet, and ending up as a notch on a serial killer's bedpost precludes future exploration. As for being a sex slave, well, that is a very common fantasy, but often, you find the reality is not nearly as much fun as the fantasy. It's better to try this sort of thing out gradually with people you know and can trust. I'm a romantic. I think a first sexual experience should be two people who care about each other. BDSM can come later. But that's an opinion. It's too bad he doesn't have the support of other gay teens in his area. This is a really tough time of life. I would recommend a few Web sites to him:,,, If he can get these books, (they are sold on I would recommend he read Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Miller and Devon, and The Loving Dominant by John Warren. Both of these are great books on real BDSM; het-oriented, but still the best basic information I know of. I hope this is helpful. I have to commend him for writing to you before he did something he might regret. —Domina, The Frugal Domme

I sympathize with FAG (I was once a horny 15-year-old myself), but you were right on the money with your answer. As a 37-year-old leather guy I've been also approached online by "teen boys" eager to play. Just as FAG doesn't know enough about his 38-year-old chat buddy, I couldn't be sure the "15-year-old" sending me messages wasn't really a middle aged FBI agent. That's not a chance a "safe, sane, consensual" BDSM person would take. I can also assure him that once he turns 18 he will find no shortage of quality people eager and willing to "show him the ropes." In the meantime I'd recommend reading up on BDSM practices so he will be able to recognize the right people to play with, and keep masturbating to satisfy those urges and sort through his desires. —Boys Deserve Sane Mentors

The essence that safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) and its recent alternate, risk-aware consensual kink (RACK) have in common is consent. Although not explicitly stated, to the BDSM practitioners I know this implies informed consent on all levels — physical, mental, and emotional. That kind of consent cannot legally be given by a minor, which is one reason why we have the laws we do. So the best advice I can give to young people like FAG is to educate themselves, including how to negotiate a SSC/RACK scene or relationship, and be patient until they reach adulthood. —NG

I'm a 21-year-old pervert who entered the S&M scene at 18 so I've seen good and scary people. My advice to FAG — Until you are 18, go find some books to read and don't deal with the people who are willing to deal with you. They are already breaking laws and that means they don't have your best interests at heart. If you are bound and determined to get into playing before you turn 18, you need to set up something called a "safe call." That is where you tell a few trusted friends that you will be going to this guys house, give them the address and telephone number, and that you will call them at 9 p.m. when you get home to let them know you are OK. You don't have to tell them what you are doing just that if you don't call them at 9 p.m. to let them know you are safe — they need to call the police and tell the police where you are. (You don't actually have to say 9 p.m.) Play safe. — Lenora

In response to your column about the 15-year-old meeting a 38-year-old online, tell him to run as fast as he can. I have a friend (we'll call him "Mario"). I didn't know a thing about his online "relationship" with an older guy until Mario showed up at my house with a broken arm and multiple bruises. Mario, who is 14, was online, also looking for a date, and agreed to meet this guy who said he was a 16-year-old student in a nearby town. The guy turned out to be more like 40, and not interested in sex, just in beating up on gay boys. Unfortunately, Mario refuses to go to the police because he is still closeted and does not want his parents/ classmates/ other townfolk to know that he's gay. If you are determined to keep your sexual identity or habits a secret, FAG, you need to understand that you may not be able to get help if you find yourself in a similar situation. I know that sounds terrible, but it's a fact. —Helping Mario Cope

My first S&M fantasy was when I was still in preschool. I came out as a fag when I was 18, and a pervert at 22. It's tough dealing with being gay, let alone being a "sick" one at that. After being active in the scene for more than 15 years I would tell the poor kid to go get some life experience first, then look at the more interesting stuff. No self respecting leatherman would touch anyone that immature, no matter what the age. I turn down kids aged 15 to 50. I suggest he reads more — the Internet is a great place for finding stuff, some better than others, but there are also groups, libraries and other places to find out more. I have a Web site devoted to the perv scene where I do what I can to at least let people know what we do, and how to do it safely: —Torch

I am a bi-chick and am in a BDSM relationship. Any decent dominant would not try to pick up an underage guy! It is not only illegal — it is irresponsible. One of the basic tenets in BDSM is "safe, sane and consensual" and a 38-year-old man who wants to pick up a 15-year-old boy is neither sane nor safe. FAG, I understand your yearnings, I am a submissive and struggled for a long time with my desires. Luckily, I found a wonderful person to help me fulfill them. I agree with Dan's advice — wait a few years and I'm sure you'll meet a wonderful master. In the meantime, I advise that you learn all you can about BDSM, and find out if you are truly interested. Let me tell you, the reality of being someone's slave is not always as good as the fantasy. There are many excellent books out there on the subject — Greenery Press Publishers has excellent books. FAG can look at for more excellent tips on what to do if/when you meet someone online or elsewhere. —His Pretty Kitty

As a submissive in the local BDSM area, I can tell you just from the info that you've given that this man you've met online is dangerous! First problem is that he is so much older and wanting you to hide where you are going and who you are going with. This man clearly does not respect your safety. Any good dom or master would expect you to take safety precautions for your first few meetings. Someone needs to know where you are and who you are going to be with, what time you plan on being home, and some sort of planned contact with a "password" of sorts so that if you are in a bad situation you can say this word and the person on the other end of the phone will know to come find you ... that is, if this man even lets you near a phone.

Never, ever go somewhere with a stranger who wants you to hide things from your loved ones. Other things you need to think about:

1) Did he find out exactly what you want?

2) Did he tell you what he will or will not do? There are always boundaries.

3) Did he talk to you about safe words?

4) Did he tell you what he expects of a slave?

5. Did you tell him what you mean when you say sex slave? (If you think this just means you get laid 15 times a day, you could be very, very wrong)

6) Did you ever get a nauseated feeling when talking to him? If you did, that is your intuition saying don't do it!

These are all standard things that a dom with your best interests in mind is going to discuss with you. My personal recommendation is that you just wait the three years and then come find us in the organized groups in the area. There are groups that you can hook up with where you can get information to know what you are getting into before it becomes dangerous. —Happy In Submission Contact Dan Savage at [email protected]

About The Author

Dan Savage

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, podcaster, and author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. His sex advice column “Savage Love” first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. He has published six books...
Scroll to read more Savage Love articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.