So, I’m back, not a lot more experienced but just a bit more world-weary and wise. Everything I’ve said before, I still stand behind. But I’ve learned a few more things and I want to share them.
First: It’s easy, and very likely, for someone to say “I’m cool with that!” when you lay down the law…before you start with the sexin’. But it doesn’t mean they really are cool with it. Ask them once again once the sexin’ starts (I don’t mean, like, “Oh baby, I love the way you do that…by the way, you do understand what this is and what it isn’t, right?” I mean maybe a little while later.) And, even then, in the afterglow, “I’m cool with it!” is still likely. Check again in a day or two.
Second: make it perfectly crystal clear, no ambiguity, no confusion, as to when you’re RPing and when you’re not. There’s really nothing more I can add to that.
This is kind of the other side of the first point: if you aren’t completely, 100%, cool with things; or if you aren’t completely 100% clear on things, speak the hell up. Really. If you’re not all right with things now, you certainly won’t learn to be all right with them later.
And in that same vein: don’t see what is not there. If she says she doesn’t love you, she doesn’t love you. If he says it’s only about sex, it’s only about sex. If it’s said in RP, it’s not real. Always always assume it’s not real.
And finally: you could do everything by the book. You can do everything 100% right and clear and on the level–and things can still get ugly. You just can’t always predict what’s going to happen. You just can’t size a person up fully when you meet them in a virtual world. So be aware, things can get ugly. Someone might still get hurt, despite what boundaries are laid out. Someone might get really clingy, even to the point of stalking. You just never know.
So…be honest, be true to yourself, be safe. That’s what more I’ve learned.
I’ll keep ya posted.