Rose Colored Glasses

Author: Zenn[T] © 1998 (thanks zenn!)

This article is copyrighted to the stated author(s) and can not be reproduced, copied, reprinted, or posted without the consent of the author. It is used here with permission of the author.



The following comes from a post made to a newsgroup by zenn[T] and depicts a real experience for her best friend meeting someone from online. I am presenting it here, with permission, to show that though many meetings go well, the dangers are very real.  

It will be the first anniversary of my child hood friend Beth's death on 7 February, 1998.  Many of you know about Beth and many of you new to the NG have not.  She was a childhood friend of mine, whom I did introduce to the world of online.  Her husband had died, and she was lonely, I thought being able to talk with myself and meet others in cyber world would help her.  She did enjoy being online very much, and we could speak to each other here, which was a great deal cheaper then the phone.   I had tried to impress to her about being safe online, and sometimes this world and the real one gets blurred, the trust we will here, what we see and hear online we believe in.  Basically we feel safe here, but is it a false sense of security?  Or for the most part are we safe, and many of us know and can feel the difference.  But for some like Beth I saw the lines blurring, where reality was mixing with real-time and all I could do was remind her about the differences.  Beth was an adult, and free to make her own decisions.   She met a man on IRC, a self-proclaimed Dom, who she decided to meet in NYC.  They met in a Hotel bar alone, they had drinks before they went to her room and in the morning she was found by Hotel staff tied to a bed and beaten to death.  

First off Beth did a few things wrong, one was meeting a person from online to real time without a safe call and going there alone. Yes she had my phone number, she knew it by heart and I still ask myself why didn't she use it.  Second was alcohol, she had a few drinks, and that does not go well with playing in BDSM, let alone the fact it blurs your senses, and your decision making.  Below are a few things to considered before you make the leap from on-line to real-time and at the bottom is my letter to Beth's mom. This is a safety message for all be yourself vanilla or a BDSMer it does apply to all.  Being a submissive in my opinion does make us a easier target for we tend to want to please more, listen to a Dom(me) online for we are suppose to have trust and respect; for we hear those words so often in regards to BDSM.  

So you met a Dom[me] or sub and you wish to make the big leap from online to real time.  I want you to ask yourself these questions.  

How well do you really know them?  Have you looked into their eyes?  Watched their body motions?  Smelled them?  Kind of hard through a computer isn't it? 

How much history do you have about them? i.e. Work numbers, home number, address, married/not married. 

Has anyone you know online met them?  

Is this their first time with BDSM, have they practiced it in real time or just online? 

Have they avoided any personal questions you have asked them?  

Once you have answered all the questions above,  and think for just a minute.  How well do you really know them?   Meeting someone online for the first time can be quite a experience, just make sure you do it safe, sane and consensual, these are the words to live by.   For more information on making the leap from online to real-time please visit sub Nation.  Their site is dedicated to safety and making the transition from online a reality.  

 Safety - courtesy of Sub Nation --- 

I wrote a letter to her mother to be read at her wake, and it was one of the hardest things I have had to write.  Please read it, for it is the worse thing that could happen and did.  


Dearest Beth, 

I remember the first day we met in High School, a cool September day, you sat next to me in my first class. I was so scared that day, and you looked like you owned the world, no fear showed on your face. The teacher had asked the class to go around the room and introduce ourselves, you stood up and said I am Beth and I am from New York, and oh what a accent you had! The class giggled, remember? I stood up and told the class my name and that I had just arrived to California two weeks ago from Michigan and then quickly sat down. You tap me on the shoulder and said well we are both new here so lets be buds. Beth I felt so good hearing those words that day and from that day forward we were inseparable. In High School we shared secrets, shared clothes, dared to go where no one else dare went, and occasionally we did get into a bit of trouble, ok Beth I hear you, allot of trouble.  

We were always so trusting of people then, always seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Eventually that changed for both of us Beth and those rose colored glasses turned dark. Beth we cheated death twice that following summer, we thought we had this guardian angel with us and looking after us, remember? Through the bad times Beth we leaned on each other, and helped each other to get back on track. Remarkably we both made it through are adolescence a triumph in itself, but Beth you and I made it together. 

We both married, had children, traveled the world, had careers and always throughout these past years we stayed in touch. The distance between us was only in miles and never in our hearts. We saw each other about every five years, or when we both managed to be visiting our parents at the same time. When we did see each other, we could sit down endlessly and talk; like we had not missed a minute of time. We cried every time we saw each other, hugged each other so tight when we had to say good bye and never wanting to let go. 

Beth this past year when you got your first computer; and we could email one another, talk online, and I remember how happy we both were when you and I could talk again so much. I remembered how excited you were about being online, and talking to the world. Beth I know that you were lonely, for you hubby died last year, and I know this was away to not feel the loneliness and pain as much. Beth you and I talked allot about the online world, for it is no different from the one we live day to day. The only difference here is you can not see, feel, smell the person you are talking with, and it is much harder to know a person online. 

We all choose are own destiny in this life, people can guide you a little, but ultimately only one person makes the decisions. May they be right or wrong, the only one to pay a price for them is ourselves. Those words we both knew so very well Beth, for throughout these years we leaned on each other, guided each other, and at the end we both made our own decision. Many a time Beth we disagreed about them but, yet we still loved and respected each other for that is what counted between us. Beth this time the decision you made, was a bad one, and for it you paid the ultimate price and that was you life. 

I can not hug you good bye this time, I know you feel me and see my tears. Beth I love you, I will miss you, and I have so many wonderful, sweet memories of you and I, and you will be with me always in my heart. 

Love always, 


** My heart still hurts, for I lost my friend and nothing I can do will bring her back.  Sharing Beth's story is all I can do, and if just one person takes safety seriously then Beth's death was not totally in vain. 


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