We live in a world of absolutes: The perceived Alpha male and Alpha female, the hierarchy of financial and social elitism. We are judged by what we possess and control, not necessarily by our methods of acquiring or maintaining that control.
In the BDSM world, this is also true. It's a game of appearance, of who has the most sway, the most exposure, the most followers, the greatest perceived power and reputation.
We must fight this system.
We must remember that humility and the pursuit of knowledge must be cornerstones of any D/s interaction.
Being a true Alpha means that we must be leaders, caretakers, and those responsible for the continuing growth of positive understanding in our community.
Tops, Doms, and all who exert control over others must realize and enact the truths of motivation and execution as being the key differences between responsible and reprehensible action.
Topping and Domination are not the full exertion of power over another without question.
Submission is a gift, given by the submissive, and which can be revoked at any time. Too often, submissives feel they must please their Dom to the point of losing sight of their own mental health and physical needs.
This is not the way to conduct a D/s relationship.
There must be communication. There must be understanding of the whole person, on both sides of the equation.
Meeting once before jumping into a scene can result in disaster.
Having unclear channels of communication, or NO communication, is a surefire way to ensure unsafe play and physical/mental harm.
Do your due diligence.
Doms: vetting your subs for experience level and understanding of the lifestyle and/or play is imperative - having clear limits is too often overlooked in the heat of wanting to get the high of a "spontaneous" or "genuine" scene. Don't be lured by the sub who wants to "give up everything to you" - chances are, they have no idea what this really means.
Subs: Be honest when looking for a play partner. Don't embellish experience level, or feel you have to feign knowledge of the MYRIAD terms thrown around when discussing the lifestyle. You are as you are - and that is enough