Online BDSM Groups - People Categories


Online BDSM groups have been around since the late 1990s, starting with Yahoo. Since those early years, the internet and the groups have expanded exponentially. When the groups first emerged, most of the people online were BDSM practitioners in real life also.


Today, that has changed. After talking to many people from many different social media sites, countries, and backgrounds, it looks like the majority of people in online BDSM groups now are vanilla in their daily lives but curious about the Lifestyle. This revelation got me thinking about the different types of personalities that haunt the groups.


Thinking about my experience, starting with those early Yahoo groups to today’s popular sites, I’ve compiled a list of categories that most people fit into. These are not categorized by Top/bottom preferences, but by actions I have observed over 20+ years from tons of online interactions with people. They are not scientific or in any way meant to label people in a bad way. So, those of you easily offended, stop reading now.


The Lurkers - people that join Lifestyle groups but never participate. They always stay on the fringes of the group. They never make contact with other members and only want to linger. They may or may not have any real interest in BDSM.


The Narcissistic Abusers - people that (usually) present themselves as experienced Tops, Dominants, or Masters. They normally have no real experience. They tend to demand respect and submission. They look for a sub that they can exploit and abuse mentally and emotionally. When something happens, they make the sub feel like it’s always their fault. Although not as prevalent, they can appear as submissive to exploit and abuse unsuspecting dominants.


The Fantasy-Only Role Players - people that are completely vanilla in real life. They mainly use Online BDSM as a stress reliever from the reality of their daily lives. They will make up an entire fantasy world and persona that does not reflect them in any way in the real world. Their partners have no idea who they really are in real life. They refuse to video chat and never use their real pictures or reveal anything personal. They tend to ‘fall in and out of love’ every few weeks with different people.


The Attention Seekers - these are the people that may post provocative pictures or post ads looking for a Dom/sub. They will send unsolicited private messages to many people in hopes of getting the attention they crave. They are prone to start drama through controversial posts and/or comments.

The Voyeurs - people that are obsessed with posting and scrolling for nude and BDSM related pictures. They may/may not be in the Lifestyle but do have an interest, most often concentrated in S&M.


The Newbies - people that are genuinely interested in learning about the Lifestyle and have chosen to use the Internet as their first steps in learning the basics. They usually don’t know where to start their research or even know that there is an entire world out there of fellow BDSM practitioners.


The Real Life Top/bottom - people that have lived or are living a BDSM based lifestyle in real life and like to use groups and the internet to enhance their experience and explore diverse options and opinions about BDSM.


Now, I know there’s probably many more categories we could name, but the ones above cover the majority of people that I have come across. If you have any comments or suggestions for additional ones, please leave a comment below.

© 2018 by Michelle Fegatofi