Email was the first big thing but it is rapidly being overtaken by instant messaging (IM) and online chat.Put in the simplest terms, Online Chat is a means of conversing in real-time via your computer keyboard and screen with anyone else on the internet.I don’t mean to sound too negative, but the internet can be dangerous in ways most people don’t realise so just be sensible and look after yourself. I’d really like to get to know you better” = “I want sex” ” You can trust me, we’re friends now” = “I’ve wasted enough time listening to you rambling on about your boring and monotonous life.

The range of software to chat online is growing and changing each day, so this is just a sample but hopefully it will be enough to get you started. This is such a huge and rapidly changing area that lists of chatrooms go out of date very quickly.

Both AOL and ICQ have flourishing BDSM and D/s chatrooms and communities if you search for them. Some are relaxed places to chat, some focus on worthy discussions about aspects of BDSM, some impose rigid codes of conduct, and others are mostly about online ‘sceneing’ and cybersex.

People can have a promiscuous orgy of ‘virtual sex’ every night, or they can form stable and loving D/s relationships.

For some the world of ‘virtual BDSM’ is just an online diversion which has no reality or meaning once their computer is switched off.

Your revered online ‘Master’ may in fact be a timid batchelor still living with his mom.

Your new ‘best-friend’ may turn out to be a fruit-loop or a limpet that you can’t shake.IRC probably still has the widest variety of BDSM, spanking, fetish and D/s chatrooms of all kinds, so if thats your preference then here’s a pretty good list of irc chatrooms to try out. If I had to generalise, I’d say that online BDSM chat-rooms are usually harmless places and more like childrens playgrounds than anything else.You can also check out our own BDSM Cafe link page which also lists enough suitable IRC channels to get you started. The liberating effect of online anonymity makes many people revert to their childhood personas, so there are always the same kind of show-offs and bullies and tantrums that you’d find in any playground, as well as the good kids playing nicely.You can see their chosen nicknames and also their public conversations on your screen and join in yourself if you want.You can also can talk privately to anyone there so that no-one else can see your conversation.Of course some people also “play” or “scene” both privately and in chatrooms too.