Catfish are a rare breed of fish in the kink community. Easy on the palette initially, catfish are a delicacy that’s never sought after, but it’s likely everyone will find it on the menu eventually. And make no mistake: Catfish are clever. They flop around for your attention and they might even give you a taste or two to whet your appetite. But before you know it — and long after you’re hooked and wanting more, they swim off — leaving you emptier than you were before encountering them. Even considering how fishy they truly smell (given the heightened senses of a puppy’s nose), a few catfish can slip past even the smartest and most aware puppies. As urban dictionary so appropriately describes them: “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances,” and while that definition may appear somewhat harmless in the abstract, it doesn’t begin to account for the emotional damage a catfish can wreak on a pup.
How do I know? Well, there was a point in time when I was just getting into kink in general, before I knew I wanted to be a pup, that I started pursuing possible love interests/dates/play. Signing onto the many dating apps and chat rooms opened up a whole new world for me; one that offered many different points of view, with no one to tell me no, or direct me, or say, “Hey, get on your knees and suck this.” (At least I think that’s how a Disney movie would put it). But seriously, I was thrilled to know that I could log on and see who was within a 15-mile radius of my current location and exchange dirty/flirty comments with guys who wanted to do horrible, horrible, perversely awesome things to me. Even knowing this though, I was cautious: I did my weeding through the junk mail and creepers and chatted nicely with someone for long periods of time before meeting up, or even considering a “meat-and-greet,” for that matter.
Then he messaged me — the fishiest guy I’d ever had the chance to “meet” online. We chatted for what seemed like weeks, off and on. And at first, I was cautious of a guy who lived 500 miles away who had “happened” upon my profile that one day. At the time, he had a personality that was charming and dominant, with an endless supply of pictures for any occasion to back up those traits. He seemed legitimate. Weeks turned into a month, and wouldn’t you know it, but he was planning to move to my home city; he was looking for a new start and a new man to go with his new life. This should have been more than enough for me to say, “hold your horses” (or seahorses, in fish context), but I was still hopeful to meet this gorgeous guy who knew how to push my buttons. He continued to chat with me, lead me on, call me his pup and tell me of all the kinky things he knew I wanted done to me — all the while fishing for new details to keep me hooked. He would set a date for when he planned to visit, but some unforeseen disaster would always keep him from making good on his promise. He’d lost his job; his mother had a heart attack, there was a car accident . . . whatever.
That’s when I learned that the second you question a catfish or get upset because something smells fishy, he pivots to put the shame and blame on you for being insensitive or slow to trust. Long story short, I got somewhat attached to our conversations, but he never did visit. As a result, I became evermore cautious online. I also learned a good deal about protecting myself and my emotions — and about taking time to do the proper background checks that should accompany any kinky encounter.
Puppies, bless all their tail-wagging, squirrel-chasing hearts, are a rambunctious and affectionate bunch of kinksters. But sometimes, they’re naive and rush to attach to someone new and promising. They love unconditionally, follow those they hold close to the ends of the Earth, and they can often be very submissive. Puppies are also incredibly loyal to those who will chat and make them feel loved and cared for. Similarly, as online dating becomes more mainstream — with 59% of Americans regarding online introductions as a beneficial addition to the dating process (Herald News) — catfish are having a blast! I know several puppies who have fallen into a funk once a catfish has duped them, and just as many pups who’ve been taken advantage of because of how they’ve been told a puppy ought to behave. Puppies always have rights, though. And it’s certainly possible to avoid catfish and other fishy guys by keeping a few fundamentals in mind. This week, I’d alike to point out a few easy steps that will always ensure you pups go into a kinky discussion/playdate/whatever feeling safe, secure and ensuring you don’t get catfished:
- Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, back off, ask more questions, or move on. Think with your brain, and not your dick. If it smells like a fish and acts like a fish, it’s probably a fish!
- Don’t play or plan to play privately with a stranger you don’t know. Do your background checks. Find them on Facebook. Ask them who they know in the kink/pup/bondage/daddy/sir/boy community in your area. The people who are worth playing with have real names, places where they work and and should have a circle of friends who will vouch for them.
- You have a voice! You don’t have to do what they say (and certainly not in this early discovery phase). A playdate/date/relationship, be it kinky or not, is about communicating. Remember that no one can take power from you that you don’t willingly surrender. It’s fine that you want to submit, but be sure first that the person you’re submitting to is going to treat you with respect for your safety and boundaries.
- Know what you’re getting into and be clear with the person you’re chatting with about precisely what is going to happen and how.
- Never assume. Always have a backup plan in case of a disaster. Play cautiously and never give anyone the benefit of the doubt without them first earning your trust.
- Never give out any personal information that could cause you trouble in the long run. Again, don’t trust anyone without them demonstrating first that they are trustworthy.
- Don’t think that just because they seem perfect, that they are. Catfish know how to play to your weaknesses and push your buttons. It’s a game they play very well.
Now go fish. And may your next catch be the guy of your dreams… literally!