Yes, there are aspects of an online, distance relationship that are frustrating. Like the inability to share physical intimacy, the slower pace of trust development when compared to offline and the limitations on serving her in tangible ways. While I may not be able to physically kneel before her and offer my submission still it doesn’t diminish the depth of the relationship for me nor the value of the experiences that submitting to her engender for me. I know, for some people, it is hard to accept how one can feel so connected to someone they've never seen or touched. How can you trust someone you've never seen?
Anyone who has had an online relationship will have heard questions like this and others that are a little more blunt. People who haven't explored online connections tend to belittle them and regard them as pale imitations of “real” relationships. We're all familiar with the stereotypical image of the pallid, glasses-wearing, computer nerd who is so socially inept the only relationships he or she can make are via the computer. That image seems to sum up the attitudes of many people towards online relationships and the people who “need” them. Even those who themselves engage in online chat sometimes hold these attitudes and distinguish between virtual and “real life” relationships, despite the evidence of their own experiences. Also there are some lifestyle purists who insist that “real life” is the only way to experience the lifestyle and online is nothing but role-play.
Given the relative newness of these types of relationships whether D/s based or otherwise, this questioning is understandable. But to denigrate them I think denies online D/s relationships the justice they deserve. Despite the well publicized dangers of the Internet; ease of deception, the pretence, the predators and the addictions, online relationships offer us something special and especially with regards to D/s something we might not find available in any other way.
Think about it. What distinguishes online relationships from offline? They are free from the limits of geography, they have an element of anonymity (e.g. safety), and they usually come minus a whole rift of assumptions, prejudices and preconceptions we bring to our offline relationships. For instance, until I had known her for a month, I had no knowledge of my Mistress’s skin color and it never even occurred to me to ask. Height, weight, age, physical attractiveness, or physical disabilities of the person you meet online are much less of an issue than with offline. My Mistress is actually half my age and offline I’d never have considered forming a relationship with someone so much younger. Frequently, by the time you do get to discover all these things, you know the person so well that these details gain the insignificance they so richly deserve. In other words people have the opportunity to “see” the other person for who they really are without first viewing them through the artificial lens of physical attractiveness, age, height/weight proportion, etc.
It is true of course that people have the ability to put on a front and pretend to be something they're not online and that is one of the downsides of the anonymity. But I think if one is observant, in time, even online these things can become apparent.
If you compare offline D/s relationships to online, you can't say one type is real and the other is not. It's simply not true. They each have their advantages and their disadvantages. It's just that online relationships are a whole new area of lifestyle interaction, one that is still being explored and sorted out.
Online D/s relationships are not something to be scared of or to dismiss out of hand. They offer the potential to expand dramatically one’s experience with a D/s relationship when an offline relationship is simply not available. Yes in all honesty, I would prefer to be in an offline, female led relationship with all the attendant “physical” advantages that would provide. But until that becomes a reality, I am going to simply be thankful that I was fortunate enough to meet a quality person online willing to explore this lifestyle with me and to help me grow as a submissive. Surely that's something worth fostering and real enough for anyone.