The Birth of a Solution
After a while, we discovered each other. we both continued to go to the chat rooms but always came away more and more frustrated. We both saw in these rooms (and were the victims of) fantasy, play, food fights, childish behavior, back stabbing, hateful posting, and very little else. We realized that we spent hours and hours of each day on line, talking to people who had little understanding of real life BDSM. And for what? Was it furthering the pursuit of our goals or merely acting as a diversion and hindering our development? The problems and challenges we were both beginning to encounter off line showed us that what was being played at on line is not what domination and submission are all about.
We discussed this disappointing revelation between ourselves and tossed around the idea of finding those women who were like us: women who had been involved in in-person D&S relationships and who were eager to discuss their submissive experiences with others. The idea of creating a venue where women like ourselves could address our questions and concerns outside of the fantasy and flowers of BDSM chat rooms and IRC channels became the basis of our discussions. Each of us added one idea after another, and after a bit more discussion we finally took the decisive step: we said, "What do we have to lose?"
The Early Days
In early February of 1997, we drafted a message to announce the formation of LATCHES and also developed an application form for potential members to fill out. Then we set out to cruise the net together. We went to a few submissives' home pages and left personal invitations to join our new group in their email boxes. Although it seems silly now, we wondered at first whether anyone would even bother to respond. What would they think? That question was answered in a matter of 10 minutes, when the first request for an application came in. Feeling as if we had just found the grandest treasure in the world, we stayed up late going "door to door," confident that if we had to "knock" on every home page on the net, we would find other submissives like ourselves.
We began to talk to some of the women who responded to our first invitation to join LATCHES. In these conversations we discovered that not only was a group like LATCHES very badly needed by other submissives on line who have found themselves in the same alienating situations as we had, but that a group like LATCHES had never been created before. Polly Peachum, in particular, described numerous incidents in which submissive women have written her to tell how isolated and alone they feel because they have nobody to talk to, nobody in the cyberworlds who understands the real-life difficulties and challenges that they face.
Talking to these other women made us feel as if we were eating our first meal after a long fast. We had been so isolated from others who understand--but not any more! Realizing that many other women feel as we do cemented our conviction that LATCHES is badly needed and that will would work.