This page was created in 1997 by the co-founders of LATCHES.  It remains intact and unedited in thanks to both of them.

With many and profound thank you's 
From all current and future members of LATCHES


Before ~LATCHES~

~clair~'s Story:

I entered the world of on-line BDSM a few years ago in a search for information, acceptance, and for other people with interests in D&S relationships. Neither the people nor the acceptance existed in my world, and my and my dominant partner's needs to pursue and to deepen our relationship made us wish for interaction with and education from others interested in dominance and submission. I hung around in the chat rooms and even found an on-line mentor who helped me to move forward, with my dominant, into a more intense, full-time D&S relationship.

When I was ready to dedicate myself completely to the will of my master, my needs for practical information about the realities of dominance and submission became far more serious. I continued to frequent the chat sites in a search for others who delve into the same murky waters that I found myself in. I met many people who admired my circumstances. These folks usually thought that I couldn't have any problems or difficulties, for I was in the best of situations: I was married to my master. My life seemed perfect to them, and as a result my questions and concerns were frequently met with idealistic views of my situation which were based entirely on unrealistic beliefs about it. Many claimed to feel the same things that I felt in my real relationship within their on-line relationships, but I had to wonder about this. Perhaps they did feel the beauty and the warmth on some level, but how could they truly feel the physical pain of the crop? How could they know the logistical frustrations involved in having children, jobs, family, etc., when they could function in their on-line D&S relationships while the children were in the room, during work hours, and without family catching on? How could I tell them that I had committed to this experience "like it or not" and that I could not turn it off the way they could so easily turn off their computers?

babydoll's Story:

I would visit BDSM chat rooms and sites, searching out people like me and more information on a life style that I didn't know really had a name or people who really took it seriously. Mostly I found people living their kinks on line, with no plans to interrupt their lives to take on the need to truly be submissive, to give actual control to another person. (Hell, half of the people I met were married yet were having other relationships over the computer and the phone but never telling their life-partners about their truest desires!)

The emotional connections between these players always struck me as so literally fantastic, so fantasy-based and unreal. I needed and wanted more than this fantasy; I needed any D&S relationship I got involved in to be real and honest. I knew I needed more than an on-line fantasy relationship to quench this fire within my heart and soul. I grew jaded as I became a veteran of the chat rooms. I wanted--no, needed--someone to talk to, to express all these crazy feelings I had within me to, but I was met time and time again with the same old flowery words and with that almost total dearth of real knowledge about what it actually feels like to give away control to one's master and to accept his will, pain, and love. I searched for other submissives who could identify with me, who could understand my pain, anger, passion, and happiness: women who could understand that my submission is not just a fantasy, that real, physical D&S is a part of who I am and part of what I need in my life.

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.

Where We Are Now


LATCHES has grown tremendously in a short period of time, to over 150 members in less than three months, and we have both attempted to grow with it. During that time the format and the rules concerning the contributions to the mailing list have changed several times, we have established regular conferences in chat rooms and an IRC channel, and we have applied for status as a nonprofit organization. Topics under discussion on the LATCHES mailing list, chat rooms, and other venues have included:

  • Dealing with children in the household

  • Dangerous dominants

  • Dominants who deceive you

  • Living a dual life (about those with spouses or significant others who have no interest in D&S)

  • Finding balance and equilibrium while living as a submissive

  • Does a submissive in an absolute power-exchange relationship have the freedom to leave?

  • Growing up in a D&S household (insight from some who had parents living as dom and sub)

  • In and out of the bedroom

  • The importance of physical appearance

  • Punishment

The list goes on and on. What makes these discussions different from other discussions which either of us experienced in chat rooms is that they involve painfully honest and very real portrayals of the struggles, successes, and failures of living within a power-exchange relationship. Much of the abstract theory and rhetoric so common on kinky discussion groups is gone and we are left with the voices of real experience.(If you wish to see some actual examples of these discussions, please visit our What Members Are Talking About page.)In recent weeks, we have worked hard to establish a Web presence. The LATCHES Web site will include details about how to join the group, general information of interest to submissives, excerpts from some of our mailing-list discussions, and ~Short Licks~, the LATCHES newsletter. We believe that what will make this Web site unique, however, is that each member will have the opportunity to contribute to its development.

The Future of LATCHES

Our group is still in its infancy. We expect that LATCHES will continue to grow and to change, and we hope to grow and change with it. This growth will not always be easy, but the group is composed of some great ladies whose ideas and assistance will make LATCHES something that we hope each member will be proud of.

~clair~ and babydoll

May 3, 1997

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