Fetish and BDSM on IRCFeature

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It's a type of instant chat network that has been around for almost as long as the Internet - longer than the web, and a lot longer than ICQ, AIM, and all the other instant messenger things. This article aims to give you a quick guide to getting on IRC, and where to go once you're on there.

Firstly, you'll need to install some IRC software. The most popular client for Windows is mIRC (which was actually written by a guy in the UK). You can download mIRC from here or here. There are also instructions for installing and setting up mIRC available online.

Once you've got your software installed, there are a lot of good places to meet other fetish or BDSM people for a chat online using IRC. Unfortunately mIRC doesn't know about them as default so you're going to have to edit the setup a little bit - it's easy to do though.

To start with, we need to set the user information up, so you'll need to launch mIRC. The main screen should appear along with a smaller one containing some information about the author and his photograph. Close this small window with the [X] at its top right hand corner and another should appear titled mIRC Options.

First you need to set the personal information. The Full Name category doesn't actually need a real name, so put as little or as much as you feel comfortable with (some people prefer to have a message). Similarly, the Email Address need not be legitimate and, as long as it's in the correct format, anything should be fine.

Now you need a Nickname, also referred to as a Nick. This is how people will actually see you when chatting and how you want to appear to the outside world is pretty much up to you. Some people like to use their own names or variations on IRC, whilst others like to adopt a pseudonym. The only problem you may encounter is the chance of choosing a nick already in use, this is more likely if you use a real christian name than a pseudonym, although picking something like 'Domme' or 'sub' may also cause problems.

As a rough guide, on Bondage.com particularly, people with a capital letter at the start of their nickname tend to be dominant, and people with a small letter tend to be submissive (although this isn't a rule and some people don't bother with it). Many people in D/s relationships show this by putting their partner's initials inside a 'collar' after their name like so: subbylass{DL} (although again this isn't a rule).

The Alternative nick needs to be something unique as well. This second nick there in case either something goes wrong with the connection and your nick is unavailable when you reconnect or another person already has that nick. Again, the decision about what it should be is yours, but people usually use either their normal nick with an underscore or similar on the end.

Now mIRC knows who you are, it's time to teach it where you're going. Near to the top righthand corner of the options window is an 'Add' button which you want to click. That should produce a smaller window over the first where you can fill in the details of the network you would like to chat on. Probably the most popular choice for fetish and BDSM users is the Bondage.com IRC network.

To join Bondage.com, fill in the box IRC Server box with 'irc.bondage.com'. The Description can be whatever you'd like it to be, and you can leave the rest as it is. Click on 'Add' to save the settings.

You'll now find yourself back at the options window (with the name you've just entered for Description in the previous window now displayed near the top) - click on 'Connect to IRC Server'.

You should now see some text scroll up the screen as you make a connection and the network rules are displayed - these are worth reading each time you connect to a new network, but usually boil down to "Don't be rude or nasty to other people" and "Don't mess up the network".

When you've connected to a network, you can't talk to anyone until you join a 'channel' (often called 'rooms'). mIRC will pop up a list of default channels, but these aren't much use to our scene. To join the #ukfetish channel, type #ukfetish in the top box in the mIRC channels Folder window and then click 'Join' (if you want mIRC to save this channel name so you can join it easily in future, click 'Add' first, then 'Join').

To see what other channels are available on Bondage.com (or any other network), type /list in the server window, and a (usually large) list of channels will appear. You can then look through this list for channels with names that look interesting to you... to join that channel and start talking to other people, right click on the channel name and select 'join this channel' or type /join #channelname in the server window.

Here are a couple of suggestions for good channels for UK people to check out on the Bondage.com network:


(personally I tend to be on #ukfetish whenever I'm online, if you want to find me)

When you join a channel for the first time, it's usually a good idea to read any rules that pop up as you enter and read the topic to see what might be being discussed. On Bondage.com most channels are very friendly and people will often greet you as soon as you enter a room, which helps you to get chatting straight away. To say something to the other people in the channel, just type it into the box at the bottom of the channel window and press ENTER.

To send a private message, type /msg NICKNAME whatever you want to say replacing NICKNAME with the nickname of the person you wish to send the message to. A lot of channels consider it polite to ask in channel before you send someone a private message, and in many channels this is a rule - not doing so might get you kicked off of the channel.

If someone is bothering you by sending you private messages and you are on a channel that forbids this, tell a channel operator - they can be identified by the @ symbol next to their nickname. These people have the power to kick people out of the channel if really necessary, although most prefer to try and get people to behave appropriately instead, only kicking them as a last resort. If someone is bothering you, you also have the option of ignoring them by typing /ignore NICKNAME in any window.

If you find yourself renamed to 'GuestNNNN' this means you have chosen a nickname that someone else has already registered and password protected. Think of a different nickname to use. If you plan to use the Bondage.com network a lot, it is worth registering your own nickname to make sure you can always get it, and to stop other people impersonating you - to find out more about registering nicknames, type /msg nickserv help in the server window and follow the advice given there, or ask an operator for help.

Each channel has its own 'feel', so try a few and see where you like to hang out and chat... although it's best not to be on too many channels at once or you won't really be able to follow what's happening in any of them properly.

Finally, remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!

Comment on this articlePrint version

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Thanks to noo-noo for config information!#1

A lot of the information on how to configure mIRC to join the Bondage.com network and then join a channel was copied (with permission) from this guide written by noo-noo. The guide has screenshots from version 5.7 of mIRC which may or may not help someone using version 6.0.

My thanks to noo-noo for allowing me to use this text here... it saved me a lot of time doing research, as I don't actually use mIRC myself and therefore wasn't sure of the details of how to configure it!


I'm one of the admins here on ukfetish.info...
Which doesn't make anything I say any more likely to make sense.

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