I posted this on FetLife, and it got an overwhelmingly positive response, so I thought I would share it here as well.
In no particular order…
1) Never take anything at face value. Things are always more than what they seem.
2) You will be wrong. The sooner you learn how to accept it gracefully, the better off you will be.
3) Your friends will be wrong. It doesn’t matter who they are, how long they’ve been in the scene, or what their orientation is. They will still be wrong from time to time, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve your respect.
4) Allegiances are meaningless. If you are loyal to one person or group, and your friends are loyal to another, don’t worry about it. They are right to feel the way they do, and so are you. No single person or group is all good or all bad.
5) Popularity is fleeting. All those friend requests, comments, and “loves” are nice and flattering, but don’t read more into them than you should. There will always be someone who comes along that is smarter/prettier/younger/kinkier than you. Enjoy your place in the spotlight while it lasts, and don’t be heartbroken when it passes.
6) Your integrity is all you have. In kink, just as in life, integrity is everything. Look it up. Learn what this word means.
7) Respect the journey. If you get the opportunity to try out a new kink, explore it, savour it, and then thoroughly examine your feelings about it. If you don’t, you will live to regret it.
8) You are not a snowflake. Whatever you’re going through, chances are there is someone else who has gone through something very similar. Make friends and connections and draw upon the experiences of others. Don’t let your ego get in the way.
9) Protect your heart. People can be cruel (yourself included). If someone criticizes you or your kink, think about what they’ve said, but don’t let it consume you.
10) Judge not, lest ye be judged. Refer to number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 on this list.