From: Louisville, KY
Before I belonged to CM there was a wonderful thing called Usenet. It is probably still around in some format, but it's not active as it was in the early days of the internet. I met a wonderful former Master on a board called alt.torture. I occasionally recognize posters here and on other sites from that board.
There were a lot of very dark fantasies. The accepted rule was, if you were posting something that there was no safe way to do, (like chopping someone up, for instance), it had to be clear you were posting a fantasy. If you claimed to have done the impossible in real life (like held your sub underwater for 5 minutes to teach her a lesson) the regulars would tear you apart and call you our for a liar. I was always comfortable with this distinction. Fantasy is fantasy, keep reality as safe as possible.
I have been restrained in a standing position with a noose. The noose was made with a slip knot and the other end was attached to a hook that would have come loose from the wall had I fell forward, and my Master was close at hand. But if you don't think about hanging someone, why do you find playing with a noose sexy? As long as it's all in your head, it'a all good.
I have done gunplay (in ways I consider safe). obviously the fantasies that are fueling that play are pretty dark. But that's what they are - fantasies. The problem, as Aswald said, is not even when you role play them, as safely as you can - but when you decide to go live with the whole fantasy, to someone else's harm. I'm not a believer in thought crimes. What's in your head should not be held against you, if you manage it well on your own.
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”
~Dr. Seuss quote