I don't want to fight -- I respect you a lot, I think you're giving great advice, and we're hijacking the thread. You're keeping an open mind such that you can give advice on something you personally dislike to someone who needs it and that's admirable.
I spoke up because I found the word distasteful to be an unnecessary thing to put out there to the OP. It means "causing dislike or disgust; offensive; unpleasant", and the people who practice D/s *know* that lots of people feel that way, it seems harsh to point it out needlessly. I am probably being over-sensitive as you said you felt that way about the scene, not about any particular practice or type of person, but that scene is many people's home, y'know.
For someone who says she doesn't want to hijack the thread, I sure as hell can't shut up. *sigh* Sorry, OP.
Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.