Lately I’ve been wondering about how public people make their kink, and what they are really worried about.
First, I should give you background. I have managed to work at a dungeon without feeling the need to tell people about it. My other job during the same time was at a bar, and I kept the two very separate. Had I told the conservative folks at the dive bar about my other job, they would have lost their shit.
So I think what I am trying to say is; I am good at keeping quiet around people who are vanilla. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I want to scream from the rooftops: “I just went to the BEST fetish party!” Yet I manage to avoid talking about kink to co-workers, friends, and all the other people I interacted with.
Yes, it feels like a lie sometimes. I often wish it were like being gay, where I could say “this is just how I am and you should accept it!” But it’s not like being gay. (I hate when people make that comparison.) Gay people want the right to get married, and to kiss in public without anyone getting angry. Straight couples into BDSM can get married and kiss in the streets. Kink is really only something to be enjoyed in private or semi-public spaces. It doesn’t need to happen outside dungeons and clubs and house parties. There is really no reason to flog a submissive in the streets for the same reason you shouldn’t have sex in the street. It’s a sex act and those should be private. Therefore, you can’t really say others should have to accept it.
Of course there’s also the fact that, if you tell others, it could damage your career or relationships with vanilla people.
So I keep my kink to myself most of the time. Even at play parties I let others take the lead whenever I can, and I sit back and watch. I feel like kinky people can often think their way is the only way, so I generally avoid giving demos or teaching because I don’t want someone to say “Oh I do it this way and it’s much better.” That always annoys me.
An example is flogging. I really enjoy flogging, but I don’t like to do the approved figure-eight motion. You can’t hit as hard when you do that. I mostly play with submissives that like pain, and I like inflicting pain. I want to pull the tails back and snap them as hard as I can! I want to put all my weight into it and really raise welts! But that’s not the “approved notion” about how to flog someone and I have been criticized for it before.
And I do realize I came from a very extreme scene. When I was growing up, the kids I played with thought nothing of sticking meat hooks into their backs and being hung from the ceiling. I know other scenes are much more conservative, and of course, everyone has their rules.
So in general, if I am forced to present at all or give my opinion, I try to remind people that it’s just how I do things, and I am not trying to be bossy or tell others what to do. I am NOT one of those people that will harass you about protocol. I don’t care who hits on who, what paperwork you want to do or choose not to do, or how you want to play. Do your thing, people. Do your thing.
I consider myself softly spoken and I try to tone my personality down as much as I can. I know I am too high-energy for some people and certainly for some dungeons.
Make no mistake though- because I really can’t let you get this wrong: I am not ashamed of being kinky and I will not act ashamed!
So this is where the question of how “out” to be comes in.
I am open about my kink on fetlife.com and I am open about it to other kinky people. I am not secretive and I don’t think people should let paranoia control them.
Korea has spoiled me. They literally don’t give a shit about your personal life here. It’s understood that you might get drunk and throw up and be crazy at night, but that bears no connection at all to how you act at work. An example (which I was horrified about) is when my boss went to my apartment unannounced to look at my broken heater. I had my toys laid out on the dresser because I had cleaned them all before work, and she did not mention them to anyone ever or hold it against me. She had gone to my house and she understood that privacy is important in a personal space- as Koreans do. I love this about Korea. They let your personal life be your own.
Even in the states though- I am out in the scene. I do not hide who I am from other kinksters or make them guess about what I do or don’t do. I am up-front and direct. And I’m fine with curious vanilla people too. They’re pretty harmless and if they’re thinking about it, I’m cool with letting them come walk on the wild side and have a look.
The reason is this: There is never any evidence. We don’t allow photos at play parties without consent. If you took someone’s picture without asking, the entire crowd would flip out because we all know that is not okay. No one would defend you. It is the same at dungeons and fetish proms. You ask before you take a picture, and you do not post anything on the internet without permission.
Therefore, if someone wanted to “out” you, all they would have is words. They would say “So-and-so is into S&M” and you would say “You wish!” and laugh it off. No one takes hearsay seriously.
This is why I am comfortable in the community and do not seem to be concerned about people knowing that I am kinky. When I am at a fetish event, of course I am not concerned! I am with my people. I refuse to act ashamed of myself around my people! I refuse to be uptight and yell at anyone who even has a camera that they’re not using. I am not going to shy away from vanilla folks who turn up to see what it’s all about, nor am I going to yell at others who are making a choice to bring a trusted friend into the fold.
I guess my point is this: Do be careful, because being found out as kinky can still ruin your life. But, don’t be paranoid and harsh on anyone who doesn’t seem ashamed enough of who they are for your taste. I know everyone is “out” to different degrees, but lets not be rude to folks who are new to the community at a munch or a party or a dungeon. Let’s try to help people explore when they are ready, and not push them when they are not. Lets try to be respectful and kind.