What happens when the real world finds out?

I had cause to think about this while reading another blog dealing with a similar issue just now.

My parents found one of the old incarnations of my other blog once — this was a few years ago; I was in high school. I was more open about it to them than perhaps I should have been. I let slip enough information that my dad googled it. They were angry. “You can’t refer to your sister in such specific terms.” “You can’t say that; that’s practically like saying how much money we make.” Yes, I fuck up like this a lot. When I was 14 there was a creepy old man after me on a messageboard, and I let him figure out where I live. I’ve been there, done that. And in this incarnation of myself I’m much vaguer about my life.

But this blog is different. It’s totally different than anything I’ve done before, because it is about sex. I’ve never dared to do this. alterisego is a name I’ve never used before; I’m hoping to hide behind a veil that won’t link me to my hometown, my family members, my job(s). That’s the only way you can talk about sex. Because my mother knows I’m bisexual, and that’s it, and my father doesn’t know anything. My parents don’t understand shit about gender identity or kinkiness or anything like that. And I think they’d be very shocked if they saw me telling the internet about the parts of me that I don’t bring out in public. Because that’s more private than my address, isn’t it?

But the internet is the only chance we have. Where else can you find out that you’re normal? I expect that for many people besides me, the internet has been a savior in that regard. It’s the place where people like you come out of their shells, and you can find out that you’re not the only one. So you’ve go to do what you can, and make yourself anonymous.

I would love to be able to come out to my family about more of my sexuality “issues”, if that weren’t so awkward. I need to write that post about why I’m not technically bisexual, so that you can understand that (if there is a “you”… my stats are exceptionally low), but “bisexual” is the only thing I’ve told my family because they can process that. I was always a member of the high-school GSA; my mother had friends who died of AIDS in the AIDS-crisis period; it all makes sense in their world. But I wish I could be properly open about myself. Hell, I wish I could be properly open about myself with my friends. I’ve started. Sometimes with my close friends, I talk about the issues that I’ve started to talk about on this blog. Sometimes they don’t mind, and will listen to me pontificate. Sometimes they even see where I’m coming from, and share some of my perceptions and feelings.

But I guess the thing is, there’s two schools of thought about what I see as the three major aspects of sexuality: sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual preferences. (Sexual orientation: gay/straight/bi/something in between, but it’s got to do with what sort of people you find attractive. Gender identity is who you are: masculine/feminine/etc. Sexual preferences are what you want to do with the people you find attractive; for me this is mostly confined to kink/BSDM-y stuff, and the odd more vanilla preference.) Okay, where was I… oh yeah. I think a lot of people believe that sexuality identity-type stuff belongs in the privacy of the bedroom. People think “It involves arousal, and so it’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it shouldn’t be brought out in public.” I don’t think like that. My submissiveness is, to me, as innate and normal a trait as my combination of masculine and feminine aspects, or the fact that I might date a man or a woman or someone who’s neither. Yet you can’t discuss these things in public… I don’t know what that means. I’m not very good at writing pithy blog posts, am I?

Well, that’s right, this is a blog. There’s comments. You tell me what that means.

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2 Responses to “What happens when the real world finds out?”

  1. subversive_sub Says:

    “My submissiveness is, to me, as innate and normal a trait as my combination of masculine and feminine aspects, or the fact that I might date a man or a woman or someone who’s neither. Yet you can’t discuss these things in public.”

    I’ve been struggling with that a lot, too, in thinking about the difficulty in coming out as kinky. Even among friends I know would be pretty non-judgmental and accepting of what I choose to do in bed, it’s still not something you generally talk about. Gender, yes; orientation, yes. Those are both things that people seem to think they need to know in order to figure out how to relate to you (i.e. what pronoun to use to describe you, or what gender to expect your significant other to be). But I don’t expect that I need to know the intimate details of my friend’s sex life to have a casual conversation with them, so it seems a little weird to “come out” to them as a person who likes to get spanked and kicked, or whatever. It seems unnecessary. At the same time, though, like you say — I DO feel that my submissiveness and masochism are deeply rooted in me, and are as much parts of my overall identity as my gender or orientation; more so, in some ways. And that’s why I do, in the end, think of it in the same terms of “closeted” and “coming out” as I do about sexual or gender identity. It can be just as scary, and dangerous, and powerful.

  2. alterisego Says:

    Thanks very much for that. I’m always looking to find ways to disassociate kink/BDSM/etc from the actual idea of “sex” – by approaching it from a more philosophical angle, maybe I can find better ways to bring it out in the open. And it’s an interesting thing, too: being used to thinking about power structures in a sexual sense, I notice them much more elsewhere, such as in friends’ and acquaintances’ vanilla relationships.

    I don’t know if this is a common feeling, but I guess I feel like someone who doesn’t have a complete picture of my sexuality doesn’t really know who I am – but then only about three people in the real world do.

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