Standing in the Closet DoorAug 22nd, 2011 | By Indigo | Category: Contributors, Indigo Marr, Op-Ed
The question of “being out” comes up quite frequently–be it in regards to being kinky, poly, queer, or a Twighlight fan. People, however, seem to have a strange sense of what it means to be “out”.
There’s a lot of discussion about what it means to be “out” as a kinkster–much of it contradictory. There’s a sense of disconnect between the sense of privacy and the need to participate. While many people talk about “finding a balance” between private and public lives, the reality is most are simply covering their eyes and playing a game of reverse peek-a-boo.
The first thing everyone needs to understand is simple: If it’s online, it’s not private; if it’s in a public venue, it’s not private. It’s the most basic definition of “public”, but as evidenced by the number of people fired over what they’ve posted to Facebook, it’s one that so few people seem to understand. Over and over, you will hear people say that they want to keep their kink life private. And you’ll hear them saying it in the middle of a crowded bar on kink night, or in an open forum on a kink website.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “The only way 3 people can keep a secret is if two of them are dead.” If you have a membership to a kink website, assume your boss does, too. If you’re at a kinky event, assume your mother will walk through the door.
Out in the “real world”, it’s possible to keep to individual relationships and small private gatherings with minimal risk of being “outed”. Even then, however, there’s always a risk. When you step into the online realm, however, all bets are off. There are certainly ways to mitigate the risks of exposure, but anything that’s put online remains forever. It doesn’t matter how many walls you put it behind, it’s out there.
Does this mean we should out ourselves completely and scream our kink to the world with a devil-may-care attitude? Not at all. Does this mean we should all cower in the closet afraid of exposure? Most certainly not. It simply means we need to be aware of the world around us, the effects of our actions, and ways in which we can respond to the prying eyes of the world.