“50 Shades” is a best-seller.
You can watch “Submission” on Showtime.
Rhianna sang “S&M” and it was a hit.
Dog collars and fuzzy cat tails are now considered acceptable fashion accessories in public.
“Pride” events are everywhere. In fact, cities even sponsor and support them.
So why shouldn’t we kinky folks all just start “coming out” and showing the world our “pride” without shame or regret? I mean, isn’t this the modern world?
Something I’ve run into time and time again (especially with younger newbies) is an intense desire to share with the world their newfound discovery of a “community” that thinks and acts like they do. I can still remember how refreshed and relieved I felt when I finally found a group of people I could speak openly and honestly to about these things that I’d kept secret from the rest of the world my entire life. It was amazing! I finally didn’t feel “dirty,” or “sick.” I didn’t feel like a “pervert.” I actually knew men and women who did the exact things I secretly did (and wanted to do), who loved each other, and led very “normal” lives (to the vanilla world.) I’d found a home.
I’ve listened to literally dozens of people express this same feeling of validation and relief when they finally decided to show up at munches and join the community. Some have even broken down in tears while explaining how they felt there was something “wrong” with them for so many years before they came looking. So, I understand how moving it can be to finally find one’s place among like-minded people.
So why should we hide? After all, there are so many of us. Modern pop culture is generously sprinkled with a decadent coating of “kinky” overatures. You can disagree with me if you like. But in my experience, the vanilla world is not ready to embrace us in the open. Nor should they be.
My personal experience in “coming out” began innocently enough. I had a “leather pride” sticker on my car window. Nothing major. Just a blue, black and white strip across the back window. A friend at work asked me about it. I made several attempts at saying it meant nothing, but he did not relent. I I finally explained what the colors meant. He was a good friend, so I trusted him. Plus, I worked in a government job where discrimination was forbidden. We had several openly homosexual employees who were never bothered. So I figured I was safe. Besides, he wouldn’t tell anyone, right?
Well, he didn’t tell anyone maliciously. It was more like he nudged a buddy of his later in the office and said, “Hey, did you know Dragos (of course, he used my real name) is, like, into bondage and stuff? And his wife is his sex slave!! It didn’t take long for the wildfire to spread, and I found myself confronted by guys asking me breathlessly, “Do you really get to do all that stuff to your wife?” (See how vanillas immediately zero in on the sexual and physical part of all this?)
I started thinking I’d made a mistake, but re-assured myself that my bosses couldn’t fuck with me. That would be discrimination. It’s the modern world, and tolerance is the name of the game, right?
They never say, “We’ve found out that you are in an alternative relationship that we don’t approve of, so we are going to start working on firing you.” That would be discrimination. No, instead, my “performance” began to suddenly and drastically fall short of the “standards.” After five years of stellar employee reviews and a promotion, I somehow suddenly couldn’t do anything right! My employee file began to fill up with one disciplinary action after another. I didn’t fill out this form right. I missed a widget over here. I failed to document such and such correctly. First came the written warnings, then the suspensions. One day, three days, five days! Each time they presented me with yet another complaint, I would respond with the same refrain – “I’m doing all the same things I’ve done for five years. Everyone makes minor errors like these, but no one else gets written up and suspended for them.”
Their reply? Not only was my performance failing to improve, but I was “refusing to accept responsibility” for my actions. It took about a year, but they finally had stacked my file full enough to start issuing “final warnings.” I knew it was my queue to leave on my own if I didn’t want to get fired and never find decent work again.
That was the last time I ever “came out” to fellow employees. (Thank God I now work full time for Mistress Oasis!!)
But that’s just my story. And all I lost was a job.
Vanilla society (and I’m talking about right here in the USA where the First Amendment gives us “free expression”) does not understand what we do, and is quick to judge when anyone cries “foul.” Take a look at these criminal actions, all involving “domestic abuse” that included “slave contracts” – all from THIS YEAR!
– Ex Romney Staffer Had Woman Sign Sex Slave Contract
– DA seeks more victims of Hellertown man who allegedly forced women into ‘a sex slave contract’
– Man pleads no contest to making woman sign ‘slave contract’
– Prominent Silicon Valley investor denies he kept a sex slave for 13 years
– Man who made wife sign “slave contract” is sentenced
Now, before you judge me, let me make clear that I DO NOT condone domestic violence at all, in any form whatsoever. And I feel any person who genuinely abuses another needs to be put down like a rabid dog … but prison will do just fine.
However, regardless of what you and I may think of each one of these cases, one fact remains indisputable: None of us can ever know what actually transpired in each of them Do all of these men really “force” these women to sign contracts? Why bother, if their violence was enough to terrorize their girlfriends and wives, resulting in the women’s’ repeated compliance. Or were any of these actually cases of a woman who was consensually participating in a D/s relationship, got pissed at the guy for whatever reason, and went to authorities with the “sex slave” story?
And it’s always “sex slave.” Vanillas never refer to what we have as a “relationship,” or our “dynamic.” The word “submissive” is never used. It’s always “sex slave.”
A few years back, while researching one of these cases where a woman was suing a former boyfriend and presenting a “slave contract” as proof of abuse, I followed some links to a feminist website where several women were ranting and raving about this case – discussing “men” (not “some men”… but “men”) and our violent, domineering sexual tendencies. I jumped in on the chat and pointed out that I was an active sadomasochist who actually let women do violent things to me, and explained that there are lots of men out there who gladly obey every command and whim of the women they love. I figured a bunch of feminists could appreciate that. WRONG!! I was excoriated for being a disgusting pervert, and was lectured on how “submissive” men simply force women to perform these disgusting acts on them for their (the men’s) own despicable, deviant pleasures. So much for tolerance and understanding.
To vanillas, what we do is sex. Just weird, kinky sex. We are no different than swingers, flashers, and peeping toms. We all have a screw loose and just think about sex all the time. They don’t see the deep love of a submissive, reaching out to her Dom from the swirly fog of sub space. They don’t picture the Mistress who’s heart melts watching her slave busying himself with house chores for her happiness. They don’t envision the loving connection between sadist and masochist during aftercare. This is another reason I preach the loving / relationship side of BDSM in my books and blog.
Also, once you’ve announced yourself to vanillas, it’s a bell that cannot be “un-rung.” From then on, you are that “kinky” person.
Oh, sure. There are scores of kinksters out there extolling the virtues of openly displaying their dynamic by walking a sub on a leash in public, or having them lick boots in front of vanillas, or any number of other things. It’s all about shock value in my opinion, and it doesn’t do our community any good. And think about it – by openly displaying our kinky sides to the public, we are denying vanillas the right of consent.
Vanillas will never understand us. And for that reason, I see no need to be “in their face” about what I do privately with Mistress Oasis. No one needs to know that we are anything other than a loving couple. Employers will never tell you that they are forcing you out because of your kink. Judges and juries don’t seem to believe in “consensual” slavery. And, to be honest, I like BDSM to have some “mystique” about it don’t you?
Coming out is a personal choice. And it’s entirely your call whether to keep your kinks under wraps, or to dress up like a freak and proclaim your “diversity” to the world. But it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll never know where an attack may come from, or how devastating it may wind up being.