Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

How out is too out?

“I reserve the right to write about any aspects of my sexlife.”  If you’ve slept with me recently you’ve probably gotten this warning. 

I have been known to interrupt sex for photography.  It takes a certain amount of insanity to sleep with me in the first place.  A friend I’ve been involved with commented “you really aren’t on board for there being such a thing as too out, are you?”  He was right.  I’m not. 

I am trying to think of a way to explain this, but it just doesn’t seem like the kind of statement that requires justification.  Perhaps it requires clarification…

I think people are entitled to their secrets, but I am entitled to my self-respect and so I will not be one of those secrets.  If you want to make sure that your friends never find out that you are having kinky sex I suggest that you do not have kinky sex.  If you can’t own it you probably aren’t ready to do it.  At the very least save yourself the frustration of having me throw expensive objects at walls* and find someone else to be your dirty little secret. 

In case you couldn’t tell this is a lesson I learned the hard way.  I think we all make our own choices, pay our own prices, and reach our own conclusions.  The conclusion I reached was that the ability to live my life with honesty and purpose is worth the hatred, discrimination, and various other forms of social disapproval thrown at people who walk outside the status quo.  This is my choice, and you are of course entitled to make a completely different and contradictory one.  What you are not entitled to, however, is to ask me to change for your sake.  If you don’t like how I live my life then don’t become a part of it.  Really, it is that simple.  I do not walk into the lives of monogamous vanilla people and ask them to change for me.  I do not go around finding people who have sensitive jobs that prevent them from being out and trying my darnest to out them. I expect the same consideration and respect for my life choices as the people who do not wish to be out demand for theirs. 

These however, are the personal arguments.  I am a social creature and a political one at that so I thought it would be appropriate to point you in the direction of some political discourse on the matter as well.  Pat Califia writes a great deal about publicizing and outing S/M sexuality.  My understanding of Califia’s thesis primarily from his work Public Sex is that the personal oppression that we experience when we fear the loss of our jobs or our children in the event that our participation in S/M activities is discovered, and the legal threats we come under as sex workers are part of a much large context of systematic political oppression.  The personal is political – the rallying cry of the feminist movement – highlights the fact that through the understanding of and rebellion against systematic oppression we can change what we have previously seen and dismissed as personal problems.  If we each hide in our own closets with our stash of S/M porn we will each be safe until we are discovered.  If we all stand up and refuse to be kowtowed by an outdated system based in Christian mores we might start working toward a world where our sexuality is not subject to fear, shame, and political repression.

“It’s the state that makes the personal political by interfering in private lives.  We must choose between the quiet suffering of such punishments alone and the exhaustion and pain of publicly opposing it.” (Public Sex, p.146)

* No expensive objects were damaged in the making of this post.


Written by kinkinexile

August 23, 2007 at 3:02 pm

2 Responses

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  1. A little problem with your idea – BDSM is illegal in many States. The much lauded – by idiots – Supreme Court decision didn’t change a thing regarding the legality of BDSM practices, only how law enforcement can search for it.


    August 23, 2007 at 4:18 pm

  2. This is why I love talking to you and reading your blog; I learn so much.


    August 23, 2007 at 11:22 pm

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