Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Privacy, personalities, and personal ties

Humans aren’t fact-friendly creatures.  We like stories, personalities, personas, but not just cold nameless advice.  When we do take cold nameless advice we build a whole archetype around the person giving it: doctor, accountant, etc.

What does this have to do with anything?  Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about anonymity and blogging recently.  I realize it’s rather hard to be a truly anonymous blogger – you can have a blogger identity that is different from your real identity, they can be so different as to be very hard to pin back together, but I don’t think you can have a successful blog with no identity.  You still need habits, a consistent topic perhaps, a turn of phrase you like, a way of interacting with other bloggers.  You build a social chain; you create an identifiable patter and you are no longer, truly, anonymous.

Without that, it’s hard to hold people’s interest.  People don’t like to interact with a void – even Anonymous has a recognizable image.

So I’ve had, for a long time, a rather Japanese ideal of privacy around this blog.  If you know me, you can probably stumble upon this blog and confirm my identity.  If you don’t know me, you could probably find more details than I’d freely give you if you dig a little.  I tell you about my sex life and I ask you in turn to help me pretend we haven’t had this very intimate conversation when we meet over the family dinner table.  And you know, it works.  It has worked for years and it works in part because of the company I keep and in part because really, the stakes are just not that high for me.

But then it makes me nervous too because I believe in privacy by design not privacy by wishful thinking.  So I’ve been wondering how I can batten down the hatches, add a little distance here, a little filtering there, but you know, I don’t think I can without also losing a measure of impact.  Making my writing private defeats it’s purpose which is to put more information (about kink, privacy, and so forth) out into the world.  Erasing this blog and starting over, more privately with the benefit of what I know now loses the history and experience I gained here.   And yet, continuing to rely on good will for my security doesn’t really leave me with much peace of mind.

This blog exists for a number of reasons including: my desire to share and connect with like-minded people, my belief that more free peer-to-peer knowledge = a more informed populous = more units of awesome in the world and my related desire to force peer-to-peer knowledge sharing in the BDSM community, and my belief that transparency is always good and conversely that closed systems are dangerous (again, translated on the micro level to the BDSM community).

And when I think seriously about the risks or fears that give me pause I realize that while I am protective of the non-kink aspects of my life, my actual fear is of the BDSM community or members of it acting in ways that are disruptive to me.  And that’s interesting.  My threat doesn’t come from Concerned Women for America or some similar boogie man organization; the real reason I am battening down the hatches is because of, not in spite of, a community that places such high face value on protecting each other’s privacy.

Ah, yes, ritualistic hazing and high cost of exit/failure is the glue that holds many a community together – remember that.

So anyway, I’m still thinking about this one and about its implications, but what better way to think about privacy than out-loud to the universe?

Written by kinkinexile

September 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Posted in blogging, privacy

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