A Challenge

After the Anarkink meeting the other night, I casually mentioned to someone that I really love flogging, but can’t do it as much as I’d like because my roommates are often home. The person I was talking to was shocked. “You’re in the closet with your roommates?”


“But is that really tenable?”

“Well….no, I guess not…”

“I mean, I can understand not being out to your mother or something, but it seems like that’s something you’d want the people you live with to be comfortable with…”

The question of just how out I should be has been coming up a lot recently, and with increasing frequency as the Anarchist Bookfair approaches. I have taken on this project of ensuring Anarkink’s presence at the bookfair, and that means me sitting there among hundreds of other anarchists and probably a good number of my friends, handing out flyers for an anarchist BDSM party and selling kinky zines. It means me explaining what BDSM is to curious people and defending it from angry ones. It means me having to talk to my friends about this anarchist BDSM group I’ve been involved with for months.

It scares the shit out of me just thinking about it.

And yet I still want to do it.

6 comments so far

  1. fishsticks on

    I know exactly what you mean. I live alone, but I’m not out to my friends in any real kind of way, so everything I do has to take into account what other people will see. I’ve recently started making toys as well, so that’s a whole other ball park — I need power tools and workspaces and sawdust without arising suspicion.

    It’d be much easier if I just sucked it up I guess.

  2. Jenny on

    I felt the same way about my roommates.

    Slowly over time, one after the other, they began to put two and two together. In the length of a year I was out to all three of my roommates.

    The first a mid-west born and bred pilot, was disturbed by the revelation. It was discovered when he was using my computer. He preferred I never spoke of it unless he had a comment or slight question. It was basically understood but rarely talked about.

    The second raised by lesbians and a professional flauner, was extremely open and accepting. He asked so many questions my mind became goo and I felt compelled to never speak of it again. His enthusiasm sparked interest and acceptance in the first.

    The final roommate, a pediatric nurse who is infinitely kind and courteous, I was the most hesitant to reveal it
    too. We kept the house running smoothly the two of us and I was reluctant to upset the balance. With the encouragement of both roommates I finally spilled the beans.

    She was upset that everyone knew but she. lol We talked for hours. And are now closer then I ever imagined.

    You cannot predict the reactions of those you tell, but eventually they come around. Even if it is a cool agreement of non discussion, ‘coming out’ at least for me, made life so much easier.

  3. Alderson Warm-Fork on

    “It scares the shit out of me just thinking about it.”

    Good luck!

  4. spokewench on

    When I move in with someone there are a few thing I let them know about me. One of them is: “I have really loud sex. I will not do it if you are sleeping or your mom is visiting or something. Also I have really kinky sex and lots of weird noises come out of my room. You _need_ to be comfortable with that to live with me.”

    This has always worked for me.

    In my last house, after some rough play (lots of hitting and shouting and stuff) my very sweet roommate told me he had a hard time not busting into my room to “save me”. It was funny and cute.

  5. Dw3t-Hthr on

    My general coming-out advice is something like, “Know why you’re coming out to this person and give them a hint about what sort of response you’re looking for so they don’t have to flail around and come up with a reason for why you’re telling them this and what they’re supposed to do about it.”

  6. Natie on

    So, here’s the thing: BDSM carries so much baggage for so many people, coming out of the closet is often a major undertaking. People will assume that you are coming on to them, you’re some sort of superfreak who will kill them in their sleep, every one of your friends that visit is involved with you sexually, you have (or will have) an STD… Once you come out, suddenly EVERYTHING is about sex.

    On the other hand, it is certainly liberating and lots of fun to watch people try to pick their jaws up off the floor and try to act all cool and groovy…

    Of course, you can do what I did: just get a BDSM related tattoo and let people draw their own conclusions

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