I’ll never forget during my first few months of being involved in the Lifestyle community, I ran into someone who frequented my back-then place of employment at a local play party. Personally, it didn’t faze me any at all due to my thinking – we’re at the same place pretty much for the same reason, kink. Apparently, it didn’t bother him to have me sitting right in front of him watching as he used a humongous paddle on a very willing bottom. And to this day, I’ve been grateful that things didn’t go left, because the whole situation really could have for either one of us. In my newness, I could have easily outed him to other people I knew saying, “Yeah, I know him from such and such place,” or “Hey, that’s my neighbor,” (he wasn’t my neighbor though) or anything else that would have led to providing more information than he would have wanted to shared or had shared. He could have very easily outed me by stating where he knew me from to anyone at the play party. But as far as I know, he didn’t do anything like that – at least no one said anything to me about him mentioning my place of employment.
Sometimes, things can seem so very innocuous that information can ‘slip’ out casually – we work together (or stating where the place of employment is), our kids go to the same elementary school, she lives right next door to me, they work in Walmart, or whatever other bit of information we may innocently drop in the ears of others. These phrases may seem innocent and truly harmless; however the fact is they either teeter on outing someone or can flat-out out someone. And when they do out someone it’s more like a ‘soft outing’. Many of us have seen ‘revenge’ outings and of course that shouldn’t happen in our community, but these ‘soft outings’ should also still be avoided no matter how benign these bits of information may seem.
It’s important for us all to remain mindful of what we share about other people. We all have a right to disclose as much or as little information about our personal, work, family and social lives as we’re comfortable with to the people we’re most comfortable with and withhold that same information from those we’re not familiar with, and in my opinion, that right should be respected. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help us remain mindful in order to avoid (or better avoid) sharing more information than we should about others in the community:
- If you should see a person you know from vanilla life in a Lifestyle setting, it would be best to ask them privately how they would like to be referred to in such a setting. Some people use their legal names in the community, that’s a personal preference/choice; some may use a handle that seems like an average name such as ‘Bob’, ‘Alice’, ‘Cameron’, or ‘Willie’ but in fact it’s just a chosen scene name; while others will go other routes using names that are descriptive, like ‘slave dewdrops’, ‘Master MakeHerKneel’, ‘sublicious’ and so on. Simply asking what a person would like to be referred to and also sharing what you’d like to be called is better than assuming anything.
- In reference to the experience I shared in the opening of this post, the gentleman that I saw at the play party could have told anyone where I worked, like, “Yeah, I know blyss from Taco Bell where she works – you know that one downtown? Yeah that’s where she works,” and I could have said the same. This isn’t ever a cool thing to do, again just because either of us had chosen to share personal information regarding life outside of the Lifestyle community doesn’t mean we were sharing that information with mutual friends or acquaintances (or even wanted to share that information).
- For the love of all that is good, please don’t name drop in private conversations! This really happens, much to my chagrin. Two associates are talking and one has decided for whatever reasons to use the legal name of a mutual acquaintance, “Yeah Jimmy was at the play party with sub soft willow…” “Who’s Jimmy?” “Oh, that’s his real name, his scene name is Dom Spanks Softly.” “Oh, okay, yeah I know who you’re talking about.”
There are many people in the community who hold sensitive positions, going through ugly divorces, having custody battles, have careers and families to protect, and not everyone is living completely open in regards to their kinks and relationship choices. So these are just some basics for us to remember as we build relationships with others in the community and either become active or remain active in the community.