Most of them aren’t exactly hidden. I’m relatively open about sex, kink, bdsm – I wasn’t always, but it’s become pretty natural to me to have conversations that start with the words So, I was thinking about swallowing while you’re deep throating… do you think it would make you gag a lot more.. or just a little?
I think part of the reason so many people have been unfussed when they learn I’m kinky is because I’m so open and nonfussed about my kink myself.
At the same time, there are people I’m not out to; mainly my immediate family. I come from a religious family. To be more honest, a WASPy don’t let the neighbours know I threw a plate at your head last night kinda family. I don’t know if they wouldn’t understand… but I doubt they would approve (largely because I’m not doing it with my husband as the white guy in the sky with the bushy beard supposedly intended). And so, I don’t tell them. I spent a good portion of my adolescence fighting my family for the freedom to explore what could be ‘me’ for a long time. I’m lucky to be in a position where I don’t have to any fight anymore – I can just quietly be. I could choose to, but these are the joys of living on your own in a different city. Scratch that, these are the joys of being financially independent in a different city; it’s my choice, and at the moment I choose not to.
The consequence of this choice is the things I can’t share with them. Yesterday, in between family duties and an awesome night at BENT, I organized a Rope 101 for the Toronto TNG where 25 people came out, played with some rope, and learnt something new. Next week, I’ve been invited to speak about BDSM to a human sexualities class at an out of town university. My organization and education work I do both around kink, and within the BDSM community is something I’m proud of… yet how do I explain part of it, without explaining so much more?
Let me be perfectly frank; I realize this is a choice I have made to make my life easier. I choose not to be fully out, and I choose it, by and large, for the sake of personal convenience. Still, it does make me a bit sad to sit over a meal and not be able to share my accomplishments with my parents. To dodge questions about what I’m up to with vague answers and topic changes.
It makes me wonder if it would be worth the questions, worth all the explanations….worth the disapproval.
Do you think Sue Johanson’s parents were proud of her?