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Coming out

10 August 1997

This discussion took place on #SanTara on Sunday, the 10th of August, 1997.

This discussion looks at coming out, ie. revealing your BDSM interests, to family and friends.

The participants were:

  • Alexa^^, a mistress, with her slave dina
  • MrEos, a Dom
  • ffairlady, a submissive
  • rubberist, a fetishist
  • jalinari^
  • arved
  • LordMilz, a Dom
  • frogaroo, a Dom
  • MCherie
  • warigal1

Abbreviations used
SS&CSafe, Sane and Consensual
<g>action: grins

<Alexa^^> Again welcome everyone to the San Tara discussion night ...

<Alexa^^> This meeting wil be logged and a copy made available to the new ABIS web site ...

<Alexa^^> dina joins me at my side and waves hi to all ...

<Alexa^^> Tonight's topic was thought up by dina, who is having some trouble knowing what to do about her recent 'forced' coming-out to her family ...

<Alexa^^> I was hoping tonight to have us all share some of our personal experiences, difficulties, etc. ... it's not compulsory to share but any information will be useful to someone ...

* Alexa^^ smiles. who would like to start us off ... the first discussion point being: what is coming-out of the closet?

<rubberist> i think it would be hard to come out as people think that is kind of perverted but we know different :)

<MrEos> But it depends on who you come out to

* ffairlady recently came out to her parent

<Alexa^^> fl, would you like to speak about it?

* ffairlady my parents were staying with me and my mother found my flogger when making the bed ... <ffairlady> she was kinda shocked

<ffairlady> it will teach me to be more tidy ... but ... she was very understanding but my father really did not want to know

<ffairlady> dad is kinda old school, you know the type: what you do is your business just keep it behind closed doors, but mum was supportive and very curious

<ffairlady> it was hard to talk to her about it, but after we both settled and had a coffee it came easier. my friend, when i told her, was not surprised at all

* Alexa^^ smiles

<ffairlady> all those friends around me who are near and dear are all aware and supportive

* ffairlady smiles

<ffairlady> it was hard at first but its part of me so now i am a lot more at ease when i tell ppl

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks Fl ...

<Alexa^^> dina would like to ask Fl what kind of things she told her mother ... if thats not confidential

<ffairlady> well, i told her that i enjoy different things, things that some ppl don't really understand. i explained to her that i don't do anything that hurts anyone else, but do things that i get pleasure from ...

<ffairlady> then i went into some more detail. i showed her my flogger, my collar, explaining what they meant and she seemed really curious to understand how they affected me. i was as honest as i could be with her, she asked me some things i could not answer, but she was cool with that

<ffairlady> it's hard to explain some of the feelings one experiences to someone who is not into the scene

<ffairlady> i will admit one thing though: mum and i are so much closer now

* Alexa^^ smiles

<ffairlady> she said that, in a way, she could see it as i was growing up; that submissiveness in me

* ffairlady smiles softly

<Alexa^^> thanks, Fl ...

<Alexa^^> would anyone else care to share?

<Alexa^^> MC? ...

<MCherie> My close friends all know, but I have children so I'm frightened of everyone knowing in case they think I'm an unfit parent or something; so it's a well-known secret

<MCherie> the last person I told was my best friend. she stopped talking to one of her friends when she found out that she was a mistress; but she was really good when I told her

<MCherie> I haven't tried telling mum, but she has seen the manuals, etc., around so she knows

<Alexa^^> rubberist? ...

<rubberist> i was caught by my girlfriend's house-mate while washing a full latex body suit one night. she asked all the wrong questions: eg. what's that? is it a wet suit? she thought that it was something i would wear on my motor-bike to keep warm

<rubberist> my girlfriend and i couldn't stop laughing

<rubberist> she sort of thought that it was used in a kinky way, but she kept telling us it couldn't be for that, so we just let her think it was for the motor-ike

<rubberist> the next day we thought of leaving a skin2 magazine out just to let her know a little more and explain it a little better but we couldn't do it! * Alexa^^ smiles. thanks, rubberist ... Fl? ...

<ffairlady> MCherie brought up an interesting point about children and at what time you tell them what you are into

* Alexa^^ nods and agrees

<ffairlady> it's a hard thing to explain to your childern

<Alexa^^> I have a young son, very young; but even now I am concerned for his 'non-consensual' introduction to the BDSM world. I think that it is a huge responsibility that needs to be spoken of, kind of a last taboo

<Alexa^^> I keep _all_ my equipment stored away and try to protect him as much as possible, but even today he found a crop and came running out paddling his teddy ...

* ffairlady giggles

* Alexa^^ smiles. cute, but concerning

<Alexa^^> ok. how about: "what do we tell them?" or, "how much do they need to know?" ... anyone?

<Alexa^^> Jalinari? ...

<jalinari^> mm ... just quickly thinking that the amount one tells a child depends on a number of factors, eg. practical issues, such as noise, etc., which may need to be explained; but then also depends on the age of child, as well as level of openness around the house ... sometimes seeing mum or dad lapping their milk from a saucer may need to be talked about

<jalinari^> [However] i would not imagine giving children a blow-by-blow detailed account of which particular clitoral manipulations make me feel good :)

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks, Jal. would anyone like to continue?

<Alexa^^> MC? ...

<MCherie> I have two very young children and they know nothing about it. I may tell them when they are in their mid-twenties if they have developed comfortable sexualities of their own

<LordMilz> I think that if you are a younger person and living at home and expect to come out to your parents it is different than if you are older and living away from home. the level of information your parents may need to know in that situation is significantly more than if you lived away

<Alexa^^> thanks, LM. Fl? ...

<ffairlady> i have kinda told my 17-year old daughter. i had to have a chat with [her] when she over heard us one night. i did not go into details, but enough for her to know that i was not being hurt and what adults do behind closed doors was between the ppl involved. she asked a few questions but they were not too hard to answer. she seemed happy with my answers

<Alexa^^> thanks, Fl ... handing over to dina

<Alexa^^> (dina) i have had my BDSM life brought out in a court case and my mum is having a fit. i would like to ask what legal rights do we have? ... they took all my gear. i would like to ask fl what she said to her mother, and how her mother she reacted

<ffairlady> i was as honest as i could be, dina. i told her how i have submissive feelings. she wanted me then to explain, so i showed her some of the toys i have here, my collar and my flogger

<ffairlady> she was curious so it made it easier. there were things i found hard to explain but i tried my best. i gave her some stuff i had printed off the net, too. she took that all home to read

<ffairlady> she said that some of the things i explained to her about my submissiveness she could see in my growing up. we seem a lot closer now

<Alexa^^> (dina) nods and smiles. i haven't tried getting her to read [anything]. thank you, fl

* ffairlady smiles

<Alexa^^> ok. next point. where to go for help and support

<Alexa^^> I have a few contact adresses of 'kink-aware professionals' but they are private doctors. does anyone have any ideas?

<LordMilz> ok. what about this legal issue? does anyone think we have any rights?

<MrEos> Yes. Just as many as everyone else. Why should we have less?

<Alexa^^> dina's situation is very delicate as it is not her own but her husband's court case. her gear was taken without her consent and has not been handed back. they are giving no explanation other than that having such things in her possession is 'wrong' ...

<MCherie> I would get a lawyer and demand my property back. I don't think it's illegal to own toys

<Alexa^^> they are the QLD police. she has gone to see a solicitor but he wont touch it: too 'alternative'

<MCherie> try getting an alternative-type lawyer. check out more lefty types?

<jalinari^> mm ... I will have a look this week, but I recently saw some details on different laws in different states and remember being surprised at the illegality of some things ... So I will try and find out the details to let you know.)

* Alexa^^ smiles and thanks Jal very much

<jalinari^> though i don't think we are as bad as the USA yet, where in some states a dildo is illegal<g>

<MrEos> Contact the gay community. They have experience with this sort of thing. Try the gay newspapers and magazines. Ring them and ask about lawyers

<MCherie> if there is gay helpline, like in Adelaide, they will have a list of friendly lawyers

<Alexa^^> warrigal? ...

<warigal1> this is one of the big problems here: each state has different laws and they police them differently

* Alexa^^ thinks that we need a BDSM legal service, kind of similar to the gay and lesbian ones

<warigal1> I had my car stolen with a lot of my gear in it. the police got it back and they were cool about the toys

* Alexa^^ smiles at warrigal. thanks

<arved> where does one go to see these laws?

<Alexa^^> good point! anyone? ...

<MCherie> in SA there is a library. I don't know about elsewhere

* Alexa^^ uses the old 1942 laws available from the courthouse and still in effect regarding professional services but doesn't know about personal BDSM laws

* Alexa^^ nods. it is difficult to 'obey' a law one cannot see

<MCherie> I think common sense works

<MCherie> Well, people need to be careful, be very sure of consent, etc.

<MCherie> I have been asked (seriously!!) to abduct and torture someone nonconsensually--taking him by surprise--by his partner/domme, because "he'd love that". that would put me in jail for eternity!!

<MCherie> poor bloke! it scares me that she might find someone to do it, too

<Alexa^^> I would like to share a bit about my coming-out ...

<Alexa^^> I had to face the fact that my family didn't approve. in fact, very much the opposite. my coming out meant I basically lost them as a support

<Alexa^^> there's a lot of humourous stuff around about 'getting out of the closet' but a lot of ppl forget--like I did--that sometimes some ppl just cannot and do not accept ... and rejection is the result, a result that needs accepting and support, too

<Alexa^^> go for it arved

<arved> so what can a person living at home do? should they tell?

<Alexa^^> I dont think there is any clear-cut answer. but I would say that the first thing one needs to think about is does their mother, father, sister, etc., really need to know?in my case [there was no choice] as I was outed by a friend

<MCherie> i wouldn't tell unless the circumstances were such that I had to

<rubberist> they found your gear; is that a good reason? :)

<Alexa^^> at the same time--today--I don't keep it a secret. ppl in my life today accept .. .or don't

<arved> what if the family member keeps accusing you of distancing yourself from them, keeping you out of their lives? or is that a deeper issue with the parent--like when to let go?

<MCherie> well, maybe try to stay home some nights; have coffee and chat. tell them what you've been doing in broad safe terms, ask career advice. maybe let your family know you still need them a bit ... that sort of thing

<Alexa^^> Eos? ...

<MrEos> I always work on a need-to-know basis, but when someone needs to know I tell them openly. I lead a sufficiently strange life that people don't expect "normal" from me in anything :)

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks, Eos

<Alexa^^> I would think that it is as important to keep it SS&amp;C for the person you are telling as much as for yourself

<Alexa^^> LM? ...

<LordMilz> for me - I don't intend to tell anyone about what I do unless they need to know. I don't need to justify who I am to anyone to make myself feel better - it just is

<Alexa^^> thanks, LM. Frog? ...

<frogaroo> Some years ago I had done a magnificent series of photographs with my partner/sub of the time.my father found them by accident ... and proceded to BURN THE NEGATIVES referring to me being "un-natural", if not "satanic"

* Alexa^^ eeps

<frogaroo> I was shocked. time helping, this, in fact, has provided me with a reason to "explain" my tendencies. all this to say that, sometimes, an "accident" can help coming out

<Alexa^^> thanks, frog :) Jal? ...

<jalinari^> aah ... ooops ... frog has kind of eclipsed my thoughts :) I have never really worried about telling [my] parents, but [my] friends know and [my] workmates have some level of idea; but then, they kind of are never sure how much i am joking and how much i am serious<g>

* Alexa^^ chuckles

<jalinari^> [my] closest friend, though, understands fairly well on the psychological level; and i do a fair bit to downplay the physical level :)

<jalinari^> ... 'tis interesting, though, explaining sub[missive] tendencies to feminist friends :) <g>

<Alexa^^> thanks, Jal

<Alexa^^> Frog? ...

<frogaroo> My *good* friends know

* Alexa^^ smiles

<Alexa^^> ok, folks. that's a wrap. I know that it was slow, but the stories will help someone one day to identify and find their own way

<Alexa^^> thanks for coming, everyone

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