The idea for this post is taken from A(n)nals of Online Dating, which offers a hilarious and terrifying look into online dating messages. I think the format might lend itself well to an exploration of the weird and occasionally wonderful world of fetlife dating, don’t you?
Subject: Hi there
hello, how are you. I read your profile and have to say I loved it, many of your interests/curious about match mine and I would have to say I would be curious to meet with you and discuss further and see if we could act on it. I will admit I am newish to this and probably a bit niave [sic] too, but only one way to get experience.
I am married to a very vanilla wife, and she does not know yet of my being on here, in part I am wanting to try it before considering telling her. I would love to hear from you and hope I can interest you.
The first part of this message looks okay. I mean, he doesn’t ask me about myself, or tell me anything about himself, and he is only talking about my sexual interests and just wants to fuck, but hey it’s obviously written by someone who is literate and can spell ‘experience’ and that’s more than I can say about plenty of other messages I have gotten. HOWEVER:
+3 points – this message was sent to me by someone twice my age and he would have known this from my profile
+10 points – this message was sent to me with an accompanying picture of the squashed and locked up penis of its author. And some things, once seen, cannot be unseen.
+5 points – he wants to mess around without his wife knowing, so that he can go back and tell her whether or not he’s kinky! Wow, that sounds like an appealing arrangement to involve myself in.
Bonus points: when I told him I wasn’t interested because he was married and twice my age he sent me a snide response about how I am judgemental and close-minded. +7.
A few years ago I was mainly attracted to women. I thought I was a lesbian, or on the lesbian side of bisexual. Over time my desires have changed. I am still sometimes attracted to women, but these days I am mainly interested in men, and I know myself to be a dominant woman.
Surprisingly, I am far more closeted than I was when I was involved with women. Thanks to the brave examples of the queer people in my life I know that I could be openly queer and also be a leader at work, a cherished friend and a beloved family member. And yet I am deeply afraid of the repercussions if it became known that I am a sexual dominant, some kind of ‘pervert’ or ‘deviant’. I don’t even feel like I’m choosing to remain in the kinky closet, I feel like I’m trapped in here.
Some people say that kinky ‘straight’ people can just hide in plain sight. But I’m unseen, invisible. I can’t go to a munch. I’m scared of getting involved with someone who is openly a part of the scene. My city is just too small, it would become known somehow, and I’m afraid of the consequences for my career. I don’t want to shove my kink down people’s throat. I don’t even really want to talk about it at all with most people. I just want to go out and meet my own kind and fall in love and fuck how I like without fearing it will ruin my reputation.
Perhaps, stranger, you think I am overreacting, that these risks are imaginary and these fears groundless. I disagree. A few years ago, a matter came across my desk that concerned a woman who had worked as a professional dominatrix and was involved privately in her local scene. When her kinkiness became known at her office, several people in the management conspired to try to fire her. Her position was saved because one or two good people were willing to stand up for her. But if they hadn’t been there, she would have lost her job, just for being kinky.
I’m scared of being fired. I’m scared of being harrassed and ridiculed by my colleagues. I’m not scared without a reason. I think of the way a woman at my office was torn down for doing a pole dancing gym class, and I know what would happen to a young domme like myself. One of the questions my referees had to answer about me so that I could get through the background checks for what I do now was “is there anything in this person’s sexual history, preference or practices that could cause embarrassment or be used for the purposes of blackmail?” What would happen if I had been open about my kink – would I even have been hired?
I would like to think more about why there is such a closet surrounding kinkiness. What have your experiences been? What do you think?