Living in shadows

Over on his excellent blog, Rad in a fit of musing yesterday, brought on by having to fill out a vanilla Facebook page, commented about the kink world and "reality" —

I don’t like an overabundance of artifice although I put up my own fronts when needed (i.e. the Radagast persona that writes this blog). However, even though I do use a nom de plume, the thoughts I spew onto this space are mine and often quite unfiltered even if somewhat edited for content. This person is me and probably the closest to the real me that people would be able to see. My life in the outside world is now fake to me — it is the alternate reality that is somewhat out of step with who I am. Especially at work and in my professional networks, the fakeness of it all is hip-deep.

It's a wonderful blog entry and I found myself nodding along in agreement.  I mean, apart from my family and work as a graduate student (both of which are obviously important to me), I have no vanilla life anymore.  No vanilla social life at all. 

Like Rad, I nearly freaked out filling out Facebook and never have completed it. Yes, I still do vanilla work and have have a few vanilla friends. But all the close ones are ones I made before I got involved in the scene in 1997. I haven’t made a close non-scene friend in over 13 years. 

This is kind of depressing. 

And yet, last summer when the second of my two close vanilla friends moved away (they both left within 18 months), part of what I felt was relief that I didn’t need to worry about her dropping by when I was wearing a school uniform.  (Another part of me was very sad, of course.)

The downside, and there is a downside, is that despite being introverted, I’m sometimes quite lonely now for human contact. My closest girl friend in the scene lives 6000 miles away and neither of us is great about writing, maybe partly because what I want isn’t writing. I miss having a friend I can go out for coffee with and sit and chat a couple times a month. And no, we probably wouldn’t talk about kinky stuff. But we could. I wouldn’t have to guard my tongue, worry about saying too much, always be the listener.

I can't see any way around this (and I don't especially want to be "out" at work — I value privacy in all directions there).  But I hate worrying about maintaining the walls, especially when in my heart I don't feel what I do in private should matter to anyone else.  But it would.  It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would matter.

As a friend once said, "the Titanic had compartments too."

3 thoughts on “Living in shadows

  1. sparkle

    M, Do a search on FB for my vanilla e-mail address and friend me. 🙂
    There are some other, hm, crossovers that are also on FB. We’re just low-key about it because of work/family.
    Of course, it’d probably (quickly) consume more of your time than you really want. lol.

  2. Deluzy

    I like reading you, *whatever* you write about — scene stuff, vanilla stuff (and if I could figure out how to get your twitter feeds, I would).
    But I hear your point (and Rad’s) about feeling inauthentic in the land of vanilla: closeting the scene stuff, which is part and parcel of who you really are but which I also understand a lot of folks might judge, is bound to result in a feeling of inauthenticity. Who wants to live with *that*? Easier, though not easy, to compartmentalize and choose the compartment that feels most real.
    (Oh, and while this is so not my point in posting this comment, if you do decide to do FB, in whatever mode, friend me, too, under my email address/real name. FWIW, I have my FB privacy modes set so that only the people I am friends with can view the content of my pages, not the friends of my friends. You could set yours up in similar fashion, which would mean, essentially, that no one from my page, say, could view stuff you write on your page. Okay, clear as mud at the moment, and too much detail, I know.)

  3. dykegrrl

    It’s interesting to me how Facebook seems to bring up that ambivalence about being closeted. I joined a couple of months ago, and almost immediately realized that, unlike most of my other online life stuff, I have to be guarded about what I say. It’s rather uncomfortable.
    With me, it’s less about discipline/kink than about mental health stuff; there are several places online where I don’t write about kink, but Facebook is the only place where I am careful not to let it slip that I’m multiple.
    I do appreciate the chance to get back in touch with old friends, and with family members, but the need to maintain a closet has made things a little weird for me.
    At the same time, I wonder what it would be like if I *weren’t* trying to maintain the closet. I haven’t gotten brave enough to just stop hiding things, and there are details I wouldn’t choose to share in a vanilla space, but I don’t know how much energy I really *need* to be spending, hiding who I am, as opposed to the energy I *feel* I need to spend, if that makes any sense.
    (And I’ll add, like the others, that if you do join Facebook and want to friend me, I can give you my vanilla email address so you can find me there. 🙂 )


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