I’ve left civilization God knows how many miles behind me. Headed for the icy depths of the southern tip of the globe- to the place in which all the hot girls prance about in sexy parkas. It’s difficult to imagine a more isolated place in which to meet a friend. But I somehow find connections in all of my wanderings. Even here.
Of course I’m not entirely alone. This time, I’ve come with a group of my friends, well, at least professional acquaintances. I’m sitting on this comfy red couch, among aforementioned acquaintances. I do have one or two close(ish) friends in the group, but she isn’t one of them. She is simply this woman with whom I’m conversing, our first time meeting. Though I’m pleased enough by her wit and intelligence to wish to get to know her better. And then she asks me a question.
“Do you know the word polyamory?”
She isn’t aggresive about the question. She suggests, by her tone, that she is not even listening that closely to my response. Our conversation isn’t serious at the time. Just lighthearted small talk. Like with any vanilla acquaintance. I don’t have a drink in my hand to take a convenient pause, so after a beat I say,
“Actually, I’m in a polyamorous relationship.”
I don’t know what makes me say this, but if she is going to open herself up in this manner, I may as well jump in. She shouldn’t have brought it up, if she didn’t want an honest answer, right? Plus, she’s really nice. I believe I won’t weird her out.
I say the truth, and she doesn’t flip out or anything, but she is curious. We talk about our partners, our lives. I find the words flow freely, easily.
I haven’t quite done this before. Opening myself up to a person I barely know in a non kinky scenario. Sure, I’ve talked to strangers about my kinks before. But I was already at an event. They’d already made themselves a little vulnerable to me, as I did for them. This time, I willingly put myself out there, without any idea of how she would react. All she did was ask about a word; I admitted to a practicing lifestyle.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.
I feel relieved, validated, heard– but I’m also questioning my judgment. Should I not have said anything? I’m nervous I prematurely let my guard down. Did I make a mistake? Did I share too much personal stuff? But I want her to be my friend. I’m tired of hiding who I am from my friends. And while I am normally excellent at compartamentalizing my life, I admit I’ve got sloppy.
She reacted well, true, but what if she hadn’t? I wonder if I’ve done something stupid. Here I am just saying anything to anyone? Is that brave or stupid, or is there a difference? Perhaps I’m too harsh on myself. You might call it “courage,” rather than laziness or stupidity.
I’ve relaxed my guard, as I’ve grown in confidence (which has a lot more to do with financial security and my ever strengthened role within my family and tribe, than it has to do with personal maturity). This isn’t limited to my kinky/poly self, either. I am more outwardly facing with my many roles in life, particularly, of late, my stepmom/friendmom role. I used to shyly hide in the background, not wanting to overstep. Now, I come support them in public whenever I feel like and openly talk about coming to future events.
I don’t think I’ve undergone a 180 degree flip.
I’m not going to be openly bisexual, poly, kinky, etc everywhere. Absolutely not on social media. I’m just not comfortable posting about my personal life, especially when it comes to the munchkins.
I am not at all ready to simply be OUT about ME. Yes, I’ve told more of my friends about my blog- in which I hide virtually nothing of myself- but I am not at the point where everyone in my life knows everything about me.
Yet I wonder if I need be as discreet as I’ve been before.
I’m in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve found this kinky soul creature. Because I let myself take a chance. I mean, I’ve been told I draw kinky folk out of the woodwork before- but this is ridiculous.
Six months ago, I don’t know that I’d have made the same choice. Would I have exposed my “secret” life? But it felt so good.
Can I afford to be a little more open with my -close- professional friends, instead of only talking about personal stuff with my kinky friends? I still need to be quiet about personal affairs with clients and extended network, but who doesn’t? What about the people I actually care about?
I feel like I am on the moon- and I can be anything I want to be.
Now that I’ve broken the ice on this one, what do I do next? Do I change my behavior, or just enjoy this connection and let it go?
Because this being frank thing- it’s nice. Later, we’re talking and she explains she trusted me because I led a group discussion on consent. I had mentioned the topic to a few in our group and they responded positively (when I got to my group discussion, a few people were already there and the daughter of one of our group looked at me with excitement, “We’re your group!”). It’s a topic the vanilla world doesn’t talk about much, my newly found friend says. I agree, though, like her, I wish it were different.
But I suppose, after that little incident, it is already different.
Perhaps I will allow both my worlds to blur a little more than I did before. Let some of my less socially approved interests slip out in casual conversation. Or subversively include “code” words to see if anyone picks up on them (like “consent” or “compersion” or “this one time with rope at band camp.”)
Or perhaps I will own the “princess by day, slut by night” life. During the day I will be good and proper. At night, I’ll loosen up over drinks with coworkers and, perhaps with a select few, tell stories of what I really did over the weekend. Of course I would try to be good, but I make no promises.