Sunday, May 26, 2013

Oops - Coming Out - Revealing the Shadow Side

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (I know, most are not because it's under your real name) you may have already seen this in my status.

As I hop, skip and jump around the internet, distracting myself from writing by engaging with social media, I share, tweet and post anything related to my books or those of my friends.  When I saw the post of a review for Spank and Run, my story from Coming to Terms, I hit the FB share button.  Later that night, when I went to look for it to be sure I shared on both my Renee Rose personal page and my Renee Rose Romance fan page, I didn't find it.  That's where I should have paused to wonder where the post had gone. (First mistake) 

No, it was not until the next morning when I received a message from FB commenting on my post from my MOTHER IN LAW that I realized the post was not on the Renee Rose pages because it had gone to my personal, real name page.  Oh shit!  

My mother-in-law's note was short-- Oh wow, you're an author? That's great! I've read all three 50 Shades...

I scrambled into my personal page and tore that post down so quickly I didn't get to see who else had "liked" it (2nd mistake)

I wrote my MIL back and confessed, saying that I hadn't meant to post that on my personal FB.  Her response?  Oh that's too bad! She'd already notified the cousins and was prepared to buy my books.  There was zero judgement from her or even twittering giggles. I was absolutely filled with love by her total and complete support.

And it has me thinking about coming out.  I don't know how many people in my real-life, vanilla world I've told now that I'm a spanko and write spanking fiction.  Maybe a dozen?  Maybe a few more. And every response has been positive. I can tell some people don't know what to do with it, so with them, I treat it like I would talking to a kid about sex-- only answer direct questions, not giving the more info than they're ready to hear.  Others have lots of questions.  A very few have even read my books (thank you, Kelly, Simone, Sharon, Lorie and Bonnie!).  Some I have told but refused to tell them my author name, because I don't want them to read my books.  But maybe it's time to get over all that.

You know what I think? I believe each person I tell is expanded in some way. Knowing that someone they respect and admire (I hope) has a shadow side-- a fetish, a kink--will make them look at kinks differently.  I know accepting my own kink has expanded my view of other kinks. I used to laugh and joke about other "weird" kinks like Furries, or feet people. Now I send them my love, shrug and say, "there's just no explaining kinks".

I have yet to experience judgement, or to feel mocked. I know I have perhaps confused some friends, but I believe that when they have questions or want to know more, they'll come to me.

I know there's a LOT of shame around spanking.  I experienced it myself for 40 years, wondering what was wrong with me. I've noticed most of my book sales happen late at night, and I don't think that's because they're all bought by people overseas.  I think there's a lot of shame around most fetish, and around sex in general. I feel the time is ripe to start to transform that shame-- to bring the darkness into the light.

I guess this is furthering my thoughts from  my spank me panties post-- that I realized that if someone sees marks on my ass and wants to know what they're about, I will tell them.  It's not so horrible.  I have a kink.  I am not ashamed of it-- owning it has empowered me more than anything in my life.  Self-acceptance is the key to empowerment, even if what you're accepting is a desire to submit.

Who have you told? Have you had any bad experiences? Is there someone you might want to tell?

58 comments:

  1. Hi Renee,

    Oh my goodness, I would have had kittens! What a wonderful reaction from your MIL - to be so supportive!

    It's wonderful that that you have received such great, non-judgmental responses from those you have told. I think you're right too. Knowing someone who has a kink is probably more likely to make us more curious and open minded and less judgmental.

    Good for you! Self-acceptance definitely is the key to empowerment.

    There are a few friends I would like to tell about my spanking/DD relationship but I haven't as yet. The odd comment may have been made in a joking way, but that's about it. Funny thing is, I think most of our friends have some kind of understanding, at least to some degree, that I defer to him when it comes to decision making, but nothing beyond that.

    Hugs,
    Roz

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    1. I know, I DID have kittens! But yes, in retrospect, it's not the end of the world. In a way, your friends will get the "energy" of it, even if they don't know the specifics, and they already accept you for that!

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  2. Hi Renee,

    Only my wife knows about my kink and I do not plan to tell anyone else. I have many kinky friends in my real life so I do not feel compelled to share my fetish.

    Next week, my local group will be discussing this topic, coming out.

    I am happy for you that your MIL reacted so well.

    Hug,
    joey

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  3. I can imagine your shock. I once posted on someone's FB event under my real name. Gotta watch those logins! Funny though, it was another author who knew me fairly well and she didn't recognize that my real photo looks amazingly like my Cara photo! But I had her delete the post before anyone else did.

    The coming out process was a gradual one for me. I told a few close friends at first, then told strangers (who I thought I would never see again), then pretty much told everybody -- except my mother. My MIL & my stepkids know. My mother knows I write erotic romance, but does not know the genre, my name, publishers, or titles. And the only hesitancy there on my part is that I sometimes write about anal sex. That's the hold back. If not for that, I'd tell her. I don't care if she knows I write graphic "name those body parts" sex. Spanking? So what? But anal? That's a stopper.

    About a year and half ago, my husband and I moved from a liberal state to the Bible Belt. I announced up front what I do. I know I shocked my neighbors at first. Some are probably still shuddering a year and half later.

    But it's so hard to live a double life. Just the matter of accounting for your time --
    "What did you do today?"
    "I was writing."
    "Writing what"
    "Uh..."

    If I could, I would be more open about who I am -- I'd post my Cara stuff on my real name Facebook account, but my husband won't allow it. He's afraid of "weirdos" knowing too much about me because my regular FB account has more personal info. That's a valid concern.

    So I'm BASICALLY out of the closet...

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    1. You're so right about it being hard to live a double life. When my mom moved in she really wanted to know why I was on my computer so much, so despite my swearing never to tell her, I did tell. She was shocked, I think and clammed up, not saying another word about it.

      That's funny that you think anal is the deal-breaker, vs. spanking.

      And yes, my husband is definitely concerned about "weirdos" discovering my true identity, too...

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    2. LOL Cara, now you have me wondering if my mother would be more shocked by the anal stuff or the spanking! :)

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  4. I had a mini panic attack for you when you posted this on facebook. It also spurred a discussion between me and my husband about who I would eventually be comfortable telling and who I wouldn't.
    It's funny, I've only been "Casey McKay" for a little over a month, but I have had this kink my whole life, and I've been lurking around spanking blogs and sucking down erotic novels at a clip for well over a year. I feel so lucky that I have such a supportive husband, but it also scares the hell out of me to think what other people in my life would think of me.
    I love writing, I love blogging, I love that I found this online community where everyone 'gets' me. My husband just commented last week that I seem so different now, I am much happier. Someone at work also asked me why I was in such a good mood lately (makes me wonder what kind of beast I was being before, lol).
    I think I will end up telling a few close friends, eventually... we'll see. My husband doesn't want me to tell them my pen name because then they'll read my blog... I guess I should have thought of that before I started posting all the down and dirty details of our sex life.
    Ultimately I am pretty sure my inlaws would be cool with it, I know my parents would be fine too, I just don't want to go there. My mother is the definition of overshare and TMI, she will ask way too many questions and I will die of embarrassment.
    So here I am, hiding in the closet, have fun out there with your new found freedom! I know it was accidental... but I do think everything happens for a reason.

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    1. Yes, I'm so glad that you are feeling that empowerment of accepting your kink, too! And I know, the personal sex life stuff on the blog is definitely a concern for me too!

      for me, telling others seemed easier because it was a profession and not just a bedroom activity. KWIM? Like making a living from it helped me feel like my kink was more legitimate then or something. :)

      I think you're right, everything happens for a reason...

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  5. I'm so happy to hear about your awesome interaction with MIL. That is so refreshing to hear in this day of judgment.
    I told my little sister about my kink and my DD relationship about a month ago. It took us a while to be able to speak about it, because she was so confused. But she didn't judge or condemn. It still hurt that she did not get it, but at least she was willing to listen and accept.

    My husband has the same thoughts as Cara's. For safety reasons (along with the fact that he owns his own small business), he won't let me come out either.
    Good for you, though.
    I am happy for your acceptance and support.
    I would have freaked out too, if I had done that.
    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I'm glad you told your sister-- it's hard to live in secrecy. And I'm sure it's very hard for an outsider to understand. It was even shocking to me to discover DD and I'm a lifelong spanko. I'm so glad she didn't judge and i'm sure as time goes on, she will begin to get it mroe.

      Yes, I agree with the safety concerns as well!

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  6. Oh wow! MY heart was so fluttering when I saw this post but Yay!!! I am glad it went well and I hope it continues to do that! You must be feeling so many different emotions right now! Very excited, nervous... wow.

    My sis knows but she is the only one who knows all. I have others who know some about the submissive aspect but not the spanking. I don't know why it has to be a big deal either. People think you are normal and nice and respectable until you say you like this or that then suddenly you are some alien monster they can't understand or relate to! Crazy.

    Best of luck!!!! :)
    Sara

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    1. I know, it's totally crazy. I agree that it doesn't have to be a big deal!

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  7. Oh my! I would have been mortified! You are so lucky that your MIL was so understanding. No one in my real life (aside from friendships made online) know about our lifestyle. My sister knows that we aren't exactly "normal", but does not know the extent of our relationship. Also, a few friends know that I defer to Daddy and I have also started calling him Daddy all the time, regardless of who is present. I hope that whatever you decide you continue to be received with love and understanding from those in your life.

    Good Luck!
    bg

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    1. Yes, I'm sure I am lucky... Calling him Daddy regardless is a big step... I thought about that too-- and wondered if it would help me to feel submissive at all times, as well. Thank you baby girl!

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  8. Renee, I'm glad your slip worked out so well! Heart-stopping, at least for a little while. Your MIL sounds wonderful. Very cool, and warm, lady!

    I hope you're able to work out your identities the best way possible for you. Transparency certainly can be tricky. Hugs to you...

    Irishey

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    1. You're right, transparency can be tricky! Well, baby steps... we'll see how it all develops. Of course once it's out there's no going back!

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  9. Gulp! What a frightening moment! But I'm so glad that it turned out good for you.

    I've often wondered how authors feel when they put themselves out there - revealing what's in their head, what their secret fantasies are......

    It must be quite wonderful when the people who know and love you also embrace that part of you.

    ((hugs))
    Cali

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    1. Yes, I'm not ready to jump in the pool completely yet, but little by little, I think I will let my freak flag wave... :)

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  10. Oh goodness! I've been struggling with talking to my husband - big wuss, I know! I've shared with a friend who really just solidified my anxiety and didn't help. I would be mortified if anybody on his side if the family found out. I guess though, my family would just be like "weirdo" and move on. Maybe hubby as well. Thanks for accidentally testing those water for me lol Maybe I can be braver. It went over just fine for you. And really, did you expect it to NOT spread like a gossip wildfire?

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    1. Oh, Chickadee, I do hope you talk to your husband. I was ridiculous-- I didn't tell mine until I already had a contract on my first book, but now I can't understand why not. Admitting my desires has been the best thing that happened to our sex life!

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  11. Ok, first, I've done exactly what you did. My husband luckily found my 'like' and asked very calmly, 'did you mean to like that under your real name?' This was when I published my first book so no, I was not ready! I tore it down and have locked down that account. I don't even log in anymore because I'm so afraid of doing something like this.

    I've been hearing this from you for a while now and you've heard my story. Fuck the shame- everyone has a 'thing' a kink or whatever. Spanking is shaming for us because it's our kink. Their own whatever is probably shaming for them. Having the courage to come out is powerful, it's incredible and it sets an example.

    I wrote about this on a blog post (Wet and Wild hop) and the response was amazing. People are so supportive, it's awesome. Now in my real life, I've told more people lately and the reactions are so mixed. The strangest ones to me are the ones that pretend like they didn't hear a word you said. HUGE elephant in the room but let's ignore it… My takeaway from that - don't ask question if you're not ready to hear the answer! OK, I must have some really vanilla friends...

    I feel passionately about this, if you haven't noticed. Why are we hiding at all? Who gives a fuck anyway and why should they? Live and let live. Whatever you decide to do, I think you're brilliant. XOXO

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    1. I feel passionately too, Natasha! Just knowing how liberating it has been for me to release my shame, makes me want to help others let go of theirs, no matter what it is! Yes, I've had the no comments from people too-- I figure they're just not ready to hear more and when they are, they will ask...
      I know you and I are on remarkably similar paths-- you are the sister of my heart!!!

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    2. I think we should have our own Spanko Pride Parade like Gay Pride! In fact, I bet they'd be so supportive and leading the parade!!!

      I'll start thinking of banners...

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    3. YES! I love it! Spanko Pride!

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  12. I'm glad that your MIL took it so well, Renee. I think we've talked some about my experience. I marvel at, am awed by all of you who maintain the separate personal and author identities. My Master and I talked about it quite a bit- being out- because for me there are so many ways I could use that phrase. When multiple pieces of my identity made issues for me at my local UU- being a home educator, a lifestyle submissive, and polyamorous being the top 3 "issues"- so that I left, took my teen with me, and we reoriented our lives even more to online existence... I decided then that if Master was okay with it, I wanted to be completely out. Out on social media... my submissivion, our D/s lifestyle, the fact that the lifestyle is lived with a child in the house and yet he doesn't see things he shouldn't... so yeah, I live with my own fears of what being so out could mean. For me, being out is "this is who I am. If you don't like it, I don't need you in my life." There are many good reasons my parents are 2.5 hours away :D. But yes, over the years, I've experienced both good and bad. Only talking about my religious beliefs and my religious background got my teen and I asked to leave a *supposedly* "inclusive" homeschool group. And I had many an argument about sex work with the people at the local UU before I left it; one woman was confused why I found her laments of "you're so brave [for talking about your sex work history]" to be offensive and irritating. But yeah, we shouldn't have to hide our sexuality. I remember awhile ago on my blog, I had a vent about "naughty." Often enough, when I see "naughty books," the behavior of many reading "mommy porn" like FSoG and giggling like girls in a locker room, I hate it. I'm an adult. As long as anyone I'm having sex with is above the age of consent and all are consenting, who is anyone else to tell me I'm doing something wrong?

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    1. You know, I've thought about the naughty thing-- in some ways, it's part of the thrill. By normalizing fetish, some of that thrill gets taken away. It would also remove the necessity to have this tight-knit community of spankos, since you could be yourself with everyone. But I think it's a worthy trade off for freedom from shame, dual identity, etc.

      I do think you are a warrior before your time, in so many ways. You are leading the way for the many that will follow...

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    2. well I don't see it happening over night. I mean, heck, I'm in the closet among most UUs I interact with in some way. And yes, I've heard the joke "if you can't be out among UUs...." because we are known (if known at all to people) as those people who take anyone lol.

      I would like us to see us still manage to be a community even without having the secrecy and shame being what makes us so tight knit. Because no matter how many parts of our sexuality identities become more okay to talk about, I think there will always be those subjects that we talk about more openly with some people. I think of the example of a friend from my old church who I'm pretty out to; she was horrified one day when she asked if I wanted to go somewhere and I replied, "I'll have to beg use of the car." I didn't mean it in a BDSM porn sort of way and I thought she knew my Master and I enough to understand that, but still my word choice grabbed her notice.

      hm, me a leader... I never thought of it like that :D. thanks

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    3. I think you're right, Renee, normalizing a kink would take away some of the thrill. Part of the thrill is its taboo nature, the illicitness. Like having sex in public. If everyone were doing it -- it wouldn't be naughty would it? But I agree that the trade-off would be worth it. Shame is a such a negative emotion.

      Which raises another question to ask one's self. Does one feel shame or embarrassment? There's a difference. I think shame emanates from judging oneself, that what one does is wrong, while embarrassment is tied more to fearing judgement by others. And shame runs deep, is related to one's values and beliefs, while embarrassment is more situational.

      I feel no shame over my writing, but on occasion, I am subject to feelings of embarrassment.

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    4. That is an excellent point about distinguishing shame from embarrassment. I think I've moved on from the shame into the embarrassment stage, which is a much better place to be...

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  13. Now you have a mother-in-law almost like mine! Except now yours needs to be spanked! I would have had kittens for a moment though too!

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  14. I came out to my sisters first and their reaction was just total support. That then lead to one of my sisters telling my Mum, not exactly about what I wrote, although I think my other sister has since filled in the gaps. Again nothing from support. My Mum would love to read my books but she won’t have anything to do with an e-reader or a computer so I don’t know how to arrange that for her. I would if I could. My older kids know but don’t read what I write although my DIL likes to torment my son by reading him bits out loud (makes him cover his ears and hum loudly).


    My husband doesn’t want me to come out to everyone and I think that’s mainly fear. Fear for his job and also fear that he will be judged as an abuser. I think as time goes on though makes it more normal for all of us.

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    1. OMG, Constance, I'm CRACKING up that your daughter in law tries to read it to your son and he hums!!!! So funny! I'm sure that will be my kids when they're old enough to understand!

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  15. I can relate Renee. At first I didn't tell but a couple close friends who I already knew had no problem with any thing and everything. Gradually, I let on at work to a couple closer friends there that I wrote erotic romance. One got snoopy enough to find out my author name through my partner's fb account - put two and two together. She was secretly buying all of my hardcore BDSM tales! She confessed, and then my name got around. I was worried about work more than anywhere because it's a conservative company, and a lot of my co-workers are Mormon. But they have no problem with it at all - even my M/M titles! It has been a case of me deciding for them what they would approve and not approve - I never gave them a chance. Now I post a real photo of myself, and just say "what the hell" this is who I am. Good for you Renee!

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    1. That's great about your co-workers being ok with it! I like the way you approached it-- you deciding for them what they would approve! You are a wise soul.

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  16. Wow, Renee! Not quite the way you planned on 'coming out', I suppose? It sounds like your MIL is very cool though, and it sounds like this might be a good thing for you, since your family is being supportive:)

    I've erred in similar ways many times...to the point where I had to delete some of my more judgmental friends from my real life FB, just in case. I've accidently retweeted stuff under the wrong name, liked books on FB under the wrong name, and one time I commented on Celeste's blog under my real name and had to get her to delete it, LOL.

    Pretty much all my friends and family (with the exception of my parents) know my pen name. I know my mother would be totally embarrassed by what I write and devote all her free time to praying for my soul, so I don't want to tell her. I wasn't planning on telling my MIL, but last time she was babysitting, my 6 year old snuck into my office and brought her a copy of one of my books! LOL she was very cool about it and said she didn't read anything and put it back, but I have no idea if she checked out my books online after going home. I'm a little afraid to ask!

    Of course I can't ever officially come out and say "this is who I am" for privacy reasons. My husband worries about weirdos knowing where we live and other kids teasing our kids at school, and I worry about his job finding out. He has a very public job and if the wrong people found out, they might cause problems.

    Good luck, Renee! )

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    1. Yeah, my mom didn't get it and it's her side of the family I still would really not want to know (and my aunt uses FB-- I really hope she didn't see it!)

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  17. Wow, I'm so glad you got such a positive response from your mother-in-law! I'm not shy with my closest girlfriends about the fact that I like him in charge in the bedroom...even admitting to the spanking thing. They assume it's just good kinky fun and I let them assume that. It's the discipline side of things that I don't really feel comfortable getting into with vanilla friends and family. I just don't think they would as understanding or accepting of that part of it.

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    1. yes, I agree entirely. Admitting a kink in the bedroom is easier to explain than DD. The desire for real punishment is very difficult to explain!

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  18. Oh my. I nearly had kittens when I came out of the closet with my brother. He is one of the few people in the family that knows. My MIL would not be so understanding.

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    1. Wait, but isn't your mother in law spanked? Or you suspect it?

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    2. Yes but spanked and kink are two different things for her. And if she were to find out that I am Bi? Yikes. The woman hates me

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    3. Cracking up-- you're so right, they can be seen as very different things. And I don't know how bi would go over with my mil either!

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  19. I am sooooo forbidden to tell anyone about our relationship. He doesn't care if people would be fine with it at all. This is between us (and blogland) and that is how it is going to stay. Ty would be more hurt than angry, I think, if I said anything.

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    1. I love it-- just between the two of you and blogland! At least we all have blogland so we're not living alone in our spanko confusion...

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  20. Wow, Renee...how brave of you to embrace this, even if the coming out was unintentional. I don't know if I could ever share...at least not at this point in time. I doubt I would receive such positive feedback from others. I think my friends and family would understand the spanking, but the actual desire to submit and truly live that dynamic is a whole different thing. Oddly enough, I think my mother is the only person who would be understanding lol...I have enough reason to believe she is not vanilla herself! I think it's really cool you can own this. Even if I wanted to, my husband would not be on board...so lips sealed :) Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

    -Marie

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    1. I agree that the "in the bedroom" thing is easier to understand than lifestyle or real discipline.

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  21. Wow, Renee...how brave of you to embrace this, even if the coming out was unintentional. I don't know if I could ever share...at least not at this point in time. I doubt I would receive such positive feedback from others. I think my friends and family would understand the spanking, but the actual desire to submit and truly live that dynamic is a whole different thing. Oddly enough, I think my mother is the only person who would be understanding lol...I have enough reason to believe she is not vanilla herself! I think it's really cool you can own this. Even if I wanted to, my husband would not be on board...so lips sealed :) Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

    -Marie

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  22. so amusing story- just told my Master about my touch of confusion with those who've shared about husbands not wanting wives to come out- whether it be about being a spanko, writing spanko etc- and His response to my question on His feelings- "So why couldn't you put this fan together?"

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  23. Renee--as you know I did something similar about a month ago and had a complete freak out. I deleted my personal FB account and to be honest, I don't miss it and it has freed up some time for other things.

    When that happened to me I did a similar assessment of the people in my life and how they would react. What I realized was other than a handful of people, most would be okay with my writing, a few would be thrilled and most would laugh.

    But I also realized that when/if I do come out, I'd like it to be on my own terms and now with an inadvertent (and possibly shocking) share on the wrong FB account.

    There is also a certain amount of freedom, at least from a writer's perspective, in anonymity.

    I love the story about your MIL. Good for you and good for her.

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    1. You're right, it's only a very small handful that would have a problem. But you're right, definitely on your own terms, with each person you choose to tell! That would be my preference as well.

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  24. Oh wow, that really must have been a shock! I'm happy to hear that you MIL is so supportive, though. :-)

    I am rather open about my kink because I don't feel ashamed of it and I don't want to hide that part of my life. Of course I don't tell everyone every detail about it, though. I only tell those who are close enough or with whom I like to talk about such a personal topic and I only give away as much detail as I think is okay for them. My closest family members know about my kink and many of my friends, too. I've never made any really negative experiences. Instead I often learned new interesting things about my friends! The “worst” thing that happened was that I realized that I shouldn't go into more detail with some people because it would be too much information for them.

    Today I don't talk so much about my kink with my vanilla friends anymore, though. But that's not because I am ashamed of it. It is because I have Ludwig, our blog and kinky friends to talk to, so I don't have the urge to talk too much about kink with vanilla friends anymore.

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    1. That's great that you have no shame and are fine being open about your kink-- good for you. Yes, it makes perfect sense that you wouldn't feel the need to talk about it with the vanilla crowd, just like I don't blab on about my kids to people without children...

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  25. That was a very profound statement you made, Renee. I have never encountered you before, but I can tell you that I am already a fan, because of your insight, understanding, acceptance and wonderful perspective.

    Something you said in your article where your MIL inadvertently received a "surprise" from you, reminded me so much of that YouTube clip I saw of Sarah Silverman on the Late Show with David Letterman...do you know the one I'm referring to? Like you, Sarah seemed to so embrace that is just who she is, and as a consenting, free adult, she is free to be herself - AND - she was seemingly a bit surprise at her Mom's lack of shock nearly as much as her abundance of curiosity!

    Thank you for sharing this; I think I may have to actually USE facebook now, if I could have a closer connection with your refreshing attitude.

    All the best,
    JD
    PS - I did NOT choose that 'nickname' I was given! :)

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    1. Thank you, JD! I haven't seen that Sarah Silverman, but I love her, so I will look for it. Thanks, I would love it if you friended me on FB.

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  26. I love this post...sorry I am so late in reading it...love how your mother-in-law reacted. That is wonderful. I have shared my "kink" of liking to be spanked in the bedroom to one friend and to my mom...I have not shared any more than that...with my mom it was when I first came to accepting that part of myself and the two people in my life I needed to know in my heart that I was still accepted, was my husband, of course, because I wanted him to be involved in making my fantasy a reality and he accepted me wholeheartedly...and then my mom. She was fine so long as I am happy. She loves me unconditionally. We do not discuss it...she does not ask I do not tell but she knows. My friend and I have shared a little but not much and she too accepts me for me...it was no big deal. I would not be prepared; however, to share with the whole world...in my real name. Happy to have a place here anonymously where I can be me and share and listen...

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