Recently I wrote about our day with Mr. Glass and how his personal revelation about his sexual orientation led to us explaining our DD lifestyle. A couple of people were curious about just how one goes about doing something like this. Since we have told nearly everyone we know or are related to, I think we have some experience and today I will share some tips.
1. Know thyself! First off, and most importantly, ask yourself if you yourself are good at judging people. If you aren't, then a lot of this advice will be moot since nearly all of it is based on reading people's reactions to subtleties. Granted, some people are hard to read, but some folks are pretty darned obvious 'open books'. If this is your first time, start with someone you know well. Also, what is your risk-to-reward level? If you are dying to tell someone about your lifestyle but doing so unsuccessfully can destroy your life or career, then perhaps wait for another time. Or are you fairly 'risk free'? Perhaps retired, or in a part of the country where such leaked information would result in a yawn rather than repercussion?
Also, keep in mind, if you are in a relationship that is kinky, coming out will affect not just you. What is your partner's risk factor? What is their interest level in coming out?
2. Know your audience. It's the First Rule of Comedy, and really so much more. If you've decided to come out to someone, have you determined satisfactorily that they are a receptive audience? Are they open-minded? Might they be be into things themselves, or if not, are they curious about what other people do? Also, assuming a change in your relationship.....like having some future disagreement or falling-out......what is their potential "threat level"? Can this person hurt you with this knowledge?
3. Test the Waters. Once you feel pretty confident about a person, don't assume it's still OK to just dive in headfirst. The trouble with diving is that you are fully committed and folks who've literally done so have sometimes been left as paraplegics or dead because the water was not what it appeared to be. Give yourself the chance to dip a toe, then perhaps just wade in the shallows for a bit. Maybe even wait for another time to go deeper.
We live in a much more open society now than we used to. Kinky stuff is everywhere. Use it. Maybe mention a game you saw in Spencer's Gifts....but don't say you own it. Ask about that recent spanking reference in some TV show. Make a joke with some "50 Shades" innuendo.
4. Read the Reaction. So? How is it going? Do they look repulsed, uncomfortable, straining to be tolerant, okay but not overly interested, curious but with reservation, actually interested, amused and into it, fascinated, or perhaps even a kindred spirit? These distinctions are important! Adjust your conversation to the reaction.
If you mentioned that game from Spencer's, and the person says, "I see that shit all the time. What the fuck is wrong with people?" THIS IS NOT YOUR PERSON! But, if they say, "I don't think I'd be very good at that game, but I have to give those people credit. They certainly take things to another level, even if it is a bit weird." perhaps they ARE. And if the person says, "eh, those games are lame. Better to come up with your own." Well, talk about a green light!
These steps give a pretty clear idea of what to be aware of, but how would such a conversation play out? Well, that can be as different as the people, the situation, the mood, and a host of other factors. Ideally, you toss out your 'test reference'....."hey, did you see that spanking scene in Big Bang Theory?" and they say, "Yeah that was hysterical. That stuff seems to be everywhere now, ever since "50 Shades". It's not our thing, but it sure does seem more popular than ever."
If I knew this person and trusted them, and knew their threat level was miniscule, I might say something like, "you are right about 'everywhere'. You could even say in this very room." Then WATCH! This is the biggie. Does the person wince, smile, or light up with curiosity? If you don't get the reaction you want, drop it. What you said could be dismissed as a joke, or lead to a detailed conversation....or anything in-between.
It's really that simple (or complicated if this is difficult for you) and nearly all of it is based on the other person's reaction. All you can do is present it all in the best possible way to entice that particular person. But even the finest lure, presented in the most skillful way, doesn't always land a fish.
Another technique is what I'll call "kinky erosion". Say it's a relative and someone who won't necessarily do you harm, but could be awkward since you are stuck with them for life. Again, if they satisfy the main criteria, you can let little things slip here and there over a long period of time. Maybe a spank joke one day, perhaps a 'better behave' warning to a spouse on another? You just acclimate the person to the notion that you and your partner might be one of those people. If they care about you and are supportive, after a while of dropping hints, one day, some perfect opportunity might arise, and when you DO 'come out' more directly, their reaction might not be shock, but "I kind of figured".
All I can say in conclusion is that for Rosa and me there are those who know and those who don't. The line that separates them is based on what I've written here. Rosa is as open as I am and yet besides one major hinting incident, that was pretty direct, she has not come out to her mother even though she loved that I came out to mine. It's not that I did it better. It's the difference between the two mothers. I wouldn't come out to her mother either. It's not that she's a bad person, she's a real sweetheart, but so much of a sweetheart that she'd NEVER understand DD.
(One day while visiting in Peru, we bought this novelty whip unique to the country. They are sold in lots of places as souvenirs. Her mother saw our purchases that day and saw the whip. She didn't think anything of it because as I said, these are routinely purchased by tourists, but Rosa decided to take it a step further and said, "I got that to use on KD when he misbehaves." Rather than wink or smile or encourage her daughter, my MIL said, "oh no, when you have a disagreement, you should settle it with kisses not hitting." Now who in their right mind would pursue a kinky confession after that?!)
However, at this point, more people know than don't.....to differing degrees. Nothing bad has ever happened to either of us. I'm retired and Rosa is still employed. But we are in NJ where such a revelation would be a non-issue for just about anyone anywhere, even if they hated us. For us the risk-to-reward has been in favor of coming out and because of that, our openness has certainly and emphatically enhanced our lives more than ever being a detriment.