Ssshhh! Your guide to kinky scene outing

Kinky Scene Outing: Are you harming others by accident?

Kinky scene outing? That’s the the last thing on your mind right now.

You have only just joined the kinky community and all you want is to explore your fetishes and make new friends.

I know you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge for a while; and now you’ve actually done it: You’ve attended your first Munch.

It feels good, doesn’t it?

Take away message:

  • Many incidents of outing can happen unintentionally
  • Both vanilla lives and kinky lives should be protected

It should do.

You’re not on the outside looking in any more; you have joined the community. Now you’ve joined the ranks of the kinksters who understand the value of interacting face-to-face with other kinksters.

The same kinksters who know that meeting in person is still the best way of getting other people to trust you enough to share, mentor or befriend you.

You’ve made the leap.

Now each time you attend a Munch, it will help build up faith in your person. And if you keep attending, magic will start happening. Job done, right?

Sadly not…

To earn other kinksters’ trust you need to do more than just show your face. You need to demonstrate that you understand and respect Rule #1.

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The 1st rule of Kink-Club is: You do not OUT others.
The 2nd rule of Kink-Club is: You DO NOT OUT the other kinksters!

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But what is outing?

There is a covenant, a pledge, an implicit understanding if you will, that each member of the kinky scene will protect our other members and avoid at all costs leaking any information about their identity, kinks and sexuality to friends, families, colleagues: basically to anyone else.

Go to thesaurus.com and look for a synonym for the phrase ‘break the rules’.

Breech? Transgress?

Violate.

No wonder then that along with the concept of consent, this rule is one of the foundation stones of kinky spaces.

Yet there are some occasions that might be a little less clear-cut; so that you end up unintentionally harming others and damaging your own reputation within the BDSM community, not out of maliciousness but out of a lapse in judgement.

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Getting outed is an extremely uncomfortable prospect for most of us

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Different types of outing

Kinky Scene Outing #1: Outing someone kinky to someone not kinky

People’s sex lives are their own. Any sexy fun that happens between consenting adults is private. If for whatever reason you happen to know specifics about a person’s kinks, keep your knowledge to yourself and endeavour to forget you ever found out any details about it.

No matter how spicy or titillating, this is as far from harmless gossip as it is possible to get.

Worse is a misjudged decision to out a kinkster to ‘nillas out of some misplaced sense of moral duty. You love them and feel they will have more fun if they stopped hiding? Or you hate them and you think they deserve the backlash? You are convinced the world will be a better place if everyone just stood up and owned their sexuality proudly and in public?

Of course, you are entitled to your views. But you cannot act on them. This is not your decision to make. The only person who gets to decide if and when and to whom to come out is the person concerned.

Another misplaced motivation for outing a kinkster is the desire to draw an argument between you into the light, hoping that shaming or embarrassing them will win you points or weaken their arsenal. You think you are inviting them to an honourable public debate on an issue you and they don’t agree on. But there is nothing honourable about outing.

Kinky Scene Outing #2: Outing someone’s real-life information to someone kinky

The reverse also counts as outing, of course. We all lead layered lives and most of us want the kinky layer to remain invisible to those outside the kinky scene.

Do you know a kinkster in real life? Are you colleagues? Were they trusting enough to share with you personal information about their job or family? However you have happened across this information, it is a secret and not yours to share.

If they say on FetLife that they live in Antarctica and you know they actually live in London, do not tell anyone else. If you are aware that someone is using a pseudonym, keep this knowledge to yourself. Nobody else needs to know that John is really called Peter. Or that Anna is really into being whipped by a hot chick in a leather catsuit. If you happen to know that a particular kinkster is married or a doctor or has five kids and a dog called Fido? Mum’s the word.

The argument “but they’re in the community, everyone is cool here” is not a good argument. It is not your information to share.

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It is not your information to share

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Kinky Scene Outing #3: Outing someone kinky in a vanilla setting

It’s best not to acknowledge someone you know from a kinky context in real life. Don’t approach people you know from your kinky activities in a vanilla setting, unless you know them well and you have a “credible reason” to know them outside of kinky life. You don’t know who the person standing behind them in the queue for the ice cream is – it may be their mother, daughter, wife, lover, etc.

At the end of the day, being ignored by you when they expected you to say hello will be easy for them to shrug off and for you to explain. Given the choice, absolutely any kinkster would prefer getting ignored to getting accidentally outed.

Even if you look entirely vanilla when you greet them, you are still putting them in the uncomfortable position of having to come up with a lie on the spot to explain away why they know you. Are you sure they can pull it off without blushing and looking guilty? Are you sure their wife can’t tell that they are lying? What will happen next, after you have walked away?

Just steer clear unless you know them well enough to be absolutely certain that acknowledging them in a public vanilla setting is definitely okay. If they haven’t explicitly stated that this is the case, err on the side of caution.

Kinky Scene Outing #4: Outing someone’s vanilla information in a new kinky setting

This is probably the hardest form of outing to wrap one’s head around but it exists too. Context is everything, and while a kinkster you know might feel comfortable revealing some of his real-life information in one kinky context, say their local munch that they have been attending for years, the same might not be true in a different kinky setting, such as a play party where most attendees are strangers to them.

Just to be on the safe side, if you see someone you know from Munch A at Party B – do not approach them and use their legal name or mention any vanilla information such their kids, job, marital status etc. Wait until you understand how they have chosen to represent themselves in this particular space. Our kinky alter egos serve many purposes and it is not our jobs to judge, censor or put anything to rights.

Stick to the common information that you all know about – FetLife name and known kinks listed on the profile page. Wait for guidance on using any other name or information. If you are unsure, ask. But do not risk outing them inadvertently.

So, is there a fifth type of outing? Yes. And no.

Kinky Scene Outing #5: Outing someone to stop abuse

Is it ever OK to out someone?

Absolute positions in matters of ethics trap us on hamster wheels of irrationality. Exercise your judgement as well as caution.

If someone is a systematic outer who is wrecking lives intentionally and persistently, members of the community should be warned.

Likewise, if you become aware of or find yourself on the receiving end of dangerous, abusive or violent behaviour, do not buy into what a predator is using as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

It is their behaviour that has violated the kinky community’s very foundation stone by ignoring non-consent; therefore, he or she has lost any claims to protection of identity. Abusive behaviour is neither vanilla nor kinky. It is unacceptable.

Protecting members of the community, including yourself, from potential harm does not constitute ‘outing’.

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Abusive behaviour is neither vanilla nor kinky. It is unacceptable.

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To sum up our notes about kinky scene outing

Outing increases the risks to all of us trying to protect our layered lives. Our sexuality is probably the most private part of our identities and it is very complex. Society is very suspicious of any variations that break away from heteronormative sexual behaviours and outliers can easily become targets or outcasts.

Ironically, these negative feelings that spring from awareness of our non-conformity are transmuted into feelings of joyful self-acceptance, self-respect and self-confidence when we do find the perfect partner(s) or join the kinky community and begin to explore our sexuality within the context of the tolerance that so characteristic of the kink scene.

So, join our community. Come to the Munch; go to kinky workshops; attend sexy parties. Have fun exploring your sexuality. Just remember that under almost any set of circumstances, information is power and any such power that comes into your possession should be yielded honourably and responsibly.

When we all honour the pledge to protect each other’s identity, every member of the scene feels safe to explore their kinks and fetishes within the haven of a community that bonds and coheres over a shared secret.

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