On January 9, we held a coffee talk meeting discussing privacy and discretion when it comes to navigating your way through all of the exciting outlets of the sex-positive community. We expected about a dozen to attend, but 25 showed up from all walks of life!
Here is what we came up with:
First of all, will we see a time when we can be ourselves publicly? Half the group thought it could be done within our lifetime, say 20 years, but others speculated it would take a couple generations. Personally I think we’ll see some major changes in the next decade due to how rapidly technology is progressing. Empathy is also on the rise, which fosters acceptance of other people.
We all agreed that religion and shame are to blame for the sexual repression. Society employs pervasive ways to keep us in a cloak of insecurity, which promotes fear. Fear keeps us in check and inhibits growth. If you want to see change, you need to follow your heart and demonstrate courage. Here are some ways you can do it safely.
When in public and referring to your alternative lifestyle friends, err on the side of caution and default to screen names, aliases, stage names, pen names, or persona, depending on the community. Don’t walk up to an acquaintance you met at a crazy party and start discussing how great the dungeon was the other night. In the middle of the grocery store. This happened to a friend of mine the other day, and he found it most disconcerting.
There WILL be a safe public place in town where discussions like that can take place. Opening late February, Shameless Grounds will be a radically inclusive sex-positive community center – there will be no screening, the vibe will be open and honest.
In order to attend private parties that are of a more intimate nature, it’s understandable that screening needs to take place. Often you need to join a site or group, email someone, or have a reference in order to get you in.
If you have a sexy alter ego – say you’re a mommy blogger by day and a vixen sex blogger at night and you very much want to keep those two identities separate – don’t make the mistake I did and use the same email address for both accounts. They will eventually get linked. If you want to keep things separate, create separate accounts for your real name and your persona, right down to individual email addresses.
Google yourself often, say once a month, in order to keep tabs on your online whereabouts. Log out of your social media profiles when not in use.
The decision to use a real name or an alias should be based on your own personal situation – do you have kids, family, or a job to consider? What about future plans? Will you be applying for a job at some point? Will it matter what they find? The WebMaster of The Beautiful Kind wrote an excellent article on online privacy tips that goes into more detail – you can read it here.