June 20 1999 EhBC Online Discussion

<`abi> Tonight's topic is "Guess what I did on the weekend? Coming out to family and friends". We will be logging this discussion for posting to the ehbc website. If you wish your nick to be changed to "Guest" on the log before it is posted, please message me.

<`abi> who wants to start?....How do you decide who it's appropriate to come out to?

<^llara^> my best friend knows...

<lil^bear^> my mom and dad know

<^llara^> my parents...no

<^llara^> my friend...took the time to learn...although she is not into BDSM

<`abi> how did you decide to tell her llara?

<^llara^> and understand

<^llara^> well...

<^llara^> mmm...i had my Master on her notify on her PC

<^llara^> she saw Him come online

<^llara^> she called

<^llara^> DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS????

<^llara^> lol

<^llara^> from there...she read...she talked to me....talked to some ppl.....and learned

<`abi> and how did you discuss it with her llara?...what did you tell her?

<^llara^> mmmm.....

<^llara^> well i let her ask whatEVER she wanted

<^llara^> i have known her for 15 years

<`abi> so, you felt comfortable that she would understand?

<^llara^> oh yesssssssss

<^llara^> totally

<^llara^> and deepened our friendship completely

<^llara^> i remember the discussion we had about clamps...lol

<`abi> is that a criterian for disclosing?...a certainty that you won't be judged?

<PanheadAL> i have a few friends that know about it and have talked to them about it becouse they where instred in it

<^llara^> i showed her mine

<`abi> did she want to try them out llara? :)

<^llara^> no..but we have...a special friendship

<^llara^> nope..she didn't

<^llara^> but then i said...when you make love to your husband..does he not bite..or pull your nips perhaps too hard....

<`abi> ...so she understands, without wanting to embrace the lifestyle herself?

<^llara^> yes totally

<^llara^> when i made the comparison to her..she understodd

<`abi> did it help that you were able to show her some paralells?

<^llara^> she was worried for my safety...

<^llara^> yes totally

<`abi> how did you reassure her about that?

<^llara^> walk by and pull my nip it hurts.....do it at the right time it doesn't...when she saw that....she understood

<^llara^> how...be being open...about my interests.....

<`abi> lil bear....was telling your parent different than telling your friends might be?

<^llara^> and showing her i was making good decisions

<^llara^> she would come in here now to meet all of you if i asked

<`abi> have you ever taken her to any BDSM events llara?

<`forbidden> i came out to my sister in law

<^llara^> no......

<^llara^> but she met a Dom i was playing with

<^llara^> and got to know him well

<`abi> was it a good experience forbidden?

<`forbidden> yes it was abi

<`abi> what kinds of things did you tell her forbidden?

<lil^bear^> lol..telling my family was easy...mom has always called me passive..and well i was sick when i told themmthey where getting on my nerves babying me and stuff..soo..well...i told them..smae time i told them i was bi..

<`forbidden> she thought that all this was just about whips, chains and kinky sex

<`abi> was it important for you that she understand more than that?

<lil^bear^> ohh my mom new it wasnt..

<^llara^> the media...is a great obstacle

<`forbidden> yes it was abi

<`abi> lilbear...did you roll your bisexuality and BDSM into one disucssion?

<lil^bear^> she calls the way i live a fifties relationship woith a difinite hierarchy in the home..lol..with a twist..

<`forbidden> i didn't want her to think that i would just let someone abuse me or that it is as simple and whips and chains

<lil^bear^> yup..i did...

<`abi> how is the media an obsticle llara?

<^llara^> how it portrays BDSM....

<`abi> do yo see it that way lilbear?...like a fifties relationship?

<^llara^> they don't talk about all the emotional stuff that goes on

<^llara^> the taboos it breaks...

<^llara^> the trust it creates

<^llara^> the media makes it look like whips..chains...beating

<`abi> does that make it harder for friends and family to comprehend WIITWD?

<^llara^> some of my most intense secnes.......haven't had one D/s toy

<lil^bear^> ya I do..a Master has the final say in decisions..not that my input isnt good tho..for it is and is important and helping him make that decision...

<`abi> When is it appropriate *not* to tell friends and family?

* Lord^^Jay nods and agrees with lil^bear^

<`abi> Has anyone had a bad experience with disclosure?

<lil^bear^> i agree llara..and you decide how much u tell..mom knows all..dad doesnt if dad ever knew a flogger was used on me...well he would come hunt the guy down..

<`abi> does Dad know anything lilbear?

<lil^bear^> dad knows that i am "passive" and that i [refer a fifties relationship...but nuthing sexual..he would flip...

<`abi> so having a good idea how someone will react is important in deciding how much to tell

<^llara^> i think an enivornment of non judgemnet

* lil^bear^ watches the door

<^llara^> non judgement...is who you tell

<^llara^> and the other persons ability to listen........

<`abi> is it ever appropriate to tell someone, even if we know they will be judgemental?

<^llara^> and ask intelligent questions...

<^llara^> its appropriate..if you feel the need yes

<^llara^> only the person can decide that

<`abi> what is that need about?...why do feel the need to disclose?..what difference does it make?

<^llara^> then..you need to be prepared though for the judgement that follows

<^llara^> i don't....at all.....my parents don't need to know about what i do behind closed doors

<^llara^> i have never had the desrie to tell them

* ^brandy agrees with llara

<`abi> so is it about our need to tell or their need to know?

* Grrowl agrees with brandy agreeing iwth llara

<^llara^> like kids don't want to know their parents have sex......neither do they really want to know what i engage in

<^llara^> sometimes...its perhaps..i do this..so THERE

<^llara^> so now what are you going to do about it

<^llara^> other times...you have the relationship you need...to tell

<^llara^> i don't think there is a definitive answer for that one

<`forbidden> well my sis in law was always curious as to all the parties and gatherings i was going to out of town

<`forbidden> so i finally said "do you really wanna know what i'm doing"

<`forbidden> and she did so i told her

<`abi> What changes when people know? Does it change your relationship with them?

<`forbidden> i find that me and her are closer now

<^llara^> the right kind of relationship..no it shouldn't

<lil^bear^> didnt with mom

<lil^bear^> did with some friends

<^llara^> not in a bad ways anyways

<^llara^> fear of the unknown..not being open minded does that..not your choice of a lifestyle

<`forbidden> and i can go to her and talk to her about the things i go through

<^llara^> for ie...lil..your being bi....ignorance...might turn some women off from being friends with you

<^llara^> but you don't want every man you meet...galls me that other think bi/gay ppl want every person they meet

<`abi> is there ever a sense that " these people don't know who I really am, and I want them to know?"

<`forbidden> sometimes i feel like that abi

<^llara^> depends on who that person is in my life

<`forbidden> but then i run to my BDSM friends who do know me

<^llara^> its about boundaries...

<^llara^> and who you let in..and how far

<^llara^> not everyone needs to know everything

<`abi> What can you do if they react badly...is there damage control?

<^llara^> and i would question someone that felt that they needed everyone to know everything about their life

<^llara^> that is THEIR problem..not yours

<^llara^> providing you are making safe sane consentual choices

<^llara^> ppl react based on their own prejudices most times

<^llara^> and it really has little to do with you

<`abi> that would suggest you need to be pretty confident about your choices before you start disclosing to people llara..would you agree?

* lil^bear^ giggles..sometimes i do it just for the reaction...lol..

<^llara^> based on ignorance...fear....

<^llara^> perhaps....

<^llara^> if you are going to disclose..you are going to be questioned likely

<^llara^> that goess along with it

<`abi> How far into our BDSM life are we comfortable bringing vanilla friends and family?....do we bring them to munches, play parties...do we display our lifestyle to them?....do we ever get that comfortable?

<^llara^> i think that depends on the relationship

<lil^bear^> i dont think we should bring them to munches or play parties..i think just informing them is enough..making them aware...

<^llara^> there are no black and white answers to any of these questions

<`abi> no, there certainly aren't llara...perhaps that's what makes the decision to disclose a difficult one for some people

<^llara^> but...in reality

<^llara^> is it any more difficult to disclose this..than other issues???

<`abi> good question....is it?

<^llara^> you disclose most things to those you trust

<^llara^> i don't think so

<^llara^> this is just another issue

<MistressAstra> I think abi it also depends if you want to live this lifestyle 24/7, so people know what to expect if they drop by unexpectantly.

<^llara^> and the ppl you trust...you tell

<^llara^> ppl you don't...you don't

<^llara^> same as anything else

<`abi> good point Astra...perhaps the level at which you live the lifestyle dictates your need to disclose

<^llara^> do we feel the need to say...we are vanilla or not?

<^llara^> and chances are if you are 24/7 most of your friends are as well

<lil^bear^> i myself am not ashamed of being submissive it is a part of me and has been all my life..damn mom has always called me passive...and if ppl ask..i tell..and i honestly answer there questions...if they want more then they shall ask..i wont offer to do a munch or a play party ...

<`abi> what about bringing out toys, books lilbear?

<lil^bear^> if they ask..yes...

<MistressAstra> not true llara, i have no true friends in the bdsm group, but i have very many vanilla friends, who find it kinda cool;)

<lil^bear^> i also have alot fo vanilla friends..who find it interesting

<^llara^> yes..but you tend to surround yourself with like minds and thoughts....be it bdsm or anything else

<lil^bear^> llara..i have more vannilla friends then bdsm friends...

<^llara^> nods as i do

<`abi> and do most of them know lilbear?

<lil^bear^> yes..all of them...lol..even my boss....

<`abi> what about overlap....do your BDSM friends mix and mingle with your vanilla friends?

<lil^bear^> yes..they do

<lil^bear^> i took a vanilla friedn to toronto last night..met up with some bdsm friends..

<^llara^> i think that is like asking...do your black friends mix with your white friends

<BernieRoehl> I brought a vanilla friend to the picnic... she had fun.

<`abi> is it the same thing llara?

<trufriend> i've had a vanilla friend attend two London munches recently

<PanheadAL> hey trufriend

<PanheadAL> how you doing

<cyberbrat_> trying to convert her, tru? :)

<trufriend> nope....just letting her know what i'm into

<^llara^> its a choice of life style.

<MistressAstra> ive brought out a seamstress friend of mine who goes to the Limelight on Fet nights more that i do..lOL

<^llara^> i don't know..i just think its made a bigger issue than it needs to be

<^llara^> do you ask your vanilla friends about their sexual activity?

<`abi> that's an interesting issue brat...is there a perception that we are trying to convert...win the microwave by disclosing?

<trufriend> i had to "come out of the closet", my husband forced it out in court

<^llara^> so why should you be expected to answer questions about yours cause you are into BDSM

<^llara^> that is a diff issue all together

<`abi> but we usually think that this is about more than sexual activity do we not llara?

<^llara^> that is petty and is being used against you

<lil^bear^> it is more then sex...

<^llara^> yes...but 'vanilla' don't

<cyberbrat_> if i were trying to convert someone, i would feel as though i was brining them to the door of something wonderful, and giving them the choice of walking through that door... not forcing disclosure

<^llara^> again goes back to the media thing

<`abi> so, is that then part of the need to disclose llara...the need for people who are close to us to know that?

<^llara^> its an issue like any other in life as far as i am concerned....and you disclose and tell ppl you trust

<MistressAstra> one thing i find cool about the bdsm lifestyle, is that many fet outfits are considered mainstream, i own many pvc fet items which i wear out all the time:)

<^llara^> i didn't have nor do i have a great need to tell..it was happened upon.....

<^llara^> and it worked out to betterment of our friendship

<^llara^> she in turn was then able to disclose something considered 'taboo' to me

<`abi> what about the issue of being outed against your will...what kinds of problems can that cause

<`abi> Is there ever a sense that "I'd rather tell them myself than have them find out some other way?"

<^llara^> i haven't had the experience

<^llara^> of course......give you control over the situation...and you hope you can trust the person with the disclosure

<`abi> so...people finding out isn't something we worry about?

<^llara^> again...depends on who you are

<`abi> is what we do socially acceptable enough that we don't need to be concerned?

<``forbidden> if people in my life find out on *accident* then there's nothing i can really do except say "this is me" *shrug*

<^llara^> i think its like anything else that society doesnt' understand...or want to understand....

<^llara^> there is always going to be a segment..that figures they have all the answers...

<trufriend> i'm hearing the lifestyle of bdsm like it's some terrible disease!

<^llara^> like racism...like homosexuality.....like any of those issues

<trufriend> why should we have to hide anything?

<^llara^> you know...

<PanheadAL> it is not trufriend by any means

<``forbidden> i don't *have to* hide i chose to right now

<`abi> another way to ask the question tru is how much do we need to reveal?...what is our comfort level

<trufriend> i know it's not a disease, but i lost physical custody of my son because of it.....i have to live in fear of my ex husband "finding out" and end up losing complete custody of my son......WHY??? just because of others' ignorance?!

<`abi> how comfortable are we with being judged...because unconditional disclosure will surely bring sensure from some people

<^llara^> again abi..i think disclosing this issue...is really NOT that different from some other disclosure we make in our lives sometimes

<`abi> is the need to change public perception one of the reasons we disclose?

<^llara^> we all like to think we have an effect on our little corner of the world

<`abi> do we have an effect when we disclose llara?

<^llara^> depends again on who we disclose to...and how open they are to learn

<^llara^> and then *maybe* that will ripple out

<lil^bear^> yes we do have an affect....depends not on who but on how we disclose...

<trufriend> if enough of us disclose abi.......maybe we can make that difference.....we're already seeing more references in the media

<BernieRoehl> Yes, agreed tru.

<`abi> any suggestions on how to disclose lilbear?

<lil^bear^> when i disclose it is done in a light manner..with humor..without making it sound like a dark dirty secret...

<BernieRoehl> Those of us who are lucky enough to have that option should exercise it. That's the only way we'll ever find true acceptance.

<`abi> Is "Look at this great bruise I got this weekend" a good approach?....

<lil^bear^> there is nuthing wrong with BDSM..its ppl mindset and if we can change that..then there will be acceptance nd the way to change it is not to make an issue out of it..

<trufriend> i found out last week that London has a club that holds "Bondage Thursdays" and has had them for the last 3 years!

<BernieRoehl> Really? Where, tru?

<^llara^> see and Bernie......i think......true acceptance comes from within.....and not often does it come from those around us

<abigaille> does the club scene help or hinder the public perception of what we do?

<^llara^> even within the lifestyle...for certain activities....there is not always true acceptance

<trufriend> and anybody that has attended the London munches since we started at The Honest Lawyer, may have noticed that much of the staff is bdsm friendly, the management knows what the group is and have no problems either...

<abigaille> when we tell family and friends....people close to us...does it change the way they think about us?

<^llara^> again..it may..or may not

<trufriend> the club is on Richmond Street by York Street Bernie, under another club called Ichabod's

<BernieRoehl> I think true acceptance does *start* from within, but the only way to change society's perceptions is to actively seek acceptance from those around us.

<BernieRoehl> I've "come out" to almost all my close friends, and even some co-workers.

<^llara^> and again..i think you start that by disclosing to those who you know will be open minded..ask intelligent questions.....

<^llara^> and be willing to learn

<trufriend> my family think i'm "just confused" and "misled"

<BernieRoehl> So far, it hasn't been a problem. Not everyone has understood it, but they've all accepted it and none of them have treated me any differently.

<abigaille> is there any way to change that perception tru?

<trufriend> not with my family......so i have learned to accept their rationale for what it's worth

<trufriend> and i know not to bring up the subject around them

<abigaille> so ultimately the most important acceptance is acceptance of ourselves....and a willingness to share that where we feel it's safe to do so

<trufriend> my cousins are all pretty cool about it though.......but again, they don't talk much about it either

<trufriend> they just don't treat me like somebody different....like my mom does

<^llara^> okay...think of this....

<^llara^> many many ppl live a lifestyle....that many are not aware of..even those close to them......

<abigaille> someone mentioned earlier about drawing a parallel for someone...nipple clamps not being much different than a pinch.....are there other parallels that we can draw for people that will make it easier for them to understand?

<lil^bear^> ok time for this one..to get some sleep....

<^llara^> we are afraid...embarrassed...ashamed to tell......domestic violence..alcholism...drug addiction.....when you decide to tell..who do you tell first?

<BernieRoehl> Spanking is something that a lot of vanilla people accept as fun and harmless.

<^llara^> what draws you to tell

<abigaille> the difference being that there is something wrong with those things llara...we need people to understand that there isn't anything wrong with this lifestyle choice

<^llara^> but.....the feeling of having to disclose is the same

<^llara^> because.....society thinks its wrong

<^llara^> even if it snot

<abigaille> is it?..are the reasons the same?...

<^llara^> see what i mean?

<abigaille> presumablly we don't disclose in order to seek help

<^llara^> so you go to those you trust the most.....

<^llara^> of course not.....but i would wager....the feelings at times........are the same

<trufriend> looking for approval?!

<lil^bear^> night everyone..and keep smiling..k...life is good!!!!!!!!!!!

<^llara^> and some DO feel they need help

<^llara^> depending on where they are with this

<^llara^> any disclosure in life..starts with someone close to you

<^llara^> gauge reactions..then you move further out

<^llara^> and you gather support

<^llara^> this is no different

<^llara^> and yes...at times some might disclose in a BDSM relationship because they DO need help

<^llara^> its all about fear of judgement

<abigaille> are they likely to get that help from outside the BDSM community llara?

<^llara^> regardless of the issue

<^llara^> perhaps.....

<^llara^> vanilla doesn't always get help within the vanilla community either

<^llara^> that has been proven time and time again

<abigaille> so...in summation....it's important for us to be comfortable first with ourselves...and then to let the ripples of accepance flow from there...as others come to understand us and our lifestyle

<taymar> Just jumping in here. I do fear others' judgements

<abigaille> thank you for all for participating in our discussion tonight...feel free to continue chatting :)