BDSM Info Emotions

My Ongoing Internal Debate: Opening Up About Kink or Not

Over the holidays, I thought I’d tell my mom about my trip to London for Eroticon.

I knew I wouldn’t tell her it was a conference for sex bloggers and erotic writers called Eroticon. Something vague like, “I’m going to London in March. For a writer’s conference.”

Which would have, of course, prompted several questions, but I had my answers ready to go.

I’ve made a lot of UK writing friends and connection.

No, we’re not going into debt to pay for it.

Yes, I’m sure we can afford it.

Yes, I’ll bring you back a souvenir.

I even put together a sort of pseudo answer for when I got the push-back on exactly why London was where I needed to go. “I do some writing under a pen name about certain topics that some people in the family might not want to read. It’s allowed me to make some excellent connections. Yes, even in London.”

But I never said a word. It’s not exactly a conversation I wanted to have over Christmas dinner while cutting up my youngest’s turkey or passing the butter to my stepfather. It was supposed to be a private one-on-one talk, a moment we never got.

Part of me feels like a coward. The other part is relieved.

I’ll still have to tell her about going to London. Ever since my father died 15 years ago, we agreed to always tell the other when we were away from home for any length of time. We like knowing when the plane takes off and touches down, knowing where the other is, and whether we need to worry or not.

What I can’t seem to decide is how much to tell.

My sex life is my own private business. And, er, the business of everyone who chooses to read about it here, too. (Yes, I see the irony.) There’s no rule that says anyone has to “come out” as kinky – or that anyone should.

Plenty of people keep their BDSM and D/s ways a secret from the vast majority of their life, and they never question that decision or see a need to do anything other than keep it private. There are those who are more open about it, though. They’re the people I’m most in awe of. They let people have their opinions without it seeming to (from the outside looking in) effect them.

And I have no doubt that if my vanilla family had even a small clue about my kinky life, there would be opinions. Lots of them. None of them good.

How can you let him do that to you?

Isn’t that abuse?

What in the hell is wrong with you?

I can hear certain voices in my head as clear as if they were speaking to me. I want to avoid that at all costs. But it’s probably the judgement I can’t anticipate that would crush me most. The look in someone’s eyes as they wonder what kind of deviant I really am or if I’m a danger to my children (yes, some people think that about kinksters). If even one person decided they were wrong about John Brownstone’s goodness because of our kinky ways, I would see red. And I would be devastated.

So I say nothing.

I also wonder who might be open to the idea of BDSM and kink. Who in my life would see the change I’ve gone through over the past five years and think that maybe this kink thing was a good thing for me? Are some of my family and friends more open than I give them credit for?

Strangely enough, in this space as Kayla Lords, I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I know exactly who I am (a kinky work in progress, if you wondered). I worked hard to learn to love myself – submissive babygirl, Type A basketcase, control freak, and all. My relationship is rock solid and needs no one’s approval. I share what I know and believe while still thinking everyone has to do this kink thing the way you see fit (assuming consent and legalities are followed, of course).

But as the vanilla me, I’m reserved, nervous, terrified of judgement. I know that if I ever let the vanilla side of my life in, it would color the way I write or at the very least, give me second thoughts about what I share.

So why do I have this constant back and forth over whether to let anyone on the vanilla side of things know about this kinky life of mine?

I honestly have no idea. Well, no clear idea. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I do things I’m proud of. I’ve made friends and connected with amazing people over the years. I’ve set goals I couldn’t have conceived of a few years ago.

Is it ego that makes me want to out myself? Or is it because I’m so happy with the life I’m building that I want to share it with everyone I know?

And is everyone I know worthy of seeing this side of who I am? The answer, I’m afraid, is probably not.

Maybe the answer is somewhere in the middle. Maybe it’s more like what other kinky and blogging friends do. They don’t advertise it. They don’t shove it in their family’s face. But they don’t hide it, either.

Y’all, I don’t have any answers. Like everything else, what we do has to work for our unique situations. I want the answer to be that middle ground, that the people who matter know I do this thing but don’t know the details. That I’m not hiding a damn thing, just living my life. If someone wants to know more, I’d tell them. That’s how I’d like it to be, scary as it seems to me right now.

But I also know the first step down that path begins with a conversation about a trip to London.

About the author

Kayla Lords

I am a sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, international speaker, kink educator, and all-around kinky woman. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have happy healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!


  • Very much something that everyone has to decide for themselves. In some ways it gets easier as you get older (I am in my 50s) – in other ways it gets harder (I am a parent and, since the porn magazine market collapsed, I have had to get and try to retain a ‘straight’ job). Some of my family know, but don’t want details; none of my straight employers do. The only thing I would add is that we do, all of us, owe EL James this one small thing – since her books came out, it’s become a lot more likely that people’s response would be more amused/intrigued than horrified if you *write* about kink…

    • I agree with you, and I keep hearing things get easier (some things, anyway) as you get older. Does that mean I’m not old enough? Gosh, I hope so. 😉

      Yeah, I think if I didn’t give my family this name and just told them I write about “that 50 Shades stuff” it might be a little less horrifying for everyone. We shall see…eventually, maybe, eeek! 🙂

  • I have a don’t ask/don’t tell policy. If they don’t ask, I don’t tell. On top of that, if I feel they won’t like the answer they get one chance to retract the question. And, on top of that, if I feel they’ll be hurtful or cruel about my answer, then I only give the most basic, non-detailed answer.

  • I wish you the best outcome for the conversation . I hope to come to Eroticon be amazing to meet you . You are fantastic your words are wise and inspiring .

  • Kayla,

    Write a few stories about coming out. They don’t have to be blog pieces, but let yourself feel all the uncomfortable emotions in a few disclosures. I’m guessing you’ll handle things pretty well and get some direction from the experience. You may not ever actually disclose, but you’ll be much better prepared if it does come up suddenly at some point.


    • That’s a really good idea. I’ll have to try it. I’m still getting used to the idea of writing things that other people may never read. This might be good practice for that. 🙂

  • Hello miss Kayla-

    Based on your writ, I’m pretty sure this isn’t really as much of a debate as it is controlled anger regarding the judging we both suspect vanilla-ers might have after the first five words exit our lips. For obvious reasons, it would solicit unwanted attention and might result in loss of relationships, many of which are cherished. It then begs the question, why risk the reward when the potential loss might be irrecoverable, right?

    My sister recently saw Mynx and I together and said, “You guys look sooo good! Whatever you’re doing to get your happiness, keep it up!” Naturally, I immediately shut off the radar and let down my guard- for about a tenth of a second. My analytical self cut off power to my voice, tongue and lips. An emergency was declared. I had been hacked by my sister’s phishing attempt. She never said, “So tell me what you’re doing to be so happy?!” My analytical antivirus declared an “all stop” modus operandi.

    Yes, I so badly wanted to tell her because I felt that she too might benefit from it. The realist analyst side knew for sure it would lead to judgement and disaster. Clearly, not worth the price of admission.

    And then there’s this other thang rearing its ugly head y’all… if our kink were deemed acceptable, we’d all come out regarding our kinks and have no worries about being judged. Instead, I’m pretty sure we all have gone to great lengths to protect our anonymity, preserving our caged freedom to speak via cloaked blogs and sometimes in person with fellow kinsters, correct? And as frustrating as it is, this mode of existing within our bounds (pun intended) allows our outward happiness to shine in both Vanillaland and Kinkyville.

    Spengler: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you.
    Venkman: What?
    Spengler: Don’t cross the streams.
    Venkman: Why?
    Spengler: It would be bad.
    Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
    Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
    Stantz: Total protonic reversal!
    Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

    And one other thought; perhaps it’s the secretiveness of our kinky behaviors which helps maintain the mysterious allure driving our growth in kink? Conclusion: keeping your proverbial streams uncrossed unless you’re seeking new drama to add to your life, I believe is the most sane answer, just sayin ?

    Love & Respect to you & Mr Brownstone, miss Kayla

    -Mr TW ?

    • TW, I love hearing your perspective – AND that with your limited time, you decided to share it! ((HUGS))

      I think I know the answer is that I won’t say much (if anything) but because I’ve allowed this to be part of my professional life, I find it harder and harder not to – work is such a big topic in my family, and damn it, I’m proud of what I do – but yeah, crossing the streams would very likely bring drama, something I avoid like the plague. Sigh.

      Love and hugs to you and yours. (((HUGS)))

  • This is definitely an inner battle I fight, not just about revealing my interest in kink, but telling people I love (my family, mostly) that I write erotic fiction. I never got to tell either of my parents. I was so proud of my books, but I realized that I would have simply made them feel conflicted and uncomfortable.

    I do so admire your courage in analyzing your self and your motives.

    • Yessss, I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable simply because they know a few too many details. And I almost think I could tell (most of) my family that I write erotica because we’re all such voracious readers but one Google search of my name and they’d know WAY more than they bargained for – proving I never intended to be more than a super secret sex blogger, lol, and everything got bigger than I originally thought it would. Ah well, the great debate continues.

  • There are only two people who know both my real name and the URL of my blog, and one is my partner. There are two others who only know about the blog, and this point there’s no one else that I trust with even that much info.

    I know for a fact that my mom would not want to know the first thing about anything on my blog and if she accidentally found out would ignore it and probably make great efforts to forget everything. Since we work together, there was no way to avoid telling her about my trip to London for Eroticon, But I didn’t mention the conference at all. Fortunately I’ve been to England enough times that it’s familiar, and she’s not that curious either 🙂

    But this makes me really boring at small talk these days. All the most interesting things going on in my life right now are things I don’t talk about with friends and family, and the stuff that I’m willing to talk about (like work) is tedious.

    • “All the most interesting things going on in my life right now are things I don’t talk about with friends and family, and the stuff that I’m willing to talk about (like work) is tedious.”

      YES! All of this! There is so much I want to share but I know the consequences will be more than I want to handle.

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