This is the fifth installment in the fictional journal of a forty-something woman on a journey of self-discovery. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental...
There are many reasons that my favourite website is also a favourite internationally of so many other people. Some folks use the site as a platform to soft-sell services or products from porn to vacuum pumps to leather goods. Others use it as a platform form to express their viewpoints and some of these live in places where their kink could get them arrested or worse. Others like it because here they can use all those dirty little words you can’t use in polite company in most places. Some love it for the naughty games like “fuck or pass”, where you view the profile of the person who posts above you in the discussion thread and decide whether you would fuck them or pass. Where else can you exercise your exhibitionist streak and post nude or semi-nude pictures of yourself and have someone send you feedback that they love the contrast of your painted finger nails against the pale skin of your breasts. In short, it provides a powerful and validating outlet for thoughts and images that might never be otherwise shared.
It’s an odd sort of culture this website. While it is acceptable to set up and play games like “fuck or pass” and “spank or pass”, to post pictures of erections, pierced labia and bruised thighs, it is not considered good form to be openly predatory in correspondence with strangers. Most folks I’ve encountered thus far have been polite, open-minded and more than willing to share their thoughts and experiences. I love the civility of this. You’re also not allowed to bash other people for their beliefs and certain things are utterly forbidden – no kiddie porn here whatsoever. No doubt, this helps contribute to the relatively comfortable atmosphere in most of the discussion threads I’ve viewed and helps to “normalize” things. This doesn’t mean that all correspondence has been pleasant. Occasionally my path has crossed with trollers ; that is, those who smell fresh meat and are drawn to it.
My first less than pleasant encounter was with someone that I had met previously on another website before I found this one. He was friendly enough at first but got a little pushy and opinionated with me quickly, scolding me for the content of my posts, etc. My initial reaction was quite strong. Besides being pissed off, I was taken aback at how his comments undermined my confidence. I went cold, responding briefly but giving him one more chance to redeem himself, in case there had been some mistake. When he squandered that opportunity, I blocked his ass (translated – I hit the block button preventing him from contacting me directly again).
Then there was the first time I received an unsolicited message from someone whose user name I had never heard of before in any discussion or group I had joined, whose only profile picture was one of an erect penis. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problems looking at an erect cock. I actually like looking at pictures of penises, erect or otherwise. It is the one part of the male anatomy that remains so well hidden in mainstream media. If you are lucky to actually get a glimpse then it is usually flaccid. It’s actually nice to see still pictures of male genitalia, out of context so they don’t provoke the typical physical response (at least not immediately). One can take her time and just look for the aesthetic pleasure of it. <sigh>
But gentlemen, do not think you are making a good first impression if your mighty cock shot is accompanied by a one or two line message in which you express your ardent desire to shove the thing in my ass! Even us perverts have standards and without some show of good manners and culture, social foreplay as it were, we are little more than chimpanzees. I think it is the level of maturity, or lack thereof that is the turn off as opposed to the language or picture. I mean, once you get to know someone, it might be utterly thrilling to have him send you a brief email telling you how he plans to pump his cock inside you when he sees you later on. But without the proper context gentlemen, instead of gasps of delight, your testosterone laden declaration is likely to elicit peals of laughter (at best), sudden invocation of the delete function and possibly the block button (at worst).
Sometimes folks are clumsy, but sincere in their unsolicited messages. One man from Africa messaged me clearly struggling with the language and grammar. Another nearly begged me to become his mistress, to sit on his face and near suffocate him while I watched television. Believe it or not, I didn’t laugh at that message. There was a level of sincerity laced with a little desperation that actually made me feel bad for him. I mean how lonely is someone to put themselves out there like that? Maybe the degradation of the request is part of his kink, but since I didn’t know (and wasn’t sure I ever wanted to know), I just hit delete.
Then there are people who just want to interact with likeminded folks. They may see something in a discussion thread or on your profile that prompts them to message you privately. Sometimes, it is as simple as a brief comment on a photo or on one of your discussion posts. I’ve had total strangers tell me how they love the picture of my legs or were moved by one of my posts. I’ve commented on pictures posted on other members’ profiles that I’ve come upon randomly and had the most amazing messages back from them. Occasionally, it turns into a sharing of very intimate personal stories.
When I finally started connecting with local kinksters online, I was thrilled at the prospect of actually meeting real people. I was so excited when I finally got an invitation to a little social gathering at a private home. In the lead up to the event, I found I was reminding myself that there is a first time for everyone. Funny that didn’t do much to alleviate the butterflies in my belly. I arrived well prepared bearing chocolate dipped fruit and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, and wearing a casual outfit that I hoped was age appropriate but not too age appropriate, to face a room full of people I’d never met before, except online.
I had flashbacks to my high school years, at those angst filled teen-age dances, when anxiety was part of the experience: Do I look okay? Can anyone see that zit on my chin? Will anyone ask me to dance? Those questions have suddenly been replaced with new ones, but containing just as much anxiety and a little fear: Will anyone think I’m too old? How should I act if there is any public play? Will I run into anyone I know from work or who, God help me, knows my mother? What will I do if this happens?
The fear is about being “outed” or to be more precise, being found out and having to explain myself. I can’t recall being fearful quite like this before. Am I ashamed of what I feel, of the interests I have? I don’t think so. Am I secure in exactly what I feel or why it is important to me? No, not yet. Maybe that’s it. The uncertainty of knowing something is important to you without knowing why could easily morph into fear and panic in a confrontational situation. I’m not yet in a place where I fully understand these new aspects of myself and I am protective of them. I’ve repressed them for so long. It doesn’t occur to me right away that anyone I might meet is at a similar disadvantage. We all have jobs, roles, responsibilities, and various public personas in the mundane world which we will still maintain out of necessity. Translated, they have as much to lose, or gain, as I do in stepping out to attend this evening’s event.
The challenge for all of us in attendance tonight won’t just be about making small talk with strangers or working at “being cool” when we’re all feeling at least a little antsy. No, instead it will be finding ways to integrate these newly discovered aspects of ourselves into our day-to-day life, to break in those new shoes, to so speak, so we can all take the next steps in our adventures with greater confidence.