When we first join rope and kink spaces, we often feel very nervous. We don’t know what to expect nor how the people we meet may respond to us. We seek validation and acceptance of who we are, and perhaps people to play with. We often want to learn about the lifestyle and issues around safety and consent. Though, the biggest concern most people have is around privacy.
- We don’t want the world to know what is private to us.
- We fear the wrong people finding out about our kinks.
- We don’t want to be outed, risking our family relationships and careers.
- We need to protect ourselves from legal problems if we live in conservative areas.
- And, we don’t want to meet abusive people that may use our private information as blackmail.
Equally, when an event organiser wants to hold an event or a space/discussion on an online platform, they need to respect the privacy needs of their attendees. This can be really difficult to navigate. Most people want to be completely untraceable to their everyday lives. But event hosts need to vet their attendees to protect other attendees from potentially dangerous people, and have to cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.
Here are some tips on how to navigate the delicate balance:
- Use a scene name rather than your legal names. This is very common practice.
- Event organisers can either request both names and reassure that only the scene name will be used at the event and in correspondence. Or just their scene name, but have a way to contact them should an issue arise. Some events have an open door policy, letting anyone in, so think how comfortable you are with that.
- Any registers you keep of attendance must only contains the information the attendee is happy to be kept on that register. Explain this explicitly in communications to do with the event.
- Create a Google or similar account to that scene name and/or event. This will help prevent content from your private kink life appearing in your work or vanilla life emails or cloud areas. Keeping these as separate as possible is a good idea.
- Keep any rope/adult/kink physical and electronic equipment out of reach from children and in a secure location.
- Do not share any information about events to other people that will not understand the lifestyle. They may take that information and use it for their own gain, or worse “out” the event and attendees in a bid to get it closed.
- Do not invite people into spaces without the express permission of the event organisers. A lot of events are members only, requiring registration and vetting. Read the rules of the event/online space.
- Do not ask personal questions to the people you do meet. There may be various reasons why they can’t tell you where they live or what work they do, etc.
- Remember that what we do can be seen as illegal in some areas. Not all prosecuters will factor in consent, even if its recorded. In fact, written consent can be seen as premeditated and coercive abuse. Be familiar with your local laws and find ways to practice rope/kink within the law.
- Think about content you post on social media. Is your face visible? Any distinctive marks or tattoos? Anything in the background that might give you away? Use can use photo editing apps yo pixlate or blur parts of the photo.
- If you are worried, use friends/follower only options on your social media to limit who can see what you post.
- Be mindful that posts can be screenshot and that image, video or text can be used elsewhere. Not everyone seeks consent to do that, sadly.
- Restrict inbox features if/where you can, so only the people you want can contact you.
- Use any block and report functions if you experience any unwanted messages or comments on your posts. Or whatever you feel is necessary to feel you have the privacy you want.
- Remember you don’t have to share any information with other people you font want to. We might feel a little pressure to do so when we meet someone we like, but a respectful person would not push for private information.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own privacy, so be careful and aware of where you are going and what might happen to your personal information. I hope those tips help….
Can you think of any other tips that might help?
Dea Nexa (my scene/artist name!)
Cover image: full suspension in contortion on ouch_meow_bound with hair bondage by Dea Nexa