This blog was my first kink-related online presence. Shortly after I started blogging in October 2010, I discovered fetlife and created an account there as well.
In February 2011 I created my first twitter account, originally with the sole intent of promoting this blog. Over the last year and a half I accumulated over 1,500 followers, about a tenth of which were people I followed back and interacted with on a regular basis. Over time I developed real life friendships with people, many whom I consider my closest friends to this day. I became somewhat active in the local kink scene as well.
However, a series of unrelated events which have occurred over the last several months have caused me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and my on-line presence.
I have a friend who started a D/s relationship with a man. She fell head over heels and believed there was potential for a long-term relationship. She introduced him to her young child. She thought she was falling in love. Then he stole over $1,000 of items from her home. Apparently this man had a criminal history and never even gave her his real name. He's now behind bars in another state. She's grateful all he took were items from her home; it certainly could have been much worse.
There are liars and thieves in this lifestyle.
I have a friend who ended a D/s relationship with a man last spring. It's been over six months, but this man continues to stalk her twitter account, ridicule her and her boyfriend and threatens to unfollow people who are friends with her.
There are predators and bullies in this lifestyle.
I have a friend who is working on repairing her very fragile marriage. Her kink life has been a sensitive and painful subject between she and her husband which recently resulted in her decision to remove her kinky friends from her twitter account. She was kind enough to reach out a few people she considered friends to explain why she was making the change and even offered other means to stay in contact. She was shocked and hurt by the angry and accusatory responses she received; frankly I'm baffled by the responses as well.
There are cruel, insensitive people in this lifestyle.
I met a man on twitter earlier this year who I became fast (platonic) friends with. We made plans to meet on multiple occasions, but he cancelled every time. I found out later that he'd done the same thing to another friend of mine.
There are people who are not who they claim to be in this lifestyle.
Worst of all, I have a friend who recently had to remove her blog as well as her entire on-line presence because someone she'd befriended online turned on her, stalking her and eventually making criminal allegations against her. These allegations were investigated and found to be false, however it resulted in the loss of her job nonetheless. She contemplated suicide. She deleted the blog which she'd maintained for years. She is actually considering moving to another state and changing her legal identity because she fears this stalker will never give up.
There are mentally ill people in this lifestyle.
And then there are the stories. We've all heard them. Drama and accusations of "stalking". Horrific, unrelenting bullying. Cyber relationships resulting in heartache. Real life affairs that end marriages.
I don't have a dramatic, painful story to share. No one has done anything terrible to me. I've done a relatively good job at protecting myself and carefully choosing the people I invite into my life and my home.
It's not good enough. Not when it comes to sharing your life in a public forum.
This morning I locked down my twitter account. I deleted all but about 100 of the people that I consider friends and whom I trust. Eventually I will probably delete it all together.
The enjoyment I once got from being part of the kink "lifestyle" has dwindled. There seems to be so much misery and instability amongst the majority of the people I've met. I don't think I want to be part of this anymore.
Maybe it's me. But I don't think it is.
My heart aches for my friends that have been hurt. My heart hurts for the friends I've lost.
A close friend of mine taught me that we can't go backwards; only forward with a different approach. I don't have a dramatic announcement to make. I'm not deleting my blog. Not yet. But I'm making changes that feel healthy and positive.
I've missed feeling good.