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Sunday, January 8, 2012

How much does one share?

We live in the age of social media, of anything and everything being fodder for the Internet, for the tabloids, for blogs. People post their deepest, darkest secrets, their pain, their joy, their Achilles heels. They play out their lives, all grossness intact, on reality TV. So what are the rules, if any? How much is too much? When does sharing encroach upon TMI? When does it violate another person's privacy?

I am very open about my life, and I also find writing to be a therapeutic tool. When I blog about my life and my struggles, it makes me feel more connected and less alone to know that others are reading and relating. But sometimes, my struggles involve other people, and then I have a dilemma. If I don't write, I don't feel like I'm being true to my blog or to my readers. But if I do, I feel like I'm running the risk of saying too much about another. I am very discreet and I never reveal things over which I've been sworn to secrecy. Still, I hesitate over many entries sometimes, and end up scrapping them, even though they are things I desperately want to talk about, get a broad variety of viewpoints.

You all know I love John dearly. However, like all couples, we have our struggles. I've made no secret of the fact that we both play with other people because we cannot fulfill each other's fetish fantasies. I cannot top him, and while he can top me, I can't take him seriously. I'm too close to him.

So he plays with femdoms and I play with male tops. I have a distinct advantage: I have a flexible schedule during the week and I can meet with ST or other tops I've known on my own time without impacting my time with John. Unfortunately, John cannot say the same. He works 12-15-hour days during the week and the only play time he has is on weekends. The time we spend together. So whenever a femdom comes into his life, it impacts us, sometimes a great deal.

John does not play with pro doms. It would be easier if he did; then he could set the time and date, have his sessions, get his needs met. But he doesn't want that level of control. Part of his need is for the domme to have complete control, so he doesn't play with scheduled pro tops. He really doesn't play, period. He enters into service with lifestyle dommes. The ones who expect their subs to be at their beck and call. And he gets consumed. I watch his usual logic and reason and priorities go *poof*.

Because of how I play, I am able to completely compartmentalize and schedule what I do. John cannot. So whenever a femdom comes into his life, it's very disruptive.

Pro dommes, while they may be strict, play hard, etc., ultimately do what their clients wish them to do. They are in a business of fulfilling fantasies. Not so the lifestylers; not with John's and my experience, anyway. They want what they want when they want it. And part of John's desire is to give it, without limits. It's pure submission. If he hooks up with someone sane and reasonable, it's not a problem. However... there are a lot of extreme femdoms out there. It's not just male tops who can be dangerous, kids. There are some John has been with who have scared me half to death. He'd tell me stories about things they'd done to their slaves and I'd feel sick with fear when he went off to scene with them. The best female tops love men, just like the best male tops love women. But I have seen more men-hating femdoms than I care to think about.

Long story short? It's starting again; he's met a new one. The last one was so bad, she nearly broke us up. He says this one isn't crazy. For one thing, she knows all about me. That's an improvement; in the past, he's denied my existence to these women, claiming himself single and unencumbered. He says he has to; that if he tells them he has a girlfriend, they'll dismiss him. The last one actually came to his house and went through his trash, searching for evidence of a woman's presence. So who knows. Maybe this one will be different.

But after over 15 years of bad experiences, I'm skeptical. The old fears kick in. No, he won't leave me for a femdom. He loves me. But when he's enthralled with a domme, he becomes a man I don't know.

I don't want to go into the details of his relations with femdoms and the specifics of things that have happened over the years. Because then I think I'm crossing the line into his life. Which brings me back to my original dilemma... I don't know how much to share. I want to talk about what's going on with me and how I'm feeling about it, but I know I must stop at some point before it becomes TMI about John. Even this post feels like too much, and yet I'm sending it. Because it's something that's looming very large in my mind and I need to talk about it.

Not easy.

Please don't worry; the relationship is good. John has his weaknesses like any other (including me, heaven knows), but he is one of the best people I know. Today, when we went to brunch and we were at the register paying, he glanced over and saw a grizzled older man sitting by himself eating. He had an oxygen tank sitting on the booth next to him and tubes going up his nose. John handed the cashier a $20 and asked her to please use it to pay for the man's lunch.

I can't stay upset with a man like that.

I guess time will tell. I need patience and flexibility, and I don't have either one of those in abundance. Oh hell, I don't have either one of those at all. But somehow, I need to find them. Or learn how to fake them.

I want him to be happy. I want him to have the same fulfillment I do.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Your concerns, and that bit of anxiety are "learned concerns".. from prior experiences you've had to deal with.

    As long as your lines of communication remain open on this subject with John.. I think that will help alleviate a few of your insecurities about this new lifestyle Domme that's entered the picture.

    Take this one day at a time.
    Don't try to foresee some gloom and doom Domme rearing her femdom head.. because those types of subconscious NEGATIVE thoughts will fester.. and perhaps become a reality.

    So think positive. Talk about what issues are bugging you that come up with John and the new Domme when they happen... not one moment before - or you just may cause an even bigger problem.

  2. Zelle -- of course, you are right. Horrible-izing will not be in my best interest, or in John's. It's hard not to, given some of the stuff we've been through before. But I must give it my best.

  3. I know it's very hard for you.. because you are long time partners, and you're protective of that relationship. Both of you- are emotionally invested. I've no doubt you'll give it your all. :)

  4. Wow Erica, that is a very difficult question which you have raised! Incidentally I have recently also written about the question of how much personal information one should share on a blog. In that case the focus was on information that might unnecessarily increase the risk of being outed, though.

    But I have come across the question of how much to write about my mate, my family and my friends several times as well. For me, it always depends on the topic and on how much the person concerned knows about my blogging activities.

    My mum knew about my kink and the blog, and she was perfectly okay with it. So, I decided to write about her death and what she meant to me. That case was quite easy, though, because there were only positive things to say about her.

    I have at least once written about a negative experience in the past, but that one involved a classmate and no close family members. Even then I tried to draw a well-balanced picture of the story, though. I knew that my school friend wasn't there to defend her point of view, so I felt it was my obligation to make sure that I wrote about the incident without casting her in a bad light.

    I have never written anything about negative experiences with family members and my friends. I wrote about questions that were raised about kink, though, also rather negative ones. But again I made sure to present and defend the other person's point of view as well. One reason why I have never written anything about more critical incidents is that there simply isn't much like that to write about. But even if it were, I guess I would think at least twice before deciding whether to write about it or not.

    The situation between John and you is different, though, and much closer to the situation between Ludwig and me. You are a couple, you are both kinky and John knows about your blogging activities. That means you have got more options here. The situation Ludwig and I are in is a bit different in that we both write on our blog. But, Ludwig is generally much more cautious when it comes to writing about personal experiences, so it's usually me who raises these topics. On the other hand he is much cooler about tongue-in-cheek comments while I am more careful with those.

    That's why we have a very simple procedure: When I write about something that concerns both of us, I show Ludwig my post before I publish it and ask him for his point of view. Often the post is okay with him as it is, but sometimes he might come up with some ideas for changes to clarify a certain aspect and avoid the risk of misinterpretations. Ludwig does the same with me when he writes about a topic that concerns both of us, and I am very thankful to him for that. To be honest, I am quite easily hurt by tongue-in-cheek comments and minor aspects which from my point of view could lead to misinterpretations. So I assume it is more often that I ask Ludwig for some changes than the other way round.

    Of course I'm not sure how I would deal with an intimate topic like John's femdom experiences. I can understand why you want to write about it, after all it is a very important topic that (sometimes) has a great influence on your life. But I can also relate to your fear of crossing a line, especially since the topic seems to go along with very negative thoughts and emotions sometimes. The only advice that comes to my mind is to talk to John about it. Hopefully you will find a solution that meets his as well as your needs. I keep my fingers crossed for you!

  5. Erica, It's hard for me to put myself in your shoes, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be at all happy about the situation either. Based on your prior experiences, you have every right to be wary and uneasy. But good for John for telling her about you. That's a positive step. I hope it goes well this time, for all of you.

    I am very cautious about revealing much of my personal life, but love to hear the details that others share. I agree you shouldn't write too much about John's private matters; still, I was interested in what you could tell us.

    What a sweet guy, paying for that man's lunch. You have a keeper:)


  6. Boy, that's a tough one. It's a good start that John told his Femdom about you and hopefully she will respect his boundaries. Hopefully he has enough experience to know when a situation is potentially detrimental to him and to his primary relationship (you).

    I agree that the degree of sublimation/submission required by a Femdom is not quite the same thing as what you have with ST, and that it can and probably will cut into your time with John. As others have said, it is important that you keep the lines of communication open with John and maybe even show him what you are blogging.

    You are not crazy to be feeling potentially threatened, but you need to tread very carefully. It could be very detrimental to John's career if he were inadvertently outed. Much more so as a man who likes to be dominated than as the consort of the famous Erica Scott, who likes to be spanked. Like it or not, in our culture men who like to be dominated are not well received.

    I have a friend in India who is in that situation, and their culture is even more conservative than ours. He's in a happy marriage fortunately, but still feels unfulfilled. He had a three-year relationship with a Femdom and never considered leaving his marriage (she was also married). It ended because she was transferred to another country. i only mention this to assure you that John is not likely to leave you. After all these years together, and the fact that he can talk to you about these things rather than keep it a bottled up secret is to his credit.

    Try not to agonize about it, and take one day at a time. :-)

  7. Hi Erica, I have no doubt that you will give it your all :-)I am happy that John told her about you that's a GREAT start :-)Domme's can be pretty damn mean and crazy so hopefully this one won't be.John is definately a keeper that was so sweet of him to pay for that man's lunch :-)he is so thoughtful.Good luck to you and John :-)try to take it one day at a time i know it's hard but what else can you do.I Love you,big hug's from your naughty girl Jade XOXO

  8. Rationally you know that he not only loves you but adores you. You also know the quality of his character. But really... Love is infrequently rational. Lol. How about-Every new experience is a opportunity? Maybe this will be the one that works for both of you.

  9. They want what they want when they want it... there are a lot of extreme femdoms out there.

    I guess I am a country bumpkin as I did not know that such femdoms existed. I don't want one, but I would be interested in knowing what drives the fair sex to embrace the "dark side".

  10. MrJ -- ok.

    Kaelah -- we are working on talking about it. It's a tough subject, because I get emotional and he gets defensive. But I do see a difference this time, especially since he told her about me straight away (something he has never done before). As for the blog... he knows how open I am on here. He accepts it, knowing I reveal only up to a point. He is the opposite of me in this way, detesting online social media, so he stays out of it.

  11. Hermione -- he is indeed. And I want to be clear; I am absolutely not jealous of his playing with dommes. I want him to. It's just the way it happens that is disturbing.

    Dana -- there was a time in our past that John would have left me if he met the perfect domme. But now, after all we've been through together, he says he will not. Yesterday, he said, "Let's just stay together forever and play with others, what do you say?" :-)

    Jade -- one day at a time is indeed all we have.

    Newt -- I do have the benefit of longevity; at least this isn't a new relationship! Gawd... I'd be bouncing off the walls.

    OBB -- I cannot say what motivates extra femdoms, any more than I can say what motivates the over-the-top male doms. I do know what motivated John's last domme, because she stated it proudly -- pure hatred of men. You don't want to know what she did to her primary slave.

    But she was also young, hard-bodied and head-turningly gorgeous, and she did the things she did because she could. Because men let her.

  12. Erica,

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. I've been going through my share of vanilla/kink/vanilla-kink difficulties for however long I've been kinky, and I always appreciate it when others share parts of their lives, even the not-so-pleasant parts. It's not that I don't wish you and John only the best, it's just that sometimes it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's missing out on the yellow brick road because my path is more like a fly on its last day of life.

    I hope you and John have an easier time about adding a domme to the mix this time.

  13. Beth -- all relationships have their challenges. Throw kinks into the mix and the challenges get even more complex. I hope it's an easier time too. At least this one hasn't said (regarding my existence), "That's unacceptable. Lose her."

  14. For the life of me I cannot figure out how another person could truly believe he or she has the right to decide FOR or DEMAND another person to follow commands concerning one's happiness/well being.
    Not being in John's shoes, that must have been very stress inducing. I,think it's great he told his new femdom about you.

  15. Kelly -- well... they believe they have the right, because it's given to them. If everyone said no to ridiculous and arrogant demands (male or female), then Uber-tops would slowly fade away.

  16. This is a line I toe often. Just last week I removed a post that upset D, but I considered it important. The fact is, I share very little about my personal life (apart from sex & spanking which constitute a small portion) on the blog. When I have weightier issues on my mind, I stop posting as often. That defeats the purpose for beginning the blog in the first place -- as a safe way to express my emotions.

    As a way around that, I have hundreds of unpublished posts that I wrote in order to purge. Although not shared with the public, those drafts organized my thoughts in often therapeutic ways. I occasionally share them with D and we use them as launching points to strengthen our communication.

    Perhaps you could do something like that? Write it down but don't publish it? Share it with John first, and see where the discussion goes?

    Your readers are not entitled to know the nitty gritty details of your life. You are incredibly generous with the details you do share. But I understand that the blog is a useful tool for discussion, advice, camaraderie, and support. Perhaps the uber personal details that involve loved ones should be kept as a last resort, when all other methods of communication have failed.

    Or at least that's my view on things, for whatever it's worth.


  17. After several unpleasant experiences, I think anybody would understand your being anxious. However, the fact that John has told her about you is a promising start. You two love each other and have so much history together, so as long as you are both open and honest about your feelings (and worries) on the matter, I'm sure it'll work out.
    It might not be easy at first, but hopefully this one won't be as crazy and unreasonable as others, and you'll all be able to adjust to the situation. ;-)

    You are right, of course, in not wanting to disclose too many private details. Yet, I understand the need to talk about it and appreciate that you could post something so personal.
    Maybe what you can't share on your blog, you can discuss with John or others that you trust.

  18. First of all, HUGS!! Sorry you are going through a difficult time. what may help you get through this are really just the things you mention.... you want John to be happy and you focus on his positives. You and John seem to have such a close, loving, and mutually comforting relationship - and that is so hard to find. Also, even though he may seem to lose his logic and reason, at some level they are still there. After all, these women come and go but you have been a constant in his life for a long time.

    With respect to blog topics - I really feel that you should do what is best for you. If it helps you work through your feelings to discuss this on your blog, and assuming John is ok with it, then you shouldn't worry that it's TMI. It's obvious from reading the comments on your blog that you helped many people deal with their own issues, and that you have many friends who are truly concerned about you.

    On the other hand, if it creates more stress for you, then I don't think you should feel obligated to discuss anything that makes you uncomfortable. You can be true to your blog and still keep some thoughts private. You give so much of yourself on here in a way that is very helpful to others dealing with similar situations. But sometimes, you just have to put yourself first.

  19. Pink -- I have used the tool of writing things just for myself that I won't publish. Sometimes, with the really ugly stuff, it works. It's a release.

    I don't believe any blog readers are entitled to details, per se, but I admit, I do like to share them. Being open helps keep me (somewhat) sane. :-)

    Christy -- yes, her knowing about me is rather huge. I will keep my blog for the general situation, and save the details for trusted one-on-one friends.

    SnP -- you're so kind. Thank you. Y'all are my cyber therapists sometimes. :-) It does help to share. I feel like a phony, posting humor and light topics when something is eating at me. But then again, I wasn't raised like John, who was told "we never talk about our problems." My parents were the opposite extreme!

  20. You hit a topic that I've been pondering this week with privacy and how much is too much. I think you should share whatever you are comfortable with sharing. People come back to read here because you are interesting, whether it's kink topics or vanilla topics. From what you have mentioned about John's situation, I can only imagine how that could be frustrating. I hope you two are able to talk it out and come to some sort of agreement.

  21. Lea -- it can be frustrating, yes. Mostly because it is a part of the person I love most that I can't even begin to comprehend, and when he's in that mode, I feel like he is lost to me. But we'll keep working on it.

  22. Erica, I read this yesterday, but on my phone so was unable to take time to comment.

    I totally get where you are coming from. I struggle with it myself. My husband and I are in a DD relationship, and there have been some thing in that where I would love to post and get feedback from that same community but I don't. We know so many personally, and they also know my husband as well. When I am struggling, and bouncing off of hubby doesn't work, I would like to bounce off others who struggle with similar issues. But I can't, because I feel then I am sharing too much about him with people who also know him well, and not just me.

    Like with you, my frustrations are not the whole of our relationship - it's actually a pretty good one. And he is such a good man, and I love him dearly, and he loves me....yet, you know how it is especially in blogland, where people read something you write and think it's like that 100% of the time....I dunno....

    I used to write pretty uncensored, even in this regard. But I find the more I know people on a personal level, who have become real life friends, the harder it has become to be as uncensored.

    Thus, I don't share -- not in that way, about my hubby -- cuz he has a side of the issue as well, and last thing I want is him to feel misrepresented, or as if he must defend himself, especially publicly, and put others in an uncomfortable position to watch. :(

    Good luck. I can't imagine being in the shoes you're in with what you describe.


  23. Sarah -- thanks for your perspective. I do understand your choice to not share. It's probably the more respectful thing to do, honestly.

    I read and reread everything I write about John. I'm so careful to put across the gist of what's happening without revealing too much. John is open about his kink, and he's also aware that I'm very public and I talk about things. I'm far more involved in the scene than he, so most of our friends know him through me. He kind of sits by and regards it all with amusement.

    Definitely an unusual situation, an unusual relationship and an odd pairing of a couple of odd-bodies. :-) Perhaps that's why I talk about it, so I won't feel so removed.