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Friday, January 25, 2013

On my mind: Facebook, hypocrisy, and stomach flu

How's that for an intriguing title?

I'll start with the latter and get that out of the way. Wednesday, my stomach felt a bit upset most of the day, but I was able to ignore it for the most part. By that night, it was clear something was wrong. I had a stomachache that just wouldn't quit. It was so bad, I couldn't sleep at all, because I couldn't find a comfortable position while lying down. Finally, at 6:00 a.m., I got out of bed, threw on clothes and went to the drug store to get Pepto-Bismol.

That, basically, was my only activity yesterday. I crawled back into bed after dosing with Pepto and ginger tea, and watched crap TV all day long, dozing on and off when my stomach wasn't killing me. Had a little fever, too. Weird thing, though -- nothing came up or came down, just that godawful pain in my stomach. And last night, it finally eased off. I was able to eat a little and get a full night's rest.

Today, I still feel blech, but functional. I guess I should consider myself lucky that it didn't turn into that Norovirus that's going around, the ones that's making people violently sick to their stomachs. Guess mine was just a little 24-hour viral thing.

Anyway. I should catch up on the work I didn't do yesterday, but I'm going to blog first and ramble a bit, once again.

My pal Richard Windsor actually inspired this ramble with something he posted on Facebook this morning:

90% of my social media life is spent related to my lifestyle, where nobody is shocked. It is hard to turn that switch off for Facebook. A comment in one area can get 50 replies, the same comment here will get 50 rolls of the eyes and 50 deletes.

It is tough to be proud of who you are, while at the same time trying not to cram it down people's throats........ There is a fetish for that as well by the way :)

So if I offend, feel free to delete me, I won't be offended :)

This got me thinking: How many of you are on Facebook? In what capacity? Are you under your kink name or your real one? If you are in your vanilla identity, do you friend your kink pals? If you're under your kink name, what do you do about vanilla friends? How do you handle your kink in what is essentially a rather conservative environment?

I really don't know why I joined Facebook in the first place, but I did. I decided to use my scene name. Why? A lot of scene people are on FB under their real names, but I didn't feel comfortable revealing mine in a realm where perhaps some kinky stalkers could see it. I am very, VERY careful to keep my proper name in a compartmentalized work area and that's it. So I'm Erica Scott on Facebook.

However, do I advertise my kink? Not really. I don't hide it, but I don't broadcast it, either. Hint at it, sure. It's irresistible not to. But I don't post OTK or bare-bottom pictures, I don't post about my sessions or videos or anything like that. I don't need to; I have FetLife and this blog for all that. So I guess I sort of straddle the kink/vanilla fence. I'm under my kink identity, but I'm relatively subtle about it.

Yes, I belong to the Spanking Fiction and Blushing Books groups, and people can see that. Yes, I post my blog address in the About Me section. So, as I said, I don't deny it. I just don't make it the main reason for my being there.

So what do I do there? I play Scrabble. I post about other stuff on my mind that day. I "Like" my friends' photos and comment on their posts. I keep up with current events. And during the election, I admit it, I posted a lot. 

Who has friended me? A lot of spankos, to be sure. They recognized me. Some of them use scene names; others use their real ones. And many of them have families, co-workers and so forth on FB as well, so out of respect for that, I endeavor to be subtle about my proclivities.

Over my years on there, I've had a couple of scene friends, on FB under vanilla identities, sheepishly write to me, full of apologies, saying, "I'm so sorry, Erica, and I hope you won't be offended, but I have to unfriend you here. I have my boss, my mom, my so-and-so and such-and-such, and they're asking how I know you, blah blah blah." When presented like that, I'm not in the least bit offended. I understand, and I let them off the hook, saying it's OK. I know how nosy people are, and we have to practice due caution, after all.

Back in October, when things were heated and ugly pre-election, I got in a feisty mood one day. (I know, imagine that!) I decided to have a bit of mischief on FB, tweak a few people. So, in my photo album, I posted this picture:

And I captioned it: "After all, a woman's place is in her binder(s)."

Mind you, I chose this picture very carefully. I have clothes on, my panties are up. My bottom is not red. It's simply a bondage photo, playing on the "binder" comment that caused such a firestorm.

At first, I got floods of comments and "likes," from kinked and vanilla friends alike. No one seemed to be bothered or offended by it, which made me smile. I checked my friend count; no one deleted me. Overall, everyone loved it, thought it was hilarious.

But then that night, I received a terse message from a friend, essentially, "Sorry, had to unfriend you on Facebook." Nothing more. No follow-up explanation, no checking in to see how I felt about that. Just poof. That was three months ago, and I haven't heard a word from that person since.

Now that hurt my feelings. That made me feel like I was good enough to associate with in the kink world (this person is a fellow kinkster), but elsewhere, this person who supposedly was such a good friend and loved me so much found me to be an embarrassment. And this was the only individual who unfriended me over that photo, too. However, I took it down. It left an extremely bad taste in my mouth.

After I deleted the photo, I posted on FB about how I had taken it down, that I'd been unfriended over it and I was sorry if I offended anyone or caused anyone discomfort or embarrassment. I received many comments, all along the same lines, from both the vanilla and the kinked: "I thought it was funny." "You should have left it up." "Really???" And, overwhelmingly, "Sounds like that person wasn't much of a friend to begin with. Friends accept you."

But is it really that simple? Honestly, I don't mind the unfriending part. As I'd mentioned, others had done so as well, because they were concerned about families and so forth. But they were nice about it. They didn't make me feel like an embarrassing reject. It's all about the presentation, I guess.

I'm not changing what I do on FB. I won't post a photo like that again, but I'm not going to deny who I am if people ask, or figure it out. And so, it's up to whomever to friend me or not. Just do me one favor, OK? Don't friend me, and then unfriend me because you find me embarrassing. I'd rather you simply not connect with me there in the first place. There are lots of other places to connect with me that are much more satisfying. :-)

Curious about people's thoughts on this and on Facebook in general. Have a great weekend, y'all.


  1. Great post Erica! I'm on FB under my real name and I have a few kinky friends there as well. I never post anything about my kink to that group but if someone else did, I wouldn't just unfriend them with no reply. This is a classic case of one person wrecking it for the rest of your friends. Hey sweetie, if they don't want explain themselves or someone gets offended; fine, let them go! Those aren't the people you need in your life anyway. I think you're a wonderful person and I don't believe there was anything wrong with your post. Happy Friday! P.S. This is your Michael (InspectherHide)

  2. Hi Erica,

    First, the picture is adorable and funny. That was a rude unfriending. I've no idea if the person was a "real" friend, but they were really rude. So there.

    Second though, my Facebook account (where I spend about an hour a week max.) is a completely vanilla space, dedicated to family and professional contacts. Maybe 15% of the people I'm "friends" with are actual friends -- vanilla and kinky. The rest I'm either related to or belong to my scholarly network.

    I don't like Facebook so for me it's no hardship not to connect with many of my kink friends there. For me, that's what Twitter is for.

    Glad you're feeling better. Hope the weekend finds you well. :)

  3. I'm on Facebook, in a totally vanilla capacity. I started reconnecting with relatives I have on the east coast that I never see, and I have work friends and friends from way back in my school days too. I have one kink friend there, but neither of us post anything kink related. A couple of my RL friends on there know about me, but I've told them not to mention it. It's so vanilla that I started feeling trapped, which is why I got on Twitter incognito to the nth degree. I needed an outlet for my kinky side and Twitter gives me that. Facebook never can, because I'm on there under my real name. I have a born again uncle. He's anti marriage equality, so I can't imagine what he'd do if he found out that I'm kinky. I'm thinking disownage. LOL It's just easier to keep things totally and completely separate.

  4. Michael -- Hi sweetie! :-) Thanks. Can't wait to see you in April.

    Mija -- it's so much easier on the kink sites, isn't it? LOL I think it was my rebellious streak that sent me to FB in the first place. I'm so not into most of the stuff on there (all that "Ville" crap gets on my last nerve). Great to see you! :-)

  5. Jen -- I've heard about that uncle! Fortunately, I only have one relative (that I know of) on FB and she is remarkably accepting. But yeah, keeping things separated is probably the best way to go, overall.

  6. Hello erica, I am so glad you are feeling better :) i have a vanilla FB page and it is totally vanilla all the way, i maninly use that account to keep up with local vanilla events or fundraisers and to chat with other women who deal with alopecia which i have. of course i have been warned 4 times from FB about adding too many friends, so i am wondering how long i will keep my acct lol oh btw i have 255 friends and thats it and i have had this account for 5 years, go figure.
    Only true friends will stand by you and support you no matter what :) hope yr weekend is fun & spanking realxing

  7. Facebook deleted my account, refusing to believe my name was Utter Bastard. Imagine.

    I had a conversation with them whereby I offered them my full details if they kept them confidential but they said no, alas, so I lost the lot. I had joined very early on and had a lot of content online. Most unfortunate.

    I won't rejoin Facebook again as I disapprove of the way they unilaterally amend their privacy policy.

  8. Sherri -- despite my low level of involvement, I still have over 600 friends on there. Go figure, huh?

    UB -- they deleted you because of your NAME? Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous! If you had some sort of racial-hatred name or something along those lines, I'd get it, but geeez.

  9. I am on Facebook with mostly vanilla friends, but I have linked to the vanilla sites of a couple of kinky friends. But, I prefer blogging so I do not even update my FB site. My wife is a big user of FB and has even added a couple of my kinky friends she has met.

    So, for me, I prefer to interact with kinky people. My blog is my FB.


    PS I am one of those who had the flu.

  10. joey -- oh no! I hope you're better.

  11. I will not get a Facebook account. I tweet and go on FL and that is good enough. I also check blogs, like this one. As it is, it takes up a lot of my time, though that isn't necessarily a negative thing. Just that I am on the computer too much.

    Erica, the way you were unfriended was just plain rude and I am being nice here. I am sorry it happened.

  12. Hi Erica -- I am glad you are feeling somewhat better :-)I think that person should of never deleted you that is TERRIBLE, I agree if someone is your friend they accept you the way that you are.I like that pic that you put up on FB it's very COOL,you should of never took it down.I go by my real name on FB i won't deny who i am if someone ever asked,but i am careful cause my family member's are VERY nosy and they would cause trouble for me and they like to put me down :-( Have a nice weekend,much Love and hug's from naughty girl Jade

  13. Bobbie Jo -- you're not missing anything, really.

    Jade -- I figured it was better to take it down. It really didn't belong there; I was pushing the envelope a bit posting it there. :-)

  14. I'm on Facebook using my real name. Pretty much everything I post there and the discussions I engage in are vanilla. Not so much by specific design, but because Facebook strikes me (and apparently most of my friends, vanilla or otherwise) as a public, vanilla forum. People in my social circle just don't talk about kinks or sex there. It's mostly a random thoughts/business/family/political forum. I don't think we're hiding anything so much as sorting, there are lots of good kink websites (like Fetlife) out there for kink, why drag that into Facebook?

    I have no problem friending people on FB who are kinky or who know I am, but I'd probably avoid discussing such things on FB as it doesn't strike me as the best venue for kink/sex talk. Sort of like I have no problem talking about sex with peers, but we do it in private, not at the company picnic.

  15. Off-topic: I just now saw the cover of your autobiography! That's gorgeous!

  16. Anonymous -- you're right; there's really not much point in bringing kink into Facebook, where it's clearly not wanted. But you know, I can be a bit of a contrarian at times. (yes, really!!) :-)

    Joan -- thanks! My dear friend Zelle took my photo and verbiage and designed that for me. Isn't she talented?

  17. Facebook is a tough topic for those with a kinky alter-identity. As you know, I have a vanilla account and a separate naughty one, which I barely have time for. I sometimes wish I could share more with my naughty friends. But Facebook is not just a problem for kinky folks. I remember several years ago after some issues at work when I decided it was best to de-friend almost everyone at my office out of professionalism and to respect their privacy. It's a weird new invention that society will become accustomed to and develop/establish etiquette for in time. Until then, we just make the best judgments we can for ourselves, and hope that those in different situations can understand.
    P.S. that pic was hot.
    P.P.S. glad you're feeling better

  18. I came late to FB with my real name. No kinky friends. I have been on Fetlife longer and have yet to find friends or much of interest there.

    Not defending Romney, but I knew what he meant by the binders remark; that his assistant had folders full of qualified women. How anyone can see it as something else is beyond me.

  19. I refuse to join Facebook because of the danger of my vanilla and kinky personae intersecting somehow. I have been pressured by four different vanilla groups or individuals to join for various reasons, but no dice. It's too easy to click the wrong link and have your kink associated with your vanilla life.

    Besides, who has time for yet another online activity. I'm maxxed out as it is.


  20. I have my vanilla account that I have had for many years to keep up with family, friends, and my children's online activities. I also have a FB account under a pseudonym just for connecting to my spanking author friends, fellow kinksters, etc... I feel that if someone friends you on a profile that is clearly kink related then they are doing so at their own risk. They are more than welcome to create an alternate account that is separate from their day to day life as well. It makes no sense to me for someone to friend or follow someone from a part of their life that they wish to keep separate from their vanilla life with their vanilla account. The only thing that causes me to unfriendly someone are unwanted sexual advances or advances to spank me in a sexual way. My profile clearly shows that I'm married and participate in the lifestyle with my husband. I love to talk about my shared interest of spanking and kink with my friends, but wish to do so without unwanted advances. Obviously this tends to happen with random unknown friend requests not people I actually know or interact with on a regular basis.

  21. I have one kinky friend on Facebook and we both want NOTHING to do with spanking on our pages. We are also friends beyond the kink so really, if anyone questions why she's there it's completely legitimate.

    I have thought about setting up one for my pseudonym but it's hard enough to keep up with a blog and Facebook and whatever else! Besides, what would I put on Facebook that I wouldn't on a blog? Facebook, even my vanilla one, is very carefully censored. I have played with the idea of signing up for Fetlife but the fact that you have to name the place you live in bothers me enough to stop. I'm sure it's as safe as possible but it's still a big red flag to me.

    Take care,


  22. Hiya, Kiddo!!

    First and foremost, I'm glad you're feeling better and that whatever viral attack you had was short lived!

    Always keep the chicken soup on hand!

    On that note, a couple of decades ago I wasn't sure if my interest in all things spanking didn't show that I was in measure Sick and Weird, or at least Developmentally Retarded. Then came the Web and much discussion with other intelligent, caring, funny, and decent people, so that at long last there was understanding, satisfaction, and peace.

    The "Vanilla" people with whom I've shared my proclivities haven't reacted at all as I feared they might; there was amusement, and curious interest, and a general whatever-floats-your-boat shrug. However, I'm aware that it still might confuse some folks and make them uncomfortable. So because I don't want to hear about orifices filled with boysenberry jam and a lot of worse things myself, I'm discreet and charitable on FaceBook, or anywhere else, with pretty much the same approach you take.

  23. SS -- it seems to me that, while people may revile FetLife for being twisted and so forth, it's Facebook where most of the trouble occurs! At least on FetLife, we're out in the open. On Facebook, you don't know who's who and who's safe and who's checking up on you and so on and so forth.

    OBB -- of course that's what he meant. It just sounded stupid, the way he put it. And during that time, every word uttered by both parties was being dissected and sound-bitten and rehashed.

    Hermione -- yeah, I'm thinking that was the best idea.

    Sassy -- yeah, I don't care for the unsolicited advances either. I turned off "Chat" for that reason. Thanks for stopping by -- is this your first time here?

    Felicia -- you can put a fake city/state on FetLife if that makes you more comfortable. Many do. A whole lot of people on FetLife are from Antarctica. :-)

    Dave -- you're a good example, since you're on Facebook with your real name, linked up with all your family and so forth, and yet you're friends with me. I'm glad I've never embarrassed you! :-)

  24. I have a Facebook in my real name and it's for vanilla activity. If I feel like talking about a spanking or sex, I have Fetlife for that. There are many friends I've met through a kink venue that I have added on there over the years. But we all know to keep it vanilla so I've never had any problems. One time I did say "Red!" in a comment to a friend who was dissing on Peeps, but I don't think anyone else caught on. ;-)

  25. I wondered whether it would be a mistake to friend someone I know from the kink scene on FB, but to date it has not been a problem. Just have to be selective, that's all. In any case, I hardly use FB--for some reason, I just don't get it. It's not warm and fuzzy. I understand that it's important to have my business featured there (and for that reason I was leery about having kink friends linked to my vanilla account, which links to my business account), but I still don't utilize FB to the extent I should...
    Glad that you accepted my friend request on FB!

  26. P.S.
    I love Scrabble--how do you play on FB?

  27. Hi Erica,

    I hope you've recovered by now. If not, please keep that chicken soup close.

    I have a 100% vanilla FB account that is mostly neglected. There are people from school and work with whom I like to stay in touch. However, there is little about Facebook that I find attractive.

  28. I do love scrabble on FB but my FB is pure Vanilla. Just the way I do it. I find FB to be an open space for whatever you do or say to be heard and seen. So for me it is best to keep kink where kink is the vanilla. To refer to a prior blog entry of yours.

    But we can also look at it from the other side. Several months ago a friend of mine went to an event. She was tagged in several photos from the event and they were posted on FB. These were completely vanilla pictures from a vanilla event. But there is my friend smiling happily along side you and John.

    Your vanilla mixed with my vanilla.

    By the way that photo of you in binds is way HOT!!!


  29. just as well the worst part of stomach flu didn't kick in while you were in that bondage set up.


  30. Lea -- I don't think I have enough vanilla activity, or vanilla friends, in my life to fully use Facebook. I guess my joining there in the first place was a bit rebellious. :-)

    Dana -- if you go to the Search bar across the top, just type in Scrabble. Click on the first entry at the top of the list you'll get, and that takes you to the game. I'm not sure how to start, since I was simply invited to join at some point. But it's probably self-explanatory. You invite your friends to play, I think. People take their turns at their convenience; when it's your turn, you get an automatic message from your playmate.

    Bonnie -- yeah, it's not my favorite place, by far. I'm feeling better, thanks. :-)

    Jon -- vanilla mixed with vanilla -- tasty! :-)

    John -- trust me... the last thing I would do, during stomach flu, is play. Just the thought of lying on my belly is nauseating.

  31. Guess that I am the only one that cannot find you FB page. I would be happy to follow you if I could find your page. I do have a FB account but do very little with it. My granddaughter got me started. She is very active on hers. At my age, I don't care who knows what about me. I don't try to hide my past or make it public unless somebody asks a direct question. Hal

  32. Hal -- it's definitely there, quite searchable. Probably several other Erica Scotts on there as well; it's a reasonably common name. :-) I know for sure there is a comedian named Erica Scott, for example.

  33. Hi Erica,
    Great post! I'm glad to hear you are feeling better. Now about this Facebook thing, and social media in general. I have found it very hard to explain a lot of the different things I'm into on any of the social sites. In some ways I have stopped trying to be so cautious. Not that I'm hiding anything or trying to expose anything about myself. I sort of feel you have to take me for who I am.

    If it were not for any or all of my musician friends, I probably would not have been exposed to the varied interest that I do have. If it had not been for them I probably would not have a career, would have lost my love for music, not traveled, not push myself to go back to school, and definitely not have been exposed to the wild side of life.

    The worst thing (not really) that I’ve run into is being unfriended on Facebook. Yes that does sting a little and believe it or not, it was because I wouldn’t get out of my vanilla lifestyle. I don’t and won’t explain myself for the situation that I’m in on Facebook (which is why I’ve changed my personal, or privacy setting on FB). The closest to being real personable was on MySpace (I think I still have an active profile) but I don’t use that anymore, and the page I have on FetLife, (if anyone has read my profile).

    If someone were to ask (on FB) what it is I’m into, I would ask for their discretion and invite them to check out my other social sites. As far as family goes, again so far so good because some of my family knows my situation. At worst I’ve had to set up 2 separate profiles, the main one which we are friends on, and a profile for my business where I really do try to keep that strictly for business. As for my Twitter Account, I still am balancing between business and social life exposure.

  34. Milt -- ah, good old MySpace! I believe my page there is still active as well, although I haven't been there in years. Certainly makes things a lot less complicated when your family already knows what you're into, huh?