Outing and Being Outed
"Outing Your Friends" and "Being Outed"
Of all the problems that I have encountered with BackDrop, personal privacy has been, and always will be, a major concern. What follows are a few stories and anecdotes about why privacy is important.
This chapter discusses "Outing and Being Outed." For those people who have been living in the backwoods, (or some other Mid-Western state!) being outed means that some persons private life, usually kinky or sexual in nature, has been advertised to the rest of the world by someone else. For so many years, the people who had a private sexual life and did not follow the normal, church proscribed rules (being gay for example) were said to be living in the closet. For some, living in the closet was very comfortable. There were many examples of people who lived with 'one foot in the closet' or 'in the closet with the door open just a little'. These descriptions were used to show how involved a person was. Being outed was a way of saying that another person walked into the room and opened closet, usually without permission of the person in the closet.
When the club was in Hayward, we had a couple who attended a majority of the events. He was always a Dom and she always attended as his Sub. They were both well known in the scene and very well respected for the way they interacted. In public, they never switched. In public, they never reversed roles. He always acted as though he had disdain for male who was submissive. It was never anything he said directly, it was just the way he acted.
However, outside of parties, they often visited the professional session staff at the club. In private sessions, he was always Sub and she was always Dom. I remember a particularly rainy afternoon when, for some reason, they both ended up in the building at the same time, in rooms directly across the hall from each other. To this day, I fantasize about what would have happened if he had been bound and blind folded, and she was ushered into his room. He would never have known it was his wife as a dominant.
I think you can see the dilemma here. Discretion needs to be foremost when dealing with anything, or anyone, of a sexual nature. I myself was born in Virginia, and as a "Southern Gentleman", I was always taught as a gentleman never kisses and tells. It just isn't done. I can remember several situations, going back to my high school years. The guy who was the most vocal about whom he was 'sleeping with' was, in truth, not 'getting any'. I knew for a fact the girl he was supposedly with was with me on many of the nights in question. But there was no way that I would come forward and try to correct this image.
On another occasion, Candy (who I was living with at the time) and I were attending a series of parties/demonstrations in Los Angeles. Read more about this event On this particular occasion, we had decided to attend as Master/slave and that we would attend 'in costume'. I had worn a formal suit (Yes, I do own one!) and Candy was wearing an abbreviated dress/toga, definitely indicating her station as my slave. She also sported a collar (with a leash), and chains at wrists and ankles. As the evening progressed, there were many times when we were standing almost back-to-back talking to other people. I was talking to a couple from Colorado who was very interested in BackDrop and what we had to offer. Candy was talking to an attractive brunette who, if I were not already involved with Candy, I might be interested in chasing. During the conversation with Candy, the brunette said that she had gone to BackDrop and had attended many of their events. She also said that she had agreed to spend a weekend with Master Robin but, after spending the first night chained to his bed, she had become very frightened. While he was making breakfast, she had crawled out the bathroom window leaving her clothes behind. Now, I know the difference between fantasy and reality. Trust me, I would (and could) easily fantasize about having this young lady chained to my bed at almost any time, but in reality, this had never happened. I would have remembered her being in my bed. I started to say something, but Candy gave me the “I'll handle this” look. Candy exchanged names with the brunette. She asked the brunette where she was from, and offered that she was from the San Francisco Bay Area. Candy asked the brunette if she was alone at the party or if she was with an escort. She responded that she was attending the party with her master (whose name I have since forgotten). Candy said that she was attending the party with her master, Master Robin, the Director of BackDrop Club. It was only then that the brunette looked at me. It became immediately evident that she had not recognized me, and worse, I had not recognized her. There was a strange moment where it seemed time stood still in a "Twilight Zone" kind of way. Candy, in full "Hand the girl a bigger shovel" mode, asked if the brunette and her master would care to have a cocktail, or perhaps dinner with us. We watched as the brunette went to the coat room, claimed her coat, and left the party. I might also mention that she left the party without her Master, real or imaginary. The lesson is to be careful when talking of people you have been with, unless you are speaking the truth. The better lesson is to not speak.
Once, one of our male members made reservations to attend a "Leather and Lace Fashion Show" put on by BackDrop. From personal experience, I know him to be quite a private person. He was, to say the least, uncomfortable when his mother showed up to attend the same event. He was apologetic but his mother said that she had always known about his interests.
In 1974, Relim Publishing sent a reporter to do a series of stories about BackDrop. After seeing how much information was available, they divided the information and published it in five issues of three different magazine titles. When the "Fling Magazine" titled Robin's Nest was released, I felt very happy with the results of our work, and elated about the thought of free advertising. A few days later, I received a phone call from my father saying I needed to make an appearance at his home immediately, and this was NOT a suggestion! Knowing the topic of conversation, and is probable outcome, I asked one of the ladies on the club staff to page me in an hour. I knew I could listen to the lecture for an hour, but not two. My father said that he had read the magazine and he was deeply concerned about the article. I listened about family values, family history, the virtues of family honor and much more. At the end of the hour, my pager made its funny noise announcing the end of my travail. I used the telephone to call the club, only to be told that I was needed immediately back in Hayward. I spent the next few minutes apologizing to my father about everything. I was sorry he served in World War II, that Truman was elected, the taxes were so high and everything else that I could think of. He could blame at all on me. It did not matter. I said that I was sorry he was embarrassed by the article, and if he would tell me who gave him the magazine, I would go to their home and apologize to them as well. When he said that a second apology would not be necessary because he had purchased the magazine, a sudden flash of "Aha!" went through my brain. He would have purchased the magazine only if it portrayed something he was interested in. My name and picture were not on the cover and he could have only discovered the article through research, and not by accident. "After all you bought the magazine, it was because you are interested in the same things I am!” From the date in 1974 until his death in 1999, my father and I had an open, communicative relationship about OUR interests.
In another case, a good friend and his wife wanted to join a local scene-friendly organization. He said it seemed like a long time before they were admitted to any events. The event organizer wanted to make sure that other members were comfortable with my friend and his wife being involved. The tie vote was broken when his son voted in the affirmative. The event organizer wanted to make sure that everyone, especially the couples children, were comfortable with the involvement of the Anew couple”.
I guess what I am saying here, is that if you wish to be involved and, at the same time, not worry about your privacy, then you need to approach people yourself. I remember a really nice fellow who was concerned about being seen at BackDrop. I suggested that anyone who might see him is already at BackDrop, and that they cannot say very much without busting themselves. How can they say what they saw you do, unless they were there also? So, in a way, you gain privacy by shedding your privacy. If you are open about what you do, how can you be blackmailed?
There is no reason to defend what it is you do. A person who spends all of their time defending a particular point of view seldom has time to get any work done. If you feel that you must spend the majority of your life defending your position on a particular subject, might I suggest that you get a job as a politician or a talk show host (or write a book!) so you can get paid for the time you spend promoting your opinions.