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What do you think about being more real in online communities? If you do use your real name/face here, how do you navigate your IRL reputation potentially being at risk? (Is it actually at risk or is that just a fear of mine?)

Jillian Keenan, (love her!) made a really good video where she addresses humanizing yourself in spanko communities. Personally, I don't have a problem with being open about my sexuality and would use my real name and face here, HOWEVER...I am a political activist and community leader and I have enemies who would jump at the chance to spread the news that I'm a Spanko and try to make me look like a pervert to all the conservatives who follow and support my political efforts. 

Which makes me angry knowing it would be viewed that way, but it is what it is. That is really the only reason I'm not more real on here even though I might prefer to be.

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I'd be careful about this.

I, too, love Jillian Keenan-- and her dom, Dan. She took some big risks coming out to the public about her spanking fetish some years back, and it paid off. But she has a strong business head on her shoulders and the right resources into which to focus her endeavors.

You've stated that you're a political activist and community leader, and that you have enemies who would jump at the chance to spread the news that you're a spanko. I think you answered your own question, wouldn't you say? Whether it feels fair or not, it's judicious that we shelter this part of ourselves where appropriate. If you're a public figure, an honorable reputation is important to maintain public respect. There are too many people who simply wouldn't understand, and finding out something about you that felt uncomfortable to them could cause their loss of trust in you. If you're willing to take that chance and allow the chips to fall where they may, that's your prerogative and your right. Just be ready to handle whatever backlash might follow. Just as most individuals (who have class) don't publicly broadcast their sexual behaviors, that same discretion serves us wisely with our spanking lifestyle.

I understand the need to share this part of ourselves-- trust me, I do! --so thankfully we can do so here within the spanking community. I have several friends from SN who know my real name, who've seen photos of me, and who email me on a regular basis. A few of those I have also spoken with on the phone, and a couple of them I've met in person for spankings. But this doesn't happen when we begin corresponding. I PM for quite a while before I share my personal info. Eventually the day comes when you just know that someone is the real deal. To me, this level of trust is precious, and it's worth the wait.

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I kind of like spanking being an underground thing and discretion being normalized.  I generally think that fetishes and kink should be private and not out in the open.  I don't think badly of anyone who chooses to show their face or thinks its important to be out of the closet for a kink.  But the inevitable consequence of more and more people being open in spanking communities would be more and more people being open in broader society.  And anything that gets too out in the open gets idealized and then commodified, corporatized, has its rules worked over by mainstream culture, and then loses its magic.  Also, I accept myself as someone who is going to be always be a spanko but I don't think people in my personal and professional life need to accept me as a spanko, or even need to know about it.  It would feel like pushing it on people anyway. 

Many people have peculiar interests and fetishes like dressing up in furry costumes or taking romantic spaghetti baths and to each their own but I don't want to hear about it in mainstream culture or listen to adherents whine about how it deserves acceptance and normalization.  Given that I feel that way about spaghetti baths, I think it's only fair to be consistent with spanking.  In general I just think expressions of kink should be private.  You don't need to have society accept you for you to accept yourself.  

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I would lean toward privacy and  anonimity. People do not really talk about what goes on in their bedrooms. It is deeply personal and most would think impolite and inappropriate. Besides you and your partners, whose business is it? Nobody's !

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@BansheeGal I saw the Jillian piece and I have to admit that I felt there was some disdain about people who aren't video celebrities who make their living from spanking videos not wanting to openly share their faces or real names.  On many levels I think that is a dangerous position to take and you pointed out your own reasoning.

My personal feelings are that everyone should protect themselves.  I've hosted parties and events and as @Chawseestated the people who know me and are people I consider close friends know me because we took the time to develop trust between us  all that the protections we have in place would  be honored.

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15 hours ago, BansheeGal said:

What do you think about being more real in online communities? If you do use your real name/face here, how do you navigate your IRL reputation potentially being at risk? (Is it actually at risk or is that just a fear of mine?)

Jillian Keenan, (love her!) made a really good video where she addresses humanizing yourself in spanko communities. Personally, I don't have a problem with being open about my sexuality and would use my real name and face here, HOWEVER...I am a political activist and community leader and I have enemies who would jump at the chance to spread the news that I'm a Spanko and try to make me look like a pervert to all the conservatives who follow and support my political efforts. 

Which makes me angry knowing it would be viewed that way, but it is what it is. That is really the only reason I'm not more real on here even though I might prefer to be.

I think your instincts are right, go with them, and Chawsee is right, too. Moreover, particularly if you are an important political asset and not just a minor player... practice op sec (operational security). Use https (SSL) when accessing sites like this, as well as a robust VPN, and that better not be your mug on your profile pic. Even with all that, you are leaving breadcrumbs that might perk the interest of someone, tidbits like "political activist," "Conservative," "Ireland," and your age, sex. You know, Ireland is not that big. It has gotten second nature to me to just omit a lot of personally identifiable information (PII). This site would be particularly dangerous if you neglect to do that, because it does not allow deleting any of your own messages.

This thing is not a really big deal in my opinion, but in politics, people are apparently not supposed to have sex at all or do anything remotely sexual, including spanking or anything that is a fetish, except within the confines of marriage. Anything that takes more than 30 seconds to explain, you have already lost, no one will listen.

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1 hour ago, St.George said:

I think your instincts are right, go with them, and Chawsee is right, too. Moreover, particularly if you are an important political asset and not just a minor player... practice op sec (operational security). Use https (SSL) when accessing sites like this, as well as a robust VPN, and that better not be your mug on your profile pic. Even with all that, you are leaving breadcrumbs that might perk the interest of someone, tidbits like "political activist," "Conservative," "Ireland," and your age, sex. You know, Ireland is not that big. It has gotten second nature to me to just omit a lot of personally identifiable information (PII). This site would be particularly dangerous if you neglect to do that, because it does not allow deleting any of your own messages.

This thing is not a really big deal in my opinion, but in politics, people are apparently not supposed to have sex at all or do anything remotely sexual, including spanking or anything that is a fetish, except within the confines of marriage. Anything that takes more than 30 seconds to explain, you have already lost, no one will listen.

Very good advice, thanks! And for the record, I'm not actually in Ireland. ;) 

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4 hours ago, CaliSpanker53 said:

@BansheeGal I saw the Jillian piece and I have to admit that I felt there was some disdain about people who aren't video celebrities who make their living from spanking videos not wanting to openly share their faces or real names.  On many levels I think that is a dangerous position to take and you pointed out your own reasoning.

My personal feelings are that everyone should protect themselves.  I've hosted parties and events and as @Chawseestated the people who know me and are people I consider close friends know me because we took the time to develop trust between us  all that the protections we have in place would  be honored.

I'm glad you brought this up!! I read Jillian's book and really liked it and have watched some of her videos...I think she's really brave for coming out like she has...but I also feel like she kind of lives in a different world from me...and so I can't really relate to some of her ideas... I've gotten this from some people on here too who seem to live fulltime spanko lifestyles...which I find fascinating and like to hear about...but is so different from my experiences...

I have some really conservative relatives...old friends...even my current bf who isn't conservative but he's a vanilla and really doesn't understand the whole spanko thing very well... Also at my job they told me they pay a company to check internet and social media stuff when they hire you...and I'd be kind of worried about them seeing all about my spanko stuff... I've gotten some really negative reactions to my art...even from other spankos...because it deals with my childhood memories or fantasies of my Little persona...I think that stuff is really hard for some people to understand and I don't think everyone's going to just be accepting of it...maybe someday...but not in the world right now...

It's funny because I've shared some of the most intimate things about myself on here...stuff I NEVER told anyone in 'real life' and don't know if I will...it's been really therapeutic for me in alot of ways...that's why having a safe place like here is so wonderful...

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4 hours ago, CaliSpanker53 said:

@BansheeGal I saw the Jillian piece and I have to admit that I felt there was some disdain about people who aren't video celebrities who make their living from spanking videos not wanting to openly share their faces or real names.  On many levels I think that is a dangerous position to take and you pointed out your own reasoning.

My personal feelings are that everyone should protect themselves.  I've hosted parties and events and as @Chawseestated the people who know me and are people I consider close friends know me because we took the time to develop trust between us  all that the protections we have in place would  be honored.

I'm glad you brought this up!! I read Jillian's book and really liked it and have watched some of her videos...I think she's really brave for coming out like she has...but I also feel like she kind of lives in a different world from me...and so I can't really relate to some of her ideas... I've gotten this from some people on here too who seem to live fulltime spanko lifestyles...which I find fascinating and like to hear about...but is so different from my experiences...

I have some really conservative relatives...old friends...even my current bf who isn't conservative but he's a vanilla and really doesn't understand the whole spanko thing very well... Also at my job they told me they pay a company to check internet and social media stuff when they hire you...and I'd be kind of worried about them seeing all about my spanko stuff... I've gotten some really negative reactions to my art...even from other spankos...because it deals with my childhood memories or fantasies of my Little persona...I think that stuff is really hard for some people to understand and I don't think everyone's going to just be accepting of it...maybe someday...but not in the world right now...

It's funny because I've shared some of the most intimate things about myself on here...stuff I NEVER told anyone in 'real life' and don't know if I will...it's been really therapeutic for me in alot of ways...that's why having a safe place like here is so wonderful...

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16 minutes ago, rude_rumps said:

I Also at my job they told me they pay a company to check internet and social media stuff when they hire you...and I'd be kind of worried about them seeing all about my spanko stuff... I've gotten some really negative reactions to my art...even from other spankos...because it deals with my childhood memories or fantasies of my Little persona...I think that stuff is really hard for some people to understand and I don't think everyone's going to just be accepting of it...maybe someday...but not in the world right now...

It's funny because I've shared some of the most intimate things about myself on here...stuff I NEVER told anyone in 'real life' and don't know if I will...it's been really therapeutic for me in alot of ways...that's why having a safe place like here is so wonderful...

@rude_rumps This the reason I hold the ideas I do about reveling real names and faces. The stories you post are the most honest sharing  of the mindset of a spanko I have ever seen.   Your vulnerability should be celebrated, particularly  since so many of found our paths here through our first exposures in childhood.

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8 hours ago, CaliSpanker53 said:

@BansheeGal I saw the Jillian piece and I have to admit that I felt there was some disdain about people who aren't video celebrities who make their living from spanking videos not wanting to openly share their faces or real names.  On many levels I think that is a dangerous position to take and you pointed out your own reasoning.

My personal feelings are that everyone should protect themselves.  I've hosted parties and events and as @Chawseestated the people who know me and are people I consider close friends know me because we took the time to develop trust between us  all that the protections we have in place would  be honored.

THANK YOU for saying that. I felt the same way when I watched that video.

I've been considering joining her Patreon community (haven't taken the leap, though) and knowing she thinks that about real names/faces is what really gives me pause. I know they have video meetings, so if I did that, my face would be seen, and if I were showing my face in any group, realistically I'd tell them my name - my first name, at any rate.

But when I step into anything online, I prefer anonymity. Every discussion board I've ever used, I have a screen name that is in no way a match for my real one, and rarely if ever a match for any other screen name I use. One discussion site I belong to, I ended up linking my blog, which does have my real name on it, because it's about a subject that matches the raison d'etre of that discussion site, but still, people have to go looking to find it. And the other stuff I discuss online isn't as sensitive as this.

For now, I'm just Bramblewine in the spanking community, and my only spanking community is here. If (when?) it becomes an irl thing, I'd have to use my real name, of course. But if I join another spanking-related site, I'd want to do it as Bramblewine, initially.

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Humanizing yourself and showing a facial pic are two different things and it depends upon whether you have anything to lose. There are professions (education, for example) where there are codes of conduct in place and you can lose your job if you are too free with your profile. This happened to two teachers I know from Fetlife and the are now black-balled in that profession.

Even if you have your photos set to "friends only" on a site, just because someone is your friend today doesn't mean they will be tomorrow and anyone knows how to take a screen shot. I have another friend who was in a relationship that didn't work out and the guy sent a link to her Human Resources Director. She worked in health care and had to sign a code of conduct agreement, even though she had taken her profile down.

There are vindictive people in the world. Again, if you have nothing to lose, then be as free as you want to be.

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