It goes through my mind at least once a day: if I were to go to my high school reunion, how would I introduce myself and what I do? Would I keep it vanilla?
“Hey, Jim! Yeah, good to see you, too! Who, me? I’m in business. No, nothing specific. Just, you know, business.”
Or would I be honest and spill everything?
“Hey, Jim! Yeah, good to see you, too! Who, me? Well, by day I work in technology, by night I’m a professional Dominatrix, and when I have a chance to breathe, I’m a single mom to two boys. Yourself?”
Each time, it plays out differently in my head, but there’s always one nagging question at the end of my little mental theatre: what about my boys? If my family found out what I did for a living, there might be a bit of shock or eyebrow raising. Some people might get angry, as if this had anything to do with them… but how do I manage being both Dommy, and Mommy?
The first option of simply not telling them is off the table, to me. Secrets, especially ones that people consider particularly salacious, always get out. I don’t think there is any way for me to keep this a secret from my boys, forever. If we jumped on the pendulum and swung to the other side, however, there’s not much there, either. I don’t want to parade this aspect of my life in front of my boys. Not that I feel there is anything wrong with sex, sexuality, or BDSM, but I just don’t think it’s appropriate for them to know too much about their mother’s sexuality, regardless of what that entails. Eventually, I will place my toys and tools under lock and key. My BDSM books will have to be placed somewhere the boys can’t get to, and I’ll have to be more aware of the things I discuss when they’re around.
All of this, I think, brings us to a possible middle ground. Is there any option, at all, to make my sons aware of who I am and what I do, in an age-appropriate context? Do I damage them by being honest about myself, and slowly revealing aspects of my life in a planned and calculated way? Even if I present myself in a positive light, they’re surrounded by a culture that would rather teach abstinence-only, than say the word “vulva” in front of a class of teenagers.
It keeps me up at night, this question. Can I be who I truly am with the people who matter most, or, in so doing, would I damage them beyond repair? Even if they understood, is it a burden to place on my sons? To know who I am and what I do, and have to maintain discretion in a society that would prefer I simply remain barefoot and pregnant…
No matter how much I mull it over, I still don’t have the answer.