Thursday, 6 September 2012

4 rules for when you're caught doing kink

"Caught in the act!"
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So, you've established a part-time Femdom relationship. And you're having fun, and then--

 --you're caught at it, or somebody finds your stash of BDSM toys... OMG!

What do you do?

What is the right thing to do?

In kink, the right to privacy goes both ways

Obviously, you have a right to practice consensual kink in privacy - not to be interrupted, judged or defined by your kink.

However, other people have the right not to have your kink rubbed in their faces.

Even people who are kinky
themselves don't necessarily
want to get flashbacks of
your twitching buttocks.

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Since kink, especially domination and submission, is often intentionally transgressive - i.e. mimics evil - and can look abusive, your idea of fun can be triggering for non-consenting witnesses. Perhaps the uptight spinster across the street got that way because she saw her mother raped - it's hardly fair to expose her to your consensual rape play, is it?

Kink is also visceral.

Even people who are kinky themselves don't necessarily want to get flashbacks of your twitching buttocks. That kind of thing can ruin a precious friendship, and put strain on even a close family...

And talking about family, I think offspring - even grown up ones - deserve not to know what you get up to. Aside from just freaking them out, you may be giving them the sense that what you do for play is actually normal in real life. And if they themselves grow up to be kinky, then it's hardly fair that their first kinky sessions will be marred with visions of their middle aged folks at it! (Remember that episode of Friends?)

So privacy has to be two-way. That means first and foremost, you shouldn't get caught.

Rule #1 Don't get caught being kinky

Lock the bloody bedroom door! 
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Lock the bloody bedroom door! Really. A locked door will never be as embarrassing or traumatic as the kink it hides.The same goes for if you share your living space with friends, relatives or roommates. Also consider the front door to your apartment or house. If a relative has the key, put the snib on before you bring out the whips and chains.

Consider audio privacy. How far does the sound carry?  Can you mask it using the right kind of music. If possible run tests. You can always visit neighbors to apologize for the noise of home improvements while your partner makes appropriate sounds in the bedroom.

Finally, have a secure place for your toys and use it. Pick something that locks, and isn't too obvious. A suitcase is good. A Gothic trunk with "TOY BOX" stenciled on it, less good. Be aware that older relatives like to help with laundry unasked, that visiting children like to hide in closets and rummage in cupboards...

Even if you do all this, be prepared for a privacy fail.

Rule #2 Be prepared

Murphy's Law says what can go wrong, will go wrong. I don't think we need to be quite that pessimistic.

However, things go wrong, routines get interrupted, toys get left lying about, people peek through keyholes.

So, have a response prepared. This will enable you to deal with any discovery right away.

Rule #3 Respond rapidly

People don't like change.

there's a good chance that somebody
who catches you...
will push away
the inconvenient knowledge.

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Things that don't fit their view of the world cause cognitive dissonance, meaning that they will cheerfully lie to themselves, or believe an obvious falsehood just to avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of adjusting their view of reality.

Thus if you act quickly, there's a good chance that somebody who catches you in kinkiness will push away the inconvenient knowledge and do their best to forget about it.

After a while, they won't even be sure what they remember! Only consider addressing the revelation later if the person is being weird with you.

Of course, this only works if you say something that minimizes the impact in the first place.

Rule #4 Reveal as little as possible

This is a time for damage control, not taking any sort of stand.

Take a breath to consider what they actually saw, heard or found and then pick an option based on order of desirability:

1. Plausible lie (What kink? There is no kink here!)

If they didn't see you do it, then lie. If they did see you but are innocent or unsophisticated, then also lie.

Yes, lie. Honesty would be self-indulgent. The only moral course is to restore that precious two-way privacy we talked about.
"The riding whip is left over from an
equestrian holiday."

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The lie only has to be plausible enough so that the discoverer can decide to believe it, or decide to pretend to believe it:
The toy is modern art, was sent as a prank, was left by somebody else, or relates to some non-kinky activity. The costume relates to a fancy dress party. The female clothes in male size result from an Ebay mispurchase. The scourge is a prop from a play. The riding whip is left over from an equestrian holiday. The sounds you heard were me practicing martial arts/pelvic floor exercises/yogic breathing/tickling/a foreign film. Those marks relate to a martial art/DIY accident/animal attack/fall onto barbed wire/skin condition.

2. Partial truth

"We like to spice things up."
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If you've actually been caught at it, then serve up an explanation that gives away as little as possible and fits the world view of the discoverer.

Deal with what they actually saw, not the drooling fetish feelings that drove that action, nor the D&S relationship wrapped around it.

Make it a one-liner so you can both swiftly change the subject. People will want to believe the least perverted explanation:
We were just horsing around. It's something the sex therapist suggested. We like to spice things up. It was the result of a bet/practical joke.

3. Go on the offensive

To back up a partial truth, or if the partial truth is unbelievable - God forbid somebody find out we've converted the Victorian coal bunker into a Medieval dungeon! - then you go on the offensive. You are morally in the right, after all.

That box was private!
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Remember, thanks to cognitive dissonance, your discoverer is feeling confused. You need to tell them how to respond to what they are seeing. They will also be feeling vaguely guilty. Let's exploit that.

I suspect the best approach is to go on the offensive in a way that assumes what you are doing is normal...
What do you expect if you violate somebody's privacy? That box was private! Didn't anybody teach you to knock? What are you doing in here? This is our bedroom! That chest was closed for a reason.
...but if you can, balance it out with an injunction or stage direction. For damage control, the best is probably something like:
Let's pretend you didn't see this. This never happened.
However, for marking boundaries and perhaps doing a little aggressive reeducation:
I'm sorry you were shocked. You weren't supposed to find out. However, what we do is consensual and we have every right to do it in private. It's also not that uncommon. Now, can we agree to move on and respect each other's privacy and boundaries.  

Best of all, stick to Rule #1

Just thinking about being caught should concentrate your mind on not getting caught!

EDITS: Good reddit thread developing here. And here. And here.

Of course, before you need to worry about this kind of problem, you need to work out how to build a kinky relationship in the first place!  When we started out, my wife was vanilla. Use my manuals to help you walk the same Femdom path! There's one for him, and one for her


  1. I kinda like exposing our D/s. I had my hubby waxed today in his device. It was great control and power.

  2. It depends on who you expose it to. The main thing is to be in control of who knows what.

  3. Like the idea of taking a deep breath and consider what they actually saw.

    1. Yes. Actually I need to make that clearer! "Stop and think for a moment."

  4. I think not imposing your kink on others is PARAMOUNT. The fantasy of taking your xdressing mate lingerie shopping or getting waxed while wearing chastity etc etc can be lovely as a fantasy but it's pretty bloody awful irl. Especially as people working in service occupations are often badly paid and under a fair amount of pressure to indulge customers' foibles and preferences anyway.

    And in a way it's worse, because requesting, let's say, a happy ending from a non-sw massage therapist would be very clear grounds for complaint and indignant refusal, turning up to a beauty therapist WHO DOESN'T KNOW IT'S COMING/doesn't consent/isn't handsomely compensated with a caged-cock partner and sitting there taunting him as he gest waxed is more subtle and thus less likely to get reported/protested.

    If you want to involve others in your kink, get enthusiastic consent and NEVER involve people over whom you have authority/power (and yes, paying someone to provide personal service is authority, especially if they are employees not owners of the business, plus going rates for sex work are way higher than waxing so hire a sw).

    I am ranting but it gets my blood boil. And I KNOW people do it -- I have heard of kinky couples doing exactly that thing. Sometimes with the tech ''in the know" (OK, if still bit exploitative imo) and sometimes NOT.

  5. I like 2 & 3. I think people should keep their noses out of others' stuff and we owe them ZERO explanation if we are caught.

    There is a situation that requires a polite explanation -- if they express concern about something that appears abusive (so not bedroom stuff going on at the time, but let's say marks, obedience, rule-following). I think it takes courage to bring these things up with a friend, even more with a family member, and firm reassurance with possibly SOME elaboration should take place. The latter is probably much more likely to be needed in a F/m situation, and probably should make light of the dynamic (it's a game/just something we're trying/my idea etc).

    I am bit in two minds about (older) children. Obviously we need to be discreet and don't disclose (or accidentally disclose) any detail, but I think there is a level of horror surrounding parental sexuality (especially in Anglo culture) that's beyond entirely healthy.

    I personally didn't find the *idea* of my parents having sex revolting when I was a teenager. Very occasionally overhearing something (minor) wasn't traumatic, nor was hearing/seeing (some) display of affection and yes, desire/lewdness or expressions of sexual appreciation or jokes etc (going both ways). Knowing not just that my parents were attracted to each other, but also, a little bit, WHY (which is where D/s or any other fetish/kink might sneak in), was a little embarrassing, yes, but also reassuring, real.

    The key phrase here, of course, is 'little bit'.

    1. Yes, a good point re "somebody spotted a pattern of behaviour or marks etc" - that does require a minimalist explanation.


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