You may have noticed that I don’t write much about the worlds I navigate outside of dating. And while my choice to focus on just one area of my life limits me as a writer sometimes, I’m driven by a powerful motivator: fear.
- Fear that increased transparency will jeopardize my anonymity.
- Fear that the loss of anonymity will have negative personal and professional consequences.
- Fear that the costs will ultimately outweighs the benefits.
Unless you have an extremely liberal position on female sexuality, you probably understand my hesitation to offer any more details than I already have. I mean, the title of my blog is The Year of Living Promiscuously. It isn’t erotica, but it isn’t false advertising either. If you’ve read through The Forty and kept a tally of my conquests, then you’ll have made…a lot of damn tally marks (seriously, if you’re counting, message me. I’m worried about you…but also, could we compare notes? I need to check my math).
Of everyone in my inner circle, I worry most about my parents’ reactions. I’m close with both of them, and while I am most certainly a grown-ass woman, I’m also bound to an ancient code of parent-child silence when it comes to sex. If your dynamic with your parents is different, kudos to you, but growing up, I didn’t even get “the talk.” I assume my parents were greatly relieved to hear that I, their oldest child, would take sex ed in public school. I’m not certain, though, because yet again, we’ve never discussed the utter lack of discussion around all things sex-related. Between health class lectures and the (I kid you not) True Love Waits programming at church, I think they figured I’d be ok. So on the one hand, I’m pretty much guaranteed to never ever discuss the risqué parts of my blog with my folks (The Couple springs to mind), but knowing that they had seen it would be mortifying, even exceeding when I was 19 and my dad read my bathroom copy of Cosmopolitan in which I’d taken a sexual inventory quiz – oh, God, I’m having a flashback.
Another consideration: as I’ve mentioned a couple times, I have kids. It’s mildly terrifying to think of them reading through some of my posts. The inevitable questions and conversations are a few levels beyond “mildly terrifying.” When it comes to My Ex, though? Read ’em and weep, dude.
So far, my fears have been of awkwardness or embarrassment. Not exactly a great excuse to limit myself, right? There’s this other thing, though…
I work for a conservative suburban mega church smack in the middle of the Bible Belt. I most definitely signed an employee handbook that would view my authorship of a no-holds-barred dating blog chock full of my sexual exploits as both a clear violation of the rules and a fire-able offense. I have legitimate reason to believe that my loss of anonymity will lead to financial instability.
With so much to lose, why in the world would I ever think of going public? To put it simply: if I want my writing dreams to move towards reality, I’m going to have to eventually strike out boldly. Away from comfort. Towards the unknown. Away from fear. Towards bravery.
We’ve all played enough Super Mario to know this simple truth: there’s wisdom in timing things right. Rushing headlong into risk isn’t the goal so much as knowing when to jump so that I land on my feet instead of falling to my doom. I recently listened to a wildly popular podcast whose creator faced similar challenges to what I’m wrestling with now. When he finally took his story public, he was met with acclaim rather than the judgment and ostracism that he expected. Then agan, his content was much tamer than mine, but I know he was afraid, just like me.
I’m not sure what “the right timing” is, but I’m working on figuring that out. In the interim, as I attempt to lean bravely into the unknown, you’ll likely get to know the parts of me that I’ve been quiet about before now. Here’s to getting better acquainted.