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JAN 12 : Just one more confession...?

Welcome today to 1more_sickpuppy, avid reader and generous supporter of our online original and fanfic communities.

Now, I've never been one to talk about things that could be construed as even vaguely embarrassing

But she will to us, bless her! ^_~
Here is On Coming Out.

And I think you'll find it a viewpoint that's both familiar and... SHARED by many of us!





On Coming Out

Hello everyone, I'm Josie and I'm addicted to slash.

The other day kitzheng covered kinks we try not to talk about in decent company, and on that note I got to thinking about coming out. As a slasher and/or as a reader of fanfiction. Because I am still firmly barricaded in my closet. I have very rarely felt any inclination at all to reveal to RL people that I am and do those things online. And they do wonder sometimes, they ask me what the heck I spend all those hours on the computer doing??

Now, I've never been one to talk about things that could be construed as even vaguely embarrassing. As a child I never told my parents anything and my best friend only some things, I hated showing stories I wrote and certain pictures I drew. I know that for some people the whole fic thing is not about coming out because they were never in the closet to begin with. And for many their family and closer friends are in the know. I seem to have a lot of Flisters who have awesome, open minded, supportive men/husbands, a few of which even get a kick themselves out of the boy-on-boy thing! If I ever settle down, I sooo want one of those. In all fairness, my ex would have gladly greeted just about anything that turned me on enough so he got laid, but I just can't see that most of the guys I know, would.

Me, I have a password-locked user on the PC so people (who seem to love getting on my computer) won't see my internet bookmarks, I've recently moved all downloaded fic and boy-pics onto my external HD which isn't usually hooked up, and I do not talk about it. Why? Probably because I know all the prejudice I used to hold against fanfic readers back when I first heard of it, and I don't want people to think of me that way. Which is kind of terrible. Not everyone is as damn critical as me, and when I feel it can pass, I even do try to casually insinuate the idea of girls liking m/m into the minds of straightlaced folks, but that's different. There's Brokeback Mountain now.

There are two girl friends I've been close to telling, one I'm pretty sure would be right there with me because we had a similar thing going over film when we were 10. I came this close to sending her links to Buffy/Spike het that would have been right up her alley. And my current best friend, she could get into some fandom stuff I think, and she's seen the light of m/m sex. She noticed I had 'Queer As Folk' soundtrack music and 4 weeks later had watched all of the Brit and the US series - left me in the dust! She was fangirling like crazy and I almost started nudging her towards online Fandom.

I guess to me QaF was a legit way of perving because it was an official, produced TV show, but in the end things cooled off before I grew enough balls to clue her in. She actually suspects I keep part of my computer locked because I'm downloading porn! Uh, regular porn, I mean. The kicker is, I'd almost rather let her think that than say 'right now I'm reading mostly original slash of varying erotic levels and talking to fellow slashers and fen'. I'd have to explain what it means, yeah, but she and I can readily admit to each other that we're pervs and that's ok, so... I've gone so far as to half-seriously say I have a secret online life, just to explain my online time.

Why, oh why do I feel so self-conscious about fandom, collecting lurvely man pics and reading fic? It's a real nuisance having to shut all browser windows in a panic when your best friend or boyfriend appear. You're probably wondering by now if I'm making a point. I'm not. I'm just flailing, maybe crying for help. How did you come out? How exactly did you tell your friends, your significant others, and how did they react?

~ Jo, just another sick puppy.




-----------------------------

Follow this month with Clare (yes, it's all about the MEEEE...):

Week 2 :
Jan 09 : ravensilver describes the creativity of independent manga publishing - and the challenges...
Jan 10 : kitzheng talks about Kink...
Jan 11 : chrissy munder shares the struggles of writing, NC17 penguins and mantyhose...




Jan 01 : the Cheeky Cherubs welcome us to 2009 with a pithy verse or two and the threat of piercings...
Jan 02 : sweet, sexy fiction from lilzazu, all about the perennially tricky problem of a sticky shift...
Jan 03 : excellent editing tips for all authors who ever wondered whether to be cruel to be kind to their prose, hosted by jolilightner...
Jan 04 : Clare pimps the fabulous I DO anthology, now available in ebook and all proceeds to Lambda...
Jan 05 : abstractrx ponders the changing role of Romance and its reflection of - or on?! - the society around it...
Jan 06 : FREE FICTION from me and my friends!
Jan 07 : Jordan Castillo Price discusses what tempts us to try out a new author...
Jan 08 : Clare rambles on about perceived plagiarism and posts excerpts of her Torquere titles...





Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Comment HERE!!

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Good point and true. I don't want to hear too much about other RL people's kinks, and that goes both ways. It's just that the amount of time and involvement I give to slash which puts me in a position where sooner or later I will really have to say something about it to, say, a future boyfriend. And your unspoken agreement sounds like it's working out well. Guess it depends on the guy (and myself) how it plays out.
(Deleted comment)
clarelondon
Jan. 13th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Well said, Alex!

I keep starting my own reply to this and getting distracted *lol*.

I take a slightly different tack. If I don't want to discuss it with this particular person, I usually say I'm reading/writing SF or fantasy. That usually kills the discussion dead, I see them glaze over! Dreadful, isn't it?! One day I'll take them to task over their narrow-mindedness...

But if I *want* to chat, I'll say romance, like Alex does. If they respond positively, I move on to the 'adult/spicy' description. And if they're *still* with me, I go on to m/m! LOL.

And then, god help them, I'm primed and ready to go, will talk all night! *lol*

I told my Mum straight off. Some of my first publications were in the Yaoi Con book, and she wanted to read them. Dammit, *I* wanted her to read them! And bless her, she picked up on the themes of love and betrayal rather than sticking on the m/m explicit-ness. My stepfather read them too - and is half way through my Gold Warrior book - and appears most interested in where I research my technical details. LOL

I don't think I've converted anyone in my family. But if they've coped with the Yaoi Con tales (now published in my Masquerade book), I think they can cope with a lot of m/m romance. I must admit, though, it gets a *bit* lonely, reading and writing a genre without any like-minded souls in my RL circle. People at work have been very supportive, a couple of them reading all of mine - and even giving feedback!

Oh, and I did present a copy of Sparks Fly to my monthly Book Club *lol*. They congratulated me on its publication, but I didn't notice anyone borrowing a copy to read! Maybe *that* circle of friends aren't quite up to the task yet...^_~
(Deleted comment)
clarelondon
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
*lmao*
That's so lovely!

And seriously, I think a lot of people think I'm doing this as an entree. I still catch the look on hubby's face sometimes, as per 'when are you going to write something more mainstream?' He keeps trying to get me to resurrect my 300k bodice-ripper novel(s) I wrote years ago!
(not sure he realises there was some m/m in that too...*smirk*).

But while I read it and love it, that's what I want to write too!
^__^
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
Lol, well I love me some quality SF, I'd be right there with you! And then when you said spicy m/m... count me in, haha. I've gotten some good tips here on half-sneaky ways to introduce the idea to people, and it's always great to know others have the same problems. I linked to this post in my own LJ and had a couple of comments there too from Flisters.
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
That's a smart approach, the problem for me is that I don't really read romance - I'm all about the angst and tend to like the darker stuff more, which leaves me reading online fic almost exclusively. But I do like to play the 'guys wanna see two girls getting it on? Well, vice versa!' card, and then just rub it in if there are anti-gay grumblings. And technically, I know there's nothing to be ashamed about, but I'm a little insecure when it comes to the way other people think about me. So it's really my own hangups that are making trouble for me...
charliecochrane
Jan. 12th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
I loved this article as it reflects all sorts of feelings I have/had.

My three teenage daughters see the 'slash' in everything, even more than me, they adore John Barrowman and so the whole concept of m/m is just part of the ordinary dinner time conversation. They can also see the copies of Maurice or Ransom on the bookshelf so there's little clues all around.

Confessing about the fact that I do m/m writing, which is a similar thing? I built up to it gradually, started with things I'd had put in a fanzine, built up to 'Ooh, you know my friend, she wants me to put a story in her book' and took it from there. The Cochrane household all know (they stalk me on the net and hang out in my LJ), hubby being a bit delusional that I'll end up as JKR. They are diseminating the news to their pals ('Mum's on Amazon!') so I'm just waiting for word to get around by a process of osmosis, aka snitching. I'll deal with that as it comes!

Having said all that, they don't know what goes on in my head when I read 'The Charioteer'...



Edited at 2009-01-12 11:50 am (UTC)
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
I guess over time and using hints you get a feel for which people might be open to the idea, and which are better kept out. But I'm amazed by how many writers seem to have the kind of support you do. Sounds great!
So, 'The Charioteer' - someone else mentioned it here to, and I have never heard about it! Must investigate...
Thanks for sharing!
ashlynkane
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Future hubby was one of the first to know about my kinky online fanfic writing habits. I think I told him over the phone while I was away at university. It just so happened that he knew I was writing, anyway, and wanted to know what the heck had my interest. I should point out that at this point, B and I were separated by 6 hours of driving time and were already finding ways to use technology to lessen our sexual frustration, can we say. He wanted to know how the heck I was so good at it, so, instead of telling him, I showed him. He thinks it's pretty much the best thing ever that his girlfriend/fiance writes porn (even if/when it involves two guys). And actually, yeah, as a joke asked me to write some m/m smut involving two of his (straight) friends, which I totally did because I cannot resist a challenge. Apparently one of them read it aloud to the other. In a Scottish accent. Anyway.

I've told a few other friends over the years, and I'll send some of them links to stuff I've written when it's of the fanfic variety, or stuff to be proofread, critiqued, etc, when it's of the to-be-published variety (most of my friends are English majors, and we are a geeky bunch to begin with anyway). Turns out two of them also wrote fic (granted, one of them came out about fanfic to me first). And now she's my co-author. So that worked out pretty well.

Unfortunately, when my mom Googled the cheque I got in the mail from Dreamspinner Press? Things did not go quite so smoothly. They're patched over now, mostly, but my parents are sorta religious, so, you know. There's a wee bit of tension there. Mostly I think they just want to actually be able to read something I've written, so I guess I'd better get my ass in gear and finish that teen fantasy novel.
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
The straight friends reading personalized porn to each other - what an image!! :D
I can see how religious parents might not be thrilled, especially finding out like that. Glad it's better. I do hear a lot of positive coming out stories from online friends so maybe I'm worrying too much. Sooo not telling my mom though, even though she's very open minded and tolerant... :)
jenre
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm a closet m/m reader. It helps having an ebook reader because no one can see the covers. In fact there have been only two times when hub has caught me reading a m/m and they were both when I was reading a paper copy.

The first time was when I was reading "Standish" by Erastes. I was reading it at the doctors with hub sat next to me. After a while hub said, "I wish I hadn't read that". It was at that point I realised he was reading over my shoulder! Serves him right.

The second time was a week or so ago when I was reading "The Charioteer". I'd deliberately left the book lying about as I wasn't going to be ashamed of reading classic fiction. Hub actually took an interest in it and asked whether I thought he would enjoy it.

So, although we've never actually discussed it (how British is that?), I think he does know. I also suspect that he reads my blog from time to time, in which case he can't fail to know. I just can't bring myself to confess it openly to him.

As for my friends...no way. I couldn't do it. I sometimes wonder how many more of us there are, all secretly reading our m/m. It would be great to have someone to discuss m/m books with which is why I spend so much time on-line!
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
After a while hub said, "I wish I hadn't read that".
*dies laughing*

Given the right opportunity, there can be a lot of fun in rubbing guy's noses in how girls can get off on m/m - especially the ones who are mildly opposed to the idea. As long as they would watch lesbian porno, they have not foot to stand on in an argument!

You're the second person to mention 'The Charioteer', and I must find out what that is. I recognize how it can be ok knowing that someone else knows, as long as you don't have to officially acknowledge it. And yes, wonder if we're passing fellow fangirls and slashers on the street sometimes... LJ can be exciting when you find someone from the same country or area as yourself.

Thanks for sharing, we know we're not alone!
jenre
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC)
You're the second person to mention 'The Charioteer', and I must find out what that is

erm, not to blow my own trumpet or anything but I did a review of it at my blog last week. You can find it at

http://jenre-wellread.blogspot.com/2009/01/review-charioteer-by-mary-renault.html

1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 13th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
Not at all with the trumpet, it was really helpful! May save the book for when I'm not drowning in reading...
chrissymunder
Jan. 12th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, ealier this morning (much, LOL) I had typed up a nice, lengthy comment and then never got to post it as the work ball started rolling.

I've mulled over this on and off since and dag nab it I'm not sure I have anything helpful to say.

What I can do is share an amusing (to me)anecdote about when I've been out with my husband and met up with friends of his - the man knows what I write as the guys laugh about it often and come up with (very)unlikely scenarios for me to write.

So there we are with this man's girlfriend and her daughter (7-8? years old.

Man says - "Oh, you should talk to Chrissy she's been published."

Gal - "Really? Anything I've read?"

Me - "I don't know - do you read Homoerotic Romance?"

Gal - "Wha?" Blank Stare

My Husband - "Gay Porn"

At which point this gal (3 kids out of wedlock by multiple fathers and not married to man here and currently pregnant by him) puts her hands over her innocent daughter's ears to shield her from the horrid words already spoken.

The husband and I still laugh about that.



1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Haha, yeah the naughty is all relative... given time to digest, people will get used to stuff they initially shy away from.
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 12th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks to all for reading and commenting, thanks Clare for hosting! Haha, I should probably have warned that I keep a lot of personal stuff to myself, but I can talk in embarrassing detail about other things to anyone who will listen... me and my friend will unabashedly discuss sex, sex toys, guys' parts, types of sex... but this is something I learned in the past 6 years or so. I was very innocent, once.
jordan_c_price
Jan. 13th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I feel relieved that the minute I discovered m/m online, I told my SO about it and didn't have to hide it as a guilty pleasure. I can't imagine if I ever had to break in a new guy, having to have the conversation again. At the time, it just a brand new, "Oh, hey, look what I found!" so it wasn't like I had to explain where 40-50 hours of my week go, every week. Which was how it would be now if I had to explain it so someone new.

I'm coming out to mom slowly, over the course of a few months. (I'm 40 and haven't lived at home since I was 18, and I suppose I'm fairly private.) I told her first that I'd been selling some writing, and that I wasn't giving out my pen name because the work was too spicy for me to be comfortable with my family reading it. Of course, nagging for the pen name ensued, but I'll come forth with it when I'm ready.

What I'm really enjoying with my mom, though, is that she's fascinated by the business end of my writing and publishing. She loves hearing my sales numbers and she'd probably be fascinated if I took a new tally twice a day. I told her when I visit her this spring, I'll show her my shopping cart, mailing list, and other business stuff, since she thinks it so darned interesting. So I think at that point I'll tell her the m/m part of the equation.

I think that seeing that all these other women are digging it will help it sink in a little easier. (In other words, seeing the sales numbers. 'If other people are doing it, it must be OK' sort of mentality.) And I've got to wonder if maybe she suspects what the big secret is. I've always gravitated toward gay guys.

Thanks for posting on such a personal topic, Jo!
1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 13th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Hi! Glad folks could enjoy the post even though I don't know most of you.

That does sound like an ideal way to share it with an SO - from the start. Unfortunately I'm past that point... but I've thought about pretending I'm just adding a newly discovered little spice to my life for fun, and then easing the other person into how much I'm really into it. Obviously it's important to me that any SO is generally open minded so that should make it easier.

Having someone think of the whole thing as business first seems like a good way too, and as you say, if a lot of people are doing it it can't be that freaky...

Thanks for sharing your view on things!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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