Someone recently asked in a comment about confidentiality in kink as related to professional mental health care:
I have never heard of confidentiality being discussed in kink as part of informed consent. Do you think there is a place for it? Just curious…
Professional confidentiality? No.
Casual confidentiality? Yes.
To go into detail, what is required of a professional is above and beyond what is required of casual interactions, especially those where confidentiality is not discussed or negotiated.
And, just as the legal system cannot force spouses to testify against each other, I would never expect anyone to withhold personal kink experiences and details from their friends or family, unless specifically discussed.
That said, I do not share information casually.
For example, if I play with someone in the community, I generally don’t share that information without permission.
I have found that people who play with me tend to tell people, which I find odd, but I don’t negotiate against it, so I’m OK with that. I tend to keep it to myself, and just talk about “spending time” with friends and playmates—at least until we’ve created an “official” relationship dynamic (often a year or more).
I know most people are more casual than that with personal information, and if I want to keep things private, I know I can certainly ask that as part of my communication.
However, I would not ever consent to a relationship that required that I not discuss my feeling and actions with people in my closest circle OR that required me to not share overall feeling or specifics with others through a vetting process, including speaking my mind about positive or negative feelings as I see fit.
And I would not expect anything less of others.
A few notes on vetting and consent:
“I Don’t Want To Carry Tales.”
Let’s Talk About References…
What are your thoughts?
Do you specifically negotiate confidentiality in kink play? Do you prefer to keep things private or more open?
How do you handle vetting issues, and how would you like vetting issues to be handled with you, should you start seeing someone that might pose a potential issue, according to your friends?
I look forward to your answers.