At the end of last week I decided I was going to deactivate my Tumblr. I didn’t feel like I have the energy to update both a Tumblr with nakey photos and a blog with mucky words. I spend too much time on the internet as it is (and I mean a lot too much) and it just seemed exhausting. I’ve been enjoying titting about on Twitter, and beginning to get to know people in the sex blogger community, and it seemed much more creative and useful than Tumblr somehow.
So I said goodbye to my Tumblr friends. I scrolled through my feed and saved my favourite pics of myself, and then went to the deactivate link… and I couldn’t do it. It didn’t help that a couple of my photos were reblogged by people with huge followings immediately before and after, and I still find that little rush of notifications and the concomitant repeated release of dopamine pretty intoxicating. I’m an exhibitionist! It’s what I do and why I do it!
But the secondary reason is that Tumblr feels a lot more anonymous than the blogging community, who mostly congregate on Twitter. Tumblr is mostly Americans- midwesterners and New Yorkers, Californians and New Mexicans. They’re alien, faraway, with a very particular Milennial aesthetic that can render them almost not real people somehow. It felt easy to throw my photos into the void knowing that I was not young or conventionally attractive enough- or blessed with the work ethic or photographic abilities- to ever garner an audience of a size that might subject me to any real danger of exposure.
SexTwitter is different. There are many more Brits, and some of them are connected to and move in circles with people I vaguely know from my Vanilla life. None of these people are best buddies, but more like a handful of mutuals from the decade or so when I had a very lightly followed Vanilla Twitter. They’re people who may, if they bumped into me on someone else’s timeline, know me well enough to recognise some of my written tics, personal running jokes or, in photos, distinguishing marks and blemishes.
And I’ve realised I’m not making a lot of effort not to sound like myself on Twitter; I mean, why would I? Well, because I don’t want to cross the streams. I’m in no way ready to out myself as the filthy wee besom that I am- not deliberately, and certainly not accidentally. I’m enormously impressed and envious of those who are able to be out and proud about this stuff, but that’s not me.
It’s nothing to do with a career or kids or any need to protect my social prestige- it’s just that I’m just not that brave. If someone I knew from the real world busted me it would be enormously humiliating in the not- good way: the tummy- squiggling, can’t sleep, my- secret’s- out kind of way. I mean, it’s pretty unlikely to happen, I might just be incredibly paranoid, but it’s not impossible. It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time, or, more to the point, could happen at any time. It’s the internet. It’s out there for everyone to see, at any time, forever and ever and ever.
So I don’t know. My beloved inner showpony says ‘fuck it, none of it matters, no one cares, Death beckons’. My photos have been out there for two years anyway, this isn’t really any different. She shows no fear and gives no fucks and I wish her voice was louder. My inner Nun is pursing her lips and saying that it’s all completely okay, this kinky sluttery business, she supposes, but it’s really very important that nobody ever knows about it, because actually, aren’t I still a little bit ashamed of all of this? Of being submissive, of liking rough, sometimes degrading sex? Of enjoying the validation that comes from showing my body to complete strangers? Really, seriously; just a little bit ashamed? It’s okay to be a little ashamed, she thinks. I’m not being funny, my Inner Nun says, but you probably should be a bit more ashamed than you are.
Anyway. So the Tumblr’s still up. I want to add photos to my blog posts, but it feels odd still. My showpony kink is untended to. I’m in limbo, standing on the edge of the pool. The water’s deep and blue and probably lovely, but I’m a little bit too scared to jump in.