Sunday, March 25, 2012

Answering questions

I went out to lunch yesterday with a group of people that, for the most part, didn't know me. The only context being that I was friends with one of the people that they were also friends with. As one does when meeting new people, you have the perfunctory "getting to know a new person" discussion. i.e. Where is someone from? What do they do for a living? How do they know said mutual acquaintance?

In this case, I knew said mutual acquaintance from a gang bang party. not really something that people say in polite company, is it? It wasn't the last time I hung out with this particular person. That time I just knew him from "around." (Fabulously awkward and nondescript place, that "around.") He had told me his other friends knew about the parties, but latent trust issues also led me to believe this could possibly be a lie, and so "around" it was.

This time, I kept in mind my resolution to start being more honest about who I am if the situation calls for it. As in, not shaking somebody's hand and saying, "Hello, I am a sort-of polyamorist who is also involved in the kink scene. I am married, but it is an open marriage. Also, I am sexually attracted to all sorts of different genders." That is a bit much. More, if somebody asks a particular question and I have the opportunity to answer it honestly (example: "Where do you know our mutual acquaintance from?"), I am going to do so. This is not a New Years resolution, or even a resolution entirely. I think it's just a type of exposure therapy. Where people who are afraid of snakes use exposure to snakes to get over that fear, I am taking my fear of trusting others and slowly making myself just be honest and try to accept that not everybody will use the information they have on you against you.

So keeping that resolution in mind, I answered the question honestly. Well, I didn't use the word "gang bang," but I did say, "I know him from the parties," which caused the people at the table to make a thoughtful face, and then a sort of, "oooo I get it" face. (This is also part of the resolution - to find a middle-ground somewhere where I am not talking about getting facials from other boyfriends (you know, the kind without scrubbing loofas or cucumbers), but also not just saying that I did "nothing.")

Then come the questions.

This is honestly a part that I don't ever really mind. I realized even before volunteering for the LGBT panel experience in college that "the majority" has questions. Now that I am more of a freelance panelist (i.e. I still live an "alternative" lifestyle, but organizations are not signing me up to come and sit behind a table and field questions, I am just meeting everyday people who have questions), there are still the two main fields of questions. There are the genuine interest questions, à la, "This is different from anything I've heard of/experienced before. Tell me more about it." Then there are the obnoxious, "What you are doing is wrong and I would like to ask you circular logic type questions to try and get you to understand how wrong you are about it." Being a freelance panelist now is nice, because I can politely tell the latter type of question askers to fuck themselves.

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