In the past few weeks, I've had to reexamine what I was and was not willing to do in this, my Lily persona. I review, I blog, I tweet, I post HNTs. I've learned a great deal, and I've made a lot of friends, some of whom I originally idolized and never dreamed I'd be able to call them friends. I've mentioned things that would seriously narrow the search field if someone went digging.
The biggest has been the Loving a Transgendered Parent series I've been doing with EdenCafe. I've had a few sleepless nights over those, but I decided that the help they could give to people who needed to hear what I could tell them was worth more than the discomfort I'd experience if I had to explain all of this to my family.
Recently, EdenFantasys threw a pair of big events in Philadelphia and NYC. I spent two weeks agonizing about it. I really wanted to go - I'd made a bunch of friends through Twitter in the previous months, and the idea of meeting them and the EF staff face to face drew me. At that point I'd never met someone in the flesh that I could talk to about toys without having to teach them from the ground up first. To be able to talk to people, in person, would do a lot to relieve the fears that I'm some kind of deviant, deranged nut. On the other hand, I'm headed into a field where it could be disastrous if the wrong person ever matched up Luscious Lily/Lily Elle with the real me.
In the end, with the persuasion of my loving boyfriend, we decided to go... only to have that plan scrapped by one of my professors moving my early morning exam up a week to the morning after the event. C'est La Vie.
Even at this point, while I'd moved my boundaries a bit, I still have firm boundaries. There is only so much that I'm willing to let overlap between my two lives. At an event, a group of friendly people with similar concerns would have matched a face with an online persona. They'd even have gotten first names. But that's it. In my personal life, all of 4 people aside from my boyfriend knew that I reviewed sex toys.
Until a friend outed me.
She outed me as a sex toy reviewer in front of a group of people I'd just met, and knew next to nothing about. All I knew was that this little group of people I'd been starting to get along with was the school's pagan students group, where I'd been invited by this friend to run a small workshop on meditation.
Before I could even get started, she decided that it would be a good ice breaker to tell them all that I was also a sex toy reviewer. I almost bolted right then, to hell with the workshop. I managed to stick it out, and they turned out to be a very fun, chill group of people who weren't phased by the revelation, but were apologetic for their leader's... unfortunate tendency to gab.
Afterward, I firmly let my friend know that, on no uncertain terms, I was no OK with her telling people about my other life. She seemed to understand, and was more circumspect for a while. Until of course she outed me again, in front of a different group of people. Fortunately for me, the group happened to include other people of similar interests and desires for privacy, so we all turned a deaf ear to her attempted revelations.
I wonder now if it was all a play for attention, if it made her feel special to be able to introduce me as "her friend, the sex toy reviewer!", because they are certainly not openly common in my area, and she has done little to give her something to brag about for herself, instead of bragging about her friends.
Whatever the motivation, she seriously scared me. I've spent some of my sick time over the past few weeks worrying. At more than one point I seriously considered finishing up this last set of reviews, closing down my blog and twitter, ending my reviewing accounts on the e-tailers I frequent, and leaving it all behind. It didn't take me long to realize that this is not a part of my life I'm willing to give up just yet. If I had to cover my tracks, I'd get in touch with a few key people, lay out my story, and start over with a new persona.
After all my thinking, I came to this conclusion: my cover isn't blown yet. Thus far, the only people who know have turned out to be people more than happy to keep my secret. The blabbermouthed friend has been convinced to Shut. The Hell. Up. And for the foreseeable future, I'll be able to keep this little corner of the internet for myself. I can keep reviewing sex toys and spreading knowledge about their safe and pleasurable use, which is becoming a passion of mine. I can keep being me, with no censoring, to all of you. And that's all I ask.