On Being Open
They called me a painslut not long after I showed up, and the term fit. One of my lovely sadists thought it was too demeaning, and she came up with "pain strumpet." I'll go with it.
I'm open about my nature. All of my friends know. I work for a health club, and I think most everybody working there knows. Plenty of my clients at work know, and all of my private clients know.
Why be so open? At first, because keeping the secret was impossible. I showed up for work with large bruises, and somebody said, "Where'd you get that horrible bruise?" and I couldn't drop my foolish, happy grin. Later, I decided letting people know was better than seeming to keep it secret. I didn't want someone to invite me into their home for weeks or months, then discover from some other source that I like a sound whipping. "Why didn't you tell me?" wasn't a conversation starter I wanted to have.
There's a deeper answer, though: I like being open.
I shock some people. I've been told (in screaming all caps) that I'm bound for hell. Sometimes I ignore them altogether, and other times I'm entertained. Often enough, the shock takes the form of intrigue, and someone will want to know more about it. Not to take part or be a witness, I think, but maybe to square this ordinary-seeming guy with the over-the-top perverts from central casting as seen in crime dramas or porn. I'm happy to share as much detail as the interested can handle.
Do I lose massage business from being so open? Maybe. Even probably.
On the other hand, there are a lot of people engaged in bdsm. Many of these folks could use a good massage, but how many want to open themselves to the kinds of questions their tattoos, scars, and such will bring on? They can be sure that I won't be casting judgement.