FA 068 Disclosure

Introduction topic

  • Laura Kipnis, Rape Culture, and the Disappearance of Sex

    • http://quillette.com/2017/04/18/laura-kipnis-rape-culture-disappearance-sex/


Why disclose

  • Consider the purpose behind your disclosure

    • Is this to genuinely bring them into the loop on an aspect of your life, or are you seeking to “dump” emotional baggage or anxiety?

      • Determining if you are looking for a common point of empathy or sympathy is crucial, as sympathy does not solidify relationships (you don’t want your mate feeling sorry or pitying you)

      • Constantly seeking sympathy can be seen as emotionally burdening and, in some cases, a form of emotional warfare or abuse by a partner

    • Seeking encouragement, especially if disclosing personal issues or struggles, is actually a great way to solidify a relationship

    • Are you disclosing a mistake that you’ve made because you’re afraid of them finding out, or because you feel genuinely sorry and are seeking forgiveness

  • Feeling comfortable in your relationship

    • Keeping secrets, regardless of the type, can be stressful and induce anxiety

      • If not sharing information with your mate(s) is impairing the relationship you should consider why you don’t trust your mate with this information and make steps to moving to a trusting position (or re-evaluate the relationship as a whole)

    • Your mate(s) can not provide support for your needs if you don’t tell them what they are

  • Because it’s the law in some cases

    • Some medical conditions that are communicable (HIV, for example) are required by law in certain jurisdictions to be disclosed to current and future potential partners prior to any sexual contact. Know your rights and requirements under the law!

Who to disclose to

  • Lovers, friends, employers, coworkers, emergency workers, health care providers, therapists

When and Where to disclose

  • Find your comfort zone, as well as an appropriate location, to disclose

    • Talking about kinky BDSM pseudo-NC scenes may not be appropriate at Olive Garden

    • Talking about STIs and testing may be appropriate on the first date, but use your discretion

      • Disclosing too much too soon might be overwhelming, especially if the relationship has yet to develop

    • Remember that just because you’re in public doesn’t mean everyone is going to behave

      • Metriko: Storytime about my mother, walmart, and me

  • It’s best to disclose when you’re feeling well

    • Disclosures when you feel overly anxious, or actually sick, can lead to disaster or rushing through information

    • This is especially important if disclosing

  • Remember that purpose of disclosing is to benefit you and whomever you are speaking with

    • don’t provide traumatic disclosures at inopportune times unless failing to disclose would result in additional harm

    • Don’t disclose before a major interview, examination, first date, or public event

What to disclose

  • STI exposure

  • Infidelity

  • Sexual encounters with non-mates

  • Flirtations / sexual solicitations

  • Newly found kinks/desires

  • Shifts along the autonomy/commitment spectrum

  • Shifts along the monogamy/polyamory spectrum

  • Shifts in sexuality or gender identity

  • Major change of income or housing status

  • Bad credit

  • Debt

  • Children from a previous relationship

  • Terminal illness

  • Plans to leave the area

  • Existence of other sexual or romantic partners

How to disclose

  • Keep it simple and direct

    • Embellishments can cause confusion, and it can make it seem like you are burying the lede

  • Remember that everyone will have reactions to disclosures, especially if they are more “severe”. Ensure that you give them time to process the information

    • Impressions and reactions can change beyond the initial knee-jerk, but don’t be pushy for them to change their mind

  • Non-violent communication

    • Be vulnerable and admit fault

    • Do not blame the other person for your wrongful actions

    • Take responsibility for what happened, to the extent that you were responsible


  • Subject: My partner wants an open relationship, but I want poly. What do I do?

    • I'm X (19M) and I'm dating my partner (23M). We've been together for a year and a half and I'm contacting in regards to how and if I should propose opening up a bit. The story starts in November, when my partner and I went to Ohio to visit someone we've been talking to for a few months beforehand. He was our Pup and it was good at first. We had laid out some rules beforehand and all made sure we wanted to go through with it. Sadly, there was a misunderstanding which we all talked about afterwards. One thing that is worth noting is that the Pup was clearly more attached to me (snuggling, kissing, and sexually). Once my partner and I got back, we started talking about the weekend. Over the course of a couple weeks, he was saying he was jealous and kind of uncomfortable doing it again, so I told the Pup. Every new piece of information my partner told me, I relayed to the Pup. So when it came down to my partner wanting to drop the threesome, the Pup said he was fine with it and understood, but he started being very passive towards us. After another couple weeks, my partner stopped talking to him altogether. Fast forward to recently, and my partner and I started talking about potentially opening up to a friends-with-benefits thing. But some rules include no one-on-one time, no texting unless it's a group text, etc. And that makes me feel bad and I don't really want to be that restricted. I could care less about sex, I just want cuddles and kisses and another person to love. I would love to be in a poly triad but I feel guilty about bringing it up, and fear he thinks that I don't love him. So if I were to bring it up or even come up with any ground rules, what would you guys suggest? I appreciate you taking the time to read this and look forward to hearing back.

      • Received via email (name withheld)


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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.