I had a conversation on Friday night, which I then translated into a conversation on my blog. The two are not the same.
The conversation, as presented, was such:
“So you play a lot at the dungeon,” I asked. “You’re clearly very sensual and body-oriented. Can I ask why are you sexually monogamous?”
“Couple of reasons, some bad,” she replied. “The bad one is that I’ve got it very good with my partner and don’t want to screw things up.”
“Stop right there,” I said. “That’s a good reason. An awesome reason. Don’t you dare think that’s a bad reason for being monogamous.”
Now, that’s not actually the conversation I had. The conversation I had was actually over the course of about twenty minutes of asking how she met her partner, and hearing the origin story (I love romantic meet-cutes), and seeing the profoundly silly grin she got when she talked about her partner. Then we discussed the difficulties of living in separate cities when you’re in love (which I did with Gini, so I sympathized), and some of the issues involved in being in hot, sensual BDSM play and not crossing boundaries.
Then I said, “Look, I know the question itself carries some weight, so please don’t think I’m judging you in any way – but given that you play so damn sensually, do you mind me asking why you’ve chosen to be sexually monogamous?”
Very different take? Yes. But when I write essays, I change conversations all the time. In this case, I knew my ultimate point was to talk about how choosing monogamy because you just don’t want to risk losing your current love is a valid choice. And an accurately transcribed conversation would pull that punch of revelation, which I planned to have about halfway through.
Also, I scrub off details before I post. Discussing more about this person’s relationship and what I knew about it would risk putting someone on a stage they never asked for, and I am always cautious with that. My conversations as presented in this blog are often heavily changed; after posting, I asked Gini whether she knew who I had spoken to, and when she guessed wrong twice, I knew I’d obfuscated correctly. In truth, I can actually neither confirm nor deny that the person who I spoke to was heterosexual or a woman or a conversation I even had on Friday. But providing more context means providing more identifiable marks.
So I boiled down a long and complex and intensely personal conversation to three lines that summarized the heart of it. I often do this. This is why I tell people that what’s in my journal is me, but my blog is not who I actually am. It’s an edited version that sometimes makes me sound better than I am, or sometimes makes me sound worse – all depending on what approach I think will sell the central point of my essays better.
The gist is there, always. The details? Not so much.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.