It can be hard to be open about the kind of lifestyle you want or have when it comes to sexuality and relationships. You might be worried about offending or triggered others—especially the people you love. Worse yet, you might face a dangerous backlash for being "out" about your unconventional preferences.
We are, at our core, social animals. Fitting in is necessary for survival. When you are vocal about how the way you live your life is different from the standard narrative, it’s inevitable that some people will feel threatened. Humans will silence, shame or violently force each other to fall in line in the name of social stability. There’s a lot to lose when deciding to be 100% yourself in this world.
At best, you will offend your friends and family and lose some relationships. At worst, you face oppression and a violent backlash.
So, when is it actually worth it? As Anais Nin put it, it’s worth it when the risk of remaining tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.
I choose to blossom. That is why I decided to come out publicly as non-monogamous.
I recognize my privilege as a middle-class white person and as a cis woman born in 21st century America that I can talk openly about my identity without fearing physical violence. Still, it's scary to imagine that some people who hear what I have to say will judge me.
Here are 5 reasons to be open about what you authentically in sex and love, if you have that privilege:
1. Help the world learn to accept that there is no right way to live a life.
2. Help more people see that all perspectives and orientations are valid and worthy of respect.
3. Inspire people who are like you and help them feel a sense of belonging.
4. Encourages yourself to do the inner work of letting go of any internalized shame.
5. Feel more connected to others by being seen in your wholeness as your authentic self.
My wish for this world is for everyone to be loud and proud about who they are regardless of whether their needs, beliefs or lifestyle fit the status quo.
Some people don’t have the privilege of doing this without risking physical violence—but I do. So, sharing vulnerably about who I really am is worth losing some friends over. What I gain is so much bigger.
When I feel free to be myself, I feel nourished and resourced enough to hold space for other people’s truths, no matter who they are or what they believe. So to all the people out there who don’t quite fit the standard mold: you may think you’re alone, but you’re not. I’m right there with you.
And if you can, I encourage you to blossom.