So social media algorithms have conspired together to expose my true identity. I have been chatting to a younger man on FetLife and we moved our exchange to a different social messaging application. I didn’t think about the repercussions of this and through clever algorithms that produce suggested ‘People You Know’ on a separate but co-owned social media platform, he now has my full name and my position in the world. It appears to have blown his mind that I am somewhat of a big deal and he promises faithfully that whatever happens with us he will never reveal my secret because he is not in the business of ‘destroying lives’.

What this younger man doesn’t realise is for the decade of years I have on him I have been wrestling with my fear of this darkness in me. I have spent hours of time and obscene amounts of money on counselling trying to ‘fix’ myself. I have read every self-help book going. I am even considering writing my own. I have hated my body and its whorish urges to be used and punished. I have been afraid of how separate my physical self was to my role as a pillar of the community. And my refusal to accept my own dark underbelly was truly life-destroying.

The Young Heart helped me to see that I am what I am. I could pull it apart and look at why, and that’s what counselling tried to do, but now I don’t care. I am me and whatever created me cannot be undone after nearly 40 years. And, most of the time, I don’t want to undo it even if you gave me that magic wand. Sometimes I still do though. That itch can be unbearable. And the path to scratch it is life-threatening. Because of past experience, I am today far more concerned about how pursuing a submissive lifestyle is actually threatening to my life rather than the damage it might do to my reputation.

I thought long and hard about my reputation before I published this blog or posted any photographs of myself online. I know true anonymity anywhere is an illusion. If someone wants to find me then they will. I will certainly be more careful with social messaging apps from now on but I am not frightened by his discovery. What do I have to lose if he outs me? It would certainly have a negative effect on some of my work but I would still be the same woman striving to make the world a better place. I would carry on despite the difficulties presented. I am also not a big enough deal to warrant high levels of media attention and I have had liaisons with men far greater than I. What does he have to lose? Everything. He is married and, apart from the lack of kink, happily so. I seem to gravitate naturally towards men who have more to lose than I do.

I’m not really sure why I am writing this. I guess it marks something. The worst has happened. The Secret Whore is no longer a secret. Do I meet up with him still now he knows who I am? I don’t know. But I do know one very important thing and I am grateful to him for showing me …

I am no longer afraid.