Secret Value

contributed by Ivan

Secrets.  We all have them.  I have them.  As I look inward, I have many.  But it’s not secrets themselves I am interested in, but rather, the nature of the secret.  What makes my thoughts, desires, dreams, and actions, a secret? I’d like to explore a direction here, not one of revelation, epiphany, or of cathartic expression.  I’d like to know what makes a secret, well, a secret?  What’s the difference between the desire for a macchiato at Starbucks, and the desire to smell women’s shoes, or to get pissed on, or to jack off while being humiliated and dressed in lingerie?  I want to chart the line we all navigate when revealing certain so-called indiscretions, or why I can tell Colette that I want to be tied and whipped and bound, with a plug in my ass, and yet, my best friend or girlfriend or partner has no idea that this vocabulary even exists in my sexual or emotional vernacular.

One way I can make sense of this dynamic is to think of secrets as forms of capital or currency.   Secrets are personal capital.  They are a type of emotional investment.  When I tell my best friend a secret, I am transferring a certain amount of emotional currency.  I am letting them in on a personal insight that has personal value, hoping that the return on investment is a reinforcement of trust, and ultimately of pleasure – emotional or otherwise.  Telling secrets to our closest confidants are acts of trust – a measured act that exposes vulnerability in the hopes of consolation and emotional connection. 

But here’s the thing.  Secrets, as currency, are assigned value by their environment – or by those with power in that environment.  Secrets about sexual or emotional fantasies in a free, liberalized environment may have personal value, but little social or cultural value (think about how the French think very little of sexual scandals).   

Unfortunately, the attitude in this country, fueled predominantly by religion, consumption and fear, assigns a high (negative)  value on secrets of sexual desire and behavior – especially those of an “obscene” or “deviant” nature.  They can be used for harm and hurt.  Consequently, this forces us to keep secrets close, repress them, and worse yet, feel ashamed of them.  Secrets in an environment of ignorance are toxic.

That’s why we need to create our own environments.  Make our own rules.  Create spaces where our secrets have positive value – where the establishment can’t assign negative cultural value upon us.  They can’t hurt us for what we feel, believe and desire.  In this way, I think Pervette is this kind of space, or rather a “perverts marketplace” in which we trade and explore and converse.  Where we determine the value of our secrets – or if indeed they need to have any value at all beyond the context of emotional connection, and ultimately, love.

As for me, I still have secrets.  I have thoughts and desires that are deviant and strange but when understood, are beautiful and sensitive. Thank you Colette for providing a platform in which to invest.