Someone asked me once, "Aren't you ever afraid a member of your family will come see you as a client?" No, I don't worry about it, because for one thing, my whole family is on the other coast. But while I wouldn't play with a family member, I'd actually like it if I knew someone else in my family was kinky. And I feel confident about saying that, because early in my kink career, I had a near occasion of this.

I was 18 and having a fling with a woman who was introducing me to the organized BDSM community where I lived, such as it was. This woman also had a male lover named Jim, a handsome older man. The three of us had had two enjoyable play-sessions together when Jim called and asked if he could come over and talk to me.

That sounds ominous, I thought, but I agreed. When Jim arrived, he gave me a long look, and then sat down on the edge of the couch and began talking.

"I want to tell you a story," he said. "Once there were two young boys who were friends. They grew up together, went to school together, they were in and out of each other's houses constantly. The parents of one looked upon the other almost as a member of the family. When they grew up, they attended each other's weddings and other family functions. As time went on, their lives took them in different directions, and they didn't see each other very often. But they still kept in touch, with cards at Christmas and such, and one of the boys stayed in close contact with his friend's parents, whom he was very fond of."

Here, he paused, and looked at me again. "Jim, what are you getting at?" I asked.

He sighed and then shifted uncomfortably. "This is going to sound worse than it is. I just don't want you to be upset."

I was completely baffled. "What are you talking about?"

"One of those boys is me. And the other one… is your father." And then he told me his real name.

My mouth dropped open. "Holy shit. I know who you are." I'd heard numerous stories from my grandmother about the childhood exploits of this man and my dad. But I had no recollection of ever meeting him.

"Oh, we've met," he said wryly. "I was at your baptism. And I believe you were about 8 the last time I saw you. Before… this. When we met this time, I thought you looked a little familiar somehow. But I certainly wouldn't have placed you, except just as you were leaving the other night, you told me your last name, and that made it click for me."

I sat there silently, absorbing the strange collision between my burgeoning identity as a kinkster and a figure in my family's history. Then I noticed that Jim's jaw was tense and he had a bead of sweat at his temple.

"Oh, Jim, it's okay. I mean, it's a really bizarre coincidence--but it's okay, I'm not mad, or freaked out, or anything. And I won't tell anyone."

He drew his hand down across his face and let out a breath. "Thank God. I was afraid you'd--well, your father, and your grandparents, and my job, too--"

"That's right, I forgot about your job. No wonder you gave me a fake name." I laughed. "God, my brother and I always joke and say if we ever get arrested, we want it be in your county."

He gave me a well-practiced quelling glance. "I think you should just avoid that circumstance altogether, young lady."

So we went on playing, and I never let it slip to anyone, although I always smiled to myself when I heard him mentioned by my father's relatives. The affair ran its course and faded away, but a few years later, he heard from my grandmother that I was applying to a certain rather snooty college, and he wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation, on his official letterhead.

"Isn't that nice of him?" said my grandmother. "He hasn't even seen you since you were little."

I just smiled. There are advantages to having another kinkster in the (almost) family.