Nameless, faceless strangers

Fairly dark photo of the legs of three people standing on a wooden floor.

Content note: This post talks about different kinds of anonymous sex. The last paragraph is mildly explicit, but doesn’t specify genitals or genders.

A darkroom where touch is the only language. A masked ball where no one sees each other’s faces. An internet chat room where everyone goes by a pseudonym. A cruising area where no one asks for a name. A glory hole where almost an entire wall keeps us anonymous. Carnivals. Adult movie theaters. Public bathrooms.

Spaces to be nameless, faceless strangers to each other.

Spaces meant to free us from expectations and assumptions; spaces created to protect us from exposure and persecution. Spaces carved into an unwelcoming landscape to allow us to meet at all; spaces reserved for those who already have all the privilege in the world and now want even more freedom from responsibility.


What would I do if no one knew it was me, and I didn’t know it was them? Would that really free me to be more of myself, to express my desires more clearly, to indulge without shame? Or would it make me — and everyone who’d touch me there — default to even more assumptions, an even narrower set of behaviors because there was no room for fine-tuned negotiation and personal connection to replace them? Would it make me feel safer to get lost in an anonymous crowd, to not have a name, to narrow myself down to the purpose of sex? Or would it make me feel more at risk because there was no room for me to be an individual who needs more than a few gestures to express her complex sexual desires? Would I feel a sense of unspoken camaraderie with my fellow nameless strangers who share this fleeting union? Or would I feel even more alone because no one knew my name and there was no next time to meet again?


The nameless, faceless stranger suggests freedom from everything that makes things between us humans complex and, often enough, complicated. The nameless, faceless stranger promises no need to listen to anyone’s backstory, no need to dig into one’s own. No commitment beyond that moment, no future, no past. No messy, sticky feelings, just messy, sticky fucking. No doubt, I see the appeal.

Nevertheless, I’m fairly sure the nameless, faceless fuck is not for me, at least not beyond the occasional solitary, selfish fantasy. When I fuck people, I want to talk to them first, want to seduce them to open their minds to me by flashing them bits of mine. I want there to be an emotional Room of Requirement for my issues (and their issues) because that’s what makes me feel safe these days. I want there to be a (potential) next time. All of that makes me rather incompatible with anonymous sex of any sort.


I still dream, though. Of touch that just happens to be right without elaborate explanations. Of speaking with hands and eyes and the distance we keep or close. Of darkness and breath and clothes shoved aside. Of damp leaves under my boots, dry brick walls in my back, wet fingers between my legs. Of murmurs of others nearby, of moody bars, of dirty bathrooms.

Of dancing with nameless, faceless strangers.

This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “anonymity.”

Image source: Pixabay

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