I told my family about being poly. I didn't mention being kinky and I didn't get into gritty details--lots of "the three of us go out together, like a family!" not so much group sex and "well, it's not just us three exactly"--but I let them know that Sprite exists, at least.
My dad was fine with it, mostly because he and I long struck a "we're both adults and there's no judgement here, but it would be best if we didn't share details" pact. He went "huh, okay" and moved on.
My mom went through all five stages of grief, each of which might have been upsetting to me at an earlier age, but were just amusing at this point:
Denial. "Well, lots of people date around casually."
Anger. "You're better than this! I don't want you to diminish yourself!"
Bargaining. "Okay, which one of you is really his girlfriend?"
Depression. "If you do this you're never going to have a real relationship and never have a family and I'm just so worried about your future now."
And finally, a halfhearted acceptance. "Well, I guess I can't stop you, can I?"
The funny part now, though, is that every time I bring up my relationships--again, not in an outrageous way, just a "oh, Sprite hates this cold weather" way--my mom just freezes. It's like I used a racial slur and she's trying to not make a scene but she can't quite stifle her outrage. Just mentioning Rowdy or Sprite's existence brings any lively conversation to an instant "Oh. Fine. Whatever."
I suppose in her hilariously rude way she is being decent. She still talks to me (yay?) and I haven't been written out of any wills or crossed off any Bar Mitzvah guest lists. She doesn't even try to argue about it that much.
On the whole I'm relieved, just because I don't have to tell weird little lies of omission to my family all the time. Having a dirty secret can be sort of fun sometimes, but ultimately it's wonderful to feel like you have nothing to hide.
Well, not as much, anyway.