Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Morning Questions: Trolling for Fun & Profit Edition

I really hate to have to write this particular edition of the off-the-cuff Sunday remarks I make before I get to a roundup of questions of formspring.me. But some stuff this week has made me decide I need to draw a line.

One of the reasons I keep making my journal entries available on a public blog is that I like the interaction with the readers. I enjoy hearing from the guys for whom some of my stories resonate, or who get a measure of strength or even guidance from some of the advice asked of me. Guys write me to tell me their stories, and share information with me that they feel they can't tell anyone else. That's a fucking honor. I love that.

What I don't particular love are the nutballs who come out of the woodwork and make things a misery. I'm used to them personally, with the nasty little comments they make in the middle of the night—none of which make much sense on any logical level, but apparently serve as some kind of outlet for the clinically mentally ill to release some of their anger and frustration, trolling for some kind of reaction.

Where I've got to draw the line, though, is when the trolls start emailing others of my readers and harassing them. I've had it happen twice this month—once around the time I was moving, when someone started targeting commenters who had provided links to profiles with addresses, asking them all kinds of questions—had they met me? Did they know if I was for real? Why were they commenting on my blog if they hadn't met me? I took care of that matter privately.

Then this week, another fellow with the email address of dudebud_@hotmail.com started sending some pretty vile emails to one of my readers I'd met. He said that it sickened him how I cheated on my wife and how I was lying about my serostatus, was HIV-positive, and probably had infected my reader. The writer went on to imply that I had infected him. Then he stated, in a way that made no sense whatsoever based on the previous statement, that he really wanted to sleep with me. Then he pumped the reader for personal information about me.

Let's overlook the fact that the guy is making a lot of assumptions about me that say more about his fantasy life than my actual, real life that I chronicle in my blog. Let's just move on to the fact that the vast majority of my readers are going to have more allegiance to me than to some random poison pen. My reader naturally forwarded on the correspondence to me with a what the fuck? attached. I wrote the freak and asked him to desist, at which point he backtracked and attempted to convince me that he hadn't been talking about me, but the behavior of gay men in general.

No, sir. You were pretty specific. You just didn't like to be called out.

So here's a general statement I ask all my readers to consider. If you are a reader of this blog who has an issue with it, or with my behavior, simply don't read me any longer. It really is that easy. Unfollow me. Remove me from your feed and bookmarks. Go somewhere else you find more pleasing. Or if you wish to engage in a dialogue about it, write me. Don't go bugging my readers, whose only crime is reading and writing the occasional comment.

Furthermore, what really upsets me is how obsessed this individual—and other such individuals who've targeted me before—is with my serostatus. The fact that he stigmatizes persons living with HIV really disturbs me more than anything personal he has to say about me (he might as well say I have cooties, for all I care). The mentality of Mr. Dudebud_ is the same as that as the fellow who wrote in a question demanding a vial of my semen to test it for HIV (and I suspect they may well be the same person). The intent to shame someone based on their HIV status betrays small-mindedness and a huge degree of ignorance. It demeans the experiences of people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide. It demeans the experiences of many of my friends, lovers, readers, and family. More than anything else, that makes me angry.

I won't tolerate such small-mindedness in my comments or in emails to me. And I definitely won't sit still when someone goes out of his way to harass my readers with it. I have a new basic rule for interactions here in the future that won't affect more than ninety-nine percent of you, but here it is, stated for all to see: Don't be a dick. Simple as that.

Some of you will probably disagree with my decision to print the guy's email address here. But here's what my late mother used to say: if you don't want your dirty laundry hanging for everyone to see, don't come over and shit on my sheets.

Now, let's get to some questions.


How often are you tested for stds? (no malicious intent)

Regularly. Beyond that is only the business of myself and my immediate sexual partners.


You've talked in the past about concerns over men who don't or can't see how attractive they are. It seems to be a common thread, even in your more recent entries. Do you have any suggestions on how men should go about recovering their self-esteem?

If I had the answer, I'd have overcome my own self-esteem issues!

A lot of my personal frustration with men who don't understand the gifts they have to offer the word arises from the persistent way in which they deflect compliments or attention to their positive attributes. Reflexive it might be, but it's a rude instinct that not only dishonors the compliment, but both the person who gave it, and the gifts that the guy has been given in his life.

Basically I'd like to shake some people and tell them to take the fucking compliment. Acknowledge it. Say thank you for it, politely. Don't try to explain why one doesn't deserve it, or why it's misapplied, or why the giver of the compliment is misinformed or too ignorant to appreciate why the compliment was wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead, try to understand what the person admired to begin with, and accept that perhaps it really does apply.

And yes, I include myself in the list of guys I want to shake, from time to time.


LOL@ Steve Buscemi playing Jim. What did Earl see in Jim? He sounds awful.

It's difficult for an outsider to speculate what makes someone's relationship last. It could have been habit. Earl might have stayed with him out of fear that Jim would blab about his activities. He might have kept Jim on out of obligation, or guilt of what he'd made of him.

Or they might've actually loved each other on some level. If that were indeed the case, I wasn't astute enough really to see it, but I was only a kid at the time.


if i was tied up, naked and left on your doorstep.... what would you do :)

Throw a blanket over you and notify the local authorities, most likely.


The hairier the better?

Not necessarily. I like hairy men. I like smooth men, too. I don't limit my attraction to a guy based solely on a genetic inheritance over which he has no control.


Is there anyone, famous or not, that you would consider switching teams for? If so, who?

The question in which I'm more interested is who, celebrity or not, is considering switching teams for me.


Do you have any piercings? If so, above or below the neck?

I do not. I've considered it below the neck, though. But needles frighten me.


Have you ever regretted anything you ever posted online?

Not photos or anything of that sort. There've been a few times I've gotten upset and regretted posting angry words in various places—but not so much because of what I've said, as for letting myself get that upset to begin with.


I really want to see a pic of your ass. Not spread eagle or anything, just a nice pic. Do you have that sexy little patch of hair on your lower back? -J

No, I don't believe I have that patch of hair. My butt--what there is of it--is nothing special, trust me.


What's that one food you hate so much that its very sight or smell makes you sick?

Cooked liver makes me queasy. I overthink where it's been.

24 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you've been getting creepy fans lately, and I'm sorry for the readers who have to deal with it.

    And you overthink where liver has been? How do you get around what has been in it and gone through it? Sorry. I hate it too.

    -Ace

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  2. Rob my friend,
    I can't understand why people do that to others, it's insane and that person is crazy. I don't get it why people can do that especially to a nice guy like you. You did the right thing to put is email address cause now we know who we are dealing with and i hope not to have an email from that guy. Sorry i could not be there to comfort you a bit and telling you that i care a lot about you and i will always be a reader of your blog and a friend for you. Hoping that those harsh email will stop man.

    Yves

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  3. Dicks. Some people are just dicks.

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  4. My parents, particularly my father, loved liver sliced and served like a chicken-fried steak, or pan-fried like a pork chop. The smell of cooking liver was vile then and remains so now. If what my monkey brain is doing in having that visceral reaction can be called 'thinking', then I over-think it too.

    As to the crimped, narrow spirit of 'dudebud', what you say means a great deal to me. Thank you for it.

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  5. Ace,

    Yeah, I don't really care so much about the crap with which I have to put up, but when it spills over onto other people, my guard dog instincts come out.

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  6. Yves,

    They might not stop, but I wanted to state that they won't be tolerated. As I've said couple of times, the idiocy directed at me rolls off my back--it's when it involves others that I get seriously upset.

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  7. RedPhillip,

    You know I love you.

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  8. You are right, if you don't like this blog don't read it......what is wrong with people!

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  9. 3:34 Anonymous,

    You'd think it'd be that easy. Unfortunately, people have their own axes to grind.

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  10. A shame you have such critics. They seem to come and go. A shame so few can poison the well. A shame you can't just not read THEM.

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  11. Rob

    A few people are jerks because they do not have the success that you have, either in their professional life or in their personal life. I like reading your blog and am sorry that you have to put up with jerks. Deal with them appropriately. I would not mind having an interaction with you.

    JPC

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  12. Steve in VancouverJuly 3, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    As a faithful reader and follower I have never understood why people need to continue to involve themselves in things they find repugnant. You make a concious effort to click the link and read the blog, it is just as easy to click another link. I read you faithfully and many things resonate with me. I truly admit that sometimes I need to pause to think and process. I do not always agree and do not always think the behaviour is right (ultimately I realize, not right for me). You have tremendous talent in telling the story and allowing us to feel a part of it and I thank you.
    I do hope your dry spell clears up soon and hope you continue to supply us with a much appreciated glimpse into your life.
    Thank you

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  13. 4:12 Anonymous,

    They're not critics. They don't have an analytical viewpoint or even anything really to say; they just want to be hurtful and to involve others in the train wrecks that are their brains.

    I've gotten to the point that I can recognize the diseased outpourings of the schizophrenic just from the first few words alone, so I can skip reading those and delete them.

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  14. JPC,

    Thanks, my friend. I'm glad you like reading and I hope the jerks won't detract you from it.

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  15. Vancouver Steve,

    I know that there have often been times when you've stated that you approach some of my adventures from the standpoint of someone who wouldn't necessarily choose them for himself, and I respect that. I always have respected the choices other people make for themselves, just as you've always respected mine. That's the kind of relationship a writer and a reader should have with each other—exploring what's different about their experiences and trying to find the commonalities in them.

    That's why I enjoy having you here, in fact.

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  16. It’s my busy work season--so I have not commented here in a long time--not about your leaving Michigan, not about the woes of moving, not about the dearth of hook-ups in CT--nothing. But THIS post made me see red--and I HAVE to comment!

    What do you mean you DON'T like liver??? Liar!!! Do you NOT remember that blond bottom we fucked, strung up and then sacrificed to Satan???!!! I KNOW we ate his liver--you shared it with me, man--and it was good!! Almost as sweet as his hole!!!!

    Oh, wait---I just read back---you don’t like COOKED liver...well, sorry. Really--sorry…Wow, maybe I shouldn’t have typed this....

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  17. FelchingPisser,

    The raw liver we sacrificed to our dark god—well, I told you it was tasty, but I was fibbing. I was just there for the wishbone.

    But cooked liver is f-o-u-l foul.

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  18. The best thing to do about the wackos is to just ignore them. They do what this guy did so they can feed off the responses they get back. Like people who make crank phone calls. If you just hang up they will stop calling you because you are not responding in some way and feeding their need.

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  19. I have been reading your blog for a while. I don't know if you have answered this before, but does your wife know? If so, did you tell her about your same sex desires?

    I have kids and getting STDs scares the hell out of me. Does it scare you also?

    I hope you know that my questions are not meant to be judgmental. If you read my blog, you'll see that I am in a questioning place.

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  20. It's a shame that some, few people feel the need to rake up drama where none exists. Love that you feel that protective of your readers--just sorry that you have need to be.

    Much luv.

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  21. Kink,

    I appreciate the respect you show in your questions, and realize you're not asking out of a place of adverse judgment. Thank you.

    I put bald facts about my relationship in the paragraph at the top right corner of the page. That's really as much as I'm willing to share about that aspect of my life, an aspect of which I'm protective.

    People make all kinds of assumptions and presumptions from the facts I lay down, and I realize that without me providing any more information, that's exactly what they're going to do. I don't, however, answer questions about my primary relationship on this blog. I apologize for disappointing you.

    I'd like to address another issue in your question, however. Your question of I have kids and getting STDs scares the hell out of me really tells me a lot about the way you think. Are you truly worried about passing on any STDs to your kids? Because I don't think that's the issue here. If it is, you have an interesting family life going on there.

    There are all kinds of things that can affect your health and mortality, but I don't see you asking me, I have kids and having a heart attack scares the hell out of me or I have kids and having a stress-related stroke or lung cancer scares the hell out of me. You're according STDs a stigma that's exceeding a lot of other life-threatening behaviors.

    Sexual behaviors are not more sinful or forbidden than smoking or bottling up stress or having poor eating habits. Some of these behaviors are riskier than others. Some involve your dick, or someone else's dick. That's about the extent of it. You are going to have to some work and some self-exploration in order to understand why you're automatically associating your worst fears with your sexual behavior, but it might be worth it.

    I'm not attempting to say that your fears aren't legitimate, but they do seem to be tangled in a way that you're not expressing them clearly. STDs have nothing to do directly with your kids. STDs might expose you to your spouse, or reveal your behavior to others who might not have known it. If that legitimately worries you, protect yourself against them. You can have an active sex life without exposing yourself to disease.

    If your relationship is standing in the way of your sexual desires, I advise you work on that as well. Infer about me from this advice what you will, but your life is not on a fixed set of rails on which you hopelessly are being pushed. You're the navigator, and there are many ways to order your life in order to live honestly and fulfill the many sides of your needs as a loving, protective, and sexual human being. It's up to you to take the rudder, though.

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  22. Thank you for your answers.

    When I said that I have kids and STDs scare me, I was thinking about how much I love them and that I want to be around to watch them grow up. With regard to things like heart disease or other health issues, many of have familial indicators. My dad didn't die of heart disease, the probability of me dying from it is lessened. Yes, some STDs like Hep-B and Hep-C (I know this is not strictly an STD, but it is spread that way) can be controlled with medication, but it does lessen life expectancy.

    I got started on having kids kind of late in life, and spending time with them is more important to me than anything else.

    Cheers.

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  23. Kink,

    I know what you meant. And I hear what you're telling yourself. But my point remains: you're still stigmatizing your own sexual conduct, much more than you're considering other life-lessening facts, and it's showing up your thinking.

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