Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Whole Lot of Crazy

I admit to having some ennui lately about my sex blog. Periodically the old Is It All Worth It? blues descend, particularly when the month is busy and even fucking seems like a chore, much less finding the time to write about it afterward.

A lot of it is the usual gripes and complaints. (I know many of you have heard them before. Feel free to chime in on the chorus.) I’ll write an entry of which I’m especially proud and, even though I have nearly 900 followers and between five and six times that in unique visitors to my blog on a daily basis, I’ll get three or four comments from the same three or four people. Which is what, less than one percent of people commenting? Or I’ll write an entry that I think is good and someone will remark, I guess this is okay, but I want to hear more about the Landscaper, like I’m some kind of lounge player who is supposed to be expected to switch to requests on demand.

And I don’t even have a tip jar on my piano!

When I sat down yesterday and did some meditation on the subject, I realized that I’ve been muddling a lot of issues, though. Comments and the like are the least of my issues. I really don’t write my blog for the sake of the comments I get—though don’t get me wrong. I do like them when I get them. But no, what’s been hindering me most is that I’ve been indulging in an old and familiar pattern of behavior into which I fall when I’m trying to avoid confrontation with people who’ve been rubbing me the wrong way. I prefer avoidance over a face-off, every time.

Believe it or not, I really dislike confrontation. I’ve had some notable instances in which I’ve given readers tongue-lashings (not the enjoyable kind) when I’ve felt they’ve crossed the line, but generally I’m not fond of the stress and the mental beating I’ll give myself afterwards, when it happens. And lately I’ve let a few bad apples really poison the brown betty.

I haven’t had anything quite as crazy as when a former prolific blogger decided I was his mortal enemy and bombed my mailbox with schizophrenic emails threatening to expose me to the world, or quite as sinister as the bipolar fellow who’d email me constantly when he slid to the manic end of his scale to tell me that I was Satan. Thank goodness for small mercies, right? But a handful of readers have been indulging in some unpleasant behavior. It’s made frequenting my Twitter account an unpleasant chore. It’s made me avoid logging into my Facebook account. And it’s really made me dread opening my email.

I’m not going to get deep into details, but over the last six weeks I’ve gotten a lot of private messages on these various services that have crossed the line from inquisitive to intrusive. There’ve been folk who don’t seem to understand that just because I appear on their computer screens a few times a week and they accordingly have what they feel to be an intimacy with my life and the way I think, I’m not really their best friend, their husband, their dad, or their therapist. (I definitely am not getting paid enough to be anyone’s therapist.) I’m likely to put up walls when I feel battered and badgered in a way I think is unwarranted, and somehow that incites certain personality types to try even harder to get my attention in ways that aren’t entirely positive.

It’s a bit of a vicious circle, I admit. There are some readers with whom I’ve had to establish rules. I’ll be very clear that I don’t intend to respond to them if they engage in certain negative behaviors—but frankly, if they’ve gotten me to that point, I’ve likely lost any incentive to interact with them at all.
Then I’ve had those who crossed the line from intrusive to abusive. One reader over the weekend decided to send me several messages that were not only derogatory in tone, but accused me of forcing my partners into sex against their will. It was the equivalent of about a gallon of crazy poured into a half-pint container, and the spectacle of the spillover was pretty horrifying.

I’m not trying to hold all my readers at arm’s length. I’ve made friends with many people through my blogging. I’d made real-time physical lovers out of readers. Getting to know people is one of the reasons I share my life—I find that sharing my experiences lets us all compare where we are on the spectrum of sexuality on various issues. It’s okay that we’re not all in the same place. Exploring those differences is what makes my journey amazing.

I guess I’m one of those idealistic people who believes that, despite our differences in opinion, we can all get along. I don’t believe that people who don’t behave as I behave should be shunned. And I really don’t believe I should have to warn readers and people who interact with me that I’m not complacent about receiving libelous emails, or threatening tweets, or insulting comments, or just plain fucking crazy communications that overstep the bounds of reaching out in a friendly manner into clinical sociopathology.

So let’s make a pact. You guys work on that end of things, and I’ll work on finding ways of eliminating the troublemakers from my life in a timely manner, so that they don’t sour me on social networking and most especially on my blogging. The latter is especially too important for me to quit.

How’s that sound?

43 comments:

  1. Sounds perfectly acceptable to me. Had my fair share of "problem communications" in the past and know what you are dealing with to some degree. I for one look forward to your blog :-)

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    1. Thanks Berto. You're absolutely right in that it doesn't take running a blog to run into this kind of thing—there's enough crazy out there for everyone, unfortunately.

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  2. Trying to take the good with the bad can be a bit hard to take sometimes!

    I've been reading your blog for 6 months now and just now decided to start commenting, I encourage others to do so...in a constructive way, of course ; )

    I enjoy your blog as a writer, as a gay man, and for your personal history.

    Keep it up, as long as you can--take that as you like!

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    1. Thanks Rico. I'll take it in the dirtiest way possible.

      As for the envy, there's no need. Get out there and make your own life enviable!

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  3. It is supremely frustrating to me, that when you have a truly talented writer like yourself (as well as a genuinely sweet guy...:)), that you draw the ire of those few crazies who feel that the internet is a wall behind which to hide and throw out their own particular and individual brands of crazy shit at the world...
    Whether they need therapy or just a swift kick in the ass, I thoroughly wish these souls would just get a life...and realize that they're are FAR less important they they think they are...:/

    As for you, you sexy beast and God of sex...:P Thanks for all you do share with us...and though admittedly I don't comment very often, know that with almost every post, I get a tent in my drawers and a smile on my face...:D

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    1. Travis, thanks for the handsome compliments. I am going to cross-stitch 'God of Sex' onto a sampler and hang it over my sling.

      Guys throw their crazy shit all over the place and not just to me—I just get more of it than the average person because of the number of people I allow into this aspect of my life. It makes you wonder how a person of real fame copes.

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  4. I can only imagine the unpleasant and random communications you receive. I guess it is one of the challenges of blogging. I am Empathetic toward your feelings of being harassed.

    I for one enjoy your writing. I look forward to each posting, and am dissapointed when a new one doesnt appear when I wish it to. Your writing style is very personal, engaging and inviting. Your range of thought provoking to boner enticing is nuanced..yet genuine.

    I have to admit, I still yearn for landscaper updates. I also realize you write for yourself first and the rest of us are fortunate recipients after the fact. So thank you. I hope your joy of blogging returns soon and your ability to ignore the inappropriate comments returns.

    Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous. Those were some very generous compliments.

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    2. You are most welcome! I wish you could haves edited and cleaned up my posting ;). Typing on an iPhone isn't ideal.

      To the respondent who is unaware of the landscaper.. Read back in history.. It will be worth the journey. ;)

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  5. It would be quite a loss if you stop writing since, as I've said before, you inspire me.

    That said, even offline, there are a million devils for every angel out there, but we always end up surrounding ourselves with our own little virtuous army, while ignoring Satan's minions along the way.

    I guess what I'm saying is that haters will always hate, but we will always love you.

    anonymous tony

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    1. Anonymous Tony,

      Thank you, my friend. I would've said almost the reverse—it seems to me there are a hundred (maybe not a million) sweet and good guys I've met for every stinker or attention hog. Unfortunately, the stinkers and attention hogs tend to make a lot more noise than the good guys, and sometimes it gets oppressively loud.

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    2. True. That's probably the problem with the majority - we're silent. The problem with me is that, though i am very opinionated at times (almost always biased towards you), i do not scribble them here, hence a loss of opportunity to connect.

      I realize it now. Let me be more vocal from now on. That will help drown out the "oppressive" cacophony of "stinkers," at least in my own small way.

      anonymous tony

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  6. What a nightmare. I don't think you are avoidant. When I see the words intrusive and invasive I think you must feel violated. The worst part of any abouse is that it's a time suck. Keep up the good work.

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  7. For every idiot who harrasses you or comments negatively, there are many of us who just enjoy your writing - immensely... Don't give up your blog! I, for one, get a thrill when I log on and see a new post is up. Love reading your writing here.

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    1. Anonymous, I know that's the truth. I really didn't mean to go fishing for compliments and reassurances like I've gotten from this entry; I was merely trying to get some of the frustration off my chest and to clear the air so I could start over with a fresh attitude. I appreciate hearing the good words, though.

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  8. I agree with the others. Don't give up! So many of us enjoy your writing, and the stance towards everyday life and sexuality that it reminds us to have. As difficult as it is to keep the haters at bay, I hope you'll keep at it. I wouldn't want them to ruin it for you or the rest of us.

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    1. I'll try to fight the good fight, Jason. Just hang in there with me. Thank you.

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  9. Sorry guy- but I like everything you write. Makes me wish I was the guy with you. Sure I have favorites but like life - you take them as they come.

    Bearded

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    1. Bearded, that's too true. And thank you—that was a sweet thing to say.

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  10. Your writing is a great gift to those of us privileged to read it. Sometimes I think I comment too much, sometimes I think I should tell you more often how I'm responding, but I just hope you know that I - and so very many others - appreciate you. In, hopefully, a sane way. We all have our crazy days. We all have times when we ask for too much or return too little. But for what it's worth........thank you for your friendship. Friendship in the form you choose to offer it: with an amazing generosity of spirit and honesty that helps us all as readers to share in your experiences, and to reflect on our own lives at the same time. You're a good man, sir. Thank you.
    --jonking

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    1. Jonking,

      You never respond too much! Hah. Hardly.

      We all have our crazy days, yes. Me included. A lot of the bullying I get, however—and yes, I can legitimately call it bullying—is of a sort that people would never, ever dare perform if they weren't behind the safety of their laptops and monitors. The fact that they indulge in it over and over again doesn't speak of just a crazy day, but of a mentality that's not right.

      I appreciate that you recognize the generosity behind my impulse to blog. That makes my day.

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  11. Holy crap! I had no idea I had so many RLMs out there! (readers like me, DUH!)

    I think I echo every sentiment above....except I don't know who the landscaper is.

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  12. Steady on! Those of us who love your writing, and through it, love you, are much more numerous than the crazies. Don't let them get you down.

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  13. I agree with everyone above--Tony was especially eloquent. I really look forward to each time you post and my anticipation is rewarded with laughter or food for thought, or food for sexual fantasies--it is really quite a gift you give us.

    Steph

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    1. Thank you, Steph. I'm glad you keep coming back here for more food. Or smut, rather.

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  14. Ditto all the above, with gratitude. I always read what you post, feel comforted or amused or enriched by your insights (sometimes all three at once), and would hate to see you give this up.

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    1. Thank you, NK. I'm not driven to the brink yet, though.

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    1. Buck, this is the part where we high-five.

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  16. Funny (or sad, really). I was talking to Explorer Jack and Buckhead Daddy about the crazies earlier this week. I have to say, even though I don't comment all the time, I always walk away with a smile, boner, or a rush of fond memories a story conjured up. I just don't want to sound like a lame sycophant or one of those guys that has to "one-up" people by offering his own story. But say it ain't so! You're too bad ass to let them crazies get to you!

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    1. Well damn, now I want to hear all about your crazies! It'll make me feel better!

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  17. Well, I am crazy but I love you

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  18. Maybe the problem isn't that you open your life to others -- or not just that. Maybe it's that, in turn, you make people feel that they can open themselves to you. You do write fascinatingly about exploring desire, after all, and for some people that might make you seem like a great confidant. Is it possible that when they open themselves up to you, you indulge it?

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    1. I absolutely agree with you to an extent. I truly believe that yes, I do make people feel they can open themselves to me.

      However, a functioning and sane person would recognize that even this privilege has its polite limits. I might also open my front door to a stranger who rings my bell and engage in a conversation, but a functioning and sane person recognizes the invitation for what it is—and doesn't abruptly move himself in, kick off his shoes, and proceed to take a huge dump in the middle of my living room floor. Which is exactly the kind of thing I've been getting.

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    2. Me again. I see what you're saying. I've had to cut people out, too...

      I'm vaguely curious. When you cut people out, do you tell them, and tell them why? I used to not. Now I'm not sure. This isn't to defend anyone you've eliminated. Maybe they really are awful people who deserve to be eliminated for good, eaten by wild monkeys, the whole 9. But if they're not evil, if they're just having an especially awful time in their lives, or are psychologically messed up in ways I can't comprehend... I don't know. I'm fortunate not to be so damaged, and I have to force myself to remember that fortune for what it is.

      If someone took a dump in my living room, disgust would be my first instinct, definitely. I'd kick them out. I'd call the cops. I'd hope to never see them on my property again. But I'd also wonder why they did it. Some people are just disgusting, or awful in ways that aren't motivated by any real pain, and they can fuck off and die.

      But some people do genuinely need help. They won't get it from me. But if that's really the case, I'd like to think my door might be open to them once again. It hasn't happened so far... it might never happen... but I'd like to believe it can. Maybe I just need to feel better about kicking people to the curb. I dunno. Anyway, liked your post.

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  19. New Reader MichaelOctober 15, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    New to this blog, but am really glad to have found it. Please keep sharing and inspiring all of us bottoms to be better at our job.

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  20. Sorry you're having a bad time. You know far too well that "but a functioning and sane person recognizes..." is a very big but and a recognition that's not going to hapapen. I'm glad you continue to shake it off and come back for more. We're all glad.

    Kumbaya and carry on!

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  21. I've only recently discovered your blog and I'm blown away by it. You have no idea how much pleasure it's given me. Please don't give up.

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  22. I have followed your blog most weeks for a couple of years by now and have always throughly enjoyed your adventures and education from a teenager thru the present. Your ability to capture the essence of each tryst and express it in your writing is unique. Love you for sharing with us. hal

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