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?