Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Long (and Relaxing) Silence

Two years ago I took my blog on hiatus for a few months because of a pretty severe encounter with a stalker, who was also one of my readers. As you can imagine, the experience left me wary for a while of sharing any details about my personal life. And it doesn’t get much more personal than a sex blog.

A year ago I took something of an enforced break from writing when my health faltered. For a couple of weeks, I couldn’t even really sit up, much less have sex or have the energy to write about it.

Recently I’ve taken a break because . . . well, to be perfectly frank, I’ve been having something of a snit. I admit it. The reason sounds childish. But there it is.

My bad mood started sometime in August, when two ominous fronts collided and created the conditions for a perfect storm of massive pique on my part. I’m not really quite sure what happened on the first front—whether Mercury went into retrograde or not, or whether there was something in the local waters, or whether all those shirtless photos Nick Jonas was flooding onto Instagram made everyone feel inadequate about themselves. But for a while there, just about everyone I was cruising for sex was being a total dick.

Without going into too much detail, in my personal life there were a couple of gentlemen I took to bed with whom I had incredibly intense and connected experiences. I would’ve been okay if they’d been one-time encounters. Honestly. But both of them, as we lay there in post-coital entanglement, made elaborate plans how how we should be seeing each other regularly. One was a young guy with a sense of sexual adventure who told me about the places and parties he wanted to take me, so we could show off our fucking to others and have them join in; the other was a more mature, more passionate lover who wanted me to spend weekends with him at his cottage in the country, screwing like rabbits. I liked both men. They appealed to the pig and the romantic in me.

Of course, I never heard from either of them again, after I drove home. I sent emails and texts that got no replies. After a couple of weeks, and with a lot of disappointment, I just gave up on them both.

Online I wasn’t encountering just the standard assholery, either—the guys who unlock their photos for a hot second and then immediately lock them again before I’ve had a chance to look at them, or the ones who commit to a date a couple of days in advance and then stand me up before 48 hours have elapsed. No, I’m used to them. I’m used to the guys who hit me up hard and horny on Scruff, who want to wheedle their way into my pants one minute, and who ignore my existence the moment they’ve jerked off. These guys went above and beyond that already-low bar of behavior.

For example, this exchange, reproduced verbatim, was pretty typical of what I encountered:

SOME GUY: You have a really great smile! And dick!
ME: I appreciate the compliments. You’re really handsome as well.
SOME GUY: I didn’t say you were handsome.

There was the guy who said You’d almost be hot if you weren’t so old. And there was the guy who gave me the back-handed compliment (I think?) of You look like the creepy pervert who hangs out at the high school stadium staring at the cheerleaders but I find that kind of hot in a way. I could go on for quite a while, but why revisit each and every affront? August was a month in which guys managed to put my ego to the rack and pillory in just about every conceivable way.

Normally I can shrug that shit off. It’s just part of the crap with which one gets spattered when one’s dredging the local waters for sex. At the same time, though, I was getting stressed out by a fairly sizable contingent of my readers.

Most of my faithful followers know that over the years I’ve been plagued by a handful of trolls, ill-wishers, and the downright psychotic. Hurtful though their responses can sometimes be, lately they’ve been nothing compared to burdens put on me—and I say this as gently as possible—by readers who would consider themselves well-meaning, upbeat, and positive. And I had a lot of those this summer.

The common theme between them all seemed to be that I owed them all something. They read my blog, was their implication, so now it was my turn to give back. For example, I had what turned into a contentious discussion with one reader who at first chided me on Manhunt for not replying to his mails there more quickly. After all, he read me all the time, so I should be responding to his messages first, and immediately. Then he asked me if I could give him the name of my blog and its URL. When I suggested that if he really were a regular reader, he should have the thing bookmarked instead of bugging me about it (I probably worded it more tactfully, but that was definitely my implication), the guy blew up. I should be more nice, he complained. I really needed to go more out of my way for my readers. I owed them that kind of courtesy. (I blocked him, and good fucking riddance.)

Then there were several readers who were going to be in my area, some quite close, some not so much. Many of the former expected—didn’t ask, just expected— me to show up and provide stud service on demand, simply because they were readers and they wanted it. Many of the latter expected—didn’t suggest, didn’t negotiate, just expected—me to drive up to two hours away to fuck them because they said so.

There was one reader who started sending me drafts of his book, a 300-plus-page memoir, for critique. At first I attempted to make some vague comments about the opening first pages while strongly suggesting that he find a local writing group or someone (not me!) who was actually willing to commit a huge chunk of time to reading the damned thing. When those hints didn’t take and I outright told him that it was tough enough finding time to read the books I wanted to read, much less the unpublished projects of aspiring writers I had no desire to slog through or critique in detail, especially when I hadn’t ever, ever asked to see said projects, I was rather huffily told that it was curious I should expect people to read my blog and never do anything in return for them.

I had a handful of readers who would send me very, verrrrry long emails. Ordinarily when a reader sends me an email, if it’s short enough, I’ll respond back relatively quickly. If it’s long, the reader usually will have to wait a longer time for a response, because it’s more of an investment of my time to do the reply justice. If it’s very, verrrrrrry fucking long, he’ll be waiting a while. A couple of these wordy readers, however, started to send me follow-up emails to their original verrrrrrrry long inquiries that were variations on the following:

1) Did I get the original email? Because they could send it again.
2) Hey, they’re just wondering, did I get the emails to check up on whether I got their original email? Because they sent an email and I never replied. Just checking!
3) I still haven’t replied to the original email or the follow-ups. Would I like a copy of the original email again? Because they could send it if I didn’t get it.
4) I hadn’t responded to their emails yet, was I dead? Or was my email not working?
5) They’ve decided they must have said something terribly wrong in one of their several emails, because I haven’t replied. They were very sorry if that’s the case. If it wasn’t, could I respond to the original email?
6) They were sorry if they was inundating me with emails. They just wanted me to read their email!

Look. There are times I have lots of free moments to answer emails. And there are times when I’m busy with work and life and fucking and my time with my laptop is at a minimum. I try to answer email when I can. But the one best way to guarantee I’m going to postpone answering your email is to badger me with follow-up emails asking me why I haven’t answered your email. The one best way to guarantee I’ll never answer any of them is to send so many that I start grinding my teeth and actually feeling my blood pressure elevate whenever I see your name appear in my inbox.

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was the reader who told me he didn’t believe I was married. Nope, I was just saying that because—well, I don’t know why. Apparently he just didn’t seem to think I was a bill of goods anyone would actually buy. My word wasn’t good enough. The fact that I’m always wearing a wedding ring doesn’t matter, because anyone could wear a cheap ring. Of course I should’ve just rolled my eyes and told the guy that it was a shame he didn’t take me at my word. But no. I have a morbid curiosity that gets the worse of me. I caved and asked him what would constitute acceptable proof? A scanned copy of my marriage certificate, he informed me. Oh, and an immediate Skype tour of my bedroom, so that he could see there were two clock-radios and proof of living arrangements for two people, and not just one.

Never mind that asking someone to do such a thing is, in my opinion, horribly invasive, inappropriate, and offensive. I owed him a copy of that legal document.

I’m fully aware that anytime I complain about fans of my blog I sound like I’m some refugee from a formerly-popular-but-recently-dissolved boy band who makes a solo album that’s chock-full of songs about the pressures of stardom and how he wishes his fans would just leave him alone so he can chill, yo. But the fact is that while running a sex blog of some popularity has allowed me opportunities to meet and correspond with all kinds of fantastic people, there are nearly just as many times that fans have made my life a misery. Not all of them are bad as the time two years ago that one of my fans used my blog to stalk me in real life—but often close.

I’ve always felt that writing my blog is a gift from me to my readers. I don’t earn money from it. I rarely get presents out of it. I don’t ask readers to support advertisers or buy my T-shirts. The bargain between us is simplicity itself: I’m supposed to have fun seeking out sex and having it. I’m supposed to have fun writing about it. I’ve spent countless hours doing so over the course of several years so that I can share it with thousands of people. That investment of gas and lube and sweat and the long periods of time it takes to write about it is supposed to be a sweet giveaway from me to the strangers who are kind enough to take their time to read me.

Rather than take my gift at face value, there are a handful of readers—and again, I recognize they might think they mean well—who seem to assume that I owe them more than what I already was giving. Either their numbers surged, or I was in a bad enough mood that I allowed them to overwhelm me. Because suddenly, around summer’s end, none of it was any fun anymore.

I told a couple of close friends that I was declaring August and September to be ‘Boys R Stupid Months,’ and just withdrew. I gave myself permission to stop blogging until it felt like it would be fun again.

And you know, a couple of times it almost felt like it might be. I posted a couple of entries, hopeful that the old joy in sharing would return. Almost immediately I got reminded why it had become un-fun, as guys who’d never before commented would leave comments like Nice blog post but here is a list of typos I found EXTREMELY off-putting. . . or This doesn’t sound like the blogger I expect! or, god help me, Welcome back I guess but why haven’t you written about the Landscaper?

You know, being somewhat anonymous the past couple of months has been pleasant. I fuck, and don’t feel compelled to capture every little detail so I can recount it later. I don’t feel as if I’m having to be sexy, 24/7, in order to fulfill a reader’s expectations. An inbox full of reader emails? I’ve enjoyed seeing it as an option rather than a bundle of little obligations that add up to a prescription for anxiety and tense obligation. Being selfish has been, on the whole, a hell of a lot more relaxing than being giving.

Now, nobody can make writing fun for me again. That’s not anyone’s responsibility save my own. If I am to continue—and to be honest, I haven’t entirely decided whether that’s the case yet—the impetus for it has to come from within. It’s a decision that only I can make.

But readers, if you’ve gotten this far, there surely are a lot of ways that you can refrain from making my experience unenjoyable. It pains and even surprises me a little that I have to ask: but maybe a few of you could actually think about that, before adding to my to-do list? Maybe you could think of me as a person first, and an erection second? Perhaps you could ask yourself whether it’s appropriate to want copies of my legal documents, before making the demand?

Because that could make the going all the easier, trust me.


  1. Appreciating you, whenever blogging retirement comes - later, soon or now. *A fellow 2/6'er

  2. Sorry to hear about your recent negative experiences. As one who has been a quiet but appreciative reader--and I'm sure there are many others like me--please accept my thanks for what you do. The stories are great when you choose to share them and your writing style always draws me in. I look forward to your adventures showing up in my feed reader.

  3. As much as I don't want to encourage you to give up on something *I* enjoy, if it isn't bringing you any kind of pleasure then it isn't worth maintaining. Take whatever time that you need and don't ever feel obligated to do anything that you're not enjoying. Life is too short, and you're too handsome for stress wrinkles.

  4. As I read through this post I felt pains of guilt in thinking I might be one of those individuals. I have loved your blog from day one and look forward to seeing it everyday. Would I be sad to see you go? Absolutely! But, I do understand that it has to come from within to make it fun, again. Take your time, enjoy your break, but know that we'll be here when you return. Thank you!

  5. When you take a break let us know so we don't worry. After the last time I thought you were sick again or my usual thought that you were in jail living out an HBO Oz fantasy we've all had since seeing Chris Meloni naked for the first time :-)

    I'm still amazed how people act in cyberland, and you know in person most of these people wouldn't be acting so rude. Try not to let a few bad seeds soil anything you like doing.

  6. Rob,

    I second the comments of all those who have posted here already. I think you know how grateful your loyal (and I stress loyal) readers are for your blog. And I think we all have good feelings about you as a person and a writer. And it goes without saying that you have to be true to yourself.

    I would read you blog even it were not about sex. I have enjoyed a number of your posts when you've discussed human behavior and even social issues. You are smart and insightful and entertaining.

    And handsome.

    Paul, NYC

  7. Well said. I think reading your blog is a privilege. Sometimes I can't believe that I get to read such good stuff in the morning. For whatever reason, you've gotten into my head.

  8. I've always read your blog for the excellent writing first and foremost. You have a knack for reading human nature, a mind that opened new horizons for me and a talent for the craft that is rare in the blogosphere. You don't owe anybody anything, end of story. Regardless of what you decide, it's been a privilege. Good luck with everything.

  9. It;s already been seconded,but I third all of the previous comments. I genuinely enjoy your writing and I look forward to your future stories should you share them.

  10. So sorry to hear about all the issues you've been facing from your readers. I truly love reading about your adventures. Please do what you have to do for your own happiness. If you do decide to stop blogging, please know that you will be missed.

  11. Rob, I feel what you have given the internet already in knowledge & experience, is enough to last a lifetime. I can surely say that if it wasn't for the lessons I've learnt though your writing helped me deal with questions and issues in regards of my sexuality and even how I look at life. If you decide to stop, then I can see why and I thank you for everything you've given us.

  12. Well said! I havd an experience similair with my blog, and I am like you in a breather waiting to see if I should close it or give it another try. The tone of online has changed in the last few years its like we have become bored and pissed at the online world as a group. Love you postings, do what you think is best.

  13. Sorry to hear some freak decided it was cool to take things beyond where they should have gone and stalked you. That can be unsettling to say the least.

  14. Entitled jerks, much? You actually have to pay to read what Stephen King writes... Do they expect him to come down and clean their houses? Should Michael Bay mow your lawn? Should Angelina Jolie be your personal shopper? Jesus.

    I've enjoyed every word you've written (Well, I have a lot of back reading to do...), and would hate to see them stop flowing. But you gotta do what you gotta do. Whatever you decide, I thank you for the time you've given us and wish you well in the future.

  15. There must be something weird going on in the universe lately. I've experienced a much harder time getting hook up and have encountered guys just being plain assholes these past few months. Hopefully, whatever it is passes soon for all our sakes, haha! And as far as you owing your readers anything; you owe us nothing! We all willingly and freely read your blog and can chose to stop whenever. And you're not really getting anything in return from having so many readers. Nobody owes anyone anything. Keep your head up!!

  16. My dear friend Rob,
    You know what i think of you. You are a true gentleman in every sense of the word. I read this with a big knot in my throat and i got tears in my eyes at the end about everything that happend to you lately. Sorry that i'va been away for a period of time but i came back because something was missing and that is why i start reading you once again. Idon't mind if you're not talking about sex i just enjoy reading you because you are a great writer. Do what is best for you and i will support your decision. Love you dear friend. xox

  17. What? No Landscaper update? I kid, of course.

    Even in your explanation of being absent and unpacking of the reasons that some of us make writing this blog a burden (maybe that's not the right word), you still have a way with writing, explaining things, that most of us bloggers will never come close to achieving. I know you aren't fishing for compliments, but you could write about your grocery shopping list and half of us would be stroking ourselves silly by the time you got to the produce section.

    The Internet is full of trolls and idiots and often, people who simply can't express themselves properly. But you have many, many appreciative fans who can sit our silly little asses down and wait until you feel the motivation to share your gift with us once again.

    If I hadn't said it before, I appreciate what you do, and thank you.

  18. Dear Rob: You are very dear to me. I enjoy reading you more than hearing from most of the people I know. You are more creative, more articulate, and may I say erudite than we deserve. The problem is The Web. It is too democratic. It allows people whom you would ignore if they sat next to you on a bus to interact with you on their terms, not yours. Ignore them. Walk away. Take another seat on the bus, but don't let them get into your head. Lovingly, your admirer

  19. It is the height of the age of entitlement - where the majority of the population seems to enjoy being impertinent. I read your blog to get a smile (and occasionally an idea) and I've missed seeing it, but I completely understand your sentiments and can't help but feel a great deal of empathy for what you have to go through with idiots. Unfortunately, I know no real way of getting rid of them legally.

  20. When we crossed online paths by accident this summer I mentioned how impressed I was with your writing, particularly when compared to the general online illiteracy. It would be a shame to lose your voice.

    Oh, and I'm glad to hear you are, at least physically, well. I'd hoped to see more of you, and you know which parts I like.

    Si non habes Pedicabo...

    (Very possibly your evil twin separated at birth) I remain


  21. Don't let the bastards get you down! Put on your best bowler, grab your bumbershoot/saber, jump into your vintage Bentley and drive on! Along with all the caring perverts who have posted so far I must tell you that you that, as a Southerner of your age and ethnic affiliation, you open my perspective about what was happening when I was afraid and repressed in my mother's house in the 1970s and 1980s. You know that I like your posts, even when the BDSM becomes intense and the kid you tricked with in your teens falls out. You keep it real and I appreciate that. Through your experiences I understand a different world and, even though I never wish to violate my vows, I have the opportunity to learn what my life might have been/be like. I'm bisexual. I love my wife. I crave gay sex as well. I have been loyal to my vows and I know that your candid accounts inform my own experience. Please disregard those who take you down. Your life has much to offer us.

    Did you really expect us to write anything else? Jeez, Mr. Steed! How many times do I need to write an affirmation? This is the third time! I hope that you know that I and everyone who has posted, all 21 of us, really hope that you will share your life with us. I grow in insight when you share your life. I am grateful for your sharing!

  22. Aside from so many being rude, you mostly shouldn't really care that people think of you. What people think of you is their problem and in many cases highlights their own shortcomings.
    I was married for 12 years... spent my whole life up until age 42 not even knowing that I was Gay... it was during the divorce separation that I discovered it in New Orleans... that's another story.
    Keep doing what you do, I always learn from you, I always can relate to some of your offerings... and your commitment to us is real and commendable. Thank you for taking the time and effort to communicate.
    Regards, Baldy

  23. I got a brief glimpse of public reaction when I was featured (anonymously) in another blogger's column. What was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor really brought out the unasked-for nasty in a lot of people. I didn't need to invest much time and effort that went into that blogger's post yet it pained me to read the vitriol and loathing from some of the readers who responded to that post.
    Maybe some think they're being constructive or witty.
    I cannot imagine how difficult it must be when someone like you, Rob, is writing from the heart (and groin) for us and readers respond in a negative way.
    No one is being forced to read this blog. I read this blog with my heart open and a smile on my face and, more often than not, with a rising bulge in my groin. I read this blog and take the emotions you share with us and treasure them. The way you are able to take your experiences and put them in words leaves me in awe and wonder. I wish I had that gift but since I either don't have it or haven't bothered to put effort into doing that, I can treasure your musings/rants/missives/essays.
    Thank you for this post.
    You are in my thoughts and in my heart, always,

  24. I am so glad to have a new post from you; I have truly missed your writing, your adventure, and your spirit! But I can also see why you needed a holiday from it, and you certainly get a lot of responses (from the crazies to the kind but still not too considerates)! Thanks for being so detailed and sharing!!

  25. Rob-
    Glad to have seen your most recent post. While I do find your tales stimulating and sublime fodder for one handed reading, they are superbly written. I would gladly follow you for your prose alone. Further, your fine eye for observation of the human condition, no matter how much you're focused on the pleasure of the smaller head, the large one is always in charge and in sharp focus. Makes following you all he more delicious.

    I do understand dry periods for the muse and the sense of imposition that some in cyberspace can impose. (What was it I once heard about Second Life? Oh yeah, it was for people without a first!) Seriously, you write so well, I'm glad to see you in a space to post again.

  26. buddy I appreciate you.....as simple as that.....do what is best for you.

  27. I was a daily reader of yours, a few years back, before I got distracted with so many things...as it seems everyone does, these days, what with the internet age and all. We corresponded, even, though I'm too far to be a contender for your affections. Since then, I've had my first ever relationship blossom and collapse and the development of skin problems that makes it tough to even consider flirting with guys. I'm good looking, as you are (we fly, no lie), but the world - especially the internet - is cruel, and I find myself depressed and saddened more often than I would really like. As you mention, the gayboys engage in all sorts of maddening behavior that curb stomps a person's self esteem.

    I was feeling especially shitty this morning and found I couldn't read anything on the internet at all. It was all unappetizing. And I thought to myself, what the fuck can I possibly do right now, what can I find on the internet that would make me feel good, or merely okay? And I thought of your blog, which I don't visit often enough, and came here, enjoying the first two posts before coming to this one.

    Your emotional candor has always been refreshing, as you allow glimpses into your life that go far beyond the scope of an ordinary sex blog. You let us into your mind and heart, much though we love your dick. You write in an incredibly rhythmic and insightful way about topics that most would never consider revealing. This, for example, is a beautiful post, raw and stark though it is. It resonates with my own internet frustrations, as many of your other blogs have resonated with other assorted feelings.

    Chronic lurkers like myself usually neglect to give positivity where we have received pleasure, but positive energy is an important contrast to all the negative bullshit that we experience. You've blogged a couple times since this post, so you might be feeling better about your travails. Life can be fucking tough. But, just as I hope and know that my life is going to improve, both as a result of my own efforts and the inevitable passage of time, I hope and know that you'll find a return to the enjoyment that you once had. Just know that what you do is explicitly valuable, as you yourself are, regardless of what those cocksucking faggots say and do.

  28. Breeder - you're blocked now in my home country, so this is first time I've been able to read you for a while. Damn I feel sorry for those poor fuckers who seem to think you owe them, and for you having to put up with their bitching (and more). My own small blog is just a way for me to articulate my "adventures", whether to an empty room or otherwise is not material to me. But I also, on occasion, get some weird and hurtful comments (esp. re the married thing as well), that make my blood boil. Be strong and write to please you, not us...

  29. I read your stuff from time to time, and enjoy it. Can't that just be it? I've also encountered you online and we've had a casual conversation or two, felt just a little starstruck, and sometime wondered why guys can't be just a little more like you (for me). I found a guy I now date and sometimes, he reminds me of you, and I dig that.

    Sorry some guys are dorks. *shrugs Sometimes I like all the difficulty, trouble, drama and downhome honesty that brings. Just sometimes, though. Thom/crash