So, a comment was left on yesterday’s post, and it went to the effect of this:
Steff, I have to say it’s kinda’ creepy or something……with you writing about your guy and your guy adding comments to your blog.
I know it’s a free world and people can do anything they want.
But, this Blog is beginning to give me flashbacks of watching the Brady Bunch or something. It’s almost like……is he watching over your sholder all the time or stalking you? Doesn’t he have anything else to do? It’s making me sick!
The Guy makes comments on posts relating to him. Suddenly it seems stalkeresque to that reader, and perhaps others. The comment put me on the defensive, and then it made me think.
The Guy said, “Hey, she posted to my blog first. And what you see as creepy I see as caring and supportive.” I’d have to say I agree. And it’s true, I did comment on his first. (And no, I won’t post the link. You find that shit out on your own, kudos, but I like him being a rather non-distinct entity. It makes him stay more mine, in some weird way.)
The Guy’s a writer and an editor in his own right, and as a result, he’s extremely supportive and encouraging of my attempts – because he knows what you don’t: Nothing terrifies me more than writing, but there’s nothing I need to do more. He reads everything I write every day, (including on my other blog) and tends to send off a couple short emails each day, considering that he knows I simply sit at my desk most often and write. He knows I don’t like MSN/instant messaging, so he doesn’t push me to use that, since he realizes I find it interrupts my work ethic. I send him far more emails than he sends me, and it’s a wonder he’s not slapping a stalker label on my ass. But, of course, he’s definitely slapping my ass. You don’t need to hear about that.
Anyhow, that wasn’t what had me thinking.
I’m an independent chick. I don’t “need” a guy to feel whole, and my backlog proves that. But I want a guy. I want The Guy. And why not? He fits the bill of what I’ve been looking for, and vice versa.
In writing about our recent collision in matters of the heart for his own audience, he had this to say: “It’s exciting, fun, and works. We’ve jumped in with both feet: there’s lots of trust and sympatico there, which helps. It feels, in a way, like it’s been a long time in coming, and I don’t think I could explain that sense if I tried.”
And neither could I. Really, explaining this shit to the masses is like trying to explain why you like a certain food. You can try, but really, unless you’re sitting there and munching it yourself, you’ll never understand.
I’m in an unusual predicament. I’m supposed to be writing about matters of the heart and loin, and I try to push myself to create new content on a daily basis. Somehow, I mostly succeed. Yes, some days are weak and of little consequence, and others are fun and quirky, and on rare good days, I manage to even pull off the odd hint of insight.
But through it all, it’s fuelled by me – my experiences, my life, my fears, my curiosities, my takes, my opinions. Me. I leave myself out here on the clothesline to be whipped about by the elements, and hope like hell there’s no tatters when I’m through.
There are moments when I wish The Guy didn’t have access to this blog. Moments like The Relationship Ride posting from last week. But he does have access. What’s more, it seems to matter to him what I’m saying. When I posted that writing about my early-days fear, he didn’t post some lame-ass comment for you all to read, he called me and deflated any anxieties I had through good old-fashioned conversation. We actually only talk on the phone once or twice a week. We save conversation up for being in person, but we keep communication open via email. He told me the other day I could be writing about quilting and he’d still check it daily, but the fact that it’s about sex is just “total bonus.” Then again, he knew my writing from long ago, and liked it just fine when I wasn’t giving instructions on how to perform oral.
So, it bothers me that someone who’s interested in what I say has to be labeled as a “stalker.” What the fuck is that about? As a result of him being interested and reading what I say, our communication process is probably far more sophisticated only a month (technically, but that’s not allowing for our exchanges from four years ago) into the relationship than most people probably experience after several months in. I encourage everyone to try and find their way to a communicative experience like this. Throw in a little hot action, and there you go.
It also means he understands what I want from sex, what I expect from a lover, and more importantly, what I, too, will (and do) bring to the table. Our physical exchanges are passionate, open, rewarding, and fun, and we know how to talk about it before and after the fact. Our verbal exchanges skip to the heart of the matter, because so much has already been said and understood, if even only through these pages.
I guess the long and the short of it is pretty simple. We live in a fairly cynical age where interest and affection can be perceived as indulgent and sappy. We’re so fucking bent on being “cool” and maintaining an image, and even playing fucking head games, that we tend to forget about being — or even how to be — real in between it all.
On here, I am what I need to present myself as. It’s as much a marketing ploy as anything. In print, I’m real, but I’m a stylized, heighted form of my reality. In person, I’m someone who can be hurt, who can cry at the memory of a tragic event, and who needs someone who can make that pain go away and who makes me laugh and feel safe and sexy. I’m cute, affectionate, doting, open, smart, communicative, excitable, and engaging, and I really, really need someone who mirrors that. Luckily, it would appear that’s what I’ve got.
A “stalker” is someone who shows unwanted attention to another. They’re obsessive and they pursue their subject with little regard for the subject’s desires.
The attention I’m getting is wanted. The “obsession” appears mutual. And my desires have met with nothing but his regard. And vice versa.
There will be posts in which some aspects of my relations with The Guy will find their way on here. This doesn’t look like a short-lived relationship, not to either of us, and I suspect there will indeed be things worth writing about. I think it unlikely I’ll ever share a great deal of detail with any of you in regards to that, as I do value some privacy and really do feel that keeping things to myself sometimes makes them mean more, but I’ll certainly allude to things, and I intend to continue sharing my fears, apprehensions, optimism, hope, and more. That’s what this place is about, and it indeed will change with the landscape of my life… a landscape that isn’t as empty as it was a month or two ago.
This thing I have going might seem sappy or whatever the fuck you perceive it to be, but that’s a truncated, inaccurate portrayal of what, to me, is mature, fun, communicative, supportive, and really fucking hot. So, y’know, whatever you wanna think, think. I know what I got, and I’m cool with it.
Hmm. I kinda thought you were over reacting before….
Also, I think it’s really cool that you have a guy like that around. *whistful sigh*
It never even crossed my mind that it could seem stalker-like to someone.
I think it is very cool that you guys are this open. It is who you have always said you are so why change now.
And a little sap is good for all of us cynics whether we know it or not.
A strange thought really from an outsider to be doling out pathological terms of ‘stalker’ to a partner reading a blog! those things always seem to say more of the accuser’s insecurities than anything more insightful. I have also embarked on a relatioship with someone with a well established sex blog, and it has enrichened our relationship, our shared love of words, images etc, yet not without its share of glitches. and this is the boundary that I am learning to navigate. Blogging is that bridge between public and private, a person’s confessional, diary, announcements etc. there needs to be the freedom to still be able to express untethered doubts, emotions etc, but it can also hurt (a partner) if they are surprised by something they don’t know how to interpret, i.e. a blog doubting relatinships, or lusting after everyone. In our relatioshoip we had to discuss these points to avoid confusion, our rule is if you don’t like it and feel hurt, ask them about it directly, and no negative, personal comments. But it is a sphere for thoughts and particularly in relationships- beginnings, middles and endings, they are not always smooth- mine certainly aren’t at least!
I am still developing my own etiquette, of when to comment on my partner’s blog- as there runs the risk of overintimacy and blurring the boundaries of personal expression- and making it a couple sphere, which isnot the purpose. I read his blog daily,if I haven’t seen him I get an insight as to how he is going, I love his turn of phrase, and his immensely arousing pictures, and would read it even if we weren’t together. I appreciate that he has built up relationshipa snd rapport with other bloggers well before we met, initally a little daunting but we all have history and other worlds, and I think when you meet somone you accept their whole package, and if you can share a blog sphere- then even better.
The bonus of havig my own and his reading it too,is moment such as recently I raved about pianos, and days later he had Amadeus out on dvd and could indulge in sex and piano simultuaneously- so mutual benefits.
(Odal — Heh… I post daily and need writing topics. What, pass up the opportunity to rant? I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I had another topic in mind, too, but didn’t quite know how to tackle it yet. :P)
Th fact the your guy reads your blog is a credit to you not something wrong with him. My blog is anonymous because I want to say things that I do not dare say to the people I know. Maybe I’m just too chicken to face up to the people in my life or maybe I need it to be that way to live my life the way I want it. It doesn’t matter; I have my own reasons and so do you. I wish I could be as open and unapolegetic about myself as you are. I think the stalker comment comes from someone that can’t understand the openness you bring to the table.
Steff: Please just let the comments go one ear and out the other. People like you and your friend are gifted!!!!!!!!! I really enjoy your writing and look forward each day. regards richard
Just the fact that you are both comfortable enough to have each other read your blogs is testament to open communication. The person I am (loosely termed) involved with has not read mine, doesn’t even know of it’s existence, and that’s the way I would prefer it to be since it would create more problems than I would like to deal with right now.
Frankly, I think it’s kinda sweet that he commented…we get to see the other person’s side!
Ignore the rude comments. Life’s too short to care, you’re happy and so be it!
I just wanna say that I’m glad Steff rants. God knows I’ve earned quite a reputation myself as one who rants.
But more than that, rantng is passionate writing. Not merely emotional, but passionate. Some of my favourite writers are well-known for written and spoken rants (Ellison, RA Wilson, Vonnegut).
And a mark of a skilled blogger is to post a passionate rant that turns into neither a flame nor a troll. This post is a good example. Myself, I rarely succeed. 😉
(And if Steff ever asked me to hold off on reading either blog for a bit I would. I trust her, almost implicitly.)
(Thanks, babe. Glad you dig the rants.)
To the rest of ya:
As for ignoring the commenter… HEH. NO! I want to have my say. I like getting a little bent out of shape about things. Keeps me chugging. But I’ll never let it shut me down, no worries. 🙂
But I still think it was a bonehead thing to say. I mean, yeesh.
The Guy? A stalker? That’s preposterous! Stalking is unwanted, unwelcomed attention, not the involvement of a significant other. Sheesh!
Besides, if he was a stalker, I’m a hell of an enabler. I’m heading over to the Guy’s house with chocolate chip-peanut butter banana muffins I just made. I’m nothing if not doting on someone on crutches. (Spent about 20 weeks on them over the course of a year a couple years back — shitty life, crutches!)
Really, all this and sex, too. Who wouldn’t stalk me? 😛
Tee hee. I’m in a feisty mood. Guy better watch out. Just had my first bike ride since getting sick five weeks ago. I feel g-r-r-r-r-reat.
Many years ago I kept an online journal, at a time when that basically meant a lot of navelgazing and confession. Quite quickly, my friends discovered it and started reading it, forcing me to confront the fact that I wanted to tell the Internet things that I didn’t want to say to my friends’ faces.
A couple times I had to screw up my courage, but I always ended up thinking “if I’m willing to tell this to strangers, I should be willing to say this to the people who know me.” It usually worked out well, even if it did lead to some uncomfortable moments (that, in retrospect, were better exposed). For Steff to be airing personal things in her blog, and for the boy to be reading and commenting on it shows nothing more than a healthy openness. For those uncomfortable with it, the problem isn’t with Steff.
You have no idea how happy I’d be if I could trust my 3-month-old long-distance Guy to read my blog and not freak out.
Glad things are going well, you two 🙂
Personally, I think Justin’s pretty close to the mark on what happened. I was planning on making this comment on your other post, but this seems like the perfect place.
I understand where Anon was coming from. I don’t agree with what he said, understand me, I’m just saying I’m pretty sure what it was that him feel creeped out.
Justin mentions airing out various elements of his life in front of strangers, and then having difficulty with actual friends reading it. And that’s exactly it.
It’s often easier to be vulnerable in front of strangers. They’re not close to you, they don’t exist in your life outside that brief moment in time, chances are you’ll never see them again. And with blogs, the anonymity factor is incrediby uninhibiting. I mean, aside from The Guy/The Boyfriend (does he have another handle, out of curiosity? It actually feels kind of rude using “The”…like he’s some foreign object or something…), who do you actually know in person aside from Gayboy? (Apologies if I got his name wrong.)
And yet, here you are, making yourself vulnerable not just to someone you know in person, but to a LOVER. IN PUBLIC. No closed doors, no pulled curtains, no shuttered blinds.
That SCARES THE HELL out of some people. The idea that someone (such as yourself) could make themselves so openly vulnerable like that is terrifying- hence the negative reaction. I’m not going to rip into Anon for such- it’s just the way some people are. Some people are just not comfortable with such open vulnerability.
Personally, I think it takes incredible strength of character to do it. And the fact he calls you up to talk about it- that he chooses to make a personal connection with you rather than just e-mail or comment- that tells me The Guy has character in spades, too.
Anyways, that’s my take. And just for the record, I realise in retrospect, I set up a dozen “insert foreign object” jokes, and in other circumstances, I might even make a few myself, but I think this whole situation deserves a little dignity and respect, so I’m going to refrain.
Unless of course, Steff or The Guy want to start it up…
Oh, I totally get that some people can’t comprehend this kind of openness.
And that’s why I’ve chosen to not get involved with many people in the past few years; I’ve spent far too much time taking down my walls and learning how to become vulnerable to waste my time putting them back up for someone who just doesn’t understand.
The experiences I’ve had since learning how to become more open and vulnerable have been mind-blowing. My friendships are richer, my interactions with others are richer, and the reward is that I get to experience a strangely open and communicative relationship like this.
I won’t reveal much about our physical life, but I can say this — we can lie around kissing and all those other things for six or eight hours, just talking all the way through it. No music, nada. And it friggin’ rocks.
Coyote — I don’t want you people to know who he is. That way, he stays more MINE. Y’all have plenty of me to enjoy, you don’t need to know who my lover is or what he looks like.
He actually ENJOYS being called “The Guy.” He says he feels mysterious as a result. It’s all cool. I’ve made sure he’s comfortable. I’m that kinda gal.
Who else reads this blog? Well, actually, three or four friends, and my brother, and I occasionally send pieces to my father and two aunts, believe it or not.
MY BOSS and her HUSBAND from my last job read it even when I was still working there. Whether they still do, I don’t know. (Hi, you. Ha.)
This is why I skirt truly revealing my sex life. None of anyone’s fucking business. My KNOW-HOW, you’re welcome to. My experiences? Not a fucking chance. 🙂
I was raised in a home where everything that happened was “our business, not theirs,” and I’ve had some horrible shit go down in my teens that I’ve never revealled to people until this past year. I know how much the secrecy hurt me, and honestly, I can’t afford therapy — this blog and my other do the trick nicely. 🙂
When I first began blogging in November 2004, I kept it to myself — not because I didn’t want to share it with friends/family, but because I wasn’t confident in my writing. Not long after, I let my friend (occasionally referred to as WhippedBoy) read it and he wrote me an email and said, “THANK GOD. I never understood why I’d get these terribly literate emails, and they’d be all for me… about time you shared them with the world,” and it changed how I felt about being a little more open.
Slowly, the layers came off. My other friends began to read, and my father read it daily. I started this blog for a “secret secret” blog and refused to let those I knew read it, but then I realized it was too important to me not to.
I don’t regret opening that floodgate. I suspect I never will.
One of the reasons I love to have the guy comment is because I occasionally grow concerned that I’ve said too much — but when he comments, I know it’s fine. Or he’ll email me, or he’ll kiss me when he arrives and say, “I liked the post,” or whatever, but the support’s always there — and support breeds more openness, but most people are too scared to learn that through experience.
What a wonderful world it’d be if they could.
And as for anonymity, it’d take about two minutes for anyone to do a search and find out my real name, so who the fuck cares? Hell, employers know what I write about.
The things that are hardest to share are the really personal posts about my fears/etc, and every time I hit “publish” my heart goes through the floor and I have to wonder if I’ve made the right choice. Every single time. But the comments — whether friends, lovers, or strangers — make me realize it’s the right choice.
So, I say open up. Let people know. It’ll do you good.
(Justin, I really dug your comment. Thanks. Coyote, I get what you’re saying. Others who’ve supported me, thanks.)
As for “insert foreign objects” — well, that job’s already been assigned, and it doesn’t need to occur here. In fact, it can’t. That belongs in another place, with other company. So, y’know.