The Dubious Nature of Anonymity

I’ve had an email or two that has asked what I think about bloggers getting outted and shit like that.
I got outted last year. My name is Steffani Cameron, all right? I really don’t give a fuck who knows, ‘cos anyone with a nickel and half a brain can run my handle through Google and tap into an interview I did last fall in which the bonehead ran my name and unwittingly destroyed any chance for anonymity that I might’ve had. Jesus, if you have half an iota of ingenuity you could probably even find a photo of me, ‘cos there’s at least three of them accessible. Besides, back to the “my name is known” thing — when I did Sex with Emily on FreeFM, I gave ’em permission to use my name. And the CBC used my name in promoing my blog on Zed in February.
I recently did a job search in which I know for a fact at least one of the employers knew of my blog and its content. I almost know for certain that one of those employers sent me a sexually explicit (and very creepy) email to an uber-private email that is NOT in any way associated with this blog, and which no one who has ever contacted me through this blog has ever had the privilege of knowing. That’s the only time I’ve ever been creeped out about my lack of anonymity.
Both my last employer and my present employer, and every parent of every student I’ve ever taught, has known that I write sexual content. My father, brother, and every friend, family member, and longtime acquaintance knows about this blog.
As far as being a public blogger of sex goes, I’m ALL that, baby.
And that ain’t about to change.
My phone number, however, is unlisted. I have caller ID blocking on my phone as well. And that ain’t gonna fuckin’ change either. Last thing I need is anyone deliberately reaching out and touching me.
What do I think of the recent spate of bloggers that I’ve heard about who have up and vanished in the night because someone leaked who they were? It’s too bad. It’s really a shame we live in a society where people can be judged on these bases, but the fact is, we do. I’m doing my part to fight the fuckin’ power, ‘cos I think it’s flat-out wrong. I’m doing my part to prove that a good person can like getting shagged senseless. Sex is a sin if you want it to be. Sex is a shame if you allow it to be. Sex is a stigma if you let it be.
Sometimes people are powerless about the bigotry and the judgmental POV that peppers our society. That’s reality, baby, and it’s the cold fuckin’ light o’ day.
I was having this discussion with my coworkers last week, since I work with highly political people who are well-connected and who have political aspirations that will build on their political histories, and I jokingly said, “Yeah, well, politics is likely out for me.” The web designer guy was commenting how he thought that might not necessarily be the case. He commented to the effect that we’re on the cusp of this era where everyone’s dirty little secret is about to stop being so secret. Just look at and how hauntingly real all those unthinkable sentiments are. Suddenly we know people’s dirty little thoughts. Suddenly we understand that our own dark and cobwebby little corners aren’t as unspeakable as we might’ve thought, because they beat us to the punch and said it first.
The information age makes everyone Googleable, and the fact is, those skeletons YOU think are in YOUR closet might just be behind far more transparent doors than you suspect.
One day, and that day’s coming soon, we’re going to realize that everyone has moments of shame and degradation. Everyone’s done something they’d rather not have exposed. Everyone’s cozied up a little too close for comfort with shame. We’re all fallible, we’re all products of the same erroneous genetics, but a lot of folks just haven’t the a) balls or b) fortitude to admit their dubious pasts.
Me, I’m honest to a fault, always have been. Why hide my shit? I’ve fucked up, damn right I have, and yeah, I like my sex with a side of dirt, but so what? Who the fuck are YOU to judge me? No one perfect, that’s who you are, so let it go, man. Let it all go. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t find a fault in, so I’ve given up my quest for perfection. Good is good enough. Bad is good enough. I’ll take what I got, man. It is what it is.
So, to those beloved bloggers who’ve been outted and don’t feel they’re in a place where they can be honest and be who they are without retribution, well, I don’t feel their pain, but I understand their reservations. We’re on the cusp of a new era of honesty, but for now we’re still mired in lies, and I understand. Hopefully more people like me’ll come out of the woodwork and be what they gotta be to get this show on the road, but in the meantime…
You got me, baby. You got me.
It’s weird being honest about this shit. It’s odd meeting new people and having them be clued in, either by yours truly, or just because they just know. It’s a little surreal. I get fun grins out of people, but you know what? No one has ever recoiled. No one has ever judged me. Most of the people are impressed, actually, and they’re usually taken quite by surprise, something I really enjoy. They’re amused, they want to know more. It’s awesome. Honesty’s freeing. They may say it’s the best policy, but, dude, it’s one hell of a ride, too, y’know?

6 thoughts on “The Dubious Nature of Anonymity

  1. Thales

    regarding anonymity, I would think it depends on what your focus is in your blog. If it is merely sex, I don’t think many people mind not being anonymous. However, if you consider your blog to be a “private” diary, a place you can write your innermost thoughts and get feedback, I’m not sure you want to be public with that.

    That is, is one thing to write about say oral sex techniques, and another thing to write about that girl you bedded last night, and how you were actually wishing she was someone else at the moment of orgasm. You might show her the blog entry for the former, but I’m not sure it would be right to show her the latter. Without anonymity, there would be some self-sensorship.

  2. The Ogre

    Honesty is truly the best policy. Though I have a smiggen of anonmity for my blog, and I don’t really delve into extremely controversial topics, in the real world, I’ll tell you how it is, what I think and not sugar coat it. If you can’t handle the truth, then put a diaper on, here’s a sippy cup, and we’ll keep you in grade school with naps and recess.

  3. Thales

    Ogre, say you are hiding Ann Frank’s family up in the attic during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Gestapo comes to your house and asks if there are any jews in attic. Is honesty still the best policy in this case?

  4. roscoe

    What a topic to open up…personally, I think what I think and I have my opinions, I like that I have an opinion and I’m OK if someone doesn’t agree…just have a damn opinion about something…

    The other thing that kills me is why people try and hide the truth about life…like you said Steff, we have all had our shit go down, all had our ups and downs but the reality is…we are all the same in some way or another…

    Money, clothes and cars do not make a person,the ability to be who you truly are is what makes someone great…

    I actually like how the topics change on your blog depending on your mood and state of mind…it’s refreshing and honest…

    Reality is great…as long as its not a damn TV show ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Spicy Little Pi

    amen steff.

    when i really started to get into the whole blogging thing, i chose to be a little more anonymous than i preferred.

    then i started reading you.

    your blog and others that i read and even link to provide enough info to find the writer in RL. but y’know what, i’ve never had the urge to.

    making ‘real’ contact would sort of spoil it…i’m not exactly sure how, but i think it would.

  6. scribe called steff

    thales — i’ve written about bad romance the day after and had no qualms about it. it is what it is.

    ogre — i totally agree. one of my friends just filled out a form for being a personal reference for me with a recruiting company i signed up with long ago, and he fired it off to me, noting that my biggest weakness was my honesty, that if i thought it, i’d say it, and that an employer “may not appreciate it.” heh heh. fuckin’ right they might not.

    thales — no offense, but that’s an incredibly stupid rhetorical question. of course honesty wouldn’t be the best policy, but most of the time, it is. you’re talking extraordinary scenarios and extraordinary situations demand extraordinary actions. we’re talking normal life here. next time pick something a little less outside of reality and it might actually start discussion. like i said, no offense. just tired and not feeling the diplomacy, y’know.

    roscoe — thanks, man. ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s sad we’re all so hung up on being perfect. if we fuckin’ forgot about the high standards and expectations for awhile, we might just have a little fun.

    pi — yeah, i wonder if that’s why people never bother pursuing me in real life, ‘cos i’m real enough here and meeting me might just spoil whatever image they have. it’s cool, though. i get no hassles, and i love it.

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