Monday, October 04, 2004

public privacy when the personal is political

As several people have noticed (I appreciate the supportive emails and advice), my sunday client has provided a point by point critique of my analysis of our date. It can be viewed at I have since debated the situation with several close friends, as well as my livejournal support network. I sent him the following email:

Hey, Rob (he signed his response, so i'm assuming using his name is kosher).
I'm posting this to my blog as well, but wanted to let you know through personal email, so it doesn't turn into a public dialog.
Honestly, I was a little creeped out by your response to my blog. I saw it just before I left for texas and have thought about all week. I have realized I am not disturbed by your reading my blog, but I find your comments invasive. I view my blogs as my personal space to share my experiences. If you would like a similar opportunity to share, I suggest starting your own blog. I don't think it is necessary for me to start locking posts, or blocking comments, or even blocking your personal ip address (things suggested to me by some fellow sex workers). However, I would like to request that you limit your comments. Again, you are still welcome to read my blogs (they are in the public forum) but please honor my request.
I hope this doesn't interfere with our professional relationship.

Although there was a defensive email at first, after further discussion and explanation things have smoothed over. I look forward to meeting with this client again. I also took the time to respond to some of his original critiques of my post: he's in quotes, my original post has >'s, and my responses have *s. So complicated.

"I think you summed up our little date pretty well, but you were mistaken about some of the things I was thinking.
> he was a classic talker, looking for permission and validation.
I guess it's a good or neutral thing to be a 'classic talker?' I'll have to see if I can find a description online for that kind of john. "

*A classic talker is someone who appreciates the opportunity to discuss aspects of life, especially sexuality, with another person/woman without feeling guilty, shameful, or judged. It is a complimentary phrase.

"Anyhow, there's a reason I broach the subjects of sexuality and BDSM with any new people cautiously -- I don't enjoy being called a sicko or a pervert. So I come out of the BDSM closet cautiously, and I only reveal things when I think they'll be accepted. The permission I sought was just the conversational permission to discuss these things. There's just not much point in seeking any other kind of permission from anyone, since I'm still going to like what I like."

*Which is the permission I was referring to. I think the value of shared spoken discourse additionally allows one to further explore their personal desires.

> i think he also wanted to "teach" me, but i cut that one short real fast....
"As I recall, my intent was to gauge your actual knowledge and experience vs. your expectations so I would learn who I was dealing with. Of course I would gladly give my thoughts on the pitfalls of sexwork to anyone involved in it who was willing to listen. You made it clear that any insights weren't welcome, so I took a different conversational track. "

*Again, i was just noting that particular awkward moment and how we transitioned from there.

"So aside from the awkwardness that came from these misunderstandings, a good time was had by all, as far as the evening went. "

*Agreed, although i'm not sure there were as many misunderstandings as originally asserted. i think we use slightly different language to express similar sentiment.

And in response to "You might also want to be more careful what you think, or at least post, about people you have only just met. My main beef was that I felt unfairly judged by a near stranger who I felt I had been polite to. That's an unpleasant feeling."
*I didn't feel i was judging you in any way, merely recounting my experience. My post discussed actions, discussions, and my reactions/processes/conjectures. Within the contents of my blog, I am not discussing you. I am discussing my experiences within a context. You are represented by a character, but are not the subject. I'm the subject. me me me!!! (think veruca salt in willy wonka) If I had said, so-and-so is a blah blah blah, then yes, you have a right to speak up. But as you were represented anonymously, there is no way for the description to be traced back to you, and therefore, no need for public defense.

Thank you all again for your love and support. Good night.


Blogger Dacia said...

Straightforward. Clear. No bullshit. yay for communication!

I heart you.

10/04/2004 4:32 PM  

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