I just want you to like me.
I've written before about the relationship between my desire to be seen, not to be judged, and to be desired and approved affirmatively.
I was talking with L about this blog, about my hunger for viewers, for the affirmation that comes with growing viewership, and she said, "The thing is, N., you're much less sympathetic than, say, Liza” (whose blog, by the way, I love). L continued, “Liza is married, she's not doing things that most people couldn't imagine themselves doing. Most people can't imagine themselves going to a sex club, making out with a pregnant Hasidic woman while her husband fucks her, or flying a woman they've just met once to Miami for two days of sex. Let alone going to sex addiction twelve-step meetings, massage parlors, etc.”
I know she's right, that both the breadth of my exposure and the intensity of my hunger (witness the volume of posts on this blog - a good proxy for my... enthusiasm) can be off-putting.
But still, I have a failure of perspective: while I'm clearly dissolute, the truth is, I'm a pretty vanilla dissolute, as these things go. I’m not a “swinger” in “the lifestyle.” When I’ve been to swing parties, I’ve been one of the few people who doesn’t have an active profile on SLS, who doesn’t go to these things weekly. I’m much more like an adventurous tourist than I am a foreigner (if those are foreign lands). When I’ve been to sex clubs, I’ve been a wallflower compared to the people who go regularly, who “like” the sex parties on their Facebook profiles (yes – people do this), who have all fucked one another multiple times. (And just for perspective, I have fucked exactly one person, other than my wife or my date, in a sex club in my life.)
My “sex addiction,” such as it was, brought me a lot of experience with paid sex, to be sure. I’m not sure that my experiences were particularly deviant or unusual – except in its quantity. (Most men have been to strip clubs, massage parlors, and/or prostitutes; most, however, have just been to those latter sex workers once or twice in their lives, and more important, most have the good sense not to write blogs about their experiences.)
And yet – these deviant journeys are not what I’ve written about on this blog, for the most part. So what is it that makes me, in L’s mind, “unsympathetic,” or, as I think she really meant, a bit “foreign,” or even “intimidating”?
I just put up two new “polls,” on the upper right of this page, looking to ascertain how (or really why) you readers got here, and in coming days, I’ll also ask, I expect, about some of your negative feelings about what I’ve written here.
I’ve always been hungry to understand what people see when they look at me – not out of narcissism (he tells himself), but rather, out of a genuine sense of somewhat mystified uncertainty on the subject. What I see when I look at me, at least as regards this particular subset of my personality, is an open-minded, adventurous guy who also is articulate and curious. So when I’m tagged “unsympathetic” (and I imagine correctly, accurately) it baffles me just a little. Because I’m so wedded to this image of me as being essentially vanilla.
I always welcome anything anyone has to say on this (or any) subject, in the comments, or more privately, by e-mail.