Mar 202012
 

A good friend told me that I come across as a bit, well, predatory.  That my wolf avatar conveys predation, that my posts often make me out that way.

As is my way, I’m baffled.  I know myself (I think).  I know that I’m anything but predatory.

I looked it up:

pred·a·to·ry/ˈpredəˌtôrē/

Adjective:
  1. Relating to or denoting an animal or animals preying naturally on others.
  2. Seeking to exploit or oppress others.

“Prey” means “to hunt and kill for food.”  Well,that’s out.  Seriously.  I promise.

But what about that second definition?

Do I seek to exploit, to oppress?

I’m defensive.  This post is defensive.  I take my friend’s point at face value:  regardless of how I consider myself, I appear, to at least two (I’ve heard it from one other friend, as well) to be predatory.

I guess there are multiple ways I can combat this image.  First, foremost, most important:  I can simply be less predatory.  To the extent that my posts, my online persona, convey an interest in predation, a willingness to exploit, I can/should do that less.

Second, I can soften my image around the edges – change my avatar, maybe show myself just a bit (my eyes? my mouth?).

Third, I can (as Liza has, and as Daisy Danger has) share my voice with you, let you hear me, let you hear how I sound when I’m speaking.

I thought about this third possibility today – I even went so far as to start recording a post.  But I did it while I was walking down the street, and wouldn’t you know it, an ambulance came up, sirens blaring, at a crucial moment.  I live in a loud city, and I’m often out and about – it may well be that any audio post I do will feature the sounds of the street.  But it was a bit much.

I’d love your thoughts – both reactions to the assertion that I am/appear predatory and thoughts about the ways I’ve imagined softening my image a bit.

It’s a testament to my narcissism, I guess, that I’m so self-conscious about this, that I expose it all for you to see.

But what the hell – you came here to see me….  It’s me you get.

  16 Responses to “Predation”

  1. I agree with your friend for obvious reasons but I think I’ve exhausted my opinion .
    Maybe you shouldn’t soften your image.It could be your “thing”. However if you really want to, your avatar could be a shot of you sitting at your desk, looking at a dirty photo. Your back to the camera…
    Listening to your voice would be nice too , record away.

  2. Maybe if I didn’t see the wolf all the time I’d feel differently. But that is an image of hunger and intent, at the very least, to possess.

  3. Personally, I quite like the wolf. I actually think it looks a bit… cuddly! But yes, there are definite predatory overtones, so I can see why others have said that. It doesn’t bother me, I quite like reading a blog that at times can be a bit controversial, so it’s up to you whether you care much about how you’re perceived (it sounds as if you do!).

    For what it’s worth, I never listen to recordings on blogs. I prefer to keep my idea of a blogger in my head. Hearing their voice would puncture the illusion.

    • I never listen to recordings either – except that sometimes – as in Liza’s case – I found myself wanting to know what her voice sounds like.  I don’t need to hear her read things aloud that I can read.  But I like rounding out my mental picture.  Though I understand your preference.

      And yes, my wolf is cuddly:  he just wants his belly scratched.

      Re: perception?  Evidently I do care.  It pains me to be perceived in a way so antithetical to how I see myself.  Pains may not be the right word – it bothers me, as a writer, to see that I’m not communicating my message effectively.

      Thanks!

  4. Perhaps I am like Little Red Riding Hood – ludicrously unable to distinguish a predator – but I don’t at all get a sense that you’re predatory from what you’re posting. 

    Predation to me connotes, on the one hand, innocence and vulnerability of one half of the dynamic.  For the other half, it connotes the deliberate targeting of someone innocent and vulnerable by someone neither innocent nor vulnerable.  The outcome is good for the predator and bad for the prey.

    None of the women whom you feature in your posts about sex appear to me to be prey in this sense, nor do you seem to me to be a predator.  The closest I think you came to this is that post about “creep shots”, but even in that, it came across as more creepy than predatory (and yes, I do think it was creepy). 

    What I get from your posts is the impression that you’re insatiably sexually hungry and that you are very active in trying to satisfy that hunger (I’ve been reading sex blogs long enough, however, to know that what’s in the blog is the blogger’s version of the truth and a small piece of the blogger’s life).  That doesn’t make you a predator.

    As for the avatar, I think it’s actually kind of cheesy, like what a guy who lives in his parent’s basement and plays WoW all day long would pick as a representation of himself.

    • For the record, I’ve NEVER played WoW.  In fact, I believe that this was the first time I’ve ever typed WoW.  And I’m not sure how I know what “WoW” stands for – but I do, though I don’t know that I’ve ever even spoken – or heard spoken – the words.

      One day, I want to revisit the creep shot post.  I got so many more thoughts….

  5. Granted, I haven’t interacted with you enough between blogs and Twitter to profess to know you well at all, but the little bit I HAVE chatted with you, predatory is so not how I’d describe you. I’ve never once gotten that feeling from you. 

    While it’s nice that you’ve taken to heart what a couple of people have said about you, and I appreciate your ideas, your attempts to “soften your image,” what I really want to say is this: Eff those TWO people! You are who you are. If they, the obvious vast minority, don’t like it, or get rubbed the wrong way by you, then they can stop visiting your blog and/or chatting with you on social networking sites. Don’t change who you are to please the minority – stay who you are to please YOU. 

    • Oh, I really appreciate your words.

      I guess the thing is this: the people who’ve told me that are people who (at least relatively speaking) know me well. They’re not telling me I’m predatory. They’re telling me that they suspect people see me as predatory.
      I think there’s something to the specificity of the people – that each of them has the reactions they have to me for reasons that aren’t limited to my own self-presentation. And it’s good to remind me of that.

      But the other thing is this: I have heard enough in my life – not just here – that sometimes I come off in this manner – as being emotionally aloof, standoffish, distant – that I believe there’s truth in it.

      And I’m one of those people who’s continually editing himself. There’s a discontinuity between how I see myself and how some (including some I love) see me. This “predation” point is oddly reminiscent of that. So I’m taking it and running.

      One of the things I love about this blogging thing is the freedom it gives me to hear what people think about me in an unmediated, unapologetic way. That feels unusual, and lucky. How many of us can know what people *really * think about us? Here, people can tell me with zero personal risk. I welcome that, am grateful for it.

      And I appreciate your twin reminders: 1) what someone says is what someONE
      says – not the truth, and 2) I am who I am.

      I’m not trying to change myself particularly. Truth be told, I kinda like
      myself. But I am interested in presenting an image of myself that feels
      accurate. Predator? Doesn’t feel accurate.

      • All of this makes complete sense and you said it very well. Putting myself in your shoes, I can’t say I’d do anything differently – if I heard from multiple people that I came off or was at risk of coming off in a particular (negative) light, I too would question what it is and wonder how to fix it. Not too fun of a journey, but ultimately, it’s about being happy. Either you’re happy the way you are and don’t care, or you strive to be better. I wish you luck and look forward to hearing what conclusions you come to.

  6. I have barely communicated with you. I have found someone who seems to have sharp wit, is self-effacing, deeply sexual and in questioning that sexuality demonstrates vulnerability. Also, I mentioned it before, someone who is enigmatic.
    These anonymous, ‘reveal all’ blogs fascinate me. They are so revealing of so much that many would not discuss even with a partner let alone friends or strangers. Yet there is so much that is not revealed. Not just identity which is a bit obvious, but the motivation behind that need to share so much.
    No, I have not heard nor sensed predation in your writing. Sometimes those closest to us second guess the way 3rd parties might interpret us because they are fearful for us, because they are over-protective, because they are possessive perhaps. Many reasons. You can only be true to yourself and allow others to make of that what they will. If you try to come across differently in anticipation of how you might be interpreted you will be false and tie yourself in knots. Be you. Trust others’ ability to evaluate but accept this will always be according to their own preconceptions, or prejudices.
    I like the wolf. In my story the wolf represents loyalty, honour and protection. The whole red riding hood shit was just propaganda and wolves have suffered ever since! 🙂

  7. This is a really interesting topic to me – and I’ve seen you bring it up a few times both in these older posts and the more recent ones, if I’m not mistaken.

    I have been told by a number of people throughout my life that sometimes people are scared of me and I am ALWAYS baffled by that perception. I actually consider myself to be one of the least threatening people in any place at any time due to both my height and my disposition – but I’ve actually been told that people thought I was going to beat them up (I’ve never been in a fight in my life). To be honest I kind of like the idea of appearing threatening in some way – but I just don’t get it. I wonder if it’s because I don’t talk as much as most people and that makes others uneasy – but I also wonder if it’s an energy thing. Like an intensity of energy that a lot of people don’t know what to do with.

    I think you definitely have a level of intensity that might make some people uneasy – in your writing obviously. I don’t know what your like in person. And I personally don’t think of it as predatory. When I look at the wolf I see burning eyes. More intense than predatory.

    Sometimes your writing feels a little cold to me – but not in a bad way. I wish I had a better word though – cause I’m not sure if cold is even right. Maybe it’s like a distant intensity – if that’s even possible.

    • I’ve always been curious about how and why I come across as cold, or unemotional, or distant, as it’s SO different from how I see myself. But I do….

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