Nov 052013
 

Right around the time that I started blogging, I discovered “Always Each Other,” a relentlessly hot, tremendously written blog by a woman who called herself “Liza.” Her story was interesting, a refraction of my own: she and her husband had been in a sexless marriage for years, recently awakened. But they were monogamous. Day after day, she wrote hot accounts of the hot sex she and her husband, D, had. It was all new to them, after years in a sexual wilderness, and Liza’s writing communicated incredibly effectively both the hotness of their sex, and the rapture they felt in discovering one another again, in having hot sex.

Liza’s blog took off. She had friends in high places – at least in the sex blogosphere. She was cross-promoted by Violet & Rye, whose blog at the time was soaring to the stratosphere as a result of the beautiful, artful pictures they posted of their beautiful young bodies. Both Liza and Violet & Rye wrote about their sex lives as if they were all sunshine and butterflies: one hot day after another, one stratospheric sexual experience after another.

I was envious. I wanted a piece of her success.

My sex life has never been like that. Not before I met T, not in the context of our marriage, not with any of the women I’ve dated since T and I became monogamish. Never. Sex is, for me, complicated. It’s got emotions all bound up in it, deep doubts about myself, my desirability, my potency. Don’t get me wrong: I’m privileged to have great sex, both within and outside of my marriage. I’m luckier than 99.9% of men, of people, I think, in that way. And from time to time, I have stretches where everything is sunshine and butterflies sexually for me.

But if you’ve read more than five or so blog entries in a row, here, you’ve seen that there’s more to it than that. There are down days, women I long for but don’t bed. Doubts I harbor, periods of lower libido, even (gasp) the occasional bout of impotence.

Where Liza’s life as presented in her blog was SEX SEX SEX, mine was sex, and ruminations, and ponderings. Down days, down weeks.

So I envied Liza the life I imagined she had by reading her blog (or that I imagined she didn’t have, but wanted us to believe she had). But that wasn’t all. I envied Liza other things, too: I envied her fluid, compelling, artful writing. (She’s a much better writer than I.) I envied the insanely hot photos she posted to accompany her stories. I modeled my blog after hers, more than a little: my photo choices were profoundly influenced by hers and, more than once, we chose the same photos for our posts. This wasn’t direct theft, but it reflected the depth of her influence on me. I envied her Twitter followers (she had three or four or five times as many as I did), as well as the seeming intensity of her Twitter friendships, and presence. I envied her the frequency with which Fleshbot picked up her stories. For every one of mine they ran, it seemed they ran three of hers.

I constantly was comparing myself to Liza, and she constantly was beating me. We talked about our stats: she had three or four times as many as I did virtually ever day. She had more, and more active, commenters.

There was simply no arena in which I didn’t envy Liza.

And/but, not only did I envy her, I felt spurned by her. Well, not spurned, exactly, but… well, yes, spurned. I tried hard to forge a friendship with her. I flirted a little. I knew she was monogamous, and I respected that, so I never flirted in a way that was inconsistent with her monogamy, or even that was inconsistent with how she had described herself as having flirted with others. But she was… standoffish. Is that the word? Somehow, she communicated without ever saying it that our friendship was never. going. to. go. there.

And even as she did that, I held out hope. That she would fuck me? No – I don’t think that was ever in my thoughts.

But I did hope for a special, intellisexual connection with her, and I didn’t find it. There seemed to be a very professional, very boundaried, “we’re both sex bloggers” aspect to our relationship.

And then we met….

The first time, it was a double date. Her and D, me and T. We met at a hip restaurant with great views, when they happened to be passing through our town. We talked for several hours, eating well, adjoining to a nearby bar when we were just taking up a table. Liza had tantalized me by imagining, in an e-mail, the possibility of a group trip to Le Trapeze. Would I get to see her naked? To see her sucking D’s cock as I’d read about? They’re a hot couple – watching them fuck would be hot. But in the event, not only did she deny me the intellisexual relationship I fantasized about. Our evening adjourned sexlessly, with none of us going to Le Trapeze.

Then, the second time we met, it was just the two of us, meeting for drinks. She teased me in the lead-up: “I have a new, sexy, slutty dress I may wear.” I was excited to see a bit more of her body, even in a platonic, non-sexual context. Though she had sent that teasing promise/temptation, she showed up dressed demurely. And I felt rejected, denied, disappointed again.

I’ve written before about my preternatural ability to feel rejected. Well, I did.

I don’t know that Liza ever rejected me. I have no idea as I write these words how much of what I write will come as news to her, whether it will flatter or offend her, or if she’ll simply be indifferent.

But it’s relevant because in recent times, when she’s posted, I’ve responded, and generally, I’ve responded with what felt to her like attacks.

She recently posted on the subject of smut writers contributing content, uncompensated, to magazines. I wrote a lengthy reply and, as is my wont, sent it to her for a preview, to give her the chance to reply, suggest changes. And once again, she felt attacked, that I was deconstructing her argument, deconstructing her, in a way that felt assaultive. This wasn’t my conscious intent, at all. I think, if anything, the opposite. I like talking with Liza, and I was trying to have a conversation. But she’s right, as I think about it: what I wrote WAS assaultive, hostile even.

This is beneath me.

I like Liza, I want her engagement, her approval. But it’s felt unachievable, unobtainable to me. I’ve felt, whether it’s her intent or not, that she’s one of the cool kids, and I’m just trying to get with her. Again – not explicitly sexually. But I want to play in her sandbox with her.

And, because I’m wounded, because she didn’t flirt with me, because I’m threatened, because she’s a better blogger than I am, I unconsciously have found myself defending myself, by tearing her down. Like a teenage boy, flirting by dissing.

Not only is this immature and unsightly, it’s mean. For reasons only she knows, my deconstructions of Liza’s arguments have wounded her, rather than amuse, anger, or seem unimportant to her.

I never meant to hurt her, only to bond with her more.

Liza, I’m sorry.

wickedwed

  25 Responses to “Liza and me: a blogger romance, of sorts”

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I can’t properly explain why. It’s a deviation or two of extrapolation a ways away anyway. But that’s a hell of a well-written apology, so cheers [clinks glass].

  2. You have to realize, the way a person writes which gives you a kind of impression or image about her is very very different from the real person. The virtual personality is not the real personality.

  3. Luv2sex :I think, as a blogger himself, N. would understand that, since he’s spent a lot of time thinking and writing about it (along the lines of : you think you know me, but do you now?)

  4. God, there’s so much I could say about this. For fear of sounding petulant on this very same subject myself, I’ll refrain.

    I will say that I’m so grateful every time you write about how rejection affects you. I am very similarly rattled by it. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

  5. You know why I love coming here and reading? THIS!

    No glamming it up, no fucking around, just honest self awareness.. sometimes painfully so.

    With regards to what you have written about. You do yourself a disservice with regards to your blog, your writing and your traffic as a result. Statistic are always interpretable, how we report them effects a great deal what they mean. Blogger reports very different stats to the blogger than WP does, figures from those reports are often no comparable.

    However this is not really about numbers, it is about relationships, communication and friendships that challenge the participants. I have found that if the good outweighs the bad when it comes to my friends then everything is worth it to keep them in my life.

    Mollyxxx

    • I totally agree.

      Well, I mostly agree.

      (And, thank you!)

      Sometimes I agree that it’s not about numbers, but about relationships, communication and friendships. But more often, for me, it’s something else – something more amorphous. I’ve never gotten so into the community aspect of it in the way you have, Molly. I envy you that – both your comfort with it, and your success at it. But for me, that particular aspect is much more elusive.

      For me, it’s much more personal, more psychic, the benefits I get, the point of it all. And in ways I sometimes don’t understand, numbers DO matter for that….

      N. (And again – that opening line is another reason I do it. The validation I feel when someone I respect, a great blogger, praises me effusively! Thank you.)

  6. I have to agree so so much with Molly. I don’t even look at my blog, much less the stats, unless I am posting. And then I don’t often look at the stats. But, you (and Liza and Molly for that matter) are on a different level than I am, for those very reasons perhaps.
    But, as Molly said, it isn’t about the numbers. Its like twitter, who gives a flying fig how many people follow you, if you lose followers as a result of something you said, or gain them because of a picture you post. The point is the connections, making friends, having a laugh or a thought because of what you read. Yours is one of the few blogs that I read every post of, to be honest. You write well, but more importantly, you write honestly. I think your readers relate to you (I know I do) and that connection is worth more than hits or followers.
    And, might I echo that your apology to Liza is really well written – thoughtful, not cheesy, just good. I hope she releases you from the guilt you feel.

    • Oh, Liza can’t release me (and I don’t, exactly, feel guilty). My feelings are mine – she didn’t cause them; she can’t stop them.

      Mostly I feel a little sad. I feel sad that the relationship I hoped for isn’t/wasn’t available to me. And that I’m such a pathological courter of rejection that that never stopped me from seeking it.

      AND that, having done that, I then managed the uncomfortable emotions it brought up in ways that were inconsiderate to someone I actually don’t want to cause discomfort to.

      So it’s not guilt – it’s regret. And I don’t feel too trapped by it. I spoke my piece!

  7. When I feel wounded I try to see the bad things of a person, to make me feel better for feeling hurt. Does that make sense? I think you are a brave man for writing this and apologizing openly.

    Rebel xox

  8. Hmmm, my comment seems not to have posted. Trying a test here.

  9. Wow I applaud you for being honest about your feelings for this person. As someone said earlier it is true anyone can write anything they want for online purposes. You would never know unless you met this person face to face.

  10. I am sad because I really liked the comment I wrote earlier and I’m at a loss to recreate it :(.

    N, thank you for this. For your readers’ benefit, I think it’s worth mentioning that we had a sideline chat after you shared this with me, and I had no idea you’d felt this way. And because we didn’t/don’t have that flirtation, I never perceived that anything I was doing could have been interpreted as rejection. I offer my apology, as well.

    Perception is a wacky thing. In all the time that you were feeling spurned, I thought you were (are) one of my only actual friends in the sex blog world, despite the apparent depth of my public acquaintances/friendships.

    As an aside, I just want to mention that the sex life I had in the early days of my blog was the sex life I wrote. It was an amazing time, one that I believed was going to last much longer than it did. And all that great sex made writing easy. Now there’s not much sex, and what follows is that there’s not much writing. I’m trying to rethink that, to reorient and do something different, but it, like me and my sex life, is a work in progress.

  11. You know how I feel bout this; I get it all now, but at first I wasn’t sure why the public apology. The first thing I thought was “Shouldn’t he do this offline?” then I thought, “But knowing him, I’m sure he did!”

    One thing I haven’t said, though, is how much I love your honesty. Like Molly said, it’s truly refreshing and brave. But that’s not news around here. Everyone loves that about you. It’s why we’re here. xx Hy

  12. I can relate to this but in a different way …

    After Eroticon I started using Twitter much much more and started talking to many more people; one who I thought I had a decent relationship with as I we used to tweet back and forth on a weekly basis is very well connected and after discussing and disagreeing on a particular product that was due to be exhibited at Erotica launched into a public, bitter tirade about me as always disagreeing with her and being on Twitter solely to provoke.

    I had no idea she had this problem with me and apologised privately but she claimed that all of my compliments were “veiled insults” and even when I could show using my Twitter archive that her claims were baseless, she was adamant. Our (now private) spat ended acrimoniously and between her and another blogger, it has left me with an Eroticon ticket in Bristol I no longer particularly want to use.

    I feel like my presence will make me uneasy and will make them uneasy; sure, 95% of the attendees I will either not have met or be on sparkling terms with but two won’t want me there and I would love to accede to their unspoken wishes.

    It’s strange how you think you know people when sometimes you just know and like the mirage they present.

  13. I think something that may be getting lost here is that N. and I do actually know each other, are actually friends, and that friendship extends beyond the narrow confines of the blog world.

    I think I’m going to write something on my blog about online personas. I am certain it will get me into trouble, as these things are wont to do.

  14. I truly envy your ability to open up like this. I always worry about what I say, who i’ll upset or if people will unfriend me.

    Knowing that people come to our blog is very affirming on many levels. But, I don’t get wrapped up in stats. Like Molly said, they are all different.

  15. I often feel on the periphery of the blogging world.

    Sometimes it flows and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s all to do with how my life is at that particular time.

    However, that said, my blog is for me to write what I feel that I need to write at that particular time or for a particular reason or need.

    I have recently come to the conclusion that I should not worry about others, insofaras, what I write matters, it is what it means to me. Maybe that is selfish but its my blog and my writing and images. I’m not interested in stats or income, it should be a pleasure. When it wasn’t a pleasure I felt that I needed to take a step back and reassess (writing this is making me realise that I need to post about this issue).

    Anyway, I applaud your openness and honesty. It would not surprise me if there has been some misconceptions between online persona and real-life persona and that your post may have highlighted this to all parties involved!.

    I do hope that you and Lisa can resolve things and that you can build a strong friendship based on the honesty that you have shown in this post.

    Mia xx

  16. Certain advantage of my fictional writing is in one sense I can open up in similes and metaphors…but with this piece you have gone to a level I cannot get to with fiction. Very brave.

    Stranded

  17. […] by a Wicked Wednesday post that I read last week from My Dissolute Life more specifically his post Liza and Me, but also from feeling unsure about my own ability as an erotic blogger over the last few […]

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