Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Thrill of Discovery

I'm not perfect, I've never denied it
Name a sin and I've probably tried it
If I choose to decline
To post details online
It does not mean I'm trying to hide it.

I work on the assumption that somebody who knows me in my Real Life (tm) will at some stage read this blog.

It is partly, but not solely, why I try to be respectful of my loved ones at all times. I allude to my failings, my indiscretions and vices, but I don't go into details that may hurt another should they chance upon this information unexpectedly, online. I will discuss such things in email or chat, but not for public entertainment.

I am often surprised at how much people reveal about themselves on ordinary, safe for work blogs, but the things that are put into the public domain on sex blogs go beyond surprise and venture into astonishment territory. It is not simply the ill advisedness of some of the material, but the unthinking callousness of it. The lack of empathy for those who might read by chance one day and be cut to the quick by the facts of their private life laid bare for others to dissect. The casual cruelty of elevating a lover to a higher status, the paeans of praise, the weekends away while the other half was at home minding the kids, the money spent on hotel rooms and sex toys while they were at the supermarket dithering over which economy brand washing powder to buy. The posts on the tightness and novelty of a cunt which is deemed superior to that which only squeezed out their children. The posts on the longing for their lover and the distress and disappointment of waking next to their husband. These posts are written while in the post-coital glow and without a thought for how their real life partners will feel - and given the statistics it is more likely to be a "when" than an "if" - upon reading them.

There have been so many sex blogs which have been through just that and had to shut down, fast. Often they reappear, with a new name, but the same material, and the cycle repeats. Is it stupidity or the thrill of discovery that motivates these people?

Sadly it is an example very few seem to learn from. No matter how often a blog vanishes, after its tawdry tales of illicit sex are read by a disgruntled spouse or partner, new ones spring up every day with their self justifications of unfulfillment at home, lurid descriptions of infidelity glorified and pictures to illustrate. The photos are what perplex me most. Just in case a passing spouse wasn't entirely sure their other half was shagging their way through most of blogland, a photo of their genitals, a familiar hand with identifying wristwatch, a distinctive mole, an unmistakeable location - all these visual clues will quickly help to confirm the shakiest of suspicions. Why post them at all? Seriously, does anyone know? Is it to prove that their lover is not a mutant, and has got all the rude bits you would expect plus the requisite number of limbs? Is it a form of trophy? "Look, I have done it! I have been in the vicinity of this arse and here is the proof! Am I not a sexual deity? Other people let me near their arse!"

Answers to the usual address in the comments below, please.


Helga Hansen said...

Good post, Luka... and certainly something to think about. As for my pics... well, they involve me, a mirror and a very steady hand!

Carnalis said...

A thoughtful post, and very relevant, although i have no answer. I think HNT (for example) is fun, creative and liberating .. self expression taken a step further. What's to object to?

However .. illustrating sex acts with someone other than your SO, when you don't have permission to play .. i wince at the possible consequences. It is also not very sexy; words can be so much more alluring.

Anonymous said...

Calling a husband or wife your SO and then fucking the neighbor silly is narcissism pure and simple and I agree if found out can be so utterly hurtful. I see it called showing off, exhibitionism, and any other term to justify a shallow person's ego and narcissistic tendencies--I mean what the hell else is it? And it's pathetic.


Anonymous Boxer said...

Oh, I can't agree more. First, the lack of respect is horrid (to me) and second.... does no one think this information isn't easily found? Not only by a famiy member but a future employer? Lover? I wonder what history books and anthropologists will say about blogging? In the meantime, I'll stay happily anonymous.

Luka said...

Helga - it's a subject I feel strongly about. I think pictures of oneself for HNT are fine (unless the discovery of such would be a problem in itself for the individual) and not as likely to cause potential distress as a picture of rumpled hotel sheets with a sweaty lover sprawled across them.

Carnalis - yes, I agree, pictures are unnecessary if one can utilise language creatively.

Beau - I think most adultery blogs boil down to boastfulness and a desperate need for approval. But, yeah, mostly it's about the showing off.

Anonymous Boxer - that's the scary thing, that no matter how much you tidy up, once it's out there on the net it's there forever. Blogging. Never before have secret diaries been so public. Is it all part of the same exhibitionism that has led to the saturation of tv schedules with "reality" programmes?

Sulpicia said...

As soon as you placed reality shows alongside blogs, I cringed.

However, I stick to one of my previous comments… In isolation, I like the camaraderie. I like the feedback. It makes me think.

That being said… I don’t have issues with being “outed” now… But I may in future. I try not to bash. Though there are a few people I’ve encountered in my life for whom I have absolutely no respect. And I have no issue with stating that publicly. Be it on the blog or in person.

As for images… well, I don’t know what to say about that. Sometimes it just goes with the territory.

I feel like I say this a lot: but, as usual, Luka, much food for thought. Thanks.

Luka said...

Sulpicia - the key word is respect, I feel. I too like the feedback and banter I receive, and I have met some of my oldest and best friends on the internet via various forums over the past 12 years. Images can illustrate an article, give context and meaning to a piece, or they can detract from the words and simply shout "Look! Tits!"

I must reiterate that it isn't pictures in general I am pointint the accusatory finger at, rather it is the trophy pics of sexual acts and lovers naughty bits that make me furrow my brow.

EmmaK said...

isn't it fairly straightforward, if someone obviously posts up naked pics of themselves and an illicit lover they are basically disrespecting their husband/wife/full time lover and rubbing their face in the fact that they were so dissatisfied that they had to look elsewhere. It's the cowards way of saying: look our relationship is up shit creek but I can't tell you directly.

Riff Dog said...

I agree with most of what you say here. A lot of blogs, especially when they include pictures, are pretty damning should a spouse or close friend stumble upon it.

But I disagree with you about the statistics indicating it's a "when" rather than "if" situation. I've looked at my StatCounter numbers and the total number of Southern California readers I have is only in the dozens (that's total, not daily.) Given that there are about 10 million people in the Los Angeles vicinity, it's highly unlikely anyone I've ever met will stumble across my blog.

There are a few people who have been busted, but every one that I know of was because of some dumb mistake, like using the family computer or, in many cases, telling people about the blogs. I've never heard of a spouse or friend finding a blog purely by chance while surfing the net.

As far as why we do this, I can only speak for myself and say it's because I love an audience. My blog isn't therapy. And I don't write seeking validation that I'm a good lover. I blog strictly for in hopes that a few people will read and either laugh or feel somehow entertained. Same reason that to this day, I'll spend hour upon hour rehearsing with bandmates so that we can play a Thursday midnight set for beer money at some night club in front of a few dozen people.

Walker said...

Personally I don't believe in using material that is to personal and could hurt someone if seen but that said I can't truly judge others for what the do on their blogs as it's their right to express themselves and their lives.

It's a fine line trying to be open and descrete at the same time without compromising the respect that other do deserve.
There are some sex blogs I don;t read because of the lack of respect shown towards their mates and some I read because I understand why they do what they do and because they show their spouces soem respect even if they are stepping out on them.

I guess you have to look from all the angles before you can see the whole picture and even then, you can't truly see it all

Luka said...

Emma - I can only nod in agreement.

Riff Dog - ah, but the kind of careless error with an unerased browser history or an unattended laptop is exactly the reason why I believe it is more likely to be a when than an if.

And while you may not be seeking validation for you lovemaking abilities, you (like all other bloggers from every genre)are most assuredly seeking validation of some sort. That is what playing to an audience is all about.

Walker - you are quite right, of course, we only ever see a one-dimensional viewpoint from blogs. There are all sorts of factors we will never know about. It is part of what fuels my unending curiousity.

Amy said...

I'm sure you know they are close to having the capability to do visual matching on the internet (if they're not there yet). When that happens, seems to me the "outing" will increase by an order of magnitude.

Research on cheating (academic and otherwise) suggests that the biggest deterrent is the probability of being caught (rather than the penalty if caught). It will be interesting to see what happens to "cheater blogs" (laughed when I read that) when that changes. And, of course, the photos are already there, cached, just waiting to be searched. Ruh roh.


Luka said...

Amy - I think you raise a very good point there. We could be on the brink of some truly testing times for those sex bloggers who wish to combine exhibitionism with anonymity.

Amy said...

PS This one was sanctimonious, but I agree. I am boggled by the number of adultery blogs. I don't see so many for stealing or cheating on your taxes - I guess those kinds of lying aren't as sexy.

Richard said...

I wasn't aware of adultery blogs (I know, I've led a sheltered life) but I've always written as though every word I write would be available to everyone who is a part of my life.

Just makes things easy that way, and no need to stress about discovery.

Luka said...

Amy - heh. Yes. I have my sanctimonious moments. Ah, well, if you blogged about fiddling your insurance claim or working while signing on, not many people would write to you wanting to meet up for a fuck. That is where the sexy adultery blog scores over the more pedestrian tax evasion sites.

Luka said...

Richard - I am smiling at the thought of you having led a sheltered life.

I think your approach is very sensible and mirrors my mantra: always assume you will be read by someone you know.

Brian said...

I work in IT. I have had a few email conversations with some people helping them out on cleaning out, securing their PC and covering their tracks. I'm amazed that some think they will be ok just because their partner is an IT dullard. Yeah, but maybe they have mates who aren't!
The next release of IE shows promise.
When I do read the sex blogs I have to wonder do the posters realise how easy they are making it to be found out? Some of them, if I get on my moral high horse, I think deserve to be.
Maybe 'safe sex' needs a more modern update!

Luka said...

Brian - you could be right! A whole new awareness campaign aimed at safe cyber sex. The problem with modern living is we all leave a trail, no matter how anonymous we try to be.

Hu said...

This wasn't an easy post to read and initially made me feel very defensive...which is when I realised that I actually agreed with what you say and didn't like how things are going in my life right now. Times, they are a-changing...thank you for posting this, it helped me sort out some things in my head.

Luka said...

Hu - thank you for this comment. You are refreshingly self aware and gracious in your reaction to my sermonising. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.