A female pal of mine who blogs got a comment on her journal the other day that unsettled her a bit, and she asked me to look at it and give her my opinion.
This anonymous person basically said he’d been reading and jacking off to her journal for some time now. This girl is not a high-profile blogger, but she gets a trickle of traffic. And she does occasionally mention mildly sexy stuff, but she’s not at all what I’d call a sex blogger. I rolled my eyes at the idea that some guy is wanking to her descriptions of the weather, her recipes, and her musings about her inner life. However, it’s entirely possible.
He went on for a few sentences about his whole emo-masturbatory process, in a sort of New-Age intellectual way, meant to suggest that he had some kind of insight and real intimacy with her. Insight and intimacy based on his spanking the monkey to her blog. Right.
And then he ends it all up with, “…but don’t worry, I’m not going to stalk you.”
What an asshole.
Her question was: did I think this guy might really be a danger to her? No, I don’t. I have learned to threat-assess odd behaviors rather well in the course of my career in the sex industry, and my read of his comment is that this man is speaking the literal truth: he’s not going to inappropriately place himself in her real life.
But a comment like that suggests to me that he does want to reach through the internet and scare her, just a little. It’s like saying, “I’m not going to do anything bad – but let me just remind you that I could.” It’s a petty little power trip, designed to make sure he has her attention, and to make sure she spends some time thinking about him and how she might be vulnerable to him. And it worked, she did.
There’s an archaic term for prostitutes: “a public woman.” As opposed to a woman who stayed in private, in the home of her father or husband. The implication being that if you were a public woman, and someone tried to mess with you, well, you were basically asking for it, because you had made yourself public property.
I am definitely out in public, and I could tell you story after story about weird little shit people do to try to fuck with sex workers from a safe anonymous distance. However, I don’t want to give anyone ideas. Suffice it to say that some people have way too much time on their hands, and a desperate need to feel powerful over someone, ever random strangers they’ll probably never even be in the same room with.
So I walk around in the world assuming that wrong people are going to display inappropriate interest in my doings, and that given the slightest chance, those same wrong people will attempt to inject themselves into my thoughts and influence my actions, and that I must be ready to repel such attention. I rarely even think about it very consciously anymore. It’s just life in the big city of sex work.
But her getting that comment pissed me off, because she’s a sweet kid and she doesn’t need that shit. It’s not as if I thought only women who wrote about sex ever got creepy little people saying inappropriate things to them. I’m guessing it’s a rare woman who hasn’t had this happen. But every now and then one sees a particularly annoying manifestation of truly tacky behavior.