Seen on twitter the other day: a woman who happens to be a stripper attempted to follow a woman who happens to be a food writer. The food writer blocks her, and tweets thusly:

Really why would a stripper (female) try to follow me? getting some weird ones as approach 2000 & starting to block them

It’s the worst kind of ignorance for so many reasons, but I’m going to focus on something else right now: a public service announcement for people who think like this food writer does. And that is: you don’t get to control who reads words you put out for public consumption.

Perhaps it will make her (and people like her) feel better to also know that having people they don’t like reading their words doesn’t give the some disease by association. It happens all the time. For any book or television show or website out there, there are priests and pedophiles, doctors and strippers, artists and whores, parents and arsonists and firefighters and librarians and everything in between who read/watch. Cause guess what? The world is a diverse place, and the internet (as literature and television) is open to all. You don’t get to decide.

Look at the above paragraph anyway. It’s categorizing people in a word. I’ve had clergy people email me over the years, not to condemn me (although I’ve had those as well) but to ask an earnest question, about their own sexuality. They aren’t one-dimensional, summed up in a word by their faith. Nor is a stripper summed up in a word, nor am I. I am a woman who has off and on written about sexuality and pornography. I once had a job as a phone sex operator. I also raised three amazing children, operated two other businesses as different from this one as it’s possible to be, painted, made jewelry, canned food, learned to sail, read many many books on diverse subjects, and accumulated an awesome network of friends and acquaintances who do all sorts of different things. And I might follow a foodie. I might follow a scientist. I might follow a political blogger, a mom, a jewelry artist. Because I’m not one-dimensional, and I’m smart enough to realize nobody else is either.

I’ve realized over the years being online that the above diversity is one of the best qualities. Through writing about bdsm, I met a winemaking couple who are still friends. I’ve been able to get a glimpse of wine culture and industry through knowing them. Through writing about polyamory, I met a gorgeous, hunky FBI agent who specializes in mid-East relations. And I’ve met tons of cool people who are in my “field” as it were, of sexuality, but the relationships that are the most interesting to me are the ones that are happenstance based on small commonalities. I had a woman write me once, years ago, to tell me how much she enjoyed my blog (at the time, most often it was about bdsm and poly) and she’d found me through an entry with a marionberry pie recipe. How awesome is that?

My advice to people who wish to be in the public eye, but want to make sure it’s only people you WANT to be reading you that are seeing your words: find out more before running the other way. Or, if you really can’t stand the fact that “those people” (whoever those people are to you) are reading your words, stay home and only talk to people you know. You’ll be doing the rest of us a favor.

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