I cross-post a fair number of Poly.Land articles to FetLife, which is basically Facebook for kinksters.
When you post a new writing on FetLife, it goes to a special category called Fresh & Pervy. There, other users can browse the newest content that people have posted (writing, pictures, videos).
These days I have a large readership on FetLife that is very active and engaged (you rock!), but before I built that up, there was a very predictable pattern:
- I’d post a writing.
- A few minutes later when my post hit Fresh & Pervy, a stranger would start loving and commenting on my old pictures.
- Even if the writing were very good, an awfully long time would pass between my posting it and the first person loving or commenting on the writing itself (if anyone did).
- Meanwhile, loves and comments would flow easily onto old pictures on my account.
Well, here you are, I’d think in those moments. People only want you as a pretty face. A curvy body. Foolish of you to think there would be interest in your mind. Your words.
You’re a sex object that’ll do in a pinch. When there’s no one prettier or skinnier available.
And I’d feel foolish about posting. Consider deleting the writing.
But one day, one of my essays made K&P (Kinky & Popular), a daily roundup of FetLife’s most popular writings, and I got so much feedback (positive, negative, and otherwise) that this lag transformed into something else entirely. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Suddenly people were engaged. Interested in what I had to say, even if it did piss some of them off.
As I kept writing, I began to pick up regular followers. And I found more and more that while posting writings still caused folks to necro-love and comment on old photos, a higher portion of people were engaging with me on the posts themselves.
And as this window of time between objectification and respect shrunk to basically zero (with both occurring at roughly the same time), I found my attitude shift. I became braver. More self-assured. More willing to take risks as a writer. To put myself out there and say the things I wished others would say.
But as I look back, I can’t help but wonder: How many people have felt their will crumble in that vacuum? How many lost their nerve and became discouraged when they got attention, sure, but not the kind they were really seeking?
How many writers have been scared off by it, as I nearly was?