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March 3rd, 2008

4:21 PM

The TMI TNT

Arguing

I'm sure you have seen the train wreck taking place in the comment thread of the Dear Author article about authors who put way TMI in their blogs. I don't get these people, and by "these people", I mean those unapologetic "Come see my magic hoo-hah in my blog and discuss my boyfriend's penis girth!" authors.

Look, there is nothing wrong in having a blog detailing your sex life if you're an exhibitionist in that manner. Good for you. But charging inside the comment threads to accuse anyone who don't "get" you is... stupid, especially when once again these authors completely missed the point.

Jane's article is about professionalism and creating a distance between the author and the readers. It is not about people calling these authors deviants or immoral freaks of nature or whatever they think they are being called. And there is no reason to charge in and start taking a higher ground while offending anyone who doesn't share their philosophies or lifestyles, no?

These authors puzzle me, they do. I mean, look at the two drama on this blog involving the same people from That Publishing House and That Sex Story Place. I'm not surprised that some of the key players in that Dear Author thread are familiar names if you followed the drama on this blog. These people overreact, offer annoying psychoanalyzing about why you must be either frigid, repressed, or sexually inhibited if you disagree with them, and generally do everything they can to annoy people off. The funniest thing is, they leap into the battle, completely missing the point and instead turning the topic into all about them and how they are so much better than you and me because they are Sexually Enlightened People Who Know Things About Life That You Don't.

I personally thought it would make sense why one may want to distance oneself from the readers when one writes erotic romances.

People working in sex-related entertainment business can have the weirdest or outright sick fans. Not saying all fans are sick or deviants, of course, but it happens that there seems to be a higher proportion of weird fans who can't tell difference from reality in that entertainment sector. If you take a look at blogs of adult film actors like Michael Lucas or Asia Carrera, you will notice that they often take great pains to avoid going into sexually explicit details when it comes to their personal lives. They don't want their fans to assume that just because they do so-and-so on film, they will be receptive to the same treatment by strangers. I can only imagine that erotic fiction authors would find themselves in such a similar circumstance.

If one wants to keep a TMI blog, of course there is nothing wrong with that. But once you become a published author, even with a pseudonym, you make yourself a public figure. There will be records out there about your address, your real name, et cetera, and it is possible that anyone dedicated enough can and will sniff out these details eventually. It is not like Livejournal or Blogger where you can sign up with a fake name and blab about your collection of sex toys.

Heck, a few years ago, some crazy person actually went ahead and found out my real name and that I was working with the National University of Singapore at that time. How do I know this? That crazy fellow phoned and told my Head of Department that I was running a "filthy" website. Fortunately for me, the Head of Department was one of those few people at that time who knew about my site so I had no problems explaining that the complainer was a crazy person for whom one of my reviews must have struck a nerve. Thinking back, I can now laugh at that stupid situation, but hey, think about it. I run a silly website as a hobby and some weirdo took it seriously enough to try to get me fired even if we live in two different continents. And I'm not even a published author, just the owner of a website! I hate to imagine what a crazy fellow who thinks that TMI blogger/published author is his dream woman/sex slave might do.

I don't know. It seems to me that it can be quite dangerous playing the TMI game especially when being published means that you are no longer hidden behind the fake email or fake name you used to sign up for a blog service.

Oh well, why do I care anyway. Judging from their strident know-it-all tone, I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing and more.

6 comment(s).

Posted by Karen Scott:

For people who are so willing to share so much with the general public, they are surprisingly oversensitive about this subject. I thought they were supposed to be the relaxed enlightened ones?
March 3rd, 2008 @ 10:03 PM

Posted by Gail Faulkner:

I agree. TMI can go both ways though. I am sometimes afraid for these very nice people who take time to write me. Even though they love my work, I am a stranger. I admit to using a fake name. I make things up for a living. Sounds like a bad person to me. LOL
March 3rd, 2008 @ 10:19 PM

Posted by Sheryl Nantus:

I'd be worried about real-life stalkers, to be brutally honest. There's a lot of sick creeps out there and who knows what could happen???:-(
March 3rd, 2008 @ 11:17 PM

Posted by MB (Leah):

I'm in total agreement with you. I'd be really uptight about someone with less than good intentions doing something. It's so easy to find out all kinds of info on someone these days.

On my blog I review mostly only erotic books. But before I decided that that was the direction I wanted to go with my blog, I did have some pics of myself and family up. As soon as I decided though, down they came.

It's not that I'm ashamed of what I read, it's just that I don't need my neighbors or people I work for knowing that I do that. Nor do I need weird freaks bothering me.

I don't care what other people do, but like you, I don't get why they would post all that personal info with a real name that can be traced.
March 4th, 2008 @ 12:38 AM

Posted by veinglory:

I didn't even look at the comments on that one. Sounds like it went the way I suspected.
March 4th, 2008 @ 7:52 AM

Posted by anny cook:

TMI is one of the most dangerous mistakes authors can make. Stalkers are a real danger in this world of ours and the internet makes it far easier than it was in the past.
March 5th, 2008 @ 9:56 AM