So here I am with some follow-up to all your awesome feedback a couple of posts back. Thanks to everyone who got in touch!
With that very un-scientific survey of your desires and preferences in mind, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
1. Product reviews.
Not gonna do ‘em. Honestly, I was already pretty sure about this one, but your strong “no!” clinches it. In response to the couple of people who said an occasional review would be fine, or that if I had a strong reaction to a product there’s no harm in posting that, I agree… problem is, generally speaking, the way product reviews work is that a sex toy company sends you (the blogger) free toys in return for a review spot. So you can’t just wait until you like one, or hate one – you gotta post about whatever they send. For me, in addition to your apparent dislike of regular posts on sex toys, this poses a bit of a problem because for all that I love sex and enjoy certain toys, I’ve been loving sex and enjoy toys for a sufficient number of years that I’ve amassed pretty much the appropriate collection to meet my needs already. I don’t really want boxes full of freebies that I might or might not like but would be obliged to play with at least once each anyway and be obliged to write about. Meh. So there it is. I will remain free of excess merchandise, and you will remain free of excess marketing.
I get the feeling I wasn’t entirely clear in my question about this one. So, just to clarify: the purpose of a newsletter would be to give interested parties a monthly update about where I’ll be teaching or speaking, what I’ve written about lately, where I’ll be travelling and other such stuff. It would likely be most relevant to people who a) aren’t regular readers here so might miss that info if I just post it, b) don’t get too fancy with their feed filters (though, as Pierre pointed out, if you do like specific feeds you can check out http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/category/sex-geek-teachings-speakings/feed/), c) want access to the info without having to read a whole post, or d) just feel like getting a fun little note from me every month in their inbox.
Anyway, you seem to think this is a good idea, and I’ve been thinking that for quite a while now too. So I did it. Interested? Sign up by sending an e-mail to SexGeekNewsemail@example.com. Monthly newsletter, 100% spam-free and sex-positive. Guaranteed high-quality verbiage and zero Viagra. It’ll be short and sweet and maybe a little sexy, and I will not, under any circumstances, share your e-mail address.
I really appreciate all the advice, particularly from the turbo-nerds among you! I wish it were a simple thing to just take advertising from people and companies whose products I really like and feel good standing behind, but to be honest, I get the feeling that’ll be more work than it’s worth at this point in time. Besides, the whole fuckin’ world is a commercial these days, and much like I refused to wear clothing with logos starting in childhood (“Mom, I don’t wanna be a billboard!”), I think I’m gonna maintain that refusal in my online wardrobe too. If I change my mind at some point in the future, I’ll be sure to ask your advice again. (Thanks to the reader who posted the Steve Pavlina link, by the way. I don’t know if I’d have quite as easy a time as he did turning down $100K in “free money” a year, but luckily (?) I’m not in that position!)
4. Advice columns.
Well, this one got a great big maybe from you—everything from “yes please!” to “that’s not what I come here for.” Fair enough. So let’s put it this way: you send me interesting questions (veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca) and I’ll do my best to put out interesting answers. Once in a while. But I won’t make this into a major feature here—just something to add some novelty once in a while.
5. Additional feedback.
I know, I know… I’m a bit, um, prolific. As Blaise Pascal once famously wrote, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte”—in his context, that would mean “This letter is longer than usual because I did not have time to make it shorter.” Basically, it takes waaaay longer to edit writing down to its pithy essence than it does to wax poetic. Anyway, because I doubt I’m going to have a lot more time to devote to blogging in the next, oh, four to ten years or so (yeah, I expect a PhD will follow on the heels of the MA), I have begun to think more carefully about post-splitting and other such strategies to make sure I can hold onto your kind attention spans. However, rest assured, fellow geeks, I will not sacrifice depth—this will not be turning into a sound-bite blog. I spend enough time doing journalism (“500 words max!”) and marketing (“can you put that in 200 characters, spaces included?”) writing already, and I’m not keen to remove the brainy here in favour of brevity.
In any case, you readers rock. I really appreciate your engagement, your thoughtfulness and all the supportive comments you’ve left me, both for these questions and over the past several years in general.
And now, I am off to read Monique Wittig (queer theory class starts tomorrow night… wish me luck!) and meet up with a friend who somehow managed to get his hands on a pair of vintage Fluevog swordfish-toe boots in my size for 20 bucks at Value Village. Suh-weet!