Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A confused nude walks in to a bar...

On a personal note, all of that heated discussion of pornography and sexual desire has made it clear to me that I'm not merely a "consensus seeker who dislikes conflict." It turns out I'm terrified of conflict, and of being in the thick of it.

It's weird because it really doesn't bother me if people disagree with me or dislike me. When I hear of people talking about me behind my back, I usually just think it's cool: it means that whatever else you can say about me, at least I'm not boring... ;-)

But for some reason open conflict where people are angry at me completely unnerves me; I can't handle it.

So maybe my usual attitude of "You believe what you believe, I'll believe what I believe, and let's not fight about it," isn't really motivated by rational detachment as much as it is motivated by some sort of neurosis.

Over the weekend I was worrying about whether I should go through with the amusing follow-up I'd planned for my posts Yes means yes and A feminist in favor of porn?:

I have a nude photo of myself from when I was twenty. I don't know if it's erotic -- it's a tasteful, partially-obscured, back view nude in the woods, probably less sexy (or maybe less revealing?) than my bikini photo (taken during my recent vacation that inspired my discussion of going topless on the beach, nude sunbathing, etc.), and I was thinking of posting the nude picture to my blog.

(Not as an inline photo -- I would upload it elsewhere and link to it like I did with my Naked People at Rutgers comics.)

The funny thing is that I've posted this nude photo to the Internet more than once just for fun, yet I hesitate to post it as a political statement about women and erotica. I'm not sure why, but I have this inexplicable feeling that something bad will happen.

Of course maybe something bad really would happen, like blogger deleting my blog. Which is why in the end I've decided to hold off on this proposed bit of performance art until I get my own separate website -- one where I'm more confident my writings won't go the way of JLO's...

The other funny thing is that for weeks I've been planning a post about why I love the Internet, and one of the points I was going to highlight was how much more confident and assertive I am because of my experience with Internet forums and blogging. But maybe I haven't really changed that much since the days when I felt traumatized by people jeering me at a political rally.

I know this whole post is a bunch of silly navel-gazing, but like La and so many others, I'm in this blogging thing for the self-discovery. :D

So if anyone's looking for me, tell them I'm off somewhere calmly re-reading Susie Sexpert's Lesbian Sex World.

12 comments:

Joseph's Left One said...

I hate conflict, too, which is probably why I stayed out of your porn discussion. One thing I've gained from the Internet is the confidence to talk about ideas again. Since settling into a career and having a large family, I felt like I didn't have time to think about anything anymore, much less discuss my thoughts. Having the blog has shown me that I can think and talk about things beyond church and strip malls and bathrooms. Who would have thought?

Sideon said...

Chanson - your posts are great. I'm glad you posted your views on pornography. You're brave and honest and I admire that.

*grin* I've been debating about moving my blog to our home site. No, I won't be posting pictures of me in swim suits, but I wouldn't be opposed to artistic black and white nudes :) Maybe a strategically placed fig leaf?

I don't see the conversations and comments as "conflict". I see the other's posts as discussions. We're all pieces of the tapestry, each expressing our thread and unique color or texture.

C.L. Hanson said...

Hey JLO!!!

It's amazing how blogging encourages and trains people to express themselves, isn't it? You see how you can take the randomest topics and make something out of them. :D

Thanks Sideon!!!

You're right, it really wasn't conflict -- it was a very civil exchange of ideas. That's why it was so strange to me how stressed I was about the whole thing.

That would be so cool if you posted some artful nudes on your site!!! Then maybe I'd be encouraged to follow suit. ;-)

Arizona Expositor said...

Did someone say nude? I had an opportunity to go to a strip club while in Oregon and I passed. Along with that the idea of viewing porn does not do anything for me. I was really into it before joining the church and I have not missed it so now I don't feel an urge for it just because I am free of the morg.

My TBM wife did mention she may be up for a trip to a local adult store for some "fun" stuff. I am not sure what "fun" means to her but if this is involved in a date night, count me in!

Sideon said...

**GRIN**

Don't dare me.

I just might.

C.L. Hanson said...

Hey AZ Expositor!!!

Hope you get some good news for date night!!! ;-)

As for porn, it's okay not to be into it -- that's perfectly normal too. :D

Hey Sideon!!!

As we say in French: chiche ! ;-)

Arizona Expositor said...

I just see it as one of those things I can take or leave at this point in my life. My buddy at work was telling me how him and his German wife download German Porn because it's so much better than American. It just cracks me up. My first wife and I watched porn and used toys, but now like I said. Who knows maybe if the wife gives up the Mormon thing it would all change???

Freckle Face Girl said...

I agree with you. I actually like & welcome different opinions because it makes life more interesting. I don't mind if people disagree with me either as long as it doesn't get ugly. When some people get frustrated while expressing their strong opinions, they turn to personal attacks. To me, that is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have your traffic on my blog... I don't mind virtual conflict. should I pick up the feminist porn discussion on my blog?

Eric

C.L. Hanson said...

Hey Freckle Face Girl!!!

Exactly!!!

If you only discuss with people who agree with you, you have no motivation to think about your own position.

Hey Eric!!!

It looks like it's true that controversy increases traffic. Other things I've found that increase traffic are humor, book reviews (weird but true), and especially leaving interesting comments on other blogs.

If you'd like to discuss this same topic on your own blog, please feel free to link to my blog entries on the subject. :D

Alon Levy said...

Controversy increases traffic in the short term, sure, but in the long term it can reduce it. I think UTI's traffic started crashing after DarkSyde wrote his post about What it Feels Like to be an Atheist (which got >100 comments), and I know for a fact that Reclusive Leftist's comment threads got a lot drier after Violet drove me away with her sex-negativism.

C.L. Hanson said...

Hey Alon!!!

I think you're right. Controversy generates some attention, but it's not a good way to build a loyal readership.