12 Oct

“I’m your biggest fan. I’ll follow you until you love me.”

– Lady Gaga, “Paparazzi.”

Because I am such a flirtatious personality, I do tend to attract people who like to banter with me by using innuendos and other forms of potentially sexual dialogue.  Once in a while, I will attract the attention of someone who seems to think I’m interesting and would like to do something about it.  They may read my blog, listen to my podcast, or other shows I have been on and think that I sound like fun.  They may have heard me on Vent, during a raid or read my Tweets.  Usually, it doesn’t go any further than lighthearted conversation and boastful remarks of what we would like to do with one another.

I enjoy having this type of discourse with people and I was really worried how all of that would change, once I came out.  I didn’t know if it would weird people out or if I would have to tone it down a notch, at the risk of being seen as pursuing people who weren’t interested in what I had to offer and all of that.  To my surprise, I not only found that people were still fine with carrying on with me like this, but some people appeared genuinely interested in getting to know me better or possibly even doing something a bit more physical with me.

While I didn’t set out to start a blog or a podcast with the intention of finding new people to date or have sex with, I can’t help but wonder if it would be wrong to enjoy the benefits of my work.  Is this just a case of social networking doing exactly what it was supposed to do?  Or, is this a classic case of “shitting where you eat?”

On the one hand, I think it could be great and I see nothing wrong with it, especially if you are someone who may not have the best luck in the dating scene or you happen to cater to a small niche, like I do.  In that case, I think getting to know your readers or Followers a bit more is a great way to open you up to new prospects that you may not otherwise have.  Like I said earlier, I think it matters more if you’re actively trying to do that.  If the whole reason you play a game or start a blog is to attract potential suitors, then I don’t agree with that.  It should be something you’re not trying for and it should be a sort of natural, healthy attraction.

On the other hand, it feels kind of strange.  The idea that someone feels that they know you or that they could be attracted to you, solely based on how you sound or what you write strikes me as kind of odd.  When you are a blogger or an otherwise public personality, you put out there what you want people to see.  It’s not that you’re being dishonest or misleading, but you decide what to put into those 140 characters.  You decide what you want to share with people in that 90 minutes of your podcast.  So, these people are becoming attracted to what you chose to show them.  You’re putting your best face forward, just like on a real date.  But, would they still be attracted to you, if you weren’t doing just that?  Or, to compare it to putting your best face forward in real life, would they still be attracted to you if you didn’t shave your legs everyday or if they saw what your bedroom really looked like?  Would they still like you when the microphone is turned off or the blog posts stop coming?

You’re also dealing with a community where word travels fast.  Let’s say you do give someone a chance to get to know you better and it doesn’t go well.  That person may not deal with it in the best way and you could suddenly find your dirty laundry all over the Internet.  They may create posts about you on the realm forums.  They may publish screenshots of your Skype conversations.  They may leave comments on your blog that force you to moderate them, from now on.  That’s something else you have to consider, too.  I’m not saying that everyone who attempts to court someone else online is crazy, but it is something to think about.  You have to think about how others will be affected by your actions.  You may be doing everything you can to be discreet, but the other person or people involved aren’t required to do the same.

So, what do you think?  Is it a mistake to get involved with those who follow you?  Have you been involved in this situation before?  Let me know what you think.


21 Responses to “Groupie”

  1. Tomaj October 12, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I won’t say that it’s a mistake – I’ve known several people to actually become marries couples because of WoW. But, when it comes to being a “bigger” personality – specifically, one that has a lot of involvement in the blogging/podcasting/etc. community – it probably becomes a little more touchy, and harder to be able to keep that set aside from everything else.

    On the one hand, even if it were nothing to do with the online community, a first date, or a fifth one, or a tenth one, doesn’t give the other person that much of your personality. What you do during that date (or in this case, online) is only one facet of a person. There’s constantly getting to know each other if it does come to the standpoint of a relationship. Now, what you do in game or on a blog or on a podcast is some part of your personality, however you may choose to put it. Granted, in most cases, it’s a little exaggerated (though not always), but that doesn’t make it any less a part of that personality. So, in essence, people do know you to a degree. But, as I said, it’s only one facet of you.

    Now, all that said, if you’re willing to take that step and that risk, you should also be prepared for the repercussions, too. You could liken it to celebrities. There are always dirt sheets out and about for them; the Internet is no different, and a harsh mistress indeed. Within such a niche community, it only gets worse.

  2. Hempia October 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Murky waters tend to not be very safe. Not that I’ve ever dated a “fan” or even had any… so there’s no experience to back it up with. On the other hand, you might just meet your soulmate. Life is boring when you don’t take risks.

  3. Entropia October 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I’ve been involved with a few girls that I’ve met on Twitter. Though they were all short-lived for various reasons, and nothing bad came out of them. Unless one of them was making comments about me behind my back and word never got back around to me…

    When getting involved with someone that is from a site like Twitter, you have to be careful. You have to gauge their personality, take a look at their past tweets and see if they’ve aired dirty laundry previously – that might be a sign to avoid pursuing anything with them. But, they may not come across that way then all of a sudden they start blasting you over Twitter or your blog.

    But like most things in life, you have to take a risk. It’s more beneficial to do something and have it fail then to be left wondering “What if?”

  4. Ophelie October 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Eh, I’m all for it. You only live once! ^_^

    It probably helps that I’m not attracted easily to people but if I were attracted to someone and the stars align and they’re actually attracted to me (which never happens – the odds are just too slim, haha), then I’d go for it. I tend to be a good judge of character and I’m shameless (if they want to publish screenshots of my Skype convos they can right ahead), so yeah, life’s too short to pass up opportunities for a good time.

  5. Pilfkin October 13, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Husband and I met via WoW 16 months ago. Whilst we were guilded together, we both blogged (we were in SAN, not sure if that means anything or not) and we spoke little in guild chat. He’s always said that he fell in love with me because of my writing on my blog. We married a year and a week after the first time we went out for dinner. Don’t know what else to add, other than a note of caution – the reason we met up so quickly because we were both loathe to fall in love with the ‘personality’, having not met the actual ‘person’. It worked out really quite well!

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:00 am #

      Hi Pilfkin,

      Thanks for the comment! I agree with you in wanting to take things to real life as quickly as possible, so you don’t get too attached to an image or a personality and so you can start to really fall for the person behind it all. I’m the same way when I want to meet someone through a dating site. I’ll do a brief exchange of personal messages, hopefully take things to the telephone, and then push for a real meetup. I get worried when people start something and don’t want to take it anywhere real. That to me indicates a lack of interest or even a fear of something.

      I’m glad to hear that you and the hubby turned out well. It certainly gives someone like me a bit of hope.


  6. Celibar October 13, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    It really depends on impression management. You’re not just putting your best face forward, so to speak, to potential suitors, you’re also putting your best face forward to the community. If you never want to compromise your professionalism or integrity, then I would say not to shit where you sleep. (Yes, I know I messed up the colloquialism, but I can’t help thinking about that short bit from Payback, the mob underboss who screws up sayings like this.)

    On the other hand, you’ve established a bit of a personal tone in your blog; and again, that’s fine. It’s all a matter of how YOU want to be perceived in the community. Would you care if a scandalous skype chat was made public? My mom used to work at the bank in our small town when I was growing up. She always… ALWAYS knew what sort of trouble I’d been in before I got home. I learned very early that I shouldn’t do anything if I’m not prepared to own up to it in public.

    Or just go into ninja mode. 😉

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:01 am #

      I like “Shit where you sleep.” I think that’s just as bad, if not worse, as shitting where you eat. I think I’m going to use that!

      I would like to think that I wouldn’t care if someone aired something like that out. I can’t say for sure, until I was in the situation. But, overall, I’m pretty confident that I would own whatever happens and make the most of it. It’s worked for me so far.

  7. Bruno Mello (@guinnyn) October 13, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    O, I’ve always believed that if I want someone to like me, I’d show myself to them, no reverves and no holding back, because I want them to like me for who I am.

    What you do with your blog, podcasts and whatnot is showing yourself to the world. Might not be all of you, or even a small fraction of who you are, but that’s still you. Even if it is only for show, it still have something of you in what you put out for others. And people might or might not see that on your words. The ones who approach you counting on the face value you put out might or might not be worth it. The ones who see the person behind those words probably are. 🙂

    That put… I’d say, go for it. You only live once, and who knows if the creepy guy trying to call your attention because he likes your posts and tweets can’t be your prince charming? Only if you allow them to get to know the real O, and if you try to actually know them as well. 🙂 You got to do what you feel it’s right, and what makes you happy, physically or not. 🙂

    Go get them, tigress! 🙂

  8. Pewter October 17, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    I must admit I’ve been delving into online dating (via okc), and sometimes the thought of sharing my online persona with a lot of the potential dates scares the hell out of me. Some of the stuff I talk about on twitter is not very…professional or adult (mlp tweets anyone?) Plus I wouldn’t want a date/relationship gone wrong to impact on my twitter/podcast life. It’s a huge part of my life, I love it and I don’t want it spoiled by some arsewaffle who decided that it’s fun to poke this feminist chick they dated once.

    On the other hand, not showing it is also kind of weird. I even maintain separate msns for initial dates, once they’ve been screened they get the one with my internet handle, and therefore a key to finding out a hell of a lot of stuff about me. Conversely, something I might put on a dating site about my relationship needs and sexual kinks isn’t necessarily something I want to share with the twitter crowd. Not that they’re all fainting pansies who would be shocked at my sexual adventures, but I don’t really want my sex life to be fuel for the Men’s Rights Trolls that I still get on my blog.

    I don’t know. I just wish you luck with what you decide to do. Dating is a scary thing.

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:03 am #

      I do mention on my dating profile that I play computer games and write a blog and have a podcast. I also make it very clear to potential suitors who ask about these things that I’m not really big on blurring the lines between that and my dating life. If I felt like we were potentially going somewhere and really clicked, I would probably open up and share that with them. But, in the first few dates? Probably not. Most guys are pretty understanding, but I’ve had a few get really weird about it. I’m not sure why that is.

  9. V October 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    This has always been a difficult situation for me.

    I’ve occupied several social roles that’ve required boundaries, so I can only speak from that experience, but I feel like it’s relevant.

    “Lover” is a deeply personal role. If you are someone’s lover, there are roles you can’t effectively play in his or her life simultaneously. There are obvious ones, like therapy, teaching, and criminal justice-oriented positions. There are also gray areas, like being a public personality.

    Firstly, I can actually understand being attracted to someone for the way they write; nothing gets me in the mood like a guy who understands semicolons and spells “you’re” correctly.

    However, the impression management that goes into blogging on the scale that you blog separates personal-you from the speaker in your blogs and changes your position relative to readers. One feeling that draws people to someone in a public role (especially because part of your role is to impart knowledge and experience) is admiration. Admiration is a kind of attraction, but equating it to affection and romantic attraction is like trying to hammer the triangle block through the square hole on a peg board. It’s closer to infatuation, which, as we all know, has the tendency to die as quickly as it burns brightly.

    The person in question absolutely must be attracted to you, the person behind the “Oestrus” character we read in your blog and hear in your podcasts, and the feelings must be romantic attraction rather than admiration.

    However, in terms of reaping the benefits of your position, there’s no wrong in casual sex with someone who reads your blog since “fuckbuddy” is not a role that requires emotional attachment.

    Hope that helps in some way!

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:04 am #

      “Nothing gets me in the mood like a guy who understands semicolons and spells “you’re” correctly.”

      Amen, child.

      Good to see you back on my blog. How are things?

  10. Spud October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Don’t over think it! Podcasting and blogging aren’t misrepresentations of yourself… they’re a sort of social art-form, not unlike other performers. I performed a lot during the mid-90s… heaps of good times – some loves, some losses, lots of drama and wild, crazy fun. But I fondly look back on those experiences as constituting a unique and interesting part of my life… a decade I’ll reflect back on as out-of-control fun. In the immortal words of Stephen Stills: “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with”! Mark Twain reminds us to explore, dream, and discover when he writes that “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”. You cannot avoid regrets. Whether you pursue something and wish you hadn’t, or miss a chance you wish you’d taken… so pony up and enjoy the ride! Or, perhaps most apropos to this forum, remember… you only live twice.

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:05 am #

      “Enjoy the ride” or “Enjoy the RIDE?”

  11. Nastiest October 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    The risk of having dirty laundry put out to dry in public is worth the fun in the long run, in my opinion. If you’re upfront about who you are (which you really seem to do well) there really shouldn’t be much that surprises others.

    As far as people being attracted to what they hear on a cast or read on a blog/tweets… well, that’s what they see. We can only be attracted to what we see and how we feel is based on reactions to those components. It’s the little things which were not seen from the start that cause relationships to go awry (no matter how significant the relation was or wasn’t).

    Keep doing your thing, toots.

    • Oestrus October 24, 2011 at 3:05 am #

      Thanks, Nasty!

  12. Ratshag October 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Julie and I were in the same guild and kinda sorta knew each other as game acquaintences. One day she sent me a short letter, saying that she liked my blog and it cheered her up sometimes. I wrote back, one thing led to another, and fourteen months later we were married. Best thing that ever happened to me.

    An important lesson I learned as our relationship developed is that none of us are the same as our on-line persona. It’s important to remember that, and for everyone to focus on getting to know the other person. Including the warts and dirty socks on the living room floor and everything else that makes us human. And then you see where it leads.

    So, based on my single solitary data point, I say yeah, go for it. Maybe something wonderful will happen, maybe it won’t, but you’ll never know if you don’t find out.

    • Oestrus November 1, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      Hi Ratshag,

      I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of you leaving a comment on my blog before. This is huge! I consider myself to be a big fan of yours.

      Your story is incredibly charming and I’m so happy to hear about how your marriage came to be. Hearing something like that certainly gives me hope for finding something similar in my own life, if not through the game, then in general.

      Regarding online personas, I would like to think I’m not too different from how I portray myself in various formats. How others may choose to perceive me online, versus how they perceive me in person may be a bit different. I remember having this talk with Ophelie, while at BlizzCon, about how we thought we knew people, based on their Tweets or their blogs and they turned out to be totally different (usually for the better) in person. It wasn’t even that they led us to think of them in a certain way, so much as how we chose to interpret them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Ratshag November 3, 2011 at 11:05 am #

        I’s like a fungus. Takes a while fer me ta get places sometimes, but once I does ya cain’t get rid of me no matters how hard ya scrub.


  1. Episode 11 – Fly On The Wall « The Double O Podcast - October 12, 2011

    […] Instead of a theme and a relatively organized plan, we ramble about Blizzcon, our current gaming status, buying pets with WoW gold from people who bought them with IRL gold and, more importantly, whether it’s appropriate to hook up with your twitter/blog followers. […]

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