“There are still a few men who love desperately.” – J.D. Salinger
There are few times when I read someone’s writing and think, this person is exactly like me, but such is the nature of mankind. We’re all different. It’s what drove me to writing a blog about my love life. Every popular blog or book about sex alienated the women writing them into prostitutes or complete nymphomaniacs. It made for uncomfortable reading. So when James, a reader of my blog, asked for me to take a look at some of his writing, which was meant to be similar to mine from a male’s point of view, I expected something more Secret Diary of.., Boy With a One Track Mind, 50 Shades of James-like.
On the contrary, his writing was intriguing to say the least. I wrote him back immediately with my review and grammatical corrections. We had written some banter back and forth in 140 characters or less for ages, but it was at that point back in 2011 that we started really talking.
Sent: 20 Jan 2011
From: James [Surname]
Subject: Hey ;-)
Thanks for reading through some of my posts, it is greatly appreciated, even more so thank you for the offer of being able to lend me some advice on my writing. For a while now I’ve been trawling through the world of blogging, researching other writers and trying to assess whether there is something similar to my style. I’m a bit methodical like that; originality doesn’t really exist these days and as a recent graduate of literature I understand the mimicry that takes place. I’ve got to tell you that I love your blog! It’s genuinely refreshing to read something by someone who could only be described as ‘like minded’. The thing is there are so many dating/sex bloggers out there that I wanted to produce something different, after all there aren’t many guys out there who write from a similar perspective to myself. I’m an introvert by nature, I don’t know whether it’s the Catholic family values but I always seem to judge myself, reflect and reassess my every sexual encounter. So in that respect I try to write as I think, it doesn’t always read brilliantly (something I’m trying to work on) but I was wondering what you drew from it in terms of voice?
Cheers for your time darling and I hope you’ve had an eventful night ;-)
Flattery will get you everywhere. That, and good writing. With good publicity. So, I passed along my good fortune of some press coverage and posted a link to his blog on Twitter.
Sent: 20 Jan 2011
To: James [Surname]
Subject: RE: Hey ;-)
Well, I’ve done my part in the getting you more readers part as I’ve put a link to your blog on twitter. I really do think it’s worth people reading, if nothing else, it’s worth it for women to read that kind of thing. I have almost exclusively male friends, so understanding men isn’t a weak point for me. So many women don’t understand why men do what they do and create this scenario in their mind where men are some evil geniuses out to get us (there has to be some literary theory about an ‘evil genius’ – I feel like I stole that saying from somewhere …) Anyway, as I said in one of my more recent posts about an ex, I finally realised that he’s more like the scarecrow than the tinman – he wasn’t heartless, he was just stupid. And boys do stupid things, because as you point out they love sex and will let that dictate a lot in life.
I started this blog because I found so many sex blogs distasteful and thought, I could do that better. Sex is fun, sex feels good, everyone knows that – that’s why they do it. I don’t need to hear the gory details, because really there’s no classy way to describe it. It all comes off sounding like porn and that just isn’t my thing. You don’t need to look far to find your voice. I just put the ongoing dialogue in my head into writing. Not that I have voices in my head or anything…
Any-way. I think the style you have is great. A bit wordy, as Russell Brand would say, but that’s okay. That’s the great thing about an anonymous blog, you can write however the hell you want, and if people don’t like it they can stop reading! I get the occasional rude comment but to be honest all I think is, ‘Well they must’ve read the whole thing since they made it to the comments section.’ Who cares what people think? At least they’re reading what I’m writing.
Oh and is [surname] your actual surname? If it is, you’re going to want to change your hotmail signature if you want to stay anonymous :P
All the best xxx
From there things just progressed naturally. He would ask me writing advice, I would ask him relationship advice, and it wasn’t long before it felt like I was just chatting to a friend. It was just around the Al/Dale debacle in which I found myself dating the friend of the last guy I had slept with and he offered insight and advice, and eventually numerous emails of commiseration and sympathy when the relationship ended and I thought I was ending.
Since uni my contact with James has been much like my contact with my uni friends – consistently inconsistent. A couple of Saturdays ago he sent me a link to his new post and I sent him a direct message.
Loved it. really well written. I’m hungover so I do realise my comments are boring, but I read straight through it. Very captivating xxx
He wrote back straight away and one of our conversations with messages containing 140 characters or less ensued.
Thank you gorgeous xxx
Only thing: ‘he was never slow in reminding Miguel of who bought the cash to the table’ should that be brought instead of bought?
Oh yeah haha!
You’re welcome. When’s the next installment? xxx
It’s already written so I’m not sure. Got any plans tonight? Xxx
I do indeed. Dinner with a friend then we’re going to see some band. You? xx
I suddenly noticed the time. ‘Shit!’ I was late to meet Kate. I ran out the door and dialled Kate as I rushed towards the Underground. ‘Hi, hi. Sorry, I’m just getting to the tube now. I’ll be there soon.’
‘No worries. Just making dinner now.’
‘You’re the best wife ever. See you soon.’
She laughed. ‘Bye.’
‘Oh, wait, wait. Who’s this band?’
‘They played at my company Christmas party.’
‘Random. Where are we going again?’
‘I know.’ She said, and I could hear her frowning over the phone.
‘Well, what’s the worst that could happen?’
To Be Continued …