As a female on a kinky social networking site, I get a fair amount of unsolicited mail. Some of it very easy to ignore (Misstress, let this filthy scum worship at your fet), others that leave me wondering if I should or should reply (Hi, I read your profile and was interested). As a person who would eventually like to have a primary partner, I find myself torn on to ignore, or reply. Usually before the third e-mail as been exchanged, they want to talk sex, and the ignoring begins. If you can’t write 3 paragraphs without trying to pull wank fodder out of me, you’ve bored me. And I loathe boredom.
Oh.. there is a formula for deciding who to reply to…but that’s for another post.
The ones I struggle with however, are messages like this:
I am a Creative Sadist and Master in the GTA, and really am impressed by your profile.
Are you active in the BDSM community?
How serious are you in the Lifestyle and how far in this do you need to go?
Let’s break that down.
I’ve been addressed by my preferred name, which means the author has at least glanced at my profile. However, my name is not capitalized. I’m willing to write that off as internet grammar instead of power play…but I do notice it. Next, he’s asked my level of activity. On the particular day I received this e-mail, my status listed 4 different community events I would be attending that weekend. My profile also shows that I am involved on a leadership level with 2 local groups (TNG and TsDG). Furthermore, I list education as one of the things I dig on in kink. Personally, I think a profile like mine shows that I am rather involved in the community and that BDSM is an important part of my life. And his question of my involvement in the community tells me he paid very little attention to what he read.
This annoys me.
Here’s how I wanted to respond to him
Thank you for taking the time to write me. I’m surprised to find you were impressed by my profile when you seem to have taken very little time to read it; as it currently mentions that I will be at a number of different community events this very weekend, as well as attend monthly munches, discussion groups, and lead 2 groups. Perhaps in the future you could take the time to actually read what you claim to be interested in, instead of wasting both our time.
Okay, so I would have deleted that last bit before I sent it.
Since I happened to be in the room with a girlfriend at the time, I had a little vent and asked if she thought I should skewer him a bit in reply. Her response surprised me. She shared a tale of being confronted by a man who had written her at a event. Apparently, he was rather upset with her lack of response to his e-mail, and he called on her to defend her actions. Later, another girlfriend added a similar statement – you never know who you’ll be running into at an event someday she cautioned.
Now, call me egocentric, but I don’t think I owe anyone a response to an unsolicited e-mail. By the same token, I don’t think anyone owes me a response should I randomly message them. So I’ll never make any bones about not replying, and should I ever be confronted again, I’ll give the same answer I did last time. I didn’t have any interest in replying. I feel no shame in that.
But to lambaste, or not to lambaste? This is the new question. Personally, receiving e-mails like the one listed above raise my ire much faster than the completely ignorant one, because these e-mails feel dishonest. Your words claim you pay attention, but those same words show you really didn’t at all. You are lying to me. And, in my world, that makes you an ass.
So do I excuse myself my admittedly rude behaviour as everyone needs to both their top now and then? Do I trust that the real life reputation I’ve already built for myself (positive or negative) will be unaffected by the internet? Or do I self censor to avoid an awkward, or potentially angry situation down the road?
What do you do?