A Grizzle On Feedback

Alright, I have bitten my tongue long enough and now it’s time to rant.

Quite honestly, much thought and many hours go into each one of the pieces I write. I can’t just produce erotica like the hen laying the golden eggs (although, now I think about it, that would be a rather nifty trick). I’ve been looking at my numbers of late and wondering where all the comments/feedback have gone, and I’m quite stumped. At first I thought it was because the subject matter of my blog had shifted gear slightly, so I decided to focus more on my writing than anything else. I even turned down an offer by a UK television company in order to preserve the quality and content of my work. I still get three to four hundred hits a day, yet the comments on my work have basically disappeared.

I’ve been rolling this conundrum around in my head for about a week now. I’ve even discussed it with a few fellow bloggers. So, readers of mine, what’s the bloody deal?

A few peers have mentioned to me that it may be a moral issue. I couldn’t help but laugh, yet I agree this very well could be the case. Unfortunately in this day and age, sex is still seen as taboo. We, as a society, are taught from a very young age that this very subject is not something to be talked about freely. So let me guess. Some of you would feel dirty or sinful if you commented? Would that make you a participant, an instigator perhaps? Well, to that I say what a load of bollocks. If you are skulking about my site and feeling dirty for doing so, I doubt very much that adding an anonymous comment would increase that, right? Aren’t you going to hell anyway? (And before anyone jumps on my hiney about that, it was a joke…)

I can peek elsewhere and see the same issue. Just look at bestsexbloggers.com. That site is basically an adult wonderland – full of imagery, sex-toy reviews, tales of real-life debauchery, wicked and lustful fantasy. But look in the comments section. Do you see many? I thought not.

Another prime example would be Easily Aroused. In that very post he bids farewell, which I find incredibly sad because you wont find erotica out there to match his evocative and sensual style. He is an incredible writer, and as I looked at the comments that were left after he announced his departure from the blogosphere, I couldn’t help but notice how many of them included the sentiment “I don’t usually comment…” My question is this: Why not? Aren’t his beautiful words worth your twenty?

Maybe some of you are lazy? Quite honestly, if that’s the case, I’m wondering why you even have a pulse. I’ll be kind enough to give you a tip to try and rouse you out of your sloth-like state: type something and hit SUBMIT. There. Easy. Don’t you feel better?

My point is this: As a writer, I enjoy both negative and positive feedback on my work. I like to be challenged, I like flexing my creative muscles. I also like to know how my work is digested, what my audience would like to see me address, and what I truly suck at and could work on. This isn’t about ego stroking either. Trust me, my ego is large enough that I have some spare to hand out. This is about communication. Isn’t that the essence of writing? It isn’t a one way street. I love to pleasure people, and bring pleasure to people through my words. How can I do that if I have no idea what makes you tick?

So, dear readers, consider this a plea. Not just from me, but for any of your favorite sites or writers; Give us feedback! Yes, you lurkers! I demand you to delurk! After all of our hard work, the multitudes of dirty thoughts we have each day, and the numerous orgasms we provide to our specific audiences, I’d say we deserve it, don’t you?

19 Responses to “A Grizzle On Feedback”

  1. modernswinger Says:

    Since this is my second attempt at blogging, but I’m also a reader I feel like I’m on both sides of the coin on this one.

    For about a year I wrote a vanilla blog on my myspace page and got a good number of hits (80 or so per post, which I thought was a lot at the time) and only rarely did I get many comments. Since that was something that wasn’t of a sexual nature, or at least not erotica or swinging, I don’t think the moral issue is really at the heart of it. My friends read them frequently, and I’m guessing a few strangers too since I don’t have nearly as many friends as I did peekers (which is what I call people who read but don’t let their presence be known). Now that I’m writing these more sexual blogs and doing so without letting anyone that I know in real life know about them, I have receive again a steady flow of 10-15 people reading the posts yet zilch in the comment boxes.

    Yet how often do I post comments, I think I’ve done it 4 times this week. Yet I’ve subscribed to about 10 blogs and read tons of posts to get me up to speed on what’s going on in the most recent blogs.

    I think the only thing that really spurs people to comment is, at least in my experience, when you post something controversial. When I wrote my vanilla blogs, I got tons of comments when I would suggest we should eat bald eagles for dinner or that I thought some girl I dated was a bitch. I stopped writing those blogs because when I wrote the more serious ones about how I felt about something and really poured my heart out, I got nothing, but the silly and more contrived ones got a comment. I felt myself trying to take more and more outrageous stands on topics so that I would get a rise out of people. Once that occurred to me I decided that I was just trying to be funny and not being real, and I must not be very good since I wasn’t all that funny either. It would also kill me when my friends would see me and talk to me about my blog, and I would say “Why didn’t you comment?” and they sort of thought that talking to me about it was good enough, but those conversations were not really as motivational as someone writing a simple note in my blog.

    I enjoy reading you posts and I plan to continue to do so. I don’t think I’ll be as verbose in my future comments but I will try to be more frequent. Keep up the good work, we all need a lot more stimulation in our day.

  2. I don’t get it, either. While I certainly can’t complain, as I do have my lovely regulars, I get almost as many visitors a day as you. Anywhere in the 200′s range. I know I have readers who don’t comment, as they’re not bloggers, and they’ve emailed me. It seems that 95% of my commenters are other bloggers. I even have a contest going for an expensive sextoy, but do the readers come out of the woodwork for even that? No!

    I look at other blogs…I won’t name names, but some are “cheater” blogs. I’ve got nothing against them really, it’s not my place to judge what someone does. But alot of people DO judge, and condemn cheaters, but yet….their blogs (consistently) are the highest commented-on of anything in my blogroll.

    As for Best Sex Bloggers, I personally think that’s easy – there’s a barrage of daily posts, most of which are cross-posts. People have likely commented on the original blog if they’re going to comment at all.

  3. creative.fun.mv Says:

    I use Google Reader to keep track of my blogs and for the most part, the only way to post a comment is to go to the blog and do it there. Because I read at work, I try to avoid going out to the websites. Hence my lack of comments.

    I love your blog though, and you have inspired me to start my own (you hear that every day, don’t you?). And my blog is visited by…me! It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me and has really moved my personal exploration and growth forward.

    So sorry for the lurking status, but I just wonder how many of us are in the same boat (using google reader).

  4. thank you for writing this post. i feel the same way.

    i watch my stat counter rack up hits, but i rarely get comments. (but the ones i do get are wonderfully supportive and great – thanks to all).

    but i will admit – i am, for some reason, shy (if that is the right word) about commenting on others’ blogs.

    you have totally given me a needed kick in the ass to start commenting. thanks for the lil push and all the great writing.

    and i completely understand the feeling that you can’t lay out sexy stories like some farmyard hen. it takes time, patience, and most of all inspiration.

  5. Fleshbot wrote a similar post a long time ago about how no one ever said anything when they had traffic through the roof. One comment in reply that I remember particularly was along the lines of “Well, what do you expect us to say except:*fap fap fap*”?

    I don’t think it’s a moral issue exactly, but the expectation that on a literary and well written blog you need literary and well-written comments. When I read a peice of well-written erotica, I am afraid my usual response is “Pleasegivemeyourphonenumbersoicanfuckyounow” rather that something worthwhile…and, um, less creepy. Or I have both hands occupied elsewhere.

  6. Hi, I’ve read your blog maybe a couple of times, and sorry I haven’t commented before. I’ve only recently got a computer at home so I’ve only started reading blogs in the last 6 months, so I’m a bit new to it all. I think the reason that I haven’t left a comment is that I didn’t know I was supposed to, or maybe I didn’t know what to say!

    However, I have enjoyed reading your blog, and I do think it’s well written. I’ll try to comment again – if I can think of something to say!

  7. Hi, as a relatively new visitor to your blog, I must say that I, like Laguiri before me, really do enjoy reading your blog. Due to the fact that I almost always read your blog at work, time is usually against me, I want to say really good things, but never have the time, this post alone has taken nearly an hour in betwwen other things. But I will try my utmost to try and post more in the future. PS, really do love the blog ;)

  8. Naughty Secretary Says:

    First of all, I want to thank each one of you who commented on this post. You have no idea how happy this makes me! It’s honestly so nice to know that people *do* actually enjoy my work and value my blog.

    modernswinger ~ Thanks for your input. I agree that controversy is most definitely an attention-grabber. I wont name names, but there’s a certain blogger out there who thrives on creating controversy in order to gain exposure. I focus on my talent as a writer, rather than the high school antics of “shit-stirring”, as us Aussies put it :) But, if my pieces are controversial in that process, then so be it! But yes, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s always imperative to remain true to yourself. Write what you know. And enjoy the ride. Best of luck with your own blogging adventures!

    Lilly ~ All good points. As I mentioned to modernswinger, it would seem that controversy is an attention-grabber. I myself will be adding/deleting from my blogroll, and plan to add your naughty site.
    Everyone else? Go to Lilly’s blog! <——-

    creative.fun.mv ~ You know, it had not even occurred to me that 1) Some read at work, and 2) They do it through another avenue. It totally makes sense. So thank you for your input! I don’t hear “you’ve inspired me to start my own blog” everyday, although you aren’t the first to mention the subject. I find to inspire creativity in someone else to be a highly flattering and rewarding treat! My thanks to you.

    kansas ~ It was more of a gentle swat on your behind… ;) For a blogger, commenting on other sites is a win/win situation. You can generate great exposure from doing so, and whore around the internet at the same time! :D

    Molly Ren ~ If someone was so moved by a piece of my writing that they wanted to fuck me (or the character I had created), that would be such a HUGE compliment. It means I’ve reached my goal as a writer. Now, what was your phone number again? ;)

    Laguiri ~ Thanks for taking the time to comment. It really does mean a bundle to me, and please! Make sure you stop back often.

    Baggers ~ You cheeky devil, looking at naughty things at work! I admire your diligence and the effort you went to in order to comment. I’m glad you enjoy the blog, and please! Keep being naughty at work! I love the idea that I could adequately steal someone’s attention.

  9. briarcliftale Says:

    boo! this is my first and last comment. I will not be scolded! LOL

  10. I have commented on your blog, but I have to admit I was surprised at the lack of comments that I’ve seen here. I, too, write a little blog but it’s mostly for my own mental benefit. However, I have a dozen or so readers who comment on a regular basis. I did not know these people before I started my blog. But they have been supportive and I appreciate them.

    The one thing I do is to be sure to answer each of their comments with additional thoughts of my own. I also make an effort to read their blogs and comment on their writing. I can’t access blogs from work so I am copying and pasting posts into Word doc’s at home the night before and then reading them the next day at work. Then I have to write comments to copy into the blog the next night! It’s crazy. But I think I owe this to those who read and comment on my blog. And all of them write interesting posts.

    If you suddenly get 300 commenters, you’re going to have trouble responding. But at this point, it shouldn’t be hard to keep up. Just my two cents worth… Oh, your writing is wonderful! I hope you’ll continue as I enjoy it immensely.

    Ha! Wrote this earlier today and now I see you responded. Well…better late than never, right?!!

  11. Naughty Secretary Says:

    briarcliftale ~ I know you! Cheeky sod. You didn’t seem to mind my scolding the few times I had my hands on you…There. You deserved that one. x

    Unbroken ~ I am very much aware of your blog – In fact, it has been on my blogroll for a while now…I most definitely try to answer each comment, even if it is just with a simple “thanks.” As far as other blogs and commenting goes, I try to leave a few comments about here and there, but quite honestly I have not found anything to keep my interest of late. That’s not me being snobby, just me being completely honest. My favorite writer recently stopped altogether, and that took the wind out of my sail, somewhat.
    And yes, better late than never. ;)

  12. NS: Oh, how I share your dilemma! I’ve posted about this before as well as it drives me nearly crazy on a daily basis. The balance between hits and actual comments is completely skewed and I just don’t understand it! I have a number of very loyal readers who comment on everything I post and I adore them for it. But so very many more visit me and never say a word. I wish they would. Good, bad or indifferent, I want to hear from them!

  13. NS – followed you on a link from EA’s site – he’s right, you write well and should consider publishing.

    You are however – or come over as – pretty scary/intimidating. You once posted some scathing comments on something somebody posted on EA’s site and whilst I agreed with most of what you said I reckoned you’d been too harsh. We’re not all as confident as you seem to be; maybe the writer had been plucking up courage to actually post a comment for some time – don’t expect she’ll have done so again!

    However, it’s been a real insight reading not only this post but the responses – I hadn’t realised that responses were so important to the process. I should have done so I think so will look to give feedback/comments in future.

    Anyway, please keep posting – and thanks!

  14. Someone (damn my short-term memory, i forgot already) said about reading at work through the feedreader and unable to usually visit the actual blog….
    A close friend who shall remain nameless in this comment is also a blogger but not a sexblogger. Despite he and I talking everyday I appreciate him commenting on my posts – I comment on every single one of his (granted he doesn’t post as often) and even followup comments. When I berated him a few times for going awhile without commenting, he reminded me that my blog is definitely NOT work-safe. Most of the other blogs that he reads ARE, and those will get his comments. If he has a few days at work where he’s not left alone long enough, he can’t comment on my blog, much less read it (i have only the first paragraph in my feed).
    So not only is my blog NSFW, but depending on the readers home life….not safe there, either. Alot of readers AND bloggers wouldn’t want their spouses/children to know/see what they read/comment….

    Which is why I encourage my readers to email me, to tell me they like it if they can’t/won’t comment. I do get some emails every week, and it’s quite nice. I even struck up a great friendship with one.
    So I get it a little more but still…..

    I’m also adopting a friends habit of dropping bloggers who will never comment on my blog even though I was religiously commenting on theirs. Ok, fine, perhaps they don’t LIKE my blog. But when they have me listed in their public blogroll? At that point I think its just rude. They have the time to post, to reply to the comments on their own blog, I see them comment elsewhere….So my roundabout point is that my public blogroll will also be getting shorter. And my efforts in commenting won’t take as much time.

  15. See I just don’t shut up sometimes :)

    I figured it out. Within the sexblogger community is a subset of the cheater blogs. While the two groups meet, the cheater blog community seems to be more….of a support network. I went to a blog via blog, and she’s only been around a few months, yet the comments are consistently above a dozen. The commenters? All other cheater bloggers. just about. I would say that its because the posts are more….conversational? Because some are. And then some are just erotica, and they still have the following. Unlike the sex bloggers.

    I could rattle off a dozen sex bloggers that -I- think are big(ish) names, certainly all member of the “best sex bloggers” (which is growing so rapidly that it seems no longer all that exclusive), and their comments are low. They’ll get tagged on fleshbot. They’ll get picked for Sugasm. So clearly they have readers! I guess the “what do you want us to say but *fap fap fap* might be kinda accurate, lol.

    I dunno. I consider myself lucky that I have more than 4 comments on most posts, judging by other sex blogs.

  16. Naughty Secretary Says:

    swingerwife ~ Well, the comments I have received have provided much insight. I also think that unless you are a blogger who is committed to your blog, there’s no way of knowing how much work actually goes into site and content maintenance.

    Sensuelle ~ I’ll admit, when I read your comment it seemed like a back-handed compliment – a jab cushioned by praise – but since I asked for both negative and positive feedback, I can’t really complain about that, now can I?
    As far as me being intimidating or scary, I find it a shame that someone would find a confident woman either of those. Being Australian, I can be quite blunt, but scathing? In this particular instance I think that is an exaggeration. In fact, I laughed at the notion, because that was exactly the reason I replied to that comment you mentioned. I found it scathing, ignorant, and narrow-minded. I don’t tolerate ignorance well because I run into it on a daily basis. I think the model of the image in question would have found that particular comment – about marring one’s skin just because she was tattooed – rather scathing and hurtful.
    I will never apologize for my confidence. I have had to work very hard at it, and honestly believe that the world would be a better place if there were more confident women around, no matter their skin color, the size of their clothing, or the brand of shoes they wear.
    Now, as far as said commenter being scared off by my response, a) If that were the case she would not be perusing my blog, so it’s a moot point, and b) perhaps she needs a thicker skin if she’s going to post on a public platform.
    As far as me being published, my confidence does not reach that far. I’m not trained as a writer, and have only been writing erotica so since the start of the year, so it’s going to take some work on my end before I’ll even consider it a prospect. But thank you for the vote of confidence.
    I do consider myself an artist, so to me, feedback is very important. I suspect I am not alone in that. Just look at the bloggers that have piped up here. Art is about making a connection, evoking something, whether it is negative or positive. It seems only natural that I would want to know if I have been successful in that.
    Thanks for your comment.

  17. Naughty Secretary Says:

    Lilly,
    I’m with you. Even an email is better than naught. I love receiving emails, and have actually made a few friends like you through the correspondence.
    I’m glad you’re not shutting up – In fact I am flattered that you gave the subject considerable thought. And like you, I’m very grateful for each one I receive.

  18. southerngirl Says:

    NS,

    First of all thanks for writing this blog. I am a regular reader but rather new to this whole community of erotic blogging. I too found you through EA not long before he went off to pursue maintream…and I did comment on his stuff fairly regularly. His is the only blog I have EVER commented on…though I have begun to read quite a few.

    I embrace your confidence and the beauty of your writing. Each piece is ripe with detail and thoughtful prose. Naively, I honestly did not know it meant so much to have the comments from your readers. I promise to do better and to keep reading.

  19. Naughty Secretary Says:

    southerngirl ~ Your comment made my morning. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I’m flattered, really, by everything you said. Much thanks!

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