Let's talk for a few minutes about life in the ghetto.
No, not that sort of ghetto, although I've lived in to many dives off of dangerous alleys, run my back streets in several nations, and had my share of near-death nights followed by hungry mornings. That was all decades ago, and it ain't what I'm talking about here.
I'm talking about the ghetto of the diarist who writes of adult matters. I remember well my entry into posting on one bulletin board popular with online diarists and journalers [help me out with the PC terms; I feel like fish trying to name water]. I looked around and it looked like an active and enlightened group there so I posed a hypothetical query concerning the different perceptions of sexual vs. non-adult diarys. Weeeheeee! The people who slammed me the hardest were those who were simultaneously emphatically asserting how diversely enlightened they were and how non-judgemental they were and perseverating on how I was obviously wrong about the two groups of writers being perceived differently. And then, of course, they brought out sensational excerpts from my old entries and alluded to them to show why I was obviously just a cowboy, out for a shocking reaction, and not really a Real Writer. I gotta admit, the time I sutured Da Blonde's cunt shut was a pretty viscerally striking entry, and it sure did get mentioned more than once in this little group pound-on-the-new-guy clusterfuck, but they tended to skip my discourses on middle aged angst, my intense spiritual ritual entries, or any of my better recipes. I didn't mind the pounding, but I'm truly curious if any of those folks have ever gone back and looked at the irony of how their replies denying my premise, confirmed it.
It is no surprise why so many of us have developed friendships with people we've never seen, people who may be very different from us, but people who write with a similar verve, honesty, and mission about their sensuality. Thanks to the net and ICQ I can keep up with things in London with Bri, discuss everything from raunch to battling the school board with Vamp, get Heather to giggle early in the day and Katt and Wolfe up in Vancouver to do the same late at night. And it's more than simply peer support - we hold cyberhands through rough times, exchange information, help battle writer's block, alert friends to censorship threats, and pimp the outpourings of each other's souls. With the true threats to freedom posed by Reverend John Ashcroft and his ilk, the heroes in my mind are people like the friends listed above, and Lydia, with her self proclaimed Sex-Positive Propaganda Ministry, Jane and Jim with Jane's Guide, and Carol Queen and Susie Bright and so many more. These are the folks who populate my ghetto. I don't know if it's ever going to be gentrified, but I know that the population is growing, and I kinda like my neighbors.