After writing about deactivating my Snapchat account in July, I returned a week later but with a different agenda. I realized, after writing the piece, that if I want to make the online/app, dating/hookup environments feel less alienating and disconnected, I have to do my part. So instead of posting nude pics and engaging on a purely body bawdy level with men on Snapchat, I am going to try to reach out to kindreds. I have posted the following statement on Snapchat as a story and on OkCupid, Tinder and Instagram/Facebook:
What Am I Looking For
Long conversations in person that may or may not lead to gentle sex.
Connections with kindreds. Chemistry and romance. Not monogamy or commitment, just joy in the moment with potential long-lasting friendships. Tinder, OKC & other hookup apps often result in alienation & bucket list sex requests. I want a kinder, more intimate space.
Since I’ve posted the above on my story, I haven’t had 30 + guys send me messages as I do when I post tit pics, but some have responded positively, saying they have read and related to what I’m referring to. And on Tinder, I’ve had the loveliest conversations about Tom Waits and friendship. On Tumblr, I’ve developed a friendship with a kind man who seems to enjoy my whimsy. There is potential for enriching conversations online and on apps.
When I just wanted to exchange pics and fantasies, I included my Snapchat ID in my Tinder profile to make it easier for men to add me. I would accept all friendship requests from men and share my stories (naked tit pics and vibe on my cunt videos) with all on my friends’ list through my stories. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do now that I’m back and intent on not using Snapchat exclusively as a space for mutual masturbation.
I’m not the kind of person to count followers/friends to see how many I have. Size doesn’t matter ?. But I think I have a fairly large number of Snapchat pals. It will be interesting to see what happens when I’m no longer sharing pics and fantasies. Or perhaps at times, I will want to still do so. I don’t know. Nothing is set in stone. I don’t mean to sound judgemental for those who like to do so and get a thrill out of it. But for me, it was starting to make me feel one dimensional and out of touch with people.
I’m an idealist. I’m hoping that I make fellow misfit friends who will turn into lovers and remain as friends or that I’ll have the occasional meaningful conversation or a damn fine fling.
And perhaps I’ll inspire others to be kinder and seek intimacy through Snapchat as well.
I think this desire for a kinder, more intimate space is applicable to more than just hook up and dating sites and apps. I think it’s applicable to online/virtual behaviour in general. What can you do to make the spaces you are in online and on apps kinder and more intimate? And what about in the non-virtual world?
If any of this resonates, please come find me on Snapchat (ottawamandy) and let’s have a discussion. Or better yet, if you’re in Ottawa, let’s meet. There are a lot of fun Indie cafés here. Send me a face pic so I can recognize you, not a dick pic.
PPS: One of the reasons that I like to post and share naked photos of myself is because it was empowering to me in a world where women are shamed because of age and size. For those who feel a loss of agency in this world, finding a way to take control is important. Whatever method you choose, I’m on your side.
Here are some links to some gorgeous photos of me taken by my husband, Charles Earl. They are definitely NSFW:
Amanda Earl is a Canadian polyamorous poetess, editor, publisher, fiction writer, and visual poet. She’s the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. A World of Yes (DevilHouse, 2015) is about a women who falls asleep during her 35th birthday party and misses an orgy. Kiki (Chaudiere Books, 2014) is a series of long poems that celebrate the creative and ribald times of Paris between the Wars, and Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl (Coming Together, 2014) is a collection of short, filthy tales. More info is available at AmandaEarl.com or connect with Amanda on Twitter @KikiFolle. Image by Charles Earl.