A Penny for your Thoughts: Boundaries Matter

This post is for me, an introvert, and issues I have regarding boundaries with people both in real life and on social media. I highly recommend blocking or muting anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable.

A Penny for your Thoughts

I’ll tell you, if someone walks into a bar and I’m sitting there having lunch or dinner and a drink, or not drinking, and we chat, it’s cool. I don’t know them. I’ll probably never see them again. Sometimes we exchange names and shake hands, sometimes we don’t. Either way, it’s all good. Because I’ll most likely never see them again. I’m not a regular often enough to really be called a regular, however, the staff knows who I am and (usually) knows what I’ll order unless I’m being adventurous and throw them off the rail.

However, social media is different for me. I’m there ALL. THE. TIME. I’m twittering away and people will come and go, people will like or retweet if I’m lucky. Some of them will reply and we may have a conversation. If they’re polite, I’ll be polite. If we can have a civil disagreement, it’s cool. Sometimes I might follow these people because I think they’re funny (usually if you aren’t all that funny, I’m probably going to pass – sorry not sorry). I’m all about curating an environment that is convivial and warm and basically a cool place (for me) to hang out.


One of my pet peeves is following someone and being auto dm’d to buy their book or – even worse – to validate my existence as a human being. I mean… are we here? Are we a dream? A simulation? I don’t fucking know. It’s too big for me to decide. I tend to unfollow those because I got tired of fighting through the steps to validate I’m human – because you know, telling a digital robot that I exist shouldn’t be that fucking difficult.

DM on Instagram from Random Stranger I don't know or follow
Screenshot from random direct message – Quoted: “Sorry i’m new here and I was just searching through Instagram when i came across your profile your beautiful face caught my fancy so i decided to send you a message I was actually searching for an old friend but i came across your picture so i’m using this means to let you know that i appreciate your beauty.”

Another pet peeve of mine is following someone only to get a real live DM moments later. (To be honest, give me an auto-dm to ignore any day of the week!) It’s too much, too soon. I don’t really know you. Perhaps I found your tweets funny, informational, something worth sharing. Whatever the reason, say hi in public (you know, like a few days later). Instantly DMing me puts me on my guard. I hate that feeling. On top of it, you maybe forgot to ask first. That’s kind of like barging into my home or my cube and being like OH HI! HOW ARE YOU? ARE YOUR STORIES BASED ON YOUR SEX LIFE? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KINK? all up in my face. I still try to be kind. (It’s too much.)

Do you want to know how often strangers at the bar/restaurant comment on my looks? Nada. Nein. Zilch. Zero. So why do people on social media feel the need to comment on a stranger’s looks after chatting with them for a short period of time? Is it because I’m a woman? I don’t dm guys saying ‘OH HI THERE! I just wanted to let you know you’re like the HOTTEST GUY I’VE EVER SEEN because

  1. it’s not a dating site/app
  2. even if it was dating site/app I still wouldn’t do that because it’s creepy, yo
  3. I’d rather have a conversation about books, tv, movies, a post, the news, fuck… I’d rather talk about politics than physical appearance
  4. I will guarantee right here and now, you are not the hottest guy I’ve ever seen (no really)

It’s taken me years to get where I am today. Comfortable being single, comfortable in my skin, comfortable with my own damn self being my own damn self. When you spend a lifetime trying to make others happy, it’s truly difficult to find the things that make you an individual being. Lifelong habits are extremely difficult to break when you’ve created them on the terms of pleasing difficult people – people who cannot ever truly be pleased. And sometimes, I am the difficult person I’m trying to please but I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out what the fuck I want/need.

And that’s where boundaries come in because I’ve spent a lifetime trying to put them in place, only to have someone violate them on a regular basis.

Compliments have always been a precursor to something negative. Oh hey that’s great, can you like… change everything about yourself to please me now? Okay thanks! I know who my real friends and adopted family are because we tend to trade sarcastic insults instead. I do have a handful of people that tend to ask many awkward questions. I answer a few and then say ‘okay, take a break, try another day, but not tomorrow’ and sometimes they do and other times they just have one more question. If I’m having a bad day, I will be mean. My default emotion tends to be anger. I’ve always been angry. Saying this is way different than people actually seeing my angry/rage emotions. You are poking a Demoness who wants to rip your spine out. Unfortunately, I can’t snap my fingers and make you turn to mist. (This is a very good thing, btw because cleaning up that mess would be serious work.)

Supernatural 5x22 - Lucifer Kills Castiel
Sam/Lucifer snapping fingers and turning Castiel to bloody mist

Many people on social media, including myself, identifies as an Introvert. This means sure, we’re there to “hang out” and have “social time” with other people. To have conversations that have meaning. To see what’s going on in the world without being overwhelmed or trying to figure which news is fake and which is legit. This means when someone busts into my bubble and starts chattering away at me, or other introverts, without any kind of preparation (You know, like LUBE) it’s rude.

I’m not saying don’t contact anyone ever.

I’m saying contact people politely. When you follow someone, don’t stomp your way into their messages. Want to make yourself noticed without being rude? Retweet something of theirs. Reply to something they’ve shared like “hey I read this thing and thought it was great” but you know, with your own words and your own real feeling.

Have a conversation that has meaning.

We do this all the time. Sure, my sisters and I are all flirty and fun and appear to be ready to start a massive party at any moment of the day, but that’s how we work together. There are so many backchannel conversations happening that you don’t see. We’ve built these relationships over time. Some of us clicked right off the bat and would possible be inseparable if we were together in person. Others of us are still figuring out where we stand but we love and respect each other.

My sisters and I talk. So when someone steps over the line and starts asking us about our sex lives, our bodies, our kinks, and other creepy questions, we talk. We share your usernames. We share screenshots. It’s documented. We give each other permission to mute, block, or report (if it’s really bad). Before you DM, did you speak to the person publicly? Did they reply? If not, perhaps they were super busy and haven’t gotten back to you (that’s another thing – many of us are super busy and we don’t always see you). Be patient, be polite.

Another thing that I’ve noticed about these guys (yeah it’s mostly guys) that pull this shit is that they have sweet or shy usernames. They use words to try to make them appear to us as “a nice guy”. They tend to be super sweet when they start out and then ten minutes later, they’re asking us about sex. Just a reminder – yes, I am an erotica author but my personal life is not here for your sexual amusement. My fiction is here for your entertainment. Please stay behind the yellow line, or you might lose something precious to you.

Halestorm’s Uncomfortable from the new Vicious album inspired this one. Enjoy!

Having a problem with internet trolls? Remember – we have a right to curate our own social media content as best we can. Mute. Block. Report. Rinse and Repeat as needed. I also recommend listening to Battle Tactics for your Sexist Workplace about dealing with Internet Trolls. Part One | Part Two

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  1. Loved this! Well said and good points. Honestly I havent had any issues this far on line but the part about being comfy and single and ok with it hit home. No, I dont need a man or a woman, and it a good bet “need” will never be the issue. Stop suggesting dating apps and hook up places. And, asking if my writings are biographical… I could be the Taylor Swift of erotica but does that matter? If you’re even reading my stuff, and like it, does it matter if it’s me? And if it is, that doesnt mean you will ever be the main character in future stories so step back.

    Thanks Girl, always a good read from you!

  2. Another exchange that happens far too often:
    “Hi, you’re great and I really love your work!”
    “Aww, thanks sweetie, that’s really kind of you to say so 🙂 XoXo”
    “I was just wondering, can I see some more pics of you?”

    Urgh. No. A) If I wanted you to see more pics, don’t you think they’d be on my feed somewhere for you to perv through? B) I’m a private and very shy person, which you’d know if you *actually* had enough interest in me to spend some time getting to know me. C) I’m not here for your entertainment. I write stories. Read them, enjoy them, interact with me as a friend or a fan but that’s the extent of my commitment to your pleasure. There are literally thousands of women online who will happily send you as many photos as you want in exchange for money – they deserve your attention, they’re trying to make a living, leave me alone.

    Suffice to say, exchanges like this result in an instant mute. I don’t have the time or energy to reply and explain why.

    1. I love it when the person gets upset when my answer to something isn’t what they wanted me to say and they try to argue with me. Muting is always an option. It’s the social media way of saying talk to the hand.😘

      1. Right? The first message is always oh-so-polite, like “I’m a nice guy, not like all those others!”. It’s never long before the true colours shine through. That’s why I use insta-mute, lol. I don’t want to wait for the nasty comments to start.

        Do I sound bitchy? Sure, maybe. But if someone interacts with me like, you know, a normal human being then I’ll be their friend forever. That’s the trade-off.

        1. Exactly. Being nice for ten minutes doesn’t get you personal details. But then, being nice for ten months probably won’t either…. it’s not a crap shoot but it’s just better to not expect personal sexy details – full stop.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts. Being new to writing erotica online and using social media to promote- I haven’t experienced these things yet- but I appreciate the heads up and thoughts of those of you already knew deep in! Keep up the great work!

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