On June 1st I wrote the following on my Twitter:
"If you think reviews are a better way to get to know me than my site, blog, and Twitter, you aren't really interested in getting to know me."
As of this posting, the tweet has been liked by 80 people and retweeted 21 times. Clients and providers responded with comments such as "Reviews are the opinions of others. A site, blog, and Twitter are where a lady's personality shine through and reel me in." and "My reviews are same old same old. At least my website, blog, twitter feed offer a personalized way to get to know me." Clearly the sentiment I expressed is felt deeper in the community than 140 characters would suggest.
I have just delisted myself from The Erotic Review, and am no longer accepting reviews of any kind. This decision was a long time coming and deeply personal. First of all, the concept of reviews makes me uncomfortable. I'm a pretty private person, especially when it comes to details of my intimate life. I imagine many of you are as well. My work is about connection and fostering relationships, and the manner and extent to which those connections are broadcast in the review system distorts meaningful private interaction into erotica for public consumption. If you wrote a Yelp review for your therapist, would you want to disclose the intimate details of your sessions with the Internet? Many of my wonderful clients share this view (it's their experience being publizced too) and I have no doubt anyone who feels a desire to meet me will be deterred by my position, even if they normally write reviews themselves.
Another reason I have made this policy is so I can speak more freely. Frankly I was feeling increasingly stifled by the dynamics of review culture and found myself participating less often on the discussion boards. I am an opinionated person and have always enjoyed sharing my opinions unequivocally with others to help facilitate disscussion and debate. Yet, I felt that TER was not a place where my opinion was welcome if one of dissent, and so got in the habit of only saying things I deemed would not be considered "controversial." Though onsensibly a place for discussion and ergo conflicting viewpoints, I find TER more of an echo chamber. There is a whole other side to the conversion and I look forward to contributing to it in ways I hope will be helpful and productive for the escort community.
Love to all,