Comments are what blog writers love. (Well, positive ones are, at least.) But people seem to worry about whether it’s OK to leave a comment; and others worry about privacy issues. So I thought I should say something about it.

In the case of this blog, the comment form includes boxes for an email address and a web link. These are however both optional, so you can be as anonymous if you want (with the exception that your IP address gets recorded).

Here’s what happens if you leave a comment:

For all comments

  • your IP address gets recorded and I can view it, but that’s pretty much all I can do. I don’t have any practical way of turning it into useful information such as what country you’re from. On the other hand, if lots of spam comments all arrive from the same IP address, I might block it in order to stop them. Or if I’m really curious as to whether two anonymous comments are from the same person, I might look to see whether the IP addresses match.

If you fill in an email address

  • I get to know your email address, but it isn’t published anywhere
  • the system will recognise you next time you leave a comment, meaning that if I approved the first one, the next one will go through automatically.

If you fill in a URL

  • when the comment is published, your name will link to the URL you gave. So people can click it to find out more about you, visit your blog or whatever.

If you’re a WordPress user, and logged in

  • details I get to see will depend on what settings you’ve made under (I think) My Profile and Personal Settings. If you have more than one account, check you’re logged in with the right one.

What is this blog for? Now that I come to write about it, that seems a harder question to answer than I expected. But I’m not sure whether that’s because I have a cold at the moment and my mind isn’t working very well, or because of any real difficulty in the question.

I do know how I came to create it, though. For various reasons I want a place where I can  explore a little and reflect on things to do with sexuality. It’s a very personal exploration.

I’ve been fortunate to meet people online with whom I can discuss these things. I have also been unfortunate to meet other people, who have no concept of the sensitivity and mutual respect needed. Unfortunately, both types of person tend to turn up on the same sites at the same time. So what could be places for friendly, sometimes sexy discussion become places where the real stuff can’t be discussed for fear of attack, ridicule etc.

This is exceptionally frustrating. Why should a few people who don’t know how to behave undermine the positive interaction? And anyway it’s my exploration.

So it seemed a good idea to try to create the kind of space I need myself. And I’m still deciding what sort of thing to post and how best to set it up. At the moment it’s publicly viewable, but hidden from search engines, which should mean that only people who know the address find it. My main options seem to be:

  • Make the blog private. Only people I invite can see it, and they all have to sign up for WordPress usernames.
  • Keep the blog public but password-protect some or all posts. This means  that only people I give the password for a particular post can see it or comment on it.
  • Make the whole thing public. I can’t imagine myself doing this!

My brain really isn’t working, so for now I’ll just post this and let one or two people know the blog exists.