Twitter and the Mardi Gras Effect

Givin It Up: Twitter and the Mardi Gras Effect

When I blogged on Mardi Gras that I was contemplating giving up sex for Lent (for the second year in a row), I had no idea the prospect would be met with such keen interest.


Well, I take that back. I did have some idea that there might at some point be some interest -- in local quarters (hyper-local) -- but I had no idea the sheer Economic Impact would be so widely evaluated.

The swift, decisive response from members of the social media community selling various "romantic aids," for example, was a little staggering. Now, I'm not naive about how marketing, promotion, and new media work. I know, if I mention ... say, Ambien, via blog/twitter/or facebook, I will immediately get a lot of  "people" in the sleep-aid industry who want to be my friends, fans, and followers. (Honestly, I do not know why anybody hasn't asked me yet to be a paid spokesperson, except for... well.... maybe the fact is they do not consider my last few relationships to be rousing endorsements... Sigh. Right there with ya, buddy.)

The Mardi Gras Effect was a little different though. I certainly didn't use any obvious keywords, or tags, or headlines that would've red-flagged the blog (or the twitter that listed the link). It was all very PG-rated (not even PG-13) and euphemistic, right down to "clearing out the Easter Brunch crowd at The Denny's"" (even though that expression is so old and overused by now, everybody probably knows what that means). The point is, I usually write like I'm eluding either a Nun or a Standards and Practices censor. (There is no harsher mistress than Sister Catherine Regina, and I grew up with her as my Editrix.) I am a nice girl, a good girl... the kind of girl who would never use "pleasure" as a "verb." (Because: ewww.)
 
And yet, I got an immediate twitter response that said, "thankfully you won't be repeating last year's Lenten debacle," and then offered me (or I suppose, more accurately, anyone I might "encounter") some sort of "essential oils" that would allow me to "get the Power," (which struck me as oddly political).

There were several more in this conversational vein, and initially, I thought all the re-tweets and @replies were coming from people I knew (that is a pretty specific, detailed reference), until I investigated their twitter-stream a little further and found posts that offered helpful suggestions like "don't count on someone else to find your G-spot." (Uh. Don't worry.) There were also a lot of instructions about how to "get your orgasm back" (who knew it was missing?) and "reclaiming it" after 40 (which struck me as a recipe for an odd experience at the Lost and Found). They also encouraged "Kegels + tablets + [their product]" and I don't know what tablets they meant, but I'm guessing Ecstasy because I am very naive and inexperienced when it comes to recreational drug use and I don't think either Ambien or Xanax would end that equation the way they suggest it should end (because I am not naive about the P.D.R.)

It turns out, if I had discovered them a little earlier, I would've had an opportunity to win a Valentine basket comprised of their product, Godiva, and a "candle pack," (and God only knows what they expected me to do with those candles, but I sure hope it didn't involve a lit wick).

Even though I've been writing -- in public -- for over 20 years now, and I blog/twitter/and facebook more or less daily, it never ceases to amaze me when strangers address me with such intimate familiarity, and I always find it oddly disconcerting when they seem to know as much about my societal and social failures as the people who are actually involved in them.

Frankly, I blame this one on Spud. This is the logical extension (so to speak) of him characterizing my recent "halftime performance" (as it were) as something to "get through" (if you will...and I think you will...most people would).

One could, of course, argue (plausibly) that it's more accurately the result of me shooting my mouth off (if ya know what I'm sayin') in the blogosphere about that particular not-so-rave review, but come on. I think we can all agree that was the kind of thing that was just bound to get out sooner or later.

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