Three Strikes And It’s Bondage TMI Time

The Twisted Monk did a web interview recently in which he explained his “three strikes” procedure for dealing with snoopy strangers who want to know his business. This resonates with me because I deal with this all the time; people want to know what I do for a living but sometimes they don’t (you can just tell) really want to hear anything about bondage porn. But they keep asking the penetrating questions! Here’s Monk (and I have so been there):

TR: How do you explain what you do to strangers?

Monk: Eventually, everyone will ask that. Talk to someone long enough and the conversation will go down that path. Now for the most part I’m very open about what I do, however not everyone is too keen on the whole “sex industry” thing so I sometimes have to fudge a bit about such things. I suppose I could just out and out lie. Tell them that I am a “Drug Mule” or an “Image Consultant for the Moral Majority” perhaps? No, instead I prefer to play the “3 strikes and you’re out” game with them.

Take, for example, a recent conversation I had with an insurance sales person. Now she was a nice enough gal, a fifty-something mom who drove an absurdly large SUV, lived in the suburbs and probably considers “adventurous sex” to be fucking with the lights on, in any room other than the bedroom.

“Blah, blah, blah… so what do you do for a living?”
Strike one, give them a generic answer and then try to divert the conversation elsewhere.
“Me? Oh I have a small retail internet company, so tell me about this dental benefit again?”

“Oh that is nice. What do you sell?”
Strike two, now I am trying to be nice here but you were not satisfied with my answer so I’ll give you a bit more and hope that settles it.
“Organic hemp products”

“Really? What kind of products? ”
Strike three…
“I make and sell bondage rope to the sex industry.”
Several seconds of dumbstruck silence
“You what?!”
Ok honey, I tried, I honestly tried but now you asked for it.
“Bondage rope, you know so people can tie each other up and fuck? I supply most of the sex shops on the west coast and some of the best hardcore bondage websites in the industry. In fact I’m currently in negotiations with a major porn studio to supply rope for an upcoming series of videos.”

That usually shuts them right up.

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34 comments on “Three Strikes And It’s Bondage TMI Time”:

Any Mouse commented on January 15th, 2009 at 10:25 am:

“organic hemp products” was an asshole/coy answer. He’s baiting people and then acting superior when they go for it.

A decent answer to the second question is “I sell rope”, or, if he thinks that organic and hemp is important, “I sell organic, hemp rope.”

Steve commented on January 15th, 2009 at 12:45 pm:

I guess he hasn’t had any responses from women who asked those questions suggesting that they’d liked to be tied up and used as he saw fit.

Rope Guy commented on January 15th, 2009 at 7:25 pm:

Any Mouse, that’s a pretty harsh judgment of a man you do not know. Monk is not, by reputation, an asshole. Given your leap to judgment, I’m honestly less certain about you than I am about him.

It’s a tricky situation, and I see merit to his approach; “rope” is going to trigger more questions than it deflects, from many people. If I read him right, he’s not trying to give informative answers, he’s trying to give bland answers to nosy people to protect them from information they really don’t want to know.

It’s also important to recognize that nobody is ever owed a straight answer to a snoopy question.

TeaMan commented on January 15th, 2009 at 11:22 pm:

I do have one question about this example. The woman he was talking to was, I assume, trying to sell him insurance. Don’t they generally get information on your occupation when you get covered? I’m not sure if that’s standard or if they need it or not but that always seemed to be the case with me. Just wondering because if that’s the case it doesn’t really seem like she’s just being nosy.

Rope Guy commented on January 16th, 2009 at 9:43 am:

Any Mouse had some more comments, but I didn’t pass them through moderation.

I love my commenters, but this is my playground. Insulting me and other bloggers I respect is not permitted here. Polite criticism? Sure. But Any Mouse couldn’t manage to stay polite.

CupofCoffee commented on January 16th, 2009 at 11:37 am:

Rope Guy, I’m afraid I agree with Any Mouse. While it’s true that they jumped to conclusions about the type of guy Monk is, he has a point about the example given.

“Organic hemp products” is certainly not an answer to give if your intention is to stop the conversation going any further. “Rope” is perfectly acceptable. If they then ask why you sell the rope or who you sell it to, then that’s a different situation certainly warranting the third answer. ;)

Rope Guy commented on January 16th, 2009 at 12:21 pm:

I wonder if there’s a generation gap issue here? Or some sort of divide between people who are (culturally) stoners and heads, versus people who are (culturally) kink inclined?

Because I see this exactly backwards from you guys. “Rope” begs more questions to me; it’s too brief and unexplained and (frankly, given that rope is a cheap industrial commodity) unlikely. Kinky people are going to key on the word, and ask more questions, but this is a conversation for non-kinky people, so no worries. Non-kinky people are going to find the one-word answer unsatisfactory, I’d imagine, and ask more questions — the opposite of the desired result.

“Organic hemp products”, on the other hand, sounds specific and high-value and likely to be a satisfactory answer because it sounds plausible and slightly complex. The only person (I’d think) who wants to get more specific is the person to whom “hemp” is code for “weed” and wants to know if you’re a dealer or what exact sort of stoner you are — unless, of course, they are just horribly inquisitive, in which case, they are about to get a surprise.

I realize that there’s plenty of ways to look at this, which only goes to undercut Any Mouse’s rude claim that Monk is being a deliberate asshole.

Luther commented on January 16th, 2009 at 8:46 pm:

I like the Monk approach. If people don’t catch the early hints, they’re fair game. People who shock too easy need to be shocked more often.

I usually tell people that rub me wrong; “I’m self employed. I mind my own business.”

Mia commented on January 17th, 2009 at 8:01 am:

“Organic hemp products” sounds like vegan clothes to me. So my next question would probably roll that way and not approach the sex-industry question with a perfect stranger. But I’m polite if nothing else.

Any Mouse commented on January 17th, 2009 at 11:18 am:

> I like the Monk approach. If people don’t catch the early hints, they’re fair game. People who shock too easy need to be shocked more often.

My point is that the goal of the Monk approach is to give him an opportunity to “shock the squares” and I wouldn’t have commented if that’s what he said that he was doing. However, that is pretty much the opposite of what he said that he was doing. He’s not responding to “privacy invasions”, he’s trying to shock people who he thinks should be shocked.

Many kinksters seem to believe that they’re somehow superior because they fuck differently. They’re entitled to that belief, but it’s just as valid as the belief that driving a BMW is evidence of superiority.

Rope Guy commented on January 17th, 2009 at 12:20 pm:

Any Mouse, I still think you’re being awfully fast to draw negative judgments — even suggest somebody is lying about their motives — based on a few paragraphs of internet text. Did Monk piss in your Wheaties or steal your girlfriend or something?

cagedude commented on January 17th, 2009 at 2:04 pm:

In this day and age of organic this and natural that, “Organic Hemp Products” is not an answer that will stop conversation. People will think “health” and start probing even deeper to find out what good things hemp could do for them.

(If only they knew! lol)

That said, the three-strikes game is a fun idea. :-) For me, though, as a guy in the software business, my first answer is usually technical enough to make most people’s eyes glaze over and confess that they aren’t really computer people.

Lurker commented on January 17th, 2009 at 10:47 pm:

I somewhat agree with Any Mouse in that I think the response “Organic Hemp Products” is more likely to get people to ask more questions. I don’t necessarily think that Monk is purposefully baiting people when he uses that response, though.

To me, the key word in that phrase is “products.” If I ask someone what they sell, and they tell me something something products, it’s like saying they sell “stuff.” On top of that, I’d be wondering what sort of things would be made out of hemp.

On the other hand, to me, saying something like “hemp rope” or even “rope” would be less likely to draw out more questions, as there are a lot of uses for rope, it’s commonly available, and thus, there must be someone producing the stuff.

Mark commented on January 18th, 2009 at 2:14 am:

Agreed. RG, you’re right in your bias in wanting to defend your friend Monk. And Any Mouse could have phrased his point better.

But it stands that just saying “organic hemp products” WILL naturally make someone toss a further question REFLEXIVELY, not necessarily to snoop, but just to show polite interest. It’s just common for people to be show polite curiosity. Those 3 words didn’t show enough warning if that was the intention.

Like some of the above, I think “organic hemp products” will just invite more curiosity. I too would be damn curious. It seems more rude to just follow it up with “Oh OK” like I don’t really care, that I asked the question in the first place without really caring.

A better way along the same lines would be something like “Oh, you know, just selling some stuff online. Some niche stuff. Again, can you tell me about the dental benefit?” would convey more of “I don’t really want to talk about it or don’t think you really want to hear it.” instead of “Ask me more.”

Frank commented on January 18th, 2009 at 4:35 am:

Yeah, I have to throw another vote for “organic hemp products” being a bad choice of words. If he had said “organic hemp rope” a non kink person would immediately think he just sold organic hemp rope, and probably wouldn’t dig further into the use of the rope. After all, you don’t ask the clerk in the store what people usually use milk for.

“Organic hemp products” is something I would use as a conversation starter rather than a stopper – it would invite questions about what kind of products, the vegan market of today, if such things are profitable, if he has a store and so on.

Now, I know this is a radical suggestion, but back when I ran some pornsites, if people asked me what I did I said something along the line of “I run an adult material oriented website” or simply “I run a pornsite” depending on the casualness of the conversation. Some disliked it, some questioned further, some where interested. All in all the response was much the same as it has always been regardless of my answers and jobs. What you do for a living is after all something people like to ask for a reason… Conversation.

Any Mouse commented on January 18th, 2009 at 11:51 am:

I didn’t say or suggest that Monk was lying. I said that “organic help products” is an “ask me more” response but Monk’s own description was one of dealing with people who were behaving inappropriately, aka “snoopy strangers”.

All I have is Monk’s account and maybe something else happened. As I wrote, I’ve no objection to someone playing “shock the squares”, even baiting them into it, but that’s not what he said that he was doing. He cast himself as the beset victim.

However, I will respectfully object to the idea that whether or not I know (or like) Monk has any bearing on whether “organic hemp products” is “ask me more” (or not) and whether “ask me more” is an appropriate/rational response to strangers if one’s actual concern is “snoopy”. (AMM, as I’ve pointed out, is a rational response if one’s goal is “shock the squares”.)

Of course, other people are free to believe that their acquaintance/affection (or lack thereof) does have such an effect.

> based on a few paragraphs of internet text. Did Monk piss in your Wheaties or steal your girlfriend or something?

Pot, kettle, black. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Rope Guy commented on January 18th, 2009 at 1:47 pm:

Any Mouse: “I didn’t say or suggest that Monk was lying.”

Yes, you did: “My point is that the goal of the Monk approach is to give him an opportunity to “shock the squares” … [and] that is pretty much the opposite of what he said that he was doing.”

When someone says they do something for some specific reason, and you ardently insist they are doing it for some other reason, you’re saying and suggesting that they lie. Based, apparently, on your supreme skills as an internet psychoanalyst.

Folks, I don’t even know Monk. I’ve never met him. I’ve never spoken with him. I probably couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup. I totally don’t have a dog in this fight. But he says he’s trying to give the squares three chances to avoid being shocked, and then he feels free to say what he wants. If you want to suggest there are better ways of doing that than the example he gave, fine, so long as you do it politely. But I’m completely baffled about what would motivate you to suggest he’s being disingenuous.

Anon commented on January 18th, 2009 at 6:51 pm:

Wow, um, so expressing polite interest in what someone does prompts someone to say something like that?

I think that’s incredibly rude to say to someone. It’s not like the person in his post was being rude or snide – just being polite and asking what he did. I must have missed the memo where it’s considered rude and snoopy to ask what someone does for a living, especially if they say something vague like “products.”

If he doesn’t want them to know, or thinks it’s rude to ask, he can simply say, “I’m sorry, that’s private.” There’s no need to belittle and delierately say something “shocking” because tey were ‘asking for it’ simply because they don’t say “Oh okay never mind” when he says he sells some “products.”

AurumGirl commented on January 19th, 2009 at 5:21 am:

I agree with Any Mouse, Anon, and others in that I do think Monk is baiting people who are just trying to be social and make conversation, and he fails to understand their gestures–and where he crosses the line.

People who are skilled in social situations will always encourage you to talk about yourself because they (well, most people) are genuinely interested about new people they meet. I know a lot of people hate the question “And what do you do?” but it is a fact of life that many of us put a great deal of ourselves and our identity in what we choose to do to earn a living, so the question is meant to open up discussion and exchange. It is not “snoopy” or “nosy”, particularly in a social situation; it’s an accepted means of interactive behaviour in our culture, a polite display of interest in another person.

When you know you’re going to be asked these questions as a matter of course (and Monk does, he says right off the bat that “Eventually, everyone will ask that. Talk to someone long enough and the conversation will go down that path”) you can answer simply that you make and sell organic hemp rope. End of story. If you want more questions though, you answer vaguely: you say, “I sell organic hemp products (on the internet).” A person who is socially skilled will then respond appropriately, on the belief that their interest should be peaked by your vague answer. And they will probe for more information, to show that they are interested in you. Social nicety, that’s all.

Another reason to believe Monk is baiting someone: his conclusion about the woman who is making conversation with him.

“Take, for example, a recent conversation I had with an insurance sales person. Now she was a nice enough gal, a fifty-something mom who drove an absurdly large SUV, lived in the suburbs and probably considers “adventurous sex” to be fucking with the lights on, in any room other than the bedroom.”

Mighty presumptuous, I think.

I am a woman who knows quite a number of those fifty-something moms who have luxury autos and live in the suburbs…and let me tell you, if you think they aren’t as kinky as anyone else in the world, you’re not paying attention to human nature. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you’re doing it, someone else is doing it too–none of us is discovering something new under the sun. Anyway, mighty presumptuous and also mighty dismissive of someone who is obviously trying to approach him in a friendly way. I think he’s the one who needs to have his assumptions challenged, and I also think he’s the one who’s demonstrably judgmental of others, though he says he tries to avoid their judgment on what he does to earn money.

He also looks kind of “desperate” about promoting himself, like it pains him to be honest (when he could have done that job nicely by answering that he made and sold rope). He also seems rather insecure about himself as a person, he seems to believe he’s only interesting if he can shock people with his associations with the sex industry. The really funny thing is that a 50-year-old Mom who’s been around enough to be well-off by selling insurance has seen just about everything in the context of her job alone, so whatever Monk thinks is shocking wouldn’t surprise her. Being treated rudely, however, is never easy to take, and is always a shock. I think she was treated rudely here.

Rope Guy commented on January 19th, 2009 at 8:03 am:

This is one of the most bizarre comment threads Bondage Blog has ever seen.

Y’all have some of the strangest ideas about privacy and politeness I’ve ever encountered. To “probe” for more information in the face of repeated vague answers is “an accepted means of interactive behavior” in our culture? Yeah, if you’re an FBI agent. Otherwise, you’re just a nosy fucker who is going to need a nose job the first time you meet somebody with limited patience and an insufficient fear of the civil and criminal justice system.

Upon reflection, I think this thread is entirely about different cultures (perhaps regional, perhaps divided along class lines) that share a common language. I was taught, growing up, that you didn’t ask personal questions that pertained to money, religion, or politics; and I was also taught that a vague answer to any such question you might ask was a politeness, designed to signal the same as “none of your damned business” without the social aggression of that response. To persist with questions in the face of vague answers was to invite (justified) rudeness, up to and including (in my father’s generation, but not usually in mine) a fist in the face.

That’s where I’m coming from; that’s how I was raised. But it’s a big country, and a lot of you obviously feel different. That doesn’t make me right and you wrong, or vice versa; it’s just how things are.

In this context, Monk’s strategy makes perfect sense to me. He’s not obligated to answer snoopy questions at all; but informed by the knowledge that everybody thinks differently, and by the desire to be seen as a nice guy and/or a professional businessman (I’m guessing about his motives here, just as all of you seem to feel free to do) he does not open with “none of your damned business” or “you really don’t want to know” or “if I told you, I’d have to kill you” or with any of a dozen other semi-rude things he’d be perfectly justified in saying because he’s responding to a fundamentally inappropriate query. (Remember, whatever in your social upbringing taught you this was a perfectly polite question is not shared by me — that doesn’t make either one of us “right”, it just serves to remind you that you are judging someone on the internets by your personal standards, which are not universal.)

The “I don’t have to be polite, but I’ll try” strategy, viewed this way, is not a perpetual social obligation; it’s a strategy, to be attempted and perhaps eventually abandoned. After some number of vague answers (I generally give a few more than Monk does, but it’s personal preference and varies by the conversational context), if the strategy manifestly is not working, you could continue with it in futility, or you could revert to fundamental rudeness (“none of your damned business, can’t you take a hint?”) or you could decide “screw it, let ’em handle the unvarnished truth” and give the direct answer they seem to want so badly, but will (we speculate) regret having obtained.

It’s not (from my perspective, I can’t speak for Monk) a game; in fact, it’s a highly unwelcome conversational necessity forced by repeated questions from somebody with (what strikes me as) inadequate social filters. If their mommas had raised them right, it would never happen.

Anyway. That’s just how I see it. Y’all see it differently, and except for Any Mouse in a couple of deleted comments, you’ve been formally polite (polite in your choice of words) in expressing your disagreement.

But, I still find the bulk of these comments to be deeply strange. Strange, that is, in their motivations.

A guy writes a semi-humorous piece about how he deals with an awkward social situation. I blog about it because I sometimes encounter similar situations, and I have some empathy for his way of dealing with them.

So far, so good. But how in the hell did the post strike anyone as a referendum on Monk’s manners? Even if you’ve got an opinion on whether or not he’s a rude fuck, and even if you’ve never before encountered the fact that people you’ve never met sometimes were raised with an entirely different set of manners than you, I’m still puzzled by the activity of expressing, on the internets, judgmental opinions about the manners of complete strangers, to other complete strangers.

Given that none of the people in the conversation were raised with the same manner sets as each other or with the subject of the conversation, it seems like a very bizarre and pointless thing to be doing.

Zang commented on January 19th, 2009 at 12:39 pm:

[Wades cautiously into fray]

I had a friend many years ago who passed on this bit of wisdom gleaned from his grandfather: Don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer.

A great deal of this seems to hinge on Monk’s extemporaneous choice of words. I think Monk’s point is that if a person who otherwise lacks any outward sign of being interested in kink deliberately delves into life questions, then they’ve essentially asked enough to get a simple, straight answer.

Put another way, Monk is suggesting that if a person asks a question three times, they want the answer. Among the people who are criticizing Monk here, I’m wondering if any of you would actually disagree with the that specific statement. And please, don’t just jump to, “But he’s not giving a simple, straight answer! He’s baiting them!” First, consider whether you agree or disagree with the basic principle as outlined here. (Another way to consider this is from the consent perspective: by asking a question — three times, no less — have you not given consent to receive the answer?)

To the issue of whether Monk was baiting the person, he himself says several times that his intent is to “try to divert the conversation elsewhere.” Aside from that, the answer that he does eventually give is, “I make and sell bondage rope to the sex industry.” I find that to be a non-spectacular answer that borders on clinical.

Only when a person inquires yet further is the whole kit and kaboodle unpacked.

Folks, unless you’re arguing that speaking candidly about being involved in either industrial or recreational sex is rude, I can’t see how you would understand this as anything other than a fairly good approach to not going through the door unless the other party has opened all three locks on it.

Anon commented on January 19th, 2009 at 1:31 pm:

If you think it’s justifiable to say something rude (“I’d have to kill you I I told you” “none of your damned business” or a punch to the face) to a asking questions about someone’s life, then I, to be honest, question your social manners. It’s a question about what someone does for a living. There is nothing snoopy about asking what someone does, or expressing interest when they answer. It’s human nature – it’s *social* nature. Especially considering the person in his post – it was a insurance sales person! Why is it shocking that they would ask something like that? And Monk admits in his post that he knows people are going to ask, yet persists in playing a “game” with them. If he doesn’t want people to know, or thinks it’s private, there are many ways to put that across without being rude. “I’m sorry, it’s private.” Is pretty easy to say. Why justify rudeness in response to a polite question, when it’s just as easy to give a polite, if terse, answer that ends the questions?

There is nothing inherently rude about asking what someone does for a living. It’s like asking, “oh, what part of the country are you from? Do you have any children? Etc etc” It’s polite conversation, and people make it, especially when talking to new people. If people find it a personal matter, guess what? They don’t have to answer! They can say it’s private, and to please not bring it up again. There’s no need to be snide and rude to someone they’re condescending towards simply because of their supposed sexual “normalness” (which is all based on appearance and job – because as we know, kinky people always wear full bondage gear and work at dungeons) and how much it will “shock” them.

If you thinking asking what someone does for a living and politely expressing interest needs to have an “FBI probe,” well, that’s pretty paranoid.

Also, you seem surprised that people are commenting on something… on a public blog… on a public site… on the internet. It’s what people do. People aren’t always going to be posting comments of glowing praise or agreement in what you choose to post. That’s the beauty of life.

Rope Guy commented on January 19th, 2009 at 3:44 pm:

What’s going on here, Anon, is that like a lot of people, you think the manners you were taught are “human nature”.

You’re wrong about that.

As for me, I’m not surprised that people are “commenting”, I’m surprised that they are being hostile and judgmental about total strangers.

Hannah commented on January 19th, 2009 at 6:50 pm:

Oh lord. If I ask someone first question, and the answer is deliberately vague, I usually think, “They’re being deliberately vague, and probably don’t want to answer this question being asked by a near stranger” and then I shut up or change the subject.

I’m a very social person, very likely to strike up an innocuous conversation with perfect strangers. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a nosy person. BUT…if someone doesn’t wish to share information with me, whether it be what they do for a living, how many kids they’ve got, or how they take their coffee, then I recognize their right (yes, I said RIGHT) to NOT share that information.

I know it must seem, in this age of being able to find anything on the internet and reality television, that everyone’s business is everyone’s business. But it’s not. Get over yourselves.

Anon commented on January 19th, 2009 at 8:00 pm:

The answer he gives is something that seems deliberately rude and meant to be shocking. Saying something like “I make and sell bondage rope in the sex industry” seems perfectly fine to me. Saying something like he says he did, which is tinged with rudeness (that gives off an air of “well let’s see what you think about THIS!”) and the ending “that shuts them up!” is, to me, pretty obvious that he wants to shock the ‘normies’ with his oh-so-scandalous job. There is no need to be rude if you don’t want people to know, or feel that it’s inappropriate that they ask. It is only polite to express interest in conversation, and acting like they’re “snooping” or giving FBI probes for saying “Oh? You sell products? What sort of products?” is just re-freaking-diciculous. It takes about 10 seconds to say, “I’m sorry, that’s a private matter,” and a heck of a lot more wind to give off a speech about people fucking in bondage.

Rope, as you said: “Even if you’ve got an opinion on whether or not he’s a rude fuck, and even if you’ve never before encountered the fact that people you’ve never met sometimes were raised with an entirely different set of manners than you, I’m still puzzled by the activity of expressing, on the internets, judgmental opinions about the manners of complete strangers, to other complete strangers.”

Why are you puzzled or surprised that people are commenting about this? People have opinions. People get those opinions – especially on the internet – by reading what other people write, like Monk’s post. Kind of like how Monk judged a woman based on her appearance, job, and what she drove – people are judging him by what he puts out there in the world. As for being “hostile” – do you participate on any other internet forums? People get into discussions all the time. It doesn’t mean we’re spending are day and using a lot of energy towards the internet posts. I’m simply commenting because I don’t think this rudeness was justified, find it perfectly acceptable to ask someone (especially if they’re doing a job that involves insurance) what they do, and am increasingly aggravated by people in the kink community that have this attitude that because they are kinkier-than-thou, they are ‘better’ than people they assume are into normal sex.

AreWeNotMenWeAreDevo commented on January 20th, 2009 at 1:01 am:

Wow, some of you people are nuts for getting all wrapped around the axle about this. IT’S JUST A BLOG POST. It’s not a fucking inaugural address! It’s just an off-the-cuff little story intended to be amusing. Acting like it’s some huge insight into someone’s true character is ridiculous. And yes, you are spending a LOT of time on this, and I think that says more about YOU than the original post does about Monk. Christ, get a life!

CupofCoffee commented on January 20th, 2009 at 4:00 am:

Rope Guy, you fail to see what I’m trying to say.

I have no problem with the three strikes you’re out rule. I agree with you, it is not good manners to repeatedly ask questions in the face of a torrent of vague answers, so I think it is a perfectly valid concept.

My issue came from the wording he used in the example. I noticed in an earlier post that you see “rope” as vague; a one-word answer designed to provoke a response. I see it as the opposite. “rope” to me is specific. What if you were a car salesman instead? Would “cars” be as equally unspecific? “organic hemp products” is unspecific because it doesn’t say specifically what you are selling, hence why it will prompt a response.

What if he was a car salesman, but said he sold “metallic transport vehicles”?

AurumGirl commented on January 20th, 2009 at 8:06 am:

CupofCoffee, if my mama raised me “right”, as some commenters suggest she should have, I’d respond to your “metallic transport vehicles” answer with a “That’s Nice,” I suppose, and then go off and talk to someone else I’d treat exactly the same way. I wouldn’t want to offend you by thinking I might actually find you interesting to know, or someone I might want to keep in mind should I ever feel like picking up one of those metallic transport vehicles–whatever the heck kind you sell–for myself.

Good manners means I wouldn’t want to risk you actually conversing with me, or worse, probing my way into a shocking put down about my presumed and detestably evident prudery.

Any Mouse commented on January 21st, 2009 at 9:26 am:

>Yes, you did: “My point is that the goal of the Monk approach is to give him an opportunity to “shock the squares” … [and] that is pretty much the opposite of what he said that he was doing.”

“Goal” was a misstatement on my part, one which I thought was clear from my other statements. It would have been better if I’d written “result” or “reasonably expected result”. (Reading between the lines, I’d expect that Monk has gotten this result before.)

> When someone says they do something for some specific reason, and you ardently insist they are doing it for some other reason, you’re saying and suggesting that they lie.

Not at all. I’m only saying that he wants one result but does something that consistently produces a different result.

Any Mouse commented on January 21st, 2009 at 9:40 am:

> Aside from that, the answer that he does eventually give is, “I make and sell bondage rope to the sex industry.” I find that to be a non-spectacular answer that borders on clinical.

> Only when a person inquires yet further is the whole kit and kaboodle unpacked.

The “you what” after “several seconds of dumbstruck silence” (quoting Monk) isn’t really a further inquiry. It’s just filler. It’s certainly not being “snoopy”.

It’s easy enough to answer “you what” with “it takes all kinds” or other blather when it’s clear that the other person is dumbstruck.

I think that there’s a difference between someone who is trying to get their bearings and someone who is charging ahead. Of course, you can treat them the same, but if you treat them differently, there’s a good chance that you’ll get different results.

Any Mouse commented on January 21st, 2009 at 9:50 am:

> Y’all see it differently, and except for Any Mouse in a couple of deleted comments, you’ve been formally polite (polite in your choice of words) in expressing your disagreement.

I resent the above. Our host is free to decide on any basis he wants, but I don’t think that the deleted comments were less polite than some that made it through.

Any Mouse commented on January 21st, 2009 at 10:00 am:

> Put another way, Monk is suggesting that if a person asks a question three times, they want the answer. Among the people who are criticizing Monk here, I’m wondering if any of you would actually disagree with the that specific statement.

I don’t disagree. But let’s see what Monk says that he does. (The “baiting” was in reference to how we got to the third question. This is about “the answer”.)

“No, instead I prefer to play the “3 strikes and you’re out” game with them.”

“I make and sell bondage rope to the sex industry.”
Several seconds of dumbstruck silence
“You what?!”
Ok honey, I tried, I honestly tried but now you asked for it.
“Bondage rope, you know so people can tie each other up and fuck? I supply most of the sex shops on the west coast and some of the best hardcore bondage websites in the industry. In fact I’m currently in negotiations with a major porn studio to supply rope for an upcoming series of videos.”

That usually shuts them right up.”

Do you really want to argue that that’s the only appropriate “answer” or even that all appropriate answers are roughly equivalent?

Myst's Kitten commented on January 24th, 2009 at 3:03 pm:

I can see both sides to this. I think the three strikes game is hilarious, and he does give them a chance to stop asking questions. I enjoy the shock factor on occasion… On the other hand, nearly every thing I’ve seen and heard about customer service and talking to other people advises you to use questions to keep the other person talking about themselves. It supposedly makes them feel as if they got more personalized service, and makes them feel more important. In which case I understand why the insurance saleslady would be continuing to ask questions.

That being said, I agree with Robert A. Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long:

“”Go to hell!” or other insult direct is all the answer a snoopy question rates. ” ‘Time Enough For Love”

Lauren commented on February 15th, 2009 at 5:31 am:

I know this is a few weeks old, but it’s so hilarious I have to comment. Everyone’s so caught up on this baiting/squares/asshole business. Does anyone here read Monk’s blog and practice enough of a DS lifestyle to understand it? MONK IS A TOP. When a top is pushed three times after trying to redirect, conversation goes to a different power level. In fact, I would argue that the last answer is quite perfect, because she’s clearly a snoopy sort and now she has an OMG story to show for it.

And I want to call BS on the stereotyping comment. If even a handful of the women who fit that description were kinky and all about sex, I wouldn’t have to wade through such a sea of men that age just to try to hook up with my peers. Women who fit that description who are kinky would have heard “bondage rope” and purred.

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