The Not So Secret Diary of an Online Pick-Up Artist
The DIY spirit isn’t dead and Christopher Gutierrez is living, breathing, writing proof. Author and head of his own publishing company DeadXStop, he’s about to offer up his 7th book to anyone who can appreciate raw, honest encounters. This particular piece, 4 a.m. Friends, is not for those who prefer their prose sugarcoated.
Taking us on a raw introspective of male sexuality, Christopher Gutierrez recounts a brutal and beautiful story of the struggle to understand a manipulative sex drive. From the gritty and often explicit depths, Christopher details dark alleys and backseat romances with an honest and comprehensive insight into the whys and hows of the contemporary man’s mind. Oftentimes uncomfortable, this is a story of one man’s attempt to shine light on the seedy aspect of the online dating world. Christopher carries the reader on a turbulent ride through his psyche, exploring sexual subjects that leave both men and women intrigued, ultimately answering the question “what do men truly learn from the broken hearts they leave in their wake?”
I got to ask Chris a few questions about his new book, his brutal honesty and being his own boss
Breesays: When it comes to inspiration for writing this book, what happened first — the idea or an experience?
Chris: Definitely the experience. i began keeping a “secret” journal online where i would keep my secrets. While i find it therapeutic being as open and honest as i possibly can in my writing, there are a few deep dark secrets that i felt needed to be locked away. Writing has always helped me cope with my insecurities, which is how i got started writing in the first place. Despite regularly keeping a blog for years and publishing book after book, i still needed an outlet for the words I wasn’t yet ready to tell a soul.
After i published my last book, Demonstrative Monsters, i didnt know where to go. i couldn’t keep writing the same book over and over again. At the heart of all genuine art is desperation and vulnerability, and that was starting to fade. I always took pride in the honesty of my words so what better way to maintain that passion and sincerity than to take those secret blog entries and use them as a platform for a different direction. I owed that to the people who support me but more importantly, to myself. It was, and continues to be, terrifying. But you know, when I feel a little reluctant to publish or post words that I feel border on the lines of “too much”, well then I know that I’m on the right track.
B: Could you have done this without craigslist?
C: Craigslist was more of an afterthought and was never my primary place to meet people. I’ve been on and off numerous dating websites over the past 10 years, beginning with yahoo and AOL personals. I met my last girlfriends of over 3 years on myspace and went on hundreds of dates by meeting people online. Meeting people on the internet is slowing drifting away from the stigma of ‘axe-murders’ and ‘desperate people’. Match.com is now reporting that 1 out of 5 marriages now begin on an online dating site, which indicative of a culture opening up to the immediacy and ease of technology. I just wanted to show the seedy underbelly of it all.
Without craigslist? Yes. Without the internet? No.
B: How do you emotionally prepare yourself for the reactions?
C: I knew that when i was 100% about this book that there would be an inevitable backlash. So many people are repressed about sexuality, whether its on television, movies, politically or in books–yet everyone does it. Without open forms of communication so many of us maintain unhappy relationships with sexually incompatible partners. I wanted to write about what people fear. Anyone can write about sex, but it takes strength to write about the downfalls, the tragedies and embarrassing mistakes. I put it all out there in the most honest and brutal way possible. every flaw and cowardly act, not only to help myself heal and move on but to be a warning sign to women. To show the characteristics and illustrate the intent of men and their sexuality. I hope that shines through when people read this. If they dont see this, well, i take comfort in knowing I’ve done my best without glorifying unhealthy behavior and I have to be okay with that.
B: Do you feel like people behave differently after you tell them you’re going to write a book about them?
C: Funny–some yes, some no.
When I first announced I was writing this book I received a flood of emails and texts asking, “are you planning on writing about me?” if i said, “yes, would you mind?” almost all said they did wouldnt mind. some even flattered. only a handful said no. i use no womans real name in the book, nor any identifying characteristics. What i told them was that the book wasnt about them, it was about me. There are entire chapters where I intentionally skip over the sex because it was unimportant to the progression of the story. But yes, there have been a few who said outright, “do not mention anything about me or i will sue your ass.” I honored all of their requests but one because the interaction was essential to the integrity of the book. There would have been a giant hole and i told her. She said she didnt care about my book. So i made her so indistinguishable that even if she read it she wouldnt know it was about her. But i wont lie, through the course of writing the book I have gotten a few emails asking if they could be part of the story. But again, I had to tell them that the book wasnt just about “fucking”. I dont think they got it.
B: Does being brutally honest in your writing give some people the idea that they know you better than they actually do?
C: Yes, and understandably so. I read the blogs of my favorite writers and think to myself, damn, i could totally hang out with that dude. You get the feeling like you know what they like and how they would respond. I intentionally leave my life open to the world because it’s a liberating feeling for me. On the other hand, I also know that people feel emotionally invested in the way i live and the choices i make. And that’s fine. I feel like theres a world of best friends out there that i have yet to meet.
B: Tell us about owning your own publishing company–what pushed you to start it?
C: It’s the law or supply and demand. I started a blog and eventually people suggested i should be a book. So i wrote book that no one wanted to publish. Instead of waiting around for the approval of marketing executives i went out and did it myself. It really is that simple. it was one foot in front of the other.
I wrote the words. then i found an editor. Then i found a layout artist. Then i found a graphic artist. Then i found a printer. Then i gave them lots of money. They sent me the books. Then i put them up on my website for sale. Then i put them in envelopes. Then i brought them to the post office. It really is that simple. It all boils down to equal parts of determination, opportunity, stupidity and perseverance.
B: What’s the best part of being your own boss? What sucks?
C: The best part is knowing that i am 100% in control of my future. The worst part is knowing that i am 100% in control of my future. I can sleep as late as i want. I havent had a bedtime in over three years. i almost forgot what my alarm clock sounds like. I never have to wear a uniform or bow my head to some overbearing manager on a power trip and I get to make a living off of what i would be doing regardless of money the books provide. that being said, I dont have the security of having a paycheck every two weeks and at any point people could stop buying my books and supporting me. Wiithout that support, I dont have a future and that is terrifying–but it’s the desperate life I chose and I am going to run this race until someone pulls me off the track or I no longer have anything productive to say. Which i dont see happening anytime soon. Thank god.
Excerpts and info on how to get it in your hot little hands here.