I have had a lot I wanted to talk about, but I had to take time to synthesize my thoughts and feelings before putting it down here. It’s still quite raw, but here goes.

Several of my friends and I have had some not-so-pleasant experiences on Twitter lately. Don’t get me wrong- most of the men and women I’ve met on Twitter are amazing, and women can be just as dastardly as men when they’re hiding behind the screen. But in this case, we’ve experienced wrongdoing from predominantly men on Twitter who are comfortable hiding behind their computer and phone screens – and their DMs – to mistreat people.

What You See Isn’t Always What’s Really Happening

This is the story of the daily themed thread on Twitter where we could all share photos that ended up being too good to be true. Behind the scenes, the host (snake) of this thread was harassing people, bullying them, body shaming them, and sending inappropriate content and/or requests to hook up. None of us knew the others were being made uncomfortable, but when he crossed the line and publicly tried to shame a friend of mine, and she went after him, I’d had enough. I posted a tweet – a moment of closure for myself.

This tweet turned into an eye-opening experience that resulted in 39 women and 9 men contacting me privately to confirm that they, too, had been a victim of this guy – who then resorted to gaslighting and threats as people started deleting their content and pulling away from participating in his threads.

Can I Trust My Gut?

I berated myself for not recognizing the signs of this predatorial creeper. He’d made me uncomfortable several times. I’d felt pressured to post a photo several times. And yet, I kept participating. Why? I kept coming around. Why?

I think it was the connection I felt with the other people participating. I made some damn good friends there – something I will never regret. I came back day after day to see and say hello to them. It wasn’t until my friend made me aware that he was publicly going after her that the curtain starting pulling back.

But I hate that I didn’t speak out sooner.

Fool Me Twice

As we picked up the pieces of the mess he made and started finding ways to stay connected (including hosting our own threads), I was buoyed by the fact that so many people – men and women who had come to me with their own stories made me feel like I’d helped in some small way by making it public. We celebrated when he deactivated his account, though I suspect he was up to much worse than we ever discovered.

In the midst of all this, one of the men we trusted, who had also claimed to be a victim, started hosting threads. I vouched for him! I said, yes, this one is safe!

You know what happened? A couple of guys (one of whom I’ve been friends with on Twitter since I joined nearly two years ago) came forward to warn us that this guy – this scoundrel – was privately DMing them and other guys trying to trade women’s pictures. He was using pictures of us to try to get pictures he wanted from these other guys!

And I’d vouched for him! (I’m so sorry about that – if you need to know how to remove your pictures from his threads, get in touch with me on Twitter).

When I tried to confront him, the spineless dickweasel deleted his account.

A couple weeks later, he was back, with a half-assed apology.

These were the two most egregious betrayers of trust in the last few months, but daily, there are men (and women) who believe that just because they are safe behind a keyboard and screen that they don’t have to behave like there’s a real person receiving their messages (and pictures and disgusting propositions).

If You Wouldn’t Walk Up to Me on the Street and Say It – Don’t Say It to Me Online

From the comments on our photos about what you’d like to do to us to the disgusting DMs with your scrawny shriveled testicles to the referring to us as your baby, honey, or dear STOP IT.


Do you want to know who I spend my time talking to in DMs? The ones who take the time to get to know me as a human. The ones who don’t care about how big my boobs are or whether or not I want to gag on their cock. No, I talk to the ones who ask about my kids, my business, my travels. The ones who recognize that I HAVE A HUSBAND. The ones who share a piece of themselves with me that has nothing to do with genitalia. The ones who engage my mind on a variety of topics that show they see me as a WHOLE person – with a brain and thoughts that don’t revolve around sex.

Does it occasionally veer into sexy talk? Of course. I’m still a horny human. But I’m so much more than that. And if you’re a person who can’t handle the whole of me, you don’t get the sexy part at all.

Yep, I’m Still Going to Risk It

Most of the people I’ve met on Twitter have been amazing. Men and women who were once strangers are now friends. I know how many kids they have and where they work and what they want out of life and often, what their biggest kinks are. And they know me – not just the persona of erotica writer Elle Vanzel but the real me – the one who spends a lot of time stressing over kids and missing grandkids and alternatively whining about clients and bragging about business success.

Many of us connected because we were all looking for a little something more during the pandemic. We were home, alone, scared, and lonely. And we found each other. As life resumes, we’ve made an effort to remain connected because friendship is important.

To those who choose to sully the trust we put in you, shame on you. You can continue to hide behind your screen and get your jollies from sending your picture to the next unsuspecting woman – but I will never again refrain from speaking out.

And let me be clear up front: these are my opinions; you have a right to disagree, but this is my blog, so I get to say what I want. So if you’re a rude person who thinks your opinion trumps mine, you’re wrong.

We’re Real People

I am not your fantasy. I am a real person living a real life who just happen to have a kinky streak. I share photos for me, not for you. I want to work on our self-esteem by participating in body-positive threads. I am not obligated to please you, respond to you, or tolerate your nonsense. Remember that.

Love Elle


The final book in the #ElleVentures trilogy is now out. Read them alone. In a private place.



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