Friday, August 22, 2008

The Way Things Go Sometimes

Life is Funny
A couple of years ago I created the Better Sex Fiction Contest because I wanted to do something different, something fun and "out-of-the-box" as cliché as that sounds (Why Create Better Sex Erotic Fiction Contest = takes you to my long riff on the origins of the contest). This week I had to do a hard thing. I had to remove a story I like from an author I admire. This is not something I wanted to do (at all), but our poll was being repeatedly hacked by a well meaning friend of the author. I've spoken with the author and admire his detective work and attitude. He understood why we had to do what we did and he went about finding out who did what. He asked me how I would prevent another similar instance in the future and, as I write this, I have no idea. I love the fact that someone cared enough about the story to want to elevate it, but, as these Olympics prove, fair is more important than anything else.

Sometimes it isn't easy to know what "fair" is, where the line is today. So many things in life are not fair, but the struggle to understand “fair” and act on that understanding may be the most important thing we create. I read a great book by Dov Seidman. His book How believes our future business relationships will be with companies who are human and follow the golden rule. Who we are and How we are is more important that what we do in an age where anyone can do pretty much anything. Our ethics established by how we act are what matters.

Another friend, Susan Bratton at Personal Life Media, talks about "radical authenticity". The first challenge of authenticity is to know yourself. I know how hard knowing yourself can be (harder at some times than others). Businesses have a second challenge because they are a collection of people, places and things. Radical authenticity in our sexual health arena is a must. There are no small decisions today ever.

Quick Side Story
I like to ride my bicycle long distances, but I am not a mechanic (at all). I take my bike to a local bike shop and depend on their skill and expertise. About a year ago my bike was in for a tune up. The tech behind the counter seemed somewhere else. He wasn't paying attention. It worried me. I love my bike and only want it handled with care. I handed over "my baby" with fear and trepidation. A couple of days later I was excited to ride my newly tuned bike. I headed out on a long ride. Everything seemed great until I got to the top of a steep hill. Just as I started to descend my handlebars slipped forward almost throwing me from the bike. That wasn't the scariest part. The way the bars moved meant my brakes were out of reach. I had to hold on for life the best I could as my speed headed north of 40 mph. The inattention of a single bike mechanic could have killed me. Once I was safely at the bottom of the hill I realized that we are more connected now than ever. A butterfly flapping its wings in Hong Kong may create a Hurricane in North Carolina (where I live and where we are past due for a big storm).

I love our Better Sex Erotic Ficiton Contest even when it is a complete pain in the backside. One of my favorite authors, whose name I will withhold in order not to prejudice this week's voting, wrote me an amazing touching and personal note today. I realized how much this peson, a person I've never met who lives a half a world away, meant to me. Like many of the authors who've entered our contest she is my friend.

Life Is Funny
I didn't mean to write such a long rambling post. The point, buried deeply in here, is we are in this together. We ( will work to be in the moment and tighten your handlebars (or whatever). We will try to find "fair" and live there. We will support causes that are important to us, sometimes with the dollars you give us, such as aids prevention and family planning around the planet (DKT), writers of erotic fiction and the battle to cure cancer in our lifetime. Fun and pleasure along the journey is OK too, in limited amounts of course.

If you are still reading this, and that seems like almost too much to ask on a Friday, thanks for your support and have a great weekend. Don't forget to VOTE for your favorite story in our erotic fiction contest - this is the last week of community voting. We will have a grand prize winner just after Labor Day.

Have a great weekend everyone.

msmith @ BetterSex . com

P.S. If you didn't win our His and Her iPod contest I'm sorry. I never win anything either and I couldn't even enter my own contest (lawyers stink :) ). We will have another cool contest soon so be sure to check back.

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