For lack of knowing how else to start, I’ll pull the classic (& lazy) borrow-someone-else’s-brilliance bit:
After loss of Identity, the most potent modern terror, is loss of sexuality, or, as Descartes didn’t say, “I fuck therefore I am.” - Jeanette Winterson, Art & Lies: A Piece for Three Voices and a Bawd.
Winterson’s got it nearly right: sexuality is an anchor for [my] identity. The two are symbiotically linked. I write & speak & daydream & sleepdream & think-think-think about sex with the regularity of clockwork. It influences my tastes in music, art, fashion, literature, film, & so on; it’s ubiquitous throughout my social interactions & mannerisms in other, subtler ways as well. Not to get hippy-dippy & prattle on about how I’m a sexually charged being or whatever—it’s just something I’ve long been hyperaware of in my daily life.
And my dispositions aren’t static in any sense. Amusement can be followed by anxiety, comfort can become confusion, pain & bliss unexpectedly blur. I consider health & research & social policy on some days, intellect & love & creativity & power on others. Sometimes it seems utterly primal; other times, impossibly convoluted. This constant reconfiguration amplifies the fascination even further.
Steve Almond talks about how writers have a recurring something (a feeling, theme, subject, so on) around which their work revolves. He refers to this fixation as a “passionate attachment”, which I wholly endorse as a prettier way of saying ‘obsession’.
So yeah, some people get really into writing about baseball or intergalactic war or single life in the big city or trout fishing or whatever. Writing about fucking, very fucking often, happens to be my thing.
A few months after starting my writing project dirty laundry, lots of sex-themed questions started trickling in, presumably as a result of the subjects I kept returning to in my prose. People asked everything from What vibrators do you recommend for a sex toy newbie? to Are you a nymphomaniac?
I answered most of them privately, but since tumblr doesn’t allow private replies to anonymous users, a lot of questions & answers got posted right to the blog. This resulted in some great dialogue regarding sexuality, relationships, gender roles, etc.—but after a while, I felt like my writing project had become a Q&A session. Questions led to sub-questions, replies turned into back & forth conversations, & the ratio of writing to discussion-maintaining got to be pretty imbalanced. Starting a separate (but thematically related) blog seems like a logical-enough solution—there’s certainly enough material (see below!)
A [LIBIDO-FRIENDLY] GALLERY: Images & interviews & articles & songs (& such & such) having to do with sex & sexuality &, uh, general sexiness.
A SEX-POSITIVE RESOURCE (THAT ISN’T HOKEY OR TERRIBLY SELF-SERIOUS): In my offline life, friends & acquaintances often approach me about their sexual hang-ups & issues. I constantly hear things like, You’re the only person I can talk to about this, & I used to interpret that as a sheepish way of thanking me for listening.
Eventually, I came to understand what they meant. Now more than ever, we’ve got the internet’s wisdom (or lack thereof) at our disposal, & that convenience comes with its own set of issues: misinformation, information overload, &—perhaps most crucially—the absence of a familiar, sympathetic face on the other side. Not everyone has the benefit of reaching out to a network of like- &/or open- minded friends. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter how unashamed you are, how at-ease you feel, & how much you’re willing to explain yourself—it’s not about deflecting judgment, but about receiving a response from someone who gets it. A tepid nod of support is nearly as useless as silence.
My sexual coming of age (or whatever)—& willingness to be open about it—seemed to come earlier in life than it did for most of my friends. People like Dan Savage were my saviors: upfront, witty, sardonic, vulgar writers who managed to inform & illuminate & comfort me all at once. But in lieu of sending emails off into the abyss & expecting a reply, maybe, a few months down the line, I opted to wait for other people’s questions to get published—& with any luck, they’d mirror my own concerns & experiences.
Which brings me to one of the great parts of maintaining a blog like this: the ability to operate in real time. I’ll do my best to keep content fresh/interesting & post replies as quickly as possible— & I aim to keep the tone completely informal throughout.
My Ask box is always open, & relevant submissions (in any medium supported by tumblr) are always welcome. This is a space where we can be as crude & candid as we see fit; however, anything derogatory, inflammatory, &/or totally irrelevant will be ignored.
Medical & legal advice aside, I’m happy to discuss anything. I obviously can’t claim to have direct experience with every scenario under the sun— &, like anyone, I have my preferences & biases*— but it always helps to have perspective, at the very least, & maybe others can offer insight about the [many] areas in which I lack knowledge!
* For instance: 1. I can’t read any erotica without cracking up or feeling queasy (sorry, Anais Nin).; 2. Much as I respect monogamy as a relationship structure that works perfectly well for some people, etc., it’s not my bag— & that’s not likely to change any time soon. I don’t intend to talk anyone out of it, but for the purposes of this blog, I have no interest in defending it. 3. Similarly, I understand that vanilla sex is just as legitimate as any other sexual preference… but if given the choice, I’d rather just not fuck. Zzz.