Sleeping with a Writer\’Read all about It!
never “date” a writer, because eventually, they will write about you. and if it’s good, it will remind you how good the beginning was, and how destructive they were when it ended. and if they write bad things about you, you’ll be very hurt and angry and then have to wonder if they’re true, if you are the way they see you…
so don’t date a writer. really. even if they tell you they’re not like that. we’re all like that.
except, of course, me.
That seemed like a fair warning to the world back in October of 2004, when I wrote that in my online journal.
I was only being a little bit arch\’I don’t generally write about my lovers. Not directly, anyway. I will write poems for people I’m smitten with; sometimes for the whole world, sometimes never to be published or shown to another living, breathing creature. But I don’t write stories about closet sex or train sex or coatroom sex or this person whose fishnets I ripped open when we were sitting at a bar, or how that guy whispered to me in bed in a throaty, urgent way, “Force me to do something. I never tell a soul. Not directly. I change details, I use metaphor, I write about fire and a field of tulips and if it’s meant for you, you know it.
Maybe there are still singed petals in your bed from when I felt¦ inspired.
But just because I’m the kind of writer who protects the innocent (and the not-so-innocent, and the downright depraved), doesn’t mean that other people don’t\’or that they shouldn’t. As long as the person who is being written about is down with it and we’re all consenting adults, well, why not?
Being a writer, I meet a lot of writers. Being a human, I have sex. What I’m saying is, I have fucked a lot of writers. Or, a lot of people I’ve fucked write. Or, I’ve had sex with a lot of people who have the urge to talk about it on paper.
I was used to receiving love notes at the time, but I was completely unprepared when, at an open mic one night more than a decade ago, a perpetually drunk writer I had a one-night stand with a number of years before across the country took the mic and proceeded to read a poem about us having sex. My girlfriend at the time pretended not to watch me squirm and wince (see that consent thing above). But it was over quickly, and I thought that was that.
And it was.
Until a couple of years ago, when a bar bathroom sex story about a girl who resembled me appeared in an anthology. Close on its heels came a story a friend wrote on a dare: I was the bondage bunny at the Love Parade. And then an email came from an ex-lover who was writing about us in his zine. It was okay, wasn’t it? Well, of course it was. It was, wasn’t it?
It was, although it was pretty unsettling.
In reading these stories, which are all somewhere on a continuum between “absolutely god’s honest truth and “a pack of lies, I became aware of a few things: (1) There was apparently something about me that made some people want to make me a character on the page. (2) in a sexual position. Strangely, in each of these pieces, despite featuring me front-and-center, they were always about the writer.
And ironically, that’s what excited me (albeit not sexually). If I could see that these writers were talking about themselves, wouldn’t anyone? Was I the bitchy drunk, the swooning spread-legged dreamgirl, the good-sport kinky playmate? Could I be all of them? Did it make a difference in a story if a writer fucked me on my back (s/he wanted us to be as close as possible) or on my belly (like a bitch in heat)? Did it make a difference who they put on top? Would they remember it as it happened (if it had) or would they make it up completely?
I emailed a couple of friends of mine. I call them friends, and they are, but I know them only through the magic of the internet. Emails. Online journals. Will you write a story about having sex with me?
Next were exes of mine. A historical novelist, a sportswriter, a visual artist and musician. Then writers I knew and admired. Then writers I didn’t know.
Some said yes. Some said no. I think that some are still laughing.
But in the next few weeks, a story flashed into my email box. A story that made my toes curl, it was so sexy. My face got hot as I read my name over and over in it. What happens when a story about you gets you¦you know, hot? Is that narcissism? A well-written story? Both? Putting it down, I realized I was sucked in as a reader, but also as myself, and I wondered what was real\’no matter what had or “happened between us, was this what she thought about me? Did it even matter? I was hot and I wanted to share.
And I’ll be able to, soon. About a year from now, good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, 22 stories about having sex with me will be on bookshelves everywhere, for your reading pleasure. When I began working on the book a year ago, my then-girlfriend said that it was certainly an interesting time to be my girlfriend. I guess for her, it was a little odd to be dating someone who was sending out requests for, and receiving, stories about having sex with her. But for me, nothing was really different than the way it had ever been.
After all, for my entire adult life, I’ve been writing and having sex. I’ve just found a way to do both at once for a while.