Why I Blog About Sex
Freelance writing can be tough: it requires a lot of hustle, an ability to follow up and deliver what you promise, and, in my case, a well-stocked selection of lube so I can test new and exciting sex products. It requires a few quiet hours every week to devote to reading erotica. I puzzle over new toys – you want me to put that…where? – and discover, much to my annoyance, that my latex sensitivity hasn’t gotten better over the last few years.
While I’m new to the GoodVibes community, I’ve been a sex blogger for almost a year. I’ve been writing for XOXO Amore, a Toronto-based sex and romance blog that has opened by eyes (and my legs) to the exciting world of sex writing. It’s been a blast, but like any new experience, it came with unexpected challenges and road bumps. It’s also made me think critically about a number of things: what is good writing? What is good sex? And how many double-A batteries can one person reasonably be expected to buy in a year?
Sex blogging has exposed me to lots of things I may not have searched out on my own. I attended a seminar on open relationships, led by the inimitable Tristan Taormino; a few weeks later, I was at a Simpson-themed burlesque revue. Blogging has also forced me to confront sticky questions about sexuality and writing – I’m not ashamed of my subject matter, so I’ve been public about my sexuality blogging. My boss knows, as do my parents. It’s led to some difficult conversations, awkward jokes, and silent moments. My dad has promised to never read my sex writing; I am totally okay with that.
Navigating the world of sex blogging is also interesting if you happen to have a first mate: a partner with whom you can share your new toys and radical new ideas. I’ve been lucky to have a boyfriend who’s supportive of my blogging and writing in all forms, and he doesn’t reserve his enthusiasm for my more traditional work. I know it can be difficult to talk about sex blogging with a partner – read Eve Elena’s recent post “Sex Blogging and the Golden Rule” for a fuller look at trying to figure out to “come out” to a partner about your online presence, and how doing that can both strengthen and complicate romantic relationships. (My boyfriend sometimes looks at my drawer full of toys and says, “Don’t you think you have enough now?”) While he may feel that it’s tough to compete with a nine-inch motorized penis, his support and sense of adventure is far more satisfying than any sex toy I’ve encountered.
Writing reviews has also strengthened my writing in general. As Dr. Charlie Glickman says in his guide “How to Write an Amazing Sex Toy Review,” “This is a toy review, not Shakespeare, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with your spelling, punctuation, and grammar.” Holding your writing to high standards, no matter what the topic, is the mark of a professional, and professionally engaged, writer. Even if you’re blogging as a beginner or an amateur, there’s no reason not to strive for excellence. Besides, stretching your writing muscles and coming up with new ways to say the word “exciting” in your posts is a challenge any writer should be happy to accept.
Blogging about sex has changed me – I’ve become more open to new sexual ideas, and had more exposure to things that might have scared a few years ago. A few months ago, I went to a swingers club and realized my heart was pounding as I walked through the doors. Here I was, clutching my boyfriend’s hand, reminding him of our agreed-upon rules for the night, and gawking as I watched the more adventurous members of the crowd splash nude in the hot tub and lounge on the slippery leather couches.
I realized, in that moment, that I had to pay attention. I was intimidated, but I was going to be writing about the club for the blog. I needed to keep my eyes and ears open. In doing so, I kept my mind open as well.