Today’s an exciting day for me. This date (the 25th of January, 2014) is marked on my calendar as follows (in order of least exciting to most exciting):
- My 21st birthday
- The launch of this blog
- Virginia Woolf’s birthday (Happy birthday my darling, you’re as brilliant and lovely as the day we first met. Every time I think of you I am struck by the force of my love.)
Three wonderful events all happening on the same day, how thrilling. Since I don’t have much to say about my birthday (besides the fact that I have a snazzy new license) and it’s safe to assume that you don’t have any interest in reading an entire post declaring my undying love to VWoolf I’m going to write about this blog.
Backstory: I started blogging semi-regularly in November-ish of 2012. It was a rough time for me as my depression had become so low that I was for the first time in my life suicidal and blogging became one of my life-lines back to the world that existed outside of my terrifying darkness. Through my blog (which after several attempts at a decent name became Monks’ Press, a convoluted allusion to Virginia and Leonard Woolf that honestly only made sense to me) I was introduced to some wonderful people from Toronto to New Zealand to Vancouver (Canada, not Washington). While I enjoyed blogging at Monks’ Press I had started without any real plan which resulted in me floundering around on WordPress. So at the start of 2014 I decided to say goodbye to MP, salvage the parts of it that I liked and use them to build the blog that I had always wanted to see on the internet.
This brings us to the present where it turns out that the blog I’ve always wanted to see on the internet is the one that talks about sex, baking and books (along with other things that I feel angry about.) Those last two things aren’t that controversial but I feel that the first one deserves some address from me.
I’m fascinated by sex. I’m fascinated by what acts we do and why, how sex interacts with society and the ways we talk or don’t talk about it. Sometimes it’s difficult to find people who want to spend hours talking sex toys or the history of lube so discovering the world of sex bloggers has been a relief but this relief has been shadowed by the lack of bloggers who identify in ways that I can relate to. Rather than wait for another queer, poly, assigned male at birth genderqueer, academic in training and future librarian in training to start a blog I’m just going to start one myself.
People who love me have frequently expressed concern over the fact that I’m talking publicly about sex, particularly since I occasionally mention my own sex life (I want to make it clear that I don’t write non-fiction erotica about my life but rather will make references that I feel are relevant.) They’re concerned for my social well being as well as my future job prospects. I appreciate their concern and I’m going to give a general response-
The fact is that I think conversations about sex are very, utterly, completely important. I have strong memories of entering adolescence and searching for the answers to the new questions that came into my life. It’s hard enough finding decent sex information for cishet teens but this becomes even more complicated when issues of gender and sexuality and even things like kink come into play. Fear, self-loathing and loneliness were major elements of my relationship to sex and sexuality during this time. I struggled to find depictions of people I could relate to who were shown to be sexually wanted, sexually active, sexually happy and sexually healthy. There were bright moments though. Moments like being introduced to the Scarleteen or running across a video of Jiz Lee talk about their work helped to provide me with a sense of community, a sense of normalcy.
It’s my memories of fear and my memories of community that make me want to talk about sex. I want conversations abut sex to be open and safe. I want everyone to have access to these conversations, particularly marginalized people who are frequently excluded from them. I know how it feels to be excluded, to have to search and to look for resources in places that I can now recognize as not safe or healthy and I still carry that with me.
This is why I feel committed to talking about sex.
So that’s the story. This blog is a bit of a new adventure for me and I look forward to the conversations that will come. I’ll be back in a few days with a new post but if you need me before then I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, also @sazaber.