What It's Like To Be A Woman Who Writes About Sex On The Internet
I've been writing about sex online for about six years. Although I had always wanted to write, my dream wasn't to grow up to write about sex. It just sort of happened when a friend asked me to attend "The Art of the Blow Job" workshop at Babeland and write about it. Wanting to, finally, start getting my feet wet in the writing world so I could eventually quit my job as an office manager, I agreed. I never thought it would be something that would become my career.
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, I found that writing about sex and relationships agreed with me. I've always been open-minded about sex and even long before I started writing about it, I was adamant about how it was topic that should be discussed honestly and openly. If everyone is doing it and, for the most, a large percentage of human beings do have sex, why should we dance around the subject? And, more importantly, why aren't we discussing female pleasure more? So these things didn't just become my mission, but my passion, too.
But writing about sex online, especially as a woman, isn't easy. It's difficult enough to be a woman in a society where some men seem to feel we exist solely for their entertainment and pleasure, so once you toss in the fact that I write about sex and often about my sex life, some men see this as both an invitation and permission. An invitation to be crude, disgusting, degrading, or just completely inappropriate and permission to assume things about me. On a couple of occasions, women have also felt compelled to slut-shame me, but I can count those instances on my one hand. As for the immature men, well, that's a different story — and I'm talking about more than just unsolicited dick pics here.
Here's what it's like to be a woman who writes about sex online.
1. Some Men Send Me Photos Of Their Penises For "Advice"
I'm not a doctor. My knowledge of the penis is based on first-hand experience with penises that were, obviously, not my own and the oodles of research I've done over the years. While I might know a little bit more about the penis than someone who hasn't been writing about sex for years, I'm still not a penis expert. Despite these obvious facts, men have sent me photos of their penis inquiring if it's "normal," "big," "small," and most recently, as in just two days ago, a man sent me multiple photos of his micropenis asking if I would write an article about him and share his photos. No, I will not.
While I do need to believe that the 20-year-old who wrote me about a year ago was genuine in wanting to know if his penis was "too small," after a girl insulted him, because there has to be some decent and honest human beings left in the world, I know that 99 percent of the dick pics looking for "advice" are just an excuse to send me a photo of their penis. Why? I'll never understand. It's never once crossed my mind to randomly send a stranger a photo of my vagina.
2. Some Men Really Love To Share Their Opinion Of Me With Me
Another one I get is trolls telling me how "kinky" I am and how that excites them. There's nothing wrong with kink, but writing about sex with an open mind doesn't automatically make someone kinky. I can assure you I have no Red Room of Pain somewhere in the world. And while I do have sex on the brain quite often — comes with the territory — I'm not some sort of fiend. I've actually turned down sex several times in my life and — wait for it — I'm not always ~in the mood~. Shocker, I know.
3. Some Men Ask Me To Help Them Get Their Female Partners To Do Things
All you have to do is read a couple of my articles to realize I'm feminist AF, so that's how I approach my writing. Not only that, but I'm extremely adamant about communication and consent being paramount in any sexual relationship. Yet, despite these factors, some men have actually messaged me to ask if I can help them "convince" their female partner to do things that their partner has been vocal about not wanting to do. I mean, do they really think I'm going to help persuade their partner to have anal sex or give them a blow job? Seriously?
I would never try to convince anyone — male or female — to do anything they clearly don't want to do, sexual or otherwise. Also, you'd be surprised how many men feel they're not getting enough blow jobs. Cry me a river.
4. Some Strangers Think It's OK To Share Their Fantasies About Me With Me
Because telling me their impression of me, which is always wrong FYI, isn't enough, men have shared their fantasies about me with me. Oh, they're so bad! It's humiliating — and creepy — to think that a complete stranger is thinking of you in that way. It's even more creepy that they think it's OK to tell you about it, as if in writing about sex I'm just some receptacle. I'm a huge advocate for people being comfortable with their sexual fantasies and sharing them — but with someone who has consented to hearing them. Dear strangers on the Internet, you do not have my consent.
5. I'm Slut-Shamed
Because of course! If I write about sex, I am totally deserving of being slut-shamed! I may love to be called a slut in bed, I may even toss around the word slut with my friends quite a bit, but that's me taking slut back and using it on my terms. Also, if you want to insult me, or think you're insulting me, get a bit more creative than calling me a slut. I mean, come on.
6. Dating Is... Interesting
I'm not a big dater. At least not the way a lot of my female friends are, with a few dates with different people every week. I'll get on Tinder from time to time, depending on where I am in the world, just to check things out and because I'm kind of a voyeur, but that's it. Although I don't have the sites I write for listed on Tinder, I do my have profession: sex and relationships writer, which, as any fellow sex writer will tell you, is like opening the flood gates. But since, "What do you do?" is always one of the very first questions we ask when we first meet someone, I just put it out there right away. This, again, often leads to assumptions.
While some guys are cool about it, others immediately think I'm that aforementioned walking, kinky sex fiend. On one bizarre occasion I went out with a guy who spent the entire date pleading with me to write about him — write about how "bad" he is. WTF. (That sentence is all the recognition he's going to get.)
7. Some Men Are Shocked That I Can Be Offended
I'm offended by injustices and that sort of thing, but as far as input from the Internet goes, I'm all out of f*cks and have been for awhile. For the first few years of writing about sex, I would write back to these trolls, explaining that their behavior was wrong, disgusting, and downright pathetic and if they responded — there was about a 50 percent response rate — they were shocked that I was offended and bothered by what they had sent. One guy actually wrote, "You write about sex, you shouldn't be bothered when someone contacts you." Um, actually, I should be bothered, as it's very much an invasion. But, sadly, the type of people who would think to send such messages or photos aren't the type to understand it's an invasion or just how degrading it is to me as not just a woman, but a human being.
I love my job. I'm fortunate enough that I can write from anywhere in the world and I get to work amongst some amazing writers and editors whom I respect and admire dearly. But, as with any writing that's done online, there are drawbacks. And in this genre, especially, men sharing their thoughts about me with me is probably inevitable, but I wish it weren't.