I am an accidental sex/kink blogger. This site started five years ago as a book promotion site for a book I really didn’t think too many people would actually read. Y’all surprised me. Love Letters to a Unicorn is five years old and growing in its readership.
Despite the growth of this blog and the publication of a second successful kink workbook I was reluctant to let go of my “academic” and “researcher” identities in favor of “sex/kink writer.” Part of the reluctance comes from investing two decades into becoming a successful researcher in other areas (women veterans, criminal justice) which served me well. Part of it comes from not feeling as educated about sexuality as many of my sex educator peers. Finally, I have been an activist since I was young and feel my biggest contributions come from empowering disenfranchised folks and giving voice and power to their stories.
This year I have joined a group of other writers to work my way through The Artist’s Way. Part of this project involves writing 750 words a day for a month (not a big deal for me, but I generally write for publication not reflection). I’ve come to realize a couple of things about kink writing.
The Long Arch
I have had a long arch to getting to this career. In high school I was the kid folks went to with questions about sex, who always had a stash of condoms to share, and who knew who all the queer kids on campus were because I was out and would keep their secrets. In graduate school there were rumors in the dorms that I was paying for grad school by working as a professional dominatrix. The reality was much seedier- I was an assistant to the Philip Morris, USA Political Action Committee and paying folks off with the free carton of cigarettes I got each week as part of my benefits. Even as a college profession, kids would submit policy papers on sex work and said they “felt comfortable” talking about that with me.
Oppression and Sexuality
My life has also been dedicated to advocacy for three main groups: LGBTQ+ folks, HIV/AIDS activism, and women and girls. What underlies the oppression of all these groups is sexuality. Us queer folks are oppressed and targeted not because of “who we love” but because of who we have sex with. It we just had really close friendships, I doubt the world would be so harsh. It is our sexuality which other people freak out about.
Think about this for a minute. Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road” ticked off the country charts by dominating the charts for weeks with a Black rapper as the singer. People were just mad about the cross-genre issue. However, as soon as Lil Nas X made a public announcement about his sexuality people started looking for “secret” sexual meanings in Old Town Road. When he was assumed hetero, no sexuality issues in the song. As soon as he said he was gay the song “had to” be sexual.
HIV/AIDS was seen as a “gay men’s” disease for the first decade after it was discovered. People argued (and some still do) that gay men “deserved” AIDS because of the type of sex they have. In fact, even some gay folks argued that the gay men getting AIDS deserved it because of the type of sex they had.
Women are oppressed by our gender and that is largely tied to our sex organs. Cis women have to fight for things like the right to control our medical options related to vaginas and uterus. Not only are groups trying to eliminate access to abortion, our access to birth control is limited or governed by other’s perception of our sexuality. For example, when I tried to get my first IUD planted at 38 years old, the GYN at UC Davis Medical Center (trash organization) grilled me for 30 minutes on my sexual behavior because “as an unmarried woman [I] was clearly not “responsible enough” to have an IUD.” FFS.
I have come to understand writing about sexuality and kink is true to my authentic self. This work lies at the core of my activism and desire to give voice to those of us who have been oppressed.
I am dedicating all my energies this year to improving my sex writing, expanding what I am writing about, and embracing this work fully. If there is something you would like me to cover or write about, please feel free to comment.