A Free Pass: Writing About Sex as a Woman

Spoiler Alert: This is a Myth

Writing About Sex as a Woman

First: Free Pass

There is no free pass for anyone when it comes to writing about sex. Our society has deemed conversations about sex to be taboo. So much so, that the ability to monetize or profit from words about sex becomes increasingly difficult. Take Amazon for example. They are constantly amending their algorithms to prevent graphic cover art, strong sexualized language, or anything lewd from being advertised or even searchable on their site. Thus, authors are left with no choice but to mute their images, words, or just forgo using them as an available revenue stream altogether. If you read the policies of any major publishing or blogging medium the avenues for advertising or earning even the most basic of wages is almost nil. The choice often comes down to share your work for free, or don’t share your work at all.

Second: Unique Female Privilege

While the perception may be that the current sex writer’s market is dominated by the female voice, the reality is this is a very recent development and therefor not even close to what one would call privilege. For centuries women were not even allowed a basic education, let alone the access to read or write their thoughts about sex. A few eye opening reads include “Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners” by Therese O’Neill, or “Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Woman” by Geraldine Brooks. Both of these books actively illustrate that there is zero truth to having unique female privilege. In fact, we have fought tooth and nail to even get our voices heard, let alone published. We still quote “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich written in 1976; as fuel motivating us to getting our voices out there, and our stories told. If we had privilege this whole time, what use would we have for this anthem?

Third: The Comments and Replies

Any female who has written about sex has encountered one universal constant, lewd replies and comments. These range from slut shaming, to harassment, to dick pictures, and of course the scariest for me, the manipulator who utilizes fan status to get close and creepy. These reactions are not one offs, or even occasional. In fact, at this point in time, if you write about sex publicly it is a guarantee. I subscribed to the notion for years, that any publicity is good publicity, and if someone takes the time to comment on a body of work I have created then I owe them a reply.

So Why Write About Sex?

I believe the takeaway that the guy in question was trying to present to me was that writing about sex is just easier for a woman than it is for a man. He was speaking from his own writing and editorial experience with obvious lament that he was struggling to break into this industry and looking for blame. As he searched the web, he was confronted with female after female who appeared to have succeeded where he had failed. The only logical conclusion was that woman have a far easier time than men at writing about sex. But, as we see time after time, this is based on confirmation bias. If you go looking for female sex writers you will find them, but only as prominent figures in the last 40 or so years. Prior to that, the female voice was pretty scarce. And what was written by women was done anonymously or with pseudonyms.

Krys is a sex positive blogger, podcaster, and a lover of craft beer. Read about her non-monogamous journey at breakingawayfrommonogamy.com.

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