Saturday, July 24, 2010

Talking About Sex Without Talking About Myself.

One of the main topics of this blog is, clearly, sexuality.  I think that sexuality is something people need to discuss more often and in more detail.  I think our society focusses too much on overt depictions of sexiness and not enough on people actually examining their own desires.  I think we are, strangely, overexposed to images of sex, and underexposed to discussion about sex.  Talking about how much sex kids are having, or different sex posititions, or how many partners you've had doesn't really get into the issues of what sex is and means and can be-- it's all just skimming the surface of an issue that is central to most people's lives, but unexamined.

And one of the problems I have is that when I write, I want to be candid about my own experiences and desires, so that people can know my bias-- know where I come from and know how I've expereinced things, because I do think that an author's expereinces are relevant to his or her writing.  I want to be as fun and candid as Mary Roach is in Bonk-- but I just can't bring myself to be a "sex blogger" instead of a "sexuality blogger".

Part of it is my own personal sense of privacy-- I don't really want my parents or employers reading about my sex life.  It's strangely hypocritical in a way, because I think those sorts of things shouldn't matter to people, and because I think people should be open-- but my ideals are ideals, and the society I live in doesn't always mesh with them well.  It's enough to have people judge me on my political opinions;  I don't need them to think about what I do or do not do in the bedroom.

A second reason is that it's not just about me-- its also about JD, and if I go into my history, any previous partners.  Even if JD doesn't care in general, there might be specific he'd care about-- or he might disagree with my characterizations of things.  Regardless, it's his life too, and he should get an equal say in what gets discussed.

Talking about sex without talking about myself is limiting.  It makes it harder to write about sexuality, but at the same time it forces me to go outside of my personal zone and consider a greater depth of experience.  I think that's a good thing, really-- it's challenging to me as a writer, and also challenging to me as a person.  I have to think about what I think society ought to accept, while disregarding my own personal limits-- something I think we should all do more often.

It does limit my posts though-- because I do want to talk about my own experiences, very much, but I feel that morally, I can't.  Not with my name attached, and not in a public forum where anyone I personally know can easily read my writing.  It's also egotistic, in a way-- why on earth would my sex life be important?  Isn't it enough that I know other people to whom things apply, without it applying to myself?  It should be-- it is-- but when writing, I'm driven to want to be more confessional than I let myself be.  In part, I think it comes from the modern confessional style of writing-  the New York Times modern love series, sex blogs, tell-alls, and reality tv (which sure, I don't watch, but I hear about it, and so it does affect me.

So, talking about sex without talking about myself.  It's hard, but ultimately, it's worth doing.  And I'm going to endeavor to keep it up.

1 comment:

chandra said...

Great job..great post. We need to have dare to post like this..good expression of yourself