Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

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  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm first? Oh well if the rest of you buggers aren't going to say anything.....(always the worry of those of us who talk too much). I think sex bloggers are very brave for a number of reasons. Not least of which is that they talk about sex in a way that's not cringing or deflecting. They are honest, open people who share their lives and experiences for one reason, and one reason only.

    Sex bloggers talk about things we’re not supposed to talk about, not seriously. Because we don’t talk about it, it can be difficult to realise the immense breadth of perfectly natural, perfectly all right, sexual feelings and experiences. The more people who are prepared to talk, publicly, about their own personal experience, the more complete the picture becomes. We feel affirmed when we can identify, and (hopefully) curious and intrigued when we run across something very different from our own headspace. The more we know about, the more able we are to make informed and intelligent decisions about our own lives. We acknowledge more paths to happiness.

    I always thought I was open minded. I was quite, quite wrong. Reading the work of these women (I haven't read any male ones) has been quite the education for me. And I appreciate that. I like to hear about other peoples' experiences - it informs my opinions, and makes me a more compassionate person, a less judgemental one. And that can't be a bad thing.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    The only charitable assumption here is that this guy is a Poe. Because otherwise, he's scum. And I hate to have to assume people are scum.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Reading the work of these women (I haven't read any male ones)

    I'm not familiar with any straight men who sex-blog the way that, say, Girl on the Net does. If anyone does, please for linkies thnx. Through her I have found the painfully funny Things I've Done to Impress Women, but that's different, that's relationship- or dating-blogging. Mostly. This (slightly NSFW) probably counts as sex-blogging, but it's in that very 'look what an idiot I was' way, a sort of clownishness that maybe makes talking about male sexual experience more acceptable.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Yes. Still, very honest, I think. It would be a fine line I guess, sex blogging for men.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis,

    I don't know if it really counts as blogging as such, but I think http://www.avclub.com/features/savage-love/ does a pretty good job at times. Not sure if he is "straight" as such though (the July 18 column has a very funny opening letter).

    Since Aug 2008 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I can't open that Brodie, but that's Dan Savage's stuff, which is less sex blogging and more blogging with quite a bit of sex from time to time. I do love his writing, but he is.....savage.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Brodie Davis,

    That's certainly in the ballpark. You don't get much gayer than Dan Savage, though.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    When reading the Milo quotes I couldn't help but recall one of Emma's earlier columns; the one about labelling, in which the labels used are changed to simply say "people". So you get:
    "It couldn’t possibly be, could it, that [people] consistently over-promotes [other people], who are often ferociously greedy and lazy but great at fighting their corner, bitching, back-stabbing and boasting to get their hands on promotions and pay rises?"
    And
    "[People] don't get to assume the moral high ground. Ever. What they do for a living is incredibly damaging to [other people]"

    I will leave you to decide if the broader statements seem truer then the more limited original; but I'm in favour of Emma's last line, and the rest of the column.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    "Sexbloggers don’t get to assume the moral high ground. Ever. What they do for a living is incredibly damaging to women”

    That line really irritates me. It's the old argument of "Your views/opinions about [issue] can't possibly have any validity because you do [something I disapprove of, which may or may relate to the issue]". It's the kind of argument that is often used to dismiss a person's mere involvement in a debate, even if the debate is about them and their experiences.

    (I am now going to read a sexblog, just to increase their page views. Take that, Milo Linkbaiter.)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    "Chief Feature Writer, @catholicherald ... I write about technology, culture and religion."

    Not to be reductive about Catholicism, but ... actually, I can't be bothered avoiding stereotypes. Sex bloggers are bad because they encourage women to be something other than virgins before they get married and have babies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to JoJo,

    "Sexbloggers don’t get to assume the moral high ground. Ever. What they do for a living is incredibly damaging to women”

    Which also patently ridiculous because… most of them don’t “make their living” from it…

    So, being a scientist, factory-worker, teacher, middle-manager, dentist, garbage collector or whatever, is "damaging to women" in some way that other people doing the same job isn’t, simply because you happen to sex-blog in your spare time?

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Tom Beard,

    Sex bloggers are bad because they encourage women to be something other than virgins before they get married and have babies.

    No, much simpler. Sex bloggers are bad because sex is bad. Bad bad bad. Wicked. Nasty. Unmentionable. Not something God approves of. Also, unhealthy, and likely to cause mental health issues.
    But we can relieve you of that sin!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1582 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Not something God approves of.

    "God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply,...'" Genesis 1:28

    If that's not a divine endorsement of sex, then.... I dunno, but puritanism doesn't make much sense until seen as a means for preserving social order and the power of a certain class.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2167 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    It is immediately obvious that Mr Yiannopolous is a complete & utter douchebag. An absolute disgrace to our species and our gender (writing as a man, obv).
    The more sex-blogging ==> the less stigmatising of sex and the healthier a society as a result. It doesn't have to follow that this ==> more sex (although hopefully it would) so the more puritan throughout society can just STFU and let people air opinions and information in a consensual and enlightening manner.

    With the recent history of paedophilia and the sheltering of offenders, the Catholic Church has no moral elevation from which to preach.

    Now I'm going to have to distract myself* till the anger simmers down a bit...


    * Not a euphemism

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Oh, you see, that there’s an endorsement of making babies. Which creates this kind of logical disconnect:
    Parthenogenesis? Fully approved, hey, it’s fully What Jesus Would Do. Go for it. Oh, wait, you can’t do that? Well, fuck.
    Hence: Sex for making babies? Implicitly if somewhat grudgingly approved in an “the end justifies the means” kinda way.
    Any other sex? Not mentioned, therefore not endorsed.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 925 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to linger,

    Any other sex? Not mentioned, therefore not endorsed

    Or blessed in any religious way.
    If you are not productive, you’re doomed (sorry, us asex people. Sorry, people who engage in non-productive sex of any kind. And, there is *quite* a lot of that!)

    Cant we just shuck off fucking religion of any kind?

    Our species didnt claw & hack & axe our way to the top of the hominid pile by being ‘religious’ – we did it through a very specific drive- which the power thereof can be diverted into many other activities-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Be fruitful and multiply

    endorsing jam and maths

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to linger,

    you see, that there’s an endorsement of making babies. Which creates this kind of logical disconnect: Parthenogenesis? Fully approved, hey, it’s fully What Jesus Would Do. Go for it. Oh, wait, you can’t do that? Well, fuck.

    Hey, it worked for Jesus.

    I read once a discussion of Christ as a millenial end-of-days figure and how the expectation was that he would return within the lifetime of his followers and that would be the end of the world and ... well, The End. So the whole blessed chastity thing was about not bringing children into a world that was about to end and so on. Which explains a few of the hideous contradictions between volumes one and two, and how some of volume two just makes no sense at all (even compared to volume one, which does set the bar pretty high).

    I think female sex bloggers are damaging to men, because they set expectations quite high on the whole communication and self-awareness front, and that's just not on. Stiff upper lip, chaps, and don't let them see your fear.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 497 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Moz,

    I think female sex bloggers are damaging to men, because they set expectations quite high on the whole communication and self-awareness front, and that’s just not on. Stiff upper lip, chaps, and don’t let them see your fear.

    Heh!
    Heh heh - o, wait a bit, heh fucking no way-weAGREE!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    The only damage I can see from sex blogging ( assuming a certain degree of non-arsehattery from the blogger) is in not having enough of it or, more specifically, not having a wide enough variety of voices out there.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    Yes. I'd note that Dan Savage is usually pretty good about calling in other voices (I'm thinking here especially of his podcasts, rather than in his column) when he fears his contribution on a particular topic might not be entirely useful.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 925 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I do love his writing, but he is…..savage.

    Yeah, I used to be a huge fan of Savage but there’s been some seriously disturbing shit going on (most recently some really dodgy advice advising a woman to withhold sex to bully her husband into losing weight) that doesn’t sit with me any more. Another thing, Dan -- bisexual men exist. Get the fuck over it, even if they're hogging all the cock.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is there a difference between writing about sex for money and having sex for money? Not really. What a grubby, humiliating way to make rent.

    Oh, Milo, you fuck-knuckle. Let me fix this for you by changing two words.

    Is there a difference between writing about murder for money and committing murder for money? Not really. What a grubby, humiliating way to make rent.

    Yes there is, Mr. Yiannopolous and I really think you know it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yes there is, Mr. Yiannopolous and I really think you know it.

    Well, except that, and I really cannot stress this enough, there's actually nothing wrong with having sex for money.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Well, except that, and I really cannot stress this enough, there’s actually nothing wrong with having sex for money.

    I'd agree, but Milo knows full sodding well that where he lives and works having sex for money is a crime. Even on the level of moralistic hyperbole, it's a bit thick.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

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