As someone who writes candidly about sex, romance, and dating for all the world to read, I have had my issues with feeling exposed. Especially once I found out that certain in-laws had tracked down my Twitter account and hence found my not-so-incognito blog persona.
While I have never been a private person—I tend to learn and grow from my own experiences when I share them with others—for the first time I felt really exposed. Exposed. Visible. Vulnerable. I also felt like what I was writing about on my blog was somehow wrong. I felt dirty. I felt like maybe I should abandon the blog for once and for all. If you haven’t noticed I’ve been a bit absent. Well, now you know why.
But then I realized why I was writing this blog in the first place. I wasn’t here trying to spill my sexiest secrets to the peeps of the interwebs. On the contrary, I was trying to legitimately help people, to connect, and to try to create a safe forum in which men and women can discuss sex, relationships, dating, and gender roles that go unspoken in our normal day-to-day lives. This blog also provides a creative outlet for me, which is something I don’t always get while toiling over copy about fashion trends, “It” bands, and luxury getaways. I didn’t have Carrie Bradshaw ambitions—unless that means being a regular columnist for Vogue—and I don’t spend all my money on shoes and gripe about my unsuccessful relationships. And though I do have an extreme shopping habit, my sole purpose is to connect people to a more honest version of self, or linking desire to a holistic idea of pleasure that’s anything-but-dirty, and to feel like it’s OK to question the status quo of dating, sex, and coupling. My blog also isn’t all about ME, ME, ME. It’s about universal truths that connect us.
Speaking of Vogue, I recently read an article by Karley Sciortino of Slutever fame. How she got into the BIG book is beyond me, but the piece really hit home in a lot of ways. In her uncharacteristically PG-rated piece (it is Vogue after all) Miss Slutever discusses something that’s pretty common for Generation Millennial: growing up with online footprints tracing your every style iteration, sexy picture mistake, and heinously written early-twenties-era article (ouch!). While I am technically too old to be considered part of this narcissistic tribe, I am still guilty of spending much of my formative years online, with my articles, photos, and blog-delivered insight like a scrapbook of personal anecdotes—both good and bad. Pixelated photos, unformed or poorly thought-out articles that my editor let slide, early attempts at blogging—it all exists somewhere, out there for anyone to see or read.
Despite the inevitable embarrassment of said online artifacts, Sciortino makes a really valid point. Web mishaps may haunt you like a really bad break up, but if you’re an unconventional thinker like Sciortino or myself, who is unafraid to speak candidly in such a public forum, you would never consider a job or a relationship that would ever force a fundamentally change. She adds that our notion of self and our identity is fleeting and as a result always changing, but if you’re non-traditionalist or nonconformist by nature, this stigmatization about a racy blog or some kind of past subversion shouldn’t even phase you. From an early age I made a conscious decision to play by own rules. It’s pretty obvious Sciortino made a similar personal pact—have you ever seen her blog?—so I guess the bottom line is that once you put yourself out there, these feelings of exposure should just roll off your back right?
Well, unlike Sciortino I am not an exhibitionist reveling in the shock-factor that comes hand-in-hand with explicit talk. I want to help, heal, and explore. I am not doing this out of narcissism. I am not writing this blog to further my career. I am putting myself out there, yes, but my aim is true, my intentions are good, and I am the furthest thing from a fame whore.
I guess that means I am going to try my best to write truthfully, regardless of the looming threat of further exposure or possible scrutiny.
But at this point isn’t it already too late?
Stay tuned ….