Sex stories. Now man, there have to be so many sex stories that go untold. I’m talking honest, real sex — everything from the tender moments to the horrific horror stories. These stories are “private.” They’re “just between us.” “I don’t kiss and tell,” people say. I know in conversations with your best friends or new lovers or whatever, you might get into the details. The nasty details, the laughable details, the my mind was freak’n blown details — still though, people hold back. And yes, I’m aware of all the erotica sites, but in terms of real people talking about real sex (and not selling a $15 a month subscription or some kind of product) and putting their names on the dotted line, they’re just isn’t that much out there, even in this day of the anything goes internet. (and before the internet, what was there — Little Birds by Anais Nin and Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller?)
One person who does put it all out there is Rachel Kramer Bussel — who, among many other things, writes the Lusty Lady column for the Village Voice. I was thinking about this one column she wrote about having hot sex with a porn director, and in particular, this exchange:
“The sex was rough, intense, and powerful, the kind that may be routine for him but made me convulse–and squirt. I was overwhelmed. I asked, ‘What are you doing to me?’
‘Fucking you the way you should be fucked,’ he said truthfully.”
Now that seemed very honest, and sort of ridiculous, and very real, because, come on, it’s frenzied sex talk. But my point here is, Rachel put it down on paper and it was published in the Village Voice with her name on the byline.
I asked her how she felt when she wrote that column, and how she factors in the fact that her words are going to be published and out there for all to see. Here’s her response:
“Off the top of my head, my answers would be that I don’t think about the ramifications or repercussions or anything post-writing in the moment, if you will. That one, I wrote pretty much after I got home when it happened, which I think is pretty much the best time to write anything — I often wait, even on a book review, and then my memory gets fuzzy or my feelings change and I just don’t capture the immediacy of what’s going through my mind.
“The only times I ever think ‘I can’t believe I wrote that’ are afterward, especially a long time afterward. Sometimes, when I’m reading old columns of mine, it almost feels like a different person, because I’m different, but also why I think it’s valuable, if you’re so inclined, to capture the moment. And that line, yes, it does sound very porno, but it was also really special - I think one of the biggest myths people have (maybe misconception, not myth) is that by writing about stuff like that, I take away the specialness, but I really don’t feel that way; to me it’s trying to memorialize or capture that specialness.
“People also fail to realize that whatever you do put out there is never the whole story. I’m very open about my sex life but there are other topics I’m not as quick to blog or write about for public consumption, and because for many people it’s the opposite, I think it sometimes comes across as me not having anything I keep hidden. I have plenty of friendships and relationships that I don’t write about, either because I don’t feel like it or the nuances wouldn’t make sense beyond the confines of my specific relationship with that person. And when I write about a sexual encounter with someone, the person whose opinion I most care about is that person. I was really honored that the porn director I wrote about in that passage was really excited about and pleased with what I wrote and how I captured that moment. That’s very important to me.
“…The short answer is, I don’t really think about anything beyond capturing that specific moment. I had a friend ask me, about my blowjob column, ‘Don’t you think about the fact that your parents or your bosses are reading?’, and really, I don’t. I can’t control what other people think, or what I may later think. I do care about the people I write about and not offending them but even so, I’m not going to say I liked something if I didn’t, or whatever.
“It’s a very thoughtful question, though, and there’s no easy answer, and I think everyone has a different comfort level with how much they do or don’t reveal. For some, it comes naturally, for some, they turn to fiction or talking or a journal or just thinking about it and figuring things out that way. For me, writing has always helped me figure things out so that’s what I use it for as well.”
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