I recently have been toying with the idea of starting my own fetish sex positive blog, yet I’m unsure how personal I want to go into my kinky lifestyle. I have read a handful of your articles and must say great job! Your blog is simply amazing. I am still relatively new to the kink scene and was hoping to make my blog about finally entering into a community of queer kinky men and women that I actually identify with as well as educating others on products and topics relating to fetish and kink. I don’t want my blog to be complete recount of my sex life, but yet want to use my sex life as examples to discuss topics like “finding a daddy/sir” “entering headspace” or “bore of vanilla sex” All I was wondering is besides your blog, what other references or tips would you give a new fetish blogger wishing to document his own experience and have it framed in a way that readers would find interesting.
— sent via my email
Great idea! Steer away from teaching readers about kink, since by your own admission you know little about it. Instead, simply share your experience. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone, depending on where you live) is so wonderful to read because we discover a new world through the eyes of an “everyman” — Harry himself.
We peek over his shoulder, step into Diagon Alley alongside him, and marvel at this new place for the first time. It’s an awesome experience that happens once in every fantasy series. For kinky people, it happens over and over every time you step into a dungeon, every time you try something new. That’s a journey I’d like to take as a reader. Others will appreciate discovering this world through your eyes.
Simple rule of writing: Show, not tell. Invite us into a dark house, and only you have the flashlight. Show us wonder after wonder while remaining totally in control of what we see. That’s the power language gives you.
When you get more practice, you’ll learn the artistry of disclosure and withholding. We don’t want everything. You can’t possibly show everything. Classic “new writer” syndrome is an attempt to show everything — to describe every moment in detail, afraid that if you don’t, readers will lose their place.
Trust us. Readers fill in the blanks. Great storytellers withhold information. Nabokov outright lies. Gregory Maguire withholds information as a sort of signature move. In his books (he wrote Wicked: The Life And Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, on which the Broadway musical is based), a character will crack open a door and see something terrible, something that makes them tremble. We’ll never know what they see. We’ll simply see them trembling — a horrified, empty stare. He grants his characters an autonomy that sometimes feels unfair, but never wrong.
Do that, and you’ve mastered writing about sex. Withholding information — playing with your reveals — is crucial. If your character is yourself, as mine usually is, decide how much autonomy you have to work with, how much you’ll permit on the page. When people say how bold they think I am for writing about something personal or taboo, I think about how little they know, and how the things I haven’t revealed scare me. I think this makes me stronger.
That said, if you fear your personal details winding up in front of your mother, do something else. Sex blogging is a forfeiture of privacy. It is a life commitment. Even if you use a nom de plume, people will find out who you are. It’s not as life-altering as porn, as we still seem to draw a stupid, arbitrary line between written and filmed sex, but it’s still risky to your family and lovers, and it’s personal — a fact porn stars are shielded from. You can distance yourself from a studio-produced fuck movie. Writing about anything equates to a prayer, something you can’t divorce yourself from. Get ready for that.
Be smart. I’ve lost boyfriends by writing about them — or by writing about things they had reason to care about without talking to them first. Don’t do that.
A professor once told me that you can give someone the tools of language and get paragraphs out of them, but you can’t teach voice. Hone your voice and the text will fall into place. Writing about sex is in many ways confessional, a trusting of one’s ability to speak. Self-exposure is agonizing and wonderful, a fetish in itself.
See you in Hell.