With great sadness and shock earlier this week I learned about the passing of sex writer and blogger Bobbie Morgan of A Good Woman’s Dirty Mind. Though I did not know her personally, she reached out to me on several occasions to offer support to me as a newbie sex writer and invited me warmly to the sex positive community. From what I have been reading, it is obvious she supported and impacted many of us in the sex positive community, writers and readers alike. She is truly missed, and her style of sex positivity and erotica writing will never be replaced. A tribute post by William Quincy Bell can be read here.
This happening not only left me sorrowful with a sense of emptiness, it also made me genuinely reflect on my own sexuality writing and what I need to do in order to fully be at peace with my work in order to take it to the next level. So I did what I’ve been waiting to do since the first day I launched my blog.
I came out.
I told my friends and family that I am a sex writer and plan to continue my work in the field.
It wasn’t very difficult. A couple conversations, a few emails, and one very nerve-racking Facebook post and the secret I’ve been harboring for years was free. My friends now know. My family now knows. My co-workers now know. And I am relieved they all now know.
Of course, things were not as black-and-white as that. Some people already knew about my writing and my blog. Several people knew I am interested in sexuality and I had told many I was saving up to pursue a career in couples counseling. So it was only really a shock for a few people.
Also, I did not reveal my pen name. I told people I was a sex writer and that I’ve been published and speak at events about certain topics of sexuality, but I wanted to enforce some boundaries and keep my pen name off my personal Facebook page. I was honest and told people I would talk to them about it and reveal my pen name face-to-face, but asked that my work be kept separate from my personal social networks.
I understand that someone could be a jerk and find my blog and post it to my personal FB page and that would be it. Then everyone would know that I don’t only write about sexuality but I participate in an open and alternative expression of sexuality in all aspects of my life. But at this point, I would rather have that happen after I have told people I’m a sex writer rather than having it happen without such an announcement.
Now. Will this move have future consequences? Will my announcement adversely impact my future employment, relationships, or standing in my community? Will I end up regretting this?
I can honestly say I don’t know.
All I know is that at this moment I am content with my decision. I revealed my work to those who know me on my own terms. I don’t have to worry about being outed by someone else beyond my control, or waiting until something outstanding, whether it be positive or negative, takes place in my life and leads me with no choice but to reveal my work.
I was amazed at how quickly the resentment, the fears, the anxieties around my decision were swept away revealing a more clear focus and a stronger drive for my work than I’ve ever felt before. I know there will be more challenges in the future, but the support I’ve received from many I know has been surprising and truly heartwarming and encouraging.
I had to decide how much of my life I wanted to live sheltered in a cacoon, hardened and closed to the outside. Spreading my wings and taking flight has been one of the most trying things I have experienced yet in my sex writing journey. But the possibilities are proving to now be infinite.
I had to say goodbye to an amazing writer and dedicated resource in the sex positive community. But I am now saying hello to so many people I would have never been able to truly know if not for a little dose of honesty and openness.
With the deepest sincerity: Goodbye. Hello.