The Shame Police Are Out In Full Effect
Over the last couple of months, I’ve had two different writers try to shame me for writing about sex, here on Medium.
In the year of our lord, 2019, people still seem to believe you can red-letter writers because they dare to write about sex and sexuality.
In the first instance, the writer in question wrote something that was more than a little racially insensitive — not outright racist per se, but not the best take on an already sensitive issue.
When I pointed this out to her (nicely), she immediately took offense and told me I should stick to writing about penises and single ladies.
The implication being that I was incapable of having conversations about “real” topics because I write about subjects as base as sex and relationships.
I mean, I guess she missed where I also write about politics and race, but even if I didn’t, if my profile was full of penis jokes and chick lit, that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of having informed opinions on other topics.
One would think she would realize that.
I guess not.
In the other instance, a fellow writer read an article I wrote and decided to leave a comment that made it clear she didn’t finish reading before she decided she had an opinion on it.
Once I pointed out I actually addressed her point in her comment in the article, she then decided to get incredibly snarky and said since I only write about penises, how would I know anything about quality writing.
According to her logic, I couldn’t possibly understand anything about what makes quality content because I write about penises.
Here is the penis article in question, by the way:
Confessions of a Size Queen: Only a Big Penis Will Do
Size may not matter to some, but it definitely matters to me.
I think it’s pretty good, but that’s not the point.
The quality of your work isn’t determined by what you write about, but how well you write about it. In her attempt to shame me for my love of penises, she missed that point entirely.
She also conveniently chose to ignore all the other articles on more “acceptable” topics she had to scroll past to find the one she thought she could shame me for.
It’s Not Just Writers Who Deride Sex Writing
My professional friends regularly lament how I’m wasting my talent by writing about something so low as sex and sexuality and my time would be better spent on writing books or columns in fancy papers.
You know, real writing work.
While writing about sex comes with its limitations, the idea that I should feel any shame for writing about something we all do is ridiculous.
Instead of attempting to shame me, they should stop and ask themselves why they believe sex isn’t a worthy issue for a professional writer to write about.
We’re in the middle of a sex drought for goodness sake, and our lack of sex is likely contributing to the face we’re sucking down depression and anti-anxiety medications and steadily increasing rates.
In this environment, we need more people writing about sex, not less
As a nation founded by Puritans, we still have seriously antiquated and harmful ideas regarding sex and sexuality. For all that we flaunt sex on tv, in films and advertising, we still carry a deep amount of shame and secrecy regarding our sexual selves.
You need people who are willing not to just share their experiences, but who are willing to have an open and honest dialogue about topics, so many of us won’t even discuss with our intimate partners, and we’re sleeping with them.
Writing About Sex Is Good For You
Writing and reading about sex is good for your health and your sex life.
I won’t let anyone shame me from doing what I beleive is a public good.
Whether I’m out to share stories from my own sex life, make folks laugh, or offer vital information that will allow others to have healthy, happy, satisfying sex lives it has value; and it isn’t some low or base activity that I should be ashamed of doing.
Let’s be honest, much of what we write as writers is self-serving.
So writers who write about politics or race or whatever happens to be their serious topic of choice are no more important than those of us who write about topics other perceive as being less serious or valuable.
We’re all writers. We all have something of value to say.
And you’re not going to shame me because one of my topics of choice happens to take place between the sheets and not in a more “respectable” setting.
In the end, instead of shaming me for writing about sex, try reading some of my work instead. Who knows, you might learn something and have a better sex life for it.