Is Sex Blogging Consensual?

500_Porque no hablamosIt’s an average Thursday night at American University. I’m the only fully straight (and fully sober) person in this room, I hear Lady Gaga blasting from a few rooms down, and I’m blogging about sex.

Blogging about sex, like sex itself, is dependent on interaction with other people. They both hinge almost entirely on open communication, and without the ability to communicate, you’re not gonna write a good post (or have a good sex life). My feelings about blogging about sex relate to my feelings of sex in general – the contradictions regarding consent and privacy, emotion and openness, that are inherent in communicating such personal things, possibly some of the most personal things, to other people. Sex is THE most socially constructed element of society, and we put a massive emphasis on its privacy, which is why we don’t see more people openly fucking in the streets.

Destroying rape culture and promoting openness and consent is a worthy fight that can be done on a grassroots level, by speaking out, telling personal stories and behaving with respect in all sexual interactions. As a straight feminist cisgender man, I want to be able to use my personal life to help the cause. I believe in open sexuality, nonmonogamy, and communication at all times – I don’t identify as queer, or polyamorous, or most sex labels, mostly because I don’t want to leech onto a label to define myself or my sexuality.

But how could I write on a blog, about consent of all things, personal details about MY sex life, which of course involve other people? That I’d share without their knowledge or consent? Or course I won’t use their names, but a hookup is (or should be) built on a foundation of trust and communication. Part of that is the assumption (and hope) that one party won’t share private details with everyone they know or go bragging to a vast amount of people – which is essentially what I would be doing by sharing it here. Outside of writing on a blog, in my real life, I want to be open with the people around me – especially the ones I’m sleeping with.

How can I talk about my sexual experiences and not cross the line?

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9 Comments on “Is Sex Blogging Consensual?”

  1. 1 wonkyfactory said at 10:50 am on June 8th, 2010:

    Why don’t you try running your posts about specific women by them first — and of course publish them with the names changed?

  2. 2 Heidi Anderson said at 10:55 am on June 8th, 2010:

    I have two blogs, one listed above, and one that is FAR more sexual.

    I have had my husband tell me that the sexual posts make him very proud, but also put pressure on him to keep providing “blogworthy” sex.

    I have also blogged about past lovers, and never asked their consent. This post made me think about that!

  3. 3 Nancy said at 10:58 am on June 8th, 2010:

    What if its a one night stand, and you won’t see the subject of the story again? Or you don’t want to see or talk to them again?

    Aren’t these experiences “ours” to remember, keep and record, or are they “shared”? What do we really owe that person? I guess it depends on the spirit in which you write and if its for revenge, that will always reflect badly on the writer… great question.

  4. 4 Nancy said at 10:59 am on June 8th, 2010:

    Omg, “blog worthy” sex! That’s really funny.

  5. 5 Sean said at 11:34 am on June 8th, 2010:

    I think it depends a bit on context, which I think is what Nancy was saying. If a sex blog is written fixated on the other person and is negative or revenge oriented, yeah, that’s unacceptable. However, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s otherwise wrong.

    So long as you are discussing your experience it seems to me it should be yours to share. If you’re not using the sex blog as a forum to denigrate or defame and are sharing your particular experience of an event, then its yours to relate as you please where you please. You don’t get a say in how anyone else may relate an experience they shared with you and similarly they should get no say in how you relate the experience.

    Anyway, that’s my thinking. It’s a good topic to consider.

  6. 6 Ronan Conway said at 11:38 am on June 8th, 2010:

    Wonkyfactory – It’s not always possible to ask consent to share a story – and in some cases it could be awkward, dredging up old memories of a one-time hookup.

  7. 7 wonkyfactory said at 8:57 am on June 9th, 2010:

    I think the fact that you’re not comfortable discussing hook-ups with your previous partners is probably a bigger problem than whether you should be discussing them with the larger community. Maybe the problem is not blogging about the hook-ups, but the hook-ups themselves. And if you’re not comfortable talking about hook-ups with the partners in those hook-ups, how can you be comfortable talking about them with everyone else?

    The main reason I think it’s important to run these posts past the subjects is that I think it’s important to get their perspective and feelings about what happened. If you’re using your own experiences to try to draw any conclusions about sex in general (which I guess I’m assuming is the point of any sex blog) it seems like it’s only ethical to make sure you understand your partner’s point of view on the experience first.

  8. 8 where is your line? » Blog Archive » Jezebel readers respond: is sex blogging consensual? said at 7:47 pm on June 10th, 2010:

    […] home / about / submit / resources / shop / book THE LINE « Is Sex Blogging consensual? […]

  9. 9 Consensual Sex Blogging: When private is public | Sex Toys 2 You said at 8:57 am on November 21st, 2010:

    […] just been reading an interesting article over on Jezebel by Ronan, who originally posted it over on The Line.  The question at the centre of the post was how sex blogging can or cannot be considered […]

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