are my favorite part of all this.
Maybe because I do the same thing, maybe because, when it’s not a boy caught in a recursive loop and asking me out for coffee without really saying anything constructive, they are so often spilling over with affection or mania or just, humanity.
I joked about sex on my (main) blog before all this, sort of alluded to it, sometimes with a wink, sometimes in all caps, sometimes through the lens of a song or nostalgia or the distancing of existential drama. But I have never, at least I don’t think, really dealt with it head on. I was always a little hesitant, worried about creepy old men or held up by the thought of misleading young women.
With this project I really had to look into myself and consider whether sex was worth interrogating honestly, not just in that literary safe place, but next to my face, in my voice, all over my name in The Google :)
There is no going back now, and although terrible things could still happen (although I’m not sure what, really), I am so struck by how positive the response has been, how much people seem to need this as much as Melissa and I do. I’m amazed by the people who have said they are willing to write about it, amazed by the type of people who bring it up to me, and most profoundly, amazed by all these damn young ones who seem to be exploding with pathos and generosity and internet connections (get it?!):
Most start off like this,
ANYHOW, i had a thought last night that i thought was more than appropriate for your book….(which WHY i was thinking about your book during sex is besides me) but, i had a thought and often wondered if this was something that ALL girls go through, or is it just me. but then i realized the title of your book and thought (how it fits), maybe it’s not just me, or maybe i’m reading into it too much (or maybe i’m just rambling, now)….
Some like this,
The concept for the book is interesting, but the bigger concept of a piece of media that you just put out there (share) and say “Hey, who’s interested?” and we say “Sure, I like that this much,” and that’s the WHOLE exchange, is fucking rad. So I’d probably have pledged even if you’d promised a book about goats (maybe next time?). Getting a book about sex is just icing on the cake.
And then some mean everything, everything, everything:
This is why I contributed to your book project:
“Sometimes I wonder, what would someone who had someone that loved them do? Do people in love wash their sheets a lot? Is that a way I can be better? Should I fold my laundry at the laundromat and then I will be better? If I was a Real Person would I have some backup toothbrushes in a drawer somewhere? Do Good People never have crappy underwear they only wear when they haven’t done laundry, and oh, jesus, how do you hide all these things from people if you want them to love you?”
This paragraph destroyed me. What you describe has been for years my deepest, darkest shame. This is a loop that plays in my head on a regular basis, wearing me out. I even used the term Real Person! As if I’m somehow half-formed because I can’t keep my house from getting messy, or shave my legs all the time, or not run out of toilet paper, or keep up with my checkbook, or the literally thousands of other ways in which I feel like I’m failing as a human being. And yes, I do my best to hide these failings, these obvious missing pieces, because why would anyone love someone who comes up so short of Good?
I am surprised (more often recently b/c of tumblr) by coming across my own thoughts in the writing of people trying to be honest, but reading this went beyond surprise into shock. It was such a jolt that I had to turn away from the computer and sob into my hands for a little while. When it was over, when I got my breath back, I realized knowing that I don’t have a monopoly on this little pocket of crazy is a giant [there should be another word here that is bigger than giant — like gargantuan! — but they all sound ridiculous and flowery] relief.
You probably get dozens of emails every day from women (and men! but I’d bet mostly women) saying thank you for writing and being honest and admitting that you’re afraid and being afraid but doing it anyway, so I will just add mine: Thank you.
One more thing: I make $300 a week. So why am I giving you 10% of that? One, I don’t get to help make someone’s dream a reality every day. And two, not feeling alone is worth every cent I’ll ever have.