“I’m sitting in a coffee shop laughing out loud thinking of accidentally, nonconsensually, sticking my finger in someone’s butt,” Mona texts me as we discuss what I should write about for this introductory column. Mona is a fellow blogger, a dominatrix by day and mom by night, which means she deals with bodily excretions more than anyone else I know. Mona is hot, a total MILF with tits that go on forever. I’d let her accidentally stick her finger in my butt any day.
A week ago, Mona and I were at Disneyland, walking through the toy store, trying to find something for us each to take back to our prospective dungeons, preferably something that would leave a mark on our victims. Mona found a couple bracelets that could work as cock rings and I found a white Mickey glove on a stick that lights up when you hit it against something, or in my case someone.
After that we ate lobster nachos and drank expensive booze.
That’s how we roll.
Before Disneyland, the last time Mona and I saw each other she was in her fancy dungeon humiliating a powerful business man. He drank her piss while handcuffed and then paid me money for having to watch.
That is also how we roll.
How a farmer’s daughter raised by Republicans ended up being paid to watch someone drink piss, I’m not sure, but here I am, a sexpert with a law degree, the girl who speaks at Ivy League schools about the legalities of fisting, and the newest sex columnist for VICE.
I wanted to be a travel writer. Or a marine biologist. Mostly, I just wanted a job where I got paid to swim with dolphins. Instead, I get paid to review waterproof sex toys that look like dolphins.
I’m a good swimmer but I’m a better masturbator, so this job fits me well.
I grew up in a small, conservative, country town that had very little entertainment or sexual education. That combination meant half of my friends were pregnant before high school graduation. The other half had chlamydia so bad they could no longer have kids.
It’s times like these I’m glad I was a fat, awkward dyke.
To be fair, I’m still a fat, awkward dyke, but now it works for me in that way that comes across as queer, hipster funk, versus just a serious lack of ability to dress myself properly.
The shortage of sexual education in my town, and in America as a whole, appalled me from the start and I began researching sex at an abnormally early age. By junior high I was fully obsessed with the topic, not just in the way that my fellow horny tweens were but also academically. I wanted to know exactly why sex was such a big deal. I wanted to analyze it, review it, discuss it and most of all, I wanted to have a lot of it.
By high school I was the local sexpert, the one people came to for condoms and instructional diagrams on how to work a clit. In the dorms in college, I gave blow job lessons using Big Stick popsicles and taught classes on sex toys and orgasms to a women’s group. I volunteered as an HIV and STI prevention counselor at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and passed out condoms, and a few flogger lashes, at sex faires.
There was a moment, during my first year of law school, that I thought I might make a living doing something not related to sex. That moment flittered away with my 30-page final paper on fisting and obscenity laws.
The one thing learning about sex has taught me is that I will never fully know everything about it. Sex is personal. It’s subjective. It changes drastically from one body to the next, from one minute to the next.
Sex is fluid and therefore you can never full grasp it.
But I keep trying. I keep learning and exploring. And that’s what this column is about: sharing my sexual explorations.
This is not the first time I’ve done this sort of thing. I expose myself for a living, at conferences and colleges, on my website and all over Twitter. The intimate details most people keep to themselves for a reason, I share.
And that’s how VICE found me, spread eagle for the whole Internet to see.
“Would you be interested in a column for VICE on queer sex and porn?” Kelly McClure wrote me.
“Does the Pope shit in the woods?” was my approximate response.
I’m starting to realize I talk about poop a lot. Which is funny, because I’m not into scat play at all. I mean, to each their own, get it if it’s yours to get, but I’d prefer to shit in a porcelain bowl, not on someone’s face. Although, to be honest, I’d totally let someone shit on my face for the right price.
Just kidding, my mother won’t be reading this column. My family quit reading my work years ago. Sue Shapiro recently said in her New York Times opinion piece on memoir writing, “If you want to be popular with your parents and siblings, try cookbooks.”
I tried writing a cookbook once. I almost burned down the house.
I’m a memoirist, a woman like Elizabeth Gilbert or Cheryl Strayed, who seeks out adventures to grow, learn, and find inner peace. Just like them, I journey into unknown lands, except my Pacific Crest Trail leads to a room full of men competing to see who can ejaculate the farthest.
In case you’re wondering, the winner of that competition was a lovely man named Tom who looked dashing in his leather harness and black tie that evening.
Tom and Mona are just a few of the unique people I meet being a sex writer but I have to admit, my favorite people are the vanilla-looking ones that come up to me at a conference and confess all they really want to do is be gangbanged by a group of men in Mariachi suits.
Also true story, I had to ask my Twitter followers if you spell it “gangbang,” “gang-bang” or “gang bang.” Everyone had a different answer, but Princess Donna said “gangbang” and since she’s made her living off of being involved in them, I’m going to trust her on this one.
These are the problems facing a sex writer, Merriam Webster just doesn’t cut it for us. Other problems include: where to quickly hide the giant butt-plug I just got in the mail when my dad makes a surprise visit, how to explain what I’m speaking about at Yale next month to my favorite grandfather, meeting the parents of my significant others and explaining to my doctor (and the police) that my partner beats me consensually.
The biggest problem, however, comes with dating. I’m fucking amazing and amazing at fucking, so you’d think I’d be able to find someone to shack up with, but turns out most people don’t like their lives spread across multiple media platforms. Right now, I’m pursuing two cops, which is hilarious considering how much of what I do borders on illegal. Both are justifiably concerned about their privacy, which means that even if we ended up in a relationship, I wouldn’t be able to write about it.
I need to find someone who is as big of an exhibitionist as I am, maybe someone who already lives their life for all to see. I’ve had offers from people who want to date me solely to be written about, but they’ve all been certifiably insane so far.
No really. Batshit crazy.
I used to think fan sex would be hot. Then I got an email that went something like this: PLEASE FUCK ME I WANT TO BE FAMOUS PUT PICTURES OF MY PUSSY ON THE INTERNET.
That’s pretty much verbatim, caps and all. I wish I could say that the obvious possibility of her boiling my rabbit was why I didn’t respond, but I have to admit the lack of punctuation was my biggest turn off.
The perks of being a sex writer are amazing, though. I watch a lot of porn. I have dressers full of sex toys. I have an excuse to put myself out there, do risqué things and challenge the social norm. Best of all, I’ve got some bad-ass friends.
I took the pen name Queerie Bradshaw years ago as a joking homage to Sex and the City, but Carrie’s famous foursome ain’t got nothin’ on my orgy. From Mormon lawyers to dominatrix mommy bloggers, porn stars to prudes, I’ve got them all and they’ve all got me.
“I had a dream last night that you had a pair of synthetic testicles surgically connected to your chest that dangled there for all to see,” my friend Olive wrote to me this morning. “I thought it was kinda weird at first, but then I decided they were pretty cool.”
That about sums up most people’s reaction to my overt sexuality. At first they think it’s kinda weird, but then they decide it’s pretty cool. The ones that come to a different conclusion fade away from my life, leaving me with a wonderfully accepting, caring support group. Whether I’m writing about my brother’s recent death from cancer or being fisted by a stranger in public, I’m lucky enough to have friends that love and accept me for who I am, what I feel and what I do.
Which means I don’t need any of you to love me. Which means I can be my most honest, authentic self when I write.
My job here is to write about sex and porn from a queer perspective with an occasional legal twist. I’m here to entertain you with what I hope will be witty banter, regale you with possibly amusing stories and educate you with potentially interesting facts.
If I make fans or friends in the process, I’ll be very excited. If I make enemies in the process, well I have a friend securing my personal data online so hopefully none of you will be able to find where I live and shank me.
That is not a challenge. Please don’t shank me.
As a queer woman who writes about sex, I have to worry about those sort of things. Society likes to bash, both verbally and physically, sexually promiscuous women and gays. Being both, I worry one day I’ll be attacked in a dark alley. Or in my home. Or anywhere really.
One of the reasons I talk so openly and candidly about sex is a hope that we can normalize the act and make it less acceptable to judge, insult and attack people based on their sex, sexuality or gender. But until that day comes, I’ll keep up with the self-defense classes.
I’ve only gotten to use my fancy fighting skills once in real life, which was plenty. Usually, I’m pretty good at diffusing a situation with words, you know, being a writer and all. Intelligent banter has saved me on a continual basis throughout my life. Intelligent banter is why I’ve been successful as a sex writer. Intelligent banter is the reason I have such a diverse group of friends and fans.
You need intelligence when it comes to sex. For being such a primal act, sex is surprisingly mental. To understand sex, you need a knowledge of biology, sociology, psychology and, unfortunately in some cases, the law. I can’t claim to have all that knowledge yet, but I’m working on it. I’m navigating rough waters and exploring unknown lands. Sometimes it leaves me nauseous. Sometimes it leaves me bruised, beaten, and blue.
But it’s always worth it in the end.
Select photos by J. Robert Williams.