identity politics

Gender Dynamics in the Sexblog Community

Welcome to the community, Colleen and Jake. Even just a few months ago the dyke-run sexblogs were few and far between, but this little empire (car tires & chicken wires) of ours is growing. Have you seen my “Playin’ for My Team” sidebar list recently? Not all of those are exclusively sexblogs, but most of them are. But here’s a funny thing … almost all of these dyke-run sexblogs, though, are from self-defined femmes. Hey, all the better for me, really, but where are the butches?Similarly, I was at the Pervert’s Saloon Tea Party this past Sunday, and it was me, Jefferson, and six other women – Tess, Viviane, Calico, Selina, Rachel, and Lolita. (I missed Madeline, who has been there every other time I’ve been to a tea party, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.) We were interviewed by Craig Collinson of Nobles Gate for his documentary “A Sex Bloggesy” about, um, sexbloggers.

That’s us. Anonymized in the interviewer’s monitor. Photo borrowed from Viviane.There was a question at some point about the imbalance of genders in the room – At one point, Jefferson said (about me), “Well hey, you’re the only man in the room …” This imbalance is in the sexblog community in general, too. We did some speculation as to why this is. The interviewer even brought up the idea that women are not as sexual creatures as men. I think, honestly, he was playing TO the stereotypes intentionally, though he was also asking us to defend/discuss it. I spent much of the interview biting my fist to keep from jumping up on the table and start proselytizing.

And, what is that about, anyway? That it is primarily women who are running sexblogs? Oh, I have some ideas.

  1. The mainstream audience for porn is, of course, men, so women are better able to get a handle or corner on the potential marketability of a sexblog.

  2. Because of the way patriarchy works (gasp, the P word), men don’t have to examine or question or explore sex in order to figure out how to get pleasure, how to get validation, and how to reconcile their identity as a sexual person, because it’s socially acceptable and, in fact, encouraged, for a man to be sexually explorative. This is still not true for women.

  3. Women, as a whole, do tend to be more verbal (whether it’s nature or nurture, we can have that argument another time), and also attach more emotion to sex, probably for biological purposes (and this has been proven by sociobiological scientists, not just stereotypes). Therefore the act of sex is potentially more complicated and problematic for women (?? … I’m brainstorming here, don’t mind my generalities).

  4. There has been a lot of work done by women on the gender of femininity in the last forty years (holy smokes, second-wave feminism was forty years ago?) because of the sexual and gender revolutions of the 1960s and 70s. Therefore, many many many of the limitations and constrictions that were previously placed upon women and femininity have been deconstructed and revalued, and, generally, quite successfully I think. This is NOT to say that I think feminism is over, or that we are now in a post-feminist state – only that women and the feminist movement have done a lot of work on the feminine gender, which may actually be leading to how women are able to take control of and elaborate upon their various sexualities via writing on the Internet. However, that work has not been done in the same way by/for masculinity and men. I would argue, in fact, that that is where the next gender revolution needs to come: from and for men, revaluing and deconstructing masculinity and the mandatory tough guise. However, because we are STILL in a patriarchy, and STILL value maleness more than femaleness, men haven’t been forced to do this – yet. I don’t know how I can help fuel this revolution-to-come, but I sure would like to.

  5. Hmmm … anything else? (I’m digging this list format. Feels like my ideas are more organized this way.) I’ll keep thinking about this question. So, riddle me this, folks: Why is the sexblog community dominated by women? And why are the queer women sexblogs primarily femme? Where are the gayboy sexblogs, anyway?

So, after the interviewers left, we went back to our regular fabulous Tea Party, catching up with each other, discussing and processing and catching up.Viviane, always the amazing host, made strawberry shortcake and mint juleps, along with watercress & goat cheese tea sandwiches. And delicious tea, of course, both iced and hot. Selina brought beautiful cups & saucers for our tea, Rachel ran out to get the proper milk, and looked gorgeous in her summery dress. Selina had some pretty fantastic heels on that she’d discovered in London, and Tess … well, Tess had heels on too. (Oh I’m such a sucker for stilettos.) Lolita had a beautiful new cutting by Jefferson Sharrin Spector (who wasn’t there, but Lolita gave me her link so I figured I’d include it. I’m kinda jealous, I want a cutting). Calico I met for the first time, who is a newcomer to this scene but is already making quite the impression. And Jefferson, of course, infamous Jefferson, was showing off his rubber ducky boxers by the end of the night.

What else happened at this tea party, you ask?

Well … After the girls said they’d gotten pedicures just so they could wear their fancy shoes, I mentioned that I cut my fingernails just for the party … to which of course Jefferson retorted, “What, did you think you were going to get laid?” … which was the beginning of the shenanigans.

Jefferson told me “what gender is” while we were in the kitchen devilling eggs. To be fair, I thought he was saying “ginger,” because of his cute little southern accent, which prompted me to ask what the hell he was talking about. Although ginger wasn’t actually that out of context considering we’d been discussing ginger butt fucking (apparently called figging?) just shortly before.

It’s true what they’re saying, I did get a little lesson in flogging from Lolita, as did Tess and Selina. I felt out of practice and incredibly embarrassed, actually. Because I am good at flogging. Actually, quite good. And I hated being seen, in front of a roomful of experienced people, of whom I was one of the youngest, as not experienced in something I am good at. It was very frustrating. Really, it made me draw the conclusion that I need to flog more, to be sure to keep my skills fresh. … perhaps I should seek volunteers.

Viviane did a bit of a roundup, Tess wrote about it, and Lolita did too.

One last thing: I really have NO idea what I said on camera, what quotes of mine (if any) will be used. The one thing I did really want to press was how much I believe that our discussions of sex, relationships, and gender in these online communities is actually an act of social change and revolution. That it helps and encourages open communication about pleasure, identity, and of course sex, all of which are still taboo. We’re makin’ history here, we’re paving the way for a more sophisticated, more particular, safer, happier, much improved cultural dealings with sex. And I am oh so grateful to be a part of that, even in the smallest way.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

9 thoughts on “Gender Dynamics in the Sexblog Community”

  1. Kimi Dreams says:

    1) I for one would like to volunteer to let you practice flogging! Name the date and I'm there. *grins* 2) Reading about this entry it prompted me to think about a book Daddy is reading now called "The Game" by Neil Strauss. It's basically a "how to pick up women"(anyone) book. It looks really good and I'm hoping to read it after he does. But I thought you might find it interesting as well. Not that I think you have any trouble with it…but it might be something amusing to read and write about. :)

  2. sinclair says:

    I've read excerpts from "The Game" … I don't really like what it's promoting, actually. Lots of psychological and emotional manipulation, from what I can tell. Although you're right, a book review might be an interesting topic.

  3. Viviane says:

    I should have taped the roundtable, because you know much of the good stuff won't make it into the program.And honey, you are way more experienced than most of us in flogging.[raises hand to volunteer]

  4. birdonthewirenyc says:

    the best porn i ever saw involved a house wife fantasizing in the kitchen one afternoon while hubby was away at work. one minute she's sitting there touching herself and the next scene it fuzzes out and that's when the crazy sex scenes involving her and (people in giant foam outfits shaped like) toast, butter, blenders, etc started.seriously, good stuff.

  5. Ms. Avarice says:

    i think there are more women bloggers because the internet can usually be a safe, (mostly) anonymous place for us to muddle through sex, gender, fantasy, body issues, relationship issues. And the people reading will undoubtedly be those who agree with us or at the very least respect our point of view. And for a lot of women, sex is about the mind, not just about the physical. So writing about sex can be very freeing, without having to involve ourselves in potentially unfulfilling, sexual risk behaviours. gotta get back to work, tho. :-)

  6. bad influence girl says:

    i've read the game and it's quite interesting and then gets very boring about half way through.a lot of it is stuff that's kind of horrible but i know would work on at least half of the women i know so…anyway regarding this post, i think women blog for two reasons. one is that traditionally women just like to get inside their own heads more than men have tended to and the second is that i don't know ANY men who are 'pre-orgasmic' but i know that many women seems to me that female sexuality is somehow physically and mentally more difficult (generally) and so now that we have a chance we're exploring and sharing as fast as we can so we can learn more and blogs helped me find my sex drive, i'm sure i'm not the only one.

  7. Suzanne Portnoy says:

    Well, who knows how much of what I said Craig will actually use in the programme but I hope at least some of it. Certainly, I think as female sex bloggers we're putting ourselves out there. There are very few forums for women to discuss sex, sexuality, what we like and don't like, the whole dating game, etc. Sometimes it feels like we're doing something new and dangerous, especially in light of so many sex bloggers who could easily get dismissed from their day jobs if their sex blogging identity was revealed. And I think there are many reasons why we blog – from enjoying having an audience to actually feeling like what we're saying will have an impact for the future in how women (and men) view sex and relationships. I've lost friends as a result of my lifestyle, made new ones, heard through the grapevine of people who were inspired to change their own lives through my writing. Anyway- sounds like the NYC tea party was a grand day out. I really hope that C4 produce the kind of programme we all want to see.

  8. lady brett says:

    I just ran across this theory about why more women than men are involved in a (completely different) movement's communities. If, indeed, sex blogging is a movement, which i think is reasonable, it might apply.Translated to the subject it would go something like this: women involved in sex blogging are involved in two movements at once – one for sex writing and another for the role of women in sexuality – so they have a double need for involvement in the sex blogging community.A thought. Not certain how well it translates.

  9. maymay says:

    "I would argue, in fact, that that is where the next gender revolution needs to come: from and for men, revaluing and deconstructing masculinity and the mandatory tough guise. However, because we are STILL in a patriarchy, and STILL value maleness more than femaleness, men haven't been forced to do this – yet. I don't know how I can help fuel this revolution-to-come, but I sure would like to."It has taken me a very, very long time to feel comfortable in what I, and many other men, see as an atmosphere of systematic subjugation of men and masculinity, especially when it culturally noncompliant, and actually begin writing about these feelings.I am convinced that I am not the only that feels this way and that it is really a damaging thing. What can I do about it? I have no idea, so I just end up ranting a lot on my blog. And I like yours, by the way.

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