journal entries

anonymity and a writer’s life

Funny how once one thing changes, one big thing, it seems to cascade and everything else starts changing, too. Understandings of my relationships – from my close, intimate friendships (that’s what she said) to my casual sex (belle) to girls I may be potentially into, to my lovely exes – all seem to have taken a turn these past two weeks, and everything, everything feels different.

I am pretty sure, a week after I received the email from Callie threatening to sue me, that she does not actually read Sugarbutch. Unfortunately, my stat counter only gives me the IP addresses for the last 100 visitors, so I can’t really tell if she’s been here or not.

Any suggestions for counters that will give me better stats? I’d appreciate it! Also, while I’m asking for reader favors, how do I get her IP address from her email? I have a guess at what it is, but I’d like to know for sure.

My therapist said something this week about ‘a writer’s life’ – you know, how we writers, well, we write about those around us. That’s just something that happens. Writer’s families (chosen and blood) can feel thwarted because of it, can feel frustrated because they aren’t necessarily chosing to have the details of their lives exposed. But there is beauty in having your life written about, witnessed, observed, too. And Callie certainly loved it while we were together.

And, ya know, that’s just one of the things about dating me, and sleeping with me, is that I’m probably going to write about it. This is something I have struggled with a lot, so it does feel like a new place for me, to simply say, yeah, I’m a writer, that’s part of the deal.

I want to be sensitive about it, and if someone says, “please don’t write about me,” well, I will respect that. But I guess in order for someone to say that, I’m going to have to reveal that I write about those things in the first place, which I haven’t really done in the past, in the history of Sugarbutch so far, so perhaps I need to start doing that. I will have to think on that more.

I am making a formal study out of sex, gender, and relationships, as I’m newly single for practically the first time in my adult life. I am finding myself navigating new waters, new terms and ideas and intentions, and the way that I tend to make sense of that kind of thing is to read about it, find resources on it, and write about it.

A few people have emailed me recently and revealed that they discovered my real name – they were writing not only to let me know how easy it was to do that, but also saying that they felt a bit guilty for exposing me.

So, a few small things about that.

It’s really okay if you know who I am in real life. I talk openly and honestly about my life and sex and gender to many, many people, friends and strangers alike, and I don’t really want to hide the work I do with sex & sexuality. I admire Dacia and Rachel and others who do this work under their real names for just that reason.

For now, my name is too exposing. It is unique, and brings up a lot of my history with a simple web search. And I do write and publish erotica under that name, I just don’t want my intimate, personal sex life exposed to my current lover, my fourth-grade teacher, my mom, or the girl I’m about to go on a date with, or just met at a party.

So, if you do know who I am, please, just keep it to yourself, and keep it separate from any discussion about Sinclair and Sugarbutch. If you feel like you need to confess that you found me, I will gladly hear your confession, email it on. Actually, it might be useful to me to know how you found me, since I’m trying to erradicate those links to my ‘real name.’

What I’m trying to say is: I am a writer, I write confessionally, I write about my life and friends and community, to make sense of things, to share, to entertain, to create connection and revolution and activism. And that’s just one of the costs. I can’t be sued because I gave an interview talking about my sex life. Well, I don’t know, honestly I wouldn’t put it past her to try. But it’s already taken down, she has no reason to pursue that suit. I’m not particularly worried that she will.

It feels good to make sense of things, in those tiny moments when suddenly those missing pieces fall into place and the picture, my life, becomes clearer.

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.

5 thoughts on “anonymity and a writer’s life”

  1. Curvaceous Dee says:

    Hi Sinclair,I use a site called HitTail to track where people are clicking through to my site from, or what search terms they're using. Doesn't give me IP addresses, but StatCounter does.Hope that helps!xx Dee

  2. Viviane says:

    Try Google Analytics. Free (formerly called Mint), very powerful.There's also a WordPress plug-in for it.

  3. Terroni says:

    The writing about those around you bit reminded me of a piece by David Sedaris called Repeat After Me.

  4. Dylan says:

    I use active meter and it gives IP addresses, location of the server they are accessing the internet through, and you can also label certain IP addresses that you already know to track people if you want. It's also free and very easy to use.

  5. nycrouge says:

    I second the recommendation for StatCounter. The log files for the free service go up to 500 and you get IP address, location, and other tidbits.

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