In the Writing Spicy class this spring, I invited people to honor the names of the people who came before them, people who wrote or created content around queer kink, reclaiming sexuality, and more. I’d never done this before, but it became a powerful list — no, more than a list: a powerful digital altar. It acknowledges our collective lineage, and how much work people have done in order to get us to a place where we can write and publish as freely as we can.
This was the invitaiton:
Invitation to acknowledge all the radicals who came before us — queer, kinky, neurodivergent, people of color, disabled, fat, and other historically marginalized folks.
Almost none of the things I’m sharing in this course are completely made up by me — I come to the knowledge I have because I’ve read books, went to workshops, listened to elders, learned history, and studied about sexual, gender, and kink liberation.
Feel free to add the names of folks you have learned from, who have been inspiring to you, on this thread.
I started with a list of more than a dozen erotica authors whose work influenced me, some of my writing teachers, and other queer folks whose work made a difference.
People wrote all kinds of things, including things like “The small group of neurodivergent queer kin I loved, survived, and sheltered with while growing up.” and “Every nameless/anonymous/forgotten queer whose work I read on literotica late at night over a 56.6.k dial-up connection.” and “A handful of queer zines I could find back in the mid-1990’s that probably saved my life several times over.”
And of course, we generated an incredible list of names. (This isn’t the entire list, but a lot of it.) Not all these folks are explicitly queer, or kinky, but they have been an influence on us as we’ve created our kinky queer lives.
It feels like a prayer, when I read these names out loud.
I invite you not only to read through this list, but to think about who is on your own list of influences. Who has been your lineage, your ancestry? Maybe not the ones you’re related to through blood, but the ones you claim culturally, the ones who have helped you make sense of who you are and how you fit in the world.
Blessed are the in betweeners, the boundary pushers, those who make the paths.
Blessed are the porn makers, the erotic writers, the liberationists.
Blessed are our ancestors, by blood and by choice.
Adrienne Marie Brown
Daemonum X (FIST zine)
Guy New York
Kill Rock Stars
Leah Lakshmi Piepszna-Samarasinha
Minnie Bruce Pratt
Octavia E. Butler
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Raven Kaldera & Joshua Tenpenny
Rita Mae Brown
S. Bear Bergman
Add your own in the comments, if you wish.
If some of your influences are people who are relatively private, and might not want their name on a “sex blog,” feel free to abbreviate it, or just share a first name or initial.