I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being fuck-positive in public. Mostly because I got an awesome butt-plug sticker that colour-matched my poetry notebook perfectly, but I hesitated before sticking it to the front cover. Why? Because I’m an enthusiastic kinky perv and solo poly slut, but I don’t necessarily want the whole world to know that.
Except, of course, I kind of do. I’m queer and sex positive and possibly the last word anyone would use to describe me is ‘subtle’.
I took so much away from Eroticon in 2018: inspiration, new friends, filthy ideas, and bags full of sex toys. I also went home with an awesome t-shirt from Doxy – the opposite of subtle, in bright pink with a wand-vibrator bold across my tits. I wear it a lot. Most often with dungarees when I’m heading to munches or poly meet-ups or surprise birthday CFNM events, but in my ‘everyday life’ too.
I wear it to coffee shops to write, and to the university on days when I need to walk with confidence. I’ve even sent photos to my parents of me wearing it – albeit by mistake, because I know they’re not a fan of me wearing clothes that even hint at my queer, political feminism.
However, I took it off when I got a call asking me to pop in – super casually – for a chat about a job I’d applied for.
I’m not ashamed that I swapped my Doxy shirt and denim shorts for a long-sleeved top and a more “respectable” length skirt. Because sadly, while I spend a lot of time in the sex blogging community on Twitter, the rest of the world is much less fuck positive. And as much as I hate changing myself to fit in with it, I accept there are times when I have to. I won’t hide the fact that I’m queer – though I won’t go out of my way to disclose it either. But I’ll bite my tongue and stop myself from telling my coworkers that I’m sore because I got my butt punched (consensually) the night before.
I tend towards oversharing, which I don’t think is a bad thing for a sex blogger. I want to encourage more open conversations about sex, and that means being a beacon of permission myself. However, I’m also an anonymous sex blogger: one day I want to put my face to the work I do here, but I know that doing so today would be a Very Bad Idea. This is because our society is sex-negative and full of slut-shaming, and while I want my blog to challenge these concepts it’s not safe to try and do that under my real name right now.
I do my best to flag as queer in public and to call out misogynistic bullshit, because that’s part of who I am. I have artistic vagina drawings in frames and kinky embroidery on my bedroom walls. I wear badges that say ‘reliable pervert’ and ‘women’s orgasms matter’ on my shirts almost every day. Being an out-and-loud queer woman is important to me right now. Everything is such a shit-show, and I want people to know that I will fight for a better, more intersectional world.
I’ve taken my fuck-positivity into my studies, writing pieces about the Vagina Museum and standing up in front of my class to do a talk about why they should pay for their porn – and the disastrous, unethical implications of them not doing so. I don’t shy away from who I am, and I am not subtle.
My uncertainty comes from where I want to draw the lines. How do I go about being fuck-positive in public without both a) oversharing in a way that people do not consent to, and 2) being too activist-y in what I speak up about to an extent where I’m going to get fired? I feel like I’m constantly walking the unsteady tightrope-fine line between by secret identity as a sex blogging superhero and being a woman in a society who expects me to shut the fuck up when it comes to low level sexism and coworkers using homophobic slurs.
I think it comes down to picking your battles – which sadly I’m increasingly coming to accept that I will learn how to do.
Being myself, openly and honestly, is a radical act. I’m mentioning this again, because I fell in love with the idea of one’s openness and refusal to live their life more subtly can make them a beacon of permission. And – just maybe – my openness is already making a difference. After all, tomorrow I’m meeting a friend to give her one of my duplicate body-safe vibrators, because she opened up to me about her experience with sex and I suggested that using sex toys to explore her orgasms might help her.
I haven’t put my butt plug sticker on my notebook yet, but I think I will. It’s awesome, and it’s a little way to be fuck positive that isn’t subtle – that isn’t censoring myself – but isn’t as stupid as saying that I’m an impact play bottom on my CV, or telling my new boss that he needs to majorly rethink his views on mental illness.
If y’all want to support me – so I can spend more time being outrageously fuck positive in public and less time having to bite my tongue not tell people they’re being sexist – please throw me a few bucks on Ko-fi! Buying me a coffee helps me keep writing about sex.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.