I’ve written about this before. It feels like this is all I write about right now – that I cannot create anything of worth to anyone else and I just keep spilling out self-indulgent essays on how I can’t stop thinking about suicide. In reality it isn’t, it’s the fucked up fog of lockdown and depression that twists time until I’m convinced that I only just wrote about this. And even if it wasn’t, I’m still allowed to write about it. It’s my blog, even if being a suicidal sex writer feels very off brand.
Content note for suicide, self-harm, self-hating thoughts, mental illness, and medication.
I am not less of a sex writer because I haven’t had sex in months. I’m also not less of a sex writer because I’m suicidal, but it feels off brand to actually write about it. Part of me thinks that I should still be forcing myself to churn out sexy content even when all I can think about is killing myself. I know that part of me – that horrible, self-hating part of me – is wrong, but I’m also not sure what value there would be to content I create about how I really feel right now.
I am ill. I am very, very ill, maybe the most ill I have ever been in the five years I’ve been struggling with my mental health. I am coping with it very well: the last five years have taught me the tools I need to keep clawing my way through every awful day, even when my brain is screaming at me to just give up. I am strong and resilient and so fucking brave, but it’s taking every single ounce of that strength and resilience and bravery to just make it through another twenty-hour hours.
Right now, all of my spoons are going to just surviving. I’ve suspended my university studies for a year because even if I could force myself to go to lectures and tutorials, I would be burned out by the end of the year. And that’s if I’m not already burned out, having spent the last five years pushing myself to keep going as I got more and more ill, to the breaking point of the last few weeks. No, months. Months of depression and pain and calling myself a useless piece of shit because it’s 3pm and I’m still in bed crying.
Months when I don’t go an hour without thinking ‘I want to die, I want to die, I want to die’.
It’s important to talk about mental illness; it’s important to me to talk about my mental illness. We chip away the stigma that exists around mental illness by talking about it, and I think I do. I’ve written about being too stressed to actually enjoy sex and how I cling to the little things to keep me going when it feels like there’s nothing left to fight for. I try not to give the impression that I am an ever-horny slut who thinks about sucking dick more than I cry in public. It’s sometimes easier to pretend that I’m that person, but I know the value of being vulnerable too.
For me that is a huge part of being a sex blogger. I want my writing to be raw and vulnerable and real, and because of that how can talking about my suicidal ideation be off brand? But there’s a difference between a well-thought-out piece about how my depression is affecting my sex drive and yet another post where I just moan about how much I’m struggling. Even if the latter is not off brand for the kind of sex writer I want to be, it is boring. Who wants to read about how overwhelming numbness and sadness has seeped into every corner of my life and crevice of my mind? Who wants an essay where I detail the number nights I’ve fallen asleep telling myself that it’s ok, I can kill myself tomorrow if I still want to.
Talking about these things is important, but I worry that I’m not baring my soul in a way that normalises mental illness. Maybe I’m just wallowing in my sadness to the point where all my friends and Twitter followers are sick of me. And it’s harder, because even when I am brave enough to type out the words ‘I want to die’ there isn’t anything the people who love me can do. I just have to sit with feeling shit – so shit that I’m suicidal – and slowly make it to the next minute. Then the next one.
I have a brilliant support network around me and I am getting very, very good at keeping myself safe. It’s exhausting, but people know that, right? People know I’m struggling. People know I take antidepressants and antipsychotics. People know that I dig my nails into my skin because the pain in my body briefly numbs the pain in my mind. People know that I sit for hours, freezing cold yet unable to move. People know that most days I hate myself so much that I genuinely think the world would be better off without me. People see the reality of mental illness without me performing my pain on the internet, don’t they?
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe none of us talk about this enough, so being openly suicidal is the most on brand thing I can do.
Vulnerability is hard, y’all, and it would mean a lot if you could support my so I can keep blogging about how mental illness fucks up my sex life. If you liked this post, please consider leaving me a tip so I can keep bringing you my confessions about how I feel like a giant fraud to still be calling myself a sex writer right now.
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.