So, when Dr. B links to you, a great many readers come to your blog. 500 and counting. Strangely, none of them have left any comments, yet.

Toward the end of her post, she writes, “And the ‘oddly arousing’ thing makes me wonder–and wish–that more men would write honestly about sex and sexiness.” Well, I blog under my real name…mostly. And most of the women I know who write about such things frankly do so under pseudonyms. Not too many men who are academics blog pseudonymously. (Yes, we’ve all had this conversation before.) Is the reluctance to blog openly about “sex and sexiness” related to pseudonymity? Well, it is for me. I do talk pretty openly in IM with Dr. B about these issues, and I did f2f with my single friends in the city I just left (the vast majority of whom were female). But blogging? That’s another story.

…still thinking…

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8 thoughts on “wow

  1. I’ll second your comment that I tend to avoid writing about sex or sexiness primarily because I’m not writing pseudonymously (unless, of course, that discussion is taking place in the context of cinematic representations of sex, which isn’t quite the same thing).

    But there are also a number of scholars and journalists, most of whom seem to be female (Carol Queen is the best example) who publish on sex topics. Not sure there’s an easy answer here….

  2. I’m probably one of the few who saw your entry first, and then went to Dr. B’s…

    I’ve been going round and round in my head about whether or not I wanted to say anything here, there, or at my own space. I definitely third what you say above, but there was more to it for me. I don’t have an issue with the line that you quote, but “I wish straight guys had the balls to talk about sexuality the way feminist women do” really irked me.

    Part of it comes from PZ Myers’s first comment over there, where he notes that “We [men] get used to working hard to ensure that we are seen as sexually harmless; the predator stereotype is everywhere,” which I think is especially true on college campuses.

    And perhaps with good reason. I’m definitely not interested in arguing that “men have it so rough,” but as a straight man who’s spent most of his adult life as an academic, I am incredibly conscious of the fact that one person’s “honest, open discussion of sexuality” is another person’s harrassment. And that’s fine by me–the alternative is worse–but it also has broader implications for the ways that we all behave.

    I guess what it boils down to for me is that there are certain strands of academic feminism that are at least implicated in a culture that doesn’t encourage honest discussion of sexuality by straight men. I’m not arguing “blame feminism!”–we each make our own choices based on our own reads of our local conditions. But I guess I feel like a line that partakes of “real men (with balls) should…” rhetoric both calls out and perhaps even insults those of us who try hard to think outside of that particular binary.

    I know that I’m hanging way too much on a single line, but all day, it’s been like a song that I can’t get out of my head. Maybe I can move on to other stuff now…


  3. The other issue when you’re not blogging anonymously is that you’re also blogging about a partner who is presumably also not anonymous…I can’t blog about sex with my spouse (even naming her here would feel like I was breaching her privacy) without a deep ambivalence about her rights.

    Lord knows I like to talk and think about sex and sexuality and sexiness, yadda, yadda, yadda…which is why the kinds of interactions you describe feel familiar–private conversations not public posts…I know that reinforces a bit of an artificial divide there, but the reality of it is compelling to me…

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