I watched that programme that came on after the wonderful Kitchen Nightmares on C4 - Sex in the Noughties or something, about clit lit blogger Abby Lee, she of Girl With a One-Track Mind fame…at least, I watched as much as I could before I fell asleep. (I had, in my defence, been up since 5am to do my first Body Pump class in over 2 months!).
I vaguely remember the big old hoo-ha in the Summer of 2006 when “Abby” was outed by the media following the publication of her book, and poor old Zoe Margolis’s private/personal/real identity become public knowledge. I remember laughing at how appalled some of the industry press were by the fact that this horny, sex obsessed 32 year old had worked as a film assistant on a Harry Potter film. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really aware of her blog, or come to that, any of these so-called Sex Blogs until then – so I can’t say I was a fan, but I have always admired people who can write good sex.
But watching the programme last night raised a few rambling and pointless questions with me.
There has been a lot of talk over the past couple of years about the blog-to-book phenomenon. There are many people that are excited by this relatively new and seemingly easy publishing route, and there has been much made of the surge in new blogs being written by people who apparently envisage it will lead to a multi million pound publishing contract. I’m sure it does work out all fine and dandy for some – taking a look at Abby Lee’s press page she has defiantly been a busy old bee since her book got published. But there are some 7 million blogs (or something like that) out there on tinterweb, so the misguided belief that YOUR blog will stand out strongly enough to get noticed by some hot shot publisher is literally a deluded fantasy for 99% of bloggers – so I wonder how many people are still just blogging for blogging sake?
I myself have felt an incredible freedom to write what I want in this blog and send it out into the abyss. I’ve been doing it for a relatively short period of time but I like doing it. I don’t think, I don’t hope, and I truly don’t believe Fat Girl on the Run will ever be made into a book. I started doing it for a variety of reasons; one of them being for probably the same reason I joined Facebook. Every one I know seems to write a blog – the same way every one I know (and actually about 100 other people I don’t really know but am now friends with) is on Facebook. I was also incredibly bored at old work. I’d given up smoking and therefore had at least 12 x 5 minute blocks of time when I should have been chatting outside on the fire escape with a More clamped between my lips – and I was buggered if I was going to fill them by doing any more work. I also wanted to chart in some way my ambitious (and frankly foolish) plans to clean up my act food wise. And, if truth be told, I wanted to see if anyone thought I was clever or funny or could string two words together.
I thought I would write about a variety of things – but mostly work stuff, Macmillan charity stuff, book stuff, diet stuff and stuff involving me bragging about my beautiful Niece. But I never envisaged being brave enough to tell the “all” about my sex life. Would I be confident enough to describe in explicit detail the cut and thrust of (or lack of) my bedroom aerobics? The answer is NO. And it’s a definite NO for several reasons - the main one being because the people that know me, and in fact the person I do the bedroom aerobics with, know I write this blog. I’m not saying they read it, although obv I hope they do sometimes, but what if Boo or my sister, or even my mum, was bored one day, and thought to read my blog to waste some time, and came across an entry about my lesbian fantasies involving vanilla S&M and a touch of fisting… I never thought I’d really write anything particularly personal that involved anyone else (and I don’t actually think I have). Cause if I did, then its not really MY personal stuff, it’s also theirs – and it’s not my place to talk about it… do you get me? Any my sex life revelations would surely also be Boo’s sex life revelations – and what if his sister or his mum or his niece read them?
And that I think is where my admiration for Catherine Townsend comes from. Abby was anonymous. The high class hooker Belle de Jour was anonymous. The Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl and The Sexual Life of Catherine M were both written anonymously. To an extent I am anonymous cause I don’t actually use my full name on here…But Catherine Townsend, author of Sleeping Around is real – and writes under her real name. I’ve met her. She’s lovely. She’s tall, and striking, and softly spoken, and a very obviously sexual person.
So do I have a point to get to – I’m not sure really. I enjoyed (as much as I saw of) the programme last night. And it is always fantastic to watch things on telly that I have a genuine interest in. And of course, I’m always interested in watching, talking or reading about sex. But I felt a bit confused. The public outing of Abby/Zoë is one thing. The phenomenon of blog-to-book publishing is another thing. Anyone writing about anything under a pseudonym is a whole separate issue, but the writing about sex, whether that’s blogs or books or anything else is something completely different. And I feel that everything got mixed up together in the programme…..