A Dirty Word

In my 15 years as a sex writer, I’ve attended sex parties, porn parties, and cuddle parties. I’ve been present at erotic art gallery openings and launches for porn films, sex ed books, and sex toy lines. But my one big, bad secret? Most of the time, I don’t actually enjoy sex.

A DIRTY WORD: HOW A SEX WRITER RECLAIMED HER SEXUALITY is a collection of essays about my assumed sexual dysfunction, the sex writing life I embraced as a form of shock therapy, and the ways in which the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community, and our culture at large have conspired to co-opt and pathologize women’s sexuality.

In it, I explore the history of female sexual dysfunction, the virgin/whore dichotomy, and how we define consent, while simultaneously recounting my own experiences, from my early fears about sex to my doubts about my libido to what I plan—and hope—to teach my daughter about body image and sexuality. In the end, I finally accept that I am not broken, and I show readers how I learned to demand sex that feels good.

A DIRTY WORD is forthcoming from Cleis Press in Fall 2018. You can follow along on its journey to publication here.