I don’t like stigma, in a lot of cases. I think a lot of us don’t. We know there are some universal truths buried in the world that we’re not ready to admit. I personally think it’s ridiculous that a weatherman can get fired for saying who he voted for, be it a Democrat or a Republican. I think it’s ridiculous to oust a movie director because in 2006 or something they tweeted something weird and inappropriate that they since grew from.
In the same vein, speaking as someone who originally wanted to be a teacher, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that I have to keep my online identity a secret because if it came out that I wrote erotica, people would assume I’m a horny goblin of a person whose only interest is having sex with their kids.
I understand and accept that this is worsened by the fact that I wrote a story about high school students getting it on, but this is where I feel context is important. The world isn’t black and white a lot of the time. It’s not a yes or no, ‘all okay or none of it’s okay’ situation, ever. Ever. In Being More Social, I specifically wrote about how students in earlier grades didn’t understand sex or love, and how being in a friends with benefits situation at 14 can warp your understanding of sex and be damaging. I advocated against fucking at 14. I know that many students still will, and given hormones and all that, I can’t blame them for that, but it’s still my two cents. Without revealing too much, I lost my virginity at that age, so I can’t throw stones in that department. Still, if I knew a few things I know now, things would have been a lot different.
At this point, I don’t really want to be a teacher anymore. Number one, if my identity is ever leaked, I want to be in a position where I can own that fact instead of be ashamed of it. I’ll shrug and keep writing. Number two, I’ve recently found out I’m terrible at talking to kids. I may write like I know people’s inner workings but in actuality I’m fairly awkward still in social situations. I’m such a millennial.
Even so, I hate the fact that this even had to be a factor. In a perfect Utopian world, people would be able to tell that I’m not a threat to kids given the stories I told. Hell, if anything, I’d argue I’m more equipped to teach kids sex ed than a bewildered gym teacher who hasn’t talked about sex since the 70s when he was in the locker room, forced to teach abstinence as if that works. My point is, it’s unfair to learn that I work with sexual themes and then decide that no matter what I can’t ever be around kids. And yes, certain people feel this way.
I have to imagine a lot of sex workers experience this same stigma. It makes no earthly sense to me. Many of these sex workers, I would wager, have kids of their own. Sure, they perhaps shouldn’t explain their work in vivid detail to their kids, but they still deserve the right to be able to communicate with their kids. Does working with sex mean that sex is your entire personality? Hell no. I consider myself more of a story teller than a porn producer. For God’s sake, a lot of people don’t like my stories because they have so much story compared to sex in them. If any of these people also thought I can’t talk to/be around kids ever because I dare talk about sex, they’re being quite the hypocrites.
I come from a background where sex isn’t taught too well. I started my formal sex ed in grade 8. I thought girls peed out of the same hole a guy sticks his dick in, and I thought that hymens seal off the vagina instead of reinforcing them. I don’t like to ever admit this, but sex stories taught me a lot. This really shouldn’t be the case but since it was, I was actually more trusting of a choice few authors that portrayed the more informative and in some cases darker and consequence-heavy sides of sex. By the time I had reached grade eleven I had caught up, but still, I used that as a reference. these people who wrote the more realistic sex stories weren’t doing so to get into my pants or make me more promiscuous, and I hope my stories don’t earnestly promote that rhetoric either. For the record, I support knowing about sex and knowing a person well before you have sex with them, but I also know that such an expectation is unrealistic of teens. I just wished that some adults weren’t so comparable to teens in terms of mental immaturity that they can’t separate ‘writing sex’ and ‘a menace to society.’ I don’t like that I’ve had to axe a potential avenue for my life because I like telling stories that doesn’t put a layer of Windex and smiles over the grim reality that people have sex in high school and often they find out there are consequences for such things.
I hope this post didn’t get too preachy. It’s been something on my mind a lot lately. I don’t agree with the rhetoric of ‘it’s a dangerous time for men right now’ (because the one thing less common than false rape accusations is jailing someone for false rape accusations) but I don’t like the fact that I have to walk on eggshells lately purely because I know the stigma hurled at people that write sex for no real reason. That said, I’ll get over it soon. I just wanted to write out my emotions while they were present. I’ll talk to you all next week.