The Messiness of Writing about Sex

The Thought EroticI am a writer and assistant editor for The Thought Erotic, an online magazine that aims to facilitate positive and productive conversation about sex and sexuality. Given the sensitive subject matter, conflicts and secrets inevitably arise that can cause a lot of stress and frustration.

After a recent intense, really serious conflict pertaining to one of our posts surfaced, founder Courtney Morgan and I were confronted with issues we never thought we’d have to deal with. While I can’t get into the details because I want to respect and protect the privacy of those involved, the conflict ultimately helped us better grasp the difficulties and nuances of running a site like The Thought Erotic and pushed us to clearly outline our mission and the values we strive to uphold. Below is an excerpt from a letter we recently wrote and posted on the site addressing these issues.

Letter from the Editors–Why The Thought Erotic?

It was a rough week at The Thought Erotic. A story had to be pulled due to personal conflicts surrounding some people associated with it …

It was deflating. It led to a lot of questioning about the magazine—the idea of looking at and talking about sex, and not just in a look-this-is-fun way, or isn’t-this-shocking-and-taboo, or even a sexuality-is-pure-if-we’d-stop-repressing-it kind of way—but in a way that really acknowledges the messiness of sexuality, the darkness and shadows in bed with the joy and pleasure of it. In a way that explores the complexities of a subject that intersects with almost every facet of our lives; that engages our bodies, minds and spirits; that is deeply entwined in our capacity to love, connect, bond and perform intimacy; that has been subjugated and controlled with so much shame, confusion and intolerance for centuries; that is subject to so many forms of oppression (including patriarchy, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, cissexism, racism and classism—just to name a few).

And then … We remembered (again) why The Thought Erotic, why a sex website, why it matters … Because the less open and exploratory conversations we have about sex and gender and orientation and identity, the more room we leave for abuse and prejudice to hide, for shame and silence to breed.

Read the full letter, vision and mission statement at The Thought Erotic.


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