Blogging About Sex: Invitation To Harrassment?
Posted February 3, 2010
Just who are these people who blog about sex all the time? Natalie answers (part of) that question with thoughts on sex research, blogging, and boundaries.
The answer to this question (the title of this blog) might be obvious to some readers but others new to Kinsey Confidential may not be aware of what we do here and our purpose in blogging about sexuality and sexual health.
Staff here at the Kinsey Institute and Kinsey Confidential have a passion for learning more about sexuality and sexual health. We love asking questions just as much as we love answering yours in our bi-weekly podcasts. (You can ask us questions by clicking on this link) But what “kinds” of people become interested in blogging about sex? Or researching it?
Who are these “sex people” anyway?
For me, the “kinds” of people I’ve interacted with on a professional level (sex researchers or sex professionals at conferences) are just that – people. They range in age, gender, ethnicity, educational backgrounds, class, and schools of thought. They have a genuine interest in one of the foundations of our society. They want to know why we have sex, what makes sex good or bad and how human attraction works. Sexual health professionals want to educate people on how to be proactive about their sexual health and take steps to have safe, sane and consensual sex while protecting themselves from possible negative health outcomes like STIs.
So you only care about sex, right?
So what does this mean for those of us who blog at Kinsey Confidential? I can’t speak for the other bloggers but, for me, this was a way to go beyond our on-campus work at Indiana University and reach out to a larger audience. I want to tell people about interesting sex stories other bloggers have covered online and about other sexual health websites that are doing new and innovative things to reach out to their readers. I want to tell you about serious activism around sexual rights and then the next day cover the latest sex toy and what it might mean for couples.
But does this mean I want to talk about sex all day, every day? Not necessarily. It’s true that sexuality is not only an academic interest for me. I’m a sexual being as I think we all are (even if it’s recognizing that we might be asexual). But what else might it mean for me to be a “sex blogger”? This post was inspired by a blogger named Epiphora who wrote a blog called “I blog about sex. That is not an invitation.” about her experiences with (primarily) male readers who felt that her reviews of sex toys and openness about her own sexual activities meant that she was up for talking about sex or having sex with them online. She goes into to more detail, but I highly recommend that you read her blog here (some NSFW language, but that’s kind of how we roll around here).
Readers’ Thoughts: What does blogging mean for you?
So if readers out there have their own blogs or even their own sex blogs, how to you negotiate boundaries around what you write to educate/inform/entertain and what readers expect from you? Do you lay out rules for comments or personal contact? How do you deal with it when people cross those lines?
Let me know. I love blogging for Kinsey Confidential (although I must admit that my doctoral program has caused me to take an unintentional hiatus since November) and hope to continue doing so for some time, but I also recognize that blogging for a well-respected sexuality organization like Kinsey affords me some protections and privileges not always available to other bloggers. So shoot me an e-mail, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think about sex blogging. And happy reading (or listening to our podcasts)!