[Ed note – this interview was conducted before Abby Lee’s real identity was revealed by a “quality” Sunday newspaper days after the publication of GWAOTM. You can read about Abby being stalked by journalists and the subsequent fallout on her blog. More happily, you can find out about the Girl’s Top 10 Sex Toys on Lovehoney, plus her recommendations of sex toys for men and sex toys for couples.]
Getting the book published must be a real buzz. Do you plan to keep going with the blog and write more books (ie go pro), or will working in film remain your priority?
It has been a real buzz, yeah: I’m very excited about it all. I really hope the book will reach more people that would otherwise not have read the blog, and that that will get them reading about sex too. It would be wonderful if a debate about sex could ensue – it’s about time we talked openly about it, I think. As for continuing the blog, well, I’ve been writing it for over two and a half years and I have no plans to stop yet: I enjoy it too much. I think as long as it gives me pleasure and I have the time, I will keep going with it. I am currently working on another couple of book ideas which I hope to develop further; it would be wonderful if I got to pursue even more of my writing now.
You get a lot of comments on your blog and you interact a lot with your readers. How much time does it take up? Do you generally like your readers – do you think they get where you’re coming from?
I do try to reply to comments on the blog as best I can, because the interactivity between my readers and myself is an important part of the blogging experience. I don’t get a lot of time to do this though, so my input can be a bit sporadic at times. That doesn’t seem to matter though: often my readers will be having a debate with each other in the comments box and I really enjoy reading their opinions and views.
Overall my readers are a pretty clued-up lot and I feel hugely complimented that they enjoy reading my words – and come back for more. Occasionally I get the odd troll – who really doesn’t get what I am about, or who feels they need to make a moral statement about women/sex/sexuality – but my regular readers will challenge their views and often, come to my defence too. When I started the blog, I never thought that complete strangers would be arguing my perspective on sex; I am honoured that they do.
There also seems to be a burgeoning community of other sex bloggers (for want of a better phrase) – has that let you meet new friends online or off?
I’ve met quite a few bloggers actually, both sex writers, and non-sex writers. I’m not sure if we’re a ‘community’ as such, but there does seem to be a kind of ‘blogger’s code’ which we all uphold: respecting privacy and anonymity, regardless of the subject matter we write about. It has been very refreshing to meet other sex bloggers – to know that I am not alone in my thoughts – and I count a few of them as good friends. Ironically, the bloggers I’ve met are the only people that know ‘me’ as well as know my blogging persona; none of my offline friends know I write the blog.
Can you talk as frankly to your real life friends about your feelings as you can write them down for the blog?
Sadly, no. I am reasonably open with my friends generally, but the explicitness of my thoughts – both sexual and emotional – are hidden from them. I’d love to tell them all about the blog and book, but it would really be like them reading my personal diary, which is not something I want to happen!
What’s your best / worst experiences to come out of writing the blog and being a minor Net celeb (albeit anonymous)?
The best thing to come out of writing the blog, is to know that I have, in some way, touched some people. Receiving emails from both women and men telling me I have struck a chord with them, or that they empathise with me, or that they have learned from my experiences, makes what I do seem so worthwhile. I never thought that there would be so many people who connected to my writing; with the thousands of emails sent to me, saying exactly that, I guess I was wrong.
The worst thing to come out of writing the blog, is, I suppose, the fact that I – and my life – still have to remain so hidden, and that I can’t enjoy the success my writing has achieved. I’m in no rush to lose my anonymity – I really do need to uphold my, and others’ privacy – but it’s frustrating that I can’t proudly state out in the open, that the blog and book are my doing. So, sadly, there’ll be no book signings, or meeting my readers, or anything like that. It’s a shame, but I’ve made this bed now, so to speak, so I’ll just have to lie in it…
With the blog to book angle and the witty explicit sex discussions angle, there will be inevitable comparisons to Belle De Jour’s debut. Did you read and/or rate her book?
I’ve been reading Belle’s blog since she began writing it; it was what inspired me to start my own. I haven’t read her book, so couldn’t comment, though I would say from her blog, that I think she’s a superb writer and although her writing is a bit emotionally distant, I love her style. I have no idea what she’s like as a person, but I’d definitely meet up with her for a beer: I think we’d have a few laughs. And perhaps exchange some sex tips too.
Do you think there’s more room for more women to write sex blogs? Is it good education for men to be reading this stuff so they can get more of a clue about what women are really after?
I think there’s room for everyone to write sex blogs, not just women. I am overjoyed that there seem to be so many female voices out there though: it’s about time that a different – non-sexist, non-passive, progressive female – perspective on sexuality broke though into the mainstream, so the more of us doing it, the better.
As for men reading and learning, well, from the amount of emails I get from men, it does appear that this is the case; that they really DO want to know what women want, not just so they can please women, but so they can enjoy sex more themselves. If just one couple have better sex as a result of a guy reading my blog, then I think that’s an achievement and something to be applauded.
If a girl wanted to start out writing her own thing or getting involved with talking to others on their own blog, what would you advise?
Would it sound corny if I said ‘just do it’? Because really, that’s all she’d need to do: just start up a blog and write – that’s all I did. I wrote for myself, from the heart; I have always been honest and open about my thoughts, and somehow, picked up readers along the way who wanted to read what I wrote about. And whilst doing it, I learned of others doing the same, and have made some good online friends as a result. It’s worth doing – if you have something to say, and the time and dedication to say it.
Given your anonymity, how peculiar did it feel to meet up with Lex from Naked Loft Party when he’s already familiar with your entire sexual gamut? Is there something liberating about that? Does it create new taboos? Or does it just make everything exceedingly polite?
It was brilliant fun meeting up with Lex from Naked Loft Party [NSFW, unsurprisingly]. It was a bit odd, with both of us having pseudonyms and not knowing what each other looked like – it felt like a blind date when we met – but it was wonderful to finally meet in the flesh, so to speak, the man whose writing I had admired.
It wasn’t odd at all that he knew of my entire sexual history, because firstly, I also knew of his, and secondly, I knew from his writing that he was very open-minded person and would think nothing of any of my sexual escapades. So when we met, I felt relaxed in his presence; it was a meeting of minds – of like-minded minds – and the connection we had online, translated into a face-to-face one immediately.
It actually did feel very liberating meeting him, because I could be myself completely and not maintain a facade – it felt like a huge weight was lifted from me, very refreshing.
A lot of your posts recognise that women should be able to be wholly uninhibited in bed without being chastised for doing so by men, other women or society in general. Do you think things are getting better for women in that sense?
I think, and hope, that we are moving in the right direction with this. I do, of course, support the view that women are not passive creatures who have sex ‘done’ to them: we have wants and needs and desires, just as men do. However, I don’t want to preach that women ‘should’ have to be some kind of ‘tiger’ in the bedroom, because I think that gives off the wrong message to young women and men: sex should be about equality, about two people sharing something, about having fun, not about one person fulfilling a fantasy representation of what their sexuality ‘should’ be.
Saying that, whilst I do seriously question the view of female sexuality in the media (given that women are almost exclusively either ‘pure virginial’ types, or ‘naughty slutty’ types), I also think that women do need to get more active in bed and take charge of their sexuality – regardless of how society views them. We need to move beyond the stereotypes and create a new version of our sexuality; one that will encompass our desires and wants – from our viewpoint.
Hopefully by doing this, more women will be able to state their needs; will be able to express their wants; will be able to take a more active role in their own enjoyment; and as a result, both women and men will have better sex. That’s what I reckon, anyway, and from the emails I’ve been sent, I suspect many others think this way too. My fingers are crossed that this happens: having a more open dialogue about sex can only be a good thing.
And finally – do you have any words of advice for young people?
First, have oral sex, and by this, I mean TALK about it. People need to be able to have an open dialogue about sex before doing it, then they’ll be able to discuss what they want and how they feel. And, as a bonus, talking about it can be like foreplay – it can be very erotic to discuss what you might like to do – so having a dialogue is an important part of the sex act.
Second, I would always advise having safe sex. I always have condoms on me, and think anyone thinking of having sex, should do so too: there is no excuse. Boys need to practise putting them on when alone, so they become familiar with them; girls can practise putting them (with their hands or mouth) on a sex toy or even a cucumber, for that matter. The point is to get familiar with them, so it becomes part of the sex act: it can be very erotic doing so. If someone refuses to use a condom, then refuse to have sex with them: it’s just not worth the risk – to either person. Saying ‘no’ to sex should be just as acceptable as saying ‘yes’, in my opinion.
Lastly, having an open mind, a willingness to learn, being giving, and being considerate, are much more important qualities to have in bed, than attempting to be the world’s greatest lover. Talking about what you want with your lover, expressing how you feel, being safe in what you do, will all contribute to a good time – so have fun!
See the Girl’s Top 10 Sex Toys on Lovehoney