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In literary studies there is a concept of writing “for the drawer”. It refers to writing that was done in a historical period or within a socio-political situation that did not allow for it to be published or even openly shared. Some of the greatest literary works produced in early Stalinist Russia were not published until 30-40 years after their initial inception.
People like Andrei Bely, Mikhael Bulgakov, and Anna Akhmatova had important things to say and vivid artistic expression that simply could not be expressed. Their ideas were not just unpopular, they were dangerous to the government. And, the simple knowledge of the existence of these writings would have been sufficient to cause them and their entire families to be imprisoned or killed. Writing for the drawer was a political reality and necessity.
People still write in this way today, but not for such dire reasons. The cloak of anonymity that most bloggers maintain is significant but sometimes even it isn’t sufficient. What if I told you that even on an anonymous blog, the community that exists is enough to cause some to self-censor?
If anonymous blogging is already writing for the drawer and this blog is a space for my most personal and difficult thoughts, then where do I write down the things that I can’t even say here? One solution is personal friendships. I have a friend that frequently sends me emails with pieces of writing and a subject line like, “I can’t blog this”. Sometimes he is correct. For social reasons or political ones or just “good taste”, he really can’t. Sometimes I convince him that he is wrong because I know his subject line is a challenge to both of us, of course he “can” blog it, but will he?
Me? I don’t even commit these dirtiest of thoughts to words in a publishable way. I may talk about them with friends or even allude to them on Twitter but the simple act of stringing words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs seems very risky and final to me. If I write and I don’t publish, I am admitting that the thoughts are unpublishable. And if I don’t publish the unpublishable, what am I doing here?
So, my challenge to myself and to every other reader, writer, and sexual being out there is to think about those controversial thoughts. The ones that are too provocative, too infuriating, too risky for even your anonymous self. If you’re brave, you’ll share them in the comments, if you’re braver you’ll commit it to posterity in some way.
I’ll be writing a series of posts that reveal these thoughts and ideas. They won’t be comfortable and they won’t be nice but they aren’t written in the spirit of burning bridges but rather in the hope of forging difficult and painful connections through honesty.
If you've wondered what it would be like to get me on the phone, no need to wonder anymore!
32 Responses for "Sex Blogging and Writing for the Drawer"
Huh. This is a vastly intriguing topic. I’ll have to give it some thought. There are a lot of things I don’t write, and/or say only to my GF because she’s the only one who, if she doesn’t understand (and most of the time she does), won’t judge me for saying it.
Well I’m slowly learning that most of the things I am worried about posting are really no big deal. At worse a couple of people stop reading, but if it is that controversial you will probably pick up twice the number that left in new readers.
It all stems from the fact that we bloggers are self involved and tend to think that the things we think are a big deal other people will think are a big deal too.
Fuck it. More than that revel in it. I can’t wait to post some shocking stories.
I find this interesting. I’ve always considered myself free from self censorship until one day I realized I had fantasies I’d be worried about putting on my blog, not because it was ‘dangerous’, not necessarily, but because I’m worried that people will judge me. Some are super creepy weird ‘holy crap, I am kind of a sadistic top’ type fantasies, and some are ones I *know* other people have (I’ve read Nancy Friday) but I still worry about sharing. And it annoys me. I don’t like self censoring.
I am honored to name you as a recipient for the ELITE FETISH AWARD. Please contact me. :=)
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