My Sex Writing 101 workshop September 12th in LA at CatalystCon and examples from The Village Voice, The Fix, Salon, The Daily Beast, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar
I'm gearing up to teach my Sex Writing 101 workshop ahead of CatalystCon on September 12th, which so far is the only place I've taught it because I think it's the best venue for a 3-hour, intense workshop where people are already generally in the sexuality field in some capacity and have a framework for the types of issues and ideas being discussed. This is a companion post to "How to make money writing about your sex life and 5 times I did." That one was about writing about your personal life, which will be covered in the workshop, but this post is about sex journalism, which will also be covered.
There is also room to overlap both of those in one piece or book, and I'll be highlighting the work of CatalystCon speakers like Joan Price (who's on my September 14th panel on Envelope-Pushing Erotica), Carol Queen (who's excellently blended both personal experience and journalism/advocacy pieces), Conner Habib, a prolific writer about sexuality topics and past Best Sex Writing contributor, Cunning Minx with her podcast Polyamory Weekly and ebook on polyamory (we are on a panel on September 13th on Shameless Self-Promotion: Marketing 101 for Activists). See the full CatalystCon schedule here.
I'll also be highlighting the work of many other people who write sex articles, such as Jillian Keenan, who wrote a Modern Love essay about spanking in The New York Times (yes, that's more of a personal essay, but since then she's gone on to write a lot about related topics in a more journalistic fashion) and a recent piece for Slate about kink as a sexual orientation, my friend Twanna Hines, who parlayed her blog Funky Brown Chick into a column for Metro, and much more.
In a nutshell, just as I think everyone has a personal sex essay in them they can publish and sell, I feel the same about other forms of nonfiction sex writing. I'm not saying everyone should do it, but if you want to, there are ways to mine your own life and the news and craft great pitches. I'll be teaching you how and getting you writing and pitching, and I hope you'll attend this workshop if you're at CatalystCon. Here are 8 examples of my own nonfiction sex writing over the years (please note they aren't all about how people have sex, but also about sexuality and culture and how our sexuality affects the rest of our lives), that I hope give a bit of breadth to the topics you can cover (which are vast, and new ones pop up every day, like the leaked nude Jennifer Lawrence photos):
"A Revolutionary Relationship", The Village Voice - one of my favorite of my columns, which I wrote almost 10 years ago (!!). Here's the opening:
I'm a little nervous when I pick up the phone to call Betty Dodson. After all, I had sex with her live-in partner, Eric, only a few weeks ago. While I know they have a long-term open relationship, that doesn't mean she'll exactly welcome me with open arms, even though she's agreed to the interview."Kinky, Sober and Free: BDSM in Recovery", The Fix
"Guybrators! Prostate massagers! Fleshlights! “Louie” and the expanding male sex toy market", Salon
'50 Shades of Grey' is The Subject of a Course at American University", The Daily Beast
"Erotic Lit Your Grandmother Will Like," The Daily Beast
"How to Talk Sexy (and Not Sound Stupid)", Glamour
"The O-Shot", Harper's Bazaar
Ready to write your own, CatalystCon attendees? Sign up for Sex Writing 101 on September 12th!