Friday, March 8, 2013

Why I’m Not Done Writing About Sex

(or, If You Thought That Last Video Was Too Risque You Better Brace Yourself)

I wrote my first blog about sex back in August. I made the decision, with that post, not to be private or coy about my sexuality, my interest in sex, or the sexual content of my work. I made the decision to “come out” as a woman who likes sex.

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. I got a bunch of fan mail in response to that post (only a very small percentage of it inappropriate or creepy). I got to have dinner with Dan Savage and Chris Ryan. I had women of all ages come up to me in person and thank me for writing about female sexuality. I got hit on a lot more often at my shows, and more directly (which is, of course, fine with me.)

Occasionally, I get a different reaction. A few people have told me that they’re “bored” of this topic, that I ought to write about something else. A friend told me that I should show less cleavage in my promotional pictures, or people might “get the wrong idea”. People have said that they “fear for my safety”, that I should probably “tone down the sex stuff”.

Well, I’m about to release an EP. It includes one song about sex, one song about sex and murder, and one song about sex and bravery. That last one is accompanied by a music video which features two burlesque dancers in their underwear, two very tall men in suits, and yours truly, dancing lasciviously and looking like I’m about to make some mischief. NPR just told me they wouldn’t post it to their website because it’s “too risque”.

So, for clarification purposes, I’d like to tell you why I won’t tone down the sex stuff.

Just Exactly What I Stand For

It’s not my job to sing pretty songs. It’s not my job to be cute, or to make people feel comfortable, or nice, or happy. My job, as I’ve chosen to define it, is to live vibrantly, and tell everyone about it.

I stand for aliveness. I stand for joy and pleasure and inspiration. I stand for human beings having a vibrant experience of their own lives. I stand for sex and desire and passion and lust because those things make me, and most other people, feel alive. For the same reason, I also stand for music, love, honesty, silliness, poetry, bravery, chocolate, parades, and painting things pink.

I will stop writing about sex, and music and love and honesty, when those things stop making people feel alive. So don’t hold your breath.

“I Fear for Your Safety”

Aliveness is inefficient, messy, and hard to control. It’s difficult to monetize, difficult to quantify, difficult to compete at. Aliveness does not increase GDP. What’s worse: everybody wants it more than money. In a society like ours, aliveness is automatically threatening to the status quo.

Sexual pleasure, being one of the most potent bearers of aliveness, is surrounded by a sort of gloppy, tarry, whiny puritan shame. That shame is society’s way of protecting itself – think of it like porcupine quills, or the fake blood that some lizards cry. Shame, and its attendant propaganda, floats around in the ether and pours out of other people’s mouths before they realize what they’re saying.

If you dedicate your life to aliveness, or anything that inspires it; be it sex or music or humor or painting-things-pink; people will tell you to get a job. They will ask you about your fallback plan. They will say, “I could never do that”. They will tell you they fear for your safety. They will tell you to show less cleavage and write about something else and focus and get serious and grow up and tone it down.

In essence, they will tell you that there are better things to do than run around feeling alive.

I’m here to tell you that there aren’t.


  1. Dear Carsie. Yes. Fuck Yes. Thank you for holding that ground for those of us who hold more timid less risky lines and call it enough.

  2. If people really listened to you, you'd put a lot of coaches and therapists out of business. I want to live in that world with you!

  3. Just saw "Spring Awakening" a couple weeks back. Goes hand in hand with what you do, love it!

  4. ~ PREACH, li'l sistah!! & go 'HEAD ON, witcha BAD SELF!

  5. ~ UNKNOWN?? i ain't travelin' incognito!

  6. ~ i was merely the hapless victim of some untoward technological glitch, and meant to say, most UN-anonymously, as if SHOUTIN' from the rooftop:

    PREACH, li'l sistah!! & go 'HEAD ON, witcha BAD SELF!

  7. I'm with you on everything except painting everything pink.

  8. Thanks for writing this, Carsie. I found your thoughts on this subject & outlook on life to be very inspiring!