Back in October the women’s blogging powerhouse site BlogHer put out a call for submissions for an e-anthology of real life sex stories focused around the theme of desire. They asked for stories that put the reader in the moment, that communicate real, authentic desire. And then there was the hitch:
“Submissions cannot be anonymous — that is, we need to know your name — but we will consider publishing some entries anonymously. Look, here’s the trick: If a post is good enough that we want to forward it to everyone we know, yeah, it can be anonymous. But we’re mostly looking for openness about sex.”
Today I found out that the anthology had died. How was its demise announced? As the last paragraph of the announcement of a new anthology in the works about food. It couldn’t have been too difficult to directly contact the (very few, I imagine) submitters to let us know the fate of our work.
A few weeks ago over on Always Each Other I wrote about the phenomenon of women’s lifestyle bloggers avoiding the topic of sex on their blogs. Given that, this outcome doesn’t really surprise me, since the BlogHer network is primarily focused on lifestyle bloggers. It’s evident in the categories across the top of the home page and in the topics of the various conferences they hold. I’m still waiting for the BlogHer Sex ’13 conference announcement (and waiting, and waiting…). I guess we’ll all just have to go to Eroticon instead.
Focusing the topic on sex and desire isn’t what killed this anthology. For heaven’s sake, just look at the collective work of Alison Tyler, Violet Blue, and Rachel Kramer Bussel if you need any reassurance at all that there’s an interest in and a market for anthologies full of S-E-X. And my other internet home, Fleshbot, runs a “true sex story” feature almost daily. From the hits I get on AEO I can attest that people read it.
What killed this anthology is the demand for authors to give up their anonymity in talking about sexual desire. Surely this caused many who would otherwise have considered contributing to keep their thoughts to themselves. After all, if your core identity on BlogHer is as a mom blogger, a food blogger, or a health blogger, a racy essay about the molten hot core of your desire using your real name just doesn’t fit in.
What to do? I would love to know/see what people submitted to this anthology, so I posted on the call for submissions for the sex anthology AND the call for the food anthology and asked the women who had already submitted or who considered submitting to get in touch with me. I’d love to see this anthology become reality, if there’s interest and good submissions out there.
What do you think? Is there a desire for an anthology of this kind of sex writing? At the moment I have no idea how to do this and pay contributors, but I figure it’s worth a moment of exploration. If you’re interested, post something in the comments or email me at email@example.com
This piece first featured on the Tongue Tied ’Smart Stylish Sex’ blog run by the smart, stylish and sexy Liza and Livia.
Liza also writes the blog Always Each Other, which started in December 2011. Her work has been featured on Fleshbot, xojane.com, and The Good Men Project with appropriate permission, and on some dude’s spam blog without attribution. She enjoys looking at pictures of naked people, food, and naked people + food. Liza writes both fiction and non-fiction erotica.