Among the collection of sessions of wonder that was Eroticon 2014, there was one particular workshop which a lot of people consented would make a good blog post. So please excuse me while I jump on this bandwagon while it's still rolling.
The session in question being Anna Sansom's, entitled "I recognise your vagina... but not your face". I attended merely because of the title, of course - but I'm glad I did, because what ensued was 45 minutes of discussion about sustainability, personal ethics, blogging identity and self-guidelines for sex blogging and writing overall.
I also made everyone laugh by going into rhapsodic detail about how much effort it takes me to HTML up one of my posts before I write the thing. It beats tripping over a chair, I suppose.
Anyway, the main focus of the session was on your own guidelines for sex writing. Anna put us into groups and think about four questions in sequence: what, why, how, what if? Interpret at your leisure, I suppose. As I listened to Jilly and Play With Changes talk about their own hows-and-whys-and-d'youmindifIdon'ts, I scribbled down some ideas myself about what my blogging ethics are, focusing on something I've always been wary of: censorship. Here's what I wrote.
I will not, ever edit or censor what I write here.
This doesn't include proofreading or 'editing' of that nature, such as rewriting paragraphs, although - to be blunt - I don't really do that either. I'd rather get a post out there that's a little raw than just end up with one very polished post. It doesn't work for everyone, but each to their own (that's what's great about blogging!).
However, I stick to my guns about not censoring what I write, either for my own or someone else's benefit. I wouldn't delete a post because my opinion's changed; I wouldn't shy away from broaching a subject I really shouldn't; I definitely wouldn't censor myself. I spend long enough fighting against censorship to do it to myself... and this is a sex blog; why would I?
Because I don't agree with censorship anyway. I mean, to be honest, I don't imagine a lot of people reading this will.
My mother appears to be for censorship, although I'm not sure why. I managed to talk her round once, but she's difficult to crack. I don't know if she wants to routinely control the share of information everywhere, but she has expressed the desire to delete all the porn from the Internet at one point because "it's degrading to women" - a strange sentiment from someone who's been a lifelong Labour supporter and claims to advocate free speech.
If nothing else, her attitude provides a polar opposite to my attitude, and that is a daily reminder why I don't censor myself.
"If censorship is the answer... it was a bloody stupid question." - Zak Jane Kier
I do this by writing what I want to write (or what I feel I need to write), even if it's not too advisable to write it.
This has gotten me into trouble a few times, although never too deeply - the worst times being when someone takes something I say in jest as being something that I actually believe. It's difficult to convey sarcasm over the internet without using a tongue smiley, and I've been trying to cut down on those. I don't mean to inflame, despite not wanting to censor myself as above, although I'd like to think that my views aren't particularly inflammatory by virtue of being an ILB!
Nevertheless... I've written posts about paedophilia, Christianity, the benefits of having a foreskin, feminism (or the misnomer thereof), and other things which I know not everyone will agree with. But then you can't please all the people all the time.
Plus, it's not my aim to please everyone. I love you all: that doesn't mean I'll share your opinion!
WHAT IF... I WERE OUTED?
This is something that links in with my previous answers, because (as I've just indicated) there's a lot of stuff that I've written that may well get me into trouble if I were exposed... although not as much as the stuff other people write. Mia More and Emily Dubberley's "Talking to the Press" session covered the subject of anonymity and outing, which got me thinking about this: do I have, as it were, an exit strategy?
Yes, I do. I always have.
My exit strategy is this: don't do anything. I'm not high-profile enough for my unmasking to make any massive ripples, although it may not be too good for me. But I'd like to think that I'd just continue doing what I do - writing these posts as I have since 2007, hardly mentioning the fact that my true identity's out there. That's what I've always thought I'd do in the event. Of course, this is all theory - if such a thing ever happens I'd have to see what the best course of action is - but I like the idea of continuing as if nothing had happened.
My real name isn't important. I am ILB. And that's enough.