Coming & Crying: real stories about sex from the other side of the bed is a book, made by the internet and edited by Meaghan O’Connell and me. We’ve just opened up our Kickstarter pitch to take pledges towards the book’s production, which is also your way of placing a pre-order for the finished first edition.
Here’s what I told Meaghan I wanted to do with this book many months ago in our first shared Google Doc about it:
“It’s not the business of all sex writers everywhere to solve the world’s sex problems.”
That is: sex writing within the limited scope of “erotica” has been unfairly burdened with rehabilitating sex in public. We as writers have to turn in work that exalts sex, always treats sex like the hottest, the most revelatory thing two (or however many more the CFS required) bodies can do together.
Sex within “real” “literature” doesn’t fare much better, where even if only a very tiny group of writers insist we write in a “post-sex” world, the rest are left making sense of how to not just fade-to-black on fucking.
Or worse than all of that and certainly within that, sex is never treated as a site of inquiry in its own right. Sex stands in for “freedom” or “cultural disintegration” or “womanhood” or whatever. Sex is asked to be too much, and “sex writers” are expected to answer to all of it. Oh, and make it really hot, too.
For some reason, the internet gives sex writing the room to breathe and be more than someone else’s platform to sell a thing or be a thing, anything but what it is: storytelling from a raw and flushed and necessary place. Sex, as commercialized and stupid as it gets online, is also still ours. The continuous partial disclosure of blogging (as in, you would never maybe say this much if you had to do it all at once) makes writing sex even more human, gives us nigh infinite space to say what needs to be said and not have to worry about how well it will do on a rack at the airport.
If we’re successful, we’ll have a beautiful, crazy, lovely book and before it even hits our shelves, a whole lot of people will have let us know how much they want that, too. (This is usually where I go off on a long visionary ramble about how there’s this space, between having made zines and websites because who could get an audience together like the audience you could get for a book, but why not, let’s try it on the internet, and this moment, being here and ready with a book we can make precisely because we took our work online. Which is true, I think, that this couldn’t be without you. Really.)
So here we are, heaping another burden on sex: this book, which we hope is absolutely the thing we have been looking for. Give if you can, or go tell some people about the project, if that’s your style. Your pledge is an investment in the writers and photographers who will make this book. But honestly, you’ve already made this happen.