I began writing because I had to. Words crawled against the underside of my skin like so many marching ants, less like blood flowing and more like an itch that had to be scratched. And so I did.
I began an anonymous sex blog on Blogger and wrote about the intersection of motherhood and being single, but I quickly realized I didn’t want to talk about my child in that iniquitous arena. I morphed it into what I really wanted to talk about — my sex life — and wrote with an openness as wide as my legs. Too wide, as it turned out, because I naively shared the URL with lovers and friends and soon felt the pinch of the gag in my mouth. Semi-anonymous is not fun, y’all.
I decided to shut it down and regroup, but not before I somehow I caught Rori’s eye way back in 2011. And thus began my journey to not only continue to write but to improve upon it. I wanted to create content that was beautiful, yet compelling, thought-provoking yet welcoming and above all else entertaining and A Dissolute Life Means… was born.
Earning the top spot on the Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2015 list is what one might consider the pinnacle of my blogging “career.” It’s what I ached to reach and worked so hard to achieve. Its subjectivity humbles me, but the position also creates a welcome pressure to prove to everyone that I indeed earned that top slot. I don’t want anyone to wonder, “Why the fuck did Hy get #1?” At the very worst, I’d at least want someone to think that I’d worked hard to get there and at the best think it was well-deserved.
But with attaining a goal comes a strange dark side of achievement, the side of the mountain I couldn’t see as I was climbing the other: Now what??
Looking at the seven past #1s I find a variety of things ranging from a continued vibrant internet and writing presence to none at all. One #1 disappeared shortly after her nomination under a dark cloud of allegations of illegal activity and another #1, Pandora, seems to have disappeared for nearly two years. The other five #1s (Sinclair Sexsmith, Dangerous Lilly, Guy New York, Molly Moore, and Girl on the Net have all done exactly what I hope to do: grow.
They grew as writers, artists, and activists; they kept going, wrote books, gave talks, plugged in to the community of which they’re such a big part. Some have even taken over Eroticon such is their dedication to all of us.
There’s a silence here in my life right now; I’m catching my breath. Maybe I haven’t actually summitted anything. Maybe I’m only half way there.
This year has been a strange mix of unbelievable highs (Eroticon and London) and radical lows (health, finances, shitty anniversaries, continued heartbreak) and I have been bereft of my normally easily tappable imagination. It’s not that writing feels like a chore, it’s just that I can’t seem to carve out the sacred space to allow it to happen.
And I have no shortage of stories to tell: Charlie the “Italian” waiter in Bristol, Poppy, Peter, George with the man bun, the many sub males with whom I am exploring my dominant side. The men flow like the wine in my life – fast and continuous – but my creative juices not so much.
When I think about where else I want to go here a few things leap out at me: I want to convert this blog into a book, I want travel to London to attend and/or present at Eroticon 2017, 2018 and beyond if at all humanly possible, I want to keep advocating for body positivity and feminist sexual freedom. And most of all, I want to keep writing.
I want to fill the world with my silly words that connect me to all of you. I want to make art with these little black squiggly things pretty much for-fucking-ever since I can’t fathom my life without them – that’d be like eating food that tasted like nothing but chalk — but there’s a vacuum that my small success has created and I feel adrift.
I need to look more closely at my surroundings; there’s so much more beauty left to ascend and consume.
In lieu of a creative emotional space I have fallen still on my mountainside. My exhausting summer of mind, body, and spirit must come to an end; fall, my most favorite, is oh so close. Things will change because they must, but they’re going to change in the direction of my choosing. I will regroup and refocus, double-down on my efforts because I’m not done. Not even close.
I now know what is next for me: More — more art, more community, more Hy — and I will look at my achievements as flags staked along the way, not as stopping points, because I have higher to climb. Hopefully, a lot higher.