Sometimes I am so gullible and oblivious. I thought every blogger is just like me, who writes about IT, or making money online, or writes about their daft, boring daily activities, or about cooking, or kids, or fashion. Or politics. I didn’t realise there are bloggers who write about sex.
That until last night I watched a program called Sex in The Noughties: The Sex Blog Girls. The program was aired in 2007 but was re-aired again. I watched it when it was about to finish, but I picked up one blogger who blogs about – what else – sex, anonymously. The blog, Girl With A One-Track Mind, is written by a girl under a pseudonym, Abby Lee, who worked in the film industry, lived in London and got laid a hell of a lot. It started at the beginning of 2004, where there were only 20 million bloggers around the world (compares to now, which is 112 millions). After 6 months, people were googling for it at a rate that was measurable by the minute. The blog get 250,000 readers a month, won Best British or Irish Blog at the 2006 Bloggies, was published as a book with the same title, Girl With A One-Track Mind.
Several weeks a go I found out that the show Secret Diary of A Call Girl series, a British TV drama starring Billie Piper, aired by ITV2, is actually based on the blog called Belle De Jour: Diary of London Call Girl. I hardly watch British TV shows, so even though the show has been aired for quite sometime now, I wasn’t paying attention too much. The blog itself started in 2003, and is meant to be a diary of a high-class prostitute living and working in London. Soon it was being mentioned by others on the web and it came to the attention of the print media. In December 2003 a newspaper [The Guardian] awarded Belle the first prize in its annual competition for the best-written blog.
Abby Lee enjoyed her anonymity before The Sunday Times revealed her true identity 2 years a go, just 3 days after the publication of her book. Now everbody knows her real name, and as she said:
It might have been more than two years since I lost my anonymity but I still get a little thrown when someone I’ve never met before greets me by saying, “Oh I know who you are, I’ve been reading your blog from the early days,” and then mentions a memorable post from way back that they particularly enjoyed reading. Knowing the exact post they reference, I then blush and mumble and revert to a default position of shyness whilst attempting to change the subject onto something that doesn’t involve me, someone else’s fingers, or my very wet knickers.
On the interview Abby said that she thought she could have her blog published and maintain her anonymity at the same time.
I guess I was lulled into a false sense of security regarding my anonymity because I knew that Belle de Jour was hounded by the press, and still managed to keep her identity private. Whilst I may have a high-traffic blog, and a book detailing my sexual adventures in the shops, I’m not a prostitute like her, so why, I figured, would anyone really be interested in whom I am?
But life is not that bad for Abby Lee. After her book deal (rumoured to be six-figures), she is now busy attending conferences and being interviewed by media.
Belle, on the other hand, has sparked speculation in the media as to her real identity. Whether Belle really was a call girl, and whether her diary entries are based on fact or are entirely fictitious. Times Online has published at least 5 articles about Belle and her somewhat ‘true’ identity. Belle, however maintains that she is who she is. Now she is a regular columnist in The Sunday Telegraph, maintaining her anonymity (I wonder how it works, though, even though she could keep a distance with the newspaper by communicating everything online, she still has to get her cheque under her real name, right?). With that TV show under her belt now, she must be the queen of sex blogger.
Another blogger mentioned by the Sex in The Noughties: The Sex Blog Girls show was Bitchy Jones, who maintains a blog called Bitchy Jones’s Diary. She is, as she said in her blog, is a sexually dominant, and want to be a boss in bed. She, however, doesn’t do dominatrix for money. She talked about the interview and her choice to be anonymous in one of her posts:
I’m anonymous because it’s easier for me to be real that way. It easier to tell the truth in the dark. But I’d hate to think I was fooling anyone or making them think I was ashamed of what I am. And some days I think it’s political. That anonymous female sex blogging challenges ideas about women and sex and media on a quite basic level. That a woman – normally – is not allowed to have opinions about sex without revealing her body. Without making her body commercially available. (Like Abby Lee – quite clearly – was forced by the media to be a body.) It’s challenging all on it’s own to be a bodiless sexual mind rather than a mindless sexual body.
Just like what I posted here and here, I said that I don’t really care whether the blogger is anonymous or not. Being a responsible one is more important. I don’t respect vicious attacks without justification that seem aimed at shredding a person’s reputation. It doesn’t matter whether we write about IT, or making money online, or write about daft, boring daily activities, or about cooking, or kids, or fashion. Or politics. Or sex…
PS: do you notice that the image in ITV2’s Secret Diary of A Call Girl website is similar to my blog header?