On the hotness of words

Image by the always fantastic Stuart F Taylor

Two things happened today that brought a boiling, bubbling, half-formed rant to the surface of my mind and have caused me to splatter it onto these pages. One: I read this excellent rant by Cara Sutra on sex bloggers, and the pressure on them to get naked and post pics. Two: Twitter decided, in its infinite wisdom, to automatically show me every single picture someone posts on my timeline without me having to open it. Batten down the hatches…

Words are sexy

I think words are filthy hot. The wet I get from a picture becomes a torrent if you use just the right words. While I love dick pics, a well-growled ‘take your fucking pants off’ lights up my ‘oh God yes’ sensors like a win on the fruit machines.

I started this blog because I love words – I think words are sexy. I thought a blog would be the best way to start getting some sexy words out there and receiving some sexy words in return.

But I can’t just restrict myself to words, apparently. Words, on their own, are less valuable than something which has been pimped and packaged and effectively promoted with imagery. Some facts:

  • Google gives more prominence to articles which contain images and/or video content.
  • Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm gives more weight to posts which contain an image.
  • Twitter now gives image posts more space in the timeline.

The bottom line is: if you want to get noticed on the internet, you have to post some pictures. This, as one who can barely point a camera in the right direction, annoys me.

I’m so, like, 19th century

Yeah, sure – a picture speaks a thousand words. But you know what else speaks a thousand words? A writer. A writer who’s spent time and effort carefully crafting some fuckawesome horny shit, only to find that barely 200 people find it because it’s been bumped down or scrolled over in favour of something shinier, brighter, and probably animated into a fucking gif.

There’s value in pictures, of course. There are some amazing images that stir both emotions and loins, and I love looking at some of the beautiful things that my fellow bloggers produce. But I don’t think we all need to produce them. Some of us do pictures, some words, some both. And the idea that a blog will be any better just because it contains the requisite number of image files is like complaining that Charles Dickens didn’t encourage his audience to engage with Oliver Twist by scrawling some stick figures into the margins.

It’s our fault

Yes us – we are to blame. Internet scrollers and clickers and desirers of beautiful pictures. Facebook, Twitter et al don’t do this just to piss off bloggers like me who are as unskilled with a cameraphone as they are with a surgical saw. The networks do this because content that is words – just words – gets less attention. We, the people, click it less frequently. We leave the page more quickly. We exit stage left, following a banner ad in gif format, with those lovely perpetually jiggling tits.

I’m not saying you’re awful people – on the contrary, if you’re here then you’re lovely as all hell and have my undying gratitude for every click, like, retweet and comment. You also have my apologies: the few photos of me that there are on this site are rarely updated or added to, if only because whenever I take a picture with a phone it comes out looking like it was taken by accident.

But what I am saying is that those of us who like words – who want our reads long and our content un-giffed – we might just need to work a bit harder. Get beyond those first shiny Google results with the video stills. Scroll past the flashy images and the ‘OMG you won’t believe what happened to this kitten next’ captions. Sit down, pay attention, put your hand down your pants and read something hot. And if you like something wordy – the sounds and the ideas behind a piece of content that doesn’t happen to have a cleavage shot posted temptingly at the top – for God’s sake share it. We, the wordy, salute and thank you.

Now here’s a picture of my arse.



  • Ay None says:

    Yes! Pictures do nothing for me, at least when it comes to sex. I’m just not a very visual person. Every time I watch Game of Thrones I have to look away during the sexy bits. The sight of naked people, at least ones that I can’t touch and have touch me, is one I seem to actively find off-putting. (Only applies to naked people, oddly. That arse up there is awesome…)

    Give me some good erotica, though, or even some mediocre stuff, and I’ll be extremely interested. Could be a whole novel, could be a single text about what you plan to do to me later, the effect is essentially the same…

  • N. Likes says:

    Nice ass! (Did you write anything up there? I didn’t notice.)

  • O. F. Sorts says:

    I can’t tell you how much I agree with this – there’s something very sexy about the facelessness of words and the way they let your imagination run wherever it wants

  • Babefiend says:

    Whilst being guilty of a blogger who uses gifs and pictures I wholeheartedly agree that the words that are important.

    It’s the words that tell the story, the photos on my blog simply support the description given. Pictures are not enough on their own, it’s words that get me hot, words that I remember and words I recall later during ahem…alone time.

    I love your blog GOTN and had never even thought to question the lack of photos, your words are incredibly powerful without them.

    Though pictures of your ass are always appreciated ;) xx

  • Cara Sutra says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. Plus, of course, the mention of my stampy pants rant.

    There is an ongoing pressure to get more sexy pictures out there, if you want to be noticed in blogging or writing… and I too feel sad that people can’t simply feel satisfied with the hotness of words.

    Words, language, is a magic like no other. Words have the power to change someone’s mood in an instant, to create a personal paradise or hell in someone’s imagination – so much so, that when there is a film adaptation of a book, oftentimes the outcry that it’s not as many perceived is loud and angry. The film isn’t as good as the book! we hear from the masses.

    Pictures are instant gratification. But words are the satisfaction of receiving the artform and skillful talent from a writer, receiving their imagery in your mind’s eye, just through words.

    It’s so undervalued. Thank you for writing this post.

    Cara xxx

  • Jillian Boyd says:

    Words alone are incredibly potent – unfortunately, it seems not a lot of people want just words. Or even words at all. Which I don’t get. I mean, a picture of a man with his cock out is all nice and well, but the sound of a man growling “I want to fuck you, right here, right now” in your ear (or, indeed, reading those words on a page of a story) is enough to make the heavenly choirs sings in my head.

  • I deliberated started a filthy blog that has no pictures whatsoever. I’m fucked, aren’t I?

    Can I borrow your arse? It may help.

  • Argon says:

    I love your posts, and I don’t think you need to add more pictures. I won’t complain if you do, but for me, the main course is always the text. If I want visual porn, I don’t want one or two haphazard pictures.

    Oh, and I love all that you’re writing here. You can write about politics, about sex, about how (for some bizarre reason) you don’t like olives or mushrooms, etc. Keep it up.

    Oh, and <deep growly voice>Take off your fucking panties girl</deep growly voice>.

  • TMI says:

    I never knew that articles with pics get bumped up the ratings. Even with news stories, I’m often irritated to scroll past loads of video versions before I can find a real article. Now I know why. Words are definitely better than pics. I prefer it if I can engage my own mind while consuming my news, porn pointless mithering. But for a quick, functional wank, vids are definitely quicker.

  • Fiddy says:

    I can’t tell you how much my lovely wife simply adores words during sex. She likes to call me “Daddy”, not because it gets me hard, but because it gets her wet. She’s a full time pervert, like you, and just can’t get enough of anything that’s related to sex. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how often I wake up to have her straddling me already, nor would I be able to tell you how often dirty talking lets her get off better. She just likes thinking she’s being used, which is why I’m not usually the one uttering the more harsh things, as my innate gentlemanliness makes it a turn off if I call anyone a “bitch” or “cunt.”

    Doesn’t mean I never say things like “get on your knees, now.” Or “Don’t you dare come until I say you can.”, but I just don’t like saying things that could potentially hurt someone’s feelings.

    We both love your blog and hope you keep this up. ^_^

  • I was wrong. It turns out that quite a lot of people like my words-only blog. I don’t need your arse after all. Thanks for putting it out there, though.

  • Marc says:

    hahahah brilliant! I’ve been chuckling at my desk all morning thanks to that.

  • tosco weber says:

    with such pictures, you definitely should hang on to words, baby

  • The new guy says:

    Is that really your ass? It’s A nice ass and A nice article to go with it.

    • Girl on the net says:

      It is indeed, although don’t get excited – it only looks like that when I’m wearing just the right pants. I retain my ability to thoroughly disappoint men when I am in my underwear =)

  • Sometimes neither pictures nor words can convey the right message… So here’s Al Pacino saying what I want to say. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XartgM-69Dc

  • John says:

    Speaking as a professional photographer I do love images. Whether they are of a beautiful cityscape, lights dazzling off a wet pavement. Or a perfectly timed sports image, or even a sensual and or kinky scenario.
    Pictures are fabulous for providing that moment. Allowing us to see something we may not otherwise have seen. For allowing us to remember a certain moment in time when we took that particular image.

    Having said all that…I absolutely love words. It doesn’t matter if it is a well written spy thriller, or Jane Eyre.. So long as it reads well, and allows the reader time to use their imagination. To want to keep reading. That is the important thing. Unlike the 50 shades book, which in my opinion was the most badly written book I have ever read.

    I love how words can entice the imagination. Once our imagination is teased, anything is possible. Whether spoken words, or words read. The language that we use, and how we use it is important.
    Photographs are great at showing us something. Words are amazing at allowing us to feel, to make up the picture in our mind.
    It is all about the imagination. I believe that those of us with a fervent imagination will love words, and language even more.

    I have only just started reading your blog. I am enjoying it already. Both in term’s of your writing, and for the content.

    p.s. From a purely photographic point of view you understand…I love the design of your black and red knickers, finished off with the final flourish of the black bow. Style.

  • Semper Fi says:

    >only to find that barely 200 people find it because it’s been bumped down or scrolled over in favour of something shinier, brighter, and probably animated into a fucking gif.

    I don’t know , your blog is probably the most interesting thing I’ve come across on the internet. Quite the cerebral experience.

  • But you already have the solution with your guest illustration(s?). Search engines don’t have (yet) an automatic algorithm to discriminante drawings from photos. And it makes your blog gorgeous.

    A workaround for those who love words but don’t want to taint them with puny pictures would be to scan a handwritten section extracted from the blog post itself and use that as a featured image. I guess penmanship is (for us word nerds anyway) at least as personal and graphically potent as any part of the writer’s anatomy.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Yes! You’re right. This post is an archive one from before I started working with Stuart – having his gorgeous illustrations on the blog makes a huge difference, and is brilliant in terms of variety too. If I only ever had pics of me then it would look a bit boring and homogenous I think, whereas Stuart’s images mean we can have a variety of different people, body types etc represented on the site. It’s probably not possible for everyone though as obviously buying images/illustrations from other people costs money (and I can’t draw to save my life!)

      I LOVE your idea about penmanship though – that’d be gorgeous!

  • I meant guest illustration(s?)

  • (oh come on, autocorrect: illustrator(s?)
    (Sorry for the spam)

  • Zazapataa says:

    Hey girl on the net, I just discovered your blog thanks to a French blogger. I’m anglo-french and thank God, bilingual, (or is that multi lingual, since I do like a lot of tongue… in cheek)
    I agree totally with you on the power of words, the Pen is indeed mightier than the picture and I put it all down to the need for instant gratification in today’s society. While words creep up on you and raise the heat slowly and sensually, pictures do it with a bang. See and satisfy. I’ve always loved to write to my partners (the ones who share my bed and not the other ones at my corporate job), describing in graphic detail my adventures with them (or others) and I’ve usually found that the ones who respond to my need for words are the ones who keep me wanting more from them :-) Go figure.

  • John Smith says:

    Absolutely beautifully said, Girl on the Net. Thank you for being a voice for words, and well crafted words at that! You most certainly have practiced many a day on how to turn a phrase just the right way. I’ve only begun to discover your blog, and am just blown away by your stories, how well written they are, and how incredibly beautiful your speaking voice is! Thank you for doing what you do! I think I could listen to you read the Articles of Confederation and not be in the slightest way bored ;0 Any chance you’ve done any stories involving foot fetishism or tickle fetishism? Thanks again for all you’re doing! Sincerely, John Smith, The Laughter Mechanic


  • Fuzzy says:

    I love porn. Picture porn art porn video porn dirty smutty no socially redeeming features porn warm romantic cute porn loving imtimate couple porn you name it porn.

    But words. Oh words. “Words got me the wound and will get me well. If you believe it”. Words arouse me two orders of magnitude beyond the visual. If I want to get horny I go search tumblr. If I want to get off, I go find a sex story site, or just read one of GOTN’s “filthy ones” (almost any will do, but “Fucking in the heatwave” is so wow). Poetry excites me. Prose hammers my soul.

    The sound of the right voice is one of my strongest triggers for arousal. Speaking words, it doesn’t matter what generally, if the voice is insistent enough, pushing me enough, urging me enough, in just that right timbre and frequency and mula bandha grabbing way. Well, that’s time for the orgasm.

    So know this: For your words I love you, I don’t know you, probably never will, but know that you touch my soul through the words.

    (off to buy your books on amazon, best way I know to support you writing more … words)

  • Phillip says:

    Words really do it! There is a book based in Victorian England. While no one knows who the author truly is or even if there is any truth in the book at all, I would be surprised if you haven’t read it. “Anonymous” by the ‘same’ can be found in paperback (a thick one). I found the history of the times, found between the lines, interesting and often deeply sad. It is just the ‘times’ and what people thought and did. It is also very graphic and perhaps it would make a good gift for ‘Stuart’. Every artist needs a muse. Get two copies. I think that it is still in print, but I am sure that someone as resourceful as yourself can locate a copy! Sleep tight.


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