Sex writing and consent: do people approve their blogs?

Huge thanks to Stuart F Taylor for letting me share this lovely draft sketch - see below post for explanation!

It’s important to me that you know this: I don’t publish sexy blog stories about people without their permission. That hasn’t always been the case – when I first started blogging I wrote about people who were so far in my past that I couldn’t have popped back up in their lives to get their OK, so I just fudged a lot of details and shot for anonymity. These days, everyone I’ve slept with recently knows that I’m girl on the net, which handily bypasses some of the more awkward conversations I might have to have with a stranger, and also means there’s no excuse to not ask before I turn our fuckstories into #content. So: sex writing and consent. Do people approve their blog posts? And if so, how does that work?

This post is either going to be boring or interesting, depending on whether you care how the sausage is made. There’s a joke in here about sausages/dicks, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Besides, I’m aiming for behind-the-scenes info, so please just remember that if this were a Proper Blog Post I’d edit this paragraph and shove in a semi-relevant pork double-entendre. As it is, I’m aiming for full honesty, total waffle, and absolute minimal edit to try and capture the breathless nerves that I get when I write about people in the first place.

Sex writing and consent: here’s how it works

First, I meet a person. This might happen in any number of ways, but the most common at the moment are:

  • people I already know in real life who let me know that now I’m single they’re Up For It and would like a go on me.
  • people I know from Twitter/the blog/other circles who let me know that now I am single they are Up For It and would enjoy it if I could ride them like a very good pony.
  • people who are recommended/offered/introduced to me.

I meet the person, and we do stuff. Drinks, food, chatting, meeting in a hotel at 11 in the morning if their schedule is especially bizarre. We either shag or don’t shag, depending on mood. Occasionally on dates we talk about the blog, and writing. Sometimes people ask, and sometimes I bring it up, and if we have this conversation (which we don’t always), it’ll usually be along the lines of:

Them: are you gonna write about me?

Me: I don’t know, and I definitely don’t want to promise anything. But you should know that experiences and people are always more important than the blog, so if it’s something you really don’t want me to do, I just won’t and it’s no big deal. Sex with me isn’t conditional on you agreeing to let me write about it, that’d be fucked up. If you are up for me writing something, know that I’d never publish a piece about you that you didn’t have the opportunity to accept, reject or edit for anonymity.

Them: OK cool.

As I say, I don’t always have this conversation: sometimes it comes up and sometimes it doesn’t, it usually depends on how interested the person is in my work. I don’t make a point of raising it on each and every date because… well… I’d rather enjoy the date than think about how it may or may not translate into future content. People before porn.

Next step: the writing.

How do you write about people you’ve shagged?

It’s important to note here that I don’t blog every single shag. The conundrum I am currently grappling with is that because I have written about some shags, I may have accidentally introduced a bizarre piece of sex etiquette whereby it looks rude if I don’t blog any given one. Still grappling with this, to be honest.

If I don’t write about a shag, it’s for one of the following reasons:

  • I couldn’t find anything specific on which to hang a story.
  • I could find something on which to hang a story, but that something proved difficult to capture when I actually sat down to write the bloody thing.
  • I didn’t think I was my best and most charming self, and I would like to try again sometime before committing our fucking to the blog.
  • I started writing something and then a bunch of other work came up, so that by the time I tried to finish it I’d lost the thread I’d been trying to grasp and everything went to shit. I have loads of draft blog posts like this, by the way: a couple about gamble/throb guy, one about the maelstrom of fuck couple, and a few about other people too. For every post that gets published, there’s usually at least one abandoned draft sitting somewhere. My computer is like my desk: absolutely covered with notes that will never see the light of day because my brain got distracted partway through.

I’m hoping that, having read the reasons above, the following info won’t surprise you too much but here goes: I don’t usually ask for permission to write something until the post is almost complete.

This might seem a bit ass-backwards, but it’s important to me. Here’s why: I’m very used to wasted work, and abandoned drafts – I can deal with that. What I struggle to deal with, though, is the heart-thumping panic of trying to write to an imagined deadline when I know someone’s waiting for my thoughts. I get this panic anyway, but not specifically promising a post does help to calm my nerves and make a good post far more likely.

Fuck knows how I’d feel if I were on the other side of this – I’ll have to ask some writerly types I’ve banged if they fancy doing a guest post from their point of view. Except I won’t, of course, because ‘can you write a story about how fun it is to fuck me?’ is far too narcissistic, even for me.

Sex writing and consent: the approvals process

Anyway. I write the post. I write it before I have even said ‘may I write a post?’ because I want to avoid promising something and then subsequently not delivering. The muse is a fickle and fleeting little bitch and she does not always appear when I need her to. Besides, when we talk about sex blogs and consent, I think it’s important to be clear about what we’re seeking consent for. You don’t need someone’s consent to write about your horny escapades in a diary or notes or a word doc that goes nowhere: what I’m seeking isn’t consent to write, but consent to publish. To share.

Once I’ve drafted something I might want to publish/share, that’s the point at which I have a conversation with the person/people in question so they can choose whether to approve/reject/edit.

Here’s how that goes:

Me: hey, how do you feel about me maybe writing a post about the hot thing we did?
Them: yes go for it!*

*there is always a possibility that they’ll say ‘no’ here, and I would never ask a yes/no question unless I was fully ready to accept ‘no’ for an answer, but as it is so far they’ve all said yes. The absolute heroes. This is likely due, in part, to the fact that they all know I’m GOTN already. I suspect my ‘yes’ rate with strangers would be far lower.

Me: OK, I’ve actually already drafted something. Gonna email it over to you.
Them: Sweet!

Me (in email): Here’s a post. I had a fucking amazing time with you, and although a blog post can never fully capture the sexy stuff, I hope this is a decent-ish summation of [X particular moment/event/tone etc]. As this is the first time I’ve written about you, I want to stress that I absolutely would never want to publish anything you weren’t comfortable with – stories are fun, but they are never more valuable than people. Your comfort is far more important to me than blog content, and as you know I have loads of blog content, so if you’re in any way unsure about this, I will delete it and it can just be a thing that you (I hope!) enjoy as a reminder of the fun =)

If you are up for me publishing it, but you want me to cut/edit bits to make you less identifiable, I can totally do that, or if you want to say ‘I might be up for you sharing this, but can I have more time to think on it?’ that is A-OK too. It is, after all, the internet, and things that are published there can never truly go away.

Tl;dr – I made a thing, do you like it? If so, are you up for me publishing it?

PHEW! That was long, wasn’t it? I almost just copy/pasted directly from my emails then realised I’ve said this so often lately, I can just shoot from the hip and you’ll get the idea. I never send people draft blog posts without at least a bit of waffle, because I need them to understand what they’re getting themselves into, and also understand that ‘no’ is a totally valid answer. I don’t pretend I always apply my rules perfectly, but if I could sum up my approach to sex writing and consent in general it’d be this: real people, and their feelings, are always more important than the horny little stories I tell.

People before porn. Always.

After I have sent this email, naturally I shit myself, and spend the next days/hours/minutes panicking, depending on how long I am waiting for a reply. To be fair, I’ve never waited as long as the actual people in question have waited for the write-up, so I have absolutely nothing to go whining about.

So far everyone’s said yes. A couple of people have suggested slight tweaks for anonymity. No one’s gone ‘fuck GOTN, this is absolute SHITE, I am never shagging you ever again.’

And that, of course, is the main thing.

Sex blogs and consent: what about images?

Final point is one which a few people have asked me (including people I’ve fucked, and they are the most important). That question is: when Stuart so beautifully illustrates your posts, what kind of guidance does he get around how people should look? The answer is ‘absolutely none whatsoever.’ Stuart is a fabulously talented, thoughtful and brilliant artist, and he will usually interpret the posts in ways I couldn’t even have begun to picture in my limited non-visual mind – pulling out individual scenes or positions or concepts and turning them into stunning art.

I make a point of not including much physical description in my stories – you’ll rarely get told whether someone’s blonde, brunette, muscular, fat, tall, short, etcetera unless it’s really super relevant to what happened (for instance, in this post about having my jeans ripped off me, describing his strong shoulders felt important to the tone). I think I originally did this for anonymity reasons, but now it’s become habit and I feel a bit creepy if I describe someone in too much physical detail – like I’m fetishising this or that characteristic about them. While there definitely are some especially hot/beautiful characteristics of people I shag that I could wax lyrical about, broadly the things that turn me on are words they used, things they did, and the overall tone of a scene.

Anyway. To answer that question in a less waffly way: no, Stuart does not get any physical descriptions about the people I’m shagging. I just send him the blog post, then he draws a gorgeous smorgasbord of different body types – any resemblance to real-life humans is incidental. The only time I give any direction at all is when I’ve not described a particular position very well, in which case he’ll sometimes send me sketches to ask “is this really how it went down?”

The image that illustrates this post, from last week’s maelstrom of fuck, was a result of my not properly describing the position in which we shagged – Stuart’s annotated image shows what he gleaned from the text, and it was helpful to see that I hadn’t properly described the position (i.e. me with my head in her lap/between her legs rather than being sat on). I love seeing these because it helps me identify gaps in my writing, and better hone the alt text of images when I add them to the site, so I can make sure people with screenreaders are getting the same experience as people who can see the gorgeous art that Stuart creates. The people in the stories don’t get to approve or reject the art, although they do usually get to see it in advance because I simply can’t help myself when these little parcels of beauty drop into my inbox, and I get to send an excited message to this or that partner saying ‘look! Innit gorgeous! Here’s you and me, reimagined!’

Why am I telling you all this stuff about sex writing and consent? It’s mainly so I can link to this post from future stories, making sure that you all understand the groundwork that goes on behind the scenes when I tell you tales about real world people. Because I don’t want anyone to worry that if they shag me they’re in line to become non-consensual blog fodder. But above all because there’s an upcoming blog that features a gleeful storm of private messages, intimate info, and me thirsting after one specific guy’s dick… and I don’t want you to think I’m just spaffing that out there without first getting his approval.


If you enjoy behind the scenes stuff, come join my team on Patreon where I give you rambling monthly audio updates about Stuff That’s Been Happening, as well as previews of upcoming posts, stories the blog doesn’t hear and Christmas cards with personalised smut in them! 



  • Purple Rain says:

    This is fascinating, thank you.

  • Pangolin says:

    Love this. I was feeling quite blue this afternoon but reading this has cheered me up no end. More power to your elbow!

  • Chris says:

    Thank you for this insight, it’s great to ‘peek behind the curtain’. I had a sex blogger write about me previously which was an interesting experience. I don’t recall her asking me before publishing, but I did know that she was a sex blogger in advance so I had thought it was a possibility. I did check her blog a few days later, and sure enough I recognised myself / our evening.

    Had I been given an opportunity to read it before publishing there was one detail I might have asked her to omit. She has since given up the art though and her website has gone. I find I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t save the text when I realised it was no more. If I have a point here, I’m not sure what it is, other than that I related to this post. :)

  • Valery North says:

    I find this behind the scenes stuff fascinating –

    One thing I wondered, about the art/anonymity thing: do you ever get people, when you send them the draft, replying with” btw here’s a reference photo for Stuart”? How would/do you handle that?

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thanks Valery – I’m so glad you enjoy it! And no, no one has ever done that. I suspect that for many of the introverts that I shag, the idea of volunteering a photo without being asked for one would be quite out of character. If anyone offered I’d just thank them for the offer then explain what I explained above, and tell them Stuart imagines the people himself rather than basing it on their real likenesses. Stuart and I have met so he knows what *I* look like, but other than my author bio pic (which was based on a photo I sent to him) none of the images are based on photos or likenesses.

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