This is our truth, tell us yours
My collaborator and I have been musing over this blog’s future for a while.
It’s been worth musing, because in the process she’s helped me understand this blog’s strength and its weaknesses.
It is a strength and a weakness of this blog that it is pseudonymous. It’s a strength because it lets me say things that are incompatible with my public life, and a weakness because it means the blog, like my online persona and my poetry, is disconnected from the networks of my family and professional lives.
On the other hand, as Jem pointed out with huge insight, the blog is a wonderful piece of collaboration in practice, right down to our principles and rules about not seeking to offend the other, but not demanding pre-publication reviews of each other’s views.
The blog has been a wonderful piece of experience for me, sharpening my writing and exposing me to the discipline of trying to write to the standard Jem routinely delivers.
It’s also a blog that has helped me practice reflection and empathy,and writing about the blog now is part of that reflective practice.
So how to explain the title? When I first me Jem I wasn’t looking for a friend, muse and teacher. I was looking for a fuck buddy. The rest was just fringe benefits. I found what I needed by not looking for it, and by not assuming that Jem was limited by our mutual desire.
When we started blogging we weren’t looking for the complex collection of articles and think pieces we’ve produced. We were looking, for a way to talk to each other in a public way, an experiment in being political, personal, and in debating in a way that reflects who we are and how we want the world to be.
The world in which we are blogging is changing around us,and our lives are changing. I felt the impact of that in two ways on Twitter today. On the one hand I tweeted a picture of a yawning puppy to describe how I felt about another feast of think pieces about the meaning of Trump; on the other I tweeted at friends who were plugging their piece about what the Stoke by election might mean that the job of socialists is to change the world, not interpret it.
Good quality reflection is a slow process, and it’s iterative. If the output of this blog slows, as we reflect, that’s the inevitable consequence of the process. As ever though, thank you for listening to our conversation.
I have to start my part in this with a confession. I had no desire to influence policy on sex work, discuss feminism, theology, politics, change the perception of BDSM, or even shout at Nazis when Carter and I first started blogging.
No, I simply wanted to show off, not with my writing, but that I was a sub, or more precisely, Carters sub. I had the insight and self awareness of a particularly bratty 10 year old being denied their favourite treat. (A pose Carter is familiar with from a pout I apparently wear at certain times)
One of the cruellest things Carter ever does though is make me think, metaphorically, and literally pushing the hair from my face, and telling me to look him in the eye. Over time I realised I was not just a sub, and that the various parts of my life also wanted to express themselves in words. Indeed sometimes they cried out to be also heard, and a balance had to be found. In essence though this blog always was, and is, a conversation, between two people who accidentally found each other bored online, and thinking, is this it? Like all true conversations we have been changed by the words of the other, because half of a conversation is listening. I have, through writing, realised things about my sexuality, gender and politics which would have remained dormant otherwise.
At times when the black dog has hounded me Carter has written to make me smile, and I hope that when he has wondered where life was leading my words have also lightened the load. Along the way others have joined us, far more than I ever imagined for what is, basically a private conversation between two people who met when one was pushing fruit inside themselves. I thank each and every one of you for spending time with us. This is not an ending, even if it sounds like one, this is a turning, in the lives of two people who have always been tempted to see what might lie around the next corner.