Nov 11, 2010

Welcome to My World

Hello, world. Hello, new blog. Hello, writing what I want, when I want about the weird world I live in, which is dominated by the watching of, thinking about, writing about, talking about, and constant preoccupation with sex, mostly through the lens of modern American pornography.

You may know me already. I started my rants over a year ago on McSweeney's Internet Tendency under the heading, "The Conflicted Existence of a Female Porn Writer," and I've been penning for several porn magazines for going on three years now (some in print, one online) as a DVD reviewer, interviewer, journalist, and editor. I'm known to some as Lynsey G, to others as Miss Lagsalot, and to the near and dear as Lags; each of these names/personas writes in a different way and about different aspects of my life as practical third-wave (or post?) feminist, bisexual young woman in New York, porn aficionado, and budding human sexuality scholar. And, well, it's weird. I've always been a highly sexual and intensely curious person, and when you match those qualities with my tendency to become fiercely devoted to any person, project, or job I undertake, you end up with a serious sex writer.

Thing is, I come from a red county in a rural area. I was raised by non-religious yet extremely traditional parents who were raised during the time of first-wave anti-porn feminism one the one hand, and hippies and free love on the other. My parents thought the hippies were "weird," and they never got into feminism, but the ideas their more-religious parents had nested in them, combined with the bra-burning (actually, that never really happened, but it's a damn good metaphor) radical femme-bots really got into their heads. I was taught that sex is a shameful secret, an unspoken evil that one may choose to engage in only within the confines of a legally recognized marriage between a man and a woman, end of discussion, the end, don't-ask-any-questions. I was told at the age of fourteen, when the boys started coming around my place, that if I were ever discovered to be "acting in an adult manner" with boys before I was married or completely financially independent, I would be disowned.

As a very impressionable and sensitive, yet willful and hard-headedly independent child, I took all this to heart. I was also born, it seems, with a hyperactive sex drive: from the time I was four the only books I wanted to be read at bedtime were either way above my comprehension level, or the "How Babies Are Made" kind of books. My mom got sick of reading the ones about babies, and probably freaked out by my innate perversion, and started reading me Lord of the Rings.

I realized sometime around the age of eight that I liked the idea of sex and didn't see it the same way my parents did, and though I was a precocious child who started dating and experimenting early, I was quite well behaved until well after the age of eighteen. I'd already developed a strange double-standard in my own mind: I loved sex, the idea of sex, the things that sex can say about a person and a society... but I was terrified of it. Terrified that I would become, as my parents feared, a moral degenerate, a slut, a disparate soul who'd never live up to her potential, a heathen, a damned pervert.

And yet, I couldn't keep away from it. I had many lovers as I grew up, men and women, monogamous and open, one night stands and long relationships, love affairs and trysts. But I was always quiet about them. Conflicted.

When I moved back to New York in my mid-twenties after a brief hiatus elsewhere, I was desperate for a job and was lucky to find freelance work at a porn magazine run by a friend of a friend. I started reviewing porno DVDs from such companies as Zero Tolerance, Red Light District, JM Productions, and others. And while my horizons expanded in tangles of tanned skin and confusingly over-inflated breasts, my fears about my own morality likewise exploded.

I believe that sex, and the way we think about it, record it, watch it, talk about or don't talk about it, can tell us more about ourselves than probably anything else we do. Sex is universal, basic, instinctual, sublime, and problematized at every level. I come from a background that many don't share: a natural sex lover with a very real terror of her own love. In the past three or so years I've gotten to know the world of porn intimately, though from the remove of a New Yorker in an LA-based industry. I've interviewed dozens of porn stars, read dozens of books on the subjects of pornography, human sexuality, evolutionary psychology and anatomy, and even some critical theory. I've dug myself into the sex culture, made some friends and some enemies, and I'm going to bring my personal spin on it, avoiding the company line, to you. I love to write, ramble, talk, and think... I hope you all love to read!

Join me as I rant, rave, review, interview, consider, and relate the craziness of the life of a conflicted porn writer, a female fapper, a XX-chromosomed commentator in a XXX world.

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