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There’s a lot of new words now — there’s polyamory, there’s hooking up.
You know, hooking up is something everyone’s parents did also, it just wasn’t called that. All of a sudden, the culture became concerned with this idea of sex that was detached from a narrative of romance and what that meant.
“If you’re trying to write the most honest book possible, you have to come from a place of subjectivity.” Witt, 35, who graduated from South High School, also discussed language’s role in today’s sexual culture, the safe space created by live webcams and how pornography surprised her.
The conversation has been edited for length and clarity. A: I always just assumed my life would be like my parents’ life.
And pornography, like the live webcam space, it is a place where you can go and consider and name and have to come up with search terms for what activates responses in your body.
Q: Your chapter about live webcams and the people who use them was fascinating. A: Going into it, I wasn’t sure there was a story there — thinking that the story of the live webcam is just the story of pornography, the story of peep shows, the voyeuristic dynamic where a woman performs for a man.
Then when I started interviewing people, I realized that for a lot of the people on there … There was another thing going on where people were using this space as a kind of vacuum in which they could experiment with role-playing, with different fetishes they might have, with all kinds of different things that out in the world they wouldn’t be safe messing around with in the same way.
It suddenly was apparent to me that the kind of person I had seen myself as was actually just a story I was telling myself — that there were other ways to be, other ways to consider and explore. It just seemed to me one of the most urgent questions of being alive right now and something on the mind of a lot of my friends.
It was clear there had been a technological shift, there’d been a demographic shift of people getting married later, or not at all. There’s this idea about serious journalism not being about you.
She not only reported on orgasmic meditation, she tried it out.