Calling all lifestyle bloggers, you’re doing it wrong! Actually, you’re not doing IT enough and, by IT, I mean sex. At least that’s the view of New York Magazine’s Broadminded columnist, Lauren Sandler.
In her latest column, ‘No Sex Please – We’re Domestic Goddesses’, Sandler bemoans the lack of sex in the blogosphere. Why, she wonders, have so many women chosen to become “curators of domesticity” when they could be blogging about sex?
At the forefront of female cyber-exhibitionism, lifestyle blogging barely even acknowledges that physical pleasure exists, never mind its key role in domestic bliss.
Sadler is disappointed that so many women have succumbed to the “pixelated tyranny of the domestic goddess”. She has a point when she remarks that lifestyle has become “something to be perfectly arranged and presented rather than lived”. But couldn’t that be argued for the online representation of “life” full stop?
The article also features the stock moans about Pinterest – it seems that it is not only the GREATEST EVIL KNOWN TO FEMINISM, oh no, now it is sapping our libidos too. Every time a woman pins something, an unsatisfied housewife fails to climax. Or something like that.
My issue with the article is that Sandler is placing a huge burden of responsibility on women to be all things to everyone. Does she want bloggers to become the embodiment of that famous Jerry Hall quote and Instagram, tweet and blog every aspect of it?
Statistics from a recent US survey are stated: 43% of women suffer from sexual dysfunction, a third of women suffer from “orgasmic disorders” and one in ten women experiences “absence of desire severe enough to be clinically diagnosable”. These stats are depressing, yet it is hardly up to bloggers to cure the USA of all its sexual health issues. Especially not the bloggers who prefer to write about handicrafts instead of hand jobs.
The fact of the matter is that some people prefer to keep certain aspects of their life private. Just because they aren’t ‘cyber-exhibitionists’ when it comes to their sex life, doesn’t mean that they don’t have one. It is so easy to get caught in the online culture of “picture or it didn’t happen” that it becomes near impossible to believe that people have private lives beyond the internet.
Sandler also overlooks the fact that the internet has played a major role in getting women talking about sex. She cites TWO well-known “progressive” bloggers who combine sex and domesticity. Two. Take those two away and the women of the internet are clearly nothing but a pastel coloured army of Stepford Charlottes, plumping pillows and whipping up soufflés.
Here in the UK, we have a thriving community of female sex bloggers, some who successfully mix writing about sex with other awesome things like feminism, cake, interior decorating, shoes and make up. These are women who want to share the sexual happenings in their bedrooms and beyond. Their readers may not share that desire, but they are still reading all about it.
In a world where large chunks of my life are condensed into 140 characters and photographed with rose-tinted filters, I want to hold something back. Something that is special to me and my partner, something visceral and real that transcends the need to constantly share with strangers.
If that disappoints you Lauren Sandler, then I’m happy for you to consider me “regressive and prudish”. Now, excuse me whilst I Instagram my slightly exposed ankle before heading to my immaculate boudoir to lie back and think of England. Don’t ruffle the sheets, darling!