Saturday, October 31, 2009

Writing about sex

It's weird, that's for sure, to call up a sex therapist at 8:30 in the morning and ask for details about her weight loss and libido gains. And when she launches into a description of how women try to get in on while ironing or applauds the invention of sex toys, well, you just better have your nimble fingers ready to record these jems...

The story appeared in Saturday's Life section, allowed me to use the word proverbial in a lede, and opened my eyes to the world of a sex therapist. You can read it here:

Buy a big cake -- Nov. 18 is Libido Day

Somehow, even at 8:30 a.m. my fingers were able to record plenty of Sue McGarvie's quotables, but the fact is I censored her a bit. Though I mentioned her book chronicles her own sluggish sex drive, I didn't push her for details.

Why? I'm still trying to figure that out. I already know I am somewhat more prude than the average editor.

I know this from an interview for a position with a school newspaper some years ago. I thought it had all gone pretty well, and was looking forward to slicing down my student loan, when the editor-in-chief (/teacher) laid before me a hypothetical situation.

"There's a cleaning company called Rent-a-Wife. They have these small ads, with cartoon women dressed in french maid outfits. But they're a legitimate business and they want to advertise with us. Do you accept the ads?"

I said no, and I didn't get the job. Learned later, in said teacher's Ethics in Journalism class, that he's a stickler for freedom of expression -- and that turning down an ad like that would breach that company's freedom.

Now I've strayed far from Sex with Sue, but I'm just getting warmed up... the new D will write unabashedly about underwear (I'm going back for more plain white cotton... comfort is sexy, I learned at the steam room... except not with capoeira pants, then it's thongs all the way). I'll dig for details from sex sources and pitch more stories about whoopee...

Just don't ask for first person.

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