That Time I Secretly Wrote Smut

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I enjoyed writing stories, even though I didn’t want to admit it. Writing was for smart people and I wasn’t a smart person — I was going to be a rock star one day. This same attitude made me skip all the Disney movies of my time because they all had love songs in them and in my mind, I was too cool to listen to music that wasn’t heavy metal.

Unlike the Disney movies, however, I did secretly enjoy writing stories. I didn’t actually begin to acknowledge it and begin to refine it until I was in college. One of my favorite professors encouraged me to pursue my interest in writing about hot-button topics — the fallacy of partisan politics, the fight for gay rights, the ill treatment of Native Americans and more. My parents sometimes warned me to stay away from such topics because they’re so “polarizing” but what they didn’t (and still don’t) totally understand is that I need that. On a personal level, I’m rarely ever okay with being part of the crowd. I like causing waves, though as a 30-something, my wave-causing is more carefully planned … or apparently just involves drunk bros at the bar*.

*A story for a different day.

My favorite writing project I’ve ever gotten to work on was also probably the most controversial of them all. And I got PAID for it! Years ago, Men’s Health Magazine had a section called Girl Next Door where readers could write in to a woman who posed as “one of the guys” and was cool with answering questions about women and relationships. The original author of this monthly piece was on Twitter and I followed her back when I did the Twitter thing. Through Twitter, I participated in a one-off survey she published and she apparently liked my answer enough to reach back out to me later.

She had since moved on from Men’s Health to Cosmopolitan Magazine and asked if I’d be interested in doing a month-long writing project for them. I would get paid $600 to keep a daily sex journal for four weeks. There was no expectation regarding content, the length of the content or even the regularity in which I needed to write. Just write SOMETHING for four weeks.

How could I not?

And it gets even better. About a week before the project began, I was told that the project was getting bumped and that I’d still get paid for the whole month but I’d only need to write for one week.

So I got paid $600 to write smut for a week.

I’ll leave out the details because it was all — ALL — TMI and lots of names had to be changed. Just know that no holds were barred, falls counted anywhere and multiple steel chairs were involved (maybe).

It eventually got published, though in which issue I don’t know. And don’t even bother trying to look it up because I used a pseudonym (one I don’t normally use) just in case someone I know — namely my mom — wouldn’t freak out if they saw it.

Don’t want me writing about women’s rights? Don’t like it when I write about the US military’s deceptive reasoning for invading Panama? Think it’s too risqué for me to call out law enforcement’s love of capitalists societies?

Okay. I’ll just write about sex in the most graphic way possible. And it’s going to get published by a smutty magazine that not only has to be covered up at the grocery store checkout line but … one you’ve spent money on.

I only tell this story as set up for something I want to share tomorrow. The NaBloPoMo train just keeps on rolling, y’all.

Ever onward.

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