Sex. Such an essential part of life, literally, and yet still a taboo subject of sorts, only shared with one’s closest circle of friends over a bottle of wine. That is until now. The Anonymous Sex Journal, the brainchild of Alex Tieghi-Walker featuring illustrations by Margot Bowman, is an unflinchingly honest account of sexual experiences, submitted by 21 contributors, including anecdotes such as:
“Yesterday I accidentally set a picture of my willy as my instagram profile pic.”
“For some weird reason we didn’t stop or hide… just sort of froze in position: me on all fours with my bum facing his dad.. at least he couldn’t see my face.. or my mouth to be specific.”
“He used to call the dried cum on his belly ‘Cornflakes’ and his penis ‘Pendejo,’ which means dumbass in Spanish.”
“Remember when your friends strapped that camera to a broom handle and secretly filmed us fucking on the balcony of the chalet?”
Not just material for an amusing read, the print publication shows a wide range of the act’s emotional impact across the spectrum, and offers a chance to break down any last standing reservations we may have about those three infamous letters.
Twin spoke to Alex Tieghi-Walker about the appeal of awkward sex, whimsical illustrations and what to expect after Foreplay…
What inspired you to start The Anonymous Sex Journal and how would you sum up its ethos?
A friend and I were talking about our more unusual sexual exploits, and once we’d shared a few we just kept going. When others joined in the conversation too, I thought it would be really interesting to open this conversation to a wider audience and create a database of sorts where interesting stories could be shared. So few people actually have a normal sex life and this journal is somewhere to celebrate those more peculiar incidents. This journal really shows just how colourful our sex lives are — and not in a boastful way as is often the case when people do talk about sex — these stories are a combination of virginity loss, post-coital clumsiness, graphic, vivid fantasies and weird, awkward and embarrassing incidents; they capture those small moments that stick in your mind and influence the rest of your sex life.
What is your publication’s stance on sex and sexuality, and the private versus public spheres of it?
When reading the stories you really have no idea whether the stories are experiences between a man and a woman, or two men, or two women. I think it’s nice that the stories have that ambiguity, or just that sexuality isn’t really the main priority when recalling sexual history. Instead the stories are about real emotions — whether it’s embarrassment, longing, warmth, fantasy or guilt. I think it’s really important to recognise that sex brings about so many feelings and thoughts, and that those need to be embraced and shared, not kept away and never shared or expressed in other areas of life.
Why did you decide to use illustrations as opposed to photography in the journal?
I asked Margot to illustrate the journal as her drawings have a charming, whimsical quality. I also really liked the idea of the illustrations being rather literal or fantastic, something that would be difficult to create with photography — it would either look too considered, or sombre, or simply gross.
What surprised you most during the process of putting the journal together?
I wasn’t surprised by it but I really enjoyed the honesty of peoples’ stories. I like that in nearly every story the writer concluded the experience — writing anonymously creates a stream of thought, rather than something that is written, rewritten, rehashed and edited. These stories are as experienced, you almost live the action without being there, so to speak.
Seeing as you are launching the debut issue on Valentine’s Day, what are your thoughts on the holiday: consumerist nonsense, a sweet anecdote or something else?
Oh dear, it’s a tough one. I think people can go very overboard with Valentine’s Day and there is certainly a lot of hype and exploitation. But fundamentally I think it is actually a very charming day when you can make small gestures to those you love, letting them know you appreciate their company and their involvement in your life. It’s also good to celebrate love — how can a celebration of love ever be a bad thing?
What can we expect for issue two?
The Pilot Issue, or Foreplay, is just the start of a much larger project. I want to see how everyone reacts to a journal like this and whether it amuses them, makes them laugh or wince, and how they connect to it. For subsequent issues I’d like to categorise the stories to focus individually on topics relating to sex — so an issue dedicated to jealousy, one to fantasy, love, technology, fetish, passion etc. Perhaps the next one should be those sexual experiences that didn’t happen but nearly did and still contribute to your sexual DNA.
Read the full article here.