Response to Marilyn
Written by
Lynne Favreau
October 2011
Written by
Lynne Favreau
October 2011

I found this question to be so interesting that I got a little carried away. I thought rather than subjecting everyone to the answer in the reply, I'd post it here.

Marilyn's Question. The dilemma of over-sharing, liking pornography, and spirituality versus porn.




I read your blog post and it made me laugh since I felt reflected in your light. I think exposing yourself on your blog is something entirely different than revealing your life in memoir. Like Samantha points out, readers expect that kind of truth and reality in a memoir (the past), but perhaps your blog readers found your predilections for porn startling (present–the connotations difference may be important). Has that been the case? How did your blog readers respond?


As you point out, if you start deny facets of yourself, how does this serve the honesty of the whole of you? So to me, the spiritual path you follow should not be one that makes you chose.


Whether pornography is morally acceptable or not (by the "spiritual" standards you are exploring) is interesting. Morally, it has to be by your standards of course, getting to what that standard is trickier. To me, women are supposed to be past the times of being made to feel guilty for what makes them feel sexy, or sexually stimulated.


But nothing in life is that simple though, as moral issues go there are many ambiguities here. Enjoying pornography and the production of pornography are two separate points. If you believe adults have the ultimate authority over their bodies and how they use them to make a living (athletes use their bodies to make money for the enjoyment of others also) then the production of pornography is acceptable (baring of course anything illegal--I'm not getting into that discussion). If you think the pornography industry shouldn't exist, which would be in keeping with the "spiritual" way of not exploiting ones body sexually, (because sex is a sacred act, between? Another moral dilemma--hehe) you'd have to give it up, yes? Only you can decide the standard by what you abide by.


I have to come down on the side of freedom over our own bodies with the caveat of stating the need for more oversight in the pornography industry. And that pornography has hijacked and overshadowed what real sex is, and who real women and men are. But this is rampant in all media, another issue bigger than this discussion.


As a writer, how much of "you" are you willing or need to share with others is individual preference. I had no issue with what you shared, it amused me, and I thought nothing less of you for doing so. What I think about you couldn't matter less. Since you now somewhat regret the porn post perhaps that line was crossed. Now you know your comfort level. Maybe you will decide that intimate sexual details should remain private not because of what other will think but because of how it made you feel. Some things we need to keep for ourselves.Then again, if you received positive feedback from your readers, you may feel being reticent about your sex life and sexuality is now unwarranted.


I still have the dilemma of not knowing where the line is for me.

Fear of crossing that line is one reason I haven't started a blog. You see how much I love discussing interesting subjects! I'm all over this one, who knows what else I'd say then have to take back or wish I could take back? (The name of my future blog is in fact "Said It All: Took Back Half").

Would I want my SIL's or BIL's to know about their brother's sex life? Uh-no, but I wouldn't care about them knowing about mine--but those aren't separate things anymore (husband will be glad to hear marriage vows intact).

For now I try to gauge what I 'm willing to share by what I'm willing to have my daughters read in the future. They are 14, and 15 1/2 now and there's not much but the most intimate details of our sex life that are off the table. I'm pretty open, still, I'd be very careful about sharing details that are not just about my sexuality. Some intimacies belong just to my husband--per his request.


Of course what my daughters want to know about is another issue. Over the summer my oldest read a book I had out from the library "A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire" it is pretty detailed about what sex terms people search for on the internet and human desire. We had discussions about kinks and fetishes, how desire is hardwired, and the limitation and errors in the book. She learned a lot this summer. The other one sticks her fingers in her ears if we mention menstruation (yah, she'll be annoyed I even mentioned that, but I'm willing to suffer for my writing).


Different strokes for different folks. Know your audience, know yourself. Ultimately, personal comfort level is going to determine how much any of us share, as does the type of media, what our readers expectation are and who they are.


As for writing about college pals will attest, I infamously have no problem writing sex scenes. The "Ragu of 08" debacle is a story for another day.

I'm not inclined to write a memoir, I don't know how well I'd do relating an actual sex scene from my life. I can see writing about a past relationship but not my current one. I would be more likely to share intimate details in a memoir than on a blog. The immediacy of blogging is visceral, the distance one gets writing a memoir mitigates the details.


Marilyn, do you also find it difficult to write sex scenes that are fictional? I'll be interested to know how you feel about your post after you've had more time to reflect.


Warm Regards,



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