Phoebe Henderson is sex columist for the Skinny. We have, through the internet, become friends after I became a regular reader of her blog. Big thanks to Milo for pointing me in her direction for her blog is a very enjoyable read indeed. Anyways, she’s taken a moment to discuss……erm…….sex……..so I guess you should just enjoy! Oh and check her column in the Skinny and her blog right here.
TSP: So you decided to find out what the fuss was all about but at what point did you decide to start writing a blog and for a national magazine about your feelings and experiences, and why?
PH: The Skinny is a brilliant publication in terms of pushing boundaries so initially I just wanted to see if they’d publish my work and hoped it might work as a monthly column. Which it did. I didn’t want it to be soft porn, or try and jump on the ‘women can shag like blokes if they want to’ bandwagon, I just wanted to write something that was enjoyable to read and would hopefully get people talking about their own sex lives in a positive way.
TSP: You recently told me that approximately 90% of the people who post on your site do so anonymously. Does it surprise you that people still want to remain anonymous when discussing sex? Why do you think there is such a taboo about writing your opinion on such a subject given that it impacts as much on our society and culture as politics, music, art, film etc?
PH: No, I’m not surprised really. Even I’m anonomous… I’m just happy that they want to comment, regardless of whether they leave their name or not. I do think that it’s only a small percentage who still have a problem with being open about sex and I’d never push or make fun of someone who didn’t feel comfortable discussing it. I’m just one of many, many people who write openly about this (most doing it more successfully than me) so if someone reads something and feels compelled to comment (either positively or negatively), then hooray. Our society is fucked up when it comes to sex and sexuality. Our children are getting pregnant, girl’s dolls look like lapdancers, our sex education is a joke and our best selling ‘family’ newspaper has a big pair of boobs on page 3 for staring and ‘phwoaring’ purposes. Oh, don’t get me started on this…
TSP: Moving on…..Emotional connections are built over time but physical attraction is often instantaneous. We all assume as humans that something more than the physical needs to exist to sustain a relatinship, but what about good sex? You’ve commented on your site that, for you, there needs to be a connection on a higher level than just raw physical attraction for sex to be really great. Why is this and what is it about human nature do you think that makes us require something more than just the physical?
PH: I think someone getting inside your head can be more powerful than just getting inside your pants. We all require the physical side of things, even if it’s just a cuddle but I guess it’s all down to science isn’t it? We’re driven by hormones and chemicals which determine our reactions. I think ego has a lot to do with is as well – we all need to feel special and wanted and have a connection that’s unique to us.
TSP: Men and women can never just be friends. Discuss.
PH: Haha, ok. I think it’s impossible to say that (straight) men and women can just be friends without one either feeling or thinking about the other one in a sexual way at some point. Even if you have a friend of the opposite sex that you’ve never even considered in ‘that’ way, can you guarantee that they’ve never thought that way about you?…I do believe that men and women can be friends, of course, I just think it’s naive to think that, even a brief “I wonder what he/she would be like in bed” hasn’t crossed either mind at some point…
TSP: I can’t imagine that having a relationship and writing a blog about your sexual experiences often mesh well together. Firstly, I’d assume you’d have to find a partner who was comfortable with what you do and what you write about. How has the process affected your personal relationships and has there ever come a point where you’ve considered ending the blog for this reason?
PH: I’d never consider ending the blog based on that. I’m sure compromises would have to be made but I’d never stop being me to suit someone else. That’s just mental. I’m also realistic and won’t go in the huff if someone has a problem with what I write.
TSP: Writing is obviously a major part of your life. If you were to stop writing about sex, would you continue to write and if so what would your focus be?
PH: I’ll always write, even if it’s just for me. I’d like to continue to write about people and relationships and life in general. It all fascinates me.
TSP: What does 2010 hold in store for Phoebe Henderson?
PH: I’m working on a book based on the blog and column, I’d like to have that finished, even if all it ends up doing is giving my dad a reason to disown me.