I am a sexy ghost. A faceless apparition. My Twitter avatar is a picture of my boobs. My bio photo is my knees, adorned in sex toys. The name I go by is not my real name, obviously (although: admit you would be at least somewhat impressed by my parents if they had, indeed, legally named me Girly Juice).
There are two main reasons I have always hesitated to show my face in any capacity connected to this blog:
1. I worried that potential future employers, distant conservative family members, shitty misogynist trolls, etc. would stumble across my pictures and use them against me in some way. These worries, if I let them get too far, always morphed into melodramatic waking nightmares in which I ended up homeless, alone, and disgraced. (I know. I’m ridiculous. I told you, I have anxiety.)
2. (And this is an even sillier and more embarrassing reason…) I’m insecure about how I look, and I worried that if people saw what I looked like, they wouldn’t think I was sexy or pretty, and it would cause them to discount my opinions and stop reading my blog.
When Caitlin and John came to my house to interview me and film me masturbating (which is a whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother blog post), we got onto the topic of sex blogging and anonymity. Caitlin point-blank asked me why I kept my identity (and my face) so private in the blogosphere, and I went on a meandering ramble about closed-minded office jobs and facial recognition technology and sex-negative assholes… and my tirade was so aimless that at the end of it, I was left thinking, “Why don’t I show my face? Is there a real reason, or is it just my stupid anxiety-brain?”
I have so many friends in the sex-positive corner of the internet who reveal not only their faces but their names, their real-life accomplishments, their identities. And I’ve always been jealous of them, because they can be their whole selves. When their readers and fans love them, they really love them, not some reductive persona.
A few months ago I tweeted that I was toying with the idea of showing my face, and some douchebro replied something like: “Don’t. I like mysterious women.” It reignited all my old doubts about how anonymity might be more alluring to readers than my actual face and body. What if you thought you were reading the sex stories of someone who looked like Jamie Dornan and then you peeled back the curtain and it was actually Gilbert Gottfried under there?! (That’s not to say that I think I look like Gilbert Gottfried… or that he doesn’t have some perfectly lovely characteristics… but you see what I’m saying, yeah?)
When I got dolled up for the Feminist Porn Awards, I came downstairs and there was no one in my house. (This is quite unusual; I live with three other people and two of them work from home.) I got frustrated that there was no one around to tell me, “Hey, you look good!” and that combined with the overall sex-positive, yay-for-sex! attitude that tends to pervade Feminist Porn Week… so I impulsively posted some selfies. Of my face.
And people were really fucking nice about it.
Like, literally every single person who sent me a reply was incredibly sweet and supportive. No one made me feel like it was a particularly big deal or shocking reveal. Everyone was just… great. And it’s one of my most-favorited tweets to date.
I’ve posted a few more Twitter selfies since then (and not just of my cleavage or underwear or disembodied lips), and the results have always been the same. My followers are complete and utter sweethearts. They have made me wonder why I was so scared of doing this for so long.
And they’ve also shown me that my constant self-criticism about my looks is unfounded. I don’t look like a magazine model, and I never will, but lots of people still think I’m pretty. No one, so far, thinks my face or body are incongruous with my femme-sexpot internet persona. It’s just not a big deal. At all.
Sex bloggers and other sexy-on-the-internet types: do you show your face? What’s your reasoning behind showing or not showing it?