Zoe Margolis: The sex blog confessions (with apologies to my dad)

Share

Ten days ago, I was a nobody. A 33-year-old London woman working in the film industry, trying to juggle a decent social life with a career. Nothing special there. I just happen, over the past two years, to have written a detailed sex diary on the internet, which has had over two million visitors and was recently published as a book. It was, as they say on the net, decidedly "not safe for work".

I was nameless though: all my writing had been done under the pseudonym "Abby Lee". No one, not even my publishers, knew my real name. (All my dealings with them were through "my agent", a phrase I never thought I would hear myself say. He had contacted me after reading my blog.) With the advantage of anonymity, I could write, with complete honesty, about the most erotic and emotional events in my life. I believed, perhaps naively, that my anonymity was safe - until a Sunday newspaper decided to reveal my identity last weekend. Suddenly, from being a nobody, I became the scarlet woman du jour.

The first I knew of the "exposé" was when I received a bunch of flowers, and as I signed for them, a hidden photographer took pictures of me. Somehow a Sunday Times journalist had got hold of my name and address and was planning to reveal my identity as the author of my book and blog, Girl with a One Track Mind. With them constantly ringing my ex-directory home phone, I decided to talk to my parents.

Of all the difficult discussions you could have, divulging to your parents that you have a book out featuring your most intimate sexual experiences and thoughts pretty much comes top of my list. Imagine, on the one hand, trying to emphasise the positive: "My book's doing really well on Amazon!" contrasted with: "My identity is about to be revealed - you may be embarrassed because the book is, er, very explicit."

My parents (professional, liberal, thank goodness) were wonderfully supportive though. "Pack a bag," they told me. "Leave now." I did, and then went into hiding, although photographers continue to get to know my front garden intimately. (You can leave now chaps, I'm not going back just yet.).

The irony is that the Sunday Times had serialised my book just three weeks before. If I hadn't felt so intimidated, I would have found it hilarious. I didn't laugh, however, when they emailed me what would be included in the article: my birth certificate; where I live; details of where I went to school; my mother's name, her profession, and location. Instead, I cried, and read out the email to my parents. Again, they backed me up, and insisted that I shouldn't reply to it.

But I was still worried about how this news story might infringe upon, and affect, my family, friends, ex-lovers and colleagues, so I set about informing everyone about the article. To my relief, messages of support came flooding in. While my private life as I knew it came crumbling down, knowing that so many were backing me gave me confidence. If the people close to me saw my feminist perspective on sex as a good thing, others might too.

Being plunged from obscurity to notoriety has had its positives: hundreds of encouraging comments on my blog. Of course, cynics might point out that this media attention hasn't done my book any harm. Watching it move its way up the sales chart and being informed that it's already being reprinted for a third time is great, of course. But the flipside of all this, is that my life is now under public and press scrutiny, as if I was a "celebrity" of some kind, and I'm still trying to get to grips with what potential effect this might have on me and the people around me.

The reason I wanted to remain anonymous was to ensure privacy for myself and others, not because I have any shame. It's 2006 for goodness' sake - is sex really that big a deal? If one good thing could come out of my losing my anonymity, it would be the hope that my writing might help to challenge old-fashioned, sexist views on female sexuality - an ongoing battle and one I would be happy to be part of.

Zoe Margolis is author of 'Girl with a One Track Mind: Confessions of the Seductress Next Door' by 'Abby Lee'. Published by Ebury Press at £7.99

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Public Accounts Committee found widespread concern among civil servants that they would be victimised if they spoke out about wrongdoing  

Nikileaks explained: The sad thing about the Nicola Sturgeon saga is that it makes leaks less likely

Jane Merrick
New SNP MP Mhairi Black distinguished herself in Westminster straight away when she made herself a chip butty in the canteen  

The SNP adventure arrives in Westminister - but how long before these new MPs go native?

Katy Guest
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?