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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices