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

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US  

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Robert Fisk
 

Next they'll say an independent Scotland can't use British clouds...

Mark Steel
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape