How A Bad Girl Fell In Love


Blink has recently published popular sex blogger Girl On The Net's fantastic new book "How A Bad Girl Fell In Love". This is a love story for people who don't believe in love stories, erotica for people who are bored with erotic fiction and a popular feminist manifesto for the politically confused.With this in mind, we spoke to Girl On The Net about her new book, and her life as an anonymous sex blogger. 

You’ve had a successful sex blog for a while now – what made you decide to write your second book?

The second book came out of the gnawing worry that the blog can only ever present one side of a person. There's a temptation, particularly when you're writing the kind of gratuitous, horny stuff that goes on a sex blog, to paint a one-sided picture of yourself. Or at least to avoid talking about the more difficult topics, because they're complex and not easily dealt with in something clickbaity. 

A couple of years into blogging, after the blog started to become successful, I was struggling with lots of different issues: mental health, commitment, the terrifying emails I'd get from blog fans or trolls, lots of stuff. And I realised that I was doing the same thing that frustrated me about romance novels and magazine-style advice articles: pretending that life was much simpler than it actually is. Hopefully the book shows sex blogging, and kink, and life, in all it's messed-up, complicated glory. 

How was writing your book different to writing a blog?

With a blog you can see the evolution of your views over time - you can change, and document the ways in which your views have become... well... less ignorant (as I hope mine have). A book has permanence, though, so if you're a massively anxious person like I am you're constantly going over your arguments and double-guessing how they might be interpreted. That's why it's helpful to have an amazing editor like Emily - she picked me up on things that I'd missed and made me really think about the points I was putting forward. 

Did you find it difficult being so honest with your readers?

I'd love to say yes, and that it was a struggle, but I think the hardest part is deciding, and then once you've made that decision it all comes out. I have a huge amount of respect for people who write fiction, because I think it's incredibly tricky - you have to plot and plan and make your characters feel 'real' - whereas everything I write is true. Even the fantasies - they're there because they popped into my head one day and I couldn't get them out of it. Opinions, loves, desires: once you've made the choice to be open, it's easy to decide what to write: you just write the truth. If people like it that's awesome, but if they hate it then at least I can comfort myself with knowing that it couldn't be any other way. 

You mention in your book that it can be difficult reconciling having a personal life with remaining anonymous on the internet. How do you achieve that balance and continue to remain anonymous?

With a load of effort and a hell of a lot of panic! I think I'm a bit of a hermit in the sex blogging community - I don't tend to go to events or meet people in person, and even when I do I always give fake names. I have two phones, two laptops, and duplicate everything so as to avoid crossover between my 'Girl on the Net' activity and my personal activity. 

The hardest part, though, is that my main message is that sex isn't something we should be ashamed of or horrified by. Quite rightly people think there's a disconnect between that and anonymity. But I don't think I'm really anonymous in the true sense of the word - 'Girl on the Net' is as much me as 'Real Name me' is - she has the same opinions and beliefs and desires. It's just that she's not as easy for my grandparents to find if they happen to search for my name. And she's also - hopefully - less easy to locate, so the guys who send me terrifying emails won't turn up on my doorstep in their pants. 

What is the ultimate message behind your book?

The overall message is that there is no 'right' way to be in love. We have a lot of expectations around sex and love - there's an idea that by the time you hit a certain age you should have had sex with a few people, got married, had children, bought a house, have joint bank accounts, etcetera. But actually there is no one 'true' way to conduct relationships: every element is a choice. So although there are myriad articles telling you the Top Ten Ways To Blow Their Mind In Bed or How To Guarantee He'll Love You Forever, in fact no one can tell you what the right path is for you - you just need to explore your choices, understand what you want, and make peace with the fact that you'll mess a lot up along the way. 

You can find Girl On The Nets Blog here, or you can purchase her new book: "How A Bad Girl Fell In Love" here.

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