Welcome to the Quickie, where we talk about Diaries. See something in a Diary you’d like to talk about? Email it to editor[at]thediaryproject.net.

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  Why Are the Sex Diaries Important?

“The secret about sex is it’s not really about sex. The secret about orgasms is they’re not really about orgasms. The thing itself is important, but what it’s about and what’s about it—what surrounds it and sustains it and makes it worth the search—is always secretly more important.”

From a fantastic essay at The Rumpus.


  Your Weekend Challenge

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This week’s Diarist of the Week has some trust issues with his girlfriend: they go through each others’ phones constantly.

Your Challenge: Have you ever gone through your partner’s email or text messages? When? Was it justified? Telling nothing but the raw truth, write yourself an email explaining what you did and why. No bullshit allowed. One page, ready go.

Let us know what you learned about yourself by clicking through to the comments —–>


  A Previous Weekend Challenge

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This week’s Diary of the Week is about a (witty) dominatrix. Your weekend challenge: Ask someone you’re close to whether they’ve ever had an experience with a sex worker. Have they been friends with or hired one? What kind of sex worker would he/she like to hire in the future? (Remember–it’s a broad field.)

Let us know how it goes in the comments.


  The Most Noteworthy Thing in the Diary of the Week?


This week’s Diarist of the Week is a stripper mom with a finely tuned sense of observation. But what caught my eye most was her interesting relationship with her ex-husband: she still lives with him platonically, and they share childcare and household duties. In her case it’s out of financial necessity, yet seems extremely amicable.

I’ve seen this set up a handful of times in the diaries, like the gay man platonically married to his son’s mother in the book.

What do you think? Click thru to comment.


  Spotted in the Diaries: Texting

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Book publicity is in full swing over here, and today I was talking to a magazine reporter, who asked how dating has changed since the 1980s thanks to social media and texting. I have no idea. I started collecting diaries in 2007.

I do know one thing about texting: I have not once, in 2000 diaries, ever seen a significant positive emotional development following conversations via text message. Zero times. What I have seen is hundreds of diarists wondering/obsessing/agonizing over the wording of text messages. It’s because texts communicate facts, not emotion. So the other person is left guessing on tone. Guessing is time consuming?

I think the reporter was really asking for her own purposes–I used to do that too when I was a reporter–so this is what I told her: Worry about what happens in person. Really. Because the best, most witty text relationship in the world is just that: a text relationship. Texts are for scheduling and cute midday hellos and flirtatious one-liners, and if it’s your thing, sexting. Everything else gets a voice.


  How Did Keeping Your Diary Affect You?

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What was the experience like? What did it make you think about? What did you learn? Did it change you? Do tell, in the comments below.


  Amazing Idea From Two Diaries


Tuesday, 8:13p.m.: Touching time. We just lie in bed together and please each other with a lot of petting and necking and kissing. We do it maybe once or twice a month. It’s kind of like a date.”
-The Grandma Whose Chemo is Improving Her Marriage
78, Bainbridge Island, WA, p.145

Saturday, 8:00p.m.: About to do non-orgasmic sex with Alison. I enjoy it pretty frequently, I’d say a couple times a week. IT’s sexual play without any real direciton–a lot of making out, massage, and sometimes penetration. The intention isn’t ‘oh, lets go have sex.’ The point is just play and be with each other.”
-The Kink-Lifestyle Dad
45, Seattle, Washington, p.254