The art of the sex diary

For the past several years, writer Arianne Cohen has been collecting thousands of anonymous sex diaries from around the world. Her journey has culminated in a book, The Sex Diaries Project: What We’re Saying About What We’re Doing. These deeply personal diaries span the spectrum of sexuality, exploring both pleasure and heartache.

In an interview with Bitch, Cohen explains the allure of the website and how keeping a diary helps folks learn more about themselves:

People come . . . for voyeurism, and they stay for self-discovery. I think we all have a narrative (or three) in our head: “I’m super sexy and everyone wants to sleep with me” or “I’m going to be alone forever” or what have you. And what many diarists find is that when they read back over their first couple days of diarying, that narrative is very different from what they’re seeing.

The concept of the sex diary isn’t new — in fact, several famous people have kept scandalous diaries over the years. Andy Warhol, Catherine Millet, Marquis de Sade, Lewis Carroll, Toni Bentley, Anne Lister, Kurt Cobain, and Lord Byron have all partaken in the writing-down of sexual adventures.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of keeping a sex diary, you’re in luck! We’ve invited Arianne Cohen to run a 2-class workshop on sex diarying at the beginning of May, and all the proceeds go to Bitch Media! In the first class, Arianne will discuss what she’s learned about love and relationships, and she’ll lead diarying exercises. After keeping your own 7-day diary, you’ll come back for a second class to discuss your realizations about yourselves with the group.

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