It’s been a hell of a year. For everyone. The kind of year that you look back at and feel truly, deeply thankful for what you still have. Together we’ve seen our political system taken over by buffoonery and mean spirits. As a country, we’ve lost forward momentum on civil rights, health care, environmental issues, respectability. In horror, we’ve watched NAZIS PARADE IN THE STREETS. And in both horror and relief, we’ve witnessed powerful man after powerful man after powerful man outed as abusers. It’s been tough to hang on to hope. We’ve been swindled, bamboozled, roughed up.
Personally, I’ve seen dear friends go through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Many of these tough times are far from over. I’ve experienced some of the most pressing difficulties of my life, too, in business and finances and anxiety and insomnia and more.
But! I’ve also thrived. This year was, in many ways, the payoff for years of hard, mostly unpaid work. It went better than I could have dreamed, even in the midst of dystopian madness.
My first nonfiction book was published—the culmination of both a lifelong dream and a five-year writing process. Watching Porn launched via a panel discussion about feminism in porn in the Strand bookstore’s Rare Books Room in New York City. I sat on the panel, along with porn luminaries Sinnamon Love, Cindy Gallop, Mahx Capacity, and Lisa Vandever. The book was then covered and reviewed by major media outlets, including Glamour, Playboy, and the New York fucking Times, among others. I held another panel discussion at Book Soup in LA in October, with myself, Kayden Kross, April Flores, and Mike Stabile to celebrate its release. The book, by which I mean I, was on a bunch of podcasts and radio shows. We sold a buttload of copies. And it’s now slated for a paperback release next summer. I really could not be more floored by how well it’s gone.
This year I also began to write for publications I’d only dreamed of before: Glamour, Vice, Men’s Health, Playboy (two articles forthcoming in 2018)! I’ve written on topics dear to my heart: Inequality in the porn industry. Why we should respect the decisions sex workers make. How our stereotypes about porn are outdated. The silliness of American prudishness. And more. In return, I’ve been lauded by the industry I’ve so long written about, welcomed into interviews with people I’d only dreamed of talking to before, like Annie Sprinkle and John Stagliano. It’s been amazing, and I’ve tried to not fangirl all over people. I might not have succeeded.
One of the highlights of my year was a series called “Porn Around the World” that I wrote for MEL Magazine. I investigated pornography production and consumption in eight different countries, from the U.K. to India to Colombia. It was a fascinating experience, and I wrapped it all up for you in a neat package just this week! (There are also links here to all my previous articles; go ahead, dive in!)
As if all that weren’t all enough to keep me busy, I also published three books at my own publishing company, Oneshi Press! Two of them contain parts of graphic novels I wrote, illustrated by my partner in life and business, Jayel Draco.
Tracy Queen tells the story of a young woman raised to be a gangster, who instead becomes an independent cam girl and porn star. Tracy finds empowerment, freedom, and love along the way…and also builds an army of cyborg-clones with her talking raccoon best friend, like you do.
PACK is a gritty noir about vigilante justice…carried out by a pack of stray dogs and one stray man who have been failed by humanity’s myopic self-obsession.
The comics anthologies in which these are being serially published also contain short comics by a group of utterly brilliant and diverse creators that I’m incredibly proud to have worked with. (PS – Order now! The paperback copies are super limited editions!)
What’s more, I started work on a kids book I’ve been wanting to write for a decade, which I’ll be illustrating myself. I made a painting for the first time in years, for a friend’s wedding. I’ve hiked up mountains and floated down rivers and bathed in natural hot springs. I did photo shoots all over western Montana (a few of the images are featured here) for fun. I visited both coasts, saw dear friends, and made new ones. And on a personal level, I started down a path of spiritual study that’s been calling me for my entire life: druidry.
All things told, 2017 was exceptionally difficult, but my personal struggles were probably due to the fact that I was reinventing my life every step of the way. That shit is hard. It takes work. And when you’re not really aware that it’s what you’re doing, it’s difficult to understand why everything is so damn tough every single day.
So, au revoir, 2017! It’s been real.
In 2018, I have a lot of plans to keep heading down this path. I want to write more creative work and a bit less journalism—I love writing journalism for great publishers, but it frankly exhausts me in a deep and lasting way. I need to keep some of my energy held back to be used on my publishing company, my creative writing, and my route toward becoming a druid. So I hope to publish journalism a little less frequently, to focus on quality over quantity in 2018. I also want to travel more, and I may just be hatching a plan to make that happen…stay tuned!
But I also want to grow my roots a little deeper here in Montana by getting a bit more involved in my local community; I may start doing volunteer work at an animal shelter again, or get dirty with some environmental activism, if I have the time. Between growing my small business, becoming a druid, writing a kids book, publishing comics and graphic novels, and possibly touring to support the release of my paperback memoir…we’ll see what I can squeeze in on the side!
Credit Where Credit’s Due
I want to thank all of you who have read my work this year for being interested in sex-positivity, for being curious, for giving me a reason to do what I do. My work has always been, at its heart, about opening people’s minds and hearts (and sometimes legs) to bigger, better possibilities for themselves and the rest of the world. This year I feel as if I’m closer to that goal than I’ve ever been. That wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been along for the ride. You are the reason I can keep doing what I love, and I thank you from the bottom of my perverted little heart for your support.