Collected by Zeitgeist capturer Alex Tieghi-Walker and with colourful illustrations by Margot Bowman, The Anonymous Sex Journal is an ecstatic celebration of sex.
“I woke up in January lying naked next to a stripping magician…” Launching on Valentine’s Day, the journal says screw the teddy bears and invites us to get straight down to the fun stuff. The collection of twenty-one secretly submitted anecdotes within the pocket-sized book range from the touching, to the hilarious, to the downright weird, reflecting on how each and every one of us views sex on a personal level.
i-D online chat to the zine’s creator, editor and founder of A Tale of Three Cities, Alex Tieghi-Walker to find out what inspired the confessional and what he thinks sex means in Britain today.
How did the idea for the journal come about? A conversation between myself and a group of friends about our more unusual candid encounters was the precursor to creating somewhere more permanent where I could open that conversation out to others. The Anonymous Sex Journal is very much a platform for honesty and fun. Nobody has an entirely normal sex life and this journal shows how colourful our sex lives really are.
Was it difficult getting people to submit their stories? Not at all – I think the veil of anonymity really brought people to a more honest, open place. The stories were totally anonymous for me too – I’d set up a shared gmail account so I’ve no idea who submitted. Either way it wasn’t hard to get submissions and I got loads. This first issue is just a spread of the variety of stories I received.
Was there anything too explicit to print or did you go all out? I wouldn’t say that certain stories were omitted for their explicitness – this journal is a celebration of sex in all its forms – I did omit some submissions just because I didn’t feel they fitted in to this journal which isn’t to say they won’t make it to future journals. Those stories were usually a bit too dark; I think it would be a bit uncomfortable for some readers putting those in at this stage. Gentle steps and all that.
Who’s the sexiest person alive? My boyfriend.
Do you think us Brits are changing our perception and attitude towards sexuality? Yes definitely; every year that goes by we learn to let a bit more of our hair down, so to speak. My teenage cousins talk about sex, sexuality and experience far more openly than even I did to my mother when I was their age a decade ago. I think we’re just becoming more honest and open to experience.
What are you reading at the moment? In the run up to the journal I read a heap of erotic literature, working my way through the whole of Georges Bataille’s repertoire. Now that the journal is done I’ve had to read something totally removed from sex; I’m reading A Report on the City by John Menick, an investigation in to the peculiar lives of certain people living in Mexico City.
What song gets you in the mood? Melody by Serge Gainsbourg. What a hunk, and such a beautiful, sexy song.
Do you have plans to publish the journal online at all? No, I think that holding this book creates more of a connection to the content. You need to feel the plastic of the cover, see the pink spunk splatters throughout the journal, peer deep in to the margins and pages to really get a sense that this collection of stories is something you can relate to. It just wouldn’t work online and would be a collection of meaningless anecdotes that exist only for a second on your screen.
The Anonymous Journal is published by Protein and stocked at Artwords.
Text: Abra Dunsby-Sircana
Illustrations: Margot Bowman