Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Brandy Alexander and I consider myself a feminist.
Under my nom de plum, I’ve written this weekly sex and dating column for The Gloss for over two and a half years. I began with my barely-viewed confessional, Love in the Time of Zoloft, and covered topics including cohabitating, ex-girlfriends, loud neighbor sex, social media flirting, the missionary position, crash diets, and most recently, how I distastefully recalled my days as a college cock tease.
Not many people know about my pseudonymous column. If it comes up in conversation, I usually receive the exclamation, “Just like Carrie Bradshaw!” But Carrie Bradshaw didn’t climb the corporate career ladder and freelance blog to help offset both her student loans and her aspiration to one day publish that novel. Carrie Bradshaw didn’t date the same guy for the past three years and enjoy a pleasantly uneventful, long-term relationship that didn’t involve cheating or shoes. And Carrie Bradshaw didn’t have to worry about pageviews or commenters.
The commenters would have slaughtered sister Carrie.
They slaughtered me. What began as a written confessional eventually turned into an experiment in lady-blogging. I went so far as to define what one’s breakfast says about last night’s sex, a post that garnered a record amount of traffic, as well as justifiable anger. Some commenters thought it was idiotic, some were in on the joke. The joke was that I wrote it and they read it — and spread it.
Last week, the comments hit an all-time low. The column (How To Be A Cock Tease) was ridiculous, but it wasn’t a lie. It was the truth, proudly packaged in the confines of tongue-in-cheek humor gallery. The original title was “Confessions of a Cock Tease Prude,” though back in college I had no idea what I was. I just really liked flirting, enjoyed the attention, and was too uptight to go beyond second base.
It was over the top, so I anticipated eye rolls — but not vitriol. Here’s one of the comments:
You are literally the stupidest cunt I have ACTUALLY encountered on the internet [if this is real, if not, 10 points for trolling]. You are THE REASON women are pictured as vindictive conniving pieces of shit. And that’s what you are. I hope one of these men rape you and leave you alone in your sad little fucking world -Signed, Woman Kind.
Yes, it was a silly column. But did it really warrant rape threats? I was shocked that this column — the one about my exaggerated college experience as an attention-seeking prude — was deemed the end of feminism by Woman Kind.
So now I want to make myself clear: There is nothing wrong with being a cock tease! That’s the wonderful thing about how far we’ve come as women! I have the power to use my looks and brain and flirt my way into someone’s arm and then decide whenever I choose to whether or not I want to go through with having sex. I can control the situation, because it’s my situation to control. I can determine how I want to proceed with a man, because I decide I’m not attracted to him, because I’ve sobered up, because I’ve lost my nerve, or because I only wanted a meaningless flirtation.
Rather than flame me to death in the comments, my readers should have understood that a woman who feels like she needs to get drunk in order to play out a sexual fantasy — and chooses not to go through with it — grew up conflicted in a society that both adores and abhors the idea of a sexually free woman. Shy women can be libidinous but maintain hangups, and many women resolve hangups in a healthy way without having risky casual sex.
I have always considered myself a feminist. It means women have the freedom to make their own choices, and openly and honestly share their decisions. After all: if we can’t be honest under pen names, cloaked in the anonymity of the internet, when can we be honest with each other?