5 Jul 2012


I recently asked one of my girlfriends whether she knew how to talk dirty in French.  This may sound like a pretty inappropriate question; but when there’s a hot Dutchman staying in the room next door to you, there’s not much time for whipping out the dictionary.  The only thing you should be whipping is some cream; you better hope he has a sweet tooth.

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about posting certain things on social networking sites that makes me tense.  Oops, I swore; I mentioned tampons; I said the word “sex” 3 times in one sentence; I’m tagged, lying in a pool of my own vomit.  

Puppies, man. Puppies.The aforementioned blurb on “dirty talk” seemed hilarious when shared with my friend in the privacy of an inbox message, but consequently seems outrageous now that I’ve posted it on Tumblr.  So why have I shared it with you?  The quick answer? Because it made me laugh and I’ve lost interest in asking “what will people think?”  Not because I don’t care what people think - I honestly do care.  But I’m sick and tired of hearing comments like “Don’t share that on Facebook, people might judge you!”; “Don’t let your future employer see that picture of you”; “People might think you’re a slut”.  Are Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs supposed to be a load of fancy make-belief jargon filled with luke-warm visions of our real selves?  Are we supposed to censor each thought, word and picture?  For whose benefit?  For our benefit, or for society’s?  Is there some invisible line somewhere that you’re not supposed to cross?  But who even dictates that line?  Us? Our parents?  Social decency?  Why should a picture of me swigging from a bottle of wine on my 17th birthday lead to comments about AA meetings and pretentious behaviour? (FYI, this didn’t happen).  Did no-one ever mention that reading (let alone writing) about puppies and green fields all day might become a little dull?  If anyone’s going to be saving the day it’s going to be the “cheeky monkey”, not the “restrained rhino”.  If it’s part of our make-up to be that little bit outrageous or quirky, why keep it to ourselves?  I urge you now: Go ahead and write it (whatever it is) on the Great Wall of China to see if people judge you for having a sense of humour.  

In fact, my “dirty talk” blurb is the sort of thing that when written in a book, seems perfectly acceptable.  Because no-one ever believes it’s really you who is saying it.  But aren’t plenty of authors drawn to writing as a means of projecting how they feel about not only the bigger picture, but also smaller, less consequential things which seem to be a “big deal” when paraded on Facebook?  Why do we feel an urgent need to analyse each word that appears on our Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr feeds?  Is a bit of home-grown “risqué humour” allowed to be just that without a double take? Can a blue frog just be a blue frog?  

Watch this space.


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