On Bodies, Disability and Art: Polluted Sex 

I purposefully wrote Polluted Sex on bodies, particularly female and queer bodies; because we write with our bodies – unusual animals. I try to depict intimacies of the body in portraying bodies, bodily exposure, nakedness and bodily functions.

Because I am a cis woman with a uterus who menstruates, I wrote about menstruation a lot. My story Blue details an account of the first year of puberty, the onset of menstruation, irregular, immense bloodshed; burgeoning queer sexuality, all under a repressive societal system rooted in patriarchal control, and shame, too much shame; but the character is ultimately defiant. Good on her. I have endometriosis, bleeding from the uterus is a bodily function I have experienced excruciatingly, inordinately, and frequently. Literature often avoids and/or denies any occurrences of this bloodshed. Why are periods still censored in literature? There is no good reason why. In Polluted Sex, I put bodies on their own and/or with other bodies in intimate positions because physical interactions often tell us more about our animal selves than spoken or written words; than thought.

While writing Polluted Sex when people have asked me what I’m writing about I’ve said: “riding”. They usually laugh and say: “writing …?” I responded: “No, riding. It’s called Polluted Sex.” Then I get an embarrassed laugh, an “ah here”, or a “why not? good on you”. In Hiberno-English to ride means to have sexual intercourse. It’s funny to tell people you’re writing a sex book, and generally people don’t ask too many questions after that. So you can avoid the dreaded: when is it out? where can I buy it? is it finished yet? But, it is very important to me, having grown up in a society where sex was considered dirty, to chat casually about the ride whenever I can. …

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