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Big Book Update: Writing is Mostly Finished; Focusing on Illustrations!

Hi, everyone! I wanted to give an update about the book, as it's been awhile since I've posted on here and a lot has happened since my last blogpost. 

Update, 11/4/2023: This post is quite outdated, and I only keep it up to maintain a historical record. First and foremost, my book is now divided into four volumes, the first of which is now live on my website; go to my website's 1-page promo and pick up a copy for free (it's non-profit)! While you're there, you can also learn about the other three volumes, project history of Sex Positivity and logo design. Second, the changelog that used to be in this blogpost has been consolidated into a single document you can also access at the same location on my website.

Original post, 4/8/2023 (minus the changelog):

As many of you know by now, I've been working since July 2022 on a book called Sex Positivity vs Sex Coercion, or Gothic Communism. A large, semi-censored sample—including my manifesto—is currently available on the original blogpost. That post initially started as a smaller article, but has gradually turned into a full-blown book—containing multiple volumes and dozens of personal illustrations made in collaboration with various sex workers. I haven't made a new blogpost since August for several reasons:
  • I've been working on the book non-stop.
  • I had been using my blog for months to proofread and alter the manuscript—partly because I wanted to share the process with people and partly because I was hesitant to carry the project over to my personal computer (Blogger isn't the friendliest when it comes to transferring documents).
  • I wanted to keep attention on the project as I was creating it (as I wasn't promoting it as much through my artwork at the time).
Around December of last year, the manuscript was around 50,000 words. After January it was over 100,000, requiring me to move the document over to my personal computer. As I write this, the book currently stands at 271,000 words.

To be honest, I never planned on Sex Positivity becoming so big. It's less of a single book now and more a series of smaller books/modules and illustrations. Regardless, I am quite pleased with the project despite having to extend the deadline multiple times. I'm currently shooting for June (my birthday month) but am trying not to rush things. I didn't finish the book for New Year's, Valentine's, the Ides of March or Easter, so if I don't finish it on June 1st, that's ok; I am absolutely loving the journey of writing and illustrating it.

Initially I was just writing the book on my blogpost, not illustrating it. That is, I wasn't really including my own art or promoting the book itself with my art. Now that the book is much further along, I've retailored my drawing approach
  • using it to renovate dozens of old pieces to be included in the book.
  • collaborating with more and more sex workers to model for new illustrations and collages. At first, it was just a handful of old friends/collaborators like Krispy Tofuuu and Meowing from Hell, but I've since invited lots of new talent to participate. This includes Blood Bunny on Twitter, Quinnvincible, Lustful Angel and others!
The combined artwork has been used to promote Sex Positivity on my various galleries and social media accounts, while also inviting more people to join in the creative process. The need for large amounts of artwork, short-notice, has led me to get creative when working with photos and old gallery pieces. While I've focused on touch-ups, photobashes and other shortcuts that don't sacrifice the creative vision I have it mind, it's also had the unintended side effect of allowing me to blaze a trail through my own galleries (something I've wanted to do for years)!

To summarize, most of the writing for the book is completed, but there's still a lot of artwork to do. I've finished the last "big step" in writing the manuscript (see the update log, below) and really want to spend the next couple of months doing new illustrations. I have quite a few drawings that I'm currently working on, but am also planning many more. I can't quote the exact number I'll be adding. Volume One—the first half of the book—has tons of exhibits, already; Volume Two—which I wrote first, before I started illustrating the book heavily—features plenty of artwork by other artists, but not as many drawings or exhibits by me. To compensate, Volume Two's writing is more polished at this stage, but I want to include more exhibits and collaborative pieces to round things out. The more, the merrier, as they say!

(model: Persephone van der Waard; photographer: Zeuhl)

Persephone van der Waard is an anarcho-Communist, sex worker, genderqueer activist and Gothic ludologist. She sometimes writes reviews, Gothic analyses, and interviews for fun; or does independent research for her PhD on Metroidvania and speedrunning every now and again. She's also an erotic artist and a writer. If you're interested in her work or curious about illustrated or written commissions, please refer to her website for more information.