Skip to main content

Happy Valentine's! My Second Volume Is Out!

Happy Valentine's! To celebrate, the second volume in my Sex Positivity series—my manifesto/instruction volume, aka Volume One—is now out! To access both it and my first volume (my thesis volume, aka Volume Zero), simply go to my website's 1-page promo and pick up your own copies for free. While you're there, you can also learn about the other volumes, project history and logo design/promo posters!

(model and artist: Blxxd Bunny and Persephone van der Waard)

The manifesto volume is a far lengthier, X-rated and more developed version of my manifesto blogpost* (which I expanded on [after my thesis volume] went live). You can still read the original blogpost, which has been up on Blogger for over a year now and shall continue to remain up as a matter of historical record. However, it was written before my thesis volume and consequently features arguments that are fairly underdeveloped. Conversely, the manifesto volume takes the original blogpost and expands on simplified versions of my thesis arguments; i.e., focusing on practical versions of simplified theory that readers can use in their own daily lives, using active and conscious Gothic poetics during class/culture war to achieve intersectional worker solidarity united against the elite and Capitalist Realism.

*The full volume's 497 pages/~187,000 words and 326 unique images (minus the paratextual documents) versus the original blogpost's 293 pages/~53,500 words and 83 unique images, but also dozens of collabs with different sex workers (and several illustrators) unique to the finished volume; e.g., Blxxd Bunny as the cover model, below:

(model and artist: Blxxd Bunny and Persephone van der Waard)

Some additional details about me and the project: My name is Persephone van der Waard and I am currently writing and illustrating a non-profit book series on sex positivity and the Gothic. Made in collaboration with other sex workers, the project is a four-volume set called Sex Positivity versus Sex Coercion, or Gothic Communism: Liberating Sex Workers under Capitalism through Iconoclastic Art (2023). Before today, only my thesis volume/Volume Zero was available online. However, now the manifesto/Volume One is online as well! The two remaining volumes—the Humanities primer/Volume Two, and praxis volume/Volume Three—are scheduled to release during the remainder of 2024. 

Some work history surrounded the manifesto (as my writing of the book has been rather non-linear. In fact, I essentially wrote it backwards; you can excess the entire changelog on my website):

My thesis volume released on October 8th, and I've spent four months after that expanding and polishing my original blogpost to get it ready for today. I started writing the blogpost on July 22nd, 2022. However, exactly a year ago on Valentine's, I reduced it down to my manifesto and transported everything over to Microsoft Word. After that, I continued to make small changes to the manifesto on Blogger until June 2023, when I decided to focus on my thesis volume. Once that released, I took a small break (a couple weeks) before beginning my prep for Volume One. 

This included substantially rewriting older portions, but also expanding on and—at times—writing new sections/essays from scratch. It also involved illustrating many pictures based on models...

(model and artist: Roxie Rusalka and Persephone van der Waard)

(model and artist: Casper Clock and Persephone van der Waard)

but also hiring artists to collab with:


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.