Guest blogger: Susie Bright!


I'm really excited to welcome our new guest blogger to Boing Boing: Susie Bright! I've been a fan of Susie's for over 20 years. She's a brilliant feminist sex writer, erotic forensics expert, and political activist with a big fountain pen instead of a sword.

She's been called: "#23 out of 62 Reasons to Love America," (behind Tofu Pups) -- and "a national treasure right up there with the Grand Canyon, the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Okefenokee Swamp, and the Smithsonian Nancy Reagan Memorial Dress Collection."

Lesser-known details include:

1958 - Born in Arlington, VA, conceived in Jakarta in by expat linguists. Raised all over California, and Edmonton, Alberta, attending eleven schools before dropping out in 1975, and moving to Detroit.

1966 - Wrote first political pamphlet in Crayola Orange-Red, begging neighbors to vote against Reagan in California gubernatorial race.

1974 - Joined notorious high school underground newspaper, The Red Tide, and sued the L.A. School Board for the right to distribute without prior censorship or approval- a struggle not without sit-downs, walkouts, and overturned police cars.

1975 - Co-founded the rank-and-file activist group, Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

1984 - Co-founded On Our Backs, the first sex journal by and for women, the first entirely-out-of-the-closet lesbian magazine, and the first print publication about anything produced with Macintosh Desktop Publishing.

1987 - Began publishing the first "real" film criticism of porn movies. Named the "Pauline Kael of Porn" by Alice Kahn.

1986 - Taught first university class on porn, "How To Read a Dirty Movie" at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

1990 - Baby Aretha born; perfect happiness. Writes "Egg Sex."

1993 - Founded The Best American Erotica series; published ~400 short stories of literary erotic fiction.

1995 - Made everyone cry in The Celluloid Closet.

1996 - Inspired the lesbian lovers for the Wachowski Brothers' Bound and wrote the sex scenes.

2004 - Blog debut: Susie Bright's Journal. First Post: Moral Values I'd Like to Revive

2001 - Bought rental fleet Prius from disgusted dealer for $7,000. Still driving it. Started first audio program about sex that was FCC-free: In Bed With Susie Bright. Interviews with Betty Dodson, Erica Jong, and the last candid conversation with the late Jeane Palfrey, "The DC Madam."

2006 - Bong-Wrangler and Cameo on Six Feet Under

This appearance was the delayed result of a telling a talented writer to shut up. Jill Soloway wrote an early script where Susie's name was mentioned in an offhand remark by "Brenda."

A exec at HBO banned the line out from the script, vowing that Bright's name would never be allowed on the show. (Paging Andrea Dworkin!) Three years later, Soloway wrote her final season episode without censorship. Viewers may have wondered about the recurring joke, where every major character repeated the line: "Do you know Susie Bright? She's the feminist sex writer."

Now you know.

2007 - Chief Sewing Columnist at Craft magazine. Writes: The Case of the Missing Curve.

2008 - "Got my first mountain bike. Asked to guest-blog at Boing Boing; my Work is Done. Supposed to finishing memoir, but this timeline was easier.

Susie says: "I read Boing Boing every day, and would love to get tips from you on any of my favorite topics, which include: Sexual politics, writing and editing, cooking, sewing, labor, movies, drugs, pop culture queerities, photography, feminism, fooling around outside, raising teenagers, and words of all kinds. I'll try anything once. Email:

Please give her a warm welcome!


  1. What is erotic forensics? Is that like pornographic public speaking? Or slash fiction about CSI (maybe that’s forensic erotica)? And can you be an expert in something with seven Google search results, including this post?

  2. “I’ll try anything once”

    I took up that philosophy when I was still quite young, and have never regretted it. I wish more people would do the same.

  3. this is wonderful. i first read susie bright in 96 and have been pleased punch ever since. glad she be around for a while offering some insight. wonderful match for boing boing.

  4. Yay, Susie! My enthusiastic embrace of my own aberrance is largely the result of reading Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World while working at a recovery bookstore in New Jersey, followed by the entirety of the GLBT section (although that particular bit of letter salad wasn’t in fashion at the time).

    So: I’m mostly her fault.

  5. Yay! Susie used to live down the street for me. A friend did MacIntosh work for her in exchange for a signed book. Clits Up!

  6. A heartfelt welcome to a great writer, thinker, activist, and overall wonderfully inventive human being.

  7. Yay! Can’t wait to read your posts, Susie, and I love that Jill Soloway anecdote – crazy that they were so adamant about you not being mentioned. Glad you prevailed.

  8. My copy of Full Exposure is easily my most highlighted and margin-noted book in my library. Furthermore, I found it and read it right after my first graduate-level gender class, and it completed the process of blowing my mind.

    Susie Bright, thank you for existing.

  9. WooHoo!

    As a big ol’ dyke partnered to a male lesbian, I say “Welcome, Susie! You are one of my heroes!”

  10. Thank you so much for the encouragement; this is such a treat for me!

    Now that I got my first two posts out, I think I’ll take that bike out for a spin…

  11. I never figured out the Violet Blue Scandal. Too complicated to spend the time on. And the lack of transparency on the part of BB, necessary or not, cast a shadow of doubt on their good faith. For me, at least. Your invitation to pontificate on their behalf goes a long way toward restoring that faith. Yay Susie! I hope they’re paying you what your worth! (Which would be a lot in my estimation.)

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