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My Messy Bedroom: Messy goodbye

Messy goodbye

Me and one of my sex superheroes, porn director Candida Royalle

When we first started out, the guys at the office said it wouldn’t last. "You’re going to run out of things to say within six months," they warned.

That was over 13 years and more than 500 columns ago.

My relationship with this column and its readers has been one of the most fulfilling of my life. But not all relationships are meant to last forever, even some of the good ones. And, as such, it’s time for this one to end.

This will be my last column for Hour.

It’s been quite a ride.

When I first started writing this column in February of 1994, "bobbitting" had just become a verb. (That’s right, remember Lorena Bobbit? She cut off her husband’s penis because he was "selfish and wouldn’t give her an orgasm." Nothing like a little direct communication.)

I went through "the blue dress" and Bill Clinton’s removal of the blowjob from the definition of "sexual relations." I, along with the rest of the nation, endured the disturbing-but-I-can’t-look-away trial of Karla and Paul.

Then there was the fun stuff. Covering a porn shoot on a boat in the middle of the St-Lawrence River. The co-ed bathhouse in Winnipeg. The nudist camp. Looking at Shannon Belle’s g-spot and watching her squirt in front of a roomful of people in a female ejaculation workshop. Brushing up my skills at workshops on everything from bum sex to cock ‘n’ ball torture and Japanese rope bondage. I still carry my certificate for having completed a handjob/blowjob workshop.

And there’s the charitable work: I still hold the title of "Canada’s Top Masturbator," being the individual who raised the highest amount of money for women’s sexual health organizations in the annual Masturbate-a-thon.

Then, of course, who could forget all the free sex toys and porn I get to test drive? I am probably one of the lucky few who get to include masturbation as part of their job description. I still haven’t figured out what to do with that weird bouncy chair contraption with the hole in the middle. Right now we’re using it as a footstool.

I’ve also had the honour of meeting some of my modern sex superheroes – Candida Royalle, Annie Sprinkle, Tristan Taormino, Sue Johanson, Midori, Ducky DooLittle.

There was plenty of not-so-fun-but-it-goes-with-the-territory stuff. Agreeing to let myself be shot for a spread on Canadian media women for UMM magazine (it’s always a bad sign when they ask you to bring a nude thong). Being naively interviewed early on in my career by a newspaper in Edmonton only to wake up to a headline that read: "34 Years Old, 40 Lovers, You Do the Math" (of course, I now include this quote on all press material). Pissing off the entire town of Inuvik with a column about the sexual climate there that included the quote: "There are two sayings in Inuvik: ‘If you can’t get laid in Inuvik, you’re just lazy’ and ‘In Inuvik, you don’t lose your woman, you just lose your turn.’" The fallout to the column made national and international headlines (a friend of mine was travelling in Turkey and heard it on the news there), proving that once again, there is no such thing as bad press.

Early in my career, I was often asked by people whether I was concerned I would be pigeonholed writing a sex column. This used to baffle me. I would respond by asking them if they would ask the same of someone who wrote about politics. I feel blessed to have made a career of writing and talking about sex. Sadly, in our culture, something like politics is taken seriously. Sex is not. Sure, sex can be pretty damn funny sometimes, but the truth is, people’s struggle to have healthy, happy relationships is serious. Our need to have our sexual preferences and choices explained and validated is not shallow. People’s hunger for information about sex and relationships, while occasionally inspired by prurient curiosity, is basically genuine.

We’ve been anxious, confused and curious about sex since the beginning of time. Many of the questions bear repeating with each generation.

When I get a letter from a 16-year-old girl who says I’ve helped her feel more secure in her developing sexuality, I can’t help but feel proud of what I do. Even, or perhaps especially, when my column has inspired hatred or resentment, it has made me sit up and take note of my responsibility.

Sometimes I got it wrong. And you let me know, making me realize that you can never stop learning about sex. But it’s time for you to learn from someone new. I leave you in the capable hands of Laura Roberts, editrix of the online "literary slutzine" Black Heart Magazine, who will inhabit this space starting next week.

But don’t worry, I’m not going away entirely. We have great things planned online and I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter at joseyvogels.com, or send your email address to letters@joseyvogels.com and we’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to all of you for your support, feedback and acceptance all these years.

Yours in messiness, Josey.

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My Messy Bedroom

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  • by Dana Hanks - October 12, 2007, 3:57 am

    Then there was the fun stuff. Covering a porn shoot on a boat in the middle of the St-Lawrence River. The co-ed bathhouse in Winnipeg. The nudist camp

    Nudist camp is very fun. lol. I have that experience before. Such nudist report, nudist sport…. Al are interesting. Somtimes bofore I share my experience with nudist personals nudistconnect.com so happy. maybe many can have a try, some days, you will be interested in nudism. blablabla../

  • by The Editor - October 12, 2007, 5:14 am

    Very sorry to see you go, here at World Sex News, we’ve closely followed your articles, and probably linked to you more than any other source. A good writer is hard to find. Good luck!

    The Editor.

  • by Paul Rapoport - October 12, 2007, 10:10 am

    Josey, in addition to having a fine brain, you are a writer of high talent. It is through your writing that most of us know you . . . I hope people appreciate the skill and care you have brought to this column, the knowledge and sensibility. Its quality has been rare indeed.

    I can’t estimate how many people you have affected so positively and made such a big difference to. I wish you the best and will try to follow you wherever you are going!

  • by Hugo Vaillancourt - October 12, 2007, 2:40 pm

    Dear Josey,

    I’ve been reading your column assiduously for years. While there are many sex columnists that I dislike, I’ve always felt that your column brought forth refreshing ideas about sexuality and intimacy, and that you could handle delicate topics with sensitivity. Your writings have contributed to shape many of the opinions that I now hold in regards to sex and relationships.

    It’s an odd coincidence that I read your departure column today; as a volunteer for Head & Hands’s Sense project, today was my first time facilitating a sex education workshop in a school (the Sense project is a sex ed initiative undertaken by H&H in response to sex education being removed from the high school curriculum in Quebec). Sexuality is a wondrous thing, yet so many people are hungering for precious information and insight about it. Teaching sex ed has been a long-time dream of mine, and as an aspiring writer, I would also love to write a book or a regular column on the topic. You are fortunate that you had the chance to do this as your livelihood for such a long time; I hope that I’ll get that chance someday.

    I wish you well in your future endeavors, and I’ll make sure to subscribe to your newsletter.


  • by Josey Vogels - October 15, 2007, 2:35 pm

    While the column will no longer be in Hour, we will still be publishing columns each week on our web site at: joseyvogels.com

    Thanks for all your kind words and support!


  • by Pedro Eggers - October 16, 2007, 1:33 pm

    The state of Montreal’s free english weekly papers takes another nasty hit. Years ago the Montreal Mirror lost Cecil Adams’ Straight Dope column and Matt Groening’s subversive hit Life is Hell. Now the Hour joins them in losing one of their sole reasons for reading them, Josey Vogel’s My Messy Bedroom. What’s the point of being an alternative weekly when all your alternative content is gone? Truly a sad and very messy state of affairs for us readers.

  • by Larissa Dutil - October 16, 2007, 7:17 pm

    A Door Closes, and a Futton Opens up to a new world of sexual possibilities.

    Although we will miss Josey’s Messy Bedroom, I am quite excited and tit-tilated (if you must) in welcoming Ms. Laura Roberts to the folds of my unmade bed.

    Who is this mysterious Ms. Roberts? Is she top? bottom? What are her thoughts on [mental] masturbation? Who are her sexual icons and idols? If we prick her, does she not cum?

    Oh, the world of possibilities! and with both joseyvogels.com and blackheartmagazine.com, we are spoiled for choice…

    I can’t wait to take Laura Roberts to bed with me, at least give her a good test run…

  • by Claudia Rainey - October 21, 2007, 10:43 pm

    Going back to nature, even if only for a weekend, restores the a spirit as little else can. Exploring the woods, or a mountain meadow, dipping into a cool, clear pond or sleeping under the stars … these things take us back to a calmer life that is all too often forgotten in our hurry-up sometimes hectic world.

    Imagine, after an exhausting week of the daily facade everyone puts on every morning before we step out our doors, the ability to go to a place where none of that defines the person you are. Where you are not judged by the car you drive, the type of job that you have, or the clothes on your back. Imagine a place like http://www.naturistspace.org/ where everyone’s the same, and you’ll imagine what it’s like to there.

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