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How do you, as a woman, dare to write about sex?



I don’t want to talk about it— the men who think I’m some kind of skank. The grad school advisor who closed the office door and whispered that he was fantasizing

about me, and was I doing the same about him? The other professor who said he

knew all my poems were about him. The editor who wrote: I could use one of your

orgasms today.  The other editor who sent me his phone number, address and blurry photo of what might have been his cock. Maybe I should stop, I said, but David

Lehman shook his head, “Men are disgusting. Don’t let them inhibit or silence you, Nin.”  I was relieved to hear that Denise Duhamel received weird notes, too, after

writing The Woman with Two Vaginas.  “I love vaginas, too,” one fan said. She told

me creepy stories about other women poets who dared to write about sex. And I

told her about this guy who called from a truck stop on I-95. He said he was going to

be driving by my hometown of Poland, Ohio, passing through en route to Chicago

and wanted to stop by, to meet the real Nin. Said that he had known a topless dancer called and Nin. Was I her? If my poems could shimmy and writhe, maybe I could, too. 

I know I should have hung up right then, but instead I told him the truth: my poems

and I are not the same thing. That’s why I write them. Poems can say and do and

wear whatever they want—like Dolly Parton in heels and a low-cut blouse as she

sachets onto the stage and sings her sexy soul out to the world . . . You can fantasize

all you want, but the truth is, she doesn’t give a shit about assholes like you.

Nin Andrews.png

Nin Andrews

Pronouns: She/Her

1 Poem

How do you, as a woman, dare

     to write about sex?


The author of 7 chapbooks and 7 full-length poetry collections, Nin Andrews (she/her) has won two Ohio individual artist grants, the Pearl Chapbook Contest, the Kent State University chapbook contest, the Gerald Cable Poetry Award, and the 2016 Ohioana Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in many literary reviews and anthologies including Agni, The Paris Review, The Best of the Prose Poem, and four volumes of Best American Poetry. Her book, The Last Orgasm, was published by Etruscan Press in 2020.

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