April 3, 2012
As soon as I decided that I’d include interviews as part of my focus in this column, I knew that I’d be angling to interview Violet and Rye, the amazing couple who’ve taken the sex blogging world by storm with their great writing, gorgeous photos/videos and their unique blend of love and lust.
How would you describe Uncommon Appetites, both your blog and tumblr page, to the uninitiated?
We’re a young, married couple from Brooklyn, NY who just so happen to like each other a fucking lot. Through our photos, stories and videos, we strive to make Uncommon Appetites a place that houses nice looking, realistic representations of our real sex life. We are just normal people who love to rub our bodies on each other and love talking with others who feel the same way. We also include elements of our lives that lots of sex blogs don’t: what we eat, drink and dance around in our underwear too.
How would you explain your relationship dynamic?
Uh, is ‘jubilant’ an acceptable answer? We honestly just feel really lucky to have found each other and grabbed a hold of one another. We had the benefit of being friends for a number of years before we ever dated, so beyond being incredibly attracted to each other’s parts, we also knew going into this thing that we really liked each other as people. We probably joke around with each other more than your average couple, making the other laugh a lot is pretty high on our list of priorities. We are also both pretty committed to the other’s happiness, comfort and satisfaction, which goes such a long way in making marriage a fucking phenomenal place to be.
Are there differences in the ways each of you interacts with your online experience?
V: I am always amazed by the amount of ground Rye can cover in a very short time. He can answer a ton of comments on our blog, interact with thirty people on twitter, scroll infinitely through tumblr and finish a draft of a post in the time it takes me to read a reader’s question and stare out over the top of my laptop thinking of an answer. He seems to always have an idea when I run out of them.
R: We try to have a unified voice, in what we write and whoever is taking control of @UCAppetites that morning/afternoon/evening. We try to give credit where credit is due when it comes to blog posts, but overall, because we share so many views about sexuality and porn, we can be comfortable speaking for both of us when we chime in on a subject. But what V just said is also true and flattering. I’m kind of an animal sometimes and can turn things around a lot quicker. Hopefully this doesn’t come in exchange for quality, though.
What are your favourite aspects of sharing your sexuality online?
We started Uncommon Appetites just for each other and whoever happened to stumble upon it, but I have to say that the most rewarding things so far have been the scores of readers saying, “Oh God, thank you for saying that! I feel the same way and never heard anyone else say it out loud!” It’s also been an incredible learning tool for us as we both figure out our own sexuality. Our tastes are always evolving and it’s been a really empowering way to say, “Dear lover, I’d like you to put it here.” Sometimes it’s hard even for us to just come out and say things to each other, and the blog has been a great tool for exploring new things.
There have been days along the way when we questioned whether Uncommon Appetites was a good idea, whether it mattered, etc. Those days, there always seems to be a reader writing us to say that their sexual relationships with their partners have been revived or improved by reading our stories, watching our videos and scrolling through our pictures. Some of them had stopped talking about the sex they were having, some stopped having sex altogether. Knowing that in addition to giving people some quality wanking material, we may actually be helping people through tough shit in their relationship is unbelievably inspiring. That kind of thing has brought us out of the dark more than a few times.
Oh, also did we mention that we’ve gotten to have beers with Sophie Delancey and coffee with Cindy Gallop in her Black Apartment? Those have been pretty fucking excellent perks.
How does it feel to be role models, both in terms of sexuality and healthy relationships?
Ha ha ha! Oh, goodness. We certainly don’t think of ourselves as role models. But we would be lying if we said that we weren’t really fucking proud of our relationship and how we interact as a couple. We do think that if what we do here makes people more honest, more open and sexier with their partners, we’re really doing something right. So much happens between two people in a relationship that anyone who tries to say they’ve got it totally figured out is definitely lying. We have our ups and downs just like everyone else. If we can inspire more people to communicate openly about their desires, likes, dislikes, why they’re having and not having sex, then that’s amazing and makes us really proud to do what we do. I guess we think the important part is traveling on those ups and downs together and always talking about how they change you along the way. Also blowjobs. Lots of blowjobs.
How do you handle pressure to step outside your comfort zone, either in terms of privacy or sexuality?
We have the benefit of being pretty up-for-anything kind of people. Taking risks and trying new things together is probably one of the things that’s made our relationship the strongest. We also know that the other will be 100% supportive whether we say “that is not something I want to do” or, “Ohmygod, let’s do that eleven more times right now.”
In terms of pressure from the outside world about those things, we approach them together like we would approach anything else. Camille Crimson has talked a lot about some peoples’ expectation that you will be their porn robot and do anything they ask. While we are vigilant about responding to readers’ comments and requests, we also have no qualms about completely ignoring people who act like assholes. We have been and will continue to be very careful with how much of our identities we reveal. We only just recently told a few friends about this blog and were totally blown away by the positivity of their response. We’re still not sure whether we’ll stay anonymous forever, but for now, we feel it’s what’s given us the ability to be as candid and as honest as we can be.
Are you taking any steps to keep something just for yourselves, or are you letting it all out there?
We certainly don’t film or document every sexual encounter we have. Lots of things are still private. Especially our ever-expanding list of the weirdest inside jokes of all time. But, I wouldn’t say there’s any particular genre or kind of sex we have that we don’t talk about.
Do you have a favourite video and/or photo so far out of the ones you’ve shot?
Violet+Rye is definitely our favorite video we’ve released so far. We really think it captures who we are and how we interact together. Although, we’ve got some things up our sleeve that will not only thrill our readers, but may eventually de-throne it as our favorite. Uh, if we may humbly say so, make sure you and your (lady)boners stay tuned for that.
In terms of photos, an early set of ours called What Weekends Look Like is probably still our favorite to date. We’re not exactly sure what the secret sauce is here, but we can’t stop using them again and again.
What is your idea of a utopian porn industry?
Someone ( we think it might have been Jiz Lee?) recently wrote that the conversation we should be having is not about what is good porn vs. bad porn. Their point being that order to make porn better, you just need to make more of it. We happen to like a certain kind of porn, a kind of porn that is still pretty rare. So, while we are lobbying for other people to make more of that, we are also contributing our own voices to the dialogue by making our own. Ideally, it’s people enjoying themselves, consensually. We want to see more, and the more we talk about what we want to see, the more we can dictate that the porn of the future be artistic, real couples, shot on something better than a camera phone. We’ve seen through our readers and our followers that maybe other people are starting to move in that direction as well.
Do you think that being paid to share your sexuality online would change it somehow?
We’re pretty resolute in how we like to share. We have had a number of lovely offers to make money off this thing, but are really taking our time to make sure that we get to do it completely on our terms. Also, we’ll probably just be able to make more of it, and we’re sure not many people would be mad at.
What’s your ideal outcome for Uncommon Appetites?
We’re not totally sure yet. It certainly wouldn’t suck to have an online space that combined music reviews/interviews, recipes/food and cocktail videos and sex photos and videos in equal measure, would it? In the meantime, we’ve got some things in the works that our readers will be incredibly excited about.