His chosen topic is the ‘Gaze’ in sex and kink. CharlieX will eventually be doing the roundup – plus the header image is also of him
… but if you want to learn more about CharlieX he’s my latest interview subject.
To introduce yourself, please tell us one possession which you treasured as a child (0-10)
I grew up in a pit village during the height of Thatcher’s attempts at class genocide so we didn’t have a lot. Even our school was poor – it could only afford the side of the see-saw that went down. But one Christmas I received a black radio cassette recorder, and that was my pride and joy. I was a music fan before then but that was really instrumental in growing up the way I have. I would listen to Radio Luxembourg under the duvet long after I was supposed to be asleep. And then I’d record my favourite songs, spending hours trying to work out what the lyrics were supposed to be, writing them out on any scrap of paper I could find. I listen to the radio every day; I have Mark and Stuart’s breakfast show on 6 right now.
Describe your blog using 3 words:
WCAG non compliant
Could you expand your description a little:
WCAG 2.1 non compliant
Is this your first attempt / foray into blogging?
No, far from it. I’ve always been an early adopter and I’ve been messing about on the Internet since the days of manual HTML coding in PageMill, before Adobe acquired it. My first attempt was little more than me writing about whatever I felt like, which was mostly music and football. The site is no longer there but did well for a couple of years. But then, back then, there were only about seven sites on the whole world wide web and four of those were porn, so I had a captive audience.
What 3 keywords do you use when you’re looking for kinky inspiration?
Vegan low fat
If you were stranded on a desert island (with no power issues) name 3 things you would want to have with you (for instance kinky accessory / partner / book / film)
My camera, my phone (as long as I can use the radio and YouTube Music apps), and the TARDIS. I’d be perfectly content living out my LOST obsession for a little while, until I discovered that there were no hatches or polar bears, but I’m not built for hot temperatures at all. Anything above 10F is just completely unnecessary and reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution, to paraphrase Aunt Augusta.
Which do you think evokes stronger memories – music or smell? Please share an anecdote:
Music – my sense of smell is shot from all the things I’ve put up my nose (hay fever inhalers!). I can do or encounter anything and it triggers a song memory – certain tastes, waiting at a particular bus stop, anything. The other day I was reminded of a young lady I had a crush on when I was a teenager and my mind instantly went to the record – a limited edition 12” remix, no less – that I’d bought on one particular Saturday afternoon we spent hanging out in the town centre:
You can invite anyone (dead or alive) round for dinner; name 5 guests and tell us why
Well, I wouldn’t invite Dead or Alive round for dinner, they only had one good record. I’m always drawn to people I guess I would describe as opinionated geniuses and there’s no shortage of those. This is a question I answered on Bumble back when I thought dating would be viable, so I know my answer. Eric Cantona, to talk football and acting; Hollie McNish, to talk poetry and performing; Anton Corbijn, to talk photography and directing; Kate Bush, to talk music and storytelling; and Prince Rogers Nelson, to talk about the Funk, the Whole Funk, and Nothing But The Funk. David Lynch would be on standby for late cancellations.
Have you ever done something sexual in a public place? Spill!
If you don’t have a personal anecdote you can “tell us about a friend!’
I watched the 1999 Champions League Final in our local Tom Cobleigh.
Now you are a blogger, what’s your ‘go to site’? What draws you to it?
https://visuwords.com/. No spoilers – just go there and enter your favourite words into the search box.
Quick Fire questions:
Temperature or Impact Play – Neither
Chocolate or alcohol – Neither
Professional porn or amateur – Visuwords.com
Stinging nettles or brambles – WTAF? Is this a kink thing?
Quickie or sleepy sex – Neither. I’m so far along the demisexual line at the minute I’m essentially asexual and perfectly content with that. I’m interested in sexuality, just like I’m interested in post-structuralism or Japanese photography since 1945, but not that bothered about the actual sex right now. I prefer Test Match Special.
Coffee or tea – Tea. Now you’re talking. Something in an extra strong breakfast brew, with oat milk.
Play sport or watch sport? – Both! It’s not long before I’m old enough to qualify for the local veterans league and I can’t wait to get Roy Keane on those OAPs.
You’re in a drag or burlesque act – what’s your stage name?
Is there a blogger who inspired you to set up your site? Why?
What attracted you to the genre of blog you’ve chosen?
How do you see your blog progressing – hopes and dreams?
These are all part of the same story so I’ve lumped them together. At the start of this year, because I’m a great one for projects, I’d decided that I was going to make performing spoken word my next project, with the end goal being performing at my local Pride. I’ve always loved poetry and have been writing it since I was 13 or so, but I’ve never performed it.
I signed up for a classroom course on writing and performing spoken word – the first class was supposed to be on the day lockdown was announced – and started visiting all the local spoken word open mic nights to observe what worked and what didn’t. And, because my intention from the start was to make this a project based on exploring and playing with my gender, I decided I would do it in a nonbinary, androgynous drag, and create a character so that I could explore it through them.
I drew my influences from that same period I spent listening to Radio Luxembourg – that post punk, new wave, New Romantics period and people like Siouxsie, Debbie Harry, Bowie, Martin Gore, and Robert Smith. “Charlie” is an IRL nickname that I had as a kid and when I looked for a way to incorporate that into my drag poet alter ego, I immediately thought of The Cure’s song, “Charlotte Sometimes”, so “Charlie Sometimes” was going to be my drag character’s name.
But then lockdown happened, so that idea didn’t really get off the ground. I decided I would give my alter ego an alter ego of their own as a lockdown project, and that’s when Charlie X was born. I wasn’t really clear what I was going to do, but I knew that I still wanted a project that would allow me to explore the narrow parameters of gender expression. I don’t remember how exactly but I came across the LingerieIsForEveryone meme but as I’ve written elsewhere, finding it was really the spark that fired me up. It was a real challenge to take photos in the beginning because I don’t have a great relationship with my body image, but the lovely feedback I had definitely helped and in the end, I was really enjoying the process and talking to other bloggers about photography (hence my Photography 101 series).
But now, I feel a bit constricted by the photos I can take by myself, of myself, around the house. I’m not feeling particularly inspired by the thought of more headless photos where I have to hide the hand that my phone (which I use to control my camera) is in, so I haven’t taken many photos lately. It was never about the blogging for me (I never actually expected anyone to even look at the site) and taking photos feels like a challenge that I’ve already overcome, so anything else in the same vein is just treading water and that will never make me happy. So I haven’t decided what my next step is. I’d be more interested right now in taking photos of other people but lockdown and not actually having other people to take photos of is limiting that (although I did join Fetlife in the end to see who was local, for when we can socialise again). So I don’t really know what the future holds.
I would say that continuing to blog, leaving the blog as is, and shutting the blog down are all equally possible right now. As an ENFP I’m always most excited at the start of a project and that’s when my energy is highest, and I’ve just started an IRL photography project that isn’t for posting on the blog, so I’m quite focused on that. I would say that the most likely outcome is that at some point I’ll get a new idea for the blog and then go through another period of blogging every day for a month, so I probably won’t shut it down… just come and go.
You’ve been so generous to share, let me return the favour. Tell me a “tool/aspect of blogging” about which you need a better grasp. I’ll provide some information and bloggers reading this can add input via the comments.
Thank you! I don’t really know what to ask for, unless anyone wants to volunteer for a photography collaboration with me!
Posy Advises – sign up for photography collaboration by contacting CharlieX directly on Twitter @CharlieXblog
Charlie’s blog , where he shares photography, poetry and writing can be found here