The first set of sheets I picked out for my own bed were a shocking orchid and tangerine plaid on a white background. It was 1974; set next to the era’s blaring lime greens, autumn harvest oranges and arterial spray reds, the colors of my new sheets were blasé blah. I liked these sheets, though. The colors felt alive when I looked at them, as if my life was wide and bright and shimmering with possibility, which it was. I was 12; I learned to masturbate on those violent orchid-and-tangerine sheets.
I like things that are new and fast and faintly dangerous, but I also like things that don’t make me leave my house. I fell in love with the Internet the moment I met America Online. It was 1994, and even now listening to the sound of dial-up makes me feel the thrum of an open road, crossing the digital dark, yellow lines blinking an SOS–a state of erotic hush. I’d huddle in my study, talking with strangers in little blue boxes. No one knew if it was real or fake, light or matter, fact or fiction. It was all made up and all the better for it. The Internet quivered when I stroked it.
A former academic and an ex-stripper, Chelsea G. Summers lives in Manhattan and writes almost exclusively about sex. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Guardian, VICE, The Daily Beast, Hazlitt and other fine media outlets that encourage sex writing that isn't dumb.