Alex Tieghi-Walker, Anonymous Sex Journal
Alex Tieghi-Walker will be a familiar name to followers of independent publishing; as well as writing for many titles he founded A Tale of Three Cities and edited Airbnb’s Pineapple. He also publishes The Anonymous Sex Journal, an ocassional collection of secretly submitted anecdotes about people’s sex lives. The fourth issue of Riposte magazine, published this week, includes a specially-created mini edition of Anonymous Sex stories.
Where are you today?
Today I’m working from home, which is a tall brick house in Kennington, south London.
What can you see from the window?
My window box, which is full of Aloe. Beyond that there’s a traffic warden sticking a ticket on a removal van.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Both, I’m just generally quite wired.
Which magazine do you first remember?
Growing up, my downstairs loo had National Geographic stacked higher than the cistern. I used them as a stool to reach the sink.
What’s your favourite erotic magazine this morning?
Not so much a mag, but a naughty little book by my friend Michael Bullock called ‘Roman Catholic Jacuzzi’ that I’ve been re-reading,
Does the anonymity you offer your contributors encourage more stories, more honesty, or more explicitness?
Totally, anonymity is the most important connector between contributors and honest storytelling. People treat submitting as more of a cathartic experience if they’ve got their invisibility cloak on.
Do you hope to change people’s attitudes so that they become more open about their sexual experiences?
I just want people to talk about sex more honestly. No more bragging; let’s talk about the whoopsies and the awkward bits. Or even the boring bits. Or the weird bits. Every sexual experience is different and just as important.
Every issue features a single illustrator who interprets each story. What do you look for when selecting an image-maker?
A sense of humour. I like seeing how the illustrators interpret the stories in different ways. The illustrations definitely lift the stories, so the more surreal the better. After this issue with Riposte, I’m working with Laura Callaghan who creates neo-noir comic strips, then I’m creating a full colour issue with John Booth, whose work I love.
(example above by Margot Bowman)
Riposte is including ASJ only in the issues sold via their website so that readers know that they’re receiving a magazine containing explicit content. Have you had problems with distribution in the past?
Not really, but mainly because of the way I distribute the journal. The aim is for people to share the publication, thus the plastic cover… I leave issues on the tube, or in people’s beds, or I slot them into other magazines in bookstores. My only true ‘distributor’ as it were is Athenaeum in Amsterdam.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
Being one week closer to Autumn.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
Getting one of my molars capped.
What will you be doing after this chat?
I seem to spend my life either watering plants or reading smut, so either of those. Or feeding my cat, Harvey Milk.