An excerpt from

More Love & Sex from My Messy Bedroom
by Josey Vogels

When I first started writing "My Messy Bedroom" as a column for Hour Magazine in Montreal, the guys at the paper said it wouldn't last. "You're going to run out of things to say within six months," they warned.

Four years, syndication, and approximately 200 columns later, I haven't even begun to run out of things to say.

It's been one of the most fulfilling relationships of my life. I was working as an editor at Hour when my boss asked me to come up with a weekly column. I tried to think of something I had enough basic background and interest in to write about every week, sex seemed am obvious choice. I'd been having it since I was 14 - the longest I'd stuck with anything at that point in my life. And while all my smart, funny female friends had lots of opinions about politics and the state of the world, our favourite topic was, and still is, boys and sex.

Some consider this shallow, even frivolous. But one thing I've learned in these last four years is that the struggle to have healthy, happy relationships is not frivolous. The need to have our sexual preferences and choices explained and validated is not shallow.

The hunger for information about sex and relationships, while occasionally inspired by the same curiosity we have about Bill Clinton's sex life, is basically genuine.

Interpersonal relationships and sexual attraction are mind-boggling subjects. We've been anxious, confused and curios about them since the beginning of time, many of the questions bear repeating with each generation.

When I get a letter from a sixteen year-old woman who says I've helped her feel more secure in her developing sexuality, I can't help but feel honoured.

Even, or perhaps especially, when my column inspires hatred, it makes me sit up and take notice of my responsibility. I have at least one particularly charming "fan" whose vile diatribes against me and my entire gender, while disturbing, convince me of the need for women to talk about this stuff. As a woman writing about sex, there is resentment. And a certain amount of titillation. I often get strange looks when people meet me for the first time. They expect me to arrive bearing whips and leather, and are either disappointed or pleasantly surprised to find I' just a regular gal who grew up in the country in small-town Ontario, the eighth child in a Dutch-Canadian, Catholic family.

In the years I've been writing the column, women writing about sex has become somewhat of a trend. I guess our time had come. "Death to the Patriarchy" just wasn't doing the trick anymore, and the boys seemed to respond more eagerly when we used sex and relationships as the medium for our feminist messages.

It's also, I believe, an extension of our role in relationships. For the most part, we are still the emotional caretakers.

Granted, the men I've heard from over the years lend me hope that this is changing. They've openly shared their thoughts, experiences, questions and confusion. And that's very cool. In fact, my column wouldn't have lasted without the feedback, criticism, appreciation and support from both male and female readers. These four years have certainly been a learning experience for me. The more I write about sex and relationships, the more I question. And the more I realize just how messy the subjects of love and sex can be.

This book gathers together some of the topics I've tackled over the years:

Trying to cope with the single life; learning to keep romance alive; how to cheat without getting caught; finding out exactly what men and women like in bed; life as a professional dominatrix; penis extensions; and finding good porn, to name just a few.

Welcome back to my messy bedroom·.