We were so excited to catch up with Jenny and ask her a few questions.
LPM: Star sign?
LPM: Favourite colour?
LPM: Favourite TV show at the moment
JB: Law and Order
LPM: Have you ever been to New Zealand?
JB: No. It is on my wish list!
LPM: Has it been hard sharing your sexuality/ sexual identity with the world? Have you felt judged?
JB: Identifying as a lesbian has not been that hard. Other than the fact that people say, “But you don’t look like a lesbian.” Whatever that means….. As far as being open, the only people who have been judgy really are anonymous strangers online. Anyone who knows us seems to get us!
LPM: As the mother of a daughter (10) who always says “Oh Mum!” about the things I do, what does your daughter think of your book and articles?
JB: I get the same reaction! But I think deep down she appreciates it and gets it. She’s 15 and still wants to hang out with me and travel with me and her friends come to me for help/advice.
LPM: How important is it for girls and women to have powerful role models?
JB: Nothing is more important. There are so many damaging messages out there, so much bad news. Girls need to know that their bodies are their own, their choices are their own. They need to know that a happy, healthy sexuality is their birthright and defining what that means is their right as well.
LPM: There has been much discussion about feminism at Le Petite Mania lately. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
JB: Yes. Yes. Yes. A radical feminist. To be a feminist is to believe that women are whole people, complete beings, who deserve the same rights and protections as men. Equal pay. Equal safety. Equal respect. To be a feminist is to know your worth as a human, a fully actualized, sexualized, intellectualized, individualized human.
LPM: You wrote the book ‘“Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage.” Do you still have an open marriage? Does the concept of this evolve and change?
JB: Yes and yes. It has to evolve and change. That is the secret, the key. To live a long, happy, fulfilled life, you must evolve and change and embrace those evolutions and changes. I have a husband. I have a girlfriend who lives with us. And I have a girlfriend who lives out of town. I love them all. I love them all differently. But I love them all. Love is not a limited commodity. We get different things from different people. The hoarding and “churchifying” and “Puritanizing” of love is a crime.
LPM: What will our readers learn from reading your book?
JB: That no two relationships look the same. That it’s time we all learned to live and love the way that we want to live and love instead of the way that some rom com or fairy tale has dictated to us. My book is about open marriage. But more than that it’s about living authentically. It’s about honesty and reality and worrying less about what the neighbors think and more about what you truly want.
LPM: We first discovered you when we read your article “The most important thing teenage girls should do but don’t: masturbate.” It really struck a chord with us and sparked a lot of conversation about women’s sexuality and how it develops. How important do you think it is for mothers to have open relationships with their daughters about their sexuality?
JB: Paramount. We have to talk openly about sexuality. We have to. Otherwise it, like so many other things, becomes scary and unknown and dangerous. If we don’t teach them, someone else will and I can guarantee it won’t be what I want her to learn.
Sexuality should be far more simple than it is. Sex is a fun and happy thing. Your body is your own. Who you are attracted to is mysterious and completely your own business. The messages have to change. Girls are not objects. Men have no “right” to us. They can earn relationships and connections with us. But we do not “owe” them AT All in ANY WAY.
LPM: As well as being a published writer, you write for a range of websites etc. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
JB: Write. It may seem simple. But it’s the truth. To be a writer you have to write. You have to write all the time. You have to write when you’re tired, when you’re sick, when you think you have nothing to say.
I don’t mean you have to like someone is forcing you. I mean you have to in order to survive. It’s like breathing. If you are a writer, the thought of not being allowed to write is like the thought of having the oxygen drained from the air.
To be a paid writer, well, that’s another story. You have to get an agent. You have to pound the pavement. You have to connect with editors – social media is key. But still, you have to write.
You can visit Jenny at www.jennyonthepage.com