Tina Horn is all of the hotness! She is a writer, educator and media-maker extraordinaire. She produces and hosts "Why Are People Into That?!," a compelling podcast where she breaks down sexual mythology and details why people are into what they are into. Her latest book, "Sexting," showcases Horn at her best! She is an excellent communicator with a seductive voice to boot, and "Sexting" demonstrates how we can all communicate like she does digitally. Horn graciously answered questions about why she's into what she's into.
F. Leonora: In an article you wrote for Cosmopolitan, you said that when you got into your career you were reading a lot about sex and that your prospects work-wise were dim so you Googled being a domme. I want to know what you were reading and what led to your fascination with sex?
T. Horn: Some of the books that influenced my career in sexuality include:
"The Sexual Life of Catherine M" by Catherine Millet
"The Leather Daddy and the Femme" by Carol Queen
"Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong" - an anthology from Disinformation
"The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women" by Tristan Taormino
"The Happy Hooker" by Xaviera Hollander
"Macho Sluts" by Pat Califia
F.Leonora: Can you tell a little bit about your first book?
T. Horn: My first book is called "Love Not Given Lightly." It’s sort of a nonfiction short story book. Part journalism, part memoir, part experimental nonfiction, it’s about several sex workers I knew and worked with in the Bay Area in the late “aughties.” ThreeL Media published it, and I would say it’s for anyone who is interested in porn, queerness, rock-n-roll, slippery identity, BDSM, feminism, and spanking.
F. Leonora: How did "Sexting" come to be your second book?
T. Horn: I’ve taught dirty talk workshops at community centers and on video for about five years, and Quiver Press approached me to write a modern digital dirty talk book for their sex tips series. I really enjoyed organizing my ideas about the ethics and etiquette of sending dirty texts, taking naked selfies, putting on hardcore Skype shows, and how to get the most out of online dating. To me, sexting is all about using the tools of technology to create deeper connections with other humans. (Learn more in Yes, Sexting Has Benefits; Here Are 5 Awesome Things About Getting It On With Your Phone .)
F. Leonora: You said in an article for Nerve that you love the sound of your own voice. Do you think most people have a voice and are just intimidated to use it?
T. Horn: The short answer is yes, of course, everyone has their own voice and personality and style that they bring to their sexual relationships. Oftentimes in my dirty talk workshops, I have to coax people from PG to PG13 to R to X rated. But in that class, people were ready to go with the filth! That was fun because I could really go deeper with the group, which I always enjoy. But I love working with shy newbies as well.
F. Leonora: You discuss etiquette with sexting in your book. What is the ultimate no-no and the ultimate must-do when it comes to sexting?
T. Horn: Ultimate Do: Remember that sexting is a dance in the same way that sex is. Watch for someone’s signals for what they want and don’t want. Err on the side of teasing, draw things out, make someone beg for your dirtier words or ideas or images. Then once you have the go ahead, really let loose, be creative, and have fun with this medium of sexual communication!
Ultimate Don’t: Don’t use someone for sext anymore than you would use them for sex. If you want a no-strings-attached sexting buddy for when you’re alone with your phone and looking for personalized stimulation, find someone who is also interested in that. Don’t ask someone for a sexy picture under the pretense of a relationship when you really just want the picture. Be smart about your privacy, and be a trustworthy person to sext with.
F. Leonora: What do you think are the best mediums for different types of sexting?
T. Horn: Email is great for more long form ideas and fantasies, where you don’t expect to get a response right away. SMS is great for conversations, narrations and choose-your-own-adventure, on-the-fly erotica. Any shared image service is great for teasing or personalized masturbation material. Skype or Facetime or any video service are ideal for feeling really excited and intimate with someone far away.
F. Leonora: How did you come up with your book's format? It really works well and is great for finding particular subjects.
T. Horn: I’m so glad! I love structure, and it was fun to come up with the different categories for the "Sexting" book. I wanted it to be something that was easy to read in smaller digestible bits, more like a magazine. So there’s lots of cute lists of, for example, Snapchat ideas, lots of funny small segments on booty calls , and the occasionally longer musing on some subjects like consent and privacy.
F. Leonora: What is the easiest thing for you personally as far as sexting? What is the hardest?
T. Horn: The easiest thing for me, I have to say, is creativity and invention. There are lots of things I’m not good at, like math and baking, but I have an endless imagination for erotic scenarios. My background is in literature and theater, and you can really see that in my writing - and in my sexts, if you’re lucky enough to receive one!
The hardest thing about sexting is that the virtual only goes so far for me. Eventually I just want to be in the room with the person and get down to IRL business!
F. Leonora: If you designed a medium for perfect sexting, what would it include that is not already available?
T. Horn: I am very interested in the idea of artificial intelligence that can provide customized cybersex in the form of language, voice, maybe even imagery. Or really great, really ethical forums for people to provide and charge good rates for digital erotic entertainment and virtual emotional labor.
F. Leonora: Your other favorite workshop topic appears to be spanking. Will we see a book on that topic soon?
T. Horn: I would absolutely love to write an entire book on spanking if someone wanted to hire me to do so! People think it’s so simple: just smack an ass. But there’s so much more to it than that in terms of technique, psychology, uses, styles. There’s quite a bit about spanking in "Love Not Given Lightly" in fact, and I did a great episode about it on my podcast, "Why Are People Into That?!."