On Filth

Black and white sketch of one woman going down on another

Image courtesy Old Erotic Art

I just finished a story that is not what I would call pretty. While I hope that it’s beautiful in its own way, I hope even more that it’s filthy. Fucking filthy. I fucking love filth. Filth reminds me that we’re animals and it reminds me that I’m alive.

Someone once told me that one of my  kinks is filth. At the time, I didn’t think much of it because “filth” hadn’t registered to me as as anything specific. It was like saying “you like your sex sexy”, which is sort of a given. Since then, I’ve given filth some serious thought (particularly as I use it in my writing) and I’ve realized that the person was right. Filth is one of my kinks, but filth of a particular sort and for reasons that surprised me.

So, what do I mean by filth? I mean dick pics (solicited* only, thanks), cum shots (also solicited), dirty talk, pegging, ridiculously graphic sexting, filthy fucking language, sex and masturbation in public (doorways, stairwells, cars, trains, bars. etc. etc. etc….) and generally doing what you want to do when you possibly shouldn’t be doing it. The list is endless, but you get the idea.

For me, the bigger the risk or disregard for propriety, the filthier it is. The bigger the disregard, the farther outside of civilized behavior you go and the closer you get to animal instinct. And let’s face it kids, we might look pretty, but we’re animals and there’s something carnivorously wonderful about indulging that.

My love of filth goes beyond risk-taking or exhibitionism to encompass something larger though…possibly several somethings larger. It subverts two things that are specific to how I move through the world – expectation (as in, what people might expect from me) and my equally passionate love of very “civilized” things like good food, good wine, cocktails, theater, museums,  jazz, the symphony, literature, beautiful clothes, expensive perfume, even more expensive lingerie and very, very nice hotels. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, it’s too bad I’m not a millionaire because I’d be darling at it.

Wearing a cashmere dress with nothing on underneath, like the protagonist in this story, is pretty fucking sexy, but it’s even sexier when my date is the only person at the wedding, or party, or funeral (sorry) who knows. We might do something about it while we’re out or we might not, but either way I love that raw sexual possibility that underpins what is, for all intents and purposes, a polished, civilized surface. And my surface does tend to be pretty polished and civilized.

There’s a distinction to be made though. It’s not that going bare beneath a dress is filthy in and of itself. It just invites filth. It opens the door to things like sneaking away to fuck in an open corridor or getting fingered in a bar. Any of those things could happen regardless of what you’re wearing, but wearing nothing makes it easier and all the hotter for being unexpected (and thus, uncivilized).

All of this being said, while I love filth, I don’t want debasement or the illusion of debasement (though it too is legitimately filthy and an awesome kink). Debasement has an edge of being ‘done to’ that is extremely exciting for a lot of people, but that isn’t what’s exciting to me. What’s exciting to me is owning my own depravity. Though I get a toothy joy out of writing a character’s debasement, in real life my filth is mine – it’s not something being done to me. So if you come all over my tits in a bathroom, it’s because I want it. I am not being lowered by the act. I am joyfully exalting in the filthy fucking happiness of being alive.

And that’s what it comes down to. Filth make me feel alive. It turns the volume up on living. I feel my mortality knocking on my door everyday. I know that one day I may not have the energy for extended sexting sessions or making a recording of myself coming just so he can hear it (though I hope that exhaustion is decades away). So while I love the subversion of expectations that comes with filthy fucking behavior, it’s also a visceral, unapologetic reminder that I am happy and alive. And I love being alive. I love that filth and depravity make me feel like I’m laughining in the face of convention and death. It is another way of owning myself. I suppose that, in the end, everything is about owning myself. Sovereignty. Sovereign filth.

* Seriously, guys. Unless we’re already involved, don’t send me dick pics or cum shots. I’m serious. 

The image for this post comes from the tumblr Old Erotic Art. All (unless specifically noted) of the art on that site is in the public domain and it’s awesome. I highly recommend it – it’s really fun.


  1. One of the compliments I was given a while back was someone saying that they were surprised by how utterly filthy I can be when I choose to be. I don’t come close to how gorgeously polished you are but I get a definite kick out of my power to choose to be a filthy slut.

    1. Thanks, Rachel. And I’m looking forward to reading your story – I love female protagonists who know what they want and are comfortable pursuing it. Life is full of more than ingenues and virgins, after all!

  2. I love this Malin! For me, it’s the surprise I tend to engender when I say, or want, or do something filthy. My outward persona is nice Midwestern (for better or worse – someone once called me buttoned-up which is not inaccurate) but I really get off on being unexpected. Or, more accurately, I get off on my partner or potential partner getting off on my unexpected filthy requests/actions.

    I have not really articulated that before so thanks (once again) for writing something that made me think about my motivations. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Maria! That surprise you mentioned is wonderful – especially when it’s obvious that the person is seeing a side of you they didn’t see coming. I love that too. It’s another way to assert that I’m more than I seem to be, because we all are. There’s a real pleasure to be had in that. I suppose it’s sort of the same thing as the sexy librarian…uninhibited sexuality masked by a buttoned-up or polished shell. However it plays out, the subversion of expectations is hot. 🙂

  3. As a U.S. citizen I invoke my Filth Amendment right which protects me from any self incriminating statements as to how much I have enjoyed the filth you may or may not have allegedly dished out. I will now go self incriminate myself in private and will not be sending you a jpeg file of said self incrimination.


  4. YES YES YES, as I was reading this all I could think of was my desire to do dirty sexy things in graveyards….. I think it is driven by exactly what you describe here, that desire to feel very alive, very in the moment, very yourself and there is no better way to cheat death than by fucking right in front of it.


  5. Having been a sex positive activist since I was 10, 1953, I don’t favor negative language about sex. I never use filthy, naughty, sick, slutty, etc (ooops! I just used them.) I prefer words like edgy, hot, yummy, etc to depict people, art, and behavior I find attractive sexually. If symbolism is important, which I think it is, my opinion is that it is better let go of the negative words about sex, even if we are using them ironically. I have to admit, though, when one of my lovers calls me a slut, it does give me little tingles down there. You can’t completely loose your upbringing…

  6. “It’s not that going bare beneath a dress is filthy in and of itself. It just invites filth. It opens the door to things like sneaking away to fuck in an open corridor or getting fingered in a bar.”


    I’m now thinking and thinking and thinking about my own personal understanding of ‘filthiness’ as a concept. I’m not sure I own my filth exclusively (there’s a bit of an attraction on my part to the whole ‘done to me’ angle) but, having said that, I’m very particular in my tastes …

    Well, wherever my musing take me, let me just say this: filth is fucking fabulous.


  7. Yes… I have pulled up a chair and been dining on your wonderful words for hours tonight. Even listened to your 2014 Christmas podcast story. Excellent BTW.

    Guess I was in the mood to read someone else’s writing besides my own. Sometimes we need a break from our own voice.

    The delight tonight has been in finding myself agreeing with you and what I call your primal needs. It’s been building in me for the past 3-4 months and I love it.

    Reading you tonight has been a lovely dining experience. 😉

    ~ Vista

    1. Vista, thank you. That’s just about the best compliment I could hope for. I definitely find myself doing something similar, especially when I get a little turned around in my own work. Sometimes reading someone else’s voice brings me back to mine feeling stronger and more aligned with it. I’m so happy you spent the time. You just made my evening 🙂

      1. I’m so glad that made your evening! Yeah! I have my favorite authors I go to when I need a break from my own head! You are one of them. Thank you for the gift that lives inside you! xxoo ~ Vista

  8. This piece is seriously informative and I am so happy I read it. Actually I wanted to participate in Kink of the Week and I wanted to know more about filth. This is a great start, for sure! 😀

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