Random Questions I Get Asked


Vanessa - wearing her favourite colour.

Miscellaneous

How old are you?  I was born on the 22nd of March 1977 in Perth, Western Australia.

Where do you live now?  I live in Melbourne, Australia. I moved to Melbourne over two decades ago to pursue a career in the arts/entertainment industry.

What is your favourite colour? Hot pink. 

Star Sign? I’m a fiery Aries. 

What are you most proud of?  I was a carer for my late parents. It was a life-changing experience for me. It is my biggest accomplishment.

Do you have a family?  Sadly, my parents and youngest brother Damian died when I was in my twenties. 

What 5 words would you use to describe yourself? Soulful. Creative. Artistic. Sexual. Compassionate.

What is your happy place? My favourite part of any given day is my nightly bubble bath. 

What are some of your interests?  I’m an avid reader. My other interests include; 1950s film history, vintage clothing, erotic art, poetry, collage, jazz, travel and sport.

Are you married? Do you have children? No and No. I’m an unconventional person by nature and neither interest me. 

Who is your favourite author?  Charles Bukowski

Heroes? My late parents. 

Favourite movie of all time? I have two favourite movies. The first is Imitation of Life made in 1959. It stars Lana Turner. My other favourite movie is Pretty Woman – I never tire of watching it.

Vanessa - aged 5. Rehearsing her dance routines for her Mum.

My work

Did you grow up around the arts?  I spent 12 years at the Johnny Young Talent School attending singing, dancing and acting classes. The rest of my childhood was spent learning musical instruments and going to art lessons. I am very grateful to my parents for giving me a creative childhood – it’s kept me in good stead.

Most people know you as a writer, but you’re also an actress?  Basically, I arrived in Melbourne (aged 22) and for eleven years, I consistently worked in the film and theatre industry but sadly I burned out. In 2011, I had a massive nervous breakdown where I couldn’t leave the house. I had to rebuild my whole foundation. I started writing to metabolise my experience. I still dabble in acting but it’s no longer my MAIN thing. 

What is the highlight of your career so far? There have been many highlights.  But probably my first lead role in my first professional play (at Carlton Courthouse / La Mama). My beautiful mother flew over to surprise me on closing night. ❤❤ 

What is the low point of your career? Being homeless.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully I’ll be living in London – permanently. I’ve been dealing with visa issues for the best part of a decade. London feels like home to me. I love the West End, I love the cold weather and I love the abundance of opportunities. 

Women that inspire you? Vali Myers, Apollonia Saintclair, Niagara Detroit, Mae West, Anais Nin, Lily Brett, Mirka Mora, Jewel Kilcher, Marilyn Monroe, Florence Broadhurst, Simone de Beauvoir, Annie Sprinkle, Germaine Greer, Margaret Olley, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Hewitt, Julia Cameron, Marina Abramović, Valentina Nappi.

Men that inspire you? Charles Bukowski, Douglas Sirk, Henry Rollins, Henry Miller, Jack Johnson (boxer), Rainer Maria Rilke, Richard E Grant, Quentin Crisp, Stephen Fry, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Mandela, André Gorz, Roger Federer, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali.

Vanessa in her vintage attire.

Vintage

Where do you shop? All of my life, I’ve primarily shopped in op-shops. I think in the UK and the US – they call them charity shops or thrift shops. Clothes made in the 1940s – 1980s, are often better quality than the garments made today. And I much prefer the styles. 

Who are your personal fashion icons? I love the style of Joan Collins, Dita von Teese, Carla Bruni, Cary Grant, Stephen Fry, Quentin Crisp, Marilyn Monroe, Florence Broadhurst, Barack Obama, Katharine Hepburn and Christina Hendricks.

What is your  favourite item of clothing? I love coats. Particularly swing coats and trench coats. They make me feel glamorous! 

Have you always loved vintage? My parents were born in the 1920s & 1930s. I was an unplanned pregnancy that arrived late in their life. When I was in primary school. Kids would ask me if my parents were  my grandparents. I was brought up on a diet of movies and music from the 40s and 50s. It was quite the education.

Do you always dress glamourously and in vintage clothes? People ask me this all the time. No, it might seem that way because of photos. But during the work week (when no one is watching) I mostly get around in a tracksuit and no make up.  I always glam up in public though.

 

A photo of Vanessa with short hair

Up Close & Personal

Why are you always deactivating your social media? Because social media is bad for my mental health. 

What health issues do you have? I have lived with a chronic illness for nearly three decades (Endometriosis). But it is my mental health that is the most problematic. I have PTSD caused by extreme trauma.  It affects my life in a myriad of ways. 

Why did you remove your contact details from your website? Because there are some very sick individuals in this world who get a kick out of trolling, stalking and harassing women. And the police recommended I remove my contact details. You can still contact me but you have to go through my agent. This filter has been put in place to weed out the creeps.

I sent you a friend request on social media, but you didn’t accept, why not? Don’t take it personally. I keep a very small, very select group of people on my Facebook.  They are all very respectful and supportive. I am very wary of accepting people I don’t know or haven’t met. 

You’ve been very quiet lately. What have you been doing in 2022? Nice of you to notice. I’ve had to reduce my column output substantially as all of my energy has been going into a writing project. I also work as a part-time content writer and that’s time consuming. I am “focusing on my own lawn” as they say and trying to build a life that I can be proud of. ❤ 

Vanessa - aged 40 in 2017. Italy.

Sex

Is your sex writing for real or is it a performance? My sex writing is 100% authentic. I wouldn’t see the point in writing about something (so prolifically) if I didn’t believe in it. 

Why is your sex writing primarily focused on men? In all honesty, I don’t understand female sexuality like I understand male sexuality. I prefer the “action” of sex which is why I love writing about sex for men. Each to their own. That is the wonderful thing about sexual diversity.  

What magazines and newspapers publish your sex columns? I have been the resident sex columnist at Maxim Magazine since 2017.  My sex columns have appeared in Penthouse Magazine, GQ Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Huff Post, Kinkly, The Sydney Morning Herald and others.

What is the perfect date for you?  Seafood. Sex. Champagne.

Will you be recording more episodes for your Nothing BUTT Sex podcast? I definitely will.  I’ve just been focused on some other projects for most of 2022. Be patient with me. 

I want to be a sex writer. How do I go about it? Once upon a time, I was very generous with people who emailed me – asking for my help. But sadly, there are more takers than givers in this world. Below are three columns I wrote, that may help you with your sex writing journey. Good Luck!

  1. How I Went From Actress To Maxim Sex Columnist
  2. How I Fell Into Adult Copywriting
  3. How To Land Work Writing For Men’s Magazines

 

Do you still review sex toys on your website? Nope. The sex-blogging community has sadly become very politically correct. You have all these grandmas and grandpas trapped in twenty-year-old bodies policing the scene. HOW UNSEXY. Sex used to be about exploration and fun and rebellion.  Now it is about rules and ticking boxes.  

How does political correctness affect your sex writing?  It doesn’t. I do not indulge SJWs.  I write about sex in the way that I want to write about it and if my writing offends someone.  That is their problem – not mine.

How did your sex writing start? Well, it started professionally at the Huff Post before Arianna Huffington stepped down from being CEO. Being a blogger for the Huff Post was a big deal when I started and helped many writers build their brands. 

I pitched Arianna twice in 2015 and on my second pitch, she responded and got me set up on the platform. You can read my very first sex column for The Huff Post here