Uses This

1207 interviews since 2009

A picture of Kate Sloan

Kate Sloan

Freelance writer

in mac, sex, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a freelance writer focusing on sex and relationships. I've written articles and essays for publications like Glamour, Business Insider, and Teen Vogue. I've also been blogging at girlyjuice.net since 2012, about sex toys, kink, dating, fashion, beauty, and whatever else I'm interested in at the moment.

My first book, 101 Kinky Things Even You Can Do, is coming out in fall 2021 from Laurence King Publishing. I also do some part-time social media writing for clients in the adult industry as a member of the team at 7 Veils Media.

When I'm not writing, I cohost two podcasts, The Dildorks ("dorky discourse on sex, dating, and masturbating") and Question Box ("the game show podcast of shockingly personal questions") with my friends Bex Caputo and Brent Black, respectively. And I occasionally write and perform songs on the ukulele and piano, something I used to do professionally but that is more of a hobby at this point.

What hardware do you use?

My spouse Matthew Bischoff gave me a 13" 2018 MacBook Air for my birthday a couple years ago, because my tiny old 11" one had seen better days. Matt included a note that said, "I hope this is the computer you use to write your first book" – sweetest thing ever – and I did indeed end up writing my first book on it! I do pretty much everything on this computer.

My phone is an iPhone XS, currently decked out in a LookHuman case emblazoned with flowers and cartoon penises. I also have an iPad mini 5 that I bought refurbished last year, because I have a chronic pain condition that sometimes makes it difficult for me to sit upright at a computer long enough to finish a piece of writing. I use it with an Adonit Mark stylus and sometimes with a fancy walnut stand from Yohann, which works great for my purposes because it's designed to be useable on soft surfaces, and I spend a lot of time writing in bed during pain flare-ups. I read a lot on my 9th-generation Kindle Oasis – I love that it's waterproof so I can take it in the bath.

For podcasting, I use a cherry-red Blue Yeti mic, and bright blue Cowin E7 headphones which incidentally were a present from a fan of mine who is a headphones fetishist (you meet some interesting people in the sex media industry!). Headphones are extra important for people working in sex media because you never know when you're going to have to watch, say, a porn clip or a sex ed video for research while you're out writing at a coffee shop...

Analog-wise, I've loved large ruled hardcover Moleskine notebooks for years, and use them for journaling, note-taking, lyrics, poems, and other miscellany. I love Retro 51 Tornado pens (my faves are teal and hot pink) and Blackwing Pearl pencils. My desk is a big old wooden behemoth that I rescued from the side of the road; I love that it has two roomy drawers that I can fill with pens, snacks, and weed. (My favorite vape is the AirVape X, by the way!) I'd be remiss not to shout out my Day-Light seasonal affective disorder lamp, which my parents bought me in 2007 when I was a surly depressed teenager; it sits on my desk and does double duty as a depression treatment and an absurdly bright light source for video calls.

At the end of the day, I love to unwind by playing Pokémon games new and old on my Nintendo Switch and bedraggled 3DS XL.

And what software?

Google Docs is my go-to for most writing projects, ever since a friend tipped me off to its document auto-save functionality when I lost an in-progress university essay to a tragic Microsoft Word crash once. For blogging, I use Wordpress with the Editorial Calendar plug-in, which helps me see visually what's coming up and what still needs to be written.

I'm an obsessive user of the humble Notes app, despite my app developer spouse frequently trying to introduce me to better note-taking software. I keep my daily to-do list in Notes, as well as blog post ideas, interview questions, lyric snippets, and more. I use BlockSite to keep me off Twitter most of the day (only semi-effectively), LastPass for managing social media clients' various logins, and Image Downloader for grabbing image files I need for clients' social posts.

For podcasting, I record in Audacity – it's been my go-to since ~2004, when I started my first podcast at age 12 (what a nerd). I talk to cohosts and guests over Skype and we each record ourselves separately. I edit in Adobe Audition, mostly because that's what they taught us at journalism school and I didn't want to learn a different system. The Dildorks is hosted on Simplecast, which is a breath of fresh air after a harrowing journey wherein I first tried to host it on my own personal site (disastrous) and later on AWS (too expensive for the amount of downloads we get). The Stickies app works well for keeping my notes and questions on the screen for me to reference while I'm chatting with a guest. I use the Piezo call recorder app as a backup when we have guests, or when I'm interviewing a source for a story. On mobile, I use TapeACall Pro for phone interviews, and Voice Record Pro for in-person interviews and music demos.

I wrote my book in Scrivener, which is the best software I've tried for long-form writing projects. I usually do social media writing in Sublime Text because it's fast and simple. The sadly no-longer-available Alien Blue is my favorite Reddit client; I'll often scroll through the /r/Sex and /r/AskWomen forums on Reddit when I'm feeling uninspired. I listen to music on Spotify all day long, and keep track of articles I want to read with Instapaper.

What would be your dream setup?

I dream of having a highly ~aesthetic~ workspace, probably involving a pink typewriter-inspired Qwerkywriter iPad stand, big-ass monitor, sparkly fountain pens, and framed photos of heroes of mine like Mollena Williams-Haas, Jeremy Larson, and Gala Darling. I also fantasize about having a dedicated recording space someday, probably inside a soundproofed closet with cool mood lighting.

A great sound system would be a must-have in my dream office, as would a sofa or daybed where I could take mid-day naps to assuage the chronic fatigue that comes with some of my health conditions. (On that note, I couldn't live without my Nidra Deep Rest eye mask!)

My current desk chair is a blue leather relic from my university days, originally bought at Staples for like $50; someday I'd love to get a more glamorous and ergonomic one, like the Herman Miller SAYL (though I wish it came in pink!), though I'm the type of person who almost always ends up working on the couch or in bed instead. A girl can dream!

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