Because I used to write anonymously as “funkybrownchick,” I’m interested in fellow sex writers who initially penned pieces under pseudonyms then later revealed their identity (or, in some cases, were outed). If you haven’t yet read or listened to their History of Anon series with Brooke Magnanti, you should. She was an American pursuing a Ph.D. in forensic science in England when, to supplement her income, she worked as a call girl. She later published her diary, Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl, and eventually revealed her identity.

Whether speaking about prostitution or politics — as many of you commenting on FUNKY BROWN CHICK® already know — a private name often provides the comfort to speak more freely. Indeed, the BBC claims, “it turns out Anonymous is one of our greatest writers.” While I agree, I also think there’s something to be gained when writers link our personal experiences and names with our craft the way Oscar Wilde, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and so many others have done. In the end, you not only learn what the work is, you learn more about the person who created it.

Naked is the state of being bare. Figuratively speaking (and sometimes literally), I write in the nude. Whether as funkybrownchick or Twanna A. Hines, my driving force has been to create emotionally bare stories about how people relate to each other. Dumping anonymity increased pride in my work because I feel challenged to produce even more authentic pieces that dig deeper and reflect the full richest of human experience.

Portrait, fine art and lifestyle photographer Gabriella Herman photographed me as part of her series Bloggers. Her work will  be on exhibition from January 29 to May 19, 2013 at the The Light Factory, a contemporary museum for photography and film in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you live in the area, go see it. Otherwise, view the full project online.