Claire Fitzsimmons Is the Sexual Wellness Guide We Didn’t Know We Needed

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In Person of Interest, we talk to the people catching our eye right now about what they’re doing, eating, reading, and loving. Next up is Claire Fitzsimmons, founder and director of Salty, a newsletter and online publication exploring modern dating, sex, and relationships for women, trans, and non-binary people.

In the world of wellness, there’s a bit of an illusion when it comes to sex. Everyone and their mother is glowing, doing tantric yoga, and looking “accidentally” cute with their S.O. in matching, sustainably made leisurewear—but is anyone talking about, uh, the sex itself?

Claire Fitzsimmons is.

Photo courtesy of Salty

Fitzsimmons is the founder of Salty, a weekly-ish newsletter and online publication full of the sex and dating advice we all wanted but were afraid to ask for, like texting templates that help you set boundaries and essays about how kink can help heal emotional trauma. Fitzsimmons herself is a powerhouse non-binary femme and a staple of the NYC fashion and nightlife scene. “I’m not a Cosmopolitan girl, I’m not Alluring, I’m not Glamorous, and I’m not in Vogue, that’s for sure,” she tells me in an e-mail. Instead, Ms. Fitz (as she is commonly known) is all about amplifying non-cis-heteronormative voices that are not often heard. “Collaboration means listening to others first,” Fitzsimmons says.

Sustaining a digital platform that highlights NSFW content that isn’t porn has been incredibly challenging, and Fitzsimmons has encountered obstacles (i.e., the patriarchy) every step of the way. Salty kept getting booted from mass e-mail platforms, and Instagram/Facebook refused to allow promotional posts (and kept deleting photos with even the hint of a nipple). Then hackers deleted their whole site after Salty broke an important #MeToo story. Still, the bright, brash voice of Salty cuts through the millennial pink clouds of other sex and dating sites. “Salt is visceral and human,” says Fitzsimmons. “Sweat is salty, tears are salty, sex tastes salty.”

Here’s what Ms. Fitz has to say about sex and saltiness in all its forms.

What keeps me going despite the haters… is all the amazing supporters who are super vocal. There are hackers, MRAs, trolls, and tone police, too. It comes with the territory. If you’re on the internet all day, it’s easy to think the world is full of assholes, but the thing to remember when it all seems too much is that you don’t hear the people who don’t say anything. Most people are reasonable and kind. There are way more silent supporters than there are people who want to bring you down. And I know that because I see the numbers, and I read the lovely messages from our community.

I’ve learned… to stop trying to please everyone. In the beginning of Salty I would get so upset if someone said something mean or rude about our mission, but over time I’ve come to realize that no matter what you do, someone is going to have a problem with it, so you might as well just do you.

I blow off steam by… riding my bike through Brooklyn. Oh and masturbating, duh!

Sexual wellness is… essential for your mental wellness.

My favorite sex toy is… my faithful rabbit! (I’m old school).

I’m always snacking on… CBD gummies. They are my JAM! Also iced tea. After I quit booze and coffee a year ago (#soberlife) I’ve become hopelessly addicted to iced tea. I like really shitty American iced tea from Dunkin Donuts (sorry, Healthyish). But it’s better than the alternatives. I snack on popcorn, too.

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