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Taking One for the Team: Q & A with Stefanie Williams

By: Savannah Schepp

If you’ve ever read BroBible, you may recognize the alias Sporty McBangin’. Her story, aptly titled Chasing the Jersey, documents years of getting down and dirty with professional athletes. In 2011, Stefanie Williams compiled content from her semi-anonymous blog into a book that relives her most memorable sexual escapades. Though some found her self-deprecating accounts hilarious and relatable, many shamed her for relishing in no-strings-attached sex, criticizing her as “desperate,” “obsessed” and a “floozy.”

Years later, however, she hasn’t stopped writing. On chasingthejersey.blogspot.com, you can find her calling out guys who’ve “dicked [her] over” as well as voicing her opinions on sex, celebrity nude photo leaks, LGBT rights, and of course, sports. Her no-fucks-given attitude is admirable, but after chatting with her, I learned that the pretty brunette spitfire deserves much more than to be dubbed a “puck bunny.”

You’ve taken the title of “jersey chaser,” which has generally been considered a derogatory term and turned it into something you’re proud of. When and how did you realize you lusted for athletes?

I think it just became this running joke among my friends and I. I dated a baseball player in college, then a lacrosse player, then a hockey player after college, and it just became something I was not only interested in—sports—but something I was good at. Doing distance, trust, coming second to a game. I preferred my own space and time and understood what was at stake and how to be a supportive person in the lives of guys who played sports. I enjoyed it and always found it funny [that] people labeled me in such a way. I never did it for money or fame—you don’t date someone in low A or the ECHL for either of those things—it just clicked. If a girl dated three lawyers in a row, no one would call her a “lawyer chaser.” So I embraced what I was interested in and the types of relationships I preferred to be in and didn’t really care what anyone else thought. I did what made me happy, not what was expected of me.

Why do you think people are so uncomfortable with women enjoying casual sex? Likewise, why does “downright rough, dirty fucking” have such a stigma attached to it?

I think sex in America has such a negative connotation because there’s a desire to use sex to control others. It has always been a way to stigmatize and belittle others, particularly women and LGBT people, and for the life of me, I could never understand why. I think it’s the actual act of sex. Men use sex to put women down because in most instances, women “take it.” And as such, it can be used as a means to make a woman seem less than or incapable of things, because it’s the man who “fucks her” or “gives it to her.” It theoretically gives him control. In the long run, how many people you sleep with rarely effects the type of person you become. My personality is not dependent on how much or how little sex I’ve had. I think a lot of men dislike competition and dislike being compared and as such, have learned to treat women’s sexual experiences as a negative rather than a positive for their own purposes. I’ve had a lot of great sex, a lot of terrible sex, a lot of in between sex. If a guy is uncomfortable with that fact or allows it to change his opinion about me or the sex we’re having, that’s on him, not me. Sex has always been used as a tool to control and it’s no different today.

Why do you think men are intimidated by female sexual autonomy?

I think sexual autonomy in women takes away from a man’s control over a situation. For a long time, men had this idea that women NEEDED them to gain approval, to have sex, to have a sex life, to get married. [That’s] just not the case anymore. I think a man can be intimidated by a woman who has had more sex than him, because it makes a guy feel less masculine, less impressive. And so to compensate, the terms “slut” and “whore” are used to diminish that feeling of inadequacy in men. I think men in many ways feel like they “own” sex and as such feel threatened when all of a sudden, a woman is more experienced, has better knowledge of, and is more capable of having good sex than the guy. I just think it’s a power trip that goes back to the idea that men get off on the idea of “giving it” to a woman. The power starts there. The guy is in control because he “gives it” to the chick. So he is the one who can say whether it was good or bad, whether she was hot or not, whether her body was good or not. But that’s just not the reality.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

I find this question tough and polarizing. There have been so many different definitions of feminism in the last ten years, [that] I don’t know if I could call myself one. I believe date rape and the campus culture of rape is a serious problem, but I’ve also dated a man who has been falsely accused and almost destroyed from a false rape accusation (Duke Lacrosse). I believe in a woman’s right to sex but I believe the porn industry and the sex worker industry are a travesty for women and are the polar opposite of what should be considered empowering for women. I am a feminist in one sense because I am a woman and I believe I am capable of all things a man can do and believe in my right and ability to have safe, healthy, happy sex. But that does not mean I think women are infallible; it does not mean I will side with women in every argument all the time. It means I see things clearly and believe what’s between your legs shouldn’t play much a part of anything.

Do you feel that you are judged differently by publishers or agents based on your gender?

Yes, 100%. When I first went about trying to find a literary agent to publish my book, it was damn near impossible. Tucker Max had just come out with his book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and I thought the world might be itching for a lady version. I was entirely wrong. What I learned is, in publishing, men had an unlimited realm of debauchery in which to tell their tales, while women were constricted. I was told by one [male] publisher, that my story seemed “sad and desperate.” That “a woman who had that much casual sex seems lonely and incapable of keeping a relationship.” I was told by another that I would regret selling these stories because if I ever wanted to get a “real” job my employer could look at these stories and decide not to hire me. I felt like a guy could joke about his sex life and make millions, but when a girl did it, it meant she was desperate for a hug and a father figure. The literary world in that case, for me, felt very segregated. I felt like no one took me seriously and no one saw the potential in my stories.

However, I have found the complete opposite in terms of Hollywood, at least when it came to representation. My agent represents Lena Dunham as well, so he was no stranger to women who put their sexuality out there. He welcomed me as a writer, regardless of what was between my legs and valued my abilities, not my potential discomfort factor. Every meeting I’ve taken in Hollywood, from HBO to AMC to Showtime to the smaller networks and production companies, have welcomed my voice and my point-of-view. I have never walked into a meeting and felt at a disadvantage because I was a woman, nor because I was a woman with a well-documented sex life. Whereas one literary agent told me I would never get a real job if I wrote the things I wrote, Hollywood has been itching for me to be as out there and open about myself as possible, and I’ve embraced it to the fullest extent. I believe stories are only as good as what you are willing to put in of yourself. If you can’t be yourself, if you’re scared of being judged or what others might think, you have no business writing, and certainly not writing for TV.

You relish in the fact that your sex life is anything but vanilla. Is there anything too taboo for you?

Taboo is the wrong word. There are sexual situations that I am not interested in—anal sex, for one, because it hurt me, rape fetishes, because just no. But it’s not because they’re “taboo.” It’s because they ended up not being for me. There’s a lot of shit I’ve done in sex that strays far, far from the path of “lights-off missionary.” I am open to trying new things and finding new interests when it comes to sex. But I am at an age where I know what I like and what I don’t, and I make the choices to try new things based on those likes and dislikes. It’s kind of like food. You get a bad taste for something, you probably won’t eat it again. [It] doesn’t mean you won’t try something similar.

Most women don’t like to share their “count” with the guys they’re seeing, but you kickstarted your career by reliving your sexual encounters. Do you think this has this made the dating scene different for you at all?

Yes and no. I feel like even if it weren’t on the blog, it’s a question that has been asked in every relationship I’ve had, and one I will always answer honestly. If a man has fucked 100 girls before me, it won’t matter. What matters is who he is with me and how he treats me. If a guy gets upset because I’ve had sex with, what, thirty, thirty-five, forty people? If it changes his outlook on me, then I wouldn’t want to be with someone who puts so much emphasis on something so meaningless. Who I am is not defined by whose dick or how many have been inside me. I could lie and say three; would it make me a better person? No. I’m still the same person. So why lie?

Your college experience was in many ways atypical. You’ve openly written about dealing with your “quarter-life crisis” and depression. If you could give one piece of life advice to women in their twenties, what would it be?

The biggest piece of advice I’d have is to maintain a running knowledge that 99% of people in their twenties have no fucking idea what they’re doing. The superficial shit makes it seem like our friends all have it together. The reality is, they don’t. I thought I was fucked because I was working in a bar and trying to write and failing at relationships while all my friends had real jobs and real boyfriends and seemingly were on this path to success. All of us were on the same path; we were all fucking up and trying to figure it out. You cannot compare your life to the life of others, particularly only the shit you see on the outside. I wouldn’t want my friends’ lives; I’m sure they wouldn’t want mine. It took a long time to figure out what made me happy and how to strive for it, regardless of whether it was how my friends would do it or if they approved of it. There is no right life. There is no specific age where you should be engaged or married or have a kid. Some of my friends have kids, I still have my wisdom teeth. Doesn’t matter. Happiness is not about what other people perceive you have or think you should have, it’s about what you actually have and how you achieved it. Everyone is fucked up, no matter how shiny the outside looks. Worry about what’s on the inside and you’ll be okay.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of signing with my agency, UTA. If you told me when I was twenty-three and just started bartending that I’d be taking meetings with the head of HBO and AMC and Showtime, I’d have never believed you. But I busted my ass and got here fighting tooth and nail every bit of the way. It’s an accomplishment no one can ever take away from me.

I am also proud of being so vocal about my struggles with depression. I feel far too many people are too worried about being labeled “crazy” or “unstable,” and don’t share their stories about depression or suicide for fear people will look at them differently. My goal in being open about it has never been to gain the adoration of people who have never suffered from depression…I don’t think anyone would ever look at me or my life and assume I tried to hang myself when I was twenty-six. But I think admitting that is a way to help remove the stigma from mental health and encourage others to seek help without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. If one person struggling from depression has read my stuff and decided to get help instead of killing themselves, it is worth the five, ten, fifty, hundred, thousand people who have never suffered from depression who all of a sudden think I’m off or crazy for admitting it.

What can you tell me about the scripts you’re currently working on?

Most, if not all, have an element of autobiography to them. I think my goal has always been to write authentically and live authentically and that’s what I’m doing with these. I want to write shows that are about my experience as an almost thirty-year-old, about the psychology of suicide, the psychology of family, my relationship with my sister and mother, the relationship I had before my dad passed away, how it affects me now…I think writing is only as good as what the writer is willing to put in of themselves. I want to write a show, or shows, where the main female lead always inevitably ends up being someone girls want to hang out with and guys want to grab beers with. I want that sense of relatability. So there’s a show about those awkward starting over stages in your early 30s, a show about the relationship between two sisters and their mother, a show about divorce. Most all have an element of “starting over” to them.

It seems like you’ve lived almost everywhere—Long Island, Charleston, LA—not to mention traveling across the globe chasing the jersey. Where do you feel most at home? Do you see yourself “settling down” anytime soon?

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I will always feel most at home on Long Island. It’s where I grew up, it’s where I learned to drive, it’s where my dad died, where my family lives, where I lost my virginity, had my first love. I love being home on Long Island. But right now, the comfort level I feel in Charleston is pretty unique. The quality of life down here is much better than what I had in NYC and it’s given me time to breathe and live and get away from the rat race which is awesome. I love to travel. I always have the itch and I am known to go where the wind takes me. Settling down though? Who knows? I prefer the thrill of having the ability to start fresh in new places.

Lastly, what are you currently shamelessly obsessed with?

I am OBSESSED with the show Chopped on Food Network. It’s unhealthy…I usually have it on in the background when I’m writing.

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