When a white Woolfer reported that a black man in a park had exposed himself to her, many in the group were inflamed that she had noted his race. Collins read every post herself, to steer the conversation and defuse tension.But when the group swelled to 3,000, she asked some of the early Woolfers to help her moderate; now, about 20 women have oversight of what’s posted. Collins chastised the group for what she saw as occasional reflexive pettiness.
Collins led field trips to Toys in Babeland, the sex accessories emporium on the Lower East Side, and hosted Scrabble tournaments and clothing swaps.
There are now more than 7,600 Woolfers across the country, from New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as you might expect, but also from Arkansas, Chicago and Maine. Collins, who spent a few weeks last month on a cross-country road trip with a new boyfriend meeting Woolfers in Memphis and Telluride, Colo., among other spots, has a new book, out in April, called “What Would Virginia Woolf Do?
And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology.” It is a sometimes wince-inducing primer on fashion, sex, marriage, divorce, money and health gleaned from her experience as Woolfer in chief, and with contributions from her Woolfer sisters. Collins details her adventures in the orgy tent at Burning Man (she and her ex brought their own sheets, and kept to themselves), her struggles with depression and her adherence to an expensive beauty routine that involves fake eyelashes and Botox.
When we are meeting online and tackling subjects that are so nuanced, you can lose that nuance.
Those tender subjects are tricky to tackle in any form.”Just a few weeks ago, a moderator quit the group after a discussion of moderator practices — how they vetted posts, for example — left her feeling bullied, she said.