The other day, I wrote a post about why I blog.
I mis-titled it, implying that my reasons might be those of others.
Many bloggers told me that I hit their motivations on the head; many others told me I have my head up my ass. And still more told me that I’m right, and that’s why they’re not sex bloggers (these people all have what I think anyone would agree is a sex blog, thus leaving me a bit confused, but whatever).
In any event, I apologize: I engaged in an interesting exercise, but described it poorly.
For the sake of clarification, here’s what I did: I read a bunch of other bloggers’ blogs. I asked myself, while reading, “Why is this person blogging? What does s/he want out of this?” And then, I turned the mirror on myself and asked if what I imagined I perceived in the motivation of others might be among my motivations. In every case, if I was honest, the answer was yes.
Now, this could be because I’m a projective powerhouse, because all I need is another person on whom to project my own motivations to see myself clearly. It could be because I’m utterly typical. It could be because I’m unusually self-critical (or honest). Or it could be something else.
My instinct is that it’s somewhere in between all of these: that in some instances, my perceptions are spot on; in others, not so much. But in all, my honesty trumped, and I admitted that, whatever the source of the motivation I imagined I saw, I couldn’t deny that the same motivation is present in me.
So let me back off, from the big claim I made in the title, down to an incontrovertible claim: these are my motivations, and they are the motivations I perceive, imagine, invent, when I read the blogs of others.
If you’re a sex blogger, I’m not saying you are a sociopath, or a braggart, or an exhibitionist. Only you know your motivations.
But I’m curious: if the ones I listed aren’t yours, then what are yours?
Have you thought of defining ‘sex blogger’? Is it any blog which has sexual content whether fictional, a diary, practical (product reviews) or artistic imagery etc.? Is it just any blog that needs to include a warning of adult only content? Maybe that’s where I’m getting confused. I only use the term ‘sex blogger’ for those who use their blog as a diary of their own sex lives. Your post suggests it has broader meaning for you.
My definition is simple: a sex blogger is someone who blogs about sex. Sorry – I should have made that clear.
Oooh. That makes me a sex blogger (lapsed)! Referring back to original post many of the motivations directly relate only to writing only about your own sex life so don’t take into account erotic fiction authors or product reviewers or erotic painters/photographers maybe?
For me; it’s about exploration. Of ideas, of characters, of experiences I may or may not have had. May or may not want to have. (and yes, I write subjects as a way of trying to fathom why anyone would!). And the reason I do that online? Originally, a challenge to myself to be less coy, shy, closeted, to actually articulate my curiousity about all things sexual. Being online also allowed others to comment and that extended the challenge. In reality I’ve found a group of friends who have been supportive, funny, challenging, and who have extended my imagination and my experience. Unexpected.
I’m not writing now. I may write again, I don’t know. But as those friends have become people I have met then the inclination in me to be private as I am, acutely so, in my day to day, has got in the way of my freedom as Muse. I am trying to work out how I feel about that. Whether I want to hide away again.
Some of them may have been motivations for me at one time, but then I felt overexposed and dirty. Now they aren’t, and I realize that since I don’t really blog anymore I’m not really a sex blogger. But a number of the reasons on your list really rubbed me the wrong way and helped me put a finger on why sex blogging has become a chore rather than a pleasure. Which is not to say that I don’t write sex. I do. A lot. But now I do it in other venues, and I hope that more people will see it and be engaged with my ideas and creativity.
Um, what do you mean you’re not a sex blogger? You posted about squirting two days ago, no? Or is that somehow not sex blogging/blogging about sex? And why did/do you do that? Why do you write about sex in whatever venues you do?
Sorry – that last sentence of yours is what I meant by “attention whore,” also. Not critically, just descriptively, perhaps with a bit of the superiority – the sense that others can benefit from my perspective – thrown in as well.
I don’t mean this as a diss, at all. In saying how I characterize those motivations in me, not in you.
Responding to you by email.
I don’t disagree with the motivations you listed. I am a bit of a voyeur (which is why I like to read sex blogs) and a bit of an exhibitionist (which is partly why I write one)…but the real reason why I do it is that writing holds me more accountable to my goals. When I started my blog, it was with the intent to write more erotica, to read more, to focus on my sex life and improving it, and to learn. When I blog, it becomes a daily thing. And because my husband was a daily reader, there were conversations. It was like letting him read my diary. And then I gained more readers…and it began to feel like a community. I like that. It feeds my self-concept.
I think this is an excellent dialogue. I think it’s difficult to be challenged as to why we write what we do. Why we put it in a public space. I was asked a dozen or more times just exactly that when I met many ‘sex bloggers’ and erotic writers at Eroticon earlier this year. I haven’t written since. Lie. I have. I haven’t put it online. Private consumption only. Still shared but not with the internet.
it’s not shame or embarrassment. I just couldn’t answer the questions to my own satisfaction, so I’ve stopped until I can.
And Liza, sorry, I would definitely still consider you a sex blogger, even by my own narrow definition. You write of your own personal sexual experiences whatever motivations you might have for that. That’s what it is. You seem uncomfortable with that. But your pieces are not scholarly or oblique. You reference your own experiences as a way to show, tell, educate, advise, whatever. Which means the advice, education, tips you give are relative to you, and you are careful to say that. And I’m guessing that is what gives you credibility. Not a qualification in Couples/ Sexual Psychotherapy. But then I don’t know where else you write and that may be entirely different.
Perhaps it’s a distinction without a difference. What I write now, even on AEO, is very different from what I used to write. And I write with much less frequency. I can no longer summon the desire or energy to write actual sex in the context of the blog. What I’m writing in other places is more relationship-focused and less about the actual sex I have with D.
I know that many people say bloggers should blog for themselves and forget about the audience, but I can’t think of many who actually adhere to that concept. In my experience, sex blog readers want pieces that get them hot, wet, and hard. I don’t write that too much anymore, at least not in the “true sex stories” vein. I’m not quite sure howor if there’s a way to reorient my blog, or if I’ll just continue limping along, trying to figure something out.
Confession: I was at Eroticon, too, and since then haven’t had much desire to write non-fiction sex. It was a stifling experience in many ways.
Bottom line; your blog, your space, your choice. Limping along is such a negative term. When you write you write well. Quality is not attached to frequency. I guess it comes down to doing what you want to do and to hell with the impact that has on readers, audience, numbers, stats and all the other shit that seems to sidetrack so many from being good writers into being ‘popular’ writers. For me I would rather have 2 or 3 readers and admire my own writing than have a busy blog that I hate.
Eroticon was an odd experience. Wonderful to meet friends old and new. A couple of fun workshops. But I didn’t find the content of many of the workshops helpful or insightful and there was generally an emphasis in the air upon self-promotion and popularity rather than good writing. Intellectually, the experience was like treacle. Socially it was pure pleasure.
Fully agree on your Eroticon assessment, but it feels quite treasonous to say so out loud. And I think that’s part of my recent wrangling–there so little smart stuff out there and so much piffle and genitals. I don’t mean to say that I not write smart stuff, but I do try. There are some good standbys, but I think there isn’t more because readers just want what makes them hot, wet, and hard.
I take a live and let live attitude to it all. I find sufficient erotic writing to exercise my mind and inspire my own work, what others seek is their business. As to what readers want, I genuinely do not write for readers’ pleasure. In the writers I admire, what comes across, above all else, is the integrity of their writing. With that comes original thought, pushing of boundaries, challenging of minds. It’s not always going to be popular. Popularity is vastly over rated in my humble opinion. Not something I seek in life or writing. It is a way to ensure bland and repetitive content and thought.
And, if I may say, you are talking about a particular reader and applying that to everyone who reads sex. I do not want what makes me hot, wet, hard (clearly not the last!) when I read erotica. I want my mind fucked. It’s different. It’s far harder to find. Which is why I love the work of RG others. Sexually their writing is sometimes pure ick for me. But in terms of how it challenges my thoughts, prejudices, preconceptions, misconceptions and limitations, it is always fucking amazing!
Well, I blog because this is part of my online marketing task to reach out to potential customers.
And how’s that work for you?
> (these people all have what I think anyone would agree is a sex blog, thus leaving me a bit confused, but whatever).
You know, I almost responded to that entry, but I couldn’t figure out if I write a sex blog by your definition.
Well, why do you do it?
It started out as something that felt daring, and I thought my husband would be the only person that ever paid it any mind.
Then it just sort of morphed into a creative outlet.
So, I suppose, currently, it’s somewhere between attention whoring and being an ego-centric, narcissistic libertine.