Building a Sex Positive Brand

Building a Brand, while marching to my own drum!

What You’re Not Supposed to Talk About: The Lows

On July 30th I will be celebrating 8 years of blogging and as I have written a few times, I have certainly learned a lot and grown into the Sex positive soul that I am today.  But there is one key point that we, as content creators are not allowed to talk about, and that is the low’s of building a brand.  And that is just what my writing has become.  It has evolved past my own words, and into an identity all of it’s own.  It is a blog, a website, a coaching business, a podcast, and a place that has grown far beyond what I ever could have imagined at its conception.  And the reality is that it was incredibly hard, and I have shed countless tears over it.  And yeah, here I go again tackling another taboo subject, building a brand and what you’re not supposed to talk about, it sucks and is hard.

Social Media Skews Reality

For whatever reason our society has decided that social media is a place where you can freely share all the joys, highs, and amazing points in your life.  By extension, the same is true of starting your own business or brand.  We want to build this illusion that we are successful right from the onset.  Fake it till you make it is the rally cry we here.  If you want to get funding, support, accolades, or any sort of exposure you need to be unique, successful, and solve people’s pain in a way no one else can.  And yes, these factors definitely play into building a brand and are important for growth and success.  But, this is only a very teeny tiny fraction of the truth behind any creation, company, product, or in this case a brand.  The truth is, it is 99% percent blood, sweat, and so many tears in the beginning, and very few ever find success from all that hardship, and yet, we keep up with this smoke and mirror anyways because we cannot let go of our dream, or our what if.

But you see, I am not supposed to talk about this.  By sharing with you that blogging about my first open relationship, all the trials and errors of non-monogamy, and all the hardships I have faced by publicly sharing nude photos will give you doubt about my abilities as a writer.  It will make you question why you follow me, interact with me, or share my work.  If I go out, into the world showing the entire picture, I will be showing the truth behind the magic.  And then, what am I?  Just another hack, pushing and prodding, waiting for my next big break.

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The Creators Myth

I am supposed to tell you that I blog for fun.  It’s my hobby and if I ever make it great, but if I don’t that’s fine too. I love what I do.  And I will be completely honest with you, this statement is true.  I adore what I do.  And I am the entire embodiment of this brand I have built.  It has been worth almost every second I have put into it, and it is my passion.  That my friends though, is not the entire story.  The passion is the fuel that allows me to write a little more every day, and create engaging content, or photos.  But, you cannot feed yourself on passion alone, actually you cannot feed yourself at all.  And that my dear friends, is what we are not supposed to talk about.

I have a very dear friend who has created an incredible product, and has received awards, accolades, and international exposure for his invention.  People are constantly telling him that they love what he does, he is on the cutting edge of something big, and that they will support him any way that they can.  So he tells them that he needs funding to build the next prototype.  Guess what happens when the investors hear this…?  You guessed it, crickets!  Now again, I am not supposed to share this, and he is not supposed to share this pain.  Instead, we are all supposed to keep fighting the good fighting, wishing and praying that one day our ship will come in. Hard work always pays off we tell ourselves.  And yes, someday it will.  However, when you are in the thick of things, treading water, desperately hungry, and trying to fuel yourself with dreams, it gets…. disheartening.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Are you going to see a huge Go Fund Me link at this end of the post because I have guilted you into paying for the content that I offer?  Nope, that would feel weird, coercive, and honestly challenge my whole identity and belief of free flowing information.  While there will always be an affiliate link and a Patreon offer with each post, your interaction with those offers will not change the content I love producing.  This post is more directed at the other content creators, inventors, entrepreneurs, etc.  I want you to know I hear you pain, I feel the loneliness of hearing nothing but crickets post after post, and I acknowledge you wanting to throw in the towel and say screw it this isn’t worth all the shit, and abuse we get online daily.  We aren’t supposed to talk about the pain of building a brand, so I say screw it, let’s talk about it! 

Sharing is Caring!

I want to hear your stories, so please write a post and link it in the comments, or link it to my twitter feed (with a note it’s OK to share) and I will add it to this post!   It’s OK to talk about the bad.  It’s human, and we need to feel safe to do more of it!

Breaking Free of Labels in Non-Monogamy

Breaking Free of Labels

There is ample scientific evidence from both our past and present to support the notion that women are more fluid in their sexuality than men are.  And thus, this post may hit home with some more than others, depending on your current understanding of your relationship norms.  Either way, here goes, I have nearly broken free of all relationship labels in non-monogamy.  Why would anyone want to do that you may ask yourself?  Aren’t labels a good thing, that add definition and context to your life?  Well, let’s just call me an outlier, again, because I just don’t fall into a specific category and there is a really great reason.  And no, it is not because I just haven’t found myself or my place in society yet.

If you read my post on the labels that online dating sites place on people, you may already have gleaned that I am not a fan of labels or being part of a category.  But there is much more to it than just not wanting to be mis-identified or put into a little box.  As I get older, and more comfortable with who I am and what I want, I have really embraced the celebration of individuals and all of their relationship styles.  And in that, I want to explore a bunch of different ways of living, and just be that person who goes with the flow so to speak.  Ok, I’m not sure that quite drives the point home.  This is actually a little tough to explain, so let me try this.

I know some incredibly rad people, and if you caught my post on married men, you will know that I have a special attraction for them.  But here’s the thing, being attracted to them puts some very specific restrictions on me, and in almost every case I have a look but don’t touch sort of role.  And while I may whine from time to time that I wish I could have more, the truth of the matter is, being along for the ride in someone else’s relationship is a pretty unique experience.  I exist on their terms.  I am an extension of their dynamic, and I find that pretty intense.  It’s a unique opportunity to be in place where anything could happen, and I just don’t know when.  It’s an off kilter kind of sensation, which is exciting to a person who always strives for balance in their life.

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The other part of this is, it allows me to fully be attracted to individuals.  I don’t see gender as much as I grow up and experience the world.  In fact, there are an increasing number of females or androgynous type humans who I find my stomach doing a little leap for.  Because that is fairly new territory for me, there would be zero frame of reference, box, or label that I could put myself in should the next steps occur.  It would be uncharted territory, whereby, within the outside framework of non-monogamy in all my current dynamics, everything else would be fluid.

Yes, I think that’s how I can be describe this.  My relationships are fluid.  My breaking away from monogamy has brought me to the realization that a box or a label will just not satisfy me.  I’m an explorer, a lover of new things, different relationships, and people in general.  I am the eternal optimist, with whom, even when times are tough, I still believe that people are good, have so much to offer and can teach me things I haven’t even considered.  I have broken free of labels.  I live the mantra of breaking away from monogamy everyday, and I am loving it!!!

Now I feel it only fair to mention that there are moments that being so fluid, or going along with the relationships flow can be a challenge, especially for my partner.  Often, he asks me to be more assertive, and go for what I want.  Someone has to make the first move, and as I admittedly am the more picky of the two of us, I am working on being more assertive from the onset, and then backing off, into a role that better fulfills my desires.  It is a challenge, and as we are starting to get more active in dating together I am pretty sure I will be writing a post or two on how that is actually going.

Did you know that my Sex Positive podcast BreakingAway is now in full swing?  Have a listen on most major podcast sites including Spotify and Anchor.  And if you want to get in on all the behind the scenes action, consider subscribing to my Patreon page.

Opening Up About Not Being Active in Non-Monogamy

Opening Up – Non-Monogamy

I wrote a little while ago on Twitter, that I missed waking up with “random marks on my body from a passionate night of sexy shenanigans from the night before” (My Twitter feed is pretty random if you are not already following me).  It was a random comment that popped into my head as I looked down upon my pale legs, and thinking how strange it was for it to be summer and still without the dings of adventure, be it sexual or otherwise.  Further to this, anyone in a long-term relationship knows that sometimes life just gets in the way and you don’t just drop everything to jump on your partner, forsaking all thoughts of where, when, or how you will look or feel in the morning like you do when things are newer.  Shortly after posting this, I received a comment from a follower saying “this surprises me. I thought you were active”.   This response jarred the shit out of me.  He wasn’t wrong in his thinking based on my blog, and my non-monogamous lifestyle.  But it brought to light something I have been struggling with in my personal life, and that is keeping active in non-monogamy when I feel like my home life is a complete mess (feel free to scroll through some of my recent posts to see a few reasons why).

I firmly believe that I should be in a good dating state of mind, in order to meet someone new, and be ethical about pursuing something beyond a fling.  Please note that these are rules for myself, and myself alone.  I do not ever judge or criticize other humans for how they seek to find happiness.  Again, I don’t personally subscribe to the idea that I want someone to make me better or pull me out of my funk.  Instead, I want to be funky, awesome, and attract a person who see’s that light in me because it’s already glowing.  Not a person who wants to fix me, support me, or hold my hand through the tough times.  I approach that from a place of already having a partner, and if I am honest, when I was single and dating, I always attracted people who reflected my current mood.  It wasn’t until I started getting laid regularly from my incredible fwb, that I was able to meet my current partner.  I needed the sexual confidence and devil-may-care attitude to shine through, rather than the, holy crap, I will jump anything that moves mentality.

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So here I am, admitting, that while a little date here or there during this really rough winter may have boosted my energy and confidence, I just didn’t feel right about it.  Since our Christmas holiday, I think we have only visited the lifestyle club once, and gone on 2 couple’s dates?!?  Those number are really low for us.  And quite indicative of the mindset I have been finding myself in.  I just wanted to keep to myself, focus on breathing, and definitely zero interest in finding anything fun or relaxing.  You know that low, where you just don’t feel you even deserve to be happy or to take a break?  So yeah, obviously I was not keen on meeting new people.  And again, that twitter comment really hit me hard.  Why wasn’t I active?  Why was I stopping myself from having any fun?  How was that possibly helping me feel better?

So here I sit, puzzled over why I felt the need to punish myself.  And why I hold myself up to these incredibly high standards that I always have to be in an amazing place in order to meet people, and have fun.  Looking back on my life, I cannot think of a single time when I was prepared to meet the incredible people that I have closest to me.  They were random, unplanned, and un-calculated.  So, with this post, I am admitting, what many of those in non-monogamy already know, and that is life happens, lows happen, and that shouldn’t make you feel like you need to hand in your open relationship, swinger, polyamory, or all the beautiful relationships variations cards just yet.  I am still an active member of this community of sex positive people, even if my legs don’t show the evidence of all the sexy time’s I wish I was having.

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Seeing Your Friends Naked?

Bowser photo bombing when I’m trying to show off!

One of the tenants of the swinger lifestyle is that you don’t make friends swingers, you make swingers friends.  While I don’t of course agree with rules such as these, it is does lead itself into an interesting discussion that I have over the years, and now that I am little less shy sharing my blog with friends the frequency is increasing.  There are a growing number of people who have concerns with how to act around me after they have seen me naked.  If you don’t already know, I used to put a lot of naked photos on my blog (which are still up if you want to do some digging), and now I have a Patreon page for those more “titillating” photos that helps fund my writing and future endeavours.  While I would love to have people on the lower tiers, simply supporting my work, the reality is, I have pretty much all my support on the top two tiers which ranges from pg13 to R rated content. But they are exclusively strangers, which begs the question, can you handle seeing your friends naked?

Now, here is the thing.  I am open.  I live my life as I see fit, with an open relationship, combined with the openness of my sexuality, and freedom of expression.  I choose what goes out into the world and I love what I do.  However, when people that I work with, socialize with, or even just have mutual acquaintances with find my blog or photos I ultimately will receive some pretty interesting messages (which makes me wonder all the things I don’t hear).  The common theme is that they don’t want me to feel uncomfortable with them looking at me, or knowing what I look like without my clothes on.

I could play Freud here, and psycho analyze what this really says about them, etc, but I am not going to do that.  Instead, I am going to speak to the peculiarity of the situation this puts me in.  I create public content and I have it available to everyone.  So to me, that pretty much states that I am fine with anyone in my network or outside of it consuming the content within.  In fact, it is beyond flattering and so very appreciated that my loved ones would actually put a little money into my pocket or a tip here and there.  But with these initial messages, I find myself in a place where I can either try and sell the work, coerce people to look, share, support, or whatnot but often I feel it’s only appropriate to talk them out of looking at it.  No, I don’t mean in a reverse psychology sort of way either.

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Why do I talk them out of it sometimes?  Because our society, as a whole, doesn’t seem ready to embrace nudity.  We directly correlate the nude body with sex, and then that intertwines feelings that are much more primal than our day to day interaction with peers allows.  Can I see a male naked and then talk to them like a normal human being the next day?  Sometimes yes, sometimes I will blush a little first, and then be able to chat with them.  There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but I understand how it could be uncomfortable for some, or just too far outside of their comfort zone to come to terms with.  And look at that, I tried not to analyze, yet here we are.  It’s a puzzling conundrum and one that I totally empathize with.  If you’re not able to separate nudity from sex, that is totally cool.  I was raised with open nudity in my household and it just feels really natural to walk around naked, but I realize that is not the norm, and I would never want to force my content on anyone. 

But to those who worry I might feel weird or judge the people who take a look please know this, my content is out there.  Embrace it.  Enjoy it.  We are adults and I love what I do.  I enjoy getting feedback (in a sex positive manor mind you, not an objectifying creepy way), and I love that I have received such gracious support from so many of you.  So, ask yourself this, would seeing me naked change our friendship in anyway for you?  And if so, why would that be?  And if you’re brave, I would love to read the conclusions you come up with!

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Non-Monogamous Urban Myths

My Pink Flamingo!

When you have a society that deems sex as taboo or negative in general, people find some pretty clever ways to come out to each other on the down low.  As you may have read in my post about Re-branding the term swingers, I talked about key parties, shag carpets, and the ways media has branded the swinger.  Now let’s talk about a few of the more common swinger myths. And a huge thanks to @yycjfl_yycguy for being brave enough to ask “what is with the pineapple, flamingo, and gnome in the lifestyle.”  So without further ado, let’s talk about some of the myths and tricks to spot a fellow non-monogamous person in the wild!

Pineapple

First up, is the pineapple.  Legend has it, that if you are grocery shopping and you are looking to get a few new sexy folks to join you for that evening’s fondue, you would put a pineapple upside down in the top part of your shopping cart.  This would be a clear sign to swingers that you and your spouse were looking to get some strange that night and to come on over!  Hot tub and sexy times were sure to follow for those special people who were in the know.

Flamingo

Second, the flamingo.  Often we see people celebrating an over the hill birthday party get inundated with 40 pink flamingos in their yard as a special shout out from their nearest and dearest.  But what about that lonely solo flamingo?  Is he there just a constant reminder that you are getting older and wiser day by day?  Maybe not.  In the world of the non-monogamous, this could be a sign that a swinger does in fact live here.  Doesn’t it have a nice ring?  Pink flamingo and ready to mingle?   I think so!

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Gnome

Third, the gnome.  This creepy little yard ornament has for a long time been the antique collectors pokemon go.  Gotta collect them all!  But for a few subdivisions in the states, having a gnome on your front porch is a signal to neighbors that swingers are willing and waiting inside.  While this does not seem to be one of the universal signs, it is one the stranger ones for me, as I struggle to wrap my brain around one of those weirdly shaped statues representing a callout for sexy times, but that could just be me.

Black Ring

Fourth, the black ring.  Now this started as an urban myth, and has actually gained quite a bit of popularity in the last few years.  So much so, that a few companies are now selling black couples rings to be worn on the right hand to signify a non-monogamous pairing.  This is a growing trend, and one still has to be a little weary as many industrial industries require black silicon rings for safety rather than metal to be worn.  So you might not want to approach under the assumption that just because it’s black, in means they are… well… I cannot come up with a catchy rhyme right now, but you get the idea.

Overall, I think these little myths and legends are a lot of fun to think about, and play around with.  But as always, you must tread lightly, because more often then not, these are just myths.  And while we try very hard to signal our sexy intent out in the wild, these are not universally known and could get you into heaps of trouble if done incorrectly.  Or perhaps that’s just the cautionary voice in me speaking out.  Maybe it’s time to just throw caution to the wind and display that cute pink flamingo, standing beside a garden gnome, with my upside down pineapple welcome mat, and the garage door open just a crack and a paper bag with a tea light in it… and OK, I could go on and on here with all the various myths and legends I have heard.  The best way to find someone?  Join a facebook group, check out a local swingers club, or find a non-monogamous social or munch.  The best way after all will always be face to face!  Happy hunting!

Do you have a fun myth you would like included in this list?  Share in the comments section, or reach out via twitter!

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