Over the past few weeks, I have been branching out my writing, podcasting, and now I need a little bit of help. Some of you have been reading since the very beginning of this blog, while some of you are very new, or just occasional readers. So, no matter how you happen upon this little post, your feedback, and input are equally important.
Breaking Away From Monogamy
Firstly, this blog has and will remain about my random thoughts on everything to do with relationships, non-monogamy, and all subject matters that relate to sex positivity. But further to that, I have developed a sex positive podcast, currently called BreakingAway. In this, my aim to is talk about all subject matter related to being sex positive, sex education, and exploring other people’s relationships and why they are a part of this incredible sex positive community. So, in the comments section, are there any topics that you would like me to explore? What burning questions do you have that you would love to hear me talk about?
Second up, if you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that I have begun to write a few erotic fantasies. So, dear readers, where would the best fit be for me to post these? A few suggestions would be a teaser called blog after dark, whereby I write the first part, and then the second for any Patreon fans who want to read more. Or another suggestion would be for me to add an audio component to my Patreon and actually read a few of these for anyone who wants to read them. I have a few reasons for not wanting this erotic writing to just be free on my blog, is the subject matter. If my website gets flagged for erotica or porn, then I will have major hurdles to deal with when it comes to the branding of it. There are so many new rules right now for the word porn, sex, etc. and really, I just don’t want to have to censor myself. And making these posts public, would mean I have to. So what are your thoughts? How would you want to consume my non-monogamous fantasy shorts? Please write in the comments.
Non-Monogamous Relationship Coaching
Third, is my dating and relationship coaching website. I have been toying with the idea of shutting this down altogether and bringing a few tabs over onto my main blog page breakingawayfrommonogamy. While this would save me a bit of money, ultimately, the majority of you have asked me to keep it separate. So, if you are looking for book reviews, recommendations, non-monogamous dating or relationships coaching I do have a separate website that you can reach me at breakingawayfromrelationshipnorms.com. I have had so many people reach out to me over the years, that it would be a shame to shut down that resource side and that is not what I want to do. I want to be available to help, answer questions, and basically remain a resource. So if you are curious, please feel to reach out to me there, and we can discuss the next steps.
Sex Positive Books and Blogs
Fourth and final thought. Earlier this summer, I announced my newest website which is sex positive books and blogs. The hope was for this to be a resource centre for people to explore media related to being sex positive. I have reached out to a few contributors to share their books, blogs, podcasts, etc and the response has been amazing so far. For my end, it has been a matter of finding the time to ensure that I am promoting and placing your amazing contributions in an easy to use place. This is still a go, but it will take a bit more time before I make it active. So thank you, and please stay tuned on the Twitter news feed for my next announcement.
Contact Me or Comment Below
So, that about summarizes my questions for you. I would love for you to comment, and share your thoughts and ideas about where you want what, and how you best enjoy consuming your sex positive content! If you do feel uncertain about posting publicly, you may also DM or e-mail me. The only caveat if you don’t want to make it public, is that I would ask is you please like this post on whatever social media you see it on so I can get the most feedback possible and best plan for the fall.
Aka: Want to Start a Sex Blog? A Few Tips/Tricks and Mistakes I Have Made Blogging about Breaking Away From Monogamy
I started blogging in the summer of 2011 because I had a personal mission to work through a major problem I was facing in my life, and in my overconfident brain I figured a few people would be curious about the subject matter: non-monogamy. When I wrote my first post, as I’m sure a few of you have, it was from a place of heartbreak. I was motivated by a single thought, which was simply to write my story. As a result, I did zero research into making a blog readable, successful, profitable, or even clickable or shareable. I basically went in blind, thinking my clear mission statement would be enough for everything else to fall into place, whatever that ended up being. It turns out, it wasn’t. So let me share with you a few practical tips that I have learned over the years, often as a result of going in the completely wrong direction, and wherever I can, I will post practical links that will actually help you, especially if you want to talk about things that are taboo (affiliate links will be a part of this post, and do help me earn a small commission to cover my hosting fees, but I will get more into that shortly).
First things first, the reason this post is a little different to many “how do I write a blog post” is that I am gearing this towards taboo subject matter and the specific hurdles when you write about the word sex. So let’s get started with the first lesson I learned: Anonymity
Picking Your Name or Title
When I first got started, I used an alias, as so many out there choose to do. The thing was, I picked an alias that is in a language foreign to many of my readers. I chose, @k-ghislaine (which you can easily click to follow me on Twitter), and while it is meaningful to me, it is completely unsearchable, pronounceable, and instantly I created a situation where I would have to self-promote everything I put out. Now this was a choice I made consciously, and thought it would protect my work/life/relationship status. However, with that being the focus, what did I immediately do? Oh that’s right, I mass e-mailed the link to everyone in my address book, and posted the blog link on Facebook, under my own personal account. The take away? Choose your target, and decide how you are going to use your blog, podcast, or whatever medium that shares your unique message. And think beyond the heartache towards the scale-ability factor because you never know where something like this may take you. And this holds true for your blogs name, domain, and basically every social media handle you choose, so choose wisely.
Sex Positive Monetization
I have zero doubt that this is the main reason that you are reading this post. And the thing about this is, I am in no way pro yet. I make enough to cover all my fees incurred, and occasionally a little more. My blog, has always be like a journal for me, where if it makes a little that’s a bonus, but if not, that’s totally OK too, I will still blog. That being said, I know how daunting it can be to start researching ways to actually monetize your content, especially if you have nudity, talk about anything taboo, or dare I say, use the word sex in any way shape or form. When you get started, you are faced with a zillion and one hurdles, especially once you start reading the fine print on all the monetization sites available or affiliate programs that mainstream content creators have access to. Please don’t let that get you down, you still have options, it just might take a little more work.
One of the first paths I took that actually generated a little financial interest in my blog was doing a sex toy review. And not just any toy, a couple’s toy! Honestly, it was a lot of fun. I loved the anticipation of waiting for the new toy, testing it out, and ultimately writing the post. I totally understand the appeal of it, and would happily do one again in the future. But I would caution you about one thing, things are changing with toy reviews. You are very limited as to the pictures you take, where you can share them on social media, and the biggest reason I don’t do many is the competition aspect. There are so many incredible toy reviewers out there and honestly, I don’t feel like I offer anything unique to that discussion. In summary, product reviews are amazing, just make sure you offer something new, exciting, or unique to your audience or you will not retain them.
The second path I took, and take, is writing sponsored posts, or paid blogs for other sites. This is my clear favorite, as I love the exposure and the community building this brings. Ultimately, my goals are different than many out there, but if you really hustle to create incredible content, this works really well. There are some incredible resources out there when it comes to pitching, and if you would like me to share some insight on my techniques feel free to comment or reach out to me via whichever social media you found me on!
And finally the third, which is affiliate links (Such as this one for lube, sex toys, and condoms!) . Now these can be tricky to find for those who talk about sex in any depth beyond what I do. The reason I notice that is I have always walked a fine line between education and sharing sexy adventures. And that is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to banners or links that will actually pay me out. If you write sexualized content, you can find affiliate links on toy sites, P&%N pages, and with other promoters of the more XXX content. If you simply try to educate, you can find safe sex banners, STD testing sites, and that sort of thing. The key here, is to think outside of the box. What does your site say, and what products would you be happy to buy yourself and then promote? So, reach out to known sex positive industries, or sign up to affiliate sites specifically catered to sex and industry. There are a few out there, you just have to be a little savvy when searching them. And please, for the love of all that is holy, research the company first. It’s not worth making big bucks if your spreading hate, misinformation, or something that goes against your messages key values. That makes you a sellout and you will NOT retain traffic. If you go on my home page you will see a few banners from companies I love working with, but again, those may not work for the type of content you are creating. So be reasonable. It is not enough to just put up a banner and then watch the money roll in. Monetization takes special work, especially with the word Sex.
Writing content that people give a damn about is tough, even when your subject matter is titillating. And the major factor for this is people en masse are scared of sex. Individuals are typically rational, but group people in a room, and restrictions come at you from every angle. As a result, you will run into many issues when trying to spread your content. There are quite a few sites who won’t even take your money, or allow you to collect your hard earned dollars as a direct result of your subject matter. My biggest word of wisdom here is to read the fine print. Sure a site like Amazon may allow you sign up to be an affiliate, but if there is nudity anywhere, you are going to have a difficult time collecting your earnings. And that goes for all social media that you use. Understanding the restrictions is key to maximizing your influence (And no, I don’t mean be an influencer, but know your content may have an impact on someone so be mindful).
What has made me the most successful in getting noticed you may ask? The answer, is not caring what other people think and posting content that makes me feel like a whole human being. On each of my social media accounts I find meaning in actually connecting with people and not using it as just a platform to spam people with my words. There are quite a few studies right now to measure peoples happiness levels in conjunction to their social media usage and guys, I must say, there is a lot of truth to this. Whenever I portray myself as an object, or just a brand, I become miserable and need more and more frequent social media breaks. Whereas, when I am actively engaged, learning, reading others stuff, and building community I absolutely love it! So the takeaway, be mindful when you’re trying to get your work noticed. Don’t let the goal of becoming internet famous supersede your mental health. Better to have a few amazing fans, than a multitude of trolls.
Once you do find your stride, and have people who care enough to share, engage, or follow you, I highly recommend setting up a Patreon page. Without question, this has been the most rewarding experience for me. I cry (happy tears) with every new subscriber, even the ones who only pledge for a few hours. It’s incredible know that there are people out there who love your work enough to pledge a little bit of money to it. And with Patreon, you can make it your own and choose rewards that actually matter to your fans. I love the freedom of it all, and for me, I use it mostly to show off all the behind the scenes stuff I can’t put on my blog. But don’t let that sway you. Make your content anyway you choose!
When I first started blogging (My blogging reason), I used a free site with Blogspot. It was Google based and included SEO and rankings. It was a glorious. Then, tragedy struck. I gained a little bit of popularity and got flagged for my content. I had flown under the radar for years, even using adsense, but I think those days are pretty much over. With all the new restrictions and fears over sex, I quickly had to go self hosted, build a new site to maintain my own freedom of expression. It seemed like overnight I had to basically learn everything about building a site, hosting it, and my latest endeavor… SEO.
Honestly, for me, this is my current pet project. I spend a few minutes every day learning new tips/tricks to increase my organic views. And holy crap, the most interesting thing I have learned, is just how incredibly bad my blogspot site was! And how, in the blogging world, I have pretty much done everything wrong. Why do I share that? Because it is OK. I am learning from this, and I am so proud to have loyal readers who enjoyed my content even though the presentation was absolute garbage. So don’t feel bad, ever! If the content is something you take pride of, everything else will follow.
If you enjoyed this post, by all means, reach out! And if you have questions, want to start your own blog, or shift over to a self hosted site, I have written 3 sites which are live and am working on my fourth. If you need a graphic designer, I am currently working with one who is incredible and the perfect match for this sex positive blogger and her vision. Again, reach out. I would love to share my knowledge and help you succeed where I have failed, or in rare instances succeeded.
There is always more to learn, and I hope in a few years, I can write one of these with all the new lessons I have learned, because knowledge is power, and should always be shared!
The logistics and mistakes of our first hotel takeover.
My partner and I have been attending swingers parties for over 6 years, and during that time we have definitely learned our share of do’s and don’ts. I would now even consider ourselves quite versed in the art of being successful. With that said, the learning curve with a hotel takeover, is as it turns out a whole different beast. I’ve decided to write this adventure in 2 parts. The first one (this post), will out line a few of the lessons we learned, some pitfalls and our recommendation to others. The second post, will share the sexy adventures we had and why we were up for nearly 24 hours ringing in the new year. I hope you will find both posts interesting, and of course there will be some photo’s going up on my Patreon! So let’s get started!
Every year, my partner and I look for a way to spend New Years Eve with a bunch of sex positive people when we are in California. After last years disappointment with a clientele change at a very popular club we were on the look out to mix things up. After a few google searches, I reached out to a couple that we had played with a few years ago in the area and asked for recommendations. Among the list she sent back was a hotel takeover just an hour or so away from where we were staying. She said the parties were younger, fun and usually a really great time. Lesson one, always get a recommendation whenever possible. Lifestyle events are expensive and this helps alleviate a bit of stress wondering if the investment will be worth it or not.
I signed up to the website and started exploring the party and itinerary, as I tend to be much more comfortable with a solid plan. This takeover, as with almost every one I have seen was to take place over 2 nights, with an optional meet and greet on the 29th at a nearby tavern. Each party throughout the takeover was themed (as they almost always are) and required a costume of some sort. As we were already packed and in California, this was the first hurdle in my mind. We have a tickle trunk each of amazing costumes at home. It seemed almost a shame to have to last minute purchase a whole new 4 event wardrobe for something we were not even sure we would enjoy. So we made a decision to only attend the final event, the New Years Eve party, with optional after party. This was, in my mind, a huge mistake. I had not realized just how integral the meet and greets, or mingler parties are to finding like minded people to ring in the New Year with. These takeovers are designed to provide lots of opportunity to engage with other people, while having hotel rooms, right on premise to have the on-off party fun whenever you choose. Lesson two, always attend the meet and greet or mingle parties. They are integral to finding other couples, prior to the huge, and very loud party!
As we were only going for the one night, we were unable to book a hotel room at the hotel takeover venue (two night minimum group booking rates were in effect). This was perfectly fine, as we found a hotel within walking distance. So we got ourselves all dolled up, had a few drinks in our room and took an uber over to the venue for about 9:30 pm (which is the time we usually arrive at swing parties). Upon arrival we were shocked to discover 2 things. Firstly, that the venue was pretty much empty. And second, the reason for this was most likely the astronomical price of $15 USD per drink (And this was the starting point for bar stock brands, it was an extra 4 bucks for a booze brand I had even heard of). Swing parties are normally BYOB due to the legislation nightmare of getting a liquor permit in conjunction with allowing sex and nudity on premises. But, the invite said no outside food or drink in ballroom, so I mistakenly assumed that booze would be sold for reasonable rates. That was a huge eye opener. So we went back to our hotel 3 minutes away and drank some amazing cucumber mint vodka and filled a flask for when we returned. After talking to a few people later in the night, it turns out that raising the price of drink is standard practice in hotel takeovers. So lesson three, must be, always bring flasks or drink in your room, because no one should have to pay those rates to have a happy little new years eve buzz!
In part II, I will go into the sexy part of our evening, but I want to say a few words in part I about safe sex. Condoms are absolutely essential to our playtime with others, but something that was brought to light during our takeover experience was the importance of having a safe word. Sometimes play gets too intense, and sometimes people push boundaries, that you wish they wouldn’t. These are two examples of having established safe words between partners. When that word is uttered everything pauses. A couple especially can asses the safety or comfort of each other and regroup or take action if necessary. While I hope you never have to use your safe word, and everything goes smoothly, knowing that you have it can make all the difference. Lesson four, stay safe (condoms), and always have a safe word!
The last point/lessons I will make about hotel takeovers are actually ubiquitous for all lifestyle parties that I have attended. These events have a funny way of going until the wee hours of the morning, so stay hydrated (both lube and water, please use BreakingAway at checkout to save 10%), have a game plan for food afterwards, and remember that 5 hour energy is your friend (or whatever energy source you choose). With this is mind, I hope you can learn from our first hotel takeover mistakes, and challenges to have an epic sexual adventure of your own.
And please stay tuned for part II where I share the sexy side of our first hotel takeover by following me on twitter or subscribe to my blog to get notifications!
As someone who prides herself on being a part of the sex positive community, I am a little embarrassed about how little I talk about safe sex, and more to the point, about how there are absolutely zero resources to be found anywhere on my site for those who want to practice safe sex, and get tested regularly. Well, with this post (Thank you STDcheck.com for showing me the error in my ways and sponsoring this post), I am striving to improve on that glaring oversight. Sometimes I forget how limited the access is for people to get tested regularly, and practice safe sex because I live in Canada, where healthcare is free and I am extraordinarily lucky to have a family doctor that I can be open and honest about being non-monogamous with. And as an added bonus she supports me in regular testing and screening and will even remind me on occasion when I am due or ask me if I have had new partners and want to book a fresh screening. But it took me years to find her, and I recognize that very few are as lucky as I am in that regard and thus I feel it is my duty to write this PSA.
If I am being completely honest, having a strong network of safe sex, support and resources makes my non-monogamous life possible. For you see, I subscribed for a long time to the stigma about how dangerous sex with other people can be, and how your chances of catching something grew exponentially with each new partner. It kept me monogamous to a fault, and when I was first introduced to open relationships, held me in a steadfast fueled by a strong fear of actually exploring sex with other people due to inherent risks. It was one of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome in my early years of non-monogamy, well and a mix of jealousy and insecurity.
And that is why, for me, writing this post about safe sex is so important, because it makes being non-monogamous possible, and ethical. Safety is not just about condoms. It is about disclosure, consent and regular testing. These are the fundamental building blocks that make non monogamy fun, and allow me to relax and enjoy new people and situations. While safety will always be a concern, my partner and I have developed rules that work for our lifestyle and values. For example, we do not kiss or have any fluid contact with strangers or people we have just met. This allows us the freedom to have spontaneous and often very hot, same room play with a new couple, but keeps the risk down, until we can have a conversation about safe sex, disclosure (if any) and a few likes and dislikes in a sober state of mind with new people. Secondly, we always use condoms with other people, zero exceptions. Simple rules, that keep us active and healthy within our community. And again, living in Canada it is definitely easier to access certain resources, but that is not necessarily the case for those of you in the US.
I read constantly in forums about people not being able to talk to their family doctors about non-monogamy due to privacy or religious reasons, and therefore forgo regular testing. Or the people who preach that herpes is a normal part of the lifestyle because most doctors don’t even test for it. These are dangerous mindsets to have and I am super excited that there is now a simple and cost effective way for you to get the tests you want, and when you want them. With STDcheck.com you can pick the appropriate tests online, or via the phone, then choose a test sight and have your results e-mailed securely within 1 – 2 days. No longer do you have the hurdles that prevent you and your partners from accessing what I often take for granted.
Safe sex is important. And the more you know about your status and those of your partners the stronger and safer the community grows as a whole. We can all do our part to disclose, test and practice safe sex every single time. While your rules may not be the same as mine, it is important to have a conversation with your partner and agree to something that makes you both comfortable. This is a community, whether you are dipping a toe in for the first time or have been doing this for decades. We want to work to eliminate the stigmas and keep each other safe. So do your part, get tested, and disclose each and every time you interact with new partners.
Sigh, that coveted casual swing club encounter. That hot steamy night that you fantasize would just spontaneously occur. You stack the deck in your favour of course. Slow hot bath, sipping wine as you scrub yourself squeaky clean and do all the necessary personal grooming. Then you dress to the nines with your partner, or in our case, pick the most elaborate costume you can. You arrive at a packed swing club with that pre-screened and amazing looking guest list, tonight is going to be hot. You pour yourselves a drink and begin the mingling and flirting dance. And then you find a couple. The small talk begins and you find some common ground. Let’s go somewhere quieter they say. You laugh, stroke your partners thigh and discover that it is smiles all around. This night is going perfectly. That fantasy is looking very promising.
And then, you remember, your rules, and you are snapped back into reality. No full swapping the first time you meet. Why? Quite simply it’s a little matter of safety and sexual compatibility. As hot as that anonymous first time swap would be, for you it will remain nothing more than a fantasy. When it comes to sexual health and safety we never compromise.
At a club, in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to have a clear and completely honest conversation about disclosure. I don’t subscribe to the idea that everyone lies, however, in a sexually charged environment, there can be a tendency by some parties to say whatever they can to sway the cards in their sexual favor. And even if every one is telling the truth, it is an often loud environment. It is easy to not be heard, or clearly understand what someone has said. So, we err on the side of caution. Touching, soft swap, all good things. But no kissing or fluid exchange with strangers, period.
For my personal comfort and sanity, I cannot stand waking up the next morning wondering if the person we kissed was clean (I use the term loosely and for simplicity, no judgement intended). It turns a really hot memory into one of suspicion and uncertainty. I prefer guilt free fantasies. Especially with my writers over active imagination. In fact, I had situation just a few months ago, where we were soft swapping with a bunch of people, touching and getting a little intense when all of a sudden a woman stuck her tongue down my throat. No permission was obtained and while I wanted to get lost in the sexiness of the situation, as there were hands everywhere, the reality was not hot. It felt instead, obtrusive, invasive and all manor of inappropriate and all that separated her behaviour from everyone else’s, was the fluid exchange. I was angry that I didn’t even have the chance to say no, or have the safe sex talk. And as a result of how I felt the next morning and a very short conversation with my partner, we made a rule that from here on in, we tell people that we do not swap the first time we meet.
The other aspect I mentioned is sexual compatibility. I don’t know about you, but history tells me that first time sex with a person is average to bad. Every sexual encounter is unique, the sights, sounds and smells of a person. So having no clue what to expect personality wise or sexually can be a bit of a hurdle. I even heard of a few swingers who stopped going to clubs in general because the anonymous sex was actually getting boring. It was constantly mediocre or bad and the thrill of newness was starting to wane. Sex really ramps up, when you get to know a person. When you can read their body language and get into the situation without having to stop every 30 seconds to ask permission (a slight exaggeration there, but you get the idea). I for one, want a much more sustainable sex life. I enjoy good to great sex. I love the butterflies and after glow, and I get that from a specific memory or touch from a person I care a bit about. Strangers just don’t have any staying power in my mental spank bank. I don’t want objects, I yearn for flesh and blood, emotional beings.
And for us the advantages of playing this way far outweigh the lost fantasy. Especially for us, as we love a little chase and the excitement of getting to know someone. Building that sexually charged suspense. We don’t always get the payoff for postponing a swap, but man, when we do! That keeps us going for weeks! So the trade-off of an amazing novelty encounter, versus more of the getting to know a couple sex is definitely up our alley.
Now you can call me a tease or a dirty vanilla or a no touchie if it makes you feel better, but the truth of the matter is I would love to play the first time. I just don’t want to waste my time hoping the sex will be good or to put myself in a situation where I do not feel safe. I’m in this for the long haul, not to just try out a few new people for curiosities sake. Maybe I’m not a true swinger in that I don’t actually engage in anonymous sex with strangers. I have written about already feeling like an outlier. I know there is an argument for your valuable time. You have the night off, a babysitter booked and you are looking for some strange. And I respect your fantasy, just as I hope you respect my reasoning for not doing a full swap when we meet. We try to disclose this information sooner rather than later, however we have screwed up few times and left it until we were already in the same room taking off our clothes. For that, I humbly ask your forgiveness and I hope that you will want to get some strange with us in the future, only, not when it’s 100 percent strange.
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