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.

(Affiliate banner for the fuel behind the passion)

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.

NoMoreWetSpot.com
(affiliate link)

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.

Please use the code BreakingAway for 10% off your next purchase with Betty’s Toy Box! (affiliate)

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.

Thank you for liking, sharing, and of course subscribing to my blog! If you want to request a post, or ask as question, please subscribe to my Patreon!

3 Myths I Believed About Sex

Water is not lube, no matter where you put it!

If you search for blogs discussing sex myths, you are going to find a tonne of them.  Some that you may laugh, cringe, cry, or even, dare I say, learn something from?  In this post I would like to focus on a few that personally had an effect on my sex life.  And why, I always try and push for better sexual education and open and honest, consent first, discussions when it comes to sex.  Some myths cause far more harm than others but the fact remains all of these sex myths impacted my path to being sex positive.

Myth 1: You can tell a woman is ready by how wet she is

A woman shows she’s ready for sex by being wet enough for immediate penetration.  While physiologically, yes, this may happen, there were numerous times in my world of monogamy where I wanted a quickie and was not quite wet.  The man I was sleeping with would grow concerned that I just didn’t want it, based on my level of self lubrication.  And would either be turned off, or try and get me wet (so I guess that’s a plus?).  The thing was, he believed my bodies response, over my words as a direct result of this myth.  Obviously this made a huge impact on my views of my body, and I would try and pre-game so to speak to ensure I was always wet enough for sex.  All I can say to this, is I now have a container of lube on every level of my house, and is always a part of my sex purse.  Why? Because lube (affiliate link to my favorite lube) is awesome and this myth is crazy.

Myth 2: Anal sex makes you cool

In this one, I am going to lump a whole bunch of anal misconceptions that I have into one paragraph with the disclaimer that I was very ill informed about anal sex right from the get go, and basically had zero business doing it, or talking about it.  I could blame my catholic school girl sex education, porn, or the internet in general for the misinformation, but I think it is better to just dispel this myth altogether and all the variations that go along with it.

  • Once you warm up the first time, you shouldn’t have to spend as much time warming up the next. 
  • The type or quality of the lube does not matter, it’s all about the volume of it.
  • Having sex in the butt is the ultimate way to show your man that you love him.
  • You are super bad ass and sexy as fuck if you do it in the butt.  That’s what bad girls do, and the taboo makes you hella cool.

A quick summary on this one, yes, I at one time or another was exposed and believed these myths to be true.  As a result, I am still anal sex conflicted and did spend a significant amount of time healing from a very bad experience.  

Myth 3: A woman can only orgasm from one body part

Now this one, is a bit of a gray area for me.  I remember watching the Friends episode that discussed all the different erogenous zones, and while TV shouldn’t be the way people form their base sexual education, the reality is that it happens all the time.  So, I was fully aware that women could get sexual pleasure from more than one place.  With that being said, the episode did focus on the big finale, so I for a long time equated all my erogenous zones with being part of the fourplay.  It wasn’t until much later in life that I embraced the fact that I can have a pretty amazing orgasm just from having my breasts sucked in a certain way and that it doesn’t always have to peak with PIV (penis in vagina) sex.  The reason I include this one in my list of myths that affected me, is due to the fact that I have had more conversations than I can count with men absolutely mystified by this little tidbit.  No, I am not some magical, sexual anomaly. In fact, I think if more people understood that sex and orgasms are much for fluid in nature for woman, sex in general would improve for many.

So in an effort to keep this short and sweet, I am going to leave this list at 3.  Please feel free to share your own myths, and how they affected you, via this blog, on my Patreon, or on Twitter.

Starting a Blog Where You Might Use the Word S.E.X.

Aka: Want to Start a Sex Blog? A Few Tips/Tricks and Mistakes I Have Made Blogging about Breaking Away From Monogamy

Blogging and sex

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.

Getting Noticed

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!

SEO

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.

Summary

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!

Krys