First off, I am a survivor and not a victim. I say that out loud to myself from time to time, because I find it helps me regain my power and control over the situation that I found myself in a few years ago (sorry I cannot give a specific timeline due to circumstance outside of my control). Why did it take me so long to come out and write about it? Because, it was difficult for me to put a label on it, and publicly address what happened to me, especially as, until recently, many of the people I considered extended family read my blog and knew this man. The silly thing is, the fear of not writing this post, is a key reason why I need to. I need to break any and all control that my former mentor, and confident has/had over me, and I need to do it from a place of serenity and autonomy, and try not to let the fear of him getting upset and isolating me any further (I still am keeping his full identity anonymous as this is about healing and not about starting a witch hunt). This is my experience as I am Breaking free from gaslighting.
What is Gaslighting?
When I first read about the term gaslighting, I dismissed it as the latest buzzword. A trend to label behaviour that was most likely a form of abuse and required a person to just get out of the situation. For the most part, I dismiss labels, and by doing that I feel that I can be more fluid and not allow them to define or trap me. However, as I recently discovered, I needed this term in my life, to come to full terms with what was happening to me, and just how bad things were about to get. If you want a fuller description of gaslighting, please check out this link, but for the context of this post it is someone who never apologizes without making you feel guilty. It is someone who makes you feel isolated and that everything wrong is your fault, and claims to love you unconditionally with caveats that are completely unachievable. They lie repeatedly, refuse to take any personal responsibility, and what for me was even worse, they tell everyone that you are the crazy one. Honestly, there were times that the magnitude of how cruel the whole situation was, I could barely catch my breath. And being isolated from all my family friends, and not realizing how deep the isolation actually went, I would naively turn to them for help and end up making an even bigger hole for myself, by proving that I was the crazy one who was off kilter.
All I can say, is that even though he tried numerous times
to turn my partner against me, and drive a wedge between us, my partner has the
most incredible B.S. detector I have ever met and he called him out for exactly
what he was, and what he was doing to me.
Without my partner, I may have crumbled and gone crawling back to this
man because I honestly was left with, a feeling of complete nothingness.
Where Am I Now?
While I still feel the weight from time to time of this person’s years of abuse, and occasionally find myself asking if I am stupid or weak, I have far more good days than bad. I have incredible friends who ensure I do not feel alone, and are happy just to sit in silence sipping a beer with me if I need to, sometimes it’s not enough. There are moments, that I dream about him, and honestly wake up believing that things are back to how I idealized they were when I was younger. I feel this incredible calm, that maybe this nightmare I have lived is over, and I am free. I go back and forth between fantasy and reality, sometimes worried that I will never know the truth. I am not fully free of this man, and for my mental sanity, I have to just accept that for the time being and continue to find peace in what I can control. And that, is how I move forward with my life, and how I can forgive myself for living so long with the mental hell of my past.
And please, out of respect for me, and my families privacy as I continue to work through this difficult time, do not guess who this person is, or try and reach out to that individual. There is zero good that can come from that. And I have learned that the only person that I can control is myself. I am not looking for apologies, answers, or even acknowledgment. I am simply taking care of my own mental health by writing this very painful post out, and continuing to heal with purpose.
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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.
I have toyed with a post explaining why I believe the word friendzone is bullshit for over 5 years. I have outlines, ideas, and just random thoughts peppering my work in progress document and nothing I wrote ever could quite get past the whole “I don’t like the label and it’s implications”. Until recently, I felt writing this post would be irresponsible and give people the wrong impression about me (by that I mean, I didn’t want men who felt they were in the friendzone to start pushing boundaries). But I write this now because there is something bubbling beneath the surface of the word that I think needs to be addressed here. With a few beers in me, I wrote this in reply to a comment on my Predators blog post: I have tried numerous times to write a post on the friendzone, however I stop myself in light of this very context. Until there is a clear understanding of consent, and boundaries, there are certain men that should just stay believing in the friendzone for the sake of the women they are in essence pushing boundaries with…. OK, maybe this should turn into a post.
Any guesses where I am going with
this yet? The friendzone is a word, that
I have always felt, was a copout. We use
it to place a person who we may or make not actually like, but definitely do
not want anything physical to happen with (at that particular moment). And as we are still trying to figure out what
role they play in our lives, we relegate them into this so called “friendzone”. The implications of that zone, are that the
person will take the hint, and therefor understand that they are to stop being
flirty, or expect that the person who placed them there will ever sleep with
them. Basically, it’s code for “just
give up already”.
So, there are two parts that I will touch on here to explain why I think the friendzone is bullshit
The first, is why do we allow, or
even encourage people to place labels like this on other human beings. It’s often cruel. If a person likes you, man up, and have the
conversation that says you are tired of them doing such and such behaviour, and
would like it to stop for the friendship to continue. Then set a clear expectation, for example,
this is what will happen if you don’t. Off
the top of my head you could threaten that the friendship will be over if they
continue to push your boundaries. Of you
could simply state where you are at in the moment and call out the persons bad
behaviour as it happens.
Perhaps you would like an example from my colourful past? Ok, here is a little story time…Once upon a time when I was in a long term monogamous relationship, I had a friend who would constantly try to buy me drinks, text me cute pet names, and when he got drunk he would meow at me. I really appreciated all the free stuff I was getting, and when we texted it was playful, it was fun, and quite flattering being on someone’s mind like that. However, when he got drunk, he repeatedly tried to cross the line, would hold his hugs just a little too long, and the weird meowing turned into this creepy cat-like howl. To be clear I had zero attraction for him, and was in a completely monogamous relationship that he was fully aware of. He was a teddy bear in the day time with whom I always hugged when I saw him, was a great listener, and overall I loved the boost he gave my ego. So, I, without realizing it, was letting him ride in that weird friendzone territory, while I sorted out my feelings and tried to rationalize where he was in my life.
But then, I grew up. Ok, the truth was, I got sick and tired of his drunken behaviour and watched it start to spill into our sober text messages. So, I gave him a choice. Either stop crossing the line with me when you’re drunk and allow me to trust you 100% of the time, or you will not be in my life. And guess what? After two strikes, he was no longer in my life. I won’t lie, I missed the attention, but ultimately, the ego boost just wasn’t worth having someone like that in my life.
Ok, so now let’s talk about the other side of it. Why people find themselves in the friendzone. I’m not going to mince words here, if you have ever found yourself in the friendzone it is because you do not have the social skills to handle the situation that you are in and you are the problem. See what I did there? I told you what was wrong in a direct manor. Let me explain, if you’re sitting there, shell shocked, or feeling like you want to start defending yourself, take pause and hear me out. If you are attracted to someone, and the feelings are not returned in the same manor that you are wishing they would, there are a few things going on. First, you have picked a target way out of your league and you are either too shy, under confident, or socially awkward to overcome that hurdle so you tell yourself, just being close to this person is enough. Guess what? It’s not, it’s weird, and you need to start learning how to build your confidence.
Second, you have this person in
your life who keeps telling you no, but you have decided, that they are wrong,
and you are going to keep trying. Guess
what? That makes you an asshole and you
have violated the whole consent thing.
Maybe this person is just being too nice, doesn’t want to hurt your
feelings, or is just genuinely trying to figure things out. That shouldn’t matter to you though. If you
hear the word no, it’s time to back off immediately. Perhaps they will miss you, and come
around. Or more likely, they will
realize their gut was right, and they just were one of those genuinely amazing
souls who are nice to everyone, and are so relieved that they don’t have to
feel awkward around you anymore. Either
way, respect the word no, and back off!
The friendzone is not healthy, for anyone. The friendzone is a bullshit place to be, and equally to put someone in while you figure things out. I propose that we remove this silly label from our vocabulary and start actually communicating with people. You don’t have to use black and white labels. We are blessed with a whole range of words, body language, and clear methods of expressing ourselves. So, start building those skills. And did you know that you can always change your mind about a person too? If you tell a person you aren’t into them, and then realize you were wrong you can go and talk to them and share your feelings? Crazy, I know! But it’s far better than playing this whole in the friendzone, out of the friendzone charade. So take these new and improved communication skills you have learned here, and go have meaningful conversations with people you like. And always remember, if they say no, for the love of everything, respect that, and do NOT keep trying!
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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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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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