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!

And if you’re curious about the behind the scenes photos, click here!

The Friendzone is Bullshit!

Body language matters and the friendzone is bullshit!

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”. 

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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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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


Defining Monogamy:

Humans versus Animals

My take on Elmer Fudd: Defining Monogamy

One of my favorite blog posts is Something About Ducks, and the first time I thought about defining monogamy.  It was short and sweet, but meaningful because I was able to have a frank discussion about monogamy with a family member, and then get to geek out a little with some science.  So, may I present to you a comparative post discussing the definition of monogamy in humans and the animal kingdom, and how that interpretation impacts us.  Don’t worry, I won’t geek out too hard, and if you stick around until the end, you will find the link for the sexy, behind the scenes pictures I keep reserved for fans only. 

Let us start at the beginning, with the definition of monogamy thanks to our lovely friends at Wikipedia: Monogamy is a form of relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime, or only one partner at a time (serial monogamy).  And for a little fun, let’s compare to the definition of monogamy in the animal kingdom: Monogamous pairing refers to the natural history of mating systems in which species pair bond to raise offspring. 

Did you catch that?  It turns out that the very definition of monogamy is different depending on your species.  We humans, adhere to a very strict definition of monogamy, while our counterparts in the animal kingdom are a little more fluid about it.  In fact, many species are by definition monogamously pair bonded even if during the mating season one of them strays, so long as they return to continue raising their offspring.

So why are humans so strict about monogamy, and yet so flexible when it comes to animals.  Why are we OK with accepting animals doing what they do, behaving in a way that has obviously allowed them to survive, and even flourish, and yet, so critical of humans exhibiting the same behaviours?  Why are we so adamant to separate ourselves from animalistic instinct to sleep with more than one person?  Obviously we could blame many things here, religion, politicians, the battle of the sexes, and let’s not forget sexually transmitted diseases and genetic protection.  But talking about genes, can I share one more thing that I learned in my rabbit hole quest for knowledge?  That scientists are currently working to discover the neuro-molecular genes that may lead to monogamy in animals. 

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Can you imagine if they find an actual mechanism that predicts or determines if a person will be able to maintain monogamy or not?  This may not just be something that people do because they were raised that way, or want to for their children, or even just by sheer force of will alone.  It might actually be deeper rooted than that, it may turn out that we have genetic indicators to determine if we are supposed to be non-monogamous or a monogamous species.  Watching researchers trace monogamy in invertebrates and seeing where we branch off, or takes turns, and then following those shifts absolutely fascinates me.  It’s one thing to trace our human origins of non-monogamy in such amazing book as Sex at Dawn, but to delve even further, into our animal counterparts and discover genetic material and our actual make-up? 

Honestly, the impacts of this make me super excited.  Mixing science, and knowledge, and a subject matter that has been my identity for what feels like a decade is just beyond… well… I think I am going to go formulate a few more posts to follow this up.  The first thing that comes to mind is the comparison between the young raising cycles of humans and animals.  And of course how this duel definition could impact our views of cheating, or infidelity.  The possibilities are endless with science at our side.  So please, if you have any suggestions you would like me to research or discuss feel free to share via Twitter or in the comments section of this blog as I would love to hear from you!

And as promised, here is the link to my behind the scenes photos… enjoy!

Oops! I Read the Comments Section When a Dating Blogger Mentioned an Open Relationship

Am I fooling myself thinking society accepts non-monogamy?

So of course, just when I think people are starting to come around to the acceptance of non-monogamy, I go ahead and read a few words of “wisdom” from the real world.  Ugh!

Let me preface this by saying proudly that I am exuberant over the love, support and acceptance I have found in my real life, and my social media world, look at this amazing sex positive community for example.  I have worked hard to surround myself with educated and loving people, with whom I respect even at moments of disagreement and with whom I have convinced myself that they show the same respect for mine.  But in the last few weeks, I have seen something that takes me back to a time before I found this incredible community and it’s heartbreaking.

There is a dating blogger who is sharing her story about being in her first open relationship (the specifics about committing to this or trying to run away screaming are not really relevant here).  So, I will simply summarize by saying she is sleeping with a man who is polyamorous and engaged to another women, and whatever her actual motivations are, she is sharing this experience on her blog.  And as such, I have been reading and following along, with a bit of nostalgia, going back to when I first met E, and all the ups and downs that I experienced learning about non-monogamy for the first time.  And that was all well and good, up until I saw her comment section explode and I made the horrific mistake of reading a few opinions on the matter.

The majority of the male comments reflect the notion that this guy is a creep and manipulating the dating blogger for sex.  This sentiment is echoed by the female majority saying things like, “run now”, or “I’ve been down this road and it only leads to heartache”, and “why are you wasting your time on someone who could never love you?”.  All in all, it is doom, gloom, judgement and criticism from a monogamous side of the world that I don’t often see. 

How is this possible, you may be asking yourself, given the content of your blog?  Honestly?  I’m not 100 percent sure, so if you want to weigh in on this, please be my guest (in the comment section would be lovely!).  What I do know is that my blog didn’t evolve to non-monogamy, and thus I have never captured this broader monogamous audience.  I have been very open and honest right from the get go about what content lies within.  And whenever I write something controversial, I try to do my research ahead of time, and aim to present a balance of ideas whenever possible.  Again, this really is a point that you, dear readers are welcome to share your rational for coming back week after week.

But back to the comment section of this particular blogger.  You see, she is doing something incredibly tricky, which is to explain a situation to an unwilling audience, and that is what directly challenges their core beliefs about the evils of non-monogamy.  It is so easy to use words like cheater, manipulator and user.  So much so, that I believe if this guy ever found out about her blog, he would end things immediately.  Some perceptions you just cannot come back from regardless of your intentions.  So I sit here, reading comments and feeling heartbreak and shame that this is the world that open, polyamorous and swingers really fear.  This judgemental, and hate filled place, shouting uneducated opinions and all manor of unsympathetic close-minded views really exists.  For you see, this is a place were logic fails, and fear takes over.  This is the black hole of the social media internet that all writers and bloggers fear.  This is the place where your level-headed sanity begins to question things and your resolve wanes in the face of public opinion.

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I want to tell myself that I should never read the comments.  But the reality is that I needed that reminder that the world is not as advanced as I have been leading myself to believe.  My readers are amazing.  My supporters are wonderful.  But there is an entire world out there that is going to judge first and ask questions never.  When I finish writing my first book, this is the world I will be facing.  This is the place I need to be aware exists and this is the land I need to learn to rise above. 

In the meantime, thank you for reading, supporting and doing what you can to build the sex positive community.  I need people like you and I hope on some level you need me too!

Thank you so much for supporting this blog, and checking out my behind the scenes pictures on Patreon!