In the Zone

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Z

This has been my fourth year of Blogging A-Z and once again it has been difficult to keep on track. At least this year I am finishing on the right day. For once I’ve managed to stay in the zone most of the way through.

Unfortunately I lost momentum on Food, Fitness and Health and only made it to J. I decided that it was better to get to the end on one blog than to stumble and fall on both. I’ve also decided to make My For the Health of it meme monthly. There are just too many meme’s around and anyway it is difficult to be productive in these difficult Covid times.

Now for a round up.

Who else has been in the Zone this month?

First I’d like to mention Charlie of Sex Blog of Sorts who after a long hiatus is back writing her fabulous short stories. She hasn’t posted every day in April but looks well on the way to completing the challenge. Tension is just one of her excellent tales, this one about jealousy in a knife skills class. Pretty dangerous!

Rebel has been writing about her relationships, mainly with her husband Master T, but also with friends and family. I know this has been a difficult month for her, like many of us. But as always her writing is sincere and very good. This one tells us how Master T is the Ying to Marie’s Yang.

Mrs Fever has been blogging about health, a theme close to my own heart. I really should try a theme if I participate next year. This post about Summer Sunshine came at a time when we were having our own spell of yellow and warmness. She writes about the wonderful health benefits of the sun with some caveats about why we also need to take care. I just wish the sun would return here, it seems to have disappeared!

Mrs fever has a list of all the sex bloggers that have participated this year. Which you can find here.

Deviant Succubus has written some fabulous posts this month. I have to say I aspire to her high Libido right now. I love how uninhibited she obviously is and how much enjoyment she and her partner get from their life together. Obviously that is caveated with difficult times of mental ill health, but I love the was DS writes about every aspect of her life.

Cara Theron has definitely found her voice again this month. This creepy tale, Trees has a twist that surprises. I often wish I had Cara’s skill and imagination for fiction writing. Plus she has used some beautiful images to complement the posts.

Brigit Delaney has written some poetry this month, combining April Poetry Month with the Blogging A-Z. This poem, Come especially resonates with me. Thoughts of night time, sleepy sex and of coming for them.

That was just a short round up of some of the great participants of course there were many many more. Click below to go to the Blogging A-Z site to find out who else participated.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

An Opinion on recent events in the Sex Blogging world

O

#SoSS Shitstorm special – Looking at the wider issues.

20/4/20 – I reserve the right to publish or not comments on my blog. I also reserve the right to reply or not.

We are living in strange times. People’s anxiety is at record levels, and that includes those who don’t usually describe themselves as anxious. Myself included. So, it isn’t surprising that everyone is on edge. That small things seem huge and bigger things an absolute mountain. Things have been rocky for a while in and around the sex blogging community. Different groups and allegiances have built up over time, that is understandable. People naturally gravitate towards people they identify with. They read and comment on other people’s work and often don’t if the material doesn’t appeal. That’s fine, as they say your kink isn’t necessarily my kink but your kink is fine. Trouble is this isn’t just about kink. It’s about people’s identity, the way they see and feel themselves and want others to do so too.

I have no understanding of how it is to not identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. I am lucky enough to feel happy in my body and to know that others see me in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you refer to me as she or them. Though I do care if you shout ‘oi you’ at me. But this does matter to others and if someone tells you they would like you to refer to them in a specific way, then you damn well should respect that.

Working out I was married to the wrong man, that I needed a different kind of sex and that I was submissive was challenging. Having found kink and sex positive blogs, I naturally gravitated towards those I identified with. Many of those bloggers are similar to me but others are not. However I am really interested in people, who they are, what makes them tick. Difference is good and interesting. Some of those people identify as gay, trans, non binary or in other ways. I try to respect everyone’s individual identity, needs and choices and to do it in a nice way. What I wouldn’t do is to write a blog post making fun of those needs and choices. As I said the other day, I hate confrontation. This week has been like a month from hell on that front. Especially on Twitter.

Twitter

It’s a great place to go and chat and promote stuff. I read more blogs through links on twitter than I do from follower emails. But it is a place of constant frustration. There is drama of the highest order and you can’t always work out when someone is in need or if they are attention seeking. Twitter is a place of cliques, something that is often discussed. You never know if it’s ok to join in conversations. As someone who hates confrontation I try not to engage in drama, but I do chip in especially if I know people.

Recently the Sex blogging Twitter has increasingly been used to put across a point of view. To highlight behaviours that they find hurtful, and disrespectful. Most recently this has been about misgendering people and not being willing to learn about the lives of others. It is also about people’s unwillingness to apologise for causing offence or damage. Saying sorry and then doing the same thing over and over. @MxNillin and Quinn have rightly done this.

Not liking confrontation I wouldn’t usually name and shame people on Twitter, but I understand why they and others have. Trouble is the fall out is wide. People take sides and they hurl abuse at others. Including but not exclusively those delivering the initial messages. In the end, you either lock your account (as some have done), withdraw or throw yourself in the ring. Guess which one I did?

This was because Molly and Michael were being trolled by someone I hadn’t encountered before. Part of this was some kind of personal vendetta to poison their reputation. The other encouraging people to seek legal advice because of the cancellation of Eroticon.

Eroticon fallout

It is my view that some of the unpleasantness falling out of this week’s ‘situation’ is the cancellation of Eroticon.

Full disclosure. At the time of the cancellation I was annoyed. We had rebooked our hotel and couldn’t get a refund and I was looking forward to a weekend in London. The full enormity of Covid was only just emerging and unlike Molly I hadn’t spent the week reading up on it. I was particularly unpleasant to Molly in a twitter DM conversation. I believed she should have turned up to meet with those who were there. Others thought that too. Putting myself up as the fall guy I ranted at Molly and then Michael about this. I was drunk at the time so it was a stupid thing to do. I was also wrong.

Eroticon was cancelled because it would have put people at risk. Indeed those of us who met up put each other at risk, though we didn’t know it. On the Monday we visited an art exhibition and went to a concert. By the next day both of those venues had closed and a week later most shops and businesses had closed too. We were in lockdown.

Thankfully Molly bears no grudge about my drunk behaviour. We are still friends and I will defend her and Michael over and above anyone I only know on my blog or twitter. Because I know them in person, like and respect them. In terms of legal advice. This seems like a waste of time. I am still waiting for a refund on an air journey that didn’t take place. We’ve also lost money on a ferry booking for the summer. Even if they had been insured, no policy is paying out on a pandemic.

Blog commenting and memes

When people comment on blogs it’s usually supportive. Often when someone doesn’t have anything to say, they like it. I asked a question on this month’s Smutlancer Q&A about why people don’t seem to comment so much.

In February Inigo More published the post that caused most of the outcry this week. It made fun of gender identity and the right to be gendered correctly. Those who supported the post are the ones who have been called out by MxNillin. Others commented that they did not like or agree with the contents and this people have been shunned by the former.

I didn’t realise but regular contributors to memes such as Sinful Sunday and Masturbation Monday stopped doing so. This was as a direct result of both Molly and Kayla calling out those supporting the post. To me this seems petty. As far as I am concerned I will continue to write for the memes I want and which speak to me.

I don’t think any of the people who commented on that post are bad people, whether I agreed with their point of view or not. However what apologies have been offered for hurt caused don’t appear to have been heart felt. Nor have there been signs that most wish to learn. Worst of all, Inigo seems to be revelling in his fame. He is not on twitter, has not apologised to anyone and continues to comment on the post. I don’t bear grudges but I am minded to think that he is happy to have started the bonfire and fanned the flames that caused the explosion of the sex blogging community.

Smut Marathon feedback

I admire Marie for starting and running the Smut Marathon and doing so with such efficiency. I took part myself a couple of years ago and know that it helped improve my writing. Judges tend to be fellow bloggers which seems appropriate and anyone can vote and comment. There are some flaws however. The judges are not representative of the whole community. To my knowledge none of the judges is anything but cis, white or pretty middle classed. However I don’t have any problem with the comments made by this year’s judges. They seem thoughtful and measured.

The comments from the wider reading public are unmoderated. This seems wrong and is a flaw. It’s clear from the way that people comment on each others blogs that they have no experience of constructive criticism. They tend to be nice, supportive. But the Smut Marathon is different. If you can only vote for 5 out of 70 stories you will have to decide which you like best. That’s fine. But if you then comment on which and why you like certain ones it’s a good idea to be constructive.

Sadly one set of comments showed a clear misunderstanding of the task. Not only did that person cause massive offence to the transgender writer of one story as highlighted here. But also left unpleasant feedback to at least 3/4 of the other writers. Something that I noticed at the time but hasn’t been mentioned by anyone. One of the reasons I have decided not to participate again is because of the way feedback affected me. I found it unpleasant and bruising.

Commenting on the work of others is important. But needs to be well structured and constructive. Those wishing to do so would be wise to look at this article (or others) about sandwich and other feedback models. Or contact others in the community who know how to do it. For example Charlie.

Final thoughts

This post has been long and a bit of a ramble. These are the wider issues that I think have contributed to events this week. I think it’s important to recognise that while those most hurt by events are those who have been misgendered and abused for their trouble. But also to acknowledge that actions have implications. We are all entitled to our opinion, but in sharing that in a public place you can’t expect to get away with those that clearly discriminate. If offence is caused, apologise. Do so unreservedly and acknowledge your mistakes. Make that apology clear and then go away and learn not to do it again. Don’t be like the gutter press and publish the apology on page 20 when the original made front page news.

Finally please don’t abuse people by DM. Even if someone says and does something you find abhorrent remember they are human. Their lives might not be as you imagine. The privilege you assume may not be the case. That doesn’t excuse their behaviours but neither does it mean you should retaliate with threats. If necessary walk away.

Links to other sex blogging folks talking about this topic (Let me know of more to be added).

Violet Fawkes – Scorched Earth

Deviant Succubus – Some thoughts

Isabel Lauren – Not speaking up against hurtful behaviour is not an option

SoSS 2020 # 4 – Favourite February photos

My February Photofest for 22nd February 2020.

This week I’m sharing some of my favourite photos from this month’s February Photofest. I am in total awe of the amount of work that fellow bloggers put into this annual event. Which I’m sure you know is run by the fabulous Molly Moore. Every year I say I’m going to plan and to create great images and every year I struggle to make it to the end. Below are some of my favourites so far, this year.

The beautiful fishnet body stocking Little Switch Bitch is wearing in this image is inspiring. I’d love to wear something similar and to carry it off as well as she does. But I also love the colour contrast of her skin, the outfit and the grass. I do love outdoor photos and need to take more of them myself.

In this image by Purple’s Gem the flowers from the garden are inside and resting delicately on little gem’s beautiful body. Their creativity knows no bounds and I have enjoyed looking at all of their photos. This is a favourite because of the colour contrasts again. I’m a sucker for those!

My favourite photo on my own blog this February is the one I took the other day for the Fishnet Wicked Wednesday prompt. I have to admit it is images such as this one by Nikki from Love is a Fetish. What beautiful tights that show off her very lovely ass.

Deviant Succubus’s photos this month have been a real joy. Her images are such fun and a great opportunity to see her in so many poses and situations. This one is both beautiful and so funny. I love it!

I am enjoying The other Livvy’s Film Review Blog and this month some of her February photofest photos reflect the films she is reviewing . This one from The Graduate is fabulous. It’s great that EA is such a sport when it comes to his role in the photos. In this one he is wearing clothes, which isn’t always the case in their photos.

Marie’s image of herself superimposed over her local city of Rotterdam is both clever and beautiful. I have great memories of our visit there last year when we met and had dinner with Marie and Master T. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of the city due to the weather when we arrived. But that’s a great excuse to return.

Brigit Delaney’s theme has been close-ups. This beautiful photo appeared last weekend for Sinful Sunday. A perfect close up of Mr D’s cock. Just lovely.

For obvious reasons I love a kneeling submissive photo. I love the anticipation that shines through this image from Jade from Pieces of Jade. Plus the casualness of her partner as he holds his drink. It makes me want to strip off and get on the floor at Master’s feet.

Finally a Sinful Sunday image from submissy, taken on the occasion of her 50th birthday recently. A stunning image of a beautiful person. I just had to share it here.

SoSS 2020 – 3

So, we’re already a week through February and so far so good with my fortnightly #SoSS posts! My reading this last couple of weeks has been varied and there have also been the February Photofest posts to keep up with. I’ll devote the #SoSS to them – there will be some fabulous ones to choose from.

I’m loving May More’s new meme Life Matters has been devoted to food over the past few weeks. There have been some extremely thought provoking posts linked up. This makes me realise that my new meme on Food, Fitness and Health should be able to pick up where May leaves off. I am having some artwork done for the site and once that’s ready, then I’ll be ready to launch. So watch this space. Meantime, in this post Posy Churchgate describes how she had to learn to eat again after surgery. I can identify with the changes she has made to her diet following my own cancer diagnosis.

This week’s Wicked Wednesday produced a number of posts about how others help you to be the person you are. This post by Isabelle Lauren, however, focuses on the way in which the sex blogging and writing community have helped her develop and blossom as a writer. As I read her words I found myself nodding along because I know the same is true for me. I love how supportive and encouraging people are. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen in all writing genres.

Purple Gem’s post about little gem’s video surprise had me smiling and then laughing out loud as I watched her toy review preparations. Purple Gem’s description of What Happened Next is extremely hot. I love their writing and photography. They obviously have a lot of fun and I’m so glad they are such active members of this community.

I’ve mentioned before that the female chastity posts I have written over the years are the most viewed on this blog. There seems to be a huge appetite for this topic. So, I was pleased when Cara said on Twitter that she was planning to write some female chastity erotica. This post is just so erotic, I absolutely love it. She is a wonderful writer and I am so pleased that she is back writing more regularly.

This post by Molly More lifted my heart this week. It is great to gradually learn more about her relationship with The Charmer. It feels that Molly is on the cusp of realising some of her long held desires to have a MFM threesome. I have to admit that if I was offered the chance of a threesome that’s what I’d chose too. Exciting too is that The Charmer seems to be just as excited at the prospect as Molly. The whole piece, giving more insight into their relationship is just wonderful.

Previous posts from this week across the years

SoSS 2020 – 2

I’ve written less this week. I’ve had the time but not the inclination. I guess that’s part of the problem with the long month of January, it’s easy to run out of steam. But I have instead had time for reading and thinking about what I’ve read.

Floss Liddell has been going through some changes in her life recently and her post Making my mind a priority struck a cord. It is important to explore and embrace life, to do new things. Even if that means leaving others behind or putting them on the back burner. You only get one life and it is definitely for living and loving.

Brigit Delaney’s post on Time Management is a lesson in working out how to get the most out of life without burning out. Making goals and adjusting them when you realise they aren’t really achievable. I’m really interested that Brigit has started yoga, something I think I’d love to try. Like her, I am not a fan of workouts. I tend to be a clock watcher and long for the end of the session. Another thought provoking post and definitely worth a read.

I absolutely love Swirly’s writing. It is direct, poignant and often very moving. This poem, The Silent Timekeeper is just wonderful. the words are powerful and really make you think about time and what it means to me.

I’m new to Lizzie’s blog Master and Lizzie and will certainly be reading much more of her work. This post: Finding Lizzie resonated with me. Because I too always thought there was something missing from my life, but was scared of the unknown. I too, realised it was me who needed to change so I could take control. Then promptly gave that part of my self to another in a D/s relationship.

The sexual desires of women around the menopause is a subject poorly understood and rarely written about. We are lucky in our group of sex bloggers to have people who are willing and able to write about their experiences. I include myself in that group. Perimenopause – My time to shine written by Posy Churchgate, published on Sisters in Smut. In the post Posy explores how a question about porn on the agony aunt page of a magazine led to her own thoughts on women, sex and the menopause. As someone approaching that phase in her life, she highlights her own experiences in expanding her knowledge and developing her erotic fiction skills.

Her post led to a twitter conversation between myself, posy and Marie Rebelle who has a Menopause diaries section on her blog. I’m wondering about developing a monthly (or bi-monthly) newsletter rounding up posts (fiction and non-fiction) that relate to sex, relationships and anything else for us older women. Something else to add to my planning goals for this year. I’ll be exploring this topic in another post soon.

Posts from this week across my blogging years:

2013 Random Thoughts for a Saturday Afternoon

2014 Time to Reflect

2015 Happiness

2016 365 Questions Day 28

2017 365 Questions 26 January

2018 Used

2019 Fit for Friday #3

SoSS 2020 – 1

I’ve not been great at producing Share our Shit Saturday posts. This is partly because I often dont have my own shit together half the time. I read and comment on lots of blog posts every week, but often forget which have been my favorites. I’m determined though to make this year different and so since New Year have been saving posts in draft. Yes folks, the girl with no draft posts in her draft folder now has draft posts.

I’m not sure how often I’ll do these and I don’t want to set a target then fail at it. But here goes with number 1.

Violet Fawkes is already helping my motivation this month by running her January Jumpstart meme. So far I’ve missed only two days. But also, some of her own posts have caught my eye. At this time of year everyone is publishing their top 10, 20 or whatever favorite bloggers, which is great. But what if you don’t appear on these lists? This post by Violet, about loving yourself even if you aren’t on a list hit the spot with me, because I’m on some lists and not others. I can’t help but take these omissions personally even though there is no reason.

Another of Violet’s posts that caught my attention was this one about morning sex . I fully get that this is not her thing. It certainly wasn’t mine until Master and I got together. I’m sure that if I’d had a sex blog 10 years ago, I’d have been saying the same things. But age and circumstance have changed things. That’s the beauty of blogging over a long time, you can see how goals and objectives change. However that’s not to say that afternoon sex isn’t sometimes on our agend, such is Violet’s preferance. Certianly during the summer, that’s something we both love.

I’ve loved everyone’s 2019 reviews and enjoyed E. L Byrne’s Evolution of a polycule 2019 wrap-up Indeed I’ve been reading her weekly reviews on both her sites for sometime. The reviews will now be monthly and i’m looking forward to that. Poly isn’t my thing but I am fascinated by the lifestyle. My own experience was marred by jealousy (hers and mine) and I’ll be happy not to go there again. But I have the utmost respect for folks who can make it work.

Quinn Rhodes also writes regularly about her polyamory. She is a fabulous writer of both fiction and non fiction. This post: Sex goals for 2020: dominance and dating apps struck a cord. Goals are great, but if you don’t feel you’ve achieved half of what you set out then don’t just roll out the same ones. This year’s goals are more about relationships, behaviour and exploring different kinks within a queer, solo poly and romantic way. This can only bode well for Quinn’s writing. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know Quinn a little better through twitter and the Smutlancer Slack group, which has been a great bonus.

I try to participate in the weekly and monthly memes as much as possible. But there just isn’t enough time in the day to do them all. Plus, some prompts strike a cord more than others. I have to admit that Sex bloggers for mental health is one meme that I have written least for. I intend to rectify that this year. It occurs to me that I need to think much more about my mental health going forward.

This post Blogging about mental health and why it’s important by Missy, brought that message home to me. It also made me realise how respectful we need to be of the needs of others. I was overwhelmed to read an earlier linked post about Missy’s own mental health struggles. I’m grateful that my fellow sex bloggers feel so safe (as do to reveal so much of ourselves to each other.

Like a number of our fellow sex bloggers, Cara had a difficult 2019, and has not been writing as regularly as usual. I was so pleased to see that she has joined January Jumpstart and identified in particular with this post on intimacy and the way in which she describes the effect our previous relationships have on the way we desire to seek out intimate relationships. While spanking with a new partner might meet that need, being touched in an intimate way requires trust. I hope Cara regains her blogging mojo and that January Jumpstart helps.

#SoSS – Eroticon Special

I'm covered in layers of vet wrap, My head is the only part uncovered. The colours (green, yellow, red, pink and blue) have been altered using a editing app.

I’ve had a week to reflect on the events of last weekend and it feels like time to write about our Eroticon experience. It’s a while since I wrote a SoSS post, so why not combine the two. A Share our Shit Saturday, Eroticon Special.

For me, the experience of attending this marvellous sex writing and blogging conference gets better each year. The first year was great, but I was nervous and somewhat anxious about speaking to people. Last year I knew a few people, but still struggled to immerse myself into the experience. This year though, I was at maximum socialising. I have also come to terms with the fact that while I will take some new ideas away, I won’t necessarily learn tons of stuff. For me now, this is about getting better at what I do rather than trying to become something I am not. This makes it easier to chose which sessions to attend. For this review I’m going to cover the conference proper and then write about the social aspects.

Saturday highlights

For once we were up bright, early and on time for the start of the conference. We sat at the front for the opening session, because being in previous years Master had struggled to hear. Fortunately though, Molly was ‘miked up’ for the first session, so there was no need to worry.

Our first session proper was Eleanor Janega’s talk about women and desire in medieval Europe. I am a sucker for anything historical and in the main found the session fascinating. Unfortunately there were problems with her slides – too much text and am problem with being able to see what was written. I later realised this was more of an AV equipment problem than the slides. I was fascinated to learn that sodomy actually refers to any sex that isn’t for the purpose of producing children. This is something I will research a little more myself.

Next up was Zebra Rose’s session on human rights which was extremely thought provoking. It’s a topic Master and I have subsequently discussed at length. The key issue seems to be about how we maintain our own anonymity while preserving that of visitors to the blog. I was reassured to know that public sector workers can’t be sacked for sex blogging. Although I am not currently working, I will in the future.

Emily Jacob’s session on consent in fiction, particularly in relation to rape scenes was equally thought provoking. Rape isn’t something I write about, but consent especially in the context of Master / slave relationships is.

After lunch was Jaime Mortimer’s excellent talk on the history of BDSM. If I’m honest, I enjoyed this more than Eleanors. Mainly because his slides were clear and his passion about the topic shone though. What’s more, I think it was Master’s favourite of the day.

Wrapped and Vacced

After last year’s mattress bed experience, I was keen to try some more of Mactire’s wares. In the room, others were in the process of being wrapped in vet tape and Master felt it would be fun to wrap me. The fact that he started at the bottom rather than the top caused much hilarity. For me it meant I had to be helped to lie down before I fell.

As my Sinful Sunday post shows, I also went into the Vac bed. Take a look if you haven’t seen how stunning I looked.

Sunday highlights

Despite putting away rather too much wine on Saturday evening (see below), we were feeling remarkably lively on Sunday morning. Thankfully a later start plus much needed coffee (Cafe Nero) helped. I had been very much looking forward to Exposing 40’s session on photography, and it didn’t disappoint. I am so impressed that she manages to take such wonderful photos without the aid of a tripod. Also that most of her shots are taken on her phone. I came away will lots of great tips. She showed us some examples of erotic photographers that have been an influence. Again, there is more to explore here.

Next was the Anxious Writers club. A session led by Cara Theron who was joined for a panel discussion by Girl on the Net and Kayla Lords. It is reassuring that these talented writers experience times of doubt and anxiety, just like the rest of us. Mental ill health can play a part, but equally so can imposter syndrome, or just having too many draft posts that never make it to publish. I don’t suffer from the latter, but Cara ended with a Draft Folder Challenge to those who do.

I heard Miles Jackman speak at Eroticon 2 years ago. While the government still seem hell bent on restricting the freedom of sex writing and photography, they clearly don’t have their act together. Age Verification still seems confusing, but there was good news about some of the topics we write about. BDSM, so long as it involves consenting adults is ok. He advised us to wait and do nothing while age verification is brought in.

The final two sessions involved 3 of my very favourite people. Molly and Michael held a session about looking at your blog with a critical eye. Then Sarah (GOTN) presented one on how to build traffic. Both were extremely good, partly because all 3 were so enthusiastic and know their stuff. But also because I came away with a list of practical things I can do to make my blog better. On balance, Sunday was the best day for me and confirmed in my mind that we’ll be back next year.

The best bit!

Finally this year I was able to enjoy the social side of Eroticon to its full potential. I was overwhelmed at the Friday Meet and Greet when so many people came up to me, to hug and ask how I was. At last I managed to sit down with Marie Rebelle and Bridget Delaney on Saturday night and Kayla Lords on Sunday afternoon. We spent time with Little Switch Bitch and her partner, and had quite a laugh with them. I also met and chatted to Floss and Bakji and was so pleased to have been mentioned in their podcast which I listened to yesterday. It was great to meet the Barefoot Sub, if a little scary that she was so pleased to meet me.

Friday was Eye’s birthday and it felt as if we were all part of a huge birthday party. Saturday was great fun too. While I was chatting to my wonderful people, Master was sharing Shelley quotes with Jaime Mortimer (I kid you not).

The weekend was wonderful but it was full on, busy and tiring. Con drop for me was more that I was absolutely exhausted. Now though I am sad it’s over but also looking forward to next year. Yep, I’ll be back a fourth time and I really need to spend more time chatting to the sponsors. There’s always a reason to return!

Time to share some shit

The past couple of weeks have been way busier than I had imagined they would be. Partly because my mum who was staying locally for Christmas extended her stay for my son’s wedding. Over the last couple of days though I’ve had the chance to do some reading and to begin some planning for the year ahead.

Recently I was sent a survey by Twitter about my experiences of their wonderful social media platform. I am only being slightly ironic about the word ‘wonderful’ since my twitter experience is generally good. I have met and got to know people through that media and widely promote my blog there. Anyway, they asked what I would like to see them do differently. I told them to acknowledge they shadow ban people and to refrain from doing it. If people do something wrong they deserve to know what it is. I won’t hold my breath though, since you aren’t changing something you don’t admit exits!

Onto my favourite blogs and posts of the last week or so.

An omission

It was only after she left a comment on my review of the year post that I realised I had completely missed out my meeting with Indy. The three of us spend a wonderful afternoon and evening together in September exploring Oxford. We managed to take a few great photos in the beautiful restaurant loo, which we cross posted for Sinful Sunday. Indy also visited me after my operation, bringing news of her travels and chocolate. Both were just the boost I needed having been told I needed to stay another night in hospital. You can read the first part of Indy’s own review of the year here. I wish we lived closer to each other as I know we would be great real life friends. But we intend to make the most of technology to keep in touch. News of a joint collaboration will follow (queue suspense).

Fabulous as 40 and beyond

It was great to meet Exposing 40 at Eroticon over the past couple of years. In fact she was the first person to come up and ask if I was MPB! I was happy and proud this week to be included in her 40 over 40 list, along with so many of my favourite bloggers, writers and tweeters. Also a few I don’t know and will need to follow up on. Exposing 40’s photography talents inspire and excite me and I am looking forward to attending her Eroticon session in March.

Pain and childbirth

Last year I also met Livvy at Eroticon, firstly I think when she asked me to sign her copy of the Anthology. We laughed when I almost wrote my real surname. It has been wonderful to follow Livvy’s pregnancy and then the birth of Martha just before Christmas. Her recent post about the pain and trauma of childbirth and how it relates to tolerance pain experienced during impact play.

As always, Livvy’s writing is thought provoking and honest. I can relate to her approach and the juxtaposition between her medial knowledge and the reality of giving birth. I recognise the euphoria she describes in the hours before the actual birth, helped along by the pain control she had taken. Interestingly I am able to find a similar place during play and I guess that is what Livvy might explore at a later date. I think her pain threshold is way higher than she imagines it is.

Inspirational writing and a new challenge

This week’s theme on Wicked Wednesday was Vignettes. I was keen to follow the prompt, but struggled with inspiration. I had a potential theme but worried that I hadn’t left myself enough time to get it done. As it was, my post about our dynamic took some thought and could have been written in that form too. My personal favourite this week was Brigit Delaney’s – The Storm. A beautiful tale so simply told through 11 vignettes. Hers is writing such as I aspire to emulate. I have so much to learn about erotic writing and we are lucky to have writers like Brigit around. She is a great support to other bloggers and writers is now launching her Erotic Journal Challenge which I intend to join.

Looking back at 2018

This year, more than most I can remember has been a time of immense highs and unbelievable lows. It has also been one of great change. For so long I talked about making those changes and there were many times that I thought they would never happen. This blogging year has also been one of highs and lows, a year where my writing has developed and grown but also one when I almost lost my blog. There is so much to write about this year and so many people to thank and mention so here goes.

January

The year started in a bit of a whirlwind as I supervised the packing and moving for my mum. There was over 30 years worth of stuff in her large 3 bedroom house. The concept of downsizing was completely alien to her and consequently this was a stressful time for me and my brothers. She tended to sit watching it happen, then complain when we threw things out she later said she wanted. On moving day, she took more furniture than it was physically possible to put into her bungalow. So more pain followed.

In the midst of all of that, it was difficult to find time to blog or be particularly sexy. As is often the case the memes (Wicked Wednesday, Sinful Sunday, Kink of the week and SoSS kept me going). This year I have learned that writing about something is better than not writing at all. This month too, I joined the Smut Marathon (more of that later).

February

This post pretty much highlights that sex and kink was a bit lacking in our lives at the beginning of the year. Not entirely surprising given the whirlwind of January. At that time we were also planning for me to move in with him and had begun to get the house ready. Once again meme’s kept the blog going including TMI Tuesday, Food for Thought Friday and Art Twist. Indie and I have discussed bringing the latter back to life and maybe we will do that in 2019. I only recently realised that Kilted Wookie runs F4TF and it took a while to realise also that we had all week to write a post based on the prompt. Sometimes I am pretty slow on the uptake!

At the end of the month, while away for a weekend I managed to delete my blog! I still shudder when I think about how it happened and the work required to put it back together. Thankfully Dom Signs was there to help, I am so grateful to him. The full horror story is here. 

March

This photo was taken hours before my blog went down and so didn’t appear until 3 March. It brings back the better memories of that weekend. In this post I write some more about the blog, but also for the first time about participating in the smut marathon as well as sex and coffee (all important things).

Our sex and kink life was at last on the up. In this Masturbation Monday post I describe some impulsive kinky sex and later in the month our first public play event. I haven’t contributed to Masturbation Monday as much as I would have liked to this year. Mainly because my sex blogging libido has been a little off kilter. But I did have the pleasure of meeting Kayla Lords and her husband John Brownstone at Eroticon. I followed John’s blog first and clearly remember the run up to Kayla moving to be with him which was so exciting. Together they have become quite a force to be reckoned with in the blogging (and podcasting) community.

Eroticon was a wonderful weekend of fun and laughter, plus some amazing sessions at the conference. Apart from Kayla and John we met so many other bloggers and writers that were previously words and pictures on a screen. Marie and Master T, May More, Posy, Eye, Cousin Pons to name but a few. I wrote about it here.

April

Once again I joined in with the Blogging A-Z challenge. Although there are 31 posts for April, which is getting on for a record I still had to combine some of the A-Z daily posts. Keeping with a mainly kink theme, the posts can be found here.

For the Wicked Wednesday post on Driving Lessons, I wrote about my rather unpleasant driving instructor. I guess this is my Me too incident; thankfully mild, though as you could tell it has stayed with me.

In April we travelled to Seville for the Feria celebrations and had a wonderful week of rest and recuperation. Seville is one of those places that we have pretty much seen and done but return to. The relaxed lifestyle, long lunches, dinners in several parts suits us.

May

By May, preparations for my move were in full swing. Our weekends were filled with decluttering, house maintenance and beginning to pack. However we did manage to find time for some fun and games. It had been a while since Master bought his girl a tail, but I hadn’t really had the chance to wear it. Until now.

The Smut Marathon moved onto round 5 and to my surprise I was still in the competition. As I mention in my post about round 4, my editing skills were coming under pressure. I tended to write pieces that were much longer than needed, sometimes 4 times as long. Since being out of the competition I have started to try to write stories that are already short and so need less editing. The Smut Marathon was a wonderful competition and I am grateful to Rebel for all her hard work in making it the success it was and will be again.

June

Hy from A Dissolute Life Means challenged herself and others to Post Every Damn Day in June. I got off to a good start even though at the time I was on holiday in Slovenia. Much of the country is under developed, with beautiful lakes, hills and mountains to explore. A great opportunity for some natural photo opportunities. While away I participated for the first time in Hyacinth’s regular meme: Boobday. I look at my contribution with some sadness as this is the boob I no longer have. The cancer was already growing inside me, though I didn’t know it. I do hope to participate again soon, but more of that in the post I am going to write about the coming year.

There was one final trip away (for a weekend) before the end of June, providing a great Sinful Sunday opportunity. After that, life was crazy as we prepared for my move.

July

The weather was wonderfully hot. A proper English heatwave. Probably not what you need when you are spending much of your life packing boxes. On one of the last weekends spent before the move, we frolicked in the garden. Not only did I run around naked but we also had anal sex out there. My anxiety about the neighbours seeing anything dissipated under the influence of a bottle or two of wine.

The rest of July is a mad blur. I didn’t post anything of substance until 26th. After the antics in the garden I developed a urinary infection (perhaps the two are linked) and needed antibiotics. Then as soon as I was recovered I moved house. I wrote about it all here. To be honest, I was pretty glad to see the back of July.

August

August was about finishing up at work. Luckily, with many people away on holiday the roads and railways were quiet, though London was as usual busy. There were few meetings so I was able to declutter my work environment in a reasonably calm way. I had a wonderful send off from colleagues and left on 31st. I also started to reorganise my blog a little, ending one journey page and starting another.

As we gradually settled into our life together we began to rekindle our kinky sides and also had some fun.

September

During my first week of freedom from work we travelled to France. I was to put it mildly, exhausted. A short weekend break extended to almost a week and the fact we could do that was the most liberating thing.

All through August I was waiting for the inevitable. I revealed at my mammogram early in the month that I had found a lump in my breast and knew I would be recalled. The first date I was given was for 31st August, but as this was my final day at work I asked for a later appointment. So on 11th September Master and I spent the entire afternoon at a one stop breast clinic. We came away already knowing that cancer was suspected, but had to wait a week for confirmation. The following day I travelled to Cyprus with my mum with a massive plaster on my boob. Over the coming days a huge bruise formed.

Cyprus was beautiful though. Hot sunny days and warm evenings. Even my mum and my attempts to hide my bruising didn’t spoil it. But I really did miss Master and wrote about my longing for him here.

On my return I received the news that we had been both expecting and dreading. I had breast cancer.

October

I think we saw the inside of more hospital wards and departments than I experienced in the first 3 months of my nursing career. Master was beside me the whole way and has been my rock and guiding light ever since the first appointment. Our hopes of a lumpectomy were dashed as the tumour was too large. So on 15th I had a mastectomy.

Many blog and twitter friends and followers have congratulated me on my positivity in coping with the surgery and aftermath. While I wanted to catalogue my journey and will continue to do so, I didn’t seek to make it seem easy. The operation was straightforward, but the recovery painful and frustration. I wasn’t the best patient, I don’t think nurses usually are. But I was determined not to succumb to self pity and so I guess that is why it came across that way. I started a series of regular posts about my recovery which will continue for as long as necessary.

November

I felt ready on 11th November to give Sinful Sunday followers a glimpse of my new body. I always knew that I was part of a body positive group of people but have been overwhelmed by the support. None more so than from Molly and that is why I chose Sinful Sunday for this post. Being able to go to the munch that Molly and Signs run and speak openly to others including Sub Bee has really helped. I am looking forward to getting together with Molly in the new year so she can photograph me lots more.

Thank you to everyone who has commented on here, sent me emails and messages on twitter. I know too that Master has found the support from this community to be a really positive thing.

December

A month of end of year lists and reviews, and I find myself on so many. After everything that has happened this year, I am overwhelmed. Looking back over my blog, I can see that it has been a good year for my writing.

Thank you to those who nominated me for the Kinkly and Chaturbate top sex blog lists. Thank you to May More for the wonderful messages of support and for including me on her Top of the Blogs list. To Floss, who named me as one of her top 20 Lovelies. To Kilted Wookie for putting me on the Naughty List, to Master Venture for including me on his list of people worth following and to Marie Rebelle for including me on her Top 20 of ’18. I am incredibly honoured to have been recognised by so many of the wonderful people I admire in this community.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog this year and to those who have commented and supported me. Here’s to 2019 – more of that to come.

#SoSS November 2018

It is a very long time since I wrote a #SoSS. It isn’t that I don’t read and comment on other blogs, I do. But I am not so good at getting my shit together to work out which ones I want to share. Let alone writing about it. But in an attempt to start my new years resolutions early I’m planning to write one each month.

It was reading this post of May’s about shadow banning that prompted me. When I was shadow banned, it irritated the hell out of me. Lately though since I have other things to worry about it had all slipped my mind. I’m picking up new followers so I don’t think I am on the banned list right now. I shall make a point of sharing more posts on Twitter though so that they get seen. 

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt was writing, it was great to read about everyone’s writing and blogging history. I particularly loved Modesty’s post (and accompanying photo), and hadn’t realised she had published her Modest Diaries. They certainly seem worth a read. Also worth checking out is Floss’s post. Not only is she a wonderful writer of fiction and non fiction, she is also a poet. I am in awe of the talent that is out there amongst our blogging community. 

On the theme of writing, the Smut Marathon reaches the final voting round tomorrow. I haven’t written any fiction since the round where I got knocked out. The monthly assignments certainly made me get on with writing and I know my style and content improved over time. Marie will be running the competition again next year (as she tells us in her #SoSS today) and entries open quite soon. I am undecided as yet whether to enter. But I will give it serious consideration. 

when I write these blog sharing posts, I try to include something new. I didn’t so much find The happy Kinky Couple, as they found me to ask to swap links, which I am happy to do. They are a couple, like us in their 50’s who found kink relatively recently and have just begun to write about it. Their blog can be found here – go have a read. 

Finally I would like to thank everyone for the support you have given me over the past couple of months. Discovering I have breast cancer is the definitely the worst thing that has happened to me and to us. The love and support from fellow bloggers and twitter folk has been a great help. I plan to continue to write my weekly diary. It is important for me to be able to describe the physical and emotional effects. But also, as many people have said it may help others in the future. This is the link to the posts (if I can’t self promote on my own blog, then where can I)? I don’t know if people are ready to see my new body, but I am almost ready to share. But that will be on another day.