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When I first started this blog I wasn’t involved in the blogging community at all. Through the podcast I started to converse with other podcasters, and that felt like a far easier community to break into that the blogging one. Until that is I realised something, I hadn’t actually tried to be part of the blogging community.
When I decided to eventually start taking part in things within the blogging community I will be honest and say I did so because I thought it might be a good way to promote ProudToBeKinky. However, far more of you visit me for my writing than my podcasting, so I can be upfront and say that plan did not work out.
What did happen though was that I found lots of awesome people whose words I was enamoured by and whose encouragement and support has actually made my life a lot richer. I know none of the people whom I’m referring to in real life and I don’t consider myself to be their go to blogging best friend. I don’t organise anything or do anything special that makes me a fixture of the blogging community. However I do feel like I am part of it, to me it does feel like a community, and a really wonderful one at that.
Yet time and time again I see this same community referred to as a clique, and the same people I find to be helpful and welcoming seen as more akin to gatekeepers than potential new friends. I won’t lie, I get this, in part. When I was a fledgling blogger I saw the blogging community as a place where everyone clearly knew each other, and outsiders where likely not to be welcome into the fold. I was definitely wrong. How I found this out was through my own actions though, not theirs.
It’s very easy to set up a blog, write what it is you would like to share and then hope that people happen upon you, like what you’re writing and make you feel heard. Which is important. It’s easy to say we write for ourselves, but I think for many of us we also write to get our voice out there. To have other people say ‘yes, I get that’, ‘you made feel x, y or z’ or simply ‘I heard you’ and there is no shame in wanting and enjoying that feedback. Here’s the thing though, if you aren’t willing to offer that to other people in return then chances are you won’t actually receive the feedback you are seeking.
I know 100% that this post is going to make some people defensive, and if you can already feel yourself getting ready to pounce and justify why it isn’t your fault you don’t feel involved. Then I suspect this is closer to your truth than you’re willing to admit.
Almost everyday I see someone comment, on a variety of social media platforms, that they’re just not part of the ‘clique’, that their face doesn’t fit, or they’re not conforming to the sex blogging community mould. This makes me feel bad, so I go to all their social media accounts and their blog to see if there is a way I can involve them, or give them some handy hints on getting involved. For example maybe they’ve never come across Masturbation Monday or Wicked Wednesday. Maybe their account is private, or their link is broken. Very rarely though are any of those things applicable.
Usually when I get to these account I find one thing … it’s all about them. Sometimes so much about them they aren’t even promoting their own blog. Here’s the thing; we can’t find you if you don’t put yourself out there. Second of all it’s actually not a lot of fun cheering someone on who has no desire to the same for others.
Friendship needs to go in more than one direction for it to work, so expecting us all to rally round your blog, when you are hardcore hating on us, isn’t going to work. I share, like and comment on a range of blogs. Some of the blogs I love visit me, some don’t. Some of the bloggers who visit me are my favourites, some aren’t. All of the blogs I see as part of this community though have one things in common, they are getting involved.
Let’s take the weekly memes for example. If I see you joining in each week, and I read your stuff, give it a like, maybe leave a comment. Then I realise that week after week you aren’t taking the time to read/like/comment/share even a small selection of the other submissions, and your Twitter is an endless series of ‘me, me, me’ I’m going to stop visiting your blog altogether, because while you’re complaining about not being ‘in the clique’ you actually aren’t doing anything, except using a linky tool to be part of the community.
Likewise to the people who have been recommended to get involved in those memes but choose not to because ‘I wouldn’t fit in’. You have decided for yourself that you aren’t part of the sex blogging community, so don’t lay that decision at the feet of those of us who didn’t even get a chance to include you.
Making friends, both online and in real life isn’t easy. I get that. At 30 I found myself in need of new friends and was terrified to begin that process, it was uncomfortable and nerve wracking, but I did it. Then I saw a community that I wanted to be a part of online, made my silly judgements about cliques and then decided that I needed to be the one to make the first move, because none of those strangers on the internet had any idea I wanted to know them.
I started visiting blogs, liking posts and leaving comments. Memes like Masturbation Monday and Wicked Wednesday were perfect for finding new bloggers to follow. Then I found those same bloggers on Twitter and I got involved there too. I liked people thoughts and shared their writings and soon enough people were visiting me here and before long I was involved.
Even now there are bloggers who I think are just too cool, too well established or just a far better calibre of writer than me for them to be one of my blogging pals or even a vague blogging acquaintance. Every now and again though one of them will comment on something I’ve said on Twitter, or we’ll be tagged in the same Twitter thread and before I know it they’ve stopped by here, or said something nice about one of my tweets and I’m reminded once again that I decided something on their behalf, without even trying to tell them how awesome I think they are.
I know there are unpleasant people online, and I know many of you may have encountered prejudice, bullying and exclusionary behaviour either online or in real life which will make you wary of other people. I am not saying everyone is perfect and cliques don’t exist. I’m not even saying that hasn’t happen to someone by another member of the sex blogging community, because I’m not naive and I know sometimes things do happen within communities we love.
That said, the people I see complaining about not being involved, or not being accepted aren’t making those kinds of claims. They simply are not visiting and supporting other blogs, but absolutely want us all to be fawning over them and saying how great their writing is. Simply put, why should we?
If you are a blogger who writes about Sex, Kink, Fetish, BDSM, Alternative Relationship Models, LGBTQIA+ content or anything else that is likely to come under the sex blogging umbrella then please, please, please get involved in the community. Use the weekly meme’s for inspiration to write more, use them to find new blogs to visit, link up your posts for us to find you, but do give us a chance before you decide to write us of as a clique that didn’t welcome you.
You can find all the weekly memes I get involved in by following these links …
I am linking this up to Masturbation Monday, even though what I really wanted to write for it was a sexy piece of Erotica inspired by Cara Thereon’s gorgeous prompt image! But Kayla Lords is one of the people who makes this community great and the fact that she gives us a space to share our voices is AMAZING! So I’m hoping by sharing there and linking to Masturbation Monday here, more people will find their way into getting involved and sharing their awesome smut with us.