2016 was a big year for this here blog: my traffic doubled, my website now brings in more than one-third of my income, and I published my 500th post earlier this week! Of course, none of this would’ve been possible without people to read my writing, so: thank you. Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for “getting” what I do, thank you for supporting me financially and tweeting at me and leaving me sweet comments. Every day that I get to write for you is a good day!
On that note: here are my 11 favorite blog posts I wrote this year. I’d love to hear which posts were your faves, too!
In January, I wrote No Moment Is Unendurable and Other Life Lessons I Learned From Getting Spanked. It was perhaps the first time I seriously delved into the intersections between kink and mental health, which was a major theme of my work this year. The article is about how getting spanked, in an almost Zen-like way, taught me that pain is not inherently bad, and that enduring it is not only possible but makes me feel like a badass. That’s a lesson I’ve taken with me into all sorts of scary or painful situations: new jobs, new projects, break-ups, rejections, and plain ol’ bad depression days. This is the kind of shit I mean when I say that sex is holistic and informs many different aspects of our lives!
In February I had what I can only refer to as a “blowjob epiphany”: I started liking BJs after feeling lukewarm-at-best about them until then. I wrote about it in a piece called A Dick Worth Sucking, in which I outlined the qualities that do, indeed, make a dick worth sucking. Shortly after writing this post, I was invited to perform in a sexy story slam at Oasis Aqualounge, and I read this piece aloud – to lots of laughs and jeers of approval from the audience, natch.
Later that month, I lost my “butt virginity,” and wrote about the experience in a post titled How to Have Anal Sex for the First Time (If You Are Me). Initially I wasn’t sure if writing it in the second person would work, but I loved the idea of it: I wanted it to induce the same giddy nervousness in the reader that I felt when it was actually happening to me. Sometimes I get cringe-y when I try to write straight-up sex stories from my life, because it’s vulnerable and difficult work, but I think in this case the result was worth all that cringing.
In May, I wrote about one of the highlights of my year, in a post called I Met My Sex-Positive Hero (And We Kissed). It chronicled the backstory of why I desperately wanted to meet Kidder Kaper – my childhood obsession with his podcast, the sex-positive revelations he wrought on my life – and then the eventful drama of actually meeting him: fervent Google searches, friends-of-friends connecting us, and a jitter-jumpy walk to that Minneapolis café. It was quite an adventure, and I’m glad I wrote about it while it was fresh in my mind!
Mid-year, I received a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (type II), and wrote about it in a post called I’m an Obsessive, Intense Weirdo and I Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything. It felt good to “come out” about a part of me I’d tried to keep hidden for so long: my utter and complete lack of “chill.” Getting that diagnosis helped me understand myself and my moods and behaviors a lot better, so I felt it was important to share with my readers as well.
In June I was sent a pair of butt plug shoes from Ainsley-T, and I wrote about it in a post called I Stuck a Shoe In My Ass So You Don’t Have To (Unless You Really, Really Want To). In some ways, it felt like a return to my roots: when I first started my blog, I was heavily inspired by Epiphora and her snarky sex toy reviews, and I longed to write reviews as hilarious and dramatic as hers. This post was an opportunity to write a “review” that felt more like a funny anecdote shared over drinks with friends, a style that turns my crank more now than writing straight-up-and-down product reviews.
Maybe my favorite post of the year was I’m a Good Girl, a series of vignettes about formative moments in my relationship with the phrase “good girl.” This was a prescient piece, given that I got that phrase tattooed on me mere months later. A lot of people wrote to me to say that this piece resonated with them or even made them cry, and that response gave me the confidence to write more personal pieces along those lines later in the year.
Reprising the topic of kink and mental health, in July I wrote Meditation, Mindfulness, and My Slutty Mouth, a piece about how blowjobs can be a meditative and calming act for me when anxiety and depression are kicking my ass. I’d never really heard anyone talk about this before, so I felt it was important to write – and, indeed, a lot of people wrote to me to say that they’d experienced similar “flow states” from performing oral sex and had never had the terminology for it before. Isn’t sex fascinating?!
One of my most-shared posts of the year was 5 Awkward But Effective Ways I’ve Initiated Sex. I think it resonated with folks because everyone wants to be a smooth operator but most people just aren’t that confident in their desirability and their “game.” I’m always trying to model an approach to sex that is fun, low-pressure, and adorably dorky, since I think most of our media models of sexuality are unachievably smooth and polished. It’s okay to be an awkward bunny in bed!
In late August, I received a firm-‘n’-final rejection from someone I’d had a crush on forever. I spent a week in bed crying and then I wrote The Quick-Start Guide to Getting Over Someone. Like I say in the post, it’s not an authoritative or exhaustive list of instructions; it’s just the strategies that have worked for me. And indeed, they did work. I’m still squeegeeing emotional detritus off the dirty windshield that is my heart, but at least it’s no longer agonizing. At least now I can look at him without wanting to cry. At least now I can get out of bed. That’s small, but it’s also big, you know?
My most popular post of the whole year was “Every Feminist’s Ideal Boyfriend…” It began as a response to an angry blog post about me which claimed that feminist women are more into Hitachi Magic Wands than men. I sought to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive, by sharing stories of times I’ve used vibrators with partners to spectacular effect. This piece got shared so widely that I even received some hate mail about it, which is how you know you’re doing evocative work!
What were your favorite pieces on my blog this year? How about your favorite posts on other blogs?