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My husband and I endured 10 years of sexless marriage before I discovered sex blogs and erotic fiction, which were to become the key to my sexual recovery.
I read them voraciously. Though I hadn’t initiated sex in almost a decade, and I’d trained my husband not to approach me, I suddenly realized I could do some of the wonderful things I read about rather than enjoy them from a distance. The reading ignited long dormant desire. The night I first touched him was a huge moment for us, and set us on the path to rediscovering our sex life.
As sad as it is that we spent most of our marriage to date not fucking, once we restarted relations we were off and running and completely unstoppable. We experimented with sex like teenagers. And it awakened a desire in me to write, to record the amazing sex we were having so we’d remember this exceptional time in our lives.
So, in December 2011, I started a sex blog.
Initially I wrote a guest post for a successful blog, and when it was posted, the comments came fast and furious. People found it hot. It was an incredible rush. It seemed I had uncovered a streak of exhibitionism.
A week later, I started my own secret sex blog, Always Each Other. It opened with a post on why blogging seemed like the best platform for sharing our stories. When you don’t have sex with your spouse for 10 years, it’s not something you talk about with your nearest and dearest. You pretend it isn’t happening as much as possible, and plaster on a smile and laugh appropriately when people joke about sex. Likewise, when you start fucking again and have sex on the brain 24/7, who do you tell? Not Facebook. The anonymity made me feel both powerful and protected.
The blog became a place where I could shout from the rooftops that I was having amazing sex, with no apparent repercussions. I created something relatively unique in the sex blog world: a blog about a couple finding each other sexually after years of distance. This topic is underrepresented among sex blogs, which are heavy on BDSM, sex toy reviews, nude photography and non-monogamy. I was surprised I had any traffic initially, but I promoted myself on Twitter and eventually built a good following. It was exciting, and every day I rushed home to write a new post, find more photos, ogle my stats, and tweet my little heart out. In short, I became obsessed.
Fortunately, I was having plenty of deliciously hot sex to fuel my writing. In January 2012, Fleshbot began to share my work with a huge audience via their True Sex Stories feature. My stats rose, tripling immediately, and hundreds of those readers stayed. I developed relationships with those who commented frequently or sent me emails. I was high on the adulation and I began to feel pressure to do/be/write/tweet more to keep it coming.
I have no sense of how many readers or pageviews equal blog success, but the fact I hit 2,500-3,000 pageviews per day on the regular made me feel pretty successful. Here’s the catch: No one knew about it.
No one who really mattered, anyway, except my husband. Being a secret sex blogger requires keeping your very exciting secret life secret. I couldn’t even tell my best friend what was going on (and still haven’t). Instead, I made virtual friends with secret sex bloggers so I had some outlet in which I could share the excitement, but also cry, bitch and moan about the difficulties I was having.
I’ve never been physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I am certain I was addicted -- to the numbers, the interactions on Twitter, and the emails from readers. I was addicted to the attention and changed my behavior to suit the hypersexualized caricature of myself I’d become. I played games very publicly that ultimately made me feel dirty.
I am not ashamed about having and enjoying sex. But one day I decided I’d overshared and created expectations I no longer wanted to fulfill. The blog world Liza had become a character divorced from the “real” me. The power and protection I’d felt when I first started had evaporated; I’d transformed into some sort of circus creature performing for the peanuts of pageviews.
I tried to bring Liza and the real me back together for a time. I wrote less about sex and I stopped tweeting explicitly. I limited my exposure to aspects of the sex blogger world that made me feel icky. But my fundamental relationship to myself and my blog had changed.
The exhibitionism was addictive in the early days. I was excited people wanted to read, regardless of their motivations. Their feedback spurred me to mine the depths and write as much as I could. There were days when the words ached to get out. Days when I wrote coded messages to myself at work to remember the exact way I wanted to tell a story. Days when I watched the clock and the last hour of work dragged by as though it were 8 more. Days when I rushed home, barely kissed my husband hello and hit the computer to write, tweet, read and scour photos. To post something new to feed the beast.
The easiest way to get more meant traveling a path I resisted. There is tremendous pressure on women sex bloggers to show our bits to the world, to prove we aren’t hideous hags, and to fuel reader fantasies. I’m no prude, but we all have limits, and sharing naked pics on the internet is mine.
On one hand, I proved sex blogging can be sexy without sharing naked snapshots. On the other, I suspect some in the sex blogger world never took me seriously because I refused to take off my clothes. I’m glad I’ve never posted nude photos, and I’m glad the people who do take me seriously are the people who appreciate what I write. I’ve saved countless emails and comments in which readers share how my writing moved them and helped them evince a change in their own sex lives, and that feels amazing.
At the end of the summer, I announced I would stop blogging. For a few technical reasons I never took the blog down, and I’m glad I didn’t. During my two-month hiatus, I’ve redefined my expectations of myself and am determined to write again, entirely on my own terms.
I am ready to reclaim my power, my honesty, and my unique voice in this corner of the blogosphere.