This is the first time I’m taking part in Quote Quest – probably not the only time, and I’m late to the party, but nevertheless, it’s a start.
Wanking is only two letters away from working!amy norton
The majority of the people who have taken part in this meme are sex bloggers who write about sex (…toys) for money. Realistically, I can see the link there. In Amy‘s case, that’s very much a thing – as it is with many others – and there are some handy guides, in the links you’ll find, if you want to wank for cash yourself. That’s a route so many go down, and they have my mad respec’.
But what about ILB?
When I started this blog, relatively few sex blogs existed, and those that did weren’t making money in the way that blogs do these days. Bloggers were making money were doing so from getting book deals, and although there were a few of those, a book deal is like gold dust. You may not even have the energy to write a whole book (and those that do have my mad respec’ tag heading tueir way too!).
I started my blog with the very specific aim of sharing my views on sex, curated after many years of being single and getting in touch with my sexuality. There wasn’t even the question of monetisation anywhere in my mind, and it took me quite a few months before I realised that people were starting to do it.
Thirteen years later and I still stand by my principles: this is a non-commercial blog, ergo:
No sponsored posts;
No paid ads;
No paid-for links;
No paid reviews;
No commercial links.
I never have, and I never will.
Back to the quote itself: does I, as ILB, see what I do as work? If I’m not paid for it, more specifically, do I see this as work, compared to – say – my day job working with people, or my former side hustle editing Christian literature? Why am I going to spend two hours writing about soft porn if there’s no remuneration involved?
That’s a far more complicated question…
I will admit that when I started blogging I didn’t expect it to blow up. I wasn’t expecting hundreds of readers, I wasn’t expecting lasting friendships, and I certainly wasn’t expecting wave after wave of nascent sex bloggers – some who vanish after a strong start; some who struggle but stick it out; some who stick and become, if not a face, at least a voice of our sex-positive, sexually open generation.
The sex blogosphere, to the eager newbie or curious journo, can be quite a forbidding place. Inside there lies a network of genuine people, all of whom know each other by name and pour out mutual appreciation for the content we produce… by and for people who are genuinely passionate about our subject. On the outside, though, it is confusing: a sprawl of separate blogs by separate writers, all ostensibly coming from the same direction but approaching sex from multiple angles.
And then there’s the glut of paid content, affiliate links, ad banners, toy reviews with clicks that pay, and the reliance upon sponsorship for those brave enough to take the plunge and blog for money. Wade through this for a while and it’s easy to wonder if the medium has become devalued – content, previously free and easy, looks like something you have to mine for.
Lazy readers won’t have the patience to do that.
So what about ILB?
In response to the quote, then: no, I don’t see blogging as work. Or wanking. Or writing about sex. It may well be my favourite thing to do, but it’s not work.
The fact remains, however, that it is my favourite thing to do. I love sex and I love writing, and I love writing about sex. It’s been thirteen years (almost) and, every time, I thank Past ILB or starting this thing. I can’t imagine life without my blog, and the directions in which it’s taken me. It may not make me any money, but it does so much for me, and I hope that in reading my words, it does something for you too.
And while it isn’t work, it is something I put a lot of work into. A blog is nothing without content. Sometimes it flows freely; sometimes it needs a bit of a push. If I need to work to write ILB, then so be it.
But I’m doing it because I love it.
Your mileage may vary.