While there was a definite, complete and very sudden turning point in my sexual development in my youth, there’s something more significant that is also significantly harder to define.
I came up with the idea to start a sex blog where I get all my ideas – in the shower. I didn’t really have a name, or a concept, or anything I wanted to say that I was entirely sure hadn’t been said before, but I had just read Girl with a One-Track Mind and had managed to convince myself that I could do something similar. By the end of my shower, I had decided that “innocent loverboy” – something I had written on a list of Battle Royale characters to describe Hiroki Sugimura – was an appropriate enough sobriquet.
The rest could come later.
I almost didn’t start this. Halfway through signing up to Blogger, I thought it was a bad idea (and too much faff) and closed Firefox. A second later, I opened the browser again and started from the beginning.
That one second could have changed my life.
Imagine, for a moment, that I didn’t have that moment of decision and decided to keep the browser closed, letting my idea of starting a sex blog go and carrying on with my life as it was at the age of 22. Let that roll around in your head for a while. If you yourself write one of your own, what would it have been like without it? If you had your own spar of indecision and went along the other path?
I’ve heard people wonder aloud at how impactful something as simple as an online diary can actually be to a person, even its author – but then, they may not have experienced what I have. Blogging caused a seismic shift in my life which set me off on a completely new trajectory: something I never would have sensed, or dreamed of, the day before I wrote my first post.
After the beginning
I did wonder, at the beginning, if I would manage to get laid as a result of blogging. What I didn’t expect was three long-term relationships coming from the emergent community. Blogging did give me the confidence to approach people – the two that I did have sex with first off, snowdrop and Lilly, were from other sources – but the girlfriends that came afterwards were different. They were genuine and interesting. These were relationships – something I’d desired for so long – and they were real and adult and exciting.
Without my blog, I wouldn’t have been beguiled by gin-soaked kisses on Broad Street in the centre of Oxford. I wouldn’t have set foot in Yorkshire, never mind go for rambling walks in the Northern wilds with someone almost as tall as me. I almost certainly wouldn’t have ended up living with a queer Belgian. And I certainly, certainly, wouldn’t have had as much sex.
I’d like to think that I’m more sexually aware, although how much of that comes from the sex blogging community and how much from a cultural shift remains a mystery. I’m more aware of terminology concerning gender and sexual orientation and proclivities (I also now know what “proclivities” means) than I was when my only connection to sex was through IRC. I now enough to be able to teach others, which is exciting in its own way.
The fact remains that I have never had any sort of romantic or sexual interest from anyone who hasn’t read my blog since 2008. While there were certainly attractive people in the circles I travelled in – there still are – my involvement in those circles was beginning to erode. (While the youth camp in summer 2007 was the last time I saw some key players in my life up until that point, its end was like the termination of something. I retained my crush on Leaf for months afterwards, despite not having her in my life any more.)
I am aware, realistically, that I’m not a particularly attractive guy. Physically I’m not and have never been much to look at, and the amount of idiotic glossolalia that comes out of my mouth is astounding. At the very least, though, those who found something to be attracted to through my writing was – although confusing – something I was (and am) extremely grateful for.
The second step
While not without their issues, the real-life events that I was finally persuaded to go to – Erotic Meet and Eroticon shortly afterwards – were transformative, not only insofar as facilitating being able to meet, mingle and shoot the breeze with other sex bloggers (there has been such an explosion in the community since the fledgling days on 2007!), but also simply being able to introduce myself as “Innocent Loverboy” and actually have people recognise that name.
I didn’t start going earlier due to the fact that the cutieloveheartgirl I was with at the time was particularly resistant to the concept, although by that point she wasn’t happy with the fact that I still wrote a sex blog (despite being attracted by that in the first place). I went along anyway, while politely befuddled by the hectic anarchy of Erotic Meet and feeling gleefully adventurous on my way to the first Eroticon.
In the bathrooms at Telephone Avenue in Bristol, I paused for a while to look at myself in the mirror.
“I know who I am,” I said to myself. “I’m me…” (here I inserted my other IRL nickname) “…and I’m ILB, and I’m okay with that.”
This, for what it’s worth, was another turning point.
To be continued…