Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Blogging

ILB’s meta-blogging posts. Blogging about blogging? How perverse!

#FiveThings: Journal

First post of 2022 and it’s a meme. ILB, you predictable bastard.

In any case, this is my attempt at taking part in the new Five Things meme, with thanks to Julie from MPB for coming up with the concept. The prompt is “journals, diaries and planners.” I can do that, I’m sure.

When I was in my teens, before I stated blogging, I kept a journal. I wrote it, diligently – almost religiously – every single day. Occasionally my entry would be a couple of sentences (on two occasions I wrote “too tired to write”, read: “too lazy to write”), but more often than not, I managed to fill the whole page. So here ae five things about my handwritten journaling days.

1) My journal was written purely to entertain.

From the instant I started writing, I knew that the intent was for my journal to be read. Once it got out that I had a journal, I knew people would want to read it, and I knew that I liked to write. My aim wasn’t to keep secrets, nor was it to mention anything too explicit. I wanted my writing to be read and I kept that in mind.

2) Once it was read, it became wildly popular.

Maybe “wildly popular” is a little hyperbolic, but for a while, it was one of the few things any of us brought to read on residential trips, holidays, etc. – and I certainly took a few of them. Since I didn’t mind my journal being read (and it was written for that purpose), I was quite pleased to let it be passed around the group and let everyone read my words. (This may come as a shock to you, but some writers are self-obsessed, wanting people to actually read their content. I know: amazing, isn’t it?)

3) Other journallers were confused by my attitude.

Our year 9 History teacher once asked if any of us wrote a journal; three hands went up. His question was about reading – did any of us let anyone else read their diary? Both girls who had also raised their hands confessed to letting each other read (they were best friends who, at this point, lived together), but that it was private. I said, truthfully, that my journal was an open book (quite literally, heh…) and that I would willingly read bits out if people wanted me to. Neither girl understood this, but they both ended up reading it.

4) I wrote my journal with an incredibly specific style and structure.

This is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else ever do. Every journal entry had to have:

(i) A title – usually a pun, or a sentence, or a couple of key words… like a blog post does. This would range from “Xmas Day” (my very first entry) to things like “Venture On In!” (a Venturer day out) or “Droit du seigneur” (when we’d first done sex ed in school and I was amused by it). I did this accidentally at the beginning and liked it so much I carried on doing it for all three journals I managed to fill.

(ii) A quote of the day. This was something funny, clever or memorable that somebody had said throughout the day. My favourite was “I shall never make soap”, but that takes a bit of explanation to justify.

(iii) In later years, I’d add a statistic or fact (one that I knew; I was too lazy to look anything up) relevant to the day’s events. This went after the quote and was rarely a replacement for it…

(iv) …and/or a “moral learnt”, which was later still and only really appeared in “Journal III”, the final one. This was intended to provide a bit of humour – everything I write is meant to be humorous, really – but throughout the year it became more and more bitter and self-deprecating.

(v) Cross-posting appeal. My first diary was a little longer than my second, so I would write each entry twice: once in my first journal, and then again – word for word – in my second. Towards the end of my third, I started a LiveJournal, and when I didn’t have anything new to add for a journal entry, I would print out that day’s LJ entry and stick it on the page.

5) It wasn’t just a journal.

Because I’m… well… me, although my main intent was to write an entertaining, humorous, self-deprecating account of my life, my journal was used for more. Every now and again, snippets of fiction that I was working on, bits of a playscript (I finished the play, eventually, after photocopying journal pages), song lyrics I’d written, schematics for a droid I wanted, or emotional short-form poetry.

I started my journal when I was 14. At 16, I genuinely wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to be… but I was pretty certain that I could write anything I wanted. About anything. In any form.

So I did.

And I still do.

Five Things

Top 100 Sex Blogs 2021

Why won’t this work? AAAAAAARGH!!! Oh, there we go.

Typing is difficult when you’re sick. I mean, yes, everything is difficult – to a point – when one is sick, but I’ve been finding using my computer particularly hard, which is why I’ve been completely off work since Wednesday last week and written one single blog post in that time. Even in this paragraph, I’m doing the same thing: making an excuse for not blogging, justifying this through having COVID.

I mean, yeah, I have COVID, I’m excused.

This afternoon Molly put her list up, though, so I may as well share that here.

1 Mx Nillin @MxNillinLore
2 Smutathon @smutforacause
3 On Queer Street @OnQueerStreet
4 Coffee and Kink @coffeeandkink
5 Girly Juice @girly_juice
6 Focused and Filthy @FocusedFilthy
7 A to sub Bee @sub_bee
8 Cara Sutra @thecarasutra
9 Love, Emma @EmmaAus27418832
10 Violet Fawkes @fireandhoney
11 Obsession Rouge @ObsessionRouge
12 Kelvin Sparks @kelvinsparks_
13 Poly.Land @polydotland
14 The Beautiful Kind @TBK365
15 Naked Wanderings @nakedwanderings
16 Arousibility @Arousibility
17 Miss Ruby’s Reviews @MissRubyReviews
18 Rewriting the rules @megjohnbarker
19 KnkStriped @ZebraRoseSub
20 Exposing 40 @exposing40
21 Master’s Pleasing Bitch @MPBjulie
22 Tess tesst @jay_tesst
23 Temperature’s Rising
24 Joanne’s Reviews @joannesreviews
25 Princess Previews @PrincessPreview
26 Betty Butch @betty_butch
27 Love is a Fetish @loveisafetish
28 E. L. Byrne Writer @ELByrne1
29 Off the Cuffs @ocpkink
30 Innocent Loverboy @innocentlb
31 Happy Come Lucky @ht_honey
32 The Smut Report @smutreport
33 A Faded Romantic’s Notebook @romdominant
34 Denying Thumper @thumperMN
35 My Dissolute Life @nLikes
36 Ready for Polyamory @lauracb88
37 Nikki Nelson @NikkiNWrites
38 The Gentle Domme @TheGentleDomme
39 Kinky World @mistress_kay
40 O Miss Pearl @OMissPearl
41 Tall, Dark and Dominant @darkanddominant
42 Vanilla Free Sex @vanillafreesex
43 On her back @on_her_back
44 A Leap of Faith @thebarefootsub
45 Lillith Avir @Lillith_A
46 Maria Opens Up @MSM1647
47 Wind Whisperer @_WindWhisperer_
48 Still Searching For Prince Charming @SS4PC
49 Down the Bunny Rabbit Hole @luvbunnysl82
50 Witch of the Wands @WitchofTheWands
51 Holden and Camille.com @h_and_c_dot_com/
52 Submissive Feminist @SubFeminist
53 Rain De Grey @raindegrey
54 Asrai Devin @asrai
55 Modesty Ablaze @ablazingmodesty
56 Life of Violet @v_greyauthor
57 Victoria Blisse @victoriablisse
58 Love Letters to a Unicorn @AuntieVice
59 [This space left blank for display purposes]
60 Sexilicious Ash @sexiliciousash
61 Queer Earthling @threatganglia00
62 August McLaughlin @augstmclaughlin
63 Corrupting Mrs Jones
64 Meghan Madness
65 Adventures in Sexland @sexlandalice
66 Spices of Lust @spicesoflust
67 Cassandra
68 Hannah McKnight @HannahTGirlMN
69 Life in Grey Places @hope4greyplaces
70 Loving My Disciplined Life
71 The Joy as it Flies @BeStillMyBeaten
72 No Pants Endurance @nopantsenduran2
73 Tabula Erotica
74 Hoplessly Hopeless
75 Miss D
76 Nijntje & The Bear
77 Ouizzi @ouizzi
78 The Lustful Empress
79 The Poet Kiss
80 Finding Strength in my Submission
81 Lascivious Lucy Ashwood @LasciviousLucy
82 Kinky katie @KinkyKatie9
83 The Drew Duality @dualdrew
84 Bambi Biohazard @BambiBiohazard
85 Mr E and Lilly
86 I have loved you long time @The_Other_me_9
87 Megan Ward @megwardwrites
88 Mistress Lisa’s Femdom Diary
89 Breaking Away From Monogamy @K_Ghislaine
90 Jen Dragon
91 Citrus and Sex @citrusandsex
92 Sex, Life and Everything @sexlifeandevery
93 GemStrong63
94 Raspberry Ripples
95 Struggling Peter Pan
96 F dot Leonora @fdotleonora
97 Ruan Willows Erotica @RaunchyIs
98 Eros Blog @ErosBlogBacchus
99 Oh Larney!

30 is a surprise, insofar as it’s a higher position than last year and I have categorically been a worse blogger in the last twelve months. There were less people nominated this year, though, so I suppose that may have helped a little. I’m genuinely grateful for anyone who voted for me.

I would say more but I’m genuinely out of energy.


							
	

ILB History (part two)

…and continued from here.

At the end of 2010 I made a New Year’s Resolution to be more sexually adventurous, and with it, to have more sex. I’d kind of been taking steps in that direction anyway, starting to attend the CCK socials and such, but I felt like I needed to come out of my shell a little more.

Typically, the following day, the Seamstress ended our two-and-two-thirds-year relationship, thus throwing me back into the depression maelstrom I had worked so hard to get out of… and with no idea of any direction in which to go. In a kind of desperate flail, I started going to Spiritual Space, which gave me a little peace.

Fast forward to Autumn 2012 and I’d be in a similar situation with a different lifeline.

The rinse cycle

I wasn’t ready for a new relationship so soon after my second one ended, and although I soon after went on what could technically be termed a ‘date’, it didn’t really go anywhere. By the summer of 2011 I was in a relationship, but I still wasn’t ready, really. I still was having (and still do have dreams) about the Seamstress, and even though I was starting to do more things with what could loosely be termed ‘the community’, the cutieloveheartgirl wasn’t keen.

Which is an understatement. She was furious that I had started to go to Erotic Meet (nothing happened) and livid that I had Rose staying over for the night (nothing happened). In February 2012, I attended Eroticon for the first time, which was like an unforgivable sin. I’d just about managed to reconnect with my identity, and here she was, telling me that I shouldn’t be writing my sex blog any more. I genuinely didn’t know how to feel about it.

And so towards the end of the summer I found myself single once again and completely unsure of myself. Gone were the overpriced meals of the CCK socials and late night Jesus chat of Spiritual Space; my escape manifested in the dark gloomy corners of the Green Carnation with the miscreants that attended Erotic Meet.

The tenderness years

For the first few months I attended Erotic Meet, I was – although certainly very social – relatively chaste. Certain moments where I could’ve are still burned into my mind, and although I certainly got the chance a couple of times, I didn’t. I was still in a relationship, anyway, and even if it wasn’t a healthy one, I couldn’t just start cavorting with people I’d met at EM, no matter how hot they were.

Not cheating was difficult. I’m surprised to hear myself say that, as it’s genuinely something I’m very much against (since my first relationship ended that way), but while I was attending EM, I was also in a difficult, angry, sex-free relationship and, although there was still a lot of love there, we were both fairly sure that it was going to end at one point.

Someone (someone specific, but I won’t name her here) once told me that she would have sex with me that night if I was single, and asked if I was. I told her that I wasn’t and we couldn’t have sex… but, if I had lied, we would have done.

Starting a relationship with Jilly was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. We were clearly attracted to each other, and had been building up a flirty friendship for all the time we had attended the same events, so when we actually started dating, it felt like the natural conclusion to what had been Agatha there all along.

And so I found myself in a fourth relationship, now with somebody who was completely accepting and aware of all sides of my identity…

To be continued…

ILB History (part one)

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…

QuoteQuest: Applause, please!

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: read a lot and write a lot.

Stephen king

and

I write for me, but I want you to read it too.

little switch bitch

and

I’d love to help the world and all its problems, but I’m an entertainer, and that’s all!

william shatner

I initially found this week’s QuoteQuest a little uninspiring, but LSB’s post opened up some interesting avenues. Which is, I suppose, what I’m trying to do too.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember (I started at fifteen months, so my family tells me) and writing for about as long. Stephen King’s quote above doesn’t serve so much as a reminder, but a description of my life, and even if I don’t have the time to read so much (or to write so much) I’m always composing in my head.

If a blog post comes out of it, then that’s a success. If not… well, it’s an idea. And and idea’s something.

I may blog now, but back in my teenage years, I kept a diary. Frustrated by the hoops I had to jump through in academia, writing my journal every night was the way I got my writing out. Unlike my friends who did the same thing, though, I would freely pass my diary around, letting people read everything I wrote. (I even read bits out to them, if they asked.) I applied the same logic to my LiveJournal, when I started that a few years later, and latterly to ILB.

Like LSB’s quote above, my writing is for me, but I want you to read it too.

I don’t really get the idea of writing which isn’t there to be read. That is, after all, what writing is for by design. One of the first things we are taught at children is how to read, and what’s the point in learning a skill if you’re not going to use it?

I write to entertain. I always have, even when I’m not meant to. My teachers didn’t like my unorthodox approach to every written assignment (but at least I made them laugh!); in the sixth form, my political and historical essays weren’t neutral enough (but at least I made them think!); at university, my tutors appreciated the effort but were often confused by the overabundance of sardonic wit (but, again, I made them laugh!).

[It’s a good thing I did a creative writing dissertation, as well, as I don’t think I could have hacked my way through yet another essay deconstructing the precious art form of literature…]

My aim, in writing, is to entertain. Whether or not that actually happens is immaterial; I write every word in the assumption that someone, at some point, will read it. Thirteen years ago, I started writing ILB with no idea that people would read – but I hoped they would – and they did. So I kept writing, kept the content going, and kept enjoying myself. I want people to read my words and have a good time doing so.

And that’s why I write.

*

Or to put it another way…

A year and a half ago I had a job interview for something I really wanted. I rehearsed, for want of a better word, the practical task and even some of the interview answers (although, in the end, I freewheeled my way through the interview… son of an actor, I can do that…), but forgot completely that there would be a written aspect of the interview process.

I was given a blank piece of ruled A4, a black biro and a printed question.
“Don’t worry about giving too many details,” the interviewer advised me. “This is just to see if your grasp of written English is sound.”
“Righty-ho,” I replied (yes, I genuinely said “righty-ho”). “But can I put details in if I want?”
“Do whatever you want,” she said cheerfully, “it’s your writing.”

The Hallelujah chorus rang out.

A page and a half of dry humour, parenthetical remarks and deliberate oxymorons later, and she came to collect it.
“This is… quite a lot longer than I was expecting,” she said, “but I look forward to reading it.” I thanked her, took my leave, and on the way out, I heard the telltale rustle of a page being turned, followed by short, sharp bursts of laughter.

And that’s why I write.

QuoteQuest

Top 100 Sex Blogs 2020

I held off from posting something today because I was waiting to post this. Is my excuse.

Anyway, here’s the list.

1 Little Switch Bitch @_LittleSwitchB
1 Super Smash Cache @supersmashcache
2 Sex, Love and Videotape @sexlovevideo
3 Love, Violet @fireandhoney
4 On Queer Street @OnQueerStreet
5 Mx Nillin @MxNillinLore
6 Girly Juice @girly_juice
7 Coffee and Kink @coffeeandkink
8 Focused and Filthy
9 Poly.Land @polydotland
10 Cara Sutra @thecarasutra
11 Kelvin Sparks @kelvinsparks_
12 Temperature’s Rising
13 Tabitha Rayne @TabithaErotica
14 The Beautiful Kind @TBK365
15 Naked Wanderings @nakedwanderings
16 Arousibility @Arousibility
17 Jayne Renault @jayne_renault
18 Climaximaal @electricluna
19 Miss Ruby Reviews @MissRubyReviews
20 Cara Thereon @thereon_cara
21 Rewriting the rules @megjohnbarker
22 Knkstriped @ZebraRoseSub
23 A to sub Bee @sub_bee
24 Exposing 40 @exposing40
25 Master’s Pleasing Bitch @MPBJulie
26 Tess Tesst @jay_tesst
27 Off the Cuffs @ocpkink
28 Joanne’s Reviews @joannesreviews
29 Princess Previews @PrincessPreview
30 Betty Butch @betty_butch
31 Pain as pleasure @bibulousone
32 E L Byrne Writer @ELByrne1
33 Chrisy Kay
34 Love is a Fetish @loveisafetish
35 Blue Submission @bluesubmission
36 Innocent Loverboy @innocentlb
37 Phallophile Reviews @PhallophileRev
38 Discovering Kink @dscoveringkink
39 Queer Courtesan @QueerCourtesan
40 Denying Thumper @thumperMN
41 The Artful Muse @Ms_muse_dreamer
42 The Gentle Domme @TheGentleDomme
43 Happy Come Lucky @ht_honey
44 Tall, Dark and Dominant @darkanddominant
45 Crippling Up Reviews
46 Vanilla Free Sex @vanillafreesex
47 A Leap of Faith @thebarefootsub
48 Objects De Plaisir @Objets2Plaisir
49 Francesca Demont @DemontFrancesca
50 Lillith Avir @Lillith_A
51 Accidental Masturbator
52 Still Searching for Prince Charming @SS4PC
53 Brigit Delaney’s @BrigitWrites
54 Down the Bunny Rabbit Hole @LuvbunnySL82
55 O Miss Pearl @OMissPearl
56 Anne Stagg @annestaggwrites
57 Witch Of The Wands @WitchofTheWands
58 Holden and Camille.com @h_and_c_dot_com/
59 Submissive Feminist @SubFeminist
60 Forbidden Writings @Charlton_Tod
61 Exhibit A @EA_unadorned
62 Dildo or Dildon’t @Makeupandsin
63 Pretty Pink Lotusbud @prttypnkltsbd
64 Rain De Grey @raindegrey
65 Modesty Ablaze @ablazingmodesty
66 Asrai Devin @asrai
67 Steeled Snake @Steeledsnake
68 Victoria Blisse @victoriablisse
69 Isabelle Lauren @RomanticIsa
70 Becoming Violet Grey @v_greyauthor
71 Nessbow
72 Deviant Succubus @DeviantSuccubus
73 Open Bobs BB openbobsbb
74 Lippenbekenntnisse
75 Queer Earthling @threatganglia00
76 Cleareyedgirl
77 Light in grey places @hope4greyplaces
78 A Kinky Autistic @kinkyAutistic
79 Krystal Minx @BisexualMinx
80 Hannah McKnight @HannahTGirlMN
81 Little Penny Berry
82 Miss D
83 Persephone Raya @kitten4_daddy
84 Femdom Ramblings from a submissive male
85 The Lustful Empress
86 Quenby Creatives @quenbycreatives
87 Breaking Away from Mononogamy @K_Ghislaine
88 Oz Bigdownunder OzBigdownunder
89 Lascivious Lucy Ashwood @LasciviousLucy
90 Tinted Blu @tintedblu
91 The Poets Kiss
92 Bambi Biohazard @BambiBiohazard
93 Jerusalem Mortimer: Between the Lines @JaimeMortimer
94 I have loved you a long time @The_Other_me_9
95 Megan Ward @megwardwrites
96 JenDragon @JenetalTorture
97 Alethea Hunt @aletheaalone
98 Sex, Life and Everything @sexlifeandevery
99 Raspberry Ripples

36, eh? Well, that’s not bad. It’s more then ten places higher than last year and, given the vagaries of the list itself, that’s a nice achievement… considering that I was seriously worried this year that I wouldn’t even get nominated, never mind making it on the list!

Like so many other bloggers, I’d like to thank Molly for taking on yet another Herculean task in compiling this beast.

Earlier this year I made the spur-of-the-moment decision to more to a new, self-hosted blog and write here, while keeping the old one open, integrating them as much as possible. I’d like to think I succeeded with that. This post also marks the point of 2020 Escape Velocity (ie. more posts written in 2020 than 2019), so there’s plenty to celebrate here. I also wrote some of my very favourite posts this year, and there’s still more to discover, as long as my photographic memory holds out!

I thought it might be fun to pimp the blogs I voted for that made the list, so here they are:

1. On Queer Street (#4) – I nominated this one for hir strong voice and sterling activism… and, in all honesty, I genuinely believed ze would be number one this year!
2. Coffee & Kink (#7) – I always knew this would be a top ten blog for reasons already expounded upon. Amy took the plunge this year and is now trying her and as a freelance writer, so… good for her.
3. Light in Grey Places (#77) – I couldn’t believe the fact that this made it onto the list, with only one nomination (mine) and being so unlike anything else… but, then again, it’s probably because it’s so different that makes it so good!
4. DTBRH (#54) – Knew this would make the list. Bunny has been taking on some more responsibilities recently, but I’d like her to know that this has been acknowledged!
5. Little Switch Bitch (joint #1) – Okay, having LSB in the top spot is a surprise… but a well-deserved one as well!

Honourable mentions go to my friends Blacksilk, Lady Pandorah, Charlie Powell, Cheeky Minx (of LHSC) and Rose Monrou – none of whom were eligible for the list (or even active at all!), but they’ll always get an acknowledgement from me!

What next for ILB? In all honesty, I’ve no idea. I have a few posts that I want to write, but I have nothing planned, and nothing drafted (I rarely, if ever, draft) – but I have a whole month to go before the end of the year, which marks year thirteen of ILB. Stay tuned to this channel for more of your usual vacuous nonsense.

And thank you for reading this far… if, indeed, you actually have.

Quote Quest: Work

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:

I need to put this badge back
on my sidebar at some point.

No affiliates;
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.

QuoteQuest

And now for the “awful self-promotion” bit…

October rolls around like the windy, leafy beast that it is, and that heralds both the arrival of terrible, laughable, but nevertheless necessary Hallowe’en nicknames on Twitter (mine is forthcoming…) and the nominations/voting processes of not one, but two lists of top sex bloggers.

I’ve never actually been on every edition of top sex blogger lists. There are two which total one hundred, and a few more from bloggers themselves which total…. well, less; I did one myself at one point… but I’ve never made any of those. The ones whose nominations opened yesterday are the ones I’ve managed to make, even at astronomically high ranks such as #97 (2009) and #47 (2019).

I also once made tenth in Kinkly‘s list of ‘top ten male sex bloggers’, possibly also ‘the ten male sex bloggers’. I put the badge on my sidebar anyway.

Anyway, the lists for you to take part in are:

1. Molly’s list.
This one was started by Rori Sweet back in the 2000s and adopted by Molly Moore once Rori retired from bloggerating (that’s a word now). I’m assured it’s a labour of love, although there’s probably a lot more labour than love actually employed here.
In any case, this always makes for a fascinating read. You don’t need to be a blogger to vote in this, either – just leave a comment on the post itself and you’re done.

2. Kinkly’s list.
This is the one I haven’t made too many times, but Kinkly (which is a commercial venture, so be warned) makes a HUGE deal out of it.
This year I actually updated my blog profile on Kinkly, mostly to reflect the new URL and all. To vote for a blog on Kinkly’s directory (which is, let’s admit it, vast – you need to use the search function to navigate it), you just click the button on their profile to show some love.

I’m not actually going to ask you to vote for me on either list if you don’t want to. If you do, then… great! Thanks, you’ve always been my favourite. It’s only a couple of clicks, after all, and it helps to swell my battered ego just a little.

And, of course, if you do find your way to a list nomination post and you have no idea who to vote for, “ILB” is only three letters, and it’s easy to remember

As I was saying…

Welcome (back) to Innocent Loverboy!

I’m not quite sure why I’m doing this, so bear with me. After twelve years of sex blogging, I’ve migrated from Blogger to this here space.

My old blog isn’t going anywhere – because of its huge amount of cyclical backlinks, embedded images and the like, I’m leaving it up and will continue to link to it. If you’re new here and have hours to kill, then have a look through it. I dare you.

The content here will be largely the same – flailing, disjointed nonsense, with a healthy amount of sex blended into the mix. As with everything else I’ve written, this isn’t really suitable for minors, so if you are under the age of 18, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.

Follow me on Twitter for more randomness that doesn’t make any sense.

– ILB