November 10th marked my one-year blogiversary here at EROcentric. When I started this blog, it was for several reasons. First and foremost, my life passion is in educating others about sex in a shame-free and sex positive fashion. By pushing myself to explain topics in accurate and accessible ways, I also knew that I would further my own education. I looked forward to improving my writing skills by working on (near) weekly posts, and I was excited to connect with others in the sex blogging and sex education community.
Living in an area that fears comprehensive sex education & lacks sex toy retailers who value body-safety, my opportunities to meet with like-minded individuals and further my professional career are very limited. The blog was my opportunity to do what I love and to be the person I truly am. But to be honest…I had no idea just how much EROcentric would change my life for the better.
I am even MORE comfortable talking about all things sex.
I’m a big proponent of making sex normal, of doing away with these silly societal taboos over something that (almost) all of us do for some reason or another at some point in our lives. Before starting this blog, I thought that I was comfortable discussing sex. But perspectives that differed from my own were still hard to wrap my head around. Working on these posts, pushing myself to fully comprehend & then explain intimate topics…it’s brought my comfort to a whole new level. (In fact, I sometimes forget that not everyone is as nonchalant about such discussions now!) I am grateful that this experience continues to broaden my mind, giving me a better idea of what it truly means to be “sex positive.”
I have an amazing group of friends & family that accept me and support my endeavors.
I have recently “come out” as a sex blogger to a select group of friends…and the response has been overwhelmingly positive! Many have expressed delight in how informative and yet conversational I am here. A few have even entrusted me with their intimate concerns or questions. Mostly, there has been appreciation that I have found happiness and meaning in my life.
I also recognize that many potential partners would be uncomfortable with my area of interest, and I am immensely lucky to have found a man that is so supportive. He is always lurking behind the scenes here at EROcentric. He listens to me babble and helps me brainstorm, he proofreads my posts, and he’s almost always up for trying new things — for science! Most importantly, he celebrates every new milestone by my side (albeit with less jumping and squealing).
However, the most surprising response has been from my family. When I first started this blog, I called my mom to give her a friendly warning. “Just wanted to tell you that I’m starting a blog about gender and sexuality. So if someone comes up to you and asks, ‘Did you know that Mandi is writing about dildos on the internet?!’ you can smile and nod instead of stare at them in shock.” Her response was a somewhat uncomfortable but genuine laugh, and it helped me to finally stop hiding my true self around my family.
I am sexy!
I’ve struggled with body image issues my entire life. To be perfectly honest, I’m a pro at holding myself to ridiculous (and surprisingly tenacious) standards. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my interest in sex and gender would help to change that.
Since diving into this field of study, I have been introduced to so many amazing books, blog posts, documentaries, and adult videos that I have finally come to the conclusion that sexy is a state-of-mind. “Sexy” is in confidence and sexual knowledge. It’s in recognizing that everyone’s bodies are unique…and that yours deserves love. I know that putting an end to the hateful little voice in my head is going to be difficult, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m making real progress. This year, I’ve discovered ways to truly love my vulva and found the bravery to open up about my insecurities for my affiliate, Good Vibrations, and their #SexyAtEverySize project. I look forward to a time when maybe I won’t turn down sex because I feel “fat.”
I can make much more educated sex toy purchases.
While this may seem trivial at first, its importance lies in the broader fact that I am discovering what feels pleasurable to me. I have learned so much in just the last year! I have become an expert in locating my G-spot and can testify that blended orgasms are amazing. I know that my butt prefers beads to plugs, that my clitoris and vagina are too far apart for most dual stimulation toys, and that my pubic bone is very skilled at trapping toys behind it in a rather painful fashion. I understand that regretful sex toy purchases are hard to avoid (and I’m sure that I’ll still make a few), but it’s nice to look at some toys and instantly know that they’re not worth my time.
I’m a firm believer in the usefulness of sex toys on the path of sexual discovery. I vividly remember my adolescence, when any pleasure I felt from masturbation was quickly replaced with guilt and shame. I’ve come a long way since then. Experimenting with various toys (and finding the words to summarize my experiences) has really helped give me a sense of pride in knowing my body.
I am the owner of my sexuality.
Similar to the comfort and newfound knowledge that I experience with solo pleasure, I am also much more at ease with my partner. I can more easily discuss my sexual needs and, therefore, I feel much more in control of my sexuality now. I understand that there is nothing shameful in my sexual fantasies, and also that I am not “broken” for experiencing a low libido.
I’m realizing that “sex” can have several different meanings and happen for many different reasons…and that every experience may not always be in the top 10. (Although I still struggle with putting too much importance on orgasm.) This entire journey has forced me to closely examine the ways that I approach sexuality. It has made me more open and uninhibited, and my relationship has definitely benefitted from that transformation.
I’m very excited to see what improvements and epiphanies the next year of blogging will hold. I anticipate that writing will come even more easily to me, and that I will further explore the topic of sexuality in a variety of new ways. In my personal life, I hope to continue to grow into a better, more confident & sex positive, person. And for my lovely readers… I sincerely hope that something I have to say will benefit you and your future sexual experiences.