My first year as a blogger has come to a close. It’s been one year since I stopped attending class, because they handed me a fancy piece of paper that said “Degree,” which cost me roughly $30,000.
8 months ago I moved to a shiny new city and began dressing up like birth control. 5 ½ months ago I started earning money like it’s important or something, and am now telling people on a daily basis that, if they would just listen to me, their lives would go more smoothly.
I have finished off my year by adopting a new kitty into the household, and summarizing my year on the blog with pie!
Don’t get too excited. They’re just charts. What? You thought I could actually afford a pie on my paycheck?
I feel like I did pretty well for my first year! There were ups and downs, depending on article interest and spare time, but every month brought in at least 250 readers (or one person who checked in on my blog 250 times a month – thanks for your interest, reader!)!
At this time, I have 944 Twitter followers and 545 Instagram followers. My goal for the coming year is to break 1000 Twitter followers and 800 Instagram followers. While these may seem like measly goals, I am not the best at Twitter, and Instagram followers can be finicky. I also have very little spare time between work, friends, reading, and relaxing, and my mental spoons are in short supply on a daily basis, making the blog difficult for me to handle at times.
I reviewed nine books for my blog this year, and three of them were related to history! Unless you count research, which often included history, or the fact that the histories usually included research. In which case, research and history as their own category were by far my most read.
Of the nine books I reviewed, one was from an editor and one was from a publisher! It was so exciting for me to interact with book people, especially as neither of the books was released yet at the time I received them! I hope to interact with a few more in the coming year, if anything exciting gets released!
This pie chart is looking at all the books I read this year, not just blog-related reads. It was a pretty good year for books! Not one lonely star, and very few two stars. I also completed my Goodreads challenge, and then kept on reading!
I feel pretty accomplished, considering that the Goodreads website is keeping track of which users actually met their goals, and it’s looking bleak. Check out my Goodreads profile to see what I read this year!
I had a good variety in my toy reviews for my first year (it helps that I stocked up while working in a sex toy shop in college). I hope to get back on track health-wise in the coming year, so I can review more butt things for those of us with piping problems!
Three of this year’s toys were sent to me by companies for review, and all the rest (including the lube) were from my own personal collection. Am I a rich person? No. As evidenced above, I cannot even afford pie. I just got a great discount when working at the shop! Plus I was sharing rent with two to four other people at a time. Now I just share rent with my partner, because my cats are lazy and refuse to get actual paying jobs.
My stats identified a few fan favorites in my work, and I picked out a few of my own for this year.
For books, my top favorites (I seriously can’t decide on one!) were Ask: Building Consent Culture by Kitty Stryker, Vibrator Nation by Lynn Comella, and Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex by Elizabeth Reis. As for my readers, your most read book review was Coming Out Like a Porn Star by Jiz Lee.
My top favorite products this year was by far were the Semolino by Fun Factory, the Fun Wand by njoy, and the Sliquid Organics Natural Gel lubricant. My readers also loved my Sliquid article! Though as I compared it to Sassy in the same review, I cannot speak as to which of the two my readers prefer. As for sex toys, you all showed the most interest in the Mustang by Vixen Creations.
In writing essays, telling my story of my struggles with Ulcerative Colitis meant a lot to me, as it’s not exactly a disease people want to talk about in casual conversation. I had fun writing The Cost of Sex, and informing readers of the different places their money goes when purchasing sex toys. As for my readers, the most popular essay by a landslide was Let Me Smell Your Fingers: A Memoir. You all have no idea how much that means to me. That was the hardest article I had to write this year. I wanted to get the story out there, for people to understand that not all abuse looks the same, but it was so hard to talk about. Thanks to my supportive partner, I made it happen, and thanks to my readers for listening!
Last but not least, the favorite photo! I had a few particular favorites this year, but due to my poor relationship with technology, I don’t know how to have readers vote on their favorite photo. So, I chose my own!
My top favorite photo of the year goes to the Mysteryvibe Crescendo! It doesn’t show the toy particularly well, but it’s bright colorful, clear, and seems to be very well balanced. My amateur photography skills have grown, and while I’m still using my phone, I’m proud of myself for my accomplishments.
Besides randomly reviewing things over the year, I had some scheduled events as well! This year I contributed to Sexual Assault Awareness month with two essays and a book review related to the topic. I also added in my two cents for No Shave November by discussing the issue of hair care, and why I do things the way I do them.
A year ago, I introduced my blog by celebrating what I called 25 Days of Vulva. During the usual 25 Days of Christmas celebrations found on calendars and television stations, I took 25 days to celebrate vulva and other body-related things like products and artwork. On the 25th day, I debuted my logo, a drawing of my vulva layered over body-related words. This year, I continued my tradition, with the 25th day being the big reveal of my end-of-the-year post.
We should all take the time to celebrate ourselves and our bodies. Thank you, dear readers, for helping me feel like I have a voice among many in the sex-positive movement.