I have to completely hold my hand up and say ‘I’ve hit a wall’. This blog has been a little neglected over the last few months, and I’ve really only got myself to blame. And I feel terrible. I really do.
I definitely noticed that things took a bit of a downward swing following my car accident last year. I also worked a lot over the busy Christmas period, which meant testing and even having a naughty thought was just exhausting, and I kept putting it off. And recently, I’ve been feeling that I am maybe somewhat estranged from the blogging community, and this sucks. It’s almost painful. I have worked so hard to get this blog to the position it is now. Our audience grew far quicker than I ever would have anticipated. The feedback was always very positive; so I must be doing something right?
I recently ran a poll on twitter to find out what sort of content that you folx would like to see on a more regular basis; the most popular option (out of 11 votes…) was some more Erotica. So I am going to try and get some notes down and see if I can get the creative juices flowing again. In the mean time, someone suggested that they would be interested in reading about how I got to be a sex blogger in the first place. And to be fair, I have talked about this very briefly in other posts, but in an attempt to stir up my excitement, and remember why I got into this crazy gig in the first place, I thought I would go back to the very beginning and talk about how TBGR came to be.
It all started 10 years ago…
… give or take a few days. I had been living with my now-husband for around 2 years, but been together as a couple for 4. In an attempt to have a little bit of fun one valentines day, I ordered a cheeky little ‘toolbox’ from Lovehoney. In retrospect, it was the worst thing I have ever bought, but at the time, it seemed like it would be a laugh. Inside, it had some condoms, massage oil, lube, a weird-smelling massage bar, a TINY battery operated bullet and possibly some sort of cock ring? Needless to say, our first foray into the world of sex toys was not the most exciting. But it at least gave us a giggle for one night.
A year later, and I decided that I want to try something a bit more… exciting. Don’t get me wrong, things were not bad. It’s just we sort of fell into a ‘routine’ where things just got very ‘samey’ and I just wanted to spice things up. So this time, we browsed together and picked out a few things to try. Firstly, we ordered a Fleshjack. It was on offer at the time for the UNBELIEVABLY low price of £25. This was what I was most excited for. I also ordered a 12-piece sex toy ‘kit’ which had an interesting array of products, including a cock pump, butt plug, anal beads and… a candle? I also ordered a rubber dildo. Now, in hindsight, this obviously wasn’t a good idea. But I didn’t know then what I do know now. But yes, it stunk to high heaven and whilst it never ‘burned’ me (I was one of the lucky ones), it did meet an unfortunate end after I stored it in the bag the ‘sex kit’ came in, and all of the rubber items melted together to form… well, I don’t know what it formed. But I called it Nigel, and he lived in the cupboard for a while before we decided it was best to just throw him out.
This then sort of became an annual tradition; of just buying something small and silly to have a bit of fun. Things started to get serious around 6 years ago. I decided that for Christmas, I was going to put together a romantic bundle that the two of us could use. I loaded it up with expensive LELO massage oils, a 6-pack of TENGA Eggs and some lube. It was a VERY merry Christmas indeed. We discovered that we really loved using masturbators; on ourselves, on each other… and this is how we’ve amassed a huge collection of things we like to put our dicks in. And it’s great. We then hit the summer of 2013, and I discover the Lovehoney community. I had no idea there was this other side to the site. I knew you could leave product reviews, but I had never really put that much ‘effort’ into them. I began frequenting the forum and started chatting with the very lively and friendly community. This inspired me to write some more product reviews, and get involved.
After around a month, on the 1st August 2013, I got an email from Cazz, who was the content and editorial assistant. She explained how she had been reading my comments and responses on the forum and thought they were great. She also noted I had written reviews before and wondered if I would be interested in providing some feedback for a product that they didn’t have live on the site yet. I was so excited! I had never been sent anything for free before. And over the next few months, we would begin receiving lots of things; small to start with like condoms and lube, but before long we were getting some slightly bigger toys to review. In-between all this, I was also selected as a ‘review of the month’ and won £100 to spend with Lovehoney. This saw our collection grow again, giving me more stuff to write about. I was having the best time, and our sex life had never been more invigorated.
We approached May 2014, and I discovered that people actually write about sex, sex toys and the like… and some people even get to make money doing that? I decided that I would turn my hand at starting a blog, not even thinking it would even be read by anyone. Especially how every other blog I have started about something I love, have all fizzled out because I just lost interest. I thought the same thing would happen here. But still; I set up a free wordpress blog, and to get me started, I took reviews I had already written for Lovehoney and expanded on them and added a couple of pretty pictures. Our first review went live on 19th May. In our first week on the internet, we had 17 visitors. And I’m pretty certain they were probably all me.
But then the number kept increasing. By the time we set up a twitter account for the blog, we were approaching 1,000 visitors a month. This was in just 4 months. And once we got onto twitter, that reach only got bigger. Every day was a surprise when I checked out our visitor count. We’re now in 2018, and we receive, on average, around 75,000 visitors a month. This is a number that just astounds me. I know there are people who receive even more traffic than that, but to me, this is nothing short of amazing. The fact that there are that many people who come to visit my little corner of the web, trust in my reviews and opinions… it really should be all the validation I need.
Unfortunately, the last 6 months or so have seen me take that for granted, and I’ve fallen into a trap where I worry that I am no longer relevant. Engagement is down, and whilst the visitor count has pretty much stayed level, the amount of interaction seems to have decreased and I do feel that this is partly my fault, as I haven’t been as active as I should be. And for that, I am sorry. As I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been remembering all the fun things that we have done, that only would have happened because of this blog.
We went to the ETO show, and attended the award ceremony. I got sent a SEX MACHINE. We put a power tool to the test in ways that it really shouldn’t… and I’ve made a vast network of people I would consider friends, all over the world. I’ve gotten to work with some AMAZING companies, and your support (whether it’s by sharing content, using our links to make your purchases) have allowed me to work from home, spend time with my family and just enjoy life. And for that, I owe you the biggest thanks in the world.
I’m going to wrap this post up here, because this could suddenly get very very long, and I don’t want to do that. Let’s connect on twitter. Tell us; what is it you enjoy most about the blog? What do you want to see more of? I’ve been thinking about writing posts like ‘TOP 10 SEX TOY REGRETS’ etc… is that something you would like to see? Hit us up on twitter and let us know. Or drop us a comment down below. I do my best to read and respond to every like and comment that we get. So for now; thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting and thank you for sticking with me these past 4 years. I really don’t think I’m ready to hang up the dildos and put the blog out to pasture. Sometimes I just need a nudge. Here’s to the next chapter in this adventure known as The Big Gay Review…