Om’s lessons

Om Malik is maybe one of the most famous and prolific bloggers out there. I admit I don’t read him that often, but I know who he is. The reason I mention him is because he, one of the most famous and prolific bloggers out there, has been blogging for 10 years and, few days ago, wrote a recap of his decade of blogging and included a list of lessons he’s learned. While our blogs are not comparable in any way (except that they’re both blogs), I thought that his lessons were worth passing along for others. Here they are along with my own comments.

1. Blogging is communal: In 2008, I wrote that “blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.” That is the single biggest lesson learned of these past 10 years. Every connection has lead to a new idea, new thought and a new opportunity.

I have enjoyed making connections with the readers of my words more than I would have expected when I started. I also like being in a community of others who write about what I write about. One of my favorite parts of blogging is being able to bounce off something another person wrote (either on their own blog or in my comments).

2. Being authentic in your thoughts and voice is the only way to survive the test of time.

Maybe the best of his tips, and especially applicable in the particular seedy back alley my blog inhabits.

3. Being wrong is as important as being right. What’s more important — when wrong, admit that you are wrong and listen to those who are/were right.

Yes. If I were ever wrong, I’m sure I’d admit it.

4. Be regular. And show up to blog every day. After all you are as fresh as your last blog post.

This one, I suppose, could be somewhat controversial. I think one should only blog when they have something to say, but I also agree that blogging once every three months is not the best way to do it. I know as a reader of blogs that irregularity can be somewhat disappointing.

5. Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated.

That’s just good advice all the way around. It’s especially a problem on the web.

6. (In 2006 I wrote this and it is worth repeating) Doc Searls once told me, and it has been one of the guiding principles for me: blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time. If you respect their time, they are going to give you some time of their day.

As a blogger, the line between writing for myself and writing for my readers is not always bright and clear. It’s true that I’ve sometimes thought about hanging it up (or, at least, felt like it), but seeing all those little eyeballs showing up every day has motivated me to keep going. That said, it’s also the case that I’ve started a lot of posts only to kill them before they see the light of day because they’re pointless (chastity blogging in particular can get repetitively dull after a while and blogs on the subject seem to burn brightly yet briefly in general). Blogging, I find, is like working out. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. If you take a break, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. On this blog, if I write, it’s because I wanted to. The challenge is finding something to write about that I think is worthy of your time to read. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Hopefully, when I don’t, I recognize that and you aren’t forced to wade through it.

7. A long time ago, Slate’s Farhaad Manjoo asked me for some tips on blogging and here is what I told him – Wait at least 15 minutes before publishing something you’ve written—this will give you enough distance to edit yourself dispassionately.

Good practical advice. I often let a post sit for a while before publishing it. When I don’t, I invariably wish I had. I also read them several times, both in the editor and in preview. And still there are typos…

8. Write everything as if your mom is reading your work, a good way to maintain civility and keep your work comprehensible.

Well, obviously, I can’t do this, but if we lived in some alternate reality where a mom could read her son’s sex blog, I would hope that I’ve followed the spirit of the statement.

9. Blogging is not about opinion but it is about viewing the world in a certain way and sharing it with others how you look at things.

I love this one. It summarizes how I approach my blogging here perfectly. It’s an attribute of all my favorite blogs I had never realized before.

The tenth lesson comes from Kevin Kelleher when he was writing for us back in 2010. In his post, How the Internet changed writing he noted:

Many bloggers tailor headlines and posts so that they’ll surface at the top of search results, making them at once easier to find and less enjoyable to read. And this decade, a lot of other bloggers mistook a strong writing voice for caustic irreverence. But most eventually learned that writing with snark is like cooking with salt — a little goes a long way.

If anything, avoiding that trap Kevin mentioned is the biggest lesson of them all.

Well…it worked for Bitchy Jones, didn’t it?

Incoming!

Being a blogger who blogs about personal stuff is kinda weird. On the one hand, I do it because it helps satisfy a need I have to write about my life. On the other, there’s all these people who read it. Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure it’s a good thing that I do this so publicly (yet privately), but I do and there are a fairly decent number of you watching me do it. How much of what I say is showing off for the crowds? How beholden to you do I feel? I admit to sometimes posting only because I notice I’m losing your combined attention. I can see this, of course, by watching the number of page views I get. While looking at that, I also see where many of you come from.

So, before I continue, yes, this is going to be one of those self-referential blog posts about the blog. We all get to do them from time to time. I thought, in the spirit of posting something when I don’t actually have much to say on my own, that it might be interesting to tell you where most people who visit Denying Thumper through other sites come from. Here are my top five referrers from the past 30 days.

1. Keyheld

Keyheld was the brainchild of blogger Dev who wanted it to be the “go to” site for all things male chastity related. Apparently, she’s succeeded brilliantly. Keyheld is almost always my number one referrer on any given day and over the past month has sent me almost twice the clicks than that of my number two referrer. On the rare occasion that she features DT there, the clicks are even higher. It has certainly become the Chastity Blogroll to Rule Them All.

2. Femdom Resource

This one kind of surprised me. Yes, I see Femdom Resource in my list of referrers every day, but never would have guessed it was number two. But is it. I now feel so guilty about getting all that traffic from there totally unreciprocated that I’ve added the site to my own page of liked links. I had thought about it a couple times but never got around to it. In any event, it’s a very nice site and a great hub for many things related to femdommery.

3. Jane’s Guide

The newcomer! As I mentioned the other day, I’ve only recently been listed on the all-around swell adult review site Jane’s Guide. Day to day, it’s duking it out with Keyheld as my main source of links, but I suspect that may slow down once their review of me slips down the What’s New ladder.

4. Male Protection

This is the stumper. Male Protection describes itself as “a photocaption/
photomanipulation blog with original stories about enforced male chastity, boyification, penis reduction, mounding, age regression, erotic fashion, cfnm, femdom, role-reversal, cuckolding, asfr, transformations, and more.” And more! As if that’s not enough! I’m not even sure what “asfr” is.

The blogger over there with the broad and varied tastes goes by the name Chirenon and is actually quite good at the whole photocaption/photomanipulation thing. Some of the stuff he comes up with gives me an uncomfortable tube, to be sure, but what I’m stumped about is how very unlike our two sites are and how much traffic I get from his. It’s almost entirely made up of the fantastic while mine is the exact opposite. I’m not complaining or anything. Like I said, some of his stuff nicely flips my switch. He even coined the word “protector” in reference to chastity devices and  I know I’ve let it slip into my own writing from time to time. In any event, if you’re into photomanipulation (or any of the 56 other things his blog’s about), check it out.

5. The Kristen Archives

Number five is actually The Portfolio, but I’m disqualifying it since it’s part of the Worldwide Thumpermedia empire.

I’m not exactly sure why the vast collection of written porn called The Kristen Archives ranks so prominently. At the very bottom of their home page is a list of top referrers and DT is on that list, though I barely send them any traffic. To be honest, I think the list is broken. There was a couple weeks where, after I mentioned them in a post, my readers clicked over, but it’s dropped to a trickle. In any event, a respectable number of people seem to avoid clicking on any of the hundreds of salacious things above my site’s name way down the page and find themselves here. Hi, pervs! Nice to see you!

Rounding out the top dozen or so are a handful of blogs not unlike this one. Locked Husband leads that pack followed by he who begat us all, Tom Allen and The Edge of Vanilla. Then there’s The Wife Led Husband (even though his URL says he’s a secret chastity husband) and the Naked Husband. So many husbands. Husband, husband, husband. That’s a weird looking word if you read it too many times. Husband.

Mixed in amongst the blogs, there’s Reddit (which I admit to never having used nor can I even understand why it’s there), some Twitter clicks, and Chastity Forums. Then there’s the long tail of numerous other blogs and search engines stretching away into infinity, including, waaaaaaay down the list, a new year old blog about female chastity (there is such a thing!?). All that being said, the vast majority of people who read this blog come here directly and not through any other site. More than ten times as many people, apparently.

So there you have it. Now, since I obviously don’t have anything on topic to talk about, maybe you should click on one of the links above you’ve never seen before and check them out.

Weekend R&R

Belle’s told me that I might get out this weekend for a little R&R. I’ve been locked into either the Jail Bird or the Steelheart since November 6. After switching into the SH about a week later, I’ve not had the device off for any reason. Hard time, indeed.

While I may get out (she hasn’t said definitively that it’ll happen so I don’t get all expectational and start acting like it’s something I deserve), she’s made it clear that I will not come. I think she wants to fuck me, so there’s always a risk that either I’ll screw up or she’ll get carried away with her own pleasure, but regardless, I’ll not have permission. She’s still sticking to the last week of March, as far as I know.

I’ve decided to ask to be put back into the Jail Bird once she decides it’s time to go back in. I haven’t returned it to Mature Metal yet and I’d like to get more time with it before I do so. At this point, I’m thinking of having MM make me a double cuff ring to help with the biting and also to move the post to the top of the ring to make the cage and the ring align better. Also, I suspect I’ll need the ring to be a bit bigger as the JB compresses attempted erections in a more pronounced way which, in turn, seems to put more pressure against the ring. In any event, like I said, I want to experience what I have for a little while before coming to any decisions.

If she lets me out this weekend, it’ll come at the right time. I feel myself coming down from the surge of sexual frustration I’ve had for the past week. Like I said before, I know it’s all cyclical and it’s not reasonable to expect my buzz to remain high all the time, but the extra stimulation from being out and maybe even getting fucked will surely help lift the hormone levels.

I’ve been remiss in noting the creation of another resource for chastity and orgasm denial enthusiasts. Keyheld is a curated collection of blogs and other sites all dealing with various flavors of chastity. It’s the brainchild of Dev (not that Dev, this one) and was set up with the help of Tom (yes, that one). It aims to be the one-stop shop to help those interested in such things stay on top of happenings within a certain subset of chastity bloggers. I think it’s a very handy and welcome partner site to Chastity Forums as it embraces and extends the growing community of those who practice male chastity in the real world.

In particular, I want to point out two new blogs you’ll find on Keyheld. The first is Elwood in Chastity, written by a fellow Steelheart wearer who’s been playing with chastity for more than a decade but only has only recently begun blogging. The second is Celtic Queen’s Blog, interesting because it’s actually two blogs in one. The first is by the eponymous Celtic Queen, the second is by her sub husband. It’s nice to see both sides of the story, so to speak. CQ had apparently been blogging over on Chastity Mansion but it seems that functionality has been removed (along with her blog?). I have to say, in the short time I’ve been aware of CQ through her participation in Chastity Forums, I’ve found her to have terrific insight into the mind of a man in chastity.

Finally, I have to share this image I found and recently added to the Portfolio. It is, of course, perfectly true!

EDIT – Almost forgot! There’s yet another new blog by yet another new Steelheart wearer. Slouching Towards Chastity is written by a guy named Shane who I have a sneaking suspicion is my age. In any event, you should check him out, too. I like his stuff.

Hot and not

I’ve been thinking lately about why people read this. You know, all of this – the highs and lows of our nascent BDSM “lifestyle” and shit. I suppose some of you are here for the hot sex, and that’s cool, but then I’m also sure if that’s the case you’re likely annoyed when we inconveniently expose ourselves as real people with emotions and foibles and all that. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of that recently.

I used to follow some blogs just because they were hot. Not hot in the way I wanted or expected my interaction with Belle to be, but hot nonetheless. Because I’m stupid, I would read these blogs, mostly written by submissive men, and think they were real – that people could really live like they did, where the otherwise vanilla wife could suddenly be turned into a she-wolf dominatrix and the husband into a sexual object and plaything. Right, hot, but not real. Which is not to say they’re total fabrications, but I do wonder why so many seem to lack anything like real human interaction. Belle and I have been able to pull off some admittedly hot stuff in the past 10 months or so and I could have only posted about those things. In doing so, I would have given those browsing the web with one hand plenty of pleasant moments, but it would have been a lie. A half-truth, at best. In any event, I’ve stopped reading blogs without relationship content because that’s what I’m in: a relationship. Not a fantasy world.

I do not think of this blog as an educational tool or anything, but I do want it to represent an authentic journal of our experiences. Some people are where we are, some are in an earlier stage, some much later, but nonetheless, I am trying to speak to real people about real people. Some bloggers share only their sex and do it solely to titillate people like themselves. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume what they write about kinda sorta happened as they say, but I know from being in a relationship that they’re leaving out the boring, non-erection inducing parts. Those are important, too. To me, blogs like that eventually come off sounding soulless. Hollow. Plastic.

So where am I going with this? The point is, if you read this blog mostly for the hot sex scenes, please do not compare my life with the idealized life found on some others. Anyone who thinks, for example, that I should be forever grateful to my domme wife for consenting to top me, regardless of what that means with regard to her actions and my feelings, is not here for the right reason. I am grateful to my wife, but I’m also a real person with my own needs and thoughts and emotions (as is she). It may sound hot to totally submit – to be run over by a dominant woman, to have no say, to become her plaything – but in reality, it’s not that simple. I have to believe that if you think it is, then you either 1) have not actually done this kind of thing, or 2) are into something very different than I am.

So, in summary, please always remember that the events portrayed in this blog actually happened to actual people. The porn is plainly labeled.

Authenticity

I admit right up front, I have no fucking idea what I’m talking about here. See, over the past ten months or so, as it’s become more and more clear that I have a side of me that is this odd creature called a “submissive male”, I have thrashed about trying to find a construct under which to operate. Some kind of framework assembled by those who have come before me to help me find The One True Way I will find happiness with my otherwise vanilla wife.

The web is terrific for this kind of thing. Well, I should say, it’s terrific at disseminating and echoing the prevailing thought. As has been pointed out recently by Ranat1, according to the web, there appears to be two One True Ways to be submissive and male at the same time:

  • The he-slime, boot-licking, worm fodder kind of malesub
  • The Arthurian knight-in-shining-armor kind of malesub

 
Neither of these things work for me so much. For one, I have simply too high a regard for myself to follow the he-slime model (for more than 45 minutes or so, that is) and the whole “good knight and m’lady” thing just seems kinda like it stems from those frustrated that their days in high school drama class are too far behind them. And, of course, at the end of the day it’s still just me and Belle, the two who have been married almost 12 years (11 of which occurred before my descent into depravity).

What’s become clear to me (and what Ranat’s post and the subsequent conversation about it have helped along for me) is that there is this other way. In fact, there are lots and lots of other ways. In fact, the best and most successful way is the other way. That is, everyone’s unique and they’re partnered with equally unique people. In some cases, there’s a huge overlap between what they’re capable of doing within their relationship and the prevailing paradigms, but in others, there’s less. Some poor bastards never figure that out. They look around, see guys in chastity belts and French maid outfits, and assume that that’s the way they need to express their need to submit to a strong woman. Unfortunately, the poor mate in this scenario a) may not be strong or much interested in pretending to be, and/or b) may not really want to live with a chastity-wearing male French maid since, you know, she’s probably attracted to virile men since that’s what she paired off with. These guys are doomed to failure. Years and years of failure.

Why? Because they define the way success looks based on their perspective (which, in turn, is formed by this fucked up, limited, web-propagated crap). There might be a way forward, but it sure as fuck doesn’t look like anything on the web. The measure of success Belle and I have enjoyed stems from being authentically who we are and not who others are or think we should be. In fact, we are the Borg. We (mostly I) troll the web looking at all the options, reading the perspectives, picking and choosing those that look like they might fit, trying them on, keeping some, discarding others (most). What we have created (and continue to create) is something wholly unique to us because we are unique people. It works for both of us, not just me and not just her. A lot of guys (and even me, sometimes) forget that there’s this whole other person in the relationship with their own turn-ons and fantasies and potential kinks who needs to be just as authentic as they do. IF they’re successful after the kink is introduced, it will only be because they are both being themselves, not because she finally clicks into one of the limited precast roles he’s trying to define for her.

As I said above, I have no fucking idea what I’m talking about. Some bloggers are really good talking about the Big Picture. I have been relegated to quite happily making the kinds of posts Steve called the “progress” type, as though my relationship were a train stopping at well-known femdom stations before we “got there”. Truth is, I’m still way too early in this to really know where that station is or what track will get us there (or even to know when we’ve arrived). I’m the reporter who says what happened to who at what time and in what way. I leave the why’s and what it all means to others. At least for now.

1 I’ve linked to that post now, like, 56 times which, from all the pingbacks it’s created, makes me look like I’m desperate for attention which, of course, I am but I don’t particularly enjoy looking that way and, in this case, is overstated. In any event, go read it and all the comments, because it’s some of the best intercourse on the subject I’ve seen in all the time I’ve been looking for such things (and yes, I said “intercourse”).