I never really did like Blink-182. (Sorry, Alicia.)
Yesterday, I went shopping for some birthday presents. For myself, as one does. And literally everything I picked out was black, yellow, or a combination of the two. For those not in the know, I’m from Pittsburgh, much like Wiz Khalifa, and you know what it is. I definitely find myself missing my city and everyone in it a little bit more today.
That said, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here. I haven’t felt as healthy as I feel now in a very, very long time. Recently, I got the chance to start writing professionally (more on that soon), and besides working on my own writing projects, I’ve been filling my time with making friends, reading, cooking more adventurously, and actually cleaning my apartment. And you know, I really like it. Sometimes, it’s a little bit lonely, but I’ve had time to run errands, learn some new things, practice my Deutsch, up my cooking game, and generally focus on feeling well. I’ve lost about a dress size, possibly around 8lb, just from walking so much, carrying groceries to and fro, and cleaning up my eating. And you know I’ve been having wine and beer like everyday, so it’s not some deprivation bullshit. I just genuinely feel so good here!
On Friday morning, all three of us are heading to Amsterdam for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. We booked an AirBnB apartment so Daphne could come with us and experience her third European city. Because my husband has been there before, I tried to plan a trip that would allow us to see as many new things as possible. Of course, we’re seeing the Anne Frank Haus, the red light district, and the Van Gogh museum, but we also want to see the Electric Ladyland – the Museum of Fluorescence, visit the Reypenaer for cheese tasting, drink at the Brouwerij ‘t IJ – an award-winning brewery, and try some Indonesian food (apparently a local favorite). It’s going to be a really exciting three days!
I guess this blog is sort of changing shape, and becoming more personal. Don’t worry – if you come here for toy reviews, I have a few that need to be written, and a couple more products on the way. I’m not going to stop talking about sex, toys, vaginas, and vulvas. But I am going to keep expanding my blog, taking on new topics as they come into my life.
Speaking of which, I’m looking to start a new fitness program, and I wanted to find something that I could do indoors, with minimal equipment. So, I decided to download the Blogilates App, and get the Beginners Workout Calendar. If you also use the Blogilates app, or just like Cassey’s videos, comment and let me know! I’m planning to get started on Monday, and hopefully order/purchase a suitable mat over the weekend. If you’re interested in my fitness progress, maybe I’ll start doing some fitness posts to keep myself accountable.
If you’ve been reading my blog at all lately, you’ll know that I have an amazing opportunity coming up: I’m moving to Kiel, Germany, with my new husband.
Up until now, I’ve mostly niched my blog as a sex toy review blog, with some splashes of real life, dating, and ranting. That’s fine. But I really, really want to share all of my new adventures with you.
So, to make that easier, I’m splitting my posts up into Safe for Work and Not Safe For Work categories.
Want to read about my life abroad but not my ever growing toy collection? If you’re a friend of mine from “real life” and want to keep up with me but not anything I put near my vagina, you’re going to be totally safe clicking on my Travel, The Expat Files, and Dating & Relationships pages. Those categories include my journey with emigrating, where I’ve been lately, and any posts I write about dating and relationships not including sex explicitly. (I never write about my own sex life. My husband deserves some privacy, after all, and I’m just not comfortable with it. Unless you want to get some coffee, then hey, whatever, let’s chat.)
If you just want to read my reviews, check out the Not Safe For Work page. You’ll find all of my past reviews, my future reviews, and any other toy-related or more explicit posts I’ve made. Voila!
Any suggestions on other ways I can organize content to make it easier for folks who want to read about just my life and travels or just my toy reviews? I’d love some pointers and ideas!
PS: We leave in 22 days!
If you’ve newly found my blog, from meeting me at CatalystCon or Googling things like “slut” or meeting me in real life, I want you to have some kind of introduction to this blog.
First of all, I didn’t take a giant break from November 2012 to March 2013 – I switched servers and lost all of my content. I’m still kicking myself for not backing up my files. Always back up your shit. That was some of the best stuff I’ve put out on this blog, and I grew my traffic so much during those months. I’m definitely afraid of hitting a standstill. In the next couple of weeks, I’m hoping to find a way to recover some of my old content. Unfortunately, I couldn’t access any of the caches that I was linked to, but I’m not ready to give up on my content yet.
In the mean time, I’m working on new content. You’ve already seen my two newest reviews: for the Vixen Mustang and the Vibratex Mystic Wand. (I feel like RuPaul, plugging my own stuff. …That came out wrong.) I still have 7 more to write. I think only 7. So far. Bring it on.
The good news is that I started blogging last February, so if you want to read a bunch of old posts, you now have fewer to wade through. That’s good news, right? Kind of?
One year ago today, I posted on my long-dead blog that I had a big idea for re-opening the blog. It was actually a very vague and boring post. I’m not sure why I did it other than to give myself accountability for whether I would indeed come back.
Much like Jesus, I came back three days later and the rest is history.
(Just kidding – I’m totally not that blasphemous!)
If I had my shit together, I would have tried to organize a giveaway. As it is, I’m sorry, I have no prizes for you, but I am so grateful that I have friends in this community and people who have really helped me to grow. This is going to turn into an Oscar speech. Pretty much every day I’m surprised that people continue to read what I write, and more so that it’s not just a) my mom, or b) one-time visitors. Because before this blog, I was just someone who had an interest in sex toys and had absolutely no public filter or sense of shame. Now, I have ajob in the industry, I’m attending my first big conference, and it doesn’t matter if I have a public filter because my lack of a private filter gets me free silicone playthings. Because I have this outlet and this amazing opportunity to make friends, I feel like I’ve really been able to grow a lot, and I really appreciate everyone who comes back here post after post.
This time last year, I had just gone through a surprisingly rough break-up. I think the need to start the blog really came about as a way to focus on something for which I had big, long-term aspirations. I had begun reviewing for EdenFantasys in December, when I decided to quit Pure Romance. My time exclusively on Eden helped me a lot in a couple of ways, but mostly, I needed experience writing and I needed to learn about toys. I’ve always been naturally inclined for deep research, in which I learned about phthalates and other undesirables. (I credit Epiphora for learning how to write a review that doesn’t suck.) Something really shifted in January, though, when I ordered my first premium toy: a JeJoue MiMi (1st generation). So, with the budding interest in toys and my years-long love for blogs, I decided to come back and really blur the line between lifestyle and sex, feminism and frivolity.
I’m so glad that even with a few short breaks, this blog has been up and running for a year now. This is a for-profit blog, and I depend a lot on company partnerships for reviewing. Without companies willing to work with me, especially as a new reviewer, this blog would either be nowhere or drastically different from what it is today. I can’t believe the generosity in this community, other reviewers and bloggers included. I really can’t wait to see what comes next.
You’ve seen a lot of reviews, opinions, and Lazy Sunday posts in the last several months since I really started getting serious about blogging. I love writing, and I love that enough of you think it’s cool to keep reading. Thank you! It’s largely because of this blog that I’m more seriously considering a career as a sex educator or a sex & relationship coach. I want to be able to get out, on the market within a few years.
Because of this goal, and because I want to keep growing Marvelous-Darling.com, I’ve decided to implement a sponsorship program. My traffic averages about 1,000 hits per month, and the ads I display for friends regularly see some action (per my traffic tracker). My rates are cheap because I want to develop relationships and I want you to feel like your money was well spent.
My readers love lifestyle blogs, beauty blogs, and sex-positive blogs. I’m looking to work with independent bloggers and small businesses with interesting perspectives and quality content. If you’re a little offbeat, we’ll get along just fine!
If you’d like to contact me about special pricing for ad swaps, shoot me an email (marvelousdarling.blog @ gmail.com). Otherwise you’re welcome to work directly with Passionfruit!