Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kaelah's Corner (Feb 2013):
What am I Doing Here?


(Update 2013/03/04: It seems that Dee is back after only a few days. And she deleted the original final post.)

The spanking blogging community is a constantly changing universe. Bloggers disappear, old blogs are deleted, new blogs and bloggers turn up. Today, Dee decided to quit writing her own blog. In her final post she says (amongst other things): "I'm not going to be blogging anymore. Blogland isn't the same for me/to me anymore."

It raises a question which has already been on my mind for a few days, maybe because recently was the fourth anniversary of my very first spanking with Ludwig, and which I assume has occasionally crossed the minds of some of you as well: What am I doing here? Why am I here and what do I expect from the kinky online community?

When I think about that question, I come to the conclusion that the answer for me has changed several times from the day I came across the word "spanking" for the very first time and started lurking on blogs until now.

At first, I was very fascinated by having just found out how the kink I was fantasising about was called and that there were so many other people who shared it. All the stories and accounts that I read and the pictures I came across aroused me and fed my fantasies. At first, I was just reading and watching, being in the process of dealing with the new revelation and what it meant for me and my life.

After a while, though, I wanted to be a part of this, as a blog commenter. I wrote my first ever comment here on this blog (under my original nickname K'Ehleyr) and contacted Ludwig via e-mail. I was a bit shy about commenting, though, because I somehow didn't really feel entitled to voice my opinion, since I had never made any real erotic spanking experiences of my own. For instance, when Ludwig published the complete tapes of his caning which he received from Niki Flynn for the Comeuppance clip as a bonus, I didn't dare participating in the discussion about video viewer preferences that unfolded in the comment section. Because I thought: What gives me the right to voice an opinion about which kinds of reactions I want to see as a viewer as long as I haven't made any experiences with spanking myself and therefore don't know how it feels for the ones in front of the camera? With hindsight, I would say that my fear was unnecessary, but at that time I preferred to tell Ludwig about my thoughts in a private e-mail.

When I asked Ludwig to meet in person and whether he could imagine to introduce me to the world of erotic spanking, I hoped to become one of his scene friends, about whom he wrote in his posts. And when I finally prepared our very first scene, I thought that maybe he would like to write about it on the blog. I very much liked that thought and the idea of becoming a better known member of the kinky blogging community as well as an active spanko.

Then Ludwig and I became a couple and it was very clear to me that I wanted to be a regular part of the blog now. At that time Ludwig had just guest-topped for two of the biggest spanking video producers (Mood and Lupus), though, and he knew several spanking models as well. So, I felt that despite of being an active spanko then, I was still many steps behind him. I wanted Ludwig's scene friends, the other bloggers and the blog readers to see me as his equal mate, not only as the little girlfriend of the famous blogger and video star. And so, my start as a blogger was more about marking my territory and trying to keep up with Ludwig than about pure fun.

Over time, I became more and more self-confident, though. I met several of Ludwig's scene friends and started making my own contacts. We published our first spanking videos together. People seemed to like my posts. At that time, blogging helped me a lot to sort out my own thoughts. I very much enjoyed the discussions on our blog and the positive feedback. I also realised how much I liked publishing pictures and how much self-confidence it gave me. My journey became less about keeping up with Ludwig and more about me and my own fun as well as our explorations together as partners.

At that time, I invested more and more time into the online community, hoping to create a strong network of friends here. We travelled to meet fellow bloggers in the UK and the US and sometimes in Germany, too. But after a while, I had to acknowledge that we live too far away from most of our fellow bloggers to develop really close friendships. Because those usually require to meet each other in person, at least from time to time. And so I decided to be happy about interesting blog discussions, personal e-mail correspondence and the occasional real life meeting, but at the same time not to have any unrealistic expectations.

Since Ludwig decided to blog less which meant that I took over the main responsibility for our blog, I also had to decide where I wanted the blog to go. Yes, I like stats and numbers. Okay, one might also say that I am (at least a little bit) obsessed with numbers. In order to get a really high number of visitors, though, a spanking blog needs to be mainstream. Which means, M/F stories, lots of pictures and maybe also stories about submission and real life discipline because that's what a huge subsection of the spanking community is interested in.

For a while, I thought about becoming more engaged on DD / Ds blogs and the like because there is an increasing number of them and they have a high number of loyal commenters. But then I realised that the kind of erotic spanking which Ludwig and I practise and real life DD are two very different things. And I accepted that I simply don't belong to that part of our community and that my fantasies and my lifestyle lack too many aspects to allow me to write a blog which attracts a huge number of (at least the rather mainstream) spankos like, for instance, Bonnie's, Ronnie's or Hermione's blogs. I also accepted that certain topics which aren't mainstream (like M/M spankings, switching in an equal relationship or long philosophical ramblings) are very important to me. So, I decided to keep writing about them, even though they might be less interesting for many fellow spankos. To keep a kind of a balance, though, I made the decision to throw in the one or other fun post and picture post as well.

After having done this for a while now, though, I ask myself why I am (still) here today? I have to admit that I don't have a clear answer right now. When we discussed the topic, Ludwig mentioned one factor. I like to organise things and to keep them running smoothly. I think that's definitely a part of my motivation. Ludwig and I both put a lot of time into developing this blog, and I like the idea that we have regular readers and commenters who enjoy coming back.

There is more than that, though: I still definitely enjoy the creative acts of making photos and videos and the self-confidence that publishing them gives me. I also still like talking about thought-provoking topics, even though there are less spanking-related discussions which are interesting for me nowadays, since the discussions are of course often about recurring themes. I love to look at our stats and see how many visitors we have, but even more important are the comments that we get, especially when they are very thoughtful or personal. And I love the correspondence with readers and fellow bloggers (to some of whom I feel very close, sometimes despite of never having
met them in person), even though I don't expect to find lots of close personal friends any more. I think the combination of all these things is the reason why I am still part of the online community and why I am still blogging, even though the initial enthusiasm has worn off.

How about you? What are you doing here? And, have things changed over time? I would be very happy to read your thoughts in the comment section! And I would like to encourage especially those who would like to participate but have the feeling that they aren't really active and recognized parts of the kinky online community, yet. You are all very welcome and you would make my day!

12 comments:

joeyred51 said...

Kaelah,

I have "lost" many online blogger friends in the year since I started my blog and in the two years that I have been active making comments on blogs. I have often asked this same question. Why do I blog?

I want to have a journal of my activities with my friends. I live in an active community of kinksters which enables me to meet many interesting people. My blog contains these memories with photos that illustrate my experiences. My friends love to have their names in my blog and enjoy reading about scenes we shared. I have also been told by them that my blog helps connect our special SCONY spanking community in the months between our large weekend gatherings.

I am very lucky. I have met more than a dozen bloggers at various functions, spanking, BDSM, educational, bondage, etc. I find that these physical meetings has built a closer friendship with them. Blogging keeps me connected with people who live far away until we meet again.

My blog enables me to connect with individuals thousands of miles from NYC who share my style of BDSM/spanking who I may never meet. Your blog is an example of one of those blogs that resonate with me. I enjoy commenting on blogs such as yours and receiving a response.

In fact, I will only comment on a blog if the blogger replies. It does not have to be 100% of the time, but I want to have a connection with the blogger. And, I will usually only follow blogs if I can have a virtual "conversation" with the blogger.

We are all continually learning about how we are wired and what new things turns us on sexually. Communicating with bloggers has helped me explore new things resulting in better sex with my wife and has helped me be more creative with my spanking scenes.

Thank you once again for a very thoughtful post.

Hug,
joey

Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

Kaelah, you raise some deep questions here. I first started lurking and reading. And I did that for a long time, until I discovered this really dynamite blog that I had to make sure kept going. So I started posting comments. And the blog kept going, with daily posts for like a year and a half. Since then that blog, and others that I've loved have come and gone. And my connection to the online world is not what it once was. But sometimes I think it might be time to start blogging myself. Except I don't really have much in the way of experience to draw on.

Julia said...

During the last seven days, five of my favorite bloggers have called it quits. I really do like change, but not when it means loosing these friends. Leaving me to think that if they can just leave and not miss me, am I more invested than other people in blogland? Making me wonder why I still blog.
I still blog because I really like sharing what we do, helping other people figure out what went wrong. Show off pictures.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

Both of our Blogs share one thing, we are switches (who switch with each other) and that are interested in erotic spanking. That alone makes our potential readership limited.

We have lost some regular readers. Perhaps they found something of more interest to them. But we did not start out for readers, but only to share that it is possible to have a spanking relationship like we do. That discipline and punishment is not a requirement. That's our public service side.

The other reason is that it helps us to keep our spanking relationship fresh. We also enjoy writing about our past as our memories are jolted by reading another blog.

I hope you will continue to blog, we enjoy reading your always thought provoking topics.

Annapurna said...

Dear Kaelah,

I will make two responses: one now, which will be brief, and another at a later time when I have had a moment to reflect on your heart-felt post.

Put quite simply, I'm drawn to you for some unknown reason. Not only that, your posts are incredibly well written, and you speak from the heart on interesting, thought-provoking topics. Your blog is very unique in that regard.

I will write more, but right now I must return to a building project underway at my house.

Take care,

Annapurna

Lea said...

I started blogging to have a record of my own journey with this spanking thing. I could have made it private of course, if it were just for a record, but I love the interaction with others.

In the under 2 years I've been blogging I have seen a lot of people come and go. Blogs I enjoyed and regularly commented on completely disappearing without a word. Others stopping or with long breaks because of other things in their lives.

I've also seen my own readership change. Some of that may be because of my own changes in what I write about. There were frequent commenters when I was married and talked more about that dynamic that aren't around now that I'm in a different situation.

Maybe it's not as relateable to them so they don't feel there's much for them to comment on. Whatever the reasons, things change. People come and go. I value all the readers I do have and love that there are some regular commenters and friends.

I keep doing this because I do love that interaction. I like being able to read about the SCONY parties that Joey writes about that I'm unable to make it to. I like seeing the responses to Bonnie's variety of brunch questions. I come back here because you are a smart interesting person with refreshingly different views. I hope you don't stop anytime soon.

Annapurna said...

Dear Kaelah,

With a little more time to reflect on your last blog post and with a glass of Malbec in hand, I’m now ready to type a longer response to your question, “Why am I here?”

While I can’t answer that for you, let me say I am very glad you are. Where else can I find well-thought-out writing from the heart on a subject of great interest and importance to me? There are precious few bloggers who are fascinated and intrigued by our fetish who are also willing to put their soul on the line like you do day in and day out and who also finds the time to write personal notes to her followers that are the equal to the topics she explores in-depth. I’m simply awe-struck, or should I say star-struck?

It’s quite natural to feel some burnout after several years of dedicated blogging. I know I would if I were in your position. Perhaps for that reason and the one you mentioned in your post about not feeling qualified enough, at least in the beginning, to write about our particular interest in spanking, erotic fantasies, and other related topics of kink.

To personalize my observations a bit, I’m on the cusp of launching my own blog, and just like you, Kaelah, I feel more than a little trepidation. I thought at first I would focus exclusively on spanking and other related topics, but now I may expand my horizon just a bit to include some of myself, incognito of course as Annapurna, my online handle I’ve adopted for use with all topics related to spanking and Eros in general.

But I’m not writing about me necessarily, I’m writing about you, so let me express my hope that you will keep up your fine effort online. Perhaps, like me, you might consider expanding the scope of your work to include personal interludes, such as your trip to Budapest, which I found most charming. There’s no need to go into the most personal details of your life, but it would be a loss for sure if you were to stop sharing yourself so freely and selflessly as you have these past several years.

Whatever you may decide, and I hope my plea has had some impact upon your decision to stay with us for just a little longer, I wish you the best now and always.

Annapurna

Kaelah said...

@ Joey:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I think your situation is a bit different from ours, because you meet your SCONY friends regularly, which makes it easier to develop close personal friendships. Getting in contact with people who are living in different countries and whom I would never meet otherwise also is a reason why I like writing a blog so much, though. And I agree with you, I very much prefer commenting on blogs that involve some dialogue, i.e. at least responses from the blogger.

@ Julia:
Five bloggers in seven days? That is tough! Obviously some bloggers return, though, as Dee has just done. I think you mentioned a very important aspect: In my view, blogging only makes sense if one finds good reasons why it is worth doing it for oneself. It seems that you can name several of those reasons which explain why you are doing this.

@ Karl Friedrich Gauss:
Nice to see that you are still around! I don't think you need much personal experience with spanking to start a spanking blog. It depends very much on the type of blog you want to write. You definitely have a lot of experience regarding the online spanking community and a good sense for finding interesting links and discussions. You could definitely start a blog based on that.

@ Our Bottoms Burn:
You mentioned a very good point here, which I forgot in my post: A blog doesn't only enable a blogger to write about fond memories, it can also have a positive impact on one's (spanking) relationship and keep it more interesting!

@ Annapurna:
Don't worry, I didn't write this post because I intend to quite blogging any time soon. But I think it is good to re-evaluate certain aspects of one's life from time to time. And thinking about how my reasons for being part of the online community have changed over time made me curious about the situations our readers are in, which is why I wrote this post. I want to keep this blog mostly about spanking, but I think I have enough ideas for spanking-related topics to keep the blog running, nonetheless. I am curious to find out how your blog will look like!

@ Lea:
The readership question is a very interesting one! I suppose that our readership changed as well when Ludwig and I became a couple, when Ludwig quit writing his regular movie and website reviews and when I started writing more and more posts. The interaction is very important for me as well, even if it is "only" online interaction most of the time!

Dee said...

Ah Kaelah, I feel doubly embarrassed now. And humbled actually because of the understanding and non-judgemental bloggers that are around me. But hey, at least I helped inspire a post huh :)

Dee x

Kaelah said...

@ Dee:
There's no need to embarrassed! As I already said in my comment on your blog, I think it is a good thing to re-evaluate things from time to time. And, as you said, you also inspired a post. ;-)

It's good to see that you obviously found out that blogging still gives you something positive and that it is still worth the effort. Many bloggers quit writing after a while, others take a break and decide to come back. I don't think that I will go on blogging forever, either, but right now I still get enough out of it to keep going. :-)

Donpascual said...

Kaelah we know each other for a while, now. I feel a lot like Karl Friedrich Gauss,
A blog with a continuous high quality has to be supported. And urging you to go on is a minimum of support. Commenting frequently, too.
I think, any person who lives with the discipline to provide service in a timely and dependable way lives through these ups and downs which may be frustrating and depressing, especially if it is a hobby and not the usual professional stress. As you know, I am organizing spanking events. This in itself is a rewarding hobby. But the flip side of the coin is the constant bickering and quarrelling amongst the owners of spanking sites which I am unable to avoid. Once in a while I am tempted to withdraw and return to absolutely private relationships.
Therefore, the regular question “What am I doing here?” is a valid one. But the answer is something like:
Living as a couch tomato, as an inactive consumer, as a lurker, as an anonymous fake or troll?
No way! I am myself because I am doing things, moving people and joining people in having fun! Perhaps, one day, I will even write a blog . Let’s drink to this!

Kaelah said...

@ Donpascual:
Thank you for your comment! As I already said in my reply to Annapurna, I have no intention to stop blogging any time soon. As long as I have the feeling that I get something positive out of it, just like you do when organizing spanking events, I will continue. I think your blog would indeed make for a very interesting read, should you really decide to write one some day!