Here’s to 2021!??
I suppose it’s telling that it took until super bowl weekend for me to realize I hadn’t written a post about my goals for this year. While 2020 was actually quite a mild year for us, 2021 has proven to be something else entirely.
This is the part where I raise a glass and toast to things hopefully improving, while cringing in trepidation, knowing that they could be FAR worse. But, before we get to that, let’s review the goals I had set for last year, and see how things turned out. You can read the full post here, but I’ll summarize below.
1) Continue to improve my financial situation so that I can focus more effort on sex blogging and other hobby projects with the hope that I can make a career out of these…
I think I can say very definitively that we improved our financial situation this year, despite a few hardships that came at the very end of the year. Hobby projects and sex blogging…well, not so much. I started out with good intentions, and somehow ended up in a bit of an exhausted funk. For the last half of the summer and most of the fall it felt like my libido took a nose dive and that got in the way of my writing. Why? Listlessness, I think, for the most part. Every year we try to go on an awesome vacation. This year, we spent a week in our back yard. I’m a nomad at heart and having to stay put for so long, with no hope of any exotic adventure definitely took its toll. We did our best to get out and explore locally, but nothing compares to the feel of a new location and it was really hard to replicate here.
2) Make further progress toward my ultimate goal. Working remotely while traveling and enjoying the outdoors.
See above. Note to self, make goals for 2021 that are not so repetitive.
3) Further explore my sexuality in all ways possible.
I think I did ok here, considering the above-mentioned funk. I’ve definitely discovered that I have a thing for audio porn, though I often wonder whether it’s borne of me having to watch porn on mute for so long. The sound of a hot voice or the moans of a woman in orgasm definitely get me hot though.
Toward the end of the year I started experimenting with edging, watching JOI videos with instructions that kept me close, but not quite orgasmic. I found that I really enjoyed this and discovered a host of new sensations that I definitely want to explore further. It’s also helped with my sexual endurance and that is inspiring in and of itself. However, as noted here, I often find myself far to short on time to really explore this as I would like to and that’s a problem that stubbornly refuses to be solved.
I’ve also been experimenting with prostate massage. Last year I purchased a Nova 2 from We Vibe, with the intention of using it with Mrs. Ten. However, she really just didn’t like it.
So…what to do. Well, turns out that it makes a decent prostate toy, though I have no proper toys to compare it to. As with the edging, this type of thing takes time, and I’ve only managed a couple of prostate orgasms so far. These are incredibly intense and very new for me. It’s been a fun frontier to explore. I’m still learning how to get myself off this way, and how to deal with the sudden intensity of the stimulation.
You may have noticed that all of the above are explorations that don’t involve a partner. Mrs. Ten and I have always had severely mismatched libidos. For almost the entire history of our marriage I’ve been far more interested in sex than she has, until I suddenly stopped feeling interested late this year. Are there issues there? For sure. Do I think this blog contributes to them? Probably. Will there be a post forthcoming in which I discuss all of that? Definitely.
4) As soon as I can free up the time (currently not possible), start running, lifting, and biking again. Maybe I’ll even document it this time…intriguing possibility for a daily journal.
I did start the journal. I even had some success losing most of the Covid weight I’d put on. Did I do it by running, lifting, and biking? Absolutely not. I did a lot of walking and dieting and I’m continuing to do that. I gave up on the journal late this fall when I hit a stubborn weight loss plateau and then I started to question whether anyone would really be interested in reading it.
We’ve all seen those posts on social media, people bragging about their workout, etc. I really didn’t want my journal to become another one of those. As my libido tanked, the sexuality portion of it just felt like I was trying too hard, and the random things, well, they just weren’t enough to sustain it. I really do want to get back to this though.
1) Find better ways to promote my site so that I can get more submissions. I’d like to average at least 5/month by the end of 2020.
This is an ongoing goal, one where the results thus far have definitely been lackluster. In some ways I feel like this goal was destined to fail. Once the pandemic hit submissions evaporated, apparently right alongside the infamous “libido recession” that I keep reading about.
This is one goal where I don’t feel like I need to beat myself up too much. I tried to promote the blog, but setting goals that aren’t entirely dependent upon my actions is a recipe for failure. Last year was just a really bad year to have set this goal, and, I think I’ll just take whatever I can get in 2021 given the ongoing situation.
2) Conduct at least two between the sheets interviews per month in 2020.
You may have noticed that this section has essentially evaporated. I did very much enjoy my interview with Violet and I am certainly open to doing this again. However, I really am a true introvert by nature.
This type of thing doesn’t come naturally for me and it felt a little outside my wheelhouse. I did enjoy pushing my boundaries this way though and I think it would be good to continue it. I’m just not sure I’m ready to make it a feature of my blog yet.
3) Add a sex toy review section to the site.
Check. I did that, and reviewed the Pulse solo essential here. I really enjoyed this and I very much plan to add to this section of the site. In fact, I have a line-up of three fleshlights and the aforementioned WeVibe Nova 2 in my hands and waiting to write. I’m a bit undecided in terms of whether to write all the fleshlights up as one review or keep them separate but either way, those will be coming. Really, they will be.
I’ve also received an invitation to review a very sexy website. This will likely be the first one I’ll add. I’ve just been putting it off until I can find the time to give it a proper look and really enjoy it.
4) Enter at least two writing competitions
I started off very strong with this one and entered the smut marathon. Then, well, I think everyone knows how that ended up last year.
I’ve decided not to take a strong stance on this very controversial issue. I haven’t really decided how I feel. On the one hand, yes, some things were written that certainly shouldn’t have been and I don’t agree with the post that got everyoneso inflamed. I feel that it was in very poor taste.
However, I also very much feel for Marie’s predicament and May’s as well. If I put myself in their shoes I don’t know that I would have been able to simply abandon a good friend, let alone a spouse, on principal, simply because others were offended and highly critical. I get that many feel it’s been an ongoing problem but I haven’t been a part of this community long enough to really evaluate that.
Overall, I think I just feel really sad about it. The marathon was a great thing, and I learned a lot from it. Now it’s ruined. With that outcome, and the disappearance of another fun writing meme, I just haven’t found the energy to re-engage much with the sex blogging community. However, I am determined to resolve that somehow.
5) Write and publish at least one book on Amazon
This is an ongoing goal. Admittedly, I had largely forgotten about this one. Toward the end of the year I felt like I really wanted to emphasize reader submissions to this site and invested more effort there. I actually have several works in progress that would work well for this but I need to work out which one might enjoy the most success and make sure it wouldn’t be better to post it elsewhere.
6) Make at least $1 from the blog.
Check. Yes, I did indeed receive a smidgeon of compensation last year and it definitely was more than $1. However, if I look at it in terms of profit I probably still spent more maintaining the blog than I earned. In fact, I estimate I would need to make about 1,000 times more than I did last year in order to turn this into a full-time gig. I’ll keep looking for opportunities…
7) Begin publishing on as many other sites as I am able to.
I feel like I did pretty well here. I published works on Tickle, ShagStory, YouPorn, and Medium. All of them have been fun. Have they resulted in the kinds of traffic I’d like to see? Not really, but I also think I need to publish more if I want to see better results. That said, I really want to get some stories on Literotica too, just to see how they compare before I start picking favorites.
8) Dip my foot in the murky waters of audio erotica
This is one I’ve been experimenting lightly with. You can find several recordings in my journal. I think I really just need to put something out there and get some honest feedback. It really turns me on to think that someone out there is getting off listening to my audios. However, this is definitely outside my comfort zone and I need a little reinforcement. Also, some time in a quiet space, alone, would certainly help (a real rarity for me).
9) Add a journal to my blog
Yep, did that. Now, I just need to get back to writing in it regularly…
10) Add an “About Ten” page
Yep, you can find it here. Sometimes I wonder if this was a great idea. Does revealing some of this stuff make my site less alluring? Is this the reason why submissions are down? It doesn’t seem to get a ton of views so I feel like that probably isn’t it, but then again, who knows?
11) Overall, make my blog a little more personal.
When I started I had included a lot of “we” jargon that made it sound like this site was run by a whole group of people. I think I’ve successfully eliminated most of that.
12) Continue to collaborate with other writers to make truly original, sexy smut.
We writer’s, I’ve discovered, are a real finicky group. As a writer myself, I can identify a lot of reasons why I might be late getting something done, or just decide it’s really not for me, but I do like to think I’d at least communicate that with whomever I’m working with…eventually.
Apparently, not everyone feels this way. When I wrote this goal I had collaborative projects in the works with three other writers. One of them I even had multiple works planned with. What happened? I’m really not sure. None of these panned out. Would I try it again? Probably, but I’m definitely not going to invest much in it right away. I still think it would be really fun though.
13) Do at least two guest posts.
Nope, didn’t happen. Still on the list for this year though.
14) Add a place where readers can request story commissions.
Yep, see About Ten.
That about sums it up for the progress report. Overall, I’m not unhappy with how well things went, considering the global shit storm of a year 2020 was. Frankly, just surviving relatively unscathed was an achievement in and of itself.
2021 so far…
I’m not gonna sugar coat it. This year has felt a lot like anal sex, but not the good kind. Nope, I’m talking about the kind where sand has been used for lube.
Last year we had intended to sell relocate. That dream died in January. When we put our house on the market there were a dozen places for sale where we wanted to go. About a week later all of them had sold (absolutely unheard of for this town).
Then, we got a great offer, but couldn’t take it (because we had nowhere to go). Later on, we finally found a house that looked promising but was drastically overpriced so we didn’t get that one either. Then we looked into building and that was a definite no-go for various reasons. The final word on that pretty much left us without any real option.
As if that wasn’t enough, one frigid December morning, I awoke to the sound of our boiler in its death throws. Our HVAC folks have been “diligently” trying to install the new system for the past two months.
Not long after that, my oldest broke his wrist playing his favorite sport. So, we drove him up to the best clinic we could find (a very long drive). Apparently, spending hours in a vehicle after straining your back at work is a great way to inflame your sciatic nerve and I’m currently just starting to recover from my first ever bout with sciatica. Yay, 2021!
I’ve decided to console myself with the fact that things could be so much worse. We’re essentially stuck in our dream home. It’s not exactly a prison. We haven’t lost any loved ones to the pandemic as so many have. Both of us are still gainfully employed.
Really, all we’ve lost is the boiler and a few weeks of what was looking to be a phenomenal sports season. In its place we’ll get a better, far more efficient system (eventually), and, a new appreciation for just how precious those moments are with our kids.
So, there you have it. We’ve decided to stay where we’re at for now. Unfortunately, that means that all of the lack of time issues you’ve read about so far will likely be an ongoing theme along with all that comes with them. That said, I do intend to keep writing and I will maintain this blog. So, a few goals for 2021…
1) Drop 20 more lbs and start running/biking again.
I know I can do this. I’ve done it before, and honestly, I really enjoy biking,
2) Try yoga?
The breathing exercises I’ve tried so far have me intrigued. I can already hear some of you chuckling…
3) Continue to improve our financial situation
Don’t get me wrong. We’re doing well. But…total financial freedom is the name of the game here.
4) Keep finding new ways to engage Mrs. Ten sexually, and otherwise…
I think the lack of engagement we’ve been going through will likely be the subject of another post. It’s one I’ve meant to write for a long time and my hope is that it will help others in our situation realize they aren’t alone.
5) Keep pursuing other opportunities outside of my current career.
I think I’d like to start my own business. Really. I know that everyone says that, but I feel like I need the independence and my current job is headed absolutely nowhere.
- Add more toy/website/other sexy thing reviews to my site
I feel as though this part of my site has been unintentionally neglected and I would very much like to grow it substantially.
- Find some way to post content at least on a bi-weekly basis with some level of predictability
I had set out to do this on a weekly basis last fall and I quickly realized that, while I have a ton of ideas for blog posts, I don’t have enough time to write them at the moment. That said, I definitely think my readers deserve a more predictable posting schedule and I think my site’s following would improve significantly if I could get there. Posts every two weeks? Let’s hope so!
- Pitch at least one article every month starting in March.
I need to get more practiced with my pitches and I feel like my only chance at making a career out of writing has to begin here. Time to get serious…
- Find at least two more channels to promote my site that will help increase submissions.
I still believe passionately in the idea that my site could be a great resource for people but if that’s ever going to happen I need more submissions. If I’m to get more submissions I probably need a bigger audience.
- Publish a book on Amazon
This one is a holdover from last year but I still really want to try this.
- Start linking to writing memes again
This was a good way to get my writing out to an enthusiastic audience and I really miss all the great feedback.
- Get back to posting in my journal
Even if it’s just a quick note with some quirky content I think I should get back to this. I know I really enjoyed it and I hope my readers did too.
- Write at least 2 guest posts
I will likely combine this with goal #3. Even if the article is unpaid, just getting my name out there should help!
Well, I think that’s the plan…Time to get started!!