Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blogoversary: Two Years of Finding My Virginity



Two years and one day ago, I styled my hair a new way.


Today I twist my hair up like that several times a week.


Two years and one day ago, I wore a new black dress with purple flowers.


Today that dress is too big for me, but it hangs in my closet for curvier days ahead.


Two years ago, I had my shared apartment to myself because Lauren was out of town.


Today Lauren and I have our own apartments down the street from each other.


Two years ago, I drank 3-4 cans of Diet Coke with Lime a day.


Today I drink 3-4 cans of Diet Coke, sometimes with Lime, a week.


One year and one day ago, I said good-bye to my family in the South and moved to the Midwest.


Today I’ve lived in the same city, without interruption, for the longest amount of time since graduating high school.*


One year ago, I wrote the scariest post I’d ever written.


Today I take the first step to losing my anonymity.**
Taking selfies without showing my face is HARD, y'all!


My reasons for anonymity are legit. I think wanting to discuss sensitive topics like sex and sexuality with complete honesty is difficult without anonymity. I mostly read lifestyle blogs, and y’all don’t talk about sex. Like, ever. Which is totally fine and your prerogative and I respect that decision completely, because sex is personal. But I can’t talk about virginity without talking about sex, and I don’t know if I could have maintained this blog for the last two years if my parents, former professors, colleagues, etc. had been reading it.


But anonymity is tiring. I think twice before I tweet about what I’m doing. Does this refer to my location? I crop all my photos. How much of my face can I reveal before it identifies me too much? I have to keep track of pseudonyms for every single person in my life. I was hanging out with Hardy and Lauren, and damn it, where’s my list of best friends? What do I call… James, that’s it. I call him James.


And I write and write and write. I tweet and tweet and tweet. I comment everywhere. I buy ads on other blogs. I’m myself. I’m authentic. I paid for a blog design. I do all that stuff I’m supposed to do to build blog traffic, and it’s not enough. 


Look at my new button on Casey's blog!



Because the people who know me IRL aren’t allowed to post my blog to facebook, or link it to any mutual friends. Because I can’t ask my friends and family to like my facebook page.


Because the network I have who comment all over my personal facebook wall, who send me links to articles on sexual assault and modesty culture and France and women’s history, who email me to thank me for the work I do, who ask me if I blog, who share all over the place the tiny handful of public writing I do…


They have no idea Belle Vierge exists. Or if they’ve stumbled across her (this happened once), they don’t realize Belle is me.


But as much as I want to shed my cloak of anonymity and shout to the rooftops that I’m happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time, I’m not there yet.




I don’t really think my parents should find out I’m bisexual via a blog post, nor do I think it’s right or fair to attach H’s name to his assholery. And those of you who do know me IRL, and those of you who I met here who have discovered my real name, I think y’all will agree that my first name is unique. Unique enough that fear of discovery by future potential employers is a legitimate concern.


Seriously, if you google my first and last name, you find results for three people. That’s it. I share my name with a lawyer and with a photographer. Also my firstnamelastname.com domain name has already been taken, alas.


I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about this post. Planning what I would write. And I should note, for the record, that I’m writing this the actual evening of July 30, 2013, still torn on what to reveal of myself while still allowing the freedom to be myself.


I realized I’m not so worried about people finding my blog and realizing it’s me as I am people knowing who I am, looking me up online, and discovering my blog. The first involves searching for certain qualities and associating them with me. The latter is only knowing me or my name and suddenly discovering some rather strong opinions and personal information.


So here are some things 
I never directly mentioned before.



I turned 26 back in June, hence all the freaking out about working at JCP for health benefits. Beau turns 27 in September.


I finished undergrad in May 2009, with a double-major in History and French and a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. Beau graduated in 2009 as well, but we didn’t meet each other until two years ago.


I studied in Versailles Fall 2007, but I technically lived in Le Chesnay. I moved to Le VĂ©sinet the beginning of September 2009 to work as an au pair for a half-French, half-Irish family. I moved to Niort the end of September 2010 to teach English. My cousins live in Saint Germain-en-laye.


I have a tattoo on my right foot that says Soixante dix huit, which refers to the zip code of Le VĂ©sinet. My three best friends Jane, Ali, and Crystal have matching tattoos. Yes, I just had to look at my best friend tag to remember their pseudonyms.

Matching tattoos! Acquired July 4, 2010.

I know when and where I’m getting married, but that’s all I’m saying on the topic.

I work for a start-up company that's building an online business. We recently partnered with our web designers, so I'm currently doing a lot of work for them.


But these are some details I’m not 
ready to reveal, and why.


My sorority: I interned with my sorority two summers ago. I am a single member of Delta Nu. I am an individual. I am not representative of an entire group of women across the world. My affiliation is very important to me, but as a former employee of my sorority, it would be irresponsible of me to discuss which Greek organization is mine.


My alma mater: I went to a small liberal arts school. I was not popular, but I was well-known. This also relates to the whole future potential employers thing.


My home state and my current state: If you know my home state, you can guess my alma mater. If you know my current state, you can guess my sorority.


My name and the names of others: My name is too unusual to blast all over my blog. I respect the privacy of my friends’ identities not to reveal their names.


The biggest thing I’m ready to reveal.


What Beau and I look like!

My dear friend's wedding, May 2012.
Since I’m supposed to be celebrating my two-year blogoversary, I’ve decided to share two years of pictures of Beau and me.***

Two years of pictures that don't show my sorority (I wear my Delta Nu flip flops all the time) or Beau's alma mater (he wears his engineering school shirts all the time).


Thanksgiving 2011, our first picture as an official couple!

In Manhattan, when Beau spontaneously visited me, February 2012.
Out and about in Toronto, June 2012.
Christmas in Denver, 2012.

My birthday party, June 2013.
It's been a great two years, y'all. I look forward to many more years of blogging about sex and virginity, Christianity and feminism, books and boobs. 

I just can't promise to stay a demi-vierge forever.

*I was at the same university all four years, but I came home every summer. So technically I was in one place for like, nine months at a time.
**I bet you thought I was going to say lose my VIRGINITY. Nuh-uh, GOT YOU!
***I tried to choose a variety of pictures of me at different weights and with/without make-up. I want y'all to see why my current body shape worries me. I want y'all to see that make-up isn't necessary to be happy. I feel beautiful in all these pictures, even bare-faced or too skinny.

25 comments:

  1. Well, you've done a fine job of confusing me...I thought you lived in New York...:-)

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    1. I did... but I never mentioned I lived in New York until after I had moved to Toronto. That was actually less for my own anonymity and more to conceal any identifying information about the kids I was au pairing. So that was probably the confusion, talking about living in New York after I'd left!

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  2. Happy blogoversary and happy belated birthday! I think you need to do what makes you most comfortable, no matter if it's fully- or only partially-disclosed. I'm looking forward to each of your posts and the next blogoversary.

    All the best. Keep up a great job :)

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    1. Thank you and thank you! It's a delicate balancing act, but for now, I would feel unethical writing everything I do if the real names of the people in my life were public.

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  3. The way this post fell on my page, it read "the biggest thing I'm ready to reveal" and then I had to scroll down to see what it was. And when I saw pictures I audibly gasped and then went "Aww" It was such a shock but such a good one! I completely understand and respect the reasons you wish to stay anonymous for the time being. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to remember so many pseudonyms. But I did love getting to put faces to *fake* names. Is that a weird thing to say? I'm not sure. xx

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    1. Aw, yay! I love that reaction. Beau can't remember all the pseudonyms either, although Lauren knows most of them!

      It's not weird that you like seeing the real face of fake names. All of it is me, just presented differently. :)

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  4. yay, you guys are super cute!

    The anonymity thing is HARD. I know I'm not really mysterious - I don't use my last name anywhere but you could figure out exactly who I am and where I work if you tried - but there are things I can't talk about online (mostly work, but yes, sex too!) that I really want to because those things are such a big part of who I am. I think you handle the dichotomy really well!

    p.s. I did history and French too, did you know that? woo :)

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    1. I mean, I like to think we're pretty adorable... ;)

      Yes, it is. And I'm hoping to lose it completely eventually, but that will require coming out to my parents and reconciling with my twin brother OR coming out to my parents and taking offline any negative posts about my twin brother. So... no idea when that might happen.

      I'm also a little nervous about the people who think understand virginity differently than I do... it's a word I can hide behind, along with the word abstinence. I have good relationships with some very conservative people, and I guess I don't want them to think I'm less of a role model for being a sexy virgin.

      I did know we studied the same thing! We're practically the same person. ;)

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  5. I didn't expect you to reveal your face! I honestly didn't miss putting a face on the voice; the voice is strong enough on its own.

    May I ask why you said your current body shape worries you? Did a miss a post on that?

    I exercised a LOT of self control to Not scroll down and spoil the surprise! I've been trying to do that lately - reading the surprises/twists/endings when they're supposed to be, and not earlier. It takes control, but it's worth it :)

    I don't need to see your "identity" to come back to your blog every time. Honestly, it attracts me like a moth to a street light.

    That being said, kudos to having plucked up the courage to do it! I wonder when I'll get there (if ever!).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is the biggest compliment ever! I love writing, and I'm obviously really proud of this blog. To have my voice referred to as strong puts a huge smile on my face!

      I'm underweight for my body. You can't tell in any of the pictures I've uploaded, but my clavicles stick out a LOT, as do the tendons in my neck. If I lived my arms over my head, you can see my ribs clearly outlined. And you can feel them very easily on my chest, above my boobs. I blogged back in January, and maybe in December, about having lost too much weight. I've stopped stressing out about it, because that was just making it harder to eat, but I'd really love to gain 5lbs.

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  6. Congrats on 2 years!
    I hope you've enjoyed writing this blog as much as I've enjoyed reading it. I've been known to quote you on occasion,(Mostly regarding - if you can't think of a sexy way to ask for consent, you can't be very good at sex) that's how much I love your writing style.

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    1. You are too sweet! Yes, I love writing this blog. This is some of the best writing I've ever done. I've always been more inclined to write fiction than nonfiction, but focusing on a single(ish) topic has really fine-tuned my writing skills.

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  7. I just found your blog. I was reading this post and thought: "wow, she is so brave" It must have been exhausting and a lot of work trying so hard to be anonymous and how liberated you must feel now. I am now following your blog and catching up by reading some of your old posts. Great writing.

    http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it's been difficult, and I still have to keep all my friends' pseudonyms straight. But I'm excited to start sharing pictures of me, and one day, I hope to reveal everything!

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  8. I love your new button! And CONGRATS on two years! That's a pretty stellar milestone in blogland! So happy to have found ya. :)

    Oh and not sure if this is intentional or not, but you pop as a no-reply blogger when I try to email you back after you've commented on my blog. Just a heads up! And if you're wanting it to be that way, just look for my comments back to you in my comments section, much like you do for your blog. :) Have a great weekend, my friend!

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    1. Thank you! I would like to give some props to Bonnie, because I found you when you sponsored her. :) And of course, I've found several other blogs because of you! Basically, the two of you know ALL the cool people.

      Hmm, that is not cool. I had previously set up my email and received replies and whatnot. I still received them after I switched to Google+. I just attempted at tutorial on reverting back to a blogger profile, adding an email address, and then switching to Google+ again. So hopefully it works again? Thanks for the heads up!

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    2. I'm a "no-reply" blogger too. I'm not sure if you can change that while still using G+. I follow some blogs via G+, so I'm hesitant to revert to the old blogger profile as I think that function gets lost, but I'm thinking the old blogger might be better to connect with others. I don't always check back or "subscribe to follow up comments", so... Gotta decide.

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  9. Yay what a great post! I think it makes a lot of sense that you've wanted to blog anonymously, and I've sometimes found myself wishing my blog was anonymous as well because there are definitely things that it's hard to talk about when others know it's you writing. However I'm also happy for you that you're beginning to reveal yourself! Great pictures of the two of you!

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    1. Thank you!!! I hope to be totally nonanonymous one day, but I'll probably have to remove some of my posts from the public at that point. And I'll have to sit down with my parents first... That might be happening at Thanksgiving...

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  10. You guys are so cute together! And congrats on your blogoversary!

    And my blog isn't anonymous by any means, but even so it's not something I really talk about in real life. My family knows, and a few close friends, but besides that not many. I have tried linking posts on my facebook before to some of my friends, and am surprised by how little anyone's said about it. So while I know my blog it out there, it isn't associated with my last name, and I think unless you knew it was there it would be hard to find.

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    1. Thank you, and thank you!

      My livejournal that is still up and running is/was like that. I didn't link it much until I studied abroad, and then I wrote all my detailed French stories there so I could keep my email updates short and entertaining. Since I started it in high school, with all the paranoia of a crazy person trying to steal my identity and/or kill me, it didn't have my real name on it for years. My bio page STILL doesn't have my real name, but I use it in blog posts.

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  11. congrats on 2 years of blogging. it is certainly hard to be anon and "faceless." I didn't tell anyone i knew about my blog for almost 2 years. i'm that shy. i only write under my nickname, which is the phonetic spelling of my initials. there's my secret.
    btw did you ever have another blog before this one and did you ever comment on my blog? i always wondered that.

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    1. Thank you! I had no idea that Elle wasn't your name! I figured Sees wasn't your name, but like a play on words of some sort, especially since your twitter handle is @ElleSeesYou.

      I still have my livejournal that is almost ten years old now. :) But I didn't discover your blog until I'd already created this one. It's funny, because I don't follow all the blogs I first followed, but one of them guest-posted for you, and that led me to your blog.

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  12. Yes indeed, y'all are adorable. Those pictures are great. And I would totally be the girl who had to look at the list to see what to call her best friends. Yay for new adventures and big leaps in life. Excited to keep reading :)

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    1. I mean... I like to think so. ;)

      Thank you!

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Thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous commenting disabled while my mom is sick.

Comments are moderated because I receive a lot of spam, and I think CAPTCHA is annoying. I reply to most of your comments within the comment section because it inspires discussion between readers. For first-time commenters, I try to reply by email.

Yes, you can comment anonymously. Yes, you can disagree with me. However, as of 05/31/2013, if you are commenting anonymously, and your words are hateful or abusive, I will publish these at my discretion. I like that my blog can be a forum for discussion, but anything that blames or mocks survivors of sexual assault will NOT be tolerated.

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