I didn't have much in mind except to challenge stereotypes about virgins. I figured I could lure readers in with provocative pictures and honest, titillating stories of my past. And then be like BAM, I'm saving sex for marriage, WHAT THEN?!
And while I've certainly managed to show off pictures of my cleavage and write a series on virginity myths, writing this blog has changed me more than I ever could have predicted. I mean, I started this blog with the intention of changing other people. I had no idea that I needed to change my own ideas of virginity.
Like Therese from How to Lose Your Virginity says,
What if all we had to lose were our virginity myths?
This blog inadvertently chronicled my entire relationship with Beau, from dating to becoming "official," from saying "I love you" to mutually sharing our first fellatio experience, from being long-distance to getting married.
And as our physical relationship has grown, always completely entwined with our romantic relationship, I learned to challenge my own ideas of virginity.
Can I have a heteronormative definition of virginity, even though I'm bisexual?
Why was saving coitus for marriage the right choice? It definitely was the right choice for us, but why did we call our pre-coital sexual status virginity?
Will I ever be honest about my personal definition of virginity and "waiting til marriage" outside of my anonymous identity?
Can I ever come out to my family and friends from high school/college as bisexual?
I don't know the answers to all these questions, but I'm ready to start exploring them.
I'm ready to share how Beau and I prepared for a painless wedding day.
I'm ready to reveal how wedding day sex changed me--and didn't change me.
But I'm also ready to be a better advocate for Christian feminism, under my own name.
Confession: I've been blogging under my own name for almost a month now.
I have a fancy self-hosted WordPress blog, with an SEO plugin to help me focus on keywords, and a ridiculous quantity of good pictures with my watermark, and a social sharing plugin to help me cross-promote, and a consistent photo across all forms of social media.
If anyone noticed the decrease in blog posts for the month of July--this is the 8th--after six months of 11-14 posts a month, well, now you know why. I've written eight posts under my own name this month, with all the bells and whistles that a blog needs to stand out.
Because while I'm ready to talk to y'all more about sex and virginity, I've also discovered how much I like the "lifestyle" posts. And I've really really not enjoyed keeping my location anonymous. My new blog already has four location-specific blog posts about what Beau and I have done this summer.
So while I plan to write more here about the big stuff, I will also be writing less about the little stuff.
Book reviews will be at my new blog, although I'll finish my Summer Challenge updates here. After all, I will debut my first paid column next month, and it's a monthly column reviewing books. I want a blog to back that up.
Feminist posts that are NOT about virginity/sex, consent, and/or rape culture will be at my new blog. Mainly, I will no longer feature posts about Christian feminism here.
This blog will no longer include travel posts, either about trips Beau and I take in the future, or about my past trips to France.
While I love the expanded writing that I've done, and I love that my devoted readers have accepted non-virginal topics, I want this blog to return to its original subject. More or less, at least.
Over the next six months, I will also slowly remove old posts that are better suited for my new blog. I will then edit/revise them and post them under my real name.
Even though I will be writing here less, and the writing will be more focused, I want to share my life with my blogging friends. I've been so blessed to befriend bloggers across the globe, and I want to take y'all with me!
I want y'all to know my real name, and where I live, and where I'm from. I want y'all to know Beau's real name, and the names of our friends, and what other people in our lives look like. I want to stop hiding so much of my life from people I've grown to love, my friends, even if we haven't met in "real life."
So while I won't post a link to my new blog here, I will give it freely to (most) people who email me or DM on Twitter to ask for it. A few blogging friends already follow my personal Twitter, and I'd like to extend that invitation to more.
I just ask that you continue to keep this half of my life anonymous-ish. If you're talking to me as Belle, don't use my real name or location. If this sounds paranoid... well, you'll understand when you learn my name. I need to keep a clear Google history for now, since my job is in digital marketing.
Thank you for being with me for three years. I hope that my announced changes will not lose me any readers. I appreciate the love and encouragement I've received these past three years, and I hope y'all will continue to support me as the direction of my blog refocuses to its original intent.