Each year, Kinkly compiles an unranked list of the Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes around the world, as well as the top 10 ranked bloggers in specific categories (ie, erotica, sex toy reviews, and new blogs).
This weekend, I checked Twitter and discovered I made #1 for Kinkly’s list of Top Sex Toy Review Bloggers of 2020.
I guess I should start admitting to myself that I’m a successful sex blogger.
It’s hard, though, because I feel like a fraud.
I’ve dealt with imposter syndrome for ages. When I graduated at the top of my class in university, I wanted to shrivel away and hide because the voice in my head kept screaming, “They’re going to realize I don’t know ANYTHING.” I felt like such a fraud accepting my scholarships and degrees. It didn’t matter to me that I’d spent endless hours in between my job cramming and studying and diving into long essays, forgoing sleep and socializing. I never considered myself naturally deserving — I relied on work ethic, not brains, and my gut told me that didn’t count.
In the years that followed, I felt exactly the same in every job I had.
And now, after 6 years of running this blog, I’ve been named Kinkly’s #1 sex toy review blogger. The same feelings of being an imposter are there. Sure, I’ve poured endless hours into this blog over the last 6 years. Rationally, I know that I have a TON of knowledge and experience and commitment to all this. But it’s so easy to tell myself that I still don’t deserve any recognition.
Sex toy blog giants have snagged this spot in the past. Since I started this blog in 2015, this place previously belonged to Hey Epiphora (2015), Dangerous Lilly (2016), Oh Joy Sex Toy (2017), Submissive Feminist (2018), and Off the Cuffs (2019). Big footsteps to follow.
But weirdly, landing the 2020 spot doesn’t feel as amazing as I always thought it would. Maybe it’s because I’m struggling with depression and anxiety this fall, or maybe because this year’s list was tainted by a bad choice in another category (read about it here), or maybe because 2020 has been a hell year in general for Planet Earth.
I suspect it’s all of those things, plus that I still have imposter syndrome and external validation often slides off me, never sticks. When I was a new blogger, I thought it’d go away when I gained more traffic, commissions, or Twitter followers. But I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter if I have 40 or 4,000 daily visitors, 8 or 8,000 Twitter followers… the numbers don’t necessarily help your self-confidence.
As we head deeper into the 2020s, I need to seriously work on that. Internal validation doesn’t happen by accident for a lot of people — I think people like us have to make a serious, dedicated effort to build ourselves up from within.
Thank you to all the thousands of readers (like you!) that have visited my blog this year and found it useful. Thank you to my sponsors for helping me keep my content fresh. I wouldn’t have kept up blogging if it wasn’t for those little emails from readers asking me questions, or sex toy companies interested in getting my opinions.
I’m going to keep showing up, reminding myself it’s okay to not be perfect, and get back to why I started this blog in the first place: help everyday folks find great, bodysafe sex toys, be a part of an online community, and have the time of my life.