My Not-So-Secret Secret Outlet

It all started with a dick pic. Well, that’s not completely true, but my love affair with Tumblr did definitely start because of the D. It was late last summer when I, being in between freelance gigs and sitting at home with not a thing to do, suddenly remembered how much I love watching men masturbating. I’m not sure what brought on this big revelation; was I eating something phallic for lunch and suddenly my imagination got away with me? Who can say, but once I realized that I could Google “men masturbating videos” — yes, it took me a while to actually think about that — blammo, I was done for.

As my normally sort-of safe for work Tumblr started to follow more and more curated masturbation blogs, I slowly began to investigate other links that would make their way into my feed. I realized that if this one fetish had so much content just for it that of course all the other fetishes I’m into must as well; this is the internet, after all.

Eventually I realized that I had a problem. My SFWish Tumblr was getting taken over with smut and I needed to separate. So, following my own lead with my Twitter accounts, I decided to create a brand new naughty Tumblr as part of the same identity. I refollowed accounts and began to think about curating my own content, instead of simply viewing from afar.

It was here that everything changed. Tumblr, the social media account that for years I had never really understood, helped me develop and blossom a new side of myself that was waiting in the wings. It had been a few months since I’d opened my TMI Twitter account and appeared naked on the internet somewhere that wasn’t Fetlife, and Tumblr was just sitting there, waiting for me to feed it things while it gave me confidence and community in return.

So I fed it. I started with barely any followers and would put up a few semi NSFW photos of myself for no one really to see. I started searching for more content and quickly realized just how much there is. Finding kinky blogs was a way for me to connect further with my submissive side that was, at the time, dying for some proper care and attention. If all the people I was setting dates up with were going to stand me up, I would throw myself into animated gifs and pretend the throat was mine and the hand around it belonged to “insert name here.” It was a way to feed the need while waiting for the right person / people to come along in real life.

Unfortunately, I learned quickly that kink on Tumblr can be very problematic. I could scroll for a while and see a white-wash of hetero cis kink with bald men and long-haired girls, or five anal sex gifs in a row; there was plenty of time when it was really, really boring. But eventually I started to find more queer friendly content, thankful I had discovered some diversity in the seemingly never ending sea of “Look at how masculine I am and how my submissive kneels before me while we’re surrounded by red roses, but are they red? You can’t tell because this is black and white! Of course! We want you to keep guessing, haha!”

One thing I didn’t expect to find among the tattooed girls, hetero waxed asses, queer porn, and dick pics, was a sense of body pride. I started to follow the occasional queer blog that would celebrate bodies of all sorts and this would lead me down the Tumblr rabbit hole to more and more variety in bodies. I started to follow some blogs devoted specifically to chubby women to challenge myself, even though I found some of the blogs themselves to be problematic. By exposing myself to more and more photos of big women, I began to see more beauty in places where I struggled to see it before. Instead of immediately seeing myself reflected and feeling gross, I began to internally celebrate body diversity in a way that I’d been doing externally for so long. I learned some hard truths about the type of chubby that’s more “accepted” (ie: girls without big bellies, like mine), but I also started to find validation from people who are into bodies like mine.

That whole crap about not worrying what others think is really meant for people who have no insecurities about anything in their lives and, since those people don’t exist, we can safely actually go with “It’s a-ok to get validation from a bunch of people on the internet, especially about something like your body.”

In addition to the reblogs that I share of other people’s sexy things – and I try to add a personalized comment so that my Tumblr has a specific “feel” – I’ve completely embraced sharing naughty (read: naked) photos of myself on my Tumblr. It’s interesting knowing that they’re there for public consumption but also won’t really be viewed by anyone unless by chance, or if I share the link directly. As I share more, I learn that I’m strangely more comfortable with people seeing my naked bits than I am my belly, and so I work on that. I share another photo that shows my belly and I see what happens. So far, everyone has been generous and I’ve gotten nothing but amazing support.

And that’t the thing about Tumblr, for me it’s actually been wonderful. When my MTL boy, Guy Smiley, likes my recent posts, I get a little smile on my face because it’s how we stay connected. When friends reblog or reply to my posts, I feel like we’re part of this secret-but-not, sex-positive supportive community. And most importantly, when the world becomes too much to bear, I can hide in my Tumblr. If the rest of my social media is so full of depressing and horrible news, as so much of 2014 was, I can jump on over to the reliable scroll machine that is my Tumblr feed. I can say hi to the occasional problematic black and white anal sex gifs, I can feel solidarity with the girl who posted up her first naked selfie and is being blown away by the support she’s receiving from a community she never even knew existed, and I can celebrate a diverse and sexy planet in a way that works just for me.

Who knew a few gifs could be so powerful?