Adult Backwash’s Place In Sex Blogging History

GraciousSizzle on the significance of Adult Backwash.

A few weeks ago, the brave Dangerous Lilly started a conversation about the history of sex blogging. Not long after that, GlamKitty (GK) (who did participate in the adult side of BW as a member of The Unholy Trinity) began waxing nostalgic about Backwash.com in general. It was these two conversations (one digital, one real world) which prompted me to get involved in the Backwash Reunion and agreeing to run Dark Wry Toast as a resurrection, of sorts, of Adult Backwash.

While I (impatiently) waited for GK to make her post, so that I wouldn’t have to repeat too much, I thought about the reasons Adult Backwash deserves to be remembered.

Having begun in 2001, the red side of BW was among the very first sites to provide not only homes for sex bloggers but space to curate, or create a directory of,  sex websites and other mature adult content. While our writings and linkage were segregated from Backwash-proper, using the adult-dot subdomain, those of us at Backwash-improper were given as much free-rein to publish what and when we wanted as the mainstream columnists.

Right from the start, the red side had a mix of columnists writing on all sorts of adult topics. There were the intimate personal posts; entertaining erotic stories; advice columns; sex ed articles; website, sex toy and other product reviews; and, of course, columns that mainly presented images. We covered sex from serious to silly, vanilla to BDSM, softcore to hardcore, visual to verbal ~ and, via our self-identified male and female columnists, we covered the spectrum of sexual fluidity, from hetero fare to LGBT topics, too. Considering that gender, orientation, identity, and race are closely linked to economic power, and therefore affect the ability for some to access the web (especially back in the early days of the Internet), we were fairly well-balanced in terms of representing human sexual existence.

Like our mainstream counterparts, we could ~ and did ~ start communities and newsletters. We also worked to discover and curate links, including reviewing the dearth of submitted links (paid or not) that were consistently sent and spammed to the site. And all of us, adult and mainstream columnists alike, shared a private “columnists only” message board, where we could discuss issues, policies, and suggest ideas. (OK, let’s be honest; that’s where we posted rants and bickered with one another too.)

We were separate in our digital territories, but relatively equal in the eyes of the klout-master, the site owner, David Ring. And by “relative”, I mean that those columnists and moderators who generated more traffic, fetched more advertising leads, sold more premium services, &/or did more work at the site were held in slightly more esteem than others who provided less for the Backwash brand.  That is, after all, primarily how capitalism works. Or how it is supposed to work in order to achieve success.

Amazingly, this equality was continued through the social network.

Yes, Adult Backwash, like all the BW sites, had its own social network system in 2003. This at a time when adult content, adult performers, nudity, and the like were all prohibited from other social media sites. A. Maze. Ing.

adult social network

As GK wrote, one of the unique aspects of all the Backwash sites was the belief in, and basis on, content and columnists. While other sites would eventually either allow adult profiles (typically hidden behind a wall until one “toggled” their acceptance and permission to view such things), be developed entirely for the adult community, or be paid subscription adult dating sites, none of them featured sex columnists ~ or at least not so many of them continually providing great sex blogging and curated content on adult themes.

I truly believe that had BW continued to focus on this feature, using it to grow and monetize the sites, rather than focus on selling the software to others, all the sites in the BW family would have become the standards for social websites. At the very least, Adult BW would have become the premier adult social media website. Now, I think we can all say that Fetlife has that honor; or Tumblr, depending on your definition of social networking sites. But neither has the combination of remarkable and innovative features that BW sites did. Or so many kick-ass adult columnists.

 


 

Links:

Dangerous Lilly’s sex blogging history conversation has since been growing, with comments and postings continuing to be added. Along with her original post, these are among some of the best additions:

Find out more about the history of issues with sex blogging platforms (host sites) and search engines:

Oh, do you remember using MySpace?

For blogging about sex history, see Silent Porn Star and my Sex History Scoop.

Confessions of a Sex Blog Reviewer

A flashback post from SpiritOfTheNight, from Saturday March 20, 2004.

I review sex blogs, journals and resources for sex blogs and journals. You might think that was a lot of fun, pretty stimulating too. Mostly it’s on the dull side.

Sites are all too often hard to navigate, full of links to paying sites and no content of their own or they just don’t interest me. I will list most of the sites that fall into the realm of bloggishness. Not the spammy ones or those not updated more than every now and then when they get a round tuit. If you wouldn’t read it why should it be listed? That’s my theory anyway.

Today there were 3 sites submitted to the adult journals category. Of the three one was last updated August, 2003. An obvious spam for a phone sex service. Deleted, with a note added in case it is re-submitted. Saves me some time and clicking.

The other two were worthy of consideration. One was a blog service type of thing. Not really all that interesting but I listed it anyway. It did seem to be getting updated and for someone browsing the web it would be useful. The other site was an actual sex blog, with a journal and everything. I listed it and skimmed along myself. I did not get turned on. But, did check out her links before leaving. From there I found one other good site and listed that too.

So, now you know. All the perks of being a sex blog reviewer. One nice plus is finding links to add to BackWash. What? You thought I just found them all by my sweet little self? No, I think most of them come from browsing one site to the next. You never know where you will end up. Of course, another interesting way to find links is to randomly type something in to a search and see what oddities come along. Usually I can find at least one unusual and interesting site that way.

Not a very interesting journal this time. I’m just not feeling up to it. But, I thought you might be missing me. We dragons do have our egos.

Vintage Adult Backwash Marketing

This is an article GraciousSizzle wrote in May of 2003 for the Working With The Adult Web newsletter at Adult Backwash. The newsletter was “The down & dirty side of adult web work: tips, tools, marketing for the adult webmaster, writer or sex pro.” I do believe the advice still holds up!

Last week, I told you I was going to get into affiliate programs. So here are my thoughts on them…

Basically all the programs work the same. You get paid for either hits to other websites, or you get paid for sign-ups/purchases.

To me, the difference doesn’t lie in which type you use, but rather how targeted the program is to *your* audience.

For example, if your site is an amateur webcam, and you don’t do ‘anything real kinky’ you probably aren’t best to choose BDSM & spanking affiliate programs. You should stick with more amateur sites, or at least those that ‘look like you.’

Which does not mean blondes should only pick blond affiliates *giggle* It just means you should remember who visits your site, and why, and give them more of what they want.

The more the affiliate program is tailored to you site visitors, the more likely the visitors are to be interested in the programs you offer.

And this is where the personal recommendation works much better than a bunch of banners. Folks like to feel you personally have used/tried the programs/products and like them. It makes them feel like they are a friend…

So, be selective in what you offer.

And be selective in how much you offer…

Less is more, not just in what your models wear, but in affiliate programs.

A page with 20 blinking banners only distracts ~ No one knows where to go first!

By keeping your selections to a few per page, you can make them fit the page content, *and* make the recommendation stand out.

I can’t say I am getting rich off my site *wink* After all, it is more of a hobby page, but my affiliate programs & shop keep the site running.

With over 1500 unique visitors per day, I could just try to play a numbers game ~ and figure that with so much traffic, the odds are I will get a few paid hits…

But I don’t think that works in the long run.

You can find more like this from Gracie at The Marketing Whore.