My 1st Blogiversary: Here’s what I wrote this year (with GIFs!)


One year ago today, I started this blog. I remember the moment I hit publish for the first time surprisingly well: it was a very cold night in January, and I sat at the kitchen island of my campus apartment with my laptop and a Diet Coke in an old-fashioned glass from the Dollar Tree. My blog was originally light gray text on a dark gray background, or some such design disaster. I published a simple intro post announcing that I was a not-quite adult who wanted to build a website of her very own. It was the only New Year’s resolution I have ever kept.

I cannot express how much I have loved creating this space. Running this blog has helped me connect with so many extraordinary writers, thinkers, and friends, and updating it regularly is a pleasure, never a chore. It has evolved in focus, less of a place for my fiction as I had originally intended than it is a home for observations, introspection, and occasional flareups of rage against the patriarchy. This blog has grown up with me, morphing with each milestone of my young adult life. I can’t imagine what shape it will have taken by this time next year.

I’ve also gotten… ballsier? Shit got real when I talked about serious issues like fraternity abuse, post-graduate depression, and STI stigma, and my reviews aren’t as fluffy as they used to be. I’m surprised but delighted to find my place in the community as a young and vocal erotica social justice warrior. For me, blogging isn’t just self-promotion or ranting about the feels—it is a challenge and an adventure.

That being said, some self-promotion is fun and necessary. Here’s a crash course of my first year on the interwebs:

I reviewed a ton of erotica. Some of it I loved, while other titles sparked more rage than arousal. It made me think about how erotica can be more feminist, and why we call it “women’s erotica” when bros like them some smutty literature too.

I also wrote erotica of my own. Oleander Plume stole my first time in print virginity with Chemical [se]X, and my erotica appeared on Exhibit A’s blog, in Tamsin Flowers’s erotica advent calendar, and in my free ebook Memory Foam. And no, I am not using a pen name.

Taylor Swift and I connected on a deep, spiritual level. “Blank Space” changed how I understand my sex writing, the resulting essay winding up on Thought Catalog. She also seriously mislead me about what it’s like to be 22.

In the spring I graduated college. Post-grad drop kicked my ass, but talking about it made me feel better and helped me connect with other Wes grads who were feeling equally lost.

senior week

I moved to Berkeley! It sucked, so I moved back to my one true love: New York.

The TED staff adopted me, and now I get to play with Photoshop making GIFs all day. Here are the TED Talks you should watch.

Wesleyan ordered its fraternities to co-educate, because its sexual assault problem is out of control. My friend Matt Leibowitz started Consent Is So Frat and I voiced my support, and I told my own story of fraternity abuse. (Fun fact: my ex-boyfriend is still a respected member of his fraternity because fraternities suck).

fuck that

I changed my profile picture on Facebook. It sparked an obsession over social media presences and what it means to be successful as a recent post-grad. Also there were a lot of selfies.

Someone made a herpes joke and I went OFF.

Pop culture is still my favorite thing ever. My essay about Ella Enchanted and consent BLEW UP online, Peter Prentice from The Mindy Project has HPV and it is awesome, and I started my new series, Bachelorella, of The Bachelor recaps.

Thanks for making this an amazing first year, kids. Special gratitude goes to my friend and erotica big sister Malin James, who wrote my first ever blog comment on my review of Smokin’ Hot Firemen. I’ll see everyone tomorrow for year two.


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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.

2 thoughts on “My 1st Blogiversary: Here’s what I wrote this year (with GIFs!)

  1. Happy anniversary Ella’s blog!! You popped out as something special right from the start. I can’t wait to see where you go and what you do. Massive hugs to you, my friend and erotica little sister! xxx

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