Ladies and gentlemen and faithful readers and visitors, I’m pleased to announce that today marks the fifth anniversary of ErosBlog’s first post.

I’m rather proud to have been in continuous publication for half a decade. 1,853 posts spread over 1,825 days averages to 1.015 posts per day. Of course it wasn’t that regular — there are a couple of posting gaps that stretch close to a month in length. But a daily post has always been the goal, and if I never managed that much, I’ll settle for that 1.015 posts-per-day average.

When I started this thing, internet diaries had been around for at least as long as the web, and some of them (especially the BDSM lifestyle ones) had a lot of adult content. Blogs (known by that name, or by its then-still-in-use linguistic ancestor, “weblogs”) were a few years old, but had exploded in popularity and visibility just in the previous year. Sex blogs — as a genre — were unheard of. There was Daze Reader, there was World Sex News, there was BJ’s Gay Porno-Crazed Ramblings. There were pretty pictures every day at Sensual Liberation Army and some other places. Lots of proto-sex-blogs, but none that had adopted that characterization of themselves. So, as far as I know, Eros Blog was the first internet thing to claim that description.

I can’t claim to have invented the idea of a sex blog — whomever registered, before I tried to, can prove that — and I can’t claim to have invented the act of sex blogging, which was all over LiveJournal before I ever heard of blogging. But I think I was the first person, to think of it, do it, and call it by the name.

One possible exception — a sex blogger who was there before me by a few months, doing what I’d consider the first recognizable sex blog and conceptualizing her work in roughly that way, was Susannah Breslin. She did a blog called The Reverse Cowgirl, she was well connected with web heavyweights and early blogging gurus, and she blogged pretty exclusively about sex and culture. It was nice stuff, she was kind enough to link me early, but I simply cannot remember if she ever called her project a sex blog. She might have; certainly she could have, because that’s what it was.

Unfortunately it was from Susannah that I first learned to hate the destruction wrought by blog vandalism. She was linked all over the web, she was getting a lot of media attention, and then one day without a word of explanation her blog was gone and links all over the blogosphere were 404ing. Then a while later she had another project up, very artistic and overdesigned but having many bloglike features; it too vanished. After that I lost track, but there have been more; she’s got another “Reverse Cowgirl” blog going at the moment, with archives going all the way back to 2006, but not a single link to any of her earlier projects (presumably because they are all gone). I owe Susannah a considerable debt for inspiration and early traffic, but she’s also the one who taught me to be wary of folks who treat the web like a rented space for temporary performance art.

So! Five years. Two hosts. Three blog software platforms. At least half a dozen different templates. A metric buttload of spam and raging idiocy moderated out of the comments. Two web interviews, perhaps half a dozen press inquiries (ignored because I still enjoy psuedonymous posting). One hell of a lot of fun.

One of the fun things for me is to look at how my posts (and me) have changed over five years. When I started, writing about sexual stuff was very hard for me (even in my usual detached “look at those people over there and what they say they are doing” style). I was stilted and awkward. I was afraid that to write about a thing meant people would think I liked it. Worse yet, I cared about that, and would include horrid little disclaimers. Bacchus wrote about Bacchus in the third person for eight long months. I remain indebted to Eugene Volokh for providing me, a day too late, with the vocabulary word for that literary atrocity. Thanks to him, I now understand that I Am No Longer An Illeist.

As for me, when I started this blog I was single, lonely, and underemployed by my own choice due to increasing disillusionment with my profession (a little) and with the demands of the job culture (a lot). Now I’ve got The Nymph, we’re ridiculously happy together, and my adult web projects support me better than a job ever did, with me working only when it suits me. And it does suit me! I used to read in the business magazines about successful power suit types who would wake up in the morning full of enthusiasm for getting into the office to do whatever they did, and I’d boggle at that alien worldview. Now, I wake up in the morning, often as not, with an idea for tweaking or improving one of my websites, and I’m full of enthusiasm for the idea of getting up and tinkering with it. Life has never been better.

I couldn’t hope to thank properly all the other bloggers who deserve it, for providing me with support, encouragement, linkage, ideas, material, inspiration… but to list even the first fraction of them would require listing half my blog roll. All I can say is, thanks to you all. And thanks — even more thanks! — to the thousands of loyal readers who come back every day to see my blather and follow my links.

I owe special thanks to my regular guest blogger, Aphrodite, who has been backing me up and providing the woman’s touch around here for more than three years. Although her posts have never been frequent, she’s provided considerable invisible assistance, especially with comment spam filtering before we got it as automated as it tends to be today. I remain delighted and honored to have her help.

What about the future? Will there be a “Ten Candles” post on October 3, 2012?

At the speed technology, culture, and politics are changing in this crazy world, it’s hard to know for sure, but I truly do hope so! I love doing this blog and I can’t imagine stopping voluntarily. Five years ago it was still possible to claim that blogs were a fad. Five years from now, it’s possible we’ll all be considered impossibly old-fashioned, like paper magazines and network television and phones that plug into the wall. But this is about the sex, baby! And people don’t get bored with that, so I should still have an audience.

I’ll conclude with a list of some of my forgotten favorites — an even dozen sex blog posts I enjoyed writing and still enjoy reading, posts that seemed important to me, or posts that other people seemed particularly to enjoy.