When I first started blogging, I had huge crushes on other bloggers out there.  I absolutely adored chelseagirl and wanted to be her; I even emailed her for advice.  I wanted to fuck Jefferson, with Robbie and three or four other guys there.  I eventually got up the nerve to email him, too (though not to fuck him).

After I’d been blogging for awhile, I got more comfortable with bloggers, and started to feel, rightly or wrongly, as though most of them were colleagues and some of them friends.  I think this is pretty common.  We admire what others do, and if we’re lucky or smart or foolhardy, we get up enough nerve to try it ourselves.  Once we try it, it doesn’t seem superhuman or impossible.  It’s just normal.  It’s kind of like the awe you felt for grown-ups until you were one.

About a year or a year and a half ago, though, something distressing began.  Blogs started to disappear.  The blogs I loved the most died off in a giant wave of blog extinction.  The first one to go, as I recall, was spiral submissive’s.  She was a young woman in Virginia, very devoted to a rather strict Sir, and I often worried about her after her web page disappeared and her url sported a title in Arabic.  Puppy Tales, Brooke’s outrageous and filthy fantasies about humiliation, was next, deleted, so the story went, by a moody and (over?)protective Master.  Then came chelseagirl, who gave up blogging in a the wake of a wave of post-breakup mourning.  One Life Take Two went dark when Jefferson’s ex-wife sued him for custody of their children on the basis of information she’d discovered in his blog.  Kitten in Chains petered out because Kitten and her master decided that D/s was not for them anymore.  And various other people, like Marianne at Indiscretion, just decided to stop.

All of this has left my blogroll rather patchy.  And yet, even though dead links have always infuriated me, I’ve intentionally not updated mine.  When spiral submissive disappeared, I wanted to keep her name in my personal lights, because of what her existence had meant to me at a time when I needed very desperately to figure out what kinky sex was.  It was the bad old days—that’s right, before FetLife—and knowing she was out there, and might still be, was comforting to me.  And when each of the bloggers who followed her winked out, I kept that tradition of tribute.

Time has passed, things have changed.  chelseagirl and Jefferson are back, their writing as fine as ever.  Brooke and Kitten have returned, as has a blogger named milla, whom I love.  And I have met or stumbled upon many, many new bloggers who work I want to honor and note.  So I’ll be changing my blog roll soon and gradually.  But before I do, I wanted to pay a small tribute to the people whose names will of necessity be removed from it, as well as to the people, like aag and TBK, who continue to write day in and day out.  I want to say thank you, and to say, along with Confucius, that “Words are the voice of the heart”.  Thank you to everyone who shares their hearts in this ethereal, fragile medium.