Sunday, May 19, 2013


Am I seeking to be popular?

So like most Sunday mornings, I got up early to head into work.  Unfortunately my back felt like I had just completed an Olympic gymnastic routine and was hurting quite badly.  It's not uncommon for my back to hurt when I first get up, so I went ahead and took a long hot shower hoping to relax it enough to go into work.

That didn't happen.  Of course taking the shower itself ensured that I wouldn't be returning to bed, so I went ahead and called in, and started browsing around some blogs.  I found several caps that I enjoyed, but it's a comment that really caught my attention.  On Simone's most recent cap an anonymous poster wrote "Some truly have gotten an ego in the community, when did capping become a popularity contest?"

The comment struck me as odd in many ways.  First and foremost, Simone's cap didn't deal with popularity. She didn't write anything in her post that would lead someone to think in this direction nor did any of the other comments go that way.  It was really just out of the blue.  I looked around a bit at the blogs I most regularly follow and couldn't find something that may have gotten this person to think that Simone or any other blogger has gotten an ego or was considering popularity in any way.

Initially I had a combination of surprise and anger at the comment.  The more I thought of it though, the more I started to wonder... ARE we getting an ego?  Are we looking for popularity?  The more I let my mind wander down that path the more I started to think that the answer was yes.  Yes we have an ego, and yes we are looking for popularity.

Just not in a negative way.

Stay with me on this.  I believe there is a part of everybody that seeks to be popular.  From the high school jock to the multi million dollar executive.  From the math nerd to the emo kids.  We as human beings are social beasts.  Even when we purposefully turn our back on society, we still seek approval.  If we aren't the arch time 'cool kids' in class, we seek it even more.  As I'm sure we can all agree, having TG fantasies and desires certainly don't put us in that 'cool' group.  Everyone in this community including cap artists, fiction writers, blog mistresses, and those that are simply fans of the genre, are seeking an approval that most of society denies us.

In general, talking about one's sexual fantasies is frowned upon.  But even in areas that it's ok to talk about, we're still shunned into believing that OUR fantasies are wrong.  Before I created caps, I wandered the story sites and blogs and felt that in a way I was accepted here.  It wasn't just all right that I fantasized about this, it was encouraged.  Even though I make caps now, I'm still seeking that encouragement.

I was never the cool kid in school.  I would probably best be described as a nerd back in the day.  I had a few friends and made it through the high school gauntlet just fine.  But I always wondered what it was to be popular.  What it would be like to have people not only liking you, but seeking you out for friendship.  That mindset never really left.  In college I was never the center of a group.  At work I was respected, but still never popular.

But here... I've gained some popularity.  I may have only been capping for about three years and blogging for he last two years but I've grown out of that 'new' stage.  It would be naive of me to think of myself as the new kid on the block trying to make waves.  But I still feel that way most of the time.  I blush when I'm complimented heavily and down right squee when someone says they're a fan.  Sometimes that does lead me to have an ego.

But I don't think that's a bad thing.  My ego comes from making caps that both I and others enjoy.  It's from taking pride in my work, not from thinking that I'm better than anybody.

Even without the ego, I still would be seeking popularity.  Just consider the definition according to Google:

Popularity:  The state or condition of being liked, admired, or supported by many people

I want to be liked.  I want to be admired.  I want to be supported.  These aren't bad things... they are simple validations that I'm not alone in the way that I think.  It's a way of saying that my desires and fantasies aren't only not strange, but are shared and enjoyed by others.

I think the one thing in that anonymous post that does bring me down is asking 'when did capping become a popularity contest?' because I don' want to be part of any popularity contest.  Even if there was such a popularity contest in this community, how would it be judged?  Followers?  I have more than my fair share, but certainly not the most.  Comments?  I get a lot of great comments, but there are blogs out there that get far more.  Page views?  Again, I get a lot, but I don't come close to other blogs.

I'm grateful for every follower, comment and page view, but I don't ever want to compare mine to someone else.  All bloggers have a unique voice that will bring in a unique set of fans.  Would I like to have as many followers as Smitty does?  Sure, but it doesn't bother me that I don't have that many.  Would I like to have as many comments as Dee?  Sure, but it doesn't bother me that I don't have that many.  Would I like to have as many page views as Rauk?  Sure... but you get the idea.

No matter what level of popularity we have, we'll always be seeking out more.  But out of all the cappers that I know, I can't think of a single one that is seeking out popularity for popularity's sake.   We're all seeking validation in our dreams, fantasies, and art.  There's no reason for any of us to have a popularity contest, because we've already won.

If you like me and like the caps that I make, then I owe you a big Thank You!  And if you don't like me or don't like my caps... well hell I owe you just as big of a Thank You for taking the time to read a  1000+ word essay of mine!

So lets ask that again:

Some truly have gotten an ego in the community, when did capping become a popularity contest?

Yes... we all have egos and they are just as fragile and delicate as anybody elses.   If you see capping as a popularity contest, then someone is doing it wrong.  We're all popular and are all winners whenever we make a cap that somebody enjoys!


  1. I AM in a competition or contest .. but with myself. I want to make better captions than I did the week before, the month before, and the year before. I want to make captions that I haven't made before, or at least give them a new spin so I don't repeat myself. I want to have more page hits than I did the month before.

    Everyone can be envious. Its one of the deadly sins, but it can also motivate you to try even harder. Not so much now, as I have a pretty good idea of who I am and what I can do, but in the past I was envious of others skill sets, enough to motivate me to learn how to step up my game. Those people also tended to become my friends, and hopefully they learned a few things from me as well.

    I believe in "the rising tide lifts all boats" theory. If someone likes my blog, they will be more inclined to look at others creations, and it works the same way with them. The more "popular" that Simone, Caitlyn, Smitty, etc .. get, the more exposure my blog gets.

    Lastly, I am not sure that ego = popularity. Perhaps they meant that because of a rise in popularity, someone was getting a bigger ego about themselves? Otherwise, I don't think it fits as I know quite a few people that are quite popular but have very low self esteem. No matter how much people like them, they are still worried that they aren't good enough for the praise.

    Anyway, great job of generating a discussion for your blog. Hell, I might chime in on this in mine ... we haven't had a real discussion all week!

    1. I love the 'rising tide' theory, and this IS one of the places that it holds true. I can often find out who has had a recent popular post by the uptick in visitors from their blog. It just shows another way that our community tries to help each other!

  2. I have never thought of Miss Simone as a pushy blogger, she posts some great captions and I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting a bit of feed back.
    I think by the nature of tg blogs the blogger puts a lot of their dreams fantasies and kinks out there for all to see, tg is still an unspoken thing for many so maybe some contact with like minded gals and admirers is sought out.
    There are many different personalities blogging but I can't think of I've spotted blotted egos,

    1. I agree that I've never seen Miss Simone do anything warranting that comment. To be honest, I wish the person that posted that comment would come here and speak up about it. Maybe they're just seeing something that isn't there, and this conversation would alleviate any concerns they have.

  3. I had to comment. You have given my own thoughts on community and TG community in particular some voice.

    I agree, we are all here searching for some validation and some acceptance that we are not completely alone and odd. With the desires that we have within this community it is easy to be dismissive of them in society, to believe the hype that we are somehow 'wrong' and worthy of shunning. So, in that situation, many of us would happily repudiate who we were in the name of popularity, in the name of acceptance.

    And so, yes, we all have egos here and there is a popularity contest of sorts, but it is all very positively and supportively done.

    I wonder, is this the same for the more common FtM community?

    1. I can't speak to any other FtM community as this is the only community that I'm part of... but I can't imagine a community of people sharing their experiences and feelings that much of the world actively shuns being anything other than kind, loving, and accepting.

  4. I enjoy making captions. I've done it for some time now and my ability to create captions has improved over the years. I like that people seem to enjoy my captions and I hope that continues. Because of that, I've grown confident in my abilities.

    That said, no one will ever be a bigger critic of my captions than myself.

    I scrutinize everything when I create a cap because I have a high standard of myself. Like Dee, I want to make the best caption possible. I want to make YOUR favorite caption. I want to provoke a response from the reader and leave them with something good - even it's simply a nice squirmy feeling inside.

    To me,no caption I create will be good ENOUGH. I'll always think I can do better, even if I LIKE it. There will always be a different approach to a story, a different picture to inspire me, a new fantasy to explore or a new format to play with.

    Now if that gives me an ego then I happily accept it. If I'm guilty of anything, it's wanting to share what I create AND wanting feedback. It's pretty much the same as Caitlyn explained above. This is the forum I've chosen to inhabit and I want acceptance within in. I will never want it at the expense of others, however. Too many others who have been around this community have shown me too much kindness for me to wish ill on them. Too many have helped me along the way and I hope I can do the same.

    1. I looked up the definition of ego:

      "A person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance".

      I find it funny that both self-esteem (something that I look at as a good thing) and self-importance (something that I look at as a bad thing) define ego. I believe what you just described is raising your own self-esteem, and NOT your self-importance. So yes, you have an ego and at the same time you do not have an ego. And really, I think that would work as defining many of us here.

  5. If I remember right Dementia called it somewhere along the lines of setting a standard to captions. It was no longer valid - for us captioners - to create a caption with a box filled with words and a hot image, which would end having more importance than the story written, or maybe not paying attention to what we usually do most us nowadays, which is to try to position the "box" in the right place, playing with photoshop, adding flavor to the words. Making some importance to bold letters or Italics, trying new fomats...

    I see that as part of the competition. A sane one If I would say so, but for the ego question. Well People do have egos, and trying to put the ego at bay is difficult but also painful. If you try to blockade your ego on your own, someday you will useless. I think it's good to have some ego and say hey! I can do it better, I will do it better, it will be better, no matter what.

    To say that's something wrong is to block the aspiration of someone to be better at something.

    I think that the good criticism can help us to create something better, and only flattery will get us nowhere and enter into a rut. If I'm guilty of trying to better at something in order to make someone even happier then so be it!

    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

    1. I agree... we all have egos and we SHOULD have them as artists. But where most artistic egos can quickly get out of hand, thinking that they are better than their peers, or looking down upon people just breaking into the field... well I just don't see that in the capping community.

  6. I was puzzled by the response as well, but this is a great post.

    1. Thanks Beatrice! At this point with so many people chiming in and adding their own voice shoring up what i said, I really can't be angry at the person that wrote the comment. If they were trying to poke a bear and get into a fight, the only thing they've gotten was seeing us all come together stronger than before!

  7. I've never had a problem with a little healthy competition, but to say that this community has an ongoing "popularity contest" doesn't make sense to me. When I first started capping, seeing blogs with hundreds of followers and captions with thousands of views was amazing, as it showed me what was possible in this community. Now, seeing the incredible material others are producing is the main driving force for me to continue to strive to create better captions.

    So while to say that we're not striving to be more popular would be lying, I agree that it's not a bad thing. This is not some cutthroat competition where the success of one capper means the failure of another; we're lucky enough to be part of an amazing community where the success of any one of us benefits both the readers, who get to experience great stories, and the creators, who now have a new source of inspiration for their on work.

    1. You're right Rauk... there is nothing wrong with a healthy competition. Competition helps us all work to better ourselves. The only time it really goes wrong is when someone tries to better themselves at the expense of another.. and as we've all been saying, that just doesn't happen in this community.

  8. Well, I suppose a sissy needs to chime in here. For years I read blogs of various sorts, seeking out material that piqued my interest. There were some that I always returned to, and it wasn't because they did not continue to interest me. In other words, we seek quality. How is quality achieved? Some special people simply are so creative that it sort of flows out of them. They cannot suppress it. Others have to work to express their creativity. For me, it is more work than the former. When I began my blog, I did it because I hoped I could contribute to this world of exploring latent male femininity. I am driven onward though, I am quite certain, because others have enjoyed my blog, and let me know they do. I am fairly sure that means my blog is "popular," and I am happy about that. And it presses me onward. But, am I competing with Caitlyn? Or Dee? Or anyone? Not specifically. We are all different, as we each express our views in different ways. Am I inspired by others? Absolutely! That said, I'll admit it. I'm competitive and like being liked. But I feel what I feel and my blog will continue to be driven by that more than anything else. But I do not think it is bad that I like being liked. Nor should anyone else. In my humble sissy opinion. Great dialogue Caitlyn sweetie.



  9. Everything has a competitive element to it as we strive for greatness. But don't worry I love you and I'm sure the rest of your readers do too. Creativity needs inspiration and we are fortunate that there are as many ts blogs out there as there are to draw from. It's not like a reader can only love one blog or blogger. In any event though you are definitely my favorite ;)