Over several glasses of wine and numerous brainstorming sessions (usually involving more wine), three very different Langley women, ages 25, 30 and 35, decided to create an edgy blog — where no topic is taboo — highlighting everything that is cool about living, dining and shopping in the Fraser Valley.
And so sexandthesuburb.com was born.
That was less than three months ago, and Sex and The Suburb has exploded in popularity, with the blog generating more than 8,500 hits in the first month. Since then, the SATS ladies have caught the eye of several Fraser Valley event organizers and are finding themselves co-hosting a radio show.
Most recently, a local sex therapist has joined the blog to answer questions people are too shy to ask out loud.
But it’s the honesty these women put into the articles they write that has really connected readers with the blog, and even though there is a certain vulnerability to being that open about their personal lives, none of the women has any regrets.
It’s all written from a personal perspective, touching on domestic violence, eating disorders, marrying an older man, to having endemetreosis and not being able to have kids.
“The kind of stories we wanted on SATS is all the stuff we talk about with our girlfriends and with our husbands,” said Kendall Del Frarri. “We don’t hold back.”
It wasn’t enough to just highlight all that is cool about living in the Fraser Valley.
“The idea for the website was we wanted to empower women while also showcasing the fabulous things we have going for us here in the Fraser Valley,” said Teresa Celentano.
The trio had no idea the blog would become such a hit, so quickly.
“It came together really fast and once we saw that the domain name hadn’t been taken, we got goosebumps,” said Kristyl Clark — the mommy of the trio whose hilarious and unabashedly honest columns Pink Laundry appear on the blog and will soon be featured in the Langley Times.
The SATS girls recently partnered with the Cork and Keg event that took place on Friday, Sept. 14. They followed that up with visits to BBQ on the Bypass and the food fair in Abbotsford — posting pictures and blogging and tweeting about the tastiest treats and sips being offered, with many readers posting their favourite bits and bites at the various events.
The Fox radio station started following SATS on Twitter and now the the ladies have been invited to co-host one of the radio’s hump day segments for four hours on Sept. 19.
The trio broke the news to their husbands that their private lives were going to be displayed for the world to see online.
“They were totally supportive. They jokingly call themselves the Househusbands of Brookswood,” said Del Frarri, who wrote about her experience with domestic violence before she met her husband.
“That was hard for my husband to read, but in the end it’s been a really positive thing for us,” she said.
The response from readers has been overwhelming, with many thanking Del Frarri for speaking out and helping them open up about their own experiences.
Celentano wrote about her painful battle with endometriosis. “I felt really alone battling this. I felt like I was the only one going through this but when I wrote about it and received so much feedback I saw that I wasn’t alone,” she said.
Since there is no hotter topic than sex and, well, it’s right there in the title of their blog — the SATS ladies were lucky to bring a sex therapist on board.
“A lot of our readers want information about sex,” said Clark.
People can submit a question anonymously and the doctor will answer, no matter how squeamish the question.
Dr. Lyne Piche has already addressed why she thinks cheating happens and how to bring sexy back into that long-term relationship.
But the ladies also thought it was important to incorporate some charity work as well.
The SATS ladies managed to fill 50 backpacks with school supplies for the Salvation Army back to school drive. Langley businesses really stepped up to help, said Clark.
“It blew my mind how receptive businesses were to help as were friends and family, some who couldn’t afford $40, gave it anyway,” she said. “Businesses in Langley who didn’t even know who we were donated without reservation.”
The SATS ladies also participated in the Underwear Affair this year, and have a lot of other ideas including a blood drive and sponsoring families at Christmas.
To keep a blog like this going requires a lot of planning, business meetings (OK, it may involve wine) and writing. There is also the social media elements as well including constant tweets and posts. The blog is constantly being updated to keeps things fresh.
“We have a lot of business meetings,” said Celentano. “Sometimes, I think I should just pitch a tent in Kendall’s backyard I’m there so late.”
All three women are busy with paying jobs while managing to keep the blog hopping in the evenings and on the weekends.
“Sometimes, I can’t find a babysitter so my girls will come to the meetings and I’ll find myself wiping butts between taking notes,” laughed Clark.
Clark left her post as a reporter for the Peace Arch News to stay at home with her two young girls.
Her columns are about the ups and downs of being a mom.
While she often leaves readers laughing into their wine glasses with her tales, others require a handful of tissues to get through, including one in which she talks about her dad who died in an emergency shelter in the Downtown Eastside before Clark could tell him he was going to be a grandfather again.