As you know, in February, I started this blog to chronicle my jaw surgery. My vision was that it would be a site for people seeking out information about what to expect when they went under the bone saw. I also saw it as a good way for my co-workers, family and friends to see how I was doing while I was at home recovering.
It's a specialized site that I've promoted on the jaw surgery forums I frequent, so it has a small, specific audience. When it began, the blog got an average of 15-30 hits per day. So, when I went to my stats page one day and saw that my site had gotten 599 hits in one day, I was more than a little surprised.
I did some digging to see where all of these new readers were coming from, and the same website popped up for all of them. It appeared to be a forum for people with braces. When I tried to click on the link, it wouldn't let me in without a user name and password. So, I created one, expecting admission to the site would be immediate.
Not so much.
My membership had to be approved by the site administrator first.
As I waited for the approval, I watched my stat counter reach more than 500 hits again the next day. What on earth was going on?
When I finally received my Willkommen email (that should have been my first hint), I began clicking around to see what the site was about and why I was suddenly so popular. While nothing on the site is overtly stated, it quickly became clear to me that it isn't a support group for people with braces, as I had assumed by its name.
what I can only presume to be...
wait for it...
a German orthodontic fetish website.
If you are choking on a retainer or a loose wire right now, I'll give you a moment to regain your composure.
The page where my URL is posted is titled, "erwachsene frauen" or "adult women" and all it contains are links and links and links to pictures of women with braces. The pictures aren't dirty or provocative, just photos of unsuspecting women smiling with braces on their teeth, likely lifted from websites, forums and blogs like mine.
If this isn't a fetish site, I don't know what else it could be. Because otherwise, what's the point?
I imagine that part of the thrill is the fact that the women don't know their pictures are being used in this way; they are unknowing participants or even victims of this fetish.
And while part of me is a little disturbed by this development, I do have to note that after my URL were not one, but two exclamation points.
Yup, braces or not, I've still got it.
The funny thing is, the 1,500 alleged German orthodontic fetishists who flooded my site for three days in April actually did me a big favour. After the Germans came, my site traffic jumped from 15-30 hits per day to 75-100 hits per day, and it has stayed that way. My stats tell me these new visitors are the result of legitimate searches for jaw surgery-related terms, not more hits from the same site.
From what I understand, because of the huge spike in hits, Google's crawlers took note of my website and prioritized it in their searches. Now, when people who are looking for information on jaw surgery and recovery, they find my site. So in a weird way, the fetishists helped me help other people going through the same thing.
How thoughtful of them! How am I ever to repay their kindness or thank them for what they have contributed to the jaw surgery community?
I considered taking some pictures of sauerkraut stuck in my arch wires, or maybe a big German sausage against my brackets. But that was too much work. The post-surgery anemia makes me tired, don't you know.
In the end, I decided to devote my final braces colours to my legions of German fans. The bracket ties are bands of black, red and gold - the colours of the German flag. See?