Struggling With Body Image and Why I Don’t Talk About It

First, I get the mainly female population who slam me for being naturally thin, and not understanding the plight of those who have different genetic makeups.  Second, I get the crowd who tell me I am supposed to be body positive no matter what, and talking about weight is some sort of societal construct that we should all break away from.  And third, I get the population who sexualize the weight gain topic (I am including the crowd who tell me that I shouldn’t worry because they would still fuck me, and those who tell me I am hotter with meat on my bones, or those who flat out tell me I am now disgusting).

Based on those three reactions, I have not ever written about my struggles with weight on the blog and only share full nudity on my Patreon as a bonus.  I have allowed this topic to remain taboo, and omitted it from my sex positive exploration.  Today, I am taking my first step to open some dialogue about my struggles with weight or as it is turning out, ranting my frustrations.  So let me start here, even though I am naturally thin, my struggles are valid. I am tired of being told I cannot have a voice in the whole body image scene. Or that, I need to remain quiet when people talk about their weight or eating habits. Do you know what finally made me brave enough to write this? It was putting on that damn quarantine weight. Why? Because for the first time, I didn’t feel like an outsider amongst my female friends and from this point onward I can honestly say I put on a tonne of unexpected weight and I can confirm that losing weight is just as difficult as putting it on. I am spitting mad that I had to experience both sides to finally have a valid voice, because that is just not how any of this is supposed to work!!!

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In the past, whenever I have mentioned that I am trying to put on a few extra pounds, I get shamed.  Not only shamed, but outright shut down.  I have not once been able to have a healthy conversation with a female friend about my desire to have a little curve to my body, and a bit of a booty. It seems it is OK to promote body awareness, and positivity from everyone, except the skinny little ones that cannot possibly know the pain of trying to lose weight. Yeah, I am bitter, and angry that I have allowed myself to be silenced for so damn long.  We all struggle with body image from time to time.  This is a universal truth superseding gender, and the colour of our skin.  At some point, there is something about our image we wish we could change. And you know what? Being able to have healthy conversations about this from every single person who wants to talk about it is important.

You cannot say you a part of the body positive movement if you shut out my voice. My experience with my weight and the way I look are every bit as important as yours.  I am a human, with a physical body, and I struggle with the way it looks. Going to swing clubs, and being naked around other humans has been the best experience for my quest to accept my body.  It is what has allowed me to truly be comfortable naked.  However, and I cannot stress this enough, getting to those parties can be terrifying. In my life, the idea that women are vicious when it comes to body image has been re-enforced so many times that writing a post like this makes me a little sick to the stomach.

The perception that it must be easier for me to accept my body than others need to stop. The shame I receive when I complain that I am feeling to boney or skinny needs to stop.  When I mention that I am trying to gain weight so I feel more healthy and sexy, stop telling me to shut up. Let us collectively accept that body image is an equal struggle for all humans.  The man with the dad bod is struggling the same as the skinny guy desperate to look like aqua man shirtless. If reading that, you think the skinny guy has it easier, then your biases are invalidating him and that needs to end right now. If we do not feel comfortable talking about it, we will never be able to actually overcome body shame and call ourselves a sex and body positive community accepting of everyone!

Let me leave you with one final thought: Who decided that calling someone fat was far more cruel than calling someone skinny???  Please leave your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter. Let us get talking!

Saying No: It’s Not Just for the Bedroom

Consent in our Daily Lives

Ask Before Touching

After publishing my latest piece on consent via Medium, a horrible thought struck me.  Are we reaching a saturation point, whereby we are overusing the word consent?  Are we perhaps beating a dead horse and losing the momentum?  The sex positive community knows what it means, and employs it regularly, whereas the primarily monogamous part of our society is ignoring the importance of what this actually means.  When I talk about consent with people in person, I get the impression that people just don’t care about the word or it’s implications.  It feels like it is reserved for situations such as rape, sexual harassment, etc.  Not something that the average person really needs to think about. 

We read in the news all about the extreme situations whereby a coach used their position of power to sexually abuse their athletes, or the serial rapist who drugged their victims then took advantage of them.  We as a society see these actions as morally and criminally wrong, and leave it at that.  We don’t think about, or want to think about everything that lead up to these extreme situations.  We don’t want to acknowledge that in our day to day lives there are countless moments where we just go with the flow.  We do not say no, or even yes with authenticity.

How many times in the past 24 hours have you been tasked with something that you did not want to do?  How many times in the last month were you asked to do something that you morally felt uncomfortable with?  Did it even cross your mind to say something?  Or, did you just go with the flow, and choose not to ruffle feathers.  To trust your superior, with blind faith?  I for one, do it all the time, or at least I know I used to.  I relied on a stable income, so I chose to not speak up when I felt uncomfortable with an assigned task.  I chose to just do my job, and that would be the end of it. 

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There is an added element to this, that I would be amyss not bringing up.  I was raised, as female, and to always be the peacemaker.  To try and find common ground, compromise, and above all, do not stand out or be bitchy.  I know, I have written about this before, but, it is necessary to repeat.  If you are raised, as I was, to be calm, level headed, always smiling person that people can count on, you are not in the same breath taught to assert yourself.  You are not taught how to say yes or no.  You are not raised to understand that your voice will be taken seriously, respected, or to have any impact whatsoever.  Your role is to keep things even and balanced.  But speaking up, and saying you are not OK with a situation is just, wrong.  This in short is not your place.

Obviously, this mentality, is part of the reason so many of us struggle with consent.  For my male counterparts, they were not raised to hear the word no.  And I was not raised to say the word no. So therefore, giving this whole consent topic anything more than a passing glance would be a waste of time.  This is a them problem.  This is something that outliers need to deal with.  No rational or normal person would take advantage of a situation or a person beneath them.  Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, that is a complete farce. We all, are faced with choices, on a daily basis, and especially us, easy going Canadians, will not speak our minds. We do not utilize the yes or no in our verbiage unless it is an extreme situation.  We choose not to offend within our families, or stand up for what’s right in our careers. 

Saying yes or no is still taboo, and this needs to change.  My voice matters, and your voice matters.  My ability to assert myself is a fundamental part of who I am.  Your ability to have autonomy over your body and actions are what make you… you!  We must start talking about consent, and how we can start using these words with authenticity, and how we can teach it to the next generation. 

Thank you to everyone who has like, read, shared, and special thanks to those who take the time to comment and engage! And if you want to go one step further, please check out my Patreon!

Catching the Feels


“Don’t catch the feels” is a term that I see time and time again within the swinging community and if this is your first time hearing it, no, it is not something that swingers use in a positive light.  Avoiding catching the feels really separates swingers from the rest of the non-monogamous spectrum.  Because one of the main attractions to partner swapping and sharing is the ability to isolate sex from emotions.  You in essence can sleep with a multitude of people, get to know them, be social and do all these exciting and amazing things in the bedroom, but remain emotionally monogamous with your spouse.  For you see, if you develop any sort of feelings you must stop seeing these outside partners immediately.  That is a breach of trust within your relationship and basically violating the golden swinger rule; Thou shalt not catch the feels!

I hear this term frequently, within forums and any discussion about how to approach swinging for the first time, especially from the older generations.  These couples have negotiated the ideal that they can have sex outside their relationship with the clear understanding that it is only sex.  They can play together multiple times with the same couple, sometimes even for years at a time but there is no emotional bond beyond the sex and friendship.  There is a line strongly drawn in the sand here.  Your emotional connection is reserved for your spouse/partner and only for them.  With the acknowledgement that sex with other people is a lot of fun and encouraged so by all means embrace the physical.  But if you blur those two ideals, then your very relationship could be in jeopardy and your swingers card is basically revoked.

Ok, I’m over stepping a wee bit on the that last one, because there isn’t actually a swingers card, although that would be really fun.  A card where you have to basically sign that you agree to consent, take responsibility for your own sexual safety and you agree to abide by the house rules, whatever those may be.  But I have digressed there.  Let’s get back on track, those icky feelings.

I have explored so many wondrous relationship norms on the non monogamous spectrum, and if you’re a regular reader you know that I struggle with rules.  I struggle with being told that any relationship I embark on has limitations.  I am so much more flexible and open minded about these things.  I want to be able to explore without limits, other than safe sex of course.  So, in essence I feel like I am living a taboo within a taboo.  A non-monogamous open mindedness for relationships within the parameters of swinging or at times vice versa.  It’s a strange feeling.

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If you read my post Next Generation Swingers, you may have noticed that I see a whole new generation of swingers entering into the lifestyle and club scene.  And with that I see the potential to re-imagine or re-invent the term swinging, because the reality is it is already happening with the 20 somethings whether we like it or not.  They are groups of friends who go to clubs, host parties and have a much less restrained view on swingers and relationships.  It’s a new fresh community, which of course will create all new issues.  And the main one that I see, and dread being a part of, is the word drama.  When you eliminate relationships from forming beyond sexual contact with other couples, you do lessen the public drama.  Realistically there is still drama going on behind closed doors, and in private bathroom stalls (we’ve all been witness to those sobbing sounds).  But it is removed from clubs almost immediately, because bad vibes kill boners, it’s a fact.

So, with the influx of the young, and more relationship flexible people we are opening up to more drama.  Because relationships are very, VERY complicated.  So maybe that’s what the earliest swingers had in mind with the whole keep feelings out of swinging mantra.  And I have to admit, that they also created a very enticing idea of maintaining a constant adrenaline high of butterflies with new partners without ever having the heartache or breakup in the end.  But truly, don’t you think having the lows makes the highs so much more meaningful and valuable?  I know the argument that the lows are for marriage and that swinging is just a bonus for many.  So then my full disclosure here, is that I cannot separate sex from feelings if I want to get off in a way that really makes my knees shake, and nor would I want to learn how.  I adore the intensity of sex with people I care deeply about, so much more than just the fleeting excitement of newness.  The emotional connection has a staying power with me and that is where my physical attraction comes from.  So here I sit, a swinger outlier, yet again.  But I ask you, is there a single swinger out there who hasn’t yet discovered that you cannot ride the highs forever, no matter how much you try to avoid catching the feels?  Is this whole idea of sex without feelings simply a myth, an ideal that can never actually be achieved in the long term?  I would love to hear your thoughts…

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A Post About Abortion: Because It Matters

Right now, I have a friend who is making one of the most challenging decisions of her life.  The decision to choose what is best for her, when faced with the unexpected news that she is pregnant.  And I guarantee that you probably do too and just don’t know it.  This is not an easy subject to write about, nor is it a comfortable one for you to read about.  However it is an issue that affects each and every one of us in one way or another.  If you have ever been in this position, you know the roller coaster of emotions.  You know the feeling of wanting it one second, and hating it the next.  The gut wrenching pain of feeling like your a monster for even considering termination and then the overwhelming selfish feeling when you decide to put yourself first, even for a moment.

Every single reader of mine knows someone who has been through this decision process.  Every single pregnancy comes with it, the dreaded doubt, even if for a second.  These decisions do not come lightly and they are further influenced by a range of hormones that catch every single female off guard.  This is again something that affects each and every one of us, male or female, with or without a designated gender.  As a species we have survived because we can procreate.  And as a female, we have been equally shamed and praised for this gift depending on race, culture and/or religion.

The female of our species has the often magical and incredible ability to create new life, right inside our own bodies.  And because of this females are often raised with the notion that this is our most important life goal, to create new life.  It is our gift to humanity, and in many places around the world and throughout our evolution, our singular purpose.  With the immense weight on our consciousness, do not think for even a second that the decision to terminate can ever be the easy way out.  It is not and it never will be.  But very often, it can be the only decision and in some small instances the ethically correct one.  I go into the reasons in more depth here, so I won’t repeat myself.

Now I know I wrote a few months ago about how stifling it was that social taboo dictated I could not publicly talk about my sex life, slightly in jest.  But here I have found a much bigger issue.  When woman are at their most vulnerable and need support the most, we do not have a way to reach out.  We cannot make a public calling asking for love and support when we find ourselves in an unexpected situation like this.  The network of support is firmly closed for us.  As women we become isolated, and almost castrated from our social and family circles.  Even the woman who find anonymous forums for support, risk the wrath of trolls.  Those cruel and uneducated souls, who believe it is their mission to stir up the status quo, or worse, preach their own religious crusades and verbally harass woman.  In many places around the world keeping or adopting is the only solution that is acceptable, or even legal, and that needs to change.  We have an ethical responsibility to ensure that each individual has equal access to health care that is sanitary, regulated and wherever possible free.

So what can and what should you do as loving, caring and ethical member of the society that we live in?  Remember first and foremost, that all humans should have a right to do with their own bodies  what they choose and live the way they see fit.  If your belief system is one that forces you to publicly shame other human beings, for making their own decisions about their life, then you need to reevaluate your religion and personal values.  It is not up to every member of our society to have to rationalize their behaviors or actions to strangers so long as they impact only themselves.  And finally, if you know anyone in this situation, listen to them.  Give them a hug, and let them feel free to express the vast range of emotions they are going through.  Each member of our society has value, and no one should be ostracized for doing what they feel is right or best for them at the time.  You do not have to agree with the difficult decision to abort, but you do have to accept that if the decision is made, the woman is still human and deserves autonomy, safety and care, free of public judgement and shame.  As each woman knows, we judge ourselves enough and do not need any help from anyone else.

The Taboo of Sleeping with an Exes Friend

Why is it so taboo to sleep with an exes friend after a breakup and yet encouraged to sleep with a random stranger to get over someone?  Bro’s before hoes and other such phrases come to mind.  I have touched on this before, so forgive me if I repeat a few thoughts here.  This is an important concept to question and give some serious consideration to.  We put so much emphasis on the thoughts and feelings of the injured party in a breakup and silly little rules, that I think we forget a few more human details in the process.
When you are newly single, often times, getting over that sexual hump is important.  Sex releases endorphin’s and gets your body moving, so it is natural to seek this out when you are emotionally fragile.  Exercise and new experiences, or really anything positive is a good thing.  So why then do we put possible harmful limitations on ourselves when in this potentially fragile frame of mind?  We are not allowed to seek out human comfort from people that we know.  People who are safer, kinder, and we have relationships with?  Why are we not allowed to go seek a one nighter or a few weeks of fun from someone who is friends with the ex?  Society deems this action as taboo, as a social no no, that with which is frowned upon and just plain shunned from any party who knows about it. 
Now I ask you, why is it ok, and encouraged to go out to the bar and get some strange instead, from well, a stranger?  These people are high fived afterwards, congratulated for getting their ex out of their system and they can proudly brag about just using a person to get over someone else.  How is this healthy?  How is this acceptable?  Why is this sort of behavior encouraged?  All this goes hand in hand with just how sex negative our society can be.
Now let us not forget, that it stings to know that your friend and ex have slept together.  It is not a fun feeling, and it can ruin a friendship if you let it.  I have employed the notion of laughing at an ex and a friend sleeping together, laughing that he is now her problem, or sometimes cruelly thinking about some facet of our old sex lives that I no longer have to deal with.  The visual of two people I know being intimate sucks.  But if you really loved someone, the idea of them sleeping with anyone sucks.  Perhaps it is my enduring empathy that I have for people, even exes, that I would not wish them harm.  I would feel a strange and terrible sadness if they went out to the bar, had a one night stand and were physically harmed or emotional abused in some way.  That is much less likely to occur if they slept with someone they knew, not impossible of course, but there is a smaller chance. 

The long and the short of it is, when you are hurting, opening up to a stranger is tough.  Seeking solace in a friend is what they are there for.  If this leads to sexy times, then it does.  I have used complete discretion when I have slept with exes friends.  It is not rubbed in anyone’s face, and what is more, we are all adults and can and should choose who we sleep with.  Just something to think about the next time you chastise a friend for sleeping with an ex.  In my opinion it should be more socially acceptable than the praise of sleeping with a stranger.  And the one final thought on the subject, when two people sleep together it almost never has to do with the exes.  It has to do with those two people, the moment, the lust, the whatever, and no one else.  Sleeping with someone else, and while having an ex on the brain is a whole other ball of wax ie revenge sex, or evening the scores (it happens of course, however it would take an entire piece to deal with the emotional goings on of a tryst like that).