Getting my shit together has been hard work. And in the last year of my life, I pushed through some really difficult things, including budgeting, accepting singledom (and the fact that this time around ghosting is everywhere), and basically forcing myself into a new writing routine. With all that said, my 38th year, I am dubbing the year of the flamingo. Which I love because it is the most unique, awkward, and interesting creature, thus my spirit animal. Embracing my inner flamingo has been an experience, and while I am not claiming to be an expert on this majestic bird, I do share a lot of traits with it. Or maybe I don’t, and just love the look of them. Either way, it’s fine.
As a very young child, I remember spending hours standing in my grandmother’s kitchen posing like a flamingo. I have no idea where this behavior came from, or for how many years I would do this. What I do know is that the memory makes me smile, recalling me in my youth, just balancing in a way that made me happy. Zero flocks given! Haha.
Now, more than ever, I need that mentality to run through me. I have written a few posts, some shared, some not published yet about embracing that I feel better with a partner. With a man in my life, I can take over the world, but alone, I only feel this about half the time, or sometimes less. Sure, I get confident bursts and moments, but then I get lonely and recall that I am missing intimacy. The thoughts of inadequacy, or being too overwhelming for certain people, or that nagging voice that says I expect too much. There we go, that brings on the tears. I don’t want to be that intimidating person. Instead, I want to be warm and fuzzy, and yet… I am that flamingo. Standing alone, in a group of thousands. That’s me. Bold, pink, and largely mysterious.
I want to be less mysterious to a few souls this 38th year of life, but, who knows what the world actually has in store for me. While embracing my own emotions has been rewarding, and calling emotions valid has helped, I do truly want partnership. I hope though that love will appear a few times this year, and maybe not end in heartache? Perhaps? Maybe… pretty please universe?
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I should be crying right now, as we are want to do with a breakup reflection. In fact, I should be going through all the typical heartbreak experiences that rejection should offer me. And yet, I am not. In fact, I am feeling confident, excited, and really hopeful. I let my heart take the lead a few weeks ago, and reach out to someone that I had grown to care deeply for. I forced my head to just take a break from over analyzing and telling me all the rational things that it normally would to prevent the impulsive text. But, I did it anyways… stone cold sober, in the middle of the afternoon.
What resulted was the most delightful afternoon I had experienced in a very long time. There was laughter, sex, and real intimacy. I was on cloud nine. And again, forced that brain of mine to just let it ride. The heart was taking a chance.
Sadly, it didn’t last, due to timing and all manor of things that are out of my control. Of course being told that hurt, and I did choke up at the notion that this was possibly a one time deal. But, there was something else, something much more interesting. This lingering feeling of hope. Here exists a man who enjoys my company, we make each other blissfully happy, and he likes me for who I am. There is no hiding, or need to impress. I feel free to act with impulse, hold nothing back, and just exist as the passionate and emotional soul that I am. And yes, if you read my last post, it came on the backside of understanding that I need to take risks. To be assertive and just go for what I want and deserve.
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He is not with me right now, because he is in the middle of finding out who he is. And the incredibly amazing thing is, he is doing the soul searching for himself. I have mad respect for a person owning their shit. For recognizing that they are not quite where they want to be in life, and need more time to figure it out. All I ask for is truth and realness. It is always OK to admit that you just don’t know. Or that you’re not ready, or of course my dream, that someone wants to just run away with me and fall head over heals in a way that makes no sense to the world…. Hahaha!
So here I sit, humbled by the knowledge that someone could just love me, and not ask me to jump through hoops or prove my worth or value. I… didn’t actually know that was possible. And now, I am riding high on this beautiful gift that this amazing man has given me, and he currently has no idea. Maybe if we maintain a friendship, I can share this with him. For now, he has asked for space, and it is the very least I can give him. He is not ready for a relationship, but… if he was he would be willing to be in one with me. The power of hearing those words from another’s lips is… intense.
I found one of the good ones, and he thinks I’m a good one too. Life is just a crazy ride isn’t it?
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Last year I wrote an article for Medium, with regards to this pervasive myth that it’s easier for woman to write about sex than men, and if you haven’t already, I do hope you give it a read for a little extra context for what I want to rant a bit about on here. And perhaps, I will be able to formulate these rants into a more cohesive article for medium. But, for the time being, I want to address this hypocritical murmur I am hearing with regards to my boob forward images, and my hard stance against sexism and harassment. I am body and sex positive, and no that does not mean that I or anyone else who creates content, is therefor open to sexism or harassment. And the irony is not lost on me that I am writing this rant only a week after boldly re-claiming my power, but I guess, my boldness adds fodder to the trolls and hypocrite criers. Ugh.
When I post boobs and beer on Instagram, that is my celebration of two things I love. And when I post bonus content on my Patreon (for a small subscription or one time fee) it is because, I deserve to get a little kickback for all the free content I put out there. Plain and simple. And yeah, admitting that I deserve a little money for what I do, is a tough thing to write down, and own. Phew, glad I got that out of the way. And now onto the hypocrisy of it all.
One of the little notes I sent myself when mulling over how I wanted boobs, beer, and vinyl to look and feel was “Sex and nudity should be normalized, fun, and playful”. And yes, I send a lot of little notes to myself in between writing sessions. The thing about this one is, it is important to me that my images not just be sexy, shot in the best lighting ever, or even filtered. Why? Because real, and raw is who I am, with an element of playful and random. That to me, is the key to embracing body positivity and normalizing nudity and the enjoyment of the naked body. Of course with IG, nudity of any sort is forbidden, so I have to work within the parameters of their platform. Which is perfectly fine with me, and presents a fun little challenge of riding that fine line.
But there are a few things I need to get right out there in the open. There is nothing hypocritical about my strong stance against sexism and my fun desire to be sexy and playful with my photographs and selfies. If you, have ever thought that I bring on the harassment and abuse myself due to my content that I put out into the world, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! Let me be very clear, we cannot become a sex positive culture if we shame people for putting out content that is sexual or suggestive in nature. As I wrote in my Medium article, it is not easy putting intimate content out for public consumption. Trolls are the worst, and stalkers, are real. I have feared for my safety a number of times over the years, and even changed my nudity policy for my blog articles (if you’re a regular reader, I know you’re sick of me writing that down, but it still irks me that I had to do that).
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I have tried to understand the correlation between writing the word sex and getting trolled. I just don’t understand. Why when people read the phrase sex positive do they short circuit and assume that I’m down to fuck or that I want to talk about sex and my personal life with strangers? I call it trolling simply because it’s something that rational people in the real world would never do. Anonymity creates a seemingly safe space for creeps. And I put content out, in a lot of places, thus there is a never ending stream of violations towards my privacy, sanity, and sexual well being. And no, it should not be this way, nor should I simply accept the fact because I write or photograph “sex” themed content at times. And yet, in the real world, actual acquaintances of mine believe that this is par for the course and I bring this on myself. Ugh! But I don’t do this simply for attention, and definitely not for the money. I do this because it’s what I want to write about, what I am passionate about photographing, and what fuels me.
And there is another element to this, a much more personal one. Yesterday, I was in a terrible mood, and you know what made me cheer up? Taking the time to grab a beer, put on a silly bikini to match a vinyl cover, and plan a little photo shoot in my living room. I got my brain to think about something fun, had tunes going, and cracked a beer. Doing this little selfie absolutely got me out of my head, and brought some playfulness from my living room, and after I shared with those on my social media. It was truly a mental boost for me. And how in the world can that be wrong?
So, if you are one of those in the background thinking that I bring on harassment or sexism myself, it is time to look in the mirror and reflect on why you hold onto those misguided values. I dress for my own pleasure, and I take photos to bring me joy. If you in turn believe that I deserve my trolls, or it should be expected in today’s day and age, please let me know, and I will provide you with some amazing resources to help shake you out of that frame of mind. Putting myself out there is rarely easy. It is often uncomfortable, and hot damn do I wish some days that people would appreciate the work and pay me fairly for it. With that all aside, I more often than not, understand that what I do is important. And that there is value in what I put out there, and I remain hopeful that one day the effort will pay off. Or at the very least, I can stop ranting about all those who call me a hypocrite.
Challenge Time: I want each of you to give a shout-out to someone who embodies a sex positive trait that you admire, or someone you admire for the content they create! Comment on this post, Twitter, Facebook, or wherever you read this blog!
Welcome to the third edition of the sex positive challenge! If this is your first time checking this out, congrats. For those who are joining me for the second or third time, I truly hope you find the challenges involving, fun, and at times thought provoking, and a little sexy? Springtime always makes me feel renewed and ready to start new things, hence starting each May with a little challenge definitely gives me a libido boost. And I have to give a special shout out to all the amazing participants in the past, truly, you amaze me with your insight, sexiness, and openness! I am so inspired and in awe of this amazing community. Thank you!
Now let us take a look at what May 2021’s challenge will entail.
In the past I have posted on all my social media each morning. This go around I’m going to try something a little different by posting daily on my Sex Positive Books and Blogs account, and then doing a weekly roundup of posts on IG, and Facebook. While engagement was increasing on the later two accounts, the actual home bases are not sex friendly, so I want to stick to what currently allows community building and open freedom of speech (Twitter).
In short, daily challenges will go on Twitter, and I will complete them through my personal account so you have two easy ways to find them.
Once you have found the daily challenge, take whatever time you need to complete it. Then the choice is yours to simply re-tweet using the #30DaysSexPositive or to share with the sex positive community something about the challenge you’re comfortable with, be it pictures, a blog post, music, or just a few words about it (using the hashtag of course). The whole point is embrace to sex as a natural part of our humanity, and to explore different ways of thinking in a safe, consent based environment. And it is far more fun with community participation!
I want you to challenge yourself in whatever way you feel comfortable. That is part of the reason I don’t have prizes at this stage in the game. Penalizing someone for not completing a day due to it being outside their comfort zone does not sit well with me. This is designed to be a personal journey, that I hope brings you one step closer to embracing your sexual self.
One important note, I do strive to make each challenge completely inclusive. If for whatever reason you are not able to complete a challenge due to something I have overlooked, please send me a quick DM, explaining why so I can rectify it. I am still learning myself, and I want to ensure that this is sex positive and welcoming environment for all participants.
With that said, if you are ready to challenge yourself for this #30DaysSexPositive Challenge, welcome to our third edition! I hope you have fun, and make it the whole 30 days!
If you love this challenge and are wondering how to support more sex positive efforts in the future, my Patreon page is always open or check out one of my amazing affiliate banners on my home page.
I wanted this post to be about May’s sex positive challenge that I will be running on Twitter, IG, and Facebook, but, in light of what happened yesterday on Twitter, I feel this article is very important to write and share.
An account I follow shared a harmless meme, asking what people’s preferred body hair style on woman. It could just as easily been about any pubic hair customization for that matter and I would love if someone had one for all sexes. But, I digress. A commentor made an off the cuff remark in regards to their personal preference following it up with, they wouldn’t ever pick the fully shaved one as they are not an 8 year old girl. I went into full rage mode. OK, first I asked them to consider editing the post, but they doubled down, and I went off in classic me RANT mode. For full details of the interaction if you’re curious please check out my Twitter. But to the point of this article, let me share (unedited) my takeaway of the events, after I had a chance to reflect and sleep on it:
“In light of what happened yesterday and my raging on here, I want to make a quick clarifying statement. I love history, and spend the majority of my spare time reading and exploring it. It is through knowing our past that we can shape the future we want. This works in a historical sense, as well as in our individuals lives. The mistake we do not want to make, is holding onto outdated ideas and allowing them to remain normal. It is up to each of us to call out sexism, bigotry, hatred, and any statement that is no longer ethical by today’s standards. Do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Learn, grow, and shape your vocabulary to be forward thinking and inclusive. And if you make a mistake, own it, correct it, and do not repeat it! “
I changed my whole writing schedule for this blog post, because when sexism, racism, bigotry happen, we must stand up and react. This is a shared responsibility of all members of society. And pieces like this are an integral part of being a sex positive individual. I am constantly learning, taking accountability for my past and current actions, and growing as a person. I expect the same of my community. I have zero patience for people who double down on archaic or problematic stances or beliefs. I scream into the void, that we can do better. We can incorporate all the mistakes from the past into a better future for ourselves and the generations to come!
Thank you for reading, liking, sharing, and constantly challenging me to grow into the sex positive individual I am, and I know we can all be. And if that doesn’t get you excited for May’s 30 day sex positive challenge, then I don’t know what will! Ha!