Open… But in a Different Way

Ray of Sunshine!

I’d be a fool to pretend that I knew what the future held for me relationship wise. If relationships were one sided, and a person could just choose who they wanted, plead their case, and either receive a yes or a no that would be one thing. But… life, relationships, and love are complex beasts. The good news is that I will never run out of things to research, explore, or write about. The bad news however is the emotional rollercoaster that I get to feel in my personal life. And if you caught my last post, right now I am being led by my very own heart for the first time that I can remember.  While it is terrifying, there is something incredibly rewarding of being able to just feel with my whole heart. And being open for a relationship.

In conjunction, my recent piece for Medium explores the idea of validating emotions. And when writing that, something pretty unique popped into my head, well unique for me, and that is the role of dating apps in my life. With my heart in control of finding me a relationship worthy of my whole heart, there is a possibility that I will be able to delete all my online dating apps. Whoa you might be saying!  Am I admitting to no longer wanting to explore non-monogamy? Well, here’s the thing, I want to explore first a healthy, loving, supportive, two person driving relationship. Does that make sense?

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Whatever two people decide should be a mutual effort. And with that, I strongly advocate for developing a rock solid foundation. That, in my personal experience is best achieved by removing all the extra noise and distractions. Thus, being able to delete everything and just focus on two people.  It’s an exciting prospect. I’ve always said that if I had kids (which to be clear is not what I am doing right now), anything outside of monogamy would be off the table for a bit. So, the idea of deleting apps one day was always real to me, but the why of course was a curveball I didn’t anticipate. Oh life… you’re so full of surprises, aren’t you?

I’m not jumping the gun and rushing into a lifelong relationship here, but I am going to take a little break from looking for a while. There is a man I am smitten for, and we both need time and space to see if this is a fit. Life gets in the way, and we both have some hurdles to overcome before we give each other a real go. That being said, there is hope here. Hope, I haven’t felt this strongly… well… ever? To have a person who just brings you joy, exclusively is something I wasn’t sure existed.  And maybe I will find out it doesn’t. That being said, I am open to being proved wrong.

It’s September and that means it is my birthday month! So feel free to buy me a beer via my Patreon!

Relationship Breakdown Realizations and Owning My Part

Bowser and I in Nature

After all the rants, raves, frustration, and putting out into the universe all the things I wish would make people better (or better for me), I remembered the one simple truth: the only person I can change is me. Relationship are a two way street, and clearly I am in a place right now whereby I am attracting a certain type of man that is not doing my mental health any favours. While I am aware that mental health and depression is on the rise, I also have to take accountability for the fact that dating 3 men in a row battling depression is more than coincidence.  While I take pride in being empathetic, warm, good natured, and really easy going, those are not the traits that I should be putting forth. Instead, I need to regain my confidence, assertiveness, and bring that sass onto the table from the get go. Why? Because I am tired of having men walk all over me, or just disappear. And if I’m being honest, I have been making that really easy. So here I am trying to own my part of the recent slew of relationship breakdowns.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am not taking accountability for the ghosters. That is abhorrent behaviour and we must all work to call out that BS whenever it occurs. I take nothing back from my rant or recent Medium article talking about how we must start talking about breakups and how to end things.  We MUST do better!

What I am saying though, is me being a passive, chill, and relaxed is not the answer right now.  And the evidence is in the fact that I am not finding people who challenge me, who engage me, or who want to stick around. I’ve become a dating pacifist, who is just too damn easy going and go with the flow. Sure, these are real character traits that I am proud to possess, but as my closest friends can attest, our friendships never started out that way. I am an intense individual.  And I need to own that. Passionate, driven, and a person with very little patience.  These are the traits that attracted the best men into my life. And these are the ones I have to harness again.

Do you want to know something though? I couldn’t actually figure out what I was doing wrong until I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and changed up everything. Granted I did it on a very small scale. But still, it must be noted that I packed up my car, my dog, and headed west. I drove back and forth between a small town in BC, trying to pick a location that was secluded, surrounded by trees, and basically, perfect for a writing retreat. I actually started crying while looking, because I realized solo travelling is really difficult for me. I am confident with people I know, but damn, I am out of practice in new situations. And as that realization slowly made the tears stop, I simplified things, and just looked for a simple picnic table. While on the quest for that spot I could make my lunch, a spot surrounded with trees soon appeared, and everything I was looking for was suddenly there. But, the first step, was keeping in keeping it simple stupid.

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And with that, I refuelled, went for a walk with my dog, and suddenly remembered to breath. Here I was, in the most serene spot, completely unexpected, and I realized I needed to empower myself. I have never been able to rely on others to do it for me. But, I kinda fooled myself into thinking I could. And with this reset of time, space, by being out in nature, I felt OK. I did something big and scary, and I was fine. Because of course I was fine. I always land on my feet, no matter what shit gets thrown at me. And I need to trust that again. Yes, things are going to be hard. Yes, difficulty is part of my life, but… I will find what I need. But only if I project the correct image. This sweet, kind, and affectionate being is not the one I need to lean on right now. And… it took me a long time to remember that, and a ridiculous amount of heartache.

So, let us scratch that. Start again. Call out the first half of 2021 for being an experiment that I gave some solid attempts to, and go back to something that works. I am now ready to attract the people to me that are going to compliment me in all the best ways.  And I wish the same, for each and every one of you!  And don’t you worry, I will share with you all each fuck up along the way!

A huge shout-out to everyone who has given me beer money this summer! Your support motivates me to keep going, and creating!

Hypocrite You Say? Posting Sexy Photos is NOT an Invitation for Sexism or Trolls

Beerlover_boobowner

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!

Writing About Harassment and Sexism

Re-Claiming My Power

Boobs and Beer

I often say the words, “I have no choice but to be a writer”. While this sentiment is often a playful one, born out of the randomness that makes up my life, putting together my recent article on Sexism and Harassment in Craft Beer really drove the point home. I anguished for nearly two weeks writing it. I ended up with nearly 7 pages of draft paragraphs and notes.  And, I cried, raged, drank, and even had a few nightmares mixed in.  Coming face to face with all the sexism and harassment that I have faced over the years was brutal. Writing it down on paper made it real. And I had to make decisions about what I wanted to go public with, and what I was going to one day delete and just pretend never happened.  It made me feel raw, vulnerable, and quite alone.

But here’s the thing, as soon as it was published, a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I was able to let go, and break free of so much anger that had been building up in me. Not only did I put myself out there as a real person, but, I created a plan of action on my Instagram which celebrates beer and boobs in an ethical way. And that is why I write.  That is why I went through all the pain, and anguish.  To come to a place where I could share my thoughts, and create a clear path for what I want my future to be.  Re-claiming my power.

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I have always wanted to normalize conversations and images about sex, and sexiness. I can’t pretend I do not have boobs just so I no longer invite sexism or harassment. That’s not a solution.  What I can do is talk about it, take fun and sexy photo’s, put content out into the world that I enjoy, and then talk about it. When a person crosses a line or boundary, we can talk about it, educate, and create a more sex positive environment. Again, this will not happen by turning a blind eye to the problem, or censoring the issues.

This behind the scenes post was going to include all the moments I didn’t feel safe putting out there to strangers about my sexual harassment in my Medium article.  But, instead, I was able to delete all the pain, and get really excited about the possibilities that putting myself out there in an authentic way has. This, is why I write. This is why it’s important for me to speak up against sexual harassment, and sexism.  It’s not a choice, it’s just who I am.  Writing empowers me, and knowing how much relief I have in publishing that article, I think it’s time to get that book finished… don’t you?

If you want to help fuel my writing needs, please consider subscribing to my Patreon.  And yes, next month is going to be vinyl, boobs, and beer on IG with NSFW on BreakingAway (Patreon)… enjoy!

Weird Rituals and Things I Do When I Like Someone

Libra Tattoo

Ok, I am about to share some things that I do when I like someone, and my hope is we can have some fun conversations about the lighter side of dating. I know, I have been venting a lot lately (Twitter), and my piece on the Pain of Ghosting definitely struck some chords with people. So let me be the first to proclaim that I can also be ridiculous, and fun, and I hope bringing some smiles or absurdity to the world will start changing my luck!  Haha!  A girl can dream right?  So, without further ado, here are some of the weird dating rituals that I do when I first meet someone, and actually start to like them.

Googling Them

While this one seems fairly standard in today’s day and age, I take this one as more of a sleuthing challenge. For some strange reason, I don’t ever ask someone’s last name, and instead prefer to “discover it” by putting random details that I have found out on a first date into various searches and discovering it. Looking back, I have always taken pride in figuring out a guys last name, and used to take a sneak peak at their drivers licence or credit card.  Haha!  Are you creeped out yet?  Oh, it gets weirder.

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Sign Compatibility

Obviously, the point of those first few dates is to discover the likelihood of any budding romance or long-term compatibility. But, I do something a little strange, or at the very least something I don’t usually admit to people, I google zodiac compatibility. Why is this strange? Because I put zero stock in anything zodiac related. I have many thoughts on the subject (and believe me I would be a hypocrite to judge anyone for enjoying horoscopes being that I have my sign tattoo on my ankle) , but now, horoscopes and the like just aren’t a thing I consume. Well, except when it comes to compatibility tests. I absolutely love reading how two people rate when it comes to sex, love, and communication. And the best part, even if we are not a match, astronomically speaking, I take it as a personal challenge to be the exception to the rule. Really, I have to laugh at the ridiculousness of letting the stars be my guide in this instance.

Physical Chemistry

And last but not least, the final, or sometimes the first thing I do, is test the physical chemistry waters. Yes, sex is incredibly important to me, and if I don’t get butterflies reminiscing about that first touch or clothes off encounter, it’s going to be a no from me. Why even mince words on this one? I love sex, I want a steady stream of orgasms, and excitement for my life, so… it’s got to be there. And while I don’t expect an orgasm the first time, I am fully aware of my body, and know if I will get one in the near future.

Time shall tell if these strange little things will actually pan out or not. For the interim, they are kinda fun to do, especially that last section! Haha! So what are your little singledom rituals? Do you wear lucky lingerie? Memorize their phone number? Or something completely out of left field? Comment below! And don’t forget to check out Patreon for all the latest posts, behind the scenes photos, and much more!