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!

Challenge Time!!! #30DaysSexPositive

#30DaysSexPositive

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.

Where?

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.

What?

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.

Inclusivity

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.

Non-Monogamy is Not a Luxury

Non-monogamy is NOT a luxury

As much as I adore when people discover that there is a world outside of monogamy, I equally loath the stuff that comes out of their mouths (especially from those who have done zero research!). While I have ranted before on the judge first, ask questions later, this post is about people who claim that non-monogamy is merely a luxury. In fact, there was a person lurking on R/nonmonogamy who made a comment to this point and went on to say it should be easy to just discard it when faced with obstacles (like the current pandemic). And I feel that we are finally deep enough inside this year of hell, that I can talk about this subject without accidentally encouraging people to race out and have sex with a bunch of random people. My main message is still clear, non-monogamy must stay on hold.  But, when it comes to people trying to just brand these relationships as a luxury, I, have many thoughts… AKA this post. So join me as I try and process everything that makes me cringe about this line of thinking.

Non-monogamy takes an insane amount of work.  Yes, maybe you could draw a correlation that luxury items are expensive, therefore take a lot of money and effort to get, and non-monogamy has similar parallels. However, the truth is this is a correlation vs causation fallacy.  Non-monogamy, while on the surface may seem like something unnecessary, the fact of the matter is that for many (myself included) it is an essential extension of who we are as sexual and social beings. There is no luxury to be found. Rarely do you get to just sit back and marvel at your new toy.  Nope, you are constantly working, scheduling, talking, flirting, co-ordinating, and compromising. Sure, you have the incredible afterglow of a first meeting, sexy session, or incredible flirtation, but let me tell you, it is more like a full-time job, than an item we lust over.

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Now, perhaps you think that it is selfish to be non-monogamous, as many luxury items often are. Why you ask, can you not just settle down with one person.  One person is rational, level headed, but to seek more than that… sheesh? And I say to you… NO!  What if you were in a sexless marriage?  What if you loved your partner so much that you wanted to help them live out their fantasy?  What if you believed in free love?  What if you were just inherently polyamorous and recognized that loving more than one person was the most natural thing in the world to you? Would any of these questions be akin to a luxury item? Definitely not.  So, whereas luxury items are not necessary, non-monogamy often is.

Having to pause a part of who you are for the greater good is not easy. I am a social person, who thrives around people and with physical touch and intimacy. That being said, I would never put myself, or my partner in jeopardy to fullfill these urges. And while the original person who got me riled up went onto explain how amazing it was getting back to monogamy, calling out everyone who swings, is poly, or practices any level of non-monogamy as a trifle want really pissed me off. I have had to close off a part of who I am, and how I engage with other people, for the greater good. This isn’t like giving up an extravagant trip to that upscale steakhouse, that I crave all the time. Or cancelling that yacht vacation that you had been saving up for all year. No non-monogamy is much more than that for me. And having people just dismiss it hurts.

There is one more thing that I will add. Luxury items are in essence a way to splurge, brag, or are simply an extravagance that enhance a moment, goal, or express a want. For me embracing non-monogamy has made me a better person. I am more open to situations, and far more loving.  And if I am completely honest have become a much more passionate and expressive soul as a result of not having to hold anything back. While I cherish a few rings, and that bottle of champagne I hope to open this year, they are far removed from making me a better soul. And who out there can say the same about that fancy diamond?

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How to Respond When Someone Posts a Sexy Photo of Themselves Online

Sexy Pink Bra Selfie

I am working diligently on getting my life back to a place where I feel more whole.  And part of that journey has included a stark realization, that may I never actually get there, and to just put my happiness on hold until that magical moment arrives is foolhardy at best.  So, when something joyful happens in my life, I now smile, pause, reflect, enjoy it, basically I have given myself permission to start being the happy, optimistic person that I used to be.  Going back to my childhood nickname of “ray of sunshine” is, a dream come true.  So, with all of this in hand, I posted a sexy image on Twitter last week whereby I said “somedays you have to wear that bra that makes your boobs look incredible under that most unassuming t-shirt”. 

I was celebrating the fact that I was feeling sexy, just for me.  I was at a point again, where I was feeling playful, and fun.  And within moments I received this message “I’m sorry.. no bra beats the look of a hard nipple under some cloth”.  I was shocked.  The comment literally had zero purpose.  And I realized that some people just need to be heard.  They feel it is their duty to comment on everything, to voice their opinions, and to use another person’s celebration as a platform for their own purpose.  And for a the next few hours, I got trolled hard.  Two male accounts in particular started clamoring for how I posted something public, and therefore any and all opinions and comments should be expected.  I was in the wrong for trying to moderate my own content.  And their opinions deserved to be heard just as loudly as mine.  It was, asinine. 

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You can read the whole thing on my Twitter under the same picture on this post if you’re bored, but let me pull out just one more quote from the account in question as he tried to explain why he wrote his comment “all I did was indicate my preference for the braless look.  It wasn’t about you”.  Obviously there was a clamoring of “then why write that”, which fell on deaf ears.  It was now about something vastly different than the original intent of feeling confident enough to share that I was feeling sexy.  It was showing a glaring truth about the social media sphere of things.  And I almost wanted to say “if you can’t saying anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”.  But you see, I don’t actually believe in that.  We as a society are too nice.  We don’t want to offend anyone so, we keep our opinions to ourselves.  What really needs to be said, is something along the lines of relevance.  Why do you feel the need to comment.  Are you adding to the conversation?  Is there relevance?  Context is king here.

What did the guy really want out of that comment?  Was he looking to see me without a bra, or with hard nipples instead?  Yeah, probably, however when I asked him flat out his intent, he didn’t seem to know.  He couldn’t articulate the rational for writing that.  And that is where my main aggravation comes from.  If you want to add to the conversation, debate, have a real conversation I am 100% for that.  But, I am not here to just be your soapbox, or have you piggyback off of my content.  

Now, you are probably asking why I titled this blog the way I did.  Quite simply, because context is everything.  Use those reading comprehension skills that you learned in elementary, and apply them.  If someone posts an article, picture, video, podcast, really anything, before you comment ask yourself what their intent is, and then ask yourself, why are you really commenting? Are you adding to the conversation?  Are you looking for something different?  Are you displeased with something?  Are you trying to network or promote your own content?  The bottom line, is interact with purpose.  Know what that is, and be responsible for your own words just as the content creator is.  And remember the golden rule of the internet, nothing is every permanently deleted, so… don’t be that troll!

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