My interview and photo is live– check it out! 🙂
I had the privilege of witnessing this fabulous production, “Lust & Marriage.” A good friend recommended I attend, and I am so glad that I did. I would even go back next weekend to see it again.
I felt like this woman practically wrote my story (minus Burning Man and taking ecstasy and other drugs). She pulled out so many recognizable names and concepts, so many familiar emotions and experiences. (Dan Savage, Sex at Dawn, Mating in Captivity, The Giving Tree)
I was sitting there, front row, and in the first 20 minutes, I thought:
If only I had this play to watch when I was in high school.
What lessons I would have gained when I was younger, what connections I would have made, what connections would have become less entrenched.
We need metaphors and art and expression like this. We need it desperately. It’s one thing for me to sit here on my couch and blog about how I feel and think and what I want and need. Verbal processing only gets me so far. I also need to the non-verbal: the drawing, the dancing, and the watching. Watching someone else tell a story in such a beautiful and genuine way. It almost made me cry on the way home.
Go see it, and if you can’t, stay on the lookout for future productions!
The past week I have been offered some wonderful connections:
-My dear friend is the creator of the amazing Humans of Portland project. She offered to interview about my experience with school and take an anonymous photo. This past Monday, we had a lovely and in-depth conversation about it all, and took some fun photos of me wearing my favorite dance shoes in front of my library of sexuality books. I am excited for it to come out. (And I may share a link once it’s published)
-One of the dancers in Portland is putting together sort of an anthology of stories, poems, etc written by strippers about their experiences stripping. I had been toying with the idea of submitting something for quite some time, and late last night I finally got my creative juices flowing. I cranked out 4000+ words in less than 24 hours. It’s in poetry form, but I have worked on subjects ranging from the how I got started to regular relationships to getting ready for a shift to my rage over tip outs to my therapeutic relationship with dancing. Even if she doesn’t end up wanting the piece for her collection, I feel so relaxed and energized at the same time from getting to process my experiences in this way. I’ll probably post pieces of that here when I have finished editing it all.*
-I was contacted by the producer of Mystery Box Storytelling to submit a story! I have had friends tell me that I should tell a story at one of the shows, but I’ve never known what to do. I feel excited to brainstorm and potentially craft something to share. I’ll keep y’all posted! 🙂
*Here are a couple of parts that I love so far:
“Do you ever have that feeling
that somehow your life is unfolding
and you’re just watching? marveling at the mystery? laughing at the novelty of it all?
You’re doing what now, Self?
Okay, then. Let me grab some popcorn, ‘cause this is going to be entertaining.”
have plagued me since I was about seven years old.
I carried a lot of baby fat through elementary school
feeling Fat and Fatter than all of my friends
I had my last growth spurt at 12
And suddenly I felt
Being Worthy (of love, appreciation, respect)
And the Hyper-vigilance began
when might the weight return?
the extra fat around my stomach and butt and thighs?
I kept myself hungry throughout high school,
priding myself on going to bed starving and eating small
amounts of food
When I began exercising in college,
and fell in Love,
I began eating more, my curves
filling out More.
I became More.
And the hyper-vigilance cranked up
and continues on.
dancing has helped me
feel beautiful and worthy and sexy
and at other times,
dancing has worsened my
Anxiety and Self-Shaming
as I watch my curves in the mirror,
trying to pray away my god-given shape and size
No amount of Hollow Flattery
or even Genuine Desire and Admiration
can ease the pain
It must come from inside, a
Recognition and Belief
that I am Worthy of love and belonging
simply because I am alive
The past two months have been a whirlwind of activity, and the past couple of weeks have been no exception. Starting in late December, I began applying like mad to social service jobs. I had several interviews in the past few weeks, and was offered one on Monday. I signed my offer letter today. I start next week.
Saying hello to this job means saying goodbye to other things, namely two extracurriculars that have been extremely meaningful to me in the past 12-18 months: volunteering as a crisis line advocate and dancing.
My volunteer work has been meaningful not only because of the service that I have been providing, but because of the relationships I have built with the staff and community of volunteers at that organization. I truly love the place and I wish that I had been able to take the part time job it offered me. I will miss it dearly, and I hope to stay in touch with the people who work there. I am taking in flowers, coconut chocolate chip cookies, and a card tomorrow as a way to say Thank You to the people who have blessed me with training, emotional support, and professional support the past 14 months.
Y’all know why dancing has been meaningful to me. I’m not writing off dancing as being Done Completely And Forever, but working full time will certainly put a damper on my availability and energy to dance on the side. I will miss a number of things about dancing: the exercise, the performance, the cathartic release to dancing to my favorite songs, getting dressed up pretty, hearing from customers and fellow dancers that I’m hot, the $$money$$, and the several lovely women who I have come to know, respect, admire, and love. Taking the job that I did really drove the fact home that I made bank as a dancer. I knew that conceptually- how many people are able to work part time and go to Hawaii twice in one year? (That being said, I was living month-to-month and didn’t really save much.) But taking this job which pays $13.50/hr is quite a bit lower than my average hourly income from dancing ($20-30/hr). Hopefully I’ll still find the time and energy to shake my thang a few times a month because it feels really abrupt to just say Goodbye to this chapter in my life. In any case, I’d like to also take flowers and sweets into my club as a way to bring myself some closure regarding my Amazingly Awesome Dancing Chapter.
I’m saying hello to a stable income, full time experience in the social services field, and working in an environment dedicated to ending sexual violence. I am saying hello to the possibility of attending an MSW program. I am saying hello to new connections, new paths, new possibilities. I am saying hello to more ambiguity (such is life). And I know the truth deep down: more often than not, life is circular and not discrete. I’ll volunteer again, just perhaps not with the same group of people. I’ll dance again, though not at the same frequency or place or for money. Life moves in patterns and narratives as we continuously reinvent ourselves with the stories that matter to us in each moment.
I was asked a few months ago to review a couple of new cuckold books. It’s not my particular kink (J isn’t turned on by any humiliation, and I don’t think I am either), but that wasn’t going to stop me from reading sexy books. I knew I was probably not going to be turned on from reading them, but I simply wanted a taste of what could turn on someone with a cuckolding kink.
While the story lines I am sure do it for some folks, I simply couldn’t finish them. And not because of the story lines or the characters or the sex or anything else. It was because the writing just was not very good. The book I started (Southern Belle Cuckold) was entertaining, but I could not get past the redundancy and frequent unclear sentences. So, I am moving on to other books.
Right now, I am reading or about to start:
Confessions of a Working Girl, by Miss S
Sex Work: Writings By Women in the Sex Industry
The Jealousy Workbook, by Kathy Labriola
Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex
Any good reads on your bookshelf/night table/e-reader right now?
I am starting a weekly post, called Sunday Reclamation Affirmations. My intention with these to help us remember to affirm ourselves in bold ways, carving out space for ourselves, reclaiming our desires, reclaiming our bodies, reclaiming our right to love, fuck, and move in this world freely.
For the week, as part of your daily meditation, try parts or all of this on:
I now affirm that I own my body, heart, and mind and my body, heart, and mind alone.
I now affirm that I take responsibility for my body, heart, and mind.
I now affirm that I respect others’ emotional and physical boundaries, just as I expect them to respect mine.
tonight comes from:
- Connecting with a new friend
- Too much flourless chocolate cake
- Raspberry wine leaving me with heartburn
- Feeling excited to hear back from potential jobs tomorrow
- Feeling hungry for savory breakfast foods (like mushroom tarts or the butternut squash galette I made earlier this week, or eggs and thick toast, and always bacon)
- Masturbating to a fantasy
- Excited to shake my thang at work tomorrow
- Feeling off from not seeing J practically all day
What have I done to try to fall asleep?
- Lay still in darkness
- Read Dan Savage Q&As on my phone
- Masturbate to a fantasy
- Check Facebook
- Journal about food
- Drink ginger tea
- Now I’m here
I’m reflecting on the energy in my life, and how it waxes and wanes. Social energy, sexual energy, emotional energy, physical energy. The energy to provide comfort to J. The energy to comfort myself. The energy to connect with friends. The energy to investigate a budding romantic relationship. The energy to work out until my lungs and heart and legs are so tired. The energy to stay hopeful and excited and optimistic about my tomorrow.
All of this energy is keeping me awake right now, and for once in a long while, it’s not stressful or anxious energy. So I am grateful to be awake at this hour, knowing I will be tired tomorrow but glad to feel the positive forces in my life.