Respectful Parenting Gains

I decided to make a change and go against traditional parenting recently and results are amazing. If you saw my instagram story earlier today, I faced a respectful parenting challenge: my adolescent child was being a total ass.

She was SO hurt that she was getting an iPad instead of a MacBook. My uncles wanted to treat her to a new piece of technology, and we discussed the pros and cons of each, and it was clear the iPad was a better and more responsible choice. She cried and got mopey as fuck. It was so frustrating for me.

I had the urge to punish her by saying we would decline the gift altogether. I had the urge to yell and belittle her sadness as selfishness and foolishness.

Instead I remembered that she is a child and emotions are complicated, even for adults. This is somewhere I can lend a hand, as her guide. I didn’t need to take her reaction personally. Her reactions and emotions are not here to serve me. Instead, I’m here to help her navigate them responsibly and in a way that shows care and concern for others, as well as being grateful for her privileges in life simply because that feels way better.

I told her I was sorry she was sad and gave her a little space. After about 20 minutes and she was still clearly fixated on this disappointment, I spoke frankly with her.

I told her that while her reaction isn’t as severe, it kind of makes me feel like the mom in a “My Super sweet 16” video clip she had told me about. In the video the girl is sad and angry because she got a blue Mustang instead of a red one. Or something. Anyway, my daughter had recognized how ungrateful the girl was behaving in that circumstance. I explained that some people her age have never even seen an iPad. I reminded her that it’s unfortunate to have such an awesome blessing and to instead totally be fixated on her disappointment.

I also explained our pros and cons list, and reiterated that as a person who can’t repair her own electronics, we have to consider the cost and impact that having an expensive and fragile piece of technology has on our entire family.

At first she was reluctant but took it all in and agreed. I left her be some longer, once more validated her feelings of sadness, and told her I hope she feels better soon.

Sure enough, about an hour later, she came to me with a big hug and apology. I trusted that my child is a caring, loving, considerate human. I expressed my feelings and thoughts to her in a respectful and appropriate way and she took them into consideration and chose a better path for both her mental health and our relationship.

She may not have done that, and that would have been ok too. Sometimes the results aren’t immediate, because after all, adolescents are usually pretty self-absorbed and short-sighted. Especially those that have experienced more “mainstream” forms of parenting and are still fighting for autonomy and respect.

I am backtracking and cultivating trust within my relationship with my daughter. I’m setting an example. I’m clearing a space that she can just BE in without being controlled or belittled. As a result, she is learning better how to be an accepting and caring young woman. As time goes on, she is learning to trust more, and she continues to make better choices more quickly and easily. So do I!

Children are a product of their environment, and I’m working toward making ours one full of love and respect.

*Forgive and editing errors – posted from mobile!

The Full Moon Orgasmic Freebirth of Lumi Kelly

It took 11 years since becoming a mother, 2 less-than-perfect previous births, so much healing, and 9 months of actively dismantling everything I’ve been told about birth, womanhood, and my body — but I finally found motherhood and birth as it should be. I had my empowering free birth and Lumi shared it with me.

Last spring I came down with a brutal fever unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I was having seizures from the fever being so high, which I sometimes do with a history of high fevers — but this was different. The only thing that would soothe me is a burning hot shower. I was sobbing and shaking and in so much pain.

Immediately before the fever struck, I was experiencing my first bleed after about 7-8 months of breastfeeding my son. After the fever subsided and I was sitting in a bath and sat up to start to drain it when I saw something at the bottom of the tub. A little tiny start of a baby had come from my body. I had no idea I was pregnant, I guess now probably about 9 weeks along. I knew what it was instinctually.

I was hurt but it passed quickly. I saved her little embryo in the freezer and planned to bury it. I know that this embryo wasn’t my baby. My body wasn’t ready yet, but my baby was still coming. Oddly enough I repeatedly calculated the baby would be an Aries, although this was inaccurate. Lumi was, however, born an Aries!

The very next month I became pregnant again with Lumi, she was ready, and this time so was I.

Previously, we had a midwife from hell (I still am working on writing about this and about my last birth). I thought I was making a good choice by going the homebirth route, but it ended up being just as painful, shameful, and abusive as a hospital birth. My midwife was manipulative and abusive and I didn’t realize until after my birth, and the result was a tense, scared, and interrupted birth experience.

We were obviously scared to hire another person. After much deliberation, considering our options, even meeting with one midwife who was great, we decided just like everything else in our lives, the path most traveled was not for us. We needed to do this our way in order for it to feel safe.

So we embarked on our freebirth journey together. The birth of our son was traumatic and arguably placed a wedge between us that we needed to work through. We were determined to have the magical, romantic birth we needed. This process should bring us closer, not drive us apart with fear.

At first I tried reaching out to some online birth resources, groups of midwives and doulas and other “natural birth” folks. I asked questions about how to safely freebirth and explored options for backup resources such as a doula, or maybe a midwife who would help out in case anything DID go wrong, what to do with my placenta or option for stitching if needed, and other questions to find information on how to go about this. I got met with a bunch of phony support filling my head with doubt about my body, telling me no midwife would just be “on call”, responding with medical propaganda that was not even pertinent to my questions. One person went on to tell me how “unfair” it would be to ask that a doula attended my freebirth because of the “tremendous liability”. Another started listing things that could go wrong during my freebirth. Ugh… so much for “birth advocacy” huh? It was apparent even in the home birth midwife realm, I was going to be continually told what my body cant do. No matter the intention of these folks wanting to facilitate empowered birth, it was abundantly clear that personal liability was always going to be a priority to most of them over my wishes.

I wasn’t having it. I spent the next two weeks or so undoing the fear and doubt driven into my head from a single inquisitive post, and then moved on stronger. IT WAS NOT EASY!  I found some unassisted and freebirth support groups on Facebook and pushed through with the assistance of women in these groups.

In all my research and with each question I had, I kept finding the same answer: “Trust your body”. This honestly was hard for me to hear at times. Finding trust in my body was a huge hurdle, and I can say I was able to make some progress through pregnancy, but I never found full trust until I gave birth. The doubt was always there, but I didn’t let it get the best of me. It sometimes felt like blind faith.

I realized later that my body looked out for me all the way along even though my mind was scared. I was around 34/35 weeks when baby dropped into my pelvis and prodromal labor hit hard. I was uncertain of my due date, so assumed I must be further along than I originally thought. I prepared and started cancelling tours for work, and started to focus on my birth space. I did not feel ready yet – but I needed to be ready quickly. It felt like I could go into labor at any moment.

Well, each week went by with no baby. I went through various stages of coping and analyzing and predicting. For the beginning of each week I would have several nights of intense contractions thinking “this must be it, we are almost there” and by the end of the week it would fizzle out and I’d feel like labor was a distant possibility.

About 7 weeks of this went on I became more secluded and bored and frustrated. My analytical mind kept fighting me, trying to fabricate some predictability. So much wasted effort! It got harder as the weeks went on and my mind started to approach the foggy “labor land” and for a couple of weeks it was like I was IN labor. I was in a dream-like state. I couldn’t do much of anything productive. Work wasn’t tolerable. Sex was difficult because baby was so low. I mostly watched movies, bathed, stretched, and tried to quiet my mind for what seemed like ages.

As an anxious workaholic, it was not easy. But this process was protecting me. I NEEDED that time so desperately. This magical passage into another level of womanhood was helping me reset. I was burnt out on work, I was still scared as hell of repeating my last birth, and I needed to finish healing before I could bring this baby to the world.

After tears of frustration and weeks of worrying, I finally caved. I gave up. I accepted that this baby may never come and that I will be fine. It sounds kind of silly but I truly did accept that! The timing and waiting and charting was all pointless. I may have been almost 42 weeks pregnant like I thought, or I could even have been 39. I realized my biggest contender – time – was no longer existent. I need to just let this baby come. She was healthy, I was healthy, nothing was going wrong – I needed to accept that. I finally did and things became so much clearer.

It happened after months of trying to grasp the idea of surrender, and I finally realized there was nothing to grasp. I just needed to surrender, truly. Not just say the words or practice. Just let go and do it.

The next full moon, I woke up early in the morning to see a client after 7 weeks of not seeing any at all. He is a long-time regular whom I’d seen now through two pregnancies and probably the only person alive that I would have been willing to touch in a sensual way other than my partner at that point. My family went out for breakfast so I could see him at home and not make the trip to my incall.

During our time together, I had intense contractions,  but they were sporadic and short. They felt much more intense and deep than they had in the weeks before. I could feel them in my sacrum now which was a new development.

Seeing my client was a decision made after careful deliberation with Zachary. I did not really want to see anyone for weeks, because I needed to focus. Being an empath, other people’s energy could really affect me as I tried to center myself for labor. We decided that both the money, and “break” from focusing on birth would be very welcomed.

It proved to be a great decision. I believe the distraction was helpful to get me going. My client was totally understanding that we could not have a rigorous session, and we mostly talked and cuddled. He was a person who was truly honored to be in my presence during this unique time, and that was great energy for me to receive. When a wave would hit, I was surprised to see he instinctively knew to press his hand on my sacrum and just hold me gently until it was over. Eventually, our time was up, we said our goodbyes, and he wished me luck. I still wasn’t sure I was in labor just yet but I knew it was about time.

I welcomed my family home and told them the baby would be coming that day. I bathed and considered whether or not Zachary should cancel his photo shoot for that day. He had brought back breakfast for me, a Greek omelette, and I devoured it while sitting in the tub and it tasted SO good.

My contractions continued and I quickly discovered that rubbing my vagina and stimulating my clit was very soothing. Zachary sat by the tub speaking to me about my beauty and our baby coming, and gently massaged my vulva with his warm touch through a contraction or two before resuming getting ready for his shoot.

Finally right when it was time for him to leave, I had a big contraction. I felt the urge to call out for “daddy” like a little girl. Labor was making my vulnerable, and I needed him with me.

When he came to me I buried my face into his furry belly to soothe myself through another short but intense contraction while he softly stroked my back. We were both getting excited knowing our baby would soon arrive and then began preparing and giving each other celebratory hugs and kisses.

I did need him there. So desperately. That sense of vulnerability reminded me to checked in with myself and remembered that he is here, and I am safe, but I also had a profound recognition that I was the true traveler on this journey. I had to remind myself that he has nothing to save me from. I was going to bring our baby here, and my body would be loved and safe in his care while I did, but I needed to trust and stay with myself too.

It was around noon when I officially decided I was in labor. I began to question whether or not I was really ready. I hadn’t slept the full 9 hours or so I normally did during pregnancy, and was a little anxious about becoming too fatigued. It was important to me to feel present and coherent this time so I could remember, and most importantly – not feel traumatized. We applied some homeopathic remedies for pain relief and exhaustion.

The energy was high, although steady and calm. I had a lot of things I wanted and needed and I vocalized them readily – I real conscious and deliberate task on my part. We laid the floor with yoga mats and blankets, got towels and warm washcloths prepared in a crock pot, and hung a sheet over the window to block the light as I became sensitive to it.

We referenced the checklist I’d prepared for things to do when I went into labor and accomplished some of them but I had my own flow beginning to take over. I had a lot of ideas ready, which did help, but we found ourselves truly in the moment as my contractions increased in length and frequency.

I started to feel a bit too distracted and interrupted by my older children. I could sense some agitation in myself, so we sent them to the back bedroom with some snacks and a computer to watch movies on. My oldest was a great help with her baby brother. They came out to get stuff a couple times, but were so respectful and quiet for us.

I really wanted to sit and be loving and affectionate with Zachary, but my body wanted to move around a lot. I obliged and started to surrender –  fully accepting that labor was happening right now. I reminded myself frequently that all is happening as it should, I was in labor because now the time was right.

By the time everyone was situated and most of the pieces were in place, I was very much in labor. I was leaking a lot of bloody mucous and the contractions were strong enough that they began to take me down a little. I had back labor so I would walk around quite a bit, but have to squat a bit or sit to bear through them and relieve my back.

Zachary began rubbing my body through them. I quickly decided I hated that, it felt too stimulating. I just wanted to be held with still hands and he happily followed instruction. He held my head, we kissed when we could, he would kiss all over my neck and any skin he could reach while holding me close through each contraction. He’d quietly remind me that everything was going perfectly, and nothing bad was happening to my body, and I was going to birth our baby soon. These words were perfect for me, and we had discussed them previously as I was coping with the frustrations and pains of late pregnancy. Because of the sexual trauma I’ve experienced, it was very important to me to be in touch with my body and acknowledging that nothing BAD was happening TO me. I was, instead, accomplishing something great.

I practiced and verbalized a lot of mindfulness. I forced myself to speak readily about what I wanted and needed. I let go of my anxiety of being a burden or overwhelming Zachary. I spoke out loud about needing to surrender. When I found myself resisting, I vocalized it, which helped me comfortably let go. Zachary was amazing about switching directions along with my changing desires. Together, we welcomed my natural anxiety and indecisiveness. We didn’t let it scare us or disrupt us.

We experimented with some sexual touching, but the sensations were intense enough that I needed to take things into my own hands – so to speak. I found my vibrator and started using that to stimulate my clitoris during contractions. As the pain grew the increased sensations of vibrator over fingers was much welcomed. Zachary resumed simply embracing me as I took control and began getting in touch with my vagina. He would coach me gently, reminding me to let go.

It helped tremendously. I would respond by rhythmically repeating  “Okay… Okay… okay…” as I swayed and moved my hips, often thrusting them forward to press into my vibrator and ease the intensity. Sometimes the “Okays” would get louder, but it helped my from crying out in pain. I couldn’t say much anymore, but I could say “okay” reminding myself it was ok, I needed to surrender and that was okay.

This was the first birth that I touched my vagina at all, and it made all the difference. I felt around and softly touched myself in between waves to feel what was happening. I wish I’d known before how comforting this was. It helped me stay present, to know that my body was working for me and my baby, and I was safe here with my partner.

The sensations of using the vibrator weren’t exactly what you think of as pleasurable or sexual, but I found proof that my clitoral nerves were meant to help me birth. As soon as I would feel the slow squeezing of my uterus revving up for another contraction, I would grab the vibrator and apply it to my clit, and somehow my whole body would follow my womb and just let go of the urge to fight. The pressure on my vagina and pain from my cervix stretching would immediately release and I’d feel my muscles follow along and just relax and submit to the power of my womb squeezing my baby down.

I felt like I understood my body so well in this moment. I’d learned that in order to give birth, you really have to let go of the analytical human mind. I was afraid I couldn’t. But I did, because no one disrupted me. Zachary was the only one there, and he knew to just follow my instincts and my body as well. He never once told me what to do, and I don’t think he even asked much. He was a humble servant of this process and my body. He knew what to do when it was needed. It was amazing! The trust he felt in my body was so affirming. We were so connected on a primal level.

The energy never really died down. I was up and down and back and forth across the house, carrying my vibrator all along the way. I alternated between the toilet, the corner of my bed, a floor cushion I had on the ground, and a “shower chair” that had a cutout on the seat for access.

The shower seat became my favorite. It was the cheapest thing I could find that resembled a birthing chair. I would sit on it backward with a pillow wedged toward the back to cushion my thighs and support my vibrator. The cutout made me feel comfortable and open. But as soon as a contraction was fading away, I would be on the move again. I almost had no control of it! My body would just get up and need to move.

I knew when I was about to transition, because like my last birth, I vomited with the pain and adrenaline rush. I found myself on the floor, leaning over to puke in a bucket, while I was using my vibrator to soothe a contraction, and throwing a chux pad behind me because I was peeing and possibly going to poop, while Zachary caressed me as romantically as he could through this hilarious scenario. As soon as I stopped puking so violently I started laughing loudly and Zachary joined in. It was the most fucked up and funny combination.

I had a slight bout of anxiety wondering how much longer and intense the pain would be. My only doubt in myself at this point was that I had been managing SO well, that we must still have a long way to go. Luckily I was wrong!

I kept pushing forward, and worked through the pain. Zachary kept soothing and comforting me but the most help was my own body. The waves reminded me to surrender, let go of my thoughts. I was in it, for real, and I could do it!

After that bit of clarity and excitement, I went deeper into the process and my labor high. It was like a mushroom trip! I felt kind of queasy in the beginning and that was messing with my head a bit. I did not want to feel sick to my stomach, nor did I want to be pooping at all! I was getting flashes of sweatiness and euphoria or perhaps dissociation.  But then it hit hard! Just like when I’ve done mushrooms, the sweaty queasy phase went away with a puke and some pooping and finally surrendering to this crazy trip my body was on! It was amazing.

I finally had to totally give in, and from there it didn’t take long.

I continued walking around and swaying my body. I got into the bathtub briefly again, but I really needed to hunch over during contractions, which the small tub did not allow. I got out and Zachary dried me off and Then I felt a huge squeeze.

At this point I can’t even call them painful or “contractions”… it was just becoming a whole-body experience. It was intense, but with this one my whole body was syncing on its own. I somehow knew to sit, and give my vagina space. I sat on the edge of the tub with my butt hanging over the edge above the water and I let out a long groan and we could hear my water splash into the tub.

I was still speaking and narrating my experience some, but far less now. Zachary asked if that was my water and I said yes and indicated that I wanted to be back in the bedroom. We walked slowly back, and the pressure was intense. In hindsight I knew exactly what I was feeling although I couldn’t have identified it like you normally do through logical thought. It was pure instinct! Even the times my thinking mind popped in wondering how much more intense it may be, it quickly faded as my instincts forced my body to do what it needed to. It’s so hard to explain but you just KNOW, you don’t think it at all. You’re just doing it.

No more than 10-15 minutes passed and I may have had another contraction or two but don’t recall. I do remember feeling a big one coming and maybe even verbalizing that. I sat on my chair, quickly grabbed my vibrator and I don’t even know if I got to use it before standing back up over the chair and reaching down to feel my baby’s head crowning while saying “she’s coming”.

Zachary was surprised and maybe said something like “are you sure?” but no more words were spoken as I felt her head slowly come out of me. Logic did kick in for a moment as I wanted to protect myself from tears. I tried with all of my might to slow her down but her head just popped right out! I didn’t push at all, she just came. The pressure was intense but relieving. I don’t recall pain at all. I felt myself tear anyway, but it didn’t hurt.

It turns out it is a theme for me to become 100% silent during the last phase of labor, which also has had a record of being quick! I don’t moan, or scream, or say anything. Not even a little grunt! Which is funny because I’m definitely a moaner through labor.

I relaxed and breathed and felt her wet little head with my hands, caressing around the back of her head before feeling another contraction come quickly. I gripped the back of the chair while listening to Zachary tell me how beautiful she is. Her body started to slowly come out and I felt myself give into the urge to push while standing up straighter and let out a satisfied moan as her shoulders popped out and her body slid out right after completely seamlessly.

Zachary said something along the lines of “she’s here, our little girl is here” and I stepped over the cord and he placed her in my arms. I kept moaning in relief and enjoying the euphoric energy shooting through my body that can only be described as orgasmic! I didn’t feel necessarily sexual and know now that orgasmic does not necessarily relate to sex itself.

My older children came running down the hall and entered as soon as they heard the baby. I continued to let out orgasmic cries from the sensations of releasing my baby from my body. It was such a beautiful release.

We all smiled and cried and laughed in excitement while finally meeting Lumi while I stood holding her, directing my oldest to take pictures. We frantically set the bed up for us to get in and cuddle, my legs were getting weak at that point.

As I made my way into the bed, holding my tiny little baby with both hands, I paused because I felt my placenta coming. It plopped right out of me onto the bed without even trying. My oldest said “WOAH!” haha

After laying down, Zachary gave me some herbs to stop bleeding and for the pains. I also learned that placenta helps stop bleeding, so we cut off a small chunk and I placed it in my cheek. It was remarkably flavorless and much less gross than it seems! It also did seem to be quite effective.

I was so alert and stayed up for quite awhile with the baby, admiring her and of course eating a lot of food. There’s no hunger quite like it!

After about 3 hours or so we cut the cord and weighed her at 8lbs even. Zachary made me a placenta smoothie with frozen berries and almond milk, and it was fantastic! It did not taste like placenta, just a regular smoothie, but it was a beautiful bright vermillion color.

Immediately after my first home birth, which was attended by a midwife just a year and a half prior, I thought to myself “I don’t think I can do this again”. That was such a sad thought for me to have, because I knew I wanted many more children.

My freebirth was the most amazing, healing, and pure moment in my entire life. After so much trauma and a lifetime of confusion about my body, I really finally felt like my body was trustworthy, whole, and mine. Immediately after birth, and still almost two months later, I can not wait to do it again!

Road trip approaching

Our apartment is beautiful this morning. I slept in heavily and woke up to dark skies and heavy rain. I’m sitting with all of the windows open and the 2nd floor apartment feels arboreal surrounded by the big old tree tops and I can listen closely to the rain hitting their leaves. It’s amazing how the weather so strongly dictates the mood of the day.

I was planning on getting to work and running errands today. Instead I find myself feeling broody and nostalgic, but in a very satisfying way. I feel fear creep up knowing we are about to turn our lives upside down.

For a family who’s life has been involuntarily turned upside down over the last few years, it’s especially challenging to imagine breaking the stability we’ve recently developed and embark on yet another chaotic journey. This time it is our choice though. We want to start over and reset.

We plan to go on a massive road trip in just over a month. We have a guideline of a couple months to a full year, to just spend hopping around, shaking our past, bonding with our children, and then eventually hunt for our new home out west. We’ve been dreaming of this for a couple of years now. After battling divorces and exes and toxic family, and ridding ourselves of the consequence of past poor choices, we want to just start fresh.

The time is coming very soon. I feel a little scared and not ready, but will I ever be? It’s terrifying to pare down our belongings and let go of material attachments. It’s terrifying to think of this whole plan going horribly wrong and backfiring, leaving us without the comfort of years of familiarity. It’s terrifying to let go of the cycle of trauma, stagnation, and abuse that this city and life has fostered for us.

If my recent freebirth taught me anything, it was that fear is a fucking liar. Fear kept me from trusting my body in the past. Fear kept us each in awful abusive relationships. Fear has kept us in this city that just holds far too much trauma and danger for us to truly live in peace.

As carloads of residual memories make their way to the Salvation Army nearby, I analyze what items are truly of value to me and worth holding onto, both literally and within my mind. I feel this scary freedom approaching, and I am collecting all of my faith to tackle this anxiety and fear. I’m hesitant but ready, and I think this year is going to be the best yet. I think we will finally feel free.

From Sex Object to Feminine Sexual Being

I’ve always been highly interested in sex. From a young age I was both physically pretty and curious about sexuality, and society has always treated me as such. I’ve been determined my whole life to find a way to avoid being told it was “wrong”. Whatever it is; hyper-sexualty, psychological issues, sexually acting out,  it is still me. I have needed to find the answer to peacefully being a woman who is both sexual and treated fairly in a world that treats sexual women as animals.

My active interest in sex collides with the way I was raised and almost all women are raised; that sex serves the purpose of male gratification.

When I was a young queer, I went through a rollercoaster of identity issues due to the only standpoint I knew. I learned from an abusive misogynist father and a self-hating absent mother. When I was very young, I thought maybe I was actually a boy. This eventually evolved as I began to embrace my feminine appearance, and even moreso embrace my interest in women sexually. I was always a little boy crazy, but my masculine side and dominant sexuality drove me to be more interested in girls as partners, and often question my gender as well. I found myself to be an awful partner to other girls because I could not combine intimacy and sex. For that reason, however, I was of the utmost desire to males.

As I grew more distant from my father, I became more interested in relationships with men that were inevitably dysfunctional. I knew how to relate to men easily – through sex. Whereas with women, I had to offer some level of emotional vulnerability which was excruciating to me. I was finally escaping my awful and isolated childhood, and felt I was “finding myself.” However, what was really happening was a growing slavery to misogyny. Because I was highly sexual, I was safest with men. I could relate to them. I was always down to fuck and they provided the approval I desperately needed at that point in time.

Essentially I was told what to be. Accommodate male sexuality = gain affection and praise. I took the bait and I lived it, walked in my mother’s footsteps, rejecting anything that was too feminine or emotional.

This was all so much easier than confronting the sexual dysfunction that had been weaved within my development and personality. From day one, I have been trained to think that my body and my sexuality exists for men to take advantage of. My mother was intensely shaming of any sexuality I expressed, or even any emotional needs, while consistently placing herself as an object of sexual attention in social situations. It was highly confusing.

The thought of having my own requirements and guidelines for sex seemed repulsive, frigid, and shameful based on what I had been told. Even as I became older and entered the sex industry as a Dominatrix, I was still operating under the guidelines of extremely demanding submissive men, even though I was gaining some false sense of being in control. It still drained me, left me isolated and used up, and I quit the industry for a bit feeling confused about what was causing my strife.

Of course at that time I had entered a committed relationship with a man whom I’d met as a client. He was there to “save” me. Show me a better life. Really, I had been fine until he showed up and “helped open my eyes” to how the sex industry was harming me. At the tender age of 20, already a struggling single mother, I did not have the wisdom to see the hypocrisy of his patronage of the industry. I left the work to become a housewife, with the sun on my face and newfound purpose.

However, as you may have guessed, it was not the industry that was harming me. It was my slavery to misogyny. My perspective and poor boundaries.

It’s no surprise that my new marriage eventually left me feeling the same. Drained, used, isolated. I left the demanding sex industry behind to fall into a marriage with a man 21 years my senior, who was far more demanding and entitled than the hundreds of men I’d professionally catered to combined. Now that I had left the industry FOR him, I enabled the ideation that I was his property. Regardless of being in an “open” and “swinger” relationship, I was more enslaved than ever. I was now expected to remain as sexually driven as the day he met me, but only for him.

After years of being caged and poked and prodded, some blatant fetishization of my sexual trauma, and serious consent issues, I finally left.

From this point, I decided that perhaps I was going about this all wrong. Maybe I was actually sexully submissive and just denying myself a healthy fetishization of male dominance and instead allowing it to control me passively. I entered back into the sex industry, as well as the local fetish community, and was feeling free and happy and like myself again.

The fetish community is crawling with men ready and waiting with the right words for lusty females who have lost their way. I fell in lust with a “dominant” man who was everything that my previous partner was not. Tall, large, hairy, with suave and charm that overcame his mediocre looks. I threw myself completely into my slavery, and compartmentalized it in a BDSM relationship with this man that I dared trust.

None of these choices I made were inherently wrong. I had the best intentions for myself in mind, except that my awareness had not been fully developed and I was missing a key piece. I intended to embrace my sexuality. However, I was only letting the men around me embrace it on my behalf.

I still would not be able to truly look inward and recognize myself as a woman, with complexities and layers of desire, emotion, and sex. I was told that was unfavorable. It was not what men wanted. Having always been both pretty and openly sexual, I constantly had aggressive masculine forces telling me what my body and sexuality should be. I became addicted to the approval in lieu of real love. I was an object for males, not a female being of my own.

My determination to not stifle my own sexuality almost worked against me. I made myself vulnerable to male sexuality but not my own emotions and desires. I knew none of this was right, I shouldn’t have to hide, but I also shouldn’t have been in such awful situations.

My knight in dommley armor inevitably became extremely abusive. The line between BDSM and abuse faded, and I was too deep in. Six months in and I had my first ever black eye at the hands of a man. I’d experienced abuse, but not quite this type of brute violence. I stayed. I lost all my friends because I stayed. He was the embodiment of my slavery to misogyny that required my complete sacrifice of self. He tapped into all that made me weak, and it was his to toy with. Oddly this is the most sexually driven I’d been with a single partner, I believe because he was so emotionless and rejected me both sexually and emotionally regularly. I was so desperate for the same approval, and so I tolerated being beaten in place of having sex.

I learned a lot about misogynist sexuality during this time. His libido dropped as he became more abusive. His sexuality was not about sex. It was about control. As he lost it, he also lost his erections. What a fucking metaphor for it all.

I hate to say it, but none of this was clear until well after we broke up, and then he raped me.

It all came to a head, and I was finally confronted with the toxicity of misogyny throughout my entire sexual identity. I was so fucking confused. My libido disappeared. My emotional needs couldn’t coexist with my desire for sex. I was confronted with a real problem – a total lack of sexual identity that was replaced with trauma.

When I started writing this I didn’t even intend to get into all of this, but it is so fucking relevant.

I had never before taken the time to acknowledge myself as a woman instead of a sex object, until now. Emotions had no place in sex for me. In fact, sex has successfully served as a tool to keep me from sharing my emotions with other humans when I could instead fuck them.

It is devastating that I am not unique. I am a product of an environment and culture that does not allow women to blossom as unique sexual beings. This is how we are raising our sexual girls. We are conditioning them to become victims of sexual violence instead of having their female sexuality exist and embraced outside of the existence of male desire. Fathers and male authority figures molest the young girls, misogynist society shames and isolates the sexual teenaged young woman, and narcissists seek out and marry the injured grown woman for his own sexual gratification.

What an uphill battle for us. I’m still not there yet, but I’m learning and sharing, because this is a battle we should never have to fight in the first place.

The idea of requiring a mood to be set, music, candles, foreplay had all seemed ridiculous and demanding to me. I am learning that being an empowered sexual woman is not just demanding your right to be sexual, it is demanding your right to be a woman and also be sexual.

It’s all been horrifically scary to pursue. I must, and we all must, focus on turning the sense of vulnerability into empowerment.

As a woman, I demand more. I can choose to engage in kinky, filthy, nasty sex as I tend to desire, but that can coexist with my need to be treated as an emotional and spiritual being. I can even choose to serve men sexually, if it is my desire to be a sex object during sex. But it must be honored and acknowledged as my right to choose and never taken for granted.

I am not required to maintain a status quo. I have a right to change my mind, explore, and experiment.

I am a woman with a right to my sexuality, sensuality, and emotions. I do not exist to be victimized by abusive male sexuality. Anyone else who enjoys these benefits of my sex is simply a guest and I will promise myself to abruptly remove them without an apology if they try to dictate my terms instead of basking in it with me.

I’m still learning every day how to do this for myself. I’m a lover who thoroughly enjoys pleasing my partner, and I’m learning that does not mean to subdue my own natural desires. After all, I have said in the past that the best sex happens when you truly enjoy your primal sensual self. I can be at peace with whatever I need as a feminine being to achieve that.

Tonight I go on a date with my partner. I think afterwards, I’ll make a point to feel sexy, light candles, set  a mood, bask in aromas and incense. I’ll put on some lingerie. He will enjoy it, but it will be intended for me.

Surviving with my Vagina

I wish I could break the stereotype of sex-worker who was sexually abused growing up – but I can’t. You’re right, Tina Fey, you rat-faced bag of dicks.

While faux-feminists of the like try to shame hyper-sexual and sex-working women and put them all in the “daddy issues” box – nothing more than products of the abusive men in their lives. Fuck you Tina Fey. We honestly are awesome fucking people.

I’m understanding more and more why people who have lived through abuse are referred to as “survivors”. It is something that you must live with every day, and every day you continue, you’ve survived. That is quite remarkable.

As a sex worker, often times it is incredibly helpful to gain mastery over what has been taken from you by putting the control into your hands again and providing a sexual experience. This is a concept that has been backed and supported by my long-term therapist, btw. Sex work is real work. Sex work is healthy work. It has helped me greatly.

However, when I have sex for work, I don’t have to be vulnerable. At this stage in my life, sexual vulnerability is hard. I had been previously working through the mountain of childhood trauma at my own pace, working happily and having personal sex happily and freely.  Then my ex boyfriend raped me. I was just as good at blocking those horrible feelings as I had been as a kid. And then I gave birth, and an avalanche of shit came down on me.

So now I’m a bit out of place. It’s been some time since the most recent trauma, but I found the combination of sobriety (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding), the medication-free home birth, and finally coming down off of the whirlwind of hormones, enough to finally see my true form.

For my kids, I became motivated to have a clear mind. I was not expecting to then see exactly how much pain I am in.

Where this leaves me is in a seemingly impossible place. I connect sexually so regularly but in those circumstances, I provide a dream for my client. I love it, and I don’t know where I’d be without my work sometimes. Working does still turn me on.

Outside of that, however, there is a lot os real shit, and there are a lot of tears. If there is a shred of vulnerability at play, there are tears. I miss feeling vulnerable. However now the slightest sense of vulnerability brings an extreme awareness of my body, my vagina and it’s ability to be penetrated, the fact that I have been penetrated without consent, my dryness (inadequacy), my shame, and the range of potential outcomes each sexual situation can bring.

Today I shared a sexual experience over the phone with a good friend. I trust him and as soon as we entered into a space where my trust for him and acknowledgement of my sexuality both resided, I cried. I still let myself be in the moment as much I could and I found it enjoyable although confusing as tears streamed down my face . It was difficult to not be able to hide behind the experience of providing something; to let someone truly see me. If he could see me crying I probably would have burst into sobs of shame immediately.

This even happens with my partner… and no one wants to be the bitch who cries during sex. I do not want sex to make me cry. It is the one thing I have always relied on to connect to people.

I find myself so disconnected from my body. The process that should allow a healthy connection seems to let in so much pain.

This is why I am a survivor. This is why I am (now) a feminist. Every day I need to fight, some harder than others. And I turn to the power of feminism and lean on my feminist sisters (and brothers) so that I will one day no longer have to feel like my vulnerability is a flaw that allowed me to be hurt.

There is no happy ending to this particular post. I’m still stuck. I still hate the tears that flow with the true acknowledgement of my vagina. I want it to be my strength, not my weakness.

 

 

24 Cups Of Coffee

I’m antisocial.

This is a recent realization that I’ve had which was honestly shocking. I never considered myself antisocial because I find myself around people almost constantly. I feel myself regularly wishing I connected with certain people more.

Most of us hustle hard, get wrapped up in our own bullshit and perceptions, and we forget to just live and connect with another person. This is the social structure I was raised on particularly with the uprise of the digital age and social media.

Texts, emails, and even just likes on Facebook have somehow become acceptable form of relationship management in lieu of a phone call, or even something as simple as a cup of coffee.

I’m busy as fuck but I’m human and NEED to connect. We all do. We are depriving ourselves of a need that is essential to our total happiness and well being. We need to learn, feel, and empathize in connections and one-on-one interactions. We can place all fear and judgments at the door and simply share an hour listening and speaking to someone we have interest in connecting with.

So I’m challenging myself. I’m going to hurdle the fear of connection, and leave my antisocial overwhelm at home. I’m going to forget about all the possibilities, what I could be doing, my grocery list. I’m going to ignore work, my phone, my computer. I’m going to listen and stop waiting for my turn to speak.

I’m going to have 24 cups of coffee in 24 days and ask that 24 different people take an hour to connect with me.

I’m going to get my ass out of the house for 24 days in a row, and overcome the anxiety that this culture has instilled in me, and get to know people I care about.

So! How can you help? Just have coffee with me. Or tea, or water. I’ll be having coffee though. Lets meet at a coffee shop of your choice – yours, please. Starbucks or your favorite hipster spot.

Then, tell me about you. Be open. Connect with me. Allow me to connect with you. Or don’t, we could play scrabble. Whatever you’re comfortable with. I really actually just want to have an hour with you. No phones, no social media, no distractions. I’m not always the most present friend – but I’m trying, and I ask that you give me a chance to learn and connect, and give us an hour together.

I think there is so much to learn in just an hour of open connection.

I plan to do this over Mercury Retrograde April 9th – May 3rd. So, please message me so we can have a cup of coffee – if I don’t message you first. I’m going to try my damnest to complete this in this 24-day period and check back in on how I feel. I won’t be sharing any personal details of my coffee date’s lives although maybe we can take a selfie. I will be reporting on my own progress during this experience.

PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me if you want to be involved or just wish me luck 🙂

Why Escorting > Porn Performing: by a Pornstar/Escort

I wrote this article after reaching a boiling point, new in the film industry and faced with the shaming and bashing of escorts that happens so widely in porn. I thought it might be helpful to explain why the concept of porn performers, producers, and agents shaming escorts is absolutely absurd.

Its a wise business choice.

Yes, like most people I want to make money for me, so that my loved ones and I can maintain our quality of life. Hell, I would even argue that the money I take from wealthier men who would otherwise keep it in safe funds for their benefactors is even stimulating the economy as a whole! You’re welcome, world. I will not quit porn, but the time I spend dating is far more valuable than the 8 hours I will spend on set for about an 8th of the pay.

Its arguably safer.

I screen the fuck out of anyone I meet. Wise escorts practice strict screening practices and are also in the business of discretion. Any performer you know, you are aware likely takes more risks than a discreet, married gentleman. Also – condoms. Also – porn fans are often failing to view you as a real person. The chances of a dangerous stalker are far higher than when dealing with gentleman who are just looking for a good match for a few hours or weekend rendezvous.

Condoms

Again, going back to the quality of an individual as opposed to an umbrella over a certain type of work. People who are wise practice safe sex – whether or not for pay. Escort or not, any talent you have worked with could have went and fucked 10 people without a condom in their personal life between tests. I would again argue that escorting could even promote safety in the film industry since any self-respecting performer or escort does not want their career to come to an abrupt end by transmitting a disease.

promoting reasonable safety, not shaming.

Sounds to me like many of these holier-than-thou Porn Stars who bash on girls who escort aren’t really interested in the safety of the industry. If they were really concerned about the money flow in the industry or even the safety within, they would probably do a little research.

What it really comes down to is that people have different ideas and different limits – which is fine – until one is making more money than the other. As with most sex issues in our culture, if we would cut out the shaming, we’d open a door for understanding and promoting real safety. Every performer that ends up being shamed gets farther away from having the support to make safe decisions. Think shaming is going to stop them from escorting? No. In fact, its just increasing your risk.

So lets stop and really think about what benefits the long-term – Pretending we don’t all fuck for money or trying to open up the topic to make it safer for all?