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How I Learned to Stop Worrying About My Love of Money

I have always had a tense relationship to money. As a child, I was deeply self conscious of the class divide that was apparent in my clothing and in my bagged lunches, and in the amount of work I was expected to put in for my allowance compared to my peers. I remember desperately wanting a pair of a.d.i.d.a.s  tearaway pants, the only thing that would make going to gym worthwhile, and my parents bought me similar pants... but with four stripes instead of three, and a zip that went up the calf instead of fully unsnapping. I felt embarrassed by these pants, and chose to pretend they didn't exist, sitting out PE instead of wearing something that I was certain would get me laughed at.

I felt strongly, as I browsed the delia's catalog and wished desperately to one day be able to afford those denim skirts and platform sneakers, that what I needed for success was more dollars. I would've sold my soul for a pair of shoes from Candies because I believed they would make me popular. Lacking that I made do with the clearance rack at Hot Topic and thrift stores, going Goth just as much because I could find clothes that fit than because I actually loved the style. I knew, somewhere in my gut, that if I just had more money so many of my problems would be solved.

I still believe that’s true a good portion of the time- more than people want to admit. People say all the time that money doesn't buy happiness, but say that to poor people and they'll laugh in your face. Money may not buy happiness directly, but it does buy security, safety, health, access, all things that help one be a happier person.

Before I did sex work, when working three minimum wage retail jobs at a mall an hour and a half walk away, any money I made went automatically to rent, then cat food, then my food, then anything else if there was any left. Any free time went to playing computer games late into the night and masturbating while chatting with my long distance lover because, as I often said, "masturbation is free entertainment". I didn't go out much, didn't really have friends, quit school because getting up at 5am to get ready, make breakfast, and take the bus an hour to be at school at 7:00am wasn't practical or possible while also juggling these jobs.

I started doing sex work when I was 18, though I probably wouldn't have called it that. A local stranger I was chatting with on AOL (back when that was a thing) asked me on a date, and I told him I couldn't because of my work schedule. So, he offered me a day off- he'd pay me whatever my daily take would've been, and I'd get a vacation AND a date. Because I was a little on the impulsive side, I agreed.

He was cute, though now I'd question how much older he was- about 15 years. And he was true to his word, putting some money on a side table as we chatted very casually. Now I wonder if he had seen sex workers before, my cynical mind curious if this was his Thing. Anyway, he gave me a really lovely massage, ate me out with my full consent, and we had a meal and that was that. Afterwards I pocketed the money and thought idly about how easy it had seemed. I went back to my jobs and didn't think much about it.

But then the working nonstop and the lack of social time with humans began to destroy me. I found myself contemplating suicide just to be done with the constant fear of how I'd pay the next bill, and I'd stay quiet about my thoughts because I knew I couldn't afford a trip to the psych ward. A friend from the internet gifted me with a plane ticket to California, and my grandmother - without that boost of money there is no doubt in my mind I would be dead right now. I moved, I transferred my job, I tried to restart my life.

The money was still a problem, though. Still undiagnosed for my anxiety issues and overmedicated for depression, I was still struggling with self harm and suicidal thoughts often centered around my fear I was not meant to survive adulthood. I didn't know how I could make ends meet when I wasn't yet back in school and I didn't have the emotional energy to handle a full time job. Everything I was struggling with came down to a need for financial stability. I needed a car? Money. I needed social time with friends? Money. I needed to pursue interests and hobbies? Money.

To go to school and have a life, I needed to find a better way to make money. That's why I got into sex work - not because of my love of sex, or because I enjoyed the attention, though those things did help, but because I was in dire need of cold hard cash in order to survive. I was teetering precariously on the edge of being homeless and I knew I needed to find a way of making fast and easy under the table cash. Being as I was straight edge at the time, drug dealing was not going to be my savior. So I turned to sex work.

I found an ad for professional domination, figured that as someone who liked kinky sex I could probably hack it, and I tried for a couple months. The woman in charge seemed to hate BDSM, hate sex work, resent her clients and allowed copious drug use on the premises... between that and her obvious disgust at having hired a fat woman (I was perhaps a size 16 at the time), it ended up not being the job for me. So I went independent, started to learn how to advertise on the internet (I had a Moonfruit site I believe, back in the day, and advertised carefully on Craigslist) and didn't look back. I made more in an hour than I used to in a week after taxes. I also did fetish modeling, cam shows, custom written smut, anything I could find.

Post sex work, I learned to keep my living expenses low, that even a small cushion could be vital. I went to school finally. I started to learn how to save money, how to budget for practicalities and the occasional fancy thing, because I had money enough to make actual decisions with. I could go on vacations, I could take care of my medical needs, I could buy clothes that were more cute than practical. Suddenly I could afford to engage in self care, because I had the things I needed- time and money. And I began, secretly, to fall a little in love with those bills in my wallet.

There’s a lot of judgment when you’re a broke activist queer who decides to fight tooth and nail to eke out a living, maybe even a comfortable living. I’ve been accused of being capitalist scum because I don’t want to ever be homeless again, because I am unapologetic in my love of making money and having a safety net, however tiny. While I have survived in part because of people being generous with my money, and part of what I love about money is being able to share it with others (huh, kinda like polyamory), having cold hard cash as an interest is often frowned upon. But exposure doesn't shelter your head, and goodwill doesn't clothe you.

I wouldn't be here without the kindness of others, not just through positive thoughts but through resource redistribution. And I wouldn't be able to help my friends in turn if I didn't work to make money for my own education to better serve, to create sustainable resources, to upkeep a car so I could see them or help them out. I can fight capitalism and hate it, but at the end of the day I live under it, benefit from it and am crushed by it, same as everyone else. I can't realistically opt out and also take care of my mental and physical health.

So I'm done with feeling uncomfortable with my desire to make money. This photo shoot, by Courtney Trouble, was done on the floor of the TROUBLEfilms office, surrounded by money I was about to use for rent on a new apartment. Call it an intention, call it a spell, but this year I am done with living hand to mouth. Survival is self care.

I invoke the Power of the Hustle. For me, for you, my readers, for your loved ones.

May 2015 be prosperous for us all, both financially and emotionally.

Categories: best of, capitalism, community, disability, don't tell me how to live, escort, fake it til you make it, help, money, personal, sex work is work, why I do what I do

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My Fight Against Hoarding

I remember when my parents used to tell me to clean my room. It seemed impossible to ever clean my whole room- I had a room then about the size of my apartment now, and it was filled with stuffed animals, craft supplies, and books. So my parents put duct tape on the floor to divide the space in quadrants. I was a Star Trek fan, so I named them after the four galactic quadrants used in the show. And every time I "cleaned" one, I would just move the junk into the next quadrant over. Nothing was every really tidy, just precariously piled. I didn't go through some of those boxes until I was 19 and moving to California.

I didn't realize growing up that having a house filled top to bottom with stuff was not how most people lived, in part because the people we hung out with were mostly pagans who had similar clutter in their lives. In a way, it expressed how many interests we had, and there was always something interesting to unearth if you went looking for it.  When I went to other kids houses, the cleanness was unsettling, the cream coloured carpets alarming. I was terrified I would stain the floor or break some trinket. I was used to sitting on the floor to watch movies with my parents, because the loveseat was half filled with books and there was no space for another seat.

I thought then it was a little weird but not that strange that one of my chores was to alphabetize the catalogs my parents got, throwing last seasons away and replacing them with the next. The piles of recycling made sense, because we were ecological- the piles of books made sense because we valued reading and critical thinking. Sure, not being able to sit at the dining room table was sometimes annoying, but we were just messy, or that's what I told myself. I didn't know that what I was so used to was not, in fact, normal.

Apparently 1 in 20 Americans are secret hoarders. This frankly does not surprise me at all. We live in a consumerist culture that regularly rewards us for buying things, and encourages us to buy more via sales and coupons. "Treat yo self", as made famous by Parks and Rec characters Tom and Donna, is all well and good but when you begin to compulsively consume in order to manage feelings, of course it becomes a risk for hoarding. Instead of eating my troubles, I tend to buy makeup and clothes to make myself look good when I feel down.

As I move I still find myself wanting to get a few new clothes or an organizational tool I'm sure will make my life easier and more sorted this time around. I have had to be strict with myself that I can only get something new if I get rid of a full bag- some going to Goodwill, some going to Ebay, some going to a femme clothing swap.  The desire to manage my feelings of anxiety through tiny boxes that are too small to be practical from the Container Store is overwhelming and resisting the urge to add to my piles of stuff is very difficult.

For me personally, I think my hoarding nature is in part what feels normal after growing up in a house with parents I might consider hoarders, but hoarders that weren't SO bad that there were severe health issues or problems with sleeping on a bed. I remember feeling emotional distress when my parents got rid of one of their old cars- I felt they were killing it. I used to sleep on the floor because I couldn't decide which of my stuffed animals most deserved to sleep on the bed, so they all did. Even to this day I struggle to get rid of stuffed animals. The partner I live in also came partially from hoarding stock, and together we live in an apartment that still feels like it's messy more than piles of junk, but it still makes me incredibly anxious to be around.

It's also in part because of having been severely poor, and having to make choices like "buying clothes to wear to work and eating bug filled food from the food pantry" or "wearing clothes that were falling apart but going to a grocery store". I've always struggled most to buy food, because there's some part of my head that thinks anything you digest and poop out isn't as worthwhile as a piece of clothing you can wear for years. Eating disorders mixed with severe anxiety mixed with hoarding makes for a pretty miserable combination. And then every time I buy something I want to save it til it's worn into the ground, because I'm terrified I'll never be able to afford to buy myself nice things again.

Moving house somewhat frequently has helped with reducing the hoarding, but I have definitely left piles of boxes in people's homes to "sort through" sometime and felt incredible anxiety about following through.  I have to abandon things for long enough to lose attachment to them or getting rid of them, even to Goodwill, becomes so anxiety-producing I am frozen in place. Even now, with all this information in mind, as I pack and sort and get rid of things, I'm finding I need the compassionate but firm supervision of my lovers to keep me from having a panic attack surrounded by boxes. I was horrified to discover I've lived with mouse feces under furniture for years and not known because I didn't move a bookshelf til a couple of days ago. I found black mold in the bathroom, and mold in the dishes in the sink. I try to conquer the mess but it seems daunting, like it's always so much bigger than I can do alone. Yet I'm certain the mess is making me sick.

As I fill boxes and decide that I don't need to keep every movie ticket my lovers and I have seen together, I've been realizing that with a new home comes the opportunity to organize properly and do things right this time. It's terrifying, this transition in my life, moving out from living with a partner to living with a roommate, moving closer to my other lovers and to my job, hoping our cats all get along well. I've been also trying to realize my longing to buy organizational supplies when I'm not partially moved in yet is also indicative of my hoarding nature and that collecting boxes and bins is also a type of hoarding.  I'm hoping I can kick this habit, over time, and that it will relieve some of my anxiety- admitting it is, I guess, one of the first steps, vulnerable and scary though it is. But letting go isn't just for headweasels anymore... at least, so I hear!

Categories: best of, body stuff, capitalism, fake it til you make it, intimacy, loss, memories, personal, support

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Who's Afraid of Call Out Culture? Jerks, Mostly.


It's been super trendy to discuss at length how call out culture is toxic and we need to find multiple ways of making accountability easier to swallow. I just read this piece, "A Note on Call-Out Culture" yesterday when I saw it show up on Facebook over and over again, and I felt taken aback. 

First, I want to acknowledge that call out culture is fucking tiring as hell. I absolutely get why people feel a constant level of scrutiny and awareness is anxiety-provoking and stressful. I've even written on this topic before.

I also think it's vital if we want to actually dismantle the roots of structural violence rather than pruning the branches. It is often easier to attack each other rather than people higher up on the privilege chain, but, as with humour, we need to punch up, not down (and we need to see call outs within our community as part of punching up at the programming we've taken in, rather than individual attacks). I think for that solidarity to exist, we need to spend more time having fun with each other, not burning out on social justice. I think activists tend to feel we can't ever turn it off and just enjoy something problematic or not talk about social issues and just go to a concert but for self care, we need spaces to enjoy our community, too.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think we can have both. In order for that to happen, we need to separate what is bullying, and what is call out culture, because they are not the same thing at all and these "think piece" articles often seem to think that they are. Many incredible and useful tools can also be used as a bludgeon, that doesn't mean that's the best or even intended use for them.... and it doesn't mean those tools aren't still useful when properly handled.

We need to understand there are important and solid reasons why call outs are public and not private, why there's a "spectacle". I started working with call out culture as a means to an end- there were a few men who were repeatedly sexually assaulting women in my local "sex positive" community, and as many of the victims were sex workers, going to the police was not an option. With multiple women reporting assault from these men, merely sitting down and having a conversation did not seem like an effective option either. Call out culture allowed us to band together and loudly make people aware of these men, who have, for the most part, been blacklisted from these spaces - and it allowed us to alert *everyone*, not just our close friends via backroom whispers. Private name and shame techniques meant I was coerced into sex by a serial rapist, because I didn't know the right people to ask when seeking references. A public call out, though, with clear expectations on follow up behaviour, allowed us to create a space where accountability and community growth were a priority. And it makes the process transparent and open to the community, or at least more transparent than whispers behind hands at events.

Sometimes a spectacle is what's needed to get people to take notice and take action. It took #blacklivesmatter to get the rest of the United States to talk about systematic police violence against Black people, so dismiss hashtag activism if you want, but it's a useful tool and it's often in the hands of the marginalized, signal boosting their voices. And it’s worth noting that a lot of people condemning callout culture are often people who are being called out, regularly, who then claim that call out culture is super toxic... before using the same techniques to silence those doing the calling out (I am particularly right now thinking of some of the interactions I've witnessed on Twitter recently, as well as my ongoing issues with maymay, neither of whom I'm going to link because I don't need them doxxing and harassing me yet again). Seems a little suspicious, no?

I do agree that when considering utilizing a call out, it's pretty important to consider a) what sort of result you want, what kind of accountability are you seeking, what is the end goal, b) how invested you, as the person doing the call out, are in engaging with the person being called out, and in their education, c) is this person a part of your community, as in, do you feel you have a responsibility of mutual care, or no? Call outs are, in my opinion, fundamentally an example of caring about people, as to call someone out is to trust that they will hear your feedback and want to change. To be called out is, in my mind, indicative of people's belief in you, that you're worth improving. It's the opposite of banishment.

That's why I feel a lot of these protests of call out culture are not, actually, about call out culture. I think call out culture is about using exile as an absolute last resort, it's a way for people who have been hurt to try to talk to someone one last time. It's also about mildly nudging someone when they say something cruel so they can learn, and it's about better communication in community spaces. I think these protests are about people who are abusing the language of social justice and accountability to get people to do what they want rather than to implement actual change.

Unpopular opinion- I think "check your privilege" is a pretty mild way to tell people they're being assholes based off of their incredible advantages in life and they need to sit the fuck down, all things considered. I think it's important to remind people, over and over, when they're forgetting or ignoring how their privilege impacts their bias and experiences. If someone telling you something that is factual hurts your feelings, I think that is entirely on you needing to learn how to not be defensive.

I highly recommend this entire piece by Lex in Flux about call out culture, but here's a piece I wanted to pull because it's important:

"We need to talk about just how powerful call-out culture can be, in part because it so stands in opposition to the “appropriateness” that helps maintain the status quo. Shielding people from the consequences of their behavior, especially if their behavior is kicking someone who’s already down, is not going to empower them. Call-out culture is not all one thing, and certainly not “toxic.” The content of what is being said, and the act of being able to say it, matters so much more than the result in an interaction in which someone says or does something oppressive and possibly ends up feeling guilty.

Calling out oppressive actions, acknowledging and expressing our real, in the moment pain, in the place where it is happening, is intensely powerful.And, especially in the absence of certain privileges, we need that power to fuel the change we seek. Sure, power without real community can lead anyone down “totalitarian” and “anti-oppressive” roads, just as it did for those who have successfully become the oppressors throughout history. Unchecked anger can take us to places where we start justifying cruelty and reinforcing other oppressive structures, e.g. using cissexism to “fight” sexism.

But I do not at all share your thinly veiled hope that call-outs eventually “go away.” Rather, I believe that call-out culture is absolutely essential to accountability, and not the enemy thereof. We need to check each other’s behavior, and each other’s actions, to keep ourselves going the right way. We need to encourage rather than discourage a healthy maintenance of boundaries, and above all remember that none of these issues is illusory and none of us is totally immune."

Categories: activism, best of, communication, community, definitions, feminism, hypocrisy

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Ch-ch-ch-changes (special sale and giveaway!)

While I have a tattoo on my body that reminds me to evolve or die, that change is inevitable and can be embraced, I fight transitions all the time. I'm like a cranky old cat yowling at being shifted from my nice spot in the sun. I hate moving, I hate packing (even for vacation!), I hate big shifts. I try my best to ride the waves but I find them difficult to stay balanced on.

Moving has often been about major shifts in my life, instability, and having to adapt to a new world. This time, I think I'm settling into a more stable life, a life with a craft room, near my friends, with a little garden for my cats to sniff around in. I think it's a good shift, but it's still scary, as change often is.

So to ease with this, I have done two things. I have booked tickets for the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto to have a femme vacation as well as support TROUBLEfilms for the awards,  and I have created a giveaway of some stuff I've been sitting on here at the house for the right time to help clear my house and give others some cool things!

I'm hoping that by having some things to busy my mind and to keep me on task, I'll be better able to focus on what I need to do- making money, getting rid of stuff I no longer need, spending time refreshing my heart with lovers and friends, and working my ass off. I just finished framing some photos for a femme art project in a gallery that I can't wait to share. I'm about to shoot a boy boy girl threesome, my first on film and my first with my boyfriend N.

There's exciting things afoot and I need to be on my game! You can help. :)

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In order to make it to the FPAs, I'd love to recoup some of my costs. In addition to that, I also just made some amazing porno stickers that I wanted to give away. So I figured, what better way than to offer people the opportunity to help fund me going to Toronto, AND you can buy a burned dvd of anti-censorship porn Ban This Sick Filth!, AND you'll get a set of special edition stickers! WHAT I know right.

If you purchase the Ban This Sick Filth burned DVD directly from me, you will not only get this epic porn, BUT you will also get a set of stickers from my scene, Banned in the UK! I’m asking that people donate $30-50 as it’s a fundraiser- donate over that and I’ll throw in a couple of surprises (maybe another dvd, maybe an erotica book, maybe something else)

Email kitty@troublefilms.com to order! Check out the stickers here!

There will be limited quantities (I’ll only make up to 20) and a two week turnaround from your order date.

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If that's not your bag, you can ALSO enter my giveaway- 3 lucky winners will get one of three items!

There's a treasure chest of femme surprises, there's a Lovehoney Plus Size Covet Me Mesh Strappy Babydoll Set Black (which I'm modeling here), and there's some DOMINIX Deluxe BRAUN Leather Wrist Cuffs, also from Lovehoney.

You can enter the giveaway by clicking here!

It'll go from midnight March 5th til midnight March 16th.

This giveaway is for US/Canada only due to shipping and handling... sorry international fans, I love you but while I'm moving I just can't afford it. :( I'll get you next time! <3

Thank you Lovehoney for providing these items for giveaway!

So yeah! Help me go through this transition in my life AND get yourself some fun porn or lingerie or sexy toys! Win win :D

Categories: community, giveaway, lovehoney, personal, porn

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Faking It: Loving and Fucking On and Off Screen

The hitachi hummed as I scrunched my eyes shut, lying on the padded bench and steadying my breath. Even with my eyes closed I could see the glare of the LED light against my lids. I tried to clear my head, struggling not to giggle as completely nonsexual images flooded my brain, pressing the vibrator harder against my clit as if it could drown out my thoughts.

My boyfriend and I were spending date night shooting porn, in part because I'm a workaholic and in part because once you start hustling for jobs, you find it hard to stop. And I love performing with him, I think he's gotten some of my best performances out of me. I think it's because it feels like something special that he does with me that he doesn't do with his other lovers, and it's nice to have a special thing (even if it's work).

But this was not like the porn work we were used to. This was for a site that focuses on the faces of people when they orgasm. Created to highlight and celebrate "authentic" orgasms, the shoot felt like an elaborate performance of normalcy. Unlike my usual experience with porn, which involves having your hair done, some decent stage makeup, and a porn-y outfit, this was stripped down to the minimum- bare faced, no breasts in shot, no genitals, just the face. So I wiped off my hot pink lipstick and rubbed the catlike liner from my eyes. Gotta look "natural", whatever that means when you have blue hair and tattoos.

When I masturbate by myself, it's often under covers, with a phone in my hand as I watch porn or browse smutty stories. I usually have elaborate and loud makeup on, my mascara smudging under my eyes as I sweat, my lipstick smearing if I cover my mouth so I don't scare the neighbors with my moans. Being laid out on a bench with little makeup and no concern about the visibility of my cunt was a new one for me, but I was eager to give it a go.

Feeling self conscious, my first video was soft, quiet, just me and the hitachi. I rarely masturbate in front of a lover, and with my boyfriend in the room just... there, I felt exposed. I came sooner than I expected, in part because I was picturing my lover putting a speculum into me and taking notes while I jerked off. With just my face to go on, I wanted to be sure I communicated my arousal and orgasm well, yet I was constantly reminded to just masturbate like I normally would. I kept my eyes closed, feeling as my body crept closer to coming and willing it to do so. I wanted to reach for a distraction as I masturbated, but was afraid of knocking over the camera of making too much noise, so instead I just imagined he was watching me and jerking off too. Maybe he was.

I certainly wanted to masturbate when we switched off. His video was beautiful to watch being made. I love seeing and feeling his cock as it slowly grows hard under his hands or mine, and watching his eyelids flutter was sexy as hell. When we're together we usually have a lot of up close, hot and heavy making out mixed with his fingers in my cunt, in my hair, in my mouth, and mine grasping the bars of his bed, or running down his back, or twining with his fingers. I don't really get to savour his whole body, to just watch- we perform for each other as we fuck, and that's amazing too. But there was something about gazing at him, watching how he caressed the head of his dick as he looked into the camera, that was especially hot for me.

And yet. At the end of the day, this, too, was work.  Getting to the second videos, and then doing the interviews, felt daunting, even though it was masturbating in front of my super sexy lover. I could sense he was a little drained by the whole thing. As was I, to be frank - I love doing photo sets or filming things, it stimulates my creative brain in a way I enjoy, but the setup can still take a lot out of me. No one wants to have sex be a chore, especially not me. I've had enough issues with my libido to have a lot of sympathy (and perhaps even paranoia) around that feeling. For me it's still fun work, and doing it with a partner is exciting, but it's also performative for an audience which is typically more judgmental than someone who loves you.

I've been having a lot of headweasels and body dysmorphia. It's hard not to compare myself to N's other lovers who are better educated, more slender, more financially successful, even when I know that the only person feeling that pressure is me. I worry that I don't measure up, that I am discardable, because as a fat woman I have been discardable so often. I worry that N will grow bored with the normalcy of our sex but that I cannot provide him the novelty he craves - not for lack of willingness, but for lack of other people's willingness. I feel a lot like my fatness is a prison I'm trapped in, as diets and working out hasn't released me. I lie awake at night when we're together, concerned that my fatness and my trauma around that gets in the way of threesomes and moresomes that come so easily with other people. I worry, mostly, that my body holds him back, that in his ideal world he'd be surrounded by sexy people who want to fuck him and who he wants to fuck, and that instead I, the unfuckable one that people don't approach, prevent him from getting his needs met. I worry that I'm not enough, and I fake my confidence, every day, to attempt to brush away these nagging doubts.

I think that's part of the value of shooting porn together, for me. It feels daring, and creative, and it’s a way to prove to myself that not only does he want to fuck me, he’s not afraid of the public seeing it, seeing me, seeing us. But he doesn’t need it like I do – he knows he’s sexy and that people desire him, I kind of get the impression he could fuck someone new every day if he wanted to. I’m the one trapped by insecurity, feeling like I’m performing bravery and fierceness while inside I feel small and sad and like I want to slink away and hide, that I'm invisible anyway. Porn gives me a place where I am forced to take up space. And sex, sex is where I can let go and be in the moment, where pleasure and skin against skin is everything and there are no comparisons to anyone else. I don't feel like an imposter when we fuck, and I guess having that captured on film reminds me of how freeing that is. I can see myself relax.

I thought a lot after jerking off for this what was authentic and what was performative. I felt my second video, where N fingered me off camera, was more authentic because that's more like how I fuck. I certainly swore a lot more, which is what I'm like "In Real Life". I considered if I would look into the camera's eye and thus the viewer, but I closed my eyes as I rode the waves to orgasm, much like I do when fucking. Also I was not terribly loud when I came... I tend to be quiet when I orgasm, and when I fuck generally. I feel strangely shy, even though I love dirty talk - if the sex is any good words will fail me.

I also just felt self conscious about not wanting to seem like I was overacting, which I enjoy doing with my partner as a way of communicating what I like and don't like. My authentic sex looks performative, and my performative sex probably looks authentic, leaving me wondering what the value is in calling some sex one and some the other. Is it a value judgment? Isn't most sex performative? Unless you lie there like a log, there's performance of some sort, whether it be athletic or interpersonal. Is that a bad thing? Why is it "authentic" (and, so often, feminist) if I'm wearing a neutral lip, but suddenly "porn performance" and "bad" if I'm wearing obvious makeup? Who am I trying to convince?

Ultimately the whole idea of  "make this look just like when you masturbate at home, except with less makeup and better lighting and sound" is a fascinating one to me. The appeal of staged "authenticity " is surreal and difficult to master in a way that looks natural while being totally unnatural. I think it's also in some ways harder when you're doing it with someone you love - I felt that I was both natural, yet also totally out of my element, and that's hard to shake. And yet I didn't feel uncomfortable with my body at all, which is a small miracle. It definitely led me to think more thoroughly about what I enjoy about porn sex, and what has been less fun, and what I enjoy offcamera, and why.

I'll admit that I look forward to a date night when we can go out to a movie and jerk each other off in the back row, like civilians.  I think I forget sometimes that even filming sex with a lover is still a lot of effort. I'm glad we've documented some of our sex (I love watching us), but I wonder if on some level I was trying to prove to myself we're in love by making a bunch of porn clips. There's something to be said for representation, and showing that fit men do desire fat women sometimes - normalizing that is important to me. I wish it had been more normal when I was growing up, I might not have so much trauma around it now. Still, when sex is part of your work, it's important to find the boundaries of how authentic you want to be, how much you want to give of yourself to the public. It can still be something special between us, but maybe I should consider finding something else special and sweet just for us that isn't also emotional and physical labour.

Onscreen sex is fun, but I think I prefer it when the only rules we have to follow are our own.

Categories: best of, communication, dating, fake it til you make it, female gaze, female sexuality, male sexuality, masturbation, mushy

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Why Do We Hate Valentine's Day?


I dislike commercialism and sentimentality quite a bit. I am known to send texts like "You're so cute, I love you, voms x" because I find it extremely difficult to be earnest in the realm of romance. For Valentine's Day this year, I'm going to eat soup with my boyfriend while we hack up our lungs as we're both sick with colds, maybe we'll shoot some porn, and then I'm going to go see 'Kingsmen: Secret Service" with my partner later that evening. It's not terribly exciting or endless flowers and chocolates and I am a reasonably cynical person.

But I have a shameful admission that I am choosing to not be ashamed of anymore.

I love all that shit. I love stuffed animals, and heart shaped boxes of delicious candy, and beautiful big bouquets with lilies in them (my favourite). I love getting cards that say lots of mushy genuine stuff in them. I love receiving little boxes of thoughtfully chosen jewelry I can wear all the time to feel close to a sweetheart. I'm even coming around to public displays of affection like holding hands.

I get it, commercialism of emotions is bullshit. Christmas cashes in on feelings about family, and generosity, and ends up with us all scrambling to make rent the next month in the process. And the Fourth of July, another popular holiday to hate, stimulates feelings about patriotism that has me excited for fireworks even if I have some strong opinions about the United States. And Valentine's Day is about capitalism and heteronormativity meeting and manipulating love in many, many ways, so yeah I get it. I also want to acknowledge how Valentine's Day deifies romantic and sexual love/relationships over all other kinds, which is harmful especially when codependency is how we're programmed to care for each other. Yes yes yes, I'm with you on all that.

But have you noticed it's also a super femme holiday? Everything is pink and red and purple, bows everywhere, hearts everywhere, a focus on feelings rather than action. Love and romance are often trivialized in our society, sneered at as being feminized. A day to celebrate romance that often focuses on appreciating women in clear, obvious ways sounds pretty fucking good to be honest. We do a lot of unpaid ignored emotional labour and a day where we're lavished with attention and gifts and appreciation is the absolute LEAST I think women deserve. Not that men don't deserve to get flowers too- I think there's a lot to be said for queering Valentine's Day to celebrate the femme in everyone- but let's face it, women get this day, and Mother's Day if they happen to have children, and that's it for recognition.

So why do we resent that so much?  Is it perchance because we have a general distain for femininity and femmeness? Is this perhaps a reflection of misogyny around "women's stuff" like self-indulgence and beauty that causes us to reject Valentine's Day so strongly? Is it about self-worth, and a fear that either by being unpartnered you're not worthy, or that your partner's lack of energy/creativity/money spent/whatever matters to you in planning a Valentine's Day thing is reflective of your desirability as a person? Maybe we push this holiday away because love is vulnerable and vulnerability is fucking terrifying. I mean, that's legit, to be honest. Love scares me every fucking day.

This year, though, I'm going to cautiously try to accept that yes, I have feelings, I do love people and they love me back, and that's a good thing. Maybe I don't have to protect myself with snide remarks again, but instead can just open my heart up to being cared about.

Categories: dating, femme, gender, holidays, intimacy, love, love is a dog from hell, mushy, musing

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There is No Shame in Asking for Help.

Trigger Warning- frank discussion of suicide


When a well-known porn star direct messaged me and tenderly asked if there was anything she could do to help with my struggles, and if it would be ok to signal boost my tilt campaign to help with my no-fault eviction, I was amazed. I didn't expect someone who had 429,000 Twitter followers to know who I was, much less to reach out to me when I was in pain. Full of gratitude, I thanked her for her compassion, gave her permission, and was temporarily contented that perhaps I was less alone than I thought.

The next day I was at a shoot talking about mutual care when I discovered that an acquaintance had been vaguebooking about how people in the adult industry shouldn't be asking for handouts, that we should just work harder. Bootstraps, y'all, right? This sort of attitude is one I feel I confront often, and it's one I have in myself- how dare I ask for help? Who am I to receive assistance? Obviously it would be better for me to self destruct, or to suffer needlessly and silently, rather than asking people who seem to maybe care about me if they could give me a boost.

What a fucked up thing to say.

In my case it is easier for me to let go of the shame associated with asking for help, especially financial help, because I've been homeless and no amount of pride will put me back into that situation, ever. I can reflect on the hours of unpaid labour I do through activism, through giving personal guidance and advice, through taking on crowdfunding campaigns for other performers in dire straits, and I can say "sure, I do the work, this is just a way for people to repay me". I can see it as an exchange- I scratch their backs, and eventually, they scratch mine.

But when I am anxious, or sad, I find it hard to crawl out of the hole I'm in to ask for a hand. I also find it hard to do self care, to eat properly, or to communicate about other things. I have multiple friends of friends who have committed suicide over the last two years, and many many more on the verge at any given moment, because they feel they're not heard, that no one cares. They're afraid of that shaming. So I hear you, person who is struggling and who is scared to ask people if they can do things for you. I understand the fear that comes with being vulnerable and saying, "yes, actually, I need you".

I'm here to say- it is OK to ask people for help. Fuck those people who say otherwise.

Do you hear that? IT'S OK TO ASK PEOPLE FOR HELP.

They may not always be able to provide the help you need, but it's perfectly fine to ask. I would say it's especially ok to ask if people ask you for help all the time, with events, with editing, with personal problems. I think as caretakers and givers, we find it harder to get our needs met because we're afraid the world will fall apart if we take a time out. And I think, for me at least, it's scary to slam up against the possibility that all the assistance I've paid forward were just examples of people taking advantage and using me. That makes me feel like I should have known better, and gives me nihilistic feelings towards humanity. Much better to not ask at all than to be disappointed, right?

Considering a week ago I had a noose around my neck and was heavily considering where to put the knot for the quickest and easiest death, no. It's not better to keep these things to yourself and suffer in silence. That way lies madness and isolation and the very good likelihood that you will end up martyring yourself when there was some possibility people would have helped you. At least give them the chance by asking.

I am still fighting off suicidal feelings, because receiving help isn't a cure-all. But I also have some financial aid to cushion the sudden fall that happens with evictions, and I have some pleasurable things to remind me to do self care (flowers, cookies, bath bombs and makeup). I know I have people I can talk to and lean on when I need to. I know I have lovers I can be honest about how bad things are with, who will hold me tighter rather that be scared and run away. And that knowledge is keeping me alive. Communicating about where I'm at is what's keeping me breathing. Trust that I can be honest without being sent to a hospital or made to feel guilty for making other people upset is helping me be strong. And when someone talks shit about you doing that, consider the source- in this case, realizing the amount of unpaid labour I had provided for this person in the past allowed me the closure to say "well, fuck you too".

It is ok to ask for help. There are a lot of systematic oppressions that cause us to not want to ask for help, something missed by "The Art of Asking" by Amanda Palmer, though she touches on the also-important personal barriers that prevent people from coming forward. For example, this campaign in Hull suggested that people begging on the street should not "intimidate or harass people" but "ask for help and support"- help from resources often overflowing, sometimes dangerous, and often not friendly towards minorities. People of colour asking for help, trans people, sex workers are all seen less as "needing a helping hand" and more "demanding a hand out", or "charity cases". My question is, when did we get so scared of charity?

We're taught that it's a weakness to ask, but it's a weakness to ignore our limitations. Being able to be vulnerable is strength beyond measure. Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, Patreon, tip jars, these are all ways we can help each other, encouraging an ecosystem of mutual care rather than individualistic selfishness. And ask for the big things, because you won't know unless you do- people often surprise us. The highest donating person on my tilt is a guy I knew years and years ago, who I offered a place to sleep when his parents kicked him out of his home.

All this said- asking for help is only as good as the community of people you have around to help you. I'm very lucky to have social media, but its worth noting that while I have about 10,000 followers at least total on my social networks, 47 actually contributed to my tilt. Another 5 paypaled me directly or gave me cash. All that is totally fine, of course- people have their own shit going on, right? But to prevent burnout, remember community is about accountability, shared responsibility, and mutual care. Think long and hard about who you spend time with and make efforts for and if they are, in fact, your community, or when you ask for help you will feel resentful. Its made me really appreciate the people who DO make time, who DO donate a dollar or two, who DO reach out and ask how I'm doing. I have radically redefined my community in a way that feels more sustainable and safe.

I might even make it through this alive, and part of that is because I trusted those around me enough to ask for help.

Here's my guide on helping suicidal people, and also here's a bit more about where I'm at at the moment if this seems kind of out of nowhere.

Here's a great flyer on sustainable self care and activist burn out.

Categories: advice, best of, causes, communication, community, depression, feminism, personal, self harm, stigma

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Your Fave Fantasy is Problematic.

Crossposted on Medium

Trigger warnings: abuse, rape, violent fantasies, suicide, racism, transmisogyny, bestiality 

Before we get started, I want to be vulnerable with you, and share something personal.

I have had erotic fantasies about rape, fatally sacrificing myself for a lover, being completely subservient to a male Dominant figure who beats me because he can (not in like, a caring way, but in a actual property and abuse way), being fucked after I’m dead, being kidnapped and placed on a breeding farm, all sorts of pretty dark shit that’s taboo in society at large. Most of these fantasies developed when I was very young, long before I had even kissed a boy, much less had sex with one. One of the first things I ever jerked off to a piece where a woman zookeeper got raped by a gorilla (even though that’s ridiculous, gorillas have smaller penises than humans, but nevermind).

So when I say I totally understand why people have these fantasies, I’m not joking. I really do understand.

But these fantasies did not occur in a vacuum. Fantasies rarely do.

Let’s break this down as it pertains to one of the most popular fantasies for women- rape fantasies. Somewhere between a third and half of women, depending on the study, fantasize about being raped. One study suggests that as many women find rape fantasies both erotic and aversive as ones who just find it erotic. We are compelled by it even as it terrifies us. That makes sense, when rape is a possibility for 1 in 5 women… perhaps more, if we consider how many go unreported, and how few that are reported end up in court. You’re more likely to get raped than get breast cancer. Perhaps that fear is morbidly fascinating?

I remember talking to a friend of mine about Grindr, just to open this up from heteronormativity. He was pointing out to me that it was a world of bottoms and no tops when it comes to rape fantasies. “It’s ok to want to be taken,” he said, “but to admit that you want to be the rapist? Who would do that? That’s creepy.” Indeed, this is often the case with heterosexuals too- while it’s more and more normalized for women to admit to having fantasies where they are forced into sex, we are understandably wary of men who speak glibly about their desire to enact such fantasies. Maybe it’s because these fantasies can go horribly wrong, and when playing with consensual nonconsent, it feels frighteningly easy to cross the line between pleasing your partner through role play and actually being a rapist.

And let’s talk for a moment about what these rape fantasies tend to look like in these reports. In these fantasies, like in hentai or in at least half of romance novels, a sexually desirable man is overcome with lust for a woman, so much so he just HAS to have her. She protests, often because of modesty, but deep down she really wants it, wants him, and becomes overwhelmed with pleasure and sometimes love during the “rape”. The act being fantasized about, then, is not rape. Rape is an act of violence or coercion, often by someone known to the victim. I don’t believe that the fact we often call these rape fantasies, when it isn’t actually rape but perhaps ravishment, is harmless. It links the idea that rape is an act of sexual desire, and that women might actually want it or feel complimented by it. We live in a world where young girls who are raped are slutshamed until they commit suicide. How can we possibly say that these things are completely unrelated?

Why, then, is media like 50 Shades of Grey so popular? It’s reflective of years of subconscious training of women that admitting sexual desire is shameful and being “taken” allows you to avoid the blame, that the ideal partner is one who “just knows what’s best for you”, that “I’m yours, forever” is a romantic thing to say and not a terrifying admission of codependency. It’s because people are trained that catcalling is a compliment that says you’re pretty rather than a power play, or that loving someone hard enough can transform them into someone better.

Tell me again how these things are just fantasies, and not conditioning under patriarchy to help us deal with microaggressions and major trauma?

I’ve written about this before as it pertains to forced feminization, trans women being shut out of lesbian porn, fat fetishism, and our attraction/disgust reaction to women seen as “manic pixies”. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve probably seen that I write and reflect on my own fantasies somewhat constantly- from Shredder’s knives to ageplay to creampies to sex on trains to wholesomeness. So I get it- even in my blog you’ll see me waver between “my cunt likes what it likes, leave it be” to “how has cultures shaped and perhaps fucked up my sexuality”. I understand this is an unpleasant discussion and will make you second guess yourself.

But I still think it needs to happen. Sorry not sorry.

50 Shades of Grey, and similar media that deifies abusive relationships (“Beauty and the Beast”, say, or “Twilight”, or Spike/Buffy or Angel/Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), is not simply harmless fun. It distresses me to see people I admire in the sex positive world, like Erika Moen or Lux Alptraum, say that they have faith people will know better than to mimic what they read when the fact every sex store is doing 50 Shades workshops and selling 50 Shades tat. We know damn well people are using this book to jumpstart their education in BDSM, and BDSM has done a shit poor job of dealing with abuse. I mean shit, we’re a country who has to repeatedly say “do not try this at home” for obviously dangerous stuff (Jackass, WWE, viral Youtube videos) and people still do it. I think you’re putting too much faith in common sense.

It’s not even just about sexual fantasies, not really. “It’s just a fantasy!” (and therefore, I guess, above critique?) is phrase used to defend romanticized abuse in books, frivolous murder of sex workers in games, detailed rape stories/graphic abuse games involving real women involved in Gamergate, racist caricatures in porn that reduce Black men into aggressive sexual animals, depictions of trans women as sexual predators or “just men in dresses”.

No. Just no. It’s not just fantasy. Maybe in a better educated world it would be, but here, it is reinforcement of norms and it has a real life impact.

We are beginning to realize that a joke is not just a joke, that it has a social impact, and we should expand that to other interactions. While I don’t believe that violent porn causes rape or that violent video games cause school shootings, I do believe that they act as reinforcement of behavior that is not socially acceptable, but is coded as secretly desirable. I believe that the lack of safer sex in most erotica and porn does reinforce the message that condomless sex is sexier/better/more intimate. I believe that the fact we are more likely to see explicit sex in film if it’s nonconsensual than if it is reinforces sexual shame, especially for women. I believe that when blowjobs are less censored than cunnilingus, it reinforces male pleasure over female. I believe that when there’s multiple examples of erotic male dominance and female submission, but female domination and male submission is always portrayed as either dangerous or hilarious, that reinforces patriarchal norms.

These things add up to a toxic society- to blindfold yourself to that is to condone it through your chosen ignorance.

All this said, I don’t think it should be banned or censored. I just think it needs to be seriously analyzed. I know it’s uncomfortable and not fun to delve deeper into where these fantasies come from, but in my opinion, it’s an ethical necessity. And I feel that by doing so, we don’t have to fight our fantasies, or be defensive of them, or hide from them in shame. We need to contextualize them and weave them into the rich fabric that is our lives. It’s only by actually understanding and critiquing our darker taboos, rather than treating them as inexplicable, that we can keep them firmly on the shelf where they belong… in fantasy.

 

Categories: abuse, activism, best of, bondage, boundaries, boys, censorship, communication, consent, current events, fantasy, female sexuality, fetishes, kink daydreams, male sexuality, masturbation, oh ffs, personal, politics, pop culture, porn, psa, racism, rant, rape culture, sadism or serial killer, safer sex, sex bloggers, sex ed, sex myths

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Review: The XL Hippocampus from Exotic Erotics

I've always loved creatures of the sea- mermaids, selkies, krakens, and of course the hippocampus, which is basically a merhorse. So finding a sex toy from Exotic Erotics that mimics this mythological beast was incredibly exciting to me, as well as being perfect timing to be one of the toys I used with Ned on Fisting Day to prepare me for his hand!

As you can see he's laughing, I think at the absurdity of the toys I bring to bed/set to use. I'm not really one for dicks that look like dicks in general, I like things with a little.... flare. This definitely stands out of the crowd!

That's because when I was asked which size of this toy I wanted to use, I went for the biggest. I'm not typically a size queen, and with 11" of insertable length on the XL Hippocampus, it's way too long for me, but I wanted the girth. Midshaft it's got almost 2 3/4" of girth, and I definitely wanted that inside me.

I went for medium hardness and I'm glad, as the squishiness is just enough to feel really nice inside me without the texture being too overwhelming. One advantage to Exotic Erotics is the number of ways you can customize your toy to your preferences, especially when it comes to fun colour combos and silicone hardnesses. I found them to be really helpful when I was asking about how to make this toy work with a harness, and if it was even harness compatible!

The texture, a mix of gentle waves and scales, is incredible. I felt it without feeling ripped apart, which can happen sometimes with hard dildos and fancy textured bodies. And when it hit my cervix it felt nice, rather than overly pokey.

I need to state here- this is not a toy for beginners. Even the medium is pretty intense from what I hear. However, if you're looking for a toy that will help you open up for fisting, this is a great option, or if you like to feel really, really full.  Plus it looks beautiful, and you can get it with a suction cup so you can have some hands free humping fun if that's your deal.

There's a slight curve to this toy that made it fun to play with, both pointing towards my belly and pointing down towards my ass. I personally preferred pointing towards my belly, as it hit my g-spot better that way, but bodies are different and you should see what works best for you! Don't worry, you don't have to go with a massive version to enjoy this toy- they have a small that's a perfectly reasonable 5 1/2" insertable length, and 1 1/2" girth that would be equally enjoyable!

I personally really enjoyed the fanciful nature of this toy, especially as I've been disappointed in my purchases from Bad Dragon (and their politics). Exotic Erotics is a fantastic other option, and they have a whole line of sculpted toys that covers werewolves, raptors, phoenixes, halflings... all over the map.

They also have more lifelike toys, if you like your human puppyplay to involve a more dog-like cock (I'm not saying whether this is a thought of mine or not, nope, not me). But with elephant trunks and orca cocks to experiment with, I think you could explore this shop for a while and get a range of experiences you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Being silicone, these toys are sterilizable by boiling, putting in a dishwasher, rubbing down with toy cleaner, whatever is your  typical way of cleaning toys. Water based lube is great on them- with the texture I'd recommend either a creamier consistency like Liquid Silk, or a gel like Sliquid Sassy.

All in all, Exotic Erotic's XL Hippocampus is totally recommended for all your fantasy fucking needs!

Categories: dildo, fantasy, review, silicone, toys, Uncategorized

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Real Talk about Bodies, and a Fierce Desire to Transcend Them


CW: suicidality, mental health struggles, the questionable community vs who shows up, isolation, body image

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I took about 10x the normal dose of klonopin last night. I knew better from past experience to think it would kill me, but I wanted so desperately to have a vacation from this constant state of anxiety I vibrate through on almost a daily basis and sleeping for half a day sounded like a good start. I have not felt this low in a while and I know exactly where it comes from- money. Lack of money. Working multiple jobs nonstop and still never having enough money to get by, while living in a city where people squander money on all sorts of frivolous shit while stepping over the homeless. And I'm doing better than most, I have resources to throw a fundraiser or get paid through Patreon (though, less every month). Most people don't have that.

Feeling like giving up is a difficult space to be in. To talk about it is to stir up drama, to be attention seeking, someone people want to avoid. Yet if you don't talk about it and just silently self harm, or maybe even succeed in your attempt, the survivors gather around to discuss how shocking it is, why didn't they ask for help, if only they had reached out.

We are killing these people. We are making a choice to prioritize other things above mental health, and this is obvious because look to the funding. We build multiple new stadiums while people can't get access to food stamps and medical care. This is on us. We make time for what we care about and people who are being pushed out of homes threatened in the streets, raped by community leaders, we don't actually care, because that;s not where our time and money goes.

No wonder people are dropping like flies.

Maybe I'm just judging from my feed, but people are suicidal all the time. They reach out in a myriad of ways constantly, and they are patently ignored, or at the very least, told how strong they are and that they can do it. I know this is a sentiment that means well, honestly I do, but it's a kind way to say 'stop whining and pull yourself up by your bootstraps... no, no, don't hang yourself on them, you're getting this all wrong, please go back to being a part of society that doesn't challenge my ideas that hard work fixes everything".

I can only speak for me, but during a given week, probably about 20-30 hours is on paid labour. The rest is on giving rape counseling to marginalized people with no where else to go, a traumatizing experience that is left only to me because my original cofounder left when it got too difficult and my coeditor is being accused of assault and has stepped back out of respect. Which is fine, take care of yourselves, right. But who the fuck takes care of me, and the nightmares I have of graphic rape every night. I am regularly told that my activism is fake, that I'm a horrible person because I feel that abuser/victim is a violent and dangerous dichotomy that can and does hit us all at some point in life. I genuinely think the queer "community', or some portion of it, wont be happy til I'm dead, at which point I'm sure they'll valorize and maybe steal
my fucking work.

Oh, ok, right, bootstraps. I'm so strong. I'm a survivor.

Fuck that discourse. I am not surviving, here, I am barely scraping through. And I have a "community" of over 8000 who want to engage with me in terms of staring at my boobs or maybe being snarky on my wall, but maybe 6 who actually SHOW UP. And I'm wearing them out. There will come a time where they can't anymore. I know this, I've seen it happen before, and I don't blame them. It's hard to take care of someone who's anxiety is so strong they sometimes can't leave the house without bursting into tears.

I feel like I am often asked to help with events, fundraisers, signal boosting your projects, making your performance a success, giving you extensive counseling, mediating issues.

But you don't ask me out to a party. You don't ask me to dinner. You don't ask me on a date. You don't want me to participate in these spaces, you want me to work them, for free. You are not my friend, you are a coworker who doesn't really indicate any value for my work, and that fucking hurts my feelings. I notice it.

I see you, person I did lots of unpaid, heavy event work for but who doesn't think I'm pretty enough to hire for performances.

I see you, person who says I'm too intimidating to approach but only sleeps with young slender people and doesn't acknowledge me in public.

I see you, person who wanted help with their fundraisers but won't signal boost mine.

I fucking see you. And I'm not mad. I'm disappointed and hurt.

We drain members of our community willing to fall for the "do-ocracy" myth and expect them to have the resources to keep doing it ad nauseum. And we also abandon them to their own devices, rarely offering to inconvenience ourselves to be there in their times of distress, and yet when we wake up to find they've shot themselves or jumped the bridge we are selfish enough to be angry at THEM for not, what, being more clear they needed us? That clarity is usually there, when you look. You just choose not to see because there's some fun event or a hot date and that's more important. I'm not mad, not really, I just think it's unfortunate that so much of this is preventable. Many of us cannot afford therapy, which is from $40-80 a pop and often not covered by Obamacare. We certainly can't afford involuntary hospitalizations, which cost upwards of $5000 a night... leading someone who is suicidal and panicking about money now with debt to fight as well. Many of us give up then.

Shout out to Courtney and Nick, who would have driven an hour to take me out to a diner or given me a place to stay - honestly I refused because I felt ashamed to be crying for hours with no indication of if it would end. We isolate ourselves believing that to be kindness to others, even if it creates a downward spiral of mental health, because we love you and the last thing we need is to scare you off. Having this intensity of feelings seems like a guarantee for scaring people off and we're already pretty isolated. I am honestly terrified my lovers are going to leave me over this, and I've been bottling up for weeks how bad it is because I need them... but then I also feel if I do completely crash, I need them to know its not their fault, but the fault of a culture that demands individualism at any cost.

I would be lying if I didn't say a certain amount of this is the desire to shed my flesh. I know, I know, I'm a fat activist and am therefore required by law to love my body. When left to my own devices, I feel good about myself. But then I leave the house, and I see how people look pityingly as my lover, a fit white cis guy, and disgustedly at me. I look on Facebook and it feels like every woman I know says to love their body but are also posting regularly about the diets and gym work they do and how they feel SO MUCH BETTER, and all the praise they get for being SO GOOD is like a slap in the face. I go to a sex party and watch people approach and flirt with him and it's like I don't even exist, despite being one of the first members, because my rolls act like an invisibility cloak. You can say whatever the fuck you want about body confidence- I have it, plenty of it- but it's other people who make me feel tolerated at best and an inconvenience, a flaming hoop standing in the way at worst. Ok, no, maybe at worst is the impression that my fatness disgusts others to the point they can't even be around me. This is why I require flirting with me to be purposeful and direct, because no, threesomes don't "just happen" in my world, they are often spaces of trauma and being left out and trying to smile while digging a fork into my thigh because I don't want to be the killjoy yet again. When I live in a world where almost every woman I know is obsessed with being fit and hooking up with each other, my body is a lonely monstrosity and I am ashamed of it.

These are all things that lead to my feeling of valueness. Like sure I get it I have value as long as I'm promoting your book or performing for free at your event or running your fundraiser campaign, but god help me if it's something I need you to give me back. That's just selfishness. And maybe thats the gist of all this- if I was truly true to my selfishness, I'd have fucked off long ago. I am genuinely afraid to say no to being generous because I'm afraid if I do my uselessness will be laid bare- my body's grossness, my lack of effectiveness as a solo non-non-profit who can't get a paid lecture much less a book deal because who gives a fuck about consent. And that's when I'm not being told I do it for the rock star cred, to be popular and liked, because I guess endless rape and death threats is indicative of how much people love me. I get about 20 more messages telling me to kill myself for being a fat SJW whore than telling me I'm doing something good.

Eventually that will probably kill me. I don't want that to come as a surprise, but I want you to know I really did do the best I could. And god, please, I don't want to be pitied. Look, either you want to start taking this shit on, confronting fatphobia in sex spaces verbally and consistently, refusing to let social norms about how flirting with fat girls devalues you somehow impact what you do, hire BBW women to perform in your spaces, ask someone chubby to join you for a threesome and then actually pay attention to them, offer to take on making meals or cleaning for your local overwhelmed and completely underappreciated SFW, pay for their damn patreons and fundraisers knowing that this is about their survival.

Pity is bullshit. It's the time for action.

Categories: best of, capitalism, community, consent, depression, intimacy, loss, not feeling well, reflection, self harm, sex, stigma