10 Years of Moleskine Journals!

The other day, I was lovingly stroking my stack of Moleskine journals – as one does – when I noticed that the first one was dated June 2007. Oh my god, I thought. Have I really been writing in these things for TEN YEARS?!

Apparently so. I bought my first Moleskine in a local bookstore when I was 15, influenced by bloggers and Flickr friends whose nerdy glamour I revered. My first entry muses, “I paid $22.95 plus tax for this notebook, so I hope the price will be returned to me in the form of emotional and historical investment.” While Moleskines are still probably overpriced (the type I use goes for about $24 in Canadian bookstores today), I do think they’ve been worth their weight in gold to me, for the experiences I’ve documented therein.

The thing about fancy notebooks is that they make you want to write in them. (Once you get past that scary, first-blank-page, don’t-wanna-fuck-this-up feeling, at least.) When you shell out for pricey stationery, there is a certain sense of obligation to actually use said stationery. The smooth, creamy paper used in Moleskines is a joy to write on (especially with my pens of choice, Pilot V5s), and that tactile pleasure is what initially cemented my journaling habit. The sensual joys of journaling introduced me to its psychological joys soon thereafter: I’d always feel better after an exhaustive journaling session, even if my hand ached from writing.

I wanted to collect some excerpts from my decade of journals, but there are just too many good ones, so I decided to limit myself to excerpts about sex and love. (That’s still way too many, to be honest with you.) Here are some oft-embarrassing musings from my past ten years in Moleskines…

June 14th 2007. I read somewhere that if teenagers don’t fall in love at least once during their formative adolescent years, they may completely lose the mental capacity to do so for the rest of their lives. I used to find this merely interesting, a notable thought that was nonetheless nothing to worry about. I was always positive, growing up, that I would acquire a perfect boyfriend shortly after entering high school – as if every girl was paired up with a boy in grade nine because those romantic relations are expected of teenagers. Now that I’m actually in high school, I know it’s not like that. Not everyone has someone by default.

Many of my friends are desperate for boyfriends. They feel they would be happier with a boy in their lives. Oddly, I have no interest in high school boys. High school boys don’t bring you soup when you’re sick, or stroke your hair, or take you out for romantic hillside night picnics, or ask you to marry them. They like computers and the Beatles; very few of them like Sondheim or blueberry scones.

I guess I’m desperate for a boyfriend too, but not the kind my friends want. I want to spend my nights with a mature adult male who can talk culture and isn’t afraid to tell me I’m beautiful and he loves me.

June 19th 2007. Just had a thought: is it at all possible that I am a full-out lesbian? The feelings I have for women are so very different from those I have for men, possibly even more intense. It’s hard to tell, though, because it seems to go in phases. One week or month I want the tenderness, soft lips and pussy; the next, I want roughness, hard muscles and cock. And yes, I realize that girls can be rough and guys can be tender, but that’s often not how it goes in my head.

February 27th 2008. Half the class was away in English, so we opted to have a class discussion. It moved to the all-consuming, omnipresent topic of love/crushes/relationships. Mr. M. asked us to visualize the person we most wanted to be with, and then asked: “WHY do you like this person so much?” (No generic answers allowed.) Julian talked about deep blue eyes; Kaiya talked about mystery and intrigue; Giordie talked about immense comfort; I talked about never getting bored of E___, never getting sick of her, even when I fucking hate her I still want to talk to her, and it’s like there’s this endless ocean of future conversations and experiences stretching out ahead of us, waiting to happen. I need to stop talking so highly of her, because it’s only reminding me of all the things I can’t have – but I can’t help it, she’s the only person I feel this way about, the only person I’ve EVER felt this way about.

July 23rd 2008. It’s rather terrifying how grown-up I’ve become. Like, I’m no longer a virgin (in a sense). When I think or say that, it just feels like I’m pretending. Like I’m in some story, a soap opera maybe, where the sex is good and the stakes are high.

September 18th 2008. I often wish I had some interesting identifiable sexual fetish to match my sexually open-minded nature – but I realize, I do kind of fetishize being begged for sex. (Maybe we all do? Maybe it’s just part of the human condition to want to be wanted?) This is why I can never decide if I’m a dominant or a submissive – I like to be taken fully, but I also like to hold the keys to my own castle, and to be seductively coerced into giving them up.

Like the other day on my porch, when I was pinned against the doorframe, and D___ kept getting closer and closer, and began fondling my breasts, and I tried to get her to stop for the sake of potentially nosy neighbors, but she just couldn’t keep her hands off me (so hot). When it wasn’t my breast, it’d be my waist or hip. After a while, I told her maybe she should get going, and she replied, coolly and confidently, “Or I could have sex with you.” I kind of knew, even before I knew, that I was going to say yes.

November 5th 2008. In drama class, we did a Method Acting exercise involving envisioning an object that brings up intense memories of joy, and I chose my rippled glass dildo, which proved to be embarrassing when Mr. B. asked me what my object was. I lied and said “a love letter” to spare myself from total humiliation.

March 14th 2009. I’ve been thinking a lot about polyamory lately, and considering whether I’d ever be interested in delving into that lifestyle. It intrigues me in theory, but I’m pretty sure that if I ever actually entered into an open relationship, I’d become intensely jealous very quickly. I mean, I’m not even attracted to D___, but I get jealous if she blows me off to hang out with her MOM. It’s totally absurd, and makes me question my ability to be poly.

But at the same time, I feel like, once you agree that your relationship is open, you’re kind of giving yourself permission to be jealous, and telling yourself that it’s okay, it’s natural, and it’d best be ignored.

For years I’ve been reading this blog called We Sleep Together, which is written by a geeky, sex-positive guy in an open marriage. He just seems SO happy, and so does his wife. He goes on dates, getting to have the thrill of meeting and being with someone new, and every time he gets home from an external sexcapade, he tells his wife all about it, and often the story turns them both on so much that it prompts sex. They have threesomes and stuff too. It honestly seems like a pretty sweet life, but obviously it’s all hinging on good communication.

December 20th 2009. This has officially been the weirdest day of my life… I found out that T___ had sex with D___ (!!!!) after my caroling party the other night. No use dwelling on this now but I was SO pissed at D___ because she KNEW that was an asshole thing to do (T___ didn’t, necessarily). I spent much of the day, after that little revelation, teetering between hysterical laughter and full-out weeping. Called Max, burst into tears, took the subway home, ate a brownie, Max held me a bit.

About 15 minutes after I got home, while I sat checking my emails with a brownie in hand and a tearstained face, there was a knock at the door. It was T___. He said, “I really like you. I gave up drugs for you.” I thought he was joking, pulling a prank, trying to embarrass me… I kept saying, “Really? Seriously?” He said, “Do you want to go out with me sometime?” I said, “Yes! Yes.” I hugged him tight. He said, “Are you doing anything right now?” I said, “Just eating a brownie and crying…” Then I said, “Let me get my coat.”

Then T___ and I walked out into the cold. I was so disbelieving that I became incoherent and felt like I was going to puke and/or have an asthma attack (he kept asking, “Are you okay?”). We walked to a café. I said, “I feel like I should call Kaiya… but that would be rude.” He told me to go ahead, so I did, and said, “Umm, I am on a date right now… with T___,” and she freaked out.

January 16th 2010. Why am I doomed to be dumped on the 15th day of winter months by bisexual genderqueer brown-eyed Jewish improvisors who love drugs and don’t deserve me?

Spent much of the morning moping, playing ukulele songs, lying in Max’s bed inhaling his comforting scent, emo-tweeting, eating, and just generally being a drain on society. I am wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday and slept in – it seemed somehow blasphemous to cleanse myself just yet. I will tonight though – lunch at Bubbie and Zaidie’s tomorrow. Pretending to be cheerful and well-adjusted. Hooray.

People were commenting on the relationship status switch on T___’s Facebook profile. They all seemed to assume that it was ME who had dumped HIM. “You don’t deserve that,” etc. One girl even offered herself up for him to “confide in” if necessary. He replied that he’s alright, he hopes I’m doing okay, and he’s going to take a break from “relationshipping” for a little while. I kind of wanted to punch him. What a fucking martyr.

March 6th 2010. Sexuality stuff I’m pondering lately: I am definitely attracted to men and boys in a romantic way. I look at someone like V___ and concoct fantasies about cuddling, kissing, holding hands, spooning, him opening doors for me, buying me lattes, calling me, saying my name, smiling at me, etc. Thinking about sex with men, however, almost always leaves me cold, unsettled, unnerved, and even afraid. I have occasional moments where I crave it (or think I crave it?) but 98% of my sexual fantasies are about women.

I can imagine having sex with a woman and feeling comfortable and safe doing it. I wouldn’t be very scared if I were to go down on her or vice versa, if I were to fingerfuck her or vice versa. The task of making another woman come does not seem hugely daunting, terrifying or invasive, the way the prospect of heterosexual relations does.

But I have no desire to do any of those gooey, romantic, relationshippy things with women (with the exception of an occasional boyish/butch lady). So I’m pungently unattracted to penises and going on dates with femmes, but potently attracted to clits, labia, and snuggling with boys in coffee shops. It would be a really difficult life to be a heteroromantic homosexual. I hope I’m not. Ahhh, confusion!!

May 18th 2010. Secret confession: throughout my relationship with T___, I continued to have very explicit sexual fantasies about V___. I told T___ this, during a conversation-bordering-on-argument about how he doesn’t get jealous and how that pisses me off. He didn’t care. Maybe he would’ve if I’d gone into detail… like about how most of these fantasies have to do with blowjobs, VERY uncharacteristic for me.

I’m kind of embarrassed that I just wrote down on paper that I basically want to make V___ come repeatedly in my mouth… but at the same time, it made me think about it, and want it (still). Ugh.

January 22nd 2011. I looked at pictures of V___ today – new cute ones from a trip he took with his girlfriend – and my heart didn’t snap in two. In fact, I felt pretty detached. It was like the pictures were from a quantum alternate reality, a potential life I never led where V___ was my boyf, but I wasn’t especially sad about it. I think, to get over a person, fully and totally, you have to be convinced that the two of you are wrong for each other, and you have to allow yourself to be distracted for a little while – just long enough that you have time to regroup, to rediscover what your heart feels like without the weight of dissatisfaction weighing down on it – and then you can get your life back and cut the cord that’s tethering you to these old issues and this old person.

What I have learned about unrequited infatuation, primarily, in all my field research, is that a little bit is a deliciously exciting propeller of euphoria, but a lot is a troublesome weight to bear. The trick is to avoid progressing to the “longing” stage – you have to keep it fun and light and happy, by maintaining the belief that it’s OKAY that it’s not going to go anywhere. Once you start blaming yourself for the painful stagnancy, or hanging your hopes and self-worth on the fictional attainment of this person, you are wading into dangerous territory. Though, of course, escaping from that sort of situation is easier said than done.

May 16th 2011. E___ AND I HAD SEX and I decided I needed to journal right away, to process my thoughts. Congratulations, journal – you are officially my number-one confidante.

It was like nothing. It was like a dildo pushing inside of me, speeding up and slowing down sometimes. I didn’t feel anything break; maybe I don’t have a hymen after all. It lasted maybe 3 or 4 minutes – I didn’t mind his lack of stamina, though he was very apologetic and offered to go again (I said no, politely).

I don’t feel that anything has really changed. Those weird “violated/used” feelings I had feared are here somewhat, even though I know they’re irrational as fuck. I feel overwhelmed. I feel worried that I didn’t enjoy it more than I did (although first times are supposed to be awful). I feel heteronormative. I feel like I want to talk and talk and talk about how penetrative sex is basically how I imagined it but didn’t really Feel Like Sex to me – it felt like I was lying there and something happened to me and afterward I got all confused and conflicted and speechless and wide awake.

There is a naked man in my bed and I am no longer a virgin. I really don’t know what to make of this.

November 2nd 2011. Here’s what’s interesting about allowing myself to have small, transient crushes on people outside of my monogamous relationship: The feeling of infatuation tends to refresh anything it comes into contact with. That flutter of crushness brightens my mood and further motivates me to put more time and energy and love and passion into my relationship. Limerence is a massive renewable resource with no drawbacks, so long as it’s understood and accepted from the beginning that nothing will come of it.

March 26th 2012. Tonight I had the brilliant idea to start my own sex toy review blog. Immediately registered “Girly Juice” on Tumblr (after finding that “Sugar Cunt” and “Lady Juice” were both taken) and began scheming and dreaming. So far I’m only working with EdenFantasys to acquire stuff to review (they mailed me a book of spanking erotica today for free, YAY!) but I’ll probably branch out to other stores in due time. Could be my summer project!

January 28th 2013. I have severe doubts about my ability to stay monogamously committed long-term, and yet I haven’t encountered any situation in which I had an opportunity or even a temptation to cheat. I talk about needing the freedom to kiss and flirt with other people but I don’t actually do it, I just feel good about being allowed to. Sometimes I think I’m bored of sex with E___ but then we have sex and I’m reminded that our sex consists of things which matter to me and make me come and leave me satisfied, such that I don’t really ever have a desire to fuck other people because I just know they wouldn’t be as sexually compatible with me as he is – maybe they wouldn’t like giving oral, maybe they’d hate my labia, maybe they’d want marathon sessions with acrobatic positions, maybe they’d be perplexed at my needing clitoral stimulation to get off.

But if I don’t want to fuck other people, and I don’t particularly want to date or pursue other people, then the only remaining options are E___ or being single, and since he’s nice to me and we have good sex and we go out for nice dinners and he keeps me warm in bed one night a week, I see no reason to pick singleness over him even if I no longer have any burning desires for any aspect of him anymore.

Maybe this is what long-term relationships are supposed to feel like: somewhat static, more like a room’s wallpaper than the things in the room. There are people who seem constantly challenged and delighted by their partners, ecstatic every day even after years, but I have to wonder if those people are faking it.

June 16th 2013. I have a lot of complicated thoughts and feelings around the idea of sexual monogamy. I HATE the whole concept of my body being “possessed” by someone just because we are in a relationship. It grosses me out to think that there are expectations and limitations placed on what I can and can’t do with my own body on my own time. Why is it okay for me to be naked in a body image workshop but it somehow becomes problematic if I’m naked on GoneWild? People can jerk off to the mental image of my body either way. Hell, they could do that even if I always remained clothed.

There is something to be said for emotional fidelity, in that sharing your life and your deepest self with someone can take a lot of trust and sometimes you only want to share that depth with one person at a time. But I don’t see why that should be mandatorily connected to sex. Sex is touch and fun and pleasure and exploration and it doesn’t always require commitment or emotional intimacy or love or anything. Sex can just be sex. And since it is something I do with my body, it’s strange to me that our culture mandates I can only do it with the body of the one I’m emotionally committed to. Ugh.

August 29th 2014. I have to rip the band-aid off and break up with E___. I have to. It’s awful to both of us that I’ve let this drag on so long. I’m not happy; my head and heart aren’t in it and I don’t have the time or energy or desire for a relationship anymore. It has to end. When am I going to do it? Soon. It has to be soon.

September 11th 2014. One of my professors is totally foxy in an older-man sort of way. While listening to him talk about courtroom publication bans tonight, I couldn’t help but fantasize about him giving me stern instructions while smacking my ass with a paddle and slowly inserting a lubed butt plug as “punishment.” It feels good to want people again, to experience desire, to imagine possibilities.

April 3rd 2015. B___ told me two things I already knew about F___: that he has a big dick, and that he’s on the submissive side. That’s not a great omen for our potential sexual compatibility but I’m also still kinda unclear on how subby I really am. Sometimes I wonder if it’s one of those things I enjoy in fantasies but wouldn’t be that into in real life. In any case, during our drunken interview last week, he mentioned to me that he is “orally inclined,” so we’d at least be compatible in that way. (And let’s be real: that’s more important to me than dom/sub stuff anyway.)

Max and some others have suggested to me that it would probably be best to just come out and ask F___ whether his intentions are romantic or just friendly, but I’m scared to make things explicit because I really do like having him as a pal and it feels nice to have made a new friend, and I don’t want to mess that up. I really don’t know how people date out in the real world. Is it normal and expected to have casual friend-hangouts for a while first? Is cuddling in a bar a normal-ish thing to do with a platonic opposite-sex friend? These questions sound stupid when I write them out like that but I genuinely don’t know. There are so many variables.

August 9th 2015. It is 7:05 and I am meeting C___ for coffee at 8!!!!!! I tweeted earlier about being sad that I’m so so celibate, and he asked me a clarifying question about the tweet, and I cackled like a loon and thought about how funny it would be if that dumb tweet led to us meeting up. And then I took a nap, and when I woke up, I had received a DM from him, just as I had in fantasies I’ve had about this possibility, and we chatted back and forth a bit and eventually decided to meet for an evening coffee tonight. OMG, OMG, OMG. I texted feverishly with friends while choosing an outfit, doing my makeup and cleaning my room in preparation for possible imminent sexytimes. I don’t know how casual dates/casual sex work at all. I’m very freaked out and very excited and ahhh!!

LATER (past midnight)… We met up and ended up talking for ~4 hours. He is sweet and smart and charming and makes me laugh. A lot of what we talked about was movies and sex and nerdy shit. He is more-than-passingly familiar with my blog and my tweets. He is also cute and significantly older than me and talks a LOT but it’s all interesting. He said we should hang out again sometime. OMG, OMG.

August 30th 2015. Holy shit… Last night. LAST NIGHT!! H___ had told me he’d be working and would have to arrive at the party late, but it turned out his work ended ahead of schedule so he was already there when I got there. I walked in wearing my floral-print AA skater dress with babely hair and makeup and he turned around from his seat at one of the tables and said, “You look gorgeous.” It was exactly what I wanted to hear at that moment.

I’d been invited to perform so I clambered onto the tiny stage and played “Addressee” + “Jump Your Bones” for the extremely appreciative, supportive crowd. I explained how “Addressee” is about my frequent inability to tell if someone is flirting with me… Afterward, a bunch of people came up to me and complimented me on my music… Then H___ was like, “Can I compliment you now? Now that everyone else is done complimenting you?” He told me he likes that my songs are so honest, that it’s “arresting” and “disarming.” He gives really good compliments, and I told him so.

In response to my song, H___ told me, “For the record, I am always flirting with you.” (!!) He kept trying to get me to dance, because dancing is fun and whatever, but dance-club party atmospheres make me feel really anxious and weird… We got around to talking about his ex and my ex and my weird ambiguous situation with F___, and he said he doesn’t like wasting time on people who are ambiguous (not in a mean way, just matter-of-factly and sympathetically to my situation), and I said, “Well, just to be clear, I’m really into you,” and he seemed surprised but happy and told me he’s into me too, but that he hoped I wasn’t just saying that because of being drunk (I wasn’t).

And then – like the universe was standing up to applaud our bravery – the Carly Rae Jepsen song “I Really Like You” started playing, and because H___ and I have a shared love of Carly Rae, our heads whipped around and he said, “Okay, let’s go,” and we sprinted to the dance floor and got down to fucking “I REALLY LIKE YOU” just after admitting we really like each other. Holy shit.

January 17th 2016. Last night I had an impulsive late-night sex-date with L___. I was apprehensive and unenthused about going over there because I’m just not attracted to him and that has become increasingly obvious lately. But I think some part of me feels like I should take sex where I can get it. Like good sex is a rarity, especially for someone like me, and I shouldn’t turn my nose up at it. That’s such bullshit and not true and I deserve better than someone who doesn’t turn my crank, but good heavens, these deeply internalized beliefs are so hard to unlearn sometimes.

I was already feeling vulnerable and insecure and inadequate and unsexy in general, and should’ve known better than to do something like kink that would require even more vulnerability. But alas, live and learn. I went into L___’s bedroom and he started spanking me, and it seemed like he was going harder than he typically does, and eventually I started crying. Not brief sobs of sexy pain – actual crying, with tears and shuddering breaths and a deep sadness. I could feel L___’s uncertainty about how to proceed, but he asked if I wanted more and I said yes. I just felt so sad. And it felt like all of my obsessive, anxious, self-doubting thoughts were being whipped out of me, like I was being punished for them, but it wasn’t working.

L___ cuddled me and told me I’d been a good girl, and that was a nice gesture but it still just didn’t feel right. He isn’t the right person to be my daddy dom. I don’t have the romantic feelings I’d need to have in order to want to please him, to be a good girl for him, to change my behaviors and habits and patterns to make him happy. It’s like, he’s saying the right things, but he can never be the kind of person I wish would say those things to me.

February 12th 2016. So yesterday was completely wacky. Bex left at noon and I spent the whole afternoon and early evening feeling kinda gloomy, because of “Bex-drop” but also because I wanted C___ to invite me to hang out again but didn’t want to initiate this myself for fear of seeming “un-chill.” But then at night, I was lying in a bubble bath, half-heartedly trying to masturbate while unable to stop thinking about blowing C___, and I happened to have brought my phone into the bathroom with me, and I impulsively decided to send him a DM saying I had been thinking about going down on him and would 100% be down to do that again sometime soon. After some hemming and hawing about location, he eventually invited me over. I got dressed, did my makeup, and got on the streetcar. It was cold as fuck outside but I was motivated.

When I got there, he was all freshly showered for me and smelled good and we went into a cozy room where he had dimmed the lights and put on an internet radio station of “ambient groove” jams. We sat on the couch, talked a little, made out a bunch, and then I got on my knees between his legs and blew him. YUP, still as good as I remembered. He told me later that he could’ve come in like 15 seconds, but we were both trying to savor it. I know I have written this about 800 different ways here in the past few days, but he is honestly my Ideal BJ Recipient. I told him to let me know if he wants one any time and that was an honest offer.

After, we decided to go to the brew pub for some beer and food. It was really nice and date-like and I felt very heart-eyes-emoji toward him. We talked about sex and video games and our careers and music and all kinds of stuff. He indicated (without saying so, really) that he doesn’t have romantic feelings for me and doesn’t want me to catch feels, and I said, “I have caught mild feels but I have made peace with that,” and he said he knew. Sigh. I know he’s never been destined to be my boyfriend or anything, but I’m very struck by how much he’s almost my ideal partner on multiple levels so it’s still a bummer. Oh wellz…

July 24th 2016. This morning C___ had set his alarm early enough for us to sit and have coffee and hang out a bit before he had to go to a brunch date with some new girl from the internet. It continues to hurt my feelings that he is seemingly so desperate to get into a relationship but inexplicably doesn’t consider me a contender to fill that role for him. But regardless: we always have a good time together, and I adore being around him.

Because my days are so empty now, and because I’ve been so depressed lately, I mentally sort days into “days I’m seeing C___” and “days I’m not.” This is ridiculous and unhealthy for so many reasons. I should have more in my life, so it doesn’t feel like he is the centre of it. And I should feel this way about B___, if anyone, because he’s the person who actually has romantic feelings for me and wants to date me, not C___.

With B___, I sometimes (okay, often) find myself wanting to skip the small talk and get straight to the sex, because he irritates me less when we’re banging instead of talking. With C___, I hang off his every word and want to ask him all the questions in the world so I can absorb his opinions and wisdom. The sex is great, but so are the makeouts, the cuddling, the just being near him, the conversations, the solemn silences as we listen to meaningful music together, the being on our phones in the same room, the aimlessly deconstructing our respective romantic lives, the casual being around each other while the mundanity of life plays out. His very presence captivates and uplifts me no matter where we are or what we’re doing.

January 26th 2017. This trip has been hard because, as per usual, travel stresses me out and also I am wont to experience “C___-drop” after seeing him. It’s gross and makes me feel bad. I only want/need/love him when I’m depressed and/or extremely anxious; that’s when my brain reverts to believing he is the source of all my comfort and the solution to all my problems. It is embarrassing to have done all these months of processing and “getting over him” and to find that it can all unravel, or seem to, so quickly and suddenly. But I need to remember that healing is not a linear process; there will be setbacks and backslides and fuckups and falters. I am doing my best and it’s okay if sometimes that’s not very good.

May 3rd 2017. I am soooo New Relationship Energy-hazy. Nothing fucking matters. My emails and deadlines and unreturned texts are utterly insignificant and I will get to them when I get to them. All I want to do is flirt and fuck and cuddle and touch and talk about Feeeelingz and smile at each other like a couple of goons. It’s ridiculous. Somebody save me from this silliness. Except actually don’t; I’m happy.

Why I Write: Questions & Answers About #WriterLyfe

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I was creepin’ through Gala Darling’s blog recently, as I do more often than I care to admit, when I rediscovered a post where she talked about her writing process and the motivation behind her lifelong writing habit. I thought I’d pilfer the questions and answer them on my blog, too. I’ve done something similar before, but that was almost two years ago, and the creative process is always shifting and changing – so here are some reflections on my #WriterLyfe!

What am I working on?

Post ideas for this blog are always swirling around in my head. Here are some concepts I’m ponderin’ lately: a part 2 to my blowjob lipsticks post, a meditation on how and why I started loving giving head all of a sudden this year, a detailed recount of the genesis of my friendship with Bex, and a series about the sexual proclivities of fictional characters.

I’m also always chipping away at the ever-growing backlog of toys I’m supposed to review. Currently my “to test out” basket contains a leather collar, five vibes, two semi-realistic dildos, and a butt plug. I find product reviews more labor- and time-intensive than the other kinds of writing I do, but I promise I will catch up eventually!

Outside of this blog, I have a couple writing deadlines coming up. A cool online feminist publication green-lit my pitch about dating feminist men, so I’m working on that. And I’ve recently been hired by an online sex shop to write some informational posts for their blog, so I’ve got those on the go. Bizzy bee!

How does my writing differ from others in its genre?

A lot of sex blogs are either very sexy or very informational, and while I respect those approaches immensely, I don’t have much interest in (or talent at) writing about sex in either of those ways. My approach to sex writing – and to sex itself, actually – is goofy, relaxed, exploratory and fun. I write about whatever sexual topics are authentically capturing my attention at the moment, whether that’s threesome-planning, ethical fetishism, sexy fanfiction or dildo-based makeup looks. My favorite sex writing – the type of stuff you’d see on Nerve or in the portfolios of people like Grant Stoddard and Sinclair Sexsmith – combines sexiness with psychological insight, cultural critique, and the writer’s own flaws. That’s ultimately what I aspire to do with my work.

Though this is “technically” a sex blog, I’ve also never been married to the idea of writing exclusively about sex. I basically write about anything that informs my sexuality and/or is informed by it, which can range from fashion and beauty to relationships to mental health. I think I would get bored and feel trapped if I forced myself to only write about things that a sex blogger “should” write about, so I let myself branch out as much as I want and it’s kept me very happy.

I asked my Twitter followers what makes my writing different from that of other sex bloggers, and some of the words that came back to me were: “honest, relatable, self-deprecating, knows and trusts her audience, grounded, unafraid, funny.” Well, color me flattered!

Why do I write?

I’ve always, always written. I have messily-scrawled journals dating back to the mid-nineties, when I was but a wee little masturbator. My parents have both written professionally at various times in their careers, so it runs in my family, and they always encouraged me to document my life as I was growing up.

Being an anxious person prone to obsessiveness, I’ve always found writing a helpful tool in processing, managing, and deconstructing my feelings. If something’s upsetting me or confusing me, chances are excellent that writing through it will help. The extent to which I am sane and balanced (which, admittedly, often isn’t much) is made possible for me by daily writing.

There’s also a “chicken or the egg” element to my pursuit of the writing life: I’ve always been good at it, and received praise for it, which makes me want to do it more. (Or is it the other way around?) My English-class grades have been stellar my whole life and I’ve been told by many, many teachers that I shouldn’t squander this aptitude. So I don’t.

Finally: a lot of what I write, I write because I wish I’d been able to read something like it when I was younger. Most of my writerly heroes (like Gala Darling, Alexandra Franzen and Alana Massey) are my heroes not just because they’re excellent writers, but also because their writing woke me up in some way, taught me something about myself, encouraged greater bravery or positivity or adventure in me. There is always the hope with writing – especially when writing about something emotionally charged like sex – that your readers will come away improved or emboldened in some sense.

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How do I write?

As much as I would like to be one of those crack-of-dawn, early-start writers, I can’t: my dayjob starts at 6AM so I spend most of my mornings in a grey office uptown, doing customer service while listening to podcasts to pass the time. However, the best thing about this job is that my shifts end by noon, so that the entire remainder of the day stretches deliciously ahead of me. If I’m not too burned out after work, I’ll grab my laptop, notebook and headphones, and trot off to a nearby coffee shop. Cafés are my favorite place to write; the caffeine and commotion keep my creativity buzzing along, and I find it motivating to go somewhere with the explicit intention of getting work done there.

I work at home sometimes, too. I have a lap desk, a real desk, and a kitchen table with a beautiful view.

While I’m writing, I like to munch carrots and hummus, or a muffin, or edamame. I like to sip a soy latte, or genmaicha, or ginger ale. I have to be able to stare out a window aimlessly while I think, and maybe throw an occasional tantrum when the words are flowing thick and slow. I like to listen to non-distracting instrumental music while I write. Sometimes I wear lipstick. Sometimes I like to have a friend with me, working on their own stuff, so we can bounce ideas off each other. (“If I just say the word ‘mons,’ do you think people will know what I mean?” “Do Americans know who Jian Ghomeshi is?” “What are the sociopolitical implications of throat-fucking?!”)

For the past 5 years, I’ve done all my journalism and blogging on my beloved mid-2011 MacBook Pro (pictured in the photos above), but I just upgraded to a sleek new MacBook Air (ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you!). I write blog posts in WordPress, and everything else in Google Drive; both of these platforms auto-save everything constantly so I don’t have to worry about losing my work accidentally. If I get an idea while I’m out and about, I type it into my phone’s Notes app. When I’m working on a big piece of journalism, like a feature story with tons of interviews and web sources, I synthesize all that stuff in Evernote. All my analog journaling is done in large hardcover ruled Moleskine notebooks with Pilot Precise V7 pens (I am a writing-supplies snob!).

How do I get past writer’s block?

I’m obsessed with sexuality, kink, and relationships. Sometimes it feels like I literally never stop thinking about, talking about, and writing about those topics – except when I’m asleep! So, for me, coming up with ideas is just a matter of recording my weird thoughts and feelings as they show up, so I’ll have something to refer to later when I’m writing a post.

If I’m feeling uninspired, sometimes I’ll go out with a friend and catch up with them on what’s afoot in our respective sex lives. Talking through our issues and stories, and seeing what patterns and problems come up again and again, can kickstart my creativity into gear.

It’s also helpful to keep an eye on Twitter, Reddit, the news, and so on. Sex is inextricably hooked into culture at large, and viewing the events of the world through my sex-nerd lens often gives me ideas.

 

What’s your writing process like? What are your must-have tricks and tools? What do you write about when you’re not sure what to write about?

12 Days of Girly Juice: 6 Journal Entries

It was a big year for self-reflection and forward motion! Here’s some of the sexual and romantic events of my year, summed up in journal entries…

 

January 31st, 2015

I have a bad habit of blaming my relative lack of suitors on the way I look, when deeply and truly I know that the main reason for it is that I’m shy and don’t go out very often. I know plenty of women who are chubby or otherwise less than conventionally perfect-looking but who nonetheless capture the attention of men regularly, and without exception these women are outgoing, socially active, warm and friendly. I think in some ways I cling to weight loss as a magic pill for loneliness because I believe it would actually be easier to lose 40 pounds than to ditch my shyness. How silly.

 

April 8th, 2015

When _______ and I were in Montreal, at one point we talked about how I wish I had a fuckbuddy who I actually trusted and liked, and she asked me if there was anyone in my life who I would want to have sex with. I said ____ and ___. It’s not so much that I’m intensely attracted to either of them but more that I know them, feel safe with them, feel respected by them, and find them cute. It’s weird that when I said it, I thought there was literally zero chance of anything happening with either of them, but now one of them is actively flirting with me. It feels like the universe heard what I said and got the wheels turning for me.

 

April 20th, 2015

It has been literal YEARS since I have had a CRUSH on someone in the way that I would now consider a baseline prerequisite for entering into a relationship. The kind of crush that hits you without any effort on your part to cultivate it – just, BAM, DAMN, that person is cute, and you get blushy and giggly whenever you see them, and you find yourself going out of your way and making excuses to be around them, and you notice and fixate on all their many good qualities, and you are absolutely lit up by their presence or even the briefest of online correspondence with them.

I haven’t really felt that way about anybody in the past 5 years, and I don’t know why. Am I not getting out enough or meeting enough people? Am I suppressing any romantic feelings out of self-protection, insecurity, or fear of rejection? Have I internalized conventional attractiveness standards to an unhealthy degree? Am I on the asexuality spectrum? Who the hell knows?!

 

August 31st, 2015

I have been thinking a lot lately about my view of men/boys and how radically it has changed over the past few years. I used to be so distrustful of them, concerned that all they wanted from women was sex, that they were cold and calculating and unemotional and unloving. I was scared of their aggression and forwardness, their ability and willingness to identify a desire and then just pursue it. And penises made me nervous, those hard, unyielding outcroppings of flesh that seemed to demand attention and respect and reverence, wanting just to plough into a vagina with no attention paid to that vagina’s readiness or the feelings of its owner.

Obviously not all of those qualities are forgivable, but certainly not all men behave or think that way, and some of those qualities that scared me are now things I treasure in men. I admire their forwardness, how they’ll often cut straight to the chase when there’s something they want. I love that they’re easier to read than women. I love that they appreciate skills and competence and intelligence and humor; the stereotype that men only care about women’s looks is so not true.

And for all my teenage fretting about how men would be sexually selfish, that hasn’t been my experience AT ALL. ______ and my current trio of beaux have ALL been (or at least claimed to be) very concerned with their partners’ pleasure, to the point that getting a partner off makes up a significant portion of their enjoyment of sex. And I have met many men on the internet who say they feel this way too.

 

September 21st, 2015

I want to remember always how _____ looked at me and said, “I think you’re nervous, and you have no reason to be,” and I agreed that yeah I was nervous, because he’s cooler and more famous than me (“More famous? Maybe. Cooler? Not so much… You’re way cooler than I was at your age”) and I said, “I’m fond of you,” and he said, “I’m fond of you too!”

I want to remember always that I am worthy of having, and capable of capturing, the attention of men who I not only LIKE but who I initially perceive as being “out of my league” in one way or another: too cute, too cool, too mature, too internet-famous, too conventionally attractive, too sexually experienced to want someone like me.

This year I’ve been pursued by ___, ____, ______ & _____, all of whom are highly “cool” and desirable in their respective social spheres – even though they’re all total fucking nerds. Aww.

 

November 11th, 2015

If I have sex with one more new person before the year is out – and it seems likely that I will – then I will have tripled my previous number of sexual partners in 2015. It feels a bit like a dam has burst; finally, a torrential downpour of people who want to fuck me. I’m still not having nearly as much sex as a lot of people in my communities seem to be, or as I would like to be, but it feels like a lot. Although, I wish that I had had a repeat encounter with at least one of the people I fucked this year. (____ barely counts; that threesome was, by _______’s own admission, mostly about her and me.) I like when you’ve banged a person a few times and you get to know each other’s bodies and tastes. I like that better than firsts.

A Tale of Three Blowjobs: Getting Over Penis Terror, Continued

My very first post on this blog was about something I termed “penis terror.” Maybe that doesn’t bode especially well as a kick-off to a sex blog… but at the time, it was the main sexual issue occupying my mind.

See, when I was a youngin (by which I mean age 15–18), penises – and men in general – made me very, very nervous. I had a plethora of anxieties and neuroses about male sexuality. I believed men were hard-wired to be sexually aggressive, to put their own sexual desires above women’s, and to judge women’s sexual performance against impossible pornographic standards. And that shit terrified me.

It’s so embarrassing and strange to recount this now, but in my first sexual relationship with a cis guy, I literally cried the first several times his penis was brought up in sexual conversation. I was so fucking nervous and I can’t even explicitly identify, in retrospect, what was making me so nervous. It was just a fear of the unknown, I guess.

I worried I would be bad at pleasing penises, and that my boyfriend would judge me or leave me for it; I worried that touching penises would somehow make me “slutty” or “tainted,” even though I intellectually knew these are bullshit concepts; and, maybe most frighteningly of all, I worried I wouldn’t like penises. I was petrified that I’d turn out to be biromantic but homosexual – because I knew I wanted to date and kiss and cuddle with men most of the time, but I didn’t know if I also wanted to fuck them. And that was a scary, dicey question hanging in the air.

 

But my feelings about penises have transformed monumentally over the years. I crave them, I appreciate them, I write them love songs and gratitude missives. They’re kind of one of my favorite things.

There’s no clearer barometer of my penis-comfort than my attitude about performing oral sex on them. So, for your amusement: a tale of three blowjobs.

 

1.

My journal entry for July 5th, 2011 begins: “Today will go down in history as the first time I ever put a penis in my mouth.” A tad dramatic, perhaps, but it really did feel that significant to me.

I was nineteen years old. My very non-scientific Twitter poll indicates that this makes me a relatively late bloomer. What can I say? Willies gave me the willies. But when I did finally get around to it (with some very gentle prompting from my then-boyfriend), it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Granted, he didn’t come in my mouth that first time, which definitely made it easier to handle. But, overall, I considered it a huge step forward and an even huger relief. I had a major fear reference; I felt invincible.

“Throughout all of this penis stuff,” I wrote in my journal, “I have learned that there are two things I need in order to comfortably jump into a fear: a supportive, loving, respectful environment, and a little push.”

 

2.

After the aforementioned First Penis In My Mouth (and its owner) exited my life, I started to wonder if the same fears would rear their head again when I got another dude into my bed.

I broke a long dry spell by romancing a cute guy from the internet. During the proceedings, he very politely asked if I’d go down on him, and I immediately did, and it was good.

It wasn’t until a couple days later that it occurred to me: Huh. What took me literal months of waffling and wailing with my first serious boyfriend only took one respectful request with a hook-up. I guess I really am over that fear at long last.

The one fellatio-related anxiety that lingered for me, though, was being watched while going down. Maybe it’s linked to my fanaticism over blowjob porn and some shitty internalized ideas about “sluttiness,” or maybe it’s just insecurity about the way I look, but I’ve always hated being watched while giving a BJ.

I explained this to Adorable Internet Hook-up and he seemed to have no problem with it whatsoever. We turned off the light and all was fine and good. But, well, you hear a lot of things about how the visual of a BJ is almost as important for men as the actual sensations. Obviously preferences vary from person to person, but as someone who loves watching, say, Heather Harmon inhale a dick, I totally get the appeal. And I was bummed I still couldn’t be looked at while my mouth was full of cock.

 

3.

Shortly thereafter, I had sex with a… uh, how do I even put this? A friend who I also now like to kiss and have sex with? (Um, obviously I am new to this whole sex-outside-of-relationships thing, but, semantic difficulties aside, it is fucking great.)

When a blowjob became imminent, he grabbed his glasses off the nightstand where he had set them during our makeouts. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I want to watch.”

For some reason I didn’t even think twice about this. I guess I was preoccupied by the prospect of a cock in my mouth. (Cocks!!!) As before, it took a day or two for my brain to properly process the magnitude of what had happened. I had let someone watch me blow him! And this had previously been one of my biggest sexual insecurities!

As we were putting our clothes back on afterward and getting ready to leave, the guy even said to me that he thought I’d look hot giving him a beej on my knees, and instead of reacting with terror, I just giggled with delight. Because, yes, this is a thing that I would like to do…

 

Did you have any anxieties or insecurities to deal with when you first started giving oral sex? How did you overcome them?

I Wear My Heart on My Belly: My First Tattoo!

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Way back in February 2015, I wrote this in my journal:

I want to get a tattoo this year. Maybe a heart on my lower belly. Something meaningful and sweet and pretty.

Seven months later, I finally made it happen: my external G-spot is now emblazoned with a red heart for all time. And I love it so much.

The day before getting inked, I did a marathon journaling session where I unpacked all the reasons, symbols and meanings behind this tattoo, to make sure that I really, really wanted it. And I did. Below, basically unedited, is that journal entry.

 


 

My “external G-spot” is an erogenous zone I discovered when I was with [my ex]. It likes firm pressure, especially when I’ve just had an orgasm. I wrote a blog post about this spot earlier this year, and for the post photo, I drew a red heart over the spot as a visual guide for readers. But I grew to like it so much after that that I wanted it tattooed.

I liked the idea of having a small tattoo there as a sort of “press here!” guide for sexual partners, and I toyed with the idea of making it a flower or even a 3D-looking button of some kind, but I just kept coming back to that red heart.

I’ve been made fun of by some friends for feeling such a deep connection to the symbol of the heart. It’s a little obvious, like saying your favorite band is the Beatles. But I just love it. It feels peaceful and encouraging and juicy and joyful and optimistic and romantic. It reminds me of first loves, first kisses, exciting crushes, youthful optimism about love. Hearts show up in my gratitude lists and happy journal entries a lot; drawing them in the margins of a notebook is like a little ritual that affirms: thank you, universe, for this blessing. I see it and I appreciate it and I love you.

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Having a heart in this particular spot would symbolize a number of different things. Like: I love my sexuality, my desires, my pleasure. I love my femininity, my vulva, my powerful babeliness. I love my belly, that little dip where it meets my mons, my chubbiness, my Venus de Milo-esque voluptuous foxiness.

Also, in the sense that the tattoo idea originated with me wanting it half-jokingly as a visual aid for partners, it is sort of an ode to sexual assertiveness and a reminder to always ask for what I want and to not be afraid to be specific, bossy, and slightly selfish in bed. It is okay to want things and to want a partner who will give you those things!

It’s difficult to be entirely coherent about this, I’m finding. But something just feels viscerally right about having a red heart at the literal centre and sexual centre and fertility centre of my body. As if to say: this body, this life, is dedicated to love. Love is at the centre of it, now and forever.

2015 feels like the right year for this heart to be branded on me. I’m 23: a woman, but still becoming an adult. Started on a trajectory that seems it’ll take me where I want to go, but unsure where that is, exactly. This has been SUCH a big year for me in terms of professional development, mental and emotional healing, relationship upheaval, gaining romantic and sexual confidence, and so much more, and it feels right to commemorate that.

I used to have a lot more tattoo ideas… Symbols and illustrations and phrases that I found meaningful at the time. But I can’t think of one more enduring and timeless than a red heart. I will always be committed to love and to self-love. And even if one day I’m not, it’ll always be something of which I ought to be reminded. Love is the most important, powerful touchstone, the fuel of my life, my guidepost and beacon and motivation. I want it on me, tangibly, visibly.

I was considering getting said tattoo on my left ring finger – a self-love reminder in the very place where a conventional symbol of love would go if I was engaged or married. But more and more things felt wrong about that, the more that I considered it. Finger tattoos fade more quickly; they are more difficult to conceal, should I ever need to; and I think it might take up weird psychic space if I were to have a pre-existing symbol in a place where a love symbol ought to go. That’s not to say I definitely intend to get engaged or married, but it feels sacred and proper to reserve that real estate on my finger, just incase. Hold space for what you want and the universe is likelier to deliver it.

Besides which: the origin of all the love and romance in my body feels intuitively much closer to my belly than it does to my finger.


 

Do you have any tattoos? What do they mean to you?