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Monday, May 20, 2013

In a room full of porn stars...

I went to a film screening - a documentary on the adult film industry and some of the women who star in these films. It explores how they got there, why they stay and their thoughts on the industry and profession. It's a conversation with the film maker weaving their personal stories with strikingly wholesome, honest and naturally artful images. It was such a beautiful film, thought provoking, sensitive, surprising and soulful. I say "beautiful" because the film plays like an art piece - it's simply beautiful imagery to watch, frame after frame. The woman who made it is an art photographer, so it makes sense that this documentary is different in that way. It's currently in theaters, On Demand and on iTunes. Here's the trailer: "Aroused" Documentary - available On Demand and iTunes

I don't know any more about the adult film industry that the average person. I don't compare myself or my experience to theirs except that I think that we collectively have a distinctively different perspective about sex. I don't think it's uniform, in any way. That is, we're different from each other and together we are different than the rest of society.

I was there as a guest of a friend in my real life. I wanted to use my Lacey Stevens name as I was introduced but couldn't. It was a time I felt a little torn by my two worlds. It's happened before, but this time I wanted to connect with the other people there, as a woman, from a similar or shared experience of living our lives, our choices, in a culture that misunderstands so much about us, about our experience, and for that I was a little sad.

My hope is that someday I can let my two worlds blend together in a way that is safe, finding a way to be social and supportive without risking the negative blow-back for myself or someone else... not because I think there's anything wrong with the choices I've made, or because I think society should agree with my perspective, but because society has been largely misinformed with incomplete and inaccurate information. Hopefully, little by little, they will catch up with the help of films like this one.

Monday, May 13, 2013

You Can Never Be Overdressed or Overeducated

This is a list of books I've read, books that have taught me what I wanted to know, what I needed to know. I've included links to all of them below.

I've limited this list to only those books that were helpful; those that I would qualify as being an important influence. It's not a complete list of all of the books I've ever read. I've read plenty that didn't meet the criteria. They are not here. Only the best and the brightest. These are the books that inspired me in a positive, constructive, practical way and I'm thankful for the the contribution they've made. Some are obvious "self help" style, others are disguised as "purely entertaining" but all were surprisingly powerful.

When I went through my break up of a very long relationship, I was thoughtful and deliberate in the new direction I wanted to head into, to create the balance and happiness I felt was missing before. As part of my searching and "trying on" something different, I was learning and discovering - it was an education. I read books. I read a lot of books. I was looking for help in defining what happiness is for me. Not like what it is for anyone else, or what anyone else might want for me, but what worked for me. I was looking for results.

I was inspired to explore being a companion before I read books on the subject. It was, perhaps, a little unconventional by most standards, but it was right for me. The books I read and the experiences I've had, have been a huge part of my self discovery and positive growth. I am empowered by it. While it's not necessary to share the experience to learn something valuable, it may be surprising. Sometimes in the places you least suspect, you will find the greatest treasure.

I recommend all of these, to anyone, but especially to women, because you can never be over dressed or over educated.

1. #Girlboss - #Girlboss for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers.
2. "The Ethical Slut - A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationship and Other Adventures" Amazon "The Ethical Slut"
3. Shad Helmstetter "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself" Amazon "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself"
4. Mitch Albom "Tuesdays With Morrie" Amazon "Tuesdays With Morrie"
5. James Frey "A Million Little Pieces" Amazon "A Million Little Pieces"
6. Catherine Hakim "Erotic Capital - The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom" Amazon "Erotic Capital"
7. "Post Secret - Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives" Amazon "PostSecret"
8. Chelsea Handler "My Horizontal Life - A Collection of One Night Stands" Amazon "My Horizontal Life"
9. Constance Stellas "Sex Signs - Astrology Between the Sheets" Amazon "Sex Signs"
10. Veronica Monet "Sex Secrets of Escorts" Amazon "Sex Secrets of Escorts" 
11. Amanda Brooks "The Internet Escort's Handbook" I and II http://www.goldengirlpress.com 
12. Joan Kelly "The Pleasure's All Mine - Memoir of a Professional Submissive" Amazon "The Pleasure's All Mine"
13. Wayne Dyer "The Power of Intention - Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way" Amazon "The Power of Intention"
14. Napoleon Hill "Think and Grow Rich" "Think and Grow Rich"


Can't Fight the Funk

When I'm having a rough day I say I'm in a "funk". That's when everything and nothing seems to bother me. I'm sad, I'm pissed off, I'm disappointed and frustrated. I'm feeling helpless and sorry for myself. I'm over-extended, under-appreciated, and unable to be who I know myself to be, who I want to be. I'm sorting through the crap. Going through the motions - caring and not caring at the same time. Looking at what I can fix, what can be left alone and where I can be effective. Bumping up against resistance alone and with the world. I'm "in it" as I write this.

I ask myself what I want and I'm not sure. It's stupid. I see people sleeping in their cars outside. I watch the news and am horrified at the difficulty others are surviving. I know things aren't that bad, my problems are completely manageable, which makes me feel worse for letting some of these things get in the way of me feeling my best. I know I'm okay - I'll always be okay.

What I want is to fix the parts that feel broken. I'm comfortable in my routine of being at ease, feeling balanced. Not like life is easy, but I've managed to build a pretty laid back, comfortable lifestyle for myself. I wouldn't trade my problems for anyone else's, this I know for sure. I do sometimes have this unrealistic expectation, though, that I should be able to find all of the answers all of the time and some days I struggle with where to even look.

I think about what the answers are and what they aren't. Like, is money what's standing in the way of some of this stuff? Certainly, but not everything. Do I just need a good cry? Perhaps. I try it on just in case.

I remind myself that some of this stuff is just out of my control and there's only changing my attitude about it.  The phrase "That which I resist, persists" comes to mind.  I try to shift to acceptance, like really letting go of whatever my expectations look like. It's not easy. I'm really tough - on everyone, especially myself.

Someone once asked me if I could stop doing something, what would it be? Like there's something that we all do that we'd like to stop, but can't. I was annoyed at the question, which is pretty telling in itself, but I gave it some thought anyway. I had a hard time putting my finger on it but I wished I could stop judging - everything all the time. It's impossible. We all do it. It's natural, but it can be adjusted when I catch myself. While I don't think it's possible to stop, I do wish I could do more of the catching and adjusting. I appreciate my ability to see things differently than my first thought. It's a process, an evolution. And sometimes I'm in a funk while I do it.


I wrote this a few days ago. I'm on the other side now. It took me a day to get through it - all day. I struggled with whether to publish this piece as part of my blog or keep it to myself. It's feels so personal but also worth sharing. The writing helped me to see things that were swirling around in my head that I otherwise would have stayed stuck in, sorting through, over and over. I was fighting and resisting but not making any progress. The issue on this day, and recurring from time to time, is dealing with a loved one who suffers with depression.

When I was through, I was emotionally exhausted. Then a calm settled in, a detachment from the anger almost as if it had never been there in the first place. Looking back, there was no answer I couldn't find, no blame to lay - I was just stuck. It was in shifting my thinking, expanding my perception that helped me to see things differently than my first thought. That was my breakthrough.