Musings on social anxiety

The thing that I’ve found about social anxiety is that it always comes back. Like dust. You can clean and sweep, but over time new dust will always settle on your once-clean coffee table or the nooks and crannies on your bookshelves. It’s the natural order of things.

I’ve done traditional talk therapy, art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy. Six therapists in three different states, plus an assortment of medications. It’s done a lot of good. I can function more or less as a “normal” person now. Continue reading

Harry Potter Characters as…Sex Toys?

After I wrote my last blog post—the one where I called myself the Horace Slughorn of sex toys—I was hit by a wonderful kernel of an idea. It was influenced, no doubt, by the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by the fact that my partner’s and my wedding rings are Hogwarts House–themed (mine Slytherin, hers Ravenclaw), and by the fact that my love for those books is so strong it’s permanently inked on my skin in two places.

I wondered: If the characters of Harry Potter were sex toys, what would they be?

Of course I had to answer that question, using some of the toys from my collection. Continue reading

On Thanksgiving, family, and belonging


Like last year and the year before, I spend Thanksgiving with only my partner (who I’ll call K) and our two pets. I can’t actually remember the last time I traveled on or before Thanksgiving Day to spend it with my family. In previous years K has worked in retail, and although “She has to work Black Friday and I’m not coming without her” isn’t the most satisfying excuse for my father and stepmother (who see K as some sort of not-quite-family hybrid; who, even with a ring on both our fingers, will still probably never see her on the same level as my sister’s husband or brother’s wife), it’s at least an excuse they accept.

This year, my excuse is “It’s her birthday and her family is coming,” which is partly true. Her birthday is the day before Thanksgiving and her family did visit, albeit they left before Thanksgiving Day.

So it is just me, my partner, and our two pets. Continue reading

secrets that we keep

Not that long ago, I had a conversation with someone about foods we’re embarrassed to eat in front of others. Being an insanely picky, fussy eater, I have an exceptionally long list: buffalo wings (I eat them very oddly), chicken quesadillas (I pick out the chicken), grilled cheese (I like the bread a little burned), and salads (I like cheese and dressing and little else), among others. Continue reading

It’s been a while.

Odd that the disaster of November 8, followed by November 9’s heavy fog of shock and devastation, should be the thing to kick my ass back in gear.

The year 2016 has not been a good year for me.

For a lot of reasons, which I’ll only skim through here. I quit one horrible job only to unwittingly start an even more horrible job, one in a toxic workplace that wrecked my spirit and self-confidence with the ease of a boot heel crushing an ant. I fled and I floundered. I turned to freelancing and dipped my toes in sex work–the former only semi-successfully, although growing more so as time goes on, and the latter not so much.

My libido crashed and sunk like the Titanic, and I am still scouring the depths, trying to find and raise the wreckage.

My partner and I discussed marriage, only to decide to wait until we were more financially stable, only to then reconsider now that it’s clear our constitutional right to marry may soon be threatened.

Worst of all, my writing has stalled. I have scores of ideas, but finding words for them is a struggle.

Yet I woke up this morning and felt very keenly that I was ready to get myself together again. To go back to building this blog and my writing career and reclaiming my self-esteem, re-realizing my self-worth.

I know this is nothing like the inspiring blogs and articles and calls to action that so many others are writing: the ones saying so beautifully that we will be strong, we will persevere, we will fight. But my therapists have always pointed out that I have a problematically internal locus of control. When something goes wrong, I always look to myself, inside myself, for problems to fix–because I tend to believe that I can only make a positive difference in the world I inhabit if I am the best that I can be.

So. Here I am.

Musings on the Intersection Between the Morbid and Erotic

My most vivid memory of my mother’s illness is my father driving me to school while I sat with a vial of my mother’s blood, turning it over and over in my six- or seven-year-old hands.

I remember the glass vial was smooth, unmarked by my grubby little fingers, and the opening was covered by something reminiscent of a stretched lilac-colored balloon, which a needle had pierced to insert the blood. Yet none of it leaked no matter how many times I turned the vial upside down; this fascinated me. I was fascinated too by how thin the contents were: the blood ran like water from one side of the vial to the other. It even sloshed a bit. Continue reading