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

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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

The Magic Wand: A Love Story

I considered myself a sex toy aficionado long before I probably was one.

I knew nothing about brands. I owned and happily used non-body-safe toys. In fact, the whole concept of different materials needing to be used and cared for differently was foreign to me.

Still, I was at least vaguely aware of popular toys, which is how I found out about the Hitachi Magic Wand. Sex bloggers raved about it and reviewers rated it highly. So I bought it. Continue reading

Excerpt: A Professional

In a little over a week, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year 20th Anniversary Edition will be released. My story “A Professional” is one of the 17 included in it. This will be my second publication (the first being a story in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, which came out earlier this month), and I’m stupidly excited for it.

“A Professional” was my favorite of the stories I wrote last year, in part because so much of me is represented in it.

It’s hard to describe what I mean by that. Neither of the two characters are especially me-like, but when I read it, the tone and the atmosphere and the sexuality seem so me that it’s almost embarrassing hundreds of strangers will be sitting in their homes and reading it in a matter of days.

Almost embarrassing, but not quite. Mostly it’s exciting.

Here’s a little excerpt to whet your appetite.

Continue reading

Grief on the Morning of My Pap Smear

I had a pap smear today, the first in five years. My last one, done at a student health center when I was in graduate school, was bad. A medical student sprung on me without my consent, an exceptionally painful exam: I bled and limped and felt dirty the rest of the day. Not an experience I wanted to repeat.

At the same time, I know paps are important. So I had one.

It was uneventful, for the most part. A cold speculum, a little pressure, and it was done. Instead, it was the breast exam that lingered on my mind after I left. Continue reading