I Have Better Things To Do Than Survive

I cut my nails short.

cut my nails short

A fork ring also, for when I am out of spoons.

It’s a symbolic gesture to myself, one that serves to remind me to take care of myself while preparing for what’s to come. My fingernails have always grown long, strong and have been one of my vanity loves about myself, but I need them short right now.

Right now I am fighting with all of my everything not to fall down a deep depressive hole even though all the usual suspects are present. Loss, grief, stress, anxiety that reaches the moon, feeling and being out of control of my life. Having life move and change far too quickly for me to adapt to. Living with very strong trauma reminders (not triggers exactly, but reminders) and it would be so incredibly easy to just free fall to the bottom of that dark pit and sleep.

I don’t want that to happen though. Life is fucking terrifying, but right now it’s pretty terrifying for everyone I know. Taking a step back from the usual subjects of a depressive episode and pretending for at least a few minutes that there is a different American President, there is so much good in my life and possible in my life right now.

Val and I are back together and happy. I’m finding the ability to write again. The kids are all doing well and turning into lovely little people. Poly life is interesting. The world can change in a way that works better for me than how it has operated for a long time. I am closer to the life that I want than I have been in a very long time.

I “just” have to keep myself from falling down that hole, from self-sabotage (my depressive acting out of choice), from getting too deep into an anxiety hole. (Totally different than a depressive one for me, just as hard if not harder to get out of.) “Just” have to keep myself making steps forward and I can get to a level of okay that has been unfathomable until recently.

What the fuck does this have to do with my nails?

My nails are short and polished so that if I do fall down those holes, or if I start to slide, I don’t tear them off climbing back up. They are short and strong, they can grab hold, they can scratch and dig if needed. Chips in polish are little signs where I was fighting back. Scrubbing a floor, building lego sets, typing hard enough I should fear to break my keyboard.

So if – let’s be honest – when I do fall into a hole, one less part of me will be bloody and broken.

Why I’m Still Screaming O Fuck No

Really, before I get into the depth of this post, a not even remotely gentle reminder that you should really not piss off sex toy bloggers. We are a force to be reckoned with in 2017 whether you like it or not. So, don’t do it.


While most of my #blogsquad folx are in various stages of appalled, feeling violated, exposed, threatened and unsafe – outside this world, I have heard the rumblings of how the sex bloggers are going overboard again and *insert eye roll here*. Being recorded is NBD, if you’re in a public area like a hotel you should be expected to be recorded and people are playing up danger for clicks.

They are not playing up danger for clicks.



I’ve been in and out of the blogging world the last few years, so I cannot speak for each and every time the bloggers have been upset. The folx I know are brilliant, kind hearted people who want to do good in the world. There is really needed space to have a “call in or call out” conversation on internet discourse period, and there is truth to the comments that we sex-pos/sex-neutral folx need to stop eating our own.

This is not that time.

What I am about to share is not easy for me in many respects. Above all else, I don’t want to relive this experience in any way, even just to flashes of memory. Things on this front are stable and I do not want to rock the boat. Also, it’s taken me two years to almost the day for me to reclaim my voice after this experience. Without my voice, I’ve felt lost and confused. Writing like this is often how I truly work out how I feel at my core on subjects. This may put me in a setback, but I feel the risk is worth the reward in this moment. As uncomfortable as I am right now with this post and what I know I am going to say next, I’m doing it anyway because I am Mighty and I am Brave.


Because I never want this to happen to anyone else.

The how and the why of how my Partner and I ended up in a vicious custody battle with our ex-wife isn’t important to the story and I am “yadda yadda”ing over it. It happened. The back story I will give is that I have been a mother to both of those children for as long as they have memory and I do not feel any differently about them than I do the little people that I actually grew myself. They are my kids. Those are my babies.

Why would anyone be in the closet about this? It’s 2017



It wasn’t even ten years ago that I risked two years jail time every time I sold a vibrator in Dallas. When I was hired I was told that I’d made 3x my hourly rate for every hour I was in jail and the company would cover my legal bills. In Alabama, it is still illegal state wide to sell sexual products, as it is in much smaller communities across the USA.

There are still criminal consequences if you choose to “stimulate your genitals for any thing of pecuniary value” or for non-procreative reasons. I know people who went to jail for selling a vibrator. That alone is serious business enough for me to protect folx identity with all of my everything. Sadly, I have added incentive now.

At the start of 2015, around the time of #OrgasmQuest, my Partner and I began what would be the darkest days of our life together as we were thrown into an intense custody battle. Now, I am obviously non-Anon. Crista Anne Orenda is my real, legal name. I have used this real name for the vast majority of my long career within sexuality, a choice I made in large part because I never planned on having children. Well, I wasn’t having kids and I was an invincible revolutionary in her early 20’s. There are benefits that come with the choice of using your name and at the time those were the most important to me.

We live in a Red area of a Purple State. The battle was always going to be an uphill battle but what we didn’t know was that our ship was sunk when my career came to light. The imperfections and eccentricities of other co-parents were one thing, “deviant” sexuality career is completely different. While both families offered the kids similar lives, we had no hope because I am a sex educator. Even more so, because I review sex toys and have the stash to prove it.

I was diagnosed as being a lesser parent and person via my twitter feed. Lacking vital boundaries and being unable to provide an environment that children would thrive in. I wasn’t on trial here, I wasn’t even allowed in the court room or to testify in my defense, I was damned none the less. Because I believe pleasure should be a human right (if you’re a sexual person) and because I believe in an informed customer base in an industry where research is difficult. Because I don’t see anything wrong, shameful or taboo about sexual accessories, masturbation, sexuality or the like.

Because I am very open that I am poly and that I have herpes.

No one wins in a custody battle, but there are folx who lose more. We lost more. A lot more. We lost our life savings, the help of all of our friends, months of our life, and most importantly life as the kids knew it changed in a way that it has yet to return to. Likely never will.

The ruling that was put down is not entirely my fault, but these facts are what turned things against us in a way we could never recover from. The guilt I feel knowing that has been the biggest reason I’ve been unable to write for years, why I randomly disappear from the internet because my Feelings Become Too Much.

That custody battle is something that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Period. It fucked us up big time, in the end, it leads to our brief separation earlier this year. I’ve had to stop to cry multiple times writing even this brief overview.

I have risked my safety and freedom for this fight. We lost half our family because of this fight.

There is no PR worth this kind of risk, more so when the risk isn’t on those who have something to gain. Sex Bloggers are not up in arms over trivial matters. Protecting the anonymity of sexuality folx who need to be Anon is beyond vital. It is protecting their freedom and safety.

Screaming O’s website talks about bringing intimacy to couples. Their continued careless push back runs an incredibly real risk of bringing intimacy with CPS to these hard working writers who educate on these (and other) products. I’m not as furious than I was in my other post, so please read this post in my most deadly serious tone. This is deadly serious. People could lose their jobs, friendships, relationships, children, sense of safety and very real physical safety. (I don’t know a sex blogger who doesn’t have a few fans who straddle the line between harmless and hiding in the bushes.)

I know people who are seriously considering leaving the work altogether. This is unacceptable. We *need* these brave and brilliant humans fighting the good fight.

Screaming O, this is unacceptable. I demand you apologize. Short of no action at all, it’s the least you can do.

In the mean time, I’ll be sitting over here holding my breath.

These posts are vital for understanding this story – please read, link and RT all of these as often as possible.

Do Not Jeopardize Sexuality Folx Anonymity

Looking at you, Screaming O.

For the last 24 hours, I’ve been looking for the proper words to express my incredibly in-depth anger and sense of betrayal at the actions that Screaming O has engaged in. For backstory, I will point to my dear friends Ruby Goodnight’s “Fucking Airplane Armrests – What Went Wrong for #Bodysafe?“, as well as “When A Company Fucks Up Beyond Belief: Screaming (N)O” by Formidable Femme. From Femme’s piece:

Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit is a safe haven for people working in the sex industry. No matter our level of anonymity – fully out, semi-open, or completely anonymous – we know we’re among friends. In private hotel rooms and conference session rooms alike, we feel empowered and safe to share details about ourselves with the understanding that the information will remain confidential. Many of us don’t use our full legal names on our name badges. Some of us wear lanyards that signal we can’t have our pictures taken. We all assume that confidentiality will extend to all areas of our presence and likeness at the conference.

This year, Screaming O broke that confidentiality.

Earlier today, Screaming O posted two videos of the “body safe” session at this year’s Sexual Freedom Summit to their YouTube, as well as sent press releases to various industry magazines and websites with links to the videos. The first video was a short, 2-minute promotional video featuring the session’s panelists. The second was an hour and a half long recording of the entire session – including the question and answer period at the end, which featured many attendees’ voices.

To put it mildly, Woodhull is displeased. Here is our press release in full:

Woodhull Responds to Unauthorized Filming at #SFS17

An article appeared claiming that a recent Woodhull Summit workshop had been “sponsored” by a toy manufacturer, Screaming O, and including a link to a video of the workshop. We want to make it clear that when the workshop was selected there was no indication that it was a sponsored workshop. In fact, Woodhull does not permit sponsored workshops, and Screaming O had refused all invitations to actually be a visible sponsor of Woodhull’s 2017 Summit. We have spoken with Anne Hodder who had, unfortunately, been ill from shortly after the Summit and had no knowledge of the false sponsorship claims being made by ScreamingO.

When questioned about filming the panel, we gave permission ONLY if all attendees were notified, signed releases and were willing to be captured on film and audio. That did not happen and no one in the workshop gave permission to be filmed. Despite this violation, Screaming O posted a video of the workshop on its website.

Woodhull is making every effort, as is Anne, to have the videos removed from all sources.
Woodhull apologizes to anyone harmed by this unauthorized filming and can only offer assurances that Screaming O will not be welcome at future Summits.

Everything else written here is from Me, Crista Anne, not as any part of the Summit.

Hear me, hear me now, Do Not Fuck With The Anonymity of People Who Work in Sexuality.

Full stop.

The consequences of doing so can be dire for them, for their families. This can put their physical and mental well-being at stake. Jeopardize jobs, relationships, friendships, parental relationships. I’d fucking know. You could blow up an entire world for someone, for their family, being careless. Woodhull takes this incredibly seriously. I take this deadly seriously.

I’m not linking Screaming O’s press release here for a few reasons. Mainly because..

  • It’s complete and total bullshit from start to finish
  • It misrepresents the positions of people I care about
  • It’s complete bullshit
  • Screaming O is complete bullshit.

Did I mention bullshit?

Now, I was not in the panel in question. During that block, I was watching a friend’s table so they could see another session, but I knew there was a problem quickly with how quickly sex blogging twitter started blowing the fuck up.

My anxiety was going up from across the hotel, and the fury that stormed out of the meeting room later was awe inspiring. Please remember, this fury wasn’t aware they’d just been recorded without consent, the fury was on how upsetting and chaotic the session ended up being.

At the time I was on my way to prep another event so I was only getting snippets via texts on how the session itself went, so for a first person account please scroll up and read Ruby’s post.

Since, as my previous post covered, I’ve been disconnected dealing with grief. Frankly, I’m another layer of pissed that I’m writing this right now and not preparing for the funeral, but I cannot keep my mouth shut.

Screaming O, none of this is even in the same region as acceptable. Your social media silence speaks volumes. I know their PR person and have a lot of respect for them, I do not put the blame for this at their feet. This is bigger than PR, this goes to the top and I want you to know, I am utterly disgusted by you.

While I am not a prolific blogger currently, you best believe that for the coming decades I will recommend anything other than a Screaming O product when speaking to anyone looking at finding the sexual product for them. You’ve put the safety of people I love in danger, and that is unforgivable.

 

Grief is a Strange Monster

I was working on a series of posts covering the highlights of #sfs17, the Twitter account for my clit @ClitstaAnne, the amazing panel #sfs17bodies, a mock workshop on how to craft a 30 talk by the seat of your pants cause you kinda forgot you were presenting, awesome times with wonderful people.

They are all drafts in different stages of completion, all things I want to write about, but Thursday afternoon my Grandma died. A lot of my summer, almost all of July, I was doing end of life care for her with my mom. She was 94, her body was simply breaking down. Lots of little things that had her fading fast. All of Sunday at the summit was lost to an epic migraine, Monday morning I woke to pack up and discovered that my Mom and Aunt has rushed Gram to the ER. Pneumonia and singles. Part of me know she wasn't coming home, but I wasn't ready for the call.

Cause you're never ready for that call. I'm lucky that I had her for the first 35 years of my life. She knew all of my children. She saw me stop fucking up and making my own weird life. My Dad missed all of that. Mae counted as one of my parents. Lived with her for most of my childhood, she was a powerhouse of a woman who taught me feminism, civil engagement, sex education. She is why I'm me and I do this. It's in my blood from her. She spent years driving across Milwaukee doing home school for "unwed teenage mothers" so they could get a diploma. She hid marriage and pregnancy to finish getting her degree, doing post grad with sick toddlers at home.

She fucking survived polio.

She was endlessly proud of me, forward thinking and tolerant. She introduced me to her friends who are a gay couple as like any other couple, in the midst of the AIDS crisis. She was very active in the Methodist church, but have no fucks when I became a pagan as an adult. She only cared if you were a caring person.

I'm unmoored without her in the world.

If you follow me on Twitter you've seen me talking about what a strange monster grief is. I've lost so many people in my life, recently even, but this leave the hole that my father's death did. I know it was weeks until I was semi okay and functional from his passing, talking years that I didn't constantly think about it. My relationship with Gram Mae was less complicated but more loving. Deeper and more fleshed out. I've been saying I didn't know how is react to the actual news and that's all true. I think I'm still in shock.

Grief is a strange monster. It's unpredictable and crushing. I'm deep in it.

I need to be working, I need to be looking for more stable employment, I need to be writing again.

I need better waterproof mascara.

One of the most annoying things about me, too me, is that when I'm upset enough I should be saying something, I can't make words. PTSD says RUN at emotions that are too strong. When I'm unmoored. So words sick in my throat and I twitch while my brain is burning down. Mental illness is super fun. Grief is a strange monster.

Eventually I'll be okay, nothing has knocked me down for good yet, but okay is far off and I'm not going to hide that. (If you'd rather not see that for whatever reason, I'm keeping those tweets #strangemonster. Mute away.)

For now, I'm respecting my sadness as much as possible while also trying to keep my head above water. I put on makeup that says otherworldly and vaguely threatening, put on galaxy pants and a hoodie dress.take it until you make it doesn't work here for me, it is so what you can to keep moving and let that be a success.

Find me at Woodhull Summit – #SFS17

Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit

Before I start the actual #sfs17 post, some oversharing. Today I could sit down and re-write Breaking the Cycle nearly word for word. My anxiety is sky high; perfection paralyzes me, I could have written this twice with the effort I’ve put into avoiding writing/updating. On the if this hasn’t hit your radar yet – Ravishly has an excellent piece “You Aren’t Lazy — You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis And Perfectionism” up right now. It speaks to my soul. The uptick in articles covering anxiety disorders seems tied to how badly Trump is fucking us over, in my not-humble-at-all opinion. Okay – to the real post, but felt compelled to admit and own that anxiety is running things more than I am still.

Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit – #SFS17

On an incredibly selfish note, #SFS17 is days away. I am semi counting on the summit refilling my cup and nourishing my soul has it has every other year. The summit (#sfs17) is four days with my nearest and dearest in the sexuality freedom fight, always four of the best days of my year. Because of reasons (and by reasons I mean money), I have not attended as many conferences, summits, and stand alone education workshops as I’d like. Still, I’m not a newbie and can say without hesitation that #sfs17 is the most worthwhile event I’ve attended.

(Yes, I’m staff. Yes, I am very biased.)

Before getting into what I’ll be up to at this year’s summit – Read this post “Guide: What to Expect at #SFS17 (and Other Conferences)” by Mary Q. – It’s jam packed with vital information on making the most out of #SFS17 and any other conference. Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

Where to find me during #SFS17

Above all else, should you need me for whatever reason, @pinkness on twitter will get you the fastest response. This year I’ve scaled way back in official summit work so I can have a bit more fun, maybe even find time to attend more than one session that I’m not actively involved in! (Cause there are so many I want to attend. Locate the list of workshops and times here! Obviously, you don’t want to miss this one; Bodies Tell Our Stories. Aug 5th, 2:45 pm, Cavalier C.)

I am an openly, honestly queer woman online and I refused to be shamed or threatened into Silence.

Thursday I’ll mostly be running about working on Accessibility. I’m a committee of one for now, so meeting needs are going to be most of my Summit. You’ll find me at Digital Creators’ Meet ‘n’ GreetI’m friendly and love to meet new people – if we haven’t met in person yet don’t stress about saying hello. (…Says the introvert. I’ll do my best to seek out & say hi to as many folx as possible.) As well as all the evening festivities my aching body will allow. Reminder: I don’t drink so if you need a sober person for whatever reason, it’ll be pretty safe to seek me out.

There are too many workshops I want to attend I will not attempt to list them all. Friday through my workshop Bodies Tell Our Stories. (Aug 5th, 2:45 pm, Cavalier C.) Will be filled with my favorite kind of chaos, but looking into the Blogger Lounge is a safe first stop.

As I mentioned above, I’m an Accessibility Committee of one as Val has to miss this year. Over #sfs17 I’ll be pouring my everything into making our spaces as accessible as possible but if I’ve missed something? Please seek another volunteer/staff member or me out.

Unless I’m with someone with a NO PHOTOS lanyard and/or button, pictures of me are fine. I’m well out of the closets and me on the internet. If all else fails, look for the rainbow hair. This is my favorite event of the year, so I want to say hi to you, I want to exchange cards, I want to brainstorm. Ask first, but I’m overall a hug loving person.

Think that covers most everything, as I do a swan dive into “wtf do I pack?!?”, I have to swan dive into redoing my rainbow hair as summer pool time has done a number on it.

Breaking the Cycle

Locked into my own thoughts.

Over the last few months, I have been locked in a cycle of writer’s terror. Not writer’s block, I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to say and cover, but the act of loading this page and typing caused panic so intense it was physically painful.

That white hot panic that shoots through you, makes the world spin, disorients and causes sweat to break out. The panic rises from so many places/experiences, fighting through one panic trigger still left a dozen others. There is the ever present baseline depression and anxiety, fear that once I started to write I’d open boxes of emotion I am not able to deal with, saying too much or not enough, starting yet another draft I couldn’t finish, or that I’d lost my ability to write in an interesting or compelling way.

Those are each on their own difficult, but they are small compared to the last source of panic.

That somehow the next thing I wrote would cause more damage, and somehow my words would be used to take my kids away from me again. Rationally I know that the other parents of the kids I personally grew would not do that. They both choose to procreate with me knowing full well what I do, both respect me/my work. Rationally I know the worst has happened already, the kids can’t be taken away more. The custody battle is over, the restrictions are no longer in place.

The above is all rational.

Anxiety is not rational.

The two plus years of terror took tolls on so many aspects of life, but this has been the hardest to face. Hardest to even begin to overcome. As I am typing right now I’m also hyperventilating. I’m not afraid of showing my fear, I’m afraid to lose more.

I’m typing anyway because every time I hit save draft and walk away, writing again becomes just that much harder. It becomes that much harder and I feel like I lose a little bit more of myself. I’ve been oversharing on the internet for twenty years. This is how I process and understand myself. How I make sense of the world around me. How I free demons, how I release fury, how I feel I can best help people.

Folks often say people go into psych professions to understand themselves, I’m a professional oversharer to understand myself. Without this outlet, managing my mental health has been a lot harder.

So, I am reclaiming this outlet. After I hit publish I’ll probably lay on the floor telling myself “See, that wasn’t so bad” while hugging my bottle of Klonopin. Hopefully when I am able to get off the floor, working out where I go from here with this site and my work will be less terror provoking. I’ve had enough terror in my life, once I break this cycle of fear I look forward to a lot of posts covering the massive changes that have happened in my world. The really exciting things to come.

Being just that much closer to myself again.

Okay, I just took the deepest breath of deep breaths. I’m going to hit publish. I’m going to reclaim.

I’m going to be okay.

 

#SFS17 – Response to the Community & A Few Words From Me.

#SFS17 Statement

We Really Do Try To Be Responsive – #SFS17

#SFS17 – Woodhull Respons to Our Communities: Full Statement Addressing Recent Concerns

We at Woodhull strive, always, to be responsive to the needs and concerns of members of our community. Because of that commitment, we responded quickly to a situation that occurred concerning our acceptance of a workshop for the Sexual Freedom Summit from a presenter who had admitted to abusing someone. That situation has been resolved. The presenter canceled their workshop and will not be attending the Summit. Because of what happened, we are now reviewing our policy for future Summits. We will be sure to include community input as part of that process.

We welcome input from the communities we represent. We don’t blacklist, marginalize, or attempt to censor any detractors. We take concerns and criticisms seriously and try to work with individuals and communities to continuously improve our conference. Rather than censoring, our practice is to engage those who have concerns and we are often fortunate that they partner with us to address the concerns they brought to our attention.

That approach has led us to wonderful collaborations. For example, we are proud to work with a dynamic group of writers who feared marginalization because of their experience at other conferences to create the “Blog Squad” and ensure a welcoming, censorship-free space for all. We established an Accessibility Committee, headed by Crista Anne and Val Orenda, to make our spaces are as accessible as possible. We haven’t been able to make the Summit 100% accessible to all, yet, but each year we get closer thanks to the committee’s efforts.

Recognizing that the Summit was not as diverse on many levels as it needs to be, we launched a program where we partner with a different organization every year to create programming that is relevant and important to their constituents and to make the Summit as accessible to their members as possible. Our first year we partnered with Women of Color Sexual Health Network, this year we are partnering with In Our Own Voices and in 2018 our partner will be SisterSong.

In an effort to provide the highest quality workshops and presentations we can, we reach out to people we consider knowledgeable on the various issues covered by the Summit. Those reviewers volunteer their time, in exchange for a free registration, to evaluate workshop proposals and share their opinions with us. It is not unusual for those experts to be selected because they helped us see a gap we’d missed in a previous year.

We are not perfect, but we get better every year because we do respond to input from attendees and we do learn and grow along with every one of you.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us, to everyone invested enough in the Summit to hold us accountable, and those of you who have offered to work with us to make the Summit even better moving forward. We are very grateful to you all.

Ricci Joy Levy

President, Woodhull Freedom Foundation

I have more to say on this topic and what is going on around it, but I’ll be doing so as Crista and not as WoodhullCrista.

That being said, it’s 2 am and my brain isn’t at a place where I can articulate my thoughts to the high level this situation demands. Again, if you have questions, comments or want to say something you can do so with or without your name via my Contact page or Reminder; You Can Reach Out to Me Anonymously.

Reminder – You Can Reach Out to Me Anonymously

Reminder - Always be a Unicorn

Reminder Always be a Unicorn

Reminder – I’m approachable & now with greater anonymity.

Over many years I have often heard that I am intimidating. Personally, I believe that is societal programming that makes people uncomfortable with outspoken or opinionated women, not about me the person. Unless you’re aggressively violating my boundaries, abusing my kids or making toxic sex toys – I’m a really friendly & approachable person. Mostly because I like people. One of the reasons I do this work is because the way sexuality is expressed person to person fascinates me. An expression or manifestation may not be my thing or squick part of me, but I am still deeply interested in the how and why.

I like people. A rarity for an introvert, but here I am.

Recently I have flirted with the idea of bringing back comments to this site to be more interactive with my readers as I get back to writing regularly. Quickly I was reminded by many why I disabled them in the first place, that moderation does not bring joy, and I’d probably disable them again within days. Why waste the time?

What I’ve decided on is this reminder that via my contact page you can reach out to me anon, under a pseudonym or as yourself. I will not post them publicly unless permission is granted or that is the writer’s request.

Reasons you may want to reach out to me:

  • I wrote something that touched or helped you (yay!)
  • You feel I missed something in a post
  • Constructive Criticism (As long as the entire message is not YOU ARE HORRIBLE AND FUCKED ALL THIS UP, I really appreciate constructive crit. Makes me a better human, writer, and educator.)
  • Something you want me to cover
  • You’d like to hire me (Good decision on your part)
  • You’d like me to speak at an event, on your podcast, or interview. (The answer will likely be yes.)
  • You have concerns about places I work with and think that my work could improve. (I am ever evolving, ever improving
  • You’d like to give me large amounts of money so that I can devote my time to writing books, posts, presentations and workshops. (Yes, Please.)
  • There is something you’ve wanted to ask or address but haven’t felt comfortable in the past.

I thrive on feedback and as I am exiting the latest depressive episode, I’m looking to reconnect with you. So please, use my Contact Page or use the form I created below. Reach out and let me know how/if you’d like me to respond.

That people read me is an honor and I appreciate all of you who read, follow, RT and support me. <3

 

Crista Anne of the Glitter – A Selfie Celebration

 

Crista Anne of the Glitter – Selfie Edition

Why the need for a selfie post? Not gonna lie folks, today hasn’t been pleasant. My body hurts in a way that most of you *hopefully* cannot fathom, people are being extra – everything distasteful & wrong – online, life stress, brain fog, and I woke up again to find that no one had charged Trump with treason since I last looked at the news.

There have been bright spots of love, but today still required some long ignored self-care. I’ve not put on makeup in a while, so I covered myself in purple, then a thick layer of glitter, and took selfies. Because I can. Because I love that I can change my outward appearance at will to match either my inner self or who I want the world to see.

This is a little of both.

It worked too, I’m feeling better about myself, my ability to control my life, and comfortable in my skin. Makeup can be magic.

Greetings internets, I am Crista Anne and I’m super pretty.

Adventures with OKCupid, here is to hoping that okc has improved..

Subheading: Why am I doing this, I don’t actively hate myself…

Over the weekend I reactivated my okc account (tehpinkness) after a two-year hiatus. Deactivated my account when the madness was kicking into high gear and I truly could not even with people anymore. Then, unable to sleep a few nights ago, my brain decided it would be a fun, or at least interesting, experience to log back in and see who was on these days.

OKC is the worst…

It is and it isn’t. Over the incredibly long time I’ve used the site the quality of folx has significantly decreased, but I’m not entirely sure that is just okc and not everywhere. Internet discourse has circled the drain over that period of time, and after a decade on twitter, I expect the worst from strange dudes. Between those ignorant, absurd, creepy and just foul messages? Between them, I have found some of my most treasured people there. I found V on okc late one night and instantly knew we were similar. That I needed to know them. Years ago I met a cute comic book nerd named Ian, who is my favorite ex and someone I love dearly to this day. Many of my best, longest lasting friendships with too many people to name started off as okc matches. So, I wade through the swamp until I find someone(s) magical.

I found V on okc late one night and instantly knew we were similar. That I needed to know them. Years ago I met a cute comic book nerd named Ian, who is my favorite ex and someone I love dearly to this day. Many of my best, longest lasting friendships with too many people to name started off as okc matches. So, I wade through the swamp until I find someone(s) magical.

Life is changing. I have more freedom, more control over my life and schedule, I am starting to have the ability to have friends again. Friends who we connect over more than the fact that we grew little people at roughly the same time and are not sanctimonious about it. It is within the realm of possibility that I could have a social life again. (Though I barely remember what that is like.)

Because there has to be more than this boat I’m in…

As a verbose motherfucker, my profile is long even though I know 96% of people won’t read it. Being able to tell someone to read my profile, I’ve answered that already, is easier than repeating myself. It also weeds out those who are too lazy to read what I have to say and thus are not someone I have an interest in knowing.

This is the profile picture I’m using ATM. I like that it’s me, and me not smiling.

A few days in and I have a bit to report. My highest matches are folx I already know across the country, a few that I’ve already dated. Dudes who have no business talking to or hitting on me continue to be creepy. Oh, to have the natural confidence of the mediocre white man on okc.

This time on okc I’ve gotten fewer dick pics, and a lot more demands for education because they don’t want to google. So, I will take the time to educate them, but that education will come with an invoice because my time and expertise aren’t cheap. Then I’ll slap on an asshole tax when they come back with how wrong I am, how “stupid” they find respecting people who are different from them, or for being condescending.

I am too old, too experienced and too intelligent for that shit.

Using social justice buzzwords without understanding their meaning is a huge red flag that you’re a predator. JSYK.

Here is what I’m on okc for this time around: I’m looking for friends, looking for people I connect with. I am not meeting people right away, not meeting them until I feel comfortable they aren’t a waste of my time. This has been another great filter for who I don’t want as some dudes demand meeting that night and get threatening when I repeat the already stated boundary. This happens on my schedule or not at all.

I’m looking for people who share my ideas, my passions, who are also willing to fight. I want somebody who isn’t afraid of me or anyone else, in other words, I’m looking for someone who isn’t afraid of themselves. (Ani lyrics abound in this post) For people who expand my world view, who bring new thoughts to the table. Who make me laugh.

If I find these people or person and the connection moves to something more? That’s wonderful. I’d love that. I’d love a FWB or casual romantic relationship. My life is too full for me to be able to devote the time and energy into a full blown new relationship, but if one organically grows? That would be wonderful.

Would love more fierce femmes in my life. People who make me feel safe.

Basically, listen to Ani’s “Asking Too Much” and you’ve got it.

Will I find anyone before the creepers frustrate me into deactivation? We’ll see, but a Crista can hope. At the very least I expect blog fodder as I state repeatedly that I will name and shame those who egregiously cross lines.

My pain is not polished.

This post was written in October, 2016 – when I was positive we’d have Madam President right now and the “Grab em by the Pussy” tape had just leaked. On this day of protests, strikes, backlash, dudes being absurd man babies because something isn’t about them, and that this horrible monster is president, I’m reposting the piece in full, but you can see the orginal Medium post here.

No, I am not done yet. Nowhere near done.

I am going to continue to dump my intense fury, very raw pain and oh my stars y’all. The disillusionment. I *knew* that sexism would crawl out from under rocks like racism did with President Obama, I’ve been steeling myself for it. Assumed that as I interact with MRAs I’d be ahead of the curve.

I did not see being gaslighted by a large portion of my government, elected officials, writers I once respected, the nominee of the Republican party. I do not use the term gaslighting lightly either. (Few people I know do, but I know I’m facing the trope of the liberal feminist killjoy.) Since Friday I have been yelling at my screens, tweeting at people pleading to stop using victim blaming framing… Read More

Over your shit.

#ADayWithoutAWoman on Ethical Misandry

I’ve started an experiment over the last year, putting more of my angry feminist killjoy over on EthicalMisandry.com / @EthicalMisandry. While the blog is still sparse, the twitter account is quite active and has been a major release / form of self-care in giving way less fucks.

#ADayWithoutAWoman / #WomensStrike

This day, this strike, is a swirling mess of emotions within me – most of which I cannot quantify. These words needed out before I could sleep though, so here is a snippet of the post:

Frankly, it’s weight on my heart. Wee feminist me is still in there, and she wants to walk off anyway.  Go quiet, maybe write all day, and not talk to a single goddamn cis dude for 24 glorious hours.

Okay, that last bit holds for grown me too. I’ve become a lot happier since embracing #FeministKilljoy, #Misandrist & #Ethical Misandrist. I’d love to go 24 hours without hearing a goddamn word out of a single fucking self-described male feminist. That’d make my fucking year.     

Read the rest at EthicalMisandry

There is a lot for me to unpack here, I’m hoping that quantifiable language will come to me before it the day is over. For now?

For now I wear red.

#ADaywithoutAWoman

This is one of the only red items of clothing I own.