I really don’t know what to say about today – #OrgasmQuest

IT HAPPENED TO ME: Antidepressants Took 10939304_10100272963221692_999743026_o (1)Away My Ability to Orgasm, So I Started a Public Quest to Get Them Back

I find it completely unacceptable that I must give up my life hack, my masturbatory orgasm, in order to fully enjoy being alive.

As you may have noticed on twitter, my xojane piece hit today. While I love what I wrote, I’m going to ride this wave of honesty to tell you that I regret doing it. In the end, it wasn’t worth it.

Wee Crista, budding Crista, she clung to Sassy and Jane before she moved up to Bitch and Bust. Pitched an “It happened to me” mostly because that budding girl I remember would have been amazed that her words hit one of their publications.

To be clear, all of my interactions with the folks working at xojane have been wonderful. No complaints about them at all.

Their readers? Their readers have behaved in an unacceptable way. The trolling, snark and pearl clutching in the comments didn’t bother me. I’ve done this a very long time, I know what to expect from comment sections. Until now, the comment sections on articles about Quest have been beautiful. So xojane has a lot of snark in their comments. I’m not a huge fan of that method of communication, but hey, to each their own.

I have received more hate mail and threats since that post went live than I have in years. The last times I had death and rape threats in my inbox were when dealing with MRAs and Anti-choicers. I refuse to give them any more attention than the time it takes to make copies and then remove them from my line of sight, certainly am not going to post them here.

Just going to say that people have gone so far as to threaten my children. You don’t want to fathom the level of Mother Rage that has brought up in me. They do not seem dangerous, not anything yet that signals real danger, but holy fuck. Do not threaten my kids.

Across the board, these threats are all attempts to scare me back into “my place”. That won’t work. You are only going to make me louder.

I’m really disappointed and sad. This was supposedly a feminist audience. My utter disgust with Privileged White Feminism has only grown.

Sad for the budding me who would have found this so awesome, and then be utterly crushed. I’m not her anymore, this doesn’t crush me, but I feel her sadness within me.

This is the only time I think I’ll mention this acticle for a while. I do not blame xojane the company, they were all lovely to work with, but their readers..I don’t know what to say.

Oh look, I’m on the cover. I really wish that made me happy. Instead I am dreading looking at my email. When I say it’s scary out there for a woman and that I’ve been low profile by design. This is why.

 

 

BEHOLD THE GLORY

A Combination of #OrgasmQuest & Blogging as Therapy

Who I am now, is not the factory standard for Crista.

Crista Anne is Mighty

I am Mighty

This me that you see now, that most of you have always known. This is not who I was born as. Personally, I don’t believe that people don’t change, I know I have. Fundamentally.

This post has been in my head for a few days now, creating itself in my random quiet moments. The times when the shock of everything wears off and I can step back from the chaos that the last bit of my life has been. In those times I’ve let it write itself, waiting for the time when I could sit down and let words fall off my fingertips.

This is not going to be a polished post, because I am not a polished person.

At those point you’ve all heard me say “I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with my hand on my clit.” I’ve left the details of my early depression semi murky, not because I won’t talk about that part of my life, but because I don’t want that part to be twisted or become the focus of the rest of my life, the rest of my Quest. Here it is in rather simple terms.

The Darkest Times:

My Dad, sister and I

My Dad, sister and I

As a young child I suffered a number of deep traumas. Yes, I believe that I was born depressed. That my brain has always had an illness. On top of the “natural” depression, the traumas I survived left me with PTSD. That manifested mostly as intense agoraphobia. I could not leave my house. It wasn’t just that I was shy, I was effectively mute through my elementary school days. A vivid memory for me is one time that I spoke in class, and a peer gasped in shock and exclaimed “I didn’t know she could talk!”. I didn’t have friends, a recesses I wandered around in my own little world alone while kids played around me. Had no interest in friends, other children, other people, they terrified me. Yes, I was that child who wanted books and to play alone.

Eventually my therapists and doctors, because I was getting intense treatment for my mental illnesses, decided that I mentally could not handle being in a public school environment. Thus my homeschooling began. I’ve often said that  was home schooled because I was sick, without disclosing it was because my social anxiety was so intense that I’d pass out from panic attacks at the idea of being around so many people in school. That I hoped that we’d be in a car accident and be killed versus having to go be in intense social situations.

I’m incredibly intelligent. Was home schooled through tutors from the school district, then on our own for my high school years. I opted to get my GED at 17 instead of try to earn enough credits for a HS diploma. At about 16, after years of glorious isolation, I found an amazing therapist who helped me more than anyone can imagine. She treated me on a sliding scale, sometimes for free, because we were in deep poverty but she was making massive progress with me. After two years working with her, I was ready to actually interact with the world.

Came into the world at 17, almost 18, as a blank slate. Had a crash course in social interaction, but had almost nothing in common with my peers. We had none of the same life experiences. I kept most of my first interactions online, in the forms of those early angelfire site “blogs” (though that term hadn’t come into the world yet), and with webcam selfies.

Having been raised in a sex-positive way, I lacked the sexual shame that so many of us have. I lived in a body that was twice the size of the body I live in now, so I had some body image issues, but I was a strange creature. An odd girl. My first jobs were working at hot topic, where I found a delightful group of other strange people to spend time with. (These people, it turns out, were also all Val’s friends, but we narrowly avoided meeting as teenagers many times. That’s a story for another post)

Queer Porn and Side Show Misfits:

I loved taking pictures of myself, I loved “selfies” (but they weren’t called that yet either) and around this time is

See? Told you. The rest of my photos are long gone. One of the few I have left.

See? Told you. The rest of my photos are long gone. One of the few I have left.

when queer porn on the internet started. I was already camming for fun, so I jumped on the idea of getting paid for photosets. Most of the sites I was on are long, long, long gone and forgotten – but NoFauxxx, eventually Indie Porn Revolution, was my main site. Oh, that’s right. I knew Courtney Trouble way back when, though I doubt she remembers me now. I was on that site as “Tryst”. Though queer porn, “Alt pr0n”, I learned to truly love myself, my body and my sexuality. I grew real confidence in myself. My world expanded, I left the house, I interacted with people. Queer porn was really my birth as the person you know now.

I adopted queer porn ethics and politics as my own. Eventually, I moved to Dallas and spent years dating a magician, hanging out with side-show misfits, walking through Deep Ellum fire-breathing for tips and with bands. It was wonderful. I started poly relationships, had my first triad, lived in absurd poverty but had an amazing time. This solidified my desire to live off the beaten path. I couldn’t fathom another way of life.

Sex Toys, Outlaw Dildo Peddler & Sex-Positivity:

Then I found sex toys through sex toy retail. A job I took because they didn’t care that my hair was pink, nor did they have a dress code and I could take as many smoke breaks as I wanted as long as the store was cared for. This is where I discovered my calling in life. Pleasure based sex education and sex toys. These were not progressive stores that I worked in, more your garden variety adult novelty store.

Dildos make me mighty

Dildos make me mighty

The difference between my stores and most others is that at that time, sex toys were illegal in Texas. I was prepped for vice raids. Told that I would be paid 3x my hourly rate if I was arrested until they could get me out. Every day I went to work I faced the very real possibility that I’d be arrested that day. I was hooked though, I loved working with customers to find the right item for them, the risk didn’t matter to me. I was on a mission. I was helping people.

I was also in my early and mid twenties and invincible. Long term consequences of possibly being charged with a sex crime didn’t register to me. I was an outlaw dildo peddler. This is what I was born to do. Made the magical discovery that my anxiety dissipated if I had a dildo in my hand. I could talk to anyone if it was about the store had to offer. I realized early on that many of my customers were telling me things they’d never admitted to anyone else before. That moved me. I took, I still take, that trust seriously. It’s an honor.

As my company didn’t offer much in the way of sex education to their employees, I spent my down time devouring sexuality texts. One day, in the dollar section of half price books, I found Carol Queen‘s Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. I read that book over and over again until it fell apart. The missing pieces of my identity, the missing bits of the person I wanted to be, were entirely built from Carol Queen’s words. I devoured everything I could find of her words. They became my gospel. Around the same time I met Metis Black on LiveJournal, who amazingly took me under her wing.

I knew of Ducky Doolittle from the cam girl days, I learned of Violet Blue from the early days of sex blogs online. Violet Blue’s Toxic Toys post fueled my passion for safer sex toys. Good Vibrations Guide To Sex became my bible on how to help my customers. Carol Queen’s words were what resonated the most with me. RLNG was the first time I read someone else’s words and felt like they could have been my own.

When I moved up the chain within the chain of stores I worked for and began to have control over hiring, education and inventory, I built my stores on Good Vibrations. Realistically there was only so much I could do while living under the sex toy ban. Educators couldn’t come and teach, we couldn’t hold workshops without fear of police attention. I pushed on though. I did my best.

Time on the Front Lines:

We had protesters. Protesting with the zealotry you see out of anti-choicers. Prayer circles blocking the stores. Stores were vandalized all the time. One of my stores was shot at. I was stalked repeatedly. Some customers tried to negotiate with my boss how much it would be to take me home for the night, as if I was another piece of merchandise. Other times I was assaulted in the stores, grabbed, groped, flashed, backed into corners. At night I had to have armed security in the store with me. That’s before you get back to the point that my job, my career, was illegal. I missed being raided by minutes multiple times.

All of that only made me more passionate. All of that cemented my knowledge that what I was doing was important. That each day I went to work was a revolutionary act. Each time I sold a vibe, I was giving a giant fuck you to the sex-negative world. Felt that I was doing my time on the front lines. Fueled by my foremothers and forefathers in sex activism. Fueled by Betty Dodson. Fueled by Carol Queen. Annie Sprinkle. Metis. Ducky. Violet.

There was very little of sex blogging back in those days, very little online community. Absolutely nothing like there is now. I was in a very remote location as far as sex-positive activism was concerned, I felt incredibly isolated as I fought my good fight. Shortly after the ban was lifted, a day that I will never forget because I collapsed sobbing in relief for hours after I heard the news from Metis, circumstances came up that caused me to leave that job and that life.

Massive shift into Motherhood:

I tried a new way of life, I got married, became a Mom, did some sex blogging and random work within the sex toy world. Wrote blogs under pen names. Sold toys through Love U, which was a venture between Metis and Ducky. I was worn out though, those years of fighting took a lot out of me. Because I was now a Mom, something I never fathomed happening, I tried to keep my profile low while still having some connection to my beloved industry.

Poked my head out a few times, PinkSexGeek did well for a while. Made another re-entrance to the world with dildology200Dildology, but then our personal world fell apart with physical and mental illness taking precedence. Depression and anxiety ate me alive again. I lost so much of what I had gained, falling back into that nearly mute shell of a human I once had been. Over the years though, I had made deep connections with amazing people. Deep connections with my idols. While I was that nearly mute shell, I watched the sex blogging world, the sex toy reviewing world come of age. Grow into this mass that it is now. Quiet, but watching. At turns overjoyed by the amazing wealth of information and connectivity, and horrified by some of what was being put out there.

Again, I pulled myself back up. Scraping and clawing out of darkness, depression, PTSD. Talking with a therapist. Getting emotional support from my beloved and our circle of loves. Being inspired by what my friends were doing. I went back to my roots, I went back to rereading every word of Carol Queen’s I could get my hands on. Remembering who I was, what my passion was. I went back to blogging here. I didn’t promote this site much, life was precarious.

Scraping & Crawling Back Up to Myself & to #OrgasmQuest:

swingsetthumbI kept getting help. Real help. The kids got older, I finally had space to stop being only a Mom-bot. Started recording with Carnalcopia, with Swingset. Met Betty Dodson, who now calls me Sister and emails me to tell me to keep fighting. I got medications again, I don’t have script coverage so medical bills are absolutely financially eating us alive, but I started to get better. Then I got on Amitriptyline, and for the first time in my life I enjoy being alive.

Which brings us to #OrgasmQuest. I never fathomed *this* would happen. I never, ever, ever fathomed that the mute shell of a person, too scared to even eat at a restaurant because I might have to speak to the server, would ever talk over and through Dr fucking Drew live on national tv because I wasn’t done making my point. Because I wasn’t done standing up for myself.

I still can’t believe that happened. I still can’t believe that right fucking now I am on the front page of Cosmopolitan.com. (Maybe not fucking now when you read this, but at the moment of this writing, there I am.) I can’t fucking believe that I’m doing this, that I’m able to do this. That I’m *happy* doing this. Trolling, death threats and all. I’m back on the front lines, defending my passions. I can’t believe that I made it back here, made it back here as the best version of me.

The viral nature of #OrgasmQuest is bound to end soon, but I’m committed to continuing this quest. All of my quests. All of my work, fighting for all of my passions. This post is allowing me to go back through my history for myself and for the people who are now reading me, to understand where I come from. To understand how hard I have fought to get here, and then get here again. Understand how hard I’ll keep fighting to stay here. Not for “fame” or attention, but because I built myself into this fucking badass that I am. I built myself out of Carol Queen’s words, Ani Difranco’s lyrics and a decent whollop of Lisa Frank fantasy.

I did this, I’m proud of this. I’m not letting go. No one is getting rid of me.

#OrgasmQuest returns to it’s birthplace, The Carnalcopia Podcast!

#OrgasmQuest was born on a Carnalcopia podcast, Depression, Orgasms, and Navigating the Murky Terrain of Mental Health. My filling in for Katie Mack was absolute last-minute, I’d already taken a ton of NyQuil to combat the cold I had, so midway through the episode I get a little loopy. Okay, more loopy than usual. It was great fun though, and obviously something special as #OrgasmQuest started right after that episode went live.

#OrgasmQuest returns to Carnalcopia!

With Katie on vacation, Crista Anne returns to explain her new mission, born on the Carnalcopia Sex and Depression episode: #OrgasmQuest. She is on a crusade to regain her ability to experience universe creating orgasms and she shares her progress, what has worked and failed so far, and her deep appreciation for her #OrgasmQuest sponsors who are filling her…life, with sex toys.

This episode was recorded before #OrgasmQuest went viral, but I have no doubt that you’ll hear “Surprise Motherfuckers” at the start of another episode of Carnalcopia in the near future covering more of my progress, as well as how gloriously strange it is to suddenly go viral.

Checkout Swingset.fm for Unique Podcasts about Sexuality & Geekery

I would be remiss if I did not also thank my loves at SheVibe and Good Vibes for sponsoring #OrgasmQuest in the first place. Their support helped get this project off the ground and they have all my gratitude. Also, so much love to my dear friendRachel Kramer Bussel for being the first to write about what I’m doing here. Her column on Philadelphia City Paper started all the media coverage. Thank you darling.

Crista Reviews: My Life on the Swingset

The subtitle of this post should be “..and why you should buy it

My Life on the Swingset, by Cooper S Beckett

My Life on the Swingset, by Cooper S Beckett

As a rule, I do not review. There are endless review oriented blogs that are doing great work, the world doesn’t need that from me. So, please understand that by giving this book the most enthusiastic thumbs up I can possibly give, that means something. Also, as is widely known, Coop and I are friends. Don’t let that fool you, plenty of my friends and loves have written things that I’ve kept my mouth shut about. This is because when I say something is great, I don’t want there to be any question I mean it is really fucking great.

I love this book.

Here is why: Cooper’s essays here are real, raw, honest and authentic. His voice is clearly his own. As you read through the sections essay by essay, you can see his personal growth plainly. This is not a memoir crafted as a vanity project, existing to simply boost the ego or make him look good. Some of his words as he is entering the swinging/non-monogamous world make me side-eye him. There were a couple of times that I straight up rolled my eyes. As you dive deeper into the book, those misconceptions – the know-it-all attitude that leaks through fades away to expressing vulnerability. Fears as the waters get deeper are revealed. His personal growth is plain to see – most importantly when he takes the brave step of exploring and then revealing his bisexuality.

I can’t say this enough, Coop, I’m really bloody proud of you. The world needs more openly bisexual men, I know that your words here will touch and inspire many others. You’re doing good work.

Memoirs have always touched me, Carol Queen’s Real Live Nude Girl changed my life so profoundly I hear her words in my head to this day. My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory I feel is going to have the same deep impact on my psyche. I’m going to hear snippets of Cooper’s words for decades to come.

I’m sex-positive, but I’ll be very honest here. I’ve had a lingering discomfort with swingers. My limited exposure was of swinging communities that were much the same as the 70’s key party brand that has stuck in the cultural psyche. The swingers I met in my years as an Outlaw Dildo Peddler made me uncomfortable, women seemed more a commodity than people. This book changes that. This is swinging, non-monogamy that fits within my comfort zone and my world view. It’s made me interested in dipping my toes into swinging, something I honestly never fathomed I’d say.

Some essays I skimmed through, they didn’t speak to me, but that’s fine. I wasn’t the intended audience. Others I read over and over, laughing with tears down my cheeks. I felt a wide gamut of emotions as I was a silent observer of his world, in the end I found myself wanting more. Deeply looking forward to the next book this fantastic friend of mine puts out there. Not simply because he’s my friend, but because he has important experiences to share. I cannot wait to see what he puts out into the world next.

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Now, for the Shameless Self Promotion and a damn fun time: Please listen to Ashley Manta and I interview Cooper on this Carnalcopia podcast. Carnalcopia scored the exclusive first interview with this budding author and heard all of the dirty details of his creative process. We also learned what happens when Katie Mack is away. Spoiler alert: it involves face sitting, njoy eleven wielding, orgy having, and many pop culture references that Ashley doesn’t understand. Don’t miss Cooper reading a chapter of his book in the final minutes!

Heard enough? Go buy My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory now. You won’t regret it.

As if this post isn’t enough to prove my wholehearted support, I’m doing my own promotion in a very Crista way. Once you’ve purchased My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory and enjoyed it yourself. Write an Amazon review. Then Contact Me with a link to your review, your DOB, and I will send you an absurd topless selfie to say thanks. (Please note the absurd and selfie part there.) This is my idea entirely, something I’m glad to do. Plus, I like sharing topless goodness. Go forth and pick up your copy now.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given early drafts of #mylotss to read over. Was honored to help in my small way with some of the book’s layout. I’ve been a guest on Life on the Swingset Podcast and I will again soon. This book was given to me freely for an honest review, and these are my honest thoughts. Also, if you wisely choose to purchase this glorious book via my links, I will get a small commission from those sales. That tiny amount of money is not enough to sway the views I’ve expressed here.

Shameless Self Promotion: Carnalcopia Interview with Cooper Beckett

Did you know that Cooper S Beckett is publishing a book? Carnalcopia scored the exclusive first interview with this budding author and heard all of the dirty details of his creative process. We also learned what happens when Katie Mack is away and Crista Anne is allowed to run free. Spoiler alert: it involves face sitting, njoy eleven wielding, orgy having, and many pop culture references that Ashley doesn’t understand. Don’t miss Cooper reading a chapter of his book in the final minutes!

 

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

My review of My Life on the Swingset will be posted here on Friday as part of Cooper’s virtual book tour, so keep an eye out for that. In the mean time, I was completely serious in the podcast – I love this book and want to help promote in my own Crista way. If you are over the age of 18 (21 in some states) and write an Amazon Review for My Life on the Swingset, I’ll show my appreciation via an absurd topless selfie. Email Me with Name, Date of Birth and a link to your review on Amazon to redeem.

Now, Go Listen!

Carnalcopia: Depression, Orgasms, and Navigating the Murky Terrain of Mental Health

Surprise Motherfuckers!

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Yet again you can find me on this week’s Carnalcopia episode.

After getting the kids to bed Sunday night, I was exhausted and upset that my fingers were too sore to blog. Posted to twitter that I was a sad panda about not being able to update here so I was going to climb into bed before ten pm. Right as I was about to close my laptop for the night, Ashley messaged me with a sweet plea to help save her from a 45 minute monologue (which I have faith she would have rocked) and fill in for Katie on this weeks podcast. Already having taken a liberal swig of NyQuil to wash down my bedtime medications, I sprayed down the back of my throbbing throat with numbing spray, slammed some caffeine and asked if we could please talk about sex, depression and mental health. I was the most confident in my abilities to ad-lib on those topics in my overly medicated state.

Lo! This week’s episode was born.

Ashley and I cover our experiences with being sexual while being depressed, how medications have affected our levels of desire and ability to get off, our deep appreciation for the sex education/blogging community, and of course I slip in a few minutes about football. (bawhahahaha) Normally I don’t listen to myself, but I did play this episode for the adults in our household because I’m pretty damn proud of how it turned out.

Listen here

Also, I mean it when I say folks can always reach out to me if they need advice, support, someone to listen or some kind words. All of my contact info is on the Contact Crista page. <3

I am Mighty!

I AM MIGHTY

I AM MIGHTY

I am Fucking Mighty

Did you miss me?

Don’t worry, I missed you as well. Went quiet here for a bit as life completely fucking kicked my ass left, right and sideways. We’re not even going to bother trying to cover everything that happened, what we are going to do here is repeat again and again, that I am fucking mighty!

My rainbow hued world has changed for the better, the absurdity has calmed down dramatically, and I am finally, FINALLY, on better living via chemicals again. My fibro is being dealt with, my depression/anxiety/PTSD is controlled, and my menstruation of doom is over. Life is grand and fucking glorious.

I am mighty because I fucking survived that shit. You can knock me down, but I’ll always get back up.

What you may have missed while I wasn’t blogging:

  • I joined my loves Katie Mack and Ashley Manta on their Carnalcopia podcast to talk about No Shave November/#pitsnbits. Listen here
  • Jumped on Life on the Swingset with The Redhead Bedhead to talk The Worst Sex Toys in the WOOOOOORLD!! Listen here
  • Had an incredibly honest and raw conversation on Carnalcopia regarding Impostor Syndrome that I am incredibly proud of. Listen here
  • Pissed off a ton of “pro-lifers” on twitter over the #1in3Speaks hashtag.
  • Started talks with those fab fuckers over at Swingset about JoEllen and I joining their ranks with our own podcast. Details are in the works but rest assured, we will take over the world.

So folks, that’s where I’m at right now. Updates here will be much more regular. You will soon be inundated with my face because selfies are self care for this woman. Have been waiting five fucking years for life to calm down enough for me to return to my world, and I am so thrilled to be back.

Couple Quick Notes:

There is now a subscription option on my sidebar. Let’s talk about that for a second shall we?

Excellent.

I have always had a firm belief that bloggers should be paid for their work, because what we are doing here is important. Media is changing. The internet is changing. While I am not going to put myself behind a paywall (yet) I am going to throw a subscription option up now. By supporting my work through this option, you are allowing me to spend a lot more time here. Updating, amusing y’all, educating and possibly titillating. Of course I understand that times are tight for all of us, so if you are unable to do so, believe me – I understand. Personally, I’ve set aside a small amount of money to subscribe to the blogs I love because it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

You can also support me by picking up your fab sexual accessories from my affiliate links on my sidebar, please clear your cookies before doing so though, otherwise I may not get credit. Need help deciding what to pick up? Shortly you’ll have the ability to book some time with me to help you sex toy shop.

Finally: I am very seriously considering doing away with the ability to comment on my blog entirely. Frankly, the internet is now a scary place for an outspoken, feminist woman. If you want to call me names or send rape/death threats, you’re going to have to take the extra step of emailing/tweeting them to me. I’m easy to find. So far that hasn’t been a problem on my site, but the second it is? Comments will be gone. I hope you understand.

xoh.

Crista