Y’all, I am the most adorable rainbow today – of Fury

This post has been reprinted over at YourTango as “Shaming Someone For Sexual Dysfunction Is NEVER OK & you should also check that article out cause it’s nifty.

It’s 6:30 am & I am already the most adorable rainbow.

Oh, hi. – BTW I’m using my rainbow-hued Crista Anne site again. We’ll see what it turns into as I work off the rust after a few years “off.” My plan is to follow where my words take me, as that’s what has always lead to my best work. So yes, I missed all of you lots, and after two years of biting my tongue on soooooo many topics? I’ve got a lot to say. First, though, self-care in the form of a short black hoodie dress, knee high Rainbow Dash socks, and rainbow fingerless gloves. Today will require all my rainbow revolutionary powers, so obviously – I’m dressed obnoxiously.

There are so many more rainbows I couldn’t get in this picture.

You also need to know that my puppy is the cutest. Yes, puppy. He’s only 4.5 months old.

That pile of sleeping fluff on my couch is Zuri, our Great Pyrenees pup who joined the family about a month ago. He’s the sweetest, but there are challenges when he’s both so big and so small. He stumbles a lot and oh the puppy teeth. The great upside is that he is the sweetest dog you could ask for with the kids and us – but he’s also a Great Fucking Pyrenees and will eat the face off anyone who gets near us without our consent. Full grown he can take on a goddamn grizzly.

Yes, that he’s a guard dog played a role in picking him. My sense of safety at this point is nil, but I’m personally not comfortable with guns in my house – so we’ll have a 200ish pound face eating fluff ball and my dual wielding njoy Elevens for protection. I feel this is a solid plan.

Let’s go back to the Rainbow Revolutionary bit now.

Today is a wonderfully busy day for me, and I’ve decided to write these posts off the cuff – going back to my LiveJournal roots. Friends, cleaning, meetings, and a ton of Woodhull Proposal Work Because Proposals are due today.

Deadline Extended!

(I’m in the super last minute camp too with one, you’re not alone #BlogSquad. Also feel free to message me for help if needed!”)

Going forward there is something that I want to make very clear about my site, my writing and on a very basic level where I am right now – Politics & Sexual Freedom are so intertwined I cannot talk about one without the other. This combination may lose me readers, but this site has been Instagram re-posts for at least 18 months. I’m not too worried about it.

Every day since Nov 8th, I’ve felt like Picard as I either sit down at my desk or picked up my phone, before looking thinking “Damage Report.”

Picard gets me

My pre-coffee self then fell into the abyss of this article. Potential side effects of the drug Trump reportedly takes for hair loss” After reading I needed two cups of coffee and more eyeliner to deal with my response. Now, I’m late on this as it was posted two days ago and is currently the most read story on WaPo, but I have feelings about this.

As a rule, I’m very over hearing people diagnose Trump/wave mental health diagnosis around wildly. Keyboard shrinks need to take a step back cause it’s getting ableist all over and mental illness isn’t a joke nor are the conditions something that anyone but his mental health professionals known. I’ve mental illness; I’m not trying to nuke society for my financial gain. So, I braced myself before reading. This article is written by a Urologist, and he is covering the side effects of a medication that Tr*mp’s MDs have said he takes. Okay. Slightly less bad.

Until I read it and wanted to chain smoke till I had black lung because it made me splittingly furious. The side effects that are so vital for the public to know?

The constellation of potential symptoms, sometimes referred to as post-finasteride syndrome, may include sexual, physical and psychological changes. Of these, the sexual side effects are perhaps the most extensively reported. In fact, in 2012, the Food and Drug Administration announced a label change for Propecia and Proscar, requiring the manufacturer to warn that the medication may be associated with “libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that continued after discontinuation of the drug.”

But Crista, this is taking sexual side effects from medication seriously?! Why U Mad?

Here’s why…

But in speaking to my patients, I have come to realize how often men are not aware of the potentially life-changing and irreversible side effects that may be associated with these medications.

The side effects are being taken seriously because they are happening to men/people with penises. Like the male birth control shut down…which we cannot get me started on cause I’ll scream for days. They are being taken seriously, spoken and warned about – because they happen to people with penises. We don’t have these articles about what happens to uterus owners when we take a whole host of drugs that fuck our libido and desire seven ways to Sunday.

(Ahem: Unless someone “live tweets” her masturbation. Then some attention got paid. That was two years ago, though..)

What pisses me off even more, though? This story is only the most read story because it implies/shames Tr*mp for possibly having sexual dysfunction(s) from his medication. 

I firmly believe that he is an Illegitimate President, I strongly believe he is a white supremacist, I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire. I #Resist his actions, beliefs, bans, walls and hatred.

That doesn’t make sexual shaming okay. This one step removed mockery is under my skin because the response to any pushback is that anything that upsets him is good and on twitter a lot of “Why so srs.”

I’m so Srs because sexual dysfunction/sexual side effects and the stigma around them are deadly. That stigma has a body count.

So my political reporter friends? I beg you. Focus on how incompetent he is in the West Wing, or concentrate on the illegal sexual assaults he loves to brag about. If you can’t help yourself, a line or two on how women/people with vulvas & uteruses also experience life-altering sexual side effects from medications would be a huge step forward.

It would also stop me from making anguished rainbow faces. No one likes those.

Anguished Rainbow

***Shameless Self Promotion**
More of my angry feminist ranting will be living over here at Ethical Misandry

It’s a thing

Twitter Really Cares About My Reaction To Scalia’s Death

Supreme Court Justice Scalia died today, I’m not ashamed that this is thrilling, and right-wing twitter really does not like me.

Which is fine, the feeling is quite mutual.

Overall, I do not wish death upon people. I do not celebrate death. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and Antonin Scalia is one of them. Actually, I am not thrilled that he is dead, I am thrilled that he no longer wields great power. Great power used to harm, restrict rights and promote horrific bigotry. As being on the Supreme Court is a lifetime job, that means retirement or death. He died in his sleep and I am glad he is gone. Thus, I tweeted.

Read through the responses at your own risk. I rarely feed the trolls, but today I’m still mostly on bed rest and have a fair amount of anger that needed an outlet. None of that bullshit got to me, I was laughing most of the time.

Here is the deal: I’m a queer, poly, liberal, woman who has needed and received abortive care. Scalia was on the bench since I was four years old, a consistently disgusting monster who through his writings made it clear that he loathed who and what I am. Viewed me as a second class citizen at best. A monster with extreme power. Now he is gone and as hard as right-wing twitter has tried, you cannot and will not shame me into feeling sadness.

I feel empathy for those who loved him. For his wife and children. Look, my Dad died eleven years ago. My Dad, who I love and miss, was kind of a shitbag. There are plenty of people who are glad he’s dead and I do not begrudge them that. I’ve harmed people in my life and I’m sure they will be happy when I die. Lots of people told me about how thrilled they will be today alone! Rock on. I’ll be dead and thus will not care how the fuck people react.

“Don’t speak ill of the dead”

NOPE. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I want nothing to do with the making of the mythology of this person. Towards the end of his life/career, he seemed to slide completely into professional troll. Professional trolls are bad enough on their own, professional trolls on the fucking supreme court? I’ve read more than enough of his opinions to feel his loathing for people like me, people like my family, people who are my friends and loves. Plenty of words are being written on his record and life, that’s not what I’m doing here.

What I’m doing here is saying that right now his dead body in Texas has more rights than those of a pregnant person in that state. Abortion rights are about to hit the Supreme Court and I am crying tears of joy that he will not be on the bench for that. Shamelessly.

A whole mess of folks have named me the face and the voice of liberalism on twitter today, so I shall inform you all that as your Queen and Liberal Ruler, you may address me as Her Royal Pinkness. Beware the tyranny of my oppressive socialism and rainbows. The Tyranny of Glitter Everywhere.

Behold - Her Royal Pinkness

Behold – Her Royal Pinkness – Your Liberal Queen

Obviously, I speak for myself and myself alone. 

I choose to have fun with folks who were calling me the face of liberalism when it suited them. I’m a white cis woman, my voice should not be the loudest any longer. Hopefully my sarcasm here was noted by those whose opinions I care about.

Now, back to the amusement on twitter…

shevibestickerYou don’t like what I have to say? Don’t like that I dare speak ill of the dead? 

Don’t fucking read my words then.

I’m not for everyone, that’s fine. I’ve no interest in being palatable to everyone. Feel free to continue to tell me how horrible I am. The fucks I give continue to stay at zero and the moment that I get bored, I’ll go back to ignoring the trolls. For now though? Thanks for the amusement. Thanks for the hate views to my site. Thanks for keeping me distracted from the pain I’ve been in recently. I actually do appreciate that.

Hello and welcome to the new folks who RT’d me for positive reasons. Hopefully the rest of what I have to say resonates as well. If not, I wish you well. 

Scalia. Was. Toxic.

Thanks to @femsplain for this graphic

Thanks to @femsplain for this graphic

Finally: If you were one of the way too many people who took the time to fill my mentions with hatred, slurs, threats and other bullshit – expect an invoice from me in the near future. See, my time has monetary value and all of you are proud capitalists so I expect you to understand this. Reading your intrusive tweet is $5, Abusive tweets are $10 and Threats or Slurs will cost you $20. 

-Anne Lamott

-Anne Lamott

Quick ‘n Dirty: Wedding and Holiday Wishlist

Rainbow Wishlist for the Holidays!

Crista Eats Xmas

::Orenda Family Master Wishlist::

Kindhearted, generous friends & love have asked about Wedding/Holiday gifts, so I threw together an amazon wishlist to cover everything. Everyone knows it’s been a hard year for us, but we’re ending 2015 on a high note with our Rainbow SheVibe Wedding.

Obviously, gifts are not required and feel free to browse out of curiosity sake. This list is meant to make things easier for anyone who has the desire to send something. While gifts are wonderful, your continued support and kind words have made this the first Holiday Season in years that is Joyful for us.

Most of my adult life was spent working retail, which I enjoy to a shocking degree. That being said, after working so many holiday seasons, when I hear xmas songs I immediately put my guard up. A few years removed from that special ring of hell, this is the first year that I’m enjoying the holiday madness.

Finding myself singing holiday songs as I move about my day! This is strange and wonderful. I know I’ve been repeating myself here, but tap dancing dildo gods, it’s so wonderful to enjoy life again.

 

I do it for the joy it brings, for I am a Joyful Girl.

Since we got married, it’s like a spell has been lifted.
I feel Joy again.

That sounds corny as I type it, but it is so true. We’re laughing in joy again. There is more color in V’s face. We both feel like the world has been lifted from our shoulders. There are little life things that Monday morning would have caused panic that now are…nothing.

“Okay, let’s deal with this.” Verses “No. Just no. I can’t. Go away.”

We’re more animated. I haven’t seen either of us this happy alone or together in about a year. #OrgasmQuest went from a blog post to…world wide media coverage of my masturbation habits, which seriously – no one is ready for that. While that was happening there was the horrific train wreck of all our worst fears coming true through the custody battle, then the darkness that blanketed our world after things didn’t go our way.

Something important. Something Vital finally went our way. For you wonderful new folks who aren’t familiar with our story, my Partner and I were in the same goth/weirdo/manic pixie dream girl social circle as teenagers but never technically met. He did once spot me at the local goth club (because of course) and the first thing he thought upon seeing was “I’m going to marry that girl someday.

The second was “That’s ridiculous, you probably don’t even have the balls to talk to her.” As he finished that thought I walked over to my group of friends and one douche canoe I couldn’t stand. V didn’t talk to me that night because he assumed that if I talked to douche canoe, I wouldn’t like him.

After missing meeting each other two more times by the tiniest of margins, I found him on OkCupid a decade later. At first sight, I knew I needed to know him. He was like me, whatever it is that I am.

It’s never been easy for us. We’ve moved heaven and earth, gone through hell and back many times, simply because we need to be together. This is my Partner. Now, legally. That means more to me than I expected to. It may never be easy for us, but it’s all worth it. Everything has been worth it to be here.

Grinning up at V in joy, seconds before we were wed.

Grinning up at V in joy, seconds before we were wed.

With the spell broken, I’m coming back to life..

Starting to want to interact again. I feel myself coming back to life. With experience, with how open I’ve been over the last year with my struggles, with everything – I’m much more aware of this rebirth than I have of the others. Aware of how much I need to nurture it, aware that I’ll stumble and that darkness will hit again but that I’ll make it back up again.

I’ve had PTSD since I was a child, this cycle has been ever present. I know it will continue to be present.

Val just put in the paperwork. Jan 1 I have full health insurance. I can see a therapist. I can get meds. Get my fucking eyes checked and new glasses. We’re working on name change, I feel like a real person again.

That’s the key. I’m a person again. I feel real. There is a bit of security again. Taking things slowly, we’re about to be punched again, but I’m real. We’re real. I’m not the “second wife”, the mistress, the pitiful stray, without a voice or agency.

I’m fucking real.

Now, what do I want my reality look like?

I want my reality to continue to be joyful. “because the world owes us nothing, and we owe each other the world.” Continue doing what brings me joy. Writing here, seriously and not so, brings me joy. Working on projects with my peers, podcasting with those Swingset fuckers, presenting and facilitating conversations around sexuality and depression. Sexuality and motherhood. Busting stigmas brings me joy.

I want more joy in my personal life. To fully experience this joyous life, I’m letting go. Slowly I’ve password protected posts about abuse and pain. They aren’t deleted, I’m not doing this because I regret my path or speaking my truth. Forever I will stand by my right to share my truth as a survivor. It’s because I don’t want to give that time space in my joy.

A therapist friend who has given me guidance over the years asked me recently about forgiveness. Could I forgive? The answer is that I can when given an apology, shown a modicum of responsibility for their actions. Without that, I cannot as of yet.

What I can do is let go. Look at why abusers abuse, understand that they won’t change, and let go of their power. They have no power over me. I no longer fear them into the depths of my soul. Bless, reject and send back their anger, hatred and ill will.

My life is strange and beautiful. We have to fight daily to keep it, but I am exactly where I need to be.

I am Mighty

I am a Joyful Girl.

@GoodVibesToys Is Helping Spread Sex-Positivity To Festival

I love @GoodVibesToys So Very Much. This year they are sponsoring my endless quest to spread Sex Positivity while on our Vacation.

Every year Val and I take a two-week vacation to Brushwood Folklore Center in NY for their two festivals. Brushwood is our home away from home, time where we completely unplug from the outside world and spend quality time with some of our dearest loves who are flung across the country. Last year we started volunteering, both working the gate. With my rainbow wardrobe, I have been christened within the community “Rainbow Brite of the Gate”.

Of course, I’m also known for my train case of sex toys & constant desire to have conversations around Sex Positivity. This community is a beautiful collection of hippies, pagans and free thinkers. These folks are, overall, not very tech savvy or on the web much – so these are people who are already on a sex positive path, but haven’t encountered the larger sex positive community.

This year Good Vibrations has been wonderful enough to send me a large box full of Sliquid Organics and Please Cream in Water & Silicone samples, Glyde condoms in Ultra & Wild Berry &….

  The coveted Rechargeable Magic Wand!

At Catalyst Con East I attended a panel by Carol Queen on What Sex Positivity Is and Isn’t. At the end she implored us to spread the truly positive, inclusive brand of Sex Positivity as much as we could. So I am taking this wonderful opportunity to do so while on our glorious vacation. For when Carol Queen makes a request, you know I’ll find a way to fulfill it.

To my beloved Brushwoodians who may be reading this, Rainbow Brite of the Gate will have all these glorious goodies at Elysium. Please feel free to drop by our camp to chat & check out the glory.

I am a Mighty Happy Crista.

Rainbow Brite of the Gate

Rainbow Brite of the Gate

Crista Anne is Mighty

Truly coming into my own skin is a beautiful and painful process.

Accessing the buried power though, it’s priceless. Worth every aching moment.

Everything has changed over the last few weeks, months. Life flipped upside down. Rugs pulled out from under me. Previous truths exposed. Countless spotlights have been pointed my direction.

I rolled with it, I fought against some, resisting more. Very recently, I regained control across many spheres. Regaining control for a while had my laptop shut as I threw every bit of myself into altering my physical life, drastically altering to make proper spaces for all areas of my life. Most of my focus went to improving life for the kids, altering the house to fit their changing needs.

Then tackling the deep cleaning, the deep sorting that I’d pushed to the side. There were memories, ghosts, hidden in those ignored tasks. Tackling them headfirst, being mighty. Somehow I pushed myself far beyond my physical ability until they were finished. That finish line was exquisite.

Last night I collapsed into bed, the euphoria of being able to rest after the marathon is one of the best feelings in my life. We chatted with a friend on skype, I fell asleep relaxed and feeling a peace I haven’t known in a long while.

I’m ready for the next step. Ready for what comes next.

Now it’s my space that is left to reclaim. While we rearranged the house the sun room, my scared space, became the dumping ground for everything we needed out of the way. This morning I finished moving the lingering extra pieces into their proper places. Now, Now, Now I get to change this area into what I need it to be.

Self care comes in endless forms. Rearranging was self-care. It was the hard change that needed to happen for all of us to grow. I saved the last, this space, as the greatest self-care. Making room for me to find the quiet I need for the words in my head to leave my fingertips is going to be glorious. There is so much I have to say, letting it escape will be cathartic.

I am what I am. I am who I am. All of my roles now fit comfortably within the larger picture of myself. I am Mighty within my own skin.

Mighty and so very grateful. Gratitude for the countless loves who have helped me, us, along this impossibly hard road emanates from me. We’re nowhere near the finish line, but we are strong. We are supported. We are loved and love in return.

Life is beautiful.

Just Sayin – Redbubble has 50% stickers right now..

RedBubble has a sale on stickers – 50% off six or more. Just Sayin, if you want to decorate your world in #OrgasmQuest or other SheVibe Sexual Superheroes, this is an awesome time to do that.

Then PLEASE send me a picture of where your #OrgasmQuest stickers show up in the world. It thrills me to no end.

Mighty Queen Mommy Sparkle

I’ve been trapped in my head recently, the intensity of life right now. Popped on social media here and there, but mostly I’ve been quietly processing the extreme changes to life. The anniversary of my Dad’s death was the day before court, unable to handle that as well, I pushed it out of my mind until last night. So far beyond the end of my rope, so much swirling around me.

Haven’t known what to say.

Haven’t known where to even begin.

This afternoon I felt paralyzed. So many thoughts in my head I was completely unable to grab a hold of any of them. That’s when my baby girl decided that she wanted to turn me into Queen Mommy Sparkle. I handed her the glitter face paint, then took a leap by letting her use my Electric Palette to do my makeup. She actually did an amazing job, I am now covered in glitter and rainbows with her favorite crown on my head. We played bubbles and looked at flowers. Life was suddenly calm.

I’ve embraced the calmness. Then embraced the silliness.

I am Queen Mommy Sparkle.

I am Mighty.

 

Life Goal Completed – I Am a SheVibe Superhero

#OrgasmQuest has gone so far beyond my wildest dreams. Interviewed by Carol Queen. Front page of a number of my favorite sites and blogs. New wonderful friends. Now. Now I’m a Motherfucking SheVibe Superhero and I can cross another item off my list of Life Goals. BEHOLD! Continue reading

Reclaiming My Universe Creating Orgasm – #BOAW15 #OrgasmQuest

The long reclamation of my inner Sex Goddess

As my regular readers know – and now a good deal of the world – I’ve been on an #OrgasmQuest since December. Let me give a “quick” overview for any new readers: My identity has been in constant flux, ever-changing, but two things have been constants. I have Major Depressive Disorder and Empowered Sexuality. I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with a hand on my clitoris. Never shamed for exploring my body, I was taught early on that it was my “feeling good stuff”, it was a private experience and when I needed Feeling Good Stuff Time, I should do so in the privacy of my bedroom. This started my life long love of masturbation.

When I am in dark places due to my mental illness, I can orgasm as a way to remind myself that there are pleasurable feeling to be had. Not a cure for my depression, not a fix, but a tool that I’ve used as long as I can remember to keep myself going. My ability to find pleasure in the darkness saved me more times than I can count.

The added bonus from a lifetime of masturbation is that I have always been highly orgasmic. As an adult, I experienced orgasms that felt like touching the divine. While the label of my sexuality has often been in flux, that I am a highly sexual creäture has been a constant.

Five years ago I became a mother, which changed endless aspects of my life. It’s nearly impossible to feel sexy when your almost dying of sleep deprivation, covered in goodness knows what, your will overridden by that tiny person I created. Again, masturbatory orgasms helped me. I was able to remind myself that while everything else seemed to have dramatically changed, for a few moments I could be blissful.

After my second child, creating a life with my Partner-In-Everything, XVO, and adding his children into the mix – my depression became more than I could handle on my own. I found an amazing doctor and we decided to try an older antidepressant to help me. Oh, does it help me. On Amitriptyline for the first time in my life I truly enjoy being alive. My mental health is finally at a place where I can stay that I’m good.

The drawback is that one of the side effects is Anorgasmia – the inability to orgasm even with proper stimulation. This side effect affects countless people and there is a deep stigma about speaking aloud about how disruptive losing orgasm or libido can be on the entirety of someone’s life. So, I’m fighting back. This medication works on every other level, so I am uninterested in changing medications. I opted to go on a public #OrgasmQuest, and have invited anyone who is interested to read along with my journey.

This brings you up to speed on #OrgasmQuest, but Quest isn’t all that I am doing to reclaim my Sexual Goddess status. Motherhood, parenting, these are also huge stumbling blocks on the path to empowered sexuality. I am a queer woman in an open partnership, so I cultivate passionate friendships as I can. Make time for myself to be something other than Mama, stepping away from my motherhood role and passing the torch to the other parents in our world.

What does that look like for me? I revel in my beauty, my sexuality, through selfies. My career is that of a sexuality writer and educator – specializing in sex toys, so I write here in non explicit but frank terms about my masturbation and sex toy use. I put on elaborate makeup for myself, when I want to feel beautiful and empowered even though all I may do that day is write and clean the house. I make space for intimacy with my love. Flirt with trusted friends. As I work from home, I play with wild hair colors and vibrant clothing.

My universe creating orgasms have yet to fully return. Had one blissful evening when hormones overrode the side effects and I touched the divine again and again, but over all I’m not where I want to be. Most of my orgasms are physical now, vaginal contractions, wobbly legs, but my brain doesn’t experience the pleasure spike. This is progress though, and I have no plans on ending my Quest any time soon.

This may sound to woo” for some of my readers, I understand, it’s a little to woo for me too. However, I do feel a connection to Inanna, my personal spiritual path is close to that of paganism, and she is my Goddess. I am connected to the sacred whore and see myself as one. I refuse to lose this vital piece of my identity in exchange for finally having relief from most of my mental illness.

If you value pleasure, and I do make room for people who do not because that is a valid way to feel, I believe it is your birthright. I know that pleasure is mine, I revel in the pleasures that I can find now, and continue to fight to regain the fullness of my inner Sex Goddess.

An Open Letter to Folks in the Sex & Depression Conversation

This post is the results of JoEllen Notte (The Redhead Bedhead) and my endless conversations about what we love and hate about the conversations coming out regarding sexuality and depression. After the glorious response from her Must Read post: 5 Tips For Writing About Sex & Depression we decided to expand upon that and share our thoughts with the world.

PSA: An Open Letter to Folks in the Sex & Depression Conversation

By JoEllen Notte & Crista Anne

It’s heartening to see so many people talking about sex and depression, sharing their experiences, normalizing this topic that can be so scary and isolating for so many people – that is amazing. We are both thrilled by the increase in discourse!

What is a bit alarming, however, is the practice of drug-promoting. Let us explain…

We often say that when we talk about sex and depression we are standing at the intersection of two taboo topics. When we decide to talk about sex on the internet we have a huge responsibility to our audience.  Unlike if we were writing about, say, fashion, we are dealing with a very vulnerable audience, an audience that is looking to us for the answers to questions they are afraid to ask. We have a responsibility to not lie to them. A responsibility to not make them feel bad about themselves (the world does enough of that already), to do our homework so we can provide accurate information, to be good at our jobs, to be worthy of their trust.  When we decide to add mental health to the conversation we are increasing our responsibility exponentially because the vulnerability of our audience increases. Keeping that in mind is vital.

It may seem like no big deal to say “I fixed my problem with this drug” but let’s open that up a bit.

Who are you saying that to? You are saying that to a reader who is dealing with sexual dysfunction brought on by depression and/or its treatment – someone who is looking for answers. You are saying it to someone who feels broken. You are speaking with authority. You have a shiny website. Most importantly you claim to have solved the very problem they have – you have their answer. Now they think they need to go get the drug you have recommended.

So what happens when their insurance doesn’t cover that drug and they, who are already feeling like life is beating them down, are dealt another blow? What happens when they go to their doctor and she tells them that drug is completely wrong for them because it doesn’t fit their symptoms and now they feel more powerless than they did before? What happens when when they take that drug and it doesn’t work for them leaving feeling even more broken than when they came to your site to begin with? What happens then? These are all the things you need to think about before you announce that you have the “answer” with a brand name and a dosage amount.

Similarly, the practice of comments field drug suggesting (ex. “Why don’t you just take ______?” “The only good thing for that is _____.” or even “Just switch drugs!”) is problematic.

Why? Because it calls into question the ability of the person dealing with depression to make choices about their own body. It adds another person telling them what to do. It takes away a part of their bodily autonomy. Depression robs people of their bodily autonomy, their agency, in a huge way – it acts like an unwanted parasite on a host body- and by telling people who may be happy with their drug apart from this one side effect that (duh!) they just need to switch you are stomping on what little control they have left. Further, as all our bodies are different, you have no business telling them what drug will work for them because you do not know – what worked for you (or your sister, or your friend, or whatever) may not work for them at all. Finally, when we do things like this on the internet we are doing three things:

  1.  Contributing to a confusing conversation where (often) multiple people are offering differing accounts of what THE answer is. This is unhelpful
  2. Announcing an answer to all the world – this isn’t the same as making a suggestion to your friend. This is the internet- you are making this suggestion to EVERYONE.
  3. Shaming the person you are making the suggestion to. Yes, yes, you didn’t intend to. You thought you were helpfully passing on the name of something you have heard helps but people with depression get hundreds of those suggestions and eventually they all start to sound like “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!” “WHY AREN’T YOU WORKING HARDER TO FIX THIS?!” “YOU HAVE TO TRY!”

The thing is, this is hard, important, necessary work and it comes with ethical standards that are higher than other forms of sex writing. You can’t review a drug like you do a vibrator. This can’t be a topic one jumps into because it’s hot and they want to capitalize on a hashtag – you have to be ready to work on this when it isn’t trending. This is hard, important and necessary work and when one person handles it indelicately it costs many of us the trust of the world – trust we have to work on building back up. We have to, en masse, accept the responsibility that comes with opening up this conversation. This is hard, important, necessary work and we’re thrilled to be doing it together.

-Crista Anne & JoEllen Notte