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.

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.

Coming Back to Life in This New World

Now that I have your attention.

Slowly, with baby steps even, I am coming back to life. Since November life has been surreal, between a walking nightmare and falling into the darkest timeline. My words left me, and I was painfully locked in my head. Over on my Patreon, I spilled out my soul over what has been going on in my life and my head over the last few months. You can unlock the more personal posts that Patreon holds starting at just a dollar a month. (This website doesn’t accept advertising or sponsored posts, I rely on my wonderful readers and supporters so I can be as objective as possible.)

News! Shameless Self Promotion!

Beyond having one of the niftiest banners in all of the internet, Amory Jane was kind enough to invite me to call in to share how anxiety over the way the world has changed has affected my personal and sexual lives, as well as what bits of self-care we can utilize to nourish ourselves.

Sex on the Brain Episode 8: Sex & Self-Care

Episode 8: Sex & Self-Care is a collaboration with Ev’Yan Whitney, host of The Sexually Liberated Woman podcast.  In this episode, Amory Jane and Ev’Yan chat about how their sex lives and intimate relationships have been impacted since the election and share their thoughts on self-care, sexual expression, body love, and resistance. They also take a live call from writer and “professional oversharer”Crista Anne. Trigger Warning: Trump, mentions of sexual abuse, discussions about trauma, mental health, and survival.

Please head over to her site to listen to the podcast in full, as well as check out mentioned links & recommended reading.

This is the look in my eyes of resistance.

My fed up angry feminist twitter alter-ego – Ethical Misandry – has grown from a venting side account to having her own domain! Oh, how furious feminist rage grows so fast. 

Ethical Misandry the website is very bare bones at the moment but given the state of the world? I have no doubt there will be no lack of content to come.

Last but not least – Vibrant!

Shortly I will have a stand alone post covering the incredible folks and focus behind this new online retailer, until then I invite you to click the banner below to get a glimpse of this wonderful new site I’m supporting. (Goodness knows, I’m picky about these things.) Their vision is inspiring and I am thrilled to work with them from now on!

 

Derailment and Perspective

Shortly after I posted the Tracy Chapman song earlier I went to go lie down with my toddler. He’s having trouble sleeping, so I was hoping that both of us could catch a little nap and be in good spirits for the afternoon. Almost as soon as I turned off the lights, calmed him from turning off his paddy, and we got snuggly together – I heard sirens.

Now, we live off a busy street so sirens are rather common, but after a minute or two I realized it sounded like they were coming from the next room. Getting up to investigate, I reached the door as a firefighter was approaching to tell me that the house next door was burning and they’d like us to evacuate as a precaution. Kiddo and I threw on coats and headed to another neighbor’s yard where I bounced a terrified mini me on my back for twenty minutes while making small talk to try to cover the terror of possibly losing our house.

We got the all clear, kiddo got a sucker from one of the fire fighters for being brave and for thanking them for not letting his house burn down “cause all my McQueens live in there”. Kiddo checked out the fire trucks but was still too worried to climb in after being offered the chance. It was a “medium” fire caused by a short in the bathroom fan next door.

Still, scary as fuck.

The rest of the afternoon was spent soothing kiddo, I think my spine is about to snap in two from how many back rides I gave him. Complete derailment of what was planned to be a very busy day, but this derailment comes with needed perspective. My wonderful, messy, colorful home is in one piece. Magically my stress over how messy my office and kiddo’s bedroom is has vanished. (Messy, but not a fire hazard.) Now that life has calmed down, I’m less panicked from a massively panic inducing situation, and so incredibly grateful for what I have. Also very thankful no one was home or injured next door, as the neighbors had just moved in and I’ve yet to really meet them.

I have happiness to express about this little blog that could landing higher than I fathomed on the Sex Blogger Superheroes list, a bit of shameless self promotion on other projects, and a bit of news on #OrgasmQuest. Looks like most of those will be pushed to a later time. Now I just want my beloved XVO to get home so we can spend a quiet evening in our wonderfully not fire damaged house.

Perspective, it hits when you most need it sometimes.

@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

#OrgasmQuest Continues With New Challenges…

I have no sex drive.

None.

Stress has completely erased all of my sexual being.

This astounds me. Just as I was getting to a point where I could orgasm reliably, the absurdity began. Desperately want a sex drive, it just simply does not exist. Hell, I finally got my coveted Njoy Eleven and it has yet to be used. Intellectually I desperately want to make time at night to get back to masturbating regularly, however when I get to that time?

Nope.

There is no appeal. I’m too worn out and moving is too much to ask. Even knowing that making the effort would really help, that staying in touch with my sexual self is a vital part of feeling joy in life for me, I continue to sit here. Not out of a depressive way, overall I’m feeling incredibly empowered, but being sexual holds no appeal for me.

I need to fix this. Like everything else that is going on now, the only way out is through. The only way to correct the absurdly long list of things that have gone wrong is to push through them all. Life is one long labor, birthing a new person and a new path.

On the upside, my sexuality is something that isn’t outside of my control. Reclaiming my sex goddess is something that I can fix on my own. I just need to find the will to start. #OrgasmQuest is more important than ever for me. It’s more important than ever for my long-term well-being. I will get back to where I want to be, but not tonight.

Tonight I’m sitting quietly, working on calming my brain so that tomorrow I can wake up and work on getting to where I actually want to be. This post isn’t one of my best, but starting to write out how I am feeling is how I begin to fix myself. I want my orgasm back, again, but now a different battle.

Thank the tap dancing dildo gods I’m a fucking Superhero.

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.

 

You know, Taken Out of Context I Must Seem so Strange

You gotta be you, love, especially when its scary.

Obviously, life is fucking scary right now. Our Custody battle and the amazing stress that goes along with that has taken over every aspect of life. While we were at Catalyst, our roommate moved out without much of any notice, which added another intense level of stress. (It’s a good move for her, but happened at the absolute worst time for me.) There has been an added scramble to figure out solutions for the gaps in life that she was covering. Icing on my stress cake has been that we both brought home the dreaded ConCrud. Battling being sick on top of everything else? Yeah, I haven’t been up for anything beyond keeping life running.

Blissfully, I have a wonderful community of friends, family, loves and surprise supporters who have consistently stepped up to reaffirm my faith in humanity. Our Rally has 65 supporters, which has allowed us to find an absolutely fantastic lawyer. (We still need help paying for her services. My gratitude to everyone who has donated is beyond measure or words.) Kind words, Catalyst Snuggles, funny cards and random texts of support have kept me going as the universe keeps pulling rugs out from under me. I love you all.

Coming home from the convention to a new configuration of life, feeling like we had little to look forward to but more stress and battles, I shut down to a large degree. My social media presence has been scarce as most days my computer stayed shut. Found grounding in my offline life. Deep cleaning the house, moving my office back to our beautiful sunroom. Cooking with the kids, playing outside with them. After bedtime, making extra effort to be present with my love. A lot of that was just laying in bed binge watching Friends while holding hands, but it’s been a wonderful recharge.

Our first court date is in a few days, my wonderful Mother is coming up to help out as I will be a massive ball of panic until we get through that. Overall I have a very deep faith that this mess will work out. On the other side will be a massive weight off our shoulders and freedom that we’ve yet to fully experience as a partnership.

“The only way out is through”

I’m making it through. We’re making it through. Step by step, day by day, often moment by moment. In this moment I’m feeling less overwhelmed than I have in a very long time. Working on expanding beyond the bubble I created for myself over the last few days. I’ve a recap of Catalyst to post, as well as a #OrgasmQuest update in the works. Before I did those, I wanted to release some of the stress via this post, as above all else this site is a space for me to be me – whatever that may look like.

Much love to all who took the time to read. <3

We need to have a little chat my darlings…#OrgasmQuest

#OrgasmQuest has grown beyond what I fathomed it could..

When I started #OrgasmQuest, I didn’t expect that it would go beyond my sphere of friends, peers and loyal readers. With the first wave of media coverage, I was thrilled with the conversations that were forming around Quest, thrilled to respond to the positive messages that came to me through various channels. I was in the comment sections of articles talking to people, trying to clear up misconceptions, elaborating further on what I was doing with this project. It was time-consuming but I enjoyed it.

Now #OrgasmQuest has global media coverage. I have literally thousands of messages across my social media and email inboxes from people across the globe. This is wonderful, humbling. I’m honored that you trust me with your story. I’m honored that you want my advice or help. Thank you.

That being said, it is now impossible for me to respond to everyone. Even if I locked myself in my office and did nothing but respond to these messages, I’d still not be able to keep up. Now I’m noticing some angry messages that I haven’t responded to earlier emails. Please believe me when I say that I do not have an off switch for my empathy, I do want to respond, but the sheer volume makes this impossible. I made myself available for these messages when I was getting 10-20 a day. There is a massive difference between a dozen or two and hundreds, thousands even.

What I am going to do is adding to the #OrgasmQuest page’s FAQ. There will be answers to most of the questions I’m asked there. Also, many people are reaching out asking me for advice that I am not equipped to respond to. I am *not* a doctor, medical professional or mental health professional. I am an expert on myself, my life story, what has worked for me. 

My hope is that by reaching out to me, that is the first step that people are taking on their journey to advocate for themselves. You’ve done it once, you’ve reached out to one person. Take that bravery and keep going. I believe in you. All of you.

What all of this tells me is that Quest is doing real good in the world. That people want and need to talk about these topics. That the elements of shame and stigma are hurting people across the globe every single day. I am going to keep talking about this, keep being open and truthful about my experience. I invite those who can to do so as well. Redhead Bedhead has this wonderful post on 5 Tips for Writing About Sex & Depression. If you do, please feel free to use the #OrgasmQuest hashtag. I created it, but I do not “own” it.

I have some ideas regarding how to encourage dialogue on these topics in a semi safe environment, but they are not fleshed out enough to share. I’ve also had a number of people ask/take me by the shoulders and shake me (looking at you Cooper S Beckett) that I should put out an e-book covering #OrgasmQuest. That will happen, I just need to create the space in my life to write new content.

Thank you for reaching out to me. Thank you for your kindness and trust. Also, thank you for your understanding that as much as I may want to respond to everyone individually, that just isn’t an option anymore.

Help an Overworked Crista Out Please

Okay, it’s safe to say that the #OrgasmQuest absurdity period is over and I can go back to life as mostly usual. Introverted Crista is very pleased by this, while also very appreciative of all the support and awesome that happened over the last few weeks. Now, I’m trying to collect up the blog posts and other articles that I missed. A number of them happened when I was utterly overwhelmed by the response to Quest, and got lost.

So help an overworked and exhausted Crista out? If you blogged about quest, ran an interview, or covered the coverage – can you leave a link in the comments? Want to get those onto the main #OrgasmQuest page now that I have a bit of breathing room.

As I said last night, just because I had a little orgasm doesn’t mean quest is over. Now, recreate results. See if I can orgasm with less intense stimulation again. Get back to my intense orgasms. There is still a lot of questing to do, and even when I do get all those things back – because I will – I’ll keep the quest going as a promotion of pleasure. To keep talking about these stigmas. This is a life long project as far as I am concerned.

Burned out Crista is Burned out, as you can see from today’s selfie.

Burnt out but smiling. Really, that's a smile

Burnt out but smiling. Really, that’s a smile

Thank you in advance for link hunting for me. Y’all are the bees knees.

Willing to Fight – (Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault/Rape)

Tell me, who’s your boogie man?
That’s who I will be.
You don’t have to like me for who I am
I see what you’re made of by what you make of me.
You know I think it’s absurd that you think I am the derelict daughter.

You know, I fight fire with words
Words are hotter than flame
Words are wetter than water.

I’m throwing up a Read More here with Trigger Warnings for mention of both sexual assault and rape within the rest of this post.

Continue reading

#OrgasmQuest Media Tour Info – How to listen, how to share your voice

Let’s do this: #OrgasmQuest Media Tour

I’m a busy Crista today, #OrgasmQuest is being covered multiple places. Here are quick links to where you can listen and how you can add your voice to the conversation:

Of course, you can always reach me via my Contact Page. Today I will be slower than usual in response. Thank you in advance for your understanding.