writing about not writing

Why haven’t I been writing much? That’s a question that I’ll likely keep revisiting until I figure it out and/or successfully move past the issue.

The proximate cause is that I just… didn’t feel like it. Yeah, but what’s causing that ennui? I have a few ideas:

  1. I suspect that the anti-depressant I was on was negatively affecting my motivation. I’ve taken lots of photos that I didn’t share, and written up lots of ideas that languish in draft form. The rough draft material was there but polishing it up into something publishable seemed like too much bother.
  2. Related to #1, some of the topics I was thinking about were bigger issues that I just haven’t had the brainpower to complete.
  3. I have back and neck problems so sitting at a desk in front of a computer is often uncomfortable or worse, and all my work is done at a computer. By the time I’m done work the last thing I want to do is continue to sit. Add to this the fact that I work from home, so work computing and fun computing are both done at the same desk, and blogging starts to resemble work a little too closely.
  4. I got into the habit of not turning on my computer and just reading sexy content on my phone. I find the phone great for consuming content but just awful for creating, so if all I’m using is my phone, I’m not posting.
  5. I’ve had no libido to speak of for months, and possibly over a year. I think (hope) that this is another side effect of the anti-depressants, but it feels disturbingly like my pre-epiphany lack of libido and I wonder whether I’ll ever want sex again. (The “just do it anyway, you may enjoy it once you get going” approach categorically does not work for me. That was my entire sex life (such as it was) pre-epiphany, and I caused myself harm by ignoring my needs and wants.)
  6. Occasionally I have relationship thoughts, but those come up when I’m (we are) having problems. Both of my partners read the blog so I don’t want to share a problem until I have a solution, and sometimes not even then.

But I also have some reasons to believe that I may be recovering from that ennui. Having tapered off very slowly, I’ve now been completely off the anti-depressants for over 7 weeks, so the side effects should continue to abate. Also, I was more productive at work in May than I had been any time over the last year and a half and probably longer, which bodes well for energy and motivation in all areas. (I’m now wondering how much the anti-depressants affected my ability to work. Hmm.)

I think writing Every Damn Day in June will help me not to get bogged down in projects that are too big for me to manage just now. I’m making a commitment to turn on the computer and write for just 10 or 15 minutes a day; I’ll continue to write until I’m finished or until I stop, whichever comes first. I’m also drafting my posts right in WP rather than in a Word doc on my computer as is my wont, which I think will help me get past drafting to actually posting. Wish me luck!

Also, if there’s anything you’d like me to write about, let me know in the comments.

a new approach to blogging

I haven’t been posting much lately. I had various things interfere, like fatigue, depression, and some of my old hobbies, including dance.

I’ve lost my momentum. I’ve started lots of pieces and my drafts document is overflowing, but I haven’t been able to sit down and work things up into actual posts.

Maybe my approach needs to change. Maybe I’m trying to write about things that I don’t yet know the answers to. I don’t like to post until I’ve reached a conclusion and maybe I don’t have any conclusions right now.

So I’m going to try something different and allow myself to be a little less polished, a little more stream of consciousness.

Another thing that’s been interfering with my writing is that this is a sex blog and my sex life is very quiet. My desire is low. I don’t imagine my depression was very helpful in this regard, and the medication I’m now on (citalopram) seems to have snuffed out what embers there were.

My depression seems to be under control: the seriously down moods are few and far between and I sometimes even get spontaneous good moods. I had been started at one dosage and then had it increased twice. Since the meds seemed to be increasing my fatigue and my mood was stable, my dosage has been reduced twice so I’m back at the low dose where I started. I’m happy to take the medication as long as I need it, but hopefully when I get off it, I’ll see some positive effects on my libido.

Another part of the problem is that I don’t really know what turns me on. I’ve always had a difficult time figuring out what I like and what I want, and only in the last few years did I even figure out that I should be asking myself those questions. I have questions but no good answers. Physically I can get turned on, but I don’t know what input I need to get there. So I don’t blame the medication for the whole problem, and I think it’s much more complicated and difficult to solve than just not taking that pill.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my next trip to see Gawan, which is less than four weeks away. I’ll be staying at his house again, no real travelling, and probably a lot of time in bed and/or in a state of undress.

thoughts on fatigue

There’s another post that I’ve been trying to write for, oh, a couple of months now, and it’s not an emotionally difficult topic or anything, so I was struggling to write, struggling to understand why I couldn’t, and frustrated with the (total lack of) result. Blogging was starting to feel like work, and I wondered what the hell my problem was. I think I might have figured it out…

I organize my life around the fatigue that has dogged me for over five years now. I’ve always had fairly low energy, but it now interferes with all aspects of my life. It feels, I think, like how you might feel if you had a had a shit sleep or had to get up hours before your usual wake time, except that I feel like this every day.

I usually sleep for about 9 to 10 hours a night, sometimes even more. If I’m feeling (relatively) alert when I wake up, I can get out of bed within 20 minutes. (I say “relatively” to mean alert according to my personal scale.) If not, I might feel groggy for up to an hour (this is “sleep inertia”) or very occasionally for the rest of the day. I like to catch up on social media for a while because it engages my brain and helps me to wake up.

I eat shortly after I get up: breakfast before 11:00 feels almost “early”. I start my day doing things that I like (reading, looking at coffee table books, drinking a mocha while looking out the window, etc.) and/or things I don’t mind (laundry, folding and putting away clothes). My energy level at this time of day tends to be (relatively) good.

Right around the time I feel like I can face doing some work, my energy and motivation drops. In order to do any work, I need my brain to be functioning well and if it isn’t, there’s not much point in pushing myself because I can’t accomplish much, and I lack the motivation to force myself to do it anyway.

The fact that I work with family members and that I can work from home gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility (including the ability to take a nap if needed), which is great. (If I had a regular job, I’d struggle miserably.) On the other hand, these same family members are also workaholics, and it’s really difficult for me not to compare myself to them and get frustrated with myself and my low output. Also, since my family tends not to talk about difficult things at all, just because I haven’t heard any complaints about my low productivity doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is fine.

Months ago, I used to have one- to two-hour naps almost daily. I always benefit from a nap: I wake up feeling better, and it doesn’t seem to keep me up at night. If I can’t shake the morning groggy feeling, I usually end up having a nap. I’ve been napping less lately though, maybe once or twice a month.

Most days I feel guilty because I didn’t work more. Getting started on work feels difficult at best and excruciating at worst, depending on the day. With the right work and highest energy, checking my email or writing a list can be all I need to get rolling. An average day (if there is such a thing for me) might involve me sitting at the computer doing nothing and allowing myself to get bored enough to start. If my motivation and energy are low and the work to be done requires problem solving, I might not be able to force myself to do anything. Sometimes the amount of work I get done in a day is embarrassingly little. Or none at all. I hate that.

In this culture, busyness is a virtue. If I run into an acquaintance, they almost always say something like, “Keeping busy?” and everyone knows that the correct answer is “yes”. Not being busy is an anomaly, and choosing to relax is a radical act. I used to grit my teeth to give the correct and yet wrong answer, but now I say I make an effort not to fill my schedule. Though I suppose I could in all honesty say that I’m busy, as long as I know that this means I’m doing as much as I can, and not that I’m doing as much as the next person, measured in hours and sweat.

I rarely feel really alert. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to distinguish between “My energy is too low for my willpower to function” and “I don’t really like this job and I suck at making myself do it”. It frequently feels like laziness.

After supper I usually feel pretty good, though I can’t face working in the evening, and besides, that’s when I do my important fun stuff, like my bi-weekly two-hour Skype appointment with Gawan.

Then there’s the exercise issue. During the school year I’ve been teaching two dance classes a week, and over the summer I’ve taught one and been a student in another. It’s important to me to stay active, but I don’t recover quickly and I may still feel wrecked the day after a particularly vigorous class. I also have a daily exercise routine of an hour or so (maybe 1h20 if I do every single exercise) to manage my various aches and pains. My health is top priority.

Although I aim to go to bed around 11:30, I sometimes don’t turn out the light until 12:20. I don’t tend to feel sleepy until fairly late unless it’s a dance class night, in which case blood flow, reflexive analysis of the class, and earworms conspire against me. I take a sleep aid to help me with falling and staying asleep, so those issues don’t currently vex me.

Up until my trip to Europe this past spring, my leisure time was spent mostly on the blog. After I got home (and recovered), my writing and photography slowed down, and then pretty much stopped. I thought the issue was that I just didn’t feel like blogging for a while — I had picked up a couple of old hobbies that I’d dropped some time ago, and it seemed that I was just choosing to spend my time differently — but now I’m not so sure.

Over the last couple of months, I had gotten seriously bummed about the fatigue; it’s deeply frustrating when my body can’t keep up with my mind, but my mind has slowed down too, and I mostly don’t feel like doing anything. Also, because I can’t predict when I’ll have a good day versus a bad day, I avoid making plans in order to avoid the sense of failure and frustration when I don’t have the energy or motivation to do what I intended to do. If I have a good day — that is, a day during which I feel almost normal and I do an ordinary number of ordinary things — there’s a fair chance that I’ll be exhausted the next day. I had started to resign myself to the fact that I may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, a diagnosis that my doctor has been hesitant to make since there’s no test and no treatment and thus potentially no benefit to me to be labelled in this way.

However, since I started looking at the details more analytically in the process of working on this post (which has, unsurprisingly, taken much too long to write), I realised that the nature of the fatigue has changed. It was bad last year but then I did actually see some improvement. I discovered that the timing of when the fatigue started being especially problematic again roughly corresponds to adjustments to the dosage of my anti-depressants.

Part of the difficulty I had in pinpointing the problem up to now is that I experience a lack of motivation as one of my more significant symptoms of depression. Now I suspect the lack of motivation is being caused (at least in part) by the lack of energy. In other words, lack of motivation may be cause by the anti-depressant dosage being too low or too high. This is… not helpful.

So now I’m cautiously optimistic that my recent lack of interest in blogging is due, not to an authentic desire to stop, but rather to a sense that I just didn’t have the energy or brainpower to put into it. And if lack of energy and brainpower can undermine my interest in a hobby that I know I have enjoyed, then it’s possible that my disinterest in work is also primarily an issue of energy and not that I hate my job. I have a doctor’s appointment this coming week and will see about adjusting my meds.

With any luck, I’ll be blogging more regularly again in the not too distant future.

Top 100 Sex Bloggers for 2015

I’m slow off the mark, but nonetheless I’m chuffed to announce that Molly of Molly’s Daily Kiss has named me as one of her Top 100 Sex Bloggers for 2015! Thanks, Molly, for all your hard work on this massive project (assisted by Michael, aka @DomSigns).

When I was first considering starting a blog, I spent a good while trying to justify it to myself. What would be the point, other than listening to myself talk? I had hoped that sharing my escape from sexual shame would be a worthwhile story to tell, and that my subsequent adventures (such as they are) might be of some interest.

It’s lovely to get feedback that people enjoy and find some value in my writing and photography, especially considering that 2015 was my very first year of blogging. I’m proud to call myself a member of the sex-blogging community.

To my current readers, thank you; and to my new readers, welcome!

Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2015

Click on the badge above to see the complete list of blogs.

my first anniversary

I’m currently at my mother-in-law’s place, where I launched this blog one year ago today, Christmas Eve. (No, she doesn’t know!)

I’d had my epiphany in the summer of 2014. There was only so much I could accomplish while Wolf was away, so five or six months later I still felt very much like things were just beginning. When I first started blogging, it was with the intention of documenting my exploration of my own sexuality, not knowing what I would find.

I’m not really one for planning and expectations. I had and have no schedule for this, no checklist. At the outset, I asked myself a number of times what I was trying to accomplish — what was the point of putting this deeply personal (and potentially embarrassing) material out into the world? I’d had difficulty with sexuality forever and I was only able to solve that issue by remaining curious, reading things that caught my interest, asking questions and looking for answers. My solution was out there but it had required rather a lot of assembly. I figured that if I could supply a few more nodes of information and hopefully some insight, maybe it would be helpful to others.

I don’t know if I’ve had any success with that particular goal — perhaps it was merely a justification. Not many people find my blog through searches*, and I don’t actually have that much to say about sexual shame and how to overcome it, because once I assembled the requisite bits of knowledge, the shame melted away on its own. Although I still have some hangups, I don’t think those have anything to do with unresolved shame.

I haven’t written as much as I thought I might, although this isn’t a great surprise. Occasionally it was a lack of material, but, of late, finding enough time has become the bigger challenge.

I have ended up posting way more photos than I expected to, partly because of the simple fact that I find them quicker and easier than writing. At this point a little more than half my posts are photos! This has provided me with an unplanned opportunity to express myself visually; I’ve found that I’m most comfortable with sensuality, sometimes shading towards eroticism, and less so with overt sexuality. [For what it’s worth, my busiest day for blog traffic was the day I posted this photo of my ass.] I’ve also been discovering my visual style as an artist (if that’s not too grand a title), which has been fun on its own and has to an extent informed my sense of style in how I dress and how I decorate my house.

I suppose that it’s not a big surprise that the sex blog memes that I’ve participated in are photo memes: Hyacinth’s Boobday and Molly’s Sinful Sunday. The feedback from these communities has helped improve my self-image ‌— another unanticipated benefit! And I’ve become acquainted with a number of other bloggers, which has been quite nice.

I’ve also made a very special friend in Gawan, which was utterly unexpected! Whatever our relationship is, it’s unconventional and I don’t know where it will lead, but I’m very glad to have him in my life.

Wolf and I are still learning about ourselves and each other, even after so many years together. There’s lots more exploring for us to do and I’m looking forward to it.

* Some of my favorite search terms that have led people here:

  • hobby fuck sex
  • sex fucking is bad hobby
  • givemeafucknow
  • sex sexy fuck fucking stories tripod mom fiction
  • most pleasant intercourse.

my reading list on sex and sexuality

I’ve decided to post a list of the reading I’ve done on sex and sexuality. I was already keeping a list on paper for my own benefit, but I thought some of you might also find it interesting or useful.

Because I intend to continue to add to it, I’ve done the list as a separate page rather than as a blog entry, but that means the page doesn’t come up in the WordPress reader nor will there be an email notification that it now exists.

I’ve added a link to the reading list in the menu at the top of every page, or you can click here.

[This message may self-destruct… I haven’t decided yet.]

the etiquette of commenting

I read this post at Alex in Spankingland about the etiquette of commenting on kinky photos and it got me thinking. Alex is a professional spanking model, while I’m just sharing a few words and pictures about my (otherwise completely private) sex life, so many of the details are quite different, and yet some of the principles still apply.

Being able to connect one-to-one with strangers around the world to share intimate material is still quite new, so the etiquette is still developing. I think it’s worth giving some thought to the ways in which we interact with each other about this kind of material. I haven’t come to any conclusions yet, but the wheels are turning and a lengthier post will likely follow.

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about commenting on my blog, please have a look at Alex’s post first.