Posts filed under Advice

Hug a Weirdo


I’m a weirdo.  It started at an early age.  There are many aspects that make up my weirdo status.  It’s not so much weird as it is the acceptance that I am a proud walking set of contradictions, perfect imperfections and complexities.  So many of us try to hide from our complexities or shield them from those around us so that they are more comfortable.  One would think after a certain age we become too grown to play “societal charades”.  It is very much not so

I recently found out that, once again, my weirdo status caused someone to make assumptions about me (and even make decisions for me based on the assumptions).  I think about how I came to be the me that I have become.  I suppose it’s been caused by any number of my life experiences.  We all are a product of our particular life files, right?  I started off life by never wanting to get in trouble.  I never wanted my parents to be angry at me.  I never wanted to do the wrong thing.  I never wanted to make mistakes. This then extended to the world.  I only wanted people to like me.  I only wanted to be understood as a good person with a great heart.  It bothered me if I thought that people were interpreting who I was in a way that was different than how I perceived myself.   I had a case of giving too many F%$&s about what other people would think.  I like helping others.  This remains to be true.  However, with maturity comes a self-awareness that shifts the way in which I go about things.  I stopped trying to “get straight A’s” from every single person I met.  I was fresh outta f%$&s to give.  Fresh out!

I had a best friend once that was very forceful when it came to getting her own way.  Me being a person who always wanted things to stay on a happy vibe, I would often just go with her flow.  This worked out amazingly excellent for her.  There were peaceful and fun times had among us.  However, sometimes in the midst of our fun times, I’d be miserable.  There were times where I went along with things that I didn’t feel like going with.   It took quite a bit of work on myself to get to the point of saying no if I wasn’t into doing something.  I spent way too many years doing what would make other people happy.  I spent years and years doing what would keep me likable.  I see myself as a likable human and I wanted other people to see me this way also.  I hid who I really was in favor of favorable facades for the public.  Eventually, what happened though was that I found myself holding in resentments for allowing myself to ignore my own truth.  It was with this best friend that I got my first practice at defending strange little ole me.  I learned through my interactions with her how to push through the uncomfortable feelings I had about causing conflict.  I started speaking honestly and directly to other people as well.  Like anything, it started getting easier the more I did it.

 

At present, it is very easy for me to say in a very clear and direct way what is on my mind.  It drives me a little crazy inside listening to people talk around a topic or hem and haw while they try to get a point across.  It drives me even crazier having to deal with someone who flat out tries to avoid conversations that may be difficult but necessary.  Being a fairly direct person is something that people both appreciate and can’t stand about me.  This depends on the person and the circumstances of the exchange, of course.  Often, I choose silence for the sake of my own peace of mind.  There are times where it serves me better to stand off to the side and observe quietly.  At all times, whether silent or direct, it is a choice coming from inside myself.  We all have to navigate the world that we are in.  Many of us have to navigate numerous worlds.   The joy of working to get to a place where I am able to make choices for myself is that I get to keep feeling peaceful inside either way.   The discomfort that my directness or my silence may cause others is not my work to do. 

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I recently went to a church service that I absolutely under normal circumstances would not choose to be at.  However, my niece wanted me to see her perform as part of the youth day.  I went to church.  Sat quietly and was polite to everyone that I encountered.  I got to see my niece perform.  She saw that I was there like I said I would be.  I was peace filled in my heart, despite my disdain for this place and the people who run it.  I sat in the service sending love vibes out to everyone in the building.  Damn my opinions, ultimately, people come here so they can make it through the week or their lives.  Hey, life is hard, whatever gets you through…  While I make it my business to make choices that are right for myself, I also understand that life isn’t ALL about me.  At that moment, the love I have for my niece outweighed the negative feelings I have about church and the Bible, in general, and this church in particular.  This is the joy of being a thinking human being.  Nothing is black and white.  Communication reveals way more than assumptions ever can.  If only this person had the courage to have honest conversations with me they would understand this and so much more about me.  Honestly, it just felt like a scapegoat, a cowardly way of dealing with the situation.  If someone feels ill will towards me, it will be because of the truth not a lie.  Happiness is being mature enough to pick your battles. 

I am blessed to have found a place as a weirdo among weirdos (I am surrounded by the most talented, quirky and driven creative people ever).  However, we still have to navigate in the world at large.  I end up in different worlds socially and professionally.  I get invited back often, so I must be doing something right.  As frustrating as it gets to be constantly judged and misinterpreted, it’s even greater joy to have enough self love to wave my weirdo flag proudly despite it.  If you’re out there looking for the perfect mate, maybe look outside your self imposed box.  Weirdos can be pretty loveable!  If you’re a weirdo and you know It clap your hands *clap, clap*, if you’re a…  Wait.  Is that weird? Never mind…

Holiday Empathy

Orande’s been shot.  Ok…  What hospital is he in?  I grew up in a place where people got shot.  I assumed that he was home in Boston and it was a drive by or some other type of mistaken identity.  He’d be ok.  “No…  He didn’t make it.”  Life stood still.  Orande was one of my friends who was not in trouble.  He was in school at Morehouse College.  We were in activities together because our parents feared that idle time would lead us to all the gang and drug problems rampant on the streets.  We would complain about how the good kids like us never got any media time.  How could he be killed by being shot?  “He was on his way to a study group and got car jacked.  He was hit in the back as he tried to get away.”  This was my freshman year right around Thanksgiving time.  That’s when we all would hang out at home.  I think about how I had punked out that summer before freshman year.  I had called him to tell him that I had a crush on him.  It was the first time I had to go to a funeral.  I couldn’t bring myself to look at the casket.

My sophomore year, I was in long island at my aunt’s house.  I get a call from my mother.  My grandfather had passed away.  We had been watching cancer make him a shell of himself for a while now.  It still didn’t make it hurt any less.  He was one of my ultimate cheerleaders.  He supported everything I decided that I wanted to do.  I remember everyone being so concerned when he came on a bus from Connecticut to New York to see me in my first play ever.  I hadn’t yet been told that he had cancer.  Caribbean families have an iron clad way of keeping things from the children.  I’d call him and tell him about something I wanted to do.  If someone was around he’d say”The boys and nem say 150.” I’d know that he was gonna give me $150 towards whatever I was up to.  He was the first man that ever braided my hair.  I am so blessed for all the good memories with him.  I felt like I was hyperventilating when they were going to close the casket.  This time I looked.  It was extremely hard knowing this was the last time I’d see him.

My grandfather transitioned right around Christmas time.  I started to get scared when holiday time approached.  What was it about the holidays that made people special to me decide that they were going to leave for good?  These were the first two losses I ever had.  They came back to back one year apart.  They hit with force.  Holidays were filled with anxiety not celebration.

Years have gone by without anyone I love passing around the Holidays.  However, this year, I’m acutely aware of the fact that Holidays are just not fun for some folks.  It may or may not have to do with the loss of a loved one.  It could be any number of things:  not having loving family and friends, not having enough money for food, not having adequate work, etc.  This year was my first Thanksgiving EVER not with my family.  I wasn’t sad about it but I could see how others could be very sad around these times.  I chose to serve meals at a church then had a laid back, small fun gathering of performer peeps.  So, if you are one of the blessed ones, take some time to remember the not so blessed.  It can be as simple as a prayer sent.  Send a status acknowledging this and not just pictures of bountiful plates of food.  Empathy is something we all can practice more of not just during the holiday but extra doses during this time can’t hurt.   In fact, I dare say, it might make someone feel a little bit better.  

Posted on November 29, 2013 and filed under Essence Revealed, Advice.

Submission and Power Exchange

 

“I stand behind you because I trust you to lead the way.  I lead the way because; I know you have my back.” – The Dish with Ward & June

It’s been my experience that a good sub is hard to find but hard subs abound.  Every person exposed to “a million shades of what you will” is creeping slowly out of hiding to seek safe spaces to explore alternative lifestyles.  But are they really?  There is a breed of people calling themselves submissive.  However they are not looking for any type of power exchange.  Power Exchange can happen without there being any stereotypical “kink” involved.  Not everyone is into everything.  This is why it’s important to be clear about how you want Power Exchange to be played out on your relationships.

  

Or when she says Good Boy or when...  ;-)

Or when she says Good Boy or when...  ;-)

 

I’ve had some very odd approaches from potential subs recently.  One was just downright creepy and weird.  Several emails a day only about all the sexual ways in which he would please me (how would he know when we’ve never had that kind of conversation?).  Face to face he had a scary unwavering, stare that sent the warning sirens from the depths of my soul blaring.  Could I end up in Tupperware containers labeled by body parts???  …or something like that. 

I was perplexed why a submissive would assume that he knew what would satisfy a Dominant’s desires.  This is not “one size fits your limited fantasy”.  A Domme/sub (D/s) relationship is not about absolute rule like a Master/slave relationship (even within that BOTH parties have to agree to it).  It’s my personal belief that people in relationship with each other get to create their own unique “contracts”, so to speak.  There is definitely a mutual exchange that happens within D/s.  Everyone should be getting their needs met.  However, a basic principle of a D/s Power Exchange is the strong desire the sub has to please and be led by their Dominant.  Yes, submissives get to let their Dominant partner know what they do and do not want.  The Dominant partner should know the hard and soft limits of their submissive.  However, ultimately it is about the submissive deriving satisfaction from being of service to and guided by their Dominant.

 

 

 

There are no cut and paste ways to be a submissive.  Every relationship is going to have unique dynamics.  However, these are always five great elements for a submissive to consider within a Power Exchange relationship with a Domme:

1)     Integrity – Do what you say you will do.  Whether you deem the commitment small or a big deal, keep your word.  A good sub will own up to it to their Dominant, even if they would never find out.  Short comings should be addressed according to the agreement made between the two of you.

2)     Honest & Open Communication – Dommes are not clairvoyant.  Be open, honest and clear about yourself to your Dominant partner.  A small lapse in communication can easily be interpreted as purposeful insubordination.  Communication bridges the gap between what it means to be a sub behaving badly or needing a specific kind of guidance. 

3)     Trust – The space shared between Domme and sub should be the safest place in the world.  A sub should know for sure that only their best interests are being considered by their Dominant partner.  A Domme may push the edges of a sub’s comfort levels but never put them in harm’s way.  Part of leading the way is having a sincere interest in seeing your sub win.  Are their areas of improvement being worked on within this D/s exchange?  A sub may bring an issue to their Domme.  A Domme may initiate something that they think will improve their subs life: ie… goals, nutrition, making/breaking habits.  The sub knows that there will be after care, especially after intense sessions.

4)     Mutual Respect – None of the above is possible without a mutual respect of one another.  I suppose in commercial dungeons, these rules may or may not apply depending on the situation.  What I’m writing about in this blog are personal interactions.  It would be difficult to trust someone you didn’t respect.  It would be a waste of time to guide someone not worthy of respect.  With this respect comes the ability to lead and be led.

5)    Great Desire to Be of Service – Can a sub’s need to be of service be the intention behind any task their Domme asks of them?  The potentially menial task takes on meaning then.  A sub may despise doing laundry but because it pleases their Domme, it is done with an intention of care.  A sub pleasing their Domme should be satisfaction enough for them.  However, earning rewards for good behavior are a great motivation.  It can be extremely beneficial for a sub to be meticulous with the service they provide to their Domme.
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There is so much focus put on the proverbial “whips and chains” of BDSM.  It feels sometimes like there is more of an interest in a limited and particular “kink” related fantasy.  That type of curiosity could be explored with a pro Domme.  An equally curious partner may present themselves as you go thru your day that you can have occasional play with.  However, by my estimation, it is not satisfactory enough for an interpersonal D/s practice of Power Exchange.  One of my aunts always says, “Every pot has its cover.”  Therefore, whether Dominant or submissive there is no reason to be involved in relationships that doesn’t satisfy you.  Find your perfect match.

 

A Perfomer's Rant

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OOOOH how I wish my parents didn’t give me any home training or hadn’t sent me to Sunday school!  This is a performer’s rant.  Just giving you fair warning so that you can click off and away if so you choose.  This is the first time in over three years of doing burlesque I've been so moved to post a public complaint.  The majority of the people who hire me are great!  But one's like this one I'm writing about are the worst. 

I am more than a little bit annoyed by people who seem to think that all creative people are hobbyists.  It’s almost as if some people refuse to accept that there is a creature called the professional performer.  Welp, guess what?  There is.  This creature may not be a celebrity.  You may not see them on your television set every week.  They may not be on Broadway or in your mainstream movie house or major art gallery.  They probably aren’t filling arenas like Madison Square Garden.  But guess what, they are working professionals.  Let’s take a look at actors.  About 2% of them are celebrities (and often for a very limited time unless nepotism gave them an in).  The majority of actors in the US do not work as actors most of the time.  Somewhere in the middle is the working actor.  They can still do their own grocery shopping (and probably have to) without being mobbed.  They can roam freely around the world unrecognized.  However, if you were friends with them, you’d see them pop up every so often in a show, film, a commercial or hear them in a voiceover.  Perhaps, they ARE in the chorus or principal in a Broadway show. 

Being a creative person of any other type is much the same.  There are the “celebrity names”, the hobbyists and right in the middle are the working professionals.  Depending on their disciplines, they may do a combination of things.  Perhaps they also teach.  Maybe they do a few days or nights as a freelance something or nother.  They may piece together a few different creative careers vocalist and voice over artist, for example.  Perhaps they work in children’s television between creating commissioned paintings.  Perhaps wedding and journalistic photos to major publications fund their art photography projects.  No matter how they string it together, the bulk of their living comes from their creative work.  This is amazingly fulfilling and fun to do – except, when it isn’t.  For me, one of the most disrespectful things I have to deal with is lack of respect for my time as an artist.  It’s as if because I chose to do something fun with my life, my time shouldn’t hold the same weight as someone who clocks into an office every day. 

Here’s one of many examples I could use.  I get booked for a private event for a particular time – let’s say 10pm.  The day of the event I get called hours before to be there an hour early.  Oh, ya know, because I’m sitting around doing nothing else with my life besides waiting with baited breath to coddle clueless clientele demands.  I work it out so that I can leave the work that I’m doing earlier than I was supposed to in an effort to be a flexible, team player.  I arrive earlier than 9pm.  I’m told I’ll go on at 10pm.  There is a set list.  The set list is switched around after the show has started.  The set list is switched back about ten minutes later.  The event is not running on time.  I could have come at 10pm because it is running so late.  In the middle of the listed set an unannounced comedy act erupts on stage.  That act is disrupted by the host who goes on a diatribe in an effort to get the fidgety crowd to listen to said comic.  THAT comic then calls up two more comics.  Three comics do stand up routines in the middle of an event that is already running late.  An unannounced break happens after that.

Now, this is live entertainment and things happen.  Things often don’t go as planned.  I am well able to go with the flow.  I’m extremely easy going.  I, myself, have been on the other end of things out of my control causing me to be late (stalled trains, traffic and miscommunication, for example).  I felt horrible and was verbally and sincerely apologetic.  THIS however, was just a blatant disrespect of time.  Not once was there an apology or explanation.  The energy in the room shifted from celebratory to antsy.  “The host asks at one point is anyone in a rush to get out of here?”  I think he gets the vibe from the hushes murmur of a response that this crowd is not trying to party all night.  “I know some of ya’ll gotta go to work in the morning.”  Yep, and some of us are AT WORK right now.  In fact, those of us that are AT work right now thought that we would be OFF work already.  There is no overtime.  If I complain, I’ll seem like I’m being a diva, right?  I’m supposed to just sit silently smiling.  I’m supposed to be thrilled at any opportunity to do what I do.  How ‘bout you just pay me for my time, I go home and YOU go on stage and do what I do since it holds so little value? 

The part of it that really drives me crazy, though, is that at the end of the night:  After time jacking me from my first job, after having me perform hours after I was scheduled to perform, after having me on stage while people are walking out the door because they’re so tired of sitting there, I get asked if I have a PayPal account.  ...Pardon? 

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*moment of silence filled with curse words in my head that I am much too polite to say out loud*  

So, you mean to tell me not only did you blatantly disrespect my time but now you will also steal the service I provided?  I’m sorry, but “I’ll pay you in the morning, cuz, ya know, cash flow…” is NOT an acceptable answer.  “But you killed it!  My boyfriend, the tall light skin guy, was like she could get it.”  Perhaps, she could glean it from the look of disgust on my face.  I didn’t bother to explain to her the .000000000001% of f%#*s that I do not give about what her boyfriend thinks of my f*&^ing factor. 

When I negotiate events for myself I get a 50% deposit to hold the date.  I then have it in writing that I’m to be handed the balance once I arrive at the venue of the event.  I am doing this particular event as a favor for a favorite client and did not do the negotiating myself.  I think it is really unfair to be held captive at the end of the night waiting to be paid at a private event.  There are no tips to divide.  There’s no door split to calculate.  The fee is set ahead of time.  I've provided the service you've hired me to do already.  Now you want me to trust you to pay me via PayPal in the morning when we don’t have working relationship the first?  This will however, be the last.  Get me once, shame on you.  Get me twice, shame on me.  When I produce (and I have not done it much), I pay my performers in the dressing room while they are getting dressed.  I have a spread of healthy snacks and sweet treats along with drinks for them in the dressing room.  I provide a table with any toiletries they may need or have forgotten.  I try my best to create a relaxed vibe for the people (whom I know I cannot afford to pay their full value YET) because I appreciate their time and talent.  There are creative people who bless me with their talents for free and I try to show as much appreciation for it as possible.

Time and time again whether the creative person acts, sings, dances, takes photos, does visual arts, etc. they’re expected to work for little to nothing and be happy about it.  My landlord and other bill collectors will not be happy about it.  Therefore, I cannot be happy about it.  Yes, I would do this for free, if I had no bills, if I wasn't a full time freelancer.  Just because a creative person is not a celebrity does not mean that they are not a working professional.  When one negotiates a fee for work, one gets paid said fee asap.  Simple.  Easy. 

 

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Why do creative people constantly have to fight for this really simple concept to be understood?  It drives me crazy.  It’s not that difficult.  End Rant.

 

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Hair Bump Chicken Skin Part 2

I have a dream that one day my legs will look this smooth...

I have a dream that one day my legs will look this smooth...

Technology ate my homework…  I wrote a few weeks ago about Hair Bump Chicken Skin on My Legs & Butt.  The scientific term for the bumps caused on legs, butt and back of arms from the body producing too much Keratin is Keratosis Pilaris (or KP for short).   I promised to report back on the results of the method I chose with before and after pictures.  Then, ALL the pictures I had on my phone disappeared (including the ones from my trip to the Milan Burlesque Festival) into the great cyber beyond, never to be found again.  It took me a few moments of silence, followed by a few cursing sessions (sorry Mummy) to get to a space of acceptance and move on.  I’m better now.  I am ready to report my results thus far, sadly sans pictorial.

My choice for the past few weeks has been option #5 from my first blog – 2% Salicylic Acid face wash (used on affected areas) & Amlactin Lotion.  I’ve been using it twice a day with an exfoliating scrubbing cloth.  From what I read, it would take about two weeks before any results would be seen.  It’s been just over a month and I can say that I do see some results.  The bad news is that the dark marks from the bumps are still visible.  However, the good news is that the feeling of the bumpiness is gone.  My legs and arms feel smoother than they have in years!  Also, there doesn't appear to be any new bumps forming.

 

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I have almond Dr. Bonner’s liquid soap on deck.  I’ve also been giving the coconut oil an apologetic side eye.  Everything I read about it is touting its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties.  I’m debating between keeping the current regimen going for a few more weeks vs. going for the Dr. Bonners with gentle exfoliating and coconut oil route.  In my imagination the coconut oil would fade the spots.  The added moisture from the Dr. Bonners would keep the skin from hardening around the hair follicles.  Speaking of moisture, I recently was gifted a box of goodies from Soakology in Maine.  My favorite item is the balancing bath-melt and body oil.  It is a bar that you can either pinch a bit off and drop into the bathtub or rub in hands to apply to the skin directly as an oil.  Holy moisture heaven Batman!  I want to go to Maine now just to visit Soakology.  Special thanks to my fairy Soakology angel ;-). 

 Has anyone out there tried any methods out on their KP with favorable results?  Share!

I wanna know about it so write and let me know either in the comments or email me if ya the shy type. :-)

 

Hair Bump Chicken Skin on My Legs and Butt!

There was a lively discussion going on recently in an online forum that I'm part of.  Sharing began to happen around how to get rid of hair bumps also called "chicken skin".  As many of us that have to deal with this harmless yet unsightly skin issue chimed in, others joined.  Many had no idea it even had a name.  They didn't know that there were things that could be done about it.  It's official name is Keratosis Pilaris (KP).  It is caused when the body creates an excess of Keratin.  The excess keratin hardens and closes around hair follicles which stops them from leaving the pore.  It occurs on the legs, thighs, butt and outer arms mainly.  It sometimes can appear on the face and can be mistaken for acne.

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The good news is, it's not harmful to health in any way!  The bad news is that it causes people feel not so confident about the appearance of their skin.  It affects 50 - 80% of teens and 40 - 50% of adults.  Many adults who are affected by it will see it go away in their 30's.  I had no idea that the numbers were so high.  It typically is inhereted from parents.  It's one of the things I got from my father.  We are alike in more ways than have anyhting to do with this blog.  Perhaps, that's one of the reasons that I never really felt inclined enough to try to get rid of them.  It's just yet another a trait that me and my Daddy share :-)

Just last week, I decided that I actually want to try to get rid of them.  I went off to the interwebs to do some research.  I found many different ways that people used to work on reducing/ridding themselves of the appearance of these little bumps.  I decided on a method for myself and began only a few days ago.  I took before pictures, so I will share after about two weeks what kind of progress my skin has made.  I decided to share the other information that I found with readers here too. 

1) Laser Treatment  One of the first ways of dealing with it I came across was laser treatments.  I had read somewhere that someone dealing with KP had it go away after tanning.  I would not recommend tanning for obvious cancer causing health reasons.  However, I'm guessing that much in the same way as tanning, laser treatments probably burn the follicles away.  No hair follicle, no hair to get encased by skin.  This person said that it took about 10 - 12 laser treatments to see the skin smoothing results she wanted.  She also did mention that this method was painful.  This is also a the pricest way to go.  Even though with Groupon and Living Social type deals the price of laser treatments can be reduced, I decided not go this route.  I still thought that it was worth mentioning.

2) Organic Virgin  Coconut Oil  I saw this tip mentioned often.  As a child, my mother used coconut oil on my skin, hair and scalp.  I have used coconut oil to heal acid reflux caused my a torn esophogus once (I took a teaspoon 3x a day).  I did not want to take the drugs the doctors suggested.  It worked.  Coconut oil naturally has many healing properties (reduces redness, sanitizes) and it's an excellent moisturizer.  Keeping the skin moisturized is one of the best things a person with KP can do to stop the skin from hardeninge over the hair follicle.  I imagine this is why it worked for these people.  I decided not to try this personally because, well, if as a kid it didn't make it go away, I was not willing to put in the time as an adult.  However, I have read about many people swearing by this as a solution.  Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  It's organic and inexspensive so I would encourage anyone giving it a try.  

3) Castille Soap  Many people know of the popular Dr. Bonners brand.  It is inexpensive and can be found easliy in many drug stores, health food stores or supermarkets.  The soap is made using pure vegetable oils and not animal fat.  So in conjunction with a loofah, it can help get rid of those pesky little bumps.  I intend to make this method part of my maintenance program. 

4) Exfoiliating Scrubs  I found so many great recipes online for natural scrubs.  A quick google search will yield you many options.  The basic ingredients are to use sea salt or course sugar as the scrub factor.  Then couple it with natural oils such as virgin olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil.  Then add something like a little tea tree oil that is anti-bacterial.  Use it in the shower.  Then follow up with a non-drying cleanser like Dove soap.  Of course, moisturize as soon as you leave the bath.

5) 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash & Amlactin Lotion  Although, I've read that for some people the use of agents such as salicylic acid can make the problem worse if it dries out the skin too much, I still decided to give it a go.  My plan is to moisturize well before getting out of the shower to lock in as much moisture as possible.  I got a generic brand acne wash from the drug store and then splurged on Amlactin (which I got on sale at Costco for less than what is costs at drug stores.  Perhaps deals can be found online as well but I wanted it in hand as fast as possible.  It contains 12% lactic acid, is PH balanced for the skin and gently exfoiliates with moisture retention. With a scrubbing cloth or glove, I'll use the face wash on the affected areas 2x a day.  Then I will moisturize with Amlactin 2x a day as well.  

Clearly this is NOT the most organic or natural method.  From what I've read I should start to see results in about two weeks.  The risk I am taking is that the face wash may prove to be too drying and worsen the issue.  I don't have sensitive skin, so I'm taking that risk.  Look back in about 2 weeks for the before and after pictures.  I'll gladly accept prayers and well wishes lol...

As you can see, altough there is no "cure" for KP.  The keys to reduction are anti-bactarial cleansing, exfoiliating and moisturizing.  Let me know what you've tried and had success with in your own KP reduction quests. 

 ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She's been published in three anthologies: Pros(e), Prose and Lore &  Johns, Marks, Tricks & Chicken Hawks.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.

 

 

Call Your Mom!

Boston I found out about the bomb at the marathon because a friend posted a link about it on my Facebook page.  My parents are visiting the states from Barbados.  They're in Boston right now where I was born and raised.  One of my best friends lives in Boston and does the kind of work that could bring him to the marathon. Another high-school friend from there is a photog and could be there covering the event.  I still have friends that could potentially be at work near Copley also.  Heck, I'd just been there for a gig on News Years Eve and walked around at a parade before heading to perform at the party (a now eerie memory).

An enlargeable relief map of Barbados

All of these people flashed into my head at once.  I called my parents first even though I was pretty sure they wouldn't be anywhere near there. "Oh, we just got back from BJ's," my Mom's voice assured me.  I sent a double text to two close friends, put a post on fb & then clicked around to check on some people.  Thanks to the power of social media, I knew all my people were alright in just a few short minutes.

It got me thinking though, were they not alright, I would have been a hot mess.  I don't really like talking on the phone.  I'm a text-er. So, my Mom was recently giving me a hard time about calling so seldom.  I haven't spoken to/visited one of those friends in a long time.  In New York, life is moving so fast.  I am moving so fast.  I am in love with almost everything I'm working on right now so I can get in the zone and stay there 12, 16 hours without pausing.

But yesterday served as a good reminder to me that I have to do better about connecting with my real life friends and family.  My heart goes out to everyone who was down there.  To even bear witness to something as awful as that has got to be painful.

Boston Skyline

Why does it so often take some senseless tragedy for me to remember these things?

The moral of the blog (a note to self) is: Forget all the criticism about how the story is covered.  Who did what right and/or wrong, etc. etc. etc. and Call your Mom and everyone close to you as often as you can while you can!

ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She's been published in two anthologies: Pros(e) &  Johns, Marks, Tricks & Chicken Hawks.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.  Help Essence get to the Milan Burlesque Awards!

Overcoming Jealousy

"Jealousy and Flirtation" depicts a ... What needs to happen within when overcoming jealousy?  I remember what it feels like to have the feeling wash over me at times.  Yet, I've never truly understood jealousy because being in a relationship does not render the rest of the universe unattractive.  Yet, I hear over and over again from some people that they find it disrespectful to have their partner look at another person.  Let's say your walking down the street with your significant other.  A beautiful human comes walking along.  Guy/gal busts their brain cells to look not right, not left but straight ahead.  Guy/gal fails and instant argument ensues.  Accusations of disrespect are thrown.  I never quite understood how acknowledging another person's physical beauty could in any way shape or form be disrespectful to an entire relationship.  The sum total of a relationship has got to hold more weight than that, right?

I wonder if jealous people believed without a shadow of a doubt that they are an amazing partner, the jealousy would still play itself out in this way?  I have long felt like I make a really great girlfriend.  I don't say this to sound arrogant or conceited.  Knowing this does not mean thinking I'm perfect.  In fact, it means that I am very in touch with my imperfections so I work on myself as much as possible.  There may be moments where I feel jealousy.  However, what I do is check in with myself before I react.  Usually jealousy, in my case, means I feel threatened by the attention my partner is giving elsewhere.  Often, it is my ego feeling bruised for not consuming ALL of my partner's attention.  I make it about me and my worth or the lack there of.

The Mask of Jealousy

Jealousy in myself is seldom the cause or fault of anything that someone outside of me did.  It is usually a moment of insecurity.  That is for me to deal with.  It is not something I think deserves an argument.  It is not my partner's job to make sure my self-esteem tank is on full.  If someone is going to leave, they are going to leave.  There isn't enough "guard dogging" in the world that  can prevent it.  In fact, it may push them too it when it had never been an initial goal.  I know, I've had the experience of feeling like if I was going to be constantly accused and have arguments about it all the time, well, mind as well go ahead to justify the stress.

Usually, the check in leads me to remember that the way I am in relationship with people is something valuable.  There is no room for feelings of jealousy after that.  My inner self gets a little swagger: "Go ahead, let 'em try to find another you.  I promise you, you're a rare gem ;-)."  Then all becomes right sized in my world.  How could I possibly think something like looking at another beautiful person speaks in any way about my worth in a relationship?  It cannot.

I REALLY want to hear what people who think jealousy in relationships is justified have to say.  So, what say you?

ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.

 

When The Right Words Cannot Be Found...

Source: oprah.com via Essence on Pinterest

ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.

Sexy Dirty Talk

Sex Sexy dirty talk is Not always welcomed.  Recently, I've had several conversations with people I know who are related to the world of sex: maybe they’re sex educators, maybe they’re former or current sex workers, maybe they write about sexuality & relationships or they could be burlesque performers.  The common thread of the conversation is that they encounter people who take liberty about what kinds of things they can say to them.  This is especially the case when it comes to sexual topics.  Just as sexual attraction is complex so is how an individual in the realm of sexuality chooses to engage with other people.  After a conversation over dinner last week about this very topic, I went into my blog drafts and I found this list:

1)      Just because the sexplorer (this is what I’ll use as an all-encompassing term for writers, performers, educators or anyone working in the sexy realm) is comfortable talking about sex does not mean that they’re interested in hearing, in detail, what you would do to them sexually.  Their comfort with sex does not automatically make them available to YOU sexually.  Yes, this includes sending them pictures of your “personal private particulars”.  YES, even if you once had intimate relations with said sexplorer.  Shocking, I know, because who the heck would not want to be sexual with you?  I’m willing to guess quite a few people, so check if it’s OK  first. M’kay?

2)     You may find your friendly neighborhood sexplorer amazing for your spank bank, for example.  However, they do not need to hear about it ad nausea.  Perhaps, a mellow sexplorer can bear to hear it as a passing comment once.  However, if this becomes the sum total of your correspondence to said person.  Stop.  It steps off of awkward compliment land into plain creeps-ville at an alarming speed!  No seriously, approximately right after said first mention in passing.  It’s creepy.

Photo credit: mzacha from morguefile.com

3)     It is probably safe to assume that your sexplorer acquaintance is not too interested in being met by your insults or explicit language in their e-mail or social media inbox.  If you don’t appreciate what they are up to, you have the option of not looking.  No one is forcing you to peruse their social media pages or personal websites.  It’s a great big world wide web out there and only twenty-four hours in each day.  Try only focusing on sites and social media that you are interested in or curious about.  It spares everyone involved a great deal of agita.

4)     Is your sexplorer a personal friend or just an acquaintance?  Here are some questions to think about.  Can you call/text this person on their personal phone line?  Are you in contact with this person about more than just business?  Do you see this person for brunch, tea or french fries?  Do you check in on this person to see of they are ok during life’s bumps?  If the answer is no then they may not be your personal bud in real life.  It doesn't mean they don’t like or respect you.  There’s just a different type of decorum that goes with knowing someone in real life vs. only on the interwebs.

In general, think about any sexplorer as a person first.  Their work is work.  Would you ramble on to your doctor in inappropriate ways?   Probably not.   No matter what field involving the wonderful world of sex they are involved in, they are human beings.  They have full lives, hobbies, other passions/careers, families and concerns.  Yes, that escort you think is so cool online is indeed someone’s daughter/son.  The really great blogger you think is so amazing could be someone’s big sister/brother.  Your favorite strip tease artist may have a 9-5 career as well.  They are people who have both good and bad days.  The possibilities of who they are in the world are endless.  As fun, freeing and important creating the space for open dialogue around sexual explorations may be, it does not negate the sexplorer of choice.  They still get to decide what is acceptable for them (including use of their images and body) individually.

So, the moral of the story is:

Don’t assume anything just on the basis of someone being involved in any realm of sex and sexuality work.

ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.