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This afternoon i invested several uninterupted hours catching up and reading, my various and long loved birthing/preggo/parenting blogs, resources and fb groups. It’s something I have been wanting and meaning to do for a few months now. My interest these online spaces had piqued especially of late, as there is some serious and pretty hardcore anti home birth, midwife and doula propaganda out there at the moment. It’s also not a solely led US conjecture anymore. Some of the ‘medically based’ anti home birth stuff is appalling, i was looking at one UK based website run by a female doctor (obgyn if i recall correctly) and the vitriol is just unbelievable. Not even going to dignify the site with a link, it is 100% accusatory, blaming and hyperbolic. How it is ever appropriate to tell a grieving parent, publicly, on the Internet that their daughters death was caused by their choice to home birth and that ‘you killed your child’. I shit you not! I weep for humanity at times, I swear to fucking Babs. And here I thought the whack job Todd Akins and Republican platform were the general spaces (in the Western world, that is) that promoted and led the attack for 3rd party ownership over women’s bodies and fetuses!

This afternoon one particular post on modg blog transfixed me, it sucked me in and completely blew my mind. (linked below) Its a really amazing, honest and in parts, vulnerable post but unashamedly so, regarding her fears and desire for a VBAC with her upcoming 2nd birth. What is incredible about the way modg writes is the way she strips away the bullshit, niceties and mommy-expectations and opens a safe, articulate space and dialogue for others to share in turn. This particular post has 250 comments and 3/4 of which are women recounting and sharing their birth experience/s, most of which are honest and open accounts, with varying levels of detail and information. I read every single comment. There is definitely some pro natural childbirth sentiment but on the whole I found a wealth of anecdotal experiences about so many different facets of pregnancy, childbirth, recovery and boobie milk. I have gained a much greater insight into the seemingly universally and often crippling concept of the ‘perfect birth’. It was also pretty fucking cool to read about loads of ladies eating their placentas or planning to and for the most part without the PPD qualifier. Heaps of open discussion regarding the mental and emotional demands and risks faced too.

In all the time I have spent researching and reading about what it’s like to actually make another person, this particular post and consequent sharing of stories, hopes, regrets, knowledge and future plans in the comments, has by far been the most insightful and meaningful piece of information i have accessed so far. What really struck me the most was the overwhelming support and love and validation. I have some small and still fairly undeveloped ideas about women centric communities and networks for pregnancy, birth and parenting but hadn’t really seen that element come together in an online capacity and certainly not in Australia. It is especially unique to find a space where lots of women were sharing lots of diverse experiences, beliefs and ideas.

Something I have noticed, at length, is that different modes of childbirth values or beliefs splinter away from each other and become islands. I have always been able to see the clear divide between medical and non medical childbirth camps, but the more I read and research, I see a pattern of trauma because the labour and birth don’t fit predefined goals of the chosen birthing values. It’s also really difficult to approach any of this sort of stuff as it is so deeply personal, beliefs and values have been thought about and invested in, post partum there is also often a heady mix of regret, sadness, trauma, disappointment, stress plus a hell of a lot of pressure and expectation from various sources in a women’s life.

What I find continually appalling and just flat out unfair is the vocal, self entitled vitriol aimed at parents and their parenting. In saying that, most of the loaded, judgey, shaming stuff is leveled at women. I also see much of the judgement and righteousness directed at pregnant women and new mums about their choices is coming from other women and mums, which is terrifically sad and so horribly counter productive. Then there’s the natural or home birth experts and of course the cries in the media from the medical experts, whose opinions and advice actually vary wildly depending on where you go, who you see and sadly, how much money you have. On top of that you’re trying to work out what is best with your partner, but both your families are also often going to chip in their 10 cents, sometimes more. Government and society definitely have their legislature in your womb and body autonomy, not to mention if you hold and practice religious beliefs and of course your immediate and wider communities affect and color us as people, parents and families.

New families are grossly under supported and isolated within our communities, especially in non-urban areas, but yet every single area of your life will have something to say (loudly, too) on what you should and shouldn’t do, what is and isn’t ‘best’ and what is flat out right and wrong. No wonder 85% of new mums in Aus experience some form of post natal stress leading through to severe PPD, post traumatic stress disorder and total breakdowns.

I do believe there is a huge amount of new parents and bubbas out there who are massively judged and criticized yet grossly under supported. I too have been just as guilty of this seeming righteous ease we have in society when addressing pregnancy, childbirth and parenting choices.

Not actually that long ago I would spout my crunchy bs about my all natural, home birth, in water with my doula by my side practically from the moment of conception. When realistically that’s only an option I would choose, if it was safe to do so, I have no way of predicting whether I will have a low risk pregnancy that can engender this sort of birth. Also, the more I read the more I think it’s foolish of me to have an anti epidural stance, I’m really just removing one of the tools I may need to access in birthing, despite what I think when I’m pregnant or even actually heading into labour. So many birth experiences cite having an epidural as the difference between getting through a vaginal birth and having to section. Especially with epic long labours and induced births. No, I still don’t really want a c section, if possible I would love to have a vaginal birth, but when it really comes to down to it, no matter how my baby is extracted from my body it will be super-bullshit-amazing-awesome that I gave birth, whatever giving birth ends up meaning for me. I have realized the crux of childbirth, for me, it to get the ginger doom child out of me as safely and best I can. I don’t see a rigid agenda surrounding my birth experience a pathway towards keeping myself calm, in control and empowered to make decisions if I do need to.

Its heartbreaking to me that so many mammas feel robbed of their perfect birth or that they failed as a biological woman and mother. There are layers of guilt, shame and self blame all based around the physical birth not achieving what was wanted or expected. I can in no way, even begin to fathom what this scenario would be like or do not seek to dis value the loss, sadness or trauma that is felt surrounding unwanted medical interventions. It does sadden me that sometimes the pressures we heap onto ourselves to reach these heavily constructed and idealized births only serve to further compound the stress of deviating from what is wanted and planned.

What I am driving at and realize more and more is that those whom are heading into pregnancy and child birth need infinitely more love, support, understanding and active, meaningful, immediate community networks and resources. We most definitely need to find more ways for women to connect, share and bond about their experiences, whatever mode of birth they chose or ended up having. The different camps, ideologies and practices for childbirth need to come together at least enough for information and options to be available to address on a scale, rather than having to basically pick a team and either pretend the other side doesn’t exist or that is so undesirable its not even worth knowing about.

All of this stuff is hard and scary and unpredictable so lets stop making unhelpful and self interested comments and instead provide as much information as we can, offer help and resources, listen wholly to fears and concerns but most importantly we need to open our hearts with as much compassion and understanding as possible. No one really actually knows the answers, that’s precisely why it is so bloody frightening. I hope we can, in future, create environments with the support, information, expertise, connectedness and lots of other mums and dads of all backgrounds engaged and involved in. Then new parents can be empowered to work out exactly what is available to them, organize their network effectively around themselves and to clearly address what birth really means to them.

MODG blog – birthing stories

Sending a bazillion kudos to all the brilliant parentals out there. I have bonkers levels of respect and love for you folk. Big squishy love shaped cuddles. You guys totally fucking rock!!

Laci Green, sex posi blogger and amazing all round lady has been brutalised for saying a wrong term in a youtube film she made WHEN SHE 18. When it was brought to her attention she issued an apology and explained that she was young, immature and lame for using a derogatory term.

It is totally fucked and I sometimes wonder about humanity.  The internet can be an ugly place folks.

Jezebel have thankfully covered this and called it out for the utter *bullshit* it is.

The article with the ‘offending’ post and the psycho abuse and threats is here:

Laci Green has been totally fucked over by tumblr crazies

I love Laci Green, she openly and honestly demystifies and explains so much about sexuality, putting her face to her name and walking the fucking walk of sex positivity. That is mega ballsy and totally fucking awesome.

She deserves a medal, not to fear her personal safety!

/end rant

Oh joy, let’s add it to the fucking list.

your-vagina-isnt-just-too-big-too-floppy-and-too-hairy-its-also-too-brown

I. Just. Don’t. Even.

*hits eject from society button*

So, last week was a week of chronic anxiety and much xanax. Fucking joy.

What I thought was more goddamned sickness, nuvaring related bleh-ness and stressing about a dental appointment turned into hide-under-my-doona-for-12 hours-full-blown-panic-attacks. Then I didn’t leave my house for 3 days. Literally. Also looking back at the week before last, I was becoming more and more of a space cadet, my short term memory was shot and I was getting so confused over simple things. The Easter break was rad, but as each day passed I made more realisations about myself, my negative head space, the impossible expectations I set of myself, how much pressure I put myself under and just how self destructive I still am, even after working so hard not to be. I spoke to my man on the last day of the holiday about setting aside time really soon to have some big talks, because I had many things I needed to express and I realised I had been bottling everything I had been thinking/feeling/worrying about.

That is the one thing I can always rely on myself to do, internalise and destruct.

Although right now, sitting in front of my pc, in a successfully awesome Sunday achievement bliss, I feel really good. I have nipped this shit in the bud, well actually my partner deliberately worked from home to be there for me, was incredibly sweet and caring (and patient, so farking patient) and took me to my fantastic doctor and I was able to get help then and there, but I did do the rest of the stuff to get here. Like trying to stop being scared of EVERYTHING, all at once. Tonight I wrote my work higher ups and explained myself as plainly and honestly as I could about my experience of the last week. Tomorrow I will go to work and do my job and I will do it great, because I love it so much and care about making sexy-stuff that is important and actually represents people as they are, cos that is what sexiness is, reality.

Fear is such a mother fucker, it’s a bitch that has owned me far too much over the years and I’m done with it’s ugliness, the insecurities it causes and the ability it has to totally cripple me at times. I have been watching lots of films on youtube by Dodson and Ross and in one particular film, Betty Dodson said something that has resonated with me so strongly and has really helped me – ‘you have to make friends with fear, because it’s everywhere’.

I think it’s a more specific direction of my constant mantra at times like these: ‘Surrender’ – because fighting really just prolongs acceptance and you need to accept yourself and your experience in order to heal and grow and learn.

Yesterday and today there have been some epic convos, I am seriously a very, very lucky person to have a person that is so awesome. I can spew out the entire contents of my grey matter and together we talk and talk and talk and actually work out what the fuck is going on and what needs to happen to move forward. We’ve also agreed to a May, whole month, detox – together we are going to focus on making our diet and lifestyle what it needs to be – we also have an awesome friend we’re doing PT with, at our home, weekly now. I feel so grateful to have a relationship with a wonderful person, that I consider my equal, at the best of times, but at times where I am so frightened that I can’t get in the shower or call my work to tell them I can’t come in and he just does what needs to be done, quietly, calmly and with surety and never, ever judges me, it’s a reality check: I am blessed. So very and incredibly and totally blessed.

Without even needing to say a single word, he reminds me how our friendship, over the years has grown into something so beautiful it makes me ache. The love and mutual understanding we share *still* totally blows my mind. He reminds me of how we have our own little house that we have made into a wonderful home, our safe space, our haven away from the world. He reminds me of my darling niece, my family and what family really means to me, to us. He reminds me of all our totally amazeballs friends – so many friendships, spanning so many years, of people that are totally fucking incredible. He reminds me I have a job I love and enriches my life and my human experience and I also work with the ace-est people EVER.

He reminds me of how differently I am seen in his eyes, to how I hurt myself with my own twisted view. He also looks at me, with this look, that’s like I am so desired he may sort of burn up, or combust or something and it fucking rocks.

It’s time to stop be afraid and be awesome.

I ventured out to my very first Pleasure Salon a short while ago and I not only thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was totally blown away!

I have been meaning to get my ass out to these evenings for way too long and it just so happened I knew some really brilliant ladies who were on the panel to speak.

The topic was oh-so close to my heart: ‘February Pleasure Salon Melbourne celebrates sex-positive erotic films, feminism and pornography’

There were short films shared from each of the panelists and wonderful, interesting, insightful and at times contentious words shared. I believe all stimulating conversations have differing points of view and there certainly were unique points of view, at times.

I was so, so thrilled for the women I knew on the panel, they were bloody incredible. So very engaging and articulate about their motivations and experiences surrounding the porn they started off in the industry doing, the porn they now really want to see and in this instance are actually creating themselves.

Make with the linky to go read the words and if you so desire, see the boobies of, the excellent Liandra Dahl

I have walked away from an awesome evening totally fucking inspired. I want to make more porn, I want to be in more porn and I want to create more of my own porn. I definitely want to talk and share and rant about everything sexy and it’s so precious to me, this fire and drive.

Pleasure Salon has definitely helped to reignite my passion for being the change I want to see in pornography and general sexy business.

If you’re in Melbourne, go experience the joy and wonder for yourself! Pleasure Salon Melbourne

I was reading something online (I’ve stupidly forgotten where, what a genius!) and a somewhat off the cuff comment was made that you can’t be a beautiful, feminine Goddess and a filthy, submissive whore. One negates the other.

My immediate reaction was, why not?

I consider myself both and a hell of a lot of other things as well as those. Why does enjoyment of submissive sex exempt you from being able to feel like/be a Goddess? When I think of the characteristics I consider Goddess-like, the ability to trust and to be vulnerable are high on the list. I associate feeling like a Goddess with powerful, feminine energy. Does that mean when I want to be spanked and held down that I instantly become powerless or unfeminine? I find it’s quite the opposite really…

My underlying issue with the entire concept is that it pidgeon holes women based solely on a sex-act. Aside from anything else I significantly doubt anyone has the same kind of sex consistantly and why are we defining anyone by the way they like to fuck?

Why does female sexuality have to be broken down into an easily swallowed, 2 dimensional box? Not to mention once you’re in a certain ‘box’ you had damn well better stay put. There will be NO multifaceted or evolving sexual growth here, make your choices and make them well.

Do these notions exist because it’s easier to understand? Or is it because people are really that ignorant?

I honestly do not know, but it really, really bothers me.

I am currently sitting at my desk, unable to get comfortable.

Why, you ask?

Demented, unabashed, wholehearted and EXTREME horniness. It feels like my snatch is on fucking fire.

Why, you ask?

Nearly bang on 3 weeks ago I stopped taking my high eostrogen dosed contraceptive pill. Immediately after I nearly broke my boyfriends cock I crammed it inside me so frequently. I went through 3 sets of batteries for my vibe.

There has been a minor lull and today my libido is going beserk.

So randy, must get through rest of day. Aaaarrrughghghghghgle.

The way we all freak out so fucking hard about the most normal, banal and goddamn necessary bodily functions.

It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Everyone sits on the toilet to pee and poo.  Like everyone, even the queen has to sit on the throne and crap you know!  Every woman has a menstrual cycle and bleeds (shock horror!).  If you’re not a woman personally, then your mum, sister, girlfriend and female friends bleed monthly.  Yes!  It’s true!

Why are we all so frightened and disgusted by the machinations of our earthly vehicles?  Especially with period stuff!?!

Seriously, that icky, inconvenient and ‘gross’ thing happens every month is the reason you’re physically here to even feel repulsed in the first place.  We’re so busy cramming poisoneous wads of cotton up our snatches to make our uterous shedding it’s lining as inconspicuous as possible that we don’t even stop to think what that blood means anymore.

This is going to make me sound like an epic crystal licking hippy, but that blood is life.

Life, in a literal menstrual stemcells will help scientists grow your legs back kind of way AND also, you know, engender you growing another human being inside you if that’s what you choose.

Or the fact that women contain the means to continue the growth of the human race and some may say menstrual blood is symbolic of life itself.

I guess why I get so jacked off though, is because of my own personal experiences.

I have no issues continuing my conversation with you from the toilet, pissing with the door open so we can still chat.  Or talking on the phone, you may hear the loo flush partway through…  I am hornier than thou when I’m just about to and whilst menstruating, I’m not shy to say so and persue gratification.  I’m also really interested in menstrual art, ritual and more recently becoming aware of the outrage so many direct towards period porn.

The reactions that I have garnered from many in regards to holding such views and practises have ranged from shock to down and out utter revulsion.

I think that’s really fucked up.  It also really makes my blood boil that so many feel absolutely justified to tell me precisely how ashamed I should be of my body and the wonderful things it does and in turn clearly illustrate this attitude is the societal norm.

Balls to that.  I do my best to feel nothing but love for all the sticky, squishy, fragrant, miraculous and bloody incredible things my body does.

You should give it a shot too.


and the skin you inhabit.

Unconditionally, with gusto, passion, reverence – whatever is good and right for you.

Why?

Because your body is the vehicle that gets you out of the bed in the morning, into the sunshine and the wider world you live and partipate in. Your body literally takes you to the places you want to go.

Your physical form is what you use to jump for joy, dance like a mofo, stomp in the dirt at a doof, reach for the lasers, climb trees, hug your friends, loved ones and fuck the one you’re with. It’s the flesh you feel when you’re pressed up against another and in no other place can you experience orgasm, but within your body.

Not only that, but you can MAKE other people if you so choose and it’s a decision you make for yourself. It’s pretty incredible that we have this option, whether we take it up or not.

We are each assigned but one earthly vessel, although I guess this kinda depends on your school of thought… never the less, this life is generally the only one you control and will remember so be grateful, in knowing you’re blessed with the machinery that you use, without thought, every day of your life.

Sometimes our body fails, breaks, doesn’t work like it should, hurts or frustrates the fuck out of us, we don’t like ‘this’ or ‘that’ and I really think that’s what makes us human and is such a massive part of the human experience.

Fat, thin, wobbly, taunt, old, young, damaged, pristine, enhanced, in a natural state or any form and variations you can think of your body works endlessly for you and enables such a large amount of what you experience.

My journey to this point of view has been winding, long and challenging, it is far from over and sometimes I falter, disparage myself from that nasty little place inside my head and destructively criticise myself. I won’t ever give up trying though, I *want* to feel predominantly good about myself, I am working on being healthier and becoming stronger and know that I possess the power to change so much of myself.

I am not just gunning for myself though, I hope I can teach my beautiful neice and some day my own child, by example, a healthy and caring relationship with your body, but be honest and brave enough to show that I do, at times struggle.

*Stop* for just a moment and appreciate all that your body does for you, despite it’s perceived or actual shortcomings and actively send some love to yourself and especially focus that love towards whatever it is you hate.

For me, I am loving my thighs – every fleshy inch, of which there is many 🙂  I accept that I’m actively trying to change the appearance of this particular part of my body, but also acknowledge how hard this integral structural part of myself works for me and is a really important part of a self that brings me so much happiness in so many ways.

This is NOT a sexy post at all.  You have been warned.

So, for the past 3 days I’ve had a chronic and rather painful UTI.  It’s slowly abating today, I started anti-biotics yesterday and things seem to be improving.  I’m currently eating 2 anti biotics a day, a triple dose of pro biotics, cranberry capsules, paracetamol if my abdomen hurts and drinking Ural salts twice daily.

And I’m over it.  I was not needing to pee incessantly after the first day, but have been in pain since and it fucking sucks.   Every time I urinate it’s uncomfortable at best and excruciating at worst.

I think I’ve pinpointed the cause too.  Fricking condoms.  Every-time I’ve had  UTI’s in the past few years it’s been around the time I have used condoms consistently.

I’ve stuffed up my taking my pill once or twice with my man and needed to use condoms for the 7 consecutive days until my pill is effective again.  When I think about when we initially got together we used condoms frequently and I struggled with UTI’s from time to time, but could mostly deal with it with cranberry and loads of water within a few days.

We both were STI tested fairly early in the piece and unless I haven’t taken my pill properly, which is seldom, we don’t really use condoms.  I already have bad reactions to most lubricants, so really this reaction could be caused by the lube that is already on the condom.

I’ve purchased some non-latex condoms to see if this same issue arises in future when we do need to use them…

Went to the doctors again this morning as I was due for a smear test.  Whilst the procedure itself was fine, my doctor informed me I had the beginnings of thrush in the very top of my vagina.  She said I wouldn’t have symptoms yet, but it’s there right up the top.  And I don’t have symptoms yet but I sure as fuck don’t want to have any.  So off to the chemist for $40 worth of treatment.

The money I’ve spent on doctors and medicines this week has been astronomical.  Hmph!

Thankfully she also told me cystitis infections are dealt with within 3 days of taking anti biotics, so I can stop taking them tomorrow.  Hooray!

I’m off to the bush tomorrow, me and my man are going camping with a group of friends.  There is something supremely fun about camping in winter.  We’ll have a generator so we can have lights and music and such, it will hopefully shape up to be an awesome weekend.

My UTI symptoms are thankfully gone and will hopefully stay that way, I have started the thrush medicine so *fingers crossed* the clean air and relaxation (and the shiteload of meds I am consuming) will do what they’re supposed to.

I have faith.

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