Note: These are my very jumbled thoughts and feelings, incomplete and likely inarticulate, and a lot of rhetorical questions. I’m not looking for any advice or an analysis of who I am based on a single 900-word blog post that I happened to write. But if my weirdness helps you feel less alone in your own jumbled thoughts and feelings, then I’ve done something beyond the navel-gazing that follows, and that’s why I don’t just write my thoughts — it’s why I publish them, too.
I think best by writing, letting the words and thoughts flow from my brain through my fingertips. I am the stereotype of the Joan Didion quote:
I don’t know what I think until I write it down.
In my head, my thoughts about my feelings are often jumbled.
And right now, I’m extremely jumbled.
I want to do things that feel right for myself, but I worry about those things mean for everyone around me. I want to go with my gut, but my head continues to scream, “CAUTION! DANGER! BE CAREFUL!” But I can’t think my way through any of it, so I guess that means I need to write it down.
I’m taking a break from Masturbation Monday. It’s not completely disappearing — the site will remain, but no new prompts, no new round-ups, no gathering of new smut in that specific place will occur for…I don’t know how long. The moment I made the decision, I felt a sense of relief. I knew it was the right one. But I’m also filled with sadness. I think I know why.
For many, many months I’ve felt disconnected to the sex blogging side of my world.
Sit down to talk about BDSM and kink? I’m energized. Making plans for a future project or two with John Brownstone? I’m ready to go.
But type out my thoughts on the state of the world, my sex drive, the community, whatever? Write smut — real or imagined? Let my vulnerabilities live on the internet? I…can’t. I don’t want to. Worse, I don’t recognize myself in any of it right now.
I can’t even blame it on *gestures wildly at the world* — this has been brewing for months. And with each day that feeling persists, I feel more and more like a fraud. Being a “sex blogger” has been a part of my online identity for so long, what does it mean if I’m not that anymore? Or don’t want to be?
Do I want to continue creating the content that’s meaningful to me? For the people who follow me? Yes, absolutely. Let’s do the thing.
But do I feel any joy when I imagine doing what I’ve always done in this space? Over at Masturbation Monday? No.
I think the lack of joy (and let’s be real, even the things we love with a passion aren’t always joyful) is part of a wider burn out that I’ve battled for a few years.
And I hate that. Because it means all those times I was “admired” for being able to do it “all” and patted myself on the back for juggling so much were bullshit. Who was I to think I could or even should try to do so much? It means that everyone who ever shook their head at me, warned that it wasn’t sustainable long-term, or doubted my ability to pull off the impossible was right.
I don’t want them to be right.
There is something intoxicating about being thought to do extraordinary things. It fits nicely with my unhealthy need for validation and approval, to be admired and liked. (There’s a lot of childhood trauma and otherl stuff that really needs to be dealt with in that statement, but I’m not unpacking that here.)
But now I want a quieter life. I want to do the things that matter to me, that fill me with passion, and make me excited to face the day and get out of bed in the morning. Doing so feels like leaving a part of myself behind — the part that got me to this point in the first place.
Except I worry that in a few years, I’ll just give up on it, too, and move on. What does that say about me that I can’t stick with something? Can’t be the person I said I wanted to be for more than a few years? Am I changing my focus because that’s where my heart leads me or because I’m a fickle person who is easily bored and never satisfied? (These are rhetorical questions, y’all — please don’t try to analyze me based on a blog post.)
More importantly, how will my inconstancy and fickleness impact my family and the people I love?
And why does all of this seem to matter so damn much when, in no particular order, there’s a pandemic outside, my country is literally and figuratively on fire, oh, and I have two close family members going through serious health issues right now (cancer and kidney disease) — which may require me to become their part-time caregivers? Those are the things that matter most, but this is what I’m focusing on.
What does this painful, soul-sucking focus on myself, my needs, and my unhappiness say about me in a time when there is so much else wrong with the world right now?
For fuck’s sake, I just bought a house with John Brownstone, and I haven’t even really celebrated yet. There’s just too much else going on. And now I’m having some weird fucking identity crisis.
Who the fuck has time for any of it? But I know if I don’t get the jumbled thoughts out of my head and into a space where I can look at them for what they are, I can’t move forward.
So here I am, feeling like I don’t fit anymore, not sure of exactly who I am, definitely not asking for advice, and putting it out onto a screen, because this is how I think and process.