Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Read The Room, Manties

The email just sort of emerged out of the void. 

The last time I saw him was in 2019, a few months before the Rona party. He was my first solo foray into the sub-domme world. 

But there was never sex. Just service. And "making" him strut around for me and my friends in panties. He'd come over and cook for me and always managed to get slapped for choosing the wrong cheese. 

I needed it at the time. The service. The dinners. The free lawn care. 

I kind of liked him too. He wore panties and heels while pouring me wine and asking about my day. He HAD to be evolved. 

But I never broke the game.

So when I saw him at an art market one Saturday and he turned pink as he told me he met someone, I gave him a warm but stern " happy for you," and tried not to think about why that made me feel shitty.

Then a year later, this email. 

Summarized: He's had a really lonely summer. A lot of home projects. He still has a job. He thinks I'm amazing and has never forgotten me. 

My lonely ass couldn't resist that last part. 

I met him a week later at a wine bar courtyard where the tables are an actual 6 feet apart. He showed up with a potted plant. We did the "new-normal" small talk: Everything sucks a lot but we're both pretty lucky and "things will get better." 

I ignored his *tucked in* polo shirt and honed in on the fact that he seemed to give a shit about what was going on in my life. 

Then he told me he was wearing panties. 

Under his pants. 

And that he had a WAD just telling me about it. 

I began to see. 

In the plain of existence that was one year ago, I would have instructed him to go to the bathroom and text me photos. 

But I'm pantied out. I'm everything-ed out. 

I invited him over to my new house because I actually really just wanted him to see my new house. I ignored the fact that this was probably encouraging the manties. 

I made sure his mask stayed on and tried to direct convo back to mortgages. But quickly the crafty nymph swung a sharp U-turn.

Would I like to see them? His panties?

Sometimes when the awkward comes fast and hard, you acquiesce out of sheer adrenaline and confusion.

Then there he stood -- in the unfortunate polo and TJ Max panties -- the kind that were probably chaffing the hell out of his balls from that cheap, stiff lace.

I invented a court appearance I had to get up early for and ushered his lacey bum out the door. 

Later he texted and said he was embarrassed by his behavior. Would I give him another chance? 

I told my intuition to go fuck herself and soon found myself in another courtyard staring down some pleasant charcuterie. He expressed modest interest in a traumatic experience I'd just been through, asked about my week, and then executed a stunning U-turn to:

"Anytime you want to do sex stuff I'm down." 

I was "sex stuff" person to him, and like a rigor mortis-ed corpse, he couldn't let go. 

And as I got home, an aftertaste of nutty cheese and regret in my mouth, I actually asked myself if I might be "TOO MUCH?" Too open with my sexuality? Too many ass pics in Insta?? Too much pegging fake dead bodies while dressed as a praying mantis??!

Is this why I haven't had a meaningful committed relationship in SIX FUCKING YEARS? 

IS IT ME? 

After an hour of self-doubt blackout, I came to, embarrassed at the realization that I was thinking exactly what the lords of the patriarchy want me to believe: 

That freedom of sex and sexuality must be punished. 

You have to choose: Virgin or Whore. 

If you dare to subscribe to neither and still demand respect from cis men, you'll be punished by being deemed  as "too much" and nobody will want you.  

I called my best friend sobbing and she gave me the smelling salts:

 IT'S THEM: The men who see some liberated T and A and can't get past it, no matter how interesting the bearer of the T and A is.

Fuck, you guys. I've devoted a huge portion of my life to unpacking and challenging gender roles and what it means to be a sexual human. It's been painful and lonely and leaves me questioning myself most of the time, but at least I'm giving my spirit a fighting chance. 

A disappointing percentage of you cis men that I've met just keep rolling with the ol' standbyes we've all been fed by this fucked up patriarchal system because you're comfy. And lazy. And scared.

And none of that makes me want to do sex or anything else with you. 

I know there are men out there who choose to do the work, and if you're on of them, keep going, bud. But if your brain still gets stuck in "virgin/whore" and you can't see women as whole humans, 

GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

Because there are amazing, stunning humans out there who can straddle different worlds with ecstasy, who aren't intimidated into vapid roles and expectations, who explode with nuance and mystery because they're not scared of your opinion. 

If you want to get to know one of these people, you'll have to do the work. 

Or you just won't be enough. 












Sunday, July 5, 2020

"Selections From 16" or "How Boys Replaced Jesus"

My mother recently sent me two diaries I kept when I was 16 - 17. (She swears she didn't read them first, which is total bullshit.) 

I spent two rapturous hours reading every word and learned some things like: old thought patterns start young and I chugged way more of that Jesus Kool-aid than my conscious mind allowed me to remember. 

What follows are curated selections from 1999 and 2000 documenting my first date at christian bible camp in Pennsylvania, my subsequent first breakup two weeks later because he had weird thin lips and I was grossed out by the idea of kissing him, my first disappointments in male behavior and then subsequent thirst for said males' approval, my first swearing off dating and love, my agony over being the quiet kid, my first kiss, my first body shaming, mono and my gradual declining interest in God. 


July 13, 1999, 9:43 p.m.

Okay, I hope none ever reads this. Today I found out that Charles likes me and he found out that I like him. I can't believe this is happening because nothing like this ever happened to me before and I am so happy yet very nervous right now. I keep thinking he's not gonna like me. I can't downgrade myself like that though. If he doesn't that's his loss.

Well, tonight he asked me out and we're doing something tomorrow. I am so nervous right now. Cori's upset though because he told her that the only reason he talked to her was so he could talk to me and get closer to me, and that he's kinda shy. That's good! She's also upset about her father and her family and I can't even begin to comprehend how she must feel. She was crying in the kitchen tonight. Well, tomorrow is THE day. Lord help it to go well.

Annika


August 1, 1999, 11:03 p.m.

Right now I'm anxious and excited at the same time, and also a little sad. I have to break up with Charles tomorrow night! I can't put it off anymore! I really don't have the guts to though! Oh help! I want to definitely do it by this weekend. I am glad I talked to Eric + Jen about it today though. Oh man. I'm so nervous. And tonight he bought me a Beenie Baby! I'm gonna cry. Lord help me out with this one! I'm excited about this weekend though.

... I don't know, I think after I break it off w/ Charles I might want to stay single for a while! Wow, that's weird that I just wrote that, but I think it'll help me to focus on God better and other stuff I have to do like prepare for school. Ughhhhh! Anyways, it's getting late and tomorrows another "Big Day."

Annika



Weekend - 2nd to last

Sat. - We woke up early and got ready. Then me, Cori and Jon B got in Charles's car w/ Charles driving and headed off to Dorney. The whole way there I was upset because I wanted to "do it" so bad. ... Then we got lockers at the water park. Then Cori and Brian went off and me and Charles went off (Dread, Dread) We walked kind of in silence and then I just sat down and said I needed to talk to him. I couldn't get it out at first. ... I felt so bad because he told me how much he likes me and da da da ... Well I told him that I didn't want to be in a relationship right now and about the distance thing and he asked me if I wanted to break up and I said yeah. But he said he still didn't quite get why (Duh, Duh) .. he told me how great and beautiful he thought I was and I felt even worse, but I finally told him how I don't think I like him as much as he likes me and that wouldn't be fair to him. I'm so happy I said the truth. God really answered my prayers w/ this one!  ... Later I was walking back to my cabin but not w/ out seeing Mel + Steve kiss :( She isn't even his girlfriend which I think is really wrong.

Annika


Weekend - 2nd to last

This morning me and Cori and Ashley did our last Arctic Blast. 5 minutes! My skin was so cold it turned red! Then Charles said he wanted to talk to me. ... He told me all about how he still likes me he said there must be something he did to make me not like him. He thought it was something he did and I felt so bad. Even when I told him it wasn't he wouldn't believe me and he kept asking me. And at some point he even asked if we could just start over again! I didn't know what to say!

Oh, yeah, and Charles told Josh that I like him and his response was ... I'd never go out with her because she's so quiet and Charles went out with me and he doesn't want to make Charles jealous because he's friends w/him. He also added that the only reason he'd go out with me was for my looks. That was a major blow to my self-esteem.

Well during free time me and Charles talked again. He told me how everyone is saying he's "whipped" ( I HATE that word) and obsessed with me. Well, first of all, I told him that I didn't really like him all that much pretty much the whole time we were going out which is the absolute truth. He didn't take it that badly.

Annika



3-5-00

Today I saw myself in a bathing suit and the sight was not a pretty one, let me just say. My stomach is so disgusting looking. So I feel I have to do something. I know I have been eating way too much and too many sweets. This isn't good for me or pleasing to God. I will now formulate a weight loss plan that I will force myself to stick to. --------->

The Plan

Tae Bo - 2x a week
Situps - 50 each morn. (5 days a week) or (crunch things - 25 each side)

Food

- In school only water
- No Candy in school
- No deserts after meals
- overall, choose healthy stuff over crap

Lord help me to stick with this plan.

Annika



3-14-00

Well, I kinda realized how dumb I've been lately looking to other people for acceptance or approval. I gotta be my own person, not caring what anyone else says or thinks of me. That's freedom I think. You can SAY what you want, DO what you want, BE WHAT YOU WANT. I've also gotta stop being so quite cause I know that's not WHO I AM. I wanna have people SEE ME AS I REALLY AM. I know I'm a GREAT PERSON cause GOD DOESN'T MAKE JUNK. I also have to STOP BEING INFLUENCED by people so much. Well, I'm happy I REALIZED THIS. I think I found true love! Oh wait ... IT'S JUST GAS. I should get back on track W/ GUYS SUCK!

Annika



6-26-00

Wow. I can't believe Wed. I can't believe he kissed me. (even if it was only a quick one) When he put his arms around me I thought I'd pass out. Aye! I'm bein' REAL pathetic. Well, I'm glad he finally wrote me after 3 days. I hope I can hang out w/ him again cause I want him to ask me out and I want another one of those. (I know, corny) I've gotta not base my whole vacation and "hopes" on him. I'm scared of getting hurt I guess. I've had such a great summer so far, but it sucks I might have strep throat! Ahhh I HATE being sick. Other than my throat I feel fine though.

I'm mad I don't really talk to Charles anymore. He never writes me back when I E-mail him either. I really liked him as a friend. ... Man, I don't know what that kiss meant either. This is so stinkin' complicated. But it's kinda fun at the same time. I just don't wanna let this guy change me or influence me. That would be really bad. I've just gotta be careful. He seems like a pretty nice/cool guy though. He has a slight hint of arrogance and ego-ness but I don't know know him well enough to tell. Nee-ways, it's gettin' late and I need some sleep. Nighty-night!

Annika


8/1/00

I ate too many marshmallows I feel sick. The girls from the Mic-Mac cabin are so cute. I kinda actually had fun w/ them. I love the hairdo's they gave me! People are dumb. If they never talk to me, how do they expect me to talk to them. If they just tried to initiate a conversation I'd be more than happy to talk to them. Why is it that usually only guys are stupid like that? When John was saying how I never talk, Joey and Sarah were like - what's he talking about, she talks a lot. I don't know, whatever.

Annika


9-25-00

Well school kinda sucks. Although I am making more friends I guess. I hope Dan doesn't like me. He was SO hinting today! Aye! It's fun to hang out w/ him though. This weekend was fun. I like hangin' out with Eric. .. Mike! Ahhhh! I talked to him this morning. He walked me to Naval Science. Alexis says he went out w/ some girl over the summer. Then Selina + Alexis said that he keeps asking if I still like him.  Ahhh! This is so stupid.

"When people take their freedom for granted, it is most in peril." -Juliana Theory

Annika

Friday, June 5, 2020

On Feeling Normal Again

The first thing I thought when I heard about the countrywide protests was, "This is amazing," followed closely by, "Fuck. Just when things were starting to feel a little more normal."

And with that second sentiment my white privilege sashayed herself out onto the stage in her ugly-ass cork wedges for all to see.

What I meant by wanting "normal" again was to be able to go about my day again without an underlying constant level of anxiety and fear.

And then, like a sledgehammer to the stomach, I realized that walking around with a baseline of a reasonable feeling of safety was my "normal" as a white person, exclusively.

I've come to expect it. If it isn't there, I'm like, WTF. Can someone DO something?

What I pathetically realized when I had my WTF reaction was that black people in this country have a "normal" that involves that constant anxiety I've been feeling for a mere three months. Except they've felt it forever. For hundreds of years.

Suddenly my lament at wanting "normal" felt like Karen e-mailing corporate HQ because Starbucks stopped making her favorite latte.

I've had conversations about white privilege with black and white friends over the years, taken courses on it, read articles, but only now when I had my version of "normal" taken away am I realizing how deep that privilege still runs in my psyche and how much it's blinded me to other people's realities.

This non-normalcy is showing me some very important things: I'm super fucking privileged, I've sat complacent in that privilege and I'm just now scratching the surface.

This month the criminal courts in the parish where I'm a public defender will open back up. Most of my clients are black and poor.

My knee-jerk reaction is to feel embarrassed in front of them and guilty for taking so long to begin to  see some pretty basic shit; for thinking that treating all my clients with equal respect and dignity was enough.

That's the baseline. The bare minimum. The start.

So I could sit around being appalled at my ingrained racism, my use of my privilege, my inability to see. Or I can stare that shit in the face, acknowledge it in all its ugliness and then get to work challenging the fuck out of it ....  for the rest of my life.

Welcome to your new normal, Annika, now roll up your goddamn sleeves.







Monday, April 13, 2020

Shitting Yourself In the Time Of Corona

I was feeling accomplished driving my damn car again -- after about three weeks of debilitating panic and insomnia -- to leave some protein shakes on a friend's doorstep. 

Since we all entered this vortex , I had been using my desperation for control and ever-present fear of death to clench my stomach muscles into a meat loaf of intestines, resulting in strange gurgles and bouts of watery bathroom surprises. 

After a successful socially distanced drop off at my friend's, I got back in the car and let out a relieved fart. It felt a little dense, but I was too elated about my outing to give it much thought. After five minutes, I decided to do a dipstick test just to be sure.

I reached down into the designer workout pants my mother sent me and slopped my index finger down into my own shit. 

I held it there for a minute, mulling over my options at this point while trying to maintain 20 mph on a quiet residential street. Then I did the only possible thing in such a situation: hovered my ass a half-inch above the seat (thank you, planks) and held my shit-covered finger out the window like some sort of fucked-up gesture to the families playing in their driveways, who, I was hoping would think I just got enthusiastic with a Kit Kat.

I should have been mortified, I guess, but I laughed the entire way home, relieved to be thinking about the shit on my finger rather than impending doom. 

Made it home, changed my clothes, went to Harolds to pick up pre-ordered cacti. 

I'm sharing this with you because I hope it makes you laugh ... with me, hell, even at me. But also because I want all you fellow panic-ers and anxiety sufferers to know you're not alone. Mine has been running rampant on me which culminated in me shitting myself. I doubt most of you can top that, but if you can, by all means feel free to share. 

Even better, later that night, because I can't stop health obsessing, I began my nightly practice, of breathing really really heavily and rapidly in and out to "test" whether or not there might be some trace of resistance from deep in my lungs. Around the 6th gale-force exhale, everything went fuzzy and I started getting the Looney Tunes black out thing and all I could think was "Nice job. You shit yourself today and now you're knocking yourself out." 

I managed to remain conscious, much to the relief of my pit bull, who was in my projected crash-zone on the floor. 

I guess the takeaway here is: it's ok to feel like shit. We're all going through a traumatic time right now and don't need to put any more pressure on ourselves by thinking we need to be in any way "productive" or functional anywhere near the level we were before all of this. 

I'll post about the surprisingly enlightening and world-smashing things I'm getting from this time as well, but for now: I'm shitting myself and I'm fine with it. 


Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Whole Damn Enchillada

"Well this is new," I thought to myself as I tried to see the lines on the road through the tear and snot shield that my face was producing.

Not the tears and snot. That's normal.

What produced this misery parade on the Crescent City Connection was that I had decided my commute home on a Friday evening would be a perfect time to rip the Bandaid off and end things with a guy I'd been seeing.

I've done this MANY times.

But this time I didn't just end things. I fulfilled a promise to myself.

A promise I had made about two weeks earlier on my 37th birthday, when I put myself in a mental choke hold and finally forced myself to admit that: 

I WANT A MEANINGFUL AND COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP WITH A HUMAN AND NOTHING ELSE.

Gah.

Not a fuck buddy who has that glazed-over look during sex; not the romance scraps a poly couple feels like throwing me; not emotional unavailability masked by vague promises of love somewhere over the rainbow.

I think I've been afraid, for most of my 30's, to admit what I really want because after being presented with scraps so many times, I wasn't sure anymore that I deserved the whole enchilada. Or that the enchilada really exists. But eating salsa on an empty stomach was giving me the emotional shits and my mental asshole was too raw to keep going.

This guy was a tough one to let go. He point-blank told me, several times, that he's "an emotional mess." Yet even in his mess-ness, he offered a greater quality of affection scraps than most of my past "unavilables." He had emotional intelligence, which made me get all giddy and do silly things like fuck without a condom.

But like a growing tape worm, said unavalaibity secretly started eating at my self-worth and ability to focus on, you know, living my damn life. And before I knew it I was doing stupid shit like taking an hour of my life to spin out in front of my phone when I hadn't heard from him for 24 hrs.

So I cut it off. In as loving a way as possible. With a slight hope that maybe, some magical day, he would re-appear as an enchilada.

I went out that night and chugged Mezcal while wrapped in a friend's fur coat, petrified of going home and feeling that all-to-familiar searing loneliness. 

The next morning I woke up hungover and ready to face the shitstrom of emotions that usually follows such occasions.

But it didn't happen.

Something had snapped.

FINALLY.

I had finally come to the place where the freedom of not settling eclipsed the good-feely snipets I got from putting up with the shit I don't really want. 

And it was LEVITATING. I was so giddy I actually Googled "too giddy/ crazy?" to make sure I wasn't losing my shit.

I went to the goddamn park. By myself. And looked at the trees like a fucking hippie and was actually there for it.

That night I debuted a new act and it got a standing ovation and I felt the exhilaration all the way through to my spinal column.  

Those mental reserves that would normally have been wasted on pondering text messages began to go toward pondering trips to immigrant detention centers on the border and the praying mantis costume I'm debuting at a fetish ball this month. (Dad's Ball 2020. BE THERE) 

I still miss the guy I broke up with. 

I went on a date last night with an attractive  *emotionally available* scientist with halfway decent tattoos. He thinks my performance life is "interesting." 

But all I could think about the whole time was how I would have given my right tit to sit across from someone who would get really excited about a necrophilia act that I'm conjuring and maybe, IDK, even offer suggestions on how to make the anal penetration of a decapitated male manikin more lifelike.

Still, my strength in being able to deal with disappointing dating scenarios, sometimes searing loneliness and daily stress that I wish I had someone to massage out of me at the end of the day multiplied by 10000 when I set that final boundary.

"Personal boundaries" is as annoying a buzz word as "self care," but holy shit can they can set you free when you finally assert them without compromise. Or at least free enough to remember who the fuck you are and what the fuck you can do with your life. 














Saturday, November 23, 2019

Barter and Sub

About a month ago, at a regional Burning Man event my friends had tragically convinced me to go to, I threw my drunk and Molly-addled self into my $25 tent, catching my hair on the zipper and wrestling with the mosquito screen before I began drool-sobbing (you know the kind) into my mildew-ey pillow for the next hour. The couple next to me fucking in their tent probably heard. But it was either this or start randomly punching people in the face.

A series of unfortunate but predictable happenings at said event had made the seething loneliness that I'd been shoving down my heart valves the last few months feel like a stinging loogie in my chest that I needed to hock forth from the depths.

The hocking helped … for maybe 12 hours. Then I emailed my submissive.

Fast-forward a week later: I sat in my kitchen watching a cute boy in panties delicately pour me precisely a quarter glass of Pinot Noir. A little too tannin-y. Not quite what I had asked for, but he'd hit the mark with his choice of heels.

As I ate, he started asking me questions about myself and listened attentively to the answers, his eyelinered eyes staring adoringly (and a touch fearfully) into mine. It was exactly what I needed - but that's because I had commanded it all in my detailed email the week before.

"How long do you want to keep bartering," my BFF asked me after I finished describing this latest session to her the other night.

She's so fucking perceptive it's annoying.

She was referring to this elaborate (*yet highly creative and resourceful) barter system I've come up with. In an attempt to assuage my loneliness, I continuously exchange what I really want for blips of affection, or orgasms, or help with moving, all from different humans who are willing to provide pieces, but never the whole package.

Sample bartering schedule:

Monday: my submissive gives me a massage and hangs my curtains while asking me how my day was.

Tuesday: sex date with fuck buddy who doesn't make out with me during it for fear of emotional attachment.

Wednesday: drunken make-out with rando Bumble date to fill the make-out void. 

Thursday: guy who always makes me feel good but "doesn't know what he wants" takes me to see a band and gives me multiple orgasms after. 

Friday: Netflix and wine and crying with my long-suffering BFF.

Saturday: getting instant validation on Instagram from number of "likes" on a pic of my ass.

Sunday: Ani DiFranco at the Orpheum with lady friends, because fuck men.


The bitch of this barter system is that it can turn on you real quick. Like when you bump into one guy you're sleeping with and he cheerfully introduces you to his hot new fling. Or when you get a flat tire on the bridge just trying to make it home from an exhausting day and you realize you can't call any of them to help you because it's not like that.

But at least it's something?

Most likely it's just a painful reminder that I don't yet have the ovaries to stop peicemealing a lovelife, let myself feel really fucking lonely, keep feeling lonely, and not stop until I GET WHAT I ACTUALLY WANT AND NEED.

There's no solution to loneliness, just a choice of how much you're going to barter your way through it or decide SIT IN IT, like a big girl, by yourself, and not budge until you get only the best. 

I'll likely be sitting somewhere in the middle for a while. And I'm not going to beat myself up for it. Just my heart, occasionally, and maybe a submissive's ample rear.

Any other barterers out there? How do you fill your lonely-hole?







Sunday, August 4, 2019

Who The Fuck Do I Think I Am

I sat in a plastic chair that looked like it came from the set of Stranger Things, trying to keep it together while my male law partner effortlessly told a cramped living room of 50 or so anxious immigrants what their rights are in the face of raids and racism. 

It was my turn next and the inside of my brain was like: "BITCH ARE YOU CRAZY?! YOU CAN'T COMMAND A ROOM LIKE HIM BECUASE YOU'RE A GIRL. AND ALSO YOU CAN'T DO THE PUBLIC SPEAKING THING. LOOK AT YOU, YOU'RE FUCKING SHAKING!"

I had arranged this Know Your Rights presentation with the help of some community activists in New Orleans East. And now here I was, fully anticipating a loss of consciousness once I stood up to speak.

But the Universe must have decided that I needed to do this because by some work of magic, I got up there and made words, even answered questions. And people paid attention.

The biggest surprise of the first month of being my own boss has been how loud and obnoxious the "Who do you think you are?" 's have been.

The even bigger surprise is that the only one asking that question has been me.

All my life, I've loved nothing more than someone, especially an ambassador of the patriarchy, telling me that I can't, that I shouldn't, that I need a dick to be able to do that. Because that means I just tell them to fuck off and do exactly the thing they didn't want me to do.

But now that I'm finally standing on the edge of actually doing EVERYTHING in my life my way, all of those past "Shouldn't"'s and "Can't" s are coming out to party.

They're coming from a lifetime of the Distrcit Attorneys who repeatedly addressed me as "sweetheart" in the courtroom, the ex who told me I wouldn't be taken seriously as an attorney if I take my clothes off on stage, the grade-school teachers who said my Swiss accent was problematic, the hundreds of times I've been treated as a set of tits and an ass without a brain.

And the bitch of it is, I can't directly tell these echoes to shut the fuck up, because the people who created them are not in front of my face anymore.

It's just me now, asking myself who the fuck do I think I am expecting to be respected as equally in court at 8 a.m. as on stage wearing a strap-on at 9 p.m.?

Who do I think I am thinking I'll make enough money to consistently support myself without having to kiss the ass of a shitty but rich boss?

Who do I think I am believing that actually giving a shit about my clients and treating them like equals will speak louder than being old, white, rich and having a dick?

On the upside, I wouldn't be asking myself these questions if I hadn't made the decision to finally break free.

What most of us learned in Kindergarten is true: you can really be whoever you want to. What they don't teach you is that you're going to be inundated with so much shit as you grow up that when you decide to take the reigns of your goddman life once and for all, you're going to have to put up one hell of a fight against yourself first.

It sucks, it's tough, it's giving me debilitating panic attacks. But I'd rather the freedom of this crazy slog-fest than never feeling what it's like to do it my way.

Who am I? A woman who is creating her own world despite society telling her she can't.

That's who the fuck I am.