My life is a contradiction sometimes.

(I want to preface this by telling you all this is not a complaint, that I am fully aware that the things I am talking about are the inevitable side effect of the career path I choose to follow, and that this merely an observation.)

Every day of my life I am swamped with unwanted and unreciprocated sexual energy. I am exposed to a near constant flow of the absolute worst of male sexual aggression, I am sent unsolicited dick pics and jerk off videos from men I didn’t know existed a minute prior, I receive explicit messages and comments from men graphically detailing the things they would like to do to me, I am called a slut and a whore and told over and over again that I have no value in the world beyond my body and the sexual gratification it can provide.

It’s always been interesting to me that my ability to handle all of this seems to depend almost entirely on the state of my actual real life sex life. It’s a pattern I’ve noticed over the years and it consistently holds true – when I am happily sexually active in my personal life, I am a lot more likely to laugh this shit off. Roll my eyes, send a screenshot to my friends to laugh at together, go on with my day. When I approach the “3-4 months since I last had sex” mark (a fairly common occurrence in my life, despite what people who follow me online assume) I can feel my mental health slipping. The bullshit starts taking a serious toll and the things people say to me make me feel distressed and violated.

I think it all comes down to balance. There is so much negative sexual energy in my life, that without positive sexual energy to balance it out, it becomes overwhelming. I need someone around to remind me that sex can actually be a fun, mutual, positive experience, rather than just feeling like I’m drowning in a whirlpool of random men making the entire concept of sex seem utterly repulsive.

As for sex itself? Well, believe me when I say I wish I didn’t regularly go months at a time without it. Hypothetically speaking, if all I wanted was simply for some dude to stick his dick in me I’m sure I could walk to the bar down the street right now and find that within 30 minutes but sex as a physical act without companionship is of no real interest to me these days. I’m someone who only likes to have one guy in the picture at a time… even if it’s completely no-strings-attached casual, there will only ever be one guy that I’m talking to, fucking, whatever, that’s just how I’m wired. And I need that guy to be a companion, someone I can text about my day and do fun non-sexual things with even if it’s just going out to a bar, someone whose company I enjoy and who makes me laugh and who I know likes me as an entire person and not just a sexual object. Sex without companionship is entirely unfulfilling to me and rarely worth the effort, yet finding someone who fits into the role I’m looking for has always been difficult for me, and keeping them around longer than a few weeks without them freaking out that I’m trying to trap them in a relationship and running away has proven to be near impossible.

Existing in this juxtaposition between being so aggressively sexualised online while simultaneously feeling about as sexual as a lump of coal most of the time in real life is a fucking bizarre way to live, but at the end of the day, it’s just the price I pay in exchange for earning a high income on my own flexible schedule.

What Really Matters

When you do the job that I do, you are endlessly inundated with people telling you that you do nothing, that you contribute nothing, that you ARE nothing (beyond a set of tits to look at), that you should be ashamed of yourself for using your body to make money to improve your own life instead of spending every cent you earn to help the less fortunate, as if the person shrieking at you about your assumed contributions has devoted their own life and income to a charitable cause (plot twist: they never have).

I was supposed to be in Nashville right now. One of my favourite country artists who I happened to befriend over Instagram played a show tonight to open CMA fest, and other friends I know through my travels were posting stories from the crowd, and I was supposed to be there, in my favourite city, with VIP passes to my favourite music festival, and I’m not, because two weeks ago I took four tiny, sick kittens into my care and they still need me so on Tuesday I canceled my trip. Between them they had severe eye infections, upper respiratory infections and an urgent legally enforced quarantine that basically meant me taking them in was a matter of life or death. One was worse than the others – when I would try to clean her bad eye she would fight and bite and scream the most pained blood curdling sound, so loud I would worry the people five apartments down might think I was engaging in animal torture.

It’s a weird thing, to find out what you truly prioritize. To know that no matter how much awful shit anyone online says about you, you gave up the weekend you’d been most looking forward to all year to sit at home and microwave water to the exact right temperature to compress and clean a kitten’s eye before applying two different medications three times every day in a last ditch effort to try to save what might already be lost.

Despite what all of the angry people who follow me on Instagram think, I’m not writing this because I want praise, I don’t give a fuck about “attention” (btw I have been brainstorming a blog on the concept most men have of ‘attention’, I have not quite articulated my thoughts enough to write it just yet but stay tuned). I don’t want people to respond to this to tell me I’m a good person, I’m not “fishing for compliments”, god, I fucking HATE that it’s almost impossible to reflect on your personal growth and changing priorities without being accused of this bullshit but that’s a rant for another day.

I guess it’s just about realising what really matters, not in the fucking ~grand scheme of things~ or even to anyone else, but to YOU. I love country music, I love Nashville, I love day drinking, I love CMA fest weekend but I love this kitten enough to sacrifice all of that for her wellbeing. Caring for these tiny little lives feels like my PURPOSE, and knowing I’m doing something good is so powerful against the avalanche of negative voices telling me how worthless I am or whatever the fuck else they try to say.

I don’t really know what the point of this is but FUCK my heart is so full.

A Week in Canada

Traveling alone is an activity I’ve always found very peaceful for some reason; there’s something about walking around a new city on my own that makes me feel strong and independent and grounded. I’m currently sitting in a hotel room overlooking the Vancouver harbour after spending my afternoon wandering around a beautiful park and drinking a little too much pinot grigio while reading a book at a cafe surrounded by trees and flowers in every colour.

My trip to Canada started out a little less peaceful. It’s far too complicated to explain in great detail, but when you immigrate to the USA there’s part of the process that requires you to leave the country to sit an interview at a US Consulate General’s office somewhere else. My attorney advised me to go to an office in Canada for my interview, I chose Vancouver as it was a place I’d always wanted to visit, and so I’ve been waiting almost six months for my appointment. Although my new working visa was approved last year, it’s technically still possible to be denied at the interview (the final step in the process), which ultimately means I flew out of Austin early Wednesday morning not knowing 100% if I was able to go back. There’s something really fucking surreal about packing a suitcase while thinking “What if I can’t come back to all this stuff, what am I supposed to take?”

Rationally I kept telling myself it was going to be fine, that there was no reason it wouldn’t be fine because the interview is just a formality to make sure my visa application isn’t fraudulent and that I’m not a felon which it isn’t and I’m not, but even knowing that there was a chance, no matter how unlikely, that it wouldn’t be fine had me in such a high state of anxiety that I think I actually went beyond the threshold of stress that my brain was even able to process and I kind of just shut down and went into autopilot for the last couple of weeks. It’s extremely hard not to focus on the negative “what if” when the “what if” is that fucking bad. Immigration is, without question, the most stressful thing I have EVER voluntarily put myself through. You think dating is bad? Try immigrating to another country.

My appointment was early yesterday morning, and thankfully, I was approved. The interview itself took less than five minutes and consisted of a few basic questions to make sure I am who I claimed to be in my application, but it was about two hours of standing around in various lines at the embassy feeling so nervous that my stomach was cramping before I got to that point. Upon approval they take your passport and send it away to have the actual visa stamp thing put in it, so here I am, stuck in Vancouver for an estimated 3-5 business days waiting for an email telling me I’m able to pick up my passport from the collection center.

There’s definitely worse places to be stuck, and now that the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe again I can make the most of being in a cool new city and treat it as a vacation. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that my passport will arrive Monday or Tuesday so I can keep my original flight home to Austin on Wednesday and not get hit with fucking awful last minute flight change fees, but even if I have to cop that extra cost, at least I CAN go home. That’s really all that matters!

Red Dead Redemption II

*** WARNING – Major storyline spoilers for RDR & RDR2 below, don’t read this if you haven’t finished the game/don’t already know what happens

This blog is coming much later than I would have originally expected to be writing it, for a few reasons. When RDR2 was released, I was recovering from surgery and was unable to sit in my gaming chair which meant I didn’t get to lock myself in my apartment for a week on release day with no contact to the outside world, sustaining myself entirely on Doritos and coffee until I finished the story without encountering any spoilers as I would have liked to do. Unfortunately this also gave some fucking dipshits time to go out of their way to deliberately spoil it for me, and a few “Arthur gets TB and dies and Micah was the rat” Twitter mentions and Instagram comments later I’d lost a bit of enthusiasm for the game.

A few weeks ago I decided to finally sit down and finish it despite knowing what happens, and was pleasantly surprised to find that even though the main thing had been spoiled there was still SO MUCH story I didn’t see coming (Like the whole fucking Guarma thing, what the hell). This blog is probably going to be a bit jumbled because I’m not trying to write an IGN article or anything lol I just wanna get my thoughts out somewhere and don’t wanna Tweet and risk spoiling things for someone else who hasn’t finished it.

First of all, man, what a fucking emotional rollercoaster. I REALLY struggled once Arthur got sick, and playing through it honorably and trying so hard to do good knowing he was gonna die felt like a form of masochism, like it was actually almost making me miserable. Watching him suffer while he tried to come to terms with the path he chose in life was torture, I just felt so sad throughout chapters 5 & 6. The scene after a chapter 6 mission where Arthur encounters Sister Calderon at the train station fucking BROKE ME (I believe if you’re playing dishonorably and didn’t do her stranger missions in Saint Denis you get this scene with Rev Swanson instead), the amount of raw emotion Rockstar managed to capture in Arthur’s face when he admits he’s afraid literally had me ugly crying (and actually, speaking of capturing emotion I also wanna mention another scene that stuck with me – when Colm O’Driscoll is standing on the gallows, the moment he looks up and sees Arthur on the roof instead of one of his boys and realises he’s not going to be saved from hanging, that look of fear and panic in his eyes was incredible).

Much like the ending of RDR, I spent a lot of time grappling with feelings of “It’s not fair.” It’s like yeah you know Arthur and John both did a lot of bad things but ultimately they tried to be good men in the end and neither deserved to die the way they did. Before I went into the final chapter 6 mission I spent two hours riding around eating nice food in saloons and buying Arthur nice clothes and taking photos in nice locations and bursting into tears every time I thought “this is going to be his last ever bath/meal/etc”. I got the “good” ending for Arthur, which just meant I cried myself to the point of dehydration while he succumbs to his tuberculosis peacefully on a mountain as the sun rises. The first thing I did in when I was able to free roam in the epilogue was go straight to Arthur’s grave (before I even got a gun) which made me cry again… In fact I started crying pretty much every time Arthur’s name was mentioned in the epilogue. Definitely shed a few tears as John was building the barn because if you’ve played the first game you know what happens in that barn. Cried again when John pulled out the photo of Arthur & Mary with the ring before he proposes to Abigail. I fucking lost it during the credits when we see Mary standing at Arthur’s grave. I watched the 100% completion cut scene on YouTube since I know I’ll never put those hours in and, you guessed it, I cried like a lil bitch. It’s truly insane that a video game can evoke this much emotion and make you care so deeply about fictional characters.

I loved the journal, I thought that was such a great addition into the game and it made you feel ‘closer’ to Arthur. I found John’s little drawings in the journal during the epilogue so endearing. I loved having so much ability to customise your appearance and horse. I loved a lot of the little easter eggs, like the cabin with the paintings of The Strange Man (my favourite stranger mission from RDR) and his creepy reflection, the time traveler and “Gavin’s friend” on his 7 year search for whoever Gavin is. I loved how it set the stage for RDR perfectly, other than the fact that it breaks my heart that Arthur was never mentioned at all in the original. I thought the music throughout the game was incredible. I found some of the gameplay a little slow and dreary at times but the story was so beautiful and tragic and brilliant that it more than made up for it.

The game put me through the emotional ringer but I’m so sad that it’s over, and all that’s left to do is desperately hope we get a story based DLC. Undead Nightmare from RDR is, in my opinion, one of the best DLCs ever released for any game ever and I’d love to be able to play something like that as Arthur. I wondered if the UFOs you can find around the map might hint at an alien themed DLC but who knows. I’m unsure if I’ll do a second playthrough on the main game as I already got the good ending and I don’t know if I can put myself through the sadness I felt watching Arthur suffer all over again, but I’ll be crossing my fingers for a DLC.

Fuck Dating… For Now

I decided about a week ago to take a complete break from men for a while. No dates, no Bumble swiping, no sex, no flirting, no texting, no mental energy invested into any of that in any way for at least a month. I think when you get caught up in actively trying to date, you don’t realise how much of a fucking drain it is on you and the only way to describe how I feel about it all right now is burned out.

I moved to Austin with naive hope that getting out of LA was going to be the answer and that I’d find it so easy to meet someone here, but I was wrong and I’ve definitely tried too hard to make it work. The past few months have honestly been exhausting. I met someone who I really liked a lot but it went down in flames because we were just not in the same place in life and that made me fucking sad, and then I bounced immediately to someone who seemed cool but turned out to be not so cool and who then made trying to end things with him so unreasonably stupid and stressful and dragged it out for longer than we even knew each other for. It took going on a Bumble date last week with a guy who seemed genuinely great for me to realise “Holy fuck I actually just can’t do this right now with anyone, my brain is fried and I need a goddamn break.”

We spend so much of our lives feeling like we’re supposed to find “the one”, that being in a relationship is the happy thing and being single is the sad thing and, even worse, that if we don’t have a partner there’s something wrong with us, that we’re flawed, not good enough or unworthy. When you’re single and alone and wishing you had someone it’s easy to forget that so many people who are in relationships are miserable, they’re fighting, they’re getting cheated on, they’re having a whole world of drama that us single people don’t have to worry about and having the title “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” in your life doesn’t suddenly mean everything is nice and good and you live happily ever after.

Dating has gotta be the biggest drain on me emotionally, when I like someone it CONSUMES me and I spend so much time obsessing over whether they like me too and overanalysing texts and checking to see if they’re watching my IG stories and it just drives me down into this pit of anxiety and uncertainty and self-doubt, and for what?! It ends up not even being fun. I think about all the workouts I’ve skipped, all the days I’ve slacked off on work because I was too busy being anxious on the couch about some guy who hadn’t texted me back yet and god it’s so frustrating! It takes such a toll on your mental health and I’m TIRED of it!

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I’m just like, man, my life is fucking cool, I have a lot of friends who love me, many who are also single, I love where I live and I’m financially secure and I get to do fun shit all the time. I’m really actively working on reframing my thoughts from the negative, “Waaah I’m so sad that I don’t have a boyfriend to share this with, woe is me” to a more optimistic, “My life rocks and I’m excited to one day meet the right person to share it with but for now I’m actually fine.” I had a great Super Bowl weekend out on my friend’s family ranch and kept thinking to myself, “It’s going to have to be someone really great for me to welcome them into all the things I do” because right now I’m genuinely cool with being single.

I feel so calm and peaceful since I made this decision last week, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m excited to spend this month focusing on fitness and friends and foster kittens and Patreon and ME.

Foster Kittens

I legitimately think I’ve cried more tears in the last few days than I have in the past six months combined. Nothing is wrong, I just had to say goodbye to my first litter of foster kittens.

I made the decision to foster knowing that saying goodbye is the end goal and with an awareness that it would be hard, but the whole experience has been so much more intense than I was prepared for. This morning I feel hungover despite not drinking last night, and I think it’s just extreme dehydration from sobbing when it was time to send one of the kittens I’d developed a bit of a favoritism for away to his new home yesterday evening. I was a fucking MESS.

Even though they were only with me for three weeks, I got so attached to them. I think when you spend time syringe feeding these tiny little babies and have alarms set every three hours in the night to check on them when they got violently ill with a stomach parasite and you barely sleep anyway because you’re so worried about them, you really develop some kind of deep emotional bond. Having them all get so sick was fucking awful, on my third vet visit with them I broke down in tears at the clinic out of sheer exhaustion and stress and feeling like I was doing everything I could and still failing them.

But ultimately, what I am constantly reminding myself, is that even though it’s so hard for me to say goodbye knowing I’m not going to see them again, they’re going off to an excited new family who are going to love them and give them good lives. All the people who have taken my boys have been so nice and I am confident they’re going to be very well taken care of. The goal is getting them strong and healthy and adopted into good homes and I have achieved that, and despite the emotional rollercoaster leading up to this point I feel happy and proud. It really is one of the most bittersweet things I have ever experienced.

A lot of people have been asking if I’ll do it again. I definitely will. I’ve even put my name down for the emergency foster list, meaning if a litter comes in that immediately needs a home for a few days to save them from euthanasia while looking for a full time foster, I’ve said I will possibly be available to come pick them up at short notice. In hindsight I think perhaps taking on four at once for my first time was a little ambitious and having six cats in my apartment was chaotic, so next time I may just take in two.

I’ve still got one of the kittens with me, he’s found his new home but his adopter is out of town for Christmas so he’ll be staying with me a little longer. Once he’s gone I’ll be getting the maids in to deep clean the living fuck out of my apartment, taking a break for a week, and then I’ll be ready to start chapter two.

The One That Got Away

While scrolling through my Instagram DMs today I saw a message from a guy that simply said, “Remember me?” And yeah, I did remember him. I remembered in late 2013 when we were hooking up for a while and I really liked him and when I told him that he said “I’m sorry but I’m just not into you like that” and he started dating someone else maybe a week later. I was pretty devastated but I accepted it and moved on. I also remembered when I ran into him at an event I was hosting in early 2015. We were both drunk as hell, he told me he was single again and we wound up back at my apartment. I remember him suddenly bursting into tears while I was in the middle of giving him a blowjob then sobbing on my couch for a minute about how his ex was a controlling bitch and he made a mistake and should’ve picked me, and then I remember him getting up and running out the door while I sat there naked and wondering what the fuck just happened. Today, more than three years later, is the first time I’ve heard a word from him since.

Flashback to late 2011. I’d seeing a guy for three or four months, it wasn’t official but we were spending at least a few nights a week together and I had developed very deep feelings for him. One night while out drinking together, he told me several times that he was in love with me, a sentiment he repeated the next morning. Maybe a day later I finally worked up the courage to ask him if we were actually a couple and he told me, “I’m still waiting to find out if my ex wants to get back together, but if she says no then we can give it a shot.” That one GUTTED me, but I refused to be someone’s backup plan so I cut ties with him and he wound up back with the ex anyway. About a year later on a rare Saturday night that I wasn’t working at the strip club for a reason I don’t remember, a work friend text me around 11pm and said, “Guess who’s here.” This guy had shown up alone and asking for me, saying he needed to talk to me. My friend went over to tell him he should leave, and he immediately burst into tears and told her that he fucked up, he made a mistake, he should’ve picked me, and even went as far to ask her if I had left a sweater or something in my locker because “he missed the way I smell”. Despite being repeatedly told I was taking the night off, he apparently sat in the corner of the Crazy Horse alone and miserable until the 5am closing time “just in case Laura comes in late.”

I could keep going with these stories, in my past nine years spent navigating the dating scene as a single woman there’s been so many of them. Today’s message had me wondering, what is it about me that makes so many men incapable of seeing my value until it’s far too late? Why do I feel destined to always be the one that got away but never the one that just got chosen from the start? I’m trapped in a cycle of rejection followed by emotional displays of regret, swimming my way through a seemingly endless stream of men who can’t appreciate me until they’ve lost me.

But then I realised I’m not alone in this and it’s something so many of my girlfriends have experienced, so much so that “They ALWAYS come back” is a common saying among women. I wonder if it stems from the fact that a lot of men never learn to process emotions properly, yet another harmful byproduct of a society that regularly tells men it’s shameful or unmanly to talk about their feelings, or if it’s something else. I truly don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m not someone you get a second chance with once I’ve closed the door and moved on, and most of these guys ended up being something I look at as a bullet dodged anyway. I want to be with someone who wants me from the beginning, someone who looks at me and sees my worth and says “Yes, you’re awesome and I pick you” without having to hurt me first. I think I deserve that. We all do.

Nice Guys Finish Last?

Before this comment section has a chance to turn into angry dudes accusing me of being an angry man-hating feminazi bitch, I want to preface this by saying I do not hate men. In fact, I love men. I genuinely want to help you be better and feel happier and have healthier relationships. With that said…

Yesterday during an Instagram story Q&A I offered to give girl/dating advice to my male followers from my not technically qualified but very experienced view point (I am by no means claiming to be an expert so you can take my advice with a grain of salt, but I am someone who has had more than their fair share of life experience, has dated across multiple countries and has an extensive network of female friends with whom I’ve discussed this kind of thing at length). It’s become one of my highest viewed IG stories in months and generally the feedback I’ve received has been pretty good, but one particular response I gave has left quite a few butthurt guys angrily ranting in my DMs. One person asked me “Why do nice guys finish last?” and I told him that they don’t, and if you think that, chances are you’re not actually as nice as you think you are.

“Nice”. It’s a simple word that has become a complicated figure in modern dating. We are constantly exposed to this tired old narrative, “Nice guys finish last! Girls don’t want to date me because I’m TOO NICE! Why do girls only date assholes? I did EVERYTHING for her and that dumb fucking BITCH dated some good looking asshole instead!” If you’re a guy who subscribes to that school of thought you’re not going to like what I have to say, but let me break it down for you – it’s very, very unlikely that being nice, being actually, genuinely NICE, to a woman, has ever been the reason you got rejected.

Women LOVE men who are nice to them but human emotion and attachment is so deeply complex and varied from person to person that unfortunately “being nice” (which is really just a basic fucking level of respect that you should be giving to everyone) isn’t the only qualifier in sexual and/or romantic attraction. There is no amount of “being nice” that you can do to someone to make them fall in love with you if the feeling simply isn’t there. Are you interesting or funny? Do you have common interests? Are you passionate about the same things? Do you have similar long term goals? And sometimes, even if all that stuff is there, the thing that sparks romantic interest (whatever the hell it is) simply isn’t. I have so many wonderful, nice men in my life whose platonic friendships I cherish but who I have no interest in dating or fucking. That’s just how attraction works.

The thing is, being “nice” to someone does not entitle you to anything. If your only motivation for being nice to a woman is because you expect to be rewarded for it with sex or love, you’re actually not nice at all, you’re selfish and manipulative. If you call a woman a bitch or a slut for not giving you sex after you were “so nice” to her, you’re REALLY not nice, in fact you’re pretty awful. “She told me she wasn’t interested so I drove her to the airport through rush hour traffic like four times and picked up her dog from the vet and delivered her grocery shopping but that bitch still won’t date me!” Ok well stop fucking doing shit for people under false pretenses if you’re expecting to be given a cookie and a blow job in return. Will some women take advantage of “niceness” (aka you being a doormat in the hopes it’ll make them love you) and walk all over you? Sure, some women are shitty people. If that’s the case, don’t fucking let them. Niceness is not transactional – be nice to someone because you want to, not because you want to feel owed something.

In the past, many years ago, I’ll admit I’ve mistakenly applied the term “too nice” to a guy I wasn’t into because “too nice” has become an unfortunate and misleading blanket term used to sugarcoat a number of deeper problems. It’s a term I have made sure to never use again, because being nice is a good thing and this guy being nice wasn’t really what was turning me away; it was him being a total fucking doormat. He agreed with EVERYTHING I said, rarely stated any opinions on anything other than to tell me I was right all the time, never stood up for himself and constantly apologized despite having done nothing wrong, I felt like he had placed me up on some pedestal where I never asked or wanted to be. So sure, this guy was very “nice” to me, but nobody wants to date a weak, boring yes-man with no discernible personality of his own. It’s very likely the only women you will attract acting like that are the ones who will willingly take advantage of it.

When I say I want to date someone who is “nice”, that really just means being kind and respectful and treating me like an EQUAL. It does not mean being a doormat. It does not mean groveling at my feet and agreeing with everything I say and telling me I’m right when I’m wrong. It does not mean being meek or timid or boring or submissive. Conversely, being confident and outgoing doesn’t make someone an asshole. You can be nice AND confident. You can be nice AND strong. You can be nice AND stand up for yourself. You can be nice AND interesting, cool and fun. You can be nice AND good looking (can we please, for the love of god, quit perpetuating the stereotype that average looking people are inherently good and kind, while conventionally attractive people are inherently mean and shitty).

As for the “Girls only like assholes” trope, one of the biggest issues here is that it implies that “assholes” act like assholes from the very beginning which just isn’t the case. Nobody WANTS to be treated badly. The last asshole I dated seemed like a fucking fairytale dream come true in the beginning and it wasn’t until I was already deeply emotional invested that he dropped the “nice” act and started treating me like the asshole he really was. Against the advice of my very frustrated friends I stuck around months longer than I should have, partly because I was desperately clinging on to hope that the bad stuff was just a phase and he’d go back to being the nice, sweet, fun guy he presented himself as at the start (he never did), and partly because he was very good at convincing me that any time he said or did something hurtful it was actually my fault for being too ‘sensitive’ or ‘insecure’.

One of the most interesting things to come out of my Instagram Q&A yesterday was that I was fucking inundated with messages from men who felt stuck in situations with women who treat them like shit – My fiancé is jealous and controlling, my girlfriend won’t let me see my friends, I keep going back to my ex even though she constantly criticizes me, I’m seeing a girl who is cheating on her boyfriend with me but I love her, etc, and yet… we NEVER hear the narrative “Guys only like bitches! Nice girls finish last!!” Getting manipulated by someone you care about who doesn’t treat you well is by no means exclusive to women but for some reason we are the only ones getting routinely guilt-tripped and demonized for it.

If you truly believe “the asshole always gets the girl” then it’s likely a case of you seeing yourself as the hero of your own story; you did everything right, you were nice and polite and maybe picked her up from the club one night when she was drunk so of course it’s only fair that you get the girl, right? But suddenly, in sweeps some other guy and takes what you wanted, what you worked for and thought you deserved, so naturally you’re going to see him as the villain even if he’s just a nice normal dude who hasn’t really done anything wrong other than take something that was never actually yours to begin with. And if they end up fighting and breaking up because he turns out to be an asshole it doesn’t mean she prefers assholes to nice guys, it just means he probably seemed like a nice guy when they met!!!

Believe me when I say that I understand how much it fucking sucks when you really, really like someone, and you feel a connection and you think you two would be so perfect together… and they just don’t feel the same. In my eight years of being single I’ve experienced more romantic rejection than I care to recall, I’ve heard, “You’re so cool and fun but I just don’t like you like that” so many times it could be the title of my autobiography. I get it. It SUCKS. But that’s life, and it’s something you have to learn to handle like an adult. Throwing a pity party about how nice you are is not the move.

Moral of the story, you didn’t get rejected for being nice. Maybe you were boring, maybe you were a doormat, maybe she loves you as a friend but doesn’t feel a romantic connection, or maybe you’re just not her physical type. There are hundreds of possible reasons why someone you liked and were nice to didn’t want to date you but it all boils down to “She just wasn’t into you”. Keep being nice because it’s the right thing to do, but do it authentically and not because you want something in return. The sooner you drop the victim complex and can understand and accept that nobody owes you their emotions or body and you cannot “nice” someone into loving you, the sooner you can start having a better shot at forming genuine connections with women and hopefully find someone who likes you too.

Good luck out there.

Perception VS Reality

I had my first (inevitable) body dysmorphia episode since my surgery the other day. Mentally navigating your way through drastically altering your body as a self-aware BDD sufferer is complex because you really need to reinforce realistic expectations in your mind, while also knowing that nothing about your self perception will ever truly be based in rationality.

My body is weird at the moment, partly because my brain sucks and partly because of the foam pads I have to wear under my compression suit that can temporarily leave lopsided indentations in my sides if I don’t quite put them in the right spot, and I flip flop back and forth between “fuck yes” and “what the hell” like a perpetual game of ping pong. The other day while getting ready to shower, I looked in the mirror and that mean old voice in my head started shrieking, “You look exactly the same as before. Nothing has changed, you’re still huge,” and naturally, I started panicking. Of course, rationally, I KNOW that’s not possible, I KNOW my body looks different now, but in the dark depths of dysmorphic thoughts nothing you know really matters. That voice takes control and all you can do is step away from the mirror and try to distract yourself with something else until it passes. It comes on at will with no distinguishable trigger, hitting you suddenly like a car crash and consuming every part of your being, then as fast as it comes it can vanish just as quickly.

The thing you have to be really fucking conscious of when choosing to undergo a procedure like this is that no amount of cosmetic alteration on the outside is going to kill the demon on the inside. You have to know where the limit is. For me, boob jobs and butt lifts made sense despite the dysmorphia for a multitude of reasons (primarily because my naked body is my livelihood), but there’s been other, more unstable times when I’ve felt an urge to consult to have my jaw shaved down or my nose reconstructed and so far, I do genuinely believe I’ve been able to be in control enough to differentiate between “a thing that will make me feel good and benefit me from a work perspective” and “a thing that is a completely unnecessary modification that would just be bowing down to my mental illness.”

Sometimes I think about writing about my history with this shit, but it started when I was 12 or 13 and there’s just so much. Today, I am fine, so I’m able to write about it objectively and with a clear awareness that unless someone invents a surgery to literally transfer my consciousness into a body that is 5’3 and 105lbs I’m never going to achieve the “small enough” that my brain tells me I need to be. As a rational, intelligent, perceptive person I fucking KNOW damn well my “goal” is unattainable and unrealistic and that any cosmetic surgery I choose to do is a thing to make me feel better, but it will never be a permanent resolution to my lifelong battle against the mirror and my mind. No amount of nipping and tucking is going to free me from the nights where I make up an excuse to bail on a night out with friends because I just felt too fucking fat to wear any of my clothes. The best plastic surgeon on this planet can’t sculpt my body to a place where I won’t get rejected by a boy I like and immediately think, “This wouldn’t have happened if I was skinnier.”

I’m happy with my decision and I’m happy with my results thus far, I don’t want anyone reading this to think otherwise. Above all else, I’m happy that I possess enough self-awareness and clarity to be honest and open about it. I’m excited for my body to heal and feel better and to maybe, hopefully, feel good wearing a pair of jeans for the first time in my life.

Surgery Struggles

I’m starting to realise how much the last month or so has taken a toll on me, both physically and mentally. Early September had me feeling not quite right for a reason I couldn’t put my finger on but had mistakenly attributed to a possible combination of a sinus infection and a depressive episode. Then the extreme tooth pain hit me and I ran to the dentist to find out that my bottom right wisdom tooth was so fucking infected and impacted that it was almost certainly the reason I’d been feeling so shitty, which began a week of pain pills and antibiotics while I waited to get them extracted. Then it was a diet of pudding cups and protein shakes during that recovery period, and almost as soon as I was feeling back to normal it was time to get half my body chopped up and be stuck at home laying on my stomach for what feels like an eternity. All in all it’s been a lot of time spent cooped up in my apartment feeling bored and alone and frustrated and helpless, with the added punch of my income suffering while I’ve not really been in a place to feel sexy enough to shoot photos for weeks.

Last night a friend and I were discussing how surgery really makes it hit home just how fucking single you are. I had a boyfriend who I lived with when I went through my first boob job back in 2010 and god it was so much easier than my two more recent surgeries where I have, for the most part, had to fend for myself. I was left alone for the majority of the first 48 hours after my second boob job in a state where I wasn’t even physically capable of opening my prescription pill bottles and I don’t think I realised how traumatic this actually was til a few days before this recent surgery when I had a full on panic attack meltdown out of fear of the same thing happening again. If you’ve got a partner who is truly, always there for you, don’t take that shit for granted.

This time I’ve been feeling so trapped and isolated that I can actually feel my mental health plummeting. I’ve spent way too much money on lymphatic massage sessions just to have some form of human interaction that isn’t through Twitter. My lower back is so sore from being on my stomach all day and all night that I’m struggling to sleep and my skin is so itchy and irritated from wearing a tight compression suit 23 hours a day that I want to rip it off my body. I haven’t been taking my Vicodin prescription but yesterday at about 6am after spending two hours going back and forth between my bed and the guest bed and rotating between different pillows and blankets trying to find anything that made me comfortable enough to fall asleep I gave up and popped a pill just to knock out for a few hours before I had an actual breakdown. Yesterday afternoon I ended up walking to a local bar to meet up with some other Austin-based Aussies, and then a good friend let me lay across the back seat of her car and took me to one of my favourite country bars for a drink but after being out for an hour or two it felt like someone was stabbing a screwdriver into my stomach and I had to come home.

But the other day, the morning after waking up about five times during the night to pee out what felt like gallons of fluids that my body had been retaining post-surgery, I took off my compression suit to shower and almost burst into tears of happiness when I saw my waistline and new hourglass figure in the mirror. I’m still a long way off from seeing my final result but I cannot believe this is my body now. It’s incredible and overwhelming and makes all the bad shit I’ve been feeling so fucking worth it. Tuesday I’ll finally get my butt pillow and be able to sit in a chair/ride in a car properly so I will have a lot more freedom. On top of all that, my mouth feels brand new and it’s like I’ve had this great pressure released from my jaw that I didn’t even realise was there, I guess it’d just been there for so long.

Back to back surgery has been brutal and I still have a long, annoying road of recovery ahead, but I know I am going to come out of this feeling better than ever before.