It’s been a while since I’ve done a favorites round-up. As I was reading through my past posts, what struck me was how each provides a snapshot of my life and our world at the time I wrote it. These posts are time capsules, reminding me of who I was, what I wanted, and what was going on in the world at the time.
And they’re just plain fun!
If this one had a theme, it would be something like turning inward or returning to myself. As the US slowly turns into an authoritarian regime, I’ve been relying on my self-care go-to’s like escaping into a good book or a sexy fantasy. I’m inviting pleasure in sips and gulps, anytime and everywhere I can. I’m leaning leaning on my various communities.
This list reflects that. In it, I hope you find inspiration to care for yourself, to turn to your community (or create your own), to keep resisting, and to find #freedominpleasure throughout your life.
10 Things I Love Right Now
1) Regency romance novels with “older” heroines with careers who aren’t virgins. Once upon a time I stumbled upon The Wicked Quills of London series by Eva Leigh. I didn’t know how deeply I craved this type of heroine—in her 30s with a successful career and a sexual history—until I found these books. Rather than center on virginity, the conflict focuses on the tension of balancing love and career, navigating social norms, and the like. You know: everything we deal with these days. Do yourself a favor and devote a weekend to this series. And if you still want some virginity plot, may I recommend Sarah Maclean’s Rules of Scoundrels series (the first one has a revenge plot)?
2) Glossier. My sister-in-law gifted me Glossier for my birthday and it’s a low maintenance girl’s dream makeup. Boy Brow takes 2 seconds and minimal technical skill. The lipstick is swipe and go. Stretch Concealer is so lightweight and doesn’t crease. It’s all vegan. They’re branding is sassy. I am basically their ideal client and oh yes I’m obsessed and use it almost daily. Also this mission: hell yes!
We’re not out to sell you 200 pieces of every kind of makeup in every color imaginable. We just want to give you the best makeup—makeup you’ll actually use every day. Expect pro-level formulas designed for newbie-level application. Think groomed brows, flushed lips, and brighter, more even skin. Just add fingertips.
3) Stretching before bed. A big part of my managing my chronic pain has been calming my nervous system. Once I finish scrolling through social and playing Two Dots, I plug my phone in, take my magnesium supplement, lay a fluffy blanket on my bedroom floor, and spend 10 minutes or so stretching, doing diaphragmatic breathing, and resetting my pelvis with physical therapy exercises. It’s a way to unwind, come home to my body, and check-in on how tired I actually am. Sometimes I read or masturbate after. Most of the time, I cuddle up next to my beau and pass out. I’ve never slept so well.
4) Sleeping naked. Speaking of sleep, I spent years irrationally afraid of bugs crawling into my vagina if I slept nude. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, you can laugh! I always wore undies—until my mindful sex challenge when my body craved something different. I don’t do it every night, but it has become a several night’s a week thing. Especially on hot days, I love to take a shower before I stretch, and then slip into my sheets with damp, cool skin.
5) Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun. Fate brought Ada into my life earlier this year as my writing teacher. I’ve had this book of hers for months, but finally read it on a recent trip. Actually, I devoured it. Before finishing the library’s copy, I bought the book so I could underline and dog ear. So much f her story resonates: defining her marriage on her own terms. Carving their path. Being monogam-ish. If you’ve been with your beau for any length of time, married or not, read this stat.
6) Mindful self-pleasure. As someone for whom sex and orgasm have always come easily (pun intended), this practice has brought a much needed dose of slowness and gentleness into my sex life. Less pain, more pleasure, and deeper intimacy. Best of all? It’s driven by you and your desires, not some “guru” or cult.
7) Dua Lipa. Whenever I visit family in CT, I catch up on the latest hits (of everywhere I’ve lived, CT always gets new music first). The first time I heard “New Rules,” I started choreographing it in my head (once a dance teacher, always a dance teacher). I treated myself to her debut album after one of my recent workshops, and I can’t. stop. listening. Even after seeing Hamilton. Her performance at this sportsball game sealed it for me when I saw the beautiful diversity of her back-up singers. I even spied a few belly rolls.
8) Dildos. In theory, I’ve always loved these. But I was an external only girl when masturbating. I didn’t *get* the craving for something in me unless I was having partner sex. Then my pelvic floor physical therapist prescribed dilators. Then I did my month of mindful masturbating. Now, I crave them regularly! I’ve had so much fun learning more about my g-spot and increasing my capacity for experiencing vaginal orgasms. Here are my two faves:
- Tantus Silk – what I’m using for dilators, per my PT. Basic, not lifelike. Can be used vaginally or anally.
- Njoy Pure Wand. The ultimate for g-spot exploration. Doubles as a massage tool and/or weapon due to its weight. Also perfect for releasing tension and trigger points in the vagina.
- Honorable mention: Tru Curve. I haven’t used this one but it has great reviews and is at a lower price point for beginners. Yes please.
9) Modern romance novels that celebrate female friendships. I don’t believe that your romantic relationship(s) should be the most important ones in your life. Having a strong network of friends, family, and chosen family supports you and your relationship. A few books I’ve read lately highlight this beautifully. First, there’s Alexis Daria’s Dance Off duology. The second book had me sobbing in the subway and texting my closest friends to thank them for their love. Then there’s the Aya De Leon’s Justice Hustlers series. These don’t read like typical romance. Much of the resolution comes from the heroine’s work, friendships, and family—which is why I loved them (once I put aside my expectations). Seeing these badass lady bosses, sex workers, and activists support each other and fight the patriarchy no matter what is simply beautiful.
10) Resistance Brunch. My friend Ashley started this after getting overwhelmed with marches. It’s is a monthly get out the vote brunch club. We make political activism fun and accessible to new and old activists alike. I attended my first event recently and was blown away but the kind and welcoming community. I can’t wait till the next one.
What are you loving lately? Leave a comment and let us know!
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