Today is my parents’ wedding anniversary. Almost nine months later I was born, which informs me that I was either a honeymoon baby or the shotgun that made the wedding happen. I never asked. I know that whether it was through forbidden lust or wedding night excitement, I was born of passion between two young and beautiful people. I like leaving it at that.
Throughout my life I found that at my best I exude sexual power, passion, desire. I am a natural flirt. I make love to everyone I encounter in one way or another. At my worst I am ashamed to draw attention to myself. My very existence is a disgrace, a hushed up secret people whisper about while they shake their heads and click their tongues knowingly.
I was born with jaundice, so I remained at the hospital for two weeks after my birth. My parents visited me daily, but I learned that I could cry my head off and still not be held if it wasn’t on schedule. By the time I came home from the hospital my mother said that I was such a “good” baby. I never fussed. At less than a month old, I already knew how to take care of myself, not be demanding, just take what I get and don’t get upset.
I spent my childhood being the “good girl.” I truly was. I took everything I learned about Jesus and life to heart. I read voraciously. I was thoughtful, diligent, quiet. But I had a lot of questions that no one around me could answer and pretty soon I learned to silence those questions because they bothered people.
Upon reflection I realize that I’ve always had a well-developed secret life. It’s where I put all the unanswered questions, the provocative ones that most people don’t dare utter. It’s where I stored my ugly feelings, jealousy, anger, ambition. It’s where I learned about sex and desire. It’s where it was okay to be “bad.”
On the outside I continued going to church, getting good marks at Catholic school, singing at choir. I got so good at being “good,” so good at seeming good to make other people feel good. In college I got involved in theatre and it freed me. For the first time I could be “bad” and be applauded for it. I didn’t know it then but in time I noticed that I almost always got cast in sexy roles: the femme fatale mermaid, the hyper-sexual old maid, the tragic drug addicted porn star, the powerful whore… the list goes on. I inhabited these characters like my life depended on it, because for a brief moment my secret life could breathe, speak, move.
When Jay and I first started dating he saw me in one of my shows, really saw me, and helped release that secret me into the real world. It was so exciting! The badder I got, the more he liked me.
Then the internet saved many an introvert’s life, mine included. Jay and I dove head first into the web, full send. My secret life thrived online, right here on this blog that I’ve been writing since 2002. I found people I connect with: critical thinkers, sexuality explorers, creatives and geeks of all kinds. We all brought our secret lives together to create this world, one blog, one post, one tweet at a time.
This photo is from January 2002 in Las Vegas when I attended the AVN convention. I’m looking out to the Venetian hotel courtyard, naked as a newborn baby, arms outstretched taking up space. Not a care for anyone else in the world. Not a fuck given to anyone else’s opinion. Open to any and all experience. Young, bold, and stupid.
So much has happened since. Life has had its way with me, blown me up, knocked me down. It takes a little more bravery to get back up and keep going after my confidence is shaken but here I am again, standing naked looking out my window in January 2021, a little wiser for the wear, taking up space. I am still here. I am worthy.
I know where my power comes from. I trust it. I step into it. I belong here. This is my rightful place. I am worthy of this space.
Love, Lust, & Liberty,