BAKER BABES PART XII: ELYSE


Elyse writes at Life Without Lemons, a fresh faced blog with the subtitle: "A life without lemons is like swimming in the nude- you can do it but it just feels wrong!". Iknowright? I just love it. On a tangent, I wish that I skinny dipped more often. Elyse is charming, and her family is beautiful. Plus, wait till you read about what her secret talent is. My readers are such bad-asses. Welcome Elyse!
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Name: Elyse Chatterton
Occupation: Full Time Domestic Goddess, Mother and Lego Picker Upper
Dream occupation: I am a Master Butcher and once my little monsters have flown the coup I will return to
my true calling once again, but perhaps my dream occupation would be to teach children to cook in schools, it’s where they should be taught the basics and we so often fail them before they even get started in the big wide world.
Age: Is it bad that I had to count it out based on the year? Anyway I am 31 and blame not knowing on the gin.

What was your earliest memory about baking? My Mum used to sell homemade cakes on a market stall and she would bake them at home. She would make chocolate éclairs and the chocolate would drip off the sides and stick to the work surface. After the éclairs were packed up I would climb onto my high chair and use a knife to hack off the remaining chocolate and happily devour it, whilst getting most of it on my face of course!

Howd’ja get started baking? The ladies in my Mum’s side of the family are all Domestic Goddesses who will always have a tin of something baked and delicious at all times, just in case 20 unexpected visitors arrive. I have baked alongside my Mum for as long as I can remember and we have some pretty wicked family recipes too.


When you picture “a baker” what do you see? I see my Nan stood in front of the Aga mixed with a touch of Nigella Lawson. That combo of killer curves and your finger swiping the leftover chocolate mix from the bottom of the baking bowl.

What qualities or skills does it take to be a baker? I hate to be cliché but patience and the ability to reign in your wild tendencies in the kitchen. Experimentation may be ok in the bedroom but not in a bakers kitchen! Just like science experiments if you don’t add the right amount of what is needed your cake with be crap- end of! If you must experiment get some coloured icing and some glitter to bling up the finished product.

What was the biggest baking FAIL you ever had? When we moved from the UK to Canada in 2011 I was a little lost sheep in a big bad world of strange ingredients. For starters butter melted differently and I had to adapt many a trusted recipe but my biggest fail would be with my oven. I cranked it up to 180 as you do in the UK and an hour later the cake still looked raw and was only slightly warm??? The lesson here is read the bloody instructions! Farenheight and Celsius people! 180 in the UK is 360 here- Oh, I get it now!

How do you feel about Martha Stewart? Never met her but from my limited exposure to the lady I can only assume she is trying to take over the World- is there anything she does not do?


Tell me something random that most people don't already know:
I can ride a Wonky Bike! Bet you have no idea what one of those is? It’s a bike that when you turn the handle bars one way the wheel turns the other way. Fairgrounds usually have them and they challenge you to ride them in return for money if you can get them from point A to point B. I always win as I can ride one just as well as a normal bike. I spent a whole summer injuring myself learning to ride one we made. By the end of the summer I had cracked it. I returned home and on the first morning of school I set off on my normal bike only to ride it into the wall. I then spent the next few weeks re-learning to ride a normal bike- luckily now I can do both.

If you had to be an ingredient in a recipe, what would you be?
I would love to say some exotic, luxurious delight but I am going to say an egg. I don’t like to be the star of the show but I am always there holding it all together.

Will you share your all time favorite recipe with us? Granny Makinson’s Sugar Cakes are the crown jewels of my family’s recipe collection. Granny Makinson was my Great Grandmother and this recipe has been passed along the generations. They are simple to make and simply delicious!

1lb (450g) plain flour
12oz (335g) butter
4oz (115g) sugar
1 tsp caraway seeds
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture until it all comes together
2. Roll out until its about 1 cm thick. Cut into rounds.
3. Bake in a slow oven - approximately 140 C/280 F for approximately 40-50 minutes. The secret to a good sugar cake is keeping the biscuit as pale as possible.
4 Sprinkle with caster sugar and cool on a wire rack.
5. Store in an airtight tin and should you be able to resist they will keep for weeks!

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Elyse, will you come visit me so we can drink gin and tonics and lick the icing off eclairs?
xoxoxoxo
0

25 THINGS FAT PEOPLE SHOULDN'T DO: #5 WEAR ANIMAL PRINT




25 Things Fat People Shouldn't Do is an unabashed middle finger to the preposterous idea that any human who weighs more than the status quo does not deserve to live a full and well rounded (ahem) life. The list of 25 is composed word for word from direct lists of sheer assholery found on the internet. These range from the absurd to the profoundly shameful, and I will be disproving this offensive notion with style. Feel free to join in on the fun, and if you do, link at the bottom so I can share. May the Chub Club live long and prosper!

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I've always loved animal print, so this is a no brainer. I gave the reason why this was on the list a second of thought and all I could come up with is that perhaps if fat people wear animal print, you wouldn't be able to tell them from wildlife. Think of all the heart attacks they would cause in the library if you were sitting next to a tiger? Or if you saw a zebra in the grocery store? Or a motherfucking leopard at the bar. I guess its for the safety of the general public that fat people should abstain from wearing animal patterns. Too bad I don't give a shit.


Can you tell which one is me, and which one is the tiger? I didn't think so.

I found a few other ladies makin' the prints work it hard. How are they allowed to look so GOOD?!?!?


Your challenge: Photograph yourself wearing animal print! Maybe even in public and see if any one screams "Run for your lives!"  Anyone (no size exclusions!) can join in... just provide a link to your post below! 


If you're an overachiever, you can also prepare for next Monday's 25 Things, which will be: "Run". I'm strappin' on two bras, lacing my shoes and hauling my ass down the street. Join me ladies.

(I will also be posting an older post for the list item "Wear a bikini". Link up to this next week also!)
6

WHY I FIGHT


I was walking downtown when I was stopped by two ladies at a presidential canidate table. They asked me if I wanted to volunteer for data entry until the elections and as I was filling out my contact information, a woman walked by and they asked her the same thing. She said "I don't vote" and they asked why. "It's not like my vote counts... the constitution is outdated and as a Christian I don't agree with anything 'he' says." God bless these ladies at the table because though she clearly didn't support their preferred candidate they STILL queried: Do you know that by not voting it's just making things worse? The girl avoided eye contact but then determinedly said as she walked away "It's not like it matters. The whole world is going to pot anyways".

Gross.

That said, I found myself because of unrelated circumstances on my Mom's couch the next week sobbing into my hands garbled words about how everything that I try and do to chip away at the tragic state of the world is undone ten fold by those behind me. Why do I even try? Why am I the only one who works so hard to make a better place? Why are people so angry and hateful and profoundly stupid? How did we get this way? Why aren't my efforts enough? Why must I keep on fighting when I know it won't make difference? My Mom in her (truly) infinite wisdom simply said:

If we don't do it, who will?

I am confronted my profound stupidity and ignorance every minute of every day, and it wears me down. It wears me down to the bone. When I Google 'fat girl' a cruel "Would I fuck a fat girl?" test pops up. Bloggers tell me I'm a bully because I expressed an opinion they didn't want to hear. People in my life tell me that I'm a wonderful person and all but no one should be allowed to be fat. When I joke that I am the "token fat" model, people respond with "Awww, I'm sorry." Strangers look at my tattoos and say "well, that was a stupid decision". I have people send me emails that tell me that I am a fleshy abomination to the human species and I should be imprisoned for glorifying obesity. Or, that they hate is when fat people call themselves "curvy" when they are just lazy (I told them I didn't like assholes, so we probably wouldn't get along anyhow). Old friends tell me that I am destroying the American economy by supporting planned pregnancy. I know people who stood in line at Chick-fil-A, and it disgusts me. Readers are concerned about my salvation because I don't follow their rules. Moronic health professionals tell me that some people fake a mental illness. Some people ask me if I'm on my period when I adamantly disagree with their bullshit. Zealots verbally pity me for not practicing a traditional religion. People passively infer that I should at least try to make myself more attractive when applying for jobs. Chauvinistic assholes tell me that my beef with another woman has nothing to do with her evil agenda, but rather with the fact that she's prettier than me. I cry often because I am somehow convinced that I am ugly. People that tell me every day that being happy with who I am, the way I am is unacceptable and a cardinal sin.

THIS is why somebody has to fight.

We really cant afford for this epidemic of ignorance to snowball any longer. People just don't know what is outside their tiny realm of reality and this frustrates me, outrages me, and depresses me all at the same time. I can see so clearly how fucked this all is... why can't everyone else? It's depressing that every day I fight to feel okay. It's infuriating that because some people are so committed to making others miserable there is a fight in the first place. I am outraged at the legalization of hate in this world. This hasta change.

There is no easy answer as to how to accomplish change, but I do have a method. Do you remember that time Michele Obama served at a shelter and a homeless man asked to take her picture with his cell phone? Do you remember how every fucking person made a big stink about the fact that a homeless man had a cell phone as if he should be suffering in the sorriest state of poverty possible? As if being homeless and unemployed wasn't enough but they wanted him have absolutely nothing in life until he got a job and started contributing like a normal citizen in society? Fuck me, people can be awful. Did anyone pause to educate themselves about the free "Lifeline" government project that's been around since the 90's that now uses cheap cell phones for... yknow, a life line? Did they stop to think that in order to get a job, an employer has to be able to reach them? Did they think, that perhaps in an accident or when being attacked someone might need to call for help? Did they stop to think that focusing on something so insignificant makes them look like the biggest dick in the word? I like this response to the LA Times' article.

The reason this story is relevant is because as I was listening to this on NPR, I was struck with my revelation on how to go about mending the worlds problems. It is not enough to make sure that homeless men have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a phone to keep them safe. These contributions are crucial, critical and not to be forgotten or marginalized, but there is another part... we need to educate the ignorant. The guys who say take the necessities away. The guys who say you are worthless. If we do not do BOTH of these, we will be left with a never ending war between the cause and effect. Assisting both sides of the issue is the only way to resolution. This is the case with every egalitarian issue. All of them.

For me, this reveals itself in many interesting ways. I must educate people about the myths of mental illness, the atrocities of female reproductive rights, fat discrimination and actual dietary studies. I do this by working with adults in recovery supporting them and talking about it. Attending political rallies and volunteering my time for policy education and talking about it. Fat modeling and fat advocating and talking about it. I talk about this all the time. It helps, it really does.

 But you should "never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to not understanding you" at the same time. Swimming upstream is exhausting so make sure you find the people who are ready to listen. Spend your energy there. Share your solutions, and then do them. This is the vital second part. Feed, train, help, assist, and love those who need it at the same time. When these two solutions collide... well that is where change starts.

It's really hard to do this. It's just too easy to hide in our world with our friends and cats and others and vinyl records and cameras and think everything's just dandy out there in the world. And there is nothing really wrong with that. However, clusterfucks always gather speed, so if you are willing to promote change you most certainly should. Find something you're passionate about. My mom is passionate about promoting non-violence. My grandma is passionate about educating the world about how bad red Gatorade is for you. My friend is getting politicians and their laws out of our vaginas. Another friend is funding Arizona literacy programs. Cassie is all about educating others about the environment. Liz is promoting size acceptance by promoting affordable and pretty plus clothes. My Him is for finding apartments for those who can't afford them because of mental illness. My co-worker is preaching about sustainable food sources and healthy choices. Really, there a million things out there that need fixing. Choose one.

Don't think its going to be easy. It's not for me, but I'll be damned if I quit fighting for what I passionately believe in. And you can fucking quote me on that.

P.S. How RAD is that picture? Amiright?
34

"BODY IMAGE(S)" OR "I'VE STARTED A NEW PROJECT GUYS"


Body Image(s) is a photography series by Jes of JSPhotography that showcases the many sizes, shapes, and shades of beauty.

We often lose ourselves within the concept that the ideal body image is unilateral; that it excludes all save a few. The reality is though, that when you step away from societal norms, you start to see that “ideal” is relative and that beauty is ubiquitous. There is no “right” or “wrong” shape or size; Kate moss is just as stunning as the “Venus of Willendorf” and vice a versa . This is not a personal opinion, but rather a fact.

By photographing the diversity of the female body, Jes' hopes were to empower women with, educate others about, eradicate exclusivity from and embrace all beauty. Wondering if she could gather a dozen volunteers to bare their skin, she was overwhelmed when her mailbox filled with women willing to embrace body acceptance and self love.

This series has turned into a two way gift. A gift to the photographer, as the subjects donated their time and also an intimate invitation to be captured, and a gift from the photographer as the images were given to each model as visual proof of their exquisiteness. Each session was lovely, but as they progressed, Jes noticed that each woman left with a renewed self-confidence. This, she felt, was the greatest outcome she could have hoped for.

You can "like" the Body Image(s) on Facebook here.

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I think that's pretty explanatory, but dear god I'm excited.

My inbox fills daily, and I have the next four weekends booked with 7-8 women each. I am so the-good-kind-of-exhausted. They keep coming, and I'm going to keep saying yes until I just can't anymore. It's so empowering for every person who participates and I can't think of something more powerful for me. The world needs more of this. Sometime soon (January or February?) I will be showcasing these images at an art opening/symposium with two other feminist photographers. Awesome shit, right? I wish you all lived in Tucson so you can come! I have a few images to share after the first weekend, but if you "like" my Facebook page you can see all the photos as I take them.

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I AM PROUD OF MY SIZE: BAKING AND WOMEN




"This shoot was spurred by a discussion that The Militant Baker and I had about sayings about eating pastries, and using baking as an allegory for body image. Here's some of what we came up with:

Women, traditionally, are home bakers - baking and then giving away baked treats to children, spouses, friends, etc. However, we, as women, are not supposed to eat baked goods (a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!).

What does this mean? Baking is one of those things where you put the ingredients together, put it in the oven, and pray that nothing went/will go wrong. We can't taste food typically before we bake it because of health restrictions. So we mix something up, put it in the oven, and deliver it to people who then tell us whether or not we did a good job (since we, as women, are not allowed to eat it). 

This is very much like our bodies. We make ourselves and put ourselves out into the world for approval. We make ourselves the best we can, but require other people to tell us whether we are good enough for their tastes.

What does it matter what their tastes are? Be good enough for you. Eat the cake you bake.

This series is an ode to women who eat the cake they bake."


Liora came over and we bashed tradition by baking, eating, and loving cake (remember the flour pictures?). The first two pictures are a play on the age old shame based saying of "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips". Oh the tragedy of enjoying delicious food! While the lips are not mine, the prefect ass covered in chocolate cake batter is. How awesome is this concept? Liora's brain is so cool.

The second photo is the "Ode to women that eat the cake they bake" and who love it unapologetically. I balked at the idea of taking pictures of me eating desserts... which I took as a sign that I most certainly should do it. Plus the baker in me couldn't resist. Liora joined in, and I'm sure there are more pictures to come. The shoot was successful, and so here I am, in all my blatantly fat glory... eating the cake I baked all while being proud of my size

Bazinga.

13

I WANT TO READ YOUR BLOG


Here's what I'm thinking: I have 400-500 people read this blog every day.
I hear from 10-20 of them in the comment section each post.
I love clicking all of the comments and reading the corresponding blogs... which are ALWAYS awesome.
But, that leaves 390-480 people that I don't have the opportunity to read about or meet.

This makes me sad.

SO I'm going to ask you to post your blog url in the comment section.
ALL OF YOU.
See, if you do this, then not only can I read your writings, but everyone else who reads the comments can too! It will form a little community of readers which will be wonderful, and I also kinda sorta want to make a  master blog list full of lovelies.

So humor me. Tell be about your blog below.
Ok, I'll start. 

I'm Jes and I blog at themilitantbaker.com about fat, fun, and feminism!

kyourturn.

75

WHY THE MOON IS MY ARCH NEMESIS


“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”  
Kahlil Gibran

So, why is the moon my arch nemesis? The short answer is: I haven't the foggiest. I know, I know... we're supposed to love the moon, right? The gravitational pull, keeping the tides in order. The derivative for and the dictator of our menstrual cycles. The prefect setting for a sappy love poem and so on.  But for me, as far back as I can remember (also known as the last 9 years) I have turned into a sorrier version of myself the second the sun goes down.

I've looked into the symptoms of BPD to see if there is any written documentation of mood fluctuation depending on the time of day, but I haven't found any... yet. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is correlated but this has no proof except for me. My days go something like this: wake up energized positive and proactive. Get shit done mode, read news mode, drink coffee mode, dance with the kitties mode. I then go to work with my bubbly self and laugh/bake/train forever. When I come home I attack the projects that need to be done and cook dinner for my Him and I. AND THEN, it goes one of two ways. 1.) I sedately watch movies, blog, or read, simply content to relax, OR 2.) I become a clusterfuck of a train wreck, gradually picking up speed as the night wears on. Option 2 is rarer than it used to be, but when it hits, it still hits hard. It as though I lose my critical thinking and my emotions run wild; recklessly destroying everything in sight that has the potential to be positive. I over think conversations. My self esteem plummets. I cry over nothing at all. I can't stop obsessing about trivial shit. I am in constant need of affirmation. My demands are unreasonable. I am miserable and anxious for no determined reason. I see all of the little things in life that I cannot stand. I become judgmental and ornery. Just to name a few. My Him really is a trooper; he is as calm (as possible) and just rides it out. I remember an ex exasperatingly telling me that the second the sky darkens I become a "psycho crazy bitch". There is a reason why I left him.

So, I don't know. I'm taking a shot in the dark talking about this; I honestly don't know if anyone else experiences this or knows a possible cause. My therapist and I have speculated that when I was young there were some traumatic experiences that sullied the nighttime for me since. All I know that it is quite miserable for me and my company... and so I have developed coping tools to help ride it out.

Things that don't work: drinking all night and then taking it out on the bartender. Consuming sedative medication that causes restless sleep. Sobbing in the bathroom for hours at a time. Staying up all night so that you are equally exhausted the next day. Trust me, these are shit ideas. I know fo shizzle.

So what things DO work? I can only speak from my experience, but I have established some solid ideas that have worked, and are consistently available for my freak outs.

I take a walk. My Him and I do this every night now that the cooler days are here. This gets me out of the house, breathing fresh air, kicking up my endorphins, and usually coincides with good conversation.

I write. While going through my "emotional" teenage years and early twenties, this saved my life. I tend to be the kind of person who types what I feel and if it is typed out, it just is. And if it just is, it becomes okay. Its bizarre how helpful putting the indescribable into words can be. You are often the benefactors of this the next morning.

I paint. And I get messy. Catharsis.

I cuddle. When this is available, it is sometimes enough.

I take a shower. The refreshing water gets the blood moving, the body smelling good, and the mind out of the downward spiral.

Visit Mom. I truck on over to her house, and bask in the different speed and culture of life there for a while. This often takes the weight of helping me feel better of my Him, and distributes it elsewhere. Plus she has poodle puppies, so that obviously helps.

I read body positive books. More often than not, my sadness is body based and so reading something affirmative becomes a "support network" for me. Recently, I have leaned on Two Whole Cakes, Fat!So?, and most recently Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere. I love those ladies.

I adjust my sleep schedule. For me, this is the most important. I know my weak parts of the day, and I also know my strong. When other options are unsuccessful and I feel myself spiraling out of control, I make a beeline for the bedroom. I know that for me when I wake, I feel like a brand new person. Sometimes its just better to call it a night than draw out emotional pain. Y'feel me?

I feel like this post is a little bit random, but I also think that it might be helpful to someone out there. Of course, I'm writing this post after midnight, because I'm having one of those nights and I've already done a few on the list... but writing rarely fails me.

Do you have any of the symptoms or experiences that I mentioned above? If so, what do you do to relieve the yuckiness? If you don't, does your mood fluctuate at all depending on the time of day? Do tell, do tell.

7

THE UN-BREACHABLE SUBJECT OF SEX


Sex in and of itself not un-breachable per say, but when it comes to the sex lives of women in long term relationships... we just don't talk about it. Sure, we LOVE to compare notes when we're single. Women's magazines are full of how to's and what to do's and you should try's. We love to talk about the hook-up from last night, the numbers, and the tips. But those of us who are years deep in a serious relationship don't get the media coverage that other women do. Many of us are left in the dark when it comes to whats "normal" when you have that "forever" connection.

I was having a conversation with a friend that I know fairly well and this exact subject came up. We didn't so much compare "notes" as we did talk about the realities of sex lives and how much they vary from couple to couple regardless of the longevity of the actual relationship. I am ultimately an honest and open person about all aspects of my life, but even I was relieved to hear that my bedroom coming and goings were not uncommon.

So my thoughts come down to this: There isn't a normal. Every person has their own libido, energy levels, desires, turn ons, and needs. So when we compare our lives to glossy pages, they can be highly unrepresentative of our personal life. We end up worrying that because we don't have sex XYZ ways and 789 times a week, we are unfit for a relationship, undesirable, doing it wrong, being cheated on etc etc etc. Or, conversely if we have sex a kajillion times a month with our partners, people say that there is a sex addiction, unhealthy attachment, or they just build resentment because they think they are supposed to have the same. All of this is bad news. 

I want to offer all women the information that there are all different kinds and shades of sex lives out there and this inconsistency is the part that is "normal". The variety is not only okay, but might even be celebrated. There is not one "ideal", they all can be accepted, and if you are happy... well, then whatever it is... is okay. And if you are unhappy simply due to the preconceptions of what your sex should be, this post is for you. I asked some women to share the most intimate details of their bedrooms (or couches, or kitchen tables...) and they bravely accepted. All of the names are changed for privacy's sake, and I believe the anonymity allows for even more self-identification as we read. Please enjoy what these courageous ladies have to share:

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“My partner and I have been together for 8 years and our sex life is so very different today than it was when we first started out! Of course, when we got together, we were 8 years younger. We also fell madly in love immediately. Over the course of the first 2 years we had some big ups and downs, but are stronger for our struggles and have now reached a place of complete comfort and happiness in our relationship. We both know that no matter what else happens in our lives, our relationship will prevail. It is a major priority to us and we work daily on keeping things healthy and whole. That being said, I’d estimate that we probably have sex a few times a month. For me it was really hard to transition from sex a few times a week to the current frequency. This caused some of our ups and downs as I used to tie a lot of my esteem into my sexuality. I took it really hard as our sex life began to dwindle. My sensitivity and anxiety did not help the situation any! Now, I am completely comfortable and happy with our sex life and have no issues with the fact that we aren’t intimate it more often. Coming to terms with this, and understanding it to be natural part of being in a long term, healthy, relationship has been a huge accomplishment for me. With the pressure off, we are able to enjoy the times we are intimate; and, be just as stupid in love as we were the first day, all the time, without the stress of trying to measure up to those first few months of passion. My advice to other women, as they navigate the seas of their sex lives with long term partners, is to just go with the flow. Don’t over think it; don’t take it personally; and, most importantly, don’t stress. It’ll be what it’s going to be.”


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“Zaphod and I met ten years ago through friends. We talked all through the night and then I took him home to his place and we had sex all weekend long. I loved every second of it and we’ve been married 8 years now. Our sex life has fluctuated over the years, depending on his work and stress levels. I’d prefer to get laid every day, but currently we average about 2-3 times a week. Early on I established a ground rule: he doesn’t get an orgasm unless I’ve had one. So he brought home a vibrator for me. He admitted he was having trouble keeping up with me and encouraged me to use it. Which is how I discovered that bringing myself to a screaming orgasm will send him running into the room to finish the job. And that quickies are the best thing ever. So there are ways around the fact that his libido is lower than mine, but it was hit or miss for a while there trying to find them. I am, however, enjoying myself thoroughly finding them!”


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“Rocket Man and I have been dating a long time and met when we were very very young. Before we starting sleeping together, teenage hormones kept us in near consistent lip lock, but after (and this was also the result of beginning a very long distance relationship for the next few years) our snuggles increased and our sex life decreased.

Neither of us view this as a bad thing! We are very busy people, and love each other very much. When we do have sex it's AMAZING. But it can also be to the tune of having sex once a month.

This doesn't mean that we're unhappy, have problems, are un-attracted to each other, or are out of touch with our bodies. What it does mean is that we're true to ourselves and our relationship and have sex when we want to have sex, not when Cosmo says we should want to have sex.

We're happy. Blissfully so. That's more than enough.”
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Carlos and I have been together 5 years and we were set up by mutual friends. We have a very balanced relationship. We are very different but we both have similar down to earth temperaments which makes us a good team. We both enjoy sex however our sex life has been through MANY different phases in frequency, intensity, and enjoyment. The biggest phases were due to being new partners, trying to have a baby, dealing with infertility and fertility treatments, pregnancy, and now post baby sex. We currently have sex about 3 times a week even though I am more insecure with my body than I have ever been in my life. I feel like it is important to us and I do enjoy it when I do it. Sex post baby and having our history in infertility is different now. Though a baby does make it hard for us to spend as much time together the situations we went through prior have brought us incredibly close. We now know sex really is only about having fun and us since we will never be able to have children the good old fashion way plus we never have to worry about birth control

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“My name is Joannah and I am a 58 year old post-menomausal woman married to Christian, a 60 year old man, for 22 years. We met as neighbors. After our first marriages ended (I was divorced and Christian's wife died) our friendship very quickly became passionate.  We share many similar interests, social beliefs and political ideals, but we have very different religious beliefs and expressions. Yet, we consider each other to be our very best and closest friend.  Genuine respect for each other as individuals and huge electric attraction to each other is the glue that binds us and enables us to cope with the ebbs and flows of life...including sexuality and expression.

While we both have always experienced orgasms with each other very easily, it was not the case in our lives with other partners. Therefore, our sex life together became a high priority and we have always been devoted to giving it a lot of time, attention, and patience.  The first ten years of our marriage, we made love every day, and on weekends usually twice a day. But the frequency of sexual coupling and orgasm has had many changes over the years, related to personal illness and raising our children. 

We are much more tired now at the end of the day & seem to need more sleep, so sex usually takes place over the weekend when we can have leisurely time together. We now make love about 3 times over the weekend. But we still cuddle and caress each other each night and tell each other every day that we love each other. My husband makes it a point to pay me a compliment every single day.

Our marriage relationship, sex included, is our mutual top priority.”

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“John and I had what was supposed to be a one night stand. Six years later, we got married. That was nine years ago. We haven't had sex in four years. To make a long story short, I went through a period where I wanted a child and John was adamant that he would not be a father. The last few years there has been a lot of therapy, a separation, and a very slow reconciliation. I've decided that our relationship is more important than motherhood. We take it one day at a time and although things are back to normal in a lot of ways, I hope that some day (soon!) we can go back to the crazy fun sex life we used to have. Or any sex life at all. In the meantime, I have so many battery-operated toys that Duracell should send me a Christmas card every year.”

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“Seven years ago I met my best friend. After three years of dating, we got married. We have an amazing relationship. He treats me like gold. We do everything together. We're ridiculous and heartily laugh together all the time, as well as forge through the difficult parts together. 
Before we were even married, our sex life had dwindled. There is a certain fire in the newness of somebody; that feeling every time you're with them, when the relationship is unsteady, that this may be the last time you're with them....When things became more serious and solid and sure, that roaring blaze dwindled to a little spark. His libido is still there, he's game whenever, but....I just mostly don't care. The passion for the physical doesn't come very often. Maybe once a month I am legitimately interested. I just don't need it. I aim to have sex at least once a week, because I know it's important. I get into it once I've started, but....it feels very much like a chore. Something on the to do list that needs to be checked off to keep our lives running happily. We've had many a fight about it. I would like for him to be more aggressive. Just come get it when he wants it! But i think I am an intimidating character, possibly. Or maybe he's afraid of getting shot down. I am left being the one that always has to make the move. Alas, we are stuck in an unchanging stalemate....”

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“Liam and I have been together for a little over two years. We are married, with two children. We met volunteering and were not instant friends. We connected over a discussion about music and after our first date we were inseparable. Our relationship is that of best friends. We laugh a lot and rarely argue; not because we don't experience differences but because we mutually respect each others right to be upset with the situation or the individual. 

Our sex life is wonderful. We have a four month old baby so our frequency isn't what it was in the beginning but I'd say we average at least two- three times per week. If we don't have time for long love making sessions we mutually masturbate. We also try to keep things lively by doing little things like sneaking away to the bathroom to give one other oral pleasure or heavy petting on the drive home. Most recently, due to a new found confidence of reclaiming my pre-baby figure Liam and I decided to film one of our sexcapades. It was a short session, 8 minutes (I only know this because of the handy ticker when we watched it back), but more exciting than filming was the knowledge that this was something neither of us had ever done before.

It brought something extra to our sexual relationship. In an era of premarital sex it's sometimes difficult accepting the harsh reality that what may be a first for one may not be for the other. Being able to experience a "first", especially in an already established relationship, brought a new level of excitement. One that I dare say made us both smile and giggle almost as if we were fifteen again, dry humping for the first time.”

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"Months after getting out of an extremely difficult relationship, boredom got the best of me and I ended up searching for my free matches on a dating site. Ryan popped up on my screen and we began talking on Facebook. Things moved fast—we met in person a week after we began talking, became an official couple a week after that, and moved in together three months into our relationship. After an extremely spontaneous summer, things started to quiet down a bit. Now, three and a half years later, we’re only having sex once every week or two (at most) compared to the almost daily lovemaking sessions we used to have. He’s the love of my life and my feelings for him haven’t faded in the least bit—I’m just constantly fighting off my own personal demons, leaving me exhausted. I’m hoping I’ll be able to overcome these obstacles soon so that I’ll finally be able to give him the sexy woman I feel he deserves. I just don’t know where to start…"



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“My true love and I have been together for a couple years, and living together for a couple as well. The second we met we were infatuated which quickly turned in to love of the most intimate kind. We had sex every night for the first four months and would both say that our favorite hobby was macking. We became closer and closer, identifying on such core levels that we became each others biggest confidant and best friend. We are still this way, completely and utterly comfortable in each others presence. Its magical. As we became more and more connected on an intimate and emotional level though, our sex life started to fade. This devastated me in so many ways. I was convinced that it was me; my body, my skill, my anything I could think of. He assured me this was as far from the truth as possible, but I was unable to believe him. We went a year without sex, and I spent the majority of nights crying myself to sleep. One drunken and riotous night together we had sex for the first time in a year, but we haven't has sex again since. We've been seeking therapy for this issue and have come to learn that because of childhood trauma, he is unable to engage in sex once he reaches emotional intimacy. He is capable of only one type of intimacy at a time... either physical or emotional. Through stellar communication and therapy we've inched along towards recifying our lack of physical connection. I don't see any passionate "love making" in my immediate future, but I'm pretty sure we will get there eventually. Does this long dry spell bother me? Every single day. Is he worth the wait? In every single way.”

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This divulgence of information takes fearlessness of the boldest kind, but I would encourage you to continue this quest of honesty in the comments section. Lets make this an open forum and share what we feel comfortable with so that others can ease their minds. If you feel more comfortable posting as "anonymous" feel free; your privacy is important to me. If you do have the ability to share, I know that many will be able to identify with your experience and that it will touch others in the only way this kind of raw information can. I look forward to hearing more… 

If nothing is considered "normal" that then means that everything is normal and you're not alone.
41

25 THINGS FAT PEOPLE SHOULDN'T DO: #4 SWING


25 Things Fat People Shouldn't Do is an unabashed middle finger to the preposterous idea that any human who weighs more than the status quo does not deserve to live a full and well rounded (ahem) life. The list of 25 is composed word for word from direct lists of sheer assholery found on the internet. These range from the absurd to the profoundly shameful, and I will be disproving this offensive notion with style. Feel free to join in on the fun, and if you do, link at the bottom so I can share. May the Chub Club live long and prosper!




 My boyfriend is so rad. He has just accepted the fact that every week he will be photographing SOMETHING strange... and he's totally okay with it. Like, peel-his-ass-of-the-couch-while-watching-football okay with it. Cute huh? Though I did try and convince him to take pictures with me since we need  a few current ones but he said he wasn't "feeling photogenic" today". Sigh. Next time.

I REALLY enjoyed this weeks challenge. The weather in Tucson just got gorgeous and its cool and windy while the sun is still out. It's really remarkable, and we've been going on walks every night for the past few days. So today we walked down to one of the parks near our house and snapped a few of these:



And of course, being the soul mate of a photographer, he made sure to take a picture of the jump from the swing.



I hope you can find a swing near you, so you can participate! It is fucking awesome to see how high you can get:) If you do, And, I didn't break the swing set. Take that haters.

Your challenge: Find a swing set near you! Anyone (no size exclusions!) can join in... just provide a link to your post below! If you're an overachiever, you can also prepare for next Monday's 25 Things, which will be: "Wear Animal print". I'm gonna roar while I rock it, bitches.


///You can always contribute to the 25 things that I've already done. The link up will be open until the 25 are completed, so go back and do them all!//


15

HONESTY HOUR


 
I've got a couple legs, a couple arms, and a couple chins. I have more than a couple tattoos. I fight myself on a daily basis, but it hasn't killed me yet. My hair is purple, my laugh is obnoxious, and my energy is all consuming. I'm intelligent, but my geography knowledge is for shit. I have nothing to hide, and I don't mean that like a lot of people mean it. I literally don't feel the need to hide anything. My boyfriend loves me more than life itself but we still have loads of problems. I thrive on compliments. My natural hair color is blonde, and though I haven't had it for 6 years... sometimes I miss it so much I think of shaving my head and starting all over again. My brain is both my strongest weapon and my greatest burden. I had the opportunity to be a glitter goddess at a glam rock dance party but I chose a small birthday party with good friends instead. I would not have chosen that two years ago. I have absolutely zero tolerance for bad drivers, though I know that sometimes I am also an offender. When I fuck up, I apologize out loud to the other cars for being "that guy". Strong women inspire me. Being part of strong women's missions feels like home. I was taught my entire life that I could do anything I want... and though I've always believed this, I'm only now starting to realize the extent of my abilities. I love children's movies and tv shows more than adult ones. For an entire year I was so terrified of driving at night that it paralyzed my body. This both started and ended suddenly with no known cause. I have no interest in being kind to assholes. I feel good about this. My opinions on life have become crystalline after realizing I was raised to believe fictitious fables. This has overtaken my entire body with a calm and peaceful knowing that I know nothing at all. And perhaps there isn't as much to know as I thought. I am so content with the idea of. Just. Existing. Unfortunately for those from my past, this makes them sad that I am "lost". I offer them the option to go fuck themselves; this change is empowering for me and not a tragedy. If our friendship conflicts with my freedom, I choose the latter. Such is the nature of life. The funny thing about science is that whether or not you believe it, it's still true. My eyesight is getting worse. Like, really worse. I'm a little freaked out that my best friend is having a baby and when I see her it will be the first time that it won't just be the two of us. And it will never be just the two of us again. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live in a Brad Paisley music video. I am an exhibitionist at heart. I underestimate my creative talents but get pissed off when others do the same. I love Pop Rocks.  I also love sea monkeys. I want to create rock candy jewelry. I have nothing of substance to say, but I felt the need to put a stream of thought out into the world.

Will you give me a peek into your stream of consciousness? No editing, no "composing". Just a few thoughts on your brain as of late...


21

FLOUR: AN EXPERIMENTATION IN


Model: Liora K
Photog: JSPhotography
MUA: King Arthur

20

"FRESH FOOD, FRESH START"


I like to talk about mental health here on the blog... but I don't ever really talk about my job specifically. This is simply because I don't want to put my work in the crossfire of my controversial, crass, and sometimes crude ramblings. So keeping in mind that my views, beliefs, and opinions are in no way representative of my place of employment's... let me introduce you to this:

And to narrow it down to our mission:

I could talk for hours about my feelings, thoughts, and philosophies when it comes to mental health and the community/health care system/employment field/education of (or lack of)... but I want to keep it simple. We are a restaurant staffed by the most incredible, caring, talented and dedicated people. We are a fully functioning non-profit and in addition to the Staff, we have 20-30 trainees who all have severe mental illnesses, get out of bed, come to work, and train intensively on technical skills as well as soft social, preparatory, and professional skills. They are the most resilient human beings I know and they inspire me on a daily basis. We are all committed to recovery.  I fit into this equation as the baker... I train in this area and float wherever else needed. I have never had a more fulfilling job and goddamnit I feel lucky. We just had Scott Griessel come and do some cafe shots and I loved them so much I want to share.



So, welcome to the sneak peek into 40hrs of my week. I feel fortunate to be paid to contribute to the world in a progressive and uplifting environment.

P.S. We are in the running to receive a charity grant from Chase Bank and you can vote for us HERE.
(If you click, we can keep doing more of what we're doing;))

What was your most fulfilling job?
11
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