If you bring your sexual impulses to your creative work… you’ll be working from deep in the genetic code, down where life wants to make new life and feel good in the process. –Eric Maisel

When I edit photos for this site, so much goes on in my eye and brain and heart. I look for curves and shadows and colors that blend to create something beautiful and erotic in my own view, but I always have the audience in mind. There is a heavy influence of “What will others find beautiful and erotic?”

The thing is, I have no way of knowing that. And my assumptions about my audience are probably not fair or entirely accurate.

Often I carve away the bits of myself I do not love, though more recently, I have been more thoughtful of those, allowing my soft belly and the shadow-defined curves and valleys to find their place in the landscape of my view.

My edits have been more accommodating and inclusive. More accepting of my “flaws.”

I have always been, and will always be, soft and round. Even at my most fit, there will always be evidence of motherhood and age. Signs of time, passing. My body, a fleshy calendar of all the moments that have brought me to this point, collects and keeps record.

And while I still struggle to accept my dimpled thighs and the overhang of my belly, I can see the beauty in what my body has accomplished.

It would be sacrilege to deny the perfection of its achievements.

It breathes.

It feels pleasure.

It feels pain.

It moves me.

Those things alone are miracles to be celebrated. Every. Day.

As a confessional writer, it is my obligation to be truthful and honest. To share my experience in a way that does not shade or hide away the less pleasant. Those parts of my life are imperative to the whole, and the beautiful things are only beautiful because those seemingly less beautiful things exist in tandem. My losses, my disappointments, my failures. All of those things are a healthy and necessary part of my gains, my accomplishments, and my successes. In many ways, the darkness and shadows are the foundation of this blog. Sharing all of the parts normalizes the human experience in all of its messy glory. All my personal qualifiers (beautiful, ugly, boring, intense) are evidence of my own hang-ups.

And I think sharing my story, my feelings, my experiences, while possibly not necessary to anyone but myself, is still valuable. It’s value, however only goes as far as my truth. How deep I am willing to let you in. How much I am willing to expose.

This year, the Erotic Journal Challenge is dedicated to Celebrations. Obviously, there are large celebrations that encourage us to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been and where we are headed: birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, marriages, new babies, etc. But there are smaller, more private celebrations that allow us to remember what matters most in our world. The people, the gifts, the abilities, the things we should always be more grateful for. I have a tendency to just let days slip away from me. But this year, I am marking every day with meditations on my D/s, making that a priority, celebrating my relationship and sharing that with you through #submission365. I’m also taking time to write poetry almost daily, sharing those with you, on occasion, through #tinypoems. I’m celebrating the work and writing and lives of others through The Erotic Journal Challenge. And I’m celebrating my love of reading with my own personal Goodreads Challenge and The Erotic Book Club. Celebrating the small and uplifting others, as well as keeping a daily gratitude journal are just a few ways I’m celebrating this year. I’m being as intentional as possible about seeing the good in every day. How are you celebrating?

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6 Replies to “Celebrating the Whole Picture”

  1. I love this a lot, thank you for sharing! I try and crop less and less of my belly and double chin and bits I am embarrassed and insecure about out of my photos. It’s a tough battle, but it really is rewarding. 🙂

    1. I agree. Erotic photography has helped my self-image more than probably anything else I have ever done.

  2. Your attitude towards your body impressed me. Indeed, some flaws, as it is customary to think about them, may be evidence of life milestones. And they also have their own beauty.

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