Myths of Men

* This essay was originally published on Lunch Ticket, Antioch University Los Angeles’ student-run literary journal. Check out our website for handpicked fiction, poetry, translation, memoir, and more.

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Myths of Men

I am a myth-maker; I make myths of men. My journals and essays and mental spaces are filled with names like Jared, Jeter, and Jefferson, all of them monsters I tried to tame with a pen. My version of myth-making is a form of self-deception. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a defective coping mechanism—a way to withstand unbearable situations, like drinking to warm yourself on a cold night. You may fool your brain into thinking your body is warm, but it doesn’t stop your body from developing frostbite. These myths may pacify my terror around abusers, but they don’t stop the abuse.

This is where the perennial truth versus fact debate in creative nonfiction gets even more complicated. What happens when I feel like I’m telling the truth, but it turns out to be a lie? What if the facts are correct, I just left some out? What if I feel just as duped as the reader when the truth reveals itself? Continue reading

A Brief Update

Hey y’all. I thought I was going to be more active on here, but then things took an insane turn and I’ve wound up living and working in Phoenix, Arizona after escaping the worst/most abusive relationship of my life. I will write about that when I’m able to, but it’s still raw and I’m trying to soak in this Arizona sun before it starts literally burning my flesh. So for now, just know that everything is good — great, even!

Again, if anyone has ideas for blog posts, I am all ears.

xoxo

Reader Question: Is Sex Work Empowering or Degrading?

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Last night, I invited y’all to suggest topics or questions for blog posts via my contact page. The first question landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a complicated one.

Rebecca H. writes:

“My question to you and one I’ve struggled with in the past is the line between feeling gorgeous and sexually empowered and the feelings of being a vessel men use and abuse for their own gain . . . In the U.K., stripping is one of those ever growing things and more and more clubs and bars are opening. It’s one of those topics that most women cannot agree on. Is this degrading or are we showing how strong and beautiful we are by getting naked for paying men?”

This is a difficult question to answer because it’s one that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There’s no single opinion about sex work among sex workers. Our stories and experiences are too varied. Some people are forced into sex work. Many enter the industry by choice. Others do so out of desperation. And these factors are just the tip of the iceberg. Sex work comes in a multitude of forms — stripping, fetish work, camming, prostitution, the list goes on — which makes it impossible to pin down.

Continue reading

I’m still alive! (A super quick update)

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Does anyone still read this thing?

It’s been so long since I’ve posted. My sober date felt like a natural resting place for the blog and I’ve gotten lazy about updating. Also, it’s winter and I’m reclusive, so there’s not much to share.

My current situation is this: I live in somewhere in the Midwest. It’s cold and it sucks. I’m moving soon, hopefully south. My days are spent writing, reading, and wandering around dog parks, wishing all the dogs were mine. I see people very rarely, mostly because introversion keeps me safer than manic extroversion.

In lieu of writing for Big Mouth, I’ve been working on a number of projects for school and elsewhere. Here’s what’s up:

  1. My xoJane piece is being adapted into a short film.
  2. I’ll have an essay in Entropy this month.
  3. My first blog post for Lunch Ticket will be published later this week.
  4. My Narratively essay made this list.
  5. I’m working on a radical self-help booklet for sufferers of PTSD, BPD, etc.
  6. I’m halfway through the first draft of my memoir.

Not sure what the future holds for this thing, but I’ll write when I can (if only because endings scare me).

If y’all have post ideas or topics you would like me to address, feel free to drop me a line via my contact page or a comment.

Thank you all for your continued support. I’ll be back soon, I hope.