Understanding You

Sometimes we all have to stop for a moment and remember that the world is full of other people. We do not exist alone. The pandemic has forced some people into a world of isolation and loneliness which the world hasn’t seen for a very long time.

The more time we spend on our own the easier it is to forget that others are also potentially going through similar struggles both emotionally and physically. A simple “Hello”, or a brief “You ok?” message can mean the world to those in need of company.

Isolation cane very damaging as beneath it all humans are social creatures who require the presence of others, on an almost daily basis. Whilst we all like that time alone where we can treat ourselves to a candlelit bath, or movie with a glass of wine and a blanket, we do need to be with others.

Negative Effects Of Lockdown

Lockdown had so many effects on individuals and families. Some rediscovered the delights of what family and friends really mean. The internet was our saviour as video calls and messaging became ever present on a daily basis. However, others found the enforced closeness with family very hard to deal with.

Working from home became the norm. cats, dogs and children popping on work Zoom calls created internet sensations for some. Whereas those not used to this closeness found it very difficult to cope.

None more so, than those working int he adult sector. The income which their job provided and the interaction with other people was suddenly removed. This left a huge void financially and emotionally. The times spent alone seem to become more devoid of emotions as each day pass.

Sharing is Caring

A number of companies took this opportunity to create  forums and online groups for their workers to communicate with each other. Zoom meetings often started with a brief summary of your weekend activities, or nightly Netflix binge (without spoilers of course). This allows people to interact in a more personal way , giving them the chance to feel more connected to each other.

Time can be a great healer but it also gives us scope to really get to understand who we really are. Although difficult for some, being alone does give us the opportunity to discover and understand ourselves on a deeper level. Once we allow ourselves to accept the bad as well as the good, it’s much easier to work on the negative aspects.

Being Honest

Let’s be honest, if someone calls you lazy, or careless, our immediate reaction is one of defensiveness and feeling hurt. However, oftentimes in reality we know what they have said was true. Perhaps this is where the saying “you always hurt the one you love” comes from. It’s certainly relevant and in some ways designed to help is better ourselves.

Self improvement can only come if we are able to determine those things which do require some work or adjustments. A common way of dealing with this is to remember that there ae ma y people much worse off than we may be. Placing the focus on what the actual problem is can allow us to ascertain exactly how the issue fits into the grand scheme of things.

Kindness Patience and Tolerance

We do all need to take time for ourselves, indulge in our own inner beauty. If you are reading this I hope you are already thinking of the best parts of your soul and how you can improve other parts. Helping others and listening to what they are trying to say is key to seeing the beauty within. Being kind, patient and tolerant ae crucial assets which allows you to embrace life and everything that comes your way, good or bad.

It’s good to remember that;

Kindness is important

Patience is a virtue

Tolerance is essential

with love from,

Carla Sez

Camming, Performing and living with Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are conditions that are discussed by many, and yet somehow also overlooked and misunderstood. Emotional and mental health are often forgotten as part of the treatment when someone lives with a chronic illness, yet it is one of the most impactful supports on someone’s health trajectory. Additionally, when there is a present mental health care provider, they may not specialize, understand, or implement one’s chronic illness into a discussion on emotions and behaviors. In the adult industry, chronic illness is experienced by many, but in a broader sense, some feel, “swept under the rug.” An anonymous cam performer shares: “I feel like its taboo. This field is about bodies and experiencing pleasure, and yet when it comes to someone who is visibly or invisibly ill, we can be forgotten or cast out because we don’t fit the mold.” When chronically ill and in a physical industry, it is imperative to find support, like-minded performers, and sites that promote appropriate visibility and care. Concerns of feeling ostracized, pushed to the margins, “less than” other performers, fetishized, or bullied are valid and real. It is imperative to understand that society works as it is intended to, which currently is for those that are able-bodied and in industries that aren’t considered “taboo.” It can be easy to throw in the towel and feel like support will never arrive, however, there are strong anti-ableism advocates, especially in the adult industry, who champion disabled bodies, their attraction, and their abilities. Lack of strength, body mass, libido, interest, and self-value/esteem can affect someone’s ability to feel successful in their work, relationships, and in the world. Chronic illnesses, when treated ineffectively or without mental health support, can lead to sexual dysfunctions that would affect all individuals, but especially those in the adult industry who rely on healthy functioning to complete their work and engage with others in their personal life. Thankfully, there are treatments, supports, and steps one can take to fight stigma, receive care, and feel like oneself again.

  1. Seek out support staff who are educated, informed, and champion their experience working with those both in the adult industry and those identifying as chronically ill.Although not all providers who label themselves as such will have the approach you are seeking, most providers label themselves with what they specialize in and should be able to follow through.
  2. If you feel discouraged, gaslit, diminished, or dismissed by a provider, if safe, let others know. Strengthen the community. Additionally, and most importantly, do not return to said provider unless absolutely necessary. The use of telehealth can provide increased equity and choice when seeking a new provider. Do not accept diminishment. The more times we feel let down or ignored, the less likely it is we will seek lifesaving care.
  3. Reach out to others in the adult industry with lived experience. Knowing you are not alone is a powerful feeling, and you may also end up with a new friend. Isolation can be common with chronic illness as many work from home or in more independent, controlled settings.
  4. Pursue mindfulness. Although mindfulness has been over-sold as a cure by many, don’t get caught up in the hype. Mindfulness is attuned presence and choosing to be the observer as opposed to the observed. Research shows building a new or different relationship with your pain can provide a sense of power, control, and hope, even when symptoms don’t subside considerably.
  5. Although it takes time and energy to do so, know that you and others with chronic illness are worth attention, time, care, and adaptive/accessible needs/tools/and skills. You are permitted to have access to that which provides comfort and makes life easier.

 

Although chronic illness can prove challenging and be a part of an intersectional, complex identity, know you are valid and deserving of appropriate, attuned, informed care. Be well!

From Rachael Wells, LMHC, EMDR-C/CIT, BC-TMH, RYT, QS

When is Collaboration Better Than Competing?

The answer is most likely, always!

Unless you are directly competing your skills against another for the purposes of sport or suchlike, we always make more progress when we work together. Sharing skills and knowledge in our everyday lives is so important to our evolution.

Throughout the ages, major breakthroughs have come about because an individual sought help with a problem. The saying ‘2 minds are better than one’, has never been truer in this case.

Collaborating not only allows you to share and pass on your knowledge to another but also prompts thoughts and processes that may not have crossed your mind previously. When we keep those little nuggets of info to ourselves, it produces selfish thoughts and negative feelings towards those around us. Sharing information can actually provide us with really positive energy. It makes us feel good and empowers the mind so that we feel useful to others.

Empowerment allows success

People mistake the meaning of empowerment, thinking that it always means something negative, where one person has power over another. It is in fact a lot more personal than that. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, so that we can take control of our lives. It enables an individual to represent their own interests in a responsible and self-determined way, whilst being able to act on their own authority.

It is possible for one person to become overwhelmed with the feeling of power and allow it to manifest into something which is selfish and ugly. The trick is to follow the fundamentals.

  • Respect the decisions others make about their lives
  • Try to always make other people feel comfortable enough to discuss their own feelings
  • Always be respectful and non-judgemental
  • Focus on abilities and strengths rather than admonishing weaknesses
  • Provide support and encouragement

Skill sharing

Offering to share your knowledge with others will always show you in the best light possible. It provides a feeling of openness and helps you to engage with others. Positivity is catching and spreads warmth and happiness to all those involved.

One of the best things about the internet is the ability to pass on skills and understanding to many, many people, most of whom you will never know personally. Although we tend to work better when we receive individual praise, positive acknowledgements from complete strangers are an incredible boost to our self-esteem.

Every day is a new one where we can all acquire a new talent or learn a new skill. It motivates the mind and conquers boredom and inactivity. Sharing that interest with others is one of the best ways to build friendships and bond.

How to collaborate

Collaboration could be as simple as picking up the phone and asking someone how their day has been, or you might text them, just to say hello. Nowadays, most of these partnerships are based in the virtual world. There are video, network, community, internal and external collaborations, all of which lead to a sharing of knowledge and the ability to achieve a goal.

This kind of work style was first officially recognised in the 1950’s. It allowed projects to be managed by more than one individual, rather than the previous method using one project manager and a Gantt chart. Companies quickly realised that allowing employees to work in this manner produced an efficient workforce which promoted growth and innovation for the company.

As individuals, this relatively simple way of sharing thoughts, skills and processes with others brings about a positive attitude and renews the hunger for learning.

Enjoying sharing

There’s nothing better in life than sitting down and sharing a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee or even a good movie with your bestie. It’s what seems to make us whole as a species. It gives a warm glow inside, and it provides a form of stability that you cannot get from anywhere else. That shared experience will be remembered for a very long time and gives treasured moments to draw upon whenever we need a little fix of feeling warm.

Passing on knowledge can result in those same warm feelings. Knowing that we have helped someone, passed on vital information and allowed them to grow as a person even more, is an amazing feeling.

Knowledge really does mean power when you use it in the best way possible.

Always remember ‘Sharing is Caring’ and ‘Caring is Sharing’.

The Beauty of Being You

Of all the things happening in the world every, single day, the one feature you should always be able to rely upon is yourself. You are the constant in this ever-changing landscape and without a doubt the best opportunity you have for self-improvement.

When you spend much of your time in front of a camera, whether it be on your phone, webcam or a video shoot, it’s really easy to start picking fault with every little detail. This can often come to the forefront for those performers and models who have created an alternative persona for work. The fear of your mask slipping and showing the real you to the outside world is ever present.

Much of this worry is due to the constructs that society places on labels and what they mean. Your family and friends may object to your chosen career, or they may have absolutely no idea what your job entails. The further away your work persona is from the real you, the harder it is to remain in control.

Disguise or Reveal?

It’s a strange concept to understand and get your head around but in real life men don’t really prefer blondes. You only have to scan the first page of any of the popular Cam and Adult sites out there to discover that the reality is actually further away than you imagine.

One of the most popular Cam girls ever is a red head, another has a bust size of 28A, whilst another wears glasses while on cam, even though she has near perfect eyesight. More and more the top girls on Cam are not conforming to the stereotypical blonde with big fake tits look.

Shedding Light on the Secret You

So, what does this mean for you? It definitely allows you the freedom to be more natural and not feel the need to hide behind a wig and a face full of makeup. It gives you permission to spend far less time honing your skills with your fake persona. You get to take advantage of improving other talents, such as interacting and conversing with others.

You don’t need to go out and buy lots of expensive items of clothing and underwear if you don’t want to. Just ensure you feel comfortable in what you wear. If you’ve never worn stockings and suspenders before, don’t start now as you won’t look natural on camera. There’s nothing worse than someone who is more concerned about what they are wearing, than what they are actually doing on cam or during a photoshoot.

Your Daily Aims

If at all possible, try and stay focused and make sure you keep in touch with your loved ones and friends. It’s crucial to your state of being, so that each day has a focus and meaning. You don’t need to speak to everyone, every single day, nor wait until the weekend before reaching out. Don’t wait for people to contact you first, remember some people find opening up a bit of a struggle. They are also the ones who truly appreciate that you were thinking about them and made contact.

The same applies to your fans and contacts on Cam, the more you stay in touch by messaging and sending them updates about your day, the more they’ll be likely to remain loyal. Don’t stress out when they are short of cash and can’t spend it on you, it costs nothing to send them a short message and will gain their loyalty in the long run!

Be Good to Yourself

Everyone has bad days from time to time and if you are having a particularly awful day, it’s not something you should really be sharing with anyone other than your nearest and dearest. These are the times when you need to unwind, relax and give yourself a treat. It doesn’t have to be something which costs money.

You could try some Yoga, or Breathing exercises, or perhaps reward yourself to a nice cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The time you take to care for you, is crucial to your wellbeing. It will enable acceptance of your whole being with or without faults. You’ll feel differently about creating improvements to your mind and body and no longer feel that you have to punish yourself for those tiny faults you previously perceived as mountainous.

Pineapple Supports

Pineapple offers all types of support groups and resources for improving your mental health and overall wellbeing. There is no stigma, and the team are there specifically for online, adult sex workers, worldwide. There are webinars covering specific areas and events which aim to bring like-minded people together.

Remember, you are loved, we are listening, and you are not alone!

How to ‘Man Up’ in Mental Health

Being a 6’7 ex pro-athlete and on and off model, I have felt the full effects of society putting me into a box.

“You are too tall to have problems in life.”

“You are too good-looking to be depressed.”

“Man, you are living the dream.”

“I’d do anything to be you.”

I was the epitome of judging a book by its cover, and I let those people sway my thoughts about how I was supposed to live life.

What was happening inside my head and heart was the exact opposite of what those people perceived.
• Fear of failure
• Fear of being judged
• Thoughts of being inadequate
• Fear of not performing how women expected me to
• Constant anxiety from standing out

It wasn’t until I got C-PTSD from an abusive end to a relationship. Also, watching my father die from Parkinson’s, did I finally stopped worrying about what others thought and started acting for myself.

These are 5 takeaways from the lowest point in my life that helped me build myself up to the happiest version of myself to date.

1. Let your thoughts out
Society’s old views of how men should act, focus on us not showing any emotion, physically or verbally. I soon realized in my darkest moments that if I kept holding in my fears, I would never be able to overcome them.

There are many ways to take those thoughts swirling around your head and have them out in the open to digest in a new light.
• See a therapist weekly (here is a great article on how to email a therapist for the first time to help you start)
• Write daily in a journal
• Talk out loud to yourself when alone

2. Fail more often
Working on your personal growth is hard. By the time you are in your 20s and 30s, you have created this form of yourself from life lessons. This version of you kept you safe, guided you through puberty and now is all you know.

You can’t snap your fingers and re-train your brain to act differently. Instead, you need to fight that initial urge you have.

In the beginning, you will lose to the ‘old you’ far more than you win. And that’s ok!

Getting comfortable with failing is one of the main ways we learn and grow.

3. Get uncomfortable weekly
Constantly testing your comfort bubble will help your overall growth to combat anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles.

By choosing when you will get scared and most likely inducing the emotional pain, you can step away at any time it becomes too much to handle.

The more you poke, prod and test your comfort bubble, the easier it will be to handle other uncomfortable situations you can’t see coming.

4. Exercise often
Working on your fitness will help you feel more confident in your body, but not only that. Being physically healthy and in good shape does not get enough credit for our mental health.

Pushing yourself daily in the gym, CrossFit, spin class, or any other 60 minutes of sweat-inducing working out will constantly force you into those uncomfortable moments of potential anxiety-inducing pain.

Working out also positively affects the hormones and chemicals inside our bodies. Constantly leaving you in a better mood than when you showed up at the gym.

5. Learn how to sleep
“Learn” is the critical word in this section.

We all sleep at some point. Our bodies were made to shut down when we hit a critical point of exhaustion. That’s not the hard part.

What isn’t easy is getting constant sleep, night after night, that leaves you feeling well rested and repaired from the previous day.

All of these factors of everyday life can and most likely can or do affect your sleep.
• Money struggles
• Addiction to your phone/social media
• Drugs
• Alcohol
• Relationship issues
• Loss of loved ones
• Anxiety
• Depression

Here are some tips to start working at bettering your sleep
• Stop looking at your phone/tv/computer 30 minutes before your start your evening routine to go to bed.
• Track your sleep patterns with a sleep tracking device and app.
• Eat cleaner/healthier foods before bed that your stomach can digest more easily while asleep.
• Journal before hopping into bed. This will help de-clutter your mind if you have difficulty falling asleep..

Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t happen to people who say, “I wish I could sleep better.” It occurs from trial and error and hard work.

It took me 35 years plus losing my father to finally start seeing things from a new angle in my life.

There is no blueprint to this and we are all different. So don’t be hard on yourself my friend, in time it will start looking brighter for you too.

Paul Marlow / Tall Paul
Paul is a mental health speaker & leading global Tall Men’s Fashion expert. Helping men 6’3+ feel confident in their bodies.
Learn more about Tall Paul

Protect Your Pineapples – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Whatever size fruit you have in your basket – Remember to perform a self-exam once a month.

October is breast cancer awareness month, that doesn’t just mean turning half your wardrobe pink, changing your company logo (oh the irony) and proudly pinning a pink ribbon to every outfit.

Breast cancer awareness is about remembering to give yourself a self-exam once a month, it means supporting women affected by it and it means being grateful for your own health.

Each year 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer, which includes 1 in every 8 women in the USA. But early detection can make a huge difference in beating breast cancer and we think that’s something worth raising awareness about!

So whether your mammaries are like melons or your chesticles are more like cherries we would like to help you get to know your breasts and detect if there is a possible problem.

To show your support and raise awareness we would like to ask you to join our competition. After your self-exam, take a photograph of yourself, covering your credentials with your choice of fruit and post it on social media. Remembering to tag @PineappleYSW #ProtectYourPineapples and link back to this blog to ensure as many women as possible join us and protect their pineapples.

Breast cancer is not always detectable by a lump or hard mass, sometimes the symptoms are visual.

Some changes in your breasts are perfectly normal, but if you are worried, it is always best to visit your doctor.

What is it that you are feeling for?

When feeling for a lump, check from your armpit to your collarbone, down to the bottom of your rib cage. A cancerous lump feels different from a normal breast lump, it often feels hard and immovable and can be any shape or size.

Getting to know your breasts is really important and the best time to give yourself a self-exam is just after your period when things are most normal.

Remember, when breast cancer is found early, survival rates are incredibly high.

Be proactive in caring for our health, self-exam once a month, eat well, exercise regularly and help raise awareness #ProtectYourPineapples

Surrender – A Poem

To surrender
Is to dance
In the waves
Not knowing
When you might get knocked
Over
But trusting
That you’ll always
Be swept back up.
Trusting
That you will be swept
Onto warm soft sandy shores
When the time
Is right.
Written by Liza Belle

The Centre – A Poem

Locate the calm within the storm.
Beneath the tumult of the waves
Breath face mind, still
As you pause
Count to ten
Allow the storm to pass
Find a moment of peace
And stillness
To return to your centre
To come back to yourself.
Written by Liza Belle

Moving Through It -A Poem

We’re standing in a sea.
Everyday
Asked
To swim.
Through the trials
Of the tidal swell
That washes
Along the passage
Of our lives.
Heaved
And pulled
Sucked under
Flung above.
Over
And over.
We try
Not to struggle.
But when we’re in the thick of it
Breath
Snatched
From chest
Tossed
From one wave
To the next
Limbs
Exhausted
From arduous
Exertion,
It’s hard to see
A way out
A way
To stop struggling.
Written by Liza Belle

Putting the picture together – A Poem

There’s no method
To the madness
When you’re flung
Headfirst
Into this thing
Called life.
I try in vain
To piece the puzzle
Patch
The picture
Of me
Together.
But I simply
Don’t know
Where to start.
Written by Liza Belle