Month: January 2014

I’ve had a long day.

Blanche! You minx! I love you.

It’s been a long day, with a little bit of work and a little bit of procrastination. It’s minus forty fucking two outside, so I’m stuck in the house again. No errand is worth going out there.

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Smellin’ Good

So I’m nerding out a wee bit on self care. I’ve had some time off of one of my jobs, and instead of ramping up everything in my life, I’ve kind of just slowed down. Honestly, that was exactly what I needed to do in order to put everything in perspective. I’ve been working hard on Cherrystems about 20-30 hours a week for nearly 7 years. We’re launching a new site, building content for that, as well as building the site itself, creating the brand, filing the paperwork, registering the business, creating a filing system… You name it. A lot of folks think the porn world is all scandal and sex and fun times – and it is – but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that gets done.  A lot of customer service, a lot of a lot of things. And it’s great. But sitting back and realizing I’d been doing all this for 7 years of my life, I thought “I want a break. I’m taking a break.”

And I did, and it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I was starting to get frustrated with the whole project. We’re moving forward every year, involving more people as time passes, reaching new folks, and expanding in every possible way, but it was just becoming *work*. Something I had to do, emails I had to send. So I stepped back, I took lots of long showers, I worked on Fuze and on myself. And really, I can’t say enough good things about that decision.

Did we see more joins while I wasn’t working? No. Did we see less? Slightly. Did we fall off the radar completely while I took care of myself? No. But these are all things that we think are going to happen, and people hold us to the idea that if we step back, the world will keep moving and no one will wait for you. Perhaps that’s true in a lot of ways. But ya know what? I don’t want in on a world that doesn’t understand that sometimes, people need to be people. What a freeing decision.

I’m now back at it with an energy I haven’t had in years. Attempting to make myself a real schedule based around when I can work, instead of working and being available all the time, has been my goal. One step at a time, really. Attainable lists make me get an extra 20 things done per day than just sitting around, fretting about how I’m going to take on a task.

And the little things.

The little things, for me, like putting on real pants in the morning (I KNOW) rather than sitting around in my jammies all day, and learning how to do my hair, and smelling good. Whatever those little things are for you, find them and *make* the time to do them if you can. Unplug, put the phone down, and go take care of yourself.

If you’re a femme or sometimes-femme and want to start taking time for yourself, I’ll tell you an interesting little thing that I started doing that has really actually changed things for me. I subscribed to The All Natural Face‘s monthly beauty box. Every month around the 25th, I get a little box full of self care surprises. It’s an extra bonus that they’re all natural, mostly vegan, handmade, and awesome. They’re based in the US, in Massachusetts, and really honestly make some great products. I’ll take this time to note that I’m not being paid or provided with free goodies or anything for this. I just like this box that much.

This is my third box, and I can’t really describe to you the great feeling I get when I see the it in the mailbox. I get inside, take off my boots, plunk myself down with a cup of tea, and then open my present. The last two boxes were pretty makeup-heavy, which is good because I’ve finally been learning how to do my makeup (at the age of 29). This box, however, for February, is full of body products.

All Natural Face Beauty Box

To spell it all out for you, from right to left, we’ve got Face Food Fruit Face Wash in strawberry and cream, 100% squalane oil (for wrinklies), edible cocoa Love Dust for times you want to be sparkly but also taste like cocoa, Diva Stix all-purpose shimmer colour stick in Raspberry, a sample of raspberry lip gloss, the most delicious-smelling Monoi Tiare Gardenia body oil, and some all-natural lube!

As someone who can’t wear cheap perfumes without developing a pretty severe headache, I really love getting natural products with essential oils or products that are just straight up unscented. If you like that kind of thing and the possibility of getting a box full of stuff you’ve got no idea how to use, then you should probably join too. Or just buy the individual things. Though had I bought all these things individually, it would have cost me about $30 plus shipping. Each of these boxes is $15 with shipping included. I can dig it!

The whole thing about it, though, is the ritual. I sit down and I have a little moment with myself. I experiment with eye shadows, brow powder and wax (I really had no idea what I was doing the first few times), and now all these body products too! It’s nice. So while this ritual is right for me, yours might be something else. But subscription boxes are definitely something to get happy about. I like presents.

So that’s my fluffy self care post, and how taking time off made me learn to slow down and smell the subscription box.

The Awkward Introduction

It’s time for that post. That awkwardly self aware first foray into a new blog. So fresh and so clean, it’s time to just sully it all up with made up words and some inane ramblings that perhaps might interest some people.

I’ll run the introduction first, so that at least you’ve got some context for the posts to follow.

My name is Kate. Kate Sinclaire, in fact. I run a website called Cherrystems.com, which is not safe to be clicking on at work – though if you’re here, reading my blog, at work, then you’re probably at the kind of workplace that you could look at Cherrystems at. That is to say, one that allows you to look at porn. Cherrystems.com is a soft porn site based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. An unlikely home for a bit of a porn hub, but we’re hoping that we can be trailblazers in that respect.

Our goals are to be open and honest about sex work, and to bring the concepts to the forefront – even in smaller centres. To show that there are things happening outside of San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, and to give hope to people struggling with living in cities that don’t cater to their interests.

In order to achieve this, Cherrystems is a labour of love. All of our workers are volunteers, working toward creating a world that accepts sex work and sex workers. Our membership fees go to fund trips to conferences for Cherrystems-involved folks, as well as to assist other community organizations in Winnipeg and beyond.

So that’s kinda that in a nutshell.

The next thing on my docket to tell you is that I work for the most amazing silicone toy company (in the world). We’re called Fuze Toys, and we’re based in Peterborough, Ontario. Yes, I work out of Winnipeg, but that’s how things go in the magical world of the internet. We create awesome silicone dildos, butt plugs, and supply silicone balls for gags to some of the best suppliers of BDSM and leather goods.

For them, I maintain social media, am the wholesale sales rep, and am heading up some interesting marketing projects and the like. It’s so incredibly exciting to be part of a company that is growing so much. I learn new things everyday, get to meet awesome people that work in some of the absolute best sex shops in the whole world. It’s such an amazing privilege. We create 100% silicone goods, manufactured by injection not far from our Peterborough base, in the USA. We have the best Canadian folks designing for us, and we maintain wetlands and plant native trees with the funds that come in from our sex toys.

Could I have a better job?

Or set of jobs?

No.

In real life, though, I’ve been trying to slightly slow down, or at least redistribute my tasks. I’ve got a new found anxiety disorder based around involuntary, stress-induced heart palpitations. I have between 1 palpitation and approximately 2000+ on a daily basis. Some days it’s hard just to be Kate, feeling your heart skipping beats and getting dizzy all the time. When it happens to be every 15 seconds of your life, shit gets hard. Is this my last heartbeat? This one? Is this the time this palpitation is for real?

I’ve learned that adequate sleep, lots of love from my partner, Aaron, and keeping my priorities straight has really helped me a lot. While I used to love doing a million things a minute, I’m just suddenly no longer capable as a human being. So sometimes I’ll write about the challenges of having a mental illness based off a physical illness.

Annnnd I sometimes sew, listen to music, embroider, work a day job, have friends, vacation, explore, and enjoy life in general. This is a personal/professional blog, so you’ll see it all. I can’t wait to get to know you.