I’ve talked about different ways to experiment with self-expression and I teach about how to use self-portraits as a tool for self-exploration in a solo, low-stress environment.
Unleashing your full expression and existing in ways that feel honest for you are really great. I mean, who doesn’t want that?
Living in a completely uninhibited way is truly liberating.
AND, getting there isn’t always the easiest.
It’s simple, in the sense that, well, all you have to do is do it.
But it’s not without its own challenges.
Even after all the work I had done up to that point (March 14, 2022), I was still chickening out and hesitant to move past some of my own self-imposed limits.
Two days later (March 16, 2022), I found the courage. I think the simple act of talking about how there was something more “risquée” I wanted to post but felt scared to do helped me get over the fear.
Uncensoring is such a big part of my journey. I talk about it all the time. I teach about it. So by now, people following me on IG know this about me and follow me BECAUSE of this. I receive messages from people about how they admire my courage in this whole uncensoring process. And it’s not JUST because my personal uncensoring often involves disrobing 😅.
We all acknowledge that there’s bravery in finding out who you really are and then expressing this honest version of your Self so publicly.
It can be so scary, because as humans, we are wired to seek acceptance. Being ostracized, as social creatures, is terrifying.
That’s why expressing your Self can feel so challenging. We have to overcome our ego’s fears and instincts about rejection. It hurts more when our true essence is rejected, than if we never showed people our most honest selves in the first place.
On the flip side, we can never truly love ourselves, or be loved by others, if we never express or reveal all of ourselves (to ourselves or others).
So yes, it’s not easy. It can feel downright terrifying.
It can feel like sweaty palms, teeth-chattering anxiety, tears streaming down your cheeks, and this chest-wrenching internal turmoil around what to do.
That’s exactly how I felt before posting this photo (April 6, 2022). There was something different about this photo, compared to what I had been posting up until this point (I think because it was so “naked” and butt-focused 😆).
I wrote something in another IG post that always comes back to me when I’m feeling nervous about posting something (or just expressing myself in a new/different way):
“The kind of photos I share are definitely an area where I keep pushing my own boundaries (*ahem* self-imposed limits).
Sometimes it’s scary.
Mostly it’s exhilarating.
Because the minute I hit “share,” I know I’ve just done it. I’ve expanded my comfort zone. I’ve pushed past a limit. I’ve grown, even just a little.”
Now, let me share a non-Instagram example of breaking past these limits in everyday life.
Recently (October 2022), I was in London with some Canadian friends. They’re both familiar with my journey, interests, and business endeavours.
They both know I’m embracing my sexuality/sensuality and are highly supportive of this journey.
They are both so, so supportive of literally anything I do or want to do.
Which is why, when we were planning to explore Camden Market one day, one friend mentioned to me that, in her research, she read there was a really great fetish wear shop there.
I told my other friend and I was really excited to check it out.
Exploring my style has been one way I experiment with my own self-expression, and these explorations have led me to alternative fashion and fetish wear. These are things I’m completely new to, outside of accounts I follow online and content I re-share.
Up until this point, I’ve never owned or worn alt fashion items or fetish wear.
So, quick summary: Everyone in my life knows about my interests and are supportive, my friends are completely non-judgemental and I know this, I’m very excited to go to this fetish wear shop (and my friends are excited for me).
All these things are true. AND. I still PANICKED.
We walked into this one shop that was really more alternative or gothic fashion, and I was literally panicking. I was on the verge of tears because I felt so overwhelmed.
I can’t tell you why, exactly. I don’t think the specifics of “why” are so important, honestly. I know whatever the reasons, they stem from the discomfort of stepping outside my comfort zone.
I told my friends I wanted to leave and that I couldn’t do this right now, so we all left and went about exploring Camden Market.
I let myself calm down a bit (I was SO hot, sweaty, and shaky 🥺).
As we were approaching the end of our market adventure, I got a message from another friend asking if I made it to the fetish wear shop. We hadn’t come across it yet, so he sent me a Google Maps link 😆. I shared this exchange with my friends, and these sweet, beautiful humans took the pressure off me by saying THEY wanted to see it for themselves.
They took the lead and I let them.
Once there, they went about looking through various items, pulling things out and asking me if I thought “they” would like it. Honestly, it was really so beautiful how they helped me through this experience.
They even asked questions to the shop owner on my behalf 😆.
Eventually, I picked some things out, tried them on, and decided on two things.
AND, I was nervous the entire time. But I KNEW I wanted to do this.
I knew I wanted to go to the shop, I knew I wanted to own fetish wear items, and I knew that getting through this fear would push me through the limits of my (old) comfort zone.
It felt so uncomfortable.
Later, when I was trying my new purchases on again, I realized how fucking GOOD I felt in them.
Like, why didn’t I do this sooner??
It felt uncomfortable, and I’m so glad I did it.
It would have been easier to just browse online, completely alone, but the experience of sharing this adventure with my friends was way better. And doing this WITH people was a new level of growth for me. A new layer to be peeled away. Another level of uncensoring and existing as my full expression in the world, and with people I love.
AND, my friends felt really happy that they got to be part of my “first fetish wear” experience.
What made this work so well?
- I was – and am – open to pushing myself and continually testing previously held limits/boundaries. I also had a very specific and practical way to do it. I shared this with people who matter to me. They didn’t necessarily know how much of a push it would be for me, and neither did I, but they were excited to do this new thing with me.
- During this whole experience, my friends were super supportive. They saw and knew what I needed/wanted, and made it safe and easy for me to do it. Even though it was “my” challenge, allowing them to take the lead at times helped me get through it. (In contrast to the photo sharing examples where pushing myself through the challenge was a solo experience.) Just because they’re YOUR limits/challenges, it does not mean you have to always confront them alone.
- I also had other friends supporting me from a distance, who wanted to share in the adventure, which ultimately provided additional support that prompted me to continue the search.
This is also proof of the beauty that comes from revealing your FULL self to those in your life. My friends were able to support me in this way because I was open enough to let them see this part of me. Yes, vulnerability can feel scary. You will likely be rejected by some people. But the people who accept you will accept ALL of you.
I know that discomfort is part of the process. It doesn’t necessarily have to be, and it isn’t always present, but it CAN be, and knowing how good it feels on the other side of that helps me feel confident going into the 🎵knees weak, palms are sweaty🎵 experiences (hopefully mom’s spaghetti stays where it should).
The next level of uncensoring my full expression? Wearing one of my new harnesses over clothes when I’m out and about 😲.