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Big (and Growing) News!

This vulnerable post was originally published on my Patreon page. A few updates have been added to keep this current. Please visit my Patreon for even more updates about my life and how this news will be impacting my sex ed career! 

A few days after the first of November, I started feeling really dizzy and tired.  I called my doctor, but she was out of the office that week, so I set up an appointment with the new physician’s assistant. He asked me all of the usual questions, took my blood pressure (which was mega low), took my temperature (which was slightly high, but normal), and had me pee in a cup and get some blood work done.  He said that if the news was normal/healthy, I would just get the results in my online chart. If anything came up, he would call.

Content note: Things are about to get very personal.

8:00 the next morning, my phone rang. I was in bed sleeping next to my partner. We are not morning people, but I managed to answer by the third ring.

Physician’s assistant (PA): Hello, is this AJ?

Me: Yes, this is AJ. (I was suddenly struck with anxiety remembering that a phone call – especially one at 8 in the morning – meant something was not normal with my test results.)

PA: Are you sitting? I have some news for you.

Me: <trying not to panic> I’m in bed still. 8am is early for me. What’s up?

At this point I assume I am going to be told I have cancer, or maybe an STI. My partner and I had been having unprotected sex with each other for nearly two years, and we each had one or two other regular sex partners. We were strict about safer sex with others, but as an educator, I know that sometimes things happen even when condoms are involved. Truthfully, I crossed my fingers for gonorrhea. At least that was an easy one to treat.

What was said next though, was a sentence I had come to believe I would never hear.

PA: AJ, you’re pregnant.

<long silence of disbelief>

PA: Congratulations.

Me: Um, I think there may have been a mixup in the lab. Remember how we talked about my infertility and how I tried for four years? I can’t get pregnant.

PA: Well, I am almost certain this was not a mixup. Maybe a miracle? Why don’t you come back in today to confirm through a blood test?

AJ: Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in an hour. Is it okay if I bring my partner?

PA: I think that’s a great idea. This is big news.

As soon as I hung up the phone I started saying “ohmygodohmygod” and shaking my boyfriend awake.

Me: Babe. Oh My God. Wake up. It’s important.

BF: <mumbles and tries to go back to sleep>

Me: No! Wake up! I need you. I’M PREGNANT.

BF: <shoots up, now wide awake> WHAT?! HOLY FUCK.

Fast forward to the clinic. They get me in right away for another urine test and an hCG blood test. We wait what seems like hours for the results, but it was really only a few minutes. My partner can’t sit still, but I am convinced someone will walk into the exam room and apologize for a mistake in the lab.

I tried for years to conceive with my ex husband. We went through dozens of medical tests, hundreds of ovulation strips, boxes and boxes of pregnancy tests that were always negative no matter what we did. We had been on special fertility diets, used expensive lube that was supposed to help bridge the semen with the cervical mucus to increase odds of conception. We had spent thousands of dollars we couldn’t afford to try and make my dreams of motherhood come true. I had even taken fertility shots and had my ovulation perfectly matched with science for an intrauterine insemination in 2014. Still, nothing.

I had given up on the idea of pregnancy and childbirth. My identity was now as a sex educator, comedic storyteller, and polyamorous divorcée who was barren and embracing an adventurous childfree life.

I thought maybe one day I would foster or adopt, but I was certainly in no position to do that any time soon in my tiny basement apartment, barely making a living wage.

But the PA came back into the room holding a bunch of pamphlets and a very official looking clipboard. He handed me a print off from the lab.

PA: The results are conclusive. You are pregnant. 

I don’t really remember what happened after that or how my partner responded. I think we just sort of half listened to what the nurses and PA told us, took the pamphlets, and left in a daze.

I was definitely in shock. Not only did I think I was forever infertile, but I hadn’t even missed my period yet. My period tracking app said I was supposed to start my period the next day…but the next day my blood hCG results came in and showed I was at least 5 weeks along.

I wanted to be happy and excited, but I still didn’t think it was real. Or maybe I tried to tell myself not to get my hopes up because miscarriages are common, especially for someone with a history of infertility and unexplained health problems.

However, it became very real within a few days of the news, when I woke up one morning with an uncontrollable urge to vomit. I spent that day stuck in the bathroom and couldn’t keep down any food or water.

I called my doctor and she recommended saltines by my bedside, sucking on sour candies for morning sickness, drinking ginger tea, staying away from strong smells, and getting out of bed slowly in the morning. I tried all of those things and a whole lot more, but my body wasn’t having it. My “morning sickness” was an all day spew fest. It went on like that for multiple days and I had to get admitted to the ER because I couldn’t even keep down water or the anti-nausea meds they prescribed.

I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum – a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance during pregnancy. I would continue to experience this condition for another 8 weeks. Early in the first trimester, on my best days, I could work from home next to the toilet for an hour or two and keep down plain crackers and ginger beer. When things were at their worst, I was throwing up 30+ times a day and unable to move more than a few inches. If I was having a very good day, I was able to leave my house for appointments and grocery shopping, but I felt horrible at all times and had to carry around my own personal barf bag.

My biggest and most badass achievement during those first few weeks was when I parallel parked my van with one hand while using my other hand to hold a plastic bag up to my mouth to catch my vomit.

I eventually started to come around. I haven’t thrown up in a couple of weeks but am still prone to dehydration and moodiness. I am constantly hungry but feel relieved about having any sort of appetite again.

Now that I am in my second trimester, I’m very much looking forward to eating for two and getting extra pickles on everything (which I have done for years anyway, but now people will think it’s cute instead of just weird).

When I first heard the heartbeat, I cried. It was really real. When my partner and I saw the baby move and squirm and wave on a screen, we both shouted things like, “Ah! Fuck! Whoa!” Fortunately, the technician was understanding and laughed along at our amazement.

I have had three ultrasounds at this point. We had a little bit of a scare with the second one looking abnormal, but so far everything seems to be going well (as far as we can tell). We do need to get a fetal echo to check baby’s heart just to be on the safe side, so fingers crossed everything is healthy.

The doctor told us last Friday what kind of genitals our baby has, but we will not be sharing that info with the public or even with friends. We know that a penis does not automatically equal a boy and a vulva does not automatically equal a girl, so we’re not going to be talking about the sex of the child with others. I have seen how early the gender stereotypes and restrictions start, and I am hoping to avoid that for as long as possible. Hopefully until our kiddo is old enough to let us know for themselves if they are a girl, boy, or neither.

Since I was so sick in the first trimester, I haven’t been able to work much. That means the podcast has been on hiatus and will probably remain on pause until March 2018, after all of the Valentine’s events of February have passed. I do have a lot of work coming up this month though, and am looking forward to getting back out there and teaching.

I am not sure whether this pregnancy qualifies as a miracle, magic, or just plain randomness in a wacky world. Whatever the reason, I’m excited and terrified and know my year is going to be very unlike any year I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to meet my mini Moosh in July!

Much love,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Advice, Career, Consent Culture, events, Kink, Podcast, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Geek Summer Camp, Sex on the Brain, Sex on the Road, Sex Toys, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Uncategorized

Sex on the Brain Episode 17: Sex Geek Summer Camp

Episode 17: Sex Geek Summer Camp – Amory Jane goes to Sex Geek Summer Camp! SGSC is a “5 day sleepaway business camp + education retreat/seminar for sex educators and sex-positive professionals.” In this live style episode, AJ interviews a group of fantastic first year campers/fellow sex pros about who they are, what they do, and their (wet and wild) adventures at #SGSC17! A must-listen for anyone interested in getting into the world of sex education/blogging/coaching or for folks who are considering attending camp next year. Also a fun listen for those just wanting to hear about what happens when a big group of sex geeks get together in the woods. 😉 

Available below or on the go with iTunes and Stitcher! 

A huge thanks to our sponsors –Fun FactoryUberlube, and She Bop! 

 
 
 

Things mentioned in this episode:

Sex Geek Summer Camp on Twitter

Reid Mihalko from reidaboutsex.com

Cathy Vartuli from theintimacydojo.com

Awakening Animal

Squeaky Bedsprings

Sex, Love, and All the Feels

Burlesque Stripped Down

Camp’s amazing and generous sponsors:

Credits

Host – Amory Jane

Sound Engineering, Editing, and Theme Song – Mat Vuksinich

Guests – Ria Bloom, Liz, Sammi, Alex, Colby Marie Z, and Velvet O’Claire

Episode sponsors – Uberlube, She Bop, and Fun Factory

Adventure, Advice, BDSM, Consent Culture, Culture, Dating, dildos, Fellatio, feminist, Kink, Kink Retreat, Masturbation, Mental Health, Modern Dating, New Orleans, Oral sex, Patreon, Podcast, Polyamory, Porn, queer femmes, Queer Sex, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Sex, Sex advice, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex on the Road, Sex Toys, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, sexuality, Teaching Tour, Travel, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

Sex on the Brain Episode 16: Sex on the Road

Episode 16: Sex on the Road (Bonus Episode) – Best friends, Amory Jane and Amari Indigo, record from their hotel room at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion. They talk about what it’s like to be a demo bottom/stunt cock (for a fellatio class), demisexuality, being “delicate fucking flowers,” different relationship labels and styles, unicorn hunting, libido, the frustrations and conveniences of modern dating, and the importance of human touch.

Available below or on the go with iTunes and Stitcher!

Things mentioned in this episode:

HEART in Gear: An Engineer’s Erotic Journey to Freedom

COPE (Central Ohio Perversion Excursion)

Amory Jane’s classes

Demisexuality

Alicia Zenobia’s Mind Melt Bodysuits/”Astral Skins” on Etsy

Amory Jane’s Patreon with behind the scenes photos, videos, and more

“Unicorn Hunting”

Credits

Host – Amory Jane

Sound Engineering, Editing, and Theme Song – Mat Vuksinich

Guest – Amari Indigo

A huge thanks to this episode’s sponsors – Uberlube & Heart in Gear

 

events, Giveaway, Sex Positive Variety Show, Sex Toys, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Storytelling, variety show, Whoopee, Whoopee, Whoopee!

Gay Pigeon’s Slacker Ticket Giveaway!

One of Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show‘s sponsors – Gay Pigeon – is doing a last minute ticket giveaway for all of you slackers out there who procrastinated on getting your tickets for tonight’s show.
All you have to do to be entered to win is like Gay Pigeon’s Facebook page and Whoopee’s Facebook page.
That’s it. Just make sure you do it RIGHT NOW because the winner will be selected at 6pm and door are at 7 at Bossanova! See you there! 
Adventure, Cannabis, Podcast, Roadtrip, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized, Van life

5000 miles

I have been on the road with my sex ed van, Blanche, for 27 days now. I also just passed over 5,000 miles driven on this road trip so far!

A lot has happened since my last post, some of which has been documented on my Patreon (includes photos). For folks who want more updates and behind-the-scenes content from my adventures on the road as a sex edu-tainer, I have also been making little videos to share on Patreon and I published a secret patron only podcast episode with my best friend Amari Indigo.

Here are some of the major highlights/summaries from my trip to catch you up to date:

  • I have driven through 14 states (although, honestly, it feels like more): Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, Missouri, and Kansas
  • I taught at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion
  • I was reunited with my darling Amari Indigo for a few days in the Midwest and we caught up, created, and had a bunch of fun together
  • We were joined by my friend Eric in Ohio and all went to Cedar Point for a day of riding roller coasters
  • I visited Pittsburgh for the first time and loved it
  • I got to see everyone in my family and even got a tattoo with my older sister
  • I attended Sex Geek Summer Camp

I have many stories to tell and paragraphs to write about my adventures, especially at SGCC, but right now it’s time to get out on the road again. Today I’ll finally be getting back into the land of mountains and cannabis (hooray!) with a visit to Denver.

Until next time!

xoxo,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Mental Health, Patreon, Personal Blog, Podcast, Roadtrip, Self-Care, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex on the Road, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Van life, Vulnerability

Road Trip Updates

A photo I took from one of the scenic viewpoints in Utah

Day 3: I drove 407 miles from Salt Lake City to a gorgeous campsite in Eastern Wyoming. It was called Vedauwoo located in Medicine Bow National Forest. The air smelled like desert sage and pine. I collected wood and built myself a nice little fire, cooked food, and wrote by firelight until it was too dark to see. Then I climbed onto the roof of my van and looked at the stars. I felt alone, but calm and powerful. I felt present. I felt like I was enough.

My mind, body, and spirit feel a hundred times better when I am doing things like this and surrounded by nature. The constant stress of capitalism and needing to be connected to social media and always trying to promote myself is not only exhausting, but it’s actively unhealthy for me. My time in Wyoming made me realize that If I didn’t have a mission as a sex educator and need to be near a major city to do my work, I would love to hide away for a bit to live somewhere quieter and write a book.

Day 4: Another long drive – 473 miles to Lincoln, Nebraska. Everything became much flatter once I left Wyoming, and there was tons of construction on I-80, so it wasn’t an especially pleasant drive. I decided to get a cheap motel room for the free HBO so I could watch the Game of Thrones premiere though. 😛

I have added two more videos to my Patreon page of me giving updates and singing from my car. Day 2’s song was “Stay” by Lisa Loeb and Day 3’s song was by the Dixie Chicks. Those are viewable to Patrons only, so if you want to check them out, please sign up and support my journey. Just $5 gets you videos, extra updates, and late night vulnerability posts (and higher amounts allow you to request songs and get access to a few soon-to-be-released secret podcast episodes and sex ed classes)!

Tomorrow I am going to Iowa where I’ll be staying with someone I’ve never met but who is a friend of a friend. They’re even going to make me a home cooked meal. Can’t wait! Loving the road but eating well isn’t easy.

Until next time! <3

Adventure, Patreon, Roadtrip, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Shame, Teaching Tour, Travel, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, vulnerability porn

I made a video!

I did something WAY outside of my comfort zone and recorded a video of myself in the car yesterday while I was driving to John Day. It’s a little over 5 minutes of unedited dorky footage and I end it with singing a Rilo Kiley song a capella.

I always get really nervous about posting videos, which means I never do, but I decided I needed to get over that if I’m going to start “building my brand” more. So, I just said ‘fuck it’ and hit record even though I was sweaty and driving and not wearing makeup.

It’s on my Patreon right now for all to view, but future videos will be for Patrons only as a way of earning gas money to get me to Ohio to teach at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion. A one time $5 contribution will get you daily videos along with other fun things (or for $10 you can make song suggestions and for $20 I’ll sing whatever you want and dedicate it to you).

Thanks for watching!

Advice, feminist, Feminist Porn, Femmes, group play, group sex, Intern Courtney, Kink, Masturbation, orgasm, Play Party, Podcast, Porn, queer femmes, Queer Sex, queer sex, Relationships, Self-Care, self-love, Sex, Sex Education, Sex on the Brain, Sex Toys, Sex-Positive Entertainment, sexuality, Shame, squirting, vibrators, Vulnerability, vulnerability porn

Sex on the Brain Episode 15: The One Where Everyone Masturbates

Episode 15: The One Where Everyone Masturbates – The title of this one is a pretty good summary. Amory Jane, Intern Courtney, and nine other Portland babes get together to talk about masturbation, watch porn, and playfully touch themselves and each other. This episode is full of personal stories, vibrator sounds, moans, laughs, and multiple real orgasms. If you loved Episode 9: Live from the Femme Sex Party, you’ll definitely want to check out The One Where Everyone Masturbates.

Available below or on the go with iTunes and Stitcher!

Things mentioned in this episode:

30% off at goodcleanlove.com– Promo Code: AMORY (expires 7/31/17)

Ev’Yan Whitney’s blog post about this party: Part 1

Ev’Yan Whitney’s blog post about this party: Part 2

She Bop’s upcoming classes

Broad City: Ilana gets in the mood

The porn we watched: Daddy’s Little (Princess)

(Hitachi) Magic Wand

Magic Wand Rechargeable

Womanizer and Womanizer 2GO

 

Credits

Host – Amory Jane

Intern/Co-Host – Courtney Kist

Sound Engineering, Editing, and Theme Song – Mat Vuksinich

Guests – Epiphora, Valentine, Calico, Ev’Yan Whitney, Stella Harris, Jaz, CJ, Cee, and PJ

A huge thanks to our sponsors – Good Clean LoveShe Bop, and Uberlube!

Adventure, Advice, BDSM, Career, Comedy, Consent Culture, Culture, Dating, Depression, divorce, events, feminist, Giveaway, Kink, Life Changes, Mental Health, Modern Dating, moving on, Patreon, Personal Blog, Podcast, Polyamory, Porn, Queer Sex, Relationships, Roadtrip, Self-Care, self-love, Sex, Sex advice, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex ed videos, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Positive Variety Show, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Shame, Storytelling, Teaching Tour, Travel, Uncategorized, variety show, Whoopee, Whoopee!

Vulnerability Porn – from me to you!

My birthday was this week, and what I wanted for my birthday was for my sex-positive variety show + afterparty to go well.  That meant a night the audience would enjoy and remember and, for me, high enough ticket sales so I could finally fix my sex ed mobile and get back out on the road to teach sex workshops and attend conferences.

Photo by Alex Ell from Whoopee! A Sex+ Variety Show

The show was incredible (seriously, the performers were amazing) and I kicked ass at my standup comedy debut, but we fell short of our ticket sale goals. We had a Sunday night show the night after the World Naked Bike Ride, there were record high heats, and it was just Pride Weekend – not easy to compete with those things. So, while I am proud of the show and everything it brought to the community, the joy of the event unfortunately didn’t last long for me because of the impact it had on my bank account. It was a major bummer, especially since I was hoping to earn some of the $700 I need for van repairs before I can leave town.

This is going to start sounding like a sob story, if it hasn’t already, but hang with me (it gets more positive eventually).

On my actual birthday, I had one of my worst days in recent memory. It started with me being admitted to the hospital with a very painful autoimmune flare-up, and continued to get comically worse, until it ended with both of my dogs puking all over the house. When it rains it pours, and this time it poured vomit.

I was pretty ready to give up. It felt like rock bottom to me after one of the worst years of my life, in which I got divorced, sold my possessions and moved into an RV to travel the country only to have the RV break down on me, was crashed into by a hit and run driver that left me with medical bills and worsened my chronic pain condition, dealt with multiple mental health crises, and had my heart broken (again).

Pushing myself forward in a career where I was always supposed to be “on” – sexy and funny and charming and self-promoting, didn’t seem feasible any longer. I told myself that as much as I love the work I do, and as important as sex and consent education and patriarchy-smashing is to the world, it was time to either become an off the grid hermit or get a “normal person job” that paid the bills more consistently. Not making enough money each month has meant chronic stress, which certainly doesn’t help pain or mental illness or healing from grief. But when I told my best friends about my fears and plans, they all told me I was full of shit. I mean, they did it in the nicest way possible, but they still refused to believe “hermit” or a 9-5  job were my only options. They begged me to never be normal, and encouraged me to try a few more things before I gave up on my dreams. Most of them agreed I should set up a Patreon, so that’s what I did.

The life of a sex educator can be exciting and hot and rewarding and ridiculous, but it can also be challenging, exhausting, and like I’m always fighting “Imposter Syndrome.” Plus, it can be really financially unpredictable, like when colleges wait two months to send a check for a safer sex workshop, or frustrating when everyone asks for sex and relationship advice and expects it for free.

However, I love my job and am very passionate about my chosen career. I’m good at it, and people tell me frequently how much it means to them that I do this work. So, I really want to be able to keep teaching, writing, interviewing, and podcasting about sex, relationships, love, and intersectional feminism. I also want to start embracing my creativity and getting more in touch with the comedian/writer/storyteller I’ve always been. I know creating and performing, and vulnerably sharing those parts of myself, will help me heal. And I hear that’s something the world needs – more healed people to help heal others.

Whenever things get to the point where I feel hopeless and helpless, I admit, I wallow in it for a day or two (#Cancer). Then I try really hard to get out of my mopey crab shell and rise from the ashes like a glorious Phoenix of Sex Wizardy (because apparently mixing a bunch of half-assed metaphors and witchy imagery is how I get inspired). That’s what this Patreon is for me – an attempt at an self-inspiring rebirth – or at least a healing new chapter.

So, please, won’t you allow yourselves to be inspired too? Join my Patreon, get exclusive access to my intimate stories/projects/comedy/podcasts/ridiculous life + sex ed videos and advice, and feel good because you are making a huge difference in the life of an educator (who can then make a difference in the lives of others).

Thank you for helping me continue my work. <3

 

Acting, Burlesque, Comedy, events, Giveaway, Kink, Music, Podcast, Queer Sex, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Positive Variety Show, Sex Toys, Sex-Positive Entertainment, sexuality, Storytelling, variety show, Whoopee, Whoopee!

Ticket Giveaway!

Just a quick post to let you know that you have two chances to win a pair of tickets to this Sunday’s Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show + Birthday Bash.

Enter here to win a pair of tickets from She Bop!

Enter here to win a pair of tickets from PDX Pipeline!

Winners will be selected on Friday, so be sure to visit those giveaway pages soon. Even if you don’t win, tickets are available in-person at both She Bop locations (and saves you $5 in online fees) or you may purchase tickets online here.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. I will making my stand-up comedy debut at Whoopee! on Sunday. If it starts going poorly, on plan on just showing my boobs and pretending it was all a performance art piece. 😛