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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. ūüėȬ†

Available below or on the go with iTunes and Stitcher! 

A huge thanks to our sponsors ‚ÄďFun Factory,¬†Uberlube, 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 ‚Äď Amory Jane

Sound Engineering, Editing, and Theme Song¬†‚Äď Mat¬†Vuksinich

Guests ‚Äď Ria Bloom, Liz, Sammi, Alex, Colby Marie Z, and¬†Velvet O’Claire

Episode sponsors ‚Äď Uberlube, She Bop, and¬†Fun Factory

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

 

Adventure, BDSM, Culture, Dating, feminist, Feminist Porn, Femmes, Fisting, guest blog, Intern, Intern Courtney, Kink, Mental Health, Personal Blog, Podcast, Polyamory, pop culture, Porn, queer femmes, Queer Porn, Queer Sex, queer sex, real life poly, Relationships, self-discovery, self-love, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Toys, Sex-Positive Entertainment, sexuality, Spanking, Storytelling, Strap on Sex

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Community, Care, and a Femme Sex Coven

Read¬†this heartwarming, sexy, sweet little personal essay written by our very own magical intern (Intern Courtney) for Autostraddle! It’s about her experiences with our Femme Sex Coven (also featured in Episode 9 of our podcast, Sex on the Brain with Amory Jane)!

This made me cry happy tears. So much love for my intern and friend, Courtney, for my community, and for all of the witchy wonderful femmes out there! <3

 

Adventure, Career, Career Change, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Podcast, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Uncategorized

Thank you

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had made a really stupid choice to leave a great position at a great company (where I made a living wage) to follow my passions and become a (mega poor) full-time Sex Educator Extraordinaire. Lately my risks have seemed a little more like they are paying off though. I’m getting booked all over the place, selling out classes and shows, getting thousands of downloads on the podcast, and finally feeling more like a part of the community.

With the depression and anxiety I felt after the election, I almost gave up on my dream. I didn’t have to energy to actually do it, but I thought about looking for a “regular person job.” Then, and I don’t know exactly what happened or how, a couple days ago I broke open and a lot of grief rushed out. Then energy to move forward and kick some ass settled in. It’s like I got a giant slap in the face, but I am not complaining.

Anyway, thank to all of you supportive wonderful people who encouraged me to keep going. I’m not very good at being my own cheerleader, but your combined forces showed so much belief in me that maybe I finally started believing it too.

xoxo,

Amory Jane

BDSM, Culture, feminist, Feminist Porn, HUMP!, Intern, Podcast, pop culture, Porn, Prop 60, Queer Porn, Relationships, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, sexuality, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Sex on the Brain Episode 2: Porn

Episode 2 of Sex on the Brain with Amory Jane is here, and this week’s episode is all about porn!¬†Check it out here¬†or listen¬†to it on the go with¬†iTunes¬†and¬†Stitcher!

Performer/writer/wrestler Andre Shakti joins the show from California to talk about the porn industry and why Californians should vote no on Prop 60.  Model and queer porn performer, Valentine, tells us about her sexy adventures at Berlin Porn Film Festival and has an intimate conversation with Amory Jane and Intern Courtney about pornography, body image, Germany, and being slutty. They also share their favorite types of smut, what they like about queer and feminist porn, plus Amory Jane and Valentine go into detail on what it was like to create films for HUMP! Film Festival.

Amory Jane also announces the premiere of Whoopee! A Sex Positive Variety Show.

andre valentine

Credits

Host – Amory Jane

Sound Engineering, Editing, and Theme Song РMat Vuksinich

Intern – Courtney Kist

Guests – Andre Shakti and Valentine

Additional music by Bensound (http://www.bensound.com)

As always, a big thank you to our sponsors –¬†She Bop and Uberlube!

Adventure, Intern, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Podcast, RV Lifestyle, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Travel, Uncategorized

Hit and Run

Content note: This post describes a minor auto accident with vehicle damage (but no gruesome injuries).

On the night of October 5th, as I was driving home from the store to my new apartment, I was in an automobile accident. It was dark and pouring rain and I had a few IKEA boxes in the hatchback trunk area of my Honda Fit. My partner and I were at a stoplight, discussing how we would decorate our room, when we heard a very loud horn and then immediately felt the impact of another car crashing against us.

We were rear ended with the other car going full speed (45 mph), so I still don’t know how we walked away with only some rear bumper and hatchback door damage. Especially once I saw the other driver’s car. Their¬†Nissan was severely damaged – both of the airbags deployed, the entire front bumper and hood were crunched up like a squeezebox, and the¬†engine was smoking. I pulled off to the side of the road to exchange insurance information and check on the other driver. He pulled over slightly behind me, still in the road, got halfway out of his car, and began to yell at me like it was my fault that he hit me.

I asked for the driver’s info and took out my own insurance card, but he said he didn’t have his on him. He claimed it was at his house up¬†the street and said we needed to follow him there. I told him¬†I wasn’t super comfortable with that and would prefer to at least get his contact info to follow up, and that’s when he got back in his car and drove off. His airbags were puffed out like Jiffy Pop foil¬†and his headlights were barely hanging on, but still, he sped away.

Hit and run. This was the first time it has ever happened to me and I felt confused and angry and unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, Matias was there and caught a partial plate number along with the make and model of the vehicle. We drove the short distance home (keeping our eyes open for the other driver’s messed up car)¬†and called the police and insurance company when we arrived at our new place.

No word yet from the cops or the insurance folks, but I am happy to report that my car is still drivable and the IKEA boxes were unharmed. I, unfortunately, have whiplash, a headache, and back pain. I also had to miss a couple days of work and take my move-in process more slowly than I would prefer, so this is certainly another large and expensive inconvenience.

Speaking of large and expensive inconveniences, as you may have read on Intern Courtney’s recent post, St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile¬†bit the dust as we were driving into Portland on the final day of my national sex ed teaching tour. The good news is that Edna got us close to home and didn’t die out in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The bad news is that her engine is completely shot and she is not able to be driven right now.

I am distraught and very anxious about¬†Edna. She isn’t just my mascot, she is a huge part of my traveling sex education business and she was my home and mode of transportation for four and a half months. This is a huge loss and it creates a lot of major¬†questions:

-Should I try to get Edna fixed up even though it will cost me a lot of money I do not have?

-Should I organize a fundraising event and/or crowdfunding campaign to get her a new engine?

-Should I focus on putting in more internal cosmetic work on Edna and rent her out to tourists as a cute and affordable Airbnb option? (And not even worry about her engine right now?)

-Should I lay Edna to rest aka¬†sell her as a “mechanic’s special” and use that small amount of money to go toward a teardrop¬†trailer¬†that I can customize and haul with my Honda Fit (after that¬†gets repaired, of course)? Can I even afford a tiny trailer right now?

I wish I had plenty of time to weigh all of the options, but I have more classes to teach and travel plans coming up in November, so I have to figure it out soon. Eep!

It is hard to not feel cursed lately; like someone has a voodoo doll of me/my vehicles and is gleefully stabbing away at them. However, I know that this is just another setback I will survive. Everyone likes to tell me that this means good things are coming, that the crap has reached a tipping point and soon it will crap somewhere else and only rain goodness and financial success upon me. I sure do hope all of those optimists are right. ūüėČ

For now, I am focused on moving into my new apartment and enjoying life off the road for a couple weeks. I will be using this time to launch my podcast, get more sponsors, and work on a highly entertaining top secret project that will be revealed on my first episode. Even though stressful things have been piling up, wonderful things are on the horizon. That is what keeps me going.

Well, that and the new Pumpkin & Spice Triscuit. Call me a “basic bitch” and make fun of me all you want for loving on pumpkin spice, but these little cracker buddies are subtle and delicious and pair really well with cheddar cheese, fig jam, and pretty much everything in my cabinets. Let me have this simple pleasure, y’all. I need it.

Until next time,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Career, guest blog, Intern, Kink, Life Changes, Renovation, Roadtrip, self-discovery, self-love, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, sexuality, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

While the boss is away…

Hello Readers! It’s your favorite weirdo intern, Intern Courtney!

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-11-31-54-pm
Look at this witchy needle goddess!

Amory Jane is currently at a kink retreat called Boundless and will be returning to Portland (and this blog) on October 5th. Since she is off learning new things to teach at her future classes, getting to know some needles, gazing at the stars, and frolicking/flogging in the woods, she hasn’t had reliable access to the internet to post any updates. So, I am here to deliver some deets to you! Here’s what’s up:

St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile is very sick. Amory Jane and her travel companions were driving back into Portland when Edna started making very¬†weird noises. Her engine died suddenly on the side of the highway just 20 minutes outside of Portland and she had to get towed away by AAA. Fortunately, the team made it back to Portland and Edna didn’t shut down on top of a mountain or in the middle of the desert or something. Unfortunately, Edna has complete engine failure and will need some expensive repairs. AJ is still weighing all of her options, but is considering launching a campaign and/or throwing a sex-positive fundraising event to get Edna back out on the road. In the meantime, AJ is traveling the country in a much smaller (but equally cute) sex ed mobile – her purple Honda Fit.

РAmory Jane has some rad classes coming up this Fall, including a new one on Sex and Cannabis! There might even be some free cannabis lube samples in it for you! Details can be found on the She Bop website.

– Amory Jane will be traveling through California this November and still has a little bit of room left in her schedule. If you would like to book a workshop, private party, or coaching session in that time, give her a shout! Her dates in California are early to mid-November and she will be visiting the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and everywhere nearby and in-between.

РYes, AJ did get the donuts she asked for. She put it out into the universe and it came to her (and by that I mean her intern dutifully got them for her).

I don’t know about you, but I am SO stoked for what the future has to hold! Stay tuned to the blog for detailed accounts of Amory Jane’s final few days of her recent teaching tour, St. Edna’s prognosis, and tales from kink camp!

 

XOXO, Intern Courtney14494859_10154008707867945_6156387850907967616_n

Adventure, Career, New Orleans, Personal Blog, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Road, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

Gold Walls, Grits, & Gravy

Why oh why did I only schedule myself three days and two nights in New Orleans?!

Of all the cities¬†I have visited in my life, New Orleans is one of my favorites. The food is phenomenal, the houses come in every color of the rainbow and thecolorful_houses_in_new_orleans¬†architectural styles are really neat, strangers¬†make eye contact and say hello as though you’re their neighbor, and the nightlife can’t be beat. Even when I am there to work, I still feel like I am on vacation because of the party vibe and the energy in the air.

It also didn’t hurt that I was lucky enough to be offered a free stay in a beautifully renovated historic home that had a four poster bed, a luxurious vintage bathroom, and a gold glitter wall. After traveling for two weeks in a 21 foot RV and sharing that small space with other people, being i14324188_10100239387248248_5372881836496805284_on such a fancy house made me feel ridiculously spoiled. Especially when our¬†hosts¬†made breakfast in bed for Matias and me after our first night of deliciously comfortable sleep in NOLA (and cooked us up some grits and gravy after our second night). <3

Speaking of Matias, my partner flew into New Orleans to join in on the Sex on the Road Teaching Tour.¬†This was a wonderful surprise to me, since his job wasn’t originally going to let him have the time off.¬†Fortunately, he pulled some strings and¬†will be traveling with me all the way back to Portland (and to the Boundless Kink Retreat¬†in early October). I am ultra pleased to have my honey keeping me company, sharing driving duties, and providing me with much-needed snuggles and massages. Also, he is a babe¬†and total sweetheart, so that tends to help when I am feeling grumpy or life on the road gets stressful.

While in NOLA, I taught two sex ed classes for Dynamo: A Romantic Boutique in the Deep South. They have a fantastic new store on St. Claude and it was an absolute pleasure to teach there. The owners, Hope and Nico, are terrific and genuine people and I expect that Dynamo is going to continue to do really well in New Orleans. They have high-quality sex products, fun events, local kinky goods, and they truly care about their community.

I taught Back That Ass Up: Anal 101 and Swinging & Threesomes & Orgies, Oh My! and both classes went well. The audience on my second night seemed especially excited to learn about group sex etiquette, and many of them reached out after class to get copies of my play party rules. My new Moto Insta-Share Projector was also a success once we figured out how to keep it charged. It really makes traveling with my presentations a lot easier than carrying around posters or flip charts. Highly recommended for other sex educators or traveling public speakers.

Both¬†nights after teaching, we went out on the town and had a blast. NOLA is a party city, but it is also city of artists, an international city, and a place where everyone seems to know each other. So, going out means you’re guaranteed a social time and interesting conversations. You can also take your drinks out of the bar with you if you don’t finish them, which makes bar hopping especially easy. We even spent one night on¬†Bourbon Street¬†like a bunch of tourists, which was overwhelming and had me feeling way too many other people’s energies, but it was also an experience I was really glad to have had. I also got to visit some voodoo shops and bought myself a tarot deck, which I have been thinking of doing for years, so I had that very cool experience in addition to some mildly drunken shenanigans.

 

We¬†said goodbye to Amari the next day, and she recorded a little goodbye video of St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile. It was raining and the way the water fell on¬†Edna’s windshield looked like she was crying. It was a touching moment; both Edna and I are going to miss Amari (and New Orleans) dearly.

We departed NOLA in the afternoon and headed to Houston – our return to Texas –¬†and that is where I will leave off for now. Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Los Angeles!

xoxo,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Career, guest blog, Intern, Personal Blog, Podcast, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Road, sexuality, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

Meet my intern!

received_10153947512892945I am excited to announce that I now have an intern! Communicating on the road has been a bit hit or miss even though I have Verizon MiFi. I’ve been going through many mountainous regions and deserts that don’t have 4G, so I decided that I needed a little help. Enter Courtney Kist –¬†Intern¬†Extraordinaire.

Intern Courtney will be proofreading and tagging my posts, contacting guests for the podcast, helping edit episodes, organizing spreadsheets and business documents, and occasionally writing on this here blog. She is also a great cheerleader via text when the road gets rough, and I hope that when I get back to Portland, she’ll bring me donuts. (She will definitely be bringing donuts ~ Intern Courtney)screenshot_20160902-1743102

I met Courtney at She Bop after I returned from my first national teaching tour in April. She had been hired while I was out of town and I had heard rumors from the other employees that we¬†would probably hit it off¬†since we had many of the same interests, like singing and sex (then again, the entire staff is interested in sex and about half of us sing together regularly, so I was not shocked by the fact that we got along). We have been working together at She Bop two days every week since then, and she has attended a few of my classes and is very up to date on my life and in touch with my goals. So, when she asked if I wanted an intern, I gladly welcomed her to the Amory Jane/Edna the Sex Ed Mobile team knowing that she’d be a great fit.

More on Intern Courtney: she is a jack of all trades with a passion for sex education, theater, cheese and queer politics. When not spending her days working at She Bop,  she can be found performing in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dancing at a queer party, hiking, spending time with her femme sex-positive coven, watching Gilmore Girls, or occasionally writing something personal for the internet. She hopes to eventually translate her experience into providing inclusive sex ed for queer and trans youth, writing about sex and sex toys for the internet, producing media (video, podcast, performances, etc) for educational and entertainment purposes, and doing everything in her power to de-stigmatize the way we talk about sex.

She has my login info now, so perhaps I’ll let her finish this post and I’ll get back to checking in on St. Edna, who has been sick and in theassup¬†auto repair hospital¬†for the past couple days. We’re currently stuck in Denton, Texas, but Edna is supposed to be fixed up and running like a champ again within the next few hours. That means we are going to have to make one long and hot drive to get to New Orleans on¬†time for me to shower and prep before my ass class tomorrow at¬†Dynamo¬†–¬†but we can do it! By the way, there are still spots left and you may purchase tickets¬†online now¬†for $2 off the door price! Looking forward to teaching again in New Orleans!

xoxo

 

Adventure, Career, Career Change, divorce, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Separation, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

<3 Wyoming <3

www.CGPGrey.com

Wyoming is a beautiful state and we came across some serious magic there.

On Friday, my two travel companions (Amari and Amber) and I drove from Idaho for over seven hours, through the mountains and high desert then on unpaved roads through the dark without having any real idea where we were going. Eventually we discovered an isolated but perfectly set up campsite with wood for a fire already in a pile nearby. It felt like a gift or a prize that was waiting for us after a very difficult day where Amari lost her wallet, phone, and passport and Edna decided that she wanted to temporarily shut down when she was put in reverse. We needed a victory, and finding an empty, free campground in the middle of Wyoming after a long journey felt like we had won.

Since we were basically in the middle of nowhere, we saw the entire sky, including bright clearstar constellations and the Milky Way. Seeing our galaxy made us feel itty bitty and filled with wonder. We realized we were truly newborns on the cosmic calendar; so young compared to the age of our universe. We felt insignificant but comforted. We felt introspective and open to possibilities. I even saw two shooting stars! I took that as a sign that we were exactly where we were meant to be and I needed to allow myself to fully embrace my new life plan and let go of the things from my past that were holding me back. 

It was a new moon and I had just started bleeding. In fact, all of us were bleeding, even though two of us weren’t expecting that to happen. For whatever reason, that felt important/symbolic. Amber gave Amari a tarot reading that helped Amari find closure and shed her former self. It was so moving and empowering for her that she ended the night by shaving off all of her hair.

shaved

While that was happening, I felt called to be alone in Edna. I had my own healing to do. I stared out of the cab window at the vast night sky and felt like I was in a spaceship. It felt good to be alone. I was happy to be with me, in nature, feeling tiny yet connected. I wrapped myself in a blanket and caressed my arms for warmth. My skin was cool, smooth, and sensitive. It felt incredibly nice to be touched, and¬†it dawned on me that I was the one doing the touching. I was doing this thing called “self-soothing” that I have struggled with for the past few years, especially when I was angry with my body over infertility and chronic pain. I continued to hug myself tightly and rub and squeeze my arms. My body felt less sore and uncomfortable¬†than¬†it had in a long time. I sobbed and let the grief and stress come out with it. I rested¬†my hands on my abdomen and sent gentle energy to my uterus, which I had cursed so many times over the past three years. I breathed deeply and slowly and thought warm and compassionate thoughts, and I let my mind fill with happy memories. I imagined¬†my lover’s embrace from afar and pictured his sweet smile, and my heart swelled with love.

Just then, Amari and Amber walked into Edna. They checked in on me and I checked in on them, and we all agreed something magical¬†was happening there in the rolling sage grasslands of Wyoming. I rubbed Amari’s fresh and fuzzy bald head and we all expressed our love and gratitude toward each other. Amber sat down on the cushioned bench in Edna and Amari crawled into the overcab bed with me. We took all of Edna’a¬†curtains down and turned off the lights so we could feel like we were floating through space. With no light pollution we couldn’t even see our hands in front of our faces, and we commented on how it was a darker darkness than we had ever experienced. Then some really special energy kicked in.

We stayed up for a couple hours more,¬†laughing until we had tears streaming down our faces and our stomachs were cramping. We¬†bonded and wrote songs and poured out¬†all of our album ideas into Amari’s handheld¬†recorder. We talked about how we felt like sisters, like a coven, like a little family. Amari¬†pointed out that our coven would be complete if only we had four members, but Amber wisely noted¬†that St. Edna was our fourth. Then we wrote a song about Edna as the fourth Beatle and fell peacefully asleep.

We woke up to a storm, heavy rain pouring down around us, and the sound of the wind and water beating against Edna’s fiberglass body. We were safe though, and the storm passed just as quickly as it had arrived. The next time we awoke was to a pink and orange sunrise, and we finally got to see the wonderful place around us that we had discovered in the dark.

wyomingcollage
Photos by Amber

We walked down to the Teton Reservoir and took a few photos then said our goodbyes. We left Wyoming that afternoon feeling revived, more creative, and closer than ever.