You need to put what in where?

I’ve been gone for ages! We all know the Power-Hungry-Hairpiece is attempting to abolish Obama-care. So Medicaid-card-carrying me had to drive up to Maryland (my official residence) to visit family and go see a few doctors.

My main purpose was to get lasting, long-term birth control. I grew up very religious. My birth control has always been abstinence. Even before my baptism (which I don’t regret, by the way, just outgrew) I had no desire to have sex before marriage. I am the result of spontaneous break-up sex. My Mum hadn’t taken her pills. My Dad didn’t wear a rubber. 9ish months later, a little accident they couldn’t abort and got too attached to to give away popped out. I’ve had a difficult time coping with my existence my entire life. I never wanted another child to experience the self-loathing I did. 

Birth control was never an option for me. When I brought this up recently, both my parents somehow morphed into super progressive human beings. HEAVY eye-roll. If sixteen-year-old Lauren had mentioned birth control to either of my parents, they would have killed me, resurrected me, then grilled me for information about which boy I was obviously hooking up with in secret. Never mind that the only reason I would have ever wanted birth control in the past would have been a DNA-encoded fear since the age of 10 that I could be raped and possibly bear a child from such an assault. Yeah. 10. My biggest fear. The world is a great place. 

I’m older now. I’m still terrified of that possibility, but in another, less terrifying world, lies the thought of actually wanting to have sex before marriage. Maybe this seems so normalised in our 21st century, hookup culture world, but remember I was very religious. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with the idea. It wasn’t a specific guy I was vying for or a wild sex romp I was after. Still a virgin, guys. But I wanted to be a virgin in charge of her body and who she invited to partake in it. I wanted control over my reproductive organs–to never have kids if I so choose, and for that to be okay. 

Planned Parenthood helped me achieve that end. 

I’ll admit I was scared. Church girl was back and she was pretty sure we were walking into an abortion clinic and also possibly Hell. My best friend suggested it, though, so how bad could it be. No PCP referral needed. Medicaid friendly. Women-run, basically. Church girl didn’t know it yet, but she was in pretty good hands. 

At first I wanted an IUD. I had done my research and knew what to expect (so I thought). I could take the pain. I wanted copper so there were no hormones. Also, 12 years of birth control! Score! 

I very quickly learned (through great counsel) that Paraguard was likely not for me. No hormones, good. Crazy painful and heavy periods, bad. So Mirena was suggested. A sweet little pregnant lady climbed deeper into me than I had even been and talked me through the worse, most specific, most unyielding pain of my life. I didn’t cry, but only because my whole body had tensed and I could barely breathe, let alone squeeze out a tear. She then told me that the intense pain was because she was trying to shove a plastic T through my cervix which was tightly closed. I could take pills to open it, but that would have to be tomorrow. 

Now I cried. I don’t know why, but suddenly my self-hatred caved in on me full force. 14 year olds get IUDs for fucks sake. Why not me? I’ve gotten 15 tattoos. I pierced my own ears. I dislocated my shoulder twice. But I couldn’t do it. I didn’t care what medicine opened whatever,  I didn’t want those sharp metal and plastic things inside me ever again. I wanted another option. 

Then I learned about Nexplanon. It’s an implant that goes in my lower arm, has the same hormones as the IUD, and is actually more effective than sterilisation! After much (and I mean MUCH) deliberation, I decided to get it. The procedure start to finish took maybe 3 minutes. I have a killer bruise (this was only about 3 days ago now) and a little matchstick floating around in my batwings. Side effects will be monitored for the foreseeable future, but right now I’m fine. I’m in control. I’m free to make whatever decisions I want. I felt and feel so liberated! I’m not a slut who doesn’t want to deal with consequences or a barbaric life-killer who is going to Hell. I’m a woman who made a choice for her body. Planned Parenthood helped. Medicaid helped. Nexplanon helped. 

For the next three years, I have birth control and the most important thing is, it was MY choice. 

Surviving the loss of Sense8

Perhaps you’ve noticed I haven’t written in a while. That’s unlikely, but let’s go with it. 

Literally two or so weeks ago, I rediscovered Sense8. The first time I watched it I was sitting beside my Dad in that slightly uncomfortable bubble of wanting to be his little girl but also wanting to be treated like a grown-up. So I scoffed at the TV-MA rating and we started to watch Sense8 together. It’s all fun and games til someone pulls a well lubricated strap-on out of a trans-woman’s body and drops it on the floor with a professionally soundmixed “sssuulplunk”. My Dad turned off the TV immediately and we both blushed awkwardly. 

It had been some time since that first experience. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say over a year. In my own private TV-MA moment, I was pursuing a porn site on Tumblr and came across one of the Sensate orgies. The part of me that’s still embarrassed to admit I kinda like porn focused on the beautiful lighting and obvious production value. The other part of me that knew exactly what I was doing was immediately taken with a pair of wide, blue eyes belonging to Max Riemelt–known as Wolfgang on the show. If there is a Hell, it is guarded by a blue-eyed demon and people go to him willingly. 

So I digitally ran over to Netflix as fast as I could log in and found the full orgy plus a few more tingle-inducing scenes. I did this a lot over the next few days, I’ll admit, primarily focused on Wolfgang (my new fictional man-crush). Though my mind was at first gridlocked in a gutter, I kept finding myself watching bits that had nothing to do with sex–Nomi hacking, Sun fighting, Capheus protecting at all costs. Kala was and is my favorite character. Maybe I just relate to her the most–a good girl with a darkness in her and more than a few secrets. Maybe I’m living vicariously through all her kisses with Wolfgang (all the heart-eyes). Whatever it was about her, Kala got me to officially watch the show in the proper order. 

As most Netflix binges go, I had finished the entire series in about a week. I was just coming to the second to last episode of the second season when Netflix announced they were cancelling their distribution of the show. 

My heart broke.

The show had long before become more than free softcore porn. I was devastatingly invested in these characters. I remain fully supportive of the most important message it presents: that we are all connected. The diversity of the cast and locations, the beauty of the writing and directing, and the intricate story lines inspired me as an artist and as a person. When I got to the finale knowing there might never be more to the story, I bawled as only a writer invested in an unfinished masterpiece could. I called my best friends and I cried and cried. I mourned my beloved characters. I couldn’t feel satisfied watching anything other than Sense8 over and over for days. If I’m being honest, I’m still in this stage of mourning. Nothing else seems good enough. 

The petitions came out and I signed them all, got my friends to sign them even. I watched Max Riemelt in anything I could find. I watched an entire film in German with no subtitles just to see his face. He almost looked like Wolfgang, but his beard wasn’t long enough. It could only ever be second best. I know I sound mad, but I hope that’s a testament to how truly brilliant this series was, not only to how crazy I can be. I spent all last week unable to enjoy other forms of media and self-expression in my life because I was worried about my characters. In that weird place between conscious thought that shows us what we really care about, I was constantly brought back to Sense8. 

My Dad suggested I write some fan fiction to soothe me. I’ve her done that before, but I wrote a story outline and was surprised to see how right he had been. I just needed their story to end right. My writing isn’t as developed as the writing for the show, so it’s only a bandaid on the wound, but I felt a little less obsessed. Berlin Syndrome came out this week, but I couldn’t watch it. Too many triggers, but also I finally was able to separate the actor from the beloved character. This week Netflix also officially said no amount of efforts would get them to change their mind. 

I’m still hopeful, I guess. The creators have said they’re not willing to give up on the show. The fanbase is definitely there. Maybe Hulu will take the show. Maybe they’ll force me to finally get a YouTube Red account. Maybe it’ll be a little indie film one day. I don’t know. I wrote my little outline. That was all I could do. Writing has always been a cathartic release for me. 

In my story, they all live happily ever after. All of them. Especially Wolfgang and Kala.