Introducing Dear Friend, Intimate Letters Between You and Me

With a million different blogs and even more social media sites, I feel like I’m often shouting into a crowded room, getting only echoes and whispers back.

I miss intimacy in my encounters. I miss connecting with you all.

For that reason, I created Dear Friend, intimate letters from me to you.

I want to send you letters. I want to send you very personal, open-hearted, intimate letters.

All you have to do is sign-up below (or here at this link).

Let's Write to Each Other, Shall We? Square

While in Alaska, I wrote so many intimate letters – some funny, some sad, some inspirational, all honest and true to my core. It felt good to connect, even if none of you were listening yet.

Now, I’m ready to share them with you all! I just need you to do one little favor for me: subscribe below (or at this link).

 

I want to send you intimate letters.




Posted in Dear Friend, Essays, Off Our Chests, Personal | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Become a Citizen of Hope

On October 2, 2012, a team of surgeons at City of Hope medical center sliced open my brother and saw a body wracked with cancer. Nevertheless, they kept cutting, determined to remove what they could of this invasive leech eating him from within.

For twenty hours, my family sat in the waiting room, updated every few hours by doctors or nurses, trying to keep our spirits up and hope alive, a nearly impossible task when faced with such a terrifying landscape.

There was a harpist keeping us entertained at one point, but mostly it was horribly silent.

There was a harpist keeping us entertained at one point, but mostly it was horribly silent.

The cancer had taken over his neck and face. It had spread into his lymph nodes and lungs. It was determined to take his life.

On November 2, 2012, the cancer won the battle, but I find comfort in knowing that my brother died fighting. When everyone else turned him away, City of Hope medical center lived up to it’s name and gave Andrew a last chance for his otherwise healthy 25 year-old body to fight and fight hard.

From his funeral.

His funeral display.

In honor of the hope it gave all my family, every October 2 for the rest of my life, I’m donating to help give other families hope.

I’m also asking all of my friends, followers, fans and family members to become a Citizen of Hope by donating to City of Hope medical center.

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You can create your own badge at City of Hope’s website.

Why City of Hope?

Their cutting edge bone marrow transplant procedures saved my father’s life from leukemia in 1995. Their state of the art research helps other facilities around the world better their treatments, including the one that saved my mother’s life from breast cancer in 2008. And their skilled surgeons were the last chance my brother had for survival two years ago today.

Beyond that, their facilities are stunningly peaceful for patients, they offer financial assistance to those who can’t afford their treatment, and for 10+ years it has been chosen as the best cancer hospital in the USA.

Hell, I love this place so much, I got a modified version of their logo tattooed on my ankle.

I modified this to be my family.

My tattoo.

For more about City of Hope, check out their resource page. To donate, go to the giving page.

All donations made through City of Hope’s donation page until November 1 will be matched thanks to a generous donation from 3M. 

Want to donate to a place that’s more personal to you? Maybe one that gave you hope? GREAT! Tell me what place you donated to and why in the comments and I’ll send them a donation as well. 

Can’t afford a financial donation? Send a card to someone having a rough day. Call a family member you haven’t talked with in awhile. Do something today that helps spread hope, however it may be.

Without hope, the world is an awfully lonely, sad place, so let’s spend at least this one day a year being beacons of hope.

Posted in Featured, Headline, Off Our Chests, Organizations/Companies, Personal, Stuff We Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Depression, Robin Williams, and Me

Robin Williams killed himself today and my heart keeps breaking over and over again, not for the man I never met, but for the struggle I know too well.

My depression hit me like a brick wall around the same time I started puberty. Once a month, a giant gorilla sits on my chest making it unbearably hard to breathe, moving away only when I stop bleeding. I’ve tried pills, but they come with their own issues, issues that only exacerbate the situation for me. There’s not much for me to do but wait out the flood of emotions, grasping onto any life preserver I can find, holding on to my partner, family and friends for support.

“But you’re such a happy person!” people say when they hear about my struggle. “You’re so full of life!” And they’re right, I am. But for every light there is dark, and with every manic upswing in my life, there is a depressive downfall.

I remember hearing somewhere years ago that Robin Williams suffered from deep bouts of depression and not being surprised. I too was outgoing, loud, rambunctious, full of energy, and horribly depressed all at once. Robin Williams gave my fourteen year old self hope that I wasn’t alone, that someone else out there knew what it was like to be at once happy and sad, an introvert hiding in an extrovert’s body, someone who knew what it was like to battle the quick change from exuberance to exhaustion.

Today, Robin Williams lost that battle, and I weep for his family, for my family, for the families of friends who have killed themselves, for every family who has had to worry about their loved ones falling so low into the deep end that they never resurface again.

Sometimes, the most exuberant of us are the ones suffering the darkest demons.

If you or a loved one are battling that sadness, know that people out there know what it’s like. Know that there are many of us, on and offline, that are here with you in solidarity, any day, every day. If you don’t know where to start for help, try SuicidePreventionHotline.org or 1-800-273-8255.

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Posted in Confessions, Featured, Personal | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Alaskan Rejuvenation, a.k.a. All the Wonderfulness I Accomplished in the Wilderness

Everyone in Alaska has a plane, at least that’s what it feels like as the skies fill up with single-engine floaters every weekend, leaving from watery runways in town and landing in lakes far from here, places without roads or rails. I hear the propellers go by and wish I could take off with them, flying far away from my home and escaping into the wilderness.

Then I realize that is exactly what I have done.

Relaxing on a long hike.

Relaxing on a long hike. Don’t you love my turquoise hiking boots?!

If you ever get the opportunity to spend three weeks housesitting your friend’s cabin in the woods of Alaska, I highly suggest you take it.

My friend's picturesque cabin.

My friend’s picturesque cabin.

Added bonus if it comes with a well-trained black lab named Chula.

Chula is an over-achiever.

Chula is an over-achiever.

I did not take for granted this opportunity I was afforded, and I savored every last millisecond of the sharp mountain skyline, bright blue glaciers, wildflower-filled meadows, and serene sea inlet that greeted me every morning. I spent my days searching my soul, adventuring past my point of comfort, and exploring what this world had to offer me.

With Alex by my side, I grew up and out, built muscles in my legs and brain, and found clarity in my life goals. We lived simply, mostly off the land that my friend had prepared for us, and I spent less money this whole summer than I spend in a week in my life back in Southern California.

Fresh and free vegetables made me a happy camper.

Fresh and free vegetables made me a happy camper.

Most substantially of all, I wrote. I wrote so much. Each encounter with the natural world refilled my soul’s fuel, sparking my muse and relighting my heart’s candle.

  • I finished a substantial draft of my memoir, taking me so close to publication date.
  • Tina Horn and I started work via my random Internet connection on our upcoming guide to queer sex, and
  • Epiphora and I put the finishing touches on our Business of Blogging about Sex class, which is very close to selling out, making both of us jump with joy over how excited you all are to learn from us.

Best of all, I outlined what is next for Lauren Marie Fleming, where I’m taking my life, my writing and my readers.

There are major things afoot, folks! Massive happy happenings on the verge of exploding, and I cannot wait until I can share them all with you, cannot wait for the day I can send you all a link to my new website (oh yes, something exciting this way comes!), published memoir, erotica anthology, queer sex guide, and all the fun things that are in store – for me as a writer, for the people I help publish over at Frisky Feminist Press, and for you, my beloved readers who have traveled so far with me over the years and who I can’t wait to guide through these next adventures.

I'm at a fork in the road, and both trails lead to very exciting, beautiful places.

I’m at a fork in the road, and both trails lead to very exciting, beautiful places.

But Alaska has taught me that the most stunning objects take years to develop and grow, so I’m making a conscious effort to not rush my life, professionally or personally. Which means many of these exciting developments won’t be announced for months.

Did you know snow takes 10 years to become glacial ice?

Did you know snow takes 10 years to become glacial ice?

I can, however, tell you about Dear Friend, my new endeavor to send all of you intimate letters on a regular basis! I’ll have an official post all about it tomorrow here on the blog, but if you want to sign up now, just follow this link and be sure to check the box for “Dear Friend”. (Please note, this is different from the Queerie Bradshaw mailing list, so if you’re on that you still need to sign up for this one to get my letters.)

Let's Write to Each Other, Shall We? Square

 

Whew. I’m at once exhausted and enthused by all these travels, and the hard work – and even harder play – they have inspired. I encourage you all to go out and find a bit of natural serenity in your life today, whether it’s a walk in Central Park, a hike in the woods, some time spent planting a kitchen herb garden, or hugging your cat, connect with something technology hasn’t touched today.

And then come back tomorrow and tell me all about it.

Posted in Adventure, Featured, Headline, My Writing Elsewhere, Personal, Sinful Misadventures, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Business of Blogging About Sex, an Online Course Taught by Epiphora and Me (Scholarships Available!)

My first blog post was on MySpace. Yes, MySpace. That’s how old I am. And that’s how far I’ve come as a blogger.

QueerieBradshaw.com is celebrating its sixth year this year and in that time I’ve learned a hell of a lot of useless information about blogging. But, I’ve also learned some very important tips that have propelled me from simple recreational blogger to full-time owner of an online business.

In my new online course, The Business of Blogging About Sex, I give you those tips, combined with advice from Epiphora of HeyEpiphora.com, the leading sex toy review blog on the Internet.

 The Business of Blogging About Sex

As we build content for this much-anticipate course, we want to answer all of your questions and focus on the areas where you personally need advice or assistance.

To help us with that, we would love it if you could please fill out a very brief one-question form about what you want to know about blogging at goo.gl/M5F5BE.

As a thank you for your help, we’ve provided a coupon code for $75 off the class and a link to some of the early content we have for the course, complete with tips on how to make the most of an affiliate account and how to use social media tools without being a tool.

 

Want to take this course but can’t afford it?

Frisky Feminist Press is dedicated to making education accessible for all, so we provide payment plans and scholarships for all our classes. If you’re interested in the scholarship for The Business of Blogging September 2014 online class, visit FriskyFeminist.com/sexbloggingclass.

Deadline for applying for this scholarship is August 10.

The Business of Blogging About Sex Scholarship

 

The Frisky Feminist Mailer is the best way to learn about giveaways, classes, and events at FriskyFeminist.com. Are you on its mailing list? Click this link to join or sign up below.

If you’d rather just get QueerieBradshaw.com and personal emails from Lauren Marie Fleming, sign up for that mailing list here.

Posted in Announcements, Bloggers, Events, Featured, Frisky Feminist Press, Online Class, Sex Educators, Take a Class from Lauren | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things I Learned About My Vagina at the Portland Academy of Sex Education’s Inaugural Workshop Featuring Kate McCombs and Louise Bourchier

Last week, I attended the very first workshop of the newly minted Portland Academy of Sex Education, and woah, did I learn a lot.

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The Academy of Sex Education was started to provide a space outside of retail establishments at which sex educators – like me – could teach students – like you – about sexual pleasure and health without shame, stigma, discrimination or pressure to buy a product.

There are branches of the Academy of Sex Education in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Portland, so if you’re near those towns, check them out (if you’re not in those towns, or even if you are, check out FriskyFeminist.com, the site I created to bring educational classes and guides about sex to those who can’t come to workshops for whatever reason).

I haven’t made it to all of the academies yet, but I did make it to the inaugural workshop at the Portland branch featuring Kate McCombs and Louise Bourchier discussing orgasms for people who have vaginas, and damn, did I learn a surprising amount of stuff!

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Louise and Kate are teaching this workshop all across the country, so follow them on Twitter (@Katecom, @LouiseLaBouche) to find out how you can get in on the class (SF, LA, NYC and more!).

For a teaser, here’s a bit of what I learned about my vagina during their workshop:

  • My G-Spot feels like the roof of my mouth, the rest of my vagina like the sides of my cheeks (a proper analogy I’d never heard before).
  • My vagina has a thing for Kiwi accents (Louise is from New Zealand and I found myself excited when she talked).
  • I can massage my vulva using the vulcan hand greeting position (you gotta see Kate do this, she’s a geek and it’s amazing).

I learned a lot (which is impressive because I already knew a lot about the vagina, so that shows how information packed this class was) and the best part of the workshop was the vast wealth of knowledge Kate and Louise brought to the question and answer section.

Kate and Louise being adorable together at the SexGeekdom Portland meet-up the night before their workshop.

Kate and Louise being adorable together at the SexGeekdom Portland meet-up the night before their workshop.

So, if you get a chance to see them, or any of the other workshops at the branches of the Academy of Sex Education, I highly suggest you take it, and come with questions!

Also, if you’re looking to meet other sex geeks like you, check out SexGeekdom, a community ran by Kate McCombs with meet-ups all over the world for people interested in learning more about sex (without any pressure to have it).

Posted in Bloggers, Crushes, Events, Featured, People, Sex Educators, Stuff We Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s #StrapOnSelfie Week! Take a Photo, Win a Prize

As we all know, I friggin’ love me some strap-ons. I love them so much, I wrote a whole guide on how to choose one (it’s free over at FriskyFeminist.com).

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So, when Good Vibrations asked me to be a judge in its #StrapOnSelfie contest, I peed my pants a little with excitement.

I get to look at photos of people in strap-ons and call it work!!

My life is awesome. But, as always, you all are the key to making it awesomeyer. I NEED YOU! To snap photos of yourself in your strap-ons and post them online for me to judge.

INEEDYOU to show me strapon

Yes, I am going to judge you, but only in an amazing, positive, body-affirming way. Because you are all magnificently good-looking, especially when strapping it on.

My fellow judges are Jiz Lee, Q and Sophia St. James, all gorgeous people themselves. I’m surrounded by beauty and I LOVE IT.

Best of all, if you win GoodVibes #StrapOnSelfie contest, you win a harness and cock! It’s a win-win for all of us.

GVPromoStrapOnSelfie

The contest runs from June 16-22, so get to snapping photos and posting them online using the hashtag #StrapOnSelfie.

If you’re too shy to post something to social media, or if your life prevents you from sharing something like that online, please feel free to send your selfie to me at Info[at]QueerieBradshaw[dot]com. I’ll send you back a lovely note telling you how proud I am of your sexiness.

Posted in Announcements, Featured, Giveaway, Guides, Other Sites/Blogs, Sex Toys and Porn, Stuff We Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Created My Own Writer’s Residency, a.k.a. I’m Going into the Woods to Write for Two Months

My November offline was so amazing, I decided to take two months every year off blogging and tweeting and Instagramming and all of this online stuff I am a part of to do what I love most: write.

I applied to some writer’s residency programs – including the Amtrak one that you all helped me with – but didn’t make it in any of them, and wondered how much of that has to do with my subject matter. “Hi, I’d like you to give me food and lodging to write about my sex life and build a guide to queer sex,” isn’t really the kind of thing grant trustees usually fund.

So, with the help of Alex, family and some friends, I’m funding my own writer’s residency program by camping and couch hopping with Alex for six weeks, four of which will be spent in Alaska housesitting for one of my best friends. The rest of the time, I’ll be in the Redwoods, Oregon and Washington, writing as often as possible next to lakes under the shade of pine trees.

My own private writer's residency.

My own private writer’s residency.

Which means, from June 13 –  July 27, I’ll have limited access to this blog and social media, and from July 28 – August 13, I’m going to be 100% offline (with the exception of checking my email weekly).

Off for summer

If you need something urgently, please email info@queeriebradshaw.com. I will check my email once or twice a week at an Internet cafe, but other than that, I will not be online.

Here’s what I will be doing instead during that time:

  • Finishing my memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger.
  • Finishing my new Frisky Feminist Press guide Bawdy Love: A 10-Step Program to Stop Hating Yourself.
  • Starting a new guide Tina Horn and I are working on that I’m very excited about! Details coming soon at FriskyFeminist.com.
  • Editing your submissions for Sex Toy Erotica, A Frisky Feminist Anthology (Submit your ideas!).

Here is where you can get your Queerie Bradshaw fix until I’m back:

As always, thanks for your support of my endeavors into the wild abyss. See you all in August!

Posted in Announcements, Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger, Words | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Call for Submissions: Sex Toy Erotica, a Frisky Feminist Anthology

Sex Toy Erotica! Written by you, edited by me! THIS IS EXCITING FOLKS!

This is my excited face.

This is my excited face.

Frisky Feminist Press is having a call for submissions for it’s first anthology Sex Toy Erotica, a Frisky Feminist Anthology.

I started Frisky Feminist Press as a way to enhance conversations about sex, relationships and body-image beyond the ones we’re having here on my blog, incorporating voices from every walk of life, including yours! I want to get people writing, talking and, most importantly, thinking about sex from various angles, and an anthology is a great to bring diversity to one place.

Do you have a fantasy that you’ve been waiting to share? Something you want to act out but need a safe space to play it out first? Write it down! Then edit it (editing is underrated, editing is the key to solid writing and we all forget to do it sometimes, me included) and send it to me.

But first, read the guidelines over at FriskyFeminist.com/SexToyErotica. It will give you a great place to start and hopefully some ideas to get the juices flowing.

Call for Sex Toy Erotica submissions

We would love to see as many diverse stories as possible, so we encourage people of any gender, sexuality, kink level, ethnicity or demographic to send in their fantasies.

I’m sorry, but submissions are limited to people over the age of 18 for legal purposes. If you’re under 18, still write out your fantasies though! We’d love them as soon as we’re legally allowed to take them. We also can’t have any stories with beastiality, underage sex, rape or incest for legal reasons.

Want to help spread the word? Take this code and post it the call for submissions on your site! Or use the image above for social media calls. The more diversity the better!

Please grab the above code and put it on your site to help spread the word!

Posted in Announcements, Books, Call for Submissions/Help, Frisky Feminist Press, Sex Toys and Porn, Words | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My Appearance on HuffPost Live: Will I Be Bad At Gay Sex?

The HuffPost Live had me back to speak once again about gay sex, this time talking particularly about the fear of being bad at sex and the role porn has on the pressure to perform.

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You can watch the clip below or, if the embed feature is acting up again, see it on HuffPost Live. Thanks again to Carl SandlerRick Clemons and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin for such a lively conversation and for making space for the lesbian/queer point of view in a conversation about gay sex.

Speaking of talking about sex, are you coming to the double whammy #SexEdHangout today, featuring Zhana Vrangalova and Sinclair Sexsmith answering your sex questions LIVE? Details below.

Posted in Featured, Interviews of Queerie Bradshaw, Media Appearances, My Writing Elsewhere, Sex, Speaking Gigs/Workshops | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment