therapy

Not Every Good Deed Needs Done // WV Boudoir Photographer

20180201-IMG_6277-2.jpg

WARNING: If you don’t know me that well, this post is going to seem like a humble brag. If you know me, then you know that it’s just an upfront brag. I’M KIDDING.


Anyway, last week I did a last minute session for a friend who was due to have a baby ANY MINUTE. (This is not a photo of her.) We happened to run into each other after not seeing one another for a while, and she mentioned that she had wanted to do a session but time got away from her. So I asked if she had any time that week (the week the baby was due!), and she did! I was SO THRILLED that we were able to make it happen.


The session was magical. I knew it would be. That’s part of the reason I did it. Since I’ve known this woman, I’ve known her to be kind, warm, and full of a really wonderful innate joy. She is a woman who is in touch with her body and soul, and I knew this session would mean a lot to her and her husband. It just felt so right to do it. The universe gently dropped this session into my arms, much like you’d hand off a newborn baby.

My hour or so with her was lovely. She was not only so genuinely grateful, but she was so tightly embracing of the experience. She allowed herself to get a little lost in it. She immersed herself. That was such a joy to witness and photograph. It truly did my heart so much good to photograph her and her baby. It meant a lot to me to be able to document her body with child. I was so happy she’d have these photos forever.

Photography is an incredible gift to give someone. I obviously can’t do every kind thing I want to with my photography. But I think it’s important to listen to yourself and learn when it’s right to give the gift. It doesn’t just have to do with the recipient. It has to do with what this gift will do for your soul as well. I know that sounds selfish. But if it doesn’t sit right in your heart, then what kind of a gift is it anyway?

This is an important distinction for everyone to make, not just photographers. Unpopular opinion alert: Not every good deed needs done. It is only when the good deed feeds both souls: the giver AND the recipient that it does the world the most good. And in order for it to feed your soul, it’s gotta feel right to you. It’s gotta light you up a little. It’s gotta be an honor. It’s gotta make you sparkle, too.

Protect your gifts. They’ll mean even more when you give them if you do.



Babes in TOYland: A Sexy Little Gift Guide // WV Boudoir Photographer

I received a delightful Frisky Friday question early on about my favorite sex toys, and I will be completely honest with you. There is a big, wide world of toys. It's intimidating. So I took it to our panel of Sexperts, and I did some serious research.

Just in time for the holidays, I've compiled a list of potential treat yo self gifts, presents for your partner, or even your girlfriends if you've got that kind of friendship.

Instead of ranking them, I've decided to do a kind of awards ceremony. Everyone is looking for something different in a toy, so "best" is super subjective. Below are my findings including links! These are primarily directed towards women, but many of them can be used for male stimulation as well. 

So without further ado, I present to you the 2017 AYA Boudoir Sex Toy Awards!

1. First up, the award for Most Likely To Get Mistaken for Cabinet Hardware

The NJoy Pure G Spot Metal Wand. This little momma is a great way to start exploring G spot stimulation if you're new to that playground. The ergonomic curve is easy on the wrist, and BONUS: this is a happy treat for men, too, if you're into perineum play. 

2. Next we have the award for The Most Underestimated Sex Toy

A blindfold. That's right. A good old fashioned sleep mask can heighten the rest of your senses like you wouldn't believe. And at less than $10, why wouldn't you try it? Bonus tip: pop some headphones in to deprive one more of your senses and see what happens. 

3. Best Conversation Starter goes to

The Crave Vesper. If you've ever wanted to feel like a Bond girl AND get great clitoral stimulation, and really who hasn't, this is your match. The short battery life is made up for by the fact that you CAN WEAR THE DAMN THING around your neck, and she's a beauty. I dare you to wear it out for drinks and NOT sneak off to the bathroom to play.

4. The Sex Toy Most Likely to Outlive You

is the Hitachi Magic Wand. You've probably seen it on an episode of Sex and the City. It's huge. But it's powerful. This vibrator has been raved about for actual decades. This is your choice if you need something you know is going to get you off every. time. Just make sure you turn on some music first--this baby's loud.

5. The award for Best Toy to Live Out Your 50 Shades Fantasies goes to

 Bed Restraints. Be sure to do your own homework on this one, as there are LOTS of variations, companies, materials and price points on these. I don't think I need to tell you why these are fun.

6. Chiropractor-Reccommended, Partner Approved

I love The Liberator Wedge for its versatility. It's a great choice for couples who aren't necessarily into using vibrators together but would like to spice things up and keep things interesting. Limitless position options, comfortable, approachable.

7. The Jill of All Trades

Okay, Stay with me. She isn't cheap, but she's a multitasker. The Intensity is not only a powerful vibrator with 5 speeds designed for G-spot AND clitoral stimulation, IT IS A KEGEL EXERCISER. That's right, it strengthens all of those yummy muscles that make pleasure possible, making even GREATER, more intense orgasms possible. Read the reviews on this thing. It's intense. (See what I did there?)

8. The Better Than A Diamond Ring Ring

The Jimmyjane Iconic Ring is a win/win situation. Easy to use, easy to clean. Features replaceable batteries (many rings do not), is shower safe, and is a great option to start off your adventures in Toyland.


So there you have it! A happy little list of pleasure-makers, vouched for by some of my favorite sex therapists, bloggers, and fun friends. 

If there's a toy you love that didn't make the list, don't be selfish! Leave it in the comments below! 

Happy Shopping!

 

Why I'm "Sex-Obsessed" and Why You Should Be, Too // WV Boudoir Photographer & Intimacy Advocate

If you're not familiar with my weekly "Frisky Fridays" feature (GO GET FAMILIAR, BB! @asyouareboudoir!), basically every week, I answer a sex question sent to me by a follower that I then take to my panel of "Sexperts" to help me answer. These questions range in sauciness from "How do we keep things interesting," to "I hate oral. Help!"

This feature prompted a comment within the family calling me "sex-obsessed."

As a whole, my family has been surprisingly supportive of my chosen photography genre. They're impressed by the images and proud of the work I've done to build the business.

But apparently, this Frisky Friday stuff crosses a line.

I was informed by my mother that a family member expressed disapproval of the weekly feature. Allow me to preface this by saying

1. My family is comprised of amazing humans, and I love all of them very, very much.

2. that anyone can feel how they want to feel. I am not under the delusion that all of my ideas, opinions and content will be loved by all people everywhere. 

But this struck a chord. 

Because this perspective is EXACTLY WHY SO MANY OF US ARE FUCKED UP SEXUALLY.

Shame.

Guilt.

Secrecy.

Disconnectedness.

We (especially women) are met with SO MUCH emotional opposition to a healthy sex life. Don't even get me started on how far back in history this goes. We're not allowed to surrender to pleasure. We're not allowed to aggressively SEEK pleasure. We're not allowed to talk about sex. We're not allowed to FEEL. We're not allowed to dress a certain way. We're not allowed to ask questions. 

All of this has resulted in a repressed, sex-negative culture that shames us for desiring sexual intimacy. 

Which happens to be something that we are ACTUALLY DESIGNED FOR. 


My emphasis on and advocacy of a healthy sex life is not just about pleasure, though. 

It's about the tools you learn and the power you collect on the way to a thriving intimate life. 

We are so disconnected. From each other, from the life things that matter, and especially from ourselves. And when you set out on the quest for great sex, you learn ways to reconnect with yourself. You learn ways to love yourself and your body.

When you're connected mentally and emotionally, you're able to invite your body to a higher level of existence and experience. 

We are capable of SO MUCH MORE than we're experiencing now. There is SO MUCH LIFE we're missing out on because we've been told not to seek pleasure.

The best part? You can take these lessons outside the bedroom. Breathing techniques, mental and emotional exercises, mindfulness, connectedness. All of this yummy stuff can be put to use at work, within your family and friendships, through particularly stressful times, to maximize your enjoyment of other things!


I also cannot ignore that every session, I watch my clients deeply connect to their sensuality and then walk out of my studio with their heads held higher, smiling wider, FEELING as beautiful as they are. When you're in touch with your body sexually, you're more confident, you show more self love, you invest in self care. There's science behind that, sugar babies, not just my observations. 

I started a business with the sole intent of making women feel beautiful. A healthy intimate life facilitates that.


So yeah, I'm pretty interested in what sex can do for our bodies, minds, relationships and souls. Can you blame me?

I just want to start conversations. I want to be a person who doesn't shy away from important things because it's uncomfortable. I want to facilitate communication between partners.  I want to give people hope. I want to help turn pages and start new chapters. I want to build bridges and create connections. 

I don't know if you were in the camp of people wondering what all this sex talk is about, but I hope this helps shed some light on why it's so important to me. And if any of the sexy sex content has helped you and/or your partner, don't be shy! Let me know! As always, if you have a question that my sexperts and I might be able to help you with, email me! 

XxXOoO,

Jodi

Making a Good Thing Great: Thoughts on Couples Therapy // WV Boudoir Photographer

Ricky and I are going to pre-marital counseling. Our officiant isn't making us, and we're not getting married in a church, so it isn't a requirement. We are voluntarily participating. I think Ricky and I are a pretty solid couple; obviously we aren't perfect. But you don't have to be broken to attend therapy. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't really apply here.

I say, why not make a good thing great.

And that's exactly what is happening. Ricky and I are learning so much about each other and feeling closer after every session. We're collecting tools for our marriage toolbox, so to speak, so that when something does need repaired, we have what we need to fix it. 

I'm a pretty therapy-positive person anyway, but I know not everyone is. I'm not the boss of you, and I probably shouldn't tell you what to do, but I'm going to.

Go to therapy. 

You don't have to go forever, and you don't have to go alone. You decide what you need. You don't even need to have a blaring problem to go. 

Something I've found super valuable about counseling is the chance to just. talk. In therapy, it's okay to go off on tangents, it's okay to meander with your thoughts. Sometimes, that's where the epiphanies are. Hidden in the weeds of subconsciousness. 

Likewise, it's been wonderful to watch Ricky open up about things he finds difficult to talk about. With a third party present, asking questions I might not think to ask, going down paths we might not go down on our own, he feels freer to explore his ideas. And I love it. 

Have you attended therapy either independently or as a couple? What has your experience been? How do you think it improved you and/or your relationship? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

 

Photo by the super talented and wonderful Lauren Webster Photography


DISCLAIMER: I know therapy isn't cheap. I know we are so fortunate. But there are lots and lots of resources, financial aid, payment plans, online options, etc. to make therapy more accessible.