I had to pause this week. I had to stop writing, stop blogging, and stop replying to emails about sex toys I’m going to review. I had to pause on everything I care about, because my mental health got so bad that I couldn’t do . It is only a pause – I’ll be back to talking about how I’m scared of my own vagina next week – but it’s still hard to admit that I had to take a break.
Content warning: suicide, depression and mental illness.
I don’t want to pause – some days it feels like my blog is the only thing holding me together. Maybe I can’t eat, but I can write about obligation sex. Maybe I haven’t cleaned my teeth in four days, but I can write about how much I poop when I’m on my period. So what if I want to kill myself – I can write through my tears until I’m shaking as I press publish on a blog post about blow jobs.
I’ve been ignoring the fact that I need to pause for a while. I have a habit of pushing myself to breaking point instead of taking a break: it feels like cheating if I stop to take care of myself when I can still – technically – keep going. Which I have been doing, until this week. I was so exhausted on Monday that when a friend suggested I skipped writing my usual, start-of-week filth I cried with relief.
So I didn’t write smut – I didn’t write anything. I curled up and cried. I took a nap while cuddling my laptop, but at least my laptop was closed. It felt good to give myself permission to just stop for a minute. To pause.
To remember what I love about sex writing. To read books and articles and get inspired again. To forgive myself for all the things I haven’t done yet and can’t do right now because I’m really ill. To breathe and sleep and not worry about the blog post that’s due to go live on my site tomorrow but I haven’t written yet. To ignore my ridiculously long to do list and acknowledge that the world won’t end if I take a day off – or even if I take a week off.
Well, most of a week anyway: I feel it’s acceptable to make an exception for excellent photos of your arse, even when you’re on pause.
Update, 9pm: I wrote and scheduled this post before we we saying the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. It’s not the world wasn’t racist then, but my white privilege meant I was ignoring the systemic racism that I benefit from as a white person. I’d like to urge the white people reading this to listen to BBIPOC, educate yourself, and donate to groups organising against white supremacist police violence.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.