Not sure where you are around the world but I’m in the UK right now and it’s an odd and very, very sucky situation. Yeah, apologies up front, this is going to be a femm-heavy first-world-problem blog, but let me explain why…
We are living through a virtual pandemic. Not all of us, granted. Some people are having an awful time, the health workers, the police, and most importantly, and sadly, those suffering from the worst effects of the virus. But the rest of us? It’s a strange time.
Pictured – maybe not quite as strange as cosplaying a china-doll Alice in Wonderland but as much through the Looking Glass methinks
We’ve got these serious messages being thrown at us – stay at home, lockdown, you can go out once a day, once only, to exercise. Only shop for essentials when you really need it. And, like good little girls and boys, for the most part, we’re doing it. But it’s a *virtual* pandemic – we see the news, we see the pictures and awful videos, but, unless you have a relative or have had the virus (which I think I have) it’s all a little distant.
The novelty of staying home wears off quickly – believe me, it wore off for me about three hours after the lockdown kicked in. I’m a contrary person, mostly due to the abuse I went through as a kid, but I was very much looking forward to being told to stay at home. Finally someone in authority would give me an order and it wouldn’t be a choice any more. Yeah, that was fun for about as long as the last Avengers movie.
Pictured – shameless chance to put up a picture of my Scarlett Johansson as a forties starlet shoot.
And I’d been self-isolating, as I have mentioned before, for a good two weeks before the lockdown kicked in. Again, going to get a bit first-world-problem-y now, it also drastically interfered with Sarah’s time.
And that is rapidly becoming an odd problem. See, the beauty and the beastie in the title of the blog are both Sarah.
Last time she was out, properly, was the start of December and that feels like a lifetime. On top of all the restrictions and changes to normal life, the inability to subsume myself in the makeup, the clothes, the mannerisms of that sweet but daft retro-obsessed woman that lives in the bit of my brain drab-me isn’t allowed to go to, is driving me nuts.
Pictured – not sure calling her a sweet but daft retro-obsessed girl is a good idea but hell, I’ll take that chance
And it’s coming out in odd ways.
I’m constantly horny. Literally every hour or so it comes over me like a wave, and my version of horniness requires me to browse the huge amount of Sarah pics and find one that gives me the dark twinkle and, you know, relieve myself. At least, that’s the way it goes when Beauty is in the house.
Beastie on the other hand needs to be satisfied by some good old fashion pornography, so when she shouts in my ear it’s off to Xhamster to peruse my favourites or find some new one-handed entertainment to satisfy that shrieking sex-driven female voice in the head.
It’s all healthy, or as close as we get to healthy in this society nowadays, but it’s a little troubling that the urge is so prevalent.
See, Sarah is my safety valve in a number of ways. She’s an outpouring of the parts of me that society says I shouldn’t have, the need to feel pretty, the need to feel soft and delicate, the need to paint my lips red. But she’s also the blow-off cap for the underlying sexual needs that I tell myself I don’t have (but, according to Beastie, most definitely do).
Pictured – move along, nothing sexual to see here….
I normally frock up once every couple of months, unless Beastie gets shouty in which case it goes to once every six weeks or so. And that’s been a lovely balance for the last five or so years that have allowed me to discover the real me. And now that balance is broken.
We really need to be keenly aware of the mental health consequences of this virus as well as the physical. Right now we are in lockdown, and it’s a soft lockdown to be honest. The internet gives us a pipeline of enjoyment, normal and sexual, and the ability to order stuff, and we are allowed to go out shopping, although I truly dread doing it now. So that’s the basics – interaction via the web, food when essential. And those are fine. In wartime, which our generation, and the one before, haven’t had to endure in the way our predecessors did, the situation is far more grave. And actually easier to a certain extent; not being able to get something is very black and white, the mind adjusts to it. Us at the moment are in this void between crisis and comfort and it’s not a good place to be mentally.
But anyway, enough high-brow whittering. Sarah is shouting at the back of my head most of the time nowadays, asking in a petulant voice why she isn’t allowed out to play.
Pictured – her ‘petulant’ face. Basically if you are talking to her and she’s looking like this at you? Be careful, boys.
And, other than the much-too-often visits to Xhamster, I’ve found some coping mechanisms.
Speaking for myself I have the world’s worst example of self-confidence. Outwardly, in drab mode and in my career, I portray someone who is driven, who has untapped levels of stamina and confidence. If someone at work heard me say I have no-confidence they would laugh me out of the room. I’m a dervish in meetings.
But it’s an act. Underneath I am, and always will be, a frightened little six year old boy who doesn’t understand why he has to be binary, why he has to be a man or a woman, why he can’t be something in-between. And that, combined with the stress overload of the crisis, has triggered more than one almost panic attack around the whole ‘will I, can I be Sarah again?’.
Pictured – from the heart? I miss her so much it hurts.
Of course I can and of course I will, but for now I just have to engage coping mechanisms. One of the loveliest I currently have is liberally dosing all of my Social Media accounts with pictures whenever I feel a bit down. I call it the ‘cheer-me-up’ picture moment; once a day I put up a picture that genuinely cheers me up on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Fetlife and BirchPlace. Of course, they are slightly different – I use different social media accounts for different levels of Sarah naughtiness. FB and Instagram are purely fashion and role-play stuff, Flickr occasionally drops into the more, well, erotic side of Sarah-ism (I am a good girl/boy and always set the level of those pictures to Restricted and title them ‘For the Adults’). Fetlife and Birchplace are strictly where Beastie lives.
Pictured – ‘Beastie’ at her most wanton. Ish.
And what keeps me going, keeps that little part of my brain that is delicate and at risk during this insanely stressful time, are the comments and feedback. For someone with little-to-no actual self-confidence a comment saying ‘You’re beautiful’ or ‘You wear that dress so well’ is like a shot of the best drug ever. It is genuinely heart-warming and lovely – and in return I have taken to commenting more than I usually do on other girl’s pictures, because in this time of darkness there are very few ways we can pull the curtains apart and let the light in.
For all its faults, and there are countless, Social Media is a place where the lonely, the sad and the bleak can and do take solace.
So, if you see a picture you like, not just mine, say something nice. Say something from the heart; the person who posted it will love that.
Pictured – of course, some pictures are targeted at a certain type of aficionado. In this case people that like retro styles presented in black and white where the girl is smoking. Yeah, a small target group. But fiercely loyal.
As the Queen most eloquently said, this will end. And we will meet again. And I put Sarah firmly in that category of people I am dying to get to know again after this calms down.
Stay beautiful, stay sane and stay yourselves. It’s too easy to let parts of you go and lose them in these moments of fear; be good to yourself and others and we’ll all get through this.
Pictured – plus I owe Cindy a ‘dealer’s choice’ day where she squeezes me into smaller and smaller pieces of material pretending to be dresses. And yeah, I’m looking forward to that as well…..