She's Gotta Have it

 
 

As a millennial, African-American, romance-loving, artsy-fartsy, independent, 20-something professional companion (Whew, that was a lot of qualifiers!), I don't often find myself represented in media. Aspects of my identity make their way to the screen, sure, but they're often depicted as incompatible: One can't be both a sex worker and emotionally available. Or Black and bookish. Or an artist and savvy entrepreneur. Or comfortable with one's sexuality and choosy when selecting those with whom one engages. Cue, the Netflix revamp of Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It. Have you seen it? You should.

Both the original film-Spike's first picture, released in 1986-and the revamp center around Nola Darling-a young, attractive Brooklynite painter and digital artist who has three very different suitors. Each gentleman (and on occasion, a very lovely lady) struggles with feeling legitimate, knowing they exist as one of in Nola's orbit. But as a self-professed sex-positive, pansexual, polyamorous individual, Nola unapologetically and ethically demands ownership of her body and mind. She's clear about her needs and limits. And she spends a good deal of her time focused not on her intimate escapades, but her art.

She's Gotta Have It interrupts the assumptions we have about what relationships should look like (and what women are open to!). Society often says that if affection and connection exist between two people, they should make their way up the relationship escalator: Interest to claiming, claiming to commitment, commitment to merged assets, marriage, and often children. Nola rejects this notion entirely and, as a result, manages to experience far more than she might've had she adhered to traditional relational expectations. It's a narrative I can relate to entirely.  

By definition, as a companion, I am a non-monogamous individual. I have intimate engagements--in which exclusivity cannot be expected or demanded--that often develop into caring relationships. That's not to say that these relationships aren't meaningful; some of the most exhilarating and profound experiences of my life have occurred in the context of professional companionship! I actually prefer to care for my clients and can happily say that I've grown and been marked indelibly through connecting with them. The feeling is often mutual. But we manage these feelings by respecting the circumstances under which we've met, along with our respective boundaries and expectations. Intimacy is no less real when it has limits; like Nola, I've my own story to paint, and my clients often have their own escalators to ascend! I engage sans judgement. There's beauty in exploring what works for you, even if it's antithetical to the dictates of normalcy. I can confirm: when you figure it out, as the kids say these days, it's lit!

Unrelated: As you can probably tell, I'm a Spike Lee Joint devotee. His films are essential to my understanding of New York and are laregely responsible for my obsession with one of the best cities in the world. She's Gotta Have It is simultaneously a love letter to and indictment of Lee's gentrifying Brooklyn, backed by a superb soundtrack! If you're looking for a film to fall into on a cold winter night, any of Spike's are a good place to start!

xx    

 

A Fall Well Spent

Peek-a-boo, here I am!  As some of you have noticed, I've spent the last few months less present in the demimonde. Not for lack of love though, as there's truly nothing like the experiences I've shared with the friends I've gained in this world. But because I felt that time away was due to reprioritize some passions I'd neglected and revive my vanilla career. When you spend a few years running about in the buff, flying off on excursions, having drool-worthy dates with dream gents, beautifying incessantly, and eating all the foods and cocktails-aka having the best job ever-sometimes concerted effort is necessary to find the ever-elusive balance we all require. I'm happy to share I've done that. And so, I'm updating my abandoned blog and deactivating introvert hermit mode.

Somehow, November snuck up on me. And I don't say that in the awkward-conversation-with-that-associate-you-never-followed-up-with-about-drinks way. These last few months have flown by! I've spent time with my incredibly large family, knocked off some cities from my travel bucket list, launched a business and returned to vanilla work, started playing the piano and singing again, sharpened my home chef skills, begun volunteer work here in the city, and developed a bit of an obsession for yoga + running at the crack of dawn. (I'll be running a 5k this weekend; wish me luck!) I've enjoyed the challenge of it all and return renewed. I can't wait to reconnect with you and hear about what revelations and changes your fall has brought you. 

 I've a few updates to announce soon, as some of the changes in my world will inevitably alter how I approach companionship as Bre, but for now, suffice it to say, I'm back. I sure did miss this secret world of ours. 

Enjoy a few snaps of my life lately. If it seems like my photos are mainly nudies, food/drink shots, & museum photos, it's because I'm holding out on you! ...And because apparently-even when recalibrating-my life consists of being naked, sipping cocktails, and finding any excuse to spend my free time looking at art. Some things don't change, huh? 

Upcoming post: My cooking adventures, including shots of deliciousness like the wine-braised short ribs, peach galettes, apple cinnamon muffins, and coconut curry chicken I've made. There's nothing like a hearty fall meal...

 

A few of my favorite things

  • Bawdy jokes
  • Light touches across my skin that straddle the line between tickles and strokes
  • Realizing no one heard me after I slip up and let out a string of curses in an inappropriate setting
  • Seeing green trees for the first time after winter
  • The fist sip of a brut champagne 
  • Chance encounters with kindred souls
  • Beyoncé performances
  • The mixture of exhaustion and determination I feel upon reaching a hike's midway point
  • Waking up naked to sunshine in my eyes
  • Music festivals 
  • Playing masseuse and settling into a comfortable rhythm, confirmed by a relaxed sigh
  • Walking on the jetway, knowing a delicious adventure is afoot
  • Sensual kisses with minty cool breath
  • 'Ladies Only' dinner parties
  • Catching a great art exhibit days before the installation is transferred 
  • Playing 70s hits during road trips
  • Kittens
  • Intelligent political debates
  • Brunch after painting the town red the night before
  • Orgasms

Building to a Crescendo: Jolie Mixtape Vol. 1

As a professional sensualist, it's my very pleasurable job to cultivate the steamy excitement and unrestrainedness that usually remains the stuff of fantasy, bringing it out of myself and a lover. Music, which acts as sonic inspiration, is an absolute must for that! Everyone has at least one song that reminds them of pure, unadulterated lust. Whatever the record may be for you, when you hear it-no matter your location-you likely get flashbacks to some deliciously debaucherous moment you'd like to revisit. Your mind wanders to memories of a wonderfully spirited partner, passionate exploration, splayed limbs, hurried breath, skipping heartbeats, and delicious moans...Or the record simply reminds you that there are things you wish you'd experienced and haven't yet. So while silence can certainly be golden, the perfect playlist is invaluable.

I've always loved curating soundscapes, and have one for just about every occasion, so I thought it would be fun to begin sharing some of my mixes. Here's an atmospheric end-of-summer one that includes some not-so-familiar tunes that are perfect for clandestine, heady rendezvous-my favorite kind. Enjoy! 

The Skinny: 9 Things About Me You Can't Learn From My Reviews

I-like most people, I imagine-much prefer to be known through my own words, rather than the opinions of others. It's important to me that we begin and develop our private relationship based on who I truly am. And I suspect it's important to you, too!  But in the interest of website minimalism and armed with the self-awareness to know I'm naturally on the long-winded side, my Debut has probably left you with more questions than answers. Problem solved: here're a few tidbits about me you can't find anywhere else!

  • I am a mid-twenty-something and grew up between a Thoreau-reminiscent countryside in the heartland and a genteel New England prep school. Midwestern farm girl + cheeky boarding school brat! 
  • I fancy myself a foodie. And while I love being spoiled with sensuous meals in good company at lovely restaurants, I also appreciate cooking food almost as much as I do eating it. Currently making: green gazpacho and chili shrimp. 
  • My background is South African and Portuguese, and I'm a third culture kid.
  • I'm an introvert and call myself a grower-every meeting allows me to peel back layers and get closer to those with whom I connect. I love a good slow burn and crave authenticity!
  • I'm incredibly ticklish everywhere, except the small of my back. Touch that, and I don't giggle; I do something else...
  • I hate driving and don't do it if at all possible. Biking/Uber/Lyft/my legs are lifesavers! 
  • My first trip to Europe was planned (including procuring a passport) and executed in less than 3 days. I would happily do this again.
  • I adore literary classics. One of my favorites is The Scarlet Pimpernel. Least favorite: The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • I'm a music enthusiast, play a few instruments, and was once featured (singing) on a children's album. 

A Tall Order...

A Tall Order...

I am an unrepentant sensualist and have been for as long as I remember. One of my earliest memories involves me sitting cross-legged on a pantry room floor in some state of nudity and guzzling sickeningly sweet maple syrup from the bottle. ( It was being held bottom up and sides squeezed into my open mouth; go big or go home!). I was loving every moment of my childish (over)indulgence, hiding comfortably in the dark and quickly becoming a sticky mess. I'm not sure how much time passed, but I was subsequently caught, my bottom was tapped, and the ravished Mrs. Butterworth was returned to a place on the shelf, this time a bit higher. Needless to say, I found my way to the pantry again...and again...