Maggie

I'm a cisgendered woman, with she/her pronouns and a proclivity to fall in love with everyone. At this point in my life, I haven't explored or researched enough to know what that means for my sexual orientation or my relationship style. All I know is that people are fascinating creatures with stories and hobbies and purposes beyond my imagination. Each person I meet is an ocean of possibility and potential, and having a chance to share part of my life or love with anyone is one of the most important things to me.

I feel my sexiest when I have the chance to examine myself; when I discover new things about myself, like a freckle on the back of my hand that I knew was there but never appreciated, or how great my ass looks in a new pair of jeans, or even how my body looks after a shower. These are the moments that I truly appreciate how miraculous my body is.

I have a lot of parts of me that I love, but my favorite are my thighs. They're strong and beautiful and damn sexy. I used to hate them because they rubbed together when I walked. I used to blame them for creating rips in the inseam of my favorite jeans. Jeans can be replaced, but my thighs, in their boldness and unapologetic realness will never be replicated.

Out of everything that I have learned, about myself and about life, I believe the most important thing you can do is love somebody, love everybody. Our bodies are constantly changing and growing. Through all of it, the love you have for yourself and for others is what truly makes us beautiful.

Anna

"I’m getting more comfortable with the idea that feeling sexy doesn’t have to be an elaborate performance. It also doesn’t have to be intense and serious. So I wore my partner’s favorite look on me (jeans and a T-shirt) and just asked Braden to focus on some of my favorite features. On a good day, I think all of me looks pretty great, but showing off my back, neck, and eyes makes me especially happy."

Check out the rest by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Charlie

I’m a sex-positive yankee atheist living in the Bible Belt and I have been cross-dressing as Frank-N-Furter in our local Rocky Horror Picture Show for the last five years...so I guess you could say I’m a bit of an outsider around here.

I have always liked the way my legs look and my wife would absolutely list them as one of my best features. I have played soccer since I was a kid and then I got into martial arts as a teen. By college I was playing rugby and now I’m Lindy Hopping all the time, so throughout most of my life I have played sports or had hobbies that helped create a lot of lower body strength. My ass and thighs and calves are well defined and are definitely the feature that I get compliments on the most, so I feel pretty good about them. Plus, you should see them in my Frank-N-Furter heels, goddamn.

I generally don’t think about feeling sexy without some type of interaction with someone else though. Connecting with another person and having the back and forth interaction is what really boosts my confidence and mood and gets me thinking about being sexy. I have opinions on how I look and generally I’m pretty happy with my body and I feel confident that I’m attractive, but for me to feel sexy...I don’t usually get there without someone else’s involvement. I thrive on attention, so maybe it’s just a compliment or a look in my partner’s eyes, but when I see that interest, that makes me feel sexy.

Ultimately, I wish that people were more concerned with living their own lives than with trying to control how much sex other people are having or with how many different people. As long as everyone involved is consenting, (in the enthusiastic FUCK YES way), I don’t care who you are having sex with or how often or what your particular flavor is. Have all the sex you want...and if that’s no sex at all, then that’s cool too, but your personal feelings about sex shouldn’t have any impact on what other consenting adults choose to do with their bodies or how they choose to express their sexuality. Be safe, have fun, and get a little weird, (if that’s what you’re into).

Now if only we could get the rest of the world on board.

 

See more of Charlie's set by backing on http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Megan

I’m a bisexual atheist introvert babe living with occasionally debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. My pronouns are she/her and I believe in (and strive for) empowered people and enthusiastic consent. I’m a Lindy Hopper, event organizer, Safer Spaces advocate, and blogger. If you spend a lot of time on social media and you’re a Lindy Hop nerd, you may have read my sadly out of date blog (Lindy Hop Problems) or at least seen some of the posts shared on Facebook. I frequently forget that this is a thing that other people care about and that it’s not just entirely for myself and 3 of my friends, but I am proud of it and grateful for the platform it has given me to work on some of the real issues our community is struggling with.

2016 was a rough year for feeling sexy for me. I dislocated my knee on the very first day of the year and aggravated some old dance injuries that I thought were behind me so I spent a couple of months on crutches and the better part of the year in physical therapy. Living your life in a knee immobilizer and being unable to move quickly or put weight on one of your legs is not exactly conducive to having sex or feeling like much more than a useless blob...at least in my experience.

When I was basically down for the count with my injury, I leaned heavily on my friends, both local and long distance. I have some amazing people in my life, who supported me and motivated me and listened to me vent and I don’t know how I would have gotten through that year without them. Investing in those friendships and thinking about all of the incredible, powerful, and beautiful people I have in my life is really what eventually got me feeling sexy again. When I was down on myself and couldn’t see my own body clearly for the magnificence that it is, I poured love out on my friends and all that time I spent appreciating them and feeling that honest and incredible awe for so many different body types and aesthetics is what wound up giving me the breathing room I needed to appreciate myself again. The best thing I ever did for myself was to let go of the idea that I was a special snowflake who wasn’t like *other girls* and I’m so grateful for the many babes in my life now who remind me constantly that I’m not alone.

My boobs came in when I was YOUNG and I spent a lot of my life being sexualized without my permission or participation because I was really curvy with big boobs and a bubble butt before most of my peers...so it took me a while to get comfortable with my body for myself. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I can now confidently say that I love my tits and my ass and my curves and my thick thighs and my two little toes that curl under so you can’t even see when I bother to paint them. I love my hands and my long fingers. I love (most of) my tattoos and I love the bump on my nose and my random freckles and moles and the shape of my teeth. I love all of that because I really do just love me and that has been a hard fucking journey.

If I was writing my life story, it would be all about having an incredible love affair with myself. So much of the world is full of people or companies or media or things telling me that I shouldn’t love this stuff about myself and that I should be working on improving my appearance...my clothes should create an illusion that I’m taller and thinner and I shouldn’t post pictures that admit that I have acne or scars or stretch marks or any hint of a belly or double chin. I’m still fighting those battles and I’m sure I will be basically forever but every selfie I share is a goddamned testament to the revolution that is self-love in a world where that’s really fucking hard.

Check out the full set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Clara

Clara, she/her.

I identify as a tragically straight and monogamous (my best friend's words) celibate cis-woman. To be honest, I've never thought much about gender with regards to my own presentation, despite growing up in the Land of Gender Roles. I wear what's comfortable and appropriate for a given situation. My hair is long and I have curves now, but I went through a skinny, short-haired, hobbit-elf lovechild phase in my early teens where I wore cargo shorts and t-shirts and got referred to as "son" all the time. (It didn't bother me to get misgendered. I do understand why it would be hurtful to others, and I try to be sensitive to that.) Some days I want to wear lipstick (because I look amazing in red lipstick), other days I wear flannel (because it's comfortable and warm), other days I wear both. I find that I'm happiest when I dress like me, whatever that happens to mean at the time. I know who I am and live fully in my own body.

I feel sexiest when I am capable. The power of knowing I can do this thing is downright intoxicating, whether the thing is an intricate pattern on the social dance floor, or solving a challenging problem for grad school, or even something as small as putting together a stunning outfit for a dance event; and the rush of knowing I did it well is almost as good. Sometimes I forget to give my body credit for what ten years of martial arts and three years of dance have built. It’s strong, and quick, and flexible...okay, less flexible now than it used to be, but I can still kick above my head without pulling a muscle.

Of course, "capable" can also mean the ability to drop jaws when I walk into a room, or to render someone breathless when I lean in close. Which I also enjoy. I don’t generally go for blatant sexiness. Elegance and suggestion are underrated. (So is teasing.)

My favorite part of me...probably my collarbones. Or my legs. Or my waist. Or my lips. Or my hair. Or my eyes. Or...you get the idea. I'm lucky enough to be pretty fond of my entire body.

Slow down. Stop seeing sex as the ultimate goal. Make out like teenagers. Enjoy nonsexual contact for what it is: strengthening the bond between you and another human being. I choose to remain celibate until marriage, and regardless of why I made that decision, I think it makes romantic interactions and relationships much less stressful. Not just for me, either: the last person I dated told me that because he knew we weren't going to sleep together (I had told him this before we started dating), he felt a lot less pressure to hit relationship “milestones” at a certain rate. Of course, this means a lot more talking to the other person to begin with. Once I got over the initial awkwardness of saying, “Hey, I like your face, but I’m not taking my clothes off or sleeping with you,” to start with, I found myself relaxing and enjoying the moment more.

V

"It’s been an arduous journey for me to feel sexy and comfortable under my own skin, and it will continue to be a lifelong work in progress. I’ve been told by my culture to watch my weight, maintain a small figure, and refrain from sexual expression ever since I was six years old. To this day, it has impacted the way in which I view my body, sexuality, and personality against societal and cultural standards. I’ve essentially grown immune to the negative messages I received about my body from my parents, relatives, and family friends. It also means that I’ve internalized them as truths – that my body is indeed too bulky, my waistline is non-existent, that I am unattractive woman by my culture’s standards. And though I’ve always had a high sex drive, I never felt comfortable with sexual exploration and expression in fear of backlash. Thus, it has been difficult to feel sexy when society consistently suggests otherwise. But over time, I learned to embrace the reflection I see in the mirror. I now experience less of an urge to squeeze in the sides of my stomach or thighs and instead, combat the negativity with self-love through positive self-affirmation whenever the inclination arises. The parts I once hated most about my body are now parts that define my sexiness and strength. Without them, I do not feel complete (literally and figuratively). Ultimately, self-love and appreciation of the imperfections that make me human and unique enables me to be expressive, independent, beautiful, and sexy."

Check out the full set by backing this project at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Ember

Ember was actually a cheerleader for a different shoot I did. While chatting during the shoot they expressed interest in maybe doing something like this, and before I could blink the tables had turned and suddenly they were the one being cheered. This whole thing was done for a lark in about 15 minutes. When I asked what sort of vibe they wanted, they described their aesthetic as "trashy Renaissance painting." We also did an interview too, so here are some words they wrote:

How do you identify? 

Gender fluid, but exclusively femme in the bedroom. Pretty kinky and still figuring out what all that means.

What makes you feel sexy? 

Honestly? It varies. It can be my little girl panties or my fur coat or really whatever makes me feel awesome. Sometimes it's just the person I'm with; I mean if you don't feel sexy sometimes doesn't mean they can't think you are :> Sometimes it's even actions I take like standing up to people or making really good work. Sometimes it's a gogo dress, sweater, and Doc's. Its funny. During the day I make a pretty conscious effort to desexualize myself. I want people see more than just a body, which unfortunately doesn't happen often enough. But who needs those people?

What is your favorite part of you? 

I have a great personality :^> lol I'd say that and my eyes. Trying to love all of me is a hard thing to do, but we all gotta learn somehow. Oh and the fact that despite me having trouble loving myself sometimes, that i am more than willing to help others find the self respect they need.

Is there anything else you want the world to know about you and/or your views on sex/sexuality/relationships? 

Don't have sex if you hate yourself that second. Or really anything sexy for that matter. Do it because it's fun, because that person is hot, or because you are horny or whatever. But don't do it if you feel insecure. In my eyes that's using a person as an emotional crutch and being in it half heartedly hurts the other party. A lot. That and it can form an unhealthy relationship with the act that is really difficult to get out of. I used to use that and relationships as a form of validation and honestly while it led to some great times, I wish I didn't feel that way going in. Hell I even refuse sex with my boyfriend if I'm not feeling super sexy.

Jessica

I'm Jessica, a heterosexual female practicing monogamy. That title sounds too generic for my disposition, but technically I am a girl with a popular 90s name who likes one boy at a time.

During my daily life, I don't feel as though I exude sexiness. I feel sexiest when I'm dancing with my hair down. Whether it's alone, for one person, or for an audience, I feel sexier in motion. Contemporary dancing seems to best reflect my emotions and enables me to let my feelings out because it can encompass every style of dance with or without music. Sometimes just holding hands makes me feel sexy, but holding hands is a dance of its own.

My hands are one of my favorite exterior parts of me. They're what I look at on my body the most. I have a scar I got from my dog when I was 7 on my left hand and a freckle on my right. If I didn't have that scar I would have a tattoo in memory of my Angel.

I love my passion for animals. Meeting an animal can make my whole day. Elephants and sloths are my favorite animals because of their personalities. My love of every animal is one of the traits I've kept from my childhood. I also love my passion for so many types of art. Growing up I never wanted to be an artist, but it's who I am. When my emotions are heightened, stories spill out of me in various art forms. I love of how many mediums I use to teach and create art, and I'm grateful I've turned my lifelong hobbies into a career. I try to be someone both 96 year old me and 6 year old me would be proud of.

Check out the full set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Cate

So this shoot isn't really part of the Hella Positive project but was just born out of a desire to make some art under my own direction, and play with lights again since I haven't done that in a while. That said, all I had was two small flashes and a couple of friends to hold them, no modifiers or stands or anything, and never found the time to actually, ya know, plan anything, so we just sorta went for a walk around and made some photos out in the cold. Poor Cate, it was about 40 degrees out. Anyhoo, I wanted to share these any way because I like what we were able to make, and I look forward to more personal art projects of various kinds in the future, even if they're super fast low budget things like this. And if you wanna see more Cate, don't worry, we're going to do another shoot sometime in the future, one that more accurately represents her personality and fits within the ethos of the Hella Positive project.

Shelby

I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia for several years, and so when I discovered burlesque and the power that lingerie and pinup attire could have for my self confidence and body positivity I threw myself into it. It’s a really, freeing, empowering way to take control over beauty standards. Even a year into my burlesque performances, it’s a constant struggle to convince myself that audiences will like what I’m doing and, that ultimately, it only matters that I like what I’m doing. But it gets easier every time.

I spent a long time hiding in an androgynous space where no one could really see what I looked like because I was scared of my body and the reactions it would get, and over the past year I’ve steadily moved more and more into a femme space as I’ve become more comfortable with my body and my sexuality as a bisexual woman. The queer spaces I grew up around were staunchly butch, for better or worse, and while I found safe spaces there I never fully felt like myself. The amazing queer community in the burlesque world has helped me reconcile femininity and sexuality without sacrificing either.

My favorite physical part of me has always been my eyes, and over time, they’ve come to be my favorite metaphorical part of me as well. My eyes are the medium by which I see and judge myself, the immediate receptor for the body dysmorphia and self hate, but they are also where the first signs of change and self acceptance can happen. I was genuinely surprised at how many of the proofs from this photoshoot I loved - not because Braden doesn’t take incredible photos- but because I assumed I’d hate the way I looked in them no matter what he did. Acceptance and self love take a long time and a lot of work, but they’re worth it.

Check out the full set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Joy

I tend to be pretty feminine, but I don't see how softness or being demure is a strictly female quality. I am gender queer, and embracing that part of myself has only made my life a more happy one. They/them, if you please. I'm polyamorous, though very shy; I tend to seek out intimate friendships more than casual partnerships. For me, friendship and sex make for incomparable bedmates.

I can't resist laughing in bed, secret kisses, wit. I grew up on the poetry of Whitman and Byron, I don't think I can help myself when someone starts to recite sweet nothings while wrapped up in a close embrace. Finding what I like about myself has been a journey and continues to be. I know this is something I'm not alone in, and that gives me a bit of courage. I have found that I like the corners of my eyes, my unforced smile, my legs, and cheeks.

For a long time, I have tried to erase my soft, whimsical self in order to be more alluring, and somehow sexier. But being soft, light, intimate, and humorous should not be swept aside in the bedroom; the best memories made, I feel, are made with a smile on our face. Why should sex be any different?

Jason

Check out the rest of this set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive! Now, some words from Jason:

Hey everyone, Jason here! Or Josh if you are close enough to me to call me that (all the best people have). I've always associated with a masculine identity, but a couple people have seen me in drag and I'm told it was a thing to behold...I'm definitely male, straight(ish), and in a polyamorous/relationship anarchy lifestyle. Male because...well TSA calls it a "groin anomaly".(Ish) is because occasionally it is fun to kiss other guys let's all be real. Polyamorous because I've challenged myself, grown, and developed much deeper relationships across the board because of the openness and communication that comes along with it.

Touch me. Desire me. Compliment me. Flatter me. Tell me how sexy I am. These are things that I used to base my "sexiness" on. I couldn't see it for myself. I was always too skinny, no chest, tiny arms, overbite and bald. I did have abs though, that I definitely recognized in myself. No denying that. But I just couldn't get why everyone would say so much positivity about my body. I mean, after all, I look really nothing like the stereotypical "male hotness". Turns out though, with enough constant positive feedback, you can start to see yourself in a different light. This photo shoot was the pinnacle act of my "transformation" of how I see myself. I love the way my body looks. I have definition for DAYS, musculature, uniqueness, and most importantly now: confidence. I can see the things everyone would say about me. I like touching myself (haha no not like that! Well ok...yea like that too), flexing for nobody but me, and telling myself just how good I look. And when I decide to actually bail on the flip flops and dress up in a fitted shirt and snazzy shoes? MMMMMMMMMMMMM

I love my hobbies. And I would say those are an integral part of me. I certainly have a few. Some manifest in physical ways like bondage, shibari, D/s, dancing, and video games. Others are a hobby of mind (reading, movies, intellectual discourse, internet correcting). But the part I love most about myself is that I have all this ability in me and I actually enjoy using it. And if we are talking about my body, I definitely still love my abs. They've always been there for me and they helped me transition to loving the rest of my body. Plus damn, let's be real, I've got some abs. It's funny, when my anchor partner and I became poly, I was sure that she'd be the one with multiple relationships and I'd just be along for the ride. That's what happens when you have little self-confidence. Today, I've certainly raised my confidence level. It happens very specifically for me, like a videogame almost. I'll have an experience, say a rad photoshoot where I'm in a living room full of people and just being fully out there and exposed. And then that experience will be so overwhelmingly positive (applause, staring, lip biting, whatever) that I simply must send it back. So I make a mental note, capture the moment, and I send it back to my middle school self to say "Yo, check out your life later on. You are definitely rad. Chin up!" and I can literally FEEL my confidence in that moment and today go up. Rad sexual experience with a new partner? +1 C. Fantastic compliment? +1 C. Photoshoot in cabin surrounded by friends and feeling HOT? +2 C. It just keeps going.

I love tying people up, I love creating art with rope, I love creating art with humans, I love touch, I love intimate conversations, I love sex, I love cuddling, I love new relationship energy, I love the safety and comfort of long relationships, and I love myself.

B

What’s up! I’m b, your friendly neighborhood polyamorous switch. I’m agender, panromantic, & demisexual, so I experience romantic attraction to basically everyone but only experience sexual attraction to someone after we’ve formed a deep bond of trust & connection.

I adore dressing feminine & masculine, but both of them feel like a form of drag. The clothes I wear on any given day are a form of camouflage, or armor, or a blazing neon sign designed to redirect. This shoot captures me as I take my armor off, unwrap the camouflage, and show up in my ultra-elusive fae dreamer self.

I love modeling because it’s like an imaginatorium where I can tell stories with my body, and hopefully give other shy dreamers a glimpse of a kindred spirit.

What makes me feel sexy is being seen - and I mean really seen, with presence and love, as a sexual being and not a sexual object.

My favorite part of my body is all of it. I’m proud of my scars, because they show where I’ve been. And I’m SUPER vain about my neck, freckles, tits, & lips.

I’m continually shocked by how much I love being seen. It makes me feel like I got plugged into a light socket, and all the parts of me I that had forgotten about blaze up, and suddenly I’m a three-tiered rainbow crystal chandelier shining above a feast of fruit.

Many thanks to Braden for giving me the safety and space to be seen.

<3,
b.

Check out the rest of this set (and many others!) by backing this project on Patreon!

Alice

Hello! My name is Alice. I'm 26 years old. I have my undergraduate degree in Spanish and am hoping to get back into school to study neuroscience.

I am an artist at heart, and I write, dance, sing, do photography, and paint. I also value clothing, makeup, and body art as a way of artistic expression.

I'm panromantic and polyamorous, so I do a lot of falling in love. I believe that love is infinite and hope to inspire others to be able to express love more freely and openly. I am writing a book that explores different types of love and introduces new English words to name them.

I feel most sexy when I am able to be most myself. That might sound super cliché, but I've found it to be very rare in practice. It is a state of being that involves a lot of trust and acceptance, both from one's self and from whoever one is with. There's a look people get in their eyes when they look into the eyes of someone they feel that trust and acceptance with. They let so many of their walls down to reveal deep levels of who they are. I've never experienced anything as intimate as those moments.

My favorite part of me is my heart. I spent too long considering it a weakness, the way I fall in love with and care for people, particularly to great depths with multiple people. I found the freedom this year to learn to consider it a strength and love my heart for all it does.

I've also grown to embrace my shyness. The more you get to know me and the more real I start to be with you, the more shy I become, so good luck figuring that out. Being as quiet as I am has been my biggest insecurity throughout my life, and it still stings a bit when people point out how quiet I am. I often have people tell me I don't need to be shy, but being quiet and shy is a valuable part of who I am. I spent a lot of my high school and college years teaching myself how to interact with people and be social, and it's only been in the last few years that I've come back to being more of my natural self. I love to be around people, but I'm perfectly content being the wallflower or with meeting more new pets than new people at most parties. I've also found a lot of my voice through writing, and that has been powerful.

This year has been one of great learning for me, and one of the lessons I've found most valuable is that of celebrating my body for what it is. I was taught to feel ashamed for revealing too much of it or for being sexy, and that's so wrong. I wanted to do this photoshoot as a stand against everything I once believed, beliefs that carry shame and fear that are still a part of who I am in many ways. Our bodies aren't something to be ashamed of, but rather, something worthy of respect. Additionally, sexual interest and expression (or lackthereof) is a integral part of who we are and how we relate to others. I've also worked hard this year to take better care of my body and mind. I struggled with an eating disorder in college that caused a lot of health problems for me, but I gained 10 pounds back this year, and that is worth celebrating.

Check out the entire set of over 30 photos by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Vox

This was an older post from before I started interviewing people, but Vox was gracious enough to pour her heart out for you lovely denizens of the internet. You can still see the rest of this ridiculously awesome set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive and scrolling though the archive! 

How do you identify?:Welp, I'd like to think of myself as a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of sorts, but it's be Miss (Enter Last Name Here) and Goddess Vox. I'm a woman, I'm comfortable identifying as such, and don't believe it limits me, or another, in any way. I'm of the amatory variety. I find things and people sexy. Who and what they identify are isn't of any mind to me unless they're presenting something that I don't consent to or vice versa. I have a beau and I have my private life. That private life opens the doors to Feminine Dominance. 


What makes you feel sexy?: I find myself having difficulty answering this. I can find myself feeling a little spicy in a number of ways. Many of my clients enjoy putting me on a pedestal and that, in itself, can be very sexy. Other times....it's that one dress, or that shade of lipstick, or that piece of lingerie, or the way the light hit my ass in that perfect photograph.....Sometimes....sometimes It's being a bad ass at the office and other days, it's my beau giving me that....that look. The wind blowing the right way that day can just make me feel like I'm floating around on one big, sexy cloud.  

What is your favorite part of you?: I think this repeats the same sentiment as above. Some days, it's my brain...the ability to have positive, productive corridors of life and them all be cohesive. Some days, my favorite part about me is the way I nurture everyone and turn into a Mother Hen of sorts. Days that I catch them in the mirror? My eyes. Days that I catch IT in the mirror...my ass....Sometimes, it's the art that I've been given the gift of wearing permanent....and some days my favorite part of me is knowing you. 

Is there anything else you want the world to know?: Hm. My views. We're all insecure. About one thing or another. Some handle theirs better than others, some need encouragement and can grow to understand and approach them better, and some will forever battle with those cruxes as large, glaring demons. Sexuality and sexiness shouldn't ever need to be one of those things. While, granted, I keep my Femme Domme business very separate from my day to day life and interestingly, it doesn't play a role in my relationship, I'd like to think it's something I own. What you are, who you are, and what and who you seek are all up to you and that thing that you're doing and maybe it's with that willing participant. Past that, does it really need to matter how weird it gets? If it's sexy, it's fucking sexy, and that's the way I like it.

Josie

Check out the entire set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

How do you identify?: My name is Josie and I am a cis-female, most likely bisexual, and using she/her pronouns. I am first generation Asian American. I am exploring ethical non-monogamy but still meandering my way about. This photo series is highly important to me because it is one of many steps of me reclaiming my sexuality and embracing my sensuality. I grew up on the West Coast in a very conservative and small town which as you can guess, dear reader, can be highly toxic. Once I left my community behind for college, I started breathing in the world and all its options, sensual and othetwise around me. And here we are today, a veritable butterfly out of her chrysallis.

What makes you feel sexy?: That's a difficult question, but I would say feeling in control of how I present to the world makes me feel sexy. Being able to clothe myself in fashion, regardless of how loud it may be, makes me feel like I am living out my own narrative. Which of course gives me the confidence to feel like I ask all you beautiful people out.

Anything else you want to share?: Hmmm, I don't have much to say, but I do think we should all give sex workers their due, whether it be porn performers, cam stars, escorts, masseuses, outdoor sex workers, strippers, sugar babies, etc. They provide sexual fantasies for so many people hence they should be given additional legal protection given the dangerous nature of their work

Rachel

It was really lovely visiting my former home (and forever home of my heart,) Chicago for a week around Thanksgiving. I'm actually writing this from one of my old haunts, a local bike messenger hang out. Sigh, I wish I was as cool or as pretty as they are. But I digress. Definitely one of the highlights of this trip was getting to hang out and make some art with one of the coolest people I've had the privilege to call friend in this vast city, Rachel. We shot in their South Loop apartment, a place they considers a part of them. It's beautiful, and they're quite justifiably proud of the space they've created. I was dubious because it's kind of dim in there this time of year, but in the end it felt right to be in a space that fit them like a glove. If you want to see the full set, check out my Patreon at http://patreon.com/hellapositive.

After our shoot I asked Rachel a few questions, a format I'm definitely going to try to keep up. Here's what they wrote:

How do you identify? 

I identify as a non-binary woman—for me, this means I feel comfortable moving through the world as a woman and being read as a woman, but I don't believe in the gender-binary and I don't want to prop it up. She/her and they/them pronouns are both excellent ways to refer to me. I'm ethically-non-monogamous, bisexual, and queer. My moods almost entirely fall into the categories Old Tegan and Sara or New Tegan and Sara, and my gender presentation ranges from femme for the summer to butch in the winter. Since I like farmers markets, yoga pants, flannel and all-pumpkin-everything, and my apartment is twee af, you could also call me a basic butch.

What makes you feel sexy?

I started training in aerial circus earlier this year, and while there's nothing sexy about falling on my face 20+ times a day, watching myself get stronger and seeing my body as a tool for doing some pretty cool tricks, rather than as an object of aesthetic pleasure, has ironically made me feel sexier. I guess it's like, "Hi, I can do pull-ups for days. Let's make out?" You know those T-shirts that say "The Future Is Female"? I recently bought one that says "The Future Is Female Ejaculation." I expect to feel sexy when I wear it.

What is your favorite part of you?

In keeping with the previous question, I'm going to have to say my lats, brah. It keeps startling me to see photos of them (I'm sure I'm the only one who really notices this, but I feel like they've gotten huge!). Downside: I don't fit into some of my cuter, underwire bras anymore. Very much upside: I am not really wearing bras anymore.

Is there anything else you want the world to know about you and/or your views on sex/sexuality/relationships/sexinessthings?

Yes. Here is my unsolicited advice/PSA for couples out there looking for a unicorn: Be open to splitting up sometimes, and be the unicorns you want to see in the world. Queerness isn't a choice for everyone, but it can be. Make it happen. We will all get laid more and it will be glorious.

Liz

I've decided to try an idea I've been kicking around, to make these blog posts more of an interview. I asked Liz a few questions, and what they sent back was so incredibly beautiful and perfect I've decided to just post it verbatim. I'm going to throw in my shameless plug tag now, and say if you want to check out the full set go back my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/hellapositive because backers get exclusive access to all the outtakes. Okay, plug over, everything that follows are Liz's words, unedited.

I'm agender and go by they/them pronouns, but my friends and I like to joke that my "true gender" is "cryptid" (my nickname is Lizard and the lizard person jokes happen often). My identity is queer. I'm demi-panromantic and asexual. Sometimes I'm sex positive, but only with people with whom I've had some sort of strong romantic feelings. Generally I'm sex-repulsed which throws off people as I love lingerie. But I generally view lingerie as something I enjoy outside of sexual contexts—I wear it because it makes me feel good, not for anyone else. I'm also extremely monogamous in all regards which seems to be on the way out, but I try not to let that discourage me from finding someone I can be with longterm.

What makes me feel sexy isn't something I've thought about much. I find that I feel the closest thing I can think to sexy when I'm looking into the eyes of someone to whom I've mutual desire and attraction. Beyond that, I've started to feel really beautiful without my makeup done and with my natural hair all over the place. I feel amazing when I don't wear a bra under my shirts. I think my brand of sexiness is being myself, for myself. I was bullied a lot growing up and had a lot of complexes about various parts of my appearance, but I've found that those are the thing I'm learning to love most about myself. Self-love and acceptance are beautiful. And I think beauty is what I feel more than sexy.

My favorite part of myself is my passion for everything I do, hobbies and otherwise. Comics, cosplay, LARPing, D&D, gaming, fashion, makeup, reading, art, design... but also my friends, my chosen family, and social and political activism. I'm an Angry Queer Intersectional Feminist Killjoy and I wear the title with pride.

Being agender and queer and femme is so important to me. Femme erasure and femme hate is far too common in the queer community. While I have androgynous days and alter my appearance to align with that as needed, it's important to me that femmes are acknowledged as valid and deserving of love and support. There is no one way to express queerness. Femme isn't weak. It's not conforming to patriarchal ideals. Femme is a powerful thing. I'm just as queer in lipstick as I am in combat boots—and I often wear both simultaneously.

 

I've a friend with a tattoo on her arm that says "Speak your truth" and I think that's the most important part of my life—living authentically. Having the freedom to be myself and be safe, affirmed, and loved. I'll keep working hard and speaking up so one day we may live in a world where we all truly feel we belong.

I fail to see how making one's body visible diminishes their worth and personhood—how it tarnishes their intellect or self-respect. It's a body. We all have one. I like mine a lot (apart from the occasional gender dysphoria-related feelings) which is something an insufficient number of people can say.

Olivia

This was such a fun shooting St Louis, Missouri. I got about three hours of sleep the night before, but it was totally worth it to catch the sunrise.

Olivia wanted to be a badass wild woman, and made her own outfit on top of doing her own hair and make up to complete the look.

We spent a lot of time with her hanging out in this tree, starting during twilight and catching the entire gorgeous sunrise, complete with fog on the grass and everything.

After the sun was well and truly up we changed locations to a different park, with a lot of rocks and small waterfall, and a pond to catch some fun reflections in.

These are just a few of my favorites from this shoot, the final set had over 40 images! If you wanna check out the rest, hop on over to http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Here's Olivia's story:

"Boys didn't like me because I was too skinny and rough around the edges. They weren't used to a girl who could play sports like them, run as fast as they could, and climb trees as high. I didn't tell them that it was because I ran away from beatings from the neighborhood kids, my parents, and four brothers, I just told them they'd be sorry if they messed with me. They were. Now I notice the disapproving glances at women who aren't soft and pliant like we are "supposed" to be. How I wished for so long I could be soft like those girls I see every day. The ones that make your heart melt by their sheer existence in space and time. Everyone loves those girls. But you can't unbeat leathered skin. Now I want to be nothing but me. I love me fiercely and I love my people fiercely because that's the only way I know how to love anything. If you've lost something dear, you know how that feels. I'm not afraid of my toughness anymore. Beauty happens to mean more than they told me it did, and even if it didn't, who cares? I am more than my beauty. I am a brilliant brain that will keep working long after my beauty is gone. "

Savannah

This is Savannah, a wildling and wandering soul just settling into a new home in the Bay Area.

We did the first half of our shoot at home, a rad af warehouse-turned-artist-co-op in Oakland, CA. We took this photo up in a lofted area right under a skylight. Not pictured, just out of frame: massive painting of a loaf of bread.

Things got weird when we went outside. We borrowed the dog from the neighbors.

When we were done at home we took a brief break to wander around the Mission, killing time until the sun got a little lower in the sky. Then it was on to the beach so Savannah could show off her Creature/Primal side.
 

These are a few of my favorite photos from our shoot, if you want to check out the rest take a peek at my Patreon!