Joey

You can see the rest of Joey's rad set at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

I’m *hella* gay. And I mean that as both a gender and an orientation. I used to think of gender and orientation as completely disparate identities, but the longer I identify as nonbinary, the more I find that that’s just not…true for me? Like, my gayness is all wrapped up in being nonbinary, in that I experience my gender as yes plx gimme the genders. I just gay my way through life, and try to signal as hard as possible so no one is surprised. I use they/them pronouns, and still get thrown hard when someone I know fucks up my pronouns.

Other super important facets of my identity: I strive to be an intersectional feminist who is aware of issues facing more than just white women and afab people. I do user experience research for a living and love it. My body is meant to be in motion, whether that motion be dancing or climbing or cycling, and I love moving through space. I am a cat person. I am also a futon. I have generalized anxiety disorder and it blows big chunks. I participated in both The Girl Scouts and The Boy Scouts organizations and the GSA is so socially progressive it makes my heart sing and the BSA helped me break up with my evil ex, so I’ve a fondness for the organization despite its shitty policies.

The experience of being in my body when there’s music playing — I think that’s the only way I know how to be sexy. 11 years of social dance training as an adult and six years of the ballet-jazz-tap trifecta as a kid have left me confident in my ability to position and move my body. The sexiest I’ve felt in years was at the Steel City Blues Sunday Late Night party this year. I’d run upstairs and club-danced a couple of songs after my DJ set, and then come back down to the blues room feeling loose and ready to just move to blues dance. I wasn’t dancing for anyone else, and the DJ was masterfully keeping everyone partying. In those songs, I felt the opposite of dysphoria for the first time in a while: I felt gender euphoria - a complete and utter exhilaration at my own gender expression in that dance. I’m still chasing that feeling, three months later, trying to be myself in my dance so completely.

I’ve been working on self appreciation, so when it comes to what is the best thing about me, I won’t stop at one thing: my freckles, my soft round belly, my tattoos, my hair, and my booty. The feeling of muscles being activated and the soreness from working out hard. The way my eyes get all squinty when I’m really happy. The shape of my lips. The shape of my nose. The sensation of someone else’s body squishing into my squishy bits.

But, actually,I think this is my true favorite part of me: I form crushes very easily: oh, you’re cute and said a nice thing to me once and maybe also touched me? CRUSH. You’re a good friend who has listened to me talk on and on? CRUSH. You made me food? CRUSH. You invited me for ice cream? CRUSH. You smiled at me while dancing? CRUSH. You played board games with me? CRUSH. You went with me to see a band? CRUSH. You quietly sat with your partner and took care of them? OH GOSH CRUSH. All of the crushes in my life fill my heart with a little boost of love and excitement. My heart pounds seeing all of that love in the world, and it gives me the buoyancy to make it through the crushing realities of the transphobic garbage of the world. So, hey - thanks for being cute and in the world. <3

Mattia

You can see the rest of Mattia's set by backing this project at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

While we were shooting, Braden commented on being able to see me working through the checklist of each instruction he’d given as I got set up each time. This mirrors how I have viewed sexiness for most of my life: a series of instructions and observations that, once applied, produced a result. I was going to say the desired result but as someone who took a long time to learn to say no, I sometimes regretted looking desirable. I remember learning about swishing hips as a kid, and that it had to do with placing your feet one in front of the other. I internalized it so thoroughly that now I have to make a conscious effort to not walk in a straight line.

I observed the women I was attracted to, and the girls who were flirting with the boys I liked, and lined up those observations with things from books, movies, and eventually the internet. I remember a scene in which Michelle Pfeiffer (could have been someone else but it’s her face in the memory) reaches into her bra to tuck up each breast for maximum perk and began doing that when I had the chance. Before my mom took me to buy makeup at 13 (her idea), I was already strategically pinching my cheeks a la Jane Austen characters. While I didn’t overly identify with being female (and certainly not a straight one), I knew who I was “supposed” to emulate.

It’s impossible to know how much of this came off as studied and how much of it was shrugged off during my tendencies to flail and shriek in genuine excitement with very little provocation. My body felt like a trap, and I felt pressure to attract someone to take care of me and hopefully not hit me. It’s hard to think about sexiness or sensuality when you’re consumed by fear. And while I’ve had many good and healing experiences, I still have a lot of fear and triggers around touch.

Receiving massage has been healing, and from a partner it can be sexy. I feel sexy when I’m wearing comfortable and well-fitting clothes. Certainly in a suit, though I’ve yet to get a real tailored suit. Coming out as non-binary trans has made me much more comfortable in my body. I love being in the water, and grass, and sand. I find physical sensations I like and return to them again and again. I believe in always having a backup vibrator. My favorite part of my body has been the same for a couple decades: my eyes. They’re ocean-colored, and I love the sea. And while they’re changeable, they always more or less look the same, no matter what shape my body takes.

Stella

You can see the rest of Stella's set at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Braden: I don't suppose you've had a chance to do the bio? It doesn't have to be very long

Stella: no i keep thinking about it but it's hard cause i feel so detached from the photos
and trying to think of what makes me feel good about myself is kinda like the opposite

Braden: You could write about that if you'd like
I think that would actually be really good for people to hear

Stella: i just like don't feel like those photos feel like me so it's hard

Braden: You could say that

Stella: cause then it just makes me feel bad that i don't feel better about them and i get into a self critical spiral

Braden: It's okay to feel that way, it really is. I don't want you to write anything that isn't true, that isn't what this is about.
Life isn't always sunshine and roses and suddenly feeling good about yourself. And I think that maybe I contribute to people having that impression, and it would be good for people who don't feel that to have something to relate to

Stella: yeah it just feels like
they shouldn't be on your page cause other than the presence of underwear nothing about those says sexy to me

Braden: Like, you don't find them to be sexy? Or you don't think other people would find them sexy?

Stella: both
every time you post a shoot i think "i don't want mine posted next to that one cause mine sucks"

Braden: I don't think yours sucks. I actually rather like the photo of you by the window with the knife, I think that might end up in my portfolio. Also you licking the knife, your expression is so great.

Stella: yeah but those are the only ones i really love. the other ones i like are really not like. idk. none of it is what i planned on doing and i feel super boring.
it really isn't the end of the world and i should get over it but
it just doesn't feel to me like what your project makes me feel when i read the other posts
i was dissociating and sad that day and none of my wardrobe was what i wanted and i was underweight and couldn't think straight and all of my photos are me looking mean or me staring into space

Braden: Would it be okay if I posted this chat log actually? I think it's really important for people to hear a different experience. That's actually why I started the blog in the first place, so other people can find people they relate to or learn about experiences not their own.

Stella: yeah that works.

Braden: <3 <3 <3

Stella: it kinda funny to me that as a nonbinary person who is assumed to be a cis woman that my femininity is the aspect i struggle most with. like, feeling feminine enough.

Braden: I think that makes a certain amount of sense though, like, being conditioned to meet those expectations all your life and even if you consciously reject some or all of them you still have that internalized standard that you're holding yourself to

Stella: and it isn't that i don't have things i feel good about that was just not a great time for me
and i don't dislike the photos i just don't like them as like a representation of me or how i feel about myself.

 

 

Amber

You can see the rest of Amber's set at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Hey lovely humans!

I go by a lot of names, but mostly Amber. I identify as pansexual, gender fluid, kinky, and polyamorous. I am pretty much all of the things. I’m serious, silly, artsy, studious, lazy, intellectual, bratty, attentive, oblivious, reflective, moody, athletic, receptive, clever, obsessive, and so many other words that help me to understand and share what it means to be me. 

I’m drawn into depth, enraptured by passion, and aroused by connection. I feel sexy when look into the eyes of the person before me and see understanding, acceptance, and desire. I also have a really nice ass. My butt doesn’t make me feel sexy simply through existing though, since I don’t view nudity as inherently sexual. It just helps with the ‘desire’ part mentioned before. Despite this, I do enjoy wiggling it at people enough for it to be considered a hobby.

This photo shoot was meant to capture all of the natural beauty that I have learned to hold dear. In it, I am naked to every capacity of the word. I’m sharing myself now, not without fear, but with without shame. I feel at ease when I’m bound in rope—I’m free to submit, and I’m open to trust. My partner Jason, the wonderful person rigging me, has been with me through my best and my worst, and his adaptive and accepting personality created the perfect space for me to express all of who I am for you.  

Jocelyn

You can see all of Jocelyn's set by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Hello: My name is Jocelyn, and I’m a 6’2” queer human belonging to House Slytherin. I enjoy the feeling of putting on lipstick, taking off clothing with a person that fills me with electricity, and showing off my dance moves to jazz in bars when I know people are watching.

When I feel the most sexy is when I’m being unapologetically myself. It’s when I’m choosing how I present myself, letting my laughter spill out, vocalizing my opinions, and continuing to quote movie lines when no one has any idea what I’m talking about. For me feeling sexy also means a complete declaration of autonomy. My body is a temple and I get to decide what happens to it. I choose the piercings or tattoos that adorn my canvas, the food that fuels my energy, to whom I gift the allowance to touch me, and my right to say “no” at any time. The word “no” has been a word that I have used to its full power only a handful of times. But in regards to the safety, the boundaries, and the pleasures of my body I am learning to say it with fierce intention and strength. My body is my own and anyone who says otherwise can kindly fuck off.

Vulnerability is difficult to allow myself at times - to let go of the expectations to be happy and just feel what I need to feel. There was a moment that Braden caught during the shoot when my body started to shut down from exhaustion and stress. It was important to me to include this moment in the published set to shed light on the reality that not all of our feelings are pretty. But regardless, these feelings are valid and must be seen and felt.

Hello: My name is Jocelyn, and this is me.

Alyssa

Hi! My name is Alyssa. I’m 22 years old. I am female, an introvert at heart, a cat person, a dancer, bisexual, occasionally kinky, and thoroughly pleased by the presence of and participation in many forms of loving relationships. I have my undergraduate degree in Theatre Design & Technology (read as: I’m a badass lady carpenter who likes to build and make things, who loves people of all sorts of identities and bodies, and who just loves to love, in general).

I work as a carpenter/rigger at a few different venues. Being a female in a predominantly male-oriented industry comes with its challenges, and makes me work to maintain my own balance of masculinity and femininity in a way that makes me happy. Some days, that means working extra hard to remind myself that I can love using power tools and building things and welding while also embracing the fact that I’m very empathetic and sensitive. These qualities do not make me weak, and in fact are often extremely valuable in an environment where they are sometimes scarce. Still, honoring the things that make me who I am in a social environment that is often confused by my presence as a (sometimes) feminine woman is difficult. But I love having the chance to show others that my duality of femininity and masculinity is wonderful and effective and important and something to be celebrated.

I end up feeling sexy when I’m able to embrace both of those aspects of myself. Simultaneously appreciating my muscular structure and my natural curves. Dressing up in something feminine and doing my makeup after a long day of creating worlds from plywood and 2x4’s. When I can be myself in all aspects I feel super confident, and when I can tell that the confidence shines through to others, it only adds to how sexy I’m feeling.

I also feel really sexy when I’m connecting with someone else. Being able to feel that certain level of trust, openness, and being completely seen and appreciated by another person on all levels is such a good feeling. For me, these things can take place verbally in vulnerable conversation, emotionally (I often find it difficult to open up consistently without a lot of conscious effort), or physically (like if I’m opening myself up to someone else and giving them some control in the form of using bondage or other fun things).

I love that I am all of these things. It’s definitely been a self-love journey to get to this point, but I am so happy to look in the mirror and have so many favorite parts of myself. I love my sense of humor, my empathy, my patience and ability to be kind, my hugs, my incredibly expressive eyes, my mischievous smirk, my scar on my left shoulder blade that reminds me that the human body can heal and do incredible things, my strong legs and arms and body that lets me do all of the fun things I want to do, my sexuality and all of its wonderfully weird quirks, my boobs, my butt, and that curve at the small of my back that I honestly didn’t realize was so great until I saw the results of this set. Seriously, go check it out, it’s fantastic.

This is just a snapshot of me and who I am today in this moment, but I hope it’s a great reminder that embracing and loving yourself is awesome and so important. Bodies change and relationships adapt and sexuality fluctuates, but there’s always value in taking that time to be kind to yourself – to love yourself for everything that makes you who you are today and all of the things that got you here.

Billie

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

Hello.

I’m a femme menace. I’m fucking up with integrity. I’m visceral and vulnerable.

Cis queer woman. Femme. Fat. Aiming at intersectional feminism. Service-oriented always. Relationship anarchist. Always accidentally taking the unforged path because it’s the one that feels right. Kinky since the start. Always already emotional.

I like people. I like people so much that it’s practically a fetish. The kind of “people person” who has trouble masturbating because there’s no one else involved.

For a long time “sexy” to me was performative. It was about eliciting response, and putting on a show, and power, and giving people what they wanted. Some combination of aesthetic and emotion. My friends and lovers and I joke about Sexy Billie, as if she’s an alternate persona that I can invite out and put on. I spend a lot of my life carefully not flirting with people, or unintentionally having the kinds of warm friendly interactions that other people generally claim as flirting, but when I’m Flirting On Purpose? Oh, you’ll know. And that is all still extremely sexy to me. I love the feeling—power, purpose, playfulness—of Sexy Billie.

But more and more, I haven’t been inviting her out. Maybe because I wasn’t going on dates for a while, or because I left burlesque, or because I spent time trying to take up less space to fit into relationships, or because I consciously dialed my sex drive back to mirror partners. Whatever the reasons, that separation between Billie and Sexy Billie grew, to where she was someone I remembered but didn’t know how to be anymore.

Rediscovering and regrowing my connection to sex and sexy has been slow at times, but fruitful. I’ve put work into examining my needs and practicing communicating them. I’ve collaboratively nurtured intensely enriching relationships. I’ve discovered the joy and validation of Femme for Femme love. (Including with my super-femme nonbinary Daddy, who helped out with this shoot.) I’ve become more comfortable with my body: not just tolerant but appreciative and accepting and even celebratory. I’ve always thought my eyes and lips are sexy, and that I have a pretty face. That my tits and ass are top notch. That I have great hair, and great musicality, and excellent use of body language and eye contact and timing. But I’ve also started to appreciate and even feel affectionate about parts of myself that have long caused me discomfort or even distress. I like my belly! (I’ve decided my body type is “stack of pancakes”…) I’ve even been letting my facial hair grow in, despite it being the thing I like least about my physical form, and the body thing that causes me the most distress. These days it elicits mild discomfort tempered with defiant pride.

Most of all, redefining “sexy”, for me, has been a shift from doing to being. Giving myself permission to just exist. To strip away the need to actively perform sexy, and let myself quietly be. Connecting with the present. It’s a further extension of my overarching life project of increased vulnerability and sincerity.

This photoshoot was another moment of stretching my comfort zones around sexiness. I decided that what felt most important to me was to show up and be as authentically and intimately myself as I could. To strip away the pretense, and my urges to Perform Sexy, and show you all some moments of raw me. I wanted genuine laughter and tears and orgasms and pie-eating. And I got it all. You can have it too.

Jared

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

ID: Jared

This is me. You know, with fewer clothes than I'm usually wearing.

This is me exploring my sexuality as my own. A sexuality that is in turns playful, intense, contemplative, hard, soft, powerful and vulnerable. A sexuality that I can express when I choose to, how I choose to, and with whom I choose to (you). In all cases, it's something that I hold with a whole heart and one that I'm learning to fall in love with for what it is - a sacred part of me. 

I like my eyes, sometimes. The hair is an easy one, too. I also really like my hands- they're how I interact with the world, how I work, the parts of me I connect through when I'm dancing the blues. Or fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusion. Or less often, swinging out. My butt's pretty nice too. I like my empathy, my groundedness. I like to see people, and to be seen. I really like to be seen- it makes me feel valued and in some cases, sexy. 

Labels, as they've been applied to me, or as I apply them to myself: I'm straight, cisgendered, monogamish, white, male. In many ways, I felt like a few of those precluded me from being on this blog- special thanks to Braden for talking with me about that. Hella Positive, indeed. We all need to be in this together to dismantle the patriarchy, to reject toxic masculinity, and hopefully, through one little photo set, I'm stepping one step closer to a better way.

Bridget

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

I am a 22-year-old, currently monogamous, bisexual, pescetarian, witchy woman who just graduated from college with a degree in fine art, and I’m still learning how to adult. Learning to love myself has been a long and arduous struggle, a path that zigs, zags, pitfalls, and plummets. For a long time as a teenager I would self-harm, and still have those urges occasionally. It was a time in my life where everything seemed to be falling apart at the seams, the foundation of my life crumbling everywhere I stepped. I hated the way I looked, the way I felt, the way I acted around other people. I was dissatisfied with every piece of myself.

That doesn’t sound much like a person who would allow herself to be photographed in the nude to be put on the internet. Reaching out to Braden to do this shoot was one of those moments where I realized just how far I’ve come in learning to love myself. It was something I did purely for my own pleasure, because it was what I wanted to do. It was so freeing to say “this is what I want” and to own that decision without being concerned about what anyone else would think or say. I was so proud of myself that I wouldn’t shut up about it for weeks.

As an artist, I recognize the beauty of the human body on a very deep level. I adore the forms of muscle under skin, soft curves, unique marks of life experience spread over this vessel like a map of the places it’s been. It has taken me a long time to recognize that beauty in my own body, but I’m making this experience a testament to how far I’ve come. These are pictures that make me feel sexy, that show how I love and accept myself.

My tattoos are part of my practice of self-love. They’re the stained glass of my cathedral, the tapestries on my palace walls. The body is intrinsically beautiful, adorned or otherwise, and I believe that adding more art onto it just makes it even more beautiful and interesting. I’m still figuring out new ways of making myself feel sexy. Sometimes it’s certain clothes, sometimes it’s the music I’m listening to, or that one dance where every move goes right. There are some magical unicorn days when I have nothing better to do than stand in front of my mirror and admire what’s there, and I’m really proud of myself for having those days.

One thing that never fails to make me feel like the sexiest person ever is when my partner can’t keep their eyes off me. A strong gaze and gentle caress make my breath catch and my heart race. Being seen and explored and known draws me in irresistibly. Knowing how to savor a moment, to take your time and really be present, is an art form in itself. The tease, the build up, that’s my favorite part because it’s where you really get acquainted with your partner(s). I enjoy the process of exploring, finding new ways to make their breath stutter, a type of touch that brings out a sigh of pleasure. Knowing these things about another person (knowing that they know that I know how to make them feel amazing) makes me feel sexy.

I think my favorite part about myself besides my tattoos are my hands. I’ve always thought they were long and elegant, and they’re the most important way I interact with the world. As a very touch-oriented person, being able to reach out and have physical contact with people is important to me. It’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to the world of social dancing: being embraced by so many different people, who have so many different experiences, and feeling like you’ve known them forever in those three minutes. It’s a beautiful way of connecting that I haven’t ever found in any other context. The other reason my hands are so important is that I’m an artist, and they are the avenue of creation. My hands are expressive and talented and I guess, by extension, I am too.

I also want to say that I had so much fun doing this shoot. It was way out of my comfort zone, but that just made everything much more exciting. If I had to describe myself in one word it would probably be “weird,” but in the best way, and as a practitioner of witchcraft (and former Roman Catholic), I particularly enjoyed playfully posing mostly nude on a church pew with a deer skull. Never thought I’d find myself in that position, but it was ridiculously satisfying. I’m glad I got to express that part of myself here, where I hadn’t expected to really find much room for it.

Bex

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

I’m a non-binary, transmasc, poly, kinky queerdo. I’m a sex educator, a writer, a podcaster, and a nerd. I’m a Virgo (Sagittarius rising, Scorpio moon), a Hufflepuff, a boy, a pup, a masochist, and a service switch. I’m a charming ambivert who loves big parties and public speaking but also sometimes very much needs to be left alone with my anxiety.

I feel sexiest when I am at my most genuine and authentic, which usually means tight fitting tank tops, jeans, and leather. I love to show as much skin as possible, or wear my clothes as tight as I can, and my aesthetic is basically the same as every scene boy I ever had a crush on in high school.

I adore feeling powerful in all of the ways that can manifest. Whether I’m topping someone, running an event, teaching someone a new skill, working out at the gym, being very, very good at something, or taking hundreds of hits in a long impact play scene- the rush of power is deeply sexy to me. I love roughness, aggression, masculinity, and strength.

Interestingly, some of the parts of my body I love the most are the same parts that get coded as feminine, and I feel lots of complicated ways about that. I love the curve of my ass and the way my chest looks in a tight tank top, and I’m afraid to loose them if I ever decide to transition, even though I know those are the reasons that people see “girl” when they look at me. I don’t quite know how to reconcile those things in my head, but that’s okay, I’m working on it.

Gender is complicated and weird and hard, but maybe one day I’ll figure it all out.

Alexa

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

I identify as a Black, cis pansexual woman from Harlem. Embracing my Black Womanhood for me means being unapologetically Black and allowing myself absolute freedom of expression, regardless of how society struggles to confine me. I love challenging myself to embrace my vulnerability just as thoroughly as I embrace my dominance. Feeling comfortable in my own skin is my greatest reward. 

I feel my sexiest when when I'm putting on a show. I enjoy the illusion of being unattainable and thriving off the energy of my audience (my partner). I find it best to simply ride the wave of our chemistry. I usually end up with people who are equally as dominant, but being a switch grants me the freedom to become submissive at my whim. At 22, my favorite part of myself is my flexibility and appetite for growth. I'm an Aquarius who is happiest when evolving, inside the bedroom and out. 

I'm pursuing everything I want out of life and will continue to do so while embracing myself as a multi-dimensional, sexual being.

Check out the entire super sexy set at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Frogli

I am a queer human who uses they/them pronouns. I love many other humans in different ways, and am currently non-monogamous. I love my partner, as well as several other close peeps who all fit into my life in different capacities. I am a proud submissive control-whore, with some fairly masochistic tendencies.

In the rest of my life, a few other aspects are very important to me. Firstly, I love all that is science, with a particular soft spot for rocks and chemical reactions. I also am a total geeky table-topper (although, as mentioned, a total bottom in the bedroom). Outside activities are the best. Finally, I am very adorkable. Very.

I like lists and bulletpoints, so here is a list of my favourite things about myself:
-My butt: It’s pretty cute.
-My hair: So soft, so short, so utilitarian, so grab-able.
-My green eyes.
-I squeak and eep.
-I'm a snuggly cuddler.
- My willingness and enthusiasm to try new things (in and out of the bedroom).
-Goofy adorable-ness.

For me, I don’t connect with the word sexy. It just has too much of a relationship with the certain mainstream white culture standards, and it makes me feel icky and pressured to be a certain way. Maybe one day, I’ll reclaim “sexy", but for now, it isn’t happening. But…..

I AM BADASS. I AM CUTE AND ADORABLE. I LOOK GREAT. I AM ATTRACTIVE.

So what makes me feel attractive and great? A shirt and tie (and vest): I feel smart, powerful, knowledgeable, and in my own skin. Also, wearing boxers or shorts without a shirt: there is just such a seductive tease about the line that goes from clothing to skin on the waist and a freedom from the restraints of a shirt. Mmmmhm.

However, more than anything above, my interactions with other people make me feel sexy. Especially when I know they are attracted to me. I am a person who is very reactionary to feeling sexy. Oftentimes I will go about the world forgetting there is such a thing as feeling sexy; I will feel good and confident, but not sexy. This ties in with not pondering or being driven by sex when I have no peeps around. This is not always the case, but quite often. However, when sexy people are there with me…. And there is snuggling and kissing; then I’m like, oh yeah, sexy times. I like sexy times. Let’s do these sexy times.

I’ve always felt weird and guilty about being more of a person who gives reactions when things are done to them, as opposed to seeking out reactions and getting aroused by pleasing one’s partner. But it seems to be working out for the most part with the people I’m with, so…. *shrugs*. Maybe it’s the way I am, maybe it’ll work itself out in the future. The only exception to this seems to be in consensual submission. I get a huge kick out of doing what I’m told by the other person I'm subbing with, and pleasing them. Being told what to do (in words or otherwise) is so satisfying and wonderful. My brain turns off very quickly and completely, and I love being in this head space with people I trust. Physical control and restraint is also huge for me. Also ropes. Just even the feeling of them running over my skin. Gah, it feels so good!

I love that it’s never too late to discover bits and pieces about yourself. Exploring and finding out new things about oneself is really exciting. Although sometimes it is hard, I try not to judge myself for what I’m into or my identity. It’s always nerve-wracking and terrifying, but I try not to let it impede me from asking for something I want to try. It’s scary to put yourself out there, but it can be so worth it.

Sometimes, people (like me) have ideas of what we want to be, and it isn’t meant to be. I so badly wanted to be a kinky switch (just like my ambidancing), but after several times of trying out topping in different situations, I found that it just doesn’t work in practice as well as it does in my head. I've learned that letting go of bits that you want yourself to be but can't is important, but oh so hard.

So what have I learned (and am still learning), that I would encourage others to experience?

Explore. Discover. Fail. Succeed. Laugh. Cry. Gain. Lose. Love.

(Check out their entire set at http://patreon.com/hellapositive. A measly cup of coffee helps support more rad sexy inclusive art being put into the world.

Randi

"I’m a little girl with the hopeless romantic ragings of a burning intellectual and the dirty hands of a woman who has lived well. I’m a business owner, introvert, writer, empath, faith-filled theologist, hobbyist, and at the mercy of farm-raised work ethic. I still blush when receiving a compliment and have over 20 years sensationalizing the likes of Little House on the Prairie. I identify most closely with monogamy. Romantically, I tend to seek strong men with pouring hearts and there isn’t really room for much else in my sights. I’m one of those gals primarily turned on by bright minds and emotional blunders, sincerity is my achilles heel. Sweet things whispered into my ear and eye contact across the room, are all things that start to make me weak in the knees, but people who live with intention do me in. I was always taught that if you see something that needs to be done, you’re the person to do it and there is nothing I find sexier than the moment someone rises to that occasion. I don’t want that to sound ambiguous, so let me clarify- If someone needs food on the street and you give it, if you’re gifted a passion and you share it, if someone confesses a misstep to you and you embrace it, if I need lovin’ and you carry me home to do that, those things are the sexiest to me. I absolutely attach sexiness to respect, integrity, and humble actions. Willful vulnerability and servitude are cliffs where I prefer to sit with someone, but I’m also content to sit alone.

"On the other side of that, feeling needed makes me feel sexy- Sometimes what is needed is mama bird care, sometimes it’s sitting on that cliff in supportive silence, going on a full day adventure, or digging claws into their body so they know you still want it. I enjoy taking on a selfless role for a partner and being able to do so leaves me feeling more desirable to them. Feeling sexy for myself? Well, hell, that just takes some sunshine, a soft cotton dress and garters, because texture fetishes are entirely self-indulgent things. You could probably also add sipping whisky by a fire I built.

"I’ve never been insecure about my body or my sexuality, lucky me right? I have held onto my sanity by a thread though. This body has survived a lot when it comes down to it, explicitly: physical abuse, narcissistic abuse, the loss of a child, harassment, date rape, “friend” rape, and a beautiful dose of gaslighting. Not just survival, but thriving, has been synonymous with self-love for me. I teach, dance, write, read, sing, play instruments, model, hike, camp, cook, and maintain a very active physical, emotional, and intellectual lifestyle to press forward; this project is a part of that ever-initiative. Almost a decade ago, I began performing with a wildly supportive Bellydance troupe. I’d been a Ballerina and Lindyhopper for the bulk of my life and I wrestled a lot with the implications of a ‘sexier’ dance, but it bridled everything I knew about the strength of my body and attached it to the softness of my heart. A few years later, I was working 16 hour days and didn’t know who I was; I booked my first modeling shoot. I took control of the stylizing of every shoot for 4 years to follow and in the process gained my body back when it felt absent. I used a majority of the final photos to bring out more vulnerable demons in my writing. When these things weren’t enough, I exhausted myself on the dance floor for a fever of nights. Not quite a year ago, I co-started an extremely talented solo jazz dance troupe of 10 strong women and I think this was the scariest movement of self-love to date- to believe that I could encourage and lead women in a positive way, to give what I’d learned back. Every day their hearts demonstrate to me what is beautiful, sexy, and intoxicating about the world.

"If it hasn’t become apparent, I am passionately in love with the human condition and plucking my fingers in the mess. So in an effort to concisely identify what winds me up and holds me tight in gritty fornication with life: “..the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”- Jack Kerouac"

You can check out all 30 photos of this set by subscribing to my Patreon at http://patreon.com/hellapositive. Support more rad sexy art being put into the world!

Bee

This week's set is a little different from the rest. I did an entire set of black and white abstract bodyscapes, taking parts of the human body out of context. The challenge was to still try to find moments of connection, to make the photos feel intimate and vulnerable rather than dehumanizing. I hope I achieved that.

I do this thing where I spend so much time looking at such honest and vulnerable photos of my subjects, for hours and hours, that I can't help but fall a little bit in love with them. My favorite photos are the ones that I can stare at and feel like I know them. Objectively, intellectually, I know that what I'm falling in love with is the idea of them, and not the person themselves. But, sometimes, I think a good photo can show you (as corny as it sounds) a deeper truth. Or at least what someone really wants you to believe they are. Which is somewhat the same thing.

Anyway, I hope you look at these photos and you fall in love with the idea of Bee. I really do. I want everyone to experience this kind of intimacy, where someone allows themselves to be this vulnerable with you, to let you explore their body in intimate detail. This is one aspect of what love can be. Maybe, if you want to be, you can be as vulnerable yourself.

If you wanna see the full set, head on over to http://patreon.com/hellapositive.

Lian

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"What categories shall I check to describe myself? woman, female, straight, caucasian, engineer, omnivore, short, only truly comfortable with monogamy - all yes. But people are much more interesting beyond categories. All of us have a range of emotions, desires, goals, fears. The mind is a much more intimate thing to know than just the physical form. A few of my surface thoughts are captured in this shoot, but what else was my mind pondering? I was developing (and still am) a very new relationship with a wonderful guy, so some of that excitement, joy, playfulness probably spilled out.

"Otherwise, this was a fabulous time playing dress-up and showing off different lovely shoes. I really don't take being sexy very serious, you're more likely to catch me giggling instead of any smoldering glances. But I do appreciate my feet that are strong from dancing, and, well, my entire body is pretty amazing. Through it I can interact with music which I consider the soul of my life. Music is a powerful thing that can lighten the heart, allow us to wallow through grief, or express any of life's emotions. What music soothes your heartache today?"

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

Meg

"I’m a genderfluid/agender, bisexual, and bipolar force of nature. I use they/them pronouns. My entire self (and my relationship with it) exist on a spectrum: masculine to feminine, depressed to manic, conventional to radical. I wanted my sets to reflect all of these sides of me… sometimes I’m a pinup girl, sometimes I had a rough day at the Man Factory, but mostly I hang out in my messy home with my dog and two cats. 

"It’s hard to say what exactly makes me feel sexy. Some days I feel the MOST, and other days I feel like I have the sex appeal of a radish. Usually, its small things, like taking baths and admiring my legs in the water, or catching some side-boob while I get dressed, or nipping my waist into a perfect hourglass and nailing a presentation. Generally, I feel like I’m pretty cute, but not very sexy. 

"I have learned to love myself so much more in the years since I got comfortable with my bipolar disorder. I love my confidence. I love my strong legs, and my wide hips, the expressiveness of my face, and my light eyes, but let’s be real here- check out my butt. It’s a great butt. You can’t just buy a butt like this at a store, oh no. You’ve gotta raise this kind of butt, with love and care and self esteem exercises. I ADORE my butt. Look at it one more time, just ‘cause. 

"I believe that sexuality and presentation is fluid. Whatever my choices are one day may be entirely opposite the next day, but one doesn’t negate the other. I can be all of these things, and I like my adaptive and dynamic nature. I display myself in a constant state of flux, like a flowering and magnificent metaphor for nature. Sexiness comes in all of my forms."

Wanna see more? You can see the full set (plus dozens of others!) by subscribing to my Patreon, http://patreon.com/hellapositive. This project is entirely crowd-funded by fantastic folks who want to see more feminist sex-positive body-positive queer/kink/poly positive and just generally positive sexy art in the world. This set has 45 photos with four different looks across the gender presentation spectrum, from masculine to tomboy to high femme to whatever doing a striptease in an octopus onesie counts as. Check out a few more teasers below!

Miss Velvet

"I’m a 28 year old non-binary femme and an immigrant from Ghana. I’m queer, she & they pronouns, and I’m in an ethically non-monogamous marriage with a mixed Lebanese queer boi that I care deeply about. I’m a communist. I’m in grad school. I have a black cat. I love dim sum. I’m a professional Dominatrix.

"Every aspect of who I am makes me feel sexy. This is exciting and scary to admit because I have only learned to love myself in the past few years. My dark skin, my afro, my big lips and my African heritage have been a source of shame for most of my life. I grew up in the projects of London (mostly African immigrant families) then, when I was 12, moved to a predominately white suburb in North Carolina. I learned quickly that being called an ape by classmates was going to be the norm. I resorted to bleaching my skin. I developed an eating disorder. I used harsh chemicals to straighten my hair. I cannot express how hard it has been to love myself as a Black femme under white supremacy. 

"I used to feel sexy having sex only with cis white men. Sex became a performance where I worked like a minstrel to receive affirmation and validation. Hearing things like wow I’ve never fucked an African before or you’re hot for a dark girl from the Chads and Kents was better than that time in six grade when a Becky said my mom was a gorilla, though I realize now that they both stem from the same oppressive constructions of Black value. The best part, though, was how well I faked orgasms. It was an art, especially when I would add the quiver of my feet. They all believed that their unskilled, sweaty thrusts resulted in simultaneous pleasure, or pleasure for me at all. This is what I thought sex was: an “intimate” activity with the stranger from the bar that always ended after he came and never involved me in any capacity outside of the fact that I was something to be fucked. 

"I realize all of this is somber as fuck, but I cannot conceptualize my current sexiness without acknowledging the transformation and growth I had to trudge through. It is because of these traumas that I love myself as a queer African femme and pro Domme in a poly relationship. Sex is still complicated for me, but I’m fucking back in ways that feel good on multiple levels. It feels sexy to tell my partners how to use a vibrator on me. It feels sexy to embrace my queerness and share my body with others that are also learning to love themselves under the cis hetero white supremacy. Of course, it also feels super fucking sexy to own and collect bourgeois men, but mainly I’m just happy to be living my best life as a ho despite capitalism. 

"Bodies and gender and being African is weird most days, but I love myself in spite of it all and that is sexy as fuck to me."

Be sure and check out Miss Velvet's website at www.miss-velvet.com, and head on over to http://patreon.com/hellapositive to see the full set!

Link

I want to thank Link's human Irena Spassova for translating our interview. You can see other awesome things she's done at https://irenaspassova.wordpress.com/, also probably originally written by cats.

"I’m Link, and like most cats my gender is asshole. If you are one of the thumb-havers that feed me, you can address me as “Link” or “kitten”. All others, please use the formal “your highness” or “mao”. I guess you could say I’m a relationship anarchist - my love, purrs, and cuddles belong to those who feed and pet me, whoever that happens to be that day.

"I feel sexiest when I am defeating the blinds that keep me from staring out the windows freely. Usually this involves biting. (Apparently this is frowned upon by the humans of the household.) A close second is when I reclaim a surface of the house that someone has foolishly cleaned by rolling around on it until my fur is covering it once again, especially during shedding season. This can be a pile of clothes, a brand new jacket, a half-full travel bag with meticulously lint rolled dresses, or a glass top table filled with boxes of tiny rolling playthings that the humans always get very protective of.

"My favourite part of me is my belly, which I maintain by eagerly eating all cat food regardless of whose bowl it is in. I also carefully fill it with paper from the paper bags that I bravely fight so that others can live in peace and know that they are destroyed, the carnage of brown paper pieces on display for all to see my strength. Or sometimes, when I’m not in the mood, I’ll just sit on them instead to prove my dominance and importance. That one also works on humans all the time.

"I suppoooooose I also kind of sometimes like the top of my head, which is where some of my more consistently worthy-of-affection humans scratch me diligently, and will sometimes human-kiss me as a sign of affection. (The thought is nice, but actually grooming me like a regular cat would be more appreciated - I can’t reach that spot myself, you know.)

"My views on relationships can be summed up very quickly: are you feeding me? Are you petting me? Are you tying your shoes near me so I can fight the sneaky shoelaces? Are you providing me with a lap to fall asleep on and trap you in place for an hour and prove to both of us that you serve me? If the answer is no to all four, I really don’t care about your existence, do whatever you want.

"If you want to get in my good graces again, the sexiest sound in the world is and always will be the slow, satisfying opening of a can of wet food."

Sauda part 3

The many definitions of my own sexuality all inform each other in some way. I’m a poly, bi, sapiosexual, kinky switch. I don’t expect anyone to be all things to me at once; there are too many contradictions for that to be achievable! My partners satisfy unique aspects of me. One partner is vanilla, another is Dominant, and at times I’ve taken on additional female identified subs. I value variety and diverse connections. I pride myself on being good, giving, and game (GGG). My pleasure is often derived from my partner’s satisfaction.

Both in my art and my personal life, I enjoy playing with paraphilias. A certain quality of pain, delivered just so, is sublime. Trust is the cornerstone of a scene, and the foundation of my relationship to my partner. It is in this framework that the sting of a riding crop, thud of a whip, shock of a neon wand become transcendent. Add to that the divinity of guiding a flame, and wax play is all this and more. There is power and awe in the elemental, as there is between Master and servant. There is beauty in tender torment, and tranquility in submission.

“My knees fall into the plush mat below; I draw the waters forth for you. My wrist dances in the flow, while my heart quickens beneath my breast. A chill races up my spine, sending cerise locks tumbling forth as I lean on edge. Your fingertips graze the sparse finery bestowed upon my nape, and trace the line of leather until it collides with steel. Slipping deftly inside the steamy basin, at once enticing yoke, our eyes locked, you inspect my eager consumption. I yield to you fully, blithely, fervidly. Have me as you wish, my service is boundless as my lust. Your pleasure is my passion.”

If you’d like to delve deeper with me, I wrote about my primary kink life-partner in a piece for Imperial Youth Review 3: Giant Sized Sex Issue. I hope you’ve enjoyed this three part series, as much as I relished creating it with Braden. You are cordially invited to my website, SaudaNamir.com, where you’ll find more of my erotic arts and links to follow me on the social media platform of your choice.

Check out all three full sets by backing at http://patreon.com/hellapositive!

Sauda Part 2

My art is sexual self expression; be it coy, contemplative, explicit, fetish, or farce. I’m a kinky, sapiosexual, bi, poly, sex positive cis woman, who really enjoys the way music can set a mood. As a striptease artist, I use music to draw in the viewer and set up the scene of my act or video. My musical tastes encompass an exceptionally wide range, but in my own bedroom it tends to center around artists such as Peeping Tom, Stabbing Westward, Nine Inch Nails, Sneaker Pimps, and Portishead. I think you can tell a lot about a person’s go-to style by what their sex soundtrack looks like. Aural stimulation is so often overlooked as a key turn on. While you look at this collection Braden has so masterfully captured, turn up the tune Bad Girl by multi-talented burlesque sensation Nina LaVoix (find it here).

For as long as sexuality has been present in my life, I’ve been curious about every facet of it. I suppose that’s the source of this undefinable allure, which coaxes a comfort out of friends and acquaintances to tell me about their sex lives. I’ll listen to all the questions and problems, either just as a sounding board or aid in a sort of armchair sexologist way. No matter the topic, I’m open and honest about what is usually said behind closed doors, or never uttered above a timid whisper. I encourage those around me to explore themselves and their desires without embarrassment or intimidation, and take an immense amount of satisfaction from assisting them on their journey. There’s so much to learn, to experience, to discover.

“Forces of inspiration and rejuvenation are converging upon me. Each moment fueled with intense desire. I tug upon the intangible, those threads of shared experience linking minds. Fragments snap back to nourish my spirit. The unvarnished truth is assembled piece by piece. Life is merely a mosaic. Endeavor to craft a bold and intricate work of art.” -Sauda Namir, Sunday Essay for LadyBox Books

 

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