Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2014-06-12

My Reading with Spiritual Advisor Alex and Kazoo

I like to think of meetings with spiritual advisors, psychics, astrologers, past life readers and all manner of woo folks to be a cross between spiritual practice and therapy. You get a chance to work through issues you are having with someone who has more insights than you might at a given time and it also relies on your belief in a power/energy/spirit world greater than yourself.

A friend of mine had a reading with Alex and Kazoo and recommended him. Alex, that is, who is the human part of the duo, Kazoo being the spiritual end. Alex communicates with Kazoo, the name he gave his spirit guide at a young age.

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I started working with Alex and Kazoo with a twenty minute reading, which he offered as a special a couple of months ago. After our first reading I was sold on his gift, our connection and I was curious what a longer, hour long reading would be like.

Both times I met with Alex and Kazoo via Skype. I’ve done other spiritual readings over skype before and I find them to be just as good as in person, sometimes even better because for some reason my focus is a little more sharp. When I’m with someone in person it takes me longer to focus in on the interaction and I get more distracted.

Kazoo connects with spirit guides and tells Alex what the spirit guide is saying. So the reading is kind of like Alex reporting what two metaphysical beings are saying about you. This is basically where my recent interest in talking to psychics and mediums is coming from–at this point I know so many people who have POTSAed* I’m convinced everyone is partying out there and I want to know what’s happening. I’m nosy.

Alex knew things about me that you wouldn’t know about me, even if you scoured my blog and my social media. There are psychics out there I have worked with who I can tell are making a genuine connection with me and Alex is one of them.

The thing that really got me with Alex and Kazoo was during the first reading he gave me really great advice about something I had been struggling with without me even needing to ask about it. After my first reading I was able to rest assured I was doing the right thing and it became more and more clear that he had been right about that in a very specific way (sorry to be so vague about the subject) that he couldn’t possibly have just guessed and thrown that at me. So having had that great advice and comfort, I decided to reach out to Alex for a full hour-long reading.

Both times Alex and Kazoo connected with a male spirit guide of mine. From his first description I thought it might be my paternal grandfather, who I have felt a closeness with since his passing in 2012, but Alex explained it is someone who tunes into me out of respect for someone close to me.

During the second reading I asked if there were any other spirit guides around and he said a couple of sisters popped up. The sisters thing was interesting because during my visit to a psychic medium in January (a crowd-funded birthday present from my friends) a pair of independent sisters appeared, who I believe to be great aunts of my father. Both readings, by Alex and the other medium, explained the pair of sisters in really similar ways.

In the reading Alex reported first what my spirit guide was excited to talk to me about. He noticed a marked difference in my energy from the first reading to the second reading. When I had my second reading I was at a house alongside a babbling brook–a weekday vacation I took at the end of May to get out of the city. He said I needed to have this be a more regular thing that I had let my energy get too depleted and it’s an important renewal for my spirit to be out in nature.

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Alex then switched to me needing to spend more time doing things in a “selfish” way, things that have no purpose whatsoever. Spending time working on stuff that requires my concentration but pulls me out of the world. I asked if it was like working on a puzzle and he said, “Yes!” as I had been working on a jigsaw puzzle for a few months but hadn’t yet gotten to finishing it. After the reading I set aside a bunch of puzzle time, telling my girlfriend that I needed to have some puzzle time to unplug.

My spirit guide told me to spend less time studying and more time paying attention to my intuition. I had noticed my internal tapes kept berating myself for needing to learn more. I often get into weird thought spirals where I think I need to learn things–I was recently on a tear telling myself I needed to learn more languages, to play the banjo and a few other things I keep thinking I need to “study.” It was interesting that I got the specific message that I needed to spend less time studying. I found this advice to be eerily timely. I had told Alex nothing about me thinking about studying and he knew to tell me not to do so much of it.

He also told me more dessert and indulgence.

I was also told that life has been sending a lot of shit my way and instead of dodging things I should just start letting them hit me and not letting it affect me. It’s less like playing frogger in life and more like just walking across a street and not letting the trucks break me, if that makes sense. It was helpful advice that I’ve found really empowering in the couple of weeks following our second reading, as life has delivered more shit storm.

I enjoyed hearing what my spirit guide was excited to talk to me about, but what I found most valuable was towards the end of the reading I just started bouncing ideas off of my spirit guide through Alex and Kazoo and getting some very detailed feedback. It helped me flesh out some things that I’m working on.

I talked about my idea to craft Reiki infused tea blends, as I am now Reiki Level Two attuned, using Reiki energy to invigorate the healing power of herbs and super charge the tea itself with Reiki life force energy. Alex said, “Ding ding ding!” about the idea. And we worked through some things that I hadn’t even gotten to with the idea that my spirit guide was really excited to tell me about.

One thing that was really interesting that came up was when I was talking about an event I’m planning, my first foray into nightlife after a six month hiatus. At first my spirit guide was supportive, but then Alex’s face got very concerned. He warned about something very specific that had happened and I knew immediately what it was. It was super powerful and important that I get affirmation/warning from my spirit guide on and I was really glad I brought it up.

14140094159_af8998ee54_zAfter I got home from the trip to the babbling brook I turned back to the puzzle I’d been working on for two months and finished it in three days. It’s missing five pieces and I really don’t care.

If you’re feeling called to have a reading from Alex I highly recommend it. I found them fun and soothing.

Alex and Kazoo’s readings can happen via skype or in person if you’re in the New York City area. He also does readings for up to three people at a time, which I imagine is really fun.

Alex is offering a special for my blog readers–if you book a reading and mention my site before June 30th (the reading can be for later, you just have to book by the 30th) you can get an hour reading for $50 off his standard rate. So instead of paying $150 you pay just $100.

Get in touch with Alex through his website, connect on his facebook page or email alexandkazoo at gmail dot com!

*Passed On To Something Awesome (the idea that when you pass you are going on to a higher consciousness).

2013-08-23

New Strategy for Thigh Chafing aka Chub Rub: Butt Paste

I’m in an anonymous fellowship for family and friends of alcoholics and it has happened a few times where a friend has come up to me after a meeting and said in hushed tones, “So, I was googling [insert search term here] and I found your blog!” I mean, as anonymous as you try to be I’m pretty recognizable and I use my real first name. So. It’s always really funny what brings people to the site, and thigh chafing (or chub rub) is a pretty common entry point.

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Me in a dress on a summer adventure, saved by the magic of chub rub prevention.

I laughed and responded to my friend that I’m sort of an intrepid explorer of the ways to improve access to fashion and comfort in the summertime. She is on the thin side and it is always a good reminder that thigh chafing can affect lots of people with lots of different bodies–and you can never tell what someone’s body really looks like in clothing. The bodily equivalent to “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” See also, Lessons from the Nudie Workshop.

All that is to say that people bring up thigh chafing to me all the time and I’m ever exploring ways to prevent and treat chub rub. This summer I talked about it briefly to a couple of folks and I was given the tip that this all-natural diaper rash cream called Butt Paste is great at preventing chub rub.

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Using solvents for thigh chafing prevention (I do a whole run down on the various types I know of in my living document The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Preventing Thigh Chafing aka Chub Rub) is totally dependent on your own body chemistry, some work better than others. But I thought this was a great choice because it’s natural (or as “natural” as something that is marketed as all natural can be) and it works for prevention as well as treatment.

It comes in lots of sizes, and I found Butt Paste in 2 oz for $5.99 on Amazon. There is also a Maximum Strength Butt Paste. According to some of the online reviews folks prefer it because it is natural, effective and has a pleasant slight vanilla scent and most other diaper rash creams smell like medicine. Apparently the maximum strength is also good treatment if your chafing has gotten to the point of open sores.

I’ve added this product to the big Thigh Chafing post. A reader also posted her review/recommendation for a new shorts solution in the comments section if you want to check that out.

2012-05-29

Solicited Advice: Should I Email Her?

Hi Bevin,

So I am not sure if you put your email up on your website so that people could ask you for love advice, but I am going to try anyways! So here is the situation — I am a girl who is in my early twenties, my best friend goes to college up in Colorado and she developed a good friendship with a lesbian who I actually knew as well through years of playing club volleyball. I have gone to CO each year to visit my friend and the past two years I have gone there I have always flirted/made eyes at this girl (especially after a few drinks), and I developed a crush on her last year. I just recently went up to visit and had a very flirty exchange after going out and drinking (nothing happened but there was definitely something going on and she kind of hinted that she liked me) but nothing happened. It’s hard to explain this, but I really feel like she liked me, but I am just not sure, especially because I have little experience with same sex relationships and am not an open lesbian. Anyways, I left CO feeling a bit sad (they are seniors this year so I probably won’t be seeing her again) but her summer job is really close to where I live (just saying that it would not be out of the question to see her again). Anyways, I couldn’t stop thinking about her, so I even facebook friend requested her, I was hoping she would message me but I haven’t heard anything from her. I am considering messaging her and just saying hello, how are you doing or something like that, but I am also worried that my gut instinct is completely wrong and that I just developed all of this in my head and am crazy or something or even that she knows that i like her and would not appreciate me sending her a message. In a way I assumed that if she had felt as strongly for me she would have met me halfway and messaged me after I added her on FB, but then again she is an out lesbian and I probably come off as straight (other than my flirting–but that was also after a few drinks) anyways, could you give me any advice? Should I message her or just get over it? Thanks. [Name Redacted]*

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Blog posts are better with a photo and I have no photos of drunk eye flirts or volleyball.

[Name Redacted]!!!

I love giving solicited advice!

So, my advice is GO FOR IT. Re-read my entry about how nobody ever died of awkward.

The other day I was thinking about all of the friends I have who I at one time had crushes on or just wanted to make out with or something and I no longer feel that way and we’re just pals. It’s astounding how many people are in this category and how it’s so not awkward anymore that I totally forget that I once agonized over instances of drunk flirting.

And then there are the times that I went for it (especially via Facebook/MySpace in the olden days) because I’m so much better at being bold textually. And having gone for it I totally had big lusty/lovey relationships with folks who otherwise were too shy to roll up on me. Folks who lived far away from me who I had crushes on for years. One of those folks was the person I dated who passed away nearly two years ago and I am so so so grateful we had the time together we did and if I hadn’t been so bold before my visit to her town to proposition her for a make-out we likely never would have gotten together. Like, ever. Carpe diem. For real.

I think I said this in my nobody died of awkward post, but it’s still true–having someone not have reciprocal feelings for me is a really fast way for me to lose my boner for them. I mean, what’s the point if they don’t like me back?

So, anyway, much sex has been had because I was willing to make a move via email/facebook/in person or whatever. And most lesbians are pretty shy. This is why gay boys have way more sex than lesbians do. It is a mystery of the ages but I think women are socialized to be rolled up on and don’t make moves the way gay boys do. (Total generalization, but it is so true that you will have more sex with girls if you are willing to make the first move/s.)

As much as you think you’re “saying” by flirting, having drunk eye sex or facebook adding, you just have to count on folks to be mostly clueless and not pick up on signals.

So send her a flirty email that says how much you’ve enjoyed having eyes with her over the years and you want to see if she’s interested in making out next time you’re proximal. Whatever town that might be.

Good luck and thanks for reading my blog!

xoxox,

Bevin

(I actually wrote this advice back to her the same night. I had some time and the rambly earnestness was touching. I also didn’t address her not being out of the closet yet because she didn’t ask for advice about that! Also I got an email from her that she sent the message and received a favorable reply so let this be a lesson to you, dear reader, if you’re sitting on a potential email to a potential makeout. Send the message!!)

*Some details have been changed.

2011-10-16

Solicited Advice: Fat Girls In Your Bed/Fat Girls on Your Arm

I love giving solicited advice. I borrowed an advice request from Taueret (AfroTitty over on the Tumblrzzzz) and gave the following advice.

Dear AfroTitty:

hi you ARE sexy but i also have a real question for your queer bodypositive self. i’m talking to this girl who is cute and awesome and also fat, which i think is hot. what do i say when she says she says she’s fat in a sad way? like we just met so i think it’d be creepy to be like hell yeah girl and it’s awesome but also it feels wrong to say no you’re not when i LIKE that about her and there’s nothing wrong with it! help me be sensitive i have no people skills

sundubu

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AfroTitty at Hey Queen.

*Note from Afrotitty: I got this question a couple days ago and my brain has been a little occupied with navigating the new addition to my personal pronoun roster, so I decided to pass it on my fat comrade, Bevin [QueerFatFemme.com] who is also an expert on getting fat girls into your bed/arms*

Dear sundubu:

Thank you so much for your compliment about Afrotitty. She IS sexy.

I am Afrotitty’s friend and co-worker at Re/Dress NYC and I am also a queer body positive identified person. Congratulations on talking to an awesome cute fat girl! The thrill of someone new and rad is really among one of life’s best feelings.

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Door queens at Hey Queen! Hana on the right looking ferocious!

Also, go you for coming from a body positive and fat positive space! Fat is awesome! Fat is also a loaded word with a lot of stigma around it that many people do not find empowering. When I say “Hi Fat friend!” to my pals they know I am saying Fat in a way that celebrates and takes back that word. Body empowerment is special and bonding and I find this like the verbal equivalent to a loving belly bump greeting.

I had a really interesting wake-up call recently when my new girlfriend said “You’re not Fat!” to me when I was talking about my fat. I was like “Uh, yes I am. This is my identity and a big part of my politics.” She has dated lots of Fat Femmes but not a Fat Femme who loved her body and had body politics. I had to remind myself to have compassion for her in the journey to understanding the body politics I have been working on for over a decade. She loves my body and is very vocal about it, but sometimes it’s odd to see someone have that visceral bad reaction to the words I throw around because I am used to being in my radical fat queer communities.

That said, remember when you thought Fat was a disempowering word and maybe you weren’t okay with it? If you can put yourself in that position it will enable you to have some compassion for the long journey your cute awesome fat crush is only just beginning. That is IF she chooses to begin it. Lots and lots of folks on the fat spectrum learn about body positivity and don’t choose to love themselves. This is really difficult work, loving yourself and your body in a world that is hostile to all bodies. Stay open and compassionate to the fact that she might need to come around and might never come around.

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Nogga and Topher at Hey Queen!

In the meantime, you can gently tell her when she uses the term Fat in a derogatory way or is engaging in body shame (or looks at you in shock when you use the word Fat in a positive way) that you think that ALL bodies are valuable and that Fat is an empowering word that describes your body (or if you are not Fat, describes bodies you find attractive and worthy). Also, it is really helpful for people of all bodies to get compliments.

Also, I want to give you some extra support around learning how to be sensitive in interpersonal relations. It is hard! I am a loud, bold, high intensity person and often I have really flunked at sensitivity. But just *wanting* to be sensitive is a good first step. It’s a lot of work to learn and I am still doing it.

So, anyway, sundubu, I wish you the best of luck with this cute awesome fat girl and I hope you get really well laid.

xoxo,

Bevin

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Me and Princess Tiny and the Meats at Hey Queen.

2011-07-14

The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Preventing Chub Rub aka Thigh Chafing

New additions to this post added August 23, 2013! See the bottom!

My mailbag yielded this great question from a reader.

Hi Bevin,

I have a bit of a sensitive question. On your blog, you’ve got all these pictures of you wearing FABULOUS dresses…but what do you do to prevent chaffing? (Or is this not a problem for you?)

(I did a search at your blog before I asked. I hope it’s not too personal!)

Thanks for your blog–it’s fantastic!

–An amateur queer fat femme!

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Camping at FemmeCamp! It got fancy.

Dear Amateur Queer Fat Femme:

Thank you so much for your question and the compliment! I’m so excited to be a resource for you and others. In fact, I have never addressed the timely and relevant issue of chub rub on this blog. (Chub rub is also known as thigh chafing, summertime thigh sweat issues, fat thigh rubbing and the like. But I like chub rub.)

When I was a baby Femme I didn’t think I would ever get to wear dresses all the time for two reasons: the mysterious chaffing between my thighs that made wearing them excruciating, especially in the summer, and my aversion to carrying purses.

And then something magical happened. When I was about 22 I discovered there was a name for this mysterious chafe, and it was chub rub. And there are numerous solutions for it! Also around the same time I discovered a purse I absolutely fell in love with that made me want to carry a purse. And once I had the freedom to carry more things than a wallet and my keys (like femmenabling items like lipstick, hand sanitizer, safer sex supplies and chub rub solutions) I decided there was no going back with this Femme thing, I was all in.

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This is a replica of the purse I fell in love with and carried to death. I used to collect Marilyn Monroe purses, though this one is a photo of another blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield.

So, how to solve the issue of chub rub? First of all, I want to say this is not just a problem for fat people. This is a problem for lots of folks of all sizes who wear pants and who wear dresses. Chub rub is a pervasive fashion issue. Luckily, fat femmes have each others’ backs and we’ve been swapping these solutions for years. Here are some methods I know about, starting with the two I prefer.

First is wearing shorts under your clothes. Not just any shorts, tight fitting shorts. Bike shorts help some.

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Mackenzi found some bike shorts she swears by from Target in the athletic wear section this summer. Here she is in front of her amazing store! It has a brand new ecommerce site so go visit and buy lots of gifts and housewares from her and support a queer fat femme owned business!

I use shaping garments for my shorts-under-dress solution. The best I ever found were from Lane Bryant about 9 years ago. I am grateful that when I worked there I bought a bunch so now they’re only just getting tattered. I have never found such good quality and comfort in a shaping garment since. I think you can get some good ones still from the girdle section of your local department store.

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Me & Sarah Jenny. Sometimes you’re wearing something so clingy that a full-body shaper situation helps to keep the dress aligned. I’m one of those people that doesn’t buy into the thought that shapewear actually makes you look any thinner, I think it just moves your fat around so dresses might fit a little bit differently than if you were freefatting.

This Macy’s light control girl short is exactly the shapewear I am talking about and about half the cost of the ones I bought at LB (that have lasted years). I think shapewear can be a great investment if it isn’t Spanx. Those disintegrate far too quickly and I find them a poor value.

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Me, Leslie and our friend Kwame at a Fourth of July BBQ wearing dresses in the heat. I am freefatting.

I have tried the Lipo in a Box brand (unfortunate name for shapewear) and I found their shorts bunchy and fiddly but they will do the job in a pinch.

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Coordinating tights/leggings/teggings are also a great chub rub solution along the lines of shorts-under-dresses.

If the idea of shorts under dresses sounds hot, well, it usually is (which is why you want shapewear that breathes). So I love the option to use a specialty cream or lotion to ease the chub rub.

My brand of choice is Bodyglide. You can get it online or at running stores because runners chafe, too. I walk right into the running store, buy it, and I’m sure the staff knows that I am a fat girl in their store for the chub rub cream. I use Bodyglide to both prevent chub rub and treat it when it has already happened.

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I think body chemistry has a lot to do with how and whether a certain cream or lotion will work on you, but other friends have suggested:

*Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel, which you can get at drug stores in the ladycare aisle. I don’t love it because I like the ease of the stick application of Bodyglide.

*Raw Shea Butter Lotion, the brand I prefer is Nubian Heritage. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha turned me onto this brand and it is my very favorite, both scented and unscented versions. But I use it as body lotion and not chub rub cream.

*Deodorant. You’re putting it under your arms already, try it on your thighs?

*Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by LUSH I love LUSH from the bottom of my heart and my coworker Afrotitty suggested it to me as a sweet-smelling solution. I have some, I’ll try it.

Macy and My Block
Paparazzi moment! Meeting up with my friends Brian and Arnulfo for brunch on 4th of July. Photo taken by Arnie while I was on the phone with Brian and Macy was taking care of business. I’m wearing my favorite denim mini skirt that is actually a skooter (shorts built-in under a skirt that you can’t see are there–different from the kind where it’s just a front flap and you can see the shorts in the back, I hate those). I’ve gone hiking in these, climbed trees, clambered over rocks and walked for miles and miles with no worry about chub rub.

So, AQFF, I hope this list helps you grab those dresses from your closet and wear them comfortably through the rest of this summer and the rest of the times in your life you want to wear dresses!!

P.S. Anytime you purchase anything using the Amazon referral link on QFF.com I get a referral bonus and stash it away to buy myself fun stuff like books and toys. I appreciate it greatly. Thanks to whoever bought a lot of stuff in January!


Here are a couple more additions to our arsenal of thigh chafing prevention!

Bandelettes! 6″ bands of lace that grab onto your thigh fat and prevent chafing. My whole review of them is at this link! $14.99 and a bargain!

Here’s a great natural remedy for the chafing when it happens–a coconut oil calendula infusion! Take about an ounce of coconut oil and melt it, add some calendula (available wherever loose herbs are sold) and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then let it cool and rub it between your thighs for relief. Coconut oil is also another idea for chafe prevention.

*Butt Paste, an all natural diaper rash treatment and prevention! It comes in lots of sizes, and I found Butt Paste in 2 oz for $5.99 on Amazon. There is also a Maximum Strength Butt Paste. According to some of the online reviews folks prefer it because it is natural, effective and has a pleasant slight vanilla scent and most other diaper rash creams smell like medicine. Apparently the maximum strength is also good treatment if your chafing has gotten to the point of open sores.

Again, all chafe prevention creams and oils really depend on how your body chemistry works with them. If you have other methods not mentioned I’d love to hear about them!

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