50 Shades I m going offline, but here’s how we keep in touch | final blog post & announcement 1995 series

The reason I am using the click-baity 50 Shades up there in the title, is because that IS the reason I m going offline.
When I started writing, in 2006, I did so to reboot my love life.
My Dutch novella Mang0*, and the Dutch erotic stories*, helped me process my past and set myself up for everything that was tantalizing, intriguing and downright terrifying when it came to sex.
And the offline diary I kept during my first affair*, did nothing short to saving my life.

But in my fourth book, things had started to shift*.

It was the first autobiographical book I wrote online.
The erotic stories too, were written online; But because they were fictional, they did not impact the people around me, nor did they impact my life in the way my later work would.
With the fourth book, that changed.
From now on I was a blogger, and my diary – although still largely fictionalized to protect the innocent – was public.

In 2015 I got an affair with a married man, whom I called Mr.Big. The reason I could deal with that, was because I started keeping a diary and wrote my first autobiographical erotic stories*.
I had gone next level, in how I was using writing as a way to develop myself, and to lead a love life that I would never be able to sustain if it had not be for writing.

But now things have shifted again.

It’s 2020 and we’re in the middle of a Covid crisis and technically sex (even when someone is single) is forbidden for as long as we have a 1,5 meter social distancing rule.
If you do not live together, you should not have been seeing or touching each other since early March. On July 1st, our sex workers are allowed to go back to work, but people who do not belong to the same household are summoned by law to stay 1,5 meters apart.
In a way that is good news for me.
It is amusing that although I may have been depicted as “an evil woman” during the 5 years I was with Mr.Big, I could not be fined nor was what I did against advice from the World Health Organization nor were there any Dutch laws against it.
Provoking social morale: Yes.
Was it illegal: No.
So all the non-same householders people having sex; Welcome to the club of sinners who can just feel in their bones that rules are so outrageous and unjust, you have no choice but to ignore them.
Because that’s what they’ve been doing:
No one I know of has refrained from having sex with someone they did not live with, because of Covid.
Yet this makes my position even more difficult: Because now someone needs to be blamed for this.
And if people in LAT relationships, and new couples are apparently not the right ones to blame for it, I know who is:
Independent women, and in particular those who have sex.
The C. crisis has evaporated the last bit of reasonable conversation we could have about sex, because it’s maxed out all reason there ever was.
It’s all used up to justify “normal” dating routines, holidays, and social gatherings;
I see no room left to have a conversation about sexual autonomy in the upcoming 18 months.
Economy comes first.
Family lives and couples second.
And sexually independent women are not even on the list of people allowed to speak. I would not be surprised if they would find a way to blame us for Covid, which I hope do not become prophetic words.

The second reason things with regard to my writing have shifted, is that social media has gotten more strict with regard to sexual content.
I probably could not even write anymore, what I wrote in 2015, without receiving a warning.
And the times I could write those even more explicit and daring Dutch erotic stories, as I did around 2010: That time is definitely over.
Social media is no longer the place to share explicit content, making online writing/ blogging itself, no longer the right medium to do so.
Every time I considered going back to writing erotica, I soon realized that it was no longer possible, or at least advisable,  to write erotica online.
You could risk losing your social media accounts.

Before I go to the last (real) reason I m going offline – as sort of a matter of fact thingy; I know deep in my heart, that the only thing I find worth rereading and publishing into books, are my diaries and sex stories.
That although I have over 500 (long!) blog posts to edit and publish, if I m really honest?
It’s probably a hundred which I need to get out with all my heart.
Only the ones considering my love life.
All the others:
The struggle with my career, articles on movies, music, politics even;
If I am ever going to publish it, they will be under my real name or in a bundle with all my unpublished work.

The name LS Harteveld was started in 2006, to write about my love life, and that’s all that should ever make it to paper here, from the work I have not yet published;
And from now on, it’s also all that will ever be written. But offline.

So this brings me to the final and most exciting reason I m going offline, and after 10 years of being a blogger, I will no longer be writing online.
And that’s because I m every bit as committed to my love life, as I was in 2006, when I ended my long term relationship to find out what in God’s name it was I wanted and enjoyed.
I had the feeling there was something fundamentally wrong with me being in a steady, living together relationship, but still assumed that since everybody else seemed to be okay with it I would probably one day end up healed and choosing the exact type of relationship I was leaving behind.  

Little did I know that I would find out that I need a non-monogamous independent man, who keeps things extremely exciting because he runs away all the time and is emotionally entirely unavailable, so that I can spend time with my books and diary.
I didn’t know that.
I didn’t know that out of all the people in the world, I was probably going to end up being the unhappiest of them all, in what they refer to as a safe and healthy relationship.
That it would not so much be the death of me; “Just” the death of my entire sexuality.
I will never see any reason to have sex with someone who has chosen for you, is reliable, and wants to spend his life with you.
And to this day, I have not come across anybody else who has this strong feeling of mandatory non-monogamy for a partner, in order to even “get it up”.

But having said that, I need a new style of writing, in order to keep developing myself. And I think for Mr.Big too, things had become too predictable in terms of me being the secret mistress who writes. It could have been one of the reasons he broke up with me.
A non-monogamous partner may do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping things exciting. I would love to say: “And faces the most scrutiny.” except that this is of course not true at all.
My ex-lover Mr.Big never faced the same scrutiny as I did. Even if it did came out he would never face questions how it makes him feel to betray his wife.
He’d get a pat on the back and a “shit happens” if she found out and divorced him.
That I embraced my role as the antagonist, the natural enemies of the married peoples, was a strategic choice.
It is not because I think it is fair by any standard, that we put this on my plate.
I do not seduce men. I do not lure them into my lair, with promises of secrecy and unbridled sexual escapades.
I keep my distance and have actively and deliberately been pursued by one man, with whom I had an affair for 5 years; an affair he took full responsibility for.
He never portrayed himself as innocent until I came along.
He relieved me from that.
I was very lucky to have met him, and I hope to start having affairs again, but I resist the idea that a mistress (as I see it) is a seductress.
She likes giving up control to him.
She likes him calling her.
She likes the pain, even of loneliness.
It is the very nature of who she is.

But having said that, I think even she, meaning I, ultimately comes at a point where it is her time to spice things up with her lover, and to stop calling herself mistress to everybody else.
Mistress was my antagonistic title.

It was my: “You want me bad? I ll give you bad, you judgmental *insert swearing*”
I m done with representing myself as a mistress, even though I know that men who are already taken make the best fit to my wish list because I can be certain that they understand the rules of not leaning onto me, and smothering me with social demands and boredom that are damaging to my sexuality.
Still: A single man may be able to do the same.
That’s what I mean by developing myself.
The mistress title is first of all no longer valid, because we stopped having sex a year ago, and are no longer together.
Secondly, in theory a single man could be my partner, as long as he knows how to keep things fresh.
But thirdly, and this is the part I was referring to in particular when I said a mistress should keep things exciting as well:
I need to uplevel. Not just because it might have prevented him from breaking up, but also just for me.
When I get a new partner I want to let things develop offline, this time. Without the escape to write an online erotic story, that makes him never forget and come back for more.
I want to make a lasting impression without!
And learn how to write and process, without blogging it.
That’s one part of upleveling: I no longer want to need the blog, as I have done since 2010, in order to support my sex life.
Secondly, I want to spice things up.
Like I should have done earlier.
This means that I will no longer be giving in to my monogamous tendencies, and favor multiple relationships instead. I will never be the one-night stand type, nor someone who can have sex without being head over heels and completely inconveniently, in love.
But I since I am usually in love with multiple men, this means that in theory I can also have multiple lovers. There is room to develop.

But this leap needs to be without the writing.

In 2006 I started writing offline, and it sustained me through the first years after breaking up a relationship of 14 years.
In 2010 I took it online and that helped me dating a series of guys. I became very independent and a good writer.
In 2015, my need to write about my affair was stronger than my desire to keep it secret and not say a word to anybody. I needed to start documenting our affair, in order to be able to do it.
And it worked, and I m happy I did.

But right now, in 2020, the time has come to take writing offline again.
Because the C. crisis has made my preferences more prone to scrutiny.
Because Facebook doesn’t allow for erotica anymore anyway.
Because I no longer want to need blogging, the way I have done the past 10 years.
Because I can see that things had gotten stale. That to keep blogging about my love life, is to repeat what I ve already done.
And lastly, because I want to develop my love life, to maybe a single man who can have me in his life and keep it fresh – and lovingly support me in seeing other men – or maybe my love life will be similar to what it was.
Just not blogged about.
Which to me, is already a huge difference.

How we stay in touch

This is by no means a goodbye.
I will stay present on my Facebook and Twitter, and behind the scenes I ll both be publishing my books, as well as writing new ones.
I hope to get a love life that is so fascinating and compelling, the words will simply flow out of me!
I ve already set the stage, in fact I did that last summer already.
I started a project called “1994”, but the story is stuck. To move “1994” forward, the story of a 22 year old Lauren, whose lover Bear broke up with her and who is now struggling to find herself again – simply needs to be taken offline.
I can’t concentrate on being her, and living as her (it’s mostly a performance project, the writing is just a side effect) if at the same time I keep being here in 2020.

So what you can expect from me in the upcoming years are:
– new books: 2010-2020
A selection of juicy books, based on unpublished stories from my blogs.
Titles are Reboot, Big Mistress, Blote Kont (Dutch) and I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW. I m also considering publishing a book called All The Things – with all the (English) blog posts in chronological order, and not leaving anything out, but I have not decided on that one.
I will keep in touch with what’s happening behind the scenes, so it’s always a good idea to subscribe to this blog. And who knows, maybe I will feel the need to leave 1995 and write entirely new stories here as well!
I have been known to break my own word.
– new book: 1994
I started writing 1994 last year, you can find it here.
But it’s very frail, it needs more action. By going offline, 22 year old Lauren can finally start living again.
– presence on social media
Twitter and Facebook

Thank you very much for reading.
I feel kind of excited, because the relationship between my love life and writing – and how I use one to influence the other, has always been the major theme of my life, since 2006.
For me to quit online writing after 10 years, is a biggie, it really is.

And although I m going to put a lot of love into creating the books, of the work I ve made so far, it’s my curiosity to how the rest of the story goes, that makes this so exciting.
What will happen if I turn back the clock, to before 2010, and the even to 1995?
What will happen in my life?

It’s that story, and that work, that I look forward to sharing with you one day.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

*About my books

In this blog, I ve inserted several links to my books. 
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LaurenandLulu

Lulu has gone through a reorganization: Dutch Lulu no longer exists, and the English website has some issue displaying the covers. The spine of the book is displayed with the book (after you ve clicked the description).
I have no idea how this plays out if you order it: I assume it will be fine, but I have not ordered books yet.
Now that I m no longer writing, I m going to publish more, and I will be become more hands-on with regard to my publishing and knowing all the ins and outs.

New books will be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
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Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

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Defining Moments | It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here – The Full Season 1

Almost two weeks ago I started a modest, definitely non -diary series on Twitter and Facebook, using quotes from Sex and the City. 
Two hours ago, my dvd player made a management decision, that enough was enough! 
I was writing hours every day, never slept before 2 A.M., and I ve neglected my time-travel project 1995.

In fact I had gotten so involved in It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here – it wasn’t until this morning that I remembered I was supposed to be in 1995!
But before I could plot how to eloquently merge Big & Carrie’s series “It Took Me A Long Time To Get Here” with 1995, Mr DVD stepped in, and cancelled it for me.

So here it is!
13 Episodes long; The entire first season of “It Took Me  A Long Time To Get Here”
Starting modestly, ending wildly, and closing it reviewing, reflecting and enjoying on what happened.

Just like sex, really.

I’d love to see you again some day.

~Lauren 

1. The beginning

“I’m looking for love. Real love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming,
can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
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Carrie, Sex and the City
An American Girl in Paris
(part deux), S6E20
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No, no; This was not supposed to be a Facebook and Twitter series.
That would have saved me hours of writing and a week of frustration, until ultimately I blocked the project out of my head entirely.
Too bad I had reminders everywhere, to confirm my commitment to this new project;
My new daily schedule.
The Sex and the City dvd box set next to my couch.
A notebook that had a schedule of all the episodes I was going to cover.
And even in my agenda, I had marked the 82 days this project was going to take.
If it had actually taken place, that is..

Because it didn’t.

After starting this project last Monday, June 1st – hitting the ground running!- , I tripped and fell deep and hard.
Within two hours two really bad things happened, and I was lost.
I couldn’t write about them, because they were too private. Either for myself, or for other people. So my entire idea of the diary based on Sex and the City episodes, lost its appeal.
And there it went:
Sinking slowly but steadily to the bottom of my list of Projects That Inspire Me.
The only thing that reminded me of it, were those reminders.

So then why, on this Monday when I am making a NEW fresh start- and a WAY better one than last week – did I feel compelled to dust this off and give it a reboot in a slimmed down social media version?

Maybe because it was just too much fun?
Maybe because my new plans for the future, about which I will be writing here in this blog very very soon – maybe those plans scared me SO much, that I needed the soothing effect of counting my summer through Sex and the City?
Maybe.

So here’s what I m going to do:
For this series I have selected Sex and the City episodes with Mr.Big, and I will start sharing the episodes starting at the end.
It’s one of my guilty pleasures for reading books, or (re)watching series:
To start at the end and make my way back.
One of the things I ll be doing this summer (although not the thing that excites me and also scares me), is pick up harvesting all my blog posts (still/ again), and creating new books (still/ again).
In order to not have this end in super heavy files with thousands of pages – which I then abandon (again) – is by taking baby steps AND by harvesting and curating my work starting at the end of every blog, with the most recent work.
It’s so much lighter than to start with posts that are up to 10 years old.
Starting at the end is my preferred way of working, and it’s what I ll be doing with this series as well.
So we start at the end, season 6 episode 20, An American Girl In Paris (part deux).
And I will select a quote from Carrie.
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“I’m looking for love. Real love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
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Carrie,
An American Girl in Paris (part deux)

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I will post this to social media.
Then we work our way back, only the episodes with Mr. Big (41 total) and always with a quote from Carrie.
So that’s 41 quotes ending with Season 1, episode 1.
Then we switch to Mr.Big;
The next is a quote from Mr.Big, from episode one, and from there we move up. From the first episode all the way to where we start today, season 6, episode 20, An American Girl in Paris part deux.
Where Mr.Big’s final quote, closing this series, will be:
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“It took me a very long time to get here.”
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.Mr.Big,
An American Girl in Paris (part deux)
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Maybe I do know why this series still appeals to me because something important happened, in the past week;
I stopped seeing myself as a service provider (yoga teacher, coach, entrepreneur).
I stopped seeing myself as a marketeer and sales consultant, or a content manager or anything along those lines.
My new profession (that excites me and frightens me!) is not going to have to do anything with “selling myself” nor with selling others.
It’s only about measurable, nessecary, and specialized work, based on skill.
And with that, my personality or who I am, and what I do in my free time, has become completely irrelevant for my daytime job.
To be valued exclusively and solely for my skill, and not for who I am, gives me the artistic freedom I have been looking for, for over a decade.
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It took me a very long time to get here, indeed.
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~Lauren/LS Harteveld

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2. A Zero and 3 hours of sleep

“Can I tell you something and you won’t use it against me when I feel better and everything is great?”
 
Carrie, Sex and the City
An American Girl in Paris (part une), S6E19
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Tuesday June 9
If I say I had a bad night, it would be an understatement.
On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a 0 and 3 hours of sleep
But I had an amazing day with a friend! 👍
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3. Cold

“Without sharing your worlds
can even the hottest relationship stop cold?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
The Cold War, S6E17

Wednesday June 10

An upbeat, fun day with almost a festive feel to it.
It took me until Carrie’s quote today to realize why.
Because the answer is No.
Nothing can cause the hottest relationship to stop cold.

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4. Heart

“Big’s heart had closed again.
Maybe it would reopen in another five years,
maybe not.”

Carrie, Sex and the City
The Domino Effect, S6E11


Thursday June 11

Technically I m still in my workday, but I don’t feel like writing after my yoga class at 10 P.M.
So here I am.
I thought I would get clarity on which of the two quotes I should pick for this series.
The one where Big opens his heart, or where it closes?
Until I realized the answer was in the video I found on YouTube, which had glued the two separate scenes together:
The answer was both.

The story of the little glimpse of his heart, Mr.Big gave to Carrie, once every five years;
That is how often Mr.Big allowed me to see his.

And just like Carrie, at the end of the episode The Domino Effect, it was ultimately something I learned to live without.

~Lauren

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5. Distance

“Do we need distance, to get close?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
Hop, Skip and a Week, S6E06

Friday June 12

I ve been thinking a lot lately.
It started a few weeks ago with a friend who was in a new relationship. It was interesting to see how that was working out, and what came up.
And noticing that I could tick off many of the boxes, new couples kind of have to figure out on their own.
Traps almost, everybody falls into.

I realized: “Yes, I do know how I d go about that now.”
I may be single, but I’m far from uneducated or naive. You could even say it’s the reason I am single, instead of struggling to making a relationship work.
When I m in it’s great, and it stays great, even when that other person breaks up with me –
that last bit was the hardest part.

When lover Big broke up with me, we stayed connected and it didn’t feel like a break-up.
We had never talked about the shape/ status of our relationship, it didn’t seem to matter that much that we could not even have an affair anymore.

Our dates had never been defined by whether or not we had sex, it was always a dance between two people.

That he was taking one beloved dance off our menu, which might even result in not having any dancing routine, drifting away and never seeing each other again.
Well…
It still didn’t have the drama of a normal breakup.

Maybe our time together had been too cherished by both of us, to ever been taken for granted.

Either way, seeing this new relationship from this friend developing, brought out a new image of why I liked Mr.Big so much.

There’s two sides, the negative and the positive.

From a negative perspective, I knew he (we) had really good emotional hygiene. This did not mean that we would not be there for each other in times of need, although neither one of us ever used our affair for support.
But emotional hygiene meant that there was a sort of hyper-awareness, that it doesn’t benefit the relationship to bring your emotions into it.
That it comes at an enormous cost.
One neither of us was obviously ever willing to pay.

But this time I also got an positive imagery of what it is we did, and – to my own surprise – still do.
An image that explained to me why the relationship had not felt over in December.
Far, far from it.
Although of course the fact that we would hardly see each other anymore and not have sex, did make me sad.

I call this The Theory of The Two Candy Jars.

Normal couples come together and they get into this “Are we a couple?” phase.
Often, this translates to:
“Are we going to have one jar of candy?”

One jar of candy means that instead of the individual responsibility to keep your own jar filled, it is now the couple’s responsibility.

Suddenly it is no longer clear where the candy is going, if you’re allowed to share the candy with others, and if the candy jar is empty it is unclear whose responsibility it was to fill it.

When they say a relationship is work, what they mean is:
Work to figure out how to go about the candy jar.

Whereas all that could be prevented, if becoming a couple never meant the merging of the jars, in the first place.

If each individual kept their own jar, the entire relationship would work like magic.

Mr.Big and me had a perfect Two Jar Relationship.
He filled his by doing the things that were important to him.
And I filled mine with alone time in which I thought, I wrote, I created.

Every time we saw each other we were excited to share our jars, and see what the other had collected and have a little bite.

I could actually be happy for him, that he had such a rich life. So many things that made him happy. And that he shared it with me.

And I think for him my jar was an interesting novelty. He didn’t know that many people who were so introspective, and who created their own candy.

The distance between us provided both him and me, with an opportunity to keep our jars filled.
And this explains why I didn’t feel sad that much – in December:
Although the circumstances had been less than ideal, basically all he had asked me was more distance.

Even if we don’t come back together again, I must have understood – at a deeper level – that he did what he had to do, to make sure his jar would stay filled.
And to no longer share himself, when he was running low on candy.

He had ended our affair but he was still taking care of himself, he was looking after his jar.

And with that he had done his part, in taking care of us.


~Lauren

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6. Past Present

“Can you get a perfect future,
if your past is present?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
The Perfect Present, S6E03


Saturday June 13

I think I ve found the litmus test to determine if it’s real love;
Or if you’re wishing your way into a relationship.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wishing your way into a sexual relationship or a more traditional relationship, where you hope to move in together.

Ask yourself:
“If he broke up with me, would I still want to have sex with him after?”

If the answer is no, it’s all in your head.

Sex has a bad reputation.
If the air is electric between you, and you have sparks moving up until the ceiling, it’s downplayed to “just lust”.
Am I right, or am I right?

Whereas even if you’re the most flammable of men or women, would you not agree that even you can immediately feel the difference between a 6 and a 10?
I m ranking your feelings of desire, not the object of your affection.

The great thing about sexual desire is that it cannot be faked.
The appearance of desire can be faked; Yes!
But the feeling of it, cannot.

Your sexual desire for someone is the litmus test for how true your love is.
And in the hands of the inexperienced, it can be destroyed (although only if you let it be).
But if you learn to cherish it, it can be eternal.

The “Big” difference between how I handle my love life now, although technically it’s non-existent sexually, right? – but the difference between now and in the past,
is that I have decided to do cherish it.
Whatever I do, it must respect and nourish the tension that is there.

One of the things Mr.Big used to “reason” his way out of breaking up with me, was that if I would find a man for myself, someone who did not have a significant other already, that I would stop seeing him anyway.
But I denied that, and explained why.

Any new man in my life, or bed is the more appropriate term right now I believe, any man in my bed must encourage me to have the experiences and live the life, that I find meaningful and joyful.
I said to Big:
“I would not break things off with you for a new man.
I would only have someone in my life who would want me to have beautiful experiences.
You would have been one of them.”

I think seeing relationships as ending when other desires or circumstances direct your life (or his/her life) in another direction, is a deep and tragic waste.
The relationships did not end.
They just shape-shifted.

But all the good bits should be curated. You should save them.
They’re too precious to throw them out, just because the form or exclusivity of the relationship, turned out to be different from what you hoped it would be.

You can’t have the perfect future, if you don’t keep the good bits of the past.

~Lauren

 

7.To love or not to love

“You were unavailable and very clear about that.
Now please kiss me.
Or at least, lie on top of me.”

Carrie, Sex and the City
The Big Journey, S5E07

Sunday June 14

Sometimes I feel the more the C. regulations are loosened, the more the walls are closing in.
When no one could go out, no one could go out.
Although The Netherlands never had a full lock down situation.
There has always been room to move.

But how we apply the rules is changing.
So it’s not so much that certain rules, with regard to how two people are supposed to interact, have changed;
It’s more that in the slipstream of certain businesses and so on, opening up again, we start interpreting the rules for citizens differently as well.

And there is the added pitfall, which is a personal one, that I interpret sex as being impossible, because of social distancing, where I have discovered that EVERY SINGLE I KNOW, and the people in LAT relationships,
ALL automatically view sex as having a Status Aparte.

No one saw having sex with a lover, or starting a new relationship, as being subjected to C regulations.
It was just the dating/ meeting new people in real life, that was considered to be subjected to C rules.
But probably more because cafes and bars were closed so you had nowhere to meet.

I already saw that the views of the majority of people, although they appeared to have been made unconsciously, were right.
Because you should not let social distancing determine your love life.
And I knew that the right thing to do, should I get the opportunity to reboot my love life, was to go for it.

However, very, very much to my own surprise- and I can’t stress this enough I really had not seen this coming- on an emotional level, this turned out to be a lot harder.

I ve been going over this for weeks now.
And it’s almost like the more rules and regulations are lifted, the more it freaks me out.

YES!
On one hand I want nothing more than to have a lover again.
But with my taste in men, in all likeliness he will be “taken” and it will be a secret affair.
In theory it could be someone who is single, or who ends his relationship to not burden our affair with secrecy –
But in practice, it’s way more likely that either he’ll stick with his partner, OR that he’ll “come running to me”.
There is nothing as fragile as a man who has just broken up his relationship, especially if it has been a long one and (in his view) I am the reason it shipwrecked.

But from the two, the secret affair still appeals to me.
Again; In theory.

Oh, I just noticed a new option;
He breaks up the relationship and finishes strong.
Or I start dating a seasoned bachelor.
So I date an independent man.

This scenario has two scripts:

One is I become one of his dates, one of his lovers.
Which is cool, but you know what?
Maybe even that scares me.
I m going to get back to that – but first;

I did not know what was bothering me, and keeping me from committing to my sex life, even though I thought I had given myself all the permission I needed.
But I am not okay anymore/again being a secret mistress.

The C crisis is already causing havoc in my social relationships.
My social phobias, being anxious in the hours or days after seeing someone and having meltdowns, are back.
When you see so few people and socializing is so rare, you (I) feel so much pressure every time.
Like I have to “perform”.
Even on the phone or Zoom.

Under these circumstances I really cannot risk triggering anyone.

We’ve become like this rural village where everybody knows everybody, and the urban culture of individualism has been replaced with the social norms that serve the community.

I’m not saying I will never be a mistress again,
I m just saying now is not the time.
That is what has been holding me back, unconsciously.
Which is the first epiphany I got from typing this.

But the second epiphany – and this is something I have been thinking about for a long time, but I never saw it so clearly! – the second epiphany is that I AM ready for the next level.
I DO know what I want!

No, not the man who “chooses for me” and I then have to repair the damage of his previous relationship or his time as a single, before we can have some air between us.

No, not the man who stays in the relationship and offers me a position as a secret mistress.
It’s not a moral thing, but C. has changed our culture, and has made the costs of being a mistress too high.

I ll have a “This could work!” Yes for the man who stays single, and keeps me on as a mistress, but one who is less secret because he has no partners he’s cheating on.
This is the point, I promised to get back to;
Why I find even dating a bachelor not ideal.
My biggest regret with this, him being single, is that I would always be weary he would choose for a traditional relationship with another woman.
To lose him because he doesn’t value being lovers, or because he doesn’t value it enough to fight for it.
There are a lot of women out there who want traditional monogamous relationships, and they’re very good at selling it.
Unless as a man, you have clear non-monogamous relationship goals, you’re going to be hit on as a potential spouse all the time.
And like I said: They re selling it, it will be appealing.

But the biggest Hell Yess, No Brainer! of a relationship, and the one I can see clearly now that I m picking apart the impact of this C crisis on my love life, is not to date a single but to have a man who will choose for me.
But in a completely free way.

I wrote yesterday about the candy jars:
We ll each keep our own jar of candy.
We ll each do the things that make us happy, so that we have a lot of love to share.

I want a man who will support me in whatever it is I want to do, as I will support him.
I want a relationship so fresh, so new, so all encompassing and at same the time so airy, ethereal and volatile that no one can pinpoint it.

I want a love that shape-shifts according to our needs, according to who we are; And that interacts with its surroundings in a natural way.

No wonder I did not say: “Lay on top of me.”
No wonder I did not say: “Kiss me.”

Until I knew what I wanted, it was impossible to say yes to anything.

~Lauren

 

8. A New Season

“It was official; A new season had begun.”

Carrie, Sex and the City
I heart NY, S4E18

Monday June 15

It was as if I was reborn, and a new life awaited me.

For the outside world this has demonstrated in me dying my hair back to blonde, and I know my switch in careers.
Actually, I even considered sharing my process and thoughts with regard to that.

Because if after 20 years, you switch gears from being a yoga teacher and a writer, all slash marketeer/ sales enthusiast, and then radically switch to something you have to learn from scratch, should that occasion not somehow be marked?

Especially since it cost me three weeks of feeling downright awful. The first week because I was still in the process of finding out I do not, not ever, want to work in marketing in sales.
Nor ever again have clients, or client relationships.
Delivering a service or being paid for soft skills, was taken off the menu, in violent fashion.
Along with task or skill-based jobs where you constantly have to prove your worth over the intern.
Let them have it.
I m out.

It took me 5 days.

On day 6 somebody offered me a way out, that I immediately recognized as the right one.
Yet, instead of great happiness two weeks of mourning followed.
Mourning that my days spent behind my desk writing, were over.
That they would have been over regardless of the type of job or line of work I would have chosen, didn’t matter.
The mourning didn’t come until I saw this new line of work, and knew:
This is it.
This is what can sustain me through any crisis, through any recession; I will be able to do it until the end of my days.
It’s brainy, it’s abstract, and I m entirely neutral towards it.
I don’t have to love it.
All I need to do is not hate it.
And I don’t.

Yet, I wasn’t prepared for the two weeks of mourning, feeling like I was bringing my creativity to the grave.

But this morning I woke up knowing it was over.
I dyed my hair, looked at the world with a fresh pair of eyes, and knew I was going to rock my new life.
Even I, at that moment, thought it was “work” I felt.
The pieces of the puzzle coming together.

Until I sat down just now, and had to decide what this post should be about, and realized:
BS.
Me feeling good, doesn’t have anything to do with work, or how I m going to make my money. Those are things that have never inspired me.
This is about love.

This is about me solving the riddle yesterday’s diary post, on if I want to be a secret mistress again.
It would make sense that I would say yes to it.
I mean- I KNOW I am a mistress.
To be a lover with whom he feels great about himself and who has great faith in him.
To be in a relationship that finds meaning in the good times – not in over-talking or dealing with the bad ones.
A relationship that is based on a mutual understanding that “You can’t get there from there”;
You can’t get high, by plowing through the dirt, and wondering why you’re not getting anywhere.

A relationship that is based on curating your emotions, your experiences, until only the most beautiful ones remain.

Until I had a better word for it, I chose to call that a mistress.

But yesterday, was different.

First off I noticed that C crisis had changed something: My social phobias are back, and human interaction has become straining.
I ve always feared public scrutiny, but in C. times it’s social suicide.

But secondly, I realized that being a mistress, or calling it a mistress, was a working title all along.
I knew it was incomplete.
And I created an image in my head of a relationship that was free, and built around love and support for each other.
S
upport, not to overcome the rolling in the dirt level but to explore the world, and create ones own happiness.

On second thought: Good times versus rolling in the dirt, is the wrong analogy.
What I mean is:
The relationship itself, should only bring forth the good. The relationship itself should not be the issue, or the cause of stress.
But a place bringing out the best in every moment still. Every moment is welcomed exactly the way it is.

A relationship where two people get energy from living in their own world, but then come together to share it, and create even more beautiful and unique experiences by merging them.

It doesn’t have a name yet, this new thing.

But judging from how absolutely brilliant I feel today, it has been created in my mind already.
Far stronger than recognizing my new line of work, 2,5 weeks ago – I recognized this love, this relationship style, as mine.

This is who I am.

It was never knowing my new line of work, that changed me or healed me.
It was knowing that love will come.

~Lauren

9. Value

“How do you retain a sense of value when you have nothing concrete to show for it?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
Ring a Ding Ding, S4E16

Tuesday June 16

I had a very business-like feeling about today. In fact, I had a business like feeling about the rest of my life!
I was completely unemotional about the fact that I would have to change my life of unlimited creative time, to one that was built on something I had not cared for, for my entire life.

It was how I saw adulthood:
You have a choice between monetizing something you love, which when it comes to creativity usually includes selling your soul to a certain S. Atan.
Or you keep your creative work clean and your chances of going to heaven open; But turn in your earthly life by spending your workweek in a line of work that isn’t your hobby.

Today I moved away further from my former profession as a yoga teacher, and sunk deeper into my role as a writer about yoga.
I even got a big RT on the diary post I wrote after my first yoga session.

So I m one day in, to dividing my life into the 100% YES! of writing about yoga only;
One day into culling all my projects, including yoga, so that it can fit into the few hours I will have left every day after work time –
one day in, and I get a RT from an account with 50K followers!!!

Technically I don’t have anything to show for. Sure, in theory I have 10 books out under this name-
but under my real name?
My professional name?
25 years of not making the money nor building the financially sustainable life I could have had.
(I have a degree in business)
And now, in my 40s, I have to rebuild my life from the ground up.

Cut down on the creative projects, so that they can be done in the limited free time I have.
And develop a new career, one that will never have me shy for work.

I m ending years of being able to write freely during the day, because I was making a living from teaching yoga.

I may not have something to show for, but I have my soul, I have my art, and I just got my love for yoga back and a 50K RT

That’s not just good.
That’s great.

~Lauren

10. The Good, The Bad and The Big

“In matters of love, how do you know if it’s right?”

Carrie, Sex and the City

Just Say Yes, S4E12

Wednesday June 17

I know that during the time Sex and the City was broadcast, I couldn’t really pinpoint why all those other guys, other than Mr.Big, looked so off, compared to him.
It wasn’t that I didn’t see what was “wrong” with Mr.Big, although in that respect too, I became milder.
It was actually after a friend instinctively said, when we were talking about Mr.Big;
“She always tried to get something from him, but he was elusive.”
I don’t know if elusive is the correct English word. What I mean is that he was “untouchable”, a word which also doesn’t quite ring me as the correct one.
But either way, the creators of Sex and the City too, assessed Mr.Big the wrong way!
Because he was written in, as being emotionally unavailable. While my friend’s first response basically conveyed that she, Carrie, was unreasonable and pushy.
A view that was shared by the fans from Sex and the City: It was their “back by popular demand” that brought back Mr.Big, and made him her primary love interest.

The writers had aimed to create a character that was an undesirable partner, Mr.Big, and had no intention of bringing him back as her true love.
So this can only mean, that Aidan WAS meant to be The One, right?
We were supposed to love Aidan.
Or at least, that’s what I assume.
He even makes a come-back, he gets an entire second season with her, in which he moves in with her and they get engaged.

In every season Mr.Big returns at least once. Usually as a patronizing but irresistible flirt, mocking Carrie every time she tries to be serious and thinks she has her life figured out.
Mr.Big’s smirk, with the big cigar in his hand or mouth.
His casual: “Hi Kid.”
Everything in me screams:
“Carrie! That’s the guy!! What the f are you doing with Aidan (who Big calls something that has to do with chopping wood, if I remember correctly), Berger (who Big calls “Hot Dog”)?”
With his immature mocking of her relationships, Big makes it very difficult for her to come back to him.
He’s not exactly plotting how to seduce her back in, when she’s taken.
And her defensive attitude should have told her, her own insecurities about those “good” guys in her life.

In the final episodes, when Mr.Big flies to Paris and really chooses her, of course they do make a beautiful pairing.
And you are happy for her, she finally got her dream man and he acts all grown up and mature.

But the question is:
Why did he need to act reliable like Aidan had, before she could choose for him?
Why did he need to behave just like the guys, I had immediately dismissed as being “off” although I could not pinpoint what was wrong with them?

Why couldn’t Carrie love Mr.Big, as a man so elusive and untouchable, that I craved for new adjectives to describe how special he was?

~Lauren

 

11. WOMen with balls

“Are men just women with balls?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
The Belles of the Balls, S4E10

Thursday June 18

A few weeks ago I took a test. You could score both a 100% on female and on male.
https://www.idrlabs.com/gender/test.php
I ended up 97% male and 37% female.
The time I took the test in the middle of the night, and in Dutch instead of English, I had a few percent less on masculinity and a few more on femininity.

Even though as a bèta*, the test results should not have surprised me, they (of course) still surprised me.
I don’t know, but 97% percent male?
You d somehow expect it to show on the outside.

Today I had an extremely busy day, and tonight I will not be home. I m going to have a mini-vacation you could say.
A little adventure.
But I also feel anxious!
This is C. crisis; I often feel so taxed by social interaction. Both with friends as well as with strangers.
It’s been weeks since my last video call or chat: Those freak me out too. So it’s not just the uncomfortable dynamics of physical proximity/ contagion danger.
It’s more like our entire social structure, has gone off wack. Nothing functions as it should, and it’s like we’re operating in a bubble of constant anxiety and uncertainty.

So maybe saying tonight is a little adventure, is the understatement of 2020.
Tonight is thrilling as it is frighting.
Tonight is much needed, for my mental health and well-being, and at the same time, it could be the death of it.
It could be something that stresses me out, and that tomorrow I feel worse.

But there is a Dutch saying, one my father used to say:
“A man at night, a man in the morning.”

Maybe my remaining 3% can sleep in.

~Lauren

* in “Dutch” (technically ancient Greek) alpha means languages and bèta means math/physics

12. sacrifice 

“How much of ourselves should we be willing to sacrifice
for the other person?”

Carrie, Sex and the City
Sex and the Country, S4E09

Friday June 19

Today the true extend to which I had overextended myself socially, not just yesterday but the past weeks really – hit me hard.
It really was “that” bad.
Because I had not exactly lived outrageously. My social life could be a healthy example of a minimal daily requirement of social and family activities, one might want to set for themselves.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
And yet?
Holy Mary mother of God, save me from my anxiety.
Or at least compensate for hours lost, staring at my dvd box set series.
I m watching Sex and the City – an episode a day, only the ones with Mr.Big.
And I choose a quote from that.
And I m also watching the Sopranos.

My cats like it when I sit on the couch and they can easily come onto my lap, should the mood strike. At days I m “efficient”, writing my ass off sitting behind my computer all day, there is definitely less feline bonding going on.
So you could say my cats like the Sopranos too.
It makes me sit still in a place where they have easy access to me.

But it is in those minutes becoming hours, where I process everything that happens.
Unfinished conversations. Problems I still have to deal with, or might have to deal with. Or problems I have dealt with, but “it”, the situation, still feels off regardless.
Should I fix it again, or fix it more?

And I hit Play on another episode to give myself extra time to think. And next to Tony Soprano’s problems mine don’t look so bad.

So I wish I had behaved outrageously!
At least then I could cut the habit of spreading myself thin, and contain my energy more.
But this is a principle.
This is the choice between:
A. Do I keep up a minimum daily requirement of being engaged with this world?
Or B.
Do I limit in person interaction to my inner circle and stay within my comfort zone, both socially and medically?

In my mind, I extend every social interaction two weeks into the future, wondering if this person or activity was worth getting busted by health services and being passively aggressively forced into preventative quarantine.

The answer to that is almost always No aside from, like I said, my immediate inner circle of family and close friends.
With all other people and relationships it feels totally off to run the risk of having future conversations that used to be reserved for people you had wild and unprotected jungle sex with.

This choice how much your social life is worth to you, is not just relevant for acquaintances but also for visiting movie theaters, hairdresser, cafes; all institutions that now have your address before you are seated, and that can contact you up to two weeks after you had beer und schnapps, or whatever it was how you spent your time together.

I was never fond of group activities, but with Covid it becomes both a medical as well as a social minefield.
The dynamics of who interprets the regulations which way, comes on top of an already complex interpersonal language I have to do my very best for to understand.

So today I got my act together, and manned up as best as I could, and decided that I was not going to lock myself up in my social comfort zone until the end of the C crisis.
I was going to interact.
And I made an important decision: I was only going to do the things that were (medically) nessecary or that are (volunteer) work related.
I don’t want to do things that are supposed to be fun – unless they are fun. Unless it is my inner circle.
And all other interaction is me ensuring I take my Minimum Daily Social Requirement on a therapeutic basis, and don’t turn into a total hermit.

The comparison that you now have to judge your contacts at the level of
“Would I have wild unprotected jungle sex with you?”
was not just an exaggeration for story telling’s sake.
Because it does imply when I AM ready to lift restrictions.
When the answer to that question is:
“Yes I would.”
“Maybe.”
“That depends.”
or when you’re so engaged in the play between man and woman, that you forget to even ask the question.
And a man kisses you before you know it.

“Or was that not allowed?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I frowned. “You’re the married one.”

“I meant Covid wise.”

And you realize that when you are with him, it simply doesn’t exist.

When I started writing in 2006, I was a newborn single. The quote that started both my writing career as well as my quest for love and sexually deep relationships, was from Anais Nin:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~Lauren

13. Defining Moments

Someone once said that when one door shuts,
a window opens.
Big and I had shut our door, but our window was open and blowing a great breeze.
.
Carrie, Sex and the City
Defining Moments, S4E03
.
I just had a quick browse on Google, what today’s episode of Sex and the City, called “Defining Moments” would actually have been about.
And when I saw the topic – Carrie rejects Mr.Big – I wasn’t sorry I could not stick around because my dvd player had broken down on day 13 of my new series.
.
The series was called “It took me a very long time to get here” and it was created (/would be created) by watching all episodes from SatC that had Mr.Big in it.
I had started with the final one, An American Girl in Paris part deux, and would work my way back to the pilot, episode 1, all opening my post with a quote from Carrie.
And then I would go from episode 1 all the way up to the end, but using quotes from Mr.Big.
The final episode would be called “It took me a very long time to get here”, because that’s what Mr.Big says to Carrie in that final episode.
When they are finally together!
Whether that quote about getting somewhere, would ultimately be about me achieving something for myself, or about a happy ending with me and my Mr.Big –  the man who was my lover for five years – I didn’t know.
There were developments between and Mr.Big, but nothing was decided yet.
We had not crossed the line of things becoming sexual in a physical sense, but maybe that is how we always operated.
The creation and nurturing of our affair in the mind, had always been the key ingredient to what we had. You could even say that our affair only existed there.
And that it’s debatable if it ever stopped being present there, even in the months we did not see together at all.
Even then….
.
Maybe whether Mr.Big and me had a physical, sexual affair, had always been an arbitrary choice. Maybe it had never defined the nature of what we had.
.
This morning I woke up knowing it was time to go back to 1995. That this SatC series – although after almost two weeks of writing daily I still loved doing it! – was no longer my main priority.
I had to get back to my performance art project: My project to live as if it is 1995, and build my life from there.
Mr.Big too, has been present in those series. His name is Bear, and he’s a 22 year old character, main love interest from the 22 year old Lauren.
She’s also in love with a man who looks like Slash, but there’s no reason she could not end up having relationships with both.
Or with neither one of course.
The overview of this series, which started last year so it’s called 1994, can be found here:
1994: A Performance Art Project
So as much as I had liked the idea of going back to 1995 (again), it did take me some time this morning to figure out how I was going to fit my Sex and the City series in.

But ultimately, I did find a solution.
One that would allow me to weave in SatC series, with my 1995 diary.
Until my dvd player broke down, and after an hour of reading the manual and trying out all buttons on my remote and on the player, I gave up:
It was broken for good.
.
And this was the way it was meant to me.
My Sex and the City series, called It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here, ended on the morning of day 13.
.
For twelve days, I wrote posts about my life, my opinions, ending my business, love in times of Covid, and the decisions I think I need to be making with regard to Mr.Big.
Do I want to be a secret mistress yet again? Had it ever been a conscious choice to begin with? Or was it, like Mr.Big said in an episode called “the Big Journey”:
“Carrie, I think it’s very clear from this book that when it comes to me, you do not have good judgment. Now, look at Chapter 3.”
.
My entire body of work for the last 5,5 years consists for at least 25% of Chapter Threes which proved I did not have good judgement, when it came to my Mr.Big.
.
I really like the idea of no longer having access to dvd’s, I hope it means I will start reading more.
I never had tv, nor download, and with Covid rules I don’t go to movies: Dvd’s have really been my sole form of entertainment for a while now.
They had a nice 90s ring to them, although technically it was still VHS at the time.
But I’m not going to lie: I m excited my dvd player made this decision for me.
Because it would not have been an ideal situation to weave the two series – my 1995 diary and the remaining 70 days of my SatC blog- together.
It is better this way.
The posts were never blogged – I just wrote them on Facebook.
But always with the intention to ultimately publish them in a book.
.
I loved the idea of a little book, with 82 chapters written in 82 days, about me and Mr.Big in times of Covid.
It would have required a rewrite: Using 82 quotes from Sex and the City, can get you into trouble if you put it to paper..
Maybe in the future, when I have a new dvd player, I will pick up writing this series which, at first sight, failed.
Or:
.
Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.
Without them, what would shape our lives?

.
Carrie, Sex and the City

from “I Heart NY”, the final episode season 4
.

.

~Lauren/LS Harteveld
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

FacebookTwitter @LSHarteveld

The End

“Definining Moments ” was the final chapter I wrote before my DVD player broke down.

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

 

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 202

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.

The Week I Left It All Behind

photo: My new series “It Took me A Very Long Time To Get Here” is on Facebook and Twitter. Click for more info.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

.
Dear Sara,
.
It is almost ironic that from two weeks of “OMG there’s SO MUCH I have to tell Sara!” I’m here behind my computer with exactly one Bon Jovi cd worth of time to write you about, yes, about what?
It all seems so entirely pointless.
I even considered calling this blog post Bullet Point Men, because I feel torn between giving a super emotionally involved update about my feelings about two men in my life on one hand; And a bullet point memo that the good part of our plan we/ I came up with in our last session, and the things I still felt that week, is now gone entirely.
So let’s start there, and see how many songs I have left afterwards.
.
You know – I even thought of not writing at all, and simply emailing that I didn’t know what to write. That’s how pointless it all seemed.
Either way, the biggest shift, objectively speaking, was realizing that over a week after our last call, I still had not set up the new blog and new YouTube channel to stay engaged in my love for marketing and sales.
And I now know why.
Because the day after our call, I got inspiration to start a new career as a computer programmer. I learned the basics at university, and already have the materials to educate myself this summer.
It would allow me to start a new career that doesn’t have anything to do with toning down or adapting my creative skills, nor my marketing skills, to a job that would only allow me to do a part of it.
To write for SEO.
Market for leads.
All the while having to communicate with non-autistic people, with whom, let’s face it, my patience is extremely limited.
Computer programming would also allow me to have a job that actually pays, instead of having one that would constantly be on the verge of being given to an intern instead.
But just like the job in marketing:
I still have not started.
.
Part of it is because of a financial task (again) which I m behind on for months. It s probably one or two days of work, but I have not put it in, and do not want to start with this new thing, until I have that done.
Next to fear of not being good enough (or motivated enough) causing this procrastination, I also think it’s because I have some mourning to do.
That ultimately NOTHING is going to satisfy me, except making art all day.
And that I feel like I m throwing away my life, doing anything else.
.
Maybe I need to reframe this switch in careers – which DOES have the added benefits of (bullet points!)
– putting me in a male dominated environment of men whom I understand and love to hang out with
– giving me specialized work
– excusing me from many of all other forms of human interaction all other professions do require
– giving me intellectually challenging work
– DEEP work, with large uninterrupted blocks of time
– allowing me to think at an extremely abstract level, which is something I absolutely love
Where other jobs almost always mean some kind of partial task, that has zero satisfaction, no meaning, no purpose; Programming isn’t any of those things.
Every part of programming is whole in its own way.
One way I m already reframing it, when I m not worrying about this financial task that is, is by imagining 22 year old Lauren has quit her job at the publisher’s, and starting as a programmer in 1995.
It gives it a lighter feel!
But considering how stuck I still am, it obviously needs a lot more lighting up before I am really excited.
Or maybe I need to see how I m still going to do my own art work after 6 P.M..
But it was during this whole trail of thought about becoming a computer programmer, that I lost ALL my interest in being of any service with anything and everything but IN PARTICULAR with regard to marketing and sales!
Marketing and sales, even in the form of a free-advice YouTube channel and blog, were just way too pragmatic to be combined with already giving my life to a craft I had not chosen naturally.
That I was not called to.
Marketing had to go.
Giving advice had to go.
Everything had to be stripped to its core, until only the pure, raw, dare I say unsaleable core of my expression remained.
If I was really going to be serious being of use as a computer programmer, this could only be counterbalanced by not investing anything in making my other work more polished, user-friendly, more accessible or more understandable.
My other work needed to be impossible to capture. And marketing and sales as a metier, as well as a skill for promoting my own work, would probably have to be ritually sacrificed in order to be okay with giving my life to something useful.
I could only make myself be of use in one place, if I was allowed to blow something of use up, on the other side.  
I did start setting up the system that would allow people to pay me, but it’s very slow, because I first need some changes with the Chamber of Commerce, and if I would then proceed, I would need to open a business account, then apply for our local payment system, and then a daughter of the local payment system is software that is for donations (not payments).
So I m thinking if I still feel invested enough in this plan, to follow through.
I think I need to reallign with my goals on this:
For me it is clear that I can’t be serious about becoming a programmer, and at the same time have ANY sort of client relationship – not even donations! – going on on the side.
Maybe that is the biggest catch for becoming a computer programmer, I feel it sucking the life out of my energy to monetize my art.
Maybe it was a stupid idea after all, even though work wise, the work and the environment of being a programmer, appeals to me very much IN THEORY.
In practice I sometimes think art is such a veracious monster, that any idea of anything else being able to breathe let alone blossom, within a ten mile radius, is absolutely ridiculous.
Sometimes I think my art is going to claim my life, and that I keep falling for the idea that I can do anything else that is not art.
Maybe if I see computer programming as a temporary solution, I would be able to do it.
I don’t know.
The entire plan seems stuck and perhaps already floating belly up, what do we know.
Either way, a lot happened, yet I seemed to have gone around in circles.
I have three Bon Jovi songs to tell you about the men.
You remember our MBTI sessions, the 16 personality types of Myers Briggs?
I found out Jon Bon Jovi is an ENFJ.
Not just because he is typed like that by the expert I hold in the highest regard,
this is the link to the very short but brilliant test he designed for MBTI typing
but I could also recognize Jon Bon Jovi in ENFJ roll model Ethan Hawke, in this clip from Before Sunrise. Even the voices are similar;

[ text continues below video ]
YouTube is filled with videos about how the INFP (me) and the ENFJ are the perfect match, the perfect mix between the same and being different.
They re both thirsty for meaning and purpose and act intuitively, but ENFJ does it in a push forward way and requires conversation to discover his feelings and determine his stand, whereas the INFP requires a lot of alone time, and knows what their values and stand are.
And I saw the clip with Ethan Hawke and I realized, well first of all I realized why I m fascinated with Jon Bon Jovi, but also – a feeling of complete and utter helplessness:
“Where on earth am I going to find a man like that ever again?”
I mean, I don’t know if my lover was ENFJ. From the fact that we’re not together anymore, I might think he’s not.
But I mean, where do I find a man, who can stand his ground in pursuing a woman?
Who is not consumed with fears and insecurities, all of which are immediately projected onto me? 
It made me appreciative of what we had for five years.
But also gave me a sense that my life was over.
Because regardless of Myers-Briggs, the men who are so stubborn and steady yet playful –
they do not drop out of the sky.
And you can’t code them in either.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

NEW It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here | Facebook & Twitter series inspired by Sex and the City

“I’m looking for love. Real love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming,
can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
.
An American Girl in Paris
(part deux)
.
No, no; This was not supposed to be a Facebook and Twitter series.
That would have saved me hours of writing and a week of frustration, until ultimately I blocked the project out of my head entirely.

Too bad I had reminders everywhere, to confirm my commitment to this new project;
My new daily schedule.
The Sex and the City dvd box set next to my couch.
A notebook that had a schedule of all the episodes I was going to cover.
And even in my agenda, I had marked the 82 days this project was going to take.
If it had actually taken place, that is..
Because it didn’t.
.
After starting this project last Monday, June 1st – hitting the ground running!- , I tripped and fell deep and hard.
Within two hours two really bad things happened, and I was lost.

I couldn’t write about them, because they were too private. Either for myself, or for other people. So my entire idea of the diary based on Sex and the City episodes, lost its appeal.
And there it went:
Sinking slowly but steadily to the bottom of my list of Projects That Inspire Me.
The only thing that reminded me of it, were those reminders.
.
So then why, on this Monday when I am making a NEW fresh start- and a WAY better one than last week – did I feel compelled to dust this off and give it a reboot in a slimmed down social media version?
.
Maybe because it was just too much fun?
Maybe because my new plans for the future, about which I will be writing here in this blog very very soon – maybe those plans scared me SO much, that I needed the soothing effect of counting my summer through Sex and the City?
Maybe.
.
So here’s what I m going to do:
.
For this series I have selected Sex and the City episodes with Mr.Big, and I will start sharing the episodes starting at the end.
.
It’s one of my guilty pleasures for reading books, or (re)watching series:
To start at the end and make my way back.
.
One of the things I ll be doing this summer (although not the thing that excites me and also scares me), is pick up harvesting all my blog posts (still/ again), and creating new books (still/ again).
In order to not have this end in super heavy files with thousands of pages – which I then abandon (again) – is by taking baby steps AND by harvesting and curating my work starting at the end of every blog, with the most recent work.
It’s so much lighter than to start with posts that are up to 10 years old.
Starting at the end is my preferred way of working, and it’s what I ll be doing with this series as well.
.
So we start at the end, season 6 episode 20, An American Girl In Paris (part deux).
And I will select a quote from Carrie.

“I’m looking for love. Real love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
.
Carrie,
An American Girl in Paris (part deux)

.

I will post this to social media.
Then we work our way back, only the episodes with Mr. Big (41 total) and always with a quote from Carrie.
So that’s 41 quotes ending with Season 1, episode 1.
Then we switch to Mr.Big;
The next is a quote from Mr.Big, from episode one, a
nd from there we move up.
.
From the first episode all the way to where we start today, season 6, episode 20, An American Girl in Paris part deux.
Where Mr.Big’s final quote, closing this series, will be:

“It took me a very long time to get here.”
.
Mr.Big,
An American Girl in Paris (part deux)
.
You can follow this series on Facebook and Twitter.
.
Maybe I do know why this series still appeals to me, even now that I am obviously refraining from writing that diary, as I had it all figured out one week ago.
Because something important happened, in the past week;

I stopped seeing myself as a service provider (yoga teacher, coach, entrepreneur).
I stopped seeing myself as a marketeer and sales consultant, or a content manager or anything along those lines.

My new profession (that excites me and frightens me!) is not going to have to do anything with “selling myself” nor with selling others.
It’s only about measurable, nessecary, and specialized work, based on skill.
And with that, my personality or who I am, and what I do in my free time, has become completely irrelevant for my daytime job.
To be valued exclusively and solely for my skill, and not for who I am, gives me the artistic freedom I have been looking for, for over a decade.
.
It took me a very long time to get here, indeed.
.
.

~Lauren/LS Harteveld
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The one who does not fight, has already lost.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

.
Dear Sara,
.
First of all thank you for your reply to my extra letter, One of the Boys.
And I think the reason I associate my creative work with leisure and masculinity, is because men seem to have, or “get”, more space and permission to do whatever the fuck they want.
Whereas if you start of as a woman, which biologically I am, you FIRST have to fight for your right to do whatever you want, and be a creator of something no one particularly values or is willing to pay money for.
.
Permission to do something that does not fall into the category; “But how can you help people?”
.
Because of that discrepancy, it is extremely unwise to identify with being female, or identifying with being any other minority that burdens you with expectations and limitations you wouldn’t have if you just entirely ignored it, reframed it right in front of their very eyes, or simply state (technically the term might be gaslighting) by saying:
“I m entirely male. I do whatever the fuck I want.”
.
I did keep my balls since my last email.
But unfortunately, I also had another C. regulation Brave New World meltdown, although this is the first time I was able to identify it as such.
.
Do you remember when two months ago, we had to reschedule, because I thought I was sick?
It was a Friday.
That Tuesday before that we had our first “in lockdown” press conference, which I had watched.
In hindsight, what I think happened, was that I was watching that press conference and the entire ludicrousy of that first batch of conflicting and non-specific regulations, that gave me a splitting headache.
.

Our government has kept Tuesday as their bi-weekly (in the sense of every two weeks) conference date, and last Tuesday was one of their last.
I didn’t even watch it.
.
I was with my mother because we were going to watch an online masterclass, which turned out to be via Skype. We ended up having to watch it on my phone, without proper audio, so we ultimately turned it off.
Well, not ultimately; After 25 minutes.
And it was by accident because I was trying to get it on speaker to get a better sound.
.

Anyway, the entire shock of being in a meeting with 30 strangers of which some seemed unaware that their cameras and microphones were on;
Of the Skype software not giving “Do you want to leave this meeting” warnings nor confirming that you’ve left the meeting;
AND the chat staying open after you had supposedly left the meeting, resulted in anxiety.

Had our microphone been open?
What had they heard after I logged off?
I knew everything was fine, but the damage had already been done.
.
And I also knew that in a couple of days I would probably get a better understanding of what had been going on, right at that moment… That my anxiety was probably a response to something that had been felt more subtle.

In the past it was usually that I had felt something going on with my lover, so I thought it was that…
It wasn’t until this weekend, and spending Saturday in bed with a SPLITTING headache- again, a few days after the press conference, just like two months ago- that I was able to trace my migraines back to that Tuesday.
.
That my headache had not been triggered by all the other events that had happened at the end of that week.
Not by 1- year worth of old paper, that I had put by the street (they collect it monthly, but I had missed for a very long time). Seeing all the old papers up until last summer when everything had still been normal, had made my stomach turn.

Nor was my headache a backlash from a decision one week prior, to quit teaching in person yoga, nor start teaching in the park where I have to register for a spot (!!) nor teach it at the studio. Gyms are allowed to reopen in September, but under strict conditions.
The decision to draw a line at becoming the extension of a government health system, just because I m a service provider, at been a toughy – but no.
That was not the reason of the headache.

Nor the glass of rose wine I had.
Nor the two long phone calls and the hour long conversation with my neighbor, making Friday socially straining.
It wasn’t my daily yoga routine, I started doing on video. It’s so much fun!! But it wasn’t this strain, of having to show up daily.
It wasn’t the nasty, hostile atmosphere in a secondhand store that (again) made me leave feeling sick.
And it wasn’t even the complicated situation with a neighbor cat, that had given me heart complaints last year..
.
No, what caused an entire Saturday in bed with migraine was watching Tuesday’s press conference.
Or, in this case, NOT watching it.
Since, like I said, my mother and me were setting up shop for attending a masterclass.
But things seeped in.
Bits of information.
It must have been enough or confusing enough though, since it later resulted in me becoming phobic after our Skype connection broke down.
When at the time, I wasn’t even consciously listening.
I remember looking at that screen, and shouting to my mother:
“Oh! It’s press conference time again!”
And her responding:
“Really? I never follow them.”
.

But in the following days yes…. the information was repeated.
Written out, what the consequences would be for the bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

And in hindsight it had been that information that had given me a splitting headache.
.
Now, more than ever, it became clear how our “intelligent lockdown” would be dismantled. Without the government exerting any power over its civilians.
Quite the contrary!
We would be allowed to go out again!
So without unpopular measures for civilians – for example prohibit sneezing or coughing in public and fining it. For example making it forbidden to leave the house without a mandatory mobile phone and installed C. software – what did government do to make sure C. wasn’t spread?
They played the ball to the service providers.
.
Any entrepreneur who relied on real life human interaction was made into an extension of the government.
Extension?
Substitute!
They could do the dirty work of getting themselves into situations of conflict with their clients, so that the government would not have to take unpopular measures at a personal level.
Did I say we have elections next year?
We have elections next year.
.
So. What did the service providers do? 
Well, what would you do, if you had been financially bleeding to death for two and a half months?
They took it without question.
.
Some of them have calculated that under the new rules, they would still be losing money, and are choosing not to reopen June 1. 
But none of them are saying:
“Hey! Just two years ago you made a whole fucking song and dance of us tiny entrepreneurs needing GDPR (Dutch: AVG ) because on occasion I get someone’s address. And now you have me collecting medical information before someone can sit on my terrace? Go do your own dirty work!”
No one.
.
Because when you’re almost bankrupt you don’t ask questions.
.
There is a German saying, from Bertold Brecht:
“Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.”
First comes a full stomach, then comes ethics.
There’s a lot of small entrepreneurial stomachs that need filling before anyone is going to call out our government for turning The Netherlands into Brave New World.
.
Brave New World is an upcoming American science fiction dystopian drama series set to premiere on the NBC Universal streaming service Peacock on July 15, 2020 and Sky One in the UK.

You see, the problem with Huxley’s dystopia, was that it looked like a utopia.
Everybody was programmed from birth to fit into a caste, a layer of society where you would be of use. Your happiness was provided for, because you were conditioned to dislike the elements that would contradict with your layer in society.
Your health was impeccable, there were no sickness, there was no death.
It was a perfect world, where there was government supplied drugs to numb any feelings of discontent.
There was no visible conflict between the civilians and the governments, it was the perfect dictatorship that had used the “right” to happiness and health, as a way to seize control and centralize all power.
.

Brave New World was a place where C. would never have happened, or it would have been perfectly contained.
And people like me would have been sent to Iceland.
.
I don’t think I was the only one, Sara, who temporarily lost track of where her balls were in 2020.
It took me four days of mental confusion and a hell of a migraine, before I figured out this press conference and its confusing messages. And its dystopian way of using service providers as their henchmen. 
.
But it was worth it.

And I m happy as fuck at least I still got my damn balls.
.
“Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.”
If you fight you might lose, if you don’t you have already lost.
.
You won’t find me teaching yoga, nor visiting restaurants, in the Brave New World.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

One of the boys

Jon in the middle with the big smile is me.

This is an extra letter to my creativity coach Sara
because I found the meaning of life, the key to success and in all likeliness the fountain of youth.
And I m making an effort to remember it, this time.

.
Dear Sara,
.
You once said that if I needed to write you an extra email, I could, so this is one of those.
Because I do.
And after this I may need tattoos, because it seems I keep forgetting and getting in my own way, regardless of how many times I find my balls and recognize myself in the devil.
Regardless of how many times I realize there is an aspect of yoga that I m allergic to.
I keep getting my ass into energetic trouble doing things that drain me.
Things that suck the very soul out of me.
Things that make me wish I was dead, and then I remember I have cats to take care of, so that it’s not an option.
And I do them all on repeat but the moment I discovered I even have them scheduled on my calendar;
That was the point I knew I something had to change.
.
This is not the first time, I focus on the things that are wrong and bad for me. It’s a circle I keep going round in until I have an epiphany and document it.
But I don’t come back to it often enough to prevent me from straying from the path, and spinning into another circle.
Maybe I should speak of a downward spiral, with the number of times I keep going round.
Meanwhile pinning reminders on the walls, to never do this again.
Or maybe reality is more complex and there are simply too many Cards Of Importance on my vision board, and that explains why I keep forgetting this one.
The one that holds the key to my worldly success, my sex life and my sanity.
.
Sara: I m one of the boys and, what I have come to understand as, female energy is unhealthy for me.
.
I don’t know if I told you this but I do have female friends. Quite a lot of them. And I am absolutely blessed with THREE best female friends whom I talk to frequently!
And whom I would not miss for the world.
Just like I would not want to miss the others whom I see less frequently. So it seems contradictory. 

But guess what?
With two of them, we always play we are boys!
We have boy’s names, and we talk in third person like Elmo from Sesame Street, but we use it in plural as well.
So we’ll say: “Shall they meet in the city?” instead of “Shall we meet in the city?”
And we have a lot of words where we will incorporate the word he or him. For example “himself” is not a word in Dutch. If you refer to yourself in Dutch, you’re supposed to use a gender neutral word. Yet with these two friends we always say himself.
And Happy Birthday to him.
Goodnighthim.
Byebyehim.
And one of them will even refer to her husband as “(her boyish playname) HIS husband”, not “my husband” or using ‘s after their name.
There is always an extra his or him, whenever we can squeeze it it.
With these two friends there is no identification with the fact that we’re grown women, unless there are really serious conversations. And then we always go back to normal at the end of it.
We can’t possibly end on a serious note.
.
And with the third friend we do not play that we’re boys but we’re both SO FULL ON, that any idea of us being domesticated ladies can go out of the window pronto.
We share cunning plans and celebrate each other’s victories. We laugh so hard they can hear us three blocks further down the road.
God, I can’t believe it took me this long to realize this, but;
I think we behave like men!
.
So I have three friends I speak frequently.
With two we play we’re boys, and with one I behave like a man.

And yet I have never felt I was born in the wrong body. I do have one pair of jeans that sometimes looks like I have a tiny penis.
I do love that one! 
I think it rocks.
So I don’t mind my own masculinity.
But I don’t mind my own femininity either.
Now that I think of it; I think I identify with my thoughts, with my mind, so fully, that I don’t really identify with my body.
I think it’s a super cool body, and I love it very much. But if it had been different, that would have been good too.
It doesn’t seem to need to reflect whatever gender-identification I feel on the inside. I have tried to imagine my body being a different gender (at multiple times in my life), and I have no reason to believe I would not have been okay with that too.
.
However, when it comes to the gender of others, I seem to be A LOT less inclusive! Here a monomaniac preference for the male gender prevails, in every way.
They can be men in whatever way they want, as long as they’re men.
Gay, straight, bi. Eight years old to 80.
All my cats have been male.
They can dress as women, or identify as women; It’s all good.

It’s not even a sexual thing – and this can be a problem. Because what men can feel, is that our energies are a great match. But they assume that is because I have a personal interest in them. When in fact, what they’re feeling is an impersonal energy-exchange. It’s being able to have a good time together, because your bodies are energetically recharging from being in each other’s presence.
That’s all (in most cases).
Now, naturally, there are men I am in love with, and that amplifies the amazing energy transition. It’s a fires through the roof kind of situation, and that is WITHOUT either one of us acknowledging it, being romantic or anything.
Without any of us implying anything else than just a bit of fun and, at at the same time, an entirely neutral conversation.

And I know this deeper, more powerful exchange, is also something that is mutually felt. I bet my beautiful, elegant, imaginary penis for it, that he feels it too.
But the point is;
It always happens.
Whether I like the guy or not. Whether we’re the same age or not. Whether there is a sexual interest from my side, or not.
There is always a deep understanding and appreciation of his masculinity.
And with women:
Never.
And if there is, we immediately adopt the behavioral patterns that belong to men interacting. Not women.
.
How I identify myself seems to be entirely irrelevant to me.
There’s even room for a spontaneous gender switch, if I woke up a man one day.

Yet I seem to be hyper-aware of other people’s energy.
It’s like that book Perfume of Patrick Susskind, where the killer has no scent, and he becomes obsessed with the scent of others.
.
Anyway, anyway; This was all information that was at one point already known.
And also not new; That before the C. crisis I wanted to go to work in a male-dominated environment. 
It was the big breakthrough on seeing why I would never be a happy working from home: It simply did not provide enough male energy.
I would never be happy working from home, unless home was an all-male student dorm. 
And yet, WHAT did I plan, to be doing every day, in an imaginary schedule, towards which I felt far less affectionate than to my imaginary penis?

I planned eight hours of dull, draining work, every day. And all my fun, elevating work, should be done in my free time.
It wasn’t called Dull versus Fun of course.
I certainly didn’t plan on telling a future employer: “Look! I already trained myself at doing 8 hours of dull work every day, so I can do your dull work as well!”
Nooooo….

The eight hours of dull work were called “Working on my biz” , and the eight hours of things I would keep on doing after I start working for an employer, were all my writing and creative work.
With the exception of writing in Dutch under my real name; That was all Biz.
Because I knew I would no longer do it, as soon as I was pressing for time.
Just like I was never going to make Dutch yoga videos again, and maybe stop doing yoga altogether.
And yet – I didn’t plan doing my personal yoga under Biz hours! Even though it was clear that the (monetizable) yoga side of me, was the side strongest represented in “Biz”.
It still felt too luxurious…. because I knew how to make yoga fun.
Like listening to Bon Jovi music made it fun.
That explained why I didn’t dare scheduling doing yoga under “Biz”, despite running a yoga business.
The ugly, self-sabotaging face behind my work/leisure divide started to show. 
.
For the past months I have been “preparing” myself to be employable for a job as dull and draining as working from home really is to me!
Instead of creating a life that compares to having a job that is among men, and that gives me energy! 
.
I need to FLIP that entire schedule around, in order to prepare myself for future employment!! 
.
THIS IS MY WORK:
– hang out with male friends, talk to my three besties, and all my other super fun  female friends. Have fun, laugh, be energized. Talk to you!
(you were definitely under leisure)

– write about men, write about Bon Jovi, do my 1995 Bon Jovi video project and my 1996 research project to their concert here in The Netherlands.
– ALL THIS crazy, creative, fun LS HARTEVELD WRITING
– yoga to Bon Jovi music, both to albums as well as live concerts. Woot woot!!!
And for when I’m thoroughly and completely satisfied and recharged from being among men, writing about men, and done doing yoga to rock music (men).
If I then feel all mellow and chill, then I have time to:

– write about yoga
– draw my cute Dutch cartoons
– teach yoga
– make Dutch yoga videos
.
But I m not going to make a career out of it.
.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

I m living in 1995. And I m never coming back.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.
.
Dear Sara,
.
When I selected our last letter, as the post I wanted to copy, I noticed I d written three posts in my 1995 series, since our last call.
Three!
That’s almost as many episodes as the entire six months prior or something.
And yet the funny thing is: none of them were “the Thing”! 
All three seem almost irrelevant now, although my last one, which I will refer to as my Fuck All That post, definitely does show I gave it my all, when I decided it was time to man up and start living my life.
.
I reread the Fuck All That post for this letter, and it was unbelievable that it was almost like it was coming from a different world… a different me!
It did show I threw my full weight into it, and really was more than fed up having this kind of availability for other people’s bullshit, as well as for my own bullshit.
That I needed balls and a backbone, and that I had lost them under some floral pattern in 1995.
But yep!
There they were!
Because two days after that 1995 Fuck All That diary entry, I got The Thing!
The Mother of All Projects.
And considering this post has become pretty gender specific, The King Of All Projects, would be more accurate.
The 1995 Bon Jovi Concert Series;
Where I revisit concerts 25 years after the date, making one video of every concert on the night the concert actually took place (25 years ago).
.
Tonight I already struck gold, finding my first story while watching this Sunday’s Seoul concert.
And I wrote my first complementary blog about how Jon’s 1995 voice was – as I called it – “in mint condition”;
But how a mature Jon Bon Jovi won by putting in his entire heart and soul into it.
Although the post wasn’t called that way, it could have been named “In Praise of Older Jon”.
.
And there is more….
And if I tell you this, you will know this Bon Jovi project may become My Biggie. Something that will connect me to what other people want to know too;
I am letting my series end in 1996, with a concert here in The Netherlands that was
A. A concert that blew your socks off,
and B. Given at the most unlikely place, a concert location that technically didn’t even exist, aside from a large field of grass.

This one-off rock concert, a musical The Little Rural Area That Could, must have been forged into existence by a group of highly ambitious music lovers, who found themselves in an unlikely place where they could bring the rock gods of the 90s, to one of the most remote areas of the Netherlands, if they all worked together…
And it is that story I will be investigating the upcoming year.
I have already contacted what appeared to be the main man, and he’s willing to share his story.
I will blog about these individual interviews in Dutch, creating blog posts about how this legendary concert came into being.
Next year is their 25th anniversary, and maybe if we put all the blog posts together, and we have photographers sharing their archives;
We could create a book to mark the anniversary of this Bon Jovi concert from 1996.
.
And to celebrate the end of my 13 months series, which started last Tuesday and that will go on until June next year, with a five month hiatus after December 6th.
.
I will be at the pace of the tour, doing 2-5 videos each week until the end of the year.
.
So yeah, I found my balls Sara.
And they may be 25 years old, but they sure are in mint condition!.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

A one time exception to the rule

I normally don’t share my real or professional name here, because this is my pen name blog. But after writing this post, I will very gladly make an exception, so you can follow this work if it speaks to you.

You can follow the 1995 Bon Jovi Concert Series under my real name;
– on YouTube 
and
– on the blog with stories
This was tonight’s post:
The gems, the gems…. My friends we ve hit the jackpot

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

When Your Innocence Dies | 1995 series

Sunday May 3, 1995
2.15 P.M.
.
It’s probably a good thing, I waited until today to write. Just a few hours ago, I was still convinced I was going through a change of personality.
Feeling all feminine and flowery, and Laura Ashley-like to a degree that was entirely not me, but that I for some reason suddenly aspired to become.

And it wasn’t just because my former long-term lover Bear called me, although that certainly didn’t help.
I felt very relaxed talking to him, in my newly found toned- down, softened state.
As if I could finally compete with whomever it was I needed to compete with this time.
Because I had the feeling his monogamy is coming to an end, or has already been broken.

Technically, I don’t know the details now anymore than I have done in the 5 years we were “together”.
Aside from the few odd months when I didn’t see him, and suspected it was because he was monogamous.
It’s not that I don’t endorse that, it’s just that for me, it’s not very interesting.
I’d much rather have him not choosing me, when he’s single or if there are multiple women involved.
Sometimes I surprise myself, how competitive I am. Even when I m obviously losing because he broke up with me last December.
Aside from the very occasional phone call, or the even more infrequent time we see each other for a cup of coffee, there is barely any contact with me and Mr.Bear.

And yet, the moment I feel he’s coming from a place of strength, I can feel that old sexual tension flaring up between us.
The game of poker, where I – you know, I wanted to say “pretend”? Where I pretend to support him? But that’s not true at all. I actually do support him.
It’s just that supporting a monogamous relationship is not very exciting.
And I love it when I get the feeling he’s all tangled up in exciting things, because then at least there’s something to fight over. 

I remember his periods of monogamy, in however few words they were marked or mentioned, as a time-out.
Recovery time.
Someone taking himself out of the game.

But something about the way he called me last time, convinced me he was back into it.
And that the pieces had been moving on the board.
My instincts told me, he had introduced another piece on it, another woman.
Someone who wasn’t me, obviously.
I think I should have been furious, insecure or insulted. Having him break up with me in December, because he was going into a real and serious relationship where he felt a lot of responsibility, leaving me man-less, lover-less, sex-less;
Only to then choose someone else to break his monogamy with.  

Again, assuming I read between the lines correctly. He didn’t say anything.

But regardless of what he had or had not already done on the side, my dominant emotion was:
“Damn! You’re back on the board, aren’t you?”
Meaning:
A chance to be with man, not without.
With lover, not without.
With sex.
A chance to not “celebrate” my Year Without Sex, in July.

Yes…. it was a good day to feel all feminine and soft, when I picked up the phone.
That was something he could not prepare for. An energy I don’t usually have.
And although I ve now realized this entire Little Miss Cute charade, needs to go Pronto!, it was a nice thing to have, for a few days.

Because I tracked it this morning. When did it start? Was it when he called?
And I discovered it wasn’t.
A few hours before his call, I had been walking around the flea market, on Queens Day.
And I was browsing for movies on VHS.
And whether by chance or because I was feeling all Pretty in Pink already, I ended up buying movies particularly aimed at women.
I liked adding them to my collection, and yesterday I watched Dirty Dancing – more about that later.
But this afternoon, I knew:
No.
Gotta go.
Great thing, as a social experiment, to dabble with feeling feminine once in a while. And what a coincidence Bear called; That conversation was definitely won by me.
But – Don’t make a career out of it.
Don’t get used to it.
Don’t make any plans that involve:
“And then there was Lauren, who looked so sweet and kind, and she was such a good friend, loyal employee, warm and loving girlfriend.”
Fuck all that.

And I think the reason was, because that movie Dirty Dancing, describes exactly what happens to you, if you are a good girl.
One of the earlier scenes shows the girl carrying watermelons into a bar where everybody is dancing the twist, which was considered an erotic form of dancing in the 60s.
She’s not supposed to be there, nor to stay there after she’s made her delivery. But she does and when Patrick Swayze asks their mutual friend what “she” is doing here, she defends herself:
“I carried watermelons.”

That’s my future if I continue playing all innocent and sweet:
Feeling out of place, in a room full of people having fun.
And I m the one who doesn’t belong there.

I don’t care the girl gets the main prize; the man who dances so sexy, and who has a healthy dose of self-esteem, and takes good care of himself and will now take good care of her.

I can do without sex, without Bear, and without any man for the rest of my life, if it involves carrying watermelons, wearing pink, or dirty dancing.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

When Your Innocence Dies  | “1995” 
is the second chapter to
1994 part 3: This Time I’m Staying 

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

.
.
.

 

‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside | 1995 series

Sunday morning April 26, 1995
9.45 A.M.
.
I know I shouldn’t be writing about my dream.
At the publisher’s, it’s one of the first things I have to send back to the author, in the unlikely event one of our novelists gets it into their head to use a dream as a way to tell the story.
I will defend myself, saying that it’s not a way to tell the story.
This is my actual dream.
This is my actual diary.
And therefor this is final.

I dreamed I was in a huge building, which was supposed to be buzzing with cultural activities, but now it was closed to the public.
I was on their top floor, which had like a triangular shaped roof or contained a lot of geometrical lines.
It was like an enormous tent; pitch black on one side, like the roof of a normal music venue, and bright glass on the other, like a museum.
But there was no one there, except me and two colleagues.
Both guys.
I don’t remember the exact dynamic, but we were all in different departments, neither one of us were directly working together.
But I forgot what my own profession was, and I also forgot what the profession was of the first guy.
There was a huge statue or object in the middle of the room, and I remember it as an enormous wooden boat; like one carved out of wood by indigenous tribes, but extremely large.
I had asked the first guy something, and he walked me in the direction of the statue, and told me the second guy would know.
The second guy was a DJ. He had been setting up his tables there, or had been rehearsing or practicing there.
It wasn’t for a show.
There would not be any shows for an indefinite period of time.
Yet he seemed happy, as if he had been doing something he liked and had achieved some sort of accomplishment. He was rolling up cables.
I think neither one of us were there doing our normal work (maybe the DJ was).
We all seemed to be trying to find something to do, despite the venue being closed.
In the dream I had a short conversation with the DJ, and then I had a final one with the first guy.
And then something strange happened.
I knew I was standing too close, and that I wasn’t supposed to. I excused myself and stepped back. He said something like “It doesn’t matter” or something. There had not been any sexual tension between us, it (coming closer) had just happened naturally because of the conversation we were having, or because of the topic. Or because I was illustrating something with my body or so.
I wasn’t deliberately coming close for personal reasons.
It’s just that I lived in a time when there was a disease and standing close to each other was enough to catch it.

I woke up and stayed in bed longer than usual, thinking about what it meant.
I have an aids phobia. Or I used to before I realized it was simply not an option to be safe all the time.
You know: Get one boyfriend, both stay monogamous
Especially him staying faithful to me would become a problem, because I would find that too boring.
Either way, to be really safe you’d either have to have all sex with protection, including oral; Or alternatively you’d both get tested and you can leave the condoms out.
But then you re stuck with this boring monogamous sex life that is never going to work.
I knew I had the choice between getting over my fears, or settling for a love life that I didn’t want.
And I don’t do settling.
So I got over it.

But when I talk about sex with others, I can still feel so clearly that I think about sex in an entirely different way than they do.
And it’s because of this phobia that once tried to force me into a life that wasn’t mine. It’s because of that, and because I conquered it, that I have a – I think you should call it “seriousness” – a certain seriousness and heaviness, that will always be tied to sex.
If you have to overcome your fear of death, in order to give a blowjob to your lover, you’re in it for real.
You’re not “fooling around” here.
You’re making partner choices that revolve around:
“Is this person worth taking the (small, calculated) risk of getting hiv, in the case a condom breaks or I give him a blowjob and that’s enough to do the trick?”
I never had a guy come in my mouth, but again: It could happen. Even by accident.

Overcoming death does not make your sex life easier, but it does make it more powerful. It provides meaning to something others might claim “just happened”.
With me, that is impossible.

Realizing sex could get you killed, prevents it from being something you’re going to regret later.
Having sex equals “I love you so much, or I want you so much, I’d die for it.”

I think what took me an hour of morning thoughts in bed, is realizing that in the time of the deserted venue and me and my two colleagues trying to have something to do, while not standing too close because of the danger;
I’d live in a time when everybody thought that.
I wouldn’t be the only one, who consciously took the risk of death;
Every man whom I had sex with, would have done the same.

And in its own, no doubt terrible fucked up way, that was an exciting thought.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living
.
‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside  | “1995” 
is the first chapter to
1994 part 3: This Time I’m Staying 

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

15 Years of Silence | 1995 series

Saturday evening April 25, 2020
9.45 P.M.
.
I’ve been here before.
I ve been here before numerous times.

The point when I realize staying in 2020 in the midst of this pandemic, is – firstly – not really an option.
It s going to drive me mad. But secondly, that it’s also not where I am supposed to be!
It is a sign that I need to go all-in on the project I started summer 2019, where I travel back in time to 1994.
By now it’s 1995.
.
I ve had numerous times, and I mean definitely even before the crisis gave me a REALLY good reason, multiple times when I knew:
I gotta leave.
I need to time travel to 1995 and only “visit” 2020, for example for work, or to post this blog post.
But that daily life needs to be designed around me being a 22 year old, working from home, and struggling with yoga, her love life, becoming a writer.
A life where I am tempted to start teaching yoga, at a local yoga studio with a super hot yoga teacher who looks like Jon Bon Jovi.
Try saying no to that.
By the way in real life, I have picked up teaching yoga; but it’s an online friends group.

.
I received a phone call tonight, someone I didn’t know asking to join. And it was exactly what I needed to firmly decide that I will not return to teaching public classes.
I have been toying with the thought of offering my online classes outside of the friends group, because obviously now would be a great time to attract a bigger audience. And theoretically, teaching online “should” allow for a broader range of students, than the former studio clients and friends I was teaching before C.
Even though the online classes started out as a substitute for that tiny inner-circle, it seems so very logical to make them more public.
Except of course, it’s not.
I was a yoga teacher for over 15 years and there is a reason I quit.

.
Whether online or in real life: I am not a yoga teacher teaching public classes. I retired from that officially in December, and the call tonight was a slap in the face to wake up from secretly dreaming of taking it bigger.
Having someone I didn’t know on the phone looking for a yoga class, caused a panic attack, which could only be soothed by frantically checking all my social media on my phone, when none of them had any notifications.
My “stimming” ( I still think panic attacks after social interaction occur because I m autistic) conflicted with my resolution to really finally go all-in on the 1995 project.
.
There was no reason at all to check my phone or scroll my feeds.
No reason, except from getting a panic attack from being called as a normal yoga teacher on a Saturday night and realizing that I do not want to be a professional yoga teacher ever again.
That if my small inner-circle groups generate enough money for me to live off, that’s great;
But I m not going to make myself available on the market as a yoga teacher.
I think it’s an extremely vulnerable, awful profession, for someone with my sensitivities.
I have no idea how I lasted 15+ years.
.
All I know is, if I had a chance to start all over, I would do it differently.
For example, if I was magically brought back to 1995, I would not become a yoga teacher.
.
Tomorrow I will travel to 1995, and tell them the news.
And that this time, I’m staying.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living
.

15 Years of Silence  | “1995” 
is the introduction to
1994 part 3: This Time I’m Staying 

‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside  | “1995” 
is the first chapter to
1994 part 3: This Time I’m Staying 

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/