Showtime | 1997 diary

Sixth chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series. 

Monday 30 May, 1997 

I don’t really know what to do with myself! Or even what my emotions are. I feel overwhelmed, relieved, in disbelief that it took so long, and also a nagging worry that “What if I m wrong? What if it doesn’t work?”

But I think it will.
Because I can’t remember ever feeling like this. It’s like I have ants on my insides!

Last weekend Bear came over and we had such a great time. It was one hundred percent like old times. We talked about how we met, and where he  had lived, and where I had lived, and the quirks of those buildings, housemates and going out and the bars we both knew.
How life really was, one big party, in many, many ways.

Maybe our lives would have changed and our dates would have toned down, regardless. I mean regardless if Bear would have chosen his now girlfriend over me (or is he rethinking it? I wonder if he is on the verge of moving out..)
With all the lightheartedness and banter, when we thought of all the crazy shit that happened in our college years, I really felt something coming back to life within me that has been dead or at least knocked out since 1994.
Something I lost in my internship, or writing my thesis, or I lost it because Bear and me didn’t live together in the same city anymore.
We were both abroad.
Sometimes I still think the separation of our internships was what broke us, but either way, water under the bridge.

What I mean is that I felt something coming back to life that was more than just him and me. More than the inevitable joy and value that came from being his lover all those years, more than that bit of me that he was always holding in the palm of his hand.

I felt the joy, banter and lightheartedness that had been mine to keep, forever, and that I had lost.

Our sex was simple and satisfying.
I hadn’t been sure if I wanted sex, but got in the mood when we were talking about the past, and we watched a VHS of Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, that I had bought a good while back.

A sentimental purchase, too. Because we had attended the show in Amsterdam. So when I saw it at the record store, at one of the moments when I had felt particularly disheartened by feeling sidelined by Bear all the time;
I bought this VHS.

The irony of me buying a VHS with “sideshow” in the title, and filled with painful hard to watch moments, to overcome being painfully sidelined by Bear, was not lost on me. Unfortunately. Maybe that’s why I never actually watched it. But we did now, and because we were together and it sparked some great memories, it no longer held that sting for me.

When he left, I felt unburdened. Carefree. And on Sunday, there was no backlash either. So it wasn’t just the date itself that had the vibe of uncomplicated times, but it had stuck. I was spared from the backlashes as well.

So I already had a great weekend, but I was up for a breakthrough and ants crawling on the inside, apparently! Today.
Via Nikki’s letter.

Nikki sent me a funny, five page letter, with enough sexual innuendo to make a nice dessert to Saturday’s sex. He didn’t include a Bon Jovi bootleg for me to review for the fan club, which I didn’t regret because I am behind as it is. Maybe he knew that. But he gifted me an original copy of Madonna’s Girlie Show, Live Down Under.
He knew I had liked her a lot in her Bed with Madonna years, and even more  so in the Erotica Sex years.

Those were the best! 

But it all seemed a long time ago, and although Bedtime Stories was more than palpable, I dropped out when she took on the role of Evita.
It reminded me too much of her Live to Tell cleanup in the 80s.
Choosing 50s clothing and feminine hairdos when you could be rolling around on stage in your garter belt, was as lame to me now as it was then.

The Girlie Show was a really small tour, I remember that. Jim Rose Circus Sideshow probably saw more people in 1993 than Madonna’s Girlie Show, but if she had toured The Netherlands, I would have been hellbent to go! 
Typical, that when the world speaks badly of her, and perhaps because of that, she only does this tiny tour, it is exactly the time I would have love to come.

So it wasn’t that I didn’t know The Girlie Show, it’s just that with her “retreating” to soft curls, bedtime stories and the whole Evita saga, I had not hunted that tour video down or something.
My interest in her had faded.

Until Nikki sent me this VHS, and I watched it, and it was like I found that joyful part of me, the girlie part of me. The part that had been mine to keep and that I somewhere along the road started tying to Bear either being there, or not being there.
And I found my sense of body too. The body I had when I was a teen, and that started getting heavier with age, with quitting smoking, with desk hours , and with coming to terms being Bear’s sideshow.

I have had multiple times when I knew I was going to lose the pounds, and failed. So that’s the part of me that is in disbelief right now. It feels dangerous to have faith in something I have failed at so often.

But I know this feeling inside of me.
And seeing Madonna’s lean body was like a reminder that was my body. That body, the performer body. Not this body, the sedentary one.
It was a reminder that if I wanted my old life back, my laughter, my confidence, the way to go about that was not by changing Bear, but by changing me.

The way out was to stop being a sideshow, and owning who I was.
The fucking main act.


Showtime | 1997 diary
is the sixth chapter of book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

It costs more now (NSFW) | 1997 diary

Fifth chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series. 

Monday 11 April, 1997 

Tomorrow it’s one week since me and Bear had sex, and I m still recovering although it’s hard to pinpoint from what exactly. The sex, my period, or both? I got my period shortly after, in fact so shortly after that I wondered if it had not started mid-sex if we had done it again like we used to in the beginning. We could do it multiple times in a row, but since he’s living with his girlfriend we have never done that anymore.
We’ve become very efficient with our lust, or I have.
Which also might explain why I m still sore: I want it to hurt, to feel it as intensely as possible. But this time, it seems I overplayed my hand. I probably should have said “overstretched” things!
God damn it.
Let’s hope this heals.

The worrying also seems to be prolonging the mental stress. I m used to needing a couple of days for things to settle, but this one’s ugly.
Thinking about what happened in bed, is like thinking about a big barbwire ball with roses in it. Like I said, it’s been a week, yet every time I think back I  just don’t know where to start on what it is I’m feeling.
I m seriously messed up.

Right after he left I went to the bathroom, and my period started.
I always suffer from constipation around my period, and this one too came with a very painful stool. But since we had just had anal sex, I thought little of it.
I m quite familiar with having that nasty sharp pain once a month, so despite the intensity of having sex with Bear when we are only lovers (it’s just weird being the other woman, it really is) I felt it had been a good one!

I went to bed feeling happy, satisfied, and even proud of myself.
I knew few of Bear’s old girlfriends would have been able to keep up with this, let alone have enjoyable and even daring sex, without throwing fits all the time about him having to leave his girlfriend.
I knew how other women were and I was happy that once again, I had known how to play my cards in a way that brought me pleasure and made it a great experience.

I went to sleep blissfully unaware of the physical situation.
But the next couple of days, reality quickly caught up with me.

It was not the mental stress of being the other woman, not the usual hungover feeling mixed with fear of sexually transmitted diseases (I still suffer from that phobia, and I know to ignore it on days like that), and instead felt shame I had let myself go like that.
And was now suffering the consequences.

That although the constipation was a returning monthly thing, this time I could not help but think it was because we had anal sex. And although my pussy is always extremely sensitive in my period, that too seemed to be specifically violent. I even took painkillers for two days.
So I waited.
I waited for it all to clear up, so that I would not be punished for my ferocious sexual appetite.
Almost one week later and I’m waiting still. 

It worries me, not just because of some perhaps irrational fear of having to go to a doctor, but because a girl I used to know who worked as an escort had told me that she did have anal surgery after being raped by a client. And it wasn’t even a brutal rape, it had been a regular client and ordinary call. 
She wasn’t traumatized by the rape, nor by the surgery she ultimately decided to have, but I remember it spoiled anal sex for me for a while.
I never dared talking about what she had told me, with Bear. I considered it classified information.
And I didn’t have to tell him. He had always been in tune with what I wanted. As long as I was still afraid of it, he would never push it.

And ultimately I not just forgot the story, but so many other things happened between us. Bear and me abandoned anal sex for multiple years.
He broke up with me, moved in with his girlfriend, started visiting me again, 1996 was our absolute best sex year ever, and now here we are.

Maybe we got reckless. Or maybe I, not Bear, got reckless because he was the one who broke it off last week. Good thing he did, obviously. It does prove that he knows my body better than I do.

My period is almost over, but I m still paying for what happened.
And a hell of a lot more than what I bargained for.


It costs more now (NSFW) | 1997 diary
is the fifth chapter of book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

Nothin’s For Free (NSFW) | 1997 diary

Lauren writes to her penpal, bootleg trader Nikki. NSFW, so it’s sexual. 

Wednesday 6 April, 1997 

Dear Nikki,

I think I owe you an apology. As I probably owed Bear an apology too, but considering we had such great sex – great but with enough rawness and unfinished endings, to keep it on our mind and come back for more soon to smooth it over and push for a deeper level of satisfaction- I ll consider that score settled.
I don’t have to say to Bear: “I m sorry I wasn’t really there to enjoy in full, because I was so obsessed with my weight”.
My enthusiasm when he came over said it. My willingness to try something we had only did once before, and take that further, was all the “Motherfucking Let’s Forget About All This Shit And Move The Fuck On!” I ever needed to say.
Well, that didn’t really sound like an apology. But you know what I mean. You’re either going to have a serious talk or serious sex, and Bear and me did the latter. Which I prefer, anyway.

But you and me can’t have serious sex, or any sex, because you don’t live in the Netherlands. Yet I did share my insecurity about my weight with you, and that I wanted to lose weight and get my pre-college body back.
The virgin body I had when me and Bear started having sex.

Well: My apologies!
Not just was it an entire waste of my time to worry about it; A waste of dates with Bear that probably could have been even better (although my anxiety about my weight did translate to arousal as well!); But in the case of you and me it was a waste of chances to talk about sex with you.
Because I find everything fascinating about you: That you re an American living in London. That you own a record store. That you trade bootlegs and that I still get the cassettes from you to review for the fan club.
It’s all so exotic.

I like that you re older than I am, and are no longer caught up in that whole trying to figure out what job you re going to do.
In particular since it landed at owning a record store and not at working in an office.

But most of all I like that you have a girlfriend, although we ignore her in our letters don’t we? I do that out of courtesy, as I imagine, so do you.
I imagine you and her living above the record store, in a messy way both in your house as well as in your relationship.
I imagine it as chaos and drama, with plenty of make up sex.
Like True Romance.
Oh now I remember! I once wrote you a whole letter about that movie I think! Damn. You being Californian is setting off a whole string of erotically charged fantasies.

So my apologies you got mingled up in me feeling insecure about my body, and trying to get you on board on the idea that I should be losing the weight.
That was not yours to deal with.
And ultimately, as it turned out, my weight is not mine to deal with either. It’s always exactly as it should be. And the sex Bear and me had, was a celebration of that.

It was the first time in years that I had sex without the idea that this was a temporarily heavy body; That I should be losing weight, but that this was “okay for now”.
Now I know I m not going to change it, and I m also not going to write body complaints-letters to you. 

But all this could be the great sex talking, really.
Our prostitute role playing.
The anal sex.
The orgasms.
The way he filled me up (my pussy) as I requested, without first licking or fingering me, so that it would hurt a bit because it was so tight.

Of course I feel like I m healed of my body issues; I m still as radiant, and satisfied as yesterday.

Bear came in the evening yesterday. He usually comes during the day.
After he had left, I got ready for bed and watched myself in the bathroom mirror.  My face had the intense happy after-sex glow, but now that I had decided I wasn’t going to change my weight, I could also appreciate the fat on my face. Its roundness and fullness. I loved it.
I smiled at her while I thought:
“We’re going to have such a good time.”
And I didn’t even mean Bear. I didn’t mean that I had interpreted the sex as something that had been so smashing he would definitely come back for more, and that we were a solid “mistress and lover” from this day forward.

I meant that I felt so good in my own skin, I knew the future would always look bright.
And the sex had had a difficult part to it – maybe I needed to reassure myself that even if the worst case scenario came true and I would not see Bear again, I would still be okay. That no one could take this newfound happiness away from me.
Not even the man who had brought the smile on my face.

So now the date, and why it was such a turning point.

When I was getting ready in the shower, I knew something was up, because I was totally indecisive about what I wanted.
It went from ideas of keeping it platonic with a little kissing, and giving our affair an exciting “catch me if you can”  “hard to get” phase – which had the added benefit of not having to deal with my body – to catching myself hoping all my holes would be filled. That it would be one of those dates where we would plunge into wildly erotic fantasies, that would make me feel vulnerable and take me days to recover from.
So when he came over I still had not made up my mind.

When he stood in my hallway and I hugged his big strong body, beautifully dressed as always, and when I put my nose into the collar of his winter coat, I knew what I hoped for.
It was of course the second. To be filled up in all my holes and to drift away, together, in intoxicating fantasies that would leave me shaky for days.
I wanted to bite off more than I could chew, experience more than I knew how to deal with.
I wanted to be fucked, poked, entered, held. Melt together, which would be even sweeter because I would know how temporary it was. 
That he would go home, and I would be alone again.

And although at that moment, in our hug, I still had no idea how we were going to get to that point; We did get to that point.
This is where I credit him. This is one of those sequences he just knows how to play, how to setup. He’s like an actor in one of those improvised art house movies. And then of course, so am I.
Pretending you re actors having sex on screen, appeals to voyeurism and exhibitionism. Even though no one else is there of course. It’s a mechanism that is always present on the background, and I credit it for why I like having sex with him so much. 
It’s on the foreground, when we role play.
First we talk about what we would like to do, where we refine the scene we “one day” want to set up (we specifically talk about this in some unnamed future; or non-specifically then obviously).
And then there is that magical moment when he takes it into the now, by taking on the role and talking to me in character.

Yesterday I shared with him the want-you-in-all-my-holes desire.
(In case you re wondering: Do I feel comfortable sharing this with you? No. I don’t! But I think it’s part of savoring it happened.)
And I told him I had liked it so much last year, when we did the prostitute role playing.
It had been a role that had put me in a position of power. He was a longtime client of mine and he wanted anal sex.

It turned out as the best times we ever had it. Absolutely unbelievable, it was that good.
It were those two things – the all my holes thing, as well as the prostitute fantasy – that I brought in yesterday, and that became the building blocks of our new fantasy.

As honest as I like to be, and not just to you but also because these letters will be all that remains, so if I don’t write it down now it will be lost for myself as well, but I cannot tell all of the dimensions.
Not the entire fantasy.
It is too personal, for me.

But what I can share is that it worked. And for the first time, in I think half a year or maybe even longer, we repeated the fantasy and had anal sex.
Until, unfortunately, he slipped out. Still not entirely sure what caused it, all I remember is that I would have wanted to continue, but he chose to finish it differently.
Like an actor doing improv, he really did what was best for the story as a whole. What would have been the most likely ending, the most logical way to make it a well-rounded, satisfying, experience between a prostitute who had trusted her client and a client who did not want to extend his stay.
But I lay in his arms later and cried. Because I was no prostitute, and wasn’t paid, I was just pretending.
And I had wanted him inside of me, longer, but I had no way to ask for it, because it wasn’t in the script.

The prostitute and her client had negotiated a price, and what he would do to her. He had “warned her” about specifics, and since this was all play; Yes of course that made me horny.  
Yet, I was sensible, both in my role as well as myself, that I understood we needed a safe word. Something I would be able to say, at which he would stop.
So for the first time in over seven years, we had sex with a safe word in place. I could tell him to stop.

When I opened this letter I know I tried to describe a sense of rawness, of it not being finished. And because it was so extremely intimate, there is always the chance of it being the last time, I think. That he pulls away.
I know I wrote something about that too: How vulnerable this feels. In bed, but more so afterwards. There is this incredible pain of feeling so lonely, you just think you re gonna die, figuratively speaking.

Or never going to do this again, more literally.
That I m not cut out for this, and should stop being a mistress, or that I should at least stop having this deeply intimate sex that screws with my head, and I have no one to share this with.
And that’s all so true.

But in retrospect, I also think that in addition to a safe word, I need something that says: 
“Don’t stop.”

And maybe the reason it hurt so much, when he didn’t continue the intercourse that way, didn’t try again, is that it felt like I was being rejected. 
That ultimately, I not just wanted it more than he did. But that it was one big metaphor, for the mind fuck that has been the last seven years.
It was the pain of being the one who wants it more.

And knowing there was no word to ever prevent that from happening again.

Take care.

Nothin’s For Free (NSFW) | 1997 diary
is the fourth chapter to book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

Old pictures that I’ll always see | 1997 diary

Madonna by Steven Meisel for Rolling Stone, 1991

Chapter 3 for my vintage diary series. 

Friday 25 March, 1997 

Good news first: Bear and me are still a thing. Last Monday he came by and everything was not “exactly as it has been for the past 7 years”, because “we” are always different.

Not just because 17 year old us and 24 year old us are different people, not just because he is now in a relationship and during our college years he was never very open about his status.
But because it is always different when we see each other. We don’t really have a recipe or something. We have zero routine in what we eat, or drink, or do. We don’t even always have sex.

So when I m about to say it was like it always was, I mean it was in good spirits. Not that we literally did the same thing, because there is no same thing with us.

But the bad news is that I was unable to enjoy it fully and completely like I used to, because of my body.
I ve been getting heavier since my internship and since quitting smoking and no longer have the thin yoga body I used to have in my teens.

But until now I used to feel good in my own skin when having sex. I would get annoyed by pinching pants, and by having to buy new clothes, but in bed I  ve always felt voluptuous. If anything, I felt my body was better equipped to have sex this way.
I certainly wasn’t going to break in half anymore.

But last Monday, that was no longer the case.
He was still the same, “we” were still the same, but I had reached a tipping point where I could still appreciate my body for its beauty and its health, but I no longer enjoyed being in it. It really was too big for me to enjoy the sex.

The weight had not changed. Not yet anyway. My weight in kilos has fluctuated over the past three years, and it was on the higher end, but there was no quantifiable reason why last Monday it would suddenly get in the way of me enjoying sex.
Maybe it’s because I have dropped out of exercising last winter… Either way, when he left, I got myself together and decided to do something about it!
To get back to exercising, like I should have done much earlier.

I remember a project I started last year, or maybe in 1995 already I don’t know…. But I started a project where I was going to live like in 1988, including the extensive bike riding.
But I didn’t…. If only I had stuck to that! Then I wouldn’t be in this mess now.
Or I needed to reach this point of no longer enjoying sex the way I used to, to finally get motivated.

Since then I have exercised every day, and the result is I gained one whole kilo. That’s why I said “The weight had not changed. Not yet anyway.”
Now, I have changed. In the plus.

So my pants still pinch, and I m still somewhere in purgatory between buying new clothes, and realizing I have shelves full to choose from in my own closet, once I lose the weight. I kept all my smaller sizes.

The next time Bear comes to visit me, I want to be able to enjoy it. I want to feel sexual, feminine, and hot.
Exactly like I have for 7 years minus one Monday afternoon, when my extra pounds got the better of me.

I m going to throw my full weight behind this!

An unexamined life is not worth living

Old pictures that I’ll always see| 1997 diary
is the third chapter to book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

You Could Be Mine | 1997 diary

Second chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series. 

Saturday 19 February, 1997 

If things had not gone sour so quickly, it would have been the perfect Valentines date.
Although perhaps the Guns N Roses  tape playing already gave away our Valentines Day was far from the usual sappy commercial bullshit, and that it would end messier.

Like the band breaking up last year had kind of been foretold by their in my opinion awful album “The Spaghetti Incident”.
After having stellar songwriting albums Use Your Illusion I and II, releasing an album of covers, including punk covers no less (the Illusion albums are heavy on symphonic rock), was a failure in my opinion. At least musically.
And the title “The Spaghetti Incident”, could be seen as an indication the band would end in a banal way that did not do justice to how good they were.

That the world biggest rock n roll band would die a silent death covered in tomato sauce, exactly like the bland cover photo.
That the band, in theory, still exists without Slash who they replaced with a guitarist who used to tour with Nine Inch Nails.
If I had not been writing with Californian (but living in England) bootleg trader Nikki, I would not even have known that.

So yeah.
Maybe in hindsight, Bear and me could have known that by playing the Guns N Roses in Tokyo tape, our Valentines date was actually more a Spaghetti Incident waiting to happen, than it was romance.

But we didn’t know that then. And for all we knew Valentines was the best time we had in months.
I didn’t feel violated, and I m sure Bear was relieved he no longer had to sexually tiptoe around me.
It felt healthy and unbothered, compared to our December date. Playing the Guns N Roses tape sealed the deal; We were back in 1992, when we went to see them in Rotterdam.

To us playing Guns N Roses on Valentines day, was the best we could do to try to get back to who we were, as a couple, if we were even allowed to call ourselves that, now that he was living with girlfriend.
To this day, I have no idea if all the years we had together even fucking count for any fucking thing, given the fact that when push came to shove he started a real relationship, and has been building a life without me.

In December I had felt I was auditioning for my own role as mistress, and that if I was good enough, he would switch to me.
Or I would get a higher status in his life, I m not exactly sure what I had felt but it was something!
It’s difficult to put a name on what happened, but I know that it made me feeling violated worse, although that had not been the only reason for sure. I had had nightmares of abuse before our date, it was more than just him acting out of sync.
But it certainly didn’t help I felt I was put on the spot and had to perform.

So when last Valentines Day we had our lovely low-key, highly saturated in Guns N Roses date, with uncomplicated sex in front of the tv playing the concert, we must both have felt a sigh of relief.
We were still there.
We were not broken as a “couple”, or whatever the fuck you call it when you ve been seeing each other for seven years.

I even thought Valentines Day was going to be my, I don’t know, springboard to a new life or something!
I was finally going to get my act together, lose weight, get back to my yoga mat, put an end to the freelance working which is still causing me to work nights because I can’t seem to plan my work hours;
And instead I was going to go all in on publishing and promoting my books.

Only to have it all being taken away in the same week.

I know it all sounds very me-me-me, and I suspect that’s what Bear picked up on in the next days.
That he felt that although we had a great Valentines, and things emotionally and sexually seemed to have stabilized (although they were of course nowhere near the amazing sex we had last year!!!!! but still. Stable was good. Stable is a start.) that I was no longer hanging around for more.
Whatever it had been, there had been room for in his life in December, it was no longer relevant to me. 

And when he wanted to come again later this week, I said No, because I really wanted to use the momentum I had felt on our date.
I wanted to build the life that I had resisted; A life as an independent woman who does not have a man.
A mistress even, doomed forever to be the second choice. The one who does not matter.

I had come to terms with getting so very little of him, by understanding there was a career and a Life so much bigger than that, waiting to be built by me.
If I was not meant for him, than I was going to run with the conclusion that, apparently, I was meant for bigger things.

So I said he could not come on Wednesday, because I had a ton of work to do.
And he did not accept that.
I could feel by the silence on the line, the irritation, that he thought I should have been thrilled he wanted to come by again within 48 hours.
When all I thought was:
You made your choice.
And it wasn’t me.

Although my choice to not let him come visit me, was a work related one, it was one I made without guilt because I was just responding to the situation he had created.
We have known each other for seven years, but he has chosen to keep me on the side. All I do is put boundaries on what that means. Such as not being available when we’ve already spent one workday, and finally feel inspired to work on my own life.

And the Us that had felt amazing Monday, fell to pieces that same week.
And I can’t shake the feeling he was right not choosing me, because apparently I cannot even keep Us afloat for one single week, before it gets crushed under me finally choosing for myself.

He was right choosing for her and not me, I no longer question that. 
Just as I was right to say I didn’t have time on Wednesday, I do not question that either.

I remember sitting on top him admiring his beautiful body, which always draws feelings out of me somewhere between cuddling my cats and safety. It’s the only time I really feel safe. He’s so peaceful, not so much his personality but his body. I always get all the time to touch him, caress him, admire him, love him.
And I remember trying to find words to express how happy I was he was there with me. In particular after all we had been through on our second date in December, with me dragging sexual confusion and nightmares into what we had. 

I said: 
“You’re so easy to love.” And then I paused, realizing that for someone who causes so much pain and tests the patience of the people who love him, probably on a daily basis, this was too simplistic.
So I rephrased:
“Don’t get me wrong, you’re difficult to deal with,” I laughed.
“But you’re easy to love.”

Looking back I m not sure what this whole week was about. If we’re deeper in the mess that started in December, if we’re in a different phase, or if we’re on a road to…. to something, I guess.
And not the end. I don’t feel that is what this is about, although 1997 has gotten a rocky start when usually January and February are our strongest months.

I played the Tokyo 1992 concert from Guns N Roses in the background, as I am typing this. 
The first act as a whole, is not my favorite although it obviously has some great songs.
But a good hour in, the concert shifts into a whole new gear, and the rest is simply, absolutely, and without fail brilliant.

The song that marks this shift, is “You Could Be Mine”.

An unexamined life is not worth living

You Could Be Mine | 1997 diary
is the second chapter to book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary

Basic Instinct 1992, Catherine Tramell breaks up with Nick Curran, after she is done writing about him. A decision she later reverses with the words “I can’t allow myself to care about you.”

disclaimer 2022:
This opening chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series, has a trigger warning for having bad experiences with non-consensual sex. 

Thursday January 13, 1997 

I’m thirteen days into the new year and the sickening feeling something went wrong last December, has not left.
I’m not talking about all things I wanted to accomplish last year, among which publishing my diaries 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. I m not talking about starting my career as an independent self-published author in many other ways either.
I wish it was that!
That looking back on how I did not build a career for a whole year made me so sick, it would automatically become the sole thing on my mind this year.
But no.

As always when I feel badly, this is about Bear.

We saw each other twice in December. Which is a lot, because he’s living with his girlfriend and I assume there is more guilt associated with having an affair, or still seeing the mistress from your college days. But I seemed to be in luck, which was and still is a happy surprise.
But 13 days into the new year, I am still processing it.

It is as if I missed very important clues, or worse: That I understood them, but did not act on them. I did not respond to something I felt was going on, and although rationally I understood my choice, and still stand by it;
Emotionally, I wished I had done otherwise.
I wish I had said: “I have the feeling something is going on. What is it?”
But I didn’t and I was left with the feeling I had disappointed him. That I had failed an audition or a test. A situation where I could have proven myself a worthy partner, so that he could have chosen for me.

But again: I did it for a reason. Although this is all putting words to something I felt on an emotional level, so it’s guess work at best, I felt that if I would reach out to him, I would be reaching out for the rest of my life.
I would set myself up for decades of reaching out, whenever he was grumpy, disappointed, hurt, and could not express himself, and there I would go again opening conversation with my boyfriend or husband:
“What is it? Is something wrong?”
And as fickle and intangible the moment was, where I must have decided on instinct not to go that route, it still seems to haunt me.

We could be moving his stuff out either into an apartment of his own or perhaps we’d live together for a while in my house. If only I had acted differently.
And by not doing that I probably made his decision to choose for his girlfriend final.

Maybe final as in trying for a baby or marrying her.
Maybe final as in no longer fooling around with other women, including me.
All this is guessing, maybe there is even another woman at play. But regardless of what was at stake for his girlfriend or other women, I think what I felt mostly, was what was at stake for me.
That I was the one who was weighed, or who was on audition, for being the girlfriend he sees in the good times. A part I’ve played for 7 years. 

And it’s not that I m restless because I think I made the wrong decision, but because I feel uncertain about where we’re at now. Did I lose him? Should I be mourning? Are we still on, and can I start working on some other very disturbing things that I have been carrying into our relationship from the start, and seem to be roaring their ugly head?
Can I reflect on those, or am I thereby ruining the chance of fixing this in the way I think thinks can always be fixed, which is:
Nothing is final.
There is always room to play.

Final is when you start fighting it, acting angry, and throwing accusations. Final is when you amplify what was just a meagerest of attempts, a moment of doubt or a desire for simplicity, by the other person.
And then you take that on and wear it around like your personal cloak of sorrow.
That, is when things get final.

And sometimes that is a good thing. I mean when you’re done with someone, using their lack of interest, their vices, as well as their lazy attempts to break up, and to interpret them as them breaking up with you.
But I am not done with Bear. How could I be? How could the man who has been my lover for so long, and with whom we’ve always kept the spark, the physical attraction, and with whom every time we’re naked and have sex feels like a first time, how could I possibly ever have enough of him?

If I would see him again, would I make a leap forward, so that he knows I am serious?
Or do I explain why I didn’t last time?
Do I leave the playing board wide open, and wait for him to make the first move? Which I m going to do anyway, because since he has a girlfriend I never initiate contact unless I have to, and then I keep it business like.

But what is my strategy, if I see how we left off?

And there are two things worth mentioning.
One was how good we were doing, on the first date.
The other is all the old fears and issues, my mental bagage, that shitstormed into our second date in December.
I think they might even have been related: That because the first date went so well, he was keeping his eye out on the second, to see if we should not become more. If he had made the right choice.
And that, in turn, may have triggered old fears in me, that I had not seen in years.  

So. The first date of December. The thing I remember was an intense love for him physically. A deep desire to appreciate his body, and appreciate him, and to express it in all non-verbal ways I could think of. I don’t think I ve ever felt a deeper urge to let every move I made be one of unconditional love. I wanted to drown him in love, as far as such a thing is ethical.
And not just physically.
I wanted to express that I loved him now, being the other woman, and not having a clue of how long we’d still have or how important I was to him;
That I loved him now, as I would love him always.
I also remembered the date was light, and we laughed a lot. Even the painful or awkward things, or worries that shot to mind; They were all met with lightheartedness and a sense of humor.

The second date was intense, deep, intoxicating, dangerous. Both physical, but in particular mentally. So the sex we had was not physically dangerous, for instance we did not have anal sex, but the way we did it was rough. And for the first time ever it didn’t “work”.
Instead of the excitement I have been feeling for 7 years, for example I am always the one who puts his hands on my head when I am giving head – I initiate and ask – instead of that I felt fear.

It was as if we had missed something infinitely small, that came at the price of ruining a dynamic we thought we had mastered. I still could not tell you what it was.
And the fear was not so much that I was afraid of Bear, but a deeply rooted fear of men washed over me. All the occasions where I had feared being with  a man alone, even when I assume it should have been safe; They all washed over me.
I think I will never find out if on those occasions my response was justified in terms of other women who have had bad experiences with those men, or if my choices to stay outside, to not invite someone to my room or now my flat, or to not sleep over with someone who was a platonic friend, if those choices were “only” justified by my fear.
But that they had been subjective.

All I knew was that they were suddenly there, in my bed with us. And that they were ruining it all. Because Bear of course, was afraid he had done something wrong. That I was having a response to him. He wanted to know what he had done wrong so that he could make it right.
But there was nothing to say.

It left me alone with my fears, and him alone with his, as he is very sensitive to only doing the things I want. By including the rougher part of sex, he also had to trust me. Right from the get go, first months of 1990.
When after all my first times, I started sharing my fantasies, and he responded, it required trust from him as much as it did from me.
And now, on our final date of 1996, it was as if it was broken. But broken not by a person, but broken like someone had dropped it like a vase.

I had been having nightmares about friends violating me. The journalist guy from the hardrock cafe, who never contacted me even though we would be going on a date. And a man I used to run into when I still worked at the publisher’s with whom I never flirted. Although I had never paid much attention to it, the dream made me see I had felt threatened by him.
I had been suffering from nightmares about being violated, and in that same bed the sex me and Bear had on that intense, dark, but also fascinatingly intimate last date of the year, turned into something neither one of us could handle.
It was too much, and I think we were both overwhelmed by it.

I remember being in each other’s arms, looking in each other’s eyes. I was crying. This was before our date had turned to something I could not handle sexually. I was crying because I was absolutely overwhelmed with emotions, because I felt so close to him. He was really there. We had a whole afternoon and night together, which has been rare this year. But it seemed to pay off in him being more relaxed, and more accepting to sinking into those moments together.
Tears were streaming down my face, and all I said was:
“You’re so close.”

I didn’t say: “Will you be mine?”. Not: “Don’t you want this forever?” And definitely not: “Why can’t you stay?”

Not because I was afraid that I would have to play that role forever. Not because I feared our love would ever turn sour, and he would hold me accountable because I had lured him in. I didn’t keep myself from asking those questions because they would make me Chief Romance, if he would have said yes to me.

I didn’t ask them, because I didn’t want him to say no.

An unexamined life is not worth living

I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary
is the first chapter to book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, probably in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP



My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:

In Bed With | #2 BTS

Truth or Dare was internationally released as In Bed With Madonna

This is the 2021 behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
I describe the choices for my 1996 life and its diary posts.
Subscribe to this blog to receive both series in your Inbox.

Thursday 18 November 2021      

posted on Facebook

It s 2.45 AM here, and this may or may not be the appropriate time to type a small update about why I’ve had my Lauren 1996 project, where I live and write as if it is 1996;
As well as its twin real time project, or log “Behind The Scenes” (BTS),
bottom out before they had any momentum, or even before they had one word on record- as was the case with Lauren 1996.

Publishing book 1 and 2 1994-1996 also; entirely bottomed out.
I m glad the files/ work was saved, as far as I know.

Because the past week I’ve had an avalanche of major and minor very 21st century (not 1996) technical problems.
And that s not counting a change in internet cable providers, which is scheduled for December and buying a new mobile phone, I m typing this on my to-be-replaced one which is old and will soon start getting technical hiccups, incompatibility in apps etc

Yet that same geriatric phone is currently the only fully functional, connected computer in my house.
Although the number was changed a few days ago, but otherwise it s the same familiar, has-no-secrets-from-me, love-you-at-3 AM when I can t sleep, companion.

Now I did see how my forced time off from my normal/desktop 21th century computer could benefit my Lauren 1996 project, and it did for the first days.
But now the stress of all the things I can t do, have to postpone or remember to pick up when I have a computer that s online;
That stress is starting to accumulate.

I m now LESS in 1996 head space than before phone and computer problems started.

So that s it in a midnight nutshell.
I think in order to play-pretend it s 1996, I need my 2021 tech to be stable.
But things that need fixing, tweaking or learning, because I have new software/systems, those things take time.
Combined with not having a computer to blog with meant I d only be able to write on my phone anyway.

Which is great for 3.25 AM at night!

Because so far that has been the biggest cost;
Not the missed blog posts, not the delay in all the admin or correspondence, not the book publishing that didn’t get done.

The biggest cost is not sleeping, knowing you have to get up early.
And hoping tomorrow 2021 will be up and running, so you can go back to 1996 and forget it existed.

Saturday 20 November 2021      

1990 Madonna-DancersThe good news is my internet is working to the point that I can use WordPress, and have more options than making midnight Facebook posts.
The bad news that it still throws me off often enough to cause problems because the connection is frequently lost and I need it even more often than I did with the previous laptop because I need to personalize settings, download software, type full urls and enter my full usernames the first time I visit all my regular sites.

I just spent half an hour going back and fro to get an English spelling check here on this blog.
But regardless what I tried it kept being stuck in Dutch, underlining the entire post.

It turned out that downloading the English dictionary had failed which was why it was still in Dutch and kept underlining every English word.

And I m afraid the assignment of a mechanic has gotten lost with the provider, because it’s been 48 hours and they were going to call for an appointment.
So we’re on our own here!
With a glass fiber cable that is most likely hanging by a thread, or a modem that has a loose connection. But I’m here, and the hard earned spelling check is working, so I’m not complaining!

And there was more news, on the Lauren 1996-1997 front.

I’ve fallen prey again to not being able to sleep, feeling overwhelmed and suffering from anxiety.
I don’t wake up sick like I did for four months this year, nor have the 2020 migraines returned, yet I fear that if I get this wrong, they will soon be here to join the party.
It is key that I pick wisely;
What is worth getting upset over, losing sleep over?

In the final entries from my time travel project, dating from October, Lauren 1996 even more strongly, taps into being well-dressed, friendly and cool.
She does this by remembering a room mate who was an escort, and how she had always wanted to be so “together”, and she recommits to this vision.
But something else has happened, in 2021. An inspiration came by that I cannot pass on, which was the documentary In Bed With Madonna (1991).

It was the first movie I ever went to see multiple times, only to be matched shortly after by Basic Instinct. 
Even Fight Club and Lord of the Rings, many years later- I can’t remember seeing them more often than once in cinemas…

I read an analysis for the 30th anniversary of In Bed With Madonna, that how boldly she expresses her sexuality and her stardom, are unprecedented. 
Modern day music documentaries may attempt to portray their stars in the same authentic manner- but that it revolves much more about relatability and being vulnerable;
Not about being a super star and owning that!

In Bed With Madonna has got balls.
And so do I, which is why that movie appealed to me from the very beginning.

To give you a bit of background story: Although I AM a writer (meaning I need it like others need to breathe), my chosen profession for a long time was to be a yoga teacher.
In recent years I quit group classes, and I was still in the process of reinventing it when Covid happened.

If it wasn’t for Covid I would definitely have picked up teaching group classes again, but instead I quit my business and ended the lease of my yoga space.
But the quest for how to revive my old profession stayed.

The broad strokes of what it is I will be doing (and have started on and off) is to build a badass online yoga community through free YouTube classes, and then start teaching to that particular community in a one-off event style, locally as well as internationally, when Covid regulations have been lifted.

Watching In Bed With Madonna, gave me the missing piece both to framing my yoga, as well as to the identity or the energy to teach it with.
I saw with great clarity that what I like in her, and which has actually been the thing that turned me to yoga in 1998- was that she is a performer.
When I turned to yoga in 1998 after she had spoken about practicing yoga, it had never been yoga that had lured me in. 

I had bought into the idea of doing yoga because Madonna did yoga (1) 
And the reason I had bought into this was because she was a performer (2)

In other words the entire concept of teaching yoga, having a yoga teacher or being a yoga teacher, had never been part of why I started yoga.
I had yoga teachers, and I became a yoga teacher too, yet that was all unrelated to why I had felt drawn to yoga.

It stayed unrelated for two decades, until being in the yoga world became unbearable.
As far as I can pinpoint it, should being two decades off purpose and off path need pinpointing, then what I have felt happening on entering the yoga world, is that I lost my power.
I lost my authenticity, my sexuality, my joy.
I lost everything I stood for and what pulled me through was the Madonna / yoga connection that kept enchanting me, just thinking about it….

In 2000 Madonna made a movie The Next Best Thing where she plays a yoga teacher, and that movie too was imprinted in me.
It feels the closest to the real yoga, that I feel inside of me and that wants to be expressed, created, still desires to be brought into this world like a book or a story wants to be written!

The mistake I made was thinking the way “to bring it” was by following regular teacher trainings. Or, since I did learn good things there, the mistake I made was not realizing how much work and correcting I would need to do AFTER taking those trainings.
How many miles I would be OFF path, after the diplomas, and that my journey should have been to first go back, unlearn and restart in 2000, the last year when I knew I was still ON path!

In Bed With Madonna made me realize that it was HER energy, that had drawn me not just to yoga but to the entire concept of adult life.

I recall having five visions of being an adult, or being a professional, that I found powerful and alluring. They are in chronological order:

1. being Madonna (1985)
This started in 1985 when she played Desperately Seeking Susan.

2. being an escort (late 80s, early 90s)
I ve always felt attracted to this line of work because the women I knew who did this took excellent care of themselves and were far more sophisticated than other women my age.
As well as smart and independent.

3. being a writer/ Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct 1992)
Even more so than just wanting to do yoga because of Madonna, it was clear that my desire to become a writer was preceded (and is defined) by wanting to be Catherine Tramell.
In my eyes the cool blonde was someone who knew how the game was played and did not waste time trying to be liked.
Catherine Tramell is a fictional character, just like Madonna’s yoga teacher was a fictional character,  yet she is the only writer I aspire to be, and she is the only reason I became a writer.

4. being a photographer (90s)
Although I started photographing in the 80s, it wasn’t until the 90s that I started toying with the idea of becoming a professional. I was inspired by female photographers Patricia Steur and Annie Leibovitz, and started an education I dropped out of. I just wasn’t that into it.
And I never felt any desire to go back to photography again. 

5. being a yoga teacher (Madonna in The Next Best Thing, 2000)
More or less discussed already.
Madonna turned me to yoga, and then this movie took that up a level by making teaching yoga the coolest job in the world!

What I recognized in In Bed With Madonna, was that I too am a performer.

That the reason only fictional characters inspire me, is because like an actor I play a role. My work, my profession, is to perform.
The reason I dropped out of BEING a yoga teacher, the reason I never was a photographer, a proper normal writer, nor an escort, is that I put those identities on like a coat.

And that what I had done by redesigning my yoga work to teaching for free online, as to lay the foundation to later go on tour and give one-off shows (really!);
Was me turning yoga into the performance art that had appealed to me from the start.
Just like performance art had pulled me to writing, to photography, to escorting, to being Madonna in 1985.

My work, my craft, is to be a performer.
That is what I am drawn to, can get better at, and will be known for.

However, there was a problem with fully adopting early 90s Madonna performance power to teaching yoga;
First of all because I am suffering from anxiety again, making it not very appealing to drop fully into madness and mayhem Blonde Ambition identity.
And secondly, because I had Lauren’s 1996 diaries identifying with Catherine Tramell and a resolution to add the cool and self-care level of escorts. Not to be Madonna.

And with the anxiety having returned, I d also rather commit to their cool.

But fortunately I have found that the two are actually quite alike, in other ways.
That In Bed With Madonna (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992) both portray powerful women with strong sexualities. 

But Madonna is “yang”, energetic, extroverted.
She is the performer of the two, which is why I will be in that energy when I “teach” yoga (as we know now I am actually giving a performance), under my real name.

The character of the writer Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct 1992, is poised, introverted, cool. She is “yin”.
Which is why, when I do yoga to ease stress and anxiety, and when I’m living my Lauren1996 life,
I will be in the energy of Catherine Tramell, and I keep my promise to “Lauren” to become more stylish and contained like the elegant sex workers she recalled in her last October chapters.

With that decision – and internet or no internet 😉 – I think we’re all set to travel time!

I therefor expect this post to be the last BTS, Behind The Scenes, for a while!

So the next post will be the first chapter of the new book from Lauren, 1996 – 1997.


An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Subscribe to this blog to receive the new episodes of
– Behind The Scenes, about living offline (whether with help from my internet provider or not ;)),
– and its juicy 90s companion Lauren 1996-1997
in your Inbox


My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

We have every right to be powerful, in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have. | #1 BTS

gettyimages-1186181988 klein
GQ Men of the Year 2019 – “Woman of the Year”: Sharon Stone. Full video at the bottom of this post.

We have every right to be powerful, in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have.
And no one is allowed to take that away from you.”

Sharon Stone GQ Awards 2019

This is the behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
Subscribe to this blog to receive them in your Inbox.

This first post starts a month ago, because BTS was originally intended to be an offline diary. 


Friday 15 October 2021           

For quite a few times today, a day spent only behind my computer because I had one blogpost { one of the final chapters to 1995-1996 } to take down and save, because its sexual explicit content had given me a panic attack, and I also wrote a closing chapter/ final blogpost to a series called The Covid Diaries, and I had an online workshop; 
During that day where I only sat, and worked, and was totally absorbed in basically setting up the basics to transfer my work from blogging, to writing, from online to offline;   
On that day I thought, “That new thing, BTS, is not really necessary. It will only make things more complicated. I will delete it tonight.”           

When now that it’s nighttime I know how crucial this new series is. BTS, Behind The Scenes.     
I need this for my own sanity.

So what happened to writing about my sex life that suddenly bit me in the butt?            
Why didn’t I coach myself to being comfortable with my sexually explicit blog post, called “Promotion”, a chapter to my fictionalized 1996 diary?      
Why didn’t I work through the resistance?         

First of all because the anxiety attack I experienced this morning, was particularly violent.       
I had clearly hit a nerve somewhere, and I felt that taking the post down was a solution that had a limited time window to being effective.         
If I wanted to stabilize with a quick fix, I had to act fast.

The second reason I decided quickly was because I am developing my work and media personality, under my real name.               
My alter ego Lauren Harteveld, now more than ever, needs to be a place of solace. A place of feeling nurtured.                
Not a place where I get stressed out over having sex blogposts.

I’ve known for a while that the nature of my work here would have to change, in order to step into this new role under my real name.  
I just had not thought it through yet.    

Waking up with a panic attack over the sex post was my cue the time had come to scale down on LS Harteveld, and transfer the intimate parts to offline.    
That was the price I was willing to pay for peace of mind, working under my real name and be the real me.

My future was not one where I would wake up suffering from a panic attack from a blog post for my alter ego I had posted the night before.

But thirdly, and this is why it was actually good news and I did not look further for reasons to keep the sex post up, because the final reason I decided I would go underground, was that I want to write so much more about sex!
More explicitly than the post that was already giving me panic attacks.

The post I took down was a 1996 fictionalization of a 2021 email I had sent to a man I correspond with. 
Now it had become a letter Lauren 1996 wrote to an English bootleg trader called Nikki. A blog post. And one that scared me so much, I changed my mind.

The real problem had been that the taken down blogpost was still just a fraction of the honesty and the intimacy I had shared in my email. The contrast had been stark. And confronting.            
Every time I reread my blogpost, I realized it lacked the level of truth and intimacy my email to the real life Nikki had.               
It felt like such a betrayal of something pure. I had censored myself.

Originally, meaning before taking it down, I had planned on writing a second blogpost this weekend.
A second fictional letter to the character of Nikki, but now including details I had left out. And to frame it as being a second letter Lauren in 1996 would write to her friend Nikki, because she had not been ready to share.             

But the panic attack showed me there was no way I would take it up a notch.
New professional-me under my real name, would not be able to write such scary blogposts under my alter ego.      

If I really desired the same level of intimacy in my 1996 diary, as I had displayed in my email to real life Nikki, and I also wanted to become a professional under my real name; 
Then after more than 10 years of being a blogger, the whole online thing had to go.

It’s 10.30 PM now. I feel totally raw, unhappy, overwhelmed, maybe even disappointed.           
If there ever comes a day my work life under my real name starts to make me unhappy, or if I see a way of doing it without feeling threatened by the sexuality of my work here, then I will return to being a blogger.

But for now, this is what it is.

I am no longer a blogger.            
And that hurts…

Saturday 16 October 2021      

It got worse before it got much better!  
Going to bed I checked my phone and found a browser open that offered access to yesterday’s Zoom call. It was a url that I had copy pasted manually because the link in the email had not been clickable.          
I usually attend calls both on my laptop to type, and on my telephone for a good camera angle.   
But yesterday, I only remembered being successful at logging in via laptop. As far as I recalled, the phone browser and link had not worked.
Yet here it was, a clear sign that at least the url had worked.

Had I used it, and clicked on an “Okay” to enter the call, without remembering doing it?
Had I been online thinking I was invisible and excusing myself for not being on screen, when all the time I was recorded?

The call was with a group I had not known, and the communication was not entirely in flow. But I had dismissed that, thinking it was because I was communicating through chat only, and that it were all people who did not know each other.           
Had it been because I was visible, in totally unpresentable fashion, and no one told me?

I got the absolute worst panic attack. That morning’s panic attack, triggered by the sex blogpost, was nothing compare to The Biggie that hit me around midnight.          
I was trembling all over my body, I felt sick and I wrote an email to the friend who had organized the call.           
I explained I was unsure if I had opened the Zoom app on my phone.   
“Was I visible?” I asked. “I’ve been crippled with anxiety all day, and thought is daunting! I hope you can help.”

For an hour I tried a variety of tactics from rationalizing the social fear, to projecting it, to ultimately befriending it and accepting its presence. Which was for this crisis situation the best option, although no miracle trick.    
An hour later I was still wide awake and had been checking my email at regular intervals, even though I thought I “should” be able to do without her reassurance.              
But boy, was I happy to read her reply that everything had been more than fine!            
I had not been online with my phone camera.  

Immediately the anxiety subsided and ever since then the return of my generic anxiety has looked like a walk in the park compared to the panic I felt for that hour.      
I can do that!

I slept exceptionally well, and I’m doing great today.


Friday 12 November 2021           

In 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, I’ve half-in-half out participated in a performance project, living my life and keeping an online diary as if it is 25 years ago.
These two diaries A Letter From A Stranger (1994-1995) and Dear Nikki (1995-1996), are in their publishing stage, and it has been time to start writing book three for a while now.
Except I didn’t.

After the final chapters for Dear Nikki, which I never published online because it gave me too much anxiety, I did try to start the new book 1996-1997 offline, meaning safer and far less likely to push me over the edge, but to no avail.
I don’t write when it’s offline, I make the wrong choices, avoid adventures.
I am no longer inspired to live a full life, if I keep myself from blogging diary style, about its most meaningful, sexual parts (for one);
And I m also not inspired to live real-time, real pandemic 2021.

I need that extra layer of historical context of analogue (yes I do see the irony here) life, and the performance art based challenge of pretending I’m living my life from being a 20-something living in the 90s.
Not just for my sex life, sex posts, diary of the 90s as Lauren Harteveld;
But I need it for my work under my real name as well.

If I am not online “here” as my alter ego, and if I don’t have that secretive private life which I then share by blogging (and get freaked out about);
Well then I don’t live, write or work in the real world under my real name either!

My two personas really are like a Siamese twin, and if I m committing to creating massive impact, to having big results, and worldly success in every way for the real me?
Then it means I have to amp it up living as Lauren Harteveld too.

And I admit; The time travel projects 1 and 2 have been sloppy in their execution, the first two books have not been all in.
They were more a translation of real time events, to a fictional 90s past, but I wasn’t living it in the moment.
I never did business as if it was the 90s, never made love as if I was in my twenties, I was using the fictionalization of my past as a construct instead of as the performance art it was always intended to be!

For book 3 no more sloppy time travelling allowed.

So last night, I made a list. And I made it short. I left EVERYTHING out, that I knew was critical to feeling good, everything I knew that would frustrate me if I didn’t do it, and everything that would have to be in place before I could get to my core activities for which I wanted to be known.
Because for what has been somewhere between a week and a few years, I have tried to schedule my daily routine so that all the things that matter to me get done. And instead the only thing that got done – and very consistently! – was whatever I felt like doing! What inspired me. And the things that had to get done got done too, and if frustrations reached peak level or deadlines closed in, then all the other things got done as well.

In other words, both my personal preferences, my sexuality for sure (2021 was the best sexual year of my life!), my financial obligations, my social life, and everything else;
It had a way of getting done.
It took care of itself not because I had scheduled it, but despite of it.

However, what did not get done, was what I really want to be known for;
To be a world famous rock star writer, who does yoga.
Well technically the writing did get done, it always gets done because it’s what comes natural. Yoga didn’t get done at all, but that’s not my biggest worry to be honest.
But the part of rock star writer that didn’t get done, or not consistently, was the business side of it. Meaning publishing, selling, and speaking about my work, the being of the rock star writer did not happen.

There has not been a visible rock star writer, not under any of the two names, to relate to.

I have been invisible.

Which is why, I kept this list of what Lauren 1996 would be committing to every day, short.
Very short.

  1. do yoga or teach yoga
  2. publish books

I fell asleep thinking of myself as Lauren 1996. And as I type this, again, I can feel her living in me.

For the first time since 2019, the summer I started my time travel project, I can feel it is working.

This morning I worked on publishing my books. I took the book on Basic Instinct/ Catherine Tramell, which I pulled from publishing, and that has been on my desk for weeks now to get improved and republished.
I found a reference to the 2019 GQ speech Sharon Stone made, which was about how she dealt with feeling exposed after Basic Instinct came out, and although I had made up my mind and had decided to write the new time travel diary 1996-1997 online just like its predecessors;
This speech was exactly what I needed to hear at this time.

It was about making a conscious decision about what to do with that part that you fear, sometimes correctly obviously, others will use to shame you and try to destroy you.

“Time to decide what you do with the tender, important, beautiful, savage, passionate, most important part of yourself. 
What are you gonna do with it?
I ll tell you what I did with mine.

I respected it.”


An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Subscribe to this blog to receive the new episodes of
– Behind The Scenes, about living offline,
– and its juicy 90s companion Lauren 1996-1997
in your Inbox


My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

So far SO not good. So Lauren1996 will return!

Madonna earliest of 80s

A few weeks ago I quit blogging here, because the anxiety of writing my 1996 diary, which is my life now translated to 25 years ago, was getting in the way of what I must also do.
Of what is also, my life and destiny.
But, as is already implied in that sentence, naturally, I also have an obligation here.

I have not forgotten my art here, the time travel project and the diary.
Although at times I wished I could have forgotten it.

The whole writing offline and working in silence on publishing my books, fell to pieces when a few weeks ago I discovered mistakes in one of my books, which I had already tried to correct. When the “improved” test copy came in and I discovered I had actually made it worse, I decided to pull the book from publishing, and give it a proper review.
To not just correct the layout mistakes that had gotten in there (blank pages etc) when I made my corrections and added another chapter as well;
But to do a page-by-page review, really getting into the details and be sure I wanted them that way.

I wanted to make absolutely certain that when I received the next test copy, I would not find  any mistakes. 

Ever since I’ve started to publish my books last year, I ve been consumed with perfectionism. But it’s perfectionism with a vengeance, because in the initial printing process I can bypass it!
I KNOW done is better than perfect.
Not just because if I have the choice between doing 20 books with some minor errors or 4 books perfectly?
I have to choose the 20 good-enough ones.
I simply write way, way too much to do it otherwise.

So there is that practicality, that logic behind being a superfluous writer that anyone can understand, but there’s also a more primal emotion to it.
Because I like my work to be a bit raw and bloody, and have some errors.

If I regret anything then it’s reviewing my older books too often, because I felt it cost me both too much time as well as in some cases possibly the very soul of the book. 
I recall one in particular, and I never actively sold that book ever in the four years it’s been for sale.
So I knew very well not to go overboard with the editing.

Yet with the books I published afterwards and even (now) pulled from publishing, the opposite happened.
I don’t actively sell those either, because I’m afraid that there are mistakes in there!
So I ve learned from the past – I now do publish them without overdoing the editing. I do not make the same mistake twice and “Done is better than perfect” is my badge of honor really.
But then it bites me in the ass:
I read them and find mistakes, and feel uncomfortable selling them because of one little tiny mistake I saw.
Or I don’t dare to read them and then I don’t sell them because I didn’t read them out of fear.

Even though, and now you’re really going to see how badly I m doing in this area, way more often I read them and think:
“This is so good! How funny! How well written! I m so proud.”
Yet perfectionism just blocks it.
Not in the first editing and publishing round, like it does with other writers.
But afterwards.

I can’t get into the swing of selling.

And now, November 2021 or November 1996 as it is in my time travel project, I am no longer blogging a diary because it gives me anxiety;
Which has resulted in my love life and sexuality dying on me.
It has resulted in not writing.
And ultimately, I think you guessed it, in not living.

As desirable or even nessecary, a smoothed out life without any secrets and any reason for anxiety, seems at times (I ve taken Lauren 1994-1996 offline half a dozen times and counting!);
Ultimately it is not for me.

I will have to learn with my chaotic, fear-filled double life, like I have to live with books having rough edges.

My attempts at proper, worthy, perfect books are blocking my life’s force, just like my attempts at a proper worthy life is blocking it.

Yes, I am messy. 
And so are my books.

But for the past couple of weeks I ve been dead, and I can only hope it’s not too late for any of the things I lost to be saved.
To put my pulled book back online.
To slam those diaries into a cover and hit publish.
Pull myself up by my bootstraps and get back into the saddle of everything.
I hope my sex life is not dead for good.

I hope that underneath the cleaned up properness, something, is still breathing.


An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Subscribe to this blog to receive the new episodes of Lauren 1996 in your Inbox.


My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

I’m on it! (and it’s my best work) | diaries 1994-1996

photo from “1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making” 

I quit blogging this weekend, and simultaneously found out that publishing what I consider my Magnum Opus – or Magnum “Opi” as the first installment is already going to be two books, not one! – that publishing this most significant work is probably not going to be the “muscle through it”- sprint I hoped it would be.

The reason I want it done is so I can start curating and solidifying my websites, my online work.

But publishing those two diaries 1994-1995 and 1995-1996,  including the very sexually explicit final chapters, seems to be more accurately categorized as;
Things that are going to massively freak me out.

Things I’m going to lose sleep over.

Things that are going to impact and delay the more easy-going, less-intense career I want to establish under my real name.

Something that is going to bear the characteristics of a marathon and not a sprint.

And I am not an endurance athlete, endurance writer, endurance anything. I m only good at things that forcefully push themselves out of me, despite me not making an effort, despite me not setting time aside.
My projects need to take over my life, if they want to get done.

Instead of having my life taken over a few days, publishing my Magnum Opi could take over my life for weeks or even months.
Which is definitely more than I am willing to invest.

I want them done this week, order them on Friday, and then within two weeks I will have them ready for sale and can start curating the website. With those two books successfully published, my most important work has been converted to print.
If anything happens to my content or I don’t store it right or something, then at least they were saved.

How to go about this?
This little twin monster of my most important work, two books, at the verge of taking over my life? (I feel they’re negotiating who gets to sink their teeth in which part of me!)
I don’t know.
Maybe praying to a higher power, would be my best option.

Anyway, as I was preparing to write you this quick update, I started looking for a New York Times article about a time travel project of one week, to 1994.
But instead I found a music scene documentary of the beginning of this 90s era.

It’s available on YouTube.

1991 – The Year Punk Broke

And Generation X in a Time Capsule
a New York Times long read about this documentary and its context.

But the article I was looking for, before I found the 1991 music scene documentary, was this article.
It is about a journalist who lives for one week as if she’s in 1994:

1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making
25 years ago was yesterday and a million years ago.
By Caity Weaver | May 14, 2019

So with the extra documentary I found some pretty intense and grungy stuff about the time period I was investigating.
Which has only made me more adamant  that ultimately writing about 25 years ago, or writing about the 90s, is my jam.

Last weekend I stopped blogging, online writing for The Diary Project, or the time travel project, but only so I can give it more,  and be even more candid in my writing offline.

That first diary I am about to publish – the one I decided with 99% certainty needs to be two books, not one – that is only the beginning.
It is the first diary, or they are the first two diaries of my Magnum Opus.

I will keep writing.

The diary project, or the time travel project, is my deepest work as a writer, and ultimately all my work here will somehow be tied to that. 

The reason I consider my time travel diaries my most important work, is because it is my most layered project, consisting of all the aspects that is me or my work or interests.

They are at heart a performance project, or time capsule project.
I cultivate the mindset and experience of being 25 years younger and live as if it is 25 years ago.

The second reason is, they are done as diary writing and letter writing, which are my most developed forms of writing.

The third is because I get to play with elements that reflect my development, choices,  and difficulties, in being a writer, and/OR a yoga teacher.
My real life career choices are in the books.

But most importantly of course, I like the books because they are rooted in my sexual life.
I don’t think I would be able to fully express my  sexuality if it wasn’t for the fact that I can write about my experiences.

Since I was a teenager I’ve known I need high levels of tension and excitement, to get aroused. From a wider perspective I would say my sexuality was more comparable to those of boys, than those of girls.
I needed to feel safe with someone, and was aware being a girl made me vulnerable, but I was less inclined to pushing or looking for relational security. I didn’t need a relationship, to feel sexually explorative.

Although I was often very much in love, when it came to sexual experimenting I needed friendly comradery, more than romance.

Ever since then the road has been rocky, and at times I have given in to fears that made the road flat. I have been in long-term relationships that were ultimately not just sexually unsatisfying because they didn’t carry enough tension and excitement;
They were detrimental for my personal growth.

To me monogamy, defined as both me but in particular my partner only having me/each other to be physically and emotionally intimate with, that monogamy is damaging.
It’s the quickest way to create a life of stability and perhaps even physical health, because the stress levels remain low.
But I don’t grow in monogamous relationships the way I do when I get challenged b
y the unpredictability of other, non-specified and more playful, relationship styles.
They bring me more pleasure, more satisfaction but in particular because of their counter parts of jealousy, fear, and uncertainty;
They bring me more growth.

Sure all those aspects of my life give me panic attacks, and more often than not I think I am NOT cut out for this.
That it’s too much and all the stress of never being in a normal boy meets girl, princess and prince charming relationship or marriage, is eating me alive.
That I can’t take it anymore.

But then I know:
Of course I can.

This is what I am here for.

My Time Travel Project, and its first two upcoming books
A letter from a stranger 1994-1995
Dear Nikki 1995-1996
are about capturing that life, in between lovers, in between careers, in between immobilizing fear and insatiable fascination.
All set to a backdrop of the 90s.

And not just for a week.


An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

subscribe to this blog to follow the stories of Lauren 1997


My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld