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.

Showtime.

~Lauren
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

Books 

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
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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. 

OCTOBER – IT HURTS

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.

.
NOVEMBER – LET’S DO THIS!! 

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.”

.
Lauren

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

Books 

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