The Saint

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

Dear Sara,
.
photo used as illustration. Dutch actor Daan Schuurmans played a character based on The Saint, in the Dutch series “Heer en Meester”.

All I can say is:
I was never there to judge his looks.
But if I had been there to ensure my letters went to an attractive man, I would not have been disappointed.
My response would have consisted of praising everything that was holy on this earth. With a few swear words.
That is how stunningly beautiful he was.

The reason I tracked down who he was, was because I was feeling extremely vulnerable;
I needed something to be able to continue our conversation.
The way I took the edge off was by allowing myself to know with whom I was dealing with and if everything he had told me, with regard to his identity, in particular his gender, had been true.
I didn’t even need to know if things he may have kept from me, or things he may have said as self-protection or to lower expectations were true;
He didn’t owe me the truth.
The only thing I needed to know, was if the little he had revealed with regard to his identity, was true.
.
And that’s when I found out that it was not just true, but that he was so exceptionally beautiful I could see why someone would choose to hide behind a Twitter account.
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The reason I was able to find out who he was, is because he asked to take the conversation to email. Maybe others have access to the Twitter account, I don’t know.
Only his first email had his full name, then it disappeared. And because of that I initially ignored it because he obviously had not wanted me to see it.
It still took until my crisis of faith, before I allowed myself to give it a serious search.
.
It hasn’t changed what we have, except that it has provided me with just that tiny nudge of security, that allows me to offer him full freedom, because I know he’s a real person.
Let’s say 99% certain, but I ll take the risk of the 1% of me not being right or even being conned.

And although I didn’t dig any deeper, because as soon as I saw who he was, I backed off; Seeing his identity did the trick.
I was no longer worried for my own safety, or about my vulnerability.
Instead he became someone whom I would protect
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Just like I ve always protected my lover….
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You could call this my affair 2.0, because I ve learned from my years with Mr.Big.
And I ve gotten even better at making a connection into something beautiful and I’ve also grown more appreciative of what it is these two men, Mr.Big and the man I will call The Saint because his formal ways remind me of a Dutch series that was based on The Saint, can bring that is so rare and so very much needed:
They bring me inspiration.
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They also rock my world, frustrate me with their unavailability, and the fear that one word from me, or one thought from them, can make the bubble pop and end it all.
They re forces that both derail me, yet also ground me, when once again I learn I can plant my feet just as readily on the decks of a ship in a stormy sea.
And of course my ego takes pride in knowing other women would not have been able to do that, and would have fled the ship.
Of course.
But this game of growing stronger is not the primary reason these men are so valuable to me.
It is because they make me work.
.
Whether it is because of the instability they provide, and me solving that by rooting deeper into my art? 
Or because of the more likely scenario that when sex is involved, my whole life starts shifting, all my art is affected but in the most positive way imaginable?
I m like Picasso where the different periods of my work can be attributed to different men.
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This is such a man.
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So what can I say, Sara? 
Life is sweet. Life is very darn sweet. And uncertain, and maddening, and frustrating, and abundant, rich. And I cannot avoid the thought that somehow behind all the coincidence and all the unlikely events chained together;
There is a divine order of things.
.
That things are happening, to me and to my art, that could not have happened any other way.
.
So in many ways this email is no different from the last one I sent you; 
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I still have the plan to publish all my books in 2020 – 
with the addition that I am now already familiar with the publisher’s software, and my first book has a test copy ordered. And I m going to speed it up to having all my books ready (test copies ordered) in November. 
.
I still plan on going all in with my art/yoga under my real name, as of January 2021;
With the addition that I have ended my lease of the yoga studio.
I made that decision after I realized that I want to be “out there”, connecting over yoga, over art, over rock music; And that current complications with regard to the (unused) yoga space and the politics around proper heating, are not contributing to getting my work out there.
Besides, the house I sent you, the home I will have when I make millions, has three livings tied together, something in Europe only hotels or mansions have. Maybe in America there are more houses where they have multiple family rooms, but here it is very rare.
The only way to not drown in that space of my million dollar condo is to dedicate the center living to being a yoga space, where I can do my own practice and teach friends in this yoga studio in my own home.
I no longer need an external yoga space.
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What also has not changed is that I still have phobias as a response to being socially active and I sleep poorly. The night has become my least favorite part of the day. There was a week, around the time I met The Saint, when I slept like a baby.
But it was short lived.
I wake up multiple times a night, have nightmares and headaches seem to be lurking just around the corner.
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I still can’t envision a future with Covid, where I no longer let my sex life be influenced by it. I m counting on it to leave.
But realistically speaking I know I have to man up and solve this.
I have to claim back my true sexuality, which simply isn’t the safe boyfriend girlfriend monogamy thing, unless my boyfriend would be not-monogamous and takes care of my inner baby-koala before he drifts away into the night off to new adventures.
.
I need to use this time to accept my sexuality requires me to let go of the need to be certain.
That if I want my sex life back I cannot afford a desire to not be infected with Covid and have to live with the embarrassment of having to tell all your contacts.
.
I feel I ll one day rip the band-aid.
But for now, every long day among people, or every social event longer than a few hours, comes with the risk of the migraines returning.
.
So nothing has changed, but I feel I have held the course for two weeks.
.
And considering the world we’re living in;
That’s one hell of an accomplishment.

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

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

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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The Baby Koala Relationship


video: The dominant, Christian, breaks.
All relationships inadvertently experience power struggle in the beginning;
An extremely stressful period when the couple gets to know each other and the bond is forged. In that way Christian and Ana are no different. 

One of the things I am extremely proud of, is that I now know what type of relationship I would “want”.
Want is a strong word, because if it doesn’t come along that is perfectly fine too.

Maybe that I found out which  relationship I “have to offer” is a better way of putting it.
This is The Baby Koala Relationship.
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In 2006 I became single to experience falling in love and then making love, preferably with a variety of men.
Although I had been very successful at long time relationships, I had always found the honeymoon phase of it the most intoxicating, and the rest of it so pale compared to that first period.
I thought if that is the fate of having a relationship, then the least I can do is have some time off from it, and end short relationships when it is no longer working.
Or, perhaps, I would even find the holy grail of how to keep things exciting.
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After ten years of experiencing a variety of relationships and dating situations, I discovered I was a mistress:
A lover can contact me for a date, and if we both feel like it we can let it expand to sex.
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But I felt I was missing a piece of the puzzle, which was how could we move forward from that?
What comes after being lovers, if it’s not a normal relationship?
What was my next level?
.
That’s when the Baby Koala Relationship came along.
Because you see, The Mistress is not the only aspect of my personality. On the other end of the spectrum I am the baby koala.
I think we all have these extremes, and try to juggle between them to satisfy all of them.
And that the reason normal relationships get so boring is that everything is tailored to not upsetting each other’s baby koalas. But meanwhile the inner lover (including the inner mistress) is just starving.
.
So what I did all those years, is to focus on being the mistress. But this meant that I had to take care of my own inner baby koala.
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The day after sex (it does help to go home/ sleep at home), or when I see a lover with another woman, or any other situation that you can just feel the ground drop from beneath your feet;
I cannot go to him.
I cannot “make this” on him.
.
And that is why it is so hard, and why almost no one, not even the most determined single who swears he or she will “take things slow”, can hold that up.
Why it always ends up being the exact same push and pull, and drama, that either makes it into a relationship, or (more likely) the lovers part because one of them thought the other one “good enough” for sex, but freaks out at the idea of calling this a relationship.
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The relationship serves both as a way to avoid having to care for your own stressed out baby koala (the part of yourself that needs connection, unconditional love, and regular feeding times);
And the relationship also puts an end to the immediate stress the power struggle causes.

The essence of being a mistress or a successful single, is that you take care of your own baby koala, and refuse to take care of someone else’s baby koala.
This can be done bluntly, by simply not responding to day-after text messages or acting that it “meant nothing” and accusing the other person of “overreacting” and of being stupid because it was only one night, or a few weeks.
.
But a wiser and certainly more elegant way to avoid having to take care of someone else’s baby koala is to anticipate it, and give the other extra time to think it over.
In a way you are taking care of the baby koala of the other person, because you’re pointing out to the potential lover that you will not be there for them afterwards.
And that they have to think about that in advance.
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It provides cushioning for the other person and it makes it easier for yourself to resist fixing someone else’s feeling of misery after being that intimate with you.
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From what I see men are better capable of pushing away unpleasant feelings after sex, and women (and this most certainly involves me) are more likely to fall prey to extreme feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness even.
Sex – but this really is the right time to start to include dating, internet dating, any kind of conversation with someone you’re interested in –
is the perfect catalyst to bring everything up, that you thought you had dealt with a long time ago.
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No wonder people try to project and attach these feelings of discomfort, to someone else.
And how he or she behaved, or what he or she should have done, or they blame themselves for being wrong or ruining their chances.
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But when you are a mistress, or want to avoid getting caught in a relationship, it is so important to realize that these feelings are never about someone else.
They’re about you.
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And an, I think, very appealing way to see that hurt, and upset part of you, is as a little baby koala, who did not feel unconditionally loved when you were with your lover or in that conversation;
And it’s in pain.
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That’s when you have a baby koala regroup day.
A day where you deliberately take time off from figuring your dating life or your emotions out, and focus on your inner baby koala instead.
Because trust me: 
As long as that little fellow is upset, nothing will get done anyway.
Nothing will get figured out, until your little baby koala has had its eight hours of sleep, its Disney movie, three warm meals a day and a soft blanket to cuddle with.
.
In the movie 50 Shades of Grey, there is a scene where Christian shows Ana both his play room/ SM room, as well as the separate bedroom that is there for her, for after they have had sex.
So he is clearly preparing her for being alone after sex, but the dishonesty about it is that he pretends that she will want that.
He says, in the movie 50 Shades part 1:
“If you agree to do this, you’re gonna want your own room.”
.
When what he’s really saying is:
“I can’t deal with your upset baby koala, who will want infinite cuddles and unconditional love the entire night and beyond.”
Because that’s exactly what it is.
.
The average drama-free relationship, is organized in a way that neither of the two inner baby koalas gets upset.
And therefor whenever there is trouble, it is almost always an argument about holding the other person responsible for upsetting it.
Usually because the other person has done something, the inner baby koala interprets as not being loved.
And it’s usually right.
Except there is another way.
As long as you make sure the baby koala of your partner is taken care of, and feels loved, you can have more freedom to see other people, and do your own thing.
The reason the baby koala reacts so strongly to infidelity, sometimes even in very platonic forms of just giving attention to someone else, is because the baby koala has not been seen and taken care of for a very long time.
And it’s only when it is suddenly very visible where all that attention is going, that the shit hits the fan because the baby koala sees that it was not imagination, something is wrong.

.
So my next level relationship is one where a man I am having an affair with, wants to move up to becoming the caretaker of my baby koala.
And then he can still have other women, other interests, and so on;
Which will not threaten me because I know I am safe.
I know he’ll be back before my next feeding time.

The only thing I have not told anybody yet, is that I will do exactly the same thing for him.

How could I not.
.
.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

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:
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My Aids phobia origin story. Explained with Star Wars and Covid | The C Diaries episode 3

warning this post contains references to mental abuse,
spoilers for Star Wars, and may be triggering in many other by me unforeseen ways

This is my series about my Covid induced celibacy.
Although I am not celibate because my aids phobia returned, but because the social dynamics around Covid are similar;
This time does bring back memories of that time.
And we must realize the current generation of teens is having an extremely rough start of their sex lives.
Comparable to the 80s, or even worse.

click on photo for source & “review” of how passable this poster was

They say anyone discussing Star Wars always ends up talking about episode 8, The Last Jedi. This movie revealed the difference in how the original Star Wars fans had interpreted Episode 7, which was as a good continuation of their beloved trilogies The Originals and The Prequels;
And the story the new fan base, one of them being me, had seen Episode 7, which was a love story.
In the two year slipstream after “7” the two groups collided on forums and social media, and then “8” came out.
It favored the new group.
And triggered something that could easily pass as a two year war.
Until “9” came, and the victory went to the first group.

According to the new fans, the second group, this sequel trilogy, as far as 7 and 8 went, was a love story between the good (Rey, the girl from Jakku, who had darkness at her core), and the bad, the dark side warrior Kylo Ren who was at his core good.
Together they would bring balance to The Force.
Until “9” came, and Kylo Ren ended up dead and Rey in the desert eating sand. Exactly the way she started.

It might be tempting to some, to immediately say I and all the other “Reylos” as we called ourselves, were right and “they” were wrong. 
But that would surpass the fact that in reality, the majority – in power, not in numbers – always wins.
And that evil is surprisingly mundane.

Just as it turned out to be surprisingly easy for Lucas Film to turn its back on the entire new fan base the franchise had gotten.
Episode 9, the closing episode of the sequel, was a lifeless movie that seemed a last minute cut and paste hackjob where the ending doesn’t even hold original material but is photoshopped together with main character being wiped out.
Much of the audio, changed script, were last minute audio recordings, hastily added. There are no memorable quotes in “9”.

Even Kylo’s line from the trailer, a broody “But I do”, in response to Rey saying no one knew her, was cut from the final movie. 

That’s how easy it was to make my aids phobia happen.
It was a last minute cut and paste, to give the people who mattered a better feeling about it.

And just like the new Star Wars fans were accused of “seeing things that weren’t there” and “overreacting” (more about that in a minute);
That’s how my phobia, to this day, is usually met.
I m exaggerating and besides: Why don’t I just get an aids test, and then I know I don’t have it, and we can all move on?

One of the many “proofs” that the fairy tale ending was never meant to be, is a story about one of the smaller parts in “7”;
The actor who played it has gone on record saying that Rey was always meant to be a Skywalker, and therefor she could never become lovers with Kylo because he was family.
Hence this actor had delivered the proof the fairy tale story line was never going to happen.
Just like an aids test is not going to change the narrative of an aids phobia, is an actor, an idea, or even written proof that at one time of filming the premises was that Rey was a Skywalker, going to change the narrative of 7 and 8.

But that’s not the way the fans of The Originals and The Sequels see it.
New Star Wars fandom had drawn conclusions based on the fairy tale like “7”, which had never been there.
It was simply not true.
And fortunately after initially “8”, The Last Jedi, being on the team of these new fans, 9 corrected it.
And after 9?
Well, they were simply overreacting to their cookie being taken. A cookie which clearly did not belong to them because it belonged to the fans from the original and prequel trilogy.

It wasn’t until this week, that I put the pieces together, and realized why this is.
Because any new information that does not support our own, internalized reality,  and choices we made in the past, causes high levels of stress.
This is called cognitive dissonance. *
[ * follow the work of @jax_bayne ]

It is clearly much easier to accuse the other party of not seeing reality clearly.

And it becomes even more easy when the majority can accuse the minority simply of having misinterpreted reality.

People with a sense of belonging in this world (which definitely excludes autistic, highly gifted Reylos with an aids phobia) have beliefs and convictions that are not meant to be a reflection of the real world;
They are a convenient interpretation of the world (including ignoring injustice).
This ensures their own survival and allows them to achieve or acquire things like love, status, money.

A psychologist would be able to tell you more, but my estimate is that the people who do not automatically adjust their inner-story and convictions to that of the majority or the culture they live in, would fall into three categories:
1. the vulnerable ones
These are the ones who cannot hide their convictions, nor understand why the convictions of others are so vastly different.
2. the idealist ones
These are the ones who think the reason other people do not understand them is lack of the correct information.
Instead of an opposing interest.
3. the winners
These are the ones who have perfect understanding why people adopt convictions that are not based on reality, and can therefor easily ignore it or even apply the mechanisms to push their own agenda (manipulation).

I have never considered myself an idealist, but 2020 has definitely been the year where I have made it my personal goal to get from 1 to 3.
To fully accept that people have a right to believe whatever it is they want, or what makes them feel loved and accepted and helps them get ahead.
And that this means that the rest of us have to be very firm on our boundaries and our rights.
Because they sure as hell are not going to do it for us.

The minorities will always lose, just like the Reylos lost, unless you uplevel yourself the fuck up from a “1” or a “2” into a glorifying “3” who will gaslight them back with a vengeance.
.
Because unless you do that, in all likeliness, 2020 is not going to be your year.
The Star Wars sequel trilogy has not been satisfying.
And you would have been crushed by the aids education of the 80s.

But once you make your peace that aids education, Star Wars and Covid regulations were never meant for you?
Once you understand you were never invited to the party, and that the only thing asked of you is that you do not disturb it?
It becomes a lot easier to bypass the urge to have a conversation about it.
.
For example.
If you have been suffering from anger and frustration that Covid measures do not reflect any logic or deeper lying values?
Simply start viewing them as a random collection of measures that give “most of us a sense that something is being done”.
Because that is exactly what they are supposed to do.
.
For example.
If you felt it was treacherous that Star Wars 7 and 8 had set us up for a fairy tale ending, only to then betray those invested in that story line with Star Wars 9?
View Disney Lucas Film and the Star Wars franchise as an enterprise that is only interested in making money, and once they noticed the fans from the prequels and originals making so much fuss over “8” they changed their course.
They tailored “9” the best they could to what the old fans wanted to see, and marginalized the story about Rey and Kylo-Ren.
Because that is exactly what happened.

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For example.
If you have an aids phobia that you should probably throw a shower this year, because it is at its 35th anniversary, and feel that maybe the adults in the 80s should have been more careful than to make not- catching aids an individual responsibility of 15 year old virgins. Should maybe not have written brochures in blood.
And you still feel, well, a little unresolved over this?
Even after all that time.

Then know that the sex education with regard to Aids was never meant for you. It was only there to not conflict with all the sixties left-over issues from a former generation. 
To soothe people who had taken tremendous risks with drugs, free-sex, life in communes and traveling the world, meanwhile failing to create safe environments for their children.
Because that is exactly what it was. 

Aids was the perfect scapegoat, so that the entire generation who had grown up in the 60s and 70s, and just at the moment when it became clear that capitalism had won, nuclear war was more pending than ever, and that nothing would remain from all the ideals of the generations past;
There was something new and fresh to distract them from reflecting on that.
.
All they needed to do, and then everything would be alright, was to wrap up the responsibility ball, attach a brochure to it that suggested there was such a thing as “safe sex”;
And pass it on to the next generation.
.

Because that was exactly what it was, and maybe no one understands how you feel.

But I do.
.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

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:
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When your fears subside and shadows still remain | 1995-1996 diary

Delta of Venus (1995)

Monday October 19, 1995
9.30 P.M.

If you asked me what I did since my last diary entry, six weeks ago, I would not be able to tell you.
Just like I would not have been able to tell you now, what my life looked like then.
It’s all a haze, just like all the months before that.
I just reread the pages, they are very positive.
On September 1st, I m starting my new life!” it opens.
Not a word about the headaches, which began this summer
.

I thought the headaches had to do with my work at the publisher’s. That it was a sign the desk job was taking its toll on me, and that I needed to move on and start doing my own work.
Write and publish my own books.
And become a yoga teacher to support this new uncertain future as an independent.

A friend of my mother’s has her own studio, and when I was 15 or so I started taking classes.
When I was in college I was allowed to join her teacher training for a reduced fee, and it became a welcome diversion from the academic world.
The weekly Saturdays in training became my sanctuary.

What I had not expected was that the headaches didn’t have anything to do with the desk job.
Or maybe I did know, but just chose not to see.

I still stand by my decision to become an independent, even now that I know I can’t teach yoga, because the headaches are unreliable.
They make me feel insecure about any commitment, but in particular teaching a yoga class which requires me to feel good.
You can’t fake your way around it.

The headaches that I have been suffering from are stress related, and the stress came from my sex life.
Not my desk job.

I’m taking a deep breath now, because I am ashamed to admit that I lied in my last diary entry.
I said I had been trying to have sex, or had sex, with someone new, other than Bear. And that the phobia for aids returned.

I was very aware I was lying, yet I talked myself into thinking it didn’t matter. That the essence, which was “I can’t have sex because of a returning hiv/aids phobia” was the same.
The fact that the phobia had returned as a response to Bear breaking up with me, was also still true.

But what I did not write nor shared with anyone else, was that the man I was with, was in fact, Bear.
And not a new man.

My phobia had not bothered me in the five years we were together, but I have always known its roots are still there. And that I have Bear to thank for finding a way to work around them.
But being with him had been such a positive experience, I never expected  I would have to fight the same demon again.
And not that the fear would show up when the man I was with was in fact Bear!

He has moved in with his girlfriend, so this was the first time I was officially “the other woman”.
Over the years I ve suspected there were other women who might have thought he was faithful to them.
But I never knew.
This was different, and we both knew it.
She was the reason he had broken up with me in December, so we both knew he had at least hoped he could have stayed faithful to her.
We didn’t talk about that at any point.
I didn’t ask, and he didn’t offer an explanation as to why he had changed his mind.

I really thought I could do this.

And the only reason I know how much this meant to me, that it hurts me, and that it is very relevant to the headaches, is because I can no longer remember the details.
Not of our date.
Not of the sequence, the order of things.
May to August is one haze, starting at the point when flirting entered our friendship and ending that afternoon in the hotel, when I “just couldn’t”.
And the weeks of anxiety attacks that followed.
The total despair of knowing I’m just so messed up, and meanwhile he is normal. He’s doing alright. He has a great job, a woman he loves. 
I think they want children.

And here I am, alone, phobic, and Oh! I forgot; The psychological help is off the table too.

Just like in 1989, they could not help me.
A phobia for aids that ruins your sex life doesn’t exist any more today, than it did in the 80s.

Bear responded so sweet. 
There we were. Almost as if it was the first time we met “as adults”, if that makes sense. We were in a hotel room, not a student dorm.
He was taken, and no longer the guy who no one quite knew what he was up to.
And I was there as a secret mistress.
Or I would have been, if I had been successful.

I lay on the bed in my bra and my jeans.
He sat in the window sill, also wearing jeans. Bare feet, bare chest.
He was smoking a cigarette and blew his smoke out the window, because he knew I was trying to quit. 
He was entirely at ease being exactly where he was, one hand on his strong thigh, his elbow bent outwards.
He smiled at me.
And blinked his eyes at me; A reassuring gesture I only know from my cats.

Nothing had happened, and yet everything had changed.
My phobia had returned.
I got migraines.
And Bear was no longer my lover.

I have lost a lot more than six weeks.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living


When your fears subside and shadows still remain | 1995-1996 diary
is the second chapter to
1995-1996 diary 
.
.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The Queen of Stinson Beach

Basic Instinct: on the road from Stinson to San Francisco

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

Dear Sara,
.
First of all;
This post could have, and probably should have, had the title:
“10 Steps That Made Me A 7-Figure Rock Star.”
If you see which previously used addition to that title I left out, I m giving you extra bonus points.
As if you needed any, after responding to my ten minute story about being obsessed with the not-known-by-anyone town of Stinson on our last call, with:
“I know Stinson – ”
And giving me your personal memories of it!
..
But in my enthusiasm to turn this into a game with extra points, I’m getting ahead of myself!

So, back to where we left off during our last call;
I’ve since replaced the cover photo of my Twitter and Facebook, to the Stinson shoreline. A photo tied to the movie Basic Instinct, and one I will never be allowed to use as the cover for my book
C.
Stories about cinema, Covid and Catherine Tramell

In my last email I was talking about “C.” as just being my 2020 (Covid) diary. But shortly before our call, or on the call, I realized the “C.” – which already stood for Catherine Tramell and Covid – could also stand for “Cinema”.

Immediately giving the book a wider perspective from a diary of this Covid year, to a collection of stories about Covid and about Catherine Tramell, such as these letters to you and all the other posts I ve written about Catherine Tramell and Basic Instinct in the past.

And finally C, standing for cinema, would include stories inspired by movies I saw.
I think I have up to twenty posts, all “Metas” to movies in one way or another.
Out of the top of my head, I remember writing many of them about Star Wars The Last Jedi, a few on the movie Mother, but also on Words of Love, the documentary on Leonard Cohen and Bohemian Rhapsody, which I saw 15 times total.

Turning “C.” from a diary into a collection of stories, was actually so freeing that it has made me determined to do all books like that.
Leave the idea of publishing my blog posts in the diary format, but curate them around certain topics.
If, in the end, I find that I also have a diary I want to publish, for instance my 1994-1995 project, I can still do that.
But the idea of first focusing on smaller complete series, such as “The Mistress Speaks”, or collection of stories around a topic, makes the task at hand so much lighter.

I m still committed to publishing all my new books in the remainder of 2020.
Despite….

The headaches! 
..
As I m typing this, Saturday afternoon,  I ve only just recovered from headaches.
And according to this new 10 Step schedule I should be taking it easy, and do my yoga and journaling before I dive into the writing.
But I’m just way too excited to not immediately jump into it!

And I mean- what if the headache returns, and I have not written you before our call?
So although I believe there is purpose and point in following the 10 steps, in the right order;
Let’s not overestimate my ability to follow them.
.
The reason I didn’t title this post “10 Steps that made me a 7-Figure Rock Star”, is because it would be way too self-helpy, click baity and then the post being too wordy to satisfy the hungry visitor.
Best to give it a neutral title;
Stinson Beach.
The two other titles I considered before settling for “Stinson Beach” were:
“The little fellas with the knitting pins who stick them in my head, are back”
But I didn’t want to acknowledge my headaches, to the extend that I was now either suffering from them OR writing about them!
Don’t want to encourage those little fellas.
..
And the other title I considered was; “Straight Outta Stinson”.
Which I REALLY liked, but since I never watched the documentary Straight Outta Compton, nor ever listened  to NWA, I found that title too was too click baity too and not be delivering content for someone coming in from that angle.
..
I just looked it up and in 2010 Stinson Beach had a population of 632.
It’s a quiet town and the only things ominous about it are the always present fog over the sea, and the great white sharks who have gotten the town into “The Red Triangle”;

And area with a high number of shark attacks.
Stinson is as far from LA rap music and culture as you could possibly get.
..
So the title became plain and simple;
Stinson Beach. 
The small town that you knew from personal experience, and that I had turned into my newest special interest. Me; A woman from The Netherlands, who has never been to California or even in the entire West of the US ever!
..
Because of the headaches I have not written anything, since my last letter to you. And I ve also not watched movies, nor listened to music.
I have been doing a training from Katrina Ruth “Identity”, plus doing her longer free training videos on YouTube, which she uploaded from 2016 tot the beginning of this year;
But even they are just too potent!
I have them (taking her training) on my 10 Steps schedule, but they’re in the final lap. They’re for when I feel really strong, and I can let her powerful message fuel me without breaking into bits.
As I have been suffering from lately.
..
Now just to be clear: I did not get headaches from watching Katrina Ruth, although I am aware it can seem that way.
I got headaches from my request for psychological help backfiring, a situation about which I probably should have filed a complaint with healthcare inspection but I didn’t want to invest anymore time in it.
And after this had settled, a doctor who also works at my GP office contacted me with new addresses to getting help.

Something I declined but it did result in more stress.
..
And we also had another Covid related press conference, which was from all the press conferences the most inconsistent one of all.
This time they had an entire schedule which they called a “Covid road map” which turned out to be neither a road map (it did not get you to where you wanted to go) nor was it a consistent schedule with regard to which measures would au-to-ma-ti-cally (I presumed!) follow a certain level of having Covid in our communities.
..
Also;
The road map was regional.
Yet it was presented on the day we had national measures being taken.

National measures which were not even on the road map.
In case you’re wondering “Isn’t The Netherlands too small for a regional road map?”
Yes.
It’s bollocks.
This road map will never be used because as soon as there is any trouble, national measures will be taken.
..
However in theory you could use a regional road map for national Covid measures if you would said f.e. ;
“We’re setting the entire country on level 3. This means that all measures for level 3 will now be applicable for the whole nation.”
..
I really thought – and I can only say I was so naive here;
I thought that – and I had actually already printed it, because I was convinced it could not mean anything else!
I was convinced I would ONLY need this new road map from now on.
Level 3?
* looks at the road map *
* sees column with measures level 3*

Got it! 
..
When in reality, we got national measures, with a name (“partial lockdown”) that was not referring to a certain level nor name used on the card. 
And the new set of measures were not found in one column but either not mentioned on the map, or scattered throughout like confetti.
..
A cluster fuck Sara, that’s what it was.
.
JUST when I thought I could finally let out a sigh of relief, that they had bettered their ways and had something which would free us from constantly having to tune in to all the changes.
Yet no one seemed to mention, seemed to care, and an entire parliamentary debate went by without someone roasting it.
.
I hate roasts done for fun. But for this ill-equipped road map plan I think a proper roast was the only appropriate response.
..
Oh!
And one of the things they will very soon find out, is that if they indeed intend to use our emergency Covid legislation in order to make non-medical mouth masks mandatory?
Dutch legal experts will have them raw.
.
Because this law states that citizens can be forced to wear;
“Personal protection”
Covering your mouth with “something”? Is not personal protection!
A condom, is personal protection.
A real medical mask, is personal protection.
Non-medical masks offer at best some protection for other people, and they appear courteous.
..
The emergency Covid legislation should have stated that the government can make people comply with symbolic measures, that might be ineffective or even counter effective “but that most people get a safe feeling from”.
In that case, they would be able to get the mandatory mouth masks through in 10 minutes.
But based on personal protection?

They’ll have them raw, Sara.
.
And although I’m all pro-etiquette and don’t mind wearing a face mask at all, I look forward to the legal massacre this mouth mask legislation is going to be.
I give Dutch politicians heading for mandatory mouth masks, the survival chance of a surfer with an open wound on his leg, peddling his board in The Red Triangle of Stinson Beach.
I read they pulled one out who needed 600 stitches.
.
So after my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday being lost to seeing my personal chances of getting the correct psychological help evaporate (after my medical data were leaked – It was a minefield!) and lost them to getting worked up about the inconsistency of Dutch Covid regulation;
My Thursday had a high pulling myself up by the bootstraps level!
.
I called it my day of Rebirth, and I was determined to never let myself be pulled into the shark infested waters of getting psychological help.
Nor was I ever going to invest in understanding which contradictory, bullocks plan our government was selling this time.
Not even when it seemed like a good and sound plan, because the disappointment that it was yet another road map to absolutely nowhere, made it all the more painful.
..
And it worked.
Thursday was A Milestone Day! 

By the time it had finished I felt really good, and I had made some really big improvements to my house. 
Most notably I now have a cosy yoga corner in the warmest room of the house, my study.
Now that it’s winter the living is always a bit colder, and sometimes the cats want the balcony door open, so this is much better.
.
And then Friday came.
.
Now, throughout the entire week I had been taking Katrina Ruth training, and on most days it was the only thing I felt really confident over.

In the midst of all the craziness, focusing on personal development and what I want for my art and my life, were the moments I felt Life mattered and that it was more than being played by medical professionals and our government.
But even Thursday, I could already sense studying Katrina Ruth was starting to take up too much time in the morning – often up to two hours for one 45 minute video.
And that it didn’t result in me writing, nor publishing my books – which was going to be my main goal for 2020.

Thursday was my “regroup” day, so to speak.
I could count that as being “lost”, to needing recovery time for all the anger and frustration I had felt at the beginning of the week.
….
But Friday was the first day I could have done something “real”.
Maybe that is why on Friday I noticed it more, how intense studying Katrina Ruth was. And when I developed a headache and ultimately had to go to bed to recover, I knew I needed more of a plan to my life than “refrain from news” and “don’t talk to doctors”.
..
Which is when I developed the 10 Steps that are going to make me a 7-Figure Rock Star – period!
LOL
The missing word was “writer”.
But you knew that right?
..
I used to see myself, or maybe “seeing myself” was not the right word, but the closest definition of myself and what it is I do, is “Writer”.
Hence:
7 Figure Rock Star Writer.
..
But from taking all the Katrina Ruth training – and I don’t even remember when it clicked exactly – but from studying with her, I knew I had to ditch the “writer” part.
For many reasons.
(oh, and I cried, it was an emotional moment when in my head, I crossed out writer, and became a Rock Star)
..
The first reason I crossed out writer is because when Covid is over, I want to spend as little time writing or behind my desk as possible.
I’ve made jokes I do not want to spend even one night in my own bed!
lol
Wouldn’t that be something.
Either way, being known as “a writer” is setting myself up for doing something I no longer want to do.
..
Secondly because I feel yoga is such an integral part of who I am.
I don’t feel I am a yoga teacher in the traditional sense, anymore. But months ago, I already had a calling. Just like Joan of Arc that kind of level:
“Yoga is my art”
..
Since then I still have no idea how this would be possible, but I know this is true.
Yoga, not writing, is my art.
But Rock Star Yoga Teacher also didn’t had the right ring to it, but neither did Rock Star Writer, since there was too much yoga “in me”.
..
Thirdly, and this is the thing we had a lot of fun with in our last call, was that I feel that since Jon Bon Jovi has basically stepped down from the stage, and sees himself more as a writer, a singer songwriter, a recording artist, and only as a touring musician/ performer last;
I feel there’s a Rock Star vacancy.
There’s no one guarding the stage.
..
He didn’t leave the stage in so many words, but if he is vocal about seeing himself as a writer, and applauded by critics for having delivered such a timely, and relevant singer/songwriter album?
That stage is free.
I know because I was a writer for fourteen years, and that is not the stage.
I feel 2020, with him becoming a writer and me publishing all my books before the end of the year so that I am free to perform and take the stage;
There is an energy of roles being reversed, or switched.
..
Because that was the second “calling” I got: 
I know I am a performer.
The whole list of incomprehensible “calls” is:
1. Get in front of as many people as possible
2. Yoga is my art
3. Album, tour. Album, tour.
This is ALL I have to go by.
And I understand some of them a little bit, and none of them fully.
..
Three incomprehensible clues about a life that I do not know yet.
And writing not being a visible part of it, as being either 1, nor 2, nor 3.
Writing is “not on the map”.
..
* silence * 
..
* hears penny drop *
..
That’s when I suddenly knew what my plan was going to be! 
..
First of all, I was going to drop the title “writer”.
I no longer feel that emotion, but I know I got emotional when I saw I was ready to go next level, and to no longer “be” a writer.
And it was my real name.
This is my pseudonym blog, but my future as a non-writing Rock Star is under my real name.
..

And the second insight, which was not emotional at all, was that I was going to write out a road map to become a 7-Figure Rock Star.
My new identity, without “writer”.

And after being so angry over all the mistakes our government had made in drawing up their Covid road map, I knew exactly what a GOOD road map looked like!

* fast forward one day *

It’s Sunday night now.
The day I would have finished this blog post, and the moment I would have shared my 10 step system.
So here we are, one day after I logged off because I had been writing for 5 hours straight.
And feeling like a totally new person.
Yesterday, I was so happy I finally knew how to regulate my emotions.
By limiting my time online.
By not writing before I had done my journaling.
By not studying Kat before I had done everything else. 
..
And by putting sex and men at number 10 – yes, they were at ten on my list!
..
And yet by the time I went to bed?
I had broken ALL the rules.
Written you.

Not done yoga.
Binged on Kat.
And met a man.
And yet I did not have a headache, and I felt better than I had in weeks! 
..
I couldn’t sleep, I was definitely overstimulated. Because I had met someone online, who I know NOTHING about. Technically I don’t even know if it is a “he”.
And yet….
I do.
..
It’s a “he”.
A him.
I don’t know his age, but I know a few of his friends (maybe that’s why I know he’s male too) and they are way younger than I am.
So that’s why I think he’s younger.
..
It’s so strange because this is the first time I meet someone in a “setting” that is mysterious; 
We know very little about each other.
Just a common interest, or experience, that connects us.

But like I said, there seems to be something else…
..
And meeting this man changed EVERYTHING.
..
The entire 10 step plan that was going to ensure that I didn’t get all stressed out by men and stress, pretty much received its death verdict, when this man, in one of our first moments of conversations, made a bold move;
At EXACTLY the right time, Sara!
..
It bore the markings of a chess player, knowing exactly what he did.
Deliberately moving the horse towards the Queen.
..
Would The Queen move to the back of the board, to the sides,
or would she move towards him?
Every move would tell him something about her.
..
I now know the title of this blog post:
Not “Stinson Beach”.
It will be “The Queen of Stinson Beach”.
..
And I’m betting my Bon Jovi collection, he’ll “get” that.
..
Was it a coincidence?
That on the Saturday night I wrote for 5 hours straight, determined to finish this post today and describe my list with 10 points;
That EXACTLY on that night, things picked up between a stranger and me?
Someone I have never met before?
..
But someone who does, what no one before, during or after my lover had been able to do.
..
Play...
..
Have I ever told you why I knew that in 1992, Sharon Stone knew the essence of the movie Basic Instinct, where all the other people insisted on having a simplistic view of “her” character being a killer?
.
The interviewer asked her what the movie was about and she answered:

“It is a love story.”

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Update on Monday morning

I feel absolutely horrific, which I find both disheartening and totally fascinating at the same time.
My “body”, or mind since physically nothing is wrong with me, has responded to my emotional bender, as if I had a real life (sexual) encounter!

So for today, my 10 step plan, seems like a good idea after all! 

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Luv Can. How one new Bon Jovi record just saved me, 2020, and my entire legacy


The track Luv Can was pulled from Bon Jovi’s album 2020,
and only released as a bonus track in Japan.

.

I have no doubts I will have turned into Catherine Tramell, by the time this is over. 

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

Dear Sara,
.
They say it is darkest before the dawn, so September will be that;
My dark before the dawn.
The big breakthrough.
The moment you know that despite Twenty Twenty suffering from covidus interruptus, taking seven months down;
“On the dawn of the eighth month, look West!”
To New Jersey.
.
On October 2nd, almost 7 months to the day after the first Covid regulations in The Netherlands, Bon Jovi released their album 2020.
Yet I find myself listening to the version they had planned for March, more than to the finite album they released which included songs about the pandemic and Black Lives Matter.

But then again, I’ve always had a neck for returning to the past at will, far more than a willingness to deal with the present.
.
But in its own miraculous way, which I m not even sure if I can join the dots to paint a picture how it all fit together, the release of the album and the promotion for the release, did what so far nothing else could:
It saved my year.
It saved me.
And it brought me back to the now.
.
To start with the last part: Summer 2019 I started a performance project where I wrote from 1994.
Although there were many ups and down, and I proved to be rather bad at living in the past, I was persistent and reset my project time and time again.
This blog has been “curated by Suzanne” for months now, and I also signed my blogs (with the exception of the occasional story Lauren wrote from 1995, as it now was) as:
Suzanne/Lauren
I didn’t write in 2020 as or under the name LS Harteveld.
And for good reason.
..
Lauren/ LS Harteveld stands for daring work, and includes not so much free sex, but exciting sex.
Finding enticing things to write about.
In Covid times, which I anonymously referred to as “C.” the first couple of months, there is not much boundaries to push, when even a handshake is criminal.
It’s just not my world.
.
When Covid came, I was even more determined to bury myself in the 90s, and not pay attention in the now.
But I had not foreseen that with social distancing and the impossibility for sex in 2020, I didn’t have much to do and to discover as 23 year old me in 1995.
Since those rules or limitations cannot be bypassed.

I did adjust the story, and gave Lauren95 a relapse to her aids/hiv phobia, which would explain for her not having a sex life in my book, but it didn’t quite sit well.
.
I had not set up this entire project, to live in celibacy in a lonely 1995.
It’s a bit like going skiing and then there is no snow;
Even if you do manage to have a fun holiday, it’s not why you came.
The project had failed.
.
I am now back in the now, current day.
This site will no longer be curated by Suzanne, it will “just” be Lauren. And everything I wrote the past half year, struggling with my identity, Covid, and the failure of my time travel project, will be turned into a diary/ book called:
C. 
My diary of 2020.
.
C. will be one of the many books I have decided to publish, very fast.
Like I said: I have lost this year, there’s no two ways about it.
But it is not too late;
I’m going to make 2020 the year I publish all my unpublished work.
.
And I have a very good reason to do so: I can make the date on the first page 2020, or 2021. The first being far more badass and epic!
I have no idea how many books I could theoretically create, but I am going to “squeeze”, or cut, until there are “only” ten.
I love that number.
In 2017, I published 10 as well. 
.
It was because of the Bon Jovi album being called 2020, and how it changed from the initial version that was going to be released in March, to a new version in October, that made me super reflective on this year.
I think that’s what brought out my determination to make 2020 work after all.
.
Another trigger to get my act together was that from the little promotional interviews that I actually read, I got that Jon Bon Jovi currently prioritizes song writing, then recording, and only after that touring.
And I thought:
“Dang! If even the best performers are no longer performing, it’s time to step up my game!”
.
The way I see it, this public performance would not be as LS Harteveld.
The past couple of years it has been really clear to me that LS Harteveld is a writing-only account. That my work here (under pseudonym) is so deeply personal, I really don’t see myself talking about its content.
.
But under my real name, I was not really “in touch” with what I came here to do. With what I wanted to be.
I didn’t have those vulnerable books there, and yet I still felt unsure.
But now that I see even Jon Bon Jovi being so serious and weighed down by the reality of day to day life and the Covid crisis, I feel there is a story that needs to be told.
That everything I have been studying and developing with regard to raising you energy, your excitement, your power if you will;
Is especially relevant, in a society bouncing back from Covid.
.
My bookkeeper once told me a story that in the Netherlands we have three types developmental work: social work where you bring people from a subpar level to a standard level where they have food, housing, education and so on.
You have work in order to keep them at that level, for example health services or sponsoring exercise and dieting. Everything that prevents people from dropping back to subpar level.
And then you have work where you elevate people from the standard level to a higher level of self-actualization.
In my opinion Bon Jovi used to inspire the whole range of them; He would take Tommy and Gina by the hand at the lowest level, but he would motivate them to go all the way up!
Probably by releasing a new album at exactly the time they were starting to slide down a bit, and Bam! There was the new album!
And up they went.
.
And I feel this new Bon Jovi – the record was already socially conscious before it was 2020, or before Covid – is concentrating on the lowest ranks.
To the one who need it most, that’s for sure.
But the higher ranks, how you go from good to great?
I will never be Jon Bon Jovi, and no doubt my message will speak to entirely different audience, but it was that part where I saw this sudden vacancy, that inspired me to like I said step up my game and get serious.
This will be under my real name.
.
So by publishing all my LS Harteveld work in 2020, and after this pseudo-retirement of my pseudonym and becoming very minimalist with my writing here (my first thought: only when I m having sex again!), I will have freed up my schedule and my attention to go all-in under my real name, as a speaker about all those things.
And as a yoga teacher who speaks about all those things.
As someone who can be an example of how you can free your mind in a way that you can go from good to great.
.
I have used a picture of Catherine Tramell for this blog. 
She, the fictional character from Basic Instinct (1992) is still for me the most important role model in becoming a writer.
“She” also wrote under a pen-name, Catherine Woolf.
The only thing I have not established yet, is “feeling” that identity, or any other identity, under my real name.
Maybe because I don’t see myself as a writer there.
.
The real me, that I look forward to exploring and expanding as of January, is still fairly neutral. 
And suffering a bit, under Covid and the stress of where will it all go.
The responsibility of making her life matter.
I think the Me under my real name is trying, but heartbroken.
She appears stable and strong, but she herself knows how brittle it is.
How much pain there is underneath.
.
Just like Jon Bon Jovi.

.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The Rise of Catherine Tramell


video: One of my favorite scenes from Basic instinct.
It shows how much Catherine and Nick are at ease with each other.

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

This post contains spoilers for Basic Instinct (1992)
You can watch the movie on Netflix.
.
Dear Sara,
.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
The flesh is weaker than the conscious mind.

Where flesh stands for still following the news day after day, despite making daily resolutions to stop following the news entirely.
.
And where flesh stands for writing an entire blogpost – twice!- about my real thoughts on Covid.
.
But before I get to the tricky part, of writing about Covid without creating things I delete, I want to first get back to the part where I changed my mind.
After my last letter to you.
My intention was to stop living so hermit-like, and go out more.
Take more risks.
.
I was so sick of staying within my (social) boundaries, and could not stand the thought of living in fear of well “people” I think.
Not fear of the virus, just to be clear.
.
I knew this “daring” new lifestyle would probably cost me my productivity. That I would be so out of whack every time I had seen a friend who had a cold, or had been in a car with someone who then got tested the week after and so on;
And yet, it was worth it.
Then fuck being productive.
Or so I thought.
.
But reality was a lot more stubborn than just a rational decision to stop being such a pussy, and rock that social life.
Time and time again I was caught off-guard, and I think I now know why;
Because you know what, Sara?
Most people SAY they live according to Covid regulations.
AND THEN THEY DON’T.
.
So this is what the world looks like to me Sara:
FIRST , “they”, society, science, all the scared people, all the dutiful entrepreneurs and organisations, all the healthcare professionals who had to deal with so much death and so on-
They tell me Covid is a real threat and that therefor there are these rules in place.
THEN, “they”, society, science, all the scared people, all the dutiful entrepreneurs and organisations, all the healthcare professionals who had to deal with so much death and so on – 
do not obey their own rules.
AND! 
The other half of society, alternative news channels, and people who are less scared, the entrepreneurs and organisations who are less dutiful and everyone else who did not have to deal with all the deaths and sick people, also don’t obey them because they don’t believe it’s a real threat.
.
In other words:
I m living in a world where from the people who have not stayed indoors for 6 months;
No one obeys the rules.
Half of them despite endorsing them.
.
They go out coughing, share hand towels, equipment, food, elevators, cars.
They do not keep a 1,5 meter distance, or meet indoors without having any reason to believe the place has some kind of premium ventilation technique.
.
And yet at the same time, with half of them, it is NOT because they do not endorse the rules;
But it is because unlike me, they never had to internalize what hygiene is, because they were never aids phobic.
.
My estimate is that unless you’re a surgeon, you’re not going to understand surface and air contamination.
Because if you did, you would immediately see that the preventative measures may be more than a drop in the ocean;
But they’re far from safe or sterile circumstances that will prevent you from getting anything.
And that is IF you obey the rules.
Which like I said: I have (hardly) seen anyone doing, not consistently at least.
.
So here I was, for the past 6 months, in a world where half of the population endorse the rules and don’t diligently follow them, and the other half who do not endorse the rules and also don’t follow them.
And yet I have been feeling like the villain for concluding that apparently the rules only have the function of giving the impression that “something is being done”.
They should make people FEEL safe, when even if the rules would be executed perfectly, they are far from safe.

As the surgeon and the woman recovering from an aids phobia would have been able to tell you.
..
Yet this whole “playing by the rules” act has been my MO for the past 6 months, and I was like: “Whatever. I’ll sit this one out, and I ll cope.”
But at the back of my head, still, there was this voice that it wasn’t about following the rules;
It was about not catching or spreading Covid.
Which if it is as contagious as they say it is, means you cannot do anything where you touch the same surface as someone else, nor go indoors anywhere.
A situation that was only facilitated during the lock down, although our stores stayed open.
For the past 6 months I have not been stressed out by the rules, but by knowing that the rules are not enough to keep it from spreading.
As long as the supermarket, the plane or the movie theater are not clean enough to have an open heart surgery, you can still catch Covid there.
That’s how I see it. 
.
In the first months I felt angry, but eventually it died out.
And I became apathetic.
I was checking the news sites (sinning) but basically all I did was checking if there were any signs of land.

If there was hope.
And the reason it was so bad for my mental health was because I realized this would stay until at least mid 2021 if not longer.
.
I ve deleted another four paragraphs of medical information;
Suffice to say, I have not been able to combine my Covid related stress with giving myself nor my cats the right medical attention.
.
And it was something that was recently added onto that “I ll sit this one out” pile of delayed medical attention for my entire household (me and the kitties), combined with the six month emotional roller coaster of reading dreadful Covid related news, and being freaked out by many social interactions, that sparked a new thought;
“What if it never goes away?”
.
What if the conditions that are causing so much anxiety in my social life, and that have made me decide to avoid medical care, are permanent?
What if social distancing stays indefinitely?
What if Covid testing is here to stay, like Chlamydia?

What if a cure for Covid doesn’t come until 2034 just like the one for aids/hiv didn’t come until 1994;
And there will never be a workable vaccine but only something like Prep, for those at risk of getting Covid?
.
Then what?
.
And everything fell into place.
.
It was the breakthrough I had been looking for.
.
Of course I wasn’t going to watch the news anymore, now that I realized that it may very well stay like this for the upcoming decade and a half.
Just like gay men in the 80s, we might be in for a very long haul.
.
For the first time in months, I immediately knew what to do.
.
I sent an email to my dentist and the VET, both explaining my issues with the current situation as well as asking or suggesting ways how we could pick up treatment (safely) for myself (dentist) and the cats (VET).
For now I will keep my ban on the GP and specialists, but I’ve more or less always had that.
Dental care and the VET are really the only forms of health care that are “aligned” for me.
It’s not that it’s going to be easy, or immediately solved or anything.
But I felt very empowered to pick those ones up, instead of postponing it to some unforeseen future.
.
And finally The Vision came, of who I am becoming.
And this was also something that had been dangling in and out of focus, for a very long time. It was as if I just couldn’t fully grasp it.
Or was afraid to leap.
Until now.
.
In the 1992 movie Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone plays Catherine Tramell.
And although right off the bat, I was totally into her, she also seems to be perpetually growing on me.
.
Catherine Tramell is not just the type of woman who I think I truly am, and the only writer I have ever really felt connected to;
She also embodies the “role” I feel I currently have, in society.
.
She’s the one who everybody believes to be evil, when she’s really not evil at all.
Just strong, misunderstood, and refusing to explain herself.
.
Identifying with her is my ticket “out of here”.
Where “here” is after six months of playing by the rules and missing out on all the fun. And health care.
Basic Instinct, as I see it now, contains an alternative story or theme, that was recognized by at least one other person at the time!
By Sharon Stone herself.
.
On the special edition dvd, she speaks favorably about her character Catherine Tramell, and the story of Basic Instinct.
Yet last week I heard her talking about her background research for Catherine Tramell (in interviews for Netflix series Ratched) and it was almost as if she looked back at Catherine Tramell as really having committed the murders.
As really being a serial killer.
I thought:
“She’s lost “her”! Even Sharon Stone no longer remembers who Catherine Tramell really was.”
.
Maybe I misunderstood the interview she gave last week or the interview on the 1992 recording.
But Sharon Stone seemed to no longer support a more
favorable version, which she offered in that interview from the early 90s.
That Basic Instinct was a love story.
..
And this is how I see that story:
Catherine Tramell and Nick Curran, were both fascinated by playing mental games.
I am reading the book for the first time, and Catherine is explained like this;
.
“Writing teaches you how to lie,” she said crisply.
Oh, Jeez, thought Gus, all the ice was thin around this woman.
Every word she uttered was loaded with some double meaning.
.
But what was too much for Gus, was exactly right for Nick Curran;
..
He was looking forward to see how much she could be pushed
–and how she would push back.
.
Nick and Catherine played together because no one else understood the game. 
.
Catherine was not violent, not in a physical sense. But she did have a fascination for people with a history of violence.
Like Nick.
.
An incident where he had shot two tourists when he had been undercover, had made Nick Curran emotionally wounded and reckless. He was always drawn to violent situations. As if he longed to be punished for what he had done.
For the mistakes he had made.
Or, as his partner Gus called it, Nick felt so guilty that he “tried to wiggle his way into an ice pick”.
.
So I do not see Catherine Tramell as a killer;
But she was surrounded by them.
She sought their company a
nd seemed to have given them ownership over who they were...
Roxy could accept she had killed her brothers.
Hazel Dobkins could accept she had killed her family.
Nick could accept he killed “those tourists”.
.
And all three did those things, long before they met Catherine.
.
Her presence, her willingness to look them in the eye and be able to be with them despite or maybe even because of what they had done;
It’s what drew them towards her, as if for one brief moment, they didn’t have to carry that burden alone. 
.
But Beth Garner, who studied at Berkley at the same time as Catherine did and who became San Francisco’s police psychologist?
She could not cope.
In all probability; Beth Garner was no killer, until she met Catherine and lost her sanity.
.
Yet Beth Garner was viewed as the “good” one.
In the final scenes of the movie, it is revealed that Beth was the killer, of
Johnny Bozz, and of detective Nilsen to whom she gave Nick’s psychiatric file;
She killed Gus, and in all likeliness also their mentor at Berkley and her own husband.
.
But because of one final shot, with an ice pick under Catherine and Nick’s bed, it is also ambiguous if all that was true.
.
To this day director Paul Verhoeven, and now apparently even Sharon Stone herself, claim it was Catherine Tramell, not Beth Garner, who killed Johnny Bozz, Nilsen and Gus.
And then Catherine would also have to be the one who killed the mentor, and Beth’s husband.
.
In my opinion: She wasn’t.
It really was Beth.
.
She got into a deep identity crisis from meeting Catherine Tramell and as a response to not being able to really connect with Catherine and feeling inferior to her, Beth “became” the evil she accused Tramell of.
But that was never there. 
.
In 1992, I didn’t know the two story lines, both that Beth did it and that Catherine did it, had both been fully developed.
So naturally, I thought if you would dissect the movie, or if I had paid more attention, I would have seen who had “really” done it.
I left the theater with the ending that Beth Garner had done all the killing, but nevertheless Catherine had an ice pick under the bed.
Which she ultimately did not use, she didn’t kill Nick. 
.
Frustrated, I asked my then boyfriend what that ending meant.
If Beth had done it, why did Catherine have an ice pick and had considered using it on Nick?
I will never forget what my boyfriend said, and especially now that I know the movie is so complicated, I think he gave the best explanation of the movie I have ever heard:
“Maybe she was so used to having the people around her being killed, that when the killer was caught she felt she had to do it herself.”
.
And that’s why I know, this crisis will never be over.
If the virus is gone (the killer is caught), we will be so used to having it around us, that we’ll either keep it around by our thoughts, refusing to let it go.
Or we’ll create a new enemy thought.
Ten days ago one of the major news sites had three articles on legionnaire’s disease;
Maybe that will be the new enemy if Covid is behind bars.
Maybe that will be the ice pick under our beds we’re tempted to use because we’re so used, and attached, to having death and mayhem around us.
.
The movie made me see that there is no right or wrong in this crisis.
There are multiple story lines which you can follow, and they’re all complete.
.
The whodunnit from Covid will, just like Basic Instinct, always be a matter of preference.
.
Do you want to believe the good doctor Beth Garner was set up by the femme fatale?
.
Or do you want to believe that the mysterious writer Catherine Tramell just decided to play along? 
.
“I don’t make the rules, Nick. I go with the flow.”
.
After six months of pretending to be a Beth Garner, I realize I chose the wrong part.
I m changing my position, and picking up the Catherine Tramell part, just like I have done for years.
My three websites, my three blogs of the past ten years, are filled with blogs just like this one. Where I realize there is a part of me that has only been represented by her.
A very big part.
.
But I think I knew even earlier. I think I chose right there in 1992, who I wanted to become, or perhaps had always been.
Her.
.
I don’t make the rules, Sara.
.
I go with the flow.
.
.

~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Curious to read what else I wrote about Catherine Tramell?
Most of it was on this site!
Just search on her name in the search box.

And next to that
there are two articles you can find using the search box of my oldest blog,

and I got one hit on my Dutch site.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

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

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

Covid’s polarising effect on Dutch society | The C Diaries episode 2

In the 90s aids and hiv education was done with a campaign of beautiful posters of people making love.
Among which this gay couple.
Translation text:
I have safe sex or no sex

This is my series about my Covid induced celibacy..

It must have been 2010, or later, because I heard it through social media and I didn’t have that until late 2010.
But that was the first time I heard there had been American homosexuals, who had refrained from sex until aids was no longer a death verdict.
I never heard of that, when I was still in my teens.
As far as I knew, I was the only one from my generation who had understood the consequences of becoming hiv positive:

Social isolation, and death.
.
All my peers didn’t bother until they had had unsafe sex, and then read a disturbing article in a magazine’s human interest section of someone our age who had unprotected heterosexual sex once or, alternatively, someone who started having unprotected sex in a normal “safe” relationship,
and were now HIV positive. 
That’s when they started looking back at the risk they had taken, and started worrying about their status.
.
They never had the vision of utter loneliness, despair, and an early death when they were on a holiday with other teenagers.
Nor when they had spent a few afternoons kissing instead of making homework, and things got a bit heated.
.
Meanwhile I, a 15 year old virgin girl, was staring straight into the abyss, wondering how it was possible others were having sex. Let alone unsafe sex.
If I had known there were people on the other side of the ocean who had seen the same abyss, and had decided against becoming sexual active, I would have felt better.
.
Knowing I had kindred spirits, would not have made me choose celibacy but I would have felt less ashamed of my extremely safe habit to only have steady long-term monogamous relationships and to use condoms throughout as well.
No unprotected oral sex either.
I knew unprotected oral sex was not a 100% safe, and it was one of the many frustrations I had with Dutch aids education.
That it made it look as if “safe sex” was a relatively minor intervention compared to unprotected sex. But they never talked of the consequences of oral sex with condoms or a dental dam if a guy had wanted to be safe licking me. That’s not a small measure.

It really changes your entire experience of sex, way more than the use of condoms for intercourse.
.
In 2006 I ended my habit of choosing safe relationships, and developed my sexuality and was motivated to take the bull by the horns.
Endure phobias if they came back.
Nothing was going to scare me back into a monogamous long-term relationship.
And it didn’t.
.
Until Covid came.
.
I ve been tempted to write this article in Dutch, and to make it more personal. How Dutch Covid education is triggering my social exclusion phobia because it has the exact same design as the 80s aids/hiv education.
And the response from the Dutch population, is also identical to the response to hiv/aids.
Which may have been why I felt uncomfortable writing it in Dutch:
It’s probably easier to write in English, and study it as a cultural phenomenon, rather than as a personal pain.
.
That the 80s response and today’s response are identical, both of the Dutch population as well as mine, shows how ingrained those responses are.
My response shows that I have not changed since the 80s, let lone “healed” from my social phobia.
In the 80s I started fearing other people because I was afraid that if I got aids I would be stigmatized, banned, not have a normal life. I would not be loved.
In 2020 I fear other people because I am afraid that if I test Covid positive I will be stigmatized, banned, not have a normal life. I will not be loved.
Hooray for 35 years of personal development.
.
So for better or for worse: I take full responsibility for not having grown significantly.
.
But only because I m now going to blatantly accuse Dutch society of not having changed one bit, let alone grown, since the 80s either.
.
You’re still making use of the same manipulative techniques as you did with aids/hiv. Meanwhile you’re also still the ones having the 2020 version of a teenage holiday, the 2020 version of a one-night-stand without a condom, and the 2020 version of kissing over homework which gradually developed into more and more did not mean condoms.
..
Our minister of Justice Grapperhaus who has been accusing everybody not committing to Covid regulations of being anti-social and who has financially ruined families having picknicks in parks with their grandparents with fines which were installed on his behalf, has been documented at his wedding, hugging, shaking hands, hanging out with limited distance.
And he didn’t have to resign, he can stay.
.
He was questioned, but he can stay.
.
I really wonder why I even bother to write this entire piece.
That example of hypocrisy alone illustrates Covid rules. Just like the aids/hiv warnings from the 80s, only apply to people who can be financially or socially bullied into following the rules.
And not for people who have money and display desirable Christian behavior.
.
Just like my peers felt safe having sex with a class mate after kissing over homework, Grapperhaus doesn’t have to comply to Covid rules when he gets married.
The aids stigma does not apply to heterosexual teenagers just like the social rules do not apply to Ministers of Justice.
Meanwhile I read of a NORMAL Dutch woman who felt like a leper because she is no longer invited to weddings because she had Covid.
She s just not invited anymore even though she is healed. That’s how the Covid stigma works for normal people, Mister Grapperhaus.
.
All in all I see three similarities in aids/hiv education in the Netherlands on one hand, and Covid policies on the other hand.
And all of them are specific to the Netherlands.
And all of them cause polarization, because they’re unfair. 
.
None of these rules have anything to do with whether you think the virus is real, whether you think the new vaccines will be safe, or whether you think the governments are doing their best or not.
.

1. To pretend there is such a thing as Safe, and that it is an INDIVIDUAL responsibility

.
Both in the 80s as well as now, it is implied that there is such a thing as safety. Hence the word “Safe” sex.
What that implies is:
“If you catch hiv, you did not have Safe sex. Dummie you!” 
.
I really wonder how in the actual fuck it is possible that my 90’s new age books could always count on a shit storm of criticism because they supposedly implied that cancer was preventable by positive thinking;
Yet we accepted sex education that laid the responsibility for catching hiv by the individual.
.
The same gaslighting technique is being used today:
We are made personally responsible for spreading the virus.
Just like with aids/hiv, it is presented as if there is a very easy, clear cut way to prevent catching Covid.
.
This simplification is damaging.
Just like good modern sex education speaks of “safeR” sex, Dutch government should stop saying things like:
“It’s up to us, if we’re going to get a second Covid wave!”
.
In 2016 Dutch aids foundation had a campaign that showed aids patients and then had confrontational text such as “I kill three times as many people as in 1990”.
This campaign was pulled back within 24 hours.
Not just because all data did not represent the Dutch situation, and should therefor never have been used in a Dutch campaign;
But mostly because it stigmatized hiv and aids patients.
.
Suggesting the Dutch have control over whether or not we’re going to have a second wave, is similar to making a poster with a face and the text:
“I am responsible for the second wave of Covid.”
.
It’s not just mental abuse because you’re accusing people of being mass murderers:
But just like the 2016 campaign of the Aids Foundation, it may very well not be true at all.
.

2. The Rules are Unclear

.
Dutch regulations are not strict and clear and therefor they leave a lot of room for interpretation.
This has the same devastating effect as families where the parents do not make clear which rules to obey, and get angry randomly, and in an abusive way:
“Didn’t I TELL YOU TO WATCH OUT FOR THAT??!!!”
.
That’s Dutch government.
.
First they give unclear rules, and then they get all high and mighty when too many people visit the beach.
Or when too few people get their snotty nose checked for Covid.
.
You know how the prime minister of Sint Martin ordered her people to go into a two week lock down?
She practically gave a shopping list on what you had to buy, because you would not be allowed out of the house for two weeks.
What she did was comparable to creating a very safe family:
She was very clear on the rules, and on the punishment you would get if you violated them.
.
In the Netherlands the rules are not very clear and they are always given in combination with a rationalization/validation of them.
For example:
You must social distance because of the spit/ drops in the air, which travel 1,5 meter at the most.
.
As understandable as that seems, the explanation of rules is what makes the Netherlands the most socially unsafe country on the planet.
Because you never know what counts more:
The rules, or the reason WHY it is a rule?
.
So if we see a video of an independent scientist explaining why the rule can never be effective, or is unnecessary;
Then does the rule still count
?
.
All the people who are opposing our government with proof of the virus not existing, of normalizing the virus, pointing out the dangers of new DNA changing vaccination techniques and so on, are arguing with the WHY of the rules.
This is why it would have been much better to choose for the Sint Martin approach: 
“Because I say so.”
It is much clearer if your prime minister says:
“Given the little we know about this virus, we have chosen these rules, which history will tell if they were the right ones.
But to avoid any confusion, we are going to implement them literally, no exceptions.”
For a two week lockdown, for example.
.
Compare it with using condoms for hiv/aids:
In America sex for heterosexual teens was a taboo, and it led to aids/hiv education being rounded off to:
“Don’t have sex.”
It’s not very subtle, but it is very clear.
.
In the Netherlands, because aids/hiv education for heterosexual teens was connected to WHY you had to practice safe sex, the teens forgot to use condoms unless they were about to have sex with a male homosexual heroin user.
.
Another example is, I once had two extremely demanding managers:
One wanted you to work really hard, and could be a bit of a bully if he thought you were not working your butt off.
And the other wanted you to go all in as well, but with her it was not as clear what it was she wanted from you.
The second one was much friendlier and softer, and yet it would have taken a lot more effort if you wanted her approval.
I never bothered with her, and focused on the first because although I didn’t like him nor agreed with him, at least his demands were clear.
.
Dutch regulations are like that second manager:
If you want to be approved by her, by society at large, you have to tune into a constantly changing mixture of demands and values.
I didn’t fall for it then, and I m not falling for it now.
.
.

 3. Health care providers are too caught up in their own fears

.
In the 90s I tried to get help for my aids phobia, only to meet a psychotherapist who was so triggered, probably because he had teenage daughters, that he agreed to treat me, yet at the same time couldn’t stop talking about that it was a good thing I was so careful not to contract it.
I did not know at the time, I was actually suffering from a social phobia and not a fear of germs or hypochondria, but either way I did understand this man would never be able to help me.
He would always need me to be safe, because that meant that maybe his daughters were safe.

.
This morning I was unhappily surprised I was billed for a consultation at the GP I never had.
They were suppose to call me back with regard to my returned social/aids/covid phobia, and they never did.
But they did not fail to bill me.
So I called them, and as it turned out, the question had been answered in written form. And not in a bad way, just that they forgot to call and tell me.
We made a new appointment, and yet half an hour later I called them back and canceled it.
I would cope with my issues myself, and never call them again with regard to these mental health complaints.
What happened?
Well, I had sensed part of them was happy that I was at least frightened enough to follow the safe rules. Just like the 90s psychotherapist.
.
Which brings me back to point one:
As long as we make the individual responsible for transmitting/spreading Covid, we are dehumanizing our society.
Every person then becomes a “1” if he or she is good, and behaves in a way that people believe to be safe.
And he or she becomes a “0” if he or she does not run to health care services to get tested if they have a snotty nose. Who keeps making love and having sex, the way they did before Covid.
Who says:
“I have a returning social phobia with regard to Covid, because after 6 months of being a “1” I need more from life than to just refrain from shit the entire fucking day in order to even be allowed to exist.”
.
Needing to be touched, needing to be loved, needing to get away from the constant gaslighting that is Dutch Covid protocol, is not a valid reason break protocol.
.
Getting married when you’re the minister of Justice is.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren living.

.

Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

.
coming soon: new books

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

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

Share Yourself With More People

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

Dear Sara,
.
I feel I lost the last two weeks.
As if there is absolutely nothing worthy of telling.
Despite the title, I definitely did not share myself, but I did have an extremely ugly backlash from this summer where I did try to share myself with more people.
.
It was an accumulation of things, and the short version is I tried to put my love life back together despite of Covid and yet sooner rather than later but more precisely the last two weeks;
It all fell to bits.
.
As sure as I had been that I WAS NOT going to let Covid rob me of my sex life, after phobic nights, the GP not calling me back, the psychotherapist not responding to my email, cancelling my work because I just felt like a Covid bio-hazard at that time;
And then slowly crawling back up, all the while thinking:
“Please Covid, take my sex life, but LEAVE ME (I may have added “the fuck” here) ALONE!”
.
As impossible as it had seemed to rule out sex, which had been my top priority for 14 years; That’s how unwise, disruptive and drama-filled physical contact had proven to be.
Either I was going to have a sex-life and spend the upcoming year either:
– working like a mad woman to make a “real relationship” work
or
– spend it trembling under a blanket from all the anxiety attacks my sex in Covid times was causing
The third option: Get professional help through a therapist, was no longer included after my attempts had not resulted in anything.
And instead I chose the new previously unthinkable option 3:
– get by without professional help, but cutting the biggest trigger, my sex life, out.
.
I also had to decide to keep doing things with other people, pick up my work (for third party/ on location), go to theaters and public places.
The fear that had been triggered by this summer’s attempt to regain my sex life, had immobilized me.
It was like a train that had the emergency stop pulled, and needed to be unlocked manually, wheel by wheel.
.
I made a resolution to do something social or public every day.
I
t had to be a deliberate choice to prioritize that, and to not give myself the option to back out.
.
Work wise it’s like I forgot the things I told you last time.
I said my work would be teaching/ writing about yoga, and making Bon Jovi videos and write about Bon Jovi, all under my real name.
I did start teaching a weekly Dutch yoga course! It’s a blog combined with videos. So that feels very satisfactory. 

But as a whole, writing as LS Harteveld did more or less hijack my working hours, and now I m two weeks further down the road, and I have to write you again, and I m thinking:
“If only I had remembered to implement what I wrote Sara two weeks ago, and only do the work under my real name during work hours;
I would not have lost those weeks.”
.
I m often disappointed at how much time I spend straying from the path only to come back exactly where I started.
And this time without the sex.
.
Okay, so that’s enough dwelling for one night. 
.
On the bright side, it does mean that until there is a vaccine, I have all the time in the world to focus on whatever I want. Without the distraction of sex.
I ve already aligned with Andy Warhol, who never had sex.
Lenny Kravitz, who was celibate for many years. I couldn’t find if or how that ended. 
And I am starting to see, it has the potential to do something extremely powerful for your art and your position in the world.
.
It’s an interesting concept that identifying with not having sex, is just as potent as identifying with having it.
Like I did for the past 14 years.
.
But seeing people in real life, or visiting public places and working and thereby complicating social and Covid related dynamics, are part of this new phase.
To avoid dropping back to my comfort zone, out of Covid fear, I need to keep seeing other people.
.
I may end up sharing myself with more people, than when I still had sex.
..
.

~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

If you’re interested in following my Bon Jovi related content under my real name, you’re invited to follow the following accounts:
YouTube
Rock Star Writer (blog)
Rock Star Writer Facebook
my personal Twitter under my real name

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

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

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

The Warhol Connection | The C Diaries episode 1

This is my series about being Covid induced celibacy.
.
This week I made the conscious choice, that I would not have sex anymore.
In all honesty?
I could have pulled it off if I wanted..
Of course I could have.
.
But because I m so frightened of catching anything, transmitting anything, but most of all frightened of having my entire social network round up by health services, I have to pick my battles.
.
The wisdom and experience of the first 6 months with Covid taught me I had 3 choices.
And these were or/or. Not and/and.

.
Option 1: The Eight

was to limit social interaction to about 8 people, whom I would speak mainly on walks.
Benefits:
– low stress levels
– low uncertainty
– high productivity
The main reason I did not choose this safe option, is I did that from March to June. In July, when I started to experiment with option 2, it was because I was at the point where The Eight just did not feel “right” anymore.
I was starting to feel like those families who live in their nuclear basements:
“You re safe, but what exactly is your life?” 
.

Option 2: The Sex Route

Option 2 was my favorite, where I focus on my sex life and let the rest fall into place.
The reason I did not choose this option, was because I didn’t enjoy the dynamics around it.
In one of my blog posts I lied, suggesting there was a “talking through” our safety measures and risk assessment.
This was not true.
I do know how to pick a guy, and create the right atmosphere where you are both VERY aware it’s dangerous and kind of let that work for you.
And so did they.
But in my perception, that (talking too explicitly about the dangers) would be a very common thing, a trap.
If I learned anything from my late hiv/aids phobia, it’s that there is no such thing as safe sex. Only safer.
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No, the reason I didn’t enjoy the dynamics was that I was very aware of the danger the entire time, and not in an erotic way.
I also didn’t like the two week purgatory, where the other person might contact you there are health problems.

I like my sex hot, and then to drop back to starting from courting.
Not two weeks of
lukewarm purgatory where you’re not in, but not off the hook either.
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This left me the third option: 
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Option 3: Focus on public life

Start going out alone.
I have hardly visited any venues, shops, cafes, bars, museums, nor worked on location, for 6 months.
However it was clear to me, I needed to be doing this alone and not with friends.
That would be too stressful, to have someone there with me. I realized this after a hurried escape today from a cafe today.
Being in a public space is so stressful, it’s almost unbearable, and the only reason I do it is to toughen myself up and because I don’t want to feel I did the Covid variation of staying in the nuclear bunker.
But because I would now no longer know my Covid status/risk, it did mean that I would not be expanding on social interactions with The Eight.

And I would go hard-core celibate.
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So today was the first day I went to a cafe since we had new regulations.
I survived.
But I left midway in my second coffee because the person at the table next to me coughed for the second time in ten minutes.

I lost the entire day recovering from that..
And seeing how badly I was responding, there were just so many plans I needed to cancel or change.
My months with The Eight had been poised, and my summer had been a disaster, but at least it was tied to specific things that happened. Making out and a bit more.
But with Option number 3, I could be exposed to what I thought were life threatening situations DAILY!
I could see a lot of plans falling apart. A lot of things I now knew I would not be able to do, if my stress levels were going to be at this level for the rest of the Covid crisis.

I almost felt as stressed out from that cafe than from sex in July and August.
But this time I pushed through.
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Going back into the mini-circle was just not going to be an option, for the upcoming year. Or for however long it’s going to take for society to change back to how it was.
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So although I did not change my mind today, with regard to celibacy, it was a straining day, and I needed to be inspired.
I remembered Warhol was celibate.
So was Lenny Kravitz for a long time by the way. That is inspiring too.
But I Googled Warhol, and found this:
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“Warhol used his celibacy as a way to set himself (emotionally and physically)
apart
from the Factory and society at large.
 
This lends a kind of power and control to what Warhol does.
He is free in his bachelorhood.
He is not constrained or weighed down by outside influences. “
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Celibacy is setting oneself emotionally and physically apart from society,
and power and control shall be theirs.
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Sounds like I made the right choice.
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Suzanne/ Lauren living.

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ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

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coming soon: new books

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

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