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Hiatus How To: When, how & why to take a break from NSFW Twitter

(CW for discussion of mental health, depression, abuse, trauma, and anxiety.)

 

To go on hiatus is to take a break, or to pause something that has been ongoing.

The first time I went on hiatus in an online kink community, I had a full-on hot mess breakdown. I didn’t know what “hiatus” even meant. I was terrified it would be forever, and I didn’t even know how to reassure myself, let alone the people around me. It was 2016 and I was still new to size kink as a shared experience instead of a shameful secret. I’ve come a long way. I’ve made mistakes and learned a lot. That seems worth sharing.

What this won’t be:

This won’t be an official guide. It won’t be an argument for or against leaving a community temporarily or forever, because only you can know what you need. I won’t talk about what it’s like to go on hiatus when you depend on NSFW Twitter to make money from art, writing, or sex work, because I don’t have personal experience with that yet. (If anyone does, and wants to share some advice, I’ll gladly consider quoting you!)

I also won’t pretend to understand you, your situation, or how you feel about your body or mental health. Some of my advice will be a good fit for you, and some of it you can leave. I’m not a mental health professional, and strongly recommend you consider talking with a counselor or therapist if you even halfway think you might want to try that. (Jump to the end for a list of kink-friendly therapy databases where you can look for sliding-scale and low-cost options.)

What this will be:

Hopefully, this will be a useful collection of my thoughts on my own hiatus process that I’ve developed after years of trial and error and watching friends go through the same. Some come back to the community and some don’t. Some hiatuses are scary. Some are a huge relief.

I’m writing this to you, and to the person I was during my first panicked hiatus. And to the less-than-supportive friend I have been to others going on hiatus. I’ll draw from examples in the size kink / #SizeTwitter community, but I think much of this will be relevant to NSFW Twitter or other online kink spaces in general.

I’m writing to share some questions that you might not have considered, and to point you towards some resources, and to just show that it’s okay to need a break—even from something you love.

 

Topics I’ll cover

Embracing My Inner Size Slut

I wrote this while releasing my story “Woman, in Ecstasy,” and it was so fascinating to explore that I realized it needed its own space to grow.

(This blog post contains discussion of agency, bodily autonomy; nonconsensual themes in size play, hypnosis, mind control and bimbofication; mentions of trauma and resources for survivors of sexual assault.)

Why am I writing a story about a woman losing her agency? Why am I releasing it right now?

The short answer is that I began writing this back in April, and it’s done, and I want to share it.

The long answer? My body responds to fantasies about giving up control, especially when I’m stressed. I’m far from alone in this. Many people have fantasies about someone forcing them to do the sexy things they find most arousing. My first kink-informed therapist told me that she believed “it’s a way to give ourselves permission to explore pleasures that society tells us are taboo.”

For example, up until recently I was too ashamed of my bimbofication kink to speak openly about it or write stories featuring it as a topic. So much of my identity is wrapped up in being intelligent, competent, and a good communicator—both verbally and in writing. I was afraid what it said about me that sometimes I want to be a carefree, cheerfully vapid slut. Even though I know feminism is about having choices, part of me felt guilty for playing this way. Could I be a good feminist while still making this particular choice? (Yes.)

A fantasy where I become the carefree slut deliberately, on my own, is harder. It’s heavy lifting, mentally, emotionally, and it’s going to take more effort to wade through my discomfort with that taboo. On the flip side, a fantasy where someone takes that choice away from me and forces me to become that version of myself? It’s as easy as handing the keys to the designated driver. I can slide right into that mindset, I can skip the shame and the stress and feel like I have permission to accept all the pleasure.

In recent months, I’ve been stressing a lot about bodily autonomy. Sometimes we want to avoid stressful topics when we explore erotic things. Other times, it feels really good to use stressful topics in erotic ways, to process our feelings and reclaim a sense of agency.

True, it’s ironic I’m reaffirming my agency by writing a story eroticizing a loss of control and bodily autonomy… but it’s still my choice. I wrote this story on my terms, to explore these themes in ways that feel really good to me. (Literally, each time I had to make a decision about where to take the story, I chose the option that turned my body on the most.) I’m releasing the story now in the hopes that if someone else out there needs to process stress in this way too, it’s here.

On a personal level, I’m releasing it now because I genuinely need it now. I’ve been struggling with boundaries and giving myself permission to rest. It wasn’t until this week that I realized I wrote a story focusing on the fantasy of someone taking away my shaky boundaries and imposing new ones: permission to have sex and rest from my anxious thoughts. Even just typing that sentence makes me want to sigh with relief. Fuck, just take me now!

The more stressful my career has become, the deeper my burnout in the nonprofit field, the more power these mind control and bimbo fantasies hold for me. When a lot of heavy things are on my sexual brakes, it’s hard to feel sexy no matter how much I press that accelerator. I’ve discovered that when I try a mind control fantasy, that someone is forcing me to become aroused, it’s a fantastic workaround. Examples might be shrinking or growing potions with aphrodisia as a side effect, or a remote control with buttons to increase arousal. For me, for most of the time, it works like a charm. Instant slut! I can set the stress aside. (Oh honey, sex toys don’t worry about all those things. Let the big people handle that. You just focus on shrinking and being sexy, okay?)

I began experimenting with hypnosis as a kink to help myself sink into that slutty, happy bimbo mindset, to lay down my mental load, and to carve out a little breathing room of peaceful pleasure. It worked partly because I was giving up control to someone else: the hypnokink Domme, a partner I trust, or characters I imagined in my fantasies. Usually someone bigger.

Giant/tiny fantasies almost always have to address the topic of control. Many people are drawn to the idea of a larger person making the decisions and having the power to do whatever they want (it just so happens that in our fantasies the Giant can magically know every nuance of just how we like it). Tinies are often depicted as helpless and have their abilities and bodily autonomy challenged.

In consensual sizeplay fantasies, the topic of control is usually addressed by demonstrating trust, communication, and a caring relationship where the Giant could take full control, but chooses to share it with the tiny in some way. (Examples: a Giant asking the tiny what they want, or a Giant taking care of a tiny by forcing them to rest and snuggle with them, but who would stop if the tiny said no.) This is the ideal situation, it’s a good model for healthy relationships in general, and it’s what I practice in real life with my own partners.

In nonconsensual sizeplay fantasies, control is usually addressed by bullying, coercion, and denial of a person’s ability to make choices, sometimes through objectification (treating someone like a toy or pet… or a work of art). Dubcon (dubious consent) fantasies are a way to try and have it both ways, by stepping into the gray area of unclear communication, or a tiny who resists but seems to enjoy it, without ever clearly saying yes or no.

If you get turned on by these things too, and you also have had a crisis of identity, faith, or basic humanity about it… you’re not alone.

Some years ago I worked at a nonprofit helping survivors of abuse and sexual assault. I learned a great deal about the complexity of these issues and how to fight to build a culture of consent. I also learned a lot about myself. I had a crisis about what it meant that my body responded to nonconsensual erotic fantasies. Finding that kink-informed therapist made all the difference in the world.

I’ve written about this elsewhere, but it’s worth repeating what I learned from her:

Having fantasies where sex acts are forced on you or others does not mean you want to act on them in real life, or that you do not understand trauma or lack compassion for survivors of violence. It means your body responds to a fantasy, and you get to decide what you want to do with that information. We are not our thoughts, and we are not our fantasies. Some survivors find healing and liberation through exploration of noncon fantasies, and that’s okay. Some never want to interact with these themes again, and that’s okay too. As long as every real person involved in your fantasy play (such as you reading my story online) is a fully informed consenting adult, then the act you are participating in is inherently consensual.

A fantasy that I have for myself, or that I share with my consenting partner, is inherently consensual. That’s true even if the topic of the fantasy is pretending that I’m being forced against my will. If I fantasize that a Giant picks me up and shoves me in her panties without asking first, I am consenting to my own fantasy. If I explain my fantasy and ask my partner to roleplay that with me and they say yes, they are consenting to my fantasy. All the real people involved are able to say no and stop the fantasy at any point.

For the record. Beyond the realm of fantasy, I do not condone sex acts without consent. Erotic fantasy play between two individuals in reality in person and online should always include negotiation, fully informed consent, and protections such as content tags, safewords, aftercare, and emergency planning.

If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual harassment, trauma, abuse, or assault, I strongly suggest seeking advice and counseling from trained professionals. These are usually free and confidential. Some organizations that offer free resources are: RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) hotline at 800-656-HOPE; National Sexual Violence Resource Center to search for local help; Trans Lifeline Crisis Hotline by and for the transgender community at 877-565-8860; National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

We really need to take care of each other and ourselves right now. Be gentle with yourself. Set boundaries. Give yourself permission to “be lazy” if that’s what your brain and body need. Figure out how your body in particular asks you for different kinds of rest, like mental downtime or peace and quiet. Find ways to listen. If your brain and body don’t feel good about reading “Woman in Ecstasy” right now—if “all parts of yourself don’t consent to exploring this today” like my EMDR therapist would put it—then it’s okay to say no. You can come back later and see if your brain and body give you a different answer on a different day. It’s okay if it stays a no.

The most important thing is to listen to your body and decide what’s right for you. After all, no matter how much we fantasize otherwise, you’re the only one who can decide what’s right for you.

And, as always, my gratitude to everyone else out there living your best slutty kink lives. You have no idea how much you help other folks. Keep being yourselves.

Sexual Brakes, Trauma, & Kink in the Burning 20’s

 

Tl;Dr: It’s okay if your brain and body want sex when you are stressed. It’s okay if they want it less. Both are normal—even during a pandemic and an uprising. There’s science to prove it. Research also shows that big feelings (like fear of getting sick, or anger at injustice) can be processed and released before they do lasting harm to you or your life. I share excerpts from Emily Nagoski’s book Come As You Are and two others to show how we might be able to use kink to do the same thing. 

This article is around 9300 words. If you’re not interested in the neuroscience of sexual brakes and accelerators or why we don’t have sex drives, you can skip to “How to stop stopping: taking your foot (and everything else) off the brake” to learn about using emotions to release stress. If you’re very low on energy and just want help, go to “Completing the cycle while (ahem) laying in bed” for my recipe on how to use size kink to achieve that catharsis.

(Content tags: This article contains mentions of the pandemic, police brutality, racism, violence, murder, assault, AIDS, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and trauma responses. It also covers topics ranging from BDSM and impact play, to polyamory, to microphilia/macrophilia, and covers size dysmorphia and kink-related fantasies.)

I didn’t expect that it would take a pandemic and a racial justice uprising for me to finally sit down and write a review about a phenomenal book on sex research for my kink blog. Here’s the reason I hope you’ll read this. People are having huge emotional responses that they don’t have the space or tools to fully process; they are also judging others/feeling ashamed for not wanting sex right now, while others are having the same response to those who do want sex right now. Research shows sex desire can decrease for some and increase for others during times of great stress, and that both are normal and healthy. Sex-positive spaces like #SizeTwitter should make space for both responses, and might already be able to provide tools to help process big emotions.

Taking Up Space

Portrait of Elle Largesse by DTV_art
Portrait of Elle Largesse by the talented DTV_art, https://twitter.com/dtv_art

Last weekend I reached 700 followers as @mightytinygiant on Twitter, and have decided to celebrate by sharing two things that are important to me. After nearly half a year on hiatus to heal from depression, it’s good to be back. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received and the messages urging me to take care of myself. The writer is worth more than what they write.

The first thing I’m thrilled to share is this gorgeous portrait of me by the talented and friendly DTV_art. I have admired her work for years, since I first laid eyes on her Tumblr treasure trove of lovely queer Giantess girlfriends and sizeshifter boyfriends and so many gorgeous Giant/tiny moments. Trust me, she is so incredibly skilled and talented and awesome and her work is queer-friendly and romantic AF. I am humbled by the way she took my photograph and translated me into my most femme-tastic witchy woman sizeshifter self. As of this writing, she is still open for commissions!

The second celebratory tidbit I’m sharing with you lovely folks today is one of my favorite pieces of writing, first shared on Tumblr, January 12, 2016. I was struggling then with depression and size dysmorphia, just like I have been this year. I have made huge strides this summer with therapy—thank the Gods for sex-positive, kink-positive, polyam-friendly therapy—and for insurance to help me afford it. More people should have access to that kind of healing.

That support has given me the hope I needed to delve into my feelings about my body and my writing. I’ve been revisiting what I love most about what I’ve written. I’ve been working on befriending my body and accepting that the way she feels large or small may actually be healthy for me, even if it’s not a thing people commonly feel. Commissioning a portrait of myself as a new avatar is part of that work, and I’m grateful for DTV working with me to get it right.

It’s okay to feel small. It’s okay to feel large. It’s okay to take up whatever space you need to take up, in this world. I need this reminder now, as much as I ever have. Maybe you do, too.

 

TAKING UP SPACE

Sometimes when you grow, you’re scared of ruining your clothes or destroying your favorite pair of shoes. Sometimes you’re just scared of how they constrict you, how a necklace could choke you or a beloved coat could trap you like a straight-jacket. But not always.

Sometimes when you grow, shredding through your layers of fabric and fashion feels better than breaking a chain with your bare hands. You’re no longer made for the world of thrift shop jeans or business casual blouses. You can stop worrying if it looks wrong. It belongs to the person you used to be when you still apologized for taking up space.

Small wonder, then, when you stretch your shoulders just to feel the seams tear. When you breathe deeply so the hooks on your bra unbend themselves, unable to hold the glory of your breasts as they grow in size, weight, and consequence. You roll your hips and savor the shredding sound of that pencil skirt you used to love, which has been too small for far too long. It slips to the ground like a memory, followed quickly by the remains of your panties. The lace surrendered by unknitting itself. It wasn’t up to the task of containing the beauty of your other massive assets.

Tearing through the leather on your high heels seems almost obscene, but deep down you offer it like a sacrifice. Your bare feet fill the ground with presence. The crown of your head lifts above the crowd where you walked alone in your smallness.

You feel your own beauty as you never have before. With awe and gratitude and no regrets. You see the world differently and know yourself fully as you grow in all directions, pushing outward, but especially upward.

You have every right to stand tall no matter your size. Breathe deeply in the body that bears your heart, and never apologize again.

Size Dysmorphia: A Sizeshifter Origin Story

A small, pale human figure is shown reclining in a red and pink anatomical depiction of a heart. Veins, arteries, and capillaries twine around the tiny person's arms and legs like tree roots. Artwork credit to Shelia Liu.

Heart, by Shelia Liu[Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivatives 4.0 License.]

Content warnings: some NSFW artwork and language, discussion of body dysmorphic disorder, gender dysphoria, grief, gun violence, depression, neurodivergence, kink, microphilia, macrophilia, and shame

See my Size Dysmorphia / Size Euphoria page for a shorter introduction to these concepts and updated information after my 2021 diagnosis of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

 

Introduction: arguments with my body

It won’t surprise you that I’m sitting at a table in a chair with my feet on the ground, while my hands type comfortably on a laptop. You—and most of the people who know and love me—might be intrigued to know that my senses also tell me I can lift my hand and touch the ceiling with no trouble, because it’s dangerously close to brushing my head.

Would you like me to open the front door, fifteen feet away? It’s within easy reach. Or, at least, that’s the argument my body makes.

My senses agree I’m sitting at the table in the usual way, but they also feed me contradictory information about the walls seeming to close in around me, about how there’s no space for my knees and legs between the table and the wall, no way this chair should be able to support my weight, and no way that my fingers could possibly type on a laptop that feels like a toy for a doll.

If I close my eyes, the sensation intensifies and logic takes a backseat to a kinesthetic awareness of overwhelming size. Some days I feel overwhelming smallness instead, as if everything is huge and heavy and beyond my isolated reach.

Luckily for me, if I open my eyes again, I’m able to use the visual information to combat the strange, contradictory physical information. I concentrate on the evidence of my eyes and wage a war against my kinesthetic senses—the same kind of battle I’ve been fighting quietly since childhood.

In some circles, this experience is known as size dysmorphia: a sense that your body’s size feels larger or smaller than you know it to be.

I know that I stand five feet, two inches tall. I know that my body does not change in size. And yet, it’s as if some ancient part of my brain and body refuse to completely accept this data.

Sometimes it happens without warning, like a radio shifting channels and offering music and static from two different stations. Sometimes I go for days without noticing anything unusual, my broadcast uninterrupted on a steady playlist of “five-foot-two” with no interruptions.

When I feel a sizeshift coming on, sometimes I groan inwardly and grit my teeth. Other times, I try to induce the feeling myself, just for the sheer joy and arousal and exhilaration of it. Few sensations are as empowering as a sense that you stand twice as tall as everyone around you.

Until about three years ago, I refused to tell anyone.

I assumed I would take the secret to my grave.

 

ADULT CONTENT WARNING

This site includes content intended for adults only. Depending on your location, you must be at least 18 or 21 to enter. If you’re under 18 and are seeking sex positive resources, stop reading now and visit scarleteen.com.