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Tag: mental health

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

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.

 

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.