Relationship Value Items
By Kendra Holliday | March 17, 2023
By Kendra Holliday | March 17, 2023
Below is a list of relationship value items. Which ones are important to you? Are you getting your emotional and physical needs met? What about your partner(s)?
Acts of service
Feeling heard. Do they listen? If they get distracted, do they follow up with what you were saying?
Willingness to compromise
Partner enjoys spending quality time with your loved ones/chosen family
Supporting each other’s personal growth/mission: reading what you write, listening to your music, your podcasts, supporting your continuing ed
Versatility within sex life
Sex with different people
By Kendra Holliday | March 15, 2023
THIS ARTICLE really inspired me. A therapist shared about how men try to be close with their partner through sex, and how being rejected, or even having to always initiate sex, can be so discouraging and disheartening.
Here’s the thing – someone up in the sky is playing a big joke on us, and they’re using our social construct and hormones as trickery!
Most men of all ages experience spontaneous desire – they wake up feeling horny and activated, and walk around all day seeing sexy things and feeling inspired. This is due to their higher testosterone level, and the fact that society paves the way for men to go after what they want.
Women, on the other hand, have responsive desire. They are trained to hold back, be demure, and once they are introduced to an erotic situation, then they start to feel aroused. Women also need to feel safe and comfortable in order to relax into full arousal.
Of course, these are gross generalizations and a very binary approach, but for the sake of concision, I’m not going to spend a lot of time qualifying language, but you get the gist.
Men are pretty much ready to rock much of the time, and women are more reticent. They need more stars to align for them to be open to sexy time.
So, what do we do about this? We make concerted efforts to shake things up!
First of all, we need to recognize that HORMONES ARE REAL. They influence our moods and health in ways we don’t realize.
Second, we need to change the social construct. It’s impossible to overhaul the entire system, but we as individuals can make a difference on a local level.
By Kendra Holliday | February 28, 2023
I’m 50 years old! Here is my life trajectory so far:
1973: I’m born in North Dakota. Brrrr!
1974: My family moves to Dallas, Texas.
1975: Who the hell knows.
1976: My brother is born.
1977: Um, Elvis dies?
1978: My sister is born. My brother throws up. I remember my first dream; I’m kidnapped by Captain Hook and held hostage with Raggedy Ann and Andy. He cuts off my foot and it looks like SpaghettiOs.
1979: My family moves to St. Louis.
1980: My baby brother is born, and dies two days later. My mom tries to kill herself several times, and when that fails, she burns his name into the back of her hand with a soldering iron. She is never the same again. A very dark time.
1981: Life still sucks. My mom is a complete wreck.
1982: My brother is born. My grandmother dies.
1983: I get molested by an older, adopted brother. It SUCKS. I get sent to therapy, and I don’t know why. I think I’m being punished. I am a victim.
1984: I have my first lesbian encounter. It’s hot and naughty. I’m 11.
1985: My baby sister is born. I drop her on her head, but don’t kill her. Skeptical about god’s involvement, I become an atheist.
1986: I hit puberty and middle school, and lose all my artistic talent and confidence. My family is poor white trash, and I am branded a zitty nerd. It sucks.
1987: My mom keeps getting crazier and crazier. It makes me crazy, and I attempt suicide. I spend time in three different mental hospitals. I lose my virginity to a 24 year old creep with a mustache because he keeps badgering me and I finally give in. It sucks.
1988: My moms tries to kill herself again. I put pressure on her slashed, gaping arms as my dad calls the ambulance. She gets hospitalized a lot, and OD’s, and gets shock treatment. I fuck around and feel very confused. It sucks.
By Kendra Holliday | January 21, 2023
I’ve had the book Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies on my shelf for a long time. It tempted me with its mysterious title and sexy cover (I LOVE oysters, and I LOVE my pearl, if you know what I mean).
Well, I finally dusted it off and read it, and it blew my mind, and I’ve been recommending it to people left and right ever since.
Here’s an intro concept from it that should provoke your thoughts:
“There’s a joke that says that when two people have sex, there are six people in bed: the two lovers and the parents of each of them.”
Is that creepy, true, or both? I hope you’re imagining group sex with your parents right now.
A sampling of the MANY interesting points brought up in this book:
– “Sexual excitement requires that we momentarily become selfish. There needs to be a tension between selfishness and caring, between using and pleasing your partner.”
Do you know what this means? Sometimes, when it comes to sex, you need to be ruthless. You need to let go and stop worrying so much about every little move and just focus on the pleasure. YOUR pleasure.
– The difference between guilt and shame: “Guilt involves beliefs that we are hurting others, while shame involves beliefs that we’re exposed and unworthy in the eyes of others.”
– “When people are aggressive or cruel in their sexual daydreams or practices, it is not because they are primarily sadistic but because they are trying to solve a problem.”
– Have you ever known a woman who is really bitchy toward her male partner? He’s such a nice guy, he tries so hard to cater to her wants and needs, yet she treats him like an annoying puppy? This book explains the reason behind that lopsided dynamic.
– Survivor guilt and unconscious parental jealousy is behind a lot of the issues we face with our parents. Have you ever wondered why someone would start drinking heavily when they became successful in their field? Or why some parents sabotage their kids and excessively criticize instead of support them in their endeavors? This book goes into the details behind those perplexing behaviors, and much more.
By Kendra Holliday | January 20, 2023
When I was 19, I was a stripper.
My job was to get really close to men and arouse them. Their job was not to touch my breasts or genital area.
I did my job well, but they often tried sneaking a feel of the forbidden areas.
Sometimes they touched and I was badly surprised, and other times I could see them creeping toward the breasts, and I would tense up and cringe and try and deflect their fingers.
For nine months, I had hundreds of men grab my breasts and tweak/pinch my nipples without my consent.
When I finally quit there, my breasts were so traumatized that they couldn’t be touched for three years. If they were, it felt like an electrical shock.
Over time, I got a little better, but my breasts were still very sensitive and had to be handled with utmost care.
Then, when I was 27, I gave birth and breastfed for a year. I was SOO dreading breastfeeding, but was determined to do it for a year. My breasts swelled from A’s to D’s – they were swollen and engorged, with blue veins like highways.
The first six weeks were hell – it hurt so bad. My nipples were raw, red, chafed. Then I started getting used to all the latching, and tugging and pressure, but then I got a series of breast infections – mastitis, thrush, then mastitis again. Red, plugged ducts, feverish, itching, sharp, needle-like pain…
My breasts got brutalized!
By Kendra Holliday | January 12, 2023
I’ve FINALLY figured out what makes female breasts/nipples so awed and feared!
You know I’ve been struggling with this Topless Inequality quandary for years – remember the Obscene Nipple Game?
A married man told me that seeing his wife’s breasts is always exciting – it never gets old. “Every time I see them, it’s like it’s the first time. It’s refreshing and invigorating.”
I notice with amusement how predictable my clients are – as soon as my bra comes off, they lean down and suck on each nipple, like an automatic, erotic handshake. They simply HAVE to touch and fondle them.
But then get this – the other day I had a date with my girlfriend, and when she took off her shirt, I was compelled to do the exact same thing! I just wanted to grab them! But I didn’t – I was a respectful lady. And that reaction is even with me having breasts myself!
Breasts are like warm, glowing light bulbs, and we are mere moths. Supposedly, moths are drawn to light because of some ancient connection to the moon, which is a feminine symbol.
Sooo here’s the deal – the reason female breasts and nipples are so awed and feared is because
That’s it. They are a source of creation and life-giving. They symbolize Mother Earth – they are the opposite of destruction. And while most people revere and respect life force and see it as a positive thing, some people find it overwhelming and confusing, which can be scary. The more we can be in touch with our feelings, the healthier we can process the mysterious world around us.
I breastfed my daughter for a year, and am so proud how I provided her only food source for months, and how she thrived and grew – it’s so magical and empowering!
In honor of this realization, I’m hosting a Topless Tarot event later this week, for women only. We’ll sit around in my warm and cozy fairy cottage and connect and bond over candlelight, cards, gems, and runes. We’ll be surrounded by breasts and loving female energy! Our cups runneth over!
I went back into my blog archives and pulled random breast photos – I just love them so much, and am happy to have them. I’m glad to share them with you, on my own terms. Thank you for your respectful worship and appreciation!
By Kendra Holliday | December 11, 2022
I’m going to preface this with the following disclaimer: I’m a witchy, woo woo, sex worker goddess, and this brain dump is going to sound crazy. I’m fine with that, as I fully embrace my hormonal mood swings and non-traditional way of thinking. I live in a society with lots of self-imposed cages, and my motto is “Think outside the cage.”
So, hear me out, let it all sink in, and let me know what you think!
Toxic masculinity goes hand in hand with white supremacy, and it’s making me sick. It’s making A LOT of us sick.
I’ve been diving deep into history, addiction, psychology, science, and more, and I’ve connected some dots.
Centuries ago, people from Europe set out and explored the world. They invaded many areas and took them over. They brought disease, death, and disruption to the people already living there.
They set up elaborate exports and imports of toxic trade – sugar, tobacco, alcohol, and slavery. They brought oppressive religions and destructive concepts that were deadly and divisive.
They declared that people, plants, animals, and places were all possessions. They put up fences, walls, and demanded territorialism.
They sought to control everything, and lived with a scarcity mindset. They instilled and lived in fear. They were hungry for power imbalance. They felt they were anointed by God, and thus justified in all their actions.
These things represent male energy: fire, cars, guns, alcohol, nicotine, conquering, destruction.
By Kendra Holliday | October 23, 2022
Four years ago, I thought asexuality was a myth, an excuse, a weird misunderstanding between a person and their genitals. Then I met my asexual friend Shelley, who patiently taught me the facts. This week (Oct 23-39) is Asexual Awareness Week. Asexual means a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Let’s learn more from Shelley in this interview, and be sure and catch some other asexual interviews happening over at Sex Positive St. Louis blog.
29 now, four years after our original interview. Old enough to know that I’m not just a late bloomer.
Celibacy and abstinence are choices. Asexuality is innate, not a choice, but a part of someone’s life that they cannot choose. It is the same as gays not being able to choose who they are attracted to.
Though asexuals only make up 1% of the population, asexuality is NOT a narrow definition. Like sexual people, most asexuals do experience attraction in a wide spectrum. When I say attraction, I do not mean sexual attraction, but rather the appreciation of someone who looks good, or has a great personality. I am attracted to men, that is to say, some men are cute to me. The difference between sexual people and asexual people is that asexual people simply do not want anything to do with the Sex part of a relationship, although other areas of a relationship may be okay – it is different for every person as to their comfort levels. Does that mean some want a relationship with another person? Yes. We all have connections in our lives. Friends, family. People who are sexual wish to have a connection of friendship Plus sexual chemistry with a person generally. Asexuals would like that Friendship, Plus nothing. But it is still more than friendship, Asexuals can have an emotional, deep connection with another person, but do not need sex as part of that as well.
Yes. There are a few “I AMs” in my life, things that I am sure I am, and while they may waver, they never disappear. Asexuality is one of them.
By Kendra Holliday | October 7, 2022
It’s fun comparing my current sex toy collection with my inventory in 2013 – you can see pics here.
I’ve taken to calling “sex toys” pleasure tools, as it’s more fitting. The term “sex toys” remind me of the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” – outdated.
Pleasure tool etymology = prepare to please.
I’ve woefully neglected my collection – the cabinet was all dusty, and all the devices were dead.
So, one morning, I gave it a deep clean and tidied things up. It was a wonderful way to mindfully reacquaint myself with so many blasts from my past.
First, I culled the collection, discarding all the decrepit items – old, hard plastic, goofy shapes, the kind of material that attracts lint, gag gifts…
Eew! Bye, bye, yuck yuck. 🙂
Next, I emptied the cabinet and dusted it. I cleaned all the high quality tools, and spent a long time pairing them with their charging cords and plugging them in. You should have seen it – my house had colorful devices dangling and blinking from every outlet, like a kinky little disco.
Here’s the end result. TA DA! Behold the glory!
By Kendra Holliday | October 6, 2022
You know how they talk about baggage, being in the closet, etc.?
Everyone has baggage – daddy issues, mommy issues, family pain, abandonment issues, trust issues, inexperienced issues, break up trauma, secrets, shame, guilt, neglect, abuse, loss, betrayal, injury, fear, rejection…
I like to pretend our head is an attic, and our brain is an old fashioned trunk, crammed full of stuff we’ve collected from our travels.
Space is really tight, and the stuff is jammed in there.
So, I propose this exercise to my clients.
Find the key that opens the trunk.
Open that trunk up.
Now, take ALL the stuff out of it – toss it around the room.
Examine each article – is it a piece of clothing? Is it a toy? Is it wrinkled? Is it moldy? Does it still fit? Do you want to keep it?
Address and assess each item. Acknowledge why it’s in your trunk, and decide if it’s something you want to hang on to.
By Kendra Holliday | September 8, 2022
Ed Note: This was originally published Sept 23, 2012.
Last Saturday was the night of the Super Moon, the one time of year when the full moon would be closest to Earth.
We had spent the day hopping from friend to party to friend to parade, drinking and being merry – it was a full day. It was a LOT of day!
It was a great day.
After the craziness of a busy festival in Soulard, we chilled at our friend Shine’s house. It was a stark contrast to the packed street party that was jammed with people, bright lights, and HEAT – Shine’s house was cool, dim, and surrounded by resting plants. It was just the four of us.
She mentioned that the night before, she had been to Monks Mound to celebrate the moon. Monks Mound is in Cahokia Mounds, across the river in Collinsville, IL. Monks Mound is the largest human-made mound in the country. She spoke of how powerful it was to be so close to the moon, fog in the valleys, the energy of all the people who had once been there…. 20,000 people lived there, making it larger than London in 1250 AD.
After a raucous family dinner, we made our way over to Illinois. The surrounding area was a little eerie – rundown homes, race track, landfill, liquor stores, ghost towns – a lot of buried dreams.
It was dark. We parked near the mound. Technically the place was closed, but it felt like a free country and we meant no harm, so we ventured out into the moon-drenched surrounding meadowscape.
I was barefoot, wearing a soft, flowing moon dress. We held hands and walked toward the looming mound. No one was around.
Up the first level we went, then the second. Finally, we were at the top. (more…)
By Kendra Holliday | August 22, 2022
One of my favorite days of the year is our Sex Positive St Louis annual naked pool party. We’ve been having these for over ten years. It’s the crown jewel of the sunny season, the best way to enjoy a hot summer day.
It’s a private, screened event – we need to know the people attending, meaning they need to be established SEX+STL members, and by that I mean you need to be a part of the community, not just attend one or two events. This ensures a safer environment for those who attend. My C0-Leader David Wraith states the safety rules well: “No sexual activity. No touching without consent! No body-shaming! No slut-shaming! No sexism! No racism! No homophobia! No transphobia! No ableism! No hateration! No holleration!”
We actually refer to it as a “clothing optional” pool party, because we want guests to attend on their own terms. My sister attended our most recent one, and she told me, “I was invited to some other naked pool party, and their rule was: Nudity Required. That bugged me, like my body was meant to be on display for others, so I didn’t go. But when the rules are ‘clothing optional,’ it’s nicer, there’s less pressure, I have agency, which makes me feel fine about getting naked!”
Every year, I invite new people to attend. They act extremely intrigued, but most of them back out at the last minute, telling me they can’t do it. I’d love to know their reasons – are they self-conscious? Are they worried they’ll see someone they know? It’s too bad, because out of all the people who manage to overcome their fears and attend, not ONE person regretted it. EVERY person found it to be an overwhelmingly positive experience – for some, even life transforming.
It usually ends up being about 120 people, from all different backgrounds. (It can be a challenge for folks who have disabilities, because the pool is a 1/2 mile hike, a secret haven deep in the woods.)
Imagine 120 people of different genders, orientations, ages, body types, and ethnicities frolicking in this giant, spring-fed basin:
By Kendra Holliday | August 17, 2022
I LOOOVE podcasts. Do you listen to any? I hear that only 1 in 5 people do. They’re SUCH a wealth of information, community and connection.
Below are podcasts I’ve been featured on – the most recent is at the top.
Aug 16, 2022: Luvbites by Dr Tara: #47 The Truth About Sex Surrogate with Kendra Holliday
May 26, 2021: DriveThru HR: Exploring Intimacy, Sex and Work with Kendra Holliday
October 25, 2019: Experience 50: I Apologize with Kendra Holliday
January 14, 2019: About Sex with Angela Skurtu: Sex Positive St Louis with David and Kendra
July 8, 2018: Ethical Society of St. Louis: When You Wish Upon a Star: What We All Truly Desire
August 20, 2017: About Sex with Angela Skurtu: Thorn and her Mother Kendra Holliday – Asexuality, Raising a Child to be Sex Positive – A Teen’s Perspective
August 2, 2017: Family Affairs: Sex-Positive Parenting, featuring Sex Worker Kendra Holliday and her 16 year old daughter!
July 23, 2017: About Sex with Angela Skurtu: Sex Surrogate Kendra Holliday and her partner Matthew discuss Polyamory, Masculinity, and anything Kinky
July 16, 2017: About Sex with Sex Therapist Angela Skurtu: Sex Surrogacy with Kendra Holliday and her partner Matthew
April 25, 2017: 057: BDSM: Shame, Humiliation, & Funnel Cakes
I had so much fun discussing creative sex play and humiliation with host Ben Robbins.
This one followed up an interview we did a month earlier.
March 25, 2017: 054: Escorting, Specialty Fetish and Non-Traditional Sex Therapy
Ah yes, good times!
January 6, 2017: Euphoric Epiphany, Hosted by Victoria
Strangers podcast was by far the most popular one, where I talk about Sex Surrogacy.
April, 2016: Sexistential (this was one of the best interviews and it’s no longer freely available; you have to be a Patreon member.)
Host Lea Thau visited me at my home. It was a nice change having a microphone stuck in my face instead of a penis, LOL!
March 28, 2011: Interview with Sex is Fun, all about my painful coming out process as a sex-positive activist.
October, 2010. Another interview about my coming out, this time with Life on the Swingset, right as it was happening.
October, 2010. This one is all about anal! with Life on the Swingset. I love how Cooper Beckett was celebrating pegging back before it was all the rage!
Those are all the ones I remember. I’ll keep this post updated with any new interviews. I’d love to have my own podcast, but I know how much time and energy it takes.
What are your favorite sex or human interest podcasts? Are there any you’d like to see me featured on?
I like Guys We Fucked, RISK!, Savage Lovecast, The Intimate Lifestyle, HiPPiE WiTCH, and Death, Sex and Money. One I just learned about is The Manwhore Podcast – he recently conducted an interview with an erotic massage sex worker as he received a happy ending! Another one new to me is The Mental Illness Happy Hour – the host often covers sexual shame and secret fantasies. It gets pretty deep. Check out the survey section on his website!
By Kendra Holliday | August 12, 2022
Want a better sex life? Then start communicating better! Push past your comfort levels, people, and communicate FOR REAL.
Open, and honest. You gotta be vulnerable.
Here are some bold ideas to get the ball rolling (pick the right time and place to do these! Carve out some quality time, don’t attempt to knock it out on the way somewhere, unless it’s a road trip):
1. Institute relationship check-ins. Do as often as needed – daily, weekly, monthly… My partner and I do it about twice a year, when our schedules are especially stressful and it’s a challenge getting our physical and emotional needs met.
Think about this:
Are you getting your physical needs met?
Are you getting your emotional needs met?
If the answer is no to one or both of those, what would need to be different?
How about your partner? Do you think they’re getting their physical or emotional needs met?
If they were asked, do you suppose they might answer differently?
Have you heard of Daily Temperature Readings? It’s a concept that allows you to explore the following key points:
*Complaints with recommendations
*Wishes, hope and dreams
Covering these points can help you find out if you’re on the same page, or even reading the same book!
2. Tell each other three things you don’t like about each other (or five, if you’ve known each other for more than two years. 🙂
By Kendra Holliday | August 8, 2022
Here’s how to get over your body image issues:
1. Do a nude photo session
2. Get naked in front of other people
Let me explain.
It’s been almost a year since my hysterectomy surgery. I’m all better, but I’ve noticed my body shifting and changing. I have scars on my tummy now, and fat has gathered around my middle. Sometimes I sit around and feel gross about it. I feel like my clothes are tight. I try eating better. I try being more active.
Last Saturday, I had two events on my calendar: a nude photoshoot with a girlfriend and photographer friend of mine, and a clothing optional pool party. Ugh, being naked around other people was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I yearned to hide under my covers in a comfy nightie instead, but I’m not one to flake out on people just because I’m not feeling it. I tend to push myself to follow through with things I’ve committed to, because it usually works out for the best.
At the photoshoot, I shared my body image concerns with Bianca and Stan. Bianca looked so beautiful and graceful. Stan assured me that I still looked mighty fine and not that much different from when he first started photographing me five years ago. I started to relax, and walked around the studio naked as if it was the most natural thing in the world, because it WAS.