For our latest Womanizer x Scandaleuse boudoir session where we have the pleasure of chatting with a variety of women about desire, sex, and body confidence, we are featuring the radiant and big-hearted Jessica. 

Like all of us, Jessica is trying to manage the numerous challenges of pandemic life as we slog through month eight, but she’s also navigating her transition. Between work and school, she is juggling a lot, so carving out time to do puzzles and cook brings her comfort and makes her happy. “Fall happens to be the best time to make lovely soups!” she tells us. “One of my favourites is made in the crock pot with sweet potato and lentils!”   

We were delighted to connect with Jessica, and admire her candidness.

How would you describe your sexuality? 

Generally speaking, I identify as bisexual or pansexual, sometimes simply using the label queer. For a long while I assumed that I must have preferred one gender or the other, though over time and through my process of accepting myself I came to understand that I could be attracted to anyone, and that I couldn’t define or control who I was attracted to. Ask me if I have a type and I just have to throw up my hands! 

When it comes to feeling good in your own skin, what advice would you give to your younger self?

The first thing I’d say to my younger self is to accept what you’re feeling and not try to turn away from it. From there, I’d say it’s important to be kind and to understand that change takes time; it won’t happen if you don’t take steps to make it happen. I first came out when I was much younger, and the fact that I didn’t transition then brought a lot of regret. Learning not to hold on to that regret was one of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my journey so far. Above all, self-love is the most important kind of love. Once you learn to love yourself, you can spread that love to others.

What turns you on? 

Trust! They say the largest sex organ is the brain, and in that regard, when I’m with someone who I can let go with I can make sure to “get out of my own way,” so to speak, and allow myself to really get into the moment. 

What always puts a smile on your face?

One of my favourite things in the world is waking up and saying hello to my girlfriend. Being able to start the day off with someone who means so much to me is a gift. Knowing I have her endless support is something I can always think of when I’m under stress. I also have yet to be able to resist smiling when hearing little kittens meow!

What has become an important part of your self care routine during COVID?

Taking time to reflect upon the things I’m thankful for and appreciating the moment is incredibly important. I like to practice mindfulness while I’m out on a walk and allow myself to focus on the sensations of the moment – the feel of the breeze, the changing colours of the leaves. Time in nature is important. It’s good to remember that we’re all part of something greater than us. Whatever problems we may be facing are transient – so we should be grateful for the time we have. 

What lesson or idea is currently helping you on your path?

Often, we’re faced with difficulties in our lives, and regardless of what form the difficulties you’re facing are, the one thing constant is the mindset you bring towards problems. Knowing that, it’s important to be gentle and kind to yourself if you can’t meet the challenges of the moment; not all difficulties are puzzles you can solve. Sometimes you simply have to allow yourself to accept the emotions as they come and work through them honestly, without resisting. On the other side, be willing to be thankful for the special moments as they come, as they, along with the special relationships we build with our friends, families and lovers, are the things which are truly valuable in our lives.

What small things help you get through winter? Or what are you planning this year to help you?

There’s nothing quite as wonderful as coming in from the cold and enjoying a hot cup of tea! My favourite flavours are generally something spicy or floral, depending on how I feel.

What was it like to get photographed by Juliette & Fanny of Scandaleuse Photography? How did it make you feel?  

It felt amazing! There were a lot of thoughts in my mind as the shoot with Juliette and Fanny was going on, but as they asked me to go through the poses and such there were moments where I felt incredibly empowered and sensual in a way that I don’t often get to feel. When I look at the pictures from the shoot I see a woman who looks comfortable and confident in herself, and I can’t overstate how much of a victory that is for me given the path I’ve had to take to get here.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to say I’m grateful to all the women who’ve been there to help me along as I navigate my transition. The support and kindness I’ve been met with from other women has been incredibly empowering. I’ve found that my friendships have deepened in a way that they weren’t able to in the past.

Lastly, I want to say to anyone who might read my story and recognize in themselves that they may be holding something back – please, if you take nothing else from what I’ve written, you owe it to yourself to explore your feelings. They’re there for a reason, and part of you understands that you need to confront them in an honest way. Accept what you’re feeling and don’t place judgement on yourself too harshly – the world has a way of rewarding those who face its challenges with grace.

Thank you to our partner Womanizer for generously supporting our ongoing Boudoir Photo Sessions with Scandaleuse Photography. We love working with them, and we also love the selection of Womanizer toys that live in our bedroom. Have you tried?