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Alice X for The Medusas

Find the full 76 image set HERE for $10+ pledges

The internet is an amazing thing- it lets you see a person without ever having known them. I've been a model, a cam girl, a clip model and a stripper -and often at the same time. How many people in the world have seen me naked, have seen inside of me without seeing inside me? I love my body and I love expressing my sexuality openly- but then, as a sex worker this is something we have to say. We are at the mercy of stereotype that women only choose to do this line of work because we had a rough childhood, that we were abused and in the cases where it is true, we lose our identities and become just another nameless victim- and we are always so much more than that. This is probably the least sexually explicit set in this series because you can look anywhere and find a photo of me pouting my "dick-sucking-lips" with my tits squeezed together but you won't find my real expression of sexuality. When I was a teenager, I dressed like a nun and even at the beach wore high-collars, long sleeves and hand-me-down pants from my brothers that reached past my knees. I never wore makeup and the concept of me being attractive was absurd to me. I was saving myself for some special boy who I would marry and the moment would be magical. But that moment came, and it wasn't magical- I was left crying and bleeding in a dark room during a party. For a long time, I believed that this was all I was good for, and began a destructive cycle centred around my sexuality. It wasn't until I began stripping that I even realised that I could take control of it in any kind of sense. After years of working in this industry, I've learned how to be content with my body -for the most part- and everything it has to offer. So this set reflects who I really am- that vulnerable girl who never wears makeup, who loves to garden and who pretends to be just another nameless, sex-driven woman. This set is to show all of my flaws because they were the basis for my sexuality.

Words and Model: Alice X
Photography: Jessica Kirby

Neon Psychosis

There is only one public image for this set, find the full 10 image set on my Patreon for ALL Patrons

There is only one public image for this set, find the full 10 image set on my Patreon for ALL Patrons

(Click here to become a Patron at ANY level to gain access to this 10 image set) 

Usually, my self-portrait sets are based on a time where I was down. I realised I have never really done a set that shows the manic side of my bipolar. I have spoken about it, but the aesthetic of the images has always been very melancholy and dark, I wanted to update that.

In this set, I aimed to depict loneliness in an environment of bright lights and loud music. When I am in a manic state of mind, everything seems magical. I have stopped taking lithium, which I was on for the previous 2 years to control my symptoms, since stopping the medication I have had a lot more mood swings but I have found myself to be able to handle it organically. While on medication, I was hardly able to feel anything but at the time I needed that, whereas now I want to do it myself and harness those incredible feelings of both sides of my disorder.

I often find it hard to attach my bipolar so tightly to my images, as I am aware about romanticising mental illness. The thing about mine is that sometimes, it is romantic, it is beautiful and the feelings are incredible. The issue is when it is stereotyped by people who take it on as a fashion statement, but they are actually Neurotypical*. This year I have come into contact with a person who has taken it upon themselves to diagnose themselves with bipolar, ask me for my medication and symptoms so that they may take it to their psychologist to fake a diagnosis. I believe that they’re doing it because bipolar sounds more fashionable than anxiety and depression. I have since cut this person out of my life due to other reasons, but I am so glad I did. For me, seeing a person speak FOR my illness when they don’t have the symptoms and have been getting personal information out of me for their own benefit, was awful. It may not seem like a big deal for NT* people but as someone who is Neurodivergent and has only JUST become okay with functioning with the illness, for someone to take it on and create public social media accounts speaking on how they’re “trying to be diagnosed with bipolar” ..yes, that is a quote, is an insult to everything I have overcome in my lifetime of being wrongly diagnosed and being on the wrong medication.

Something everyone knows about bipolar, you have mood swings. Since being officially diagnosed, I have been in MANY situations where someone has mentioned that a person they don’t like is a “bipolar bitch” or something similar. This leaves me in a “Do I mention that i’m bipolar? Do I defend my illness? Do I just stay quiet, but isn’t that perpetuating a terrible stereotype that I am equip to talk about?” Most of the time, I don’t mention it in order to keep polite conversation. I don't always want to be known as being difficult to converse with just because I don’t like making fun of marginalised groups, and it hurts me personally when I am a part of that group.

“A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood and high energy, accompanied by abnormal behaviour that disrupts life. Most people with bipolar I disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. Often, there is a pattern of cycling between mania and depression.” This is exactly what happens with my own illness, I have days of mania and I have days of depression. Usually about 3-4 days on either one, depending on what else is going on in my life as sometimes certain events can prolong either one.

These manic periods are kinda fun, I won’t lie, but they don’t come without their downfalls. Being manic feels similar to being on MDMA/Cocaine, those drugs that make your eyes black and your skin sweat. See how that can be fun? Imagine being like that for 4 days at a time, spending all the money you have, hardly sleeping, driving to ANYWHERE just to try and escape the never-ending rollercoaster in your head. It doesn’t end there, once i’ve started coming down from it, it’s as if i’m crashing from a hard drug, I plummet completely into feeling worthless, scared and suicidal. Not so fun now…

Manic episodes also affect the people around you just as depression does. Lately i’ve been finding myself more and more lonely, partly due to losing contact with my friends from high school. There is a common misconception that people with bipolar (and any mental illness) are hard to love. A lot of people cannot handle being bugged in the middle of the night to go somewhere because I can’t sleep, but then a week later when they want to do something, i’m sitting in my room staring at the wall trying not to tear open my own skin. It can give off the impression that I don't actually want to see that person, or that I am only ditching when it suits me. It is so much more than that. I don’t think this is the entire reason i’ve lost that friendship group, I think they were just more friends with my ex and I was just a side-affect of that friendship. I am so lucky to have started in the photographic industry so young, I have made incredible friends along the way which, although they aren’t all in one cohesive group, I am still able to count them individually through anything.

I hope you enjoy this set that I created while I was in a manic state. Full set of 10 NSFW images on Patreon for ALL Patrons.
www.patreon.com/JessicaKPhotography
 

NT*
Neurotypical
Not displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behaviour."neurotypical individuals often assume that their experience of the world is either the only one or the only correct one"



 

ND*
Neurodivergent
A person who has a developmental disorder and/or a mental illness.
The word Neurodivergent allows these people to talk about their experiences as both non-allistic and non-mentally-"healthy" in a way that doesn't carry a bunch of extra judgments about what's good or normal. 

Indie Berlin for The Medusas

Indie Berlin for The Medusas
Words and Modelling: Indie Berlin
Make-up: Roses Are Red Make-up Artistry
Photography & Retouching: Jessica Kirby of Jessica K Photography

The reason I put my hand up to be involved in this project, besides really liking the concept, was in part due to my own personal experiences and feelings around sexuality and ideas around what feeling comfortable in my own skin means to me. Art nude photography was one medium that changed my perspectives on nudity and how I felt about my own body, and was something that provided me with a type of freedom that I hadn’t felt before.

 

I think people often see me as a quietly confident person – and in many ways, I suppose I am. However, I feel like this can also be an issue for me as I think that sometimes what people see as confidence, is actually just me hiding my insecurities much better than others might.

One thing that I used to be extremely insecure about was being naked. I never disliked my physical appearance, and I never thought of myself as unattractive – in fact I quite liked my body. But I also never thought of my body (or me) as being overly ‘sexy’ or ‘desirable’. One thing that used to frustrate me about this was the fact that I was still quite sexual in the sense that I always enjoyed sex and was always confident with what I was doing in the bedroom….until the lights came on. I spent about 3 years – two of those in a long-term relationship, only ever having sex in the dark. Or occasionally hiding under a sheet or wearing a t-shirt. I think that at the time I felt as though being naked in front of someone else, especially someone that you were intimately involved with, meant that nakedness had a direct link to sex and desire. Therefore, if I was naked in front of someone, then I was sexualised. I should be embodying sex and desire. But in my mind, my body wasn’t doing or saying that.  I’d say this mindset was partly influenced by the world around me – friendship groups, media and it’s false expectations, and the fact that if I was to be called ‘sexy’ at the time, it was generally with the expectation that sex would be occurring soon after – it was never because I was smart, or passionate, or driven. ‘Sexy’ was just code for ‘let’s get it on’.

 

This is when Burlesque came into my life. Burlesque taught me that my body was a piece of art, a story, a form of expression, and something that was completely my own. I could choose to share my body with an audience if I felt like it – but the focus wasn’t even on my body. It was about the creative process, the story, the tease. And yeah, perhaps you’ll get to see my boobs at the end of it but guess what…that’s because I felt like whipping them out, because I think they’re neat. Even when I started Burlesque, it was a year before I ever took a bra off on stage. Even now I like to create the occasional routine that doesn’t involve clothes removal, because in my mind Burlesque is about creative expression, dance and celebration of individuality.  Not sex. Burlesque definitely helped me feel comfortable with myself and the skin that I’m in, but it wasn’t until I did my first art nude shoot that I really understood what it felt like to embrace that feeling.

 

I put my hand up for my first art nude shoot because I wanted to challenge myself. I felt like something was still holding me back, and I figured this would be a good test and push of my boundaries. I chose the project because I knew of the photographer and his work. He was well regarded in the art nude community and I knew people who had worked with him. I was still extremely nervous going in to it because in my mind I still felt like there was a risk. I didn’t want this to confirm what I secretly feared - that the naked body is nothing more than a symbol for sex. To my delight, I was totally wrong. Not only was the process surprisingly freeing and enjoyable (the photographer was amazing and someone I am still extremely happy to work with to this day), but the end result was beautiful. It had meaning, and it had depth. In the same way that I had more meaning and depth than just a naked shell made for pleasure. After this, I started doing more shoots, and started to enjoy the feeling of just being in my own skin. Naked, content, and confident in my body. Shedding the layers that I wear day to day to keep up appearances.

Now I can’t imagine life without being naked – skinny dipping, walking around the house nude on a hot day, frolicking with friends and celebrating our bodies for what they are. Whether I’m naked in my own company, whether it’s an intimate setting or simply a skinny dip with friends – it’s an amazing feeling. And being naked in front of others and for that to be acceptable to them, is something I really love. I don’t feel shame about my body any more, and I don’t feel like I have anything to hide. In fact, these days I often get told that it’s hard to keep clothes on me!

I know that this isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. People draw confidence from different aspects of their life, and people experience things differently. I don’t expect everyone to like Burlesque, or Art Nude photography, or having me get naked in front of them. I think what I would say is perhaps don’t knock it too much till you try it. It might not be for you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not for me, or the next person out there. Find what makes you happy, find what makes you feel comfortable with your own body and your own sexuality, and embrace it.

New Category - Nature

I have created a new category here on my website! 
I thought I would just pop a quick blog in here to let you know, this will be where all of my landscapes and nature images will be posted.

If you're wanting to have instant access to my work, head over to Patreon for this and more rewards!