What Happened in September?

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a bit of money if you make a purchase through that link at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with *. For more information, click here)

2nd September – I became an ambassador for Grrrl!

Grrrl Clothing is a brand super close to my heart.

Grrrl Clothing was founded by Kourtney Olson with the mission of uplifting women and girls everywhere. They don’t use the conventional number-based sizing system, instead naming their sizes after their Brand Athletes, who range from MMA fighters, martial artists, strongwomen, powerlifters, weightlifters – and even a professional arm wrestler.

Their clothing is high-quality, functional, and branded with empowering statements that testify to every woman’s strength and refusal to go with the status quo.

They also donate 5% of their annual profits to the National Eating Disorders Association, and provide funding for the advocacy and support services of BTSADV, a US-based domestic violence charity.

If you’d like to treat yourself to some badass workout gear, check out their range here*.

13th September – #IPoleBecause

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2WMEA3hSPT/

On Saturday 13th, the pole community came together to protest Instagram’s continued censorship of pole dancers using the hashtag #IPoleBecause. The movie Hustlers was released in the UK and USA on the 13th, so we aimed to use the #HustlersMovie hashtag as a means of remaining visible and showing the film audience stories from real strippers and pole dancers.

The #HustlersMovie hashtag was primarily made up of posts from the pole community on the 13th, which was awesome! However, it only took a few hours for #IPoleBecause to be taken down…

13th September – Ceri and Rich’s Wedding!

A picture of Emma in a red dress. She's in a tunnel with plants growing up and around, and she's lit by fairy lights.
Photo credit – @ella.mccahill

This was the wedding of the CENTURY. Ceri and Rich’s reception (or WedFest) was festival themed, so there were party games, wristbands, face painting for everyone, and even a magician! The evening was hosted by the ever-wonderful Nana Arthole and featured a score of amazing pole and aerial hoop performances from Ceri’s friends.

September 17th – Spliiiiiits!

I finally started making a dedicated effort to work on my splits (and had no idea what progress pictures I needed in the process, hence the weird-ass straddle).

Gemma from LovePoleKisses very kindly gave me early access to her free Splits and Flexibility course, and ever since I’ve been hooked on stretching a little every day. The amount of knowledge in those videos was more than enough to help me figure out where my previous efforts had gone wrong, so I’m super confident this time I’ll get touchdown.

20th-27th September – Climate Strike

For the week of the 20th to the 27th September, I took part in the Climate Strike by not posting any new content to Sass and Clacks and sharing climate change statistics on my Instagram.


September Blog Post Roundup

Catch up on your pole reading with these posts:

The latest post in my Pole Goals 101 series, this post takes a look at why rest days are vital in your training regime and why you should schedule them into your calendar – just like you would your workouts.

At the end of August, I was very kindly invited to a bloggers’ movie evening and guided tour at this fantastic little bookshop in Retford. Read more here about what I got up to, and what I thought of this little bookish sanctuary!

The censorship of sex workers and the pole community on Instagram is not going away, so in this post I explore how our communities are still being affected and the promotion of Hustlers on a platform that wants to force sex workers into the shadows.

For this post, I partnered with Gemma from LovePoleKisses to promote her free Splits and Flexibility workshop. She’s inspired me to finally start working on my splits, so here’s my pledge that I’ll actually keep working on them – and not give up like last time.

By the time this post is published, registration for the free workshop will be closed. However, if you want to know when registration opens again, sign up with the following link and you’ll be the first to know!

https://lovepolekisses.com/TSFF-Sass-and-Clacks

The Reality of Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder

I wrote a guest post for Ami over at UndercoverSuperhero about my life with Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder, the symptoms I experience, and how I’ve changed as a person.

Ami is a disability blogger based in the UK, and she blogs about her conditions, living with disabilities, and to raise awareness of other conditions. She’s an awesome writer and does an amazing job at educating her readers on not only her life, but the lives of other disabled folks around the world.


Gaming

I haven’t played many video games this month, mainly because I’ve been spending more time playing tabletop games. Our life insurance offer paid out (£75 Amazon voucher for new customers, woohoo!), so we treated ourselves to some two-player tabletop games.

A picture of the Pandemic board game box.

We’d been after Pandemic* for a while, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Pandemic is a co-operative game for between 2-5 players where you race against the game to cure four diseases that are threatening the human race.

As a co-operative game, it encourages teamwork and discussion, and it does a great job of building tension between the players. Even though you know the disease is only acrylic cubes on the board, you really feel panicked when you turn over an Epidemic card and you see the disease spread.

We’re looking forward to trying the expansions, and in particular On The Brink*, where one player can take on the Bio-Terrorist role and try to stop the other players from winning the game.

A picture of the Forbidden Island board game box and contents.

Forbidden Island* uses similar core rules to Pandemic, but has a lot less set up and is quicker to play. It’s another co-operative game for 2-4 players, where the aim is to find the island’s hidden treasures and escape before the island sinks.

We’ve played this a couple of times now and we love how quick it is to play when we want to get our board game fix.

A picture of the Last Night On Earth board game box.

Last Night On Earth* is the only competitive game we’ve been playing, but it’s great fun. 2-6 players take on the role of zombies or heroes in a variety of scenarios that really make you feel like you’re in the middle of a mid-naughties zombie B-movie.

While this game does have a lot of set up and rules to get your head around, it’s worth it. There’s such a wide variety of characters the hero player/s can play, and as a zombie player, you never feel like you’re on the back foot. It’s a great quality game with a lot of room for house-ruling and drunken escapades.

My partner also wrote an awesome Dungeon World campaign for me, which we’ve been playing every weekend. If you’re not familiar with Dungeon World, it’s like a stripped-down D&D, with fewer rules and more doing dumb shit.


Reading

A collage showing four books - 
Things No-one Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker
Troublemaker by Leah Remini
Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I admit it – I’m a slow reader.

I haven’t even finished any of the books from August or started anything new. I know, I know. I’m spending a lot more time reading these days than I used to, but one of the super fun things about adulthood is having to juggle hobbies – and not having time to do them all.

So, I’m still working on:

Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee*. If you’re interested in serial killers and need something a little more human than Wikipedia, I definitely recommend this book. However, I’m getting a little tired of the author’s arrogance and superfluous language in places, so I’m not sure I’ll finish this book.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood*

Things No-one Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker*. I promise I’ll finish this one soon, because I’m dying to review it for you all.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini*.


Watching

A collage showing the posters for the following movies and TV shows:
Avengers: Endgame
Surviving R. Kelly
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Steven Universe: The Movie
The Family

I’ve been watching a lot of stuff this month…

First of all, AVENGERS: ENDGAME*. I am a huge MCU fan, and I’m not lying when I say I had to spend about two days after seeing it in the cinema calming down. It was finally released on Blu-Ray this month, so we invited my partner’s parents over for a movie night. It was pretty great not having to plan my entire day’s liquid intake this time around though.

STEVEN UNIVERSE: THE MOVIE*. OH MY GOD. So I have been dying to see this film since it was first teased, but Cartoon Network made the amazing decision not to air it in the UK. Yes, I had to watch a pirate stream three weeks after the release. (I’m still going to support the creators by buying something SU Movie related, though). If you haven’t watched Steven Universe already, watch it. Please. Do yourself a favour. I cried so much during the film because, once again, it dealt with issues that are very personal to me in such a real and human way – which is amazing for a show marketed to kids. I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack for the last three weeks. I don’t need help. I can stop whenever I want.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix). We’ve already watched seasons 1-5 (because Netflix is slow and still hasn’t got season 6), but we’re rewatching them again because it’s the perfect feel-good anti-stress show. It’s witty, wholesome, and honestly, at this point, I would die for Terry Crews.

Surviving R. Kelly (Netflix). So this documentary is the reason I started rewatching my happy place shows, because each episode is so hard to get through. You hear from the women who have survived R. Kelly’s abuse as they describe what happened to them, what they saw, and how they escaped. It’s hard-hitting, but a massively important documentary. It exposes not only the monstrous man that R. Kelly is, but the myriad of ways the music industry was complicit in the abuse.

The Family (Netflix). I’ve only just started watching this documentary, but as someone with a morbid fascination of cults and conspiracy theories, I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Fahrenheit 11/9 (Netflix). This documentary is a hard look into Trump’s presidency and the state of democracy in America. It tackles how the political climate fed into the Flint water crisis – and how it is still preventing anything from being done to help the residents of Flint. It’s not a hopeful or optimistic look at America, but shows clearly the problems with American politics – and how it has been allowed to reach this point.


Pole and Fitness

I don’t really film my pole sessions or take videos often, so my pole Instagram account isn’t super active these days.

On top of that, I’ve only been able to make it to class once a week recently, which sucks. I’m going to a studio closer to home, but with coming off my antidepressants it’s been rough on my mental health.

I’m hoping to start pushing up to two classes a week again, and start introducing weightlifting back into my life. I’m stretching fairly regularly, but my normal exercise schedule is all over the place.

At my pole classes, I’ve worked a fair amount on beginner-level spins – many of which I hadn’t trained for years. I was surprised at how much muscle memory I still had and finally felt like I’d made some progress with them.

I’m also training my Cross-knee Release, but it’s quite difficult for me with my chunky thighs. If I go into it by crossing one leg over the other, my calf doesn’t come past my knee, so I have to pull it into place and hold it. By the time I’ve done that, my grip is failing. So I’ve been working on my Wine Glass Sit on the recommendation of one of my instructors, so I can do the lean back bit of the cross-knee release before crossing my leg over.

I’ve managed to get my One-leg Crucifix/sit thing, which is a move I wanted to get looking good for my photoshoot in February. My Stargazer is also looking really good these days, so I’m proud of that!


Next Month

Oh boy, October is going to be even busier. Join me next time as I’ll be chatting about:

  • Yoga and a self-care panel talk with the Fearless Hustle Collective in Nottingham
  • The Nottingham Beer Festival
  • …and Ninja Sex Party in Manchester with Lacey!

If you want to keep up to date with my adventures, follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

And hey, if you fancy buying me a beer at the Nottingham Beer Festival (and I’ll do a happy dance if you do), check out my Ko-Fi page here. Thanks <3