07.05.18

HEY BABY, YOU SHOULD SMILE!

Dear beloved men… have you been feeling or hearing about the frustration from women about being ‘invited’ to smile? Yeah, it’s true, we can be angry & ‘touchy’ about it… and I’d love to help you understand why if you’re interested. Because it’s actually NOT new for women to feel really icky about it. We’re just beginning to feel like we can talk about it.

I know, it might sound crazy. There’s nothing wrong with smiling. You’re just trying to be polite! So what’s the problem?!?! Well there’s a few of them and I’m gonna break it down as simply & clearly as I can. Because it’s something that gets under my skin and makes me feel… violent, truth be told. And I don’t think there’s many men out there who are looking to make women feel violent. We breathe a special kind of fire with our righteous anger, you feel me?

This isn’t one of those ‘oh people are just so offended by every little thing’.
This is different. And I’m gonna (hopefully) show you why.

Firstly, I’d love to clear up a HUUUUGGGGEEEEEEE misconception.
Smiling… DOES. NOT. MEAN. WE. ARE. HAPPY.
I know. I’m blowing your mind. But truth be told, I would bet good solid cash that MORE women while interacting with others… smile MORE when we’re painfully struggling to be polite, than they do when they’re simply pleased. This is something women do because… well Sir, that’s our culture. And that’s a WHOLE other discussion. But just trust me on this one. There’s way too many fake smiles out there. It’s something we actually all need to work on (being comfortable with showing our real feelings) but again, that’s a bigger (though connected) issue.

Now, brace yourselves.
Sometimes… the happiest, most ecstatic moments in life, render a woman’s face completely SMILE FREE. I know. Crazy. But it’s true (I’m an erotic & relationship coach, I know this).
Sometimes, our bodies register happiness in such a way that we are in relaxed, open awe… or even transported… feeling like we’re floating out in the Universe, and that might even make a particularly energetically sensitive woman UTTERLY STILL & nearly expressionless (even in deep soul-altering orgasm!!!). Maybe our face is in hot passionate focus, maybe wonder, maybe eyes-closed bliss, maybe even an ‘ugly’ smooshed or funny contorted mess. Maybe we smile with our eyes. Or our energy. Or our sexuality. Every woman is different and we all look different when we’re ‘happy’ (especially with that broad of a word).

SECOND and SUPER important…
I need YOU to do me a favor. Ask yourself (yes, right now) WHY you are ‘inviting’ women to smile.
Then dig deeper. Ask why again. And again, even deeper.
You might first think you simply want that woman to ‘be happy’ and you’ve (we now know INACCURATELY) attributed smiling to happiness.

Here’s the thing…
Happiness does not originate from an ‘invited’ (read: forced & disingenuous) smile. Nope. Sorry no. It don’t. Especially for women. Tony Robbins has a point about our posture & expression affecting us BUUUUUTTTTTT…. When asked to change something about our appearance by someone ELSE, it VERY VERY VERY RARELY makes us feel better. Culture, baby.

So… one could conclude, you are maybe ‘inviting’ a woman to smile… so that… YOU… can be a little more comfortable.

I know. Ouch. And you might be disagreeing here. That’s ok. I don’t have to be right here. I just want to leave room for the inquiry. A deeper look.

After all, we LOVE the masculines desire to see us happy! The primal drive to ‘fix’ and feel our satisfaction.
It calms your nervous system (that is less complex than ours). It allows you to put your full focus on other tasks. ‘Woman happy? CHECK! Next!’.
The problem is, it’s not actually MAKING us happy.
And you, trying to BYPASS what we ACTUALLY need & just telling yourself that if you get us to smile, your job is done… is kind of f*cked up. Sorry babe. I know.

BREAKDOWN:
- Women need to feel seen & heard.
- Smiling is a SUPER unreliable indicator of happiness.
- You telling us to smile makes us feel like we need to make YOU feel better.
- Then it feels EXTRA awful because not only do you want US to oblige YOU with a faux show of satisfaction, but now we feel like you don’t actually care to listen to us or try to make us ACTUALLY happy… you’re good with a facial expression & then you can disengage. IT’S A F*CKING BUMMER, MAN.
- When you ‘invite’ a STRANGER (woman) to smile, you can imagine how freaking WEIRD that is… like, dude, I’m just going about my business with my face & you have no connection to me or investment in my happiness. It is the emotional equivalent of flashing some skin. OH I SAID IT. Dear strangers, women don’t owe you a facial expression to please you. F*CKING KNOCK IT OFF. IT’S F*CKING CREEPY.

Don’t be creepy.

Neither a stranger, nor a friend, nor a partner OWES you a facial expression that isn’t what they’re currently feeling.
Asking for an expression otherwise is dehumanizing. Let me repeat that, asking for an expression other than what they’re genuinely displaying is dehumanizing. And we women, having a more complex nervous system and more access to different awarenesses & emotions, are going to be a bit more complicated than just ‘sad/happy’. Biology. Been this way since forever so you should probably just try to accept it.

If you want us to be happy… be the man we ARE happy to interact with. Be a man who respects us. Who can see beauty without attempting to own it or shame it. Be a man who allows people around him to be in whatever mood or activity they are in without attempting to change it for YOUR comfort. Be a man who if you ARE invested in our happiness, simply invites us to vent… listens as best he can & helps us feel seen & heard, not attempting to fix it for YOUR comfort.

Again, I know. It’s tough. We love your drive to come up with solutions. It’s SO necessary in SO many ways! But the one way it ISN’T of value, is when we need to simply talk. We need you to be that strong rock that we can emotionally crash against… who stands calm & steadfast, attention focused on us as we empty ourselves so that we can rest & recharge & begin to tackle the tasks of our lives once again.

Really.

It’s more valuable than all the quick-fix ideas in the world to us. And it’s against your nature… and I for one, will continue to remind my sisters to show SO much gratitude for every time a man does that tough thing… every time a man gives her his strong attention, instead of interrupts her &… asks her to smile.

Lastly… thank you. Thank you for being open minded enough to read about this. Thank you for allowing it. Thank you for being someone who considers their effect on people. Thank you for setting an example of examining new ideas and contemplating another way.

Thank you, Sir. This simple act is heroic.

06.07.17

NEW! EROTIC DISCOVERY SESSIONS




Do you find yourself somewhat shut down when it comes to being in your body?
Do you not feel fully alive or expressed?
Do you find yourself trying a lot of different styles (clothes, decor, trends etc.)?
Do you feel like you really don’t have a strong, clear identity?
Do you frequently find your sexual encounters unfulfilling… like you want… something more or something different but aren’t sure what it is?

I am THRILLED, elated, overwhelmed & grateful to introduce my new venture. I am fusing my raw, emotive, seductive brand of Boudoir Photography with my new skills as a Sexuality Coach!

I began this journey exactly 3 years ago. I’ve never felt a calling in my body like I felt that day. And that FULL story is soon to come (on the blog)!!

So for JUNE only, I am taking applications for Beta clients for my incredible new Erotic Coaching business, with the booking of a photo shoot (starting at just $799 for the Independent Shoot).

What the Discovery Session is…
An Hour-long call where we will uncover your erotic creature within.
We will remove some blocks that may be holding you back from embracing your core erotic nature.
We will learn about her… ALL about her (I can’t give away too much, but get your Pinterest board ready!).
We will embrace her.
We will give her a voice.
We will learn how you can embody her.
DAILY.

And then… we will photograph her.

Why should you embrace this Core Erotic Creature, on the daily? Well, my love… it will change your entire life. In ways you can’t even imagine. I know, because that’s exactly what it did for me. I’ve never felt more alive, more awakened, more embodied, more powerful, more sexy or more MYSELF, than I have since doing this work. It’s my mission to help others live their pure natures & thus, their most incredible lives.

Apply now to be a Beta client (with photo shoot) by emailing me at info@daniellefletcher.com with the subject line ‘Erotic Discovery Beta Client’. And I will send you a short questionnaire.

03.16.17

CAMERA-AWARE OR VULNERABILITY?

I’m having a full-circle moment today as I’ve been meditating on vulnerability. It’s something I’ve always struggled with. Not because I don’t think I can be vulnerable. But because I feel like I ALWAYS AM. When it comes to love, I find myself with zero grey areas. Either I feel that my walls are comfortably up or I could be destroyed at any moment for how far I’ve let myself get into the middle of the ocean. My heart doesn’t live in the middle-ground.

But when it comes to my work as a Boudoir photographer, the same truth applies. And I’ve noticed it in a lot of images I’ve seen (from wherever/whomever). Why do I resonate with some images and not with others? Why is some work just… BETTER? Well….

There’s a reason the world fell in love with Marilyn Monroe in a different way than they fell in love with women like Jayne Mansfield. Vulnerability.

There’s a BIG difference between camera-aware and photographer-engaged.

I loved Marilyn from a very early age but it wasn’t until I decided to do my high school history term paper on the her and her influence that I realized exactly how tragic her childhood was and how that was visible in every aspect of her becoming a star. Of course she was beautiful. Of course she was wildly intelligent. But the most integral part of her stardom was her openness.

Her childhood left her with a gaping wound. She was so innocent, so abused, so taken advantage of… but she remained open because she had no choice. She just wanted to be loved. Her vulnerability was born from so much pain, so much brokenness that no one should have to suffer. And then she turned it into a beautiful way to connect to humanity.

That kind of intense vulnerability is what is so clearly seen in nearly every photograph of her. The possibility of approval… the possibility of being good enough… the possibility of love were things she was desperate for, understandably so. And so when we see a photograph of her, we’re not seeing a woman doing a job. We’re seeing a woman, trying to be loved. Her spirit showed up. Fully. Openly. With hope. With desire. With a kind of rawness, that easily overcame a brutal hair-bleaching & styling routine and thick makeup. Her soul was right there. Almost palpable.

So when I see portraits, especially of boudoir, I can’t help but notice the feeling. It’s different. Yes, the subject is inherently vulnerable in the situation, but they’re not vulnerable to the photographer/camera. They’re afraid. Some part of them holds back. They’re VERY aware of the camera. And it’s so easy to see. Even if the ‘pose’ is somewhat relaxed, you can truly feel how aware they are of the camera and how the wall they hold doesn’t allow them to be truly engaged. And then the viewer… however subtly they sense it, can feel the blankness. There’s a cold feeling in a subject that is ‘camera aware’. The subject may be holding our breath and we may briefly respond in kind. They may have tense shoulders or stiff hands and we may, just for a second, tense our own bodies. If nothing else, there is a difference in the energy. We may appreciate the photo, some of us who aren’t ready for the deep feelings of vulnerability may even GUSH over the photo. But if you really look, if you really try to FEEL it, the difference is, their soul isn’t inviting us in.

There are millions of ‘pretty’ pictures out there… maybe ‘sexy’ even. But the only true beauty comes from being vulnerable. And THAT only comes once in a lifetime from someone like Marilyn, OR from a photographer being able to touch that part of your soul. Entice it. Seduce it. Pull it forward…. enough to make your body & energy believe it is safe. Enough to where you are no longer in a ‘pose’, but you are fully present. Enough to where you no longer feel you’re being photographed, but being SEEN.

This is my mission.

The Art of Being Seen.

CAMERA-AWARE OR VULNERABILITY?

02.08.17

THE COURAGE OF OPENING

Advance, retreat. Advance, retreat. I’ve never fenced but I’ve heard that’s how it goes. For me, on my journey to discover and embrace my true self, I’ve found this to be true. Even on ‘normal’ days. I may come across an article on sexuality or business or love or health… and I will feel the instinct to contract. Step away. It’s too much. It’s too hard. I can’t keep being bombarded with new information about the things I love to learn about, talk about and teach about. And so I want to run away. And maybe I do. But then, I come back. I decide to open again. Just like I’ve done with my heart several times in the past 18 months. I show up, I grow, I soften & expand… and I get crushed or broken or confused… and ultimately I grieve. And then my heart asks me to do it again. And again. And again.

Clearly, I am training for the Gold in Olympic Soul Fencing. And I’m SO proud of that. As someone who already holds a heavyweight title in ‘Being Hard on Herself’ (don’t believe me? Ask literally anyone who knows me), it’s a monumental feat. My sensitive little spirit just wants to run & hide. Pretty much ALWAYS. My heart pounds, my eyes blur, my brain turns to mush… and I’m expected to take on this new information or to open this piece of me… and it can feel like there’s NO way. I can’t do it. I can’t open any more. I can’t expand any further. It hurts. I’m terrified. I’m DONE. But I’m not. I just need that moment. However long it lasts. A moment to say ‘no’. A moment to come back to myself. A moment to tell myself I am ENOUGH. Just as I am. Even if I don’t learn this new thing or meet this new person.

That is TOUGH. And I fail. A lot. And usually when I attempt it, my body & brain will scream at me that that’s bullshit. That I am decidedly NOT enough and I clearly need to learn this new thing or meet this new person and WTF is wrong with me, anyway? But once that kind of violent opposition to my ‘enoughness’ subsides… I just have to grin. There is calm. I know I will find my way to the path that is perfect for me and at the perfect time. As long as I keep deciding to stay open. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Sometimes every minute. I decide. To say no to the panic & the urge to run… and to admit I still want to grow & find more ways to be happy & fulfilled.

Oftentimes, our fear of expanding into joy is so much greater than our fear of staying in the shadow. We have to fight to be in the unfamiliar place. We have to acknowledge our fear and then keep going.

01.19.17

DARKER IS BETTER

follow me to the bedroom…

turn off the lights…

take a breath….

bare our souls…

There is MUCH much much more to say on the subject of ‘dark’ and I’m sort of freaking out in anticipation of it being ready… but I can say this… this is a look that fulfills me on a really deep level and it’s amazing to take my clients to this deep, dark, delicious, sexy place.

These images are from a single ‘Scene’ of the Independent Shoot (just $299 for a limited time).

I can’t wait to have you as my muse. Click HERE to book your Boudoir Shoot now. (more about The Independent Shoot HERE)

DARKER IS BETTER
DARKER IS BETTER
DARKER IS BETTER
DARKER IS BETTER