Chelsea

“Where is the juice of everyday life?”

Where did you grow up?

In the small town of Caledon, Ontario.

Were you brought up religiously, secularly or other?

I was brought up Catholic and turned Spiritualist at 14.

Was there turbulence throughout your childhood & adolescence?

No.

Were you ever embarrassed about your development during puberty? If so why?

Yep. I didn’t develop anything until I was 17. I always felt like there was something wrong with me and that I was missing out on being my age.

Can you remember any key moments in your formative years that shaped your perspective of women?

I was always surrounded by very strong women. From a young age my dad always made sure I felt no limitations just because of my sex. I think I’ve always had a strong respect for other women and I want to do everything I can to support my gender.

Of sexuality?

It’s interesting because sexuality was never discussed and it just wasn’t a thing for me. I didn’t really have any opinion on it until much, much later in my life… Maybe it’s because my mom is very conservative regarding sex.

When did you become aware of your gender?

It was probably in Grade 3 when I realized kicking boys in the balls would hurt them… but if you kicked a girl in her crotch she wouldn’t keel over like the boys.

"I feel like (sex) is something women so often give away or put out there as leverage when it is such an important energy that represents life. It is so undervalued and exploited." -Chelsea Photo by Jennifer Toole

“I feel like (sex) is something women so often give away or put out there as leverage when it is such an important energy that represents life. It is so undervalued and exploited.” -Chelsea
Photo by Jennifer Toole

When did you become aware of your own sexuality, were there any key moments?

I’d say it wasn’t until Grade 12 that I realized sex was something that people my age were partaking in. I didn’t get my period until Grade 12 so I feel like that was a significant part of realizing what sexuality and being a female was all about.

What, if any, are the obstacles you’ve overcome on your path to womanhood?

Learning the value of sex… I feel like it is something women so often give away or put out there as leverage when it is such an important energy that represents life. It is so undervalued and exploited.

Have you ever struggled with your sexuality?

Yes. I still do. I struggle with not giving it all up or just handing it over like it’s something that isn’t important to me when it is the closest ‘physically’ you can get to me. I don’t understand why I hand it out so freely… or almost feel obligated to just hand it out…

Have you ever been embarrassed, burdened or ashamed of your sexuality? If so why?

Yes, when I developed a sexual relationship with someone who, little did I know, was already in a committed relationship. I’ve talked to so many friends who have had the same experience and I don’t understand why honesty is so hard to come by when it comes to sex. I felt very ashamed and betrayed that I was involved in potentially hurting another woman in a way I could never imagine.

What is the image you think you project every day?

Innocence. Naiveté.

How would you describe your personal experience, existing in the way you do, each day?

As chaos… I wish I could put a finger on each minute in the day… I wish I could be more present, more in touch with my body and emotions without having to shut everything down to focus, but I imagine that would be pretty chaotic too. Maybe I would just like a balance.

What is the image you would like to project?

Feminine beauty…

What do you think the image other people perceive is?

I’m not sure; I usually try not to care how other people perceive me so I don’t think about it too much.

What is your political stance on women’s reproductive rights?

It’s your body, your life, why shouldn’t you have the right to choose what you want to do with it?

Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Pro-choice.

"I wish I believed it was possible for everyone, even myself, but I feel like marriage in the modern world is almost an oxymoron." - Chelsea Photo by Jennifer Toole

“I wish I believed it was possible for everyone, even myself, but I feel like marriage in the modern world is almost an oxymoron.” – Chelsea
Photo by Jennifer Toole

What are your feelings about contraceptives and their availability, cost, stigma & usage?

I believe contraceptives can be harmful to women. If we are talking oral contraceptives like the pill and hormone injection, I don’t really feel like it’s natural to be putting your body through something that isn’t natural. That being said I don’t disagree with anyone choosing to use them.

What are your feelings on casual sex?

I support anything that helps you feel better about yourself. For me, I try not to partake in casual sex because I find myself feeling worse and maybe always expecting more from it. I feel for me it is like I’m looking to feed a part of my soul that is longing for a physical connection with someone… and more often than not they are not able to support the emotional connection that we as humans desire.

What are your feelings on marriage?

I love the idea of being with a partner for life. I love the idea of vowing to always fully support one another until the day you die. I wish I believed it was possible for everyone, even myself, but I feel like marriage in the modern world is almost an oxymoron.

What are your most positive relationships with other women?

The most positive relationships I have ever experienced with other women have been through spiritualism – at retreats, doing energy work, readings. I have access to the most beautiful network of support and advice through digging a little deeper than most. I cannot express how thankful I am to have found such amazing women and through something that feels so natural to me.

What are your negative?

I used to work in corporate fashion. This was probably the most disheartened I have ever felt being around other women. They would do anything to cut each other down and try to shine brighter than each other. I also had this when I was in university for fashion design. Instead of being supportive and recognizing that everyone has different talents, people would so often cut each other down and make fun of one another to make themselves feel better. I have seen so much of this in my life. I want to be in a world where people (especially women) support each other, not make fun of or ridicule one another.

What does the word ‘woman’ mean to you?

A strong, powerful, goddess-like, mystical creature who is out-of-this-world gorgeous and confident.

What are your feelings on monogamy?

I would love to believe that there is one person destined for me and that when I find that person I will never want anything more.

On polyamory?

I’m not really sure on this one. I agree with it if all parties feel that it resonates with them. I don’t know if I would be okay with my partner having more partners than just me at the same time. I feel like I want to be the type of person who values myself so much that I deserve someone fully devoted to only me at that time, but maybe that’s selfish…

Do you feel your choice to participate or not participate in consensual sex is at all affected by societal influence?

Yes, all the time.

"I want to be in a world where people (especially women) support each other, not make fun of or ridicule one another." - Chelsea Photo by Jennifer Toole

“I want to be in a world where people (especially women) support each other, not make fun of or ridicule one another.” – Chelsea
Photo by Jennifer Toole

How do you feel about products marketed to women?

Always, always over-sexualized advertisements, but it’s amazing how it makes you subconsciously want to look like that… or have that… or be like that.

How do you feel about feminine hygiene products’ portrayal in the media?

Embarrassed. I feel like every time I see an ad for these products I cringe. What woman is happy or willing to talk about her period? Why does it have to be marketed? Why does it have to be yet another thing we are ‘buying’ into? Can’t a woman just have her period and not have to debate over which tampons are cooler to buy at the grocery store?

Were you always aware of what your body could do sexually & mechanically?

No. Definitely not. I was completely unaware of anything sexual about myself until well into my undergraduate degree. This I discovered through friends and pressure from everyone. I wish I knew earlier. Maybe then I would have valued it more.

Do you feel your sexual education was sufficient?

No. Again, it’s this embarrassment thing for women. Men are so aware of everything in their bodies. Maybe because it’s all on the outside and it’s almost clinically recommended to masturbate for them whereas women don’t have the same knowledge or focus on their sexuality other than the way they are supposed to look from a young age. We aren’t taught anything about value or sexual experience or how that part of our body really even works.

If not, what would you have done to make it so?

I would have a safe space for women to voice all of their concerns, questions and comments about anything. Going on retreats, meditation and female gatherings have taught me there is nothing like the conversation that happens when a man is nowhere in sight and women feel safe to free their voice from the cage of society. Sounds cliché, but it’s so beyond true.

Where do you feel unsafe as a woman?

When an attractive man walks into a room and other women are almost in competition for him I feel very unsafe. I feel sad that it comes to that just because some ‘guy’ has appeared.

Where is somewhere you can exist without fear?

With other like-minded women.

Do women treat you differently than men?

Absolutely. Women are harder on each other. I wish that would stop.

Retreats, meditation and female gatherings have taught me there is nothing like the conversation that happens when a man is nowhere in sight and women feel safe to free their voice from the cage of society. Sounds cliché, but it’s so beyond true.

In what ways does being a woman make you vulnerable or exposed?

The fact that I’m embarrassed to not wear a bra, or how if it gets cold my nipples get hard and you can see them through a shirt… I wish I didn’t care.

Would you consider yourself a feminist?

I would like to. I would like to be able to inspire more women, to change the minds of society more.

What do you think are positive ways the world views women?

As emotional and powerful creatures. I love that women are such a mystery to men. They just cannot figure us out which I find hilarious.

What are negative?

That we are just objects. I get so frustrated when men talk, which sounds so bad, but the majority of men I meet for the first time just want to talk about themselves or their view on the world. Why do they feel like I care? Is it because they were taught from a young age that women like to listen and not have anything to say for themselves?

Do you think the world’s perception of women limits or benefits them?

Right now I feel women are limited, but I do feel like it’s changing. The world has a lot of change to go through in the next few years. I hope that women feeling more valued is one of the many changes that happens.

What is your relationship to sex?

I hate to say it, but I think I’m removed from it… I don’t like that there is an emotional attachment to sex so I tune it out. I try my hardest to turn off all emotions associated with it.

How do you define sex?

As physical pleasure.

What does a sexual relationship mean to you?

I wish it meant more. I wish I valued it more. I was told once that sexual energy is the second most powerful energy to life force energy, so I wish I wasn’t so easy come, easy go about it.

Do you feel comfortable communicating your sexual needs to a partner?

Absolutely. They have to learn too.

Have you found a balance of fulfillment with your partners?

No, I don’t think I have.

Do you feel that your desires are marginalized in the bedroom or are less important, if so why do you think that is?

No, if I’m going to partake in it I want it to be worth it.

Have you ever been in a position where your sexuality was used against you?

I try not to put myself in that position, but I do often feel like there are misconceptions made because of the way I look… like my hair being red. People often think I am overly sexual just because of my hair colour.

Have you ever been physically or verbally threatened because of your appearance?

What woman hasn’t?

When you imagine sex, what is the visual/feeling you associate with it?

Energy release… almost like a deep yoga breath… relaxation and bliss.

Is sex embarrassing for you to discuss?

I laugh about it; I think it’s a funny thing because it’s so innate, everyone desires it, and it’s something that is just so animal-like… so why should it be embarrassing?

Is there anyone in your world you undermine your principles for?

I wish I could say no, but I won’t know until I’m put in the position.

In which situations do you feel safe to speak your mind/stand up for yourself?

I don’t ever really feel safe enough to say what I’m really thinking. I feel like it’s a constant battle for me. I feel like even if I do say it out loud… will I even be heard?

What do you seek through sex?

I think it’s love… which sucks.

How do you feel about the media’s portrayal of women?

It’s sad. I really dislike that women have to appear perfectly trim and shaped to even be shown on TV or in a magazine. It’s just so much pressure on top of everyday life.

Are you satisfied with the women you see depicted in film, television & advertising?

No. Where is the juice of everyday life? I feel weird and abnormal for having hair, for having zits, for having to reapply deodorant, for having to pee… Women are not real on TV and in ads they are just an image.

"I feel weird and abnormal for having hair, for having zits, for having to reapply deodorant, for having to pee… Women are not real on TV and in ads they are just an image." - Chelsea Photo by Jennifer Toole

“I feel weird and abnormal for having hair, for having zits, for having to reapply deodorant, for having to pee… Women are not real on TV and in ads they are just an image.” -Chelsea
Photo by Jennifer Toole

How do you think the world at large views women?

As objects.

How do you maintain a sense of self?

Meditation, grounding, trying to be drama-free. When I sense myself spinning I try my hardest to ground myself and do what’s best for me at that moment. I try so hard not to lash out in anger, but to instead acknowledge my feelings and why I have them.

What is something you deeply love about yourself?

My red hair. I don’t know why, but I like that I look different from most people.

Who are/what are your biggest motivators?

My biggest motivator is constantly striving to be a better person. I want to know myself inside and out. I try so hard to stay in tune with myself so that I can give my best self to the world all the time.

Do you have people you look up to?

Yes. Both of my parents. I understand that they are not perfect but I am so grateful to them for being such amazing people. ~