Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!
I have a reason to smile.
All I wanted was to live a life where I could create with my full and unlimited potential. I think I’m lucky enough for I am brave enough to fight for a passion that sculpts me everyday.
Even if I take steps backwards, I still move forward. People say I’m strong, but was is strength? If I was so strong, I wouldn’t break, and breaking was always my specialty. Sometimes a remedy. I thrill in the cracking noises of the life I’ve chosen. There are cracks all over me now and I know I’ll never put them together properly – nor will an imaginary friend or the most passionate and caring lover.
But they never seemed to understand why I would struggle to speak sometimes anyway.
And here I am, in my own reality, it is always me and my cracks stuck together on an endless open road.
There’s no reason not to smile, I suppose. I can’t be too upset about things passing or people leaving. There are more adventures to seize. Much more to love, touch, to obsess about, to cry for, to find relief in. I want to feel it all.
There’s a few photographers I’ll never shoot with again, for many reasons. The one I’m thinking about right now humiliated me like no one else. He spoke to me like he shouldn’t. I never reacted. He touched me where he definitely shouldn’t. I didn’t say anything. I was shocked and filled with something I could call surprise and anger.
Here are my words directed to all photographers: treat your models like you would want other photographers to treat your daughters…
Don’t be me. React.
This is another story that happened not so long ago. I’m largely confused about it – is there anyone to blame at all?
It was the end of the shoot – well, almost. We chatted a lot prior to it, for days. Until now I don’t know if the linguistic flirtation was obvious or not. I think it was. We were both quite wickedly smart, which means that for things to be obvious, they don’t need to be obvious to us.
I felt unasked pleasure. He read me brilliantly. He must’ve seen that faded spark of desire in my eyes. Yes, I wanted him when he touched me. But he took advantage of that tiny grey area – benefit of the doubt you could say… what if he was wrong? What would he do then… yes. He was very smart. I’ll give him that.
Yet I never said anything or did anything right there, right then to entice him. The invitation didn’t exist.
I said nothing when he removed his hand. Was it my fault? I still remember how I stood in front of the mirror, looking at myself, I remember the pleasing warmth of his hands, his breath sliding across my neck. If I had no self-respect, I would’ve probably begged for more.
I liked the fierceness he suddenly grabbed me with. His hand travelled from my chin to my breasts, from breasts to waist, from waist to hips, from hips to ass. Then…my thighs, a slightly unsure finger sliding in between them… two fingers… three fingers…the whole hand. And then he stepped back – leaving an illusion, a possibility of pretending it was only part of the role. An innovative way of shooting.
Will I ever know?
Check out the interview I did with the incredible Polish beauty Maria Anna Olbrycht for @ballinonabudget.tv
It was after 6pm and I rushed to catch a train to Town Hall. Just before 7pm I’ve entered the Jet Cafe at Queen Victoria Building to see Natalie. I was fairly excited to meet this Russian beauty. She did not fail to impress me in the slightest way – endearingly stylish, but not snobbish, professional, yet approachable. The embodiment of pure Eastern European class.
Profession: model, actress, dancer
Background: Irkutsk, Russia
K. How did you originally get into modelling and where did the idea come from?
N.: I got into modelling when I was about 14. People used to always say that I’m so tall and skinny, and that I should be a model. If people say something to you a lot, it kind of stays with you. Also, my mum is very tall and pretty. It was her who sent me to a modelling school in Russia – it was called The Academy of Beauty. Unlike my mum, my dad wasn’t encouraging me much – it wasn’t his ambition to have a model daughter (giggle). So I ended up going to this school for about a year – they taught us how to walk the catwalk, do makeup and other general skills required for modelling. It was a good experience. I was very awkward as a kid, so this let me develop some social skills as well. Afterwards I’ve joined an agency and I did a test shoot with Sky Models in Irkutsk. They wanted to send me to China, but my dad said I can’t go because I needed to finish school. So I didn’t go and I didn’t model for a while. When I was 18 I’ve moved to Sydney and started to look into modelling again.
K.: Why did you pick Sydney?
N.: It was for my dad. He always wanted me to study abroad. I’m the only child in the family so my parents obviously want the best for me. I’ve passed the IELTS test and then I did a tourism degree at UTS.
K. You’ve worked on the set of The Great Gatsby. What was this experience like and how did it happen?
N.: I was with a modelling agency and it turned out to be dodgy one, so after that I’ve joined MCTV, which is a talent agency. I didn’t get any work from them as a model, but I got a couple of acting jobs. It opened a whole new world to me because I’ve never thought of doing acting before. I’m from a small town in Russia and being on a film set with Leonardo Di Caprio was mind-blowing… When I was 10 I used to watch Titanic! I was quite excited, he was standing next to me, but I didn’t “faint and fall” like other girls did, haha!
K. What would be your advice to the girls who want to get into modelling?
N.: Not everyone is made to be a model. It’s a very harsh world. You get a lot of rejection, sometimes you shoot for 12 hours without eating, it takes a toll on your body. First you need to make sure you are strong enough and you can handle it. Once I went to an agency with a few photos that I thought were great at the time, but later I realised they were quite average. I talked to this very hipster guy there who told me that I will never make it as a model and I should just forget it. I felt truly discouraged and hurt at the time. It was painful, but I’ve proved them wrong. I get paid quite good money for what I do.
Also, you definitely don’t need to invest a thousand dollars into your portfolio, because this investment won’t pay back very soon. It’s more about having a whole variety of photos; it needs to be versatile.
K. Do you follow any special diet and do you do any sports?
N.: I’m actually quite lucky in the way that I do keep myself fit easily since I was little. However, I try to avoid certain foods like milk because it’s not good for my skin.
I don’t really frequent the gym very often, but I like playing volleyball.
K. What’s your favourite drink?
N.: The apple crumble martini from a great bar called In Situ in Manly!
K. What are your interests and hobbies apart from modelling?
N.: I like volleyball, yoga and horse riding.
K.: What would be the most demanding or hard part about modelling?
N.: You have to smile while you’re in pain! Especially when they do your hair – this can hurt a lot! I have really sensitive hair.
Also, I remember having a shoot on the rocks at a beach – on the photos you must look like you are having the time of your life, but in reality it’s super uncomfortable.
K.: If the world was about to end tomorrow and you had 24 hours to spend, how and with whom would you spend it with?
N.: Hm…One day…Well, obviously my partner comes to my mind. Maybe we would have an active day, go for a bushwalk, go horse riding on the beach and finish it off with a glass of wine. I would also like to see my friends. Definitely a relaxing day, though!
- Interviewed by Katarzyna Sprengel
Remember this flash of a moment when you thought it matters?…The time when you felt something, something grand, so fragile and subtle, so empowering yet frightening?… Yes, it doesn’t mean a thing, it means nothing at all, nothing at all…
I remember walking away from the funeral of love
On my scarred tippy toes
It all happened in a state of
deep belated insomnia – or narcolepsy perhaps, this part
I cannot recall.
There is no formula
But I believe that
Phantasmagoric flickers of lights
Are the only reality we can grasp until
favilla et cinere pulvis in terram aligns itself to
The finality of dreams.
I’m so scared of misjudging
Of rushing too quick: towards you, perhaps towards
The wrong direction.
Neither of us know ourselves,
We are little la la, happy-go-lucky children lost in the forest of magick.
One caprice after another,
One bitter joke after another…
Now you also know that
I’m scared of new beginnings and even more terrified by old endings.
Right after being struck with your ethereal affection,
I turn into a frantic escapee.
Just rejoice the phantasmagoric flickers of lights,
Bathe yourself in the glory of their grandiose illusion.
I will put on my Black Madonna heels,
March towards eternal forgiveness,
And take you there
I took this journey because I felt powerless. I discovered that
beginning a journey is easy when you feel hopeless or desperate
or insane or groggy or unmotivated or unaccomplished or
whatever a reason you can come up with, really.
I think a lot of it has to do with forgiveness – you either
can’t forgive someone or yourself and you hope
your journey will make forgiveness fall into place along with those
tiny scraps of wisdom you will inevitably steal from
wiser people than you. And your ambition is a tad over the top now, yes, believe me, everyone can see it, the fire finds its way out. It is so easy to leave
when you had enough of embarras de richesse, it is so much harder to
follow the rules of minimalism at home, but it was never easier to come back
when you realise you were a genius all way through.
I started in LA. Above me are the coffered ceilings of the apartment du jour
in Old Hollywood, brave victorious undefeated old Hollywood;
The real estate agents get excited because Marilyn used to wash her teeth here a while ago. Old fashioned dandies and haughty wrinkled women walk their daily walk,
talk their fashion talk; Rodeo Drive, Valentino, Boob jobs, labiaplasty, Jimmy Choo,
juice cleanses and the like, all of them wearing death masques made from vehement frivolousness and resurrected vitality. I walk into a seedy pub full of drunk ghosts;
James Dean chatting with Errol Flynn over a few good ones. Someone howls my infamous name, now I am a star at a party for one in an empty bar, where they say the best whiskey is served, I bet this whiskey is infamous like me. I bet Errol Flynn would disapprove. I bet
it is all unimportant in the first place. The bartender asks me to give him a blowjob
– I tell him it would ruin the atmosphere and
irreversibly spoil the taste of my Johnnie Walker.
Corruption is my hero in Peru; corruption and wine, corruption and wine.
I’m eating two hundred kinds of potatoes and consuming their meet, the hearts of their children, the arduous plantation doesn’t grow that quick, no, you have to wait, in fact they will beg you to wait. The steaks are tender like memories of a child, it’s like diluted heaven served on a charred toast with jam and some butter, I eat greedily, I eat hastily,
it is never enough, minimalism abolished and dumped.
Marching through streets of Firenze, I pass sylphlike bodies, weightless merchants and invisible gypsies. This Italian vogue is like forbidden candy floss, you ain’t gonna give it to kids too soon – desert it, forget it and then eat it for breakfast as it is the sweetest lover you ever had. I am cooking forgiveness al dente – one must be careful about forgiving and being forgiven too quickly or too late, too late is never vogue, unless it is vintage.
Dandelions and wine, dandelions and wine.
I have fallen out of a window in Paris (do not pronounce the ‘s’) while eating pink macaroons in a pink apartment. I think I have mispronounced ‘Paris’ and got punished, a glorious death by flying. What an ordinary ending indeed in a city that never forgives. I was gluttonous for some romance and I decided the macaroons were The One. Now I am smarter and I know
it’s better to starve than love or crave for love (both of them are the same).
I took a nap in Amsterdam, casually, so sleeplessly, leading the eye and legs on the surface of the shameless waters. It’s dawn, it’s this feeling again, perverse dreams breaking like enchanted mirrors and you can hear the window being opened by an old whore with a cigarette in her chapped lips. She looks straight ahead, refusing to follow the cycle of our gazes and right now, just like the flutter of a trapped butterfly, she extends her arms, maybe she thinks she is dreaming and maybe she dreams indeed, but anyhow, it looks as if she is daydreaming above the array of tenement houses with similar disillusioned broken souls shooting for the stars. The scenery resembles a powdered acid drop bought during a carnival; Amsterdam’s children wearing colours of naivety, guilt, infidelity, heralds of loss, it all reeks of secularism invented by a Darwinian braggadocio. Here, a golden, citrus-like curl submerges in the sunrise’s spark, a blurry silhouette of new impatient ripples on the water,
an ended eternity, sharp and undefined,
I was blind until today.
So, let’s talk about suicide.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide reigns as the main cause of death for people between 15 and 24 years old. In Australia, almost 7 people commit suicide every day. These are harrowing facts.
There are myriad reasons that can underlie the decision to end one’s life. But, first and foremost, I cast part of the blame on media and part on our own susceptibility to it. No wonder suicide is a topic attracting so much emotion, with all its artificial glamour and wicked splendour conjured up by the media. It sends a distorted message to the public by glorifying the deaths of Plaths, McQueens, Cobains and Woolfs. All these notions of death being superior to life plant a seed in our minds, too overwhelmed with information to filter it correctly.
Other mental health destroyers? I will tell you. Loneliness accompanied by overwhelming silence. Anxiety – the malady of today’s society.
Paradoxically, we have a contradicting mixture of unacceptable loneliness and the unendurable proximity. Charles Bukowski once pertinently wrote in his poem that people are “mutilated either by love or no love”. Nothing can satisfy the modern mind, greedy and always craving more, possibly more than it deserves.
But this does not change the fact that there is a striking, almost tangible dearth of connectivity, taking its toll to a considerable degree. It is not only a public health concern – it is a spreading bane gaining more momentum. It’s harrowing to notice that such a small thing as a meaningful conversation is not always at hand. Kamari aka Lyrikal wisely observed that “Life is too short to waste on empty conversations”. Sadly, there are few listeners in this world. And some excuses like “I don’t have time” or “I’m so busy” are just inadmissible. I believe that if you want to communicate you will somehow manage to communicate.
People rattle, tattle, ramble on. We are surrounded by rumours and incoherent details of the universe’s monotony. We live in an age replete of silly, superfluous accusations and assertions with no grounds. It happens too often that a talk equals an illusion of a dialogue. We all speak at the same time, never listening to one another. The veneer of mutual understanding exists because people are ultra-self-absorbed. Humility has vanished – we are not taught how to deal with failures, we are only told how to efficiently meander in a global rat race.
Furthermore, there is a surfeit of goods and possibilities, both so trivially attainable that it is not conducive to stimulating our inner fighter. It is too easy. We should be fighters. Instead, we are dreadfully sedated and numb from the fear that, realistically, no one will guide us through this darkness of mind. It seems to me that people have a lot of audacity to show off but not enough courage to truly believe in themselves. Social sites such as Facebook promote a happy lifestyle, but are a stark contrast to what really is going on in our heads. Generally, people prefer to post and share joyful moments, implying a no less joyful life. It’s all a façade, only feeding the incapabilities to handle reality.
Also, shockingly, abnormality is prevalently romanticised. It is not so often about pride and having the guts to say “I need help”. Many people actually derive some morbid pleasure from being able to proclaim themselves as mentally unstable, insane, mad, crazy, deranged; whatever name suits their distorted perception. They have no desire to abandon their precious misery, thinking that succumbing to misery and negativity is something unusual. They do not realise that this is a detrimental fantasy, merely a short term illusion. Some also appear terribly insolent by thinking that they have unravelled all the intricacies of life and therefore are ready to “break on through to another side”.
Still, I cannot comprehend why so many young people give up so easily today. There is nothing grand about suicide. Still, it seems like there is a disastrous lack of vigour and ability to take life in our hands, a prevalent sluggishness permeating the air. Our generation needs more curiosity. And more passion, presumably.
Bukowski also wrote “You have to die a few times before you can really live”. This is the whole point. Cherish the times full of misery, embrace the desolation and dejection because one day you will look upon them with a sentimentally racing heart. After all, it is unhappiness that makes us grow.
QUEST BARS. Surely all of us know what they are or at least heard of this newest craze. It is glorified on Instagram with hashtags such as #fitspo, #cleaneating or #healthylifestyle. But is it really worth the hype?
Multitudinous fitness instructors, bodybuilders and even some nutritionist revere the product that made its first appearance in 2010. According to them, the ability to enjoy the taste without any guilt is what makes them so truly irresistible. Currently , there is a selection of 18 different bars, from which ‘cookies and cream’ along with ‘chocolate chip cookie dough’ have proven to be absolute favourites. Delicious, healthy, guilt-free treats with lots of fibre and protein, but hardly any sugar. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
Not so fast. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! One must keep in mind that quest bars are still highly processed: they contain sugar alcohols and high intensity sweeteners, which can lead to digestive problems, including bloating, cramps and, oh, gas. Awesome! Personally, whenever I had them, I have experienced all of the above.
Also, I quite don’t fathom why people adore the taste of it so much. It’s nothing special: nice, but gooey and a little mouth-drying. At first it may seem incredible – however, this impression quickly fades.
So, don’t be fooled by the visual temptation these bars generate. Their ostensible harmlessness is bullshit. I’m not saying that they should be completely banned, but it’s probably a wise choice to cut down on them or have them only occasionally. Just don’t abandon scepticism, especially when it comes to nutrition! Making wholesome snacks in your own kitchen should be a priority.
The sugar lifestyle – What is it? Is it prostitution or not?
I like field research. So I have decided to create a profile and sign up to a website called www.seekingarrangement.com , which is the most popular site in the world of sugar.
Ostensibly, as the designer of the website claims, there are 8 girls for one man there.
After filling up the details about my dress size, eye colour, height, ethnicity and a short bio stating what I can offer and what my expectations are, I have virtually became a sugar baby. For the next few weeks, I have been messaging back and forth with a plethora of men looking for, as they usually put it, a girl they could spoil. Spoil to insanity, spoil to death.
I even met up with a handful of these hunters of female prey. However, it might be a bit unfair to call them like that – most of the ones I had a face-to-face conversation with appeared relatively decent and well-mannered. Some I could possibly even deem as gentleman.
There is a whole variety of sugar daddies out there. Sugar mamas also exist, but I shall omit this topic for now. Certainly, we have creeps who just use the term SD* to get into a girls pants without any kind of arrangement. But guys who are willing to see if it can go further, having in mind a potential candidate for a wife/partner with whom they could have kids, also exist on this peculiar website. The diversity is quite amazing. There are as many types of sugar daddies and sugar babies as many arrangements they agree on. Some involve sex, some don’t (although, yes, the latter is extremely rare). Platonic relationships are hard to find, but not impossible. Generally, a sugar daddy who would be willing to give up on sex is in the age of your grandpa, has so much money that he has no clue what to do with it and is bored to death. You would think there is no one who wouldn’t pay you for your companionship? Wrong.
Generally, a monthly allowance of a sugar baby in Sydney oscillates between $2,ooo-2,500. If you get lucky, sums as $10,000 are not implausible. Most of the girls are in their 20 who cringe when the issues of tuition reemerge in their mind. The University of Sydney has dubious notoriety for the largest number of sugar babies in Australia.
Another issue revolves around the ongoing debate whether or not “sugaring” equals prostitution. Technically, you are selling yourself, so being a sugar baby strongly chafes at being a sex worker. On the other hand, you can look at things in another way. Legally, there is a loophole that gets sugar babies off the hook. If you do anything else than having a sexual intercourse with someone, no matter if it’s a massage, a chat or washing the dishes – you cannot be seen as a hooker, at least in the law’s eyes.
Also, someone once told me that all we do in life is for three main things: sex, money or power. That same person asserted everyone is selfish and even people who do charity work don’t do it because they want to better the world – they do it because they want to feel better about THEMSELVES. Anyway, moving back to my point, it seems like everyone has some kind of agenda. If you are in a normal relationship, you stay in it for some reason. In most cases, it’s support, either an emotional or financial one. It’s common knowledge (or at least I hope it is) that we all need a crutch in our busy, messy lives.
So, is being open about it (even while not acknowledging the philosophical side of it) and pursuing such crude pragmatism actually equivalent to being a more honest person?
Can the others be called hypocrites?
I am not going to answer this question for you. It is too sensitive, too subjective.
There is a growing community of sugar babies on Tumblr – they show off gifts they have received from their generous sugar daddies, exchange good and bad experiences, gather safety advice and also do not hesitate to scorn other men, so-called “splenda daddies” – men who aspire to be real sugar daddies, but do not have enough funds to attain that status. After perusing some of their posts, I have eventually arranged my very first date with a POT (potential sugar daddy).
I met Mark*, whose net value is $2 million and income amounts to $300 grand. We met at a cosy little restaurant in Pyrmont (where I was sure I wouldn’t bump into any of my friends). Over dinner, he agreed to talk about his experiences.
Mark: You know, my last date was a total disaster.
Me: Why so?
M: She seemed to completely not understand the concept of being a sugar baby and what it entails. I took her out to a nice restaurant in Balmain and she started this whole conversation of how we can take it slow, go to the movies etc. I just raised my eyebrows and realised how clueless she was.
Me: You mean she didn’t know that sex would be involved?
M: Basically, yes. She also had a boyfriend, who apparently knew she would be potentially dating someone else, someone older and rich.
Me: Oh, I see… So what did you talk about?
M: She wasn’t very interesting to be honest. Not the intellectual type, that’s for sure. She would just babble about her Instagram account. Also, she was a bit weird. For example, she told me she likes cheesecake so I got her a piece, and then she didn’t even touch it.
Another man, let’s call him Steve, 41 years old, complained how he felt used by a sugar baby:
Steve: I took her out to a fancy place and afterwards, her car broke. She seemed like a nice mature lady [she was 22] so I decided for pay for getting it fixed. It cost me $1200. Over the next days, she wouldn’t reply to my texts or answer her phone. I don’t want this to happen. I’m actually looking for a girlfriend.
Obviously, my research wouldn’t mean much if I didn’t delve into the realities of the sugar babies realm. My pursuit of the knowledge in this area wasn’t yet finished. I’ve created another profile on the site, this time feigning to be a sugar daddy. I was a hot, dark-brown haired CEO with an athletic body and impeccable manners. My interests included philosophy, wine and old Hollywood movies. I was looking for a lady as classy as me that I could take out to fancy dinners and events.
Not long after, 24 hours later to be exact, I found myself in a state of sheer shock. Previously, I thought my sugar baby account received a multitude of messages. Well, I had about ten times more when I accessed the site for the second time as a fake SD. Those girls were like famished hawks!
I also interviewed a sugar baby: Alex24. She said that dating older, loaded guys makes her feel empowered. More powerful. Yes, and definitely invincible at times. When I asked, doesn’t she think it’s just a superficial facade that will vanish one day, she indifferently shrugged her arms and replied: “it doesn’t really matter to me at the moment. I’m trying to make ends, so I can concentrate on my goals. It facilitates things for me and I’m aware that it won’t last forever, but why would I be troubling myself with that right now?”.
Does it sound harsh? Shallow? Pragmatic? Reasonable? Foolish? Delusional?
Who the hell knows.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I found the whole idea of an “arrangement” (or whatever you choose to call it) abysmal. Now, after I’ve done my research, I see the bigger picture and can imagine the struggles these young females might be dealing. Financial trepidation is no fun. We all get to choose and it is completely up to you how you handle your principles. But then again… What is a principle? What is morality? And how do both of them relate to each other?
I prefer to leave the ostensibly answerable unanswerable.