Happy February! Is it just me, or did January feel like it was about 17 years long? Anyway, I’m delighted to be back and writing to you all again with the latest issue of Coffee Date.
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Making Peace with Uncertainty
As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Valentine’s Day is going to look a little different this year. Most of us won’t be able to go for out-of-the-house dates with our loved ones, and some of us won’t be able to be with our partners at all. I hope, whatever your circumstances, that you’re able to experience a little love on that day and every day - even if it’s love you show to yourself.
By the way: if you’re looking for a free and fun date idea that you can do from the comfort of your home, why not sign up for our Valentine’s Day Smutathon Slam? It’s on Friday 12 February at 10PM GMT (5PM EST) and will run for about two hours over Zoom. No pressure to have your camera or mic on unless you want to, all smut-positive over-18s welcome!
11 months ago, it was unimagineable to many of us that we’d still be in the midst of the pandemic by Valentine’s Day 2021. And yet here we are. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether it would have been better to know this for sure last March - and honestly, I don’t think it would. As I wrote in the last issue of the newsletter, sometimes hope is the most powerful thing that keeps us going.
For the first few months of the pandemic, I obsessively consumed every bit of “predictive” media I could get my hands on. I’d feel alternately elated when someone said “this will all be over by September” (lol) and then devastated when someone else said “COVID is going to be around for years.” Everything was super contradictory and it was a head-fuck. What I also understand now is that every prediction ultimately boiled down to a lot of words for "we don’t know.”
My biggest challenge - but also my biggest gift to myself - more recently has been in attempting to stop trying to figure out when this will all end. At this point, I have no idea when I’ll be able to see my secondary partner again (it’ll have been a year as of next week.) This is painful, and it sucks. But trying to predict a timeline isn’t helpful for either of us. Instead, I’m trying to embrace what we do have - a strong and loving relationship, even if it’s all happening online right now.
I run a large event for the kink community every autumn, and right now I have no idea if it will be able to go ahead this year. I’ve deliberated every variable and ultimately kept coming back to “no idea, probably won’t know for a few months.” So I’m just not making the decision either way right now. Maybe we’ll cancel, maybe we won’t. I don’t love not knowing, but I’m making peace with it.
I’m staying off those “when will you get vaccinated?” checker tools, not just because they’ve already been shown to be wildly inaccurate but because they stress me the fuck out. We’ll get vaccinated when we do, and - though I look forward to that moment in a way I never thought I’d look forward to getting a needle stuck in me - obsessing about it isn’t going to change the timeline.
Uncertainty isn’t fun, especially when you’re a highly anxious person. It’s not easy to live with and I don’t think I will ever be entirely happy or comfortable with it. But for now at least, it’s what we have. So I am allowing myself hope, but also giving myself permission to sit in the uncertainty and try to be okay with it.
This week on the blog
It’s been review central over on C&K this year so far, partly because I got send a lot of awesome products and partly because it’s hard to find inspiration when you can’t really go anywhere.
I’ve been writing a series of mini reviews for The Butters Hygienics Co, which is now finished. Check out the series here and use my code “coffeeandkink” to get 10% off your purchase.
I reviewed a lovely faux-leather paddle from Sportsheets (courtesy of Self & More - discount code inside!) and talked about my complicated relationship with vegetarianism, veganism, and leather.
I reviewed a couple of pieces from Lovehoney’s new Captivate lingerie line.
Sexy deals of the week
There are tonnes of great deals coming down the pipeline right now with Valentine’s Day coming up. Here are a few you can check out:
Get 10% off absolutely everything in store at Self and More when you use the code “CoffeeAndKink” at checkout.
Lovehoney have a range of Valentine’s Day offers now live. You can also get 10% off your entire order by entering code “coffkink10” at checkout.
Get up to 20% off everything in the Hot Octopuss Valentine’s Day sale.
Please be aware that shopping with my affiliates sends a small commission my way at no extra cost to you!
Reads, watches, listens
Reading… I just finished reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, a fun and touching love story set in Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s. It features (very small spoiler) amazing bisexual representation, which is still comparatively rare in mainstream fiction.
Watching… A million people have asked me about this, but no - I haven’t watched It’s a Sin yet. I’m fully intending to, I just haven’t had the spoons for something I’m sure is going to be devastating. I just finished watching the short BBC series Back to Life, which follows a woman who has just been released from prison after 18 years. I recommend it, but be warned that it might break your heart a little bit.
Listening… I’ve been going for lunchtime walks this week to clear my head and get some fresh air, and using the opportunity to binge on podcasts. I’m currently particularly enjoying To L and Back, Loving BDSM, and You’re Wrong About… What are your favourite podcasts? I’m always looking for my next bingeworthy fave.
Thanks for reading the newsletter again! I truly value every one of you so much, whether you dip in occasionally or read every single missive I send. Your kind messages and support help me keep writing and creating.
If things are hard for you right now, please know that I see you and hear you. You’re surviving, and you’re doing great. Please keep going - things will get better.