It helped me to walk away, before everything blew up.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

There’s this scene in the excellent TV series, Chernobyl, where the lead power plant engineer stands before his superiors — a committee of scared, cowardly men in suits all desperately trying to cover their arses. To paraphrase, it goes something like this:

I was gobsmacked. How do you argue with that? How…

Thanks for these lessons, 2020.

Photo by Josiah Gardner on Unsplash

My year started out pretty awesome. I visited family in Australia in January. I’d wrote a commissioned feature script that was to be shot in Fiji in July. In early March, I went on to a Back to the Body retreat to connect with my sensual, sexy side.

And then the world turned upside down. The lockdown has been both a blessing and a curse for me. Across all areas of my life. Here’s what happened and here’s what I learned.


The blessing was that for the first time ever as someone self-employed, I was…

Which is good, because I’m terrible at it.

Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash

Multitasking vs Scattered

I always thought I was a great multitasker. When I worked in an office (many moons ago before I realized how much I loved working in pyjamas), people would rush up to my desk, excitedly waving a piece of paper at me, crying,

So I would. For the next 5 minutes. Until someone else would rush up, excitedly waving another piece of paper at me, also crying, “Jo! Drop Everything! I need you to do this!”. And so I would.

I felt very…

And helped me connect with people, make friends, and develop new opportunities.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

I never really cared about anyone else. I found it easier to live in my head a lot. But the trouble is, my head doesn’t like me very much. Never really has, honestly. So after I broke up with alcohol, I had to find new ways to get out of my head. Without getting off my head. And that meant, focusing on other people. Which meant learning to care about other people.

I was a smart kid, but I got bored really easily. When I got bored, I tuned out. I’d get distracted, lost in my own thoughts and drift…

It’s okay. Me neither. Apparently productivity and pandemics don’t go that well together. Who knew?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I returned from my Back to the Body Retreat throbbing with renewed sexual energy, and a new-found body confidence…

Just in time for the world to completely shut down.

Great. Now I had all these hot erotic ideas and sexual energy with no where and no one to put it on. I tinkered a bit with some online sexy shenanigans but that just added to my frustrations.

I soon realized these shenanigans were just trying to fill a void. The same void I spent years pouring alcohol into. For someone with addiction issues — not such a great idea.


5 things I learned (the hard way) — so you don’t have to.

It’s always nicer in the pictures. Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I like to consider myself good in crisis. And generally good with people. I like to think my breaking point is higher than your average Joe’s (pun intended).

However, I can’t say any of the above is true when examining a recent camping trip in Sequoia National Park for a long weekend.

It was one of those things, a good friend of mine suggested the trip. We had a few people interested (10 at this point). He said he would find a camp site. He didn’t. I…

The 50 Shades of Gray encounter that helped me find my voice

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

My last (and only) threesome had hardly been romantic. 2 guys. Outside a lifeguard tower on Venice Beach, late at night. I’d met them at a dodgy bar in Redondo Beach and after some minimal conversation, I’d driven us to the beach at their behest. They hadn’t even bought me a soft drink.

Men are easy: You tug this, suck that. Take it. Done. I hadn’t even been nervous.

Not like I was now.

Now that it was going to be all about me…

It was day 5 of my back to the body retreat and my fifth session with…

How it’s allowing me to explore my own sexual desires during isolation.

Photo by form PxHere

I’ve never really been able to get into porn. I can’t relate to some DD bouncing 19-year-old with a butthole that can seemingly engulf a Buick, getting roughly gang-banged while writhing in pleasure.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy rough and dirty sex if the mood strikes. Butt play is a new highly pleasurable discovery for me. But hours of brutal anal sex to the point of rosebudding? No thank you.

In high school, porn set up some unrealistic expectations.

And a large divide. The guys were seriously into it. Meanwhile, us girls were reading Cosmopolitan, Mills & Boon, and Erica Jong — dreaming of romance, desire and suave…

And how I broke up with alcohol for good

Photo by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash

It’s been 312 Friday nights. 72 months. 6 years without booze.

Without pills. Without weed. Without anything “fun”. CONTINUOUSLY.

There was a time when I couldn’t imaging getting through a Friday night without drinking. I didn’t think I was an “alcoholic” — I didn’t drink in the morning, I had a full-time job, a roof over my head. I still had all my teeth.

I told myself I didn’t drink during the week on school nights. The truth was school nights were becoming less frequent. Annoying things, like missing the early train home or a surly friend were happening more often and required a little something to take the edge off.

Finding the right person to explore my kinky fantasies and my submissive side was going to be harder than I thought…

By CM_Foto on Pixabay

I’d broken up with my boyfriend. Not because I didn’t love him, but because I’m sober and I couldn’t share him with drugs anymore. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to.

I blocked him on messenger, Facebook, sent his emails to spam, etc. And I waited — and hoped — for him to wake up and come knocking on my door.

Then one Friday night about three weeks later, I got this WhatsApp message:

“Are we still together?”


“Good. Thought I’d check. Because I’m going on a date.”

That shook me. I had thought he might…

Jo Buckman

Writer. Dreamer. Wanderer. Sober and single. Exploring sex, love and mental health. Be part of my journey and join me here:

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