If you have ever had a question about sex or dating then you are in desperate need of Zara Barrie. From crushing to fucking and everything in between we often find ourselves hanging on every word (read: stalking every article) from our favorite girl crush/ lesbian big sister. One of our favorite things about Zara is her ability to cut through the bullshit and tell it like it is. She doesn’t shy away from sharing her experience, she drops pearls of wisdom into every piece and she leaves us feeling like we can get out into the world and rock at love and life (even when we aren’t rocking it). Let’s go!
When you were starting out did you ever get nervous about writing about your sex life, exes or current partners on the internet?
I was so so SO nervous to write about my sex life and partners and mental health issues—all of it! But the moment I wrote from a really honest place, and really threw myself out there, authentically, it felt totally amazing. It was so liberating to openly discuss all of these things I’ve been so deeply ashamed of my entire life. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders, and I was free. Writing in a raw and honest way has become almost addictive to me. It makes me feel less alone in this cruel, cold world, and I’m able to connect with other weirdo queer girls like me, from all over the world.
As far as writing about my exes, that’s tricky. I try to never throw anyone under the bus. If I write about a toxic experience with a person I’m always sure to change their name or adjust the timeline–do whatever I can to protect her. I don’t believe that you need to hurt or exploit anyone in order to create, compelling, honest work. Usually it’s just me throwing myself under the bus, or completely discussing my own slew of embarrassments and failures! Girl, I have so many of my own cringe-worthy moments and bad drunken nights and mega mistakes, I don’t need to reveal anyone else’s failures! I have a whole body of work from the past 30 years of my haphazard life!
Is there anything that you don’t feel comfortable writing about?
Absolutely! It’s so important to establish boundaries in this industry. Oftentimes the most personal, provocative stories are what get the most clicks, and it can be extremely tempting to reveal your darkest secrets because you want to be successful. Those “likes” can be intoxicating. I’ve done it to myself before, and there is no worse feeling than betraying your own morals and crossing your own boundaries because of the intense pressure of the internet. Fuck that!
Believe it or not, I don’t mind discussing my period, or sex, or the fact that I take prozac and am a giant lesbian. However I have this weird thing, where I HATE to write negatively about celebrities (except for Donald Trump), in particular female celebrities. I think writing mean, gossipy stories about celebrities is surefire bullying and I’m not about that life! I’ve been bullied and I think there is cruel place in hell for girl bullies. I can’t imagine the intense pressure of being in the public eye and I’m not about to shame a celebrity for her life choices. Like just, let us girls LIVE, okay?
Do you have a motto or words that you live by? If so, share!
I’m obsessed with Diana Vreeland (fashion icon, former editor of Vogue magazine) and I live by her quote: “Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.” It’s so true, you don’t give people what they WANT, that’s basic and boring and mediocre and fleeting! It’s much more exciting to take a wild risk and open up someone’s eyes to a new idea or vision or feeling. I feel like the media just serves the audience what’s comfortable, what they know they enjoy. Give them bread and butter, who doesn’t like bread and butter? People are fucking bored of bread and butter, babe. People are hungry for new points of view! They want some truffle oil, some vodka, some snails!
Don’t you feel like you’re just dying to be shown new territory? To say to yourself “Oh my god, I didn’t know that existed and I LOVE IT!” Or “I didn’t know I felt this way but I DO, and it feels amazing!” That’s what Diana Vreeland was all about, and Diana Vreeland is QUEEN.
The first time I felt an intense woman-induced panic I sent you a Facebook message and you talked me down. We love that you are always down to answer questions about sexuality and we wondered… are there questions or pieces of advice that come up frequently?
Aww thank you! That means the world to me! I get a lot of questions from young women who are struggling with their sexual identity. Like, they’ve suddenly found themselves in love or infatuated with a woman, and they’re so confused, like does this mean I’m like a LESBIAN? And the biggest advice I have is to take the pressure off yourself, babes. If you’re attracted to a woman and it feels right in your heart and your gut, don’t question it. Don’t freak out about labeling yourself. Maybe your sexuality is fluid. Maybe you ARE a lesbian. Maybe this will be the only girl you have feelings for or maybe you’ll never be attracted to a guy again or maybe you’ll continue to be attracted to both men and women. It truly doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how you feel in this very moment. Our society has to put everything into neat little boxes, and it’s screwed up. We’re complex, multifaceted creatures! Putting us in a box is like putting a wild animal in a zoo. The truth is everything changes all the time. Everything is temporary, especially feelings. So live in the glorious fucking moment.
You’ve mentioned Babeland a handful of times as one of your go to sex-toy stores – what toys do you keep stocked in your apartment? What is one toy that every lady should have stocked in her place?
I love babeland! I’m pretty old fashioned with my sex-toys—obviously I love a good old fashioned strap-on dildo (but it has to be pink and glittery and not resemble the real deal, ewww). Oh and the harness has to be high-quality Italian leather because I’m a snob. If Chanel made a harness and Tom Ford made a dildo I would buy both. I’m a shameless designer whore.
Also every girl, gay or straight or anywhere in-between, needs to own lube. I don’t care how “wet” you get—lube will change your life. I used to be really snotty and smug about not needing lube, but lube provides a different sensation. Also every girl NEEDS the “Satisfyer Pro 2” (I wrote a piece about it here)—it looks like the clarisonic skin care brush but it’s actually an amazing vibrator!
It seems like there aren’t many places that us lady-loving-ladies can go for honest, unedited relationship advice – what does it mean to you to be a resource for us?
It means the world to me! I honestly don’t even think of myself as a resource, but I do think of my readers as friends—I feel like we are a community, a safe place and we help each other navigate the world, together. My relationship with my readers is this beautiful give/take—it’s a relationship I deeply value and cherish with every fiber of my being. I cry all the time when readers open up to me and share their stories with me. Connecting with you guys is my mission in life.
You are a self proclaimed “mascara lesbian”… can we ask what exactly that means?
I have to give credit to my friend Justin for that one. We were sitting at the gay bar slugging back martinis about five years ago and I was complaining about how I don’t really identify with the term “lipstick lesbian.” It’s just not a term I connect to, even though I love lipstick. It’s not sexual enough, it sounds too prim. Because when I’m feeling hyper sexual I don’t wear lipstick at all ’cause I like to kiss all night. So my friend Justin said “Oh honey, you’re a mascara lesbian!” And it just clicked! I’m notorious for my spidery long lashes. I think being a mascara lesbian just means you’re a lez who prefers to slay with her eyes. It’s about being a badass and outrageously femme and tough and gentle and vulnerable all at once. Does that answer the question?
We LOVE your recent article on how love is more than a feeling – what do you think women should keep in mind when evaluating relationships and whether or not they should stay in them?
Thank you! I think women need to remember that love is so much more than just feeling chemistry. Does your partner stick up for you? Does your partner listen to you rant after a bad day? Does your partner show up for you when you’re feeling down? Do they empower your sexuality and your career and make an effort with your friends? It’s not just about how your partner makes you feel, but it’s about how they actively treat you. If your partner tries to dim your light—tell you stop wearing red lipstick, tell you that you’re too loud or too much, or try and make you more basic—dump them. I think so many amazing women shine so brightly and energy stealers like to take that light and blow it right the fuck out. Stay away from the energy stealers, the light dimmers, those who try and dull out your sharp edges.
How did you turn writing, something that you are passionate about, into something that pays your bills?
Oddly, I fell into writing. I was a professional actress and theatre director for ten years—and I started writing a small column for a local website, and something shifted inside of me. It felt more organic and right than anything I had ever done in my life. So I just kept doing it. I kept submitting to publications, I started a blog, I made videos, I just kept sharing and sharing and sharing, until one day this little gig was paying my bills. I think the biggest mistake people make is stubbornly stick to what they think they want to do with their lives. I thought acting was the only thing in the world I would ever want to do—and somehow the universe pushed me to write. I didn’t resist. I couldn’t be happier.
What word encompasses the twenty-something decade?
I’m going to do two, because I can’t help myself: Wildly Unsatisfied.
What are three things we couldn’t find out about you on the internet?
1. I’m painfully, debilitatingly shy in real life.
2. My greatest passion in life is working with young people. I ran a youth outreach teen theatre for three years, and I loved every second of it.
3. My dream is to write a fiction “new adult” queer book series!