Karma is… Government Assistance

Karma is… Government Assistance

Looking back now four years later, I try to figure out what happened there. I question every decision starting with Mr. Sexy’s retirement. On one hand I can view our choices as naive, unrealistic, stupid. But then I think about all the events that took place after: Covid in 2020, trauma in 2021, the crazy cycle in 2022 and here we are in 2023 building a new life for ourselves. My fall from Pure Romance grace not only taught me valuable lessons, it also set in motion a different trajectory for my career in the sexual health industry. 

Continue reading below.

Government assistance
Taco Tuesday


I didn’t think I could stand the shame I felt walking into the social security office. I wanted to make myself small as we stood in the waiting area, not wanting to be seen by anyone including the receptionist. Then I saw her, my client. Even though she only attended a few of my Pure Romance parties and never made a purchase with me, I didn’t want to be seen by her and potentially have a really awkward conversation.

On one hand, I didn’t belong there standing in that room waiting for my turn to see how much government assistance we could qualify for. On the other hand, my Pure Romance business tanked and I hadn’t discovered Sex Coaching yet. At the time Mr. Sexy no longer worked for Corporate America and instead put his focus on building a marketing company. 

The room was so silent. Neither Mr. Sexy or I spoke to each other. The shame too great. Instead of feeling grateful that we could potentially qualify for government assistance, we beat ourselves up for not being more successful entrepreneurs.  

In April of 2019 I boasted about how my booming business retired Mr. Sexy from corporate America. Forever. My god, how naive.

By October my Pure Romance business crashed and burned – almost. Long story short I made some bad business decisions landing me in a hole of about $4k of products I couldn’t deliver. I called the company to quit, tears on full display. The woman who helped me was so kind and gentle. She contacted the CEO, who contacted me and gave me my big girl talk. He told me exactly what I would do next to make this right with my customers and then Pure Romance sent me all the products required to fulfill my grossly overdue orders. I will always be grateful to Pure Romance for taking care of me in such a huge way. I know that my history with the company played a role. So, instead of quitting in the worst way, I faced the consequences, took the hits and remain in good standing with Pure Romance and my clients today.

As far as anyone else knew, my party business paid the bills and then some. I felt so ashamed about my secret business blunders that the party part of my business never did recover. I think part of me worried about the rumor mill if I continued doing parties. So, I gave it up.

Mr. Sexy and I applied for government assistance shortly after my business almost totally collapsed. We no longer brought in stable income.

Looking back now four years later, I try to figure out what happened there. I question every decision starting with Mr. Sexy’s retirement. On one hand I can view our choices as naive, unrealistic, stupid. But then I think about all the events that took place after: Covid in 2020, trauma in 2021, the crazy cycle in 2022 and here we are in 2023 building a new life for ourselves. My fall from Pure Romance grace not only taught me valuable lessons, it also set in motion a different trajectory for my career in the sexual health industry. 

Between 2019 and 2023, Mr. Sexy and I exhausted every government resource we could find. I didn’t often open up with anyone about our financial difficulties. In many ways I felt at fault for our struggles. I failed in so many ways and coldn’t set myself right again. So when shit hit the fan  in 2021, I gave up all notions of running a successful business.

Even though I didn’t experience overt stigma using the food stamps we qualified for, I felt it every time we pulled out that card. Mr. Sexy and I coached each other often through our feelings of shame about the situation. Together we questioned behaviors we saw, statements we heard and belief systems that were modeled to us growing up about the types of people who receive government assistance and why.

The conclusion we kept coming back to is that government assistance is in place to help people in need. Everybody needs help sometimes.

This wasn’t my first time receiving government aid, either. As a young single mom I qualified for HUD housing, WIC and food stamps. I felt no shame in the help I received. In fact I would often celebrate it, inviting my friends over for game night or to study and always providing the food. “Let the government pay for it,” I would say. They gave me more than I could possibly spend in a month. So why not share?

But now I’m an adult with a successful business and an image to uphold. How could I possibly be seen as successful when I’m not even able to buy my own groceries? As much as I don’t like to admit it, image matters to me. Food stamps doesn’t fit my life anymore. For some reason this time receiving government aid felt different. 

Regardless of the embarrassment and shame from being on government assistance for about three years, I do feel blessed for how much it helped us get by, particularly during COVID.

With so much stress coming from every other angle, I felt immense relief taking the kids to Costco at the beginning of the month and filling the fridge with delicious, healthy foods. But then the clock ticked from October 31, to November 1, and we no longer qualified for government assistance. Even though we knew this day would come soon, we expected it after the annual review in January.

So we decided to go pedal to the metal and get me set up for Sex Coaching clients. Within one weekend Mr. Sexy took my website and gave it new life. Maybe it’s silly, but a professional looking website is important to me. I feel like it helps give me credibility even though I know I don’t need a website to do that. After everything I walked through this year, my confidence in who I am only continues to grow. I am better positioned today to get back to work than just three months ago. And do you know what I am discovering since being released from government assistance?

Food stamps held us back from experiences.

After doing the math, we know or bare minimum dollar amount needed to feed the family every day. Up until last mouth we only stayed within the confines of our local grocery store to satisfy our needs. But since loosing food stamps we discovered Taco Tuesday, a new pizza joint and I found some amazing deals with meal delivery services.

I still feel scared sometimes when I think about how precarious life can be. But I cannot live there. I must continue to put one foot in the front of the other. Perhaps this is why my average daily steps are over 15,000. Keep walking friend.


*Some names are changed to protect those who “would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.”

https://youtu.be/ZQ1aGVtMhfM?si=8Qz570-uNTlT8T0L

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4 responses to “Karma is… Government Assistance”

  1. It is truth. We are supposed to apply wisdom provided to us to avoid painful sin and to apply humility in those times we invariably do fall, learning from our error and working not to repeat it.

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