Sunday, October 27, 2013


Two weeks ago I had a long weekend off work (Columbus Day), and I had planned to spend Saturday night through Monday afternoon with Frisbee. Instead, I picked a stupid fight with him Saturday night and spent the entire evening sleeping in the living room (my choice). Then I left on Sunday afternoon and cried the whole way home.

This past Friday night I came home from work and within the first 20 minutes was in an argument with Now-hubby about my Halloween costume that ended with me not talking to him for a half hour.

I grew up in an environment where my parents yelled. Well, correction. My father yelled. A lot. My mother just sort of sat passively through all of it. Which is not to say that she was a victim, because she was probably just quiet because she was too drunk to properly verbalize a response.

When I was old enough to leave, I got as far away from all of it as I possibly could. That was my response to arguments - I left. It was a fairly good defense against fights between other people that were happening around me. The one time I did try to intervene and have an opinion about an argument between my parents I got physically hurt, so looking at it from the angle of self-preservation, disappearing completely was a lot easier.

The only downside to this defense strategy is it was difficult to rely on in my own relationships. Especially because the types of people I tended to get involved with were those who actually cared about me and wanted to help if I was hurting. Which, in and of itself I was very grateful for. It was something I was unfamiliar with, but I recognized it as a way healthier option than repeating my parent's relationship format.

For a very long time I had absolutely no idea how to appropriately handle my own anger within my relationships. I would have literal panic attacks. Scream, cry, and break things. I would go days without speaking to the other person. The pattern worked like this: I would get upset about something. Usually something small and inane. Something like a tiny thought that would go through my head about whether somebody really cared or not. I would get angry, and that anger would make me think I was becoming my father, which was terrifying. And then absolutely worst of all the other person would want to stick around and talk about things. Which how do you tell somebody you care about that even you can't properly explain the reason you're upset? I knew that wanting to understand and help the person you cared about was technically the "right"thing to do, but I had spent so much of my adolescence and early adulthood getting as far away from anger as I could that any other response was completely irrational.

It's taken a really long time to get to the point where I'm even able to slow my mind down and tell somebody, "I need time to myself to deal with this." Space helps me quiet both the initial anger and the incredibly unhelpful cycle within myself that's upset about being upset. I can recognize this, and being able to ask for it is a huge step, and means I can get over things a lot faster.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Comic Comic Comic!

I linked around this morning and found Try it, You'll Like It. You should check it out as well.

That's seriously all I have right now. Happy Friday, everybody!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Three cheers

Congrats to Women's Health for having a very decent article about casual sex (friends with benefits, no-strings-attached, whatever the fuck you want to call it) in their November issue.

I was completely ready to hate this article because the deck mentioned "significant drawbacks" to these types of relationships. (Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to this site for helping me sound intelligent about the different parts of a magazine article in these past two entries.)

Then the article actually took me out of this mode:

And put me into this mode:

Here are some of the awesome things they mentioned:

Casual sex works "when you're in a good place with your job, social life, and personal life, and all that's missing is sex."

You can not be having sex but be otherwise completely happy with everything else in your life. Sex is not something around which anyone should base the entirety of their existence.

"To make the most out of casual sex, you need trust, reasonable expectations, and clear communication. You need to know that the experiences will stay between the two of you, and that you're in a safe zone."

Ah, communication. I love that it's brought up early and often in this article.

...also advises discussing your sexual history in the beginning.

This is not advising going into specifics or doing a numerical comparison with your partner. This is just advising being safe and doing one's best to not get STD's.

The men studied reported more positive and fewer negative reactions to sex-focused relationships than the women (though on the whole, the female view was more positive than negative).

HUGE. Fucking monumental. Normally when I see this statistic quoted, they leave the parenthetical statement out completely. It's usually made to sound that women have nothing but negative reactions to sex-focused relationships. The inclusion of the fact that women have positive views as well, but just not to the same percentage as men, is amazing.'s important to check in with yourself often to make sure it's working.

In addition to communication between the two people, it's awesome to see a focus on the lady self-reflecting and being honest with herself about whether this is what she's really looking for.

If you want more than sex, let him know. And if he doesn't feel the same, end it.

This is not to say that you can't ever reconnect with this person and have some sort of relationship that goes beyond just having sex with each other. (Yeah, even me, the hardest of hearts, holds out a tiny hope for utterly stupid romantic love sometimes.) This is about in that exact moment not trying to negotiate your way into a relationship that makes either of you unhappy. If you want more than sex, and he doesn't, you're going to compromise on one end of the spectrum that either you don't want or he doesn't want. And that's a shitty basis for a relationship. Get back together when you're both on the same page.

If you believe only sluts do this, you won't be happy.

This is a fantastic point included in a larger discussion on not judging yourself. I'd also like to point out that it's equally important to not judge other women who are in these types of relationships.

If you can have sex only when you've had two or more drinks in your system, it may mean you're not as comfortable with it as you might think.

Worth mentioning. Not only in the scheme of "sex-only" relationships, but in relationships in general.

It's important to be truthful about what you want from the romps.

Ah. Not only communication, but honest communication.

...the most important thing is your level of enjoyment - or obligation.

Again with the self-checks. I love it.

Whatever way you want to push your sexual boundaries - be direct.

With all the focus on communication and honesty, I'm willing to go there with this article. It advises letting your partner know that you want to push some limits, but also to be very clear and direct about the limits you do have. And if something you wanted to try turns out to be not your cup of tea, talk about that, too.

Finally, sex is what this matchup is all about, so you should feel free to have lots of it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

IQ points

The last time I was at the gynecologist I picked up a copy of Pregnancy & Newborn magazine. Mostly because there was a thing on the cover about whether motherhood makes you smarter, and also because the receptionist told me they were free copies.

Knowing my feelings about children already, I figured it would be interesting to get the viewpoint of people who genuinely want children.

Long and the short of the 2 page article? Having kids doesn't actually make you smarter, unless you use a person's ability to take care of children as an indicator of intelligence. Maybe it's just my rigid vernacular structure, but I was hoping for actual Wechsler or Stanford-Binet data where we compared the IQ scores of people before and after they have kids.

What the article is actually about?

...certain parts of a mom's brain actually grow during pregnancy and during the postpartum period, leaving us slightly larger in specific areas - including those that deal with maternal motivation (hypothalamus), reward and emotional processing (substantia nigra and amygdala), sensory integration (parietal lobe), and reasoning and judgement (prefrontal cortex).

The article goes on to say that you also create a lot more neurons and neural connections during pregnancy. I argue against this because your brain deals with any new experience by trying to connect established neural pathways or by creating new ones. Treating this like a unique and amazing occurrence that only happens when you're having a baby is bullshit.

Being a mother changed the brains of female rats enough that they were able to plan ahead to be sure that they had enough food and water to feed their pups.

Similarly to the last point, this has nothing to do with being "smart" and more to do with being a good parent. I'm not trying to specifically define "smart." If you get a 600 on your math SATs and a 100 on your verbal, you're still incredibly intelligent in math. Reverse, and you're incredibly intelligent with your verbal skills. The moral of the story is that having a baby does things to your brain that hopefully will make you a better parent. It doesn't increase your intelligence in any other areas.

It's as if our brains know that nourishing our children (and perhaps even getting in and out of the grocery store in record time) is more important than recalling the trivial information we tend to bank on. 

The specific "trivial information" the article is referencing is knowing which Shakespeare play, "to be or not to be," comes from. It's as if knowing how to change a diaper (or, in the case of this article, shop for groceries in an efficient manner), completely obliterates the need to know general things about Shakespeare. If you know one, you literally have no fucking clue about the other. I'd also like to ask what the fuck we're "banking" our knowledge of Shakespeare on before we have children? Is it the final Jeopardy question?

Current evidence suggests that mother rats get an additional boost [of brainpower] after a second pregnancy.

This is in a sidebar, which means it's one of those quickly accessible factoids that people with not enough time/attention span to read the entire article (attention: new mothers!) will be able to quote. It's also a subtle incentive to have more children.

Friday, October 11, 2013


The totally awesome Tad Kimpton (of Khaos and Discord comics), linked to this totally awesome comic recently. It's all about consent and how to go about negotiating it with partner(s), what it means, and why it's sexy.

You should check it out.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Always be prepared

I'm linking this mainly because it encompasses my feelings exactly about people that narrate sex. Not talking dirty. That's not especially a turn-on for me either, but people that have to be constantly talking during sex make my boner deflate.

Speaking of boners, the Origami condom has been floating around the Internet recently. It's a silicon condom that's apparently also pretty sweet sensation wise. You can watch a neat video on the website if you want. For me, it seems like it moves around an awful lot, but then again I've never had an actual dick so maybe something moving around a lot would be considered a good thing? In any case, I think it's kind of neat. Not having babies is a good thing. I'm a proponent of anything that stops babies from happening.

Here's a neat article about other alternate forms of male birth control that are currently being researched and such.

Keep having that safe sex, people!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Honorable mention

I came across Mark Manson this morning via a link on Reddit. At first, I thought he was another PUA who had almost there advice for dudes on how to pick up chicks. But then I actually read through some of his articles. And I don't agree with all of it, but most of it is pretty read-worthy. So...check it out, folks.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Step one: Collect Underpants

That's not really one of the ways mentioned in this article titled, "5 Ways to Keep Married Sex Exciting," but it might as well have been with as much sense as the actual suggestions make. The article itself is a fantastic mix of actually good advice and bullshit rhetoric. Here are the highlights:

Couples who believed that cohabitating would keep their sex hot have been disillusioned and disappointed when they find out that what keeps sex hot is the security of a committed relationship. 

When the author uses the word, "committed," she means "married." I just thought I would clear that up for everybody, because it's an important distinction to make. I don't honestly know how you wind up cohabitating with somebody you're also in a relationship with unless that relationship is somewhat secure and committed. I guess maybe people have a lull in their sex life and instead of the usual fare of, "let's try role play" they're like, "let's move in together." Who knows. In the world of straight people, that's maybe just crazy enough to work.

Moving in together without a commitment to one another may have made the sex better at first, but once the couple began leaning more on one another and having expectations of one another, the sex dwindled just as it does in a marriage that isn't working.

Just making sure you all understand that by "commitment" we still mean "marriage." It's like she's angry people are trying to somehow cheat the system by having one without the other. Do you hear that, you common law hippies? You're going to get bored just like the rest of us married folks eventually.

It is fascinating to talk with a couple that has been married for twenty years while you try to imagine what they still see in each other. 

"Fascinating" maybe. For me, if I'm talking with two people and I have to use my imagination to figure out why they're still together because outwardly they appear completely unhappy, it's more depressing than fascinating.

My husband says things and touches me now in a way that is much deeper than when we first married.

Hehe. Deeper touches.

For women, the more secure and comfortable they are with their partner, the more unconventional and open to new things they will be.

I have problems with this statement on many levels. It's the first instance in this article where she really starts placing the blame on why married sex isn't exciting. Hint: It's the woman's problem. It's not about married sex being boring, it's about women making married sex boring with all our stupid lady problems.

My secondary problem with that statement is it implies a couple can reach a level of comfort and security where virtually any sex act will be available to sample. It allows the, "if you really loved me you'd do this," card to get played, and that's a shitty, shitty card.

Although I do appreciate the idea that for a couple's 25th wedding anniversary, instead of silver they'll celebrate with anal. Consensual, secure, and comfortable anal.

Men's need for visual variety is much higher than women's.


This statement gets presented so often as fact that I have absolutely nothing to say in response to it anymore. It just hurts my head whenever it pops up.

Men may use this as an excuse for why they visit men's clubs or invest in pornography, when in truth, this is a rote and "in the box thinking" excuse.

Yes, invest!

This [talking about their sex lives] proves excruciatingly painful for them, especially the women. 

Damnit, ladies. You won't have boring sex, and now you won't even have boring conversations about your boring sex.

...but if one of them interjects, "Oh wait, we have to talk about our sex life now,"...

Which prompted Now-hubby to ask, "Who the fuck actually talks like that?"

Some of women's views about their sexuality are directly related to the way society affords more social accolades for being a good mom than they do for being a wonderful, intimate partner to their husbands (the media also projects husbands as being another child for the wife to look after). 

Notice the very subtle change to the woman being a mother now. It's partly my child-free bias, but I notice things like this in articles about married couples. The article's not focused anymore just on married couples, it's focused on married couples with children. The article's not going to come right out and say that having kids might be contributing to the couple's boring sex life, but the kids are definitely at least worth mentioning in this article about how boring your married sex is. Also, yes. Media equals bad. Thanks.

It isn't uncommon for me to counsel a forty-year-old woman who has been married for years but has never had an orgasm and has no idea how to achieve one.

On the subject of women who have never (for whatever reason) given themselves an orgasm...

The wife needs to understand that sex is a stress reliever for her husband, and her husband needs to understand that sex may be an additional stressor to his wife.

There's a very important difference between understanding and actually giving a shit. I don't think this article is advocating for the latter. While the author does say the couple should communicate about their sex life, she doesn't mention talking about any of the other stuff that constitutes a relationship. i.e. balance of responsibilities in the household. She mentions dudes should help out around the house, and then women will feel less stressed and be able to show more physical affection. If I were a husband, I can read all the words from the article and fundamentally understand them, but it doesn't mean I'm going to have the first idea which "stressors" my wife needs help with unless I ask and she's willing to tell me. It's the dishes and maybe she'll give me a handjob. Hmm, yeah, that sounds reasonable.

Many women will tell me the reason they don't hug or touch their husband more is because their husband's mind goes directly to the goal of having sex, and she feels "too tired to get into all of that."

We're not even talking about sex anymore. We're talking about just touching your spouse. Holding hands with them. Hugging them. These couples aren't just not having sex, they're not showing any physical intimacy at all. This goes beyond dead bedrooms. This is fucking terrible. Also, the implication is there that men are so singularly minded that if you even so much as touch them they're going to think you want to have sex with them.

Fantasize. The more you think about sex, the more you will want it, so be sure to take time to think about it.

This is tip #3 in the list of 5 things to do to keep sex exciting. Don't worry. 1 and 2 were about the mind being your sexiest organ and embracing your flaws. You didn't miss much. I chose #3 to quote because it's fool proof. The only thing you have to do to actually want sex is to think more about sex!

Tip #3 also cracks me up because after blaming the media for giving women unrealistic expectations about themselves and sex, the author brings in this recommendation to help women get in the mind-frame for fantasizing:

Read romance novels, listen to music, and watch movies.

Surely none of those count as media, right?

Just remember to keep this one important tip in mind:

I caution couples not to share their fantasies unless they involve one another.

Which begs the question of what type of fantasies are "okay" to share, and what level of involvement we're actually talking about. For purposes of this article, I'm going to assume "involve" means the two people who are in the relationship having sex only with each other. Probably role play is not even allowed.

Get to know your body. Touch yourself so you know the sensitive areas of your body. Where does it make you feel good to touch?

Tip #4. I imagine somebody literally just poking themselves with their index finger. "Well, that doesn't feel good when I do it against my jawbone, maybe it'll feel good if I poke my elbow?" The issue with the "get to know your body" thing is unless you already have a sneaking suspicion of what feels good, you're in the dark as to where to begin. It's going to take awhile, especially if you don't even know what type of reaction you're looking for. I'm talking to you, 40 year old woman who's never had an orgasm. When I was first learning my body and what felt good in high school, it took me...about a year to really figure out what felt good vs. what felt "omg I'm going to cum" good. And it took more than just exploring my body. I read books and *gasp* looked at porn in addition to touching myself.

Healthy marriage foreplay starts first thing in the morning and lasts all day.

Tip #5. Talk about a chore. If sex itself is already a stressor, I don't see how having to maintain all-day foreplay lessens any of that stress.

Sexual intercourse is only one small part of sex. There are so many ways to be intimate in your marriage, so why get hung up on only one?

I dislike when people lump other forms of intimacy in with sex. Yes, hugging, kissing, holding hands, those are all nice things. Those can all foster an emotional connection with somebody when you're in a relationship. Sometimes these things can lead to sex. Sometimes not. Sex is a very particular and different type of intimacy, though.

Also, I don't know. Maybe we're hung up about sex because we just read an entire damn article about all the problems we're having with our boring sex, and how to make it better.


In true Rule34 fashion (Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.), there's now "published" dinosaur erotica. I put published in quotes because I'm pretty sure dinosaur erotica has been floating around the fanfiction universe for...ever. This is just the first instance of dinosaur erotica you can actually spend money on in the Kindle store.

If you'd like an accompanying dildo for your dinosaur erotica reading experience, I suggest Bad Dragon.

Enjoy, everybody.