How Buying a Decent Cup of Coffee is A Lot Like Paying for Sex

coffee-cup-1322130-1279x1940

A cup of prostitution (sort of).

For a long time, there were two things I absolutely refused to pay for: sex and a decent cup of coffee.

Sure, I’ll pay someone to take care of my kids, or clean my house, or mow the lawn, but sex and coffee were always strictly Do-It-Yourself projects.

Not paying for sex has proven to be surprisingly easy, considering my inauspicious start: back then, I fell into despair as all my high school girlfriends, one by one, lost their virginity the summer before senior year (even Anca, the exchange student from Bucharest, who had successfully petitioned the school administration to start a girls weightlifting team). Meanwhile, I failed to get past second base with my boyfriend, Keith. During the darkest days of that relationship, the awkward, fumbling days that made me wonder if Keith even knew how to do “it”, I began to understand the appeal of paying  someone more experienced, a la Holden Caulfield (we were reading The Catcher in the Rye in Honors English).

Anyway, while I was putting on another clean shirt, I sort of figured this was my big chance, in a way. I figured if she was a prostitute and all, I could get in some practice on her, in case I ever get married or anything. I worry about that stuff sometimes.

Eventually, Keith and I figured things out without any money changing hands, and shortly thereafter, I went off to college and had so much sex graduated and got married and never thought of paying for sex again.

But the coffee thing . . .

Not paying for coffee has been so much harder because I just can’t seem to make a decent cup on my own.

Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve bought fancy Italian machines, and low tech French presses. I’ve ground my own beans and stored them in the freezer. I’ve charted  water temperatures and measured grounds out on a scientific scale that promised accuracy to seven decimal places. I’ve done all that and always wound up with coffee that tastes like a cup of the dishwater left standing in my kitchen sink from a soaking lasagna pan.

Why is this so hard? It can’t be, can it? Because even the coffee I get from the gas station down the street, you know, the one with a single, cloudy coffee pot that sits on the burner all day and wears a tattered placard (“Rich Bold Flavor!”) on its handle tastes better than anything I brew.

I’m pretty intelligent, or at least I like to think so. Anyway, other people have told me that I am, and they can’t all have been trying to sleep with me, though that skeevy guy who sat behind me in PHI 110: Introduction to Ethics probably was. And I like to believe I’m a problem solver. And coffee looks to me like a problem that needs to be solved.

Still, up until now, I haven’t been able to come up with the solution, so I’ve been paying for coffee, and I’ve been feeling much guilt and shame. With every cup, I beat myself up.

“I have to stop doing this,” I thought to myself as I handed the barista another five dollar bill. “This is ridiculous, and it’s wrong. I’m an intelligent woman who believes in self-reliance and independence. I should be able to make a decent cup of coffee.”

I should, but I can’t.

I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not about intelligence or problem-solving skills, but rather it’s some natural gift that people are born with that I’m lacking, like being able to hit a curve ball or drive a stick shift. Maybe I should just let it go, realize that my talents lie elsewhere and accept the fact that I’m one of those people in this world who will have to pay for it.

The other day at the grocery store, I stood in the coffee aisle admiring all the pretty packages, all promising to make the perfect cup of coffee. A woman was busy grinding beans in the machine there and I asked her if the brand she was buying was any good.

“It’s terrific,” she said. “The best coffee I’ve ever had. You should try it.”

I shook my head and looked away, not wanting her to see my tears.

instant-coffee-1322482-1279x884

Instant Gratification.

In the end, I chose a jar of instant coffee from the shelf, some Nescafe Clasico, wondering if it could be any worse than my own home brew. I’ve made quite a few cups by now, and I have to say, it’s not so bad, and anyway, it’s quick, just two minutes in the microwave. I guess what I mean to say is that I’m getting used to it, and I’ve decided when I really need it, I’ll be happy to pay a professional.

 

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at freeimages.com.

 

 

 

All the Reasons Why You’re Not Giving (or Getting) a BJ Tonight

Perhaps you, like my husband, are wondering why you didn’t get a BJ last night. Or perhaps you’re wondering why you didn’t give a BJ last night.

Oh, what’s that you say? You haven’t been wondering? Instead, you were thinking about what you’ll order for lunch, or what’s happened to Chaz Bono’s career now that Caitlyn Jenner showed up, but now I’ve put this image in your head that’s playing over and over on a loop in your brain like that clip of the gazelle getting taken down by a lion that you clicked on by accident that one time? It took the arrival of a certified letter from the IRS to get those images out of your head, who knows what it will take this time!

Anyway, keeping with the long-standing tradition of revealing uncomfortable details about my sex life here on Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please, I’m letting you know I haven’t been meeting my quota in the Blow Job Department.

Slide1

As you can see, we’ve been trending down for a long while and even slipped into negative territory recently as I promised to give a blow job on a couple of occasions ( March 20th, The International Day of Happiness and then again on that night the kids slept over a friend’s house) only to renege at the last minute.

Now, if you’ve been reading Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please for, let’s say, longer than two minutes, you’ve probably already realized that I am not a woman who is averse to putting a penis in my mouth.

So why have I (mostly) stopped?

Georgia Platts, over on Broadblogs, in the post Why Do Women Stop Being Pornstars? offers one explanation. She suggests that it’s the cultural repression of female sexuality that makes us, eventually, (mostly) stop. Platts’s argument begins with the assertion that, because we’ve learned to repress our natural sexual feelings, women need a lot of stimulus in order to become sexually aroused, and this stimulation is easy to find when a relationship is fresh and new and exciting. As a relationship develops, that stimulation is harder to come by so there isn’t enough to overcome the internalized behavior to repress our sexual desire.

In all seriousness here for a moment, I hope I have captured Platts’s argument accurately, and if not, I hope she will weigh in to correct me.

OK, back to my nonsense: I read Platts’s post and I immediately thought, “Oh, this is a bunch of hooey!” I can tell you now, some days later, as I’ve been thinking about nothing but BJs as I’ve struggled to compose this post, that I’ve decided Platts’s explanation makes a lot of sense. Long time readers of this blog know that I’ve written at nauseating length about sexual desire in too many posts, and while I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly expressed my thoughts, I think I’ve just always assumed that there is probably some socio-biological explanation for desire.

Platts’s post got me thinking I may be wrong about that.

Still, I would more readily accept female sexual repression as the explanation for the lack of BJs in my marriage if it weren’t for my own experience (that’s called confirmation bias, people) that includes the following:

  1. My husband shows a corresponding decline–perhaps not as drastic, but it’s there all the same–in the frequency of other romantic activities, including (but not limited to) twiddling, canoodling, mug-wumping and East Yurkanian kissing.
  2. While I’m not discounting the experience of other women,  I never thought sex was dirty or disgusting or horrible and (here I go with another uncomfortable detail about my personal life) I remember having sexual thoughts from a pretty early age (And I do mean early. Let’s say five or six. And I had crushes on some boy or another all through elementary school). I developed this attitude toward sex even though the message I received from my mother was that sex is awful and dirty and disgusting and to be endured by women only because we want babies.

So it’s hard for me to accept that the reason I’m not having much oral lately is due to repressed sexual desire, as I don’t think I’ve ever repressed a sexual desire in my life (behavior is another story). Let me say here that I have absolutely no doubt that’s the reason for many women out there, and I don’t mean to diminish or invalidate or pathologize their experience of their own sexuality just because it isn’t identical to mine. If their sex life is causing them unhappiness, I wish them every tool in the box to correct it to their satisfaction, including working through repressed feelings.

Instead, for me, I have to think that the way I feel about blow jobs today is sort of the way I feel about Major League Lacrosse. Let me explain: last week, when my husband suggested we go see a game (or is it called a match? Hmmm. I don’t think I really care), I responded, “I think I’ll pass.”

This is a lacrosse stick. Yeah, I wasn't sure, either.

I won’t be blowing this, either.

But if he had asked me to suck his cock go to a Major League Lacrosse game back when we were dating, I would have jumped at the chance.

What has happened in the intervening dozen years? Have those feelings that Major League Lacrosse is icky and disgusting and I’d be a dirty whore if I wanted to go see a game match game re-emerged, after being held at bay for a number of years by the initial thrill and excitement of discovering there was, indeed, such a sport as Major League Lacrosse?

Have I sworn off Major League Lacrosse fellatio forever now that I’m in an old, dull relationship?

I hope not. We shall see as my marriage lurches through its second decade.

As this post winds down, I’d be remiss if I didn’t raise this issue: I have to question if establishing a standard of what Ms. Platts calls “pornstar sex” is setting just one more unattainable goal for many women, like squeezing into 24 inch waist jeans and filling out double D bra cups.

Maybe “pornstar sex” shouldn’t be the expectation (aspiration?).

Ok, so I promised to give you the reasons why you’re not giving/getting BJs. How the hell do you expect me to know? All I can tell you is why I’m not giving one tonight.

  • I’m too familiar with my husband’s penis. I already know what it’s like to give my husband a BJ. As a species, I think humans desire novelty, new experiences, and we’re curious. It’s the reason why we’ve ventured into outer space and also the reason why I blew that guy Ryan, freshman year, even though he was kind of a jerk. We needed to know what it was like to walk on the moon and also what it’s like to give a BJ to a jerk, I guess.

    A Sister of the Or Something.

    A Sister of the Or Something.

  • I’m old. Oh, God, it kills me to say it, but I’m old and those sex hormones that seemed like they would rage through my bloodstream forever now need a cane and a walker to get around. Before this is all over and I’m lying cold and dead in the ground, who knows how I’ll feel about blow jobs? I’ve always imagined myself as a surprisingly spry, and incredibly horny, 80-year old but now I may turn into one of those women who decides late in life to join a religious order, the Sisters of the Sexually Inactive (or something).

So there you have it, the latest in my ongoing series of “Posts That Will Get You To Unfollow My Blog.”

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at freeimages.comI made that crappy line chart myself.

Life is Short. Stay Away From My Husband.

There is no time like the present for cheating on your spouse, at least according to AshleyMadison.com.

ashley-madison-site

And life is short, I won’t argue with that, and I’ll wager it’s going to be significantly shorter if your spouse finds out you’ve signed up for a membership on AshleyMadison.com, the internet fucking dating site for cheaters married people.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with married-and-cheating websites, let me explain that there are a whole bunch of them out there, with names like Marital Affair and Illicit Encounters, and still others with names like eHarmony and Match.com (for those who want to cheat on their spouses, but not with other sleazy cheaters).

Anyway, back to AshleyMadison.com. Sanctimonious virgins Hackers broke into the website recently and made off with the personal information of the members, which is sort of like what happened at Home Depot and Target awhile back, only instead of your spouse discovering you’re painting the bathroom some weird shade of green or wearing Sonia Kashuk cosmetics, they just found out you’re trying to have marital relations with someone outside your marital relationship.

As you might imagine, the data breach sent a collective shudder through the internet, as adulterers around the world wondered what the hackers would do with the information. Would they leak all the registered email addresses, alerting the world (and that includes your spouse!) that you’ve been out there doing something you should not have been doing? Would the Ashley Madison hack be a sort of sexed-up version, with sex, of Edward Snowden releasing all those super-secret classified documents?

You can imagine why some folks were concerned. Not me (Are you surprised? Dear Reader, must you have such a low opinion of me?), as my familiarity with AshleyMadison.com comes mostly from that one episode of The Simpsons.

Since I’ve been researching this post, I’ve become more familiar with AshleyMadison.com (btw, remind me to clear my browsing history). The site is full of all sorts of interesting information, if by “interesting” you mean “depressing.” Here’s an infographic I pulled from the site’s Twitter feed, purporting to show the “top cheating neighborhoods” in Philadelphia.

CIclzPMXAAAuGFx

My neighborhood isn’t on the map, so I guess if I want to cheat, I’ll have to move. If I’m looking for a threesome, I’ll head to Mount Airy (that’s what the image included there, means, right?) and if I’m interested in a spirited game of Chinese Checkers before cheating, I guess University City is the place to be. Animal lovers cheat in Frankford, and I’m not really sure what’s going on in Chestnut Hill, but it’s nice to see that couple spend quality time with their young child, even if they are cheating cheaters.

Still, that chart has to be heartening for the faithfully inclined: there are over six million people living in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and only 50 of them are having affairs, apparently (please don’t argue with my careful interpretation of the highly scientific data that has been meticulously collected by AshleyMadison.com). Let’s see, half of those must be women (again, please don’t argue), so it looks like there are 25 desperate home-wreckers out there who I have to guard against.

I think I’m up for the task, because, as I demonstrated in the post, Tales to Tell, I’ll hiss and claw at your face if you even look at my husband. Bitch, you do not want to go there.

The images in this post come from AshleyMadison.com and are believed to comply with Fair Use standards under U.S. and international copyright law.

My Summer Sex Challenge

Over on Her Life Inspired, Simone Jones Tyner is calling on her readers to take part in the “Summer Sex Challenge” and I’m considering it, mostly because it’s July, just about everyone is on vacation, I’m wearing sandals to work, the temperature hovers near 90 degrees every day, and I’m wondering if I could get away with serving the kids ice cream for dinner twice in one week.

A challenge could be just what I need to add a little structure to my summer, so that when September rolls around, I can look back and say that I accomplished sex something in the Summer of 2015.

If you read the fine print, or at least read Ms. Jones Tyner’s explanation in the comments on the post, “Why You Should Take the Summer Sex Challenge,” you’ll see another reason why the event appeals to me.

Other than attempting to have as much sex with your partner as you can, there are no rules to this challenge.

rulesSo there are No Rules, sort of like eating at Outback Steakhouse, and, also like eating at Outback Steakhouse, I’m hoping they’ll be low expectations. I imagine expectations can’t be too high in my relationship, anyway, as I’ve been married for a dozen years now, and there are only so many positions into which the human body can configure itself, not to mention the limited number of orifices. I’ve been married so long that introducing a new technique is just as likely to be met with guarded suspicion as delighted surprise.

“Where did you learn to do that?” my husband will ask, but he really doesn’t want to know. I’m not sure if the real answer (that I saw it on the internet in an East Yurkanian porno clip) will be less unsettling than the one he imagines (that I learned it from a real, live East Yurkanian).

The Summer Sex Challenge, as you might imagine, piqued my husband’s interest, at least, at first.

“Wait a second. It’s not like that ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser, is it?” he asked. “We’re not going to have to ask our friends to donate money every time we have sex, are we?”

Summer's here and the time is right for rubbing a popsicle on my nipples.

Summer’s here and the time is right for rubbing a popsicle on my nipples.

“No, but it’s interesting to see where your mind goes. I’m all for a little ice play.”

He’s a former altar boy and still a nerd so he thinks I’m talking about ice hockeyI consider (just for a moment) having sex on a Zamboni but reject the idea, as we’re both pretty klutzy and someone will get hurt, maybe the Montreal Canadiens.

“So what do we have to do?” he asked. “Other than, you know, the obvious.”

“That’s it,” I answered, and show him Simone Jones Tyner’s blog. “Just have sex as much as we can.” I read the comment again. “With a partner. So I guess whacking off doesn’t count.”

“With a partner? Or with your partner?”

See? I told you he’s suspicious. I guess I’ve been talking a little too much about the college guys working summer jobs in my office.

Your partner. Your husband or your wife. Boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever.” He demands further clarification from me. “With you, with you.” I said. “I’d be having sex with you.”

“But don’t we do that already?” he asked. Now he’s looking askance at Simone Jones Tyner’s blog. “It’s not much of a challenge to do something we’re already doing. It’s like taking a Breathing Challenge, or a Sleeping Challenge.”

“I think it has to do with the quantity,” I explained. “It would be like breathing or sleeping a whole lot.” He’s not convinced. “Or like eating a whole bunch of hot dogs,” I said, recalling the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. This year’s winner, Matt “MegaToad” Stonie beat Joey “Jaws” Chestnut by eating 62 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes on the Fourth of July.

“Do we have to sign up?” he asked

“No,” I said. “And we don’t get t-shirts, either, if that’s your next question.”

He turned quiet, but now he’s got me questioning the Summer of 2015 Sex Challenge.

“You know,” I said after a moment, “now that I think about it, there’s not much to this challenge. There’s no rules, no assignments, no t-shirts. It isn’t very challenging for something that’s called a challenge. There should be rules, and assignments, and t-shirts.”

Yes, there should be. Good luck!

2015 SUMMER SEX CHALLENGE RULES

  1. In order to qualify, all sexual events must occur in temperatures above ninety degrees with no air conditioning. Box or window fans, as well as attendants misting cool water from spray bottles, are permitted.
  2. Participants must wait for the starting pistol shot before commencing the sexual event.
  3. When a sexual event takes place out of doors, participants are required to wear sun block SPF 45 or higher, and sunglasses or a sun visor.
  4. Condiments Condoms Both condiments and condoms will be provided if desired.
  5. Participants who vomit within five minutes after a sexual event will be disqualified.

2015 SUMMER SEX CHALLENGE ASSIGNMENTS

  1. Chug blue raspberry Slurpees while having sex in or behind a Seven Eleven.
  2. With your partner, create a sexual tableau using a bowl of potato salad, an ear of buttered corn, a plastic sand bucket, and two sparklers (lit). Have sex within ten feet of your display, incorporating the lit sparklers into your love-making.
  3. Find an unlocked RV in the parking lot of a Walmart while the owners of the vehicle are away replenishing supplies for their cross country vacation. Have sex in the driver’s seat.
  4. Cover your partner in chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker crumbs before having sex.
  5. Decide to visit a historic landmark or point of interest in some far away corner of your home state. Fight with your partner all the way there because he/she refuses to stop at rest areas or refuses to listen to your advice on directions, or both. Have very angry, very hot sex when you pull over to the side of the road after getting hopelessly lost.

And here are some graphics for that t-shirt I know you’re dying to wear.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Royalty free stock photos, including some of the images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com. I created that crappy slideshow in Powerpoint myself.

Her Eyes Say Yes (It’s Just the Medication Talking)

http://www.legendswebdesign.comLet me tell you the number of times I’ve tried to write this post: four. You can see my attempts, lying stillborn, in my drafts folder.

So why has it been so hard for me to write about flibanserin, the so-called female Viagra? The topic seems a natural fit for a sex-crazed  horny  frisky  intellectually curious blogger: it’s got sex, it’s got science, and it goes to the heart of a subject that I dance around when I’m writing about dating and marriage and monogamy and polyamory. What I’m really talking about when I talk on the internet is desire.

And flibanserin is supposed to deal with desire, or rather, the lack of desire, in women. Among those who believe this is an actual medical condition (many don’t; hang on, I’ll get to them in a moment), it’s called hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Or it used to be called that. HSDD is the name the shrinks came up with back when they classified this as crazy a psychiatric disorder. Then they decided it wasn’t. Now the DSM-V has something called “female sexual disinterest/arousal disorder” which is not quite the same thing, and does not lend itself as easily to an acronym.

Anyway, the people who are trying to sell the pills have resurrected HSDD as a sort of nom de guerre, no doubt in preparation for their military marketing campaign, having learned from Pfizer that initials (“ED”) sell way more little blue pills than phrases like “limp dick.”

He's taking boner pills, and she's taken meds that make her think he's attractive.

The happy couple: He’s taking a pill so he can get a boner, and she’s on meds that make her think he’s attractive.

Speaking of that marketing campaign, I imagine a television commercial something like this: An attractive couple of indeterminate age hold hands and smile at one  another as the sun sets behind them. Then, a soothing voiceover.

With the help of flibanserin, she won’t have a headache tonight. 

Flibanserin. For Really Great Sex.™

Well, maybe not quite “really great sex.” Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company that acquired the rights to the drug after Boehringer Ingelheim, the original developers, threw up their hands in despair, promises only that their research shows an increase of satisfying sexual events (SSEs) of .5 to 1 per month when using the drug over taking a placebo.

Perhaps you, like me, wonder, “What’s an SSE?” Is it an earth-moving, make-the-neighbors-call-the-cops (“Officer, I swear I thought he was killing her!”), I-can-die-happy-now orgasm? No, it’s not that. An SSE is whatever the participant in the study finds satisfying. That definition makes sense to me, as I can understand how an SSE would be different for different people, and might be different even to the same person, depending upon their stage of life. Back when I was younger, any sexual event that didn’t end up with me pregnant was satisfying. Now that I’m married, any sexual event that isn’t interrupted by my kids is satisfying.

But is an increase of 1/2 to 1 more SSEs a month enough to justify altering your body’s chemistry? From the Sprout Pharmaceutical website, here’s what the drug does.

Flibanserin is believed to work on key neurotransmitters, or chemicals, in the brain that affect sexual desire. More specifically, it is thought that flibanserin corrects an imbalance of levels of these neurotransmitters by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine (both responsible for sexual excitement) and decreasing serotonin (responsible for sexual inhibition).

For a long time, the opponents of the drug argued against it based on efficacy: “minimal results” did not outweigh the potential risks (fatigue, low blood pressure) and, for a long time, that argument won the debate. The FDA refused to approve the drug in 2010, and then again in 2013.

Now, last week, after all this time saying “No! No! No!” to flibanserin, sounding just like that Catholic girl back in high school who wouldn’t let you under her sweater, an FDA panel has done a complete reversal, and not only lifted up the sweater, but also spread its legs (metaphorically!) and said, “Yes!” to flibanserin. It looks like the government agency will follow the panel’s adivce and ultimately approve the drug for sale.

What brought about the change of heart? Did some new study show flibanserin really is super effective, and now women everywhere can have as many SSEs as their hearts desire? Nope. Still only 1/2 to 1 more SSEs per month from the group that didn’t take the placebo. What changed is that Sprout Pharmaceutical lobbied hard for the drug and enlisted the media in the effort (Google and you’ll find a news story in the Washington Post that reads like it was written by the company’s PR department) and appealed to feminism and fairness: men have twenty-odd drugs approved for male sexual dysfunction and women have nada.

I’d be lying if I said Sprout Pharmaceutical’s argument doesn’t sway me. Why hasn’t more effort been made toward solving the sexual problems of women? I’ve been called (derisively, but I wear the label with pride) a sex-positive feminist and it pains me that, out of necessity, so many feminist discussions of sexuality center around rape, abuse, and exploitation. I wish there were more opportunities to celebrate female sexuality, because it’s an aspect of my life where I’ve found a lot of joy as a woman. Maybe if more women were having great sex, there would be.

So why didn’t the FDA approve flibanserin sooner? Could it be that as a society we’re still uncomfortable with the sexuality of women? Did the rejection of flibanserin amount to the FDA saying “Nice girls don’t”?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Even as a sex-positive feminist, I see the problems with treating lack of sexual desire in women, because from there it’s a very short walk to that icky place where we find ourselves having sex when we maybe don’t really want to have sex.

And is “hypoactive sexual desire disorder” even a thing? The American Psychiatric Association said no, it’s not. Sexual desire varies in humans, there is no norm from which one can be “hypo” or “hyper” and anyway, it’s not something that can be measured like blood sugar level. In addition, there’s is a long and tortured (literally!) history of the medical industry treating people (especially women) for “diseases” that they did not have. Normal female behavior has been pathologized in the past, and the story of flibanserin sounds an awful lot like something we’ve seen before.

1401853_83250194

“. . . and the next time you have sex it will be so great your neighbors will call the cops!”

After all that I’ve written here, perhaps you can see why I’ve struggled so long with writing this post. I don’t know how I feel about flibanserin. I guess I’m okay with the FDA’s recent decision, and I do believe women should have the choice to get relief from their situation if it’s troubling them. Anyway, it’s not my place to tell other women what’s good for them or not. If I could, I would wave a magic wand so that every woman gets to experience sex with caring, thoughtful, respectful partners and they’re so full of desire nothing else ever gets done in their lives.

How’s that for an unintended consequence?

Royalty free stock photos, including the images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com. 

Brother From Another Father

Minnesota Twins Logo

By now you’ve probably already seen the news story about the New Jersey woman
who gave birth to twins with different fathers
. It’s a phenomenon called heteropaternal superfecundation, a phrase which will surely impress the guests at your next cocktail party, if only you can find a way to work it into the conversation. Anyway, it happens when a woman releases two eggs during ovulation and then a different man fertilizes each egg. An uncommon event, perhaps, but not unpossible.

Of course, in order for heteropaternal superfecundation to occur, you need a confluence of events: failure of birth control, two ovum, and willing guys. Put this way, it doesn’t seem too difficult to achieve and I’ve got to wonder why it doesn’t happen more often (and perhaps it does). Birth control fails, as any parish priest will tell you (6% of the time, on average). Twins account for 3.37% of live births in the U.S., so that’s very doable, as well. And willing guys? I expect that percentage hovers around 100.

Unlike New Jersey Mom, my dance card only ever held one name at a time, with the single exception of a brief period where I dated two guys who were both named John. I don’t think I could have pulled it off otherwise, say if one was named Kevin and the other one named Doug.

As so often happens in dating, the one I really liked–to avoid confusion, let’s call him The John I Really Liked–didn’t like me as much as I liked him. We hung out at the student café for weeks before he ever asked me out and then we went to dinner that one night and to the movies another night. I spent more time waiting around for him to call than I ever spent being with him.

And, as so often happens, The John I Didn’t Like So Much liked me more than I liked him. He bought me flowers (a handful of not-quite-dead-yet daisies he picked up at a convenience store) and planned a picnic in a park that included the foresight to bring both a corkscrew and bug spray, but inadvertently excluded wine and a blanket. We ate very dry crackers and cheese in the grass and every so often squirted passing ants with Off! A week later, he named one of the rats he took care of in the biology lab after me.

One night, as we strolled around campus together, he asked me if I wanted to visit his work-study job. I figured, why not? I’d never been inside the Biological Sciences Building, even though I’d taken Biology for Dummies Biology for Non-Science Majors. That class was held in the basement of the Performing Arts Center,  in case any of us liberal arts majors needed to break out in song or recite poetry while learning about how cells grow, develop, and reproduce.

With The John I Didn’t Like So Much as my guide, I found my way across campus to the science building. He unlocked one of the laboratories with a key from his shirt pocket. Inside, he showed me a bunch of test tubes and petri dishes, a slide he prepared and then invited me to look at under a microscope, and, lastly, a row of metal cages that held a series of white rats. He pointed at one scurrying around its cage and called it by name: “Karen.”

I considered this dubious distinction for a moment before my brain returned to brood over the question that had preoccupied me most of the evening.

What was The John I Really Liked doing on this Saturday night?

Karen, the voyeur rat

Karen, the voyeur rat, is watching what you’re doing with that guy you don’t even really like that much.

As I tortured myself with the possibilities (I’d seen him talking to another girl outside the library the day before), The John I Didn’t Like So Much made his move. He pressed me up against the far wall of the room, my back uncomfortable against a row of clipboards that hung there, and we made out, in full view of Karen The Rat, among the reams of data the biology students collected. I responded, not so much because I liked The John I Didn’t Like So Much, but because I was thinking about The John I Really Liked.

So I’ve got to wonder about our New Jersey Mom, the one with the twins that have three parents. Do you think she was thinking about Guy #1 when she was with Guy #2? Or was she just killing time with Guy #1 while she waited for Guy #2 to call?

Royalty free stock photos, including the image of the hamster (it’s a hamster, not a rat!) in this post, can be found at freeimages.com. The Minnesota Twins logo is trademarked by Major League Baseball and its use is believed to comply with fair or acceptable use principles established in U.S. and international copyright law.

Faster, Stronger, Smarter, Better

So here’s another TLC reality show I’m probably not going to watch: The Man With No Penis.

Don’t think I don’t want to.  I’m absolutely dying to know how The Man With No Penis Andrew Wardle managed to sex over 100 women even though, you know, he was lacking a bit of equipment most of us heterosexual ladies (and quite a few homosexual gentlemen, I imagine) feel is integral to the act. Still, I’m not going to watch because I’m boycotting TLC right now. It’s that The Human Incubator Show that’s got me going. My blood just boils every time I see a member of that litter clogging up my entertainment news feed. I want to read Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet tips, or how much one of the Kardashians weighs (it doesn’t matter which one), and not so much about Super Uterus.

Call me crazy, but I still cling to the notion that motherhood should be more about quality, rather than quantity. While the jury is still out on the two specimens I’ve produced (so far it’s been a mixed bag: the six-year old received another conduct report from her teacher last week, while the eleven-year old got placed in Advanced English Language Arts for next year), they’re currently taking up space on the living room couch, expanding their minds by watching a rerun of Jessie.

It’s that episode where Jessie writes the angry song about her boyfriend that winds up posted on YouTube by accident.

“Why do the girls on all these shows all want to be pop stars?” I asked while walking into the living to pick up the two microphones empty paper towel rolls my daughters had abandoned there. Originally, there had been only one microphone empty paper towel roll, but that had caused fighting and tears, so I unraveled an entire roll of Bounty to keep the peace. The unused paper towels now resided in a messy pile on the kitchen counter, a way stop before they made their way into the trash as I cleared the counter before starting dinner. “How come no one wants to be an accountant or a biologist?”

How come there aren't any shows about public sanitation workers?

How come there aren’t any shows about public sanitation workers?

“Or President of the United States!” my six-year old chimed in. She has an idea for a television show, starring herself, about the first six-year old President. I figure, why not a six year old President? Did you ever really think we’d elect a black guy in your lifetime, either?

Last night, as I helped her get ready for bed, she interrupted  her teeth-brushing to describe an intricately plotted episode that involved a birthday party and an assassination attempt.

I would be lying if I told you I didn’t think about stealing the idea for a story I’m writing.

“Yes, or the President of the United States,” I agreed.

“That’s dumb,” my eleven-year old said. It’s not clear whether that’s her opinion of the President Show or the Accountant Show or the Biologist Show. She put her earbuds back in her ears and pretended not to watch Jessie.

You rolls the dice, you takes yer chances.

You roll the dice, you take your chances.

So I have two kids, the same way I have two cats, and we used to have two guinea pigs, until Lulu’s sister, Nibbles, died quietly in her sleep a few months ago. That’s the way I want to go, with a tummy full of hay, nestled into a bed of recycled repurposed wood pulp, my head full of dreams of giant carrots and slices of sweet bell pepper.

The point I’m making is that I like the number two, which probably explains why I keep writing blog posts about polyandry to the discomfort of my (so far only one) husband.

Of course, the number of children one has is a personal choice, and who am I to say if you should have one or two or nineteen kids? I had two because we live in a three bedroom house and the thought of packing up all our crap and moving it all to a bigger house has been enough to keep me on Ortho-Evra®.

If you haven’t made up your mind yet on the number of children you should have, let me share with you the best argument I can make about having at least two children. Here it is: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe the Super Uterus just followed that advice to the extreme. She’s got 19 (and counting!) baskets out there, so perhaps she’s just playing the odds, spreading around her eggs. Maybe it’s got nothing at all to do with that “quiverfull” bullshit, and really it’s just a gambling habit she can’t break.

Super Uterus: I can feel it.Today is our lucky day. We need to have sex now. I know this next one will turn out to be the scientist who cures cancer or maybe the pitcher for the Cubs who finally wins game seven of the World Series.

Super Sperm: Um, I dunno. That last one you pushed out has crossed eyes and a lisp. I don’t see curing cancer or the Cubs in that future. What did we name it, anyway?

Super UterusHer. I wish you would stop calling them “it.”

Super Sperm: Ok, her. What’s her name?

Super Uterus: Who knows? I just call her “Cross Eyes.” I can’t keep them straight, I’m too busy with all these pregnancies.

Super Sperm: Tell me about it. I almost added that kid with the runny nose as a beneficiary on my life insurance policy before the neighbors came over with the police and snatched him back. Did you know he didn’t belong to us?

Super Uterus: You let the neighbors take Snot Nose?

Super Sperm: They had a DNA test! I couldn’t stop them!

Super Uterus: (weeping) I loved him the best!

So maybe every month, as the Duggars try to get knocked up again, as Michelle lies there after sex, with her feet in the air, saturating her cervix with Jim Bob’s little spermies, they’re just hoping that this next baby will be faster, stronger, smarter, better than the previous nineteen disappointments.

The Man with No Penis is scheduled to air on TLC in the US in late summer.

New episodes of Nineteen and Counting: the Story of the Super Uterus  appear each Tuesday on TLC at 9/8C.

Royalty free stock photos including the image in this post can be found at freeimages.com.The photo of Debby Ryan comes from the Disney website and is believed to comply with fair or acceptable use principles established in U.S. and international copyright law.

Millennials Aren’t Any Sexier Than the Rest of Us

Famous libertarian kook science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said, “Every generation thinks they invented sex.” Then he added, “Now get off my lawn!”

No, I made up that last bit, but I am starting to feel like an old geezer myself (Heinlein was 73 when he wrote that line) whenever I recall that quote as I read about the latest trends in dating and mating. Depending on how you calculate, I might be a technical Millennial (I didn’t have my first, legal drink until 2001), but I was pregnant and married before Facebook and smartphones and mostly avoided the sea change that technology wrought on the world of romance.

The trannies on Tinder are really hot.

The trannies on Tinder are really hot.

Or maybe things haven’t changed much at all. Take a look at the exchange over on Discovering Ratchet in the post, “I Just Found Out I Am a Tranny.” While texting  on Tinder, some douchebag charming fellow douchebag called fearless blogger balletandboxing a “tranny” because she disagreed with his own modest assessment of his attractiveness. Because, um, I guess those are the only two choices? Find him attractive, or you’re not really a woman.

There’s nothing new in that encounter, except the medium over which it occurred: if we could travel back in time, way back before Tinder, back when I was in college, we would see a douchebag guy call me “frigid” because I wouldn’t sleep with him. I’m sure he would have called me a tranny, if he had been watching all the Brazilian porn balletandboxing’s charmer has gotten into, except he’d  taken Intro to Psych the previous semester and learned a new word.

I’ve become more convinced that Millennials aren’t that different from the rest of us now that I’ve seen this poll on open relationships from yougov.com. The poll asked a bunch of 20-somethings questions like, “Have you ever been in an open relationship?” (Yes: 18%) and “Would you consider an open relationship?” (Yes: 14%).

Now that I think about it, I would consider an open relationship.

Now that I think about it, I would consider an open relationship.

Compare those responses to the old-fogey demo of which I am a member (30-44 year-olds): 13% of my peers have been in open relationships, and 14% would consider it.

See? Millennials aren’t any sexier than the rest of us, despite all the technology out there that’s supposed to make sex easier, faster, and anonymous. If we believe the results of the yougov.com poll, and it’s probably as reliable as any scientific research that’s been done on the subject,  Millennials are pretty much like the rest of us: uptight and square.

This shouldn’t surprise me, because I learned a long time ago that the sexual behavior (as opposed to the attitudes) of the generations is more similar than different. When did I learn this? Let’s take another trip in the time machine, back to when I was  in middle school and researching yet another report on colonial America. See, I grew up in New England, and we spent so much time studying the founding of America, it felt like a requirement (Pilgrim Core?) for graduation. Every year in elementary school, we shuffled off on a field trip to the same tourist trap educational exhibit to see desperate and drab Puritans worry about how they would survive the winter while their children rolled barrel hoops down a dirt path in a display of colonial “fun.”

“These are all actors,” Miss Logan explained, as if we needed clarification that the yellow school bus we’d just piled out of was not, in fact, a time machine. “These kids are just pretending,” she continued, addressing a class full of nine-year olds who were all wishing for Game Boys that Christmas.

By the time we reached middle school, my classmates and I were already experts on colonial America, yet each year there appeared to be something new we needed to learn about our forebears. One year, while researching in the library whatever topic I’d been assigned (probably whaling), I accidentally discovered the practice of bundling.

Bundling is probably the best known courtship practice of colonial America, even though very little research on the topic has ever been published. It appears to contradict the otherwise sexually strict mores of the Puritans. It meant that a courting couple would be in bed together, but with their clothes on. With fuel at a premium, it was often difficult to keep a house warm in the evenings. Since this is when a man would be visiting his betrothed in her home, they would bundle in her bed together in order to keep warm. [Yes, to keep warm. That’s why they did it.–K.] A board might be placed in the middle to keep them separate, or the young lady could be put in a bundling bag or duffel-like chastity bag. The best protection against sin were the parents, who were usually in the same room with them. It may not have been good enough, however, as records indicate that up to one-third of couples engaged in premarital relations in spite of the public penalties, such as being fined and whipped, that often resulted (Ingoldsby 1995).

Minuteman

I have S-E-X.

My 13- year-old brain couldn’t get a handle on this. Did it mean those men wearing wigs who carried muskets were having S-E-X with those women in petticoats who carried pails of milk? It must, right? And hold on a minute. Bundling meant they weren’t just having sex. The colonists weren’t just like my parents and my friends’ parents, all of whom had sex, obviously, since we were the living, breathing, damning evidence of the act, filling up Mr. Ceccini’s third period social studies class.

Bundling meant the colonists were having premarital sex.

I can’t explain how shocking I found this information. I was thirteen, Catholic and a virgin, busy attending Confirmation class each week where the catechist, Mr. Hennessy, read from Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Mr. Hennessy thought the modern world was a terrible place, mostly due to birth control pills and divorce. I got the feeling that he would have been happy as an 8th century monk, even if it meant giving up  the institutional sized bottle of Tums he carried around like a talisman, warding off a terminal case of indigestion.

“Premarital sex,” Mr. Hennessy announced one day, as chalky white flakes flew from his tongue, “is yet another scourge of modern society.”

While I didn’t know what the word “scourge” meant, exactly (I looked it up later), I knew it wasn’t anything good, and I knew it made Mr. Hennessy glower at the bored adolescents yawning around him. It went without saying that he was sure we were thinking about sex when we should have been reflecting on our relationship with God and the Church.

Now, I was thirteen and just starting to develop into the pain in the ass I would later become, and I really wanted to raise my hand and ask, right there in Confirmation class, the following question:

“Have you ever even heard of the practice of bundling, Mr. Hennessy?”

But I didn’t. I wanted to make my Confirmation and not get sent to see Father Tom who would have assigned me so many Our Fathers as penance I’d still be reciting the prayer today, twenty years later.

Give the weird foreign exchange student a chance.

Swipe right. Swipe left.

Now, twenty years later, I’m wondering why young people aren’t more sexually adventurous today. Shouldn’t they be, on account of all those sexy apps they’ve got running on their smartphones? But they’re not. Most of them are out there trying to pair up, looking for monogamous relationships, even on Tinder.

The Tinder screenshot comes from the Tinder press kit. Royalty-free stock photos, including all the other images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com

Is This Blog Even About Sex Anymore? Why, Yes. Yes It Is.

Blah, blah, blah, blog!

Blah, blah, blah, blog!

Perhaps you, like  many some a few  other readers of Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please, have been scratching your head and asking the question, “Is this blog even about sex anymore?”

Because this blog is supposed to be about sex, at least a little. The tagline promises Humor and Sex. See? Right there, up near the title. And before you start complaining that I really haven’t been delivering on the humor end of the deal, either, let me just say I’m tackling one problem at a time.

I’ll admit that lately I haven’t written much about sex. Instead, I’ve been writing about Twitter (you thought that post was about being in a book club, didn’t you?), texting, and, for God’s sake, orangoutangs and beavers (and no, I wasn’t just using a vulgar slang term for vaginas in that beaver post, much to the disappointment of my biggest fans the random weirdos who find my blog).

Let me assure you, dear readers, this blog is still about sex. Or it’s as much about sex as it ever was, which is probably not much, but still . . .

Do Not Hump in the Sink, Please.

Do Not Hump in the Sink, Please.

In my defense, do you know how hard difficult it is to write about sex all the time? I imagine it’s like being a sex worker, only without the pay. And without the exploitation. And without the constant risk of physical and emotional abuse. And instead of lying on my back with my feet in the air, I’m usually sitting at my dining room table, staring at the blank screen on my lap top, panicking because it’s Wednesday and I still don’t have a blog post up, while  a cup of coffee turns  cold in my hand.

So, um, I guess it’s not at all like being a sex worker.

I can’t tell who’s braver–the firefighters putting out this fire, or the woman who caused it by having an orgasm.

Anyway, this blog claims to be about sex, and not so much about rap songs from the nineties, so let’s talk about sex. Over on Yahoo!Style, there’s an article right now titled “Five Brave Women Reveal What An Orgasm Truly Feels Like.” I suppose you and I could sit here all day and argue with the editors who came up with that title about what, exactly, constitutes an act of bravery, but surely we can all agree that talking about orgasms ≠ racing into a burning building to rescue small children, can’t we? We can’t? Ok, then, Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please should be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor because I’ve been  “brave” for a long time, at least when I haven’t been talking about Twitter, texting, beavers and orangoutangs.

I used to make the joke that I write about sex in the least erotic way possible, but these women may have me beat with their descriptions of orgasms. They make sex sound stupid and silly, instead of filthy and dirty, the way God intended. Since you probably didn’t bother to click on the article (who wants that page showing up in their web history?) let me recap.

This is what an orgasm feels like, according to the orangoutangs courageous souls on Yahoo!Style.

  1. A sneeze stuck in your nose.
  2. A pot of boiling water.
  3. A free fall. “[It feels] like your vagina is being tossed off a cliff and free falls for a second before landing on a really bouncy trampoline!”
  4. A prize.
  5. A skydive.

I had to include the totality of Lady #3’s comment because it’s just so demented. Really, Lady #3, your vagina falls off a cliff and then lands on a trampoline? Have you been having sex in a Road Runner cartoon?

Still, I think each of the women’s descriptions unconsciously reveals much more about them than they realize. Let me armchair analyze each of them.

Lady #1 suffers from allergies.

Lady #2 has been burned by love.

Lady #3 never had an orgasm, and maybe never even had sex.

Lady #4 married the first person she had an orgasm with.

Lady #5 engages in lots and lots of risky sex.

As for me, I’d say an orgasm feels like a crescendo. And what does my description say phila_alt_greentext_0_1406314447about me, except that I played in the high school band and like the sound of foreign words? I think it also says I’ve thought an awful lot about this topic, enough so that I can come up with the word “crescendo” without much prompting,  and maybe it also says that I married a guy who likes classical music. You don’t hear the word “crescendo” spoken much in relation to the alt-pop of which I am a fan, so he gets the credit for inspiring the word, as well as the orgasms.

Royalty-free stock photos, including the images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com. Use of the Radio 104.5 logo is believed to be permitted under the Fair Use Doctrine and is not an infringement on copyright.

Even Our Beavers Are Different

I’m a fan of a bunch of ex-patriate blogs here on WordPress (check out Ellen Hawley’s blogroll on Notes from the UK for a great list of bloggers straddling cultures), and after years months of reading these blogs study, I think I’ve stumbled across the difference between Americans and Europeans: it’s all about beaver.

See, there are only two varieties of beaver in this world, the European Beaver which looks like this:

677480_44997684and the North American beaver, which looks like this:

677480_44997684
As you can see*, they’re a lot alike, and, according to the scientific journal Mammal Research, both European beavers and their American cousins inhabit similar ecosystems and lead similar lives, dividing their time between chewing down trees and building up dams.

Except there’s this one perhaps not inconsequential difference: European beavers are monogamous, while American beavers sleep around.

I’m an American who writes about science law Dr. Ruth Westheimer beavers sex, so this bit of information absolutely delights me, because of course American beavers are out there slutting it up. I’m sure there’s a few whole bunch of Europeans who read this blog and are nodding their heads right along with me, but for different reasons.

“Isn’t that just like an American?” I imagine them saying. “Even their beavers are vulgar.”

Since my knowledge of Europeans comes mostly from watching Masterpiece Theater, I could be wrong about what they might think. Perhaps when they hear about our sexy beavers they’ll think something like “How wonderful!” or “Isn’t that interesting?” rather than express disgust at our aquatic mammals who are unable to resist their baser instincts.

I guess I’ll never know for sure what Europeans think unless I travel outside the US. As readers of this blog know, I’ve been contemplating a trip to Great Britain where I could observe the inhabitants up close in their natural surroundings, just like the scientists who researched the mating habits of beavers, rather than long distance, via an episode of Downton Abbey.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading all these ex-patriate blogs, trying to prepare myself, and I’ve come away with the distinct impression that the rest of the world has a few problems with Americans. And South Americans have a problem with us even calling ourselves “Americans” because aren’t they Americans, too? What’s with these self-centered, self-absorbed, conceited, narcissistic  norteamericanos thinking they’re the only Americans that matter in the whole entire world?

Anyway, if you Google the phrase “American stereotype” you’ll find out what much of the world thinks of us. To them, Americans exist as a dazzling array of unpleasant characteristics.

  • We’re violent. We all carry guns and shoot one another at random.
  • We’re loud. We talk loud, we laugh loud, we breathe loud, we just have to announce our presence everywhere with noise.
  • We’re obnoxious/rude/uncouth/arrogant. Take your pick. Or all of the above.
  • We’re ignorant about the world, and most everything else.
  • We’re obsessed with money.

And maybe we are all of those things. All I know is that when I travel to Europe, I want to make sure that no one ever says after I leave a room, “Of course, she’s American.” Instead, I want to absolutely explode the stereotype of Americans in the minds of the Europeans I encounter. When I leave the room, I want them to say, “Can you believe she’s American?”

I'll even eat French food.

In my effort to prove that not all Americans are provincial, I’ll even eat French food.

I haven’t yet figured out how I’ll do this. Maybe I’ll wear a beret. Maybe I’ll chain smoke cigarettes out of a skinny cigarette holder. Maybe I’ll drop the names of world capitals into conversation. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to lose my accent, which sounds like I’m from New York to people who have never been to New York (I’m actually from Connecticut originally), but I’m thinking I might have to pretend to be mute, which would at least solve that “Americans are loud” thing, too.

So I’m prepared to do all that, and explain our lecherous beavers to them.

*The actual title of this photo, and I swear I am not making this up, is “Wet Beaver.”

Royalty-free stock photos, including the images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com.