( Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention. )
( Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )
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I'm a 35-year-old straight woman, recently married, and everything is great. But I have been having problems reaching orgasm. When we first started dating, I had them all the time. It was only after we got engaged that it became an issue. He is not doing anything differently, and he works hard to give me oral pleasure, last longer, and include more foreplay. He's sexy and attractive and has a great working penis. I am very aroused when we have sex, but I just can't climax. It is weird because I used to very easily, and still can when I masturbate. I have never been so in love before and I have definitely never been with a man who is so good to me. Honestly, all of my previous boyfriends did not treat me that well, but I never had a problem having orgasms. My husband is willing to do whatever it takes, but it's been almost a year since I came during vaginal intercourse! Is this just a temporary problem that will fix itself?
My Orgasms Are Now Shy
"This is a temporary problem that will fix itself," said Dr. Meredith Chivers, an associate professor of psychology at Queen's University and a world-renowned sex researcher who has done—and is still doing—groundbreaking work on female sexuality, desire, and arousal.
"And here's why it will fix itself," said Dr. Chivers. "First, MOANS has enjoyed being orgasmic with her partner and previous partners. Second, even though she's had a hiatus in orgasms through vaginal intercourse, she is able to have orgasms when masturbating. Third, she describes no concerns with becoming sexually aroused physically and mentally. Fourth, MOANS has a great relationship, has good sexual communication, and is sexually attracted to her partner. Fifth, what she's experiencing is a completely normal and expected variation in sexual functioning that probably relates to stress."
The orgasms you're not having right now—orgasms during PIV sex with your husband—the lack of which is causing you stress? Most likely the result of stress, MOANS, so stressing out about the situation will only make the problem worse.
"I wonder if the background stress of a big life change—getting married is among the top 10 most stressful life events—might be distracting or anxiety-provoking," said Dr. Chivers. "Absolutely normal if it were."
Distracting, anxiety-provoking thoughts can also make it harder to come.
"Being able to have an orgasm is about giving yourself over to pleasure in the moment," said Dr. Chivers. "Research on brain activation during orgasm suggests that a key feature is deactivation in parts of the brain associated with emotion and cognitive control. So difficulties reaching orgasm can arise from distracting, anxiety-provoking thoughts that wiggle their way in when you're really aroused, maybe on the edge, but just can't seem to make it over. They interfere with that deactivation."
Dr. Chivers's advice will be familiar to anyone with a daughter under the age of 12: Let it go.
"Let go of working toward vaginal orgasm during sex," Dr. Chivers advised. "Take vaginal orgasm off the table for at least a month—you're allowed to do other things and come other ways, just not through vaginal-penile intercourse. Instead of working toward the goal of bringing back your vaginal orgasm, enjoy being with your sexy husband and experiment with other ways of sharing pleasure, and if the vaginal orgasms don't immediately come back, oh well. There are, fortunately, many roads to Rome. Enjoy!"
My advice? Buy some stress-busting pot edibles if you're lucky enough to live in a state that has legal weed, MOANS, or make your own if you live in a suck-ass state that doesn't. And tell your husband to stop trying so hard—if his efforts are making you feel guilty, that's going to be hugely counterproductive.
But last word goes to Dr. Chivers: "If your vaginal orgasms don't return, and you're unhappy about that, consider connecting with a sex therapist in your area. In the USA, AASECT, the (AASECT.org) is a great resource for finding a therapist or counselor.”
Follow Dr. Chivers on Twitter @DrMLChivers.
I'm a straight man who recently moved in with a rich, straight friend. He sent me an e-mail before I moved in letting me know he was in a femdom relationship. He was only telling me this, he said, because I might notice "small, subtle rituals meant to reinforce [their] D/s dynamic." If it bothered me, I shouldn't move in. Finding an affordable place in Central London is hard, so I told him I didn't mind. But I do. Their many "rituals" run the gamut from the subtle to the not-so-subtle: He can't sit on the furniture without her permission, which she grants with a little nod (subtle); when he buzzes her in, he has to wait by the door on his hands and knees and kiss her feet when she enters and keep at it until she tells him to stop (NOT SUBTLE!). She's normal with me—she doesn't attempt to order me around—but these "rituals" make me uncomfortable and I worry they're getting off from my witnessing them.
Rituals Often Observed Mortifying In Extreme
His apartment, his rules—or her rules, actually. If you don't want to witness the shit your rich and submissive friend with the great apartment warned you about before you moved in, ROOMIE, you'll have to move your ass out.
I know a teenager in a theater production who is receiving inappropriate advances from an older member of the cast. Her refusals are met with aggression and threats that he'll make a scene, ruining the show for everyone. I believe that fear is causing her to follow through with things she isn't interested in or comfortable with. What advice would you have on how she gets out of this situation? She's otherwise enjoying the theater experience.
Theatrical Harassment Really Enrages Adult Torontonian
The awesome band Whitehorse invited me to Toronto to celebrate their new album, Panther in the Dollhouse, which features songs inspired by sex-workers-rights activists and—blushing—the Savage Lovecast. (Luke and Melissa and the band rehearsed and played the Savage Lovecast theme live, which was magical.) Anyway, THREAT, I answered your question during the show and I kindasorta jumped down your throat. I thought you were a member of the theater company and an eyewitness—and passive bystander—to this harassment. ("You ask what this kid can do about this," I recall saying, "but the better question is why haven't you done something about it?")
But there was nothing in your question to indicate you were an eyewitness and a passive bystander, THREAT, which I didn't realize until rereading your question after the show. Sigh. I have more time to digest the questions that appear in the column or on the podcast, and my copy editor (peace be upon her) and the tech-savvy at-risk youth live to point out a detail I may have missed or gotten wrong, prompting me to rewrite or rerecord an answer. But I'm on my own at live shows—no copy editor, no TSARY, no net—upping the odds of a screwup. My apologies, THREAT.
But even if you're not an eyewitness, THREAT, there are still a few things you can do. First, keep listening to your friend. In addition to offering her your moral support, encourage her to speak to the director of the play and the artistic director of the theater. This fucking creep needs to be fired—and if the people running the show are made aware of the situation and don't act, they need to be held accountable. A detailed Facebook post brought to the attention of the local media should do the trick. Hopefully it won't come to that, THREAT, but let me know if it does. Because I'm happy to help make that Facebook post go viral.
On the Lovecast, Amanda Marcotte on Game of Thrones: savagelovecast.com.
A young boy aids in the fight against a mechanized terrorist organization as the sole controller of a prototype giant robot.
I couldn’t sleep, so I wandered into the weird and comforting landscape of UHF television’s modern equivalent, which in this case is a digital antenna station on 56.4 here in Los Angeles, called Comet TV*
For the next half hour, I watched this magnificently bizarre thing called Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot. As far as I can tell, there’s this little kid called Johnny Sokko, and like all the other kids in school were all “Johnny Sokko, you’re a stupid face!” so he was like “h*ck you guys, I’m going to get a giant robot and live on a boat for some reason. Oh, and also, I’m like 8 or whatever, and I’m in charge of a giant flying murder machine. So watch your step, bitches.” Johnny gets this this giant robot who flies, and he controls him by issuing commands into a gold wristwatch. Instead of telling the robot to breakdance for his endless amusement, Johnny cries a lot and makes the robot save the world from a squid guy or something who lives in a sunken spaceship, adjacent to a pineapple under the sea? It’s all a little fuzzy in the translation, I’ll be honest, but I think I got the gist of it.
Anyway, I probably made some of that up, but this is all true: There’s a Flying Robot who is vaguely Egyptian. There’s a Gargoyle Gang, the Emperor Guillotine, a military group of children who are called Team Unicorn and are the only thing between Earth’s survival and intergalactic destruction for some reason, and all the bizarre 1960s Kaiju visual effects you could ever hope for. The music is exactly what you want it to be, and at one point, an entire freeway overpass is destroyed, because who among us hasn’t wanted to do that!
A quick search on a few of the Internets made it clear to me that I was not just way late to the party on this (the short I saw was originally released in Japan in 1967, as Giant Robo because obviously) but I am also discovering this literally decades after it became popular with the cool kids. So if you’re like OH GREAT WIL WHEATON THANKS FOR WASTING MY TIME WITH SOMETHING I ALREADY KNEW ABOUT now you can feel like a jerk because it’s new to me, Roland. It’s new to me!
It’s weird, and fun, and overflowing with potential audio samples, so I thought I would share it with you today. Here’s what I think is the first episode, in which we meet Johnny Sokko, the Flying Robot, an unsettling sea monster, and more:
There are several collections of Johnny Sokko films at the Internet Archive. I guess you can also buy remastered DVDs if you want to go that route (though I strongly believe that the faded and aged look of the originals at archive.org is a significant contributor to the charm of the thing.)
Good luck. We’re all counting on you.
One of the super fun things about living with depression and anxiety is how my idiot brain can go from “CAN DO!” to “EXISTENCE IS SUFFERING” faster than you can wish to take two strokes off your golf game. So today started out normal, and very quickly became a rough day. One of the ways I help myself through days like today, is to acknowledge that I’m sick not weak, and then take one step after another to get out from under the lead apron that Depression likes to drape over my life.
I just answered an ask on my Tumblr thingy that has helped me feel better, and I wanted to put it here, so it’s easy for me to find again the next time I need it:
Q: what can I do to bring myself out of depression?
So I’m having a tough day today, and I know that it’s my mental illness taking small things that most people can probably roll past, and blowing them up into one giant lead apron of I CAN’T EVEN.
Knowing that and accepting it doesn’t make it go away, but it does give me a little bit of light in this darkness, to help me eventually find the exit.
We have to remind ourselves that Depression Lies, and one of the things it does, to keep itself strong and in charge, is tell us lies, like: I am the worst at everything. Nobody really likes me. I don’t deserve to be happy. This will never end. And so on and so on. We can know, in our rational minds, that this is a giant bunch of bullshit (and we can look at all these times in our lives when were WERE good at a thing, when we genuinely felt happy, when we felt awful but got through it, etc.) but in the moment, it can be a serious challenge to wait for Depression to lift the roadblock that’s keeping us from moving those facts from our rational mind to our emotional selves.
And that’s the thing about Depression: we can’t force it to go away. As I’ve said, if I could just “stop feeling sad” I WOULD. (And, also, Depression isn’t just feeling sad, right? It’s a lot of things together than can manifest themselves into something that is most easily simplified into “I feel sad.”)
So another step in our self care is to be gentle with ourselves. Depression is beating up on us already, and we don’t need to help it out. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that you’re feeling terrible (or bad, or whatever it is you are feeling), and then do a little thing, just one single thing, that you probably don’t feel like doing, but I PROMISE you will help. Some of those things are:
Finally, please trust me and know that this shitty, awful, overwhelming, terrible way you feel IS NOT FOREVER. It will get better. It always gets better. You are not alone in this fight, and you are OK.
You can ALWAYS talk to a mental health professional, too, if you have any thoughts of self-harm or feel hopeless. Some free and anonymous resources are:
Check in with me in a few days and let me know how you’re doing, okay?
For myself, today: I am getting off Twitter for at least the rest of today, and maybe until the end of the weekend. I am walking myself and my dogs. I am meditating. I am making sure I eat a nutritious lunch AND dinner (go me!). And I’m going to accept that, at this moment, my creative well is dry. It will refill in its own time, and I have to accept that I can’t force it.
Without the Internet, I’d be just another failed actor struggling to make ends meet. Because I had the same ability to put together a website and reach an audience as anyone else, I was able to put my words on your screens, and eventually into a book that got into many of your hands. If Comcast or Verizon or AT&T or some other big telecom decided that regular guys like me had to pay some sort of protection money to have the same ability to reach you as Google or MSN does, I never would have been able to get WWdN off the ground, much less found Monolith Press, publish Dancing Barefoot, and start an entirely new career as a writer or have a second act in my acting career. There would be no Tabletop. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty happy that Tabletop is in the world.
We successfully fought to keep the Internet open and free just a few years ago, but it’s under attack again, another disastrous consequence of the Trump administration.
Here’s Consumerist on what is at stake (again) and why we are here (again):
The FCC that passed the Open Internet Rule was led by chairman Tom Wheeler, during the Obama administration. When the Trump administration took office in Jan. 2017, the FCC changed too.
At the end of January, long-time net neutrality foe Ajit Pai was promoted to the big seat and became the Commission’s chairman.
Because gaining a majority at the FCC is, on many key issues, basically a matter of partisan math, Pai will absolutely succeed if he wants to, regardless of literally tens of millions of people arguing against it.
Today is a day of action. Today, we are asking all Americans to take two minutes and contact the FCC, to make your voice heard, and make sure the FCC knows that you want network neutrality to be protected. Ars has a good collection of essential reading about network neutrality, but if you only have time to read one of them, here’s a concise guide to writing a comment to the FCC.
Two minutes, you guys. That’s all we need from you today. Please, take action.
I'm a gay medical student with a medical fetish, and I can't even open up to my therapist about this. I think the fetish started when I was young; I was once in the hospital and given a suppository for a fever. Then one time I was given a Fleet enema. I don't think the "butt stuff" turned me gay, but my fetish may stem from the aspect of being controlled. I grew up in a very conservative religious household. I've never been in a relationship, and I don't know that I could have one while hiding what turns me on. In my profession, we have to be confident and even sort of "dominant" in our roles as providers, but underneath I'm incredibly submissive. I didn't go into medicine for this reason. We have very strict professional boundaries and ethical expectations, and I have no problem with that. I expect my job to be very clinical and boring. But outside of work, I feel like my sexual desires need some kind of outlet.
Dilemma Of Conscience
"Someone can have one persona at work and another at home," said Eric the Red, a Florida nurse and a fellow medical fetishist. "DOC can be confident and dominant at work—his patients need someone confident and dominant to get them through their medical issues—and then find someone to spend his life with who brings out his submissive side and gives him the balance to make him feel like a whole person."
In other words, DOC, when you do start dating and having relationships, you're going to want to be open about your kinks. They're nothing to be ashamed of, and there's no point in hiding your sexual interests from your future partner(s). You want a sex partner who meets your needs, not one you have to hide your needs from. So long as you keep things professional at work—which shouldn't be hard, since it's being the patient and not the doctor that turns you on—you have nothing to feel conflicted about.
"The one practical problem he will encounter is that since he actually knows how to give a physical, he may have less patience with fetishists who are not medical professionals in real life and don't really know what they are doing," said Eric. "Over the years, I have trained nonprofessionals who want to play doctor to give semi-realistic physicals, insert and irrigate catheters, use sounds, and otherwise have enough technical expertise to do a medical scene that's realistic enough that I can enjoy being their patient without screaming, 'No, that's not how it's done!' He may find himself doing the same."
The good news?
"DOC won't have any trouble finding like-minded people," said Eric. "Medical fetishists are well organized online; just spend a few minutes on Google and he'll find them."
As a 56-year-old, 95-percent-straight woman, I'd like to think all y'all gay men can enjoy blowjobs without that dip in the degradation pool straight men always take. Maybe you could gaysex talk some sense into stupid straight men. On PornHub recently, I watched a fearless young woman use a dildo five ways and come at least 10 full symphony times. This new generation of women! Impressive! But then I watched an 18-year-old Russian woman with an equally beautiful black American man. She sucked away on his dick and swallowed 12 times in five minutes! I kept thinking: She's gonna get a break now? Maybe a hug? A beer, a joint, a pay raise? Something?!? Nope. She even apologized for spilling some come at one point. Now I'm SAD. It's the exact same shit I faced when I started in '73. Gaysex talk some sense into stupid straight boys! Y'all gay men do blowjobs without degradation. Tell straight men how it's done!
Really Angry Gal Is Needing Gays
There's nothing inherently demeaning about giving someone a blowjob, and plenty of people—gay, straight, bi, pan, demi, sapio, etc.—give and receive blowjobs without splashing around in the degradation pool.
That said, RAGING, gay men are just as likely as straight men to "dip in the degradation pool" when they're getting blowjobs—particularly when a blowjob is being filmed. No need to take my word for it: Head over to the gay aisle at PornHub. You'll find lots of videos where the guys giving blowjobs are degraded—called names, roughly handled, made to apologize for come spillage—and you'll be hard-pressed to find one in which the word "cocksucker" isn't tossed around. But don't feel bad for all those gay cocksuckers, RAGING: For many gay men, the taunts we feared most in high school become the dirty talk that gets us off in adulthood. As for the video you saw—a Russian interfering with an American erection—there must have been breaks that were edited out (no guy can come 12 times in five minutes), so hugs, beers, and joints may have been made available when the cameras weren't running.
I have a phone-sex kink, and I got Tinder to explore that. I tell guys it won't get physical and that I'm interested only in text play and photo swapping. I matched with a cute, kinky guy, and I have been playing with him mostly over text for about two years. The issue is that I found out recently that he's engaged. I'm pretty conflicted about this. He says that sex with her is good but vanilla and that she's unwilling to experiment. He also isn't comfortable sharing his kinks with her. I understand that some people have a hard time reconciling the dirty shit they want to do in bed with the sweet girl they want to marry, but he seems unwilling to try. Do I cut him off? Is he just doing what he has to do to make an otherwise good relationship work? Is it okay of him if she never finds out and everyone is happy?
Playing Hurtful Over Text Only?
The odds that your sext buddy's wife will never find out are slim. Spouses snoop, computers and phones get left open, a dirty message or photo intended for one person (say, you) gets sent to the wrong person (say, her). If you're not comfortable playing with someone who is deceiving his girlfriend and/or wife—if you don't want the incriminating message his wife inevitably finds to be one intended for or from you—you should end this, PHOTO.
But it is possible to continue playing/texting/sexting with a semi-clear conscience: He may be doing what he needs to do to make this relationship work; he's exploring his kinks without touching another woman; if this is cheating, it's cheating lite; etc. Whatever you ultimately decide to do, PHOTO, you should encourage this guy to open up to his fiancée about his fantasies and kinks. It's exhausting to spend your life with someone you have to hide from—exhausting and rarely successful. If he doesn't want the truth to end his marriage, he needs to tell her the truth now. Engagements are easily called off, marriages less so.
ITMFA UPDATE: We want to send tasteful ITMFA American flag lapel pins to every member of Congress! Go to ImpeachTheMotherFuckerAlready.com, select a member of Congress, and write a short note explaining why you want that motherfucker impeached! It costs $15 to send two tasteful pins—and one unmistakable message—to Congress! All proceeds benefit the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the International Refugee Assistance Project! Help us flood Congress with ITMFA pins!
On the Lovecast, trans activist Buck Angel: savagelovecast.com.
Here are five things I want you to know:
So that’s five things I want you to know on this lovely Sunday that’s way too fucking hot. What do you want me to know?
EDIT OH SHIT I FORGOT I WANTED YOU TO KNOW THIS ALSO BUT SIX THINGS I WANT YOU TO KNOW IS WEIRD TITLE SO I’M NOT CHANGING IT: I am honored to be a guest on this week’s Lovett or Leave It podcast.