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Archive | July, 2010

Dear Dr. Kate, What’s Involved in Egg Donation?

July 21, 2010


photo by woodleywonderworks

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here once a week. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

There’s been an ad for egg donors in the paper for the last few weeks. This isn’t something that usually would have caught my eye at all, but the kicker? They’re offering $5,000 compensation for one bout of egg donation. For a struggling college student, this seems like it could definitely be worth it, however I’m slightly worried about the process and risks that could accompany egg donation. How many eggs do they take? Could it affect my fertility later? What sort of risks are associated with getting the eggs out? Any guidance you could give me would be fantastic, and thank you!

– Ms. Eggscavation

Dear Ms. E.,

Donating eggs to an infertile couple is a wonderfully selfless act, but is a lot more difficult than donating sperm (as evidenced by the much higher payment rates). Women who wish to be donors undergo a rigorous screening process to make sure that they’re in great health, with no family history of genetic problems.

Women who qualify for donation typically go on birth control pills for a month or two to regulate their periods, then begin a series of daily self-injections to make your ovaries produce as many eggs as possible. These are generally shots into your belly, and they do hurt a little. The risks of the hormones are low, but include incredible bitchiness.

Once your ovaries appear to have made enough eggs (determined by ultrasound), the doctors remove the eggs via a skinny needle that’s placed into your ovaries through your vaginal wall (don’t worry, you’ll be sedated during the process). The risks of egg retrieval are generally low as well, and include bleeding and infection. You won’t damage your own egg supply—you have plenty of eggs to be able to have your own children later—and the best evidence says that you’re not affecting your own fertility in any way.

Beyond the physical risks, though, you need to consider the possible psychological ones—can you live knowing that there might be a little boy or girl (or three) out there who is genetically half you? If you’re really interested in pursuing donation, make an appointment with the medical staff, and find out all of the information about it.

– Dr. Kate

dr_kate_100Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

Old Spice Guy, How Do We Love Thee? Let Us Count the 183 Ways.

July 20, 2010


He captured our hearts this past winter with his first breakthrough ad that had him going from shower to ship to white steed all in one take. At the end of June, he was back with another ingeniously absurd one-shot commercial, an awesome upping of the stakes of the first (log rolling? check! jacuzzi busting? check! flying? check!). And just last week, Old Spice Guy launched 183 — yes, 183! — individual video responses (all available on YouTube) to various Tweets he’d received from both big names and no names alike (e.g. Ellen DeGeneres, Starbucks, Alyssa Milano, Huffington Post, George Stephanopoulos, Demi Moore, Gillette, the list goes on and on and on). It’s hard to get worked up over being manipulated into giving away free advertising for a major corporation when it’s so damn entertaining!

Read the full post on SUNfiltered

Your Call – And You Thought Your Ex Was the Biggest Sh*t on the Planet

July 20, 2010


photo by sarahxic

Okay, we admit there isn’t exactly a lot to debate in this week’s edition of Your Call. Clearly this woman should leave her boyfriend, a.k.a. the Biggest Asshole Who Ever Lived. But we wanted to publish this letter anyway because (a) This poor woman needs a public record of all you telling her that she’s better than him and needs to move on; (b) This man needs to be shamed, if only anonymously; and (c) Maybe it’ll make you cut your own partner a bit of slack when s/he forgets to pick up milk on the way home or can’t keep up with the plot intricacies of The Hills. It’s a long one, so grab a snack, and away we go…

Dear Em & Lo,

My on/off boyfriend of 3 years and I have recently split up, for the second time and maybe for good. I fell totally head over heels when I first met him and thought he did too. The problems started the 1st time when he left for work one morning,he left me alone and I went to put his pajamas back in a drawer when I came across a pile of love letters, post cards, etc. The letters were quite intense and the dates they were written coincided with a time he was acting strangely with me because he was scared about his feelings.

He’d recently divorced and has two children. I asked him about it while out at dinner and he denied it, then said it was a one-way thing and that nothing ever happened. I believed him [ED: Oh no you did-n't!] and we sort of moved on, until I found out this woman was married with 3 children and lived around the corner from me.

I threatened to take the letters to her husband but instead let it lie. It was difficult to deal with as they all hung around in the same artsy crowd and there is a 12-year age gap in us, but in time the dust settled until it came to my attention that this girl was in fact best friends with his best female friend (who is also his ex wife’s sister!). They are far too close for comfort, he used to live with his ex wife’s sister and insists that they are not romantically involved and I have tried to be friendly when iIve seen her but cannot help but think that she is only respondant when he is there. She once gave him a lift to a party with his ex-girlfriend and they passed me in the street and he admitted to me that he hid in the back of the car when he saw me. Why do that?

We eventually split up because again he said he was confused about his feelings. I was pretty cut up and shot straight into a rebound relationship, got pregnant and felt as low as ever. I booked in for an abortion, something I am not proud of, as the new guy went back to his ex and I wanted to move on.

I was upset and my ex came to see me. I told him in confidence and surprisingly he was a rock of support throughout and even came to the hospital with me. It was the day after he made a move. [ED: Oh no he did-n't!] I was very emotional and told him I needed space to get my head straight.

Four months passed and we saw each other occasionally in passing and were civil, but I did miss him. After a couple of weeks things evolved and it was like we’d never been apart until I noticed him being secretive with his mobile. I realize I shouldn’t have done it, but after all the upset needed to put my mind at rest. I found numerous texts to his ex wife’s sister, telling her about how I’d gone to him and he’d helped me even though I was pregnant to somebody else.

I was horrified, I felt like I’d been stabbed in the back. I never even told any of my family or friends about the abortion  and now I just feel completely hurt that this woman I don’t even know knows the most intimate details of my life. He keeps ringing/texting to apologize, but now I just don’t know what to do. Please help, an outside opinion is really needed right now!

– Doormat Debbie

Okay, dear readers. Do what you do best…talk some sense into this sweet lady who deserves better!

Wise Guys: What Do Guys Think of Au Naturel?

July 20, 2010


photo by Ollie Crafoord

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, What do guys think when a woman doesn’t trim, shave or wax her pubic hair at all?

anonymous_suitStraight Single Guy (Max): My rule is simple: if I can get through the forest and perform certain acts without being inhibited, then I don’t care. That being said, I would much rather go down on a girl than have her go down on me (which I know is somewhat rare), so my preference is easy access. Do you ladies understand how rad it is to hear, see and feel you freaking out when we go down on you? It’s awesome. Especially when you’re completely comfortable with it. Keeping it completely bare is not necessary but I confess that when a girl is freshly waxed we can BOTH have a lot more fun.

wiseguy_benStraight Married Guy (Ben): It sort of depends. If there’s some thought behind it, like she’s a hippy or a really old school feminist – in other words, if she’s not shaving/ waxing/ trimming on purpose – then it doesn’t really matter to me. The fact that she’s deliberately making an aesthetic choice about her pubes makes all the difference. But if she’s just being lazy or not putting in the effort, well then that actually says a lot — much more than what’s actually going on down there. Of course, realize that if you do make that choice not to do any upkeep, you’re going against what a lot of guys are hoping / expecting to find (see other Manhandled columns here and here). So if you do want to go for that “overgrown look” then I’ll give you this quick tip: popping out of the top of the underwear or bikini is way sexier than coming out of the sides. In fact, a bit of bush overflowing the top of some low cut panties can actually be pretty darn hot.

Gay Single Guy (Bradford Shellhammer): I know what gay guys would do. They would hold you down, pin back your arms, and call for back-up. Shaving it all away, I find, is weird and kinda upsetting. But everyone should trim: your eyebrows, your nose-hairs, your hair on your head, back hair, and yes, down there. Say “We’re animals and it belongs there” and I might upchuck on you. Some things in nature need to be cleaned up. Not removed. But cleaned up. Like a lawn. Letting it go is just troublesome.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Ben, a writer and artist living in Los Angeles who runs AdultParlorGames.com; our Gay Guy is fellow SUN blogger Bradford Shellhammer, the creative director of fabulis and a New York Times featured decorator; and our Single Straight Guy, Max, is a recent college grad in New England. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Dating Advice for The Giving Tree’s Abusive Relationship

July 19, 2010


How did we manage to miss this totally awesome quote from Ryan Gosling? In an interview with New York magazine about his upcoming movie BLUE VALENTINE (opening later this year, it’s a portrait of a marriage, co-starring Michelle Williams), he’s asked about his character’s tattoo of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree on his arm, and replies: “That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him — he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.” Now we can’t decide which we love more — Silverstein’s book or Gosling’s quote about it.

And now the YouTube character “Sassy Gay Friend” has jumped in to set the Giving Tree straight, with a little advice about how to get out of the “abusive relationship.” In case you’re at work, read some of our favorite quotes after the jump.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

Dream Interpretation – His Wife Left Him Out of Her Orgy

July 19, 2010


photo by Vacasion

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about love and sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

My husband had the following dream: He comes home and I tell him I have friends over.  I take him by the hand and lead him down a hallway where people are having sex. When we get to a bigger room, I have sex with different people in front of him and basically just flaunt it.
Eventually I come over to him, climb on top of him and start teasing him.  Then I just get up and walk out.  He doesn’t have a clue where I am going.  He woke up panicked and has talked about it constantly ever since because it’s had such an impact.  He said he couldn’t tell who anyone else was and that I was just flat out mean.   This is not like me at all, nor is the situation. Any insight would be helpful.

Lauri: Aw, poor hubby.  Let’s see if we can’t make him feel better about your tawdry ways!  The first thing you’ve got to remember about sex dreams is that they are rarely about the actual physical act of sex but more about the merging or uniting of it.  That being said, it seems to me that hubby must feel that you have been uniting with quite a bit of either extracurricular activities or you have merged with a more male, assertive energy lately… that is assuming that all the people you were shagging were men.

You are doing this in front of him in the dream which means this is something you are doing in front of him in waking life, and in fact, may be something you are proud of.  So have you been really busy lately, committing yourself to many projects or things that take your focus and attention away from him?  Or have you taken on a more “ballsy” attitude that’s causing you to be pleased with yourself and causing him to be a little wary?

The meanness you display in the dream is most likely waking life unawareness of how he is feeling (our dreams will exaggerate our feelings quite a bit because the emotional centers of the brain are highly active when we dream).  So his concern about your behavior in the dream may be at a 10 when in real life his concern is maybe at a 5.

Nonetheless, the dream does point to something going on that is bothering him enough that the two of you ought to have a nice little chat about it.  Hopefully I’ve given you enough to work with here so you can pinpoint the issue and work it out.  The main thing you want to focus on is what waking life activity or behavior are you engaging in that has him feeling left out or even a teeny bit jealous.  Let me know how it goes!

Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it. Anonymity guaranteed! And don’t forget: you can get access to Lauri’s free Dream Dictionary on her site.

Blog Snog: The Origin of the French Kiss

July 16, 2010


Poster of Robert Doisneau’s “Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville” via Art.com


10 Ways Giving Up On Perfection May Save Your (Sex) Life

July 16, 2010


photo by country_boy_shane

Recent studies show that the personality trait of perfectionism is linked to poor physical health and an increased risk of death — in particular when it’s what psychologists call “socially prescribed perfectionism,” i.e. where you feel like other people expect you to be perfect (as opposed to “self-oriented perfectionism,” when you impose the high standards on yourself — apparently not quite such a health risk). Then again, is it possible to completely separate what you think others expect of you and what you expect of yourself? Where does one end and the other begin?

Anyway, we’re all for people easing back on themselves — especially if it helps them live longer — so we’re going to use this research as an opportunity to tell you ten ways that you can cut yourself some slack in your love life. Because as that old Chinese saying goes (or was it some business guru?), 80% is perfection.

  1. The male pursuit of the female orgasm. Men, the ladies in your life appreciate your efforts, but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. If she says it’s not, take her word for it.
  2. The female pursuit of the female orgasm. Ladies, sometimes you’ll get there, and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you’ll need help (a toy, a hand, a fantasy) and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes the O will be mind-blowingly memorable and other times it’ll be less so. A lot less so. Remember, there is an unlimited supply of orgasms in this universe, so don’t be so perfectionist about each one.
  3. Your body. We appreciate the desire to be healthy and look good for your partner, but perfectionism in this realm is for Barbie and Ken. And they’re both fucking freaks.
  4. Your O-face. Try not to think about what you look or sound like during your orgasm, or else you’ll never climax again. Also, we guarantee that what looks like a constipated ape face to you is a total turn-on for your partner. Okay, we don’t guarantee that. But we 80% guarantee it, which is close enough to perfection, remember?
  5. Comparing yourself to your partner’s exes. They’re no more perfect than you are. In fact, they’re probably a lot less perfect than you are or else why would they be the ex and you the present tense partner?
  6. Penis size. When it comes to size, there might be such a thing as average (and, therefore, below average or above average) but there’s no such thing as perfection. Perfection, in the realm of the penis, is entirely subjective.
  7. Breasts. Boob jobs are symmetrical and they better be because people pay a lot of damn money for them. But mother nature’s breasteses are typically far from it. As designer jeans companies like to say, “Visual imperfections are a part of the personality of the product.”
  8. Positions. Don’t worry if you can’t get your leg as high as the one in the illustration, or if there isn’t a fancy name for the position you most often find yourself in. Pay attention to function, not form: does it actually feel good?
  9. Dirty talk. It’s okay to be repetitive, to get your tongue tied, to accidentally say something that would be more at home in a sex ed class. Even porn stars flub their lines sometimes.
  10. Bodily emissions. They happen. Move on. If you really want to maintain the mystery in your relationship, then consider yourselves lucky if you can shield each other from 80% of each other’s emissions. Aiming for more than that just can’t be good for your body.

• This post is a part of Sundance Channel’s Naked Love Blog
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Overnight Handbag Redux

July 16, 2010


photo by dunikowski

A few weeks ago we did a post on the ideal contents of a woman’s purse, should she find herself suddenly having a casual sleepover. Well, you guys reamed us. Deservedly so in a few cases (we phoned some of it in); undeservedly, we thought, in a few others (especially considering we give you all this content for free — it’s like we’re treating you to lunch and you’re complaining about the food!). So we wanted to try a more thoughtful do-over, one that truly reflected our deepest held beliefs, those that probably are more in line with yours, while still defending some of our original assertions. And if you don’t like ‘em, well then, we’re sure you’ll let us know. Just remember, we control the comment admin. Bwah ha ha!

  1. Compact ballet flats. We stand by this one about 90%. While we (okay, Lo) will happily attend fancy functions in ugly yet comfortable Dansko clogs, we appreciate that some women (say, Em) do like to hit the town in brand new heels, heels that may not turn out to be that comfortable, at least upon first or second wearing. Also, if you care about fashion (not a requirement, just an existing preference that we’re acknowledging here), then there are shoes that work better, aesthetically speaking, at night, and shoes that work better in the mornings.  However, if these are not issues for you, then you should forgo the ballet flats and wear those 6-inch stilletos home at 7am with pride. After all, if you had a good time the night before, then it’s always a Walk of Fame, not Shame, whatever you’re wearing.
  2. Condoms. We stand by this 100%. Even though women get stuck with the unfair share of birth control responsibility, we think it’s still smart for them to carry their own barrier protection, too (instead of automatically leaving it up to the guys).  Though this should not give men the idea that they can forgo condom responsibility.
  3. Mascara & moisturizing lipstick. Many, many women wear make-up — it makes them feel good. Again, it’s not by any means a requirement, just a preference that we’re acknowledging many women share. If you fall into the positive make-up category, then these two items should be enough for you to freshen up. If you don’t, then don’t worry about such trifles taking up space in your bag/purse/pocket/wallet.
  4. Dissolvable breath strips. These are a quick and easy way to freshen your breath without removing yourself to the bathroom to clean your teeth with a toothbrush. And yes, if you’re hooking up with this guy, then you’re certainly familiar enough with him to borrow his toothbrush. But sometimes that’s inconvenient, which is why a breath strip is just a nice, polite thing to do before kissing.
  5. A tank top. If what you’re wearing out that night will make YOU feel uncomfortable on a commuter train home in the morning (or out at brunch), then pack something small you can wear as a top alternative. You can certainly wear your sequined halter top glittering in the morning light with pride, or borrow something of his, but again, if you prefer something more subdued or don’t want any t-shirt strings attached with this hook-up, then tote a tank.
  6. A book of matches. We don’t care who you are — man or woman — if you are hooking up with someone new, you can’t tell us you’d be totally psyched for them to smell your nasty shit right before getting it on. Yes, everybody poops, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. This is more about courtesy than shame. And again, it’s not a requirement, just a handy backup plan.
  7. A razor. Yes, you were all right: this was a ludicrous suggestion. We’ve filed it in our “What Were We Thinking?” folder. If you have an abundance of self-hatred toward your own body hair, then we’re sure you’ll shave, pluck and/or wax yourself into alopecian oblivion before you head out for a evening where there’s even just a sliver of a hope for a hook up. And if an opportunity for awesome sex happens to fall into your bushy lap, well then, we think you’d be a fool to pass it up simply because you were stubbly somewhere or, god forbid, had given yourself permission to be au naturale. We’re all hairy animals by nature, even women — in fact, body hair is what signifies our sexual maturity. So we should all get over it, including us.

Poll: Do You Date Your Parents?

July 15, 2010


Can’t see the poll? Click here to take it.