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Comment of the Week: You CAN Handle the Truth!

October 16, 2013

0 Comments

 

If you know us, you know that we are not averse to a little self promotion now and then, nor are we immune to flattery — in fact, it will get you everywhere. Hence, a little positive reinforcement of a short but sweet note we got recently validating all we do around these here parts:

I have been reading your responses and I think you are so fucking honest. Keep pumping us with true realities.



Confession: My Husband Has No Penis

October 15, 2013

3 Comments


photo via Flickr

Amy Bronwen Zemser — “writer, squirrel hunter, breastfeeder, homosexual” — just launched her new, provocative blog, AmyBronwenZemser.com. We have the honor of publishing an abridged version of one of her recent hilarious posts about coming out, homophilia, and cases of mistaken sexual identity (read the unabridged version here). Enjoy!

***

I’ll tell you a secret.

I still have some internalized homophobia.  So I get squeamish when I have to come out.

I don’t have to come out very often, but the situation does arise if I have to say, switch opthamologists.  Or if Ray wants to play with a child whose parent I do not know. Just recently, after I told the mother of a child in Ray’s Suzuki violin class that I was one of two moms, she looked at me with a completely straight face and said,  “There was a girl in my daughter’s class who had that.”

Had what?  The malaise of homosexuality?  The disfiguring disease of conjoined motherhood?

Once, when I was adjuncting at St. John’s university, the topic of homosexuality came up.

“I heard it runs in families,” an English professor said.

“Oh yes,” I chimed in.  “My brother and I both inherited homophilia.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s very catching.  Do you want your spoon back?”

I don’t want to be labeled, see.  Who does?  Even if only a portion of the lesbian population have wiffles,  I still have trouble coming out with it in ordinary conversation.  I hate the word “lesbian” because it makes me think of a bunch of women wearing patchouli and making out with each other on some Greek island.  Gay is generally a term for the boys (although I do use it) and queer still means strange to a lot of people.  I do love the word homosexual because there’s a whiff of the scientific there, and it’s funny, but admittedly I say the word in a humorous way as a coping mechanism.

Hi, I’m Amy, and I’m a homosexual.  A HOMOsexual.

To call oneself any one thing — a homosexual or a writer or a parent or a squirrel killer, for that matter, is just plain reductive. Nobody want to be any one thing.  I am the sum of all my complicated and contradictory parts.

But sometimes, as with the Suzuki violin mother, introductions occur, and you have to come up with something better than same-sex touchmonkey or Zena warrior.

I have found a solution to this issue, though.  I have my own special little stock phrase that I integrate into a conversation, when I have to let someone know that my spouse is female, and so far it has worked out beautifully:

My husband has no penis.

This is a very effective strategy.  It is funny, it is fast, and you don’t have to use the words transgender or queer.

Fine, I give you that it’s a lot longer than the word gay, but it’s infinitely more original, especially when you are at a gas station having a cigarette and you can casually blow smoke out the side of your mouth and say, oh, you know, my husband has no penis, so we just use the same rest room at the truck stop.

When Lynn and I were first trying to get pregnant, we spent a lot of time at the fertility clinic.  We spoke to many physicians at the outset who tried to convince me that we needed to use medical intervention in order to get pregnant, even though we had no idea whether, at 37, I was infertile or not.  Conversations would invariably get to this point:

Me: I’ve never tried to get pregnant before. I don’t know if I’m infertile.  I mean, do you have any statistics?

Fancy Fertility Doctor: What kind of statistics?

Me: Like, how many women come to the infertility office to get pregnant not because of low sperm count or advanced maternal age, but because, you know, their husband has no penis.   Ha ha.  HA HA HA HA HA.

FFD: (silence)

Me: My husband has no penis!  HA HA HA HA HA HA

I can’t get pregnant, I’d go on, pointing to Lynn.  We try and try but something must be very wrong with him, doctor, I really do think something is terribly wrong.

At this point Lynn turns purple and looks out the window.  Sometimes she’ll smile meekly and say this is Amy from the Catskills Resort, and her next joke will be….

For some reason I find my little joke absolutely hysterical.  I realize it sounds inane and embarrassing and puerile, like I’m in the seventh grade in Gloria Vanderbilts and feathered hair.  But every time I say it, it just gets funnier.  More importantly, it also makes real sense.  What could be a more banal, a more pedestrian and reasonable way to work into a conversation that you are gay than to say that your husband has no penis?

Since my husband has no penis, we don’t have federal marriage protection under the law.

My husband has no penis — of course we love the Indigo Girls.

Sure do wish my husband had a penis.  If he did, he surely wouldn’t need to adopt his own three kids.

Since my husband has no penis I had to drive all the way to Mt. Kisco to get my ovaries fluffed before Tuesday’s insemination in Manhattan.

Usually nobody laughs at my private joke, but I am always happy to have it.  It means I don’t have to say lesbian.  Gay.  HOMOsexual.

I hate the label, so I make a joke.  I don’t want to be reduced, so I make a joke.  I make a joke, I make a joke, I make a joke.

One time, at one of my poker games, my friend Melissa, a dentist, told me that after I had gone in for a cleaning, her administrative assistant shook her head sadly after me, saying, “That poor woman.  Did she tell you? Her husband,” and here she lowered her voice to a whisper, “Her husband has no penis.”

It took Melissa a while to explain to the woman that I was a lesbian, and that I didn’t have a husband at all.

“But what about the penis,” she insisted.  “What happened to it?  How did it come off?  How terribly painful that must have been.  For both of them.  In different ways, of course.”

Melissa said they had to go around a few times before it was all straightened out and the next patient could go in for his bite wings.

At this point most of the women around my Texas Hold ‘em table were wiping their eyes and crying over this poor office assistant who  seriously thought the reason I was having trouble conceiving was because, despite vigorous attempts, my penis-less husband was unable to squeeze any seeds from his fruitless loins.

I must admit that I would love to know if any of you use different terms to get around the discomfort of coming out.  If you are reading this and you are not a homosexual, then try and drum up a gay memory or two, perhaps the time you made out with your best friend in college.  Please share your experiences and thoughts on my very public forum.  What do you have to lose?  At worst you’ll be deeply humiliated. At best there is always deep shame.  It’s all good.  Everybody wins.

***

For more hilarity on artificial insemination, gay parenting and squirrel hunting (for real!), check out  AmyBronwenZemser.com.

 



Comment of the Week: BDSM Is More About Trust Than Ropes & Chains

October 10, 2013

0 Comments

Sutra Chainlink Cuffs by LELO
Reader sex_is_weird_thats_all said the following in response to our post, “Wise Guys: Do Men Have Rape Fantasies, Too?”

Despite the people who end up in the news, there is usually in any metropolitan area a very legit BDSM community. I have a group of friends that includes a sizable chunk of people who are into that sort of thing. In my experience these people are excellent communicators, emphasizing trust and safety above all. I really have been blown away by just how much class they demonstrate. They are careful about who they let in (no one who is unbalanced/nuts). Start researching it online and you will know when you find what I am talking about… one thing to remember is that BDSM does not always involve ropes and chains, sometimes it is just “realistic costumes” (i.e. like a ski mask and heavy clothes for a “male rapist”). The wikipedia article is excellent BTW, relatively thorough:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM

One thing that I hear a LOT from people who are in that classy/safe BDSM community is that everything in what they do is trust, trust, trust. Not just on the part of someone who is tied up or being “ravished/raped,” but talking before and afterwards about what they like and don’t like. They usually get together in groups and do what they call a “scene” which is acting out some kind of fantasy that always has a “safe word” to stop the scene. There is usually a host who knows and verifies the background of everyone there. Despite a scene being private they usually have someone who is designated to keep tabs on everything making sure that the “safe word” stays sacrosanct.

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POLL: Who’s Right About Miley – Sinead O’Conner OR Amanda Palmer?

October 4, 2013

2 Comments

When Miley Cyrus said her “Wrecking Ball” video (in which she cries into the camera, before getting it on with a wrecking ball and a sledgehammer) was inspired by Sinead O’Connor‘s classic and subtle “Nothing Compares 2 U” video (that title is pre-texting!), O’Conner wrote an open letter to Miley, warning her that’s she’s being used as a cog in the sexist machinery of the music biz. Musician/arteeest Amanda Palmer then wrote an open letter to O’Connor warning her of that poopoo-ing female artists’ choices is actually not very feminist. Read the letters and then take the poll below!

Here’s an excerpt from O’Connor’s letter:

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent….

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money… we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control….

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted … its so not cool Miley … its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers … that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

And excerpt from Palmer’s letter:

Miley is, from what I can gather, in charge of her own show. She’s writing the plot and signing the checks, and although I think it’s tempting to imagine her in the board room of label assholes and management, I don’t think any of them masterminded her current plan to be a raging, naked, twerking sexpot. I think that’s All Miley All The Way. Now, would these men ARGUE with her when she comes into the room and throws down her treatment to hop up naked on the proverbial (and literal) wrecking ball? Of course not. Sex sells. We all know it. Miley knows it better than anyone: swinging naked on a big metal ball simply gets you more hits than swinging on a big metal ball wearing clothes. We’re mammals. LOOK BOOBS! And even more tantalizing: LOOK HANNAH MONTANA BOOBS! But none of this means that Miley is following anyone else’s script. In fact, what I see is Miley desperately trying to write her own script; truly trying to be taken seriously (even if its in a nakedly playful way) by the standards of her own peers….

I want to live in a world where Miley (or any female musician) can twerk wildly at 20, wear a full-cover floral hippie mumu at 37, show up at 47 in see-through latex, and pose semi-naked, like Keith & co, on the cover of rolling stone at 57 and be APPLAUDED for being so comfortable with her body. This is not to say that women have to play the desperate I’M-STILL-SEXY game as they age. Watching Madonna’s plastic surgeries and apparent stubbornness around aging just makes my inner teenager want to scream (YOU’RE MADONNA! YOU COULD HAVE MADE AGING SEXY GODAMMIT AND YOU DIDN’T!!), but the grown-up in me just pauses for a breath and remembers that Madonna is just carving out her section of the playing field. How she chooses to sculpt her face and body is just…her choice.

Who do you think is right?




Comment of the Week: How to Talk About Penis Size with Your Man

October 2, 2013

0 Comments

photo via Flickr

Reader Tony offers the following answer to the post question “If He Asks About Size, Can I Tell Him the Truth?” :

I would try as much as possible to stay with a response that is both kind and honest.  As a man, if my partner is trying to stick to those two principles I can deal with any answer a lot more easily.

I would also answer the question behind the question – am I a good and worthy lover/partner?

A man can’t change his penis size.  He can certainly change how he approaches sex, and your relationship, with good communication.  I would focus on that.

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Comment of the Week: After 30 Years, She Used a Vibrator in Front of Me

September 25, 2013

2 Comments

Reader rda said the following in response to our post, “Do You Name Your Favorite Sex Toys?” We are truly impressed and inspired!

I got to see my wife pleasure herself today for the first time all the way — with a new dildo vibrator we purchased. She started hesitantly but once she got into it, it was hot and very arousing for me. Then the two of us finished and it was mind-blowing. Here’s the kicker: She is 61 and it took me 30 years to get her to let go and do it in front of me. We both really enjoyed it. She named the unit Pete!

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Comment of the Week: Monogamish Is the Future

September 18, 2013

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Franklin Veaux’s Map of Non-Monogamy

This week’s Comment of the Week by AlanK is a response to last week’s Comment of the Week called “9 Reasons Why Women Cheat” by  Johnny, which was a response to the post “Why Women Cheat — A Married Man Goes Undercover”:

Things wear out; the tires on your car wear out; but you just get new tires, you don’t get rid of the car.

Lust wears out. Really. For most (not all, but most) of us. We can either throw out the relationship or find a way to get new tires.

Monogamish is the future. Hardly anyone can be happily monogamous for 40 years. Even Al Gore quit. Life is long; lust is short.

Female infidelity is like male infidelity. It will come sooner or later. Everyone loves the sound of a train in the distance. Best to build it into your relationship. It’s only infidelity if you lie about it.

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Comment of the Week: 9 Reasons Why Women Cheat

September 11, 2013

5 Comments

Long-time reader (and unofficial EMandLO.com sage!) Johnny said the following in response to our post “Blog Snog: Why Women Cheat — A Married Man Goes Undercover”:

Women cheat because:

  1.  They are no longer sexually excited by their partners.
  2. They are no longer emotionally excited by their partners.
  3. Their partners are no longer sexually or emotionally interested in them either, and the good feelings they get from being lusted after anew outweigh the bad feelings they get from doing something wrong.
  4. They got married too young, with too little sexual experience under their belts, and now that the penis holds no further terror for them, they’re just dying to know what a casual screw with a hot stranger is like.
  5. It’s been a long since they’ve had an adrenaline rush of any kind.

… and those are just the circumstantial cheaters, who I classify as imperfect but forgivable human beings. The inveterate cheaters, who are just pieces of shit, have their own set of reasons:

  1. They get off on deceit.
  2. They have ulterior motivations for being in a relationship at all, such as gold-digging, and never even considered being faithful.
  3. They are toxic, abusive personalities, and they thrive on the emotional destruction wrought by infidelity.
  4. They just can’t be satisfied with a single sexual partner, which I would consider forgivable, except that they really should have been up front with their partners about that from the start.

Am I pretty much on the money?

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Comment of the Week: Don’t Make Sex So Goal-Oriented

September 5, 2013

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photo via Flickr

We love all our sage, eloquent commenters! Like Bryan responding to our recent Your Call post, “My Boyfriend Puts Too Much Pressure On My Orgasm“:

My guess is that you are both putting entirely too much pressure on your sexual response. The same thing happens to men who suffer from psychological ED. The more you think about it, the more you try to consciously will it to happen, the less likely it is to happen. instead of trying harder to orgasm, you counter-intuitively need to try less. After explaining to your boyfriend that your medication makes it more difficult for you to orgasm, tell him (and yourself) that you need to take a slower, more intimate approach to love-making. Lots of sensual touch, making out, oral sex, all of it without orgasm as a goal. You’re just going to enjoy the closeness of being together, touching each other, and making love. Honestly, this is how middle-aged and older people have sex anyway, because our bodies don’t often allow for the slamming, goal-oriented sex of our twenties. It can take longer to become aroused, and sometimes orgasm doesn’t happen at all, sometimes even for men. You’ve both got to learn to enjoy the experience for its own sake, and if orgasm happens, it’s a nice bonus.


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Comment of the Week: I’m Jealous of My Wife’s Friends

August 28, 2013

1 Comment

Reader Jeff posted the following in response to our post, “Your Call: Why Is My Husband Jealous of My Female Friendships?” We thought it would be a great jumping off point for a debate about how to compromise in a relationship when one person wants a lot more solo time with their friends than another. How and where do you draw the line, if at all?

I freely admit to people that I have discomfort and feelings of jealousy about my wife’s time spent with her numerous friends and co-workers, some single some married. To begin, our Saturday morning time may be interrupted before we are up and about with phone calls and instant messages. I rarely complain about it but it has a cumulative effect over time.

She has done fifteen vacations with friends away from me in the last fifteen years where she is the only married woman, usually for less than 7 days out. My wife is astounded that I even have a count on how many but I remember every one, very well. She is constantly being asked by her single friends about where to go next on girls trip, some very costly. I actually agreed to let her go to Vegas with 1 single friend recently if she behaved herself, which she seemed to have done. A girlfriend of hers that did not make the trip gave me crap about letting her go there which almost caused me to say some fairly unpleasant things to her that would have caused a serious rift in the friendship and marriage. ( p.s. advise your “friends” not to say such a thing to your husband if he actually trusted you !)

Bottom Line: I try not to resent my wife’s high level of time spent personally, on the phone, and on vacations with friends. It’s not good for our marriage. I have said that I have never had a desire to vacation without her and told her that I have no concept of what motivates her to want to go places without me. My guy time is done same day, there and back.

Men will generally always have an issue with being left home for two, but especially three weekends in a row, while a wife travels. Men will generally resent too much phone time if they have an active work life and little time with the spouse. Women, you just need to understand that this is not “3 year old” emotion, its called commitment and results from an honest desire to be with your wife. If there is a problem fitting your marriage into your agenda then the marriage is going nowhere good.

It is natural for men, especially after 20 years of marriage, to be concerned that their wife has more fun in her relationships with friends than in the marriage. If one has never noticed a the marriage where the wife drifted away from her spouse emotionally then one is just not paying attention. Any who cares is not going to stand idly buy and let that happen.

There is a spectrum to judging this type of jealousy as to whether it is normal or healthy. Who among would say jealousy is not a normal human emotion when loss to a rival is possible. Kneejerk reactions that this is about control aren’t doing anyone any good. Not allowing your wife any friends is over the top and ridiculous. Having your marriage interrupted by constant friend communication, friend time, and “girls” trips of more than a few days is also over the top.

Most men will draw the line on this issue somewhere — be assured of that. Be reasonable.

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