Boo-Hoo, Poor Wife-Beater Complains

I was going to write a rabid response to this bozo who wrote into “Since You Asked” at Salon, whining that it’s unfair that he should have to worry about his current girlfriend’s response to discovering that he — on more than one occasion — abused his former wife:

On half a dozen occasions, during the first few years of my decades-long marriage, I physically abused my wife. This abuse, and the years we went without discussing it, was one of the factors that led to our recent divorce. The divorce itself led me into therapy where I was able to understand my reasons for the abuse, and the effect it had on both my wife and our relationship …

Currently, I’ve started seeing someone else and this woman means a lot to me. Our relationship is at a point where we’ve started talking about sharing a future together; however, I haven’t told her about the abuse in my previous relationship. I want her to know because it’s part of my past — albeit a very painful, unflattering part — but I believe that she may leave me once I tell her. To complicate matters, my ex-wife, in a bit of uncharacteristic malice, has announced her intentions to tell any woman I might be in a relationship with about the abuse at their first meeting.

So, I’m scared and confused. I want to tell my girlfriend about my past, but also want her to understand that she’s not at risk of being abused. And ideally, she would choose not to dump me.

But when I discovered that Heartless Doll had posted such a good response, I figured I should save my efforts for an issue/occasion when I’m more needed. You should go read her entire post, but here are her much applauded highlights:

  • Anyone with a history of abuse who thinks they are an “ex” abuser is a holy-cow-you’re-pretty-much-about-to-do-this-again-abuser, not dissimilar to the “ex” alcoholic who believes she can have “just one.”
  • Not disclosing a violent (and probably controlling) past to someone who has a vested interest in knowing whether or not you’re violent and controlling is … violent and controlling.
  • Not wanting to “get dumped” is a bad reason not to tell someone the truth about a history of abuse. Because she will find out, and then you will definitely be dumped.
  • An ex-wife who refuses to stay silent about your abuse is not exercising “malice.” She’s “refusing to continue be a victim” so that you can “bone some girl.”

About Those Notches On Your Bedposts…

That September/October issue of Psychology Today is chock-full of incredible information on relationships. On page 45, an article by Jay Dixit examines how men & women remember and count their sexual partners.

Conventional wisdom tells us that men inflate their numbers, while women demur their digits — and according to this article, that’s true. But why? Are we both lying to look better, with men trying to project their stud status and women trying to protect their reputations — or their lovers’ feelings?

Norman Brown, a psychologist at the University of Alberta (who finds that American men report an an average of 18 while women report an average of just 5), says it’s not simply a matter of lying. “It has to do with self-presentation, estimation, and memory.”

Women are more likely to “just know,” or to have a tally somewhere, a method psychologists call “notches on the bedpost.” Women are also more likely to use enumeration (“Let’s see, Dave, Tarik, that guy from the gym…”), which produces underestimates, since people forget instances.

Men are more likely to use rough approximation (“Jeeze, I don’t know, like maybe 50?”) or rate-based estimates (“Let’s see, one a month for the past five years…”) — a method that produces overestimates.

But the gender discrepancy isn’t just a matter of poor counting either; the survey method itself matters.

Extremely sexually active women downgrade phone estimates compared to onine. (Men don’t.)

While the article doesn’t expound, I’m guessing vulnerability and anonymity are key here.

Another factor is undersampling prostitutes, who don’t get included in surveys due to “lifestyle issues” — they’re not in the phone book and they aren’t often home during dinner hours.

This is especially important, in my mind, because male clients are included in the surveys — and surely such professional interactions inflate their numbers. (Enlarge scan below to see evidence of this in male celebrities’ self-proclaimed numbers — which, by the way, does not include female celebrities. Arg!)

Surprisingly, men base their sexual partner count on the overheard comments of others — lowering their count to match conservative opinions, raising their count to match permissive sentiments. Women who overhear such conversations are unaffected.

I cannot but help to wonder if it this sheep mentality on the behalf of males which dictates a knee-jerk response to the “moral majority” — men clearly are more insecure and willing to submit to conservative cultural conformity (in word, in preaching; not in deed), and this must drive much of our current politics and societal conversation (including the control of women who aren’t affected by such espoused norms).

The article ends with more familiar territory; in which men are more likely to inflate their numbers when the researcher is female, even though the research shows that the more sex partners a man has had, the less attractive he seems.

Wouldn’t it just be simpler if men just resisted the urge to do or say anything to get laid? It doesn’t work anyway.


Money & Career Woes Affect Sex Lives (Who-da-thunk!)

More from that What’s Sexy Now survey published in the September issue of Health magazine, the surprising reveal that only 25% of women claim to have used sex to get their partner out of a money or career funk.

I find that very hard to believe. Not because women are manipulative, but every relationship expert and mental health professional knows that the endorphins from sex lift spirits and personal connections bond & build already secure relationships — sex is quite often a helpful, healthy suggestion for what ails people in monogamous sexual relationships. And the question is “have tried,” not “were successful.

If these women didn’t out-and-out lie, and it’s a strong possibility, it’s only because a “money or career funk” is actually depression for most men — and when men are depressed, their sex drive takes a big dive. Men’s self-image and identities are very connected to their work; their self-worth is directly connected to their libidos. Further proof lies in the survey results in which half the respondents (or their men) gave the old “Not tonight, honey” because of work and/or money worries.

Click the image to read more results from the survey.


Feminism On A Friday

Some quick responses to what I’ve been reading this week…

First, The Cult of Masculinity by Jennifer Kesler, which clearly articulates thoughts in my own head & heart; specifically the following:

I must caution casual readers: this article is not a “Men’s Rights Activist” platform. The form of feminism I grew up taking seriously was the kind that believed the current patriarchal system was hurting both women and men, and wanted to replace it with something that would establish equal opportunity and equal responsibility for all adults (and legal protection for children and for adults unable to care for themselves). Men’s Rights Activism has a fatal flaw of interpreting natural consequences for male behavior – so long suppressed and suffered by innocents instead – as infringements of their rights, and this makes most MRA arguments illogical to the point of hilarity, if they weren’t so frightening in their blindness.

Kudos to Kesler.

If only this true equality existed — then I might not have to show you this recent post at Feministing about the cute nicknames given to men who assault women:

At Georgetown University yesterday morning, an unknown man revived a year-long series of assaults between GWU, Georgetown, and American University in which he breaks into women’s apartments near campus, lies down next to or on top of them while they sleep, attempts to enter them with his hand, then runs away when they scream. This earned him the nickname “The Georgetown Cuddler.”

“The Cuddler?!” Cuddling is a sign of affection, which implies caring for the other person, respecting at least the fact that they are separate from you & so, as autonomous beings, have their own bodies & feelings — and rights to same. Penetrating a non-consenting person, however, is as cuddly & affectionate as how I would respond to it — by striking his penis with my knee.

My reaction would be just another natural consequence the MRA folk would scream is unfair to men. *sigh*

Yoko & I Laugh — But We’re Serious Too

“I wonder why men can get serious at all. They have this delicate long thing hanging outside their bodies, which goes up & down by its own will… If I were a man I would always be laughing at myself.”
Yoko Ono

As women, we know how bad we have it, but have you ever stopped to think how odd it must be to be a man?

Whenever I recall Yoko’s quote, I think, “Gee, that would be strange…”

I have not lived in a women-only-world (no matter how I may have tried at times!); I have at the very least a father, live with a man, and raise a son. And while we do live in a man’s world, living a man’s life — replete with delicate dangle — seems awfully foreign to me.

Aside from the whimsical penis popping, men probably have other problems that we don’t understand either… I won’t go so far as to suggest that men have it worse, but maybe there are a few reasons to cry for them. At least the poor things seem confused.

Sexism Alert: “The Great Male Survey” Results

Last month, (50,000 readers) & Shine (19,000 respondents over a four week period) conducted its second annual online survey, where real women and men answered questions on such topics as online dating, money, careers, soul mates, marriage, romance, cheating, etc.

One area where men really weighed-in differently was the matter of weight gain. Seems fatty-fatty-two-by-four will be kicked out of the couple’s door — by (surprise!) males.

An overwhelming 70% of women responded to “Would you dump a boyfriend if he became fat?” with “No, his appearance does not affect my love for him.” But 48% of men said they would dump their girlfriend. Shocking? No. Superficial? Yes.

While 75% of US men (just a few points off of their male counterparts in the UK, Canada & Australia) and 63% of the women believe marriage “is a necessary institution, and one that I will participate in to help preserve,” there’s something funky going on… I guess marriage as an “institution to preserve” only applies to skinny folks — for men, anyway.

But perhaps most upsetting to me were the results regarding divorce (as in “she’s too fat to remain with me”). When asked, “Do men get screwed by the courts in divorce?” 83% of the men said “Yes.” I guess I’m not surprised to hear men continue to whine about their victimization (as if!), but the women? While the 44% who said, “No, men and women generally get fair and equal treatment,” may seem comforting, look closer and you’ll see that 40% also said “Yes” — 40% of women believe that men are victimized by divorce courts.


I guess these women aren’t really listening to their friends’ divorce stories.

Yet 35% of these whining & irrational men who believed they are treated unfairly by divorce courts say prenups are “Not at all important.” Isn’t that a dumb reaction, to not protect yourself from what you (irrationally) fear?

But that’s only part of the story, really; just look at the questions & results:

For Men:

How important is it to you for your future wife to sign a prenup?

35% Not at all important

33% Not very important

22% Somewhat important

10% Very important

For Women:

Do you want your future husband to sign a prenup?

73% No, I will marry a man who I trust enough to not need a prenup

11% Yes, but I won’t risk jeopardizing our relationship by asking him to sign one

9% Yes, I won’t marry him unless she does

7% No, I’m out to steal his money

And that sexist difference in the survey questions & responses may be the most telling thing of all.

Women too insecure to ask for a prenup? But not the big strong he-man. (He’s just too dumb not to ask, even when he thinks the male created & controlled courts are out to get him because he has a penis. A-duh.) Women asked a question in which they are offered the golden opportunity to self-identify as gold diggers? Where are the men’s sugar daddy responses? And that confusing typo (see 9% female response) — for a minute there I thought they were actually including lesbians. Yeah. Right.

If such sexism was ignored or thought “cute” by the female respondents, then no wonder they themselves are sexist enough in their thinking to believe that men have it bad in divorces.

I do believe now we know why this is called The Great Male Survey; Long Live The Great Male.


Royal Pains, Crazy Love, Stereotypes, Abuse Excuse, & Big Fines

Last night’s Royal Pains gave me a royal pain in my donkey. Normally I love the show (especially the MacGyver-medical stuff), but last night…


One of the plots in this episode (titled Crazy Love) revolves around a “passionate Latino couple” from Caracas. (I’ll spare you my diatribe on the stereotypical ick of that — and most of the hour long show’s plot — and just get to the part that makes me want to slap Royal Pains with a fine.) “Passionate Latina” Sophie (played by the lovely Roselyn Sanchez), discovers that along with paying for her boob job, her adoring husband (who is having financial troubles and so fears his beautiful wife will leave him) has had a GPS device implanted in her without her permission. This is discovered when she’s having an MRI and the device tries to pop through her chest (incredibly gross!), and gives her radiation poisoning.

royal-pains-promo-stillWe never see Sophia upset (though the concierge doc, when confronting the husband with moral & medical outrage, tells the husband to “give her some space now” — and Divya, when asked by the doc how Sophia is doing, says, “She just keeps saying (in mocking Spanish accent), ‘Why me? Why me?'”). When Sophia lays in the hospital bed, recovering from the surgery to save her from the radiation poisoning, her sheepish husband shows up at the door to her room and asks if he may come in. Sophia says yes; he says he’s so sorry. Sophia’s reply?

(Get ready for it, because it’s so infuriating!)

Sophia’s reply to her controlling spouse who has had her secretively implanted with a GPS device so that he can track her, to a man who nearly killed her with such abusive behavior, is… “I didn’t know you loved me so much.” And then they kiss so much that everyone leaves the room.

Ho-ly crap.

Didn’t anyone during the writing, acting, editing — any part of making this show — violently puke at the idea of even suggesting a happy, sexy, “forgive & forget” reaction to the discovery that a man has violated his wife by secretively implanting her with a tracking device?!

I guess it’s all a-OK because he was stressed over money & insecure; isn’t that the excuse we so often offer abusers? We see the incidents (at least the reports) increase during times of economic down-turns, and we study those connections, but do nothing about it — other than use it to justify, to excuse the control & violence.  Here, in this show, literally.

And they didn’t even leave it at that!

This lovely-dovey stuff makes Divya covet such passion for herself with her (presumably arranged) engagement. Barf barf barf barf barf.

Isn’t one woman mistaking love for abuse enough? No, you had to show us another woman craving it, thinking that’s the secret sauce missing from her happiness sandwich.

Knowing all this, doesn’t it make the episode’s title of Crazy Love wildly inappropriate? You’re going to inform us that you can check for blood type matches in a jiffy using a silver tray, but you’ll pass along the dangerous mythinformation that love = control?  Bad math, bad science, bad idea.

Shame on all of you at Royal Pains. I sentence to you to a fine of $60 million to, payable to two different abuse & crisis centers (each receiving $30 million) — one organization specifically helping Hispanic women.

And don’t ever do this again. I want to keep watching your show — but if you ever do this again… Well, let’s just say that I doubt you’ll be responding to me with a “I didn’t know you loved me so much.”

Men Claim They Are Dumb Animals With No Ability To Control Their Violence

G, aka ToxicShockTaco, commented here about some stupid comments she’s read & frustrating conversations she’s had online which prompted her to write this blog post. Following her links, I found the usual victim blaming mentality which serves to excuse criminal acts; things which shouldn’t surprise me because they are so commonplace. But still, like G, I can’t help but feel compelled to say what I can in hopes that there’s a chance to educate.

Among “Jimbo’s Jems”:

So, I guess if a girl decided it would be cool to smear raw ground beef all over herself & walk inside a pen full of hungry lions, getting eaten alive wouldn’t be her fault either, eh?

Or, on a more plausible note, if she thought it would be cool to walk into an outlaw biker bar & strut around half naked, she wouldn’t be considered to hold one shred of responsibility for anything that happened to her there, either.


OK, don’t you love how he compares himself & men in general to a predatory beast? And how he thinks sex = food?

Yes, the sex drive is biological, like hunger; but they are neither equal in need nor imperative. And even when it comes to hunger, humans — even the male ones who joke about the 5 second rule for food on the floor, would consider the possible consequences of eating raw (or even cooked) meat they just stumbled upon.

If I were a man, I’d be insulted that you forfeit male ability to exercise self-control. As the mother of a son, I’m angry. How dare you say that penis or testosterone equals inability to control one’s self! As if being male limits a person to some sort of reptilian, reactionary response — of a violent nature yet!

Even the comparison to “outlaw bikers” is ridiculous.

First of all, the very word “outlaw” means criminal, so obviously, the matter of safety is an issue for anyone — and if he meant Outlaw with a capital “O”, well, I’m not sure that violence towards women is in the bylaws… And in either case, I don’t think I’d toss around that implication lightly. (Frankly, I suspect, Jimbo is just throwing around pejoratives, playing with fears &/or negative opinions of bikers; my personal experiences with bikers of any sort, including Outlaws with a capital “O,” have been nothing but respectful — in fact, they have been the first to back me up when a drunk jerk hasn’t backed-off when told to.)

Secondly, with regards to his questions/accusations that a woman “strutting around half-naked” in any sort of a bar believes herself free from the responsibility of the actions of others, let me help Jimbo out here. Such a woman may be risking legal actions such as “indecent,” “disorderly,” and “harassment” — not to mention just plain rude — depending upon what exactly “half-naked” is, what the location is (strippers, for example, are more than 1/2 naked and they are not allowed to be assaulted or raped), and other situational issues. But yeah, she’s not responsible for what other’s do.

Jimbo continues:

Because as we all know, a woman should be able to wear anything she damn well pleases with no thought to the possible consequences, and any consequences she may suffer, will never be considered to be even partially her responsibility, even though she engaged in behavior that expopsed her to risk to begin with.


No, of course not. A woman shouldn’t be outside wearing a bikini in temperatures 40 degrees below zero. A woman should not violate dress codes at the place of her employment. A woman should not wear clothing soaked in gasoline, even if she’s not standing next to a burning building. And there are countless other situations in which women should follow rules of safety & convention. But “scantily dressed” or even “nude” does not mean that she has put herself in the path of sexual danger — the criminals stalk her down on her path, regardless of how she is dressed.

In case you can’t see the difference between sexual assault & the to-be-expected dangers of my particular examples, let me make them clear for you. In the case of bikinis outside in winter, the elements are not controllable, so humans must dress for the weather or risk threats of exposure to the cold. In the case of employer dress codes, the employee has agreed to the dress codes and risks loss of job if they do not comply. In the case of wearing gasoline-soaked clothing, well, frankly, there’s no reason to wear it and it would be risking burns & death from a spark from anything anywhere along with other health issues — all immutable laws of science which can & should be avoided by not being an idiot. However, in the case of being “half-naked” or whatever, becoming a victim of sexual crimes is not dependent upon immutable laws of science or medicine or legal contracts — it is based upon the actions of another, something one has no control over, outside of societal agreements & norms (which criminals are willing to break, no matter how the victim is dressed or acts) or, after the fact, courtrooms.

In any other area of life, all people, both men & women, are considered responsible for their own safety & well being. If you have unprotected sex with strangers & get aids, it will be considered your fault for engaing in risky behavior. Drive without your seat belt & get injured in a wreck, even your insurance company will successfully argue in court that you share some of the responsibility for your injuries. But when it comes to fashion choices & how a gal presents herself in public, whether by dressing in skimpy, revealing clothes or posting sexually suggestive pictures of herself online, suddenly reponsibility goes out the window & it’s a ghastly social faux-pas to even hint that she may have brought something on herself by the choices she made.

OK, so my other examples should make most of this clear, but…

Are you, Jimbo, saying that if a woman is raped by a stranger who doesn’t use a condom & ends up with HIV or AIDS, that she is at fault? Maybe that’s not what you intended, but I’m pretty sure it’s implied there somewhere.

Even if it’s not, when a person consents to sex with anyone, stranger or not, condom use or not, this act of sex cannot be be compared with rape in any way because rape is by definition lacking consent, you freaking idiot!

Ditto the seatbelt. Use or non-use of a seatbelt is a matter of consent. And when a woman dresses skimpy, the only thing she is consenting to is being dressed skimpy. She is not consenting to sex. In fact, the question hasn’t even come up yet.

Assaults, rape and other sex crimes are without consent. Which means she said “No” or was unable to say “Yes” by virtue of physical or mental state, and what she had on or off is absolutely meaningless. At this point of “no” or inability to give consent, any action or continuation is solely the act & responsibility of the rapist/attacker/criminal.

He is the perpetrator, she the victim; and he carries all the blame. Period.

So yes, it is “a ghastly social faux-pas to even hint that she may have brought something on herself by the choices she made,” you misogynistic twit.

Furthermore, when talking about rape, do not condescendingly refer to females as “gals.”

Of course stalking or raping a woman is criminal & morally wrong. But that doesn’t mean that it’s just perfectly OK for women to exacerbate their chances by making themselves a target.

How do we, exactly, “exacerbate our chances” of making ourselves targets of crimes which are perpetuated by criminals who hate women? That is the million dollar question. But this has nothing to do with, as you ignorantly believe & argue, the dress, talk or actions of women/potential victims, attractive or not. Simply by opting to remain ignorant (because you refuse to read the actual information, studies &/or statistics), you show no concern for the realities and safety of women and are exposing yourself as a danger to women.

More from Jimbo:

I don’t think most women really understand what the sight of an attractive, nearly naked female does to a man with an active libido. Most men can control themselves, but some just can’t. And those guys have eyes, too.

This is the belief system which exposes you as a man afraid of women. You believe women have “power over men,” rendering men, if they are not already unable to control themselves, powerless to T&A. I guess in your fear of the big bad women, you see on the horizon nothing but a future of weakness, pity & self-loathing for you & your gender and so you think men have the right to take what they want to ward this off. But, Jimbo, that’s not a man.

In another comment, Jimbo wraps up his philosophy:

You make it sound like I’m somehow excusing the act of rape, when I’m not. But I will state categorically, any woman who goes out to nightclubs by herself or even with another girl or group of girls, dressed in an ultra short, tight-fitting skirt with a plunging neckline showing off a lot of cleavage & wearing what Amy Winehouse referred to in song as “Fuck Me Pumps”, then spends the evening hanging out & flirting with strange men, is putting herself in a dangerous situation. And if something bad happens to her, while it might not be technically “her fault”, SHE BEARS A PORTION OF THE RESPONSIBILITY for doing all the things that put her in that situation.

So let me recap too.

By removing any of the responsibility from the person who committed the crime, you are excusing the perpetrator of that crime.

By placing any percentage of the responsibility, no matter how small, on the part of the victim, you are blaming the victim.

Here’s the math, Jimbo: The person who commits rape is 100% responsible.

Of course, I’m aware that Jimbo, if he reads this or G’s post, will just sneer. He’ll likely dismiss this post with his usual rhetoric, “It’s a total lack of a sense of humor & an air of deathly self-seriousness that all feminists seem to have in common.” Or maybe he’ll just call me a “fat old hag” — because that’s the other usual attack. *yawn* (Even if I was, it wouldn’t make me any less right, pinheads.)

But maybe, just maybe, we can reach a few more enlightened folks who at least want to believe that males can & should control themselves & their predatory instincts.

Whether they do or not, they are 100% responsible for their actions.

When He Just Wants To Get Into You

Vittorio at Toronto Men Unite, a blog encouraging “open and honest discussion” about “the problems many men face in the ‘trenches’ of modern dating,” writes the following in Why Men Lose Interest After Sex:

Many women mistakenly believe that the only reason guys lose interest after sex is because they gave it up too soon. While this is true sometimes, there are other reasons as well. One reason is that the men only wanted to have sex one time, and then move on. So witholding sex will not change this outcome.

Another reason is, men lose interest because the women have difficult personalities. Let’s look at this one more closely. Some women have difficult personalities, and guys will put up with them until they get the sex, and then they will bail shortly after. If these women had sex after one date or several dates the result would have been the same – the men would have ditched them regardless.

Sometimes, these women mistakenly assume that the solution is to hold out on sex even longer the next time. It never occurs to them that they are the problem.

Yeah, that sure sounds like women are the problem — why won’t we just understand & accept that, despite what they tell us on dates, that all men want is sex. Even if that sex is with a woman with a “difficult personality.” What are we women, stupid or something?

But why would we consider the problem is “us” when men play such games?

If all a man wants is to get laid, why doesn’t he walk up to a woman & say so? “Hi, I’m Bob and all I want to do is screw you.”

He doesn’t do it because he’s afraid of the, “No way, Jose,” response. So he decides to lie to get his lay. And then complains about what happens.


Worse yet, he uses the “cycle of f***-and-dump,” as he calls it, as a way to explain women and their “difficult personalities” — of course, he neatly leaves out any responsibility from men in their creation; this is all something that just happens to women. It is to be expected:

If the cycle of [f***]-and-dump continues, it can feed increasingly neurotic behaviour. These women can become increasingly demanding before and after they have sex with a man, needing constant attention and affirmation from the men that they will stick around. This of course has the opposite effect, driving the men away, which in turn can further compound the problem, causing the women to further “ratchet” up their efforts. The result is an insanely demanding woman who pulls out all the stops, even by going so far as screening men right away to make sure they can provide all that she needs, so that she doesn’t “waste time”. It’s a sick cycle.

You’re right, Vittorio; it is a sick cycle. But it’s not neurotic; it’s a learned self-preservation mechanism. And it begins with men who pretend to want more than sex.

If you want to break the sick cycle of “neurotic cock-blocking,” why not stop the “f-and-dump” cycle? Be honest, admit you’re just after sex and take getting shot-down like a man.

Vittorio finishes up his post with the following advice to men:

As men, you need to trust your instincts. If a woman shows signs of insecurity and possessiveness at the beginning, she is most likely a time bomb ready to explode. So cut your losses early.

Me? I say first of all that males need to act like men, be honest and face the rejection. And second, women, follow your instincts; if he shows signs of being a dawg, he probably is a dawg and block him accordingly. And feel free to be as neurotic as you like about it. You’ve got my permission.

On the other hand, when an honest guy actually says he justs wants sex with you, please praise him for his honesty. Your praise need not include putting out (unless you’re already agreeable!), but at least throw the guy a bone for being honest about the fact that he’s only in it for the bone.

When He’s (Sexually) Shrinking From You, Violet

In response to my “Helping You Get In The Mood” Contest, Violet writes in:

Hey, Alessia,

I have the opposite problem — I’m always ready and my husband’s never ever in the mood.

I’ve tried all the crappy magazine suggestions and the tips from your readers in response to your contest, but all I have is more rejection.

Any ideas besides spiking his coffee with little blue pills disguised as sugar cubes?


Violet, your situation is not as unique as you might think — frustrating & painful, yes; but it’s not rare for women to have, err, blue ovaries.

First, I’m hoping you read this — and this. Because that will save us all some time & ovary-ache.

Second, please consider having hubby get a check-up — and not just for the plumbing & physical parts, but for depression & other mental health issues. One of the most typical signs from men who are struggling with anxiety &/or depression issues is a lack of interest in sex. (Over) simply put, they do not feel worthy of having sex. It’s the emotional equivalent of women packing on the pounds (whether depressed or not) whereby males think they are not “masculine” enough in terms of “success” etc.

However, if hubby passes such screenings & is otherwise fine, the honest to gawd’s truth is the exact opposite of what most women’s & men’s mags tell you.

Cover text screams that men want sexually aggressive women — but that’s a lie. A big fat stinking lie.

At least for some men.

“Aggressive” should not be confused with “confidence”; confidence is sexy period, no matter the person or the gender. But when it comes to making the moves, giving out the sexual invitations, many men (unless they are into Dominatrix scenarios) literally shrink from sexual offers, Violet.

And it’s not just about the pressure to perform; it’s about a perception of your sexual value.

I know I’m going to get a bunch of men (and women) telling me this is BS. But please spare me your anecdotal evidence; I’ve got my own & I raise you some basic evolutionary evidence.

Men are hunters, providers; they are the risk-taking, chest-beating victors to whom the sexual spoils go because they have won. In this case, they’ve won “the woo” so they get to bed you.

Now, when you, female of the species, are on the sexual hunt yourself — especially when you are living with them or are otherwise sexually available to them — men no longer have to work, woo or win you & your favors. They lose interest because there is a shift (in their perception) of your value.

If you think I’m nuts, ask yourself why so many men are led around like bulls with rings in their noses by spoiled princess-types who demand trinkets or deeds in order to put out.

Some men just have to work for it in order for it to be any good.

Some women think, instinctively, that they can ignite more heat with a few sparks of jealousy; but don’t do it. Even if it works in the short-term, it’s eventually likely to garner you additional issues to sort out — and doesn’t he already have enough reasons not to go to bed with you? Let’s not add insecurities about your faithfulness to the mix. Not to mention that he might feel it’s fair game now for him to go after those other birds rather than your bush…

No, the best way to increase your sexual value & “up” his desire, is to have him think it’s all his idea — that he’s worked for “it” or talked you into “it.”


For starters, just stop asking, hinting, insinuating and throwing yourself at him. I don’t mean become a cold mean bitch; just make yourself a little less obviously available… Instead of suggesting sex (verbally or by lounging naked in Saran-wrap), just relax.

It may mean dialing down your sex drive — pushing it out of your mind so that you aren’t watching the clock, expecting that since 15 minutes (or a two days) has passed, that he out to be lunging at you by now. And if you are having difficulty doing that, let me remind you that May is Masturbation Month. Spend some quality time with yourself — it will relax you in any case. (He’s likely doing it — otherwise how does he manage to function? If he’s not, I’d really drag him in for medical care — seriously.)

Generally speaking, a few days or weeks maybe and most men find themselves thinking of you in that way…  From there, you’ll likely find a balance for yourself between “aggressive” and “willing” that won’t feel like game-playing.

If you honestly have dialed down your sexual pursuit of him and he’s still just not that willing to get into you, then seek counseling. Because something’s just not right.

Of Platonic Friendships, Jealousy & Tunics

Growing up, my dad often expressed the fact that men were always looking for sex.

When you just hung out with a boy, he’d outright ask — or at least those eyebrows would, “Did he make a move on you?”

When you laughed out loud that Steve was sooo not that kind of guy, dad said, “Oh, yes he is.”

And when you argued your case, illustrating just exactly how Steve never did make a move of any kind, even when you were literally crying on his shoulder about how some jerk guy had treated you, dad would reply, “Oh, he’s one of them tunics then.”

“Tunics” was the word he used because once, in struggling to recall the word “eunuch“, his mouth mistakenly said “tunic”. We never let him forget it either, so the word “tunic” became synonymous with “eunuch” — and you can imagine our laughter in the 70’s when fashion sported the tunic and there was much flowery talk, including of freedom, used to sell it.

Anyway, dad used the word “tunic” to describe platonic situations.

He just couldn’t understand how any man — even one who respected you — would be able to restrain himself from stealing a kiss or at least giving you one of those long romantic looks which would turn a girl’s belly to goo and let her know that romance was in the air…

Dad’s point was that everyman was looking for romance & sex — unless he was physically unable to perform it. So if Steve wanted to spend time with you, but did not make a move at all, there must have been something literally, physically preventing him from it.

It’s not that dad was a letch — he was, and remains, one helluva a romantic, intelligent and sensitive man. To him, spending time with a woman was about all a man needed to do to feel amorous — especially a single guy whose ultimate love was still waiting for him out there somewhere. Any girl could be The One — or at least a lot of fun.

He even told me about a time when my sister and I were little girls and we went to the mall with him. He spotted a pretty young woman with her own child in a stroller, and he and that woman shared a moment. Their eyes locked briefly, they each noted the other’s children and presumed marital status, then locked eyes again & smiled, as if to say that if they had met in another place and time…

Even happily married people with no intentions weren’t sexually or romantically dead; so why, dad reasoned, would an available guy do the time with an available girl if he wasn’t wanting to do the deed?

Dad was not a whistling wolf. He did not appear as a cartoon sex predator. Yet he said men were always ready and looking… It was confusing, but I had to believe him. Sometimes he was right too. But does that mean that there are no such things as platonic friendships between heterosexual men and women?

CNN recently posed the question in a recent article titled Should your wife have guy-friends? According to recent data, platonic relationships do occur:

Some 83 percent of the people surveyed think that cross-gender friendships can and do exist, according to a 2001 poll of more than 1,500 members. And a 2006 study by Canada’s Public Health Agency of nearly 10,000 Canadian children shows that they often start early, with 65 percent of boys and 60 percent of girls declaring three or more close opposite-sex friends by grade 10.

But as many of you with such opposite-sex friendships know, they aren’t always accepted — especially by your romantic partners and lovers who just don’t understand:

Jealousy over an opposite-sex friendship can be the result of projection, says Dr. Bonnie Jacobson, a New York City clinical psychologist and author of “Love Triangles: Seven Steps to Break the Secret Ties That Poison Love.”

“People project onto another person something they would do,” Jacobson says. “If Tom says to Sally, ‘I don’t want you to hang out with Harry,’ it’s very likely Tom feels he would violate that boundary [if he were in the same situation], so he imagines his wife will, too.”

I know this is true; I’ve seen it acted out. But what about the guys, like my dad, who really just don’t get it? Not because they are projecting, not because they are jealous jerks, but just because the concept is so foreign to them?

Well, keep those lines of communication open. Listen to his concerns, his point of view, but reassure him too by explaining how it works for you. Other advice from that CNN article includes the following reality checks:

• Be honest. “Never lie about the time you spend with your friend,” Sabatini says. “If you don’t feel comfortable telling your husband you’re going to hang out, then maybe he has a reason to worry.”

• Socialize as a group. “Spend time with both your significant other and your friend,” Sabatini says. “And acknowledge your love for your spouse in front of your friend.”

From The “Wha Wha Wha Poor Men” Files

This is a relatively-new blog so I have not yet had the time to get into Everything, but if there’s one thing that irks me (and let’s face it, we know there are sooo many things that do bother me), it’s men complaining about how bad they have it.

Poor poor men with their hugely disproportionate power base. Poor poor men who — despite a 100+ year old suffrage and other assorted women’s movements — still retain a huge majority of the economic, legal and brute force (via armies etc.) power in the world. Poor poor men who can’t deal with (amazingly small) micro-changes in gender roles. Wha wha, my heart so does not bleed for you.

Not that we women hate me; many of us who complain the loudest have men for fathers & grandfathers, are married-to and happily live-with men — some of us even lovingly raise male children. Who knew?!

But every time we point out the disparity, the inequality, and yes, the personally & publicly horrifying things that men do, we are man-haters. It can’t possibly be that we are offended & disappointed by the male refusal to accept the responsibility which comes with power; we must simply hate them.

I tell a true story about a dog that mauls a child and, whether I have a dog or not, that doesn’t make me a dog hater; but tell a true story about a man who beats a woman and I’m a man hater. Totally stupid. :snort:

But it happens.

And if you dare to point out just how stupid that thinking is, you are only more of a man-hater. :sigh:

Today, on Twitter, a public conversation about this man-hating phallacy fallacy which highlights a seemingly rather benign conversation about women and their hate of men…

Briancarter, self-described SEO optimizer and “funny keynote speaker/stand up comedian” (it will become crystal clear in a few minutes why the funny-man makes a living being the opposite of funny), asks: Is there an antonym for misogynist? And to be perfectly clear, he is searching for “a hater of men” — and, yes, lesbian jokes will be made ha ha ha — let’s laugh at the lesbian-man-hating stereotype.

Two minutes later he tweets: lol classic! I asked is there an antonym to misogynist, RT @zainyk: @briancarter The View.

He gets a more serious reply from shellerae: @briancarter a misandrist hates persons of the male sex, a misogynist hates persons of the female sex, & a misanthrope is a hater of mankind

He replies: @shellerae nice, but no one ever uses misandrist…?

And then it disintegrates into more mocking of The View and women while Brian ignores more insight from shellerae, who tweets both “I love men {shrug} so would be hard for me to use & would avoid people who described themselves as such!” and “I think there are people who don’t hate the “gender” but more don’t respect it.”

And then we get to the meat of the matter when Brain says, “ya I was thinking: there are women who hate men, so why don’t we hear a word for that as often as we hear misogynist?”

Maybe it’s because man-hating is — if not a complete myth — then far, far less prevalent than the hatred of women. Duh.

As Astrogirl426 says: And anyway, there is a word for man-haters (of either sex): misandrope. Perhaps there just arent as many of us– I mean them ;)

It seems that the conversation ended with Brian’s lame tweet: lol no I think you took it way too personally- a lot of people answered that way… sorry :-)

Sorry? Sorry?! That’s all you have to say?

You start a conversation, one that adds to larger public discourse, which reduces valid female complaints of factual disparity to the simplistic, nonsensical, and dismissive “women hate men” — and then, between making and encouraging lame negative stereotypical jokes and ignoring sane comments, when you learn that you offend people, and all you can do is blame them for taking it “way too personally” — ending with a “sorry” which reads more like you are sorry for what they did or said than taking responsibility for your own actions?!


The Truth About Sexy Red Lips & Dating

I wasn’t going to answer this question right away, but seeing as 1) it’s holiday time where dressing more glamorous is de rigueur (or at least more possible), 2) that Twolia’s own Josi has written a great tutorial on how to apply those perfect red lips, and 3) three of my friends and I were just debating this very topic, it seems now is the time…

Do men really like women who wear makeup — big hair and sexy red lips — or is this something we do for other women? Men often say, “I prefer you with less makeup and more natural looking”… Yet who are they looking at in magazines, movies and yes, at clubs? And the related question, when women are so gussied-up (no matter who it is for), are men put-off on the action aka kissing or touching you?

There are many kinds of men, so this is going to be pretty generic advice; but…

For the most part, men are just as much part of this culture as we are and as such, they see and are as moved by beauty as we women are — in fact, they may be even more manipulated by it and our female use of it. Sure, some women eschew such glamor and so we can reasonably expect some men to do so too; but as a general rule, men find the woman with sexy red lips beckoning to their libidos.

We may buy the products, but they buy the end result.

Does such gloss and glamor keep his attentions at bay? As a general rule, I say, “Nay.”

They may not want to wear the red smudges in public, but in private… When men are attracted, aroused, they really aren’t concerned by such things as lipstick smeared on their faces or hair that deflates as it rubs on the pillows.

We women are though.

We women often hold men at arm’s length, telling them not to muss the ‘do or smear the face. In that sense, what man wouldn’t say he prefers his woman au naturel? So ask yourself if you haven’t trained your partner as Pavlov did his pooch — only you make your mate drool but then don’t give him the treat he seeks.

There are, of course, other times when a man may state his preference for your more natural look.

If he said it in response to your disclaimers of, “Oh, but I’m such a mess!” when he called to say he’s in the neighborhood or otherwise has suggested a sudden visit (or just impulsively stopped by), it’s simply the proper thing for him to say.

If he said it just before, during, or after sex, well then, “more natural looking” is about as reliable as those three other little words said at the time (I love you).

But there are times when a man says he “prefers you without makeup” or “more natural looking” (and I’m assuming here that you are not applying it like a clown!) when he may just be full of crap.

The best way to know that such statements are bullshit is if he first approached you when you were your glamor-doll self or if you typically are a makeup-wearing woman (at least whenever he could see you) — because, baby doll, if he was attracted enough to your glamor-doll self to ask hit on you or ask you out, then he likes that look.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lying either.

It may mean that he’s attracted to painted ladies, but fears others are too and doesn’t want you being attractive to others.  That’s why I said his claims were bullshit.

It’s not only a contradiction, but it’s a sign of insecurity.  Especially if he’s derogatory about you being “made up.”  And men so insecure as to manipulate you to meet their needs are worse than a waste of time — they can be dangerous. (Such manipulation is just steps away from controlling and abusive behavior.)

It doesn’t matter if he is insecure about himself, fearful because he’s ‘been burned before’ by a cheating (or ‘promiscuous’) partner, or just has this view of women as in control with their attractiveness and is upset by it; if he’s so insecure that he feels your application of red lipstick is akin to Roxanne putting on the red light he’s too insecure in himself to be partner material. And don’t kid yourself, ladies; he’s not even good casual dating material because he’s going to see your casual attitude and read that as proof of his fears. Just walk away.


Unless he’s willing to talk about his issues, his insecurities. If he can learn to deal with your likes as well as his own dislikes, if he can learn to separate you the person from your lipstick, the lipstick from his definition of a slut, and himself from the cuckold of his fears, then there’s a chance.