I just recently picked up a new vagina. It's brand new, shiny, and never been tested by man. You think I'm kidding, but its true: One week ago today, along with other repair surgeries, I had a vaginal reconstruction. I'm 37, but in more ways than one I feel like a new woman, a virtual born-again virgin.
We had been married for eight years. We had been trying to get pregnant for six of those years and between IVF and ICSI had gone through five fertility cycles. We knew we could get pregnant but we didn't know if we could stay pregnant. We had spent over $200,000, and all we had to show for it was a glossy photo of four egg cells. That photo still sits in the drawer of the night table besides out bed, buried there. We're unable to look at it—or dispose of it. Other friends who were on the IVF merry-go-round and got pregnant, had their children. Some had their second child while we waited and tried again. Every couple who had a child swore by their doctor, their method, their technique—success was its own affirmation.
Amy had been referred to a Beverly Hills fertility doctor, who was so reassuring that I took him to calling him Dr. Mellow. His office had a wall of photos of smiling babies, as if to say, "This will be you." We sat in his waiting room holding hands. We believed. We didn't know we had just taken our seats inside the Hope Factory. Once inside, the possibility of getting pregnant never ended. If one technique failed, you tried another, and kept trying. There seemed to be an infinite supply of hope.
Without referring you to the many, many, medical sites, books and journals I immediately consulted on the subject, there is some belief that a certain vein that traverses one or both testicles can, in one way or another, affect the quality of sperm production. Operating on it may, or may not, improve sperm quality. In my case, a double varocelectomy was recommended.
I suppose everyone remembers their first time. I certainly do. I put on some mood music, dimmed the lights and proceeded to romance myself. Eager to please the laboratory (and myself), I marshaled my forces to climax, and then promptly fumbled the collection. Most of my contribution missed the container.
As a kid, my ballet teacher nicknamed me Olive Oil because I was tall and skinny with long dark hair like the cartoon. By 14, puberty had left me squeezing into 32DD bras. My instant curves disgusted me. "You are not fat; you’re Zaftik," my mother would say in Yiddish, as she inspected my 5'7" and 120-lb. frame. She meant I carried my weight well. Large busts were so common among Jewish women they'd created a word in the Old Country for exactly what I'd inherited.
Men have long rejected women because of what they perceive as excess weight. We've all heard of men who pressure their wives, partners or girlfriends to lose weight, and often female fears of losing a man will prompt a major overhaul. On the flip side, experts say women often withhold sex as a weapon of last resort when their partners refuse to or don't lose weight.
Would Andy think Jake was as perfect as I did? Perfect manners. Perfect behavior. Perfect attitude. Jake had just turned three. He was a sweet kid, affectionate and kind—but perfect manners? Who was I kidding? It wasn't as if "thank you" was exactly a recognized word in his vocabulary.
Should our sexual fantasies be morally and politically correct? Excerpted from Best Sex Writing 2009, erotica writer Kristina Lloyd explores her taste for pleasure with a side of discomfort and the judgment that writing graphic sex scenes draws. An intriguing reflection on fantasies and how they define us.
Phone sex is popular for a myriad of reasons. Number one, it's safe. You literally talk your way to a place where you want to touch yourself. No protection needed. Phone sex can also be intensely intimate, and it can bring you and your partner together, even if you happen to be on separate coasts or in different countries.
Female sexuality isn't well understood, even by scientists: examining the biology of arousal. Meredith Chivers uses evolutionary biology to explain why women's bodies and minds are turned on by different things. Lisa Diamond believes that women's sexuality is much more flexible than is generally understood, and that women are more turned on by emotional intimacy. Marta Meana works on the theory that female lust hinges on narcissism—that is, being desired. Are any of them right? No one knows.
Anal sex advice you need: 7 ways to say no to doing it up the butt. Even if you love anal, sometimes you just don't want to have it. "Now I don’t want to seem uptight, I know it’s perfectly safe and, in some cases, really effective. But personally, I’ve already been schooled in anal and although I flunked the final exam, I refuse to retake the class again, if you know what I mean. So, here’s how I’ve gotten out of doing that kind of homework over the years with my 7 Excuses To Get Out Of Anal Sex."
In our steamiest revelations, most fearless sexual reporting and best sexpert advice of 2008 we investigate the female happy ending massage, the myth of the male orgasm, sex parties, public sex, masturbation and more.
2006 was a year of unprotected sex for me. No, not every time, but I started off the year with a fling with a slightly older man I was besotted with, who didn’t speak a word about condoms, and, in response, I didn’t either. I wanted to trust that he had some magical knowledge that somehow I was missing, that maybe the world had overturned itself and they were no longer necessary. I was wrong, and after a pregnancy panic as I searched for Plan B—this was right before it was so readily available—I escaped unscathed. Then later that year I met a guy I fell absolutely head over heels with, sure that we were destined to be together.
I wanted out of my life as an exotic dancer. Because it was how I paid my bills and my family was no support, I felt stuck. After eight years in the adult entertainment industry, I had been so degraded; I didn't believe I was capable of doing anything else. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make it at a regular job. I was making $1500 a week for my performance as Kiersten, the exotic dancer. Without a college degree, it would be hard to match that salary. All I wanted to do was numb out. As a result I began popping prescription pills to dull the pain. Then I added daily drinking to the mix. One night I stared at the empty Merlot bottles lined in a row on the shelf in my kitchen. It hit me, between the pills, the booze, the stripping and Ryan, I was slowly killing myself. I knew I needed to get out of Los Angeles.