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Whatever You Are, You’re Normal


Pajiba Dirty Talk / Dr. Pisaster

Miscellaneous | June 1, 2010 | Comments (92)


One of the most well-attended scientific talks I’ve ever been to was given by this guy. His research was on the effect of a particular enzyme on sexual arousal, and it involved - I kid you not - measuring the strength of rabbit boners. Thanks to this, he was able to use the word “sex” in the title of his talk. Probably 200 people showed up for a seminar that usually brought in less than 50. It was standing room only and there were people there who I’m not even sure were scientists. I think some undergrads saw the fliers and thought they were going to something completely different. The talk itself was as glorious as one would expect of a scientific discussion of rabbit erections given by a man in a bowtie, and my grad school friends and I still bring it up to this day when we see each other. To put that in perspective, I can’t even think of the subject of a single other talk I went to that year. I’m telling you this story to illustrate a fairly obvious point: if you want people to show up, there’s no better way than to use the magic word — sex. Sex is endlessly fascinating. It’s both extremely enjoyable and kinda weird (so, you put tab B into slot A and…oh. OH.). We can’t seem to resist the urge to talk about it, especially around these parts. Anyone who’s spent any time in the comment section of this site knows that our readers are a very pro-sex bunch. Which is why Pajiba is introducing a new weekly feature: Pajiba Dirty Talk. This column will feature discussions of sex stories in the news, the latest sex research, and whatever aspect of human sexuality is on my mind when I realize my deadline is approaching. (It will not be an advice column. For that I recommend Professor Foxy over at feministing.) It’s not exactly movie/tv/book related, but nobody can argue that it doesn’t line up with the interests of the site’s readers.

For the inaugural column I thought I’d focus on something that seems to pop up whenever a post about sexuality shows up on the internet: what is and isn’t normal, sexually speaking. One of the most frustrating things to read in response to discussions of sex is comments of the type, “In my experience, X is true.” Well, guess what, your experience isn’t universal, and you should be careful what conclusions you draw from it, because I guarantee you when someone writes that, someone else reading it is thinking “I’m not like that. Does that make me weird?” We don’t really have any clear points of reference for a lot of sexual stuff, so we have to piece things together from numerous not-so-reliable sources like porn and cheesy women’s magazines and things our friends tell us about their sex lives, if they’re even willing to talk about such things honestly. Our culture tends to focus on stereotypes rather than the varied experiences of real people, and the result is that many people are under the impression that “normal” is one specific thing rather than a broad range of behaviors, anatomy, and preferences. The truth is, we’re all different and unique, in our sex lives as much as everything else.

Take for example, the fairly recent development of labiaplasty, plastic surgery meant to alter the size and shape of a woman’s labia. The surgery was initially intended for women whose labia cause them physical discomfort or pain, but it has increasingly become something women do to “improve” the appearance of their vulvas. A large part of the problem is that most women (or at least the heterosexual ones) haven’t really seen very many vulvas outside of porn, which tends to focus on a specific type — those with small labia minora. The result is that many young women think there is something wrong with them because they don’t look like porn stars “down there,” and they feel abnormal enough that they are willing to have surgery on a part of their body whose function, frankly, should be more important than its form. Trust me ladies, whatever you have between your legs, it’s perfectly normal. I suggest a quick look through this site (warning: link seriously, Seriously not safe for work) to get an idea of how incredibly diverse female anatomy actually is.

Of course men don’t escape from this sort of misconception either. While worrying about the aesthetic appeal of our naughty parts is fairly new to women, men have been obsessing over how their members measure up since, well, probably since the dawn of self awareness. Studies show that men consistently underestimate the size of their own junk compared to the average, and our “the bigger the better” mentality probably contributes to a feeling of inadequacy in lot of men who are perfectly well equipped to please their partners. (If you’re curious about what actual, non-porno penises look like, you can check out this - also very NSFW - site. Sorry boys, your site has way fewer pictures. If you want to see more you can always check out the casual encounters section of your local craigslist.) Honestly, if it works and doesn’t cause you physical discomfort, then whatever you have to work with is probably perfectly fine. It may not suit every partner you’ll ever have (we all do have our preferences after all, and sometimes people’s anatomy just doesn’t line up), but somebody out there will probably be pretty happy with it.

The same thing goes for sexual behavior. Our cultural narrative of “men always want it,” and “women always have a headache,” is pretty far from the truth for many people. Both men and women have sex drives that fall everywhere on the spectrum from completely asexual to constantly horny. Most people fall somewhere in the middle, but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with people who are on one extreme or the other. Although there are some people whose sexual behavior may be a reaction to psychological trauma, many more are simply being true to themselves. If more people were open about their sex lives and actually talked about sex more (Hi ‘jibans!), most of us would realize that there is no “normal,” there’s just individual preference. As long as you’re satisfied and what you want doesn’t interfere with your life or relationships, there’s really no reason to worry or be ashamed. (And even if it does interfere with a romantic relationship, that may be because you and your partner are sexually mismatched, not because there’s something wrong with you.) Men who can take or leave sex aren’t any less masculine than those who can’t get enough, and women who are constantly in the mood are not freaks. People who like kinky sex aren’t weirdos, and people with non-standard sexual relationships aren’t doing anything “wrong.” They’re just people, and people tend to be diverse. So please, no judging or generalizing about other people’s sex lives and bodies, and no obsessing over whether you’re abnormal. Sex is too much fun to go ruining it with pointless neuroses.

Dr. Pisaster has a doctorate in biophysics, not actually anything sexy. She does however enjoy having sex, reading about sex, and talking about sex. Especially when she’s had a little whiskey.


DVD Releases 6/1/10 | DVD Releases 6/1/10







Comments

diiiirty pictchas

Posted by: Anna von Beaversmack at June 1, 2010 4:42 PM

Yeah, labiaplasty. Here's the thing. Back in my single days, if a guy was actually lucky enough to get that far, he was damn lucky. And I will put my house on the line that no guy in the history of sexual pursuits has ever got that far and then announced that the labia weren't pretty enough for him to continue.

I will however admit that it took me a while to get used to the look of a circumcised penis (having come from a non-penile-cutting country). The altered member looks so very much like the little Star Wars robot that it can be very off-putting to the uninitiated.


Posted by: PaddyDog at June 1, 2010 4:43 PM

Beep-boop-beep, Paddy.

Posted by: admin at June 1, 2010 4:44 PM

Ooh Admin. You have me all hot and bothered now. And I'm not even allowed to retreat to the unmentionable dormitory fixture.

Posted by: PaddyDog at June 1, 2010 4:49 PM

Oh I LOVE this whole idea. Here, we shall eat cake. Oh yes!

I wish to god I had some of you over to look at penis pictures with. I'm all 'heeheeeheee' like a little idiot kid. For me it's the au naturale penii that give me pause...I've been around the block a time or two and yet I've only ever had one or two of those. I kind of find them about as complex as lady bits, for some reason.

Posted by: replica at June 1, 2010 4:50 PM

So how soon before we're bombarded with Viagra spam? 3..2..1..

Posted by: PaddyDog at June 1, 2010 4:56 PM

Oh, I needed this. You rule. And I hate the whole stereotypical "blah blah women desire sex less" bullshit. I was at a wedding this weekend, and when I mentioned that I was pretty buzzed from my 87th Malibu baybreeze, one of my boyfriend's friends nudged him and said "Oh SOMEONE'S getting laid tonight." PLEASE. Bitch was going to get laid no matter what state of inebriation I was in, and I have never once turned him down when he's initiated sex. Not once in 11 months. And I know a lot of women who have higher sex drives than their partners. It's such a cheesy sitcom cliche.

Posted by: Julie at June 1, 2010 4:58 PM

A quick question Dr. P.

"people with non-standard sexual relationships aren’t doing anything “wrong.” "

Do you put any limits on that statement or are you a big Enumclaw supporter?

Posted by: PaddyDog at June 1, 2010 4:58 PM

Thanks for the link, I'd never seen an uncircumsised penis before and (maybe oddly) I'd been wondering lately what one looks like.

Posted by: king at June 1, 2010 4:58 PM

Julie:

It's not your sex drive that impresses me, it's the ability to function sexually after 87 Malibus. You must have the liver of an ox.

Posted by: PaddyDog at June 1, 2010 5:00 PM

I have to admit that the only penis I have any experience with is my own, and it's been D2'ed so I can't comment on the complexity of the uncircumcised member. Lady bits, at least the ones that I'm accustomed to, are fascinating and fun. And generally easy to use.

Paddy, why can't you retreat to the hot plate? You've got to eat somehow.

Posted by: admin at June 1, 2010 5:13 PM

PaddyDog the caveat for that statement would be that all involved in such relationships have to be willing and eager participants. That would exclude things like cheating on people who don't want to share and of course, sex with anyone or anything that can't consent.

Posted by: dr. pisaster at June 1, 2010 5:13 PM

How is it, in this of all discussions, that a large quadruped was first mentioned in a manner not directly related to the content of the source article?!

Posted by: lubeg at June 1, 2010 5:14 PM

We're trying to be "mature".

Posted by: admin at June 1, 2010 5:16 PM

Wait, D2'ed Admin? Shit, I thought C3PO was the model-you mean not all penii are gold and know the language and protocol for 30,000 systems? Damn, I may have to get that looked at.

Posted by: Mrcreosote at June 1, 2010 5:23 PM

Mens and womens naughty bits are surprisingly ugly. They don't turn me on in the least. Touching them is different. I'm talking about looking at them.

Boobies, on the other hand (hehehe), are incredibly sexy, if they are the right shape and have the right gravitational pull. I'm a female and a lesbian, and pictures of another women's breasts will get me way hotter than pics of penises or labia.

And why do men have nipples? Is there a point?

Posted by: BWeaves at June 1, 2010 5:34 PM

That's supposed to read, "I'm female and NOT a lesbian . . ."

Posted by: BWeaves at June 1, 2010 5:38 PM

Nipples are standard equipment that develop before sex differentiation happens.

Posted by: king at June 1, 2010 5:38 PM

I am thirlled about this new feature. And I'm really looking forward to having mature(ish), intellectual(ish) conversations about sex and the goings on. Especially since the article about Orgasm Inc, I have been really intrigued with the Pajibette mindset.

Posted by: Patty O'Green at June 1, 2010 5:43 PM

Posted by: BWeaves at June 1, 2010 5:38 PM

Suuuuuuuuure it was, Freud...

Posted by: Patty O'Green at June 1, 2010 5:45 PM

...I thought C3PO was the model-you mean not all penii are gold and know the language and protocol for 30,000 systems?...

Posted by: Mrcreosote at June 1, 2010 5:23 PM

If that were true there'd be no misunderstanding between men and women.

Well, except the whole ambiguity surrounding C-3PO. Nevermind. Forget I even brought it up.

Posted by: lubeg at June 1, 2010 5:48 PM

Nipples are standard equipment that develop before sex differentiation happens.

And sometimes extras are tacked on in case the standard two are lost when your body is being assembled. Kinda like Ikea furniture.

Posted by: branded at June 1, 2010 5:50 PM

I'm amazed, robot innuendo aside, this thread has not transformed into a big old cyber-orgy.

Posted by: Robert at June 1, 2010 6:01 PM

Yeah, BWeaves, I was going to say, "So, does your husband know?"

I, for one, applaud this column idea. And if it's all brought to us by a "dr.", then we know that all the information is true and scientifically proven.

I'm off to look at the dirty pictures (I have an "anything goes" workplace wheee!) and I'll probably fall over in shock and amazement in 3... 2...

Posted by: MM at June 1, 2010 6:05 PM

Paddydog-
I agree 100% I doubt there is anyone so jaded that they would actually care much about the appearance of the vagina that they are currently going to town on, be it one night stand or virgin bride.

Like my ol' grandpa once said: "logar, never look a gift vagina in the mouth. But if you're going to, check for teeth."

Posted by: logar at June 1, 2010 6:28 PM

I love this idea! And I totally agree: sex and sexuality comes in as many different forms and flavors as people.

Posted by: Sassafrass Green at June 1, 2010 6:41 PM

Speaking of circumcision, who here is North American and anti-circumcision? I am. I just don't see the point of cutting off a piece of perfectly harmless skin. But, I feel like I'm in the minority and I'm not sure why. It can't be that much more trouble to keep a foreskin clean than it is to keep the labia clean.

Posted by: stardust at June 1, 2010 6:49 PM

my rule of thumb is never comment on genitals. I once made an offhand comment about the genitals of a girl i was seeing (and i was quite enthusiastic about both her and her genitals), but my comment suggested to her that hers were different than others, which of course poured gasoline on the fires of insecurity, and i never heard the end of that one comment for the four years we were together

Posted by: idleprimate at June 1, 2010 6:50 PM

Ok I'll throw in a few things:

1. Labiaplasty is a bad idea except in the most extreme circumstances for one big reason: loss of nerve function. And like the good doctor said up there, it's function and not so much form with THAT. I don't give a shit what mine looks like, it works very well and always has.

And like someone else said, I also never once ran into a guy who got that far and said "ohhhhh, hmmm. Your labia really aren't what I'm looking for" and zipped up. Never. And I'm not sure it's EVER happened. You don't have to sketch them, just enjoy them.

2. I had nothing but circumcised partners until I met the husband. I fully completely prefer a convertible because of him. And I was the girl who said if I ever ran into an intact penis, I'd run the other way. Joke was on me, I didn't even know he WAS intact until the third or fourth time we had sex. (You can't really tell when it's erect.) But since then, I've discovered the many advantages of having a guy with all his factory-issued parts and I highly recommend such. What is it Ferris Beuller says about the little convertible car he drives? "If you have the means, I recommend picking one up. They are CHOICE."

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 6:54 PM

I am also looking forward to reading these acticles. I am a big ol' pervert and proud of it!!!

Posted by: Alli at June 1, 2010 6:56 PM

I'm NH-native and have only encountered a few uncircumcised (origins: NH, Ohio). They have each been awesome, leading me to think it was meant to be designed that way. However, evolutionarily speaking, the drive for sex drive far pre-dated pleasure from sex, so I'm not sure how to figure that out. What would Darwin think? Anyway, I am totally against revised/remodeled anything - love yourself and your partner as they are. And I think the "where ever you are, you are normal" theme is wonderful.

Posted by: staramour at June 1, 2010 6:57 PM

Stardust, I am.

Not only is the foreskin harmless, it serves several functions. I think that's what drives me the most crazy--that so many people don't even realize the purposes it serves and it's somehow vestigal, like an appendix.

And you're right, it's not at all difficult to keep clean. The husband was living in a tent in Saudi Arabia for six months taking only "whore baths" (sponge, water and a bucket) and never experienced a single problem. Not once. And that was with not even having soap or access to the water and sponge every day.

There are a lot of misconceptions about it.


Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 6:58 PM

This is going to be VERY pedantic of me, and I apologize in advance for this, truly and humbly, because I hate being pedantic, but the correct term is intact, not uncircumcised. Uncircumcised seems to say that it has been un-done or that it is missing something, when really the opposite is true. It's not a political term or anything, either, but the medical/physiological one. A man with his foreskin is intact, a man without is circumcised.

I didn't know that until I was pregnant with my child and started researching the issue.

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 7:00 PM

Ok, so I'll never be able to watch Ferris Beuller again.

Snuggiepants:

Out of curiosity, from a female perspective, what are the advantages of an intact penis? Coin purse? Shai-Hulud jokes?

Posted by: logar at June 1, 2010 7:04 PM

Menage-a-none, unless you're counting that thing with the encephalitis lethargica ward...or T.S. Garp.

Posted by: Jo 'Mama' Besser at June 1, 2010 7:04 PM

stardust, I'd say I'm against circumcision. At least of infants/children. What adults want to do to their own body for religious or health reasons is up to them, but the thought of parents making such an irreversible decision for their sons is troubling to me.

As far as the guys zipping up and leaving at the site of larger labia, I've heard of cases. Frankly I think those guys don't deserve to get laid anyway, but there's no question that they do a lot of harm to women's self esteem. (check out this documentary http://documentarystorm.com/health/the-perfect-vagina/ if you want to know more and feel really pissed off at people)

Posted by: dr. pisaster at June 1, 2010 7:07 PM

R2-D2? Bah! It looks like Twiki.
http://www.jeffbots.com/twiki.html

Posted by: The Kilted Yaksman at June 1, 2010 7:11 PM

logar: let me preface it with this: circumcised sex is NOT BAD. Not at all! I had a LOT back in my day and it was the bee's knees!

So I hope everyone knows I'm not saying it's BAD with a circumcised guy.

But with an intact guy....in physics there are simple machines and complex machines, right?

The circumcised penis is a simple machine (and I do NOT mean that to be insulting!). It has one motion--in and out. In and out.

The intact penis is a complex machine. There are two motions going on during intercourse with this type. Both in and out of the vagina AND in and out of his own sheath.

Because of this, it feels different and in my opinion, it feels better.

(AGAIN NOT THAT IT'S BAD WITH CUT GUYS! I LOVED IT!)

Anyway, also the intact guy usually gets off more easily with close up action and needs less thrusting. You can do that thing where you sit on top and just sort of rub around with your body and that alone can make him lose his junk. He's got an extra 10,000 or so nerve endings due to his foreskin after all.

Um, BJs are SOOOO much easier to give to an intact guy.

Ooo, I know! This is a GREAT site because it really shows and explains a lot:

http://www.circumstitions.com/Works.html

Also this: http://www.circumstitions.com/Functions.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Pleasure.html

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 7:13 PM

Good info Snuggie! If I were to have another boy, I think I would opt to keep him intact.

Posted by: logar at June 1, 2010 7:21 PM

BWeaves, men have nipples in order to have something other than The Twins to hang the clothespins from.

I'll be in my bunk.

Posted by: The Wanderer at June 1, 2010 7:26 PM

I feel weird about saying all that.

Anyway.

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 7:45 PM

Snuggiepants, I found it all educational and informative.

The More You Know! {chimes}

Posted by: MM at June 1, 2010 7:49 PM

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one against circumcision. And, who knew Snuggie was such a resource? More reasons to love you, Snuggie. The hubby and I want kids sometime in the near future. If we end up having a boy, this is a discussion we are going to have. He is pro-circumcision, but only because his is the R2D2 model. Chances are he doesn't know anything about the benefits of an intact penis and it's nice to have some easy info to give to him.

Posted by: stardust at June 1, 2010 7:50 PM

I've tried both and I prefer intact as well. They're more fun to operate...uh, manually I guess. They've got a lot of give.

Posted by: becks at June 1, 2010 7:56 PM

I LIKE TEH SEXY TIME!

Posted by: D-Day at June 1, 2010 8:08 PM

Oh look: sex.

Posted by: coryo at June 1, 2010 8:13 PM

snuggiepants: when you say bjs are a lot easier to give(intact), are you saying that it is a chore? that sounds catty, but i am curious.

as a male, i find, giving head to a woman is definitely time, concentration and labour intensive, though shitloads of obsessive fun; but i have often wondered if women feel the same way.

its just been my experience(remembering to throw the concept of normal out the window) that women think of oral on a man as something to be finished up with, and a hassle, whereas men think of oral on a woman as a smorgasporg to get lost in. one of those distressing insecure sexual thoughts. . .who the hell wants someone to do something if its just a chore.

the "easier" comment rang that bell.

Posted by: idleprimate at June 1, 2010 8:16 PM

but the correct term is intact, not uncircumcised.

So, unintact, am I? As in, "less than intact"? IN-complete in some way, is that what you're trying to say? Well, harrumph to that, Snuggie!

(Just joshing -- I'm endlessly fascinated by the pitfalls of language. And I heartily support the new feature. Who was it who said every new generation thinks they invented sex?)

Posted by: sansho1 at June 1, 2010 8:17 PM

sansho1: LOL! No, you are not un-intact. Well, I mean I guess you are, but we won't call you that! We'll just call you sansho1!

idleprimate: in my extensive whorey experience, an intact man is easier to get off orally than a cut guy.

Not that it's a chore, I actually enjoy doing it. But one's mouth and jaw does want to give out after a while and you start thinking "either finish or we need to do something else before I develop spontaneous lockjaw."

With a cut guy you can move your hand up and down the shaft, in a fashion, but with an intact guy, you're actually pulling the skin up and down, so it's helping out the whole process more.

When you come up with your hand on the head, you can give it a little squeeze/pinch under the foreskin (which is now pulled up) and I'm told that's nice and helps the process along, but that could be a personal preference. You could do that with a cut guy, but there would be more friction, it wouldn't be as smooth of a motion. This is hard to explain without visuals.

(Gad, I might start blushing.)

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 8:28 PM

After much research, my husband and I decided to keep our son intact. I'm so glad I did now that I'm reading some of these comments. I've read some research to that indicates that intact men have 'fuller' experience of sex; more nerve endings and such.

The U.S. is the *ONLY* country in the world where circumcision is performed regularly for *non* religious reasons. I've heard that doctors around the turn of the last century began supporting it as a way of keeping boys from masturbating (which is hilarious -- did that work out guys?). Puritanical b.s. IMO.

The only hilarious thing about all of this is that my husband and I have No Clue when it is supposed to retract. Current literature suggests anywhere from 8 months to 16 yrs...WTF? If any intact men on here have info we'd love it.

Posted by: banana at June 1, 2010 8:28 PM

becks: the first time I grabbed an intact penis was in his pants. I remember wondering "how was my hand able to come all the way up and down without actually moving along the penis itself?" I was so dumb, that should have been my first freaking clue.

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 8:29 PM

banana, I believe the average age range is 3-7 years old.

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 8:33 PM

Thanks Snuggiepants. We were getting worried, and our Pediatrician (normally a really lovely and informed one) just doesn't have a clue. Many American doctors just don't have a clue when it comes to this issue, and that's sad.

Posted by: banana at June 1, 2010 8:40 PM

Rock on Dr. P!

Posted by: Cindy at June 1, 2010 8:42 PM

banana, I know you probably know this but don't let anyone but the owner retract it!

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 8:42 PM

This has been the most informative and enlightening discussions I have read in a while.

I have never seen an intact penis let alone "experienced" one, and frankly I wasn't even very curious about finding one to "experience".

You have changed that Snuggie!

Posted by: ashes at June 1, 2010 8:44 PM

Alright...and with that last comment it sounds like I am going to go out right away and actively be on the prowl for an intact male to "experience".


I was more saying thanks for giving me a whole other perspective.

Posted by: ashes at June 1, 2010 8:48 PM

this is going to be a great column. i am amazed to read the candid accounts from people when they are contributing to a topic. candid without resorting to being silly, arch or offhandish. i do think, depsite being a tremendously oversexed culture(i.e. media), 'we' would be lot healthier if people weren't frightened to actually talk about real sex, as opposed to sex appeal(advertising) or distilled and distorted sex(porn).

I felt embarassed writing my comment, but the whole thread is full of earnest, straightforward and candid comments.

do a lot of people feel this is a gulf in communications that needs filling? (and seriously, there was no freudian intention there, it just happens in a sex thread).

pajiba may finally be living up to its lispy name.

Posted by: idleprimate at June 1, 2010 9:02 PM

I make the case for circumcision. I don't know why, but the area just beneath the head of the penis (where, I'm guessing, the stitching was done) is a little bundle of very happy nerves that respond in crazy fashion at the first instance of female attention. I have had male friends (and, yeah, we've talked about this shit... shuddup) who were intact and said they lacked the same set of nerves.
We could all be wrong but as we're being honest, I'm just casting my opinion.

Posted by: Spender at June 1, 2010 9:12 PM

its just been my experience(remembering to throw the concept of normal out the window) that women think of oral on a man as something to be finished up with, and a hassle, whereas men think of oral on a woman as a smorgasporg to get lost in. one of those distressing insecure sexual thoughts. . .who the hell wants someone to do something if its just a chore.

idleprimate - sadly, a bad gag reflex is a bitch. The spirit is willing, but the dry-heaves pretty much ruin the fun. Fortunately for my husband, I do a lot to make up for it, but at the end of the day, the BJ just doesn't have a good return on investment for us as a couple. (In my defense, I am very, very flexible - I don't get a lot of complaints).

Also, yes - as a culture we are woefully overexposed to lame or unrealistic sex and woefully undereducated on how it actually works. There's a lot to love about watching people bone, but porn is a terrible way to learn how to do it. Bring on the Pajiba Sex Column!

Posted by: Tammy at June 1, 2010 9:33 PM

Snuggie, yes I do know that! I would never try to force it.

Spender, I think that what you're describing is the glans penis (the male version of the clitoris)? which is present in both circumcised and intact dudes. Maybe it feels different between the two, and maybe the circumcised is more sensitive since it is constantly exposed? I'm not really sure. Just throwing that out there too!

Posted by: banana at June 1, 2010 9:35 PM

A lot of women enjoy doing it too, idleprimate. It's our chance to really show off our skills.

It also gives us time to mentally plan what we'll wear the next day. And it gives us something to do while you're driving.

Posted by: becks at June 1, 2010 9:44 PM

About the lockjaw thing -- an ex-girlfriend of mine would start to get a sore jaw, and we figured out that it helped if I massaged it as she...umm...toiled away. I believe the phrase "a small price to pay" was invented to describe my attitude towards this gesture, so don't be afraid to ask!

Posted by: sansho1 at June 1, 2010 9:47 PM

sigh, i am probably not of the class of men that cause women to gag, but i did appreciate hearing that very pertinent point in the difference between men and women enjoying a dive.

on the light side of sex, i have often gotten a tired or sore jaw, and laughed with a partner that the male drive prohibits responding to negative signals. if the male animal is still conscious, he's still in game. i'd always rather be sore and slippery than not sore and dry.

on an even lighter note, I did have an occasion, one that followed a prodigious round of drinking where i did fall unconscious(canceeling those endless hormones) while lapping at the fount. I was mortified, truly mortified but we both ended up laughing that we couldn't think of a better place to drop dead. I was truly impressed that she had no insecurity. many girls would have felt something was off with them, especially as we were both still in our tender twenties. she just sighed and poured another drink, and left me sleeping there. as a one time experience, there is nowhere better to wake. it counts, despite embarrassment, as a highlight of my life.

Posted by: idleprimate at June 1, 2010 9:56 PM

Spender, that's where the frenulum is in an intact man and it's very sensitive for them, as well.

The frenulum is comparable to the thingie that keeps your tongue anchored in your mouth. Very comparable. (In fact, they all have frenulum in the name.) Try pinching it to see how sensitive it is. :) There's also one anchoring both your upper and lower lips to your gums.

And women have two down south--one holding on the clitorial hood and one holding the labia minora to the vulva. That last one isn't as obvious.

Anyway, the frenulum on a guy sort of "disappears" when the foreskin is pulled back. It's still there, of course, but it's been smoothed out.

In fact, all of this brings up an important point about foreskins--like the lips (on the face) and the tongue and the labia, the penis was meant to have and be part of a mucous membrane. Without a foreskin, the penis has no mucous membrane structure and in THAT sense, changes its essential function. Subtle, but human physiology is pretty subtle. And amazing!

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 10:03 PM

idleprimate, that's a great story. Frankly, if you can't laugh about sex, you have no business having sex. Sure, sometimes you have those transcendent sessions where the universe aligns and you're so in tune with your partner and unicorns are serenading you and blah blah blah.

BUT SOMETIMES your junk slips off their junk and the cat jumps on your face and you roll off the bed onto a hastily-discarded high heel and shit. is. funny. And just maybe, if you are comfortable enough to laugh and keep going, you'll probably blow each other's minds even more.

Posted by: Tammy at June 1, 2010 10:06 PM

Sansho - I can get a sore jaw & I think that's really sweet that you offer that. I'm definitely going to ask the SO for a little jaw rub to help keep things going from now on!

Snuggiepants - I love your comments tonight! Print this page and use it in the car on the next road trip with the girls or the boy. :)

Posted by: staramour at June 1, 2010 10:11 PM

Snuggie: I hereby elect you to be the Intact Penis Whisperer. I have gotten so much amazing info from you today, better than any google search!

Thanks!

Posted by: banana at June 1, 2010 10:19 PM

I got sort of into studying the male anatomy for a year or so there and Mr. Snuggie was more than happy to serve as a live model.

I'd be all "HEY! What is this RAPHE LINE? WHERE IS IT?"

And he'd be all "I don't know, would you like to search for it?"

He's no dummeh!

It also led me to learn more about my own anatomy. I was making up for lost time: I didn't even know what a clitoris was, much less that I had one, until I was 19 and at 24 I still wasn't sure where my own urethral opening was. True story. Kinda shameful. I know now!

My general philosophy is no sharp instruments near the soft stuff unless it's surgically indicated.

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 10:28 PM

I don't have much of an opinion about circumcision, but oddly, I recently read a post by Aunt Becky over on mommywantsvodka.com about the topic. Aside from being one of those things that people clearly have a lot of different opinions on (and the comments on this post were civil!), the only medical evidence Aunt Becky could find in favour of circumcision was a higher prevalence of infection with STDs amongst intact men in Africa (circumcised men were something like half as likely to get HIV, for instance), and higher rates of bacterial infections in their female partners. Apparently, the foreskin is more likely to become torn during sex and the area under the foreskin can incubate nasties.

I'm not making any arguments here, I'm just suggesting a possible benefit. After all, removing the foreskin is still nowhere near as effective as a condom.

Posted by: ScienceGeek at June 1, 2010 10:35 PM

ScienceGeek, I've read about that. It still seems kind of crazy to cut fully functioning tissue off an infant to avoid something a condom could prevent.

Apparently the research methods used were pretty questionable, as well (small sample size, research stopped early in the process, among other problems).

Dr. Dean Edell weighed in on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk8bfpCADcA


http://www.coloradonocirc.org/hiv.php

The joke goes that circumcision is the cure in search of a disease. It seems HIV is the latest one, masturbation being the very first one!

Posted by: Snuggiepants at June 1, 2010 10:48 PM

I have no opinion about men being intact or circumcised - does it work? Excellent. Let's get it on baby.

However, here's what bugs me (and maybe I'm the only one it bugs but I'm willing to take that risk) - I'm so tired of porn making people believe that the only way a woman's vagina could possibly be attractive is if all or nearly all of the hair is ripped out at the roots, leaving a strip landing if you will or a heart or whatever the fuck you feel like. Or hey, why don't I just rip it all out so that I look like a 7 year old girl! Sexy.

What's wrong with natural? Be polite, trim it so it's nice and neat (and that goes for you men too) and hey go ahead and shave that bikini line but for fuck's sake, stop ripping it all out.

And yeah, I'm aware that there are benefits to the "nearly nude down there" look (i.e. cleanliness etc. during your period) but there are other ways around that besides ripping out all of your short and curlies.

Posted by: Kelly at June 1, 2010 10:58 PM

Kelly, WORD.

That hair serves a purpose, fools! It's there to protect your bits and pieces from bad friction so you can enjoy the good friction! Also, as adult human females, ladies, one would assume you would want to get it on with someone who finds adult human females attractive, right?

That shit burns my proverbial balls, man. Neatening up is grand, but Scorched-Earth Chic needs to stop.

How sad is the situation? When Hair was revived on Broadway, critics noted in published reviews that it was pretty weird to see hippies portrayed by folks with Brazilians. THE COSTUME PEOPLE HAD TO MAKE THEM MERKINS so it wouldn't look so anachronistic.

Don't know what a merkin is? To the internets! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin

How messed up is our society that actors can't be expected to grow out their pubes - someone had to get PAID to make them falsies!

Posted by: Tammy at June 1, 2010 11:06 PM

italics

that's so bizarre, today, talking to a friend, and wanting to illuminate the idea of when everything is great i used the phrase, "unicorns and rainbows". perhaps that is one of those common internet phrases that get in our brains.

getting back on topic, my best sex has always come from fumblings, followed by communications, not hollywood sex. you know that one, where you try something that you think normal because you always see it in movies, then your partner says, 'what the fuck', then its uncomfortable, then you talk, then you laugh, then you have really great sex.

Posted by: idleprimate at June 1, 2010 11:06 PM

Soooo...I'm totally normal then?

Hey, you said it, not me. Remember that.

Posted by: DeistBrawler at June 1, 2010 11:19 PM

The only labia I will ever object to is the one the resides in the crotch of a moron.

Posted by: Squirrelgripper at June 1, 2010 11:36 PM

It's interesting that you find oral easier on an intact guy, snuggiepants. I've always found cut penises much more straightforward, and I've had a surprisingly equal amount of experience with both, if my friends aren't lying when we trade stories.

I've always chalked it up to my Jewish heritage. There's just some little part of me that looks at a foreskin and goes "What the fuck am I supposed to do with that?"

Posted by: That Girl at June 2, 2010 12:24 AM

Snuggie The studies were halted early because that's the standard response for a condition as severe as HIV when the differences are this great. It's an ethical choice - do you spend two years completing extensive studies to determine potential side effects, or do you fast-track the process so people can receive this treatment straight away? With non-deadly conditions, the medical community takes the former stance, but with the fatal conditions they veer more towards the latter.

I've noticed that veering is even more pronounced in the case of HIV, especially with the rate of infection in Africa. Many, if not the majority, of the current treatments for HIV didn't 'complete testing'. Once they were proven to be effective in a relatively small number of participants, the larger studies were deemed unnecessary.

Posted by: ScienceGeek at June 2, 2010 12:37 AM

We can’t seem to resist the urge to talk about it, especially around these parts.
---
I see what you did there.

Posted by: , at June 2, 2010 12:39 AM

PSA: The Uniballer urges you all, while you're feeling around down there, to check your/his sack, Jack/Jaq. Especially on guys 18-35.

Thank you.

Posted by: , at June 2, 2010 12:49 AM

Having read the link (sorry, but I can't watch the video at work), the main thrust of the nocirc.org's argument appears to be that circumcised men still catch HIV. I apologise if I gave the impression that I thought otherwise, but that was not what I was trying to say. I simply wanted to point out there was evidence of a reduced risk.

Ultimately, I think the results of these studies would mean very little to your average North American parent wondering if they should circumsise their son. But Stardust was wondering why you'd cut off a piece of perfectly harmless skin, and I thought I'd offer a reason why some people in the world might make that choice for non-religious reasons.

Posted by: ScienceGeek at June 2, 2010 12:51 AM

Uhm. Let's say one wanted to participate in the blog here and that was swell.
Word on the street says there's a FB group that likes to chuckle it up a bit.
Well, I can't find it. help?

Posted by: Ms MoMo at June 2, 2010 3:14 AM

Tammy / Kelly

I don't know about pornstars, but I prefer my girlfriend waxed for the visual element. We're pretty open (npi) about our sex lives and I like to be able to see and explore. She says it doesn't really hurt and is happy to be involved.

Trimmed or let wild, I find hair to be a visual inhibitor, which I enjoy less.

Each to their own, I suppose. Or, different streaks for different freaks (too soon for different strokes).

Posted by: Peter G at June 2, 2010 3:57 AM

Ms MoMo try:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pajiba/250548979637?ref=ts

...for the fancy newish Pajiba page on facebook.

But go to this older one:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2243697381o

...for the discussion called 'Who's Who' where you will find a half trillion delurked Pajibans with names and id tags and willingness to friend up clearly stated, alongside signed agreements promising not to sue in the case of fire, defamation or infamy.

Happy hunting!

Posted by: replica at June 2, 2010 4:33 AM

I will be honest, my ex snowballed me twice. The first time i almost smacked her the second time , that shit was hot. I dont care , we tasted gret together and the strange thing is that i can only see me doing that with her and no other woman .

Posted by: gilp at June 2, 2010 4:42 AM

for you all lovely people I have a question, in my highly depressing life (and I'm only faulty of that) I had very little sex, (I also happen to be a tina fey on the loosing the v department) I mean I took advantage of it when I did basically but I've only seen the genitals of two guys in a sexy contest and one doesn't count cause it was awkward as fuck, and now I havents had sex in like three years,
so going straight to the point, hos much enthusiasm can make up for my little experience?

Posted by: rio at June 2, 2010 6:10 AM

Are you serious, Tammy? Merkins? That is so absolutely ridiculous and vaguely icky. I would love to crew a Broadway show, but that one...

And I am completely with you, Kelly. I subscribe to the school of thought that allows the curlies. Upkeep is healthy and polite, of course, but that bad friction has ruined my fun times too often to ever go back.

Idleprimate, some women do see it as a chore (at least sometimes), but, like any and all issues we discuss in this column, that is a personality issue, not a normalcy issue. I really enjoy doing it about 85% of the time. The other 15% I'm sleepy or grumpy or some other dwarve who doesn't want a mouth full of cock. But I oblige, because I like to keep the hubs happy. Nothing wrong with putting someone else's needs first; it is just more fun if you are both actually enjoying it. [And a hearty HECK YES to comma's suggestion of ball inclusion]

Oh, and branded, that IKEA comment was pure gold.

Posted by: Patty O'Green at June 2, 2010 9:45 AM

ho[w] much enthusiasm can make up for my little experience?

Posted by: rio at June 2, 2010 6:10 AM
---
A lot. A hell of a lot. That and a willingness to learn. And, in fact, that goes for just about any area of life.

Also, only two guys entered the sexy contest? Too bad I wasn't there, I like a 33 percent chance of winning in just about anything.

Posted by: , at June 2, 2010 10:11 AM

where's the pink hulk when you need him? I would love to get his perspective on this column and its comments.

Posted by: ja at June 3, 2010 5:56 AM

RE: the grooming issue...how do ladies feel about manscaping? What's enough, and what's too much?

Posted by: JustBill at June 3, 2010 1:18 PM

JustBill, my preference for the hubs is to trim, especially around the boys, but not to shave. Then he gets prickly, and we get the aforementioned "bad friction".

Posted by: Patty O'Green at June 3, 2010 4:51 PM

In defense of leaving the penis intact:

HORRIBLE things can go wrong in a circumcision, as I'm sure you can imagine. It's not that common but the skin can heal wrong, which can lead to physical deformities, and you can lose some feeling down there (which is never a good thing!).

Also, most people can't even tell the difference between an intact and a circumcised penis when they're fully erect. My boyfriend and I didn't even realize he wasn't circumcised until I recently looked into the subject a bit. He had always just assumed that he was.

So, in my opinion, it's best to just leave it be. I really can't think of many benefits of circumcision and the risks are way too... uh, risky.

Posted by: Raine at June 5, 2010 7:44 PM





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