Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Survive a Bad Marriage

Okay, this cupcake has nothing to do with the content of this post, but I figured you deserved to wake up to a handsome man serving you coffee this morning. If you woke up to this every morning, some studies seem to indicate you would be healthier. Unless the two of you don't get along. In that case, it would be bad for your health according to a couple of new studies. A British study found that people in the worst relationships were 34% more likely to have heart attacks or other heart trouble in the next 12 years than those in good relationships.

A much smaller American study bolstered the idea that a bad marriage can be harmful to your health, but Associated Press reported it in a way that managed to be insulting to people who choose to remain single for whatever reason: "A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure, but a stressed one can be worse than being single..." Gasp! There's something worse than being single?

Yep, in fact, being in a bad marriage and keeping your mouth shut about it is worst of all--especially for women. Another study found that women who kept silent during arguments were more likely to die in the next ten years than women who voiced their feelings.

With such ingrained attitudes about the horrors of being single, it's no wonder people cling to bad marriages. So, ladies, what have we learned from these studies? If you're going to stay in a bad marriage, at least give him hell about it. That way, maybe you'll outlive him and get some peace down the road.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Empress on the Mount

Darling Empress:
I need to know if my dh is normal or oversexed. He would have sex every day, sometimes twice, if I would permit it. I, on the other hand, would prefer once a week or so. I don’t want him to feel the need to stray but the thought of sex every day frankly makes me shudder. How can we make this work?
Saturday Night Lover
Dh + dick = sex. Duh. All shudders aside, you’ll have to suck it up (literally) twice a week to train your man to your timetable. After all, his hand can only do so much when you keep turning him down.
You need to condition your partner that on the nights you’re appreciative of his advances (ie you don’t wave a machete near his groin), he gets mind-blowing (though you’ll need to blow body parts other than his mind for this to work) sex. On your chosen nights, let’s say Wednesdays and Saturdays, you suck his socks off several times, ride him like a bucking bronco and have more moves than in “Debbie Does Dallas” parts II, III and IV. It sounds exhausting but we both know he’ll collapse in a heap after the first blowjob and you’ll have a quiet night after that.
If he even thinks about approaching you on any other night, it’s either Madam Machete or a snoring lump. It might take a few weeks and some yanking on a choke collar (or cock ring) but your man will learn. Remember, it’s all about positive reinforcement.
And keeping a machete by your bedside wouldn’t hurt either.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Animal Prostitutes?

In response the Eliot Spitzer scandal, Natalie Angier has a great piece in the New York Times about jealousy, cheating spouses and paying for sex in the animal kingdom this week. In it, she cites a University of Washington psychology professor as saying the only species that never strays is a kind of parasitic flatworm whose pair bonds fuse into one body and stay that way until death.
My favorite, though, was a study published in Animal Behavior by European researchers: The great grey male shrike gives his mate all sorts of edible gifts impaled on sticks. But when he wants to get it on with another female, he offers her even bigger gifts. The bigger the gift, the more likely she was to acquiesce.
As for jealousy, even insects seem to suffer from it. Angier writes about jealous female scarab beetles rolling their mates into balls of dung when they attempt to stray.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bad News for Dogs

Talk about a gay-friendly city! The Telegraph reported that Amsterdam has legalized gay sex in its popular Vondelpark--with a few rules: Sexual activity can take place only after dark and not near children's playgrounds, and condoms must be disposed of properly. A city alderman explained laws against public sex were impossible to enforce anyway and that the new law would also protect gays from violent attacks. The city apparently wants to make sure they have a good time and to protect them from having the fun spoiled by kneeling in doggie doo: The law also calls for fines for dog owners who allow their dogs to run unleashed in the park.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Empress on the Mount

Mistress Mount:
I’m looking for a woman who will tell me what to do and punish me if I disobey her. I think you might be the one I’ve been looking for my whole life. Make me your slave. Walk on me with your high heels. Put a gag in my mouth and spank me with your hairbrush. In return, I’ll cook and clean for you, wash your hair, massage your feet and anything else you want.
What do you say?
your humble slave

Firstly, that’s Empress Mount to you. Secondly, why the hell would I want a whining wiener like you? From the tone of your letter, I assume that your testicles make peanuts loom large in one’s mind. Anyway, I don’t want a snivelling prat grovelling at my feet—I much prefer to do my own “conditioning” of potential supplicants. I enjoy the way they wriggle—fruitlessly—on the hook.
And stay the hell away from my hairbrush. You simply aren’t worth it.
For more insults pearls of wisdom from Her Crankiness, read her monthly column in Lady Jaided emagazine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Client 9's Girls

We were going to bring you a fun little piece on a European city where it's legal to have sex in the park. But then another politician got caught with his hand in the, uh, cookie jar. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer likely spent as much as $80,000 with a call-girl service where he was a regular customer identified as Client 9. This being a blog for women, let's talk about the women most affected by his capture.

First, there's his wife, Silda, is a Harvard Law School graduate and former high-powered corporate attorney. He also has three teenage daughters. Just imagine the humiliation, disillusionment and feelings of betrayal. Will they ever be able to trust a man? Can someone please explain to me why political wives stand silently next to husbands who have betrayed them so thoroughly? Just a few of the political wives who have most recently stood in martyred silence next to their disgraced husbands: Dina McGreevy (whose man admitted he was gay), Gayle Haggard, Suzanne Craig, Wendy Vitter (who once said she'd pull a Lorena Bobbitt rather than a Hillary Clinton if her man strayed. He did. She didn't.)

Some say it's part of the package of being a political wife. Uh, so is fidelity, which these women's spouses didn't honor. Doesn't that sort of nullify the pact?

Cynics (and possibly realists) say these women have struck some kind of deal before they go in front of the cameras in a show of solidarity. If that's so, I hope they got a high price. If Eliot Spitzer can pay $80,000 for hookers (not to mention the cost of a VIP suite at the Mayflower) then Silda should be able to buy a right fine tropical island for herself and her daughters on what her husband owes them.

Just once I'd like to see one of these wives take the microphone after her husband finishes issuing his lies, excuses or apologies and say something like this:

I'd like to tell all the women and girls out there listening that you have a right to expect your husband to respect your marriage vows. You deserve respect, fidelity and honesty in your relationship. My husband has consistently shown me none, so I am divorcing the lying bastard. It's all well and good for our churches and moral leaders to tell us to turn the other cheek, to forgive and forget, to preserve the sanctity of marriage at all costs. I've turned the other cheek until my face is bruised. As for forgiveness, I've forgiven him more times than you know. Do you think this is his first betrayal? It's time for me to admit that what he has done is not a single, isolated transgression, but a pattern of disrespect and dishonesty.

And as for preserving the sanctity of marriage at all costs? He has already violated the marriage several times. There is no sanctity left to preserve. And the cost is my dignity, my life, my daughters' self-respect, and the idea that both partners are responsible for keeping a marriage alive. I'm divorcing him for all the women and girls out there who mistakenly believe it is somehow honorable to stand by a husband who lies to you, exposes you to disease, and then expects you to share his public humiliation.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Who Is That Masked Man?

Mask fetishism has got to be the most evocative and multifaceted of all fetishes. Not only can you hide your identity and that of your lover, the two (or more) of you can play any role imaginable, set any scene your mind can concoct with masks that make you like like genies, cats, demons and butterflies; masks of leather, fur, lace or feathers; Venetian masks, masks with horns or loooong noses; masks that that cover just one eye or your whole head. You can spend a lot of money on a mask fetish, but sometimes the simplest is the most effective. A Zorro-style black bandana with eyeholes cut out is enough to make nearly any woman swoon. After all, if he’s wearing a mask, it’s easier to imagine he looks like Antonio Banderas.
The mask featured here is $6 from Extreme Restraints.

For more articles on sexual fetishes, visit Lady Jaided emagazine, a publication of Ellora's Cave publishing.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! What, you didn't know today has been a day of global celebration of women for 99 years? That's not surprising since most of American media completely ignore it and always have.

Okay, I'd better put a disclaimer right here. This is off topic and has nothing whatsoever to do with the sex act. It does, however, have a lot to do with women. I get two daily newspapers, The Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times (which bills itself as Florida's Best Newspaper). Neither one happened to mention that today is International Women's Day. Well, I figured, they are local papers, even though they both have sections that purport to cover international news. So I visited the esteemed New York Times website. Surely, such a sophisticated newspaper would have something about this incredibly important day devoted to helping women in all countries achieve their full potential in life. Nope. Not a word.

If you want news about International Women's Day, you'll have to rely on Canadian, British, French, Indian, even Trinidadian news media, which all carried, if not substantial coverage, at least more than American media.

According to the official IWD website, the groundwork for IWD was laid in 1908, when 15,000 women marched in New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours. A year later, the Socialist Party of America organized the first International Women's Day. Maybe that's why we ignore it here in the States. Because it was started by--gasp!--socialists! By 1911, it was celebrated by more than a million women in Europe and the United States. They probably didn't get much ink from the media then either.

The United Nations held IWD conferences for several years and designated 1975 International Women's Year. IWD is now an official holiday in Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

That's right, we had a whole year more than a quarter of a century ago, and after almost 100 years, it's an official holiday in only a handful of Eastern European and Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Although they don't give it an actual day, the governments of the United States, Australia, and some provinces of Canada officially "support" the day. Wow. Gee, thanks, democracy! Your support means so much to me--not in any material way, of course--like giving us a day off to honor our incredible contributions to the world, or in pay equity, since women in this country still earn only 77 cents for each dollar a man is paid.

Women in the United States got the right to vote in 1920, with the passage of the 19th Amendment, though some states allowed them limited voting rights before that. That's right, we haven't even had that right for 100 years. Canadian women got the right to vote in 1918, though they were not declared to be "persons" until 1929.

Forgive me if I feel a little bit sad and angry today. It's supposed to be a day of celebration. But the truth is, most women in this country probably don't even know that today is International Women's Day. And if they did, would it make any difference? Will we ever value ourselves enough to settle for nothing less than full equality and pay parity? Will we ever value each other enough to understand that equal rights and pay for women are good for both women and men, and that in demanding them, we are in no way saying we don't love and value men?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Makeup Tips for Time Travelers

A historical perspective on cosmetics
By Liz Jasper

When researchers dig around in old caves looking for remnants of early civilizations, they expect to find chipped stone blades, maybe some hollowed out rocks for grinding grains, certainly a little cave art on the walls to make things homey. But makeup?
Yup. Anthropologists recently excavated 57 lumps of hematite, an earthy red pigment, in a cave near the southern tip of South Africa. It seems even 164,000 years ago, people were not immune to the seductive power of body paint.
Through most of history, men wore cosmetics just as much as women, sometimes more. Ancient Egyptian men painted their lips, cheeks, and eyes, softened their skin and hands with scented oils, and carried makeup in special jars kept in makeup boxes. Vikings wore makeup, especially kohl, a mixture of soot and other stuff.
When Alexander the Great defeated King Darius after the battle of Issos, Alex stormed into the king’s tent and threw out the vanquished ruler’s makeup box of priceless ointments and perfumes. Alexander later established a botanical garden to be used for makeup and skincare products, In 100 AD Rome, it was fashionable for men to lighten their hair—until they realized the caustic bleach made their hair fall out. And in a cautionary tale that we should always seek to learn from history lest we repeat it, blond hair came back in style for men during the reign of Elizabeth I of England—until their hair started falling out, leading to the hot new style of wigs for men.

Read the rest of this article free in Lady Jaided magazine or Cerridwen Press newsletter.

Liz Jasper is the author of Underdead, a paranormal mystery novel published by Cerridwen Press.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ignorance Loses Ground in Florida

Praise the Lord and pass the condoms. A recent St. Petersburg Times survey indicated that most Floridians (86%), even evangelical Christians (72%), believe public schools should go beyond ignorance only, oops, abstinence only dogma to teach sex education in a more complete way, including pregnancy and disease prevention. 58% of respondents thought sex ed should start in middle school, with almost twice as many women as men saying it should start in elementary school.

All sarcasm aside, I've said it before and I'll stress it again: I do not believe children should be encouraged to have sex. However, some are going to do it, no matter what their parents, teachers and clergy tell them. Those who do it need to know how to avoid two of the consequences that are most devastating to the children themselves and to the society they inhabit. Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases affect us all in one way or another.
Florida has the 16th highest pregnancy rate in the nation and the second highest AIDs rate.
Kids are bombarded by sex by media from a very early age, and a lot of the messages they get that way are damaging to them. 81% of the people surveyed who didn't think sex ed should be taught in schools said it should be taught by parents instead. Trouble is, many parents aren't doing a very good job of it.