merissanathangerson

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Non-Kosher Coworker

In Dating on January 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Watch out for those oinkers!

My Dear Yenta,

I went to this seminar called Landmark Forum with this girl from work. I didn’t really know her, but I figured I would give it a try since I had no idea what it was. The seminar turned out to be a bad experience in a very unsafe environment. This girl tried to get me to join by trying to convince me that I was unhappy and I needed this seminar. At the time I didn’t defend myself the way I should have.

Six months later she is still making condescending comments and ridiculous assumptions. I decide to graciously confront her and she was very understanding about it and I really thought we would be friends after that. Instead, after a few days, she started being very short with me, and now she flat out ignores me when I say hi…even in front of people. And if she does say hi, which is rare, she won’t look at me as if she refuses to acknowledge that I am speaking to her.

This has become frustrating because this is my work environment. It took six months to confront her and I doubt confronting her again would be a good idea. I feel that if I make it a point to ignore her when I see her, I’m participating in her awful method of communication/non-communication – but at the same time, I don’t want to be coldly ignored. Help!

-Sick of the Mean Girl

Dear SOTMG,

If it looks like a pig, walks like a pig and smells like a pig, then it is probably a pig. And where I come from, we don’t eat pigs, let alone care what they think of us. Remind me why this woman’s opinion matters in the least?

It sucks, I know, when people don’t like you. In fact, it is the absolute worst thing in the world when you want someone to like you and they don’t. But shit happens, and some people have their own issues that really don’t reflect on your own goodness. If you have reached out and all she has done is bite back, then you get to fold knowing you tried.

This is one of those situations where it helps to take this hater as a blessing, training you to love yourself no matter what. One reason mean girls mess with our heads is because they replicate the negative voices that hold us down. If you are trying to stay positive at work and some evil chick is giving you the stare-down, I completely get why it unnerves you. But honey, build a thicker skin. Period. You just smile at that girl every time you see her and expect nothing in response.

Isn’t that the trouble? That you want her respect, that you expect some mark of approval from her treatment of you? Are you afraid her judgments were true? Are you afraid you are unhappy? Or was she wrong? Don’t project your fears onto this twat of a co-worker. Just smile, nod, think happy mother Theresa thoughts and walk away. Why confront her? She also, subconsciously, could hate you because you expressed some of her deepest fears too. Maybe Landmark whatever creeps her out just the same.

Don’t give her so much clout. Her sour face is now her probloem, and your problem is learning to love yourself regardless of those attempting to hold you back. Put all that concern and love elsewhere, like by befriending a new coworker or starting a badass new project.

Protect your heart, sage your body, give thanks, seek divine protection: do whatever it is you need to do to feel like this woman has no pull on your sacred spirit. Fill your pockets with Kosher salt to ward off evil and be sure not to fraternize with swine in the future.

For more on protecting yourself against the negativity of others, click here.

Have a question? Ask anonymously via www.send-email.org attn: merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

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My Mom Married a Dope

In Drama, Mental Health, Parents on January 28, 2010 at 5:41 am

Eek, stay out of that one. Photo courtesy of http://www.davidhenrygerson.com.

Help Yenta,

My amazing mother is in an awful marriage. Her husband is lazy, racist, sexist, kinda mean and none of us can stand him. Oh and he is a loud talker! She obviously loved him at some point and he is the only person she has been with besides our dad, but oh man he sucks the joy out of any family gathering. He hasn’t worked in years, she supports him with her job. They are in debt, the house is falling apart and now she is sick and my brothers and I are taking care of her, because he is caught up in his next ‘get rich quick’ scam. She seems miserable and knows she made a bad choice with this guy, but she is way too stubborn to admit it. Whenever the subject is broached she gets angry and leaves the room. When we try to talk to him he just takes it out on my mom. Please let know what the heck we are supposed to do.

Frustrated in Colorado…

Dear FIC,

There is a season and a time, so says a great book, for everything. This is not, I don’t think, the time to be attempting to rearrange your mother’s love life. One thing that is hard in life is sitting with the shit choices others make. Whether this means choosing a dumb partner, cutting your thighs with a razor blade, or consuming alcohol to numb the pain, there are times when your job is to just stay out of it.

Why? Because you might drown in your attempt to save your mother from her bozo boyfriend, and then two lives sink together. With any type of addiction or bad behavior, the addict or culprit has to want to make a change, has to want to see a shift. Until then, you are barking up a hollow tree.

This doesn’t mean we should flush the afflicted, ignore their suffering, and stop with our love. Quite the opposite. The best way to help your mother is to tend to her illness. Her lifestyle choices are hers, and chances are you can’t shift them. Even if you could, you would have a better chance convincing her to leave this man if she was able to really settle into knowing that you love her.

People want to have control over things that they can’t control. But when someone is actually physically sick, that type of health always takes precedence.

So put on your best set of emotional blinders and sideline this jerk she chose, and put all that concern and love into tending to her health. Crap husband or no crap husband, your love might keep your mother alive, and a live mom can be the best kind.

For more help:

1) Even though this book is about marriage, it’s major theme is differentiation and self-care. Read Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Passion Alive in Intimate Relationships by David Schnarch, PhD.

or, with a grain of salt to curb the cheesy content, try Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

2) Find a local Codependants Anonymous meeting. Click here to find one near you.

3) See a counselor. Click here to find one.

Have a question? Ask anonymously via www.send-email.org attn: merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

He Is Nesting In My Vag

In Health and Body, Sex on January 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Dear Yenta,

This large husband of mine cannot shake the notion that the actual intercourse part of sex should be as long as possible. There’s so much emphasis in pop culture about men “lasting” and men who orgasm too soon being less of a man or something. I’ve told him many, many times that in general I actually prefer it to be shorter. After awhile, it just starts getting painful down there, and I’m usually sore for a couple hours afterwards if it goes more than say, 5 minutes. He listens and understands when I talk to him about it, and he’s a sensitive modern type of guy, but I can see how this might be burned into his brain by the media, as it is a very popular joke/gripe. Do you have any way I could assure him yes, it is possible that I truly don’t agree with the popular portrayal of women wanting intercourse to go on forever? Other ideas?

-Lady With a Problem

Photo courtesy of Dwyer Kilcollin, http://www.NestGirl.com

Dear LWAP,

We all want to go back to the womb. That is what life and sex and a whole lot of in-betweens come down to. It was toasty in there, full of love and free food and no worries. For a man, cradled inside your warm vagina, there might be a moment where it feels like he’s returned to the source.

One friend told me once about how her boyfriend, even after he comes, loves just hanging out in there. This makes complete sense to me, in fact, if I had a penis I would probably want it to constantly be resting or playing inside a vagina. But I don’t. Not everyone likes being their man’s nest. This moment of dwelling in the canal can feel like robbery, afterall it is not always about you, or sharing you, but instead about them nestling in some warm pseudo-mom-like zone.

My guess is, then, that your man is slightly affected by what you see as social expectation to last long, but probably moreso influenced by simply enjoying and wanting to be inside of you for as long as possible. Read “Ay AY AY He’s Huge!” for more on methods to increase your enjoyment, as well as possible STD’s or Vaginal infections that could be causing your pain.

That you don’t like housing his sword can mean a million things. The basic answer: simple, it hurts. But he could also be bad in bed, he could be insensitive, maybe you weren’t properly warmed up or prepared for entry. Perhaps you aren’t communicating enough in the throes of lovemaking. You might not actually like him, he could be an energy vampire, sucking your strength out your vag which is annoying for any woman and would be a good reason to want him to get out of there.

What it sounds like to me is that you and your lover need to start from scratch. I might even recommend stopping the sex altogether for a few weeks, and getting to know one another all over again. Re-acquaint yourself with this man, his spirit, and then his body and see if maybe your communication skills improve.

I only say this because it sounds like if sex causes you pain and him pleasure, there might need to be a new method of entry. Not a different pathway, but a different approach. He might need to learn to better bond with you, and you with him, so sex is a deep connection with no room for misinterpretation. It sounds like you are being pummeled, and you are sympathizing with him as if he were a teenaged boy needing to be de-socialized, when, I am assuming, he is a man.

My guess is that it will hurt less if you feel heard, turned on, soothed, and if your man respects that his pleasure causes you pain.

Get in touch with yourself by reading:

Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between) by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss
and/or
How to Have an Orgasm…As Often As You Want by Rachel Swift

And send him to Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men: What Every Man Wants to Know About Making Love to a Woman and Never Asks for a sexual bootcamp.

Both of you could benefit from reading this article on mutual pleasuring from WhiteLotusEast.com.

For more on healthy happy sex, try listening to Susie Bright podcasts, or reading her blog and books.

Have a question? Ask Yenta anonymously via http://www.send-email.org attn. merissas[at]gmail[dot]com.

Sex in New Mexico

In Health and Body, Mental Health, Sex on January 26, 2010 at 5:00 am

Southwest Burlesque Showcase: Myspace - NMBurlesqueShowcase

I met two women on a Saturday morning. Over coffee and bagels and lox at a hippie synagogue where they referenced Freud as often as God, they offered to take me to Albuquerque to a benefit for Self Serve (SelfServeToys.com), a Sexuality Resource Center. It was between a sex toy party and going to The Ark, a spiritual bookstore, to learn about healing by numbers.

I went to Albuquerque to the sex toy party and was not disappointed in the least. Think giant warehouse gallery, tarot card readers and burlesque dancers; fetish outfit sales, an old lady making pornographic greeting cards, a giant penis doll and crafts, free massage and m and m’s to go around. There was even a clean-cut awkward older dude sitting alone coloring in a coloring book of a naked woman and a stick.

Lollies for the kiddies.

For those of you in search of new toys, rape crisis resources, handbags, earrings and/or a poster of hot women posing with their bulldogs, please see below.

Pitbulls and Pinups: TheBabesandBullies.com

Fetish Outfitting: FreeRadicalShq.com

Body Centered Talk Therapy: FoodBodyConnection.com

BDSM Coloring Books, thanks to http://www.UnseenGallery.com

Fantasy Art Prints: UnseenGallery.com

Or, for more of this lady's work, http://www.KinkySpot.com

Anie Lazuli, Passionate Empowerment and Entertainment
Including: Gypsy Dance, Tarot Readings, Past Life Regressions and
Cleansings. Find her by name on Tribe.net

Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski: Badass Earring Maker
Find her at AmmoArt.Etsy.com
FYI, her card reads: “Youth Worker, Poet, Performer, Muralist, Artist, Playwrite, Earrings, Paintings, Workshops, Shows.” No small feat.

Sex Questions and Discussion: KinkySpot.com

Handbags With Portraits of Serial Killers: WarningLabelCreations.com

Rape Crisis: RapeCrisisCNM.org
They have an anonymous 24/hr hotline at 505.266.7711
Or…go to Ask An Advocate on their website for online anonymous support.

And at the end of a long day I went to a hotel to poach internet. There was a dude in the hall searching for an escort for his friend. He wanted to use my computer and I said no. Fyi: SouthwestCompanions


Have a question? Or a resource to share? E-mail me anonymously at merissag[at]gmail[dot]com via www.send-email.org.

Loud Party in Her Pants

In Drama, Roommates on January 25, 2010 at 4:25 am

Dear Yenta,

Several months ago I had a new roommate move in. For the most part things are great, we’ve had a few minor arguments but mostly it’s been smooth sailing. However there is one issue. About once a week her boyfriend comes around and they follow a routine that I have come to know and dread. They park in front of the T.V. consume two or more bottles of red wine and mosey upstairs.

Once in the bedroom they begin a series of activities that are unlike anything I have ever heard. The sound is something like a mixture of a cardio-kickboxing class and a ritual sacrifice. There intimate sessions are so exuberant that they shake my bed at the end of the hall.

How do I bring up this issue without creating a huge wedge of awkwardness between us? It is somewhat more difficult to bring up because I am a guy and she is also nearly ten years older then me.

-Fed Up

Party in the bedroom. Hollah.

Dear FU,

I asked two people for help with your problem. The first was a man sitting at the Chabad Shabbat dinner table. He said he once had Danish roommates on a Kibbutz in Israel back in the day who partied loudly every night. He asked them to be quiet on numerous occasions so he could sleep, but they ignored him nightly. Every morning he had to be up at six am to pick bananas and it was torture.

One day he had had enough so he went to the fishpond and picked out all the dead fish. He chopped the fish and put it in trash bags and then threw all the Danish guys’ sheets and clothes and blankets into the bag, mixed it up, and skipped town. That’s right, he never looked back.

This is the worst advice on the planet for a number of reasons. One, he never got them to shut up and two; he wasn’t even around to witness the revenge plot.

The second person I asked, a la Santa Fe, was a woman hanging upside down from some straps doing yoga in my living room. In her heightened enlightened form, she yielded stellar advice.

She said you need to address the topic gently with your roommate. Approach her and just say something simple, like “I am a light sleeper and have been waking up when your man comes over. Could you just keep in mind that I am down the hall in the future?” Each member of a household has a few basic rights: privacy, quiet after midnight, and so on. There is nothing wrong with attempting to preserve this space for yourself.

And then, a few things could happen.

A) Your roommate curbs her enthusiasm.
B) Your roommate ignores you.

Basically, in situations like these you first need to attempt to voice your concern and communicate, and then watch and see how the other party involved addresses your concerns. If they ignore you and disrespect you, then that’s it. Why bother attempting communication when the person is actively shoving cotton in their ears?

If she ignores you and keeps slamming her boy toy, then get out. This is simple. For many years, we the roaming twenty-something population have the ability to sublease our Craigslist apartments and seek new, more ecumenical homes. Try this and see. If all else fails throw some rotting carp in her bedroom while they are going at it.

Challenge Yenta with a sordid plot. Submit a question anonymously to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com via www.send-email.org

Small-Town Love?

In Dating, Marriage on January 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Small town charm is worth the wait. Photo courtesy of http://www.davidhenrygerson.com.

Dear Yenta,

I am approaching a giant crossroads in my life: graduating from a
masters program and looking for somewhere to live. Right now I live
in a mid-sized town, but I would like to go smaller. I like the
intimacies of small towns; the way a fourth of July parade can provide
a week’s worth of entertainment. What I don’t like is the
loneliness. I’m worried that moving to a small town would reduce my
chances of meeting a man to zero. I’m at an age where this has
become more important: I’m ready to meet someone and settle down. So
here is my question for you, one I have been thinking of for some
time–do I move to a larger city with a larger dating pool or continue
biding my time in the company of trees and old folks in small towns?

-Scared of Skyscrapers

Dear SOS,

Didn’t you see Field Of Dreams? If you want baseball, build a field. “If you build it,” my dear, “they will come.”

Finding love may be less about location and more about vision. Cultivating love is a practice, and one that, with a solid amount of hope and drive, should yield results. While it seems like everyone around you has found “it,” make sure you know what love means and looks like for you. Their love isn’t your love, and your love is contingent upon working on your own demons until you know how to navigate your own heart.

If you move to a small town and build a life of passion, intrigue, and self-care chances are you will attract the love of your life. Wouldn’t it be sad if you moved to a big city looking for a life partner, abandoned your real dreams and wishes, and were left lonely and single? Or what if you did find this man, but bagged your dreams?

A friend in South Africa once stressed the difference between “alone” and “lonely.” Alone in a small town with vision and drive and a cultivated life won’t hurt for a while. Lonely, however, has much less to do with having or not having a lover, and much more to do with your relationship with yourself. Cure those blues by being your own lover in the days/months/years between partners.

If finding lasting love is part of your plan, stop looking. Forget finding the one and work on finding yourself. The stronger and more full of self-directed affection you become, the brighter your star. And the brighter your star, whether in a small city, big town, country bumpkin nowhere: this person will be able to find you even on the darkest night.

So do what you love, where you love it, and have faith. It will come, when you very least expect it.

Or…if my optimism doesn’t sway you, try a city with a towny feel. Think Flagstaff, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Greensboro, NC, Boulder, CO or other places that have a flowing population but a sense of containment. One friend suggested you move to a suburb, where you can dip into the big city dating pool while resting on the edges.

Still, I think go where your heart takes you. In a town of 500 in the middle of nowhere on the coast of Ireland you might just find your bartender husband. (See Leap Year for inspiration.)

Have a question? Ask Yenta via www.send-email.org attn: merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

Top 10 Ways to Meet Singles

In Dating, Health and Body, Mental Health on January 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Dear Yenta,

Cliched as it may be, I’m reaching the age where my friends are
starting to couple off and have kids. I’m happy for them, really,
but it gets old to constantly be the one single person at dinner
parties. My remaining single friends have mostly moved away, and I
live in one of those cities where people are obsessed with their
careers. I want to make new single friends, but am not sure how to go
about it. Any suggestions?

-Single and Stuck

This guy made friends body painting in the woods.

Dear SAS,

Hoowah, meeting single people is EASY. There is a simple process then tackle approach. Basicamente, you need to figure out what you love and what you love to do. This makes it way easier to make new friends. Three step plan: 1) Determine strongest interests 2) Find like-minded humans 3) Party hard.

Once you make single friends they usually have single friends and a new universe forms around you. It is way simple, you just have to be brave and you have to put yourself out there. One good resource: MeetUp.com.

Ten ways to meet new single friends:

1) Religious Epicenters. Think church mixers, Shabbat dinners, Buddhist Sanghas. Choose your poison. The religious singles scene provides instant community, frequent meals, and a bunch of events to lace your social life. Check out local Jewish and Christian community centers, if that’s your leaning. Chabad is an amazing resource for young Jewish people no matter where in the world you are. Shambhala centers nationwide offer a community for the Buddhist in you. And there is a church on every other street corner, so get to praying. Obviously, if you are Muslim, Sikh, Hari Krishna, Sufi, Agnostic, whatevs, there is a community for you.

2) Coffeeshops and Bookstores. This sounds cliché but if you want to make single friends, go to a coffeeshop or bookstore regularly and start talking to strangers. Just beware, though, that you pick your strangers wisely. Depending on the coffeeshop they house the wandering drug addict philosophers of our world, and while these people are intriguing, they may not be the singles crowd you seek.

3) Stitch N’ Bitch. Do you like knitting? There is a wave of stitch N’ bitch circles across the nation. These are basically amped up knitting circles for cutting edge humans. Not only will you make cool stuff, you will develop a community, stat.

This goes for all crafts. Look for sewing, quilting, model building circles. Take art classes, pottery classes, collage your old Cosmo, do whatever it takes to get those creative juices flowing in the company of others. Another good thing to do: work towards a goal like selling at a craft market, for example, Crafty Bastards in DC or, start selling online at Etsy. So easy. SO fun. Instant creative community. Other arts options: volunteer at a museum.

4) Volunteer. Doing volunteer work on a regular basis is a fantastic way to meet new single people while doing good for the world. Click here to find a place to put your skills. Even if you work a rigorous 9-5 you can make this happen on the weekend, regularly.

5) Work at your local Farmer’s Market. This might be the very best way to see a smattering of all the local singles, the health-conscious rosy-cheeked ones. Many markets let you volunteer on the weekends in exchange for produce. This way, you meet pretty healthy people and get prettier and healthier in the process.

6) Move Your Body. This is probably the easiest option. Join a kick-ball or softball or soccer league. I know in DC this is a crazy and active single’s scene, including a social life after the games. Check your city for its sports leagues. Also look for Hiking clubs and skiing, snowboarding, yoga, any type of recreational physical activity. Depending on your region, there should be a whole slue of options. Just go online and look for a local community.

Or, Dance class! Take tango or salsa or merengue or line dancing or contra dancing or samba dancing or hip hop or whatever. Dance class is the best way to make new friends. You are in a positive self-expressive environment where you meet people intimately, and if it’s a regular class, you see them all the time. Also try cooking classes.

7) The Bar Scene. Disclaimer: Alcohol can yield odd choices when seeking new people in life. Be cautious. If you choose this route, choose Karaoke. Karaoke can be awkward, but so can life. My friend’s dad goes alone and makes friends. Rock on. Sometimes singing in public like a fool is a friend magnet. Try this.

Hand-in-hand with karaoke is Happy-Hour. I am personally grossed out by happy hours everywhere. Don’t ask why, it is just a visceral reaction. But…these are good to go to, so I hear, with your work friends. Lots of drunk 9-5ers enjoying being single, or drunk and married, should yield some results. Alcohol, however, isn’t the ideal road to community building.

8/ Sexual Interest Groups. If you are looking for naughty singles, go to a BDSM meeting and meet your mate. Whatever tickles your fancy, search for a group of people with similar sexual prowess. Try a group like Black Rose or search for furries, fetishists, whatever it is that makes you tick. Again, though, beware. This scene might require some extra emotional self-protection. Not a vanilla avenue.

9) Music. Music is a good way to find friends. Join a band, go to concerts, find other people that like going to concerts. Start singing, attend open mic nights.

Open mic nights are fantastic for meeting new people, especially if you attend and perform, or witness the performances on a regular basis. Check your local arts section or alternative weekly for a long listing of Open Mic nights in every city. Again, this scene can be awkward, but awkward brings some sense of human truth which brings true friends.

10) Start Your Own Group. Whether it be a Spanish language lunch hour or a writing workshop at your kitchen table, put yourself out there and recruit a small group to pursue interests with. Masters of Warcraft fanatic? Start a competition. Join or start a book club.

Again, Craigslist or a local alternative weekly are great places to publicize your new group. Just be careful: some strangers are sketchy and always use precautions when bringing internet nobodies into your somebody life.

All in all, search for activities or locations that you can frequent on a consistent basis. Familiarity breaks the ice and builds groups and communities faster. Your interests are probably way broader than what I have listed. Every type of interest is represented in most cities, just use Google and Craigslist to find some buddies.

Be careful, though. Depending on what you love, your cohorts could be dangerous. Use your intuition when making new single friends: ie, if they give you a stomach ache when they talk, politely excuse yourself and exit. New friends should make you feel light, happy and smiley: not brooding, angsty, etc. Anything you enjoy doing will bring out the best in you, which, in turn, will attract a flock of bright new friends. Good Luck!


Have a burning question for Yenta? Ask anonymously via merissag[at]gmail[dot]com through www.send-email.org.

Do I Tell Him I Cheated?

In Dating, Drama, Roommates, Sex on January 22, 2010 at 1:35 am

Guilt sucks, but sometimes it is our duty to bear it. Photo courtesy of http://www.davidhenrygerson.com

Dear 27-Year-Old Yenta:

My ex-boyfriend Randy and I did a really good job of “being friends” a year after our breakup. He earned an internship at an engineering company located 3 miles from my house and a long 2 hour drive from his. I agreed to let him stay in the alcove of my studio apartment while I dated someone else. We were cool the first 2 months, but one day it was too much to bear. We ended up having wild fuck-sex for hours while my real boyfriend was out.

My present boyfriend isn’t stupid, he knows something’s not right but there
is nothing he can pinpoint. I know you’ll probably say honesty is
the best policy but I know he’ll leave me if I tell him. And what’s
the point, Randy moved out, so it’s not like it’s going to happen
again. So why ruin a good thing?

-Guilty As Charged

Dear GAC,

I had a cousin who once, sitting at the bar of the restaurant where I worked, whispered to me that women must always have a few secrets. I don’t know if my entire moral compass agrees, but my instinctive response is to tell you to suck it up and guard this secret with all of you.

Honesty may not always be the best policy. In this case, if it was an accident and will never happen again, then why hurt the man you love? Further, there is something to be said for the valiance of shouldering the guilt rather than passing on the pain. This is your business and your problem, so manage it.

There is always the question, though, “What would you want your boyfriend to do in the same position?” Would you want him to tell you? Is honesty everything? Or are there moments and secrets that are yours, and his, and not to be shared? Some people believe that sexual indiscretions are unrelated to commitment. Some people believe that a physical moment in time does not compromise the deep and real love for your partner.

This is not to say that it is ok to make Randy moments like that habit. It is not ok.

Ultimately, I don’t know what you should do. Only you do, because only you know your own heart, your own man, your own relationship, and your own capacity for self-control. Just be sure to remember your heart, AND his, in your decision-making process.

Have a question? Ask anonymously via www.send-email.org directed to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

Ay Ay Ay, He’s Huge!

In Mental Health, Sex on January 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Dear Yenta,

I’m a smaller lady, about 5’3″, and, honestly, I think there might be a point at which a penis can be too big. Sex with my husband can be really painful sometimes, especially when we haven’t had sex for awhile (traveling, short-term job in a distant city, etc.) I almost always bleed just a little after having sex maybe the first 5 times after a dry spell. And I also get frequent bladder infections, which my doctor said can be caused by too much sex. Anyway, my question for you is do you have ideas for a smaller lady accommodating a larger man? Are there any resources out there?

-Taking the Meat

Men come in all shapes and sizes.

Dear TTM,

First of all, a penis can never be “too large.” God made that large penis, so perhaps it just feels too large for you. In order to enjoy this giant, start by ditching whatever sexual script you were fed. This means trying to wipe your sexual psychology clean of any previous influences.

Why? Because women are often taught that sex works only one way, when it can be approached from a number of angles. Many women were taught that only the man should be in charge, or for example, some women just jump on that pole immediately without preparation, and launch right into some serious humpage. A body needs, in many cases, such as yours, to be coaxed and lovingly seduced into receiving the body of another, both physically and emotionally.

Read this article by Scarleteen: Sex Ex For the Real World, “From OW! to WOW! Demystifying Painful Intercourse” first. It will answer ALL your questions.

A few tricks? Start by upping your foreplay. The vagina is just a matrix of musculature that when properly flexed or released can often accommodate a penis of just about any size. Don’t forget, no penis is as wide or long as a human baby, which shoots out the same canal we are speaking of. That being said, sex should NOT feel like giving birth, it should feel good, great in fact.

(See your doctor again? This pain could also be from an STD or another type of vaginal infection.)

SO. If you are able to orgasm, or even if not, engage in some manual five digit action BEFORE he enters you. The more you are turned on the more the muscles will loosen the more lubricant you will produce. Extend this foreplay time for as long as possible, come and come again, and THEN have him enter you, gently, slowly, and coated in either natural or water-based lube. This might hurt.

Note on pain: when we are nervous or scared we tighten our vaginal wall. Click here for information on Vaginismus, the tightening of vaginal walls that yields horrible pain. There are tons of reasons a woman might tighten up before sex. These include: fear of STD’s, fear of pregnancy, fear of rape/roughness/pain, a lack of desire for sex, a lack of trust for her partner and/or a lack of knowledge of how to make sex feel good.

The tighter those muscles upon penile entry, the more excruciating. Our goal for you: painless pleasure. SO, have him enter extremely slowly and then, when inside, have him wait and listen to your cues. Communication is vital. If you feel heard and held, you will be more likely to release those tensed muscles. It might take you a minute to adjust to his size.

Then, take it at your own pace. If you want to be pummeled, get pummeled, but if you need it gentle and slow, take it as such. Talk to your husband before sex, at an innocuous time of day, like over Cheerios, and mention that for now you want to take the reigns. Encourage him to experiment with new sexual sensations, being slowly squeezed by a woman can be as phenomenal as ramming her core. It is a matter of presence and where his focus is located. Click here for more on enhancing male sexual experience.

There are SO many nerve endings involved in sex, and a good man, no matter how rough he likes it, will like it better if his wife does not wake up with a bladder infection because his dick was cramming her organs into oblivion.

Try sitting on top so you can control the depth of entry, as well as speed. Also, explore your psyche. See that you really WANT sex, and aren’t just having it to have it. Look at your sexual mind and determine whether there is fear or anger or a history of abuse causing you to tighten when you could be loosely wrapped around your man.

Ultimately, remember that sex is supposed be NICE FOR YOU. Because you are married, I want this to work. But for some in a new relationship, it might be too much for your body to take him in, and that is ok. If you find yourself lying there while he fucks your brains out as you leave the mental building, this is no good. If you are really enjoying yourself, rough or slow, you will know because you will feel joyful and exuberant, not fearful, loathing and infected.

Minding the Language Gap

In Roommates on January 20, 2010 at 12:30 am

Watching music videos is one stellar way to bridge the language gap.

Dear Yenta,

I know how hard it is to learn a language and have struggled with it abroad and now have two Arabic-speaking roommates. I never take time to talk to them because I’m busy and I get frustrated with them easily. I don’t know how to balance how I feel responsibility for them and their language learning and my own life.

Sincerely,

Tongue Tied

Dear TT,

This question confuses me. Do you feel responsible for their learning English, or your own learning Arabic? And why are you frustrated with them? Is it because of the difficulty in communication, or something else?

Language gaps can be extremely irritating. They can cause separatism and distance where it need not be. When approaching people with another native tongue, there are tons of ways of bridging the gap without learning an entire new language.

First of all, time spent with humans, regardless of choice of words, reduces the fracture. Maybe get over whatever weird burden you feel about tending to this language gap and just HANG OUT with your roommates. Invite them to a show or to mini golf, something that speaks more with body language than with words.

Go to a sporting event, play a sport, play a video game, go on a hike, make a collage: whatever floats your boat, invite these roomies along. The more you know another person’s general demeanor the less actual words are needed for communication.

Then, to aid the space between, get an Arabic-English dictionary. Learn some BASIC words. Use google translator and send them e-mail invitations to hang out. Cook together. Make time, even once a week for simple little acts of normal human kindness and Arabic or no Arabic, you will find yourself bonding with your neighbors. And during that time together, teach each other some new words and phrases. Make some signs on things in English and Arabic. Make your home a learning environment where just by opening the fridge, you are reminded of how to say simple things like, “Shukran,” Thank You.

They will notice your reaching out, and chances are, will do the same in return. Words are only one of a million ways we convey messages to one another, so be patient. Good intentions translate universally.

Have a burning question? Ask anonymously by e-mailing merissag[at]gmail[dot]com via www.send-email.org.