merissanathangerson

Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Wet And Messy On A Diet

In Health and Body, Sex on February 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Swap Ragu for pig's blood and Carrie becomes a splosher's dreamwoman.

Dear Yenta,

I love sploshing, but tend to gain weight. What are some low-cal but squishy options?

-Saucy Mess

Dear Saucy Mess,

I needed to get educated for this one. Sploshing, for those of you who don’t know, is “the act of placing food on another person, and usually eating it off of them, for pleasure. A full-bodied food fetish,” according to UrbanDictionary.com.

So, if you are thinking, “Oh, I get it, whipped cream!” Think again. This is more like pouring sloppy joe all over someone to garner a slight toddler-esque mess spilled on an adult naked body. This is like sexual food sport.

Another definition from UrbanDictionary: “A sexual/sensual food exchange, in which at least one person covers another person in foods of different tastes, textures, and temperatures. Eating the food off said person is optional. It is common practice for the “sploshee” to be nude so as to heighten the feeling of the food on their bare skin. The “splosher” can be nude or clothed based on preference.”

Apparently there are whole communities of “sploshers” and a big pornographic web presence of women who soil themselves with mud and real home-cooking. Another way to identify a sploshing community is through the term “Wet and Messy” or “WAM.” A few sites, for those of you over 18 and not afraid of dirt, grime, slime and spaghetti-O’s: The Ultimate Messy Directory or WetOrMessy.com. Also, check out this article from the UK Mirror, written on Valentine’s Day for the romantic.

I don’t splosh, but I do know food. So, here is a list of foods that won’t make you fat if you are a regular splosher. One splosher recommends, “cheeses and organ meats; they can be very fragrant, and quite healthful.” When choosing your foods look at texture, temperature, scent and taste to enhance sensation. Remember, everything in moderation. Too much guacamole might yield weight gain. Also, tailor this list to your own diet needs, ie, Atkin’s, vegan, South Beach etc. Happy squishy sploshing.

Apple Butter
Guacamole
Couscous
Oatmeal
Scrambled Tofu
Baked Beans
Chili Black Bean
Soy Sloppy Joes
Mu Shu Vegetables
Won Ton Soup
Dahl
Curry
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Hummus
Tabouleh
Stews
Fruit Salad
Green Split Peas
Borscht
Applesauce
Fat-free Pudding
Sorbets
Sautéed Mushrooms
Steamed Artichokes
Whey protein shake
Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Puree
Olive Oil
Cottage Cheese
Yogurt
Lentil Soup
Miso Soup
Brown Rice
Palak Paneer
Banana Squished
Sugar-free Jello
Pineapple Puree
Tuna Salad

Advertisements

BF(Forget It)

In Breakups/Divorce, Drama on February 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Dear Yenta,

I’m starting to realize that a friend I’ve become very close with over the past year may not be the friend I had hoped she could be. We’ve been able to talk to each other about our troubles, and have had lots of fun shooting the sh*t, but I fear that the times she has hurt or disappointed me are now clouding over the good. While I believe I’ve been loyal and supportive…in the past year, she has pursued relationships with two people I was interested in/involved with, lied to me, broken plans, neglected to include me in important group events, and all-in-all seems to be unable to understand how her actions might make me feel.

I feel a bit stupid that I ever thought she would help me in a time of need, and a bit pathetic that I am so hurt she did not. She says she “needs” me and I’m her “best” friend, but I feel very blah about the whole thing. Do you think it’s worth it to try to give her another chance or would it be better to just cut my losses?

– Out of Love With My BFF

Serena and Blair fight like animals, but love each other long time.

Dear OOLWMBFF,

If it doesn’t float, why get in a boat? It hurts to lose a friend, but wasn’t that boat sinking anyways? There is a fine line between love spats and deep dark divides that are not meant to be bridged. That doesn’t mean, though, that the actual moment and act of separating doesn’t break your heart a little, whether it be a slight separation or a full on divorce.

Give her another chance at what? Hurting you? The truth is, friend annulment happens. It hurts, it sucks, it feels weird, but sometimes moving on from those that cause you regular pain is a necessary part of growing older. This doesn’t mean you two are through, it means that for now this relationship is not serving you and it might be best to put all that love and positive energy towards someone who supplies a more regular return rate.

We all develop patterns early on, often patterns that involve loving people who don’t love us back, not the way we want to be loved. (See this kooky 1970’s self-help book, Scripts People Live by Claude Steiner) If your friend’s words say one thing, and her actions another, you have every right to re-evaluate and possibly walk away to protect your own heart. Or, you can just slightly withdraw, lower the intensity of the friendship. The only rule is that you do everything with love, attempting to communicate, so as not to cause undue pain.

How did you get yourself in this situation? What does it mean that she “needs” you so badly, and you hardly even like her? Use this conundrum to learn so you can pick kinder friends in the future.

As my grandmother’s nurse says, “If on first glance you see someone and want to be their friend, turn in the other direction.” Sometimes we need to unlearn scripts in order to find people who are good for us, following new instincts rather than those that taught us how to join a clique in Middle School.

In the end you get to decide when to withdraw your bet. Especially, if you have done all you can to communicate and your communication yielded very little ownership or understanding on your friend’s end. Friendship is a two way street.

Just remember, in the words of my mother, “Where you cut one branch off, another grows.”

For help with future friendships read:
The Smart Girl’s Guide to True Friendship

Or, try Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More and/or attending a CODA meetingg, ie, Codependents Anonymous.


Merissa Nathan Gerson | Create Your Badge

When Is Rough Too Rough?

In Health and Body, Sex on February 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Lady Gaga says Papparazzi = Too Rough. MTV Video Music Awards.

Dear Yenta,

When is rough sex too rough?

-Chained

Dear C,

It seems that the modus aperendum for my readership this week is pain in the bedroom. I recently attended a film series here in Provincetown at the art museum. We watched the horrifying and enlightening: “Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist.” This film will illustrate how unbelievably far rough can really go, without being too rough.

What did I learn from watching a man put nails through his shaft, allowing his partner to whip slice and punch him? That which I perceive as violence might be another man’s medicine. In other words, the limits of roughness have to do with consent, delight, communication and pleasure based on individual need, preference and limitation.

If you find your roughness is causing profuse blood-letting, step back and question, “Does my partner like bleeding a lot? Is this fun for them, as fun as it is for me?”

As seen in “Doing it Rough, Safe” and “He Ignores My Safe Word,” there is a complex art of setting a sexual code so that rough behavior doesn’t do actual damage.

The only finite sex rule I would spread throughout the land is to be sure you have a sense of the existence, desires and sensibilities of your sexual partner. Whomever or whatever you choose to be rough with, make sure you know well enough the difference between a cry for help and a cry of intense ecstasy. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communicate before you do it, while you do it, after you do it.

Rough sex is too rough when someone stops enjoying themselves, feels silenced, goes to the emergency room, dies – either physically, mentally or spiritually, and so forth. Rough sex is too rough when you didn’t check to see if it was ok to slap their ass, didn’t check to see if they like being tied up, didn’t check to see if they like it when you ram them so hard they lose a kidney.

I am just a mostly vanilla Yenta. For advanced assistance, check out LeatherYenta.com, BDSM Sex Educator and Author Lolita Wolf’s website.

For help on both ends, try The New Bottoming Book or The New Topping Book, both by respected authors Janet W. Harding and Dossie Easton. Also, at your own risk, try porn star Penny Flame’s Expert Guide to Rough Sex.

The line is fine, but easily walked with a bit of sensitivity and an open heart. There is an art to rough behavior, often tinged by intention. If sex is heartless and violent, cruel, abusive and lacks any form of humanistic sensitivity, step back and re-evaluate all sexual heroes.


Merissa Nathan Gerson | Create Your Badge

He Ignores My Safe Word

In Health and Body, Mental Health, Sex on February 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Dear Yenta,

If you really love your husband but he’s into S & M and it hurts (or you don’t enjoy it, especially since he doesn’t listen when you use your safe word) how to you address the issue sensitively?

Sincerely,

S. Monarch, Newport, RI

An effort towards ending sexual violence, the kind that isn't fun. TakeBackTheNight.org

Dear S,

Again, in the old adage of Take Back the Night marching chants, “Yes means yes, no means no, however we dress, wherever we go.” That “No” includes safe words.

For those unaware, lets define these terms. (Also, see “Doing it Rough, Safe”) UrbanDictionary.com defines S & M as:
“Sadomasochism. When sexual gratification is received by inflicting and/or enduring painful activities, this does not have to be exclusively during intercourse. Whips and chains are often considered S&M paraphernalia, as well as bondage collars, spiked jewelry, etc. May also stand for slave and master.”

In layman’s terms, S & M is rough CONSENSUAL sex that may involve role-playing, dominance, pain etc.

A “safe word” is another word for no. This is so that you can yell “No!” and be faux violated, whereas the safe word, agreed upon by both the dominant and the submissive, really means “desist.” The safe word is the emergency exit in a rough game, a way for the submissive party to assert their voice when the pain is no longer pleasurable.

For S & M to be healthy, this word must be respected. If your husband is ignoring you when you use a code word for no it means one of two things. A) You two did not carefully discuss and establish this word, its implications, and how and when and why it would be used before engaging in your sexual practice. Or B) Your husband is ignoring you when you say “no” and continuing to play rough, which at this point crosses the line from consensual BDSM to plain old abuse/rape.

Consent is the compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another. When intercourse is performed without consent, i.e., forcibly continuing to roughly screw your wife while ignoring her repeated attempt to say no, this is rape. So? So I only say this to name the beast and reiterate that it is not ok for anyone to physically push someone, especially when play violence is involved, beyond their stated verbal and/or physical limit. Assuming you set your safe word up together, you set a clear boundary for your husband and he actively violated it.

Where do we go from here? If you love dressing like a sea monkey and he enjoys dressing like a merman, so be it. But what if he loves whipping women and you love being softly caressed by the light of the moon? Here, we come to a sexual crossroads.

Again, the number one key to a healthy sex life is communication. Only you know if your husband is violently abusing you, or if you forgot somewhere along the lines to properly communicate the meaning of your safe word.

In general, S & M practices often require a contract, a conversation, a ground rules session before practice. Maybe go together to a BDSM introduction, like this one, to better understand how to play the game. Re-establish your Sadomasochist law and be sure your husband knows what pleasure does looks like to you. Or, try reading The Loving Dominant, which should help you find a way to make S & M safe and loving for you.

My inclination, though, is to say this man is bad news, whether you love him or not. I am not a fan of marital rape, no ma’am, not whatsoever. You might need to call into a hotline like RAINN 1-800-656-HOPE just to discuss this more, just to clarify what is happening in your bedroom. Also, sex therapy is a great option for a married couple with disparate sexual tastes.

Just be sure to look out for number one. If his pleasure implies your demise, and demolition is not your thing, than take a step back and be sure this is a bed you want to be lying in. As we said on our late night anti-rape marches, “No means no, it doesn’t mean maybe.”

Can’t Stop Fantasizing While With Man

In Dating, Mental Health, Sex on February 19, 2010 at 12:52 am

Dan rubbed her feet, but Fabio was Roseanne's leading man.

Dear Yenta,

I’m living with a boyfriend but can’t stop thinking about another man. How do I stop thinking about the other man? This would be especially helpful during sex.

-Wandering Eye

Dear WE,

There was an episode of the L-Word that debated whether fantasizing is cheating. According to their rubrix, one said acting on fantasy is cheating, but doing it isn’t, while the other said when you start wanting something besides that which you have, it is time to go because you are cheating.

If you are wishing for someone else, it means you aren’t able to be present with the dude in front of you. This psychological exit means something, and it is up to you to determine why it is you can’t mentally remain in the room in the arms of your man.

What is driving your fantasy? Desiring another while being with a committed lover can mean a million things. It can mean you don’t like your homeslice anymore, or that you feel trapped and suffocated and this fantasy is a way of exiting and expressing, quietly, your freedom. Maybe he is terrible in bed and you can’t stand it.

You could be totally in love and totally scared and this fantasy is a lifeline to life beyond, keeping you grounded. Or, still, you could be curious and lusting for more, maybe even for an open relationship. (See PiggyBack Dating)

Only you know if you love one, and not the other, if your relationship is dead, if you need to be testing the waters right now. Roseanne loved her husband Dan, but she always fantasized about Fabio when sleeping with him. Dan had Fabio’s head and that’s how she did it. It didn’t, however, mean she was set to leave her husband: she loved him.

But you aren’t Roseanne, and this isn’t the L-Word, and fantasizing about someone else besides the one you are with might be a very simple sign that it is time to move on. It means that something is fishy, and needs to be scoped out. The way to make it stop is to determine what is missing and then remedy the situation so you can be present, enjoying the lover you actually have. Or, go live your fantasy.

Remembering Lucille Clifton

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2010 at 6:38 am

Lucille Clifton, 1936-2010

Lucille Clifton: Poet, Writer, Educator
June 27, 1936 – February 13, 2010

A personal favorite, Clifton was notorious for speaking worlds with very few words. Those few words then multiplied to create an enormous literary blessing.
For that which she shared, I am humbled and grateful.

why some people be mad at me sometimes

they ask me to remember
but they want me to remember
their memories
and I keep on remembering
mine

-Lucille Clifton


Click here
for Clifton’s New Yorker obituary.
Click here for an extensive bio.
Click here for more of her poems.

I Heard Them Talking Smack About Me

In Drama on February 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Don't forget that ferocity lives inside of you, too. Photo courtesy of LadyGlockPhotography.wordpress.com.

Dear Yenta,

What do I say the next time I see my classmates who were talking about me at the party when I walked in?

-Scorned

Dear S,

I threw this question out to a crowd at a 28th birthday party. The consensus was that your next move should be tempered by your relationship to the backstabbers. If they are your friends, like people you have knowing trusting relationships with, you should definitely say something. If they are just acquaintances, you don’t mention it, and you both note the behavior and file it away in your assessment of these individuals for further notice, as well as continue like nothing happened.

Shit-talking and meanness are the pits. According to a nine-year-old Chabadnik, in Judaism they say gossip hurts three people. It hurts the gossiper, the person being gossiped about, and the listener. Having been in all three of these shoes, I think some rabbi knew what he was saying.

One story that comes to mind happened to a girl at a sleepover party with her “best friends.” Everyone thought she was asleep and three girls starting ripping words, something about “do you think anyone will ever kiss her? Who would want to?” They went on and on and when she couldn’t take it anymore she walked to the bathroom to announce her existence, and make it clear that she was not dead asleep as they imagined.

Not until nearly ten years later did she ever say anything. The only mention of the incident was when one girl found her in the morning. She had slept through breakfast, not feeling like joining the group, and the other girl came downstairs. The one who spoke so meanly started crying immediately and said how sorry she was.

Everyone has the capacity for cruelty, the capacity to be the victim of it, and the capacity to enable it. Everyone. When you get caught up in slanderous speech, on any end, the best thing to do is walk away or shut it down, or, if time and space and ego allow, do like this girl did and apologize. If you are on the short end of the gossip stick, I would say do whatever feels right to restore your heart. Silence, confrontation, conversation: do what you need to address it, and then let it be.

Holding on to ugly words will hurt you. According to Noah Levine, Mr. Dharma Punx, whatever people might say behind your back is none of your business and not worth worrying about. Also, the mean things people say most often have to do with their own self-hatred. Just flush their faux pas if you can, and continue to believe in your own goodness.

Where is My “Home?” Right Here, Silly!

In Health and Body, Mental Health on February 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Poor little rugrat.

Yenta,

I have no address. I don’t know where home is. Sometimes it seems to be wherever I am not. Is there a solution please?

-Floating

Dear F,

This is a familiar tale, believe you me. Gerson literally means “stranger from a strange land.” I once had a boyfriend who said to me, “Oh, you haven’t found a home in yourself yet? I always know where home is because I found it inside of me.” This was particularly annoying to hear, and only a half-truth about said male at the time, but within these words is a nugget of wisdom.

Home is, as they say, where the heart is. And in the U.S. of A. we do a good job of swathing our hearts in things like denial, repression and avoidance. Solution to all problems: get in touch with your heart. This sounds cheesy and/or easy, but it is neither cheesy nor easy.

Getting into your own personal chest and hearing and feeling the contents can be near torture, depending on what kind of things are stored there. Whether it be a giant grief unmourned or a complicated secret, or none of the above and just a simple lack of connection, it will take a hot minute to reach yourself.

That’s why, ladies and gentlemen, exercise, prayer, meditation, group support meetings, therapy, whatever your avenue of choice, these things are vital. In order to access the self we need love and we need community, and in order to find home, well, we need these things too.

A few starters? Try these heart-opening yoga poses, or this heart-opening breathing practice. Another beautiful way to begin to move towards an opening of the heart, wake up and read The Heart Sutra every morning. Things will shift within days, I promise.

A community can be online or worldwide or a small group of meditators, churchgoers, needlepointers. Either way, imagine your heart only beats with strings threaded through it and tethered to nearby perches. These strings, if not tied, will leave you feeling “homeless.”

Another issue many people have is never loving where they are, always wanting more, and therefore never feeling home. The grass is always greener syndrome. While it is good and important to have dreams and vision, it is a bad sign when wherever you go there you aren’t. Again, things like yoga, breathing, meditation and plain old exercise will help you be where you are, which is home, in your own body. Running, for the non-spiritual, is another fantastic remedy.

All in all, my ex was right. With or without an address, if you feel calm and at peace in your own physical body, mind and spirit, that feeling of “home” will follow you wherever you go.

Happy Year of the Tiger

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

The Year of the Golden Tiger, White Tiger, Iron Tiger….is the 4707th Chinese New Year. Many say this will be a year of intense clashes, of power and of grace. See below for more.

This is the year of the Iron White Tiger.

I am no expert, but I do like new beginnings. Whatever comes of this year, this week is a good time, says a wise Buddhist in Boulder, for recollection of the year past (since February 25th 2009), and for setting goals and intentions for the year to come.

Happy Year of the Tiger from Your Jewish Yenta!

For more on tigers and the Chinese zodiac, click here.
For more on tigers and their general symbolic meaning, click here.
For more on predictions for the Year of the Tiger, watch this.

Loving Yourself on Valentine’s Day

In Breakups/Divorce, Drama, Mental Health on February 14, 2010 at 3:18 am

Cake Love is Self-Love. Photo courtesy of LadyGlockPhotography.wordpress.com

Dear Yenta,

It’s Valentine’s Day and I have no one right now. I am in-between relationships. I don’t know how I should feel about the day. Is it ok to feel lonely? Should I give into it? I am so afraid I am going to go into a dark space, going down deep into pain. I don’t want to be desperate, but I feel pathetic. Is this ok/normal? How should I spend Valentine’s Day?

Sincerely,

Single on the Fourteenth

Dear SOTF,

There are many types of people in the world. People who have spent a lot of time alone, people who are always in relationships, people who are terrified of solitude. There is no right way to be, no best form, there is just where you are. And on Valentine’s Day, depending on who you are and where your love stars fall, life can feel like a rung of someone’s sick version of hell.

But, the good news is plentiful. For one, Valentine’s Day is just a day! Yes, come Monday, boom, it is gone. And then, the gifts on Valentine’s Day that are meant to be received are awesome; chocolate, flowers, orgasms. And third, you are your best friend, so step up to the plate tomorrow and make it a day you will never forget.

There are no laws against self-loving on the “most romantic day of the year.” Seeing that real love knows no calendar date, you can rest assured that your real Valentine’s Day may come in June or December. Just chill, and begin a day of long slow loving. Make breakfast plans with yourself . Walk to the nearest café and get a latte and a chocolate croissant and the Sunday Times and sit for hours.

When you wake up, kiss your own hand, thank yourself for the amazing life you have given yourself, for keeping yourself alive. Try not to spend energy on what you don’t have, use what you do. Like, say, for example a bathtub. Take a bath, burn some tea lights. And if you want, on this one day, have a brandy in the tub. I am dead serious: whatever it is that is your indulgence, give in. Whether it be yoga or pancakes, go there.

You might just need some vision. Where do you want to go that you never go? Go to a museum, take a long drive alone to somewhere new, take a hike, get a long slow brunch. Go to the batting cages! I love the batting cages. Just make a date, like you would with a partner, but with yourself.

Cook yourself something amazing. And, my favorite, order yourself gifts. Why on earth wait for someone else to give you love if you have a well of it to dish out? Order some flowers and have them delivered. Watch the Olympics and enjoy that knock on the door, with a bouquet and a note, “Thanks for always being there.”

It is always ok to feel lonely because loneliness means you hear your heart. And believe me, you are not the only one. What is not ok is to give in to the voices that condemn you for your solitude, your single status, or anything else the demons of the mind might conjure up.

Another great way to spend the day? Give to someone else. Get beyond yourself and visit a hospital with a pile of valentines. Other people are alone too, and your smile might make their day, and yours. Think about giving compliments to friends, visiting a nursing home or a soup kitchen. Give that love you would have given to a lover to the people in your community who need it most.

Whatever you do, plan yourself a badass Valentine’s Day now, and let someone else do the loving for you later, when the time is right and you are ready to share the gushing love in your massive heart with just one.

Try Toys In Babeland!
Or ordering brownies from Zingerman’s.
Or getting a new Yoga membership.
Or finding a silent retreat.
Or committing to running a marathon.
Or finding a new Stitch N’ Bitch.
Or try dancing, like nobody’s business, completely naked and alone.