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Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

She Comes All Day Long

In Dating, Health and Body, Sex on June 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

What's this crazy pleasure all about!? Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Hey Yenta,

My girlfriend comes so much.  I never know when it is enough.  I am happy she enjoys herself, but it feels like I could make her keep going for days.  How do I know when she is satisfied if she has nearly ten orgasms each time we get it on?

-Gifted in Bed?

Dear GIB,

Ah, yes, the secret age-old dilemma of the multiple-orgasming partner.  Men have, on rare occasion, come to me asking this same question with concern.  Why?  Because we focus so much on the possibility that a woman can’t come, that it seems almost baffling when she comes so hard and so long.

Multiple orgasms aren’t always what they seem.  Often they are a retriggering of a plateau of pleasure in quick succession, so that the orgasm, already brought into being, is retriggered again and again.  For some this is amazing, and for others just one mind-blowing orgasm does the trick.  Whatever floats her boat.

I can actually see how this could be frustrating for a lover, on a number of levels.  With one full-blown amazing orgasm, you know when she is satisfied.  With this many, on and on and on, one wonders what the driving force is, and what an orgasm means at all.  Right?  Because we thought it was meant to be one precious pop.

The limit to this kind of lovemaking does not exist.  It is a good test for you to work on lovemaking being a two-way street.  When her pleasure stops being your pleasure, at the 7th or 8th plateau, you can gently cease and desist.  There is no law that you must keep her pleasure in constant motion.  If the issue is more a wondering about satisfaction, maybe worry about this less and focus more on closely watching and witnessing your partner’s body virtually melt.  This is a gift to bear witness to, so focus less on the goal, and more on the ride.

If, however, you feel she is coming hard and leaving you out, be honest.  Talk about the orgasms, work to better understand her pleasure and voice your own.  At the very least you may gain an understanding of what is happening inside of her.  At most, you increase the connection between the two of you which makes that intense pleasure translate more towards you.

There is always the option of slowing down.  There are millions of ways of inducing orgasms, particularly for a woman like this, so work on that, bringing her to climax with a new rhythm or angle.  Work with her body to see its pleasure lengths and limits.  In the end “satisfaction” is complex.  She is clearly getting off, but to know how it makes her feel, you need to talk.  Communication is the number one ingredient for better and better sex.

For help with your own multiple orgasms, women click hereMen click here.

Also try How to Have An Orgasm….As Often As You Want by Rachel Swift

and Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming by Lou Paget.

Ask Yenta Anything!

E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
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Naming Kids After Remarriage

In Breakups/Divorce, Marriage on June 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Dear Yenta,

I have one child from a previous divorce. My child and I have the same last name, my maiden name. In the event that I get remarried and have more children, what are your thoughts about what should happen to our last names? I am worried that my child will feel left out if everyone has a different last name than him. I am also worried that if I have a hyphenated last name, my other children will not want the hyphen.

-Name-Crazed

Don't make Billy Bob feel any more alien than he might already feel in a new family. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear NC,

I think, in general, we cross big bridges when we come to them.  If and when you get remarried and pregnant, then you will probably know the answer to this question on instinct, or with the help of your partner.

I know a lot of kids in the same family with different fathers.  A bastard knows he is a bastard, ie, each child knows their origin or their difference without needing a reminder.  All the children in these families I know have the same last name. In most cases, the child’s name was changed with the new marriage.

In your case, that your child has your maiden name, this implies that you could continue this tradition, and give all your children your maiden name, or have an adult discussion with your one child and say, “we are a family now, and it would be nice, I think, for us all to have the same name.”  You are the mother, don’t forget, the matriarch.  You decide, and everyone follows suit.

Think about lineage and think about a clan and think about togetherness; these factors can be your guiding light in this situation.  All in all, divorce happens.  Preserve an identity for your child that you think might transcend flippant relationships.  In this case, your maiden name sounds good to me.  Different last names are a no-go.  They simply highlight separatism within a family.

And finally, why worry if your children will want or not want the hyphen in a hyphenated name?  YOU name YOUR children, and they live with that name, period.  This is how we all had to deal, with the name given to us.  Have confidence and again, cross this bridge when you come to it.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

The Original Yente, Please Stand Up

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

We have come a long way from the original yenta, "Yente Telebende," a comical gossip in 1920's Yiddishkite theater. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

With nods to Dr. Ruth, Dear Abby, heck even Delilah, I realized I was slightly off base when the real original Yenta came to me earlier this summer.  One thing left out of my first definition of a Yenta:  the coiner of the term here in America, himself.  After an AskYourYenta radio show, I received an e-mail from Mr. Yenta’s grandson with a quick history lesson on the word.

Yes, indeed, the term “yenta,” then “yente” was popularized by a humorist in the 1920’s and 1930’s by the name of Jacob Adler, pen name B. Kovner.  “Yenta Telebenta” (or “Yente Telebende”) was an off-Broadway play and the name of a comic gossip in his writings, which imprinted the “Yinglish,” Yiddish and English word upon the American public in New York.

In the age of Yiddish theater in the 20’s and 30’s, a “yente” started referring to a busybody or gossipmonger and then grew to a popular slang word.  In addition to being his wife’s name and being the title of a play, Yenta was also B. Kovner’s character in a fifty-year writing career for The Jewish Daily Forward.

For an example of Jacob Adler/B. Kovner’s humorist writing, click here.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Cyber-Dating 101

In Dating on June 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

Dear Yenta,

So I recently signed up for an online dating site (JDate).  First day on I see this guy who I’ve met just once in “real” life (though long enough to become Facebook friends w/ him — I asked).  I’d like to be better friends with him either way, but first have to bridge the awkward divide…

Ideas to write to him? A friend suggested, now that we’re Facebook friends maybe we can be JDate friends. Groan. Any better ideas Yenta?

-J-Lost

Start small. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear J-Lo,

There are a few laws involved in maintaining self-respect and limits when it comes to online dating.  I have a full handful of close friends who have discovered the loves of their lives online, so here are a few words to the wise.

1)  Be honest.  Be real.

2)  Not too honest.  Not too real.

Basically, you want to be giving a safe version of “you” out to the world.  One that if they take it, awesome, and if they leave it, no skin off your back.  If your stakes are high in an e-mail, he will either buy it and marry you, or be full on freaked by your desperation.

Some people can go full throttle with the online dating scene, partly because they don’t fear rejection. It is really a matter of how sensitive you are, in general.  Cultivate that fearless attitude, and you are golden.  It is done by simultaneously opening yourself and protecting yourself.  Giving just a little, watching, and continuing.  Like advancing towards a pirate ship.  Only in this case, you want to join the band of pirates.

With this guy I say just be straight up and say what you want.  “Hey!  Funny finding you here.   How are you?”  See how he takes it.  Go gentle so he can breathe.  With an “I want you, I always have wanted you, now we are e-friends in more ways than one,” he might suffocate.  Or, why not wait for him to come to you?  Not so unheard of.

Also, be wary of seeking your affirmation of self from e-dating.  If every conversation makes or breaks your self-esteem, you are in for a beating.  It is like weeding a garden until left with exactly what you hope to grow.  It takes time, differentiating the vegetables (lovers), the wild from the sustainable.  Capiche?  Love comes from you, from your family and from your friends.  Dating is just a fun social perk until, possibly, it turns into love.

In the end though, it is dating, i.e., a way of packaging and showing a sliver of yourself in hopes that someone else’s sliver of self likes you, at which point the sliver turns into a full on self-exposure/love affair.  Trust yourself and go easy on the gas.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Rectal Surprise

In Dating, Mental Health, Sex on June 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm

This intense pleasure zone ironically threatens the perceived manhood of some of the manliest of men. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

My boyfriend likes surprises. I bought him a t-shirt that he had commented about for his birthday, and after he opened it and told me how much he loved it, he made a comment about his lack of surprise at the gift. Since there were no more holidays coming up, I decided to surprise him in the bedroom, hoping to satisfy his need for that wow feeling.

I lotion-ed him up, lathered him down, and then shoved a small vibrator in his ass, to his surprise. Needless to say, he did not like my surprise. It has been three weeks since my attempt at surprise and even though I have apologized several hundred times, he won’t strip down below shorts. I have a non-existent sex life now, and even worse, every time I start to get a little frisky in the bedroom, he turns bright red and tells me that he isn’t in the mood. How do I get my lover back?

-Asshole

Dear A-Hole,

I started by asking two men what they think.

They answered:

“Why needless to say he wouldn’t like it?  Some men really like surprises, anal surprises and toy surprises to be specific.”

“Stick a vibrator in your own ass, you’ll get your lover right back.”

“Needless to say, the vibrator is for you, not him.  Lather up, lotion down and stick it in your own ass.”

Sticking something in a man’s ass without warning may very well provoke a retreat into his shell.  There are all kinds of men.  There are men who like being penetrated, men who were raised to be the penetrator and ride a bull.  There are men who like things in the rear, and men who fear the pleasure they find in that area.

Without talking to him, you never know the cause of his repulsion.  Chances are, though, that he might not even be able to talk about it.  My guess is that there is complex shame around what occurred between you, so tread lightly.

Apologies will do nothing.  You need to show your understanding through action, make him feel safe, let him take the reigns.  Give your boyfriend back a sense of power.  Let him make some decisions.  Show him, through your behavior, that you will not push his limits unless asked.  This is partially about a loss of trust.

He may have liked it and have a fear that enjoying pleasure in the ass (which makes sense because there are some amazing nerve endings in there for men) implies he is somehow gay.  This is common male homophobic confusion.

Or, your boyfriend may have a history of sexual abuse and you may have just triggered memories of his body being violated and/or penetrated.  We think male rape victims don’t exist, but they do, they abound, and we women, so often used to being on that side of the fence, need to be sensitive to that possibility in our lovers.  For information on myths and facts of male rape, click here or visit HopeForHealing.org.  Also, try reading this City Paper article.

Whether a survivor of abuse or not, to treat him like one might help win his trust back.  Try reading these tips, “Recovering From Rape: Healing Your Sexuality” as barebone guidelines for rebuilding intimacy after trauma.

He could have power issues, gender role issues, abuse issues, butt issues, trust issues, an allergy to plastic.  Whatever it is, if you like him, you need to earn his trust back.  If you are gung-ho on the anal, he may need some proof that this sexual practice isn’t so crazy.  Some men grew up in the sexual boondocks.  Try helping him, if that feels right.  Click here for assistance.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Acupuncture Addict

In Health and Body, Mental Health on June 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

Dear Yenta,

I’ve been going to acupuncture regularly for about 4 months as a way to improve my general health and boost my immune system. Really though, I got hooked thanks to the hazy, fuzzy kinda high feeling I got right after a treatment. What can I say? It’s a natural high!

The problem is that I’m not really getting high anymore- the buzz has worn off and my body is getting use to the feeling. Since I’m not going for any specific ailment, I can’t decide if that means I should stick with it or move onto the next “natural high” experience (bikram yoga, perhaps?). Have you ever experienced this kind of thing? What do you say?

– Poked and Prodded in New York

Acuptuncture is meant to bring out the you-est part of you. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear PAPINY,

I have experienced this kind of thing, and about ten to one-hundred varieties of this kind of thing. For some people it is normal to get all stoney-like after being treated. Acupuncture, when done well, should align you towards a more whole and balanced version of yourself.  For some, this alignment makes them feel euphoric.

They say that after a treatment you are supposed to feel into that natural high and remember it, because that state is your life goal or an experience of your purest and best self.  One girl I met at a co-op in Boulder would be so happy post-treatment.  It was really important to her not to drink or eat sugar or do anything that would alter that state for at least a day after her treatment, because she wanted to get acquainted with that higher self feeling.

If you are feeling less high but more inclined to continue seeking that high in ways like yoga, etc., I would say the acupuncture is working well.  You don’t want paid treatments to be the only way you achieve that sense of self, you want to be reaching for ways to integrate that high into your daily life.

There is no reason to walk away from treatment, unless financially it is too much.  Because if you can continue to afford it you will only continue to balance and move the body. One acupuncturist told me that he and his friends went daily in China for treatments. Everyone benefits from realignment. Period.

So now that the high has worn off, check in on your lifestyle. Chances are it has changed and maybe you are “higher” all the time, therefore not noticing the difference when stuck with needles. Try to let go of that old reaction that you enjoyed and just be with what comes after each treatment. The “non-high” is as important as the “high” and neither is better or worse, only according to what your mind has told you.

If, however, the treatments leave you feeling low, reassess from scratch. Sometimes too much alignment is too much to handle.  Other ways to balance your system include changing eating habits, changing drinking habits, learning to meditate, exercising more and/or finding a yoga studio nearby.  It is way easier said than done, so also seek a community to support your healthy new existence.  Advance according to your intuition, and according less to pleasure and more to whether you are suffering.

For more information on acupuncture, read:

The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by Tim Kaptchuk

Between Heaven And Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Helen Beinfield and Efrem Korngold

Or…visit Acupuncture.com.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Haunted By Ex’s Penis

In Breakups/Divorce, Health and Body, Sex on June 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Find a replacement, but be sure he is as good, if not better, than the old. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

When I have sex, I think about my ex-husband’s penis. My new lover is amazing, wonderfully caring, and very talented in bed (which my ex-husband lacked), but every time we are intimate, I see my ex-husband’s face.  I’ve come so close to calling out his name but caught myself every time. I am very upfront and honest with my new lover, but this is one thing I just don’t think he would understand. I miss my ex, I won’t lie, but at the same time, I am much happier without him. How do I get him out of my bedroom?!

-Mentally Cheating

Dear MC,

There are two things that you can do.  One: Leave this man and mend your heart, do the work to get over your ex, and then resume dating him or someone else.  Two.  Deal with it within the relationship.

Thinking about your ex-husband is normal, especially if you were with him for a long time and that time included having sex with him.  But thinking about your ex while in bed with the new guy, that’s another story.  It indicates an inability to be present with the man in front of you, replacing his face with the face of another.

You can look at this as an opportunity to learn.  When your husband’s face or memory comes to mind, stop for a minute, look around, and check in with yourself.  What, exactly, are you longing for that you are not experiencing then and there?  Could there be a lack of intimacy and trust with this new man, making you long for the old?

Also, is this new dude up to par?  This regression into old memories could be a sign that the new lover is not good enough for you.  After a bad or ended relationship we often choose sub-par lovers in fear of never loving again.  Set your standards high enough and follow suit.

Either leave him, or nurture the relationship with the lover.  If, though, he is just a “lover” then who cares?  Maybe he is just a filler for the old, in which case this haunting is a sign from deep inside of you reminding you that you haven’t let go of yesterday.  Choose.  Then or now, and if now is the choice, then work hard at making your present reality and your present relationship one that sates you.  Build the trust, expose the edges, and begin again.

My guess though, is that you need to dump the lover and cry by a river somewhere or something to purge the ex from your body.  Do what it takes to address and mend the hurt parts so you can love and trust again, ie, be present and satisfied with the man in front of you.
For help read these simple steps for Recovering From A Failed Relationship.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Writer’s Block Psychosis

In Career, Mental Health on June 4, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Careful with your image. Sometimes its a deflection from your reality. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

I have lost the ability write. An initial, hiccupy writer’s block that originated with a piece of assessment I disliked has grown into an all-encompassing loss of words. I get my housemate to dictate birthday cards to relatives because I cannot be sure I’ll say the right thing, and have become lax in replying to emails because the construction of even a simple response is onerous. The only thing I can write is lists, on post-it notes, of all the essays I have to complete. I feel paralyzed, and rather ashamed. It’s only words, after all: how difficult can it be to arrange them into coherent sentences?

This issue is all the more painful because it isn’t new, but rather is something that I thought I’d overcome. I’ve had a rather chequered university career: my transcript alternates between blocks of High Distinctions and Failure: Non-Completions. I was expelled from university for a period of a eighteen months for failure to maintain sufficient academic progress, primarily because I’d failed to hand in essays. This year, I started off very well, handing in essays on time and getting brilliant marks. I’d thought I was fixed. However, here I am again, faced with the voiceless fear when faced with a blank page.

Mute

P.S. This email took me two hours to write, and I don’t like it very much.

Dear Mute,

What you call writer’s block, I call a need for a lasso.  Simple.  Writer’s block has a million causes.  Your particular brand seems to stem from inner voices out of control.  Yes.  You have some internal critic that is on fire and preventing you from expressing yourself.

This is when every move, every thought, every utterance is stuffed back inside out of fear or shame.  If you think you will f up, a piece of you might be chanting, “you will f up.  You will f up.”  That voice’s job is to paralyze your creative expression.

Why the nasty inner mantra?  Only you know.  Be honest.  Stop calling this “writer’s block” and look at it as what it really is, an indulgence of the negative and cruel voices inside of you.  Help yourself.  Get those voices under control and start really living your creative life.

My personal favorite: meditation.  Why?  Because it is gentle, it is self-taught, and in doing it you find a community, depending on how you tackle stillness.  All it does is make you aware of the constant inner monologue in your head, and slowly, through focusing on the breath, teaches you to live without it.  Shambhala centers nationwide offer free meditation instructors who can help guide you through your mind until it is ready to quiet down.

Other things that help?  Stopping the voices before they start with excessive positive affirmations.  “I am smart.  I can write.  I write. Write. Write.  Written.” Try Tara Brach, Ph.D.’s Radical Acceptance for help.  Other ideas: see a cognitive behavioral therapist and explain you need to undo the stifling voices that cut off your writer’s blood flow.  Do whatever you need to uninvite the negative from your daily mental repertoire.

There are a million other ways to cultivate the positive.  Break your normal routine, touch nature whenever possible, exercise more, poison your body less, etc. etc.  You, however, sound like you have some more specific hard work ahead of you, acquainting yourself with your mind so you can do some solid summer cleansing of unneeded mental energy.

To write is a simple act of expression.  We complicate it with pressures and cruelties all our own.  If you don’t trust your voice, or don’t believe in that which you want to express, it is nearly impossible to let it loose.  Mean voices are an addiction.  Get clean.  Stop leaning on the negative and write your manifesta!

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta

Caring for Cancer Caregivers

In Health and Body, Parents on June 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Dear Yenta,

This past year 3 friends I love lost their moms to cancer. In the middle of all the chaos I didn’t want to intrude or get in the way. I offered my full support but it never felt like enough to me. They were at chemo appointments & hospitals and I wish I could have been so much more helpful! There is a history of 6 different cancers in my own family, so this isn’t the first time I’ve watched people go through this and I want to offer more to those I love. So what do you give a caregiver who gives of themselves completely but doesn’t know what to ask for or how to ask for help themselves?

-Looking in from the outside

Dear LIFTO,

I went to a hipster meditation session once that seemed trivial until the leader asked everyone who had lost someone this year, or who knew someone who lost someone this year, to please raise their hand.  I would say 98% of the hands in that room went up, and the 2% were probably not paying attention.

Death is par for the human course, and is something everyone is dealing with, all the time.  Some, however, are doing so in excruciating, hands-on ways, and others more from a distance.  What do we do to help those braving the frontlines of mortality and illness?  We start with ourselves.  There is nothing more incredible than a friend with poise, calm and the ability to give, who arrives at a traumatic scene, a hospital, a chemo bedside, a funeral or a wake.

Humans are full of fear.  The fearless are the ones that comfort the needy without question.  We need to cultivate our own fearlessness so that when a friend calls us panicked, or a family member falls ill (God-forbid), or we bear witness to the horrible, our fearlessness somehow, through loving action, becomes contagious.  This is done through self-care, through facing our dark sides, through working on our own stillness so we may offer the same to others.

It is a balancing system.  The fearless care for those in need until depleted, then someone swoops in, someone like you, and holds the caretaker in their arms until a virtual rebooting takes place and they can continue the job of caring for the sick.  What you give a caregiver is a presence that says, “this is your time.”  For more ideas see:  How Do I Support Them Through Chemotherapy?

There are also admirable projects like “Care Chronicles,” a symptom management workbook for caregivers and patients.  Coined by a woman named Sarah Banks in memory and honor of her mother, this cancer management workbook is meant to help ease the difficulties of both the caregiver and patient.

“Caregiving for my mom,” writes Ms. Banks,  “was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life…  I’ve created this workbook, because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what my family has gone through. I had an idea. A way to make my mom’s life a little easier. A way to feel a little more in control. Because after the chemo would make her sick, or when she’d fall out of bed at night, or we’d stay up till 4am at the ER, or she was so dehydrated she couldn’t pronounce a word…I had never before felt so helpless and out of control. I don’t want that for others.”

To support Sarah Banks’ campaign, click here.  She is raising money to self-publish packets to distribute to hospitals and doctors’ offices to offer answers to your precise question. There are only 27 days left to meet her $8k goal.  One thing you can do for your friends and family members as they go through this:  make a pledge to a cause like this one in their name, and tell them you just made a step towards easing the suffering of others.

For more information and help, check out:  Everyone’s Guid to Cancer Supportive Care: A Comprehensive Handbook fort Patients and Their Families by Ernest and Isadora Rosenbaum.

Ask Yenta!  E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta