Jul 11 2011

The intersectionality of menopause and male enhancement

Daily hot flash laundry pile

2:46 A.M. Sudden, overwhelming sense of despair. Blast furnace embedded under skin cranks up to eleven. Hot sweats. Uncontrollable shivers. Cold sweats. Drenched and freezing. Yelling “Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Toweling off, changing clothes, changing sheets. Back to the Tempurpedic for two hours of sleepless ceiling-staring/channel-flipping.

6:30 A.M. Alarm goes off. Discombobulation commences.

[Open appeal to architects: when designing bedrooms for people who will be turning 50 or coming down with lady-cancer, kindly install an automatic espresso machine within reach of the bed. Otherwise, your client’s hapless, lurching feet will become entangled, every morning when the alarm goes off at 6:30, in the giant pile of hot-flash laundry that has accumulated on the bedroom floor.]

That’s menopause!

The above has been my nightly ritual for five-and-a-half years, ever since the Cancer Industrial Complex cut out, among other organs to which I had become rather attached over the years, those dear little estrogen-generators, my ovaries. Because of the estrogen-loving nature of the cancer that occasioned my many amputations and toxic therapies, hormone replacement is not an option. This is too bad, because spinster aunts, it turns out, actually need a little estrogen, if only to prevent their going absolutely batshit from hot-flash-induced sleep deprivation.

I blame surgically-induced menopausical insomnia for my having seen an infomercial last night to which no eyes as delicate as those of a fuzz-brained spinster aunt should ever have been exposed. The producers of this infomercial might just as well have been throwing acid alien blood right in my grimacing face.

The infomercial was selling a dick-enbiggener pill. The thing that was so grippingly, vomitationally absurd about it, besides everything about it, was the slew of giggling 22-year-old pornulated chiquitas who purported to speak for all of womankind on the subject of dicks. They revealed — in “candid confessions” consisting almost entirely of the phrase “like, why even have sex if it’s, like, so small you, like, won’t even feel it?” — women’s general disgust with any dick that isn’t the size of a Mexican Coke bottle.* They all agreed that the only sorts of dudes they’ll ever want to pork are “confident” and “aggressive” men who have “grown some balls.”

Also grippingly, vomitationally absurd were the “Men’s Minute” segments, wherein a porn actor named Dr. Victoria Zdrok, speaking in an unearthly-yet-strangely-familiar accent, urges the viewer to buy the product because it was made in America out of time-tested ingredients you can trust. “Over 88% of women admit that size does matter,” quoth the good doctor heteronormatively, “and the other 12% are lying.” In the background is footage of a rocket launching.

Now, I’m not going to argue either that “size” does or doesn’t matter, as this is simply personal preference and is therefore irrelevant to the revolution and shit, and because thinking about actual you-know-whats (Dr Zdrok’s clinical term for “penis”) makes me retch. But I am going to propose two hypotheses.

One: that the idea that women universally yearn to be impaled by tireless, oversized bratwursts-of-iron attached to “aggressive” men is a myth. This myth portrays women as insatiable sex maniacs*, which in turn informs the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, which in turn enslaves women as the sex class. The women-as-sex-maniac myth adversely affects women in many ways, not least of which is the interference of “male enhancement” drugs with the natural attrition of the invincible peen. How many women were looking forward to a mid-life reprieve from prong-duty, only to have it snatched away by ViagraNation’s aggressive marketing of the “cure” for “erectile dysfunction”?

Two: that, even if I were a straight woman who, despite the fact that our social order has co-opted my sexuality to turn me into a receptacle for my oppressor’s incontinence, still wanted to do dudes, and even if I were one of those women whose preference for you-know-whats leaned toward something in the Macho Combo Burrito range, I would find other ways of scratching this itch than by boinking the kind of dude who would buy pills from porn stars on TV infomercials as crappy as this one was.

Not to denigrate dear old Dr Zdrok, though! After carefully analyzing her accent, I believe that, like me, she is formerly of the planet Obstreperon. Sadly, it appears that Dr Zdrok has been rather more extensively assimilated by the dude-borg than I. The obstreperal lobe bleeds for her.


* Mexican Coke bottles are really big. I thought about using the Washington Monument as my metaphor, since it’s even bigger than a Mexican Coke bottle, but Phil says that shit’s pretty played.

** “Sex maniac” is a quaint phrase I hadn’t heard in a while, until yesterday’s TCM broadcast of the 1967 misogyny farce “Divorce American Style,” starring Debbie Reynolds and Dick Van Dyke as a star-crossed married couple. This sexist romp through mid-century marriage angst features a scene where D.V.D. and his best bud get snockered at a lingerie bar populated by models in marabou peignoirs. The best bud convinces Dick he should cheat on his wife, whereupon Dick — comically! — pays to rape a prostitute.

Photo 1: collected from this part of the Internet.

Photo 2: collected from this part of the Internet.


Skip to comment form

  1. yttik

    Last night Miss Marple had a case where a a guy was pronging two women at an Inn full of wannabe witches. They made him a potion of Spanish Fly so he could keep up, but they made it a bit too strong or it got contaminated or something, and he croaked. I don’t have anything profound to say about this, except it’s heartwarming post-menopausal entertainment, made all the more cheery by getting to hear a little old lady cluck and declare, “what a shame,” while the guy’s body is being hauled away.

  2. Gayle

    I wake up to a sense of dread between two and four every night. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not I’m getting back to sleep. I can’t get the estrogen for similar reasons (breast doctors says I’m too high a risk, so no dice).

    I don’t really want to use anything that hurts horses anyway and I’m guessing you don’t either.

    If anyone can offer any advice about other natural remedies or even some other pharma ones that could help, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry about breaking the “I” rule.

  3. Jill

    Nothing that does not contain estrogen works to alleviate estrogen deprivation. Sadly. I am even prohibited from eating tofu.

  4. Notorious Ph.D.

    Jill, have you tried sleeping on something other than a Tempurpedic mattress? I have one of their pillows, and while it does wonders for my neck, I do tend to overheat on it, and so I can only imagine that the mattress is exacerbating the hot flash/night sweats problem by retaining the heat your body puts out then beaming it right back at you.

  5. Jill

    Sadly, I could sleep on a slab of refrigerated marble and it wouldn’t make an iota of difference to the hot flashes. They ignite in all climates. Outside in the dead of winter I can be freezing my ass off, and have a hot flash. Instead of warming up, I’m still freezing, only now I’m soaking wet from sweat, too, so, even freezinger.

  6. Zrusilla

    I don’t suppose this is the moment to trot out the old saying, “They’re not hot flashes, they’re POWER SURGES”?

  7. tinfoil hattie

    Best thing that ever happened during my menopause is the dual-zone temperature control in my new car.

    It doesn’t take much (she said, fanning herself).

  8. Cycles

    I’m dying to know: what is “The Grab Test”?

  9. minervaK

    Ugh, menopause. It blows. Black Cohosh helped me a lot with the hot flashes, but it gave me back that menstrual gift that keeps on giving, PMS. Dunno if the stuff has estrogen in it or not, so caveat emptor if you try it.

    I see the “women as sex maniacs” meme as just a pornulated version of the state of perpetual consent in which all women exist, to the patriarchy. My other favorite late-night infomercial is the one in which several “professional” women are shown in their day jobs, then at night in their sexy lingerie, calling up the advertised sexchat phone line — the message being that even when a woman is behaving in an apparently disinterested way, SHE SECRETLY WANTS YOU, MAN. i.e., even when women say “no” we really mean “yes.” This is why it’s so important, in rape cases, to establish that the woman is a slut. She let a guy fuck her before, so obviously she can’t possibly object to letting another guy fuck her.

  10. shopstewardess

    A significant family history of heart disease also rules out those handy-dandy little oestrogen replacements, is all I’m saying.

    Anything which suggests to dudes that being “confident”, “aggressive” and having “grown some balls” will give them bigger dicks and a better chance of pronging pornulated young women with them is what I call a screamingly bad idea. But then, I can guess who will be doing the screaming, too. IBTP.

  11. Judi

    Well as far as I’m concerned, “erectile dysfunction” is a redundancy, but they didn’t ask me.

  12. Fictional Queen

    With all this effort to keep men with women,what boggles my mind is,FOR WHAT?!! If at least being with a man was actually a good thing for women,or gave them happiness,or yknow had some benefit in it,the endless effort to keep men tied to women would make some sense but,all this effort for what?! Go away,Man.

  13. Sarah

    Keeping men with women is good for the men. Whether that has any benefit for the women is irrelevant beyond maintaining as much voluntary compliance from the women as possible.

  14. Treefinger


    If you go to the first image attribution link at the bottom at the post (I advise not though, the commentary calls the women “syphilitic whores” and whatnot), there are videos of the infomercial and a quick description of the grab test, which is their advice that a woman grind against or grope a man’s crotch to figure out if he has a massive dong or not.

    I’m too young to get regular hot flashes, but I’ve had short ones that passed quickly from taking vitamins on an empty stomach, and that was bad enough. I feel for you.

  15. Hermionemone

    Not all estrogen comes from horses (ethically shun-worthy) just one of the original formulations (the one tested in the WHI study that tarred’n’feathered the entire HRT concept).

    The horse estrogen is worse for the body than plain human beta estradiol, which is processed and refined starting from yams. The human estradiol has its effect and disappears from the body fairly quickly. The equine estrogen lasts longer in the body because humans can’t process it as easily, so goes around and around through the intestine and liver, triggering side effects like blood clotting, strokes, heart attacks. The longest lasting formula, the one in most birth control pills, is ethinyl estradiol, with an especially indigestible molecular side-group. Because it lasts the longest of all in the body, they can put the tiniest amounts of it into each pill, but it still causes proportionally the most side-effects of any of the estrogens, and we give that stuff to teenage girls!

    Unfortunately, all the estrogens activate estrogen-sensitive tumors, so can’t be used by survivors-carriers-patients of such.

    Something in coffee acts enough like an estrogen molecule to provide some relief to menopausal persons, and perks up our brains running on low estrogen, hence the need for bedside espresso machines. I don’t think it’s on the list of foods to avoid (that would be just cruel).

    Estrogen: women just have it, big pharma sells it, transwomen live by it (so know your hormones before they bite back!)

  16. Nolabelfits

    Is it possible to get through menopause sans estrogen and not need it? Because so far I seem fine, a few night sweats but nothing too extreme(and they seem to have abated) and no sense of dread either. I am pissed off alot, but I just attribute that to finally making sense of how shitty it is being the sex class.

  17. Athena Andreadis

    Estrogen does a lot of things in the body, which is why snapping it off suddenly totally wrecks not only quality of life but such things as memory and sense of self. Regular menopause tapers it off, and the ovaries produce some to the end, which gives the body time to adjust.

    Black cohosh is the sole thing that can partly ameliorate some of the symptoms of hormonal crash, particularly the hot flashes and cold sweats. It does little for mood.

    Whatever you do, don’t take antidepressants. Gynecologists give them out like candy to menopausal women and they’re worse than placebos.

  18. Gayle


    Yes, it’s possible. My own dear mother went through it without a hitch- that woman could sleep through a bombing raid. She remembers sweating a few times and that was the extent of it.

    She went all the way through without hormones. This was back a few years and even though she was virtually symptom free, her doc kept trying to push them on her!

    You might be one of the lucky ones!

  19. janicen

    Estrogen also increases the possibility of developing blood clots. It’s important to be tested to make sure that you don’t have a genetic clotting factor before you begin taking estrogen.

    @Nolabelfits, I never used HRT. After weighing the benefits against the risks, I chose the more conservative approach although, the sense of panic that occurs from feeling as if microwave radiation is heating me from the inside out has occasionally made me wonder if I made the right decision.

  20. ashley

    haha Yttik, Miss Marple totally has moments of awesomeness like that. In fact, the Miss Marple life is pretty bad ass. All she does is go places and figure shit out and when conceited assholes do shit that makes you mad, they usually do wind up dead or getting totally owned by Miss Marple’s calm, sweet little attitude. and then they shut up. it’s good comfort tv.

  21. Ginjoint

    Twisty, apparently we had the same kind of cancer. (I’m also on Tamoxifen, which sure as hell doesn’t help the situation.) Don’t try black cohosh – it has estrogen in it. I recently bought one of those “cool” pillows, which works a bit. My mother also just sent me a nightshirt made of some special moisture-wicking material, which also helps. Last thing, which you probably know about: Effexor. It’s used off-label to lower the amount of hot flashes, and it definitely helps me. It’s a strong drug to go on, but I was on Cymbalta already when chemo knocked me into menopause, so I switched to combat the flashes. So far, sadly, that’s all I’ve got. I say “sadly” because I still manage to soak the backs of my shirts at work. And have sweat rolling down the side of my face. Blecch.

    At breastcancer.org, they say, “If you’re having severe hot flashes….and have a personal history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about non-hormonal options, such as dietary changes, exercise, weight management, acupuncture, or meditation.” Meditation?! Fuck, are you kidding me?!

  22. yttik

    They really don’t know what causes hot flashes. It is not documented science that they are caused by a loss of estrogen. We simply don’t know and only suspect that that could be one of the causes. Women and children with diseases that cause low levels of estrogen do not experience hot flashes. Also, men often get hot flashes.

    HRT can stop hot flashes(or not for many women) but so can anti-depressants. On the other hand, sometimes anti-depressants cause hot flashes.

    There’s some good information from women who have gotten relief simply by changing their diet and avoiding triggers. Cayenne and hot peppers for example, can trigger them. So can an imbalance in B vitamins or eating to many tomatoes or citrus fruit. I have a friend who loves seafood but won’t eat it anymore because she swears it triggers hot flashes.

  23. Comrade PhysioProf

    If your head and neck feel all hot and sweaty on your pillow, it might be worth trying a Japanese buckwheat pillow. It really feels much cooler than any other kind.

  24. Rugosa

    You have to admit, the rocket launching in the background is pretty funny.

    Much sympathy about the flashes. Sorry I have no remedy to suggest; I would certainly share if I had one.

  25. ew_nc

    Here’s what worked for me when menopausal hot flashes reared their ugly heads. Tincture of motherwort. Not the powder in the capsule, you need to get the tincture of the root. I order mine from Red Moon Herbs.You mix a dropperful in a glass of water, and you can take it as often as you need it. I find it to have a faintly banana flavor, it was not unpleasant. I’m not sure it will help you Twisty, as my menopause is the garden-variety kind, meaning I still have ovaries. But it can’t hurt.

    The concept of a sex maniac is entirely a male construct, born of their fantasies of being the one and only SEXIEST MAN ALIVE! Gross.

  26. ew_nc

    I forgot to add that motherwort works mainly on the cardiovascular system. It does not contain phyto-estorgens.

  27. Metal Teapot

    These things are probably obvious but,
    Wear full pyjamas in bed if it is cool enough when you go to sleep. You can take them off in the night, discard them and move to another pair.
    Use a duvet and duvet cover rather than comforter and sheet. This can be turned around easily while half asleep in the same way as getting the cool side of the pillow.
    More expensive solution, the biggest bed you can fit on your room or afford. I have several different sleep positions I move through so I can escape the heat I have inparted to the mattress.
    Don’t have any form of foam mattress, these seem to store the heat. Also aim for cotton bedding, and no water proof mattress protectors.
    If you aren’t already, sleep alone. Although partners can be insulted by this.
    Probably not very helpful, I don’t get hot flushes yet being too young. However like my mum, I overheat easily, and regularly soak a pair of pyjamas at night. The thing that help me most I having other cool areas of the bed to move to. Hmm, if you have room set up a second bed in a spare room and move when you get too hot. I used to do that but only have a one bed apartment now.

  28. Jezebella

    Out of curiosity, were you wanting sympathy or advice?

  29. redpeachmoon

    I had a rough time with my menopause, less with the flashing than with the extreme PMS- anxiety/anger/terror/urge to flee. Drinking wine seemed to help, but created more anxiety the next day. Anti-depressants really helped, and I quit drinking, which is still great (almost 2 years Marg free!) Susun Weed’s books and website helped lots, kind women to talk to and recommend herbal supports. There IS the other side of this.. and it gets better. Right?
    I’ll still blame the patriarchy.

  30. Metal Teapot

    Jezebella makes a good point. Sorry for pointless advice. I’m scared of the future because I hate that feeling that you are describing. The one where you feel like you have to get out and cool, or you will feel like you will explode. I hope next time the infomercials you find are better. Also well done on being far cleaner than me. I just wait for sweat soaked sheets to dry then use them again.

  31. Josquin

    It’s the pre-flash feeling of dread and despair I hate the most. As for “power-surges”: only people who not have not experienced the claustrophobic, hellfire furnace blast of a typically bad hot flash would even think of framing it like that. It’s like saying: “You know that sword that just got plunged into your lower back? Maybe it would seem better if you thought of it as a deep-tissue massage.”
    @Janicen’s description is more like it.
    And yet after every hot flash that comes along, I think: “okay, that HAS to be the last one. Yes, they are finished. No HRT for me, oh no.” That lasts maybe a couple of hours and then BAM.
    “Wait – I guess THAT was the last one.”
    So I guess my drug of choice is pathetic denial.

  32. Ginjoint

    I’m so very sorry, Jezebella. I was on the young side when I was first diagnosed, and I don’t really have anyone in the same boat to talk to or get advice from around me. Of course, I could go to a million online forums for this, but somehow I feel a bit more kinship with Jill, as we’re both lesbian spinsters giving the P the hairy eyeball. (Jill, I hope that doesn’t creep you out in any way.) I’ve learned so much from reading this blog, that I got momentarily excited that I could maybe (finally!) offer something in return. (Unfortunately, I’m not one of the clever people here who write the best jokes.) Silly me, I should’ve known to ask first.



  33. Ruby Lou

    This whole thread is illuminating for me. Underscores the complex nature of female reproductive biochemistry. And then how that relates to cancer biochemistry. To the point where you can’t even eat tofu, just to keep the estrogen down.

    I had a harrowing 30 years of extremely painful menstruation with psycho PMS, followed by an absolutely symptom-free menopause. I just quit bleeding, that was it. Three different physicians tried to put me on HRT, of which even a very brief taste was so disastrous I refused to try it the third time. Most of the women in my dad’s family get breast cancer. So far, I haven’t. But I didn’t know jack about HRT or breast cancer facts. I just knew what I couldn’t stand.

    I was going to propose Netflix as an alternative to the inane informercials for dick medicine. But it’s not very alternative – the majority of movie options are not too distant relatives of same. And telescopes are a lot of hassle. IBTP

  34. bivysac

    I endorse the electric-coffee-percolator-at-the-bedside method. It can be prepped before bed and turned on when the alarm goes off. Rouses the senses gently.

    When my level of rancor starts out low, it doesn’t peak so painfully high by the end of a day’s worth of blame.

  35. phd in yogurtry

    Replace automatic espresso machine with vodka martini maker and I am on board.

  36. awhirlinlondon

    It was a question. A perfectly valid one. It was not a reprimand. Am rather hoping that someone grabbed your keyboard, typed the last two words and hit “send” while you weren’t looking.

    Hot flashes are hell. Was anyone aside from me not told that they could go on for EIGHT YEARS, and counting?

  37. Kristin

    Dear Ginjoint,
    Those peoples probably mean it in a patronising panacea kind of way, but I personally find that meditation/yoga/exercise done regularly does make me feel generally calmer and bendier and more, oh I remember, human.

    Also – plastic bags stuffed with ice cubes to lay on pulse points and other points.

  38. K.A.

    Hope this winds down sooner rather than later. Although any phytoestrogen is theoretically suspect in spite of being weaker than real female hormones, are lignans considered risky? Flaxseed lignans?

    I thought the power surge joke was funny. It definitely read like a joke, not being dismissive!

  39. K.A.

    Oh, I totally misread what the potential offense was referring to — it was not the joke (that was someone else’s anyway).

  40. Ginjoint

    Bullshit. It was an underhanded way of being snarky about the previous comments.

  41. K.A.

    Yeah, there’s a lot of cross-readership between Shakesville and here, so sometimes Melissa’s preferences get imported here as an excuse for pile-ons.

  42. Jezebella

    Ginjoint, it was not intended to be snarky, but rather a gentle reminder to future posters that a tidal wave of unasked-for advice might be unwelcome. Kind of like when you have cancer and everybody and their brother has advice on which herbal supplement/diet food/haircut was their mother’s cousin’s accountant’s miracle cure. The expression – “advice or sympathy?” – comes from a lesbian comic strip that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of right now. Possibly Allison Bechdel’s “Dykes to Watch Out For,” but possibly not.

    Clearly you misread my intent.

  43. Jezebella

    K.A., are you accusing me of being a Shakesville crossover? Not so much.

  44. K.A.

    I’m just trying to avoid that pile-on mentality that crops up to varying degrees on various blogs that has me stepping out of the feminist blogosphere for months at a time out of perpetual annoyance. I figure a reminder of that unfortunate turn of events is helpful so it doesn’t devolve into something I’ve seen happen a billion and one times before. Pardon me if you didn’t think it was going in that direction at all. It’s so tedious and wearying though.

  45. K.A.

    Emoticons, while eye-bleedingly yucky, sometimes overcome intonational deficits inherent to internetian politicking. Which is to say, a colonparenthesis resided invisibly in my serial postings.

    Off to make iced-tea! I’d make extra for Twisty and all y’all if I could.

  46. buttercup

    The perimenopause train has stopped at Buttercupia, I’m on board. I have too much estrogen, though, because I’m fat, and it over-thickens my endometrium and I have periods that are seemingly written by stephen king. That scene in kubrick’s “the shining” where the elevator doors open and all the blood comes pouring out and poor little danny is just sitting there terrified. So I’m on a low does progesterone supplement for 14 days a month. Last month, it did not help at all. Unless getting up every hour at night to pee is somehow “helping”. But the gynie won’t do an endometrial ablation, because I’m at “risk” for uterine cancer because I’m fat and being fat what with the excess estrogen makes the endometrial lining thicker which can lead to cancer but if you fry the endometrium then it’s not going to do that is it? And I’m not a good candidate for a hysterectomy apparently because I’m not anemic. FFS. IBTP, and REDRUM.
    There have been a few hot flashes, but mostly I’m just at a higher temperature in general. Nights are worst. Between the hot and the peeing, there isn’t much sleep. It’s been about two years, maybe a little more, and this cannot end soon enough.

  47. Gayle

    I flat out asked for advice and thank everyone who was kind enough to respond.

    I’ll even offer a couple of other tips I’ve picked up in return:

    If you suffer insomnia, don’t drink red wine before you go to bed or anywhere near the time you go to bed. Don’t drink a lot, period.

    My doc recommends melatonin for insomnia. It doesn’t do much for me but she claims it has helped some of her other patients.

  48. TotallyDorkin

    Intent is not fucking magic.

    I have a friend who’s boyfriend is taking one of these male enhancement pills, and she reports that it actually works, and that she loves it. I was so shocked because the gross sleazy misogyny and disgusting sexism of those infomercials always convinced me that they could not actually have a product that worked as advertised.

  49. Lidon

    Sounds like the placebo effect to me.

  50. Ottawa Gardener

    @buttercup: The perimenopause train is here too though I have to say it came a little early. I second what you say about the torrential downpour and heck I’m not that lipid endowed but estrogen endowed? Apparently yes. I suppose I am avoiding night sweats for the time being.

  51. Rididill

    ‘I’m just trying to avoid that pile-on mentality that crops up to varying degrees on various blogs that has me stepping out of the feminist blogosphere for months at a time out of perpetual annoyance.’

    K.A. – what exactly are you talking about? I’m intrigued. Meanwhile, I have been spending so much time on the feminist blogosphere lately that the mainstream media looks even more horrific than it did before. Sigh.

  52. K.A.

    Perhaps it’s not as big of a problem these days, Rididill; but you know that flaggellation/pile-on dynamic that pervades places like “Sh-ville”? Where there’s no shortage of people looking for reasons to find infractions where there are none just to wag a finger that initiates a beat-down by the rest of the commenters? Weird power dynamics take hold even in places that attempt to have none. It’s like a self-righteous version of an in-group out-group baboon troupe struggle. So anyway, there was a time that phenomenon wasn’t limited to Shakesville, but flooded the whole social justice blogosphere. I don’t know about recently, though — it seems all cool here, as far as I can tell! And Twisty allows dissent on hot-button issues that she doesn’t agree with, so I like it here on Digital Death Savage Island.

  53. buttercup

    Ah yes, the pile on that occurs when folk are asked to do things like respect each other, refrain from using oppressive language, cease referring to people as “lame” and “retarded”, that sort of thing. The oppression of basic human decency, as it were.

  54. Jezebella

    God forbid I get my nose out of joint because I got a big all-caps F U from another blamer. It frankly chaps my ass that, if I were to reply with my USUAL response to an F U, I bet I’d get a scolding.

  55. laughingrat

    Preach it, Buttercup. “You’re oppressing me by asking me not to oppress you” (or referring to a desire not to be oppressed as a “preference”) is P-speak, pure and simple.

  56. tinfoil hattie

    Well, Sh-V also has very stringent rules about what constitutes a “trigger” (everything except the actual word, “trigger”; I kid you not) and whether and how one may disagree with the blog writers. It’s way more than just, “please don’t say ‘lame’ or ‘gay’ or ‘crazy.'”

  57. Jill

    “Out of curiosity, were you wanting sympathy or advice?”

    Ha! I endeavored, as you surmise, only to give a humorous account of a hideous affliction. After over 5 years of this shit, I’ve exhausted every option and have now settled into a sort of grim resignation.

    Also, Jezebella is a veteran blamer of the first water and no way deserves a fuck you on this blog, ever. So watch the tone, Ginjoint, OK?

    I hear you on the anti-depressants, Athena. Whoa. Against my better judgement I let my oncologist dope me up with Cymbalta one time (not for hot flashes, for “neuropathy”), and my lobe blew about 47 times before I flushed that shit down the crapper.

  58. Jill

    @KA: no, we still get pile-ons here, from time to time. People on the internet can sure get touchy. More’s the pity. After the really ugly ones I usually write some chiding, can’t-we-all-just-get-along post that everybody ignores.

    The angry mob mentality is a product of domination culture and has no place here on the Island.

  59. Rididill

    Isn’t that just cos everyone on there is so fucked off by the usual public response to someone being offended by something, which is basically ‘shut and up like it, otherwise you’re an uptight fun-vampire who will suck all the enjoyment out of humanity itself?’

    And the person who complained originally is usually left isolated and humiliated for having said something in the first place.

    In these cases, the inverse happens, which is someone speaks up about their offense and everyone else supports them for it…

    I don’t really read Shakesville. I have found this exasperating at times, mostly over my shameful love affair with the word ‘retard’, but I do acknowledge this comes from privilege. I prefer it to the other patriarchy version, anyhoo.

  60. Friend of Snakes

    Gurlz plz.

  61. Amrit

    My heartfelt empathy to all out there dealing with menopausal symptoms. I, too, have had the Stephen King monthly bloodbath, the roller coaster PMS resulting in homicidal gestures, and the hot flashes. The only thing that comes even close to relief for me is no sugar, no alcohol , no white flour, and running for 35-45 minutes a day. I am still a maniac but my physical symptoms are better. The other thing that helps me is an aggressive diet of blaming the patriarchy to all in earshot. Oh, and loudly discussing my menstrual history and menopausal symptoms at work when with the guys.

  62. susanw

    The “women want a big dick” myth is a great reinforcer of the P. It’s a handy way to avoid confronting the possibility of treating us like human beings, it reduces sexuality to penetrative mechanics, and best of all displaces men’s anxiety and fascination with other men’s dicks. The obsession with Get it up, Get it hard, Get it big, is power over, not sensual mutuality, and has fuck-all to do with women’s satisfaction. “Male enhancement” and “erectile dysfunction” medications are pharmaceutical weapons in the war against women.

  63. Nolabelfits

    Besides being gruesome and sad, the Pos-T-Vac commercials are hilarious.

  64. Saurs

    Dudes who are this desperate for big dicks see dicks as a weapon. That women exist who actually prefer big dicks is irrelevant, at best, to said dudes, because the implicit assumption is that women who express this preference are idiots and don’t know what they’re “in for,” the implication being big dicks can only be used one way, that is, roughly and for punishment.

    Its sorta like the popular notion of a “rape fantasy.” Dudes have rape fantasies all the time (the kind in which they’re doing the raping, or the kind in which some babe of any sex is molesting them in a completely consensual fashion). Dudes can actually act out fantasies of the former kind.

    Women’s “rape fantasies,” on the other hand, are virtually impossible to achieve, because they’re not (exclusively) about rape or violence, per se, but about driving some highly desirable dude / woman / group of folk so fucking crazy with your bad self that they can’t help but ravish you in ways you totally want and approve of without having to Talk About It (because, eww, ladies can’t discuss sex). Female “rape fantasies” are just the natural and inevitable culmination of all the social conditioning we receive throughout our lives about our role in sex, which is to look cute and docile and hope the right fella comes along and reads our mind and does exactly what we want without our having to tell him, ‘cos Dudes Just Know, or, at least, Know Better.

    Dudes hear about this kind of fantasy (an egostroke, like any other fantasy, in which impossibly hot folk want you rightnow) and instead of concluding that “gee, ladies dig sex, too, and in a variety of ways, even with other women or whatnot,” they think: Insatiable Sex Kittens Like It Rough. Same with the big dick thing: we’ve now reached the point at which a woman, in certain circles, with the right audience, in the right setting, and if she looks a certain way and is young enough and is of the right social class, can proclaim, yeah, I like dick, whatevs, meaning she likes heterosexual sex, penetrative sex, P-I-V, blowjobs, something, but all certain dudes want to know is how they can make something a lady likes into something she doesn’t quite like. It’s such an insecure reaction: ladies like cock now? Better make mine extra meaty, to teach ’em to cower sufficiently, like they’re supposed to.

  65. Jill

    “all certain dudes want to know is how they can make something a lady likes into something she doesn’t quite like.”

    Ha! Nice blaming.

  66. K.A.

    Dudes who are this desperate for big dicks see dicks as a weapon.

    Hear, hear! Hence the fantasy that 120%* of all men have wherein penetrating a woman makes her say “ow,” among the less sadistic of preferred reactions indicating her successfully subordinated status.

    Dicks are about men’s egos approximately 120%* of the time.

    *impossibly inflated to be commensurate with typical boastful exaggerations of phallus length**

    **if size weren’t really a dick-waving contest among men, for men, then they’d know it’s girth that matters. OR SO I HEAR.

  67. Ayla

    “all certain dudes want to know is how they can make something a lady likes into something she doesn’t quite like.”


    Apparently the right 21 words was all it took to say something I have been trying to say for a long time now.

  68. yttik

    “.. then they’d know it’s girth that matters. OR SO I HEAR”

    Ha! Actually, none of that matters. What makes it sometimes desirable is when they stop having sex with their own dicks and realize there’s an actual person at the other end. Or so I’ve heard.

  69. K.A.

    Exactly. It is a perfect horrifying summation. Anal sex? Yup! Deep-throating? Yup! BDSM? Yup! When women relinquished religious guilt for having sex and became liberal about it, men had to make it degrading to get what they wanted from it again: an act of subordination.

    I never had a sexual experience in which I didn’t feel abused. Men express their misogyny sexually, after you’ve consented, and it’s traumatic (at least for me). I never knew what to call it — I’d think “it’s not rape because I consented. But I didn’t consent to THAT! (i.e., hating me sexually instead of having sex).”

    But yeah, Saurs. Yeah.

  70. tinfoil hattie

    Ha ha ha haaaa! Can’t stop laughing at the excellent dick-blaming. It goes right along with porn: Chicks want a big dick sawing away at them for hours. Only they don’t really. So that makes it better! Because watch me pull this chick’s leg out of the way so you dudes out there can see me sawing away at her and hurting her! Careful what you ask for, bitches!

    Better make mine extra meaty, to teach ‘em to cower sufficiently, like they’re supposed to.

    Tremendous. Just tremendous.

  71. AlienNumber

    The title of this blog post is so effin brilliant and funny, it’s stopping me from thinking about much else right now.

    oh except for big dicks and how horrifying they are (to me).

    Speaking of dick, I have a joke:
    Q: What do you call that piece of skin at the head of a penis?

    A: A man.

    (Hilarious, right?)
    Anyway, these erection- and member- enhancing drugs just can’t be healthy for a human male in the long-run (not that I care, really). But do you think it’s maybe the beginning of the end of patriarchy when men are starting to be publicly treated as life-support systems for bigger and BIGGER dicks?

    From the intersection of tasteless jokes and Big Pharma phobia, yours truly.

  72. Treefinger

    Antidepressants are pretty generally given out like candy, here in the UK too. It benefits me because without easy access to citalopram I would be in a Blame Coma 24/7, but for those who report something that has nothing to do with depression (my friend was offered them for his paranoid schizophrenia when at most he should have been offered anti-psychotics) or even any other form of mental disturbance the tendency to throw SSRIs at them is infuriating and nonsensical.

  73. Valerian

    My current birth control (Implanon) gives me hot flashes that I suspect are pretty minor and they still make me so sleep deprived I’m homicidal. It’s probably for the best that I’m 95% likely to spend my middle/old age as an Awesome Animal Lady. (There is nothing crazy about having as many animals as long as you have the time and money for their care.) The “breathable” waterproof mattress liners they make for bedbugs help keep my mattress from turning into a federally protected wetland through sheer night sweat power, but only barely. I feel your (sweaty, exhausted) pain. The electric bill in the summer is vaguely terrifying even though the weather here is pretty mild.

    On the subject of “enhancement” pills: One of the exes would constantly bring them up, wanting reassurance that he had the biggest cock in all of time and space. I have high functioning autism, subtlety isn’t my strong point. I didn’t realize this was a (to anyone else) transparent bid for ass-kissing, I thought he was asking for my honest opinion. I always said, “I feel like your anatomy is pretty normal but I guess if you really want to try it, it’s your money.” He decided to fake-dump me (I’m sure everyone knows the tactic) a few months later. Again assuming sincerity, I cheerfully accepted, saying “You’re right, I don’t think this is working out either, we’d make better friends.” Not the answer he wanted (crying and begging, I think). He threw the mother of all hissy fits, I changed my phone number and email address. Bullet dodged.

    I now consider any mention of penis size a deal-breaker and the offender will be dumped without further notice.

    The perils of heterosexuality.

    Size doesn’t make a damn bit of difference (having tested extensively), it’s not being a total selfish asshole that matters.

  74. Ginjoint

    Thanks for the obviously-needed reminder of my place on the totem pole here on the island! Back to read-only mode until I get stupid again!

  75. Jill

    “There is nothing crazy about having as many animals as long as you have the time and money for their care.”

    As long as (and this is not directed at you personally, Valerian) one recognizes the actual limits of one’s abilities, facilities, dough, and endurance. Sometimes the animal collector is not the best judge of that. According to the modest amount of research I’ve conducted on animal hoarding, a common belief among the hoarders is that they are excellent caretakers, often convinced that nobody else could care for their animals as well.

    Nobody needs a bunch of pets. Unless you’re a breeder or a rescue, which in 99.9% of cases you shouldn’t be, two dogs/cats should suffice. One for your companion, and the other as a companion for the first when you’re out. Any more than that is noisy and unsanitary.

    Flame away, cat ladies!

  76. Lisbeth

    @Buttercup – “I have periods that are seemingly written by stephen king” Hilarious! I am too young to know anything about menopause, but this I can relate to.
    On the subject of penises – everyone needs to check out a horror movie called “teeth”. Although, it really should have been filed under the comedy section. It’s about a godbagger teenage girl with vagina dentata. She discovers her mutation when she unconsciously chops off her rapists penis. Later on, she harnesses her powers for good by severing the penises of other rapists. Comedy gold.

  77. K.A.

    Treefinger, not to derail, and not to speak specifically on your buddy who may have needed antipsychotics too at that time, but just to clarify the topic a bit: believe it or not, research has shown SSRIs have tremendous value in treating schizophrenia. Even more amazingly, people with early signs of the disorder who go on them are much less likely to ever get it, and it works better than even taking antipsychotics preemptively. It turns out there is a serotonergic abnormality in the grand scheme of what’s going wrong (among many other things), and the dopamine system isn’t necessarily the primary culprit — just one part of the whole debilitating shebang.

  78. K.A.

    Twisty? This will come too late, but I keep getting stuck in moderation now because of that other post with naughty words in it. Of my two detained units of blamer invective, the latter is the one that is edited properly.

  79. TwissB

    Speaking of penis modification, this morning’s AOL brought the story of a woman who fed her estranged husband a drug-laced dinner, tied him to the bed when he fell asleep, sliced off his penis and popped it into the garbage disposer which she tidily turned on. Professing themselves “shocked,” police retrieved the severed pieces and took them with the victim to the hospital.

    On another front, the clever ad boys behind the “Got Milk” campaign for the California Milk Processor Board had another run at the notion that milk suppresses the raging behavior of women at PMS time. The ads portray images of nervous repulsive-looking men bestowing milk jugs along with such headlines as “I apologize for the mutual misunderstanding that was clearly my fault” and “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant.” There’s even an internet site offering such assiatance to beleaguered men as an exercise video for getting the doggy-eyed expression in shape.

    Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon.com respond: “It speaks directly to that tired old idea that a woman’s problem is a man’s inconvenience,” she wrote. “The milk board just might find a whole lot of rampaging female consumers suddenly feeling lactose-intolerant.”

  80. Jezebella

    Lisbeth, Teeth is on my Netflix queue, but I’m worried about it. Does the “using powers for good” outweigh the rapey-ness on film?

  81. K.A.

    Yeah, plus the whole vagina-dentata-qua-invention-of-paranoid-male-projection thing. “The vagina could be as dangerous as my penis is!” Though it could be seen as reappropriation of such a fantastical male delusion, which is probably the aim.

  82. Athena Andreadis

    Off-topic, but prompted by K.A.’s note two posts above: My comments invariably get stuck in moderation for days, although they tend to be short and free of flagworthy terms. Am I inadvertently violating a site policy?

  83. OlderThanDirt

    @Buttercup, I had the ablation done several years ago and it saved my life. I can only encourage you to persevere in your quest to find a doctor to allow you to have it. I had a fibroid in the wall of the uterus that was just barely small enough for the doctor to do the procedure. Looking back I’m not sure why the presence of the fibroid would have made a difference, all I remember is the extreme relief when I was no longer having 6-week periods where I felt like I was peeing my pants.

    I’m not sure who asked about not being told about how long this menopause shit lasts, but I sure wasn’t told. Actually, I got the same answer to every question I ever asked about it, “Every woman is different.”

  84. buttercup

    @olderthandirt, I plan to press the issue after my “3 or 4 month trial” with the progesterone is over. Currently on month two.

  85. Valerian

    Good points on the hoarders front.

    On the limit of two… well, I suppose it depends on the individual animals and the amount of time/energy/money you’re willing to put into ensuring they’re not noisy and unsanitary. Two is way too many for some people, like my wonderful neighbors, who let their human-aggressive pomeranians roam unleashed. One is too many for the kind of human filth who stake their dog out 24/7 as some kind of living lawn ornament.

    I have three, just so I’m not avoiding the obvious question. They are furry gangsters holding me at hairball-point.

  86. Jezebella

    Valerian, do you live on my block? I just today called animal control because my neighbors have a boxer mix chained to a tree non-stop, usually without food or water, and she barks piteously, anxiously, all day and all night. If I hadn’t seen her person trying to teach her how to fight, I’d go steal her and take her to the Animal Rescue joint. Unfortunately I think she’d take my arm off. Bastards. The previous tenants had a little Benji-looking dog chained to a tree 24/7, and totally ignored it. What the hell is the point of having a dog if you’re just going to chain it in the backyard? I don’t get it. It makes me sad and angry.

  87. Valerian

    Sadly we probably don’t, it’s horribly common. As for why, their own personal gratification when they go out and pat the soft cute thing on the head once a day. It’s so fun to watch it desperately wag its tail and cry for the least little scrap of attention you’ll throw into its miserable, hungry, thirsty little life! It makes me want to puke on them for revenge, every single time, and Animal Control usually can’t do anything.

    Living creatures as objects to dominate for our pleasure… you know what I blame. My parents did that to a dog. They did it to their kids too.

  88. Jill

    To Athena and anyone else who gets stuck in moderation for no reason: you are not violating any policy. My spamulator is old and in the way. Over the years I’ve accumulated quite the blacklist. Lots of banned IPs, lots of banned screen names. If your post contains a word that also happens to be one of the banned screen names, blam. Moderation.

    I think I have a whitelist somewhere; if I find it, I’ll add you to it.

  89. Jill

    Austin has an ordinance where it’s illegal to tie out a dog. Yay Austin! Because that shit is just rotten rotten rotten.

  90. Milly

    Speaking of “rape fantasy” and films. Anyone around here seen the film about an all female rock band? ( I assume there was only ever one) It came out about ten years ago. Anyway, one of the band members is dating a guy who wants her to act out a “rape fantasy”. After much nagging, she agrees. Dude busts into her bedroom one night wearing mask, ready to rape. Woman takes out gun, shoots him on the spot, ” didn’t I tell you that was my rape fantasy, to shoot the mf who tries to rape me on the spot!” Always think of that scene and grin, whenever someone mentions ” rape fantasies”. That’s the kind of rape fantasy I imagine most women having.

  91. Josquin

    Read an article in Scientific American: a study testing menz reactions upon seeing an image of an attractive woman. No surprise: they engaged in riskier behavior, more aggressive behavior, and were more accepting of war scenarios, and were more “in favor” of war scenarios. One of the conclusions was: men don’t rape after battle as an afterthought, but rather men engage in warfare for the PURPOSE of rape and impregnation. The destruction of communities as an aftermath of war have provided men with mucho opportunity to rape and impregnate. So they create war to get as many of these opportunities as possible. I felt quite sick seeing it spelled out like that, and so had to come here to report my revulsion. Is there any evil in the world that does not misogyny at its core?

  92. Jodie

    I had an endometrial ablation while I was in perimenopause. Afterwards, for the first time in 20 years, I was not anemic. Since that was some years ago, I believe I’ve probably completed the whole menopause thing, and other than being warm — like nuclear furnace warm — all the time, I haven’t really seen any changes. At least my toes rarely get cold in the winter now. Summers, though, are awful.

  93. Athena Andreadis

    Thank you, Jill!

    K. A. — actually the “serotonin imbalance” hypothesis that led to the explosion of prescribing SSRIs has been debunked for a while now (and many primary researchers were skeptical of it in the first place). Pharma companies only published the studies that showed positive correlations and suppressed those that showed none or showed that placebos were just as effective (with fewer side effects). Furthermore, all studies lasted six weeks maximum. Not nearly long enough to identify and evaluate long-term effects.

    There are several books on this topics. One that discusses several instances of lousy medicine is Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre.

  94. AlienNumber

    Dear Jill, if I could also be re-added to the good list (off which I have been kicked when I argued the wrong (?) things on the topic that shall not be named) I’d be very grateful – not because I intend to make more tasteless penile jokes here (okay, maybe a teeny bitty one here and there once in a while) but because it makes me very anxious to see yellow and I feel like I am failing as a feminist.

    Yes, that above was self-indulgent. Apologies.

    On a more topical note, thanks everybody for sharing your menopause stories, this twenty something year old is learning a lot and is very grateful.

  95. Lisbeth

    @Jezebella, “Lisbeth, Teeth is on my Netflix queue, but I’m worried about it. Does the “using powers for good” outweigh the rapey-ness on film?”
    I’m not quite sure what you mean. Does the fact that the rapists have their cocks chopped off outweigh the depiction of rape on film? um, yeah. I realise the film plays on men’s fear of women and isn’t intentionally a feminist film. Like I said, it’s supposed to be a horror film. It’s also not going to win any special effects awards, but to see the main character transform from a fearful godbagger into a confident woman who is able to inflict revenge upon the men who assualt her is awesome. I found the film quite uplifting actually, in a laugh out loud kinda way.

  96. Jill

    “I found the film quite uplifting actually, in a laugh out loud kinda way.”

    Sometimes feminism is in the eye of the beholder, and you gotta take what you can get.

    Generally, the horror genre has as its core principle violent misogyny. Violence as entertainment is an inevitable outcome of applied patriarchy.

  97. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Japanese rice-husk pillows make annoying “tch-tch-tch” noises if you even think about moving. On a vacation with my sisters, they threatened to make me eat the one I’d brought along.

    So wishing for menopause. At almost 52, I still menstruate regularly. It wouldn’t be so bad, except I have fibroids up the ol’ wazoo. Due to my amazing propensity towards blood clots, all therapies except pain meds are off the table. Five days a month I’m at about 8 on the pain scale — it feels like having a 4″ dia. iron bar shoved up my ass in an effort to make it come out my lower right side.

    The only thing worse than “female problems” are the adverts for boner-enhancing or -inducing products. (My personal favorite is the Pos-T-Vac, a sort of pump for enlivening tired, aging schlongs.)

  98. tinfoil hattie

    tired, aging schlongs

    The best kind!

  99. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Lazarus Schlongs ftw!

  100. susanw

    “Is there any evil in the world that does not misogyny at its core?”
    No. You nailed it. War is the perfect storm of misogyny. I read that study with horror, too, then, after the latest rash of powerful menz behaving worse than usual, NPR discussed a study showing that feeling even a little bit more powerful makes men believe that women are attracted to them. The circularity of rape/war/power repeats enlessly.

  101. stacey

    “That scene in kubrick’s “the shining” where the elevator doors open and all the blood comes pouring out…”


    Night sweats = wool blankets and pillowcase. You still soak the bed, but at least my sweat wicks away quickly, allowing me to stay asleep. Wool is MAGIC.

    And now a plea for advice:

    I don’t know why, but my gyno said I shouldn’t get a uterine ablation, but rather that progesterone-emitting IUD thingy. Something about my just-discovered polyps make me a bad candidate, apparently. HMMM. I’d rather have an ablation, so aside from the “risk of infection” argument for the IUD, is there anything else I can arm myself with, to allow me to get an ablation?

  102. Jill

    “My personal favorite is the Pos-T-Vac”

    You know what that thing is? A flippin vacuum cleaner. The lobe reels.

  103. Jezebella

    Stacey, how about a second opinion, preferably from a lady gynecologist?

  104. tinfoil hattie

    Stacey: How about, “Thanks for the input, and I’m opting for the ablation.” Also what Jezebella said.

  105. IrishUp

    Thirding the second opinion thingy. You need to make the decision you’re most comfortable with!

    Not sure if the “risk of infection” you mentioned is because of specifics of *your* situation, but just in case it’s based on older data that linked first-generation IUDs to PID, Kate Clancy, PhD just blogged about them:

  106. regular commenter, anon for the moment

    Thanks folks – you’ve all helped. That’s a kick-ass site, Irishup!

  107. Former Blamer

    Ginjoint, your posts made me want to stand up and cheer. Thanks for standing up to that bully.

    It’s unfortunate that all you got in return was a scolding for your unladylike language, but “veteran blamers” seem to enjoy the exclusive right to beat down others around if they have been getting away with it for years already.

    The alpha-female asshole persona comes to us straight out of the patriarchy, but neither those who assume it or those who enable them seem willing to admit the irony of being a patriarchal asshole on an anti-patriarchy website.

    Bet none of them appreciate the dominance tactics when used against themselves. But for other women, especially women who disagree, it’s open season.

    And that’s why I’m (mostly) a former blamer.

  108. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    “A flippin vacuum cleaner”

    I know; right? Anyone who’d stick his dingus in the business end of a vacuum cleaner needs to have his head examined. Twice.

    No thread-jacking intended, but my office at work this morning is flooded with 3-4″ of raw sewage due to an apocalyptic thunderstorm. The smell is truly deafening.

  109. Jezebella

    Former Blamer, you’re transparent. I know who you are, and if you’re going to call me a bully, do it to my face, not sideways-like.

  110. Saurs

    You sound like you’re doin’ just fine, Former Blamer, in the blaming department. Curious though: if the “alpha-female asshole persona comes to us straight out of the patriarchy,” what are the origins of passive-aggressive anony whingers who swoop in days late trying to stir up the fucking shit for no good reason?

  111. stacey

    There’s about ten hours between the first response and Jezebella’s question (to Twisty, I assumed, since who else would we be talking to on this blog). There are at least eight advice-giving posts; Ginjoint’s is about halfway through, and a good two+ hours before Jezebella asked “out of curiosity.” Her own I assumed.

    So, what I’m wondering is, how the heck did you think this was directed at you, Ginjoint?

  112. Jezebella

    Oh, stacey, you won’t get an answer. Ginjoint has huffed off to sulk, and Former Blamer doesn’t enjoy reasoned discourse. Thanks for trying, though.

  113. Rididill

    Hi Valerian – have you considered non-hormonal contraceptives, like the copper IUD? I spent years of misery trying to make hormones work for me until I realised that I didn’t have to. Just a suggestion, I don’t want to get caught up in this clearly historical and loaded argument that seems to be going on but I don’t really understand.

  114. Fictional Queen

    Maybe men are incapable of satisfying women,so they convince themselves that the reason is because women are insatiable (just like how they don’t understand women and their great logical explanation is:women are incomprehensible,because God forbid anything be men’s fault) and convince themselves if only they had huge ones they would be able to satisfy them!

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