Jun 102014

Women talk. We talk explicitly. If you don’t know this then you are probably male. We tend to get vague when we discuss masturbation. Sure, we may share a review of a vibrator or a lube that you have enjoyed but we never talk about how we enjoy solo sex. What we know statistically is that women do not masturbate as much as men. Men are expected to masturbate while women are still considered asexual until coitus. Women know this to not be the facts but we will not set the record straight.
women masturbation 300x300 Women and Masturbation

The history behind female masturbation is both bizarre and telling of societal attitudes of women being sexual without a man.

– Women were thought to suffer insomnia and hysteria due to external stimulation of the sexual organs.

– The invention of the chastity belt was not only to limit coitus but also genital touching.

– Signs of sexual enjoyment even with your husband was considered wrong and blamed on the clitoris.

– Clitorectomies were performed to control women’s hysteria.

– Sylvester Graham and Caleb Jackson invented the graham cracker and hydropathic therapy, cold baths, showers, etc, to curb masturbation.

– Freud saw female masturbation childish and that as soon as a woman has experience with a real penis it should/would stop.

– John Harvey Kellogg not only performed gruesome surgeries on men and women to stop them from masturbating, he also encouraged yogurt enemas and vegetarianism to promote healthy living and avoid the heinous act.

Even today, with all the political rhetoric, the same themes continue. The issue of choice versus religious ideals is not just a question of abortion but also a revisiting of an age old debate, is a woman allowed to be sexually mature without a man? Is a woman allowed to make choices about her sexual organs or are they the domain of man? Allowing a woman to choose what happens to her body is tantamount to allowing a woman to orgasm sans a phallus. Even though most of us have no issues with men and their penis, the ability to masturbate ultimately makes a penis obsolete for the purposes of sexual release. That would definitely put a crimp on controlling women.

The disparity of woman masturbation versus male does not end in frequency. Women masturbate in a million different ways. Some of them are:

– Hand to genital stimulation

– Vibrator

– Straddling a pillow (humping- providing friction to the clitoris)

– Water – shower massage

– Force of thought

– Crossing legs and tightening the leg muscles thus creating pressure on the clitoris

Each woman has their own way of doing it and become proficient at reaching orgasm quickly which is a tremendous aid when they have sex with a partner.

Men historically believed that the only way a woman could orgasm is if a phallus was introduced to the vagina. When they realized that the clitoris was the heart of the female orgasm, the nub was demonized and given a mind of its own; projection of how men envisioned their own members caused women more grief than anything else.

While men are expected to masturbate starting in early adolescence and throughout their life, women have only recently gained some respect in the field of masturbation. However, masturbation for women must only occur when they are adults and only because they are not with a man. The advent of the sex industry and the innovations in sex toys has only opened up the discussion on female masturbation which can only result in positive things for women. In the end, anything that promotes sexual satisfaction in either sex is a positive thing for society; happy people make happy couples which make happy communities and a happy world. And, ultimately, isn’t that the point of all of this?

Jun 052014

Sex. CoupleDumb likes to bring up the subject a few times a year to remind everyone that sex is a normal function. What we usually don’t talk about is how the outside world messes up our sex-life. If it isn’t the government getting in our business, it’s the church or our parents or family members that do not approve or society saying it has to look a certain way. Sex has become a topic of discussion with the same passion rating as discussing taxes or the economy. Sure, it will get you hot but not the fun kind of hot.

eye chart Its OK To Masturbate

This week we have been discussing masturbation and this topic gets as much outrage from some groups as flag burning. Have you ever wondered why? We know everyone does it (mostly). We know that it is a natural sexual response. We know that it relaxes people and teaches them to understand their body and how to make them aroused. We know that masturbation is a great cure for a headache and even migraines! So what’s the big deal about a little self-pleasure?

In a word: SHAME

Shame is the killer of all erections and orgasms. People are vocal about masturbation because we were taught that it was dirty and, because we did it, we were dirty. Then we grow up and continue to spread the lies that masturbation is a dirty thing and tell our kids that they will grow hair on their palms and go blind and become crazy and a sex fiend and like acid jazz and tofu!

Remember Dr. Joycelyn Elders? She was the American Surgeon General for about 5 minutes because she had the audacity to recommend that encouraging kids to masturbate may curb the spread of AIDS. What a fiend! She was saying that masturbation was healthy and may help kids avoid acting out irresponsibly due to lack of sexual release. Dr. Elders, a pediatric endocrinologist, was a strong advocate of teaching Sex Ed to children. People with incredible sex shame hear this as a call to have third graders swinging and having orgies during recess. Educating kids about sex is the first line of defense against the shame-filled troglodytes who think that Sex Ed is ridiculous. Of course, these same Neanderthals would prefer that everyone learn about sex the way they did- looking through Daddy’s magazine collection and getting misinformation from your older sibling and fumbling around in the back seat of a car.

Masturbate. Teach your kids that it is O.K. to do it. Explain that sex is a beautiful thing and we need to be responsible. Sexual Education is important in the classroom and at home. Arming your children with the right information will safe-guard them from learning to feel ashamed about that part of their life. We know we don’t like thinking of our children growing up and being sexually active but the bigger horror is thinking that they will grow up and have horrible sex because we were too afraid to speak up.

May 112014

I have not been a fan of this day since I became a Mom. My first Mother’s Day was marred by crass family members who chose not to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day based on the fact that I was not their Mother. I was young. I was sensitive because we had adopted our daughter after years of infertility and, 21 years ago, adoption was not as common. I didn’t like Mother’s Day and now this year, I dread Sunday. This is my first Mother’s Day since my Mom passed away in February.

mamuchi with girls 300x265 Mothers Day And Loss

Since my Mother’s passing, I have worked at grieving appropriately; I let the feelings come up as I have them. I cry. I laugh. Mostly, I just miss her. As life goes on, I am barraged by moments where I just want to share them with her. But I can’t. I want to call her and tell her about my life, Bobby’s braces and Ricky’s latest invention. I want to hear her scold me for not calling her. I want to hear her tell me the same story over again, replete with exaggerations and word for word conversations.

My Mom was a complex person. She was barely an adult when she left Cuba with my sister. My Father had fled the country 6 months before them because he was wanted by the police for his anti-revolutionary dealings. My Mom was not really prepared for any kind of work. In Mexico, while waiting to get their U.S. residency, my Mom was a manicurist. When she came to the U.S., she worked in a factory where she learned that people were not necessarily nice. Every day one of her co-workers would smile at her and flip her off. My Mom had no idea what that meant. After she was informed of the meaning of the gesture, she proudly gave her both fingers and then followed it up with a Spanish tirade that the co-worker did not understand.

While my Mom was in hospice, my sister received calls from all over the country from people she had helped. We were shocked to hear of how many Cuban families she had helped get out of the country, Mexican families she had reunited and individuals who she assisted in becoming residents and citizens of this country. She was not a secretary, lawyer, paralegal or even an advocate. She was bilingual, was extremely affable and could fill out forms. My Mom could play the part that the situation warranted. If she needed someone to help, she was a flibbertigibbet. If she needed someone to back-off or back down she could unleash a circle of hell that Dante never imagined. She was proud, generous and vindictive to a fault. She was also funny, loving and giving.

I miss all her complexities. I miss her fierce love of her children and grandchildren. I miss the fact that despite her size and age, she was always ready to throw down. I am saddened by the fact that she won’t be here to see my kid’s milestones, she won’t be there to meet her first great grandchild, and she will miss the graduations and weddings and major life events and never ask Paul to take one of the centerpieces.

This weekend I feel like my grief is back to square one. I don’t feel like celebrating. I don’t want to be surrounded by people with their Mothers. If I am to be honest with my feelings, I would rather just skip this one if you don’t mind. Of course, my Mother would probably get very angry with me for this and this also is not fair to my kids. In honor of my Mom, I will put on a brave face. Inside, I will be missing her and wishing she was still here.

To all the women and men who care for kids, whether or not they are theirs, and make the breakfasts, lunches and dinners and handle the laundry and schedules and Dr.’s appointments and playdates and homework and discipline and headgear and snot and poop and all the ickyness as well as kisses and hugs for the booboos and achy hearts because Jareth won’t let Tristen play with him during recess and it makes him so sad….Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for all you do.

May 082014

The other day we introduced you to how damaging rumination can be. Rumination comes from ruminants. Ruminants are mammals that extract nutrients from plants through fermentation. This is done by chewing, regurgitating and chewing on plants all day long. Yes, rumination is chewing on cud (vomit). It is quite apropos actually. The obsessive nature of thinking the same thoughts and allowing irrational results become the basis for more worrying. Thus, thought begets crazy result which then begets more thoughts about results that you created in the first place. Ultimately, the term is more than appropriate.

cow3 300x200 You Are Not A Cow So Stop Worrying

This begs the question, are you a cow? No, you are a human being. To stay mentally healthy, human beings must work at being free of these thoughts. Our suggestion? Remember, you are not a cow.

We are including some lovely images so that you can print them and tape them on your bathroom mirror, desk at work, bedroom ceiling, refrigerator door and wherever you tend to let those thoughts get away from you.

You are welcome!

May 062014

Rumination is the root of many mental health issues. When we allow our minds to dwell, fret, stress out and excessively worry about something that may never happen or something you can never control, you are creating your own anxiety. Today, we are going to give you some healthier behaviors to rid yourself of the ruminations or at the very least, limit those pesky thoughts.

cow2 300x199 Mental Health And Cows

1. Meditation: We know. We have said this so many times before. Many think of meditation as a spiritual practice akin to praying, and it is. However, meditation is also a practice that helps us control our thoughts. Meditation was created for the purpose of controlling our thoughts so that our thoughts do not control us.

Let’s start with simply breathing in through our nose and out through our mouth for 5 minutes. Try out this website calm.com and commit to doing this at least once a day.

2. Talk about it: Most of our perseverative thoughts tend to range from fatalistic to absurd to completely ridiculous. When we say things out loud, we bring our deepest, darkest secrets into the light and let our friends and loved ones talk us down and point out the lack of reality within these thoughts. Talking about those crazy thoughts reduces our stress and distress. Don’t be afraid. We all have the crazy thoughts.

3. Monitoring our thoughts: One of the self-help tools anyone can use is simply some punishment. Wear a runner band around our wrist. When pesky thoughts come up, SNAP! We know. It seems simple and it is. When we learn to monitor our thoughts and pair it with a little pain, we also are learning to control our thoughts. This technique is used in addiction also. Why? A habit is a habit and rumination is the root of many bad habits.

4. Distractions: One of the things that we do when we ruminate is waste our mental energy on thoughts that do not serve us. Distraction is not just a euphemism but a real technique that interferes with our constant catastrophizing. Think of it like creating some ADD for our unhealthy thoughts. Ooh, mangos! Whether we do push-ups or turn on some music and do some dancing, a distraction needs to be a complete about face from the thoughts and we have found that activity is the best form of distraction. Take a walk. Do some sit-ups. Make out with your significant other. Do something.

Next up on CoupleDumb, some printables to help with your anxiety.