Our Relationship With Pubic Hair

I’m eating hot wings and talking to my friend about pubic hair. We both think the same. It’s, you know, a woman’s choice what she does to her body. But I think of myself at sixteen. Head hung over Cosmopolitan, direct orders to rip hair-from-pubis, root deep, some unknown shame. I think of all the things I believed so headstrong as though

there were only

one

truth.

Dirty, clean, beautiful, tidy, proper, sexy, messy, old, young.

$65 dollars a month and a strange woman spreads your legs and applies hot wax to your labia majora and rips it out while she asks you about your weekend plans, flip over, spread your ass cheeks apart, warm and numb.

There are some nights where I sit and I look at my schedule and I look at my bank account and I ask myself if I can afford the time and the money to do this to myself. I think of the way it will make me feel. That moment when you leave the salon and you are completely smooth and slightly warm. This few moments where, really, I do love it. Knowing what it’s like to be slightly sea-creature. Slippery and anti-porous.

My friend and I agree that with age has come some better understanding. It happened the first time a man looked at me after I hadn’t shaved for a few weeks. And he said:

 

You look like

 

 

A woman.

 

And you wonder what all that fuss has been about. And you stop missing the grow out. The itching. And you stop spending the money. And then, that moment comes for you.

 

I look

 

Like a woman.

 

I am woman. I am me. I am in this body and this body is the body of a woman. And he is looking at me as though I am sexy even though, I think, perhaps I have been told

That the way I am is not right.

And yet.

There was that day, and it came where I found some in-between from what people told me I ought to look like and what I actually liked to look like.

It is not one or the other. To say pubic hair is feminine makes a statement against an industry that tries to tell women they need to look a certain way. It generates no disregard to women who continue to chose, and love to chose, a lack of hair.

Reasons I didn’t like pubic hair:

  1. It looks sexier when you have no hair
  2. It looks cleaner when you have no hair
  3. It feels cleaner when you have no hair
  4. You can’t wear sexy lingerie when you have hair
  5. Sexy lingerie feels weird when you have hair
  6. The hair gets in the way of having sex
  7. The hair gets in the way of oral sex
  8. I don’t like the way the hair feels
  9. I don’t like the way the hair looks
  10. I don’t want to be the girl who has hair

Reasons I don’t like pubic hair now:

  1. Sometimes I just feel like trying something else out.
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How To Deal With Flowback

The Optimist

I’ll close my legs and just lay here for a while, bonding with my partner. It will seep into the walls of my vaginal canal / up my cervix and won’t be an issue.

The Realist

I’m going to stand up and it’s going to go everywhere and if I had any fucks to give I literally just gave them all.

The Polite Waddle

I’ll cross my legs and slowly roll off the bed onto the floor, making sure that no fluids escape. Then I’ll carefully stand up and wiggle my way to the nearest box of tissues.

The Picasso

Stick fingers in vagina. Smear across your partners chest in a creative gesture.

The Simba

Stick fingers in vagina. Smear across your partners face.

The Sleep N’ Dry

Fall asleep and wake up eight hours later when you realize your legs are wet and itchy.

The Sleep N’ Dry UTI

See above, with consequences.

The Gentleman

You don’t have time to think about what you’re going to do. Your partner already got up and cleaned themselves off in the time it took you to catch your breath. They’ve offered you tissues, a towel, a fresh shirt, a bottle of water, and a standardized survey on how the experience could be improved next time.

 

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Learning You Are Capable Through Experience

When you’re a kid, you are capable in part because you don’t know better. Then you enter this nebulous where lesser adults walk around on stilts and Wah Wah at you, afraid of your inevitable pain and hurt. Eventually you relearn that you are, actually, capable. Then, if you have kids, the cycle repeats itself to some degree.

I am at my first ever job that provides health and dental insurance. Tomorrow I get to call the marketplace and tell them that the $100 bill they sent me is no longer applicable. I get to make appointments for massages and acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments and pap smears and birth control and dental cleanings and xrays.

Bye bye, baby

Because I’m changing insurance providers I’m also entering closing sessions with the therapist I’ve been seeing for the last year and a half. It’s eased in part by the fact that I had been ramping down our sessions with my new work schedule. Call it mental health weening lite. If you can work it this way, I’d highly recommend it rather than going cold turkey. Once I go off I’ll start the process of finding someone new.

First six months – weekly appointments

Next six months – bi weekly appointments

Last six months – monthly appointments

Further Introspection

Jason and I have both been focusing a lot on introspection the last year and looking at our own lives and where our own weaknesses and strengths are. It wasn’t something we could completely do for each other, even though we were, technically, doing it together. Now my therapist asks me how I think I have grown in the last year and I have real tangible answers for her. I am better able to articulate my concerns. I am less anxious overall. I put up with less bullshit. I let things go. I embrace negative emotions.

For the first time I can differentiate between “I want to do something” and “I understand how to do it and feel capable.”


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Weekly Update: Damn, Son.

Yoast says my SEO for this post is bad BUT YOAST CAN SUCK IT.

Elizabeth Friedland fosters children, as a single, working woman

Setting the bar so high for doing something good and hard and important. The older I get the more I see my ability for stretching myself grow. I can take care of myself and I can be there for my friends and I can get my work done and there is still something left over. A small accomplishment compared to this.

Portland: Hot as Balls / Glad I don’t have balls

Nothing else to say here, just really glad I don’t have testicles this season.

Our President, still not very good at pretending he’s not a scumbag

Here he is acknowledging Brigitte Macron’s body inappropriately. Trump kind of talks about women like, y’know, meat. It was a fine cut, wow. Grass fed. Beautiful. Sorry France.

General status update

Hair is longer nao. I curl for snek look. Sssssss.

Infidelity: a thesis

My on this day reminded me that a year ago I was in the heat of writing about infidelity! My thesis was about how women experience guilt before, during, and after infidelity in unique ways because of gender roles. Check out this post from July 13th, 2015 // What Leads to Infidelity?

Um, debt repayment?

I came up with a plan to pay off all my debt (~$10,000) before I turn 30! If I even make it 90% of the way there I’ll feel pretty accomplished. This does not include my student loans which are basically an inoperable growth that has suctioned itself onto my internal organs, slowly leeching away my ability to lead a productive life. But we’ve got progress.

What’s in and What’s out

In: Middle of the night sleep sex, middle of the night off-brand oreos, eating entire avocados cut up so you can’t directly see the amount of avocado you’re eating, rescuing bugs from the office and putting them outside, buying beer based on what the cheese counter guy says would be a good pairing, buying a $10 bottle of argan oil from amazon instead of a $50 bottle of oil from sephora jesus mother fucking christ.

Out: CRINKLE CUT FRENCH FRIES. $50 PICTURE FRAMES – THEY’RE JUST PIECES OF WOOD IN A SQUARE. MEN ASKING ME WHY IM NOT SMILING. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY. Sit down, let me tell you a story. One day your mother fell in love. Her and your father made love one night in a room full of candles and nine months later she held you in her arms and she cried on your newborn skin. She raised you. She taught you how to walk, how to read. She laughed when she discovered your favorite food was brocolli. You liked to watch the old shows in black and white and you dreamed about what your life was going to be like when you grew up. AND NOW HERE YOU ARE, ON THE SIDEWALK, SCRATCHING YOUR NUTSACK. I CAN LITERALLY SEE YOUR TEETH FALLING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH HOLE, AND YOU’RE TRYING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH ME. IM SAD BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN INTO A GALAXY OF STARS AND THIS IS WHAT YOU MADE OF IT.

 

(Then I fall into deep dispair about the prison industrial complex and honestly I can’t so let’s just say the sadness is a deep complex sad spiral about drug use and poverty.)

 

/whistles.

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suggestivetongue: the newsletter

I started a newsletter.

Because if there’s anything that sums me up as a person it’s attempting to make somewhat outdated things cool again. Like fountain pens, typewriters, snail mail, and libraries. Saying that these are outdated makes my skin crawl a little bit, but you know what I mean.

I started a newsletter because I’m trying to close the gap just a little further between reader + writer. My newsletter will have exclusive content, random ramblings, doodles + drawings and behind-the-scenes looks at blog life.

They’ll be short and to the point and they won’t be trying to sell you anything. They’ll (hopefully) be short little informative bursts that make you giggle, sigh, or oooh. They’ll probably be really bad at first. So you’ll definitely want to subscribe right now.

Oh, and all my newsletters can be replied to! So if you have a question, a comment, or just want to say hi, you can just press reply!

I won’t spam you(!) You’ll get one welcome letter and one newsletter per month. That’s it. It’s kinda like a magazine but for free and you don’t even have to recycle it.

So, anyways. That’s my soapbox.

Newsletters are cool again.

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Lena Cup Review: Four Months Later

The Lena Cup Challenge

Four months ago I decided to try the Lena Cup, a highly rated and well-reviewed menstrual cup.

Now that it’s been a little while I wanted to jump back in and give some secondary thoughts and feelings on using a menstrual cup over tampons. If you want to read my initial reasons for giving a menstrual cup a try (see: I thought they were gross!) read my original post.

Lena Cup

It’s basically like not even having a period at all

One of the biggest inconveniences I experienced before using a menstrual cup was specifically related to blood itself. Going to the bathroom multiple times per day to deal with tampons.

For those who don’t use tampons (or those who don’t have menstrual cycles) tampons come in a variety of sizes. The sizes generally relate to blood flow. If you’re in a heavy-bleed month or if you’re in a heavy-bleed day, you’re going to need a bigger tampon. It’s going to absorb more blood which means you’re not going to quickly soak through it. There are also medium absorbancy tampons, light tampons, regular tampons, extra lite tampons, and all other varieties depending on the brand you choose to go with.

Riveting stuff.

If you know yourself pretty well, and your body is pretty predictable, you may be able to select the right absorbency pretty easily. Sometimes that isn’t the case.

Sometimes you choose a heavy absorbency tampon and then your uterus says just kidding and you have to pull a barely-absorbed cotton swab down and out of your vaginal canal. At other times, what was once a light bleeder, suddenly turns into a heavy bleeder, and your lite tampon suddenly soaks all the way through, down to your jeans, out through your chair.

Of course this is a logistical problem as well. You’re going to want to have a selection of tampons with you at all times so you can have what you need. It costs a lot of money and creates a lot of trash and is generally pretty unpleasant. Some women acknowledge this problem in advance and use liners of some kind (thin absorbant sheets that stick to your underwear) to absorb any likely spotting.

Note that I didn’t actually think tampons were unpleasant until I started using a menstrual cup. I used to be all about tampons! That’s because I was thinking about my options in terms of pads vs. tampons. Broadening my view to pads vs. tampons vs. cups changed things.

Long-Lasting and Flexible

The Lena Cup, like other menstrual cups, can be inserted up to 12 hours. If I wake up at insert it at 6am that means that I don’t have to take it out until 6pm. That means no fuss during my workday. When I get home I can dump it out, put it back in, and not have to think about it again until the morning.

Since the blood just all goes into one central cup, you never have to think about how much you’re bleeding. If it’s important to you to know how much you’re bleeding, you can begin evalutating how much collects over a 12 hour span, or less, if you prefer to dump it more frequently.

Some color fading was disappointing

Some color staining and fading happened to the Lena Cup in the first four months, which was disappointing. Even with proper cleaning, care, and storage, the it’s not the bright perky color it was when I got it. I’ve seen other menstrual cups make an all black version which I thought was funny but now kind of makes sense.

Lena currently only sells a variety of springy colors like pink and turquoise, and white, which must be a hot mess after three months. (But it doesn’t really matter.)

Lena Cup

Continuing to carry tampons with you, anyways

If your cycle isn’t super predictable and you don’t want to always have the cup on you, you may want to carry around tampons or pads as a backup system.

I always keep a few tampons of different sizes in my bag just in case someone asks me for one in the bathroom. It would suck to have to say no to someone who is coming to you in a desperate situation!

Four Month Conclusion

It’s a little mind boggling that there isn’t more widespread use of menstrual cups. I think a lot of people share the same stigmas that I had against them. That’s the primary reason I decided to try them in the first place, and it revolutionized pretty much everything.

Have you given the cup a try? What do you or don’t you like about it? I’m curious if using a cup has impacted your life in any significant way. Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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Going to Bed at The Same Time as Your Partner

J and I always go to bed at the same time. It has become a habitual synchrony. I pop my routine like vitamins and the next day, for having done so, I can tell the difference.

There’s something I’ve come to especially enjoy about being a morning bird, though. The quiet of the morning is different than the quiet of the night. The quiet of the night has a buzz like phone lines along the highway, an undercurrent of electricity. It’s too loud and too heavy with expectation. The morning presents itself as an empty slate.

It’s 9:00pm and I’m in bed. I’m in the middle of a mystery novel I’ve been trying to finish for months. (Tana French, In The Woods) J is reading the same series, four books down the line. I lean over and make guesses about the killer. He plays a poker face. I’m pretty sure I’m on to something.

I flop the same leg over every time. He sleeps on his right side. I sleep on my stomach with one leg up, stretching my hips as I sleep. Sometimes we spend an hour talking. Sometimes it’s hot and I’m grumpy. Sometimes we play the-bed-is-lava. Almost every night we make up a song, replacing the actual words with the name of our cat.

One of our alarms goes off, usually around 6:00am. If it’s his that goes off first my body

click click click

and shoves him like an automaton.

If it’s my alarm that goes off first, I usually jump halfway up in the air, the volume still turned all the way up from the night before.

With our life in sync like this I think about all of the little moments we share that we would otherwise miss. Our time alone together is already so limited that those extra few moments together can make all the difference.


Do you go to bed at the same time as your partner? Why or why not? What are some synchronicities that you love in your relationship?
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Weekly Update: Working, Working, Working, Crying on my Laptop

Working from 8am-5pm means that I’m up at 6am and home at 6pm. I spend most of my day thinking about how excited I am to write, but when I come home, the only thing I can muster the energy to do is sit on the couch and stare at the television.

When I was in college people used to ask me how I managed to have so much time to write. At that time I think I was pushing out about 600 posts per year.

The answer is that I was an ignorant little noodle nut. I also didn’t really think about what I wrote before I wrote it. (I still don’t really do that, but at least now I’m a little more fastiduous.)

Here’s what’s been going on:

We watched Wonder Woman and it was good

Do you think to yourself oh my god it’s 2017 and people lose their shit when a women does something successful (?) It’s great that women in the arts are finally becoming more recognized for their success and talent…  it’s also kind of bewildering to realize how far we have left to go. Does not compute.

Best Friends Getting Married

One of my very best friends got married and I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid for the first time! I also got to wear fake eyelashes for the first time. 10/10 would do again (surprisingly.) I also got to meet another long-time internet friend which just added to the excitement of the whole affair.

Gratuitious Photo of Our Cat

This is Button, she turned one this May. Last night she alerted us to a very quick and scary looking spider. While we were in the process of debating who would kill it, she scaled the bookcase, booped it on the head, chased it around for an hour, and eventually killed and ate it. I’ve never been more proud of anything in my entire life.

Fountain Pen Obsession Grows

I don’t know if you want to go down this rabbit hole (because it can be expensive) but I added a fourth pen to my pen family while I was in Canada this month. A Lamy Fountain Pen (medium nib) with a dark blue ink. It writes so incredibly smoothly and is not very expensive (~$25 on Amazon) so it’s a good introductory pen for newbies. It takes place of my previous favorite, the Pilot Metropolitan. I plan my more lengthy article-style posts on pen and paper so it helps to have a pen worth writing with.

I hope everyone has a very happy Monday. Remember, Monday’s are crap, so it’s within your right to pick up a four-shot latte Give your barista a smile because, y’know, it’s Monday for them too.


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Happy Pride, and: “Straight Pride” is a Misnomer

Pride month (June) has become an overarching celebration for all LGBTQ people. If you attend a pride event you’ll probably hear the word queer a lot. During June we celebrate diversity and the fluidity of gender and sexuality.

Listening to Dan Savage the other day in the car (which my new tedious drive home has given me the time and space to do) I heard him chat a bit about straight pride. The usual, predictable, yawn-worthy “but what about straight pride?” retorts that come about every spring.

I really like Dan’s response, because he tells listeners that straight people should have pride in their sexuality. Not in being straight, but in having the choice to be or not be as sexual as you want to be.

Your typical heterosexual cis-person doesn’t need to fight for any of the same rights that someone who is trans or gay has needed to /continues to fight for, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t different themes of identity struggle or identity celebration.

All people – regardless of gender or sexuality – can struggle with the free and open expression of sexuality. Having pride in your sexuality means celebrating you the way that you are.

It’s not actually “straight pride”

Calling it straight pride is a misnomer. We celebrate gay pride because of the struggle that non-heterosexual people have had to go thorugh, and continue to go through. It’s not about saying “hey, listen about how excited I am about being gay!” Straight people don’t need to validate the existance of their identity/sexuality because literally no one gives a shit. (Therefore, dedicating a month to celebrating how amazing being straight is would be a real dick move.) During PRIDE we remind ourselves that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t have to validate themselves, either.

But sexuality is still something we can feel proud about!

When celebrating identity and sexuality we can use that opportunity to break down the boundaries of what it means to be heterosexual. We can think more critically about what sexual orientation means and how it (and the boxes that define things like heterosexuality) limit us.

We can also use it as an opportunity to better understand why sexual expression is still under attack (see: abstinence only education, the war on women’s bodies.)

Take the month of June to focus on your LGBTQ friends and family. There will be an extra-ton of resources available to you! Read more about current issues and see where and how you can get involved. Carry froward this work forward as the year goes on.

After you get a handle on that, take some quiet time to think about what your own sexual identity means, and how you can better own it.

How are you celebrating PRIDE this month?


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How To Make Friends When You’re 28

We were at a house party with mutual friends and I was hovering around the chip table. The moment you went to the bathroom I leaned over to Shelly and said “I have to befriend her.”

This is what friendship looks like when you are 28. It’s tactical. Play one is always the same. You lean over to a mutual friend, your partner, your cat, and you whisper with awe: I have to befriend her.

You’re going on and on about all of my favorite hobbies and all of my favorite sports teams and all of my favorite foods and in my head I’m hopping back and forth clapping, in my head screaming “me too me too me too” with a basket full of vocal fry.

Instead I nod, curtly.

Yes, sports, mmhmm, you enjoy discussing sexuality with your peers, yes, that is the good time these days. 

I make a move to the bathroom and vomit all of the stress chips I just ate. Everyone brought Kettle sea salt & vinegar chips so when it comes up its like a salty, tangy wave of regret.

I come back and you’re standing in a new group of people and there’s no easy way for me to make my move into the circle. The kettle chips are wide open so I go back and start eating them again so I have something to do with my hands.

HOW TO BEFRIEND A NEW GIRL-FRIEND WHEN YOU’RE 28 AND MOSTLY COMFORTABLE WITH YOU WHO ARE BUT ALSO STILL SLIGHTLY FEEL LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IS MORE AMAZING AND MORE WONDERFUL AND SLIGHTLY MORE ADULT THAN YOU

  1. Say “I have to befriend her” out loud.
  2. Develop a comprehensive list of everything you have in common.
  3. Don’t act like a total spaz when they say “I absolutely love this [one cult movie that you thought you were the only person in the world that saw it and now, here she is, your dream girl, and now that gay marriage is legal you’d totally propose because this might be it, this is probably it] – “
  4. Oh yeah, I like [that thing] too. We should totally [that thing] sometime.
  5. NOW WAIT UNTIL SHE OPENS HER MOUTH TO AGREE AND WALK AWAY.
  6. She’ll be like oh shit this girl is so cool we have one thing in common and she wants to hang out with me maybe I need to rebalance my friend stock portfolio but she just walked away like how could she do that she must not be very desperate for friends. Oh god should I be desperate for friends?
  7. ONCE SHE BEGINS QUESTIONING EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS TO BE TRUE, WALK BACK UP, HAND HER A COLD BEVERAGE, STAND LIKE FONZIE BUT IRONICALLY.
  8. At this point she will now awkwardly ask you to hang out and it will sound like shes asking you first even though you already asked her.
  9. Tell her it’s a great idea, you’d love to hang out, it’s so nice of her to ask, let’s exchange numbers.
  10. HOLY SHIT YOU HAVE A NEW FRIEND.
  11. Don’t text them immediately. Wait like three days and then send them a gif of a bear riding a motorcycle. Type out “just like last night, so crazy” and right when you see that read receipt, PRESS SEND. Then throw your phone in a lake.
  12. You’ll see her by chance at the market, wave and say “Hey… You’re so and so, right? We should totally hang out!” DONT MAKE PLANS FOR LATER. You’re only available RIGHT NOW.
  13. Get her drunk. Tell her all of your deepest darkest secrets.
  14. Wait for her to tell you hers.
  15. OH MY GOD THAT IS SO INSANE YOU ARE SO BRAVE WOW. AMAZING. I CANT BELIEVE WE CLICK SO WELL.

Invite her to your wedding. When you have your first born, call her Auntie so and so. Send her a card in the mail once a year for no reason that just says “you’re a real sweetheart.”

ERrea erraa erra (rewinding sound)

REAL GUIDE FOR MAKING FRIENDS WHEN YOU’RE 28

  1. Find friend. Proclaim with confidence “you’re my friend now.” Don’t overthink it – you’re awesome!
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