Savage Love

Revolution Hall

Comments

1

Great answers, Dan! I can definitely get behind that "quasi-religious belief in the absolute necessity of taking something huge."

Q1 ("Sorry, sorry, sorry...") You could also try making it a game, and changing positions every time your partner says "sorry"

Q3 (not overthinking female orgasm) - I recommend erotica. Following the plot helps me forget to overthink.

4

The formula for getting comfortable farting in front of a partner is... drum roll... become an asshole. Same goes for belching. And trolling.

5

Only an asshole can fart... in front of a partner or otherwise. But just to make you all feel better, you probably did it in your sleep anyway.

6

For the lw whose mother says God bless you, why not stop worrying about the words and take it in the spirit it is meant? If someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Hannukah, do you get offended or just be glad someone took a moment to express good wished for you? You don’t have to say it back if it makes you unconfortable; you can always extend a gracious thank you and express a wish for her to have a wonderful or blessed day herself (blessings don’t have to be religious in nature although I do understand that the word has some religious connotations.)

7

The best response to "God bless you" when you are an atheist is a polite "thank you". You're acknowledging the kind thought, without pretending to believe in their imaginary sky wizard.

8

For the online dater who's only meeting people who think better people are out there: you're dodging bullets. If they don't think you're compatible enough with them to "build a relationship" with, you're not -- you both have to agree! If you meet someone who is a great match, it will fall into place without a lot of effort to "build" something. If a relationship, any relationship, is more important to you than the person, they're dodging bullets. "Difficulty committing" means they're just not that into you, and it's a huge mistake to try to force compatibility. Perhaps they could try a different site like match.com that focuses on relationships rather than dating? Otherwise, patience, and don't rely on apps for all your dating needs.

For the 22-year-old woman meeting "sad boys who need a mom," try not dating 22-year-old men. Go for late 20s to mid 30s -- any older than that, any man who'd date someone your age needs a mom.

For the semen hater, use condoms, or try a panty liner if you are in a monogamous relationship.

And for the adult child being nonconsensually blessed, just reply something like "you take care too."

9

Fubar @4, this may interest you: https://www.menshealth.com.au/couples-that-fart-in-front-of-each-other-stay-together

10

For the writer whose mother-in-law had episodes of amnesia after orgasm. Dan's answer about transient global amnesia isn't nearly as interesting or shocking as the follow-up question: How on earth did you come to talking about orgasm with your mother-in-law? I'm trying to decide if that's worse than talking about it with your mother. I think maybe it is.

11

quick orgasms for women = porn

seriously, for me it's a difference of like 20 minutes vs 2 minutes.

12

Re: post-PIV leakage, it's a problem even when you're lying down. I recommend absorbent period panties like Thinx. It's such a relief to be able to pull them on, roll over, and go back to sleep - or just go about your day. You won't even notice the leakage and can throw them in the wash with the rest of your undies. No mess, no waste, no worries.

13

Also seconding porn or erotica for women. Vibrators work for many women, but not all. Some women are too sensitive for vibrators or get nauseated by them. Being mentally turned on is often what matters, not jackhammering our bits.

14

BiDanFan@8 and strange observer@12 had far better answers than Dan. I hope that he features them in his reader roundup.

And Fichu@10--that's exactly what I was thinking!

In my opinion, if you feel that you MUST suppress a natural body function like farting, you don't have a very mature attitude about either how bodies work or the nature of your relationship. This is different from saying, "pull my finger," or shrieking, "who cut the cheese?" or other obnoxious fart-related "humor."

16

Regarding the talk with mother in law, it doesn't have to be weird. I'm close to my mother-in-law and we talk about aging all the time, especially what menopause is like in her experience and compare it to what I'm going through now. Among those topics, we've discussed our periods (flows, pain) plus various surgeries (hysterectomy, tubal) etc. We've talked about birth control options, miscarriage, pregnancy, childbirth and various side effects of all- both about our own bodies and those of others we know.

We have never discussed the acts of sex itself, but we've had plenty of talks around female biology and reproductive sex. In my experiences, these sorts of conversations are common among women who know each other well for a long time. And I could see how in the context of a conversation like this, it would be totally natural to tell if you have this condition after orgasm. I think we need to move away from any sort of awkwardness or shame around women discussing their biology with other women, especially multi-generational as there is so much the feeling that we are dealing with the unknown when often women in our own lives have been through various things before. It doesn't mean they were sitting around dishing about sex/pleasure (though I bet there are plenty of mil - dil relationships that are more like friendships and include this as well though it would necessarily have to be more one-side to not get creepy fast).

And Hunter, it could happen to her because she's also a woman who ages, not because she thinks the condition is contagious or genetic.

Those of you worrying about leakage- this is not a problem I was aware that many women had. For me, if I just pee after sex (a good practice anyway) then it seems to do the trick. I guess the posture and contractions push out the jizz too?

17

Strange @13: Thirding that not all women like vibrators. (Hi!) I find it unlikely that anyone asking for advice on how to masturbate wouldn't have already tried watching porn, but you never know, I suppose. For those who don't like porn (again, hi!) or weed, I would suggest spending a LONG time working on one's mental fantasy scenario before attempting to masturbate. It's much easier to come when one is horny than when one is not.

EmmaLiz @14: Thanks!

EmmaLiz @16: Leakage sometimes happens with me even though I also pee after sex, even if I give myself a good squeeze. Half an hour later I can be going about my business, and surprise! Spooge!

This is making me think that the phenomenon where men are turned on by things pre-orgasm that turn them off after is not confined to men. When turned on, the idea of one's partner coming inside one is hot. Afterwards, the idea and sensation of lukewarm cum dripping down one's leg is gross. Sorry, Hunter.

18

Well in the larger scheme of things, cum-inside condomless sex is a teeny minority of the sex I've had so my sample size isn't great. It requires me to be on birth control so I've never found it appealing in the first place. But when I have, I didn't experience the leaking except for dripping down my leg on the way to the toilet, and yes, it's not necessarily gross but it is annoying, especially since you can't just wipe it off before you start walking like you can if it's somewhere else on your body. Interesting- I wonder how much of this is about body differences (vaginal size, dick size, muscles, etc).

BTW have you ever noticed how in movies/books where people just suddenly get it on the woman is never on her period and never has to worry about cleaning up the jizz? This is something that always makes me laugh. No women writers on staff? Or in Brokeback Mountain when the blonde guy just flips over the brunette guy in the tent and goes to town on his ass, humping it like it's a pussy that makes its own lube? Didn't they have gay writers on staff? I'm no fun when it comes to fantasy. Stuff like that just takes me right out of the moment.

19

Emma @ 18 - "... humping it like it's a pussy that makes its own lube? Didn't they have gay writers on staff?"

The presence or absence of gay male writers on staff is irrelevent. The story depicts a relationship between two closeted men in the early 1960s. What these two clearly wouldn't have had is lubricant at the ready. They would have used saliva instead. That's what the writers failed to depict. Or maybe they wished to imply that the characters liked it rough (perhaps to convince themselves that they were "real men").

20

Saliva, yes, and surely a slower approach to the penetration and humping? I mean when I got to that scene, I just thought OUCH. Then he did it again to his wife later on, but in that case it was intentionally made to look like he was using her body with no consideration for harm done to her so at least that was a little more realistic. Still I'd assume that even in a place where macho closet guys fuck, they'd not get very far if they did it like that, right? Plus, I bet there was a lot of shit in that spontaneous session- no way those guys had clean diets or prepared ahead of time. But I always think about stuff like this- like can you imagine the disgusting smell under a corset or a wig back in the past? Or brothels on the frontier, with the cowboys in the saloons, back before antibiotics. Those women no doubt saw walking UTIs swinging through the saloon doors, smelly dick funk too. How long since they washed those long johns?

21

Emma @ 20 - "Saliva, yes, and surely a slower approach to the penetration and humping?"

Not too sure about that... A few weeks back, I was at a sex club, and some guy came up behind me while I was fucking someone else. At first he just rubbed his dick around my anal area, which was cool, but then he tried to ram it into me. No lube, no saliva, no condoms. He didn't show any concern for my health or worry that I might feel pain. And when I told him "Not without a condom", he just looked pissed off, as if there was something wrong with me.

Honestly, tons of guys are assholes when it's not their asshole.

I think about hygiene a lot, too, but you'd be surprised at the number of guys who are naturally clean inside most of the time (I'm not, so it never fails to surprise me). As for the wigs and corsets of yesteryear and the brothels of the wild west... I'm not sure cleanliness was much of a concern for anyone in those days, least of all the prostitutes, who had no means to control their sexual health and would have lost their livelihood if they refused clients on the basis of hygiene.

24

Yes but I don't think the approach they were going for is that men just want to fuck and some of them are selfish about it. Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be a sappy romance. I think what they did was take the formula for het sex scenes and not change it at all. Like there was all this sexual tension built up until they were just overcome with lust and went for it in the throes of passion. The darker haired guy was ravished, just like he'd been a blushing maiden. The blonde gets jealous that the brownheaded dude has sex with men in Mexico from time to time- over the years that they weren't even together. They just followed a het romance script. The movie is set in the 60s so it's not like there weren't plenty of both closet and open gay guys all over the world whose stories were well known enough they could've pulled from that. I think it's that it's a based on a book written by straight people that was adapted to a screenplay written by straight people for a film made by straight people. So their stereotypical sex scene was one that would work better with straight people. I mean, I don't know for sure, but my guess is that macho gay guys who are secretly in love wouldn't go straight for the butt sex before ever doing anything else?

And the prostitutes, etc, I just mean that they personally had to be constantly concerned about it, literally walking around with UTIs all the time (which are very painful) and dealing with STDs and pregnancy scares, induced miscarriages and poor abortions. Or in the old movies where people rendezvouz in a garden or at the back of a party or something and the guy lifts up the woman's skirt and fucks away, never with any trail of dripping cum later to clean up and she's never bleeding. We never have movies about any of this, it would kill the romance genres, lol. No fumbling with tampons or condoms or lube or loose bowels. ha ha ha

25

lol cocky, that's the sort of thing I'm talking about. I know a scene like that would turn a romance into a comedy but that's exactly the sort of thing that I'd find hilarious in a movie. Hope you were at least in a bathroom that had paper towels and not just those blow driers.

26

Well then Cocky, I guess it's more accurate than I know. Maybe Larry McMurtry and Ang Lee know more about sex with guys than we'd think... Also I just realized that was Heath Ledger. He was so young!

27

Emma @ 24 - "macho gay guys who are secretly in love wouldn't go straight for the butt sex before ever doing anything else?"

Sure they would, if they're struggling with coming to terms with their own desires. So while it's sometimes acceptable for them to have sex with other men (the more basic and animal-like the better), affection and tenderness are totally off the table: that would mean they're faggots... and they don't want to think of themselves in that way. Even nowadays you still find plenty of guys like that.

Personally, I always wonder why people in the movies always get straight to the fucking. It's like no one has ever heard of foreplay.

28

Why are my lungs designed to freak out if I do slight exercise in cool environment and try to suffocate me if I don't have the right pharmaceuticals? Because evolution does not work by perfecting species, it works by rearranging them and seeing if they are just good enough to reproduce. All species have huge weird flaws, so long as they don't stop you from fighting, fucking, fleeing and feeding, so long as you still have a decent chance to make a baby there's no reason to lose them.

29

@18 - Condomless sex, whether cum inside or not generally requires birth control of some kind. If your experience is to the contrary ... well then you are lucky. I've pulled out to change positions and checked my condom (for slippage) while doing so. It's amazing how much pre-cum has already dribbled out into the reservoir prior to "la petit mort".

30

EmmaLiz, Heath will be forever young, he died in his late twenties.
Confused about Dan’s answer to the sperm donor question. Isn’t the half your age plus seven, his rule? Or is that just for straight people, because a twenty five yr old man is not half Dan’s age plus seven.

31

Q: Why wasn't semen designed to stay in a woman's vagina? It always makes a terrible mess. I hate waiting for it to leak out of me.

A: We have bidets where I live. Wash, rinse and repeat if needed.

32

EmmaLiz, Corsets were never worn against the skin. The most basic article of clothing throughout history has been a basic chemise. Any clothing went over top of that. Clothing was expensive and had to be made by hand, so effort was made to keep outer garments and things that couldn't easily be cleaned by the harsh methods available as clean as possible. The same thing with leakage. Women's underwear in that time period was legs attached to a waistband. So they would have soaked up any leakage. Gross, yes, but not any more gross than modern panties and at least they got better air flow. Ms. Fichu could probably give you a more in-depth description of how things worked than I can.

33

Holmes I had no problem avoiding pregnancy by simply not having cum inside my vagina. It has been the most successful and pleasant means of birth control, cheap and with no side effects. After trying everything, that's basically what we settled on for the whole second half of our marriage. Lucky? Probably that too. Commenters had a conversation about pullout before on this site like a year ago I think, and there were plenty couples that avoided pregnancy this way for very long relationships and some folks with some interesting data about the success rate of pull out- more effective than you'd think. I know the fail risk is statistically higher than birth control or condoms, but I've yet to find out if this is due to the failure to pull out or due to minute amounts of cum before ejaculation. It was a question I asked last time we talked about this and never got an answer. In my case, in the earlier days, we used to be extremely careful not to go again without making sure all the cum was cleaned up but for years and years now we've just gone at it again fairly frequently without even doing that so I think it's likely that one of us has fertility issues. As we never wanted our own children, we never explored the issue. Perhaps that is correlated with the lack of long term leakage back when we did do cum inside many moons ago. Maybe our bodies are such that it never gets so far up in there? Or the little swimmers would rather take the easy waterfall down than working hard to go upstream to spawn? Definitely been our approach to life. ha ha ha

34

Interesting, Tachy, thanks. Petticoats under the saree work much the same way. I'd still assume you'd sweat a lot more in a corset than without one. But I think probably everyone stank most of the time so you stop noticing it.

35

Emma @ 33 - "I know the fail risk is statistically higher than birth control or condoms, but I've yet to find out if this is due to the failure to pull out or due to minute amounts of cum before ejaculation"

Having been conceived because of a pull-out method failure, I would say such failure is due to alcohol.

38

Does anyone actually have the willpower to stop fucking someone they love because they’re going to get hurt in the end? It’s like the most addictive drug ever, maybe even more so if they don’t love you back and you know you’re fucking on borrowed time.

39

Mizz Liz - Interesting questions, but you seem to be thinking more along bi lines than gay. (As I was composing this two hours ago, we had a blackout, which obviously just ended - about ten minutes after I'd thought I might as well go to bed early for once.)

41

EmmaLiz @18: Me too! It always breaks the narrative, and pisses me off, when people hook up for the first time onscreen and there is never EVER any pause to put on a condom. "You're sexually irresponsible!", I think, and like the characters less. Sounds like you analyse other aspects a bit more than I do ;) However, one classic was Lost. They're on a desert island with only their luggage and somehow all of the female characters has packed several months' supply of makeup, razors, conditioner...? How does THAT work?

As far as the spooge issue, what I do in a fluid-bonded relationship is keep a hand towel handy, which gets rid of the worst of it, and underwear have to go back on afterwards if I'm not going right to sleep.

EmmaLiz @24: I guess they never knew any different so it didn't bother them. They would probably wash a guy's dick before servicing it perhaps. Who knows, perhaps a future generation will find a cure for menstruation and marvel that people back in the 21st century had to sometimes deal with blood during sex, and how did they manage?

As a practiced pegger, add my agreement that poop is not as much of a problem as one might think.

Ricardo @27: "It's like no one has ever heard of foreplay." Agreed -- I hope this is just a plot device. Particularly with het couples, they go from making out to PIV in seconds. If that were to happen in my life, that dude would not get a second look in! I guess it's just done, a, to save screen time for the rest of the plot, and b, to indicate that these people are SO hot for each other that they must get to the "real" sex immediately if not sooner. Ugh.

Hunter @37: If you got cum in your eye, I think you'd probably find that pretty gross too.

Something @38: Agree completely. It may not be BETTER to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, but it's not as if, when you're in love, you have much choice.

Hunter @40: Google "symptoms of menopause." Issues with memory are a common side effect, so it does not surprise me at all that this might be occurring in conjunction with a big hormonal event like an orgasm.
Besides, YOU never had an orgasm so good you momentarily forgot even your own name? I'm sorry for you.

42

32- Tachy-- I'm afraid I can't help. I did study history of fashion, but we never got to the particulars of underwear in the way you mention. I do know that even affording a dress was daunting for most people. It was something that would have to be replaced every several years rather like a car is today. If you were poor, you made the last one last as long as possible.

43

Ms Fan/Ms Else - I do think you have a much better chance of getting X to stop boinking Y because Y will get hurt than because X will get hurt oneself. Some people have better brakes and will be more successful at stopping before it reaches that point, but, once there, as Geraldine McEwan once framed it, "When you're in love, you feel you're invincible. It blinds you, and you don't seem to care."

44

Regarding the question of stopping fucking someone because you know that you're inevitably going to end up hurt, my favorite description of/take on this comes from Lydia Davis' short story, "Break It Down," which goes:

"I guess you get to a point where you look at that pain as if it were there in front
of you three feet away lying in a box, an open box, in a window somewhere. It’s
hard and cold, like a bar of metal. You just look at it there and say, All right, I’ll
take it, I’ll buy it. That’s what it is. Because you know all about it before you even
go into this thing. You know the pain is part of the whole thing. And it isn’t that
you can say afterwards the pleasure was greater than the pain and that’s why
you would do it again. That has nothing to do with it. You can’t measure it,
because the pain comes after and it lasts longer. So the question really is,
Why doesn’t that pain make you say, I won’t do it again? When the pain is so
bad that you have to say that, but you don’t."

45

@44: Sorry about the weird formatting ^. I tried to indent 5 spaces from each margin to indicate an extended quote, but the site did something strange. It looked okay in the preview window, but I've learned that the preview window sometimes lies.

46

BDF @ 41 "I guess it's just done... to indicate that these people are SO hot for each other that they must get to the "real" sex immediately if not sooner. Ugh."

Ugh indeed.

As for putting an end to the sex with someone you're in unrequited love with... I've done that a couple of times. It wasn't that hard. Of course, by then, I was in my late-30s (or older), and I had enough experience to know that the pain of stopping right away would be much less than the inevitable pain of stopping later, after having had all my illusions crushed.

I liken it to having stopped eating tons of stuff I used to enjoy because of IBS. A lot of people tell me that I must be really strong-willed to stick to my diet, but quite frankly, the weeks of irritated bowel pain that follow even the slightest indulgence on my part make it rather easy.

47

Re: sad boys, more than one friend reports that answering around 200 questions on OkCupid and then dating dudes they had high match percentages with helped them escape a loop of dating the wrong guys for unconscious reasons.

48

BDF - ha ha I've never seen Lost. Maybe like how the folks on Gilligan's Island just happened to bring years worth of batteries for their radios, suitcases full of clothes and makeup, etc. Regarding coping with what exists because you know nothing else- yes, I'm stunned that female sexuality existed at all through much of the past given that there was no reliable way to control pregnancy. You'd think the world would've been filled with old maids where they had the option to control their bodies (which it was, I just mean you'd think almost no one would go for it- shows you the power of lust and sex drive). Especially considering the health dangers and mortality. And look at how different sexual relations are in the very short period of time (just living memory) that some women have had that control. It's amazing. So yea, I hope that one day we'll really have removed menstruation and unwanted pregnancy and infection altogether and people will look back on us disgusted and amazed that we ever got it on under our current germy bloody conditions.

Sweets are that way for me, Ricardo. It's not a matter of willpower, just that the sugar crash makes me feel like shit and the shit feeling is greater than the pleasure. Like, it's not hard for me to avoid using heroin either for the same reason, but man do I have trouble with overindulgence in pleasures that are less immediately punishing.

49

Ricardo @46: I broke up with a long-distance partner whom I was in love with, but who was a major flake who just had less and less time for me, and couldn't even pin down the next time I would see him. It was hard, but my heart broke every day I didn't know when I'd see him next. The band-aid needed to be ripped so that I could move on. It was really hard though, especially as it involved giving up the best sex of my life. And no, without the experience to know I'd get over it, I might not have found the will to do so.

EmmaLiz @48: Hard to choose to be an old maid when you don't have access to career opportunities that allow you to earn enough to support yourself. No, women didn't have much economic choice but to marry, and once married, no say over their own reproductive function. I am indeed grateful to live in the era of birth control.

50

Emma - "it's not hard for me to avoid using heroin either for the same reason,"

Glad to hear that,... and sorry for all those who couldn't make that decision. I had a job in my youth where I had to deal with junkies from time to time. Turned me off hard drugs forever, and provided me with the standard by which I evaluate whether or not to use any substance : if you don't want to look like the people who take X, do not start taking X.

BDF - "without the experience to know I'd get over it, I might not have found the will to do so"

Getting older does have its perks.

51

BiDanFan @9: Thanks for that. I went down the rabbit hole of Australian science, and wound up here:
https://www.menshealth.com.au/smelling-partners-farts-will-make-you-live-longer

I stand corrected!

53

@47: I answered more than 2,000 questions on OKC and ended up as 90-something % "match with a lot of men (when you answer that many questions with an "I don't care either way" type-response, which, because of the way the question was worded or the choices offered, you end up "matching" with a lot of people) who were in NO WAY matches for me. If I had a nickel for every time some guy with whom I had nothing in common told me that we were obviously perfect for each other based on our match percentage, I could afford to simply buy myself an escort.
The famous algorithm can only do so much.

I put zero stock in those ridiculous questions and the absurd match percentages, though the "enemy" percentage often seemed more accurate. I only paid attention to the narratives.

54

nocutename @53 - you might try starting over with a new account and only answering questions where the other person's answers matter a lot to you. That helps improve the relevance of the match number.

56

There would be no future generations if menstration stopped. The blood is the lining for a foetus in the womb, and when pregnancy doesn’t occur, out it comes.

57

Ms Fan - That reminds me of my now-lost or mislaid rewritten version of Pride and Prejudice, one of the main objects of which was to vindicate Charlotte Lucas' decision to marry that paragon of PPP, Mr Collins.

Ms Cute - This may serve to amuse. If I were to Unretire From Romance (a la Ms Clijsters and, less successfully, Ms Henin), I'd set prospective suitors an examination with such pertinent questions as, "How much understanding has Nature given women?", "When is one thousand pounds a better yearly income than two thousand?", "How much will long study of the character of one's intended increase one's felicity?", "How requisite is a little learning to good company?", "What are the two greatest dangers in the formation of a musical club?", "What is the best proof that one's daughter has received the finest education?", "Is it better to be a stranger to one of one's parents or to be sure to say three very dull things as soon as one opens one's mouth?", "What must never be called the West Indies?" or "When should one recommend speculation to one's spouse?"

I might have recommended an Austenian weekend, only I happened today to see that one of the latest Midsomer Murders out on video, called Death by Persuasion, is set during just such an event - a young woman slips away in period costume, only to be found stabbed with a quill.

58

56 Lava-- But pregnancy is what leads to the future generations, not menstruation. (I'm just playin' with you. I know that you how this works.)

59

Lava @ 56 - They've already created a uterus artificially, so there will be future generations with or without women having to go through their period... as long as our AI leaders wish for such generations to exist, anyway.

60

We’ll see how that goes Ricardo. Does an artificial uterus created artificial humans! Sounds suss to me.
To your point Fichu, given we still make babies the old way. Can a woman get pregnant if her womb isn’t lined by blood, ready to receive the foetus? Poor thing would be banging on the sides.. not very pleasant home for nine months.
I do sympathise with women wanting to end all that monthly blood letting, I love that it’s over for me. Wonder if there’s any woman alive who doesn’t welcome the end of her fertile days. It is heaven.

61

The Great Joe Newton strikes again!
@4 fubar: Congrats on nailing it again.

She's BA-ACK! Griz was laying low for a few days (allergy? pollen?), but gained her second wind (nothing like downsizing and moving out of self storage at last to getting back in home storage to serve as a shot in the arm--yaay! Now to retrieve my beloved VW out of winter hibernation and 'tis truly happy spring.). Meanwhile, I have some catching up to do with LWs, Dan's responses, and the comment threads.

62

Anyway, it looks like I made it just in time for this week's Lucky @69 Award! Who will the lucky recipient be this week? Tick...tick...tick...

63

I was just thinking about you Grizelda before I opened the page, wondering where you were. Sometimes I do think I have cosmic powers. Though you do tend to turn up once we hit the 60’s numbers. So there’s that.

64

Dan the Man: Bravo on all spot on responses---and I agree that taking serious action on climate change and dethroning Donald Jackass Trump should be World Priority #1.

65

@63 LavaGirl: I agree--and not only do you have cosmic powers, you totally rock!

67

@BDF- yes exactly. That's what I meant about when they had the option to control their own bodies which most women did not. What surprises me is how many (among the few that had those options) still chose marriage. I mean, I get it too- socialization and sex drive and love and the appeal of family and all that. But it seems a horror story here from our perspective. And of course for most women (who did not have those options in the first place) it WAS a horror story. Breaks my heart.

Ricardo, yes there were junkies in my community growing up, and then again I worked with some of as a young adult as well (and their kids!) Heroin/meth/opium- all those drugs seem a real terror but you have to admit the descriptions of the euphoria sound amazing. If I'm ever given a diagnosis of a short time to live, I'm going to get myself to a opium den.

Nah, Lava, we are talking about tech in the future. 100 years ago, no one could believe the common tech we have now. 100 years for now will be more, assuming we don't set ourselves back in some Mad Max dystopia. There will be artificial uterus one day, and IMO it can't come soon enough. It's not just about avoiding menstruation but also about liberating an entire half of the human species from being the sex class. Of course I'm sure there will always be some folks who want to do it the old way just like now we have anti-vaxxers and those that insist on treating their cancer with juice, but since we are talking about the future, we're allowed to dream. And they'll be real humans (fertilized embryos grown into fetuses outside of a body) but I'm sure they'll have all sorts of genetic manipulations and tech enhancements. Actually, more likely, it will just become more and more the norm for wealthier folks to rent out the wombs of poorer women. Cheaper, low tech. But that's grim and no fun at all to think about.

68

Sounds horrible EmmaLiz. I loved my pregnancies. It was the births which I hated, ouch they hurt. You do know that when a baby comes down the birth canal they get lots of goodies from the mother and what about breastfeeding?
Dadddy, I had that thought too when I read that question. Though I thought it would be the relationship of the man to his mother a lover should check. Maybe look at their relationships to their primary caregivers.

69

Cocky @52: "Am I the only one who feels awful in love?" Nope. I hate it, it's like being caught in a trap. I hate the feeling of loss of control, or loss of logic. When in love, we willingly act against our own interests. Love makes us fools and I don't like being a fool.

NoCute @53: Strange, the OKCupid match algorithm has generally worked very well in matching me with people who I at least have lots to talk about on dates, even if the chemistry is not there. Perhaps you've uncovered the secret -- skip any "I don't mind either way" questions, and limit the number of questions you answer to, say, 500?

Lava @56: Several forms of birth control stop menstruation. It would be easy for these to become the default, with women only stopping them if they intended to get pregnant. And if medical technology improved, there would be treatments women could take to ensure they got pregnant on the first try, meaning they would never need to menstruate. (We are talking sci-fi ideal worlds here.)
But since our world is so far from ideal, no future generations might not be such a bad outcome.

Welcome back, Griz @61!

Emma @67: Agreed, heroin is a hobby I may well take up when I am long retired and no longer healthy enough for travel or other hobbies. I took it once by accident (back in the 90s, you could put any powder into a capsule and call it ecstasy) and completely get the appeal.

70

Mizz Liz - Would most women want such a future? So many people prefer problems to solutions, especially if they're recognized as having a legitimate grievance. (On a day in good form, one could even make the case that marriage equality may turn out to be a net minus, as the straight response has trended towards being that now we should sit down and shut up in perpetuity.) As a total outsider, of course, I'd decline to hold a personal opinion. My general view is, let the world be the world, just so long as they keep grass courts at Wimbledon (and mixed doubles) and clay courts at Roland Garros.

71

Ms Cute continued - Of course, once I've started, this expands of its own volition. Moving on to a non-Austen section, here's one I'd be quite impressed if anyone got right: "How should romance never begin, begin, and end?"

72

Congratulations Fan!
Thanks Grizelda.

73

Mr. Ven, our sexual orientations notwithstanding, I don't think you'd want to date me (assuming you decided ever to date again) because I would fail your questionnaire spectacularly! I simply don't have the enviable memory you do.

74

@EricaP and BiDanFan: I found OkC's questions to be usually stupid or useless, and even when I thought they were okay (cupid), the answer choices never, EVER expressed my actual response. I tried to correct for that by giving explanations frequently (easily to over 500 questions). I am happy if they work for you, but I guess I'm too much of an outlier in general and my experience with the questions confirms this.

I suppose I could create a new profile, fill out all the areas all over again, and answer 400 of the same questions again and stop there, but something tells me it wouldn't make any difference in my actual experience because when I did searches based on nothing more than age, marital status, geographic location (up to 50 miles away), and smoking status, I still only saw men that were either unappealing to me or who didn't answer me if I sent introductory messages.

While in my earlier years on OkC, I met a bunch of men who became good friends--several of them enduring more than 7 years now--and had 2 romances as a result of using the site, for the last 3 years I was on the site, the experience was so disappointing, infuriating, or dehumanizing (and increasingly so as I aged), that I simply quit about 8 months ago. I think once you get past a certain age, and if you are not slender, the pickings are incredibly slim. OkC matches you with people it thinks match your attractiveness level, and apparently it thinks I am only worthy of sub-literate, rude jerks, or men interested in hitting it and quitting it. Certainly the quality of men that I could see changed dramatically from when I was 47 to when I was 55. Either that, or all the decent men had left the site for one reason or another and only the dregs remained.

I thought about using a different site (and in fact, at New Years 2018, I tried several, including that behemoth, Match, putting my all into it and being my most optimistic, and even paying for 3 month memberships), but all the rest were too limiting, and most of the ones that reach a large enough group of people charge too much for me. I am too broke to pay attention, and given how unsatisfactory my experience was in the last 3 or more years I used them, I don't think it's a wise financial move for me.

75

Venn I have no idea what most women would want. And by most women, do you mean those of us who are relatively safe in the developed world, chatting online on a weekday afternoon? Or "most women" in the world who are restricted and oppressed by their biology and the way their societies arrange themselves around it? One thing we know for sure is that the more you give women the option of controling their biology, the fewer children they have and the more personal/financial freedom they have. And many choose none at all. Some choose a small number. Only a very small percentage choose many children. And having children is correlated with reduced income and poverty for women which makes them dependent (either on partners or on the state) and decreases their range of lifetime opportunities etc. Since we are speculating about imagined futures, my guess is that if there were artificial wombs, readily available to all women (that in itself is unlikely) then we'd see a similar trend. Many women would choose no children at all. Many women would choose to have children. Some of those would do it naturally, some would do it outside their bodies. When you look at women as a class, most of them therefore would NOT experience pregnancy. I'm not really concerned about the choices of individual women here- they can do as they like. I'm concerned with how it would affect larger society and women as a class. It would continue to liberate them from their biological based oppression by giving them more and more control over their biology, and if you look around the world, increased control over your body is the main thing that liberates women (the flipside is also true, hence fundamentalists that outlaw that control including here in the US) so the existence of artificial wombs would only continue that trend, regardless of what individuals do.

Lava's response is a good example. Assuming we'd be the same people we are now in our imagined future, she'd choose to do it the natural way. That's consistent with her life here and now- she has chosen to have more children than women in her cohort on average. The existence of artificial wombs would not remove her ability to continue making those choices. In fact I believe that when people can control their reproduction, it helps everyone- parenting becomes a choice, best made by people who truly like/want to do it (as Lava seems to be) and the rest of society can contribute resources to make that easier for the families that do exist so that everyone is served (this doesn't happen as much in our modern world since we tend to put our resources into things like making war instead but theoretically) so I see no reason why women like Lava should be any more opposed to the existence of artificial wombs than they should be to the existence of birth control. I'm not imagining some terrible world where she is forced at gunpoint to put her embryos in a vat.

Lava, I'm sure the (relatively small but very important) benefits of early breastfeeding can be given to babies without them actually having to nurse- this is already the case as there are milk banks which I think are wonderful things that help liberate women. There will always be some women who choose to do those things, and I'm always impressed by the women who donate to others. But it can probably be artificially created too. Regarding the birth canal, a huge percentage of babies are not delivered vaginally anyway for decades now and we are all fine.

Venn regarding gay marriage- I feel about that the way I feel about most of these issues of rights. Right now the society that we live in does in fact still involve marriage and marriage has some benefits etc and it's important not to exclude groups of people from those institutions. So I was pro gay marriage obviously. But the negative I see is putting all our energies into reforms (just tweaking the current system) rather than into radical transformation (marriage is archaic and heteronormative in the first place). Like, what would a movement to abolish institutional marriage look like? It would require a radical rearrangement of society, especially in terms of domestic labor, caregiving, food prep, housing, etc. We could smash all the hetnorm patriarchy. It's the same thing with Dan's current career shift to focus on normalizing consensual nonmonogamy- again, tinkering with reforms of the current system, the structural causes of all the inequalities remain in place. Or my own issue with some of the gender activism which seems to focus on increasingly codifying gender roles and increasing equal access to these roles rather than abolishing them in the first place as the heteronormative bullshit they are.

I've been home doing elder care all week though so I might be projecting some frustrations with the prison of domestic labor and gender roles. Surely in a society in which we invest trillions in warfare and self driving cars we could have collective solutions to things like caregiving.

76

Goodbye is a shortened form of "God be with you". If you don't object to goodbye, then show the same sang froid to God bless. Respond in kind, or with goodbye, I love you, or drive carefully (that should confuse her)

77

NoCute @74: Interesting, thanks for your thoughts. Just goes to show that nothing is one size fits all. I'm a bit perplexed by your stating that you found most of the questions hard to answer (I too wanted to tick a nonexistent "It depends" box in many cases), yet you still answered over 2,000 of them! Despite being near in age, we are also looking for very different types of partner. I've blocked the very people you sought -- straight men. OKC was the first site I used that didn't presume heterosexuality and monogamy. Within that relatively narrow market, I take long breaks otherwise it's the same faces over and over again, and in fact had to reset my password this week after getting my first message in ages. Then again I have not been on the hunt lately... OKC bumps you to the top of the queue if you use it actively. I was not aware of it matching people based on physical appearance; do you know this for a fact? I thought it was just based on the questions. Anyway, sounds like there's definitely a market for a dating site for over-40s -- the majority, I agree, are younger than me, but that's not something I'm particularly bothered by ;-)

EmmaLiz @75 for president!
"we are all fine" -- we are? I look at the news and I think we are all very far from fine. I am not, however, suggesting that the world's problems come from the innovation of cesarian sections...

78

cbu @52 " Am I the only one who feels awful in love?"
No. I hate being in love. Or rather, I hated it. I am now in my middle fifties and haven't been in love since my early forties. Before, I used to fall in love like clockwork every two years. So glad that that is over. One of the pleasant things about getting older.

79

BiDanFan@77: Yes, I know for a fact that OkC determines how attractive you appear (based on photos and I don't know what else, perhaps age?) and shows you the people they think are at your level, sort of like that numerical ranking thing I see people here do from time to time when they refer to some people as 10s, others as 7s or 5s or 3s--based as far as I can tell, only physical attractiveness. I have read more than one interview with one of the founders, Christian Rudder, which confirmed this.

As a matter of fact, I believe that Dan had Rudder on the podcast once and when a caller complained about having no success on the site, Rudder suggested that part of the problem was that the caller was attempting to punch above their weight and that they consider the homlier members that OkC was showing them.

Yes, we are looking for different types of partner. I am willing--even happy to have an open relationship, but I am not poly and as of the last time I was on, I was given a choice of being polyamorous or "strictly monogamous"--so right there, the choices don't represent me or who I am looking for or the relationship model I seek.

As to why I answered so many questions, well, when I initially joined, I kind of got into a groove one long, alcohol-fueled night and just . . . kept going. Then later, I had this kind of "if you're going to do something, do it right" or "if I am really interested in making this site work, I should do all I can" attitude and answered a lot more. I took it seriously. I tried to give as much info as possible so that someone looking for a woman would get a sense of who I really am, hoping that that would be a better filter. Still later, a friend noticed that if he answered a question, he would be bumped to the top of a search--or at least that's how it seemed to him: he wouldn't have answered any new questions in months and would get a message every few weeks. But every time he answered a new question, he'd suddenly get 3 or 4 messages in that week. He concluded that OkC pushed him a bit more when he answered a question. I think it's something like "recently answered" that shows up, but if you look at that, it means that you see a profile or two that you may not have seen before. So I tried it, and had the same response (I get more messages than he does to start with, being a straight woman, but in the few days after answering a new question, I'd get a flurry of activity). So whenever the messages seemed to slow down or almost dry up, I'd answer a couple of new questions and it would jump-start the interest. Do that repeatedly over time, and one day you turn around and you've answered over 2,000 questions!

Match used to have a bunch of questions like "bowling?" to which the answers were: "I love it," "not for me, thanks!", or "it's okay." or "How do you feel about dogs? (Same choices for answers). Well, I don't LOVE either dogs or bowling, but I like both well enough, so I checked the in-between answer. Then Match would show me some dude I had virtually nothing in common with and the site said, "Hey! You both like bowling! Send a message to him!"

80

This is a bit dated, but I have read nothing to suggest it's changed. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/okcupid-hiding-hotties-fr_n_614149

81

@80 cont.: I think of myself as average-looking, and have been told I'm pretty. But OkC shows me men whose photos look like mug shots or guys who would be by any objective ranking system based on appearance, 2's or men with full-facial tattoos. So clearly OkC and I and my friends and lovers have differing opinions on my attractiveness. It's actually depressing to be given the message by a website that you're a dog.

82

Wow that article gives me the chills. All these algorithms determining everything. Surveillance, drone strike targets, marketing preferences, news and advertising selections, suggestions for what we watch/read, what group of people we see in our dating pools, etc. It's literally shaping people's experiences and then those experiences influence their behaviors which then become data for the next round of algorithms.

83

Like old days nocute. I have no idea re dating sites, don’t use them anymore. Gone back to the sight and smell method.
However, two suggestions to do before you answer the questions on your new page, if that’s how you go. Have a nice self pleasuring session then get stoned, or vice versa, then answer the questions.

84

Mizz Liz - I thank you for your detailed answer, to which I shall return when I have time, probably tomorrow, as I still have about an hour's work this evening. I am going to address Ms Cute first, because I can rattle it off in five minutes, which will not much delay my posting my bridge scores.

85

Ms Cute - I'm sure you know the first one, as it comes from your beloved Tilney, H.

"How much understanding has Nature given women?" (so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half.) "When is one thousand pounds a better yearly income than two thousand?" (when one thousand is Elinor's idea of wealth and two thousand is Marianne's competency) "How much will long study of the character of one's intended increase one's felicity?" (a la Charlotte Lucas, not in the slightest, for, however well known one's intended's character, people themselves change so much after marriage that happiness is entirely a matter of chance) "How requisite is a little learning to good company?" (as Mr Elliot points out to Anne, after claiming that clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation are not good company but the best, good company requires only birth, education and manners, and, with regard to education, is not very nice - a little learning is by no means a bad thing; in fact, it will do very well) "What are the two greatest dangers in the formation of a musical club?" (one, that poor Emma would be seen to be associating with Mrs Elton, and, even greater, that she would be showcasing her own musical inferiourity to Jane Fairfax) "What is the best proof that one's daughter has received the finest education?" (according to Lady Susan, bills far beyond what one could ever attempt to pay) "Is it better to be a stranger to one of one's parents or to be sure to say three very dull things as soon as one opens one's mouth?" (Elizabeth Bennet alienating one parent or the other however she replies to Mr Collins' proposal versus Miss Bates on Box Hill thinking that saying Three Things Very Dull Indeed will be easy only to be warned by Emma that she will be Limited As to Number - Only Three at Once) "What must never be called the West Indies?" (according to Mrs Croft, Bermuda or Bahama, only thankfully Mrs Musgrove cannot accuse herself of having ever called them anything in the whole course of her life) "When should one recommend speculation to one's spouse?" (when, like Sir Thomas Bertram, one is a whist player, and would prefer one's wife to be playing a different game altogether, rather than risk drawing her for a partner)

I do hope this at least cheered you up a little. At any rate, it did elevate my mood a bit. But this is an example of how nobody ever solved any of my acrostics, not even the one with the quote about how Miss Brodie was the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle and they (the Kerr sisters) were only the squares of the other two sides.

87

@69 BiDanFan: Congrats on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award!! May a lovely spring abundance of riches blossom your way soon with a flourish.
@72 LavaGirl: Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps! XO, Griz
@74, @79, @80, & @81 nocutename (after going back over your conversation with BiDanFan): Ouch! OkCupid sounds like a truly horrible dating site. I'm really sorry you went through all that.

88

I laughed at the response "You should sneeze" because it was exactly the response that popped into my head as I was reading the letter.

(But yeah, I'd echo those who advise to take it in the spirit it was intended.)

89

Mr. Ven: I did get the Henry Tilney! And both Mr. and Mrs. Elton (or Mrs. Elton and her caro sposo--and why can't we make italics anymore?).
I am suitably cheered.

@LavaGirl (#83): Thanks for advice ("Have a nice self pleasuring session then get stoned, or vice versa, then answer the questions"), which is good indeed, and I'll remember to follow should I ever go back on a dating site (it sounds like a pretty good "any old Wednesday night," too).

90

NoCute @80-@81: Wow, I am shocked and dismayed by that. I was aware that OKC promoted people who were more active users, which makes sense, as people who use the site more can be viewed as more keen to meet people. In 2010 I was still in a monogamous relationship so I guess I missed this. As for you being shown ugly men, let's face it, women are just objectively more attractive than men are. So the 50th-percentile of women are far better looking than the 50th percentile of men. Sorry you had that experience. :-(

91

Ms Fan - I suppose, in the sense of being objectively more groomed, one might be able to slip that point past an inept cross-examiner.

92

For any people wishing that monthly bleeding would go the way of the dinosaur, it's not just the just-in-case cushioned lining that would need to be tweaked biologically, it's also that it's one of the major factors that gives women a longer life expectancy than men. As an occasional believer of mind-over-matter, I was always content to accept the nuisance as the POA for a longer life.

OTOH, I would probably be thrilled if in the future certain steps had to be taken - deliberately - in order to achieve reliable conception, so that kids wouldn't be getting pregnant over and over again.

93

Mizz Liz - A fair enough point; what do any of us mean when we say "most Xs", "most Ys" or something similar? Again, as I am abstaining on the question, you have full power to decide. For some reason, the image that came to mind was that of women who happened to be wearing hats - but which sort of hat? It reminds me of a six-table private party one of my bridge players' daughters threw for her 95th birthday, a theme of the day being that all the attendees (save two abstainers, who didn't own one) wore a hat for a group photograph as the honouree was partial to hats. That recollection leads me to wonder how many women among the assembled company here own a hat suitable for wearing to at least a mid-level social occasion. I'm not sure if there's anything there or not along the line of hat-owning correlating to anything of psychological significance; it's just another thing I'm throwing at the wall to see whether it sticks.

As for SSM, you went off in an interesting direction. I don't think you were around when I had a conversation with Mr Ophian in which he asserted that homophobic denominations were Doing Religion Wrong, and I speculated that, for all he knew, religion was supposed to fall on the evil side, and the tolerant and accepting faiths were the ones not preforming religion correctly as intended. It is highly tempting for me simply to decide that marriage "ought" to be an oppressive institution, perhaps even to float something like:

"Marriage is the price most women[!] pay for their weddings." (rather Wildean, Ms Cute - though I do fear it's a bit dated?)

But, alas, no, however much certain Bridezillas may make one hope that particular statement comes true, it would not do if one were seriously in pursuit of a just world. Credit for not being like those smarmy libertarians who use opposing any state role in marriage whatsoever as an excuse for voting against improved lives for people they dislike. It may be a little unfortunate that the case you lay out reminds me of half the arguments of those non-white women who voted for Proposition 8, then wanted the take-away to be not that a right had been rescinded but that the real outrage was that people called their votes homophobic. There is definitely a case to be made that a better world would be the outcome of dismantling marriage, which could, for some value systems, make SSM a net minus for a completely different reason than the one which sprang to my mind as possible. But how to get there from here makes me think a little of the WalkAway crowd, who can wax eloquent about what they find repulsive about their former set, but can't really set forth a plausible map for how to get there or even that coherent a vision of what they are WalkingTowards.

It's also tempting to ask whether "most women" would really want (or be willing to accept all the requisite changes to bring about) equality in domestic labour, caregiving, and the like, were the full ramifications to be laid out and not just a hazy view of the end of the Golden Road. Would those women on Team YGG be willing to see the team dismantle in the name of full equality, and give up the belief that women are men's superiours?

94

Interesting Helenka, @92. I can feel it too. Though I’ve been a slack bitch around health, my womb throbs away still, generating energy. I felt my periods were to be thankful for. First, it meant I wasn’t pregnant. Second, a sort of pride in being so of nature. So much easier then. I weep with what Patriarchal capitalism has done to Feminism.

95

Grizelda, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from Carousel. Yes some of the songs sure are from their time, I did find solice in ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which is about keeping hope, after my dad died. It’s one of the movies we went to see, as a family.
The orchestration is what is giving me goosebumps. All the different instruments. Violins are so sweet to hear.

96

The majority of people on this planet are not middle class or wealthy, Venn. Marriage / domestic duties are actual oppressors for most women in the world, and I don’t mean in forcing them to make choices about balancing careers with childcare (though that is also something to be concerned about). I mean in terms of their actual survival. 

The wealth of the developed world is linked to the poverty in the rest of it, and it’s not sustainable. It’s ripping at the seams right now, so regardless of what more leisured women might like to do, we all are faced with deciding what form the immediate future is going to take. We are taking global action now, whether we’d like it or not. Best I can tell, we are mostly slipping towards the fundamentalism and chaos of failed states, with women bearing the brunt of it.



In my own personal life of relative security and ease, my pleasures tend towards outdoor sports. But in my larger worldview, I’m about as concerned with dinner parties and weddings as I am with dirt on the bottom of my shoe. The more frivolous whims of a small minority of wealthy women are irrelevant to the human rights of billions of people. If we must go there, however: people are socialized within systems. When the structures change, so do people’s actions and desires.

97

Venn @91: Ha, that was deliberately provocative :-) But I stand by it. Exhibit A, testosterone contributes to deeper facial wrinkles, and baldness. So 40-year-old men look older and more worn than 40-year-old women, just as an objective observation of fact.

Lava @94: Good point; when younger I too experienced my period as a sign of great relief. I wished that our periods would last an hour -- just long enough to notify us that we weren't pregnant, but not long enough to be an inconvenience. As for Helenka's point, in the Future Utopia I'm speculating wildly about, life expectancy won't really be an issue. I always viewed my periods as the trade-off for not going bald, which was men's "curse." Glad they are gone now; I have faith in birth control and age and no longer worry I may be pregnant even without a period to tell me so.

98

BDF I think your preference for androgyny and more "feminine" appearing males is biasing what you think is objective. I find the male form beautiful and the female form to be sort of squishy and floppy. I'm not claiming this is objective in any way, I'm just saying that it's impossible to have an objective standard since the experience of beauty is subjective.

I've not given much thought to androgyny, but I'm guessing it's harder for an older man to pull it off- particularly b/c of the features you name as unattractive (balding, deep facial lines). But as a person who finds the male form to be very attractive, I like those features. And I can't be alone. Look at the popularity of men like David Gandy or Idris Elba. The lines in an older man's face, the greying of his hair, etc, are often considered "distinguished". I personally don't find cute or pretty faced men to attractive at all, and this is not uncommon. Also (just fyi) some of this is racial too I think. White skin tends to wrinkle much more deeply much earlier (look at the two men I just mentioned- Gandy looks older than Elba despite being quite a bit younger). And it's less fashionable / common for younger white men to shave or buzz their hair very low in their youth than it is for black men (so common you probably don't even notice it) so a hairless white guy is more likely to appear old or sloppy (when he's trying to cover up the hair loss) since it's not a common style among younger white guys. Even still though, loads of women apparently think Patrick Stewart and Sean Connery are heartthrobs, even into their elder years. Not my cup of tea, but evidence that you can't make statements about objectivity.

99

clarity: racial in the sense of who we perceive features in the first place, I mean. A black man with a smooth head is not as likely to be perceived as old; a white man with deep wrinkles is perceived as older than he is, etc. Not trying to imply that your personal attractions are racial just that there aren't objective standards about either beauty (at all) or the perception of aging (up to a point). When people make generalizations, they're just explaining perspective. But when an algorithm does it (as in OK Cupid) what perspective do they use?

100

I happen to prefer the looks of most men from mid-20s to mid-60s. I generally think men are at their most attractive around age 40. And for me, hair has little to do with male attractiveness, provided it's not greasy or worn in a mullet, comb-over, or in a grey and scraggly ponytail. Bald is sexy; mostly bald, still so, as long as the dude himself seems comfortable with it and keeps it closely groomed. I mean, sure, a head full of thick hair is nice, but the absence of it doesn't mean too much to me.

And though I'm not sexually attracted to them, I find women and their bodies beautiful.

As far as having periods--and not having them--goes, I had relatively easy periods, except for horrible hormone-related headaches, so they were mostly a slight inconvenience to me. (Not in my teenage years--I suffered from terrible cramps, but those tapered off as I got into my 20s.) While once or twice, I welcomed the period as a sign of not being pregnant, I was generally very confident in my birth control. For me, as I aged, each period reassured me that I wasn't THAT old . . . yet. I saw them as a marker of vitality and not-decrepitude. Now that they've stopped, I have a sense of mild relief and mild melancholy: the inconvenience is gone, but it's a reminder that I've aged into a position that society doesn't value.

101

Congratulations nocute. A well deserved mountain man is coming your way.
The Hunsky.
Don’t let society define you nocute. We are the wise ones. Women who have passed thru their fertile years and are now free of them. To me it’s like being a man in a way. I can finally be in the world without a constant reminder that I have a womb which needs a clean out every month.
Older women have to stake a place in the world from within. We are not driven by fertility anymore.
I love women’s bodies. Beautiful bums and breasts, younger ones to be truthful, just as the straight men do, I enjoy to look at. Sometimes I can see a very sexy woman and imagine myself as a man, taking her from behind. Squishy is good EmmaLiz.
Men’s bodies are sort of boring in comparison, unless they have built their muscles. Not too much though. We have a lot of tradies on the coast, so yes. A nice bodied young man with his work clothes on, usually shorts and short sleeved shirt, splatters of concrete on his work boots, I’ll notice him. Their phallus is always hidden /not many men my way wear tight pants/, maybe that’s why it’s the first picture they send?

102

EmmaLiz @98: There is also the fact that the overwhelming majority of women are wearing makeup in their profile pictures, whereas very few of the men are -- see Venn's "objectively more groomed."

NoCute @100: I have been pretty meticulous with birth control for most of my life too, but no birth control is 100% and I have always been 100% against the idea of having kids, so the reassurance was always welcome. I switched to a pill at 40 that stops my periods completely -- yay! -- so now, as I approach menopause I don't have that association. I do know what you mean, though -- psychologically, there is an unexpected difference between being decidedly against breeding and being too old to breed even if I had wanted to. I keep telling myself that ageing beats the alternative. :-) (I admit, dating people in their 30s helps too.)

103

I guess it was the six pregnancies, birthing and the rest, that made me welcome on bended knees, the Change. I was lucky, it was a smooth transition. Some heat surges, occasionally. It’s when my marriage broke up, which I’m sure was not a coincidence. I was finally done with his shit, our youngest was thirteen, not that close to his father, so I felt I could take it from there. Which I have. And that kid is now just on twenty two, and both his gfs were/are from families of girls. So he’s landed himself into other families, with dad’s who welcome him. Their father is a burn bridges sort of guy, then gets stuck on the other side.
I feel for him, he let go of his children.

104

My children’s father is the burn bridges man. Not his gf’s fathers, who are both solid well behaved husbands and fathers. There’s that line from a song on Carousel.
“ you can have fun with a son, but you’ve got to be a father to a girl..”
This was written in the fifties, forties maybe, so a little dated. I had fun with my dad.
Sons do bring out different parts in a father to what girls do. Stirs up lots of father/ son issues, from when they were babies. As does the mother/ daughter dynamic. Gotta be on your toes more with the same sex child, in my experience. More sludge comes up.
I had no brothers, so my sons have been my introduction to how the opposite sex grows up. It’s helped me a lot being on Dan’s pages, as my boys have gone into their twenties and thirties. Reading the men here, and going, right.

105

Yes there are real dangers between fathers and daughters. Adolescent girls in some tribe went off to a hut by themselves. Mr Venn knows clearly the dangers of mother/sons relationship. I’d seen enough loopy ones myself, including the two men I had children by. It’s a fine line, being a mother to sons.
The men here have woken me up to how different it can be. It’s helped me to find the appropriate distance from my sons as they become grown men. I don’t want to lose their love and friendships.

106

Grizelda, can you put your work onto a CD for me? I don’t have a computer, so files were hard to download on my iPhone. What I heard was magic, and would love to hear it again.

108

@95 & @106 LavaGirl: Carousel is such a powerful movie, indeed---what an emotional orchestral score!
I will have to see about burning CDs again of my music, and get technical hep form my computer friend. Thank you so much for your interest. It means a lot to me when what I write moves others. Did I send you mp3s of my latest symphony? Our local orchestra has expressed an interest ini looking over the conductor's scores and parts, which I have recently had printed to hard copies. I hope to have it performed on or around Veteran's Day in honor of those who have served, including my father and myself, and in loving memory of my beloved parents.

109

@97 BiDanFan and @100 nocutename: That's about where I am on periods, too. Mine are getting fewer and further between, which for me is a blessed relief. It has been five years since my uterine ablation, and wonderful to no longer hemorrhage and be in such excruciating pain like I regularly was on a monthly basis, for up to 10 days at a time. I'm glad to have my 20s and 30s over with and nobody pressuring me to have a baby, anymore.
@100 nocutename: Congrats on scoring this week's Lucky Hunsky! May a shower of riches come your way soon. Savor the wealth.

110

Mizz Liz - Perhaps we can agree than "most" is used to indicate numerous methods of selection. As for the rest, I am getting a distinct vision of your wearing a hat to church, but then I tend to such moments of artistic inspiration.

Ms Lava - I did see the wars firsthand.

Ms Fan - "Groomed" is much more subjective to objective measurement than "attractive".

111

Ms Cute - Perhaps you'd enjoy the part of What They Did to Princess Paragon in which the protagonist's mind-in-the-70's lesbian feminist editor lobbies him seriously to change the title of Princess Paragon's mother (she came to Earth from a matriarchal planet) from Queen to Elder Crone. (Ms Lava might as well, which seems really odd, but there it is.)

112

Oh, the answer to the non-Austen question:

"Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science, and end with a settlement."

That's from An Ideal Husband.

113

Marilyn @107: Wow, I'm glad there was a decimal point in my experience (1.5 years).
Griz @109: If it's been five years, I think you're done. Menopause is defined as one year since one's last period. I think you can give those tampons you've been saving just in case to a younger friend!
Venn @110: I remain convinced. Even when men are Not My Type but I can see that they are objectively attractive -- the aforementioned David Gandy falls into that category -- there are 10 objectively gorgeous female models for every Gandy out there. "Objectively gorgeous" isn't actually what I find arousing in either gender, so I am in fact being objective when comparing the two! And I'm glad I haven't had to pass a literary trivia test to date anyone. We GenXers used to analyse whether someone was dateable based on their CD collections. Something that has been lost to millennials.