Tag Archives | sex

Fifty Shades…

So I read a fairy tale the other day.  Actually, three fairy tales. A trilogy about a young girl who meets a handsome stranger with a dark secret. They fall in love (you knew that was coming, right?), overcome a variety of obstacles, banish inner demons, get married, and have babies.  Happily ever after and all that. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading · on March 2, 2012 in Books, marriage, pop culture, sex

Phone Booths: useful convenience or pedestrian sex-ed opportunity?

I mean really, when is the last time you saw someone actually put a quarter into the phone slot and make a phone call. Is it even a quarter any more?  For that matter, when is the last time that you–or anyone you know–picked up one of those pay phones and actually heard a dial tone?

The booths exist now, I’m sure, as sheer revenue-producing devices for the city, and while I’m all for the city making more money (thus perhaps enabling the sanitation workers to make more money, stop being angry at the mayor, and start picking up garbage), I’m tired of these mini-billboards touting things I don’t want to look at.

Although actually, it’s not the looking that’s the problem. It’s the explaining.

My kids know what “endurance” means. Should I tell them that this ad is for some particularly long-lasting kind of underwear?

How would you explain the relevance of “endurance” to what, exactly, these two people are doing? Or preparing to do?

Continue Reading · on January 3, 2011 in NYC, sex, street notes


Standing at the crosswalk yesterday, as we were walking home, Caleb regaled me with stories about the elaborate games of catch he’d been playing in the playground. He and another boy had been bouncing a ball off a wall and then doing tricks (most of which involved flopping to the ground) before they caught the ball.

Caleb grabbed his crotch, ala Michael Jackson: “I bounced the ball off my nuts!”

Me: Nuts? You mean your penis?”

Caleb: Nuts.  That’s the word. But I don’t really know why it’s called that. Why is it?

Me: Well…I don’t really know. But that’s part of why that word isn’t really the right word to use.

Caleb: It kind of looks like nuts down there. (Gives himself an emphatic shake, lest I not understand which part of his anatomy he’s referring to).  Little nuts. Like peanuts.

Me: Maybe that’s why, then. But still, let’s say penis instead of nuts?

Caleb: When I’m a grown-up, I’ll have HUGE nuts.

He smiles happily at the prospect and we cross the street.

I’m thinking again about those etiquette lessons. Does Ru-Paul talk about “nuts”?  I think not.

Continue Reading · on August 14, 2010 in Children, Kids

Hookers. The Oldest Profession as the New Corporate Motivator.

Did you see the article about a contractor on trial for fraud in yesterday’s paper? It was tucked below the fold on the left side of Tuesday’s Times. I don’t blame you if you missed it. After all, how many corrupt contractor trials is a person supposed to follow? It’s starting to seem as if one of the requirements for being a contractor is a genetic predisposition for graft.

But this guy–David H. Brooks–takes the cake. Or maybe his lawyer takes the cake. Regardless, that cake doubtless has a stripper bouncing out of it.

Mr. Brooks is on trial not only for misappropriation of company funds, but also for a delicious little stock fraud scheme, in which he falsified stock information about his company, DHB Industries (they make military body armor), before selling the company. He made more than $100 million smackeroos on that deal, even though, whoopsie, other people who had invested with the company lost their entire life savings when the fraud was revealed.

I know, I know, I can hear you. You’re rolling your eyes: stock fraud stock shmaud; it’s a dime a dozen these days. Everyone’s doing it–stock fraud is the new black.

But Mr. Brooks had another angle: he used the money generated by his company for his own expenses, including a $100,000 belt buckle, a multi-million dollar bat mitzvah party for his daughter, and, oh yeah, hiring prostitutes for his employees and board members. I’m hoping he didn’t hire ladies to work the bat mitzvah party, but really, who knows.

His lawyer, who must be just a prince of a fellow, argued in court that the prostitutes were totally necessary: they were “a legitimate business expense if Mr. Brooks thought such services could motivate his employees and make them more productive.”


Let’s imagine the monthly body armor sales meetings? “Hey, great job Steve, you hit your sales quota this month, so we’re sending you home with Tawny Rose here!  But Al, you missed your monthly goal, so no nookie for you!” 

Do you suppose any women work at DHB Industries? I mean, is this an equal-opportunity hooker hiring opportunity? Does this guy know that prostitution is illegal?  Oh. Wait. Yeah. If you’re buying belt buckles worth WAY more than my annual salary, then probably pesky things like “the law” don’t bother you.

But maybe he’s onto something. Maybe that’s what Barack needs to do with recalcitrant Repubs: promise them the hooker of their choice (and oh my goodness, what a range that would be!) if they would just vote like reasonable human beings. You know, stop fucking the environment and everything else, and screw someone who is at least getting paid for it.

Continue Reading · on July 28, 2010 in Politics, sex

The Answer

Thumbnail image for IMG_3534.JPGI thought I’d dodged a bullet. I thought Liam’s question about “why does a mommy have another baby” question was only a thinly veiled complaint: why did you visit this fresh hell called Caleb on my heretofore idyllic existence?

I was wrong. I hadn’t dodged a bullet, I’d only delayed being hit. After I told him that people often had more than one child and that sometimes only children were lonely, he got to the heart of things:

Liam: How? How does the baby get inside her?

Me (dammit): Well, the woman has eggs inside her–

Liam, hysterically laughing: Like she’s a chicken?

Me: Well, no, not with a shell or anything.

L: Wouldn’t that be funny if in a million years or so there were invaders from space and they ate only human eggs, wouldn’t that be funny? I mean, sort of funny but really pretty bad, too?

Me: Funny? I don’t know about that –
L: Where is the egg?

Me (deep breath): In the uterus, which is inside the woman, sort of lower than her tummy–

L: What’s a woombah?

Me: What? Oh, a w-o-m-b?

I explain–very briefly–that wombs and uteruses (uteri?) are both part of the baby-growing process, and realize that my knowledge of my own anatomy is shockingly–shockingly–vague.

Liam: What happens to the egg?

Me (persistent little bugger, isn’t he?):  Well, the egg is fertilized with sperm from a man and then the baby grows inside. 

Wait for it, wait for it…

Liam: How?

Shit … here we go…

Me: Well, when the people love each other very much it can feel very good to be close to each other and then sometimes they decide to make a baby together, but not always. 

Yes, yes, that’s right, I did a TOTAL END RUN around the key details.

Liam, thoughtful, sinks under the water in the tub and blows some bubbles. Emerges: Where does the sperm come from?

I am exhausted. This is the longest bath ever in the history of baths. 

Me:  It comes from a man’s penis–

Liam, panicked: WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU MEAN???

Me (confused): Well, sperm is inside the man’s body, when you get older, and it comes out – sort of like pee, you know?

Liam, calmer: Oh. Okay. I thought you had to get it off the penis or cut the penis off or something-

Nice job, mom. let’s get that therapist lined up, shall we? Can you say castration anxiety?

Me: No, no, when you’re older–then you’ll have sperm. And sometimes it will come out even when you’re sleeping, like during a dream. It’s just part of your body getting ready to be a grownup.

This detail led to some technical discussion about penile plumbing that I shan’t go into here–suffice it to say that there were analogies to garden hoses without water and garden hoses with water, and then we pressed onward, into literally murkier waters (it was a LONG bath).

Liam, laughing: What if you don’t have an egg? Do you get a mad scientist to concoct one?

Me: Well, actually, yes–I mean, not a mad scientist but–

Liam: Wow. Do you need a man and a woman to have a baby?

Me: Um…you need the sperm, but that can happen in lots of different ways. So if a man loves a man, or a woman loves a woman, or a man and a woman love each other, they can have a baby; or if just a man or just a woman want to have a baby, that can happen too. 

(Desperately inventorying all the families we know: have I included all the various permutations of parenthood and familyhood? This conversation was a hell of a lot easier in the Betty Draper era, when families pretty much came in only one basic model.)

Liam finally climbs out of the bath, demurely covering himself in a towel. I take a deep breath, figuring we’re on the other side of the difficult bits of the conversation.

Liam: Mommy? What does gay mean?

You’re killing me, kid. I explain what gay means and then say that people often use the word as an insult and he nods, names a kid who is a bit of a bully and uses the word all the time, to be nasty.

Liam: But why would anyone care about gayness, mommy?

Me: I don’t know, sweetie, they just do.

Liam: I think I would like to have a baby. When I’m older, I mean. I mean, kids are fun, right?

Me: Mmmm, yep, just loads of fun.  

Liam leans close to me and I reach to hug him, sure that he’s feeling all listened to and supported and understood after our Deep and Important Conversation.

Mommy, he whispers, can I use the computer now?

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Continue Reading · on October 28, 2009 in Children, Kids

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