Scribbling Dame

Preposterous Pondering.

The Gift of Stillness December 24, 2013

I love Christmas and always have. I have successfully turned my oldest into a Christmas enthusiast as well, which only makes it even more fun for me. I was always raised with the experience of Christmas magic, even when I was so poor that my family received the food drive donations from my school. However, all these years I could not really pinpoint exactly what was so magical about Christmas.

Presents are fun, but as you get older, of course, these are few and far between and become a lot of work to acquire and wrap. Parties and get togethers can be joyful, but also a lot of work, especially if you are trying to haul your kids to them and hope the fact that they’re sugared up and haven’t been to bed on time in who-knows-how-long doesn’t make them the living argument for birth control.  All those things can be fun and provide momentary joy.

I realized though, that the real gift of Christmas (or the holiday season, however you celebrate), is the forced stillness that comes with it. Eventually all the presents are purchased and wrapped. Most of civilization is closed. The parties are done and the food eaten, and you are left with the people around you and nothing to do. This is the magic of Christmas–a moment to just be, with the person/people that mean something to you, with no need to achieve or accomplish or work. This stillness gives the opportunity to reconnect to our hearts, our gratitude and our families and memories, and experience the awe and wonder and warmth that is our lives in the here and now. The Silent Night is a waking meditation.

I hope you all find peace in the stillness of the season and enter the next year rejuvenated.



Embracing Woo-Woo December 9, 2013

I do not know where this term came from, but it is the perfect term for what I used to envision as hippie granola-kinda-crazy-but-always-sweet healing type stuff. I have always loved people who love woo-woo, because let’s face it, they are downright nice people who generally like helping others or at least listening to them. Still, for years, I have strongly identified as non-woo-woo. In fact, I would say I strongly identified as the opposite of woo-woo, which I perceived to be bitchy, kick-ass, step on anyone’s throat with a stiletto if I want, get-shit-done kind of lady.

I am stubborn and kick-ass and I do like a challenge. I’m not easily intimidated and I am confident, but I am not as anti-woo-woo as I once thought. Or maybe I’ve evolved.


The truth about me is I’m really quite gushy inside. I cry at the thought of others’ pain and I can also tear up at the wonder that is the beauty in people and life. I like yoga and puppies and shit and I don’t even own a pair of stilettos. I have no desire to prove anything to anyone anymore. What a fucking relief.

Some of this softening is definitely due to hormones and childbearing and science, but the rest is most certainly due to a respectable quest for more fulfillment and my own definition of happiness in my life, and embracing more woo and woo-bringers. This quest has resulted in shedding a toxic work environment (for me), downsizing a house, making decisions without considering money, and trying all sorts of healing practices like acupuncture (no likey), meditation (still working on it), yoga (love, and still working on it), Body Talk (can’t even explain what that is) and only spending time with folks who not only say they care, but actively show they care (no fakes).

I have replaced so much of what didn’t fulfill me with better people, less stress, more gratitude, feeling free and generally being a nicer, happier person. All via woo-ness and woo-dom and woo-dwellers.

So, as long as it works and you’re not out there killing babies or something, go for it. Embrace the weird and the woo-woo. If you want more official word on this Deepak Chopra totally backs me up in this article.  

Also, as a fun aside, when I googled “woo-woo” this really awesome drink recipe came up, which you should also embrace.



Performance Management July 3, 2013

I had a realization. Some parents really care A LOT about how their kids perform.

I know this isn’t a grand revelation–I’ve heard of Tiger Moms and Helicopter Parents and Stage Moms, etc., but I’ve been going along in my own little world just trying to keep the kids alive, have a self identity and a good marriage so I haven’t really had the opportunity to see it in action.

Until last week. At the rec center tennis camp. I put my kid in summer rec center camps because I was scared to be alone with her all day all summer. Plus add in the crazy little one and I’m outnumbered. No way.

So she did tiny-tot beginner tennis camp last week. This was a thirty-minute-a-day “camp” for four total days. Hardly what I’d call professional tennis training.

I’d watch Sofia try and tap into her hand eye coordination, realizing that, like her parents, it’s highly likely that she’ll get academic scholarships over athletic ones. Sometimes she’d connect the racket with the ball, and the other 50% of the time she’d miss, and pirouette with her racket like the point of the move was actually to twirl and the ball was a footnote in her actions. She was a clown and I liked her flair, and most importantly to me she seemed to be having fun.

Three of the four kids in the class were similar in skill to Sofia and one little guy was pretty good. Yet I realized at the end of the class, I was the only one who didn’t care that Sofia wasn’t good at tennis. The other parents seemed genuinely distressed and distraught, which is a puzzle to me: what did they expect would happen in 30 minutes over four days for $24?

This is probably not going to be Sofia.

This is probably not going to be Sofia.

Don’t get me wrong–if my kid was the best in her class I’d make sure everyone knew she was my future tennis star, but the fact that she is probably a regular old goofy five year-old makes me just as happy. The last thing I want is for my kid to be incapable of having fun, because she is worried too much about being the best. The same goes for me.

How my kid performs does not directly reflect my worth as a parent. How my kid handles how she performs does.

Chillax people. It’s just tiny tots tennis camp. Your kid will not be a crack whore or car salesman if they have to retake the same level next week. Promise.


Seedy Mom Hangouts January 16, 2013

I’m back from writing vacation. Thanks for your patience.

As a mom, there are a lot of things I would never have done as a non-mom. Wiping asses, picking boogers and watching Dora are among them. Okay–you got me–I don’t watch Dora. That voice makes me want to kill myself.

The evil is real.

The evil is real.

Anyway, it occurred to me that there are plenty of places I would never spend my time before, that I now consider part of the mom experience. They aren’t actually “seedy” but they are definitely not places I will keep hanging out once the kiddos  are grown, unless something goes severely awry with my life plans…or my husband’s vasectomy.

1) Parking lots. I hang out in my car in parking lots all the time. The cart lady at Target totally knows me. Sounds fun right? It totally is, at least when compared to the fun of waking up your sleeping baby and then dealing with their cranky no-nap shit fest. I listen to the radio, rest my eyes, catch up on email (thank God for Smartphones) and generally people watch.

2) McDonald’s “Funland” playground. For an Oregon mom on a rainy day this can be a lifesaver. Yeah there are germs and bratty kids but there is also a free indoor playground and fries. Don’t judge me–we don’t go all the time.

3)Ikea. They have free daycare for an hour if your kid is potty-trained. Do I shop? Not usually. I’ll go sit in the cafe and have a snack, or find a nice living room set up and test out the couch, all in blissful silence. I have even had friends go there for a cheap date night.

4) The mall. During the day time, this is no place for teenagers. It’s all olds and mommies. There’s food there, and long walkways for your children to tire themselves on, and if you are lucky there’s even a play area. Again, inside, away from crap January weather.

Where are your seedy mom hangouts?


You Can’t Google your Grandma December 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 10:57 pm
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2011 really sucked for me (and my family). I won’t go into the whole sob story of everything that happened, but use your imagination. Pretty much any shitty thing that could happen in a year did–except Cancer. No one got Cancer. So 2011 was the year of everything but Cancer.

Anyway, this post is not about shitty years. It’s about aging and Grandmas. I miss mine. They both died last year (around this time, hence my sentimentality) and while I always loved them and felt close to them while they were alive, it was during this year that I fully realized the influence and impact each of them had on me.

I would not have even thought about writing if it wasn’t for my Grandma Hendrickson, who let me type really bad poems on her typewriter (kitch!) and who let me order however many books I wanted from those book order forms you got from elementary school.

I would never have appreciated my education and modern-lady living if it wasn’t for my Grandma Ollie who always asked me about my latest travels and  talked to me about the things she wanted to do when she was my age, but just never could.

I learned tremendous amounts from both of them about what it means to be a good wife and mother. 

I also happen to be in a nebulous age category. I’m not young anymore because I have two kids, tired boobs, a mortgage, student loan debt, and graying hair. Professionally I am in my prime–experienced enough not to be an idiot but not too old so my skills are still relevant. This is why I had to leave my career last month. And, I’m not the old lady in most of my social circles, but I know my time will come.

So in this sandwich of life experience I am currently the mystery meat, and it is from this perspective that I realize the Youngs may just well lose the chance to experience the wisdom of their elders (affectionately, the Olds). In my younger siblings and other random youths I encounter, I see no signs of interest in the Olds, and I am witnessing a simultaneous hyper-connection with peers, and disconnection from everyone and everything else.

I don’t have a particular soapbox to stand on here, beyond to say that if you have influence over a young person, make  them take a minute to connect with the Old(s) in their life. At the very least they will hear interesting stories like when my Grandpa used to tell me about getting drunk in GI housing, and more than likely, they’ll reap far more like life lessons you can’t find in Wikipedia.  

Hug an Old today. 🙂

betty white


Letter to Santa November 14, 2012

We have made it. A day I have been dreaming of since before Sofia was even born. She is into Christmas–and I mean really into it. I have unabashedly groomed her for this since she was 2 weeks old. I wanted to raise a Christmas addict. This is largely because I am married to a Grunch. This is a Grump mixed with a Grinch, which is what my husband becomes around the holidays (he is also disappointingly apathetic to birthdays). He doesn’t actually steal toys from children, but if it was up to him, there would be no tree, no presents and definitely no christmas lights outside.

So I knew that if I was ever going to have the magic of Christmas live on, I would have to raise my kids to be so excited that their Daddy would have to play along. Mwaha haha haaa…(read as evil laughter).

So I won. Sofia is into it, and now that she is just shy of five, we wrote our first letter to Santa today, which I think is worth sharing:

Dear Santa,

I really love you. I’ve been a good girl this year. I love purple and pink and all the colors. 

I would like rainbow stuff, a rainbow Barbie, a pretty pink and white hair clip and also I would like a heart shirt that is rainbow. Also I want a new laptop [DVD player] and plug because I broke my other one. 

I’m going to make five cookies for you and also I’m going to give you a present that is nice. It’s a new car. 

Have a great day with your elves and your reindeer and also riding your sleigh. 



P.S. I am glad I have that whole car thing in writing. This will come in handy later I think.


One healthy baby, with a side of Percoset March 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 10:37 am
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So tomorrow is the big day. I can’t tell you how bizarre it is to know exactly when we are going to have a baby. It is a total mind fuck. We are at home today looking around the house thinking, “What else needs to get done before we have this baby?” And weirdly the answer is things like clean out the fridge and vacuum and get the dog groomed. Oh, and paint my toes and shave my legs–my last feeble attempts at staying girly and pretty before I become a human all-you-can-eat buffet. 

It’s also weird from another perspective this time, in that, we know our whole family dynamic will never be the same again. We will no longer be a threesome. My daughter’s entire existence is about to change. It sort of feels like the night before we neutered our dog. I knew things would never be the same for him again, and what was worse, I knew he had no idea it was coming. At least in Sofia’s case, there is more to be gained from this major life change than Chachi’s ball removal. Still, we will drop her off at her grandparents tonight knowing that her life isn’t going to be the same anymore. 

The nature of a countdown is also a cause of major anxiety for me. The unknowing of the first pregnancy/labor was nice in that I knew it was close but until I was in it, I could only think in hypotheticals. It is not the same as tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. a person will put a needle in my spine so that I don’t feel anything when they cut open my stomach, peel four layers of me back like an onion, cut open my uterus, wrestle the baby out and then put me back together again. (That’s the cliff notes version of a c-section for those of you who may think it is an “easy” way out. I might concede to easier than some vaginal deliveries I’ve heard of, but it is certainly not the get out of jail free card that some people seem to think.)


Relax! You're life is never going to be the same again!

The nice thing about a second kiddo is that I also know how much of all this I will forget and not care about once I see that little face. I still distinctly the remember the first time we looked into Sofia’s eyes and it is the most enchanting thing I have ever experienced. I just have to get through the final physical hurdles of pregnancy and delivery and recovery. Once that’s done, I’ll be in a very tired, messy, state of heavenly bliss. It will be great to have a newborn again, and it will be fun to see Sofia become a big sister and start to learn about how they are the same and how they are distinct from one another.   

The reality of things is, the pregnancy and delivery is but a moment in time and I will be glad when it’s over because it’s everything after that truly makes kids worth having, for those of us who are so inclined.

Stay tuned for my next post, as I am sure it will lean far more towards the absurd and hilarious than the sentimental due to lack of sleep, constant leakage of fluids, and the realization that I still can’t drink even though I am not pregnant anymore… 


Interview with a four-year-old February 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 10:37 am
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As part of my nesting period in this pregnancy, it’s become really important for me to do more sentimental time-capsule-y type things. I am working on finishing Sofia’s baby book (makes sense before the next kid arrives). I am archiving and scanning sentimental photos in case our house burns down. I am a human historian and trying to think of traditions to start that will be great heirlooms and memories for the girls going forward. I had none of these things growing up–I am, beyond memories, history-less. There are no relics from my childhood save a few pictures.

Cuter than bunnies...

So, one of the things I put together, which is by no means original, was a list of 15 questions to ask my girls every year around their birthday. I’ll print/write these out with their answers and collect them in a little book to give them when they are older. If you do this, consider video taping the interview. The faces Sofia made when answering were priceless…


Here are Sofia’s answers this year;

1. What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef

2. What is your favorite toy? My rainbow bear

3. What is your favorite color? purple and pink

4. What makes you happy? Ellie (her sister)

5. What makes you sad? When you put me in time out

6. What does Mommy say to you all the time?  I love you

7. What does Daddy say to you all the time?  I love you

8. What is your favorite thing to do at school?  play

9. What’s your favorite food? pancakes

10. Where is your favorite place to go? school

11. What is your favorite thing to pretend? My pig and my duck.

12. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?  A cute new little pet bunny.

13. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?  the supermarket

14. Who is your best friend?  Emily and Grace and Sage

15. What do you think it will be like to be a grown up?  I’ll be a sister chef


Sacrifice July 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 11:31 pm

Besides the whole pregnancy, labor, and time suck/money suck attributes of the sacrifices of parenthood, there are those special moments that come up that make you really understand what a slave you are to your child. For me, you would think this was earlier this week when kiddo thrust her fork out at me and said, “Give me all your money.”

But no. The real moment was when last week we decided to explore a local place called “PlaydatePDX.” It’s a giant indoor playground, perfect for rainy Portland days. The husband and I had heard good things, were bored and slightly frightened of being alone in the house all day with our super-active kid, so decided to give it a whirl.

At the end of the 15 minute drive to get there, kiddo is asleep. So, after much debate and waiting in the car, we decide to head home.

Drive home. Almost there. Kid wakes up and asks “Are we almost to the playground?” In a move that is more like something I would think of, my husband says “Let’s just tell her it’s closed.” But like any good mother, I couldn’t handle the guilt.

We turn around, drive the 15 minutes again and actually PAY MONEY to enter what is the equivalent of a war zone with very tiny screaming soldiers running amongst all the bodily fluids one can imagine, while shoeless. There is a cafe but there are literally no open seats in this joint, so I have to stand and hover for a spot like it’s the goddamned hottest restaurant in town. Did I mention that we had to pay money for this?  The only redeeming factor about this place is they sell beer and wine–it was my only defense of this shit fest of a place that I drove to twice because I can’t bear to see a look of disappointment on my daughter’s face.

When you know you are getting hosed, but you do it anyway, that is sacrifice.


There’s not an app for that–yet June 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 8:56 pm
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My husband has slowly converted me into an Apple fanatic. Between my husband’s penchant for technology and my ability to be completely suckered by marketing (read: “ooh pretty package!”) Apple is a perfect match for our indulgences. We feel cool and edgy, even though we are middle class yuppies willing to waste cash on things that a hundred million other people also own.

Still, here are five apps that I really think Apple should consider. While I like Angry Birds and interactive Scrabble, I know some people who could really use these apps instead:

Zero points on Weight Watchers.

1. Zero calorie mixed drink app. This one is for me. I’d really like an app that lets me drink my sorority-grade cocktails–you know, high sugar, barely any taste of alcohol–without the guilt of knowing that every time I get buzzed I have an hour on the treadmill as payment.

2. Make my teenager less of an a-hole app. Teenagers are a-holes. Even good ones. I should know. I have two teenage siblings that are utter shits. If teenagers weren’t so hateful and stupid and selfish, the world would be a better place.

3. Traffic Remover. This is an app that almost everyone can use. Imagine how much more life you could live if you weren’t stuck behind ass hats who can’t merge, rubber-neckers who want to see carnage, and slow pokes in general.

4. Magic dinner maker. The solution to America’s obesity and financial problems. If we had an app that made our dinner for us, with fresh ingredients, we’d be in good shape and we would have more time with our families. Do you remember the magic windows on Star Trek that just required a push of a button and then it’d open up and whatever you needed was there? Yeah, that’s where I’m going with this.

Honey, you look a little different tonight!

5. Spouse Skin. Think of this like a new skin for your phone or your laptop, but it makes your husband look like Bradley Cooper (my latest Hollywood desert island choice–you know the game where you and your husband assume that your spouse is dead and you have to choose a celebrity to be stranded with and nothing counts because you just need to keep the human race going…) I love my husband. I wouldn’t marry anyone else, but it would be fun to be able to have his personality in Bradley Cooper’s body. Really fun.

Okay Apple and developers. I did my part. Now get to work.


The Perfect Father’s Day Gift June 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 9:11 pm
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Father’s and Mother’s Day are made up holidays that seem basically lame until you are in fact, a mother or father. Once you cross over you know these holidays are an awesome way to milk your partner and children for that thing you’ve been wanting, or at the very least, justifiably make your family be at your slaves for a day.

These are also days of potentially awful gifts, if your kids or your partner hate you or generally want to get revenge for something. You can thank me later for handling your shopping issue for you.

I introduce The Booty Pillow. It seems there is a pretty large market of pillows for or with boobs, among other shapes. This is marketed towards women who do not want to cuddle their man after sex, or horny perverts with a really immature sense of humor. Either way I am sure NASCAR is involved…

My personal favorite is the Amsterdaaaam Booty, but you will know the right booty for your man when you see it. Cheetah Booty anyone?

I know what you are thinking–but no, they do not offer engraving. I can guarantee, however, that this gift will make it a Father’s Day he won’t forget.

Nothing says "I love you" like replacing your woman with a stuffed, trashier, well-shaped version of her ass.


Family is Relative February 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 12:20 am
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My grandpa died on Saturday.

In some ways this should not have been a surprise because of course 1) people die inevitably and 2) the guy was 92 years old–hardly a spring chicken.

My grandpa was also one of those people for whom the phrase “they don’t make ’em like that anymore” was coined. He seemed virtually indestructible due to surviving Pearl Harbor, a few strokes, my grandma’s frustrations, some rattlesnakes, and various construction injuries. These are just to name the things I know about. So, even though it probably should not have been, it was a bit of a shock.

I will not go into all the things that life teaches us or the meaning of death. I don’t know anything about either of those. What I do know is that family does not come from who shares your DNA. Family is who knows you well because of the history you share, loves you for who you are, and takes the time to demonstrate this to you on a regular basis. So, even though my grandpa and I were not technically related, he and I had the relationship that Grands are supposed to have, and I was lucky to witness him also share some of those gifts with my three-year-old before he passed.

It wasn’t until my adulthood that we got to be closer, and, because we all know I can’t deal with life, or in this case death, without trying to laugh about it, I bring you a couple of great moments with Grandpa.

The Brown Banana Crisis: For years, whenever we visited Grandpa and Grandma, we would always be sure to bring up our brown bananas for my Grandpa because he always ate them. Finally one day he turned to us and said, “Would you stop bringing those damn brown bananas?” We were all shocked and said “Grandpa, I thought you liked them–that’s why we’ve been bringing them to you all these years!” Turns out, he just didn’t like to see the things go to waste–a habit form surviving the Depression I suppose. We always think of Grandpa when we see brown bananas.

The Original Ugly Doll: My grandpa always made fun of my dolls when I brought them on a visit. He would stop and make a sour face and ask me, “Why on Earth did you bring that ugly thing?” Of course I would defend my latest love interest, but I have to say it was fun to shake my doll at him and watch him shiver and feign disgust.

Love you Grandpa!

Grandpa is somewhere in Heaven giving tractor rides to people.


The Marathon Sex Diet December 7, 2010

Filed under: SuperWoman Syndrome,Uncategorized,Vagina — Scribbling Dame @ 7:19 pm
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It’s the holidays which means a lot of things for a lot of people. For almost every woman it means eating things you feel guilty about and lamenting your ever-growing waistline with the full knowledge that come January, it is your womanly duty to become a Resolutionary and discipline yourself back to an acceptable size and shape.

We also know that almost always, those good intentions never work out in the long term.

Fear not! As I was thinking about moving into a monastery where fast food and yummy mixed drinks are not allowed, I came up with an idea that frankly makes me a god-damned genius.

Like this only with sex and living people.

With the various diets I have tried–okay only Weight Watchers–I was shocked to find that there was no physical activity points given for sex. If a ten minute walk counts for activity, then I definitely think that sex should count. And, unlike all those other diets out there, having more sex to lose weight sounds like a diet I could actually follow through on. I don’t know a woman, even those with great sex lives, who wouldn’t opt for more.

Top three reasons why you should try the Marathon Sex Diet:

1) You don’t need a membership or any new gear to get started! (unless you want some of course).

2) Everyone can afford it. (See Note below)

3) I’m not making any guarantees, but it’ll probably create world peace! We all know that sex-starved men leads to more violence in the world.

My minutes of extensive Google research shows that on average, an hour of vigorous sex burns 300 calories! That’s the same as a treadmill and potentially way more rewarding! As women, it is our duty to multi-task. You might as well orgasm, lose weight and keep the love in your relationship alive.

Good luck, happy humping, and feel free to comment with your sucsex stories!

Note: potential side effects include pregnancy and chafing. Use precautions.


Because you’re worth it. October 8, 2010

Filed under: Mommy Issues,SuperWoman Syndrome,Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 4:37 pm
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I have made a decision. I have a four-day work schedule and I have used that day to stay home with baby girl and get a lot of errands done. I can no longer do this. She has to go to daycare. Stat.

And I am not even going to feel guilty about it. So there. In fact, I may start every Wednesday morning in a cafe with a mocha and drink it in uninterrupted silence, unapologetically. And I will have a Jude Law look-a-like as my Barista. I will also not gain any weight from said mocha. Okay, so just the first part is true, unless Jude Law has actually been getting all those letters…

You might think, how lazy can a mother be that she can’t even hack one day with her kid?  To which I say, you have not met my daughter. She is lovely about 80% of the time. It is the other 20% that can make you run into a corner of a room and try to rock yourself to sleep.

At first when I thought of this, voices of Sanctimommies everywhere told me what an awful idea it was and how it was a cop out to send my kid to daycare when I am lucky enough to have a day a week with her. But consider this: I would much rather spend grateful, happy quality time with Sofia, than trudge through a day with her whilst in constant battle and angst. I do not want her memories of me to be frazzled, heinous, and hanging by a thread. More importantly, I do not want to set the example that being a good parent means utter self-sacrifice all the fucking time.  I will save that for the rest of my week.


Wednesdays are for me. And Jude. (And grocery shopping.)


Penises! September 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 9:15 pm
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Sorry for being a day late friends! WordPress took the night off apparently…

I like penises (peni?). A lot. Especially lately.

Anyway, I happened upon some fun penis facts whilst searching WebMD for pictures of childhood illnesses, a sexy Friday night activity, and thought there were some fascinating things out there that you should know, if you don’t already. The penis does, after all, have a story, just as a vagina does.

The Life Cycle of a Penis (I will refrain from a Lion King joke here…)

5 Things You never Knew About Your Penis And you thought you were so close…

Who cares about Franken fish. I am more worried about Frankenpenis.

Oral sex can give you throat cancer, but don’t let your man read this one because it includes all oral sex: Good news?!

Be careful girls. Like all medical websites, WebMD can sometimes ensure that curiosity kills the cat (ahem) and go too far like with it’s slideshow called “Sex Drive Killers.” Why would anyone want to watch that?


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