Dispelling the Assumption that “Everyone Has Kids!”

The dictionary definition of an assumption is a fact or statement taken for granted or presuming that something is true. The Your Sexy Librarian definition of an assumption is making an ass out of you and me. I organized a meeting at work with several positive, outgoing people from other areas of the building. Our goal was to lay the foundation for a fundraising event. The meeting was going smoothly, until a young woman, who just moments before toted her multiple college degrees, suggested we create a summer fun basket because “everyone has kids!” Sigh. I despise assumptions because the little bastards just keep popping up despite their lack of truthful existence. Some great past examples of failed assumptions include, “Women with short hair are lesbians.” and “Women with short hair are not feminine.” Short hair does not measure femininity at all. That sexy woman with the short hair may very well be sporting matching La Perla undies, which are far more feminine than run-of-the-mill store bought underwear sold at mass retailers. Then there are the assumptions that men with bigger physical statures will be rude or mean, that all people who grow up in a trailer park turn out to be drug-abusing trash, that a rape victim “was asking for it” based on her attire and that all Catholics do not believe in birth control. Assumptions are essentially opinions that some people share without thinking. My absolute favorite asinine assumption was spoken by a middle-aged female newspaper editor. This woman had the nerve to say to me, “Your mom is from the Appalachians. Can she read?” Socio-economics and...

An Evening of Blackheart Burlesque

In the pharmaceutical word, a patient is naïve to therapy if he or she has never tried that specific therapy before. In the real world, I was naïve to burlesque until a friend took me to see a show featuring a traveling group called the Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque. The word burlesque derives from the Italian word “burla,” meaning joke, ridicule or mockery. Burlesque as a performance originated in 17th century Italian theatre as a type of comic interlude and would evolve over hundreds of years into its present-day form of bawdy entertainment. Burlesque is defined in the dictionary as “an absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody” and as “a variety show, typically including striptease.” A Google image search shows multitudes of photos featuring fuller-figured, scantily clad women involved in various strip tease acts. I went to the Blackheart show with an open mind. I left with a less-than-stellar, somewhat mixed opinion of this traveling troupe’s show.   The show opened with a young lady, who spent much of the evening in tubes socks and a pair of itsy bitsy panties, coming onstage to talk to the crowd. She was the emcee for the evening’s delight and opened the show by calling everyone there “bitches.” This young lady was derogatory to herself, to her fellow troupe performers and to the crowd. Instead of using her mic time to showcase intelligence and strength of character in herself and in her fellow performers, she instead stayed in trash-talking mode for the entire performance. The performers all wore black X’s across their...

Wanted: A Good Cuddle

I was reading an independent weekly newspaper this week when an ad on the back cover caught my eye. I did a double-take as I could not believe what I was seeing. I had not realized such a thing was possible. Among the ads for bankruptcy, addiction help and lawyers specializing in suspended licenses was a bright pink advertisement for a cuddling company. Yes, a cuddling company, whom shall remain nameless for now. Curiosity got the better of me so I checked out this cuddling company’s website. There was a great deal of emphasis on the professional cuddling experience being all non-sexual touch. All participants are fully clothed before, during and after a cuddle session. The cuddling takes place in “the cuddle room” or, for an extra fee, at a private residence. The videos of example cuddle sessions portray a hybrid mix of cuddling and massage, which my partner vehemently declared “not cuddling!” According to the owner of the cuddling company, “Cuddling helps reduce stress, can help alcohol withdrawal, increases oxytocin levels and reduces levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.” The owner went on to say, “A 20-second hug can improve your day.”   Before I write more on professional cuddling services, I would like for readers to better understand oxytocin and what it does in our bodies. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus in the brain that is then transported to and secreted by the pea-sized pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain just beneath the hypothalamus. Oxytocin is both chemical and biological in nature because it performs two distinct...

An American Story: The Invention of the Birth Control Pill

Happy 55th birthday to the birth control pill! On May 9, 1960, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral contraceptive, Enovid. The four Americans behind this miracle pill were feminist Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), scientist Dr. Gregory Pincus (1903-1967), Roman Catholic obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. John Rock (1890-1984) and heiress Katharine McCormick (1875-1967). This quartet of masterminds came together in the 1950s to create the country’s first oral contraceptive.   Sanger was a birth control activist, sex educator and nurse. She was one of 11 children born into a Roman Catholic working-class Irish family. Sanger saw firsthand the effect multiple pregnancies and even miscarriages had on her own mother. Seeking a better life for herself, Sanger attended Claverack College and Hudson River Institute before studying nursing at White Plains Hospital. In 1902, she married architect William Sanger. The couple would eventually have three children. In the early 1910s, Sanger began working in New York’s Lower East Side and saw multitudes of women “suffering due to frequent childbirth and self-induced abortions.” In 1912, Sanger began her campaign to educate women about sex and pregnancy when she wrote a newspaper column called “What Every Girl Should Know.” Sanger coined the term “birth control” and began to distribute contraceptive information and contraceptives, such as douches and suppositories, to women. Her 1914 publication The Woman Rebel promoted a woman’s right to access and use birth control. Sanger was indicted in 1915 for violating the Comstock Act because she had sent her publication through the mail. The law prohibited mailing information about contraceptives as well as actual contraceptives through the mail. To...

The Evolution of the Condom

The basic concept of the condom has existed for hundreds of years, but the modern-day design of the individual, foiled-wrapped packets we use today came much later in the evolution of the condom. The reasons for condom use changed throughout its evolution as well. The one consistency for the condom throughout history is that the origin of the word “condom” is still unknown. Egyptian paintings depict condom use as far back as 950 B.C.E., putting the age of the most basic condom at roughly 3,000-years-old. The Romans used oiled animal bladders and lengths of animal intestines as penile sheaths. In other parts of the world, such as Japan, early condoms were made from fine leather. These primitive penile sheaths were used to prevent venereal diseases and were not used to avoid unwanted pregnancies, because, historically speaking, men considered pregnancy to be solely a female concern. In the mid-1500s, Italian physician and anatomy professor Gabriello Falloppio designed a medicated linen sheath that fit over the glans, or the head of the penis, that was secured in place by the foreskin. This sheath was intended to prevent users from contracting venereal diseases, especially syphilis which was spreading rapidly throughout Asia and Europe at the time. Falloppio’s invention was the first clearly documented prophylactic for the penis. According to his records, Falloppio tested his sheath on “over a thousand men, with complete success.” Soon after Falloppio’s invention was created, a version was created for circumcised men in which the sheath, a standard six inches in length, was tied securely at the base of the penis with a pink ribbon. Other condoms at...

Italy’s Contributions to Anatomy, Science and Sex

I was that child who asked “Why is the sky blue?” until I was satisfied with the answer I was given. My mother quickly adapted to my questions; she bought my brother and me a set of encyclopedias and a “how science works” book series along with two dictionaries. She gave us both unlimited access to the public library and encouraged me to bestow some questions on the librarians. We were both encouraged to read anything we wanted, no matter how challenging the material or how questionable in nature the material was deemed by other mothers. Our mother never stifled our creativity, intelligence or curiosity. Perhaps this is why I still ask questions to this day. I want to know as much as I can about everything that interests me, which is one reason I spend more time reading and researching than watching television. The other day I was reading a book for some ideas for some Tweets and found information that excited me. I discovered a treasure trove of anatomy-related information about sex and reproduction. I want to share this information because it is just good stuff to know.   The Italian anatomist Gabriel Fallopius was born in 1523 in Modena, Italy, and served as a canon of the cathedral of Modena before returning to the study of medicine. In 1549, Fallopius became a professor of anatomy at the University of Pisa. He performed multitudes of dissections using human cadavers and described his work in the book Observationes anatomicae, which was published in 1561. Fallopius described many of the major nerves of the head and face as well as...