Category Archives: sex

No More “Girl-on-Top”

Lately, I’ve been running half-marathons. In the past, my running was pretty much limited to airports – getting to the gate before the plane’s door shut. I got started nearly two years ago, when my husband and I signed up to train and run with Team RMH, a fund-raising team to benefit the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. In November, 2008, I ran my first “half” at Pacific Grove. It was great fun, and I marveled that I could go this distance simply by training pretty moderately but consistently. It’s kind of a lazy-girl’s way of running, without risk of overtraining or getting injured.

Six weeks later, I decided to do another big run. It was just for fun, and I was in high spirits, feeling buff.  A supporter of Muffy Vanderbear’s assertion that “Life is one big dress up party” I spiffed up at LuLuLemon, buying upbeat, fast-looking running shorts and a comfy tank top.

Race day came; it was overcast (good!) and muggy (not so good), but I pushed through. The run was well worth the luscious grape Popsicle that I was handed along with the finisher’s medal. A few weeks later, an email arrived from the “official photographer” of the event. I eagerly found the proofs of my finish and was amazed to find what seemed to be an unusually good action shot. Never mind that the “proof banner” obstructed part of my body. I looked appropriately sweaty, the running costume looked fresh and lively, I had an honest smile on my face and my legs and arms looked like they were still in comfortable motion after going the 13.1 Feeling proud and bullish, I ordered several prints. Hell, I was looking good, and why wouldn’t my family and friends want a nice 5×7 of my hero shot?

A few days ago, the big white envelope arrived. I eagerly tore it open and pulled out the prints. My jaw dropped open. My eyes widened. What happened to my left leg? Was someone playing a cruel Photoshop joke on me? Whose leg was attached to my body?? What WAS that thing, and where did it come from? The old Sesame Street bit, “one of these things is not like the others,” came to mind… my arms and the other leg looked pretty much as they had when I started the run at 7:00 a.m. But that “other thing” sure didn’t look like the rest of me. The stacks of material in a fabric store crossed my imagination, too – why did my leg look strangely like a bolt of finely-crinkled crepe? Or was it Silly Putty?

One of these things is not like the other..

Shock trumped revulsion. Disbelief. Self-loathing. The pain-o-meter got worse when I also realized I’d paid exactly one hundred times more than the prints were worth if they’d been ordered through Walgreens or KodakGallery. I’d been had, willingly. All this, for a picture that could have come from  “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

Plan 9

Lessons learned:

  • Pride indeed comes before the fall.
  • Gravity is a Truth; my body is a testament.
  • Aging skin is not really attractive, even if you’re in great shape.
  • Mirrors don’t show everything.
  • Spandex and Lycra are our friends.
  • Beware what’s hiding under the “proof banner.”
  • Don’t order large prints. The icky things look bigger, too.

One more crepe-y, drape-y insight: some things just aren’t so pretty anymore.  No more girl-on-top.


Cougars vs. LetchDaddies, Manthers, Guyrillas…or…

Cougars. Not exactly an endangered species when we notice how often we hear about them. They’re everywhere.. or at least the WORD is everywhere.

A search on Urban Dictionary turns up this definition:

Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. Man is cougar’s number one prey.

UD also gives the newly-informed a chance to buy CougarGear. (I’m veering off-message, but would a coug really wear a baby-tee or baseball cap describing herself as an “older” cat on the prowl for young, male prey?)

This got me thinking. We need words to describe our lives, the stuff and thoughts of our lives. If there’s not a special or unique word for “some thing,” does it mean the thing doesn’t exist for us?

As far as I can see, and I may be myopic —  there is no single word, like “cougar,” that defines the older guy who hunts and hits on much younger women. Continue reading Cougars vs. LetchDaddies, Manthers, Guyrillas…or…

Why beauty pageants?

Last week an email arrived that got me thinking about beauty pageants.

The former girlfriend of someone we know won a Miss Someplace contest and will now move on to compete in the Miss America pageant. This young woman is generically attractive, like most of her competitors in this year’s contest. Her resume indicates she is intelligent — she’s taking leave from her grad school studies to focus on vying for the Miss America title — a competition that will have included 12,000 local and state contestants over the course of the year. Continue reading Why beauty pageants?