memories, mental health, music, psychology, sex, videos, YouTube

“Magazine pages”, and drinking and downloading…

Today’s post may be triggering for some readers. At the end of the post, I discuss Josh Duggar, which could trigger anyone decent. Proceed at your own risk.

I have a huge collection of music on iTunes, and I usually set my HomePod to stream whatever’s in my collection of many thousands of songs. Consequently, there’s no telling what we’ll hear on a given evening. Sometimes, we hear classical music. Sometimes we hear country or bluegrass or rock… or really shitty songs from the 70s and 80s. I also have a pretty good collection of indie artists, or even just people I’ve heard on YouTube and liked. I have a habit of drinking and downloading music, but I sometimes also hear something on TV and get so impressed that I’ll seek out the song online and download the whole album it came from, never previously heard. I have found some great stuff using that method. Oftentimes, it leads to me buying a whole catalog from an artist. Then I share my finds with my other music geek friends, like Andrew.

A couple of nights ago, Bill and I were sitting in the living room, listening to music. A song came on the HomePod that made me stop in my tracks. Those of you who hang out on Facebook might be familiar with this artist, whose video went viral a couple of years ago. Check this out.

A most entertaining song. I liked it enough to buy the album.

The song above is called “I’ve No More… to Give”. It’s by Thomas Benjamin Wild, Esq. and features Damian Clark. Naturally, I related to the song and enjoyed the lyrics. I thought the melody was catchy and well played. I enjoyed the performance enough that off I went to iTunes and downloaded Mr. Wild’s album. Since then, a few other songs have played, including the one below…

I can relate to this song… although my dogs don’t attract weirdos. Maybe it’s because I’m a weirdo myself.

This song cracks me up because I relate on many levels. I’m a wino… and I’m a weirdo… and I’ve had some awkward encounters while walking the dogs. What’s really awkward is when I have a dog who either wants to hump another dog or another dog tries to hump him. I used to have a very tiny but alpha beagle who would hump anything. I couldn’t take him to events involving other dogs, because I’d invariably get dirty looks from other dog owners as Flea tried to have his way… Likewise, now I have Arran, who isn’t a humper, but other dogs have tried to hump him. On occasion, humping dogs come away from their encounter nursing a bite. No means no. But as far as awkward human encounters, I would say we don’t have that many. I try to maintain a resting bitch face when I’m walking the dogs, so I don’t have to show off my poor German skills or listen to someone yell at me.

But neither of these songs are what has inspired today’s windy Thursday morning post. Today’s post is inspired by Thomas Benjamin Wild’s song, “Magazine Pages.” Here’s the video…

As Bill and I were listening to this song the other night, we both realized that we had this experience in common…

This song is about how, as young lads, Mr. Wild and his friends found “magazine pages” discarded in the woods. As I listened to this song, I was suddenly reminded that I had a similar experience when I was about twelve. The year was 1984, and I was riding home from the barn on my ten speed bike. As I sped past an area I traveled back and forth on many times as a pre-teen, I noticed a stack of magazines. Being a curious sort, I picked them up and brought them home to look at them. They were… “men’s magazines”.

Now, this was not the first time I’d seen such material, thanks to the neighborhood pervert, who lived across the dirt road from us. From the ages of nine or ten, this man was sharing his treasure trove of Playboys, Hustlers, and Penthouses with me as I hung out with him in his apartment. You might wonder what I was doing hanging out with this guy. As an adult, I wonder, too. All I can come up with is that he paid attention to me and was nice. He was a friend of my parents’, went to our church, and let me help him in his garden, which always put out tons of produce. He taught me about golf and softball and took me to games, the movies, and even the beach once. He never did anything forbidden to me or showed me anything private on his own body, but he did share his magazines and books with me and he made lewd comments.

I didn’t realize until I was much older, and in therapy, that what he did was abusive. In fact, my therapist said he thought our neighbor probably should have been in prison. I don’t know about that… I never told anyone at the time. I do know that he also used to hang out with my neighbor, who was a year older than me, blonde, and lacking a father figure, since her dad had Huntington’s Disease and was hospitalized. He paid a lot of attention to her, but it would not surprise me if he also exposed her to the same things he exposed me to. In her case, it might have been even worse. But I can’t ask her about that now, because she went on to develop Huntington’s Disease herself, and died about ten years ago.

Anyway, because of that experience, and because I had free license to watch anything I wanted to on cable TV, I wasn’t completely shocked when I found the pile of magazines. But when I heard the above song, I wondered if this was something a lot of kids go through. Or, at least, I wondered if people my age had this experience. So I asked Bill. He laughed and said that yes, he had , in fact, had a similar experience. It involved an uncle of his who had lent his car to Bill’s mom. The car got a flat tire, so they had to get the spare out of the trunk. That’s where Bill found his uncle’s stash of magazines. It made an immediate… uh… impression on him.

I probably shouldn’t say that I had “free license” to watch what I wanted on TV. I know my dad, for instance, would occasionally catch me watching George Carlin or Richard Pryor, and he’d lecture me. One time, he caught me watching what would probably be considered a soft porn film on The Movie Channel. Should I have been watching it? Probably not, although it was on cable and my parents didn’t monitor what I viewed on cable TV. I was their fourth kid and I think they were just really tired of raising kids by the time I came along.

I got away with all kinds of stuff I probably shouldn’t have, and I was exposed to a lot of things that would probably get CPS called on the parents of today. My mom was a lot more lenient about what I was allowed to watch and read, but the truth is, neither of my parents paid much attention to what I was doing. And so, as a young girl, I was exposed to “magazine pages” in the woods, just as Thomas Benjamin Wild, Esq. was… and just as Bill was. The 1970s and 80s were a weird time to be a kid, although I think I would prefer that time to this time. I do not envy the children of today at all.

So I went and looked at the comments on the above YouTube video and noticed that, apparently, finding random porn in the woods is a common experience, especially for boys. I notice that many of the commenters say that this was common, twenty or thirty years ago. Clearly, it happened to Bill and me… and I seem to remember my sister telling me that one time, she found a porn stash kept by one of our male relatives. My sister said finding that stash forever changed her image of him. I didn’t care about it so much when she told me, but then years later, I learned that he cheated on his wife… and then I realized that his son, who was two years older than I was, engaged in some inappropriate stuff that might have been influenced by his dad’s stash. Also… he and the neighborhood pervert both had very respectable jobs. My relative, for instance, was so well-regarded that he has a stadium named after him.

I’ll tell you what else brings up this topic today… I’m listening to Katie Joy’s latest live stream, and she mentioned that Josh Duggar was exposed to “magazine pages” when he was about eight years old. At about the 9 minute mark of the below video, Katie Joy explains that when he was eight, Josh was helping his dad clean out a car. Jim Bob was, at the time, selling used cars (figures). In the car they were cleaning out, there was a box of “adult magazines”. Naturally, Josh saw it, and it was stuff he definitely shouldn’t have seen as an eight year old. And according to Katie Joy’s “source”, this exposure to “adult material” really left an impression on him.

At the nine minute mark, we learn that Josh Duggar might have been exposed to “magazine pages” as an 8 year old.

If the story Katie Joy is telling is true, then it makes sense that Josh grew up with some warped ideas about sex and women. Because I highly doubt his parents took the time to talk to Josh about those “magazine pages”. I’m sure if he was caught with them, he got a good ass tanning in the prayer closet and hard labor, rather than a calm and rational discussion about looking at “magazine pages”. Couple that with Josh Duggar growing up in a very restrictive and punitive religious cult, and the constant shaming, emphasis on avoiding sin and temptation, and warnings about Hell that he no doubt heard, and it kind of makes sense that Josh would be pretty fucked up. Also couple that with the idea that Josh, as the oldest child in a huge family, was probably expected to do a lot of things that weren’t appropriate for his age.

NONE OF THAT, IN ANY WAY, EXCUSES HIM FOR BEING A PERVERT, nor does it mean that he’s not a danger to other people– especially children– today. Especially since it’s clear that a lot of us also saw that kind of stuff when we were children and most of us didn’t turn into abusive perverts. But if what Katie Joy says is true, it could offer an explanation of sorts. I think in Josh’s case, there was a perfect storm of fuckery that may have led him to where he is in 2021… and where he’s very likely to be in 2022, and for years beyond.

I do think Josh Duggar is going to go to prison, and I think he will probably be there for a long time. And I don’t think that would be a bad thing, since Josh has repeatedly shown the world that he has some pretty serious problems that he’s never dealt with. He definitely puts vulnerable people at risk. But… at the same time, I do think that the adults in his life failed him when he was growing up. He obviously needed competent help from a mental health professional when he was a boy, and he never got that. And that’s on his parents, even though I don’t usually think that parents necessarily should be blamed for everything bad their children do. I think there were many red flags and signs that Josh needed some help. His parents, evidently, either ignored the signs or addressed them in inappropriate ways.

Of course, I am speculating, and I could be totally wrong about this. Josh might have simply been a bad seed who would have turned out this way regardless. There’s no way to know. But I do think that finding a box of “magazine pages” as an eight year old, looking at that stuff, and then having to keep it totally secret, or risk serious reprisals involving threats of spending eternity in a lake of fire, could have done some severe damage to Josh’s psyche.

It will be interesting to see what happens when this trial starts at the end of next month. I don’t think Josh was smart to reject the plea deal. I suspect he will really regret taking this chance. But he probably believes it’s in God’s hands… and he’s always gotten away with his perversions with no real consequences up until now. He may even think he’s one of God’s chosen and all he has to do is pray a lot. Who the hell knows?

I feel sad for Josh’s children. No matter what happens, they have to live with the fact that their father is a well-known “sex pest”. And despite the shiny image that was put out by the Duggar Family for many years, the truth is, the family is pretty fucked up… and it’s all on a worldwide stage for everyone to see and judge. I think Josh’s kids, especially the boys, are going to face a difficult future. Much of this is because of Jim Bob Duggar’s need to be in the spotlight, lust for power and money, and lack of responsibility for taking care of his children and seeing to their mental health. And, of course, Michelle Duggar bears responsibility for not doing her part to take care of Josh… or her other children, for that matter.

Anyway… this was supposed to be a lighter post than it turned out to be. I was going to keep it funny… but I started to listening to Katie Joy’s live stream, and it occurred to me that Josh’s issues are relevant. Maybe I should feel fortunate that those “magazine pages” didn’t do more harm to me. I’ll be very surprised if Josh isn’t behind bars very soon.

For those who also like Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq.’s music… As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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scams, sex, true crime

Partial repost: A scammer tries to threaten the Overeducated Housewife…

I am reposting this post from July 2018, because this just happened to me again… it’s basically the same crappy, threatening email from some scumbag loser who buys old passwords from the dark web. I am not scared of this scam, but want to share it for those who are scared… or just as amused as I am. I have gotten this email a few times by different “people” or “bots” or whatever. It’s always the same stupid threat. For the record, no one on my friends list or contact list would even care if I looked at porn. They’d probably congratulate me.

I see I also wrote about this scam in 2019. Well, the warning bears repeating… Fuck these people!

Picture it.  You’ve just opened your eyes for the first time of the day.  You’re scanning your email messages, most of which are either from mailing lists or just plain junk.  Your eyes hit a message entitled, “Alert!”, followed by part of your email address and one of your passwords. 

You scan the message and it’s basically full of threats and accusations, followed by a demand for money paid in bitcoin.  The scammer claims he or she has infected your computer with malware that can turn on your webcam and has filmed you doing nasty things as you view porn.  If you don’t pay up, the scammer is going to send a sex video of you to your online contacts.

I got a message like that this morning.  There I was, sitting on the toilet, taking a dump, and deleting most of the worthless spam that collects in my email accounts every night.  I got an email from a chap calling himself “Elton Delaney”… (almost certainly not his or her real name).  For the purposes of this blog post, I will refer to “Elton” as male, even though it’s just as likely that the culprit is female.  Here is a screenshot of what Elton sent me last night as I was going to sleep.

I was alarmed the first time I got one of these. Now, I just roll my eyes.

I’ll admit, my first reaction to this email was shock and alarm.  I was barely awake and, the fact is, Elton did have one of my passwords. It’s a very old and weak one that I used on a regular basis maybe 15 years ago.  I have long since upgraded my passwords to more secure ones.  The password Elton has won’t grant access to much now.  
Elton had sent the message to my newest email account, one that I don’t use for emails to friends and family.  Clearly, my email was in a database that got hacked and sold to scuzzy lowlife bottom feeders like Elton and his ilk.  Still, in my sleepy condition, I was initially taken aback by this message.  Poorly written as it is, it was designed to provoke a panicked response, prompting victims to act before thinking.  I surmise that some people must have taken the bait and paid up.  Fortunately, I am not among the duped.  My brain kicked in and I realized that Elton is full of shit.

As of 2018, this was about $4000. The guy who wrote today offered me a bargain at about $2300.

Elton wants me to pay him almost $4000 to keep Bill and a bunch of online retailers from seeing intimate videos of me. It’s not happening. Actually, Bill would probably enjoy seeing such a video. It’s a shame one doesn’t exist.

Despite Elton’s ominous threats, I deleted the message without sending him a .5 bitcoin payment, finished my morning rituals, stripped the sheets off the bed for the wash, and then went down to the living room, where Bill had already set out my morning coffee. I told Bill about Elton’s threat. Not long ago, Bill finished his second master’s degree in cybersecurity. I thought he’d get a kick out of hearing about the threatening scam email I received. I joked to Bill that Elton might send him a video of me doing what he’s seen me do live thousands of times since we’ve been married. Believe me, it’s just not that exciting.

Then I did a quick Google search and found that this particular email scam, which has evidently been around for years, has recently resurged.  Of all of the email phishing scams I’ve seen, this one is probably one of the most infuriating.  It employs shame and the threat of humiliation to blackmail and extort money from the unaware.  While I know what Elton claims to have on me would not be very interesting to my email contacts, plenty of people are looking at things online that might damage their reputations or upset their friends and loved ones.  Those people, eager to keep their embarrassing online habits under wraps, are most likely to give in to demands for payment.  Unfortunately, our culture promotes shame, especially regarding sexual matters.

Although some people have been swindled by these emails, the scammers themselves are often quite stupid. Here’s a link to a story out of Miami where a woman named Briyana Valls tried to extort money using threatening text messages. She texted a guy who had briefly left his phone unattended at a bar, and threatened to tell his wife he was cheating on her unless he paid Valls $500. For all of her threats, Valls didn’t prove to be very savvy. She agreed to be paid in person, and that’s when she got nabbed by the police. Valls is now cooling her heels in jail, where she faces extortion and grand theft charges. The FBI also recently issued a warning about these email scams.

Sure, I’ve looked at porn on the Internet.  I expect a whole lot of people have.  It’s not something I do very often, though, because frankly, I find most porn videos boring and kind of gross.  I am much more inclined to read dirty stories, and most of the free ones on the Internet are terrible.  I’d do better to write them myself.  There was even a period in my life when I wrote erotica just to pass the time.  It’s part of what attracted Bill to me.  Given that fact, Elton’s threats mean very little, especially since I don’t have a boss and my mother doesn’t use the Internet.  If she did, I doubt she’d care that her married 46 year old (er 49 year old) daughter is finally sexually active.    

But even if I was watching a lot of porn and Elton’s threats were somehow credible, there is just no way Elton got any videos of me doing nasty things.  It simply didn’t happen.  There is no way it could have.  If Elton did send all of my contacts a “sex video” of me, it would probably either bore them to tears or make them laugh.  Besides, most of the people who would be getting the videos would be spammers like him and burned out online retailers who might welcome the distraction.  I don’t use that particular email address for communicating with most of my loved ones.  The lone exception is Bill, who is well aware of my tastes for sexually explicit stuff.

I was also pretty put off by Elton’s nasty and threatening tone.  Some of the scammers who send out these emails are at least decent enough to be funny.  Elton’s email requesting money comes across as very rude.  It definitely wasn’t something I wanted to read first thing in the morning.  Hey Elton, you get more flies with honey than vinegar, you feckless fuckstick.  The next time you send me a threatening email, have the decency to say “please” and “thank you”.  Maybe if you did that more often, your life’s mission wouldn’t be reduced to sending pathetic scam emails to uninteresting and unsexy overeducated housewives like me.

So… if you happen to get one of these emails yourself, just toss it into the round file.  Don’t worry.  It’s a scam.  If any of you happen to get a video of me doing nasty things, I hope you enjoy it.  And Elton, if you ever read this post, please go fuck yourself… and be sure to video it and send it to all of your friends and loved ones.

Edited to add:  Bill says the people behind this scam have already collected over $250,000.  Don’t fall for it!

Edited to add in 2021: At least this time, the email was in my spam folder and had a big red warning on it, so at least the email servers are getting that this crap doesn’t belong anywhere where people might take it seriously. Seriously… none of my friends would care if they saw a video of me looking at porn. And any that would care aren’t worth my time, anyway.

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Duggars, religion, sex, slut shamers

Partial repost: There’s something “fishy” about this logic…

Here’s a partial repost from March 2018. It’s only a “partial” repost, because I have matured a bit since 2018 and feel the need to be slightly less vulgar and obscene. Also, it gives me some time to think about today’s “fresh” content. I’m sure I’ll be wanting to post some fresh content after writing about this subject. Or maybe I’ll just want to take a shower.

A few days ago, I saw this photo posted in my Facebook feed.  Someone had shared it in the Duggar Family News group. Here’s a link to an article about this, which led the original poster to get quite a “grillin'”.

Mmmm…. appetizing!

Personally, I did wait until marriage before I lost my virginity.  It wasn’t because I was concerned about how tight my twat was, though.  In fact, I vividly remember worrying about what that first experience would be like, since I didn’t have any sex before I got married.  In my case, being a virgin was less because of a sense of morality and saving myself, and more because of practicality.  I simply never found anyone with whom I wanted sex who also wanted sex with me.  I will admit that I didn’t try very hard.  And Bill, who was a lapsed Mormon during our engagement, wanted to wait until marriage, too. I figured I’d waited that long, I might as well wait for our big day… and then we waited another couple of weeks, because I started my period right after the ceremony. 🙁

I know how Ginny felt… actually, I didn’t need muscle relaxants. Aunt Flow was kind enough to wait until after we were at our B&B.

I truly don’t regret waiting for marriage, but I realize that’s not a choice everyone will want to make.  Moreover, I would much rather people have sex while they are single, than get married simply so they can finally fuck each other.  I can personally attest to how awful and complicated divorce can be, not just for the person who gets divorced, but also family, friends, and significant others.  I am for people being responsible about it and taking precautions to prevent pregnancies and disease transmission.  Then, by all means, have your fun.

That’s right!  It could simply mean that you have a really small penis.

I have not yet seen a post encouraging men to wait until marriage, even though I’m sure that’s encouraged among the religious.  On the other hand, guys like Josh Duggar preach about family values and living the fundie Christian way.  Then they go out and hire strippers and prostitutes.  The truth later comes out in a big scandal.  I suspect that a lot of fundamentalist Christian males are massive hypocrites and liars.  I feel sorry for Josh’s wife and kids because I’m not sure he’ll ever live down what a hypocritical scumbag he was revealed to be. (ETA: remember, this was originally posted in 2018– three years before the world found out how truly vile and disgusting Josh Duggar really is! I feel even more sorry for his kids today, although my sympathy for Anna is slightly less now…)  

If you’re LDS, that could take awhile…

I think it’s pretty gross that the person who made the first post used fish to illustrate how tight a woman’s vagina is after multiple sex partners.  I mean, did that person choose fish on purpose, realizing that a lot of sexually transmitted infections can cause that part of the body to take on a fishy odor?  What’s the old saying?  Fish and visitors stink after three days?  

And what’s with wasting perfectly good fish on an object lesson?  That fish died so the world can get a graphic representation about how women who have sex with many men might make them too “loose” for a man’s pleasure.  There are people starving in the world… people who would love to have fish for dinner.  And finally, the idea of a woman’s genitals being akin to a cold, slimy, fleshy, malodorous piece of fish.  I’m surprised anyone would feel sexy after seeing that.  But I guess that was the point.  

This fish business is even grosser than using licked cupcakes and chewed gum to teach girls about purity.  At least gum and cupcakes are appetizing.  Using raw fish, especially when illustrating a woman’s vagina, is just nasty and disrespectful. 

And just to make this more topical in 2021… I have been stumbling across more and more news pieces about fundie males who turn out to be total deviants and perverts. I am convinced that a higher number of creeps are hiding out in fundamentalist religious cults than in the regular population. If you think about it, those types of very legalistic religiously based groups with high levels of control and power over members are especially ripe for abuse. Females are usually taught in those groups that they are to submit to men at all costs, and if they suffer from abuse or mental health issues, it’s because they aren’t “right” with God and need to repent and pray.

Every day, when I read about these kinds of situations, I am more and more grateful that my parents did not raise me in a cult. I went to a mainstream church, where there was no weirdness and no intrusive interviews about my sexual habits or preferences. No one ever shamed me for what I was wearing. And I was only expected to be in church for an hour (two, if you count Sunday School) a week.

Speaking of Josh Duggar… looks like his most recent court case involving his evident issues with downloading videos and photos of CSA is heading south at a rapid pace. The federal judge keeps turning down his desperate requests to suppress evidence. I think he’s going to regret not accepting a plea deal, because I have a feeling that at the end of his trial, he’s going to be going away for a very long time. I’m generally not a fan of putting people in prison for years on end, but I do think it’s probably appropriate in his case.

In any case, the fish object lesson is particularly disgusting. I thought the wadded up gum, licked cupcakes, and wilted roses used to discourage girls from being “handled sexually” were yucky, but none of them compare to using tuna to demonstrate the condition of a woman’s nether regions. Eeeeew! The guy who made this ought to be ashamed of himself… and he should enroll in an anatomy class, pronto.

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book reviews, sex

Repost: A review of Men in Love, by Nancy Friday…

Here’s one last as/is reposted book review that I wrote for Epinions in July 2004. This one is of Men in Love, a book about men’s sexual fantasies.

This review is of a book that contains frank, sexual content. If that is a turn off for you, you may want to skip reading this review.

I first picked up Nancy Friday’s book Men in Love (1980) about fourteen years ago, just after I read her breakthrough book about women’s sexual fantasies My Secret Garden and its sequel, Forbidden Flowers. At the time, I was a freshman in college and very interested in sex, although I wasn’t partaking of any at the time. Nancy Friday’s books about women’s sexual fantasies were eyeopeners for me, but Men in Love: Men’s Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love Over Rage was particularly enlightening– or at least it was at the time. Remember, back in 1990, we didn’t have the internet so readily at our disposal!

In Men in Love: Men’s Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love Over Rage, I got to find out what turns men on in their own words. I should mention that I once had a pocket paperback version of this book, but somehow it disappeared. I ended up replacing it with a nicer version of the paperback- one that was published in 1998 with bigger print for my aging eyes.

The first sentence of Chapter One reads “This is a book about men who love women.” (1). Reading through some of these sexual fantasies may not leave the average woman with the belief that all of the men who contributed their fantasies to this book “love women”. In fact, when I read one of the fantasies aloud to a friend of mine, she said “My God! That man is a misogynist! Look at how much hatred of women that fantasy reveals!” I will agree with her that some of the fantasies included in Men in Love are violent, disgusting, and even disturbing. However, it’s important to remember when reading this book is that these are fantasies and as such, they don’t generally have any basis in reality. As Friday writes,

“a fantasy is a map of desire, mastery, escape, and obscuration; the navigational path we invent to steer ourselves between the reefs and shoals of anxiety, guilt, and inhibition. It is a work of consciousness, but in reaction to unconscious pressures” (1).

And yes, some of the fantasies are pretty bizarre, but again, fantasies don’t have to be garden variety or “normal”. I daresay that if Friday had included a bunch of “normal” fantasies about missionary position sex, her book would not have sold very well at all. People don’t want to read about run of the mill stuff– they are attracted to the weird. Friday further writes,

“While the sexual fantasies of many men were a pleasure and easily available to my emotions right from the start, others disgusted and frightened me. Many seemed outpourings from macho braggarts out to shock or trap me in filth. I was like the Victorian husband who encourages his wife to tell all. When she does, he leaves her.” (3).

Nancy Friday enlisted the aid of Dr. Robert Robertiello, a psychoanalyst, in reading the sexual fantasies. Robertiello apparently helped Friday interpret the entries, lent his professional opinions, and challenged her to question his own opinions. She also consulted Dr. Leah Schaefer and Dr. Sirgay Sanger, two other psychoanalysts. There’s no doubt in my mind that their help was invaluable in this endeavor. There are fantasies about every imaginable thing. However, Friday reports that bar none, the most popular theme was that of a “weak” woman being intimidated and forced by a man into doing something naughty and delicious, being raped repeatedly, but then losing her guilt and taking pleasure in the acts that had once seemed so forbidden to her (6). Interestingly enough, Friday reports that “rape” was also the most popular theme among women, although she hastens to add “I’ve yet to meet a woman who wouldn’t run a mile from a real rapist” (6). She adds that men’s fantasies about women truly being overpowered are actually not so common. More often, if one reads carefully, he or she will find that the woman offered consent at some point.

Anyway, I’m sure at least some of you who are reading this review are interested in the fantasies– as in, what’s included in this book. Men in Love consists of twenty-two chapters on different themes, the vast majority of which contain fantasies. Topics included in this book vary from relatively tame– ie; masturbation and virgins to slightly wilder– ie; oral sex, anal sex, homosexuals, bisexuals, semen, and sharing and living out fantasies, to wilder still– ie; fetishism, women with women, groups, straight men, gay fantasies, women making men have sex, voyeurs and exhibitionists, sharing the woman with another man, to pretty far out and raunchy– ie; water sports, animals, transvestites, breast and vagina envy, and the ever popular sadomasochism.

Friday identifies each of the owners of the fantasies with a first name and then the fantasy is written out in first person voice, so that it’s if the man himself is telling the story of what makes him hot. In each fantasy, the subject includes information about his educational and religious background as well as a few other personal details. Friday has included fantasies from men of all walks of life, including men in prison and very professional men. The personal details are helpful in allowing the reader to determine from where the fantasies originate in the subject’s psyche. In each chapter and generally between some of the fantasies, Friday offers her own psychoanalysis and comments about the fantasy and what it means. Some of what she writes is interesting, although her comments are generally not terribly in-depth, and I give Friday credit for writing well and providing a fairly intelligent analysis of her subject matter. But of course, her commentary is really secondary to what’s fascinating about this book.

I have to be honest here; it seems that Friday almost had these men write her book for her. She’s in somewhat of a secondary role, because I suspect that most people who read this book aren’t so concerned with what Friday has to say– they’re interested in what turns these men on and, more than likely, what turns them on is also titillating to the readers. Friday’s comments, then, might be considered filler by some people. It wouldn’t surprise me if some readers of this book have a favorite section that they re-visit over and over again because they too are excited by the subject matter, and the other sections, after a first reading, go neglected because they aren’t as personally thrilling.

To some people, this book will be no more than whacking material. To others, it will be a valuable psychology textbook that provides fascinating insight into the act of sex. Those of you who are turned off by frank, graphically detailed sexual content, foul language (including nasty euphemisms for male and female genitalia), and content about sexual situations that are frankly, quite unorthodox, should probably steer clear of Men in Love. Those of you who can handle the explicit content and language and are genuinely interested in the subject matter will probably really enjoy this book and may learn something as well.

I think that ultimately, women can learn a lot from this book about members of the opposite gender… and men can learn that they’re not necessarily freaks for having sexual fantasies. Men in Love is a generous accounting of men’s sexual fantasies. I appreciate the fact that Friday has covered a broad range of topics and she has included so many fantasies by so many different types of men. Personally, I’ve found this book to be fascinating reading, especially now that I’m more mature and can look beyond the obvious titillation factor. But again, this book is not for the easily offended or the squeamish. Some of the fantasies are literally filthy and may disgust even the most hardened reader. And no, there are no pictures included in this book. Everything is left up to your imagination. This may be a good or bad feature of this book, depending on your viewpoint.

I almost forgot to add… Nancy Friday invites men and women to contribute to her research. She also welcomes comments about her books. An address and link to her website are included in the back of this book, along with a guarantee of anonymity. (Edited to add: Nancy Friday died in November 2017, so this part is probably no longer true.)

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book reviews, sex

Repost: A review of Forbidden Flowers, by Nancy Friday…

Here’s another reposted Epinions review. This one is of Forbidden Flowers, the sequel to My Secret Garden, by Nancy Friday. It appears as/is, and was originally written in May 2005.

The following review is likely to contain frank sexual content. If that sort of thing bothers you, please skip reading this review!

The year was 1973. I was a baby, having just been born in June of 1972. Author Nancy Friday was making waves with her best selling book, My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. All around the world, men and women alike were reading and identifying with the women who had bared their souls writing about their favorite sexual fantasies. All around the world, many of those same people were saying to themselves, “Thank God I’m not alone.” My Secret Garden related the sexual fantasies of dozens of women and included an array of erotic subjects, from what might be considered an everyday rape fantasy to more exotic fantasies involving incest, young boys, and animals… just to name a few. One might think that with subject matter so explicit during the dark ages before the Internet, a lot of potential readers might be blushing too much to consider buying the book, let alone reading it. But My Secret Garden was a huge success, so much so that in 1975, Nancy Friday came out with a sequel: Forbidden Flowers: More Women’s Sexual Fantasies.

My first contact with both My Secret Garden and Forbidden Flowers was when I was a 17 year old senior in high school. It was 1990 and at the time, I was just starting to awaken to sex and being a woman. I have to confess that I practically devoured My Secret Garden and I was left hungry for more tales of women’s sexual fantasies. I had already purchased My Secret Garden twice– I lost the first copy, no doubt making some other teenager’s day– and somehow summoned up the courage to buy it a second time. And of course, when I later saw Forbidden Flowers on the shelf, I felt compelled to buy it. So I brought the book up to the cashier, trying to act naturally. I paid for it without incident. And now, almost sixteen years later, I still own my original copy of that book. The pages are yellowed, the cover is missing, and Forbidden Flowers is still a very intriguing book. But I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed My Secret Garden.

Forbidden Flowers is divided into two parts. The first part, which comes after an introduction written by Nancy Friday herself, is entitled Where Do Sexual Fantasies Come From?. The second part is entitled The Uses of Sexual Fantasy. Both parts are followed by several chapters with somewhat vague subjects. Friday includes the first names of each fantasy writer’s name. Nancy Friday introduces each chapter before she presents the fantasies, writing in a candid, matter-of-fact style. She succinctly explains her point of view, liberally citing studies done by well-known psychiatrists and psychologists.

Personally, I found Nancy Friday’s analysis quite perceptive; thirty years ago, I’m sure that to some people Friday’s thoughts might have even seemed revolutionary… or just merely repugnant. Consider this. On page 15, Friday briefly writes of a study done by Dr. Arnold Gesell, who was observing infant behavior. As paraphrased fron the book, Dr. Gesell placed a naked fifty-six week old boy in front of a mirror and found that the boy was excited by the sight of his own body. Dr. Gesell took a photograph of the naked boy, whose penis was erect. Friday concludes that since this little boy, who was barely a year old, could have an erotic experience, it’s only natural that little girls, who are supposedly more precocious than little boys are, can also have sexual experiences. Friday writes,

And yet the idead is still unacceptable to most people. Childhood is pictured as a time of ribbons, fairy tales, and lemonade. Adults notoriously forget that they were once children too; they close off their minds to early sexual memories– those embarrassing or shameful events connected perhaps with anxieties about masturbation. I am not suggesting that the sugar and spice of little girls’ childhoods are only a false facade. That aspect is real. But so is our sexuality (15-16).

I think Friday is right about adults being uncomfortable with the prospect that children might think about sex. After all, our society loathes the idea that a child’s innocence might be warped by a subject that as supposed to be as “adult” as sex is. Just reading that passage led me to think about the ugliness of pedophilia, even though what Friday wrote had nothing to do with child sexual abuse and everything to do with how natural the acts of sex and masturbation are– or should be, anyway. Plain and simple, the message that I got from Nancy Friday is that thinking about sex is healthy and natural, even for kids. But I still couldn’t help but be somewhat uncomfortable reading that passage.

Friday further explains that after she wrote My Secret Garden, she received over 2000 letters from other women who had sent her their sexual fantasies. She explains that the women who had written to her came from all walks of life– there were letters from educated and less educated women. As a result of reading the letters, Friday was left with the impression that sexual fantasies usually come from childhood memories.

Part One includes four chapters of fantasies written by women whose stories related specifically to their childhoods. The fantasies are presented simply with the original authors’ name and they are written in their original authors’ voices, complete with “colorful” language. I will offer a warning to those who have delicate sensibilities that the fantasies appear to have been included unedited for anything beyond punctuation and grammar. Most of the fantasies are quite explicit and provocative.

In My Secret Garden, Nancy Friday grouped the fantasies by subject matter, which made it easier for readers to skip sections that they might find objectionable. For example, if a reader didn’t want to read about women who had fantasized about having sex with virgins the person could easily skip that section because Friday had clearly marked it. Friday did not group the fantasies the same way in Forbidden Flowers, so it might be harder for readers to pick and choose what they read in her book.

When I was 17, I was more interested in reading the sexual fantasies. Now that I’m almost twice that age, I find Friday’s analysis more interesting than the fantasies. Friday seems genuinely interested in presenting an intellectual commentary on why women have certain fantasies. I suspect that some folks who read Forbidden Flowers will be reading it just for sake of titillation. For those readers who want to dig deeper, I would urge that they read Nancy Friday’s sections and consider what she has to say. Even if they don’t agree with the author’s point of view, the ideas that Friday presents are certainly food for thought.

Forbidden Flowers is definitely not a book that will appeal to everyone. I think that those who are interested in psychology, particularly if they are interested in pop psychology will enjoy Forbidden Flowers. Of course, I believe that this book will also appeal to many men… especially those who want to understand women better. Women who need reassurance that having sexual fantasies are normal may be comforted by Forbidden Flowers. I would not recommend this book if the subject of sex is an uncomfortable one for you. Also, understand that some of the subject matter within this book is not about your garden variety sex. Friday presents sexual fantasies of every flavor, no matter how distasteful they might be to the average reader. Read at your own risk!

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