I will make a filter for this shortly. Until then, cut to spare you, and also for sexual content including some hilarious romance novel excerpts. These are my brief notes, for my own benefit with the exception of the throbbing pistons which are for yours, on today's reading.



"The Black Box in Somatization." Lots of severely traumatized people have multiple physical symptoms which seem to be psychological in origin, and may have only physical symptoms while not reporting any psychological ones. This is especially common in people not from Europe or north America. We don't understand exactly how this works; the authors theorize that it has something to do with extreme trauma being something that people cannot process into a coherent narrative, as we normally do with major life events. Note to self: read Silko's Ceremony.

"Manufacturing Depression." Gary Greenberg. A therapist does a drug trial for depression and muses about what depression really is. Meh.

"What's Normal?" Jerome Groopman. Does bipolar disorder exist in young children? Should it be medicated? Brief breakdown of areas of controversy; I'd like to read more on the subject.

The New Male Sexuality, Bernie Zilbergeld. Chapters 1-6, skimmed some later portions.

Typical moderately stereotypical views on women. Otherwise, compassionate, sensible, and amusing pop sexuality guide/self-help book on straight male sexuality. Not much I didn't know already, but he hits lots of good points:

- If it's not inherently bothering you or hurting others, it's not a problem. Sexuality is hugely variable, and "normal" is a very wide range.

- We're taught that sex must be spontaneous and not discussed or planned in advance. This approach frequently causes problems.

- Penis in vagina is not the be-all and end-all of existence. You don't have to do it every time! Many sexual problems only occur during intercourse, and can be side-stepped by doing other things instead/in addition.

- Get comfortable with non-sexual touching.

- Many women's clitorises become extremely sensitive during arousal. Try touching to the right or left of it, if it's too sensitive to touch directly. The areas around the clit are often as good to touch as the clit itself.

- Society lays a lot on the penis, making men feel inadequate if it isn't ever-ready and hard as steel, and also making them think all sex requires is an erection.

- Fictional accounts of sex and penises (large, extra-large, and so big you can't get them through the door) are often totally unrealistic. (Bold for authors, italics for Zilbergeld, who really breaks out the snark in this chapter.) Don't get hung up on being like this guy:

...he began to come with a pelvis and cock gone wild, pounding her fiercely, filling her with come.

Whew! I get tired just reading this stuff.

She wailed in hot flooding ecstasy. It went on and on, one climax after another, and as Craig's penis lengthened unbelievably, his semen erupting within her, she wailed again, this time in unison with him.

With that penis expanding the way it was, no wonder everyone was wailing.

She captured his surging phallus. Sounds like that one almost got away. Nowhere does one read about a penis that quietly moseyed out for a look before springing and crashing into action.

He also points out that in both "porn" for men and "romance" for women (yes, he also points out that the distinction is often just marketing), the emphasis in sex scenes is largely on men's action and women's pleasure. Men bang away, but you don't get much of their inner feelings. (Not always true, but I think he's looking more at older books.)
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