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Discovering Pot and Sex at Age 60

by , on
2020-12-10

A new essay by Miriam Edelson


I am normally a somewhat shy individual, not in the habit of discussing my private life with the world. But who would have thought that at age 60 I would have an orgasm that shook my world? Not me. I had experienced a drought in that department for over thirty years. And then I smoked some pot, got together with my life partner of twenty years, and Bob’s your uncle. Enhanced libido and a lovely sexual response. What a great discovery!

It happened while we were on a canoe trip in the remote and beautiful Quetico Provincial Park in northwestern Ontario. One’s senses are already piqued when canoeing and camping, the wilderness providing a delicious edge to everything. A little bit of pot thrown into the mix added a keener sensuality: the clear water felt silkier on my skin and the trees appeared greener, their canopy more majestic.

This was before pot became legal in Canada, but at that point I certainly wasn’t going to let a small legal matter stand in the way of a good orgasm. We returned home and got high from time to time, put on some sensual Latin music and went to bed. I began to enjoy sex more than I had in a long, long time.

I remember talking to my older sister at some point during the demise of my first marriage. I must have complained about the lack of romance I was feeling then after ten years at it. She pointed out to me that it was hard to feel romantic when you were busily cleaning hair from the bathtub drain and otherwise keeping everything going smoothly. I just figured sex would continue to simmer on a permanent back burner.

It didn’t help that I’d been on a variety of anti-depressants for over thirty years. They are known to dampen libido and sexual response and though I’d tried various remedies, nothing until marijuana had upped the ante for me. It was only now that I was rediscovering myself as a sexual being, with greater interest in pursuing an active sex life with my partner. It goes without saying, perhaps, that he was pleased by this surprising turn of events.

Then pot was legalized and I was able to get a prescription for CBD oil both for anxiety and one laced with a small amount of THC as a sleep aid. I tried them, very tentatively. Both seemed to help the respective issues for which they were sought. My psychiatrist suggested that I only use very small amounts of the THC product, as there isn’t full research yet on its impact on the other drugs I must take.

I heed his caution and continue to use small amounts of pot from time to time. I now enjoy sex with my partner a great deal. I’m a bit like the lyric in Bruce Cockburn’s song, “Mama just wants to barrelhouse all night long.” Well, perhaps that an exaggeration. But you get the point.

So that’s my happy story. I tell it partly to suggest to people who must take antidepressants and other psychotropic medications that marijuana may be worth discussing with your care provider. It’s no replacement for a patient and generous lover, but can certainly add some spice. I can’t believe now that I waited thirty years for another orgasm to shake my world!

Musings on Patriarchy

by , on
2020-12-03

New piece by Connie Woodring.

Gun held by male hand pointing down, surrounded by smoke.

My very first memory. I was three years old, playing in the sandbox with other kids.

In a flash, a boy hit me in my face with his metal shovel (no plastic in those days.)

It was my first sight of blood, my blood.

I still have the scar on my right eyebrow.

At a very young age I was introduced to the Old Maids card game. The picture of the ugly old white lady who never married scared the bejeesus out of me. I swore I would do everything in my power to not end up like that! It wasn’t until much later in life that I asked whoever was listening, Why isn’t there a card game called “Happy Black Bachelor?”

Even though my grandmother was an atheist, she and other relatives insisted I go to Sunday School and church. I dutifully obeyed and read the Bible from cover to cover the summer of my seventh year. It meant nothing to me, and I couldn’t pronounce all the names with letters of more than eight. However, one thing stuck with me. Eve was the cause of humanity’s downfall and was responsible for making all women suffer in childbirth. Unconsciously, I, being female, determined I was a horrid being and could never redeem myself.

In 5th grade the classroom bully regularly pushed me around into swings and seesaws.

I told me mother. She boldly ordered, “Push him back!”

I did push him, except it was into traffic, and he narrowly escaped severe injury.

However, he never bothered me again.

In 6th grade another class bully (who was always nice to me) got throttled by our teacher.

We horrified classmates listened as he was pushed into iron coat hooks in the cloak room.

He screamed and was smacked.

When he and our teacher came out of the torture chamber, we sat silently staring straight ahead.

No one ever talked about this incident, but we never saw that class bully again.

As a geometry student in high school, I was ordered to leave the room by Mr. B——. “Woodring, you can leave by the door or by the window!” The window was three stories high.

My crime: I couldn’t understand a geometry concept and asked for help. Years later, feminists bemoaned the fact that females are under-represented in math and science fields.

Like the 6th grade classroom experience, all students looked straight ahead and didn’t say anything to me after class.

When I was a psychiatric social worker at a state hospital, I was attacked by a male teenage patient.

I was in a bathroom stall.

I heard the outer door open but no sound.

When I opened the door, this patient lunged at me, putting his hands around my throat.

I always dreamt that if this were ever to happen, I wouldn’t be able to scream.

However, I found my very loud voice, and the boy ran out.

I reported this incident and made a formal complaint, indicating that in my professional opinion such a patient should not have been granted open ward privileges.

The response from the superintendent was, “Are you sure you didn’t provoke the attack?”

My ex-husband stereotypically did not like my mother.

On the last occasion that she visited us he blew a hole in the living room wall with his double-barrel shot gun.

His response, “Oh! I was just cleaning it. I thought it was unloaded.”

My mother and I never spoke of this incident, but I read the fear in her eyes.

He always threatened to kill me if I ever left him.

A year later I divorced him, considering it would be better to be shot by him than to live the rest of my life as a dumbified and mummified wife.

An American white woman friend of mine dated a black man. Her next-door Nazi neighbor who had a portion of Mein Kampf tattooed on his bald head came to her door one day and threatened, “Get rid of your n— or watch him hang from my oak tree!” She obeyed.

On 9/11 a colleague came into my office at the end of a most horrendous day.

She was smiling, and so I asked, “Didn’t you hear about what happened?”

Her answer, “Oh, yes. That’s why I’m so glad! Today is the Rapture when all the sinners will die, and I will be going to heaven—probably tonight!”

Since she wasn’t an Islamic terrorist, I realized I had just had an encounter with a born-again.

At a ripe old age, I died and went to heaven, although I have no idea how that happened. In spite of reading the Bible, I believed in God until I was 19. It was then that I took a sociology of religion course in college and never looked back.

Now I am quite bored as I listen to God’s incessant poetry: “I Blessed America,” “I Work in Mysterious Ways,” “I am a Jealous God and There are No Other gods Before Me.”

I amuse myself diagnosing God: insecure megalomaniac, misogynist, sociopath, Extreme Patriarchitis.

I long for the day when a non-gendered being of some sort will emerge to never want to rule the universe.

Only then will I be able to finally go to sleep.

Plant in a Pot

by , on
2020-11-26

New poem by Elinor Clark

Oh strange, spiky plant.
Though stunted, you still stretch upwards,
Desperately digging in roots.
But with each growth remember the tub that you’re held in.
Nowhere to go.

Thick, plastic looking skin
Inflicted with some serious malady.
Will scare anyone away.
Put the spikes up.
Pretend that’s what you want.

The Graces teach Psyche the origin of oppression

by , on
2020-08-28

New poem by Casey Catherine Moore

Feminine oppression
Is the bottled-up emotions, forced down by Uranus into Gaia’s belly
The tears that leak out after ages of suppression
Our oppression is when the words
Are trapped on the backs of our tongues
And feelings pull forth instead
Like the last bit of honey oozing from the jar
They call us hysterical, a word tied to the darkness of the womb, hystera
But you need no womb to be a woman and to be a woman is to be transcendent
They teach us to be givers, to twist ourselves in different spaces
They tell us we are both Madonnas and whores
They build the gilded cage and ask us to dance
And call us bossy when we make the rules
When Pandora was made from Earth Phobos screamed
And man took heed and tried to shovel her back down
But woman is necessity, Ananke, and because she is darkness she is the only thing who
can chase away Night.

Triple Threat

by , on
2020-08-24

New poem by M. Magee

These girls.
These women.
These Goddesses.

All telling stories
Like tender snowflakes
All part of a raging storm

They call to me
And to you
And to all of us

DO Something
SAY Something
Rage! Die! Kill! Scream!

Don’t let the mean ones in
Don’t let the nice ones out

Don’t let me out
Or in
Or both

Rage against the machine.
Rage
Such an awesome word
And Death

Tracing snow-angels after the storm
One, Two, Three
Angels in a row
Delicate
Simple
Beautiful

All Her Stories left there

Three dead snow-angels
These girls
These women
These Goddesses

No Mercy

by , on
2020-08-21

New poem by Tanasha Martin

I am laid bare.
An ink tattoo
with scarlet cells
who cluster
and cling;
my body welcomes
and warms, and
as is written,
I take my place
and multiply –

an option you should appreciate
and you say you do, but you
don’t.

I am exposed.
A design
of once tiny scarlet cells
that clustered
and clung
to a body
who welcomed
and warmed, and
as is written,
I took my place
and she multiplied –

but no options were ever appreciated,
only met with white-knuckled
stone.

We live on display.
Masterpieces
shunned by the blind; we
seep
and scar;
our bodies
targeted
and torn, and
as is written
you take your
place
and as hypocrites do, multiply –

For the options of outrage are reciprocal,
its fury seizes you by the throat.

Our ears will repeatedly ring
with spurious sentiment,
but it should subdue and
soothe our souls to know:

Pseudo virtue
is not an admirable attribute.

Empty empathy
Breeds no mercy in your belief.

When hate is what you live to breed – promote,
Mercy is what you will have revoked.

A Sense of Things

by , on
2020-08-13

New poem by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

How do I understand
these strange times
when, in discovering
my humanity, I lose
my sense of life? Giving

in to ingenuity, I forget
the nature in which I am
embedded, my body,
spirit, brain, mind,
neurons—words

for the elusive
structures that provide
the concept of self,
define Homo sapiens,
or create the contrast

that forms the other.
I know the same-celled
vermin, even individuals,
who dwell within my home
and how to kill

an infestation, yet think
about half robotic
cockroaches designed
to carry miniature
microphones to find

our kind in disasters,
search and rescue
experiments. Then
there are the rodents
caged in labs, engineered

for research, genetic
codes altered, blueprints
to expand our lifespan.
Have I misunderstood
the cost of kinship?

Nightmare

by , on
2020-08-10

New poem by Melissa Garcia Criscuolo

Locusts spout
from his hole
of a mouth
and his tongue
escapes a fat black
leech at my
neck his lips press
rubbing alcohol
into my cut
flesh pinned
under his torso
I do not want
this his words
slice me
like a rusty
scalpel and I
am running
out of gauze

A Love Sonnet – to My Thighs

by , on
2020-08-03

New poem by Sarah Taylor-Foltz

My thighs saunter in black denim, they nail
Men and beasts alike. Truly, they are quite
A pair, even when naked and pale.
They will not deny or ignore their might.

I love how they look in black skinny jeans
The curve at the top, where thighs turn to ass
The beloved moon. They are strong: these queens
They occupy their birthright of space and mass.

They waltz through this world boldly not giving
A shit about how anyone sees them.
My thighs have energy—they are living!
They’re tough and cheeky—my thighs of mayhem.

Wicked thighs—no domestic convention
Can pen them in or demand their attention.

On Beauty

by , on
2020-07-30

New poem by Kim Malinowski

I bet Aphrodite didn’t have to shave her armpits,
no, she would go natural.
A goddess doesn’t have to conform
to societal pressures—
she is the pressure, the ideal, the embodiment
of desire and sensualness.
So, when I think of Aphrodite,
I think of her naked self as hairy,
maybe her navel a little linty. 
Maybe her hair doesn’t cascade
to her waist and maybe both of her breasts
aren’t plump, maybe one is a little lopsided,
and the other a little red at the base.
She has curves and a belly—after all
she ate all that goddess food.
And her eyes are lightning, daring humans
with her sumptuousness, her dazzling bounty.
She spins and the heavens just drool.
That’s what rain is.
Goddesses don’t shave, they just look damn good
in whatever they wear, and do it with pizazz.