Thursday, November 17, 2022

My Blackmailer Knows...My Secret!

Scree scree scree!
A while back, I received an email.

"Greetings," it started, friendly enough.

"I want to inform you about an important event that concerns your personal life! I know your secret!" This did sound important--lots of exclamation points! And yes, unlike you and everyone else on the planet, I DO have secrets!* How did they know???

"The fact is that I have been able to monitor your device and peripherals for some time and have figured out your email address." Meh, all of y'all know my email address too. It's jillhamilton001@gmail.com. There it is, plain as day. Still, I had to admire his commitment to monitoring my online activities which include both doom scrolling and crosswords.

"It has to do with the adult sites you visit." Oh. Yeeeeeah. I do that too. It's kind of my job, but still!

Mr. Greetings, not so GD friendly now, put a virus on my device, he says. He didn't mention which device but I was hoping it was something like the toaster, which doesn't know much. 

"Now your device is completely under my control. I can turn the microphone and camera on and off at any time." If he was gonna manically laugh, this would be the appropriate point.

"I have all copies of your data, including photos, social networks, correspondence and contacts of friends, family and colleagues," he warned. (And yeah I know it's sexist to say he's a he, but c'mon, no women would do this shit.)

"After thinking about it for a while, I decided to make an original video. The main character is you masturbating to a hard fuck." Well...it is not untrue that I have done such a thing.

"The screen in the video is divided into two parts: one side is you, the other side is the video you're watching. It's very entertaining." Entertaining? Very? Well, thanks I guess. 

"I assume you don't want your acquaintances, friends and relatives to see this masterpiece? Think of your honor and dignity!" My dignity? Okay, clearly this dude does not know me at all. 

But then he gives up the game.

"I see you like Negroes? Well, soon everyone you know will know about your hobbies."  Okay.  A. I'm sorry--did he just say Negroes? Really, guy? In 2022? B. Porn-wise, I search for men having sex with each other. As you know. C. I like lots of Black people plenty (not you, Candice Owens), but it's not really a factor in my porn habits. D. Still, even if I had a hardcore racial preference (which is fine? or maybe not? not sure...) who the fuck searches for "Negroes" besides a 97 year old man in Kentucky yelling at the Google???

Anyhow, the dude offered to delete the video for $650, for some reason giving me an unasked for discount off his usual price of $1000. Perhaps it was because my video was "very entertaining"? I'm decently vain but I doubted that my acquaintances, friends and relatives would be very entertained by a split screen video of highly specific porn and a wanking middle-aged chick filmed from the universally unflattering below-the-chin angle.

He gave me 24 hours before releasing the Kracken or whatever and then abruptly offered me even more savings (50 bucks off!) if I paid within an hour. 

He offered a few more threats--don't delete, don't complain, blah blah blah. "If find out right away that you somehow shared this email** - the video will be distributed immediately - you will become a porn star on all video platforms," he wrote, again resorting to flattery. A porn star? Really???

Then he ended it oddly with. "Don't be offended and good luck to you." F-ing weirdo.

Anyway, even though I knew for sure I wasn't looking at what he said, I was a little skeeved out. It may be relevant here to mention that when I get calls about "being sued over an important matter," I always make my husband reassure me that it's fake. "They would serve you via mail," he always says patiently, with the tiniest bit of "jeez, lady" in there. I am kind of a mark is what I'm saying.

Despite all this, I did not end up paying him--though I have watched plenty of porn and it would indeed give me his promised "peace of mind" if you all did not observe me doing it.

However I got that email in 2021 and then...nothing. NOT A ONE of you have told me what a very entertaining porn star I am. I'm a little disappointed, but my dignity remains intact (lol) and I saved $1000, $650 or $600, depending.

xoxo

jill

*Sometimes*** I pretend to be asleep when the dog barks so someone else has to let her out. 

**Oops

***Often

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Crush, Explained by Science

Careful, don't get burned.
"What is this volatile, often uncontrollable feeling that hijacks the mind, bringing bliss one moment, despair the next?"
--Helen Fisher, Why We Love

The other day, a reader contacted me to tell me she had something I had to write about. She reported that since attending her high school reunion a month back, her old flame had been poking her on Facebook. "Every day," she said meaningfully. It was clear from her words that this virtual poking was getting her all hot and bothered. "It's knowing that, at least for some moment in the day, I am on his mind," she reported.

At first I reacted like I usually do when someone tells me something I Simply Must Write About, which is to pretend that I am interested, then never actually write about it.

But the more I thought about it, I realized the story was the crush itself. Or how this very practical woman was now obsessively checking Facebook to see if any new pokes had come in from Mr. Reunion Dude. She had actually eroticized the little cartoon poking hand icon from Facebook which, to refresh your memory, looked like this:
Is this making you hot?
Still, her Pavlovian response to Facebook pokey hand is perfectly normal. Anyone in the midst of a crush has all sorts of neurochemical crap going on.

The last time I had a crush, I could tell exactly the moment it hit me. We were talking in my driveway, he said something vaguely risque, and I felt it come down upon me, like an actual thing. Like an affliction. "Oh fuck," I thought.

Because, although a crush is delightful and exciting and makes the world shine brighter, it is an affliction. A brain affliction. An affliction as in "pain, suffering and distress."

In her (quite excellent) book, "Why We Love," anthropologist Helen Fisher identified certain characteristics of people "in love." And I mean "in love" in the sense of "God, I want to lick their neck" instead of the "We've been together 35 years and he's an excellent father" kind of love. Like crazy stupid love where you do fucked up things and act psychotic. That one governor who snuck off to Brazil to meet his lover while claiming to be hiking? His kind of love. The astronaut chick who drove across the country to confront her romantic rival while wearing astronaut diapers to hasten her trip? Her kind of love.

According to Fisher, lovestruck people exhibit certain characteristics, including:
--"Special Meaning": This is giving the loved one an elevated status above others. "Your beloved becomes novel, unique and all-important," writes Fisher.
--Focused Attention: "The love-possessed person focuses almost all of his or her attention on the beloved, often to the detriment of everything and everyone else," writes Fisher. (see above: governor ditching his job.) "Infatuated men and women also concentrate on all of the events, songs, letters, and other little things they have come to associate with the beloved." (That would be you, Facebook pokey finger.)
--Aggrandizing the Beloved:  This means that although you can see the beloved's faults, you somehow reframe them as charming quirks. This what was probably happening to me when the (thankfully unconsumated) Crush above was later telling me about some penis test he got for flippin' gonorrhea. It involved a tube and his urethra, but I was all, "Oh really? That's fascinating!"
--"Intrusive Thinking": This is when you can't stop thinking about your loved one. In a 1988 survey, in love respondents reported thinking about their "'love object' over 85 percent of their waking hours." 85 percent! This happened to me with Gonorrhea boy. I would lie awake in bed thinking of him, so much so that it actually became tiresome. At a certain point, I didn't even want to be thinking of him, but my mind kept returning to him, as though he were a plague upon my brain.
--Looking for clues: This is the source of all "What do you think he really meant when he said I was 'interesting?'" conversations.
--Emotional fire: That's when you're so damn happy that eating or sleeping seems so...pedestrian.
--Intense energy: This includes exhilaration as well as the overwhelming awkwardness in the beloved's presence. Noted Andres the Chaplain in the 1180s: "Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of the beloved." This would be the feeling of "How do I act normal around this delightful, insanely sexy person to disguise the fact that I am obsessively thinking about putting my mouth upon their upper thigh (the left one)?"

Fisher identified several others symptoms like jealousy, hope, adversity strengthening ardor, and such but I, sadly crush-less and thus unfueled by its exhilaration, grow weary upon listing them all.

Even Richard Burton was not immune to the overwhelmingly potent forces of attraction and noted upon meeting the 19 year old Elizabeth Taylor:
She was so extraordinarily beautiful that I nearly laughed out loud...Her breasts were apocalyptic, they would topple empires before they withered...her body was a miracle of construction...She was unquestionably gorgeous. She was lavish. She was, in short, too bloody much....those huge violet eyes had an odd glint...Aeons passed, civilizations came and went while these cosmic headlights examined my flawed personality. Every pockmark on my face became a crater of the moon.
So why do we act like such insecure ass-wipes when we when love someone? Fisher asked herself the same question, though I don't believe she used the term "ass-wipes." She promptly stuck some lovestruck folks into an fMRI machine to see what the hell was going on in their poor, love-addled brains.

What she found was a neurochemical stew driving the ass-wipeian behavior. The ancient reptilian brain, with its dumb quest for good feelings was going crazy. One part--the caudate nucleus, if you must know--is associated with the reward system of the brain and affects "general arousal, sensations of pleasure and the motivation to acquire rewards." Also active was the ventral tegmenal area (VTA), spewing dopamine about the brain, willy-nilly, giving lovers "focused attention...fierce energy, concentrated motivation to attain a reward, and feelings of elation--even mania." 

As a result, few drives are more basic and strong than the quest to bind with a lover. Fisher calls it, "a primordial brain network that drives the lover to focus his or her attention on life's grandest prize--a mate who may pass their DNA toward eternity."

I'll leave you today with these questions:
--Does any of this sound familiar?
--What undesirable characteristics have you overlooked while hepped up on love?
--And finally, do you not completely love the sentence, "She was, in short, too bloody much"?
 
UPDATE:  8/23/22.  If you hadn't guessed by all the passe cultural references (though, oddly, once a reference gets super passe, it becomes okay, ie 1180's Andres the Chaplain.), this is a rerun. Please do not alert your local authorities.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

My Real Life Leo Grande Situation

This guy was not actually present
Hey friends, I'm the "middle aged woman" in this HuffPo article "I'm a middle-aged woman. This is what happened when I got a happy ending massage." Yay?

If you're feeling it, give it some clicks and some shares/love/whatever you've got. I need a little antidote to the anonymous trolls who use moments from the One Precious Life to comment stuff like, "This is an angry old woman."  Hey man, I'm an angry MIDDLE-AGED woman.

I'm extra grateful to my delightful editor Emily McCombs (previously of xojane!) who let me keep the chess joke in when I said I was kinda married to it. (Because OBVIOUSLY sex stories need more chess jokes.) "I understand," she said. "We've all been swept away by a good chess joke. 

xoxo

jill

PS if you want to tell me what you thought about "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande," I'd hear that too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Notes From My Covid Sick Room

Mood
I'm at the part of COVID where I feel completely fine, but am still testing positive. So I've been banished to my bedchambers like a mad woman who lives in the attic in an 1847 gothic novel.

In my isolation, I do such fun activities like:

--Try to figure out if I'm going to get unemployment. (Side fretting: Am I employable? Do I actually want to be employable? Hint: no and also no.)  

And a full-on digression. According to the sci-fi I read growing up, we were supposed to be well on our way to a post-work utopian society where people could devote themselves to pursuing their interests and enjoying the village-run shared childcare while wearing loose, flowy clothes. Instead here were are, arguing about whether the minor inconvenience of wearing a mask to save someone's life is actually some sort of nefarious oppression, whether trying to take over the government by force is, like, bad, and all kinds of other ridiculous shit that we should have figured out decades ago.

--Worry about new spot on leg. Death imminent?

 --And....so far that's it. Fuck! It's only been a couple of hours and I've already done all my activities!

However, below me in my sick bed is a big-ass drawer containing yet more sex toys that need to find their way in/on/near a hole/protrusion/whatever you've got. I'll sent them to you! Another activity! (Next up: Silent weeping? Disturbingly thorough cleaning? The Jumble?)

Tell me what you want and I'll sent it/them to you for the price of postage and a decent tip (see also: unemployed.) Complete lowdown there at the end.

What I gots:

--Glas 4-pc Handblown Glass Dildo set, with glass Kegel balls, a butt plug and nice glass dildo with decorative/useful swirls on it. (Digression:  Do take a moment to think of the artisan who goes into their studio to hand blow you lovely glass butt plugs.)

--Gildo handmade glass dildo

--Clit Loving Thumper Vibe with "licking tongue for added pleasure" (or backup envelope licking if needed)

--Shegasm Forbidden Apple Silicone Clit Stimulator, suction plus vibrations plus a chance for rare apple sex

--Rabbit vibrator, heated and waterproof. (Can't link bc the manufacturer might get pissed)

--Pride Anal Trainer set, because anything can be branded for #PrideMonth

Plus these are still left:

 --Two Adam's Penis Extenders with ball strap, in both "realistic" and "fantasy." I don't think these models are available any more, but they look like this. Plus one plain ol' Adam's Extension.

--Vibrating Anal Bead Stick, looks fancy plus it's waterproof

--Adam's 3" Extension, goes over a dick or dick substitute for 3 extra inches.

--The Spank Me Vibe, a vibe and a spank strap all in one for your multi-tasking sex needs.

--Rear Rocker Vibrating Glass Anal Plug, "endless anal fun," it says.

 --Tingle all the Way Christmasy bullet vibe, if you don't care what holiday your vibe celebrates

 --Coochy Shave Cream and after shave protection spray, lip gloss (for...couples--dunno what that means), massage oil w/ CBD, massage oil in "sugar" scent

--Wicked Ultra Heat silicone lube, Wicked Sensitive, Wicked Simply Aqua, Wicked Hybrid, flavored lubes (birthday cake, cotton candy, cherry, strawberry)

--*Rechargeable Dual Entry Vibe/ w remote, double penetration without the social awkwardness

--*Adam's Glass Prostate Massager, pretty much what it says in the name there

--Adam's Deluxe Penis Ring Sampler, I grow too weary to explain this. Just look at it yourself. 

Live, and direct from my bed,

xo

jill

If you are also bedridden, please enjoy Cab Calloway, giving it his goddamn all in "Saint James Infirmary," even though he's a weird clown man in a creepy Betty Boop cartoon. 

         

The fine print:  

Tell me what you want at jillhamilton001@gmail.com. You can pick an item or two, or fill a whole box with 'em. Postage for a large size priority box is $21.50, medium is $16.10. Smaller things that fit in a padded envelop are generally less than 10 buck to ship. My PayPal is jillhamilton001@gmail.com and my Venmo is @jill-hamilton-123.  

PS I do not generally think the whole "sexy whatever" Halloween costume thing is funny but there is, for real, a "sexy plague doctor" costume. Sigh.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

I Don't Know Sh*t About F*ck

Mood, if you look deep enough
Yesterday I was wading through the empty backwaters of the blog looking for something (keys? my glasses? don't recall...) and stumbled upon a post from 2013 defending myself/being defensive about a Jezebel story I'd written. Apparently many, many Jezebel readers had felt the need to take a moment out of their One Precious Life to tell me exactly what they hated about it and, by extension, me. I was super canceled, yo.*

None of this, however, is even the point. When I read the post, I agreed with Past Me on some parts and cringed at other bits, but my main takeaway was "Who IS this chick?" Fuck. Past Me had so much moxie. (My brain seemed to be working more better too.)

"My blue ribbon gumption is gone,"** sang Vic Chesnutt in Sponge. And I feel that. Hard.

I've been on hiatus*** from writing Cosmo sex positions for a few months now and I've been filling my life with non-writing-about-sex-positions activities. Turns out there are plenty! Instead of waking up in my customary manner (saying "Fuck!"), I wake up and think "What do I want to do today?" in a pleasant, eager manner. Which...wha???

What I've been wanting to do is: putz around in my yard, read books****, take walks, watch TV*****, tame a passel of feral foster kittens (the littlest, angriest one I named Ruth Langmore)--just things that seem fun (to me******) on any given day.

It occurred to me that I could be perfectly happy doing this kind of low-stakes hausfrau putzing about for the rest of my life. I could be an ideal retiree!, I thought proudly. I was noticeably more present for my friends and family, I was way more chill and spending my days filling my head with nature, gratitude and other people's really great art. Sometimes I actually had the full-sentence thought "I am so goddamned happy." So what if my blue ribbon gumption was gone? I had no ambition and I didn't care.

Now I'm about three months into it and I'm realizing that although I do like--nay, LOVE--excessive putzing, there may be a darker undercurrent to it all. Like maybe it's a trauma response to the past, oh, seven years in which I, and perhaps you, learned that lots of people will believe and even worship an obvious huckster, our system may not hold, people are way more racist that I ever dreamed, no one is doing anything about Ginni and Clarence Thomas, a shocking large number of our fellow citizens are not bright and also just really mean and that the world might end in a variety of highly plausible ways. The other week there was a story about how the climate was irreversibly broken and it was on page A6! Like there were A1 to A5 worth of stories that were even more dire than world endery. And this is every goddamned day. We are pummeled with alarming info that our brains cannot possibly rationally process.

It's a lot. And truth is, I've been spooked.

Yes, I've called Senators, campaigned for people (Viva Katie Porter!). I marched against this shit again and again but that was FIVE years ago and it feels worse. So my latest response has been staying home, stuffing my maw with unwise snack choices and watching Ozark. It's not ideal but that's what I got. In the words of my beloved Ruth Langmore: "I don't know shit about fuck."

Find little scraps of pleasure where you can, I say. Maybe let yourself go fallow for a season so you can come back renewed and ready to get back to whatever it is you do. Maybe I will end up going full-on Junior Retiree (PJs as day wear? Yes please!), maybe I will do some baller shit. I don't know.

As for the pursuit of fleeting pleasures, I again have an excess of brand new sex toys that I am happy to send to you for the price of postage and a tip for gas/embarrassment. Rules below******* 

Yours for the taking/fucking:

--Rechargeable Silicone G-Gasm Delight, g-spot vibe that has "delight" right there in the name. 

--Heat Me Up Warming Rabbit Thruster, actually does get warm and thrusty.

--Vibrating Anal Bead Stick, looks fancy plus it's waterproof

--Adam's 3" Extension, goes over a dick or dick substitute for 3 extra inches.

--Deep Love Thrusting Wand, shaft thrusts an "orgasmic" 1.75'' which is clearly better than our more-commonly used non-orgasmic measurement system.

--The Spank Me Vibe, a vibe and a spank strap all in one for your multi-tasking sex needs.

--Rear Rocker Vibrating Glass Anal Plug, "endless anal fun," it says. Though you can probably end it when you need to eat an entire bag of chips and watch Ozark.

 --Shower Stud Pure Skin Vibrator, a vibrating dildo (with balls!) with a suction cup for in the shower or anywhere you need to suction cup an extra penis to a wall. 

--Adam's Deluxe Penis Ring Sampler, I grow too weary to explain this. Just look at it yourself. 

I also have a few things left from this post. (Oh, so many penis extenders! For...holiday decor? Everything Everywhere All At Once cosplay? You decide!)

Figure out what you want. I'm gonna go do....something. Eat breakfast at 1:30? Dunno. I truly don't know shit about fuck. 

xo

jill

*For the record, I no longer stand with Naomi Wolf and think she's completely lost her mind. So on that point I've joined the "Fuck you, Jill Hamilton" camp. Go team!

** It's more like "gaaaawww-one." Dude was Suh-THERN. And you should listen to him at once. Start with West of Rome.

***It really is a hiatus. I will be going back any minute now, I think. 

**** Including, but not limited to: Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things by Kelly Williams Brown, The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman, Tacky: Love Letters to the Worse Culture We Have to Offer by Rax King, Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gatsby, The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life by AJ Jacobs (see ******)

*****Bo Burnham's The Inside Outtakes, Kids in the Hall reboot and every season of Key & Peele (genius! I never saw them before!)

******I also like crossword puzzles, jigsaws and the Wordle. Um...I probably don't actually understand the concept of "fun." 

*******Email your address and what items or items you want to jillhamilton001@gmail.com.Shipping alone for a USPS priority medium box is $16.10, large is $21.50. My PayPal is jillhamilton001@gmail.com and my Venmo is @jill-hamilton-123. (Don't pretend you didn't see that tip bit. I know you did.) First come, first served. I will cross out stuff as it's claimed. And if you want to skip me entirely and just buy something via the links, the blog gets a little cut.

 ********Bonus footnote: Did you know that I realllly hate footnotes in articles? It's true! Go figure. 

Oh shit, one more thing. If you are getting two copies of this blog via email, just cancel one, preferably the Feedburner one. There's a glitch.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

"The Copulatory Gaze" and the Body Language of Flirting

Whenever I'm around this one guy I know, I feel my head tilt to the side and my hand reach out toward him, as if to touch him. I try to stifle these gestures because they are sexual "tells," that is, unconscious moves signaling unspoken thoughts or intentions. And these particular gestures, I must confess, are universal mating signals. In terms of biological signaling, I may as well be breaking out the landing gear lights and guiding him to my gate, so to speak. I don't actually wish to mate with this dude (oh hell no) but, clearly some part of my subconscious is thinking he's fine. Real fine.

That's what's interesting to me about these mating gestures. I don't wish to signal anything to this guy, but my body certainly does, and I wonder what mechanism is at work there. I mean, why him? I am fascinated by how my body responds to him automatically and unconsciously. I don't mean to do the whole head tilt thing, it just happens. And although I'm not going to act on it, I have to admit that it's fun to feel my body react, feeling the pull of attraction and knowing I'm part of a timeless biological dance.

So what am I signaling exactly? Well, Grasshopper, a head tilt does a few things. It makes me smaller, for one, and exposes my vulnerable neck. These indicate "I am harmless." (Note: I may or may not actually be harmless.) Appearing harmless is a good thing, mating-wise, according to Helen E. Fisher in her completely fascinating book, Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and DivorceMen also try to appear harmless. All of their initial mating gestures are geared to convey the basic message, "I am here; I am important; I am harmless."

Writes Fisher:
"Men tend to pitch and roll their shoulders, stretch, stand tall and shift from foot to foot in a swaying motion. They also exaggerate their body movements. Instead of simply using the wrist to stir a drink, men often employ the entire arm, as if stirring mud...And the whole body is employed in hearty laughter--made loud enough to attract a crowd."

In the 1960s ethologist Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt used a secret camera to document female flirting behavior around the globe. No matter who he was creepily spying on scientifically studying, a universal flirting pattern emerged. Again, here's Fisher:

"First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms."

Of all the courting gestures, to me, the most potent is the so-called "copulatory gaze." In cultures where eye contact is permitted, potential lovers will stare into each other's eyes a second or two longer than is necessary (generally two to three seconds) and, if interested, their pupils will dilate. Eye contact seems to trigger a primitive part of the brain, notes Fisher, calling forth one of two basic emotions--approach or retreat. "You cannot ignore the eyes of another fixed on you," she writes, "You must respond."

Many of these courting gestures are present in animals as well. Female possums do the coy look/head tilt move. Snakes, frogs and toads inflate their bodies to draw attention to themselves, and "pygmy" chimpanzees at the San Diego Zoo look deeply into the other's eyes for several moments before having sex. (No documentation exists on whether they also make each other mix tapes.)

My favorite animal courting move, however, comes from the chimps observed by the lovely Jane Goodall at the Combe Steam Reserve in Tanzania. When a female is in estrus (heat), a dominant male doesn't muck around with the loud laughing and notable drink stirring, he gets right to the point. "A male will stare intently to get a female's attention, sit with his legs open to display an erect penis, flick it, rock from side to side (and) beckon her with outstretched arms."

Yes, it's kind of comically direct, but I can see how with the right chimp, or my case, human male, it would be quite heady to be so courted. Although it would have the unfortunate side effect of eliminating the wholly enjoyable pastime of analyzing and dissecting a potential lover's moves. "Okay, so last night, Fred was staring intently at me, displaying his erect penis and flicking it. What do you think he meant?"

Thus we get to your questions of the day. One of the reasons I'm so fascinated by this subject is because I was always bad at interpreting such signals. What about you? Do you consciously use these gestures, or have you noticed yourself doing them? Do you notice when a potential suitor is doing these things, feel a general intuition about their intentions, or what?

Please, do tell.

xoxo

jill 

Attention, please:  this is a rerun. Do not be alarmed.