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Date archive for: March 2012

Mommy Porn

It’s being called “mommy porn” by even the soberest of news media — so naturally I had to check it out. E.L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction, meaning the characters and a few plot points bear striking similarities to Stephenie Meyer’s girl-meets-vampire love story. But James, a British first-time author, reenvisions the story with a bookish young virgin who falls for a hunky self-made billionaire who’s perfect in every way. Except that he wants — nay, needs — for her to be his kinky sex slave.

Studded with more steamy sex scenes than you can shake a riding crop at, the book’s buzz among undersexed suburban housewives has driven it to the top of Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list. The Fifty Shades trilogy, including sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, occupies numbers one, two, and three on the New York Times best-seller list for ebook fiction. Hollywood studios are flogging each other for the movie rights.

I read Fifty Shades of Grey to see what all the fuss was about, and here’s what this mommy can tell you unequivocally: It’s a dozen shades of awful.
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Good-Bye, Private Parts

Have you ever been skinny-dipping? It’s just about the best feeling in the world: fretless, grin-in-your-skin freedom.

I was 11 years old and taking a bare dip in my backyard pool when I heard rustling in the neighbors’ tree and realized their pre-teen son was spying on me. Outraged and embarrassed, I skittered inside to tell my mother. I’ve never forgotten what she said:

“Eh, let him look. Why should he stop you from being at ease in your own yard? Don’t give him that power.”

The notion was radical — that I could simply choose not to feel violated by such an invasion of privacy. That I could disregard the peeping perv and refuse to waste energy guarding the confidential information his little eyeballs were gathering for who-knows-what degenerate purpose.

I’ve summoned that outlook countless times since then — when the tampon drops from my purse during a business lunch, the pharmacy clerk loudly inquires about my rash, and the neighbors hear me yelling at my kids. Eh, I think. Let ’em look.

But it’s harder than it used to be.

From the auto-fill feature in our Web browsers to the cameras installed at stoplights, our privacy is receding faster than a naked girl can scramble from the deep end of an exposed swimming pool into the folds of a blessed towel. And there’s more at stake than just a pre-adolescent fanny flash.

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'Om' Em Gee: I Did Naked Yoga

I don’t love yoga. But I’m supposed to. Women my age, in my town (and let’s just say it, with my name) are supposed to swear by the practice’s tush-tightening, mind-loosening properties. I’ve been to a dozen yoga classes in as many years — the sweaty kind, the meditative kind, the pregnant kind — hoping to tap into that puzzling peace-through-pain bliss that yoga fans endure, er, adore.

But yoga mostly makes me … uncomfortable. From the hissing ujjayi breath to the groin-punishing poses to the inscrutable, translated-from-Elvish instructions (“release any stale energy and breath through your scalp”), the classes always leave me feeling physically and psychologically awkward.

When I received an invitation recently to view a new DVD called Yoga, Undressed (, I realized there was really only one way to make yoga more uncomfortable: Do it naked.

But what if discomfort is sort of the point? What if I’d failed to appreciate yoga because I hadn’t been uncomfortable … enough? Were my unbelievably cute yoga top and super-flattering yoga pants a moisture-wicking but Zen-preventing barrier to yogic understanding? If I stripped away my hold-it-all-in outfit, could I truly let go? Could I blast, birthday-suited, straight through the awkward to bask in the awesome just beyond?

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