Boxers or Briefs? Keeping Da Boyz Happy, Healthy, and Strong

The scrotum (or scrotal sac), an extension of a guy’s lower abdomen, is a pouch of skin that is rich in nerve endings and blood vessels (keep that in mind, gals, when you’re making love to him—the scrotum needs lovin’, too!).

The scrotum has two separate compartments that house a single testis, or testicle. Each testicle is suspended within the sac by a spermatic ford, which can be felt through the skin.

The spermatic cord consists of the vas deferens (the duct through which mature sperm travel), the cremasteric muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. One spermatic cord is almost always longer than the other, which is why one testicle (most often, the left) hangs lower than the other.

The cremasteric muscles play a huge role in men’s fertility. They ensure and maintain sperm production by moving the testicles closer to the body when it’s cold, and further away from the body when it’s hot—these muscles are the climate control center for the testicles.

If the body temperature is cold, the cremasteric muscles tighten and draw the testicles closer to the body, to keep them warm. When the body is warm, the cremasteric muscles relax to bring the testicles further away from the already warm body.

Elevated scrotal temperature affects a guy’s testicular function and fertility! Several factors can contribute to these elevated temperatures:
  • Fever
  • Hot tub/sauna use
  • Tight underwear
  • Laptop computers

Wait, what? Laptop computers?!?

New research has determined that men’s use of a laptop computer in the “laptop” position is linked to significant elevated scrotal temperatures (I know, I know….who participates in studies like this?). Scrotal temperatures increase because of the heat from the laptop computer and because of the sitting position necessary to balance the laptop—the position traps the scrotum tightly between the thighs.

For your best fertility and sexual response, keep da boyz happy: Keep ‘em cozy, but not too cozy!

What do you think of the research about laptop computers? Have you ever linked using your laptop to testicular health?!

Boobless and….Well…..Still Boobless

This is a lengthy one, so grab your pumpkin spice latte and settle in.

There are a lot of studies out there that have looked at how stress and severe illnesses like breast cancer affect marriages or intimate relationships.

The news isn’t good. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to whether a marriage or an intimate relationship succeeds or fails in times like this (well, or even in times not like this), but a number of the studies show that the divorce rate during or after a serious illness is over 70 percent. Folks, that’s nearly 3 out of 4 marriages that tank after a health crisis.

If you know anything about me, you know that I hate divorce.

Hate it.

I hate what it does to men and women. I hate what it does to kids. I hate what it does to society. I didn’t have divorced parents—but I have taught over 31,000 students and have spoken to college students across this country, and I know what they struggle with. And when I write the books, I read hundreds and hundreds of research articles about divorce. There’s no way to pretty it up. And I refuse to be politically correct about it.

<You’re probably wondering why I’m bringing this up now instead of talking about breast cancer.>

Here’s my point. If marriage really is about through-good-times-and-bad-and-in-sickness-and-in-health-and-when-life-is-stormy-and-when-it’s-quiet—WHY oh WHY do 70 percent of marriages fail in the bad times?

Because this is what happens when we reduce love to something that we do, instead of experiencing it as a part of who we are.

Are you starting to get me, where I’m coming from?

If you do love, you react certain ways when things happen. When you are love, nothing changes. You’re unmovable. You’re steadfast. Rock. Solid.

When I got my diagnosis, I literally couldn’t breathe—I couldn’t gasp in, I couldn’t breathe out. Everything came to a screeching halt. And that’s because no one in my family had ever survived it. I was petrified, and I had good reason to be.

But I had one thing that a lot of women don’t have: A husband who loved me right where I was.

Not the superficial bring-me-a-cup-of-coffee-or-rub-my-back-when-I-don’t-ask-for-it kind of love. But a kind of love that accepted and embraced my weaknesses.

Rock.

Solid.

Love.

One day Dave helped me into the bathroom (okay, you gotta admit that’s a different kind of love altogether). He made a phone call, a phone call he didn’t expect me to overhear. He called my doctor.

I didn’t listen to the entire conversation. But I did hear him say—broken, sobbing uncontrollably, begging—“Please. Please. I just want my wife back. Just promise me you can give me my wife back. I can’t keep watching her go through this. Please.”

<This is the point where, if I were talking to you in person, I would almost be am pleading with you to understand what I’m trying to say. And I would be am crying.>

I didn’t even need to hear his words. All I needed to hear was the emotion behind his words to know that he. loved. me. with a kind of love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. The kind of love that never fails.

Don’t you see? That’s what this entire blog experience is all about. To teach you, to show you, what I know about love…from a research viewpoint…from a personal experience viewpoint…from reality. To somehow get the message out that love is more than a dare.

And to understand that love is more than a promise.

I want you to experience the kind of love that withstands [the early death of a parent or the death of a child or mental illness or a job loss or bad in-laws or money troubles or rebellious teens or cancer or arguing or a horrible job] anything the world throws at it. The no matter what kind of love.

And over the next few weeks I hope to show you how to get this kind of love—so when you do bring your partner a cup of coffee, it’s out of that rock solid love place in your heart.

A couple of days ago, I said that my breast cancer experiences were as much about love as they were anything else.

I mean let’s be real. When all was said and done, nothing changed the fact that I was boobless and, well…..still boobless.

But even though my body didn’t make it through the experiences unscathed, my marriage did. Our love did.

And that’s a victory in and of itself.

Boobless But Bolder

I am not quiet. At all. By any stretch of the imagination. You can always hear me coming. You always know I was there.

I used to try to be quieter. I used to try to be more demure, more reserved. I used to try to take life more seriously. I used to try to not laugh as often or as loud. I used to try to not laugh at things others didn’t necessarily see as funny.

I tried to conform to others’ standards of what it meant to be a “lady” and what it meant to be “beautiful.” Really—I did try.

And then I got sick.

I’m not going to get all Pollyanna on you right now, because I’m going to debunk the urban legend that breast cancer is the best thing that can ever happen to a woman. Personally, I thought it sucked.

Why I Didn’t Wear Lipstick to My Mastectomies

(And Other Valuable Lessons I Was Supposed to Learn but Didn’t)

  • I didn’t learn to laugh at my situation, at myself—The surgeons only cut off my boobs, they didn’t cut out my sense of humor. (And if you knew me, you’d know that my thighs are a far bigger problem than being boobless).
  • I didn’t learn to turn things upside down, to stand things on end—I had been getting in trouble for this for at least 30 years.
  • I didn’t learn determination—I’m Irish. We’re stubborn. (And as any true Irishman knows, the Irish don’t want anyone to wish them well…they want everyone to wish their enemies ill!).
  • I didn’t learn about the unpredictability of life—I had four sons in six years. And I knew what caused it. But it still happened.
  • I didn’t learn to bend the rules of life to get things done—I think I invented it’s-better-to-ask-for-forgiveness-than-permission in 1977.
  • I didn’t learn to become more opinionated and to voice my concerns—Ummm……heellloooo…..
  • I didn’t have to learn that it’s okay to cry—Name any Little House on the Prairie episode and I’ll tell you at what point Pa cried (and when I cried with him).

Now, hopefully readers don’t think that I’m some callous, soulless jerk, and that I’m belittling or making fun of women who have written about their experiences with breast cancer.

Each of my breast cancer predecessor sisters did teach me a lesson—but just in different ways than maybe they intended to.

God was trying to show me through their experiences and through mine that He created me the way I am for a reason.

“And who knows that you have come to [this] position for

such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

For such a time as this. If I hadn’t been bold and loud and a laugher and a defyer of the norm, I’m not so sure I would have come out on the other side of breast cancer as whole as I did.

You see, I don’t think that God smote me with the double mastectomy smack down to get my attention, to somehow make me more reflective and quieter (as a well-meaning woman told me).

I think He wanted me to find my voice, the voice that He gave me.

So here I am today—boobless but bolder.

For such a time as this.

What things about yourself do you need to embrace? To recognize as a strength and not a weakness?

Photo Credit: arbyreed (flickr.com)

Boobless But Not Broken

It’s Pinktober. That most wonderful time of the year, National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The time of year when you can’t find a roll of white toilet paper at Target, much less an orange M&M or an Oreo with white icing.

That time of year where people everywhere remind people everywhere else that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

To be perfectly pinkly correct, I thought it might be a good idea to take a little detour to share something with you about my life. But as I sit here and think about it, we’re not really going off course at all….because what I have to share with you is as much about love, intimacy, sex, and relationships as it is anything else.

I’m the boobless girl behind the pink ribbons.

Fifteen years ago, I was diagnosed with DCIS, an intraductal breast carcinoma. I was 36-years-old. At the time I had four boys all under the age of 12, and I had just begun work on my PhD. And just two years prior to my diagnosis, I buried my mother who died of cancer (at the age of 57). Her sister died from breast cancer at the age of 39, her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 52, and a cousin, diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months after me, died at the age of 43.

Talk about a crappy roll of the genetic dice.

Ironically, it all started on a perfectly pink October day. And once it started, it was a runaway train…..

I found a lump and went to the doctor and he said “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, I’m the doctor and I’ll do the worrying for you, come see me in 6 months,” and I thought “You’re crazy, I just buried my mom you [expletive], I’m not waiting!” so I found another doctor and [skip forward about 4 months of maaaaaaany tests and scans and needles and oh-so-painful biopsies but I still needed to be a good parent and an “A” student and a good little Christian who counted it all joy] she said, “Come into the kiss and cry room and I’ll give you the dreaded diagnosis, the diagnosis I know you know is coming because you saw my face when I drew the fluid out of your breast,” and so Dave and I sat in the low-lit room that had nothing but a box of Kleenex on the table, and we looked at each other and knew and she came in and said, “Both breasts need to be removed immediately to save your life!” and she expected us to cry but we didn’t even need the Kleenex because we were so dumbfounded and confused nothing made any sense so there were no tears and she explained how the breasts that fed all of my babies and gave my husband and I so much pleasure would be “removed” and how the surgical “procedure” would take about 12 hours and how the treatments would start about 4 weeks after the “procedure” and I had the “procedure” and the pain was indescribable and parenting and loving and living with 12 glass drain tubes and two IVs and 100s of stitches was ridiculously unbearable and insanely hilarious all at the same time and like every woman who had cancer before me, and every woman who has had or will have it since me, we took it minute by minute and sometimes we were incredibly strong and other times we were incredibly weak but we did it.

Whew.  We did it.  And that’s what Pinktober is all about.

Boobless, but not broken.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll share what we learned about love through the process.
Kelly
(Which, ironically, in Gaelic means “Warrior Princess.” In breast cancer survivor speak it means “bad ass”!!!)