‘I had to adjust to life with a different penis’ the pain and positives of an elective circumcision

After a diagnosis of phimosis, I quickly had the operation. The experience was demeaning, comical and extremely painful but Im happy that I did it My doctor was explaining, with some awkwardness, the procedure I was soon to undergo. The skin around your well … when I was at school we would have said bell-end. I was in my mid-20s, and about to have an elective adult circumcision. After experiencing some problems with bleeding and tearing, I had been diagnosed with phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin retracts with difficulty or not at all. It had taken me a while to get to the GP about something that felt somehow shameful but, after diagnosis, everything progressed quite quickly. Before …

Five ways to be sober-curious (and make a success of not drinking)

Staying alcohol-free at social events can be daunting, but be open to the new experience and own it Be clear about why youre abstaining The most recent survey on sober-curious movement, as coined by author Ruby Warrington in her 2019 book of the same name. The first step is to get really clear about why you are abstaining, Warrington says. Maybe youre sick of hangovers, want to perform better at work, or have a health and fitness goal. It can help to write these reasons down somewhere you can access them easily, to remind yourself when you feel your resolve wavering. Embrace sober firsts Once youve established your reasoning, Warrington says that you should continue to attend social functions, seeing …

Snowflake or tough cookie, youre just hiding from pain | Oliver Burkeman

A life in which nothing could hurt would be one in which nothing could matter We live, or so were constantly informed, in the era of the Sensitive Snowflake, the twentysomething university student who cant hear a vaguely challenging opinion without melting into a puddle of panic. I know Im supposed to dismiss this notion as a rightwing invention, but my reading of the evidence for example, in the recent book Of A Fragile Life and in an episode of the podcast This Is Not A Pipe Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

Can you afford to be green when you’re not rich? I kept a diary to find out

Politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer but how easy is it to go green when youre barely getting by? How easy is it to go green, to make deliberate, eco-friendly choices when youre barely getting by? Can you be green and poor, as I am? This is the question I have been pondering as politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer: stop using plastic straws, carry reusable shopping bags, recycle everything. I live in an environmentally conscious place: a rural town with thriving local food businesses, a farmers market and many organic farms. But its also a small town in central Appalachia, in the poorest county in …

We just clicked: why I set out to find a new group of friends online

Can a friendship app, a digital neighbourhood noticeboard or Facebook really help me discover a new bestie? This year started with a bang. It burst into life with fireworks and kisses, and then came the sound of a spoon tapping on a wine glass. Since were all together, said my friend, I wanted to say its been an honour knowing you while Ive been in London. Another leaving speech. I have heard many over the past few years, watching loved ones leave in search of job opportunities or housing security, or as a cure for homesickness. Later, as I lay in bed, I thought about my rate of friend attrition. How long until I found myself totally alone? Five years? …

‘Having a child doesnt fit into these women’s schedule’: is this the future of surrogacy?

US doctors are seeing an increase in patients avoiding pregnancy or time off work by paying someone else to carry their baby with no medical need to do so The Pacific Fertility Center on Los Angeles Wilshire Boulevard is the place where the people who have it all make their babies. With its crystal chandeliers and plush velvet and leather upholstery in shades of cream and mink, youd be forgiven for thinking the waiting room was the changing room of a high-end bridal shop. But the pictures on the flatscreen on the wall give it away: digital photos of newborns in scratch mittens, thank you notes, family Christmas cards, tiny heads cradled in grateful hands. The images float upwards and …

How to make a friend of your anger

There is no quick fix to anger issues, but working through them can be a journey that sheds light on who we are and how we perceive the world Its easy to feel hijacked by our anger. After all, anger was one of the primary evolutionary feelings: it was designed for survival. It knows only on and off. But this means that once the trigger is pressed, often by a trivial event, we end up in noise and miss out on the detail and complexity of our humanity. Our capacity for empathy is reduced and we want only to survive, hide, hurt, blame or punish. Many people come to me expecting a quick fix or a solution to their anger. …