Let’s Talk About The Penis

Let’s talk about the penis. This is my blog, I can talk about what I want. (I hope I don’t get censored or something.) Thing is, when I was younger, a penis seemed like this often slimy thing that boys (when I was a teen) / men (when I was older) kept shoving at me. I spent a lot of time escaping ‘the penis,’ and when I couldn’t or didn’t, there were moments it hurt, tasted bad, or even smelled bad. I didn’t find it interesting or very much fun. Oh sure, it had its moments, but what went on before and after was more enticing.

As I got older though, things became less intense (“things” probably meaning the level of testosterone in the men I encountered and, specifically, in my own man). When I was not being subjected to the constant wielding of the penis, suddenly it became more interesting. Now, I find myself rather fascinated by the nuanced relationship men seem to have with their penis and also by men’s bodies and the whole mind-body connection. It’s no longer that simple, “feed the need,” that I thought it was for them.

I mean, men seem very focused on their penis from a young age. They joke about it, make up names for it, aim it when they go to the bathroom, protect it when they’re playing sports. On the other hand, they have no mercy when another guy gets a football in the crotch, they all just laugh. A woman who sees a guy get a ball to the crotch will flinch, feeling the pain with him. Other guys just guffaw. I’ll never quite get that. But past all that, there is the obviously incredible pleasure a man gets from his penis and that’s what interests me.

It seems like some men just can’t resist ‘penis pleasure,’ even if it means sacrificing things they hold dear, like their careers, their family, their money. They’ll do stupid things like text photos of their penis to underage girls or jump through hoops just to put that penis into somebody who has attracted them, no matter what. Plus, the effort they’ll go to is ridiculous—drive 75 miles to meet up with a 15 year old (only to sit down with Chris Hanson).

Other men, however, battle their penis. They may feel temptation—like really big penis temptation—but they’ll confine that to their minds (and sometimes not even there) and be able to not give in to it. It’s not that they aren’t total men with rich full appetites. It’s that they don’t let others have the power over them. They hold the power over their own bodies. They won’t be led by their penis or let another lead them by it. Somehow, that seems a lot more manly than the guy texting photos.

The other thing I find interesting are “hard-ons.” How in the world does one function when they have a hard-on? And how does it happen? Does it just happen on its own or does a thought flit through the mind and cause it? To tell the truth, thinking about someone struggling with that is a little bit of a turn-on. LOL I find men’s struggles with this stuff to be fascinating because it all seems so foreign. Men’s bodies are so foreign, they’re so different really than women’s. They’re constructed with harder angles and with more planes and edges, not to mention more hair. Men seem to be able to withstand so much more discomfort than women yet they hunger more deeply for touch. And it’s not that women don’t hunger for touch, but we want love too, we want a man’s heart. Men are more inclined to want the feel of a body against them. (At least that’s my observation.) They seem to want warmth and softness, and to be encompassed physically. 

I guess I shouldn’t lump men all together. Each man has got to be as different as each woman is. But now that I’m older, I’m more able to appreciate how cool men really are as a group. It’s not that I was ever into women, in that way—sexually; I was always into men, but I didn’t really appreciate the physical aspects of men as much when I was younger. I was too overwhelmed by them. They were almost threatening. Well, actually sometimes they WERE threatening. Now, it’s different. I can take a step back comfortably and look, evaluate, appreciate, and enjoy. The nice part is that my husband can enjoy this too. 😉

Men With Ties… hmmmm

I am not a good blogger. The reason I am not a good blogger is because I don’t write unless I have something interesting to say and, to be honest, very little I have to say is interesting. Also, even the stuff I consider interesting is only interesting to a very limited audience, either my family or fans of the same people and things I’m a fan of.

I’m still not sure why I named this blog “Men With Ties.” I ponder that question now and then. I have no particular affinity for that look, except when I’m watching Danger Man. I have to admit that the sight of the suave John Drake sporting his usual suit and tie is pretty exciting to me. And Fred Astaire looks dapper all dressed up like that.

Well… maybe I DO like that look, now that I think about it. There’s something about a man clad in a crisp clean suit that holds a bit of mystery. There are layers to be peeled off before you reach that body and if the suit is pristine (ie, McGoohan in the first episode of The Prisoner), the shoes all shiny, the tie all neat, the shirt appearing starchy… well, one can imagine the body will be just as cleaned up and then goes the mind into full sensory imagining… a light scent, either natural or faint after shave… I mean, the thoughts can get a little heady for a woman.

But… I’ll stop here before I get any worse. As you may have guessed, I am the author of rather steamy romance books. LOL Still, I don’t want to start some sort of male backlash here… no complaints that I am objectifying men. Bottom line is, I’m just trying to figure out why I named this blog “Men With Ties.”

Finished First Round of Editing


Well, the first edit is done. I worked on it for about 9 hours on Thursday, 9.5 hours (or more) on Friday, then about 3 or 4 hours in Friday. That’s not counting the hours of just thinking about it, mulling it over, weighing changes in my mind, and not sleeping in between, but I was able to send the first round of edited back to her on Saturday afternoon. I know there will be another because she had only edited through chapter eleven, herself. 

I wonder how many times I’ll have to go into this world before it’s finally over — not that it’s a bad world. It’s romantic and sexy, adventurous, etc. But I’d like to go into some other worlds and it’s hard to split myself between worlds. 

Paralyzed with Fear!

I’m terrified. I just got back my book manuscript with the editorial changes and I’m terrified. First, it’s in a Word document and I don’t even have Word. I don’t know if it will fit on my Mac laptop. I have it on my iPad but I don’t know if that version will work with the track changes thing on and my heart is beating so fast I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to cross the floor to find out. I DO have Word at work so can do it at the office (obviously, not on the clock).

Secondly, there is a lot to look at and approve or dis-approve (but I suspect I’ll approve it since much of it is just straightening out the writing). Third, I have to re-write some of one section because it’s a time-twisting book and the characters have to relive a section and I’ve mirrored some of it but they think that too much of it was mirrored. I did the mirroring on purpose because I thought the readers would think I “cheated” if I didn’t, but I guess that’s not the case. So now, I’ll have to be creative and have them re-live it the same exact way yet not have it come across as cheating — good luck to me.

I’m so scared. I don’t know if I can do this. I’m feeling very inadequate, like maybe I’m not a book kinda person, maybe I’m only a flash fiction kinda person. All this time, this was my dream, and now I’m too scared to live it…

No, I’m not. I’m gonna do it… somehow… I’m gonna do it. Sure, I am 😉

Sibling Trip – Chapter 14


As the vacation came to a close, I realized that we had actually all learned to get along a little better. 

My “disabled” brother had decided to change his travel time to earlier in the day. Unfortunately Delta had an over two hour wait time for hold so the computer offered a call back. Of course, he accepted. As we zipped… is zip the right word when somebody is speeding through fields and hills? 

As we zipped through the fields on our way toward Bismarck, Delta called back and my brother tried to switch his flight. The woman who answered was rather tired sounding. Since he was driving, my brother didn’t have the reservation number or the exact flight time at his fingertips and the woman was very irritated about having to look it up. My brother was insistent so she said, “There’s no reason to disrespect me.” He wasn’t being disrespectful, but he was rather snippy. After all, he figured she could look up the flight since he knew the approximate time. She could look up his name. I mean, for me, I could practically do that on my United app so I would figure Delta could probably do the same if they’re sitting in the help desk area.

So he got most of the way through the change of reservation… then his cell signal cut out. I told him that as irritable as she was, she probably left him with no flight whatsoever. He tried and tried again but as we got closer to Bismarck, we decided maybe it would be easier if we just went to the airport and let him make the changes there. As luck would have it, when we were about ten minutes away from the airport, he got through to a pleasant and helpful agent who re-booked him on the earlier flight at no charge.

The last night’s lodgings were the best of the whole trip. Unfortunately, we were only going to be in those lodgings for a few hours as we had very early flights and were planning to get to the airport at about 4:15am. Still, it felt luxurious to have some time enjoying the room.

We ate at a Japanese food place – indoors, unfortunately. So, again, I sat like a person on a plane, double-masked and only slipping it up in order to nibble at food. The boys, however, got the bowls where they went over to the cooks who grilled it right there, veggies and meats or tofu, etc etc.  I had only appetizers and sake… we all had sake, lots of sake.  We couldn’t even finish it.

The next morning we were at the airport before most human beings were there. Of course, I was blamed for that… I have a thing about being early… but that was okay, we survived the rather long wait for our flights. At least we didn’t miss them.

In spite of all the moments I felt annoyed during the trip, it actually made me a little sad to part, first with my Maryland brother (the “disabled” one) then later, when we reached Denver, part with my oldest brother. 

We “meet” via telephone pretty much every week on Tuesdays at noon (1pm their time) for prayer call at which time we gab then one of us prays, but it’s different than all being thrust on an adventure together in an SUV getting on each others’ nerves like when we were kids.  Like my husband said, this may be the last time the three of us will do something like this together… at least on this side of eternity. That sort of makes my throat tighten up and my eyes all misty. But then I think about being blamed for the road closing after a 12 mile drive and I remember that big brothers are a pain in the butt 😉

Sibling Trip – Chapter 13


Before we saw Crazy Horse, we saw Mount Rushmore and that was quite impressive. I thought the eyes were particularly startling. It almost seemed like they sparkled in the sun, especially Washington’s and Lincoln’s. And there was a person on top of Teddy Roosevelt’s head because some sort of work was going on up there. 

Although the faces look smaller than one might expect, they are actually quite huge. It’s just hard to reconcile that. There is plenty to learn about Mount Rushmore and it’s interesting to note that you hear very little about the sculptor (Gutzon Borglum, whom I had to look up) yet most of the stories you hear at Crazy Horse are stories about Korczak Ziolkowski, the sculptor. His stories are told when you tour Crazy Horse or even see the accompanying video. By the time I left, I knew Mr. Ziolkowski had two marriages, the second to a woman named Ruth, to whom he said, “My dream will always come first, you will come second, and the children will come third,” and she accepted that. They had ten children for whom he imported a small wooden schoolhouse and hired a schoolmarm to teach them. I know that he painted the mountain and created five books to show his vision for the Crazy Horse memorial. Korzack also had belief reflected in a quote emblazoned on a sign at the monument: “Never forget your dreams.”

Looking up that quote, I discovered that the Crazy Horse story involving the quote, “My lands are where my dead lie buried,” was also a Korzack quote. He considered himself a writer, Korzack, I mean.

There is no doubt that Korzack was an impressive and great man, one to be appreciated and honored for the work he put in and the incredible foresight he had, but the monument is supposed to be centered around Crazy Horse and the legacy of the Native American people. This monument appears to make more money unfinished than finished and appears to be making extraordinary amounts of money. I am not sure exactly how much of that money is used toward the betterment of Native Americans, how much is used toward completing the project, and how much is used to the advantage of white people. It would be interesting to have percentage information on that. Certainly, the issues surrounding this controversy are not well-known and not address by any kind of public outcry. 

And so, now that the serious stuff is taken care of, we circle back to sibling time.

Sibling Trip – Chapter 12


Finally, we were on the road toward Bismarck. Oh yes, getting close to the moment I’d be on the plane home… tomorrow. My “disabled” brother set up the in-car GPS for Bismarck airport, a nearly five-hour drive. Of course, right from the beginning, they began to question the directions they were given and, at one point, asked me to plug it into my phone GPS, which I did. Google maps gave me a completely different route. Then I plugged it into Apple Maps which gave us yet a different path to take. Eventually, they decided to go with the car GPS. As I wrote this, we were using the car GPS and I was wondering what was going to happen. We made it… barely.

So, on the road, we started talking about Crazy Horse. We had visited the Crazy Horse Monument on Tuesday and it was a powerful experience. My “disabled” brother had arranged for us to be part of a tour that took us up to the top of the monument. With a van ride to the outstretched abstract of Crazy Horse’s arm, we were given the background of the memorial and of the sculptor. We saw some wildlife and were told things about the creation of this monument. When we got to the top, we wore ineffective plastic hard hats which we had been given back at the gift shop, then we were led out to the middle of the arm and told to turn around. It was then that we came face to face with the magnificent visage of the honored Native American. It was quite overwhelming. More overwhelming was hearing the story of how when Crazy Horse came to negotiate the final treaty, they mocked him and said, “Where’s your land now, Crazy Horse?” 

Apparently, he turned and pointed out over the Black Hills and the Badlands and said, “My land is where my people lay buried.” 

When I heard this story, I crumpled inside. The emotions sweeping through me were so gut-wrenching, tears popped into my eyes and my throat clenched. “Oh no,” I thought, “I cannot humiliate myself.” I fought it off. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to cry. I swallowed and swallowed. But I couldn’t say a word. I touched the rock of Crazy Horse’s skin and felt the magnitude of this man’s short and profound life. Our guide took my picture at the base of his strong jaw and I only realized my hand was against my heart when I saw the photo later. The fate of all Native Americans and the horrible destiny they endured drove through me. We were a parasite to them back then. We were destroyers.

Later, much later, I read about the man and about the monument and found there is much controversy surrounding it. There are Lakota tribe members who are affronted by the dynamiting of a sacred mountain so that white people can carve the face of a leader who was unassuming and humble and, worse, make millions of dollars off of the likeness and name of this man. Originally, it was planned that Native Americans should benefit from this monument, that they should be the primary workers. Apparently, that is not necessarily the case. It has become more a monument to the sculptor and an income stream to his family and other white people than a benefit to the native people.

That’s not to say that all tribe members and Native Americans are opposed to or disapproving of this monument, but there IS much controversy surrounding it. It gives one pause for thought.

But even more pause for thought was given when I read about a boy running through the Indian museum shouting, “Are all the Indians dead? I… know… nothing… about… Indians!” And that’s true, we learn very little about Native Americans in school. Back when my brothers and I were educated, we had a few Thanksgiving plays where the Indians and Pilgrims were portrayed as coming together with peaceful food offerings. We also learned about Pocahontas falling in love with John Smith and maybe a little about Sacajawea and/or Hiawatha (if we were even told he was real).  

We have Black History Month in February and that’s much needed. I certainly believe we need a Native American History month as well. We can’t just lump it all under an indigenous people month. And we don’t even really have that, it’s just a month to what? Celebrate? Honor? But it’s not a month where we really give any effort to learning the history of the people. At least, not the Native American people.

Sibling Trip – Chapter 11


It didn’t seem like a horrible length of time before we got to Sturgis, but it was not a place I wanted to hang around for long. Filled with bars, tattoo parlors, and unmasked crowds. We had a fairly uneventful lunch at a pretty Mexican place then went on to Custer via the Badlands. 

In spite of the typical driving snafus, we got there. It was my turn to argue. Older brother and I squabbled about the “Badlands Loop.” Who knew what the hell the “Badlands Loop” was because it appeared that in Google it was one thing but on the map it was another — but I’m not even sure about that. Whatever the case, we DID take a lovely drive. At least that much was good and, guess what, I was even included in some of the conversation. Some.

When it came time to leave the Badlands, however, it was discovered that we were actually a couple hours away from Mount Rushmore, unlike what our older brother had originally expected, which had been a half hour or so. And, as a matter of fact, our hotel, which he had specifically booked to be close to Mount Rushmore, was another thirty-minutes away past that. 

He must have gotten it backwards, he said. This hotel must be the one that’s close to Crazy Horse and the other one must be close to Mount Rushmore. So, I looked it up. The other hotel was about five minutes away from the first hotel. So neither were particularly close to Mount Rushmore and both were close to each other. Plus, we discovered that both were pretty “rustic,” to put it nicely. It seemed that each night of our trip, the accommodations became more “rustic.” 

Wednesday night’s hotel, the Days Inn, Custer, really took the cake. It wasn’t just the little stuff, like two bottles of conditioner and two bottles of body lotion – no shampoo (discovered by me when I was ready to step into the shower – having left the shampoo I brought in the Dickinson hotel). No, part of the problem was the window with the patched screen and dead fly. Or maybe it was the tiny spider between the mattresses when I was checking for bedbugs (thank God, none that I could see). Or was it the mildew on the shower curtain? The broken down soap dish or stripes in the tub where non-slip decals used to be? My brothers complained that the lights in their rooms next to their beds didn’t work. Mine worked fine, but I discovered in the morning that the television did not. I hadn’t noticed the night before because I used my iPad and iPhone for entertainment. And, the “HVAC system” consisted of a thing in the wall that spewed air of some temperature or went off if you jiggled the dial just the right way. 

Of course, that made more sense than the HVAC from the room the night before which was a thing in the wall way above the sink, located outside of the bathroom. This thing was slightly blocked by another wall and was the sole source of heat and/or air. There seemed to be no way to control it and I slept with two shirts, a hoody, and a sweater on until I finally figured out that the controller that said LG on it was the heat/AC controller even though the TV was an LG TV. (The television controller did not say LG on it.) After some goofing around with it at 1am, I also figured out how to set the temp and change the setting to heat instead of AC but I had to set the temp at 80 degrees to get the room heated enough to shower. My oldest brother had climbed up on a chair to adjust the temp before he discovered the remote control.

Upon check-out from the Days Inn, My oldest brother overheard a conversation between a nice older couple and the man at the desk. The couple mentioned that they needed new towels. (There was a sign at check-in saying that, due to Covid, there would be no housekeeping during your stay so if you needed towels, please ask.) They also mentioned that the shower curtain was so covered with mildew, it really needed changing. The guy at the desk instructed them to take the shower curtain down and put it outside the door so that housekeeping would know to change it. My brother said the woman, very nicely, responded that she wasn’t sure she would know exactly how to take the shower curtain down.

As we had done throughout the trip and would continue to do, my “disabled” brother and I opted for a paid breakfast offsite. My older brother however, texted us that he was enjoying a complimentary gourmet breakfast of rancid peanut butter on week-old toast along with premium coffee. Because the premium coffee offered by the hotel wasn’t even up to my older brother’s very provincial tastes, he decided to grab a cup when we stopped back at the coffee place we had gone to earlier. The cup seemed to confound him, however.  First, he pointed out to me that the lid confused him. He was looking for the spot to push in so that he could drink but then he found there was already a little spot for sipping. Somehow, though, the lid continued to confound him. Later, in the car, he said to me, “I just can’t drink fancy coffee.”

“Why not?”

“Remember the problem with the lid?”

“Yes.”

“I picked it up wrong and ended up sloshing half the cup all over my shirt.”

So much for the coffee.

Sibling Trip – Chapter 10


My oldest brother took the wheel so that my “disabled” brother could take part in his meeting and, of course, I was typing up my notes about this trip because I didn’t want to forget one glorious moment of it. We got quite a few miles under our belt and my oldest brother was what they call lead-footed. My other brother shut down his computer and the two brothers chatted a bit then the oldest one commented, “There’s a trooper. Oh boy, he’s turning around. He’s not gonna pull me over… Uh oh, he’s turning his lights on.” Pulled over for speeding. Yep, that’s how it was. 

“It’s been like twenty-five years since I got a ticket,” he grumbled.

“When they’re in revenue generation mode, it doesn’t matter,” my other brother answered, “They’ve got a quota.”

“I should have brought my radar detector.” Older brother was annoyed.

“Maybe you should have stayed within the speed limit.” I chuckled to myself when I said it. Of course, I knew it would be a very unwelcome suggestion but, come on, I’m a little sister. And, after all, I started complaining about their driving before they even made their car reservations.

“Don’t be a smart ass,” Older brother answered, “Who stays within the speed limit?”

I bit my lip.

But when those clever boys asked the cop how many miles above the limit they could drive before getting ticketed, the handsome young officer answered, “For me, if you’re going over at all, I’m going to stop you.”

“No leeway?”

“No leeway.”

All of the sudden, I had a new best friend. 

We began to drive the speed limit and when we got to the next stop, My “disabled” brother took over. Older brother didn’t want to chance anything else.

Sibling Trip – Chapter 9


So, after our dinner at the LIttle Missouri (where the boys split the bison and elk but not the check) we got back to the hotel and all agreed to meet in the lobby in the morning at 7am. I called my husband and was complaining about the squabbling between my two brothers. Like a true old woman, when my “disabled” brother called me during my conversation with my husband, I clicked thinking I was ignoring his call but instead I was on with him as I continued to complain. Oops. So he got mad at me for complaining about him and my oldest brother when he felt he wasn’t squabbling. He felt he was in the right about not paying the check earlier and that my oldest brother should have been forced to pay the bill.  So here I was, in trouble again, and all I wanted to do was make them both shut up.

The next day we were to be on our way to South Dakota and, as we agreed the night before, we were to meet in the lobby at 7am. I had a terrible night’s sleep, having been awake from 3am to 4am, so I was super tired. But I dragged myself out of bed and was ready at about 6:45. I picked up my phone and saw a text from my “disabled” brother asking me if I wanted to go for coffee. The text came in at about 5:57am, however!

I texted back: “Yikes! Did you already go? I’m ready now, or whenever you’re re-ready?”

He called me and explained that his BlackBerry (phone) had somehow flipped on him and put him an hour earlier than us (I guess Central instead of Mountain time) so he had been ready an hour earlier than he should have been. He had already gone for his coffee and come back. Now he was preparing for a meeting he was due to be part of at 9am (our current time). 

So much for that espresso I had been looking forward to. He suggested I meet my oldest brother at 7am and then. when we were ready to go, he (my disabled brother) would come down and we could run by Starbucks before hitting the road.

Shortly thereafter, my oldest brother texted us: “Eating breakfast with a few ‘fellow travelers.’ Then back to my room to get packed and hit the road by 9am.”

So, I had one brother ready to go an hour early and another brother ready to go an hour late. Granted, they said we’d meet at 7am, not leave at 7am… but whatever… 

I sat back and thought… “Well, I’ve got fish leftover from my $123 dinner last night. I should eat some of that before I throw it out. That’ll be my breakfast. I had a little cold salmon and some cold baked potato because I didn’t want to eat breakfast in the ‘Covid Cafe’ free-breakfast area downstairs where my oldest brother was enjoying his tray-warmed eggs and hand-grabbed biscuits.  And I had missed my earlier chance for a breakfast sandwich (although I could have waited for a Starbucks sandwich until a little later). 

I munched a few bites of fish then gave up. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from my “disabled” brother now asking me if I wanted to go to Starbucks at this moment and not wait. He said he would fuel up the car while I got my coffee. Of course, I wanted to go. I started grabbing my stuff and got ready to go downstairs. And, my luck, the plastic bag holding my water bottles, snacks, etc. broke. so I was cradling water, snacks, shoes, etc. by the time I got down to the car, and still doing that as I waited for him to get down there.

My oldest brother also texted that he was ready, earlier than 9am. He was ready by about 8:15, so somehow and some way we got on the road. 

Just Being Silly