Category Archives: Reflection

The (New) Affair of Jogging


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Tonight I broke in my Saucony running sneakers.

I haven’t attempted jogging or running since last summer, mostly because I was going to do a 5K Obstacle Race and after that race (which sadly I didn’t get to do because I showed up 3 minutes late) I had zero motivation to continue jogging or running.  Still, a desire aches deep within.  This evening, during my initial 5 minute walk on the Treadmill I felt like I was strolling, cushioned by eternal clouds all around my tender feet and ankles; how lost I felt within instant change from my regular cross-training battered Nike sneakers.  With a Cheshire-cat grin on my face I said, “I can get used to these clouds,” just when my mind shotgun me a warning, “Better not get comfortable, you’re going to need every ounce of yourself tonight.  We’re starting back at square one.”

And this entry won’t be about every little thing I did (although I’ll add a little in for the sake of healthy reminders and anew celebration), but of some observations I learned this evening.  I’m happy because although my body was already exhausted from the burdens of continual soreness, I fought for every minute I walked and every minute I jogged.  And even though I couldn’t finish strong with the pace of 5.5 towards the ending, I placed extra mileage (4.5 speed) on these sneakers and feet because I want nothing to stop me.

The small moments of invincibility I’ll take on any day in which I battled long, hard and steady for.  Towards the last countdown of the game, over the hill of more than 3 and a half miles I gave myself a few fist pumps and thumbs up even if people thought I was a crazy loser at the rear Treadmills.  But I earned the crown of headache-jogging and for a moment, I earned the world of guts once again.

I took in quite a few observations about jogging and getting close to the ideal of going at a running pace for my short legs which stopped at a 5.5 speed.  The most basic observation being the amount of focus I have to demand and generate at sheer will.  I have a habit of looking down at my feet/legs or even at the numbers increasing or decreasing on cardio machines at the gym.  But looking down takes my focus away from jogging and allows my mind to drift even when I don’t want it too.

At one point I had to decrease the 5.5 to 5.3 because I could sense my balance being off track and I was going to no doubt bust my ass if I continued on that speed.  I lowered it for a moment to regain my focus again and not look down at my feet or try to change my music on the ipod.  Instead I just stared up at the television where the label on the board wrote out: TNT.  OH!  And every now and again, I stared at this flamboyant guy who jogged worse than flailing wrist forward females, in which, put my mind at ease about being a self-conscious beginner jogger.

The other observation was about the need to relax myself while trying to find the poise of fluidity and balance.  I don’t make any excuses for my body fat or the solid muscle I do have on my structure.  But with both the fat and muscle generally it’s difficult for me to feel relaxed and/or light.  I’m on edge even when I sit down on a train reading a good book and my hands are close to bunching in a fist and my arms are never fully extended because of tension I hold tightly to my body.  The small moments when I do feel light, it’s a rarity, kind of like allowing myself to trust in a stranger; unfamiliar territory, needless to say along with grandeur vulnerability.

So, in turn, having to trust myself while learning how to loosen up and let go throughout jogging is a test I must study to overcome.  I’ve come a long way with this, as well, because when I first attempted jogging and running years ago, it wasn’t until I took off my headphones that I heard the loud thunder of my feet hitting the Treadmill belt.  Apparently, I was a little too good when it came to stomping and probably better at hurting my joints in the process.  Tonight I focused and auto-suggested to myself how I’m light as a feather and balance become me.  There were clear moments of fluidity and of a highness that offered itself to me in the form of joy and glide.

Short side note here:  There’s nothing like jogging when it comes to my body.  I wonder if it’s due to the fact that I’m inefficient at it currently.  But, seriously, nothing taxes my body like a jog or short run.  Nothing!  I wonder if I’m one of those people who aren’t built for jogging or running and if it’s something I could just be spinning my wheels on?

Another observation or rather, a question balloons:  How soon is too soon to push beyond the limits of what I think I can perceive?  I’m aware of my body in many areas, but there are moments when I can never be too careful (aside from thinking the worse fantasies of falling on the Treadmill and somehow splitting my kneecap open).  I know my body well enough to know I need at least a 5 minute warm up before jogging.  Then I could only jog or attempt running for 5-7 minutes at a time because anymore than that and my left shin starts to give out.  So I walk for 5 and jog for 5 minutes and repeated this until the point where my body is getting tired, but it seems like my mind gets tired at the same time as my body.  Actually, it’s hard to know which is fatiguing first.

However, my lungs can handle it well and my legs have done more than enough strength-training and Plyometrics to where they don’t tire as quickly as someone who’s never done that type of training before.  But my feet aren’t strong and neither are my shins when I compare them to my lungs and the rest of my legs.  Eventually the shin splints and dead feet start to weigh me down.  This usually takes anywhere from a total of 20-30 minutes of jogging.  (Again, I’ve never been consistent with jogging.)  Tonight I had this feeling where my legs seemed to outdo my brain and it was running quicker than I thought I could; running so much I had to decrease the speed as my stability once again was getting out of control and I was going to fall.  So, finding the balance (that has nothing to do with the mind/body itself), but of my limitation is another challenge.

It took me approximately one month and a half to break in my running sneakers.  This is a fresh new start to the world of jogging and running for me.  This time I want to be consistent.  I’ve made up my mind long ago to be well-rounded when it comes to fitness.  I don’t only want to be good at one thing and nothing can replace my first love of dumbbells and weight-training.  Still, I want to be good at multiple things fitness-related.  Originally the goal was to run for a total of 30 minutes.  I came up short and reached 25 minutes.  I added an extra 5 minutes even though I felt like I had barely anything else to give because my body was failing me right from the beginning as my chest, traps, shoulders, back and lower abs were and still are completely sore from a workout the other night.  I felt this made the jog excruciating in a sense.  Nevertheless, I most likely prefer it to be this way.

Next time I’ll see if I could push more or at the least get better time while having my body on much fresher and recovered terms.   After my delightful jog (the only thing that gets me sweaty in no time and for some reason also gives me water retention the longer I go), I stretched for 35-40 minutes.  That’s one of the worthwhile benefits I found with jogging; the stretch after is remarkable as my entire body had zero choice in the matter, but to yield to laxity.

This is just the beginning of something different.

-Pennington

East Coast


Lana Del Rey West Coast
The night is sultry
The night is sultry

Our eyes are lovely
Our hearts are hungry

Under the stars
Blanket of stars

The city lights
Washington Heights

Vanilla skin
Vanilla skin

Melts on mine
Swells on mine

A slow chorus
A slow chorus

Freshly fine
Every time

-Pennington©

Nymphomaniac


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It’s wonderful, in my opinion, to see how much of myself I could relate to in the character of the film Nymphomaniac throughout both volumes, from growing up and taking charge of every decision, single-handedly based on her terms, her rebellious nature, her moments of aloofness, her philosophy of lust and her avoidance of love, her emotions being thrown like a whirlwind into the act of sex, her destructions of interpersonal relationships, her views on society and how humanity can be summed up in one word:  Hypocrisy.

So much of me, belong to this character and it astonishes me that a director has taken the time to put together the story of this woman who I look at as a heroine.  I never once pitied or judged her although she managed to critique herself harshly and understandably so.  But what I do take away from the film itself is, in society, I think people are given two choices.  The first is you could play the game based on the terms and conditions of society as long as you’re faking happy to keep the image of conformity intact.  Or the second:  You can be an outcast.

I think her struggles are very real and of course society doesn’t let up on the notions of how she should behave, for instance when one of her bosses demanded she get help for her sexual addiction.  Its constant questioning, steady debating on what’s right, what’s wrong and according to whom?  The beauty is in how she stands up for herself in her ball of strong integrity despite the gnawing loneliness she possesses or those in the path looking to disgrace her light whether done subtle or forwardly.

She fights for herself because to put it simply it’s about survival.

-Pennington

Fanboy


SheHulk_COVER_IN_LIVIN_COLOR_by_BroHawk

I feel kind of bad when I push compliments off to the side by men who love women who body sculpt, bodybuild or weight-lift.  Sometimes it feels like a defense mechanism to my strong hatred towards men.  But it is what it is and it goes something like this.

It usually starts the same way, with an inbox message and a quotation mark smile, “You look great” and goes on to say “I always loved your arms, pec and back.  You’ve been getting leaner without losing size and that’s great!”  This should all be a good thing, right?  It’s awesome to hear!  It’s nice that there are people (actual strangers!) who have been following my training journey and I’m forever grateful.  But I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have a problem with certain underlying issues.  I guess I have trouble accepting the type of person and not so much the male gender in this case?

On one hand this guy we’ll call Han could stare at my photos all day for some reasons known but more reasons unknown yet rarely asks me questions about my life and when he does ask me, it shows he’s not interested in me per say.  He’s another person who’s more into the fantasy of who he believes I am than who I am in reality.  And generally I don’t respect people who don’t respect to learn anything about my life.

The second thing about this guy is just how he thinks lifting and gaining muscle comes easy for me.  He boasts about me and my body as if he couldn’t be doing the same or more.  When I ask him, “Why do you think it’s difficult to gain muscle?”  He says, “Well, it requires a lot of work, lifting heavy day in and day out and eating right.”  So he admits to the truth and I appreciate it and he has courage, but I bet he doesn’t realize how poorly he appears to someone like me.

He asks, “Do you think it’s easy to gain muscle?”  I said, “At first I didn’t think it was easy to gain muscle.  But now I know what it takes, so no, I believe anyone could do it and gain muscle.  It’s like you said it takes a lot of dedication and discipline.”  He goes on to say, “Yeah, I think that’s the difference.  Some people can do the hard work and be dedicated but for some it’s too much.  It’s one of the main reasons why I’m such a big fan of yours because you make it all look easy.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore anyone who adores me and would worship me at the drop of a dime.  But what I’m saying is it’s hard to respect someone like this as a person, probably because I’m judgmental or an asshole?  And I’m aware it’s my problem and not theirs.  As a result, I guess it comes easy to shoo away the compliment than hold it to a higher regard because I like someone who gives a shit about my life and believes in working out hard “physically-speaking” as oppose to being a bystander and idling watching, being fine and dandy settling just to be a fan.

-Pennington

Nymphomaniac Vol 1


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nymphomaniac1
“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset.  More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon.  That’s perhaps my only sin.”

-Nymphomaniac Vol 1

Rummaging Gym Eyes


marvel rummagng eyes
Before I begin, I rummage with my eyes a cold grill with the intent to feed on anyone who steps in my personal space.  Anyone who glares at me from a distance gets the fuck you look as well because I share this gym with the rest of everybody.  I forge my right to be here by the numbers, by the purpose of colossal concentration, by the visualization of the day and the body action at night.  I grip the steel of the dumbbell and I surge with immeasurable power before a single rep has been executed or an exercise exercised.  It all starts in the mind.

It may be the luck of being a woman, or a dependent on the man, who stands in front of me, but, there are times where I display my puppy dog eyes big and wide and remain uncomplaining, waiting by a bench like a sit dog sit until their hearts soften and they pass the bench along to me entirely without a moments hesitation.  I thank the stranger and smile with a queen’s happiness and during his training session I’ll boost his ego (and he’ll train harder) for being nice to me by staring him up and down attentively while he strengthens his temple.

Now I’m seated with an angry face and underneath my baggy shirt from the mirror I can see my muscles working, how glorious they look, tenacious, pumped and embellished.  To the left of me, I gaze at my arm in motion, performing an incline bicep curl nonchalant as taking a selfie in public.  To the right of me, an array of men peers onward with a combination of riddled emotions and contemplated expressions.

And in the background, there’s a woman highly amused by the numbers on the weight I’m lifting.  She can’t for the life of her stop looking at my face and the unleashing of effort that cannot be contained.  She can’t stop watching the way I grate my lips with violent teeth noticing how my mouth turns sweltering red when I come close to failure.

Who knows if it’s out of delight
she observes or
if the very thought
of my passion
gives her nausea
through her eyes?

-Pennington

Gymtimidation in Planet Fitness


planet fitness
I’ve recently written a post about the positives of Planet Fitness, but this entry is dedicated to that one negative issue I’ve happily come across more times than I care to share.  I find it comical how the people who market and advertise lustfully say Planet Fitness is indeed a judgment free-zone forget to mention that it is a judgment free-zone and gymtimidation is alive and booming in the gym.

Why?

Because judgment
takes place by gym members
who train IN the gym.

I had quite a few unpleasant experiences in many different gyms, but in particular, Planet Fitness takes the cake not far from where I live (there are 3 locations around).  Now I assume this gymtimidation occurs because these machismo men are machismo men.  Most are Hispanic and some of these Hispanics prefer their women to be, look, smell like flowers and femininity.  They don’t appreciate my snot-rockets; scratching my crotch or watching me lift the same amount as them or more.

I had a few machismos wait until I was done with my set as I saw them staring me down from the peripheral while performing chest presses and as I set down my dumbbells took the opportunity to say, “You want to look like a man?  Why are you lifting like one?  You’re going to have very big muscles if you continue your path to lifting heavy.”  A few times, I’ve made sarcastic remarks or just simply nod my head and continued to train much harder so they could feel the force within my space until they became bothered and upset they’d leave my presence.

Tonight in the middle of my shoulder pressing, rowing and supersetting push ups on the bench I was moving on to the next exercise where I was stopped short because I couldn’t find the rope I needed and became quickly surprised by the pleasant experience I received in Planet Fitness since there’s only been a few.

I actually had a group of men, all individuals and perfect strangers trying to help me out to get an attachment for the Face Pulls without my asking.  All despite my trying to bully a girl for her rope attachment assuming she wasn’t lifting anything at all (and performing an exercise she doesn’t need yet because of her high body fat) and despite blurting out SHIT loudly in some guy’s ear when I realized he was about to use the rope attachment I needed; these people decided to help a bitch out!

Luckily and gratefully, a man was watching the entire deed unfold as one Hispanic guy suggested using another attachment and another looked around the gym though I never hinted for him to do so, but in the end, one guy wrapped up his sets rapidly and signaled for me to take the rope attachment and we exchanged the respect of head nods while we both went on our way.

For a moment, I forgot I was in Planet Fitness and was astounded to receive some love from other fit men.  I guess, I shouldn’t assume that every time I clock in and out of PF I’ll bump into creeps, pricks and egotistical men who aren’t into womanly boys and women lifters.

This evening was a good night with no form of judgment placed or gymtimidation within sight and I had a tremendous workout destroying my body with extreme focus to no end.  I just wished advertisements wouldn’t lie to people, especially since some people may not be able to rise above the stupidity of pricks or take the higher road of not smashing their face in with a fucking dumbbell.

Cheers! ;-)

-Pennington

How Did Fitness Change My Behaviors, Thoughts, Who I Date and How I Masturbate?


This is kind of a semi-list of things that have differed since I’ve been in the world of fitness.  This isn’t a complete list mind you and this isn’t in any order.  I find it interesting to take up a lifestyle and see how many things altered then after.  How have YOU changed since your lifestyle change?

1.  I’ve tripled my confidence with broad shoulders and Popeye forearms.  I probably no longer care about my large breasts being a spectacle anymore for some.  I rely on mass.

2.  On every social media site I’m on I make sure it involves and dominates a whole culture of fitness.  I can tell those who are closest to me get annoyed by it.

3.  I look for artists who draw worthy physiques.  I watch cartoons of bravery, courage and more fit bodies.  I find myself looking up to superheros.

4.  It’s hard to find people the opposite of repulsive if they don’t workout or attempt to change some of the things they eat and drink.  This includes my favorite aunt, it’s hard not to look upon her like a complete pig by the atrocious food she eats and by all the illnesses that’s caught up with her as a resort of it, not to mention zero exercise.

5.  I don’t want sitting down work.

6.  I stand more in the train; probably due to brainwashing and saying my glutes will flatten.

7.  I used to date overweight men.  Not anymore.

8.  I now feel a man must take care of themselves by being physically active and as frequent as possible.  There should be zero reason why a man has a gut; he isn’t a woman who carries additional fat and estrogen.  A man has testosterone and should put it to use as much as possible, if he’s overweight than he’s lazy in probably every aspect of his life.

9.  A man I date must have muscles now.  If they don’t, I will assess their potential and along the line make them feel like complete shit about their bodies until they do something about it.

10.  If a man has lack of conditioning, I don’t expect him to have sex with me properly.  So, I guess, I consider this a deal-breaker.

11.  I probably have become a bully in some ways.  I have a brother and a few boy cousins who can attest to this firsthand wrath.  Still, maybe I’ve always been (never to truly weak people) a bully and coupled with my feminist and Dom tendencies, it’s not a real wonder why.  An example of a form of small bullying:  When a guy (could also be a coworker) is smaller than me or has less muscle mass I grab him by the back of the neck and shake him up like a rag doll.  Or I literally push smaller guys around so their heads jerks forward while the rest of their body flings back.

12.  I only have 2 pairs of jeans since my journey and adventures with fitness.  I have a hard time trying to get jeans past my calves than my quads.  It’s much easier to get a cotton shirt, baggy shorts and comfortable sweat pants.

13.  Since I started fitness, over time I realize I went from sanitary napkins to tampons, weak deodorant to heavy deodorant, to carrying hand sanitizer and additional locks in my book-bags for gym locker rooms.

14.  I can’t bring anyone in my circle of life who doesn’t know their worth, who doesn’t move forward, who isn’t looking for personal growth, isn’t striving to live the life of being discipline, lacks passion or tolerate bullshitters.  Thanks to fitness!

15.  The more muscles I get, the more I’m able and actually desire to be more of a woman.  Therefore I paint my nails often enough, wear spandex from time to time and wash my hair more than once a month.

16.  I learned a thing or two about patience.  Still learning.

17.  I’ve achieved great orgasms by rubbing on my DOMS while masturbating.  You should try it some time, delectable pain and pleasure.

-Pennington

My Life, My Training


stern 2.
A lot of times I train for my mind, probably more so than I train for my body.   I also train for pain.   I train for anger management.   I train to make sure I’m productive.   I train to remain disciplined.   I train to be committed about something because I’m not committed to a lot, besides personal growth, writing, poetry, education, reading and so on.   I train for therapy.   I train for strength and power.   I train to put fear in people when they look at my gigantic arms.   I train for every time I felt weak in childhood.   I train and train like a locomotive.

I used to train for the pump all the freaking time when I first started training back in two-thousand and three.   But this proved more for my ego and less to get me anywhere as far as gains were concerned.   Again, I train more for my mind and anger management than anything else.   I don’t eat good nutrition half of the time (unless I’ve made a conscious decision to do so for a lengthy period) although I would want to be more aesthetic looking at some point or other.   That’s another topic however.

This ties into how, who, what, where and when someone can’t understand why I may take a cup of caffeine to my system and go sixty straight minutes of cardio only to perform sixty straight minutes of weightlifting or more to no end.   They can’t understand why I do this.   They’re too busy assuming I wouldn’t be growing because I have no fuel in my system.   This is a load of bullshit!   Of course one can grow even though you didn’t eat beforehand.   What a load of crock shit!

It’s easier for someone to judge and say, “Oh this person is doing such and such wrong” as if they had all the fucking answers in the world to why you train and how you train and when you should train and whatever the fuck else.   Fuck them!   Half these people have never picked up a dumbbell in their life or know what polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are.   So a BIG FUCK YOU TO THEM!

I like to push my mind and body to places without food or water or music at times because I don’t want to be comfortable training in only one or two ways.   I don’t want to feel like I need to be on a full stomach in order to lift heavy or collect PR’s or do better rep-wise then the last time I did my routine and jot it down in my book.   Why would anyone want to train comfortable all the time?   How could you not long for an exit out of the comfort zone from time to time or every single time?

Many people don’t know how to mind their fucking business when it comes to you, how you train, what you eat or why you do the things YOU do.   Yet they’re too busy observing everything you do because they wish they could DO what YOU do.

They wish they had the ongoing motivation, passion, desire and the discipline to do everything you’re striving to perform day in and day out.   So whenever you do your own thing or turn your back on conventional methods, believe you me they are there to hunt you down waiting for the chance to lash at you and jump down your throat with how wrong they think you are because they’re a bunch of soft penises.

If you ever come across these unkind people just ignore them.   They don’t do anything to assist except help to make you vent on your fitness blog like me.   I’m very glad I never listened to anyone in my life.   I barely care about other people’s opinions and perceptions of me.   There are plenty of people who couldn’t handle my life or my fucking training.    As long as I know myself, why I do the things I do and am comfortable doing what I’m doing then all is right with me and the world.

They don’t need to exist in your world if you don’t allow them to, but let them continue to observe your life and how you train because there’s no doubt about it they’re making your importance valuable in their world.

-Pennington

I’m in It: the Gym and I Can’t Get Out!


Dead It!
I had these crazy doubts after the shift in hormones over the course of a few months.  I felt like I was held hostage by life for a moment while I struggled to regain my whole self again.  It’s now safe to say I’m no longer tear-jerking myself over Grey Anatomy episodes or telling my Partner in Crime I want to marry him as soon as possible.  I may be back to what I know as my normal self, the kind who does none of what I just mentioned.

Okay so my body’s chemistry threw me for a loop and for a long period of time I thought I would just continue getting fat while losing hard-earned muscle.  I thought I would continue eating sugar and wanting to make out with Coke and Tang on a regular basis.  I thought I would never be motivated to workout once more let alone find my inner beast to blaze me back up.

Then one night I said, “Fuck it!” and decided on Monday cardio, and on Tuesday I did even more cardio, except I refused to be a cardio bunny and leave the gym without caressing and groping the weights.  Training arms seemed like a good place to start to see if I could get over my foolish uncertainties of being a weightlifter again.

I wrapped my hand around the dumbbell and performed a One-arm Overhead Tricep Extension and the motion flowed gracefully and every rep became about cherishing each contraction and cherishing the blood surging through my veins and cherishing the pleasant out-and-in-and-in-and-out body experience.  Without a second thought I moved right into barbell bicep curls and lifted the weight passionately as everything I put my heart into.

All in all it came back to me like riding a bike and I couldn’t ask for anything else to accompany me in this moment.  I became alive as day and any thought of pacing myself with exercises, equipment, reps or poundage went right out the gym entrance along with every one of my insecurities and qualms.  I was back at my one true home!

From school I started to head straight to the gym and in my mind I’m in a dark corner in the center of the room because my ego places me there.  I have an imaginary audience yet I tune out the real life folks all around me in the gym like an awful lecture coming from a married-in uncle who tried to molest me once upon of time by cold lust. I.  Just.  Tune.  Everything.  The. Fuck.  Out.

The music that was blaring in my headphones suddenly vanished once I positioned my feet under the barbell square in the middle with a stance almost narrow.  I make no fancy flailing or martial arm movements and I make no thunder roar like a powerlifter.  I remain powerfully silent, looking at both sides from where the stained rings are on the barbell steel and with one hand over and the other hand under I roll the bar so it pushes the excess accumulated calluses towards the rest of my palm so it fits snugly to one side and won’t rip open.

I look straight at the mirror but I don’t even see myself in it. I can see clothes. I can see broad shoulders.  I can feel glorious energy multiplying.  But it’s time to get into that low squat and it’s time to pull the barbell up and on my shins, time to maintain focus to deadlift with my traps, lats and entire posterior chain on mental command so my body does exactly what I desire.  I nail it.  I nail it.  I nail it.  I nail it over and over and over again.  I’m happy like a kid in a candy store like a woman who just achieved her first orgasm by the tongue of a man like a fat kid with a buffet of food.  HAPPY!

At certain moments I pulled and held my breath and then I started to see myself in the mirror.  I could see how ugly I look with a deadly mixture between being a woman, a man and a beast.  I felt my abdominals cave in and tighten itself within as if I were about to get hit by a baseball bat and I continued pulling.  During one of the reps I felt pain bordering by the side of my spine and my mind in quick fear blinked the word danger.

I felt my fingers fatigued and go into a frozen state while my forearm stiffened like I imagine a snake’s body would if it were to be lit by fire and around a tree bark or some human’s neck holding on for treasured life.  I felt my body like this many times before trying to go against me by breaking form.

And all I know is this is how I feel like when I’m all up in Kanye West’s song when he says, “I’m in it and I can’t get out” except he’s talking about orgasms and the lovely things that come along with sex.  However that’s exactly how I feel.

I’m in it and I can’t get out of the gym because it’s my strength and my therapy.  It’s my happy place, my go-to home!  The gym is where I go to deal and/or get rid of my doubts and concerns.  The gym is the place where I continue to forge my character.  The gym gives me my sanity back.  It’s my constant haven, not to mention it’s an orgasm away from an actual orgasm.

chesticles

Thankfully! :D

-Pennington