Brutal: A gruesome video allegedly showing the executions of two men accused of working as police spies has been released by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram
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If premature ejaculation (PE) is haunting your sex life, you may be searching for any solution science can offer — but are you ready to inject Botox down there? Bottom line: It's probably not safe.
Yes, studies are showing that injecting Botox — the same stuff people use for their wrinkles and frown lines — may help with PE. “Studies have found that injecting Botox in the bulbospongiosus muscle of the penis can help delay ejaculation. The bulbospongiosus muscle is a superficial muscle which normally helps with erections, organism, and ejaculation,” says plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer.
The mechanism of Botox is to temporarily relax muscles by disrupting the signaling between nerves and muscles where it is injected. When you use Botox on your forehead or the area around your eyes, it works to reduce surface wrinkles caused by contractions of underlying muscles. “The use of Botox for the treatment of PE would work by the same mechanism of relaxing contractions of the muscle and thus delay ejaculation,” says Dr. Shafer.
“Botox is frequently used in urology for injection into the bladder. This treats a variety of problems with bladder control, urinary frequency, and urinary incontinence," says Jonathan L. Masel, M.D., F.A.C.S., a Board Certified Urologist at the Masel Urology Center in Hollywood, Florida. (This treatment is most commonly used for older patients and those with neurological issues.)
“Premature Ejaculation is a specific sexual problem defined as reaching ejaculation quickly after vaginal penetration, usually in less than one to three minutes," says Dr. Masel. PE could stem from a variety of causes (its origins aren't completely understood) and variety of accepted treatments currently include medications, behavioral therapy, and sex counseling.
Dr. Masel cautions that as of yet, Botox is not an accepted treatment for PE at this time. “There are two published studies investigating the use of Botox to possibly treat PE by injecting it into rats and assessing their ejaculatory function. Botox does appear to prolong the time to ejaculation in rats,” says Dr. Masel.
Of course these rats were not complaining of PE, says Dr. Masel, so this isn’t the same quite yet as using the injection to treat humans. “There is one research study ongoing to accrue human subjects to investigate the use of Botox to impact ejaculatory function. There is no established treatment technique or dosage for using Botox to treat PE in humans in 2016,” says Dr. Masel who is of the opinion it would be unwise for a man to have a Botox injection to treat PE outside of a research study at this point in time. “Men should also be careful that advertised centers offering Botox injections for PE may actually be injecting something other than real Botox,” says Dr. Masel.
This isn’t the first time that Botox has been used for sexual, rather than aesthetic, reasons. Women who have issues with painful sex have been known to inject Botox into the walls of their vagina.
Still, this likely won't be a legit treatment for PE anytime soon as it's not yet an authorized on-label use for Botox. Besides, would you really want a needle stuck into your groin?
As a man, instead of lamenting the Islamization of Europe, put yourself in the camp of the victors. Any man can become a Muslim by just uttering the Shahada. A matter of 5 minutes.
Before we begin, let's get this out of the way: Your vagina is supposed to have a smell, despite what rude sexual partners or all those companies that make weird crotch perfumes may have told you in the past. In fact, healthy vaginas emit a Sephora's worth of different scents throughout the month, with stronger and more subtle variations of your unique smell appearing during different parts of your menstrual cycle. Some women naturally emit stronger vaginal odors, while others don't. And sweating heavily or having unprotected heterosexual sex (scientific terminology: "Gettin' sperm all up in there") can also temporarily change the smell of your fun parts. But make no mistake: Your lady flower always has a scent.
While a scent is a sign that your junk is healthy and has its pH properly balanced, a change in smell can sometimes be a sign that something is amiss in Vagina City. Sometimes, an unusual odor coming from your nethers can signal a health problem, like a lost tampon or bacterial vaginosis infection. Other times, it may simply mean that you've just finished up your period.
So how do you tell the difference between a normal change in vaginal scent, and one that means you might have a health concern in Ye Olde Tunnel of Love? The only way to get a handle on the way your vagina smells when it's healthy (and thus, how it smells when it is unwell) is to get very familiar with its scents, so that you have a baseline for what's normal for you and what isn't. Spending some time getting a whiff of your crotch at different times of the month is a worthwhile investment in your overall well-being. (Yes, that is a sentence that I have been waiting my whole life to type.)
But even if you haven't put in the woman-hours cataloging your own vaginal smells, there are still times when you can tell that your vagina smells a bit off. Usually, a scent that signals something is wrong is accompanied by other symptoms — itching, swelling, discharge, or pain while urinating — but sometimes, the smell may be your only (or primary) sign that something is wrong down under. When do you need to see a doctor, and when do you just need to switch to all-cotton underpants? Read on and take a whiff, friends.
Could it mean that something's off? Yes.
The idea that vaginas "smell like fish" is used so often to put down women and their bodies that it's almost hard to talk about the times when this pungent scent can signal a real medical problem.
But an intense fishy smell in your deep blue sea can be a sign of two common vaginal infections among young women: bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection linked to an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. It is not an STI, though it can be triggered by sex with a new partner. Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STI in America (though it can occasionally be contracted through nonsexual means). Both infections give off a fishy scent (and often, a white or gray discharge) as a symptom, and both can be cleared up easily with a course of prescription antibiotics.
Both can also present symptoms very similar to yeast infections, so in situations like this, checking out the unique smell is the key to diagnosing them properly (and not just treating them with some yeast infection medication that may temporarily mask the symptoms, but won't clear the underlying infection up).
Could it mean that something's off? Probably not.
A metallic scent coming off your vag is most common right after you've had your period or had some intimate contact with semen. Both can change the pH of the usually-acidic vagina into something more basic (and thus, differently scented). In both cases, the metallic scent should be temporary. If it persists long after your period is gone or despite the fact that you haven't been near anyone's Gary Busy anytime recently — and especially if it is accompanied by any itching or discharge — check in with your doctor.
Could it mean that something's off? Yes.
Often, yeast infections don't have any scent at all, and so you'll realize that you have them from their other symptoms (thick white discharge and itchiness). But in some cases, your yeastified bits will emit a faint bread-like odor, one that can smell slightly musty. Smell will never be your only symptom with a yeast infection, but it can help you distinguish it from bacterial vaginosis or other infections that will similarly irritate your vagina.
Could it mean that something's off? Probably not.
A musky scent that smells just like a heavier version of your vagina's usual scent typically means that you've been sweating a lot, or wearing too-tight pants or synthetic fiber underpants (both of which can prevent skin from "breathing," and thus lead to a stronger-than-usual scent). Washing your funky bunch (of vulva) with some mild soap and changing out of your skinny jeans every once in a while should fix things up if you find this scent a little to strong for your tastes. But know that this doesn't signify that anything is medically wrong.
Could it mean that something's off? Yes.
If your vagina suddenly takes on an intense rotten smell, get in touch with your ob/gyn immediately. It's definitely not healthy, and could be a sign of a tampon gone astray in your vagina during your last period, which happens way more often than you'd think. Your ob/gyn has definitely dealt with extracting a long-forgotten tampon before, so don't be shy about setting up an appointment.
In fact, don't be shy about booking an appointment with your doc about any of these issues. These are all really run-of-the-mill gynecological problems, and your doctor won't be disgusted with you or think you have bad hygiene if you come in with a concerning vaginal smell. Your ob/gyn is a licensed medical doctor, which means that they TOUCHED CORPSES in medical school, OK? They had to spend years doing internships and residencies where they dealt with every manner of gross, horrifying ailment, and they have become desensitized to all of it.
Feminism, by creating artificial scarcity of sexual resources, is responsible for much of the deadly infighting among men, as well as male suicides.
In Albanien ist die Bildung inzwischen auf Null Standard! Die Studenten sitzen ueberall in den Cafes herum, wissen nicht was sie tun sollen. Auch in Durres inzwischen gut bekannt, das Idioten nun Professoren sind, die nicht einmal einen Semester Plan erstellen koennen. Diplome erhaelt man fuer Geld und herumsitzen. Der Sohn vom Ex-Lega Nord Chef: Bossi hat sich auch ein Diplom in Tirana besorgt. Rund um die Ermittlungen und Festnahmen, gegen Umberto Bossi fand man die Dokumente. Bei dieser Mafia Universitaet in Tirana, wo etliche Fakultaeten keine Lizenz haben ist der von Deutscher Polizei und der HSS aufgebaute Super Drogen Boss Sokol Kociu heute taetig, der im Visum Desaster der Deutschen Botschaft vor 10 Jahren ebenso eine wichtige Rolle spielte, rund um das Mafia Projekt, der Doris Schroeder-Koepp, Welthungerhilfe usw.. und krimineller Deutschen Diplomaten. ein BKA Bericht gibt Auskunft. 8 Tonnen Kokain ist ja auch etwas und da waren Deutsche gerne behilflich unter dem Taxifahrer Joschka Fischer, denn ueber Sokol Kociu, war in 1996 bereits Alles bekannt, als der noch Polizei Praesident von Durres war und Haupt Financier der Albanischen Gangsters Salih Berisha.
Minister Myqerem Tafaj und der totale Absturz der Bildung wird immer peinlicher
Bossi’s son graduated in Albania
Renzo Bossi, the son of Umberto Bossi, has a diploma from an Albanian private university, discovered by the Naples and Milan Prosceution investigation against the Lega Nord party.
The document was found in a folder named “family”, in the safe of the person who was responsible for the finances of “La Lega Nord”, Francesco Belstio.
According to “La Reppublica”, the diploma was released on 8 October 2008 by the Kristal University in Tirana, where Renzo Bossi was graduated for Business Management, Economy.
Besides this document, there was another diploma for Pierangelo Moscagiuro, partner of the Lega Nord Senator, Rosy Mauro. Moscagiuro was graduated in Political Sciences, and the diploma was also released in 2010, on 29 June.
The investigators suspect that both diplomas have been bought with the Lega Nord funds. Bossi results registered in 29 subjects, and he has the best results in financial contability, maths and statistics.
Umberto Bossi, the historical leader of the Lega Nord, the man who seemed to be the eternal leader of the party that promised to turn Italy into a federal state, and create a greater autonomy for the north, was obliged to resign on April.
The Prosecution discovered suspicious funds of this party, which were used for personal expenses of Umberto Bossi and possible ties with the Ndranghete, the powerful mafia from Calabria.
The investigations revealed personal expenses for the Bossi family, his villa, luxury cars and studies for his children. http://www.top-channel.tv/english/artikull.php?id=5668
The bitumen deposits have been set ablaze in the port of Vlora while another sailing vessel has been burnt down after a violent fire broke out at the area and it took much work from the authorities and firefighters to put it out since the area was full of inert materials. Witnesses said that at first they heard a violent explosion and then flames spread out swiftly. The chief of the firefighting squad Ernest Pashai said that the authorities are working to find out the cause of the explosion.
Und erneut unter dem Deckmantel von Kinderhilfs Organisationen: Pedophile in Albanien, diesmal aus Amerika.
American pedophile in Albania
Seven years after our country was shocked by a pedophile scandal at the “Femijet e Tij” Center, (His Children), in the Albanian capital, where three foreigners had abused with homeless minors, another scandal is expected to end up in court soon.
Top Channel has secured the prosecution file against the US citizen, Carl Stephan Kaminski, today 70 years old, who arrived in Albania under the name David Gerard Golderstein. He will be prosecuted in absence for pedophilia with grave consequences against three children during 2003-2006.
One of the abused children, according to the prosecution, is still being cured for serious psychiatric problems, with the diagnosis “refractory schizophrenia” and is unable to communicate.
The minor showed these problems after he was abused. The Prosecution says that Kaminski has entered Albania as a tourist and has mostly lived in Durres. During this time he has abused with children in a house that he had rented.
“He has abused with three minors when he was living in the rented house. The defendant even took naked pictures of the children, promising to delete them”, the Prosecution file says.
The pedophile was discovered recently after a notification that arrived in 2011 by the US authorities.
According to the documents that Top Channel has secured, after abusing with the children he has left during the time when another pedophilia scandal shocked the country, that of the British citizens, David Brown, Dino Kristodulu and Robin Arnold.
But Kaminski was arrested by the German Police near Rosenheim, for traveling with false documents under the name David Gerard Golsderstein, as a Belgian citizen. In this country he was sentenced with one year and four months for falsification of documents.
After finishing the sentence, the 70 year old was handed over to the US justice, where the authorities were looking for him for sexual abuses with minors. When he was 30 years old, he was also sentenced in Massachusetts for pedophilia.
The US prosecutors found pornographic videos of him with the Albanian minors, and have immediately notified the Albanian Prosecution that opened the case.
The Albanian prosecution asked the extradition of Carl Stephan Kamisnki, based on the extradition tractate of 1993.
Und in Tirana brennt einer der Schrott Appartment Haeuser ab!
Tiranë, zjarr në bodrumin e pallatit, dëme materiale 04/05/2012 04:30
Një zjarr i fuqishëm përfshiu orët e para të së premtes bodrumin e një pallati në zonën e Komunës së Parisit në kryeqytet.
Nga burimet e para njoftohet se zjarri ra në bodrumin e pallatit “Shtator 90”, pranë “Eleonorës”, që përdorej si mobileri.
Edhe pse zjarrfikësit u vonunan, për fat të mirë zjarri i rënë shkaktoi vetëm dëme materiale, ndërsa paniku përfshiu banorët e pallateve përreth.
Ajo që kishte të bënte me vonesën e zjarrfikësve ishte vështirësia që banorët hasën për të njoftuar shërbimin zjarrfikës.
Për shkak të një problemi teknik u njoftuan gabimisht zjarrfikësit e Durrësit, për të cilët shkoi alarmi. Më pas zjarrfikësit e Durrësit fikën aparaturat që të bëhej e mundur lidhja me Tiranën.
Si përfundim edhe pse zjarrfikësit mbërritën në vendngjarje me vonesë bënë të mundur shuarjen flakëve.
When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70 percent replied, 'What, again?'."
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 2011
You know it to be true, but now science might have your back. A recently-published study in the Pharmacological Research journal suggest that marijuana could be a proven aphrodisiac.
But it’s hard to say how, exactly, marijuana use makes sex better. Sex is complicated from person to person, and everyone experiences their highs a little differently, with THC affecting your mental and physical states at the same time.
The research also notes that people who smoked the equivalent of least 50 joints over six months experienced the pleasure-benefits, but those who only smoked one joint a week or less saw a dip in libido. But for each smoke sesh, a single joint was the sweet spot. More than that killed their sexual juju. There is such a thing as getting too high to, um, function.
We’re probably still a long way from doctor-prescribed THC for your sex life, but it’s an intriguing area of study. Now, where do we sign up as test subjects?
Kreutz Ideology analyses destruction differently. Social violence inherently benefits economic elites. The less peaceful a society, the less does social control restrict the liberties of the wealthy.
Sexually abusing kids is about the worst thing you can be accused of in our society. The hatred reserved for those who do it is so intense that moral values we otherwise hold sacrosanct can be thrown out of the window in an instant in the rush to condemn. In the summer of 2013, for example, residents on a housing estate in the English city of Brighton burned a 44-year-old disabled man to death who they accused (wrongly, it turned out) of being a pedophile.
But pedophilia can be especially hard to live with for those who haven't committed a crime, and are forced to come to terms with an identity that most people regard as monstrous. For many pedophiles, that reality is the source of major depression.
"When I hear other pedophiles tell me that they are even relatively happy in life, I sometimes am tempted to ask them what fucking planet they live on," said Brett (not his real name), a 40-year-old landscaper who lives with his parents in the suburbs of a major US city and has suffered with depression since his early teens, when he first realized he was attracted to children. "How in the world can anyone go through every day living with this curse and not want to fling themselves off the nearest bridge on a daily basis?"
Sure enough, happy pedophiles seem to be the minority. A 1999 study of pedophilic sex offenders by the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health found that 76 percent had suffered from major depression in their life and another 9 percent met the criteria for mild depression.
"When you have a sexual preference that is as stigmatizing as pedophilia, then there's nowhere to go with it, there's no one to really talk to about it," said Professor Michael Miner, one of the study's co-authors. "So you stew in your isolation, which certainly makes one depressed."
Todd Nickerson is a 42-year-old pedophile from Tennessee. Struggling to come to terms with his sexual identity caused him many years of crippling depression. "I look back on it now and find it amazing that I never got to the point where I picked up a gun and ended it," he told me. "There were days when I got up and it was all I could think about. I'd tell myself, 'I just want to die. I just want to die.' All day, for days on end."
Nickerson's depression was made worse when, in his early 20s, he made the mistake of confiding in a cousin his attraction to young girls.
"Maybe it was an act of conscious self-sabotage because I knew my cousin and I knew he would spread it around," he said. "I live in a small southern town so I thought the whole town knew. I couldn't go out in public. I was constantly anxious and didn't want to leave my room."
Nickerson is a self-identified pedophile, but he insists he has never acted on his attractions and believes strongly that any sexual contact between adults and children constitutes abuse. Since most pedophiles are secretive about their sexuality, it's impossible to know how many share Nickerson's stance, but there are at least enough to have spawned an online forum, Virtuous Pedophiles, for those who acknowledge their taboo sexual interest without acting on it.
One of the co-founders of Virtuous Pedophiles, who goes by the pseudonym Ethan Edwards, said depression is so common among members that they have an ongoing poll on suicidal thoughts. While he acknowledged the results aren't scientific, they are nonetheless startling: Nearly 90 percent of responders said they have thought about killing themselves; 20 percent said they have tried.
Edwards, 60, who claims only to have realized he was a pedophile when he was well into middle age, said there are common reasons members give for feeling depressed. "Some just hate the awareness of the attraction itself. Some hate keeping a secret. Some hate having to be single. And a few worry about offending against a kid. I think a lot worry about not downloading child porn, which is a very compelling desire."
It's hard to feel sympathetic for someone who is depressed because they're resisting a temptation to watch child pornography. But even those who work with victims of child abuse stress the importance of separating pedophilic desire from behavior.
"Pedophilia refers to a strong sexual attraction to prepubescent children," said Dr. Ryan T. Shields, assistant scientist for the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at John Hopkins University in Baltimore. "Many people who commit sex crimes against children are not pedophiles—they are situational offenders who are actually more attracted to peers. Likewise, many pedophiles never act on their attraction because they don't want to hurt children."
Of course, these nuances are largely overlooked in mainstream media, which tends to use the terms "pedophile" and "child sex offender" interchangeably. The truth is that not all pedophiles are child molesters, and not all child molesters are truly pedophiles, according to Dr. Shields.
"When we assume that only 'monsters' or total strangers are capable of hurting our children, we fail to see, much less act on, evidence that something might be wrong in our own social circles, because none of us believes our friends, relatives, or partners are 'monsters' and therefore they couldn't possibly be trying to engage a child in sex," said Dr. Shields.
Yet in reality, he said, "most of the time child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows. In fact, half is committed by other children."
The "pedophile as monster" trope has also helped encourage the kind of vigilantism which, even when it doesn't lead to the horrific violence in Bristol, England, can still have terrible repercussions.
In 2013, someone accused 48-year-old Steven Rudderham of being a pedophile in a Facebook post. It's not clear what prompted the post (Rudderham had no record of sex offenses, and no one had complained to the police about him) but the post, which called him a "dirty perv," was circulated hundreds of times and Rudderham began receiving death threats. Three days later, Rudderham hanged himself.
The zenith or, depending on how you look at it, nadir of the vigilante justice movement came with Dateline NBC's show To Catch a Predator, which ran for three years until 2007 and featured stings operations where men seeking sex with children would be outed on TV. (The series was rebooted last year, and is now called Hansen vs. Predator.)
Men were lured via online chat rooms to safe houses where they would find themselves confronted by the show's host, Chris Hansen. In 2006, the show's crew joined police at the property of Louis Conradt, an assistant district attorney accused of grooming young boys online. After SWAT team members burst down the front door of his home in Murphy, Texas, Conradt shot himself in the head.
Much of the investigative work behind To Catch a Predator was carried out by volunteers from Perverted Justice, an online vigilante group that has made it their mission to expose pedophiles. Nickerson was targeted by the group after he outed himself as a pedophile in an online pedophilia forum.
"They called my job—I was working at Lowe's at the time—and got me fired," he told me. "Then someone in town found out and printed out my biography from the website and started leaving it around town. My dad's boss found out and fired him. My dad was mad at me and threw me out of the house."
Nickerson left town and went to live with a friend in Michigan. His depression grew worse and he started seeing a therapist. Before then, he had always steered clear of therapy, fearful that if he told a therapist about his sexual preference they would be bound by professional ethics to report him to authorities. This therapist didn't report him, but told him upfront there was little she could do for him since this was his sexuality and it wasn't likely to change.
While some people are unbothered by the idea of persecuting someone not because he committed a crime but because of a sexuality they didn't choose and don't want, there are good reasons to be against this kind of mob justice. While studying adolescents who sexually abused other children, Miner, the professor from the University of Minnesota, found these individuals had often grown up socially isolated and that this isolation "more likely predicts committing sex crimes against children as against committing other sorts of crimes."
"The less they have to lose, they less likely they are to adhere to social convention. It seems like it's to society's advantage to have those individuals with a propensity for acting out in some sort of deviant way to have better contact with social institutions, social norms, social involvement. That's a protective factor," Miner told me.
So pushing pedophiles further into the shadows by persecuting them at every turn may well increase the possibility that they will offend. Distancing pedophiles from society has also made some adopt extreme stances, like Tom O'Carroll, a British pedophile activist, who during the 1980s chaired a notorious pressure group called the Paedophile Information Exchange, which advocated abolishing consent laws completely. O'Carroll, who has been jailed for child pornography charges, admits on his blog that his views remain at odds with mainstream thinking with regards to "children's sexual self-determination."
Brett, while self-identifying as a pedophile, has "nothing but disdain and contempt" for people like O'Carroll, who are known within the pedophile community as "pro-contacters."
"It's partly because of that crowd so many people are unwilling to listen to me and pedophiles like me," he told me.
At the height of his depression, Todd Nickerson found himself being pushed towards the "pro-contact" agenda while using a pedophile forum, which he describes as being "like a cult" dominated by a few influential moderators.
"That's both the advantage and disadvantage of the internet," said Miner. "It allows these isolated people to reach out and find a likeminded community. The problem is that in reaching out they might make contact with those who encourage them in negative ways."
Nickerson said he eventually abandoned the forum and as he emerged from his depression was able "to see things for how they are, and not for how I want them to be."
It was around this time he also discovered Virtuous Pedophiles, which he credits with helping saving his life. Like Brett, he now works as a moderator on the site and is committed to helping other non-offending pedophiles find a way to learn to live with themselves in a world that still regards their existence as anathema.
"There are a lot of people out there who want to paint pedophiles as ticking time bombs and when you think that way it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Nickerson. "But I'm here to say it doesn't have to be. I've been out for ten years and I've never abused a kid."
And while most of us are understandably horrified by Tom O'Carroll's belief system, it's worth considering how he believes he got to it. He told me that when he was younger he "accepted the general view that pedophilia must be harmful."
"Seeing only a bleak future with nothing to offer to a family or society or myself, I tried to take my own life," said O'Carroll. "If I had received some sympathetic help before it reached that point, my life might have taken a course for the better as many would see it: not so confrontational, working with society, not against it."
95 percent of the victims of violence are men. Because women are natural cowards who send men to handle things when they are dangerous.
Sexual behaviour among children can be perplexing for adults as they negotiate a spectrum of ideas relating to abuse and natural curiosity. In the search for understandings, adults can act in ways that close opportunities for children to explore and describe meanings for the behaviour. This article invites practitioners to check their assumptions in this kind of work, and to take a stance that opposes abusive actions – while taking up a position of enquiry to support the multiple stories that make up children’s lives.
Islamize Europe and get women out of politics. Feminism is the root if terrorism.
Marci Bowers’s clinic in California is famous for those seeking gender-reassignment surgery. Her work as a gynecological surgeon over the past 25 years has made her one of the leaders in this field – and also in restoring sexual function in clitorises. She is one of only a handful of surgeons who performs this surgery on women who have suffered female genital mutilation or cutting.
Reconstructive surgery to repair the physical damage of FGM has been around a long time. But the technique to restore clitoral function began developing only a decade ago, pioneered by French urologist and surgeon Pierre Foldès. His idea was to not only reconstruct the clitoris, but also nerve networks to restore sexual sensation. After training with Foldès, Bowers performed the first clitoral repair surgery in the U.S. in 2009. Since then, she’s operated on around 100 women.
For many women and girls who undergo FGM, it’s a traumatic experience. FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Up to 140 million women and girls live with the consequences of this practice and it is widespread in 29 African countries, but it also occurs in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and among migrants from these areas.
The clitoris is an important part of a woman’s sexuality and along with the severe medical and psychological consequences that cutting can have, it can also come with psycho-sexual problems.
The clitoris is a complex organ, and when a woman undergoes cutting, only the visible part of the clitoris is cut off. But it is much larger than most people ever assume. It has a root that is about 10 centimeters long that lies beneath the surface, arching around the vagina. It is this that reconstructive surgeons use to rebuild a working organ.
“It’s only like losing the visible tip of the iceberg,” Bowers says. The surgery, also known as clitoroplasty, involves removing scar tissue, pulling the remaining clitoris up to the surface, and then stitching it into its natural place.
According to Bowers, the restoration of sexual pleasure is possible because the whole clitoris is sensory, not just the tip. Along with better cosmetic appearance, sensation, and reduction in pain and infection, Bowers says that patients have reported having orgasms for the first time.
But it’s not just about the restoration of sexual sensation. “The number one reason is restoration of identity,” she said. Women who have been cut feel their sense of womanhood has been stolen from them and they want that back. “They want their body back and to feel more normal. It’s about not being different any more.”
As good as all this might sound, the procedure is controversial. In 2012, Foldès and colleagues published an article in The Lancet assessing the immediate and long-term outcomes of reconstructive surgery. Over an 11-year period, they operated on nearly 3,000 patients, and of the 29 percent who attended a one-year follow-up consultation, more than half said they were having orgasms and nearly all reported feeling clitoral pleasure.
But a group of British doctors responded in a critical letter to The Lancet. In addition to the lack of a control group, they said Foldès’s claims were anatomically impossible in cases of type 2 FGM – the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora. “Where the body of the clitoris has been removed, the neurovascular bundle cannot be preserved … There is therefore no reality to the claim that surgery can excavate and expose buried tissue,” they wrote.
They also said that the campaign against FGM “could be undermined by a false proposition that the ill effects can be reversed”.
Bowers doesn’t agree – both in terms of the surgery and of undermining efforts to fight FGM. “You see the clitoris every single time, 100 percent of the time. You can’t deny it’s there,” she says. According to Bowers, their response reflects antiquated but persistent notions of female sexuality. The work of NGOs is important, she argues, but if something can be medically fixed, it should be fixed.
And she’s not short of patients. Twice a year she leaves her reported 14-month waiting list for $21,000 gender reassignment surgery to operate for free on women who come to her for clitoroplasty, although patients still pay a $1,700 admin fee to the clinic.
She’s adamant that she only helps those who want it and who, she says, often come to her unhappy, angry and sad with husbands and partners. “We were only there to help women who found that they were suffering as a result of FGM,” she says. It’s probably fair to say, then, that Bowers is an evangelist for reconstructive surgery.
The pleasure hospital
Bowers became involved in the FGM reconstruction surgeries because of Clitoraid, a private, non-profit organization that helped fund her training in Paris. The organization is backed by volunteers of the Raëlian movement – one of the world’s largest UFO religious sects, whose members believe that humans were created by extraterrestrials. Clitoraid promotes free sexuality, sexual freedom and pleasure for all women.
Bowers’s own motivation doesn’t come from a Raëlian perspective, she says, but from her own philosophy that human beings have a sixth sexual sense. “When the sexual sense is taken away, it’s no different than if someone had taken away your sense of smell or your sense of taste.”
It’s clear, though, that her belief runs in parallel with the aims of Clitoraid, which has concentrated its work in the small West African nation of Burkina Faso, recently building a hospital nicknamed the “pleasure hospital” to offer reconstructive operations free of charge. The hospital was supposed to have opened its doors in March 2013 with local medical staff and trained surgeons, but the government stopped the project because of licensing issues. Clitoraid has said its authorization was revoked following pressure from the Catholic Church and accusations that the group would attempt to convert women to the Raelian movement. The group still intend to open next year.
Ultimately, Bowers claims the enjoyment of sexual activity is a human right. “Sexuality is part of what makes us human beings and what makes life pleasurable,” she says. Before transitioning to life as a woman, she herself was born male. And this, she says, gives her empathy with victims of FGM. “For me, womanhood didn’t come without my own sacrifices and struggle. I empathize with women who have to have surgery to achieve and regain their womanhood. They are struggling to regain their identity, just like I had to do once upon a time myself.”
Why images of decapitation? This is to show that some people have real problems. Other than the issues of feminism, such as sexist language or manspreading.
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