Out of My Mind

The Musings of a Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Nelle Engoron

Nelle Engoron
May 01
You can email me at "nengoron@gmaildotcom" & follow @NelleEngoron on Twitter. My archived radio shows on last season's Mad Men are available (for free!) at: www.blogtalkradio.com/madmentalk **My "Mad Men" commentary for Season 5 is on Salon rather than here -- go to http://www.salon.com/writer/ nelle_engoron/ to find all my Salon articles. **My book, "Mad Men Unmasked: Decoding Season 4," is available on Amazon in both e-book and print versions.** I'm a writer/editor/consultant who lives in the SF Bay Area. I write about all kinds of things, but am particularly intrigued by movies, relationships, gender issues, belief systems and "Mad Men." (Scroll down left sidebar for links to a selection of my blog posts.) I'm working on a novel and a memoir, neither of which is about Mad Men!

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FEBRUARY 8, 2009 10:17PM

Men are from Masturbation; Women are from Bladder Problems

Rate: 44 Flag

So I’m looking up some medical information on the health site WebMD this weekend and my eye is caught by a side bar on “Top 12 Health Topics” which is exposed (as it were) to the Top 12 for Men.  To wit:

  1. Frequent Masturbation
  2. Natural Viagra
  3. High Cholesterol
  4. Getting "Wasted"
  5. Pancreatic Cancer
  6. Back Pain
  7. Sex Myths
  8. Penis Facts
  9. How to Stop Fighting
  10. Quit Smoking
  11. Penis Enlargement
  12. Most Common STD's


OK, I admit that my eye was caught by the top item, which got me to look down the list with increasing interest.   A moment later, I clicked over to the list of Top 12 for Women, which looked like this:

  1. Peanut Recalls
  2. Heart Rate
  3. Bladder Problems
  4. Sepsis
  5. Bioidentical Hormones
  6. Depression
  7. Super Foods
  8. Better Sleep
  9. Preventive Mastectomy
  10. Fibromyalgia
  11. Omega-6
  12. Hormone Therapy


See any differences?  

6 of the 12 items on the Men’s list have to do with sex.   On the women’s list exactly….well, none have to do with sex.  

At least not directly.  You could argue that “Bladder Problems” is related (if we’re talking UTI’s, mostly caused by the old fandango) but not if we’re talking urinary incontinence, which is mostly caused by childbearing, aging and menopause.  

Speaking of menopause, it figures into 2 items, Bioidentical Hormones and Hormone Therapy.  The men have Frequent Masturbation to worry about, while we have Bladder Problems and hot flashes.  (Hmm, maybe those two gender patterns are related….)

On the women's list (a veritable litany of suffering), 5 of the topics have to do with disease or illness vs. just 3 on the men’s list.  Hell, maybe the men are searching on “Back Pain” because of sex, too.

Women are worried they’re sick; men are worried they’re not having enough sex.  Or too much.  Or the wrong way.  Or with the wrong people.  Or in positions that hurt their backs.

The top item for women, “Peanut Recalls” – well, that just screams “motherhood.”  That’s the concern of a person who buys the groceries and feeds the family.  Whereas there’s nothing on the men’s list that relates to parenting.

Women are also looking up tips on Super Foods, Better Sleep and Omega-6, all optional ways to improve your overall health.   Whereas men are very, very interested in what their penis is doing.  They want to make it harder with Natural Viagra or enlarge it unnaturally, or just find out who it is (Penis Facts) because after all, they’re stroking it so much (Frequent Masturbation), they should probably get to know it.

And exactly how is “Frequent Masturbation” a health problem, anyway, or a problem at all?   And isn’t it hard (ahem) to imagine a woman considering Frequent Masturbation a problem that she needed to find a solution to?  

Maybe if she eats those Superfoods, takes her Omega-6 and Bioidentical Hormones, she’ll feel up to masturbating so much that she wonders if she needs to seek medical help.  

But probably she’d just think she found the ultimate answer to Better Sleep.




Here’s WebMD’s explanation of these lists:

WebMD Editors determine the topics and placement on our lists through a process involving the evaluation of user activity on WebMD and population statistics available through government agencies and professional organizations. The topics are not ranked by most popular to least popular. All topics on a list are of relatively equal weight and are simply numbered for ease. If a sponsor or advertiser on WebMD happens to be affiliated with a topic on one of our lists, it is purely coincidental. Nothing should be implied by the topics or order of the list except for the fact that all the topics generate the most interest on WebMD and in our population at large.



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Wise words in that last sentence ;0)
Maybe the Frequent Masturbation topic is a "how can I achieve" question since it appears the women would rather worry about peanuts. Guys want to keep busy.
Do you think women have peanuts envy? ;)
Damn, Lea! I can't believe I didn't think of that. I'm the Queen of Puns.

Thanks, Dorinda, Bella and McG!
This is the funniest thing I've read on Open Salon in weeks! You bring up some intriguing questions.

As a man, can't explain the fascination with the penis and its related activities. I can acknowledge that it is by-and-large true.
Clearly if women masturbated more, they's focus on health problems less.

Loved this post and this comment from Skeptic Turtle: "I can acknowledge that it is by-and-large true." Just how large, I'd like to know?
:D made my night! you are too funny
too funny. my husband pronounces "peanuts" as "peanits" and I just can't stand it b/c it always sounds like he's saying "penis." and he's always talking about "peanits" at Jacobs Field when we go to Cleveland Indians games. very embarrassing. i think it relates subconsciously to this male obsession with penises.
This is the last thing I'm reading before going to bed. I hope worrying about the peanut recall doesn't make me lose sleep. That could cause depression.

This is a very funny way to end my day. Thanks.
Interesting but unsurprising.

I laughed when I read this:

Back Pain
Sex Myths
Penis Fact

Funny that Sex Myths is after Back Pain but before Penis Facts... not sure what to make of this when forming an opinion of our modern American man. The number one query is more than enough to crack me up, "frequent masturbation" and to make me realize that most of the "men" using WebMD are probably 13 and most of the women are in their 4os.

Your last sentence Silkstone, it is priceless.

"But probably she’d just think she found the ultimate answer to Better Sleep."
I'm too busy worrying about male enhancement to pay any attention to this. And I can't stop masturbating.
Women control the sex... everyone knows this!

Since men do not control the sex, they are inheritatantly more self conscious about it., making them inquire more about the relating factors.
I may have to blog about that.
i like this. And you write with a droll dexterity.
Men are always rummaging through their tool chest, looking for the right spanner wrench. This is not a mystery, though it can sometimes be miserable, or seem that way.
Heh. Your comments made me laugh as much as the WebMD lists did! thanks for reading and enjoying.

The 13 year old boy vs. 40 (or 50) year old woman hypothesis of who uses WebMD struck me as well!

My partner and I also wondered if people from the 1950's were using a time machine to access the internet, as we thought that was the last time that "Frequent Masturbation" was considered a health problem.
Hmmm... Children seem to have odd surfing tastes too: Unnecessary Vitamins, Vicks VapoRub, Asthma Cities, Health Insurance Bill.

Leads me to believe the lists are entirely arbitrary. But hilarity aside, when you look into the frequent masturbation section you end up with some startling stuff: "Sexual intercourse did not affect prostate cancer risk. But frequent masturbation did -- in different ways, at different times of life."

"Frequent masturbation during men's 20s and 30s increased their risk of prostate cancer. But men in their 50s who masturbated frequently had decreased risk."

Um... I'm afraid to look under penis facts now...
Ah...better sleep...so elusive....

Fun post...thanks for the smiles.
Oh, I'm still laughing. When it comes to a man's penis, women need to think of it this way: It's like when you were little had had a doll to play with. Many men even have names for their penis.

Rated with smiles.
Stephen, I decided not to even go into the Kid List! According to the explanation I posted at the end, WebMD does use most commonly searched items to make these lists as well as factoring in some other things, although the ordering (1-12) is arbitrary.

Mary, thanks!

Midwest, glad to make anyone laugh. Yes, I'm well aware that many men name their penises. But tell me, why is so often "Little so-and-so"? (e.g., Little Chucky) I've never understood that...!
Thanks, that made me laugh out loud. I needed that today. Your writing is priceless.
This is hilarious, but I am struck by "Penis Facts." Really? There is a category on Penis Facts? Everything the penis does is visible to the eye of the beholder (or holder, as the case may be). And really, how much does it do? They need a *category* of *facts* to explain it. That, in and of itself, explains a lot.
Renaissance Lady, thanks!! And I love to make people laugh.

m.a.h, heh! I think the guys here should blog on that very topic, "Penis Facts". I wouldn't dare try, not being the owner of one. But I'd love to see that title as an Open Call for the guys. ;)
The truth. It burns. (No, really, it does. Give me some goddamned Bactrim.)
Loved this post more than I can say! Had me laughing outloud while my grandson is napping. Trying to be quiet but this did it for me! These lists are hysterical and so telling. Love your final analysis to the women's dilema. Problem solved!!
Well, Mom did say it would make me go blind, so I always kept one eye closed. I think it worked. Check out Rodney Carrington's song "Dear Penis". I'm surprised WebMD doesn't have a link to it. Great post. Cheers!
Verbal, OMG, Bactrim. I once had to go literally screaming to an ER while on vacation to get some to deal with a raging sex-induced UTI. It's the greatest damn drug in the world.

Cathy and Bubba, thanks! Bubba, I'll have to look for that song. YouTube perhaps? And do you know "Detachable Penis"? That was a hit back in the 80's, I think by King Crimson.
Rated! Thanks for making me laugh so much!
Hysterical! (which reminds me of hysterectomy, which reminds me of bioidentical homones, which reimnds me that we're out of peanut butter. Time to send the penis to the store.)
Apparently the penis can be turned inside out. I did not know this, but the comments section on my MySpace blog once took a turn into the stupid human tricks category, and my guy friends apparently all know all about this and explained exactly how to invert the penis.

According to one, whom I'll call Matt because that's his name, "The FUN part is when you take your finger off the hole and watch it re-emerge."

These are men in their 30s, with (occasionally multiple) masters' degrees.

Oh, and "Detachable Penis" is by King Missile, not King Crimson.
Interesting. Had I seen those same lists I'd never of thought of them as being noteworthy. I mean, I already knew men had a greater interest in sex than women. Guess I'm ahead of the curve on that one.
UK and Merc8tor: Ha~!

Leeandra, I don't even want to think about that, or try to picture it and I don't even have a penis to make me squeamish. That is just freaky. I only associate turning the penis inside out with what's done during MtoF transgender surgery, as that's how they create a vagina for the new woman. One wonders how flabby these guys' peni will be when they get older. Can't believe that kind of stretching doesn't have an effect.

And thanks for the correction on the song -- I knew King Crimson didn't sound quite right!
pretty damn funny.

i'm betting #1 focuses on the age-old question: How often is "frequent"?

i've often been curious how women keep their minds and hands off their sex organs as much as they do.

btw, is there actual natural viagra? i doubt it. but who wouldn't want to know about that, if it were true. i guess i'll keep getting mine the old-fashioned way, ordering the generic version from india over the internets.
hmmmm. i was thinking about the power of testosterone after i commented. then i looked at the list, and if you changed your category of sex-related to testosterone-related, you could keep all the ones you have, plus add #9 and possibly #4.

it's the hormone, i think.
Dave, that's a great insight about "testosterone related." I found the "stop fighting" one intriguing, too, but wanted to limit what I wrote about to keep this short and humorous.

I know there's stuff that's touted as "natural Viagra" but have never heard if any of it works. I'd guess anything can have a placebo effect, which I think in general means it will work for 25-30% of the people even if it's a sugar pill (the mind is a verrry powerful thing!).

How do women keep their minds and hands off their sex organs? Hmm, that could be another blog post, opened up to all the women here to answer. I'd guess that a lot of women who have kids (or even just partners) would say they're too damn busy and tired. After all, if your hands are busy taking care of other people, they can't take care of yourself.

But I also think women masturbate more than men think, they're just discreet about it. Although I'm always shocked by women who don't masturbate or didn't until they were 30 or 40. the mind boggles.

Jay Mohr has a really fun stand- up routine about this gender difference in masturbation, BTW - it's probably on YouTube.
Peanut recalls. Well! I'm not as young as I used to be, but really!

And that's the funniest headline I've seen, all time.
That's really funny. And not terribly surprising.

It makes me wonder, do you think men are less likely than women to worry what people will think about the things they are interested in?

That's my random thought for the day.
This was great. (And they said women will inherit the earth. Nope. They are too busy making doctors appointments and rolling over to keep from snoring. We, on the other hand, are practicing to blow their minds when they wake up. We win.) One small victory for the male of the species. Hah!
thanks, silk.

i've heard the "too tired" theory many times and don't really buy it. too tired for sex, sure. but too tired to reach down and move your hand around? i don't know.

plus, a guy could be tossed at sea for days, battle a hurricane, and still have a hot thought when it calmed a little and take care of himself.

i don't recall ever being too tired to masterbate. hahaha.
Rich, you flatterer, you!

Little box, I think so.

Harp, who said women will inherit the earth? Or you mean the "meek." You're right, I always found that a stretch, too.

Dave, you missed the part about women's hands being busy doing other things. That said, your argument is the same as Jay Mohr's. I've got to find that routine on YouTube if I can and will post the link.
I wanted to finish reading the entire post but, after having had a very a active weekend, I fell asleep! This was great fun and wonderfully executed! Rated for giving me the first smile of the morning..
The Cap'n has been engaging in intensive research on the topic of frequent masturbation for several years now. He reports no ill effects and, in fact, it is a great distraction from his deteriorating eyesight.

Cap always be glad to render a pubic, er public service.
Thanks, Cartouche! Glad to start your day off well.

Cap'n, science appreciates your contribution.
I've been a busy little commentor today. I see this as relating to the orgasm/death post of Dr. Amy's. I quick search gave me an interesting insight here. If there is in fact a relationship between orgasm and stroke the American Heart Ass. did a gender study of stroke and it found that not onoly do more men have strokes, they have them younger too. Spooky?
You're saying each whack could be your last?
Could be. I think I'll start checking my BP first in the future.
OK, doubt anyone's checking back, but here's that great Jay Mohr video about the difference in men vs. women when it comes to masturbation:

Reading the comments here (and there are a lot of 'em! Talk about a hot topic!) it's interesting that there's a general sense that men are somehow immature or sex-obsessed for looking for information about their genitals. The question I would ask, and one that has been plaguing me for some time now, is why aren't more women more interested in researching their genitals?

In my experience it's been a real shock to find out how little women know about what goes on down there, beyond the obvious 'feminine hygiene' issues (which are always in inverted commas - go figure). I blame thousands of years of sexual repression at the hands of easily embarrassed cultists with serious issues. El Pope and his mates for one.

Personally I feel we have a responsibility to ourselves and our sexual partners to understand as well as possible how our own bodies work as well as how theirs work. Why do we find it embarrassing? Why do women especially feel they can't admit to their sexuality? Obviously this has changed a lot in the last few decades, but we're still not quite there.

There are billions of people in the world so it would seem, to quote Bill Hicks, "Somebody's been f*ckin'!" Perhaps we should just get over it and all start Googling some penis facts? Given that women are apparently less satisfied sexually than men overall (http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/20061101/happier-with-sex-life-men-women) maybe it's time women started looking up some vagina facts and, ahem, taking matters into their own hands to close that gender gap.

We are weird monkeys indeed.
Stephen, you make some very good points.

In one sense, I actually have the opposite opinion: I've always felt that women know a lot more about their bodies than most men do. Mostly of necessity - we have periods, can get pregnant, have other body issues related to all this, etc so need to understand how our reproductive system works. Women also diet a lot so they tend to learn about nutrition more. Women see MD's more and follow up on health issues (there's a lot of data on this - men, esp single men, avoid going to the MD. Married men go more often because their wives make them). etc.

I've been shocked at how many otherwise intelligent, well-educated men seem very ignorant about the human body and how it functions. I mean basic physiological functions like what your major organs do, etc. And even sexual ones - I had a guy friend in my 20's who'd never even heard of the prostate (and he had a college education).

But I think that you're right about sex. When it comes to sex, men do understand their bodies far more than women. They know what makes them feel good and how to make that happen. I actually have a whole essay tucked away somewhere wondering what you do -- why don't women explore themselves more and learn about their own sexuality and pleasure the way men do?

I think the short answer is that there are still a lot of cultural influences that discourage women from doing that. As Jay Mohr's humorous monologue points out, men talk openly about masturbation, and women don't. It's accepted that men masturbate and odd if they don't. But even if most women do it, it still has to be hidden and not talked about. It's like a nasty little secret as opposed to a fact of life. That influences how girls and women act, trust me.

I'm not sure how we change that, but I think it's far more complicated than just women getting down to business on their bodies.
John Gray, eat your heart out!

Silkstone... You have outdone him in this hilarious, short and sweet post.
"Whereas there’s nothing on the men’s list that relates to parenting."

Not quite true-- 6 out of 12 items were about sex...
@Lainey -- "too funny. my husband pronounces "peanuts" as "peanits"

There's an old Smothers Brothers routine where one of them is a guy sitting in the back of the airplane trying to give away his bag of peanuts.

Hilarity ensues.

Or not.

I didn't really find it all that funny actually.

In fact, I'm not even sure why I'm even telling you about it.

Just ignore me.
@FromTheMidwest -- "Many men even have names for their penis. "

That their WOMEN gave it...

I've had my penis named several times. Never once by me.
@Leeandra -- "The FUN part is when you take your finger off the hole and watch it re-emerge."

Uh huh.. admit it. You watched.
@Dave Cullen -- "btw, is there actual natural viagra?"

Yup, watermelon. But you would have to consume quite a bit of it for it to actually have any effect. Apparently however, that's one of the areas of research these days.
@Silstone -- "I had a guy friend in my 20's who'd never even heard of the prostate"

Oh, I know that one. Its just to the left of Georgia.
This requires a second kindergarten opinion.
I may have to visit a cardiologist after tonight.
doc? Will you tattoo a red heart on my fanny?
I blame all troubles and confusions on mallard.
Ducks and chickens seem to quack and yak too.
Women come from Venus. Mennonites? Barns.
Men smell of moo cow manure. Women? Smell roses.
Men come from heaven. Wiemen wear modest robes.
Ladies sleep with stinky Mennonites with dirty socks.
I don't know?
Bird and bee?
We behaved?
Funny, funny, funny!

@Lea, "peanuts envy!" He he he he he.
Proof that women do not enjoy sex.