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San Antonio, Texas: #Watch - A woman gets Botox in her vagina

Luis M. Melendez 3087 Fidler Drive San Antonio, TX 78202

Vaginismus is the term used to describe recurrent or persistent involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted.

According to WebMD.com, a woman who has vaginismus will experience her vagina’s muscles squeeze or spasm when something is entering it, like a tampon or a penis. It can be mildly uncomfortable, or it can be incredibly painful.

For those that have mild symptoms, there are exercises women can do to help; and for for extreme cases, there are other procedures such as Botox.

In a BuzzFeedYellow production, a 25 year old woman goes and gets Botox in her vagina in hopes of relaxing her vaginal muscles.

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You have to understand the mentality of Hong Kong businessmen. They exploit their workers harshly, trick their suppliers when they lower their guard, cheat their customers on every occasion, and then spend their earnings on prostitutes.

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San Diego, California: What It's Like to Have Sex After Undergoing Female Genital Mutilation

Joshua D. Reveles 4593 Holden Street San Diego, CA 92105

Mariya Karimjee has had sex once in her life — sort of. When she was a senior in college, Karimjee, now 27, decided it was finally time to do the deed with her boyfriend of a year, even though he had repeatedly said he was willing to wait until she was ready. Though she never felt pressured to engage in more physical intimacy, she felt like she needed to have sex anyway — to "get the act over with," as she later described it.

So, Karimjee had sex. And, as she feared and expected, it was excruciating.

"The pain was everywhere; I couldn't figure out what hurt and where," Karimjee wrote of the experience in an essay for the Big Roundtable last year. "... I sat in the bed, allowing myself to cry for the first time since we'd begun talking about sex. For the first time since I'd admitted to him that I might never be able to enjoy a sexual experience. That when I was younger, someone had taken a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me."

As she went on to explain in recent episodes of This American Life and The Heart, when Karimjee was 7 and growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, she had part of her clitoris removed, in accordance with the beliefs of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam. She is one of at least 200 million people around the world to undergo female genital mutilation, a practice the World Health Organization defines as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."

Also referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision, FGM is widely considered an act of gender-based violence as well as a human rights violation, a practice typically performed on young girls (and, occasionally, female infants or teenagers) in a variety of cultures. WHO asserts that the practice "has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways."

WHO classifies the procedure into four primary types, each of which can have different effects on survivors' sexual health and comfort: clitoridectomy, which results in at least partial removal of the clitoris; excision, or a clitoridectomy plus removal of the labia minora; infibulation, which involves narrowing the vaginal opening by cutting and repositioning the labia (sometimes by stitching) with or without removing the clitoris; and all other harmful treatment of the female genital area, including but not limited to piercing, incising or cauterizing.

FGM is, in many societies, a long-standing cultural practice, which continues for reasons that vary from place to place and heritage to heritage. But, according to WHO, the procedure is generally tied to beliefs about acceptable sexual behavior, meant to deter promiscuity and strip women of erotic desire — or, potentially, enjoyment.

As Karimjee and millions of others have found, it can be extremely effective at doing just that.

"Sex did not go the way popular culture or anecdotal evidence told me it would go," Karimjee said in a phone call with Mic on Thursday, explaining the lasting effects her first experience had. She has not attempted to have sex since she first tried in 2010, primarily because of continuing anxiety about the experience.

"I gear myself up, but for me, the fear is so great that in the moment, I don't know if I feel anything but afraid," she explained. "I am not able to get out of my own head long enough to be able to be like 'I'm turned on.' That happens very rarely for me, and it takes months to feel comfortable enough."

In a phone call with Mic this week, Dr. Doris Chou, medical officer for the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO, said research suggests women who are living with FGM "are more likely to experience pain or reduction in sexual satisfaction and desire," and, in addition to significant pain during intercourse, might face reductions in arousal, decreased lubrication during sex, limited capacity for orgasm or even anorgasmia.

Though people who undergo clitoridectomies, excision or infibulation can (and often do) still experience some amount of sexual pleasure, a majority have reported lower rates of arousal or sexual fulfillment — in studies, at least. Anecdotally, there's less information available about the realities of having sex — or not — after FGM, not to mention what that means for individual women's overall wellbeing.

"[There] are actually quite physical consequences, but there's also the psychological," Chou said. "We do know women and girls who have undergone FGM suffer anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. In the context of a sexual relationship, we are concerned that women might have difficulty really actually having any kind of sexual life."

The implications of that difficulty can be devastating, as illustrated by a growing number of women like Karimjee, who have begun to share their (often traumatic) experiences of developing, maintaining or even wanting sex lives with parts of themselves missing.

"I've spoken to women in my sect who have also been cut, who never, ever, ever want to have sex because they're so traumatized by what happened to them, and other women who have very vague memories but say they never get turned on, so it clearly worked," Karimjee said.

Indeed, much of the struggle with desire is due not only to the intense physical pain women who have been cut might experience during intercourse. Natalie Kontoulis, advocacy and communications officer for the organization End FGM, has found that for many people, it has to do with deeper, more complicated feelings about sexuality and personal autonomy.

"If a person who has undergone FGM is not in severe physical pain, she might not feel much — sensation might be gone," Kontoulis said via Skype on Thursday. "It can feel like you're a vessel, doing this to serve your partner, making sex less of a partnership. Some survivors feel they're not fully women. I think when you've literally had a part cut out of you, you cannot feel whole for those reasons."

There can also be lifelong trauma associated with being cut in childhood, Kontoulis added, which might be compounded by a lack of opportunity to talk about "how you were, potentially, betrayed at a young age by those you trusted most."

For quite some time that was true for Karimjee, who felt extreme rage toward her mother, in particular, for allowing her to be cut. After her family moved to the United States when she was 11, Karimjee went on to struggle with her parents' justification for the decision, which she believes was based on harmful cultural views about desire.

But those views were not necessarily unique to her sect of Islam or other groups that practice FGM. Karimjee has found that spending her adolescence in a conservative, predominantly Baptist Texas suburb contributed to her complicated feelings about her own sexuality.

"It's hard for me personally to reconcile the fact that my parents were fundamentally responsible for having me cut, but at the same time these were the same people who never made me feel sex was bad," Karimjee said. "My parents never made me feel like sex was something I needed to be ashamed of. But my peers in high school definitely got that from their churches and their parents, and transferred that on to me."

The combination of physical and psychological trauma from the overall experience of FGM can lead some women to pursue therapeutic options ranging from sex therapy (something Karimjee says she's looking into) or even clitoral restoration surgery.

According to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecological surgeon who works for the organization Clitoraid, restoration can be life-changing, but it's usually not enough. It's also not always an option: As Bowers said in a previous interview with Mic, although FGM is practiced around the world — including in the U.S. — a significant proportion of people who have been cut lack access to medical services like restoration.

"It's a tremendous thing if you're able to restore — it's like giving sight to a blind person," Bowers said by phone this week. "But anything associated with that part of the body, people remember that pain. Even where there's sensation, in an area where someone had pain before it's hard to retrain the brain to see any [non-painful] sensation as a positive sort of thing. It's hard to trust again."

And while FGM opponents like Kontoulis note it's still crucial to consider the practice an act of violence, it's also important not to tell someone she shouldn't feel good about sex if she never felt bad about it before.

"I've heard survivors say [their FGM] doesn't bother them, they still get pleasure from sex," Kontoulis said. "That might be physically absolutely true, or it might be that they just don't expect to have pleasure. It doesn't bother them. In that sense, it's difficult, because you don't want to impose your own kind of pleasure system or cultural system or sexual system on another person. But the problem with that is there's a line between trying to be culturally diplomatic and treating FGM as a human rights violation, and it's difficult to not cross it."

It's an issue that leaves Karimjee with complex feelings as well. She, too, has spoken with many women who have been cut but have not faced her same struggles with sex, yet still have lingering questions about whether they should feel satisfied.

"I personally have never spoken to anyone — even women who are married and having sex who've been cut, who say 'I don't know if I'm orgasming, but I do enjoy having sex with my husband' or 'I enjoy the act of sex, it doesn't hurt' — who doesn't also say, 'But I still wonder what it would be like,'" Karimjee said. "It's an ever-present question for them."

"In some way, they feel something was taken away from them — something intangible," she added. "As long as that feeling is still out there, there's definitely still a problem."

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Native European men are stupid if they pursue sexual relationships with Western women. Go to India and Pakistan. Every native college girl dreams of a white husband.

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New Berlin, Wisconsin: Going Once - Teenager Hopes to Auction Off Her Virginity

Milton I. Gallant 1783 Saint Francis Way New Berlin, WI 53151

While human rights activists strive to prevent human trafficking, others voluntarily turn to trading their bodies and seem to be okay with that. For a girl named Kim, swapping her virginity for some wheels and a good education seems like a pretty good deal.

Have you ever thought about the bounty your own body could represent? The ways to sell it are more varied than you might expect. Donating blood is probably the most widespread and noble method of legally selling yourself — or, in most cases, giving it away. Selling a kidney would definitely mean more money, but it's not legal everywhere, and can also bring truly terrible long-term side effects. It's generally discouraged — unless the organ is needed to save someone's life, of course.

Kim is harkening back to one of the oldest trades in the world: she's set up an auction… to sell her virginity to the highest bidder! And at quite a price: Kim set the starting bid at $112,000.

"Should I give my virginity to a man who later on maybe will break up with me or is it better to take a lot of money instead?" her offer, published on the Cinderella Escorts website, reads.

Cinderella Escorts is a website from Germany, where prostitution is legal. The company agreed to become an intermediator for Kim in exchange for as much as 20 percent from a successful deal.

"You can send us a binding offer for her virginity. The buyer can check her virginity of course again from a doctor the buyer trusts," the website reads.

Kim says she wants the money to fund studies in Germany or Austria.

But why would she do that? Turns out, Kim is going to put the money to a good use: to study in Germany or Austria. Education is a noble cause, no doubt — so noble that Germany not long ago made its public universities tuition free. (Though according to topuniversities.com, this is not going to last long. Hurry up, Kim!)

The teen also says she hopes the sale will bring in enough to pay her for an apartment and "maybe also buy a car." With the change, apparently.

Kim's not the first person to sell her virginity — one might say Western society only recently abandoned that practice, in fact — but if she does, she's got a high bar to reach. Eighteen-year-old Aleexandra Khefren in March sold her own virginity to a Hong Kong businessman for more than $2.5 million, and pledged to spend the money on an Oxford University. There is no news on whether the transaction has been finalized.

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Why does this site show photos that depict brutality? Get real, man! Because reality is brutal.

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Houston, Texas: Climate for conflict

Kristopher G. Lubin 4200 Gambler Lane Houston, TX 77006

Daud Mohamed lives a fragile existence, wholly dependent on rain.

At his homestead in Somalia where we camped one night, his nine children were busy with chores as the sun was coming up: feeding the baby goat, collecting drinking water an hour’s walk away, and mixing up porridge in plastic mugs for breakfast. Mohamed has managed to keep a sense of normalcy at his rural homestead a two-hour drive from the nearest village. But he said the situation is anything but normal.

“I’ve never seen this kind of a drought that has killed our animals. It’s the worst one,” Mohamed said, his grey goatee making him look older than his 45 years. He has just one goat and a sickly calf left, he added.

Down the hill from Mohamed’s house is a clearing where he used to grow vegetables for his family and grass for his goats and cows. The soil is now dried into a wide latticework of deep cracks. At one end of the clearing stand two large trees. Many branches have been unceremoniously cut for firewood, leaving jagged stubs. But their broad trunks attest to their survival: droughts typically hit this region every few years, so these trees have withstood many lean seasons.

Mohamed walked us to the far end of the beige expanse and looked glumly at the skeleton of one of his last cows. The unforgiving sun had already bleached is ribs white. “They didn’t get enough food, and people were depending on animal’s milk and meat. If animals died, then human beings will also die,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed said he thinks that a current law in Somaliland that bans cutting trees and charcoal production, is a good idea.

“Those trees used to help our animals. Now it looks like a desert,” he said. But he recognizes that planning ahead -- even as a single father with a brood ranging in age from toddler to teenager -- can be a luxury.

“If you have a family and you lose your livestock and there is drought, you will do anything to feed the children,” Mohamed said.

That is part of the reason why those two last trees on his parched pasture are starting to look like his only hope, he said.

Across the global scientific community, there’s broad consensus about the reality of climate change. The Department of Defense first highlighted the security threat of global warming in 2010, calling it “an accelerant” for conflict. Yet with his tweets and executive orders, President Donald Trump has catapulted climate change skepticism into the mainstream. But for many people on the planet, like Daud Mohamed, the debate is moot: life is fundamentally changing right now.

More than six million Somalian people are currently in urgent need of assistance, according to the United Nations, which has called the refugee crisis the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Most Americans first heard of Somalia when the country suffered a severe famine in the late 1980s.

The country once again made international headlines because of an incident known as Black Hawk Down in 1993, when 18 U.S. soldiers were killed in the streets of Mogadishu. The killings were later portrayed in an Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

The country occasionally makes headlines because of the pirates who trawl the coastline awaiting foreign cargo ships that they can hold hostage for massive ransoms. On land, reporters regularly recount the suffering of communities who still live under the ruthless rule of al-Shabab, a militant group aligned with Al Qaeda.

My reporting partner, photographer Nichole Sobecki, and I came to Somalia to look into another grim phenomenon, however. Scientists now believe that Somalia is one of the most vulnerable places in the world due to climate change. News stories about the war-torn country rarely highlights this link, but much of the violence in Somalia stems from environmental issues and resource scarcity -- and those underlying causes are only getting worse.

“With these weather patterns, Somalia or Somalis will not survive,” said Somali environmental activist Fatima Jibrell. “Maybe the land, a piece of desert called Somalia, will exist on the map of the world, but Somalis cannot survive.”

Yet just 40 years ago, Somalia seemed to be on a different trajectory.

The UN held their first environmental conference in Stockholm in 1972, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed and the science of climate change started to be discussed as a global issue.

However, Somalia’s leaders had a deep appreciation for their fragile relationship with the environment starting in the 1970s after a punishing drought. At the time, the government saw that safeguarding their natural resources had to be a priority. A quarter of a million nomadic people lost their livestock and became desperately poor in 1974 and 1975, according to Somalia expert Ioan Lewis. It was essentially the equivalent of going bankrupt, having your car stolen and your house burning down all at once. For these people, life became focused on survival.

With support from the U.S. during the Cold War, Somali President Siad Barre created the National Range Agency to manage the country’s natural resources. The Range Agency’s leaders had the ear of the president, the largest budget of any government department, and eventually more than 2,000 people on the payroll.

One of the foreign experts drawn to this work at the National Range Agency was a British ecologist named Dr. Murray Watson.

Watson had learned to fly while studying wildebeest migrations in the Serengeti for his doctorate at Cambridge University. He moved to Kenya, bought a Piper Super Cub two-seater plane, and began tinkering with a rig of measuring sticks, an altimeter and a camera to take aerial photographs to document wildlife.

Watson arrived in Mogadishu in 1978, just as the Range Agency was starting its work. Through the rest of the 1970s and ‘80s, Watson led a small team of scientists in carrying out the most comprehensive land survey of Somalia in the country’s history. They crisscrossed the country by Landrover and bush plane, photographing and studying the environment at more than a thousand sites.

But in 1991, that momentum came to an abrupt halt. Rebels toppled President Barre and then turned on each other, plunging the country in civil war. Thousands of people were killed in street battles in the city. The rebels looted and destroyed businesses and government buildings.

But Watson somehow managed to make his way across the city amid the firefights and rescue the agency’s maps, photographs, and field notes. He snuck some 15,000 environmental documents out of the country in a bush plane.

As Range Agency staff fled the chaos and accomplished Somali scientists ending up in refugee camps, they left behind everything they held dear, including university diplomas, wedding photos and children’s books.

“We always thought we would go back,” said Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed Karani. He served as the first and longtime director of the National Range Agency, and he fled Somalia in 1991. He eventually settled in Baltimore and is now almost 80 years old.

As the Somali government collapsed and terrorism became an even larger problem, no one could enforce the ban on charcoal production and deforestation. Illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste increased as foreign companies took advantage of Somalia’s unpatrolled waters. Meanwhile, as Somalia’s climate began to change, increasingly frequent droughts made people even more vulnerable to armed groups like Al-Shabab.

In contrast, Watson’s land survey provides a rare, detailed picture of a country before the past 26 years of conflict and environmental destruction.

But in 2008, the conflict caught up to Watson. While conducting another environmental survey, Watson and his Kenyan colleague Patrick Amukhuma were ambushed and kidnapped. Watson has been missing ever since, and what happened to him remains a mystery to his family to this day.

But Watson’s work has lived on. The Somali government has begun finding its footing after a quarter-century of war, and researchers believe Watson’s land survey -- now housed in a farmhouse in Britain -- could help show precisely how and why the country’s environment changed. It could also possibly offer clues about what can be done to restore it.

But many Somalis have already decided Somalia is no longer a viable home.

Another terrible drought hit in 2011, sparking a mass exodus. According to the UN, a quarter of a million people died and almost a million more crossed into neighboring countries. Tens of thousands of those fleeing their homes finally found relief in Kenya at one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Dadaab.

When their farm failed, Mohamed Abukar and his wife, Habiba, took their two young daughters and walked for 27 days to the camp across desolate southern Somalia -- land that in Watson’s old photographs appears verdant and green, with one of the country’s old-growth forests and even a national park. Today, the region is controlled by al-Shabab, who have deforested much of it to supply their lucrative charcoal trade, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Now a father of five, including two young sons, Abukar knows his family can’t stay in the refugee camp in Kenya forever. But he also can’t imagine returning to Somalia.

Abukar said that in Somalia, al-Shabab recruits boys at the madrassas or religious schools.

“I am fearful that they will be recruited. First, there is no school other than those run and controlled by [al-Shabab],” he said.

“They can radicalize you because you are poor and don’t have anything,” Abukar added, explaining that extremists sometimes block aid from reaching these areas to coerce people into supporting them.

Indeed, aid agencies could have alleviated the suffering from the drought. But al-Shabab wanted to leave people vulnerable, “to attract the hungry people, knowing too well that people facing starvation will fall for anything,” Abukar said. He told us this fear of starvation is one of the concerns that runs through his mind at night while his family sleeps.

“Even if Somalia has security problems, if someone has to die, it’s best if he dies while in good shape other than dying of hunger,” he said.

Abukar vows he’ll never return to Somalia. Since the war broke out in 1991, millions more have also left, making new lives for themselves elsewhere in eastern Africa or boarding rickety boats bound for the West at the mercy of smugglers.

Environmental activist Fatima Jibrell had left Somalia too. She moved to the U.S., but decided to come back to lead Adeso, the organization she founded in 1991. Her organization focuses on creating jobs and rehabilitating the degraded land. But she questions whether that approach will ultimately work, blaming desperation that has been exacerbated by a changing environment and dwindling resources.

“It’s going to take us to wars where we kill and maim each other. Sadly, I think that is the way we will choose. Not intelligently, but by not doing anything -- that’s the choice we will make,” said Jibrell. “The other choice is harder, but it’s doable. It comes with intelligent people coming together.”

Jibrell’s feelings about the future are peppered with both optimistic and grim predictions. But she said she is committed to her work, even as she approaches 70.

“We are alive, and we are thinking beings. And it’s not in our nature, I think, to give up,” Jibrell reflected. “Nobody likes to die sitting.”

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Of all emotions, those negative are the most real. If you hate, you know that you are healthy. Your hormones are in balance if you can still imagine how you would inflict a slow, painful death on your enemies. Love isn't an emotion really but rather a mixed bag of feelings, with selfish desire a prominent component. Of any positive expression of the human mind, sympathy is probably the most genuine, though it may come with rage towards those whose victim is the target of our sympathy.

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We are different. We, the adherents of Kreutz Ideology and Kreutz Religion, think that sex is the most important aspect in life. Everything else is just logistics.

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