The Benefits of Quitting Drinking Didn’t Make All My Dreams Come True

I looked in the mirror and tried to focus my bleary eyes on the day old makeup that formed a crust around my lashes. My creased, blotchy skin cried out “Laura, please, moisturize me!” My mouth tasted like I had squeezed a tube of onion rings on my toothbrush and rinsed with an IPA.

Six months ago—whether it was after a glass of wine at home or a handful of beers at happy hour—this was a frequent morning ritual. Then I quit drinking.

My decision to stop drinking and join the increasingly trendy sober-curious movement sweeping Millennial happy hours, was months—maybe even years—in the making. I didn’t think I had a problem with alcohol per se, it just wasn’t helping me live the life I wanted. (One without mascara smudged, mildly hungover mornings.)

About a year ago, it suddenly seemed like alcohol-free living was everywhere. I read memoirs, articles, and comics created by sober women I admired. I hunted for podcasts and YouTube videos that could convince me life without wine time would be fine—even fun. Sometimes I’d crack open a cold one and settle in to enjoy a Reddit thread about a stranger’s journey to sobriety. Reading about quitting drinking—sometimes while drinking (yes, I see the irony…)—became a hobby of its own.

The more I read, the more convinced I became. These women made the benefits of quitting drinking sound awesome. Sobriety, it seemed, was the answer to pretty much every wellness wish I’d ever had: weight loss, better skin, and improved mental health.

Deep in my sober content consuming vortex, I imagined a blissful alcohol-free future for myself:

I would lose weight because I’d quit consuming hundreds of liquid calories in the form of beer each day. Never mind the fact that I haven’t done a single crunch in a year. I was certain to have washboard abs hiding underneath the layer of cushioning that my fondness for craft beer produced. Plus, hangovers make me crave bagel sandwiches but in my sober life I’d only crave kale.

My skin would be bright and crease-free. Like, not a single wrinkle. I hear that your pores essentially disappear when you aren’t drowning your cells in alcohol.

My mental health would be out of this world. In fact, I’d probably adopt an entirely new, vibrant personality because I’d be able to channel the energy I used to spend drinking (and recovering from drinking) on being vivacious. My entire wardrobe will be brightly colored sundresses and I’ll dance down the street to upbeat 70s pop music while greeting shopkeepers and singing to birds each morning. I’d probably never have a bad day or feeling of anxiety again.

Finally, it was perfectly clear to me: My purpose on this earth, I decided, was to be the physical manifestation of productivity and wellness—the only thing standing in my way was alcohol. So after an indulgent 30th birthday, I decided it was finally time to quit.

I’m now six months into my alcohol free life…and not exactly the poster child of wellness I’d expected to turn into in one gleaming sober Cinderella moment. The reality is, cutting out alcohol was less of a magical fix and more of an incremental lifestyle change. (Ugh, what a buzzkill.)

To my dismay, I did not turn into Alex Morgan’s ultra-fit body double overnight. In spite of my impatience to see immediate body-changing results, my excessive research offered up some very good advice: when you first quit drinking, focus only on cutting out the alcohol. Afterall, I couldn’t expect to suddenly quit drinking, transform my diet, and workout six days a week, too. I’ve never been someone with a sweet tooth, but suddenly all I wanted to do was eat ice cream. I was still going to happy hour—it just now took place on my sofa with my buddies Ben and Jerry. Eventually, I made exercise a regular part of my routine and have started making better food choices to support my workouts but I’m still working on cutting back the sugar intake.

This Story About Baby Archie Fixing the Royal ‘Feud’ Is Cracking Me Up

Baby Archie only arrived last week, but he’s already been tasked, reportedly, with something big: fixing the so-called “feud” between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William.

I just…I have a lot of feelings about this. On the one hand, sure: New babies coming into a family are known to ease tensions or rifts. There’s simply no time to be passive aggressive toward your annoying brother-in-law from Texas when there’s a screaming child in the house. But on the other: LOL, what? Baby Archie has only been on this planet for 11 days. He shouldn’t have to bother himself with his famous family’s problems. All he needs to be worrying about at the present moment is napping.

According to People magazine, Baby Archie gives Prince William and Prince Harry, who have allegedly grown apart over the last few years, an opportunity to reconnect.

“William and Harry will want their children to know their cousins and do things together, so they will work harder at their relationship,” a source close to the royal family tells People. “The brothers will have a different kind of relationship and move on.”

Look, I get it: If a feud does exist—and that’s a big if—then Baby Archie probably will help the two princes put their differences aside. But now all I’m picturing is Archie wearing a three-piece suit and playing couple’s therapist to his father and uncle. In my mind, they’ll all meet in Archie’s vegan paint-colored nursery and hash out their issues. Archie will have to take naps every two minutes, of course, because he’s a literal baby. And his counseling rate would be $500 an hour, at minimum.

I kid, I kid. Archie’s arrival is obviously cause for celebration and an opportunity to mend any fences within the royal core four. Keep in mind, though, that a feud might not even exist. Royals expert Katie Nicholl told Glamour a few months back that any stories of drama between either William and Harry or Kate and Meghan are grossly exaggerated.

“I think this idea of there being a catfight between [Meghan and Kate] has made tantalizing headlines, but I don’t believe that,” she said. “I’ve never heard from my sources that there has ever been a feud or a falling-out. I had heard about an upset over the dress fitting for Princess Charlotte. And I had heard that while Harry was very keen for the two of them to become best friends, there was never that sort of a friendship.”

She continued, “I think there is some truth to there having been some tension—not just between the duchesses but between the dukes, as well. As we all know, things can gather momentum pretty quickly. So while I think there’s been tension, I don’t believe there has been some feud.”

For what it’s worth, a source tells People that despite all the changes happening in the royal family (like the core four splitting offices), “There is never any doubt that [Harry and William] will be there for each other 100 percent and support each other when it matters.”

The Best Nail Trends & Colors for Summer 2019

As soon as the temperature climbs above 70 degrees, it can be tempting to jump straight into neon nail polish. But while we love a bright color as much as anyone else, might we suggest taking your nails up a notch? Summer is the perfect time to really go for it with your manicure—you’ll be wearing less layers, so it’s a chance to use your fingers as an extra accessory. Plus, a boost of (safe, sun-free) color might inspire you to try a shade you wouldn’t always reach for in the dead of winter. So feel free to dive into the nail ideas we’ve been stockpiling from our favorite celebrity nail artists and salons. From subtle gradients (rainbow nails are everything right now) to classic French tips to full-on butterflies, there’s a little something for every taste and skill level. Scroll on for the best nail trends for summer 2019—and yes, we did include a few neon options.

Mental Illness Is Misunderstood—This Is What It Really Looks Like

What is it actually like to live with schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder can include what are called positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are things like hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, and negative symptoms are things like reduced energy, blunted affect, lowered motivation, etc. Medications help me manage my symptoms—with proper treatment, many people living with schizophrenia appear to be completely healthy—no one in my life knew I had schizophrenia until I told them. But it’s still a challenge. Even with medication, my symptoms make it more difficult to find a balance in life, I’m learning to understand that it might take longer to do things or that I might need additional support sometimes, and that’s okay.

Asking for and accepting support from friends has also been pivotal in my life. My partner also provides a lot of support, which I really appreciate. We try to maintain open communication around everything, including my illness. That said, we also make a point of ensuring that my illness does not become a focal point of our relationship—there is so much more to our relationship and to me than just the fact that I have schizoaffective disorder.

How do you manage your schizophrenia?
Many people believe that schizophrenia can’t be treated and that institutionalization is the only solution. While it’s true that it can’t be cured at this time, it can be treated effectively. A really important thing I do to manage my mental illness, is to ensure I am taking my medications regularly. I struggle with this quite a bit so I use strategies to help me stay on track like setting an alarm on my phone and having a poster on display with reminders about why it’s important to take my medications.

Ensuring I am getting adequate sleep is also one of the most important things I do to manage my mental illness. When I’m struggling with my sleep, it can really affect my mental health and some of my symptoms can become more pronounced. On a similar note, I exercise: Physical exercise is a really grounding thing in my life and it also helps to deal with different stressors I may be experiencing. I really enjoy running—I run ultramarathons—playing soccer, and just recently got back into swimming.

Victoria Emanuela 29, and Caitie Metz, 30, Founders of On Being in Your Body

Glamour: What do you want people to know about PTSD that’s usually misunderstood?
Victoria Emanuela: I’ve been in various types of therapy for over a decade and despite that and the work I’ve done independently to stay afloat, many people assume I should be healed by now (*internally screams*). It makes it so that whenever I’m drowning or experiencing a state of regression, I feel ashamed asking for help or letting others bare witness to my mess. The thing with Complex-PTSD is that it’s…complex. When you’ve had a nightmare of a childhood, it can take decades or close to a lifetime to live symptom free. I want people to know that healing is nonlinear and setbacks are inevitable, even necessary! Sometimes you need to take 3 steps back in order to move 10 steps forward.

Caitie Metz: The largest misconception I’ve come up against about Complex PTSD is that people think I don’t love or care for them. They think that I’m apathetic, forgetful or lazy about our relationship. I wish people knew how often I stare at my phone wishing my finger remembered how to call them, or wishing I knew how to answer their texts. I wish they knew that when I’m in crisis mode that I get tunnel vision, and all I can focus on is surviving. I’m constantly running triage, assessing threats, and figuring out how to neutralize and calm the emotional debris catapulting around me. I wish they knew how afraid I am that I’ll hurt them. I’m so grateful to the people I can wave a flag at and say “hey, I’m going through a thing, see ya in a few days or weeks” and they’ll still be there when I resurface. I’m in awe of my core babes who hold me accountable while extending grace.

Here’s How You Can Help Women in States With Extreme Abortion Bans

On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate approved a bill that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state. The new legislation would ban abortions at every stage of pregnancy—with only an exception for when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not in instances of rape or incest. It’s not just women who would be penalized under the ban. Doctors who perform the procedure would be charged with felonies, and could face up to 99 years in prison.

Alabama’s abortion ban comes just after four other statesGeorgia and Ohio, included—passed so-called “heartbeat” laws, which ban abortions at about six weeks gestation. But this bill is the most extreme measure we’ve seen so far.

While none of these bills have been enacted—and all are likely be blocked in the lower courts—they’re indicative of a larger fight to control women’s bodies and potentially to overturn Roe v. Wade. Here, we’ve outlined how to help fight against these bans—and the overall effort to limit women’s reproductive rights.

Donate to organizations on the front lines

In addition to supporting national organizations leading the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights—like Planned Parenthood—there are many grassroots organizations helping women on the ground. Here are a few organizations to consider that are providing resources and access to local women looking to obtain abortions:

  • The Yellowhammer Fund: Located in Alabama, the Yellowhammer Fund offers funding for women seeking treatment at one of Alabama’s three remaining abortion clinics. The fund will also help with other barriers to access, such as travel or lodging.

  • National Network of Abortion Funds: NNAF is a network of funds—including the Yellowhammer Fund—across 38 states that helps eliminate economic for low-income women looking to obtain an abortion. They work with funds everywhere from Georgia to Texas to Ohio.

  • Magnolia Fund: A Georgia-based organization that provides resources to support the reproductive choices of women in the South, as well as to help defray the cost of abortion fees for women in Georgia.

  • Access Reproductive Care—Southeast: ARC helps people in the South—in states like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or Tennessee—receive access to safe and affordable reproductive care by offering financial and logistical support.

Work to elect progressive local leaders

25 men voted to pass Alabama’s abortion ban. And the other extreme abortion bans in states like Georgia have also succeeded in local legislature, thanks to conservative, mostly male politicians. In other words, one of the most effective ways to put a stop the bans is by ousting these men from office. To do that, we have to support—and help elect—their progressive opponents. Here’s a few places determined to do just that:

  • She Should Run: A nonpartisan nonprofit working across the country to get more women elected to office, at all levels.

  • Emerge America: An organization that trains progressive women to run for elected office in 25 states, such as Georgia, Alabama, Wisconsin, Virginia, and more.

  • Higher Heights for America: A national membership-based organization dedicated to electing black women to office across the country.

  • EMILY’s List: An organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office by guiding women through their campaigns from start to finish, with trainings, webinars, and volunteer support.

  • Run for Something: An organization that recruits young progressives to run in down-ballot races.

Volunteer on the ground

If you live in a state with an extreme abortion ban, or close enough to one to travel there, you can volunteer to be a clinic escort. As an escort you’ll accompany women as they enter an abortion clinic, and oftentimes have to walk past protesters. Connect with Planned Parenthood to look for opportunities, or use their Health Center guide to get in touch with local clinics to see how you can best be of service.

How to Clean White Sneakers the Right Way

Some things just look better when they’re broken in—a leather jacket, the perfect 501s, a killer pair of boots—while others, honestly, don’t. Which is why the appeal of white sneakers is categorically undeniable. Also undeniable: The fact that your pristine Stan Smiths, your investment Yeezy Powerphases, and your beloved Converse will, without question, get downright grimy. Googling “how to clean white sneakers” might be an exercise in futility, though, given the confusing amount of tips, tricks, and hacks people (and Pinterest) swear by. But now, thanks to one simple tweet, the ideal solution appears to have been found. And there are pics to prove it.

When, a few years ago, Twitter user @sarahtraceyy sent out side-by-side photos of her Converse sneakers caked in grime alongside a seemingly new, stark-white pair (with the caption “I am a miracle worker”), let’s just say people were floored. “God obviously saw me googling how to clean white shoes today and sent this tweet my way,” one commenter wrote, with another asking “OMG, what kind of witchcraft.”

Turns out, it’s not witchcraft at all, but a precise mix of stuff you probably have at home right now. In another tweet, this self-proclaimed miracle worker bestowed upon the Web her recipe for the fresh sneakers: “ok rinse shoes, mix 1:1.5 of baking soda & detergent, scrub w toothbrush, let it sit for a while, rinse, put in washer, baby powder/dry🌞”

The hack has been retweeted more than 94,000 times, with a curious public wanting more details. (“Any special kind of detergent?” someone asked. “Nope! I just used one with like extra stain remover,” @saratraceyy replied, before clarifying to another user that she’s talking about laundry detergent, not dish soap.)

So, there you have it. The ultimate (and Twitter-approved) “how to clean white sneakers” hack for you to try out when you’ve worn your Cons one too many times. But, if you’re still itching to replace your tired pair, here are five fresh canvas sneakers to dirty up this summer.


Converse Chuck Taylor® Low Top Sneaker

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Urban Outfitters

Keds Champion Original Sneaker

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Vans Old Skool Platform

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Superga Mule Sneakers

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SeaVees Monterey Sneakers

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Black Mirror Season 5: Everything We Know So Far

Netflix just dropped the first trailer for Black Mirror season five, and I have only one comment: Miley Cyrus in a purple wig.

OK, I have a bit more to say than that. This is Black Mirror, after all, one of the most interesting and innovative TV shows out there, full stop. Cyrus is lending her talents to one of the three episodes slated to drop on June 5. Her character is still a mystery, but this new teaser drops a few hints. It appears she plays some kind of pop star experiencing a crisis. In one scene she seems nervous with her blond hair down and messy. In the next, she’s onstage sporting a neon wig and a blank expression, flanked by shimmery backup dancers. The sequence is intriguing, to say the least, as are the other confusing images the trailer throws at us.

Check it out for yourself, below:

Hooked? Me too. Here’s everything we know about Black Mirror season five so far:

The premiere date. June 5, 2019.

The episode count. Netflix teases “three new stories” in this trailer, so it’s safe to assume there will be three episodes.

The cast. Confirmed cast members include Anthony Mackie, Miley Cyrus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topher Grace, Damson Idris, Andrew Scott, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport, and Ludi Lin. Their exact roles in these stories are unknown.

Technology is still playing a crucial role. Variety notes this season will dive deeper into artificial intelligence, smart technology, and virtual reality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, technology will specifically intersect with the concepts of “marriage, self-esteem, fame, social media, and mental health.”

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones are still at the helm. Brooker is the writer and creator, and he executive-produces alongside Jones.

The storylines. Still unknown, though the trailer offers some broad strokes. One episode seems to focus on an isolated young girl who befriends an Alexa-type robot. Infidelity plays a heavy theme in another, while Cyrus’ episode appears to tackle the monsters of pop superstardom. Very meta.

This post will be updated with more information as it comes in.

This Game of Thrones Fan Theory Suggests Jaime Lannister Is Still Alive

This post contains spoilers for the final season of Game of Thrones. Consider yourself warned.

Jaime Lannister is one of the most confounding and intriguing characters on Game of Thrones. He started out as a fantastic subversion of the Prince Charming archetype—a handsome Kingslayer, sure, but one who we learn in the pilot is having an affair with his sister, Cersei, and is perfectly comfortable pushing children (Bran Stark) out of windows. Over the course of eight seasons, Jaime became much more complex, as evidenced by his relationships with Tyrion and Brienne of Tarth, for example. But in the end, he returned to his sister/lover.

Perhaps that’s why fans are having a hard time accepting the fact it would appear he died in last Sunday’s episode, when a building collapsed on him and Cersei. But a Tumblr user called WeedsAreFlowersToo lays out a fairly compelling case for Jaime somehow surviving the fall of King’s Landing and the Red Keep.

Her evidence is mult-tiered. She first writes about the lack of online goodbyes to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime, when we’ve seen them for other actors whose characters have died: “Why isn’t ANYONE acknowledging that Jaime Lannister just died??? Why is nobody in the cast thanking Nik for his performance? Why did Pilou and Lena’s insta post not say anything about Jaime dying? Why isn’t Nik saying anything about what he thinks of the scene? Why did he make a post saying goodbye to Lena, and not to the character he played for 8 years? Why is there no talk of Jaime’s death in the game revealed?”

WeedsAreFlowersToo also notes here has not been a Coster-Waldau exit interview posted by Entertainment Weekly.

“He did an interview with Lena and one with Rory McCann about their deaths,” she writes. “Why not Nikolaj too when his character ‘died’ in the same episode in a very divisive way? Surely, it would be important to have the actor talk about it?”

“Apparently James Hibberd [the EW editor] also said there was a character he was surprised to see alive in episode 6,” she continued. “I don’t think there is any other character at this point that we would be shocked to see alive except Jaime. Prove me wrong.”

There was also a lack of commentary from Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne: “Why didn’t Gwen say anything about Jaime dying? Nikolaj is one of the person she loved working with the most. Jaime was an incredibly important character for Brienne. Why wouldn’t she say anything?”

There is also some “Jaime is alive” sentiment brewing on Twitter.

In all likelihood, this is just very wishful. Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey’s (Cersei) social media posts sure sounded like goodbyes, and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed as much in the after show special.

But we can dream, right?

Abby Gardner is a contributing writer at Glamour. You can follow her pop culture musings on Twitter @abbygardner or in her weekly newsletter, We Have Notes.

People Are Shocked Kylie Jenner Has a Walnut Scrub in Her New Skin Care Line

This week, Kylie Jenner announced that she is launching a new skin care line called Kylie Skin. This seems like a pretty natural move considering the wild success of her Kylie Cosmetics brand—you know, the one that made her a billionaire.

But as with all things Kardashian/Jenner, there is a bit of online drama surrounding the May 22 launch. The controversy is focused on the walnut face scrub in the inaugural collection, which also includes a foaming face wash, vanilla milk toner, face moisturizer, vitamin C serum, and eye cream. The scrub, according to a Kylie Skin tweet, includes “fine walnut powder,” which is where the problems arose.

In a video, Jenner says the scrub is “gentle enough to use every day,” though she says she personally uses it two to three times a week. The social media response from the beauty world was swift. “Some walnut face scrubs are kind of harsh on the skin,” she continues. “This isn’t too abrasive and it really leaves my skin feeling super baby soft…My walnut face scrub is my secret to a fresh face.”

So what exactly are the possible problems with this type of face scrub? “Walnut shell powders have long been used in face scrubs but have fallen out of favor because of reports that they cause microscopic tears to the outer skin layer,” New York dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Glamour. “To my knowledge, there is no real data showing that walnut scrubs are any more harmful to your skin than many other forms of manual scrubs.”

“This new scrub contains walnut powder, but it’s unclear whether this includes walnut shell or the walnut itself,” he continues. “Plus, it is unclear how fine the walnut powder has been made and whether it is the same as previously used formulations. The same ingredient may perform very differently, both in terms of effectiveness and safety, depending on how it is formulated.”

The product also drew comparisons to the St. Ives Apricot Scrub which led to a class action lawsuit in 2017. In the suit, one of the key plaintiff claims was that the crushed walnut powder creates microscopic tears in the skin, exposing it to infections and irritation. But it should be noted the lawsuit was ultimately tossed out of court in December 2018, when a judge agreed there wasn’t proof of the alleged claims.

The reaction on social media was swift and, well, harsh. “The LEAPS AND BOUNDS in chemical exfoliants at the cutting edge of skin care and you and your team give us St Ives Apricot 2.0?? The nerve,” one user wrote.

That said, if you do want to try Jenner’s new face scrub, just be careful and be sure to use very gentle motions while using it (which should be the case with any face scrub). “I always caution my patients when trying any new products,” Dr. Zeichner says. “If you develop any skin irritation, redness, burning, or stinging remove the product from your skin immediately.”

Abby Gardner is a contributing writer at Glamour. You can follow her pop culture musings on Twitter @abbygardner or in her weekly newsletter, We Have Notes.

Low Libido in Women: 4 Women Share How Not Having Sex Has Affected Their Lives

Low libido among women is more common than you might think. As we’ve gotten more real about sex (Hello, The Bold Type sex. So long, Gossip Girl), it’s hard to feel left out of the the (literal) action. The result? Many women who live with low libido—a.k.a. a low sex drive—don’t talk about it.

Maybe sex—or rather a lack of it—is causing tension in your relationship, maybe you’re not having sex because of a past trauma, or maybe a new medication is messing with your sex drive. Whatever’s causing your low libido, you might not want to dish about it over brunch, but one thing is for sure: Not having sex can impact your life in some surprising ways. Here, four women share their stories—and open up about what helped.

“An outsider might think I’m just not attracted to my husband”

“For me, low libido means my brain and body don’t connect the dots—they can’t communicate about sexual desire. While an outsider might think I’m just not attracted to my husband, my husband knows better, and he’s very understanding. I have just as much attraction, affection, and respect for my husband as any other wife. When he initiates, I may hesitate physically because of my low libido, but once I get into it, I’m all-in—and I have fun. Having someone who’s willing to get me going helps get my brain and body in line.” —Marie B.

“When I show myself a little love, I’m more open to pleasure”

“I had a total hysterectomy at 31. My sex life had been incredible—I was having sex frequently—but after the surgery, I initiated sex less often and was never really in the mood. The lack of desire and emotion went from my sex life to every aspect of my life. I was told I was cold by people close to me, and that I just seemed empty. I’ve tried essential oils, supplements, and acupuncture, and reducing stress and taking better care of my health has started to help. I take personal time when needed, say no to things when I really just want to be alone, and do things I enjoy, like bike riding and hiking. My sex drive definitely isn’t like it used to be, but it’s gotten better. I’ve found that when I show myself a little love, I’m more open to pleasure.” —Amanda S.

“Having no desire for sex made me feel safe and comfortable”

“I experienced low libido for nearly a decade when I was married. It might sound surprising, but having no desire for sex made me feel safe and comfortable. It gave me a sense of control when I felt disempowered in so many other areas of my marriage. I did feel bad about constantly rejecting my husband. I thought if I could ‘fix’ myself, I’d get the relationship I envisioned, full of romance and a real connection. But the less sex we had, the more tension between us grew. I felt like sex was a chore—a task to check off a to-do list, like routine maintenance on a car. My husband and I weren’t getting what we wanted from our marriage, so we eventually divorced—and have both moved on.” —Krista J.

“Having a low libido has helped me weed out the takers”

“I have a hormonal imbalance and a stressful job. The combination is like a one-two punch to my sex drive, and I’m only interested in getting intimate when I feel completely taken care of emotionally. On the bright side, having a low libido has helped me weed out the takers in relationships, and I’ve managed to find partners who I jibe with mentally first, and then physically. Sure, my low libido has been a relationship killer. But do I really want to be dating a taker, anyway? Nope.” —Mandy J.