Cereals And Solitary Pleasures

Ok so, Pete made a comment on one of my posts  about the ‘fact’ that Mr. Kellogg had apparently invented corn flakes while trying to discover a cure for masturbation for the inmates in a sanatorium.

I just had to check the facts on that. Wikipedia might not always be up to scratch but it seemed to be true. What I read in the rest of the info has prompted this post. I wanted to entitle it ‘Wankers’ but felt sure that some people might be put off reading thinking it was another political rant!

So here goes nothing.

I did a post a wee while ago referring to the fact that I don’t find discussing sexuality easy. Especially in public. Blame my mum.

It doesn’t take away from the fact that I admire those who can. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I am a sexual being. A sensual woman, I like to think. Despite the fact that my own mum had issues discussing, overtly, anything of a sexual nature. Blame her mum.

In later years, my mum would discuss pretty much anything with the adult me. Sometimes embarrassingly so. But I always remember one of her ‘talks’ as she tried to explain a few facts to me.

It kind of went like this.

‘You know how some men like steak and some prefer chicken for dinner?’

‘Umm, yes.’ (Mama, have you lost your mind?)

‘Well some men like to lick the plate.’

Now this analogy took a few seconds to hit home with me. And then, wham!

WTF! My mum was attempting to discuss oral sex with me. I was in my late teens as I recollect. You can imagine the thoughts conjured up about my parents then. Yeuch! I guess she figured I was mature enough to realise that what two consenting adults did in their own time was not my business. I was. I still am.

In my early teens I had gone to confession and told the priest that I had investigated ‘down there’. Yup, I did. I was under the impression that if I died before I confessed God would ask me about my ‘sins’ in front of everyone in heaven. And what a red neck that would be. Better just get rid of it now. So to speak.

And the priest’s answer? ‘Were you on your own?’ Seriously. I was shocked. I thought I had discovered something that only I knew about and it turns out people did these things together and it had a name. He did commend me on such a frank confession which I was quite chuffed about!

There is a point to my embarrassing disclosure. You might not be embarrassed but I am. But I figure the truth is out there. And maybe it’s time we acknowledged a few home truths.

Like, for example, that girls do have that little hooded area of orgasmic pleasure that they are aware of and, if lucky, some man will one day be aware of too and act on a couple of instructions. It may be a penile stub in comparison to the ‘magnificence’ of the erect penis – all 12 inches worth, according to some men.

Both appendages are there. Belonging to the individual. To them. No other.

Reminds me of when my husband looked in the rear view mirror of our car a long many a year ago and commented to one of the kids for the umpteenth time, ‘Stop picking your nose.’

Her babyish answer of, ‘My nose’, soon shut him up. Touche.

Mr Kellogg (1852-1943) had some rather strange and worrying practices. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg

Here’s an excerpt (from Mr Kellogg’s own book) in case you don’t follow links.

A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.


a method of treatment [to prevent masturbation] … and we have employed it with entire satisfaction. It consists in the application of one or more silver sutures in such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from one side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur, and the slight irritation thus produced acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice


In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid (phenol) to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.

He also recommended, to prevent children from this “solitary vice”, bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages and electrical shock.[7]

In his Ladies’ Guide in Health and Disease, for nymphomania, he recommended

Cool sitz baths; the cool enema; a spare diet; the application of blisters and other irritants to the sensitive parts of the sexual organs, the removal of the clitoris and nymphae…




Some cultures still carry out female circumcision. And sew up the vaginal opening, allowing only for menstrual flow.


At what point in history did it become the case that our preoccupation with sex reduced it to something so abhorrent that remedial measures should be taken to ensure minimum pleasure? And control?

Excerpts from the article, in case you don’t link.

Cleanliness, neatness of appearance and the increased sexual pleasure for the man are all motivations for the practice. But the desire to conform to tradition is the most powerful motive. The rite of passage, condemned by many Islamic scholars, predates both the Koran and the Bible and possibly even Judaism, appearing in the 2nd century BC

“FGM is not confined to African countries. It has no basis in Christianity, it has no basis in Islam; none of Muhammad’s daughters had it done. For some parents it is enough to let them know that and they will drop it completely. Everyone needs to understand that every child, no matter what the background or creed, is protected by this law in this land.”

“FGM has a social function and until this is understood by social services and other bodies they will never stop it. It is a power negotiation mechanism, that women use to ensure respect from men. It prevents rape of daughters and is a social tool to allow women to regain some power in patriarchal societies….”

This has led me on to some research that I’m not going to include here because it does not answer the question of why we as a world deem it appropriate to interfere with another person’s body.

I could go on about rape; about sexual harassment of many kinds and of both sexes; about why we think it’s ok to judge others based on their sexuality; or ok to judge on so many counts from  colour, nationality  to creed; about why we, as a species, allow victimisation in all its myriad forms.

Where did we inherit the right to discriminate against another person? Period.

How far back must we go to ascertain the truth in when it became a god-given right of anyone?

In fact, aren’t we told, ‘‘judge not lest you be judged’?

At some point in history deities of both genders were worshipped for their attributes. At some point in history nature was embraced and recognised for its wonders and the processes of life.

At some point it changed.

We became preoccupied with what everyone else was doing in privacy with their own bodies. We became preoccupied with everyone else’s perceived flaws of nature or appearance or sexuality.

Is it because we live in a male-dominated, patriarchal world?

It would seem to be men predominantly who have proscribed the acceptable terms of a woman’s sexuality. Or indeed anyone who does not conform to a defined macho sense of maleness so you’re buggered if you’re gay. Pun actually unintended. But I thought, what the hell.

Let’s face it men, generally, are the biggest wankers of all time and I mean that it in its correct usage. Might it be that rather than women suffering from penis envy men suffer from clitoral and vaginal envy? Two surely is better than one. And think of how quickly we recover after climax. What’s not to envy? Ready to go again, darling? How emasculating.

Now before you go off on one yes, it does sound like I’m having a go at men. Even my own husband has just said so. ‘But I’ve not finished!’ I said to him. *rolls eyes*

Earlier my sixteen year old daughter read out to me something she received via email/text.

This is an excerpt from a poet at http://inkskinned.tumblr.com/

I’ve just followed. I can’t find a link to this piece of writing. It’s excellent. It’s strong. But I’m selecting this part to underline what so many women feel.

An open letter to the ‘nice guy’ who tried to hit me because I stopped him from taking home a drunk girl who was begging him to leave her alone (or: why you should never ask a poet if she’s really an ugly cocksucker or if that’s just her day job):

you wanna know why we don’t let nice men into our beds? Because we rarely find them.

They’re out there, I know it, but they’re not the ones wetting themselves when a woman asks ‘why do you think that?’ instead of sitting back and letting him laugh with his buddies about femi-nazis. They’re out there and they’re probably as pissed as we are that at least one third of their population has openly admitted there are times when they think it’s okay to force their significant other to have sex: they’re out there, and the sad thing is, if you’re a male, you’re statistically not one of them. As far as we know, you don’t exist. You are a white knight only you believe in.

The thing about oppression is that it can only last for so long. You are not making yourself dominant, you’re making yourself weak. I’ve seen men crumble because they feel uncomfortable when they get hit on by other men as if the stench of their own mistakes is strangling them. I’ve seen them get impassioned because a teacher preferred females and I’ve laughed because I had eight other classes where it was reversed and in all of those eight, it went uncontested.…I’ve seen boys growl about women’s history month and had to wonder if they’ve ever held a textbook where the only names of girls are tiny footnotes. I’ve seen fathers ask why the  curriculum I use for my six-year-olds is carefully gender neutral, why I let his son play at cooking or his daughter be a doctor.

I have never heard a mother complain except to beg me to get her little girl to talk more, to do more, to succeed – do you see? Do you see?

Now the last few weeks I’ve been involved in something of a private education programme thingy that might come back to bite me on the arse. But I’m doing it because education is the way forward. And it’s not the first time I’ve been bitten on the arse. Whole other story.




And most of all love.

It’s hate that is at the root of everything I’ve read recently that has scandalised me.

And why?

We care so much about a woman’s tickly bits that we’ll mutilate.

We care so much about other people’s sexuality that we vilify.

We care so much about the colour of a person’s skin that we decry.

We care so much about the name of the religions that divide that we cannot unite.

We are a scared humanity, a humanity filled with petty differences. So petty that we cannot use the power of our own voices and select our own futures.

We inherit politicians who sometimes act wrongly under threat of disclosure about their sexual exploits. Name them, I dare you. Numerous.

Let’s lay off the sex, colour, religion and get down to the truth of this world. It is temporal. It is troubled. It is temporary.

I, for one, am taking the log out of my own eye before commenting on another’s splinter.

Except where truth and lies perpetuate cruelty.

Hatred and lies hurt. Truth will set us free.

In the words of Rabbie Burns – not rabbi Burns! –

O wad some Power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as ithers see us!


49 thoughts on “Cereals And Solitary Pleasures”

  1. love this post and your mother’s explanation is hilarious! old kellog sure did have some scary practices. it all took place in kalamazoo, michigan, a few hours west of where i live. glad i never had to be a patient of his )


  2. I had my cereal halfway to my mouth…almost gagged 🙂 Glad it wasn’t a piece of steak! Great piece momus. When I finally woke within, I began to shovel my own splinters. Now the view goes on forever. (Gets blurry occassionally…but hey, I’m still human 🙂 ) Namaste


    1. Well, for feck sake, don’t eat any kellogg’s just in case!

      picking out my own splinters as we speak. Gonna get a pack of matches out of them. Didn’t those used to be called ‘lucifers’? Figures. 😉 x


      1. lol, no, my cereal is good old fashioned meusli, not a Kellog brand in sight….I don’t think anyway…better check, never know what’s in it…probably a foreskin or two…and I thought they were bits of banana 🙂


      2. Now I just want to vomit.
        You are so not taking this seriously, Mark. Sex is a serious business…..except when you’re giggling or ….whatever.
        Shit, I better find a closet to get back into.
        And I like bananas up until about ten seconds ago. 😦 x


      3. Pmsl here! I tried one of those once. didn’t like it. Lol. But bananas are very good for you.
        One of the funniest things I’ve ever heard was a youngish priest, great guy with youth, just ‘got’ them, lots of alternative stuff. Anyhoo, big crowd of young ones ( I was volunteering so slightly older) all sat doing dares and challenges.
        His was to give a one minute talk on the sex life of a carrot. One of the kids had submitted this.
        Swear to God I didn’t know where to put myself. He was quite fanciable at the time. Ahem, and all very euphemistic in speech. But gawd, that kid wished they’d never thought to embarrass the priest-dude.
        Never forgotten it. Btw, he wasn’t a perv! Just had a marvellous way with young ones and captured the essence of all they were feeling. Let them be them. great guy. Think he’s still alive. yeah, I would have heard otherwise.
        Yeah, so bananas and carrots, eh? 🙂 x


  3. lovedy Bloody hell woman, I only mentioned cornflakes and you took me on a journey of orgasmic proportions. I remember telling my 14 year old son who is now 29 with 2 girls, if he is going to have singular fun to please wrap the condoms in a tissue and place in the wheelie bin as his mother does not like to pick up his sweaty socks with a used condom adhered to it and having to separate the two.

    When he went out with his mates I always made sure they had condoms if not they were to ask for some. Then I would remind them that they made great water balloons or keeping yout matches dry and if you must use them as nature intended, not behind a bush, not in the abandoned toilets or on a grave stone but where its nice and warm where you can treat your partner with respect even if she is well know as the local slapper, female or male partners doesnt matter which way you go deserve respect and deserve to be treated like you would like to be treated.
    One other thing I told my son and his mates and this is were they knew I was serious, I told them any of you for any reason hit a female and I get to hear about it, I will personally rip your cocks off and then arse rape you with it………ok have a nice night, be home by 10pm.
    I spent to many years watching my father beating my mother.

    Anyway I loved your post and who thought that a bowl of cornflakes had so much masturbational energy baked into it. 🙂

    As a footnote and a warning to other males out there. In the school holidays when I became 13 yeats old my father to me to work with him on the fish docks and over a 6am cup of tea with the rest of my fathers work mates one of them asked me if I played with myself, I am highly embarrassed and refused to answer, he went on to say when you do put talcum powder on it first on an your belly, that way your mother won’t see any stains on your sheets. I took this wise fish filleteers advice.

    My advice:



    I itched for a week after shaving myself clean, it was like having hardened chewing gum that then hardened some more. Be warned!!


    1. I would respond more fully here, Pete, but I’m choking! Good grief, this has turned into a public service announcement. So bear what Pete has said in mind, blokes.
      And make sure your sons pick up their own socks everyone. Just because they should anyway but also because ….well just bloody well because….mums are not servants.
      Thanks for your initial comment,Pete. I wasn’t looking to go anywhere with it. But just shows how the mind works, eh? One link then another. 🙂 x


  4. Well, you managed to Shock the hell out of me…in a good way. I’ll never look at cereals in the same way again. That’s for sure. And for those who don’t own a vagina, they should just bloody stop passing laws and enacting crazy practices on women’s private parts.


  5. #1 – never going to eat cornflakes again
    # 2 – some men like to lick the plate…I can’t stop spitting my drink from my mouth.
    #3 – what’s with carbolic acid???!!!
    #4 – Rabbi Burns – I’m laughing again
    #5 – such an interesting yet comical and enlightening post all in one
    nicely wrapped 🙂 x
    Yay and let’s hear it for our bodies and our sexuality!!!


    1. I believe you’re safe with the cornflakes! I mean, really, what was he thinking?
      I did choke a bit myself at my mum’s conversation. I presume it must have been relevant to whatever we were discussing at the time. But whatever it was seems to have been blasted from my mind. Can’t think why. 😉
      I think the acid is meant to desensitize and or cause blisters. Horrific.
      Rabbie was something of a rabbi in some senses, I suppose. Not sexually obviously. He was rather promiscuous by all accounts.
      Completely with you on the, ‘Yay!’ Glad you enjoyed it.
      Hopefully, some day we’ll change enough to be less concerned with everybody else’s bits and practices. As long as no hurt comes to innocents.x


  6. Brilliantly said, Anne-Marie – and I quite agree. I am now going to share this – and hope you don’t mind if I mention it on mine. Talk about great minds think alike: I was just about to write about wankers! xxx


  7. Enjoyed this piece thoroughly! This is a topic really close to my heart. I am in India, where these issues are really pertinent. Will be sure to share with everyone I know!


  8. Well, I’m off eating Kellogs brand cereal forever!

    I agree with you completely that we have all gotten way off the path of looking at our own logs (forests, even) and tending to the splinters of others (tsk, tsk, look at him/her, what a sinner). We elevate those splinters rather than taking a mindful approach to our own. Preaching judgment and condemnation is not what we need from each other; what we need is love, encouragement, and an admission that we, too, are human.


    1. I agree completely, Susan. A change of attitude long overdue.

      I think you’re safe with Kellogg’s. I have it on good authority that the experiment was a failure. 🙂 x


  9. Wow, I had no idea that Mr Kellogg was such a scary man advocating such disgusting practices. I never liked his cereals and now I never shall! Great blog, thanks, Lizzie


    1. Well, I have Pete to thank for that info. I had no idea myself. Awful to think it was not so long ago. And more awful to know that some of these practices are still on going.x


    1. You now know why Tony the Tiger always has a smile on his face, GGGGGGrrreeeaaattt!!!!! Also why Snap, Crackle and ……wooooohhhhaaaa POP are good friends 🙂


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