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Carlyn Beccia
Author & illustrator. Editor of The Grim Historian. My latest books — MONSTROUS: THE LORE, GORE, & SCIENCE and THEY LOST THEIR HEADS. Contact: CarlynBeccia.com
Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska from Pexels

I had an ex-boyfriend who worked night shifts in an ER. I heard more stories about bizarre objects getting stuck in various orifices than I care to remember. But one story was not so funny. A woman got some sort of jade egg caught in her butt, and they had to operate to remove it.

He was exasperated.

“If only she had put it in her vagina…I could have got it out.”

Oh, if only.

Although there is a taboo with sticking things up your arse, your lady bits are fair game.

Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop company started this…


Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia | www.CarlynBeccia.com

“Why do you stay?”

That’s a question I heard too often when I was in an unhealthy relationship.

I always used labels to explain his power and explain away mine— abuser, narcissist, jerk. Labels allow us to justify bad behavior. We wrap up with a neat bow, the simpler truths locked inside — not everyone is capable of returning our love. And that doesn’t always make them a bad person.

If you have ever loved someone with wanderlust, then you will get it. He was a creature that needed new landscapes to see with old eyes. He was always looking…


Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia | www.CarlynBeccia.com

The first man to ever call me a whore was a priest.

I was floating through the Basilica of Santa Croce’s high gothic arches when the word snapped me out of my reverie.

Puttana…Puttana.

I spun around to face my accuser. A priest in a long white robe wagged his bony finger at me.

“Puttana!” he repeated and pointed to the exit as if he was casting out Satan. I turned to my Italian-speaking husband with one silent plea — save me.

My husband whispered, “Ah, honey…he’s calling you a whore.”

“Ah yeah, I got that. Why?”

With a sheepish…


Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash

I am a woman looking for a strong man. But there are days I no longer know what that means. I am not the only one who is confused. We have never been in a time in history when masculinity is so murky.

Real men were once breadwinners. But before the Industrial Revolution, the concept of “breadwinners” didn’t exist. Products like bread and other essentials came out of a shared division of labor between men and women working in agriculture. Then factories moved farm labor to city labor, and women were relegated to the kitchen. …


Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

I have ulcerative colitis. For ten years, I didn’t tell a soul. Eventually, I realized that I made it harder for my loved ones to understand my pain by not talking about my pain.

Now, I talk about it. No, I am brutally honest about it.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract that bleed and can make eating difficult.

It also causes tremendous pain. Unless you have been impaled with a sharp object into your rectum or shot in the stomach at close range, I am not sure…


Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash

If articles came with scratch n’ sniff options, you would be having sexy thoughts right now. That’s the power of my new pheromone perfume. It makes me utterly irresistible.

I know what you are thinking. You are not even sure you like me enough to keep reading, let alone take a whiff of my pheromone-laden neck. I might think the same if someone made such boasts. But boasting is always one side of the insecurity coin toss.

Like many women, I tend to buy more beauty products (and vibrators) when I am in a confidence rut. …


Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Taxi cabs always make people confess wicked thoughts. Perhaps it is the lull of the road or the confined space, but when people are trapped behind those four yellow doors… bizarre shit comes out of their mouths.

I once had a confessional sort of conversation with a driver from Saudi Arabia. You know, the kind of conversation where you keep silently repeating “this can’t be happening,” and you look for the hidden camera.

His tale began innocently. He told me his bride would be coming to the U.S., and they would be married soon after. …


Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

“Purvi Patel Could Be Just the Beginning.”

So read the New York Times headline. In 2015, 33-year-old Purvi Patel was sentenced to twenty years in an Indiana prison for feticide.

During the trial, the prosecution discovered that Patel took abortion pills that she ordered online from a Hong Kong pharmacy. The pills caused excessive bleeding, so Patel went to the hospital, claiming she suffered a miscarriage. The hospital suspected foul play, and the police questioned Patel further. Patel then admitted that she had left the fetus behind a dumpster in a terrified and confused moment.

A dumpster. Conservatives smelled blood…


Boy wearing a dunce cap, US Library of Congress | Public Domain

This month, parents send their children back to school, armed with new clothes, books, masks, and hand sanitizer. Many of us are hopeful that our children will have a normal school year.

Unfortunately, wearing masks is not as inconvenient as some of the other rituals past schoolchildren had to endure. Here are just a few of history’s peculiarities in educating children.


Image by Christine Engelhardt from Pixabay

Ask any woman if she has ever dated a “bad boy,” and she probably has at least one tragic tale to tell. You can chalk it up to immaturity or repeating a childhood pattern of abuse, but most women don’t keep putting their hand in that propeller blade.

And despite the tired trope of “nice guys finish last,” the science of mate selection tells a different story. Nice guys don’t finish last. In fact, according to research, they are more likely to get the girl. Not only do they get the girl, but they also keep her too. …

Carlyn Beccia

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