Slipped through the cracks

A man goes through menopause. Plus: the health benefits of a May-December marriage, feminist spanking and more.

By Joe Coscarelli

Published June 6, 2009 10:10AM (EDT)

The week began on a somber note as many mourned the murder of Dr. George Tiller. We heard from a close friend of his, tracked reactions through Twitter, and wondered where women would turn now. Meanwhile, the president reached out to women in the Middle East and we learned a thing or two about frat culture. But maybe we got a little too excited about the "New Moon" trailer, because here are some stories we missed:

The scientific argument for Larry King: The results of a new German study suggest that a May-December marriage might have health benefits ... for men, that is. Those who marry women between 15 and 17 years younger than them may live longer, cutting the chance of early death up to 20 percent. Men marrying older women, on the other hand, increase their odds for an untimely death. As for the women? Regardless of the direction of the age difference, a seven- to nine-year gap ups the odds for a premature passing.

Putting the "men" in menopause: In the New York Times' Well Blog, Dana Jennings chronicled the hot flashes, junk food cravings and subsequent weight gain that came along with his hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer. "You laugh a lot -- unless your hormones are making you cry -- when you’re having menopause with your wife," he wrote. Due to shots that suppressed his testosterone levels, Stevens "lusted after Cheetos" and said James Taylor made him bawl, as his six-month brush with menopause assured him that "the world of women is hormonal and mysterious, and that we men don’t have the semblance of a clue."

Spank me with respect: At the Frisky, Jessica Wakeman reconciled her "feminist sensibilities" with an urge to be spanked in the bedroom, detailing the saga from denial to acceptance. Through reluctant lovers and dominating boyfriends, Wakeman grappled with a nagging shame, exacerbated by a thickheaded therapist. But eventually she came to respect herself even more "for knowing exactly what pleases me and not being afraid to ask for it."

Coming out in the Ivy League: Harvard will be the first American university to endow and name a chair in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies, made possible by a $1.5 million donation from the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

Where are all the real girls? As Average Jane and Joe reality television reaches its peak -- or is it nadir? -- Raina Kelly questioned the portrayal of these "real" ladies, arguing that programming on channels like Bravo and WE paint women as "weak, shallow, vain, stupid, gold-digging, desperate delusional bitches." And that's just Heidi Montag!

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