The V-Spot: I Told My Boyfriend I’d Try Monogamy, But …
Jan09

The V-Spot: I Told My Boyfriend I’d Try Monogamy, But …

Hi Yana,I’m in a relationship with someone who I really love and we’ve been together for three-ish months. Before we started dating he knew I wasn’t a huge fan of monogamy, but I agreed I would try and now I’m feeling trapped. He’s so important to me and I don’t want to lose him. I guess I don’t know how to talk to him about it because I want to be in an open relationship, but I’m worried he will get super mad. Help! — Oh No, I’m...

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Astrology: Leos should forgive all bad drivers and tech support people
Jan09

Astrology: Leos should forgive all bad drivers and tech support people

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a huge holy tree that links all of the nine worlds to each other. Perched on its uppermost branch is an eagle with a hawk sitting on its head. Far below, living near the roots, is a dragon. The hawk and eagle stay in touch with the dragon via Ratatoskr, a talkative squirrel that runs back and forth between the heights and the depths. Alas, Ratatoskr traffics solely in...

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Does Exercise Have to be Boring? Alt ways to get fit
Jan03

Does Exercise Have to be Boring? Alt ways to get fit

It’s a classic dilemma. The upcoming holidays prompt intense fits of eating followed by the guilt of said eating with promises of a better life for the New Year. New Year’s Eve cues New Year resolutions, and many choose fitness as their goal, making a subscription to their local gym — and then making two or three trips before giving up on the membership.Instead of falling into the same funk, why not turn your fitness...

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Third Eye Roaming: Cogs in the Wheel
Jan03

Third Eye Roaming: Cogs in the Wheel

While everyone stands to benefit from yoga, barriers to entry remain.The practice is meant to end suffering, yet ironically those who suffer the most — poor people, people of color, and those with limited mobility among them — often find yoga inaccessible.That’s a problem leaders of the Adhikara Yoga School in Greenfield seek to address.“I’m just seeing a trend of yoga being expensive, exclusive and something reiterating...

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The V-Spot: The Fast and the Curious
Jan03

The V-Spot: The Fast and the Curious

Sometimes, when I’m in the mood to masturbate, I enjoy watching porn. The problem is when I do, it literally takes me no time to orgasm. Yesterday, I was feeling in the mood to enjoy myself. So, I started browsing some videos.I barely started touching myself and felt the urge to orgasm in a matter of seconds. I stopped and tried to calm myself down, but it was too late. My body responded even without the stimulationI’m a female in a...

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Free Will Astrology: Jan. 5 – 11, 2017
Jan03

Free Will Astrology: Jan. 5 – 11, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Light, electricity, and magnetism are different expressions of a single phenomenon. Scottish scientist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was the first to formulate a theory to explain that startling fact. One of the cornerstones of his work was a set of 20 equations with 20 unknowns. But a younger scientist named Oliver Heaviside decided this was much too complicated. He recast Maxwell’s...

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The V-Spot: Seeking Sex-Positive Ed for My Niece
Dec27

The V-Spot: Seeking Sex-Positive Ed for My Niece

Hey Yana,Over Thanksgiving I spent some time with my awesome 18-year-old niece. I’m in need of your wisdom about a situation I’m trying to wrap my 30-year-old, feminist, protective brain around.My niece lives in a small town, far from her friends, and has been dealing with some depression. She told me that she’s been driving to meet up and have sex with dudes from Tinder. There have been at least two. I think they’re...

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Free Will Astrology: Dec. 29, 2016 – Jan. 4, 2017
Dec27

Free Will Astrology: Dec. 29, 2016 – Jan. 4, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Donatello was a renowned Italian sculptor. His favorite piece was “Lo Zuccone,” a marble statue of the Biblical prophet Habakkuk. As Donatello carved his work-in-progress, he addressed it. “Speak, damn you! Talk to me,” he was heard to say on more than a few occasions. Did the stone respond? Judging from the beauty of the final product, I’d have to say yes. One art critic testified that “Lo Zuccone” is a...

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The V-Spot: My Guy Shoots the Moon Too Soon
Dec19

The V-Spot: My Guy Shoots the Moon Too Soon

Hi, Yana!I’m a 22-year-old woman in a hetero relationship with a guy I’ve been seeing for almost a year. We have a loving and communicative sex life, but are perplexed by a persisting issue! When we are fooling around, he occasionally ejaculates early and/or unexpectedly. He says it still feels like a full orgasm, but sometimes doesn’t even feel that good. We’ve had a hard time identifying when and why it...

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Free Will Astrology: Cancers, be more like William McKinley, less like William Jennings Bryan
Dec19

Free Will Astrology: Cancers, be more like William McKinley, less like William Jennings Bryan

ARIES (March 21-April 19): NPR’s Scott Simon interviewed jazz pianist and songwriter Robert Glasper, who has created nine albums, won a Grammy, and collaborated with a range of great musicians. Simon asked him if he had any frustrations — “grand ambitions” that people discouraged him from pursuing. Glasper said yes. He’d really like to compose and sing hip-hop rhymes. But his bandmates just won’t go along with him when he tries that...

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The V-Spot: My BF Hangs with my Ex-BFF
Dec12

The V-Spot: My BF Hangs with my Ex-BFF

Hi Yana,I used to have a very toxic friendship with one of my female friends. She always made jokes at my expense, was very judgemental, temperamental, and didn’t show me much respect. I cut off ties with her, but she and my boyfriend of over two years are still friends.I don’t tell my boyfriend not to see her or contact her, because that would be toxic, but it does make me very uncomfortable for them to hang out together....

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The V-Spot: Our Post-Abortion Sex Life
Dec05

The V-Spot: Our Post-Abortion Sex Life

I got pregnant this past summer after my birth control failed — I got to be part of that lucky 0.04 percent of IUD users who this happens to. I got the pregnancy terminated and all is well. Or, I guess mostly well. The issue is my partner and I have both been having some anxiety about having sex after what happened. Having an abortion was 10,000-percent the right decision, but, of course, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy was a...

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Astrology: Chunks of the Universe are growing larger for Sagittarius
Dec05

Astrology: Chunks of the Universe are growing larger for Sagittarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Normally, I cheer you on when you devote single-minded attention to pressing concerns — even if you become a bit obsessive. But right now, in accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to run wild and free as you sample lavish variety. It’s prime time to survey a spectrum of spicy, shiny, and feisty possibilities; to entertain a host of ticklish riddles rather than to insist on prosaic answers. You...

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The V-Spot: I’m a Queer Woman in a Hetero Marriage
Nov28

The V-Spot: I’m a Queer Woman in a Hetero Marriage

I’ve been thinking about writing to you for a long time. My husband and I are about to celebrate 11 years as a couple and we’ve been married for six. It’s been amazing and so much fun to spend all of this time on planet Earth with such a soul-mate dreamboat of a life partner.And also: I just keep wanting to hook up with other people.Five years ago, I hooked up with someone. And then I hooked up with someone else a couple years later....

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Can All-Natural Kava Really Soothe Anxiety?
Nov28

Can All-Natural Kava Really Soothe Anxiety?

Chocolate is a treat, but when you add kava, chocolate is medicine.At least that’s what Rachael Gibney, a reiki healer from Shutesbury says. She is mixing a bowl of raw cacao with ground kava at a workshop at the Bower Studio in Pelham, showing people how to make medicinal chocolate at home.“It’s really good at releasing anxiety, especially social anxiety,” Gibney tells the crowd as she stirs the pot.Kava is the root of a plant native...

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Third Eye Roaming: Only the Yoga Should be Hot
Nov28

Third Eye Roaming: Only the Yoga Should be Hot

Studio owner Audrey Blaisdell says she fell for the yoga behind Bikram, not the “cultish belief system.”It became necessary to draw the line, she says, about a year ago. Prospective students came to fear the authoritarian reputation and mistrust the brand increasingly associated with sexual assault.So, she relaunched, tossing Bikram aside and renaming her Northampton studio at 375 South St., Valley Hot Yoga. In doing so Blaisdell...

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The V-Spot: Are We Ready for a Threesome?
Nov21

The V-Spot: Are We Ready for a Threesome?

Me and my boyfriend of two years are looking to have a threesome. We are wanting to try it with a female, and a male. We are wanting to do this to enhance our sex life, and are not looking to add anyone into our relationship. We are both very open and honest with each other and think this would be a lot of fun for both of us.But we both have a little tinge of fear of it complicating our relationship. I’ve heard it a million times:...

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Astrology: Taurus, look to Brian Eno for calm in high intensity storm
Nov21

Astrology: Taurus, look to Brian Eno for calm in high intensity storm

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Creative people are at greater risk,” said psychiatrist R. D. Laing, “Just as one who climbs a mountain is more at risk than one who walks along a village lane.” I bring this to your attention, Aries, because in the coming weeks you will have the potential to be abundantly creative, as well as extra imaginative, ingenious, and innovative. But I should also let you know that if you want to fulfill this...

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Free Will Astrology: Nov. 17 – 23, 2016
Nov14

Free Will Astrology: Nov. 17 – 23, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There is a 97 percent chance that you will not engage in the following activities within the next 30 days: naked skydiving, tight-rope walking between two skyscrapers, getting drunk on a mountaintop, taking ayahuasca with Peruvian shamans in a remote rural hut, or dancing ecstatically in a muddy pit of snakes. However, I suspect that you will be involved in almost equally exotic exploits — although less...

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Beyond the Flu Shot: There’s more than one way to boost your immunity this cold and flu season
Oct31

Beyond the Flu Shot: There’s more than one way to boost your immunity this cold and flu season

The upcoming winter months prompt the return of the flu shot — and disagreements between alternative and traditional medical professionals, and even the general population, about its importance. Reminders of the flu vaccination for Pioneer Valley residents become more and more common, and like every year, people of all ages tend to forget or skip their yearly flu shotThe Massachusetts Department of Health states the shot is vital to...

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Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for Election-Related Insanity
Oct31

Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for Election-Related Insanity

Turn off the news. Put away your phone and shut the newspaper. That heart rate spike that came with the latest election-related news — while appropriate — is not healthy.It’s important to stay informed, especially as America stands at the precipice of an unprecedented election, but it’s also important to know your limits.The election-related anxiety is palpable, so much so that psychologists and therapists are concerned about the...

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Free Will Astrology, Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2016
Oct24

Free Will Astrology, Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I invite you to fantasize about what your four great-grandmothers and four great-grandfathers may have been doing on Nov. 1, 1930. What? You have no idea how to begin? You don’t even know their names? If that’s the case, I hope you’ll remedy your ignorance. Your ability to create the future you want requires you to learn more about where and whom you came from. Halloween costume suggestion:...

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Free Will Astrology, Oct. 20-26, 2016
Oct17

Free Will Astrology, Oct. 20-26, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the 1980s, two performance artists did a project entitled A Year Tied Together at the Waist. For 12 months, Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh were never farther than eight feet away from each other, bound by a rope. Hsieh said he tried this experiment because he felt very comfortable doing solo work, but wanted to upgrade his abilities as a collaborator. Montano testified that the piece “dislodged a deep...

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Bad Seeds: Will legal recreational weed lead to more stoned students?
Oct10

Bad Seeds: Will legal recreational weed lead to more stoned students?

Rachel Desmond had her first smoke when she was 16. For the next six years, marijuana was a big part of her life.“It was easy to get,” she says, sitting outside of the Frost Building at Holyoke Community College, where she is studying. And she says she needed it to deal with some hard issues.“I had to talk, but I held in so much from my childhood,” said Desmond, 25, of Agawam. Growing up, her home life was difficult. There were often...

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The V-Spot: Help! I’ve DepoShot my Libido in the Foot
Oct10

The V-Spot: Help! I’ve DepoShot my Libido in the Foot

Hi Yana,I’ve been on the Depo shot for two months now and I have no sex drive. No desire whatsoever. I Googled it and it’s normal for women on the shot to feel this way.Do you have any tips or sex hacks to help me and my BF out? I’m sure he’s tired of coming home to me not wanting to do it.– Feelin’ Low on the Depo Dear Feelin’ Low,There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing this noted side effect of the Depo-Provera...

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Free Will Astrology: Oct. 13-19, 2016
Oct10

Free Will Astrology: Oct. 13-19, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A study published in the peer-reviewed Communications Research suggests that only 28 percent of us realize when someone is flirting with us. I hope that figure won’t apply to you Aries in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological situation, you will be on the receiving end of more invitations, inquiries, and allurements than usual. The percentage of these that might be worth responding...

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MELTing the Pain Away: Breakthrough self treatment to relieve chronic pain
Oct03

MELTing the Pain Away: Breakthrough self treatment to relieve chronic pain

Kerrie Bodendorf, a 47 year-old mother of three from Westfield, had all but given up hope of finding relief for her debilitating chronic back pain, which often confined her to her couch for weeks at a time. But in 2010, she accidentally stumbled onto a self-treatment technique that she says changed everything. “MELT gave me my life back,” said Bodendorf. MELT, which stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique, is a series of...

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The V-Spot: I’m Dating Three Women; Does That Make Me Polyamorous?
Sep26

The V-Spot: I’m Dating Three Women; Does That Make Me Polyamorous?

I’m a 38 yo male currently involved with three women. One is a long distance relationship. We met at a concert and had one night together and stayed in touch. We speak regularly on various chat and texts. Two is a nonsexual relationship. She spends the night and we spoon. We have some common interests, but that’s it. And Three I met on an online dating site. We go out and have sex once or twice a week. On one hand I feel like...

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Third Eye Roaming: Amherst yoga leader aims to move minds
Oct03

Third Eye Roaming: Amherst yoga leader aims to move minds

Whether he’s working with homeless veterans, prison inmates or queer and trans people in his yoga classes and buddhist teachings, Jacoby Ballard emphasizes the struggle is “part of the journey.”“There’s actually beauty that you have to offer because of that path,” he says.Ballard, co-founder of both Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn and Bending Towards Justice — which trains U.S. yoga teachers in diversity and social...

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Astrology: Love warriors and love worriers
Sep26

Astrology: Love warriors and love worriers

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What’s the difference between a love warrior and a love worrier? Love warriors work diligently to keep enhancing their empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Love worriers fret so much about not getting the love they want that they neglect to develop their intimacy skills. Love warriors are always vigilant for how their own ignorance may be sabotaging togetherness, while love worriers dwell...

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Astrology: Pisces dreams of Robin Hood/Peter Pan superduo
Oct03

Astrology: Pisces dreams of Robin Hood/Peter Pan superduo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): At a recent party, a guy I hardly know questioned my authenticity. “You seem to have had an easy life,” he jabbed. “I bet you haven’t suffered enough to be a truly passionate person.” I didn’t choose to engage him, but mused to myself, “Not enough suffering? What about the time I got shot? My divorce? My five-year-long illness? The manager of my rock band getting killed in a helicopter crash?”...

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The V-Spot: SOS! I’m Spaced Out During Sex
Oct03

The V-Spot: SOS! I’m Spaced Out During Sex

Yana, I need your expertise!I’m a 19-year-old guy in a hetero relationship. I was pleasuring my partner last night and I realized I stopped being present and could not become present again. She picked up on it and, well, I really wanted to be present for it but I seemed to be stuck in my head, which didn’t make her feel good and wanted. Do you know how I can become more present while sexually active?— Spaced Out Sexually There...

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The V-Spot: My 2-Minute Orgasm
Sep12

The V-Spot: My 2-Minute Orgasm

So, I was masturbating last night and set a timer. It took me under two minutes to orgasm. However, when someone else in involved, it takes forever or doesn’t happen at all. I can count the times it’s happened on two hands.Every time I masturbate it’s like clockwork, and I wish I could experience that with a partner! I’ve heard from various ladies and witnessed firsthand that orgasming seems easier for them with...

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Free Will Astrology: Sept. 15-21, 2016
Sep12

Free Will Astrology: Sept. 15-21, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What should you do if your allies get bogged down by excess caution or lazy procrastination? Here’s what I advise: Don’t confront them or berate them. Instead, cheerfully do what must be done without their help. And what action should you take if mediocrity begins to creep into collaborative projects? Try this: Figure out how to restore excellence, and cheerfully make it happen. And how should...

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Astrology: It’s essential that Pisces feel at least 33 percent happier
Sep06

Astrology: It’s essential that Pisces feel at least 33 percent happier

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Two seven-year-old girls showed me three tricks I could use to avoid taking myself too seriously and getting too attached to my dignity. I’m offering these tricks to you just in time for the letting-go phase of your astrological cycle. Trick 1.) Speak in a made-up language for at least 10 minutes. Trick 2.) Put a different kind of shoe and sock on each foot and pretend you’re two people stuck in...

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