Your Sex Bucket List: 8 New Sex To-Dos

Your Sex Bucket List: 8 New Sex To-Dos

Complete a triathlon. See the pyramids. Attend an Olympics. Standard bucket-list content. But have you ever plotted the sexy stuff you want to tackle? “Actually writing something down gets you to mentally commit to it,” says Emily Morse, co-author of Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight! Start with these easy ideas…

John Rintoul

Experience a water-pressure orgasm

“When a steady stream of water pressure stimulates your clitoris, it delivers a feeling very unlike the sensation produced by the hands or mouth,” says Alexis Lass, author of The Posh Girl’s Guide to Play. “It’s deeper, more expansive and intense.” To have one, lie on your back in the bathtub and position your body so that your legs are wide open and your clitoris is directly underneath the flow of water. If you’re using a handheld showerhead, stand and direct the water upward, and if you’re in a spa, position yourself on top of a jet.

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Have “no-thrust” sex

Hop into bed and do the opposite of normal. “Basically, he enters you and there’s a lot of kissing, caressing and touching – without any pelvic thrusting,” says GP and sexologist Dr Rachael Ross, author of Down Right Feel Right: Outercourse For Her & Him. This slow-burn technique, used in tantric sex, is still erotic enough to give you an orgasm (“your vagina will start to rhythmically contract,” says Ross). And it reconnects you as a couple, reminding you that sex is about more than pounding away.

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Experiment with a two-player toy

Make room in your top drawer! The We-Vibe 4 ($199, WeVibe) is the new-and-improved couples’ vibrator. You wear it during sex for extra stimulation to your clitoris and G-spot, and he gets to share the good vibes. It comes with a wireless intensity-control remote, rechargeable battery and USB connection, plus it’s quiet, so it won’t ruin the vibe with lawnmower-like whirring.


Watch erotic flicks that turn you both on

A study in the International Journal of Impotence Research confirmed men prefer more graphic sex scenes, while women get excited by erotic storylines. So turn on an erotic movie that caters to both of your libidos, like Intimate Encounters ($49,, the porno directed by a couple for couples. “It shows couples in intimate situations, but there’s plenty of explicit sex for guys to appreciate,” says Dr Kat Van Kirk, a clinical sexologist. If this still feels too pervy to you, try a mainstream movie with intense sex scenes, like Blue Valentine or Wild Orchid.


Try the “lift up”

This makes twerking look tame. Lisa Sweet, author of 365 Sex Thrills, says to bend over and put your hands on the ground and your bum in the air (think: downward dog). Have your bloke stand behind you in a wide stance with his hands on your hips. Once he’s inside you, control the motion by going up and down on your toes and pushing your rear into his groin. “This puts you in total control of the action,” says Sweet. “The angle will offer G-spot stimulation, and he can also slide his hands around to give your clitoris some TLC.”


Write your own naughty lists

Ever wish you could get inside his head to see what he really, really wants? This activity makes that possible. Grab pens, paper and a bottle of wine, and sit down together to write individual lists, suggests Dr Chris Fariello, author of The Lover’s Guide Illustrated Encyclopedia. Then compare notes and pick one to tick off that night. “Both talking about it and doing it can be hot,” he says. Better yet, it’s the game that keeps on giving – you’ll have doubled the items on your sex bucket list.


Take adult sex ed

You go to cooking or yoga classes, so why not brush up on your sex skills? It’s something that Master Jeff, co-host of the NoVanilla YouTube series, recommends. “For instance, you can learn to give each other a sexy massage,” he says.


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Jahi McMath, Girl at Center of Brain Death Debate, Dies After Surgery Complications

A California teen girl at the center of a medical care debate has died five years after doctors declared her brain dead.

Jahi McMath, 17, was removed from life-support machines that helped her breath after she suffered from internal bleeding and kidney issues following a surgery, the Bay Area News Group reported. She died on June 22.

Her brain will be preserved in order for scientists to study it, the McMath family attorney Christopher Dolan told the publication.

Nailah Winkfield, her mother, spoke to the Bay Area News Group as she fought back tears.

“I’m devastated about losing my daughter,” Winkfield told the outlet, adding her daughter had undergone several surgeries since April.

“Everything I did revolved around Jahi. I think Jahi will be remembered forever because she defied all of the odds. My wish is for her to get some laws changed around brain death.”

“I hope she’s taught people — stopped pulling the plug on your people,” she continued. “Give them a chance.”

She added, “The only regret I have is taking her to get her tonsils removed.”

RELATED: Mother of Brain-Dead Teen Refuses to Give up Hope – Even Though Doctors Say There Is None: She Is ‘as Healthy and Beautiful as Ever’

McMath’s case grabbed national attention in late 2013 after Winkfield refused to remove her from life support after doctors declared her brain dead following a difficult nose and throat surgery. She was 13 at the time.

Her family went to court seeking an order to prevent the hospital from removing a respirator and feeding tube.

The two sides came to an agreement that allowed McMath to be taken to New Jersey from Oakland, California, due to the state’s law that denies doctors the chance of removing brain dead patients if the family objects.

Winkfield documented her daughter’s journey in the Facebook page “Keep Jahi McMath on Life Support.” She celebrated her daughter’s 17th birthday with a post honoring her.

“Jahi McMath ~ Highly favored, deeply loved, richly blessed, amazingly graced,” Winkfield wrote. “Four years ago, you were given less than a month to live, even on life support, 4 years later, you are here, taken breaths on your own.”

“One day at a time. Jahi loves life, and she’s fighting for it,” she continued. “Happy 17th Birthday Jahi, we love you, and God loves you more.”

While doctors declared McMath brain dead, the Facebook page dedicated to her claimed McMath could breathe on her own and hold a pen.

“To you it may seem little, but for her it’s a giant step forward,” Winkfield wrote. “#Thankful#TeamJahi Happy Thanksgiving, be thankful no matter how little it may seem. ❤🙏🏽.”

RELATED: Jahi McMath, 13, May Be Moving on Command After Being Declared Brain-Dead

Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, told the Associated Press in 2014 he knew of no cases of a brain-death determination being reversed. He cautioned that the data collected on Jahi had to be examined by other researchers and experts in the field before any conclusions can be made.

“Were this to be true, it would be an earth-shattering development in understanding death,” Caplan said. “They’re playing a high-stakes game.”

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Study of 800-million tweets finds distinct daily cycles in our thinking patterns

Our mode of thinking changes at different times of the day and follows a 24-hour pattern, according to new findings published in PLOS ONE. University of Bristol researchers were able to study our thinking behaviour by analysing seven-billion words used in 800-million tweets.

Researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) and in medicine used AI methods to analyse aggregated and anonymised UK twitter content sampled every hour over the course of four years across 54 of the UK’s largest cities to determine if our thinking modes change collectively.

The researchers revealed different emotional and cognitive modalities in our thoughts by identifying variations in language through tracking the use of specific words across the twitter sample which are associated with 73 psychometric indicators, and are used to help interpret information about our thinking style.

At 6 am, analytical thinking was shown to peak, the words and language at this time were shown to correlate with a more logical way of thinking. However, in the evenings and nights this thinking style changed toa more emotional and existential one.

Although 73 different psychometric quantities were tracked, the team found there were just two independent underlying factors that explained most of the temporal variations across the data.

The first factor, with a peak expression time starting at around 5 am to 6 am, linked with measures of analytical thinking through the high use of nouns, articles and prepositions, which has been related, in other studies, to intelligence, improved class performance and education. This early-morning period also shows increased concern with achievement and power. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the researchers find a more impulsive, social, and emotional mode.

The second factor had a peak expression time starting at 3 am to 4 am, the aggregated twitter content found this time to be correlated with the language of existential concerns but anticorrelated with expression of positive emotions.

Overall, the study discovered strong evidence that our language changes dramatically between night and day, reflecting changes in our concerns and underlying cognitive and emotional processes. These shifts also occur at times associated with major changes in neural activity and hormonal levels, suggesting possible relations with our circadian clock. Furthermore, the study revealed both cognitive and emotional states change in a predictable way during the 24 hours.

Professor Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the project lead, said: “The analysis of media content, when done correctly, can reveal useful information for both social and biological sciences. We are still trying to learn how to make the most of it.”

Stafford Lightman, Professor of Medicine and a neuroendocrinology expert at Bristol Medical School, and one of the study’s authors, added: “Circadian rhythms are a major feature of most systems in the human body, and when these are disrupted they can result in psychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic disease. The use of media data allows us to analyse neuropsychological parameters in a large unbiased population and gain insights into how mood-related use of language changes as a function of time of day. This will help us understand the basis of disorders in which this process is disrupted.”

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Sounds of moving objects change perceptions of body size

Sound and object motion can be used to change perceptions about body size, according to a new study by an international team involving UCL researchers.

The study, published today in PLOS ONE, found that introducing a mismatch between the predicted and actual outcome of an action, such as dropping a ball, can make people feel taller.

When an object is dropped, the brain accurately predicts when it will hit the floor by considering the height from which it fell. Artificially lengthening the time it takes to hear the impact of the object on the ground leads people to update their perceived body height, making them feel taller.

How humans perceive their body size is highly flexible, even beyond the ages when we stop growing. Most previous studies into this used sensory feedback on or about one’s body but this study shows that even objects around us are used to compute our body size.

The findings could have implications for studies already using sound for rehabilitation for people with poor proprioception — the sense of the position of parts of the body in relation to other parts — including for those who have Parkinson’s Disease or have suffered a stroke.

“These results reveal the surprising importance that sound and movement have on body representation. We don’t just feel and see our bodies, we also hear ourselves whenever we interact with solid objects,” explained lead researcher Dr Ana Tajadura-Jiménez (UCL Interaction Centre and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).

“This could be a really promising avenue for treating clinical conditions where people suffer from chronic pain or other conditions linked to distorted mental body representations such as anorexia nervosa.”

“As these mechanisms are understood, they inform the design of sound-based technology to support novel therapies for such conditions,” added co-author Professor Nadia Berthouze (UCL Interaction Centre and UCL Psychology & Language Sciences).

For the study, blind-folded participants dropped a ball from head height. The actual sound of the ball dropping and hitting the floor was masked and a simulated sound was played at longer and shorter intervals using four simulations — actual height, or from half, two or three times this height.

Participants were then asked to take a step backwards to an already memorised point and visually estimate their body size. “Results show that as the perceived time it took the ball to hit the floor increased, so too did the participants’ perception of their body height and leg length,” explained co-author Prof Ophelia Deroy (LMU).

Co-author Dr Norimichi Kitagawa (NTT) added: “This is not only valuable for clinical applications but could also inform the development of technologies for motion controlled games where players take on a larger character on screen.”

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USPSTF favors osteoporosis screening to prevent fracture

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for osteoporosis to prevent fractures for women aged ≥65 years and for postmenopausal women aged <65 years at increased risk of osteoporosis. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement published online June 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D., from RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to update the evidence on screening and treatment to prevent osteoporotic fractures.

The researchers found that there was convincing evidence for the accuracy of bone measurement tests for detecting osteoporosis and predicting osteoporotic fractures in women and men. Adequate evidence was found that clinical risk assessment tools are moderately accurate for identifying risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. Convincing evidence was found that drug therapies can reduce the rates of subsequent fractures in postmenopausal women. Based on these findings, the USPSTF recommends screening for women aged 65 years and older and in younger women who have been through menopause and are at increased risk (B recommendations). Insufficient evidence was found to recommend screening for osteoporosis to prevent fractures in men (I statement).

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Why Are Saunas Heart-Friendly?

Saunas are designed for comfort. Here, we get to experience wet or dry heat sessions and as a result, we perspire. We’ve always known that saunas are perfect for relaxing purposes, but we’ve never really delved into the possible benefits it may have on our heart health.

Most of us think of saunas as the perfect spots to recuperate after a long day of work. It’s like a mini-vacation bang in the middle of a normal day. However, there’s more to it. We list out a couple of ways that Saunas are just perfect for us.

New research suggests that there is an interconnection between people who regularly subscribe to sauna services and extended life

No Stress Zone

Want to flex? Well, saunas can get us sorted out. Most sauna bathers can attest to the fact that they’ve emerged out of sauna sessions with lower stress levels than they entered. Stress is a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases when it compounds one overtime.

There are a number of ways that saunas are able to relieve stress. The first would be the environment. Saunas typically consist of warm, quiet spaces with minimal interferences from outside. Thus, we can get to meditate and drift away into cloud nine. The heat generated in saunas gets to invigorate the body by improving circulation. As a result, endorphins are released by the brain. These chemicals make us ‘feel good’. Perhaps all these factors are responsible for the afterglow sauna users possess.

Saunas are proven to be one of the most effective ways to deeply relax our muscles

Muscle Relaxing

The endorphins released during sauna sessions tend to create enjoyable feelings and may help in the reduction of muscle soreness and mild arthritis. After an intense workout, most of us are familiar with the usual muscle pain. Guess what? All we need to do during such situations is simply take it cool and relax in a warm sauna space.

Saunas have other health benefits too. The body temperature seems to rise after intense sauna sessions. This leads to dilation of blood vessels which conversely leads to improved blood circulation. Improved blood flow ensures that body functions get sped up and maximum efficiency is ensured. The body’s natural healing process tends to benefit when there is improved blood flow.

Away With the Toxins

By intense sweating, the body is able to detoxify. Many physicians will attest to the great benefits of detoxifying and how we can improve our health through it

Most of us lead sedentary lifestyles. Thus, it is a bit harder to achieve full body sweat on a regular basis. Saunas ensure that people are able to achieve deep sweating which has a myriad of health benefits. The rise in body temperature after intense sauna sessions improve blood flow due to dilation. The sweat glands get stimulated as heat moves closer towards the skin. The resulting effect is sweat.

Sweating is a natural response to body heating and its aim is usually to provide body cooling. The sweat composition is about 99% water. During  this process, we get to do away with toxins that are accumulated in our bodies. These are usually elements like zinc, lead, nickel, mercury and copper. These elements are sourced from our daily interaction with our environments.

Cardiovascular Benefits

When we are exposed to sauna environments, our skin heats up and our body temperatures rise. This lead to blood vessels dilation and improved cardiac output. Scientific research has shown that heart rates rise from typical 60-72 beats per minute (bpm) to 110-120 beats per minute (bpm) when we’re in saunas. The increase heart rate is achieved when we expose ourselves to high temperatures of traditional saunas or to infrared saunas.

To achieve maximum cardiovascular benefit, it is recommended to take the sauna sessions in between breaks. These breaks should entail cooling sessions where we dip into a cool pool or simply just take a shower. When the body experiences rapid temperature change, the heart rate increases by about 60%. Thus, sauna sessions are just as helpful for to the heart as a moderate exercise.

The sweating in saunas also leads to the burning of calories. To sweat, we need vast amounts of energy. The body sources this energy from the conversion of carbohydrates and fats in body processes that burn up calories. Heightened cardiovascular activity leads to increased calorie burning. This is because increase heartbeats require energy. In order to sustain the body, we burn more calories into energy.

Parting Shot

From the aforementioned advantages of saunas, a good sauna session should be on our next to-do list. It’s a sure way to re-invigorate ourselves, relax and just take it easy. When we factor in the health benefits, a trip to a sauna doesn’t sound daunting at all!

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Woman gives birth after receiving a uterus transplant from her twin

Woman, 38, gives birth to baby boy after receiving a uterus transplant from her twin sister

  • The mother, a 38-year-old Serbian woman, was born without a uterus due to a congenital malformation
  • She underwent the uterus transplant in March 2017 at University Children’s Hospital in Belgrade by a Swedish team that pioneered the technique
  • Following an IVF procedure, she gave birth on Thursday at Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna, Italy, to a baby boy
  • The infant is the twelfth successful birth from a uterus transplant, which has been carried out in countries including Sweden, China, Germany and the US 

A 38-year-old woman who received a uterus transplant from her twin sister has given birth to a baby boy.

The infant was born via c-section on Thursday at Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna, Italy, weighing about 6.5 pounds.

According to several media outlets, this is the twelfth successful birth in the world due to a uterus transplant and the first such transplant conducted between twins.

Experts say this breakthrough in surgery and technology could provide hope for thousands of women with the same condition to fulfill dreams of motherhood.

A baby boy was born via C-section on Thursday at Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna, Italy, to a mother who received a uterus transplant from her twin sister (pictured)

The transplant took place in March 2017 at University Children’s Hospital in Belgrade by the Swedish medical team of Dr Mats Brännström (center) with the help of doctors including Dr Milan Milenkovic (right). After the patient became pregnant, she was under the care of Dr Luca Gianaroli (left)

The mother, a Serbian woman living in Italy, was born without a uterus due to a congenital malformation, reported Bologna Today.

Although it has yet to be confirmed, it’s likely the woman was suffering from Rokitansky Syndrome, or MRKH (Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser), a congenital abnormality characterized by the absence of a vagina, womb and cervix.

Women suffering from the condition will have normally functioning ovaries and will experience the normal signs of puberty – but will not have periods or be able to conceive.

It is said to affect one in 4,500 female births worldwide.

The transplant was conducted in March 2017 at University Children’s Hospital in Belgrade by the Swedish medical team of Dr Mats Brännström, director of the Stockholm IVF Clinic and a pioneer of the uterus transplant technique.   

Also assisting were doctors from the Serbian hospital as well as physicians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Dr Brännström was behind the first successful birth from a transplanted uterus in 2014 in Sweden and is responsible for eight of the 12 births. 

He added at a press conference on Thursday that one woman is currently pregnant from such a transplant.

The first uterus transplant birth in the US occurred in November 2017 at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas led by a doctor who was part of the original transplant team in Sweden.

The technique has also been carried out in China, Germany and Turkey and, this year, the UK is preparing for its first womb transplant operations to take place.

According to Bologna Today, the explant lasted 10 hours while the transplant lasted 5 hour, for a procedure lasting a total of 15 hours. Doctors say neither sister suffered complications during the procedure.

The sister who donated her uterus was said to already have three children.

After the transplant, the woman traveled to Stockholm to perform an IVF procedure using a cryopreserved, or frozen, embryo from her and her husband.

According to several media outlets, this is the twelfth successful birth in the world due to a uterus transplant and the first such transplant conducted between twins. Pictured: Doctors prepare the unnamed mother for the birth of her baby

Experts say this breakthrough in surgery and technology could provide hope for thousands of women with the same condition to fulfill dreams of motherhood (Pictured, Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna, Italy)

According to Bologna Today, the transplant and IVF procedure cost around 50,000 euros, or almost $58,000.

Several Italian media outlets said the mother cried out with joy after the baby boy was delivered.

The patient was under the care of Dr Luca Gianaroli, of the Italian Society for the Study of Reproductive Medicine (SISMeR), who said there were no problems during the woman’s pregnancy and childbirth. 

‘This incredible result is the result of the combination of some of the most sophisticated surgical techniques and important technological innovations in the field of assisted reproduction, which today allow us to offer solutions to cases of infertility and sterility so far considered hopeless,’ said Dr Gianaroli at a press conference on Thursday.

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Proposed CMS interoperability requirements split industry groups

A proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule that would mandate data sharing for organizations participating in the program has split the industry into a wide debate that questions what’s needed to get healthcare providers to share necessary patient information.

Proposed in April, the proposed rule would mandate providers share patients’ discharge information and other relevant information as part of the conditions of participation. Stakeholders had until June 26 to give feedback on the proposal, and there are a wide range of supporters and protestors on both sides of the argument.

Unhappy stakeholders

The American Hospital Association is staunchly against the proposed rule and is concerned about how compliance would be measured. The group also highlighted the difficulties in sharing medical data with post-acute providers.

AHA officials said those groups weren’t provided the resources or incentives to adopt health IT and the “requirement would put another unfunded mandate on these organizations.”

“Such a requirement would only be workable if all facilities were afforded the same opportunity to acquire certified EHRs that actually conformed to standards that enable the kind of interoperability CMS envisions,” the group wrote.

CHIME officials said CMS is taking the wrong approach: “Simply imposing regulatory requirements that make electronic data exchange a condition for providers to receive Medicare payment does not address the root issues at play.”

Instead, CMS needs to address the ongoing challenges surrounding interoperability, and “importantly too, a distinction must be drawn between speeding and increasing data exchange among providers and achieving a true state of interoperability. The two should not be conflated.”

The Electronic Health Record Association echoed those opinions, and officials said that CMS first needs to address information blocking and wait for the 21st Century Cures mandates are complete.

“It is additionally unclear how interoperability expectations in the conditions of participation would be evaluated and audited, but it seems likely that evaluation and auditing of these items would generate additional hospital burden.”

Also opposing the rule was the American Medical Informatics Association, which sent in 38 pages of comments. Although the group is “generally supportive of the balance envisioned” by the rule, officials wonder whether the proposed standard would actually help information blocking.

AMIA officials said they think that providers do want to share information, but it “isn’t occurring consistently.” As a result, CMS should first handle the information blocking rule before it modifies the conditions of participation.

“We recommend CMS focus its inquiry on provider-to-patient information flows and calibrate its policies to ensure that all entities receiving Medicare funds provide patients 24x7x365 access to their information in a persistent manner and without special effort,” the group wrote.

“We find the concept of ‘medically necessary information’ somewhat abstract and very context-dependent,” they added.

Those in favor

Those in support of the rule argued that the technology makes data sharing possible and enforcing data sharing as a condition of participation will force providers to improve care coordination.

HIMSS was among the supporters that feel CMS should explore “all available policy levers to promote interoperability,” and those include revising the conditions of participation. Further, officials suggested CMS modify the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement to help organizations meet those requirements.

A group of 50 organizations, including ACOs, health information exchanges, Intel, Beth Israel Deaconess and others sent a letter, voiced support of the proposed rule, calling on CMS to more aggressively promote interoperability and health information exchange.

“Now is the moment for a focused and rigorous effort to liberate the data currently available in the healthcare system to enable patients and their providers seamlessly access and share all their digital health information,” the groups wrote.

“We believe the time is right to move past the current rigid and siloed system into one prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities made available in our digital age,” they continued.

The supporters also said the data sharing policy would be a tremendous benefit to millions of patients and stressed that discharged information should not only be required, but share within 24-hours. But the groups said that it’s important for CMS to allow providers to meet those requirements over time.

CMS plans to review all provided stakeholder comments when it develops its regulatory proposals and guidance.

CoPs Letter CMS (Text)

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: [email protected]

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Tom Brady Just Left a Very NSFW Comment on Instagram

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

There are a lot of things Tom Brady won’t eat, but ass apparently isn’t one of them.

Today in sentences I never thought I’d write — but boy, am I delighted to be doing so — Tom Brady recently commented on an Instagram post from Barstool Sports about eating ass. It’s unexpected. It’s honest. It’s beautiful, frankly.

Allow me to explain the details.

On Wednesday, Barstool Sports posted a meme about eating ass. “As soon as bae gets out of the shower #AssEatnSZN,” they wrote next to a photo of two hippos doing, er, something butt-related.

As soon as bae gets out of the shower #AssEatinSZN @barstooloutdoors

A post shared by Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) on

As soon as bae gets out of the shower #AssEatinSZN @barstooloutdoors

A post shared by Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) on

Not long after, the Patriots quarterback — who’s married to model Gisele Bündchen — left the following comment: “😂😂😂Yep”

See his reply with your own eyes, gents:


We’re all for going the extra mile for your partner, so way to go, buddy. And now, back to whatever it is you were doing.

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Roe v. Wade Is Terrifyingly Vulnerable Right Now — Here's What You Need to Know

When Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced that he would retire from the U.S. Supreme Court, you could practically hear the shudder of millions of American uteruses as their owners realized their constitutionally protected right to abortion is now in jeopardy. 

Let’s back up a second: How could one guy’s retirement make such a huge impact? Of the nine members of the Supreme Court, Kennedy has occasionally operated as the crucial swing vote — including casting the deciding vote in 2015 ruling in favor of marriage equality as well as upholding a key component of the Affordable Care Act the same year. On the other hand, he also cast the deciding vote in a Supreme Court case that ultimately sent George W. Bush to the White House in 2000 — so he really could go either way, ideologically. 

Flash-forward to 2018: Donald Trump is president, which means that he has the ability to nominate the justice to replace Kennedy. Despite the fact that Trump once described himself as "very pro-choice," he seems to have reconsidered his position since running for office and is now staunchly anti-abortion rights. Perhaps more accurately, his die-hard, right-wing base is staunchly anti-abortion rights, meaning his pick would have to appease that faction.

This is not good news for abortion rights — or reproductive health in general. When Kennedy’s replacement is appointed, the balance will likely then shift to votes of 5 – 4 in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 case that made abortion an constitutional right. 

How soon could this happen?

According to Justice Emily Jane Goodman, who is retired from the New York State Supreme Court, it’s hard to say when, exactly, the constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion might be revoked, but it’s on the horizon. 

"Let’s just say that Roe v. Wade doesn’t have a long future," she tells SheKnows.

There are currently court cases at various stages in different states challenging different abortion rights, Goodman explains. And although the courts can move slowly, one or more of these state-level abortion cases will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

"When that happens, presumably a new justice will be on the court," she says. "If the court finds itself addressing the right to abortion, then they will use that opportunity to reverse Roe v. Wade." 

What happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned?

Because Roe v. Wade guaranteed that there was a constitutional right to abortion on a national level, if the ruling is overturned, the decision will once again fall upon the states. This was the case prior to 1973. And given how active some states have been in recent years to chip away at abortion and other reproductive rights still under the protections of Roe v. Wade, it’s not a stretch to think that these states will make the procedure illegal if given the opportunity Goodman notes. 

This means that some states may retain permissive abortion regulations, while others may outlaw it completely, widening existing disparities in access to reproductive health care. If someone required an abortion but lived in a state where it was illegal, they would then have no choice but to travel to a state where it was legal. While this is a possibility for some, for others, it places abortion completely out of reach financially when you factor in having to travel to another state, paying for things like airfare, hotel stays or childcare. 

"If you’re a person who can get on a plane and to go another state, that’s one thing, but many of the women who would be making this choice are not going to have those options," Goodman says.

Goodman notes that states passing restrictive abortion laws would also force doctors to make the difficult decision of whether or not to continue to perform abortions and risk prosecution for murder or however abortion is framed in those scenarios. In addition, if we go back to a place where abortion is illegal in parts of the country, those who require the medical procedure may have to resort to so-called "back-alley" abortions, performed outside the safety of sterile medical facilities by unqualified practitioners, potentially causing great harm to the mother.

What can we do?

Vote like your life depends on it. The midterm elections coming up in November give us the opportunity to put pro-women, pro-abortion rights candidates in office. It’s unclear exactly how long the process to put in a new Supreme Court justice will take given that Trump has to select a candidate, who then has to be confirmed by the Senate before the official appointment. 

Goodman’s advice is to "vote Democratic around the country for Congress — that’s the key way to stop the confirmation of an anti-choice justice."

If you need a little bit of encouragement, earlier this week, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousted the fourth-highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives in the Democratic primary in a section of New York City. If this is any indication of what could happen in November in terms of electing pro-abortion rights candidates, it’s at least a small reason to be hopeful right now. 

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