A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

January 25, 2017 | 3 Comments » | Topics: Interesting

What it’s like working at an animal shelter which has to put animals down?

On a daily basis, we clean up after the animals, feed them, take their pictures, vaccinate, medicate, socialize, etc. For every cute puppy or kitten we adopt out, we usually find ourselves getting two in return. Whether its a stray off the streets, or some heartless chode that decided their dog of 5+ years doesn’t “fit” with their lifestyle anymore. No matter how hard we try, we grow attached. To some, we attach more than others.

Euthanasia is a necessary evil. Space isn’t limitless, and even if it was, who would pay for all of the animals? I’m just sure our fellow Texans are salivating at the thought of increased taxes, especially for taking care of feral cats and breeds that have been labelled violent by a very ignorant public (i.e. pit-bulls).

It doesn’t matter how hard you steel yourself, or how long you’ve been doing the job. You never get used to it, and you never grow completely numb. Imagine getting 12 cats in the span of a single day, and having to pick the 12 that have to die so there is enough room to accommodate them. I’ve stopped eating for days. I’ve cried myself to sleep. I’ve grown very disgusted with my fellow man.

Now on top of all that, imagine doing the job and running into disdainful assholes every single day. People that scoff at your profession as if it’s nothing more than playing dog-catcher. Well-wishers that stand on pedestals moaning about how cruel it all is, but offering nothing more than hot air when it comes to real answers to a very real problem. My personal favorites are the “animal lovers” that fall over themselves to rescue the yorkshire terriers and miniature pinschers that occasionally trickle into the shelter, but never seem to notice the 2+ year old mutt in the adjacent cage that is just as sweet, if not more so than the other dog that has a crowd of willing adopters and a guaranteed ticket out the door. That reminds me, let us not forget about the pool of dimwits that only support no-kill shelters, and continually ask why the municipal shelter you work at isn’t no-kill as if it were as simple as flipping a fucking switch. (Protip: It’s easy to label yourself no-kill when you can pick and choose what comes in, and shut your doors on a whim)

– shadow_kick

 

 

What’s it like to be asexual?

OK, here’s how basic asexuality works for me. And it took me until 40 to figure it out. The only times I’ve wanted sex, was simply out of hope that This Would Be It, I would finally feel what other people feel!

Aaaand it never happened. Sex for me was an awkward, boring, kind of gross experience. Every single time.

And I was married and had three kids.

I faked it, EVERY TIME. Because it was always a weird, messy, body function that was slightly more pleasant than washing dishes. A chore.

I lost my virginity at 21, because I was curious. And I thought, “That’s it?”

After I divorced. I tried dating a bunch of times. I had emotional crushes on people (men and women both), but it never went sexual. No matter how much I wanted it to. I would get crushes on celebrities and fictional characters, but never pictured myself doing The Deed with them.

I would have sex with men I dated. And I always and to fake it no matter how much I liked the guy. And I really liked some of the guys an awful lot. 🙁

Whenever I did masturbate, I would picture someone who wasn’t me having things done to them that were hot. It was usually two guys, because I don’t know what it feels like to be a guy, so I can make up what it feels like.

In my “fantasy” sex mind, sex always feels like how I want it to feel. Basically just the orgasm part. And orgasms are great and all, but not nearly as important to me as it is to most people.

Ugh this is hard to explain. I once had a mad crush on a man, when I was in the Navy. He was the husband of a friend, and I just adored this guy. He was funny and awesome! I wanted to hang around him all the time. I wanted to be special to him.

It was never sexual. I just didn’t understand that at 20.

Later, in my 30s, after he divorced my then ex-friend, I had a fling with him. When he said he was attracted to me, I got really anxious. But I had my little crush. I went and visited him. We had sex and it ruined my crush. Because sex was still gross and awkward. This guy was not bad at sex. But when we became sexual, the awesome crushy friend part went away.

I’ve never fallen in love. I’ve never felt more than a crush. And to me a crush feels like the excitement you get when you get involved in a hobby or a fandom. That rush of fun and wanting to know everything.

The love I feel for my kids is entirely different. It’s so intense it almost physically hurts. And it doesn’t feel like crush/obsessive hobbies at all. It’s a need. It’s this protectiveness. This wanting to make the world perfect for them. It’s caring about everything. How they feel, what they want, what makes them happy. What’s best for them even if it hurts me. They’re EVERYTHING. When I hold my kids, I feel warm and cuddly and that pang in my chest. I feel what they feel. I try to see everything from their POV. I want to kiss all the ouchies and makes everything better. My kids are teenagers now. I still feel that intense protectiveness and delight. And fear. And hope.

Love should be like that, I assume. Different, of course, but with that same forever feeling.

Here’s my best analogy:

Sex is like beer to me. I don’t like beer. I want to like beer. It looks awesome. Especially all icy on a hot day. I like the idea of a good beer. I appreciate the description of a high quality beer.

But it all tastes bad to me. I can make myself drink it. If I’m drunk I don’t even taste it. But it all tastes bad in the same way, and I can’t tell good from bad.

I can pretend in my head that beer tastes like hard cider or my some awesome carbonated juice. But actual beer is bitter and horrible.

So, actual sex and actual beer are two things I never want. No matter who talented the lover, or how finely crafted the brew. It makes me sad, actually.

So that’s asexuality for me. And 20 years of trying didn’t fix it.

Does that make any sense?

 

 

What’s It Like To Be A Cam Girl?

I’ve worked as a camgirl for just under a year and by the end of it I was a mess. I was self-obsessed, massive self-esteem issues, and branching out into more explicit and risky acts to try and maintain my userbase.

You get zero respect from your ‘fans’ who just view you as something to be bought. You’re literally showing that women and their sexuality just has a price tag.

Worst of is that I didn’t really need to do it, I certainly didn’t save that money and just wasted it on drinks and drugs, but I just wanted to party and feel like a rockstar. The job I worked alongside my degree wasn’t particularly engaging and I felt like I was better than that. I’m sexy, young, and smart! I deserve more! So I started doing cam work. Because everyone knows how much you can make!

I felt like I was making every person that connected dance to my strings and that I was in control. I had power. People wanted to see me and would pay me to show them more. They’d beg, plead, and sometimes even demand and it was all down to me.

Honestly I’m glad I got out and I feel so sorry for girls in their late teens/early 20s getting into it think that they’re empowered by showing their bodies online. That they’re taking charge of themselves because they’re strong and they’re able to choose who and where to do so. That they’re safe from sexual assault as they’re not working a stage and it’s from the comfort of their own home.

I don’t doubt that there are people who are legitimately happy with themselves, without a shred of doubt, but I ended up networking with a lot of girls in a similar position to me. We talked to one another in group chats/facebook/whatsapp and became friends. What I thought were ‘real friends’ but it just turns out it was an echo-chamber to try and keep ourselves all sane. That we were doing the right thing. That men are pigs and we were above them. That none of us ‘needed’ to do this but did it for the fun, the thrills, for women everywhere who didn’t have this freedom!

But then you think to the times you degrade yourself or jump to their commands to get that tip, to earn a little more, to fund that party you want to hit up this weekend. To buy this dress. To get those shoes. To cover your rent because you blew way too much last night.

Suddenly you realise you’re in a lifestyle you don’t want, you find it hard to maintain real relationships because most guys don’t have any interest in a girl that’s so ‘easy’ despite the fact you’ve not actually had sex in close to a year. That people don’t value you as much because something half the population give away for love or passion alone you give away for some cold hard cash. Despite the fact it’s all through a screen you’re essentially a prostitute lite, worse than a call girl, and no better than a whore on the corner.

The worst of it though? Other women who wouldn’t dream of doing this, for whatever reason they want to throw out, call you a hero. A champion of feminism! Taking control of your body, your life, and being who you want to be. Not giving a fuck about men and just using them like the animals they are!

They don’t consider the effect it can have on your mental state being bombarded by every level of sexual perversion available.  By having men label you, demand you dance to their wallet, and sate their lust.

You ever seen a camgirl break down? It’s not pretty but it’s easy to find because people always tend to be recording. Is your show that good? Well it could end up on pronhub or another massive site, it could end up circulating your class because you should never underestimate just how much pron young teenage guys can consume. Even if you take steps to hide it unless you’re really buying into the idea it’s empowering it’ll be something you’ve got to carry around with you for quite some time.

It was infrequent that I was recognised, but some people did, and for the most part it was just an awkward phase where I then had to find somewhere else to work. Now and again though some men would think it’s leverage to be exploited, to use against me, and to try and coerce me. Never stupid enough to message me but with the scary confrontations after a shift or after class which may seem friendly enough from a glance but have you utterly terrified down to the soles of your shoes. Sometimes they’ll find out some more information about you, through something in the background, through something you say…by some tiny clue. Then they’ll find out more and more til they message friends, family, and let them know your little secret.

Money isn’t everything, you only have one life, and I feel that I’m constantly going to have this looming over my life. I don’t doubt that someone here is going to tell me ‘It’ll be fine, don’t worry, no one can judge you but yourself’ but at the end of the day unless you go through this or worse yourself you’ve just got no idea.

– gertrudegee

 

 

What was it like to liberate the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp?

I was a translator at the front. Our forces had taken half of Poland. At New Years we reached Krakow. I interrogated German and Italian officers there, because I knew Italian and Polish besides Russian. I’ve learnt that from my mother and during school. We then got the order to push beyond the town and into the concentration camp Auschwitz. When our tanks reached the front gates of the KZ [KZ = Konzentrationslager; German for concentration camp] early on the 27th of january 1945, the guards had already caught wind and had fled. Only some remained, others had died by their own hands.

Nobody resisted. The front gate of the camp was locked. Our tank broke through. One truck after the other, full of soldiers, drove onto the camp site. Our soliders disembarked, disarmed the remaining guards of the camp and arrested them.

So we drove up to the extermination camp Birkenau.

The actual camp appeared like an untidy slaughterhouse. A pungent smell hung heavily in the air… The further we walked into the site, the stronger the smell of burnt flesh became, and dirty-black ash rained down on us from the heavens, darkening the snow… Innumerable exhausted, wretched figures with shrunken faces and bald heads were standing outside of the barracks. They didn’t know that we were coming. The surprise made many of them faint. A picture that would make everyone wither away who saw it. The misery was horrifying. The ovens [of the crematoria] were still hot and some were still blazing fiercely when we approached… We were standing in a circle, everyone was silent. From the barracks more and more hungry children were emerging, reduced to skeletons and enveloped in rags. Like ants they assembled in large groups, making noise as if they were in a large school yard. With arms extended, they were waiting, begging and screaming for bread. They were whining out of despair and wiping away their tears… Only death reigned here. It smelled of it.

Knowing the Red Army was closing in, the SS gave the boilermen (?) [people operating the ovens] the order, to throw the prisoners, who were already emaciated to the point of looking like skeleton, into the crematorium alive. They wanted to get rid of the sick and weakened to cover up their tracks as fast as possible.

The boilermen looked surprised to see us officers and soldiers. They were strong people, mostly Kapos [prisoners forced to work in the camps]. They greeted us with shy smiles on their faces, a mix of happiness and fear. Like on command, they threw away their poker. With us, they talked freely. Angry words about Hitler were spoken. I still remember an old boilermen stammer “Thank you”. “Thank you, friend. May I call you [the Russians] friends?”.

One of them, a Ukrainian, I asked: “Why did you do that?” and pointed towards the ovens. Without blinking he replied: “They didn’t ask if I wanted to. No, I didn’t want to. But better be the guy working the oven, then be the one burning. That’s why I did it.” I was speechless, could just shake my head. “Why aren’t the other ovens burning? There’s no smoke coming up the chimney”, I asked the guy. “Deconstructed”, he said.

Caught in our own thoughts, everyone just stood around. Nobody cared about the burning ovens. “Stop this. Out! All of you!”, the commanding officer Sergejew shouted. Outside, he was shaking and said with a stuttering voice: “How can this be in the midst of the 20th century! I can’t comprehend this. If there’d be a god, maybe he could explain how this all came to be.”

We visited the barracks and couldn’t believe our own eyes. Naked and groaning people, hardly looking like humans, were laying on straw bags. I touched one of the people laying there. He didn’t move. He wasn’t alive anymore.

In another barrack, a woman was dying. I asked if someone from her family was also in the camp. She said yes. Via speakers we tried to find her relatives and reunited the family. Shortly after, the woman died, although our doctors tried to save her.

After that we concentrated on the camp headquarters. In the hallway towards the office of the camp management I found a paper pinned to the wall which concerned me, too, since I’m slav. It said something along the lines of “Germans! We are the masters. Our interests are the only that matter. The reproduction of the slav people is not desired. Childlessness and abortian are to be encouraged. Education of slav children is unnecessary. If they can count up to 100, that’s sufficient. Those who can’t work, shall die.”

I translated the text for the others who just shook their heads. One teared it down. The offices were empty and chaotic so we went outside.

In the meantime our soldiers had gathered the female guards and brought them to us. “Should we…?”, asked a Corporal. “No, don’t do anything stupid”, the officer replied. “This is to be decided by the Ordnungstruppe” [something like ‘commanding unit’ or ‘military police’ perhaps; definitely a higher authority; can’t find a solid translation;].

“What does she have in her bag”, I asked another woman, since I saw how filled her bag was. A soldier grabbed into the bag. It was a brochure. The headline was “About the law to defend the hereditary health of the German people”. I took it, read some pages. Proof of being aryan, marriage prohibition, anglo-jewish plague … I took note of it and was shocked. People are still carrying these with them! [Nikolai Politanow is suprised that these people still carry things that will be used as evidence against them.]

“Are you all Aryan women?”, I asked. They give me a cold look. “I don’t know”, one of them replied. We laughed. “Where are the camp doctors?”, I asked. “Not here, ran off”. “And the male prisoners, where are they? I haven’t seen a single man. What is this all about?”. “A week ago they’ve been escorted out of the camp. Probably relocated to Majdanek or Treblinka”, she replied. I tore the brochure into pieces and threw it onto the piles of garbage.

Until evening, many reporters had arrived. Nonstop buzzing and flashing cameras everywhere inside and ouside the barracks. We had to learn one step after the other that Auschwitz was a central selection camp. Jewish people were selected for forced labour or death in the gas chambers. The immediate extermination by jews who were unable to work was expressly insisted upon.

The field kitchens arrived soon. Nearly at the same time, the Ordnungstruppe and surprisingly high ranking officers from the staff of Rokossowski and Konjew showed up. Medics distributed sheets and clothing to the prisoners. To prevent the prisoners from eating snow, soldiers distributed tea and bread to the nearly starved skeletons. In the meantime, military trucks had arrived. Around midnight, all prisoners were taken out of the camp. Those still able to walk had no patience to wait and had already taken off by foot towards Sosnowitz. The only remaining people were Kapos and guards. Those were immediatly ordered to dig up mass graves outside the camp and to bury the dead bodies there. Floodlights and generators had already been put in place.

The camp was now empty and it was as silent as a monastery. 

– Nikolai Politanow

 

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