The pizza and cake were both adequate, if not delicious - whatever, the kids were too hyped to care. The candles I got that advertised multi-colored flames really worked. OMG. They were just too cool. Everybody had fun, nobody got injured, and isn't that what you want in a party?
And then on the bus ride home Ana and Eva absolutely slammed the opposition in a friendly, respectful dialog* on the subject of abortion. So, yeah.
* It really was friendly and respectful, if a bit loud.
- I haven't posted for ages. The apocalyptic weather day was ages ago now, but it was magnificent and I loved it. The colour was like I was literally inside an oil painting, but an oil painting that was anticipating something awful, and the weather itself was properly alien. It was windy but not really touching me. I loved it. It was genuinely like being under a massive dome on mars where they've terraformed and it's indistinguishable from real world earth, but except ENTIRELY DISTINGUISHABLE. I loved how a few hours later it went all sunny and fresh and pretended nothing was even happening.
- I wish Rita didn't roll in poo so very often.
- I didn't mind nothing happening in Mindhunter for a while, for like five episodes? I was fine when I thought it was building to something. But I've got one episode left now, and I'm just confused. There is no real story. When I say 'it's about two fbi agents in the 70s who realise they should study psychopaths to work out how to catch them so they do that', that is ALL IT IS. That's not like the scenario and then there's a plot I'm being secretive about. I'm being secretive about Olivia Dunham being in it, but that is all. I am too old for tv now? [I've been a bit harsh here. It's fine. It's very watchable. I just struggled to find the last episode, and then I was like 'Do I even need to watch it? Is ANYTHING even going to happen?' And then I wrote this. But like it's fine. It's not hopelessly overly self obsessed, and I suppose actually they have solved a couple of crimes and made up the phrase 'serial killer'. Those are things that happened. It's probably brilliant and I'm just soul dead.]
- This isn't a great article about the sad lack of episodic tv, but it's one of the things that I cling to articles about, so I'm just saying it exists.
If you want to make that right turn, save it until you have the light.
Also, the crosswalk is for people to walk. It is not for you to try to gain a few feet so you can move past the light faster. Jerk.
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Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us
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Scientists battle over whether violence has declined over time
Cool roofs have water saving benefits too
Global CO2 emissions stalled for the third year in a row
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Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.
I will accept praise and validation.
Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!
Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.
Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.
CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.
Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)
((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))
My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.
My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.
The Minister Who Invented Camping in America
Marie Curie mobilized an army of women to help win World WarI
Why Mata Hari Wasn't a Cunning Spy After All
A Senator Speaks Out Against Confederate Monuments… in 1910
Desolation Row: Victorian Britain’s Sensational Slums
White Evangelicals Used to Dominate Christian Zionism, but Not Anymore
How Volcanoes Starved Ancient Egypt
The 'orphan' I adopted from Uganda already had a family
Urban Lights Are Confusing Birds to Death
'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers
The most important stuff about America we still don’t know.
How Sex Offender Registries Impact Youth
Read this and you may never eat chicken again
A Silent Epidemic of Cancer Is Spreading Among Men
One drug dealer, two corrupt cops and a risky FBI sting
China congress: How authorities censor your thoughts
Some victims stayed friends with Harvey Weinstein. I did the same with my rapist. Here’s why.
Hurricane Maria: Inside a Puerto Rican Barrio's Fight to Survive
With an isolated leader, a demoralized diplomatic corps, and a president dismantling international relations one tweet at a time, American foreign policy is adrift in the world.
Why Trump Can't Handle the Cost of War
I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why.
As a reader, do you read WIPs? Or only completed fics?
As a writer, do you post only completed fics or do you write as you go?
Putting this behind a cut given the “Guy In Your Office Who Gives Weird Backrubs And Ends Every Sentence With ‘That’s What She Said’ Is Totally #IBelieveYou About Your #MeToo Social Media Posts” and “Pretty Much Every Movie You Loved In The 1990s Is Now Kinda Gross To Think About” week we’ve had.
Dear Captain Awkward,
I’m a lady who has been friends with this guy for about a decade. He moved away to a nearby city a few years ago for post doc work so most of our conversations are through WhatsApp and Skype. A couple times a year we’ll visit and sleep on each other’s couches. We’re both unattached hetero-ish opposite gendered folk, but I have talked about how I’m basically asexual and never looking for anyone and he’s looking for someone to marry and have babies with. So that’s been discussed while neatly avoiding the ‘I’m not into you like that’ more direct conversation. We have always just been normal friends who are friends. I really like hiking, and he’s one of my only friends who shares that hobby so it’s something we’ve also done a lot together. A decade. No issues.
We went on a weekend camping/hiking trip this summer, and on one of the days we trekked out to a beach that happened to be clothing optional. He asked me if I was OK with him being naked. I said that while I would rather be clothed myself, I didn’t mind in the context of our hanging out sunbathing and reading our respective books at a nude beach if he’d rather ‘run free’. Since then, he’s casually WhatsApp’d me a few articles that tangentially relate to nudism. It’s clearly on his mind. “Look-these Germans are totally fine with going to the sauna naked with co-workers!” Neat. “Hey, have you seen this BBC article about naked co-ed swimming pools in Poland? It’s nice they’re comfortable about perfectly natural human bodies.” Sure, that’s cool. “Isn’t it terrible how clothing is used as such a marker of class and social difference?” I guess that’s true. Why are we so weird about bodies? But also, I like my tyranny of clothing?
Then I went out for another visit. Crashed on the couch as ever. Everything perfectly non sexual. We talked philosophy, pop culture, politics, hiking, the usual. In the morning I was getting ready to leave and he came out of the shower while I was packing up. “Do you have the bus schedule?” I asked, and as he checked the times he just fully removed his towel-one-Mississippi-two-excruciating-
He moved apartments just after our trip, and I’d been asking to see what his new place looked like. “Give me the virtual tour!” I suggested. He WhatsApp’d back a five minute video. Wow, it does have great lighting! And there he is casually narrating how great the appliances are here and the closet space is there, and 4 minutes in, in full view of the mirrored closet doors but not looking at them, he’s just totally naked. Dick a swinging. OK, I thought. Plausible deniability… it was a heat wave. Maybe he wasn’t thinking about the mirrors? Maybe he was, and he’s just chill with the human body? I can’t be chill this way. But I said nothing. Pretended that wasn’t in there. “Love the counter-tops” I wrote.
A few weeks have gone by. Conversations on WhatsApp are normal. “Maybe we can do more camping and hiking next summer?” he asked. Maybe. A few days ago I sent him some photos of a new hiking bag I’d gotten. He’d been shopping too. “And on sale because it’s end of season!” declared the caption on a perfectly innocuous photo: a box of new hiking boots on his living room floor. I scrolled past it and replied “Those look way better than the old ones, how much?” And so it went. We move on to other topics. Politics. Hikes. OK, maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with this situation. Things are… fine? But going back through the photos today, I clicked on the boots image this time to see them better and there, in the now fully expanded view on my phone, was his dick. Just hanging out in the bottom corner of the image. NothingwrongwithbodiesbutcomeONadickisno
Lest I make you do the summarizing work yourself, here is a less full-picture but probably sufficient TLDR alternative:
Dear Captain Awkward,
I am a lady whose close decade long platonic friendship with a dude has taken an awkward turn. He lives out of town now, so we mostly communicate online with the odd visit to one another’s respective city. We both share a passion for hiking. We stopped by a clothing optional beach when hiking earlier in the year, and he asked if I was cool if he took advantage and let it all hang out whilst we sunbathed. I said that was fine, though I was gonna carry on wearing my clothes and enjoying my book. Since then he’s sent me a number of ‘isn’t nudism/naturism? great’ articles. OK, fine. What even are bodies anyway. The menace of class expression through clothing and the joy of non sexual naked bodies has been a recurring theme in his recent ‘check out this news link’ communication.
When I crashed at his place during my most recent visit, he let his towel slip for a moment too long after getting out of the shower, but I said nothing. A few weeks later he sent me a video tour of his new apartment where four minutes in he’s just casually and totally naked in the reflection of his mirrored closet doors. Just for a short few seconds. There was a heat wave. He’s maybe a nudist/naturist now? I was uncomfortable but pretended it didn’t happen. Now this week we exchanged innocuous ‘cool new hiking gear purchases!’ photos. But I realized upon expanding the shot of his hiking boots that his footwear was photo bombed by his dick. It’s autumn. There is no heat wave. Nudism surely does not equal what feels like stealth dick pics. WHAT DO?
Hi there! I included both the longer version and the TL;dr because you summed it up so well in both.
So, your friend is exploring nudism. Many people in the world are into that. There are clubs, days, events, hikes, bike rides, runs, online communities, resorts, and an entire Wikipedia page for “nude recreation.” Your friend can be free-falling and free-balling in the great outdoors as long as he a) finds like-minded people (i.e. not you) and b) he respects certain limits.
Speaking of limits, your friend is testing yours by repeatedly showing you his bathing suit area. He started with “accidentally-on-purpose” towel drops and escalated to “Oh hai, my apartment tour has some very special features!” Not cool. The chances that the hiking boots were accidentally photobombed by his junk approach .001%., though to be clear I don’t actually care if it was an accident.
We could spend a lot of time discussing his intentions, does he MEAN IT-mean it like, in a sexual way, or is it just part of his new lifestyle and he’s really comfortable with you vs. is he trying to be creepy/provocative, is it just a mistake where he thought because he asked you that one time that it’s okay forever, is it just that he’s too shy/socially awkward to ask you about it again (though somehow not too shy to do it). And, why stop at “shy/socially awkward” as descriptors? Why not dive into his entire psychological makeup and history for explanations so we can find a diagnosis that would make this somehow less his fault? Or, we could try to separate a clear pattern of behavior into totally unique isolated incidents that definitely do not have anything to do with each other and definitely do not have anything to do with gender or misogyny or culture. We could write it all off as probably “harmless,” we could discuss body positivity and why are people so weird about a little bit of nudity it’s not all sexual/why are we making it that way with our dirty minds and narrow-minded upbringing, are we some kind of prudes or something? We could do the 1,000 other absurd, exhausting mental and emotional gymnastics where we deep-dive into the intentions and feelings of men and try to find the most reasonable, gentle, benefit-of-the-doubt approach that won’t startle them or make them feel bad for even a second about the things they do to women.
I think there are two questions women can ask themselves when a man does something that creeps them out that are way better than “but did he MEAN IT-mean it”:
- Does he do this behavior to other men? Do his dad or his boss or his male buddy have to say “Whoa dude, consider the pants” when they chat with him?
- Do we think he’s doing even a tenth of the emotional labor in this situation that you are? 1/100th? 1/1000th?
This week has felt like a century. I don’t know about y’all but I’m done with doing this much work around men behaving badly.
Here are the facts:
1) Your friend repeatedly exposed himself to you.
2) You don’t like it and you want it to stop.
That’s enough. That’s enough to block him from your life if you want to without any further communication or work on your part. It’s enough to change whole story to “I had this really lovely friend for 10 years but then it got weird between us and we’re not friends anymore.”
It’s certainly enough to send him a text that says: “Can you make sure to put on clothes if we’re going to video-chat? Thanks.”
- “Can you make 100% sure that your penis doesn’t show up in photos you share with me, thanks.”
- “I’m glad you’re enjoying all that. I don’t really like reading or talking about it with you, so you should find someone else to send these articles to.”
- Also, while we’re talking, that hiking day at the clothing optional beach was a one-time thing for me, please opt for pants when we’re talking or hanging out in the future.”
- “I don’t like that.” = Good general script for unwanted nudes.
If your friend has sad or embarrassed feelings about what he’s done…okay? Good? He should feel some awkwardness about making his friend so uncomfortable? He should be the one writing to advice columnists right now about how he’s really into this new hobby and he’s afraid and uncomfortable about maybe fucking up a great friendship by getting carried away with it and constantly showing her his penis, so, how can he apologize and how can he make it right.
Honestly, if you tell him to knock this off, “I’m really sorry I made you uncomfortable” + STOPPING THE BEHAVIOR AND DROPPING THE SUBJECT IMMEDIATELY & FOREVER = is pretty much the only acceptable reaction from him. If he gives you an iota of pushback about this, your friendship is probably over. “Wait, did you think I was harassing you? I was just enthusiastic about my fun hobby!” = “Cool story. But now you know that I don’t like it, so, STAHP.”
If that pushback becomes about how this is all your fault somehow, like “But you said it was okay that day when we were hiking, it’s not fair for you to change the rules on me now” or “I didn’t think you were such a prude,” we’ve crossed over into friendship-is-over-with-extreme-
I’m so sorry, this sucks and none of it is your fault. Neither his penis nor his feelings are your work to manage.
- Dark -- bordering on tragic, with lots of hurt/comfort
- Pros: lets me process my depression by changing my stress into metaphors I can control, and lets me comfort myself by writing scenes where my characters comfort each other.
- Cons: I'm entering a potentially dangerous space while already feeling vulnerable.
- Pros: lets me process my depression by changing my stress into metaphors I can control, and lets me comfort myself by writing scenes where my characters comfort each other.
- Pros: Creating a world that is a clear alternative to the dystopia I feel my country sliding into in the real world.
- Cons: Not my wheelhouse. Will trying to write that way leave me even more exhausted, mentally? And will Avoidance-with-a-Capital-A make it harder to "return" when the month is over?
The train is leaving in ten days, and I don't know whether I should pack for a ski trip in the Alps, or a cruise through the Caribbean...
I haven't been this much of a "Pantser" since my very first year, when I didn't even know NaNoWriMo was a thing until a couple of days before it started...
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Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened.
How Money Became the Measure of Everything
Well, yes, obviously Donald Trump lies about his art collection
Study: Lower-income kids give more time to TV, digital media (That "surprising twist" at the end is anything but. Every study in the past ten years has shown the same thing.)
These Adults Have ADHD But Were Misdiagnosed For Decades
I'll be looking for solutions, but in the meantime, you can always find everything on the website at http://www.jimchines.com/blog/
Human research subjects are all over popular media. Lab rats, guinea pigs, and even the obscure “Pharmer’s daughter” (From The Facility, 2012) all refer to people who participate in biomedical research as test subjects—often ingesting experimental drugs to test their toxicity or therapeutic effectiveness.
The clinical trial industry has decried the representations of human subjects in the media for being fantastical and overly dramatic. The concern is that portraying human subjects in a negative light hurts their ability to recruit participants, test experimental products, and profit from approved drugs.
But how are human research subjects actually portrayed?
In two new publications, my co-author Jill Fisher and I look at how human subjects are represented in popular entertainment media. We analyzed 65 television shows and films like Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Grey’s Anatomy, The Facility and The Amazing Spiderman.
We find that human research subjects are predominately white men from lower socio-economic backgrounds. When women are represented, they are more likely to be shown being coerced into research (rather than enrolling for therapeutic or financial reasons).
2 Broke Girls is actually an outlier in this regard. In this show, Max and Caroline were not coerced but financially motivated to participate in clinical trials—or as Max likes to call it: “getting paid $500 to roll the side effect dice and hope it lands on hallucinations! [audience laughter]”
Indeed, films and shows did use fantastical and dramatic representations of side effects—from discussions of men growing breasts, limb regrowth, and fits of rage and violence—and death and injury were common. Most of these medical studies failed—and failed in spectacularly horrific or comedic ways.
While negative, this portrayal is not necessarily wrong or bad:
Importantly, negative outcomes of fictional medical research are not the same as negative depictions of science… There are real risks to research participants who enroll in medical studies as well as high rates of scientific failure (Fisher and Cottingham 2017:575–76).
While industry representatives may dislike portrayals for their inaccuracies, the fact that many clinical trials do fail and have serious potential to harm subjects cannot be absolved by painting subjects as “medical heroes” as some have tried (Peddicord 2012).
What do human subjects think of these portrayals?
We took the study further by looking at how human research subjects themselves use film and television to understand clinical trials. Surprisingly, the discussion of dramatic side effects were common among their responses. As one participant noted:
Like I never heard of this [clinical trials], and ‘They do what?!’ You know, you gonna grow an extra eye, you gonna grow, you-you know, you hear all these things, you know. – Rob
And yet, after they had participated in a clinical trial and saw that the more common side effects listed in the informed consent documents included dizziness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, they became less concerned about the risks of clinical trials. Rather than scaring these participants away, representations in the media seemed to make the mundane and ordinary list of potential side effects (even cardiac issues!) appear even more acceptable.
We frame media portrayals and participant perspectives on the risks of clinical trials as collective and individual efforts to manage the anxieties surrounding the risks of experimental biomedical research. As a society, we have come to accept the fact that experimental research requires risking human welfare and comfort, but remain ambivalent about the idea that science is inherently good and linked to social progress.
Collectively, we manage this ambivalence by dehumanizing research subjects or indulging in tales of science gone wrong. At the individual level, research participants use media portrayals of “lab rats” and “guinea pigs” to manage the fears and anxieties of the research they undergo. No one has grown a third arm, had their penis shrink, or turned blue in a Phase I clinical trial, so it must not be too harmful…right?
Read More Here:
Cottingham, Marci D. and Jill A. Fisher. Forthcoming. “From Fantasy to Reality: Managing Biomedical Risk Emotions in and through Fictional Media.” Health, Risk & Society 1–17.
Fisher, Jill A. and Marci D. Cottingham. 2017. “This Isn’t Going to End Well: Fictional Representations of Medical Research in Television and Film.” Public Understanding of Science 26(5):564–78.
Peddicord, Doug. 2012. “Television’s Assault on Medical Research.” Huffington Post.
Marci Cottingham is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the sociology of emotion, social inequalities, healthcare, and biomedical risk. More on her research (including the two papers discussed here) can be found on her website.
Before I bought it, I already read some reviews saying the cups caused more cramps, were hard to remove, the suction was too strong etc. For me, the MeLuna cup was never strong enough to really vacuum itself, so this was all new to me.
Now I have been trying it out over the past week and I've found a few knacks to it, which I did not find online or in the folder, which I would like to share for anyone who shares my low-cervix-heavy-flow issues with finding a cup or otherwise is attracted to the FemmyCycle design. I must add i also got rather strong pelvix floor muscles, but defenitely not super strong!!, for this might cause the suction to be a bit worse on me (if i relax my muscles, it feels like it sucks less, when sucking "wrong").
First off, it's good to be familiar with the special "no spill" design this cup uses. it has a bit of a inwardfold to keep blood inside and guide the cervix. Also this cup does NOT have airholes nor does it have to fully unfold! This is crucial and makes the cup different from others. Also on one end there is a small dent in the rim, making it easier to fold it un the required U shape, before you can insert it.
With that out of the way, i will show you a picture and add info to it underneath:
As you can see, the top one i labeled wrong, whereas the bottom one is right. Mentioned before: IT DOES NOT HAVE TO FULLY UNFOLD. But sometimes, with insertion, i found i accidentally pushed out some air you need for it to unfold properly and it did cause the first image to happen: the budge that the not-fully-unfolded cup has to have, is directly underneath the cervix!
In fact, it is actually sucking at your cervix directly and feels absolutely uncomfortable. Also it can cause you to bleed way more and AT REMOVAL it will be almost impossible, painful and as it IS out, the folded part will be folded OUTWARDS. You will notice when wearing, that the cup constantly tugs and really makes you feel like having bad cramps.
At the bottom picture you can see the budge that the not-fully-unfolded cup is suppose to have, is more to the side and does not connect to the exit of the cervix. If inserted like this, there is not a single second you will feel like it is inside you. No cramps, no issues. nothing. I did draw the budge a bit small here, but i guess you can have it budge against your cervix, as long as it does not PULL on your cervix to open up. Another thing I noticed, is that if this is done right, the inner fold will NOT be pulled out when taking out the cup and will stay folded inward, like it is supposed to do.
The problem lays in the fact the air inside when inserting, will help it pop open. But when it sucks right at the end of the cervix, it cannot unfold as it wants to an will continue to suck to a crazy small vacuum and actually "suck" at your cervix. In the Right way, it will create suction, but no suction directly to the cervix! I think it is a problem that is caused by not having airholes, so you cant let in some air to relief it, yet also that makes it the no spill design. It kinda comes with the design's good things, but also giving it a smaller fault-margine.
What i have found to make the RIGHT unfolding happen?
- At the side of the rim there is one slightly dented part that helps form the Ushape when inserting. I have found that if i use that, and i acidentally push some air out whilst inserting, it will suck the WRONG way. Instead i fold it at another part of the rim, giving it a bit more space to let air in and out before it sucks its vacuum.
- Another thing i do is feel around where the budge is. Is it more to the side? Sounds like you're good. If it is right at the RING area, i think it is inserted wrong and you might want to retry.
- If you DO insert it wrong and the suction is so bad it's hard to remove, try prodding around the rim a bit to let in some air as quickly as possible: the quicker that happens, the less you have to pull on the cervix to let the vacuum go.
- When inserting, still feel around the rim to see if your cervix is neatly inside. My cervix is a bit off, so i have to make sure it is in or all will flow past. It's the same for any other cup.
- Last tip is to try make extra sure to only push in the cup at the rim, and avoid touching the bottom as it will push out air, creating a way stronger vacuum than they intended witht he design of this cup. Better retry and spend a bit longer, than force it for time and then get the extremely uncomfortable suction.
As for my experienced with it doing its job? I am very happy with it. The rim is a bit stronger, but honestly the entire cup was smaller and more flexible than i thought, and when inserted right it does not make me feel anything not even when doing squads, yoga poses, sit in weird ways, anything (with the MeLuna i would sometimes feel it move slightly). Also it has given me more capacity (which i still have to see for how long i can wear it continuously) and it pops open a lot better than my MeLuna cup.
Hope this was somewhat helpful, for i know i wish i'd have known before. I kinda discovered it with trial and error and being too stubborn to have wasted my 30+ bucks, and it paid off, but it would have saved me effort and some discomfort if i had know before.
Cup safely and happily :)
p.s. i also recommend to just kinda play witht he cup on your hand-skin, see how it sucks and when, move it around a bit etc. That way you get to discover a lot about how your cup works and at what angle. it also gives you an idea of the suction it creates. for me this was the way i was able to find out where i could go wrong!