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How to Market Plastic Vaginas: Don’t Call Them Vaginas

Inside the marketing world of the Fleshlight.

If you ask Brian Shubin what he does for a living, he’ll tell you he’s in plastics manufacturing. If you press him further, he’ll say his work involves injection molding. Ask again and he’ll tell you what he molds: vaginas.

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Confession: I Hate Myself for Eating at Subway

The food is bad and the atmosphere is rotten, and yet I still can't drag myself away.


For decades the symbol of America’s global reach and throwaway culture was the McDonald’s golden arches. Today, without a doubt, it’s the yellow and white arrows of the Subway logo. With nearly 35,000 locations in 98 countries, Subway is now the most popular fast-food restaurant in the world. At the end of this year, the chain hopes to have 100 stores in Brooklyn alone, and it’s in the midst of testing a new “upscale” concept restaurant called Subway Café, which, in addition to sandwiches measured in inches, will serve coffee.

In a word, Subway is omnipresent. I probably eat there about once a month. So I know first-hand that it is terrible, and it needs to be stopped.

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ShameBegone Will Answer the Emails You're Too Embarrassed to Look At

Here's a novel way to deal with the pile of unread emails currently causing you great inbox anxiety.


Are you one of those people with hundreds of unread emails embarrassingly weighing down your inbox? Or maybe you're like me and you mark all emails as "read" regardless of whether you've actually read them. Doing this helps you avoid a bloated "unread" number glaring at you every time you check your mail, but it doesn't actually take away that nagging feeling you get from knowing those messages are there. Eventually you're losing sleep about that birthday dinner invitation you've ignored for so long that the dinner itself has come and gone. Or you're avoiding social situations at which you might see that old friend whose email inquiring about your move you have yet to respond to. It's like a modern-day The Tell-Tale Heart, but with emails constantly thumping away in your psyche and dragging you down.

Enter ShameBegone. Started by two seasoned digital-media writers—Awl co-founder Choire Sicha and Entertainment Weekly senior writer Sara Vilkomerson—ShameBegone is a service for anyone who's been helplessly haunted for days, weeks, or months by unanswered emails turned inescapable burdens. According to the website, it's a service created so that "people who had left things hanging could deal with them." (Full disclosure: I write for The Awl but have never been paid for my work there.)

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