Feb 292016
 

A photo collage depicting my low libido as it relates to sex toys; it shows two dildos tucked haphazardly beneath of pile of clothing, headphones, and an ear thermometer. The text reads: "The Sex Blogger's Curse: A Low Libido Story (aka: DO I really have to masturbate today?)"Buying a house. It may not be a stressful event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory’s top 20 but it’s been stressful for us. We’re both anxious people and we loved the house, so we REALLY wanted it. Then, things went to shit. The seller’s agent was also part-owner / flipper of the house and when it appraised low it was our own personal World War 3. I was under so much stress that I had near-constant chest pain; turns out stress/anxiety really makes your gallbladder grumpy and that chest pain was mine freaking the fuck out. A little over a year later from the start of things and I’ll be having the fucker removed. So yes, we bought our first (and maybe only) house. We have been dealing with all the things (and then some) that new homeowners deal with, including slowly finding out that little things around the house weren’t as well-done as they seemed. Compound all of this with two people who both already have mental health issues, one of them (me) untreated and the other starting a new treatment and the stress continues. Add in an unknown “injury”for myself that’s stumping doctors and racking up bills. Add in 8 weeks of illness (5 of them fairly major including oral surgery) for the spouse and 4-5 months of illness for me culminating in my first surgery of my life.  And hey just for good measure….let’s mix it all up with that lovely little side effect that some people get with untreated depression or anxiety: trouble keeping up with personal hygiene, things as simple as showering regularly. Yes, it’s a thing; it’s a thing we don’t talk about it, but it’s a thing1. The chances of us both having the ability to shower on the same day? Low.

Do you know what you get? You sure as hell don’t get laid.

And we both know that the lack of intimacy isn’t necessarily healthy for our relationship but we both see it for what it is – out of our control and something we’ll work on when our health improves. We know this and we miss it, but our libidos are too low to care *too* much, so at least we’re both in the same place. We know it’s nothing personal. But you don’t feel sexy when you haven’t showered in 4 days or brushed your teeth since yesterday.

But it feels a bit frightening for a sex blogger! Thankfully I’m no longer the “sexy” sort of sex blogger who writes erotica, takes sexy photos, writes about her sex life, etc. If I were I’d have nothing to write about. If I were, the pressure I’d be putting on myself would be huge.  The lower sex drive is affecting my reviewing, though, too. It’s making me less interested overall in anything that doesn’t vibrate, for one. Dildos just don’t hold as much appeal to me. I could, were it not for the reviews, go a month or so right now without needing g-spot stimulation and that’s the sad truth. I have a Lelo Tiani 3 that I very badly wanted to review now that it’s being sold in the States once more but guess what that kinda requires: a partnered sex life. Guess who doesn’t have that right now? This guy. And when we do finally have PIV sex do I really want to waste time on a vibrator that I know won’t help me orgasm? Been there done that and I’d like to not repeat that again but that’s the life of a sex toy reviewer. It just means that, for now, I have to put the Tiani 3 review on hold and I feel awful about that.

I reviewed the Doc Johnson Truskyn dildo because I felt strongly about telling everyone about the new, affordable dual-density silicone but I wasn’t really very sad to be done with using it so that I could move on to cutting it and burning it for science.  The same thing happened with the CuRious Wand – I really wanted to tell you about it, penny stink and all, and re-acquainting myself with the Pure Wand as part of the testing was nice but I could have gone without it. Testing vibrators like the L’amourose Prism and We-Vibe Rave have been a different story because at least they vibrate. I can still form strong opinions about sex toys and feel good while using them. I can still orgasm; it’s just that I can go a week without even wanting to. I have this complete Orgasmatron X2 kit waiting on my review and trying to find the ability to really put it through the paces has been rough; as of this writing though I’m realizing that perhaps I need to just force it because I don’t know how many weeks after my surgery I’ll be in pain and unable to use insertable toys.

There’s no answers, and I’m not really seeking them. I don’t feel like I can just take time off again from the blog; I had to do that in 2013 (actually I thought I might have to quit) and it created a lot of problems. One of the problems being a drastic decrease in affiliate sales. My sales are finally at a level where they really are helping out with our household expenses and I can’t afford to see a drop. I don’t want to lose readership or followers. I don’t want to fall out of contact with my blogsquad – I fucking need them! At this point I think I can just be grateful that I can still orgasm and that I no longer have the “sexy” expectations hanging over me; due to a bit of a traumatic dramatic “thing” 4 years ago I lost all taste for that sort of thing. It was to such a dramatic degree that I didn’t just stop doing it, I hid it from view on the blog. You can’t easily navigate your way through to those sorts of posts anymore.  But that’s a story for another time…

I wrote about my slowly-increasing depression a year ago, mere days before we found The House and that whole snowball of stress started building. I am no stranger to it, but back then the low libido hadn’t affected my desire to use any and all sex toys. I am, at least, in good company (if there is such a thing in this not-great space to be); plenty of other sexuality bloggers & reviewers have gone through this same thing. I don’t think it gets written about a lot. Sure, maybe we’ll tweet about it but it’s not a hot topic. So I kinda wanna drag this one out into the light – not at all for sympathy, please don’t fawn with sympathy – but in solidarity. There’s things that get discussed only in private messages and I’m ready to say “Here I am, here’s my issues, anybody with the same issue need to chat?”. Whatever pedestal you’ve maybe put me on, pull me down, I don’t belong there. I might feel a little broken some days, but deep down I know I’m not. And if you’re in the same boat, you’re not broken, either. Far from it. I know that this could be worse; I could be completely unable to orgasm. Couldn’t very well review regularly if that were the case. I could lack a support system and understanding spouse; I am grateful to have friends in the same boat and a spouse in the same boat! At least we’re going through this together. With Tumblr porn at the ready I will carry on and hope that soon it comes back, for both of us. In the meantime we’ll have substitute intimacy in the form of curling up together on the couch for TV time, finally sleeping in the same bed, and supporting each other. There are fixes and workarounds there’s something out there that will help me, I just have to find. I hope you are able to find the thing you need to help yourself, if you’re in a similar situation.

Some other posts and must-reads from other bloggers dealing with similar issues:

Sugarcunt on depression, anxiety and zero libido

Jillian Boyd on being the “sexy” sex blogger with low libido

The Redhead Bedhead’s articles on Sex & Depression

 

  1. Why don’t we talk about this? Oh that’s right, because not everyone is like this and the people who religiously shower once a day or more will judge you so fucking harsh. I have confided in other bloggers privately and we have compared notes on how long since our last shower. For those who are judging us, fuck you. Count your blessings. This isn’t abnormal
 Posted by at 9:00 pm
Feb 152015
 

packingupEverybody told me, “Buying a house is really stressful” but like the other awful club I’m part of, there’s the First-Time-Buying-a-House Club and you can’t be in it til you’re in it and other people can sympathize but they won’t understand. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND. NOW I DO. I’ve employed a few options for stress relief in the last month, and will continue to use those options liberally over the next 30 days. I’ve had more chest-pain-inducing panic attacks in the last couple weeks than my entire life. While things are not going horribly (our credit is shockingly good), there are the normal bumps; but I’m prone to expecting the worst lately. I’ve had two or so straight years of being disappointed in various life things, planning and expecting only to have hopes crushed at the last minute. From simple things like a day trip sightseeing to missing out on a concert (and the money spent on tickets) due to a root canal the same day. I keep expecting this to all blow up spectacularly in our faces.

But yet, I’m packing as best as I can1, because even though I’m glass-half-empty, the hope can’t be crushed.

For the first time in our lives, we’ll have a place that’s really our own. If want to add on, if we want to knock down a wall, or build something or paint something? Totally can do it. It’s both extremely exciting and very overwhelming. There’s a lot we’re going to need; curtains and kitchen cabinet organizers and bathroom storage and a shed and and and….etc.  I’m getting lost in Pinterest, falling in love with design and DIY ideas that are probably beyond our limited capabilities.

The brand new stove and dishwasher are still covered in their blue sticky protective stuff, which was a let down because I could really have gotten behind blue metallic appliances. To compensate, I’ll use blue elsewhere in the kitchen – I’m torn between the color of Le Creuset Marseille and Caribbean. Not that I can afford Le Creuset, beyond a salt or butter crock. No matter, I guess, we’ll be living damn frugal for at least the next year or three I suspect. I’m going to have to learn how to repurpose and reimagine cheap things I can find in yard sales to create an office for myself. I’ll have a good-sized closet in my tiny office room and I’ll be able to use at least half of it for sex toys. I’ve been contemplating this rotating dildo organizer, and this over-the-top chest of drawers. I’ll finally be able to construct a storage and organization option to suit my needs. A desk that is more functional yet resistant to clutter (that one may be a miracle) is my first task.

I wanted to give an update, because that last post was made on January 22nd and I really didn’t want to see that post up there front and center anymore. I have some sex toys to review, but I’m mired in packing and stress. I’m hoping to get a few out in the next couple weeks. I REALLY want to tell you about the new Jimmyjane Hello Touch X and show you the Rockbox Finger vibe.

Responses to emails and chats may be delayed; presence on social media might be slim. So please have patience. And buy through my affiliate links2! Because we’re going to be really, really broke for quite awhile….

  1. which isn’t really very well at all, I suck at this
  2. conveniently all located at the top of my sidebar
 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Jan 222015
 

Note that says: "You're never alone, okay? Someone somewhere cares about you and wants you to be alright. Even if it's just a random person you met on the internet. You are loved. Don't forget that."I need to preface this post. You won’t learn anything from this. I have no answers, no treatment plan, no quest. I have uncertainties and questions.  It isn’t an eloquent post. If you need a visual, I am huddled under a hoodie unable to make eye contact, I’m fidgety and exhausted. I’m skimming in some parts because I don’t have enough introspection to be able to elaborate. This is raw and uncomfortable and it’s not a pretty post. Like I told Reenie when I got her opinion on this post, this is a glimpse of me in therapy (and a clue as to why I don’t DO therapy). I’m all over the place, I skip details, yet I repeat. I’m saying all of this the best I can. This isn’t for fame or notoriety, because let’s face it, I’d like to think I normally write better than this. But if I take the time to polish it, it will never get published. Take it or leave it. 

For the last year or 18 months, I’ve mentally been on a downward, slow spiral. Stress and unknown other factors have made me subtly feel less awesome. It’s been so subtle that I’ve only recently thought “hmmm, maybe this is depression?”.  I want to write about this because it’s high time. My friend JoEllen has been writing about it for awhile now; plus there’s Crista’s world-famous OrgasmQuest. My angle is a bit different though. 

 The Vibrators

Despite the fact that it’s my job to use sex toys, I feel some internal guilt about having an orgasm by myself when it’s not “for work”, since I’m getting off by myself and not bringing my husband into it for something that could benefit us both. Even though intellectually I know that masturbation is healthy and there are tons of reasons that partners in very healthy relationships with great sex lives would masturbate. I know this. I still feel guilty sometimes though. Yet my orgasms, the ones from masturbation, aren’t really for pleasure. I don’t take my time and luxuriate in sensual self-play; there are no candles, no erotica, etc. Everything’s usually done in 10 minutes or less and often my pants don’t even come off. Most of the time I’m using my Tango (lately the L’amourose Rosa Rouge is helpful if a climax is being particularly stubborn) and I flip over to Tumblr for some audio and visual stimulation, enough to help with an orgasm. And then I’m done. Close out Tumblr, no more porn, no residual sexy feelings or thoughts; it’s like flipping a switch on and off. When I start masturbating through to finish, I’m not aroused. I’m not horny. So why the fuck am I masturbating, you might ask?

 For something to do. To maybe help myself sleep. To relieve some anxiety. To maybe not feel melancholy for a little while. Maybe it’ll wake me up. The reasons are varied but 99% of the time my libido is not in the deck of cards that contains my reasons. Sometimes an orgasm is not much different than brushing my teeth, as an activity.  It feels good but it’s not really registering, there’s a brain-body disconnect. 

The Sex

I’ll be honest, most of the time lately I have no sex drive. Luckily (an ironic sort of luck) my husband was going through his own lack of sex drive and issues, so while we both still love each other deeply the lack of sex bothered us only on a more cerebral level. A “shouldn’t we be bothered by this?” kind of bothered. A “it’s been HOW long??? Wow…that’s bad…we really should have sex this weekend” (and then we wouldn’t) kind of bothered. I think this past year we’ve both felt a bit of a strain due to the physical disconnect, but we both know that it’ll come back and we’re happy together regardless. But for two people who love each other dearly and still find each other attractive….the frequency of the sexing is frighteningly low. I don’t know yet how to fix it. 

The Depression

So I may, or may not, be clinically depressed 1 and I’m not being treated for it, nor am I seeing anyone. I’m not on any medication that is hampering my ability to orgasm, like Crista is dealing with on her #orgasmquest. I’ve had such awful experiences in the past 16 years with mental health drugs that I’m reluctant to go down this path again. The hazing period of newer drugs is intolerable sometimes. So I’m not actively seeking help. But I’m not happy, like overall – I mean, duh, right? And I have these weird “quirks” that I never had when I was younger – primarily, the ability to cry at the drop of a hat. Reading a book/watching a TV show where someone else cries? I cry. Happy cry, sad cry, the tears are just always there right under the surface. I also have a really hard time sticking with something I like – you know the whole typical depression question of “do you find yourself no longer getting pleasure from hobbies you previously enjoyed” thing. It’s, quite frankly, amazing that I’ve kept up with this blog for so long. I have definitely had feelings of “why the fuck am I still doing this” over the last 2 years. I tend to let my insecurities and the need to feel accepted and liked by my peers rule too much over me. When I start feeling like my peers don’t give a flying fuck about me/my writing/reviews, I consider throwing in the towel. But then I get thank you notes from my readers, the people I actually write the reviews for, and my brain returns to normal and I stop being such a pain in the ass. Needing validation is a sign of weakness for me because of past, unhealthy  experiences. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do. The thought of finding a psychiatrist/psychologist that doesn’t annoy the crap out of me feels too daunting. But I think I owe it to my husband to try and get my sex drive back. I’d say I owe it to myself, too, but my brain is like “pffft don’t care” so that thought doesn’t even occur to me. And yes, a tiny part of me feels like a fraud of a “sex blogger” for having no libido and reviewing sex toys. Thank goodness I dropped the whole “sexy” sex blogger thing years ago or I’d be feeling double the pressure. 

I guess all this rambling is to say that there is no normal, we need to talk more about sex & depression and masturbation & depression and depression in general, and I’m just as nutty as the next squirrel. I expected that writing this would be like therapy, but you know what? I feel twitchy. I feel like I’m in a therapy session with the therapist staring me down and after 10 minutes asking a “how do you feeeeeeel about that” question and my only response is “I dunno”. Oh hey….it IS just like therapy. Ha.

So uh……yeah. I think I need that orgasm right about now.

 

Links to help:  ADAA page on Depression  –  1-800-273-TALK  – NAMI

  1. But I absolutely do have ADD-Inattentive type and fibromyalgia, and I’m not really on anything for either and both of those, left untreated, can cause depression
 Posted by at 10:59 am
Mar 022013
 

I wouldn’t quite say that I have Obsessive-Compulsive Planning Disorder but it’s close. I got it from my mother, who also passed on her compulsive over-packing syndrome. Toss in a case of Chronic List Making, and you would think that I have a complete inability to be spontaneous. That’s not exactly true; if I know that *something* is going to be happening, then yes I need to have an exact plan for it. If you text me and say “OMG let’s go to ____ right now!!” if it’s within my doing, I shall be doing.

Let’s take last year’s MomentumCon. I took the train down, then had to catch a subway, then locate the hotel. But I’d never been to the train station here, and of course I was worried about locating the subway and navigating it. So I did research. I drove to the train station two days before my trip as a dry run, to ensure that I didn’t miss the turn and end up getting lost and missing my train. I used Google Maps street view and satellite to figure out how to get from the train station to the subway. I printed out subway time tables. Yet still I was a nervous wreck at all junctures. It’s just how I am.  This year I’ve decided to drive down, since it will (hopefully) mean 3 less hours of travel time, but now I’m all anxious over being able to find the turn-in for hotel parking on the first try, and anxious about the whole parking situation. If I leave for dinner, does that negate the daily parking rate?

Packing? Oy with the lists already. But in my defense…when I don’t make these lists days/weeks in advance? I forget lots of shit. Just this past week I visited my mom and I didn’t make a list. I forgot my back-up sleep medication, miscalculated what to wear by an entire day’s outfit, and forgot at least 4 other things. My brain just doesn’t work very well on these things. So I make my lists days and, for more important trips where forgetting something could be monumental, even weeks in advance. I leave them up on my computer and every so often I will think of something else.

Last year’s trip was made a little bit easier because I was rooming with Crista and knew that I likely wouldn’t have to worry about say, being alone for dinner. Yes, that bothers me. But this year things are still up in the air for things to do and the whole gluten thing makes it even more complicated. Last year we spent a lot of time eating in the hotel restaurant. I will speak to the manager when I get there, but I just don’t have much confidence in their ability to prepare me a safe-from-cross-contaminations meal. I’ve scoped out other places to go eat, but I sure as hell don’t want to go alone. And I don’t want to go off-site for lunch and risk having to miss an after-lunch session, or go hungry. Despite trying very hard to work out the whole “what to wear” issue, here we are 2 weeks away and I’m up in the air on at least 2 of 3 outfits. To say that it’s upping my anxiety overall is an understatement. And now topping things off is the worry that I will need to seriously conserve my spending from here on out and while I’m at Catalyst. Blah. Let’s top things off with the fact that I just trimmed my overgrown bangs, realizing only after that I don’t like how I look with bangs, plus they’re a pain in the fuckin ass to “do”. Can’t just wash and go with my hair.

Let’s add in the fact that, since I’m driving myself, I feel the freedom now to essentially over-pack. The thought of packing my Ninja cooker actually did come into my head, as a way to avoid the restaurants and have safe food…but I like the social aspect and want to spend time with people as much as possible. I’m bringing items for people (note: if you’re on Toyswap and are interested in anything I have, and you’re going to Catalyst, let me know and I can bring the item with me) and for my own comfort. I have an overabundance of makeup samples and trials from Sephora, and am bringing those for my friends to paw through. I’m bringing my Devine Playchest for Crista to have. I may pack my Fucking Sculptures dildos for people to fondle. I’ll definitely be bringing gluten-free foods so that I’m not in danger of going without (or worse: having my bacon cheeseburger on a piece of lettuce).

It occurred to me too late about business cards. I still have some mini-moo cards from last year, although they’re a bit outdated now. But I don’t have it in me to design new ones, nor do I have the funds. It’ll have to do I suppose for the 3.5 people who may ask for one.

I think I’ll go pack a few things tonight. Nail down an outfit. Wonder what I’m forgetting.

 Posted by at 9:37 pm
Jan 302013
 

Last month, I realized something. There was officially at least one sex toy in every room of the house downstairs. And no, it’s not because an urge struck me to just throw down and masturbate in the foyer (or, now that I have it walled off with a curtain, the junk room). A few sex toys migrated to the bathroom and never left once I was done washing them. A few more migrated to the living room and kitchen for photo-taking and then I just forgot about them, sort of. A few were in the bedroom for actual use, and a few were in the dining room and foyer because we were trying to clean up the living room and only got so far. My office, though, it’s truly helter skelter. Sex toys in drawers, in cubbies, in boxes, in bags, under piles. In all of this disorganization I’ve managed to misplace some sex toys, sometimes for months on end. So in preparation for my bestie coming to help me organize and purge I went room to room, drawer to drawer, rounding up each and every sex toy I could find and piled them all on the dining room table, thusly:

tableoftoys

There are bowls at the back of the table filled with kegel balls and clit toys; a stack of storage bags; a basket of tangled chargers sits on a chair in the front. You see, I don’t use all of these. Not even close. In fact the toys that I use consistently aren’t on the table because there’s no point in putting them away (My trio of Salsa/Tango vibes and my Pure Wand). You may ask then why I keep all of these. The answer is simple: I think it’s very important to be able to compare newer toys to older toys, cheaper toys, things others might have. So I hang on to everything, almost. There have been likely over 40 things I’ve given away on ToySwap that I hated and figured I’d never need to compare (and then find out I could/should).

Anyways, so I gathered everything up and figured I’d start on it. And then my back went out for a few days without me, and so it waited all there on the table, mocking me, until the weekend. And of course our landlord was supposed to arrive with a repair guy at any given day and he’s prone to absent-mindedly giving me very little notice. Thursday morning I heard the doorbell and knocking and while I painfully went as fast as I could locating a bedsheet and covering up the mess, by the time I got to the door I found that it wasn’t my landlord it was FedEx with a package I needed to sign for. I missed them, so I would have to wait another day for my sex toy delivery. But in the meantime, this didn’t look suspicious at ALL, right??

nothingtoseehere

Yeah.

I know.

The day of reckoning finally came but not until after my landlord and a repair guy were here whilst the dining room table was suspiciously covered with a wrinkly brown bedsheet. As I stared down my pile, the ever-present inability to organize struck me and I didn’t know where to start. So we started by the old standby for going through anything: Keep, Pitch, Give Away. Things I tossed: A few SinFive dildos that nobody will ever want, same for a bullet or two and a pocket rocket that made more noise than vibration. The ugly as sin glass dildo that nearly scared me off of them forever. The Picobong Honi was on my swap list but I finally decided to just toss it after turning it on again and being reminded as to how pathetically weak it was and stupidly designed and I tossed that, too. The painful glass vibrator that EF briefly offered also got tossed after spending months on my swap list and I realized that nobody else wants that piece of crap either. I realized that while the Hitachi and Fairy Wand do indeed eclipse the Lelo Smart Wand Large by quite a wide margin in terms of sheer obscene power, I have no desire for either of those. The bullet-train buzzy wonders are like a belt sander where the Smart Wand Large is like a jackhammer. Sorta. Yes the Hitachi and Fairy Wands would indeed make for a numb vulva for a little bit after use and the high-speed machines feel itchy to me sometimes, especially with nubbly attachments. Both Fairy Wands that I have, and both Acuvibes, are going on the swap list. I figure that nobody really buys the Acuvibe anymore for a sex toy what with the Lelo Wands, the Fairy Wands, the Hitachi knock-offs, the Mystic Wands, and so on, all of them made and intended to be a sex vibrator.

So while some worthless items are being tossed (and the question got asked: Should this glass dildo go into the recycle bin???), many more of them are listed on my ToySwap page. And if any CatalystCon attendees are also on ToySwap, do let me know if you’d like anything and I’ll bring it to Catalyst to save shipping.

But of course this all made me realize that I have a lot of work to do. I have items that I never reviewed, and I really should. I also need to charge up every single toy and get batteries out and really concentrate on arranging everything on a 1-10 scale of vibration intensity. I also need to use my Lelo Smart Wand Large plus Gee Whiz more often. That’s a long name. I’ll rename it “White Gonzo”. Yes. Because yeah, it’s that awesome and I had a clitoral orgasm just from the vibrations that were inside of me. Nothing touched my external clitoris, it just rumbled the hell out of my internal clitoris. Yes, that’s really a thing. 

Shit. Now I’m overrun with pending reviews. 

Oct 282012
 

In recent months I’ve been able to tell a few outside-the-bubble people that I am a sex blogger. It’s always a weird thing, filled with uncertainty and trepidation. A few weekends ago it was a fact about me that came out pretty early on into being introduced to new friends, friends of a friend. And sure enough they seemed to take it pretty well. I’m not used to spitting that out. But OH IT’S NICE to talk about my sex toys, the silicone, the jelly, the chemicals to non-bloggers. I was told I lit up when I spoke of it all.

I’ve lamented sometimes that I feel worthless because I don’t have a job. A few friends remind me that I *do*….this website. So the question is, do I return from leave, or do I hang up the gloves? Revenue from advertisers/sponsors is maybe 1/6th of what it was a few years ago. My affiliate commissions, though, have increased quite a bit so there is a bit of evening out, but not quite enough to balance the scales. It’s not that I do this for the money, I never have. But it’s been very nice and I’ve come to rely on it. Of course, one should never rely on something so fickle.

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for quite awhile. I’ve kept up reading some of them, I check into Twitter for brief moments here and there but that is it. If I really missed it all, don’t you think I’d be checking up on the social media sites more than I am…..? So that’s the question. Do I hang it up. I’ve had some wonderful support in my hiatus. People telling me how much they’ve learned from me, how I’m needed in this “fight”, this “War on Sex Toys (or more accurately, Jelly)”. I think about posts I could write and I come up dry. I have back-logged reviews to write and the motivation is lacking. Perhaps I need to force myself into it, which is why I’m writing this. Squeeze some words out, see if more follow on their own.

I finally will be changing over my site very soon to the New Me. Maybe that will provide the kick in the ass I need.

 Posted by at 9:09 am