Sex in the news roundup

Best Sex Writing 2008 contributor Ariel Levy covers Heidi Fleiss for Elle:

Fleiss doesn’t have a boyfriend. “I’m single and I love it,” she says. “I’m not one of these girls who needs a guy to survive.” Her last boyfriend, the actor Tom Sizemore, was convicted of battering Fleiss in 2003. When you walk in Fleiss’s front door, you are met by a large white poster of a devilish red man under the words “Male Aggression Now Playing Everywhere.” Out of his crotch shoot a missile, an arrow, a gun, and a dagger. “Guys kind of are a hindrance to me,” Fleiss says. “Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything. But a man is not a priority in my life. I mean, it’s crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.”

It’s an interesting question: Why aren’t there any brothels for women? Is it because men have always had the money and the power…because male aggression is now, as ever, playing everywhere? Is it because women want more of a connection with their sexual partners than you can attain in a paid encounter? Or is it because women, from the time we’re girls, are told in a million different ways that sex is something we should be begged for—paid for, if we’re that venal or desperate—not something we should ever have to ask for, let alone fly to Pahrump to purchase?

Fleiss is convinced that there are plenty of women—women like her—who have lost patience with romance and want to get in and out of sex with the kind of expedience only money can buy. “Plus, everything has changed so much, with women making more money and being in control,” she says. They will come for bachelorette and birthday parties, for the novelty and the bragging rights, or simply because they have the time and the money and they want to get a manicure, a pedicure, and a shag.

“Women’s bisexuality an ‘identity,’ not a phase,” USA Today

Bisexuality among women isn’t just a phase, according to new research that followed 79 non-heterosexual women for a decade and found that bisexual women continue to be attracted to both sexes over time.

Being bisexual is a distinct orientation, not a temporary stage, says the study by Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah. It is being published next week in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Diamond conducted face-to-face interviews around New York state in 1995, when the women (who identified themselves as lesbian, bisexual or unlabeled, but not heterosexual) were ages 18-25. She then spoke with them by phone every two years.

“These findings are therefore more consistent with the model of bisexuality as a stable identity than a transitional stage,” the study says.

Diamond suggests that most women “possess the capacity to experience sexual desires for both sexes, under the right circumstances.”

(the above two via Viviane’s Sex Carnival)

“Canada Postordered to rewrite its policy on sex,” Canada.com

The B.C. based Canada Sex Party declared “victory” Tuesday after a Federal Court ordered Canada Post to rewrite its guidelines on the distribution of sexual material.

The suit was born during the 2006 federal election when the Crown corporation deemed a Sex Party pamphlet containing three arguably explicit pictures, the party’s platform and a seven question “Sexual IQ Test” pornographic and refused to deliver it.

“We consider this a victory,” said John Ince, the president of the Sex Party, a registered political party in B.C. “I think it’s a victory for the rule of law. It’s saying that Canada Post is not above the law. It can’t just ignore cabinet regulations and just do whatever it wants in the area of sex.”

According to Ince, cabinet regulations only allow Canada Post to prohibit written material that is illegal. On Tuesday in Vancouver, Federal Court Justice Michel Beaudry found their flyer was not illegal in any way.

“We are trying to make our society and especially our government institutions more tolerant and accepting of healthy sexual expression,” said Ince, who also owns a store in Vancouver called the Art of Loving, which he terms a sex-positive education centre. “And we see that government prohibitions, like . . . the one that has been struck down, are unhealthy. They’re intolerant. They’re like prejudice.

“They castigate all sexual expression and without even defining it. Just everything (about sex). And that’s not acceptable.

“A Library Exhibition Not for the Children’s Room,” New York Times

“Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret,” which opened at the National Library here last month, offers a peek at its secret archive of erotic art, putting on display more than 350 sexually explicit literary works, manuscripts, engravings, lithographs, photographs, film clips, even calling cards and cardboard pop-ups.

Visitors to the library can listen to a modern-day recording of an 18th-century “dialogue” during sex (simultaneous orgasms included) and watch a six-minute excerpt from a grainy black-and-white silent pornography film made in 1921 (one man, two women, intriguing lingerie).

The handwritten manuscript of the Marquis de Sade’s novel “Les Infortunes de la Vertu” (“The Misfortunes of Virtue”) is under glass here, as are 17th-century French engravings of “erotic postures”; English “flagellation novels” exported to France in the late 19th century; Japanese prints; Man Ray photographs; and a police report from 1900 that compiles the addresses of Paris’s houses of prostitution and what they charged.

Sadism, masochism, bestiality, inflated genitalia and the most imaginative sexual fantasies and athletic poses are given their due. To avoid complaints that a publicly supported institution is corrupting the country’s youth, no one under 16 is admitted.

“ABC News Subpoena Quashed in Sex Case,” Associated Press

A woman accused of running a high-end Washington prostitution ring cannot demand documents from ABC News as part of her defense strategy, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Deborah Palfrey provided ABC with exclusive access to her escort service’s telephone records for a May segment of “20/20.” After combing through those records, reporters said they traced numbers back to a Justice Department prosecutor, NASA officials and military officers. None of the officials was named in the report.

Palfrey, who says she has been unable to locate those officials herself, subpoenaed ABC to see exactly what it uncovered. She contends those clients can verify that her company was an “erotic fantasy service,” not a prostitution ring.

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