Archive for the ‘sex in the news’ Category

Big old overdue sex in the news roundup

February 5, 2008

I’ve been holding onto some of these for way too long, my apologies. A belated sex in the news roundup…

The Principles of Pleasure has a great Flickr set from Love L.A., this one featuring Midori doing bondage:

Sex is big in the Ivy League (which you already knew if you read former Columbia Spectator columnist Miriam Datskovsky’s “Absolut Nude” piece in Best Sex Writing 2008).

Sex Week at Yale kicks off February 10th.

Sex Week is an interdisciplinary sex education program designed to pique students’ interest through creative, interactive, and exciting programming. In February 2008, renowned professionals from a wide variety of industries, from models and television stars to professors and relationship specialists, will convene at Yale University to challenge students’ conceptions of sex and sexuality and question the way sex is presented in our society.

Next year I’d love to go and cover this; they’ve got everyone from Dr. Ruth to Dawn Eden! (The latter on Sex and Spirituality.) With everything from Ron Jeremy to the CEO of porn company Vivid to speed dating and a lingerie and fashion show, this almost makes me wish I were back in college. Kudos to Yale for bringing such high-quailty programming around sex to their campus. Here’s the schedule.

“Nude rag to spread pages soon?” Harvard Crimson

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but if Matthew M. Di Pasquale ’08 gets his way, they’ll soon be a frustrated Harvard boy’s best friend too.

The Dunster House senior plans to publish nude photographs of Harvard co-eds in a new campus magazine, to be called “Diamond.” The plans for the magazine haven’t been fully fleshed out, but Di Pasquale said he hopes to discharge his first issue this spring.

Di Pasquale has created a Web site for the magazine, and he has solicited prospective Harvard models through the Dunster House e-mail list. He has also sent information to friends at the University of Pennsylvania. So far he has recruited one model.

As for how he’ll make money off the student body, Di Pasquale said he has financial backing, but he declined to reveal the source.

Di Pasquale said he conceived the idea of Diamond about two weeks ago. His inspiration was simple: “I love women,” he said.

If published, Diamond would not be the campus’s sole sex magazine. H Bomb, which is officially recognized by the College, was founded in 2004 and has been published periodically since then.

Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways, looks at bisexual women for The Advocate and quotes Best Sex Writing 2008 contributor Amy André.

Well, first of all, most bisexual women are partnered with women, according to Amy André, an expert on bisexual women’s health. Second, such a justification for hating bisexuals relies on increasingly outdated notions of men being more able to “take care of” a woman financially. These days I doubt that many women—of any orientation—choose a mate based on earning power, and most people nowadays, regardless of gender, expect to take care of a partner as much as they are cared for. I grant that same-sex partnerships are often stigmatized while opposite-sex couplings are generally viewed as normative. However, it is one thing to acknowledge that it is difficult on a personal level to compete with the social approbation male-female couples still receive, and it’s quite another to actively contribute to the disparagement of an entire social group.

There’s evidence that bisexual women are suffering—in quantifiable terms that will be of interest to anyone who cares about human rights. André, who is herself bisexual and has a master’s degree in sexuality studies from San Francisco State University, reports that bi women experience more oppression and stigma than women of any other sexual orientation. She cowrote the book Bisexual Health—published in March 2007 by a coalition of organizations including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute—which analyzed more than 100 studies that, taken together, demonstrate “that bisexual people have worse physical and mental health than people of any other orientation,” says André. “There is a lot of evidence that bisexual women in relationships with monosexual partners have notably higher rates of domestic violence than women in any other demographic,” says André, who is in a relationship with a nonhostile, phobia-free monosexual woman. “If it were not a reflection of biphobia,” André concludes, “there’d be no statistical difference between the safety in relationships of bi women and women of other sexualities.”

At Tango, Regina Lynn asks, “Are Sex Parties the New Vibrator?”

Cinekink is a fabulous kinky/sex-related film festival that happens every year. Check out their latest:

CineKink @ Pioneer presents…

Tuesday, February 12 – 7 pm

In a teaser event leading up to their fifth annual festival taking place later in the month (February 26-March 2), CineKink presents a Valentine’s ode to the sweet miracles of the orgasm.

New York Premiere!
ANNIE SPRINKLE’S AMAZING WORLD OF ORGASM
(Directed by Sheila Malone & Annie Sprinkle, 2005, USA, 53 minutes.)
Annie Sprinkle reflects upon the incredibly diverse aspects of the orgasmic experience and introduces twenty-six “orgasm experts” who have, over the years, taught her some key piece of knowledge about the fascinating topic. Inter-cut and layered with a lively collage of archival film clips and sexual imagery, interviewees include Stuart Block, Juliet Carr, Barbara Carrellas, Cleo Dubois, Cleopatra, Betty Dodson, Dominique, Fakir, Eleanor Hamilton, Scarlot Harlot, Jwala, Karen, Joseph Kramer, Kutira, Laraji, Robert Lawrence, Frank Moore, Ray Noonan, Michael Perry, Kembra Pfahler, Carol Queen, Andrew Ramer, Carolee Schneemann, Ray Stubbs, Norma Wilcox and Wonshe.

Plus, the climactic shorts!

COME TOGETHER (OR COME APART)
(Directed by Kirby Ferguson, 2007, Canada, 3 minutes)
At long last, attention is paid to the plight of the world’s sextoy-less.

MY PUSSY IS MAGIC
(Directed by Matt Davis, 2006, USA, 4 minutes)
The lovely Jessica Delfino sings it on home!

New York Premiere!
BLONDE ISLAND: FUNK ME
(Directed by Susan M. Block, 2007, USA, 9 minutes)
Dr. Suzy presents an erotic look at the nature of sex and the folly of war, exploding into pop star Orgasmical’s performance of “Funk Me.”

and

ANNIE’S FAMOUS FIVE-MINUTE ORGASM
(Directed by Maria Beatty & Annie Sprinkle, 1992, USA, 6 minutes)
This excerpt from the feminist sex film classic, SLUTS AND GODDESSES, documents Annie’s experience of a historic and mind-bending orgasm.

An afterparty follows the screenings at China 1 (50 Avenue B).

Boinkology and Violet Blue lament the lack of sex blogs in the 2008 Bloggies.

Chocolate vulvas at Early to Bed

Black Porn: It Ain’t Just Sex on Screen,” Black Voices

Even in the porn industry, Black folks get the short end of the stick. Okay, that was corny. But author and journalist Lawrence Ross decided to explore the reality of black folks working in the adult entertainment world in his new book MONEY SHOT: WILD DAYS AND LONELY NIGHTS INSIDE THE BLACK PORN INDUSTRY…

Ross also conducted hundreds of interviews with college professors, industry insiders, and other porn stars to provide a first-hand look at a world that many of us don’t know much about. MONEY SHOT uncovers sexual and racial politics–including racism, and the hypersexual portrayal of Black women, discusses how AIDS plays a role, and looks at the close ties between the porn industry and the corporate hip-hop world (think Snoop Doggy Dogg’s film).

Sex in the news roundup: Thurston Moore gets Pervy, Katherine Heigl’s sex life, SaSi sex toys, and more

January 20, 2008

“Thurston Moore to Soundtrack Arthouse Erotica Film,” Uncut

Thurston Moore has soundtracked an arthouse erotica film, made by acclaimed New York underground director Richard Kern.

The 60-minute film, titled “Extra Action (And Extra Hardcore)” , is released on DVD on March 18, and features original music from the Sonic Youth guitarist.Kern has collaborated with Moore in the past, directing the gory video for Sonic Youth’s 1984 single “Death Valley ‘69″ and supplying the cover image for their 1986 album“Evol”, which was taken from Kern ’s film “Submit To Me Now” .

Also: ”Thurston Moore gets Pervy,” Synthesis.net

”Marriage boosts Knocked Up star’s sex life,” The Times

Katherine Heigl has confessed her sex life has got “10 times better” since getting married.

The Knocked Up star — who married musician Josh Kelley in December — says her bedroom gymnastics have improved dramatically since tying the knot. She told the US’s Cosmopolitan magazine: “Our sex life has always been phenomenal, but I think it is 10 times better than it was. We understand each other better.”You feel sheltered in the moment, whether you’re being wild and crazy and you’re doing your striptease or it’s more mellow.”

”Teenagers’ cell nudity under fire,” The Salt Lake TribunePolice and school district officials are investigating several Farmington Junior High teenagers who traded nude photos of themselves over cell phones.

The latest incident is the third time this school year that Farmington schools have caught students trading photos of their genitals and other nude shots, said Christopher Williams, a spokesman for the Davis School District.

“This type of technology creates problems,” Williams said. “Imagine being a teacher trying to teach a class and you’ve got students sharing inappropriate photos of each other. You’re not going to have the attention of the students.”

A parent recently found the explicit photos on a child’s cell phone and contacted police with concerns about the material, said Farmington police Lt. Shane Whitacker. The photos were traced to 13- and 14-year-old students enrolled at Farmington Junior High School, he said. Both boys and girls were involved.

”Sex, Lies and Contraception: The Male Pill,” Blowfish Blog, Greta Christina

If I were a single guy, dating and screwing around, I wouldn’t want to leave the contraception question in the hands of some woman I’d just met, either. I mean, think about it. If, as a woman, I wouldn’t trust some strange guy who told me, “Don’t worry, baby, I’m on the pill” —

then why on earth should men trust some strange woman to tell them the same thing? The consequences for men of an unwanted pregnancy aren’t as intense as they are for women . . . but they’re not negligible. (Can you say, “child support”?)

And I think that might point to the real market for the male pill. (Or patch, or injection, or however the drug winds up getting delivered.)

Mark thinks that, even if pharmaceutical researchers could make it effective, male hormonal contraception will always be a niche market, mainly limited to men in committed long-term relationships with women who trust them enough to leave the contraception in their hands. But while I can see his point, I think he may be overlooking another key market: the market of single men who want control of their own damn reproduction, just as much as women do. I think the biggest market for the male pill might well be single men who want the moral equivalent of a temporary vasectomy: a way to guarantee that they won’t get stuck with offspring they didn’t expect or want.

”The Roots of Western Pornography,” Marianna Beck, Libido Films blog

Prosecutions against pornography were largely haphazard in England during the 18th century, although the publication of pornography was judicially declared to be an offense of common law. As noted, Memoirswas successfully driven underground without any legal prosecution and, generally speaking, there seems to have been little government interference in regard to publications described as bawdy or licentious. The main exception, of course, was if sexual activity found itself mixed in with politics and/or blasphemy. Although the major campaigns against obscenity didn’t start taking shape until the beginning of the 19th century, it was clear that the winds of tolerance were shifting as the 18th century ended. One of the more perceptible changes occurred in 1787, when King George III issued a proclamation against vice, exhorting the public to “suppress all loose and licentious prints, books, and publications dispensing poison to the minds of the young and the unwary, and to punish publishers and vendors thereof.”

”Sex-ed effort in Glen Cove focuses on Latinos,” Newsday

For Blanca Recinos, doing laundry in Glen Cove has become an opportunity to lecture about sex education.

Armed with brochures and pamphlets from Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, Recinos talks to her Latino peers about the prevention of pregnancy, HIV, AIDS and human papillomavirus. Recinos, a six-year resident of Glen Cove, is one of 14 women recruited by Planned Parenthood of Nassau County as part of a new, Spanish-language marketing campaign to inform the Latino community in the city and the surrounding area about the services the health center offers and to draw them in. ”The community needs plenty of information in this regard,” said Recinos, 39. “At the very least I can talk to them a bit and hope that it stays on their minds.

”‘Sensual Intelligence’ Gives New SaSi Sex Toy an Erotic Edge,” Regina Lynn, Wired.com

But we’re finally starting to see sexual appliances that can compete in coolness with The Sharper Image’s kids-of-all-ages catalog, although not necessarily with the Roomba robotic vacuum.

British company Je Joue launched a new product, the SaSi, at the Adult Entertainment Expo last week in Las Vegas. If the original Je Joue oral-sex simulator is like a 60-GB iPod with multiple playlists you design yourself, the SaSi is like an iPod Nano with an automated Most Popular playlist.

The SaSi takes the best of the Je Joue — soft surface material, firm massage finger, sensual movements — and simplifies the control so all you have to do is press a button to say “yay” or “nay” to a particular movement. It also has buttons to control speed and to add or remove vibration.

Sex in the news roundup

January 17, 2008

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.

Did Jodie Foster “come out?”

January 3, 2008

I reprinted Michael Musto’s Out article “The Glass Closet” in Best Sex Writing 2008, and his chosen topic has been in the news of late with Jodie Foster’s recent “coming out.” There’s been much speculation about whether she actually came out and what its impact will be on her career and being gay in Hollywood. Here’s the CNN clip of her thanking “my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss” on December 4th at the Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast.

Musto wrote:

“Bravo, Jodie Foster!” That cry has long sounded among easily charmed gay celebrity watchers from Hollywood to Gotham. After all, Jodie is one of the original out-but-not-really-out queens of “at least.” You know: She’s never come out publicly, but at least she’s never tried to claim she’s straight either. She’s talked incessantly about her kids, but at least she hasn’t named the father and tried to make it sound like he was any kind of love interest…

By all reports, Jodie lives an out life—within serious limits—while cagily avoiding any on-the-record revelations, a delicate dance that’s difficult to pull off—but not nearly so much so as double-bolting the door and living a total lie. Jodie, it turns out, is one of the foremost residents of a glass closet—that complex but popular contraption that allows public figures to avoid the career repercussions of any personal disclosure while living their lives with a certain degree of integrity. Such a device enables the public to see right in while not allowing them to actually open the latch unless the celebrity eventually decides to do so herself.

Some reactions:

Sarah Warn, editor of the popular lesbians in entertainment site After Ellen, gives a recap of her speech in the news.

Ross von Metzke at Gaywired looks at stars like Foster, Ricky Martin, Queen Latifah, Michelle Rodriguez and others:

It’s a trend in Hollywood-two steps forward, two steps back.

Foster’s speech, which was made at a mainstream event-Hollywood’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 brunch-was a definitive leap forward, something Grazia Magazine reporter Kiki King told CNN in a report on Foster’s “announcement” could, despite all wishful thinking that it wouldn’t, hurt the Oscar winner’s career.

“Women largely still have to be very thin, very beautiful and very straight in order to be able to get roles and become A-listers,” King explained on CNN. “I definitely think it could affect her career in that sense. But a lot of the gay publications, a lot of the gay Websites say that that’s not good enough-that these people, because they are celebrities, ought to be on the front line… because they ought to be able to take on these roles of leadership.”

Rupert Everett: “”She is 45 and just couldn’t be bothered anymore. After a certain age you can be gay in Hollywood. Before that, it’s not only not good, it’s impossible.”

The Guardian on Jodie Foster:

Perhaps, though, we should cut Jodie some slack. I don’t recall Nicole Kidman, say, having to “announce” her heterosexuality. The fact that the grand gesture of “coming out” is still a big deal just shows that most straight people still assume everybody else is heterosexual. The advantage for Jodie is that she only has to come out once. Non-celebrity lesbians and gay men have to do it every time they meet someone new.

I can’t find the link but I am almost positive that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman took out an ad in a major Hollywood newspaper “proclaiming” their heterosexuality.

New Zealand readers react

The Daily Telegraph posits that her statement was part of a deathbed promise to her friend Randy Stone.

What do YOU think? Did Jodie “come out?” Will her words have an impact or was this a non-story?