Posts Tagged ‘sex writing’
Don’t forget – you can catch Violet Blue and other Best Sex Writing 2008 contributors Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex”), Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria”), Jen Cross (“Surface Tensions”), Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”), and Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto”) TONIGHT at The Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street (between 11th and South Van Ness), San Francisco. Free! Hosted by Carol Queen.
Violet Blue is the best-selling, award-winning author and editor of over a dozen books on sex and sexuality, all currently in print, a number of which have been translated into several languages; she has contributed to a number of nonfiction anthologies. Violet is a sex educator who lectures at UC’s and community teaching institutions, and writes about erotica, pornography, sexual pleasure and health for major publications and blogs. She is a professional sex blogger and femmebot; an author at Metroblogging San Francisco (Metblogs); a correspondent for Geek Entertainment Television; she is on the Gawker payroll as girl friday contibutor and editor at Fleshbot; in January 2007, Violet was named a Forbes Web Celeb 25. She is a San Francisco native and human blog. Violet is the sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle with a weekly column titled Open Source Sex, and has a podcast of the same name that frequents iTunes’ top ten.
What prompted your piece “Kink.com and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting?” I know you were reacting to articles about Kink.com specifically, but how long had you been noticing this trend of unbiased reporting?
I write for the SF Chronicle; I’m their sex columnist. and on the same day my column ran “Open Source Sex” I had an interview with sex-positive alt porn director Eon McKai up. it was a great interview that showed the breaking down of porn’s redundant gender and physical stereotypes, the sex-positivity and inclusiveness of modern sex attitudes into the mainstream (which had been going on for a while, I was just drawing attention to the newest wave of it). porn from the POV of the makers, not the critics who don’t know what’s really going on. that week, local BDSM empire (and all-inclusive, sex-positive, politically minded local porn company) Kink.com had purchased the SF Armory for its new studio location. the Chron’s website bumped my column to the bottom of the page and ran a totally anti-porn, completely biased piece about a staged “protest” in front of the Armory — many have said that even the number of protesters stated in the piece was incorrect and more than the few who showed up. the website showed photos of Kink employees who were there to wash the building and called them “protesters” (though later corrected their mistakes).
the piece was so anti-porn, and especially anti-kink, I saw red. especially since Kink is one of the most incredible places to work — they threat their employees better than any company I’ve seen (except for Google), the performers are treated with respect, paid really well, have hair and makeup people and are regarded as Olympic athletes. the cleanliness standards should be envied by every restaurant in San Francisco and copied by every porn company in the world. and the owner’s mission is to demystify kinky sex, normalize it, and make the world a better place for all sexual outsiders for doing do. the Chron’s hit piece disgusted me, the rest of mainstream media predictably followed suit, and I wrote a powerful response.
the reaction at the paper was extreme. let’s just say mainstream media found it a bitter pill to swallow when I criticized their lock-step anti-porn and anti-sex bias within its own pages. it was quite a scandal. but that’s what happens when a paper hires a blogger, you know?
You contrast religious groups’ opposition to porn with the coverage in mainstream papers like The New York Times and your own San Francisco Chronicle. Do you feel the anti-porn groups have been successful in getting their POV into mainstream papers or is it simply lazy reporting?
it’s both; mainstream media still sits behind its cozy little Fourth Estate wall of authority and assumption that everyone agrees sex is bad and wrong; journalists don’t have to bother questioning this point of view, even though the world’s view on sex has changed (and is changing rapidly) around them. MSM needs to get sex positive, because we can only make fun of them for so long…ultimately their attitudes are causing them to miss telling real stories and reporting with accuracy, which I think the corrective nature of the blogosphere will reign in eventually. but not without scandal and humiliation first — on the part of the sex-negative press. sex is normal, and they need to get over thinking people will agree with their assumptions of sexual shame. but I do feel that the anti-porn groups, while way smaller than the millions of people who feel the opposite, have been effective in disrupting accurate reporting about sex and porn. they’re loud, they have government backing, and everyone at Fox wants to keep their jobs; they talk about sex a lot, just as long as it’s bad and wrong, no problem.
Was there or has there been any positive mainstream coverage of Kink.com?
yes: the New York Times piece was a real piece of reporting, and in its unbiased accuracy reflected Kink’s positive impact.
What do you make of the fact that the porn industry seems to be flourishing, and certainly there’s much more porn available in more varied forms, with this continued insistence on including anti-porn viewpoints in major papers?
I think the mainstream porn industry is struggling to keep up with changing technology and how it’s consumed (just like Hollywood), but porn in general — especially homemade — is totally flourishing. people don’t read the papers anymore, or they know they don’t need to; they shop for their news and information now, and I think the democracy of consumption is reflected in people’s refusal to swallow lines about sex and porn being bad, when their individual experiences online are showing them otherwise. sex has become normal and healthy for many people, and they might click on a sex scandal story to see what the sex workers say about their jobs, but most aren’t buying that sex workers are Diane Sawyer’s sad stereotypes. they can go to wakingvixen or $pread and see a bunch of empowered women. people aren’t stupid — or, at least they’re not in the dark for information anymore and know when they’re getting a one-sided view.
Is there anything porn fans/consumers, not to mention creators, can do to make their voices heard? It seems to me that the anti-porn lobby also preys on porn users’ insecurities over porn and sex and assumes that there aren’t people willing to stand up and say that porn is both legal, as you point out, and can be healthy.
blog. vlog. make more media. show that you’re real people. link to people who show sex is good and healthy; don’t link to douchebags.
What are the main ways you think mainstream media gets porn wrong?
MSM needs to erase all their preconceptions about porn and start over again. they’ve been so mired in sensationalism, religious dogma, erroneous studies pushed by fundamentalists and dated stereotypes about exploitation and degradation that they have no idea what’s really going on in the worlds of porn and sex online. who is being exploited by gay porn, by the way? and, with all the baggage MSM brings to ordinary, self-defined sex work and healthy sexual expression, we can’t actually find the real voices of the people who do get exploited and need help. it’s shameful.
Do you think mainstream journalists are anti-porn, or simply want to give the appearance of being so? Is there any advantage to them to not including a fairer portrait of the industry?
the tradition of their jobs force them to posit anti-sex and anti-porn points of view. to do otherwise would cost them their jobs.
What can journalists do to become better versed in porn and provided more accurate coverage? What resources would you recommend journalists covering porn to check out to get a broader view of the topic?
What are you working on next?
Best Women’s Erotica 2009, trying to pull a web show together, more GETV (always!), writing about my teen years as a homeless kid on the streets, finding time to cuddle with my cat, sip fine absinthe, good chocolates, and ravage a certain Hacker Boy. oh, and change the cultural conversation about sex.
From the latest issue of Forum UK:
Rounding up the most incisive, provocative and bizarre articles on sex published in the last 12 months, author and senior editor at Variations magazine Rachel Kramer Bussel presents a selection as mouthwatering as her other area of specialist interest, the cupcake. The collected articles range from Kevin Keck’s wryly amusing Double Your Panic, in which he tells how every man’s dream of bedding twins becomes a nightmare when you’re about to become the father of a set, to Tristan Taormino’s alarming look at the use of phthalates in cheap sex toys, Dangerous Dildoes, which is guaranteed make you think twice when you buy your next vibrator, and Ashlea Halpern’s harrowing Battle Of The Sexless, which examines the plight of men who will go to any length to become eunuchs. If that’s not enough, there are also investigations into the phenomenon of ‘naked parties’ on campus, the unsafe sex lives of the over-fifties and the truth about wedding night sex.
Scott Poulson-Bryant’s profile of Lexington Steele, The Hung List, fails to say much beyond ‘America doesn’t like its black porn stars to be too black’ (a comment which could be leveled at its black female singing stars and potential Presidential candidates…) and the think pieces on the whole are less interesting than the reportage, but Best Sex Writing 2008 proves that the quality of writing about sex I generally as high and thought-provoking as it has ever been.
Best Sex Writing 2008 Reading
Thursday, March 27, 7 pm
Best Sex Writing 2008 features the best writing from across the sexual spectrum. Hear contributors talk about sex in academia, mainstream porn reporting, hiring a professional submissive, sexual abuse and butch/femme, circumcision, and working in the field of sex. Hosted by Carol Queen, with contributors Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex”), Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria”), Greta Christina (“Buying Obedience”), Jen Cross (“Surface Tensions”), Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”), and Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto”).
At the Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission St. (between 11th and South Van Ness), San Francisco
Free (donation requested)
Details from the Center for Sex and Culture site:
The Center for Sex and Culture presents the best in sex journalism! Join the local contributors of Best Sex Writing 2008 for a reading on Thursday, March 27 at 7:00pm. From dangerous dildos to professional submissives, the erotic appeal of twins, sex work, pornography and much more, these authors delve into the far reaches of eroticism. Probing stereotypes, truths, and the tricky areas in between, Best Sex Writing 2008 opens the bedroom door and explores the complexity of modern sexuality with thought-provoking, cutting-edge essays and articles.
Authors Violet Blue, Paul Festa, Amy Andre, Greta Christina, Jen Cross and Melissa Gira will read and sign books afterwards.
Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting”) is author and editor of nearly two dozen sexual health books and erotica collections. She is a professional sex educator, lecturer, podcaster, blogger, vlogger, porn/erotica reviewer and machine artist. She has written for outlets ranging from Forbes.com to O, The Oprah Magazine. Violet’s website is tinynibbles.com.
Sex essays by Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”) appear in Nerve, Salon, Best Sex Writing 2005 and Best Sex Writing 2006. His award-winning movie, Apparition of the Eternal Church, about the music of Olivier Messiaen, has its San Francisco premiere at Grace Cathedral on April 18. His related book, OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, was recently published. He can be found online at paulfesta.com and apparitionfilm.com.
Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex’) has a master’s degree in human sexuality studies from San Francisco State University. She works as a sex educator and writer. http://www.amyandre.com/
Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto [A Four-Part Series]) is the editor of Sexerati, the award-winning blog about smart sex, the co-founder of the sex worker group blog Bound, Not Gagged, and a reporter for Valleywag. Visit her at melissagira.com.
Greta Christina (“Buying Obedience: My Visit to a Pro Submissive”) has been writing professionally since 1989. She is the editor of Best Erotic Comics 2008 and Paying for It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Ms., Penthouse, the Skeptical Inquirer, and two volumes of the Best American Erotica series. She blogs at http://gretachristina.typepad.com.
No charge — but we will ask for donations if you’re able to contribute. At The Center for Sex & Culture: 1519 Mission near 11th St. CSC can take checks, Visa, M/C and Discover.
What great news – my publisher Cleis Press has asked me to edit Best Sex Writing 2009. If you’re reading this site, you have an idea of the kind of work I’m looking for; I’d also love any tips or recommendations.
Call for submissions: Best Sex Writing 2009
To be edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Publication date: November 2008
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2008
Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for personal essays and reportage for inclusion in the 2009 edition of the Cleis Press series Best Sex Writing, which will hit stores in November 2008. Seeking articles from across the sexual spectrum, covering alternative sexuality, reproductive rights and sexuality, sex education, sex and technology, sex work, sex and aging, sex and parenting, sex and religion, sex and race, sex and disability, BDSM, polyamory, gender roles, etc. These topics are just starting points; any writings covering the topic of sex will be considered. Personal essays will also be considered. I like work that looks at sex in new and unusual ways, that challenges us to think about sex and our own sexuality, is thought-provoking and possibly disturbing. I want sex journalism that’s found in the most unexpected places.
Previous editions of the annual series have featured authors such as Susannah Breslin, Susie Bright, Stephen Elliott, Tristan Taormino, Virginia Vitzhum, Gael Greene, Michael Musto, and others. See Best Sex Writing 2008 for examples of the types of writing being sought (introduction and more information at https://bestsexwriting2008.wordpress.com). I’m especially looking for reported pieces that are political, timely, intelligent, surprising, and insightful about sex in American culture (and its many subcultures).
About the editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel (www.rachelkramerbussel.com) is a prolific author and editor. She hosts In The Flesh Reading Series and has edited or co-edited over a dozen erotica books, most recently Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Best Sex Writing 2008, and Crossdressing.
Requirements: Story must have been published (or slated to be published) between June 1, 2007 and October 31, 2008, online and/or in print (book, magazine, zine or newspaper) in the United States.
Instructions: Please send your double-spaced submission (up to 6,000 words) as a Word document or RTF attachment to bestsexwriting2009 at gmail.com – you may submit a maximum of TWO pieces for consideration. You MUST include your full contact information, a bio, and previous publication details as per below.
If for some reason you are unable to send a Word document or RTF, send your submission in the body of an email. Put BSW09 in the subject line. Include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and exact publication details (title of publication, date of publication, and any other relevant information). ONLY SEND WORK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPRINT.
Editors may submit up to three submissions from their publication, following the guidelines above. Please make it clear that you are the editor submitting work for consideration from your publication, and have the author’s contact information available upon request.
Email address (for queries and submissions): bestsexwriting2009 at gmail.com
Deadline: May 1, 2008
Expect to hear back from me by October 2008 at the latest.
I’ve been holding onto some of these for way too long, my apologies. A belated sex in the news roundup…
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.
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.”
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.”
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).
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).
Here’s the latest in my interview series of Best Sex Writing 2008 contributors.
Gael Greene wrote “The Insatiable Critic” column for New York magazine for more than thirty years and remains on the staff, writing a weekly “Ask Gael” column. The author of Blue Skies, No Candy, Doctor Love, and other books, she is also cofounder (with James Beard) and board chair of Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization that delivers 2.2 million meals a year to elderly housebound New Yorkers. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.insatiable-critic.com.
What prompted you to write your memoir, Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, and who would you say is your intended audience?
I wanted to tell the story of how New York City and America fell in love with food from my early days as a foodie-ahead-of-the-times, before I forgot it and before people who weren’t there rewrote it. Feeling that the sexual revolution had prepared Americans for the food revolution by seeding sensualism, I wanted to tell that story too. In each decade what was happening culturally, on the streets and in the stock market, affected what we ate.
What has the reaction to the memoir been like? Did you get any flak from people who primarily think of you as a food critic for writing about your personal life?
There were some passionate food lovers who were offended by the erotic memoir. Some of the men in my life were pleased to be left out of the book and a few I neglected to mention were hurt. One wrote asking if we could meet for lunch so he could audition for the second volume.
The excerpt in Best Sex Writing 2008 (“The Prince of Porn and the Junk-Food Queen”) is about your dalliance with porn star Jamie Gillis. Looking back on that time of your life, is there anything you’d do differently? How did it feel to relive that era while writing Insatiable?
It was emotionally draining to remember all the sad times and mad times in the book but what fun to relive the great moments. I could almost taste the astonishment of dinner at Fredy Girardet and memories of incredible times in bed were so vivid.
Since you cover both of them extensively in your memoir, what do you see as the connection between food and sex?
Obviously, two of the greatest sensuous pleasures consenting adults can share. It seems so obvious…we use the same senses in both eating and making love — the eyes, the nose, the ears, the sense of taste. The more in touch one is with one’s sensuality, the more pleasure, and the greatest pleasure is in the moment. The ability to enjoy the moment is a gift.
Has he been in touch with you since Insatiable was published or have you seen him recently?
Jamie Gillis is living with Zarela Martinez, the restaurateur — she met him a few years ago at my birthday. They seem quite together and happy. The four of us had dinner two weeks ago.
What does the word “insatiable” mean to you?
Literally, “insatiable” means not being able to be satisfied. I have never found satisfaction elusive. New York magazine’s creator Clay Felker thought Insatiable Critic was amusing and my then husband did too, so it’s on my New York magazine column and my web site.
For me, too much of a good thing is just barely enough.
You are now writing for your own website, Insatiablecritic.com, in addition to your New York magazine column and other food writing. What’s different about writing on the web vs. print? Has being able to update the site whenever you want changed how quickly you write your reviews?
The big difference is I decide what I want to cover and how long to write. Alas, another difference is I have no determined fact checker on the site as I do at New York, although I do have two editors who read for typos, grammar, spelling. Everything is faster now than it was in 1968 when New York magazine was born and I came on as the critic; nobody waits for a restaurant to settle in. The competition is huge, beyond imagining. Most of my blog postings are about first visits to new restaurants, although some of the stronger pieces are rediscoveries of places and chefs I have admired.
Do you get more feedback from readers from the website vs. your New York magazine column?
The instant feedback of an email to the site is apparently very tempting.
What’s your favorite recent restaurant find?
I loved the food at Dovetail on the Upper West Side. Bar Boulud is a great gift to the Lincoln Center area. Chop Suey in the Renaissance Hotel will be good if it stays consistent. The Smith is better than it needs to be for the NYU students it draws and the amazing low prices.
You did a roundup of 2007’s Best Dishes on your site. In general, do you prefer to revisit old favorites or try new places?
After three or four new places that aren’t wonderful, I desperately need to go back to a restaurant I love.
What can visitors to Insatiablecritic.com look forward to in the near future?
I’ll keep up with what’s new. I hope my readers will feed me more good food world gossip. Every week, we post more vintage articles from the earliest days of New York magazine, not available anywhere else on the web. I think they are fun to read for those of us who were there, and newly obsessed foodies who want to know what it was like.
My fantabulous, awesome, amazing (she really is all those things and more!) Cleis Press publicist Kara Wuest interviewed me about Best Sex Writing 2008 and sex journalism generally. Read the whole interview – here’s a snippet:
KW: The intersection of sex and the law was a recurring topic in many of these pieces. Is it impossible to talk about modern sexuality without acknowledging how much trouble you can get into?
RKB: Well, I think sex and the law will always be intricately tied together. We tend not to think about the ways our sexuality is shaped by the law until it’s infringed upon. I love that Ariel Levy’s excellent article “Dirty Old Women” is also included in Best Crime Writing 2007, and in many ways she looks at why and whether and how statutory rape works when it’s female on male, and some of the assumptions, legal and cultural, around it. Trixie Fontaine’s look at not just the legal implications of menstruation porn, but the financial ones, was fascinating, and showed that money doesn’t trump all. It’s hard to say who the villain(s) are in Ashlea Halpern’s piece and she does a great job showing that this doctor who acted outside the law by performing sex change surgery may have seen himself as doing something positive (or else just didn’t care and wanted to make money). I found Kelly Kyrik’s piece about those who go after child sex predators fascinating as well, because those working on the side of the law have to try to get into the heads of pedophiles. And all of these are in stark contrast to “Sex in Iran,” where there’s a huge discrepancy between the letter of the law and what’s actually happening.
KW: Which contributions were the most surprising to you?
JL: Jill Eisenstadt’s “To Have of Have Not: Sex on the Wedding Night” surprised me because I wasn’t looking for it. It wasn’t a formal submission to the book or something I’d bookmarked along the way. I happened to be reading an anthology called Altared, about women’s takes on modern weddings, and found her insightful essay questioning whether anyone gets busy on their wedding night anymore. And Ashlea Halpern’s “Battle of the Sexless” gave me chills. I’d never really thought about eunuchs before, and her piece is both heartbreaking and fascinating and touches on the law, medicine, gender identity, and so much more. I know many people won’t be able to get through it, and it’s a very visceral, tough piece, but all the more provocative and powerful for it.
My friend Jason Boog over at his excellent writing/publishing-themed website The Publishing Spot did a 5-part Q&A with me (last one’s up tomorrow) and also has some footage from the Best Sex Writing 2008 party:
Also, in separate but related news, Jezebel (a multiple Bloggie nominee!)has a great post up by Jessica Grose, with lots of debate in the comments, called “Shiksa Studies: Why Don’t Jewish Women Get Any Pop Cultural Love?” and it includes an excerpt from my interview with Rachel Shukert about Jewish girls and blowjobs.
Radar is declaring, in its typically amusing and tongue-in-cheek fashion, that this year’s hottest accessory for shiksas is a Jewish husband. You know what? Tongue-in-cheek or not, I’m over Jewish dudes getting all the love. You never hear about Jewish women being the hottest, well, anything; while Woody Allen is off bagging WASP goddesses Mariel Hemmingway and Diane Keaton in Manhattan, cultural stereotypes of female Jews show us to be fleshy, frumpy, sexless overbearing mothers with big noses and unruly hair. Rachel Shukert, the far from frumpy sex writer, thinks that “Jewish men have really had a large part in disseminating those [negative] stereotypes” of Jewish women.
The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #117? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.
This Week’s Picks
In Case Of Fire
“His hand slid around the back of my neck and pulled me close – easily, no effort at all, letting me feel the power of his arms and the warm puff of his breath against my ear.”
It was a long night…
“I gasped as he slowly pushed in one finger, slippery with oil, and began to wiggle it and spread me open.”
Sex Worker Confessions: Gracie Passette
“But underneath it all, sex workers are all about bridging, in body & soul, word & deed, the irreconcilable differences between realities and desires.”
Mr. Sugasm Himself
The Persian Kitty Alternative
(Sugasm participants should re-post all the links above within a week. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)
NSFW Pics & Videos
Guy fucks an English babe’s bum in free gangbang clip
Half-Nekkid on Wacky Hair Day
Joanne Arnold, Extra Nipples & A Request
Lucy C topless (Met Art)
Our movie debut
Pornsaint Mandy Morbid
Sex Toy or Dog Toy…Or Both?
WebMistress Feature Gallery: The Shaving Celebration
Sex News, Reviews & Interviews
Bisexuals Are No Longer Confused
Gwen Diamond Cuckolds Her Husband And Forces Him To Eat Cum
Interview with Rachel Shukert on Jewish girls and blowjobs
The ultimate titty finder
Thoughts on Sex and Relationships
Cum-shots, spanking, and the role of blogging in feminist porn
Fear and Loathing of Phone Sex
Just Ask For It
What is sex?
Erotic Writing and Experiences
A Clandestine Liaison
The fluent cunnilinguist
Haute Couture – Part 1
Recovery – Part III
Teaching a blowjob lesson