Readers are constantly writing to us for advice on the Porn Issue in their relationship. Typically, women write in to say, “Why is my boyfriend so into porn and how can I get him to stop?” And typically, men write in to say, “Why does my girlfriend have such a problem with me watching porn?” Less often, a woman will say, “How can I find porn that doesn’t annoy me or make me laugh so hard I snort my soda or enrage my inner feminist?” And a guy might ask, “How can I find porn that my girlfriend will enjoy watching with me?” To all of these people we say — amongst other things — find better porn. Of course, “better” is fairly subjective, but anything advertising itself as “feminist porn” is a good step in the right direction. And guys, before you roll your eyes and assume that feminist porn just means a lot of hand-holding and meaningful eye contact, think again.
Sometimes sex is a private matter, and other times, as we see in the news this week, it’s intricately tied to politics, money, technology, your cellphone records — even local parking regulations!
In a ground-breaking move, the government rules that transgender people are protected from bias in the workplace.
For the 2012 races, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund aims to elect an out member to every state legislature.
Yes, Virginia, there is a G-spot, and one doctor in Poland claims he’s located it — and he says it’s tiny, less then one centimeter across. But other G-spot experts are not so sure of his claim. Dr. Adam Ostrzenski (what are the odds his buddies now call him Dr. O?), a semi-retired Florida gynecologist, did a postmortem on an 83-year-old woman in Warsaw, where the use of cadavers is not nearly as regulated as it is in the U.S. (in Poland, doctors can dissect bodies very shortly after death, which allows them to explore fine distinctions in tissue). And according to an article he published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last week, he uncovered small, grape-like clusters of erectile tissue inside a tiny sac between the fifth and sixth layers of vaginal wall tissue.
Yes, we just referred to ourselves in the 3rd person (sorry). But just wanted to let you know that we’re going to be at Union Hall in Park Slope this Thrusday at 8pm (doors at 7:30) for “The Interview Show” hosted by syndicated humor columnist (and Lo’s old friend) Mark Bazer. The Interview Show is usually held monthly at the Hideout in Chicago and features musicians, authors, comedians, athletes, community activists, chefs, etc. shooting the shit. Past guests have included Brian Denehey, Mark Maron, Wilco and Peter Sagal (of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” fame, pictured above).
Article: This week in porn
It’s been a busy week for porn:
A recent study in the Netherlands found that for women, watching pornography reduces blood flow to the visual cortex, indicating that their brain has decided that focusing on arousal is more important than fixating on exactly what’s occurring on the screen in front of them (which could be one reason why the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” is such a hit and being dubbed “mommy porn”).
Article: Buy a sex toy, plant a tree
If you forgot to celebrate Earth Day this past Sunday, Black Label is giving you until May 31st — from now until then, this online sex toy retailer with a fabulous no-phthalates policy (which stocks only items from our favorite quality manufacturers, like Lelo, Fun Factory, and We-Vibe) says they’re committing to planting a tree for every rechargeable sex toy they sell. They’ve already made their operation 100% carbon neutral by voluntarily purchasing Voluntary Carbon Units (VCU) to offset the greenhouse gas emissions their company produces, but they’ve also partnered with Carbon Neutral to take that a step further:
The seahorse is the only male creature — outside of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1994 movie JUNIOR — that gets knocked up, and as such has become something of a mascot to us in our line of work. Especially as women’s reproductive rights are increasingly under attack. But until someone forwarded this video to us, we had never actually seen a male seahorse give birth. It’s pretty mind-blowing and kind of, well, sexual. Ejaculatory, even.
Article: Safer sex for seniors
Check out this amazing PSA — we can’t even get into half of these positions! Their enthusiasm, willingness to experiment, and flexibility is something we — no matter what age — can all learn from.
This may be sacrilege to say, but we can’t seem to muster any interest in reading the new, best-selling erotica novel that everyone’s talking about, Fifty Shades of Grey. After all, as you’ll see below, even the author admits that it’s not that good! For SM erotica, we’d rather stick with a classic like Story of O. Yeah, yeah, we get that Fifty Shades is “mommy porn” for grown women who wished that the Twilight novels were just a little dirtier (hi, we’re your target audience) but maybe we don’t want to read something that has garnered a reputation as mommy porn. That all said, what we are fascinated by are the kind of conversations that this new novel is inspiring:
Article: Get excited about a virginity doc
Theresa Shecter and the gals at Trixie Films are making a documentary called “How to Lose Your Virginity” — it’s goal is “to undo centuries of myths and contradictions around virginity, and to encourage an honest conversation with people navigating the confusing process of deciding when and why to become sexual.” Its subjects include a rock violinist, an Ivy League blogger, an Ohio engineer, a porn producer — all subverting the virginity narrative.
Article: Marrying up is on the way down
Is there any generation that doesn’t consider itself a watershed? We’re suckers for studies that prove we were born at a true turning point. Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research — a lefty, UK-based think tank — shows that “marrying up” is becoming a thing of the past, and the change really started with women born in the 1970s (hi!). While there has been a slight rise in the number of women who “marry down” (we prefer to think of it as a rise in the number of men seeking “aspirational marriages”), the most significant change is that more and more women are choosing to marry men of a similar social status, rather than trying to “bag a rich man,” as the classy saying goes. Sorry, Don Draper.
New research shows that boys are becoming more romantic and more careful — more like girls, some people might say — when it comes to their first sexual experiences. But just because your first time is candle-lit, doesn’t mean you should trust each other with nude photos…
We’re not big into comics, but apparently that’s where you have to go to find interesting, three-dimensional female characters who take center stage. Because you won’t find them in Hollywood (take the Bechdel Test) or at the theater. But you will find them in Danielle Corsetto’s strip GIRLS WITH SLINGSHOTS. A reader recently tipped us off to the site because “it’s closely related to the stuff you guys talk about all the time” — we’re guessing she meant it’s about real women who are their own sexual agents, who don’t fit a preconceived notion of femininity, who pave their own individual romantic paths, sometimes faltering along the way, but always trying to learn and progress as they go while maintaining a healthy sense of humor (and a sex toy drawer).
Article: Guess the celebrity casual sex quote
Most of the time when celebrities are interviewed, they blab on about how talented the director was or what their craft means to them (yawn). But every now and then they’ll open up about something a little more racy. See if you can match up the following celebrities to their quotes about casual sex. (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.)
Article: Morgan Spurlock's new doc, MANSOME
Tickets go on sale today for Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, MANSOME, as part of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival — but only for American Express cardholders (Amex is a founding sponsor of the festival). The rest of you plebes can order tickets next Monday for the screenings which start on Saturday, April 21st and run through the following week. Then the film hits the rest of New York and also Los Angeles on May 18th.
And no, we’re not talking about sex on the beach. Call us square, but we fail to see how a sandy crotch improves anyone’s sex life. Not to mention a mouthful of seaweed. Here are ten much better reasons why the arrival of warm weather is good for your love life:
The ladies got a rough deal this week, what with never being taken outside to play as little girls, being left behind by the Right, being told they don’t care about contraception, and getting spit on yet again by Tucker Max and PETA. Fortunately, Charlize Theron got some aggression out (on tape) on behalf of all womankind:
The Washington Post already announced the official winner (plus finalists and semi-finalists) for their sixth annual Spring Peeps Diorama Contest — a recreation of an occupied McPherson square complete with D.C. rats and “V for Vendetta” masks called “OccuPeep D.C.” — but with so many excellent entries they put together a bonus gallery of purely political-themed peep shows.
Never let it be said that David Lynch takes sex lightly. To quote the man himself: “Certain aspects of sex are troubling — the way it’s used as power, for instance, or the way it takes the form of perversions that exploit other people.” And those “certain aspects” seem to be the only ones that interest Lynch. In his world, no one ever cracks up in bed after an inopportune fart ruins the moment. But no one has glamorized, Hollywood-ized, unrealistic sex either. “Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical,” Lynch said once, “but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way.” And by “flat” he either means “more fake than a declaration of true love on THE BACHELOR” or else “specializing in female subjugation, exploitation and masochism.” Whatever the case may be, the kind of sex his characters have — and the kind of sex his movies deal with — are best described as simply Lynchian, a term which has been defined as “having the same balance between the macabre and the mundane.” This top 10 list, in chronological order, should help further explain:
A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group asked people in the U.S. which key lifestyle habits they would be willing to give up instead of the Internet for a year. 73% would give up alcohol; 69% would give up coffee (we love how close those two figures are!); 77% would give up chocolate (really? 23% need chocolate more than they need the internet?!); 10% would give up their car; and 7% would stop showering (we’re guessing those 7% are all college guys).
photo of a page from Rich’s “An Atlas of a Difficult World” via Flickr
Last Wednesday, the great American poet Adrienne Rich died (1929-2012). If you ever took a “Contemporary American Poetry” class in college, then she surely holds a special place in your artistic heart. In her influential poetry and essays, she explored her identity as a political activist, a feminist and a lesbian (which was bold for the time — and still is, sadly, in some circles). Here are some of our favorite lines of Rich’s poetry about love, sex, sexuality and gender:
Article: Naked News: The HPV Edition
We’ve been writing about sex and sexual health for more than a decade, and HPV still makes our heads swim. It’s such a complicated subject — complicated further by the emotional and political climate surrounding the vaccine — and guidelines on HPV seem to be constantly changing. It’s been in the news a lot lately, so we thought we’d review some of the latest headlines.If you want to brush up on the facts, check out the CDC’s HPV page here. And you can review everything we’ve published on HPV here.
When do we want it? Now! Of course, these kind of things take time and money. And if these things don’t fit the Big Pharma money-making model (take a pill, day after day, year after year, and keep shelling out the dough for it), then getting backing and support is an uphill battle. But Vasalgel seems to be the little birth control that could. After three decades of research and trials in India, this method of reversible male contraception has made it’s way to America thanks to the Parsemus Foundation, which is dedicated to finding low-cost solutions neglected by the pharmaceutical industry.
“How come there are so many movies about a teenage boy who wants to have sex and this is the only one about a teenage girl who wants to have sex?” Thank you! We’ve been wondering all our lives where decent depictions of young female sexuality have been. Apparently in Norway. We haven’t seen it yet, but by all accounts the Scandinavian film TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! — an adaptation of the Norwegian novel of the same name — is refreshing, honest and hilarious. The film won “Best Screenplay” at the Tribeca Film Festival, “Best Debut Film” at the Rome Film Festival and “Best European First Feature” at Mons International Love Film Festival. And critics have been singing its praises:
The fifth season of MAD MEN premiered last night on AMC with a two-hour special, and Don Draper did nothing to change our minds about his relationship potential. Peggy may worry that he’s a kinder, cuddlier Draper, but we have no such concerns. After all, she didn’t see him resolve a domestic dispute by pretend-raping his wife (what was up with that weird retro porn scene anyway?!). Here are our top ten reasons why Don Draper would make a terrible boyfriend: