September 30th, 2010 · 3 Comments
I saw this morning that the Avatar Fleshlight is here, so far sneaked past any James Cameron-related lawsuits by being a companion to the porn parody This Ain’t Avatar XXX.
Gizmodo: The Avatar Fleshlight Actually Happened
I know: you watched our Fleshlight review and thought hey, that’s great, just maybe not Avatar enough. Like, if only it were blue, and had some crazy texture. Well, creepy person, your wait is over. Meet the Fleshlight Alien. NSFW!
Consider this sexy toy as either a companion product to This Ain’t Avatar XXX—you can buy both as a package deal over at Fleshlight—or as a standalone for some simulated Na’vi nookie.
It has always surprised me how rare it is to find fantasy and science fiction themes in sex-tech products. We all know that fantasy and sci-fi readers are the most sexually creative people of all time. And yet, other than a few love dolls shaped like faerie, the occasional exotic dildo, and erotic slash fiction, there isn’t much out there.
On the other hand, maybe we just spend a lot more time building our worlds in our minds, and connecting through role-playing games and virtual worlds. Any dildo could stand in for any faerie or alien appendage if your mind is fully engaged in cybersex.
But I would still like to see more experimentation in this area. (Hint: I like dragons. A lot.)
Tags: sex toys
September 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments
I hate shopping. I hate being in thrift stores. I can’t deal with coupons, limited offers, or the hell of special sale events where people queue up and knock the doors down at dawn.
But according to a University of Westminster study, I must be doing it wrong.
Shopping for Sexual Arousal
A recent study at the University of Westminster found that special offers ignite the same level of emotional excitement that one experiences from sexual arousal. Bargains make people deliciously happy, firing up the brain in much the same way as watching an erotic film.
Researchers measured brain activity in the emotional parts of the minds of 50 volunteers, as well as their eye movements and emotional responses in the body, in determining which of several activities evoked the most excitement. They found that giving participants a coupon or free gift with a loaf of bread or a jar of the savory British spread Marmite induced the same level of excitement as being exposed to porn.
On the other hand, I buy things online all the time. (Own AMZN stock? You’re welcome.) I don’t have any problem finding or using promotional codes for sale prices, free shipping, reward points, and all that when it’s for Web-based shopping.
I guess in that sense shopping is like porn. The Web makes it accessible, convenient, and personal.
But arousing? That depends on exactly what kind of British spread is involved.
Tags: pornography · science and research
September 24th, 2010 · 2 Comments
Researchers have found the world’s oldest known leather shoe in Armenia. It is about 5,500 years old.
Yet the world’s oldest known dildo is approximately 20 to 30 thousand years old and discovered in German or Sweden.
Ancient dildo found in Germany (~ 25,000 years old)
Ancient dildo found in Sweden (~ 28,000 years old)
I suppose it just means that stone and wood preserve better than leather. But I’d like to think that sexual pleasure was even more important than shoes.
I’d like to think that it still is, but I don’t have time to write about it because I have to get my boots on and head up to the barn to give the pony his medicine.
[Author's note: I cannot find any evidence supporting the claim that a 106,000-year-old phallus was found in Iceland. I suspect it's a hoax. If you have a journal article or citation that dehoaxifies the story, please let me know!]
Tags: sex toys
September 21st, 2010 · 2 Comments
Teachers Jane and Colin Moyle lost their jobs when Colin’s porno film business was discovered, but only he will lose his credential, according to the Daily Mail.
The Welsh couple made dozens of films, many with BDSM themes. According to Jane, Colin was selling them without her knowledge. How a handful of clips ended up on her work laptop where they could be discovered by IT is not explained. (And I’m not going to attempt to jump through the flaming hoops to track the Moyles down and ask them, not without a paycheck attached to the resulting article.)
The General Teaching Council for Wales gave Jane a two-year suspension but did not permanently revoke her license as a primary school teacher.
Considering the extra demerits people in general and teachers in particular receive when they are exposed not just having sex, but having kinky sex, this is a positive sign. Way better than tar and feathers or burning at the stake or permanent blacklisting from a dozen professions.
Tags: in the news
September 14th, 2010 · 4 Comments
I wish some grad student somewhere would do a project counting all the people who have lost their jobs or had their careers challenged by unexpected or accidental public exposure of their sex lives. I want sub-sets by gender, by technology, and by sexual act.
Oh, and by occupation, because it seems to me that teachers are the most likely to get the shaft.
Sex Drive: Sex and Nudity Aren’t Good Reasons to Fire Someone
Sex Drive: Protect the Children from Porn
Is it worse for your career to be a married man caught in Cabo with a bikini-clad model? What if the bikini-clad model is male? Or is it worse to be a married female who plays with bondage with her husband and then discovers it wasn’t as private as she thought?
Maggie Gordon, a young Canadian blogger interested in social justice, has a thoughtful post on Carnal Nation about a Canadian judge whose photos were recently published without her consent — by her own husband. In Judging Women, Judging Sex, Maggie cites the reactions in the Canadian press and legal industry, about how a woman so careless as to be photographed naked could not possibly have an integrity as a judge, and how a woman who engages in sexual flavours other than vanilla could not possibly have the mental health and stability to perform her duties as a judge.
It seems that few are bothering to take the husband to task for betraying their relationship.
Sébastien Grammond, Dean of Civil Law at the University of Ottawa, told the CBC that “If pictures of you naked end up on an internet site, it’s quite difficult to say you have the credibility to be a judge.” But unlike Sébastien, Maggie lives in the modern age and thus recognizes that it is
ridiculous to assume that, in today’s world of digital cameras and webcams, a single nude photograph is enough to destroy any career. It seems even more ridiculous that someone would need to refuse to ever partake in what might be a mutually enjoyable act between partners simply because such personal acts are not fitting of the image of a certain career. Whatever happened to the division between public and private lives? Furthermore, the personal decisions of a mature adult, wise and respected enough to become a judge, should never be used against her career unless said decision has direct connection to her ability to continue doing her job. In this case, sexy photos do not negate one’s ability to make good, just decisions. Engaging in bondage and oral sex do not mean that an entire life of legal training is meaningless. Most judges, I assume, have sex, and yet we do not, as a society, hold this against them or find ourselves unable to think of anything else in their court room. Sex is simply a human activity like any other, yet it causes us to be exceptionally judgmental. I think it is time we lose the grade school mentality of giggling over genitals and just let Douglas get back to her career and life.
So, grad students, any hope of compiling this data for me, starting with 1995 or so? (Or, if you want to be more poetic, start with 2002. That’s when Dooce got fired for what she wrote in her blog, though that wasn’t a sexual situation.)
At least we seem to have given up the practice of burning sensual women at the stake for allegedly committing whatever acts of lust her accusers could imagine. (Hrm, bound to a tall pole, powerless against the group gathered around to watch, and consumed by heat? No, that’s not sexual symbolism at all.)
Tags: in the news
September 14th, 2010 · 2 Comments
I don’t know if where I live is considered “remote” or “rural,” but I do have to drive into town to pick up my mail. I try to get to it once a week so that mail doesn’t languish too long. Usually, They give you 10 days to respond to annoying stuff like insurance expiration notices and tax due bills, so a weekly pick-up is skating close to the line.
But I got all nostalgic yesterday when I brought my packages home and found a press sample! It’s a Fleshdrive, a USB stick pre-loaded with porn videos. The idea is that you can keep all your naughty content on the stick and keep it away from your family, employers, roommates, and dogs.
It would be more discreet if it didn’t say FLESHDRIVE in all caps on the case. But other than that, it works as promised. Plug it in and the porn auto-plays. (It really does. No welcome screen, no menu, no track list. Just bonk chicka bow bow and the option to skip forward to the next track, whatever it may be.) You can add and remove files — all included clips are in Windows Media Player format — and of course Fleshdrive.com makes it very easy to purchase more.
A few years ago I talked to someone at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas about his porn USB product. (His flash drives were shaped like little toys or animals or something innocuous that I can’t remember.) He included a complete browser on the stick, so you could surf the adult internet without adding anything incriminating to your browser history or cache. In fact, I also remember talking with someone who had developed a browser that is completely encapsulated so that while you do run it on your computer, it doesn’t leak anything outside of itself, and you could watch porn and play in chat rooms and use your webcam and all that.
This doohickey is not that sophisticated, but it’s interesting to see that people are still trying to help consumers enjoy porn safely and privately, and to build businesses that depend on sexual stealth.
Tags: hardware · pornography
September 13th, 2010 · 4 Comments
Men’s Health reports that Austin, Texas, is the most sexually active city in the United States, but I knew immediately I couldn’t believe it.
I knew because the highest ranked California city is Bakersfield, which came in 9th out of 100. Any native Californian knows this is not possible. Even Bakos know it’s not possible, and they live there!
The magazine based the rankings on condom sales, birth rates, sex toy sales from Babeland.com and Pure Romance home parties, and the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported by state health departments.
I confess that I can’t help but look into these kinds of things. I can’t see an internet poll without voting, a quiz without taking it, or data (however bogus) without drilling down. Back in my Sex Drive days, I could roll around naked in Pew Research Center for hours and hours.
In this case, I couldn’t help myself. I had to look for the cities where I have lived. (San Francisco, 74th; Los Angeles, 54th; Sacramento, 36th). Even though the magazine considered sex toy sales information from just two retailers, whose combined annual sales are a wee fraction of adult retail grandaddymommy Adam & Eve. Even when the rankings are reported without a key to how they weighted each factor (lower birth rates could indicate more contraception-enabled sex, and lower condom sales could indicate higher rates of birth control pills, IUDs, and implants).
Austin ranks 1st in condom sales, 15th in birth rates, and 23rd in STD infections. Bakersfield boasts the 12th highest condom sales, the 3rd highest birth rate, and the 48th highest STD rate, which makes me wonder if people are buying the condoms but not using them properly. A higher rate of condom sales should translate to lower rates of STD transmission and pregnancies. Typically, condoms have about an 85 percent effectiveness rate as a contraception. (Birth control effectiveness comparison at About.com.)
Sex toy purchases are not broken out as a category on their own, alas.
Portland, Oregon, has a reputation as a relatively sex-friendly city. Free speech advocate Darklady resides there, as does Onyx game developer Franklin Veaux. Yet Men’s Health ranks Portland as the least sex-happy city on the list, number 100. It has one of the lowest rates of condom sales (95th), yet it also has the lowest rate of STD transmission (100th) and has almost the lowest birth rate (95th — lower than Yonkers, New York, but higher than Burlington, Vermont.)
Men’s Health inflates its Web traffic numbers by putting one city on a page, forcing you to click through 100 times to see them all. The print-friendly version only includes the top 10 and the bottom 10. This irritates me so much, I don’t even want to give them link love, but of course that would be rude of me. Also, I don’t want to make the decision for you. Maybe you need a distraction from the workday and want to see each city individually. So, ClickClickClickClickClick.
If not, Austin blogger Robert Quigley helpfully lists all 100 cities by their overall sex happiness rank.
What number is your city? Do you think it’s about right?
Tags: Statistics (real and imagined) · geography
September 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment
I saw on Guanabee that Daisy Fuentes told Siempre Mujer magazine (in Spanish) that “women reveal too much information [on Facebook and Twitter]. The woman is acting like the man. It’s much more aggressive and men catch on quickly. If they get used to that behavior, then men will think there’s no need to woo or seduce women.”
Daisy Fuentes advises women not to reveal too much
I agree with Daisy that oversharing in social media can have a deleterious effect on your love life.
But I’m not sure that expressing your desires online is “acting like the man.” And it seems to me that men who prefer to woo a coy, mysterious woman can still find those, while men who like the brazen and bold will appreciate it when you let loose.
True seduction has never been a one-way endeavor anyway.
Tags: mobile · social media
September 7th, 2010 · Comments Off
Craiglist has removed its adult services section after an impressively long tenure as a business that served both mainstream and adult sectors. With most businesses, as soon as you dip a toe in the warm, wet waters of sex, histrionics ensue and you either have to jump in all the way or run back to shore with many apologies. But Craigslist seems to be able to shrug and say “we do what we want, take it or leave it” — and what it wants this time is to let go of an increasingly problematic section.
At least temporarily. To make a point.
Meanwhile, PinPointsX (PPX) is putting on its hip boots and wading into the rapids. PPX describes itself as a “location-aware social networking platform that provides direct access to all imaginable erotic resources around the user.”
It also claims to be an improved substitute for Craigslist and invites all legal adult service providers, venues, entertainers, adult online dating customers, and other dating- and sex-related businesses to sign up.
I don’t know if PPX will have a better chance at avoiding legal threats (“prostitution! human trafficking! sex crimes!” cry the attorneys; “whatever” sighs the general public). It might, as it is already set up as an adult business, connecting people with erotic partners, places, and products. Whether those people are amateurs or professionals is up to the users, not the platform.
Although if I remember right, that was the original intent of the Craigslist adult section — to divide the sex work from the personal ads, making it easier for users to filter.
But isn’t it comforting to know that someone will always step up and try to replace an online service, the moment an opening appears? I wonder what will take the place of Facebook, when the time comes?
September 7th, 2010 · Comments Off
Passing it on …
Internet Sexual Information Services (ISIS)
ISIS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preventing STIs, including HIV, unplanned pregnancies and unhealthy relationships among youth and young adults. We use new media, mobile and Internet technology to reach large number of youth with prevention messages. Our media-acclaimed projects include inSPOT.org, SexINFO text messaging and the annual Sex::Tech conference in San Francisco.
The ISIS office is small and working relationships are informal. All team members are expected to be self-directed and collaborative. Communication and quality work are highly prized.
ISIS is currently looking for a Director of Marketing and Communications (.6 FTE) to develop, implement, and oversee all marketing and communication efforts across the agency. This position reports is part of a Senior Management team, reporting directly to the Executive Director.
ISIS is currently looking for a Development Director to spearhead development efforts as ISIS grows. A new position in the organization, the Development Director will have the opportunity to imprint on the organization in a significant way. This position reports directly to the Executive Director, and is part of the Senior Management team.
Click here for full job descriptions and application info.
Tags: sex-tech jobs
September 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments
I’ll be at the Lanai Lounge on Friday, September 17, from 6pm to 9pm, for the EstaNoche.com official launch party. If you’re in town, come on by and introduce yourself — I’d love to meet you! I’ll even attempt to chat with you in my gringa Español, if you prefer.
Ignite Your Amor Sensual
Lanai Rooftop Lounge
422 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
- Free food & drinks (try Z Tequila’s “Amor Latino,” created just for the party)
- Deep discounts on EstaNoche purchases
- Renowned sex experts will be on hand to give you the advice you need to turn your love life up a notch
- Help launch the first ever site to help Latinos… and those who love them… keep it caliente in the bedroom
Toys, sex-positive conversation, and Z Tequila? Oh yeah.
Y se habla Español. (Yo hablo un poquito de Español, más o menos, pero EstaNoche bloguera Elvira Marin y otros que hablan Español verdad.)
If you have stepped outside of the rules of “normal” for your culture, you have probably become attuned to language that reinforces those rules.
For example, I never realized how monogamy-centric the majority of American fiction is — books and movies — until I delved into adult communities online. There, many people explore alternative relationship styles like polyamory and group unions, in the relative anonymity of the internet. In that realm, it is “safe” for men to be emotional and for women to have sexual desire and multiple partners.
(If you have ever wondered why so many awesome men love Heinlein and remember clearly the lessons they learned about sex and love from him as adolescents, before cultural realities kicked them in the balls as adults, the answer might lie herein.)
Dr. Charlie Glickman provides some interesting commentary on the language choices in a Time Magazine article about emotional openness and male mental health.
Emotional Skills Help Men Live Longer | Good Vibrations Magazine
Anytime boys or men step outside the box of being a “real man,” we run the risk of being fag-bashed. In many ways, this is comparable to slut-shaming women. In both cases, when someone violates the rigid boundaries of gender by doing something that the “other group” is allowed to do (for men, showing emotions; for women, wanting to have sex or multiple partners), they get attacked, shamed, and assaulted. And even when reporting on research that shows that these inflexible rules cause problems for the people who comply with them, the writer still managed to get some digs in at men who don’t fit the stereotypes.
I think the Time Magazine article uses phrases like “mama’s boy” and “stop sniveling and ‘be a man’?” deliberately, to draw attention to cultural attitudes about masculinity, to create just enough controversy to drive traffic to the story without pissing off the advertisers, and to be humorous. I like to the think that the author wants to show how easy it is to reinforce the repression of natural male instincts — including the expression of tender emotions, the ability to form deep bonds with other men, and respect for their mothers as people not just objects in need of protection and reverence — simply by using common American sayings.
I might be projecting based on my own language choices in certain Sex Drive columns. Also, I have some experience with the pressure editors and publishers can apply, encouraging one to push buttons so that bloggers will be offended and write posts about (and therefore link to) the story. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, seeing benign and even benevolent motives that aren’t actually there.
But I noticed that the title bar says “Emotional Openness May Be Good for Your Health,” an accurate summary of the article content, genially and neutrally expressed. Very likely, this was the original headline, entered into the meta data fields of the publishing tool.
Then a copy editor came along and said “well, gee whiz, this is the blandest title I’ve ever seen,” and changed the headline to its current rabble-rousing state: “Being a Mama’s Boy: Good for Your Health?”
Which one are you more likely to click?
The one that creates an emotional response, of course.
I guess now I know why no one tries to pick me up in Facebook. According to Top 10 Social Networking Pickup Tips on AskMen, you are all avoiding me because I don’t list a relationship status in my profile.
“Anyone who has ‘it’s complicated’ or worse yet, doesn’t list a status at all, might have baggage — or a crazy boyfriend — you want no part of.”
I don’t list a relationship status because if you know me even a little bit, you already know the kinds of relationships I have. And if you don’t know me at all, I’d rather you spend some time getting to know me rather than glance at a multiple-choice answer that might mean something different to you than it does to me. Especially considering how many different types of arrangements fit into the category I’d have to pick.
I hope that doesn’t make me high-maintenance.
Some people don’t list their relationship status in an attempt, however vain, to keep the information away from advertisers. Some include their status but don’t reveal it to anyone outside a designated category of contacts. Some list an erroneous status. Some don’t want people to know how often their relationship status changes.
How sad to miss out on a great connection just because a person doesn’t feel like summing up their love life in fewer than five words – from a template, not their heart — in a social networking profile.
I know I’m taking the piece too seriously. The “top 10 list” articles are about generating page views (you have to click to a new page for each of the 10 tips) and exposing as much advertising as possible (ads appear between pages, on top of the tip text, and on all four sides of the article space). They attempt to provide just enough entertainment to keep you clicking, but not so much that you can’t bear to click on an ad and go watch a movie trailer or shop for razors.
Besides, we have a story in my family that sheds a different light on the whole relationship status thing.
My parents met when they both worked for the same law firm during college. When my dad first asked my mom out, mom said, “Thanks, but I have a boyfriend.” Dad just smiled his devilish smile and replied. “That’s okay. All my girlfriends have had boyfriends.” There was laughter and a suggestion about calling him if the boyfriend didn’t work out.
That Friday, the boyfriend didn’t show up. My mom, a good Catholic girl, waited an appropriate interval (about half an hour, I think) and then gave dad a call. They’ve now been married for 41 years. (And no, dad had not arranged for anything to happen to the boyfriend. It was just good timing.)
You simply can’t tell someone’s true relationship status from a check box.
August 19th, 2010 · Comments Off
Debby Herbenick gives the iPhone 4 and FaceTime video chat a turgid, throbbing thumbs up as a cybersex platform. I’ve been taking another look at the current options for teledildonics, so of course my first thought was “sounds great, and will it work with the OhMiBod?”
I figured it would, as the OhMiBod toys vibrate in response to audio, whether music or voice or random environmental sounds (depending on which toy you get). But you never know for sure unless you ask, so I called and spoke with co-founder Brian Vatter. “People already love to use the [wireless OhMiBod] Freestyle for voice, and adding video is remarkably relevant to the conversation,” he said. “It adds that third dimension. It’s a perfect fit.”
We also talked about Steve Jobs and his efforts to protect you from pornography and sex, and the struggle to get OhMiBod apps into iTunes, and whether Brian will be developing apps for Android OS in the near future. (You don’t need an app to use OhMiBod vibrators with any music player, but that’s not the point.)
In the meantime, Debby shares her experience and offers tips for getting the most out of your iThingie.
The Best (Phone) Sex of Your Life
The first thing that strikes you about FaceTime is that the image quality is incredible. Instead of some blurred-out cluster of pixels, your partner looks touchably real. You can see small movements and subtle expressions quickly flitting across faces. The second thing that subtly blows your mind is actually something you don’t notice: Because the screen and camera are essentially in the same place, you end up looking at your partner directly, skipping that weird sensation that you’re both staring at some point off in the distance. This leads to gazing, to intimacy, to locked eyes searching for glimmers of love, sadness, hurt, or mischievous excitement. And we all know where that leads: It’s a direct flight to Gettin’ Busytown.
[[Update: Debby posted her "author's cut" review on her own site, with more juicy details. Click here to read it at MySexProfessor.com.]]
Tags: general · hardware · software
August 11th, 2010 · Comments Off
According to Mashable, Dating site OkCupid reports that among its subscribers, iPhone users report the highest number of sexual partners, while Droid users report the lowest. Blackberry users are somewhere in the middle.
iPhone Owners Have the Most Sex Partners
OkCupid looked at the data hidden in the images that users uploaded as profile pictures to see which cameras were used to take them — including smartphone cameras. With many of the site’s users also having taken personality tests like “The Dating Persona Test” or “The Slut Test,” which ask for a count of sexual partners, the site was able to cross-reference that data to complete the study.
Maybe it’s because Steve Jobs is doing his darndest to protect you from porn on your iPhone, so you end up pursuing more sex rather than tucking in with mobile porn like Droid users can. Maybe it’s because people who seek sexual novelty by having more partners are also early adopters of new technologies — or at least, hip new communications devices (perhaps to keep up with all those partners) — and so they already had iPhones when the Droid came out.
Or maybe iPhones make people more attractive and act as tractor beams for new sexual partners. Maybe I need to get a t-shirt that says “I loved my partners before they got iPhones”?
Meanwhile, I’m happy with my Droid.