Cosmopolitan magazine and Harlequin will publish a line of romances called Red Hot Reads, a series that “will present independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance.” The snappy eBooks will all be about 30,000 words apiece. [Galleycat]
Yay? I dunno, for my money I'd rather read Best Women's Erotica or something, but I doubt I am Cosmo's target market, seeing as how I am old and the kind of feminist that takes the fun out of everything.
It is apparently still very important to remember that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, though, which explains why the sets' building blocks come mostly in fuschia (specifically Pantone 219, Barbie's signature color because it helps highlight her cheekbones.) (I made that last part up.) And none of this racetrack riffraff stuff for the ladies, please: package choices include a mansion, a fashion boutique, an ice cream cart, and a beach house.
The 60-year-old son of sex research pioneer Dr. William H. Masters has admitted masturbating in Central Park.
William H. Masters III pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor public lewdness. He was arrested in May after a New York police officer reported seeing him expose his genitals and masturbate. [WSJ]
Masters is the son of the Masters in Masters and Johnson, the authors of Human Sexual Response.
Masters also is charged with exposing himself to a sheriff's deputy and another woman on a Michigan river in September. That case is pending. [WSJ]
China is facing a avalanche of sex scandals as 'investigative reporter' whose videos of an official in compromising position with his mistress created embarrassment for the government, plans to release more such clips. The threat came even as an "anchor" of a TV station charged a Communist Party politician of coercing her into long-term relationship.
Zhu Ruifeng, a "Reporter with counter-corruption website" jdwsy.com, told state-run Global Times that five more sex videos featuring officials of Chongqing, till early this year ruled by disgraced Party leader Bo Xilai, will be released after getting enough proof of their authenticity. Zhu posted the 12-second-long video to the Internet last week showing Lei Zhengfu, then secretary of the Beibei District Committee of the Communist Party of China in Chongqing, in compromising position with an 18-year-old Zhao Hongxia. Zhu claims Zhao has been Lei's mistress for the last five years. [IBN Live]
Which, first of all, lesson learned: if you are a Communist Party officer and someone offers you some too-good-to-be-true free sex, just say no. Secondly, I feel like there was a time when having a sex tape released was a huge deal, and now it's just like well yeah, everyone has one somewhere. Is that function of us being less hung up about sex? Or of recording devices becoming smaller and more ubiquitous?
One year ago next week the Food and Drug Administration was poised to announce that EC had been approved for on-the-shelf access, such that it could appear at your local pharmacy between condoms and pregnancy test kits. But Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped in at the last minute and ruled that Plan B One-Step and its generic equivalent must remain behind-the-counter. That decision led to confusion and unnecessary obstacles for women, teens, and couples at the very moment clarity was needed most. For example, we know that:
*Doctors and teens have been given misinformation about the age restrictions applied to emergency contraception over the counter (currently 17) or told that teens could not get the product at all (not true). This confusion helps no one.
* Men have been told by pharmacists in several states around the country that they could not buy EC (not true), presenting obstacles and delays when timing matters.
*Rape survivors have been denied access to EC by doctors and prison staff.
* Individuals without government issued identification may have difficulty accessing EC because of the restrictions.
[RH Reality Check]
If there's one thing everyone all across the political spectrum should be able to agree on, it's that unwanted pregnancies are not good (I know that's wishful thinking). Sign this petition to have HHS Secretary Sebelius revisit her decision to put emergency contraception behind the counter.
American novelist Tom Wolfe is being hotly tipped to win this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction prize for a second time. The annual award is given “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel”.
Other novelists on this year’s longlist include newcomer JK Rowling for her debut novel, The Casual Vacancy: “He retained a memory of her bare pink vulva; it was as though Father Christmas had popped up in their midst.... he forced his way inside her, determined to accomplish what he had come for… Krystal moaned a little. Her head thrown back, her nose became broad and snout-like.”
She faces stiff competition from Nicholas Coleridge’s The Adventuress (“In seconds, the duke had lowered his trousers and boxers and positioned himself across a leather steamer trunk, emblazoned with the royal arms of Hohenzollern Castle… ‘More, more,’ he cried out. ‘Next time you will discipline me dressed as a nun. I have the garments in the cupboard’.’”) and Howard Jacobson’s Zoo Time. [Standard]
Here's the list, for people who need some holiday reading.
It's not entirely clear what, in fact, happened:
"New York-based Sesame Workshop said in a statement that its own inquiry concluded that the claim of underage sexual conduct was unsubstantiated, and that puppeteer Kevin Clash has denied
any wrongdoing and called the allegation "false and defamatory."
But the company said Clash, 52, was disciplined after an internal investigation showed he "exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage." [Chicago Tribune]
Either way, just stop it. I know that it must be SO disappointing to leave that "tickle me" joke just sitting there on the shelf. But, you know, adults having sex with kids (and yes, 16 is still a kid in this country) is actually not funny at all. I know, what a buzzkill I am.
Their clitorises enlarge to a big dick-shaped schlong, which they use to pee out of, can make erect on command, and even GIVE BIRTH OUT OF. Yes. More on that later. It's hard to tell apart males and females in the wild—this is called genital mimcry. It does come at a price.
It's really hard for hyenas to have sex with each other. They basically have to kind of rub their two dicks together, and hope the sperm shoots up the lady's dickhole. It takes a lot of practice, and it makes females essentially rape-proof, as they have to sort of maneuver to get all the parts lined up correctly.
They also have to give birth through a pee-hole-sized opening, which is almost-certainly incredibly painful, and dangerous to both mother and child. The baby tears its way out of the birth canal, and often mother hyenas bleed to death after childbirth. Sometimes the pups smother, trying to get down the long, narrow passageway. It seems kind of terrible, actually, but we continue to get more hyenas so I guess it works?
Hyenas also pop boners as a sign of submission. Female hyenas rule the pack, so a male greeting a female will often stiffen up in greeting, so she can smell his junk. Even females can harden their "peniform clitorises" to say hello to a higher-ranking gal. Just on command! It's got nothing to do with arousal, apparently, it's just they hyena version of kneeling before royalty.
The world of hyena sex is sort of terrifying, but also sort of amazing. If only we could all show our boners to the people we respect!
Live Science, The Painful Realities of Hyena Sex
Hyaenidae.org, Spotted Hyena: Reproduction
Prop. 35 is an anti-human trafficking law. Like much of the law enforcement-based approaches to ending trafficking, it doesn't do much for victims while further criminalizing legitimate sex work.
Second, Prop. 35 would also significantly compromise the rights of adults working in the sex industry. Sex workers, who are always marginalized and silenced during discussions “sex trafficking,” oppose this initiative as it would further their marginalization and would make them even more vulnerable to violence and harassment by law enforcement. Even people who do not agree with their positions must realize that Prop. 35 covers activities that do not amount to actual “sexual slavery,” such as the distribution of obscene materials depicting minors, even when the person doing so has no actual contact with the minors. There is growing evidence worldwide that these kinds of “tough-on-crime” anti-trafficking policies end up causing more harm than good, especially hurting the people they purport to help. Any anti-trafficking policy must be informed by the lived experience of sex workers. [SJSU Justice Studies]
Measure B was the "condoms in porn" mandate that lots of adult performers opposed. Unfortunately, it passed. Now male performers in LA are required to wear a condom when shooting porn. Many think this will drive the industry out, but more importantly, it's unfair.
On November 6, the voters of Los Angeles County are going to be asked to decide a ballot measure about the sexual rights of a small inclusive community within its borders, a community that is often misunderstood and rarely given a voice, a community that is publicly shunned but privately enjoyed, a community that has fought for its right to exist through years of struggles, court battles and legislation. Those that make up this community only want one thing: The right to choose for themselves how to live and work. [Michael Fattorosi, AdultBizLaw.com]
Hey everybody, if we can legalize pot, we can probably legalize sex work, too! Let's get on that for next time.
On the chance this storm takes us out, we want to give New York one last stab at love. Below, then, is a survey of the Halloween-related Missed Connections postings on Craigslist from Saturday night until this morning.
Hunker down and fall fast in love. We wish you the best of luck.
Dr Müllensiefen told Spotify, who commissioned the study, “It is no surprise that so many respondents claimed to find music arousing in the bedroom. From neuro-scientific research we know that music can activate the same pleasure centres of the brain that also respond to much less abstract rewards such as food, drugs or indeed sex.”
I guess maybe it's just that the word "brothel" conjures up a much more exciting image, but it's hard to believe this plain-ass building was home to a bustling escort service.
Cops broke up a Manhattan prostitution operation that brazenly catered to Johns with a fetish for Asian women, court documents revealed today.
William Thomas, 42, was arrested and charged with promoting prostitution when he met with an overcover cop and hooked him up with working ladies at 238 E. 50th Street, according to a Manhattan DA criminal complaint. [NY Post]
I remember when I first moved to New York (ten years ago, I am very old) I imagined there was something seedy and exciting happening inside every building I passed, and that if I just knocked on the right door, I would be ushered into some secret awesome club. That, obviously, is not true. Most buildings are just full of people watching Netflix on their laptops. But still. Goes to show you never know.
Back in the squid makeout melee, the biggest squids grab the females from the bottom and deposit their sperm in a different spot, underneath her mantle, near her "egg chamber". That way, when she unsheathes her "string of 200 jellylike eggs", that sperm gets the first crack at it. As she's putting the eggs in a safe place, other, smaller guys dart out and spray their sperm at them, too. Then if she feels like there's not enough sperm floating around, she can release some of her mouth sperm, as well. It is a real sperm party. Just a roiling cloud of sperm and squid.
The eggs are hidden around the seafloor, ready to hatch in a few weeks and eject sperm of their own. Sperm! That is the takeaway. Squid are just covered in sperm, basically all the time. Calamari, yum.
But how does that big number stack up against historic sex tape lawsuits? Let's see.
$70 million, Fred Durst, 2005.
"It was stored in Durst’s home computer, but hackers managed to break into the computer remotely and make a copy, according to the lawsuit." Hackers!
$30 million, Paris Hilton, 2004.
As everyone knows, she later settled for part of the profits.
$20 million, Verne Troyer, 2007.
Troyer claims the tape was stolen and leaked to TMZ. $20 million were the estimated profits (!) and he wanted them all.
$10 million, J.Lo, 2009
"Jennifer's lawsuit filed Friday states that her former husband Ojani Noa has been trying to sell to film industry players a movie with footage of J.Lo and Ojani in sexual situations." Oh, Ojani. Poor thing.
$5 million, Kim Kardashian, 2007.
Granted she's made a lot more than that off it, considering this story refers to her as "Ray J's ex".
$160,000 (£100,000) Tulisa Contostavlos, a lady from British X-Factor, 2012.
"'She's suing for up to 100,000 pounds. This latest move by Tulisa has really unnerved and unsettled him,' a source said." Things must be different over there, litigiousness-wise, if $160,000 is unsettling.
$0, just wants the tape back, Rielle Hunter (aka John Edwards's mistress), 2011.
Probably best for her not to push things.
So it looks like Hulk is really swinging for the fences on this one. Good luck with that one, Terry Gene.
A new study shoots big holes in one of the major criticisms of the HPV vaccine, by showing that young girls don't become more promiscuous after getting shots to protect against the sexually transmitted disease. The study published today in the journal Pediatrics found that girls who got HPV shots at age 11 or 12 were not more likely to seek out birth control, STD tests, or become pregnant than their counterparts who were unvaccinated. Unlike previous studies, this one examined those concrete outcomes, rather than just relying on girls to self-report their behavior.
Robert Bednarczyk, the lead author of the study, says it "really demonstrates that getting the HPV vaccination is not somehow a signal to start having unprotected sex." [Atlantic Wire]
I'm not sure I've met the young person whose biggest concern about having unprotected sex is the possibility of HPV—I mean, pregnancy, HIV, social shunning?—but whatever, I'm glad now there is more evidence to support the vaccine. But even if getting the HPV vaccine did make girls more likely to become sexual, what kind of messed up parental priorities do you have to have that you'd rather let your daughter increase her risk of getting CANCER than give her "permission" to be sexual?
I guess you could argue that parents are concerned about the other possible outcomes of unprotected sex, like HIV and pregnancy, but the study looked to see if they were seeking out birth control, which would indicate that parents are concerned about any sexual activity, not just unprotected sex. And according to this Times article:
In one study of parental attitudes toward the vaccine, Yale researchers found that concern about promiscuity was the single biggest factor in the decision not to vaccinate. [NYT]
I'm not sure what to say to parents who think their ideas of sexual morality trumps their kids' health. We've got some weird ideas about sex around here.
People say some very dark things about dolphin sex: that male dolphins will kill dolphin babies to make dolphin moms want to mate, that they'll isolate a female and keep her from food until she mates with them. Some dolphin sexual encounters are violent. If dolphins were people, they would not be cool people. But dolphins aren't people, so it seems odd to impose human values on them.
They seem to use sex as an important part of their group life. Dolphins have sex to bond emotionally, and if the dolphin lovers are into each other, there is often nuzzling and foreplay and all of that. Maybe it's just what having a little water snake coming out your front will do to you.
I will leave you with this snippet of an essay by Erik Vance at Last Word on Nothing that is DEFINITELY worth reading all of, about a job observing dolphins at Marine World:
So we set to work. The tank I was watching was populated by four adolescent males: Avalon, Norman, Brisbee, and Liberty. It started the first day, just after feeding. The boys were tumbling around, wrestling and nipping at each other when suddenly, what can only be described as a cross between a pink cigar and the baby creature from Alien emerged from Avalon’s pelvis.
It turns out that dolphins, while highly intelligent, are somewhat deficient in the “passionately embracing their lover” department. To overcome this, they have evolved to have a prehensile penis (like a monkey’s tail) that rests below a flap of skin until needed. If a male is lucky enough to persuade a female to give him the time of day, he uses it to not only inseminate, but also hold on.
For those who have never spent time with dolphins, it’s important to know that they have sex a lot. Really a lot. Like many adolescents, the four boys were very excited about their groping little Laffy Taffys. It didn’t matter that there were no females in the tank, the boys would just play with each other (or inanimate objects, or really anything they can find). This is common in the wild as well and some behaviorists have suggested that sexual play for dolphins is a way to create bonds with a partner who will then help you cruise for females.
If that is true, Norman must have been a helluva wing man because he was almost always the target of the other three’s attention. Oftentimes we scientists would work in pairs, one watching, one writing. At the appearance of the little bubble gum cigar, the conversation would go like this.
“Okay, it looks like we have some sexual contact.”
“Forty-five minutes, twenty seconds.”
“Who do you think?”
But maybe don't use the company's new ad campaign as inspiration. It's a little confusing. Notice that web ad pictured above? Seeing as the traditions of Halloween are sacred, we assume the models featured in it are dressed up as something, but we're not quite sure what. We have some guesses, though. Going from left to right...
1. The right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health and future, free from intrusion or coercion by any government, group, or individual.
2. The right to a full range of safe, affordable, and readily accessible reproductive health care—including pregnancy care, preventive services, contraception, abortion, and fertility treatment—and accurate information about all of the above.
3. The right to be free from discrimination in access to reproductive health care or on the basis of our reproductive decisions. [Mother Jones]
Yeah! Tell em, Meryl. I suspect this is part of a fundraising campaign for the Center, but that's okay—kick them a few bucks if you have it. They do good work.
I feel certain that at some point we are all going to be living in great floating space cities, dodging cylons and repairing dilithium crystals. It just has to be true. So even though NASA has stopped flying manned missions, there are lots of people thinking about the practicalities of long-term space travel: pooping, peeing, and, of course, sex. Anyone with even the slightest interest in space travel should have read Mary Roach's Packing for Mars already. She gets into all the meaty bits about elimination and copulation, including whether or not humans have done it in space (probably not, but if they have nobody's talking.)
Sex in zero gravity ain't simple. Grabbing onto a person without going flying seems challenging, if not impossible—every action has an opposite reaction. Which is why I think this 2suit is so cool. Invented by Vanna Bonta, who happens to be married to one of the SpaceShipOne avionics engineers, the 2suit is designed to stabilize humans in zero g so they can snuggle, hug, or have sex. It's got a harness that can stick to a wall, and zippers and velcro to undo the whole thing (and be nude) or hook two suits together to make a little sex bag to hang out in.
Obviously our giant flying biodomes will have some kind of gravity engine holding us to the ground, but in the meantime, this doesn't seem like such a bad option.
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