"But when a saga popular with pre-adolescent girls peaks romantically on a night that leaves the heroine to wake up covered with bruises in the shape of her husband's hands — and when that heroine then spends the morning explaining to her husband that she's incredibly happy even though he injured her, and that it's not his fault because she understands he couldn't help it in light of the depth of his passion — that's profoundly irresponsible." MetaFilter's own Linda Holmes on the "psychosexual horror-show" that is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. [more inside]
Teaching Good Sex -- a profile of Philadelphia's Friends' Central School's Sexuality and Society course and its teacher Al Vernacchio, by Laurie Abraham, author of the book "The Husbands and Wives Club." (Descriptions in the first link may be NSFW.) [more inside]
Ridiculous Tips For A Miserable Sex Life: Each month like clockwork, men's and women's magazines hit the newstands, bursting with terrible sex and dating advice. And each month, we pick out the stupidest tips and make fun of them.
Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright; But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night
"We get a very clear and detailed shot of her butt in black latex before we ever see what her face looks like."
Miss Gender — A Video Podcast About my Transition From One Gender to Another [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Slow is a short film by Darius Clark Monroe that's won best Short at the 2011 Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival. You can watch it on Vimeo. [NSFW: Nudity, bad words, reefer] [more inside]
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth
Style Like U features an exhaustive video archive of people talking about their clothes and history and what personal style means to them and the power of self transformation. [more inside]
"I have foresworn desire...I neither lick nor moan...I neither swallow..." Kim Addonizio's poem, "The End of It," is on Poetry Daily. Reminiscent of Yeats' line, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity" and Stephen Dunn's line, "Precision...is more radical than passion," it demonstrates the fecund nature of poetic iconoclasm. Or, if you prefer the more hackneyed characterization, the value of questioning everything. In the end, Addonizio may be sitting quietly, like Nanao Sakaki's "happy, lucky idiot." [NSF asexuals, hedonists, or the majority of non-eccentrics...but I doubt your boss at work will bat an eyelash at a poem--if so, sit quietly you happy, lucky...] [more inside]
How I Went Undercover at Bachmann's Clinic: Truth Wins Out (or TWO) activist John Becker took a hidden camera with him to five therapy sessions at a Christian counseling center run by Marcus Bachmann. Meanwhile, QUEERTY debates whether making fun of Mr. Bachmann's own decidedly "gay-sounding" voice (and theoretical repressed-gay tendencies) is fair game, or whether it counts as homophobic bullying.
One of the results of unlimited internet porn is that guys invariably compare their own members to those they see on the net. And lots of them aren't happy.
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
"The problem stems not from there being 'too much' casual sex on campus but from the overall dissatisfaction with sex on campus and the lack of alternatives."
So suddenly, everyone was talking about hookup culture, and they wanted to know: "What is this thing? What is it?" And they were afraid that somehow college was some alcohol-fueled Bacchanalian orgy.The Promise and Perils of Hookup Culture: a talk by sociologist Lisa Wade (previously).
In strange reversal of conventional wisdom, four fifths of enrolled undergrads skip out on optional Fucksaw presentation. [more inside]
Are we born gay? And if we were, how would we know it? Sociologist Lisa Wade asks the question in response to the blog Born This Way, a collection of images of LGBT adults as children. Perusing the photographs tells an interesting story: being gay — that is, being sexually or romantically attracted to members of the same sex — is conflated with being gender non-conformist — adopting the mannerisms and interests of the other sex. (Previously)
The Last Temptation of Ted. GQ talks to Ted Haggard about coming to terms with his beliefs and sexuality in the wake of the New Life Church scandal.
Anal Massage Goes Deeper Than You May Have Ever Imagined. A collection of very awkward sexual self-help videos, gathered by Eliot Glazer (creator of My Parents Were Awesome).
(NSFW) BUTT magazine (previously, previouslier) has undergone a huge redesign this year and asked readers to submit reviews of their sexual encounters. They don't always go well. [more inside]
"We don't use the word 'vagina'. Because, it's the Latin word for 'sheath'. Yes, as in a sword. (Somewhat NSFW) Virgie Tovar, the writer, blogger, sexuality educator and academic looks at UC Berkeley's Female Sexuality class and asks whether one class can change the way women see their bodies and their educational experience. More on DeCal at UC Berkeley.
Peter Grudzien lives in New York and makes psychedelic country music or at least used to, since only two albums of his material ever came out, The Unicorn in 1974, and The Garden of Love, which is mostly a collection of demos. His songs are varied, ranging from noise music to straight up country, and their subject matters are equally wide-ranging, from strange fare, such as lyrics about his clone being at Stonewall, to straight-up love songs. His best known original is probably The Unicorn, a beautiful song whose lyrics recast the early 70s New York gay demimonde in terms of a barren zombie-filled wasteland which will be reborn when the titular unicorn is found by the queen. Other songs on YouTube are White Trash Hillbilly Trick, New York Town and an instrumental cover of the Georgia Gibbs hit Kiss Me Another. Finally, here's a lovely cover of The Unicorn by Calgary folkie Kris Ellestad.
A Mountain I'm Willing To Die On A letter of a mother to her child about religion, love, and acceptance of who you are.
Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, an exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, "is the first major museum exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture." [more inside]
The Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, has investigated in 2009 sexual practices in the USA. The results are reported in this month's Special Issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. (The full text is available behind a short anonymous online survey.) [more inside]
Sociologist Amy Schalet has done wonderful research comparing American and Dutch approaches to teen sexuality. (Blog commentary here) [more inside]
We are princesses in a land of machos. "They drink beer, they are part of local governement and they are symbol of good luck for their family: they are Muxes, homosexuals of the “pueblo oaxacaqueno de Juchitan”, more than 3000 homosexuals who enjoy respect and admiration in all the country... they walk proudly in the streets, dressed as women with huipiles and enaguas, typical dress of the Tehuantepec Isthmus." Photo essay by Nicola Okin Frioli. More at Flickr. [more inside]
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom presents "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory". [PDF] [more inside]
"Madonna’s sexuality could be scary because it was intimidating; Gaga’s sexuality is scary because we don’t quite know what it is." Lesley Kinzel of Fatshionista compares and contrasts Lady Gaga's new Alejandro video with Madonna's 1989 video for Express Yourself, making the argument that Gaga's take on female sexuality is less reliant than Madonna's on male perception. Choire Sicha of The Awl disagrees.
"This is not about paying someone to get you laid and then sticking your company’s health insurance with the bill."
"Imagine what it must feel like never to have known gentle touch, and then to have someone hold your hand, stroke your arm, run their fingers through your hair. It's a profound experience. Often, clients cry." Inside the world of sex surrogates. [more inside]
'American Able' intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media. I chose American Apparel not just for their notable style, but also for their claims that many of their models are just ‘every day’ women who are employees, friends and fans of the company. However, these women fit particular body types. Their campaigns are highly sexualized and feature women who are generally thin, and who appear to be able-bodied. Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies them the right to sexuality, particularly within a public context. [more inside]
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
"The so-called Victorian conception of women's sexuality was more that of an ideology seeking to be established than the prevalent view or practice of even middle-class women."
"Some enjoyed sex but worried that they shouldn't. One slept apart from her husband 'to avoid temptation of too frequent intercourse.' " Standford Magazine on the accidental discovery of an unpublished sex survey of American women made 55 years before Kinsey . (via)
A new study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine claims that "the g-spot does not appear to exist". While the study has attracted media attention from numerous sources (just like 2008's study, which appeared to prove the g-spot exists), Dr. Petra takes a closer look at this new study, and questions the methodology, the media response, and the research team's previous undertakings. (via)
Are the ties that bind gay men to straight women beginning to fray?
The latest tool to challenge homophobia: same-sex hand-holding. This past weekend, a same-sex hand-holding relay was held in London, to coincide with Olympic-related events. It's not just for gay and lesbian couples; sympathetic heterosexuals are encouraged to join in and take a stand, or rather a stroll, for tolerance.
Louis Crompton, the author of Homosexuality and Civilization and Byron and Greek Love, has died. [more inside]
If you had to pinpoint today's problem that had no name, what would it be? In answer to that question, Linda Hirshman launches an attack on tabloid feminism prompted by last summer's spirited appearance on Lizz Winstead's show, Thinking and Drinking by Jezebel contributors Tracie Egan, a.k.a. Slut Machine (second link possibly NSFW) and Moe Tkacik. Jezebel's Megan Carpentier responds. Is this the future of feminism?
Shuttlecock burqas to fetish wear. Some snapshots of Pakistan's struggles with its sexual identities. [more inside]
Why is the penis shaped like that? [T]he human penis is actually an impressive “tool” in the truest sense of the word, one manufactured by nature over hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. You may be surprised to discover just how highly specialized a tool it is. Furthermore, you’d be amazed at what its appearance can tell us about the nature of our sexuality.
"Hot Cougar Sex!" Since the term was first coined, "cougar" has become something of a cultural phenomenon: it's been applied to Samantha on "Sex and the City" and actress Demi Moore, and sometimes shares territory with that other recently-ubiquitous label for sexualized older women: MILFs. Some women have embraced the term as empowering, but as a new reality show debuts, others show why it's less than appealing.
Pioneering science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer, who won a Hugo in 1953 for Most Promising New Talent for his disturbing story, The Lovers, died today at age 91. [more inside]