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]
An experiment published in Biology Letters has been interpretted by the press in different ways. The Daily Mail: "Women over the age of 50 may be less frisky, less nimble and less cute but, as if by way of compensation, they are also a lot less bitchy." The Telegraph: "So today’s research published in Biology Letters, that finds women become less bitchy when they are older, is frankly, unsurprising. The mistake however is that the researchers thought the decline in bitchiness came post-menopause, when they should have set the benchmark as post-puberty." Dr. Petra Boynton's take: "If we don’t take action we’re going to keep on seeing this carnival of poor sex science being promoted. With poor media coverage following as a result."
"In Loveland, Colorado -- population 61,000, 92 percent white and heavily evangelical Christian -- Michelle didn't know what to expect when she began to work with the school to facilitate her daughter's transition from a boy to a girl. At first, it was difficult. The school 'freaked out when I told them,' Michelle says. 'When we started with M.J.'s transition, I was envisioning riots.' And so Michelle became an advocate for transgender people -- those who identify as a gender different from the one assigned at birth. Michelle organized trainings for the faculty and staff and prepared 'cheat sheets' in case any of their students asked prying questions. But on the first day of school, nothing happened." - Trans in the Red States by Jeremy Bearer-Friend and Daniel Redman. [via Obsidian Wings]
I'm neither a psychologist or a statistician, but perhaps some nations are sluttier than others. And I'd like to know which. Or whether this is, academically or instinctually, just another steaming - yet amusing - pile of the vilest-smelling bull poo. [more inside]
Radar magazine: Secrets of a hipster hooker.
The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
Kiki and Bubu! Austrian art collective monochrom presents the adventures of two sock puppets. Part One: Kiki and Bubu and The Shift. "Bubu wants to know why his dad is busy all the time. And Kiki explains him why... because of the neoliberal shift." Part Two: Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege. "Bubu ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if he doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps..." [Via BB]
Mercedes Allen looks at who's in charge of deciding the fate of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV. The APA (American Psychological Association) has announced it's intention to revise the DSMV (Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The expert they've named to chair revisions on sexuality and gender is Kenneth Zucker. Zucker is the major remaining proponent of Reparative Therapy for LGBT folks. [more inside]
@mateurdart is a French-language blog on erotic art in a wide variety of eras and styles. (NSFW)
Labor of Love : when a married couple wanted to start a family and the wife was unable to conceive or carry because of previous surgeries, her husband, who is transgendered and legally male, stopped taking his testosterone and was inseminated.
"Many women experience a fluid sexual desire that is responsive to a person rather than a specific gender" A description of the topic for Lisa Diamond's new book, Sexual Fluidity. While waiting to get your copy of the book, why not read some of her papers? Here's one about young women who identify as lesbians or bisexuals and then change their minds. Was it a phase? (pdf) Here's one about the development of sexual orientation among adolescent and young adult women. (pdf) Here's one containing a new view of lesbian subtypes. (pdf) There are more.
Some dolphins are easy and some are murderous rapists, but all of them are into the nookie. Amazon River Dolphins are the casanovas of the cetacean order, practised in selecting the finest mud glops or algae for that special cow.
Growing Up Sexually: A world atlas and encyclopedia of cross-cultural practices in the sexual enculturation of children. The project overview gives context for the site, which is a subproject of the frighteningly comprehensive International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. Primary author of site is an M.D. No images, text may not be safe for work.
Is it "Viagra for women," or merely a placebo for women who want more orgasms? The G-shot, a little collagen injected into a sensitive place, is gaining more attention. It's not just weary working moms looking for a recharge. When a 19-year-old coed decides it's the answer to stop faking orgasms, how much longer before it's as ubiquitous as the little blue pill?
Having sex at 12 is a bad idea. But if you're pubescent, it might be, in part, your bad idea. Slate rethinks the age of consent.