Anti-Gay Marriage Senator Is Gay — And His District’s Paper Knew It

In case you’ve been living under a rock or having the kind of epic sex we’ve been having, you know that Roy Ashburn, a Republican senator from Bakersfield was arrested last week for a DUI after leaving a hip Sacramento gay haunt with a younger man.

Ashburn “has a flawless record of voting against every single LGBT bill during his long tenure in office. He has raised countless wads of campaign cash by cuddling up to the right wing of the Republican Party and has spewed out hateful anti-gay rhetoric to his conservative constituents,” writes the editor of the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

And now he’s caught drunkenly cruising with gay men. Oops!

Juicy, juicy political sex scandal — just the way we like it.

But it gets juicier: apparently, the mayor of West Sacramento, Christopher Cabaldon (who came out during his State of the City dinner in 2006) tried to out Ashburn about six months ago on Facebook — which is either really hip or really juvenile. We’re leaning toward juvenile.

Cabaldon posted: “It wouldn’t bother me so bad to see Roy Ashburn at Badlands (a gay bar) with a boy if he didn’t have such a bad voting record on gay rights.” Nobody noticed.

According to Cabaldon, Ashburn frequented gay bars often and “everyone” already knew he was gay. People have their panties up in a bunch because The Bakersfield Californian — which, by the way, is the largest newspaper in the senator’s district — decided that Ashburn’s merrymaking with the gay community was not relevant to readers.

“The Californian has asked Ashburn about his sexual orientation in the past,” writes Christine Bedell, the paper’s government editor. “He has either questioned the relevance of the issue or dodged it altogether. The newspaper did not report the comments at the time, also deciding it was not relevant.”

Should the paper have reported it?

Image and information from The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, via Riese.

It’s Never Too Complicated To A Cartoonist

March 8, 2010 Culture, lolz No Comments

Relationships are complicated! Every time we look at the stuff from which to pick on Facebook, we practically get nosebleeds. To this end, we submit the following cartoon by Rob Cottingham as a guide for the next Facebook overhaul:

You laughed, admit it.

Cartoon by Rob Cottingham, via Jalam1001.

Women’s Day

March 8, 2010 Opinion 2 Comments

As a man, I felt somewhat slighted when I saw the top ‘trending topic’ on Twitter this morning: “Happy Women’s Day.”

Huh? This must be some sort of Twitter in-joke, like when everyone tried to fool their friends into thinking that some balloon-faced Canadian kid named “Justin Bieber” was in the Billboard Top 40.

< epic eye-roll > Right. < /epic eye-roll >

Crushing a half-smoked Lucky Strike into the ashtray, I launched Safari on my iPhone, typing out the following: “Women’s Day.”

Something looked… off. The capital letters, the apostrophe — all of it legitimzsed things. This bothered me to such an extent that I retyped it, as follows, with the surrounding quotes: “womens day”

Search. Loading…

Merde.

It’s, uh… real. With its own official website, even. I’ll save this audience from muddling through the holiday’s Atlas Shrugged-length history, and instead summarize:

International Women’s Day was first observed around a century ago after being declared a holiday by the Socialist Party of America; during its early years it was influenced by lots of Eastern European and Soviet-Russian themes. Today, it’s seen in most of the world as a sort of cross between St Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Well, Freud certainly would’ve been keen.

However, I find it asinine. The very idea of celebrating women’s achievements tends to invalidate them. Why? Because, at a basic level, it says, “Yeah! Let’s celebrate human progress and achievement! … oh, but only when spurred on by individuals with female genitalia.” I’m surely not alone in supposing that most of the women who historically achieved were quite a lot more preoccupied with doing amazing things than they were about ensuring placement for “Women’s Day” on calendars every 8 March.

Besides that, it’s also essentially a holiday to commemorate women for being born as women. Why should I commend that as though it’s some sort of fantastic accomplishment? Perhaps we ought hold a celebration once a year for gingers? “To commemorate the achievements of red-headed people across the world!”

Bollocks. Absolute bollocks. What say you?

Eric Ludzenski (@ericludzenski) is a visual artist who currently resides in Austin TX.

Swami Sex Tape Scandal

March 6, 2010 News, Sex Tape No Comments

No one is immune to sex tapes! Not rockstars, actors, heiresses, politicians or spiritual leaders! Swami Nithyananda falls into the last category. According to his ashram, he’s “attending the Kumbh Mela” right now, which we’re pretty sure is the Indian version of skipping town. Why? Earlier this week a tape was released by the media featuring him and an Indian actress.

The tape has caused enormous controversy and OneIndia is reporting that followers are now attacking his ashrams in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and that the local government is investigating the matter.

“Two cases of cheating has been filed against the Swamiji for hurting people’s religious sentiments,” OneIndia reported today. “The Chennai police are still searching for him.”

They’re also reporting that Ranjitha, the actress featured in the sex tape, has attempted suicide. The report mentions she was married but is now divorced and that there are rumors that the actress herself created the tape to blackmail the spiritual leader, but nothing has been confirmed.

In the U.S., a sex tape is a cheap publicity stunt and call for attention. In other places — they’ll burn your effigies in the streets, vandalize your property and send the police after you. Serious business.

Images from BigNews and IndianVintage. Information from OneIndia.

Minx of Dreams

While we were in Manhattan up to absolutely no good, we happened to meet Andrea Grant, creator and writer of the comic MINX. Immediately drawn to the complex plot line and sexy heroine (based on Grant herself), we knew we had to share her with you.

So we asked her to take a time out from her incredibly busy schedule as the editor of TheFashionSpot and fashionista-about-town to tell us a little bit more about the comic.

Sex and the 405: How did MINX come about?

Andrea Grant: Although it started out as a comic strip in the back of my literary arts magazine, Copious, I started seriously publishing MINX in 2006. I’ve always been obsessed with the lines between fantasy, reality, and dreams. The creation of MINX was cathartic; it happened right after I emerged from a very dark period in my life.

MINX began as an alter ego that I felt safe working with creatively as I sought to find my voice as an artist. Minx is an archetype of the empowered, modern woman that challenges tradition while embracing sexuality and femininity. MINX is a very personal project — both a conceptual self-portrait, and a response to the way that the celebrity-obsessed media often corrupts the truth and distorts the boundaries of fantasy and actuality. The world of Minx is real to me, albeit a hyper-reality.

Sex and the 405: You mix Native American folklore and fantasy in the comic seamlessly. How did it occur to you — are you Native American?

Andrea Grant: I am half-Native, through my Coast Salish father, who is also a Shaman. I would go with him to pow-wows, where I met some tribal elders, who told amazing traditional stories. And I thought that it would be interesting to combine some of these stories with other universal myths in the graphic novel format. What’s great about comics is that the audience accepts the epic and the supernatural.

Sex and the 405: What do you want readers to take away from the comic?

Andrea Grant: The goal is for others to seem themselves in these archetypes, and also to make an impact when it comes to retelling old myths and preserving traditional stories.

There’s an interesting new book by Mike Madrid called Supergirls: Fashion, feminism, fantasy, and the history of comic book heroines which examines how female characters have evolved through the years. They started out as film noir vixens, and then had to battle for equality in the 1950’s, until they finally became empowered again (i.e. She-Hulk and Catwoman, which I grew up reading).

But these characters always seemed 2-dimensional to me: superhero identity vs. true identity. I wanted to create a more emotionally complicated, 3-dimensional character in Minx, who is something of an anti-hero grimly accepting the fact that she has been called to this strange adventure in Dreamtime.

All of my characters are moody and as complicated as any of us, and it’s that streak of humanity that makes Minx unique. She plays with the boys, but she’s definitely a woman.

And here’s a little something-something for you, because we like you that much. A picture of Andrea Grant herself:

You’re welcome.

Special thanks to Colleen Nika for the intro. That girl knows everybody.

Adventures in Decreased Productivity: Mahalo Answers

March 5, 2010 Culture, web No Comments

Our editrix was over at the Mahalo offices last week where she did a few more things than simply scandalize the employees there. Their answer site has a NSFW (Not Safe For Work) category!

Check out some of the stuff we stumbled across. OK, fine, we didn’t — Mahalo’s newest acquisition Mike Bracco (total hottie, btw, though we’re not sure about his relationship status) linked us directly.

Perfect way to while away the hours on a Friday at the office, wouldn’t you say? Your boss can thank us later.

Make Your Own Dildo!

March 5, 2010 Toys No Comments

“Every single holiday, a dick in a box,” sang Justin Timberlake. And boy, do we like the idea of taking that beautiful cock of yours with us. Well, guess what — we can.

Introducing the Make Your Own Dildo kit. That’s right, now you, too, can have your manhood immortalized in a mold like the hairband gods of yesteryear. … Continue Reading

Florida: Outlawing Abortion?

March 4, 2010 News, Politics No Comments

A Florida legislator wants to outlaw abortion in Florida.

“I just felt like we’re destroying a lot of Florida’s children, and we need to stop,” said State Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights.

The bill he filed in February would make nearly all forms of abortion a first-degree felony for the provider, punishable by up to life in prison. And it’s gaining traction.

The St. Augustine Record comments:

Several states have tried, but failed, to outlaw abortion in the years following the landmark Supreme Court case. Florida twice tried to enact legislation that banned late-term abortions, in 1998 and 2000, and both times the state lost in federal court because the laws were seen as too broad.

Van Zant’s bill is a politically explosive issue to tackle in an election year, and many other Florida legislators say they don’t expect it to go far.

[...] Abortion bans have been introduced in four states — Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank with offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Nash, a public policy analyst with the group, said Louisiana and Utah each successfully banned abortion in 1991. Federal courts declared both those laws unconstitutional.

South Dakota voters shot down two ballot measures, in 2006 and 2008, that would have banned abortion.

Lousiana’s Legislature passed, and then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a total abortion ban in 2006, to become law only if Roe is overturned. Fourteen others states have total bans, either from before or passed since Roe, which, like Louisiana’s, remain unconstitutional.

If Van Zant’s law were to be challenged in the high court, it would face a group of judges that has become more conservative, although one thus far unwilling to overturn Roe.

Information from the St. Augustine Register.

Traffic Is For Lovers

March 4, 2010 Culture, web No Comments

As denizens of Los Angeles, we spend more time on the road than we do anywhere else (seriously, we don’t know why L.A. bothers with foursquare. Locales? We’re either on the 405 or the 10 — stuck. Make us mayor of that).

Anyway — it makes perfect sense that we would find a service to put all our time on the road to good use. Introducing QuickCar Flirting, a site for all of us stuck on the treacherous roads of Los Angeles with nothing to do but answer e-mails and tweets on our phones (totally illegal, by the way) and wait for traffic to let up.

Oh! And check out the people in cars next to us.

I know, right — who does that? We’re so self-absorbed here, it’d surprise us if most people noticed there are actually people in other cars and we aren’t just dealing with an “asshole black BMW” trying to cut us off. But there are people in other cars! And sometimes they’re hot people! And now with QuickCar Flirting, you can check them out and maybe connect with them off the road — assuming you ever get off the 405!

Amazing.

This is how it works: you get on the site, make an account (it’s free right now), answer whether you smoke, drink, have kids, want kids, what your relationship status is, how much money you make, what color your eyes and hair are, etc., and then add your vehicle information.

Now when people see your hot ass on the road, they can search for you on QuickCar Flirting and get things going. How about that?

Let’s just hope traffic isn’t bumper-to-bumper…

Information via UrbanDaddy — well, duh.

Getting Married? Go To Vegas, Bachelor!

March 3, 2010 Culture, lolz 1 Comment

OK, so you’re getting married. Vegas is right next door — why not? Our buddies over at CasinoGuide have some activities for you to consider. Our top five:

Marry a Stripper
Face it, the little lady back home is a shrew. “Blah blah blah equality”. “Blah blah blah me me me”. Ditch the bitch. Las Vegas is full of strippers with hearts of gold. They cook, they are sweet, and they take their clothes off for money so that you don’t have to get a job. What more could you want in a spouse?

Gamble All of Your Money Away
The less money you have, the less it will hurt to lose half. Liquidate your assets, and piss it all away. If your fiance is mad when you get home, then she just wanted you for your money anyway. When she leaves you at the altar, get a ride back to Vegas and marry a stripper with a heart of gold.

Hire a Really Hot Nanny
Most of our faux-rich residents are now upside-down on their homes, which means that hot nannies have flocked to stripper poles in droves. Just because you don’t find the spouse of your dreams at the local nudie bar doesn’t mean that you can’t take her home. Think of the children.

Sleep In
When your wife has a career and children, society will regard her as “Super Woman”. When you have a career and children, society will still regard you as a lazy asshole.

Now get up and mow the lawn.

Asshole.

Two Chicks, No Cups
Escorts/strippers/ho’s are like potato chips. You can’t just eat one. Scratch that, for the sake of your own health you should never eat any of the above, but there is no good reason that you can’t pay the potato chips to eat each other. Food for thought.

Photo by AV Flox. Exceprt from CasinoGuide. If you can’t tell this is supposed to be a humorous article, then we really don’t know what to tell you. Even our editrix thought this was funny and she never laughs — like, ever. Unless a tank is running over a Prius or something.

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Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.

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Editrix-in-Command:
AV Flox

In-House Theologian:
Robert Fischer

Eros and Desire Scholar:
Dawn Kaczmar

Scientific Consultant:
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East Coast Liaison:
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Arch-Nemesis:
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Read about the contributors we've had over time on our staff page.

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...