Free One Night Stand in Santa Monica

January 15, 2010 Culture, web 1 Comment

For your Friday lulz:

Where, oh, where would we be without Craigslist?

Image via Lalawag.

Fuck Me Shoes Like You’ve Never Seen Them

January 15, 2010 Culture, Fashion 7 Comments

Milan-based footwear designer ainsley-t has taken a literal approach to “fuck me shoes.” At first glance, these shoes look like many heel-ornamented pairs we’ve seen on the runway in previous seasons. But closer inspection reveals something spectacular: the heels are butt plugs.

Take a look:

“Shoes are the only items of bondage gear that absolutely everyone possesses,” says Stuart Thom, ainsley-t’s founder, “The world is already full of so-called sexy shoes. It does not need yet another black patent leather high-heeled court. Innovation between the intersection of footwear and desire has to do something more than this, and there is space for a radical creative initiative, to make gorgeously strange footwear for a sophisticated audience.”

Hell. Yes.

Images and information via Skin Too.

Chickensoup for the Soul, Tylenol for the Broken Heart

January 15, 2010 News, Research No Comments

“How long does it last?!” I screamed at Melissa, startling the barista at the westside Starbucks who’d taken my order.

“It’s like a fucking gash that feels like a fucking ton on my fucking chest,” I said, referring to the recent conclusion of a relationship. “HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?”

“I… I don’t know,” she replied. “It depends.”

If she’d told me to pop a Tylenol, I’d have probably slapped her. But research by Naomi Eisenberger suggests that the pain we feel emotionally and the pain we experience physically are closely related, both occurring in the anterior cingulate cortex.

With that in mind, psychologist C. Nathan DeWall and colleagues at the University of Kentucky had 25 subjects to take either acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a placebo for three weeks, and then to lie in a brain scanner and play a multi-player video game requiring teamwork, rigged to make them feel brutally ignored.

DeWall’s team discovered that the subjects who had taken Tylenol showed less activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. These findings suggest that over-the-counter painkillers normally used for physical aches and pains do have an effect on alleviating the pain we feel emotionally from alienating social situations.

Because the sample was small, the results are less than conclusive, but if this is the case and analgesics can work to deal with some of our heartache… well, imagine that.

Jeff Wise, author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger, comments:

On the flip side of the equation, it’s long been known that hugs and kisses from a loved one help reduce the sensation of physical pain. (It’s amazing how quickly my one-year-old son stops crying after I kiss the spot where he’s bumped his head). In fact, Eisenberger published another study last year which found that even looking at the photograph of a loved one can reduce the sensation of pain. So why shouldn’t the analgesia work the other way, as well?

Worth a shot. Just promise you’ll self-medicate reasonably.

Image by bored-now. Information from Psychology Today.

Fusing Food and Sensuality: The Sex on a Plate Movement

January 14, 2010 Culture, Eyecandy, Women 5 Comments

Food blogger Jennifer Iannolo has been writing about how food ties into sensuality since 2004 when she wrote her first manifesto, On Food and Sensuality. Of course these days, she’s doing a little more than writing about the concept.

Beginning in her home state of New York, Iannolo is planning to kick off a series of events nationwide to bring sensuality back to your palate. Guess which metropolis follows New York City on this Sex on a Plate extravaganza? That’s right. Los Angeles. We’ll bring you the deets as they become available. But remember: you heard it here first.

“‘Sex on a plate’ comes from my first manifesto, On Food and Sensuality, written in 2004 when I discovered that the pre-consumption sight and/or smell of certain foods evokes a visceral reaction in me that is so sensually satisfying, the eating is almost an afterthought,” Iannolo says, quickly adding: “Almost.”

And because we don’t do anything half-ass, we’re bringing you the original photo that was used in the flier. Just promise us you won’t show up at any of the Sex on a Plate events assuming you’re going to a food orgy. Unless I invite you as my plus-one, of course. Then, baby, it’s on.

Yeah, that’s miss food blogger herself. Bet now you wanna follow her on Twitter, too, don’tcha? @foodphilosophy. Uh huh. You’re welcome.

Image from Kelly Cline. Information from Food Philosophy.

To Be Loved, You Must Love Yourself First? Not Necessarily

January 14, 2010 Help! No Comments

“Remember the story of the princess and the frog?” asks psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. “We can all turn into something charming when we let ourselves be loved.”

His piece on Psychology Today’s Emotional Fitness blog is worth noting for all of you starting anew this year:

There is a psychological myth going around that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you. The real truth is that many people learn to love themselves by first being loved by another.

If you never had a loving family, it’s more difficult to build healthy self-esteem. Appropriate affection from another person may be the magic touch you need to actually believe that you are loveable. When someone you admire gives his or her heart to you; it makes you feel cherished and in turn you learn to love yourself.

I know a number of people who were only able to develop self-love after someone who made them feel worthwhile came into their lives. For many, this love blossomed into a healthy and life long relationship. For others, it was an experience that put them on a path to finding their true purpose in life.

In many support groups one of the things that helps a person to recover is that the group loves the individual until he or she can love themselves. This is also one of the ways in which therapy helps individuals to heal from depression, loss and addiction.

Information from Psychology Today.

China Running Out Of Women (You’re Surprised?)

January 13, 2010 News, Research 1 Comment

Well-known for its bias toward male children and gender-specific abortions, it comes as no surprise to us here at Sex and the 405 that by 2020 Chinese men will have no one to woo or wed.

A study by the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found that gender imbalance among newborns is the most serious demographic problem facing the country’s population of 1.3 billion.

The latest figures show that for every 100 girls born in China, 119 boys are born. However, the study found that in some areas, the ratio was as high as 130 males for every 100 females.

Wang Guangzhou, a researcher active in the study, said that men living in less-prosperous areas of China could find themselves marrying later in life or remaining unmarried all their lives.

“The chance of getting married will be rare if a man is more than 40 years old in the countryside,” Wang said. “They will be more dependent on social security as they age and have fewer household resources to rely on.”

The government policy introduced in 1979 of encouraging married couples not to have more than one child has contributed to the problem, the study said, as well as China’s insufficient social security system. There’s also a reluctance among young urban Chinese to have a first or second child.

As a result of this imbalance, abductions, trafficking of women, and sexual slavery have become commonplace, in areas that are now beginning to feel the impact.

Information from The Sphere.

The LA Times Gets Kinky (In Name Only)

January 13, 2010 Culture, Papers/Rags No Comments

As we all know, the LA Times has a new section for all the late-breaking news that were once in the paper. They decided to name it LATextra, short for Los Angeles Times Extra. Makes sense, right?

Unless you’re a member of the more literary BDSM community, of course. If you are, the name immediately conjures LateXtra, the fetish rag by Skin Two (ah! Skin Two, fond memories of my high school years when I was just discovering some of my cravings had a name).

From Island of Pain:

LateXtra (the fetish mag) can be downloaded here. LATextra (the newspaper supplement) will soon be available somewhere behind the A section in the LA Times, but it will cost you 75 cents.

Information via Island of Pain.

Ink on Skin Indicates Sin? (LOL)

January 13, 2010 Culture, News, Research 3 Comments

If you’re worried what your mom will say about your girlfriend’s tramp stamp, you can fear no more–research is on your side!

A new study by researchers at Texas Tech University who studied piercings and tats for the last decade suggests the relationship between body art and deviant behavior is significant only for those who have adorned their exteriors in extreme ways. The paper, just published in The Social Science Journal, reports that the relationship between body modification and deviant behavior is only significant for those who have gone to the extreme.

Researchers surveyed 1,753 students from four American colleges (two state schools and two highly selective religious institutions) and found 37 percent reported at least one piercing and 14 percent were tattooed.

Four percent reported having seven or more piercings, four or more tattoos, and/or at least one piercing in their nipples or genitals.

Aside from their tats and piercings, the students surveyed answered questions about drug and alcohol use, sexual activity and whether they cheat on tests.

The findings suggest there is a distinct difference in deviance between students with just one tattoo and those with four or more, and between those with just one to three piercings or seven or more.

“The level of deviance reported by respondents with low levels of body art is much closer to those with none than to those with multiple tattoos and piercings, or intimate piercings,” said sociologist Jerome Koch, the paper’s lead author. “Results indicate that respondents with four or more tattoos, seven or more body piercings, or piercings located in their nipples or genitals, were substantially and significantly more likely to report regular marijuana use, occasional use of other drugs, and a history of being arrested for a crime. Less pronounced, but still significant in many cases, was an increased propensity for those with higher incidence of body art to cheat on college work, binge drink and report having had multiple sex partners over the course of their lifetime.”

Tom Jacobs writes at Mullen-McCune:

The researchers suggest the traditional subculture of piercing and tattoos, traditionally associated with deviant behavior, has been “encroached upon from the outside” by the increasing acceptance of body art. So those who feel a part of this subculture “may need to modify or extend their behavior to maintain social distance.” Ergo, nipple piercings.

So, that butterfly on your sophomore’s ankle is not a sign she is hanging out with the wrong crowd. But if she comes home for spring break covered from head to toe, start worrying.

I guess that means my un-pierced, single-tattooed self a mainstream. Sweet.

Image by Doug Sparks. Information from Miller-McCune.

Menu of Delights

January 12, 2010 Culture, History No Comments

OMG! Remember when you could get laid with a finger up your ass from $3.50?! Me neither. I think that’s what makes vintage finds like these so much fun.

ENTER WITH CASH IN HAND AND TOOL IN THE OTHER. Uh huh, right to the point–just the way we like it every now and again.

Menu via Kinky Delight.

OK On The Cover, Not In The Office

January 12, 2010 Culture, Nudity 2 Comments

Condé Nast is down when it comes to a little skin in their rags, but God forbid anyone show any in the workplace. According to Mediabistro, a Bride magazine employee was recently laid off for showing her boob job to two female colleagues who were personal friends.

Mind you, no actual flashing occurred. Reports indicate that the employee in question kept her sports bra on. Though the incident occurred in her private office, behind closed doors, people got wind of it and soon, HR was involved. The woman was dismissed immediately with no severance and it appears that Condé Nast is now looking into revoking her unemployment benefits as well.

Lame.

Image from Tthe Real Malingering. Information from Mediabistro.

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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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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...