My Stilettos Don’t Invite Rape, My Society Does

April 1, 2011 Culture, Feature 1 Comment

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in the United States has experienced rape, or a rape attempt. Sexual violence doesn’t have a single apparent cause; the probability lies between the risk factor that increases the potential of sexual violence and the protective factor, which reduces its likelihood. Unfortunately, when sexual violence occurs, the immediate response from the public is to analyze the victim’s actions.

Even focusing too much on the person committing the crime fails to address the problem of sexual violence on a societal level. Norms can and do contribute to the problem of sexual violence. One of the most egregious is the tolerance of aggression and attribution of blame to the victim. … Continue Reading

Walk of Shame? Baby, I Strut

March 31, 2011 Editrixial, Vitals 11 Comments

Editrixial, March 30, 2011

It hadn’t been fourteen hours since I received an e-mail from the Village Voice letting me know that a budget cut was forcing the publication to retire both of the NakedCity blogs that I had a message from the web editor of the New York Observer asking if it was true that the blogs were getting killed.

I hadn’t even told my parents when the Observer‘s story about it went live. Though certainly not without some vexation at the intrusion, I know the way of the web. Today’s commentators are destined always to become tomorrow’s fodder. The masses must be fed, after all, and nothing is more appetizing than the demise of something.

Except, perhaps, sex. … Continue Reading

Of Masochism and Submission

March 24, 2011 Culture, Feature, Philosophy 1 Comment

Venus in Furs

When did masochism become synonymous with submission, and sadism with dominance? Are these two truly synonymous?

For the sake of illustration, let us refer to the classic Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. In the novella, the protagonist, Severin, wishes to become the slave of a widow named Wanda. Wanda claims that the desire to dominate a man is latent in her person, but by the end of the book, we are left feeling as though she not only doesn’t desire this, but seeks the exact opposite: to be dominated herself. However, being enraptured by Severin, she undertakes the task as he describes: wearing furs, striking him when specified, and eventually completely enacting his ultimate fantasy: to take a lover and allow him to abuse Severin. … Continue Reading

Porn Wins Cambridge Debate

February 21, 2011 Freedom, News, Sex Work No Comments

The Cambridge Union Society, founded in 1815, likes its debates. Last week, the historic union tackled pornography, concluding — by 44 votes — that it “provides a good public service.”

The debate attracted a great deal of attention in the media last month because of the amount of people from the adult industry who were on board to participate. For the proponents, there was Anna Span; Johnny Anglais, the Essex teacher who was outed as a porn star last year and dismissed; and the sex educator Jessi Fischer. On the side of the opposition was the born-again-Christian and former porn star Shelley Lubben; the antiporn feminist Dr. Gail Dines; and Dr. Richard Woolfson, a child psychologist. … Continue Reading

Batshit Girls Make Excellent Dinner Party Fodder

December 15, 2010 AV, Diary No Comments

The Vicious Circle

“As you know, California is an all-party consent state,” I say, putting the iPhone on the table. The banter around me dies down immediately. “I’m going to take the lack of screaming as consent. If you speak from this point on, you’re consenting to being recorded. All right, let’s hear that story.”

“What story?” Daniel* asks innocently. He takes a sip of his drink and begins: “We met on a cruise. It’s what I call a vacationship. The vacationship that went way too far. We went on a cruise to Bermuda in June, spent seven days together and stayed in touch over the summer. I spent the summer on the East Coast, so I’d drive to see her and we’d be involved. Sexually — if I need to announce that for the microphone.” … Continue Reading

Is The LA Weekly Anti-Porn?

November 30, 2010 Culture, Feature, Papers/Rags 1 Comment

When Los Angeles’ adult industry was rocked by a positive HIV-test result in October, the media wasted no time in condemning the industry. The sole voice offering a full view of the case was Barbie Davenporte at AfterDark LA, an LA Weekly blog. But more interesting than her breakdown of key players in the case, perhaps, is Davenporte’s description of how an unnamed reporter responded when she reached out to assist him with information from the adult industry:

But I was rudely dismissed and told that he had in fact called [the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation's attorney, Jeffrey] Douglas, who was hesitant to discuss AIM’s matters on the record. That call resulted in what appears to be a last-minute, “Oh yeah we’d better get comment from the other side in there” cut-and-paste of a general statement regarding AIM’s stance on condom use in porn.

Using quotes she had included in her piece from said reporter, we hit up Google, looked up “HIV porn bullshitty” and turned up another LA Weekly blog: The Informer. The piece suggested AIM was refusing to report the HIV case to government officials, citing a need for a more comprehensive test to be performed, which the reporter called “bullshitty.” … Continue Reading

Faux Ho! A Dangerous Crusade

November 8, 2010 Culture, geek, web 2 Comments

Faux ho. It’s a term that refers to people who take on a sex-worker persona, usually online. Whether it’s Twitter, Tumblr, or some other blogging platform, faux hoes impersonate sex-workers for a variety of reasons, be it to live out their fantasies or land a book deal a la Belle du Jour.

Big deal, right? Everyone plays pretend to some degree on the web, and it’s our job as an audience to be careful about who we choose to trust, whether it’s with our own information, or with the information presented to us as fact.

Yes — to an extent. The problem with pretending to be a sex-worker, however, is that it impacts a stigmatized minority, many of whom are active in combating stereotypes about their choices and industry. Misrepresentation is not taken lightly in the community, especially when a blogger is perceived to be confirming stereotypes about the industry, such as that sex-workers have low self-esteem, do drugs, are victims or hate what they do. … Continue Reading

Sex-Negativity in Science Kills Intellectual Curiosity

November 8, 2010 Opinion No Comments

Due to the amount of interest generated by the discussion of why it hurts when semen gets in the eye, we have been writing about the topic at length, including running tidbits from experts in different scientific disciplines and checking out all your leads.

During a recent survey of links, we encountered a piece by PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at University of Minnesota, Morris, which drew our attention, not so much for its interesting infographic, but because of his general attitude. … Continue Reading

The Difference Between A Master and a Sadistic Sex Trafficker

September 17, 2010 Crime, Feature, News 3 Comments

We have been ruminating on the case of Ed Bagley, alleged sex trafficker, in Missouri, for several days now.

The charges leveled against him are severe: sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; forced labor trafficking; document servitude; enticement to travel for sexual activity — among others.

According to the story, a 16 year old runaway, known in the indictment as FV (for “female victim”), took residence with Bagley in his trailer park home where he engaged in several sexual acts with her, as well as whipped, beat, flogged, suffocated, waterboarded, electrocuted, mutilated, suspended and caged her over a period of six years. … Continue Reading

Profile Warnings (They Don’t Mean Anything)

September 17, 2010 Culture, Feature, geek, web 1 Comment

Media outlets have for a while made use of the information we make available online to feed their stories. Sometimes, the information found online is invaluable to the public interest. Most times it is exploited for sensationalist angles, as in the case of the Passive Arts Studio arson and murder incident here in Los Angeles.

As a result, a lot of people are beginning to put notices on their social media profiles that threaten legal action if said profile’s information is mined for content without permission. … Continue Reading

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Featured

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:
Jason Goldman

East Coast Liaison:
Jackie Summers

Arch-Nemesis:
Barbie Davenporte

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...