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Happy 50th Birthday, Pill!

The Pill turned fifty years old this year and Time magazine has an incredible piece detailing our tumultuous, misunderstood relationship with it. If you read anything today, let this be it:

It was the first medicine ever designed to be taken regularly by people who were not sick. Its main inventor was a conservative Catholic who was looking for a treatment for infertility and instead found a guarantee of it. It was blamed for unleashing the sexual revolution among suddenly swinging singles, despite the fact that throughout the 1960s, women usually had to be married to get it. Its supporters hoped it would strengthen marriage by easing the strain of unwanted children; its critics still charge that the Pill gave rise to promiscuity, adultery and the breakdown of the family. In 1999 the Economist named it the most important scientific advance of the 20th century, but Gloria Steinem, one of the era’s most influential feminists, calls its impact “overrated.” One of the world’s largest studies of the Pill — 46,000 women followed for nearly 40 years — was released this March. It found that women who take the Pill are less likely to die prematurely from any cause, including cancer and heart disease, yet many women still question whether the health risks outweigh the benefits.

We take it for granted nowadays and its refreshing to take the time to stop and consider those who struggled for it and what the Pill itself helped catalyze. It almost makes us feel guilty for bitching about taking it every morning.

Then we read that Susan B. Anthony quote, here reiterated by Gloria Steimen: “Our job is not to make young women grateful. It’s to make them ungrateful so they keep going. Gratitude never radicalized anybody.”

Well, we’ll feel a little grateful just the same. Just today. Before we get back to bringing sex out of the closet and boobquaking.

Photo of the Pill used in the montage by Jenny Lee Silver. Information from Time magazine.

Thinking of You: The Right Name

May 3, 2010 lolz No Comments

We here at Sex and the 405 think it’s vital to let people know how much you adore them, so we’ve created a special new section showcasing the best of the web when it comes to showing your love.

This week’s jewel comes to you via someecards, the epitome of cool when it comes to e-cards.

Click to send one to someone you dig!

Kiss of the Weekend

May 1, 2010 Culture No Comments

We’re always up for some adrenaline-fueled kisses here at Sex and the 405, and there’s no better place to find these than at a high-stakes event like the Kentucky Derby, which occurred this weekend at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Pictured here is jockey Calvin Borel, who rode Super Saver to victory on the track today, kissing his wife, Lisa.

Borel, horse-racing fans may remember, rode Mine That Bird to victory last year and Street Sense the year before that.

“I’m going all the way this year,” Borel said referring to the other two races of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and the Belmont. “I have to do it.”

No horse has taken all three races since Affirmed did in 1978.

Information from the NY Post.

Thinking of You: Your Breasts

April 26, 2010 lolz No Comments

We here at Sex and the 405 think it’s vital to let people know how much you adore them, so we’ve created a special new section showcasing the best of the web when it comes to showing your love.

This week’s jewel comes to you via someecards, the epitome of cool when it comes to e-cards.

Click to send one to someone you dig!

Happy Boobquake!

On Friday, we told you about Boobquake, a movement to stir the tectonic plates with the power of our scandalous bodies. This Monday, we’re active, spreading our promiscuity in lingerie all over the newsroom and neighborhood Starbucks. But since most of you won’t get to enjoy that, here’s our editrix, let her quake your world:

Want more? Our editrix did a little round-up of photos from the event just for your viewing pleasure over at lalawag.

Oh, yeah. You’re welcome.

Did any of you join in the #boobquake?

UPDATE: BlagHag’s Jen McCreight, who started the movement, posts about the response to the boobquake effort.

Image from the Flox archives.

The Apple App Store: 1984′s Junior Anti-Sex League v2.0

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Apple banned Pulitzer-winning satirist Mark Fiore from its app store for ridiculing public figures (um, he’s a satirist, like, hello). Apple CEO Steve Jobs has since called the ban a mistake, but he’s not done ruining the fun for everyone.

Last week, TechCrunch published an e-mail from Jobs sent to a consumer asking when Apple became the moral police. Jobs’ response said: “we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone.”

Assuming this email is legit, this isn’t the first time Jobs has suggested users try Android if they want porn. Earlier this month, during a Q&A session after the iPhone 4.0 OS event, Jobs said: “You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go – so we’re not going to go there.”

We at Sex and the 405 find it incredibly ironic that Apple is pulling this nonsense. Remember the Apple 1984 commercial? Junior Anti-Sex League, anyone? Who’s Big Brother now?

Bastards.

Image from the Apple 1984 commercial, superimposed on an image of an iPhone screen. Information from TechCrunch.

Safe Sex for Geeks

April 24, 2010 Culture, lolz, SciFet No Comments

While you’re out on the town havin a blast, we here at Sex and the 405 are surfing the web so that you don’t have to. Don’t you just love it? Now check out this little jewel we dug up from the bowels of Tumblr.

I will not be your father!

A clearer concept has never existed.

Via Parisbunny.

To Boobquake or Not to Boobquake

April 23, 2010 Culture, Nudity 3 Comments

This week, a leading Iranian cleric decreed that women who dress sexy cause earthquakes by spreading promiscuity — which apparently is pathogenic, you guys!

“When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase,” the prayer leader, Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi, said in a video posted on YouTube.

Enraged, Jen McCreight (@jennifurret) over at Blag Hag decided to put this claim to the test:

In the name of science, I offer my boobs. On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. [...] I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble.

So, who’s with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you’ll be joining me on Twitter, use the tag #boobquake! Or join the Facebook event!

Sounds like our kind of party. But there are other implications as well, as Beth Mann at Salon has pointed out:

Unfortunately, it seems to be turning into something else, with many men chiming in, with their “show us your tits” camera-ready attitude. Women on parade again … sigh. Since when did we “stick it to the man” by wearing low-cut shirts or short shorts? [...] Women should be able to wear what they want. That’s a given. Women should be able to sexually express themselves how they see fit. [...] Unfortunately, we live in a world that sees that kind of freedom of expression as a photo opportunity or another cheap thrill. All parties must be on board and in celebration of the cause in a way that doesn’t include lasciviousness, latent female hatred or sexual over-saturation. If not, then all we’ve got is “Girls Gone Wild” with a cause slapped on it.

To bookquake or not to boobquake, that is the question. Which side are you on?

Image from the Flox archives.

Eros: An Introduction

Studies in Desire, by Dawn Kaczmar

In Greek mythology, Eros is a primordial god of sexual love, beauty, and fertility distilled from the chaos that created our universe. Although contemporary conceptions of eros focus on harmony and unity, in classical Greek culture eros was thought of as an agent of madness as well as a creative influence: it overwhelms and seemingly derides both sense and sensibility. It has seemingly addictive properties: it delivers intoxicating pleasure for as long one is immersed in it, enforced by withdrawal symptoms of mind-numbing pain.

Here I will tackle the erotic from an analytical and intellectual position, examining the ways in which eros permeates our interactions. From Socrates, Freud, to Bataille, sacred to profane, nothing is beyond inquiry.

The Role of Absence and Longing in Eros

In order to sustain eros, the object of desire must remain in a state of non- or only semi-possession. To desire something logically requires its absence: you cannot desire something you already completely possess. Desire is the result of feeling unsatisfied or sensing some potential lack which the object of desire will then fulfill, even if that lack is simply of the object of desire itself.

In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates finds fulfillment in the very absence of his object of desire: wisdom. In claiming ignorance, he subsequently increases his capacity for deficiency and desire to be a lover of wisdom, a chase that he understood as unending. For Socrates, eros embraced both carnal and intellectual longing.

Moreover, the natures of truth and of possession are inherently temporal and fleeting. Although Socrates conceded to an absolute and overarching truth, he theorized that man can only ever glimpse a shadow of that blinding, brilliant light– a shadow that is, by nature, transient. This temporal aspect of knowledge informed his courtship with it: the allure of both knowledge and its pursuit is that it is always in flux, seemingly within reach but too slippery to hold.

I believe Socrates’s relationship with knowledge can be transcribed to human romantic and erotic relationships. People, like truth, are not static entities. The rate at which people evolve (and occasionally devolve) in their own individual ways may vary from the explosiveness and unpredictability of a supernova to the slow, constant shifts of subterranean tectonic plates, but even the most obstinate responds and shifts in the naturally fluctuating environment of our world.

Even in the theoretical absence of change, every individual carries with them an abyssal well imperceptibly flooding with primordial and subconscious dreams and desires. There is a fertile chaos embedded in each individual from which to pluck and create. There is never a point at which we have concluded in knowing, and thus in desiring, another person. Moreover, if we follow Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the mere act of interacting with that individual changes, modifies, and informs their state. The relationship is interactive; the moment of ostensible conquer changes the object in question.

The tragedy, of course, is that we often assume we have arrived at our erotic destination. We cease to regard our lovers in awe, and take them for granted. We lose our sense of wonder. Our fearless Editrix commented on this very topic in a recent Formspring post:

The greatest mistake anyone can make is to assume that they are finished showing how much they desire someone. You’re never finished. People think that progressing a relationship is to commit to their desire. It isn’t. Marriage, for example, which is often seen as the ultimate commitment, doesn’t make you feel eternally desired.

Desire a thing to be shown daily. And to enable it to retain the intensity, you have to engage in a dance. You have to give passion space to simmer, then pull them close to stoke the flames again. It should never end.

Understanding the impossibility of truly obtaining or possessing one’s desire reveals the destructive and life-affirming nature of eros: nothing is beyond inquiry. Desire is something to continuously return to, re-examine, and inculcate each day. The burgeoning of desire requires cultivation, curiosity, and wonder. In recognizing its absence and our longing, we enact a creative and fulfilling dance with both our own desire and that of our beloved.

MORE ON EROS
Beauty, Eros, and the Particular
Erotic Obstructions

Wet Says No To Our Girl-On-Girl Orgy

April 20, 2010 Culture, lolz 1 Comment

As much as we like to poke fun at our editrix and her misadventures around town, we have to say she’s got your back. Look at the following exchange that went down between her and a representative from the lube company Wet.

From: Wet
To: Sex and the 405
Subject: Wet Intimacy Products
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010, 1:19 PM

Hi,

I represent Wet, the word’s best selling of personal lubricants and intimacy products and was reaching out to see who would be the best person to contact about product review or inclusion in stories. Wet offers more than 80 different products – and no matter a person’s age, gender, sexual preference or comfort level, Wet has a product to fit each individual’s intimate needs. Please feel free to check out the website www.stayswetlonger.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Our editrix, not to miss a beat, replied:

From: AV Flox
To: Wet
Subject: Re: Wet Intimacy Products
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010 8:21 PM

Hello,

That would be me. I’m the editor of Sex and the 405.

We have for a while thought about doing a sponsored event. How would you feel about Wet sponsoring a night of wild girl-on-girl fun? We’ll dress up, dress down, cover ourselves in lube so we’re glistening, and get tangled.

I’ll write about it, of course. And hopefully in the course of the evening, we’ll get some delightful photos.

AVF

Wet, unfortunately, declined to participate in our wild girl-on-girl orgy.

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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...