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Must Have: Berlin Red

March 24, 2010 Art, Culture, Fashion No Comments

New York City’s Neue Galerie and Estée Lauder have come together to create a work of art you can wear: fire-engine red lipstick inspired by the painting Portrait of Dancer Anita Berber by Otto Dix.

“Berlin Red” invites the mind back to the sensuality of the 1920′s Berlin and the “life without dilution,” as Dix described it. There is nothing quite like mixing beauty, art and history.

Naturally, our editrix sent out an order as soon as she heard about it (that’s right, this is totally free product placement, imagine that).

“Life’s a cabaret, baby,” she says. “Let’s kiss.”

Image of painting from About.com. Information from Vanity Fair, via @the_red_shoes.

Autocorrections That Win

March 23, 2010 Culture, lolz No Comments

From “I want to suck your duck” to “go to he’ll,” our iPhones sure know how to kill the moment. Our favorites come from Twitter’s Kevin Thau and our editrix herself.

To give some context to this one, PR pro Nicole Jordan was inquiring about what was taking our editrix and Causecast correspondent Melissa Rowley so long to arrive at a get-together. (Noming is lolspeak for eating, FYI. Oh, and lolspeak is the language of the cat macros. Oh, never mind, we tried.)

Got more lolsy auto-corrects? Send them in!

Thinking of You: Zagat for Penises

March 22, 2010 lolz 1 Comment

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 on it to send it to someone you dig!

Do Men Only Want Sex?

March 21, 2010 Culture 1 Comment

A piece by Jack Summers at F*cking In Brooklyn addresses an old question in a deeply entertaining way. An excerpt:

According to Kinsey, 54% of men think about sex several times a day, and that study was done before the advent of the internet. Personally I find this statement grossly underestimated. In the time it takes for me to formulate this sentence, I myself will have conceived of no less than seven scandalous scenarios, fondly recalling recent raucous romps and fantasizing over future salacious shenanigans; a veritable cavalcade of carnal cravings, a… wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yes: sex. Of course we want it all the time, and (news flash) so do women. The idea that men only want sex and women only want love is an antiquated concept I’d love to see go the way of the dodo. We’d like to think we’ve evolved beyond base desires, but let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not humans trying to embrace our animal nature. We are animals, trying to embrace our human nature. And that, with limited success.

Read the whole thing. You’ll dig it.

Excerpt from F*cking In Brooklyn. Via Mike Masters (who else?).

Bacon-Vanilla Shake

March 21, 2010 bacon!, Culture, Noms No Comments

Brooks Bayne is a typical L.A. slasher: he’s an entrepreneur, technologist and conservative thinker who spends most of his time poking fun of liberals and satirizing popular culture on Twitter.

His antics have garnered the Tennessee transplant over 100,000 followers on the popular social media platform — and he’s going strong.

We like him because his gun-toting, BBQing, in-your-face approach to everything from work to play reminds us of what an alpha male used to be, before we watered him down and made him fat free, soy organic.

We asked him what his secret was and he imparted something spectacular to us: the recipe for his infamous bacon-vanilla shake.

3 cups Breyer’s vanilla ice cream
2-3 pieces of extra crispy bacon
1/4 cup half and half

Blend away and serve in a manly glass. You’re welcome.

Image by Yesica.

Why Do Cheaters Text?

March 20, 2010 Culture 1 Comment

“Why the hell do cheaters text?” Jessica asked me. “It’s proven to be the number one way to get caught!”

A piece on amNewYork in relation to the Jesse James and Tiger Woods scandals cited some experts.

New York psychotherapist Jay P. Granat told the paper people do it because “there’s an unconscious desire to get caught” and because “they’re living on the edge some more” by leaving a trail of their infidelity.

Is this really the reason? People secretly want to get caught and live even more on the edge? Our editrix crowdsourced the question on Twitter. Here’s a sampling of the main reasons mentioned:

What do you think? We’ve been discussing this all day in the newsroom and our conclusions seem to be that people who become engrossed in one another experience a temporary insanity that leads them to believe that they will never get caught. It’s a superiority complex that flies in the face of reason and causes the involved parties to engage in all manner of completely negligent behavior such as texting, calling, holding hands while walking around Rodeo Dr., etc.

What do you think?

Warning! Student Endangers Others With His Fluids

March 20, 2010 Culture, Freedom, News, Nudity No Comments

A student over at the University of Hawaii-Manoa has made a splash in the national media over the week following a warning from the campus about the student’s “performance art.”

Per Queerty:

Since at least January, Tim, a gay 22-year-old senior at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, has been recording himself masturbating, and uploading the videos to Xtube. He goes by the username “SpeedoStudent1,” which represents his fetish for all things Speedos, Lycra, and jocks; he got his first Speedo at age 19 and has been hooked ever since.

Tim has caused a ruckus on campus by filming some of his endeavors in school buildings, prompting the school to issue a warning in the student newspaper:

A UH student has been endangering students by leaving his body fluids on desks in many classrooms. His blog, Hawai’i Speedo Student, shows pictures and videos of himself masturbating in buildings such as Kuykendall, Moore, Webster, Physical Science, Watanabe and possibly more. He is currently being investigated for violating student conduct codes. Please take appropriate precautions like disinfecting desks and washing hands frequently. He is self-described as 5 foot 7 inches with frizzy blond hair, blue eyes and a slim build. Do not attempt to approach the student. If you notice him or anyone else exhibiting sexually deviant and psychotic behavior, call Campus Security at (808) 956-6911.

Tim, who blogs at Hawaii Speedo Student and who describes his videos and photos as art, commented on intolerance:

I continue to be absolutely amazed by the outpouring of intolerance and abusiveness provoked by my departure from normative behavior. It’s very strange, very alien to me. Rather than contenting themselves with finding my actions offensive or inappropriate, many of the commentors on this blog and other articles take things a step further. Somehow they see their own disgust as a legitimate reason to criticize or penalize me.

Instead of recognizing that a behavior they may not choose to participate in themselves can be a perfectly normal means of expression for another, they are unable to tolerate the existence of an alternative viewpoint. (Some go so far as to demand that I be suppressed by burning – witch trials, anyone?) But remember, tolerance is not just for big issues. Tolerance goes far beyond merely stopping the lynching of black males or the jailing of homosexuals.

Tolerance is the ability to accept all opinions, all behaviors as equally valid, regardless of your personal feelings about them; to understand that your ethical or moral framework and judgements apply to you and you alone; and to realize that even holding the same opinion as a majority of others does not give you the moral authority to force your views on the dissenters.

That is true tolerance, which can only be observed in actions and not expressed in words. So far I have met remarkably few people capable of practicing it.

Image from Hawaii Speedo Student. Information via the Huffington Post.

Needed: Something Like Yelp, But For People

March 19, 2010 Culture, web 1 Comment

Jamie Varon over at the L.A. tech blog lalawag recently voiced a thought that has occurred to us all at one point or another: a Yelp-Foursquare type of hybrid to rate people we date and sleep with so that we can get the vitals before we go too far to turn back:

So, I’m thinking something along the lines of a Yelp check-in thing:

“You have checked into Gloria’s vagina. There are thirteen reviews and her overall rating is 3 1/2 stars. Please see the Quick Tips for her erogenous zones and what she’d like to eat after having sex with you. She prefers you leave after twenty minutes of cuddling. She’s not looking for a serious relationship, but would prefer you take her out to dinner every once in a while. Would you like to meet her Regulars? Would you like to leave a review? How about emailing Gloria’s vagina to a friend?”

What would this look like? We set our designers to do a quick mock-up for our editrix for shits. Click the below image to enlarge:

Durex Ads: Um, WTF?

March 19, 2010 Advertising, Culture 1 Comment

Advertising commentators are all about this Durex ad campaign by the German designer Andrej Krahne, but we here at Sex and the 405 have a question: why is the woman made up of shiny happy words while the man is made of neutral or negative ones?

We hate to get all Jezebel on this, but just what message is Durex sending? That women feel no exertion during sex and that they exert no judgment or wisdom? And what’s with the fruits? Fruits? Really?

Let us tell you something, Durex — no matter how much we love sucking dick, we’re not thinking “happy, happy, happy, happy, happy” while administering a blowjob. Sorry to break it to you.

Oh, and we’re still confused about those fruits.

Images from Durex, via Penn Olson.

The Conflicted Experience of a Porn Writer

March 18, 2010 Culture, Papers/Rags, Porn No Comments

Lynsey G. writes for porn rags. She didn’t plan it, just kind of fell into it. Since last year, she’s been writing a column at McSweeny’s about her conflicted experience as a woman and feminist in the madness of one of the biggest industries in the world.

This, dear readers of Sex and the 405, is the kind of skill required of a porn reviewer:

I learned to watch the first few minutes of each sex scene, taking notes on “plot” or “witty” banter, then fast forward through the remainder at 10x speed, slowing down to note the frequency of position changes, athleticism of maneuvers, and standout dirty talk. The trick was to watch the 2- to 6-hour-long DVDs as fast as possible and then spend under an hour writing dirty, overly alliterative jokes about what I’d seen. Easy, if a bit monotonous.

For easy reference, I made up lists of alternative names for breasts, penises and vaginas, and supplementary lists later on for buttholes, as that trend gained popularity. I developed rating criteria for length, girth, cup size, amount of cellulite, and gag reflex (or the lack thereof). Things got ugly, fast.

She also gets into the occupational hazards: desensitization, boredom, higher tolerance to hardcore sexual acts, and the ever-pressing questions presented by being up to her eyeballs in an industry where everyone is a product:

After a few months of reviewing, the constant humping was wearing on my retinas and getting tedious. My personal sex drive, initially amped up by the bouncing boobs and facials, was declining in the face of overexposure. I was getting paranoid that I’d never be adequate in bed, or that I’d start thinking really kinky things were normal and scare off my boyfriend. I was finding it easier to come up with derogatory slurs about the performers’ bodies and actions. And, I realized, I was coming to understand the bitterness that edged the voices of my editors and co-writers, the disgust with humanity that drove their daily routines. I told myself I wouldn’t let it happen to me; I’d keep my life and my work separate.

[... ] the longer I keep my tenuous toehold in the jizz rag biz, the more the realities of the porn industry stare me in the face, and it’s not just the faces covered in jizz that bother me. There are a lot of really upsetting things going on both inside and outside the studio, both on the industry and consumer sides, which are disturbing and decidedly unfriendly to women. The language used to describe them in industry terminology and in social contexts, the attitudes about their worth as human beings, the aesthetics with which they are presented to the world, and the acts they perform raise a lot of questions. I mean, what’s with the fake boobs and nails and eyelashes and tans and hair? Why the no-body-hair rule? And who came up with the idea that ejaculate is the new trend in facial moisturizers? On that note, where is the line between pleasure and degradation drawn, and by whom? Why have the past few years seen such an abrupt switch from full-length feature films to half-hour-long frenzies of manic semen spewing? Is anybody overseeing this whole operation, and if so, can we arrange to have a private sit-down chat?

Follow her tangents over at McSweeney’s.

Thanks to Laura Roberts for the tip.

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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:
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...