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John Dvorak: To Avoid Embarrassment, Avoid Everything!

January 28, 2010 Culture, web 1 Comment

“The Internet is often eternal,” says PC mag columnist and the host of the weekly podcast CrankyGeeks, John Dvorak. “Once something appears on it, someone will invariably keep a copy of it — or the thing will simply stay online forever. Just as the rest of us are finally forgetting that video of the chubby kid prancing around the room with his light saber, someone will reintroduce it to a whole new generation of viewers. When this kid turns 60, I guarantee that someone will pull out the video at his birthday party.”

Stuff we do online is like a tattoo that never goes away. How can we avoid the possible embarrassment of having to face our digital footprint down the line? Refuse everything that is human interaction via technology! Duh!

Cardinal rules:

  1. Do not sext. “This is probably the dumbest thing you can do,” he says.
  2. Facebook and Myspace. “Facebook is a product you use after agreeing to its terms of service,” Dvorak says. “It’s a well known fact that the guy who runs the site is not interested in your privacy. Never assume that anything you post on the Internet is going to stay private. Nothing is.”
  3. Twitter. “Sounding like an idiot on Twitter with hour-by-hour chatter about your feelings is incredibly revealing,” he says. “Every so often I check in on someone’s tweets, only to discover that the person I just met is a total dingbat.”
  4. Blogging. “I’ve never understood why someone wants to reveal their innermost feelings on a blog,” Dvorak says. “It’s generally not that entertaining. Too often it focuses on someone’s cat. You have to wonder why people present such sad personalities online. Do they even know that they’re doing it?”
  5. Chat Rooms. “It’s also very easy to record a video chat,” he says. “What would an employer think if they got a hold of the video? What would your mom think?”
  6. Flickr. “I constantly use Flickr to do due diligence on people,” he says. “Why not? If someone has hundreds of pictures posted of him or herself, an immediate red flag goes up. Why do you need so many pictures of yourself online? These pictures were usually taken at parties where people end up acting like the Whore of Babylon or an out-and-out drunk.”
  7. YouTube. “While you can indeed remove videos from YouTube, I can assure you that, if you are really making a fool of yourself, someone will capture the stream and repost it,” Dvorak says. “Again, you can expect to see yourself as a dopey 15-year-old on the big screen of every birthday part from 21 to 60. Like the fat kid with the sword, you may forever be defined by that video.”

Information from PC Magazine.

She Lied About Infecting Over 500 People With HIV

January 27, 2010 Crime, Culture, News, web No Comments

Last week, the interwebz went ballistic over a YouTube video wherein a woman confessed to infecting some 500 people with HIV.

“Just because something looks good, it could be dirty on the inside,” the masked woman says, talking to the camera in almost a sing-song voice. “Like a fruit. If you see a shiny red apple — you should have learned from Snow White. Just because the apple was pretty and inviting, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t harmful.”

It’s the scariest thing we have ever seen. Naturally, everyone went into a panic. The woman has since been identified as Jackie Braxton, an adult star on the web. She confessed to the Detroit News later that she does not have the virus.

“I made the tape because I wanted to raise awareness about AIDS,” the 23-year-old said.

Police picked her up at the Detroit college she attends and immediately took her to the city’s health department to be tested for HIV. The results are confidential, but Deputy Chief James Tolbert told the News “we are 100-percent positive it was a hoax.”

More from the News:

Braxton said she feels “bad” about making the video that has spread panic among Metro Detroiters and others around the country. But, she said she felt her tape served its purpose when she went to the city’s health department this morning and saw people waiting to get tested for AIDS.

Braxton, who uses the stage name “Fame” and has a 5-year-old daughter, admitted she made the videotape to market her own porn site, which she says she operates with her husband. Braxton’s video on the Mediatakeout.com site had recorded more than 430,000 hits by Thursday evening.

Police do not know yet if criminal charges can be levied against Braxton because they don’t know if she has broken any laws. Failure to disclose to a sex partner that you have HIV/AIDS is a felony.

Here’s the video for those of you who can’t take our word for it on how terrifying this is:

OK, so we here at Sex and the 405 know there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but… just the thought of HIV/AIDS makes it impossible for us to even think about getting down. Fame’s a cute pornstar name — very Lady Gaga — but Braxton will forever be “AIDS Girl” in our minds.

Good job on freaking everyone out into getting tested, though. According to WCTV, Michael McElrath, a spokesman for the city’s health department, said that the number of walk-ins for HIV testing more than doubled in Detroit on Friday.

That’s gotta count for something.

Image and information from the Detroit News, via @miamirotica.

A Peek at the D&G Threesome Flame War

January 27, 2010 Culture, Fashion 2 Comments

Last year, on November 16th, the day after our fearless editrix’s birthday (and quite possibly the best day of all time), Dolce & Gabbana released their new Time ad.

The ad featured 2009′s ultimate sex obsession, the ménage-a-trois (you can all thank Sean Percival and Gossip Girl for that).

We should have reported on it, but we failed, because as we said, our editor was too busy having The Best Day Ever.

She offers her sincerest apologies — as sincere as you can get from a woman who wouldn’t have traded marathon sex to update a blog, anyway.

In penitence, we bring you some e-mail fresh from D&G’s inbox from people who are pissed about the ad — and D&G’s bitchy responses!

But first, the ad, of course:

From: Prim and proper
To: a little helper desk [D&G]
Subject: Your ad

Your new threesome ad is disgusting. I only hope you have to describe to your daughter why it isn’t appropriate to have sex with two guys even though *your* ad says it is. I can only hope you use good sense and remove this ad. By the way, good job going from a gang-rape ad to a MMF threesome ad. You are truly moving in the wrong direction.

From: better things to do [D&G]
To: Proper deranged
Subject: YOUR daughter

Keep being that kind of parent and she will most probably end up in an MMF scenario, only off-camera and in your own bedroom. At least our model was paid for it…

Best regards,
A Little Helper Desk.

+++

From: A concerned mother
To: a little helper desk [D&G]
Subject: Your filth and total lack of wisdom

I could not help but notice your site these days is pretty covered in naked torsos and various depictions of boys in underwear; upon clicking on an article promising me to help with the last minute ski preparations I subjected my sons to the pretty upsetting sight of male models virtually undressed. The way you people have of objectifying the male body is frankly vile and unsettling for young boys growing up in a world like a meatpacking district. I sincerely hope you sort yourself out and learn the meaning of the word “respectibility”.

From: better things to do [D&G]
To: The reason why your children will eventually do drugs
Subject: Two steps away from happiness

First one: buy yourself a dictionary unless you want your sons to be dysfunctional both sexually AND grammatically (hint: respectability).

Second one: Grow some balls, women have been subjected to such treatment… well, since about forever and apart from a notable few exceptions they have turned out just fine.

Best regards,
A Little Helper Desk.

PS: Find attached a few post-runway shower shots to teach your kids all about anatomy.

We can expect no less from Dolce & Gabbana, who brought us the first kiss between two men in a commercial in 2006.

What will it be for 2010? Dare we hope for plushies?

You know you love it.

Image via saksoffenderx. Information from Swide.

Southern California Schools Ban Dictionary

January 26, 2010 Books, Culture, Freedom, News, OMGWTFBBQ 4 Comments

I wish this was a joke or a statement about how the three people who hit on me at the coffee shop this morning seemed to only use monosyllabic words and so liberally sprinkled the word “like” in statements that nothing they said made too much sense.

It’s not. Some schools have in fact banned the dictionary.

Why? A parent complained the definition of “oral sex” in Merriam Webster’s 10th edition, common in fourth and fifth grade classrooms (populated by nine and 10-year-olds), is too graphic.

It describes oral sex as “the oral stimulation of the genitals.”

The Press-Enterprise reported on the incident:

“It’s just not age appropriate,” said [district spokeswoman Betti] Cadmus, adding that this is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the [Manifee] district.

“It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” Cadmus said. She explained that other dictionary entries defining human anatomy would probably not be cause for alarm.

I AM ASHAMED OF THIS STATE TODAY. ASHAMED.

Information from The Guardian and Press-Enterprise.

Joshua Ferris: We Don’t Really Have Anybody Writing Boldly About Sex

January 26, 2010 Books, Culture, Interview No Comments

Vanity Fair‘s Claire Howorth talks with Joshua Ferris, lit darling and author of the acclaimed Then We Came to the End and the new The Unnamed.

VF: Do you think your generation of writers is conflicted about sex? Or feels awkward writing about it? The Unnamed contains two pretty notable sex scenes and they’re… relatively tame… I mean, they’re not Roth-ian…

JF: But they’re also not deciding to masturbate in two corners [laughs]. If I had gone on, it would’ve taken the wrong tone. I think if a book is going to take on sex, it should take on sex, and do so boldly.

I’m not sure that there’s a categorical mistake that’s being made somewhere by saying that this generation of writers is too tame compared to the earlier generation, or that somehow this generation doesn’t take it as seriously, or is even less preoccupied by it. A lot of those Roth and Updike books almost have sex as the only object.

I don’t know where a writer can be faulted… Michael Chabon, let’s say. Michael Chabon can’t be faulted for having a far more ambiguous ending spot or approach towards sex simply because he might be the heir to Bellow or Roth.

I think you could talk similarly about a departure of prose style, and wonder, well, why isn’t Jonathan Safran Foer writing as effervescently as Bellow? It seems slightly misguided.

At the same time, we don’t really have anybody writing boldly about sex. So maybe there is something in the water, I’m not sure. But I suspect that it’s not over. I don’t think the sex game is over.

Information from Vanity Fair.

How To Get Our Editor To Do You

January 25, 2010 Culture, web 1 Comment

You think we’re kidding?

OK, maybe a little, but only slightly.

He had it with the first two sentences. Then he started going on about what a weakling he was and, well, that ruins the worthy adversary fantasy.

The fact that this is strictly platonic might also be something of a problem. What proper battle doesn’t end in violent sex? Like, hello.

Oh, and he’s in Louisiana. But apparently Ms. Flox will jet for a proper show-down.

Link via Marsha Collier.

Yum, Yum: Dolce Boys

January 25, 2010 Culture, Eyecandy, Fashion, Men 2 Comments

We had some sexy ladies earlier this morning through the link on our interview with CelebrityFantasies, so we thought to include a little bit of noms for us lovers of men.

Behold the beautiful creatures that are Adam Senn, Sam Webb, Noah Mills and David Gandy! Behold the thankless, horrific task that is method acting and modeling! But, oh, the suggestion of testosterone…

Dolce, dolce, dolce.

Video by Swide, via @FemminaForte.

The Fantasy Life–Served

January 25, 2010 Culture, Eyecandy, Interview, web, Women 1 Comment

It was a typical day on Twitter. That is, I was e-stalking my object of absolute desire, responding to my friends, and being a good little monkey and checking my new followers to report and block any spam accounts. Then I saw it: @celebfantasies.

Long gone are the days that I check everyone following me to see if they’re cool enough to follow back — now I just reserve follow-backs for people who engage me. The truth? I like to surf blogs and tweets and I know how much time I can end up spending if I give in to even a single person.

But I run a blog now and people depend on me to be a little more attentive, so what the hell, right? Someone’s gotta read Twitter so you don’t have to.

.

“A homage to the famous, beautiful and sexy women we love, not hiding the truth of masturbation.”

That was the bio. Hell yes. The blog linked immediately revealed a veritable dish of beauties — from the absolute fantasy girls to the girls next door — as well as articles and fantasies, written by the author and pulled up from the depths of the web.

I shot the author, Brad Hamilton, a direct message and a few hours later, had him before me over Gtalk. What follows is the interview:

AV: First off–what possessed you to do this?

BH: The primary reason is that the society we live in treats sex as a taboo, especially masturbation. A friend, actually a phone sex girl, suggested that I write a blog about my fantasies about all my celebrity girls. It’s something of a therapeutic way of talking about my fantasies in a safe way. This is, actually, the third incarnation of the blog. The first two I had on Blogger a few years ago. With some of the video and slide shows I had on there, it was slowing up the page and the load times. Tumblr has a cleaner interface that has good features for photos and video.

AV: What’s the response you’ve gotten?

BH: Most of the visitors to my blog are guys who also masturbate to celebrities. Only one woman who has been the subject of my writings (that I know of) has seen and read my blog and she actually contacted me a couple times via IM and we’ve chatted about it. The guys like the blog of course.

AV: In the blog do you offer a daily hottie for readers to check out or is that less frequent?

BH: Something like that. If I write a fantasy about a woman or post photos or videos of her, she’s the woman that I’m currently getting my rocks off to. For example, I was masturbating to Fox 11 reporters Maria Quiban, Lisa Breckinridge and Suzanne Marques last week so my morning writings were about them, along with my Twitter entries. Can I tell you something? You fall in the category of newsladies/reporters. You’re adorable.

AV: Oh, I’m flattered! Thank you.

So, there you have it. A daily dish of fantasies, sexy articles, pictures and video, complete with a Twitter stream to let you know what’s new.

Bosses — prepare yourselves for a complete drop in productivity.

Oh, and you’re welcome.

Image from Jamie Edmondson, via Celebrity Dish.

Sit On Our Facebook!

January 25, 2010 Vitals, web 1 Comment

ZOMG. We have a Facebook fan page!

I know, it’s kind of gross — who wants to be a “fan”?

I can’t think of anything less sexy.

Look, we’re not looking for “fans” — we’re looking to make a space on a platform everyone and their mother’s on so we can better hear what you have to say, whether it’s tips, ideas, comments, or complaints. We want to make it easy for you to come over and tell us what’s what — dig?

As a treat, we’ll start putting some photos of our shenanigans around town over there, and any exclusive pics we get from Eyecandy-worthy individuals.

So, come on over, give it a browse, and — if you don’t think you’ll get fired for being a “fan” of a page about OMG! OMG! sex — go ahead and join us.

You can always make a private list on Twitter to lurk up on what we’re doing if you’re ashamed of being publicly associated with us. We won’t take it personally. I mean, it’s not like you call us before 3AM usually.

Heh. Don’t you dare.

Image used in the Facebook page is (oh, boy, here we go), your humble editrix, AV Flox, taken by Jessica Janson, and superimposed on an image of Los Angeles by Ron Reiring.

REDEMPTION IS SWEET! The MySpace Shot Wins For Girls

January 25, 2010 Culture, web 1 Comment

The folks at OKCupid have been busy these past few months data mining to help us figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to luring lovers on dating sites.

Their findings, which appeared last week on their official blog reveal all kinds of fascinating things, the most shocking of which I present to you here.

MYTH: Don’t use a phone or webcam pic on your profile.

“The rationale behind this myth seems solid: cell-phones and webcams take low-end photos,” says Christian Rudder, OKCupid’s editorial director and co-founder of the site. “When the camera’s fixed on your desktop or at the end of your arm, the context of the photo is bound to be pretty mundane; and there’s the avoidable creepiness of someone lurking in the dark, in front of the computer, snapping his own button.”

But when the team looked at the hard data — that is, the number new messages received per active month on the site for women, and new incoming messages and replies to outgoing first contacts for men — they were surprised to find that these lousy, self-shot pictures were pretty damn good.

“Perhaps what these photos lack in technological quality they make up for in intimacy,” Rudder writes. “And it’s undeniable that at their best, self-shot pics can have an approachable, casual vibe that makes you feel already close to the subject.”

So they went one step further. They examined the success of the infamous MySpace shot, which is a picture taken by holding the camera above your head and looking really coy.

“We were sure that everyone thought these pictures were kinda lame. In fact, the prospect of producing hard data on just how lame got us all excited,” Rudder says. “But we were so wrong. In terms of getting new messages, the MySpace Shot is the single most effective photo type for women. We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle — indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place — so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again. No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics.”

So there it is. The infamous MySpace Shot lives because, contrary to popular belief, it actually works. How’s that for a myth-busting Monday?

Image from AV Flox. Information and graphs from OKCupid, via Zach Behrens.

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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...