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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.

Spirituality vs. Religion in the Bedroom

January 14, 2010 Culture, Faith, Research 2 Comments

Women seeking to connect with the transcendent have more sex, more sexual partners, and are less likely to use a condom.

That’s one way to read the results of a finding from a recent study from the University of Kentucky. Now, most of our empirical knowledge in psychology comes from experiments on white mice and undergrads, and this study is no exception: it was performed on 353 students “attending a large public university.”

Of those students, 88 percent were Caucasian, 82 percent were Protestant or Catholic, and the mean age was 20, with nobody over 29, so we’re talking about a young, predominantly white, predominantly Christian sample.

Given that kind of sample, it seems like a stretch to generalize this study into a catchy headline like “Spiritual Women Have More Sex” (like LiveScience did) or “Is Spirituality Harmful to Women’s Sexual Health?” (like Science and Religion Today did). Nonetheless, it is an interesting study.

Here are the findings, in all their academic glory:

Consistent with previous literature, religiousness was negatively associated with participants’ lifetime number of sexual partners and frequency of vaginal sex. […] Spirituality, on the other hand, demonstrated consistent and positive associations with female participants’ number of sexual partners, frequency of vaginal sex, and frequency of sex without a condom.

In non-academic speak: young women who are religious have less sex, but young women who are spiritual have more. After hearing about this study, my initial reaction was that spirituality was probably associated with other behaviors—drinking, drugs, etc.—which were really accounting for the difference. That’s certainly the impression my college experience has left me with. The researchers in this study were apparently thinking the same thing, though, because they checked for that. Even above and beyond these other factors, spirituality and sex seem to go hand in hand, whereas religiousness seems to repel sexual partners. So if religiousness and spirituality lead to opposite sex lives, what’s the difference between religious and spiritual takes on sex?

The measure of someone’s religiousness was based on test containing questions like this: “My religious beliefs lie behind my whole approach to life.” That question would be rated from 1 (not at all true) to 5 (totally true). The goal of this test is to figure out how much someone adheres day-to-day to their practices and beliefs.

The spirituality questions, on the other hand, measured a “personal search for connection with a larger sacredness.” Questions were things like: “In the quiet of my prayers and/or meditations, I find a sense of wholeness.”

So “religiousness” here is a measure of adherence to some set of standards, whereas “spirituality” here is searching for connectedness, a sense of universality, or an expectation of prayer fulfillment. According to this study’s data, it’s that first part of spirituality—connectedness—which the women seem to be searching for in both spirituality and in sex. That connectedness is unique to spirituality as opposed to religiousness: people who rated high in “connectedness” rated low in religiousness, but those who rated high in “universality” and “prayer fulfillment” also rated high on religiousness.

Like religiousness, universality and prayer fulfillment seemed to put a damper on the amount of sex: apparently women expecting “Dear God” to work in the church don’t work the “Oh God” in the bedroom.

By the way, the story for the men in this study is quite a bit different—spirituality has no association with the number of sexual partners or condom use, and is actually associated with less frequent sex. The paper’s authors find this unsurprising since “having sex to achieve emotional intimacy and union is relatively unique to women,” a fact that’s surprising to this emotional-intimacy-and-union-seeking man.

What do you think of the findings?

Image by Gisela Giardino.

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.

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.

Avatar Sex Fail

January 11, 2010 Culture, Film 1 Comment

Late last month we reported on the sex scene in Avatar that was removed (but will appear in the special edition DVD). Gawker is reporting that Movieline has found the scene in the script posted online by Fox.

Presenting the ultimate exercise in dick-softening purple prose:

I really wish I had waited for the DVD. Ugh.

Information from Gawker, which officially ruins everything. And yet I can’t stop reading.

Out Late: Coming Out Past 40

January 11, 2010 Culture No Comments

Census-data analysis from UCLA’s Williams Institute found that 36 percent of women in their 40s with same-sex partners had previously been married to men. That percentage only seems to grow with age. What’s going on? More magazine has an interesting piece regarding the apparent fluidity of women’s sexuality:

Some women do feel as if they’ve been struck by lightning, says Joanne Fleisher, 64, a clinical social worker in Philadelphia. A late-blooming lesbian, she now moderates an Internet message board, Ask Joanne (at lavendervisions.com), for married women grappling with their sexuality.

Others say they had some lesbian feelings earlier in life but repressed them, only to find them suddenly coming back much stronger at midlife. But it’s impossible to state exactly how many women are having any version of this epiphany.

With no comprehensive research to go by, experts can go only so far in explaining how or why an apparently straight woman might feel lesbian urges at midlife.

“There’s a general recognition in the psychology and public health literature that women are much more likely to refer to themselves as bisexual than men are,” Gates says. Eli Coleman, director of the human sexuality program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has studied both men and women who acknowledged a same-sex attraction during marriage.

“Almost 100 percent of the men were aware of their feelings before they got married,” Coleman says. “Many women, though, are unaware of same-sex attraction until they’re much older.”

He attributes this to several factors: “Women marry at an earlier age, before awareness might take place, and they may be more scripted by societal roles.”

Female desire, Coleman adds, is determined more “by emotional and relationship factors.” Men, he says bluntly, are “much more visually motivated.”

Could hormonal changes play a role? No studies have indicated that so far, Coleman says, but age does seem to be a factor: “The average time for this kind of crisis is somewhere in the late 30s to 40s. At midlife, you’re more likely to be reevaluating what you want.”

Image by Sara Le Dapperfish. Information from More magazine.

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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...