Home » Culture » Recent Articles:

Eroge For The Soul: Record of Agarest War

December 31, 2009 Culture, Games No Comments

Finally! A game that understands what it’s all about!

Geeks everywhere rejoice. Well, no. Geeks in Asia and Europe have had Record of Agarest War for a one or two years already. Aksys Games, which is set to release the strategy, role-playing game here in North America recently announced that they were pushing back the date for sometime next year.

Good thing next year’s tomorrow, huh?

Image from Aksys Games. Trailer via The Escapist.

Rachael Ray on FHM’s Top 100 Sexiest Women of 2009

December 31, 2009 Culture, News, Noms, Of The Year 1 Comment

In 2003, Rachael Ray did a photo shoot for FHM at the behest of the Food Network.

She was not paid for it, but remarked that she thought it was cool that college guys brought copies of the issue to book signings.

“I thought, I’m a cook, I’m over 35 and these young guys love it,” Ray told the New York Times two years later. “When I’m 80 I’m going to look back and be like, “I represented!’”

Now, Ray is 100 on FHM‘s Top 100 Sexiest Women of 2009–proof positive that the fastest way into a man’s pants is through noms.

Image via The Glamorous Life. Information from Zennie62.

Apple’s Anti-Porn Stance Blows, Encourages Scamming

December 31, 2009 Culture, geek, Opinion, Technology No Comments

Here’s an excellent argument on the suffering we’re enduring at the hands of anti-porn Apple, by Gizmodo‘s John Herrman:

Apple has a ratings system in the App Store. It has a 17+ rating, for apps with violent, crude or sexual content—or app that have a browser function, which could be used to access objectionable content. Most of the apps above are 17+, which means that if parents so choose, they can block their iPhone-having children from even being able to download them. It follows that they could do the same for 18+ apps, so why haven’t they?

I can understand Apple not wanting to get into the porn business, which, by taking 30% of developers’ revenue, I guess they would sort of be doing. But the current setup just doesn’t make any sense. You can buy an app with a built-in browser, which can access the most horrible smut on the web, and get a 17+ rating. But if you link said app to one of those sites, and disable general browsing, suddenly it’s verboten. Again, I can understand how we ended up here, but the results, as you’ve seen, are depressing.

It’s fair to say that most people just assume there are porn apps, when there really aren’t. But there are hundreds of apps that look like porn apps, cost money, and that are, effectively, bait-and-switch scams. Apple can fix this in two ways: they can open the floodgates and just let people have their real porn apps, which would effectively kill these in-between semi-porn apps, or they can revise how the App Store works: by instituting a 24-hour open return policy for paid apps, like the Android Market has, people would simply return these worthless apps, and developers, now unable to trick people into giving them boner money, would stop making them. They would tumble down the rankings and into oblivion.

Anyway, no matter what Apple does, people will continue to look at photos of naked humans on their iPhones. It may make the company squirm, but there’s no reason to pretend it’s not happening, and to let scammers screw up the App Store more than they already have.

The system is broken, Apple. Please fix it.

Image from MapData. Information from Gizmodo.

Let’s Sanitize Our Movies in The Name of Sales!

December 30, 2009 Culture, Film, News, Research 5 Comments

Sex doesn’t sell–we’re too jaded.

That’s what a recent study titled “Sex Doesn’t Sell — nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema” is saying, after analyzing the box office success of movies containing explicit sex scenes between 2001 and 2005.

“Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or international box office, and even after controlling for MPAA rating,” said co-author Dean Keith Simonton, who is also a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. “In other words, even among R movies, less graphic sex is better.”

The study was prompted by an experience almost a decade ago of its co-author, Anemone Cerridwen, who, when taking acting classes, increasingly became uncomfortable with the sexual content in films.

“I assumed sex sold, and wanted to know by how much,” Cerridwen said. “I braced myself for the worst, and got quite the surprise.”

Why?

“Nothing is as shocking anymore,” says Craig Detweiler, director of the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture at Pepperdine University. “You can see it in Britney Spears’ kiss with Madonna and Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl performance. Things that were a big controversy among some, the next generation kind of yawned at it.”

Detweiler told CNN he bears witness to a revolution by the new generation against those of time past, whose goals are “not doing drugs, not sleeping around and not getting divorced.” He thinks this is why Jane Austen films and the Twilight series are so popular today.

“Those stories are really about sexual separation,” he said. “They are all about wooing, not winning.”

The authors of the study hope that Hollywood keeps the research in mind.

“I do believe that there are a fair number of people in the film industry who want to make better films, and this study may give them some ammunition,” Cerridwen said. “I know that Hollywood has been trying to make more family-friendly films for a while (since the ’90s) and it seems to be helping ticket sales, so my guess is that this research would complement that.”

When did the presence of sex in a film make that film “bad”? Sex is human. It merits representation in our art, and that includes film.

Information from CNN, via Rita Arens.

If TMZ Had Existed In The 1950s…

JFK may have never been president. They might have known better. Look at this photo:

This is what TMZ said about it:

We believe the photo was taken in the mid-1950s. It shows two naked women jumping off the boat and two more naked women sunning on the top deck. Just below the top deck — a man appearing to be John F. Kennedy is lying on a deck, sunning himself.

TMZ had multiple experts examine the photo — all say there is no evidence the picture was Photoshopped. The original print — which is creased — was scanned and examined for evidence of inconsistent lighting, photo composition and other forms of manipulation. The experts all concluded the photo appears authentic.

There are numerous articles and books on President John F. Kennedy which mention a 2-week, Mediterranean boating trip that JFK — then a Senator — took in August, 1956, with his brother Ted Kennedy and Senator George Smathers. The trio reportedly entertained a number of women on the yacht. Jackie Kennedy was pregnant at the time and was rushed to the hospital while JFK was on the boat. Doctors performed an emergency C-section, but the infant was stillborn.

TMZ is, however, wrong.

They have posted a correction, reporting that the man is not JFK:

We’ve now confirmed the photo was part of a Playboy spread in 1967. A rep from Playboy tells TMZ the photo ran as part of story titled, “Playboy’s Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodies Complement of Ship’s Belles.” She says the photo was taken on one of the islands that make up the Grenadines (Petit Rameau).

Image and information from TMZ, via OpenSalon. Thanks to Rita Arens for the tip and Sara for the update.

Miss Jones is Back–And The Devil Sounds Like Hope Sandoval

December 30, 2009 Culture, Music No Comments

In the 70s, Georgina Spelvin starred in a flick that has become iconic in the porn genre: The Devil in Miss Jones.

Directed by Gerard Damiano, who had worked on Deep Throat a year prior, The Devil in Miss Jones is a perverse tale of abandon and despair that perfectly encapsulates my greatest fear: a life of release that meets a tragic end in the eternal fire of indifference.

Spelvin, now 73, is back, in Massive Attack’s “Paradise Circus” video. Toby Dye creates a masterful montage of an interview with the porn actress and scenes from the film, where she is 36.

It is a bizarre mind trip buoyed on the sweet vocals of Massy Star’s Hope Sandoval that exposes an aspect of the adult entertainer in a way no music video ever has.

Watch for yourself (or, if you’re at work or otherwise unable, read the transcript below):

Massive Attack Paradise Circus from sabakan on Vimeo.

Spelvin: I, at one time tried my hand at being a prostitute–you know, doing tricks for money with a very nice madam and just completely bombed. I just was no good at it. I absolutely could not manufacture the excitement, the sexual excitement i needed in order to have sex. So plenty people would ask me how could you do it in front of a camera then? The truth of it, when there is a camera running, it is so thrilling. God help me, I love the camera.

Sandoval: It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm, we can roll ourselves over ’cause we’re uncomfortable. Oh where the devil makes us sin but we like it when we’re spinning in his grip.

Spelvin: The fact that it was a fuck film–I was frightened to begin with. But there is something about making a movie when you are in the film set. Anything is possible. The narrative of sex–of course first there is attraction: our hearts beat fast and our palms get sweaty and I get a tingle on the outside of my arms. Foreplay: getting to know each other, and knowing exactly what the other person’s sexual triggers are, whether it’s the little spot behind the ear, the inside of the elbow, the kiss on the neck, the flittering of the tongue across the clitoris.

Sandoval: It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm, we can roll ourselves over when we’re uncomfortable. Oh, well the devil makes us sin but we like it when we’re spinning in his grip.

Spelvin: Oh, boy. An orgasm is that point in time that can’t be measured. A mystical instant that doesn’t really exist in this dimension.

Sandoval: Love is like a sin, my love, for the one that feels it the most. Look at her with a smile like a flame–she will love you like a fly will never love you, again.

Spelvin: I will have to confess that the eroticism and excitement being expressed was very deliberate. It’s not something that I said oh my god this is the most wonderful thing in the world, I can’t wait to do this again. Probably the most uncomfortable and humiliating thing I’ve ever done on film. But nonetheless there I was because the truth of it is: I love the camera. We are our own devil.

This is a single from Massive Attack’s album Heligoland, due out February 9.

Image from IMDB.

Carl’s Jr. Sells Sex–err, Salads with Kim Kardashian

December 28, 2009 Advertising, Culture No Comments

Some may say that Carl’s Jr. has pioneered the art of making real-life food porn with pop culture-relevant sexpots.

I say they have pioneered the commercials with so many different messages that you’re not entirely sure what is being sold until the end.

Remember the 2005 Carl’s Jr. commercial with Paris Hilton? You weren’t sure if she was selling a Bentley, car wash supplies, or a bathing suit until she took a bit of their spicy BBQ burger.

Now Kim Kardashian has an ad out for them that makes you wonder if you should be buying lingerie, fluffy towels, stain removers, or bubble bath.

(And why is Kardashian taking a bath before she finishes making a mess? And why does she eat with her hands if she’s so OCD about cleanliness?)

Which is totally not to say that I don’t think it’s hot. Though I really think the dressing should have dripped on her boobs. But that’s me. I like messy.

Image via What the Hell Are You Eating? Video via Manolith.

Avatar Sex

December 28, 2009 Culture, Film, SciFet 6 Comments

Avatar is a PG-13 flick, so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone hooking up. Nevertheless, there were the two main characters, getting down under a magical wish tree in what has to be the ultimate eye-candy flick of the decade.

There being a such a strong theme of connection, uploading and downloading self and history, the scene between the protagonist’s avatar and his native Na’vi counterpart, Neytiri, is intense and surreal. We’re shown nothing, but our imaginations need no further detail–we’re right there.

Although, just in case you’re one of those inquisitive types, director James Cameron isn’t about to leave you hanging.

“That will be something for the special edition DVD, if you want to see how they have sex,” Cameron told a group of journalists doing their due diligence (i.e., asking how the characters have sex).

Here’s the short version: they use their tails.

“It made such perfect sense,” said actress Zoe Saldaña, who portrayed Neytiri. “If you sync to your banshee and you’re syncing to a tree, why not sync into a person? I almost feel like you’ll have the most amazing orgasm.”

Talk about knowing how to sell DVDs.

“It was a very funny scene to shoot,” Saldaña said. “There were so many technical things that sometimes you have to keep in mind that paying attention to all those might disrupt the fluidity of how a scene is supposed to take place. And because Jim was shooting for a PG-13 rating, we couldn’t move in certain directions. The motion would look a little too past the PG-13 rating standards. So it was really funny for Sam [Worthington, who played Jake Sully] and me. We had a lot of giggles there.”

It’s hot, but you have to wonder if it leaves any room for creativity in bed.

Image from Avatar’s official site. Information from the Philadelphia Daily Inquirer.

On Hands And Knees In Disney’s Underbelly

December 28, 2009 Books, Culture 1 Comment

Last week, I received a curious e-mail from a man named Chris Mitchell who told me he had secrets about the Magic Kingdom–dark, stormy secrets, the kind we here at Sex and the 405 are all about.

Mitchell had worked at the Orlando theme park for a year as an official photog.

Now, he’s coming out with the stories he heard on the field, a sort of incredible expose that will change our notions of the Magic Kingdom forever.

On the day before Christmas, another e-mail arrived from Mitchell, this one containing a chapter of his book, Cast Member Confidential.

“The lawyers who work for my publisher made me edit this one pretty heavily, but I’m sending the unexpurgated version…” he wrote.

And like a good girl, I waited until Christmas to open the gift.

Three in the morning, there I sat at my desk, cigarette freshly lit, and opened “The Bear Necessities.” Enjoy, with the proper mixture of delight and horror, as I did:

For ten years, Brady was the pride of the character department: Chip, Dale, Quasimodo. He brought Roger Rabbit to life in a way that no other performer could match. But, by far, his favorite was Winnie the Pooh with his bashful smile and his honey colored fur and his pot belly that was just big enough to jack off inside.

“What flavor today, Brady?” one Pooh coming off stage would ask.

Brady would pull the ubiquitous sucker out of his mouth and smack his lips. “Butterscotch,” he would say, then the greeter would Velcro him in to the suit and he would shuffle on stage, his crooked leg giving Pooh a comical gait.

This was the late-nineties, when Pooh wore a honey pot on his head with bees flying around it. A performer could pull his arms inside the costume to wiggle the bear’s nose and then push them back into the paws to sign autographs. Or, at least that was the original plan.

Brady liked to pull his underwear down around his thighs and hold his balls. He’d walk around like that for a while, then lift his fingers to his face and sniff them. The scent of his musk and the sheer naughtiness of the escapade broke over him in waves of arousal and he would stroke himself off right there, in front of everybody, where nobody could see.

How could he? How could he masturbate and sign autographs and pose for photos without losing focus or breaking character? Surely, that kind of multitasking required supernatural concentration. Simple. He could do it because he was, above all, a professional. He knew the choreography by heart and was able to do the dance steps in his sleep. He could sign with one hand, sniff the other and wiggle Pooh’s nose with his elbow. Since Pooh is a right-handed character, Brady became adept at jerking with his left hand. After all, it wasn’t like there was a whole lot else for him to do inside that suit for thirty minutes straight.

The lollipops were perfect for covering up the smells around his fingers and face. Some days he used cinnamon, some days spearmint. And every night, when he turned in his costume, the wardrobe department dutifully washed away the seminal fluids.

One day, Brady went to pick up his Pooh costume, and received a shock.

“It’s a new design,” beamed the wardrobe lady. “Isn’t this an adorable face?”

One look at the new body confirmed the worst for Brady. “Arms,” he said. “It’s got actual arms.”

“Yes, he does! Oh yes he does! The cute widdle bear has arms!

Brady was crestfallen. The new design meant he would not be able to pull his hands inside the pot belly. It wasn’t like he was going to leave the character program or anything, but he felt gypped. Ball fondling had been his hard-earned perk. For three years, he coasted along in the character program, picking up new characters, learning animation for parades and autograph sessions. And then, one day, salvation came in the form of Monsters Inc.

One of the stars of Monsters Inc., Mike Wyszowski, fell right into Brady’s height range. Basically, a giant eyeball with stick legs, Mike Wyszowski was shaped in such a way that the performer had to keep his arms inside the costume at all times. He could eat a burrito in there if he wanted to, or check his voice mail, or, yes, even jack off.

Once again, going to work was a treat. A day of Mike Wyszowski was better than any day off – imagine doing the one thing you truly love and getting paid for it! Plus, consistent with tried and true marketing techniques, every day from the opening of the movie until the DVD release, the coordinators scheduled a park full of Monsters Inc. characters. Which meant that Brady, who had carefully made himself indispensable as the friendly eyeball, was more or less on constant call.

And the best part was, there was even a shelf inside the costume with little holes that accommodated extra lollipops.

Unexpurgated excerpt from Cast Member Confidential by Chris Mitchell, out January 1, 2010. Image via Chris Mitchell’s blog.

“Sex and the City 2″? More Like “Friends And The Desert”

December 23, 2009 Culture, Film, Opinion 4 Comments

We’ve seen the Sex and the City 2 trailer and there seems to be no sex in that movie at all. I’m sure Kim Cattrall will rise to the occasion in a scene or two, as her character requires, but for the most part it seems sex is staying in this franchise’s back-burner.

That strikes a nerve with me–and bear in mind I’m going on a limb because I am basing all of this on a trailer that gives us very little information–I think sex is important and the Sex and the City franchise does it a disservice by emphasizing it during the characters’ frantic period of mate-seeking and then diminishing its prominence to zero once the girls have coupled up.

That implies sex is something we do when we’re lonely, something we do to catch a man, something that’s really not as important once we have him. But, oh, it is. Why would more than 50 percent of all married women, at some point, cheat on their mates if it didn’t really matter?

Who are we kidding? Sex is more than just a consummation of the chemical rush that we experience when we meet someone new. We need it to connect, to relax, to be happy, to be healthy, to remain a united front.

While I was married, if ever I confessed to any woman in my life that I was sexually starved, the answer never varied: sex isn’t that important, they told me. There are other things–respect, trust, love, connection.

I don’t know how sex, which once was only condoned after marriage, became divorced from the institution. Respect, trust, love and connection are all made manifest in sex. If anything, sex is the ultimate expression of these things.

The first movie touched on the disconnect between partners with the Steve and Miranda subplot, but it didn’t serve to highlight the importance of sex. “It was just sex,” Steve told Miranda when he tearfully confessed. Just sex.

That’s what they told me. It’s just sex. No one died from lack of sex.

But I did die–only it wasn’t a physical death. It was worse. And it did affect my marriage.

Marriage and relationships are work, they say. I think if we treated their components–all of them, including the sexual aspect–with the same commitment we do our jobs, we’d fare a great deal better.

But to do that, we have to stop saying, “it’s just sex,” and scream, “oh, God! It’s sex! Yes!”

Image from Sex and the City The Movie. Video via MTV.

Facebook

Add our page on Google+!

Keep up with everything we're covering right in your stream. Please note this page is limited to users 18+.

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.

Masthead

Send us news!

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.

Follow SAT405 on:
Twitter
Facebook

RSS

Hosted by (mt)

About

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...