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What Happens In Elevators (NSFW)

December 23, 2009 Eyecandy 3 Comments

And here we thought some things were sacred. For your holiday viewing pleasure: footage from a security camera in a Vegas elevator.


Steamy Las Vegas Elevator Compilation | More Videos

I’ll tell you one thing: it’s a good thing I’m an exhibitionist. Who thinks they should do an ATM one next? I hear people really get freaky up against those ATMs… especially in Manhattan.

Bombshell Alliance Calendar Girls–And Tunes!

December 23, 2009 Eyecandy, Music, Women No Comments

We already told you about hot Sex Bloggers 2010 Calendar, but if you’ve still not made up your mind about how to keep tabs on your social life this coming year, let us tell you about the 2010 Bombshell Alliance Calendar.

A product with a local fare, the calendar features twelve local independent bombshells who want to use their talents and smashing eye candy power to raise money for a recycling campaign as well as to fund a scholarship for a young girl to attend Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

For 20 bucks, you get a calendar and a killer compilation of music with tracks from each calendar girl. Not that you needed any more incentive to see these ladies up against your wall all year long.

The Church Gets In Bed (Wait… What?)

December 21, 2009 Culture, News No Comments

jesuschrist

This is the billboard erected this holiday season by St. Matthew’s, a progressive New Zealand church.

The St. Matthew’s blog explains:

To make the news at Christmas it seems a priest just needs to question the literalness of a virgin giving birth. Many in society mistakenly think that to challenge literalism is to challenge the norms of Christianity. What progressive interpretations try to do however is remove the supernatural obfuscation and delve into the deeper spiritual truth of this festival.

Christian fundamentalism believes a supernatural male God who lived above sent his sperm into the womb of the virgin Mary. Although there were a series of miraculous events surrounding Jesus’ birth – like wandering stars and angelic choirs – the real miracle was his death and literal resurrection 33 years later. The importance of this literal resurrection is the belief that it was a cosmic transaction whereby the male God embraced humanity only after being satiated by Jesus’ innocent blood.

Progressive Christianity believes the Christmas stories are fictitious accounts designed to introduce the radical nature of the adult Jesus. They contrast the Lord and Saviour Caesar with the anomaly of a new ‘lord’ and ‘saviour’ born illegitimate in a squalid barn. At Bethlehem low-life shepherds and heathen travelers are welcome while the powerful and the priests aren’t. The stories introduce the topsy-turvy way of God, where the outsiders are invited in and the insiders ushered out.

Progressive Christianity doesn’t overlook Jesus’ life and rush to his death. Rather it sees the radical hospitality he offered to the poor, the despised, women, children, and the sick, and says: ‘this is the essence of God’. His death was a consequence of the offensive nature of that hospitality and his resurrection a symbolic vindication.

The Christmas billboard outside St Matthew-in-the-City lampoons literalism and invites people to think again about what a miracle is. Is the miracle a male God sending forth his divine sperm, or is the miracle that God is and always has been among the poor?

The Virgin Mary in bed. We thought we’d seen it all here at Sex and the 405. Now that the shock has worn off, we’re thinking this may make a clever holiday greeting.

Image and information from St. Matthew’s, via Alternet.

Geeks Gone Gossip

December 21, 2009 Culture, Interview, web 2 Comments

lalawhat2

“I grew up in Palo Alto and when I discovered this L.A. tech world I couldn’t believe how different it was than the area where I grew up,” Julia Angwin, author of Stealing MySpace, told the LA Weekly at South by Southwest: Interactive in March of this year.

“In Palo Alto everyone is smart; they all went to Harvard and had some brilliant idea,” Angwin said. “In Hollywood, in L.A., these guys were totally scrappy–they would do anything to make money and they were marketing geniuses so it’s a totally different world filled with clubbing and hanging out in Santa Monica and pornstars.”

It’s true, L.A. tech has something of a reputation. After a few years of wrestling with it, trying to build our cred, I think it’s time we stopped apologizing. A lot of interesting tech offerings are coming out of Los Angeles, not to mention incredible content. So we like to look pretty and we like chic clubs and pornstars and rockstars and bubbly and fun as much as gossip about Google’s latest acquisition. So we’ll put a red carpet at a BBQ truck. Deal with it.

Nothing illustrates this attitude more clearly than @LaLaWhat, a Twitter user that reports on the unprofessional aspect of some of Los Angeles’ most active tech scenesters. Not to be confused with lalawag, Los Angeles’ favorite tech blog, @LaLaWhat is simply a Twitter account that reports in the refreshing and eternally juvenile style of Gossip Girl.

I fired off a set of questions to the anonymous tweeps last night for your reading pleasure.

How did you come up with the idea?

We were enjoying just enjoying ourselves when we noticed L.A. all a’twitter with some interesting news. We thought–what a shame it was to have that lovely gossip to broken up, hidden in subtext, and forgotten, and since the lovely Lalawag was taking a decidedly more journalistic approach, we decided to have a little fun!

How do you get your information?

It’s quite simple. We have our “agents” who can post directly and anonymously, and then we have all of you whom we follow who lovingly DM us about all the debauchery. We only post details from those we trust and from those we can verify.

Are there tips you get DMd that you just can’t share because they’re so scandalous?

We like to think there are unspoken rules among us. Let’s just say that the truly damaging secrets we keep to ourselves. We’re not here to hurt anyone, we just like to keep things interesting. After all, its the private things that bind us.

Who would ever want to be Valleywag? We don’t have any “clear cut rules” though, with the exception being not to tweet anything that is truly damaging. Like @TheMan [Editor's note: Francisco Dao, organizer of the Los Angeles tech conference Twiistup] once said, the scene can be “a whole lot like high school” but high school isn’t real life.

We know a few of you have gotten a bit upset about a certain tweet or two. Most of those times, it was because of a slight misinterpretation or assumption based on our tweets. Each time, we tweeted a clarification.

We want you to enjoy the gossip and continue to send us tips, and we know you won’t do that if you didn’t enjoy it. We are your guilty pleasure. We want to know all the little things you couldn’t tweet, but you know you really wanted to. We have our own ways of hearing about your thrilling little secrets. For example AV, we hear you’ve been having quite the passionate ride, and this time we don’t just mean in bed.

I have no idea what you’re talking about. Anyway… how do you classify who’s fodder-worthy to the community?

You should only gossip about those you know. No one is just fodder, we love each and every one of you we gossip about. After all it’s all in good fun. Choosing really depends on the juicy details, sometimes even the cute little quiet ones, lingering in the background, are the most interesting.

“So there AV, for your infinite perusal, are our answers to your intimate questions,” they wrote in closing. “So until the next time you sneak out for a cross-country midnight rendezvous…”

I still have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

Deny, deny, deny.

But can you deny this kind of fun? Didn’t think so.

(Not involved but curious? Hit up lalawag’s event page to see what tech-related events are happening in Los Angeles this week. There’s always something going on somewhere. But be warned… no matter who you are, there will be tweeting.)

Image from @LaLaWhat’s Twitter page.

It’s A Hot-Off!

December 18, 2009 Advertising, Culture, Eyecandy, Men 1 Comment

boys

Look at those bodies. It’s the final round of Hottest Bod in the World contest, run by Body Heat, a men’s fragrance from Parfums de Coeur.

Gratuitous contests like these make life worth living. I don’t know how many countries are represented or whether every hot hunk in the world was given a fair chance and I don’t really give a damn. Here are the three finalists and that’s more than enough for this woman.

If you can pry your eyes for a second, I’ll tell you about this thing. These three dudes are engaged in the last round. Their points from this vote will go to their overall scores, bringing them one step closer to World Hotness Domination, or, rather, a billboard over the new W in Hollywood and $10,000 to burn around town (which will last him all of two minutes the way we roll here, but, hey, welcome to L.A.)!

A guy’s rank in the competition is determined by a point system: they get one point for every time a visitor to the site rates him hot and 15 points for each fan they get on Facebook. The contest also involves a series of duels, for which the winner gets 5 points for every Facebook fan their opponents have.

Call me primitive, but there is nothing hotter than seeing men duel.

So go poke around the site and pick a hunk to drool over. The winner’s going to need someone to show him around town once he gets here, right? I’d volunteer, but I’ve myself my own out-of-this-world hot hunk right in my bed waiting for a different kind of final round, so it’s all you, baby. Yeah, I thought you’d like that.

Information and image from HottestBodInTheWorld.

Hos, Hookers and Truths

December 17, 2009 Books, Culture 2 Comments

hoshookersThe public loves a juicy story about hookers and the media is fast to provide. The problem is these stories are two-dimensional at best, either told as a cautionary tale or paraded as the height of empowerment, with no regard for the nuances or humanity across the spectrum.

David Henry Sterry, author of the sex work memoir Chicken: A Portrait of a Young Man for Rent is looking to change that with a collection of stories told by sex workers called Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys, which came out this summer.

You want to know what sex work is about? Quit watching the news. Get in bed with this.

Here’s an excerpt of an interview with Sterry by Violet Blue:

Violet Blue: What drove you to pick the range of sex work covered in “Hos”?

David Henry Sterry: Right now in these great United States, in every major metropolis, there are people at the very bottom of the food chain, who are basically sex slaves, being exploited in the worst ways imaginable by the most vile evil predators. And there are women, men and transsexuals who are over the age of 18, in full command of all their faculties, and are choosing to use their body and their brain to make money in the sex business. And the crazy thing is, these two sides have a hard time acknowledging the truth of the other. So I tried in my own small way, to document all voices.

I had no political axe to grind: if you worked in the sex business, and you had a story to tell, and you had the skill to tell it, you were welcome in our book. As a result, I have writing by 15-year-old girls who were raped, beaten, burned, starved, degraded and exploited by the worst scum of the earth. And I have women who used sex work to pay for their master of fine arts degree at Berkeley. And everything in between: Working class, meat-and-potatoes sex workers; fabulous rent boys; phone-sex operators; former Olympic athletes; undereducated and overeducated.

VB: You are a former sex worker — what kind of work did you do?

DHS: I was an industrial sex technician, which is my preferred term for the work, for nine months — one human gestation period — when I was 17 years old, living in Hollywood, and studying existentialism at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, California. I worked mostly with women, although I did, toward the end of my career, get paid to verbally and physically humiliate men. One of them was a judge. He came out of the bathroom in his judge’s robe. Underneath he was wearing a diaper. Even at 17, this made me seriously question the American judicial system.

This anthology, as it is, could only have happened because I used to be in “The Life”. One of the chief advantages to being an ex-ho myself is that I’m tapped into many of the networks that we have. All the best hos I know are excellent networkers. Netsexworkers. Plus, I was invited to teach a writing workshop with people in San Francisco who had been arrested for prostitution. Many of them were, or had been, drug addicts. I did this for two years, once a week. So I became friends with this population, from the poorest parts of America, as well.

Then I got invited by the United States Dept. of Justice to come to Washington for a Survivors Conference, leading this writing workshop with all these young women who had been savaged in the sex business. These are voices it would be virtually impossible to get if you were not in fact someone who had been in the business. But I was determined to show America the human face of all the people in the sex business, to get people to understand that we are sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandmothers, dads and moms. I would never have gotten the opportunity to do this, if I hadn’t come out myself as a sex worker.

When I got into that room, to run that writing workshop in Washington, with all those diamond-hard girls, they laughed at me, made fun of me. But then when I told them my story, all of a sudden they wanted to tell their stories. Over and over I’ve seen the healing properties of telling your story while putting this book together. And if I hadn’t first done this myself, struggled for years to try to tell my story, then finally to come out of the sex-worker closet, I wouldn’t have been able to help other people do it.

VB: What’s the most unforgettable story in the book?

DHS: Well, my own of course, because it happened to me. You don’t easily forget executing some extremely challenging cunnilingus on an 82-year-old woman. But as I look beyond the narcissistic shackles of myself, it’s hard for me to single one out, because the stories have become like my children. I don’t want to disrespect any of them. I love them all, even the worst of them.

In “My Daughter is a Prostitute” this woman keeps trying to explain to her Russian mother that she’s a dominatrix, that she doesn’t actually have sex with men. But her mother just will not understand, keeps saying over and over again, “My daughter is a prostitute.” “It’s a Shame About Ray” by Bay Area luminary Kirk Read, is a funny, poignant beautiful piece of writing. I could go on, but I won’t.

VB: What will people be most shocked by in these stories?

DHS: I think “Raped 97 Times” is horrifying. There’s also a very, very disturbing story by a great, great Bay Area writer, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. And there’s a story in the back of the book by a woman who is trying to kick heroin. Her mom comes and visits her, and shoots up in front of her, tells her, “Too bad you can’t try any cuz yer pregnant.” That piece is called “Thanks A Lot.” And of course the most disturbing is a piece by a woman who has become my friend, Jessica Bertucci, it’s called “Helping Daddy Pay the Rent.” Enough said.

VB: The need for sex and the need for money is blurred throughout many of the very real stories in this collection. Why did you make that choice as an editor?

DHS: In the exchange of sex for money, a window in the soul opens. I want people to take a peek. I’m fascinated by what happens when love, power, money, sex, obsession, and God knows what else all collide, usually in a small room. I think people make the mistake, when they’re writing about this subject, and in fact generally speaking when the write about sex, of focusing on the sex organs. I’m much more interested in how these encounters affect people mentally, spiritually, emotionally, how it changes them as human beings.

Go, my minions, go feast yourself on reality. You might not thank me for this, but that’s OK. You’re still welcome.

Information from SFGate, via SeattlePI.

It’s Not A Sex Tape, Baby, It’s Art

December 16, 2009 Culture, web No Comments

timelapser2The sex tape: a staple of our time, and, as far as Los Angeles goes, a requirement.

Introducing Timelapser, an iPhone app that turns the sex tape into an artsy proposition.

This app lets you easily make time-lapse videos on your iPhone. Because it works using still shots, you can use it even if you don’t have the snazzy iPhone 3GS.

Timelapser lets you set your own compression settings, dictate how often to capture a frame (with some technical limitations: the iPhone 3GS can capture a frame every three seconds; the 3G, every six seconds; and the first-gen iPhone, every eight seconds), and allows you to select the number of frames you see per second during playback.

The app auto-assembles the frames into movies, and the captures are stored as a unit without overcrowding your photo library.

You can easily e-mail the movies right from the app as well.

If you won’t do it for the art, get this: Timelapser is currently running a contest offering a $500 prize for the best Timelapser video.

I contacted Jake Maymudes, one of the developers, and asked whether our raunchy sex tapes are eligible.

“At the risk of sounding like a sleazebag, sex tapes made with Timelapser are totally eligible for the Timelapser Challenge,” he told me. “Despite Youtube probably removing them, they will be watched and rated for overall artistic content.”

Hear that? The game is on. All you need to do is post your Timelapser video as a response to their video challenge on YouTube.

Oh, and you might want this.

Lights, iPhone, hot, animal action!

Image courtesy of the Maymudes Bros.

Sexting Among Teens: Not As Common As We Think

December 16, 2009 Culture, News, Research No Comments

Texting has become a fixture in our lives. As with everything, we quickly turned it into another conduit for our sexual expression and exploration. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, always fascinated by such things, decided to tackle the matter in a survey relating to teen cell phone usage.

The results of their survey of 800 respondents, ranging between 12 and 17 years of age, which was released yesterday, found that:

  • Only 4% of cell-owning teens ages say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else via text messaging.
  • Only 15% of cell-owning teens have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone.
  • Older teens are much more likely to send and receive these images; 8% of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text and 30% have received a nude or nearly nude image on their phone.
  • The teens who pay their own phone bills are more likely to send “sexts”: 17% of teens who pay for all of the costs associated with their cell phones send sexually suggestive images via text; just 3% of teens who do not pay for, or only pay for a portion of the cost of the cell phone send these images.
  • The is no gap between males and females in sexting, only age differences.
  • Our focus groups revealed that there are three main scenarios for sexting: 1) exchange of images solely between two romantic partners; 2) exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship and 3) exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be.

“Teens explained to us how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,” said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.”

Read more here.

Information via @Armano.

Melt My Heart With Gore

December 15, 2009 Culture, Film No Comments

zombiesWhether you’re in love or in lust, the movie experience can be treacherous. The idea of forcing someone to sit through a movie beside me when they clearly had no interest–or worse, having to suffer something like Meet The Fockers or The 40 Year Old Virgin–gave me so much angina that when I was married, my ex-husband and I pretty much only shared the car ride to the movie theater, then met after our movies were finished.

(In sickness and in health, in escrow and foreclosure, but hell no, I am not watching another stupid comedy and screw you for not thinking Sin City was rad, falling asleep during 300, and calling La Dolce Vita one of my “little French movies.”)

Of course, just in time to commemorate the finalization of my divorce, there has appeared a movie on the horizon that requires little compromise.

Introducing: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a flick based on the tweaked Jane Austen classic (courtesy of by Seth Grahame-Smith) that infuses the storyline with a nasty zombie invasion.

Due out in 20011, this flick’s odd enough to interest most people, sweet enough to inspire the romantics, and creepy enough to bring out the lovers of ghouls.

Oh, and did I mention Natalie Portman is playing Elizabeth Bennett? If seeing her royal cuteness fighting, all covered in gore isn’t reason enough, I don’t know what is.

Stay tuned for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

Image from the cover of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, from Quirk Books. Information from CNN.

LAID: Sex Ed, Overshare-Style

December 14, 2009 Books, Culture No Comments

laid

I was fortunate in my sexual discovery: I never contracted any sort of disease and while not every encounter resulted in dynamite sex, I never found myself in a threatening situation.

I like to think this has to do with the fact that I am fairly intuitive and committed to my personal health, but we all know there is a fair share of luck in there, too. Accidents happen. People are misread. You have too many drinks. Condoms break. The list is endless and it doesn’t just involve your physical health. Rape is a mental and emotional trauma. Even consensual sex carries with it a danger of emotional damage.

These are all issues addressed in Laid: Young People’s Experiences With Sex In An Easy Access Culture, edited by Shannon T. Boodram. What initially looks like a collection of sexy coming-of-age tales is actually a sex-ed Trojan horse.

I’ll confess something—at first, I was put off by the book. Chapter one made mention of “wasted” virginities too often for my taste. I am a staunch opponent of the idea that the first time is a sacred time and everything else is meaningless or somehow defined by it. To me, that’s a poisonous construct. Every sexual experience should be viewed as an opportunity to reach for the divine.

But as I read on the collection of accounts of sexual encounters I saw the book for what it is: a collection of different experiences and personal truths. Every chapter deals with a different aspect of sex. Yes, there are accounts that bemoan a lost gift, but there are many that celebrate responsible sexual freedom, too. And there are also accounts about consequences of sex (from abortions to HIV); accounts about rape; and tales of those who made the choice to abstain.

This book is a complete collection of sexual experiences, told in the voices of many people, men and women, across North America. It’s not a textbook, filled with clinical language, or a philosophical call-to-arms, heavy on the agenda.

It’s like sitting with a group of friends and letting them tell you what they went through. Oversharing, as the kids say nowadays.

Read the whole review at BlogHer.

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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...