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The Story of a Disappearing Critique on Google+

How free is speech on Google+?

On Wednesday, November 02, Bryan Jones shared a public post on Google+ protesting the censorship of artist Paul Roustan‘s art on Google+ which contained an album with 22 images. A handful of the images were quickly flagged by Google+ and some time on Friday, November 04, the post itself became restricted to other users.

Because Jones could still see the post, the movement he had sought to start to bring awareness to censorship practices on Google+ (illustrated by the hashtag #occupygpluscensorship), lost the momentum it had gained in the previous 48 hours. In a conversation with Googler Brian Rose, Rose told Jones that the post “should not have been automatically made private to me… something was wrong… and that he would follow up with Google’s Post team on Monday.” … Continue Reading

Cosmo Has A New Sex Position

November 11, 2011 Culture, Papers/Rags 2 Comments

cosmoposition has a new sex position

Our editrix got a message from Cosmopolitan magazine on Twitter this evening. Apparently, Cosmo has added a new sex position to their catalog and they’re looking for help in naming it. Curious, we headed over and scoped it out. … Continue Reading

The Sad Ballad of Halloween

October 25, 2011 Culture, Feature 2 Comments

Halloween's sexy costumes

Halloween is an artifact that has existed far longer than this country, under various names and in many guises over time. It’s a weird, twisted survivor that survives by absorbing the qualities of the culture in prominence where the day is celebrated. These days, people shake their heads when they think about Halloween — how could a kid’s dress-up holiday have become so grossly sexualized?

The truth is that Halloween is not a holiday for kids. That shift is a very recent thing in its epic history, and I think the emergence of more and more sexualized costumes is both a reflection of our culture’s attitudes toward sex and an attempt to take the holiday back. … Continue Reading

Tested and Approved

October 10, 2011 Eyecandy, Toys, Women No Comments

Ryan Keely takes over Fleshbot

You’ve read your share of reviews. Reviews on Yelp, reviews on Amazon, reviews on blogs. People love to talk about how much they love a product or how much they hate it. Ranting: whether it’s positive or negative, it is what we do.

What we don’t usually see on the internet are videos that put things to the test. … Continue Reading

Dr. Seuss, But For Sex

October 8, 2011 Books, Culture No Comments

A little book about sex inspired by Dr. Seuss is making the internet rounds. Before you panic, allow us to remind you that this is not a book being handed out on street corners to children, but one that resides online with so little SEO as to render it impossible to stumble upon unless someone has a direct link.

Having gotten that out of the way, allow us to introduce you to Now That You’re Big by Simon Greiner, a hysterical combination of wordplay and images in the style of Dr. Seuss. … Continue Reading

When Smart People Watch Porn

October 8, 2011 Culture, web 1 Comment

We concede that we’re not the typical porn consumers, but even so, we had a feeling we were not the only ones who get distracted during porn by certain errors or leaps of creative license in story lines that deal with our respective fields or topics of interest. Turns out we were right. … Continue Reading

The Good Men Project — Bad for Women?

August 17, 2011 Culture 3 Comments

Lili Bee had had it rough. Finally emancipated and making something of a living despite the abusive boyfriend in whose home she’d been forced to settle into in order to survive, she decided things were not so bad. Just as she was getting settled, her boyfriend forced her to audition at the Playboy Club in New York City to try to get a break in her career. She made it. In June, she recounted her story for the readers of the Good Men Project.

The club was strict, but she was well-paid and formed part of a union. For reasons that were not disclosed, she got in trouble some years into the job and was faced with the decision of having to leave the club. A man she had met through the club, who’d previously been very generous with her, suggested that she transfer to another club, or consider posing for the magazine. The magazine deal would provide money, he said, and possibly open the door for her in terms of modeling. … Continue Reading

How Can We Build Communities in a Potentially Hostile Environment?

August 3, 2011 Culture, Feature, web 1 Comment

We are moving toward a social horizon online. That enables us to have a lot more conversations with a wider variety of people, but it also creates a danger in that we can no longer determine the sort of content that we will put on our sites. Our profiles and what we put on there are governed by the terms of service of start-ups and companies. Even if these reflect our own values, there is always a chance that the company will be acquired, or the media will put pressure on a start-up to change the nature of its content.

However well-intentioned the desire to protect young users from age-inappropriate pornographic content, very often conversations about sexuality and sexual issues become conflated with pornography. It’s a dangerous road that disables people from having the open dialog that give the internet promise. How can sex educators and interested users build any sort of community in a network that could become hostile toward them at any moment? The answer is that right now, we can’t. … Continue Reading

Google Plus Suspension Spree Reaches the 405

July 23, 2011 Culture, Feature, web 10 Comments

Suspended Google+ Profile

This afternoon, I logged into Google+ and discovered that my account had been suspended. My profile read:

After reviewing your profile, we determined that some of the content (e.g. text, images, name) violates our Community Standards or our Names Policy. Please remember that we are currently limiting profiles to real people and will be launching a profile for businesses and other entities later this year.

If you believe that your profile has been suspended in error, or you have recently edited your profile to comply with our Community Standards or Names Policy please submit your profile for recommendation. Your profile will be reviewed again and unblocked if it complies with our Community Standards.

I have broken down their concerns into three sections for this post: Text, Images, and Name. I will provide the necessary information and let you determine whether their decision is appropriate. … Continue Reading

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Responds to the Firestorm over Sexist Milk Campaign

July 18, 2011 Advertising, Culture 1 Comment

Everything I Do Is Wrong Goodby, Silverstein & Partners campaign for the California Milk Processor Board

The day before yesterday, I wrote a scathing piece about the California Milk Processor Board’s new milk ad campaign, which features cartoonish men in varying stages of distress, with headlines such as “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant,” and “I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying,” and “I apologize for not reading between the right lines,” as well as a website that illustrates women’s premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness in the same way we once color-coded terror threats.

The firm who put this campaign together, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (hailed for the brilliant “Got Milk” campaign of the 90s), sees their “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign as a way to raise the awareness of milk’s helpful effect on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It’s not a war on the sexes, they tell the New York Times. It’s a way the sexes can deal with it together.

I don’t buy it, and I wrote about it. Today, I got the following e-mail from an individual claiming to be an employee of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners … Continue Reading

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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...