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Erectile Dysfunction: Indicative of Heart Disease?

March 18, 2010 Health, News No Comments

A study out of Germany this week indicates that erectile dysfunction may be a powerful indicator of cardiovascular disease in men.

The study, which sampled 1,519 men from 13 countries with cardiovascular disease over a five-year period involved a questionnaire about erectile dysfunction that asked men to specify their degree of impotence.

During the five years that subjects participated, some of the men were given specific drugs for heart disease (which relax blood vessels and thus decrease the heart’s workload) while others were given placebos.

The study found that patients with erectile dysfunction had a higher prevalence of hypertension, stroke, diabetes and lower urinary tract surgery than those without erectile dysfunction. And deaths from all causes occurred in 11.3 percent of the patients who reported erectile dysfunction but in only 5.6 percent of those with no or mild erectile dysfunction at the start of the study.

“Erectile dysfunction is something that regularly should be addressed in the medical history of patients; it might be a symptom of early atherosclerosis,” said Dr. Michael Böhm, lead author of the study and chairman of Internal Medicine in the Department of Cardiology and Intensive Care at the University of Saarland, Germany. He stressed erectile dysfunction is “an early predictor of cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Robert Stein — professor of cardiology at the New York University School Medicine, and spokesman for the American Heart Association — called the study a wake-up call.

The study appears in this month’s issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Information from CNN, via e*starLA.

Gaga Gives Cosmo Readers Love Advice

March 17, 2010 Hollywoody, News No Comments

I had a boyfriend who told me I would never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit song, and that he hoped I’d fail,” the 24-year-old award-winning pop icon tells readers in Cosmo‘s April issue (we read Cosmo so you don’t have to — see how much we love you guys?).

Gaga did not dump the imbecile on the spot. But she did threaten him: “Someday when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the fucking deli without hearing or seeing me.”

As Christine Spines notes in the article, most women say dumb things like that to assholes we’re dating.

But Gaga made it happen.

There’s something in that. That something is called dedication. Gaga is entirely devoted to her career.

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams,” Gaga says. “If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”

Photo by Kenneth Willardt for Cosmopolitan. Information from Cosmopolitan, April 2010.

Rielle Hunter Gets Scandalous With Dora The Explorer and Barney

Talk about a story that just won’t die: John Edwrad’s mistress and baby momma Rielle Hunter is in GQ.

The interview shows Hunter’s take on everything we’ve already heard a million times. But that’s not the best part. The best part is the slideshow:

Oh, my. We’re all about the MILF here at Sex and the 405 but posing half-dressed among your kid’s toys is just a little too… ew. That’s Barney half on your lap, you know?

To make matters worse, according to Barbara Walters, Hunter called her hysterically to let her know how disgusted she was about the GQ photos Mark Seliger took of her for the men’s magazine — like she was somehow not a part of the shoot or had any say in the matter.

We’ll say to her now what we said to “Johnny” then: you did it, now own it!

Image from GQ. Tip via @morraam.

About That Vatican Sex Scandal…

March 12, 2010 News, Scandal! No Comments

Angelo Balducci was arrested in early February, on suspicion of having steered public works contracts towards favored bidders. He hasn’t been charged. But during the investigation into these chargers, police found that Balducci, also a papal gentleman-in-waiting, was regularly arranging to have male sex workers brought to him.

Here’s a transcript of a conversation recorded from a wiretap with a chorister by the name of Thomas Chinedu Ehiem (and CNN just got the sleaze-factor seal of approval from us for running this):

Ehiem: I called you … because there are … if you are free … three or four situations that can be good … very, very good …

Balducci: …Hmmm!

Ehiem: Two black, Cuban men … really tall, tall, tall … so … if you are free … we can try to organize right away … that is, I saw both of them, Angelo … believe me that … they could be two excellent options.

That conversation happened in April of 2008. That August, there is record of another:

Ehiem says: Look, if you want I can have them come one after the other … it is possible … if you have some free time … I can arrange for the two of them.

Balducci: Which are the better ones?

Ehiem: The better ones are the ones I just told you about … one from Bologna and the other one from Rome.

Balducci: All right, then let’s do it for 3:30.

For 15 years, Balducci has been a member of the exclusive fraternity, the Gentlemen of His Holiness, the ceremonial ushers of the papal household. In the words of a 1968 ordinance, they are expected to “distinguish themselves for the good of souls and the glory of the name of the Lord.”

The Vatican has yet to respond. There appears to be no provision for the dismissal of a Gentleman of His Holiness.

Image by Joao Maximo. Information from the Guardian.

More Yaz and Yasmin Lawsuits

March 11, 2010 Health, News No Comments

A group of Canadian women are suing the makers of Bayer’s popular oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin, saying they were not adequately warned about the pills’ adverse side-effects.

Some women using the popular contraceptives report racing hearts, strokes and, in some cases, serious gallbladder problems that require surgery.

Christine Lovelace, one of the women involved in the suit, says that after she began taking Yaz last February (for reasons beyond birth control), she started getting heart palpitations, waking up in the middle of the night with her heart racing, and unusual menstrual changes, with periods lasting as long as 14 days. Her doctors thought the 42-year-old was suffering from anxiety or entering menopause. They told her not to worry. Then, last fall, Lovelace had a TIA stroke (transient ischemic attack, or “mini-stroke”).

She was paralyzed on her left side and lost the ability to communicate. The palpitations and racing heart stopped after she quit taking the pill and she has recovered from the stroke save for some nerve damage to her hand and foot.

Jennifer Demunnik also took Yaz. A year and a half after starting the pill, her doctors found she had developed gallstones. They told the 27-year-old her gallbladder would need to be removed. After her surgery, Demunnik went online and found other women taking Yaz and Yasmin who had similar complaints. She also found reports that some 1,100 lawsuits had been filed in the U.S. involving these pills.

Siskinds LLP filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Bayer Inc., the maker of Yaz and Yasmin, though it has not yet been court-certified.

Yasmin and Yaz were approved by Health Canada in 2004 and 2008 respectively. The pills have become bestsellers among teens and young women. More than 2 million prescriptions were filled in Canada in 2009, reports IMS Health Canada.

Bayer contends its oral contraceptives “have been and continue to be extensively studied worldwide and are safe and effective when used according to the product labeling.”

Information from CTV News.

Porn: Decreases Sex Crimes?

March 11, 2010 News, Research 1 Comment

Porn — does it lead to sexual assault? The question continues to fascinate us. A recent piece in The Scientist puts the data together to show a picture few of us were expecting: that as pornography becomes more available sex crimes decrease — or, at least, stay the same.

What follows is an excerpt:

Despite the widespread and increasing availability of sexually explicit materials, according to national FBI Department of Justice statistics, the incidence of rape declined markedly from 1975 to 1995. This was particularly seen in the age categories 20–24 and 25–34, the people most likely to use the Internet.

The best known of these national studies are those of Berl Kutchinsky, who studied Denmark, Sweden, West Germany, and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. He showed that for the years from approximately 1964 to 1984, as the amount of pornography increasingly became available, the rate of rapes in these countries either decreased or remained relatively level.

Later research has shown parallel findings in every other country examined, including Japan, Croatia, China, Poland, Finland, and the Czech Republic. In the United States there has been a consistent decline in rape over the last 2 decades, and in those countries that allowed for the possession of child pornography, child sex abuse has declined. Significantly, no community in the United States has ever voted to ban adult access to sexually explicit material. The only feature of a community standard that holds is an intolerance for materials in which minors are involved as participants or consumers.

In terms of the use of pornography by sex offenders, the police sometimes suggest that a high percentage of sex offenders are found to have used pornography. This is meaningless, since most men have at some time used pornography.

Looking closer, Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant found that rapists were more likely than nonrapists in the prison population to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated nonrapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males.

Information from The Scientist.

Anti-Gay Senator Comes Out

Senator Roy Ashburn, a staunch anti-gay marriage Republican representing Bakersfield, whom we told you about yesterday, has acknowledged that he is gay.

“I am gay and so those are the words that have been difficult for me for so long,” he said on KERN Newstalk 1180, the LA Weekly blogs report.

Ashburn reaches his last term this year and is known for consistently voting against all gay measures. In the radio interview, he defended his anti-gay stance, saying his votes reflected the will of his constituents:

My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district. I have always felt that my faith and allegiance was to the people, there, in the district, my constituents. And so as each of these individual measures came before the Legislature I cast ‘no’ votes, usually ‘no’ votes, because the measures were . . . almost always acknowledging rights or assigning identification to homosexual persons.

Juicy enough? Yeah, we don’t think so either. Maybe he should dress up as Lady Gaga or Beyonce for his appearance on The O’Reilly Factor.

Information from the LA Weekly.

Texting Is Dangerous? She Crashed While Bikiniscaping

March 8, 2010 Crime, News 1 Comment

“Crashes Car While Shaving Vag” was a trending topic on Twitter in the United States last night and our commitment to informing you here at Sex and the 405 prevents us from ignoring it simply based our distaste for the term “vag” and out undeniable urge to projectile vomit every time we look at it in text. Yeah, we’re cool and devoted like that.

So get this — according to Florida’s Keys News, a two-vehicle crash occurred last Tuesday on the Keys because one of the drivers, a 37-year-old woman, was shaving her bikini area at the wheel.

According to reports, her ex-husband, who was with her at the time of the incident, took the wheel from the passenger seat to accommodate the process.

The woman, Megan Mariah Barnes, was shaving because she was about to meet with her boyfriend in Key West.

That’s right, her ex-husband, instead of telling her to knock it off, took the wheel for her so she could groom to meet some other dude.

“Amazing.”

Fortunately, no one was severely injured.

Barnes has been charged with driving with a revoked license (related to a previous incident), reckless driving, leaving the scene of a wreck with injuries and driving with no insurance. Her ex-husband, Charles Judy was not charged.

We think he should be taken in for being a push-over with no balls, but if that was enough to get a man locked up, who’d run the country?

Just kidding!

Sort of.

Images from Twitter. Information from Keys News.

Anti-Gay Marriage Senator Is Gay — And His District’s Paper Knew It

In case you’ve been living under a rock or having the kind of epic sex we’ve been having, you know that Roy Ashburn, a Republican senator from Bakersfield was arrested last week for a DUI after leaving a hip Sacramento gay haunt with a younger man.

Ashburn “has a flawless record of voting against every single LGBT bill during his long tenure in office. He has raised countless wads of campaign cash by cuddling up to the right wing of the Republican Party and has spewed out hateful anti-gay rhetoric to his conservative constituents,” writes the editor of the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

And now he’s caught drunkenly cruising with gay men. Oops!

Juicy, juicy political sex scandal — just the way we like it.

But it gets juicier: apparently, the mayor of West Sacramento, Christopher Cabaldon (who came out during his State of the City dinner in 2006) tried to out Ashburn about six months ago on Facebook — which is either really hip or really juvenile. We’re leaning toward juvenile.

Cabaldon posted: “It wouldn’t bother me so bad to see Roy Ashburn at Badlands (a gay bar) with a boy if he didn’t have such a bad voting record on gay rights.” Nobody noticed.

According to Cabaldon, Ashburn frequented gay bars often and “everyone” already knew he was gay. People have their panties up in a bunch because The Bakersfield Californian — which, by the way, is the largest newspaper in the senator’s district — decided that Ashburn’s merrymaking with the gay community was not relevant to readers.

“The Californian has asked Ashburn about his sexual orientation in the past,” writes Christine Bedell, the paper’s government editor. “He has either questioned the relevance of the issue or dodged it altogether. The newspaper did not report the comments at the time, also deciding it was not relevant.”

Should the paper have reported it?

Image and information from The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, via Riese.

Swami Sex Tape Scandal

March 6, 2010 News, Sex Tape No Comments

No one is immune to sex tapes! Not rockstars, actors, heiresses, politicians or spiritual leaders! Swami Nithyananda falls into the last category. According to his ashram, he’s “attending the Kumbh Mela” right now, which we’re pretty sure is the Indian version of skipping town. Why? Earlier this week a tape was released by the media featuring him and an Indian actress.

The tape has caused enormous controversy and OneIndia is reporting that followers are now attacking his ashrams in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and that the local government is investigating the matter.

“Two cases of cheating has been filed against the Swamiji for hurting people’s religious sentiments,” OneIndia reported today. “The Chennai police are still searching for him.”

They’re also reporting that Ranjitha, the actress featured in the sex tape, has attempted suicide. The report mentions she was married but is now divorced and that there are rumors that the actress herself created the tape to blackmail the spiritual leader, but nothing has been confirmed.

In the U.S., a sex tape is a cheap publicity stunt and call for attention. In other places — they’ll burn your effigies in the streets, vandalize your property and send the police after you. Serious business.

Images from BigNews and IndianVintage. Information from OneIndia.

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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...