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Sperm Need A Pick-Me-Up? Try Coffee

coffee

Caffeine does more than wake you up–it wakes up your sperm.

That’s right. A group of Brazilian scientists has found that men who drink coffee have sperm that moves better than the sperm of those who turn down the cuppa joe.

Lead researcher, Fabio Pasqualotto, said: “Sperm motility was higher in patients who drink coffee compared to patients who do not drink coffee.”

The researchers also found that smoking cigarettes had neither a beneficial nor an adverse effect on sperm motility compared with the caffeine effect. Smoking pot, on the other hand, does seem to impair sperm.

Scientists from New York University who examined the sperm of 22 men who admitted smoking pot at least four times a week for the past five years found that these produced less sperm in and that their sperm was less capable of the hyperactivity needed to fertilize the egg.

Sweet! Smokers = 1, Stoners = 0! Not that we at Sex and the 405 suggest you should do that to your lungs or anything.

Got a light?

Image by Omar MK. Information from Medical News Today.

Tila Tequila is Preggers… With Her Brother’s Baby

December 22, 2009 Hollywoody, News No Comments

Well, sort of. The MySpace sensation and reality TV star Tila Tequila has announced that she is acting as a surrogate for her brother and his wife.

No word yet on whether this is the biological child of her brother and his wife (via in vitro), his brother and an egg donor, or the singer-cum-reality star’s biological baby that she is giving up for adoption to the couple.

We’re guessing it’s not the last, seeing as Tila Tequila has been sporting a (possibly fake, but, hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?) 18-carat diamond from her fianceé, the Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson.

Then again… this is Tila Tequila. So you never know.

Image from Twitter. Information via Tila Tequila’s official Twitter account and TMZ.

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.

Reckless Sperm Donor Turns Advocate

sperm

Kirk Maxey, a 51-year-old Michigan man, estimates that he has sired some 400 children. Considered one of the most prolific donors in the country, Maxey donated sperm twice a week at a Michigan clinic between 1980 and 1994.

He got into it at the incentive of his first wife, a nurse working with infertile couples. Because his sperm had a high success rate, Maxey soon became the “go-to stud” for the clinic where his wife worked.

Back then, Maxey didn’t think about it beyond knowing he was helping people and making around twenty dollars a pop. In retrospect, he feels a lot differently.

Maxey, you see, wasn’t asked to take any genetic tests by the clinic where he donated sperm, or received any psychological screening. What if Maxey’s genes carried a life-threatening disease? Not just that–the clinic didn’t keep extensive records of people using his sperm. Imagine the implications if half-siblings unknowingly married?

For these reasons, Maxey has become a fierce advocate for tighter government regulation of the sperm-donor business. He’s been a member of the Donor Sibling Registry since 2005 and also made his genome public via Harvard’s Personal Genome Project, hoping that the information will make it easy for his offspring to get information about his genetic health status.

According to Newsweek, where the story of Maxey originally ran:

Currently, there are only recommended guidelines put in place by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that say a donor should be required to provide a complete medical history to rule out “genetic abnormalities” or a family history of inherited disease and should receive proper counseling.

The FDA has guidelines saying that a clinic cannot use a donor with a “relevant communicable disease agent or disease,” but does not require genetic testing. Most banks do not do genetic testing either. Despite these loose attempts at guidelines, sperm banking continues to raise a host of ethical, medical, and financial questions. There’s no social template for donors who are found by their offspring, or even rules about how many children should come from a single donor.

Clinics are now struggling to answer some of these questions. In October, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a 23-year-old donor used by a San Francisco sperm bank passed on a potentially deadly genetic heart condition to nine of his 24 offspring, including one who died of heart failure at the age of 2. The sperm bank now gives electrocardiograms to screen for genetic heart diseases among potential donors.

“Statutory rules for genetics tests on donors should be part of FDA guidelines, which should also require that sperm banks follow up on the children to make sure they are healthy,” Maxey told Newsweek. “All I’m really advocating for is the absolute informed consent for the mothers.”

Image by Zen Sutherland. Information via Newsweek.

Hey, U.S.: Put The AIDS Money Back Where It’s Most Needed

December 21, 2009 Causes, Sex Work 1 Comment

Imagine a fire breaks out in your apartment. You need to put it out immediately, so what do you do? You throw a bucket of butane on it.

That’s what the anti-prostitution loyalty oath (APLO), which forms a part of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 (or, the Leadership Act) and the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is: butane on a roaring fire.

By having non-governmental organizations pledge they will not offer services to sex workers, the oath should become a sort of deterrent, right? Wrong. It hasn’t deterred anything other than the prevention of disease. As it is now, organizations assisting sex workers around the world with education, health and other services are being denied funding. Many have been forced to stop their distribution of condoms or shut down entirely.

Sex Work Awareness is currently collecting signatures on a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the Office of Global Affairs. They’re trying to collect 100 signatures by Tuesday, December 22.

Sign it because you believe it’s better to protect a vulnerable population than moralize about mixing sex and money. Sign it because you support sex worker rights. Sign it because you believe fighting AIDS requires us to access every population. Sign it because it’s been deemed unconstitutional in the past. Sign it because you can’t think of any other organizations that have to make such a staunch division between themselves and a “restricted” practice (such as religious organizations who get funding for projects and also, say, proselytize). Sign it because you believe in better, smarter policy. Whatever your reason, sign it.

Yes, your signature can be made private. We know that matters to a lot of you. We understand why, too. That’s the world we live in.

Want more info about how the APLO’s affecting non-governmental organizations the world over? Go ahead and head over to GenderHealth.org and watch the 13 minute film by Erin Siegal, co-produced by Sex Work Awareness board member Melissa Ditmore.

Sexiest Studies of 2009

December 20, 2009 News, Research No Comments

This year has brought an incredible amount of information in our understanding of sexuality and the peeps over at LiveScience have compiled a nice list of the nine most provocative studies. Here are our favorite three:

  • M’M M’M, GOOD!
    A man’s sweat smells different when he’s turned on–and women can tell the difference between the smell of turned on sweat and regular sweat, according to a study in The Journal of Neuroscience. More…
  • HOLD IT, KIDS
    Men who are really sexually active in their 20s and 30s–especially those who masturbate often–are at higher risk for prostate cancer, say researchers at the University of Nottingham. Interestingly, the level of risk decreases as a man gets older: once he’s in his 50s, any sexual activity actually helps to protect him from the disease. More…
  • GUILTY!
    Women said they would feel guiltier if they fell in love with someone else, rather than just hooking up and trying different sexual positions with them; on the other hand, men said they would feel guiltier having sex without emotion rather than love without sex, reported a Canadian team of researchers. More…

To read the rest, click here.

Information from Livescience.

Madonna: Shoes Over Sex

December 19, 2009 Hollywoody, News 1 Comment

jimmychoo

Looks like the material girl is making a comeback.

Once fond of boasting about her incredible sex life with ex-husband Guy Ritchie, Madonna would now rather strut Choos than knock boots.

The designer Jimmy Choo recently told the U.K.’s Daily Star that Madonna says splurging on a pair of his creations is better than sex.

Look, I love shoes as much as the shoe fetishist next door, but come on.

Then it all comes together: the 51-year-old singer is currently dating 23-year-old model Jesus Luz. I just can’t imagine a man knows much of anything about fulfilling a woman before 30. Shop away, girlfriend.

Images from Jimmy Choo. Information from The New York Daily News.

Man Wins Lottery, Leaves Wife

December 17, 2009 News No Comments

donna

Donna Campbell and her husband Arnim Ramdass had an average marriage–until her husband won the lottery. Ramdass did not tell Campbell about the $19 million jackpot he won alongside 16 other airline mechanics–in fact, he hid it, going as far as to cut off the phone and television to prevent her finding out.

He had the earnings sent to a daughter from a previous marriage and took off.

“I have asked myself over and over what I did to deserve this, to deserve this ending,” Campbell said.

Campbell was recently evicted from her house after her husband stopped making payments on their mortgage. She filed a suit, but the case was dismissed. Now Campbell wants to divorce Ramdass and file another suit for her half of the money, but her husband is nowhere to be found and can’t be served the papers.

“I intend to find him. I will keep trying until I get him,” Campbell said.

We hope so, sister. That’s weak.

Watch the video on CNN.

Coming Soon to Nevada: Male Prostitutes

December 17, 2009 News, Politics, Sex Work No Comments

Prostitution has been legal in the less densely populated areas of Nevada (i.e., outside Clark County) for almost 40 years. But the law, which stipulated that all sex workers have their cervices tested regularly for sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), naturally excluded men, who don’t have a cervix.

So it was that prostitution was only legal in the Silver State for women.

Until recently, when the state Health Board approved a regulation to allow urethral testing for STIs in men.

Bobbi Davis, owner of the Shady Lady Ranch some 150 miles out of Las Vegas, is pushing to make Shady Lady the first brothel to offer men to customers. But it won’t be easy: Davis is going to need county approval first.

George Flint, the owner of a wedding chapel in Reno and a lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association, knows there’s a big double standard hurdle here.

“I think the Legislature is really going to give me some heartburn over this,” he told the Associated Press after talking to the Nevada Health Board in Carson City to endorse the Davis’ proposal. “But I think [offering male prostitutes] it’s an inevitability.”

Information from the Associated Press and Your Tango, via @MelissaRowley.

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.

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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.

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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...