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SciFet

June 14, 2010 SciFet, Vitals No Comments

We here at Sex and the 405 make our nerdiness no secret. We love all things nerd and we think it’s about time we really owned it. So we’ve created a new category: SciFet, for the sci-fi fetishists in all of us.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the lulz from Rudy Jahchan, supergeek and other half of the incomparable geek icon of worship Casey McKinnon.

Come on, say it with us: “It’s a… … Continue Reading

We Need Your Vote!

June 3, 2010 Vitals 3 Comments

Amazing! Our in-house scientist Jason Goldman is up for the 3 Quarks Daily 2010 Science Prize! If you like the science you read here, show your support by accessing their voting page (no sign-up required!) and vote for “The Thoughtful Animal: Does oral sex confer an evolutionary advantage? Evidence from bats.”

It’s nine up from the bottom. Or you can do a search for “bats” to get to it. Your turn to love us as much and as hard as we love you! Come on! Just three clicks people, we don’t ask for much!

PS: you can read our coverage on fruit bats and oral sex here and read Jason’s elaboration (complete with video!) here.

Photo by MDL.hu.

Call To Action: Support Porn!

June 3, 2010 Causes 10 Comments

On June 12, 2010, a bunch of people are going to gather in Boston to discuss how pornography exploits women, breeds hatred, turns men into monsters and generally destroys lives and civilizations.

We here at Sex and the 405 think this is outrageous, of course. We are taking a stance for our freedom to look at whatever we want.

Porn valley will not take this one lying down like a pillow queen. And neither will those of us who support our freedom to make porn and watch it, male or female. … Continue Reading

Dance, Love, Drink Like You’re Dying Tomorrow

May 17, 2010 Causes 1 Comment

Los Angeles. City of Angeles, high hopes and broken dreams. Bastion of pollution and filth. Your mortality has never felt more real than it does as your eyes run down the numbers.

Total Population: 17,786,419
Pediatric Asthma: 442,040
Adult Asthma: 1,094,827
Chronic Bronchitis: 556,68
Emphysema: 200,338

More from Forbes:

Sunny areas like Los Angeles face the harmful effects of ozone year-round. In fact, the Los Angeles metro area is named the country’s worst for ozone by the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2010 report, released Wednesday. The ranking is worrisome for the city’s residents because inhaling ozone is akin to “getting a sunburn on your airways,” says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the ALA’s chief medical officer.

In short, we’re going to die. So have fun! Carpe diem! You know the deal.

Header image and information from Forbes.

May is for Masturbation

May 17, 2010 Causes, Culture 5 Comments

We here at Sex and the 405 get so much sex, we made it halfway through May without knowing that apparently, May is National Masturbation Month. Actually, we get so much sex, we made it 15 years without knowing.

OK, that’s a lame excuse. We failed you and we’re sorry. So get this, National Masturbation Month began in San Francisco in 1995 after U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was forced to resign for saying that she thought masturbation is “part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

Furious over how the comment led to her resignation and the obvious implications for their business, the San Francisco sex toy and education company Good Vibrations took a stance and declared May National Masturbation Month.

Why do we need a month to celebrate something that most of us do? Because a lot of us apparently don’t. And those of us who do can all use a little encouragement to try something new. Shake it up, find a new toy or open and up and try mutual masturbation with a partner instead of sex. Get to know your body better and expand your pleasure horizons!

To make up for the oversight, our editrix is taking requests for toys to try out:

Got any ideas? Leave them in the comments. And if you say “me!” we’ll roll our eyes, laugh at you and then post your IP address on a very special new post about the most boring come-ons we’ve ever seen directed at our editrix. Thanks!

Image from Good Vibrations. Information from the Examiner.

WIDESPREAD SHOCK! Women Pay for Sex

May 2, 2010 Editrixial 2 Comments

The internets went crazy last week after an AlterNet article about women paying for sex started making the rounds.

Everyone freaked out. Why would women pay for sex?! They can get it for free!

Clearly anyone who is surprised to hear about this hasn’t had much experience within the sex or adult industries. Yes, it has to do with sex. But it’s more than sex, too.

It has to do with power.

With shows like Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives Lipstick Jungle, Gossip Girl and Cougartown, we’ve become very familiar with the older woman and younger man dynamic. Yes, younger men can match a older woman’s sexual intensity, longer, harder and faster. But there is an aspect that isn’t discussed and that is that the age difference often brings with it a power dynamic that is undeniable.

An older woman is established, she often has a career, connections and disposable income that her younger counterpart lacks. He can’t really be taken around. He’s her little guilty pleasure, confined to the outer boundaries of her life. He’s not her equal. She makes him her equal.

An older woman may decide to assist him in his career goals, or flat-out supplement his income. She may not hold this over his head, but she doesn’t have to. The dynamic is established. She holds the power. Whether she’s married or busy with her career or children, she chooses when she sees him. She chooses to make his career happen (Samantha Jones changed Smith Jared’s name, Nico Reilly destroyed Kirby Atwood’s career before she chose to salvage it). She chooses to financially help him out or not (Catherine Beaton bailed out Nate Archibald’s family).

Yes, there is sex in all of these situations. But the element of power and tacit control is absolutely undeniable. This is unpalatable, obviously, because it raises the question of exploitation. Is the cougar really so progressive or is she just exploitative?

It’s a good question. But I’m not here to point the finger at older women who are seeing younger men. I’m talking about power and power doesn’t discriminate based on age. So allow me another example within the sex and adult industries.

The suitcase pimp. If you have any familiarity with these industries, you’ve heard of this guy. If not, let me introduce you. In the ideal scenario, he’s a sort of full-time manager. In most scenarios, he’s the unemployed dude the girls come home to, and partially or totally support.

He’s ubiquitous. You ask yourself why — why would a porn star or a stripper or a hooker, who is paid so much to be watched or enjoyed, who is raking in mad cash, settle with a guy who did nothing for her?

One word: Power.

If you’ve never presented a human being to whom you were attracted a lavish gift, or assisted in their career success in some way, however covertly, and felt the rush, congratulations. You’re a saint.

You can say you did it just to see them smile, to spoil them a little because you can, but look inside yourself. Giving someone struggling in this economy something you know they cherish, and would have never splurged on either because they can’t afford it or because they’re responsible and know better, when to you picking up such a token costs nothing, is a statement of power.

So let’s cut the wide-eyed innocent bullshit and OMG media hype. This isn’t about women becoming empowered and beginning their takeover of an industry that previously only catered to men or about women getting the reigns and looking for interactions where they don’t have to worry about pleasing a man.

This is human beings doing what human beings do best: creating dynamics where they have power or at least the illusion of power.

I choose you. I pay you. I have you.

All women are doing by seeking sex workers instead of picking someone up at a bar is streamlining the process. Now get over it and move on.

The Death of Reputation

March 29, 2010 Editrixial, Vitals 2 Comments

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation,” says Rhett Butler in the classic Gone With the Wind. Well, my orchids of decadence and delight, I hope you’ve got courage because come next week, the internet is going to be a new, much more transparent world.

According to Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch, our wish for a Yelp for people is about to be unleashed on the interwebs.

“If someone has something good or bad to say about you, they’ll be able to do it anonymously and with very little potential legal or social fallout,” Arrington says. He adds:

We’re still wired to think of gossip as something that spreads quietly behind the scenes, and relatively slowly. But we’re already in a world where it’s all completely public, there are few repercussions to the person spreading it, and it is easily searchable. No wonder people freak out. We’re fish out of water.

Sure, we’ve evolved a legal infrastructure to deal with libel, slander and defamation. Those laws worked well in an era of the printing press, and sort of stretched to cover radio and television. But they are as ineffective against the Internet as copyright laws are in battling music piracy.

His solution? “It’s time we all just give up on the small fights and become more accepting of the indiscretions of our fellow humans. Because the skeletons are coming out of the closet and onto the front porch.”

It makes me think of a piece in The Austin Chronicle from last year, which predicted a move toward a more transparent society:

In 10 years’ time, no one will remember that racy photo you uploaded to your MySpace profile following a drunken collegiate revel, even though it will still be there, for those who care to dig down through the Web 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, hacking back through the digital crust into the ever-present past. Ten years from now, your twentysomething predilection for obscurantist Japanese hentai B&D porn will seem more quaint than sordid or even titillating: archaic, digital daguerreotypes with tentacles. Does it matter? Do we care? We’re digital pioneers birthing digital natives who will have to evolve, socially, psychologically, possibly physically, as fast as the data stream. Their very concepts of “self,” “community,” “privacy,” and the way they view and mirror their world – as individual people and as part of a far greater, online whole earth – will be as different from our current definitions of the same, as the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux are to the digital artisans of EA or Rockstar Games. Long live the new unflesh? Maybe. Probably. Yes.

… Why not? As a species, we’ve been building walls and erecting boundaries, metaphorical and otherwise, since the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey upgraded bones and blood for bricks and mortar. Why not start cyber-kicking holes in the fences, the fortresses, the prisons with which we’ve surrounded ourselves? Personal and societal self-discovery on an epic, historical scale appears to be finally within striking distance for much of the online world. Humanity’s me generation is being force-evolved by onrushing technology into some new state of we.

A few months later, the acclaimed author Paulo Coelho blogged about revealing shameful acts. He asked his readers to respond in the comments. The post is no longer available, but at the time, he received 195 responses.

It’s time we make like Ricky Martin, come out — and stay out.

Who wants to go first?

We’re in the DateDaily

Oh, cool! We made it into the DateDaily, another site about sex and relationship news. This is what they had to say:

“Sex and the 405 is your online newspaper with the latest headlines on sex and all the good (and atrocious) stuff that comes with. This is one sexy site, complete with all the news you’ll ever need to know about sex. Best part: The 101 section.”

We Were on This Week On Twitter (Vaguely)

Our editrix was on This Week in Twitter, talking about tweeting while having sex, why she won’t do ChatRoulette (those services never provided her the legendary cybersex everyone else is having using them), harnessing Twitter to find people to date, the myth of transparency as an oversharer, how to hit on her (use Twitter), and all kinds of other geekery none of us really care about.

But she did it in lingerie. Literally — she walked into the Mahalo offices in lingerie and was on air the entire time in lingerie and hung out afterward in lingerie. Watch the hour-long show or skip to the end of this post to see a picture of her after Jason Calacanis’ dog Taurus knocked her down for a big gooey bulldog kiss.

Counter-clockwise around the table from the left: Lon Harris, Mike Bracco, Melissa Jun Rowley and AV Flox. Off-camera: Mark Jeffrey.

Special thanks to Mark Jeffrey, Lon Harris, Mike Bracco, Melissa Jun Rowley, the This Week production team at Mahalo, and Amanda Coolong.

Your Secrets… On TV

February 17, 2010 Vitals No Comments

Brace yourselves, sweet flytraps of decadence and depravity, there’s a new show in the making to fill our vulture culture’s need for trainwrecks, courtesy of the CW. The show is called Secrets and it focuses on young, sophisticated and high-achieving women and their juicy secret double lives. Juicy.

They’re casting right now. A producer for the show wrote us specifying the type of woman they’re looking for: “sophisticated, smart and supremely glamorous 20-something women who feel that they are living a double life — polished on the outside, out of control on the inside. Women who are keeping a secret from their friends, family and colleagues.” Specifically, they’re looking for women who have successful careers and a very active sex life that they’re hiding.

Interested? Read more and fill out an application here.

We don’t watch a lot of television here at Sex and the 405, but this, we might just have to.

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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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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.

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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...