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KinkForAll, Anyone?

February 15, 2010 Vitals 2 Comments

KinkForAll is an international user-generated “unconference” focused on the intersection of sexuality and the rest of life. Based on the BarCamp concept, KinkForAlls can be put on by anyone and is free. Events feature discussions, and presentations with all content provided by participants.

There are no spectators at KinkForAll, only participants. To attend, one must give a presentation or help out in some other way.

So get this — there are none (that we know about) in Los Angeles. Anyone up for the challenge? We’re game to play if you want to get something started!

We’re in the Los Angeles Times!

February 14, 2010 Our Happenings, Vitals No Comments

Oh, yeah! How could we forget to mention this? Sex and the 405 is in this Sunday’s Los Angeles Times! Image journo Whitney Friedlander got in touch with our editrix, who’s notorious for using Twitter to screen all potential lovers (her mating ritual involves grammar, punctuation and word sparring. We’ve seen her sext. She uses words like exegesis — WTF, right? Approach at your own risk).

Anyway, they dished the goss for a few hours, which resulted in a little mention for us, her loyal newsroom monkeys (who were slaving away in the word mines while she was lounging around for an awesome photo op with one of the Times most hardcore photojournos, Francine Orr, btw. Not that we’re bitter).

From Friendlander, the Timesexcellent piece on love online:

Online dating sites aren’t the only way to find that special someone. There will always be the lucky folk who find kinship in the unofficial dating pools of social networking sites. Witness local blogger A.V. Flox, who edits Sexandthe405.com and has vowed to date only guys she’s met on Twitter.

“[On Twitter], you’re having a conversation with people without any external factors like physical looks,” she says. “It’s just really raw. It’s just who the person is. You edit what you say on your blog [or e-mail], but on Twitter you will tweet ‘Ow, I stubbed my toe.’ It’s really great stuff and indicative of personality.”

Like, totally, A.V. ROTFL. You know we had to go there, right? We still love you. Now please can we get a Clover in the newsroom? kthnx.

Image and excerpt from the L.A. Times.

We Rode into The NYT on Cyan’s Noodz, via VentureBeat

February 13, 2010 Our Happenings, Vitals No Comments

We weren’t the only ones excited to see Zivity’s founder Cyan Banister take it all off on our site. VentureBeat reporter and tech-popcult commentator Paul Boutin jumped right on it.

As a result, we got into VentureBeat riding on Cyan’s n00dz, and since VentureBeat is syndicated to the New York Times

Check that out, you guys. We’re officially relevant. Irreverent, but relevant.

How about that?

Via Paul Boutin.

Nothing Says I Love You Like A Clean Bill of Health

February 10, 2010 Causes No Comments

All right, this isn’t sexy. But we here at Sex and the 405 think it’s paramount that everyone maintains their bodies in top shape so they can enjoy the pleasures that sex can bring.

With this in mind, we bring you an offer from You Never Really Know, a site dedicated to safe sex. This Valentine’s Day they’re offering a $70 discount for couples who go in together (for a total of $328). They test for gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes I and II and HIV.

Their site even includes tips on how to bring up the subject. Even if you don’t end up going together, do consider going in for yourself. Your body is your pleasure instrument: take care of it.

Bid On A Date With A Hot Chunk o’ Hunk for Haiti Relief!

February 9, 2010 Causes No Comments

OMG, no way. Remember Jordy, that super guy we told you about last month who won the Hottest Bod in the World contest?

He’s trying to raise funds for relief in Haiti (so hot and so sweet!). To this end, he is auctioning himself off on eBay for a chic Hollywood date!

Calling all lovers of a hottie with a heart — we have less than ten hours left to bid on this man!

FILM CONTEST!

February 7, 2010 Vitals No Comments

Here’s a lazy Sunday thought for you, Los Angeles: a short film competition.

Ah, how fast we can get your attention!

So get this: Los Angeles magazine is holding a free online short-film competition.

When: February 3 – March 3, 2010
Length: under 3 minutes
Topic: Los Angeles

From Los Angeles magazine:

[The shorts] can be biographical, documentary, or fictional portraits of the city. The top entries will be posted on March 15 and will be judged by readers and a jury of prominent Angelenos. The winners—an “Audience Favorite” and an “Official Selection”—will be announced in early April.

The official winner and audience-chosen winner get:

  • Coverage in Los Angeles magazine
  • A special reception at City Hall
  • A screening of the film at a major movie theatre
  • A meeting with a top entertainment agent or a studio executive

Watch Designed for Dreaming, the short made by Los Angeles magazine’s columnist Chris Nichols to get an idea of what you’re up against (it’s really kind of epiclulz awesome).

Now go kick some filmmaker and amateur ass. And remember: if it’s sexy, we wanna know all about it.

Get L.A. image from Los Angeles magazine, montage made with a picture of AV Flox, by Atherton Bartelby (you can’t get mad, AV, we found it on the internet). Information from Los Angeles magazine, via FishbowlLA.

Sid Vicious Died Today, 31 Years Ago

February 2, 2010 Culture, History, Music, Vitals No Comments

Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols: a kid, an icon, a tragedy, a legacy. He defined a generation and the radiation from its zeitgeist-shattering explosion can still be felt today.

You know, if you look hard enough under the VersaSpa tans, over-processed vocals, and senseless Top 40 hits.

Oh, who are we kidding? You can’t. It’s mostly shit. Glittering, beautiful shit, but shit. The only motif that persists is drugs, but even that doesn’t really hit us the way it should — the paparazzi bulbs are too bright. It’s an expected disaster, all of it.

Other generations were defined by their music — it was the battle cry, the unifying force. We’re too bored, ADD and apathetic. It’s like we have nothing to fight for; we grew up with too much handed to us and now all we can do is sit around and bitch on Twitter. That’s our legacy. Bitching on Twitter.

Yeah, we saw your Grammy tweets. At least Taylor Swift is singing. At least Pink is swinging. At least Lady Gaga is pounding a piano and Beyoncé is hair-swishing.

We here at Sex and the 405 have an assignment for you today: do something. Actually take a stance by doing. Kiss someone, punch someone, make something.

Just, you know, don’t stab anyone.

Image from Mudkiss Magazine. Reminder via Robert Ebert.

We’ll Miss You, Black Heart

February 2, 2010 Editrixial, Opinion 2 Comments

Almost a decade ago, a woman named Laura Roberts reached out to me with some compliments on my blogging skillz (has it been that long? Jeez). She was also a blogger and also interested in sex. Soon, we had developed a correspondence — about writing, about sex, about writing about sex — and when Laura launched the web zine Black Heart Magazine in 2004, I was one of the first people she asked to submit a piece.

Eventually, I’d join the Black Heart team as a sporadic columnist and sex news reporter, or, what Laura called “in-house badass.” Without any hesitation about the combination of sex and cultural commentary, Black Heart ran four shorts from my series on consumerism and apathy in America, an ode to Hunter S. Thompson aptly titled Reverse Cowgirl: A Savage Thrust into the Cunt of the American Dream.

That was the thing about Black Heart — it was sex, yes, even shallow, just-in-it-to-get-off sex — but it wasn’t afraid to be smart, either. That’s what I liked best about the rag. Whether she was flashing her tits for cheap thrills or charity or getting into huge arguments with Vladimir Nabokov’s son about the legacy of Lolita, Laura Roberts made Black Heart a combination of the filthiest gutter and ivory tower.

In the years that Black Heart was running, whether I was writing or not, Laura and I kept in touch. We talked about how hard it was to monetize content like ours, to herd around writers who were doing it more for the love than for the money, to keep the content of a publication consistent with its original vision even though you, the person running it, are not static.

I learned more about running a blog from Laura and Black Heart than from just about anyone or anything else on the web. And that’s saying something considering the kind of web pioneers I count as my nearest and dearest.

So even if you have no idea what Black Heart Magazine was, know this: if you like this blog, if anything you have read here, has offered you absolutely anything, then you owe a thank you to that little zine.

The Black Heart chapter is closed now. Laura has moved on to other things. We’ll make a valiant effort to continue the tradition of mingling the filthiest gutter and ivory tower.

You’ll be missed, Black Heart. And thank you for everything. Especially this:

We’re humbled and honored.

Sex & God: Accepting the Sexual Soul

February 1, 2010 Causes, Culture, Faith 9 Comments

Sexuality and Christian spirituality have had a rocky relationship: from the Apostle Paul’s reluctant admission of marriage as a way to handle those who unfortunately “burn with passion” (1Cor 7) to medieval asceticism’s sexual renunciation to the contemporary puritanical disdain for sensuality, it seems like Christian spirituality and sex just don’t mix.

But for the sake of the argument, let’s assume God wasn’t screwing up or tormenting us in giving us this drive to the most intimate of physical connections with others. Instead, can we conceive as prayers those short, shallow breaths that come when we tangle ourselves in another person’s pleasure? Can we affirm sex despite a long history of critics?

If we look carefully at this criticism, it’s important to realize that asexuality was traditionally associated with the spiritual/mystical vein of Christianity. Some people have this idea that the church is somehow dependent upon condemning sexuality for its identity: Nietzsche was one of these people. The pseudo-historical argument along these lines is that purity codes within the Judaism of Jesus’s time and the Greek/Stoic sensibility of Paul put a strong damper on sex from the beginning, but that’s simply not true: sex shot through the early church.

The sexual tone to the early Christian witness was so strong, in fact, that Paul had to tell women to keep their clothes on in church when prophesying (1Cor 11:5-6,13-16) and had to explicitly rebuke the “orgies” and “debauchery” going on in Rome (Rom 13:12-14). So while Paul was certainly no fan of sex, it seems he was surrounded by people who were.

No, the early church was not particularly down on sex. Some itinerant or particularly zealous people took chastity as a spiritual gift, but it was widely accepted (even by Paul) that chastity was not for everyone. On this point, it’s curious to note that some women voluntarily went into chastity as a pro-feminine move. Seizing power through sex in this way was particularly prevalent among those women married to non-Christian husbands. That’s a seemingly bizarre tactic in a world shaped by the much-needed sexual liberation of the late 20th century.

Where sexuality became vilified was when the soul became divorced from the body, which was a product of Greek-style mysticism. While God in the Old Testament created us male and female and cared for us in our body and met us in our particular time and place, and while God came to us in the form of Jesus so that we might touch and feel God and witness the resurrection promised through the prophets, there was a moment shortly after the time of the canon when a foreign idea surfaced in Christianity. This idea, derived from Plato’s followers, asserted that that the soul was good and immortal and eternal while the body was bad and decaying and temporary.

Let’s disabuse ourselves right here and now of that idea. The bogus idea that the body is bad and the soul is good requires the ability to divorce the soul from the body—but no such divorce is possible. The soul and the body are in an inseparable dance, connected in the most fundamental ways.

Attempting to rip body and soul apart and consider each separately leaves both lacking. Talk about the soul without reference to the body results in a “soul of the gaps”: as science discovers more direct physical interplay in aspects attributed to the soul, the space left for a truly independent soul dwindles down to nothingness. Talk about the body without reference to the soul results in a mechanistic view that loses the big picture: our will shapes our physical reality in profound ways, and to see that we need only look at the shocking effectiveness of placebo treatments and the study showing that we make our own luck by believing we’re lucky.

By recovering the union of soul and body, we can recover the spiritual quality of the union of two people. In fact, when we reject Plato’s philosophy in favor of God’s revelation, we recover our ability to live and love our bodies again. We recover the divine in the day-to-day living, in the romance of candlelight, and in the eros of art. We recover the basic fact that there’s a wide world out there, and that it is Good. What that means for Christian conceptions of spirituality and for our own conception of sex are ideas for another time.

Robert Fischer is Sex and the 405′s spiritual scholar and cultural commentator. Behold the sacred and the profane — he’ll shy away from nothing. Well-versed in mathematics, computer science and religion, this man is a bona fide intellectual whose musings on sex and culture are delicate as they are incisive. How could we resist? How could you? Follow him on Twitter: @RobertFischer

Sit On Our Facebook!

January 25, 2010 Vitals, web 1 Comment

ZOMG. We have a Facebook fan page!

I know, it’s kind of gross — who wants to be a “fan”?

I can’t think of anything less sexy.

Look, we’re not looking for “fans” — we’re looking to make a space on a platform everyone and their mother’s on so we can better hear what you have to say, whether it’s tips, ideas, comments, or complaints. We want to make it easy for you to come over and tell us what’s what — dig?

As a treat, we’ll start putting some photos of our shenanigans around town over there, and any exclusive pics we get from Eyecandy-worthy individuals.

So, come on over, give it a browse, and — if you don’t think you’ll get fired for being a “fan” of a page about OMG! OMG! sex — go ahead and join us.

You can always make a private list on Twitter to lurk up on what we’re doing if you’re ashamed of being publicly associated with us. We won’t take it personally. I mean, it’s not like you call us before 3AM usually.

Heh. Don’t you dare.

Image used in the Facebook page is (oh, boy, here we go), your humble editrix, AV Flox, taken by Jessica Janson, and superimposed on an image of Los Angeles by Ron Reiring.

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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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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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About

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...