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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

Author Speaks Out Against Damaging Concepts in Young Adult Literature

April 22, 2011 Books, Culture 5 Comments

In midst of Twilight: Breaking Dawn leaked sex pics, author speaks against damaging concepts in Young Adult literature.

In 2010, Karen Healey authored Guardian of the Dead, a book for young adults that interweaves teen relationships, adventures, and Maori lore. In the midst of excitement surrounding the leaked sex scene photographs of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Healey took to her blog to call bullshit on the general perception as it regards teenagers, sex, and sex in fiction for teenagers. … Continue Reading

The NYT Says Vibrators Carry the Conversation

The New York Times built on some of the points we made last week when we interviewed OhMiBod founder Suki Durham about the difficulties in running a small business when your niche is sexual pleasure.

Their take is a lot more optimistic. They point to the massagers now ubiquitous at pharmacies, suggesting that the public has become far more comfortable with vibrators and is finally viewing them as legitimate consumer products. Everything from conversations during the AIDS crisis to Sex and the City and Oprah are cited for helping bring this about. … Continue Reading

The Story Behind Dot-XXX: We Still Oppose It and You Should Too

It’s been over ten years since the idea of creating top-level domain (TLD) specifically for pornographic sites. Last week, dot-xxx finally went into operation.

IMC, which operates dot-xxx domains, list several benefits for adult producers who use the dot-xxx domain. They believe that by making dot-xxx a recognizable brand through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, they can bring security and confidence to porn consumers who have grown afraid of the potential for malware and abusive practices generally believed to be common problems with adult sites.

ICM also promises the ability for parents and companies to easily filter adult sites to ensure children and employees do not access pornographic content. Simultaneously, through registry-sponsored portals and directed search, they promise adult webmasters an increase in traffic and access to untapped markets. They also promise the implementation of a payment system that does not excessively charge producers of pornographic content, and enables consumers to make anonymous payments.

This is all well and good, except much of it is a bunch of hot air, and we’ll tell you why. … Continue Reading

ROTFL! Make Like Trolls

April 14, 2011 geek, teh inetrwebz 1 Comment

Trolls know how to do it.

You could be a douchebag and “neg” a woman. Or you could make like a real troll and take the roflcopter.

Header photo of AV Flox by Jim Alden.

A Vibrator for the Music Junkie

April 13, 2011 Interview 12 Comments

OhMiBod: Feel the music

The relationship between pleasure and music is one that is particularly pronounced, which probably explains the undeniable coolness of OhMiBod, a vibrator that translates musical beats into vibration sequences. The vibe has been around for a few years, and we were curious about its evolution, so we sat down with OhMiBod co-founder Suki Dunham to give us an overview.

“Our designs evolve over time, because, frankly, we listen to our customers,” Dunham told us about the changes in the vibe’s design. “We love receiving feedback. When it is negative we take that criticism constructively and use it to build better products.”

What started with a single vibe is now a full-fledged line: from the wireless Freestyle and the ambient-music vibrating Club Vibe, to the phone call-activated Boditalk Escort and their bath-play Better Than Chocolate Massager, OhMiBod has covered all the bases — at least as far as the clit and g-spot are concerned. … Continue Reading

Apple Goes After Android Adult App Store

April 12, 2011 geek, News, Technology No Comments

Apple is the Junior Anti-Sex League

Last month, Apple took to the courts to begin enforcing its trademark on the name “app store” in hopes of keeping it out of competitors’ hands. They slapped a suit on Amazon’s app store as soon as it opened and are still tangled in a suit with Microsoft that resembles a circus more than a serious intellectual property case, what with all the linguists running about and the endless quibbling about font sizes.

Feeling impotent, no doubt, Apple has since gone after MiKandi, the first-ever adult app store for Android devices. In an effort to avoid costly, interminable lawsuits, the small Seattle-based operation has changed its tagline from “the world’s first adult app store” to “the world’s first adult app market.” We like boutique better, but market does the trick, since Apple’s trademark only applies to this exact combination of otherwise completely generic words. … Continue Reading

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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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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...