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DomCon Weekend

May 19, 2010 Daisy, Diary, Events 4 Comments

Daisy Tralala Journey of a Submissive

Last weekend I found myself in a room of eager submissives and Doms attending a workshop on pain management. This was part of DomCon LA — a four-day series of events that is the biggest and most well-organized annual BDSM convention in Los Angeles. The overall event is geared to Dominants, both pros and lifestylers. But it’s a feast for submissives like myself, who melt into a puddle of bliss relinquishing power to a Dom. I’m a sucker for the type of man who will slam you down, pin your arms behind you and use you like a piece of meat — and this convention had plenty of them!

DomCon includes educational presentations, demos, hands-on technique training, a couture show, a gay wedding, a fabulous array of BDSM fashion, toys and lifestyle accessories for sale, play parties, a Mistresses’ tea, and the Fetish Ball. The event is produced by legendary male-to-female pro-Domme Mistress Cyan. Mistress Cyan was the 2009 Pantheon of Leather Woman of the Year, she runs a production company and a professional dungeon; and she is a successful bondage and fetish model and actress. Kinksters come from all over to attend DomCon so it’s a huge social event, great for people-watching and a lot of fun. … 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.

Thinking of You: Awkward Sex

May 17, 2010 lolz 1 Comment

We here at Sex and the 405 think it’s vital to let people know how much you adore them, so we’ve created a special new section showcasing the best of the web when it comes to showing your love.

This week’s jewel comes to you via someecards, the epitome of cool when it comes to e-cards.

Click to send one to someone you dig!

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.

If They’re Exposed to Hotter Women, You Will Be Less Attractive

May 17, 2010 News, Research 2 Comments

You know that irrational fear you get every time he goes off to a shoot and you start thinking of all the models he’s going to be cavorting around with? Well, guess what? It might not be so irrational after all.

On the Discovery blog:

Kenrick et al.’s experiments demonstrate that men who view photographs of physically attractive women or Playboy centerfolds subsequently find their current mates less physically attractive and become less satisfied with their current relationships. What then would be the cumulative effect of being exposed to young, attractive women on a daily basis? Would there be any real consequences to the men’s dissatisfaction with their relationships?

Secondary school teachers and college professors come in contact with more young women at the peak of their reproductive value than others do. The analysis of a large, representative data set from the United States indicates that, while men in general are less likely to be divorced than women, and secondary school teachers and college professors in general are less likely to be divorced than others, simultaneously being male and being a secondary school teacher or college professor statistically increases the likelihood of being divorced.

Keep avoiding models, actors, photogs and directors and impose a ban on secondary school teachers and college professors! If you have a man, turn off his internet immediately! KEEP HIM AWAY FROM EVERYONE!

You’re welcome! Happy Monday!

Image by Jeffrey Simms. Information from Discovery‘s Discoblog, via Jason Goldman.

The Science of Fidelity

May 16, 2010 News, Research 2 Comments

The gene that produces vasopressin, bonding hormone produced in the brain, has long been known as the “fidelity gene.” Biologist Hasse Walum at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, recently studied 552 different sets of twins to learn more about the gene related to the production of this chemical — to try to get a sense of how its presence affects marriages.

Over all, men who carried a variation in this gene were less likely to be married than those who didn’t. And the men who had gotten married were more likely to have had serious marital problems and unhappy wives. Of the men who carried two copies of the gene variant, about a third had experienced a serious relationship crisis in the past year, double the number seen in the men who did not carry the variant.

But a happy marriage is not necessarily one free of infidelity.

“It’s difficult to use this information to predict any future behavior in men,” Walum told Tara Parker-Pope, who reported about this on her column Well.

But the brain can be taught to resist temptation, Parker-Pope notes, citing a series of studies led by John Lydon, a psychologist at McGill University in Montreal that study people’s reactions to temptation.

In one of these studies, married men and women with high ranking in terms of fidelity were asked to rate the attractiveness of people of the opposite sex in a series of photos. They were then showed similar photos and told the persons were interested in meeting with them. In this instance, they gave photos of equally attractive people lower scores than they had the first time around.

“The more committed you are,” Dr. Lydon said, “the less attractive you find other people who threaten your relationship.”

In another study of 300 heterosexual men and women, half the participants were primed for cheating by imagining a flirtatious conversation with someone they found attractive. The other half just imagined a routine encounter. Afterward, the subjects completed fill-in-the-blank puzzles, which, unbeknown to the participants, were a psychological test used to reveal their subconscious feelings about commitment.

Differences arose between men and women who imagined the flirtatious fantasy. In that group, the men were more likely to complete the puzzles with the neutral words than words related to commitment.

THR_AT became “throat” to men and “threat” to women. LO_AL became “local” to men and “loyal” to women.

This prompted researchers to believe women may have early warning system to alert them to relationship threats.

This study doesn’t really say how people react when encountered by a threat to commitment, but the following one does. In this one, attractive actors and actresses were brought in to flirt with study participants in the waiting room. Afterward, the participants were asked questions about their relationships, especially how they would react to inappropriate behavior on the part of their partner, like forgetting to call.

Men who had been flirting were less forgiving, suggesting the previous flirtation had perhaps affected their commitment, making them more likely to find fault. Women who had been flirting, on the other hand, were more likely to be forgiving and make excuses for their partner in light of the hypothetical infraction, which suggests that the flirtation may have triggered a protective response in them.

“We think the men in these studies may have had commitment, but the women had the contingency plan — the attractive alternative sets off the alarm bell,” Dr. Lydon said. “Women implicitly code that as a threat. Men don’t.”

So can we train the brain to resist temptation? Another McGill study prompted male subjects in committed relationships to imagine running into an attractive woman on a weekend while they were away from their partners. Some were asked to fill in the sentence: “When she approaches me, I will __________ to protect my relationship.”

The subjects were then exposed to a virtual reality game in which two of the four rooms involved “subliminal messages of an attractive woman.” The men who had drafted a contingency plan before hand went into the rooms 25 percent of the time versus 62 percent for the other men.

Interesting — but what keeps people together? Arthur Aron, a psychologist and relationship researcher at Stony Brook University, thinks it’s “self-expansion” — how much a partner broadens your horizons and generally enhances your life.

In a study on the topic, couples are asked questions such as: how much does your partner provide a source of exciting experiences? How much has knowing your partner made you a better person? How much do you see your partner as a way to expand your own capabilities?

The Stony Brook researchers stimulated self-expansion in experiments by giving some couples mundane tasks, while others took part in a silly challenge with a time limit rigged to make them lose on the first two tries and win just barely on the last. The couples who did the silly challenge recorded increase in love and relationship satisfaction than those who did mundane tasks and did not experience the excitement and victory.

They theorize that couples who explore new places and try new things will tap into feelings of self-expansion, lifting their level of commitment.

“We enter relationships because the other person becomes part of ourselves, and that expands us,” Dr. Aron said. “That’s why people who fall in love stay up all night talking and it feels really exciting. We think couples can get some of that back by doing challenging and exciting things together.”

Photo by Elenah Neshcuet. Information from The New York Times.

Naked Star Wars

May 16, 2010 Eyecandy, SciFet, Women 1 Comment

It’s no mystery that our editrix is a bit of a geek. Last night, we found her epically amused by a photo on which she’d stumbled looking at pr0n on Tumblr (which, by the way, is, in her opinion, the best sexy-image aggregator there exists). Behold, the geekery:

By all means click to enlarge. And stroke to enlarge as well, etc. But we didn’t have to tell you that. Oh, yes: you’re welcome.

Via SyntheticPubes.

The Pill, But For Dudes

sperm

A contraceptive for men is soon going to start trials at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, just in time for the celebration of 50th anniversary of the female contraceptive pill!

Dr. Swerdloff, the director of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s Male Contraceptive Clinical Trials Center, said the development of a male contraceptive has the power to change men’s view of their health and empower their reproductive decisions.

“Just as women gained greater control over their reproductive choices and their health with the advent of the birth control pill, a male contraceptive would get men more involved in their personal health care and would give them greater reproductive choices,” he said in a statement.

To this end, the institute is seeking 60 men ages 18 to 50 to test out a combination of hormone gels that will be applied to their arms and abdomens to see how they affect sperm count. The idea is that this hormonal gel will cut sperm count to levels where conception is not possible. According to researchers, discontinued use will result in the men returning to their normal sperm production.

Named after Dr. Christina Wang, one of the leading researchers involved, the test period is being called the “Wang male contraceptive trial.” If you giggle about it, we’re going to think less of you. This is very serious stuff, people.

OK, fine. Giggle. Then, if you’re a man, consider signing up for the study.

Information via the LA Weekly.

Less Taxation, More Stimulation

May 15, 2010 Culture, Politics 2 Comments

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now what the tea party movement is all about. If you have been living under a rock, let us explain: it’s a bunch of libertarians and conservatives getting together freaking out about stimulus packages and bailouts and generally supporting a more limited government, balanced budgets, and free markets.

Chicago’s Admiral’s Club (a gentleman’s club) is very serious about these issues. They hosted a Sarah Palin look-alike contest on Wednesday to raise funds for the Tea Party Campaign.

“Politicizing sex or sex for causes seems to cheapen the act,” said Brooks Bayne, local Independent and active participant in the tea party movement. He didn’t specify whether he was referring to the act of sex or the tea party movement as being cheapened, though he did add that “having sex with someone who shares your political views is hot.”

A call to the club to inquire how much money was raised for the cause went unanswered.

Image from the Admiral’s Club. Via Ryan Paonessa.

Laura Bush Supports Gay Marriage and Abortion

May 15, 2010 Freedom, News, Politics 1 Comment

Remember American Wife, the book by Curtis Sittenfeld, about an American first lady who is wife to a conservative warhawk and who stands beside him despite how much she disagrees with him on issues? Probably not because, well, who reads anymore?

Anyway, it was said to be loosely based on Laura Bush. In the book, the fictional first lady supports abortion. We bring this up because Laura Bush joined Larry King last week on his show Larry King Live and came out publicly about her stance on both abortion and gay marriage.

She told King that she understands “what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman,” but she believes that “when couples are committed to each other and love each other that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

She also still believes that abortion should remain legal “for medical reasons, and other reasons.”

Some have criticized the former first lady for only making these statements only now that she has a book to promote. Her autobiography, Spoken from the Heart, was released earlier this month.

Information from PoliticsDaily.

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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:
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In-House Theologian:
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Eros and Desire Scholar:
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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...