Recently in Sex Category

In Praise of the Male Body


I don't remember where, but about a year ago, I came across the blog naked men, happy women and added it to my reader.

I guess because it's a blog tending toward arty photos that could be praised as "erotica," it seemed more innocent and safe than certain other kinds of sites that publish photos of naked people, some of whom are doing stuff to other naked people. But at some point I realized that the images on it could be considered porn--and probably would be by most of the people I grew up knowing. Does finding one photo of a naked or nearly naked guy in your google reader once a week constitute a porn habit? It's a regular thing, but it's not exactly excessive or anything, is it?

The Joys of Impotence


I remember with affection, satisfaction and pleasure the sexual relationship I had with a man who, while we were together, experienced quite a bit of erectile dysfunction.

I can guess what most of you are saying now: "Huh?" or "WTF?" with an emphasis on WT, since there wasn't that much F.

But I'm serious. It was great. It was fun. There were quite a few things I liked about this relationship, the first being that the guy was a generous, curious, inventive lover, and the second being that we were forced to depart from "the script."

buying sex entitles them to do anything they want

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Here's are two jolly little reads I came across this morning: a newspaper article and a scholarly study of why men use prostitutes. "Use," I think, is the operative word: many of the men interviewed for the study felt that prostitutes had few or no rights in the transaction, besides getting paid... And this even though most of the men are also aware of the violence, both physical and mental, used to coerce women into prostitution: "Of the men interviewed, 55% believed that a majority of women in prostitution were lured, tricked or trafficked."

Here's a paragraph in the study that really stood out for me:

Possibly to counter these feelings, men who buy sex are often committed to the idea that prostitution is an equal exchange of sex for money or goods. If, as many prostituted women have reported, prostitution is paid rape (Farley, Lynne and Cotton, 2005) then the payment itself (whether cash, food, housing, drugs) functions as the means of coercion to the sex in prostitution (MacKinnon, 2001, 2009). Against much empirical evidence a number of buyers insist that prostitutes truly enjoy the sex of prostitution. This highlights a major contradiction. While the buyer is often aware that it is his money and his purchase of her for sex that gives him the control while removing her autonomy and her dignity, he still seeks to convince himself that she both likes him and is sexually aroused by him. Perhaps this conviction is an attempt to reduce the cognitive dissonance of his sexual use of her under conditions he accurately perceives are not free or equal. Plumridge and colleagues (1997) pointed out buyers' firmly held but contradictory beliefs that on the one hand commercial sex is a mutually pleasurable exchange, and on the other hand that payment of money serves to remove his social and ethical obligations. Most interviewees said they assumed that to a greater or lesser extent, women in prostitution are sexually satisfied by the sex acts purchased by buyers. The interviewees believed that women in prostitution were satisfied by the sex of prostitution 46% of the time. One man argued that women who were "professional prostitutes" all like sex. Another said, "A normal woman is never as highly sexed as a prostitute. It would be wrong." Generally, the literature indicates that women are not sexually aroused by prostitution, and that after extended periods of time servicing hundreds of men, prostitution damages or destroys much of their own sexuality (Barry, 1995; Funari, 1997; Giobbe, 1991; Hoigard and Finstad, 1986; Raymond et al., 2002).

Porn Works


Last night I went to a free screening of Orgasm Inc, part of the Westminster College Documentary Film Series. (I would provide a link to the film series if I could find a link to the current season, on either Westminster's site or the site of the SLC Film Society, the series' cosponsor. But I can't. The SLC Film Society's page is especially crappy. This is disappointing, because I would like to know what else is showing in this year's series, which focuses on gender and sexuality.)

It was a pretty remarkable movie, about the pharmaceutical industry's effort to make "female sexual dysfunction" into a medical disease treatable with pharmaceuticals. This involves pathologizing female sexuality in new ways, beyond all the many ways it has already been pathologized, all in an effort to make money off people who worry that they're not "normal."

It's hard to quote from a movie you've seen once, for so many reasons: I didn't bring a notebook, didn't take notes, and even if I had, the notes would have been incomplete 'cause you can't rewind a movie in a theater. But I will try to hit some of the high points of this film.

Before the Weekend Ends


Here's a totally NSFW consideration of what it would be like if women were as horny as men, so watch it before the weekend ends.

As for commentary, I have none.

Somehow I missed the fact that the Strokes' first album, Is This It (is this WHAT?), had two different covers, one for the open-minded people across the ocean, and one for the prudes on the west side of the Atlantic.... You know, Americans, who are either Christians or feminists. The former object to anything that might arouse someone, and the latter object to the objectification of women and their bodies.

I found an image of the British cover because the Guardian has named the album the fourth best album of the current decade. I personally found the album boring and forgettable when I encountered it with the prudish American cover, but I will certainly remember it from now on. And I won't be listening to the Strokes ever again.

After reading that article, I clicked on a link to a story about Adam Lambert and what was or wasn't wrong with his kissing a guy during his performance at the American Music Awards. (Side note: I didn't think there was anything wrong with the kiss, and I agree with this assessment about the offensive nature of some of the reporting on it.) To summarize: nothing wrong with men kissing men; why isn't anyone questioning larger issues in the performance, including the fact that

Eight Miles Wide

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This totally made me smile.

Two Annoying Articles on Money, Sex and Orgasm

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OK. Here are two articles from the Times in the UK that have seriously annoyed me ever since I read them earlier this week.

The first has the headline Wealthy men give women more orgasms and states

“Women’s orgasm frequency increases with the income of their partner,” said Dr Thomas Pollet, the Newcastle University psychologist behind the research.

He believes the phenomenon is an “evolutionary adaptation” that is hard-wired into women, driving them to select men on the basis of their perceived quality.

which I will attend to in a moment. But what REALLY irritated me was this statement:

The female orgasm is the focus of much research because it appears to have no reproductive purpose. Women can become pregnant whatever their pleasure levels

Yeah, well, ejaculation and orgasm are typically linked in men, but they don't have to be. When there's orgasm but no ejaculation, it's called a "dry orgasm." When there's ejaculation but no orgasm, it's called ejaculatory anhedonia. Google the terms if you don't believe me.

A Typical Kid Picking Her Nose


Via Figleaf’s Real Adult Sex, I have learned about a way of depicting young girls as sexualized known as “lolicon,” a bastardization of “lolita complex,” which (I am not making this up) “has a nicer ring to it than pedophile."

I have three things to say.


2. Ditto to everything Figleaf says in his response to the topic.

3. Have any of those people proclaiming their interest in lolicon ever read Nabokov’s damn book? Because it doesn’t make sex with a budding pubescent (a.k.a. nymphet) particularly appealing.

As one my recent entries should make clear, in many regards I'm often a fan of explicit depictions of sex: I can appreciate them for their artistic and erotic value. But I'm not a fan of most porn, either in theory or in practice, because I find most of it joyless, predictable and exploitative.

Within the corner of the Blogosphere concerned with sex and gender, there are only five bloggers who haven't already commented on the infamous Details blog piece from the summer asking if it's OK for men to demand anal sex from women. As I'm one of those five, I should probably get that duty out of the way before the year ends. I'll do it, however, by seconding everything Twisty Faster says about it in her critique. Twisty argues that the phenomenon "is an escalation of porn culture," which seems likely enough to me. And in this piece from The Guardian UK, Marina Hyde makes the same argument about another way men are showing contempt for women during sex: they apparently feel entitled to ejaculate on a woman's face, without asking, on the first date.

I especially like this statement from Hyde: "porn is screwing up sex. Not sex in relationships, but the kind of casual sex in which it would be nice to think people could indulge in a mutually enjoyable, non-exploitative fashion." From what I hear from young women in the dating trenches, I think that's right, and it's no doubt one more reason educated, successful women who have aquired an appropriate sense of their own worth and what they deserve in a relationship are more likely to have orgasms during sex than their less educated female counterparts, and one more reason feminists have the most rewarding sex lives.


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