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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Indian sex worker magazine brings community together

This blog post has been moved to the following URL:


You can read the latest NSRC blog posts here: http://nsrc.sfsu.edu/dialogues/communicate



Monday, July 30, 2007

Cute and smart is better than cute and dumb, says Danica McKellar

Ah, what a great book title to see on Monday, "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail."

Finally there is a voice of reason out there in the market - Danica McKellar. After the recent mis-adventures of Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, and Paris Hilton, someone is finally saying "Cute and smart is better than cute and dumb."

The book includes tips to avoid mistakes on homework, ways to overcome test-day anxiety and profiles of three beautiful mathematicians. More importantly, this book is written by a role model from the film industry. Danica played Winnie Cooper on the hit show “The Wonder Years.


Friday, July 27, 2007

gPod takes on iGasm: which gives bigger fireworks?

Remember the iGasm? Apparently, the idea is catching on world-wide. The Japanese have introduced the gPod - a more versatile and phallic version of the iGasm (iVibrator). We have previously reported that iGasm might not work with the iPhone. Well, the gPod will work with the iPhone, the Walkman, the RAZR, and every other device that produces sound and has a headphone port.

Now you can enjoy the soundwaves of your loved ones (or celebrities) not only audibly, but also orgasmicly. The gPod was introduced with much fanfare at the 2007 Adult Treasure Expo. We have no estimates if/when the gPod might be seen on the shelves of GoodVibes.

The rest goes here.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Love Airways Now Flying to Indonesia

When I was in Malaysia about four years ago, they had just passed a law that legalized divorce via SMS (text messaging). The news was splashed on the front page of all the English language rags.

This headline alerted me to a couple things a) the pervasiveness of cellphone technology in Asian society b) the need to establish an emergency "quickie divorce fund" when I returned home.

While we have been slow in pushing the boundaries of cell technology in the US, Asia has been embracing this technology for years. In addition to divorcing your spouse, you can also purchase a beer from a vending machine to celebrate your divorce, and than use your phone's handy built-in GPS function to help you find the way to the house of your new booty call.

And as if that is not enough, now Asia brings us Dr. Love, a Singaporean sexpert and “Nova”, his cyber alter ego. That’s right, Dr. Love is on a mission to educate Indonesians about sex, and the cell phone is his classroom! AWHFY?

It works like this: you anonymously text a sex question to Dr. Love and “Nova” will text you back an answer. The question will than get posted on Dr. Love’s website, loveairways.com to be shared with a whole community of curious online users. Talk about sex education 2.0.

Since we’re an organization dedicated to bringing comprehensive sexual education to the masses, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Dr. Love. Not only is he making sex ed accessible in a very sexually conservative society he is providing an example of how technology can be our greatest ally in the fight for sexual literacy.


Wednesday fun

Saw this hilarious cartoon a little while ago. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CNN/YouTube Debate: SexLit report card

You can get the debate online, but you can't get the (bottom) line out of the debate

So, the feedback is unanimous, good questions, predictable answers on the "revolutionary" CNN/YouTube democratic debate.

Well, at least one thing was great about these debates; the fact that i didn't have to watch them!

However, this morning in an attempt to make an informed blog post, i tracked down a few video clips from the debate last night to create this sexual literacy report card.

Dennis Kucinich: Kucinich is a kook and since vegan pot smoking gnomes don't vote, there's no way in hell, he will win. Luckily that allows him to fly his freak flag high and proud. I love this guy! And what he said about gay marriage was right on!
..if our Constitution really means what it says, that all are created equal,,,there should be equality of opportunity before the law, then our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender should have the same rights accorded to them as anyone else, and that includes the ability to have a civil marriage ceremony.

I think that if he had answered the sex ed question, he would have mentioned something other than "I teach my kids that bad clowns will touch your no-no spots".

For this: I award him the only "A"

John Edwards: I have to say that I have alot of respect for his answers regarding gay marriage. He showed an amazing capacity for "keeping it real" and that sort of honesty is refreshing to see. This is a tough issue for a lot of people but I feel confident that if elected, he'll keep faith out of the White House and I for one and ready to return to the good old godless heathen times. As for the sex ed question. He's clearly someone who is terrified of sex. I can't help but wonder what his version of teaching his kids "everything they need to know" about sex really means. "So kids than you close your eyes and dream of that happy place with rainbows and teddy bears. Next thing you know the stork brings you a baby sister." Edwards also, gets points deducted for introducing the "sex ed as pedophile defense training" approach.

Grade: B-

Barack Obama: we were really pushing for Obama. especially after his strong stand for comprehensive sex ed for school age children but what a disappointment! Besides following Edward's lead on the sex ed question (see above), he totally fell into the "Mitt Romney trap". However, I admire that he's committed to separation of church and state (that godless, heathen thing again).

So I give him a B-.

Hillary Clinton: I have to wonder if they spared Hillary, the sex ed question because she would have something dignified and substantive to say. This would immediately be jumped on in the blogosphere as the rantings of a crazy, bitter hag who couldn't even keep her own man from straying. That's just a personal theory.

Grade: n/a

Dodd : I've never really heard of this guy and i think i might have actually slept through his answer to the gay marriage question. He's not going to win so I'm really not going to stress about it.

Gravel: see Dodd above

Not too impressed here. What about you?
Who do you think is the most sexually literate candidate?


petition test

The rest goes here.


The rest goes here.


Monday, July 23, 2007

CNN-YouTube presidential debate starts in 30 minutes

Check it out on CNN and YouTube. Have fun watching, and we'll be back with reactions tomorrow.


Sicko, Sex Literacy & A Brave New World

Michael Moore's Sicko raises an excellent point about the beginning of universal healthcare in England in the late 1940s. Having been destroyed by war, England realized that if it could create enough resources, when necessary, to kill en masse then it could, and should create enough resources to ensure that its people were healthy. Not some of them, all of them--and for good.

Being proactive about the health of the nation is perhaps the best strategy against terrorism and any other form of violence. Perhaps even more importantly, being proactive about the healthcare of the nation will open up new pathways to (sexual) freedom and liberty--the ideals we were supposed to have started with in the beginning. The U.S. is turning a new chapter in its history now. Once grounded in the ideal of "rugged individualism" we are becoming brave enough to act proactively rather than reactively to the world. We are not and cannot be rugged, reactive individualists any longer. Instead, we are becoming brave, proactive interconnecteds.

Our world will no longer allow our blatant disregard for the obvious--that all people and things are related. We are losing by leaps and bounds on the global stage due to countries who do take care of their most valuable assets--their human resources. As we create policies that kill our own people and others--like abstinence only sex education and PEPFAR--we also create policies that have declared war on the environment. We trash our own human resources the same way we trash the planet.

The U.S. is already seeing its interconnectedness with other peoples and nations and with the planet itself. In a brave new world where interconnectedness is a way of life, sexual literacy will be the norm. When we have universal healthcare in the U.S. and beyond the ability to promote sexual literacy for well being and pleasure will go hand in hand. We'll be able to prevent sexual harm and promote sexual pleasure in unforeseen ways. Soon, The U.S. Department of Sexual Literacy will be every bit as important as the Department of Homeland Security--they may in fact be related. And achieving universal healthcare is one major step in that direction.....we're almost there. We just need our voices to be heard.

Visit aarp.org and join the Divided We Fail campaign in addition to NSRC's campaign for sexual literacy sexliteracy.org !


Obama: Courageous on early childhood sex-ed

It's unfortunate that Obama's support for age-appropriate sex education as early as kindergarten requires the use of the word 'courageous.' But hey, that's presidential politics and his position is courageous.

Laura Berman, a reporter for The Chicago Sun-Times, filed this piece today about Barack Obama's policy positions on sexuality education. The article begins...

If you are like most parents, nothing makes you more uncomfortable than sex questions from your children. The proverbial question, "Mommy, where do babies come from?" has most parents heading for the hills , or turning to the tried-and-true "From the stork" response.

Yes, absolutely true. Parents are probably the most difficult constituency to bring to the table regarding comprehensive age-appropriate sexuality education -- they just can't seem to get over the embarrassment of, *gasp*, admitting that sex happens and, *gasp gasp*, it can be pleasurable! It's no wonder, then, that children are 'grossed out' by thoughts of their parents' sexual lives. Gil Herdt, the director of the Center, posted a blog a while back about this exact subject.

Leaving parental frustration aside, it is true that keeping our children in the dark about sexuality makes it harder for our children to resist abuse and talk openly about sexuality during experimental teenage years. Obama hopes to change that with the following...

• [Start early and] begin by teaching your children the right names for their anatomy, and then tell them the truth (in the most basic, age-appropriate manner) about where babies really come from.

• Encourage them to ask questions.

• Warn them about "bad" touching, and tell them to come right to you if that situation occurs.

This is a great start. In the content of a presidential campaign, this is a courageous position. But in the context of a society paralyzed by far-right moralizing, sexual shame, and fear, we're going to need a lot more than just sex-ed for kindergarteners to recover from the years of Bush and Co.

Final thought: If anyone has access to other presidential candidates sex-ed plans and would like to comment on them, feel free to send them to me at isaacg [at] sfsu [dot] edu. Also, if you're involved with a campaign this cycle, and would like help from our experts to develop a policy proposal, feel free to get in touch.


Friday, July 20, 2007

too hott to handle 2

Hillary is on a steady road to genderize the campaign. After continuous public criticism that she is not womanly enough, Mrs. Clinton has made considerable efforts to prove the opposite, filming warm and touchy-feely ads. Finally, she has come down to producing anatomical evidence: clinton cleavage on C-SPAN2. We could write this one off as she-just-happened-to-show-it-off, but come on - 14 months before the elections no one would be so careless.

So I am a bit torn about the incident. Does this mean that a woman can actually be a woman to run for a president, or does it mean we can not tolerate forceful ("man-like") women thus they must at least look warm and soft?

PS Did someone say that issues matter?
PS2 I wonder how Taryn Southern will react to the cleavage?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dick in the boxs' got it in the bag

Bringing back visions of Color Me Badd circa 1991, I among millions of other viewers, delighted in the retro stylings of JT (that's Justin Timberlake, to those of us well past our boy band years) and that other guy in the wildly popular Saturday Night Live slow jam "Dick in a Box".

Apparently, the American public weren't the only people watching (and rewatching) this fine sketch. Today, it was announced that the song has been nominated for the prestigious Emmy award for "Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics".

To better understand why the Academy of Television Arts and Science would pick this song out of thousands, take a look at a sample of the brilliant lyrics below:

One you cut a hole in the box, two you put your junk in the box...

I dare you to name any other song that has more deserved an "Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics" Emmy nomintion!

And on a sexual literacy note, I want to applaud the Emmy committee for calling it like they see it. Rather than the predictable syntax copout, they went full force and included the full word, in all it's four letter glory. And I must say, "I want dick!". That is, I really want "Dick in the box" to win. I mean, seriously, that is some funny sh*t!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter and the Magical Shag (No Spoilers)

Word is already leaking out about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Everyone wants to know whether Harry will die, how good will overcome Voldermort and his gang of gnarly death eaters, etc.

At the risk of seeming shallow - or maybe it's because I work in sexuality - I'm curious to know whether Harry Potter will lose his virginity.

Here are a few of the things I'd like to know about Harry Potter and the ins and outs of sex in the magical world:

  1. Who’s it going to be? From what we’ve read, I think it’s pretty clear that Harry is straight, and up to now Ginny Weasley, Cho Chang and Hermione Granger would appear the frontrunners.
  2. Are the fireworks bigger in wizard or muggle sex?
  3. Is it appropriate to use magical spells during love making, or is this considered cheap?
  4. Are wizards immune to STDs and unwanted pregnancies? If not, are physical magical forms of contraception and protection more effective?

What are your thoughts on Harry’s entry into the world of magical intimacy?


alabama: we dare defend our rights

This morning we received an alarming email from our friends at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Apparently, Operation Save America (the organizaiotn formerly known as Operation Rescue) is waging war on the women of Birmingham, Alabama.

They have brought a small army of hate-spewing followers to the two women's clinics currently operating in Birmingham.Their number one tactic: intimidation of clients and staff. Their objective: shut the clinics down. The bottom line: that Operation Save America believes that women should not have a say in how and what they do with their own bodies. Our response: Not on our watch!

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is calling out to allies in the fight for reproductive justice to get down to Birmingham and join the ranks of people defending the clinics. One of the clinics has specifically asked for escorts who have gone through the RCRC Peaceful Presence training, however, I'm sure any volunteers are welcome.

Read more about it and find out how to volunteer on the RCRC site:


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marc Rudov gives men permission to freely rape single mom stripper skanks

Well, as if it couldn't be more depressing that an important public service announcement isn't getting to the public, there's more to make one cringe. The one and only Marc H. Rudov, author of such deep literature like Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze, or Jumper Cables, decided to bless us with a manly victory dance over the Duke Lacrosse rape case turned national tragedy.

The well-deserved demise this week of former district attorney Michael Nifong, who almost ruined the lives of three innocent Duke University lacrosse players, gave new hope to American men. Postpone the celebration, guys.

Oh yeah, get ready American men. Now you can rape black single-mom stripper skanks anytime you want, 'cuz no one will believe them anyway! That Duke case proved that! Thank you, freedom fighter Marc Rudov for green lighting rape.

The outcome was no victory for 'American men,' or rape survivors, or rapists, just losers all around. Marc, please don't claim victory for this particular man. Nor use such an asinine introduction to get me all riled up about condom ads that don't make it easier to convince chicks that sex without condoms just feels better. What's that I hear? Is someone playing the smallest violin in the world? Or is that your annoying wounded whining?

If you'd care to listen, let me try to explain the Trojan ad that has seemed to bounce off your Neanderthal skull.

  1. The Trojan ad was intended to address the problem of condom use, not your lack of healthy self-esteem.
  2. When you don't use condoms during sex, you risk giving your partner STDs and that's selfish and dangerous.
  3. Pigs represent selfishness in our culture. Men who don't use condoms during sex are selfish. Thus, men who don't use condoms are pigs. Men who do use condoms aren't pigs.
Feel better? Or do you want me to find your firetruck for you?


Monday, July 16, 2007

a wrinkle in time

I, for one, am outraged by the controversy brewing in Brattleboro, Vermont. This small, notoriously liberal town, known for it's tolerance of public nudity, determined to institute an emergency ban on nudity in certain areas of the town, effective immediately. Where's the fire, you ask?

It must be that some unclad pervert was roaming around town being inappropriate? Or perhaps, a gaggle of small children ventured across an unadulterated love fest- naked limbs flailing every which way? Nope, not even close. The real culprit is much, much scarier. An old man! Naked! Wearing a fanny pack! Oh my!

The fact that the issue became an emergency, in response to an especially wrinkly encounter, leads me to believe that nudity is not the real issue here. And though, I am the first to admit that accessorizing with a fanny pack is always offensive, in this case I can see it's practicality. I am pretty sure that Vermonters do not share this same prejudice against butt bags. So barring the fanny pack theory, what would make a town, "world-renowned" for it's nude-friendly attitude change this policy in such a hurry?

Gravity! Or rather, the effects of gravity on skin. Everyone wants to see the perfect naked body, tan, smooth and supple. Some may remember our own toned and tan "naked guy" (RIP), a UC student who roamed the streets of downtown Berkeley. Though repeatedly threatened with arrest, he became a champion and was even featured in Playgirl!

However, it is widely reported that our Brattleboro nudist is old. He's probably got loose skin, wrinkles: a living testament to the inevitable. And, as a culture, that now more than ever, idealizes youth, an aging body, is offensive enough to create controversy.

I'm not really a proponent for public nakedness. But I'm also uncomfortable with ageism. So, I guess you could say, this whole thing makes me uncomfortable!

And on another note, what's up nudists and accessories? Can we please get someone to offer tips to these people? Really, a blue bandanna, a fanny pack! Come on nudists, get with the program. Castro caps and Chrome messenger bags are in, pleather butt packs and doo rags, out!


Condom ads stir an unfortunate controversy

Trojan, the condom manufacturer, recently released an ad campaign on tv, print, and the web advocating for sexual health...As long as you buy Trojan condoms - :). But seriously, it's a great campaign, and frankly overdue. Without further editorializing, here's the tv ad.

Funny, right? Well, as one would expect in this moralistic country, we've actually got a controversy. From the New York Times article that ran this morning:

Controversy over a new advertising campaign by Trojan, the condom maker, has trickled down to the local level, with television stations in Pittsburgh roundly refusing to show it, and stations in Seattle giving it the green light.

When Trojan introduced the condom commercial last month, it was rejected as national advertising by both CBS and Fox. Fox said it objected to the message that condoms can prevent pregnancy, while CBS said it was not “appropriate,” drawing a firestorm of criticism from public health advocates and bloggers.

Critics of the CBS and Fox decision point to the networks' hypocrisy: they use sex to up ratings on television programs, but won't allow advertising to be equally candid. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood has a great quote within the article. You can also sign their, um, unfortunately titled, petition here.

“Next year, it’s estimated that four million people in this country will get a sexually transmitted infection,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, in a telephone interview. “The fact that Fox and CBS want to sell sex on TV and yet they don’t want to run ads about prevention is disgraceful.”

The best quote, though, goes to Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Here it is...

“These networks are celebrating a free sexual lifestyle in their programming, but refusing to talk about it in their advertising,” said Michael Weinstein, the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “The big problem in this country is we’re hedonistic in our behavior and moralistic in our attitudes [emphasis mine]. We don’t have an open discussion about our sexuality, and the price of not being open is millions of sexually transmitted infections.”

We're willing to tolerate overt and occasionally outrageous sexuality on our television programs, but G-d forbid we'd talk openly about the consequences of that behavior. This controversy crystallizes for me the necessity of sexual literacy to help people discover how to have a safe, emotionally healthy, and pleasurable sexual life.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Topless Chef

I admit it. I’m a food junkie. No, not Rachel Ray. I’m talking Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern’s, and of course, the kitschy kitchen drama of Top Chef.

What turns me on? A beautifully chopped mango. A balsamic yuzu reduction. A perfectly seared steak – and this even after turning vegetarian – nothing wrong about fantasy!

So imagine my disgust watching last week’s Top Chef 3 Miami episode. Do we really need a jacuzzi scene? Sure, Camille looked great in her bikini, and I guess that passing shot of one of the look alike white guys before the mirror wasn’t so bad either.

But isn’t food sexy enough without the sex? I don’t want to know what’s underneath the chef frock. Nor do I want to know who’s in bed – or on the counter – with whom. Dueling knives is where it’s at for me.

So please, Marcel, bring me back my foam.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Virgins get everything! Well, free tickets at least.

An off-Broadway play about losing your virginity is offering free tickets to virgins. Great marketing, no?

The play contains "hysterical and heartbreaking stories about first sexual experiences written by real people ... just like you," said Ken Davenport, producer of My First Time, as well as the Off-Broadway hits Altar Boyz and The Awesome 80s Prom. This may be more than off-Broadway. Off off Broadway, perhaps. And best of all, you won't be able to lie -- a hyponotist will screen the people who claim to be virgins to see if they're telling the truth. I can see it now...

Virgin applicant #1: "Uh, yeah, I'm here for the free ticket."
Hypnotist: "You're getting sleepy...[loudly] yup, we got a live one!"
Virgin applicant #2: "Yeah, I'm a virgin. Can I get that ticket?"
Hypnotist: "This one's a liar -- he's been AROUND the block. Nasty."


google blackmailers 2: polumbo pictures released

Last week, amidst a publicity flurry, Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey, announced that a blackmailer was threatening to release "revealing" photos in an attempt to force her to relinquish her crown. Today, Miss Polumbo, herself, released these racy photos to the public. See for yourself if the pictures were worth the hype or the blackmailing.

We've got a few theories / analyses about this whole thing.

Theory #1:
The Dichotomy of the Beauty Pageant: Why are these young women supposed to look sexy but not be sexual? They are expected to parade around in pageant-approved swim suits, but get blackmailed with pictures that reveal a lot less skin. Are beauty pageants the ultimate state of control over women and their sexuality? We get to dictate what they wear, how they walk, what questions they answer. Even slight deviation from this script has serious repercussions, threatening to remove the women from the pageant. Oh wait, does this sound like American society?

Theory #2:
The Victim Theory: Being sexy and/or a victim are the only ways that young women can attract attention. When was the last time you saw a breaking headline "Miss California Receives Prestigious Mellon Award" or "Miss Texas: Class Valedictorian"? And yet a combination of blackmailing and a hint of inappropriateness has immediately put Amy Polumbo on top of Google searches and headlines. Clearly, we value good drama and sex over brains and achievement.

Theory #3: The Conspiracy Theory: Is Amy Polumbo just really smart in recognizing the potential of Theory #2? After all, these pictures are rather tame, so she either has one of the stupidest blackmailers in the universe or one of the smartest publicists. Playing victimized debutante has gotten her national media attention, landing spots on various talk shows. More power to her for working the script!


Fox News' bleeps p*ssy, leaves d*ck alone

Emily from Gawker had a hilarious experience on FoxNews last night. She accidentally used the word p*ssy and the producers used a meow noise to cover it up. Check it out...


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

too hott to handle: the democratic nominee edition

Looks like Clinton supporters have already started gearing up for the Democratic debate on LGBT issues scheduled to air on MTV satellite channel, Logo, on August 9th.

Taryn Southerns' (of American Idol fame) new video has been getting a lot of play on Youtube and TV. "HOtt4Hill", a catchy little country ditty, shows a side of Clinton that we rarely see: a sexy, desirable, "hetero-questionable" side.

And though, I'm a little disappointed that we always have to "go there" with women politicians, it's not mean or neative and finally breaks free of the abrasive, combatative Hillary, that we've become used to seeing:

And folks, if you act know, we'll also include such new classics as elton john's "rocks off for barak" or phish's "you my bitch kucinich"


this one goes out to all the men in the house

Today is World Population Day!
And, WPD 2007 is dedicated to the male population.

According to a study conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a strong ally in the fight for sexual literacy, men are getting smart to safe sex:
Focusing on the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in four Sub-Saharan African countries, our study found that between a third and half of sexually active 15–19-year-olds in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda use condoms every time they have sex; more than half use them regularly but not consistently.

Evidence shows that, if provided the information on contraceptives and safe sex, men use it! If we build it, they will come (sorry we've got All Star Fever here).


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An economist made me blush

Economist Steven E. Landsburg couldn't possibly be more annoying with his overwhelmingly large brain. His logic is way more impenetrable than mine.

Landsburg makes the argument in this book excerpt in The New York Times that little more promiscuity on the part of sexual conservatives would help solve the AIDS epidemic. Yes, more sex is safer sex. Apparently, he reaches this conclusion by applying the economics principles of supply and demand to STDs. Since I'm still wrapping my head around this, here's the argument in his own words.

Consider Martin, a charming and generally prudent young man with a limited sexual history, who has been gently flirting with his coworker Joan. As last week's office party approached, both Joan and Martin silently and separately entertained the prospect that they just might be going home together. Unfortunately, Fate, through its agents at the Centers for Disease Control, intervened. The morning of the party, Martin happened to notice one of those CDC-sponsored subway ads touting the virtues of abstinence. Chastened, he decided to stay home. In Martin's absence, Joan hooked up with the equally charming but considerably less prudent Maxwell - and Joan got AIDS.

When the cautious Martin withdraws from the mating game, he makes it easier for the reckless Maxwell to prey on the hapless Joan. If those subway ads are more effective against Martin than against Maxwell, they are a threat to Joan's safety. This is especially so when they displace Calvin Klein ads, which might have put Martin in a more socially beneficent mood.

If the Martins of the world would loosen up a little, we could slow the spread of AIDS. Of course, we wouldn't want to push this too far: if Martin loosens up too much, he becomes as dangerous as Maxwell. But when sexual conservatives increase their activity by moderate amounts, they do the rest of us a lot of good. Harvard professor Michael Kremer estimates that the spread of AIDS in England could plausibly be retarded if everyone with fewer than about 2.25 partners per year were to take additional partners more frequently. That would apply to three-fourths of all British heterosexuals between the ages of 18 and 45.

The bizarre part of the argument is that it's so anti-individualistic. It's group theory applied to individual sexual choices, which in the end, doesn't feel relevant to actually reducing the rate of infection. But it does. This might be something for the CDC to think about. It's also another reason for keeping ideology out of science when it comes to disease prevention and control.

Question for the class: Does he come off like a) a sex-starved maniac, b) an overbearing economist, or c) all of the above?


loosening the belt-way

The latest "victim" of the DC Madam is Louisiana Senator David Vitter (Rep). His name was one of the first leaked to the press by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, former owner of the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service. Sen. Vitter is actually the second, in what will be many, high profile clients that Ms. Palfrey has "outed" publicly. The first name that leaked in the scandal was Randall Tobias, Bush's AIDS czar, and a man responsible for implementing a ban on funding international NGOs that refuse to condemn sex workers or hand out condoms.

In a society where sex and sin are almost synonymous, how are people supposed to learn about healthy sexuality? Does it fall to the sex worker to educate as well as please? Does sex work=social work? Just as tutors teach us to read and add, maybe sex workers are in the frontlines of teaching men how to express their sexuality and needs (and maybe beg and grovel) in the place of a traditional sexuality education that is lacking? Although we can all see a little bit of hypocrisy, in a man like Sen. Vitter, who, according to his official website is dedicated to making life better for his young family and all Louisiana families. getting caught in an extra-marital affair with an escort, who cares? I mean, I'd rather have him pay for sex than get paid to change legislation. And while, he probably does both, the former makes me more comfortable.

His wife has a different view, as her response to the Clinton affair indicates. "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me." And while I like her spunk, I have to wonder if Vitter felt comfortable talking about sex with his wife or if his problem stems from separating sex into "appropriate spousal sex" and "kinky escort sex"? The "archetypal" political wife isn't exactly Jenna Jameson.

What I'm really dismayed about is the fact that these repressed men who push sex into the shadows are deciding our policy on sexuality education. Isn't it about time for something different? One that shows more than old dichotomy of the frigid, docile, middle-aged "saint" and the young, skanky, hyper-sexualized "whore" model. So forgive the "sin", but not the "sinners" who will have atoned only upon pushing for comprehensive sex education. Maybe, if they do, we can start focusing on real political scandals.


... and partisanship above all

As if we needed any more proof - Bush's administration is highly partisan and displays animosity to science and public good.

Dr. Richard Carmona, Surgeon General from 2002 to 2006, has finally accused current administration of partisan meddling in science and health. Dr. Carmona was forced to be a doctor of certain political views, not a doctor of the nation. Issues that were highly scripted, muzzled, or otherwise interfered with included the usual suspects: abstinence-only education, contraceptives, and stem-cell research. Apparently, the state of affairs in government-sponsored science "has never been as partisan, as malicious, as vindictive, as mean-spirited as it is today." Maybe there is even an internal White House memorandum titled "For Sexually Illiterate America."

Ah, only one year and six months more to go...


Monday, July 09, 2007

Mandy Moore sexiest at 15?

At least she thinks so.

I'm rarely one to comment / blog / care about celebrity goings-on, but this in particular seems like it's one step away from a full-scale teenage repentance. Too many of our young girls get over-sexualized at younger and younger ages, and according to research published by our very own Deb Tolman:

...[More] girls view themselves as sex objects, the more they suffer from the most common mental health issues facing teen girls -- low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders. In addition, girls who thought of themselves as sex objects were more ashamed of their bodies and less likely to advocate for themselves in sexual situations.

This seems like exactly the problem that Mandy Moore is going / has gone through. I only wish she had said it a little more, uh, explicitly.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

google blackmailers

Amy Polumbo did not follow Bonnie Zybergold's warning on the dangers of google and its all-seeing eye (Look Who Is Googling).

Miss New Jersey, 22, is now paying dearly for posting private pictures on a website (Facebook?). Apparently these "scandalous" pictures were found and used by a skillful googler. The blackmailer demands that Amy relinquish her crown and not go to the Miss America competition.

Is it just me - or should we look into who will benefit from the scam. Maybe a certain individual who finished second in the 2007 Garden State beauty pageant (Ronica Licciardello)? Meanwhile Amy is standing strong and refuses to give in.

And one piece of advice - do check what kind of pictures you might have posted on your MySpace, Facebook, or Flickr pages. I found two on mine that probably should not have been uploaded there.


happy endings in the land of smiles

As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, I think it's important to start highlighting global advances in sexuality.

Seems like a good place to start is approx. 8k miles due West of here: Thailand.

Thailand is a country that is known for it's beautiful beaches, scrumptious food, hospitable people and sex workers. Sex work is a viable economic option for men, women and 'lady-boys' (mtf transsexuals). With sexuality moving out into the open, this conservative Buddhist country, has found the need to respond.

And they have.

A few sexuality-related policy changes have occurred in Thailand recently:

1) June 29th marked a huge victory for the Thai LGBT community when the government recommended adding a provision to the constitution that safeguards people of "other sexual identities" from discrimination. If adopted, this means that Thailand will become one of only four nations that have such a provision (the US is not one of those). "Other sexual identities" being identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people Many people credit LGBT activists Natee Theerarojnapong and Anjana Suvarnananda

2) About a week earlier, Thailand reformed their anti-rape laws to include married women and men. As summarized by the Feminist Majority Foundation (among others):

"The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand approved a new law last week that criminalizes marital rape. Previously, rape law could not be used to prosecute a husband who forced sex on his wife. This new law carries a monetary fine (40,000 baht, or $1,156) and up to 20 years in jail for offenders.

In addition, the definition of "victim" has been expanded so that man, too, can file rape charges against a woman or another man. This expansion has been applauded as a breakthrough by gay rights activists who have struggled to obtain rights and protection for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers who are often targeted violently."

Way to show us how it's done, Thailand.


Monday, July 02, 2007

hot trends

..and speaking of hot trends (see post below) me and a coworker have become somewhat obsessed with the randomness of google trends. It is where Google shows unusual spikes on the search engine.

I'd say 99 out of 100 times, I do not recognize the search term, hence the fun and horror in following the link trail to discover the origins of the spike.

Welcome to the horror side: "Carys Copestake"

This is the pseudonym for an 18 year old British girl who came up with a less than original scheme to pay for university: selling her virginity.

I, for one, can't wait for a whole industry to pop up around this business model.

We could start having "promise" ring ceremonies, where poor adolescent girls promise to save their virginity until college. Maybe it could be like an interest-building savings account.

Hey, parent's say goodbye to the days where you needed to worry about your daughters purity or a college savings plan. Girls, enjoy a debt-free adulthood, where you can shop your way to bliss, cry yourself to sleep and cycle through men like they were dryer sheets.


vacuuming-the secret to marital bliss: ?

A new study unveiled by the Pew Research Center, shows America’s vastly changing attitude towards marriage. The survey asked 2,020 adults what they believe makes a marriage work. They cited: faithfulness, a happy sexual relationship and sharing housework as the number one, two and three essential attributes.

The researchers also noted a shift in the view towards children and marriage:

In perhaps the single most striking finding from the survey just 41% of Americans now say that children are ‘very important’ to a successful marriage, down sharply from the 65% who said this in a 1990 survey.

This survey shows me that America’s values reflect my values more than the mainstream media (and the administration) would lead me to believe. It seems most Americans:

a) no longer view married women as incubators
b) believe that good sex is an integral part of a healthy relationship
c) do not believe that men participating in household chores should be reserved to the realm of fantasy or the pages of "Porn for Women"

Coincidentally, in a totally unrelated study released earlier this year, the National Center for Health Statistics, shows that the divorce rate dropped from 4.7 per 1k in 1991 to 3.6 per 1k population in 2005.

Maybe vacuuming is 2007's answer to Dr. Phil?