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Monday, February 25, 2008

Laughing at sex

What is it that makes sex so funny? If you mistakingly make an obscure reference to sex, everyone around you starts laughing and giggling as if they were in 8th grade. Is sex the last frontier of maturity? Here are some examples from those who were sufficiently brave enough to relieve their moments of embarrassment.

I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly, "How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?" I turned around and walked back out and never went back. My husband didn't say a word... He knew better.

I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, "I think I like playing with mens balls"

My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help.
I replied, "No, I'm just looking at your nuts." My sister started to laugh hysterically. The boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away. To this day, my sister has never let me forget.

While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving "right now" she would be punished. To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, "If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!" The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing. I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow. The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me, were screams
of laughter.

This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for two days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks.

What happens when you predict snow but don't get any? We had a female news anchor that, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked: "So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?"

Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard!

Well, I laughed at these, so I guess I didn't pass the maturity test.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Le French Sex Ed, C'est Cool

Quelle surprise. When it comes to love and sexuality, the French are still on top.

This time, the French add another chapter to the book of love with the Sex, What's the Big Deal? exhibit at the Cité des Sciences museum in Paris. Targeted to 9-14 year olds, young people learn about being in love, experiencing puberty, making love, making babies, and keeping an eye out for sexual abuse. Can you imagine this exhibit at the Smithsonian?!

Even if you're not so young, check it out - it's a lot of fun, and you can practice your rusty French. Better yet, if you think this type of sex ed is a good thing, sit down with your kids and check out the English language site together.

Á l’amour!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Under the Umbrella

Guilty pleasures. We all have them. No doubt on Voices of American Sexuality you'd expect me to jump into the underworld of sex - say sounding or vampire fetishes. My vice is simpler and perhaps more dangerous - I am a sucker for a good pop song. Tacky, you say, perhaps even immature in a 40-some year old male. Whatever. You try writing a great pop song - the formula may be simple, but few succeed. Hum ... am I talking about sex?

Anyway, once that magical musical phrase gets in my head, it's all over. Occasionally my addiction meets the approval of my social circles' ever so eclectic tastes - like Gorillaz' Feel Good Inc. More often the prognosis is (1) the beginning of social ostracizing (as in my high school years when I'd pop out the first Clash album to hear Earth, Wind & Fire's Fantasy) or (2) finding myself suddenly having the greatest conversations with folks a few rungs down the generational ladder.

Right now, the culprit is Rihanna (here at the Grammy's) and her Umbrella. Talk about a killer song, and all those great mixes and mashups, including Party Ben's Tender Umbrella, which got me hooked in the first place.

So for the past few months I've been packing a full fledged girl crush (for your straight folks, that's the queer equivalent of a man crush). Needing to fill my growing need, I turned to - gasp - celebrity blogs. My getting wet under the umbrella has been an eye opener. Rihanna stealing Jay-Z from Beyoncé. Rumors of menage-a-trois between Rihanna, Jay Z and Beyoncé. Rihanna showing too much cleavage. Alleged Rihanna sex tape. Rihanna's skirt too short. Rihanna's skirt just right. So much talk about so little. And tired gender stereotypes of "good girl gone bad" and all that comes with that.

I like seeing Rihanna - she's got a great energy, and I still get that smile when I hear Umbrella. But I really don't care who she's dating or what she's wearing or what products she's endorsing. And I'd like to think I can find more interesting things to talk about. Or do I? Maybe there are reasons our pleasures are guilty...


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday and the Missing Gay Vote

I have to admit I am a bit of an election returns junkie, no doubt an afterglow from my days as a precinct captain in many elections in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a pleasant surprise to see regular folks, and not just the political pundits, truly excited about the election.

And all those numbers and bar graphs - chills down my spine. Women for Clinton, youth for Obama, evangelical Christians for Huckabee and not Romney. And those moments of self-realization - I am on the generational cusp, which explains many things I won't go into here!

Back to my normal self in the morning, I had the sudden realization that even with all the talk - and how those commentators talk - there are some folks who don't get talked about. Like not one mention of the "gay vote" or gay - or even "anti-gay marriage," which was so center stage four years ago.

It can't be that there aren't enough gays to matter - there are more gays than Mormons and Jews combined, and I've heard about both the Mormon and Jewish vote this year. And given that gays vote disproportionately vote for Democrats, and the democratic presidential race is so close, it would seem the gay vote could play a pivotal role in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

Am I missing something here?


The "bro" and the "bitch": Democrats get real

While listening to NPR last week, I was struck by a woman being questioned about her choice for the democratic primary, and particularly her thoughts on Hillary Clinton. Her gripe with Hillary was interestingly vague..."I just don't find her authentic".

It sort of stood out for me, because the day before we had a meeting where a guest speaker had brought up the concept of "authenticity" in reference to on-the-ground community organizing. So, her comment sort of stuck with me...well, for like 10 minutes until they started talking about PTSD or that cute little baby polar bear...

But than my friend Eric sent me this incredible interactive site he and his fellow UCB Journalism students put together (in 10 hours nonetheless). As I listened to the stories from the "Black Vote in Oakland", the whole authenticity thing rose back into my consciousness. I thought of the unique challenges that Hillary and Barack have in the Democratic race. The pressure of being 'authentically' black or 'authentically' feminine. The stigma of being a 'rich old white man' does not really carry a challenge at presenting authenticity. the term itself is seemingly rooted in minority status; whether that be class, race, sexuality or gender. And strangely enough, it seems that the first folks to cast the "authenticity" stone, are those who don't really have to deal with the idea of presenting an authentic front themselves.

However, while mainstream media doesn't seem to be able to kick the habit of sensationalizing the "authenticity factor" (I mean enough about Hillary's tears)!.
It is great to see pieces like this one, showing the opinions of the vox populi. And what black voters in Oakland have to say, may reflect what a lot of folks have to say about the candidates. It's about representation. America is saying "I want to feel like I'm being represented by my government."

And when people like Chantay Polk from East Oakland say "I didn't know whether to vote for her because she was a woman or Barack because he's black", I just have to say "amen" to the fact that we are finally seeing a diversity in folks in politics. It encourages folks to vote which in turn strengthens the ever-dwindling American democracy. And even if they're ideas aren't revolutionary their position as the two front runners for the presidential candidate of the Democratic party, certainly is!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

He's Here; He's Queer; Get Over It: Stewie Comes Out

Leave it up to those homophobes at Fox to steal Stewie Griffins' thunder and censor the clip of him unfurling his 'rainbow diaper' on The Family Guy.

Shame on them!

But it is official folks! Stewie is gay! Or so I hear, since I can't find the damn video anywhere!

Seth McFarlane, if you're reading this (which you're not), bless your little heart!

To celebrate, please join us in enjoying this montage featuring some of Stewies' best 'sexually ambigious' moments:

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