16
Dec
09

sex in the news & such

Finally…the semester is over! What does this mean? More time for projects! Numero Uno being: the anthology. More details soon soon soon.

In the meantime…

British woman taken to court AGAIN for noisy sex

48-year-old Brit Catherine Cartwright ignored a court-ordered ban on her noisy sex, and has pleaded guilty to making love with sounds described as “murder,” “unnatural,” and capable of drowning out her neighbors’ televisions.

Cartwright had been banned from her noisy romps after hundreds of complaints. Even her postman and a women who walked her child to school past Cartwright’s house complained.

The Press Association reported that Cartwright claimed to not realize she was being so noisy:

Giving evidence Cartwright said she was unable to control the noise she made during sex. “I did not understand why people asked me to be quiet because to me it is normal. I didn’t understand where they were coming from. I have tried to minimize the situation by having sex in the morning – not at night – so the noise was not waking anybody,” she said.

However, the BBC reported a neighbor’s statements about the lovemaking:

At an earlier hearing, next door neighbour Rachel O’Connor told the court she was frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise.
She said: “The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain. I cannot describe the noise. I have never ever heard anything like it.”

and via tonic:

Etch-A-Sketch: Condom Edition
Do you love art almost as much as you love (safe) sex? Well, if so, there’s a contest for you!

New York City is sponsoring a contest for the best condom wrapper to remind people to be safe about sex. The city health department will debut the winning look in the fall and the wrapper will be the latest in a string of colorful designs the city hands out for free.

The contest is open to people over the age of 17 and entries (of a non-raunchy and non-copyrighted variety) can be submitted until January 22.

And did you know that there is indeed a Facebook page called NYC Condom that you can refer to for all manner of prophylactic information?

Hey whatever it takes, because it’s no joke, what with the spread of HIV/AIDS and STDs not abating anytime soon. What would be an image that would most be most effective in getting people to play it safe? Keep in mind that the city has given out over 40 million free condoms a year to places such as bars, beauty salons, restaurants, gyms and hospitals, according to the release.

You can submit your ideas here:

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control
ATTN: Director of Condoms and Materials Distribution
40 Worth Street, CN-A/2, Room 1602
New York, NY 10013

11
Nov
09

finally…an update!

First and foremost, I must apologize for neglecting to keep this site up to date. Truth is the school semester started–between school and work I’ve been flung out into the abyss and I’m just now fighting my way back. Simply put, life became all kinds of busy.

The latest update on the anthology, since things have been on hold due to my packed schedule: I’m putting it out myself. I’m also going to make it a reoccurring venture, a zine-type format I do believe. I’m not completely sold on how the material will be presented(although I’m brainstorming hardcore on that), but I do know that I want to make it a stretched out venture, as opposed to a one-time thing. Many people have contacted me post-deadline expressing interest in contributing, and I want to give their work a place in all of this. So yes. Contributions will be ongoing. Publication will be ongoing.

To contribute, contact me with submissions and/or questions to: honeydunce@gmail.com and remember: you can submit anonymously if you’d like.

This site will continue to evolve and grow(I hope!). I’m going to add more personal entries and stories, as well as progress on various research projects I’m tackling in(and out of) class. So hang in there, folks. I promise to be a more consistent presence!

25
Aug
09

Chlamydia helps young men feel more ‘manly’: Swedish study

Some men see STDs as a badge of honor or rite of passage. Wowza.

Click here to read the article.

25
Aug
09

Porn’s last taboo: Protected sex

You won’t find “Debbie Does Condoms” or “Jenna Loves Prophylactics” on offer from any of the major porn studios, but that could all change thanks to an ongoing campaign to require rubbers in hardcore flicks. From the outside, it seems a rather admirable way to protect porn actors from the consumer push for risky bareback porn, as I wrote a couple months back. The approach seems basically humanist – or even feminist, considering that female porn actors are most at risk for contracting HIV in straight porn. But, I’m finding that there are actually some Magnum-sized issues with such legislation.

Late last week, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed an official complaint against 16 pornographers for producing films featuring unprotected sex and promised to raise hell until condoms are mandated throughout the industry. This is just the group’s latest war cry: Earlier this summer, shortly after a performer tested positive for HIV, the organization staged a protest and once again called for legislation. They say the industry’s voluntary testing program leaves open a dangerous window: Once a month, actors take the PCR-DNA test, which can detect HIV within two weeks of infection. Since 1998, the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation has reported five HIV cases among actors in straight porn. That’s a relatively low number, industry insiders point out, given the cosmic amount of condomless sex that has gone on in that time — but many, myself included, are disturbed by the idea that five infections over 11 years is considered adequate (particularly with regards to the four cases that were a part of a 2004 outbreak, in which it seems clear there was on-the-job transmission).

It isn’t that the industry as a whole is opposed to tightening its voluntary prevention system — plenty of people in the biz actually support a transition to twice-monthly testing — but there has been an overwhelming outcry against mandating condoms. It isn’t just the bigwigs, who know that condom porn makes much less money, either. Some female porn stars argue that condoms make their job tougher: Belladonna wrote on Babeland’s blog, “If I were required to use condoms, my performance would most likely suffer, and in the end I would suffer.” For others it can be an issue of comfort: “For the women, there are just four words: rubber rash/friction burn,” veteran performer Nina Hartley wrote on her Web site. Remember, porn actors don’t get down like most folks; the sex they have is more like a three-ring acrobatic act that lasts for hours on end. Ernest Greene, a longtime director and Hartley’s partner, explains on his blog:

–[A single scene amounts to] over two hours of intercourse in various positions with constant stops and starts during which male performer’s erections rise and fall, condoms frequently tear or unravel and the degree of latex abrasion on the internal membranes of female performers’ vaginas lead to micro-abrasions that make them more vulnerable to all kinds of STIs. Most condom-only female performers eventually abandon condom use, not under pressure from producers, but rather because of the constant rawness and end-on-end bacterial infections produced by countless hours of latex drag.]–

Add to that the issue of enforcement. There isn’t any practical way for the state of California – which, maybe you’ve heard, is in pretty bad shape – to monitor such a requirement. You might say: No biggie, at least more companies would use condoms more often, right? Only, industry insiders worry that an unenforceable condom mandate made from the outside could potentially undermine the voluntary testing system that the straight side of the industry currently has in place.(The gay side of the business is condoms-only, testing optional.) They worry that unreliable condom use paired with less testing — not to mention the previously mentioned “micro-abrasions” — could potentially put performers at greater risk.

I could spill a couple thousand words about ways to make sure that a condom mandate didn’t undermine the current testing system, but the truth is that so much of this debate simply comes down to the very unsexy issue of California state employment code. Most porn performers are considered contract workers, but in order to be supervised by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, they would have to be reclassified as employees. As Greene told Adult Video News, “Under California law, it is illegal to require – I cannot underscore this heavily enough – it is illegal to require HIV testing or in fact any knowledge of the HIV status of any potential employee as a condition of employment. In other words, no producer would even be able to ask a performer if they had been tested, if such a law were to be enacted.” To do so would be considered employment discrimination. “It’ll be testing or condoms, take your choice,” he says. Unless, of course, the industry voluntarily adopted a condom-plus-testing policy, but that’s unlikely to happen unless consumers demand it.

That brings me right back to the same conclusion I came to before: It’s all about the audience. For those ethical porn consumers out there — and I’m convinced they do exist, despite past reader comments to the contrary — it’s possible to vote with your dollars. (Of course, much of what gets traction online is pirated material or free teasers for for-pay content, in which case the consumer vote is less direct.) The best middle ground solution I’ve come across is one suggested by Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation founder Sharon Mitchell shortly after the 2004 outbreak: Why not promote a “seal of approval” that advertises a porno’s ethical production values? The gold standard might be requiring rigorous two-week testing and actively defending workers’ right to perform with or without a condom. It would be a disclaimer of sorts — essentially, “no porn stars were harmed in the making of this movie.”

I can already hear some of you heaving exasperated sighs. Surely, you think I’m being a Pollyanna when it comes to the general porn audience: They want fantasy, not politics! But I see it as an issue of keeping the rather unerotic reality of disease from getting in the way of fantasy.

― Tracy Clark-Flory

18
Aug
09

our hidden culture

crossposted from my own journal, via feministing.com:

A socially-conscious video-production class in Chicago created a video on rape culture “to spread awareness and get people thinking about how and why rape happens.”

11
Aug
09

candies foundation…uh, really?

Via feministing.com, I came across an article about the Candies Foundation. They are all about promoting abstinence with their new “Sexy” shirts. The shirts say, “I’m SEXY enough…to keep you waiting.”

Lisa Wade, via contexts.org, notes: “I noticed also that the message is aimed exclusively at girls. “You” is implicitly a guy…The responsibility for keeping teens abstinent and for preventing teen pregnancy, then, falls solely on girls.

Dmitriy also points out that the campaign promotes abstinence, but not the use of birth control. He adds: ‘we do not combat auto accidents by not driving. we prevent them through driving and safety ed.'”

Campaigns like this frustrate me. Perhaps the intention is good but to me?

    Not good enough.

Make the shirts for guys too! Promote more than just abstinence while you’re at it–promote safe and smart sex.

Ugh…yeah. This campaign is frustrating and downright one dimensional to me. Go back to the fucking drawing board(pun intended).

27
Jul
09

news!

Nowadays, most of my updates to this site are found articles in the news on sex-related topics. A lot of these articles concern sex education–a subject I deem very important, one that seems so swept under the rug despite the battles going on in various school systems across our country currently(scratch that–across MANY countries). The debate is alive and well and understandably intense. I gravitate towards posting articles as opposed to spouting off my personal opinions because I’m intrigued by how much sex is in the news out there–how much gets glossed over for the big bold headlines(mostly about which-celebrity-is-currently-grunting as she releases her bowels and lights a Marlboro Light…all caught on camera!!). I hope that my posts pull forth those buried news stories about sex and sex education.

Continue reading ‘news!’