Sexy Sex Newsy News Week of December 27 2013-January 2, 2014

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Well, Maybe Now the Right Wing Will Shut Up About Obama’s Supreme Court Appointments…
… since Sonia Sotomayor, whom the Red State crowd greeted with such horror when she was nominated, has taken sides with a bunch of anti-“Obamacare” nuns. You may recall that one controversial element of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, was its birth control mandate; church employees are exempt from this, but the staff of religiously affiliated non-profits are not. Catholic institutions from all over the US piled on in court, a group of lucky Denver Sisters actually got their petition in front of SCOTUS, and Justice Sotomayor signed off. Is this what the Pope meant when he said how important women were to the Church? Hmm. I think now the dictionary will have to change the little illustration accompanying the word “irony” to a picture of Sotomayor and a pack o’ nuns.

The Obama administration is appealing this decision, and there’s no way we’ve heard the end of this. ABC News, Boston.com, and the Huffington Post were among the news outlet that covered this significant story.

The Kids May or May Not Be All Right; The Docs Have No Idea
NPR brings us a fabulous, or is it in fact horrific, report about a new study from Duke University Medical Center (as published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics). It documents the interactions between doctors and teen patients, and the researchers learned that neither youth nor their physicians talked much about sex, even though sexual health is a significant issue for teenagers; close to half of them have had intercourse. When it did come up, a chatty total of 36 seconds, average, was spent on the topic. No teen brought it up; some docs did, briefly, but the study implies that doctors both have too little time, in general, to tackle the Talk, and that the atmosphere of personal sharing is frequently quashed because the teen’ parent/s come into the examining room.

Uh, parents? Get the hell out of the exam room and let your kids talk to their physicians in peace. Before you leave, put a bug in the doc’s ear that you expect sexual health services for your youth that are at least as good as those that would be offered to you.

The good news is that when teens and doctors did make time to talk about sexual issues, the teens were glad to have done so. And, as with many surveys, it’s worth pointing out that this one has some limitations; it was conducted in one urban area so may not accurately measure the situation in other cities. However, managed care-mandated office visit time limitations know no region, nor do nosy parents.

Catching Up with Previous Stories
More Alan Turing Pardon: Maybe We Should Figure Out How This Hero Actually Died
Now that Turing’s Queen’s Pardon is a done deal and the man can rest more quietly in his grave (maybe; his shade might be as miffed about this day-late-and-dollar-short action as many activists continue to be), discussion continues. Two issues predominate: What about all the other unpardoned men who were also convicted of Gross Indecency? Who’s Oscar Wilde, chopped liver? What about all the men in the UK who are still alive? This pardon, the argument goes, should have been a blanket one; the 1885 law wasn’t pulled from the books, after all, until 2003. “Selective redress is a bad way to remedy a historic injustice,” wrote UK human rights activist Peter Tatchell to Prime Minister David Cameron, leading the ongoing campaign whose figurehead is Turing but whose goals are clearly ongoing. He estimates that at least 15,000 men with this stain on their records are still alive.

And how did Turing die? Was it in fact suicide? Tatchell wants Cameron’s government to look into that too. On the off chance the pioneering homosexual computer scientist was taken out by government forces, enquiring minds want to know.

SCMP and PinkNews continue to follow this story. The latter reprints Tatchell’s letter to Cameron in its entirety.

Miss Cyrus Kissed a Girl
Do I think that’s news? Not so much; in fact, it may be that it was so predictable we could’ve set our watches by it, if anyone still wore watches. On the other hand, it means what? That Miley came of age searching the Internet for “Girls Gone Wild”? NO! (Well, maybe.) Here’s what I meant to say: That the word “bisexual” will trend in online searches in the New Year. Yay Miley! Next up: Will people pay her to mention their sex toys? Because any gal who’ll lick a sledgehammer will go nuts over the Stronic Eins.

Metro.co.uk outs Miley’s kiss–with a Britney Spears dancer, no less! See, you and I go to shows and fantasize about the performers… Miley just runs backstage and snogs ’em. Who’ll be next?

Finally… 
We missed an important article from the Atlantic recently: They covered everyone’s favorite aviation story in A Brief History of the Mile-High Club. It’s a brief history because the history of aviation itself is but a blip on the radar screen of time–but as we learn in the piece, sex in the sky goes back almost as far as aviation itself. Funnest fun fact, about the inventor of autopilot:
“By eliminating the need for taxing ‘hand flying’ on long journeys, and thereby reducing pilot fatigue, [21-year-old American daredevil pilot-inventor … Lawrence Burst Sperry] ultimately made flying much safer. But it had another, less obvious benefit. It freed up pilots to do other things with their hands—and bodies. The brilliant young Sperry himself soon grasped the possibilities. Legend has it that in late November 1916, while piloting a Curtiss Flying Boat C?2 some 500 feet above the coast of Long Island, he used his instrument to administer a novel kind of flying lesson to one Cynthia Polk (whose husband was driving an ambulance in war-torn France). During their airborne antics, however, the two unwittingly managed to bump and disengage the autopilot, sending their plane into Great South Bay, where they were rescued, both stark naked, by duck hunters. A gallant Sperry explained that the force of the crash had stripped both fliers of all their clothing, but that didn’t stop a skeptical New York tabloid from running the famous headline ‘Aerial Petting Ends in Wetting.’ For his caper, Sperry is generally considered the founder of the Mile High Club…”

Don’t say I never give you anything to chat about at cocktail parties, people.

And congratulations to naked lovebirds Gypsy Taub and her new husband Jaymz Smith–on December 19th the body-freedom activists wed, as so many choose to do, on SF City Hall’s scenic steps. They themselves were more scenic than many newlyweds, as they were nude. They’re now collecting donations to pay the fines they incurred when they were arrested; but the SFPD, perhaps softened up by their recent departmental star turn in the Batkid saga, waited a discreet few moments before swooping in and taking Gypsy and Jaymz to the wagon. Awwww.

All about the happy event, including wedding pix, at SFGate.

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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