Sexy Sex Newsy News
The Buzz on Sex in the News with Dr. Carol Queen
Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist
Week of October 17-24, 2013
First, very sad news from within our industry: Carlos Batts, the talented photographer/filmmaker whose muse was beautiful April Flores, a.k.a. Fatty D, a.k.a. Fatty Delicious, both leading lights in the alt-porn and feminist porn worlds, has died of as-yet-undetermined causes. Partners in life as well as in artmaking, this couple’s influence in sex-positive, body-positive, diverse erotic culture can’t be overstated. Batts was just 40 years old. You can read more about Good Vibrations’ reaction, and about Carlos’s life and work, here at the Good Vibrations Magazine.
This news comes to us via adult industry news publications Xbiz and AVN (Adult Video News).
A new Pew study (via its Internet and American Life research group) suggests that the percentage of people comfortable with online dating has close to doubled in the past five years or so — like shopping for shoes, using our gizmos to find love and erotic opportunities (Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now) has become increasingly natural to the wired-in generation. My friend Roman’s new Grindr-like app for everybody, Pure, is scheduled to hit the Apple Store today (disclosure: I’ve advised him on the ever-relevant “What do women want?” question; I talk about that so much, I’m looking forward to sharing a cigar with Freud in the afterlife), and if the spam in my inbox is any indication, people of every possible age, type, and flavor now have algorithms working overtime to get them hooked up with their soul mate. 30% of people in the US who are “single and looking” have used a dating site or app, says the Pew study, and younger Americans are the most common users, though many study participants complain that they have encountered misrepresentation from the people they’ve met via online dating. This news courtesy of Seattle Times.
Perving Out, Smartly
Jesse Bering’s intriguing new book Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us has been getting some ink; I can’t wait to crack this one. (He was just in San Francisco for LitQuake and, sadly, I missed him.) The Boston Globe gave it an interesting and overall very good review, plus I discussed the overarching topic of sexual “normalcy” and “deviancy” with an Italian journalist this week, an interview inspired by Bering’s book.
On the heels of Perv‘s release we get an update on a notorious San Francisco sex-related court case courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s online persona, SFGate: Remember the guy who was caught a few months ago after giving his BART seat a little too much love? Surely something that entertaining made the national news. SFGate can always be counted upon to go the extra mile in reporting these situations, too, so they ask this relevant question: Was it the new washable kind of upholstery? C’mon, you know you were concerned about that yourself. At least, BART riders are. And they report that the Deputy Public Defender acting as attorney for the accused “said the problem in this case was that her client had not been taking his anti-psychotic meds regularly. Plus, he was binging on crack cocaine.”
Jesse, did you delve into the relationships between psychotropic meds, recreational drugs, and sexual deviance in your research? I’m not saying there’s always a connection, mind you — I’m not saying that at all. But some of the folks on BART might beg to differ.
Besides the BostonGlobe.com review of Jesse Bering’s pervy book, look for a great Slate essay he wrote about the project.
Sex & Pop Culture
The 50 Shades of Grey movie has a new leading man… congratulations to Jamie Dornan. Now, go practice your knot-tying skills stat, sir; the movie shoot is supposed to start within two weeks. (Given that Dornan is a former Calvin Klein model, how can he not have what it takes? Oh, and he dated Keira Knightley, so ditto.)
And in case you haven’t gotten previous Christian Grey Charlie Hunnam out of your head, not to worry. He’s going off to do a Guillermo del Toro movie next.
Rihanna got booted out of Abu Dhabi for looking too darn hot in a mosque, plus she was posing without having received the OK of the mosque PR person. Which you need, FYI for your next Abu Dhabi photo shoot. But if we were allowed to do fashion-y sexy shoots in the great religious centers of the world, this one would be a serious addition to the genre. Bonus Rihanna: She posed with a slow loris in Thailand, but Rihanna is too famous to get photographed with illegal endangered creatures, so this got the loris smugglers busted. Ruh-roh!
Morrissey has clarified any impression his new autobiography may have given that he is homosexual; he is humasexual, he said this week, but sort of just barely. (He is probably not the kind of humasexual that Anthony Weiner is. What he means is that he is attracted to humans. But, as he clarifies, “not very many.” Oh, snap.)
Rashida Jones seems to be taking the side of Sinéad O’Connor; she says, “This week’s celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her vagina is most popular.” She has stepped up to tell her sisters in pop-culture song to “stop acting like whores.” Keep your shirt on, Rashida! (Oh, that’s right… you do.) Around here, we think maybe Rashida would like to dial back the epithets and start humming a few bars from a great African-American woman who pretty much stayed clothed in public: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”, everybody.
Our pop cult know-how this week is courtesy of USA Today, JustJared, The BBC, Rolling Stone, Spin, and others. The Daily Dot keeps tabs on slow loris/celeb action in Thailand, evidently.
Sexual Health Research Down Under and Up North
We have a few reports about surveys that have been conducted among the youth of Australia and Canada, respectively. (The Canadian research was specifically done in the eastern part of the country, in the Maritimes.) Apparently Canada is looking good re: safer sex awareness (not surprisingly, as it is full of Canadians), but neither country has great numbers as far as actually having safe sex is concerned. (Much like, say, the US in this regard?) The link between getting information about health and safety and acting on it is still a challenge. The news from Oz is not too good; HIV and other sexually transmitted conditions have made an uptick in the Land Down Under, some of this increase blamed on young Aussie tourists who bring bugs home with them after carefree vacations elsewhere. Reminder to all you tourists: Wear your rubbers.
The Canadian research, funded by Trojan (without whom we’d have no condom-centric research, it seem on at least some days), is laid out well on Newswire and is covered in The Telegram. ABC News Australia covered the Aussie research on The World Today.
Catching Up with Previous Stories
Petra Collins, the woman behind the American Apparel menstruation/masturbation/pubic hair t-shirt, is back on HuffPo this week — Instagram censored a photo of her because you could see, beneath her swimsuit, a titch of public hair. Apparently the fine folks over there have been watching no 1970s porn, which perhaps they should — much of it is very good — and have forgotten, or never knew, that the female body left to its own devices actually grows it own hair. Yes, even there.
And Time magazine informs us that somewhere in America, a school has removed an onsite wrecking ball (which, what?) so kids can’t reenact Miley Cyrus’s naked video on it. This may sound a little like an overreaction to us San Franciscans… but apparently at least one such video has already been made. Those darn teenagers!
The New York Times remains a fine place to find wry items about sex; this week, one by Dick Cavett was a real delight, and in effect he uses his high-powered ink to mourn (cleverly) how sex-negative and shame-filled US culture was when he was a pup. It’s quite moving. And a terrific piece in their section Booming by Joyce Wadler, “My Body Changed. So Did Intimacy,” explores older bodies and the (hopefully-acquired) social skills that help us navigate their changes. It’s eye-opening and charming.
Bonus: Tracy Clark-Flory, our fave scribe of sex in the news, learned to have hands-free orgasms with our pal Barbara Carrellas (of Urban Tantra fame). Salon has the scoop!