Sexy Sex, Newsy News—Week of July 14, 2014

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Don’t Call Her Thor-etta
While most of us were looking over there at the Hobby Lobby ruling and other car wrecks of sex-and-gender-in-the-news, the sneaky fellas over at Marvel Comics quietly re-made the universe, changing Thor into a woman. She will still wield the magic hammer Mjölnir (which, by the way, will soon be coming to a sex store near you, courtesy of Doc Johnson and whatever Norse magic they’ve managed to tap into; that’s right, it’s been transformed into a dildo, so probably if you’re not going to dress as Miley again this Hallowe’en, you can buy this and totally multi-task). While this is ostensibly not part of a transgender plot (she is a new person/super-hero, not the same Thor after gender reassignment), it nevertheless brought out howling haters on Twitter and all the other places such folk meet, and the Marvel folks proceeded to giggle into their beer and make fun of them. I’d say there was no social change agenda at all except that the comics world has gotten more and more accustomed to plot lines and personnel changes that reflect social issues and burning questions—even Archie (spoiler alert!) is going to die saving his gay friend, and I don’t know about you, but that seems a long, long way from the Archie of my youth. And that’s not all! Dungeons and Dragons, that notorious refuge of geeky and/or nonconforming youth, has added gender and sexual orientation in its most recent iteration! Though I actually already know at least a couple of gay dragons among my Furry pals, so clearly the horse was out of the barn on that bit of social change.

News of Thor brought to us by Reuters, The Star, the BBC, CBS News, Slate, and CinemaBlend; I relied on the fine journos over at Entertainment Weekly for the big news about Archie. PinkNews broke the D&D story.

When Vagina Selfies Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will have iPhone Cases of their Vaginas
The Guardian catches us up on big news from Japan, where artist Megumi Igarashi, aka Rokudenashiko, has been arrested. She somehow managed to straddle a 3-D printer, I think… she couldn’t have run herself through it like a photocopier… and emailed her supporters the data that would allow them to create their own version of the resultant vulva shape, which can be utilized not only as a phone cover but also a very cute canoe and probably many other fabulous gizmos. Her arrest came on suspicion that she has broken Japan’s obscenity laws, to which we say… Japan, do NOT make us laugh at you this way. You are notorious for sending us comix featuring giant squid fucking schoolgirls. PLEASE. Or as the Guardian noted, “Commentators have pointed out the hypocrisy of her arrest, which comes soon after Japanese authorities resisted pressure to ban pornographic images of children in manga comics and animated films.” Mmm-hmmm. I am not suggesting drawings ought to be illegal, but since they are accepted, 3-D-printed manko ought to be, as well. Plus the artist makes vulva dioramas, and that is just awesome.

Kudos to the Guardian for keeping us apprised, but brickbats for calling Igarashi’s art output a vagina. It’s a dang vulva—how long must we wait for our fellow educated human beings to learn the correct word for our bits?

Sexplotative Party Games, in Spain and Elsewhere
Recently a viral video depicted a young female tourist giving blow job after blow job to men in a bar on Majorca. The Interwebs exploded in a tizzy of outrage (and repeated viewings of the video, too, of course). Now Salon’s indispensable Tracy Clark-Flory analyzes this incident in the context of the bigger picture: “I couldn’t help but think, how long have young women been doing sexual things for free drinks — or even lame swag? Wet T-shirt contests. Mud wrestling. The entire “Girls Gone Wild” franchise. Mardi Gras. It’s practically built into college culture, the attempt to get women to compromise themselves — and I say ‘compromise’ because that is what is eroticized, rather than the idea of a woman’s authentic, enthusiastic expression of her sexuality — whether it’s for a string of plastic beads or a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ trucker hat.” Recommended.

Catching Up with Previous Stories
HIV and Truvada
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a relatively new strategy for preventing HIV by taking anti-retrovirals before becoming exposed to the disease, has just received a boost, reports Slate––from none other than the World Health Organization. “Last week, the World Health Organization recommended unequivocally that all HIV-negative men who have sex with men take HIV-preventing drugs like Truvada. The new guidelines build on a similar proposal from the CDC, but they go a step further, suggesting that even gay men who regularly use condoms should take these drugs as a backup measure. If doctors and men who have sex with men follow these guidelines, WHO estimates that about 1 million new infections will be prevented.” Though some might consider this to be homophobic––whattaya mean, gay men should take Truvada?––the chance that this medication, which has so far proven highly effective, will save lives and prevent infections means that this is really, in a way, a highly pro-gay stance. The real problem, Slate reports, is that many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it. The advice is succinct: Refer the docs to the WHO report, and if they still don’t want to write the Rx, get a new doctor.

Finally…
Some interesting research, commented on by the Atlantic, features work by sociologist Elizabeth McClintock that looks at the prevailing notion that wealthy men attract beautiful women and vice versa. It turns out that it’s more complicated than that, and possibly in a direction that ought to reassure romantics: McClintock found that “[w]hat appears to be an exchange of beauty for socioeconomic status is often actually not an exchange, McClintock wrote, but a series of matched virtues. Economically successful women partner with economically successful men, and physically attractive women partner with physically attractive men…. The study concludes that women aren’t really out for men with more wealth than themselves, nor are men looking for women who outshine them in beauty. Rather, hearteningly, people really are looking for … compatibility and companionship.”

And none other than NPR––on Fresh Air––gave the new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves some metaphorical ink; modeled after feminist classic Our Bodies, Ourselves, this is one of the most notable signs yet that the “gender studies” of my youth has morphed into an increasingly mainstream examination of gender and genderedness, trans* and otherwise. About damn time.

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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1 Response

  1. luv2sex.info says:

    yes, there is some news about AIDS too, maybe they have finally found a cure for this permanently!