Sexy Sex, Newsy News—Week of March 24-30, 2014

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  New Study: Why Do Women Fake Orgasms? OK, I have been ranting about this lately. Never fake orgasms, I have been saying. It teaches your lover to do the things that do NOT please you! Like Pavlov’s dog slavering for a treat, it trains men to be bad lovers––ladies, what are you thinking? Temple University and Kenyon College have just done some helpful research, published in the Journal of Sexual Archives, and while they uncovered the unsurprising fact that women’s number one reason for faking it is to spare their partner’s feelings and making the guys feel better about themselves, here’s another rather surprising reason of the several cited: For some women, faking orgasm helps them get into the eroticism of sex and actually helps make the whole scene more pleasurable. Well, all righty, then! I stand corrected, a little. (I still think it’d be preferable for everyone to just learn how to have good sex, so that women can take their impressive thespian abilities down to the Little Theatre, or participate in rousing games of Charades. Or how about a nice role-play! You be the traffic cop, and…) Thanks to SFGate for keeping us posted—check them out to read all the other fakin’-it reasons..

Gwyneth Paltrow and Conscious Uncoupling Many publications have reported with a straight face (mostly) about superstar Paltrow’s divorce from husband Chris Martin and their Hollywood-ified language describing it: “‘conscious uncoupling’: it’s all about personal growth and expressing love for the process that got you there,” explains the Guardian, basically teaching their English readers what Americans in Southern California have done with the language we inherited from them. The more conservative the paper or commentator, however, the more snark is involved in the story, suggesting that certain worldviews might embrace the time-honored idea that hating your former spouse is just, well, the natural order of things, or possibly even one of the pleasures of divorce. Careful, Gwyneth, those guys are poised for your first huge public fight; don’t give ‘em the satisfaction. Way more on this story via People, USA Today, the Washington Post, Slate, tv3.ie, CNN, and SFGate.com.

Hobby Lobby’s Hobby Involves Lawyers, Not Hot Glue Guns …and the Supreme Court is weighing in on its claim that it should be exempt from certain elements of Obamacare, namely the requirement to pay for some forms of contraception. “While they say ‘religious liberty,’ the heart of this matter is the conservative belief that ladies who have sex should buy their own sex drugs using their own sex money,” writes Salon; they covered this case extensively this week, laying out all the important implications of this “corporate religion” claim and, to boot, claiming that Hobby Lobby’s “secret agenda” is actually “funding a vast right-wing movement.” So you might want to give some thought to the places you patronize to buy your glue guns.

My favorite Salon-on-Hobby Lobby moment was Dahlia Lithwick’s always-well-honed and very clever reportage: “One thing that was immediately clear Tuesday morning: There is finally a women’s team at the high court. For most of Clement’s 45-minute argument on behalf of the two religious objectors, the only questions come from the court’s three women, Sonia Sotomayor (the patch: tenacious, hardworking, and unshakable), Elena Kagan (the pill: unobtrusive yet sneakily effective), and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (IUD: deceptively small, monstrously potent, and lasts forever). Sotomayor and Kagan in particular pound Clement about the implications of using the exacting standard of scrutiny set forth under the RFRA to assess every corporate claim that a religious preference is burdened. ‘Is your claim limited to sensitive materials like contraceptives or does it include items like blood transfusion, vaccines?’ asks Sotomayor. Clement replies that contraception is unlike transfusions and vaccines because it is ‘so religiously sensitive, so fraught with religious controversy.’ Which is, I suspect, code for ‘sex.’” Word, Dahlia.

Catching Up with Previous Stories We mentioned the New York Times story on the decline and fall of the word “homosexual” last week; Slate updates it with commentary disagreeing with the original NYT piece. Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder had at ‘em to count the ways he disagrees with the Grey Lady. The Times “quoted U.C.-Berkeley’s George P. Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics, who observed that gay and lesbian do not ‘use the word sex,’ while homo-sex-ual does. Additionally, the latter contains ‘homo,’ which, while being a prefix that means ‘the same,’ is also sometimes used derogatorily. For Lakoff, the whole word is a dog-whistle for homophobes (can we still say that?) who want to make same-sex sex seem icky.”

Lowder continues, “But isn’t this a matter of perspective? One of my main struggles as a homosexual has been challenging the tendency of many straight people to treat my partner and me as ‘roommates’ or ‘good friends,’ when, in fact, we have sex. Gay sex. Regularly. If homosexual can help remind them of that important, definitional, politically crucial fact with less effort on my part, I say it’s a plus, not a minus.”

Michigan Marriage Equality …is still in the news because it Got Complicated. (Does anyone know the genesis of “It’s Complicated”? Surely Mark Zuckerberg did not think that up all by himself?) Anyhow, USA Today kept us apprised of the changing landscape in Michigan this week: While a federal appeals court stayed same-sex marriages in the Wolverine State, many weddings had already taken place; US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that those marriages would be federally recognized. That means complicated tax time, among other things, but spouses who remain wed at least as far as some Feds are concerned. Expect to see this state’s Marriage Equality complications land at the doorstep of the Supreme Court.

The Duke Porn Star was still in the media this week, but now, if you’ll excuse my putting it this way, she’s getting it from both ends: Salon reports that not everyone in Porn Valley is happy about the newcomer, particularly since she accepted a summer internship with PornHub (what, she’s too good for the Center for Sex & Culture?)—and PornHub is the notorious site that streams tons and tons of porn which some Valley pros accuse them of pirating. Belle didn’t make herself many new friends there. But this is not the only beef they have with the high-profile newcomer—plenty of starlets, in particular, might like to see all that ink spilled while touting their own careers. “If nothing else,” notes Salon, “the Belle Knox backlash reflects not so much on Knox herself, as the complex and often emotionally fraught relationship between the adult industry and the mainstream media.”

Finally… HuffPo alerted us to the fact that the newest academic journal on the block has launched (I already knew this, as I am an Insider): the Journal of Porn Studies, published by Routledge. (Actually, this is a reprint of a LiveScience article from the previous week—HuffPo was a tiny bit late to the train, but made up for it with the cheeky headline, “’Porn Studies’ Academic Journal Has Arrived, Making Homework Much More Interesting.”) “Pornography studies are still in their infancy, the editors wrote in their call for papers,” reported LiveScience, “and the new journal will focus “on developing knowledge of pornographies past and present, in all their variations and around the world.” They add, “Porn may seem a strange and titillating prospect for research, but it’s also a large and influential business.” True, and think how many more young people will want to go to college now that there’ll be something really relevant to study. Footnotes just got way more fun.

Speaking of which, we learn of yet another research study by a porn purveyor: What does your city search for most, besides Lisa Ann, apparently searched by everyone, everywhere? PornHub: They might be pirates, but they’re certainly renewing the people’s respect for statistics! Now we see what Belle Knox thought she could learn over there this summer.

Schadenfreude: It’s a German word I’ve always liked, meaning “pleasure at another’s misfortune.” Usually I’m too nice to really get into it—but there’s this! The textbook definition, brought to us by the New York Daily News: German porn performer Ina Groll, an Aryan hottie who’s been embraced by neo-Nazis recently (and the feeling’s been mutual—she’s become a spokesperson), has found herself dumped by the National Democratic Party because she filmed an interracial sex scene. All the chickens come home to roost, Ina. She can’t just go back to work and forget the whole thing, though: “It appears Groll, whose porn name is ‘Kitty Blair,’ is not only unwelcome at Nazi functions but also faces a boycott by German pornographers… ‘In the porn film industry, we welcome participants with all skin colours, and all nationalities, but we don’t welcome Nazis,” said a Deutscher porn insider about a boycott of the actress. Wort!

–Carol Queen, PhD

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:

    Sex is just a normal human activity, meant to be enjoyable,preferably for both parties. Each and every one of us is the result or output of sex. Why people has to impose all kinds of beliefs or thinking into this normal activity to complicate things? It is neither clean nor dirty or immoral, should be independent of any political beliefs. Why don’t just let sex to be remained just sex? As John Lennon liked to say during the Vietnam War Years of the 60s – Make Love, No War!