March 16, 2009
From The New York Times:
EVEN in a culture in which sex toys are a booming business and Oprah Winfrey discusses living your best life in the bedroom, a coed live-in commune dedicated to the female orgasm hovers at the extremes.
The founder of the One Taste Urban Retreat Center, Nicole Daedone, sees herself as leading “the slow-sex movement,” one that places a near-exclusive emphasis on women’s pleasure — in which love, romance and even flirtation are not required.
“In our culture, admitting our bodies matter is almost an admission of failure,” said Ms. Daedone, 41, who can quote the poet Mary Oliver and speak wryly on the intricacies of women’s anatomy with equal aplomb. “I don’t think women will really experience freedom until they own their sexuality.”
March 3, 2009
Best Sex Writing 2009 contributor Tom Johansmeyer gives the book a shoutout on travel site Gadling:
Okay, since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, I’m going to suggest that you bring Best Sex Writing 2009 to the next destination wedding you’re forced to attend. There are several reasons for you to read this important work of non-fiction. First, there’s nothing like that four-letter word in a three-letter word’s body to offend everyone around you. It’s like cigar smoke on steroids. Next, actually reading the book will show you that there are many important issues regarding sexuality that should be explored. Finally, I have an essay in it. I’d like to have an essay in the 2010 volume (HINT, HINT, Rachel Kramer Bussel!).
February 20, 2009
Carnal Nation launched yesterday – check it out. Chris Hall from Sex in the Public Square is part of it and they have many interesting pieces up and I believe are going to have a nationwide calendar of sex-related events.
This is from Carol Queen’s piece, “Elements of Sex-Positivity:”
So the notion of “sex-positivity” gave me the perspective I deeply needed to see that there really was not just one (or a few) “normal” way(s) to be a sexual person; that our culture’s push to get us to identify one way or another (and then stay that way) is really a manifestation of sex-negativity–not to mention usually homophobia, because when you’re all but forced into a binary way of identifying, one side is usually the privileged one, the other side the realm of deviance. (In fact, I had gotten very good grades in my undergrad Sociology of Deviance class, which basically covered most of the things I already did or wanted to do: Homosexuality, check! Smoking pot, check! Prostitution… hadn’t done that, but hmm, how much does it pay?)
So let me tell you what I think sex-positivity is now, lest I’ve given you the impression you have to start turning tricks to do it right. You don’t have to be bisexual (or trisexual), kinky, non-monogamous, or even sexually active. In fact, some of the most interesting discussions about sex-positivity I’ve had this year have been with a guy who’s busy organizing asexuals into a community of support and affiliation. Yep, you can even be sex-positive if you don’t ever want to have sex, just as you can be very sex-negative indeed and still have plenty of hot sex that you enjoy to the fullest.
February 17, 2009
“What Hookers Do On Valentine’s Day” by Tracy Quan at The Daily Beast:
Is Valentine’s Day a good day for the sex industry? That all depends. If you’re a call girl, it’s often a great night to be without a valentine—coworkers are being romanced by boyfriends, which means demand for professional companionship might outstrip supply. But it’s hard to predict. For those clients seeking a Valentine’s experience, complete with candy, rose petals and Champagne, you need a girl who’s a lot more professional than she appears to be. Business varies from year to year, so ending a romance before the big holiday just for the purpose of being on call would be foolhardy, and most hookers aren’t that calculating. Because romance serves as a much-needed vacation from the marketplace, the 14th —for a madam—is a potential headache, a night when you sometimes run short of girls.
It’s a day that sums up all that’s “wrong and romantic” about being a call girl. Qualities that spell success in the oldest profession—symmetrical features, a sweet smile, an open personality and a fondness for male company—also attract boyfriends. A recipe for conflict.
I tried not to get involved with anyone so I could focus on business, but I was a boyfriend-magnet. My biggest problem wasn’t the stigma associated with my work, it was my tendency to fall in love. A few years later, I found myself “cheating” again, with someone new.
February 11, 2009
Yes Means Yes (which I have an essay in and can’t wait to finish reading; it’s a top contender for a Best Sex Writing 2010 reprint!) co-editor Jaclyn Friedman has a letter to the editor in The New York Times Magazine about the Daniel Bergner cover story on female desire, which I’m reposting below. (via Yes Means Yes blog)
Women’s sexual needs are not a scientific mystery. Want to increase female libido? Put down the pharmaceuticals and free our minds with equal pay, affordable child care and equitable distribution of household responsibilities. Wondering why women gravitate toward sexually passive roles? The answer has far less to do with evolution than with the ways women are shamed for expressing aggressive desire and with the pervasive idea that women who pursue their own satisfaction are asking to be raped.
What this woman wants is an end to tired clichés dressed up as science and the beginning of a world in which women are treated as individuals, each of whom may or may not be turned on by intimacy, back-alley ravishment or any number of things; a world in which anyone wondering what a woman wants knows that the best thing to do is just ask her.
February 11, 2009
I love this piece by John Thursday at Good Vibrations called “A Cunning Linguist,” and smart sex wordsmiths will surely too:
How fondly I recall my ménage a trois’: the quiet conspiracy, the jealous glances, Dusty Springfield on the stereo.
Yet, I have never had a ménage a trois, for ménage a trois’ have been rechristened. One night, when no one was looking, they became three-ways.
Some fool stole a hyphen, added a number and voila, a house of three became a conference call, romance became business.
It may seem like a small thing, but for such a physical pleasure, our sexual delights are all about language.
A ménage a trois is something that takes place in a pied a terre. A three-way takes place in your cousin Steve’s living room.
February 10, 2009
Hannah Seligson at The Daily Beast on the orgasm gap:
Their research confirms that the orgasm gap is widespread among young people in both casual hookups and relationships. Surveying 12,925 undergraduates from 17 universities, researchers examined four sexual contexts—a first hookup, one to two previous hookups, three or more previous hookups, and a relationship—and found that in all cases, men were twice as likely to orgasm. That gap is far wider in hookup situations than in relationships. In the context of relationships, women orgasm about 80% as often as men.
It’s not just sexual neophytes on college campuses that are having trouble. After looking at 32 studies that included mostly married women and spanned the past 90 years, Dr. Elisabeth Lloyd, author of The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution and a professor of history and philosophy of science at Indiana University, found that a third of women never had an orgasm during intercourse.
Where does this orgasm gap come from, and why is it so much more pronounced in instances of casual sex than in relationships? Analyzing data from the survey, the researchers found a few possible explanations, one of which has to do with the amount of effort expended in bed—and who’s expending it.
England’s study found that women give oral sex to their male partners in all contexts—from casual hookups to relationships—at higher rates than men do, sometimes dramatically higher. The study’s anecdotal evidence backs this up. “The ratio of oral sex was 4-to-1 in his favor,” says writer Kimberlee Auerbach, 36, of her last long-term relationship. (She adds that despite the lopsided ration, he still was still invested in her orgasm.)
February 9, 2009
First of all, I’m loving the blog Sex SF, the San Francisco Bay Guardian‘s “local sex-positive blog.” Every city should have one!
Rita Sapunor just wrote “My first orgy: A beginner’s guide to group sex” which starts with the line “” and goes on to give advice. Back in 2001 when I spent a lot of time in San Francisco, I went to some sex parties that were unlike anything I had experienced in New York. It’s definitely the city for it. Here’s some of her advice, read the piece for the rest:
IT’S YOUR PARTY AND YOU’LL COME IF YOU WANT TO
“If you wanna get laid, don’t host a party,” affirms panelist Cyrus No Last-Name. Like any fete, play parties require their share of organization. You’re not just creating a social atmosphere, but an erotic one, and the sky (and your floor plan) is the limit. Start by deciding on what kind of party you want. Tantric ritual or sub-dom play? Same sex or mixed gender? Full sex or just cuddling? Maybe you want the whole thing set in space, or maybe you’ll make your whole place look like some sort of pornographic Applebee’s. (Talk about eatin’ good in the neighborhood). Anything goes, provided you can get your guests to come (and cum?). Then, create a set of ground rules. Ground rules will allow you to control the tone of the party and keep your guests on the same page. Popular ground rules include a clothes check at the door, or arriving with a friend or partner for whom you are accountable. Strict policies to ensure safe sex are obviously worthwhile, though most panelists trust their guests enough not to necessitate monitors.
The Sex SF blog also recently ran “Ask a Porn Star” by Justin Juul in which Lorelei Lee answers questions from regular folks:
David C: Do female porn stars have fluffers?
Lee: No…and neither do male porn stars. There is no such thing as a fluffer, and I’d be willing to bet there never has been such a thing. We self-fluff.
February 7, 2009
My alma mater’s paper, UC Berkeley’s student paper The Daily Californian, is back with the “Sex on Tuesday” sex column.
Here Carmel de Amicis gives us the scoop on sex in the dorms:
Stopped in mid-action-a frustrating, although typical, end to a dorm hook-up. Privacy in the dorms is certainly an issue, which makes the rules of the dorm hook-up exist on a plane separate from normal reality. Many of you will encounter the awkward “roommate sex,” when you awake in the dead of night to suspicious rustling in the bed next to you. Others of you will venture to questionable hook-up nooks such as bathrooms, lounges, or stairwells. No matter how you achieve your dorm hook-ups, I can assure you they will provide memories for years to come. How could you possibly forget when you snogged/shagged your neighbor/R.A./some random chick when you were on your roommate’s bed/the floor of the handicapped stall/the balcony of the lounge-despite the fact that your roommate was there/you’re a virgin/you just threw up?
All kidding aside, though, some of my best hook-ups in college occurred when I was in the dorms because the sexual tension was amped up by living on top of the guys I wanted. Dorm lust is like a slingshot: It will turn you on more and more until finally you go after who you want and drag them into the nearest shower stall. If you look out for your R.A., you should have no problem making an unforgettable memory. There’s a reason why they say college years are the best years of your life�.
February 7, 2009
I found a few more tidbits, including Mary Roach talking about Bonk on YouTube:
Barnes & Noble is showing this cover of the paperback version:
And Amazon is showing this one:
Here was the hardcover version: