Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Phalates - still not so good for you

Phthalates are chemicals used in a lot of different products - particularly soft rubber products - including IV tubing, sex toys, shower curtains, baby toys, cosmetics, nail polish - you name it.

These chemicals have linked to liver problems, and possibly, to cancer.

Two new studies have been released regarding phthlatates.

The first was a German study on newborns fed thru IV tubing. The tubing was made using phalates. It showed an increase in liver problems. The study was small and certainly not definitive. Not surprisingly, the folks who manufacture stuff with phalates say that it's a bunch of bunk.

Several hospitals have already switched to phalate free tubing.  Because, why take a chance that the phthlates may have a negative impact on a delicate newborn

The next study is where it gets really interesting. There have been concerns about the effects of phalates on the reproductive system. Especially on testosterone based reproductive systems.

Phalates can disrupt androgens. Certain phalates can lower testosterone levels. In other words, they can have an effect on the development of a fetal reproductive system resulting in:
...irreversible demasculinisation and malformations of sex organs among male offspring.
Not sexy words.

In our chemically based society, we experience multiple exposure to anti-androgens from multiple sources including pesticides, beauty products and certain rubber materials. Some scientists in Denmark, decided to investigate what kind of effect these multiple exposures can have on the sexual development of a rat.

They found:
Strikingly, the effect of combined exposure to the selected chemicals...was synergistic, and the observed responses were greater than would be predicted from the toxicities of the individual chemicals.
These results were found even when each of the chemical exposures was at a dosage equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL). But the combination of these "safe" dosages resulted in a noticable effect on fetal sexual development.

In other words, even though each individual dosage was "safe", the combined exposures resulted in a noticible impact on external sex characteristics.

Why the hell do you care? Did you see the part about phthlates in sex toys? 

Adult bodies are dramatically different than developing fetal bodies. It is possible (but I'd posit not likely) that exposure to phalates has no effect on the adult body. So maybe we don't need to worry about it. Or maybe we do. Especially if the person is pregnant. In which case, using a sex toy that contains phthlates may expose the fetus to these potentially damaging chemicals.

Pregnant or not, it just doesn't seem smart to take a chance by using sex toys with phthlates.  Especially when there are plenty of options of other materials that are body safe.  And last longer.

Sex toys that have phthalates in them may be cheaper. Sometimes purchasing higher quality toys isn't a financial option. Using condoms on your toys can lower any risk significantly.  But,
saving your pennies and purchasing a higher quality toy is always worth it. 

So, buy phalate free sex toys. Avoid that weird sex toy smell. Stick with products that you believe are safe.

And buy your toys from folks that care about what the toys are made of. Places like Sugar, or the Smitten Kitten, or Self Serve or....

Click here for a link to a PDF of the study: Synergistic Disruption of External Male Sex Organ Development by a Mixture of Four Antiandrogens



I want this.

Boobs. Full of pudding. For the second time today - why didn't I think of this!!

The only thing that would make it better is if you didn't have to turn the boobs upside down to eat them.

And if they were chocolate.

With chocolate dipping sauce. But caramel's pretty damn good...

Thanks Fleshbot for pointing this out!

All you can eat sex in Germany

Brothels all over the world have been hit by the economic down turn. Which means that sex workers are suffering. Brothels outside of Vegas are down by 20-70%. Part of that has to do with people traveling less - less business travel, inflated fuel costs, but part of it is likely to be an overall downturn in the utilization of professional sex services.

Hell, everyone I know in any part of the industry, from sex toys to porn to professional domination services has seen a downturn in the past several months. Things do seem to be on the way back up. And I'm grateful as hell. But all of us are still dealing with the repercussions of this crappy economy.

As women (and some men and trans folk) experience the effects of the lousy economy, some turn to the sex industry. It's a reasonable option for women who can work as exotic dancers or commercial sex workers in a safe, legal environment. But, demand for sex services has decreased. Decreased demand plus increased supply usually results in lower prices. Which sucks. Because who wants to charge less for their work? Especially if the work involves their body.

Several brothels in Germany have responded to this by offering what is essentially an all you can eat and/or fuck option. In stead of charging per service or encounter, a base price (100 euros) is paid and then then male client has free access to the brothel and all the food and women he can fuck. In any way that he chooses to fuck.

The government of Germany has expressed some concern that this is resulting in worker exploitation. In fact, they recently raided four brothels that are part of a brothel chain called the Pussy Club (thank god someone named a brothel the Pussy Club! do you think they have t-shirts?). Two of the brothels were closed. Due to unsanitary conditions (ICK!!! - seriously - any business that deals with body fluids should be spotless - IMHO).

According to the owner of these clubs, the workers are paid between 100-300 euros a day regardless of the number of clients they see. Business is estimated to be off by around 30% across the board in German Brothels.

So, is this exploitation of workers? I don't know. It depends on how it plays out in the club. And what amount of choice the workers are allowed to have. Based on the sanitary conditions that were found in the club, I'd hazard a guess that the workers are being exploited. If they aren't bothering to clean the massage tables or the whirlpool? I'd bet they aren't being respectful to the workers.

But who's responsibility is that? Since sex work is legal, the worker could theoretically go to work in a different place. Undoubtedly, for some workers that is easier said than done. Many sex workers in Germany are illegal immigrants - which limits job opportunities. Legal workers also encounter barriers - transportation, flexibility of hours, child care, etc.

Which leads me to my final point. Unions. Sounds like a union is needed. When the government gets involved in regulation in the sex industry, often it is the workers who get hurt. But when the workers negotiate with management to set the rules, things tend to work out in a more equitable, less paternalistic fashion. Of course, a union isn't likely to provide protection to the undocumented workers, but it could help to establish an industry standard. Which may end up providing some better treatment for all members of the industry.

So - here's to unions. And sex workers standing up for their rights. And receiving the unequivocal support of workers from all industries. Work is work. And each of us deserves to work in a safe, non-exploitative environment.

porn. shot on the iphone

now i REALLY need to get the new iphone.

pink visual, the "leader" in porn content for the iphone, just shot a scene entirely on the new iphone 3Gs. you can watch the trailer here.

***just FYI - i don't know anything about how Pink Visual treats their performers, nor have i seen any of their work other than this trailer (which is funny and hot) so i can't vouch for (or not vouch for) how well they fit into my definition of sex positive porn***

so, although apple is sticking to their guns about not allowing adult iphone aps. that doesn't mean you can't watch porn on your iphone. or shoot it (wheels turning in head/kicking self for not thinking of it first).


it's nice to see people using technology for good.

and confirms what Avenue Q told us years ago....the internet is for:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Husband fired because wife performs in porn

In Fort Myers Beach, FL, their City Manager, Scott Janke was just fired because his wife is a porn star known as Jazella Moore.


What the hell does it matter? He isn't a porn star. His wife is not accused of having done anything illegal.


The council determined Janke's credibility and ability to do his job would be undermined when news of his wife's profession came to light.

I gotta say - this is some bull shit. Performing in porn is a legitimate career choice. Sure, I understand that it could affect your future career choices. But, those of your husband?

Granted, would have been a good idea for this gentleman to reveal his wife's profession before or shortly after he was hired. But, reactions like this don't lead to people feeling very safe about being out.

Our culture likes to put porn performers, particularly the women, in a special "dirty" box. A woman who performs in porn couldn't possibly be smart - or emotionally stable - or well, virtuous in any manner - right? In fact, the porn star is just and only that. She can't actually be a real, decent, human being. Because what kind of "good" woman could choose to let multiple men fuck her on camera. And heaven forbid that she enjoy it. She has to be some kind of deeply scary freak. But men who perform in porn with women? Well, they're just studs.

In addition to a general fear of overtly sexual women, there is something else going on here. What kind of man would "allow" his wife to fuck on film? Especially if he "lets" her fuck men? Isn't that what these folks are really saying? That a man who would marry a porn star is by nature not capable of leading? And that a man who's ok with his wife continuing to perform in porn is not a man who others could look up to?

Because a good man wouldn't marry such a woman. And if he did, it would be to rescue her from the horrors of a porn career. A good man, a man that is a good leader wouldn't stand by and support his wife as she continued to pursue her passion of performing in porn. A woman that believes:
by approaching sexual pleasure resolved of guilt and fear and with need distilled to shared, creative adventure, the paradox of the Madonna/Whore was broken and with that the power of ecstatic joy could triumph.
I don't know anything about Mr. Janke's job performance. But it seems pretty clear that his record is clean. He has the appropriate experience. The appropriate certifications. There are no public accusations of malfeasance. Simply a wife with a job. A job that apparently offends the town council's "good morals". This is sexism. And a blatant disapproval of overt sexuality

And that. Offends me.

If you agree, take a minute and tell the town council what you think. Their email addresses are below:
Larry Kiker, Mayor larry@fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Herb Acken, Vice Mayor herb@fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Bob Raymond, Councilman bob@fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Tom Babcock, Councilman tom@fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Jo List, Councilwoman jo@fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why sometimes sex technique is just fluff

A new article has been published in Canada - The Components of Optimal Sexuality: A Portrait of ‘Great Sex’ (published in the latest Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality) - the following is based on articles about the article.  I'm trying to get a copy of the real thing.

A researchers did a five year long study which included 64 adults from around the world.  The majority of the participants were from the US.  Of the participants, 25 were 60 or older.  All of the them, regardless of age, believed that they had experienced "great sex".  They were then asked to quantify the factors that they believed led to great sex.

Most of the participants felt that what lead to great sex, way more than technique or orgasm, was a feeling of connection and intimacy.  

No big surprise.  But, it seems that the blogosphere is widely shocked that it's not about - "move your tongue this way and all doors will be open to you!"

All too often we want a quick fix.  An easy trick that we can do that can make sex, a deeply, delightfully complex affair into something closer to a Hot Pocket (microwave and go!).  And this trick needs to work on each and every person, regardless of anatomy or circumstance.

Anyone can learn anatomy.  Anyone can learn different techniques for sexual stimulation.  We'll be happy to teach you.  If the communication skills and the ability to create and participate in intimacy isn't present,  The sex that results can be fun.  Even intense. And technically phenomenal. 

But for truely great sex to happen, there has to be vulnerability.  Trust.  Connection.  Honesty.  A sense of play.  Getting to the place where we, as adults with baggage, can participate on that level takes work.  Work that is more involved than learning a fun way to move your hand.  Anyone can learn it.  But it takes desire.  Humility.  And most of all, consistent practice.  Like anything worth having, it's a journey for which there is no true end.  I'm talking about any kind of sex - including masturbation.  Sometimes the hardest person to vulnerable with is yourself.  But it's where we all have to start.  And finish.

Because sex is about more than just body parts.  It's about our brains.  Our hearts.  Our souls.

Wheeeeee!  The possibilities are literally endless!  

Eight elements of great sex (from the Ottowa Citizen)

Dr. Peggy Kleinplatz research identified eight components that significantly contribute to excellent sex:

1. Being present, focused and embodied

According to the study, being fully and completely present during sexual experiences was the first and most frequently mentioned factor contributing to great sex. As one woman described, ‘You are not a person in a situation. You are it. You are the situation.’

‘It’s being fully alive,’ says Kleinplatz, ‘in one’s skin, engaged with the partner — emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually — in the moment.’

2. Connection, alignment, merger, being in sync

The report, printed Thursday in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, notes that ‘the depth of the connection between partners was one of the most critical elements of the experience regardless of duration of the relationship.’

3. Deep sexual and erotic intimacy

Kleinplatz describes this as the foundation of a relationship in which optimal sexuality becomes a possibility. It involves deep mutual respect, caring, genuine acceptance and admiration. As Kleinplatz notes, ‘you can’t trust just anyone.’

4. Extraordinary communication, heightened empathy

While marital counsellors are trained in teaching communications skills to clients, Kleinplatz describes the study’s participants as having ‘black belts’ in communications.

‘These weren’t people who learned all about the other sex’s genitalia and then just applied the technique,’ she says. ‘These were people who were so engaged in and with their partners’ bodies that they could read their partners’ responses, not only touching them, but feeling them.”

5. Authenticity, being genuine, uninhibited, transparency

‘This is pretty much the opposite of self-consciousness,’ says Kleinplatz. ‘It’s allowing oneself to be emotionally naked while being seen by a partner.’ One of the study’s subjects noted ‘I don’t know that I’m capable of having great sex anymore without caring about a partner.’

6. Transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation, healing

Participants in the study often reported a sense of timelessness or the infinite during great sex. ‘There was often a moment of aliveness beyond anything they’d experienced before,’ says Kleinplatz. ‘Their experience often really was exalted, and (the subjects) would use language borrowed from religion to describe it, because there are no words in the vocabulary of sexology to describe it.’

7. Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking, fun

This, says Kleinplatz, is where participants describe sex as an adventure. She uses a line from The Who song Bargain: ‘I’m looking for a free ride to me. I’m looking for you.’

‘I’ve always thought it was one of the most erotic lines I’ve heard,’ she adds. ‘This is about being on a journey of self-discovery, with sex as the pathway.

‘And it’s also a lot of fun.’

8. Vulnerability and surrender

‘If authenticity is about what’s happening within and choosing to be emotionally naked,’ Kleinplatz explains, ‘vulnerability is more about the willingness to be seen naked. It’s an awareness that I’m letting you inside of me, penetrating one another’s souls.’

porning and driving


people.  don't watch porn and drive.  

did we really need to say that?

apparently.  because a man in canada was arrested for just that.  he was speeding.  and watching porn.  don't know if there was anything else going on with him.  but really?

show some decorum people.  please.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pleasure - oh NOOOOOO!

A few days ago the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health in Sheffield England (part of the National Health Service) released a pamphlet that reviews suggested ways for adults to speak to young people about sex. And about what things they should discuss.

This pamphlet takes a pleasure based perspective. It promotes masturbation as healthy and as a good way to explore one's own body. It encourages people to explore methods of sexual contact other than penetration. It links condoms to pleasure. It encourages discussing the clitoris (gasp!). And it states, unequivocally, that both consent and pleasure are expectations of sexual contact.

This is all good sense. But, since it actually acknowledges pleasure as an aspect of sexuality, these folks are getting a lot of heat.

Studies have shown this approach works. This philosophy is one of the reasons our store exists. Teaching kids (and for that matter adults) to respect and honor sex and to only engage in sexual activity in ways that are physically and emotionally pleasurable changes behavior. It decreases sexual activity, postpones first intercourse, increase the incidence of safer sex and decreases the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

Think about it - in high school, sexually active and only being sexual with another when it was safe, consensual and pleasurable? I bet most of us would have had less sex. Or waited to have sex a little bit later.

This is the kind of sex ed that actually works. This is what the world needs more of.

If you agree, send these folks an email and encourage them to keep up the good work. I'm sure they'll be bombarded from folks on the other side....


It's the oral sex!

Sunday it was oral sex class.

I spent the day poking around the house, reviewing notes. And finally, at around 4. I determined that it would be wise to shower and put on something other than my PJs before teaching class. So I did.

And did not take Piper Sue to class. You see, last Tuesday, we had harness class at the store. Every Tuesday morning, I wake up, feed and walk the dogs, have breakfast, check my email, drink at least one latte, put Piper in the car and go to work. Which is what I did last Tuesday. Only to remember part way thru my seven minute drive to work that I was teaching that night. And I don't usually take Piper to class. It'll be fine, I thought.

Yeah. I was wrong.

Piper is good at the store precisely because she is friendly. And outgoing. And persistent. So she managed to spend a large part of the class showing the participants her toys. Licking the participants. Asking them to put their feet on her stomach (I don't know. she's always had a thing for that). And occasionally, very occasionally, resting on the couch. This would all be fine, but I was trying to show the participants MY toys. And how to use a harness. Finally I had to put her in the back. Where she proceeded to whine. She's spoiled and used to getting her own way. Which is how I like her. But not last Tuesday.

So neither Piper or Bell went to the store.

But I did. Freshly washed and rested. Then I ended up almost late. Because when I was walking down the street, I ran into a friend in the middle of a small crisis. Class can always wait a little bit for tears and a cigarette. By the time I got back to the store we had a line. And a frazzled Owen.

Mark from next door helped me rearrange the store while Owen dispensed with the line. But the line kept reappearing. The phone kept ringing.

In the end, we had to turn away about 10 people.

The class went well. For me anyway. It's always hard to tell with the participants. I've used surveys at the end of the class for feedback, but eventually I stopped. I found that folks mainly shot sunshine up my ass. Maybe I should try it again.

We cover both fellatio and cunnilingus in class. But we ran a bit long, so I'm thinking about dividing it up in the future. Might also help with the turning folks away thing.

Regardless, I got a great tip from one of the class members. We were talking about blow jobs and covering your teeth, when one participant pointed out that older folks can just take their teeth out and not worry about it! Fucking brilliant!!! One more benefit to sex as an older adult!

By the end of the class I was hot and sweaty. Exhausted. And pleased to see my couch. But I had fun.