April 30, 2012

Toxic Sex Toys with Smitten Kitten {featured video}

Smitten Kitten is a Twin Cities-based award-winning feminist sex shop and educational resource. In 2005, Smitten Kitten launched the first-ever community advocacy organization and adult industry education organization, the Coalition Against Toxic Toys. In conjunction with this year's Earth Day, Smitten Kitten's owner, Jennifer Pritchett, released the following public service announcement about the work Smitten Kitten has done to abolish toxic sex toys from she first discovered them in conjunction with the opening of her shop back in 2003:

Pritchett's announcement is a good reminder about the importance of selecting sex toys carefully (stay away from porous soft plastic materials such as vinyl and jelly and choose hard materials such as hard plastic, glass, ceramic, and silicon).

Smitten Kitten released the following Coalition Against Toxic Toys shopping guide in 2008:

April 23, 2012

The Psychological Underpinnings of Submission & Domination

Has spanking gone mainstream? asks Katie Roiphe in a Newsweek cover story in response to all the hype around the Twilight fanfiction slash "mommy porn" bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. Roiphe notes the coincidence of this trend of women eagerly consuming fantasies of submission at a time when women are "in hard economic terms" less subjugated or dependent by men than before. May it be "that power is not always that comfortable, even for those of us who grew up in it ... that equality is something we want only sometimes and in some places and in some arenas .... that power and all of its imperatives can be boring"?

The theory of modern powerful women seeking submission for some reprieve is alluring, but is there much holding it up? Dr. Laura Berman supports the theory, arguing that "There are type A, alpha women who need to be in control of absolutely everything in their homes, in their children's lives, in their families' lives. They're deciding where they go on vacation, what kind of clothes their husband wears. A lot of these women grew up with lots of inhibitions and they're overwhelmed and exhausted by the need to control everything. For them, this is an exciting and erotic fantasy."

April 16, 2012

The Queer X Show: Feminist and Sex-Positive Sluts on Stage {featured film}

Emilie Jouvet
(Photo: Mélanie Bahuon)
Emilie Jouvet is one of the most exciting voices to look for within the movement of new, progressive sex film and porn. Firstly, her films are intriguing for their cinematic quality, delivering a raw, gritty, textured, underground, art house feel. And conceptually, they uniquely communicate the poignant poetics of French feminist theory, as well as the visceral soul of American queer activism. Fittingly, her latest film, Too Much Pussy! Feminist Sluts in the Queer X Show (2011), features both American and French performers, including Madison Young, a well-known San Francisco-based feminist, BDSM pornographer, and queer activist; and Wendy Delorme, a French performance artist and author of among others the feminist manifesto Quatrième Génération (Fourth Generation). She also co-wrote Too Much Pussy! with Emilie.

April 11, 2012

Debunking Claims about the Biology of Male Attraction to Teens {featured news}

National Review columnist John Derbyshire was fired this past weekend for his appalling remarks about blacks. But, notes gender studies professor, writer, and speaker Hugo Schwyzer, Derbyshire has expressed appalling remarks about women too, insinuating that women’s attractiveness begins to diminish before they’re old enough to buy a legal beer. Explains Schwyzer today at Role/Reboot: Derbyshire wrote in 2005 that “a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's—really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20."

In his refreshingly sharp column, Schwyzer debunks the argument that evolutionary psychology or biological imperatives bear Derbyshire out; the idea that men’s ephebophilia (sexual attraction to teens) is a “lamentably universal inevitability.” In response to a note Schwyzer received from a 33 year-old man, David, who expressed a desire to turn off his frequent attraction to high school girls, Schwyzer explains that:

April 9, 2012

Psychology Tomorrow Magazine Kickstarter Campaign {featured news}

Over this past winter, the Intelligent Lust column by Dr. Stanley Siegel, LCSW, gained a large group of followers at  Psychology Today until one post got censored. Then his entire column was removed. Stanley re-posted all his posts at his website, including the one that caused this firestorm, which received over ten thousand readers' visit. Titled Sex Worker or Therapist?, the post addresses the often very therapeutic aspects of sex work as expressed by clients. Interviews with sex workers and escorts also reveal the care they invest in creating positive, healing experiences.

Stanley has more than 40 years of experience as a practicing psychotherapist. He is also the author of several books, including most recently Your Brain on Sex: How Smarter Sex Can Change Your Life. And he is the former Director of Education at New York’s renowned Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. Objecting to censorship, Stanley has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to support his Psychology Tomorrow, an online magazine that will openly explore the cutting edge of psychology:

April 2, 2012

Talking STDs with Your Kids: The Get Yourself Tested Campaign {featured news}

1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25. Most won’t know it. Parents, educators, and healthcare providers can make a difference by educating young people about sexual health and STD prevention.

Since 2009, MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other partners have been supporting National STD Awareness Month in April with the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign to inform young people about STDs, encourage and normalize testing for STDs, and connect young people to testing centers.
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