Not Just Another Right-Wing Hypocrite Sex Scandal: The Blowfish Blog

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My new piece is up on the Blowfish Blog, a take on the latest right-wing hypocrite sex scandal called Not Just Another Right-Wing Hypocrite Sex Scandal. As you may have guessed from the title, I have a somewhat different take on the Larry Craig bathroom-cruising case than I do on the eighty zillion other Republican/ Christian Right sex scandals we’ve been inundated with. Here’s the teaser:

But this time, it isn’t sitting right with me. The gleeful Schadenfreude, the “holy shit, not again!” eye-rolling, the cackling over cosmic/ karmic/ poetic justice being served… it isn’t sitting right with me this time.

It isn’t sitting right with me because of the extremely dubious legal nature of Senator Craig’s arrest. And it isn’t sitting right with me because of the even more dubious ethical nature of police sting operations on cruising in public bathrooms.

To find out more about why I think this scandal is different, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

Not Just Another Right-Wing Hypocrite Sex Scandal: The Blowfish Blog
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View from the Fourteenth Floor

I’m working on several different blog pieces now, none of which is finished yet. So tonight you get a dirty story from the archives. Note: This is a very nasty story, and family members and others who don’t want to read my porn or know too much about my fantasies may want to stop now. FYI, while I usually illustrate my blog posts with lots of pictures, I’m not going to do that here, since I want you to be able to picture the characters and the scenario on your own. Enjoy!

Continue reading “View from the Fourteenth Floor”

View from the Fourteenth Floor

The New “Zoo” Review

This piece originally appeared on the Blowfish Blog.

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The movie is about bestiality.

I want to tell you that right up front, since it takes a while for the movie to get around to it. A little more specifically, “Zoo” is a documentary about a 2005 incident in which a man died of a perforated colon after engaging in sexual activity with — read “getting fucked in the ass by” — a horse. And it’s about the small group of people — other zoophiles, or “zoos” — who shared these sexual activities and interests as a community: talking about it on the Internet, engaging in it at small gatherings, and sometimes photographing or filming it.

Continue reading “The New “Zoo” Review”

The New “Zoo” Review

Only Losers Dine At Le Cirque: The Stigma on Sex Work Customers: The Blowfish Blog

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A recent letter to the Savage Love sex advice column reminded me of a rant I’ve been wanting to make for a while; ever since I put together Paying For It, really. It has to do with the stigma on sex work customers, and the idea that “having to pay for it” makes you a pathetic loser. Oddly enough, even in the sex-positive community that embraces and celebrates sex workers, this scornful attitude towards sex work customers often persists.

So I’ve ranted about it over at the Blowfish Blog, in a piece called Only Losers Dine At Le Cirque: The Stigma on Sex Work Customers. Here’s the teaser:

Does paying a restaurant to feed you a meal make you a loser? Whether you eat out every night or only do it as an occasional treat; whether you’re looking for a special meal you can’t get elsewhere or simply want the convenience of getting dinner without any hassle… does it make you a loser? A pathetic nobody who can only get fed if he pays someone to do it?

For more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

Only Losers Dine At Le Cirque: The Stigma on Sex Work Customers: The Blowfish Blog

“A magnetism that will not let go”: The Drooling Homophobe Series, Part 764

Do these people listen to what they say?

Don’t they know how obvious this “lady doth protest too much” thing is starting to get?

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Pandagon has the story of right-wing Christian extremist Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries, who, with his flock, has been on a crusade to disrupt the church services of gay-friendly churches. But that’s not even the best part of the story. As is so often the case, the best part of the story is in an almost offhand remark.

In a Bible-spewing homophobic rant earlier this year about a visit to the Gay Pride Parade, Daubenmire had this to say:

“The ‘meat’ on display will forever change the way you view homosexuality. Sin has no boundaries, no clutch, and no emergency brake. Once you dip your toe into the pool of sin, especially sexual sin, there is a magnetism that will not let go.” (emphasis mine)

Ummmm…

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Let me put it this way. The straight guys I know who visit the Gay Pride Parade do not describe the event as having “a magnetism that will not let go.” Their reaction is more along the lines of, “Nice dress, dude.” They describe it as interesting, entertaining, touching, hilarious, kind of tedious when the “polo-shirted employees of boring corporations” contingents go by, etc. But they do not describe it as a pool of sin with a magnetism that will not let go. The straight guys I know are not forever changed by the sight of gay male “meat on display,” and they are quite capable of resisting the magnetism of homosexuality. They find the magnetic pull of homosexuality pretty gosh-darned unmagnetic. That’s kind of what makes them, you know — straight.

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So I just have to ask: Do Dave Daubenmire, and Ted Haggard, and all the rest of the right-wing Christian leering brigade, really not know what they sound like? Do they really not see that frothing at the mouth closely resembles drooling?

“A magnetism that will not let go”: The Drooling Homophobe Series, Part 764

Perfect Porn and Other Myths: The Blowfish Blog

Please note: This piece, and the piece it links to, includes references to my personal sex life, specifically my taste in porn. Family members and others who don’t want to read about that… um, don’t.

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“I’ve definitely griped about porn because it either didn’t push all my erotic buttons just right, or because it grated on some of my squicks. I’ve griped when it hasn’t fallen into my perfect window: the perfect amount of artistry without sacrificing spontaneity, the perfect amount of teasing and buildup to get me worked up without getting me frustrated and bored, the perfect degree of roughness or kink to be convincingly real without being terrifyingly brutal.

“And I — along with every other porn consumer and porn critic — have to acknowledge that this really isn’t fair.”

That’s the teaser from my latest piece on the Blowfish Blog, Perfect Porn and Other Myths. In it, I meditate on an observation from spanking model Adele Haze: “To get a video that pushes all your buttons and doesn’t grate on any squicks, you have to win the lottery and produce it yourself.” To find out why I think this is important — not only for porn consumers and critics, but for porn creators as well — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

Perfect Porn and Other Myths: The Blowfish Blog

Showtime’s “Californication”: Well, There’s Promiscuous and There’s Promiscuous

Californication
You’d think I’d be irritated by it.

You’d think that Little Miss Sex-Positive Culture Critic would be foaming at the mouth. Another goddamn pop-culture depiction of promiscuity and casual sex as a sign of immaturity and instability and low self-esteem. You’d think I’d have my boilerplate rant all ready to go.

But I’m not. I don’t. I’ve only seen one episode of “Californication” so far — but so far I love it. And I’m dying to see more.

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Quick precis, for those who haven’t seen it: “Californication” is a new series on Showtime, starring David Duchovny as Hank, a messed-up writer in Los Angeles with writer’s block, a divorce he’s unhappy about, a whole passel of emotional problems, and a good book that got turned into a lousy movie. He has a passive, bemused, almost happy-go-lucky attitude about the life that’s going down the toilet  and he deals with, or doesn’t deal with, his despair and fucked-up-edness with casual, wildly promiscuous sex.

Now, I’ve definitely had a bellyful of the “casual promiscuous sex as sign of emotional problems” trope. I’ve seen it dozens, maybe even hundreds of times, and a big part of me never wants to see it again.

But I’m cutting “Californication” a whole lot of slack. It’s smart, and it’s funny… and most importantly, it’s obviously trying to be true. And it’s obviously trying to be true, not just about life in general, but about sex in particular.

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I was pretty much sold in the first five minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a TV show that featured, in the first five minutes of the first scene of the premiere episode, a conversation about the clit. Where it is; where it isn’t, how to find it; what to do about men who can’t find it. That sort of thing. (Oh, they probably talked about it on “Sex in the City.” I’m guessing: I never made it through more than two episodes of that damn show. But “Californication” makes the glib, smirking fakitude of “Sex in the City” look like… well, glib, smirking fakitude. It puts it to shame.)

And I’ve definitely never seen a TV show with a conversation about the clit that was anywhere near this funny. I love the moment where Hank and the woman he’s going down on are about to be caught by her lousy-lover husband, and he says, “Well, maybe I should hide under your clit. He’ll never find me there.” (And I love even more the scene where he gives the enraged husband a lesson on female sexual anatomy.)

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It just gets better from there. I’m tempted to tell you all the good bits, all the funny and freaky and trenchant sexual moments. I’m tempted to describe all the scenes where Hank’s sexual passivity, sexual vengefulness, and honest desire for sexual pleasure and connection, come crashing together in a snarky, detached emotional mosh pit. I’m tempted to describe how he uses both his fame and his self-deprecation about his fame to get women to tumble into bed with him. I’m tempted to describe his defensive unease about his daughter’s emerging sexuality, and thus her emergence into a world full of asshole men like him.

But I don’t want to spoil it for you. I’ll leave it at this so I can move on: This is a TV show that is intelligent about sex, funny about sex, perceptive about sex… and, as far as I can tell, trying really hard to be true about sex.

Which brings me back to the whole sex-positive thing.

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I’m not an idiot. I get that drama requires conflict, and a TV show about a casually promiscuous guy who’s overall pretty happy with his life and doesn’t have any real problems would make for some profoundly boring drama. And I’m not an idiot, Part 2: I get that sex is complicated and messy and irrational, and that people don’t always handle it very well. As much as I hate the narrow, luridly moralistic vision of sex that pop culture usually hands us, I’m not looking for sex-positive propaganda either.

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Of course I’d like to see more genuinely positive images of sex in popular culture. But much more importantly, I’d like to see more sexual truth in popular culture. Sex-positivity isn’t about being a cheerleader for sex, all sex, all the time. Sex-positivity is about seeing sex as an essential part of human life: as diverse as the human race, as ecstatic and sad and absurd as the people who are doing it.

And that’s exactly what “Californication” does.

At least in the first episode. I can’t wait to see more.

Showtime’s “Californication”: Well, There’s Promiscuous and There’s Promiscuous

Blog Carnivals: Feminists, Liberals, and Humanists

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It’s blog carnival time!

Carnival of the Liberals #45 is up at The Greenbelt. They included my piece on the Blowfish Blog, Right Wing Hypocrisy, or Why Sex Guilt Fucks Things Up For Everyone, which makes me really happy since I think that’s one of the better pieces I’ve written of late. Carnival of the Liberals is a very selective carnival: they only include ten posts per issue, so I’m always extra-happy and honored to be included. And they illustrated the posts with cute pictures of dogs in birthday hats, so that’s a good time right there.

Carnival of the Feminists #43 is up at Femtique. They included my feminist rant on The Devil Wears Prada and its fucked-up view of professionalism in women, so thanks for that.

And The Humanist Symposium #6 is up at A Load of Bright, with its usual excellent collection of positive atheist blogging. I didn’t get a piece in this time — I’ve been Miss Negative Cranky-Pants lately when it comes to the atheist blogging — but if you want written proof that atheists have more to say about atheism than just complaining about religion, be sure to check it out. Ta!

Blog Carnivals: Feminists, Liberals, and Humanists

Ticky-Tacky, or Why Most Mainstream Het Porn Bores The Pants On To Me

This piece was originally written for Fishnet about ten years ago. A few of the details of the porn industry formulas have changed since then, but it’s somewhat unnerving to realize how apt this piece still is. FYI, the videos here used to illustrate ticky-tacky porn here are not necessarily ones that I’ve seen. If I’m mistaken and one or more of them is actually an exception to the ticky-tacky standard, please accept my apologies. (The videos illustrating concepts of good porn are all ones that I’ve seen.)

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*Little boxes, on the hillside
Little boxes, made of ticky-tacky
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same…*
-Malvina Reynolds, “Little Boxes”

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No, don’t worry. This isn’t a rant about why porn is sexist and oppressive and demeaning and generally a Bad Thing For Our Society. I like porn quite a bit. I whack off to it all the time. And I have a very squishy soft spot in my heart for video porn. Real actual people having real actual sex, right there in real life videotape in the privacy of your own living room — what could be bad?

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But Lordy, Lordy, am I ever tired of the formula. I am so tired of flat stomachs and big fake boobs and long ratty bleached-and-permed hair. I am super-tired of pussies shaved into the Hitler moustache. And Christ on a crutch, I am so far beyond tired of cum shots that I could just plotz.

It’s not that I could never find any of these things arousing. I’m just tired of the repetition. I’m tired of seeing the same types of bodies and the same hairstyles and the same four or five sex acts over and over and over again. And I’m tired of what this repetition, this sameness, says to me about the porn industry.

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You see, it seems to me as if the folks in the mainstream het porn industry are not really trying very hard to turn people on. They seem instead to be trying desperately hard not to turn people off. The decisions about what body types and hairstyles and sexual variations get put on video seem to be based, not on creating images that customers might find arousing, but on avoiding images that customers might not want to see. The very narrowness of the erotic vision speaks to me of marketing meetings, and lowest common denominators, and fear.

Continue reading “Ticky-Tacky, or Why Most Mainstream Het Porn Bores The Pants On To Me”

Ticky-Tacky, or Why Most Mainstream Het Porn Bores The Pants On To Me

Right Wing Hypocrisy Part Two: The Scary Black Men Made Me Do It! The Blowfish Blog

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So the latest right-wing hypocritical sex scandal has gone from predictably boilerplate to ridiculous verging on surreal. You may have heard about it: Bob Allen, the Florida state representative/ McCain presidential campaign co-chair who got busted for offering a male cop $20 to blow him in a public bathroom, is now claiming that he did what he did because he was intimidated by the big scary black man.

I have a piece about it over at the Blowfish Blog: a follow-up to last week’s thoughtful spew on right-wing sexual hypocrisy, this one titled Right Wing Hypocrisy Part Two: The Scary Black Men Made Me Do It! Here’s an excerpt:

Right. Every guy I know, when he’s in a public place in a situation where he feels threatened, tries to get out of it by offering the purported threatener $20 to suck his cock. I mean, that’s just self-preservation. It’s not like he actually wanted to suck the guy’s cock. He was simply trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

Really. You’ve done that, guys… right? You’re in an alley or a deserted park at night, you see a guy you think might be a mugger… you offer him $20 to give him a blowjob. It’s in all the police brochures on urban safety. It’s just plain common sense.

I said it about Ted Haggard, and I’ll say it again now:

Just how stupid does he think we are?

So here’s what I think is really going on.

To find out what I think is really going on, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

Right Wing Hypocrisy Part Two: The Scary Black Men Made Me Do It! The Blowfish Blog