‘sexual culture’

Women Who Diss Women Who Wax

Some women get tattoos or nipple rings, or bleach their anuses or shave their pubic hair, for the wrong reasons—say, pressure from a boyfriend, or a belief that their bodies are ugly or non-feminine. Some reasons aren’t wrong, just inane—“I dunno, we were all drunk and Mary did it, so I figured what the hell.” But plenty of women do this stuff because they want to—it feels good, or they think it looks good, it makes them feel sexy, it’s a form of rebellion, their sex partner likes it, it makes wearing a thong easier, whatever. Unfortunately, a rising chorus…

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Supreme Court Sez: Alabama Can Silence The Buzz of Vibrators

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the Alabama law criminalizing the sale of sex toys. For nine years, the law has been in and out of District, Appeals, and Federal courts. The ACLU had asked the Supreme Court to review Alabama’s right to control products perceived to threaten the moral health of their users and the public. Six states currently have various restrictions on sex toys. Alabama controls the sale of sex toys because the legislature believes they promote a “prurient interest in autonomous sex” through “the pursuit of orgasms by artificial means.” Actually, I totally agree…

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Growing Beyond Being Sexually “Normal”

Last week I gave a workshop to 120 psychologists in Portland, entitled “When Sex Gets Complicated: Porn, Affairs, Kink, & Other Clinical Challenges.” I talked about the kinds of activities patients—people—do, such as S/M, going to strip clubs, and role-playing in private or public. Yes, and porn, always gotta talk about porn. One of the changes in American sexuality since I started teaching 20 years ago is that today, everybody asks about porn. The attendees listened intently, laughed at my jokes, bought my books, and took away plenty of ideas to use at work on Monday. Despite discussing various offbeat…

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“Garden-Variety Porn?”

I testified as an expert witness last week in San Diego. Mr. N. was on trial for allegedly molesting his three nephews and raping his niece. The police found 5,000 porn images on his computer, which was being pushed as a key piece of evidence. The defense attorney requested my testimony about the typical relationship between collecting porn and violating people. The American trial system is frankly adversarial. That means the government’s lawyer tried to make me look like an unqualified, prejudiced, drooling idiot. Of course, people do that in other parts of one’s life, but they usually don’t admit…

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