Want a more thoughtful, smarter approach to sexuality and culture? Tune in on some Sundays at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

SaferProducts.gov U.S. Consumer Web Site Aims to Enhance Sex Toy Safety: Scientific American

Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sex toy safety is finally being taken seriously by the US government. Long have these "novelty" products been relegated, rather than regulated, using "buyer beware." However, from "March 11, disgruntled sex toy users at least gained access to an empowering new outlet: a searchable public database for all kinds of products at SaferProducts.gov," Regina Nuzzo wrote.

Due to stigma, products like vibrators have been treated differently than, say, blow dryers. In some states, sex toys are considered "obscene"; their sale illegal. But with manufacturers coming under pressure from safety advocates for the dangers of ingredients like phthalates, and with their increasing ubiquity, why shouldn't toys be just as safe? "We take it for granted that our hair dryers won't send us to the emergency room and our toothbrushes won't make us go numb," Nuzzo writes.

We just hope reviews of all toy sorts will be there. Remember, leather floggers are porous, too.

Read brief source…


Abortion Rate Increasing Among Poor Women, Even As It Decreases Among Most Other Groups

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As if we need more evidence of class warfare, a new study by the Guttmacher Institute found that despite a decrease in abortion rates from 2000 to 2008, abortion rates among poor women actually increased. Study author Rachel K. Jones notes reasons including contraception restrictions, which then result in unintended pregnancy, and the economic downturn as potential contributing factors. "Antiabortion restrictions and cuts to publicly funded family planning services disproportionately affect poor women, making it even more difficult for them to gain access to the contraceptive and abortion services they need," she said.

From the Guttmacher press release:

In addition, when confronted with an unintended pregnancy, women who might have felt equipped to support a child or another child in a more stable economic climate may have decided that they were unable to do so during a time of economic uncertainty.

Abortion: where class warfare and the culture war meet.

Read brief source…


D.C. Abortion Funding Ban Begins To Rear Its Ugly Head: DCist

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Since DC's ban on funding abortions was put into effect, 28 women were informed as of midnight their abortions would no longer be funded by Medicaid. The DC Abortion Fund is sending out the call to raise money for these women.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


On our difficult language, and the calling-out of same. « Two Whole Cakes

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Leslie Kinsel talks about the activist culture of Tumblr, the most productive ways to engage people that disagree with marginalized groups, and how not to fear the call-out.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


John Norman, the philosophy professor who created the barbaric world of Gor

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

io9's interview with the creator of the Gor series of pulp novels, John Norman. When not writing the novels, Norman teaches philosophy at Queen's College CUNY. In this wordy interview, he talks about what inspired the novels and whether the Gorian world is about BDSM.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


Landmark Study Finds Bisexual Population Underserved

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A study by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission claims that bisexuals "make up the largest population within the LGBT acronym, but are also the most underrepresented".

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


Etsy’s privacy Valdez: opt-out policy exposes users’ real names and purchase histories – UPDATED – Boing Boing

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Etsy, in a move to make their site more Facebook-like, revealed their buyers' real names and shopping histories. People who had shopped for handmade sex toys under fake names now had their shopping history show up on Google searches.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


The unsexy world of porn wrestling – Pornography – Salon.com

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Tracy Clark-Flory attends a live taping of Ultimate Surrender at the Armory. The kind of bodies she saw competing, and the types of people she saw watching, were not what she expected.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, molly.ren!)


Constitutional Law Prof Blog: Banning (Male) Circumcision: San Francisco Ballot Measure

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Banning male circumcision is the goal of a group of San Francisco “intactivists,” lead by Lloyd Schofield, who have successfully placed a measure on the local ballot for November that would make it “unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years.” The ordinance contains an exception for religious ceremonies, which is interesting as it pits two frameworks of “rights” against one another. On the one hand, religious freedom, and on the other, basic human and youth rights.

The key, as noted by the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, is how one conceptualizes the argument: “Conceptualized as the child’s right to be free from harm, the First Amendment religious freedom arguments become less persuasive.” As they show, legal precedent is mirky, and some debate over whether the group’s motivations are a “hostility to religion” or a resentment that they were circumcised have arisen.

Read brief source…


Storied career takes transgender attorney to judgeship | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Posted: November 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"[Phyllis] Frye, a transgender Houston attorney born as Phillip Frye, fought back tears earlier this week as the mayor appointed her to a municipal bench in the same room where she helped repeal Houston's 'cross-dressing ordinance' in 1980," Brian Rogers reports. It was the very same chamber where she was subject to arrest.

She was a graduate of A&M, an Eagle Scout, a husband, and a father. Now, she's one of only a handful of transgender judges in the country. "I understand it is very significant," Frye said. "But I don't want to overplay it either. I don't want people to think I am anything other than an associate municipal court judge." Frye will oversee "traffic ticket cases and other low-level misdemeanor trials." Naturally, her appointment received harsh criticism from opponents who said the mayor, an out lesbian, is "promoting a [GLBT] agenda" that's "anti-family." Apparently it's just all too easy to corrupt the youth before they get traffic tickets, don't'cha know?

Read brief source…