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Special Report: The problem with phthalates | Reuters

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

What's the problem with plastics? Many products, from sex toys to tooth brushes to pencil erasers to shoes, contain chemicals called phthalates, which can easily find their way into the body, where they can impact many aspects of health including sexual development and fertility. This isn't a new problem, either – phthalates have had known risks associated with them since the 90s, and they are already regulated in some industries, such as toy manufacture. But not in sex toys – classed as novelty items, or pencil erasers, although a single eraser can contain nearly the level of phthalates that would cause a toy to be banned. Regulation of products is a slow process, but at least more light is beginning to be shed on the dangers of things that we put near, and in, our bodies.

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Spanish prostitutes ordered to wear reflective vests for their own safety – Telegraph

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

In a move that is certain to produce some stunning and visually striking outfits, the Spanish town of Els Alamus has ordered that prostitutes working along the highway must wear bright yellow reflective vests. Mayor Josep Maria Bea has been accused of mounting a campaign to drive prostitutes out of the area, but claims that the ordinance is not targeting prostitutes because of their choice of occupation, but because their roadside presences poses a danger to drivers. Was the issue that the drivers were getting distracted by the women's outfits? Or that they were failing to notice them at all? It's a little unclear just how these vests will help, except to create an easily identifiable road-side sex-worker uniform.

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Do You Have Anything to Declare? Yes. My Breasts. | The Stir

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Remember the ill-fated Australian law demanding travelers Down Under declare "pornography"? Its enforcement proved so confusing that not only has the customs card been rephrased to read "illegal pornography," officials have been telling travelers who ask for clarification to declare: "anything explicit."

So, fearing they'd break the law otherwise, that's exactly what one newlywed couple did, showing their nude beach honeymoon pics in front of everyone in the customs line. Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said that the law encourages "an incredible breach of people's privacy. […] If the objective is to stop child pornography then this is not going to achieve this." Like DRM, this law only punishes the law-abiding.

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LGBT Gamers Can Find Their Fairy Tale Ending in Fable 3 | GLAADBlog.org

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Fable 3, the third in a game series exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox and selling 6.4 million copies worldwide, now features an in-game adoption agency that offers same-sex couples a chance to have an in-game family. Online gaming communities are notorious for widespread anti-GLBT bullying, stereotyped as populated with homophobic frat boys, and their managers and distributors decidedly skittish when it comes to anything that could be deemed politically sensitive. But a handful of features in games in the sci-fi and fantasy genre, like Fable 3, are beginning to buck the trend.

"[T]he Fable series also has the distinction of a progressive and outspoken creative team," Matt Kane writes, a team who wanted to represent gay people in their world. Studio head Peter Molyneux said, "It’s a charming thing, having a baby, and we didn’t want to exclude gay people from that."

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Apple Originally Thought ‘PeekaBoo Tranny’ Would Be a Great App Store Addition / Queerty

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"For all the difficulty developers of gay-related iPhone apps face just trying to get their product in the Apple store, one app that bashed transgender people had no problem getting through," writes Max Simon. Consumers first spotted the trans-bashing app, PeekaBoo Tranny, earlier this week, and asked Apple to pull the app. GLAAD took up the call the next day and it seems Apple has since pulled the app from their store.

The 99¢ app photobombed photos on your iOS device with a person described by some as a drag queen. The developers' "fave review" referred to the digital dopplegangers as "tranny skanks." After their app was pulled, the developers said they wished no offense.

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The Downfall of Alexa Di Carlo | Charlie Glickman

Posted: October 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A man by the name of Thomas "Pat" Bohannan who worked a government job seems to have been orchestrating several elaborate online personas, first as the founder of an invite-only sex advice site for young people named "Caitlin," then as a sex worker named "Alexa Di Carlo," among others, since 2004. After being given the top spot on sex blogger Rori's "Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2010" list enough evidence of Bohannan's rouse was pieced together.

"I’m not surprised that things finally came tumbling down for Alexa. That level of notoriety often leads to the sort of scrutiny that filters the truth from the lies," Charlie Glickman writes about all this. Nevertheless, "no matter what the evidence, some people will refuse to believe it," and sure enough some (anonymous) writers don't.

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What Happened When I Yelled Back at the “Christians” Calling My Wife a Murderer | Reproductive Justice | AlterNet

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

"Consider this my plea: stop terrorizing women. Stop adding trauma to their trauma," Aaron Gouveia, who, along with his wife, was devastated to learn their baby had Sirenomelia ("mermaid syndrome," where the legs are fused together), no bladder, no kidneys, and no chance for survival. But on the worst day of this couples' life—the day they decided to abort the pregnancy—so-called "Christians" professing "love" using "signs and pictures of torn-up fetuses" made their day worse. That's when Aaron decided to confront them:

Running on pure adrenaline, and without even a hint of a plan, I grabbed my cell phone and crossed the street. I didn’t know what to say or how to say it, I just knew I wanted to make public the cowardice of these protesters. The video's [here]—they didn’t disappoint.

"If you're able," Aaron says, "stand up to these bullies in nonviolent ways. Speak out. And if you have a camera, use it."

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Study: What the Risky Sex Lives of NYC Teens Reveal – TIME Healthland

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Data from New York City's health departments from 2005 to 2007 "suggests that the focus of public-health messages about sex may be outdated: it needs to shift from kids' self-identities ('I am homosexual,' e.g.) to their behavior ('I have homosexual sex')," Meredith Melnick reports. One strong reason for this is because, according to the data released as part of a study on Monday, 39% of teens who identified as heterosexual or straight had sex both male and female partners, yet very few sex-ed classes deal with bisexuality.

Additionally, "36% of girls with both male and female partners were assaulted by a date in the previous year and 35% of boys with partners of both sexes reported the same thing." Although this article's headline implies the problem is "risky sex," the real problem is intimate partner violence, exacerbated by a stigma of homosexual acts, especially for men.

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