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Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? |

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? |

Sounds like Bruce Sallan needs some sexual reassurance. The syndicated parenting columnist asked, "Have we sunk to androgynous roles as men and women? Are we (you?) having less sex? Are we men falling down on our jobs when it comes to making 'it' happen?" By "it," he means sex. He says, "my speculation is, there's much truth in the fact that our lives are so equal [as men and women], so focused on work and family, that sex often gets put on the back burner." Worried, he says, "my wife is often correctly critical of all the time I spend on the computer," presumably on social networking sites instead of setting the mood.

I'm not going to presume much about Sallan's situation, but to segregate one's sex life from one's online social networking activities seems, to me, like he's "doing it wrong." And by "it," I mean both sex and social networks. After all, some social networks are made for sex. Maybe he and his wife could both join FetLife. ;)

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Islamic Websites Offer Halal Adult Sex Aids | Green Prophet

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

It's not a sex shop, insists Abdelaziz Aouragh, the 29-year-old founder of El Asira, an Internet retailer "catering to the Islamic consumer whose passions can be enhanced without violating religious law." But it's still a "major success," Aouragh told the LA Times. Other religiously-themed sex retailers make similar assertions. "It’s not a sex shop in the Western sense but a place to help married couples, and only married couples, enjoy sex to the full," Khadija Ahmed, the 32-year-old businesswoman and founder of Dar Khadija in Bahrain says. Her shop "includes edible underwear and kinky lingerie," Tinamarie Bernard reports.

Over at, Tinamarie says, "Unfortunately, these attitudes are incompatible with sex-positivity." Really?

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Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

A new Massachusetts school policy "left intentionally open-ended, allows any student who is considering sexual activity to request condoms from the school nurse. That student would first get counseling—including abstinence education," Kate Dailey writes. Predictably, the policy faced "scorn and derision" after it hit mainstream news thanks to "moral hand-wringing of well-meaning but uninformed parents and pundits," like Kris Mineu, president of the Mass. Family Institute, who called it a "theater of the absurd."

"Theoretically," Kate writes, "yes, a 6-year-old could walk in and request condoms. The chances of that happening, of course, are slim—but if a 6-year-old were asking about sex, wouldn't a little counseling from a medical professional be in order? […C]ondoms don't make kids have sex. Hormones make kids have sex. Peer pressure makes kids have sex." Outright denial isn't going to change the fact that "kids develop on different timelines, and kids date outside their age range."

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STI Rates Among Swingers

Posted: June 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on STI Rates Among Swingers

New data from health clinics in The Netherlands shows 12% of people practice swinging, indicating far more couples swing (consensually engage in sex with different partners) than believed. In America, estimates put swingers at 2% of the population, but if the Dutch numbers are any indication, American swingers are way more prevalent. Also, Cory Silverberg writes, "swingers, particularly swingers over 45, had a higher prevalence of STIs when tested at the community clinics."

In fact, swingers "had the second highest rate of combined STIs" among the groups considered, which "included men who have sex with men, sex workers, [and] straight people who weren't swingers." Evidently, STIs don't only target sex workers, despite contrary claims from anti-porn activists. "The researchers rightly point out that swingers may be a population public health folks should start paying some attention to," Cory says, offering common-sense advice about STI risk.

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Update: Cory Silverberg wrote an interesting followup to his piece about this study, which includes more figures and notes that “sex workers as a group are no more homogeneous than any other group, and no more broken than actors in LA or psychiatrists in ERs.”

‘.xxx’ Ruling Has Far-Reaching Implications for the Internet | TechNewsDaily

Posted: June 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘.xxx’ Ruling Has Far-Reaching Implications for the Internet | TechNewsDaily

On Friday, "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international corporation that regulates domain names like .com and .net, said…it will reverse a previous decision and allow .xxx addresses for adult entertainment web sites," Stuart Fox reports. Interestingly, the decision troubled both pornographers and political conservatives, and could have "implications beyond just the porn industry…that are sure to change the nature of the Internet in the coming years."

Domain registrar company ICM Registry has lobbied for creation of .xxx for over 10 years. Stuart Lawley, president of ICM Registry "thinks a .xxx TLD will help consumers find safe adult entertainment and make it easier for parents to shield children from the same content." But adult entertainment industry spokespeople fear it's a "prelude to legislative action" that will "ghettoize" them and enforce Internet blue-law style censorship. Conservatives fear it will give children easier access to porn.

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Update: Citing Mr. Lawley as their source, The New York Times reports that, “Each domain registration will cost $60 a year, with $10 going to a nonprofit organization promoting ‘responsible business practices’ for the industry.” While ICM Registry has already seen over 100,000 pre-registrations for .xxx domains and expects at least 500,000 by the time they officially open for business, Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, “said many of those were likely to be ‘defensive’ registrations, from businesses that wanted to prevent their names from being hijacked.”

Vibrator Use Among Gay and Bi Identified Men

Posted: June 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vibrator Use Among Gay and Bi Identified Men Guide to Sexuality Cory Silverberg highlights findings by scientist Michael Reece, who recently published data about vibrating sex toy use among gay and bisexual men. "Along with Debby Herbenick and colleagues at Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Reece has managed to find the funding and time to conduct basic research on sex toy use that has long been needed," Cory writes.

Although the study leaves many questions unanswered, it provides interesting data, like "while 49.8% of men said they have used a vibrator, only 27% said they had purchased one." Most respondents use vibrators for anal pleasure. 59 percent said they hold or rub a vibrator against their penis. "The majority of people agreed that vibrators increased arousal, pleasure, and orgasm," but none said this emphatically. "I note this because, particularly online…you often read stories of blissful satisfaction, where the toy seems to be satisfying every need, solving big problems," Cory says.

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FDA Committee hearing on Flibanserin tomorrow (18 June) – how you can keep up with the meeting

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on FDA Committee hearing on Flibanserin tomorrow (18 June) – how you can keep up with the meeting

Medical professionals have been warning against Flibanserin, a new drug created by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) to address "hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women," or low sex drive. As Dr. Petra Boynton writes, "concerns have included the measures used to assess sexual satisfaction, the trials undertaken to assess the product, safety/efficacy questions, marketing strategies aimed at practitioners and the public, and the fact the research has not been made available within a peer reviewed journal. […] These issues are part of a wider anxiety over the increasing medicalisation of reduced female sexual desire."

Dr. Boynton and other practitioners have been critical of the blasé attitude with which mainstream media have treated their concerns, calling it "a pity that journalists covering this story could not have perhaps applied a more critical lens," and touting the use of Internet activism on blogs and Twitter for ensuring the FDA asks BI the tough questions.

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Update: Dr. Boynton has published a followup article that informs us of Flibanserin’s rejection by the FDA. She says, the FDA was “concerned about the materials used in trials to measure sexual response, the trial outcomes (which suggested Flibanserin did not perform much better than placebo) analysis of the data, and overall management of the trial. The FDA did not, however, dismiss HSDD generally and indicated it was a problematic condition they recognised.” Boynton details some lessons to be learned from the media coverage and reminds us that “we need to be aware that while there is now some critical coverage about the medicalisation of sexuality there is also a long way to go to get journalists to ask basic questions about drug company funded research in this area.”

Boulder condom company Sir Richard’s looks to help other countries – Boulder Daily Camera

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Boulder condom company Sir Richard’s looks to help other countries – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder-based vegan condom company Sir Richard's plans to donate 1 condom to help prevent STIs in developing nations for every condom they sell in the US. Local reporter Brittany Sovine says, "Their new condoms will be marketed toward women, college students and the gay community by using a 'very disruptive' product design, according to co-founder Mathew Gerson. […] Made in Malaysia, they will be produced without casein, a dairy byproduct that is conventionally used in the manufacturing process."

Sir Richard's says they're aiming for 2% of the condom market share, currently dominated by Trojan with over 70%, and "plans to sell the condoms nationwide at eco-friendly grocery stores and retail locations that target a socially progressive customer" come this October. Moreover, a Student Ambassador program partnering with university health departments has been launched by the company at Stanford, with the University of Colorado joining this fall, to raise awareness of safer sex on campuses.

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Studied – Why Don’t Teenagers Talk to Parents About Sex –

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Studied – Why Don’t Teenagers Talk to Parents About Sex –

Friend of the show Dr. Karen Rayne brought this article to us. She says:

A recent study has come out … chronicling how much teenagers talk to their parents and what information they are most prone to share. … The coverage of this research is interesting in itself. It takes a straightforward study and twists it and applies in ways that the study was never meant to be used. The Times article begins: "Few things are more alarming to the modern hyperparent than a silent teenager. And for good reason: The quiet ones usually have something to hide." This kind of rampant assumption and generalization is common in conversations about sex and teenagers. But there is plenty of interesting tidbits to talk about in the actual study, including this: "Yet oddly, at least to those of us over 18, teenagers are more likely to hide the content of their romantic instant messages than their sexual activity."

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Fewer than one in 10 women say sex before marriage is a bad idea |

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fewer than one in 10 women say sex before marriage is a bad idea |

A recent survey by Weddingbells, a Canadian bridal magazine, of over a thousand brides-to-be, showed that only 8 percent of women stated that they felt sex before marriage was a bad idea – and only 4 percent said they felt strongly about those opinions. This despite a recent strong swell in the cultural ethos of saving-oneself, currently being promulgated by everything from school sex education to popular books and TV shows like Twilight and Glee. In truth, this seems to indicate not a change in behavior, but a change in reporting, as the American reproductive health think-tank found that in women under 44, 9 in 10 had had sex before marriage – even those born in the 1940s. This is certainly a positive change, as increasingly, young people are choosing not to marry at all, and it would certainly be sad if the 50 percent of young people projected to opt out of wedlock had to opt in to celibacy with it!

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