There was a time, back in the early 90s, when being a porn star was glamorous. Porn stars were real stars and they gave the parties they were invited to a sparkle. In an interview in GQ, Jesse Jane, star of 2005’s Pirates says those days are long gone:
They do stuff like triple anal or gang bangs or shove baseballs in their asses. It’s totally different now. We never did that before. It’s become more about the shock value, instead of something sexy. The internet killed the business, and now the only people that get noticed are the people who go for shock value. So, three dicks in your ass or a baseball bat.
The future of the wholesome nuclear family seems safe, but it might surprise you to find its strongest advocate is millennial gay couples. A recent study asked 832 gay males aged 18-39 about their dating habits and the relationships they were seeking. It found that 632 identified as monogamous, 152 identified as “monogamish” and only 48 identified as non-monogamous.
Hot out of the lab, some other new research on polyamory measured sexual satisfaction among individuals in monogamous and consensually non-monogamous relationships. It found that people in open (poly) relationships are as satisfied as those in monogamous ones. But swingers are the most sexually satisfied of any group. For some people, perhaps variety really is the spice of life.
Let’s talk about sext, baby. In particular, who sexts more… those who are anxiously getting to know a partner and still in the wooing stage, or those who are in committed realationships?
Rob Weisskirch, professor of human development at California State University, studies how technology influences relationships. Based on John Bowlby’s theory of relationships called attachment theory, he and his colleagues started with the basis that because of our childhood experiences, some of us are secure and comfortable with close relationships, and others are anxious or insecure in our attachment styles. If someone was anxious and insecure in their attachment style AND afraid of being single or had dating anxiety, they hypothesised that these people would be more likely to sext their romantic partners.
What they found, in a study of 459 unmarried students, was that actually people who are comfortable with the intimacy in their relationships sext more. Find out more about the study here.
I’m not a viewer of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but drag queen BenDeLaCreme, who eliminated himself from All Stars Season 3 despite being a forerunner, took to Facebook last week with a rant that has wise words for everyone, whether you’re a fan of the show or not:
Stop accepting what “authority figures” have told you you have to do. You do not have to consent to compromising your values or personal boundaries, whatever they may be. You do not have to push people down to lift yourself up. This society has indoctrinated us with certain beliefs at a great cost to our own humanity. Some of you are angry I questioned those beliefs. If those beliefs can’t withstand questioning, then they are not structurally sound.
… No one is born kind. It takes work. That work requires thought, intention, and sometimes it means not indulging in everything you feel. Anyone who does that work will sometimes fail because failure always goes hand in hand with trying. My anger stems from the throngs of people unwilling to do the work.
Being kind when you feel inclined to be kind is not a measure of your kindness. Being kind when you are actually sad or angry or frustrated or resentful — or just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO — that is being kind. Some of you embrace your id as if spouting every thought that goes through your mind is equivalent to being genuine. It is not dishonest to strive to be better than you are.
Congratulations America on the FOSTA-SESTA bill sailing through being passed by the senate this week. And yes, I do mean that sarcastically. If you were asleep while your rights were eroded, you now have two new bills “protecting you”: the States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and its sister, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).
Sex workers pretty much universally condemn the way it is going to force them off the internet, and have been very vocal about it. But they’re not the only ones. Many free-speech and technology companies, including the Electronic Freedom Foundation, say it is win for censorship but not for the people.
And if you don’t believe that, you might not have noticed the immediate effect. Craiglist dropped its entire personals section, Reddit dropped 4 sex-related forums, and CityVibe and many other sex worker advertising forums have gone offline.
The notice where Craigslist’s personals used to be says:
US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully. Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline.
You might be thinking to yourself that it’s all OK, because you don’t use these services, and perhaps it will save some poor person from being trafficked. But follow it to its logical conclusion (because sooner or later, probably sooner, it is going to happen). As Paltego puts it over at Femdom Resource:
My prediction is that in the near future a grandstanding prosecutor is going to pick on some sex workers and claim (incorrectly) that they’ve been trafficked. Then he’ll use this law to go after whatever social media or online sites these workers have used or posted on. The facts won’t matter – just some juicy headlines about his crackdown on online filth and human misery. At which point all sorts of online platforms – twitter, tumblr, instagram, reddit, Google, etc. – will start to aggressively purge anything vaguely related to sex and kink. Or I guess I should say, ramp up their already aggressive efforts in that area. The effect on sex related speech will be chilling and widespread.
It’s not uncommon to come across people who ask “But, isn’t BDSM dangerous?” not because of the emotional or physical risks that might be inherent in the ways we express our kinks, but because the media leads them to believe that its a world inhabited by shadowy rapists and serial killers.
Dr Gloria Brame takes a look at that in Kink-Blaming, BDSM Shaming: How Religious Propaganda Corrupts Public Perception of BDSM…
IDTV has never run a series about BDSM killers. Maybe it’s because it is, in fact, so rare an occurrence among the millions of BDSMers out there that when one does occur, it makes international headlines. And they usually carry the subtext “they asked for it by being kinky.” There is only one reason for that: to re-enforce the narrative that BDSM is dangerous and sleazy, to instill a fear about unconventional sex, and to discourage people from trying it because “you never know who you’ll meet.”
Considering how many risks we take and how hard some of us play, maybe you too think of BDSM as unusually dangerous. Tell that to the tens of thousands of known victims of people parading as religious and moral authorities who abused them, misled them, and occasionally murdered them. Ask them whether they have more to fear from a guy who humbly wants to lick their feet or get tied up than from the priest, pastor or rabbi who believes God wants them to commit murder, statutory rape, and other loathsome sex crimes.
… arguably the single biggest danger in the BDSM Community are non-BDSMers who prey on us. They don’t share our values, they don’t believe in consent, they exploit us because they think submissive people are easy marks. They are not us. They never will be. The minute you violate the concept of mutual consent and safety, you are not a BDSMer, just a morally bankrupt predator or a straight-up violent sadist. BDSMers don’t make up ridiculous apologies for them either, like “but he attended play parties every weekend, must be a good person” or “oops, a BDSMer strayed from SSC/RACK, poor soul.” We ostracize them. We don’t excuse them. And we report them to the cops too. We may be a minority but, for the most part, we are a moral minority that takes consent issues and safety seriously.
Two recent articles present two very different views on the sugar daddy / sugar baby relationship. Is it sexual liberation or prostitution? Is it taking advantage of young women, or taking advantage of older men?
In Archer, Momoko Metham’s piece Sugar Babies: The Delicate Power Balance interviews Chloe, an 18 year old Arts student who quit sugaring:
Chloe believes the relationship between sugar babies and sugar daddies is “an equal transaction” as, “you’re giving in return for taking,” though she recognised that the power balance could be abused. “There is that underlying tension of, ‘am I just being used?’. It’s honestly just a strange power balance that if you want the money and you’re willing to be degraded to some extent, you go into it,” she says.
Chloe quit on her own terms, but she found it empowering while she was doing it:
Sugaring can be rewarding and empowering for those who work in a safe environment. Chloe felt particularly supported by her community of ‘sugar sisters’, who she describes as other sugar babies across social media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr who she could reach out to and share experiences with. “There’s a whole community because you need each other”, she says, “sugar babies are really sweet wonderful people who want to help you out”.
Chloe enjoyed sugar relationships as she compared regular relationships to be, “incredibly emotionally exhausting” as they have a greater focus on the “us concept”. She recognises that sugar relationships could also be emotionally exhausting, but were only so in, “small doses” during dates. “I’d rather have a relationship built on financial perks…when you value money so much and they hand you money for all this effort you put in, it makes you want to keep going”.
Over at Sexpert.com, A Former Sugar Baby Calls “Sugar Dating” Prostitution looks at Alex Page, who left her work at Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, to explore the sugar baby lifestyle, before going back to the brothel, and Lana West, a former sugar baby who transitioned to prostitution.
Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof says:
Sugar dating websites like Seeking Arrangements are online pimps slyly teaching young women about the moneymaking benefits of prostitution. These sites are grooming girls for me, and a couple of my best are former sugar babies.
Although the later (1970s+) entries lean slightly towards leather history, it is really a fascinating look at the evolution of kink in all its forms, the GLBTQ+ movement, and the publications, events and politics that have shaped our history. How comprehensive is it? It stretches all the way back to 5000 BCE, with the creation of rock drawings at Ti-n-Lalan, near Fezzan in Libya, showing an animal headed creature with a gigantic penis, and an animal/man hybrid, having sex. Year-by-year it goes through a timeline that includes the time of Christ, the Spanish Inquisition, the events surrounding the Marquis de Sade, the psycho-analytical and literature movements of the 1800s and two World Wars, before covering all the events post-WWII which we think of now as being the development of the modern kink community. A fantastic resource for anyone interested in our history.
Feature image: BenDeLaCreme