This Week in Kink, April 14, 2018

We all know that the world is moving forward at an increasingly rapid pace and we, the “sexual explorers”, have always been at the forefront of advances in technology. As soon as there were cameras we made porn, and when we got moving images we made dirty movies. And so it has continued. We were at the forefront of pagers and answering machines (for sex work), PayPal (to pay for porn), webcams, and now of course robotics, teledildonics and apps that do everything from hooking you up to buzzing your privates. As Metro says to the world at large in their article How BDSM is Moving with the Digital Times, “Basically, you’re welcome”.

Unbound Babes offers up the Sprinkle Theory of Sex Toys, which posits that we (and women in particular) have an attitude towards treating ourself to the pleasures of toys left over from our childhood. It could be a throwback attitude, linked to requiring permission and patriarchy:

They’re a subtle middle finger to up to discourses that sideline women’s needs in bed.That isn’t to say that sex toys are essential to a healthy, fulfilling and hot as hell sex life, but they are a worthwhile and valuable addition to sex because their only function is to multiply pleasure and enhance experiences. Sex toys are the sprinkles of sex!

BaadMaster over at Kink Weekly has some good and practical advice to offer on BDSM Boredom. Yes, the world seems like a fun fair when you first discover BDSM. How could you possibly ever get bored? But all relationships go stale if you put them on autopilot, so just like any healthy relationship you have to work at it. Yes, you’re going to have to get off the couch and make an effort, but that’s the price you pay for a thriving, happy relationship (which will reflect in a thriving, happy you). His four suggestions are easy to follow and one (or all) of them should work for you.

Radiator 2

Extreme violence often gets the nod from game producers, but Robert Yang is frequently at the centre of the video game industry’s confused and tortured relationship with sex. His work is complex and artistic, and he has the distinction of having not one but three games banned by Twitch.

The first, Cobra Club, is an interrogation of surveillance culture framed as a game about taking dick pics. The second, Rinse and Repeat, is about showering with hunks. And the third, Radiator 2, features a man languidly sucking a popsicle—hardly up there with other banned fare like Battle Rape and Suck My Dick Or Die!

Yang not only designs games, but is a writer, speaker, designer and assistant arts professor at NYU’s Game Centre, and he has lots of interesting things to say about contemporary video games and modern masculinity, consent, intimacy and sexual cultures in Mel Magazine’s The Renegade Game Designer Who Aims to Challenge the Industry’s Attitudes Towards Sex.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the FOSTA-SESTA debarkle and the implications for safe sex work and your own right to choose what you see. Maybe you thought it was all just an over-reaction and you wouldn’t really see the effects. Well, this week Backpage.Com was shutdown, and author Matt Baume in Them magazine gives a personal side to the story by interviewing some sex workers.

“Who is hurt the most are sex workers of color and transgender sex workers,” writes Magalie Lerman, a harm reduction expert with the nonprofit Reframe Health and Justice. “Once pushed to the streets, [they] are the most likely to experience police interaction and harsh penalties.”

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of online advertising for adult service providers.

…For many providers, access to clients is a lifeline out of dire circumstances. “Prior to Backpage, I was living in poverty,” writes combat veteran and sex worker River Stark in an email interview. “It gave me the ability to claw my way out of that. I was able to get my mortgage caught up, student loans paid, a reliable car bought, made sure my kids didn’t go hungry, and made sure we had a roof over our heads.”

Rape of Persephone by Bernini

You can’t turn a corner in a museum or art gallery without coming across sexually-charged images of women (and sometimes men) being seized, abducted and ravished. It’s a theme that runs strong in art history and yes, often it’s allegorical. But what are we supposed to make of it all in light of the #MeToo conversations and our new-found paranoias about consent? WorldCrunch’s Art History Gets Complicated for the #MeToo Era is a fairly light read, and although it doesn’t have the answers it does have some good questions.

Feature image: Peter Paul Rubens’ The Rape of Orithyia by Boreas

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