Archive: Posts about Sex
March 30th, 2007, 7 Comments »
I recently got an invite to add one of my photos to this Flickr group:
Please join this group, and submit advertisements that have (1) blatant sexual imagery, or (2) use sexually suggestive techniques to sell a product or service. The ad must be for a non-sexual product and displayed in a mainstream location (e.g., billboard, bus stop, store display, mass mailing, mainstream magazine, etc.).
I’m not sure if Flickr has the storage capacity to handle all of the sexually suggestive images in our culture.
7 Comments »
March 12th, 2007, 5 Comments »
Jostiq (no, uh, pun intended) has an interesting column (again, sorry) about the technical problems involved in convincingly rendering in-game sex. It’s a problem the gaming industry refers to as ‘collision detection’:
Some of the designers in the room had worked on fighting games and explained grapples that you see in games are all canned. Simon Strange, a designer on Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters, said, “Single point of contact between two people in games is already difficult enough. If you’re going to have people having sex, there is ultimate contact. How do you support their weight? There are multiple points of contact. That is the difficulty.”
Any gamer knows what they’re talking about. I’ve yet to see a really convincing handshake in a game, let alone any full-on nookie.
The state of the art looks something like the “Hot Coffee” hack (that link goes to Wikipedia, and is safe for work. This link goes to YouTube, and is not) in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is no more titillating that the puppet sex in Team America: World Police.
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March 11th, 2007, 9 Comments »
I just finished an intriguing article in The New York Times (via Metafilter) about the changing face of the bedroom:
In a survey in February by the National Association of Home Builders, builders and architects predicted that more than 60 percent of custom houses would have dual master bedrooms by 2015, according to Gopal Ahluwalia, staff vice president of research at the builders association. Some builders say more than a quarter of their new projects already do.
As somebody who’s starting to think about building a house, it’s an interesting trend. We’ll want to sell the house we build–should it have two master bedrooms? We’re not going to sweat it, but that number of 60% does seem really high. I guess the National Association of Home Builders has some self-interest in inflating the number, as it implies larger houses and more money for them. On the other hand, if they built a bunch of houses that buyers didn’t want, that wouldn’t help them. So, I’m guessing there isn’t too much spin in that estimate.
This quote struck me as worrying:
Occasionally, the need to separate does have to do with sex. Professor Rosenblatt said one older woman he interviewed said she had her own bedroom because, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve paid my dues. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m old enough that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to have sex at 1 a.m.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ouch. “Paid my dues”. If that’s how you think about it, maybe you want to, I don’t know, go with separate lives instead of separate bedrooms.
9 Comments »
March 3rd, 2007, 12 Comments »
I just finished reading “Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica”, a long piece by Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic Monthly. It’s concerned with, as Oprah put it, ‘the oral sex epidemic’, and the apparent trend of young teenage girls offering casual, unreciprocated oral sex to boys.
There’s no analysis of how widespread the practice, and therefore how justified the parental hysteria is. Still, Flanagan delves expertly into that hysteria and the reality behind it, drawing some interesting connections to the books of Judy Blume and their contemporary equivalents. Flanagan’s a witty writer. Check out this passage:
Dr. Phil, who has the vast, impenetrable physique of a pachyderm and the calculated folksiness of a country-music promoter, employs a psychotherapeutic cloak of respectability to legitimize his many prurient obsessions.
Or this one:
Wherever there’s a girl gone wild, there’s a gender-studies professor not far behind, eager to blame her actions on the patriarchy…The problem with this idea is that surely the patriarchy was far stronger and more oppressive in the 1950s. But you don’t find BettyÃ¢â‚¬â€or even VeronicaÃ¢â‚¬â€cravenly servicing Archie and Jughead.
A young mother herself, Flanagan doesn’t arrive at a lot of conclusions, but does provide some thoughtful commentary. I was reminded of the other long, well-written magazine article I’d read recently about how different things were for kids these days.
I was also reminded of this blog post, about sex bracelets, which continues to attract inane and peculiar comments from the teen set.
12 Comments »
February 22nd, 2007, 13 Comments »
Yesterday I was in Shoppers Drug Mart, looking for a copy of Business Week or Wired. Although their magazine section is pretty massive–I’d guess thirty feet of four foot high racks in an L shape–they had neither magazine.
I stepped back, and observed an amusing effect in the way the magazines were organized. It’s clear that originally the store had intended one rack to be periodicals targeted at women (health, celebrity gossip, beauty, yoga, interior design and so forth) and the other at men (sports, cars, computers, financial news, etc).
However, the stereotypical women’s magazines had begun annexing the men’s. About 70% of the total seemed targeted at women. I expect it was, in part, the explosion of yoga magazines that drove the latest advancement.
This probably makes a lot of sense, because my anecdotal observations indicate that women buy a lot more magazines than men.
I got to wondering about the history of gender-specificity in magazines. Have women always bought more magazines than men? Surely not. If I looked at analogous racks in the fifties, would it be mostly Horse and Hound and, you know, Scientific American?
I’m too busy to ask the Internet today, but if you’ve got any thoeries, let’s hear ‘em.
In related news, one can’t write ‘men’s magazines’ without thinking of porn. Maxim and FHM, combined with the availability and, uh, ease of use of Internet pornography, seem to have eliminated pornographic magazines from all but the sleeziest of corner stores and bus stations. You sometimes see Playboy, but that’s about as raunchy as it gets.
13 Comments »
January 15th, 2007, 10 Comments »
As you may know, the DVD industry has been struggling with version 2.0 of Beta vs. VHS. This time around–having learned nothing, apparently, from the debacle of the eighties–they’re debating the merits of two high-definition DVD standards: HD DVD and Blu-ray.
As The Movie Blog and The Guardian report, a crucial blow has been struck against Blu-ray’s cause:
Someone from Tom’s Hardware went round the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas last week. He “did a quick straw poll on, the virtues of HD DVD versus Blu-ray, and the answer from a dozen companies, big and small, including Pink Visual and Bangbros editor-in-chief, is going into a single direction: HD DVD is the preferred format. Period.”
Whatever you think about the pornography industry, they’ve been on the bleeding edge of innovation since NicÃƒÂ©phore NiÃƒÂ©pce snapped (well, the exposure was somewhere between 8 and 20 hours) the first permanent photo back in 1827. As soon as they got that exposure time down to something manageable, I’m sure he was thinking “hang on, I could take photos of naked people and sell them”.
10 Comments »
December 1st, 2006, 3 Comments »
I forgot how I got there, but I recently discovered a pretty awesome new blog (that’s been around for a year and a half, I see): Strange New Products.
What are the three most recent posts about: buttplugs moulded in the likeness of famous people, beer and champagne in the same bottle and a diaper harness for your dog (dog diapers sold separately, I assume).
Then, of course, there’s the dye for your pubic hair.
Apparently many hair salons have made the practice of providing women with a brown bag of hair coloring to match the coloring they just got put on their heads. A woman named Nancy Jarecki decided why not sell a product like this over-the-counter.
Unlike the zillions of hair dyes in the average drugstore, Betty Beauty only makes five colours–brown, blonde, black, auburn and, uh, fun (that’s pink). I guess colour matching isn’t that critical, given that the hair down there is likelier to only be seen in low-light conditions?
3 Comments »
November 29th, 2006, 10 Comments »
Yesterday I wrote that Victoria’s Secret stores won’t be coming to Canada any time soon. Last night, somebody told me about a more nefarious angle about Victoria’s Secret–they produce 1 million catalogs per day from virgin fiber paper with little or no recycled content. That’s 395 million catalog a year, most of which don’t get read (though, you know, the photos may get looked at).
I learned this from victoriasdirtysecret.net, a site dedicated to getting the underwear giant (heh) to change their ways. ForestEthics wants Victoria’s Secret to:
- End purchases from any company that is not identifying and halting logging in Endangered Forests in the Canadian Boreal;
- Maximize post-consumer recycled content in catalogs (achieve 50% post-consumer recycled in five years);
- Ensure that all suppliers are shifting to Forest Stewardship Council certification;
- End the use of any forest products sourced from other Endangered Forests, such as key areas of the Southern U.S.
Here’s a Village Voice article discussing the campaign and Victoria Secret’s dubious response.
And yes, that title is a baldfaced land grab for attention.
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