Researcher Finds Bad Sex Information Online



There's a problem with sexual information from the top medical web sites.

It's wrong.

"Even widely trusted sites like WebMD are not that accurate when it comes to adolescent reproductive health," says Dr. Sophia Yen, a Stanford University Med School instructor in Adolescent Medicine. She conducted an online review last summer and concluded many of the web sites weren't just incomplete — they were often wrong, wrong, wrong.

For example, weight gain isn't a side effect of birth control pills — but 60% of the reviewed sites claimed that it was. (And three sites even claimed, incorrectly, that IUDs should only be used by women who had already had children.) In fact, 40% of the web sites actually contradicted the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on PAP exams, mistakenly recommending the tests every time women change sexual partners or as soon as they turn 18. "Extra Pap exams are an unnecessary stress and expense, and a barrier to getting birth control," Yen says — since some teenagers may postpone birth control if they mistakenly believe it will first require a Pap exam.

With undergraduate researcher Alisha Tolani, Yen reported her results in March to the annual meeting of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, concluding that web sites "don't always incorporate changes to policy or to clinical recommendations that have occurred within the past five years." Between July and August, Yen's team performed a detailed assessment of the sexual health information online, a process she describes in an online video. "We did a Google search for phrases such as birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, emergency contraception, and IUDs, and looked at which web sites were the top 10 to 15 that came up on each of these topics." They cross-checked their list against Alexa's reports of U.S.-based traffic — but were still disappointed by the information they discovered. For example, "about half of the Web sites, including such highly trafficked destinations as Wikipedia and Mayoclinic.com, failed to provide accurate, complete information about emergency contraception," according to the study announcement by Stanford's School of Medicine.



Emergency contraception has been available over-the-counter since 2006 for people over 18, but 29% of the web sites Yen checked failed to mention this fact. She discovered 16 of the 34 sites correctly stated this information, but then failed to mention that in nine states it's also available over-the-counter without any age restrictions. And Yen also faults 10 of the 34 sites for failing to correct a common misconception — that emergency contraception is identical to the RU-486 abortion pill.

Stanford Researcher Sophia Yen
And it's not just teenagers that misunderstand the information. Yen cites one study which determined that 45% of newspapers confused emergency contraception (which prevents pregnancy from occurring) with RU-486, a pill which triggers an abortion after pregnancy occurs. Possibly because of this, 31% of teenagers now wrongly believe that emergency contraception induces an abortion, according to studies cited by Yen — while another 35% of adolescents have never even heard of emergency contraception.

And Yen found that many web sites also failed to include the latest guidelines from the World Health Organization about Plan B emergency contraception. (The group recommends that the pills be taken as soon as possible after sex, adding that the latest they can be effective is five days after intercourse.)

Yen's interest stems from her work as a pediatrics instructor at Stanford's medical school, and as a specialist in adolescent medicine at the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital. In fact, the hospital's chief of adolescent medicine added a statement to the announcement. "Making the transition between childhood and adulthood can be tough on teenagers," said Neville Golden, MD, noting that teenagers have many questions about sexual health. "That's why Dr. Yen's research is so important.

"She has demonstrated that there is a tremendous amount of misinformation on the Web."

But do adolescents get their sex information the web? Yes. Yen cites two studies by the PEW research center plus a 2003 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which determined that approximately 25% of teens acquire "some or a lot" of their sexual health information from the internet.

And though more than half of teenagers mistakenly thought they were immune to herpes if they were only kissing, this wasn't addressed by 69% of the web sites studied. (Only nine of 29 pages about STDs explained that herpes could be transmitted through kissing.) It's just one more example of ways health sites are failing their teenaged readers. "No studies have investigated the extent to which these myths exist and are perpetuated on the internet," Yen argues in her findings, adding that in the last five years, "several notable changes to policy and clinical recommendations have occurred."

Yen recommends that teenagers see a physician who specializes in adolescent medicine, and seek web sites reviewed by similar specialists (like the web sites associated with academic medical centers). She recommends Go Ask Alice, a question-and-answer service from Columbia University, the Center for Young Women's Health by the Children's Hospital Boston, TeensHealth by KidsHealth.org, and Planned Parenthood's Teen Wire. And she also recommends the book Our Bodies, Ourselves.



Ultimately, she suggests web sites "should consider more frequent reviews by health practitioners to contain accurate information consistent with such changes." She also has some advice for doctors — "be aware of myths on 'reputable health websites' and actively debunk them in clinical settings." And finally, she has some advice for teenagers.

"Be cautious about finding sexual health answers on the Web."


See Also:
Top Six Inaccurate Sex Facts on the Web
The D.C. Madam Speaks
Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out

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Top Six Inaccurate Sex Facts on the Web



Dr. Sophia Yen, a Stanford University Medical School instructor, believes the following six medical facts about sex are the ones most often overlooked or reported incorrectly by medical sites on the web.


1. Emergency Contraception is available over the counter.
In most states that's for women over the age of 18, but by early May of 2009, that age will drop to 17. And in nine states, it's already available without any age restrictions.

Alaska
California
Hawaii
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Mexico
Vermont
Washington

2. Emergency contraception doesn't cause an abortion.
It's not RU-486 — it's a way to prevent pregnancy from occurring.

3. IUDS are safe for adolescents

4. Birth control pills won't make you gain weight.
"You know, maybe one in a thousand may gain weight," says Dr. Yen, but in general the research shows people do not gain weight on birth control pills."

5. PAP smears aren't necessary until women turn 21.
Or until three years after women become sexually active. (Unless they're HIV-positive or have a suppressed immune system.)

6. Herpes can be transmitted by kissing.


Click here for our article about the study

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Why Sarah’s Sex Life Matters



A lot of people have said "I don't know if it's fair to look at Sarah Palin's sexuality the way people are — I just don't know if it's sexist or appropriate. Why can't we just treat her like a human being?" Okay, I'm going to tell you why it's appropriate for us to gloat and delve into every detail.
#1. Sexual politics is important. It matters.

#2. Palin has made priggery, prudery and sexual hypocrisy a centerpiece of her law enforcement and public policy directives, as both the mayor of the beautiful Wasilla, Alaska, and the governor of the state.

She ran on a sex-is-icky platform. People who lived in Wasilla remember when being mayor was almost considered a thankless job, like being the town plumber. ("Who wants to deal with all the bullshit down at the city dump and the electrical wiring?") And then Sarah came along, with her Pentecostal church program behind her, saying "I'm not going to talk about issues like whose dog is pooping on whose lawn. I'm going to talk about stopping abortion now." That's the kind of stuff she ran on, and she got a bunch of people who'd never voted before to march down from her little church and put her into office.

About the author: Susie Bright is the host of the weekly Audible.com podcast, "In Bed With Susie Bright." For a free month's subscription, click here. The longer, audio version of Susie's analysis can be found here.

And then Mayor Palin cut funding for rape test kits. It's like, "If you want to complain about being raped, sweetheart, well, you can just get out your checkbook." Because the city of Wasilla, no matter how much money they had in revenue from their oil, wasn't going to spend it on you. So Sarah has made sex a topic by her legislation and her lobbying and her speeches.

But here's the most controversial part, and it's just as rich as any other aspect of her candidacy: we finally have an image of a powerful, fertile, virile woman on the national stage. And it's a female image that's been almost entirely absent from America's pop culture. When you think of women who've been in the news, two kinds come to mind. One we'll call the Paris Hilton model — or Lindsay Lohan, or Britney Spears — this illiterate, anorexic, or drug-addicted pop tart. "She's so rich. Everybody wants to fuck her. She's so special." This, as many mothers wring their hands saying "This is the role model for our daughters? This is who they see as someone they should look up to?" It's been a travesty.



The other kind of strong woman on a national stage has been an older woman like Hillary Clinton. In some ways, you can say that's how sexism worked against her. Every time she got a little ballsy, a little rip-roaring — every time she showed her fierceness and her strength — she was bound to be called a Wellesley lesbian, that somehow she wasn't enough for Bill Clinton, that all those girls she went to college with she was secretly fucking. Now all of this has just been a big pile of right-wing baloney, but it's what happened to Hillary Clinton. She has never allowed herself, or been encouraged to show her sexual side, because it's been considered something that would get her in trouble — like there was no positive way to show it. She had to refrain from being a ball-buster for fear of being dyke-baited.

So here comes Sarah Palin, who apparently is not in menopause at all. She just had a baby a few months ago, so her heterosexuality is just bleeding out all over the place. She's just rolled out of bed! That's the impression we get from this woman. They can't get her on the dyke thing. She's up in Alaska, shooting guns and taking names! So she's gotten a pass on this. And she is irresistible!

We simply haven't had an overtly fecund, butch, straight-woman sex symbol in so long. She's like Annie Oakley with her six-shooters and her polar bears, her caribou dressing and her moose stew. She's got five kids hanging off of her, and you're like "Hells bells, that woman can fuck in the morning, go out for a long hike on the Arctic tundra, take down a polar bear or two, and be back in time to pass some new creationist legislation." She just kicks ass. I mean, she's just so — mmm. So like a powerful woman.

It's exciting, isn't it?

I think for every woman who's been appalled at her politics and the platform she's been running on — and this certainly includes me — well, there's this little part of me that's thinking "Oh, If only she was on my side. If only I could kidnap Sarah Palin and just lick her pussy for a few hours, I think we could just work this whole thing out." Do you know how many lesbians are discussing this? My friend Marga Gomez, who's a fantastic dyke comedian, has this line where she says "Sarah Palin? She's having my baby. And we've already named her Drill." If only we could move her political viewpoint around just a little.

I was talking to my good friend Christina the other night, and when I told her my kidnapping/cunnilingus fantasy about brainwashing Sarah Palin, she said "I don't think it'd really be that hard. I think she really does like us. I think she's ready for anything. She just wants to be a winner. That's all this girl cares about." When she was Sarah Barracuda on the high school basketball team, when she was in the beauty contest — you can just imagine how mad she was that she didn't win Miss Alaska and only won Miss Congeniality.

I don't think she's very congenial. She wants to win. And in Alaska, that meant siding with a certain kind of fundamentalist church. At first, it meant bucking the Republican establishment without leaving the Republican party entirely. It was the same thing with her church. If you go onto YouTube and look at that Wasilla Pentecostal church she belonged to — I mean, they make Ted Haggard look like a sober Lutheran Minister. And when she ran for governor, all of a sudden she stopped going there every Sunday, because it was just a little too wacky. You know, she had a private talk with them and said, "I really love you guys, but it's a little too theatrical for my political career."

What have we learned about Sarah Palin's sex life so far? The most important thing is that, like every other single person in Alaska, she seems to have had premarital sex. You can look at the elopement date, and then you look at when their first son, Track, was born less than 8 months later. All of her children seem to have had premarital sex — all the ones who've gone through puberty, at least. This is not unusual in America, and especially not in Alaska, where you have all these long, long months, a very narrow economy, and not the biggest educational system in the world. There's not a lot to do except fuck, drink, hunt, and fish. In fact, I don't really know how this Wasilla Pentecostal church really works with their abstinence program, because it goes against the Alaska way!

This kind of hurts me, because you know how I hate slut-baiting, but people at Bristol's high school say she got around, according to the National Enquirer. It's easy to imagine this, because when you see all the photos that are floating around MySpace, there's lots of supposed pictures of Bristol, her sister, and her cousins with gigantic tankards of Jack Daniels, tossing them back — jello shots, party, party, party. The kids have apparently been in a lot of hijinx.

I mean, on one level, I'm sympathetic to Sarah Palin having her life torn apart like this, because every other candidate has all kinds of skeletons in their closet, too. The kind of problems this family is dealing with aren't unusual for any American family. But we never found out what was going on with the Bushes, because they were from a ruling class elite that has a shroud of secrecy around their personal lives, and no one in those circles talks. You're never going to find out what they did at Walmart. You're never going to find out if they pulled their pants down and mooned somebody out a car window — because nobody talks among the crowd they've grown up with.

Sarah, on the other hand, in this working class/middle class community in Alaska? Everyone's got a story. There's no veneer of nobility or discretion. It's all up for grabs.



I know the GOP makes it their practice to select candidates — and this very much includes John McCain — not based on whether these people have intelligence or leadership qualities, or experience or character. They pick them the way a modeling agency picks a spokesmodel — they pick them like it's a casting call. Somebody like Richard Nixon would never be picked for a presidential nominee in a million years now, because he's not good television. Ronald Reagan changed everything. Now the GOP believes that government should be handled by professionals whose names you will never know. And they just want the little puppets on the outside to do the song and dance.

"Do you think she's pretty? Do you think she's cute? Great! Vote for her!" And they don't have any respect for her. When they start screaming about how she isn't shown enough deference by the media, I'm thinking "But you don't respect her. You think she's a useful idiot!" If she's really like Annie Oakley, she wouldn't put up with that. If she's really a tough woman who can stand up to a grizzly bear — can she stand up to the GOP?

That would impress me. If she's not going to do that, then she's totally under their thumb — under her husband's thumb, under the GOP's thumb. She's sold out for the money, like so many others, and she doesn't have the barracuda qualities of survival and dignity that we'd hope that she'd have.

We'll see.

I realize some other unbelievable surprise may be unleashed, but until then, all we can do is just turn the pages of the National Enquirer.

See Also:
20 Wildest Reactions to Obama's Victory
Sarah Palin Photos and a Moose
Drugs and Sex and Susie Bright
CWILF Island: Hottie Candidate Spouses


Read More

Site Sparks Political Sexiness War



A new web site promises to answer "the only question that matters." Who's sexier — Democrats or Republicans?

Sexy female and male voters can now upload their photos to SexiestParty.com and secretly whisper their political loyaties. Strangers on the web rate their attractiveness before the site exposes the secret — whether the picture was a luscious liberal or a cuddly conservative — while running tallies compare the sexiest people in each party.

"Sex and sex appeal have always been a part of politics," the site explains, "but with so much attention being paid to Palin's looks and Obama's charm, it's become a national obsession!" In just a few days the site's racked up nearly 20,000 pageviews, and every visitor has spent almost six minutes clicking around the site. Like Barack Obama, the sexy Democrats currently have a slight lead, while the contest has yet to reach its final climax.



But is this just internet fun, or a dark satire on the shallowness of the electorate? I pinned down the site's spokesman, who was leaving to enjoy an art festival and then watch Friday's debates "along with two or three extremely sexy female poly sci students." His email ended with the words "Stay sexy," but he agreed to do a short interview.

And the word "sexy" just kept coming up.


D: Your site's slogan is "May the sexiest party win."

SP: I think it's just inevitable. And really, honestly, four years of sexy people is better than four years of non-sexy people.

D: But why does it matter which party has sexier members?

SP: The fact that it has no significance is what matters. ;) It's fierce political competition on an issue that has no relevance to good governance. It's Bill Clinton's blow job. Palin's moose hunting. Obama's middle name. McCain's houses.

D: If Americans really will elect the sexiest party, then that means you hold the key to the November election's outcome.

SP: Yes. We do hold the key.

D: I mean in a sense, your site measures which party has the "sexiness edge."

SP: We're providing a public service. Everything else has been covered. The political sensibilities have been mapped and decoded across the land. But the one thing that seems to be missing is who's sexier, so to some extent, we're providing those data points as a public service.

D: What makes you think people on the internet are going to be interested in sex?

SP: It was just a wild hunch.

D: If I'm rating the male Democrats, will I eventually see a very sexy photo of Barack Obama?

SP: The more prominent members of the party, the candidates themselves, get plenty of exposure. I think there's already a solid sense of their sexiness on the spectrum. It's really the real people — the real Americans — we're interested in helping out.

D: But you sound kind of cynical about the choice of Sarah Palin.

SP: We're not the least bit cynical. Sarah Palin, and Obama too — he's also very photogenic, as has been pointed out. And this is nothing new. John F. Kennedy was also criticized for being basically a physically, aesthetically-pleasing candidate.

D: Are you saying that a sexy undercurrent leads to success in politics?

SP: We'll see with this election.

There is a thesis statement in there somewhere, and certainly a critique. I mean, once Palin got into the race, our site suddenly became that much more relevant. It was a demarcation of the shallowness of this whole process. We foreground that shallowness and give people a place to duke it out in our context. It is a place of real competition, but it's also satirical as well.

One interesting thing about this project is we're providing a forum where two different parties actually are on the same page. Both political viewpoints are so skewed. With the division in our culture, it's pretty rare to find a forum where both sides are presented objectively and on par. In version 2.0, we're even going to implement information about each party's participation levels on the site.

D: It's true that America is sharply divided now by a real and bitter partisanship. Do you think maybe you've found the missing common ground?

SP: We're bringing people together so there's no partisanship. We're trying to really focus on the issue that really matters, which is sexiness. (And we also don't allow comments, because we don't want it to devolve into bad behavior.)

This will seem convenient, but I came up with the idea when I was thinking about how deeply and personally many people take the red/blue divide. To the point of having it limit their options in life in areas that really have nothing to do with politics. Reporters ask which party is sexier at the end of interviews as a joke... but there are a lot of people who take it seriously.



D: So then is this all really just about the sexiness?

SP: Well, the site's definitely playful and sexy. But it does hint at some of the silliness inherent in how the red/blue divide has invaded issues that have nothing to do with politics. Why can't good god-fearing hockey Moms enjoy the odd latte?

D: Isn't this kind of sexist?

SP: Yeah, I guess. The whole culture is guilty of that as well. We really don't like to get involved in these kind of issues. We can't be held accountable for the sins of the culture. We just reflect. That's all we do.

D: I guess the "pursuit of happiness" is an inalienable right.

SP: And we all know that sexiness equates to happiness.

D: So if a party is determined to be sexier — does that mean I should join it?

SP: It might sway people to reconsider their positions.

D: Are you a Democrat or a Republican?

SP: We're a non-partisan site, so I really can't say. It's a very sexy party though.

D: There is something timely about your site. This year there've been high profile sex scandals — often, involving the most moralistic politicians.

SP: In all seriousness it's like that generation forgot they were young at one point in some ways. There's sort of a reaction against the excesses and dalliances of their youth, perhaps.

D: But didn't the other half of the political spectrum just embrace all their sexy urges?

SP: In some way, maybe we're putting our finger on sort of the dividing point of the culture. Maybe it really is all about sex — and the reaction against the permissive behavior in the 1960s and how that shaped the great ripples in our culture since then. It seems like we've actually gone backwards. We've gotten less permissive and less open to different types of behavior.

Maybe now through our site, they can lust after their deadly opponent — their enemies.

D: I thought they'd want to lust after the hottest members of their own party.

SP: There's certainly that as well.

D: So if Sarah Palin reminds voters of a sexy librarian, does that increase McCain's chance of getting elected?

SP: Palin is pretty sexy — but I need to see her with her hair down. Palin is definitely my type, yes. Brunettes with glasses. Of course, I want to emphasize that we're an objective non-partisan site, so we really take no position on sexiness vis-a-vis party affiliation.

D: Interestingly, Sarah Palin is actually opposed to sex education.



SP: It makes her seem a little bit like she's playing hard to get. That coy Sarah Palin. (You're not using my name, are you? I don't want any death threats.)

D: Your secret is safe with me.

SP: As you might have guessed, I'm developing this project under an alias... Too many nuts in the political world, and you never know who might get pissed off!

D: Are politically-active Americans sexier than, say, politically-active Canadians?

SP: Oh, absolutely. We're launching a Canadian version of the site to find out — to see how they compare. And we also think that sexiness knows no geographic boundaries.

D: So when will the Canadian version of your site launch?

SP: We're aiming for Monday. [The site just went live a few minutes ago.] It's at sexiestparty.ca. And of course, these are just the first two. We plan to roll them out into all the major political markets across the globe.

D: Maybe you've inspired a sense of national pride.

SP: They're coming from all across this great country of ours, from the farmlands to the urban portions of the country. From sea to sexy sea.

D: One study found that immediately after 9/11, casual sex increased dramatically. I wonder if we're now approaching another spike with the ongoing Wall Street meltdown.

SP: Living for the moment, I guess. Certainly we in no sense condone that — but we also don't condemn it, either. Obviously this is a frothy bit of frivolity, but hopefully there's an appeal to comic relief in these turbulent times, something to look at that's not so weighty.

D: So what happens if someone is determined to be the most sexy member of their political party? Do they get to break ties in the Senate?

SP: As it is an ongoing competition, they're encouraged to keep up the sexy fight lest they fall behind in the sexy race.

D: Why can't libertarians be sexy too? Right now your site only lets me judge Democrats and Republicans on the basis of their appearance. Why can't I also make sex objects out of Ron Paul supporters?

SP: I agree. I'm actually pushing to get third parties implemented on the site too.

D: I see that you registered your sexy domain all the way back in May.

SP: Yes. Due to our programming team's very active sex lives, progress on the site has been slow. There have been a lot of "candidates to interview," so to speak.

If we all weren't so damn sexy it would have been finished a long time ago.

D: But has the site also helped you hook up with other sexy people?

SP: It's not about me. It's really all about the American people.

See Also:
War of the Candidate Music Videos
CWILF Island: Hottie Candidate Spouses
Sarah Palin Photos and a Moose
Democratic Cartoon Candidates

Read More

The Ghost of the D.C. Madam




After Deborah Palfrey's suicide, one sex-worker advocate blogged a message of sympathy, saying "I know who you're determined to haunt."

But eight weeks later, she received an email telling her that the D.C. Madam's ghost was talking back!



"I rather suspect this letter could come as a bit of a shock," warned "ghost whisperer" Daniel 'Trinity' Jackson. He identified himself as a professional astrologer — and "metaphysical teacher" — as well as an experienced psychic.

The 55-year-old astrologer lived 10 miles from Tarpon Springs, Florida where Palfrey had committed suicide in May. (Her body was discovered hanging from a noose in a storage shed behind her mother's mobile home.) "My reaction was simply 'This is really terrible'," Daniel says, adding that two weeks later, "I was at home in my living room when I became aware that another person, a spirit entity, had suddenly entered my consciousness and my body..."

Daniel says he now has the answers to the questions surrounding the infamous brothel-keeper's death. (Was Palfrey's suicide faked by government conspirators? Would she reveal the names of her famous clients?) Within 10 seconds, he'd identified the visiting spirit as Deborah Jeane Palfrey. (And to make sure, he'd verified it — with another psychic.) In July, Daniel was ready to contact the sex-worker advocate to say the madam was now available for questions.

The offer was declined, but 10 Zen Monkeys eventually conducted our own brief interview, emailing questions which would be relayed to the dead madam's ghost.

Would she reveal whether her suicide was faked by wayward government agents?

Yes.

Her ghost says...

This is absolutely false! I am solely responsible for the manner in which my life ended. There was no conspiracy that I became aware of to kill me. And even if there was, it was not successful. I took my own life; it was my decision, end of story. Or is it...?

The Government was my own dark shadow. The Government is very often our own personal dark shadow. Once we begin to recognize this we can move past the guilt, punishment, blame games and victimization. Until such time as the Human Race gets really, totally and completely fed up with limiting beliefs and values, our Government will stand as a reminder, a grim reminder that we are anything but a free people living in a world of real freedom and personal fulfillment.


Her ghost sounded much more philosophical than when we published this 2007 interview with the D.C. Madam — although it's possible that four months in the afterlife puts things in perspective. But an even more surprising revelation was that after running a brothel and hanging herself in Florida ...the D.C. Madam had gone to heaven!

It's not an either/or proposition! There is no afterlife judgment, no eternal condemnation, no 'fire and brimstone' and no angry God to punish anyone! Now there is a place for 'cleansing and repair' that certain individuals will have to endure briefly that forms all of the ancient myths about 'the fires of hell,' but that condition is temporary! It doesn't last forever!

I already briefly went through that myself and I write at length about that in Chapter 10 of the new book.


The new book? Yes, according to Daniel, it seems Palfrey's wandering ghost had kept coming around day after day, holding forth in long beyond-the-grave conversations. "I thought she might ask me to try and send a message to someone living that she was concerned about," Daniel says — but that wasn't it. She had wanted to learn "her disposition and her destiny" in the afterlife. But while she was doing that — she'd decided to dictate a book through him.

In fact, Daniel had originally contacted the sex-worker advocate to see if she'd write the foreword for his book, and maybe promote it on her site. ("Assuming this book is commercially successful, Deborah and I are agreed that substantial portions of the proceeds will be donated to a legal defense fund for women accused of prostitution or pandering and to women victims of rape and other sex related offenses.") And besides, he wrote sympathetically — dictating a book from beyond the grave might give Deborah closure.

Daniel also sells "Pre-Paid Astrology Services," according to his web page at freewebs.com. (Ten sessions cost $425 — with readings of children available for just $60!) But it was apparently much trickier to write an entire book with a ghost. "I literally let Deborah take full control of my body and she typed the book herself!
After Deborah finished each session, we would examine the manuscript together and occasionally I would offer editing suggestions... Deborah also received some assistance from some very wise "Guides" where she is in the afterlife.

There have been other responses to Deborah's death. Last month her 76-year-old mother went to a Florida courtroom urging some privacy over the death of her daughter, requesting that police photos of her daughter's corpse not be released to the public. ("This is the last thing I can do for my daughter," she told the judge. "Please don't let these pictures get out in public.") The judge ultimately ruled that the public could view the photos, but that they couldn't be published or duplicated. It seemed like the final possible episode in a year of fierce notoriety.



But had this helpful Florida psychic found a way to deliver the last word? Besides the political questions surrounding her notoriety — what powerful men secretly visited her service? — there's the bizarre vengeance in having the names spoken from beyond the grave. Last year bloggers pondered a rumor that Dick Cheney might even be on her client list. Through Daniel's psychic connection, Palfrey's ghost finally stepped up to the plate, and gave us an answer.

Sort of.

Her ghost continues...

Suppose for a moment I named more Government People in my new book channeled through Daniel Jackson. Such information would be nothing more than an assertion — hearsay — because Daniel does not have access to my personal records from Pamela Martin Escort Services. So legally speaking at least, naming more people could be dismissed as fabrication to sell the book and Daniel couldn't prove it unless he could obtain my business records...

The grateful ghost couldn't leave her psychic channel facing a libel charge "or possibly even worse." (Though she did add graciously that "My Channel Daniel by the way has worked and worked tirelessly for months to bring this book into reality.")

Daniel acknowledges that some people may be cynical about the validity of his claims. "I understand and appreciate that segments of the public do not recognize or accept either an afterlife or the possibility of psychic contact with spirit entities." And what's his response?

"I always leave it to individuals to decide for themselves the validity of such claims of contact."

Chapter Nine of the book even reveals that being dead has given the D.C. Madam the ability to see into the future.

It will also be discovered that love can be both amplified and transmitted exactly as if it were radio waves sent across the planet... By Year 2089 such an instrument will be nearly as common as are cell phones today.

But the book doesn't end without answering the obvious question: What's it like being dead? And in the strangest twist of all, Daniel's book has given the story of Deborah Jeane Palfrey something no one ever expected to see.

A happy ending.

Most of what I have seen here in the afterlife is just absolutely, positively remarkable; it's called Heaven for really good reason...!

[I]n my final moments on Earth I found myself hoping either for a Tiki Bar that is always open, or maybe a mountain glacier made of butter pecan ice cream and spiced rum cake but instead I think I got something much better!


Read The Book's Epilogue - "The Lesson I'll Never Forget"
and excerpts from five chapters

See Also:
Death of a Madam
The D.C. Madam Speaks
California Cults 2006
Scientology Fugitive Arrested
Dead Woman Blogging

Read More

Death of a Madam

The D.C. Madam Speaks - Deborah Jeane Palfrey Interview

"I am not going back to prison. I will commit suicide first."

Deborah Jeane Palfrey made that vow last year, a friend told the Associated Press. Today she reportedly took her own life, just two weeks after a guilty verdict on charges of running a prostitution ring.

But in August Palfrey sat down for a wide-ranging interview with sex educator Susie Bright. "Public scrutiny is not her style," Bright noted at the time. Palfrey's personality, she concluded after the interview, is "very circumspect... afraid of being ridiculed or treated like a 'whore.'" And Palfrey had obviously spent decades "compartmentalizing," Bright concluded. The woman that the newspapers had designated "the D.C. Madam" had actually spent decades cordoning parts of her life from the rest of her personality, "and she's not about to change now.

"Lots of dissonance — oceans of it."



But as a long-term observer of the scene, Bright had also spotted something odd about Palfrey's legal predicament. "They really did a 'Hoover' number on her that is unprecendented for a prostitution bust. And I don't think she knows what it is they were after, either."

More than a dozen federal agents descended on Palfrey's home and executed a search warrant, according to the local newspaper. Palfrey said in the interview that "I was obviously sitting on a powder keg of information" (adding that "there is much still to come out.")
David Vitter is not the sole and substance of my entire 13 years of operation, that's for sure. I was sitting on something — or they thought I was sitting on something. I was under observation — J. Edgar Hoover-style — from as far back as March of 2004, until the trigger was pulled on me early in October of 2006. For 31 months I was being observed!

In September, Palfrey sent Bright a follow-up email with an announcement from her attorney. Palfrey's team was filing a pro se brief alleging that "the United States Government has been directly or indirectly benefiting from the operation of her service by monitoring her customers and is thus equitably barred from prosecuting her."

In January, more discouraging news arrived about the suicide of one of Palfrey's escorts — a former University of Maryland professor (according to the Associated Press), who was facing prostitution charges. Press reports note that Palfrey recruited the women who worked at her agency with advertisements in college newspapers. Originally Palfrey even bragged on the web that her service was staffed with escorts "with two or more years of college education, who either work and/or go to school in the daytime." (Though in October, Palfrey claimed to The Smoking Gun site that she'd already shuttered the business in August because all those college-educated escorts were "driving me crazy.")

Job-seeking females were told they must have a car, a cellphone and a "weight proportionate to height." (Palfrey's web site touted the job's "excellent income and flexible hours.") Over the last seven years, Palfrey reportedly earned $750,000 — which would represent at least 2,700 dates.

"Cash or traveler's checks only."

Unfortunately, D.C. investigators were starting to ignore Palfrey's compartments. Though she lived in D.C., Palfrey kept a home near the San Francisco Bay Area. (According to an affidavit published by The Smoking Gun, women were asked to send a photograph and application to Palfrey's P.O. box in Vallejo, California.) After being hired each woman was then required to "engage in sexual activity" (without payment) to ensure they weren't undercover policewomen. Upon seeing the affidavit, Palfrey concluded it was the Department of Justice itself that was actually leaking the information.

And there was another strange anomaly in Palfrey's case, Bright observed. "What's so funny to me is how cheap these services seem to be in D.C. You'd pay sooooo much more in L.A." Five weeks before her death, Palfrey made the same argument to a reporter at Newsweek.
All along, Palfrey has claimed she was running a perfectly legal "adult fantasy" service that stopped short of sex...now, she hopes, [Eliot] Spitzer's fall may give her claims an unexpected credibility boost...

"We charged between $200 and $300," Palfrey tells NEWSWEEK. Even if the Emperor's Club rates were inflated New York area prices, Palfrey says, her business "wasn't even in the prostitution price range.

"This whole scandal helps my case considerably."

Ironically, the agency was started in 1991 while Palfrey was still on probation after 18 months in prison for running "an illegal prostitution business" in California. In the August interview, Palfrey shared her memories of that fateful day 17 years ago, saying she'd viewed prostitution as a business opportunity.
You come out prison with a scarlet F — "Felon" — across your forehead. Despite the fact that I had a four-year degree, and a little less than a year of law school — I was a fairly well-educated, well-traveled, well-read, sophisticated young woman in my mid-30s... there was no chance in hell for me in this society — certainly not back in the early 90s — to go forward, to get any kind of a job, or to do anything.

I had no choice. My life was in tatters financially, emotionally... So, I was really not in a position to do much of anything but to go back into the business.

"And to go back into it in a way that I felt — and I believed — I would never have a repeat experience."

Palfrey had earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, and her new plan had consisted of opening her business as far away from California as she could — in Washington D.C. And, to structure the business so that hopefully no one would do anything "that would get me into trouble"

"And I guess I did a pretty dog-gone good job," she said proudly in August, "because for 13 years, from late 1993 until last August of 2006, we did not have one bust!"

Seven days a week "Pamela Martin and Associates" opened at 5 p.m., offering "best selection and availability" before 9 p.m. — for 13 years. "Entirely female managed, [our] philosophy is to develop an on-going and sound relationship of mutual respect and consideration, with each and every staff member," Palfrey told prospective employees on her site. "For those individuals without experience, regular guidance and assistance is offered, by seasoned professional(s)."

Palfrey believes she got onto the government's radar after putting her home up for sale and wiring $70,000 to Germany. "Which by the way was picked up on one of those Homeland Security terrorist watch programs — the ones which are supposed to be watching the terrorists?

"They were watching me."

In the last year of her life, Palfrey had a unique perspective on how law enforcement handles prostitution — and she had especially strong words about vice cops. ("They love to go after defenseless women.") She talked hopefully about going public with her complaints after her trial was completed. "It is something that I want to explore when this is all over — when my actual civil/criminal case is all over. I am even talking to some folks right now about putting together a documentary on what the police have done, do, and will continue to do to defenseless women in this country involved in the sex industry."

David Vitter, who had hired Palfrey's escorts, is still a member of the U.S. Senate, and in the interview Palfrey's outrage grew when she talked about the hypocrisy of politicians, saying she was on the same crusade as Larry Flynt.
"[Vitter] has the ability to send us to war, in part. He has a vote. We don't have a vote, but he has a vote. So these people not only are hypocrites — they're kind of dangerous. And these people can and should be exposed, as far as I'm concerned. And that's the very reason I let the records go as I did, in the very end.

Though ABC News concluded that none of her patrons were newsworthy, Palfrey shocked the world by releasing 46 pounds of her phone records. It fueled the aura of scandal around her trial, though Palfrey still remained baffled as to the prosecutors' real agenda.

"We don't know what the rationale has been for them to go forward with the case," Palfrey said in August, "other than the fact that we simply wouldn't fold and give them what they wanted. At that time, I think they pretty much wanted to just take my entire life savings from me. So of course they ratcheted it up a notch, and it went into the criminal realm."

She described the prosecution as "a tremendous shock" — though nine months before her suicide, there was one moment of optimism.

"Now that I am freed from the chains of this business, in a way that I never thought I would be free... I have great hope, in the coming months, as I work my way out of my current predicament, to end up in another place, obviously.

"And in that place, I hope, indeed, to find a nice man."

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There Won’t Be Blood

There Won't Be Blood

When Lisa Bloch opened the drawer at San Francisco General Hospital that should have housed the trauma center’s blood supply last month, a lonely single pouch of type O-negative plasma tumbled in the empty space.

Bloch, director of communications at Blood Centers of the Pacific, was seeking to draw attention to the city’s dire shortage of blood by depicting it in graphic terms. The shortage got so bad early in the month that BCoP asked local hospitals to hold off on lesser-priority surgeries.



All across the country, large cities are struggling to keep supplies at sufficient levels. The reasons are a classically tragic conflict of supply (only about five percent of adults donate blood) and demand (day-to-day trauma center crises, national emergencies, the Iraq war).

Unfortunately, agencies that collect blood are fighting the battle to keep local and national blood supplies adequate with at least one hand tied behind their backs, because a sizable percentage of the population is barred from donating blood – gay men.

If you’re a man who has had sex with another man even once since 1977, you are not allowed to donate blood. The ban was instituted during the height of the '80s AIDS outbreak, before proper testing existed that could screen out infected blood.

But despite the leaps and bounds that have been accomplished in testing blood for HIV/AIDS, the Bush administration still doesn’t think the blood of gay males is good enough.

In San Francisco, given its higher-than-average gay male population, this keeps many who would like to donate from being able to help out in what has become a day-to-day crisis situation, let alone in the event of a local or national emergency.

But San Francisco proper has just more than 1 million people. Larger cities with a large gay male presence like Los Angeles and New York City (both of which have suffered from blood shortages recently) are also affected by the inability to tap into its gay males as a blood resource.

“We have gay men come in and are surprised the ban is still in effect,” said Bloch. “They’re ready to give blood, and it’s very frustrating that we can’t use it.”



BCoP was the very first organization imploring the government to soften its stance. In 2006, the Red Cross finally joined in the effort to get the Food and Drug Administration to implement the male-to-male (MSM) deferral.

“Today, we know much more about HIV,” the center wrote to the FDA. “The development of highly sensitive genetic tests for the virus has greatly reduced the “window” of transmission. Therefore, Blood Centers of the Pacific – along with the three national blood banking organizations: America’s Blood Centers, American Association of Blood Banks and the American Red Cross – believes that a 12-month deferral would adequately prevent transfusion-transmission of HIV.”

A 12-month deferral is consistent with other high-risk activities that may exclude someone from donating blood, including sexual contact with a prostitute, getting a tattoo (for hepatitis C) and traveling to a region endemic for malaria.

But the FDA not only refused, it didn’t even dignify the request with a response.

State Assemblyman Mark Leno, an openly gay male, is convinced the Bush administration is letting its obvious agenda against gays influence public policy on an issue that not only involves public health, but national security.

“There is indeed homophobia at work, and it’s not even very subtle,” said Leno. “None of this (the FDA’s inflexibility) is scientific.”

Like many, Leno was unaware of the policy until he tried to donate blood when he was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“When I was on the board I got an invitation to participate in a blood drive, and was surprised to learn that as a gay man I wasn’t allowed to participate,” he said.



Leno likened the FDA policy to that of the Catholic church, which officially is “okay” with homosexuals, as long as they don’t actually do anything gay.

Ironically, heterosexuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior are allowed to donate blood. Some feel the whole process needs to be revised to screen out high risk groups accordingly.

“They’re asking the wrong questions,” said Leno. “Ask what behaviors individuals are engaging in, not with whom.”

The issue is expected to go before the FDA again next month, though there doesn’t appear to be much hope that the current administration will implement the MSM deferral that blood centers are counting on.

Leno chuckled bitterly at the prospects, choosing instead to look forward. “With a Democratic administration, which I believe we’ll have next year, I’ll be working with House Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi to not only reverse this dangerous policy, but to address the shortage and the screening process.”

“I don’t know how much longer they can keep stalling,” said Bloch, who agreed that a change of administration might be necessary before the FDA takes any action.

With gay men in San Francisco making up somewhere between five and 10 percent of the city’s population, a change in policy could produce noticeable results.

“I think it could make an impact on local blood shortages,” said Bloch. “Any help is a good thing, especially in times like this.”

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Are We Losing the Fight for Porn?


It may not matter what the courts say about free speech or what the law is about adult content — because our Department of Justice has its own agenda.

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled that the government's 2257 statute against pornography is unconstitutional, which immediately prompted an ecstatic round of premature celebrations. Salon's tech blogger Machinist popped a boner the size of the Empire State Building. ("Hallelujah!" he wrote. "Haul out your 8 MM, put on some lounge music, get your partner — and maybe a gaffer, some stage hands, a caterer, a boom operator and your parents, who'll be so proud —and get down! The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that you are free to make your own porn...")



Digital rights pundit Declan McCullough joined the frenzy, cheering that "this is likely going to be the last word unless the U.S. Supreme Court gets involved." But what looks like good news for porn looks like exactly the opposite — with a little history.

Explicit Justice

I wish I could be so blissfully ecstatic about the ruling, but this "unconstitutional" law enforcement has gone on for too long without any real consequences, despite previous major court rulings. In 1998, I was working my first adult content gig at a West L.A. company called Sundance and Associates, which among other things produced a series of print magazines which ran explicit classified ads, and was henceforth considered a "secondary producer" of adult content.

In 1998, Sundance sued Janet Reno, insisting that the first incarnation of the 2257 legislation failed to prove that by running these ads, Sundance was their "producer." The magazines were almost exactly the same as the Ohio magazines involved in last month's court decision, and our case ended up in the Tenth Circuit court, which ruled in our favor.

However, that ruling was never put to the test, because the Department of Justice never launched the inspections many producers feared they would. Instead, many content providers ranging from hardcore porn sites to internet dating services continued taking the greatest care in creating and keeping detailed records, fearing they'd otherwise face federal prosecution under a statute with "child pornography" in its title. Many even assumed the ruled-against legislation had remained intact and unchallenged!

In fact, U.S. Code 2257, which was passed under the guise of protecting children during the Clinton administration, instead puts anyone who's ever taken a sexually explicit photograph in jeopardy of federal prosecution. In 2005, Senators Hatch and Brownback overhauled the statute to address new technologies of production (like the interwebz), but with the troublesome "secondary producer" language remaining. The language in 2257 was ultimately slighted by the courts as being "poorly drafted...should never be used as a model of the English language" and "overbroad." (It's presently worded so that the naughty photo of you and your partner stored on your iPhone qualifies you as a producer of adult content.)


It's unknown how much producers struggled to adhere to this incarnation of the 2257 statute — but the wave of fear it produced is tangible. Attorneys for some websites, many unfamiliar with the code's storied history, have cowered under the threat of inspection, choosing instead to change their sites to avoid scrutiny.

Which is why the government will most likely stall any further judicial review as long as it can.

After all, it's already taken two more years just to get to this point, and if this administration knows the statute is eventually doomed, its best interests are served by postponing the inevitable. Until the highest court in the land puts the beat-down on this unconstitutional code, the chilling effect of possible prosecution will continue to be felt in what has always been the vanguard of the fight for free expression — the adult entertainment industry.

Even if you don't have an entire wing of your estate dedicated to the canon of Ron Jeremy, history has proven it unwise to encourage the persecution of one group, lest that group contain you later on. Especially with that iPhone photo we talked about earlier.

The Tragic Failure

Perhaps the most perverse element of 2257 is that, by using it as a blunt instrument to attack all adult content, it fails on its own premise of being a weapon against the creation and distribution of child pornography.

When the statute was first passed almost 20 years ago, both the porn industry and the Department of Justice were still smarting from the whole Traci Lords debacle, where it was revealed that the starlet had been working in the industry well before her 18th birthday. And while the millions in lost revenue from the loss of her catalog was fair evidence that the studios had been fooled by Lords' fake ID (and a talent well beyond her young years), the government nevertheless leapt at the chance to regulate an industry that they loathed.

So currently, every adult title must keep detailed records of everyone involved, just in case dark-suited FBI agents invade their offices. And that's every adult movie — even the ones that feature 70-year-old women and well-worn former fluffers engaged in geriatric carnal knowledge that nobody with half a brain would confuse with kiddie porn. As with the undocumented immigrant labor issue, many regard this extra record-keeping as an unreasonable burden. Opponents of the current 2257 statute maintain that the Constitution gives the government the burden of establishing whether or not adult content is child pornography — instead of placing a burden on the producers of proving content isn't child pornography.


In their new unanimous decision, the three judges of the Sixth Circuit also noted this peculiar irony: the tragic failure of 2257 to actually protect children by concentrating heavily on material so obviously outside this scope.

Leading the charge against the legislation was the Free Speech Coalition, a renowned trade organization and constitutional crusader — and they cited our 1998 victory against Janet Reno.

Reed Lee, the chair of their Legal Committee and an FSC board member, agreed with the Court that the legislation was too vague to actually afford any protection to children. "This is one of the arguments that we have been asserting all along and that we will continue to carry if necessary."

Of course, the court's decision is by no means the last word on 2257, and Lee believes the government will probably make its next move in the coming weeks. The Department of Justice could request that the Sixth Circuit court review its decision, or it could ask the United States Supreme Court to take up the case. It could also try to re-write the statute to address the court's concerns, though of the three justices on the Sixth Circuit, only one even believed that "portions of the section can be judicially salvaged."

Even if it's ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, Congress can always try to create a new statute without the same defects. (This isn't the first time the Department of Justice has been spanked for trying to bully the adult industry with anti-lifestyle legislation disguised as child protection.) But not everyone's as cynical about the outcome as I am.

In a press release, the currently-victorious FSC assessed the possibility that Congress could simply attempt a third iteration of the code. "Given the decision yesterday, that would not be easy to do and might not result in anything like the burdensome record-keeping requirements now on the books, but we must remain vigilant against efforts to revive Section 2257 legislatively.

If there's any hope today, it's the end result of a very long fight. "The Free Speech Coalition has worked hard over the past few years to be in a position to influence events in Congress as well as the courts. Our efforts there may not always be high-profile, but we are confident that we are in a position to be heard on policy issues as we never have before."

Eliminating the tools with which zealous, almost always Republican-controlled, U.S. Attorneys use the War on Porn to target whomever they don't want running around in society, is not just good for the adult industry — it protects all of us.

See Also:
Art or Bioterrorism: Who Cares?
Ed Rosenthal, Big Man of Buds
Sex Panic: An Interview with Debbie Nathan
Is It Fascism Yet?
Prior Permission From Government To Be Required For Each Flight

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Racist Porn Stars

Hillary Scott Does Black Guys

What separates Hillary Scott from two of the most recent top-earning porn starlets, Jenna Jameson and Tera Patrick?

All three started off as fresh-faced, natural-breasted ingénues in the eternal Ed Powers series "Dirty Debutantes." All three ante'd up for silicon 'n' surgery. And all three had something special about them that made them the stars they are. But the difference is simple — Hillary Scott fucks black guys.


And is proud of it. No, even better, she loves it. While few besides Scott will talk about it, there's a tangible streak of racism running through the adult entertainment industry. This despite the fact that ethnic-themed videos are a huge revenue stream, and performers like Shane Diesel and Lexington Steele are familiar names to porn enthusiasts. I attempted to contact both for this piece, but assume my chances would've been better if I looked like Hillary Scott as opposed to Vic Tayback...

But I cornered the lovely and black-cock-lovin' Hillary before this year's Adult Video News Awards show in Las Vegas (natch), and asked her about life being an up-and-coming (literally) young starlet and those other young starlets who choose to avoid interracial scenes for fear of its impact on their careers.

Steve Robles: What's a nice girl next door like you doing in a place like Vegas?

Hillary Scott: (Laughs) Well, it may appear that I'm a nice innocent girl, but inside, I'm kind of a dirty whore!

SR:I should point out what a beautiful smile you have on your face when you say that.

HS: Say it with joy. Say it with pride. "I'm a dirty whore!"

SR: I've heard in interviews, some girls say that they hesitate to do inter-racial scenes because of what it'll do their career. What do you think about an attitude like that?

HS: I think a girl that thinks doing inter-racial will hurt her career, it just makes her look like a racist asshole. I mean, it's just absurd to me. How are you going to say that? With all your black fans out there hearing that, and also all the black people in the industry, too, that's just incredibly offensive.

You either like all cock or you don't. If you don't like working with them because you're not attracted to them, then just say that. Don't say "It'll hurt your career." That's fucking racist! It's bullshit!


SR: Speaking of controversies, here's another one. Female orgasms — do you think there are enough of them in adult?

HS: I do not! I think a lot of girls are just straight-up hookers — they just do it for the money and they're not really enjoying it. And I can tell!

Working with girls you can tell when they're faking an orgasm or not. And I'm like, if you're there, and you're getting fucked — why not at least enjoy it? You know? And it looks so much better on camera.

SR: I've never understood that myself. I've got lots of conspiracy theories about it. If you're a guy, and you've ever given a girl an orgasm — or if you're a girl and you've ever given another girl an orgasm — you're not going to fall for that for a single second! That kind of over-blown, "Oh! Oh! Oh!" — you know? Whereas I've seen you announce that you're going to have an orgasm — and then you have an orgasm!

HS: Yes. In fact, I refuse to fake orgasms on camera. I refuse to! I'm like, if you want me to say I'm having an orgasm, then...somebody needs to give me an orgasm!

SR: Have you been asked to do such a dirty thing?

HS: Yeah. It depends on the director, but yeah! Some of them really need that in the scene, and I'm like, "Well listen, you know, let me give you something real."

SR: Or give me a guy who fucks me 'til I come!

HS: Or that! That would be preferable...

SR: Do you see yourself getting into the business side or going behind the camera?

HS: Well, I actually have already. This past weekend I shot a movie for Sexy Pictures. It's called Extreme Asshole Makeover.

SR: And what does that involve?

HS: It involves pretty young girls getting their little tight assholes made over. And that includes gaping and double penetration and lots of fingering and big dildos in the ass. Good times!

SR: Fun for the whole family!

HS: Yeah!

SR: What's up with this whole asshole bleaching thing, anyways? Are you into it?

HS: I don't need it. I have a nice little pink, puckered asshole. But I think it's more for the girls who have the brown asshole, and it kind of always looks like they didn't wipe all the way. So, I don't need the anal bleaching, but I can respect it. I'm not gonna hate on the girls that need it and do it. Good for them!


SR: So you did "Night Shift Nurses Escort Service" for Hustler. Do you like playing dress-up in your private life?

HS: Mmmm... Not so much in my private life. All my weird fantasies and kinks? I get all that out doing porn. That's like my playground, and where I meet exhibitionists, and I get like... That's my dirty side.

See, when I'm at home, I'm the girl next door! But on camera, I'm the dirty whore!

SR: I'm starting to get the picture! So when I say "romance," what does that mean to you?

HS: Romance? (Pause) Geez. Well, romance to me, honestly... (pause) is absolutely nothing sexual. Because I have so much sex with so many random people all the time, that's like — that's fucking. So romance to me is like a nice, generic...and cuddling, you know, and my vagina and my asshole left alone! For just like an hour or so!

SR: What did you do for Valentine's Day?

HS: I've managed to be single on Valentine's Day every year.

SR: It sucks, doesn't it.

HS: It's annoying.

SR: It's the one time of the year that you actually have to get defensive about being single.

HS: Yeah, so what! I like being single. It's a choice!

SR: Well, I know that your fans prefer you being single.

HS: Well of course. I don't see why it matters. Even when I have a boyfriend, I'm still fucking on camera, you know? Still being a whore.


SR: Now to the really important stuff. Tell us about being a Cannabis Cup judge. Now first of all, what makes you qualified for such a position?

HS: Well, I'm kind of a pot-head.

I've kind of been one for several years, so I think I'm more than qualified to select a good-quality bud.

SR: How did that work out?

HS: The first day I went to Amsterdam I started doing shrooms, and I didn't really stop, so I never actually made it to the cannibis contest.

I was so fucked up on shrooms, that's all I did the entire time I was in Amsterdam. But, um, I'd have to say I had a lot of fun.



See Also:
Adopt an African Hottie's Clitoris
Pregnant Nympho Sex
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
World Sex Laws
Dana Plato, Porn Star

Read More

CWILF Island: Hottie Candidate Spouses

michelle obama

Let's face it, being attractive has never exactly been a prerequisite for being First Lady of the Nation.

Take Margaret Taylor, wife of 13th President Zachary Taylor. Now there's a face only a shovel could love. And Herbert Hoover's wife? I dare any erection to withstand that vision. (It bears noting that, of course, these guys weren't exactly Marky Mark, either.)

Sure, there was the occasional Jackie Kennedy, the odd Ellen Arthur, betrothed to 21st President Chester A. Arthur. On balance, though, most of them were as funny-lookin' as their presidential partners.



Times have changed, of course, and today a shady character like Nixon — that shifty, sweaty fucker — could hardly run for dog catcher. So obviously (and especially in this culture where double standards rule the day), everyone's had to step up their game to be taken seriously in national politics.

But in Campaign '08 the candidates' wives have taken it to a level that didn't exist even just four years earlier. Don't believe me? Take a look at how much worse they looked in 2004!

Ga-a-a-a-ck!



So while most of the media are content to pretend to quibble about issues, we've decided to assess the fledgling campaign the only way it really deserved to be qualified – by rating the Top 5 CWILFs of the 2008 presidential race!

Just so that we're clear here: CWILF = Candidate's Wife I'd Like to Fuck. I'm embarrassed to have even had to spell that out, but you never know.

Now without further adieu, let's bring on the CWILFs!

5. Judith Giuliani

Judith Giuliani


Madonna mia! I'm a sucker for Italian broads, so in some ways I like her more than some of the others. But, she's guilty by association, so the fact she's willing to be with this skeevosa makes the baby Jesus cry. What can you say about a guy whose own daughter didn't tell him she was accepted to Harvard, and who publicly endorsed Barack Obama just to spite him? But more on her later …

4. Jackie Dodd

Jackie Dodd


The hotter of the two (!) Mormon candidates’ wives. And you never know about those magic underwear – everyone assumes that these must be granny panties, but since nobody’s talking about it, they could have modernized them into thongs or bikinis. And the fact that she managed to make her husband forget about dating the likes of Bianca Jagger and Carrie Fisher (in her hot Jedi days) says something, right?


3. Michelle Obama

michelle obama

Oh my, forget about the historical implications of Barack in the so-called White House, how about some hot chocolate in the Oval(tine) Office? Some bootylicious lovin’ in the Lincoln Bedroom? Is that even irony? I’m not sure, but I’m into it. The fact that she’s no wallflower (she’s described herself as having a “loud mouth”) only makes my hardened wood petrified.

2. Elizabeth Kucinich

Elizabeth Kucinich


Progressive superhero Dennis Kucinich has been getting his balls broken over his new hot, young trophy wife, and I for one am going to make sure this doesn't stop anytime soon. I haven't seen an example of beauty and the beast this extreme since, uh... the last time I got laid. Thank god she at least has a little beaver tooth thing going on with her mighty incisors, or else someone might accuse him of pandering to the electorate.

1. Jeri Thompson

Jeri Thompson

Despite the ick factor of actually imagining her curling up with that flubbery fossil, the wife of jowly, drawling old bastard Fred Thompson takes the fuckability cake. She's one of them there smart chicks, too (if I go to my grave without ever having banged a political consultant, it'll only be because god thinks I'm a douche and wants to see me unhappy).

Honorable Mention: Bill Clinton

Okay, he’s actually more of a CHILF, and I certainly don’t wanna fuck him, but I’m amazed by how many girls consider this guy an unqualified, no-questions-asked panty-dropper. Issues of age, infidelity, even politics fly right out the window. So for the love of god, if Hillary wins, somebody keep him away from zaftig Jewess interns, will ya? Also: can a First Gentleman be impeached? Pray for a Democrat-controlled Congress.



Honorable Mention: The Daughters


I decided not to make a separate list of candidates’ daughters I want to fuck. Not because that would be “wrong” (please!) – only because I couldn’t come up with a cool acronym. CDILFs? Doesn’t work.

But I can't resist calling out the previously mentioned Caroline Hanover (Giuiliani) and Meghan McCain, who’s just about the complete opposite of Hanover. McCain is accompanying her father on the campaign trail, maintaining a blog, and looking like the hottest prospective First Daughter since, um, the last REAL one. (Yes, I'm the father of Jenna Bush's baby. There you have it. Though she told me girls can't get pregnant that way.)

See Also:
Racist Porn Stars
Democratic Cartoon Candidates
The Five Faces of Bush
Senator Vitter's Suppressed Statement
John Edwards' Virtual Attackers Unmasked
YouTube's 5 Sorriest Questions for the 2008 Presidential Candidates

Read More

Beyond the ‘Zipless Fuck’ With Erica Jong

Beyond the Zipless Fuck With Erica Jong

About the author: Susie Bright is the host of the weekly Audible.com podcast, "In Bed With Susie Bright," and is the editor of Best American Erotica, 1993-2008.

Yes, Erica Jong coined the phrase "the zipless fuck" when describing sexual adventures in her 1973 novel Fear of Flying. But now she's talking about a whole body sexual sensation that's more like lightning.

She's outspoken, thought-provoking, and still has a lot to talk about — like when you're a legendary sex writer, what sex advice do you give your teenaged daughter? Why is the media so obsessed with Anna Nicole Smith? But I even asked Erica how her sex life changed as she's gotten older — and for once, I got a straight answer!

For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. The full audio version of this interview can be found here.


SUSIE BRIGHT: There's been a certain type of book that's come out recently by a woman over 60 who says "Yes, I'm old, but my sexuality and my vitality are at their height." How you can continue to be Pamela Anderson at 80? (Laughs) I'm not buying it!

ERICA JONG: Are you anywhere near 50?

SB: I'm 49!

EJ: Oh, god.

SB: It's the last 40-something. So...

EJ: In many ways it's wonderful to get older. Apart from the fact that you're on the ledge, and after your parents die, you're the next to fall in. You do think about mortality a lot.

If you're not a total mess, you think about generativity, and giving back, and — you know, teaching, and things like that. Which is the healthy part. But sex is not the same!

Because the men are dying. The men are becoming impotent. They're having heart attacks, and they're being put on blood pressure medication. Nobody's writing about that. (But I am in my new novel!)

SB: You make it sound like men are the only ones who are having a small health setback. What about the women?

EJ: The women, for the most part, seem healthier than the men. At least anecdotally...

There are lots of ways out of this. Yes, you can find younger people. Yes, you can find — you know, your 30-year-old male lover with a constant erection. Apart from the fact that mostly they don't want women who are 60. (Laughs) Some do. You know. For whatever Oedipal reasons...



But one is too wise, by then, to think of it as anything but a zipless fuck. Or a zipless fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck — and done, because you don't want to be their nurse, and you don't want to be their purse. I did that when I was in my 40s. And you don't want to blurb their book — their bad book.

SB: I'm sure that's a real turn-off sexually.

EJ: "I will fuck you, and you can blurb my book!"

SB: Ouch!

EJ: If you've achieved a little bit of self knowledge, maybe that works once, maybe it works twice. Maybe it works three times — but then it doesn't work so well.

I'm not talking about a real, wonderful affair with a younger man — you know, possibly you walk off into the sunset together, or you always have this wonderful place in your head that you can go back to. Affairs with women seem to proliferate after 50.

SB: After-50 bisexuality or lesbianism that wouldn't have happened before?

EJ: Yes. I think it's mostly because the men are dead. (Laughs)

SB: You are so cruel! Your husband isn't dead!

EJ: No, my husband isn't dead. But I'm talking about what I see around me. And then with the one that one loves, one has to re-invent sexuality. It can't be the same.

SB: Everybody says "re-invent," but what would that really look like?

EJ: Suppose he doesn't have an erection? You have to be whole-body — tantric sex. You have to change the way you look at sex, and him too, because men have a real problem with that. They're so focussed on their penis, you may have noticed, that making the change from focus-on-the-penis to focus-on-the-whole-body...

SB: It's almost like the symbol of the erection as desire is more important than fucking for 10 hours without stopping. Because hardly anyone wants to do that. It's like the erection is the symbol of "You want me." It's what I'm accustomed to seeing.

EJ: But even if you think it doesn't mean something to you...

SB: Even if you pooh-poohed it, and said it wasn't a big deal....

EJ: Even if you pooh-poohed it, and said it wasn't a big deal, as a woman, the infrequency requires a leap. But men have to also make that leap.

SB: I just talked to a friend in his 60s who's just fallen in love over the phone with a woman. He says he gets hard the moment he hears her voice, and yet now that they're planning an in-person meeting, he's frantic to get a Viagra prescription. He was asking me if I had any undercover connections.

EJ: Go to your doctor! They gave them out like M&Ms!

SB: I said, "I don't think you should fret so much. You're throbbing just talking to her on the phone. Don't worry so much that you have to have this perfect insurance plan!"

I don't know whether guys would find that a relief to hear, or...

EJ: No, because they have to get over their identification with themselves and the hard dick. And once they do, the sex can be truly wonderful.

I've really gone through this with Ken. He had an aneurysm of the aorta, and had to take blood pressure-lowering medication. It was counteracted by Viagra, but Viagra gave him blue spots in front of his eyes. And it made him feel so exhausted after sex that the day was ruined for him.

SB: Oh...

EJ: He wasn't allowed to take Cialis, because it was contraindicated with his medication. It took a while for both of us to accept that it was going to be different. I think it took him longer than me.

I've always thought of sex as being a whole body experience. Yes, I liked intercourse very much, and I liked oral sex very much. With certain men, I could have wonderful orgasms with intercourse. With other men, I could have better orgasms with oral sex.

With women, you have better orgasms with oral sex, I think. Although I decided that I'm not really gay.


SB: I'd never heard you announce that you were gay. I missed that...

EJ: Well, for a while I thought it would be wonderful to be really gay, and I had some experimental flings with women that I really loved. But then I decided that I was kidding myself — that I wasn't really gay — although I loved these women very much.

I really believe that Gore Vidal is right, that there are sexual acts, and that we make too much of a big deal about whether they're gay or straight. That if you love someone, you can find a way to express it physically. Or not! I've always been tremendously attracted to you...

SB: (Laughs) Oh, goodie! What a compliment! (Laughs) Why?

EJ: Because you have such an alive spirit. And because you're so life-loving. I honestly think that's why people are attracted to me.

SB: Mmm hmm.

EJ: You know, it's not about one's tits — although you have very nice tits, and I'm told I have very nice tits. It's about lifeforce and energy.

I've always felt like I was a kundalini person. I've always sort of believed, "raise the kundalini, let's get with it" — you know? "It's going up my spine, my solar plexus is glowing..." So we found a new form of kundalini sex after he got over his feeling that he was failing in some way.

SB: Do you think there was a turning point for him?

EJ: Yes — when he started to have these electric orgasms down his spine!

SB: Oh my god. You hear about people who have spinal cord injuries talking about this, or people who suffered an injury that supposedly was going to change their sexuality forever. Then they started feeling sexual orgasmic sensations in an area that they had never even felt before. Or the initiative, the catalyst, was coming from a different spot.

You can hear and hear and hear about how there's a different sexual way, but until you actually experience it, you're feeling "Okay, fine. Everyone else can have the party, but I'm not invited."

EJ: I think that Ken had more of a block about finding different ways of sex than I did, because I always thought that was there for me. You know, somebody could touch my neck and I could get juicy. Touch my cheek.

I knew that the whole body is an erogenous zone, but most men don't know that, and he didn't know that. You know, he was always into oral sex. That was not a problem. He loves oral sex. He enjoys it, he's good at it. He's not uptight about smells or tastes.

One time I got a bikini wax, and he was horrified. I said, "But what about the hairs between your teeth?" He said, "I like the hairs between my teeth!" So he's totally into, you know, smells, tastes...

SB: The whole woman.

EJ: He's really alive to that stuff.

But what happened finally was doing oral sex, touching, tasting, playing... It's very hard to even describe. Playing, listening to music, laughing, telling jokes — we've always been enormously close. The Sunday mornings in the country, we take a hot tub, we listen to music. We hang out, we read the paper, we laugh, we get in bed... If it's warm enough, we swim.

And then he started having these orgasms where his whole back would become lightning. You've heard that from people...

SB: Yes, of course. And often people who say "Look, I'm an atheist, I'm not the sort of person who sees UFOs or has out-of-body experiences, but I'm having sexual sensations that aren't on the first or second page of The Joy of Sex. They're just not your standard penis-vagina or tongue-clit... Something new is happening to me."


I'm such a great believer in sexual creativity, and how — as much as everyone says "The mind is our most important sexual organ," they don't understand that it is. That you could lose everything else, but as long as you didn't have a lobotomy, you'd be sexual. It's the key to everything.

On the other hand, folks who've had brain injuries and brain tumors — when you lose sexual desire and creativity from your mind, it doesn't matter if all the other parts work. It's gone. And that's quite bracing.

EJ:I could get a headline any day of the week by calling up the New York Times or the Washington Post and saying "I have given up sex."

SB: Oh, that would be so good...

EJ:I could get on the front page. "And now I am entering a nunnery. It's going to be an orthodox Jewish nunnery, and I will never — I'm shaving my head. I'm wearing a sheitel..." And... You know, that's what they want you to say. "Author of 'Zipless Fuck'..." — which is what people think it's really called.

SB: "...finds her zippers!"

EJ: Right! I mean, it's so preposterous. People want the complete turnabout. It's like Christopher Hitchens and his atheist book.

That's how low our press has fallen. Everybody's infected. Noam Chomsky predicted this thirty years ago. He said, "When the news is owned by five conglomerates — we won't have news." And guess what? We don't. We have Anna Nicole Smith.

You know, I actually saw the headline during that whole circus — "What's next for Anna Nicole?"

SB: "In the afterlife!" Exactly.

EJ: Well, she's rotting...

SB: The worms are talking all the time...

EJ: "What's next for Anna Nicole?" Can you believe it? I mean, that's our media!

SB: I want to ask you about something on the other end of the generational syndrome. You have a daughter that's older than mine. I think your daughter is in her twenties.

EJ: 28.

SB: And I have a teenager. I wasn't trying to keep sexual knowledge secret from my daughter. I wasn't going to be like "You're going to be a virgin, and I'm locking you in a convent."

EJ: "I have the key to your chastity belt."

SB: Exactly.

EJ: "You're gonna feel something you never have felt." We used to sing that in high school. (Laughs)


SB: I find myself biting my lip in certain circles talking about how they're managing their teenaged daughters when I realize that's not the approach I've taken. Sometimes I feel defensive, like I'm as protective and as mama tiger-ish as anyone would be. It's just that I'm not going to be spurred on by some sexist notion of "virtue" any more than I wanted somebody hectoring me about that when I was a teenager.

So I wanted to ask you — did you ever feel tempted to become a conservative nag, that would lock her in the cellar...

EJ: Never.

SB: How did you deal with it?


Sophie Dahl
EJ: I was very permissive. In those days, Molly's best friend was Sophie Dahl, this beautiful model and actress, and they both were at the day school in New York. We would have these long conversations. They'd sit down with me, and they'd say "Erica — When should you go all the way?"

SB: As if a bell's gonna ring!

EJ: Yeah, because I'm the expert — right? I'm the maven.

And I would say, "Well make sure it's with somebody who you really like, if not feel affection for. And make sure that he's kind. Make sure that he will not push you around, that he will use birth control unless you have birth control — that you should have birth control." That he is somebody, you know, who will be a friend, and...blah blah blah.

Well, they both agreed that that was ideal. And they both went off and did the opposite! (Laughs)

SB: Someone really mean, who didn't give a crap!

EJ: Right! So what people say about sex, and what they do are two different things. To watch that, as you're getting older, and to watch them go through — you know, the druggie sex, and the debasing sex, and all the things they said as good little feminists they didn't want...

You've got to realize that there is this tremendous gap between the beau idéal and the reality!

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D.C. Sex Diarist Bares It All

Washington D.C. Sex Diarist Speaks Out - an Interview With Washingtonienne Blogger Jessica Cutler

Jessica Cutler was a bored, envelope-tossing, congressional staffer for former Republican Senator Mike DeWine — until the online diary about her sex adventures got some unexpected notoriety. Her stories about adventures with the political elite snared a few pious policy-makers, including her apparent S&M fuck pal, Robert Steinbuch, DeWine's former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Naturally, she was canned from her job, accompanied by media fireworks.

Did Ms. Cutler crawl away, hide under the bed, enroll in a 10-day rehab, or issue a non-denial denial? Hardly. She wrote a scintillating novelization of her experience — the bawdy, smart, and hilarious The Washingtonienne — and posed for Playboy.



Jessica retired her online diary — also called The Washingtonienne — after blogger Wonkette revealed her identity. But she continues to blog at JessicaCutlerOnline.com while contemplating her next novel and jumping out of the occasional cake.

Jessica and I talked about the hypocrisy of Capitol Hill's Christian conservatives, the differences between prostitution and getting paid for sex, and which drugs are best for getting it on.

For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. The full audio version of this interview can be found here.


SUSIE BRIGHT: It seems like you found yourself writing a novel because you were forced to. I mean, you had your little private life, and your girlfriends, and you were gossiping like anybody else would with their friends. And then all of the sudden, your secret blog got outed! So you kind of had to write a book to say your piece, or to set the record straight.

JESSICA CUTLER: Yes. I think that was totally the situation, you know? And not a lot of people understand that. The longest thing I'd ever written prior to that was like a 5,000-word article for a magazine.

SB: About what?

JC: Shoes. It's so clichéd — a "Sex and the City" type thing. Whatever. I didn't like writing. That's why I quit a job at a magazine and ended up working in D.C.

The thing is... my life wasn't perfect, but I was really happy! You know, I was dating lots of guys and just living my life. We were talking among friends, you know, and at the time, we just thought, "Oh, we're using up all our minutes on our cellphones, and... I don't want to email this to you because it has our IP addresses and you never know."

SB: So when you blogged the gossip, you were actually trying to be more private.

JC: Yeah! And I thought, worst-case scenario, if this ever gets back to me, I will delete it, I'll deny that I wrote it, and it will be bygones! (Laughs)

SB: Well apparently you learned your lesson in D.C. — just deny and shred!

JC: (Laughs) But then I thought taking responsibility was the right thing to do. It's better than lying about it. I remember the first couple of days when all this came out, after I left my job, I went on the Internet and there was all this speculation over who was writing it. And they were suggesting other people in my office, and people in other offices. I felt bad, you know?

So I started getting phone calls from reporters, and they have my unlisted number. I figured, they must know. How did they get my number? So I figured that whoever knew it was me was emailing reporters. It really freaked me out. I was a journalist in college, so I know what it's like to be a young reporter. If you hear about this girl who could be another Monica — that's sort of what everyone's hoping for. If you find out her address and where she lives, what are you gonna do? You're gonna go to her house!

Other people were telling me, "You probably better call these people back before someone shows up at your apartment." And that was something I didn't want. So I thought I handled it the best I could.

SB: Well, it's interesting when you say, "the best you could." Because you have this air about you, especially in person, where you're self-deprecating. And everything I'd heard about you before I read your book made me think that you were sort of like a deer — a sexy deer — caught in the headlights.


But when I started reading your book, I thought, "My god. She can write! Her timing is incredible. She has acute observational skills. She can Write with a capital W." This book just flies. And then I thought, well, okay… maybe it's ghostwritten and this is just a creation of a scandal. But then I went to your blog, and there was that same voice again. And there was your wit and your authority. You have so much authority in your writing...

JC: Thanks!

SB: You do! If only people could see the look on your face. It's all squished up, like you're saying… "What?!"

JC: Well, I think when you read a lot of criticism, you start to see yourself through their eyes. But I'm proud of the book. I think a lot of people just try to diminish any kind of accomplishment. You know, 'cause it always goes back to… "Well, she was a hooker."

SB: You've gotten all the stigma and criticism of being a sex worker without the paycheck.

JC: I know! It's not fair! (Laughs)

SB: It's more like you were a party girl. Maybe you're still a party girl. You enjoyed going out and having all the usual fun, whether it meant drugs, dancing, great sex, bad sex, crazy adventures.

And then just having the fun of talking about it the next day — but you weren't charging by the hour!

JC: (Laughs) I know. That is one of those things that just doesn't go away. And it's like a big sticking point for people

SB: I want to know what your own response is to that, Jessica. Because I've also been characterized as a full-time pro. And I have not run my life as a prostitution business. Not because I think it's wrong, but it's just not my life story.

So I find when I get that sort of attitude from someone, I get kind of feisty. In many respects, I identify with whores. If I'm around other whores, I feel like part of the crew. Because we'd have some things in common, in terms of our life experience, in the way people perceive us. And I can identify with a lot of their values – their sense of the reality of what really goes on with sex that people don't like to talk about. I wonder if you feel the same way, or if you just want to be as far as possible from anyone thinking you have anything to do with it.

JC: The latter is totally not the case. When I start to feel defensive, my attitude is sort of like, if people are calling me a whore, "Well, what's wrong with being a whore?" You know? I mean, I think girls who are sex workers — and men, all sex workers — they see another side of humanity and sexuality. People who've never worked in the sex industry — people who've never done it — don't know the half of it.

I've heard girls I know who escort say, "I think every woman should do this, because you find out a lot. You learn a lot about men." They tell me, "You don't even know. You wrote a book and even you don't know the half of it." And I'm like... "Yes, I want to know all about it..."

I really don't know what the hang-up is about that. I don't know why people really seem to dislike prostitutes. I don't understand that attitude at all.

SB: Are you more confrontational than you were when you first started working in D.C.? I ask because you worked for a lot of conservative guys that have… like, piggy opinions about how women should stay at home with their legs crossed. And god forbid they have an abortion. You know, the attitude that America would be better if women were basically barefoot and pregnant.

You worked for some really famous so-called Christian conservatives. [Ed: Jessica worked for Senator Mike DeWine (R) - Ohio, who was defeated in the 2006 election.] And the way you describe D.C. political life, it's just as hypocritical and full of shit as everyone imagines it to be.

JC: Oh yeah. I mean, the platform the Senator I worked for had... he was a Christian conservative.

SB: And was he really? Do you think these people have a grain of sincerity?


JC: The way it is, each Senator is a figurehead. And you have the staffers doing the work. But you know, like… from hanging out with them and partying with them and stuff, like — I wasn't the only girl in my office that had an abortion.

I went there not knowing anyone, you know? I'm not the daughter of any contributors and didn't know anyone who had anything to do with Capitol Hill. I just went in there for my interview. I would have worked for anybody, you know?

SB: You were a whore!

JC: Yes, I was! (Laughs) Ideologically, yes!

It was sort of like I just took whatever, because you need names on your resume. And they didn't ask me what I thought about anything. They didn't ask me, "Have you had abortions? What do you think about that? What are your views on this or that? You're single. Are you sleeping around?" It didn't matter… then.

And even when I started working there, people knew I was dating around. They knew I was seeing someone in my office, and that we had, you know… non-vanilla sex. And none of it was a problem until it got out.

SB: There's a part of your book that doesn't get as much attention, but was riveting to me. It actually created both a lot of tension in the storyline, a sense of suspense — and also, I hate to admit this to you, but it brought out the mommy in me.

It wasn't your sexual activities. But I found myself thinking: "Jessica, don't keep drinking! Jessica — Jessie, you're getting too high! That's the fifth night in a row! You've been a wreck in the morning! Oh, this poor little baby. I'm just all worried about her." And then I would think to myself, "God, you are such a mom."

And it was actually quite interesting to read a female narrator being so blasé and straightforward about being high and saying what she likes about being high. Because, of course, male novelists do this constantly, and they don't provoke such a protective reaction. If it's Ernest Hemingway or Bret Easton Ellis or whoever, you know, they drink every night, they're always loaded out of their minds, and everybody still sort of expects that they'll work it out in the end. But when a young woman talks about it, even I start to worry.

And the way you write about it, it's often hilarious — your drug adventures had me rolling on the floor! I couldn't believe all the nutty shit you did. But I also found myself saying to myself, "I wonder what's gonna happen?" Actually, if it had ended up with you saying, "And now I am a good AA member and all this is over" — I don't know if I would have liked that. That would've been too neat.

Anyway, I want to get your opinions about what drugs are the most fun, as far as sex is concerned. And where you're at in terms of the peril of being high all the time.

JC: Obviously drugs are a distraction from… you know, real sex, and the way intimacy is when you're sober. But if you really don't want to deal with that, you will have a lot of drunk sex, high sex. It's fun, but it's not real. I mean, I don't do this frequently. I would say the last time I, you know... (laughs) got high and had sex was last week. And I woke up the next morning and thought, "That was sloppy!"

SB: But why is it attractive?

JC: If you're doing this with someone, and you're really not secure with them, or you're worrying what they think — if you're both messed up, you're not thinking about it so much.


SB: Have you given any thought to your next book?

JC: Well, I have meetings with editors and they just want to hear about my life. I tell them, and they say, "Oh you have enough material for three books." But I don't want to do that. So I have some outlines. I think it'll sorta be chick lit.

SB: Well, I'm going to jump in and give you some advice. Fuck the chick lit notion, because it's already over. You have acute powers of observation, and you've seen into some interesting lives. Your candor comes out when you write.

I just interviewed someone who was talking about how she studies the Victorian Age. And she told me that in those days, best friends would write each other's biography. I thought that was fascinating. Like, what if I had to write another friend's memoir...

JC: Oh, I would love to do that! I've met so many girls who just blow me out of the water. You know?

And I've met girls who had really sad stories. Like, "If I wrote a novel, you could def…" But the thing is — they're too scatterbrained or too troubled to actually get around to it. And people are always saying, "Well, you should write it for them!" But then I'd feel like I'm stealing her stories...

SB: Well, when you're a writer, you become a story stealer.

JC: I hate people like that! I mean (laughs), there was a book kind of written about me. I left things out of my book, out of respect for the author, and then she wrote about them! And I was like… ohhh!

I was kind of surprised that she did that. And I wonder if her husband knows the scenes are real. He probably doesn't. [Ed: Maybe he does now!] Or maybe he knows and he doesn't care. But if I'd put it in my book, she might be suing me! (Laughs)

SB: Well, I think the fertility of your blog is probably going to show you the way. Every time I turn to it, you get me screaming or you get me giggling about something.

JC: It's supposed to be fun. In a way, I wish I never took the original blog down.

SB: You could always resurrect it.

JC: But I'm being kind of sued over that. (Laughs)

SB: Nothing would be happening if they didn't perceive you as someone with deep pockets to go after.

JC: I so don't. Actually, I filed for bankruptcy yesterday.

SB: Oh! Why?

JC: (Laughs)

SB: Congratulations, Miss Cutler!

JC: Yes. I am officially broke. Kind of a relief. You know...

SB: Well, not to be a target.

JC: There's that.

But with a blog — I mean, what happens when someone's offended by something someone's posted. Usually, there might be some email exchange, or some blog war...you know, if someone writes an attack on you, you can respond to it, if you want to acknowledge it at all.

It's mostly really silly. Especially someone calling you ugly or slutty. Okay — how many times do I have to go through this? Okay, I'm an ugly slut. And you're not? "You're better than me, you're so much smarter, you have a better blog..." What else do I have to say?

SB: Well, I'll just clear it up for our audience. Jessica Cutler is a talented writer. She is not ugly — she is so not-ugly. She is bankrupt, however. She's very pretty, very bankrupt... And she's slutty in all the good ways that so many of our slut-positive friends like to be.

JC: Sluts are the nicest people in the world. They're people pleasers!

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The D.C. Madam Speaks!

The D.C. Madam Speaks - Deborah Jeane Palfrey Interview

Reached for comment today, the D.C. Madam had this to say about Larry Craig.

"My former position...does not qualify me to comment upon such matters. Folks like Senator Craig and for that matter Senator Vitter most likely need the opinion and guidance of professional psychiatrists!"

Deborah Jeane Palfrey was an experienced madam — that is to say, an escort service manager. A brothel-keeper whose customers at least chose a different path than Senator Craig — they never had to solicit sex in airport bathrooms.

Ironically, the clue that tipped off the Justice Department was a Homeland Security "terrorist watch program," Palfrey tells us. In one of her first interviews, she complains that she'd run her service for 13 years without so much as a peep of trouble from the police until one day, 11 months ago. And then all hell broke loose — just four weeks before the crucial 2006 elections. Under pressure, and suspicious about the timing of her bust, Palfrey eventually decided to go nuclear. She published the phone list of everybody who'd used her services.



Hypocrites beware! Among her customers was Randall Tobias, Condoleeza Rice's #2 senior official in the State Department. (Tobias was responsible for withholding funds for AIDS treatment and prevention if it didn't come packaged with "education" preaching abstinence and monogamy.) And though Senator Craig wasn't a customer, another implicated visitor was the conservative Senator from Louisiana, David Vitter — or "Vitter the shitter," as prostitutes often call him in his hometown of New Orleans, for his alleged diaper fetish. All these folks who rode into town on a moral majority agenda turned up on the D.C. Madam's phone list.

But what does she have to say now?
For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. The full audio version of this interview can be found here: Link

SUSIE BRIGHT: Has there been any silver lining to the notoriety of being busted so wide open?

DEBORAH PALFREY: Hmmm...

SB: On the one hand, it seems like it must be the biggest stress in your life, and that maybe you'd give anything to be back in Vallejo, just quietly running your business. But I wonder if there's an aspect that you couldn't have predicted where you're thinking, "You know what? I'm kind of glad this happened!"

DP: Well, first of all, it came as a tremendous shock. (Laughs) I had no concept whatsoever that this was about to hit.

In the beginning — from the time that everything happened to me on October 4 of 2006 until I was indicted five months later... I tried desperately to maintain the status quo. I tried desperately to keep this quiet, to make this go away, and to try to understand what the government was doing. I figured surely there must've been some rational explanation for why they came after me. I can say without equivocation that my civil attorney — Mr. Montgomery Sibley and I — tried in vain to get this to stop.

And we don't know what the rationale has been for them to go forward with the case, other than the fact that we simply wouldn't fold and give them what they wanted. At that time, I think they pretty much wanted to just take my entire life savings from me. So of course they ratcheted it up a notch, and it went into the criminal realm.

It's at this point in time that the status quo pretty much went out the window. We went public for all intents and purposes — although I believe this was made public by the Department of Justice when they leaked this information to the Smoking Gun in October, shortly after my home was raided and the search warrant was executed upon my property.

SB: Who tipped them off? Was it a customer who was really a police officer investigating you? Was it somebody who worked for you and got pissed off and decided to blow a whistle? Why, out of all the zillions of escort services in Washington and Virginia, did they decide to bug you?

DP: I was obviously sitting on a powder keg of information. There is much still to come out. David Vitter is not the sole and substance of my entire 13 years of operation, that's for sure. I was sitting on something — or they thought I was sitting on something. I was under observation — J. Edgar Hoover-style — from as far back as March of 2004, until the trigger was pulled on me early in October of 2006.

SB: Wow.

DP: For 31 months I was being observed! Any good vice cop will tell you that a simple prostitution bust or investigation takes no more than a few days to a few weeks to a few months to put together — from start to finish. It doesn't appear that I was being looked at for prostitution-related activities, as much as I was being watched for my own personal and professional actions. My banking, my business affairs, my personal acts. So as for the question: why me and me alone? I think it's logical to conclude that there was something that I had, or knew, that they found to be very valuable.

Who are they? We don't know. Is it the GOP? Is it this administration? Is it Homeland Security? Is it the CIA? Who is "they"? We don't know who they are...
For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. The full audio version of this interview can be found here: Link

SB: Do you feel like your legal pressure strategy of focusing on the customers — do you think that's making the prosecution say, "Oh, god. Just make her go away. Drop everything." Is the fact that you've been so much more defiant than they ever could've imagined helping?

DP: Oh, well... defiant, yeah. I just think they don't know what to do with me any more.

SB: Have they ever suggested, even in a low-key way, "You know what? Just pay us a couple hundred bucks and we'll go away." Or are they still acting really fierce.

DP: When we were quiet as church mice — from last October 4, when the search warrant was executed, until March 1, when I was criminally indicted — we went to them on three occasions. We went to them in late October/early November, again in mid-January after New Year's, and then finally at the last pre-indictment conference in late February. And we did everything — beg, plead, threaten, and cajoled the Assistant US Attorneys in this case. We asked them, "What is it that you want? What is going on here?" But they would not talk to us! They stood us up for an appointment. They did the most rudimentary motions work that they had to do... They wouldn't hand over discovery! They stonewalled, stonewalled, stonewalled. And they were able to do so procedurally in the civil phase of this. We got nowhere.

At the very end, at this last pre-indictment conference in late February, we took the now famous photocopy of one page of that August, 1996 phone bill. And we said, "Look. We've got 46 pounds of this."

SB: Wasn't that what they were after to begin with?

DP: That's the biggest irony. You have to remember — I was under observation for 31 months, and they didn't do anything. So why would they pull the trigger all of a sudden, in October of last year?

SB: I suspect something partisan is going on. J. Edgar Hoover used to watch certain people he was politically afraid of, like Martin Luther King. "I'm gonna get all this sex shit on him, so that I can use it later."

DP: That's what came to our minds eventually, because October was one month before the very crucial November election of last year, when both the Senate and House went Democratic, and the balance of power in this country shifted.

And, here I was, after 13 years, this very routine life... They must've watched me and thought I was the most boring person in the world. And all of the sudden, I start making these rather unusual or aberrant moves. I put my house of 15 or so years on the market. I closed my business rather unexpectedly — it wasn't really unexpected, but if you're watching me from afar, it would be a flag. My 13-year-business was shut down. And then I wire money — $70,000 — over to Germany, and make a little trip to Germany.

Which by the way was picked up on one of those Homeland Security terrorist watch programs — the ones which are supposed to be watching the terrorists?

They were watching me.

And I think when I made that wire transfer, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Because as soon as I made that wire transfer, on September 28 of last year, the next day this languid, non-investigation/investigation went into warp drive. A few business days later, on Tuesday October 3, I had two postal inspectors who flew out from Washington D.C. to Northern California, standing outside my house, seeing the sale sign that's in my front yard and apparently calling my real estate agent. They identified themselves as a couple being transferred from Washington D.C. to the Bay Area — they loved my neighborhood, they loved my house, could they get in and see it?

When my real estate agent told them no, they could not — because she did not have a key for the property, I was in Germany, they could not get access... We believe it's at this point in time, that they drove up to Sacramento, which is about an hour from where I live. They got a search warrant based on information that was three and a half to five and half years old. To put this into perspective for your audience, rarely is a search warrant ever issued in this country in any kind of case in any jurisdiction based on information that is older than 6 months.

SB: Were you leaving Vallejo because you'd always wanted to live in Europe, and you were just ready for a change...

DP: That's it. You got it right there.

SB: So you were just planning your life.

DP: That's right.

SB: You weren't trying to be a fugitive or anything.

DP: Nope!

SB: You were just moving on to the next stage.

SB: My favorite part of your story is that you had your own newsletter when you were running your service. How did you get the idea of starting a newsletter. I mean, you have a lot to say...

DP: Boy, I have a lot to say now!


SB: And plus, you know, even — when I read your use of the word "misogynist," I think to myself: that's somebody who has a very political point of view.

DP: Oh, I have very definite views about the police. But aside from that, let me say this. Those newsletters have been largely taken out of context and made to seem a little more tawdry than they are.

SB: I'm not interested in the tawdry part. I'm interested in the feminist part!

DP: I understand that. However, they are quite colorful.

SB: Yes they are!

DP: Yes, they — I did make them colorful, because I wanted to get my point across, because I had a staff that was ever-changing.

One of the topics, of course, was misogynists. These cops — the vice cops, you know, the lowest on the food chain at the police department — they love to go after defenseless women. You know, it's, it's... It is something that I want to explore when this is all over -- when my actual civil/criminal case is all over. I am even talking to some folks right now about putting together a documentary on what the police have done, do, and will continue to do to defenseless women in this country involved in the sex industry.

The very first person who emailed me when this all broke was a woman. And the subject header was: "My mother is an ex-madam." She went on to explain who she was, and the terror that she, her mother, and her family experienced at the hands of the police. This particular email was followed up by many many others, all having their own little monikers. Some were very well-known madams who have stories to tell that will make your blood curdle.

SB: You had already had — going back to the early 90s at least — a really harsh experience with the criminal justice system. And you had a prison experience. How come when you got out you stayed in the business? I mean, why didn't you say "That's it! I'm joining bible study groups, I'm becoming a missionary... This was horrible! They just put me on the rack." How come it didn't scare you straight?

DP: Well, first of all... You come out prison with a scarlet F — "Felon" — across your forehead. Despite the fact that I had a four-year degree, and a little less than a year of law school — I was a fairly well-educated, well-traveled, well-read, sophisticated young woman in my mid-30s... there was no chance in hell for me in this society — certainly not back in the early 90s — to go forward, to get any kind of a job, or to do anything. I had no choice. My life was in tatters financially, emotionally...

I came out of prison almost blind, because I have this little hereditary defect in my eyes which made my cornea detach, and it made me kind of go blind for a while.

SB: Oh, god!

DP: Oh it was — it was a lovely experience. The whole ordeal.

So, I was really not in a position to do much of anything but to go back into the business. And to go back into it in a way that I felt — and I believed — I would never have a repeat experience.

SB: And how were you going to feel protected this time?

DP: Well, I was going to not open up a business in San Diego, for starters! I was going to go to the other side of the country — Washington D.C. or New York. And then I was gonna set it up in a way where I hoped no one would do anything that would get me into trouble. And I guess I did a pretty dog-gone good job, because for 13 years, from late 1993 until last August of 2006, we did not have one bust!

SB: I'm glad you brought up the J. Edgar Hoover connection, because — you know, I'm about the same age as you, and I know the era you're speaking of. And it makes me wonder — when you decided "I'm going to set up this service in the D.C. area from a remote location" — was there any part of you that thought, "Oh god, D.C. It's gonna be all government workers! I should go to Chicago or New York or L.A."

DP: Oh no no, no. We didn't live in fear in 1993, Susie. We were only living in fear in the day and age of the Patriot Act.

SB: (Laughs) Okay. Well I just wondered, because there is going to be a certain kind of style of person you're going to be dealing with in Washington.

DP: True. And in the beginning, I alternated between New York and D.C. And I ultimately ended up choosing Washington. I still do believe, to this day, that it had a higher brow base of clients — as does New York — without that Tony Soprano element.

SB: (Laughs) Okay. I see what you mean. It's kind of — yes. I get it exactly.

SB: From my own experience, I know there's a lot more to an escort business than the woman who's entertaining the customers. Did you decide "I want to be a manager, I want to own my own place," because you yourself had been an escort? And were you always thinking, "I could do this so much better, and this is so stupid..."

DP: I knew some people in San Diego who owned and operated an escort service many years ago. I looked at what they were doing and I thought, "My god. They're nincompoops."

SB: What did they do that was so nincompoop-y?


DP: (Laughs) I thought they were trashy people. No business sense! No ability to just run a simple business operation. That's exactly how I saw the situation — a simple business operation. And if they could just run it like a commercial enterprise, it'd do so much better.

So I got into it more or less that way. As I've often said, I got into it because the money attracted me — just like it does with each and every other person who ever enters the escort service business.

You know, the classic male question, and the hoped-for response is...

SB: Is that you're a nyphomaniac? (Laughs)

DP: Yes, yes... Nobody does it for that. Everybody looks at it as a business opportunity. I just chose to take it on as a real business opportunity, and to cultivate it accordingly.

I think a lot of these men enjoyed women who were strong personalities. Who were smart and engaging. That is what they were looking for. And that's who I hired.

SB: How could you tell that someone was tough enough to handle the secrecy, or ready for the pressures and the risk.

DP: Well, you know — up until last October, there was no pressure. We had a great gig goin' on, let me tell you. We all had a great gig! I did, the clients, the girls — We were not under pressure. We all had a happy life. We were all happy.

SB: So you didn't feel like, when you talked to someone, that it was like interviewing them for the Marines — "Are you tough enough to handle this? You need to be mentally tough..."

DP: Well, I made sure that they understood that there was a sexual component to this business. Albeit legal, again — you know, I've got to stand up for my attorney, who is not here at the moment, to jump in and make sure everybody understands... "albeit legal." There was a sexual aspect to this, and I needed to make sure that they understood — was this their cup of tea? They had to know that they weren't just going to go out and be wined and dined at the best restaurants in D.C. and given hundreds of dollars when the night was over. They had to know that there was an aspect to this where they would have to earn their money...

SB: When women interviewed to work for you, what were the things you looked for or didn't look for?

DP: Let me say this. Even though I'm heterosexual, I have excellent taste in women. I've been told I have excellent taste in women. I thought like these men did, a lot of times. I'll tell you what they're looking for — and that's the same thing I was looking for.

You don't have to be particularly pretty, but pretty doesn't hurt. You have to have a nice figure, but you don't have to have a rockin' body, by any means. Weight is important. It's an indicator of health more than anything. Education. Sophistication. Good sense of humor. A charming disposition. And not someone who's particulary a sap.

SB: Did everyone already feel really comfortable with kinky fantasies and eroticism? Did you feel like you had to vet people to make sure they weren't gonna be shocked or disgusted?

DP: Yes. I told them in general what the business required, and made sure this was something that they could go along with? And many times, the answer was "God, yeah! This is hardly anything compared to what my boyfriend would've expected of me!"

SB: (Laughs) And that was the right answer?

DP: That was the right answer.

SB: "My boyfriend already has himself in diapers...."

DP: Okay, well, we were not going down that road...

SB: Oh, come on. It's so funny.

DP: Well, yes.

SB: I mean, when I think about... It's almost like everything these people rail against becomes the very thing that they're into. It's almost as if they're revealing themselves by their preaching. Whatever they're screaming about...

DP: What is that word when you beat yourself up?

SB: Self-flagellating?

DP: Yes. Of course, I'm just a regular gal from southwestern Pennsylvania, you know, growing up in the '60s like you. I just, for the life of me — professionally, personally, and any other way — I could not possibly imagine the sexual kick out of that one.

SB: Some of my friends who haven't had experience in the sex business will say to me, "Well, what's in vogue? What's the top thing people want to do?" But I think most guys just want someone to listen to them and be charming and deferential. And, you know, provide very basic stuff. That was my guess. That it wouldn't be, like — "Everybody wants you to be in a French maid's outfit."

DP: My girls can probably give you a better answer than I could. But I would tend to think that a lot of it has to do with companionship. I absolutely would agree with that. I experienced it myself. I became quasi-friends with many of these people over the years.

SB: And they would want to have, you know, like, phone time with you, just to be chatting...

DP: Just chatting. And we weren't talking about sexual things. We were simply talking as one person to another.

SB: Did you get a sense of how many people want a "girlfriend experience" versus how many people want a one-night stand — a "Don't tell me your name"-type experience?


DP: Yeah, there was a lot of that going on. And I would always tell these folks, as kindly as I could... "Look. This is not Match.com." It's just not! It's another animal.

So many men were confused, thinking that this was the way they could do it. You know, like they could go to Russia and buy a bride! It just wasn't that way.

SB: Well, what do you think of having personal relationships, particularly with men, when you're in this business?

DP: Well, I was not in the business. I ran the business from California. To clients who said, "Well gee, can't you come see me?" I would say, "It would be a heck of a transportation fee."

SB: I mean, does romance become sort of ridiculous...

DP: I would have to explain myself and how I make my living.

SB: I would think that you probably didn't feel like you could just be somebody's wife and act like nothing had ever happened, or that you didn't understand what you understand about men's sexuality.

I mean, you probably don't believe that monogamy is very possible. I would think you couldn't have an "Ozzie and Harriet" point of view about heterosexual relationships...

DP: Actually, in an odd sort of way, I do. Doesn't everyone want to find their soul mate?

SB: Well soul mate, yes. But that could mean so many things.

DP: Let's put it like this. Now that I am freed from the chains of this business, in a way that I never thought I would be free... I have great hope, in the coming months, as I work my way out of my current predicament, to end up in another place, obviously. And in that place, I hope, indeed, to find a nice man.

SB: I just can't wait to see who it's gonna be!

SB: What were your thoughts about sex when you were young? And what changed as you started growing up and opening your mind up to new ideas?

DP: Well... I had to have to somebody explain to me what the word "queer" meant because I had no concept that such a thing could ever occur. That was in the ninth grade. It was explained to me that that's when two boys kiss each other like a boy would kiss a girl.

And then, I never — it wasn't until I got out of high school that I connected that girls could do the same thing. So that might give you a really good basis of where I was at sexually.

SB: You were sheltered.

DP: I had no concept of sexuality on any level, or in any way. Uh... I was — I will say this on air — I was absolutely a virgin in high school. I was a virgin.

SB: I've seen the picture somebody ran of you on some kind of a prom date, and you look like a virgin. You look like a girl who's nervous about her prom, but trying to look her best. But you don't look like somebody who's a wild-haired, bra-less hippie.

DP: No. I was not a hoochie cootchie girl, that's for sure. So, you know, my understanding of sex really was very limited. I grew up in such a loving home, with doting parents. I was completely shielded. I had no concept of sexuality.

SB: What were your thoughts about money?

DP: I grew up in a very nice, very good blue collar household. I did all the odd jobs to earn a few extra dollars, like most kids do in junior high and high school. And when I got out on my own, I was working like a dog, like most people, trying to go to school, doing two-or-more jobs... killing myself! In high school I'd done a great deal of food waitressing, in these family-style, Denny's-type restaurants. I advanced from working as a food waitress to a cocktail waitress position. Because you could make so much more money.

And then I figured "This is ridiculous!" By then I had become somewhat pretty. I wasn't the mousey little thing I might've been in high school. And I thought — you know, well why not? This is ridiculous!

And then that led to the next jump. To my foray into the escort service world. Also — it should be pointed out, it was never about greed. I think it's about leveling the playing field a little bit financially — and that was certainly true when we were coming up in the 70s and then into the 80s...

SB: (Laughs) When I think of the prominent people who've been revealed in this whole escapade so far, do you feel like you've made your point? You can say, "Look. These people are hypocrites. It just exposes the whole nonsense of the prosecution. Back off." Or do you look forward to a future where you can discuss more of the names and the politics on the list, because there's a further point to be made.

DP: I don't wish to ruin anyone's life. However, I do share the same mindset as Larry Flynt: expose the hypocrites. And for those few dozen to a hundred or so that ultimately will be revealed — like David Vitter — I go to sleep very easily at night without any guilty feelings whatsoever about the David Vitters of the world.

He has the ability to send us to war, in part. He has a vote. We don't have a vote, but he has a vote. So these people not only are hypocrites — they're kind of dangerous.

And these people can and should be exposed, as far as I'm concerned. And that's the very reason I let the records go as I did, in the very end.

SB: I heard from one of Randall Tobias's staffers, who is an international aid worker, working with AIDS — after his name was made public, and he had to go away, quickly. My friend had to listen to this man pushing his "abstinence" policy all around the world...

DP: Mmm hmm...

SB: And they were just, like, "Thank god. He's out of here." Everything about public service and what decent people here are trying to do was being ruined by people like this.

DP: I am so happy you told me that. I had not heard that. Because that's exactly why I released the records.

See Also:
Drugs and Sex and Susie Bright
Senator Vitter's Suppressed Statement
World Sex Laws
Don't Go There: Top 20 Taboo Topics for Presidential Candidates
Libertarian Chick Fights Boob With Boobs
Three Hundred Pound Porn Queen Decimates Oklahoma Town

Read More

CNN Exposes Boob Job Giveaway

CNN Exposes Boob Job Giveaway at My Free Implants

Wednesday CNN's Headline News delivered a hard-hitting expose — on a web site offering free boob jobs.

After showing the obligatory footage of the site's models, CNN reporter Erica Hill asked commentator Glenn Beck what he thought of MyFreeImplants.com. (Beck's first comment was a request for another look at the site's photographs.) But Erica Hill remained unimpressed, arguing that if she wanted to pimp her photograph to earn boob job money — she'd just do it herself.

This titillating report overlooked the fact that the site's been in operation since 2005. It was started after a Vegas bachelor party, if you believe the site's history page. My Free Implants hopes to attract registrations from both female and male customers — offering the women a chance to "work their way" to breast implants by instant messaging and chatting with the site's male customers. (Along with sending them customized photos or selling "personal items or gifts".)

"Ladies," it asks. "Have you ever wanted bigger breasts? But couldn't afford the expensive costs of surgery?"

"Gents. Help the girl of your dreams get the body of her dreams..."



"Do I have to pose naked?" is a frequently asked question. (No, a FAQ explains, though some ladies "choose to reward donors with sexy photos," and just how "sexy" the photos get "varies greatly from person to person.") The site graciously informs its female members that they "can upload an unlimited number of pictures of yourself," and brags without irony that it's uniting the women with "benefactors" who "wish to help these women improve their self esteem and confidence..."

If you're skeptical, don't worry. My Free Implants also includes what it says are the women's testimonials about their visits to their plastic surgeons. "Lemme see what ya got here, buddy," one woman reports her surgeon as saying.

I actually laughed out loud, but then I realized he was serious. So I showed him what I got here, buddy... Needless to say, he took one look at my breasts and said, "Holy Mackerel! I've seen 14 year-old boys with larger breasts!" No, he didn't. He just squeezed them. Then he squeezed them some more. Then he pointed to my nipples and said the implants would perk them up....and then squeezed my breast again to show me how my nipple would pop up. I felt a bit like Charmin by the time he was done...


In fact, My Free Implants is very proud of its accomplishments, saying they are "on pace to average" one free breast augmentation surgery every month. Another page boasts that "MyFreeImplants.com is the first website of its kind to harness the global power of the Internet to service the unique needs and desires of its members."

There's a page showing "before and after" pictures, of course — plus what it says are excerpts from the press coverage.
"See that's what makes our country great!"
— Jay Leno

"You're doing the lords work! I want to thank you..."
— Former Loveline host Adam Carolla

"...honestly the government should be funding this site it's so great!" — some deejays from KROQ


Click here to watch a news report about the site.

It proves an age-old truism about the internet — where there's breasts, there's an audience. But apparently their business model has still gone through some changes since 2005. "We used to offer a wide range of free cosmetic surgery procedures," the online FAQ explains, but "we discovered over time...that those that were contributing to fund the surgeries, were really drawn to the site based on the concept of helping to fund free breast implant procedures." (Although this is contradicted by another page on the site which still announces that "we do have relationships with a variety of cosmetic surgeons and often provide our female clientele with other cosmetic surgeries at no cost.")

Women can choose their own surgeon, of course — and in fact, the site appears to be making a hefty income just from banner ads touting various cosmetic surgery centers.


They're also offering the services of the site's official spokesmodel. "She was the very first lady to reach her goal of earning a free boob job," the site explains, and Natasha "now takes time to help other women in similar positions." And, it adds, she's also available for "modeling assignments." She must have taken MyFreeImplants.com's unique philosophy for success to heart:

"You do not need to possess anything but an open mind and an adventurous spirit."

See Also:
The Celebrity Breast Conspiracy
World Sex Laws
They're Dreaming of a Boobs Christmas
Sex Expert Susie Bright Let's It All Out
Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs
Downfall of the Seducer

Read More

Deep Throat, Big Brain — Sex Blogger Chelsea Girl


A former stripper who once got nekkid on the Howard Stern Show, Chelsea Girl calls her very smart sex blog "Pretty Dumb Things." And it's been gathering so much attention that she's been asked to write for Yahoo! Personals, the Sappho's Girls blog and Penthouse. In her spare time — or in another life — she's a professor of English literature.

In this conversation, we discussed "viscous porn-starry spit," her scholarly interest in Victorian erotica, and — of course — her blog.
For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. The full audio version of this interview can be found here: Link

SUSIE BRIGHT: You were a stripper who became known for your erudite sex blogging. Were you even keeping any kind of diary when you were stripping?

CHELSEA GIRL: No. Nothing.

SB: Your blog isn't all about you being a raconteur with stories about your dance days.

CG: Sometimes...

SB: Sometimes you'll bring it up, but the blog is more in the now. I'm interested in what got you started on blogging about your sex life?

CG: Spite. Spite ended up being a really good motivator. I was dating a man who had a blog. And it was the first time I had ever heard about blogging. This was around January, 2005. And he very much seduced me with his blog. He wrote wonderful things about me. And then the relationship came to a crashing halt. He actually broke up with me via email.

SB: Ouch.



CG: Yeah, it was charming. And then he wrote something really Milquetoast about me, and that was the end for me with his blog. At that point I decided: "You know what? I can do this so much better than you — so much more successfully, and I'm going to. And I did.

SB: What was it like being on the Howard Stern Show? I've never been on, and I have mixed feelings about it. Like if he asked me to take off my shirt — I take off my shirt all the time. But here's my dilemma — I don't want somebody else telling me to take off my shirt!

CG: Well, before I became a stripper, I was waitressing in a strip bar. And some people came in from the Howard Stern Show and were looking for girls to appear on the show. So I said I'd do it! This was well before there were even blogs — '93. I'm sort of one of those people who will think, "Sure! It's a good idea. I've never done it. Why not?" And that may sometimes be against my better judgment, later.

Like you, I have mixed feelings about Howard Stern. But, not surprisingly, once you're there, he's incredibly charming.

SB: How does he do that?

CG: You sort of get swept up in the whole thing. Plus, I had to be there for the interview at 6 in the morning. And I'd only had about an hour and a half of sleep, because bars close at 4. So my hair was still all ratted out from my night before — I might've still been wearing the night-before eyeliner. I was in this total daze. But I thought: When am I gonna have the chance again to strip for Howard Stern? And what a good story! So I did it.

SB: I hope I don't make you blush, but I want to quote you. Recently in your blog, you're writing about your beloved, who you call Donny. And you're having a talk where you say you're not happy. And then you say Donny admitted he was happy with your current state of affairs and that he was frightened of change. He says...
"I know you haven't been happy with our sex because it's not raunchy enough. But I think it's raunchy." He paused. "What would make it raunchy for you?"

"Spanking," I said, for one thing. Flogging.

"I have a hard time hurting you because I love you." He said.

"Honey," I said, "flogging is love."

And then you go on to say, "Lots of men have this issue... Lots of guys have a hard time having the rough and raunchy spanking sex with their girlfriends once they fall in love with them."

Would you please talk to us a little bit more about that?

CG: Yeah. I didn't even really realize this was an issue until I wrote a post about it at some point last fall. I think the post was called "The Dance With Me." I wrote about how — when I first started seeing Donny about three years ago, our sex was intensely inventive and often really rough in a nice way. But over time, it becomes sort of this… "You do this to me, 1-2, I do this to you, 3-4" kind of thing. And I got about five comments and a bunch of emails from men who basically said, "Yeah. Once I really fell in love with my girlfriend, I found I couldn't do this to her any more." So that made me realize that this isn't just a problem with my beloved — it's larger.

It's something that I don't think very many people really talk about. So often when we read about sex, it seems to imply that it's the woman's issue — it's the woman's fault, or there's something that we have to do. There are ten more ways to be seductive in bed, according to Cosmo — or whatever. Even in a recent New York magazine cover article by Naomi Wolf where she argues against porn, her implicit thesis is that it's the female's responsibility to sort of keep up the hotness level. But all of these men were sort of admitting to me — privately or in comments — that it was their psychological issue. It's been really interesting to begin to parse that idea out.

SB: Do you think it's because men have a hard time imagining the wife/mother of their children needing a really good whupping to get off? Because that's the bad girl? And the virtuous woman is sitting there in some kind of prairie outfit accepting missionary position.


CG: (Facetiously) Well I know I am!

SB: She wants to be spanked in a prairie outfit!

CG: I have the cowboy boots — several pairs! Yeah, I think that may be part of it. But I also think it's something else. I think that it's more this idea that once you're in love, and once you're committed to trying to put this other person first, the idea of hurting them becomes somewhat anathema.

SB: "Hurting someone?" I mean, when we hurt each other emotionally, it's devastating. And if Mr. Donny doesn't get more involved with you, he is going to inevitably hurt your feelings.

CG: Exactly.

SB: Right. Yeah. But the kind of hurting that you were asking for...

CG: It's the good hurt.

SB: ...it's orgasmic!

CG: Yeah. It's the John Cougar Mellencamp Hurts So Good. Right.

SB: When you get into your bottom space, and you want a lot of sensation, do you like that to go hand-in-hand with roleplay? Where you've been bad...

CG: No. I'm not much into that "Oh yeah, punish me" kind of thing. And humiliation really doesn't work. I wrote a while ago about when my boyfriend called me a stupid slut, and that just ripped me out of the whole moment. I was like, "I am not stupid! You can call me your slut. You can call me your whore. You can call me whatever — but I am not stupid." And he laughed, and he said, "You're right. You're not." And we kissed.

One of the things I like about writing a blog is that it allows me to write about whatever I want. And I learned how to write about sex, I think, relatively successfully. And I'm kind of like — yeah, been there, done that, and wrote about it. Or been there, fucked that, and wrote about it. So I've been writing less and less about sex in terms of specific sex acts. And that's partly because I figured out how to do it; and partly because my readership is so huge; and partly because I don't really want my acquaintances to know.

SB: People don't understand the similarities between blogging about your life and the great fiction writers. All the famous authors you've ever read — particularly ones who have written about sexuality — I don't care if it's Erica Jong, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Doris Lessing, John Updike... they're all writing "fiction" about people that they have observed and experienced. Of course they're twisting the facts to their literary whim. But all their friends and family and lovers who read those books recognized themselves.



Privately, I think novelists have always dealt with a lot of anger, and slammed phones, and people saying I'm never speaking to you again. But with bloggers, there's a premium put on the authenticity — "This is my life. This is real." It's more intense.

CG: Well, I never could keep a journal because nobody was reading it. I can't write without an audience.

Until this past spring, I was working on a doctorate in English literature. I was dissertating — that would be the verb form of writing a dissertation — when I realized, nobody's going to read this. And I just could not write it. Meanwhile, I was writing reams and reams of what would be paper for my blog. So I realized, "I don't have a writer's block. I just don't want to write my dissertation!" So I decided to leave the program.

SB: What is your scholarly interest in English literature?

CG: 18th century British literature.

SB: That's a very smutty period.

CG: Terrifically smutty. Absolutely. The 18th century was an intensely messy period because the print world was exploding. It was the first time you had professional female writers. The novel appeared, as a genre. You had memoirs, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. All of these things were more or less new.

So, in a lot of ways, what is happening now with the internet is very analogous to the 18th-century print culture. It was absolute, cacophonous mayhem. Also, people were stealing stuff. People were assuming other people's identities. It wasn't until William Hogarth in 1743 where you had the first sort of copyright laws. Daniel Defoe wrote under seven or eight different identities advocating completely opposing positions on issues, and he was paid from various political affiliates. He was the biggest writing 'ho' in history.

Women, in particular, had a really interesting place in the publishing world. In the earlier part of the century, Eliza Haywood was the biggest-selling author, but you couldn't find her writing until about fifteen years ago. It wasn't until there was a feminist rediscovery of the writers of the time period that her prominence and her texts sort of came to light again.

SB: Did she write about relationships?

CG: Yeah. It was pretty much "one-handed reading."

SB: No way!

CG: Way. Amorous fiction. I mean, you take something like the big work of 18th century pornography — Fanny Hill — and it reads shockingly like a porn movie, with escalating sex acts and the various kinds of configurations of bodies.

And there was a lot of terribly, terribly smutty poetry — people like The Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot — even parts of Pope and Swift. All that was very much expurgated when I first went to college in the 1980s, but when I went back to school and finally finished in the 1990s, this stuff had come to light.

SB: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you to talk about your oral sex discussion.

CG: The "deep throat" post.

SB: I learned so much from that. There are all these people writing "deep throat this" and "deep throat that." And there's even porn how-to films. But it never gets beyond the sort of Linda Lovelace fanfare of deep throat. Until you, no one talked about how you really get things...

CG: Down.

SB: How the nature of your saliva changes once you get in the right... You call it the viscous stuff.

CG: Yeah, the viscous, porn star-y spit.

SB: How did you learn how to give spectacular deep throat sex? Who taught you?

CG: My pediatrician.

SB: Oh, come on! No, stop!

CG: I had strep throat a lot as a kid. And I hated tongue depressors. And every winter I would have my throat swabbed over and over again. And so I learned how to control my gag reflex so that I didn't have to have a tongue depressor in my mouth when they swabbed my throat. That's essentially the same technique I use when I deep throat. I had no idea it would come in handy. But seriously, the first time I gave head, it just went down.


SB: Well, did you realize that the nature of one's saliva and mucus would change and that you'd get more lubrication?

CG: Oh, that came from Jenna Jameson — I was reading Jenna Jameson's book, which was ghostwritten by Neil Strauss, of course. Anyway, Jenna sort of articulated how, once you start, your gag reflex is your friend. And once you start to have the gagging happen, that's when you get that nice thick viscous spit.

SB: Now, are you someone who, when you're giving a blowjob, you can feel your own sexual rush? Can you feel your own clit getting harder, and how exciting it is? Or are you someone who gets a huge ego rush from it?

CG: I don't know that the two are inextricable.

SB: I was gonna say, it could go together. But there are some women, you can just see when they're performing fellatio or cunnilingus, they are getting really hot.

CG: It depends on the person and the moment and how I'm feeling. I remember the first time I ever came — like "Look ma no hands" — while fucking. I had been giving my boyfriend head and I was getting really turned on. I was thinking, "OK, this is really weird, but cool." And then I got on top of him and started riding him, and I came. And I was sort of like, "Wow. This is really weird."

Other times, it's more of the ego thing. Because it is kind of this spectacular show, particularly for guys who've never been deep-throated. The more I really care about my lover, the more exciting it is for me. With my current boyfriend, it's way more exciting than if it were some dude off the street.

SB: You're so romantic. Your blog title — "Pretty Dumb Things" — is intriguing. You told us in an anecdote, that when your boyfriend was talking dirty, and he teasingly called you a stupid slut, you said, "Don't say stupid."

CG: Right. So… why dumb? I had a list of names I like. "Pretty Dumb Things" was my name for an indie rock band. If I were a country-western singer, I'd be Dakota Rage. If I were a drag queen, I'd be Cocoa Rococo. And if I had an all-female trapeze troupe, they'd be the Flying Buttresses. And if I were a performance artist, I'd be Tender DeBris.

In part, it's the irony, because my writing isn't dumb. And I like the ambiguity of the title because dumb can also mean someone who is unable to speak. And when I started to blog, I wrote about many issues that have sort of been buried for a very long time, and that I haven't spoken about, and that I needed to bring into the light.

See also:
Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out
Sex & Drugs & Susie Bright
The Scientific Laws of Romance
The Prince of Gonzo Porn
Sex Panic: An Interview with Debbie Nathan

Read More

The Male Scale: 10 Archetypes


Legends of the Fall - Brad Pitt

Manhood is in flux.

Until the 19th century and the beginning of the Women’s Suffrage movement, traditional gender definitions prevailed. But as women gradually claimed their share of political power, they were not content with the classic male-work-rational-strong vs. female-home-emotional-weak dichotomy that dominated — and of course they shouldn’t have been.

Men resisted the movement until they could do so no longer. As women took steps to define their own gender roles, men missed the opportunity to do the same. We were left with a confused, ragtag concept of what it means to be a man, defined not by ourselves, but rather by contrasting ideals from two sources — liberated women and posterity.



But most modern men defy these narrow stereotypes, taking pieces of each. So without further ado, I now present to you...

The Male Scale

John Wayne1: John Wayne
The cowboy. Solitary, doesn’t need anyone else, but everyone else needs him to save the day. He is untethered by the world, an emotional Gibraltar. Therein lies his power, and his doom.
 
 

James Bond2: James Bond
Bond is…almost untrammeled. As a spy, he is defined by his one “weakness,” a desire to save the women who he encounters, and not solely for the sex. It is this chink in his armor, this mite of sensitivity in an environment where it could mean his death, that has made his image an echoing one.

Hemingway3: Hemingway
Hemingway would pretend to be Wayne, hunting and fishing and eschewing the women for the guys. For Chrissake, he got a special dispensation to hunt U-Boats in the Caribbean during WWII, which really just was him and his buddies getting drunk in pleasant waters. But his manliness, down to his nickname — Papa — was always a bit of trying too hard, always a dodge from the heavy emotions that consumed him. His characters were constantly hurt and refused to show it. He was the sensitive man who couldn’t bear to think it, so tried to cover it up with obscene displays to the contrary.

Jason Bourne4: Jason Bourne
As we reach the middle of the scale, Bourne is a twist on Bond. He has that something that many men crave, that surety that every other guy he sees, he can take in a fight. But he’s also a man in search of himself, haunted by his status as an assassin. If you choose to see it that way, he represents a drive towards self-awareness that few action heroes attempt.

Harry Potter5: Harry Potter
Harry isn’t the best wizard. He’s not the smartest. But he is the bravest. He alternates between brash actions that make you cheer cringe, and moments of self-doubt and emotional connection that, well, make you cheer and cringe. He is motivated by the desire to protect, but also for love and family. And, of course, he combats evil. It’s fitting, perhaps, that the balance is embodied in a child, who is less affected by the cultural ideas that can take root in the soul after so many years.

Brad Pitt6: Brad Pitt
Right, right. We all know he plays a badass Irish boxer, a secret agent, and Tyler Durden. But let's not forget roles like Tristan in Legends of the Fall. (Sure,Tristan was one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, but the name also means "sad"). And, since hooking up with Jolie, Pitt has actively been trying to change his image from sex symbol to humanitarian aid symbol. That Vanity Fair cover he got so upset about was said by some to be working against this new image.


Barack Obama7: Barack Obama
Obama is a sensitive voter’s fantasy, hitting all the right notes of compassion and unity and hope. He lets us fantasize about the possibility of a President who isn’t a 1 or a 2 like most of those we’ve gotten over the years (particularly from the Republican party). Although he displays a strong chin, he is constantly criticized for his “lack of experience,” meaning his indecisiveness, lack of definitive policy, etc. In effect, he’s being criticized for not being more like Wayne or Bond.

Anderson Cooper8: Anderson Cooper
The compassionate anchor. Cooper vaunted into celebrity, of course, with his impassioned reporting from New Orleans during the Katrina disaster. He attracts viewers who want something beyond that dispassionate traditional approach, an anchor with whom they can connect emotionally. His stature, fine features, and blue blood are also not prototypically masculine, but are part of a package that a lot of people find appealing.

Danny Tanner9: Danny Tanner
On Full House, he was father and mother, teaching his children about emotions really more than anything else. He was respectable, the kind of dad a lot of people would want. Of course, that didn’t stop everyone from calling him gay to the point that Bob Saget wrote a hysterical song defending Tanner’s heterosexuality.

Mr. Sensitive10: Mr. Sensitive
Just to get the point across, I’m going with a caricature here. In the certifiably crappy movie Bedazzled (whose only redeeming feature was Liz Hurley in shifting, besequined outfits), Brendan Fraser for his wishes switches his personality around in an effort to win the heart of this one girl. At one point, he wishes to be “sensitive,” which just means that he starts crying over crap like the flight of a bird. The lesson I think we’re supposed to take away: some, or even a lot of sensitivity is good, but for God’s sake, be a man!

So now I ask you: is this scale accurate? Is it skewed in one direction or another? Where do prominent figures you know fall? (I think Bush is a 1.)

Ethan Todras-Whitehill is a freelance writer who covers technology, travel, and subcultures. He contributes regularly to The New York Times and several national magazines. He also blogs at crucialminutiae.com.

See also:
The Scientific Laws of Romance
Nancy Drew's Sexy Secrets
Girls Are Geeks, Too
Why Chicks Don't Dig the Singularity
Top 5 Cartoon Hunks

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The Prince of Gonzo Porn

Jamie Gillis

About the author: Susie Bright is the host of the weekly Audible.com podcast, "In Bed With Susie Bright," and is the editor of Best American Erotica, 1993-2008.

For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. Links to the full audio versions of this interview can be found here: Part 1, Part 2.

Jamie Gillis was the first male superstar of porn.

Gillis graduated from Columbia University in 1970. An aspiring actor, he was working as a cabbie when he answered an ad in the Village Voice and — ka-boom! He found himself making porn loops.

Gillis worked in the most important movies that were ever made in American erotic cinema — titles like The Opening of Misty Beethoven, directed by Radley Metzger; and director Richard Mahler's Midnight Heat.

Twenty years into his career, Gillis originated what came to be called "gonzo porn," simultaneously (and accidentally) pioneering the reality show genre. He hired a girl, a camera, and a car, and cruised San Francisco's North Beach to find fellas who'd be willing to have sex with her on camera, right on the spot. It was called, "On the Prowl."

For our interview, I met Jamie in New York City, his longtime home. When he admitted to our studio staff that he was 64, there was an audible gasp. This youthful man has a timeless sex appeal. Beyond that, he's a great conversationalist.

We started off by talking about the last time we'd seen each other in person. We were at a Christmas party at the Mitchell Brother's theater — owned by the late Jim and Artie Mitchell, who pioneered hardcore (and established intellectual property rights over the same). This was long before Jim shot Art, and the mood was celebratory.

Jamie and I reminisced about a mutual friend who partied with us there — Lisa Thatcher, a formidable (but now long-retired) porn star in New York during Jamie's early days in the business.



Susie Bright: If you remember, when we saw Lisa Thatcher at the Mitchell Brothers' Christmas party, you told me something like, "Not everybody is right for this business. Lisa was." And like myself, Lisa is now middle age. If you saw her on the street going to the grocery store now, you wouldn't say, "Oh my god, it's a porn star." And yet she still has this sort of glimmer in the eye. What did you mean when you said that?

Jamie Gillis: She wasn't just some innocent kid, you know? She knew exactly what she was getting into. She loved all kinds of sex, so she was never, in any sense, a victim of the business. And I think she did well in the business.

Those were some pretty raunchy days in New York. But you'd go someplace and there would be a line of guys trying to get to touch her. I'd never seen that big a line. And she loved it! She told me that one of the things that got her excited was the hunger of the guys who got to spend one or two minutes with her. She would relate to that kind of hunger that they felt. And she loved that. It turned her on.

SB: What do you notice about a performer who doesn't belong in the business?

JG: Well, they're not happy. They're doing it for the attention or maybe for affection that they haven't gotten from their families, or whatever. It's a sad story when they're not that interested in the sex — they just want to be noticed. They'll put up with the sex but you can see they're not there. They don't want to be there and they're trying not to be there. They're just saying, "Look at me. Hold me. Love me."

And, you know, you do get attention if you're a porn performer. We're concerned about you, and we'll send a car for you, and all that stuff — you know? So it can feel good, but with disastrous results for people who don't really belong in porn.

THE BUSINESS

SB: You got started in the business in the early '70s, I think.

JG: '71. There wasn't even a business. It was a dirty basement.


SB: I was about to say, it wasn't so much a business. It was a fly-by-night thing happening in a counterculture. So on top of the sex, you had this attitude: "This is our generation doing something different than anybody else would do." Even though it wasn't explicitly political, in the sense that some of the rock and roll was — it was of the time, like smoking pot or dropping acid. It had that vibe: "We hang together because we have some kind of consciousness, and we're also making some bucks and getting our rocks off." But then you had this complete change in technology in the business, and now there's nothing countercultural about the scene — nothing "outlaw" about it.

JG: It's no longer counterculture. The counter is gone. "Hey, ma! We're culture now!"

SB: Did this change depress you at all? You came from this era where you could be a freak or an intellectual, or you could have some cinematic or theatrical background, and you could fit in. Whereas now it's more like, "What do you mean? I'm busy, I have this many minutes to make this many dollars before my next real estate seminar." Was that change hard to cope with?

JG: In a way. It's sort of sad to see sex be a business.

SB: You didn't do it for free before...

JG: No!

SB: ...but there was just something else going on.

JG: But then, we don't want to get too romantic about this. I got into the business just looking for part-time work. I wasn't making any money acting so I was looking for a part-time job to support myself. But it did feel good, and it became a social thing. We were excited about what we were doing. It was kind of fun. (Laughs)

SB: I got interested in doing porn and being a porn critic in a sort of revolutionary spirit. I have zero interest in going to the AVN awards or some business seminar, or making some cookie-cutter movie with people who wouldn't know a filmic moment if it fell on top of them. It pisses me off! I get a little cranky about it.

JG: Well, people are making money and doing what they want. But I did get disgusted with the business around '89. I'd been in it for a long time. That's when I started doing that gonzo stuff, because the scripts were so stupid. So I thought — we'll just take a girl out to the streets…

SB: See what might happen.

JG: ...get her fucked. Yeah.



GONZO PORN

SB: For those people who don't know, what is gonzo? What did you want gonzo to be?

JG: All I wanted to do was just go out into the streets and meet people. Bring a girl out – maybe to a dirty bookstore or something — and just throw her to the wolves.

SB: Your first movie in that style was "On the Prowl." You took a pretty girl out and she said, "I'll fuck whoever wants to if you'll let us tape it." A lot of people will think everyone jumped at the chance. But of course, they didn't! There was a lot of tension. People were afraid of being conned, or that it wasn't real, or that she would cut their balls off in some crazy... There's this tension that they don't know if they can trust you with their nuts.

JG: It's a very unusual offer. Sure!

SB: (Laughing) Yes it is!

JG: I remember I was hanging out with Long Jean Silver and she said, "Let's go find some boys!" She wanted a group of boys to fuck. But we had a hard time finding them! We'd go up and I'd say, "Hey, you guys want to come back to our place?" They'd run! Finally, we found a group of seven. I said, "We're not taking seven. We're taking three. And I told her, "Pick three that you like the most."

There were two sailors that we picked up early on for a film we made. And I got a call from the Navy. One of the guys was in the brig because he did this movie. So I said, "What do you mean, one of the guys is in the brig because they did this movie?" (laughter) And it wasn't even the guy that did the fucking! It was the other guy.

So the guy's lawyer told me, "Well, they want to get rid of him, so they're using this as an excuse." So I said, "You tell the Navy that if they use this as an excuse to get rid of this guy, I'm going to call the press and tell them that he didn't even do anything in this movie, and the Navy's just trying to screw him. Because they're leaving alone the guy who actually did the fucking. So tell the Navy it's going to be on the front page of the Chronicle. So the lawyer said, "OK, thanks." He called me back a half hour later and said, "Thanks a lot. He's out. Everything's fine." That was the only time in my life I had any sense of what real power was.

SB: The classic report from most men about doing porn is that they think they'll have a giant dick on TV, but when the camera is on them, they're just sweating bullets. Did you ever have one of those shy moments back when you were a little lamb?

JG: Never. I was a duck to water. I mean, to me it was like — wow! Even though it wasn't good money back then, it was like — "Thirty bucks to fuck a pretty girl!" I couldn't believe it.

I don't know if it was because I was a sex freak or because of my acting training. I didn't care if anyone was there. I would just concentrate on what I was there to do. It wasn't hard to do that.

HARD ON… RELATIONSHIPS

SB: I've heard that it might be hard for men who were in the business to have relationships. Mike Horner told me that.

JG: Mike is the male version of somebody who shouldn't be in the business. He's too sweet for it. You know what I mean?

SB: Well, I want to hear what you have to say about the dilemma he described. He said, "If I'm fucking somebody all day at work, and I come home, and someone's all needy and saying, "I want you to fuck me now, because I'm your girlfriend and I need you to show that same enthusiasm for me.'" And he said, "It's too much. I can't do that." And I said, "Well, what if you hook up with someone in the sex business? Maybe they'll feel the same way. Maybe they'd also come home from a hard day of being fucked, and they don't need you to turn on, or turn off." But he said, "Oh, I can't win. I've tried a lot of different things." He really wanted to have a girlfriend the way other people have girlfriends.

JG: But this is even true in the "legitimate" Hollywood. If you're a guy, you get on the set and you're working with the most beautiful woman in the world. Maybe your wife or girlfriend at home is just as pretty, but still, this is fresh meat. You know? And they're all over the place — not just the actresses, but there are the extras. But Mike has a point. You can't live with somebody "straight" in the sex business. Of course it doesn't work. How could it?

I've had relationships with girls in the industry, and that seemed to work out OK, because we were both sex nuts. You know? But a "normal" girl? How can somebody even think about that?

SB: Did you ever feel like you wanted a romance or a domesticity that you couldn't have, or was your attitude just, "No thank you"?

JG: At the time when I got into the business, I was with a girl who saw me as this nice Jewish boy. I came out of college. I was acting. I was a mime. I was a good boy. (Laughter)

SB: You still are.

JG: Yeah, I still am. But all of a sudden I started fucking all these strangers. Somebody once said that a man is as faithful as his options. That's how it is.

So all of the sudden, I didn't even have to go out and look for the girls. They were thrown at me. And I was getting paid for it. So it's like, you've got this really wonderful woman at home. But on the other hand, you've got this other great stuff happening too. And if you're in your twenties, that great stuff is gonna win out… or maybe in your thirties and your forties, even. You know?

SB: (Laughs) Okay, well let's go to the fifties.

JG: Fifties? I don't know. (Laughs)

SB: Whenever I read official descriptions of your film career, they'll say, (solemnly) "Jamie Gillis — who never denied his bisexuality!"

JG: Oh… I saw that on Wikipedia.

IS ALL PORN QUEER?

SB: I love that phrase — "who never denies it." (Laughter) And it's not like you've ever been the grand marshal of the bisexual float in the gay parade. But you also haven't had this issue that some guys have where they think their career rests on a certain kind of perception that they're straight. I always think that's such a facade. If you're in the sex business, and you're fucking around other people all day long — the notion that you are some kind of "Kinsey 0" is a joke. You can't be. Because you're dealing with other people's dicks and cunts all day long. You better be comfortable with people's bodies. Anyway, how come you haven't been smeared by it?

JG: Well, I think the entire porn business is just fag-ridden. (Laughter) Including the customers! I mean, it's all about dick! It's all about dick, and watching dick come. Look at the dick squirt. See Dick. See Dick squirt.

I've always had this funny image of myself as a straight guy who just happens to have more fag sex than any fag I know. Because when I was coming up, gays were the only ones that were really sexually crazy. Before there was a Plato's Retreat, there was a place called Continental Baths. It was the exact same location. And I used to go to the Continental Baths, because that's where you could have crazy, wild sex! Nobody else was doing that. And I remember walking around that fucking place thinking, "If only there was a heterosexual place like this. Wouldn't that be amazing?" And I didn't even dream that it would happen — but it did, like about two years later, with Plato's Retreat. It was this straight place with all these hundreds of girls going there.

In my ideal world, if you were walking down the street, there'd be a place where you could just touch people. There would be a grope club.

SB: Did you ever have a moment when you were a teenager where you thought, "Oh my god, why am I so kinky?"

JG: No, not "Oh my god." Maybe "Thank god!"

SB: (Laughs) But you're supposed to feel guilt and despair and compare yourself to everyone else. How come you didn't?

JG: I guess I always sort of liked sex — almost any kind. It was a big treat! There's this Woody Allen line about how bisexuals have it better because they have twice as many opportunities for a date on Saturday night. And I remember thinking the same thing when I was eleven, before Woody Allen said it. I thought that as a kid! It was before I had any kind of sexual contact. It seemed like a reasonable attitude to me.

PROCURING GIRLS FOR PAPA

SB: Has your family been shocked by what you do? Did you have to negotiate this with them?

JG: It was hardly a problem. My family always recognized that I was a little different.

SB: Why do you think that is?

JG: Cause I was always a little different. (Laughs)

Once my mother saw me on television — that sort of legitimized it a little bit for her. And she would read the Daily News or whatever and see my name in advertisements. My older sister told me, "You know, she has clippings."

My father became a pain in the ass because I made the mistake of getting him a girl once. My parents were separated, so I got him a beautiful young girl. I think it was for his birthday or something.

SB: And you had reason to believe your dad had a strong sexual interest in...

JG: Oh, absolutely. He was always interested in women. So I knew this would work out and he'd be very happy. But the problem was — until he died, I could not talk to him without him saying "Do you know any more girls?" So every once in a while, I had to throw him another hunk of meat.

SB: So the lesson is — do not procure for members of your family?

JG: Don't procure for your father. It's a pain in the ass.

SB: Do you have kids? I mean, how do you deal with it...

JG: I have one child who's practically older than I am. I was a virgin when I was seduced by an older woman. And then she got pregnant. It was a plan — she wanted the child. I told her, "If you have that child, I will never see you again." And she said, "Well, I don't expect to see you anyway. I'm going to have the child." So that's how that was. But I must say, I'm now delighted that I had this child, because it sort of takes that edge off of wondering what that's like. There is this human being out there and I'm glad that she's around now. But it took me about nine years before I even acknowledged her. It was only because I didn't want to be a bad father. I wasn't prepared. I didn't want to end up like my own father, who had six children because that's what you did in those days.

SB: I think men in this business know some things about masturbating that a lot of other guys don't.

JG: I don't know. People just have to relax. And people will still ask, "Does it affect or hurt your real sex life?" And I've had women be bashful about using a vibrator when they're having sex. To me, that's crazy. Whatever works! You want me to hit you on the head with a hammer while you're using a vibrator? If that works, I don't care, whatever it is. So I'll say, if you like to use the vibrator, go ahead. As a matter of fact, it would turn me on. Because if somebody's excited, that's exciting for me.

WHEN I'M 64

SB: As you get older, does the sizzle endure?

JG: It never ends. I remember — there used to be an old Jewish dominatrix in New York called Belle du Jour. And she was popular. I would go to her place just to hang out sometimes because it was interesting. Guys would come in.

This old guy who must have been close to ninety comes in, and he goes in the back with her. And she has these black, thigh-high boots on. And he falls onto the floor, and he's lapping at her boots. And I'm thinking, "My god. It never ends." You know, you'd think when you were ninety, you'd have a little dignity. Something would change. But it doesn't! It just goes on.

SB: Do you know more about how to touch people now, than you knew ten or fifteen years ago? Actually, I don't even know how old you are…

JG: I… I… I… I sort of have a spasm whenever I say how old I am. This is the worst possible year, actually, because the Beatles song keeps running through your mind.

SB: Are you 64?

JG: 64. And there's nothing worse than knowing that you heard that song when you were a kid, and you were thinking — what a joke. There are 64-year-old people walking around the street. And then there you are. It's ridiculous.

SB: Well, you're very honest about this, so I'd treasure anything you can tell me about being a sexual man at 64.



JG: (Pause) Well, first of all, I don't feel I have to fuck everybody I meet.

SB: What a relief!

JG: Of course, also, the girls also don't feel they have to fuck me as much. But you're a little more in control, particularly if you've had as many women as I've had. You sort of know what they're like. And you can appreciate them more just for themselves. You can talk to them and have a good time. And you can just sort of look at one of them and have a good idea of what it's like to fuck that one. And you can think about that and not have to go through with it.

Susie Bright blogs at Susiebright.com

See also:
Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out
Sex & Drugs & Susie Bright
Dana Plato, Porn Star
300 Pound Porn Queen Decimates Oklahoma Town
Violet Blue SHOCKER: I'd Do Bruce Campbell!
Sex Panic: An Interview with Debbie Nathan

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Senator Vitter’s Suppressed Statement

Senator David Vitter10 Zen Monkeys received the following document from a friend who works as an aide to Republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter. It is the handwritten draft of the statement Senator Vitter planned to give before the press conference about his involvement in the "D.C. Madam" scandal.

Members of Vitter's staff talked the Senator out of his planned line of discussion and convinced him to go with the more conventional apology combined with partial denial. We are certain of the authenticity of this document, because we slipped it, along with a crisp Jackson, to our friend, Dolores "Bambi" Malone. Bambi has spent several weekends in Ibiza partying with the Senator, and she told us, "Yep. That's David. That sounds exactly like David. Hey! That's his handwriting!"

Here, then, are the notes for the statement Senator Vitter planned to deliver:

Friends, members of the press, fellow citizens. (PAUSE)

If bitches squirted their seeds like dudes do, I'd sure have egg on my face. (PAUSE for a moment so the morons can get the joke) Boo-yah!

But seriously, I stand before you today not to apologize or deny my behavior, but to give you a serious reality check. Remember that scene in A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson said, "You can't handle the truth"? Well, that's surely the case here in Washington, D.C. and all across America as regards sex.

Now the fact is, I'm a natural born lover's man. From the day I turned 17 and my mama took me out to the shed and taught me the truth about Southern love, I've had a taste for it — if you know what I mean. Nowadays, I like 'em short or tall, fat or skinny, blonde or brunette, young or old. Hell, I've even had me one of them chicks with dicks. Craziest night I ever spent. We did it all, and though I won't get into too much detail, I will say Señor Dirty Sanchez did make an appearance.

The point is — I'm a pretty good looking guy and I've got money and power. I don't have to pay for it. But the nice thing about hookers: you don't have to please 'em. You know what I mean? I mean, it's nice to make a lady cum, but as you get older, you really just want to be serviced by a pro. And Deborah Palfrey had her a full stable of fine mares, if you know what I mean.

Now I'm sure some of you are sitting there feeling sorry for my wife, Wendy. Give me a break! Just check her out in that leopard-skin dress. You think she ain't got a couple of boy toys down in Louisiana? Not only that, but we've shared a few of Debbie's finest together. When Wendy goes down on a muffin, bitch'll be frightenin' the horses for miles around. And besides, every time I turn around, Wendy wants another addition to the house, new clothes, a couple of weeks' vacation alone with one of her boy toys in Rome. (PAUSE. Look sympathetically at Fred Dodds from The Post and wink. And then get all folksy) So don't y'all be feelin' too sorry for Wendy.

Listen. I got into politics because a friend of mine who is a big time corporate attorney thought I'd be good at it. He said I should be a Republican. He explained to me all about crony capitalism and told me I'd make great connections and scads of money. And all I had to do was represent the interests of my friends and donors. They'd tell me what to do.



It was a totally sweet deal. But he didn't tell me about the moralism part — about how you've got to be all about family values, and you've got to be for teen abstinence and against the queers and porn and abortion and Janet Jackson's nipples. And that's because the common Christian folks down in Louisiana don't care that much about whether my financial supporters make butt-loads of money or not. They care about pretending to hate sex — like it tells you to do in The Bible.

Y'all know what a rube is? It comes out of the circus. It's a word for folks who are easily scammed. Or, do you know what a mark is? It's an old term used by petty thiefs for people who are easy pickins. I think, originally, the word was used by pickpockets. Here's how it works. You got yourself a mark, and with your right hand, you're waving around the bible in front of his face and shouting about salvation. Then, with your left hand, you're picking the asshole's pocket. (PAUSE for laughter) Now, the common folks — working folks, poor folks who put me into office — they're marks and rubes, right?

OK. That's about all I have to say. I'm gonna stay in the Senate unless someone kicks me out. And those who paid this piper will continue to call the tune. I signed on to give my financial supporters a sweet deal, and that's what I intend to do. But I can no longer be a hypocrite about sex because… shit, like I said, I'm a natural born lover's man. So I will fight to legalize prostitution and any other kind of sex adults want to have. Gays can get married for all I care, although I can't see why they'd wanna. (PAUSE. Glare at Wendy.) And girls, if you're looking for a nice chunk a change, you know where to find me.

I'll be in the U.S. Senate where I plan to stay until my term runs out.

Any questions?

See Also:
Awesomest Congressional Campaign Ever
My Opponent Pays for Gay Teen Bestiality!
Is It Fascism Yet?
Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs
The Future of America Has Been Stolen

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Sex Panic! — An Interview With Debbie Nathan


Woman Screaming


Editor's note: We experienced some hesitation at publishing this piece. We know that people have strong emotions about these topics and, obviously, the sexual abuse of children is no trivial matter.

But given the players, including the New York Times, the Justice Department, the Internet, and Free Speech itself, we feel confident that it will start an important debate on a number of issues that are usually dominated by hysterical, reactionary voices.

About the author: Susie Bright is the host of the weekly Audible.com podcast, "In Bed With Susie Bright," and is the editor of Best American Erotica, 1993-2008.

For a free month's subscription to "In Bed With Susie Bright," click here. Links to the full audio versions of this interview can be found here: Part 1, Part 2.


Debbie Nathan is the expert on sex panics and is perhaps best known for her book, Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt, about some of the widely covered sex panic cases that rocked the U.S. in the '80s and '90s, such as the McMartin preschool case in California. Susie and Debbie share a deep distrust about former New York Times journalist Kurt Eichenwald's much talked about articles on Internet child pornography.

SUSIE BRIGHT: First of all, you uncovered the bizarre so-called "satanic abuse scandals" that were happening in Southern California in the 1980s, and I remember thinking, "How could people re-create the Salem witch trials in this day and age?" And the next time you popped up in my life, I was reading these sensational stories in the New York Times about child pornography, which the reporter described in amazing, titillating detail — and of course he was on a campaign to stop it.

Nevertheless, I put down the newspaper I was reading, and I thought, "How does this guy get to look at anything that is remotely like 'child pornography' when the whole genre is utterly and completely illegal in the United States? What is the deal... Did he do a deal with the Justice Department? And what are they showing him?" And, "How come he doesn't talk about any of this?" (Ed: Former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald has denied ever looking at illegal pornographic images.) The very next day, there's an article in Salon — by you, Debbie Nathan. And it had this provocative title, Why I Need To See Child Porn.

DN: And then the next day, it was gone.

SB: And then the next day, it was gone! Because the reporter who'd written the original piece just blew his stack and threatened Salon with legal action if they didn't take this piece down. Well, I want to get back to your rebuttal — the very first thing you said, which is: If child porn is such an immoral outrage, then why does anyone need to look at it? Why is it anybody's business? Aren't we just supposed to say, "My god, that's aberrant," and turn our heads away?

DN: Well, there are two reasons for that, and I'm not sure which one is more important. But the first one has to do with technology. It has to do with the fact that in this country — not all countries, but in the United States where we respect the First Amendment — the reasoning behind outlawing child pornography is that it is the record of the victimization of a real child.

SB: The photographic record.

DN: The photographic record. Now, we don't outlaw photographic records of other crimes. For example, we didn't outlaw looking at the Abu Ghraib torture pictures...

SB: Boy, I'll say.

DN: ...which were sexual tortures. But we do outlaw looking at photographic records of sexual crimes against children. Now, of course, that brings up a whole other can of worms, which is that a lot of child pornography involves 17-year-olds or 16-year- olds. It used to be that you could make pornography in this country if you were over 16.

SB: How recent was that?

DN: You know, I can't tell you the exact year, but it seems to me that it was changed in the 80s. It might've been the late 70s. But the age of model consent used to be lower than it is now. So then you get into the whole argument and controversy about what is a child? We have statutory definitions, but in the real world, I think we know that there's a huge variation in emotional development.

SB: Let's say it's non-consensual, it's basically rape on camera. You know, there'd be no question that everyone would be horrified.

DN: Let's say an 8-year-old who's being raped. Okay?

SB: Oh, god. Okay... Why does anybody need to scrutinize that, aside from the Department of Justice?

DN: I still haven't even finished my first point. And my first point about the technology is that it might not be a real child. Because we now have morphing. We have ways to take pictures of adults, for example, and fiddle around with pixels in Photoshop. We have ways to make adults look like children. You can actually make a young adult look like an 8-year-old. You can do cartoons.

SB: This is reminding me of when I was a good Catholic, and we discussed venal sin. There, somebody might say, "Okay. So you didn't really do this. But you thought it."

DN: You thought about it! That's right.

SB: "And we should lock you up forever and chop your balls off for even thinking about this!"

DN: Yeah, — well, that's where we're at. Now we've got the technology to produce sexualized representations of children where there's no children. So it's not a record of the exploitation of anyone. It's just a piece of art. You might consider it tasteless and repulsive, but it's just a representation and it's not a representation of reality. Now in this country, that is not illegal. In other countries it is, but not in the United States. So how do we know what's on the internet? This is question #1. The government goes around saying there's a tremendous amount of child pornography on the internet. No one really knows how much of it is photographic records of real crimes against real children and how much of it is morphing imagery. So that's question #1. How much illegal stuff is on the web? We don't know. People need to know. And somebody needs to be able to look at that stuff who's not in the Department of Justice, because they've got their own agenda.

SB: At this point, the Department of Justice's reputation is so bad, I wouldn't give them authority to walk across the street.

DN: The thing is, this is the last frontier of authority for the Justice Department. And that's the second point — not only do we not know how prevalent child pornography really is, the government is claiming that it's a multi-billion dollar industry and it's huge. And they're now using that claim to justify the Patriot Act.

And we all know Gonzales is in big shit right now because of a bunch of things including illegal use of the Patriot Act and the firing of all of these attorneys. So he's trying to divert attention by saying, "Well, I'm not so concerned about all that because I'm still following my agenda, which is to attack this terrible problem of child pornography on the internet."

And when the DOJ puts this stuff out, nobody makes a peep. Because this country, this culture, is so ready to believe anything that the government says about child pornography. And that's why you need people outside of the government to be able to look around on the internet. No one has any idea what's really on the internet except maybe — you know, the FBI. Although I'm not sure what they know either. But they're very quick to make claims. And that's dangerous!

SB: Well, when it comes to how to get at the perpetrators of child abuse, why isn't the law completely focused on the criminal act, as it happened, as opposed to whatever record there is of it?

DN: Well, the DOJ will tell you that it's very hard to go backwards and find the child. I mean, there are a lot of people in the world who like to look at representations of children having sex. And most of them, it turns out, never touch kids. It's just like most of the sort of more far-out pornography — people don't do the stuff that they look at. You know? And that's true, apparently, with people who like looking at child pornography. They never touch kids. So there is a lot of stuff out there that's consumed by people who don't touch kids, and the government claims that they can't go back and they can't find the kids.

But the government also makes this argument, which is completely specious in terms of any research, that child pornography causes or incites people to molest children. There's no evidence for that whatsoever.

SB: Maybe I should get to the big picture question behind a lot of this — the notion of sexually taking advantage of an innocent. Child porn boils down to the ultimate taboo. The ultimate "big picking on little" — sometimes the incestuous thing is brought into it — the notion of somebody who has all the power taking advantage of someone who has nothing. It is a classic, epic taboo. Yet, if it's so taboo, then why do we hear about it all the time as if it was a tuna fish sandwich? I mean, how do those two things reconcile? Something that cannot be spoken — unspeakable, makes people's stomachs turn. And yet, oh — child porn here, child porn there, kiddie porn, massive billions. You know, where is the truth in those two completely opposite pictures?

DN: I think they go together. Censorship goes together with the proliferation of porn and this incredible fascination with porn. But it's even moreso with child porn. And, you know what's interesting, Susie — if you look cross-culturally, and you go way back in history, you'll see that whenever a culture is worried about something, or feeling guilty, it puts kids up as a symbol of the ultimate innocence of the culture. And it also posits kids as the symbol of its future. So if it's worried about the future, and it feels culpable — then people just really zero in on the endangered child. And then you combine that with Western, and particularly modern Western fears, since the last couple hundred years of sexuality — and you get this incredibly potent, overloaded symbol in the sexually abused child. And also, over the last couple of generations, there's the increasing use of sexuality as a consumer god.

SB: My own political roots are as a feminist. And part of the way feminists changed public conversation was to say, "You know what? Next time people start blithering about the plight of women and children..." — and of course, they're always put together. They're infantilized together — "...we're going to take a different tack. We're going to talk about this differently. Not just for women's sake, but also for children's sake." And I was wondering — you're a feminist. What do you think would be a healthy way for anyone to discuss young people's sexuality — whether they are children or teenagers?

DN: I highly recommend a book by one of my good friends, Judith Levine, which is called Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. It's a wonderful book about the fact that children really do have sexuality. Children are not "innocent" in the way that term is used in our culture. And how do you deal with children's emerging sexuality? Well, I think the first thing you have to do is acknowledge it. The second thing you have to do is teach kids how to own their own sexuality, and I think you start that immediately. Children are conscious human beings from the time that they're born. But of course in this country, we have this complete crisis — this total attack on sex education. So the first thing you have to do is have a national conversation about the fact that children are sexual beings.

That's a Freudian idea that's completely out of style now. And I'm not saying Freud should come back, but the actual baby got thrown out with the bath water when people started critiquing Freud.



SB: That's ironic, isn't it? In some ways, I was part of the rejection of Freud that went on during early feminism. But we had our own version of claiming one's sexuality, as the rhetoric put it, which had a lot to do with masturbation, and the idea that this is your body, it's yours to decide — your virginity does not belong to somebody, it can't be sold to the highest bidder. You know, it's not something that your father is protecting, to hand to another man in marriage. All those kind of ideas were getting the big heave-ho with the notion that you have your own sex stuff. It belongs to you. And I don't see that kind of consciousness being very popular today. It's more like, oh, you're growing up? You're starting to come into your own? Well, how can you look sexual? And then, how can you pitch that look to your advantage? That is what I notice in popular culture now.

DN: That was certainly true when I was a teenager. I think it's gotten exacerbated because every year consumerism becomes more powerful. People express themselves more and more through consumption, through commodity consumption. And sex has been colonized by —

SB: The aliens?

DN: ...by the aliens who make all these commodities! Whether it's clothes or makeup. 15-year-olds who are virgins are now getting Brazillian waxed. It's like, every single part of the body and every form of expression is being colonized by the idea that you've got to buy something. And sex is the way that you convince people to buy things. Because, you know, you terrorize people by thinking that if you don't buy this product, you're not going to be sexy!

SB: When the words "child porn" or "kiddie porn" are referred to as a business or some sort of industry that's in progress — I feel a little suspicious. Because there are millions of kids around the world who are being used as slaves, basically — they're forced to work in a factory, or in someone's home. Or just sweat labor. And they have no out. They have no passport. They have no wages. Nothing. This is monumental. And certainly, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, considering they have so little power, they might be sexually exploited at many ends of their situation. But it is not a child porn business, per se. It is an "exploiting children" business — it's got a lot tentacles, it goes in every direction. It's not like it's a cut-out. Do you know what I mean?

DN: Absolutely. Anyone who has spent any time in a poor country knows that there's a continuum of exploitation. Everyone is exploited, and kids go to work early. Kids go to work in a country like Mexico, working class kids, when they're 8 or 10 or 12 years old. And they can be working in a factory for $4 a day. They can be out on the street selling pumpkin seeds for $5 a day, or they can be in a red light district for $50 a day. So, for women in the third world, it's more lucrative to do sex work. And I've talked to poor women and to poor children. They don't even consider themselves children any more! You know? They're out working by the time they're ten years old. So in their minds, they're not children. They're contributing to the livelihood of their families. They have "agency" — that's that word that sociologists use. They will sit and talk to you — they're very rationale, in their own 10-year-old, or 12-year-old, or 15-year-old way. They've figured out how to support their families the same way that older women try to figure out how to support their families. And, you know, it's a political/economic problem. It's not, to my mind, a moral problem. Unfortunately, the sad thing is no one cares about girls who work in factories. And no one cares about girls who sell pumpkin seeds. And no one cares about women who work in factories.



I wrote a piece in The Nation a couple years ago suggesting that there was far more slavery in this country involving non-sex work. (Actually, two years or three years after I wrote that piece, the Government Accounting Office has just released a study suggesting that's probably right.) It was a very controversial piece. And the biggest attacks I got were from self-described feminists who want all prostitution to be defined as slavery, even when it's voluntary. So it's very hard to get people excited about people being forced to pick broccoli in a field, but they will get really excited about the idea of sex slaves. It sounds prurient. It gets people excited. It's another one of those S&M fantasies.

SB: You have a new book out called Pornography , and it's part of a learning series for young adults to grapple with issues of the day, but it's a good primer for anyone who might want to look at some of the basic arguments about porn. And what amazes me is, when it comes to the huge majority of porn that is produced and consumed, it is the same banal sucking and fucking over and over and over again that dominates the market.

DN: I think the stories that you hear in the media, the gloom-and-doom, scary stories about the bukkake and the donkeys — that's all coming from the so-called clinical samples. That's coming from the people that are in therapy because they consider themselves to be porn addicts, and they've spent all their time finding the weirder and weirder stuff. That's the story, right? "I lost control of it. I wanted to see weirder and weirder and weirder stuff." And that's the porn consumer in the popular imagination now.

SB: I totally reject the notion that that's the cycle. Most people don't sit around with their porn having to have more and more and more extreme...

DN: No, but that's the clinical tale. That's the tale that the media likes, because it's the scary tale.

SB: Well, it's funny you should call it "clinical." Because it's not even accepted by most of the psychiatric profession. There is no such thing as porn addiction in the DSM manual.

DN: I know. And if you look in my book, you'll see that I debunk that. But that's the story the mass media likes to tell. That's what they hang the problem on — the weirdo stuff.

SB: Explain that, because people hear this all the time. "Are you a porn addict? Are you going to become addicted to porn?" Why is that an inappropriate word to use?

DN: Addiction is a physical thing, like nicotine is an addiction, and alcohol is an addiction, and heroin is an addiction. These are things that your body becomes physically dependent on. And people reject the use of the word "addiction" for things like brushing your teeth, or as Leonore Tiefer puts it, "spending too much time reading the New York Times."

SB: Guilty!

DN: Or spending too much time at work, which is a huge problem. Or spending too much time, in your own estimate, watching sports on TV. Or spending too much time in the garage, playing with your drills and making boats in bottles. And now we have spending too much time watching porn. These are just — as Leonore calls them — "bad habits."

SB: What's the difference between a bad habit, or maybe feeling like, "Gosh, I really wasted too much time doing that," and what would be diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive disorder?

DN: I think that's pretty subjective. I mean, if you look in the DSM, it says most disorders have to do with whether the person feels troubled by the behavior. Even if you look at pedophilia, the definition of pedophilia is that you have an attraction to pre-pubertal kids and it bothers you. If it doesn't bother you, then it's not a disorder.

SB: What if it it bothers everyone else?

DN: Well, they wouldn't know if you didn't go out and act on it. If you go out and act on it, then you're a child molester. But not all child molesters are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles are child molesters. The same thing with porn. Certainly, if you're the president of Vivid, and you have to look at 14 hours of porn a day to make your $300,000 a year, I don't think anyone would call you a porn addict. That would be a useful thing to be doing!

SB: What do you say to people who say, "Debbie, look! I personally feel like I look at porn too much, and it's upsetting to me, and it's upsetting my life."

DN: I'm not a therapist, but the therapist that I talked to for the book said that...

SB: Don't they ask you anyways? They don't care whether you're a therapist or not!

DN: They only call me the evil journalist who doesn't care about kids.

SB: But when you're not an evil journalist, I bet you get treated like a shrink sometimes.

DN: Okay, so here's what the therapists say. They take that very seriously. And what they say is, "We need to look at what the problems are in your life that are causing you to sooth yourself?" They see looking at a lot of porn as a self-soothing activity, in the way that many activities are self-soothing when you're anxious, or you're suffering from anxiety, or from depression. And so they try to get the person to look at the behavior in terms of — "Why did I decide to look at porn on the net instead of read the New York Times all day?" Or "Why did I decide to look at porn on the net instead of watching too much basketball?" And if you really look at the meaning of your habits — because everyone's a complicated individual, with a complicated, intra-psychic past — you can come up with some pretty good stories about yourself, and what your attraction is to this particular self-soothing activity.

The therapists that I've talked to have said, "If the person's depressed, you treat the person for depression. If the person's anxious, you treat 'em for anxiety." And you also work on trying to understand what the behavior is, and what the fantasies are that lead to the behavior. And again, I mean, it's a wonderful thing to explore your fantasies. And not all fantasies have to do with pornography. Some of them do, some of them don't, right? We need to understand all of our fantasies.

SB: I often say "sexual expression" rather than using words like "pornography" or "eroticism." Because I'm so tired of all the baggage those words carry.

DN: Well, Leonore Tiefer has a lot of patients who come in complaining that they're addicted to pornography. And she says, maybe the person started looking at pornography on the web because he came from a very restrictive, strict background, and it's a way of rebelling against an overly-strict authoritarian father. So then the fantasy is not so much sexual as it is rebelling against that father. Now, of course, you get a whole sexual overlay, because the bad habit happens to be porn-viewing. But the real profound thing might be what happened in childhood with the father that has nothing ostensibly to do with sex. People are just very complicated.

SB: Also, porn is typically discussed in terms of whether it's harmful, or it's benign.

DN: Yeah, it's so utterly overloaded with moral stuff. And that makes it even more troubling to people.

SB: I come from a place of saying, "Well, I'm an artist. And I'm interested in including the sexual part of creativity in the work that I publish or produce." And so it's not a matter of me deciding whether something is harmful or benign. But rather, in an artistic work, a creative work — sexuality is going to make all the difference in understanding it — its pathos, or its comedy, or its tragedy. It's hard to imagine a lot of the greatest artistic works that people revere if you took the sexual element out of them. That doesn't seem to get discussed in political debates.

DN: It's really weird that you just made that statement, and juxtaposed it with this sort of really sad conversation we're having about people in deep distress. You know? Because your statement is a very joyful, aesthetic statement, and what we just talked about is people coming in hating themselves, feeling that they're evil and out of control. It's very sad. And porn is just so completely overloaded with moralism that the therapist that I spoke with said, "It's really hard to get people to even think deeply about what their relationship is with it, when they're in therapy and they come in with these complaints. Because they're so ashamed!"

SB: Well, as a fellow professional journalist and a researcher into this sort of thing, you have this tendency — like I do, to just throw yourself into the most volatile situations! And then you say, "What's a nice girl like me doing in this anyway?"

DN: Yeah. It's really true. You've heard me kvetching, haven't you? (Laughs)

SB: Yeah, I have. But I understand it, because I often tell my friends, "I'm so scared." You know, I took on this monster. I've put myself right in the middle of it. And I can't handle it. I can't handle it! And they're like — are you kidding?

DN: You know what it was with me, Susie? The first time I got involved with this — what I call sex politics and sex panics around children — was with the Satanic daycare panic.

SB: And did you know what you were getting into?

DN: No. I had a two-year-old when I first heard about the Satanic daycare centers. I remember hearing about the McMartin case. I was sitting in a rocking chair, giving my kid something or other — like maybe a bottle or a book. And on the radio, they were talking about the little old lady at the McMartin pre-school — the 80-year-old who killed rabbits while she brutalized children sexually. And I believed this! I can remember sitting there saying, "Oh my god! Oh no! I can't send my kid to daycare..."

I can remember this so well. I thought, you know what? People will do anything. They're capable of anything. Well, then Ellen Willis, god bless her, who just died last year, started getting suspicious about this stuff. And she asked me if I looked into McMartin. It's a long story, but there was a case in my own community in El Paso, Texas. The first two women to ever be convicted were in my little city. And I was supposed to spend six weeks — but I spent eight months looking at this case. And I had no idea what it was when I first started. But I was just knowing that there's certain ways that kids act, and that you probably wouldn't be able to put a 14-inch knife up a 2-year- old's rectum...

SB: Oh, god!

DN: ...and then have the kid come back from daycare smiling and telling you that he couldn't wait to get back the next day. You know?

SB: And yet those were the stories.

DN: Now do you need to have a two-year-old child to know that? I don't know. But the thing is, I was a mom, and — you know what? I didn't feel guilty about critiquing the believability of these cases. A lot of the reporters back then were men, or they didn't have kids. And if they would have asked any questions about those cases, people would have said, "You don't care about kids."

SB: Or you're a pervert yourself.

DN: "You're a guy." You know? "You're a man, you're a pervert, you're supporting the molesters..." Fortunately I was a woman and a mom. When I read the interviews of the kids, I could see the way the cases went forward forensically. The adult interviewers, whether they were detectives or social workers or psychologists, brainwashed the kids. They interjected their own fantasies into those kids by asking them leading questions over and over and over and over. I heard some of the tapes of kids who would walk into the room loving their teachers. And they would walk out utter basket cases, thinking that they'd been brutalized by Miss Mickey or somebody that they loved before. And I would cry. I would say — these kids have been brutalized by the investigation and by this whole panic. So were the women that were working in public daycare. That pained me to no end, the fact that public child care was under such assault. And it pained me to see women so guilty about going to work. But the thing that really got to me was the fact that relationships that were really beautiful were destroyed. You could hear it on the tapes. It was horrible to hear those interviews. And then you're like, "Oh my god. I have to tell the world about this."

SB: Well now that you've seen and researched a number of these stories, do you have any conclusions about what the seeds are for a sex panic? Like, can you recognize certain things that are in play before it blows up? Or is it still kind of unexpected when it happpens?

Some people said, after these daycare scandals were exposed, "This is to try to get women to be afraid of using daycare." You know — an anti-child care plot. I thought, well that's interesting, but how would anybody have known that to begin with? What is it about a community where the beginning of a Salem witch trial is just bobbing underneath the surface?

DN: I cannot predict it. In fact, what's happening right now is a panic about kids and the internet. And there is a panic about teenagers having sex with each other. Those two things are working off each other. Did I predict those? No! I didn't predict them. And it seems to be happening since 9/11, actually. I think that the most proximate thing is fear of the internet. There's always a panic over a new technology. There are moral panics all the time. I mean, there was a moral panic over the telephone when it was first introduced.

SB: That's right! Because strangers would call you...

DN: Yeah. Male voices would call up young women in their homes.

SB: And god knows what would happen from there.

DN: There was a panic about comic books. There's always a panic about new technology. We're looking at it in hindsight. We're looking at a panic, and we're looking back and saying, "Oh, the internet."

SB: Oh yeah. Remember when that was such a big fright? And now it seems like nothing. That's what always happens as soon as the technology ages.

DN: But it's not nothing for a lot of people with kids today, you know?

SB: Well, I had another interview on our show with a social scientist named Mike Males. And he has these great papers that say, "Look, your kid statistically is in greater risk being in church or at the shopping mall than they are on their MySpace page." The notion of the actual risk that young people are facing on the internet is completely blown out of proportion.

DN: Right. And are people going to listen to that? I mean, that's not what a panic is about.

SB: They're going to, because I'm going to say it until I'm blue in the face!

DN: That's right. Say it! Yes.

SB: The thing that gave you a little bit of liberty to speak out was the fact that you were a woman and a mom, and people couldn't easily toss you aside and think you had bad motives. But have you ever felt the sting from a different direction — people saying you're unfit to be a mother? How dare you speak about this? You know, "You're crazy, you need to be discredited." How do you cope with attacks from people trying to undermine you?

DN: When I was doing the daycare work, I actually had the cops at my door.

SB: That must've been terrifying.

DN: It was pretty scary. Yeah. Back then I had little kids. Now my kids are big, so nobody can use my kids against me, because they're adults.

SB: Did you ever feel like "Gosh, I'm going to have to join the Daughters of the American Revolution" or the PTA?

DN: I was already in the PTA! I was living in El Paso, Texas. I was a Brownie Scout leader. Come on! I had street cred down there.

SB: This reporter who you called into question at the Times, Mr. Eichenwald. He got your story thrown out of Salon [with] a phone call to the editor.

DN: It wasn't one phone call, believe me.

SB: Well, okay, continuous screaming phone calls and emails. Suddenly, you're put into the limelight as...

DN: The flake?

SB: Well, you were not just described as a flake, but it was — "she's obsessed with looking at pornography. And here this reporter (Eichenwald) is just trying to save the children. Why doesn't she care about saving the children?" What do you do when people get that picture of you as cold and unfeeling and just ready to trample over all these poor sex slaves with your calculated attempts to defend the first amendment. I'm trying to conjure up some of the stuff you might have heard.

DN: You know, I don't mind criticism, when it's honest criticism conducted in a normal, democratic forum — i.e., letters to the editor. Things like that. I mean, somebody threatening to sue you is really beyond the pale. But when people criticize me, there's always a whole bunch of other people — there are never as many as the people who criticize me, but the people who defend my point of view are often quite eloquent. In the Salon piece, for example, there was a very active discussion going on before that piece was pulled. There was dozens of letters that came in, just in the first few hours. I was very gratified by them. And my biggest regret about that piece being pulled, and that there were legal threats made — was that the discussion got shut down. And I'm really looking forward to starting that discussion again.

I think it's a really important discussion. I think child pornography needs to be de-mystified, and all the politics need to be broken down. And all of the First Amendment issues need to be laid out on the table. And the criticism — I don't know. I'm just getting too old to worry about it.

SB: Are you a First Amendment absolutist? Or do you feel like there is a certain place where you want to kick in a certain exception for those under 18?

DN: I don't know. I mean, honestly? This is where people who I have great respect for have taken issue with me, because in the Salon piece I said that there should be a vetting system put in place by the government so that legitimate researchers and journalists should be able to review what's on the web. There were critics who were very sympathetic to my opinion that child porn really needs to be looked at by civil society, who nevertheless said, "That's a terrible idea. To call for the government to put in place a system that decides that some people deserve to do that and other people don't. That's a lousy idea!" But I've also said before that I just don't know. I haven't come to a position about whether everyone should be able to look at child porn — that we should all just be able to look at records of assaults against children.

SB: Well there's a lot of scrutiny going on right now about who are the bodies of people who make decisions about what can be seen, or can't be seen — like the motion picture ratings association. It's always been shrouded in secrecy. Who are these people that decide that something's an "R," and something's an "X"? As it begins to get peeled away, and you look at the actual fallible human beings who are selected to these bodies, you say, "What the hell do they know? And this has nothing to do with democracy.

DN: Yeah. And, you know, really, when you look at the content of child porn, to the limited extent that people in civil society have been able to study child porn, a lot of it is older minors. A lot of it is a 14-year-old standing in a lake with her breasts exposed. Some juries and some judges will say that's not pornography, that's just simple nudity. Other judges and juries will say it's obscene and exploitative. So the definitions are very hard to parse out. But this is my irrational spot. I haven't got this all figured out yet. Because there is really awful stuff, too, of little kids, and there was no consent whatsoever. It's very horrible stuff. Some people talk about civil suits. There should be a way to bring civil suits against people who make this stuff and publicize it, because it's embarrassing, potentially. I just haven't figured it out yet.

See also:
The Perversions of Perverted Justice
Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out
Sex & Drugs & Susie Bright
World Sex Laws
My Opponent Pays For Gay Teen Bestiality

Read More

Top 5 Cartoon Hunks

Animation has provided us with countless lady hotties, but cute cartoon guys are harder to come by. (Maybe it's because this is traditionally a domain of prepubescent boys and older male nerds.) However, I've had my share of cartoon crushes, and here are the best of them...



5. Silver Surfer



OK, this one is going to seem trendy because of the movie, but I had a Silver Surfer action figure way back in college. His appeal is unquestionable: a big silver hunk of man on a surfboard, a perfect combination of intensity and laid-back surfer chic, kind of like Owen Wilson.

This guy will save your life, then take you for a fish taco on the boardwalk.

4. James Barris



Confession: I have an enormous crush on Robert Downey Jr. So when he showed up in A Scanner Darkly, my crush naturally transferred to his new avatar.



Barris is classic RDJ. Although Downey is a brilliant actor, he never seems so comfortable in a role than when he is playing a druggie. His magic — and I choose to believe this also holds true in real life — is that he can make even the biggest fuck-up irresistibly charming. Even though I'm a longtime member of the Keanu fan club, RDJ stole the scene here, as he always does.

3. Aladdin



All you have to do is scroll down this list of Disney princes, and see that the role of Mr. Charming was historically lacking in hotness — a bunch of middle-aged looking WASPs who usually arrive in the last few minutes of the film to sing a song and sweep the damsel away on a horse. Well, that all changed with Aladdin. He's a homeless guy with a bangin' bod, a great personality, a hilarious buddy and a cool pet.

I love how his scrappy bravura cracks to show a vulnerable side once he assumes his alter-ego of Prince Ali. Let me tell you, chicks dig this type of thing. We were all there swooning with those ladies as he paraded through town on an elephant, knowing that his confidence was concealing a secret shyness.

2. Rio Pacheco



Rio from Jem and the Holograms is one of those guys you like even though you know that he's kind of an asshole. He started out as a good guy, a volunteer at the foster home and Jerrica's boyfriend. But he developed a crush on Jem (Jerrica's rockstar alter-ego) and the show ended on a cliffhanger with Rio double-timing two girls who are the same person! This is undoubtedly one of the great unsolved endings in television — this whole Sopranos thing pales in comparison!



The truth is, Rio's bad side is what makes him sexy: the lying, the deceit, the secrecy. And yet he can be a real sweetie when he wants to. I mean, if Jerrica really trusted him then wouldn't she tell him her identity? Perhaps with a guy like this you need to have your own secrets.

1. Trent Lane



Absolutely the most crushable cartoon fella out there; even the ever-cynical Daria couldn't help but blush a little when Trent was around. Trent's rock star slacker attitude was peppered by a hint of zen calmness, his soft raspy voice delivering the type of inane truisms that only truly attractive people can get away with.

Finally, his slight slouch suggested a world weariness — a wiseness, dare I say? — that perfectly defines a classic childhood crush: your friend's older brother.

Jacki Lewin is an American living in Madrid, Spain. She blogs at 7 Years Late.

See also:
Lost 'Horrors' Ending Found on YouTube
5 Freaky Muppet Videos
Six Freakiest Children's TV Rock Bands
The Cartoon Porn Shop Janitor: Carol Burnett vs. Family Guy

Read More

The Scientific Laws of Romance

Romance?

About the Author: Ethan Todras-Whitehill is a freelance writer who covers technology, travel, and subcultures. He contributes regularly to The New York Times and several national magazines. He also blogs at crucialminutiae.com.

In high school, and particularly college, I was The Guy Friend. You know, the one who has all those cute girls that he’s not dating whose friends don’t understand why he’s not trying to hook up with them. I was always more comfortable with girls, having grown up effectively with three sisters. And for those girls—and I think they would agree—I was great at demystifying the male-female interaction.

Well, I had help. My father’s scientific mind had concocted a simple set of laws that relationships seemed to follow. And with my own scientific mind, I developed these laws further. So without further ado, I present to you:

Whitehill’s Law of Constant Distances

The Law: In a relationship, there exists a Constant Distance (CD) between two people that must be maintained at all times.

I. CD Equilibrium
There are not one but two CDs in any given relationship, one for each party. When the two people’s CDs are the same, congratulations: you have CD equilibrium. You may copulate in peace.


I.1. Changes in CD Equilibrium
Once a CD Equilibrium has been established, it is still possible for it to change. But it must change gradually, over time. Sudden attempts to change the distance, especially when initiated by only one party, will result in the other person instinctively moving to re-establish the CD, likely using Pushes or Pulls.





II. CD Disequilibrium
If the two CDs in a relationship are not the same (i.e. one person wants to be closer than the other), or if the CD Equilibrium is disrupted (i.e. one person wants “more” from the relationship or “less”), you have a CD Disequilibrium. If a CD Disequilibrium lasts for too long, the relationship will inevitably end, possibly on Jerry Springer.


II.1. Causes of CD Disequilibrium
Constant Distances are not merely determined by the affection of the two parties. Love and compatibility play a strong role, but so does circumstance. Two primary circumstances have a substantial effect on CDs: Life Plans and Schedule.


II.1.a Life Plans
Life Plans are any exogenous factors that a person puts above the relationships. If a person does not believe in marriage, for instance, or in long term commitment, that Life Plan creates a greater CD with a person who does not share those Life Plans. Desire or the lack of desire for children are another factor. Preternatural attachment to sauerkraut is yet a third.

II.1.b Schedule
A person’s schedule can have a substantial, if temporary effect on CDs. If one person in the relationship is exceptionally busy for a certain period of time, and their free time is inhibited, their CD may appear to change for their partner. It does not necessarily change for that person themselves—they may still wish to spend 50% of all their free time with their partner—but since the total time and attention paid to the partner changes, it appears to be a change in CD. This will usually result in the partner enacting Pulls or False Pushes.


III. Pushes and Pulls
There are two primary ways in which people behave in a CD Disequilibrium. The general principle is that both parties will seek to change the other person’s CD to match their own.

Typically, the person who has the greater CD (i.e. the person who wants “less” from the relationship) will only use one tactic: the Push. The Push is any action or behavior intended to distance oneself from the other person. It may involve ignoring phone calls, delaying response to text or email messages, or shying away from previously established patterns of affection (sex, cuddling, or verbal affirmations).

The person with the smaller CD is the more vulnerable one in the relationship and as such has more at stake. This person will generally employ both Pulls and False Pushes. The Pull is the opposite of the Push. It is any action or behavior designed to bring the other person closer, like an increase in patterns of affection, demands for stronger commitments, or puncturing condoms with a needle.


III.a. The False Push
When the person with the smaller CD employs a Push, it is typically a False Push. The action or behavior will have all the hallmarks of a real Push but will be disingenuous. The false Push is enacted in order to make the person with the greater CD believe that he or she is in fact the person with the smaller CD. The hope is that this will then cause the person with the greater CD to behave as described above, enacting Pulls of his or her own. The danger in this strategy, of course, is that sometimes a false Push can engender another false Push, which might create such large perceived CDs that the relationship simply ends. If it were not for False Pushes, romantic comedy screenwriters would be out of business.




IV. Case Study: Yolanda and Howard
Yolanda and Howard have been dating for three months. Yolanda is a lawyer, and Howard is a painter. They meet for dinner a few times a week, see the occasional movie, and sleepover at one or the other’s house on Sunday and paint each other’s toenails. They are in CD Equilibrium (I).

Yolanda and HowardYolanda is happy with the relationship, but she’s starting to want more. Her CD is starting to shrink, but she does not sense the same happening with Howard. So she begins to Pull (III) on Howard’s CD, dropping hints about rings and babies and puppies. She begins buying toothbrushes and storing them in random nooks of Howard’s house. Howard notices this behavior, and subconsciously begins to push back, trying to lengthen Yolanda’s CD to match his own. He stops returning her calls as quickly and leaves copies of Playboy out in his bathroom. (See Fig. 1.)

But then something strange happens. Yolanda gets hit with a big case at work. Although her feelings about Howard do not change, her time available for him does. Their dinners dwindle to once a week—her only free night. They stop seeing movies together. Howard’s bottle of Fire Engine Red crusts shut from disuse. Yolanda’s Schedule (II.1.b) has changed her CD, and he now finds himself the vulnerable one. He tries Pulling, sending her flowers and giving her foot massages. (See Fig. 2)

Yolanda’s big case lasts several months. She enjoys Howard’s extra attention but can’t find the time to give him what he needs. But over time, Howard’s CD slowly changes (I.1). By the time Yolanda’s case ends, Howard’s CD is the same that Yolanda’s was before the case. And since her CD never really changed—it just appeared to do so to Howard—when the case ends their two CDs match, putting them in blissful CD Equilibrium (I) (Fig. 3).

See Also:
Girls Are Geeks, Too
Why Chicks Don't Dig the Singularity
Drugs and Sex and Susie Bright
When Lego Goes to War
Crucial Minutiae blog

Read More

The Cartoon Porn Shop Janitor — Carol Burnett vs. Family Guy



A porn shop in a cartoon unexpectedly triggered a lawsuit.

In the Family Guy episode "Peterotica," Peter and his friends go to the local adult bookstore. What happens next was apparently determined by the following sequence of events.

1. Family Guy asks Carol Burnett if they can use the theme to her 1970s variety show.

2. Carol Burnett says no.

3. They draw her into the cartoon as the adult bookstore's cleaning woman.

And then comes #4 — Carol Burnett sues them.

The Fox Network has expressed surprise, since she appears in the cartoon for only four seconds, but Burnett's lawsuit reportedly claimed violations of copyright and trademark law, plus a misappropriation of her name and likeness. This weekend a judge revealed what happens in step 5: Carol Burnett loses that lawsuit. According to news reports, a judge signed a ruling Friday that while the the Family Guy episode may offend her — the First Amendment allows parodies. (After all, her original variety show was famous for its own parodies.)



Carol Burnett is a pioneer in celebrity lawsuits. In 1981 she surprised legal observers with a successful lawsuit against the National Enquirer over a report that implied she'd been drunk in a restaurant with Henry Kissinger. (“In a Washington restaurant, a boisterous Carol Burnett had a loud argument... But Carol really raised eyebrows when she accidentally knocked a glass of wine over one diner and started giggling instead of apologizing...") She may have been vindicated over that slight to her public image, but as a public figure she's also fair game for ridicule. And thanks to Family Guy, an animated likeness of the 74-year-old comedienne can be glimpsed in some very unsavory company.

Like most Family Guy episodes, this one was a series of loosely-connected jokes, but this time they were tied together by the theme of adult books. Peter's disappointment at the adult bookstore's offerings drives him to write his own porn novels. (Including Angela's Asses, Shaved New World, and Harry Potter and the Half Black Chick.)

Ironically, in this episode of the cartoon, it's the Family Guy himself who is eventually sued — though for different reasons. Peter's own erotic novels are so steamy that they prompt one driver to remove his shirt while driving. (He'd been listening to the book on tape version of Peter's adult book, The Hot Chick Who Was Italian. Or Maybe Some Kind of Spanish.) This scene may include another dig at Carol Burnett, since the tape version of that book is being read by a regular guest on the Carol Burnett Show — Betty White.



Peter's career ends after the disgruntled motorist's lawsuit — and he also gets a surprise visit from... Betty White.

Perhaps foreshadowing the legal showdowns to come, she tells him, "I just got a subpoena for an erotic novel, and I'm looking for the son of a bitch responsible."

Click here to buy a DVD with this episode!

See also:
Top 5 Cartoon Hunks
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
The Celebrity Breast Conspiracy
The Porn Star, the Diva, and the World Wide Web
5 Sexiest Apple Videos
Dustin Diamond vs. Sgt. Harvey
5 Lamest Charlie Brown Cartoons

Read More

The Celebrity Breast Conspiracy




"Public diplomacy" in Hollywood isn't exactly an exercise in subtlety. But sometimes, publicists, studio executives, or whoever dreams up these boob-headed propaganda schemes, actually try to trick us by presenting "authentic" incidents of "titillation". Which are totally not authentic.

In fact, call us paranoid, but we strongly believe there is a well-established, but never openly-acknowledged, plan among movie marketers and star handlers to manipulate the constituencies of female celebrities. Shocking? Yes.

However, here's five tabloid examples that make the case.


1. Dead Man's Chest?

Three franchises compete this weekend over the biggest box office in movie history. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is the big contender, and suddenly its lead actress starts jabbering about... well, here's the resulting headlines.
Keira Knightley Wants Bigger Breasts
Keira Knightley Wishes She Had Larger Chest Size
Knightley Not Happy With Her Breasts, Wants Them Bigger
Knightley: 'I don't have tits!'

Keira plays the feisty Elizabeth Swann in the new Pirates movie — an adventure-loving tomboy. Of course there's a line of merchandise associated with the film, and when asked later for her opinion on her officially licensed action figure, Keira responded similarly. "It's nothing like me! She's got tits, for a start! I don't have tits!"

And the headlines rolled again...
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Live Woman's Chest
Keira Knightley Says Well-Endowed 'Pirates' Action Figure
Looks Nothing Like Her
Keira bemused by Pirate doll's ample cleavage
Keira Knightley: I Don't Have Any Tits!

Tits! Tits! Tits! Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Everyone got the message?



2. The Right Stuffing

But Keira is only the first example of a marketing ploy gone wild. Just a few weeks earlier, Spiderman 3 broke box office records by earning $117 million in its first day. By that weekend it had racked up over $381 million, and it's already become one of the twenty highest-grossing movies in cinema history.

But did Spiderman have his own secret weapon?

Just days before the movie premiered, Kirsten Dunst told British reporters that "I had to wear a padded bra for this movie...! I embraced my Mary Jane boobs!" And the headlines started spilling out.
Bust boost for Kirsten
'I had to wear a padded bra'
Kirsten Dunst sexes up Spider-Man's Mary Jane...
Kirsten Dunst Has Saggy Boobs*

* A blogger named Mocksie.

Kirsten Dunst issued more breast-related comments in 2004 while joking about the release of a video game for Spiderman 2. After spotting her character, Dunst announced "They made her boobs gigantic! I was like, 'Tone down the boobs, please!'" For this year's movie, her publicist apparently advised her to be a little more breast-positive. ("...I get it. It's OK... I didn't feel like it was sexist or anything...") And speaking of her character, Spider-Man's girlfriend, she added, almost prophetically, that "I know that her boobs are usually enhanced on the action figure toys as well."

A few days later, Marvel comics issued this 7-inch collectible figure.

Is Kirsten Dunst's bra-stuffing a legitimate news story? (It is a kind of special effect...) It's a bit of trivia that seemed suspiciously timed, guaranteed to seize the attention of the celebrity press, even those who were already covering the future of Spiderman movies. One reporter ultimately couldn't resist asking as his next question "whether her bigger breasts will be seen in a fourth film?"


3. Charlie's Nipple

Can Shrek 3 compete with this titillation? After all, the film's leading actress is...a giant animated ogre. But fortunately for the producers, her voice is supplied by Cameron Diaz, who played one of Charlie's Angels. Leaving nothing to chance, she appeared to promote the film on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — and then pulled her breast out.

Cameron Diaz flashes boobs on Ellen
Ellen Checks out Diaz's Boob
Cameron Diaz Has Nip Slip on Ellen Show
Diaz bares a breast on Ellen

In the press, the incident was a wardrobe malfunction, of course, and Ellen relayed a message to Diaz from the production staff.

"They're asking you to pull up your shirt."



But it was a publicity masterpiece — and all the headlines prove it.
Shrek 3! Shrek 3! Cameron's nipple! Shrek 3!

No wonder Muslim fanatics hate us.


4. The Visible Woman

That's enough breasts to last through Memorial Day weekend — but at least one Hollywood actress thinks you're in for a long, hot summer.

Two weeks before the Fantastic Four sequel opens, the film's leading actress starts making the rounds. Jessica Alba clumsily announced to one reporter that she hopes this movie will alleviate the ongoing problem of how friggin' hot she is. "I hope all my new work will help producers in getting past my hotness," she complained to GQ magazine.

And then for good measure, she started talking about sexy body parts.

"I have my own fashion style and do not try to fit in," Alba began "I don't have my breasts under my chin, I'm not showing butt cheeks, nor much legs..." So she's saying she dresses her tragically-hot body in a less-than-sexy manner. But this plea for attention is so blatant, Gary Larson could've used it for a new Far Side cartoon.

What Jessica Alba says:

"I don't have my breasts under my chin, I'm not showing butt cheeks."

What reporters hear:

"Blah blah blah breasts. Blah blah blah butt cheeks."


5. Disney Girls

There's other examples of this phenomenon too. In 2005 a rumor leaked to the tabloid press that Lindsay Lohan's breasts were so humongous, they'd had to be digitally reduced when she appeared in Disney's newest movie about Herbie the Love Bug. (Which was, ironically, called Fully Loaded)



The film's producers later squelched this rumor — and in fact, 18-year-old Lohan spent most of the movie in a sternly unrevealing racing uniform.



Two years later Lohan would check into rehab after crashing her Mercedes in a suspected DUI incident. But her brush against notoriety had already put this whole phenomenon into perspective.

Yes, movie publicists and the entertainment press like to steer the conversation towards what's "under the hood."

But ultimately isn't it even more demeaning to pretend there's nothing there at all?

See also:
The Secret Ending of Pirates of the Caribbean 3
10 Worst Spiderman Tie-Ins
Dustin Diamond vs. Sgt. Harvey
World Sex Laws
Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs
Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out

Read More

7 Worst Mother’s Day Gifts



Mother's Day lets you recognize mom's good qualities — like her saint-like patience for your jackass sensitivity. Or, to put it another way — her sense of humor. So here's our list of the seven worst mother's day gifts we could imagine.

But Mom loves you already. So what have you got to lose?

MILF's Need Love Too

"It's a book! Why thank you dear. (Pause) What's a MILF?"

    "Um, it's an acronym."

"But what's it stand for?"

    "Well, uh — the M stands for 'Mother'..."

"Why is this woman chewing her necklace?"

    "It's my sister's fault. She said she'd pick out something nice for me to give you."

         "I did not!"

     "I'll get you for this!"

         "Ha ha ha ha..."

And Stacey's mom lived happily ever after.


Mom loves movies. And it's mother's day. So why not a movie called... Mother's Day?

Because it's an R-rated horror film from the notorious Troma studios. The producers of Blood Sucking Freaks tell the gruesome story of three sorority girls who get captured in the woods and tortured by two hicks — and their mother. When asked for plot keywords, Amazon's reviewers recommended the words "kidnapping," "disturbing," "sadism," and "murder". One reviewer even calls it "The first movie I ever walked out of. And I was home!"

Special features include a commentary track, plus footage of grossed-out people watching the movie.

Mom would probably prefer the Hitchcock movie about that nice schizophrenic whose mother is a mummified corpse in the basement. Because at least he was polite.
It's My Head In a Box

A Very Special Bracelet Mom loves her charm bracelet. To help personalize it, each family member gives her a charm. There's one from her son, one from each daughter, and one from Dad that says "A little head never hurt anyone."

Last year Dad gave Mom a Pugster bracelet that said "Two in the pink, one in the stink." But she didn't understand it, so the next charm had a picture. Amazon has since discontinued any charm bracelets advertising "the shocker," but there's still one very special bracelet charm that just says "PMS."

We told Dad these were great gift ideas — but that's because we're trying to get them divorced. For her birthday, Dad gave her a charm that said "Pootie Tang."

Any day now...

This heartwarming family classic shows Mrs. Sturak, an elderly babysitter, who dies the instant mom leaves for Australia. In a surprise plot twist, the five children dump her body at the morgue — "Nice old lady inside. Died of natural causes" — then party all summer.

Mom will love seeing her worst nightmares come to life. For added angst, the movie even stars Christina Applegate, who played the slutty daughter on "Married With Children". Although to be fair, in this movie she learns a valuable lesson about responsibility, and even gets a job.

And no, it isn't pole dancing.
Dreams Come True




A Night of Romance

"I can't wait to see her face light up!" Dad had said. Mom was waiting in the bedroom for her special Mother's Day present...

But at first, through the doorway, all we heard was sobbing. Then we heard Dad's voice, saying "You don't understand. That's the name of the weed."

Then we heard a loud noise, and then Dad saying "Oww!" Eventually, the police came.

Now we're staying with Aunt Minnie.

For all the sex-positive soccer moms, here's a t-shirt that says "I love porn."

It's cotton, with a banded hem, by the fashionable designers at Locher's of Paris. ("To counterbalance the elegance and antiquity of the embroidery...the playful charm of a dirty saying embroidered into every shirt.") They promise their shirts highlight mom's best asset — "her sense of humor."

Their fine print cautions the shirts are "something your Mother wouldn't wear, and your Daddy shouldn't see."

Which, perversely, makes me want to buy one even more.
Fine Print





The Perfect Gift

Mother's Day was originally an anti-war crusade. Over the years it eventually became an opportunity to recognize Mom's seething resentment over her life's shattered dreams with flowers.

But only once a year.

So Sunday get mom what she really needs — a divorce. This book promises "a thorough overview of the divorce process" — plus cartoons! It's the perfect gift after years of enduring your demanding, moody, and overbearing father. (And remember — Father's Day is June 17.)

One Chicago divorce attorney even put up a billboard with encouragement — showing a young man's muscular torso over the headline "Life is short. Get a divorce." Doesn't your mom deserve the best?

If it all works out, you could wind up with some new step brothers and step sisters.

And hopefully — they'll have better taste in Mothers Day gifts.

See also:
Nancy Drew's Sexy Secrets
10 Worst Spiderman Tie-Ins
The Male Scale: 10 Archetypes
Top 5 Cartoon Hunks

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Pregnant Nympho Sex

Pregnant Nymphos


Pregnant sex is hot.

My bulbous-bellied, hormonally-horny spouse is pursuing me around the house, ramming her enormous nipples into my mouth, ravaging my genitalia ten times a week.

She's usually a laid-back, bored type of lover, but lately, she can't get enough meat in her oven.

Nobody told me pregnancy entailed passionate, crazy, kinky boinking like this — truth is, I feared my wife would just get fat, bossy, fetid, weepy, and frigid. I even stockpiled porn, bunkering up for nine months of wanking that I'm now too drained to even consider.

"Blood is marching to my groin and mammary glands," moans my wife. "My pussy's always sopping wet because I'm in a constant state of desire."

I suspect she's just a heated freak, imagining things — but physicians back up her frothy analysis. In The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts, authors William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. state that "some women become aroused more easily and climax more quickly, pleasurably, and frequently ... during the middle months of pregnancy, than at any other time in their lives."

Titillating promises also exist in the guidebook's "For Men" section: "Some women experience new cravings, stunning their mates with sudden and unexpected voracity. Don't be surprised if your pregnant partner turns tiger." Yabba-dabba-do!



Last Saturday, at our Prenatal Yoga class, I queried several other mothers-to-be about their maternal libidos: "My boobs are ripe and juicy, and my vagina is hungry," confesses Stephanie, in her seventh month. "I walk down the street thinking about sex with every man that passes by, because they smell musty like animals — when I get home, I immediately want it doggiestyle, because it's so comfortable."

"She's quicker!" grins her husband Darryl. "No half hour of grinding required, unless she wants multiple orgasms. Suddenly, I'm a stud!"

My wife is panting uncontrollably, her kundalini inflamed by the class's contortionist postures. Impatiently, she pulls on my belt, to hurry me home for some humping.

Ten minutes later, I'm getting naked-nookie-slurped again — this time, on the stairs. Used to be, her only erotic time-space was under the sheets when TV programs weren't promising, but now, every second and centimeter of the planet has copulatory potential.

What about my lust, you're wondering — does the wide-waisted waddler turn me on? YES! Why?
  1. It's Perverted. Mounting a pregger-lady is like screwing your Mom. Naughty. Incestuous. My cock stiffens now when I see nine-monthers struggling down the street.

  2. New Flesh. My wife's figure has bloomed so big, it feels like I'm cheating on her with a zaftig mistress — quite pleasurable, after the decade of skinny monogamy that I've suffered.

  3. Checking On Junior. This Daddy likes poking his head down the hallway, knocking on the cervix door to say "Hi!" to his son.

  4. Stress Reduction. If I wasn't romping wild with my wife, I'd just be worrying about college tuition, and my spawn metamorphosing into a Littleton monster.


My final advice to future fathers is this: Encourage your womb-mate to dabble in midwife quackery.

For example: My wife's never allowed me to enter her sphincter — but yesterday, she read in a midwifery text that her "perineum" needs softening, to help it expand elastically when our child is crowning. The perineum is a chunk of gristle lying nastily between rectum and vagina.

"You'll massage it for me, putting a finger in each hole, and squeezing hard," explains my wife.

"Goodie!" I agree.

"Eventually," she blushes, "something ... wider ... needs to stretch the tight cavity — my perineum needs pounding, like abalone..."

"This Dad will do his duty!" I promise. Finally, anal sex has family value!

See also:
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
World Sex Laws
Why Sarah Palin's Sex Life Matters
Japanese Nose Abuse

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Official Launch: 10ZM.TV

One of the reasons for the "video apology" term in the settlement agreement with Michael Crook is that we were already planning to launch a video property. Having Crook's apology in video seemed an appropriate format, and its wide viewing would help get some visibility for this new effort. We figure he owed us that much. There are a few things we're going to experiment with in the show, called 10ZM.TV, and hosted on the Blip.tv video sharing network. First, we'll be collecting video commentary from web figures on stories and themes we explore on our various other properties, such as this site, The RU Sirius Show, NeoFiles, Destinyland and Pastor Jack. Second, we'll record bits from our own writers and commentators. And finally, we're going to publish hot little bits from the continuous series of mind-blowing interviews conducted by RU Sirius. Rudy Rucker's interview is the first one we videotaped, so you'll see several clips from that in the coming weeks. So stay tuned, subscribe via RSS or iTunes, or watch Rudy Rucker now:
Science fiction writer Rudy Rucker, author of the book, Mathematicians In Love, claims that any natural process can be regarded as a computation, and that computers are not "digital."

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Drugs and Sex and Susie Bright


Susie Bright

It's everybody's favorite topic: Drugs, sex and chicks. As promised a few weeks ago, we now present part two of our interview with "sexpert" Susie Bright.
Read Part 1

To listen the full interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: Tell us a bit about your psychedelic sex workshop.

SUSIE BRIGHT: OK. About a year ago. I got invited to this conference in San Jose called "Sacred Elixirs."



I wouldn't have paid any attention to that name because I'm an atheist. When people say sacred, I'm always snoozing... I don't pay attention. But then, I found out that it was a reunion of the heaviest, coolest, smartest people in psychedelics. Oh! That sacred? I'm there! Oh my god, it was so fabulous. There were so many fantastic people there. And Sasha Shulgin delivered a chemistry lesson that made me realize that if I'd had him as a science teacher, everything could have turned out differently. For him, it's like a musician talking about music. It's a language.

RU: Plus he speaks in this rapid high pitch. It's like getting a download of information from some kind of alien.

SB: I just couldn't wait to go home and write about all the things people talked about. But while I was there, some of us women noticed that virtually every presenter was a guy; all the poetry was read by fellows — it was almost quaint. We didn't, like, have a hissy fit about it, it was just sort of dumb. There were so many interesting women there. Every woman I met there, I wanted to spend hours talking to. Everyone was so interesting and intelligent. So some of us started brainstorming about what would be fun to talk about at a woman-oriented conference. And I said, "Well, so many things. I mean: sex. And not just the erotics of sex, the pleasures of sex, but sex in terms of one's sexual life cycle. A lot of us here have our memories of what it was like when we discovered psychedelics as young people. But then, what happens when you become a mother? What happens as you age? How does your relationship to your sexual life cycle and your drug of choice change over time? I don't know. No one talks about this! Wouldn't it be great if we did?"

So we got a group of women together at this crazy sort of "Peacock retreat" in Sonoma run by a woman who's really into Egyptology. She has a lot of gorgeous peacocks wandering around, which kind of added a little atmosphere. It was so much fun. It was like fifty people. You got to know everybody on a first-name basis.

The untold story — which I didn't get until I was there — was the generation gap. We had a lot of good talks about it. There were these young people who were in MAPS and Erowid — they're like these new groups that are trying to decriminalize drugs and raise drug consciousness in a very contemporary fashion.

RU: They're very organized and intelligent and digital.

SB: Yeah. They're very geeky.

STEVE ROBLES: Drug nerds.

SB: They're drug nerds! Thank you. They aren't drug hippies. And they said very politely — we don't want to just sit around listening to how great your acid trip was in 1969. And they were right. They want to hear about stuff that's happening now, and in their future. At one point this amazing young woman who everybody seemed to revere stood up. She looked like the all-American girl. She was like Gidget on acid.

RU: I think Gidget was on acid

SB: She asked, "How many people here are acid babies, or had an acid baby?" And I hadn't heard that expression in a long time — the notion that someone would trip and conceive, or that someone might be the child of such a conception... I just haven't been keeping up! And several people in the room raised their hands and told their story. It was so great to have that kind of honesty. Because the way the media played it — it was all about how you're going to take acid and you're going to screw up your baby's chromosomes. They're going to be wandering around going "Blll bllll bbbb bbbb bbbb" for the rest of their life.

RU: But that "Bbbb bbbb blbbb bbbb bbbb was going to be very cosmically meaningful! (Laughter)

SB: But of course, it was just like real life. Some people were fine — brilliant, went to Harvard, had lovely lives, grew beautiful gardens. Other people...

SR: ...did go "bbbb bbbb bbbb bbbb!"

SB: ...didn't fare so well.

RU: LSD is so non-toxic in the amount that you have to take to get high that it shouldn't really...

SB: Yeah, whether their parents took it had nothing to do with what happened in anyone's future.

And then, a number of the older women started talking about their parents being in hospice or dying. We talked a lot about cancer and what it was like to give your elders a final trip before they die. It was so moving.

I came to my sex workshop with little slips of paper and pencils. And I said, "We're all experts here. I would just like to get some honest reaction to some questions in terms of what you've noticed about your drug experiences. What's your favorite drug? What didn't you like? Why do you use? Why don't you use? What makes sex special?" One of the touchier subjects was about those times when you've had really great, insightful, memorable sex with somebody when you were both tripping; but you knew deep inside that if you weren't tripping, you probably wouldn't have done it with them. And so, should you not have done that? You know, "Am I bad?" or "How embarrassing." It's that notion that without chemistry there would've been no chemistry. But maybe it's like saying you really loved going to Paris with someone, but you don't want to live with them here in San Francisco. I mean, there are certain things you're going to do with certain people within certain boundaries. Outside of those boundaries, it wouldn't work.

RU: Did anybody complain about getting married one week after taking Ecstasy with somebody?

SB: No, not at all!



RU: Were there patterns that emerged? You were talking earlier about people having experiences when they were younger, and then maybe different ones after they were mothers and so forth. Were there discernible patterns or similarities?

SB: Well, I have all these index cards that I compile on my blog. If you go to my blog, you can check this sort of thing out — just find the drug section, or search for women and psychedelics. It was interesting how some old standards really went throughout the whole crowd. Somebody wrote down just one thing on her card: "Pot and caffeine." And everyone said, "Yeah!!"

SR: It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.

SB: It was so simple! It was like somebody holding up a perfect lettuce.

SR: Kind of the reasonable person's version of a speedball. It's not going to send you to the grave.

One topic that's come up on this show a couple of times is where sex positivity and drug culture collide in a bad way. There's one vital element of the sex positivity movement that has this idea that sex and drugs — and sex and alcohol — don't mix because you're capable of bad judgment. This fits with what you were talking about earlier — people who have sex inspired by psychedelics when they may not have had sex without them.

SB: Last week, we were criticizing and laughed about the preacher who enjoyed his sex on meth — you know, he liked speed and sex together. And from a purely drug enthusiast point of view, it's like, well... yes! I mean, if you haven't tried it...

RU: Intense orgasms... very localized.

SB: In terms of sheer sensation, why shouldn't people be able to see, "Well, this is what it feels like?" And another person could say, "Well, Vicodin! Why not some sort of morphine derivative?" Any kind of connection of orgasm to anything seems like a legitimate topic. I remember somebody told me that after they went through menopause, they loved having an orgasm and a hot flash simultaneously. And I said, "Really? I had no idea there was something to look forward to!" That stimulated my imagination.

We all enjoy the notion of sensation. The problem is addiction really, isn't it? You can become dependent and not even get off any more because of your tolerance. And the other thing Steve mentioned — this sense of losing your "safety belt." "Oh, you didn't use the condom. Oh, you jumped off the bridge" — that sense that you couldn't take care of yourself as well as you needed to because that sense of self-protection was gone. And our society really hasn't figured out how to handle this very well. Our only answer to all of that is clamp down, criminalize — lock people up. It's not like I've sat down and figured out how I would run my little SIMS game if I was in charge, but it would involve tremendous education. I started home schooling my daughter, and one reason was that they started doing drug programs in lieu of science in my daughter's elementary school. I hit the roof! I said. "You're not going to go through this." And I combed the bookshelves. I thought — there's got to be a book for young people that talks about drugs as plants, as medicine, as consciousness.

RU: There is Andrew Weil's book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs.

SB: See? You and I are on the same wavelength. Andrew Weil's book From Chocolate to Morphine is written more towards a smart high school/early college level, but I got it for my kid a lot earlier. I couldn't find anything else. That's it!

But it's pathetic that there's only one book that tries to address drugs from a wholistic point of view.

RU: And it's dated, also.

SB: There needs to be a lot more. Most of the people at the conference I went to are in families. They have kids, or they're kids living with parents. And I met lots of people who could talk to their family members about this. It's a two-way street.

RU: That's new.

SR: There are two levels of the discussion. One is obviously in the public policy level, which is a complete disaster. I was just reading today in the news that nobody takes abstinence seriously in the generation that is having it thrust down their throat by this administration

RU: Nice metaphor!

SR: At the same time, they don't know what the hell to do because there's a vacuum. They're not teaching safe sex. That's a complete disaster.

RU: It's the worst possible combination.

SR: Exactly! But there's also a simplistic viewpoint within the sex positive community in terms of drugs and in terms of safe sex. There's this real binary thing like: "Well, you always have safe sex, and you never have sex on drugs! Or drunk!" And it's really naive to think that people will resonate with that and always follow it in the actual world. It may be just as simplistic as the Bush thing.

SB: I've been to the Clean and Sober session in the sex community. Fine, I can go with that. But on the other hand, I like to have this bohemian sense of indulging this and indulging that. Anyway, somebody just told me last night that there's this hallucinogen that that just cures you of heroin addiction in one snap. Of course, it's illegal in America.

RU: Ibogaine. Although it's not exactly a snap. I's a very intense, difficult experience. It's quick, though. It's fast.

SR: It's a snap compared to the old-fashioned way of kicking smack, which was just to lock yourself in a goddamn asylum for...

RU: You sit down and have a really intense and unforgiving review of your entire inner psychology for about 24 hours. You might be happier going through withdrawal.

SB: I am impatient.

RU: This Ibogaine could be a tremendous thing. There's a great book about it. The theory in the book is that you don't kick heroin, you kick consumerism.

SB: Wow! Light me up! You mean my shoe problem would go away?

SR: Does it also get rid of chronic gas?

RU: We were talking before about sex positivism. I've thought a lot about the whole 1960s sexual revolution idea that was expressed by Xavier Hollander in The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. She said, "Sex is the nicest thing two people can do for one another." And that was very hippie — "nice, nice, nice." And actually, in the mid-70s people sort of realized that hippies weren't very sexy — and people who are naked all the time aren't very sexy. And everybody started going back to night clubs. And it seems to me that really good sex exists on the boundary between total liberation and taboo. And I think that shows up in a lot of the stories in your own book as well. If there isn't some friction or some tension, then it becomes less interesting.

SB: Well, it certainly becomes less interesting in literature. I tell people in my erotic writing workshops, "You may want to talk about a lovely day at the beach, culminated by a warm cuddle in the missionary position and that may have happened and been great. I believe it. But for literature, you're going to need a conflict or else no one will keep reading it, so get hit by a tidal wave somewhere halfway through your story." But that's different from sexuality. I mean, I confess to you — I'm a hippie. So I like nudity, and I like hippie sex, and I think hot tubs are fun.

RU: I guess I'm like an early 1970s person. I just didn't start getting off until people put their clothes back on.

SB: Do you have to go to either of these extremes?

RU: Well, that's my point. It's somewhere on the boundary between this idea of total liberation and a sense that there's something a little bit naughty or whatever — there's some tension there. Even the act itself, there's a certain tension and release. It could be a guy thing.

SB: No, not at all.

RU: Actually, speaking of gender differences, I want to read from a piece in your book by Daniel Duane. He writes: "For men, the fundamental wrong is an active infringement on the rights of another. By punching me, you violate my right not to be punched. For women, torts have more to do with the failure to fulfill responsibility." On my other show — NeoFiles - we've had some discussion about gender distinctions and the question of to what degree are gender distinctions innate. And here, this guy is putting right up at the front of his story that there are innate gender distinctions. In terms of erotic literature, my idea is that guys like to watch it on TV and women like to read it. Do you find more women in your audience? And what do you think in general about the discussion about gender distinctions in terms of sex?

SB: Well, everyone would love to get to the bottom of that question — is one group of people more visual than another, is another group of people more aroused by writing than another? We don't have any serious study or research.

JEFF DIEHL: There was a government study. It was part of a controversial congressional campaign involving Vernon Robinson. There was an NIH study where they showed women pornography. They connected probes to their genitalia and measured the arousal level as they watched various images like people having sex and animals having sex. I don't know what the results were, but there was a study.

RU: No people having sex with animals, though.

Actually, I think that study showed that women enjoyed looking at pornography.

SB: What a shock.

RU: Stop the presses!



SB: I've noticed from my raw empirical studies that a lot of women respond to visual stimuli. I think it's obvious. Look at how fashion magazines are sold. If women didn't like to watch, they wouldn't be so visually sensitive to the many things they do enjoy. Also, I always have a survey in the back of my book where I ask people what they like and so forth, and I ask about their gender. And it's remained around 50% the whole time. I meet a lot of men who say, "I want a story." Who doesn't like a story? So the sexist description of one being one way and one another... I don't buy it. Women certainly tend to realize their sexual fantasies much later than men. It takes them longer to feel confident about expressing them, searching for them, asking for them, and creating them. I mean, there's not a little boy on earth who doesn't know where his penis is, but a lot of women don't know where their clit is until they're much older. Can you imagine? Just ask a man, "What if you didn't know where your cock was and had no idea how to get off? And then, by some bizarre accident, you found out. And then you were afraid that if anyone knew, you would be expelled from your family and no one would ever want you — that you could never be a spouse or a parent.

RU: (Ironically) That's exactly what happened to me! (Laughter)

SR: And you weren't even Catholic!

SB: I talk to women who say, "You know, I just don't know about erotica. I'd rather not get close to that." And as I start exploring their sensual life, I start to find out that they have lots of things that give them visual pleasure; or they think that romances are really hot. And other women who have come into their own sexually will tell you point-blank: I want Rocco Siffredi. And I want him pulling my hair. And I want it right now. They don't make any bones about it.

A lot of us have been being frank about what we want from sex. It's not just because we're exhibitionists. We want to make it more common for women to speak as if they're sexual, just like any other animal in the kingdom.

See also:
Susie Bright Lets It All Out
World Sex Laws
Why Sarah's Sex Life Matters
Is It Legal Porn or Illegal Porn


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Sexy Adult Secrets in “Little Children”



It was nominated for three Oscars, and won: none. Little Children dramatized Tom Perrotta's brilliant novel about suburban entrapment (and the possibility of escape). Was something lost in its transition to the screen?

Perrotta, along with director Tom Field, condensed his book's seven characters into movie-friendly vignettes. Even though their screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, it inevitably raises questions about what was left out — and why. Are book-reading audiences more liberal than mainstream movie-goers? Were some scenes too hot for Hollywood — or just too complicated?

Warning: this article is full of spoilers. Lots of 'em.



The Bi-Sexual Lover

When the film opens we see Kate Winslet playing an unhappy housewife at the playground. But in his book, Perrotta indulges in a glance at the life history that brought her there. An active feminist in college, she'd found meaning and self-discovery in a college Women's Studies program, ultimately enjoying "a passionate affair with a Korean-American woman named Amelia."

This digression leads to a scene which adds a crucial perspective to her future unhappiness. By page 12, Perrrotta has breezily recapped her failed grad school career, fretting that the best possible outcome would be "a one-year, nonrenewable appointment teaching remedial composition to football players in Oklahoma." She returns to a low-paying service sector job — at Starbucks coffee — where one day she spots her former lover, looking "absolutely radiant," with her husband and baby.

"Amelia shrugged, as if she didn't understand how it was possible that she even knew this pathetic woman in the green apron, let alone that they'd once danced to Aretha Franklin in their underwear and collapsed onto a narrow bed in a fit of giggles that seemed like it would never stop."

That year — and while working at Starbucks — she meets her future husband Richard.

Meeting Slutty Kay

Richard is seen in the movie, as the wealthy, fetish-bound husband who sniffs panties he ordered from an online porn site. The book describes his own troubled history — a previous twenty-year marriage from an accidental pregnancy, which ends in divorce. Yes, he'd turned to porn, before meeting his future second wife. ("They were both desperately lonely and waiting for someone to rescue them.") The book notes that it's the realities of child-rearing that first stifles their sex life. But it's only when doing research for his branding company — about the Y2K bug — that Richard stumbles across the web site for Slutty Kay. Richard was equally beguiled by the porn model's internet frankness — her confidence, her honesty, and her joy. In a surprise twist, Perrotta's book follows him further than just sniffing the panties he ordered online. "He could never get past the uncomfortable fact that she existed for him solely as a digital image," Perrotta notes, which leads Richard on a surreptitious flight to San Diego for a life-changing weekend retreat — with the Slutty Kay Fan Club.



It's at Beachfest 2001 that he calls his wife and tells her that he's never coming home.

This changes the dynamics of the film's crucial moment on the playground, when his wife must also grapple with the fact that she doesn't have a husband to go home to.

Larry's wife, the "fucking whore"

The mall security incident haunts former police officer Larry — but his life story casts a cynical light on the suburban town's morality.

His wife and he are devout Catholics — though he'd met her at a Miss Nipples contest at Kahlua's. After his own tragedies — the mall shooting was followed by the death of his father — Larry decides that "horrific things happened to good and bad people alike with no regard whatsoever for their goodness or badness." His Catholic beliefs evolve into some more profane. "[I]f some kind of God was in control of it all...then God was an asshole or at best an incompetent, and in either case was of absolutely no use to [anyone] who simply wanted to live a decent life..."

The mall shooting leaves him impotent, but it's his sacrilege that causes his wife to consider leaving him. Their final argument was ultimately about "a cleavage-baring dress she'd worn to mass during the July heat wave." During the week his wife wore the same nurse's uniform, and wanted Sunday to be a day when she looked nice.

After their separation Larry watches her bitterly at church, dressed "as if Dirty Dancing was the Eighth Sacrament." Which ultimately leads to a startling scene.

The Pedophile Among Us

Jackie Earle Haley was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the unreformed pedophile. But in one of the book's most outrageous scenes, the character's ever-faithful mother actually convinces him to go to church. ("Say a prayer for your old sick mother.")

There, inevitably, he's spotted by Larry, the now-relentless neighborhood activist. The moral-minded community has already identified the disturbing pedophile in their midst — "whole families fleeing pews" — but Larry watches his estranged wife sitting blithely with their children. "Just two feet away from that shitbag!" Larry announces. Tension builds throughout a sermon about how Jesus loved everyone — but Larry finally loses control, confronting the smiling pervert and trying to eject him from the church.

The congregation watches as he attempts to pull him from the pew, the pedophile crouching and clutching the kneeler. Ultimately he succeeds only in pulling off his pants — revealing "the blasphemous pallor of his butt cheeks."

"'I'm sorry,' he explained. 'I wasn't trying to pull his pants down.'"

"Please," says the usher. "Please just leave."

Why, Brad, Why?

The film's plot centers around the forbidden attraction between a married woman and a married man. Their rebellious passion comes as a surprise, with only an intriguing outline of their motivations. But the novel grants the reader a look into Brad's pscyhe.

Named Todd in the book, he's still the neighborhood legend, dubbed "the prom king" by the housewives at the playground. He's a good-looking, stay-at-home dad who boyishly can't resist midnight football games or the cajoling of skateboarders. But Todd remembers the day his personality was frozen. ("The afternoon his mother died, Todd and his friend had been throwing snowballs at cars...") When his father comes to inform his son somberly about his mother's death, Todd asks "Is this about the car?"

"Did someone tell you?" his father asks?

The moment now hopelessly confused, he eventually tells his son "I want you to live your life as if this never happened." Todd plunges ahead with relentless adolescent success, falling into a pre-law career almost by accident (taking the LSAT as a show of support for a fraternity brother). The book savors his grown-up dilemma — and that of his career-minded wife Kathy, trying to hang on to her ideal husband.



Played by Jennifer Connelly in the movie, the book grants her an extra scene, when she lures her unfaithful husband onto a final weekend getaway in the hopes of saving their marriage. In the bedroom she delivers "an amazing performance, marred only by the slightest trace of smugness on her face, a cool erotic confidence that he couldn't help resenting."

Perotta savors their situation in truthful, cynical dialogue.

"Do you love her?" she asks?

"I don't know," Brad answers honestly. "That's what I'm trying to figure out."

See Also:
Lost "Horrors" Ending Found on YouTube
Hating Roger Ebert
Pulp Fiction Parodies on YouTube
David Sedaris Exaggerates For Us All

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Sex Expert Susie Bright Lets It All Out


Susie Bright

The New York Times called Susie Bright "the avatar of American Erotica." She was co-founder and editor of the first Women's sex magazine, On Our Backs: Entertainment for the Adventurous Lesbian, from 1984-1991. Since then, she's written and edited about a zillion books, and taught many courses on sexuality. Currently, she posts regularly on her own blog. Her audio show, In Bed With Susie Bright, is distributed by Audible.com. She was a sex-scene choreographer and consultant for the Wachowski Brothers' first film, Bound, in which she also had a cameo role.

Susie appeared on two consecutive episodes of The RU Sirius Show, primarily to discuss the anthology, The Best American Erotica 2007, which includes stories by Dennis Cooper and the late Octavia Butler, among many others. (She's been editing the Erotica series since 1993.) We did, of course, digress quite a bit from the main topic.

As with the audio interview, we are running these text edits in two segments, so click here for the second half.

RU Sirius Show co-host Diana Brown joined me in interviewing Susie Bright about her "Ted Haggard Betting Pool," teen sex, and other illicit thoughts.
To listen the full interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: The introduction to The Best American Erotica 2007 is quite an intense little piece. Would you please read a segment from it?

SUSIE BRIGHT: Sure. I called it "The Lolita Backlash." Every year, the stories in the book tend to magnetize to a certain theme. And this year, it had to do with a rather vicious generation gap.
When was the moment when our youth become self-aware of their charms, as well as its desperation? It seems younger now, although that could just be my mother talking. But look at our 21st century culture. Every teenager knows the time to launch a career as a porn star is in the weeks following high school graduation. Celebrity journalism shows us that Hercules and Aphrodite will both be toppled in their early 20s without massive intervention. It's no wonder the commodification of good looks and muscles has wrought an erotic backlash.

Virginity. Authenticity. The natural pearl. This is what is idealized today, as well as commercialized beyond all recognition. Fake sex — titillation — is for sale; real sex is elusive and underground.

Take this state of affairs, and couple it with a pox of unprecedented meddling in people's personal lives by the religious right, and we have a toxic brew. Privacy, freedom, and nature are gasping for breath. Hypocrites alone have something to crow about.

In my fifteen years of editing BAE, I have never seen such a yowling, lustful, spitting breach between young and old.

Of course, such observations are taboo. Lower your voice! Young people aren't supposed to have a sexual bone in their bodies, right? And their elders, if they are immune to beauty, and make all the rules, should be able to keep it in their pants. What a squawk.

There is so much guilt and fear about the obvious — that young people do have hormones, and old people aren't altogether blind — that helpful discussion in the public sphere has shriveled. It is left to fiction for the truth to come out.

The truth looks like this: any conflict has the potential to become erotic. That might get complicated, tragic, or unpredictable. Eros is kissing cousins with aggravation. The conscience of our society drives us to protect our young, to provide for them, to cheer and cherish their independence. But we wouldn't need any conscience if it wasn't a challenge, if it didn't demand sacrifice. The temptations include neglect, exploitation, coercion, and dependence.

RU: So the introduction to your book — and much of the fiction in the book — broaches the highly taboo subject of adolescent sex; and adolescent sex as it relates to adults. We had Tim Cavanaugh on the show — he was the editor of Reason magazine's blog at the time. I asked him if they'd ever dealt with the age of consent. And he admitted they hadn't. It was clear that this is kind of the third rail for some libertarians. Do you worry about Fox News noticing your book? I think this is probably a bigger taboo than murder in America now.



SB: How interesting. When I was in my twenties, I was invited on the Phil Donahue Show. He was sort of Oprah before Oprah.

So I was brought in with a bisexual male friend of mine to represent bisexuality. We were told we'd talk about what we noticed sexually about the differences between sleeping with men and sleeping with women. And they made it sound like it was not pejorative or prejudiced or trying to start a fire — just, you know, "What do you notice?" And we thought that would be a lot of fun. So we got picked up in one of those big limos and taken to the studio. And inside the limo was this very pink, perspiring couple from Florida. And I said, "You're going to be on the show too?" And they said, "Yes. We're from Exodus." Now Exodus, at the time, was the premier gay conversion group. So it was one of those "gotcha" shows.

RU: (Mockingly) Woo-hoo! Gay conversion — it's coming back!

SB: It's coming back stronger than ever. They've got it down to three weeks now — a three week spa.

DIANA BROWN: Does it come with a French manicure?

SB: So on Donahue's show, he basically tried to get the bible couple to freak out on us — about how we're heathens — and vice versa. It was so humiliating. We didn't talk about anything that I had planned to talk about. And at one point, I just opened my big mouth and said, "I came of age in the seventies, and I lost my virginity shortly before my 16th birthday with an unemployed soap opera actor."

DB: Like you were supposed to in America in the seventies!

SB: Yes! It's a banal story. Exactly. Everybody did that.

RU: ...Since the seventies.

DB: I think it's in the handbook!

SB: So, all of the sudden Phil turns. He's thrilled. And he says, "So you were a victim of child abuse!"

DB: Did he cut to a commercial at that moment?

SB: I just thought, "You son of a bitch." What a gratuitous dig. And, you know, neither I nor anybody in my family feels any regrets or fears. It's not like, "Gee, Susie was in an awful lot of trouble or panic or danger." I wasn't.

Of course, this is a tricky subject and there has to be sensitivity to the psychological and physical development of young people. And some people are such old souls so young. And other people are just crawling out of their egg at age twenty-five. You also have quite a noticeable difference in terms of adolescent girls and boys. I see my daughter and her friends, and some kind of look ten and some kind of look twenty-something — and they're all around sixteen. They are so different. The ones who suffer the most are the ones who look ten, but emotionally and mentally they want to do everything. And then you'll hear about a girl who had breasts when she was ten, and everyone was sexualizing her. And she just wanted to climb a tree and be left alone. There are so many misunderstandings. And adults are constantly projecting their notions of what they want on them. In my case — and in a lot of cases, I was the one who was interested and curious and seeking sex.

RU: You hear that story all the time.

DB: Yeah.

SB: Problems come from older people who don't have empathy and compassion and respect. You get someone who decides; "Yeah! Girls want me!" (Laughter) "That teenaged girl over there? She digs me." That kind of narcissism is the problem.

We don't even talk about whether the sex in these scenarios is consensual. Is there coercion involved? What is the power relationship between these people? We fixate on stereotypes and miss the big picture. And another thing that doesn't get brought up is that, overwhelmingly, sexual abuse and that type of violence happens within families. If you could stop that, it would really be remarkable.

We have this idea, fostered by J. Edgar Hoover, that there are these monsters out there — strangers are going to come up and offer your child a lollipop. We're seeing that replayed now around the internet. There's a wonderful social scientist, Michael Males, who just had an opinion article in the New York Times. He's proved that your kid is safer alone on MySpace than in any shopping mall in America. I just loved reading his facts and figures, because it all makes sense to me.

RU: It seems so obvious, if you think about it.

SB: Yeah, it sure does. And of course, the guy who was running the predator arrest campaign for Homeland Security was exposing himself to 16-year-old girls at the mall. I'm not making this shit up! With all the fuss about Scooter Libby and Cheney, other things have been glossed over.

RU: Were they caught together?

SB: (Laughs) It fascinated me how it came out that officials who are supposedly in charge of protecting children turn out to be really creepy, totally non-consensual predators.

RU: Well, they're the ones who are attracted to that. I mean, just like a certain percentage of criminal sadists are attracted to law enforcement.

DB: The mice are guarding the cheese.



SB: That's a good way of putting it. So when people ask me about public policy, I think about the big picture. If this country had more active democracy; if we had decent health care and universal sex education, things would be better for young people. Anything you can do to give them power is going to work out. Anything you can do to foster good family relationships and support education is going to help. None of this is on the agenda for the United States right now.

DB: Well, you're doing something for young people on your web site — the Ted Haggard Betting Pool. And it's not just a snarky little jab at this fool Ted Haggard, who is all over the media. Proceeds of this Betting Pool are going to benefit a San Francisco youth group called LYRIC.

SB: Yes. LYRIC is a youth group. They do community support and activism for young people who realize that they're sexually different, whatever that might mean to them. And nobody makes you fill out a form to explain yourself. If you know that you're sexually different and you want a place where you don't have to be alone — and where you don't have to be stigmatized and shamed — you can go to them. And you might get support in terms of work and family that you won't get elsewhere. They're role models for young people getting together and doing it for themselves, while having adult advocates who have a lot of integrity. So I love them.

And when this whole mess with Reverend Ted Haggard happened... I mean, there you have the evangelical minister to end all evangelical ministers — the guy who could tell George Bush what to do — and he gets caught sucking cock on a regular basis.

RU: On crank.

SB: On crank.

RU: It's the only way to do it.

SB: No one wants to do it without meth anymore, apparently.

DB: "Cock on crank." I like the alliteration of it.

SB: And instead of copping to it, he said, "Hey. I was always heterosexual. It was just stress" — or whatever it was. And his church gave him a huge check, since they're hemorrhaging money. He signed a confidentiality agreement and was given a plane ticket to get out of town. And, of course, now the headlines are "Ted Haggard says he's 100% heterosexual."

DB: Didn't he go to a three-week spa?

SB: He went to a three-week spa to get over his homosexuality (which he wasn't really anyway.) I mean, the contradictions are endless.

RU: I love that. I mean, who's going into rehab today? It's become a daily thing now.

SB: So everyone I know was saying, "When do you think he'll slip?" So I said, "Let's do a betting pool." So some of us have started a site called "Bet on Ted." You just pick your date. We're going to give it a year. Any time this year. And to win, something has to happen with Ted that gets into the news or into the courts. We've come up with a list of things — all of them involve Ted cracking, and it hitting a news report. If you have the lucky date, then you win half the pot and the other half goes to our worthy cause: LYRIC. If nobody gets the right date — or Ted sneaks by all year and nothing comes out — then the whole pot will go to LYRIC too. So bet on Ted! I'm hoping we get somewhere with it.

One of my friends who wanted to bet said, "Can we send in a ringer?" And I said, "Yeah! Make it happen!"

DB: A hooker with a heart of gold that will bring him across.

SB: Exactly!

RU: I bet a lot of people are trying to reel him in, at this point. It's his lucky year, now!

DB: We're Ted fishing, now!

RU: Ted's going to get a lot of action this year... thanks to Susie Bright.

DB: (Makes a fly-casting sound.) What are we using for bait?

SB: One thing that's interesting: remember I told you about those founders of Exodus that I met at the "Donahue Show." The founders of Exodus finally did do the right thing. They fled Exodus, so to speak. They exited Exodus and said, "We are gay, God damn it! We're sorry we just did this to everybody." Virtually all the founders of all these horrible conversion therapies have recanted after a certain amount of time.

RU: It seems, in the thesis and antithesis of sexual revolution and then backlash; we've ended up in an incredibly tangled state of how we — as a culture — think about sexuality. We almost embrace the most intense kinds of sexual sophistication, and there's all this pornography around, and then there's the most intense kinds of Puritanism. And it's like it's all converged into one confused human being.

SB: Well, a lot of that porn is really about titillation and guilt. There's this, "Taste me! Taste me!" factor where you never really get to taste me. You know? "Come closer! I'll give you this little bit." But then once you get there, you're going to need to get a little bit more... and a little bit more. And you're always going to have to shell out. That's how they sell it. And it's also how they inspire political fear. It's a come-on! It's a con job. What you don't get is sexual honesty and real candor, where you really come through.

RU: They're creating people who behave that way! The relationship between the stripper and the paying customer — a lot of people relate to each other that way.

SB: I suppose so, except with real strippers, real love lives — it doesn't work like that. Even if you try to live in a fake persona, you can't maintain it all the time. It's impossible.

RU: There is a lovely story towards the end of the book — "The Wish Girls" — that gets underneath the emptiness behind those images.

SB: Yeah, that was a great story by a new author — Matthew Addison. His character is about thirty. When he was a teenager, he had an "I Dream of Jeannie" moment where he wished there were two hot, bouncy, magazine-y babes who would appear and be his love slaves. And he got his wish! They're the wish girls! Now, they've been around for fifteen years, and they do the same exact positions. And he was naive when he ordered them. And now he thinks, "Why did I make them identical except for their hair color? I wish one was 5'2" and one was 5'9"!" It drives him nuts that they're so limited. He yearns for more, but on the other hand — they bend over and get in position #19 and position #32 just like clockwork. And he feels guilty for his boredom and ennui with them. So what's in store for him next? Read the story.

RU: On the other hand, there's another story in there involving some porn stars and they're having a pretty interesting time, and their sex is pretty hot and so forth. Do you feel like there's a clear dividing line? Can you say, "This is bad porn; and this is good porn?" I'm suspicious of people judging what gets other people off.

SB: Well, I never walk into a room and say "(gasp) What!? That turns you on? You're gross." I mean, that would be the infantile...

RU: "Ewwwww."

SB: When it comes to "good porn" and "bad porn," you'll frequently see something that has obviously been made with the sloppiest intentions: "Fuck it. Let's get this done and get a quick buck." But as you watch it, there will be one 10-minute scene where the people in front of the camera actually had a moment. And it's caught there, because that's what the camera lens does. Other times, you'll be watching something that has been made with such high ideals, and you'll be, like: "I can't even keep my eyes open."

RU: There is this kind of a superior attitude of people who are sort of into underground sexuality...

DB: "More kinkier than thou."

SB: Yeah, but you have the same kind of conversations in every part of the art world — in music and painting and everything else. You have your little factions. You have auteurs. You have people who put a signature on the work they do and the moment you see it, you can tell it's one of their films.

I'll tell you an interesting story about this: one of the most important pornographers in history died recently — Gary Graver. He worked on some of the most influential films, including Bound. He inspired my choreography of the sex scenes for Bound. And his obit was in the New York Times, Variety, and every place else. But they didn't mention that he was a pornographer! His porn name was Robert McCallum. So they focused largely on the fact that he was Orson Welles' cameraman for thirty years. And he helped fund a lot of Orson's projects when Orson didn't have a dime coming in. It was the porn that let him do that! So I wrote a bunch of letters... "Why are you not saying... I mean, you talked about all of his exploitation work, his horror flicks, his slasher films. None of those are going to get any rave reviews."

It's laughable. He shot Steven Spielberg's first movie — he worked with everybody. His family certainly knows what he was doing. So why didn't they include that? And I got responses that showed the double standard that rules the land. It was like, "Well, we wouldn't do that. Why would we besmirch him?" Besmirch? They're the New York Times! If somebody murdered someone, but later discovered the cure for cancer, they would still mention that they served time for that murder. I mean, they dig up dirt! It's not all: "He had a wonderful life, and everything went swell!"

RU: Like Larry King interviewing Adolf Hilter... "You were a vegetarian, right?"

SB: Exactly! So why would they report on people's immorality, gambling, criminality, lawsuits — but they wouldn't mention that Gary Gravers did some of the most significant porn films of all time — films that are still for sale and have sold in every format.

RU: Before we wrap up, has it been a good life, being a "sexpert" for thirty years? Is it a big responsibility? Is it a lot of fun? Do you wish you were a fucking fishermen — like John Lennon used to say about being in The Beatles?

SB: On a personal level, sometimes I wish to be unknown. Having some celebrity around my sexuality can be weird. When it comes to sexual and personal attention, you're always afraid of people's agendas. I locked myself in the bathroom of the last sex party I went to, because somebody who I thought was interested in me really wanted me to read their manuscript.

RU: Well, that's scary for anybody — when somebody approaches you with a manuscript!

SB: It's like: "I don't want to see a manuscript, I want to fuck!" But in terms of having social influence — and I bet John Lennon would have said the same thing — you never get sick of influencing a conversation.

RU: Do you ever think it would've been cool to become famous as a writer about a different topic, like television or quantum physics or something like that?

SB: I do write about all kinds of subjects. And I have a few readers who know that part of me. I wrote for political publications for many years before my writing about sex started becoming commercially successful.

RU: Do you go off on many topics on your audio show?

SB: I certainly do. In fact...

RU: ...You get complaints? People like their narrowcasting!

SB: Sometimes I get complaints. I've got this one Republican listener. He writes me over and over again. He wants to discuss his marital situation at length. I keep quoting my favorite dominatrix to him: "We're not spanking Republicans any more. We're not servicing you with sex tips until you realize that this stuff that you're doing in bed, and your voting/political behavior are at odds. You're hurting people." Ow!



RU: We can't spank Ann Coulter?

SB: God, no! I wouldn't touch her with a 10-foot pole!

RU: Michelle Malkin? I do have my fantasies.

Click here for Part II

See Also:
Drugs and Sex and Susie Bright
Why Sarah's Sex Life Matters
World Sex Laws
Violet Blue SHOCKER: "I'd Do Bruce Campbell"
The Perversions of Perverted Justice

Read More

The 5 Sexiest Apple Videos

Are Mac users sexier than other people? Or are they just flaunting their computer's superior video editing capabilities? Either way, these videos should bring a smile to your favorite Mac-loving gal or guy. Self-obsessed egotists — or sexy valentine's day surprise? You make the call!

1. Setty Smooth wants to iChat with your four hot friends.



Armed with an iSight camera, a Santa Monica player/wannabe dubbed himself "Setty Smooth," then created an earnest music video about how the Mac enables him to cajole women into stripping online. ("20-inch screens, we can be seen. Live our fantasy, it will feel like a dream....") It's a world of sexy online possibilities, which he demonstrates — five times — culminating with an unforgettable chorus.
The Mac, the Mac. Thanks to the Mac,
We can have fun while we layin' on our back...

There's a whole album of unreleased love ballads, Setty promises. But you can bet that in online chat rooms of Mac enthusiasts, he's already a superstar.


2. Plug it, play it, zip, unzip it (NSFW)



Silhouettes dance with their iPods — then strip, grind, and start screwing each other. Apparently they've been trapped in iPod-silhouette land too long, and they've finally snapped. Gone is the harmless breakdancing from the iPod + iTunes ad — replaced with a variety of sexual positions, pole dancing, and a collar and leash. (For those who think really different.) But at least they're getting it on while wearing their iPods, and the song remains the same.

"Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, melt, upgrade it..."




3. Japanese iPod bikini dance (NSFW)



Reon Kadena, Japanese model, shares her unique perspective on enjoying an iPod. (Hint: flesh-colored lingerie.) A series of fast cuts show the delight that only an iPod can bring, along with several gratuitous closeups of Reon's young body. (For those special moments when watching an iMac dance just isn't enough.)

The three-minute video of Reon tapping her toes would probably be rated PG-13 — despite the fact that the cameraman apparently lay on the floor trying to see under her bikini. (And at one point, the iPod makes her jeans disappear.) But Apple-loving YouTube viewers were divided in their reactions, with one posting an enthusiastic "marry me please," and another complaining that "we don't see enough of her ipod."


4. Say Hello to the Ibuzz



Its manufacturer says this music-activated sex toy will allow Apple-loving couples to "share the music, share the love," and sure enough, the iBuzz connects your mp3 player to two bullet-shaped vibrators. (So besides scrolling through your playlist, you can also cycle through its collection of vibrating patterns.) And yes, it can also vibrate in time to the music — or, as British TV host Jonathan Ross puts it, "the tempo controls the rhythm of the night.")



But does this mean your libido is subject to copyright law? One grumpy YouTube poster asks if the iBuzz is hobbled with DRM. Meanwhile, another video shows women hand-testing yet another vibrator — called, appropriately, the OhMiBod. And Apple's trademark lawyers have already gone after a Japanese man marketing a similar device called the G-Pod.


5. "You're Beautiful, It's True"



Ultimately using a Mac means you've joined a community, and YouTube user HappySlip celebrates it with an alternate version of James Blunt's song "You're Beautiful." Singing and playing the piano, she sadly mourns the fact she'll never be with the gorgeous 24-inch display she saw at the Apple Store.

From around the web, cute Mac-loving guys were drawn to respond, including a fan in England, Fmanfer in France, and a user named spaghettio (who obsessively remixes her into his 10-second art film trailer).

Whether or not Apple's user-friendly technology will revolutionize our lives, our hearts, and the way we express our passions — at least Mac users know they'll never be alone. In Indiana an Apple enthusiast named Melchiorus was even inspired to lip-synch Weird Al Yankovich's parody version of the song in a response he directed to his Dell laptop.

"You're pitiful, you're pitiful... It just sucks to be you."

See Also:
iPhone Debate: Bill Gates vs. I'm a Mac
Steve Wozniak vs. Stephen Colbert
Girls Are Geeks, Too
Why Chicks Don't Dig the Singularity
Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs


Read More

I Want Your Stump!

Grindhouse

You would think that having all of your limbs would make you feel complete. But for an apotemnophiliac or an acrotomophiliac, less is more. Acrotomophilia, or amputee love, is rare. These folks, sometimes called devotees, feel a sexual, ecstatic joy when fantasizing about or faced with a limbless person. In some extreme cases, that desire turns inward — leading to the powerful urge to self-amputate (apotemnophilia).

Why would anyone voluntarily amputate a part of oneself? The amputee fixation and the desire to self-amputate can be attributed to people trying to get the love and affection they feel they're missing. As one man says, "When I was young, my mother used to see crippled kids and say 'Oh, that poor child.' I guess I just wanted that kind of sympathy and kindness, too."



There are a few other causes of this cutting-edge fetish: an eroticization of the stump or the desire for over-achievement despite a handicap. Thus, several times a year there are reports of perfectly healthy men and women who either find a doctor to perform this very unnecessary surgery or attempt it themselves. This is usually done by whatever means happens to be handy, or by infecting themselves and therefore giving a more reputable surgeon no recourse but to cut off the limb.

"I just didn't feel right," says one woman, who successfully worked to have part of her leg removed. "Now I feel like a real person."

For many with acrotomophilia, the desire becomes wildly sexual — making it just about impossible for them to have good sex with anyone who has two arms or two legs. Fantasies can include caressing and making love to the stumps of missing limbs.

"I would spend hours," says a young woman with this outré fetish, "just thinking of caressing a man's stump: the way it would feel, smell and taste."

Sites such as RateMyStump.com (warning: intrusive cookies) allow devotees to share amputee pictures, stories, and even contact information — so those missing limbs can find amputee aficionados.

Apotemnophilia and acrotomophilia, while still pretty rare, get down to the very basics of sex: love, nourishment, and caretaking. And what better target or vehicle for such things than someone who's missing a limb or two?

See also:
World Sex Laws
Pregnant Nympho Sex


Read More

Girls Are Geeks, Too


Annalee Newitz

I didn't plan it this way at all. But around mid-week, I realized that I'd scheduled the NeoFiles interview with the editors and contributors to a new book collection, She's Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff, immediately after a very controversial interview with Joe Quirk that looked at gender and geeks from a sociobiological (and some might say all male) perspective.

I didn't push this interview with book editors Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders, and contributor Quinn Norton in the direction of nature versus nurture. I wanted to talk about their book. Nevertheless, the interview seems kind of like a counterpoint — or alternative — to Quirk's views regarding women and technology. But are women geeks the exception that proves the rule, or the vocal edge of a phenomenon that gets suppressed or ignored?



She's Such a Geek offers evidence for the latter view. It's full of personal tales from brilliant women: scientists, technologists, and gamers — and most of them recount situations in which they were discouraged, harassed, put down, and underestimated because of their gender.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that this book is a long whine. The pieces are irreverent, sharp, frequently funny, and filled to the brim with true edge-seeking geekiness.

Oh, by the way...yes, we do sometimes get silly on these shows. Get over it.
To listen the full interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: I seem to remember that there were a lot of girl nerd books in the '90s. How did we get from nerd to geek?

ANNALEE NEWITZ: Actually, that was a huge debate. We originally wanted to call it "Female Nerds" and people complained. They felt like "nerd" was too negative, and that geek had been re-claimed as a badge of pride — kind of like "queer."

RU: "Nerd" is more negative than "geek"? So, is biting the heads off of chickens...

AN: I know! I pointed that out in another interview.

RU: ...I always thought that was cool!

AN: Yeah. I mean, Ozzie Osborne really made it cool. So maybe we're bringing back Ozzie — bringing back the cool-ness of geeks.

RU: I'm going to show my age now, but I remember when hippies started calling themselves freaks. It sounded more extreme, and it also meant you didn't have to do that "peace and love" stuff any more. You could defend yourself as a freak.

AN: And I think geeks do the same thing, you know? It's sort of — you can use the beaker! You can smash the beaker against the table, and use it as a weapon.

CHARLIE ANDERS: Plus Nerds are like a really yucky candy, aren't they?

AN: I like Nerds! They're sour and they're yummy, and they always come as a mash-up. You get two flavors at once.

RU: So the first thing this anthology does, right in the title, is raise the question: Why is it necessary? Why is the gender of the geek an issue?

CA: In an ideal world, it wouldn't be. But we feel that our experiences — and lots of other people's experiences — show that female geeks tend to become invisible in the larger geek cloud. So we need to highlight their visibility so that there will be more of them. And then, other women who are thinking of becoming geeks will think, "Oh! There are role models in the cloud. I can see them!"

AN: It's also about highlighting the fact that women geeks have always existed, even though the stereotype of the geek is some pale boy sitting in front of his computer monitor and not getting laid. Actually, all along, there have been tons of female geeks who are also pale, staring at their computer monitors and not getting laid. Or maybe getting laid.



RU: Lady Ada Lovelace was an early female geek.

AN: It's true. And she was right there at the inaugural moments of inventing the computer. And she was writing the first computer languages, so... In fact, our guest Quinn named her daughter Ada! [Laughter]

RU: Annalee, why don't you go ahead, and — you're going to read to us from the book... in dulcet tones.

AN: I will try, yes. People think of dulcet when they think of me. I'm going to read from the introduction that both Charlie and I wrote:
We didn't realize how sorely needed this book was until we emailed a few people asking if they knew any women who might want to write stories about their lives as nerds. Our request got passed from mailbox to mailbox, and soon it was getting blogged — BoingBoing.net posted it, and so did StarWars.com. We were excited to see a blog full of Swedish with the words "submit essays to She's Such a Geek" in the middle. Canadian Public Radio even did a feature on the buzz we'd created. Everyone seemed to share our sense that there were zillions of female geeks out there who just needed to stand up and be counted.

After the blog-storm of attention, we found ourselves with over 200 essay submissions for this book. We started joking about what we'd call the sequel. She's Even More of a Geek? The Wrath of She-Geek?

We heard from programmers at Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, and women who'd worked in nuclear power plants and flew airplanes. We read about what it was like for women to study genetics in graduate school, teach mathematics, write science fiction, and design video games.

What we found as we read these women's stories wasn't just a common love of dorky Star Trek jokes, though there was quite a bit of that. We began to see a tragic pattern to many women's lives of nerd-dom. Growing up, many of our geeks fell passionately, even orgasmically, in love with math, astronomy and life science. But as they aged, many of them found that their undergraduate degrees in science didn't lead to jobs in science — or, when they went on to graduate programs, that they found themselves isolated and unhappy in male-dominated departments.

In fact, statistics show women flourish in geeky fields — until they hit a wall. The National Science Foundation reported in 2001 that 56% of U.S. Bachelor's degrees in science and engineering went to women. But women hold only 25% of jobs in science and engineering. More women than men are graduating in the sciences, but a hostile job market and chilly graduate programs are keeping them from achieving their goals.

So we were thrilled to see so many success stories. Women had battled stereotypes and their own insecurity to become formidable gamers or leading programmers. Some, like Kory Wells, managed to toggle between their careers and families, and even teach their own daughters not to let anyone tell them what they can do.

RU: I'm interested in the percentages of women who graduate in these fields. And I've also read reports recently in newspapers that women, in general, are doing better in school than men. And I wonder, is this is a cultural thing? Men are being encouraged to be lunkheads in the current culture. There's a culture of macho stupidity. [Ironically] Men are being held back, dammit — by the culture!

CA: There might be something to that. I talk about this in my essay — like the way some of our leaders seem to equate asking too many questions — or thinking too deeply about things — with not being manly enough or not being decisive. If you're "the decider", you're not the thinker. And you're not the studier.

RU: That goes from the top of the society to the bottom — "Keeping it real." That's kind of about being stupid too, actually.

CA: I thought "Keeping it real" was just sort of about keeping the walls up and the surreality out. Like, the surreal is always at your door, and you just sort of have to...

AN: ...keep turning it away

RU: You have to keep the surrealism away?

AN: Surrealism doesn't come in unless you invite it, actually. It's like a vampire, you know? So it stays outside.

RU: You can keep surrealism at bay pretty easily by not listening to The R.U. Sirius Show.

At the beginning of the book intro that Annalee read from, she wrote about being at a conference, on a panel that included another woman [ed: Wendy Seltzer, a contributor to the book]. And Annalee, when you came on stage, the announcer said, "The only chick's here." And there were, in fact, not many women at the conference. The guy we had on the show last week, Joe Quirk, was saying he did a head-count at an "Accelerated Change" conference and there were 15% women there. And he also knew some of the people who were there; and a lot of the women were girlfriends of guys who were obsessed with this stuff. So how do you account for this? And is it fair to comment on it? Because you kind of ripped into the announcer guy for making a joke about it. But it is fair to comment on what you observe.

AN: Well, there's obviously a difference between saying, "Gee, there's only 20% women at this conference, we need to change that"; versus saying, "Dude! You guys are the only two chicks at the conference!" In fact, there were about 20-30% women at that conference. So it's sort of like what we were saying earlier. Women who do exist in technology get sort of made invisible by statements like that. And why call attention to our gender at all? Why is it even remarkable, given that we were among the 20-30% of women who were there?

RU: But at the same time, you're calling attention to the issue of gender in technology with this book.

AN: Yeah. But I think saying there's 20-30% of women here — or even saying that there are 20-30% of women in science and technology — is different from saying, "There's only two women at this conference," when, in fact, there were far more.

RU: So he was lying.

AN: He was lying! And what he was doing...

RU: ...he was making a joke through exaggeration.

AN: Well, if you'd been there and seen the looks on the faces of the women in the audience, it didn't come across like a joke. When you've heard "jokes" like that, time after time, and every single joke somehow manages to erase you from the room — at a certain point, it stops being funny.

RU: All right. I'll hang with that. Charlie, in your piece, "I am wonk, Hear me wrong" errr... roar!" [laughter]

CA: I think it's actually, "Hear me prognosticate," or "Hear Me Analyze"

RU: The piece opens like this: "I became a wonk the same time that I became a woman, so the two transitions have always been inseparable for me." Talk a little bit about those two things — becoming a woman, and becoming and wonk.

CA: I was working as a journalist at a business newspaper, and it was a very macho kind of place to work. It was very Decider-y.

RU: They were all Deciders?

CA: Yeah, it was very much, "Give me: 'Here's what's going on' in five seconds, in black-and-white...."

RU: [imitating Walter Cronkite... poorly] "And that's the way it is!"

CA: Yeah. I was covering health care, and I got really obsessed with all the minutia and all the ins and outs of the healthcare industry. I became increasingly fascinated, and it clashed with the sort of macho ethos of this newspaper, where you weren't supposed to look into things too deeply. So I got this other job where I was encouraged to be more wonky and at the same time I was able to work from home some of the time. So I started cross-dressing more and exploring a different facet of my personality. And so the love of exploring really insanely detailed topics and policy issues dovetailed with my female persona and eventually led me to become who I am today.



RU: Your piece connects wonkiness with women. And I always thought of bow-tied guys in political think tanks as being wonks. But you claim that there's a big connection between wonkiness and women.

CA: There are a lot of women who really love to crunch statistics and analyze. I talked to Nadine Strossen and she definitely felt that there was a significant female wonk culture.

RU: Now there have been controversies at — like, women's festivals about allowing...

CA: ...about wonks? They're not letting wonks in to the Michigan Womyns' Festival? [Laughter]

AN: "No Wonks Allowed!"

CA: They're going to come in and analyze our policies in detail! They're going to do all the ramifications and the feasibility tests.

AN: Actuarial tables...

RU: Exactly. They didn't want wonks in their all-women festivals... No, I read a piece in The Believer...

CA: Michelle Tea's article.

RU: Yeah. It was about how this group didn't want transsexuals at their all-women's festival. Have you taken any crap from anybody about your inclusion in this book, or do you expect to take any crap from anybody?

CA: It hasn't been an issue at all, so far, maybe partly because I'm one of the editors. I don't know many people who don't just accept that trans-women are women. So any place that's explicitly including women should and will include trans-women. That just hasn't even come up as an issue at all.

AN: I also think that geeks are more accepting of transgender women.

RU: Exactly.

AN: It's because geeks are so into science. So they're really interested in this whole notion — it's like, "Oh I see! You've surgically altered your body and taken hormones. Why, how interesting! Now you're a woman!"

RU: It's very trans. Transmutation, transhuman... all those things.

AN & CA: Yeah!

RU: ...self-experimentation, all that stuff. Good! Speaking of trans, we're going to bring in Quinn Norton. Quinn, could you read a segment from your piece?

QUINN NORTON: Sure. Most of the essays in this book are about women who are making amazing contributions in science and engineering. And mine is about tabletop role-playing games. [Laughter]. The section I'm going to read though isn't actually about tabletop. It's about live action, which is like tabletop but more publicly embarrassing. And this is from a time when I was wandering around playing "Vampire." So I was out in the middle of the city, pretending to be a vampire:
One night I was wandering around downtown San Juan Capistrano early in Chaot's career. I hadn't run into any other players, and I was getting a bit bored. I thought I heard my fellow gamers' voices above me in a parking garage and decided to join them. Instead of the stairs, my little trench-coat-wearing Malkavian took to the trees. I climbed up and over to the second floor of the parking garage and threw myself quietly over the wall, coat flying behind me. I landed surprisingly silently. Turned out the voices came from two families of movie-goers — parents talking while young kids ran bored orbits around them. I, in all my weirdness, appeared out of nowhere and walked quickly by them. The parents never noticed me, but the kids did. They looked at where I'd come from, and then at me. They crouched in close to their parents and clutched one another. I looked over at them, opened my eyes wide, and gave them a slightly snarled smile.

They followed me with their eyes as I walked down the stairs. They never saw Quinn; they never even saw Quinn playing Chaot. All they ever saw or knew was Chaot, mad vampire, coming from and going to nowhere. With a mysterious grin, Chaot had given the lie to the boring world their parents described, where everything stays the same in the dark as it does in the light. I knew whatever make-believe they played next, I was going to crop up.

That moment is why I gamed.

RU: They will be thinking and dreaming and hopefully becoming vampires before you know it. Vampires have always been attractive to geeks of all genders. I guess it's the sense of otherness and being different. Do you think there's a special attraction for women?

QN: It's interesting, because Vampire is one of the first games I played that seemed to have a better gender balance than most of the others. But I don't feel like it was about vampires per se. It was because the gaming system was so geared towards role-play, and not so much about trying to figure out how to make the rules work. So it was open to a lot more people who just wanted to try out different roles.

RU: Your piece emphasizes how — in a lot of games — your interactions were with men, and that it got weird not just around gender, but also around sex itself, and around jealousy.

QN: [Laughs] Well, I don't know if this is a universal experience for geek girls, but for me there was a "Kiss me, kick me" kind of thing.

RU: Well, guys are drawn to a chick with a magnet in her finger. Inexorably. It's science! (We'll have to explain this later.)

QN: [Laughs] Ferromagnetic guys, certainly. In gaming — and in other geeky areas I've been in — it seemed like there were a lot of men who were very interested in being with a woman who could share their interests, and also very threatened by that. And so a lot of times people would be very interested in me and also slightly abusive towards me.

RU: And that kind of pushed you away from gaming. But you're back again. She's baaack!

AN: It's true! She's our dungeon-master in our current D&D game.

QN: I am. I'm doing First Edition AD&D... kicking it old school.

RU: I've heard this is somehow EFF related.

QN: Well, it's mostly EFF people — former and current people who are taking a break from fighting for our civil liberties to defeat the slave lords of the pit.

RU: Far more important!

AN: Yeah! I mean, come on. The RIAA, slave lords of the pit — it's all of a piece!

RU: So Quinn, you have a magnet implanted in your finger. Tell people about that and what happened with that?

QN: In 2005, I had a small rare earth magnet that was coated in gold, and then put in a bio-neutral silicone sheath, implanted in the tip of my ring finger. This was to give me a sense for EM radiation when I was near, say, a live power cord or a phone cord — that sort of thing. There are a few bodymodders out of Phoenix who had come up with the idea. It worked! And it was really interesting. For a while, I had a sixth sense for EM radiation. It wasn't incredibly strong. I usually had to be holding something or had to be very near it. Occasionally I would go near a phone box or something like that and it would startle me. And then the bio-neutral sheath that it was in broke. And my body attacked the magnet and it shattered in my finger.

RU: Did that hurt?

QN: Well, it infected when it broke. That hurt. My doctor tried to pull it out, and it shattered a lot more. That hurt. But my doctor was able to give me a lot of Vicodin, which made that all better.

RU: In fact, it made it fantastic!

QN: Unlike the bodymodders who just gave me a bit of ice. [Laughter] And then it was kind of all done. I didn't have the sense any more. The magnet was shattered. But then, over the course of the next few months, the magnet in my finger pulled back together again... because it's a magnet.

RU: Really? It self re-organized?

QN: Well, it's bits of magnet in close proximity. What are they going to do? And now, at this point, I can occasionally pick up other magnets. But the sense is gone because it's pretty much encased in scar tissue. When it was in a bio-neutral sheath, it was free floating, and there was a gesture I could do — I could hold up my finger and circle it with a magnet, and I could feel the magnet in my finger spinning as I did that.

RU: And you could feel other things beyond that.

QN: Yeah. I could feel bits of my computer right before I could feel the hard drive spinning.

RU: And of course you could feel the CIA tapping into your brain.

QN: [Laughs] I could feel that before the magnet!

AN: That only stops when you put the tin foil on.

RU: Annalee, you also have an implant.

QN: Yeah, we're both mutated.

RU: What did you put in?

AN: I have an implantable radio frequency identifier, which is basically a pet tag.

RU: So if somebody buys you and brings you home...

AN: ...right, they can read my serial number.

RU: But if they steal you, then they're in trouble.

AN: Right. Well, if they cut off my arm, they've got my ID number! Actually, this terribly ridiculous company called VeriChip was marketing them as secure access devices. The idea, basically, is that they're like keys that you put in your arm.

So a friendly hacker in Boston figured out a way to read the ID on the RFID that was implanted in my arm, and then re-broadcast that ID — basically steal my keys literally out of my arm without cutting it off. So we demonstrated that the whole idea that this would be a secure access device is completely ridiculous and stupid.

QN: I'm going to do an extremely mild defense of VeriChip here, because they're coming out with a thing right now that I'm really excited about. It's basically the same thing Annalee has, an RFID implant. But it also has a glucometer that gives continual readings when it's inductively powered.

AN: Well, that's fine, right?

QN: I know. That's cool!

AN: That's cool, and I'm happy for the company to be marketing its chips for all kinds of things. But claiming it's a secure device is really wrong. And that's what they were trying to do. It would be used in prisoners, and as keys, and in all kinds of situations where you wouldn't want people to be able to read your ID. And the fact is that there's no security on these chips at all. This hacker was able to literally go up to me with a homemade antenna, brush up against me, get the ID off of my allegedly secure chip, and turn it into a set of keys to break into something else.

Now, aside from the implant, I actually have a version of the RFID reader and cloner device. It was a big adventure bringing it through the airport last week.

RU: Did it set things off?

AN: It did! Apparently it looks exactly like one of the forbidden devices that you can't bring on a plane. If you could see the device, you would see why. It's basically a tiny chipboard attached to a really long, phallic antenna. And it has a bunch of white silicon slopped all over them — and a pipe horn. When I showed it to people since coming back here, they've said, "I can't believe they actually even let you put this in your suitcase and bring it on the plane!" It looks so dangerous. But it's just an antenna.

RU: Annalee, I really liked your piece talking about Wonder Woman. You write, "She's smart, commanding, and sexually appealing at the same time. As anyone familiar with mainstream culture knows, such a woman is not supposed to exist." But hasn't there really been a trend towards women who kick ass in movies and TV over the last ten or fifteen years?



AN: That's true. And what I was trying to point out in my essay — which is sort of about coming of age through geeky pop culture — is that you really only see those kinds of images in pop culture. Images of real women who are both smart and sexually appealing are rarely disseminated. But we get those images with Wonder Woman; so people like me grew up believing that, somehow, we could be both smart and attractive. But in our jobs, in our daily lives — many women feel that they're kind of given this choice — either you can be hot or you can be smart. And there's not a lot of room for women who are both. And women who are both are very threatening. Often, in media coverage of successful women who are good-looking, there are weird comments like: "Oh! And she's also so attractive!" Like, "How unusual it is that this scientist is also attractive!" And you'd never have somebody saying, "Wow! Linus Torvalds. He's kind of hunky!" You know, who cares, right?

RU: [Laughs] Is he?

AN: Linus Torvalds is kind of hunky, right?

QN: Yeah. Yeah. I'd go with that.

RU: We're establishing something here?

AN: Now we have established here, on NeoFiles — "Linus Torvalds: Hunk."

RU: The big news bullet out of this program: "Linus Torvalds is kind of hunky."

QN: And really, that's the only thing I ever noticed about him, right?

AN: I mean, when I saw him speak, I was like, "What is he?" [Laughter]

QN: "But doesn't he program or something? I don't know."

AN: Yeah. " 'Blah blah blah' about Open Source, but whoa. Check out that ass!" [Laughter] I mean, that's sort of the weird stereotype that we'd love to get away from.

RU: And then you have a section where you compare Cronenberg's The Fly with the film She's All That. (Any discussion of Cronenberg gets an A in my book.) Tell people a little bit about that. About all that.

AN: I talk about how there's this trend in films toward portraying women as either smart or sexy. And so this movie from about seven years ago, She's All That, is about this geeky high school girl. This popular boy takes up a dare to turn her into somebody who can go to the prom with him at the end of the year. He does that by taking her away from her geeky life and getting her to wear Gap clothes; and getting her to look "hot" in the terms of the film. (She actually looks way less hot later. She's just sort of a Gap clone.) But I think that's sort of a general trend in films about women who are smart. There's sort of this moment where they take off their glasses, and suddenly they're this glamorous, attractive woman.

RU: Oh, yeah. And the guy swoons.

AN: And the guy swoons, and she's no longer talking about rocket science. Instead she's just like: "Oh, well what do you want to do tonight? Shall we go to the dance?" So I was sort of protesting that. And I compared it to The Fly, because in The Fly you have a male scientist who basically wants to absorb a woman at the genetic level. It's such a great movie. I can't do it justice in two seconds.

RU: And she's a smart female journalist.

AN: She's a science journalist. Just like me!

RU: And a lot of people read into his films a horror of femininity, because everything that's gooey and soft and that you can sink into...

QN: Well, I do think there is space for the smart, pretty woman in the media — as long as she's evil.

AN: Right. That's an interesting point. As long as she's evil — or if she's being absorbed by a man. [Laughter]

RU: We need somebody like that to join our show as a co-host!

AN: I know! Maybe you could have a smart, evil, beautiful woman; and then have a smart, good, beautiful woman. And then, like, mud wrestling or something.



RU: That would be totally hot.

AN: And maybe they could be hackers too.

See Also:
Neil Gaiman Has Lost His Clothes
Steve Wozniak v Stephen Colbert — and Other Pranks
Why Chicks Don't Dig the Singularity
Author Slash Trickster "JT Leroy"
What If Ben Were One Of Us?

Read More

Why Chicks Don’t Dig The Singularity


Joe Quirk may be the world's first evolutionary psychology (or sociobiology) comic. That's not a big audience share yet, but his entertaining book, Sperm Are from Men, Eggs Are from Women: The Real Reason Men And Women Are Different, has been well received. By focusing on sex and relationships, Quirk is broadening the audience for the study of the genetic roots of human behaviors.

Quirk recently spoke at the Future Salon about the relationship between "The Singularity" and "sociobiology."

A few days before his talk, he joined me on my NeoFiles podcast to talk about this very same subject. Jeff Diehl joined me in asking Mr. Quirk some questions.
To listen the full interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: How did you get interested in The Singularity?

JOE QUIRK: One of my friends, Steve Potter, a neuro-engineer used to tell me about this one guy, John Smart — about how he was a visionary, and he organized "Accelerated Change" conferences.

So about five years after hearing about him, I'm at Burning Man, and I'm riding my bike around. And at Burning Man, there are so many things competing for your attention — wonderful visual art and explosions and so forth — but it's sort of a non-verbal place. There isn't much intellectual stuff going on. And as I'm riding my bike around, and all these things are competing for my attention, over my left shoulder I hear the word "gene;" I hear the word "memes," and I stop. And there's this very unassuming white tent with a bunch of people sitting around on chairs as if they were at a lecture hall. And there's this good-looking guy in a woman's nightie. And I'm thinking, "How full of crap is this guy going to be? I know about this kind of stuff." So I stopped my bike to listen.

RU: How were his legs?

JQ: Very sexy. Maybe I'm revealing too much here. People do things at Burning Man that are not supposed to get out!



So I listened to this guy, and I knew just enough about what he was talking about to realize that he wasn't completely insane. And he was the one, at that time, drawing exponential curves [ed: see Ray Kurzweil's explanation of The Singularity] and describing the exponential nature of change. It was the first time I'd heard about that. So I listened to the lecture and thought, "That's a fascinating guy!" It turned out he was doing a lecture every day, so I kept coming back. The third time I came back, I was on a hallucinogen. I think that did influence me.

RU: He became more impressive? Kind of like the Grateful Dead?

JQ: Yeah, he became even more impressive and he had three heads. Anyway, I came back to talk to him, and we started talking about the different books we'd both read and eventually I found out he was the guy Steve Potter had told me about.

RU: So you just recently gave a lecture yourself at the "Future Forum" in Palo Alto titled "Why The Singularity Won't Work Without Sociobiology." So, why not?

JQ: All these ideas are founded on some assumptions about human nature. And I think some of the assumptions about human nature that we make in the futurist community are wrong. For instance, I've noticed chicks don't dig the singularity. For instance, I went to a recent Accelerated Change conference, and I actually counted up the people, and I found that less than a fifth of the presenters were women, and less than a sixth of the attendees were women.

RU:That sounds like a high count of women compared to some geek stuff that I've been to!

JQ:Yeah, when there's actual machinery, it's like 1% women. But I knew a lot of the women who were there, and they were there because it was their guy's primary interest. So Ray Kurzweil got up there and Moira Gunn was interviewing him, and everybody got to submit a question. And Moira would pick her three favorite questions. So there were all these technical questions about how will the singularity do this, how will the singularity do that. And my question was, "How will the Singularity get laid... err help me get laid?" So she picked my question as an extra one as a way of dismissing it. She said, "Somebody put a joke question in here, and can you believe that there are people here who would write something like this? It's 'how will the Singularity help me get laid?'" And then she throws it aside and tries to move on to another question. But Kurzweil says, "Hang on. Hang on. I want to answer that." And then he goes into this long technical description...

JEFF DIEHL: ...and then he got out his slide rule, and straightened out his bow tie. [Laughter]

JQ: Exactly! It was stuff like, "You can wear body suits." He was talking about tactile things and about how people can caress each other from far away. And it was so funny. It's too bad this wasn't filmed, because Moira Gunn's face was getting more and more skeptical, the more he kept talking. She kept saying things like, "Well, what about intimacy? You know, what about actual interacting with a real human being?" And Kurzweil wasn't picking up on what she was talking about. You could tell he enjoys the subject, but he gave a long-winded technical explanation for how to get off. And she was talking about sex as a medium for connecting to another person's soul. So right there, you're seeing this divergence between men's priorities and women's priorities. My wife doesn't care about the Singularity. When I talk about it, it doesn't resonate for her. It doesn't sound exciting to be able to put a machine inside your brain or something like that.

JD: What about the real prospect of an indefinite life span? I think that appeals to women!

JQ: I think it does, but I don't know anyone outside the futurist community...

RU: You look young for a much longer period of time. Women are early adopters of youth technology in terms of looks.



JQ: My wife is actually in the business of making women young and beautiful. She's what's called an aesthetician. She makes people beautiful. So if I could convince her that people can live forever and be young as long as they want, she might be into it. But my explanation ends up being sort of technical and attenuated. There are so many other things you need to know that it tends to become like religion — the rapture for geeks.

JD: There's not a big female fan base for science fiction, right?

JQ: Right. So guy geeks are always talking about how you can connect to more people and form more networks with people you never met. And my research tells me women's brains are just more interested in face reading and voice reading and reading all the messages you get beneath the words. Guys tend to concentrate more on the abstract ideas behind the words. So email is unfulfilling for most women. They want to get together at lunch with their friends and make eye contact and stand way too close to each other.

RU: I like to see that, too.

But I'm still not quite getting the Sociobiology/Singularity hook-up here. You had an interesting Freudian slip earlier. You said, "How will The Singularity get laid?" It could be like that, couldn't it? Couldn't it be more like sex with the singularity as opposed to sex within the singularity? Couldn't the singularity be this great, singular mechanistic Borg-like entity, and it's going to need something to have sex with?

JQ: Right! And I think that's sort of Kurzweil's vision — that we'll be able to make our fantasies real. Why would you actually need another human being?

JD: From my reading of Kurzweil's book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, I suspect, on some level, he's OK with the prospect of evolving beyond sexuality altogether in order to achieve immortality. And I imagine those two probably go hand in hand. If you remove the mortal aspect of existence, you're kind of eliminating the evolutionary reason for having sex. You know as a living being you're going to die, and that drives you to reproduce — and that's where all that sex stuff happens. Right?

JQ: Yeah, but I'm convinced that we inherit this suite of desires, and whether we die or not, we're going to keep them, unless we find some hormonal way to change it.

JD: But that's part of it, right? Kurzweil is changing himself hormonally with all of his nutritional stuff. He already claims to have reprogrammed his own biochemistry.

JQ: Right. He keeps saying his biological age hasn't changed. You know, I saw a picture of him from twenty years ago, and he did look younger.

RU: I'm still trying to get at the connection between the Singularity and sociobiology.

JQ: I think male geeks in the futurist community assume that human nature is the same as the nature of male geeks in the futurist community. And it's kind of become a little religion; we have our own Rapture and our own eschatology and all that sort of stuff. But I think the idea of merging with machine intelligence is not appealing to lots of different kinds of people. And so when we talk about it, we talk as if this tiny sector of human experience — and the kinds of enhancements male geeks want — is all that there is. But when you describe these kinds of things to most people, they're not necessarily enthused. They're more often afraid. So I think we need a clearer idea of what is universal in human needs to be able to explain The Singularity.
Reader Martine comments: The Singularity is the best thing to happen to sex since some final stages of primate-homonid pelvic evolution enabled face-to-face intercourse among hominids (without losing the ability for rear access).

RU: I always wonder — can an artificial intelligence understand what it feels like to dance to James Brown? You know? Maybe it can, eventually. I don't know.



JD: There's also this question of individuality versus networked intelligence. It seems like we're heading towards a networked intelligence that might not have a need for — or a concept of individuality. And individuality certainly encapsulates most current impulses and needs and desires that we think make us human. But once we're post-human, all that goes out the window. So how do you even talk about discreet entities and individuals and desires and stuff like that? Certainly Kurzweil wants us to think that we can carry that humanness with us, but it might all just go away! And something else will be there, and it won't be what we are now. So there's kind of a good reason to be afraid of it, because you don't know what the hell that means.

JQ: Yeah. It's hard to distinguish some descriptions of The Singularity from Armageddon. And I think the pretense; the assumption of the hardcore pro-Kurzweil futurists is that all these things — dancing to James Brown — are reducible to computation.

RU: It's the "good" aspect of it that I wonder about. Is "feel good" reducible?

JQ: Singularitarians are assuming that it is, but it's a deep mystery — sentience! I can understand why there would be all the complexity of animal life interacting, competing, and behaving exactly the way it behaves. But I don't think anything in science so far has answered the question, "Why is it like something to be alive?" When I poke myself with a pin, I don't just react like a robot; I have an external experience that I also experience inside. This causes us to be natural dualists. It doesn't seem to be a real dualism — I'm a materialist — but I feel like, once a machine passes the Turing test, we don't really know whether it has sentience or not. Of course, I don't know if you have sentience. I assume you have sentience because you act like I act.

RU: Well, I'm a solipsist, so I don't even think you're here. [Laughter]

JQ: So even if my enjoyment of James Brown is reducible to some kind of binary computation, it's not clear to me that that's going to give rise to the epi-phenomenon or the emergent property of self-aware consciousness sentience.

RU: Assuming we are headed towards the Singularity, or at least towards some kind of post-human future, it sounds like you're trying to keep some of the human relation alive within it, and some of the sexuality alive within it. That's a project — making sure that this future does contain these things that we value. Is that part of what you're trying to do?

JQ: When we talk about the Singularity, it should be grounded on universal things about human nature. Everyone should look at Donald Brown's list of human universals. And I think when we talk about it now; we talk about it as California computer nerds — which represents a narrow range of human experience.

RU: So as California computer nerds, we don't have all of the qualities on Mr. Brown's list of natural human universals?

JQ: It's the qualities that all tribes in every culture everywhere share. And one of them is a belief in spiritual beings that care very much about how we behave.

RU: Of course there were attempts to eliminate that in China and other places, but it continued.

JQ: I don't think you can eliminate something like spiritual belief, in a top-down way. But certainly most people in the Scandinavian countries are atheists. There's a lot of atheism in the world now. But still, there are no cultures that don't have some people who believe that there are invisible beings who care passionately about how they behave.

RU: You're using the word sociobiology, and currently the trendy term is "evolutionary psychology." And actually, some people make a distinction between the two of them and say sociobiology was more completely enthralled by genes, whereas evolutionary psychology sort of combines genes with environment and other factors. Talk a little about your interest in sociobiology, which is the older term that came from Edward O. Wilson's amazing book.

JQ: I'm trying to steal back the word sociobiology, because sociobiology, strictly defined, is the biology of behavior of all animals. It got in trouble, back in the early 70s, because human beings were included among the animals. E. O. Wilson's one of my heroes. The last 1/30th of his book, Sociobiology, deals with human nature.

RU: And then he put out On Human Nature. And a leftist feminist threw a pie at him, even though he was a liberal environmentalist, basically for looking at human behavior as having certain predispositions, just like all other animals do.

JQ: Someone dumped a bucket of water over his head while he was coming for a lecture. And so the word sociobiology got demonized. I know a lot of academics at Berkeley, and they're so pre-inoculated against any biological illumination of human behavior that they can't even talk about it. It's so emotional.

RU: Oddly, just as sort of a weird side note, Huey Newton from the Black Panther Party was into sociobiology in the 1970s and studied it. For whatever odd reason, he found it interesting.

JQ: That is an interesting side note! And that term became so demonized that the people who continued to research it sort of quietly started calling it evolutionary psychology. Interestingly, evolutionary psychology is specifically about the biology of human behavior. Sociobiology is a more general term about the biological roots of all animal behavior. You know, it's like when the creationist movement switched to "Intelligent Design" — they were being defensive. And when we switched from sociobiology to evolutionary psychology, we were being defensive.

RU: But a lot of the same people still hate it, basically for the same reasons.

JQ:Yeah. And I strongly recommend Steve Pinker's book, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. He pretty much devastates all the good-hearted but misguided arguments against sociobiology. To put it in simple terms, if I'm speaking to a social academic about my biological beliefs that I think illuminate human nature and answer a lot of deep questions about human nature, they invariably bring up Hitler or the eugenics movement.

RU: And certainly all this stuff can be exploited by people.

JQ: But then again, on the other side — among the people who say that the human mind is ultimately malleable by culture and has no genetically controlled tendencies at all — you have Mao and the Khmer Rogue. Both sides have their holocausts. Pol Pot... all those guys believed that you take the baby, you take it away from its mother, and...

RU: It's a blank slate.

JQ: Right. You can create humans that only care about serving the state.

RU: If you acknowledge that every other living animal group has certain inherent forms of social organization, it's fundamentally absurd to say, "Well no, human beings don't." And certain people on the left remind me of fundamentalist Christians. It's kind of a denial of evolution. They're not denying Darwin, but they're denying something that is a logical extension of Darwin.

JQ: Right. And the sort-of social science academics on the left are the only ones who have a problem with this stuff. When I speak in front of most women, they're trying to understand their husband and they're all over it. They want to understand why does he do the things he does; why does he communicate the way he does? People on the street assume that there's something fundamentally different about men and women.

RU: What happens with people in the process of a sex change — like a guy who's taking a lot of estrogen and that sort of thing? Have you looked into that?

JQ: Sure, I'm fascinated with that stuff. If a woman gets a sex change operation, and she starts taking injections of testosterone, different genes that are suppressed are turned on in her, and she finds herself feeling more aggressive; she finds it harder to cry; she finds it easier to get angry; and she can't get sex out of her mind. I talked to one woman who was in the midst of this process, and she said, "God, I suddenly understand how guys feel."

RU: So let's distribute some of this.

JQ: Yeah. [Laughs.] Slip it into drinks?

JD: Except that all of a sudden, she's got facial hair.



RU: You can get over that.

JQ: I remember she was describing her experience to me. She was like: "I'm on the BART, and I'm looking at shapely women, and I just wanted to get into their bodies. I mean, it's like it's all about that body." To her that was a foreign experience. She's like, "Wow. So this is how men see the world." Especially young men.

RU: I wonder when people start to alter people at the genetic level — germ line engineering.

JQ: Yeah. That's a thorny issue.

RU: I wonder how that will affect all these kinds of relations. I wonder if that might change some of this.

JQ: It's hard to pull off, because it's very rare that you get a gene corresponding to one particular trait. Genes all interact with each other, so if you choose a certain gene to give your kid a mathematical ability, that gene cascades through all the different traits in the person and has other unpredictable effects.

RU: But some people think that, in not too much time, even with all the complexity, we'll be able to do this kind of manipulation.

JQ: I think we will be able to do this kind of manipulation, but we'll start having the kinds of problems we have with our domesticated dogs. We can take a dog and we can breed it for a particular quality — like, I want my dog to be a pug, so I'm just going to concentrate on breeding it for a big face and big strong shoulders. By the time I've created my perfect dog, it has cataracts; it has heart problems; it has breathing problems. Out in nature, all these genes are interacting with the environment at once.

RU: The theory is that we wouldn't start doing it until we could be pretty sure of the effects. Although I don't necessarily believe that.

JQ: It's so hard to control because genes only turn on in an environment that triggers them to turn on. So if you're an identical twin, and you're gay, there's only a 50% chance that you're identical twin is going to be gay.

RU: But if he is, you can have an awful lot of fun together!

JQ: I'm sure — they even shared a womb together. So if you can't even predict something like your sexuality based on what genes you have, and you also have to sort of control an environment that's going to trigger certain things to turn on...

RU: [Frivolously] Yeah, but Kurzweil's super-intelligent machines will figure out how to perfect this technology for us in 2035, right?

JQ: Well, that's the prediction, but, uh...

RU: So what do you really think? Are you fundamentally a believer in "The Singularity" or are you a skeptic?

JQ: I'm a scared skeptic and a hopeful skeptic. Most people who hear about it think it's whacko, so I find myself defending it more often than criticizing it. And I think Kurzweil's actual arguments in his two most important books are more compelling than the counter-argument from Incredulity, which is just a knee-jerk reaction — "C'mon, this is Rapture for the geeks." Every group makes up some kind of mythos, and this is a mythos for the geeks. I keep thinking of other examples of Singularities. I've never heard anyone talk about the Singularity that's already happened. Let's see if you guys can point it out.

RU: Language?

JQ: That's one, but I've never heard anyone talk about the Singularity of techneme — the singularity of tools. Imagine a Homo habilis playing with his stone axe, and his buddy says to him, "Grok! These stone axes are not going to change for millions of years, because we're on the flat part of an exponential curve. But this has an abstract design within it, which means it contains information that can be passed down through the generations. And in another 3 million years, we're going to have a feedback loop of information, and pretty soon our tools are going to cover the world; they're going to be on our bodies; and we're going to go from a few thousand of us to a few billion of us. Everything we touch will be a tool. Our tool designs are going to inhabit matter and build our dreams around us. Everything we look at is going to be a manifestation, an embodiment of an idea."

RU: Right, and all that would be unrecognizable to that person. So in that sense we've been through at least one Singularity. It's kind of like the Arthur C. Clarke idea that advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

JQ: And if you think about this, there's almost nothing I touch in my day that isn't created by humans. Even the food is bred by humans.

Steve Potter says, "Maybe The Singularity already happened." Why would we know about it? Does bacteria know that they're on a giant naked ape?

RU: Kurzweil is a believer in the soft singularity — a process where we might not even recognize that we've slipped into a different kind of reality when it happens. All I know is that friends of mine are still dying at this point from diseases related to aging. That would be one change that would be interesting.

See Also:
Girls Are Geeks, Too
Death? No, Thank You
Sex for Memes' Sake
Counterculture and the Tech Revolution
California Cults 2006

Read More

Screech’s Sex Tape Follies


Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond claims his hotel room sex tape slipped into the world four years ago. But anyone who's watched the tape can see that story's obvious flaw. Within the first five minutes Dustin's naked in a bath tub with his girlfriend, Jennifer, telling her:
"I wanna watch the rest of 24... What episode are we on? Did we get Season Four yet?"

"Not yet," Jennifer answers, "I haven't bought Season 4."

Season four of 24 was released just 13 months ago.

Reached for comment today, Jennifer said, "I can't believe I'm catching shit for not being accurate in a statement during downtime in my own home. Half the time I don't even know what day it is... and I probably had wine to top it off. I probably meant CSI and had a brain fart."

In the tape, Jennifer responds to Dustin's request to watch 24 by chanting, "Kiefer! Kiefer! He's my man." (Kiefer Sutherland does not apppear on CSI.)

Monday, the celebrity sex tape's broker told The New York Daily News that Dustin "made this tape in a St. Louis hotel room with two girls last summer with the intention that I would sell it."

But Dustin's girlfriend seems convinced that Dustin's hotel sexcapades with the two other women nevertheless happened in his distant past. "Considering the tape was about four years old, our little scene had to be before that... I still can't believe he taped over us."

If it's true, Dustin has been calling his penis "the monster" for over four years. Dustin also insists the tape was made shortly after he and Jennifer met in 2002. "Jenn found out about this and thought I cheated on her," he told 10 Zen Monkeys while he and Jenn relaxed in their Wisconsin home. He says when she'd confronted him about his X-rated antics, his concern was "making Jenn realize it was a long time ago; it wasn't that big a deal.

"I said, 'You can't be mad. I didn't know you were going to be around!'"



Standing By Her Man

Monday's allegation that Dustin knowingly filmed the sex tape for distribution this summer is well-timed — right before this week's Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. On the implausible rumor that Dustin swapped in a cock double for the filming, Jennifer told the New York Daily News, "I would definitely know. I'm proud of my man."

"She's perfect for me," says the former Saved by the Bell star admiringly, "but at the same time she doesn't put up with bullshit."

They've already been through a lot together. In 2004, Jennifer suffered a miscarriage with their first child, after which they created the Dustin Diamond Foundation to support child care organizations. In 2005 Jennifer told a Milwaukee reporter they'd been married since 2003. But in November Dustin told me that "I'm not really married.

"We just say we're married because — might as well. I come home and hang my balls on the coat hook like any married man."

Jennifer, who met Dustin in an Arby's in 2002, is now also his manager. She promised to share the unique perspective this gives her on Dustin's sex tape before I interviewed him — but that changed when I made the call. "You know what? I'm not happy," she said. "I'm not commenting." And about the fact that Dustin says he taped over their bath tub sex tape for a sex tape with two other women?

"I am not happy about that either."

In the tape, Dustin exercises his former child star charm to seduce an alleged bride-to-be and her bridesmaid into girl-girl action involving a plastic dong. The "bride" even gives him a blowjob while wearing her veil.
You've done this before...
Only to my husband.
When are you getting married again?
Shut up!
(Dustin hums "Here comes the bride.")

But it's Jennifer's voice that's heard in a seven-minute bath tub scene spliced onto the beginning of the film, providing some intriguing dialogue of her own. ("That's quite a 'brat' you have there... Why is your toe going in there? Stop it! No seriously — do it again.") Both Jennifer's bath flirtations and Dustin's orgy with two other women were released on the now-infamous adult DVD Screeched. In November Dustin told me the tape must've slipped out after he shared it with his friends in 2002. "Four years is a long time to lose track of something."

He didn't want it released, he explains, but he was afraid it would leak out onto the web, and, "Once it's out there, the bottom line is the internet is unstoppable. I was faced with either spending a fortune fighting a losing battle, over years — and then it still gets out anyways. Or, you know — 'back door' this guy, no pun intended of course, and go around and sign off with this other company. I could make a fortune, potentially, instead of spending it on a losing battle."

Of course, the tape couldn't legally be released this summer without a signed release from the two other women Dustin says he met in a motel room four years ago. "Once our attorneys became involved," Jennifer tells me, "they spoke with the ladies and got the releases." After four years? "I guess Dustin keeps the numbers he gets," Jennifer speculates.

Adding, "Well he did...not any more!"

Controversy and T-Shirts

Other statements of the couple have faced scrutiny from the press — especially since Dustin announced he was in danger of losing his house. The organizers of an online telethon claim Jennifer told them, "This is more of a publicity stunt than anything. He is not really going to lose his house."

Dustin calls that's an outright lie, saying the disgruntled internet show concocted the quote for revenge when Dustin objected to their program's format. "We never OKed a telethon asking for freebies — we're selling shirts! We're not asking for handouts!

"They said, 'Well, we set up a telethon so that's what you need to be doing.' And we said 'Uh-uh!' And they got pissed off. We ended up leaving, and then they called up and threatened us, saying, 'We're going to tell the media this whole thing is a hoax.'

"Jenn said, 'It'll be slander and libel,' so we have allowed them enough rope to hang themselves."

But what about the newspaper article questioning their integrity? "My stand about the Journal-Sentinel reports is: they can suck my balls," says Dustin. "They can suck my balls, and I'll film it and sell it to Red Light District.com. 'Failed career'? Suck my balls!"

In the background, Jennifer laughs.



And about those stories that the t-shirts he'd sold weren't even delivered? "There's just some dickhead, some nerd out there, going, 'I'm going to take my ogre-slayer sword and hack into his server...' We weren't getting the emails and the orders!" He points out Paypal has procedures in place for that. "If they didn't get a shirt, they get their funds sent back. So no one's getting ripped off." And he argues that it was "maybe 100 or 200" — out of 22,000 t-shirts.

So if it was 22,000 shirts — at $15 a pop — does that mean Dustin made the $330,000 he needed for his house? Minus expenses, says Dustin — like shirt costs and shipping...

Wisconsin's Journal-Sentinel also alleged that Dustin wasn't even making payments on their house.

"That guy's a retard," said Dustin. "The internet gets like 99.9% of everything wrong."

It wasn't that he wasn't making payments; the financier had suddenly called in the entire loan, and, "I don't know how many people have a quarter mil lying around... What it comes down to is my lawyers advised me not to pay them once the legal papers came in, because if they are going to take the house, I'm just throwing money away for nothing. Plus, I tried to send them payments and they weren't accepting them because they were moving to try to take the house." But when I talked to him in November, he felt good about new financing he'd arranged (though he was still waiting for a final round of signatures).

More Unreleased Porn?

Ironically, shortly before the sex tape surfaced, Dustin was already selling a ring-tone that said "Buy a t-shirt...I really don't wanna do porn." (According to the Journal-Sentinel.) But when I asked Dustin about these four-year-old porn tapes, the conversation took a weird turn. "There are quite a bit of tapes that I hope don't get out." What's on the tapes? "Oh, dude. We'll see if any of those got out. We did some pretty gnarly stuff. Between me and this other guy, we pulled off some things that were guide-worthy."

I asked again what was on those tapes.

"I can't tell you. If I let the cat out of the bag... The Dirty Sanchez and the Fish-Eye would be part of that if it wasn't already out... We used to do a thing where we'd get people to do stuff on camera and compete with other people who did stuff on camera. We used to have a lot of fun with that. Like we'd get girls doing stuff that they'd never do."

I asked once more — what was on those tapes?

"I can't reveal, my friend."

I asked if he'd ever make a new sex tape, and he says no — at first. "I can't make a new one because of my lady, man. It'd have to be figures that would make her say yes, because I'm not allowed to to go on forays and expeditions any more."

So how many ladies did they tape?

Dustin claims the sex tape was part of a Hollywood contest of competitive sex-tape swapping. When I asked him how many sex tapes there were — among all the participants — he has trouble counting them up. "Between all of us? Um, maybe... (He sighs.) Lets see. Between, like, there are about, uh... (Another sigh) 13 of us doing it, and we did it for numerous months, so it's probably, between each one of us, over 8 months, or 8 times 13 or so — and then some of those had more than one girl, and some of those had one... There's quite a substantial number. Well over a hundred."

And how many times did he tape himself? "Maybe eight times, or something." The current sex tape is "definitely top shelf," he says, but using vodka as a rating system, "If this is Belvedere, there's definitely some Pravda and some Grey Goose up there. There's a few Kamchatkas."

But What About Screech?

I have to ask him about Saved by the Bell. In light of the sex tape, what does he say to fans complaining he's defiled their wholesome memories of Screech?

"People need to grow up," Dustin answers. "You're not a child any more. I think people would be more upset with finding out Santa Claus isn't real from their parents rather than finding out I ruined their Saved by the Bell dream. Does that happen with every childhood show? Are people upset because — 'Why did you do this to my Small Wonder.' You mean she's not a robot?'"

Dustin has spent years fighting the stigma of simply being a former child star. "I think people like to pick on me because I'm the only one who didn't come out of the grinder with — I'm not a junkie and I don't even smoke cigarettes! I came out of the Hollywood grinder pretty unscathed, and that pisses them off. They want to see me fail."

He says he's worked hard to revive his career, so intentionally releasing a sex tape would be the last thing he'd want to do. "I wouldn't have chosen the month where I was on Showtime with The Comedy Show and [an appearance on] Knights of Prosperity with Mick Jagger. I definitely wouldn't have picked that time period, plus getting signed to Universal Records to do my first comedy record. There's a lot of big stuff... You want 'I did a show with Mick Jagger,' not 'I got blowed with two girls.'"

Jennifer Gets the Last Word

Despite all the notoriety about his sex tape, in real life Dustin is often demure and protective of his girlfriend-manager Jennifer. When I ask Dustin if there was anything interesting edited out of Screeched, he refuses to answer. "Dude, I'm standing right next to my lady!" he insists.

"Remember, I hang 'em up when I come home. She throws them down the garbage disposal when its done."



Sunday she told me that their bath tub intimacy wasn't limited to 2002. "It's a common occurrence for us...even still." Jennifer was obviously uncomfortable when I interviewed Dustin, as he told me he'd slept with 400 women. "Jenn's like, 'I don't want to hear this,'" Dustin teased.

Then she told him to say that she was the best.

See also:
Virtual Screech, Sexual Superstar
Dustin Diamond vs. Sgt. Harvey
Five Druggiest High School Sitcom Scenes

Read More

The Porn Star, the Diva, and the World Wide Web



"Mimi is miffed"
wrote Perez Hilton. Then he photoshopped an x-rated composite photo of Mariah Carey into his series of offensive pictures.

It's just one way web pages are getting involved in the ultimate celebrity showdown between a music diva and a porn star.



Wednesday legal documents were filed arguing that while porn star Mary Carey may exploit her body, the right to exploit the name Mariah Carey has already been sold. By Thursday TMZ.com had tracked down the porn star for an interview which plays on their site after a horribly mis-placed ad for a contest involving "Dove Cream Oil." ("Void where prohibited.") Catching her in a bizarrely candid moment, the adult film actress jokes that "I got pants on tonight... I'm a good girl... I'm going to rehab." She then takes a phone call about "the guy who's suing me because I wouldn't go out with him" — and angrily insists that Mary is, in fact, her real name. And the Carey part? "It rhymes, it was funny, it was goofy. It was a porno name!"

Meanwhile, Automatic Princess Holdings, LLC has identified themselves as the official and exclusively-licensed exploiter of the Mariah Carey name, arguing that public could confuse "the goods offered" by the 26-year-old porn star with the "goods and services offered" by the 36-year-old singer. (No pun intended.) By Thursday the Smoking Gun had also dug up the group's legal documents, where they admit that Mariah Carey's name became famous after they "invested a substantial amount of time, effort, and money in promoting the Mariah Carey mark." While Mary Carey may have applied to trademark her name a year ago, Mariah's team says they'd already notified her of their pre-existing trademark.

Elsewhere on the web, Mary Carey took a break from her busy schedule of teasing strangers at bus stops and running for Governor to address the controversy herself on her (not safe for work) site. "It makes me so sad that we can't just be friends and drink some champage this new year," she wrote earlier this month. (Adding that "I am dancing in philly next week and you can see me at Oasis and the 76ers games Wednesday and Saturday.") But she offered a longer analysis about Mariah on her MySpace page.

"I think she is dumb for causing all this drama."

Web surfers seeking a scathing online rebuttal from Mariah Carey found only this rejoinder on her web site: "You can purchase a Fan Club gift membership for all the Mariah fans in your life!" But fortunately YouTube rushed in to fill the void, when WXYZ Radio uploaded a video fulfilling the potential of these two media worlds colliding.

In "Mariah Carey vs. Mary Carey," they spliced together samples of both Careys at work to create the inevitable comparison. Using bath tub footage from Mariah's Shake it Off video and the sexy bed rolling filmed for We Belong Together, they showed the MTV diva as a music video vamp. But while the song Maneater plays in the background, the video switches to footage of Mary Carey performing her trademark girl-girl kissing and groping scenes. And there's more in Part Two, this time using Chris Brown's Gimme That as the accompanying track and more racy footage of both performers.

Other YouTube users uploaded their own bemused commentary. ("What is she afraid of?" asks a 37-year-old in Canada. "People might think that Mary Carey can sing...? This is just a ploy...to get her name in the paper.") Video blogger "Jewelry Man" weighed in with his own unique perspective. ("How 'bout we go back to them headlights?") And overlooked somewhere in YouTube's comments rests the perfect solution from user djbluu. "I say foxy box it out. Winner gets to keep the name..."

Mariah Carey may be thinking "Gotta do what's best for me, baby, and that means I gotta shake you off." But in the end porn star Mary Carey faces her own set of identity concerns too. "There are people using my images illegally," she posted on her blog, "such as the imposter Mary Carey's on MySpace, escort services and such."



Ironically, after all the legal fussing, Mary Carey considers herself a fan. "I love Mariah," she writes. "I have always respected her talent and beauty."

"I just wish she would let me use my name!"





See Also:
The Prince of Gonzo Porn
D.C. Sex Diarist Bares It All
Deep Throat, Big Brain
Pregnant Nympho Sex

Read More

Virtual Screech, Sexual Superstar


Dustin Diamond played the innocuously nerdy "Screech" on the Saturday morning sitcom Saved by the Bell — so everyone's curious how he's handled the transition to adult video star. After reviewing the tape, we can report that Dustin, now 29, wields a video camera at a bachelorette party gone wild. There's a bride, her bridesmaid, lots of champagne, plus Dustin himself — a horny standup comic trying to coax them out of their clothes.

The plot of the tape is at least as unpredictable as an episode of Saved by the Bell. (Will the bride-to-be sober up? Will Dustin convince them to model lingerie?) But the real potency of this mystery is what's Dustin like? After 11 years of playing the luckless high school nerd, originally on the Disney channel, it's jarring to imagine him in a drunken hotel room orgy.

So as a public service, we've replayed the DVD, transcribed Dustin's dialogue and created an appropriate avatar to read it.

To see "Virtual Screech," click on this hyperlink.

(Note: your browser must allow JavaScript popup windows)

See also:
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
Dustin Diamond vs. Sgt. Harvey
Dana Plato, Porn Star




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World Sex Laws


Gil Elvgren

Painting by Gil Elvgren

Sex laws around the world are as diverse as indigenous spices — an acceptable Scandinavian method of grinding genitalia together might get you barbarically executed in another region of the globe.

Globetrotting seducers and seductresses should exercise caution when they indulge in international orifices — flesh in one foreign harbor might be contraband in the next. Be sure to memorize local codes before you frolic with the natives.

Take adultery, for example.

The sophisticated French sport of extra-marital mounting hasn't quite been embraced yet in Somalia. Five wives who were convicted of humping and harrumphing the Sixth Commandment were publicly stoned to death in 1993 by cheering villagers in this East African nation. The rock-headed primitiveness was even videotaped.

Age-of-consent is another tricky topic. Roman Polanski — who fled the USA as a fugitive to avoid an "unlawful intercourse with a minor" charge after he nestled a 13-year-old nymphet — would not have been prosecuted in a tri-racial choice of nations: Spain, Nigeria, or Japan (where obsession with schoolgirls is bigger than Sumo.) His lover-girl's vagina would be considered fully adult in these areas. If the Pole contented himself with a 14-year-old romper, his field-of-play would be enormous: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Honduras, Hungary, Russia, and Serbia.

Polanski's nastiness was in tangling with a Hollywood teen; California has an ancient age-of-consent: 18. The only nations that are more daughter-cautious than this are Egypt, Pakistan (21), and Saudi Arabia, where the law states simply that all women "must be married."

Nudity laws are also either stripped-down or grossly over-dressed. Le Cap d'Agde in France is an entirely clothing-optional city (population 40,000), thousands of bare buns bake on beaches in Europe, Australia, and Canada, and naturist joggers publicly flap and jiggle in San Francisco's annual Bay-To-Breakers footrace.

But skin is a carnal crime elsewhere: "unveiled" college girls in Algeria have been shot for exposing their lascivious mouths and chins, and have had acid thrown in their tempting faces. In Iran, women are flogged by "morality patrols" if their lovely hair slips wickedly out of their veils.

Needless to say, Islamic locales are generally ill advised for "sex adventurers." Here are some highlights, culled from this page:
1. Most Middle Eastern countries recognize the following Islamic law: "After having sexual relations with a lamb, it is a mortal sin to eat its flesh."

2. In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.

3. In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman's genitals, but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination. He may only see their reflection in a mirror.

4. Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or piece of wood at all times.

5. The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.

Rape laws ’round the planet are also perplexing — the ugliest legislation exists in Latin American Catholic countries that exempt rapists from prosecution if they marry the victim. (Many raped women are pressured to wed their attackers because they're seen as "shamed" and "unmarriageable" after they've been penetrated.) In 1997, Peru repealed this rape-escape clause, but it smarmily lingers on in the skewed court books of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay.

On a cheerier note, it's entertaining to observe the silly USA city laws. Newcastle, Wyoming bans sex inside a store's meat freezer, and Tremonton, Utah has outlawed intercourse in ambulances — neither would I pick as a hot spot. In Connorsville, Wisconsin, it's illegal for a man to shoot off his gun when his female partner has an orgasm, and in Willowdale, Oregon, a man can't curse during sex. Both measures curb celebration, in my opinion.

Most repressive, though, is the Alexandria, Minnesota edict that says a man can't make love to his wife if he's got the stench of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath — if his wife demands it, he is legally forced to brush his teeth first.

Seems anti-Italian, to me!



See Also:
Pregnant Nympho Sex
Adopt an African Hottie's Clitoris
"Kneecaps, Eyeballs and Livers For Sale" — The World Organ Trade

Read More

Author Slash Trickster “JT LeRoy”


Laura Albert, aka, JT LeRoy

Of course, we can't assert anything positively about Monsieur Derrida's recent failure to exist; we can't even state that he ever did exist, since he may have been a mere metaphysical projection of our own prejudices against absolutes. However, in as much as we may categorically claim anything — Mr. Derrida will not likely be showing up for work tomorrow. Although, who is to say?
— Jacques Chirac, President de la Republique Francais, 2004

First of all, they're great fuckin' books. Some books are a cool read. They grab you. But then they let you go. The JT LeRoy books, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Sarah, and Harold's End gnaw on your bones. They stay with you, if you let them. (I just caught the last fifteen minutes of the film version of The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things on IFC and it brought it all back.) But then again, maybe you just kicked them out of your head because the writer turned out to be a woman in her thirties and not a boy in his teens. Your loss.

The story of the "literary hoax" has been told elsewhere, and I don't think Laura Albert particularly wants me to add my version to the cacophony. And so I'm going to respect those wishes. For those of you geeks who only pay attention to science fiction, Google "JT LeRoy" and feast on the mediated pathos. Meanwhile, Laura Albert had other kinds of food on her mind when she joined me on the RU Sirius Show just before Thanksgiving. Indeed, you might say that Laura Albert, AKA JT LeRoy, is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, then wrapped again in dough brushed with eggs and sprinkled with sesame seeds, and baked at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.



In other words, she's a simple gal who likes food, good friends and the odd, occasional, scandalously-complex, literative meta-performance; apparently in that order. "We only did it for the fame," snarled Johnny Rotten, frontin' for prankster/hypster Malcolm McLaren's Great Rock ’n' Roll Swindle. "I only did it for the food," Albert would explain about two decades later.

Necessity may be the mother of re-invention, but nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven.

My tuneful co-host Diana Brown joined in this conversation.
To listen to the entire interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: Thanks for inviting us to several parties including one for the cover interview with you in Paris Review. It was nice to see you surrounded by people who love you and care about you — perhaps a different image than some people might have from a distance. Tell us about being included in the Paris Review — an excellent interview.

LAURA ALBERT: I've heard such good feedback from the people who have read it; I just had the feeling that the proper medium would come. I turned down Rolling Stone. I turned down Vanity Fair. I was honored, but I just felt like when Paris Review came it was — they're a literary magazine and I'm a writer. And at the end of the day, what I'm interested in is people who take problems of the spirit, problems of the soul, and transform them into problems of craft. We weren't hanging out with Paris Hilton. I don't know her.

RU: [Ironically] Hell of a writer, though.

LA: That's why you don't see pictures of us hanging with Paris. It's all those novels she wrote, you know? You know, when you do an interview with someone and then they write it up, you're reading somebody's interpretation. They put their projections onto you. It's going to be, "She sits there and she is reflecting on boogers and"... whatever the hell — it's their take. And with Paris Review, it's just a Q&A. And it was the senior editor who came out. He was wonderful. My friends became friends with his friends. It was like family, and I think it was because the whole articulation was just so different being around people who know me. Nobody who knows me has said anything about it all. They don't need their three minutes of fame to say, "Oh, this is who she is or who she isn't."

RU: It's funny that you mention turning down Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. Because in the literary world, Paris Review is it. It's a huge thing.

LA: I always felt like I would never be in Paris Review. I remember my friend was talking to me, this wonderful writer who's a real mentor to me, and she felt kind of snubbed by Plimpton when he was around. And I remember just thinking, "Man, if they're doing this to you, they will never mention my name! Forget it!" And to be on the cover was just, like — it's pretty amazing.

RU: It's a sign of a respect for your work.

LA: What's really funny is: you can have these people talking smack about it, you know, "She's this and that." But the fact is, it's the Paris Review. If there wasn't some value to my work, which, you know, that's the thing that has been questioned...

RU: Right. That's true. And If you get the cover of Vanity Fair, that's questionable. It could be about the gossip.

LA: Well, it means you've got nice tits. Wait a minute, no — I have nice tits, I could do that.

RU: It seems like we ought to live in a culture where people can try on different personas pretty easily. Wasn't that the point of virtual reality?

LA: Yeah, I'm amazed at how [sighs] — everyone asks the question, "Why? Why did you do it?" A friend of mine says, "You know, people have said you did it for the celebrity. You did it for the money." What money? But he said, "I know why you did it." He said, "You did it for the food." I said, "Yes! Yes!" That's true. I did it for the fucking food.

RU: So what kind of food did you wind up bumping into? Does JT LeRoy get different food than Laura?

LA: [Singing] "Is it worth the waiting for, if we live till 84 all we'll ever get is gruel (ah) Every day we say a prayer, will we change the bill of fare, still we get the same old gruel (ah!). There's not a crust, not a crumb can we find can we beg can we borrow or cadge. But there's nothing to stop us from getting a thrill — wait — when we all close our eyes and ima-gine Food! Glorious foo-ood [Co-host Diana Brown joins in] Hot sausage and mustard! Ma, we're in the moo-ood. Cold jelly and custard."

DIANA BROWN: [Giggles] Yes! You sing far better than I! I do love that phenomenal segment from "Oliver." But food, let's go back to fo-o-od.

LA: Yeah, that was it for me. When we were going around the world and everything, it's like, there's that celebrity, but I'm like, "Where's the hors d'oeuvres?" Because I was a ward of the state. I was in a group home where we would get these Type 10 cans, where they come in with the peanut butter.

DB: Like the #10 S.E. Rykoff Industrial size...

LA: Yeah! That's it! That's it! I'm always amazed when you go to these events... I used to write for 7x7 and...

RU: Wine and cheese.

LEROY: Well, these women don't eat! It's the iced tea and a salad kind of scene.

DB: Right. The "society x-rays" in the front row of the fashion shows.

LA: We were at this one party, I can't remember the hotel, and we situated ourselves with a shopping bag by the kitchen. [Laughs] And the wait-people were running from us. They were running! And it was like, "Come on back here, baby!"

DB: [Laughs] You're all seducing the wait staff to get the canapes.

LA: If it came to that...Celebrities? No, I want the waiter!

RU: But did Savannah get some food that should've gone to you? (Maybe we should tell people about Savannah.)

LA: They can read some tea leaves and they can make it up. [Laughs]

RU: Google JT LeRoy and then make up a new story.

DB: [Laughs] They seem to already.

RU: But do tell, what did Savannah get to enjoy? Some fine foods?

LA: That was the thing, we both really enjoyed eating. I was grateful it wasn't just me, because now when it's me, and I make an appearance, it's not the same.

RU: You brought some music with you and we're going to play it.

LA: When I was in New York and I was a punk, I loved The Avengers. There were very few female singers. In the punk world, if you were a girl, it was OK if you were the girlfriend or if you "made yourself useful."

DB: Sewed costumes for the band.

LA: Yeah, sewed costumes. It was replicating what mainstream rock and roll was. And it was supposed to be the promise of the difference. So the fact that she (Penelope Houston) opened for the Sex Pistols' and there were these two songs that were just amazing to me. I sang them all the time. So to be able to record them — I recorded them with Jerry Harrison.

RU: Formerly of the Talking Heads.

LA: Yeah, that was really amazing. I'll tell you one funny story. We were there with one of the producers who had worked on it. And we were there at this table at this really nice restaurant in Sausalito. And they complimented me about my voice, which was really nice. We had recorded some original stuff too, and then they complimented me about some lyrics I had added. And I said, "Well, I actually wrote all the lyrics. And also I wrote all the JT stuff and everything." And there was this moment of silence and then everybody just burst out laughing. I realized, no one was ever going to believe me. I always told people, "I wrote the books." And the reaction was always like this "Prince and the Pauper" thing. People would call up "JT" and say, "You gotta watch your back, because that speedy chick is just megalomaniacal — trying to to take credit for your work!"

RU: The role of women in the hardcore punk scene was real weird actually. Hardcore punk had this macho thing going on, I guess.

LA: There was this whole straight-edge thing going on. I spoke to Steve Blush about this. And the whole straight-edge thing was — you don't drink; you don't smoke; you don't fuck. And I really loved that idea, because really all the drugs going on in the hardcore scene, the punk scene, were really sad. Most everyone came from a really horrible background and it just wasn't making anything better. So here came this movement that made it cool to not use. But the backstory was that it was very misogynistic. There really was rage at women. And I met a guy who told me that he was this other guy's lover. And the guy was not out. It was closeted. There were all these DC kids where, if they fucked — if they engaged with a woman, they would have their heads shaved as punishment. It was this boy's club, and I couldn't figure it out. Once again, it was just like, "Shit!" You know, here's something where you think, well, it's an opportunity to be a participant and an equal, and the doors are shut. "You don't got the genitals fer it! Nope, I'm sorry!"

RU: I don't think I have the genitals for it, actually. I was in what I thought was a hardcore band in Rochester, New York in the early 80s, and if I'd known...

LA: The problem was Rochester. That was the problem. I don't know if it was your lack of rocks, or your preponderance of rocks. I don't know if I want to know.

RU: If I'd known what was going on in hardcore in some of these other cities, I would've turned into a folk singer immediately.

LA: I could picture you kind of like doing sort of an Ali G sort of "Kumbaya" thing, you know, with a banjo going. My mom used to took me — [laughs] "took me." My momma took me! Yeah, that was the start of all my problems. No — I used to go to Pete Seeger when I was a kid. It was the protest stuff. It was definitely early punk.

So let's talk about food!

RU: All right.

LA: My birthday! You were there.

RU: I started asking you about Savannah and whether she got your food.

DB: Yeah, did she get the coconut shrimp and you had to do the Levage rolls, how did that snack hierarchy break down?

RU: Talk about food and friendship.

LA: We're both ladies who munch. But the funny thing is — very often, someone would ask her, "Do you want this? Are you thirsty?" And in the group home, if someone offered you something, maybe you don't want it, but somebody else does.

DB: You always accept.

LA: Right. Maybe I don't want it, but maybe someone else does. You never say no. You're always open. Because everything is of use and you've got a big family that you've got to provide for. You know. It was just a little bit of a mindset...

RU: So the idea of sharing food..

LA: No, no, no, I'm not talking about food. I would probably bite it out of somebody's hand. I probably have. Actually, even my first oral sex experience was with whipped cream. I mean, I wasn't going to put that thing in my mouth without a healthy dosing of whipped cream. It's scary, you know?

RU: It looks better in whipped cream also, I think. With a cherry on top.

LA: Do you find that? You can take little cotton balls and just kind of approximate it too.

RU: I don't think cotton balls, no. It's not really the thing.

LA: You might not get a girl. You might get a dental hygienist who might get turned on by that.

RU: Don't even talk to me about dental hygenists. (The right side of RU's mouth was all messed up thanks to dental surgery that week.)

LA: Well I'm trying to make positive associations. I'm doing it for you.

RU: You're re-framing my negative experiences.

LA: Next time you see them coming at you with the cotton balls, you won't think Novocaine shot or Marathon Man. You'll think, oral sex! See? I've opened your horizons.

RU: On this show we're only allowed to think about anal sex, I think we established that with a previous guest. "Yay, Anal!" was a theme in an earlier program.

DB: It was a theme. It just kept coming up.

LA: So to speak

DB: Ooo.

RU: Do we have a tight-ass culture, do you think?

DB: Speaking of anal sex.



LA: I don't know. I'm from New York. I did do phone sex. I mean, I spoke to so many people who would get deoderant bottles stuck up inside them.

RU: Sure, yeah. The hospitals always have people with light bulbs up there and so forth.

LA: Yeah, hot light bulbs. They put them in; they grease them up; they're warm. But for me, it's not edible, so I'm really not that interested.

Well, you guys came to my birthday! Did you try the vegan cake?

RU: Umm... we got there sort of late. I had something very sweet, actually.

LA: I went to Deadwood, South Dakota, because I work on the HBO show Deadwood, and my son's on the show. And I spent all last year there, and it was pretty amazing... And some of the cast-members were there and they have fans in town and they have this "Wild Bill Hickok Day." And it really brought back how graced we are in San Francisco with food. The quality of the food there — it was all Cisco food products straight off the van. And no matter what they tried to do, they were working with the same product. And you can just scrape off the pesticides with a knife. And, I mean — the level of obesity there — it's the idea of quantity over quality. There was one place called the Corn Exchange in Rapid City that didn't have massive mounds of food, and people were upset. It's just filler! It's like the casino culture.

RU: On the other hand, I've been to some restaurants that are very upscale and they give you so little food and the cost is...

LA: And as a Jew, doesn't that just kill you? I mean, as a New York Jew, it's just like, "What?! Hello!"

DB: I do murder mysteries, and one of the lessons is: Never take an actor's food. One of my friends was joining the company and she came to watch the rehearsal. And she started taking the other actor's food: "Are you going to eat that?" You just don't take an actor's or a musician's food.

LA: My book Sarah — it's just all about the food. I mean, there's transgendered stuff and sex and all that other kinds of stuff in there too but it's like an ideal world. I mean, an actual, transgendered truck stop — it wouldn't exist. Especially borderline South, it just wouldn't be allowed. So, you know — I created a place — this magical world where people can exist and this magic could exist — the food, the people of different genders and different sexuality. And instead of being murdered, they were actually aspired to.

DB: In the Paris Review interview, they asked about stories and their protagonists, and you mentioned Peter Pan. Talking about food makes me think of the scene where the Lost Boys envision any food that they want to eat and it can just magically appear before them. Do you think that might have been some influence?

LA: One thing — we got exposed to such a rich culture. It was a very different world from the group home. I was always amazed when we'd go into the houses of people who were fabulously wealthy and their refrigerator was just like Sam's Club.

I mean, one thing I did early on was I found that writing is like barter. I know so many people who barter in the city for all kinds of goods.

RU: You wrote for Web magazine many years back, like me. What name did you use?

LA: Laura Victoria. I did the sex column.

RU: And did they pay you in food?

LA: No, but I found a way to parlay that into...

RU: You get invited to a lot of stuff.

LA: Yeah, I'm not really a party kind of — You know, it's like, if you've seen one pregnant slut sucking off an elephant, you've seen them all. [Stunned silence] Don't you find that to be true, RU?

RU: You know, I'm going to have to dream about that. I'm going to meditate on that.

LA: You're still on the cotton balls?

RU: I believe I've seem some dog action on film, but...

LA: "I don't know if I can handle this."

RU: It could be rough. Before we let you go, let's bring it back to writing just for a minute.

LA: I want to talk about my birthday — what I did on my birthday. So what would you like to ask me about my birthday?

RU: Happy birthday? So how old are you?

LA: I'm a 41-year-old soccer mom. I think some articles kind of referred to me like that. Nothing against soccer moms. My son doesn't play soccer, but...

RU: He'd be allowed to, though, if he did.

LA: [Laughs] Yeah, I think so. He runs fast. He kicks balls pretty hard.

RU: I'll bet he does. You taught him well.

LA: The apple doesn't fall far from the gosh-darn tree.

RU: All right, speaking of kicking balls....

See Also:
Neil Gaiman Has Lost His Clothes
Beyond the 'Zipless Fuck' With Erica Jong
An Interview with Douglas Rushkoff
Is The Net Good For Writers?

Read More

A Christmas Conspiracy




I was hanging out with my friend Gigi last week when the subject of TV Christmas specials came up.

Now, Gigi is one of the few people left in my peer group who, when presented with the name "Jesus," still thinks of our Lord and Savior, and not of a purple-clad pederast bowler, so you can imagine my shock at her choice of words regarding these perennial chestnuts of network broadcasting.

"I fucking hate those goddamned things," she spat. "All those Rankin/Bass cartoons and claymation things — I hate them."



I was flummoxed. Okay, well, for whatever reason I'm pretty corny about Christmas, and I watch "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" every year, but at the same time always thought "Frosty the Snowman" was gay as hell. So I cut her a little slack.

But certainly she must have had a soft spot for "A Charlie Brown Christmas"! Even the most godless of hellbound heathens at least gets a kick out of the sexual tension betwixt Schroeder and Lucy van Pelt.

"Oh god, I hate Charlie Brown worst of all. He's a total pussy, and Lucy is a little bitch who needs to get slapped."

I took a strong quaff of my holiday porter and struggled to get my bearings. My whole universe had been upended. But her reasoning was rather compelling — she pointed out that each and every one of these specials was fucked up in its own way, and depressing as hell.

Let's take a look at the most high-profile suspects, shall we?

» A Charlie Brown Christmas — Charlie is not only subject to constant derision by the ruthless hussies of the neighborhood, but also is practically (and literally, in the version found here) crucified like The Big J himself for bringing back a tree not to their liking. It takes Linus' fire-and-brimstone preaching to scare the cunts back to humanity.

» Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer — Boy, where do we start with THIS gem? Well, first, there's the total douchebag fascist of a Santa, grumpily employing an army of midgets with an iron fist. Then there's Rudolph's drunken, abusive prick of a dad, who's so bad that Rudolph has to run away. A little bit more realism and Rudolph would have ended up a gay street hustler on Santa Monica Blvd. And don't get me started on the eugenics experiment known as the Island of Misfit Toys.

» Frosty the Snowman — As previously mentioned, I was never a big fan of this one, but it's worthy of note simply because they manage to snuff out the main character. Of a Christmas special. Ouch.

» The Year Without a Santa Claus — Everyone loves Heat Miser and Snow Miser, but one of the reasons they stick out so much in this special is that even Santa himself is so depressed that he's about to go out like Goering at Nuremberg.

Strangely enough, in all my years of watching these Christmas specials, I hadn't really noticed The Pattern — not a single one of these shows presented a cheery vision of the yuletide season. But now I had swallowed the blue pill and could see it all for what it was — clearly a conspiracy (by the Masons? Jews??) to thin the population by driving the most emotionally vulnerable of us to blow out our brain stems when the Heat Miser shows up.

What easier way to deal with a global population that's spiraling out of control? Certainly there's little other incentive for ABC and CBS to keep trotting these dinosaurs out; each year brings diminishing returns in the ratings department, as the specials are hardly even promoted, and parents who give a shit have already bought "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" from the DVD bargain bin.

Maybe the most diabolical aspect of the conspiracy is how it's managed to identify the weakest of our race, like the wounded wildebeests they are. Yes, I'm talking about the few poor bastards out there at the mercy of a pair of rabbit ears and coked-up TV execs, forced to subsist on the meager crumbs of network TV.

I can remember one dark Christmas season when I was one of them, the huddled masses of immigrants, white trash, buggerers and thieves. I'm pretty sure the only channel I could get on my aluminum foil-enabled coat-hanger antenna was ABC, and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was on. So I watched it.

I was doing pretty well at first. As sad as Vince Guaraldi's music is, I am sometimes actually comforted by melancholy music, so that was okay. It was only after Charlie Brown got that fuckin' sad-sack tree that my psyche became unhinged. By the time Linus started quoting scripture, I was busy writing my last note in Crayon with my head stuck in the oven.

Luckily, just as I was drifting into blissful unconsciousness, I remembered that the first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was due to air that next week, and the prospect of rubbing one out to free TV (quite a rarity) reinvigorated my soul. In the interim between that first live-action lingerie catalog and this year, we've seen the rise of, among other things, affordable HDTV. Rabbit ears are a thing of the past, and angel wings —in their digital sexiness — are the future.

If the theme of the old Christmas specials was in fact that the holidays are red in tooth and claw, then that suggests evolution — analog begets digital, dour animation begets barely-clad boner bait. So maybe it isn't such a lamentable plot after all. I might even venture to say, "It's a Wonderful Conspiracy!"

See Also:
Christmas 2.0: Subverting the Holidays With Re-dubbing
Death at Christmas
They're Dreaming of a Boobs Christmas
Christmas with Hitler

Read More

They’re Dreaming of a Boobs Christmas


Santa Boobs It's "The Breast Christmas Ever," promises California radio station KLLY. Whichever lucky listener wins their holiday-themed contest will receive a special prize — breast enlargement surgery.

Surprisingly, it's happening in other states too. Monday, Florida's "MJ Morning Show" announced that "Santa Claus is bringing a big bag of boobs to your town this Holiday Season" for their "Holiday Hooters" contest. The show — which is rebroadcast on two other Clear Channel stations — has been giving away breast jobs in tacky contests since November, with the prizes awarded to the listener (in this case, "Borat's sister") who submitted the most compelling story. ("In my country, you no see big boob on women because hard to find doctor to do nice boob surgery.") Now that it's Christmas time, radio stations have apparently just adapted their contest plans to the holidays of the season. KLLY announces their contest with green and red letters, above a promotion for their Toys for Tots telethon.



The contests drew criticism from the National Organization for Women, who said the Clear Channel stations were "promoting potentially dangerous plastic surgery and marketing unrealistic and unhealthy images of women." They urged their members to take action, saying that "When a radio station in your area degrades women in any way, look up their phone number and call to complain." A Google search finds these remarks in a NOW Action Alert — issued in 2004. Apparently it failed to stop the contests.

They weren't the only ones complaining. CBS's Dick Meyer called it "profitable entertainment that preys on female insecurity, male boorishness and coed voyeurism." And feminist Germaine Greer famously compared breast augmentation surgery to Africa's female genital mutilation. But as the winning essays go online, they form a weird snapshot of the way the contest-entering women view their breasts, their bodies, and the world around them. "Every year my husband will say, 'What do you want for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary?'" wrote one winning entrant. "Every year I tell him — new boobs."

Another winner even composed a long rant comparing her potential new boobs to a video game console.
My husband wanted a Playstation 2 when it first came out so bad, more than anything. In fact it was one of our wedding presents! Now that he has one, guess where it's at? Collecting dust under the entertainment stand, coaster marks on it and everything. With your boob give away, they would gets lots of use for years and years after."

It's all about getting attention — though in some cases it's simply the attention of the contest's male judges. Some entrants wrote themselves into silly stories in the hopes of being selected. ("These Holiday Hooters are the way for me to score the love of my life: Kevin Federline! Now that he's left that piece of trash, Britney, my life will be complete.") The contest's first winner had actually acknowledged the real-world issues that surround unwanted male attention. Evelyn Mora submitted a sardonic essay citing the notoriety surrounding a local tax collector who had recently apologized for "inappropriate conduct" in a bar in Tampa. In her essay she wrote, "Imagine my embarrassment when even Doug Belden won't sexually harass me because of my small chest."



"We understand it to have been an ill-advised joke," said a grumpy attorney for the scandal-plagued local tax collector in a follow-up news article. Ironically, the winning essay-writer works for the city's Circuit Court, prompting the court spokesman to issue a statement of his own about the breast surgery contest. ("As of this time, all of our information leads me to believe that she did not utilize the office in any way to participate in this contest.")

Controversy apparently clings to anything breast-related — and behind the scenes lawyers are scrambling to close any legal loopholes. "Winner must be in good medical condition to undergo surgery," read the rules for the California station's version of the contest. "Clearance from a physician may be required prior to any procedure performed." (And remember: "All prizes are non-transferable.") KLLY also notes that "In the event that a winner is under the age of 18 and travel is required, the winner must be accompanied by a parent or guardian." (Though presumably that's just their boilerplate verbiage from another contest.)

The Florida contest has similar rules. "If, for any reason, the providing physician deems a winner not a viable candidate for surgery, the winner will be disqualified and the prize becomes invalid." They also hint at another problem in their offer to "help offset" the cost of additional fees — operating room charges, anesthesia charges and lab work. The FDA recently approved silicone implants with recommendations of additional MRI scans every two years for the remainder of the patient's life — which won't necessarily be covered by health insurance. Breast augmentation surgery requires several hours of anesthesia, an often uncomfortable post-surgical recovery period, and in many cases follow-up surgery to replace the original implants. "Any additional costs incurred pre and post surgery are the sole responsibility of the winners," warns the radio station. (Adding "Prizes are not redeemable for cash.") And remember: only one winner per household.

Winners of the California contest will have their breast augmentation surgery performed by Dr. Kerendian of Beverly Hills, whose web site notes he has a "life long passion" for cosmetic surgery. (For even greater gender differentiation, he also offers male breast reduction surgery.) A concern for the human form is apparently a common trait in his family. His brother placed an ad in New York's Village Voice saying, "Stop being fat and start doing something about it."

It's a case where the media spreads its message far and wide. In Florida the slick Clear Channel radio personalities launch a successful stunt for listeners. News of their success reaches radio programmers in the agriculture communities in California's Central Valley. There's already an extra focus on body image coming from their local gymnasium, and a cosmetic surgeon two hours away in Beverly Hills.

So they take that fateful first step. Above their contest for tickets to Disney's "High School Musical" they add a second contest for bigger boobies. Since Christmas time is rolling around, they casually add it in among the messages of love and family and the birth of the son of God.

And when the holiday arrives, maybe their listener's thoughts will turn to the world they described. They'll be snug in their beds, with warm thoughts filling their heads, but instead of sugar plums, it's visions of surgically augmented melons.

See also:
CNN Exposes Boob Job Giveaway
The Celebrity Breast Conspiracy
Adopt an African Hottie's Clitoris
Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs

Read More

EFF and 10 Zen Monkeys vs. Michael Crook and DMCA



The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing 10 Zen Monkeys in a civil lawsuit against griefer Michael Crook for abusing the DMCA and violating our free speech rights.



In September, we published an article about Crook when he mimicked Jason Fortuny by trolling CraigsList and sex-baiting guys into giving him private information which he then revealed on his site (now offline), craigslist-perverts.org. He apparently did not like what we had to say. In a brash and hypocritical (though not at all surprising) move, Crook filed a fraudulent DMCA take-down notice with our then-ISP, knowing that the "safe harbor" provision would compel the ISP to take immediate action, even before proof of copyright ownership was examined.

I was personally given an ultimatum to remove the material cited in the notice (a TV screen capture of Crook's appearance on Fox News Channel), or have my account canceled. Needless to say, Crook did not own the rights to the image, and even if he did, there's a little thing called "fair use" in the context of critical commentary.

Appalled that he was able to so easily, and without any onus of proof, jeopardize my standing with my ISP, I immediately set about moving the site to local San Francisco ISP Laughing Squid, owned by my old pal, Scott Beale — his services are more expensive, but I knew Scott would understand and respect free speech at least to the point of asking me for details before threatening to pull the plug on my site.

The first thing I did after migrating 10 Zen Monkeys was re-insert the image of Crook into the offending article and, sure enough, within 24 hours he had sent another DMCA take-down notice to Laughing Squid's upstream provider. I'm sure he was emboldened by his success at forcing me to relocate my website once, and was trying for a repeat. But this time, Scott indeed called me to get the story. He was as angry as I was, and said I should contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation. (As an ISP, Scott hadn't seen this particular abuse before, and was concerned — it showed just how easy it is under the current DMCA provisions to intimidate a website, for any reason whatsoever.)

"This is yet another case of someone intentionally misusing copyright law to try to shut down legitimate debate on an issue of public interest," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Crook certainly doesn't own the copyright to the news footage — Fox News does."



The "safe harbor" provision of the law is meant to shield service providers from liability for any copyright violations that might be committed on their clients' websites. It basically states that, upon being notified by letter or email that there is content in violation of copyright, they can avoid any legal consequences by immediately removing it. (The reason the "safe harbor" is even necessary is because of the draconian copyright "protections" built into the DMCA — ones which sacrifice fair use among other things.) But since the take-down notice doesn't require a court order, or any type of judicial scrutiny, it means that shady individuals or organizations can easily use the law to stifle free speech.

"Crook has used a bogus copyright claim as a pretext to squelch free speech," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Unfortunately, it is easy to abuse DMCA takedown provisions and most internet speakers don't have the ability to fight back."

I removed the original image in the Crook article and instead linked to a similar image residing on someone else's server (Crook is widely reviled on the internet, so it's not difficult to find materials criticizing him on Google).

Surprise! Crook didn't like that either, and on October 24th, he filed yet again, this time thinking that the DMCA could be used to intimidate an ISP for a site that links to content that doesn't reside on their servers!

Crook seems to have a particularly malicious interpretation of the DMCA. He has declared on his blog his own campaign to serve take-down notices on sites he doesn't like, regardless of whether he owns the copyright on the material in question. From his blog:
One site has gone completely down. It currently routes to a "Suspended" page. This site has remained down because the webmaster hasn't responded to the complaint. I can't be responsible for that.

None of this is surprising from someone who has devoted so much time and energy finding others in a compromised state — whether it's horny men online, or wounded soldiers — and then systematically hurting them further, for nothing more than a fleeting, self-defeating publicity.

Until now, the instances of social griefing made famous by Jason Fortuny and aped by Michael Crook have brought up mostly privacy issues. In the case of Crook's abuse of DMCA, we see the same childish, ill-intentioned publicity-seeking, but that's not to say there's no difference between Fortuny and Crook. Fortuny has never tried to stop anyone from saying anything about him — in fact, he seems to enjoy the direct negative criticisms he's received. Crook, on the other hand, is clearly operating on a level of complexity that is far beyond his capacities — he wants to be notorious, but then uses unrelated, legalistic (though illegal!) manipulations to silence those who speak out against him. Despite his comical claim to the title of copyright defender, he is creating a real chilling effect on free speech.



Some of the targets of Crook's DMCA exploits have self-censored, in part because to give him attention is a reward he doesn't deserve, but also because they don't understand their rights and cannot afford to fight. The takedown provision of this law is bad for publishers and anyone who cares about free speech, and Crook has clearly demonstrated a reason why. He has also stupidly underestimated the resolve of this publication; we hope to set an example of what can be done when First Amendment rights are fully understood, nurtured, and worn into battle.

Update:
Crook taught students how to properly use the internet
Crook serves DMCA takedown notice to BoingBoing. (BB gets permission from Fox News to post image.)
Tucker Max deconstructs Crook

See also:
EFF's press release
PDF of complaint
In the Company of Jerkoffs
The Secret Life of Jason Fortuny
Jason Fortuny Speaks
Good Griefers: Fortuny vs. Crook

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Libertarian Chick Fights Boobs With Boobs

Loretta Nall
This has been a highly sexualized campaign season. Congressman Mark Foley's email flirtations with teen male pages set the mood, of course, and since the Foley revelations, various campaigns have attempted to pin sex scandals on their rivals. One campaigner linked his opponent to teenage girls watching pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia.

In the Virginia Senate Race, George Allen — already in his own scandal for racist comments and an apparent history of racism — pulled a single passage from a novel written by his opponent Jim Webb. The line, "The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy's penis in his mouth," may be on its way to becoming the most widely known fictional passage in contemporary America, and may even displace the memory of Bill and Monica and cigars. The controversy over Webb's fiction also worked its way into a wild confrontation between Wolf Blitzer and the Vice President's wife, Lynn Cheney, on CNN (although the exchange was primarily about Cheney's claims of liberal media bias). Cheney, of course, was the author of a hot a lesbian western novel called "Sisters" in 1981.

And then there's the one that has probably received the most attention recently: the ad attacking Harold Ford, the Democratic Senatorial candidate from Tennessee, for attending a party sponsored by Playboy for the 2005 Super Bowl, complete with Playboy Playmates in lingerie.

While most of the dialogue during this campaign has been sex-negative, focused on shaming politicians by linking them in some way, however flimsy the connection, to sexuality, there have been a few cases in which women candidates have tried to use their ample bosoms to attract positive attention.

Katherine Harris' BoobsWhile no one would accuse Republican psycho and democracy killer Katherine Harris of being an advocate of sexual libertinism, some did suggest that she was using her best assets in a series of photos taken early in her campaign to become the Republican Senator from Florida.

Porn star Mary Carey (NSFW) meanwhile had no bones about exploiting her sexuality in her races to become governor of California, but her recent decision to drop out of the race leaves Governor Schwarzenegger as the only reasonable choice for those of us who vote on the basis of physique.

With all the sex in this year's electoral zeitgeist, there is only one candidate that has used sex to gain our attention who actually deserves our attention. Loretta Null, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Alabama, posed for a campaign poster in a low cut blouse with the slogan, "Loretta Nall for Governor. More of These Boobs and Less of These (photos of opposing all-male candidates) Boobs." Her Web site also includes Flash animations of someone stuffing bills down the front of her low-cut blouse. And there has also been some discussion about her preferences regarding undergarments (none, thank you.) It's all in the service of some worthy causes, like opposing the drug war and the Patriot Act, among other stances.



But let's let her tell it. I conversed with Ms. Nall via email.

RU SIRIUS: Have you been keeping abreast of how Katherine Harris has been using her campaign assets? Are you sad that Mary Carey dropped out of the governor's race? Who's the biggest boob in politics?

LORETTA NALL: I try not to watch Katherine Harris whenever I can avoid it. She makes me cringe. So, no, I am unaware of how she might be using her assets to campaign. Surprised though... she's so HOLY I figured she would have had them removed because they offend God. I did hear about Mary Carey. The biggest boobs in politics reside in Alabama under the names Bob Riley, Lucy Baxley, Don Siegelman and Roy Moore.

RU: I read somewhere that while you were vying for the Libertarian nomination to run for Governor, you confessed that you don't like to wear panties. Do you think people found that a breath of... errr... fresh air and did it help you win the nomination?

LN: Well, I didn't actually use the fact that I do not wear panties while campaigning for the nomination. The real story about the panties has to do with trying to visit my brother in prison long before I began to seek the nomination. You can read about that here. Also, I would appreciate it if, in this interview, you would link to the real story about the boobs shirt. I'm afraid the media has it all wrong. Here is a link to what really happened.

RU: Do you view sexual puritanism and shame as a serious political problem in America?

LN: Yes. Especially here in the South where sexual repression reigns supreme. I think the real problem though is that candidates have put themselves on a pedestal, have separated themselves from the public and would have us believe that they are as infallible as Jesus. This is not the case. In the beginning of my consideration of running for Governor I used to joke that I would release an "Every naughty girl thing I ever did" book to the media and to my opponents and simply take away their potential ammunition.

I think if people would stop acting ashamed of being human and doing human things then we would see less nastiness during the election cycles.


RU: With all of the recent attacks on civil liberties based on terrorism, the movement to reform or end the "War On Drugs" has kind of lost audience share. How would you compare the damage done to our liberties by the drug war with those done to us by the war on terrorism?

LN: The war on terror is an expansion of the war on drugs. It's the same people (government) doing the same things to American citizens (using fear, force and brutality) for the same reasons (to increase government power). Drug laws aren't passed because the government wants us to follow them. They are passed because the government wants us to break them so that they gain power over citizens through force. In all areas of the US local police have been federalized through Byrne grants and now Homeland Security grants. This is centralization of power. The drug and terror wars are similar in that everyone is a suspect. It is a climate of fear that turns neighbor against neighbor, mother against children. It's, "Don't trust your neighbors or family. Fear them. Only the Government can save you."

RU: Besides ending the war on drugs, what issues are you most passionate about?

LN: For one, non-compliance with the Patriot and Real ID acts. The Patriot and REAL ID Acts are the two most offensive documents to ever be passed into law in the United States of America.

Under these Acts Uncle Sam not only wants you: he also wants your email, your phone calls, your personal mail, your physician and pharmacy records, your library records, your bank records, the contents of your bladder and the bladders of your children. We are told that we must trade our liberty for security in order to help "fight the war on terror."

Our elected officials say the terrorists hate us for our freedom. Apparently our elected officials have decided to remedy that situation by taking away all of our freedoms so the terrorists won't hate us anymore.

The willingness of our elected officials both here, at home, and in Washington, D.C. to participate in the obliteration of our constitutional rights and civil liberties is disgusting and revealing. I will not sacrifice Alabama citizens to any such system.



Another position that I feel is important is opting out of "No Child Left Behind." It is a ridiculous program that forces teachers to focus on standardized testing as opposed to actual teaching. This program seeks to level things out by pushing the top students down instead of bringing the bottom students up.


RU: Are you religious and do you think it's possible to break through the assumption that our elected leaders have to be believers?

LN: I am not religious. I am atheist. I think it is possible to break through the assumption that our elected officials have to be believers. I have had a great deal of success with the religious people in Alabama. Many of my supporters are devout Christians who see my actions and policies as being more Christian in nature than those who use Christianity as political capital but rarely act as Jesus taught in the bible. I am not anti-religion by any stretch of the imagination. I believe that religion is a private family matter best left to the family and the church.

RU: How did you get into Libertarian politics, and do you have an ideological bent? Are you high on Hayek? Randy for Rand? RAW for Robert Anton Wilson?

LN: I got into Libertarian politics after a warrantless police raid on my property back in 2002. Before that I had never been really interested in politics... they tend to be very dull in the state of Alabama and so other than doing my civic duty and voting I didn't pay much attention. I realized after the raid that politics is the art of self-defense and began to look at all of the state parties to find the one that most closely espoused my values and feelings on the way things should be and came up with Libertarian. I really don't have an ideological bent.

RU: Do you think the recent media attention will lead to a higher vote count? Do you hope to win the election?

LN: Yes I am certain that the media attention will lead to a higher vote count. I am 10,000 emails behind due to all of the media coverage with the majority of those emails being from Alabama voters who first heard about me on one program or another and are going to write me in.

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5 More Nasty Campaigns

The war for control of the House and Senate continues to escalate. "You can't say I want to win the war but not be willing to fight the war," Karl Rove told the Washington Post Sunday.

But that's only half the story. A 2002 overhaul of campaign law shifted ad-financing contributions to independent groups — and these groups are more likely to air negative campaign ads. In this new landscape, nearly $60 million has been spent on a massive stockpile of television artillery. The pageant of grotesqueries is entertaining eyeballs all over the InterTubes, as with the ones in this round-up of nasty Senate ads. Below are four even-nastier ads for tight House races — plus an update on the nastiest Senate race of all.

1. "Hi, sexy!"

A silhouette of a stripper appears next to footage of a smirking district attorney — Michael Arcuri, the Democratic House candidate for New York's 24th Congressional district.

"The phone number to an adult fantasy hotline appeared on Michael Arcuri's New York City hotel room bill," the announcer warns, "while he was there on official business... Who calls a fantasy hotline and then bills taxpayers?"

"Bad call!" the stripper moans.



What the ad doesn't say is the call lasted less than a minute, and was apparently a wrong number. While attending a 2004 conference for district attorneys, the director of New York's Prosecutor Training Institute had used Acuri's phone to dial the state's Department of Criminal Justice Services, which coincidentally had the same number, but with a 1-800 area code. Immediately realizing his mistake, he'd dialed the correct number, Arcuri told the L.A. Times — producing phone records to back up his claim. The cost of the mis-dialed phone call? $1.25.

The ad cites as its source conservative web site HumanEvents.com, though the story was published the same day the National Republican Campaign Committee distributed the information. (Ironically, the story's 26-year-old author, Robert B Bluey, is analumnus of Cybercast News Service, which also employed suspected male prostitute Jeff Gannon.)

Because of the ad's misleading nature, New York television stations are refusing to broadcast it, and in the Times' article even Arcuri's Republican opponent Ray Meier characterized the attack as "way over the line." In fact, both men told the Associated Press they were friends, and regretted the nasty tone of ads funded by their parties' national committees. But the National Republican Congressional Committeeinsisted the ad's claim that the call appeared on a taxpayer-funded phone bill is "totally true, and we stand by it."

In another NRCC ad, their announcer tells voters that "A man charged with raping a 13-year-old girl was let out of jail after Michael Arcuri's office didn't indict him in time."

2. "Harold? Call me!"

For the other side of Capitol Hill, the National Republican Senate Committee has created a sexy ad of their own. It's a montage of bizarro-world voters, each giving a ridiculously unappealing reason for supporting Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford.

"Terrorists need their privacy."

"When I die, Harold Ford will let me pay taxes again!"

"Ford's right. I do have too many guns!"

"So he took money from porn movie producers. Who hasn't?"



The format gives the ad's producers an opportunity to include a woman wearing nothing but a necklace, squeaking in a bimbo voice that she met Harold at the Playboy party. It's an allusion to a 2005 Super Bowl party Ford attended, which the Republicans have been using since last March, to attack Ford's appeal to values voters. ("What kind of man parties with Playboy playmates in lingerie, and then films political ads from a church pew?") But even Ford's opponent, Republican Bob Corker, thinks the national committee's latest ad "has no place in this, or any other campaign," according to his campaign manager. (Who added that the ad was "tacky, over the top and...not reflective of the kind of campaign we are running.")

The ad closes with the warning that the candidate is "just not right" - followed by one last shot of the mock Playboy bunny, whispering into the camera. "Harold? Call me!"

3. "An absolute idiot."

Idaho Republican Bill Sali finds himself in a surprisingly competive race for a district which encompasses half the state. Now he's facing TV attacks with a barrage of damning quotes about his candidacy — from Republicans. "He was incompetent in the legislature," goes the quote attributed to State Senator Sheila Sorensen. "In the campaign he proved himself dishonest and deceitful and he'd be an embarrassment to Idaho."

"He's an obstinate opportunist," according to Representative Dolores Crow.

"An absolute idiot," says another quote from Speaker Bruce Newcomb. "He doesn't have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body, and you can put that in the paper."

Sali is a far-right conservative who squeaked onto the ballot after winning 18,965 votes in a six-way primary. A social and fiscal conservative, Sali entered the race with a $400,000 war-chest, prompting Idaho's largest newspaper to dub him "a wholly-owned subsidiary of a big out-of-state benefactor, the anti-tax Club for Growth." His confrontational 16-year career in the state legislature has apparently created lingering bad feelings among other Republicans. (When Dick Cheney came to Idaho to campaign for Sali, all of Idaho's Republican congressmen reportedly skipped the event.) This created an opening for Idaho Democrat Larry Grant.

The announcer in his ad doesn't identify his party affiliation. It just reminds voters that "If you're a Republican or independent and you want to vote for Larry Grant — you're in good company."

4. "Help me!"

Majority Action is a 527 group which includes seven former members of Congress and the national field director for Al Gore's 2000 campaign. They've assembled a series of hard-hitting ads about stem cell research, an issue some believe could become a liberal wedge issue splitting voters off from traditionally Republican blocs.

Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill has already tapped the issue for her tight race against Republican Jim Talent. (Michael J. Fox reminds viewers he cares deeply about stem cell research, and tells Missouri voters the election's results matter to millions of Americans — "Americans like me.") But a new ad by Majority Action tries to personalize the stakes even more. "This ad, in very powerful terms, lays out what is at stake in the stem cell debate," says the group's Executive Director.

One shows three people matter-of-factly describing the medical problems waiting in their future. A boy says he'll be paralyzed for the rest of his life; a woman saying she'll have Alzheimer's disease; a little girl says she'll be diagnosed with diabetes. Staring at the camera, they indict the Congressmen who voted against federal funding for stem cell research, saying it could save their lives, and maybe the lives of the viewer's family. "Help me!" the boy says. "Help me!" the little girl says...

Majority Action is running the same ad against four Republican House candidates — Don Sherwood, Jim Walsh, Chris Chocola, and Thelma Drake.

5. "Stay the course."

Thelma Drake gets a second dose of negativity from Majority Action in another ad saying she "won't stand up to the Bush/Cheney White House."

The ad is a straightforward attempt to link the Virginia Congresswoman to the failures of the Bush administration.

An image of George Bush, doubling into two, and then four images, repeats "We must stay the course. We must stay the course. We must stay the course..."

"It was the right thing to do," Dick Cheney says nonchalantly about the war in Iraq, "and if we had it to do over again, we'd do exactly the same thing. A closeup then appears of George Washington's sad eye on the dollar bill, next to the words "Exactly the same? Cost: Over $300 billion. Billions missing and insider deals...."

"It was the right thing to do," Dick Cheney says again, "and if we had it to do over again we'd do exactly the same thing."

"Insufficient forces. No weapons of mass destruction. Dubai ports sales scandal. Our ports and borders: unsecured."



The ad's stark take is matched by its striking melodramatic music - a disembodied chorus rising over discordant violins which would be more at home on the soundtrack of a scary movie.

"U.S. Intelligence Report: Iraq war breeding more terrorists. Five 'F's' from 9/11 Commission. bin Laden still at large. Exactly the same?"

The same ad is also being run agaisnt House candidates Dave Reichert, Deborha Pryce, and Jim Walsh.

To condemn each of these lawmaker's support of President Bush, the ads close by (badly) inserting Dick Cheney's lips into pictures of the candidates, so it looks like they're speaking Cheney's words. The ad-makers are hoping to swing the election towards the Democrats, and they're staking it on the idea that voters will find something unforgiveable in the Vice President's staunch refusal to concede mistakes.

"It was the right thing to do," they lip sync, "and if we had it to do over again we'd do exactly the same thing."

See Also:
5 Nastiest Campaign Ads So Far
Awesomest Congressional Campaign Ad Ever
My Opponent Pays for Gay Teen Bestiality


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Violet Blue SHOCKER: “I’d Do Bruce Campbell!”



OK. That's a cheap tabloid headline, just like the one we put on the audio version of this interview.

In truth, we get into some interesting questions: about evolutionary psychology and women's sexuality; about the awful state of sex education in the US; about how media corporations try to purchase edginess, and of course, about how Violet Blue's boobies were all over Market Street in San Francisco.

As most of you know, Violet Blue is a popular sex writer and sex blogger. Her recent books are The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys and The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn. And she's just started writing a regular sex column for SF Gate, the website run by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The whole gang from The RU Sirius Show piped in with questions, including Jeff Diehl, Diana Brown, and Steve Robles. In the end, we all agreed we'd do Bruce Campbell.
To listen to the full interview in MP3 click here.

RU SIRIUS: You have this column for SF Gate, which is a website for San Francisco's mainstream newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle. How shocked should America be with this column?

VIOLET BLUE: It's fairly shocking, actually.

RU: So say you're like in Iowa.

VB: Oh yeah, I'm getting mail from them actually.

DIANA BROWN: Love letters, no doubt.

VB: Love letters from the square states. Yeah, it's utterly adorable being told that I should be locked up and thrown away without a key and that I should crawl back into the little hole that I came from.

JEFF DIEHL: Sounds kinky!

VB: It is. It's kinda hot actually. It's giving me all sorts of ideas. I never really received hate mail until I started writing for the Chronicle and now I'm receiving hate mail from really conservative people.



I haven't really written about anything particularly shocking, although I am writing about sex in San Francisco. We're definitely in a bubble in terms of having a really large and articulate sex culture here.

In an article I wrote about having beer with sex educators in an old man bar on Market Street, I joked about the fact that we joke about bestiality and necrophilia. To some people in Iowa... theyre like, "Oh my god, they're having sex with dogs in San Francisco in a bar..."


DB: I was working for a small publication and we were interviewing this person who put on swingers parties, and she was very clear that the majority of these things happened in hotels by the airport out in mid-America, not on the depraved coast, like people would think.

VB: Yeah, the informal statistics that I've seen for the most part state that most of the people who participate in the swinging lifestyle and also purchasers of sex toys tend to err on the Republican and Christian side.

I have some interesting and antagonistic things planned for a column coming up.


DB: Can you give us a taste?

VB: The last week of this month is Protection From Porn Week. It's Morality In Media's little war-on-porn week. They do as much as they can to educate people about the dangers of pornography. So I have a couple of columns planned around celebrating that week in a wholly different way.

JD: You're feeding their getting-offended fetish.

VB: Yes. In a way, it's like fishing with dynamite.

RU: So is there a kind of prophylaxis against porn that you could approve of? You do tell us what good porn and bad porn is.

VB: I'm definitely in a war against bad porn.

RU: So is the fact that you have this column on the Chronicles website controversial? Are their internal politics, within the Chronicle. that you can talk about?

VB: It is controversial. From my experience so far, it's kind of like working for a cokehead.

RU: Are you talking about Phil (Bronstein, Executive Editor of the SF Chronicle)?

VB: Oh no. Phil is actually cool. Phil is REALLY cool. No, I mean the institution itself. It's just like, they really want to do this thing with me but then someone at the highest level freaks out at the last minute and they pull all my links. My column went up and they originally didn't link to my site or use any of the links in my column. And then the next week, they put a couple of links in. And then in the next column, they put all my links in, including linking to my site. And then two days later, they yanked the link from my bio to my site. So now I'm wondering, what's going to happen with the next column.

DB: It sounds random.

VB: Well, it seems like there's some kind of war of ideology going on there. They want the hint of sex, or the hint of cool, or the hint of hip, or the blogger, because I'm like the token blogger.

RU: This is the whole story of corporate America; where they're always coming around and saying, "We want edgy." And they don't. They just want something that looks fashionable.

VB: They want the aura of edgy without also making the commitment to what that means.

RU: Your column [for SF Gate] was advertised illicitly [laughter]. Do tell us about our friends in the Billboard Liberation Front. Not YOUR friends, of course. You're innocent!

VB: I had no idea actually that this was even happening. I got like a grainy phone cam pic sent to me in the middle of the night. I was like, "This has got to be a photoshop job." And then when I woke up in the morning — it was the morning my column launched — I got an email from somebody in the Chronicle building that said, "I can see you from my desk, seven times life-size."

RU: Do tell our audience what this is, because they may not know.

VB: Apparently, in the middle of the night, a group of individuals went out — they had printed pictures from my website, not just pictures from my blog but somewhat explicit photos from my explicit photos gallery — and they made them look like ads that the SF Gate and Chronicle had done, so they looked like bus stop ads and bus shelter ads. And they put them all over the place. I did see one on the side of a bus.

RU: Wow. They did a hell of a job!

VB: One of the pictures that someone showed me was from the side of a bus, and the bus was in motion. I had no idea this was going to happen. I had no idea who did it. I went and found one at 5th and Mission and at the bottom it said BillboardLiberationFront.com.

What's weird is that's not actually the URL for Billboard Liberation Front. BillboardLiberation.com is their real url.

JD: I missed them. Do you have them posted on your website?

VB: I do, yeah. My boobies were all over Market Street! [laughter]

RU: They must be big!

JD: So when I was reading the part in your book (The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn) about women being turned on by visuals. I think I can believe that...

RU: I've just never SEEN it. [laughter]



JD: Most women WILL say, "porn doesn't really do it for me." And certainly the mainstream media repeats that over and over again. And even mainstream science says, "it's just a simple evolutionary fact that there are reasons why men are more turned on by visual imagery." But there have been a few instances where I've been with girls and watched porn and could clearly tell that they were affected by it in a good way. So do you think that a lot of the difference between either the perception or reality of men versus women being affected by visual imagery has to do with the taboo? Women are more resistant to accepting that they can enjoy it because of the fear of being perceived as a slut?

VB: I think there are a couple of different answers to that question. This reminds me: I recently did an interview with the guy who is the Editor-in-Chief of Playboy magazine: the print magazine. Remember that? Anyway, he wanted to feature my book in the Playboy Advisor section. And for some reason, he wanted to talk to me on the phone. And we got into a half-hour argument over whether women are turned on by visual imagery or not. And I thought it was a really telling argument to be having with this guy who is in charge of this magazine — this very dated magazine that a lot of people often voice complaints about. And one of the things he kept throwing at me in terms of this argument is this biological imperative — that women wouldn't be interested in anything that would cause them sexual pleasure outside of anything that would promote their biological imperative to breed and have babies. And it's a real common mainstream argument when it comes to women and sexual pleasure.

RU: That's a very extreme interpretation of Darwinian evolutionary biology. There are distinctions between the sexes but that's a very extreme interpretation.

VB: One of the things I come across... obviously my Smart Girl's Guide to Porn is for women, and it's written for sort of a newcomer audience. Most women tend to be newcomers to porn. Guys sort of grow up with porn and women don't. Every guy you talk to, as a generalization, will say, "Oh yeah. Dad's Playboys" or "My older brother's porn stash." So guys grow up already with language about it before they even hit eighteen. And women don't get that growing up. And we also don't get a cultural acknowledgement between our peers about what's hot to jack off to. If you and I are the same age, your experience of porn is going to be much more advanced than mine just because of the way that our genders are acculturated.

RU: Do you think there's anything to this whatsoever? The belief is that women get hot reading stories whereas men like visuals.

VB: Ugh. It's context context context. When you grow up and you're not used to explicit sexual imagery... For instance, I got sex ed in school, but I grew up in California. In most of the nation, particularly over the last five years, you can only get abstinence education in public schools. And people who do get any sex ed in school, it's reproductive education. It's all about how babies get made and it's all illustrated cutaways of genitals. So you never see actual genitals until you see porn.

RU: When I was in school, they didn't have sex ed at all.

VB: Right so your education came from porn.

RU: Right.

JD: So most young males get their education about how to be sexual mostly from porn and whatever R-rated films they can sneak into. But (just to get you to take a devil's advocate position against yourself) with the internet, much younger boys are seeing much more extreme pornography that is pretty much sexist.

VB: Totally. It's super-dated gender stereotypes and Barbie bodies and all that bullshit.

JD: What do you think is the possible negative effect of that on how boys learn about their own sexuality, particularly with the current conservatism that's preventing any real sex ed in schools?

VB: OK. Before I play Devil's advocate to myself, I'm going to say the positive things about that. It's not just boys that are getting a porn education because of what's readily available on the internet. It's girls too. And women are being allowed to individuate their sexuality and their choices by being able to sort-of shop a little bit for visual stimulation on the web. And then they can decide, "I like that' and "I hate that." So that's a positive. People are getting more tools to be able to individuate their sexuality.

As far as negatives go, I think that there's a lot of educating and a lot of consumer advocacy that needs to be done about porn that's out there — about finding the good porn. Because there are so many racist, sexist, really Jackass-type displays of sexuality — things that you should never try at home that are on the internet, are in "mainstream porn practices." I mean, these people are trained athletes to do a lot of the shit that you see them do. Regular adults shouldn't even be trying some of this stuff at home because it's really unhealthy. That's the type of information and education that needs to get out there, because there are going to be a lot of negative effects. No one is going to be talking to these kids. STD rates among kids are skyrocketing right now because of the abstinence education. It's ridiculous. So people do need to be talking about it. But nobody is talking about anything related to healthy sexuality in regards to pleasure in a public forum for young people. Sites like Scarlet Teen are really good for kids just to learn about healthy sexuality and individuating their own choices.


RU: Besides having a guide to good porn have you ever thought about having a guide to bad porn?

VB: That sounds like a great article for 10 Zen Monkeys actually.

DB: So tell us a bit more about bad porn.

VB: There's so much bad porn. Where do you begin with bad porn?

STEVE ROBLES: How about Evan Stone? Can we just narrow it down to Evan Stone?

VB: Thank you very much.

SR: I called him the Bruce Campbell of B-level porn.

VB: He's not even that good. I would do Bruce Campbell. Evan Stone is like the Chippendales dancer that got lost. Overly waxed. Lantern jaw. He's the kind of guy where girls like me look and say, "Where are all the hot guys in porn?"

SR: They're in gay porn.

JD: In your book, you write about a lot of girls renting gay porn just because the guys are so hot.

VB: It's true. I see it in the Castro all the time. I'm never the only woman in the gay porn section. The guys are really hot and there's actual sexualization of male bodies. Mainstream porn is really homophobic. It's depictions of male sexuality are really negative, for the most part. And in gay porn, it's more like, "Whoo hoo! Look what I got. It's fun. Let's play with it." And women like me, who like guys, are like, "Whoo hoo! Yay. Let's play with it."

See also: Japanese Nose Abuse (written by Violet Blue)



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Good Griefers: Fortuny v. Crook

In the easily spoofed "reality" of the online griefing biz, it's difficult to know the difference between authentic actions and ones that are done merely for publicity, particularly when the publicity-seekers don't have a whole lot of regard for their own reputations.

Jason Fortuny and Michael Crook, who both conducted sex-baiting, privacy-killing pranks on CraigsList, are currently feeding what seems to be a new phase in the lifecycle of the meme. In the process, while trying to turn "bad attention" into revenue streams, they're throwing insults at one another, as well as taking considerable rebuke from various sources.



Fortuny had baited hapless doofuses by pretending to be a woman seeking rough sex. In a blustery online interview last month he taunted his victims, saying his detractors had failed to prove his prank was illegal, and crowing that "I'm still alive... No one's killed me, no one's tried to kill me..."

But last week on his blog he posted a scan of a beautifully handwritten letter, signed, "Mom."
You are my son, and I will always love you; but I don't respect the person you have become. You'll never get the chance to play us again. You're wrong, Jason, to play with people's minds or emotions; and don't push buttons.

I do wish you well.

Good Bye, Mom

Comments of condolence quickly turn to his September notoriety as well. ("Your mom ditched you in a letter?" "Maybe she thought an email would get published on the net and it was safer.") After an earlier post where Fortuny noted he'd been unable to identify his biological father, someone suggested he simply post an ad on CraigsList looking for one. One poster even suggests that the letter itself was another prank. ("Jason has already proven he will do anything for attention," another commenter adds.)

But Fortuny continues to bait his critics. In a mock advice column to future CraigsList prankers, he writes, "Don't worry about lawsuits. They won't happen. Don't worry about getting stalked or beaten. Not gonna happen." Fortuny published what he says are hate mails in response to his prank, including one scolding email from a lawyer in New Jersey. Another blogger claims to have contacted Seattle's prosecuting attorney, and received a response that, "there is no violation of our state criminal code involved here, yet."

Fortuny identifies the experience as "the peace corps of attention whoring: the toughest spotlight you'll ever love."



Meanwhile, Fortuny found himself sharing the spotlight with second-string sex-baiter, Michael Crook. Word of Fortuny's prank had reached Crook in upstate New York, inspiring him to also post fake ads on CraigsList forums two weeks later, again pretending to be a young woman seeking casual sex. By last Sunday the Las Vegas Sun had apparently confirmed Crook's aggressive coaxing of emails and photographs from his victims, including from one married man in Las Vegas. According to the paper, Crook then made taunting phone calls to the man's wife, and to managers and the CEO at the company where he worked. For his antics, Crook was served with an injunction in late September, according to the newspaper, and within days Crook had taken down his site.

Crook's own blog had gloated instead that he'd sold the domain (CraigsList-perverts.org), and he'd added sassily that it meant "the guys that were on there were literally bought and sold." The domain's registration did change — to a fake phone number in New Jersey belonging to a TV station, and a fake address belonging to a group of physicians. A Yahoo.com email address associated with the domain belongs to "Nightshadow Productions," though when contacted they'd claimed plans for "the same busts, as well as the results from at least 15 new busts, some of which are currently going on." Suspiciously, CraigsList-Perverts.org still shows links only to Michael Crook's own sites, and it still appears on a list of domains which Crook himself has for sale. (Its listing says craigslist-perverts.org will be offered free of charge to anyone purchasing CLPervs.org, for an asking price of $250.) Crook's boastful blog has been taken offline, though — replaced with instructions to search engines not to archive it. In an online forum he writes instead that, "It's difficult to get advertisers behind such a website, which is the primary reason I pulled out..." He says that he'd considered putting the site on a server outside the U.S., but, "It's just not worth it to me if I can't bring in the bucks."

CraigsList got involved, according to the Sun article, citing court documents where the popular web site alleges trademark infringement and harassment and threatens legal action against Crook unless he will "formally apologize" to each CraigsList victim. They also interviewed another of Crook's victims, a single 34-year-old homeowner who said he felt violated - and is "considering" hiring a lawyer. A spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation even tells the newspaper that online pranksters "may be overconfident thinking that they might not go to court."

Crook responds on his web site, arguing he's too poor to be sued. "Judgments aren't a good thing, but when there's nothing to judge, i.e. nothing to legally put a lien on or seize, it's really a non-issue." He gloats that in any trial he'd use the sexy conversations as evidence, accomplishing "the very same thing these guys want to avoid... [E]verything would become public record, and it would likely wind up in the media, or at the very least under public scrutiny. "

He also bickers with Fortuny over which of them has kept more of their web material online, and argues that he's not ugly, but Fortuny is.

Into the drama comes a third character named "Mr Piss On Ya," a domain registered in Louisville, Kentucky which also matches the name of a Louisville "band" on a Garageband.com page. (Though two of their four tracks are recorded prank phone calls.) The "Mr Piss On Ya" domain shows only a picture of Michael Crook over a supposed transcript of Crook himself being baited into giving his phone number to a pretend online female. ("but what if my wife answers?") The transcript dates back to 2005, and was originally hosted on the fan site for a band called "Flaw" — also from Louisville.

There's no guarantee of its authenticity, and the content seems unusually damning and improbable. (At one point it has Crook saying his penis is "pretty small," and adding later that "I've been in 3 porn films...petite fuckers 1, 2, 3.") Crook had made himself a target for online revenge that spring, moving from an argument that America's soldiers were overpaid to incendiary comments like "Let 'em die in combat — we don't need their ilk in this country!" It's impossible to tell whether the revenge took the form of enticing a sexy chat transcript, or simply fabricating it.

But Tuesday night a tipster calling himself "[email protected]" gleefully forwarded the URL for the year-old web page to 10zenMonkeys, commenting that Crook "seems to have engaged in the same behavior he's calling himself a martyr by trying to expose." Three minutes later, someone calling themself "Michael Crook is a fraud" posted the same URL — in a comment on Jason Fortuny's blog.

Another comment appeared — less than an hour later — responding that the transcript "was long ago proven to be a forgery," and adding, "Fortuny doesn't care about facts, now does he?"



There certainly appears to be a private feud between the two online sex prankers. Fortuny linked to an article about copycat Crook, then made fun of Crook's hair. Someone calling himself "Michael Crook" then appeared in the comments, saying "you can crack wise and insult all you like, but you're the one who was molested as a child (by your own admission), and you're the one who posted about BDSM." (Adding: "And if you're going to insult my hair, get out of that glass house of yours. You're so ugly that my dog wouldn't barf on you.")

Perhaps it's a fitting end to the story: Two online griefers uncomfortably co-habiting the same meme, locked in endless arguments over their respective self-destructing reputations and posturing defensively for an imagined audience of fans and detractors. Or, God save us all, maybe this meme will simply never go away!

See Also:
The Secret Life of Jason Fortuny
In the Company of Jerkoffs
Jason Fortuny Speaks
Craigslist Troll Gets Sued

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What the F*ck is Wrong With the Japanese? (Nose Abuse Fetish)

Nose Suffocation

I'm not the first person to say this, but there's an open letter I have to get off my chest:

Dear Japan,

Please stop experimenting with your sexuality in public. It's starting to freak us out.

Love,
America


It's not that I think there's anything categorically wrong with Japanese people or their sexuality. I don't. In fact, I have a hard time saying there's anything right or wrong about fetishes or an individual's sexualization of anything. I don't think there's a "normal" when it comes to sex. And for the record, I don't think Americans are any less bizarre with our sexual fetishes. (You're soaking in it.)

But I have to admit, sometimes things I find on some obscure Japanese fetish sex sites make me want to jack off to horror films (more than usual, anyway).



Take for instance my most recent discovery of yet another deeply obsessed, overly specific Japanese sexualization of something I'd never thought of: closed nose fetish.

The site is ugly and the language barrier makes navigation confusing but let me take you by the nose hand with this overly, singularly, amazingly specific fetish, where women's noses are squeezed shut by their own hands or others, their noses are held under water in bathtubs, their noses are held shut with devices, and screengrabs from Japanese TV capture women mid-nose-closure, even if just for a second.
* Bathtub and water submersion nose-holding galleries.

* Big-tit, dick-sucking *nose holding* manga galleries.

* Japanese TV nose-squeezing screengrabs.

Dig a little deeper into the slightly disturbing recesses of this site and images emerge that make The Ring look like Jenna Jameson's latest girl-girl, fake-a-rama, feel-good film. And unlike other fetish sites I've come across in researching my Fetish Sex book, like one lovingly compiled head shaving image collection where there's nary an exposed titty in sight, there's no mistake that nose holding -- "nasal suffocation" -- is being sexualized here.

I supppose we should keep in mind that anything which turns someone on that's not in any typical catalog of things we culturally find "hot," is going to seem weird to some outsiders somewhere, like a freakish cabinet of throbbing curiosities. The hand of Darwin, when it comes to doling out what's arousing, tends to be a blind hand, sweeping some of us into panty-sniffing categories, or turning us into spanking enthusiasts.

On the one hand, no childhood accidents can ever be accurately tied to sexual fetishization -- it's all theory, mostly contrived by sex-negative people who want fetishists to feel bad about masturbating with stuffed animals. On the other hand, however, I just can't help but wonder upon finding sites like G-Nose, if Japan somehow didn't actually have some kind of painful sexual experience with their nose -- as a nation -- to become so into facial bondage. Did something bad happen to Japan's nose as a kid? What tickles a nation's collective ID in a particular way, to want to jack off to the contents of an entire office supply closet being applied to a pretty girl's face? Or drippy, stressful tentacle-nasal penetration scenes that don't really look like they're bringing the girls to... orgasm? I mean, perhaps the language barrier is preventing me from understanding that it's like Deep Throat and instead of the g-spot being pornologically located in the throat, it's really just up past a deviated septum, to the left or right -- don't worry, the tentacle will find it.

I guess ultimately it all means that I really should be more sex-positive, or open minded, about nose fucking. We all should.



See also: Sex for Memes' Sake.

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My Opponent Pays for Gay Teen Bestiality!

Things are so bad for Republicans right now that they absolutely must rely heavily on individual attacks on the opposing candidates.

Republican Congressional candidate Paul Nelson is even recycling Vernon Robinson's notorious attack ad, word for word, by simply splicing in his opponent's name and his own; even the voice of the narrator is the same. The ad claims, among other outlandish (though somewhat true) things, that Democrats "paid for sex" by funding a study that had teenage girls watching pornographic videos with probes attached to their genitalia.



Factcheck.org revealed that, according to an online abstract from the National Institutes of Health, even though there was pornography involved, the word "teen" never appears. That is true. For that matter, when we checked ourselves, we couldn't find reference to any "genital probes" (doesn't mean they weren't used!).

What we did find, however, is that the subjects in the study of visual arousal in females were required to view some video clips of "non-human animals" having sex (as a control)!

In the interest of keeping this wave of eminently entertaining campaign ads alive, allow us to suggest one possible way forward for GOP media strategists in the post-Foley atmosphere of Republican "ickiness."

Even though "zoophilia" technically doesn't have to involve the act of having sex with an animal, it is only a hop, skip and a jump away from bestiality. Animal-on-animal porn is a gateway to far more disgusting activities. No doubt about it.

But let's not take any chances. The stakes are too high (boredom!). What's the one thing that's more repugnant than human sex with animals? Homosexual human sex with animals! By teenagers! (Which this NIH study very well may have supported.) That's even more disgusting than anything Foley has been accused of doing -- so far.

Allow us to suggest some catch-phrases for Republicans' media strategy.

"Not only does my opponent oppose body armor, but he wants to subject teenage girls to films showing horny warthogs humping."

"My opponent spent his time in Congress advocating gay sex with animals."

One other bright spot: should this program get funded again soon, it will no doubt use a new technology called "thermography" instead of "probes." This allows arousal to be measured by infrared cameras aimed at the subjects' genitalia. Do not fear; the suggested catchphrase then becomes:

"This Democrat Congressman denied body armor for our troops, in favor of night vision for degenerates in long coats to stare at penises and vaginas in the dark."

Etcetera. We leave the final tweaking up to you savvy political types. We trust you to keep us amused.


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5 Nastiest Campaign Ads So Far

Will Republicans or Democrats control the Senate? It all hangs on five tight Senate races — which means negative ads, and lots of them. Mis-leading, meaningful, desperate, or despicable — they're on your TV, messing with your mind.

To get a glimpse at those states where the battle is being fought the hardest, we scoured the party campaign sites (and sometimes YouTube), compiling this list of the five nastiest Senate campaign ads of 2006 — so far.



1. "It was unbelievably demoralizing to be painted as a pampered slut!"



This according to retired Navy commander Jennifer Brooks. Retired Commander Kathleen Murray adds that, "The unnecessary abuse and hazing received by me and my fellow women midshipmen" were contributed to by the demeaning philosophy of Democrat Senate candidate Jim Webb.

They're citing an article he wrote a whopping 27 years ago (page 277 of "Washingtonian Magazine") saying a military dorm with 4,000 males and 300 females "is a horny woman's dream." (Oh, and 14 years ago, he also called a midshipman "thunder thighs," according to the attack site Webb against women.) Of course, in the 70s the public debated whether the all-male military should be open to women at all, and "I don't think it was wrong to participate in the debate at that time," Webb tells Meet the Press. Or tries to. In the Republican Senate Committee's ad, he only gets to say, "I don't think it was wrong..." before the ad switches to different footage — of Tim Russert incredulously repeating the idea that "being in a naval academy is a horny woman's dream."

Webb ultimately countered with some tough ads of own, showing support from a (female) retired Brigadier General, a (female) Coast Guard officer and a (female) 1984 Naval academy student who says "Jim Webb broke down barriers. He changed things as Naval Secretary."

2. "My opponent parties with lingerie-clad Playboy bunnies! And then goes to church!"

That's the implicit message in a political ad which attacked Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford. (It has since been removed from YouTube.) In a tight (and crucial) Senate race, Democrat challenger Ford had run an effective ad emphasizing his connection to "values" voters by walking down the aisle of a church. "Here I learned the difference between right and wrong," he states earnestly. "And now Mr. Corker [his Republican opponent] is doing wrong." Corker's sins include spending millions "telling untruths" about his Republican opponents in the primary, "both of them good men," says Ford sympathetically. "And now me!"

"What kind of man parties with Playboy playmates in lingerie," counters the latest NSRC product, "and then films political ads from a church pew?" It's an allusion to Playboy's 2005 Super Bowl party, which Ford attended. The National Republican Senate Committee first seized on the party eight months ago, and Ford recently struck back with an ad mocking Republican Corker's wealth in a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous parody. It cites Corker's 30-room mansion, 6 SUVs, and $200 million net worth, finally arguing that he'd accepted three pay raises for himself, "yet nothing for police and firefighters!"

The race is neck-and-neck, according to recent polls, which means ad consultants will continue scrambling for the hottest buttons they can push.

3. "Depends on your area code!"

Oh sure, Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill says she's tough on methamphetamines. But everything she says "depends on your area code... She just tells you what you want to hear."

So does this mean she's in favor of methamphetamines? Well, no. The ad doesn't cite her position on the illegal drug. But she lived in a city that had illegal drugs — lots of 'em! (Kansas City was "the meth capital of America," according to a four-year-old Kansas City Star article cited by the ad.) And at that time, Claire McCaskille was a prosecutor for the county! See?!



That charge has since been removed from the online version of the Republican National Senate Committee's ad. Its other two supposed McCaskill flip-flops were 1.) gun control, which she was either for or against, and 2.) she missed paying her property taxes, yet had the gall to talk about things like "integrity" in her campaign.

The logic can be a little strained — but we're sure Republican Jim Talent appreciates the effort.

4. "A piss-poor job!"



Emotional music lauds the 9/11 firefighters who fought Montana's forest fires. Except, they were doing "a piss-poor job" according to evil Republican Senator Conrad Burns. While pointing at one, he said, "he hasn't done a god-damned thing," according to the ad. Burns' dirty words were re-broadcast into Montana homes, after a Democrat Senate Campaign Committee disclaimer that: "The following contains language by Conrad Burns, unsuitable for Montana."

Using his own words against him, Burns' opponent, newcomer John Tester, seems to have gotten the upper-hand with Montana's conservative voters. But it's not like the Republican candidate didn't try. "Feller comes in fer a trim on his flat-top," says a barber in one of Burns' ads, "because he's running fer U.S. Senate. Guess he doesn't want anyone to know he opposes a gay marriage ban, thinks flag burning is all right, and supports higher taxes!"

Apparently, the ad-makers thought all Montanans are rural hicks who only trust their barber. But ultimately no amount of barber-speak could keep Tester from opening a lead on the incumbent that will likely cost him his Senate seat. "Here's a tip," ran the counter-ad. "The man attacking Jon Tester is an actor. A fake, sent by Senator Burns' Washington friends..." Tester later pointed out to the L.A. Times that he doesn't support gay marriage or flag-burning, but opposes addressing the issues with constitutional amendments. Finally an op-ed in the New York Times even tracked down Mr. Tester's real barber, who said the ads were phony cheap shots. Then added, "I thought there was a war going on in Iraq, for crying out loud."

5. "...The happier we'll be!"



Mike DeWine is the incumbent Republican Senator in Ohio. (He's also incredibly short.) And he used the innocuous phrase "we all have to work together: Democrats, Republicans," in his ads. Suddenly the picture freezes, in a new ad from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

"Senator DeWine HAS worked together," it tells us, "voting 92% of the time with President Bush."

"The more we work together, the happier we'll be," a chorus of children sings, as subtitles flash over a picture of smiling Michael DeWine with his arm around President Bush.
Increasing the National Debt to $9 trillion
Tax breaks for the oil companies
Tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas
Mike DeWine likes working together with George Bush.

With President Bush's popularity ratings stuck in the high 30s, this may ultimately be the most negative campaign ad of all.



Think you know of better ones? Leave them in the comments!


See also:
Awesomest Campaign Ad Ever
5 More Nasty Campaigns
My Opponent Pays for Gay Teen Bestiality.

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The Perversions of Perverted-Justice

Von Erck"To Catch a Predator" on Dateline introduced sex baiting to the popular mind. Fortuny and Crook may have adapted it to their own psychological obsessions, but clearly, NBC's relationship with "Perverted-Justice.com" is the established and refined model for the freelance bad-guy sting.

On Friday, NBC ran the fifth installment of the pedophile-trapping news segment. The stings are choreographed by a community college drop-out and his group of "trained citizen contributors" who have, in the name of protecting society from its most reviled deviants, also aimed their vigilante arsenal at rival web sites, personal enemies, and even Google and Wikipedia.



It's got to be a little heady these days for Xavier Von Erck, the Director of Operations for Perverted-Justice.com. In an online essay, he talks about growing up with a mother who "worked everything from Taco Bell to gas station jobs to warehouse jobs to parts delivery jobs." His group now rakes in over a hundred grand for each episode it's involved with.

A recent New York Daily News article cited another article on RadarOnline identifying him as a 27-year-old Oregon community college dropout. But when the article linked to his blog, Von Erck redirected it to his original emails to the magazine's reporter. "I completed some college before what I would call a 'productive internet addiction' ruined my studies," he'd commented, "which I were not all that interested in anyways."

There are people who oppose Perverted-Justice.com's methods. There's even an opposing site that calls itself Corrupted-Justice.com. ("Number of INNOCENT people harassed and terrorized by volunteer vigilantes...with no police involvement since January 2003: 2704.") This in turn spawned a counter-counter site called Corrupted-Justice.net whose sole function is to criticize Corrupted-Justice.com.

It all culminated in a bizarre incident involving an Arkansas pilot — a married man (and non-pedophile) who still vehemently opposed the group. He'd threatened everything from online computer attacks to investigations from the IRS. The response? Erck says his group lured the married man into an online romance by pretending to be a sympathetic female and then continued the online relationship for several months, leading to the collection of thousands of lines of chat containing personal information used to out the straying man to his wife.


Fighting pedophiles has brought with it still more enemies. For instance, they have a problem with Google. Their site argues that pedophiles "have infiltrated legitimate businesses to try to spread their pro-pedo message to the masses" — if by "infiltrated legitimate businesses," you mean "posted on a blog." Google is their #1 target for its ownership of Blogspot, which is guilty of not removing sites advocating sex with children. Perverted-Justice concedes that "We love Google," yet the company is #1 in their "Corporate Sex Offender registry" for failing to remove pedophilia-advocating blogs, including two blogs by a user named Rookiee.

Both Google and Libsyn.com (Rookiee's podcast host) are listed as "aggressive corporate sex offenders" on Perverted-Justice for giving Rookiee a platform. The first name on their list of passive corporate sex offenders is Wikipedia, which it describes as the "'wild west' of encyclopedias" with "a vast pedophile cabal seeking to undermine it." Their main objection was that Wikipedia's articles could be accessed and edited by Rookiee. (Although not any more. Last week his Wikipedia account was blocked from updating the site's articles, though not without some spirited discussion.) "We've left Wikipedia in the 'passive' category," Perverted-Justice states, "because they still have not taken a clear and unambiguous stance disavowing pedophile advocates from editing 'encyclopedic' pedophile articles."

This Saturday they added a new name at the top of their corporate offenders list: Verizon/MCI Worldcom. (Perverted-Justice argues that an obscure Canadian hosting company named Epifora hosts dozens of sites advocating sex with minors — and is getting its internet connectivity from Verizon's pipes.)

So who do they like? Well, there's YouTube — for removing Rookiee's account; Xanga — for pulling Rookie's web site; and CafePress — for pulling Rookiee's online store. (They're now listed as "the Rehabilitated.") In fact, elsewhere on the Perverted-Justice site they write that entire list was created because "Rookiee made the mistake of attacking our organization online." That was enough to get him their attention, along with the companies enabling him to speak. Perverted-Justice argues that the writings of Rookiee offer a "snapshot" into the online pedophile world.

In their own bizarre form of exploitation, every page of the site now also includes an ad for their official store, which offers to give visitors a chance to raise awareness of the growing problem of online pedophilia "by shopping." The store sells merchandise bearing the site's logo, including underwear, women's thongs, and a baby doll t-shirt. There's also coffee mugs and beer steins. For the t-shirts they've even come up with catchy pedophilia-busting slogans.

"See you later masturbator, after a while, pedophile."
"Squeeze no child's behind"
"a/s/l"
"Coast to coast, we make predators toast"




Publicizing their pushback against online predators may or may not offer another way of discouraging online predators — but it's ultimately bringing its own set of challenges. The article in Radar cited a controversial blog post Von Erck made over two years ago, arguing a hostage who signaled his weakness to an al Qaeda captor failed to understand that "Arab culture is quite sick in many respects.... Spinelessness and negotiation only encourage Arabs to attack and harass western society further." Von Erck's emailed responses to Radar's reporter also hint at other criticisms he's faced. ("[W]e have not posted the log of anyone prior to conviction in almost over nine months now.") He's angry about the way the article portrayed him and rationalizes any personal flaws by citing his site's victories in the war on pedophiles:
One was a doctor and a vice-president of a biotech firm. One was a software developer for Apple. Two were guys in IT (who likely could have figured out how to log into Yahoo chat on a Mac) And yet another had a very successful job running a fairly successful business

He may be a community college drop-out — but for the fifth time he's also busted pedophiles on television. It's worth noting, though, that before he ever dreamed of hooking up with Dateline, he posed as children in chat rooms and chatted sexually with adults. He hasn't admitted that it's one he entertains himself, but this is an established role-playing fetish in itself.

In any case, we once again have a self-congratulating sex baiter who rains righteous anger down on everyone — except himself.

See Also:
Web Fight: Wikipedia, YouTube vs. Perverted Justice
Sex Panic: An Interview with Debbie Nathan

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Adopt an African Hottie’s Clitoris!

Clitoraid
Rael is back.

A few years ago, the "UFO cult" leader claimed to have cloned human beings, and was widely dismissed as a crass self-publicizer and hoaxster.

"Once we can clone exact replicas of ourselves," he says on the Clonaid website, "the next step will be to transfer our memories and personality into our newly cloned brains, which will allow us to truly live forever."



His latest achievement is only slightly less ambitious. He has undertaken to single-handedly restore the clitorises (clitori?) of African women disfigured by the tribal ritual of clitoral excision. Rael is passionate in this cause, since the beneficiaries "now have the possibility to regain sexual pleasure and be whole once again."

There is, of course, a website, and the first impression given is that, wow, there are a lot of hot, genitally-disfigured African women out there!

One testimonial on the website reads:
I am XXX, a 23 year old Somali refugee now residing in America. I was circumcised as a young girl while still residing in Somalia. Even until very recently i was made to beleive that it was 'good' to be circumcised and as i result i had never fully understood the consequences of this evil practice. Recently i started my university education and have moved out of my parents' house. As a result of this new found freedom i started exploring my sexuality. I thought sex was supposed to be this amazing experience but for me it was extremely uncomfortable and unsatisfactory.

Desirable women in the marketing materials must make it easier for possible donors to pony up; after all, denying these smiling, bright-eyed specimens the capacity for clitoral pleasure is certainly a waste! (And let's face it, if you're a cult leader, it can't hurt your image to literally bestow blessings upon the genitalia of nubile females.)

The Raelians are notorious for using sex as a major inducement into their movement. According to this web page, former Raelian Pete Cooke was recruited into the cult by a dancer in Montreal's Kit Kat strip bar.

"I didn't like all the opening of genitals or all the focusing on the anus," he says.

I may be reaching here, but guys, if you find yourself in a nightclub and a hot chick with an African accent approaches you and starts telling you about how alien scientists incubated life on Earth, you might want to clench your butt cheeks and walk quickly in the opposite direction.

See also: California Cults 2006

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California Cults 2006

Cults of California!

In his fascinating new book (with photos by Michael Rauner) Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape, Erik Davis writes, "When the United States seized the territory from Mexico in 1848 California became the stage for a strange and steady parade of utopian sects, bohemian mystics, cult leaders, psychospiritual healers, holy poets, sex magicians, fringe Christians, and psychedelic warriors."



Visionary State documents an eclectic mix of these magical, mystical scenes from across Californian history, ranging from loose, anarchic configurations of independent seekers who reject doctrine; to authoritarian fringe cults that cobble together their own strange doctrinaire cosmologies based on the possibly schizophrenic revelations and prophecies of their visionary leaders and gurus.  Theosophists, nature mystics, Zen Buddhists, 19th Century spiritual snake oil hustlers, various Hindu sects, the Merry Pranksters, Scientologists, Mansonoids, Burning Man Burners — all are enclosed in Davis' rich spiritual gumbo.



His intention is not to judge. "California consciousness", he writes, is "an imaginative, experimental, and hedonistic quest for human transformation by any means necessary." Davis rightfully suggests that California's "theme park of the gods", in all its chaos and contradiction, is so fecund that it is inherently valuable. Our spiritual nuts, fruits and flakes are, he says, an important part of the richness of California's dynamic psycho-social, economic, and even physical landscape.

Doubtless, California's relative tolerance for deviation from the conventional and the mainstream provides opportunities for both liberatory, free-thinking self-experimentation; and for pathological, neo-conformist head-fucking. The presence of trippy and sometimes destructive fringe cults across California history might be thought of as an inevitable side-effect of the state's position as post-modernism's early adopter.



But while weird cults may be inevitable, very few of them could be considered benign. And though the depredations of the Manson Family, the horrors of Jonestown, and the pathetic futility of Heaven's Gate's attempt to hitch themselves to a comet may have afforded our culture a series of black humor bonanzas, nobody really wants to see their friends and family get sucked into the orbit of the latest power-mad cult leader. 

So, for your edification and amusement, and as a warning, I am here presenting a very brief guide to some contemporary California cults:

Miracle Of Love

Miracle of Love is an ambitious Marin County based cult that, according to a March 2006 expose by Jill Kramer for The Pacific Sun, has plans to expand to Seattle, Vancouver, Sacramento, San Diego, Colorado, Australia and South America. Around 1995, their leader, "Kalindi" (real name: Carol Seidman) declared herself "the voice of the latest incarnation of God." (Actually, God originally started speaking through her husband, but he died, and rather than except the obvious implication — "God is dead" — Seidman caught the spirit.)

In a six-day long session called "The Intensive," the group employs classic techniques employed by brainwashers and kidnappers everywhere (famously adopted by Werner Erhard's est group in the ''70s and ''80s). Attendees are deprived of sleep, forced to dredge up psychic pains, verbally abused and embarrassed, and then finally given a warm, comforting love bath to cement their attachment to the group. What's the attraction? Apparently, there is a kind of high associated with completing this type of ordeal, and cult members get their targets to associate this feeling with "God's energy" and that old cult standby: "unconditional love."

For those who become members, classic cult brainwashing techniques continue. To the greatest extent possible, members are isolated from family and other non-believers and give complete control of their lives to cult leaders. According to Kramer, "Devotees are given new names. They're told when to wake, when to meditate, when to do service work for the mission, how much time to allot for chores, what time to go to bed. Everything is dictated, down to which toilet paper to buy."

"Kalinda" and her cohorts seem to be largely motivated by financial gain. Kramer reports that followers are told they can "come home to God within this lifetime" by "letting go of attachments to the material world — the world of illusion. The handiest way to let go of their attachments to money is, of course, to donate it to the Miracle of Love mission."



On the back cover of her book, Ultimate Freedom: Union With God, Kalindi/Seidman poses provocatively in a thong and fishnet stockings. Underneath the picture, are the words "Don't you want to break free?" Spot the irony?

Oneness Movement

Guru Sri Bhagavan and his partner, Sri Amma are the founders of the Oneness University, which is centered in India, but has a growing California following, particularly in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They claim that the "solution to humanity's suffering can only be found through our awakening to Oneness." And, of course, there is a particular one who can lead us toward that oneness. Bhagavan offers followers the opportunity to experience "Deeksha," "a transfer of divine energy" that produces enlightenment. The group aims to enlighten 64,000 people and thus transform the world by — you guessed it — 2012.

According to a private correspondence published by Guruphiliac, "this cult is pressurizing its INDIAN devotees to donate large sums of wealth, if they want to remain in the good books of the disciples (dasas) who run the show, and progress further. We have even been asked to take loans (the last case was Rs 100,000 [$2,220.50 US] which is a large amount), and donate, if we don't have the money. We have been told that we can repay the loans over a few years!

"From the day we join we are pressurized to bring in new people and send them for the initial 3-day deeksha (costing Rs 5000 [$110 US])." A 21-day workshop, according to the Guruphiliac correspondent, costs $5,500.

The guru and his followers also use pseudo-scientific flim flam to claim that they have been able to measure neurological changes that result from the "deeksha" experience. Guruphiliac quotes someone they call "a major university neuroscience researcher," saying this about the gurus claims: "The most questionable aspect" is the author's claim that he has tested alterations in neurotransmitters, hormones, and receptors via electromagnetic signature testing. There is no scientific data to support that this technique is viable."

Adidam

This is the religion that was formed by Adi Da. Da was born Franklin Jones and later changed his name to Bubba Free John and then Da Free John. I must confess to a soft spot (probably it's just my fontanelle) for Da. He's witty and smart and seems like he might be in on the cosmic joke, assuming that there is in fact a cosmic joke. Imagine if Alan Watts decided to declare himself "the complete manifestation of the divine in human form" and you've sort of got the picture. A 1985 San Francisco Examiner article by Don Lattin reported on secret "drunken sex orgies and luxurious lifestyles among the guru's inner circle in Hawaii and their Fijian island of Naitauba," and quotes one former follower as saying, "We took peyote, psilocybin, marijuana and an unbelievable amount of alcohol. The two of us would sit down and drink two bottles of whiskey. A lot of the people who came in were young women, and he'd loosen them up with alcohol and drugs."

So, what's the problem here? Jody Radzik at Guruphiliac writes, "We've always wanted to like Adi Da. First because Ken Wilber liked him, and then because he was so out in the open with his craziness. Gurus, drugs and group sex just get us so hot! But once he started with his 'world teacher' shtick, he went from being a tantric engine of transformation to just another wackadoo guru."

And, of course, like all of our other gurus, Da scams as much money from his followers to keep the party going. I wouldn't want to be one of Da's followers, but Oh to be Da.

The Helzer Brothers Transform America

The Helzer Brothers' activities were a tawdry and pallid expression of Manson family values. After being excommunicated from the Mormon Church for taking drugs, Glenn Helzer, from Contra Costa County (a San Francisco suburb) decided to form a self-awareness group to stop Satan and hasten the return of Jesus. He got himself two members, his own brother Justin and a young woman named Dawn Goldman. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Glenn Helzer's plans "included a bizarre plot to train Brazilian orphans to slaughter the leaders of the Mormon Church so he could become its prophet; and 'Transform America,' a self-help group to foster 'a state of peace and joy.'"

In order to raise money, the Helzer's sold ecstasy and Glenn got his onetime girlfriend, Keri Mendoza, to pose for Playboy. (She appeared as Kerissa Fare, Miss September 2000). But when drugs and sex didn't produce enough money fast enough, Helzer's mind turned towards robbery and murder. The group extorted $100,000 from an elderly couple, Ivan and Annette Stineman, and then killed them, returning the next day to dismember them. (Peace and joy can be such hard work!)



Helzer next planned to incorporate his friend, Selina Bishop (daughter of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop) into his plot by getting her to cash the check.  But he decided that she knew too much, so he and his brother bludgeoned her to death and then eviscerated her body.  Fearing that Bishop's stepfather and mother would finger him as a suspect in the murder of their daughter, Helzer dispatched them the following day.  On August 7, 2000 the three conspirators were arrested.  Glenn Helzer received five death sentences. Brother Justin got only one and Dawn Godman was sentenced to 38 years-to-life.

Addendum

As someone who socializes at times on the periphery of "new age" circles, it is my personal observation that most spiritual seekers stopped giving themselves up to charismatic leaders and gurus by the end of the 1980s.  But it is clear that there are still enough lost souls out there to fulfill the financial needs and psychopathic fantasies of cult leaders for years to come. My advice: If you feel a need to be part of a group, join a bowling league.

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Awesomest Congressional Campaign Ever — Vernon Robinson, N.C.

Helms & Robinson


"Brad Miller even spent your tax dollars to pay teenage girls to watch pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia."

That's from a TV campaign ad by Vernon Robinson, who's trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Miller for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 13th District of North Carolina. In the process, he's created some of the most amusing campaign messages in recent memory.

Here's another, from the same ad:

"Brad Miller spent your money to study the masturbation habits of old men."



Robinson is an African-American and a rabid conservative Republican. In 2004, he lost a bid for the 5th District, but not before providing the locals with some high-concept political cabaret. He's so far to the right that the Winston-Salem Journal declared in an editorial about Robinson, "Jesse Helms is back! And this time, he's black." Robinson's campaign then adopted it as a slogan. A radio campaign ad was so controversial and borderline illegal that local station WSJS felt it had to pull all ads for the 5th District Primary.

His current campaign is wonderfully absurd and offensive, which makes it a joyful slapstick take on national politics. One radio ad uses a Mariachi soundtrack while claiming, "If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals." And another, with banjo music in the background: "Hey all you illegals, put your shoes on. Go home. Don't come back now, y'hear?"

Beyond ads, Robinson pulled an old trick of his and suggested that since Miller is middle-aged and childless, he must be homosexual. Miller then felt he had to explain that his wife is unable to bear children due to the fact she had a hysterectomy and suffers from endometriosis.

Robinson's media savvy is matched only by his massive set of huevos. But the meanness is almost enough to feel sorry for Miller. Certainly, if they weren't both public figures, Robinson would be giving the keynote address at the yet-to-be-announced First Annual Griefer's Convention.

See also:
5 Nastiest Campaign Ads So Far
5 More Nasty Campaigns
My Opponent Pays for Gay Teen Bestiality.

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Jason Fortuny Speaks



Jason Fortuny

He's not sorry, he'd do it again, and he's buying a gun.

Jason Fortuny became notorious after posting nearly 150 explicit photos he'd received for a fake sex ad on Craig's List. Three weeks later he discusses the aftermath in a 29-minute online interview.



But is he really as cocky as he pretends to be? A close look at the footage reveals that behind the bravado is genuine fear. Although he remains unapologetic and bemused, his internet infamy has left him worrying about an unseen army of invisible enemies.

At one point they even have to stop the filming, because they'd inadvertently said someone's name.

"If you don't know who's stalking you," says Fortuny, "you don't know who's going to come after you in the middle of the night and, uh, kill you."

FEAR AND FIREARMS

"The internet is serious business," the cameraman jokes, noting later that the web page received over one million visits in two and a half weeks.

When reminded that there's a new Jet Li movie called Fearless," Fortuny admits it's "something that I am not."

"How many people told you to kill yourself?"

"I lost count after, like, 20."

A friend even asked an FBI contact about Jason's situation. "What's my recourse here, if I am being stalked, if I am being harassed. What can we proactively do to protect me?" He says their answer was that he could call 911.

"So when are you getting your gun?"

"Probably this weekend."



Fortuny concedes he's never taken a gun class, "but I had a Nintendo for a while so I got pretty good... I need everyone who's going to come kill me to please dress up as an 8-bit duck."

Some people genuinely wondered if he had a deathwish, "because some people are under the impression that if you piss off the BDSM crowd, they'll kill you." Instead he jokes that the BDSM crowd is probably more about consensual pain — then playfully slaps the thigh of the woman next to him.


REACTING TO REACTIONS

"So how many pizzas did you get delivered to your home?"

"I wasn't at home when it happened," he answers, although he does an impression of a pizza deliveryman's voicemail, then promises more updates on his web page. "Eventually I'll get all the hate mail up that I've received."

He claims he also got a few women offering him tail, "and I got lots of people who told me I would be getting some after going to jail. Which — how am I going to go to jail over this?"

The cameraman offers to film Fortuny turning himself in at the police station. But the truth is, no one has gone after him.

"I'm still waiting for a cease and desist letter to arrive — or an actual lawsuit!"

He remembers a blustery comment on his LiveJournal page claiming to have hired a lawyer. But so far all it's generated is a prank by another poster, who described leaving a taunting sign on that lawyer's office which read "ON UR CREGZLST POSTIN UR N00DZ!!!" under a drawing of the LiveJournal icon. (The poster added that while delivering the sign, "I spotted at least three Mexican transsexual prostitutes!")

Fortuny also laughs at the 20 "internet lawyers" who aren't actual lawyers, but "play them on the internets."

"If you're out there and you're making the whole 'illegal' judgment thing, just cite some law. I know some of you out there have gone after the whole privacy and 'intentional infliction of emotional distress', but even that's a little murky."

At one point he even seems to bait the online audience. When jokingly asked if he could swap some of the naked pictures he received, he stares starkly at the camera and replies "Considering that it's my property now, what the hell!"

But later he concedes that "If some good privacy law came from this, I'd actually be really pleased."


MORE VICTIMS?

The woman next to him adds an interesting observation from a Seattle blog. "Despite all the publicity about your ad, there were still all sorts of people posting all sorts of no-strings-attached sex ads with sometimes personal information and pictures right in the ad... So I don't think even you can stop people from trying to get their rocks off."

When asked about future experiments, he smiles. "I think it's only fair we go after women — and I should get what, two replies?"

He discusses the idea of posting an equally too-good-to-be-true ad aimed at women — maybe one pretending to be a sugar daddy. But Fortuny doubts it would have the same impact.

"Women don't reply to ads. What would be very telling would be to get replies from women to an ad like that and watch that none of them put up personally identifiable information or any of their photos or anything like that. Or if they do put up a photo, it's something that's going to be hard to identify."

But even he was surprised by the copycat prankster who lures victims into additional online conversations and researches their lives before publishing all their embarrasing details.

"I didn't even verify that the information is real," Fortuny notes.

"For all I know it could be the joke of the universe on me."

Also surprising were some of the positive reactions he received. "There's a feminist out there who went absolutely nuts, thinks I'm some kind of hero, exposing all these perverts who want to beat up women."

"Did you invite her over for a spanking?" his female companion jokes. "You should have."



Earlier this week syndicated columnist Dan Savage argued that the only villain was Fortuny himself. The men who responded "were doing the decent, responsible thing" - assuring a woman who was seeking a connection based on a trust, Savage writes. "They shouldn't be punished for doing the right and honorable thing."

Fortuny also had some responses that were just plain awkward. His parents laughed, he says, but he also had to explain his notoriety to the men he'd identified in a search for his biological father. What would he have done if a paternity test candidate had answered the ad? "Oh god," he groans. "See? I have my limits."


FINAL WORDS

The interview takes place during a rambly conversationally while eating noodles at a Pho restaurant in Seattle's university district. But all conversations ultimately lead back to Jason's stunt of September 4.

"Why do my noodles hate me?" the woman next to him asks.

"Because you're not treating them nicely. You're stringing them along and teasing them. Which is what you and all women do... Which fully justifies me posting as a woman... I strung them along. Teased them."

"So basically you gave them the same experience they would've gotten anyways."

"Yeah, pretty much. I teased their cocks."

He deep throats his spring roll. The camera zooms in, as he mock-viciously bites off the end. He points at the viewer, then the roll, and then makes a "think about it" gesture. Then continues eating.

"We'll put this on a DVD, mail it as a free consolation gift to everyone who participated."

By the end of the interview, he's taunting his online viewers. "I'm still alive... No one's killed me, no one's tried to kill me.

"If pizzas are the best you can do," he jokes, "oh my, this is sad. I got on the BBC, and the best you can do is pizzas?!"

See Also:
Craigslist Sex Troll Gets Sued
Dear Internet, I'm Sorry
The Secret Life of Jason Fortuny
In The Company of Jerkoffs

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In the Company of Jerkoffs

Note: The above screen capture is from a 2005 Fox News Channel appearance. The image has been re-inserted on November 15th, 10 business days after filing a counter-notice (pdf) in response to a DMCA takedown notice filed by Michael Crook which forced its removal soon after it was originally published.

As little as we like to encourage these guys, yet another sad member of the "griefer community," Michael Crook, is ambushing men with fake sex ads on Craig's List. Like past incidents, the story ultimately reveals a lot about the man behind it. In this case, he's not only pathetic, but a pathetic copycat.

If sex pranker Jason Fortuny is similar to the "Chad" character from Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men, then Crook is the asshole wannabe, "Howard." Not only is his imagination lacking, capable only of putting a slight spin on his hero's methods, but he also possesses a pathological moralism that seems entirely out of place and hypocritical for the behavior he's engaged in.



Clearly following the [tag]Fortuny[/tag] script, Crook pretended to be a 19-year-old female student at Syracuse university with B-cup breasts, looking to hang out "and maybe enjoy a nice, safe sexual encounter." ("I don't care if you're married, single, engaged, whatever. Life is fun. Sex is natural. Friendship is great.") And naturally, when men responded, Michael published their pictures and emails on craigslist-perverts.org — a domain he created Wednesday.

He also visited the "Casual Encounter" listings for five other cities — Las Vegas, Dayton, South Jersey, Kansas City, and Anchorage — publishing variations on his original ad. ("I'm 19, 5'4, 108 lbs, brown hair and eyes, and B cup breasts.") And added the responses to his site.

But he also made the additional effort of replying to his respondents to extract even more-embarrassing emails, and sometimes even instant messaging them. He also did online research, looking up their phone numbers and often claiming to have deduced the identities of his victims. "Check out this magazine article from a couple years ago, where he is in a picture with his wife and the guy whose name he used..." He apparently conned the (possibly married) man into sending a photo of his erection — then sent him one last email asking why he was trolling for girls on the internet and cheating on his wife. "What do you think your wife and co-workers' reaction will be when they find out?" he asks. (Adding that their answers, "along with your pics, will be posted for all to see on craigslist-perverts.org.")

The extra cities were apparently necessary because his original prank generated less than 50 responses and received almost no attention. (Just two comments and one post in his forum.) He brags that the next day his fake ad got 15 more responses. (Possibly because no one actually reads his web site —-Ed.) He claims he's enjoying "exposing the perverts" and "pathetic men" responding to the ads. "I just wanted to see what kind of people would respond on a site like Craigslist, which is known for carrying ads from prostitutes," he writes. But he's also published the names of their wives, and in one case Googled the name of a respondent, then claimed it appeared on other dating sites "including fag sites."

So who is Michael Crook? His web site describes him as a former Mormon, disillusioned after a dispute about how religious programming was assigned spots on a local cable access show. (And the fact that a flirtatious weather guy was tapped to teach teenaged girls in his ward.) In 1999 he was too underweight to join the army, but even after bulking up was told he was medically unfit for service. Seven years later he composed an essay arguing that members of the military are overpaid. ("Financially speaking, it's the Pacific Avenue hooker of our economy.")

He weasled his way right onto TV in the spring of 2005 for creating a web site called "Forsake the troops," which called attention to his belief thatsoldiers are over-compensated. It also called soldiers "scumbags" and "pukes," asking "What idiots risk their life for a country...? Let 'em die in combat - we don't need their ilk in this country!" This led to an appearance on Fox News where Crook's deer-in-headlights performance drew a standard-issue beatdown from Sean Hannity. ("You're ignorant and you're a disgrace... You are heartless, you are soulless, you are mean and you are cruel....") His site later reported he was beaten to death by angry servicemen — though that was obviously a hoax. Instead Crook created related domains like opposethetroops, disownthetroops, and citizensagainstthetroops - although he was apparently trying to auction them off to cash in on their notoriety.

Recently he's registered two more domains — racismworks.com ("Coming soon, a website which will explain why racism is actually a good thing...") and crimmigrants.org ("dedicated to exposing and discussing illegal immigrants.") Both sites, though appear to be little more than their taglines, followed by the words "Coming soon!" But at least some of his anger appears sincere. One blogger claimed earlier Michael had cited anaffiliation with a group to "preserve the rights of white men and women." Recently Michael also created a web page criticizing a 17-year-old drunk driver who killed her friend in a car accident — including what he purports are her phone numbers and address.



But for all his online activity, Michael remains plagued by obscurity. He grew up in small-town Arizona, southern New Jersey, and Las Vegas, according to his web site, and ran a 300-member fan club for an obscure Dutch Eurodance group. He writes that he manages a sports-clothing store and is "pursuing" a criminal justice degree.

Ironically, just four weeks before his Craig's List prank, he'd sent a spate of letters complaining about copyright infringement. It's possible that this article may only further his goal of online infamy, though it remains to be seen whether he can make a career out of pissing people off.

In April a garage band called Permament Ascent uploaded a song about him to their MySpace page. Its lyrics?

"He's a dick. (He's a dick!) Fuck him! (Fuck him!) Asshole. (Asshole!) Fuck hi-i-m. Fuck Michael Crook!"

Perhaps Fortuny and Crook take solace in each other, from within the familiarity of their malicious community. I can foresee a day when this community of nihilistic pranksters hold its first convention, and they spend a week at the Marriott sneaking up on each other, flicking each other's ears and laughing until they drool.

See also:
Crook's Internet Club
EFF and 10 Zen Monkeys vs. Michael Crook
"Dear Internet, I'm Sorry"
Craigslist Troll Gets Sued

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Downfall of “The Seducer”



Ross JeffriesWhat happens when an aging pickup artist of legendary proportions falls from grace and is supplanted by a younger crop of studs? And how does the elder Don Juan deal with seeing his classroom-centered “hypnosis” strategies made obsolete by the bolder, hacker-inspired models of the next generation?

Author Neil Strauss devotes part of his bestselling book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists to just such a real-world changing of the guard. It’s amusing to read the latest in the world of Ross Jeffries, the original “speed seducer,” because I had personally crossed paths with the man back in 1999, and it made a lasting impression.



He’d invited me, as manager of the webzine GettingIt.com, to attend one of his weekend-long seminars teaching geeks and losers how to pick up women. It was as absurd and ridiculous as you would imagine such an event should be.

Later, after we published a negative article about the course and the man, he lashed out, threatened to sue, and then backed down. Just a year ago he returned to the comments section of the article and, in an effort to recover his reputation, questioned my journalistic objectivity.

Thanks, Ross, for allowing me to now expand upon my memorable time at your seminar.

I'd attended according to Jeffries' invite, which allowed two people, a male and a female, to sit in. So I brought the zine's sex editor, Cara Bruce, along. She later wrote about the experience here. Sadly for her, she was extremely tired from partying the night before, and soon after swallowing a questionable “wake me up” pill, she fell asleep during Ross' class. About 30 minutes later, he noticed and jarred her awake by screaming at her. When Cara awoke, she was tripping balls, eyes bugging wildly, and the sight of Ross' hideous mug barking in her face was enough to really freak her out. She grabbed my forearm for support and I led her into the hallway for reassurance before we returned to class.

But it was all the other stuff we saw that day that freaked me out. I expected a playful, if sexist presentation of half-baked pickup advice. But when Jeffries' hostility and aggression came whining to the surface, I became shocked that anyone would willingly sit through such treatment.

Nowadays, Ross is in a fight for his career and his relevance. The next generation of pickup artists, like author of “The Game,” Neil Strauss, who mentored under the best PUAs (including Jeffries) before ascending the ranks himself, are blowing Jeffries out of the water with field seminars where they take chumps into clubs, and proceed to demonstrate, guide, and tutor in the skills of macking (or rather, “FMAC”ing — Find, Meet, Attract, Close) on girls.

Indeed, all aspects of “seduction” (even this term has evolved — it’s called “sarging” now) have been profoundly affected by the Internet since the days of Jeffries' initial groundbreaking workshops that cost upwards of $800 per person. PUAs now openly share their best strategies with each other, and they deconstruct social dynamics like superstar computer hackers cracking code on crystal meth.

"Me personally, I’d never spend money on something I can persuade someone else to purchase for me," says nlpimp in the GettingIt.com article's comments. "And thank God for the Internet, because it allowed me to attain these skills ABSOLUTELY FREE."

But there are certain types of instruction you simply cannot get online (yet). For a price into the thousands, a peacock of a stud will snatch you from in front of that computer, whisk you off in a limo, and toss you into a thumping night club crawling with HBs (hot babes). They'll watch over your shoulder while you steal the show from the very same alpha males that have always taunted you and banged what should have been YOUR cooter.

Ross Jeffries, on the other hand, has a different focus. He's in his mid-40s, so he sticks mostly to the classroom, and teaches his students scripts to memorize and recite, like this "blow job pattern" found on the Internet:


Yeah well, do you like chocolate? (Or is there a food that when you see it you absolutely have to put it in your mouth?) … And then there’s that moment, that moment when the first molecule of chocolate touches your tongue and you know it’s inside your mouth and you just want to keep it there because it’s so rich and so good. And there’s that extra special warmth when you swallow that sweetness down.


If the above seems like it would not quite yield the speaker a blow job in the real world, keep in mind that Ross puts just as much effort into conquering the men he teaches as he does teaching them how to conquer their fears with women. He has built a cult that specializes in humiliating the guys who come to him, using his students' deep inward pain, and hypnotic suggestion. Ross’ sessions are insulated, intense, and very male-centric.

In Strauss' book (a great read even if you're not desperate to learn Lothario's trade secrets), the author, who was already an established writer of rock star biographies before becoming a pickup artist, tells the story of how he too was invited early on by Jeffries to attend a seminar for free. Strauss accepted but quickly became alarmed by Ross' obsessive need to get him to disparage other pickup artists and pledge exclusive allegiance to him.

"You are being led into the inner sanctum of power, my young apprentice," he said to Strauss, "and the price for betrayal is dark beyond measure of your mortal mind."

The darkness of Jeffries’ dominance-inspired methods often shows itself as dark comedy. At one point, Strauss is cajoled by Jeffries to take him to a Hollywood party so he can hit on "real celebrities." At the party, he initially pretends to be Strauss' gay lover, but ends up following Carmen Electra around on all fours, sniffing her ass as if he were a dog.

"I made a mental note," writes Strauss, "never again to take Ross anywhere cool. It was an embarrassment."



Later in the book, when Strauss' close friend and master PUA, Mystery, has a nervous breakdown and is feeling suicidal, he blubbers that he doesn't want be "another Ross Jeffries." In what can only be a painful irony for Jeffries, what he started as a kind of homoerotic fraternity for geeks has, in the hands of his successors, evolved into a valid toolbox for getting laid, leaving him largely alone, outdated, and struggling desperately to maintain even the moniker of "seducer."

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The Secret Life of Jason Fortuny


Jason Fortuny

Jason Fortuny has become famous as an online menace/hero after posting the photos and come-ons he received from nearly 150 men responding to a fake sex ad he placed on Craig's List. He's started an intense debate about the nature of online privacy and dating.

But beyond the practical effects of the experiment, what kind of man would commit such a dastardly prank?

Researching that question, I stumbled across Jason Fortuny's Amazon reviews. He read and reviewed exactly one book over five years -- and two soundtracks for Star Trek movies. ("Reviews written: 4." Helpful votes: 0.) He also awards 5 stars to National Lampoon's Van Wilder ("Reviewer Matthew K. Minerd totally needs to get laid. Dude, relax! It's just a movie.")

He's also been sexually molested by his grandfather.



"I haven't talked to my parents or the rest of the family in 11 years," he wrote in a post on his LiveJournal account in May. It's one of many suprisingly frank glimpses into the 30-year-old's life. "[I]f you had a family where four different members molested you, your mother tended to the prime molestor instead of you, and your stepfather utterly failed to provide for a future, you'd be pretty pissed, too."

Later he posts that two of the perpetrators are dead, and two were under 18.

While there's no guarantee that his LiveJournal posts are true, they offer intriguing glimpses into the personality behind the prank. When someone suggested in May that he keep his current contact information from his family, he answered, "it's too late for the contact information. It's all available out there. Part of my online persona is to hide nothing. Let the psychos come to my door -- I have a pellet gun and a baseball bat and occasional bad breath." He jokes in a later comment that "I miss the days when it was just trolling and making fun of fat people. Life was so easy back then!"

Another poster advises, "just make sure you have someone you trust who you can rant and freak out to if you need to."

"LiveJournal?" he answers.

Eight weeks ago he split with his fiancee. Seven weeks ago he posted about his difficulties with his thyroid and testosterone levels. ("If it works, one of the first things I should notice is the return of my energy, followed by the return of sexual function, followed by weight gain, followed by increased body hair.") He hints at biochemical depression. In July he began selling his Star Trek trading cards to cover $2600 in debt. "Looks like its time to eBay my stunning collection of original Star Wars and Transformers toys and action figures...," he writes. "There are some heartbreakingly awesome Transformers and Star Wars toys in there. I am profoundly sad..."

He also describes a history of malicious pranks. He apparently once claimed to have put pictures of someone's children on a child rape site. In January of 2005 he'd faked a sudden conversion to born-again Christianity, in a post which received 448 comments. ("I was sitting there, New Year's Eve, drinking alcohol by myself, in my underclothes, abusing my body to images of Rod Serling on the TV... And then, without warning, the flood of emotion I had tried so hard to block forced it's way into my consciousness...") This June he'd tried a Livejournal "whoring" project, "friending everyone".


But on May 8 he posts that a friend commented "I no longer have that annoying 'must be the center of attention' drive anymore." Then adds his own self-analysis about his past motivations. "...my ability to keep a crowd entertained and charmed was a major pillar of my self-esteem. If nothing else, I could rock a party. I certainly didn't believe in my professional abilities then like I do now. And, I didn't want to admit that it was annoying. All I cared was that I got my boost when I did my thing - friends be damned."

Fortuny's LiveJournal entries detail everything from his search for his biological father to his recent STD test. There's the checklist for the perfect woman, and the poem he'd written for his fiance in December. He even jokes about falling for someone else's prank -- pretending to be fired over a LiveJournal post. He posts downloadable copies of Star Wars, Fight Club, Blade Runner and Batman Begins, and in April he was attacked by a mailbox-flooding bot.

While it doesn't resolve the question of what motivated his sex-ad prank, it at least demonstrates an online persona that can be abrasive and negative. He complains that "friends' private entries have been read by psycho womenz. Psycho womenz that I went out on a date with once and reeled in horror when she bared her five year old and her smoking teeth..." He mockingly rants against the Girl Scouts, adding "I swear to god the only reason I don't shout at every last one of them is that I know all little catholic girls are uninhibited sluts, just waiting to be liberated from oppressive and neglectful fathers and gods, into the arms of a bustling, accepting, healthy porn industry."

But behind it all are the hints of something much darker. He writes of zombie nightmares -- and family nightmares. "While my nightmares of my parents have not returned," he wrote in June, "I have others that bring up similar feelings of righteous anger. We'll see."



See also:
Craigslist Troll Gets Sued
Good Griefers: Fortuny vs. Crook
Jason Fortuny Speaks
In the Company of Jerkoffs

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Three Hundred Pound Porn Queen Decimates Oklahoma Town

Doris the Porn QueenOne woman, one very large and apparently out-of-control woman, has caused the resignation of a city councilman, the mayor, and the police chief of Snyder, Oklahoma. Libertarians across the blogosmear were quick to react with support for the First Amendment and condemnation of the religious sensibilities of the town and its churchgoing residents.

Some citizens, perhaps catalyzed by the town's ex-mayor, who has been critical of now-former Police Chief Tod Ozmun, unearthed pictures online of the chief's wife giving blowjobs, which was enough for them to call for his resignation. But something else got revealed as well -- a sizable rift between the moral orientation of the town and its governing officials.



The resulting social distortions are arguably part of the reason that now-former Mayor Dale Moore released an official statement that is philosophically libertarian in a town that is anything but.

"We do not endorse pornography," the statement read. "However, we do endorse an individual's rights under the First Amendment of freedom and expression."

It's strange to consider how elected officials and a top police officer in a small, rural, and very religious town in Oklahoma could suddenly butt heads with fellow citizens and make such radical statements against moralism. Indeed, Councilman Clifford Barnard said of the police chief's dismissal, "I think this is wrong and I won't put up with it. I don't want to work in a community like this." He resigned from the council in protest.

Why did the councilman and the mayor from a small conservative town stand up for the civil liberties of a police chief whose wife is a smut star?

"He's done more drug arrests, solved more crimes than anybody else in town has ever done," Moore said. So, perhaps it is the price they were paying to have law and order in a part of the country that has been unable to get a grip on a seemingly invincible methamphetamine plague.

There may be more clues to this mystery in the past of the Ozmuns.

Tod OzmunIn 2000, while he was director of the Jefferson County Narcotics Enforcement Team, Tod Ozmun was investigated (but never charged) during an internal probe over a meth lab, during which Doris, who was his girlfriend at the time, was arrested. She was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and paroled after a few, even though she claimed she was working as an undercover narc.

In 2001, they married while Doris was incarcerated in Oklahoma County.



It's a common theme in cop films and TV shows that the best way to fight the drug trade is to become part of it. In the corrupt world of narcotics and counter-narcotics, it's not so strange for a cop to fall in love with a drug dealer, right? Or even for him to be one -- maybe just a little?

We don't yet have the full story of the current meltdown in Snyder, Oklahoma. Some further questions beg to be answered: What was the exact association between Doris and Tod and the meth lab? How did Tod avoid prosecution while Doris was convicted? What might their romantic courtship have been like? And how does the Chief of Police feel about coming home after a hard day of fighting "scumbags" -- to his ex-con, porn actress wife?

Perhaps he enjoys following the legacy of another Snyder police chief, Larry Roe, who was charged in 1994 with providing alcohol to minors.

Or maybe this is simply the case of a very strong-willed woman steering an entire town into her hedonist's playground -- consequences be damned!

"My wife is 6ft 3in and weighs 300 pounds," says Ozmun. "If there is somebody that thinks they can control her, have a go at it. I have tried for 11 years and haven't been able to."

Oklahoma was the first state to restrict the availability of pseudoephedrine, a decongestant crucial in making meth, by moving certain non-prescription cold tablets behind the pharmacy counter. The meth lab count in Oklahoma fell dramatically, and the state was promptly hit by a massive wave of cheap Mexican superlab meth. Drug purity and jail populations are at an all-time high.

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Dana Plato, Porn Star

Dana PlatoDana Plato's soft-core porn feature, Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill... and Jill, is misunderstood. "Dana really wanted the lesbian thing to be real, not exploitative," remembers Diane Anderson-Minshall, who interviewed Plato about the film for the lesbian magazine Girlfriends. "She wanted it to be a statement, not just another career move everyone would make fun of." Unfortunately, the people at DanaPlato.Net are positioning it as "Plato's pussy videos" with the tagline "From child TV star to adult porn star fucking her way into your bedroom."

The video's cover promises a "steamy erotic love story," but is it? Porn lovers may be disappointed.

The film opens with Plato's female co-star, Landon Hall, watching the male lead play the piano. The camera pans slowly over his ringed hand and the sheet music to stop on Hall, in a blue bikini, leaning on the piano, trying to communicate something with her eyes. You quickly get the uneasy feeling this movie is going to have more plot than the usual porno.



The piano scene does lead to sex, but not with Dana Plato. Instead, there's R-rated footage of "Jack," who's a photographer, making love to Landon Hall. Dana arrives later, playing a New York art director who's come to help Jack in his next photo shoot. They've got an early shoot the next day, so in a typical porn plot device, Jack suggests, hey, "Why don't you spend the night?" But then he makes a fatal mistake. He leaves the two women alone. Wrong! Everyone knows what's going to happen next...

"You're not wearing a bathing suit!"

"Nah, I didn't pack one..."

There's a long shot of Dana diving into the pool naked. Then there are shots of her through ever-shifting prisms of water. Hundreds of frustrated men reach for their remotes to hit the frame-by-frame button. But a minute later, Plato stands up and reveals her breasts.

Landon stares, bites her lip, dives into the pool, says something generic like "Ooo, it's chilly," and then removes her bikini. Oboe and piano music begins, and, of course, a montage. But in a radical departure for a porn film -- nothing happens! (Say, that is arty!) Instead, the film shows Dana calling her lesbian lover in New York, who doesn't pick up the phone because, of course: She's busy with another lesbian!

Guess there's nothing left to do but... take a shower!

This seems like an obvious setup. Landon Hall is already taking a shower when suddenly, there's a knock on the door. Dana had been showering elsewhere in the house, but wouldn't you know it, there's no soap! She swings by (no pun intended) to pick some up (no pun intended) and a transparent conversation ensues.

"Oh, wow, this is a great shower. It's huge! I have a little bitty one back in New York."

"You know, if you want, there's plenty of room in here. You could join me."

"Oh, I'd love to. You wouldn't mind?"

More pause-button fun ensues, but little is revealed. Instead, there's another arty montage: mostly scenes from the pool, with one flash of a fantasy where Dana kisses Landon's breast.

Not to give away the plot, but let's just say the ladies' stars start lining up. Landon has a fight with her boyfriend, then runs into Dana, who asks "Would you mind dropping me off at my hotel?"

Landon's reply? "You're not going to stay in a hotel tonight. You're gonna come home with me."

Of course, they end up in bed together. There are candles all around, and they're both naked. "It feels good to cuddle like this, doesn't it?" Landon asks. Dana starts petting her hair... But this scene is disappointing, too. Landon runs her fingertip over Dana's arm. Dana drags her fingertips across her breasts. There's a kiss. Dana pets her hair again. Kiss. Kiss. Oboe. And that's it.

Then there's a jump to the next morning, when Dana's ass is sticking out from the covers. The complicated threesome depicted in the movie's promotional poster never occurs. Instead, the film cuts to the two women running with a picnic basket in the sun, the synthesizer switches to harpsichord sounds, and we're treated to a song written by the film's director.

I want to know, what you think of me

I want to know, what you're feeling

Maybe it's just me, but I thought this movie had more potential when they were naked in bed together.



Dana Plato told Girlfriends the movie was "The worst piece of work I've ever done." It could've been better, but the director was "not an actor's director." (His next film was Bikini Med School.) "When there is no chemistry, no consistency, it's hard to do a good scene."

But for all the notoriety the film caused her, it could be worse. Earlier this year, her former TV co-star Gary Coleman revealed to US magazine that he was still a virgin.

Click here to buy Dana Plato's video!


See Also:
Dana Plato and the Diff'rent Strokes Curse
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
Nancy Drew's Sexy Secrets
Why Sarah Palin's Sex Life Matters
Deep Throat, Big Brain
World Sex Laws

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Sex For Memes’ Sake

A man sneaks away from his wife and kids and their suburban homestead, and descends into a dungeon late at night, allows a dominatrix to strap him to a rack, and has his testicles electrified. How does the rational science of biological evolution make sense of the man who gets off on this? It’s a vital question. You can call this guy a freak of nature, but there are many like him, seeking similar strange kicks, far removed from “reproductive success.”

Despite the recent efforts of the Kansas Board of Education, many people understand the basic tenet of evolutionary theory — the interaction of a species’ genetic makeup with its environment is the process that is responsible for the vast configurations of life on the planet. We call it natural selection.

Sociobiologists, accordingly, have attempted to elucidate the spectrum of human behaviors in terms of evolution, but they find themselves facing big problems when explaining sexual activities. This is certainly ironic, since the act that transmits our genetic code would seem most effectively described by evolutionary theory.

Indeed, we modern humans do very odd and problematic things with our sexuality, things that can’t be satisfactorily explained as mere “mistakes” of evolution. We commit to celibacy, have sex with the same gender, use birth control, and fetishize our lifestyles beyond anything a Darwinian geneticist can possibly explain.

The confounding and seemingly anti-Darwinian nature of contemporary sex practices is one of many issues explored in Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine. This book expands the field of memetics, pioneered by popular science writer Richard Dawkins, into new areas, and provides powerful explanations for cultural dynamics that have long perplexed evolutionary scientists. According to Blackmore’s theory, memes — like genes — are “replicators.” They seek, at all costs, to make copies of themselves. In the process, they affect the behavior of the “vehicles” that carry them — humans.

But unlike genes, they can spread “horizontally” (from one brain to another, regardless of the genetic relationship) as well as “vertically” (from parent to child, and even child to parent). For instance, the thesis of this article is a meme that has copied itself from my brain, to the Internet, to your brain, even though we’ve never met and are probably not related. Genes, on the other hand, can only copy themselves vertically, from generation to generation, through biological reproduction.

Also, unlike genes, the biological fitness of the meme carrier doesn’t necessarily impact on the spreading of the meme. If someone commits suicide in political or religious protest and witnesses are so impressed they take up that person’s cause, then the meme he was carrying has won. It has successfully copied itself, perhaps more successfully than if that person had not committed suicide.

Genes, on the other hand, rely on biological reproduction. While they’re apathetic about the fate of their vehicles after they reproduce (note the bodily effects of the female who is no longer of reproductive viability), breeding is an imperative for gene survival. If a given person dies before reproducing, regardless of political or religious intent, the genes lose.

This means that the two replicators, the genes and the memes, are often in competition for the resources of the human vehicles. This may account for the bizarre behaviors for which biological evolution cannot. (Blackmore uses the “second replicator” theory, a major aspect of her thesis, to elucidate all sorts of phenomena, from human brain size, to the origins of language, to the Internet.)

So, let’s return to our man who deliberately seeks out cock and ball torture. Electrifying his scrotum might actually make him impotent — a definite genetic disadvantage. But from the memetic perspective, his action makes perfect sense.

You see, he is the carrier of the “genital torture” meme. The man has either heard about or seen images of this behavior at some point. When this “informational unit” entered his brain, it found a comfortable home (perhaps he has other memes that caused him to perceive himself as deserving of punishment). The man is likely to now serve the cause of the meme further. Maybe he’ll meet others in the fetish community and communicate the practice, and a few will practice it themselves. We have successful memetic replication!

From a wider perspective, the memes are now harnessing the biological energy of sexual desire to serve themselves at the expense of genes. Instead of devoting their lives to their genes’ survival by breeding offspring and raising kids who in turn might start families, people bathe themselves in the information-rich behavior of fetishes, associating with other fetishists who are susceptible to being infected with ever-more fetishistic memes.

Until the memes finally work out a way to do away with the need for humans altogether, I think it’s clear that the further we wander from our genetic imperatives without sacrificing our ability to spread memes, the more useful we are to our true masters.

See Also:
Deep Throat, Big Brain
Pregnant Nympho Sex
Screech’s Sex Tape Follies
World Sex Laws

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