When is an item a significant object worth collecting or displaying on the mantlepiece — or saving to sell on eBay at a later date — and when is it clutter? And if it’s clutter, is it threatening your relationship? The subject of household clutter has been on our minds lately. Em was at a reading last week for the forthcoming book Significant Objects, a literary experiment that began its life on eBay. Basically, the editors (New York Times Magazine writer Rob Walker and Em’s old friend Josh Glenn of HiLoBrow.com) wanted to see if attaching a fictional backstory to a tchotchke would increase its value (turns out it did). We’ll write more on the book itself when it comes out next month.
In my senior year of high school, I (Lo) read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first in a three-book series by vampire-genre goddess Anne Rice (who was a fave of mine at the time), writing under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. Except instead of vampires, she was playing around with fairytale characters in a crazy BDSM world with bondage, whips, suspension, sticky-itchy honey-glazes on genitals, you name it! Her Beauty trilogy from more than 25 years ago was the original “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, filled with kinky sex on almost every page — except Rice’s was actually well written and, if memory serves me correctly, a lot more hardcore.
This week, a gay Episcopalian who fell in love with a one-night-stand-turned-fiancé can learn how to survive a hurricane barreling through her upcoming wedding nuptials.
Is it possible that bad parenting could lead to bad sex? Could spoiled and selfish kids grow up to be spoiled and selfish bed partners? A recent article and book review in The New Yorker, “Why are American kids so spoiled?,” got us thinking along these lines.
To quote Woody Allen, “Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” Writer John Banville (who won the Booker Prize for his awesomely beautiful and lyrical novel The Sea back in 2005) would agree. And he goes one step further, saying that because of this, it’s impossible to write well about sex. Meaning that because men, at least, tend to enjoy most sex, no matter how bad it is, there is this inherent disconnect: They can’t write about it because they have no idea what just happened. Was it good, was it bad, was it the same old thing, was it earth-shattering? All they know is that they had an orgasm and it felt pretty cool. And as Tolstoy didn’t really say, good sex is all alike; all bad sex is bad in its own way. The latter is worth reading about; the former is just bad erotica.
Our poet friend Mark Bibbins is the author of “The Dance of No Hard Feelings”, a prof in the graduate writing programs at The New School and Columbia, and the poetry editor of The Awl (“Be Less Stupid”), where he features one or two pieces by a poet each week. His latest selection — “Romeo + Juliet Poem” by Krystal Languell, who’s on the board of the Belladonna* Collaborative — really caught our attention: It’s fun, sexy, visceral (see excerpt below). Since our enjoyment of good poetry usually involves quoting THE PRINCESS BRIDE (“No more rhymes now, I mean it.” “Anybody want a peanut?”), we asked Mark to give us some insight into this particular poem.
OK, so maybe it’s not the first sport you think of when it comes to sex appeal. But look a little closer and you’d be surprised at how much sex there is in tennis. (Though will someone please tell Rafael Nadal that biting trophies doesn’t make anyone think of sex, and actually just makes us all a little bit uncomfortable?)
We have a love-hate relationship with sex research — on the one hand, we think it’s incredibly important to study how and why we do (or don’t do) what we do when the lights go out. But on the other hand — well, a lot of this research can be a little on the flimsy side. This week, sex research highlights teen sexting, work-life balance and how to fake love.
Model Anja Rubik’s new editorial endeavor just launched: 25 Magazine is a high-end fashion magazine, out biannually, that’s dedicated to the erotic perspective of women. In an interview with New York magazine, Rubik explained the sex concept:
In honor of the birth of our nation, we’re collecting the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes. The fact that only a minority of them are healthy depictions of sex reflects our puritanical country’s fucked-up relationship with the topic. Feel free to light a sparkler and disrobe in patriotic solidarity — maybe you can make American sex a little more positive.
Sex scandals are as American as (sticking your wiener in an) apple pie — or should we say your Anthony Weiner? The really unforgettable scandals leave us with a particular phrase or image burned into our brains. We could be a hundred years old and senile and we will still be able to recall Lorena Bobbitt tossing her husband’s penis out the car window; Clarence Thomas asking Anita Hill about a pubic hair on a coke can; and an astronaut driving hundreds of miles in a diaper to confront the lover who spurned her. Here are our nominations for the top ten sex scandals in this nation’s glorious history, organized by the categories in which these events most often seem to occur. God bless (or should we say God save) America!
Or maybe we should say “great music to make love to” (though we’re loathe to use that terminology). It definitely works for making out to. Not frantic rip-off-each-others’-clothes sessions, but more deliberate, sensual interludes that last longer than an hour, the kind earnest teenagers in love engage in. Patrick Watson, the Montreal-based band (fronted by singer-songwriter Patrick Watson, natch), create songs that are ethereal, haunting, and heady — with upright pianos, weepy violins and saws, quirky percussion, guitars occasionally strummed with toothbrushes…
This week a court in Germany ruled that circumcising boys for religious reasons is “bodily harm.” The ruling came as a result of a court case about medical complications following the circumcision of a four-year-old boy. The doctor was acquitted, but apparently the court felt like stirring up a shit-storm anyway. The ruling isn’t binding but it certainly sets a precedent.
Why do we love Justin Bieber? Why did we love Nora Ephron’s films? Why should we love exercise? And why shouldn’t we love old-people lovin’? These questions and more are answered below.
Did you know that when someone “likes” your Facebook status — or, even better, actually comments on it — that warm fuzzy feeling you get is akin to the feeling you get from good food or good sex? Of course you knew that! Why else do you waste so many hours on social networking sites, over-sharing the minutiae of your life, and willingly sharing so much private data with massive technology companies who can then tailor advertising to you?!
Once again, the Internets really DO work! Two-and-a-half weeks ago, we told you about a new app called Peek that tried to make sending dirty pics to the objects of your affection safer. The original idea: You take a naughty picture with your phone via Peek, send it out and the recipient can only view the picture once, through a small circular moveable “keyhole”, for only 30 seconds before it disappears (from both your phones). Cool idea, right? But we discovered one massive hole in the app — if you quickly moved the keyhole around and snapped a bunch of screen shots during that 30-second window, in Photoshop you could puzzle together a pretty revealing composite, sort of defeating the purpose of the app in the process.
Well, color us pink, because we were tickled to receive the following note the other day:
All top ten lists are, by their nature, subjective, but this one is especially so — because one person’s “WTF” sex scene is another person’s monkey spanking material. (Exhibit A: we’d qualify a lot of porn as WTF.)
A few qualifications: David Lynch probably deserves a place in this list (okay, David Lynch definitely deserves a place in this list!), but because we already wrote an entire post dedicated to his effed up sex scenes (you can read it here: Top 10 Effed Up Sex Scenes), we left him off this time. And LAST TANGO IN PARIS should probably be on here, but we are just so damn sick of talking about that freakin’ butter scene. The SHOWGIRLS pool scene is hilarious and weird and WTF hall of fame-worthy, but we already covered that one.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…these are a few of our favorite things making the rounds on the Internets of late:
Muppet Dating Advice: An awesome article on Slate explains how everyone is either a Chaos Muppet (Cookie Monster, Ernie, Grover, Gonzo, Animal, Miss Piggy, etc.), or an Order Muppet (Burt, Scooter, Kermit, etc.). If you want a happy marriage, the theory goes, you need to pair up with the opposite type — just like Kermit and Miss Piggy, or Burt and Ernie. (And if you don’t? “That’s where Baby Elmos come from.”) You have been warned.
This week Conan apologizes for a trans joke but unfortunately no one apologizes for genital whitening products, Olympic gender testing, or rape as a plot device to “strengthen” female characters. And we think that everyone who ever judged open relationships as “slutty” should apologize — it turns out that “monogamous” cheaters are way more likely to forgo a condom.
For all you TRANSGENERATION fans out there: here’s a cool t-shirt design on Qwertee called USBgendered “for those of us who think beyond binary.” Like Qwertee the site (and “Qwertee” the name), this design perfectly combines t-shirts with geek love (i.e. the love of all things techie). Like any of their shirts, you can vote to get it printed in a limited edition for only $12 bucks a pop.
One of the biggest drags (pun intended) a Gay American experiences at their local pride parade is location. Where can one best experience the event? The sidewalks of New York City, San Francisco, and Miami are jam-packed with funky queers in heels, and biker babes in their best Springsteen t-shirts. Trying to find a choice spot to celebrate what civil liberties you’ve fought for is a real “First World problem.” But, as daunting as it is in some of the bigger cities in the country, it’s a far cry from some of the smaller communities here and around the planet. Still if you’re feeling all sorts of radical and into reviving the Gay Liberation Front, consider some of these locations to fight for your pride, or to just avoid till other brave souls have pioneered a safe path for you.
Change.org is like AA: it works if you work it. That was made quite clear this week when Holly Kearl of StopStreetHarassment.org posted a petition on Sunday and got results in less than 24 hours.
In a move that shocked (OK, maybe not shocked…momentarily distracted?) the world yesterday, Shia TRANSFORMERS LaBeouf appeared au natural in the newly released “Fjögur Piano” experimental music video, by the trippy and brilliant Icelandic band Sigur Rós. First and foremost, we have to give props to Mr. LaBeouf, who’s been relatively under the radar the last few years, and relegated to sequel territory with TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS. Here, he dares to try something new, unorthodox and pretty out there, and that takes guts.
To follow up on our Vaginagate roundup post from yesterday, now that the trending on Twitter had died down, here are our top 30 picks for best #vaginamovielines Tweets of the past week, so you can avoid scrolling through the endless stream of mediocrity and get straight to the good stuff:
In case you were wondering why all your friends were using the word “vagina” in their Facebook status updates over the weekend, late last week two representatives (both women) were banned from speaking in the Michigan House during a debate over a bill that bans all abortions after 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. The Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas hasn’t specified exactly what offended him, but one of the representatives, Democrat Lisa Brown, claims it’s because she used the word vagina. “Apparently, ‘vagina’ is another v-word that Must Not Be Named. Like Voldemort,” Brown told Jezebel.com. Here’s a (very abridged!) sampling of Vaginagate coverage: