“When we take a few moments away from horror and tragedy — not to mention politics and anger — to prove that humor and fantasy survive, there will be one question on moviegoing America’s mind this month… Who would win a fight between Spider-Man and Batman?”
Em & Lo
Image from Em & Lo’s sex manual, SEX: How to Do Everything
You’ve probably heard of the Coital Alignment Technique. It was all the rage a decade or so ago. But have you ever actually tried it? Have you tried it again recently? It takes patience. It takes practice. And it goes against everything you’ve seen in porn. But since when did porn cater to what women want? Beyond just following the specific steps below, mastering the C.A.T. requires a philosophical readjustment. Abandon your assumptions that intercourse automatically means a piston-like motion, lots of flailing about and a rush to climax. For the C.A.T., you’ve got to take what some might call a more “feminine” approach to sex: think small subtle movement, full-body contact with a focus on the clitoris and the pelvic mounds and a Buddhist-like repetition of steps that may very well get her closer to Zen (i.e. orgasm) better than any other hands-free intercourse position out there.
Yes, it’s a serious question. An ancient technique called karezza — based on the Italian word carezza, for caress — is coming back in vogue with therapists as a means of addressing more modern sex problems. Karezza refers to intercourse that eschews orgasms for both parties and focuses on attachment and affection. Serious devotees claim that it can overcome sex addiction, female sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction and sexual boredom, and extend the honeymoon period of a relationship for, well, forever. Which sounds to us like a bit of a Sophie’s choice: Would you be willing to give up orgasms — or, at least, intentional orgasms — for the rest of your life in order to have a permanently awesome sex life?
Squid have sex for three hours, STDs can cause a rise in foot fetishes, Domino’s Pizza wants you associate date rape with extra cheese, and Charlie Sheen likes to tweet during sex. Welcome to an edition of Naked News guaranteed to make you feel like your sex life is vanilla — and to make you feel OK with that.
Today marks the second weekly installment of the Onion’s new web series, Sex House — a parody of The Real World/Big Brother/Glass House-type reality shows that pretend to be about something other than throwing a bunch of people into a Sartre-esque No Exit living sitch with a bunch of raging hormones and an endless supply of cheap vodka. It’s the first series from the Onion Digital Studio, which according to the Huffington Post, will focus exclusively on non-news parodies. The other three web series airing on its YouTube channel this summer include Lake Dredge Appraisal (think Antiques Road Show meets 1980s public-access TV), Horrifying Planet (think National Geographic meets When Animals Attack meets American’s Funniest Home Videos) and Troublehacking with Drew Cleary (think vloggers with delusions of grandeur).
Jacqueline Samuels has become an overnight sensation. Last month she opened “The Snuggery,” a little cabin in Penfield, NY, where she offers private cuddle sessions for $60 an hour: no nudity, absolutely no sex, just platonic touch that she says studies have shown can have a positive effect on your mental and physical well-being. (She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Social Work). Well, the Internets eat this kind of thing up, and within days, she went global, appearing on CNN (without her knowledge) and getting inquiries from abroad. Apparently the world needs a hug. So we contacted Samuels via her tasteful little website and asked her about it directly:
Article: It's not you; it's your clutter
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.
Double-dating is at least as hard as plain old dating. First of all, there’s two of them and two of you, which means there are four potential relationships to negotiate — you’re trying to find a couple with whom you have four-way chemistry. That’s Nobel-level stuff happening there. And then there’s the lack of sex — unless you’re swingers, of course. You might forgive your date’s annoying dining habits (chewing with their mouth open, gesticulating with a fork) because you’re going to get some hot monkey lovin’ later on. But your double date? The best you can hope for is a double kiss on the cheek, European style. So they’d better be good company. Here are the Top 10 movie couples we wouldn’t mind double-dating with. (Though we can’t promise that our other halves would necessarily agree.)
Article: The secret sex life of tennis
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?)
Article: 25, a new erotic-fashion magazine
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:
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.
Article: This is your brain on Facebook
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:
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.
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.
Article: The Vaginagate roundup
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:
A lot of assault going on this week, both literally and figuratively: servicewomen are getting screwed over by the government, Lara Croft is the victim of sexual assault, penguins are the perpetrators of some serious sex crimes….Maybe gardening can make the world a happier, safer, more loving place.