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Naked News: Sperm just ain't what it used to be

Naked News: Sperm just ain't what it used to be

This week, sperm quality is down; so is marriage for the mature woman; LGBT kids get put down; stereotyping in school abounds; and painted willies are all around town (at least in Canada):

Janeane Garofalo wants to make love to Bob Dylan

Janeane Garofalo wants to make love to Bob Dylan

The right soundtrack can transform a so-so sexual encounter into something memorable (just ask Hollywood producers). And the wrong soundtrack? Well, that can really screw things up, as it were. Imagine: You’re feeling all lovey-dovey and want to hold your lover’s face while you make sweet missionary love… and then your partner puts on some hardcore punk. And what about when your partner wants to do it to Bob Dylan and you just plain don’t?

The O Awards, the Oscars of sex toys

The O Awards, the Oscars of sex toys

When AVN’s Novelty Expo (ANE) comes to the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas on September 10 through 12, manufacturers and retailers of sex accessories will come together (probably in more ways than one — after all, this is Vegas and these are sex toys we’re talking about) to pick up new products. Hopefully ANE’s promotional copy is not a reflection of the quality and organization of the actual event weekend: “ANE brings together the latest & greatest items from a ride [sic] range of cutting end [sic] companies.” Joining the festivities at the Rio this particular weekend is the International Lingerie Show, so you get more bang for your buck (oh, the puns are irresistible!).

And we have a winner in the gay-marriage debate!

And we have a winner in the gay-marriage debate!

With all the backlash over “legitimate rape” vs. illegitimate (sic) rape last week, another great debate got a little lost in the shuffle: the gay-marriage debate between Dan Savage, sex columnist and married gay dad of one adopted son, and Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage and straight married father of seven biological kids.

In France, "You Don't Own Me" is a love song

In France, "You Don't Own Me" is a love song

When I (Em) was in Paris a few months ago, I couldn’t figure out why the bridge behind Notre Dame was covered in thousands of tiny padlocks (plus a few bike locks). They weren’t there when Lo and I visited back in 2004. A quick bit of Googling (thanks to “wee-fee,” as the French call wifi) and I learned that they were “love locks” — a fairly recent tradition wherein couples celebrate their love (and, perhaps, hope to ensure its survival) by affixing a padlock to a romantic bridge and tossing the key into the river below. They might also attach a ribbon to the padlock, or simply adorn it with their initials. When I was there, enterprising young salespeople were selling new padlocks at each end of the bridge in case you were moved to do the same.

Naked News: Walnuts are good for semen, semen is good for women

Naked News: Walnuts are good for semen, semen is good for women

We know, we know: It sounds like a bad frat-house joke. But there’s a lot of sex research making the rounds this week, and while some of it is very welcome (among college students, women are no longer judged as harshly for their sexual behavior; also it turns out rape victims actually have a higher rate of pregnancy… and goddamn Todd Akin for making that seem like a good thing), other news seems ripe for abuse (semen can improve women’s moods?!). But, hey, at least the walnut industry should get a boost with the news that eating those nuts improves semen health.

The Fifty Shades Generator

The Fifty Shades Generator

Are you a print or web designer in search of exciting placeholder text? Are you a fledgling author struggling with a sex scene? You’re in luck! The Fifty Shades Generator creates “world-class literature based on a pre-defined vocabulary” — a pre-defined vocabulary of clever, creative and totally offensive slang for genitalia and coitus culled from places like ARRSE (british ARmy Rumour SErvice) and @50shadesofshit. Below is an example Lorem Ipsum-type paragraph created by the generator, but the hilarious explanation text of the site itself is worth a read. Is there no limit to the sex-obsessed genius of the Internet?

Top 10 sexiest scenes directed by Tony Scott

Top 10 sexiest scenes directed by Tony Scott

British-born Hollywood director Tony Scott (brother of fellow filmmaker Ridley) died this past Sunday when he jumped from a bridge in Los Angeles. We didn’t know the man so we can remember him only through some of our favorite moments that he directed on the screen (well, at least, our favorite sex-related moments)…

Meet comedian Amy Schumer, our new hero

Meet comedian Amy Schumer, our new hero

We caught Amy Schumer’s first original one-hour standup special, “Mostly Sex Stuff”, on Comedy Central this past weekend, a few weeks after her deft takedowns at the Roseanne Barr roast… and now we’re “swim fans.” We love any comedian who can make a fisting joke work, and Schumer did not disappoint. She’s a straight-talking, porn-watching, potty-mouthed provocateur who cleverly exposes the inherent insanity of money shots, waxing, sexism and plain old sex.

Awesome indie artist Amanda Fucking Palmer

Awesome indie artist Amanda Fucking Palmer

Singer/pianist/lyricist/composer/performance artist Amanda Palmer, a.k.a. Amanda Fucking Palmer or AFP, is the epitome of an American indie artist. She’s bold, unapologetic, bisexual, with awesomely hairy armpits and actual pubic hair. She organized an unbinding flash mob wedding between her and writer Neil Gaiman in 2010, then made it legal in 2011 in a private ceremony hosted by literary power couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Unafraid of addressing provocative issues, she’s fought against Prop 8 and blogged about her own abortion and date rape.

Naked News: Sex scandals abound, from celebrities, politicians and animals

Naked News: Sex scandals abound, from celebrities, politicians and animals

Much of this week’s news was slightly infuriating: Animals get birth control but humans don’t? The mistress gets punished but the married man doesn’t? Rapists get rights but their victims don’t? Aaarrrggghhh!

Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan Gosling

Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan Gosling

A few years ago a humble little Tumblr blog called Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling launched, featuring images of the dreamy, blue-eyed, well-toned actor with imagined lovey-dovey quotes from him to you, the girlfriend: “Hey Girl, if I had to get swine flu, I’d want to get it from you.” It hasn’t been updated in months, but it doesn’t have to be: It spawned a thousand spinoff Gosling “Hey Girl” sites to keep you satisfied: Feminist Ryan Gosling (our favorite, and the one with a book deal), Typographer Ryan Gosling, Shakespearean Ryan Gosling, the list goes on and on… (See Know Your Meme for a more complete history.)

Why women have ravishment and rape fantasies

Why women have ravishment and rape fantasies

We wrote a post a few weeks back about research into men’s and women’s fantasy lives — and in particular, how often this sort of research is willfully misinterpreted. That got us wondering what other new fantasy research might be out there… and we came across a fascinating study about why women have rape fantasies — or ravishment fantasies, as we prefer to call them (more on that issue below).

Women kick ass at Olympics, but there's still more ass to be kicked

Women kick ass at Olympics, but there's still more ass to be kicked

Reuters writer Belinda Goldsmith had a great roundup yesterday of “The Women’s Games”, which is what many are calling the 2012 Summer Olympics (which — for those of you living under a rock — just wrapped up this past weekend in London). Here’s a quick summary of the important stats, but the whole article is worth a read.

How strangers reached out to help one lonely guy

How strangers reached out to help one lonely guy

Last October, when Jeff Ragsdale, an out-of-work actor and stand-up comedian, got dumped by his girlfriend — the kind of breakup that puts your heart through the blender — he decided to crowd-source his loneliness. He posted flyers all around Lower Manhattan that read, “If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me… Jeff, One Lonely Guy.” His cellphone number was listed at the bottom of the flyer in little tabs that strangers could tear off — anyone who’s familiar with New York will be used to seeing these kinds of flyers offering dog-walking services or futons for sale, etc.

Naked News: Men visit prostitutes for companionship… no kidding!

Naked News: Men visit prostitutes for companionship… no kidding!

We have a dream that one day, people will deal with sex rationally and reasonably. Sure, we know that everyone loses it a little when they’re head over heels in lust — but we’re talking about something much deeper and more ingrained and more screwed up. Like orthodox Jewish men blurring their glasses so they don’t have to look at immodest women… or men visiting prostitutes for emotional intimacy… or the U.K. making it illegal to own depictions of sexual acts (like fisting) that are perfectly legal to engage in (just ask Christian Grey).

"Fifty Shades" parody gets into dungeons… and dragons

"Fifty Shades" parody gets into dungeons… and dragons

The web is littered with Fifty Shades of Grey parodies, but we think that “Fanny Merkin” (a.k.a. Andrea Shaffer, author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love) is the first one to get out a book-length parody. Yes, he wrote an entire novel that’s pretty much a line-by-line parody of Fifty Shades — it digs fun at the sex scenes, at the brand-name dropping, at the writing, at the murmuring, at the meandering inner monologues and most especially at Anastasia’s various inner voices. It’s called Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and, yes, there’s a grey tie on the cover.

"Significant Objects" book tells love (and other) stories about thrift store junk

"Significant Objects" book tells love (and other) stories about thrift store junk

A few weeks back — in a post about how clutter can be as big an issue in relationships as money or sex — we mentioned a forthcoming book, Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Everything. Well, the book just came out yesterday! So we’d like to tell you a little more about it.

Survey debunks some of our least favorite sex myths

Survey debunks some of our least favorite sex myths

We’re always a little skeptical when sex research is sponsored by a commercial product — as opposed to, say, an academic institution. That said, the commercially driven surveys tend to have a lot of money and resources behind them, and every now and then, interesting stuff comes out of them. Take the new survey from Trojan — sure, it includes not particularly helpful stats, like the fact that 70% of people “are open to trying a new condom designed to enhance orgasmic pleasure.” Oh really, Trojan? And we don’t suppose you happen to know anything about where we could find a condom like that, do you?

Technology fixes for classic fairy tales

Technology fixes for classic fairy tales

While Em was reading her daughter a bedtime story the other night, it occurred to her — because she has read the same stories hundreds of times and thus it is possible to think about potential posts for this blog while reading — that a swift exchange of contact info would have been a much easier way for the Prince to stay in touch with Cinderella. And if the Prince and Cinderella forgot to exchange digits before midnight, then a few minutes of Internet stalking — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, et. al. — would have fixed that. It’s perhaps not quite as romantic as visiting every woman in the land with a discarded shoe, but it’s a lot more convenient. Also, less gross. (Hello, athlete’s foot. Google that, Prince Charming.)

The "Beautiful Body" project celebrates hot mamas

The "Beautiful Body" project celebrates hot mamas

image: “Self Portrait with My Son 2012″ by Jade Bealle
Because all mamas are hot in their own way, photographer Jade Beall’s new project “A Beautiful Body” invites mothers, both new and old, to celebrate their imperfectly perfect bodies. In a world of airbrushing, Photoshopping and self-loathing, how refreshing! In the coming year she’ll be hitting the road with her now five-month-old son, her partner and her dog in an RV, taking nude and semi-nude portraits of as many women as she can who are interested in participating (and there are a lot!). We recently asked her to tell us more…

Just how different are men and women's fantasy lives?

Just how different are men and women's fantasy lives?

Are women’s and men’s fantasy lives vastly different, or are they basically the same except for a few variations on theme and frequency? We suppose it depends on who you ask and what they already believe. Because people’s prior beliefs about how women and men approach sex can really affect the way they interpret research on the matter.

Naked News: Love is in the air, from North Korea to Scotland

Naked News: Love is in the air, from North Korea to Scotland

OK, so maybe love is a strong word for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s marriage. But who knows what goes on behind closed doors? In Scotland, doors might be opening for gay couples who wish to marry. Which is pretty much the last country we would have expected it from (except maybe North Korea… and Iran… OK, OK, the Scots aren’t that bad). But while it’s getting gradually easier to marry a same-sex partner across the globe (to the moon and back, even — thanks, Sally Ride), it’s not getting any easier to be a VP in the U.S. (or to get away with cheating if you’re a celebrity, for that matter).

A musical history of wooing women

A musical history of wooing women

CDZA (short for Collective Cadenza) is a group of mostly Juilliard-trained music geeks (and we use that term in the most loving and respectful way) that “creates musical video experiments” — in other words, fun viral vids that play upon all sorts of musical themes and genres (think “Evolution of Dance” but with live musicians and no dancing). Ten months ago they created their inaugural “History of Lyrics That Aren’t Lyrics” (i.e. Sha na na na, doobie doobie doo, etc). Then a few months ago they started producing these videos regularly, one every other Tuesday. Some recent examples: “Mark Zuckerberg: The Musical” (“This is the dawning of the page that you share with us”) and “Aces of Basses” (a literal tribute to the Swedish pop sensation using five acoustic upright basses).

Who would win a fight between Spider-Man and Batman?

Who would win a fight between Spider-Man and Batman?

“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?”