Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not For Sale in Texas:
The New Trojan Tri-Phoria

The adorable commercial for Trojan Tri-Phoria

Trojan has a new vibrator, ladies! The Trojan "Tri-Phoria" has Multiple speeds! Three interchangeable tips! and FIVE vibration patterns! ZOMG! Anyone who's ever walked into a sex toy store will recognize this as a really boring, run of the mill toy but the New York Times today reports that Trojan has received approval to show the commercial above during the day on several TV networks, including Comedy Central. This represents a shift from 2007, when Trojan's "Evolve" commercials, which were incredibly tame, were banned from several major networks.

As a Trojan alumnae, I feel some loyalty to the brand even though the condoms are last on the list of rubbers I'd actually use. When they began their cautious foray into vibrators several years ago with the Elexa Vibrating Ring (which, when they put Elexa to bed, became the Trojan Vibrating Ring), the primary purpose was to make vibrators available in general merchandise stores--like CVS, Walgreens, and, yes, Wal-Mart.

But...not in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, or Virginia. In spite of the overturn of Texas' sex toy ban in 2008, Trojan still won't make its vibrators available for sale in the state. The other states I get, since their bans are still on the books, but Texas really did overturn the ban. This makes me wonder if Trojan's legal affairs people know something we don't--perhaps that the Supreme Court will consider a sex toy ban case (and may uphold it) after all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Annals of Obvious: College Guys
Would Prefer to Bang Hot Chicks

According to an article in yesterday's Daily Texan, "Science says men like shapely ladies." To wit, David Lewis, one of (surprise, surprise) David Buss's graduate students offered this explanation of a research article published this month in Evolution and Human Behavior:
"I would say that a male strategy of searching for cues to immediate fertility in a potential short-term mate, and cues to long-term reproductive value in a long-term mate, would have been favored by natural selection."
Well thanks for that lesson in evolutionary psychobabble, David. I think what you mean is that what men want for short-term sex is, you know, a phat ass while what they look for in a long-term mate is a lady in the street but a freak in the bed (apologies to Ludacris).

Here is what the study actually measured. I know because I read the whole thing.

A mere 381 University of Texas students, 194 male, 187 female, were asked to look at a single picture that was covered up by two boxes: a face box and a body box. When the dudes (whose average age was 18.85, SD=1.29) were told to consider whether the gal would be suitable for a one night stand, more of them uncovered the body whereas when told to look for a 'long term committed relationship' more bros uncovered the face. The conclusion? 18.85 year old dudebros, when forced to choose one or the other, look at a girl's body if they want to fuck her.

Evolutionary psychology has the most hilariously narrow definition of "health" and "attractiveness" that it shouldn't surprise anyone that, as usual, they are providing evidence for something that sells magazines (hot models) but does not really play out in real life (men having the opportunity to fuck hot models). Their claims of how tall/hot/thinness indicates health:
Health-correlated cues of reproductive value [future reproductive potential] can be conveyed through both the face and the body. Pocked-marked facial skin, for example, reveals a history of disease (Buss, 1994), while increased leg length is correlated with a multitude of health benefits: lower risks of cardiovascular disease (Gunnell, Whitley, et al, 2003), diabetes (Davey Smith et al, 2001) and cancer (Gunnell, May, et al, 2003). Finally, age-dependent cues also related to reproductive value, such as taut facial skin and firm breasts (Symons, 1979) can be diagnosed through a woman's face and body.(p 349)
Hear that ladies? All those chick mag articles about how tall skinny people aren't healthy are LIES. So keep buying that foundation and keep working out. And if you're short? Guess you have no value.

While the authors include in their discussion the caveat that, because the sample was all college students, this research should be replicated with a more diverse population so women can feel like they aren't good enough for a wider variety of men, not just college dudebros, they don't acknowledge the huge limitation of only working with 17-20 year old college kids. In my experience, the vast majority of college guys haven't had much experience with short OR long term 'mating,' and many college students, despite their reports to the contrary, are really just interested in short-term sex. "Long term," in a college relationship, could mean two weeks.

For the record, this is a real study that was published in a real journal.
"More than just a pretty face: men's priority shifts toward bodily attractiveness in short-term versus long-term mating contexts."
Jaime C. Confer, Carin Perilloux, David M. Buss
Evolution & Human Behavior - September 2010 (Vol. 31, Issue 5, Pages 348-353, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.04.002)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Product Review: Sex in the Shower

I was thrilled when I discovered that Sportsheets, the company behind the Velcro Bondage Bed Sheets and the Door Jam Cuffs, was venturing into products to make sex in the shower easier. So I made some calls and voila! received an assortment of products in the mail.

The Dual Locking Suction Handle is meant for showers with tile of at least 3 inches square or so (if your tile is too small, the seal of the suction cups won't stick) and is meant to withstand serious pressure. Our reviewer said that it held up under the strain of shower sex quite well.

The Single Locking Suction Foot Rest, which can double as a perch for shaving, fell right off.

The Silicone Lubricant, on the other hand, was a huge success according to our tester. It lasted and lasted and didn't feel sticky or greasy after the shower was over--a key feature, since silicone lube can be tough to remove from the skin.

They also have a variety of actual shower products, like vibrating sponges, poufs, and soap. I got one of each. The Vibrating Foam Sea Sponge is a real sea sponge with a powerful little waterproof vibrator in it. It felt good to wash with it but I don't know if it's actually intended for shower masturbation--I think the sponge's absorption of the intense vibrations would make it not super good for that. But for washing, it was nice. Ditto for the pouf and the soap, which I intend to take to the gym for post-workout showers.

Sportsheets products are always well-made and sturdy. I'm a big fan of their Beginner's Waterproof Harness, which has been repurposed for the Sex in the Shower line. Other items to try include the Suction Hand Cuffs.

Apparently Sex in the Shower has made a splash in Dallas, because the website features a coupon for two D-town retailers, Sara's Secret and Condoms to Go (as opposed to condoms for here?).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Austin #1 Most Sexually Active
City in USA, Has Own Racist Lube

Easy to get in Houston, that is!

According to National Douchebag Monthly (read: Men's Health), Austin is the most sexually active city in America!
But don't take it from me: Texas towns haven't fared well in a few of our past rankings, having been included among the Fattest and the Drunkest U.S. cities. But this time is different. When we calculated national nookie rates, several Lone Star State cities came out on top. Maybe they took our previous rankings to heart—you'll have more sex if you sober up and slim down.
I think they've got their chicken and their egg mixed up: recent research has shown that fatter women have more sex and, duh, Austin is also one of the most drunk cities in America, so do the math:
beer goggles = sexual desire x (fat chick - 30 pounds), amirite bros?
But I am completely fucking proud that of all the categories by which cities were rated, Austin was #1 in condom sales. I'd like to think that yours truly had a little somethin' to do with that. I also want to give a shout out to my local condom purveying establishments, the Walgreens at 45th and Guadalupe and the Hancock Center HEB, which have amazing condom and lube sections.

But the really weird thing? Texas has 7 cities in the top 20, more than any other state by far. And those cities, for the most part, all have big colleges in them so perhaps the high ranking on condom sales is related to college kids being responsible about wrapping it up. For the complete list check out the Statesman.

I do want to point out one flaw in their analysis, though--they claim that for STD ranking, #1 = highest rate. And ain't no way Houston is 50th (i.e., lowest) in STD rates. Dallas neither. Both are epicenters of the syphilis retro sensation.

In kind of related news, we have our own possibly racist lube offering here in town, with two varieties for your slippin' slidin' pleasure: Joe Lube, which is standard, and José lube, which is "thicker." Mad props to my student J who fearlessly took this photo at our friendly neighborhood local Walgreens.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Craigslist Claims Censorship in
Blocking "Adult Services"

Austin's Craiglist homepage, 9/5/10

Score: Greg Abbott, 1; Prostitution, 1,000,000,000. According to today's New York Times, Craigslist has replaced the "Adult Services" link in every US site with a black box reading "Censored." Ouch.

Guess if you want to hire a sex worker you'll have to read the back pages of the Chronicle or the m4w, w4m, w4w, m4m or casual encounters of Craigslist. Man, what will sex workers and their customers DO now? You sure showed 'em, Abbott.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Repent Amarillo at Work in Midland?
Swingers Convention Canceled

We are hearing echoes of February's takedown of an Amarillo swingers club in Midland this week as, according to the Midland Telegram, a lifestyle weekend at a hotel in Midland scheduled for late September has been canceled.

A "concerned citizen" apparently contacted Midland's district attorney, Teresa Clingman, who started asking questions at the hotel about how an event like a swinger's convention could be conducted without breaking any laws.

Memo to Counselor Clingman: adults consenting to sex with eachother is legal, even in Texas. In fact, especially in Texas. You might want to review that itty bitty Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas.

As to who the "concerned citizen" was who initially complained to DA Clingman, my money is on the pastor at her very own church, Rev. Robert Pase, who just happened to be the person who informed her that the event had been canceled.

One of the attenders, George Long, said: "[I am] extremely disappointed at having it canceled. “The reason we picked Midland is because there is a huge lifestyle community in West Texas." And on the other side, Clingman said “I could not be more pleased, because as I said, that’s not the type of event we want to be going on in this community” sanctioned by one of our businesses."

According to News West 9, Clingman's investigation revealed that no laws were being broken, but that Marriott corporate pushed the Midland hotel to cancel the contract. Considering the oft-repeated rumor that swingers tend to be politically and socially conservative, it sounds like somebody is getting a taste of what it's like to be forced into the closet. Sounds like somebody needs to get Larry Flynt on the horn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amateur Hour in Dallas DA Incest Case

Things continue to be weird in Dallas. In a story straight out of Kate Millett's seminal piece "Beyond Politics? Children and Sexuality," Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is under scrutiny for having the ten year old [alleged] victim of a man he represented sign an affidavit saying that she did not want the man, her stepfather, to be prosecuted for sexually abusing her.

According to the Dallas Morning News,
During his testimony, Watkins denied that he pressured the girl into signing an affidavit of non-prosecution – a statement asking that charges be dismissed or not filed at all. "I didn't pressure her," Watkins said, according to a transcript of his testimony. "I've never pressured anyone to do anything. So I wouldn't, I wouldn't characterize it as pressure."
But Watkins' own defense attorney claims that the girl changed her story (just as Millett would predict) and her mother was in the room when she signed it, so doesn't that mean she wasn't being pressured? Um...right.

Watkins also said
"[he] represented Howell for a brief period in 2006. He testified that he did not remember Howell or the girl and had no files, records or employment contracts relating to the case."
So he doesn't remember her, he doesn't have any files, he doesn't remember the case at all, but he remembers that he definitely didn't pressure her to sign it, because her mother was in the room?

Let's review. The current, elected (and running for re-election) Dallas County District Attorney does not maintain files of clients he represents. Even if all he's doing is drawing up an affidavit, a responsible attorney makes copies of everything and puts it in a client file, even if they only see that client once. Also, this guy is claiming to not remember the client, or the girl, but he remembers that the girl's mother was in the room, and that's how he knows he didn't pressure her to sign. Methinks that someoen running for DISTRICT ATTORNEY should have down pat such basic lawyerly tasks like KEEPING FILES on your clients. Boo Dallas.