Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
In WWII we understood that condoms prevent STIs. Someone ought to tell Rick Perry.
Today is the day that public sexual health nerds like myself wait for all year: the new CDC STD Surveillance Report is out! In support of the "Most Sexually Active City in America" crown bestowed upon us by Men's Health earlier this fall, the CDC has confirmed again that the good men and women of Texas know how to get it on. Someone ought to tell Rick Perry, what with his embarassing video about the effectiveness of abstinence and all.
Take, if you will, Chlamydia. Of the 50 counties contributing most to the rate of chlamydia in the US, Texas has 5 counties* on the list, none lower than #31. Hook 'em, Gig 'em, and Guns up, y'all! Everyone in the state worked hard to contribute to this one.
For Gonorrhea, which fell to its lowest level nationally since 1941, Texas ranks #14, with more cases (29,295) than any other state. Harris, Dallas and Bexar counties are all in the national top 10 for gonorrhea. Don't mess with Texas!
The rate of my personal favorite, syphilis, puts Texas at #6, by far our most impressive showing. California does beat us on the raw number of cases but our rate is higher, so take that, Golden State! Texas represents more than 10% of the total number of cases in the US.
So, Texans, as much as we might want to win something (especially considering our absence from the national sports stage this year) let's all decide to use condoms and get tested, mmkay?
* #7: Harris County (Houston)
#9: Dallas County
#13: Bexar County (San Antonio)
#22: Tarrant County (Ft. Worth
#31: Travis County (Austin, WOOT!)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Couples who work together to make healthy decisions about contraception should be supported. So why is it that local Walgreens in Texas have repeatedly refused to sell contraception to men, despite corporate headquarters policy and federal guidelines to the contrary?
That is exactly what happened to Adam Drake, who tried to purchase emergency contraception from a Walgreens in Houston. He was shocked when the pharmacy unequivocally denied him the product because he is a man. When he complained to the store manager, she stood by the pharmacist’s decision....
To read the rest, click here.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Pants! Now why didn't I think of that?
You heard it here first, folks: our own Austin LifeGuard, the educational arm of Austin LifeCare Crisis Pregnancy Center has decided to spend some of its federal abstinence money making public service videos. The PSA above promises that wearing pants is "the only 100% guarantee to avoid the unwanted side effects of sex." They even come in a variety of shapes and sizes! I'm glad you finally get the joke, Austin LifeGuard.
Not satisfied with infomercials, Austin LifeGuard has created a website, IHeartPants.org, and is selling I Heart Pants t-shirts for just $12. They promise that pants will provide a variety of benefits, including a "revolutionary way to prevent: regret, jealousy, heartache, ended friendships, ruined reputations, and more!" Plus they can make your ass look great!
According to the SIECUS state profile for Texas, Austin LifeGuard/LifeCare will receive $582,900 in Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) funds for FYs 2008-2013. CBAE money goes directly from the federal government to "community based" (read: religious) organizations for abstinence programs that the state has no control or veto power over. Austin LifeGuard/LifeCare also received $70,245 as a Title V subgrant, funds to provide education in public schools. But what of the news that Austin Independent School District (AISD) will be piloting PREP funded-programs in partnership with Planned Parenthood?
With less business, perhaps LifeGuard decided to spend its funds on media campaigns, which are allowed under the grants. I can only imagine these videos are in response to the Texas Freedom Network's satirical videos which took their scripts verbatim from Pam Stenzel and other abstinence educators' presentations (see below).
The perfect Christmas gift for that irritatingly chaste member of your family could be the "I Heart Pants" t-shirt and the Original Handjob. While I doubt Austin LifeGuard would describe handjobs as safe, even the abstinence kids deserve some sexual gratification and, besides, if it's just your hand, you can't get pregnant!
In total, the PSAs have only garnered 1,965 views. Make sure to check out their other video about an awkward dad bragging that his son has genital herpes and the heartbreak that is fake social networking. While I appreciate this cheeky and novel approach, these ads are being paid for with federal tax dollars. And you know what's really hard if you never take off your pants? TEABAGGING.
Think this sounds ridiculous? Check out the original.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
image from Love, Niko
KUT reported this morning that Texas Attorney General and Craigslist world's oldest profession hater Greg Abbott is teaming up with Texas State Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) to...wait for it...crack down on teen sexting. I'm so glad these two venerable politicians are diving into the hot tub of bipartisanship to address this vitally important iss...oh, fuck it.
According to Abbott's website, the legislation would create a program to "educate" offending teenagers about sexting and how it's illegal because sending sexy pictures of an underage person is considered child pornography. It seems that being arrested for sending a grainy picture of one's dick would get that message across pretty clearly. But the law would also reduce the charges teens would face to a misdemeanor.
Back in February Abbott's website carried this "alert" to parents and teenagers about the dangers of sexting and the potential legal consequences, informing readers that:
Clearly, this dangerous technological trend can haunt children for years, and it is impacting schools and communities statewide. Of course, investigators and prosecutors consider the circumstances of each case before deciding whether – and which – charges charges may apply. By the time law enforcement has gotten involved, however, someone has already gotten hurt. Education and active parenting present the best way to ensure children avoid this dangerous activity.This dangerous trend is impacting schools all over the state! Riiight.
The consequences those caught sexting would face would include forced participation in the "educational" program and "reduced cell phone usage." So what we've got here, in a time when Guvnuh Goodhair is downplaying our billions-big state budget deficit, is a proposed law that would create an educational program and require cell phone monitoring for teenagers who send pictures of their tits or whatever. Will this be a revenue-generating program or does Texas just have cash to throw at teenagers engaging in regular, normal teenagery sexytime?
While I'm all for eliminating child porn charges for sexting, really, Greg Abbott? First you try to eliminate prostitution by shutting down the "adult services" section of Craigslist and now you're going to go after teenagers for sending sexy notes? In my day we made paper dolls out of porn magazine cutouts and put our friends' faces on them. To think I could be a registered sex offender if I'd been caught in Texas with those materials.
Perhaps the "educational" component of the law would create a program like p.a.p.a., the Attorney General's mandatory "paternity and parenting awareness" program in place in secondary schools in Texas that focuses on the consequences of teen childbearing and the responsibilities of fathers, but fails, of course, to include any information about, say, how to wrap up one's dick to prevent pregnancy.
One thing is for sure--Greg Abbott spends a shit-ton of time thinking about teenagers having sex. You'd think a state with 23 million people and the largest border with Mexico might have some more pressing legal issues he could address than teenagers sending sex texts.
Monday, November 8, 2010
No one is a more prolific producer of erotica for women than the epic Rachel Kramer Bussel, who graciously sent me a copy of her latest book, Passion: Erotic Romance for Women to review. I used to read her column in the Village Voice when I lived in New York and saw her do an erotic reading at Happy Ending in Chinatown and this woman knows her stuff.
For anyone who has ever read Penthouse Forum and longed for stories that were less about fucking the pizza delivery guy, bartender, or husband's friend/boss and more about how hot sex can be between two people who really know and love each other, this is the book for you.
I haven't made it all the way through the book yet (it's not the kind of romance novel that you read at a single stretch) but so far the stories are excellent. Long enough for erotic buildup, not too long that you get bored reading them.
I don't read regular romance novels so I have no idea how explicit they are these days, but these stories are definitely "hard core" in that they use words like "fuck" and "pussy" and "cock," but not so hard core that they include irritatingly degrading language "Suck my cock, you little slut" or "He made me into his slut--and I liked it!" you often find in Penthouse's letters.
As always, Rachel has done a terrific job of editing this anthology and putting together a collection of stories with no duds. Definitely worth adding to your smut library.