Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Teen Pregnancy:
It's the Birth Control, Stupid


In a rigorous new analysis published in the journal PlosONE, Professors Kathrin Stanger-Hall and David Hall, both from the University of Georgia, have assessed the relationship between a state's sex education policy and its rates of teen pregnancy and birth.

In a conclusion that comes as a surprise to absolutely freaking no one, states with teach-only-abstinence policies had higher rates of teen pregnancy, and the effect remained significant even after controlling for confounders such as overall education level (as measured by the % of high school graduates who took the SAT); Medicaid waivers (an indicator of how easy it is for uninsured/poor people to get birth control and other health services); racial composition of the teen population (black and hispanic teens have higher rates of teen pregnancy and birth, so states with higher % of those groups have higher rates); and income.

The conclusion drawn is that, obvs, we need to be providing better (read: any) sex education to teens. But the Professors Hall mention a factor often neglected by researchers looking at abstinence programs: the often total absence of formal preparation for those teachers in public schools who actually might teach sex education, be it abstinence-only or comprehensive. As someone who teaches future teachers, I know that even those who are in kinesiology/health education programs and are likely to be responsible for sex ed as health/gym teachers and/or coaches, that the courses offered by the department at my University are limited in scope and not mandatory.

One point of disagreement I have with the Halls' conclusions is their claim that the cause of wildly disparate rates of teen pregnancy in Europe and the US is due to sex education. On the contrary, teens in [some] Europe[an countries] are provided with excellent sex education and have access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services, including birth control, often at clinics in their schools.

Sex education matters, yes, but access to services is more important. Teens do not have sex for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy--they have sex because sex is fun. If adults and policymakers want teenagers to use birth control, they will--but we have to teach them how to use it and help them figure out how to get it instead of erecting [heh] insurmountable barriers to keep them from avoiding pregnancy and spreading STIs.

Teen sexuality is like the Titanic--no matter how much distracting music we play on deck, the ship is definitely going down. No amount of abstinence education can stop teenagers--who are (for the most part) at their peak reproductive capacity--from having sex. But considering that the House's recent budget proposal included renewed funding for the terrible, horrible, no good very bad Community Based Abstinence Education program (Read: federal government gives money to religious organizations to provide "education" in public schools and make cheesy PSAs), this country is still letting the ship sink without enough lifeboats for everyone.

-----------------------------

A great resource that provides education and links to services is Bedsider, which features interactive tools about birth control methods and a clinic finder.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You


This just in: Married people never have sex anymore! Seriously though. My friend Dr. Logan Levkoff, PhD, who I met in my Trojan days, has a new book out called How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You. The project comes from Good in Bed, a digital sex advice publishing house founded by Dr. Ian Kerner.

The site features works by a number of qualified, intelligent professionals and I really like it. This eBook is Logan's first full-length work for the site, and while I'm not married and probably not a good person to judge whether sex advice for married people is good or not, I asked her if I could review it.

Our culture perpetuates a trope that women, once snugged into the marriage they're supposed to spend their entire young adult lives gunning for, never want to have sex anymore. Maybe that's true. Married people do tend to report greater sexual satisfaction, but the frequency of sex in the majority of long term relationships does actually decline.

Of course, our culture directs a tremendous amount of sex negativity and judgment towards women and when a woman has played all her cards right and engaged in the right amount of sexual subterfuge and has scored the win, she might feel like her job is done and that sex is something she no longer has to deliver because maybe she never really wanted it in the first place. Who knows.

So I read the book on my fancy new iPad and asked Logan some questions.

JS: You seem to agree with Dan Savage's sentiment that sex--to the extent that both partners want it--is a right that people have in marriage, and if one partner refuses to (or can't) meet the other's reasonable sexual needs, they have the right to get their needs met elsewhere. Christopher Ryan, who wrote Sex at Dawn, would argue that women also have a need for excitement and sexual variety, when our culture tends to assume women's interest in sex just naturally wanes over time. Do you think that men who can't get their needs met by their wives have the right to go outside their marriage?

LL: It’s funny, I’ve never really seen myself as being in agreement with Dan on this particular subject. Yes, I think that sex is part of a relationship - an important part of a relationship. However, I don’t think that people in committed, monogamous relationships have a “right” to have their needs meet elsewhere. Relationships take time and while they shouldn’t feel like “work,” you have to work at enhancing (even managing) them. When I say that marital sex is a “right,” I mean it in the larger cultural sense. We have no problem talking about sex within the context of marriage, however, sex outside of marriage (premarital, teen, etc) is still so fraught with negativity and judgment. We don’t feel guilty about having sex if we’re married; it’s our “right.” That being said, I think that Christopher Ryan is on to something very important. Women do have a need for excitement and variety; we don't always want to act on it, but we fantasize all the time. Sadly though, our society hasn't exactly been supportive of women's desires and explorations of their sexuality.

JS: To what extent do you think sexism and gender roles affect women's ability to continue to feel 'sexy' as wives and mothers? What can we do about this? Basically, do women feel like great sex/being a 'sex goddess' is something they have to do to get a man but then once they're married are like, 'fuck it, don't have to do that anymore'?

LL: I think that there are huge pressures on women to be sexy - and in one particularly narrow minded image of “sexy.” This is definitely not how men see women - unless they’re fifteen years old and don’t know any better:) In truth we (women) are often our own worst critics. We stand in our own way. But I definitely don’t think that women go into a relationship thinking that once they’re married they don’t have to be sexy anymore. Rather, I think that the time and energy women have to devote to maintaining their “sexiness” changes. Once you’re taking care of everyone else, you forget to take care of yourself - you may not even have the time. It’s definitely not deliberate.

JS: A recent Huffington Post article highlighted a study that showed that husbands' sexual satisfaction was a strong predictor of marital disruption and divorce, but a wife's wasn't. Shouldn't women be more concerned with keeping their man sexually satisfied so he doesn't cheat to get his needs met?

LL: I think that all people should be concerned with having their sexual needs met, regardless of their gender. Sure, sex changes in a relationship, but there should still be physical intimacy. Otherwise you have a roommate. And well, eventually someone starts to wonder...and potentially wander, too.

JS: Why don't women want sex?

LL: Women want sex. Women miss the sex that they used to have -- we miss the desire we used to have. In many ways we are amazing multi-taskers, but when it comes to sex, we have a hard time prioritizing it. For some reason if we haven’t had it in a while, we start to forget that it was ever important. And it is, important.

JS: Describe, as a professional, your ideal married sexual relationship.

LL: I don’t think that there’s one ideal. However, I do believe in some guiding principles: Don’t buy into all the magazine hype. 425 New Ways to Drive Him Crazy? Have Sex Like it Was the First Time? It’s all bullshit. You can never have sex like you did in the beginning (when it was all new), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great. The magazine covers contribute to a “Grass is Always Greener” attitude - that’s not good for any long term relationship.
  • Talk to each other as soon as something comes up - before it becomes a bigger issue.
  • If you miss having sex, talk about it. If you are frustrated by lack of desire, speak up about that, too. If you don’t share your feelings, your partner thinks you don’t care or aren’t interested in him/her anymore.
  • Get a vibrator. To use alone and with your partner. Pleasure is important and the more pleasure you have, the more often you’ll want it.
  • I’m less concerned with the number of times a week or month you have “intercourse.” Any physically intimate act that has the potential to end in orgasm counts as sex to me. If we stopped focusing on quantity, maybe we’d get some high quality sex, which actually leads to more high quality sex. See where I’m going with this?
You're going to have to buy the book to get the rest of Logan's advice, people. Download it here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Condom Review Part 2:
We Tried Fire & Ice So You Don't Have To


Trojan is the Captain College of condoms. The hometown hero. The old standby. The one you probably carried around in your wallet in high school and used when you lost your virginity.

Those of us who came of age in the '90s remember Trojan Man, the straightforward radio commercial character who showed up at just the right moment with the condom some horny young people needed to get laid.

But sometime in the last 15 years or so, after the brand was acquired by Church & Dwight, makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda, they started experimenting with novelty. Where once there was only Enz, Ribbed for Her Pleasure and the deceptively named "Thin," suddenly it was hard to keep track of the multitude of boxes on the drugstore shelves carrying the iconic helmet logo.

The new approach worked--Trojan always dominated the US condom market but eventually Magnum, a mere subbrand, itself had 15% of all domestic sales. But there were some missteps along the way. After market research revealed that women buy half of all condoms and wanted to find them somewhere else besides the "family planning" section, the company introduced Elexa, a female-oriented line of condoms and other accouterments that featured glamorous looking ladies on the boxes and were found with the "feminine hygiene" products. Despite customer loyalty from those who did find them, Elexa was a flop. Turns out, customers were really confused by condoms in the tampon section.

In the last few years Trojan has reinvented the condom yet again with the Ecstasy, which introduced the first non-reservoir tip condom and an "UltraSmooth" lubricant. The prices went up, too. The boxes now contain 10 condoms instead of the usual 12, and they cost $10. But how do the new products stack up?

Tested: BareSkin and Ecstasy with Fire & Ice

Ecstasy Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice first came out a few years ago and it has received solidly mixed reviews. Some people make the connection that the lubricant is basically Icy Hot and that sensation sends some people's genitals into a total panic. Others enjoy the feeling. Trojan describes the new Ecstasy shape as: "Revolutionary design lets you and your partner feel the pleasure, not the condom." In theory, a condom that isn't tight around the penis makes sex feel more "natural." Ecstasy condoms also feature ribs at the base designed to stimulate the sensitive outer bit of the vagina.

She says: The Fire & Ice wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I confess I went into our first trial fully expecting an "OMG BURNING!" reaction, and what I got was...pleasant. I don't think the lube was pleasurable per se but I could definitely feel an acute "icy hot" sensation. That was cool, especially after drinking when you lose some of that focused feeling. The condom was baggy though and the ribs were too far down the base because I didn't notice them. Definitely didn't need extra lube, but my hands felt greasy and smelled like menthol afterwards.

He says: Much like the name, my feelings are hot and cold about this product. I wasn't pleased with the poncho-like fit of the condom and the smell was a little stronger than I would have liked. It's really well lubricated, and perhaps a bit too much. The hot and cold sensations alternate and are at times indiscernible, but for some reason every time I came I felt only cold. It's worth a try if you're looking to switch it up, but probably not a go-to condom.

Overall rating: 3/5

BareSkin

BareSkin is giving Crown a run for its money. Made in Japan, BareSkin is significantly thinner than any other Trojan condom and is actually thinner than Crown, making it the thinnest condom available. Made from a "low odor latex" this condom is meant to be the least condom-like of all.

She says: I like this condom. It is really thin, though it doesn't feel as thin as Crown. It definitely smells more latex-y than Crown, but less so than the Ecstasy. Didn't need extra lube at all. I love the color of the package, which is the same subtly metallic aqua of the Dallas Cowboys' spandex pants. Considering that these are easier to get than Crown, they might become a standby. Memo to Trojan: make BareSkin Fire & Ice!

He says: The biggest appeal to this condom is how thin it is--the bareskin almost makes it feel like a bare-back sexual experience. The result is the sensitivity is better than any other Trojan I've tried. The lubricant is sufficient, but not overwhelming which lessens the strength of the latex-like smell. The only drawback is that it was too tight at the base.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Monday, October 17, 2011

Q & A: Houston, We Have a Lube Problem


Sometimes I get a phone call from a friend telling me they've given my phone number or email address to someone--a stranger, to me--in urgent need of advice. It's a nice reminder that most people don't live in a world saturated by Dan Savage, Tristan Taormino, and the rest of the worth-their-salt sex advice gang, and that people still have problems and questions that need help and, somehow, Dr. Drew's 'Oh, you like anal sex? You were probably molested as a child weren't you?' bullshit isn't working.

Dear Julie,
I am in a long-distance relationship of a year now. My boyfriend goes to U of H, so we see each other about once a month. We both like to have rough sex, but it really tears me up and causes me to be in pain afterwards. This usually isn't a problem because we're only together for a weekend or so, but I didn't heal up normally after this past weekend and got worried.

He became really upset when I first suggested that we not always have rough sex and try other things, saying that style is what he liked most and he didn't want to change anything. I told him that I don't want to change anything either, but I will not continue having sex through the pain because, well, I don't like the association of sex with pain. It may be one of those situations where he thinks since the sex is good, why change anything?, but I come away from it all with rips and tears for days at a time.

Emily

I emailed Emily back to find out what 'rough sex' meant for her and she said that it meant just kind of pounding away, not anything that was intended to cause injury. Also, I wanted to make sure Emily didn't just have a case of the Red Raider Rash. She said they'd both been tested (yay!) and were clean.

Dear Emily,

My guess is that the 'fit' between you and your boyfriend is too tight, and that your lube gets pushed to the base of his penis during sex and doesn't reduce the bad friction between his skin and yours. You also might be allergic to an ingredient in the lube you're using, which could cause irritation in the (very sensitive, easily abraded) skin of your vagina which makes having sex insult to injury.

Water-based lubes can be a challenge because the water they contain is absorbed by the body over time, leaving behind the base the water is suspended in--often, glycerine. Many people are allergic to glycerin and other people may not be allergic to it but are irritated by it when it becomes sticky.

I recommend using a silicone-based lube, like Sliquid Organics Silk, which doesn't contain glycerin and since it's silicone-based, it doesn't get absorbed by the body and get sticky. If the problem is the 'fit' between you, a thick silicone- or oil-based lube designed for anal sex, like Boy Butter, might stay in place better (but don't use it with latex condoms). Paul Joannides, author of The Guide to Getting it On, suggests olive oil, which is used often in Europe.

When you 'apply' lube, make sure you put it all over both his penis and your vulva and inside your vagina, especially at the bottom of the vaginal opening--that little area gets a lot of pressure during sex.

All of the lube in the world, however, won't make your boyfriend any less of an asshole. I'm confident that any sex with you is better than no sex at all and the fact that he, at 21, only likes the 'rough sex style' is ridiculous. Most people that are not sadists do not want sex to be painful for their partners and good sex comes in a variety of flavors. If, the next time you're having sex, your boyfriend slips back into pounding mode, stop, get up off his dick, and walk away. He'll come around.

Julie




*not her real name

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Austin LifeCare Advertising in 6th Street Bars Now


I've got to hand it to Austin LifeCare: first they came out with a truly hilarious series of abstinence PSAs and now they've taken out an ad for their crisis pregnancy center on a large LCD screen at the Chuggin' Monkey, a bar firmly wrapped up in 6th Street's Jello Shot Curtain.

Maybe there was a mix up or something, because the ad on the small LCD screen in the ladies room was for Austin's best drunk-dial DUI defense lawfirm, 777-7777. You might think that the gender neutral DUI ad would be a better fit for over the bar placement and the OMG YOU SLUT YOU'RE PREGNANT AREN'T YOU ad would resonate with its audience more in the fucking ladies room.

Of course, advertising to women who have an (un)planned parenthood (I see what you're doing there, ALC! Cute!) IN A BAR seems like maybe a bad idea. Either the ladies are already pregnant and, um, they're drinking IN A BAR or they're about to do something that might make them pregnant and instead of, say, a billboard encouraging them to USE A CONDOM FOR CHRISSAKES SERIOUSLY IT'S NOT HARD Austin LifeCare is suggesting they save the number so they can call it later when they inevitably wind up pregnant.

So, ladies, have some Jell-O shots, drive home drunk, get a DUI, have unprotected sex, get pregnant, call Austin LifeCare. You have options! There is hope! They care about your life*! You're not alone! Need to talk? Call them! They've got a great sense of humor.



*the "life" you are carrying inside you, that is. Offer expires after birth.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: The Secrets of Great G Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation


Lordy was I excited at the invitation to review Tristan Taormino's new book, The Secrets of Great G Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation! I've been covering Tristan for ages now, and I'm always excited when the prolific writer, pornographer and sex educator comes out with something new.

Though her seminal work, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women [buy this book, seriously] defined her more than a decade ago (!) as an anal devotee, her writing and porn runs the gamut from erotica to anal play to rough sex to open relationships, all of it top quality. You can read my reviews of Tristan's work here and here and an interview I did with her in 2006 (!!) here.

I expected no less from this latest book, and I'm happy to say that Tristan delivers, as always. Tristan reviews the historical development of the G Spot, the controversy that continues to surround its very existence, and recommends ways to explore it without freaking out and winding up feeling inadequate.

The book includes soft core photos of super hot pornsters, both male/female and female/female couples, and I love the one on the very first page--Tristan has fucking great taste in porn. The toys and lube she recommends are all totally lustworthy, from the Njoy Pure Wand to the Luna Beads to the Annie-O Strap-On Harness.

As one would expect from Tristan, the book includes a section on anal sex and the G Spot and a super helpful strap-on tutorial. But the best part of the book is something I've not seen before--three topical "Erotic Interludes" to get you hot and bothered to inspire you to, you know, do the how-to's.

In short, this is a great book that gets right to the point. It gives G Spot orgasm tips for solo and partnered play and provides options for hands, toys, or both. Highly recommended.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Does Luxury Latex Deliver?


Ever since 2007 when I worked for Trojan and discovered Kimono Textured (neĆ© Type E) I’ve kept up with developments in the condom world. This year several new brands have joined the latex market and I felt it was time to review what's out there and fill the gaps left by Consumer Reports’ rankings, the most recent of which came out in 2009 and includes no, um, "field testing."

This multi-part series will review a wide selection of condoms available right now--some luxury brands and others late night, drugstore stand-bys. This first post will focus on specialty brands, some of which are fashion-forward and others focused on ethical sex.

The original fashion condom, of course, was Proper Attire, which features wrappers by famous designers like Alexander Wang and benefits Planned Parenthood. Other companies have packaged their condoms in gorgeously creative boxes, like OOO Boutique, which has a variety of inspirational packaging, like the “Try Me” and “Kung Fu Sutra” collections featuring condoms with suggested positions to try. The website even has animated gifs of each position, in case you need a little inspiration (see above). Top that, Cosmo Kama Sutra.

But two brands have emerged lately that combine luxury brand positioning with a charitable mission. This first review will focus on two such brands, Sir Richards and French Letter, each of which donate a portion of purchases to charity. Sir Richards has a TOMS-esque mission and donates one condom to Partners in Health for every one sold. French Letter, which is the world’s first fair trade, carbon-neutral condom, works with Cecily’s Fund to educate Zambian children orphaned by AIDS.

The condoms are do-gooders, yes, but how good are they to actually, you know, do it? Our testers compared them to two standbys--Crown and Kimono Textured.

Criteria: our testers used each condom featured (some more than once) and rated them on:
  • lube: was extra lube required?
  • sex-feel: did it feel like they were using a condom or not?
  • reliability: did it break?
  • special features, where applicable: were the ribs/studs even noticeable?
  • other: did the condom smell like latex? cause irritation? was the package hard to open?
Sir Richards Pleasure Dots
She says: The raised dot pattern is definitely intense, but I didn't feel it because the dots started several inches up the shaft of the condom, which is too far to really stimulate the most sensitive outer inch of the vaj. Well-lubricated but they had a rubbery smell. Bonus: I love the magenta geometric pattern on the package.
He says: They aren’t too lubricated, but they don’t dry easily, and they aren’t too thick either. The pleasure dots protrude more than any other condom I’ve used, which doesn’t affect me but is a nice feature.
Overall score: 3.5

French Letter

French Letter offers three varieties--Sheer Caress, Linger Lust, and Stimulating Massage. Our testers tried all three but are reviewing the Sheer Caress.
She says: The Sheer Caress was thin, but not as thin as Crown. And all of a sudden we had an "OMG, we need lube!" moment, which is never good. The round packages are pretty but kind of hard to open, especially in the dark after some adult beverages.
He says: French Letter does a great job of disguising the quality of the product (or lack thereof) with attractive packaging. In short, it’s as dry as Lubbock prior to 2009.
Overall score: 3.0



Kimono Textured
This Japanese condom is super thin, textured in the right places, and shaped to feel like the guy's wearing nothing at all.
She says: I love this condom, but it absolutely requires extra lube from the get-go. And it seems like they're shorter than other condoms, so I'm sometimes worried they're going to come off. They haven't, but it's just an anxiety.
He says: Kimono condoms have a more “intimate” feel, which is difficult to find in a condom. However, the downside is it tends to strangle my dick. For me, it’s just a little too tight, but on the plus side they will make you feel like you’re raw-dogging it.
Overall score: 4.0

Crown
Crown is another Japanese condom that is hard to find in stores but has gained popularity among pornstars and the sexerati--the thinnest condom available anywhere but larger than standard size condoms, Crown is the best of both worlds.
She says: As much as it pains me to give up on Kimono Textured, Crown has earned the top spot on my bedside table. They're so thin that I really don't notice them at all, and while I needed extra lube after a while, it wasn't a Texas Drought kind of situation.
He says: Crown is all about sensitivity, and the reliability can’t be overstated. It’s not uncommon to look down to double check that the condom is still on…and it always has been. Minor critique in that it tends to get dry after awhile—nothing a little lube can’t fix.
Overall rating: 4.5

If you need lube, and the more high-end the condom you're using the more likely you will, I recommend Sliquid Organics Silk, which is silicone-based and lasts forever.

Coming soon in the series: Lifestyles, Durex, and Trojan, or: We try Fire & Ice so you don't have to.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Whispered to Me Last Night:
"I Give the Best Handjobs in Austin"


One of the joys of being a sex blogger is that when I go out, after a few cocktails people pull me aside to share their secrets with me. Sometimes these tell-alls start out like this: "Is it normal that I like to get, kind of, choked out during sex?" Other times they take a turn for the douche: "I don't want to sound like I'm bragging or anything, but I really just find Magnums more comfortable."

But other times people, feeling confident after a good experience, want to highlight their skills in some area. Last night I was dressed to the tell-me nines in a minidress and a tiara made of anal beads* and a friend asked, incredulously, how it was possible that yet another guy had told her she was the first woman to successfully make him come via handjob. "Is it really that uncommon, Julie?" she asked.

Most people think of handjobs as something middle school kids do before they're ready to get naked, I told her. "But you don't have to go down on them!" she said. "And everybody does it in New York City!" I can envision late nights home on the subway, trying to keep the bar-makeout-momentum going...but I never did it, and if I ever saw a handjob in my many, many late nights home on the A train, I don't remember.

The feeling many women seem to have about handjobs is epitomized by Garfunkel and Oates' song "Handjob, Bland Job, I Don't Understand Job." "Why would I do that when he can do it himself?" a married friend told me. "I would rather have sex or give a blow job any day." A single gal said, "I hate them, but it's because I don't really know if I'm doing it well."

My friend said, "While obviously I have magic hands, I wonder if girls aren't giving handjobs any more? And why not? It works, it's quick, it's in no way defined as 'sex,' and I have never found it to be remotely as challenging as a blowjob."

Handjobs can be fun in part because of the tease--as adults, alone in someone's own bedroom (or library, or subway, or wherever) you can just have sex if you want to. But there is a thrill in making someone experience pleasure in an unexpected way and making them wait a little longer for what they really want.

Assuming you weren't the Handjob Queen of North Texas in middle school, how do you give a good handjob? My friend last night said that a bottle of lube bedside is key; but not all lube will work well for handjobs. A water-based lube is likely to get sticky, so I recommend something silicone-based like Sliquid Organics Silk. Or if you're for sure not going to have sex later, a nice lickable massage oil will do the trick and since it's edible that means easier cleanup ;). But just remember that oils will degrade latex and anything flavored or scented will not make your vagina happy.

Don't grip too tightly unless the guy asks you to, and mind your nails and be careful of any rings or bracelets.

Here is one of the best How-To's from The Handjob Handbook (yes, I own this book):
Taint Misbehavin'
  1. Shaping your hand like a C, massage his shaft. Go slowly.
  2. Start massaging his inner thighs. This will encourage him to relax.
  3. Tickle his rear entrance with your fingertips while continuing to stroke his shaft with your other hand.
He'll probably protest at first, but he'll let down his guard once he realizes you're just knocking and not entering. Note: Some guys might invite you in. Whether or not you accept the invitation is up to you. [ed. note: you'll need that lube if he does!]
Have fun! And remember, guys: handjobs--you deserve it!

*it was for a Lady Gaga party benefiting Equality Texas, so it was totally apropo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breaking: Larry Flynt Offers $1M for Someone, Anyone,
to Admit to Sex with Rick Perry



Attention Aggies of a certain age! Did you have a secret, dirty liaision with the letterman sweater-clad Yell Leader in college? If you can provide "documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with the governor" Rick Perry could create a Texas Job just for you! Photos? Love letters? A telling yearbook inscription? Dirty Twitter dick shots?

With a full page ad in today's Austin Chronicle, Larry Flynt is offering Big Money for anyone, gay or straight, to come forward with proof that they've boned/been boned by Guvnuh Good Hair. Those Yell Leaders are damn near irresistible so I'm sure somebody put out for Perry over in College Station.

C'mon y'all!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Still-Not-Available-In-Texas Review:
Trojan Triphoria


I don't do reviews much anymore because the biz of sex toy reviews has grown by leaps and bounds since my days back at SexHerald.com; you can read dozens of user-generated reviews of almost any toy on Babeland's website and find out if the size, shape, and noise of a given product meets your specifications. Also, there comes a point when a girl just doesn't really need any more sex toys.

But the best review I saw of the Trojan Triphoria (which I mocked when it first came out last year) included lots of interesting history of the Big Two (SSL, former maker of Durex, and Church & Dwight, parent of Trojan) and their forays into the sex toy market. But the writer was a man who, if he used it with/on a female partner, didn't say anything about the clitoral stimulation the toy is designed to Blow One's Hair Back with.



So, I wrote to Babeland and asked if they'd send me one. And they did! I came back from my long summer vacation (during which I totally went to Babeland in NYC, obvs) to a surprise package.

Trojan does one thing impeccably well--they find out what their customer wants and they deliver it, inside and out. Triphoria's package is gorgeous. So shiny! So purple! No porno chicks! They even include the single AA battery you need so the first-time vibrator-using gal doesn't have to go through the embarrassing experience of buying a suspicious package of AA batteries and...nothing else.

The Triphoria has a couple of things going for it. First, it's waterproof. Second, the materials--medical grade plastic and silicone tips--are first rate. The tips are designed for external, clitoral stimulation and the toy, while it could be inserted, doesn't scream "pretend I'm a dick," which is a good soft landing for new vibrator users who are often intimidated by something too phallic.

But the toy isn't perfect. For a vibe with just one battery the Triphoria is surprisingly buzzy but not as much as, say, the Silver Bullet which has two. Second, the bulb that you're supposed to hold onto is good for the two slanted silicone tips, which are better when applied to the clit/vulva at an angle, but the pocket rocket-type tip (on the vibe in the picture above) needs to go head-on and it's kind of difficult to hold it that way.

At $47, the Triphoria is an indulgent My First Vibrator. But probably a great choice for, say, your mom or aunt or someone who might be grossed out by something too penis-like or unfeminine. The Triphoria, which comes in a pretty black and purple satin bag, has "You deserve this" written all over it. Just make sure to buy her an extra pack of batteries.

The bad news: if you order from Trojan's website,
TROJAN® VIBRATIONS products are available in the United States except for AL,GA, KS, LA, MS, TX and VA.
Bummer. But Babeland will send it anywhere.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Defense of Hot Teen Sex:
Paige Harden's Groundbreaking Study

When I was a graduate student I suggested to my advisor, who was preparing a talk to the Society of Adolescent Medicine about the risks of early sexual initiation, that we do a study investigating whether the type of relationship the teen was in, as well as the school environment, mitigated the negative effects of early initiation. He demurred.

Fast forward 6 years to Austin and voila, somebody tested my theory and I was totally right! Paige Harden, a psychology professor at UT, tested this hypothesis with twin teens enrolled in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. She found that teens who were in relationships, as opposed to those who were hooking up, did not experience the negative outcomes or engage in "delinquent" behavior often associated with early initiation, particularly by abstinence people who are trying to scare the bejeesus out of teenagers.

This research is comforting because for those of us who are actually sex educators, not just commentators, bloggers, and Fox News talking heads who seem to think all problems would go away if Teh Ladeez would just stop having Teh Sex already, this confirms what we know: most problems associated with teen sex are actually problems of poverty and sex is pulled into the orbit because it provides a convenient way to blame women for being poor.



Those of us who do this for a living, like my friend Logan Levkoff, know from working with teenagers that it is entirely possible--and often, quite likely--for teens to have relationships that grow, become sexual, and end in a way that is perfectly healthy. Judy Blume's book Forever isn't an enduring classic for nothing.

Yes, teen pregnancy is a problem. Sexually transmitted infections are a problem. But the majority of teenagers who have sex--which is the majority of teenagers--successfully avoid both pregnancy and STIs, and yet the drumbeat about teen sex is negative, negative, negative [see: Dr. Drew, who never saw a sexually active teenager he couldn't pathologize]. There have been no episodes of "Teen Mom" or "16 and Pregnant" featuring teens who actually just had sex, used birth control, and everything is fine, really.

I'm guessing that's why my advisor didn't want to test the hypothesis, because demonstrating that good, healthy teen sex is totally possible (Hi, T and D!) could potentially decrease what little funding is available to provide sex education programs to teenagers in need. But we need to acknowledge that sex itself is not a cause or indicator of "at risk"-ness or a predictor of further bad behavior. Teens who are at risk are at risk, full stop. They may have sex for reasons directly related to their "at risk"-ness, like crippling poverty; trying to force abstinence on them does nothing to mitigate the circumstances in which they live, despite the supposed intentions of abstinence-only programs. But it does conveniently allow policymakers to blame them for suffering "consequences" related to sex and further cut programs designed to allow poor people--particularly women--to escape poverty. But hey! That's the idea. Just ask the Texas Legislature.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July


Here we are again, another Fourth of July, another three day weekend during which we drink beer, lay in the sun, and celebrate what it means to be Truly American.

My pal Mark Regnerus has a piece in the New York Times about the "institution of marriage" and the "peril" it's in. This comes on the heels of the long form article about my hero Dan Savage that was printed in the NYT Magazine this week detailing Dan's approach to saving marriage: eliminating obligatory monogamy in favor of an approach that allows couples to actually do what works for them. Which, for some married couples, might mean lifelong monogamy. But, for many others, successful marriage looks different. Like a tweeted picture of a boxer-clad boner, for instance.

But really, who cares what married people are doing behind closed doors? Why is it anyone's business whether Bill and Hillary have an open marriage or not, as long as their marriage functions for them? When we see examples of people like the Clintons [allegedly] flouting social norms--and #winning in spite of it--people get pissed because marriage is supposed to be a monogamous, Sisyphean life course. Women are supposed to save sex for marriage and, failing that, to sell at the high price of a relationship [women don't like sex for pleasure, obvs]. Children are supposed to be conceived in marriage because, dammit, well, that's what we think.

But what if we're wrong? Our social norms are more about protecting the patriarchy and the rights of men to collectively dominate women and children and the so-called nuclear family is a key part of that goal. But some women like to have sex because sex is fun. Many single mothers do a bang-up job of raising kids, actually, and gay couples can be just as breeder-y as Ozzie and Harriet. So why do we care how people structure their personal lives?

This is not freedom. This is not justice. Freedom happens when consenting adults discern what will work for them, communicate about it with partners, and get what they need. Justice happens when people who want to have children can have them and raise them with respect, support, and care, regardless of what the Census says about the family structure in which they live.

So considering that here in Texas there are no fireworks today because of the risk of fire, make some fireworks of your own by supporting America and exercising your freedom in the best way you can: by fucking the shit out of someone, tonight.* Or don't. But make the choice yours.




*I'll be watching fireworks, actually. Sorry fellow Texans.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

GRE Spot: Declivity

Today's word is DECLIVITY.
ADJ: downward slope.
"The more Natty Lights a bro drinks the more extreme the Declivity of his erectile function."

Monday, June 20, 2011

GRE Spot: Accretion

Today's word is ACCRETION.
N: a growth in size; an increase in amount.
"The impressive accretion of Chase's member lent new meaning to the phrase 'a grower, not a show-er.'"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

GRE Spot: Cossett


Image via.

Today's word is COSSETT.
V: to pamper or treat with great care. "John is a foot fetishist and his greatest fantasy was to cossett Sarah's feet all night with a massage and pedicure."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PlentyofSyph.com:
Greatest STI Education Website Ever

CANADA FOR THE WIN!

Frequent readers will know that syphilis is totes my fave sexually transmitted infection (why? because syphilis is BAD ASS). The Alberta Health Services program in Canada has a new website, PlentyofSyph.com, meant to educate internet daters about the risk of syphilis. And be hilariously awesome.

Of course, PlentyofFish.com, a legit online dating site, is all pissed that a stuffy health department came up with such an epic idea, but whatever. It's not often that a public health agency has the wherewithal to do something so cool, so let us have this one, internet dating. Follow them on Twitter, please. You'll learn about how syphilis can cause blindness, body rashes, and brain-eating craziness. Not necessarily in that order.

This campaign is 100 times cooler than the Texas, "So you've gotta sore...down there..." commercials that started airing in Austin this year after a successful (?) run in Dallas in 2009 and 2010. You win this round, Canada!

PlentyofSyph.com TV Spot - Boy from Plentyof Syph on Vimeo.

GRE Spot: ABSTEMIOUS


Today's word: ABSTEMIOUS.

adj. moderate in appetite.
"Kelly and John are totally going to break up," said Jenny. "His sex drive is so abstemious that they only do it, like, once a month and that's not keeping Kelly satisfied."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Feature: Sexy GRE Words

When I took the GRE many years ago I wrote sexy sentences to learn the top 500 words. Now that I have a bunch of students who are studying for the GREs themselves, I thought what better way to help bored study-ers than to share some of my knowledge. So, without further ado, today begins a new feature: SEXY GRE WORDS.

First up: ABDICATE.
During a 3-way after the Tri-Chi party, B-rad ABDICATED his position behind Kaytee to his dude-bro, Chase, who assumed rawdog behind her.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Texas has a Slutwalk In It--
Lord Have Mercy On Our Souls!

Click here for an interview with Julie Sunday on YNN Austin.






Yes means winning!


















Julie Sunday with a Moto Slut/Biker Against Sexual Assault. Slut Walk + ROT Rally = BEST WEEKEND EVER


















This man is so full of win!













Official How to Have Sex in Texas cat Blazer Sunday definitely prefers consent.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Erectile Dysfunction in Young Men:
No, You Don't Need Viagra

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common reasons guys consult with me and I thought it was time to put together a post about boners. Most erectile dysfunction experienced by guys in the 18-24 age group has a few simple causes. I've seen a few blatant medication-seekers but for the most part, the guys I see don't understand how erections work and how they can be affected by things going on in their lives. I usually discourage the use of medication, because most young guys don't have the type of ED that would be fixed by big pharma, and most of them can make a few simple lifestyle changes and be good to go. Below are the main causes of erectile dysfunction in young men.

1. Drinking too much. Alcohol affects the circulatory system (which is why your cheeks get flushed when you drink), and there is a point for every person where the brain will prioritize the continued operation of the lungs and heart over a dick getting hard. This point is different for everyone, and it can vary based on things like how tired a person is, how stressed out they are, or what they're drinking. Drinking at, say, a tailgate is a recipe for boner-disaster. Even if you don't feel drunk because you've been slowly drinking all day, the amount of alcohol in your blood is high and the effect is the same: no hard dick. Similarly, playing beer pong for hours or drinking a 12 pack of beers is a good way to overwhelm your blood flow and stay frustratingly soft all night. Le sigh.

2. Prescription drugs. The two main categories of drugs that affect young males' erections are antidepressants (which can inhibit erection altogether, delay orgasm, or both) and stimulants like Adderall which, like cocaine, doesn't usually keep a boner from happening but will inhibit orgasm effectively. And no, the girl you're having sex with isn't psyched that you can go for an hour at a stretch. Also, if you're not prescribed a drug like Adderall and you're taking it anyway, the side effects may be worse.

3. Stress. I see people all the time who are experiencing some incredibly stressful event--writing a dissertation, just found out they have herpes, parent illness or death--who have erectile dysfunction. The brain can only focus on so many things at a time, and overwhelming stress is a sure-fire boner-killer.

4. Condoms. Penises come in all shapes and sizes, but condoms are almost all the same: a cylindrical tube that is the same circumference at the top and bottom. Some, like the Magnum, are more baseball-bat shaped for those guys who are wider at the top, but no condom out there is designed for the guys who are really wide at the base. The ring at the bottom of the male condom should be snug, but not uncomfortably tight, and definitely not painful. This isn't an excuse to not use condoms, but if a guy suspects that condoms are the problem because he has can stay hard when he's masturbating or during oral sex, trying a few different condoms is key.

5. Feelings. I get all mooshy inside when guys come in and they're all emotional about their new partner and can't stay hard because they're so nervous about where the relationship is going. I've seen this happen with guys from all over the map--gay, straight, religious, fratty--and it's always devastating (but also kind of endearing!). The last thing you want when you have a new partner is for the sex to not work the way you envisioned. This problem has a pretty easy solution: redirect and wait. Don't lie and say it's never happened (if it has), just be honest and say that you really like the person, you're nervous about wanting to impress them, and then impress them with your other skills. If you don't have any other skills, develop them now.

6. Unhealthy lifestyle. This can include all of the above factors or it can stand on its own. Remember that the dick is part of the circulatory system, and remember from 4th grade health class that the cardiovascular system is made stronger through exercise and weaker by its absence. Guys who are totally sedentary, overweight, eat junk food, sit in front of a computer for 16 hours a day (sound like any PhD students you know?) are setting themselves up for erectile failure. An erection is not a crucial body function and if you're not taking care of your heart, you are not guaranteed hard-ons when you want them. Go to the gym.

7. The Heterosexual Closet. Guys I see are frequently stuck in a "good girl/bad girl" rut--they can get hard and have great sex with "bad girls" but when they get the "good girl" that is socially acceptable girlfriend material, they don't respond the same way. Sometimes it's not the partner but a particular type of sex a guy wants to have but is afraid to ask for with a longer term partner with whom he's emotionally vulnerable. It can be scary to ask for something you want sexually, especially if you discovered you liked it under casual circumstances; asking a one night stand to choke you is easy, because you might not see them again. But telling your girlfriend that you like to be hit during sex could make things awkward. The only way to get the sex you want is to ask for it. If you're not getting what you want from "good girls" then, guess what? You're trapped in the heterosexual closet and it's time to come out.

So if you're panicked about your boners or just want to try Viagra because you think it'll be awesome, save your money. You don't need it, it won't do anything, and how emasculating to depend on a medication to get a hard-on anyway.

Happy Boner Summer, everyone.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Throat Cancer, the New Oral Sex Freakout



BACKGROUND: I've been writing about HPV and Gardasil for the past 5 years and with this piece in 2006 I was one of the earliest critics of Merck's aggressive "public health" campaigns pushing vaccination for young girls. That was long before a New York Times expose about the profit motive behind the HPV vaccine market and JAMA's publication of a scathing indictment of ACOG and ACHA for naively following Merck's money down the HPV rabbit hole.


Evidence of the increase in HPV-related oral cancer in men keeps showing up in my inbox, and I'm steeling myself for a new oral sex panic. The initial reports described men in 'high risk' categories [read: gay] showing up with the disease, but the more recent studies have suggested that "HPV prevalence in cervical rather than penile tissue might boost the chances of HPV infection when performing oral sex on a woman, contributing to the higher rate of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer in men."

Is this a reversal of the so-called biological disadvantage women face when it comes to sexually transmitted infections? Maybe. But it's hard to know, because most of the surveys that investigate sexual behavior at the population level don't ask about the number of partners individuals have had for oral sex. The studies that do, like the one quoted above, usually include only people who already have cancer, and the number of partners at which the risk of oral cancer is said to significantly increase--just 6 or more--sets a bar that cannot be compared to the general population, because studies don't treat oral and anal sex the same as vaginal. This begs the question that some sex educators assume is an answered one--whether or not oral sex is "sex."

The National College Health Assessment, which I have implemented twice and analyzed extensively, asks about the total number of partners in the past year for oral, vaginal and anal sex--but taken together, a gross number of partners including everyone with whom an individual has engaged in any of these behaviors is not helpful (p. 10). A person who has had 7 oral sex partners, 1 vaginal sex partner, and 0 anal sex partners would wash out the same as someone who has had 2 oral sex partners, 1 vaginal sex partner, and 5 anal sex partners, though this distribution of activities paints a vastly different risk portrait than the first.

Similarly, AddHealth and the National Survey of Family Growth fail to ask about number of oral and anal sex partners individually. Knowing the total number of sex partners for oral, vaginal and anal assumes overlap between the behaviors between partners, which may not be accurate, especially for younger cohorts. Anyone who works with college students knows that oral sex is a feature of "hook ups" far more frequently than vaginal sex.

The leading population-level surveys don't ask about oral sex and anal sex individually, so we can't draw conclusions about the outcomes associated with these behaviors. Most data on oral and anal sex comes from intervention or target population data samples, which are not comparable to population level samples and can't necessarily be generalized. I do a survey that does ask about the number of partners for each of the OVA behaviors individually, and while my sample is generalizable to the population from which it is drawn, it can't be generalized to the entire population of 18-24 year olds in America.

Insisting that oral sex is sex IS relevant when we're developing survey questions, because we as researchers and educators need to know about these behaviors individually, because they mean different things to our populations and they pose differential risks. But lecturing young adults about how if they've had oral sex they AREN'T virgins alienates them and takes agency away from people to whom the number of people they've had sex with matters in a very tangible way.

With apologies to Dan Savage, I think it's completely inappropriate to tell young people unequivocally that "oral sex is sex," that mutual masturbation is sex, and whatever other "let's do everything but..." stuff teenagers do is actually sex and sorry kids, you're not virgins anymore. I don't care what people define as "sex," but I feel clear that individuals get to decide what is and isn't "sex" for them. Driving a car is not the same as riding shotgun, and just because you ride in a car with your boyfriend that has a license doesn't make you a driver. Teenagers are capable of understanding that they need to wear a seatbelt no matter where they're sitting in the car--can't we take that approach with oral and anal sex, too? Since virginity is socially constructed anyway, I'm in favor of letting people construct when they are and aren't virgins anymore.

Which means that we in sexual health need to be careful with the research and recommendations coming out about men and oral cancer, because I can give you 1000 examples of college girls who would report a significant number of oral sex partners (hello, prevalence of genital HSV-1) but no vaginal or anal sex partners and would never wind up in the traditional "high risk" categories in research. But even when we do ask about oral sex specifically, we don't ask about whether people performed or received, and if indeed performing oral sex on a female increases the risk of oral HPV, we need to ask about the number of partners on whom a respondent has performed and received oral sex, and not assume that it was mutual. It is our job as researchers and educators to make our work relevant to our population, not to try to fit their behavior into categories that make sense to us.

Bossing young people around and telling them what is and isn't sex exceeds the appropriate scope of practice for sex educators, full stop. Is oral sex a behavior which carries risks that are similar to but, by every measure, less than, vaginal or anal sex? Yes. But does that mean to college kids who get drunk at a party and hook up, it's "sex"? Not to hear them tell it. I believe in the power of the people I educate to accurately define what is and isn't sex for them, and my responsibility is to provide them with information about how to reduce their risk. The people who need to get the message about whether oral sex is "really sex" are the researchers whose surveys continually ignore the different types of sexual behavior in which people actually engage.



*BTW, oral cancers that are caused by HPV are much less likely to be fatal than those caused by tobacco and/or alcohol use. So oral sex is officially safer than drinking and smoking. Suck it, abstinence people.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OMG 45,000 Visitors and Counting! Also, Summer Sex Toy Must-Haves!

OMG people! In just over a year this blog has miraculously received more than 45,000 visitors. I've covered everything from hilarious abstinence PSAs to sex toy billboards in Dallas to what's wrong with Midland to racist anti-abortion billboards in Austin and had a blast doing it. I gave a lecture at Austin's Nerd Nite called "Steers, Queers and Sex Toys," which you can watch below.

I write about sex toys and porn a lot less than I did on This is Go-To Girl, but I figured y'all and I could use a break from the constant barrage of bad sex news out of Texas and focus on something guaranteed to please--my summer sex toy guide.

I've been reviewing sex toys and writing about sex toy safety for going on 5 years now and I'm continually stunned with the increasing quality of toys available. I can still remember when I bought a bright red jelly dildo at Babeland to use in workshops. Now everything sold by my go-to toy retailer is phthalate-free, and silicone is a must in most soft-texture dildos and vibrators. This is great news.

In 2006, when I started my first babyblog Ms. Go-To Girl, there was no Jimmyjane, no We-Vibe, no Sliquid Organics. Once there was only Aneros and now there are dozens of amazing prostate stimulators, including Lelo's Earl which is made of gold for chrissakes. We have all come so far and so very, very hard.

Here are my picks for 2011.

While I don't need or want this for myself (sorry, Dad!) I expect to buy several sets of the Sex and Pregnancy Kit for my friends who are in the family way. With a single PC muscle ball to help the vagina get strong for birth and the return to sex afterwards, lube, a small vibrator and a book focused on having an "Orgasmic Pregnancy" I think several people can expect to get these from me at baby showers this summer. (Hi, J & B!)

I'm very excited about the new Fun Factory G4 vibrators, especially the Big Boss, which closely resembles my Sinnflut. Rechargeable, waterproof, and perfect for size queens, the Boss features a finger hole at the end for easier maneuvering. A word of caution: at 9.75" long and 1.75" in diameter, this toy isn't for the faint of heart. A good lube is a must.

Which brings us to Sliquid Sassy Formula, designed especially for anal play. I love the word Sassy (Hi, Baby D!) and the bottle is super cute, so this is my hands-down favorite. It's vegan, glycerin- and paraben-free (Hi, L!) and gluten-free to boot. (Hi, J & M!) My only hesitation is that the bottle doesn't have a pump-top; fewer lubes seem to have them now than in past years.

While you've got that lube out, consider trying the Njoy Pure Plug, which I boosted in my talk at Nerd Nite. Available in three sizes, which I'll call "Ted Haggard," "Rick Perry" and "advanced," the Pure is gorgeous, solid stainless steel that can be warmed or cooled and is totally sterilizable and shareable. This product can be used to strengthen PC muscles in the vagina as well.

If you're in the market for porn, try Speed, which has an awesome cast and features condom use in every scene! Honorable mentions for the Crash Pad vol. 6 (I remember the first one way back when!) and Rough Sex 2 (not for the faint of heart).

By the way, May is Masturbation Month and this Saturday is the annual Masturbation-a-Thon in San Francisco so get busy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Texas Aggie Conservatives Outraged that "Only One Perverse Sexual Worldview" Being Taught at A & M

I have never been to College Station. I don't know much about A & M. But the school has long been linked with the Chicken Ranch, the famous brothel profiled in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas so it's got something of a ... reputation. So color me shocked when the Texas Aggie Conservatives this week released a covert video taken during a presentation on "Safe and Fun Sex" by San Antonio sex therapist and educator Cay Crow.

The video, which is so amateurish that it never shows Cay at all and manages to only occasionally capture the extremely bland how-to anal sex video she played for the audience, features captions trumpeting the outrage that the University would sponsor an event teaching the how-to's of GAY SEX OMG.

Of course, this presentation is declared indicative of A & M's "funding bias." A link to the group's Facebook page invites visitors to:
Sign the petition against funding bias on our website to help us end Texas A&M University's one sided institutional support for the GLBT. Taxpayer dollars and student fees should not be used in a viewpoint discriminatory manner, promoting only one perverse sexual worldview.
All perverse sexual worldviews deserve equal state funding! Perhaps they could bring back the tradition of sending Aggie boys to brothels to "become men."

The About page of the TAC says "we are not affiliated with any other organization," but the Facebook page for Texas Aggie Conservaties reveals the source of their piss and vinegar and boilerplate conservative writing: they're affiliated with Campus Reform, which is the college organizing arm of the Leadership Institute, the arch-conservative training organization founded by Morton Blackwell.

In a New York Times article in 2001 about the Leadership Institute, Blackwell claimed that they did not teach "family values" in their training events, that that was "someone else's job."

"Someone" has done a great job of teaching those kids at A & M that it's just not fair that the University sponsors events to teach the how-to's of anal sex but not any other "perverse sexual worldviews." They obviously didn't realize that since everyone has a butt, anal sex is the least "viewpoint discriminatory" thing you can teach!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Rick Santorum!


If it weren't for NPR's daily "Happy Birthday to [insert marginally famous person]" announcements I would not have known that today was Rick Santorum's birthday. But now that I know, I thought it fitting to write a birthday post to honor the man who has tried so hard to make the sex lives of so many so miserable.

If you're new to Rick Santorum, the first thing to know is that he's a weird, super pro-life former Senator from Pennsylvania who spent the night cuddling with his dead son.

But in these modern times Google is the arbiter of the most important thing to know about a person, so we must share that several years ago Rick became famous for something entirely different. In an interview with USA Today, Santorum suggested that by overturning anti-sodomy laws [the decision that was later handed down, Lawrence v. Texas, did just that], the Supreme Court would be condoning incest, bigamy, and, most famously, "man-on-dog" sex.

In the same interview, Santorum expanded:
And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do.
Nailed it, Rick! But wait, there's more:
This right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion.
That's right: Santorum said on the record that he did not believe that the right to privacy exists in the Constitution. He went further to blame the Catholic church sex abuse scandals on the right to privacy, because liberals had damaged the so-called fabric of our society.

In retaliation, Dan Savage, hero of heroes, put out the call for sex-tolerant Americans to coin a new definition for "santorum" that would live in infamy and shame the Senator for his homophobic, hateful, and anti-sex ways. And how.

The first Google search result for "Rick Santorum" is not Facebook, a coy presidential "exploratory" site (#4), or a Wikipedia entry (#2); it is the page for Spreading Santorum, the front of which simply carries the word's jaw-droppingly gross definition:
"The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex."

Mr. Santorum, I can't think of a better birthday tribute than to remind Americans what you really stand for. And also to suggest you hire a search engine optimization expert, post fucking haste.