Authours of Oh Joy Sex Toy in town for Vancouver Comic Arts Festival.

Passed along by someone in the comments section (thanks!):

I'm a huge fan of the webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy, so I thought I'd get the word out that the wonderful Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan of Oh Joy Sex Toy will be at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival this weekend. In addition to showing many wonderful comic artists, there will also be some interesting panels such as Queering Up Comics: LGBTQA and Beyond and This is Probably a Mistake: "the delicate and nuanced art of telling stories through crude humour". VanCAF runs from May 21-22 at the Vancouver Roundhouse and admission is completely free!

For more information about VanCAF, click here: link.

For those unfamiliar with Erika Moen and her partner Matthew Nolan's work, check it out here: link.

A sample of their work:

Oh Joy Sex Toy Sex Positive

How long does the average guy last in bed?


Many, many men worry that they aren't able to last long enough when having sex. Their concern is two-fold:

First, and foremost, men are often afraid that they aren't sufficiently satisfying their partners. The assumption is that lasting longer is always better. The fear is that partners will leave or be critical.

Second, sexual skills are central to many men's sense of masculinity. If a guy sees himself as bad in bed, he may feel like less of a man. And because stamina is considered to be important, the inability to go and go and go can be experienced as a failure at being a man.

Now, if a guy is struggling with premature ejaculation (which has been clinically defined several different ways, the most common being ejaculation in less than a minute), that's a much different experience than a guy who is worried because he typically lasts around 5 minutes.

So, how long do guys last, on average? Turns out to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5-6 minutes.

Dr. Justin Lehmiller reviewed the research for his piece in Playboy:

This is How Long the Average Guy Lasts in Bed
By Justin Lehmiller
When it comes to sex, some guys worry that they don’t last long enough–and I’m not even talking about guys with premature ejaculation here. Guys who already have a lot of sexual stamina to begin with often worry that they aren’t measuring up.
It’s easy to see how men might come to this conclusion. After all, the most popular men’s magazines are constantly publishing articles with tips on how to last longer in bed, and many advertise “sexual enhancement” products designed to improve sex by delaying the male orgasm.
Then there’s porn, which gives the impression that guys should be able to keep going and going and going—and then coming and coming and coming. But that’s a topic for another article.
So what’s typical when it comes to sexual stamina, anyway? How long does it take for the average guy to ejaculate?
Let’s take a look at the research.

Read the rest here: link.

Man protests same-sex marriage by suing to marry his computer.

chris sevier

From news of the strange.

Mark “Chris” Sevier, lawyer and EDM musician, is really opposed to same-sex marriage. So much so that he's insisting that he be allowed to marry his porn-filled laptop in protest. Sevier claims that if two people of the same sex are able to get married, then a person should be able to marry whoever or whatever they want.

Of course, his claim is intended to be absurd to support his view that marriage between a man and woman is constitutionally protected and same-sex marriage is not. He's filed a two lawsuits, one in Utah and the other in Florida, after being denied marriage licences to wed his laptop. Both cases have been dismissed. These are the not the first times that he's protested same-sex marriage with frivolous lawsuits.

More about him and his absurdity from the DailyBeast:

Meet the Anti-LGBT Bigot “Marrying” His Computer
Meet Mark Sevier, a Christian music producer with a lengthy arrest record and a history of bogus lawsuits.
by Samantha Allen
It’s a love story as old as time itself. Man meets laptop. Man fills laptop with pornography. Man sues state for the right to marry his masturbatory aid.
In 2014, former Tennessee lawyer and Christian electronic dance music producer Mark “Chris” Sevier filed a motion in Florida arguing that if same-sex couples “have the right to marry their object of sexual desire… then I should have the right to marry my preferred sexual object,” in this case his “porn-filled Apple computer.”
The motion was dismissed, of course, but Sevier is back again with a new Texas lawsuit demanding that he be granted a 14th Amendment right to wed his laptop.
As the Houston Chronicle reports, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has already asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that “the right to marry one’s computer is not an interest, objectively, deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition.”
At the very least, Sevier appears to be monogamous. The laptop named in this new suit is the same 2011 MacBook that he asked to marry in 2014.
But Sevier, who has said that “the Constitution is being hijacked” by same-sex marriage, does not seem to actually be in love with his computer. The EDM artist has a long history of bogus legal actions designed to undermine marriage equality.

Read the rest here: link.

Sex education, Norwegian style.

Looking to brush up on your sex education?

In most of North America and elsewhere, sex education is notoriously inadequate (and arguably, straight up ineffective - I'm looking at you, abstinence-only).

In the last few decades, Canada has made a concerted effort to improve access to good, comprehensive sex ed. But, sex education is at the purview of the provinces, who set curriculum. There is some flexibility in how that curriculum is applied, and even in places where sex ed is the best, it's still largely an afterthought.

The nordic countries tend to be the most sex-positive and socially liberal, so it's no surprise that their sex education is much better.

While these clips aren't part of the school curriculum in Norway, they do demonstrate a much different approach to thinking about sex ed than we see here in North America. And they're awesome.

Below is the first in the series. If you click through to YouTube, you can find the rest of the series. There are English subtitles. The clips are NSFW!

You can learn more about the series here: link.

Interviews with three female porn producers.


The porn industry is still largely run by men. But over the last ten years, many women have taken on the roles of producers and directors. And it's been a good thing; porn has arguably changed for the better because of it. Additionally, there's now much more content that appeals to women.

In this piece, three female producers share some of their insights about the industry. From the Guardian:

'I have to remind people I can still be dirty': the female porn directors calling the shots
Bree Mills, Tasha Reign and Joanna Angel represent a growing number of women directing the action and with five women out of 15 nominees for best director at the recent adult video awards, could the Oscars take notes?
by Gabriella Paiella
The 33rd annual Adult Video News awards, colloquially known as “the Oscars of porn”, were held in Las Vegas last weekend. It was a decidedly less stuffy affair than its mainstream counterpart: the red carpet was smaller, the ceremony blessedly shorter, and there was no Mani Cam in sight.
The AVN Awards celebrate talent in the adult entertainment industry – an industry which, despite growing more popular and accepted each year, still faces substantial criticism for its perceived mistreatment of women.
And yet, out of this year’s nominees for best director of a feature, five out of 15 were women. Compare that to the entirely male roster of nominees for best director at this year’s Oscars – and every year since since 2010, when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that award in the Academy’s 87-year history.
So what is it like to work – and succeed – in the industry? I spoke to three female directors at different stages of their careers to find out.
Read the interviews here: link.




Documentary on disabilities and sex.

While we, as a society, are becoming increasingly more comfortable with sex, the sexual lives of disabled people is rarely ever acknowledged or discussed. And it seems that many within the able-bodied community are uncomfortable even thinking about it (e.g., link and link).

There has been a concerted effort to fight against stereotypes people may have about disability and sexuality. I previously posted a documentary on sex and disabilities. You can check it out here: link.

This latest project has been receiving a lot of positive attention. It's another documentary about disabilities and sex.

From Dazed

The film making us face the idea disabled people have sex
‘Yes We Fuck’ is an uncompromising look at the reality that disabled people have sex lives too. We caught up with director and disability activist Antonio Centeno to find out more
by Sirin Kale
As a society we’re becoming more accepting of sexuality in all its guises and forms – and rightly so. 2015 could be seen as the year when trans issues finally broke through into the mainstream after decades spent on the margins of society, while more and more women in particular are joining the sexually fluid revolution. And yet for all of our talk, there’s one conversation that we’re not having – about how disabled people have sex.
Spanish director and disability activist Antonio Centeno wants to tackle this prudishness head-on. His film Yes We Fuck (which is co-directed with Raúl de la Morena) is a no-holds barred look at the world of disabled sexuality, with uncompromising visuals (of people having sex) and a strong sense of moral purpose. Centeno shows human intimacy in all its forms, and what strikes you from watching the film is that the issues faced by disabled people when it comes to their sex lives aren’t so dissimilar to those faced by the rest of the population.
Watching the film, which recently showed at the British Film Institute’s Flare festival, at times makes for uncomfortable viewing. You’re discomfited by the fact that the sexuality depicted on our TVs and in popular culture almost uniformly represents one experience: that of heterosexual intimacy between two able-bodied, cis-gendered people.
Yes We Fuck is an uplifting, refreshing corrective to the narrative that disabled people are in some way sexless, made noble by the struggles they undergo to assimilate into a society that is in many ways ableist. The film isn’t perfect – sections are too long, and while Centeno wants to depict the reality of disabled people having sex, at times the camera lingers too long or in a way that feels intrusive. It’s clear that this is very much a passion project from the fledging director, and one which could perhaps have profited from tauter editing. Nonetheless, it’s rare to see a film which so profoundly makes you confront your own prejudices to recognize that we all of us share a common humanity and a common desire to express that humanity through the most natural act of all – the act of fucking, of course. 
To find why we need to get on board with the fact that disabled people fuck like the rest of us, Dazed caught up with Centeno at the BFI. Below is the transcript of our conversation, which has been edited for flow and clarity.

Read the interview here: link.

And the trailer:

Online dating impacting the way people choose partners.


The assortative mating theory suggests that people choose partners who are similar to themselves in many ways, such as education, background, social class, personality, and attractiveness. There's now a substantial amount of research to support the theory.

When it comes to physical attractiveness, this means that people of similar attractiveness typically pair up. But, and this is a big but, the longer that people know each other, the less important physical attractiveness seems to be.

In other words, physical attractiveness plays a larger role in who people choose when they don't know each other well. With more time to get to know one another, many other variables start to play an important role in partner choice.

Additionally, relationship and partner satisfaction in the longer term seem to have less to do with partner attractiveness than other partner attributes.

The article below discusses this in the context of online dating, where there are limitless partner options and people have little chance to get to know each other before they date.

From Priceonomics:

Online Dating and the Death of the 'Mixed-Attractiveness' Couple
by Alex Mayyasi
When was the last time you met a couple where one person was attractive and the other was not? 
There’s no reason couples like that should stand out—except for the fact that they are so rare. Seeing it can set off an uncharitable search for an explanation. Is the plain one rich or funny? Is the attractive one boring or unintelligent? 
While love-seeking singles speak of this dynamic through euphemisms like “she’s out of my league”, economists and psychologists have dismally documented it.  
"We think we have highly idiosyncratic preferences,” psychologist Paul Eastwick has said of dating, “but there's just no compelling evidence that those preferences [matter] once people actually meet face-to-face.” Experiments run by OKCupid, a dating site that matches singles by asking them which qualities they care about in a partner, support this idea
Instead it’s well established among academics interested in dating that “opposites attract” is a myth. Study after study supports the idea of “assortative mating”: the hypothesis that people generally date and marry partners who are like them in terms of social class, educational background, race, personality, and, of course, attractiveness. 
To use fratboy vernacular: 7s date other 7s, and a 3 has no chance with a 10.
There is an exception, however, to this seeming rule that people always date equally attractive people: The longer two people know each other before they start dating, the more likely it is that a 3 will date a 6, or a 7 will marry a 10. 

Read the rest here: link.

The science of erections and why many men struggle.


My latest piece for A review of the physiology of erections, what causes erections, and how performance anxiety leads to erectile difficulties.

How Erections Work
AskMen Science: We Took A Long, Hard Look At What Makes Your Manhood Tick
by Dr. Jason Winters
You probably don’t remember the first time that you got an erection. That’s because it almost certainly happened when you were an infant. Infant males start getting erections at an early age, as their nervous systems develop. Most will also play with themselves and may even engage in masturbation-type behavior. It’s all part of developmental discovery, and is considered completely normal and healthy.
Some parents, not knowing this, freak out and worry that their kids are becoming sexual at too early of an age. They may unintentionally shame their sons, which can lead them to have some toxic feelings about sex, masturbation, and their bodies.
While shaming boys for getting erections and playing with their penises is to be avoided, as boys get a little older, it’s important to establish boundaries in terms of where and when it’s appropriate to play with oneself — for example, no masturbating at the dinner table.
By adolescence, most boys become well aware that their dicks get hard and that stimulation feels good. It’s usually around puberty that most guys start masturbating to get off. It’s also around that time that spontaneous boners become a thing.
Many guys have traumatic memories of spontaneous boners happening at the most embarrassing times, like in class, on the bus, or hanging out at the swimming pool. It’s pretty much a universal experience. Spontaneous boners can be the result of random nervous system activity, and can also be due to unnoticed sexual arousal (i.e., horniness).
But while most guys have spent a lot of time thinking about their erections, they might not know much about how and why they happen — so I'm going to clear all that up for you. 

Check out the rest here: link.

Women and minorities face the brunt of online harassment.

The findings of this research are entirely unsurprising, but somehow seeing the data is still shocking.

Online harassment has become one of most pressing issues within the digitally connected world. Many large online publications have stopped providing the platform to comment on their articles. Others have opted to link accounts to social media so that commenting is not anonymous.

Even on social media itself where people are easily identifiable, comments can be cruel, persecutory, and harassing. It's largely attributed to the distance created by digital interactions (as opposed to face-to-face). People act likes dicks.

The findings of the research by the Guardian are even more saddening; they show that women and minorities, who are already disenfranchised in relation to white straight guys, take the brunt of online harassment.

From the Guardian:

The dark side of Guardian comments
As part of a series on the rising global phenomenon of online harassment, the Guardian commissioned research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006 and discovered that of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black. Hear from three of those writers, explore the data and help us host better conversations online
by Becky GardinerMahana MansfieldIan AndersonJosh HolderDaan Louterand Monica Ulmanu
Comments allow readers to respond to an article instantly, asking questions, pointing out errors, giving new leads. At their best, comment threads are thoughtful, enlightening, funny: online communities where readers interact with journalists and others in ways that enrich the Guardian’s journalism.
But at their worst, they are something else entirely.
The Guardian was not the only news site to turn comments on, nor has it been the only one to find that some of what is written “below the line” is crude, bigoted or just vile. On all news sites where comments appear, too often things are said to journalists and other readers that would be unimaginable face to face – the Guardian is no exception.
New research into our own comment threads provides the first quantitative evidence for what female journalists have long suspected: that articles written by women attract more abuse and dismissive trolling than those written by men, regardless of what the article is about.

Read the rest here: link.


Is porn as bad as many claim?


As described in the post on ethical pornography, there are three main concerns when it comes to porn:

  1. exploitation of performers
  2. impact on viewers (and indirectly on their relationships)
  3. significance for society in general

It's rare to find mainstream articles, pieces, or documentaries that provide a balanced and objective perspective on pornography. Mostly what you'll encounter are bold claims and black and white type arguments, all of which are critical. But the reality is much more nuanced. Yes, there are legitimate concerns. But no, pornography is also not the boogeyman that many people make it out to be.

This piece from Aeon provides an excellent overview. If you're curious about the concerns regarding pornography and what the research tells us, then it's definitely a very worthwhile read.

From Aeon:

Critics say that porn degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?
by Maria Konnikova
I don’t remember how old I was when I had my first encounter with pornography, but I must have been around 10 – the experience is entwined with the sound of the AOL dial-up tone. It was something relatively benign – a close-up photo of some genitalia – and I wasn’t much shocked. I grew up in a family not given to sugarcoating the realities of the human condition and I’d known what to expect.
But what if I’d grown up a decade or so later, when the internet had graduated beyond the old-school chatrooms and into the ubiquitous juggernaut of today? My memory might have been decidedly different.

Read the rest here: link.


Violet Blue: Ethical porn choices.

Many have criticized pornography as exploitative; there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that some workers are not treated with respect or dignity, particularly by certain producers.

More recently, though, there has been a move towards increased labour rights and respect of performers. The top performers have always made a good living and are typically treated well. The ethical pornography movement takes it one step further. A core part of the approach is that performer rights are paramount.

There is also concern that pornography negatively affects consumers. Porn likely affects different people differently, and type of content interacts with intrapersonal characteristics. The research shows that the consumers who we should be most concerned about are those (men) who are characterized by hostile masculinity (e.g., attitudes supporting violence against women, rape myth acceptance, hostility towards women, etc.) and antisocial traits (e.g., impulsiveness, low empathy, etc.). They're the same viewers who are likely to choose content that represents the worst of the porn industry (e.g., exploitative, misogynistic, etc.). For these men, porn use can increase risk for sexual violence, and also feeds their nasty attitudes about women.

Another concern is that porn is replacing sex ed for teens. Sex ed in some geographical regions is great; in most others, it's still pretty terrible or superficial. If teens watch porn without sex ed to balance it out, their blueprints for sex and relationships will end up being based on the fantasy world of pornography, and not reality.

As far as we can tell, though, the vast majority of porn consumers reject the type of content that is most problematic, and now that porn has become ubiquitous, many have argued that the industry is moving in a more positive direction (not all agree, however). There's also lots of new research coming out showing that porn consumption is related to all sorts of positive outcomes and experiences, despite the narratives you hear in the media and online.

I've already discussed ethical and non-ethical porn on the blog previously so I'm going to pass it over to Violet Blue for her insight. If you have the stomach for it, contrast her recommendations with the content produced by people like Max Hardcore and Khan Tusion.

(VB's recommendations at the bottom)

This is Violet Blue:

She's an expert on everything sex - she's an educator, a writer, and sex-positive advocate superstar. I posted some of her work early last week. Her website (link here) is an excellent resource for all things related to sex, including ethical porn. She's written several books, including Best Women's Erotica 2010/2011/2012/2013, A Smart Girl's Guide to Porn, and Fetish Sex: A Complete Guide to Sexual Fetishes. There's a sample chapter from A Smart Girl's Guide to Porn posted on Oprah's website: link here.

Ms. Blue regularly posts softcore and hardcore galleries from some of her advertisers, who she's chosen because of their commitment to quality and ethics. The advertisers appear in the sidebar of her site. Keep in mind that her tastes are varied, and that she's into women and men. Here are some samples from her list of advertisers, past and present (click names to link to sites - very NSFW!!!!!):

Lust Cinema - the brainchild of feminist porn producer/director superstar Erika Lust; something for everyone (girl/boy/queer)

Dorcel Club - mostly hardcore, "luxurious" porn (boy/girl, girl/girl)

Girls out West - featuring "natural girls", softcore and hardcore (boy/girl, girl/girl). a similar site: Abby Winters

Explicite Art - original hardcore and softcore from France, diverse ethnic backgrounds (boy/girl, girl/girl)

Nubile Films - "capturing the essence of sensuality", (boy/girl, girl/girl)

For the Girls - featuring heterosexual content for women, softcore and hardcore (boy/girl), erotic fiction

Joymii - hi quality hardcore and softcore, "The Art of Erotica" (girl/girl, boy/girl)

Some other similar sites: Watch 4 BeautyErrotica ArchivesBright DesireJoy BearPink LableCocky BoysHot Movies for Her - online store featuring movies for women (or at least appealing to women), including user reviews

That should get you started on your research (for academic purposes only!). More sites are linked from Ms. Blue's website.

Sadly, few of her recommendations are intended for gay and lesbian consumers - perhaps you have some recommendations of your own? In the reply section, I've included a list of producers making "real" lesbian porn. It's by no means exhaustive.

Objectum sexuality.

Objectum sexuality is characterized by a strong romantic and sexual attraction to inanimate objects. Objectum sexuals develop relationships with the objects that they love.

The best known objectum sexual is a woman named Erika Eiffel. She's appeared on several American talk-shows, and is the central character in the documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower (it looks like it's a dead link, but click play):

Vice published a piece early last year discussing objectum sexuality that describes the struggles and judgment that Erika Eiffel has experienced. It also discussed the nature of objectum sexuality.

From Vice:

Breaking Up with the Eiffel Tower: Heartbreak Is No Less Real for Objectum Sexuals
By Nell Frizzell
Loss, grief, heartache: Breakups are no less painful when you're doing it with a bridge. Or a pylon. Or a wooden fence. Or the Eiffel Tower.
So argues Erika Eiffel, the tower crane operator and former award-winning archer made famous by the documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower. Erika is one of the few public objectum sexuals—people with a love orientation toward objects—and, in addition to holding a commitment ceremony with the 186-year-old French iron tower, has fallen for fighter jets, fencing, and is currently in a relationship with a crane. She also runs the support website Object Sexuality Internationale.
We don't know how many objectum sexuals there are in the world—not enough data has been gathered and people are, understandably, reluctant to identify their orientation in such a climate of distrust and misinformation. We do, however, know that objectum sexuality is found in both men and women across the world. In 2010, the clinical sexologist Dr. Amy Marsh wrote in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality that, while it is often assumed that OS is "a pathology" or related to "a history of sexual trauma," there is, in fact, no data to support such a claim and that "OS appears to be a genuine—though rare—sexual orientation."

Read the rest here: link.



Bisexuals face double the discrimination.


A recent study has confirmed what many bisexuals have been saying for years - they face discrimination from both ends of the spectrum.

Some straight people discriminate based on bisexuals' attraction to people of the same sex.

Some in the gay and lesbians communities discriminate based on bisexuals' attraction to people of the opposite sex.

The stigma driving this discrimination is associated with several myths that are perpetuated about people who are bisexual. Here are some examples:

  • bisexuals are just promiscuous/overly sexual/sluts
  • bisexuals are just gays/lesbians that haven't come out of the closet yet
  • bisexuals are sexually greedy
  • bisexuals just can't make up their minds
  • bisexuals are confused, or going through a phase
  • bisexuals can't be sexually monogamous
  • bisexuals will cheat on their partners with people of the other sex

Of course, these myths are complete baloney, but they persist nonetheless.

The following article does a great job of reviewing the study and discussing the discrimination that many bisexuals experience.

From the DailyBeast:

Are Bisexuals Shut Out of the LGBT Club?
New studies show that bi people are being excluded by both straight and gay peers.
by Samantha Allen
No, bisexuals don’t have twice as much sex as everyone else. But there is mounting evidence to suggest that they experience double the types of discrimination as their gay and lesbian peers.
Two studies published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Bisexuality confirm what bi people have been saying for some time: The discrimination they face within the LGBT community is as real as the discrimination they face outside of it. As the U.S. enters its first full year of marriage equality and the battle for transgender rights continues, these studies point to the persistent but often ignored problem of biphobia among gay men and lesbians.
In one study, Counseling Psychology Ph.D. student Tangela Roberts and two professors at the University of Massachusetts surveyed 745 bisexual people about their experiences of discrimination in various social contexts. They found that the biphobia their respondents experienced from gay men and lesbians was not equal to, but still disturbingly comparable to, what they experienced from straight people.

Read the rest here: link.

What it's like to be a romance novels cover model.

romance novels beefcake

Curious about what it takes to be a romance novels cover model?

The romance novel industry is growing at a rapid rate. In 2013, it was worth almost 1.1 billion dollars and the expectations are that it's going to be worth even more as new reading platforms continue to develop.

Consumers are no longer satisfied with paintings of Fabio gracing the covers. They're demanding photos of men, and variety. While the demand is there, the money for models isn't.

From the New York Times:

With Romance Novels Booming, Beefcake Sells, but It Doesn’t Pay
This corner of the book world is red hot and among the most innovative, with
e-books and apps, and it needs a steady stream of fresh-faced cover models.
By Laura M. Holson
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Jason Aaron Baca is good-looking, not handsome like the Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds) or rugged like Daniel Craig, who is fetching in a tailored Tom Ford suit. But when Mr. Baca, 42, slipped on a pair of dark aviator glasses recently, he looked remarkably like Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.”
He was dressed for work in a khaki military jumpsuit. And even though it was barely noon, he had already stopped by the gym to make sure his biceps and legs looked combat-strong. His assignment: To be a military helicopter pilot saved in a crash by a female rescuer with whom he once had a torrid affair. Now that they’re reunited, their passions have flared.
Mr. Baca is a cover model for romance novels. He has been on nearly 500 book covers, by his own account — one of scores of men like him vying to be heroic heartthrobs. Not since the flaxen-haired Fabio Lanzoni dominated drugstore book racks in the 1980s and 1990s, with his lion’s mane and bulging biceps, have cover models been in such demand.

Read the rest here: link.