Sunday, June 28, 2009

Isn't Polyamory Easier?

Sure it is. It's also more honest and more ethical than cheating. But it doesn't have its own iPhone app.

From Time Magazine:
Two-timing politicians, take note: Cheating has never been easier., a personals site designed to facilitate extra-marital affairs, now boasts slick iPhone and Blackberry versions that help married horndogs find like-minded cheaters within minutes. The new tools are aimed at tech-savvy adulterers wary of leaving tracks on work or home computers. Because the apps are loaded up from phones' browsers, they leave no electronic trail that suspicious spouses can trace.

Even as public outrage boils up over the infidelity of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign, millions of Americans are sneaking online to do some surreptitious cheating of their own. (...)

The formula is working. AshleyMadison's membership has doubled over the past year to 4 million. (...) Over the past month alone, 679,000 men and women have used the service to contact a cheating partner. According to their profiles, 92% of males on the site are married or otherwise attached, as are 60% of female members. No word on how many politicians have signed on.

Humpday in SoHo

I haven't been doing a lot of Geeky Sex stuff recently, as you might have noticed. In the past month I've had a very busy time at work, had a death in the family, finished a non-blog writing project, started a bigger non-blog writing project and gone on at least one pleasant date. But I can't stay away for that long.

So last Thursday I headed down to the SoHo Apple Store to get the skinny on a new movie from filmmaker Lynn Shelton, Humpday. It's an independent film -- not one of those indie studio pictures, but a real indie made with digital video, improvisation, few actors, fewer locations, a lot of love and very little money. It's basis (and title) comes from Seattle's Hump Film Festival, Dan Savage and The Stranger's amateur porn festival which famously attracts a lot of talented newcomers by publicly destroying the tapes at the festival's conclusion.

Shelton's story is about two straight men played by Mark Duplass (director of The Puffy Chair) and Joshua Leonard (from The Blair Witch Project). They are old college buddies whose lives have taken them in different directions. During a night of heavy drinking at a Seattle party they hear about the Hump festival and plan to make a movie where the two of them have sex. The next morning neither man wants to go through with it but the competitive side of their friendship won't let either one of them back out first.

"It's about and for straight guys," said Lynn Shelton, who appeared at the Apple Store with Duplass and Leonard, adding, "It's a great date movie!" She explained that she is bi (though now married monogamously) and has always been fascinated by the fluidity of sexual orientation. In this movie she's trying to explore straight male anxiety about gayness. "I was not setting out to make a comedy," said Shelton, explaining that she and her two lead actors had had numerous conversations about the ways close platonic male friendships are limited by homophobia while they developed story. They were also not setting out to make a political statement. Rather they were trying to question the identities of the two main characters and let their concept unfold in the most natural way possible.

The movie has played at a number of film festivals, including Sundance and Cannes, and opens in a limited release on July 10 (here in NYC it will be playing at the Angelika). I'm going to be on vacation then and therefore not blogging but I promise to give you my take on it as soon as I get back.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sleeping With the Enemy

This morning Mistress Matisse posted a very interesting letter on her blog. The letter is from a gay guy who regrets having recently slept with another gay guy who has decided to remain partially in the closet so he can continue to play a major role in church programs that are important to him. The letter writer asks whether Mistress Matisse also feels bad about offering aid and comfort to the enemy, as it were -- many of her clients are also closeted and publicly come down on the sex-negative, anti-sex work side of things. Have a look at Matisse's very interesting response.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One Night Stand, by Garfunkel and Oakes

I saw this video by Garfunkel and Oakes on Slog this weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ruth!

Today is the 81st birthday of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, one of the preeminent sexperts of our grandparent's generation. Her life story is also rather interesting -- she was the only survivor of a German Jewish family killed in the Holocaust, was wounded in action during the war for Israeli independence, became a psyciatrist in the 1950s and finally a sexpert thanks to a late night radio show she began hosting in the 1970s.

Dr. Ruth doesn't get a lot of love from the sex-positive community these days. Although she is probably as responsible as anyone for promoting the idea that sex is healthy and spreading correct sexual information in her radio shows and books, I've always found her to be slightly biased against sex that doesn't happen in long-term monogamous relationships. Still, everyone's entitled to an opinion. While I might prefer Dan Savage or Susie Bright or Betty Dodson, it's inexcusable that this is the first time I've ever written about her here. I'll remedy that in the relatively near future by reviewing one or two of her books. For today I'll just say, Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Hampsire Approves Marriage Equality

New York Times:

BOSTON — The New Hampshire legislature approved revisions to a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday, and Gov. John Lynch promptly signed the legislation, making the state the sixth to let gay couples wed.

The bill had been through several permutations to satisfy Mr. Lynch and certain legislators that it would not force religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage to participate in ceremonies celebrating it. Some groups had feared they could be sued for refusing to allow same-sex weddings on their property.

Mr. Lynch, who previously supported civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples, said in a statement that he had heard “compelling arguments that a separate system is not an equal system.”

“Today,” he said, “we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities — and respect — under New Hampshire law.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Internal Clitoris, by Betty Dodson

Audacia Ray, who runs Waking Vixen, teaches a class on human sexuality on Rutgers in Newark, New Jersey. She has recently posted her new syllabus which makes maximum use online material. That's how I found this fantastic video on the internal parts of the clitoris by Betty Dodson. Credit where credit is due.

I wish I had seen this in time to post it on V-Day (maybe I'll repost next year) but now that I've seen it I didn't want to wait that long. Enjoy!