Oh God Make Please Masturbation Month End Please Please

Last Sunday I had a BBQ and lots of friends came over, including my friends the good Drs. Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence. Carol and Robert are a total hoot, and are the light and life of any party they attend — both being walking encyclopedias of sex and culture. Which is fitting since they founded the Center for Sex and Culture. What’s really interesting is that since I had them trapped in my apartment with beers in their hands, a rapt audience and a fat fluffy cat blocking the nearest exit with his bulk, I got to quiz them about their latest coup de gras — the live Masturbate-A-Thon.

You see, about eight years ago, Good Vibes declared May National Masturbation Month to honor the then-firing of Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, who said nice things about jacking off and freaked everyone out who was masturbating instead of listening, and to also make a fun month out of a usual slump. Now it is a big PR pain in my ass. I mean, I love masturbating, like way too much probably and it’s amazing I get anything done since I watch porn and read erotica and test toys for a living. But it’s always chaos for my copywriting duties at Good Vibes (five years of Masturbation Month, argh) and all these journalists call and want interviews about the exact same things every year. What they always ask is where the Masturbate-A-Thon is. And every fuckin’ (wankin’?) year we tell them, no no, it’s not a big circle jerk, it’s like a walk-a-thon, you get one of our sassy pledge forms and take pledges and it’s all on the honor system and then you collect the money and we give it all to charities like AIDS organizations. When Good Vibes’ publicist calls me, I now hide in the bathroom, or under my desk and rock like an autistic child in fear of certain Masturbation Month journalist torture. Thank the gods that I’ve never had to talk to the radio shock jocks, though one year I was told I had to or else, and I think I tried to fake my own death by Hitachi Magic Wand overload, or lube drowning, or fatal braining by a falling Sean Michaels dildo or something. Actually, I got in a lot of trouble at work, though that’s nothing new.

But Carol Queen has no fear. This articulate, unbelievably intelligent woman talks to the shock jocks and stays cool, all though the insults, the sexism, the homophobia, the racist bullshit, the obnoxious sound effects, all of it, and still manages to get the names of the charities on the air. And after years of jocks asking where the ‘Thon was going to be, Carol and Robert decided to actually have one. So there.

So the Center for Sex and Culture rented a local cultural center, and with their permission, held a public Masturbate-A-Thon, with all proceeds going to charity. And it was a total wanking success. There were rooms for just women or just men, a room for mixed gender, and a live webcast with several different cameras. Reuters was there, and so were a bunch of other big news people. There were sexy buxom adult schoolgirls, guys who were hung in ways I’ve only heard about, regular people, sex pundits and local sex authors. (Not me, though — I was in a nunnery that weekend. Okay, I was finishing another book, and I’m a total hermit when I write. Plus I was scared.) The next day Howard Stern talked about it enviously, and Rush Limbaugh talked about it even more enviously, because we all know that Howard actually gets laid sometimes and Rush needs a Powerman 6000 now more than ever.

Carol and Robert raised a bunch of money for the UCSF AIDS Health Project, and they have been on the phone with journalists and shock jocks steadily, so my job is much happier now. But I think what’s cool is that they actually did it, and it was fun for all, and not sleazy, and well, kinda normal — in our San Francisco way… National Masturbation Month is still a pain in my ass, everything I do at work has to be masturbation-themed and it makes me want to drink Astroglide from the bottle, but now thanks to Carol and Robert I don’t need to hide under my desk behind a bin of bright pink butt plugs, or a stack of videos with titles like "Gush" on them — this month.

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Forbidden Photographs

This sounds lazy, but it’s noon and I’m just having my coffee and a bagel. But this Quicktime video of a transformer blowing up (sent to me by fellow SRL member and Tesla coil midwife Greg Leyh) was a real picker-upper!

It’s a gorgeous San Francisco day, and last night was a great SF night. I went to the premiere of the documentary Forbidden Photographs, about the wild life of photographer Charles Gatewood at the Roxie Theater, and it was absolutely incredible — especially from a social anthropological perspective. He’s shot Bob Dylan, Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Charles collaborated on his first photo book with Burroughs. For the past 30 years, Charles has documented the wild sides of Mardi Gras, African-American struggles, and has traveled deep into American subcultures to photo nazi bikers, Native American satanists, ritual body modification "tribes," urban pagans, fetishes such as the "messy" fetish and as many forbidden things that he can find. I do fetish modeling for Charles about once a year (you can find me naked and messy in his latest book Messy Girls), and I’m blown away to now be a part of this cultural documentation by way of the camera’s gaze. The film is traveling around the country, catch it if you can — and be warned that you will see some possibly unsettling practices onscreen, such as body piercing, explicit sex and blood play (he has documented the vampire subculture, too).

Thinking of art, I’m currently fixated on the works of Wim Delvoye. This Belgian artist has taken X-rays of hetero couples having sex and if that wasn’t fascinating enough, he mounted the see through images into giant cathedral-style church windows, coupled with colorful stained glass. The last show of record I can find of his was last year, but if anyone knows more about this artist, please drop me a line.

Today I’m headed over to the offices of woman-owned porn makers, SIR Video to meet with Shar Rednour (whom I used to work with at the Good Vibrations store — see, it’s all connected somehow). They have two new titles that I’m going to cover in my next book, and though these titles aren’t out until this summer, I’m really excited about them. One is a guide to dirty talk, called Talk to Me. The other is a (surely groundbreaking) video for survivors of trauma and sexual abuse who want to build a healthy, safe and pleasurable sex life. Neither of these titles are pornographic per se, though the dirty talk video is likely to be damn hot, knowing Shar’s love of the potty mouth. Either way, it’s nice to know that there are people out there making forward-thinking titles about healthy adult sexuality, no?

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Sad Entry

Apologies for no recent updates, but after a brief struggle this week, my dear friend Tim North succumbed to cancer last night at 9pm. Benefit calendars are still on sale and all proceeds go to his surviving wife and daughter. There has been a lot going on, I have a lot of updates, new articles and erotica, outrageous happenings and more, and I’ll log on later tonight (after work) to share. From the SRL community:

tonight at 9 pm, the light in the world became a little dimmer.
timothy north passed away,
he was a friend and a great artist.
we are honored to know and love him as a person,
and our hearts are open to his wife, susan, and child, trista.
good bye tim

Words from Vordo.

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Really Weird Naked Japanese Dolls and a Great Video For Couples, and Singles Who Like Plot-Driven Porn

Here are the dolls.

I just watched Sunset Stripped, and it’s my pick of the latest woman-directed crop from VCA. In it, Ginger Lynn stars in this excellent Veronica Hart-directed epic, an ode to Sunset Boulevard chock full of real female orgasms and hot hot sex. Ginger is a writer, unable to create, sexually fixated on her agent, and totally out of money. When a repo man comes for her car, her life takes an unexpected turn as she winds up on the doorstep of an aged and insane male porn star from the "Golden Age." He puts her up in exchange for her editing skills on his autobiography, though she also has to participate in his weird nightly ritual that includes clothing from the 1980s–leotards best left forgotten. The sexy all-star cast (even the men!) puts in stunning performances all around, women call the shots in bed, the sex is genuinely intense and dripping with chemistry and the entire film is wonderfully watchable. The DVD contains interesting on-set interviews with the cast and Hart.

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Will Someone Please Tell Paypal to Get Out of my Bedroom (Unless They are Bringing Some Good Porn)

A cute horn player from the Extra Action Marching Band wrote me recently with a letter he received from online money processing business PayPal:

Dear (tromboner),
You are receiving this email because you have asked to be notified of PayPal policy updates. Please read below to learn about PayPal’s most recent policy updates.

User Agreement Update
Notice Date: April 10, 2003
Effective Date: June 12, 2003
PayPal has updated its Acceptable Use Policy to simplify the policy on transactions of adult items. After June 12, 2003, PayPal will no longer process transactions for adult items through the Mature Audiences category on eBay.com. As a result, after June 12, PayPal will no longer process payments for adult items anywhere on the Internet.

PayPal strives to find the right balance between serving our community and minimizing our financial risk. We feel that exiting the Mature Audiences category with a clear and consistent policy for all adult items best achieves this balance.

As part of this effort, we are extending the deadline for when PayPal customers must stop sending and receiving payments for tangible adult products, including magazines, DVDs and videocassettes. Originally May 12, this deadline has now been extended to June 12 to correspond with the phase-out of PayPal service for these items on eBay. The deadline to stop sending and receiving payments for digital adult products and services, including online photos, streaming video and audio services, will remain May 12. For more information on our Mature Audience Policy, log in to your PayPal account and click on "Policy Updates" in the What’s New box. You will find a link to the Mature Audience Policy under the April 10, 2003, User Agreement Update.

I responded to (tromboner) with:

(tromboner), thank you for sending me this, it is definitely of interest. Just what exactly is the rationale behind this decision, I wonder? We can only guess. PayPal cannot legislate the morality of its customers, but it seems that surely they will try. Are they being pressured by a "family values" group? Maybe — I know that these groups have recently declared a war on porn and are attempting to amass "god’s army." Not kidding, it’s scary, and they’re doing this with grassroots-style church letter writing campaigns to cable companies like Viacom to make them stop broadcasting cable porn. Buncha sickos — they’re clearly obsessed with pornography.

But here is, I think, the rub: PayPal may cut off everything and all adult, but surely this is where a large amount of their revenue comes from, and as all in the adult biz know, sex accoutrements are an ever-growing, recession-proof source of revenue. Especially as more and more people become comfortable with enjoying their sexuality, and see the benefits of occasional experimentation. Then what for PayPal? Shot in the foot? That would be a nice irony, much like the male adult store owner who "found god," burned 10K worth of his stock (it’s bad karma to destroy sex toys, BTW), and turned "Love World" into a christian store called "Mike’s Place." Since then, he’s foundering on the brink of financial devastation, save for the donations he’s been getting from other sexually repressed god- (and orgasm-) fearing christians (which are not the only flavor of christian out there, but nobody seems to know that, either). But it was a nice way for Mr. Former Love Shack to skirt his pending obscenity charge.

So PayPal cuts off and alienates a sizeable number of their customers, while some other savvy entrepreneur cuts in and grabs the business that is "too immoral" for PayPal to soil themselves with… It’s like giving away free money to another business. These sexual moralists are so shortsighted — a consequence of not having any good sex, perhaps?

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I Love My Job

Been working some exceptionally long days lately, what with the Stop AIDS benefit I worked, a very ho-hum trip to the SF Fetish Ball, a presentation for the Good Vibes educational program and a porn watching marathon. The marathon was the true highlight. VCA sent me a bunch of women-directed porn DVD’s for review, some really great plot-driven porn written and directed by Chloe and Veronica Hart.

My all-around favorite video was Sunset Stripped (Hart), an incredibly good modern version of Sunset Boulevard starring Ginger Lynn. Lots of real female orgasms and an ensemble cast of terrific actors. It definitely tops my list of porn for couples to watch together.

We’re having a sale at Good Vibes on selected sex toys, and the sale happened kind of fast, so the store staff whipped the signs together in a hurry. At the Valencia St. store they made the fatal mistake of printing individual letters out and taping them to the front of the store, spelling out a few long phrases — that were re-arranged in the middle of the night. No one noticed until the afternoon, actually one of my coworkers called the store and said, "have you looked at your sale signage lately?" Some crafty neighborhood culture jammer had changed the letters to read "prins assliccer." Nice. I mean, if you can’t jam your own culture, whose can you jam? It’s a cautionary tale for our Polk St. store who didn’t spell out the entire sale phrases but just did the letters "s a l e" a few times — I definitely see an "ass" in there…

Today I worked at the one of the stores, which was a lot of fun. The staff is funny and friendly, like to make jokes about the stretchy pink plastic vulvas we sell, and the people who come in are very interesting. A guy came in and asked if it was okay for him to shop there without his wife. Couples bought videos and vibrators, joking about relieving tension with their "new massagers." Cute guys bought porn and dildos, solo. Dykes bought harnesses and strap-ons. A very boisterous group of ladies came in and bought their friend birthday presents, saying they were going to tape the birthday girl’s face onto the porn stars’ bodies, etc. A senior citizen told us how happy she was that we were within walking distance. A very chatty man claimed he was an amateur photographer, and asked me about finding porn with women smoking and wearing glasses. I menaced a friend with a gigantic Sean Michaels dildo…

Tomorrow, book reviewing. Watching Sex: How Men Really Respond to Pornography by David Loftus. Erotic Home Videos: Create Your Own Adult Films by Anna Span. Naked as A Jaybird by Dian Hanson. And more — comments forthcoming. Now, the boy toy is here, and he’s in for a surprise. I’ve got a mystery bag of sex toys for boys, and he’s the test bunny! I really really really love my job.

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Anal Orgasms

Libido’s premium member’s gallery is free. There you can see many yummy pictures like this one by Trevor Watson:

Short entry tonight: spent most of my day answering Good Vibes related email. There was one great question from a woman who has orgasms when she has anal sex — without any other stimulation — and wants to know if it’s for real. You bet it’s for real! To see this in action, see any film with adult actress Chloe having anal sex, which is most of her films. She had an accident in childhood which rendered her clitoris numb (damn monkey bars –I remember falling on them myself and seeing stars). She has wild anal orgasms onscreen. But that doesn’t mean you have to be injured or otherwise impaired to enjoy orgasms from anal sex. The clitoris has vast amounts of underground real estate, and the wishbone shape extends all the way back to the perineal wall, to the anus. That stimulation combined with the undoubted psychological arousal from anal sex (really really wanting and liking it) can trigger intense orgasms. She’s really turned on by even the thought of anal sex (penetration of her and her boyfriend!), and it just fills me with unrestrained glee to hear her story. That reminds me, I have a lot of new rimming-themed erotica I’ll be putting up this week…

Lastly, we just got the most amazing new toy in at Good Vibes, the Audi-Oh. It’s a sturdy little bullet vibe that is voice and sound activated. Amazing! I have to get one.

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