But I’m a vlogger

Referencing, of course, the movie about the cheerleader whose paranoid parents hold a gay intervention and send her to heterosexual reprogramming camp to overcome her gayness, when it was discovered she didn’t like her boyfriend. I’ve been spending much of the day solidifying my selections as a judge for The Vloggies — no easy process. It’s taken me a long time, but today I settled on who I think is the best in each category, phew. I am hoping for an intervention and subsequent reprogramming with many drinks at the event November 4. I’ll post who I voted for after the winners are announced.

I really enjoyed watching so many awesome indy vlogger videos! I wanted to share a couple highlights — and you may have already seen these — and I’m not saying I voted for these people or not. But this made me shriek (click “DON’T WATCH THIS FUCKING VIDEO! GO AWAY!”). It was answered with this (ending is so-so but all is hilare). And I couldn’t watch FCC’d Up* and not make you watch it; I loved the oral sex segment, hee!

* As a side note, I am loathing giving a link to Veoh right now, but the video is must-see. Veoh used to be the great place where over-18 content and all kinds of other videos mingled, but back in June Veoh decided to “clean up” its image and scour the site of grownup videos. Besides the fact that I don’t agree with this “keep users in nursery school” approach to running a content delivery site, last week I attempted to contact Veoh for a high-profile piece about video sharing sites and mature content policy enforcement (it publishes soon, I’ll announce here). Veoh ignored my requests for comments, a statement, or queries about their decision and position on mature content. They are teh lame.

Five-second update: Also, unrelated — I am moist with excitement that I updated my Firefox to the new version; it’s spell-checking my text as I write in Movable Type. Yeah!!!!!

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HowTo: Protect yourself from The Craigslist Experiment

A few weeks ago I blogged about The Craigslist Experiment, where a creepy guy named Jason Fortuny posted a fake, explicit Craigslist ad from the point of view of a female submissive looking for rough sex, and then he maliciously posted all of the personal information on each and every one of the respondents to an editable online wiki. Since then there has been at least one copycat — miraculously, Michael Crook is of even lower social caliber, baiting his respondents for further personal information. Reactions around the blogosphere have been strong, even in many ways going uncomfortably far in personal attacks on Fortuny.

Meanwhile, the New York Times seems to have dropped the story. Why? I think it’s because it’s unclear where the ‘good vs. bad’ or ‘guilty vs. innocent’ lines can be drawn here — though while that’s a head-scratching conundrum for most media to interpret, for me that’s what makes this whole situation really interesting. Plus, the entire thing is centered on a very extreme sexual fantasy, and we can never, ever expect any media to discuss something like this in a mature, nonjudgemental or accurate context in our lifetimes. And to me, that’s a big reason why jerks like Fortuny and the aptly-named Crook can exploit a poorly informed, and sexually shamed public.

Think of it like this: when you upload a porn photo to Flickr, you are in violation of their Terms of Use rules and they take it down. When you use your work email address to answer an explicit sex ad, you are essentially in violation of your employer’s TOU. If you cheat on your wife, you’re in violation of your marriage’s TOU. In his “experiment”, Jason Fortuny violated several ethical and social TOUs that many of us accept as basic privacy and communication rules of conduct.

But not everyone outed in The Craigslist Experiment was violating one of life’s TOUs — I’ll even argue that the majority of the people who had their personal info revealed didn’t care, or notice.

So if you’re not doing something you shouldn’t, and you want to answer a personal ad on Craiglslist (even a sexually explicit or edgy one) and protect your privacy, how do you avoid getting exploited for entertainment and sport by creeps like Fortuny? And if you want to place an ad, no matter how explicit, how can you do so safely?

The howto is after the jump.


* * * * * * *

Howto: Protect Yourself from The Craigslist Experiment

* First rule: use a dummy email address. Everyone should have one of these anyway, just for all those lame-ass manditory registration sites that demand your email address and name just to read a news article or whatever — while ovbiously trading their information for the chance to gather your personal info for marketing or spam. So not fair. Use a free online email (webmail) service and make an account you won’t mind getting unsolicited spam sent to from news websites — or one you won’t cry about having someone publish in association with a sexual ad you might answer. Sign up with a name you will want to use in both instances.

* Your email address can be searched for on social networking sites (like MySpace) and on Google for further information; keep in mind what’s associated with your email address when replying to any random personal ad.

* Don’t respond to an ad if you have anything to really hide or lose. The internet is tracable and it’s really quite difficult to keep secrets here. If you’re lying to your girlfriend about your shit fetish and answering CL ads for brown shower enthusiasts, she *will* eventually find out, I promise.

* Read my porn surfing privacy howto for a lot of essential information about safeguarding your privacy, near the end of the article.

* If you’re really concerned about your web privacy, use Tor

* Use common sense when you read a Craigslist ad. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is — meaning, question the authenticity of everything you read on any free anonynmous ad service. Proceed accordingly with the way you respond, how you present yourself to the person you’re responding to, and how much information you reveal about yourself in your reply. Wait until you’ve had more than three emails from the person you’re corresponding with before you offer up anything like what I have listed in the next bullet point.

* Never give a stranger your real name, email address, your phone number, physical address or location at any given time, information that could let them know where you work or hang out, or send photos that reveal your face. This is basic rape and stalker prevention, by the way. We women know.

* “Your pic gets mine” is a red flag. Don’t do it, ever.

* Decide if you’re looking for an actual connection or just an email thrill before you even start writing your reply. If it’s just a thrill, be as outrageous in your reply as you want and have fun.

* If you want the possibility of making something really happen, be genuine about your intentions in your response while being open about your hesitations to play with a stranger. If you are looking for BDSM or otherwise sexually unconventional encounters, learn as much as you can about the specific acts you want to engage in and the associated terminology so you can spot fakes faster. A good number of experienced CD and BDSM practitioners emailed me about the original ad used in the Craiglslist Experiment stating that this was a typical fake ad style used by guys who like masturbating to extreme female-submissive fantasies where they themselves are in the female role. No revelations here for the world of sexual fantasy, but a disappointment for anyone looking for an actual female submissive who likes to play rough.

* Read up about physical, emotional and sexual safety when playing with fetishes.

Tips for placing your ad:

* Posting is much less revealing than replying, but still use common sense. Read all preceeding sections about revealing personal information. Don’t be duplicitous or try to subvert the Craigslist system with fake info, but be smart about what you reveal to all those clamoring strangers out there.

* Know that the Craigslist anonymizing email system is excellent and can be relied on.

* Assume that every kind of awful rotten hateful jackass in the world is going to read your ad and respond to it. Also assume that you will find a few cool people, too. Like operating a motor vehicle, get to where you want to go with your CL ad by driving defensively.

* If your ad is about intense sex acts, learn the right terminology to stay safe and attract people who will play safe with you. Don’t make the mistake in the fake CL Experiment ad and say things like “safe, sane, consensual” and then contradict yourself. Demand negotiation of boundaries.

* If you meet someone, do it in a public place you never ever go to — but check it out before you go so you know if it’s safe to get in and out of, if the parking area is safe, and that there will be lots of people around. Let a friend know you’re meeting someone and arrange for a series of phone calls to check in — better yet, meet your respondent with a friend planted at a nearby table, or even waiting for you in your car.

Update: my dear friend and fellow Fleshbotette Waking Vixen writes,

“**Never give a stranger your real name, email address, your phone number,
physical address or location at any given time, information that could let
them know where you work or hang out, or send photos that reveal your face.**

From both a sex worker and slutty CL’er perspective – if someone refused to
give me any of these identifying details, plain and simple, I would never
meet them. Though I understand that people are concerned about being
discreet (or “discrete” in the popular CL misspelling), this is a big red
flag to me and would make me feel like the person had something to hide.

I think the problem is that past the initial exchange, a certain level of
trust must be exchanged in order for online dating to work. Yes, this opens
you up to being stalked, etc, but without these details you might never get
a date.

Escorts are increasingly using services like date-check.com and
roomservice2000.com – where the client enters their personal info once and
then the sex worker checks up on them through the site. Its a nice level of
security without the personal exposure to another potentially not
trustworthy person. Of course, it also ads a third party to the equation,
which might not be all that desirable.

I’m a little surprised that online daters haven’t started using these
services – or if they have, I’m surprise I haven’t heard of it. I think
internet daters could learn a lot from the way sex workers do things,
personally.”

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PME updates from the press room

I brought my own press pass to the event, which I highly recommend to anyone wanting free wifi and uncomfortable, upskirt-cameraphone-shot-producing beanbag chairs. I’m listening to Robert Scoble talk about the ‘blogger suite’ at the Bellagio (for CES, I guess) while uploading… Must be nice! New photos start here, two new videos; this one shows how tired I am, this one is a funny domination story. This is the cocksock who called me a bitch last night and told me “I don’t like you” when I snapped his pic (click the pic for the full story). Otherwise I’m having a great time and am being recognized by listeners and fellow podcasters like crazy — it’s so cool meeting everyone, including the Libsyn guys and hanging out with the Blip.tv hotties. Mike from Blip asked me, Melissa and Casey to go speak with him onstage about videoblogging in five minutes, so I gotta go… but I think I’ll skip the awards ceremony later where Dawn and Drew will get an award for ‘best mature podcast’ and Sex is Fun gets one for ‘health and fitness’. I was surprised to discover that Sex is Fun had never heard of 2257… more thoughts on that later.

Update: okay, I’m sitting in the speaking area — Blip pulled me onstage out of the audience during the videoblogging presentation! People clapped and said yay and “awwww!” OMG!!! Then they asked me why people should videoblog and podcast; I answered basically because the media distribution channels are now open to anyone, *we should*. People clapped and said yay! Then later I talked a lot about GETV and what makes us successful in what we do. Now people want to take pictures with me but I’m ignoring them so I can blog… it’s sort of a reflex to all this attention I guess… That photo — the guy who wrote the book “Tricks for the Podcasting Masters” bookended and framed his whole sex chapter on me and asked me to sign it, wow! More here and here.

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It takes a village to raise a child

I’ve been silently fuming about something that happened last weekend, and have finally reached the apex of thought and consideration to put a post together. At the SRL party I finally got a chance to catch up with my pal Scott Beale since his trip to Seattle’s Gnomedex 6.0, where he shot lots of his trademark stunning photos of the event. We got to talking about Second Life, as we do, and he asked me if I knew what happened. I didn’t.

I never talk about kids and adult content policies, but here goes. Oh, and in case you forgot, this blog isn’t always a hugfest.

Updates: after the jump.


* * * * * * *

I was too busy finshing a book and working at SRL over the weekend to catch all the fur flying about Robert Scoble, Beth Goza and Second Life’s new participation in the trend of gaming/social networks becoming proactively prudish. If you’re not familiar with all the “web 2.0 brat pack” gossip, bear with me; there’s an issue here that directly relates to censorship and how adult content is perceived. I met Scoble at Vloggercon 2006 and he’d just announced that he was leaving Microsoft (big evil corporation) to work at Podtech (podcast network), which was like a totally big deal for everyone involved.

Scoble did a session at Gnomedex. While he did that, his 12-year-old son sat off to the side and made stuff in Second Life, which was projected up on a big screen behind the panel. Second Life is, above all else, an amazing development tool centered on building things within the interface; during the session his son built part of Scoble’s virtual office (in Second Life). And according to the Wired article Beth Goza (a Second Life employee) had watched Scoble’s son build things onscreen within the eighteen-and-up-only world and immediately told Scoble’s son afterward, “You’re toast”. Then, representing Linden Labs she sought out the father — Scoble — and told him he was going to be banned as a user for violating their mature content/membership age policy and for putting Second Life at risk.

According to Scoble’s blog,

“After the session was over Beth caught up to me and explained that my account was turned off and that my more than $100 I had invested in Second Life would not be refunded (my son and I had bought a variety of things in Second Life, including a virtual Macintosh, a house, and several other items).

We did get a podcast out of it, cause I turned the microphone on and interviewed a variety of people hanging out in the hall, along with Beth. She explained why the rules were the way they are. First, there’s the threat of a lawsuit (MySpace was sued for $30 million by a parent of a child who was alledgedly sexually assaulted by someone she met on MySpace).”

Read his whole post about the experience.

On one level I don’t care about Second Life’s messes because I don’t work there — but what really smelled bad to me about all of this was that after the conflict, Beth Goza approached Scott Beale and asked him to remove photos from his Flickr photostream related to the session. Surprised, he asked her if she was attempting to censor his photos. She specifically wanted him to remove this one:
http://flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/178591591/in/set-72157594182613064/

I’ve known Scott for a long time. Scott takes pictures of people and events; he is also the nicest guy in the entire world. He doesn’t take pictures to “expose” or “out” anyone, and isn’t a sensationalist. So why would he be asked by Linden Labs to take that photo down, especially after the confrontation?

Let’s examine this: Second Life, adult content, MySpace hysteria, and Scoble’s transgression. As I’ve said on this blog numerous times and in interviews with media outlets, SL isn’t an “adult” or porn site; it’s an online game that encompasses all of human life and interaction — the people who make SL accept that humans are naturally going to sexualize *part* of their existence and give people the freedom to do so. And although members are allowed to freely express their sexuality (albeit by self-filtering community standards), the sexual parts of SL are small in relation to the whole rest of SL. It’s like — surprise! — when you have sexual freedom, you don’t become a sex “addict”, just as hot sauce fanatics don’t go from wasabi to sucking on glowing BBQ coals, and SL isn’t a teeming porn world — not by a long shot. In fact, if you don’t make things, it’s not terribly exciting. (I know I’ll get spanked for that.) But because there’s adult content to be possibly found in that world, SL rightfully has age restrictions.

Now, using MySpace as an arbiter of how you police your adult/mature terms of use (TOU) is a bad, bad, bad idea. Second Life is a million years from MySpace in every way. True, you can argue that ignorance and gold-digging lawsuits can make a mess of anything fun. For instance, a snip from a May 11 Fleshbot entry:

“MySpace hysteria reaches the federal level as a Pennsylvania congressman — displaying a stunning ignorance of how the internet actually works — introduces a bill to ban minors from from accessing social networking sites. Which will solve everything, because teenagers will never be able to crack the “enter your birth date here” defense. (abcnews.go.com)”

We really need to be talking about what’s prosecutable (and not) in the world of porn and minors before anyone starts making scenes about media-fueled sexual predator lawsuits, social networking/online games, and the law. Especially when publicly making an example of someone and their kid. I’ve done a lot of speaking, writing and advocacy around 2257 laws, which in concept are created to keep minors from seeing/participating in explicit adult content in photo or video (*not* animated or illustrated) form. But recent Bush administration changes to these laws have made perfomers vulnerable to stalking and identity theft, have made managing records according to the new confusing definitions of “explicit” impossible for many businsesses, and have put people out of business.

Not to mention being a huge blow to free speech. These laws also spun a few social networking sites into chaos, as it put the burden of proof on sites hosting images to have full legal documentation on file in a business open to public access. (Tribe.net handled it badly, and is now for sale.) 2257 does very little to protect minors. Same goes for COPA (the Child Online Protection Act). In Scoble’s post’s comments, COPA was cited as the arbiter of sheilding children from access to adult material. Again, things like COPA and 2257 are pushed through and implemented under the guise of “protecting the children” but seldom work and have a lot of other fucked up things they’re used for. For instance, COPA is what the DoJ uses to supoena search engines for user data; its constitutionality is highly questionable for a lot of reasons.

I’ll never say that age restriction rules should be broken, because I don’t believe that for a lot of super-obvious reasons. But I will say this: kids are not stupid. They know adults break the rules all the time — and even in the strictest of corporal punishment upbringings, every kid sees hypocrisy somewhere. And they learn from it. It’s up to us as role models to help them navigate the difference between, say, a government that breaks its own laws spying on citizens (and gets away with it), and why some rules are really helpful and can keep you from seeing something you might not be ready for. That not all rules are to be followed (in an emergency, breaking rules might save a life), and some rules might indeed save your life (like wearing seat belts).

It sucks that Second Life had to police its morality so publicly. I have to wonder what the assumption was here — the worst, that Scoble was flaunting his personality (nyah!) and that his son was going to go right offstage and jump into a Second Life hot-oil plushie orgy with his two favorite Suicide Girls and that the government was going to *get* everyone there (photographic evidence of the lawlessness!), and that all the bluenoses freaked out about MySpace were coming with torches and more cameras and lawsuits and Dr. Phil to get everyone?

Erm, no. Yes, I’ll agree that putting his kid onstage in Second Life (especially with excitable SL cops in the audience) was a not-good decision. He obviously felt safe at Gnomedex and wanted to show off his kid’s mad building skillz. But Scoble is a smart guy. He knows there’s mature content in SL; I’ll bet he also knows how to talk to his son about it since this wasn’t the first time he’d broken the rules. His son is a young man living in a world of adults. (And how I *wish* gurl.com and Scarleteen were around when I was his age.)

Second Life *absolutely* takes the utmost precautions in regard to age restrictions — they have a teen-only game, too. But what they don’t need to do (and shouldn’t) is make someone’s parenting decisions for them by punishing them as a public (and high-profile) example, and threaten to ban the adult as a user. Bringing the underage MySpace rape lawsuit into it doesn’t make sense, but it gets ink — of a certain kind.

So how *do* you deal with social miscreants like Scoble? He’s a big client who has gotten SL a lot of positive publicity, in many communities. And also, obviously, he wasn’t putting his kid in a position of sexual vulnerability (though I think blasting him off the service in public makes it *seem* like that’s what was going on). Answer: you talk to him. You say, “Hey — you’re putting me in an awkward position by showcasing your kid in the adults only area. I need to acknowledge that you did this, but let’s not make a big deal out of it. How should I proceed?” You see what he says. You tell him what you’re supposed to do about it. Then you talk to your CEO or company lawyer just to get some reinforcement about procedure and know that you made the right decision, and you settle it. You don’t make it seem like something *really bad* happened, because nothing bad happened. And because above all, this is a community — in and out of the game Second Life. *Our* community. We talk to each other.

There was parental consent here. And how else are kids going to learn about why adult stuff should be for adult eyes only? The government is really fucking up how kids navigate their way into adulthood (COPA, 2257, absitnence-only teaching in schools). Companies — especially ones that are communities as well — need to acknowledge this by balancing policy and practice, too.

Updates:

Here’s the podcast (thanks, anonymous); also here’s this:

Quote from Robert:

“Update: Beth Goza just called me and told me that I haven’t been
banned officially yet. She said Linden Labs still hasn’t decided what
to do with my account. She also asked me to explain why I was making
this an issue.

I told her: because I want to work in Second Life with my son and
right now that’s impossible because even if he were 13 I am not
allowed in the teen grid and he’s not allowed in my grid. And, if he
builds something cool, or I build something cool, we can’t share
items between the two worlds.”

Link.

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Best podcast ever

This afternoon I got my pirate radio fix in the Mission and recorded a live session of Open Source Sex, interviewing Shine Louise Houston, the mastermind behind Pink and White Productions. I think it was one of the best interviews yet — it was hot, sexy, hilarious and really really fun. We chatted about lesbian porn, her movies, and that crazy party I went to last Saturday where some of the performers from her next film got jiggy with the bread products. I found out that everything, *everything* was totally unexpected. It was just supposed to be a meet and greet! I’m going to get the MP3 in a day or so and do a little post-production magic on it, creating seperate video and audio versions, especially because I got the other set of photos back from the other camera I shot with. It was an expensive, profy camera of some sort that really makes me wish I could afford one. The photos came out incredible, and in them you can see just how much the women let me crawl around on the floor taking snaps in the second set (good thing I wore jeans that night!).

I went through the photos tonight and I’m going to wait to let them loose on you until the podcast. After that I’ll put the whole set up on Fotki, which will probably beg for mommy, come harder than its ever come in its life, then pass out from the bandwidth overload, just like last time. But I really like Fotki and think they handle mature content perfectly, so it’s a trade-off.

Of course, since I’m just sitting here tonight looking at sexy pictures and working on (yet another) book, I’ve posted a taste for you, after the jump.

But it was really a great day, thanks to the podcast and Shine. Makes up for the fact that today I picked up an SF Bay Guardian because my sweet friend Danny is on the cover and there’s a great article about the Marching Band in it, only to discover that I was dissed/snarked on in their sex column. Or rather, I was bitchily accused of being a flake. Whatever. I don’t deserve that. I work really hard.


Stars: Princess Donna and Lorelei Lee; Shawn and Jizz.

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La Dolce Sunday

bisang_gallery_3_04.jpg

Courtesy of Bruno Bisang, via my friends at Touche Sexy. Today, an article in the NYT about pro-anorexia online, not as thoughtful or informative as the one I asked Thomas Roche to write four years ago for the GV Magazine. Yesterday, pirate radio with Annalee Newitz (soon to be an episode of Open Source Sex; check out her sexy new blog).


Friday, a depressing conversation “off the record” with YouTube. Put a big “alleged” in front of my comments from an off the record conversation, but know that they consider anything not squeaky clean family fare a niche they shan’t bother with, and in the niche goes anything with nudity, the arts community and stuff for grownups (inlcuding, as I asked about, say, videos from Abu Ghriab). And yes, they’ll yank your membership if you repeat offend, and no, you don’t get your videos back. Don’t you just hate “community” services that have cool stuff and yet treat everyone like children? I suggested making “mature” areas for non-porn (but edgy not for kids) content retaining the ability to embed a player into a blog, and got the “niche” response. It’s nuts — my site is for adults, and that is *my* responsibility; I have an age check gateway to keep out people under 18. They could just make the content off limits to the wider YT community but still available for embed on outside sites who would then be responsible for the content being seen by adults. That way I could enjoy all the dumb Hollywood trailers I wanted in my YT favorites and blog embed those as virally as I wanted, but could also entertain myself as appropriate to my age, culture and interests. Too bad, like so many sex-negative entertainment venues, in their TOU they see all nudity as sex, and all sex as bad or a liability.

Kudos to iTunes for their grownup-friendly parental controls. I’ll still link to YouTube now and then, especially since I think their community flagging censorship approach makes for an amusing trainwreck (and one that’s rife with contradiction). I mean, why have Naked News on there, make people have to log in to prove they’re 18, but then indiscriminately yank other videos with nudity in them (like mine)? Doesn’t that parlay into believing that their own mature content filters don’t work? Anyway, I’ll be linking to them always with a caveat that the link is temporary and unreliable, and I’ll be trusting my non-explicit and artsy videos for grownups to another service. Who wants a world without something like the playfully erotic Naked News? Especially Naked News Daily Male, yum. Certainly not me. (And I’ll start experimenting with embedding my own video players while direct linking to content makers — why give YouTube thousands more hits when they don’t care about retaining users like me?)

Besides, their RSS is seriously fucking broken. Jonno and I were talking about doing more YouTube video links on Fleshbot, but with traffic like ours we can’t link to anything that’s unreliable. We’re still talking about it, though.

A more well-rounded video service? Right now, Blinkx.tv has my vote, especially since they include podcasts — they just need to simplify their interface.

Update: Tiny Nibbles reader Gabe tells me in an email with the subject “YouTube bores” that I might want to check out Daily Motion. Thanks, Gabe! I’m just happy to find a sensible service that doesn’t obfuscate its practices or change its mind about how and when it enforces its Terms of Use — blogging and my web presence is my livelihood, and I depend on having these services keep their promises to me. For instance, the YT rep (off the record) told me that they’re going after anything with nudity right now, but nowhere in their TOU are the words “nude” or “naked”.

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Don’t hurt the pussy

You know, it’s been a busy week. But I just found a pocket of mental relief (about to be followed up with a tasty alcoholic beverage). You see, last weekend I read that damn awful New York Times Magazine article about vaginal reconstruction surgery. And I had the usual reactions; sadness, at the shame driving patients to chop their pussies to fit porn ideals, anger at the cosmetic surgery industry making big bucks on re-virginalizing women, more sadness that the women don’t know that vaginal surgery fucks with orgasmic potential. But I already knew all this. And my personal perspective is not what I wanted to read reflected back at me, just a thoughtful exploration of the topic; and as with every piece they do on sex, there was *no news* in this NY Times article.

What rattled my cage was the writer — and dear mother Mary in a strap-on, the writer’s name is Daphne Merkin. No, that’s not it either: it’s the 1950s-mentality, sex-negative, self-hateful way the writer, as a woman, approached the material. She tells us she can hardly bear to look between her own legs, and that Brazilian waxes fall into the same category as this surgery trend. *And* she criticizes women who are not afraid to get out a mirror and a flashlight — and might like it. I now wonder, after last year’s dismally weak sex coverage, is sexual ignorance the hiring policy of their publication? It can’t be — they had Natalie Angier writing for them. Please bring back Natalie, for the sake of all of us reading your paper and crossing our legs in ghost pain, like when a guy sees another guy get kicked in the balls on TV. I thought, fuck, will I ever see mature articles about sex and sexuality in a major newspaper without the rotten stink of sexual shame, before I’m like 70 years old? Dammit, the topic is so very interesting; why ruin it with your own baggage?

Anyway, I just discovered on Mark Pritchard’s blog that I wasn’t the only one who walked away from this article with a sore spot. Mark’s awesome post lead me to, among other things, this nice piece of writing on Bats Left Throws Right:

“I really don’t care whether Daphne wants to look Down There or not. But the idea that women realizing their health had for too long been in the hands of ‘experts’ who were largely male and largely clueless and uncaring is not a quaint cultural icon of a bygone era. It’s those same experts who were telling women that the clitoris had nothing to do with orgasm. Better we spend every late night watching Girls Gone Wild ads than another generation be lied to by sexophobic guardians of decency. (…) It’s enough to note the etymology: Latin pudenda, used as the noun form of the neuter plural of pudendus, the gerundive of pudere, meaning to be ashamed.”

Thank you. A toast tonight to all journalists who *like* sex. And write about it. But not The Merk.

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