Links: Lust, Ladygasms, Leg-Ups, and Lunacy!

This pizza? For slightly effeminate bisexual men only, obviously, as denoted by the vegetables. More effeminate bisexual men only like olives..

To all of you out there who make a habit of reading my blog: thank you for bearing with me. The past few weeks have been non-stop and have involved a whole lot of me feeling hypersensitive and sad, and I just haven’t had much of a will, or the time, to come up with original content. So thanks for sticking with me if you have; it means a lot!

Now moving on to more interesting things than my own navel-watching (which I think is a much more interesting hobby, personally, than bird-watching–after all, there’s sometimes lint in there!)! Some brief thoughts and links and the like:

1) Lust: The newest feature film from Lust Cinema is officially OUT! Keep your eye on this blog and on WHACK! Magazine for a review from yours truly (I’m way more excited to watch this one than I’ve been about a sexy movie in quite some time), and in the meantime, wrap your brain around this little small-world weirdness: I review porn and other sexy fare for this blog and other websites, as you well know, and I also perform as Fanny Firewater with NYC’s own Poetry Brothel–an intimate salon with dressed up poets parading around as whores and giving private, sensual readings for poetry nuts in speakeasies around New York. The Brothel has gotten a lot of attention here in New York and has spread to a few sister brothels here and abroad; one is in Barcelona. Lust Cinema’s new film, Cabaret Desire, is based on the idea of, and actually set in, Barcelona’s Poeetry Brothel. Am I the nexus for the coolest things in the world, or what?

2) Ladygasms: In what may be the most flat-out cool and also exciting science I’ve heard about in months (yes, “science” is a broad term but I like keeping it all in its place, you know?) scientists at Rutgers (hell YEAH New Jersey, way to be cooler than I thought you were!) have made the first-ever brain scans of a woman before, during, and after orgasm… and put it all in a video so we can watch it! The results are absolutely incredible, with oxygen levels and activity in almost every part of the brain lighting up like fireworks at the moment of climax. Basically, or at least as some journalists have optimistically implied, the female brain is at its most functional during orgasm. That explains a lot, no? While Professor Barry Komisaruk, the lead researcher on the project, stresses how learning about the brain during orgasm can help in a wide range of other areas–as I’m sure he has to do in order to keep his funding–the implications seem clear to me: sex is good for your noggin, and so is masturbation! Rejoice!

3) Leg-Up: (I realize that the term “leg-up” might not be that familiar to everyone, though I use it a lot… I’m not sure if this is something I’ve taken as a known fact for a while or if other people actually sometimes use it, but just to cover all my bases: a “leg-up” is when someone cups their hands together so that a short person can put a foot or knee into the offered hands, then boosts that person up onto a horse’s back… I use it to refer to generally giving someone a hand, but “leg-up” just sounds so much cooler.) Madison Young and her fierce cadre of queers in San Francisco are looking for support for their “Building Our Own White Picket Fences” project. Madison is using this project, which incorporates art, sex, love, and writing, as a platform for discussing the new models of the American family that the queer community is forging; it’s not only super-hot and super-cool all at once, but it’s mondo important for our society moving forward into a post-prejudiced society. Please go preorder some goodies to help fund those goodies being made, or support the project at its Kickstarter page. For progress! For love! For art!
(Also, I wonder if “leg-up” is pluralized as “legs-up” or “leg-ups.” Hm.)

4) Lunacy: I have stayed pretty hands-off with the whole Penn State scandal for several reasons. I’m from Pennsylvania, from a staunchly pro-Joe-Pa family, and I’ve been very hesitant to make any bold statements until more of the facts about what actually happened came in. I absolutely can’t condone the behavior of anyone involved in not reporting the incidents to the police (or maybe not, since the assistant coach who witnessed something [rape? “horsing around”?] now says he did talk to police), but it’s been very difficult to watch an icon that made many of the hours of my youth gleam with moral rectitude be torn down, and I don’t want to go pointing fingers until I know what really happened. But this morning I heard a short piece on NPR that made me crinkle up my face. I can’t remember the correspondent’s name, because I’m terrible at names, but on WNYC this morning right around 8:00 am, he read a piece about how he can’t help wondering if the cult of hypermasculinity surrounding the sport of American football might have helped this horrible failing to stay quiet–if the fact that men who play football are perceived as SOO-OOO manly that it seems like twice the indignity, twice the shame, twice the wrongness, to imply that they might get involved in the least masculine of all activities: the rape and destruction of young boys’ childhoods.
I see what he’s saying. I can make the connection myself. Football in America is the ultimate (or at least close to the ultimate) expression of manly manness. There is no women’s football league–except the lingerie one, which is pretty much a reinforcement of every male stereotype, just in reverse. Football is accompanied by beer and wings. Football is chest-pounding, Budweiser-swilling, we-are-so-tough-it-hurts fodder for the male masses. And to think that something so absolutely not traditionally American-man-and-flannel-and-workboots as pedophilia could be mixed in with it in any way–it’s almost sacrilege. The fact that this piece came on the radio right after a piece about how there have been more people coming forth to talk about their experiences of childhood sexual abuse after the Penn State scandal than after the Catholic Church scandal really drives home the sacrosanctity of the pigskin.
But… Really? Are we really so concerned with masculine stereotyping, so absolutely shit-the-pants terrified of anything breaking the hetero man facade, that we might be able to overlook one of the most abominable crimes known to our species to protect it? That’s overstating it–I doubt anyone involved saw or heard something and thought, “I better not say anything because it’ll make football seem less manly.” But… I just don’t know. It’s sure food for thought.
And then this afternoon I raed this article in Salon about how Herman Cain doesn’t eat “sissy pizza” with “vegetables.” Seriously, Herman Cain really said this in an interview with GQ: he associates pepperoni and sausage with men “because the more manly man is not afraid of abundance. A manly man don’t want it piled high with vegetables!” And he meant it.
And I thought… “Oh my god. How did we get here? How the hell did our society reach a point at which we are so completely wrapped up in make-believe ideas about what makes a person with a penis ‘normal’ that we are now calling vegetables ‘sissy’ food? How did this happen? Where did we take a turn down Lunatic Alley?” This is utter craziness. Seriously, people: your food preferences, sporting interests, clothing color choices, sexual orientation… they’re just parts of YOU. They’re not the things that define who you are, and if they are… they’re still your choice. What you like on a your burger and fries does not give you a free pass into some secret society of the manly or womanly or sissy or whatever. How did we get to a point where we think it could?
Uck. I’m going to go home now, and sigh a lot, and then eat some tofu and vegetables in broth. I guess we know what my genitals look like!

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