Okay, I tried to make a portmanteau out of “links” and “October” and it didn’t go very well. So I added “fest” at the end. Because, once you’ve already gone ridiculous, why back down? And so, I give you Linktoberfest.
At any rate, my loves, here’s a round-up of sex-positive, adult-industry, and related news that’s caught my eye over the past month! Please enjoy!
A Vaginal Wellness Conundrum
I just got an e-mail from the creators of this new line of luxury products for “vaginal wellness,”—Momotaro. They’re making a salve, an oil, and something called “hydrosol,” all of which are pH balanced and made from natural, organic ingredients and all that good stuff. They aim to “safely support the vagina’s natural ability to relieve symptoms associated with uncomfortable and unexpected issues like infection and itching stemming from yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, pH imbalance, and general irritation from sex, clothing, and exercise — without disturbing friendly bacteria.”
I’m…really skeptical. Everything I’ve heard and read from medical practitioners on this subject goes like this: Never mess around with your vagina. Your vagina can take care of itself. Don’t put weird stuff in, on, or around your vagina. And so on.
Then again, most of us with vaginas have gone through at least one epoch of our lives during which our vag just couldn’t seem to get it together. A yeast infection that kept coming back. Or a case of BV that wouldn’t quit, even after antibiotics. So, maybe, in times like that, it’s good to have something on hand that can help give your body a boost? But on the other hand…I don’t think I want tea tree oil anywhere near my mucus membranes!
I’m not sure. But Momotaro is offering to send me their products for review for free, and I’m torn. What do you think, internet? Should I give it a try?
Design a Sci-fi Sex Toy
Gigantic sex toy retailer Lovehoney just launched a competition for customers to design a sex toy. And, this year, the theme is science fiction. You heard me right! If you’ve always dreamed of a Star Trek–themed dildo (tricorder vibe, anyone?) or Asimov-inspired anal beads, now’s your time to shine!
“Can you transport your imagination ten years down the road and give us a design that will help shape the future of sex?” asks their website. If you’ve got a great idea in mind, you could win “a 5,000 cash prize in your local currency”! (Impressive if you live in the US or Europe…not so much if you’re Japanese.)
But, the winning design might be made into a real product. And if so the designer gets royalties! So, if you’ve got a brilliant idea that makes sci-fi sexy, consider getting busy. Details right here.
FSC Condemns “Girls Do P0rn”
I don’t know if you’ve been following the absolutely gross ongoing saga of “Girls Do P0rn.” It’s a so-called adult entertainment producer whose practices are so awful they’re currently involved in a civil suit in which nearly two dozen women are suing them for $22 million. And now the feds have charged them with sex trafficking.
It’s fucking horrendous for a number of reasons—one of which is that this kind of shit is exactly what anti-p0rn, sex-negative zealots are always clutching their conservative pearls over. This type of skeezy, predatory, criminal behavior gives the thousands of law-abiding, upstanding perverts who people the reputable porn industry a bad name. And that really burns my cookies.
The Free Speech Coalition, a trade organization and lobbying entity for the mainstream adult industry here in the US, issued a statement that combats the conflation of “Girls Do Porn”–style sickos with the rest of the industry. To whit:
Free Speech Coalition unequivocally condemns the actions alleged in the complaint. Fraud, force, coercion, deception, harassment, pressure, and violence have no place in our industry, let alone on an adult film set…The operators of the Girls Do Porn website were not members of, or otherwise known to, the Free Speech Coalition, and operated outside the confines of the conventional adult entertainment industry.
You can read the rest of the statement here.
What’s It Like to Direct Your Husband in a P0rn Scene?
Tracy Clark-Flory, ever the answerer of important questions about sex and especially adult entertainment, just published a fascinating look at romantic couples who work together on porn sets. But not together together, necessarily. She focuses mostly on Kayden Kross and Manuel Ferrara, a married power couple with more AVN awards under their belt than…well…anything else under their belt. Kayden no longer performs, but rather spends her time directing. And her husband is one of the stars she shoots most. What’s that like?
“There is definitely a mess of complexity surrounding a relationship like this and while I’d argue it’s working, I would never argue it’s been easy,” Kross says. “I don’t think relationships are easy once you get past the infatuation phase. There have been jealousies, pettinesses, betrayals, fights, distrust—all of it.”
Read the whole article at Jezebel!
The UK Gave Up on Age-Restricting P0rn
After years of controversy and setbacks, the UK has finally thrown in the towel on trying to force age-verification software on any website that makes money on showing British people pornography online. Small-scale adult entertainment companies around the world are breathing a sigh of relief, as are UK citizens who’d prefer not to have to disclose their private information to the British government or a private company keeping tabs on who’s watching what. Since the p0rn blockers would have been easy enough for under-18 viewers to get around using a VPN, it was starting to look like a lot of work for very little payoff, anyway. From what the BBC reported, it sounds like the only ones upset about this turn of events are the private companies who developed software for verifying ages in the first place.
The British government is still making vague statements about coming up with a new plan to keep kids from watching smut online, but nothing concrete has been mentioned. In the meantime, I recommend that parents in the UK (and literally everywhere else) have real, meaningful conversations with their kids about pornography—rather than hoping they can avoid it when the government does it for them.
Lend Your Voice to Sexy Studies!
Ever wanted to give science a hand when it comes to understanding sex? When it comes to human sexuality, sometimes it seems like we know nothing…but scientists are trying to learn more. And I’ve just discovered the coolest freaking thing: A list of ongoing sex studies that you can participate in! It’s kept up by Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a scientist, author, and sex-positive awesome person who you should definitely keep up with. Right now, there are studies on “Heterosexual Men’s Desired Reactions to their Genitals in Consensual Sexual Contexts,” sexual deception, polyamory and identity, and many more. Go sign up for whatever you can!
A Firsthand Account of Incel Rehab
An anonymous human just talked to MEL Magazine about his experience becoming an incel…and then going to rehab to cleanse himself of the toxicity his brush with grossness caused. It’s a fascinating read. Here’s a nibble:
What helped me the most was the general accepting nature of the people there. If you’re an incel, you must buy into the ideology. You must think as they do; otherwise, you get bashed. That’s at least how it is on the forums. I’d seen enough incel shittiness to assume I’d be ridiculed by the group, simply because I was an outsider. Yet that wasn’t the case at all. People at [rehab] were extraordinarily willing to accept others who were different than them.
Read the rest at MEL!
Read My Interview with Mahx Capacity in MATH Magazine!
I’m so excited to say that an interview I did with the fan-fucking-tastic Mahx Capacity of AORTA films is going to grace the pages of MATH Magazine‘s eighth issue. Out today, the magazine features cover model Laura DeLarato, a body-positive model, activist, and general hero, plus sexy art, articles, and more from lots of brilliant contributors.
Here’s a bite of my interview with Mahx:
Something p0rn performers do so well [is] being extremely present in a way that makes them both really vulnerable and really powerful at the same time. It’s going to sound so cheesy to say this, but it feels kind of holy to me when a performer is able to be in their element and feel comfortable and feel supported. They’re able to be so vulnerable and so open in this way that has such immense strength and power and realness behind it.
And that’s just a tiny bit. Mahx is a brilliant, beautiful, articulate human, and they had SO much fascinating stuff to say! You can read the rest in Issue 8 of MATH Magazine!
And Keep Up with My Work at YNOT
Rounding out this Linktoberfest, I’ve been writing once or twice a week for YNOT, and it’s been a blast. My latest piece was on legal p0rn’s fiftieth birthday. Recently, I’ve also covered Girls Do P0rn, Katie Couric’s new podcast, California legislation around freelance contractors, Bella Thorne, STI testing in adult, and much more. You can read all my bylines right here!
Keep up with all my “titillating, winking bawdiness” when you subscribe to my newsletter!