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Old 01-25-2006, 12:18 AM   #51
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Dirty Pornos by Johnny Maldoro

Sluts Wear Socks During Sex!
Village Voice
January 2006
Dirty Pornos by Johnny Maldoro

I wear socks during sex probably 30 percent of the time. Like leaving the toilet seat up, falling asleep on the couch every night after eight whiskeys, crashing expensive European sports cars, and swallowing lit cigarettes for the amusement of one's friends, socks-sex is a hallmark of male behavior, at least according to comedians and Mad About You (which starred a comedian. Here's another picture of Helen Hunt, this time wearing a wet shirt). But what if the tables were turned? What if women swallowed lit cigarettes and left their socks on during sex instead of men? Interracial Coxxx Soxxx #3 (NJ Films) tackles this--and other--questions. (The other questions are, How do you boil contemporary race relations down to agreeably banal gender psychodrama? and, What's the worst thing you could do to your mom's new couch?)

You're probably asking, What about cumming into socks? This is also a common male behavior, at least among adolescents and those who can't reach the tissues. And indeed, the habit provides the crucial missing link between athlete's foot and jock itch. Thing is, when women cum into footwear, it's usually pantyhose. (More ladylike that way.) So your question is irrelevant. (Ask me about Socks the cat, who lived in the Clinton White House, and you might be onto something.) Moving on, Coxxx Soxxx is a standard interracial gonzo with an inscrutable gimmick. In case you haven't picked up on it yet, the gimmick is the women wear socks. The advantage of this is that the ladies can be, for all intents and purposes, nude while wearing their costume. The socks--all but one set knee-high--may be an artful allusion to the ubiquitous school-girl outfit or the not-so-ubiquitous foot fetish, although that possibility is only taken to its logical conclusion in one scene, where the round-bellied, MILF-looking Laya Layton briefly footjobs her co-star, who spits on his own dick despite the absorptive qualities of Laya's tubes.

But unlike that time a friend left hers in my dorm room, it wasn't the socks I was masturbating to. The videomakers cast some memorable B actresses: the girlishly thin, girlishly sunny Leah Luv (not sure if she's on the left or right side in that pic, so here's another), who wears braces on her considerably crooked teeth; Kemmy, the good-natured, heavily-accented, drool-happy Japanese lady in these stills from Coxxx Soxxx; the glamorous Staci Thorn; and our lone black starlet, the regally-named, sorta classy Olivia Winters (no good pics of her online, so see the dvd cover). Unfortunately, Billy Banks fucks all of 'em but Olivia. While he's reassuringly friendly, inviting one to kick off her platform spikes because they look uncomfortable, then somewhat gently fucking her mouth, he's that most abhorrent of studs--a talker. He ceaselessly expresses his pleasure, which is at best inane, but more often utterly droop-inducing. Next time you're beating it to porn, read my column aloud and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:23 AM   #52
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Girls on Film

Girls on Film

By Judy McGuire
Seattle Weekly
January 2006

Wasn't I excited when I opened my mail the other day to find a porno flick based on the life of a sex and love advice columnist! As I tore through the packaging and shoved the DVD in the player, I hoped that it'd be more authentic than the last movie about a lady columnist I'd seen: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Poor Kate Hudson; she's so irresistible, it's gonna take her 10 whole days to convince a man not to love her. Hell, I've inspired full-on hatred in less than 10 seconds.

So Dear Celeste (Pure Play Media) looks right up my alley. I dig the remote up from between the sofa cushions and hit play.

Oh my.

My Special Naked Friend often complains that my skirts are too short, but I look positively Amish compared to this gal! Why, I can see right up to the goodies, which are obscured from view only by a sliver of pretty pink thong.

Celeste, who, judging by her accent, hails from Long Island, explains to us—the viewer—that she thinks it was her skimpy apparel choices that landed her the job of sex columnist. "I'm so naughty," she adds.


Celeste decides it's bath time (writing is a dirty business!), and we get to watch her walk up the stairs. Once comfortably ensconced in her boudoir, Celeste begins getting ready. For most of us this task involves turning on the faucet, dropping trou, and jumping in.

But not our Celeste. She gives herself a full-body rubdown—first fully clothed, and then again, as she painstakingly removes each item of clothing. I would've been bathed and dried in the time it takes her to get down to her skivvies.

"You like my bra? It's cute, huh? It's pink and black," she explains for the color-blind among us. I note that, shockingly, Celeste appears to be rocking unaugmented breasts. I don't have a boob job either—common ground!

As she slips off her thong, I note with dismay a landing strip on an otherwise barren landscape. I cannot believe that pubic hair has become a fetish item.

After another tantalizing full-body rubdown (this time nekkid!), it's finally time for Celeste to get in the damned tub already. She walks over to the bath and gives her nips a tweak before stepping into the bubbles. I generally wait till after the bath to do the nipple tweaking, but to each her own.

"I get letters from my readers—hot, steamy letters," she purrs, lolling about in the bath. "I pick the hottest, steamiest ones." Then, as if to prove she's not lying, Celeste picks one up from a stack that's suddenly appeared next to the tub.

Throwing caution (and good sense!) to the wind, Wet Celeste opens the letter and reads it aloud: "I can't sign my name because I'm a pretty well-known celebrity. But I had the most amazing sex with my bodyguard last week. I've never been with a black guy, and I certainly had never had anal sex before. . . . "

Cut to a pretty Asian lady and her "bodyguard." They start going at it, and I fast-forward to the butt sex. Ow! Oh wait, he's taking it out of her ass and putting it in her mouth!! Ewwww!

Safe Sex Alert: Don't try this at home! This is such an unsafe—not to mention distasteful—practice!

Skip back to Celeste, who is reading another letter. I take a moment to ponder that I'm probably the only person in the history of the universe to fast-forward through the sex in order to get to the talky bits.

In this scene, one of Celeste's girlfriends comes to visit. I love hanging out with my girlfriends, but my buddies and I don't really rub each other's boobies or tongue kiss. I shouldn't even say "really," because that makes it sound like it occasionally happens.

Fast-forward to a boxing segment. I used to box! Oh, wait. . . . While I did box, I never did it in high-heeled sneakers and a latex bikini. And, um, lady, you're supposed to wear boxing gloves when you're hitting the heavy bag!

Frustrated, I yank the DVD out of the player and pitch it across the room. Obviously, the life of a sex and love advice professional is too nuanced and complicated for Hollywood—or even the Valley—to get right.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:31 AM   #53
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S.C. Upholds Death Sentence in Killing of Bay Area Women

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
S.C. Upholds Death Sentence in Killing of Bay Area Women

Expert’s Reference to Defendant as ‘Serial Killer’ Not Unfair, Justices Rule Unanimously

By Kenneth Ofgang, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts

The California Supreme Court yesterday unanimously upheld the death sentence of a Northern California man convicted of killing his wife and mother-in-law and linked to the brutal sexual assaults and murders of three other women.

The high court rejected Phillip Carl Jablonski’s claim that San Mateo Superior Court Judge John G. Schwartz deprived him of a fair trial by allowing a prosecution mental health expert to testify that he was a “serial killer,” a phrase that Jablonski’s lawyer had no legal meaning and was used only to cause prejudice.

Justice Carlos Moreno, writing for the high court, said the testimony was admissible to help jurors understand how Jablonski, whose attorneys unsuccessfully challenged his competence and later his sanity, could have engaged in psychotic, bizarre anti-social behavior, yet still understand the difference between right and wrong.

Prosecutors said Jablonski killed his wife Carol Spadoni and her mother Eva Petersen after Spadoni—who married Jablonski while he was serving time at San Quentin nine years earlier—told his parole officer she was scared of Jablonski and did not want him coming back to San Mateo County to live with her.

Among the prosecution evidence was a tape seized from Jablonski’s car in which he described the murders. Spadoni was shot, suffocated with duct tape, and stabbed; her mother was shot after being sexually assaulted. The prosecution’s penalty phase evidence tied Jablonski to the killings of a girlfriend with whom he had a child, a college classmate, and a woman who worked at a truck stop, as well as to attacks on 10 other women, including his first wife, his sister, his mother, and another girlfriend.

Case in Mitigation

The defense presented witnesses in the penalty phase to testify to the difficulty of Jablonski’s upbringing and the constant physical abuse he and other family members suffered at the hands of a gun-toting, alcoholic father .

Jurors convicted Jablonski of two counts of first degree murder, with special circumstances of multiple murder, murder in the commission or attempted commission of rape and sodomy, and prior murder.

On appeal, the defense attacked the testimony of Dr. George Wilkinson, a court-appointed psychiatrist who testified that he interviewed the defendant on five occasions and reviewed extensive background material.

Wilkinson testified that Jablonski suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, “transient” psychotic episodes triggered by “overpowering aggressive or sexual feelings” that “cannot be expressed,” and had a passive/aggressive personality with “intense feelings of inadequacy” and that he was a sexual sadist. Wilkinson also concluded that defendant engaged in malingering behavior and attacked the defense contention that he was schizophrenic.

Wilkinson said that based on a study of over 300 murderers, he concluded that Jablonski was a serial killer, which he defined as someone who has the need to kill in order to release internal tensions. That, the doctor testified, was the reason he made the tape recording and made notes about the murders in his address book.

Flight After Crime

While a serial killer may or may not be insane, Wilkinson said, Jablonski understood the nature of his actions. The doctor cited the defendant’s awareness that he had to be alone when he confronted the victims and his flight after the crime.

Wilkinson added that there was nothing to indicate that, even though he knew his conduct was legally wrong, the defendant believed he was morally justified in murdering the victims.

The trial judge admitted Wilkinson’s testimony over defense objection, finding that the probative value outweighed any prejudice. That ruling was not an abuse of discretion, Moreno wrote for the high court.

“Defendant cites no authority for the proposition that the only expert evidence admissible on the issue of a defendant’s sanity must be confined to classifications of mental disease or disorder found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the justice wrote. “As Dr. Wilkinson testified, the phenomenon of serial murderers has been the subject of professional interest in the psychiatric community, and his testimony regarding the behavior of serial murderers and its relation to defendant’s conduct as it bore on the question of his sanity was undoubtedly relevant to that issue.”

As to prejudice, Moreno wrote:

“In relation to the testimony the jury heard regarding the shocking circumstances of defendant’s crimes, Dr. Wilkinson’s testimony was relatively innocuous.”

The case is People v. Jablonski, 06 S.O.S. 268.

2006, Metropolitan News Company
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:00 AM   #54
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Bondage group looks to become official

Bondage group looks to become official
Independent Collegian
By: Alia Orra
Issue date: 1/26/06

In the farthest corner of a sixth-floor stable of cubicles in University Hall, a running conversation on the virtues of whips, ropes and nipple clamps is filling an otherwise dull workspace.

Explaining the basics of such equipment may tend to elicit school-girl laughter or vulgar intensity, but Sean Shannon is exhibiting neither.

The graduate student speaks of bondage, domination, submission and sadomasochism as one speaks of English literature (in which she's well-versed) or the History Channel: with considerable restraint.

Shannon is in the later stages of organizing an official university group to be called UT Un/Gagged, one that socially and politically advocates for practitioners of BDSM sex.

The bondage safety demonstration that Shannon has given on campus in the past is perhaps one of the only things that will make the transition from bedroom to university.

"This isn't a group where people are going to be titillated," Shannon said. "This isn't going to be a big sex group. It's going to be educational and social."

Other colleges, such as Columbia and New York University, have established similar groups formed around a shared interest in BDSM.

But at UT, the first Un/Gagged meeting attracted a "handful" of students, Shannon said, and while their application is in the final stages of approval, they'll need at least 10 members to make it official.

Finding those people has proved problematic. Besides some recent local publicity, Shannon's graduate student schedule has thus far been able to accommodate one Friday meeting and a few e-mail inquiries.

But she wants to find those lone collegiate souls willing to take what is often traditionally considered private into a "school club" setting and is one of the people furthering the change from taboo to popular.

And there is difficulty in drawing the line between where "vanilla" sexual encounters end and BDSM exchanges begin.

As psychotherapist Dr. William Henkin said in a telephone interview, "With 6 billion people on the planet, it's hard to say what most people do."

"I do think long before BDSM became a cultural phenomenon, lots of people who would never think of aligning themselves in such a community would be involved in tickling their partners, holding their partners hands down during intercourse," said Henkin, who is based in San Francisco and well-known as a sex therapist in the BDSM community. "At what point does slap and tickle move from one place to another?"

The visibility of BDSM has been aided by pop stars like Madonna, who although "was really seen as someone who was a poser," Shannon said, also associated with the sexual phenomenon a degree of accessibility and especially an element of cliché.

This latex-clad image and domineering was one that Midori, the Japanese author, sexual educator and ex-professional dominatrix, was conscious of avoiding for the cover of her book, "The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage."

"It's a very conscious decision [to go with a stark, Japanese-style cover]," Midori said in a telephone interview. "Part of what was being expressed in my book and what I was trying to share with others is the sensual aesthetics of the contemporary and classical Japanese [sexuality], as best I can translate for an American audience without it being entirely alien."

While niches have been formed around BDSM since the 1950s and 1960s, Henkin said, it initially was thought to be a pathological disorder, and practitioners have perhaps become accustomed to a lack of understanding from the mainstream.

Despite the risqué image, Shannon and others in the BDSM community are concerned with safety, hence Un/Gagged's potential focus on safety demonstrations.

The idea that it is for the emotionally damaged or disconnected simply further encourages some misunderstanding - Midori is the upbeat spokeswoman, though, and dutifully recites the lists she's composed of people who shouldn't be involved in BDSM.

In it she advises: "if you're broken as a person, SM won't fix you."

"There are couples that get into BDSM so much that the sexual and sensual elements really get backgrounded," Shannon said.

And there are those people "who through a consensual exchange of power reach a higher level of intimacy," she said.

That BDSM does not suit many people's tastes is fine by Henkin, Midori and Shannon, but putting limitations and prejudices on the community is not, they say.

"There are a lot of things that people really like that I don't get," Henkin said. "The fact that I don't get it doesn't mean that it's not valid … it just means I don't really belong there."

"I've always been different so … it took me awhile, but eventually, I came to realize I shouldn't be ashamed for who I am," Shannon said, pulling at a loose string on her pants. "And then I realized what I wanted to do with Un/Gagged is help people see that people in the BDSM community shouldn't be ashamed of who they are."
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:04 AM   #55
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Control Tower & Kink Calendar ~ MISTRESS MATISSE

Control Tower & Kink Calendar
Questions for the Mistress
Jan 26 - Feb 1, 2006


A day's email...

Dear Mistress: I have a problem with marks after play, as I am naked every day in front of other girls at the gym. I am not sure about how to answer the question, "What happened?" I don't want to lie, nor do I want to be rude, but I also don't want to go into detail.

Delicate-skinned bottoms come up with some fairly creative excuses. A pal who hikes always claims to have fallen down on a gravel trail, and playing sports of any kind can certainly cover your ass, so to speak. It sort of depends on the type of marks, too. Hand-shaped red marks on your butt are fairly self-explanatory. You could just laugh and say, "My honey and I got a little wild last night." Chances are they won't inquire further, but if they do, you could say, "Sorry, I don't kiss and tell."

If that's too direct, or if the marks are more amorphous, shrug and say, "Oh, I bruise so easily, it could be from anything. So, what'd you do this weekend?"

Hello. You must do normal stuff sometimes. I'd like to take you out to dinner.

I do lots of normal things. Why, I recently went to the Bellevue Home Show and had a conversation with a nice man about granite countertops. However, I prefer to do even normal things in the company of my kinky friends. And sending me unsigned emails that sound snarky about my life as a kinkster is not the way to become a friend of mine.

Dear Matisse: I know you're going to think I'm full of shit, but this is a serious question, because I've had two girls make some remarks. So tell me straight: How big is too big?

Well, recognize that when it comes to dick size, women's preferences and capacity varies broadly. For one girl, you're "Too-Tall Jones," but for another, you're the hottest thing on three legs. But if you want a number... well, when I hold my hand in the duck-shadow-puppet position one uses for fisting, it's about seven and three-quarters of an inch around at the knuckle. I've put this hand in a lot of pussies, so if your dick is smaller around than that, seems like you ought to be within the realm of reason. (Especially since you don't have knucklebones in your dick.) You are using lube, right?

If it's a length issue and you're banging into her cervix, try doggie style with her legs pressed together.

Dear Matisse: How come I keep meeting submissive women with abuse issues? I've heard quite a few stories of people who presently consider themselves masochists/subs that have previous experience having nonconsensual experiences where they were victimized.

You're not the first person I've heard make a remark about this issue. My response is that while a lot of women in the world have been abused at one time or another, I really don't think there is an unusually high proportion of such women in the BDSM community. What I do think is true is that submissive women are more likely to talk about it. And that's a good thing, because before engaging in any BDSM activity with someone, one should make full disclosure about any emotional buttons that may get pushed. Most of the time when I negotiate with a woman, I ask her if she's got any hotspots so I can avoid them. I've also done a few scenes where I was requested to deliberately play on certain themes to help someone work through an intense memory. That's something I don't undertake lightly, and certainly don't recommend to everyone. But either way, I definitely want to hear about it. Because if someone suddenly flips out in the middle of a scene—perhaps after I unwittingly called them the same pet name Uncle Chester the Molester used to—that'll be an unpleasant experience for both of us. So, a markedly higher incidence of abuse survivors turned submissive? I don't think so. More communication about it? Definitely.

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Old 01-26-2006, 06:11 AM   #56
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By Jennifer Merin
New York Press

January 25-31
Directed by Lars von Trier

The second film in Danish director Lars von Trier’s American trilogy, Manderlay, is set in a mythical southern plantation where Grace and her gangster father find themselves after their departure from Dogville.

As in Dogville, von Trier places his actors within what is essentially a blueprint of a locale. He lays out a map of buildings and other areas on the floor of a huge, undecorated studio. The furniture and props in the room are real, but there are no walls to obscure activities within each defined area. Consequently, the audience sees whatever is happening all over town, seeing everything in the direction in which the camera’s eye scans or focuses at a given moment.

When von Trier is filming, all actors are on the set at all times. In fact, even when they’re not directly in the shot, they’re required to be in character and engaged in their character’s daily life. At any time, von Trier may shift focus to film something an actor is doing coincidentally in a remote corner of the set.

While on location, von Trier, cast and crew live together in one hotel. Everyone dines together. Off set, the ensemble is as tight and complex as it is during the filming.

Von Trier’s unusual methods, his stark shooting style and his characters’ extremely difficult and subtle social and moral dilemmas make his work singularly intriguing. His reputation as an artistic genius and iconoclast creates an intense buzz of curiosity about him.

Many of the questions about him concern his attitude towards the United States. His portrayal of America in Dogville and Manderlay is harsh and problematical, yet he’s never stood on U.S. soil.

“I’d love to visit America, but I don’t think I’d survive several hours in a plane because I’m severely claustrophobic,” von Trier says.

MERIN: Do you hate America?

VON TRIER: Not at all. It would be stupid to hate part of the world. I’ve met some Americans that I like very much, and some I don’t. But that’s the same anywhere. In my part of the world—Denmark and Sweden—there’re people who treasure anything American. They think if it’s American, it’s good—they want American cars or whatever. I’m not like that. It’s difficult to describe my feelings, but I treasure America very much.

MERIN: What role does America play in Dogville and Manderlay?

VON TRIER: Not a big role, actually—as big a role as it did in Bertolt Brecht’s work, maybe. For Brecht, America symbolized capitalism in its worst form. But it doesn’t symbolize anything for me. Characters in my other films (not set in America) are as stupid and mean as they are in Dogville and Manderlay. For me, it’s more that America is a very exotic—like locations in the Rocky Mountains and the South. I’m a big Steinbeck fan—and, for me, America is more an atmosphere and feeling than an actual place. You could say Manderlay, deals with American problems. But that’s just the film’s surface. The problems aren’t only American.

MERIN: Who’s the film’s narrative voice?

VON TRIER: Probably me. Or what we call in film school “the all-knowing person.“ Here, it’s this sarcastic person who leads us though the story. It was important to me that it was not an American voice.

MERIN: Who’s the central character of Grace, symbolically?

VON TRIER: Grace’s the girl from Dogville. She’s Brecht’s Pirate Jenny—born into something she can’t help with her gangster boss father.

But he, for some strange reason, seems to represent common sense—especially if you compare him to her.

It’s funny, but when you write a script, you create characters—then you try to defend them. You put yourself in their place and when one of them says something, you think well, yes, now I have to answer that.

Writing Manderlay, I started with the end of Dogville. I’d had to make Grace change her mind at the end of Dogville, when she destroys the village. It’s interesting what arguments these characters come up with for themselves—that’s something that happens when you write.

MERIN: Do you start your writing process with a specific idea?

VON TRIER: These two films were inspired by literature—and I started with their endings.

MERIN: What literature?

VON TRIER: For Dogville, it was Pirate Jenny’s song about a girl working in a small hotel who imagines a ship that bombards the tow to rescue her from the poor life she has, and they ask her who’s going to die, and she says “everybody.”

For Manderlay, it’s The Story of O, about a masochistic girl who’s treated extremely badly and likes it. Masochism is this little vocation.

Then, it’s about a situation in the Caribbean where slaves were freed by law, but went back to their former master asking to be slaves again. He refused—because of the law—and they killed him. This story, I believe, has nothing to do with masochism, but with the fact that they’d nothing to eat, no way to survive and had been better off under the system of slavery. It’s ironic.

MERIN: You show Grace driving from Dogville to Manderlay, but different actress appear in the films. Is Grace the same character?

VON TRIER: Manderlay was written for Nicole (Kidman, star of Dogville), but we couldn’t wait a year and a half for her to be free to shoot it. So I changed the script to focus on another side of Grace. We purposely cast somebody younger and different (Bryce Dallas Howard) than Nicole. Grace is written as the same character, but it’s cartoonish in that she doesn’t have memory of her past

MERIN: Do you mean that when Grace kills Wilma in Manderlay, she has no memory of having killed Paul Bettany’s character in Dogville?

VON TRIER: Well, you always remember having killed Paul Bettany. But it’s a bit like TV—they forget they’ve just saved the world from evil and do it all over again in the next episode. They don’t seem to have much memory—or guilt.

MERIN: You’ve said you find locations like the Rockies and South very exciting and exotic. Why have you distilled their reality into a barebones set?

VON TRIER: After writing Dogville, I was looking for a fulfilling way to do the film. I thought it might not really be America—there’s even a David Bowie song called “This is not America.” It’s not America. I think that’s easy to see—since the set is a black floor.

It’s also that you, as a spectator, should work, too. I believe spectator co-work isn’t as difficult as we might think. When you’re a child you live in wonderful houses that don’t exist—under a chair is your wonderful house that you see and live in. I don’t think that’s difficult, but it’s something you benefit from.

I thought of Brecht’s work—which isn’t exactly the same as this, but requires stylized settings. My mother was crazy for Brecht and dragged me to the theater to see his plays. I’m always looking for ideas that I believe are good for film.

I believe it’s is time for something like the black floor—since we can now present any fantasy on computers. After seeing Lord of the Rings all summer, I thought there must be another way of doing this—because I truly believe a dragon is more frightening if you don’t see it. Which is why most horror films are made in darkness, right? In the first Alien, we were really scared because the monster was so small and you never see it. The more you see it, the less frightening it is. This is equivalent to that.

Also, I’m trying to zoom in on actors, on characters. I can’t explain exactly why I made the choice, but I’m happy with it.

MERIN: What happens to Grace in the third film?

VON TRIER: That’s a good question. It’s difficult for me to do things that look the same. I live for having stupid ideas about how things should look. I always change. So I have to find a way of ending this trilogy.

I must say I think Manderlay is a bit too concrete—the film concentrates on the story too much, and the story’s a bit too well told. That’s what I think now, but I’m never happy about films when I’ve just made them. So, better luck next time. But I haven’t figured it out yet.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:50 PM   #57
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American writer and activist Patrick Califia speaks out against stigmatization

American writer and activist Patrick Califia speaks out against stigmatization and the epidemic


Patrick Califia, one of the U.S.’s most outspoken writers and activists for issues of sexual freedom, will be speaking at Concordia tonight, Thursday, Jan. 26, as part of the university’s HIV/AIDS Lecture Series. Califia once described himself as “a feminist, a pornographer, a sadomasochist, a poet, a storyteller, an omnivore, a pagan, a social critic, a sex educator and an activist,” and is internationally known for his pointed commentary on sexuality issues.

Califia began his activist work over three decades ago as an SM lesbian and has long fought against censorship laws in both the U.S. and Canada. In the late ’90s, he made the gender transition from female to male, and continues to produce powerful work on behalf of sexual minorities despite suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease. The Mirror caught up with him by telephone in San Francisco.

Mirror: Have you ever been to Montreal before?

Patrick Califia: No. I’m very excited! For an American citizen to travel in Canada is a very humbling experience. All the benefits you enjoy are totally alien in my country’s political vocabulary. And my audiences here are so much more well-read and political about these issues than in the U.S. My country is really depressing, so it really replenishes me to go to a place where this work is more possible!

M: What will you be talking about tonight?

PC: My lecture will be about how the stigmatization of sexual minorities has hampered HIV prevention work. HIV prevention materials are being treated as obscene. The same attitudes that make it possible for politicians to generate moral panic about obscenity have helped the Christian right to handicap HIV education. In the U.S., we cannot use federal funds to produce sexually explicit materials or to “advocate homosexuality.” But how do you produce something that says “use a condom when you have anal sex” if that’s considered obscene? HIV workers’ hands are tied.

Attitudes about sexuality have affected the way all states have approached STDs—not just HIV, but all of them. Public policy around HIV in the U.S. is completely crazy. It’s never been based on how the virus is actually transmitted. Instead, it’s been based on homophobia, and the repression of honest and explicit sexual speech.

The majority of new HIV infections are in people under the age of 25. Why is the prospect of a young person contracting HIV not obscene, but handing out a condom is?

Still stupid about AIDS

M: Can you describe your relationships to the transgender and the BDSM communities, which you’ll be discussing in your lecture?

PC: I’m a member of both communities, and so this personally affects me and the people I love and care about. I want to see research done with these communities in more effective ways so that people don’t die!

I’ve been involved with the formation of the modern SM community since the late 1970s. I saw it before the AIDS epidemic and I saw what the AIDS epidemic has done. It has been a terrifying and heartbreaking experience. I’m still angry about the hundreds of my friends who have died. I still feel that the federal government is responsible for it. This epidemic is 30 years old. How much longer are we going to continue to be stupid about this?

As for the transgender community, if anything trans people are the most marginalized and have access to fewer social services. This is very complex stuff. If you don’t understand how people live and form relationships, you can’t track their risk behaviours.

M: As an elder among activists, do you ever plan to retire?

PC: Oh God, no! For several reasons. The first being that the work isn’t done yet. I have seen a lot of social progress—you can’t win all of the time and you can’t win everywhere, but we do succeed in creating social change. The second reason is that activism is my antidote to depression and pain, my way of fighting the isolation of disability. Besides, how else am I gonna get laid? We can’t neglect the fact that a lot of us do this work for the social fringe benefits too!

The free lecture starts at 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 26, at Concordia’s Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve W., room H-110)
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:20 PM   #58
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Cowboys’ love doomed to perish ~ Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain
Directed by Ang Lee
Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams
Screening nationally


In his 1984 book The Celluloid Closet, Vito Russo presented a critique of the way Hollywood has depicted queers, from silent films to the present. Russo hypothesised that queer characters fit into three unflattering stereotypes: the sissy, the sinister deviant and the tragic martyr. If Russo survived to see Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, he may have revised his theory.

Brokeback Mountain tells the story of a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy who meet while herding sheep in Wyoming, the state that witnessed the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd in 1998. Ennis Del Marr (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) are hired by Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) for the summer to tend his flock. Both are about 19. Alone in their natural environs, they forge a passionate bond. Their affair spans two decades, from their initial pairing on Brokeback in the summer of 1963 to the early 1980s.

Jack’s physical attraction to Ennis is clear early on. Ennis is inarticulate and closed-mouthed. But sorry, fellow gayboys, if you are hanging out to see this flick to catch the hot pairing of Gyllenhaal and Ledger, you may be disappointed. Nor is it a study of the ins and outs of gay sex. Their first sexual encounter is violent, suggesting repressed desire, even if it is not particularly realistic. They spend the rest of the summer like randy teenagers, all the while carrying on doing the things that cowboys do.

Neither is prepared to question his sexuality. “I ain’t no queer”, protests Ennis. “Me neither”, Jack fires back. Their blissful outdoor romance is cut short by a looming blizzard and both return to their predetermined course in life. Ennis marries his high-school sweetheart, Alma, and produces two daughters. Jack returns to rodeo in Texas and earns a reputation as a monosyllabic loner at bars, attempting to entice the local boys into conversation. There he catches the eye of Lureen, whom he marries and they have a son.

Four years pass, then Jack sends Ennis a postcard saying that he will visit. At their initial reunion, the fact that their bond has grown stronger with the passage of time is clear. Over the ensuing years, the two lovers sporadically tell their wives that they are going on “fishing trips”, in order to escape to Brokeback Mountain to be together.

The earnest Jack and the outwardly stoic Ennis seem an odd pairing. Jack is more gregarious than Ennis. For the less masculine, he is also the braver of the two. He makes it clear that he wants to be with Ennis and is prepared to bear society’s prescribed cost of his own happiness. Ennis is unmovably stubborn, “I told you it ain’t gonna be that way”.

Jack is slightly more able to accept that he is gay. By contrast, each time Ennis is confronted by his sexuality, the reaction is raw and violent. He recounts a childhood story of how his father and a gang of thugs tortured and murdered two men, “tough old birds”, after which his father subjected his boys to the mutilated corpses to make clear what happens to queers. Consequently, the inner turmoil between his true human identity and the reality of his social condition elicits a self-destructive spiral.

Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Alma is a study in nerves; we watch her composure progressively crumble as she spends years trying to keep her family together, even though she has long known the truth about her husband. She is also a victim of queer oppression, forced into a loveless marriage with a man whom she cannot satisfy emotionally or physically. This depiction of human misery as the cost of society’s rigid structure is succinctly portrayed by Lee, who uses natural outdoor settings as the physical context of the love story, as opposed to dark interiors as the backdrop to the unhappy circumstances in which they persevere.

We queers all have our own Brokeback story — one true love that, for one reason or another, we were denied. One of the final shots, featuring Ennis crouching inside a bedroom closet as he inhales Jack’s scent on an old shirt, is an obvious metaphor for the closets that we all inhabit from time to time. He is a tragic figure, not in the usual patronising way that Hollywood often portrays queers, but because the only love he has ever known is not enough to overcome his own internalised homophobia, something instilled in him by the society in which we all inhabit.

Much like Marlon Brando did in On the Waterfront, Ledger takes an unshowy role as an inarticulate, inhibited character and harnesses it into the emotional and moral core of this amazing story. Unlike Brando, Ledger is not on the noble side of a moral divide that permeates the narrative; rather the moral dilemma is within himself. The film’s final scene, an emotional account of love between Ennis and his 19-year-old daughter, reveals an implicit plea by the father for his daughter not to repeat his own mistakes. The result is as good as anything Brando ever did.

Brokeback Mountain is one of the best things to have ever emerged from the dollar-driven apparatus of Hollywood capitalism. The political reaction has been predictable. Most absurdly, Lee has been attacked for his perversion of the “morality” of the American western, as if the film is an unprovoked assault on the chauvinism, misogyny and racism of the John Wayne classics. Even Kevin Costner’s politically correct Dances With Wolves had its “good Indians” and its “bad Indians”. Regardless, Brokeback is hardly the first western to feature repressed homosexuality. Just go back and see Howard Hawks’ Red River again and John Ireland’s stab at Montgomery Clift — “Say, that’s a good looking gun you’ve got there” and you’ll know what I mean. Its only offence may be the way it honestly portrays queer people in their own reality, rather than something to laugh at, something to pity or something to fear.

In the self-indulgent avalanche of honours that occurs each year as Hollywood and its disciples pat themselves on the back, the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle has already named Brokeback as the year’s best picture. It remains to be seen whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has the nerve to embrace the film. Oscar has routinely shied away from controversial choices in the face of a backlash from the US right ever since 1941, when the Hearst newspaper empire destroyed the budding career of Orson Welles and nearly succeeded in destroying his Citizen Kane for posterity.

Getting support from the hallowed institutions of our hetero-normative society might not be the objective of the queer struggle, but it may not do any harm as we seek to change hearts and minds in the absence of revolutionary upheaval. Ang Lee, deftly wielding the considerable professional capital he has accumulated over the years with more conventional art-house fare as Sense and Sensibility and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has achieved something that is difficult to comprehend.

Whether the film compromises its political message is for others to judge. There is not a great deal of sex, but then this is not a porno. Instead, Lee has succeeded in finessing the universal theme of love with the intimate story of queer love doomed to perish in an oppressive straight world, in a way that makes it readily accessible to a mass audience. As a political rather than an artistic achievement, it might be the best we can hope for.

From Green Left Weekly, February 1, 2006.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:38 PM   #59
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**** Delicate Subject Matter IMO ****

No cure, just advice to cope
The Miami Herald

Because there is no cure for the mental disorders that drive many sexual offenders, treatment is a lifelong process of learning to cope with the powerful urges that can shatter the lives of people in their path, numerous experts say.

So clinicians take an approach similar to one used with alcoholism and drug addiction: Train the mind to identify the powerful and persistent cravings, understand the consequences of carrying out those urges and ward them off - one day at a time.

"The child is to the pedophile as the bottle is to the alcoholic," said Fred Berlin, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. "This is often being treated for a cure rather than as a chronic disorder that needs follow up."

While clinicians have yet to come up with a cure for the mental disorders, called paraphilias, they say treatment makes a difference.

Dozens of studies have found that offenders who participate in even a small amount of therapy are less likely to commit new crimes. Some studies even suggest treatment works better than incarceration.

Because paraphilias cause intense sexual cravings - which, along with hunger and thirst, are among the most potent biological urges in humans - prison is often not enough to trigger a change in offenders.

One reason: The temptations are not in the prison - but outside.

Most clinicians rely heavily on group therapy sessions, where offenders prod one another to face their demons, help each other recognize the patterns leading to their crimes and are there for one another when they feel they're about to slip.

Along with group sessions such as Arousal Management and Victim Empathy, polygraph tests are used to measure offenders' honesty about their crimes and emotions. Plethysmographs, which measure blood flow to sexual organs, gauge whether the men are controlling their urges.

In amonia therapy, another more extreme method, offenders inhale the toxic gases to control their deviant urges.

James Silcox, 60, spent 14 years in prison and one year at the Florida Civil Commitment Center for three counts of lewd and lascivious acts in 1987. He says the year he spent in Florida's treatment center did little to help him come to grips with his offenses. Instead, it has been the group therapy sessions on the outside that has helped him control his urges.

"I struggle with my sickness and get by day for day. If it wasn't for this group, I would have (messed up) a long time ago," he said during a weekly group therapy session in Ocala.

Offenders who participate in treatment at the Florida facility average fewer than eight hours of therapy a week, with some getting as little as two hours of therapy. Meanwhile, those in California receive 10 hours, and in Kansas and Wisconsin, they get more than 30.

"We have tried to keep up a good standard, but it's been hard," said Adam Deming, the clinical director of the Florida center.

"We've really had difficulty maintaining what I feel is an adequate level of group time. What we have is minimally adequate." The main reason, Deming says: lack of funding by state lawmakers.

In general, the overall rate of sex offenders repeating their crimes after they are arrested is low, between 10 and 15 percent. However, experts say those who are diagnosed with paraphilias have much higher rates of repeating sex crimes.

While studies show that treatment can work, no research has been done to show the effectiveness of civil commitment on keeping offenders from preying on new victims. That's because there are only 16 states with these types of programs, and most are small, obscure centers that hold a relatively small number of men.

"We don't really have a way to answer that yet, partly because there have been so few people released from civil commitment and partly because the number who have been committed is also low," said Jill Levenson, a Fort Lauderdale psychologist and professor at Lynn University.

Definitions of Paraphilias on the Web:

* Intense, recurrent sexual desires bordering on obsession-compulsion and directed toward unusual targets such as inanimate objects (women’s underwear, urine, feces), animals, children, inflicting pain, or receiving pain.

* Impulse disorders (mental illnesses) that are characterized by recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors. Paraphilias are considered deviant -- outside of acceptable patterns of behavior -- because they involve unusual objects, activities or situations not considered sexually arousing to others.

* Paraphilia (in Greek 'para' παρά = besides and '-philia' φιλία = love) is a mental health term recently used to indicate sexual arousal in response to sexual objects or situations which may interfere with the capacity for reciprocal affectionate sexual activity.

@}-}rebecca--- Note
I clearly state I see NO correlation between pedophilia and BDSM pursuits. I am not responsible for the content of this story .YES I am aware the story does not speak towards SSC , I do however feel personal censorship by me in not posting it would be a mistake.

Last edited by @}-}rebecca---- : 01-29-2006 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:19 PM   #60
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Bar says no to LeatherSIR contest

Bar says no to LeatherSIR contest
Bay Area Reporter
by Zak Szymansk

The manager of the South of Market venue that has traditionally hosted the local LeatherSIR/boy competition has asked that the early July event be held somewhere else this year due to controversy surrounding the contest's policy prohibiting transgender men from competing, according to the producer of the San Francisco title.

Scott Peterson, manager of the Powerhouse bar, confirmed that plans to host the competition are on hold indefinitely while the community continues to dialogue about the issue.

Meanwhile, the Northern California regional contest – which is scheduled to return to San Francisco after a five-year absence and will feature a competition between winners from this city, Sacramento, and the Russian River – will go on as planned on July 29, according to the event's co-producer Jay Hemphill, though he does not yet have a venue.

Hemphill and his partner Michael Holeman, the event's co-producer, are also chair and vice-chair of the San Francisco Pride Parade's leather contingent, but the LeatherSIR/boy controversy was not addressed as some had expected at the January 28 contingent meeting.

"I wanted to keep it separate because they are two different things," Hemphill told the Bay Area Reporter on Tuesday, January 31. "The LeatherSIR contest was not brought up, and I did not bring it up."

These most recent developments come a few weeks after longtime leather activist Peter Fiske – who served as San Francisco's male leather marshal in last year's Pride Parade – called for the voluntary resignations of Hemphill and Holeman as contingent leaders so as not to give the appearance that the parade contingent was connected to anything discriminatory or that the entire leather community endorsed the policies of LeatherSIR/boy. Supporters of the transgender community and Fiske's position circulated a letter promising to boycott spaces with transgender discriminatory policies, while many in the leather community accused Fiske of being divisive.

Following the publication of that letter, combined with an article in the B.A.R ., Fiske has since declined to speak further on the matter so that the conversation will not center on his role in the controversy but instead on the policy itself.

"I will be making no further comments, either public or private, so the community can focus on the real discussion," said a statement from Fiske. "The leather community needs to decide whether and on what basis trans men (and women) can participate. I believe in the ultimate fairness and decency of the community."

Additionally, sources say that Hemphill and Holeman's leadership, combined with their recent efforts to separate Pride business from LeatherSIR/boy business – have made it likely that the two will remain leaders of the parade contingent.

Hemphill and Rod Wood, the producer of the San Francisco LeatherSIR/boy contest, both expressed support for transgenders and offered to help create and produce separate contests for that community.

"I certainly am not against the transgender community and I would be happy to help them start a contest at any time," Hemphill told the B.A.R. "Many of my friends are transgenders."

Wood said he received a note on January 23 from the Powerhouse's Peterson informing him that the South of Market District bar no longer felt good about hosting the contest due to the controversy. Wood echoed sentiments that the controversy has created a division and said efforts would be better spent creating an event for transgenders rather than tearing down existing contests that excluded them.

"Given the situation, I can understand, and I have absolutely no ill-will toward him or the staff or owners of the Powerhouse," said Wood, a former Northern California Mr. Drummer titleholder who clarified that San Francisco has hosted its own local LeatherSIR/boy contest almost consistently since 2003, with a gap last year due to the fact that there was no regional sponsor for Northern California at the time. "But it puts me in an awkward position. The rules for the ILSb are clear and haven't changed. If a transgender were to win a local contest, then a regional contest, he would not be able to compete for the international title."

Local contests feed into the regionals – like the event produced by Hemphill and Holeman this year – which then feed into the international competition held in Atlanta in October. The policy prohibiting transgender men – phrased as a "born male" pledge for contestants to sign off on – is the policy of the international LeatherSIR/boy organization based in Pittsburgh. Depending upon who is asked, Leather SIR/boy is sometimes called the successor to the International Drummer competitions, which also had an understood policy of transgender male exclusion for many years.

"I helped get Peter Fiske to be the Den Dad at the 2003 Northern California LeatherSIR/boy contest by offering for him to stay at my home at the River. And Peter was one of my judges for the San Francisco LeatherSIR and Leatherboy contest in 2004. So I find it interesting that Peter suddenly says, 'We are now welcoming a new discrimination to San Francisco,' when he was so closely involved in two of the contests," said an e-mail from Wood. (During interviews for the earlier B.A.R. article, Fiske said he had chosen this year to act because the international leadership failed to change its policy at its recent October gathering despite concerns he already raised.)

"The LeatherSIR/Leatherboy contests celebrate a certain kind of man. It does not celebrate straight men, women (gay or straight), transgenders (MTF or FTM), female drag, or dozens of other niches that each one of us is cubbyholed into by those who we see on the street," Wood continued. "The only one of these that doesn't seem to have their own contests are the transgenders. If Peter really were the sort of leader that San Francisco needs, then he'd be working to have a transgender leather contest which celebrates and empowers, instead of trying to intimidate and destroy. And I'd be the first to sign up to help him with it."

Sex police

Some people who support transgender inclusion note that certain statements against such inclusion sound eerily similar to the rhetoric used against gays and lesbians. They contend that creating separate systems for transgenders misses the point when it comes to transsexuals who may not actually identify as trans and instead live their lives as men and women.

"We don't want to be separated out from other men and women," said Marcus
TLC's Chris Daley. Photo: Rick Gerharter
Arana, one of the co-signers of the original protest letter. "My gender identity is not about being transgender; it's about being male."

"Creating a separate contest doesn't speak to the issue," agreed Billy Lane, an out transsexual leatherman and semifinalist in the International Mr. Leather competition in 1998, who lived in San Francisco's leather community for many years. "For many people who consider themselves not necessarily transgender – but transsexual – there is a destination. It's not about the journey or any kind of gender-play or drag. It's about changing your entire life.

"I think a lot of people don't understand that for many of us the idea is not to end up identifying as transsexual," added Lane. "When moving from one place to another it's to live as a man or a woman. A contest just for transsexuals defeats that purpose."

Transitioning from one gender to another generally requires a diagnosis of gender identity disorder, and transsexuality is considered by many in the healthcare field to be a medical condition that can be treated with hormones and/or surgery under a doctor's supervision. "Transgender" is usually a broader umbrella term used to refer to a wide range of gender variant identities, a small portion of whom are transsexual and may not identify with the larger or more visible transgender population.

A legal gender change in the state of California also requires a doctor's authorization, and federal offices often require medical letters attesting to irreversible and/or complete surgical procedures. Such identities are recognized by the state as legal, and for those transgenders who also happen to date opposite-sex partners, provide eligibility for marriage.

Gay trans people in same-sex relationships, on the other hand, cannot legally marry their partners. It's one of many similarities that a trans man may share with his other gay brothers, and those who support trans inclusion cite countless trans male narratives of having a male identity since birth, of troubled boyhoods and adolescent pressure to function in the wrong sexuality dynamic, of trans men coming out into an adulthood centered around gay male sexual circles complete with HIV concerns, taking care of older and sick men, and facing mainstream discrimination.

For Wood, the idea that a contest based upon gay male sexuality would be discriminatory is not necessarily newsworthy.

"We're all discriminatory in one way or another. When we go out, there are 'types' that we associate with, and those we don't. Individual gay men (and I'd guess women too) may have gender, ethnic, height/proportions, hair/eye color, attire, politics, economics, or other preferences in those we choose as close friends, as lovers, and as lifelong partners. It doesn't mean that we don't like those who don't fit those categories, it may just mean that we feel that we associate better with them, we understand them better, and they're more likely to represent ourselves."

But what often is not realized is that many transgender gay leathermen actually share the same discriminatory tastes for an aesthetic that is fully male-bodied and masculine. They assert that changing the policies of contests like LeatherSIR/boy would not open the floodgates to any and all trans people, nor would they want it to. They simply believe that the high standards of physicality and masculinity are something that is possible for a trans man to achieve, particularly those who – perhaps paradoxically – would not even feel all that aligned with other transgenders.

"I competed at IML in 1998. Has there been this rush of 'gender benders' since then? No," said Lane, a current judges coordinator for IML. "It's really hysterical that those who want this exclusionary policy fear that they will be overrun by 'gender benders,' but that hasn't happened in the organizations that don't have those policies."

Rules for LeatherSIR/boy do not specifically call for nudity or mandate exposure to genitals different from those usually expected, noted Lane, although Wood emphasized that contestants "must agree to appear onstage wearing appropriate leather and fetish gear and perform an onstage leather sexual fantasy of an explicit nature (while conforming with local regulations, if any, pertaining to nudity and obscenity). That could mean that the contestant might be nude onstage, depending upon the local regulations. And ... there's a possibility that the contestants may be asked to expose themselves privately to the panel of judges."

For Lane, the idea that gay men would find it impossible to relate to known transsexual men seems based in fear.

"It's scary to think that the guy you're attracted to may not have exactly what you're used to operating with. It can make people question what that says about themselves and their identity," said Lane. "But this is a contest. You can't even argue the piece about sex."

Wood, however, said that clamoring for transgender inclusion in a gay male sexuality contest appears to walk the line of policing desire. It is to be expected that a contest would hold discriminatory qualifications, he said.

"These qualifications also include other discriminatory language, such as 'same-sex oriented,' 'at least 21 years old,' and 'must have a demonstrated interest in leather.' No collegiate 20-year-old straight boys have approached me asking to run for LeatherSIR or Leatherboy. Likewise, no one has come up to me and said, 'I'd like to run for LeatherSIR this year, but I'm a trans male," Wood wrote in an e-mail.

In a later interview by phone, Wood added that, "We just have had no good reason to change the policy." Asked what a good reason to change the policy would be, Wood speculated if more men openly expressed desire for transgender men, that might be a compelling reason for top organizers to revisit the issue. But currently, he said, many men would be turned off after "finding out" that a man was transgender.

A LeatherSIR/boy titleholder, he said, is a representative of the title and is expected to be desired and "hit on" as he competes and fulfills his duties.

Although IML may welcome trans males, added Wood, "I think that the trans males who enter the IML circuit will find the resistance to be more covert. The result being that they're still not winning, but being given other excuses ('lousy speech,' 'mediocre physique,' 'not comfortable with his body,' 'not representative of the community,' etc.) as to their losses. At least ILSb is up-front about it."


The idea that a man would not be desired due to his trans status, of course, is also based upon the assumption that a trans male in a trans-inclusive competition would actually be "out," something that many choose not to do, due to fear of the very discrimination Wood referenced above.

Even Wood agrees such disclosure about one's genitals or medical history is generally not expected of anyone in non-sexual scenarios. And although titleholders would be assumed to have widespread desirability, Wood acknowledged that actually giving into others' sexual requests is not required.

Such a circular path can make it difficult to see which came first – the fear of an open trans man competing, or the fear that others may accidentally be attracted to a stealth trans man, regardless of whether a sexual interaction or anything necessitating disclosure actually takes place.

Some transgender allies said that if a trans man actually did not have what it takes to compete at LeatherSIR/boy, an exclusionary policy would not be necessary; he, like countless other gay men whose bodies, masculinities, sexualities, and leather histories don't measure up to certain standards would simply not pass muster. Indeed, agreed supporters and detractors of the policy alike, a trans man who remained stealth and therefore free from discrimination might actually win a prominent leather title, and may already have. Part of the fear of allowing transgenders to compete, said some, is not that a trans man doesn't have what it takes – but that he does.

"It almost feels like a lack of faith in the contest itself, to talk about people who aren't expected to be competitive but whose very presence is somehow going to materially alter the competition," said Chris Daley, director of the San Francisco based Transgender Law Center and a non-transgender gay man himself. "That's obviously about people's insecurity in their own sexuality and masculinity which is probably a reaction to society and stereotypes about gay men."

"This is much more about non-transsexual men – and what they think of themselves – than it is about transsexual men," echoed Lane, who said there are many ways in which leather circles celebrate their diversity, from the presence of men in kilts to the welcoming of older boys and younger daddies. "There is so much room we make for each other in the gay leather community. What is this really about?"

Moving forward

Wood clearly understands the nuances of the argument. Walking through all the possible scenarios in which it would be unfair for trans men to compete, he noted that some trans men could have even larger than usual penises post-surgery. But he also quickly acknowledged that other contestants could have had medical and cosmetic interventions since there is no policy banning such procedures. He started to explain that he can usually tell that there is something different about trans men, "but then again," he quickly realized, he knows other men who are not transgender who have similar qualities.

He believes that childhood male socialization is important to being a man, but at the same time recognizes that many men have many different childhood experiences. He still would consider a gay man with a trans male partner to be a gay man, he said while thoughtfully considering a range of possibilities, and he was even willing to consider that transgender men could serve as male mentors to male youth.

But at a certain point, he said, a line has to be drawn when it comes to gendered and sexual spaces, and he agreed with this reporter's analogy that like same-sex marriage opponents, policymakers cannot always contemplate all the ways in which variations and exceptions – "like an XXY man," he said, referring to chromosome patterns – might complicate a gender definition.

"I stand by my conclusion that ILSb looks for and celebrates a specific kind of man. Changing that, whether it's changing the Leather/BDSM aspect, the same-sex orientation, or the gender restrictions would result in a different kind of man," said Wood, who also noted in an earlier e-mail that "many (in the leather community) are offended by what's sounding like 'accept or be sued,'" when it comes to trans male inclusion.

There are no reports of formal legal action against the local contest, but Wood said that fears of lawsuits could discourage venues from hosting the event. If that happens, and he cannot find another place to hold the contest, he said he will simply appoint two men as this year's local titleholders, and those men will then advance to the regionals, assuming a venue can be found for that contest.

Local experts have described the contest's policy as a legal gray area. Daley said that while private organizations have certain liberties, he thinks it would be difficult to get around local nondiscrimination ordinances in public venues.

"Private organizations do have the right to restrict membership. However, this competition sounds like it's happening in a public place and any qualified member of the public can participate," said Daley. "If that's correct, it would be hard to understand how they can differentiate between the types of men when determining who can be a contestant."

Amidst the long, seemingly endless debate, there remain some truths. Nobody arguing for trans inclusion, for instance, is advocating that LeatherSIR/boy abandon the high standards and qualities upon which someone might be judged in the competition. Nobody is disputing that sexual and gendered spaces need to draw lines when it comes to inclusion. For those advocating trans inclusion, however, drawing that line at birth gender seems arbitrary, and some have advocated using one's legal identification instead, trusting that most men without strong male physiques probably would not enter the contest regardless of how they were raised.

"As a group I think we can be very protective of our spaces. That impulse can sometimes lead us to draw artificial boundaries," said Daley. "I think that some of the guys having problems with this inclusive policy are going to find these boundaries are incredibly artificial, and that gay transgender men are every bit as much of the community as any other group of gay men.

"Oftentimes it feels like the leather community has been incredibly inclusive, especially for those gay and bi men who didn't feel comfortable within other facets of the gay community," he added. "At the end of day this discussion is going to generate more inclusion and greater visibility of gay and bi trans men. But I do think it's going to be a painful conversation before we get there."
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:00 AM   #61
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Gay fetish: the infinite shelf life of homo- distraction

Gay fetish: the infinite shelf life of homo- distraction
Filed by Katy McKy - Raw Story Columnist

The sky isn't falling, but it's fraying. The ozone, that blanket of O3 between oblivion and us, dissolves when we spray fluorocarbons. The oceans rise. Divorce rates also rise, as more and more Americans, especially in the red states, emulate Britney Spear's matrimonial habits.

Then there's more. According to Sir James Lovelock, the original Gaian guy, the Earth is treating us like a virus, raising the temp to burn us off the global body. With every factory closing, we become more a nation of consumers and borrowers rather than producers and savers. And we're borrowing 2 trillion dollars to fund our Iraqi imperialism. Via that imperialism, we've cultivated a fresh crop of terrorists. We're running out of oil, but we're running high on gluttony. And so on.

And what worries the Right? Brokeback Mountain. And gay marriage.

As a college class exercise, a friend of mine recently interviewed a classmate.

My friend asked, "W[b]hat don't you like about America?"

The 18-year old classmate said, "Off the record, gay people are taking over."

What has taken over is the discussion of gay people. Whereas I consider the civil rights of gay people to be fundamental to the American dream and a requisite for Constitutional integrity, I consider the Right's ad nauseam appetite for gay-themed diatribes to be a deadly diversion.

Janet Parshall, the talk show host, said on the January 17th edition of Larry King Live, "After all, I think what we're witnessing, Larry, is the homosexualizing of America."

What most recently wadded up Parshall's panties and shoved them so far up her rectum that it'll take a proctologist to remove them is Brokeback Mountain. It's a semi-mainstream movie and it has Parshall squawking that the sky is falling. Well, Ms. Parshall, the sky is fraying. The oceans are rising. So is the temp. And what worries you? Make-believe amour between a couple comely sheepherders?

The hunky horror, the hunky horror.

Parshall and others assert that homosexuality is sin. Thus, if one is straight and frames homosexuality as sin, it's the sweetest sin, for it's not one's sin. This gives homosexuality an infinite shelf life. It's never grows stale, for whereas it demands change of others, it requires no personal change. No sacrifice. So long as one is straight and heterosexuality demarcates purity, one is permanently pure.

Thus, such Right-thinking straight people can use homosexuality as their fetish object for moral masturbation. It would be merely creepy if it didn't keep the Right from the work of weaning ourselves off oil, decreasing the production of gases that accelerate global warming, equalizing education, delivering healthcare to all children, and so on.

On a personal level, the gay moral fetish distracts from Biblical adherence. As long as Rush Limbaugh rants about queer folk, he's distracted from returning to his first wife, as the Bible demands. As long as Parshall squawks about Brokeback Mountain, she won't have to forsake her family and her fortune, as the Bible also demands.

Perhaps the homophobe should pay gay people for their perpetual diversion. One pays a cable provider for the television shows that distract us from the work of our time and the deprivations of the future, for as oil prices, the oceans, and the temperature rise and rise, quality of life will fall and fall. So, shouldn't the homophobes of the Right pay gay folks for distracting them from their patriotic duties and their Christian duties, since those duties are hard and their distraction means that their children and grandchildren will bear the brunt of massive debt and monstrous drought?

Like the 18-year old who believes that what's wrong with America is that "gay people are taking over," when you can hold back your rising worries with a sturdy dyke, life is good. For now.

But gay people do more than distract. They pander to our inveterate desire for an other. Queer people are the divine other, for homo-bigots believe that they have Biblical clearance to hate.

"Yes, uh, Flight 2002," they imagine God saying, "you have clearance to land on the civil rights of your fellow homosexual citizens. On final approach, you might run into some Constitutional interference, but tune that out and when you taxi over to the tarmac, we'll, uh, amend that Constitution."

The homo-fetish also serves an ancient purpose. It's no longer safe to publicly articulate racial hatred. But there remains a deep desire to define and elevate oneself by what one isn't. With God's green light, the fundy Right references gays everyday. However, with only 3 gay references in the Bible, and a hundred times that number of warnings against wealth, the arithmetic suggests that the real work of being a Christian is casting off wealth. Jesus told one story about a man going to Hell. That man was a rich man, a man who lived on the sweet side of a wall while a poor man suffered on the other.

But walking away from wealth would be Hell on Earth for those that love manna more than their fellow man.

So, thank God for gay folks.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:27 PM   #62
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Burlesque queen and fetishist has become fashion's "It" girl.

Greatest of Teese
Burlesque queen and fetishist has become fashion's "It" girl.
By Booth Moore, Times Staff Writer

It's Friday afternoon in the picket-fence suburb of Chatsworth. The sun is low as an iron gate parts to reveal a steep driveway leading to a classic, low-slung ranch house.

The front door opens and there is Dita Von Teese — a porcelain doll, not a raven hair out of place. Her scarlet fingernails are filed into pointy talons, her lipstick and beauty mark perfect.

"Would you like some water?" she asks, her hips swishing as she walks in a ramrod straight, ice blue Moschino dress.

So this is who the fashion world is buzzing about.

Everybody loves a front-row "It" girl. And this season, as the fall runway shows get underway today in New York, it's Dita Von Teese.

How unlikely that this burlesque queen known for stripping down to her pasties while frolicking in an overgrown martini glass would enchant clothing designers and magazine editors alike? She also happens to be the new wife of shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Their wedding photos will be featured in the March issue of Vogue.

More than a designer pet, Von Teese has become a muse. And she's racking up an impressive list of credentials.

Since her big break, posing for Playboy in December 2002, she has appeared at hundreds of events, as a guest and the main attraction. She's performed her striptease to promote lingerie labels Victoria's Secret, Agent Provacateur and Trashy Lingerie, and entertained at parties for DSquared, Louis Vuitton, Garrard and Christian Louboutin. She's been to shows for John Galliano, Roland Mouret, Marc Jacobs and Moschino.

And people can't stop giving her clothes — the couture gown Jean Paul Gaultier stitched for a wedding gift; the dozen pairs of shoes Louboutin offered as his present, the Louis Vuitton hatbox from pal Marc Jacobs.

"Dita was like a revelation to me the first time I met her," Louboutin says. "She is a dream come true, the ultimate elegant showgirl."

"It's great that she got some attention by being with Marilyn Manson," says Cecilia Dean, the editor of Visionaire magazine, who hired her to perform at a party last summer. "But she has backed it up with substance."

Runway tour

Before Von Teese embarks on her runway tour, which will take her to New York, London and Milan, she's agreed to give a tour of her closet, or rather closets.

Her costume room is a fantasy land of feathery boas, rhinestone-encrusted evening gloves and G-strings, platform shoes and corsets resplendent with crystals and lace, all designed by her best friend and fellow burlesque dancer, Catherine D'Lish. Sitting down in front of a ballet barre, her face silhouetted against boudoir pink paisley velvet wallpaper, she presents two glasses of water in pink crystal glasses. Her antique round-cut diamond ring — all 7 carats of it — is blinding. She has the posture of a school librarian and a strict sense of decorum to match, remarking often on what is "right" or "appropriate."

Von Teese, 33, was born Heather Sweet in West Branch, Mich., the daughter of a machinist and a manicurist. When she was 12, she and her family moved to Irvine.

She has been interested in fashion almost as long as she has been interested in dancing, since age 5. "I wasn't a very good ballet dancer, but I loved it," she says. "For me, it was about beautiful costumes and hair and decadent makeup."

She idolized Cyd Charisse, who used her classical ballet training to create risqué dance numbers, and she took in as many old movies as possible. In 1990 she was hired at a strip club called Captain Cream in Lake Forest, where she began to shape her image, wearing corsets, long gloves and hats with veils over her eyes during her act. At the same time, she began posing for fetish, pinup and retro culture magazines, taking the name "Dita" after 1920s film star Dita Parlo.

"When I was fetish modeling, people would trade me corsets for photo shoots, and I saved them all." Today, her collection numbers 400. Her favorites are by Mr. Pearl, a custom corset designer in Paris, and Dark Star, a company out of San Francisco. (And in case you were wondering, she prefers to lace them herself.)

After a couple of years headlining at Captain Cream, Von Teese hit the road. "I was in strip clubs all over the United States — the good, the bad and the ugly." She began performing her tribute to Sally Rand's feather fan dance in 1993. In 1996, she paid homage to Lili St. Cyr by taking a champagne bath in a clear glass tub while wearing a pink rhinestone top hat, now displayed prominently in her closet on a high shelf.

Her travels were the perfect opportunity to amass vintage clothing. "I collected things in Texas, Rhode Island, everywhere. I made a lot of cash, took it to local vintage shops and bought the most amazing things." Including more than 350 hats, plus dresses and lingerie.

"One of the things I love about the 1930s and '40s is that when you shopped from the Sears catalog, you could get the hat and handbag to match your shoes, and get your name embroidered on all of it."

In 2002, she performed her "girl in the glass" solo with Carmen Electra's Pussycat Dolls. And Hugh Hefner came calling. He put her on the cover of his holiday issue of Playboy and gave her a 10-page pictorial.

"It changed everything for me," she says. "Before, I was famous in a certain group of hard-core fetishists, but not the mainstream. It was hard to get publicity. But once I was on the cover of Playboy, everyone wanted to talk to me."

Including Marilyn Manson. The two met for the first time in 1999 at the Vintage Fashion Expo, a clothing fair in Santa Monica. "I was really dressed up in a hat with a bird on it, gloves, a suit and a veil, and he was following me with his friends," Von Teese remembers. "I was trying to shop, so finally I turned around and asked, 'Is there something I can help you with?'"

They became friends but did not go on a date until 2002, after Manson's split from Rose McGowan.

"I think our style has rubbed off on each other," Von Teese says. "For example, he does not wear leather pants anymore."

Mr. and Mrs.

The two were married Dec. 3 in the Irish castle of their friend, Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein. She wore a purple Vivienne Westwood gown and tricorn hat by Stephen Jones; he wore a black taffeta and velvet tuxedo by John Galliano. Guests were invited to participate in skeet shooting, archery and falconry in the days after the wedding. They didn't take a honeymoon.

Their Goth-meets-girlie lifestyle becomes apparent in the living room, where there's a miniature coffin by the door and a carousel horse in the middle of the floor — a prop Von Teese is dusting with glitter for her act. The couple used to share a place in the Hollywood Hills, until fans started showing up on the lawn. So 1 1/2 years ago they moved to Chatsworth seeking privacy. (Yeah, a towering guy in white makeup and his vixen wife are really going to blend in.)

To the right of the living room, the kitchen is a happy homemaker's dream — '50s-era black-and-white tile, pink KitchenAid appliances, even pink knives. It's where Mr. and Mrs. Manson like to dine on her specialties: beef stew and fresh fruit pies.

Manson's moody watercolors cover the walls in the hallway. (Swastikas are a recurring theme.) In the bedroom, there's a paisley-covered bedspread, a large wooden armoire, a vanity and a mirror — with a chain-mail purse emblazoned with a swastika hanging off of it.

"That was the first present Manson ever gave me," Von Teese explains. "I don't like to talk about it ... but the swastika is actually an ancient symbol."

Around the corner her real-life closet is a walk-in with shelf upon shelf of shoes, and not a pair of flats in sight. Vuitton heels studded with stones, Louboutin stilettos in fuchsia satin, Moschino peep-toe platforms and patent leather Westwood court shoes are all a dainty size 6 1/2. Two drawers open to reveal a pirate's booty of rhinestone jewelry and tiaras.

"The only excuse for wearing sweats and sneakers is if I was painting outside or doing Pilates," she says. "When I'm casual at home, I have a cashmere robe and mink bunny slippers. That's what I wear when I want to be comfortable."

She reaches for the "bird of paradise" hat she wore for the falconry portion of her wedding, placing it on her head and vamping in front of a mirror. "The birds thought I was their mom."

Von Teese is still a big vintage shopper, but she doesn't look for designer names.

"I like to look for things with store labels," she says. "Stores would copy things from movies, or knock off the best designers." One of her favorite finds is a black wool crepe dress with a corseted waist, and a drape that comes off the back. "It's so well made, I just get the seams reinforced every few years."

And she's been on eBay since "the days when you could go through everything in one sitting."

She collects vintage hosiery, which she stores in a file cabinet, and designs a line under the label the Dita Collection by Secrets in Lace. Her stockings are sold — used and unused — on her web site, www.dita.net.

Lingerie could be next, but she's not sure about designing clothes.

"I have a lot of respect for designers and I admire what they do, so I don't really want to one day say, 'I'm a designer, too!' There are a lot of celebrities who have their own clothing lines. But it's funny when it comes to the Oscars they are wearing Valentino. It's not nice."

She's not desperate to be in movies, either — "unless the part was right."

"I would rather be famous for doing what I do best," Von Teese says. "But everybody has seen that stripper who is past her prime. It's not right to do forever."

Her first book is due next month from Regan Books, titled "Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese." And this fall, she'll be the face of a major cosmetics campaign.

For now, she's just excited to be going to the runway shows.

"A lot of people just go to get their picture taken. But they don't care about the show," Von Teese says. "I've sat next to them and they are on their cellphones, meanwhile a horse and carriage pulled up and Erin O'Connor walked out in full-on Dior couture. It's theater!"

"I'm going because I love watching the girls, I love the clothes, I love hearing the beads crash to the floor when they walk down the runway. I love seeing what they do with the hair and makeup. I wish I could just go to the shows and not be such a spectacle," she says.


"Not that I mind spectacle."

Dita's favorite things

Hats from the 1930s to 1950s. She has more than 350 in her collection, many with birds on top. But it was a modern-day Stephen Jones creation she wore for the morning of falconry during her December wedding in Ireland.

Monograms. She has her name embroidered in the lining of her mink coat.

Custom corsets. She favors Mr. Pearl in Paris, whose creations give her a 16-inch waist and start at about $5,000.

Vintage stockings. She has more than 1,200 pairs stored in a file cabinet in her closet as well as her own line of stockings for sale — both worn and unworn — at www.dita.net.

Vintage dresses. She doesn't look for designer names but store labels from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

Cashmere robes, vintage slips and mink bunny slippers. She never wears sweats.

Devonshire Rex cats. She has four of the breed — with claws intact — named Lily, Herman, Aleister and Edgar.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:52 PM   #63
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Femme fetish

Femme fetish
The Daily Northwestern
by Daniel Crowder
February 2006

Until now, the most comfortable I was with lesbian sex was sleeping under a comforter depicting Tanya Chalkin’s famous picture, Kiss (www.realitybedding.com). The photo, which shows two barely-dressed lovers being affectionate on a plain white bed, never seemed sexual to me so much as it seemed artistic. I had no point of reference to relate to overt lesbian sexuality. Now, after chatting up a lesbian friend of mine about her thoughts on lesbian sexuality and sex, I understand more the context for how sexually exciting the picture can be — and is — for many lesbians (and straight boys) campus-wide.

As a person who has barely seen a vagina, let alone been involved with one sexually, this column was daunting. Luckily, my friend shared very interesting opinions that I would never have thought of, and which I found more intriguing than off-putting. Sex with no penis involved — fascinating.

The friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, said “lesbian sexuality does not have any less intensity than heterosexuality. I’d say that lesbians are probably more sexual than straight girls because we’re dealing with other women, who can be egotistical but who are, for the most part, less sexually self-absorbed than straight men, so it’s easier to get what we want from a night of sex. Lesbian sex is unlike sex for any other group, mostly because it doesn’t ever really ever involve penetration, and if it does, many lesbians refuse to bring anything that resembles a dick into the bedroom.”

I was confused, but, apparently, as she showed me, there are all types of vibrators and stimulation devices which, for the most part, have the dimensions of a penis or finger, but are shaped to look different than any body part. The most generic “lesbian vibrator” as my friend called it, looks like a mermaid of sorts, emerging from the water, whose head and torso enter the vagina during use. Although this one friend advocated the removal of penis-like objects from the bedroom, I have known other lesbian friends who don’t discriminate in their sex-toy usage.

Aside from using artificial devices for penetration and stimulation, my friend advocated the extensive use of fingers and tongues. “When a girl and I are making out, I love it when she moves down to focus on my breasts while also using her hand to begin stimulating my genital area. When the time is right — and women always know when it’s right for other women — my partner will move down my stomach and start to use oral stimulation to get me off. While she’s doing that, I’ll run my fingertips all over the upper part of her back and hair and use my other hand to try to reach under her and run it over her breasts. Or if we’re feeling adventurous we’ll attempt a 69 position. While I enjoy the act of sex, cuddling with a woman, because of our softer skin and similar proportions, is amazing.”

Now I get what Chalkin was trying to depict.

Weinberg junior Daniel Crowder is the PLAY sex columnist. He can be reached at d-crowder@northwestern.edu.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:46 PM   #64
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Bondage man convicted of murder

Bondage man convicted of murder

A man who killed his wife at their Devon home after having kinky sex with her has been found guilty of murder.

Mark Munro of Heathfield, Newton Abbot, had denied murdering his 35-year-old wife Helen in April last year.

Mr Munro, 40, strangled her after she had told him she was having an affair and then fled the country, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Munro was jailed for life and told he must serve at least 18 years before being eligible for parole.

You are an exceptionally jealous man. I am satisfied if you could not have her nobody else would
Judge Graham Cottle, sentencing

Judge Graham Cottle said: "You remain a serious risk to any female partner with whom you form a relationship."

The judge said it was when the marriage badly deteriorated that Munro, a man unable to control his temper, showed his "true colours" and resorted to violence.

"You are an exceptionally jealous man. I am satisfied if you could not have her nobody else would," said the judge.

He said it was clear from the evidence Munro intended to kill his wife - he had threatened to do so, he withdrew £12,500 in cash, researched countries with no extradition to the UK and downloaded the timetable for Eurostar on which he escaped to France.

Munro had told the court how he had sex with his handcuffed wife prior to the killing.

He said she left the bedroom and returned later saying they had to stop sleeping together, because she was sleeping with another man.

Munro said the man was mechanic David Jardine, who in evidence to the court denied an affair.

"The last thing I remember is a noise in my ear," said Munro

"The next thing I remember is feeling like I had just woken up.

"She was just lying there next to me on the bed."

Prosecutor Geoffrey Mercer QC said Munro and his wife had agreed to separate.

He said Mrs Munro had written to her manager asking for a transfer to London saying there had been "violence" in her marriage.

"This was a matter of hours before Helen Munro was killed, it is a striking piece of evidence," said Mr Mercer.

'Prolonged strangulation'

Home Office pathologist Dr Gyan Fernando told the jury Mrs Munro was the victim of "prolonged strangulation" and that she struggled with her killer before dying of asphyxia.

In a statement Mrs Munro's family thanked Devon and Cornwall police and paid tribute to the force's hard work on the case.

The statement described Mrs Munro as "a bright and bubbly person".

"She had a large circle of friends and was very popular," it read.

The family also urged anyone experiencing domestic violence to get help.

"We would appeal to anyone who finds themselves in this position to ask for help as soon as it happens, and learn by what happened to Helen.

"She had told us that she was a victim of domestic violence but, as a strong and independent person, thought she would be able to deal with this on her own.

"Unfortunately she could not."
Story from BBC NEWS:
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:51 PM   #65
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PleasureMeNow.com survey reveals favorite toys in the bedroom.

Sex Survey Reveals Kinky Tastes

PleasureMeNow.com survey reveals favorite toys in the bedroom.
The research also found popular gift idea for Valentine’s Day.

A recent survey undertaken by PleasureMeNow.com reveals peoples favorite toys in the bedroom. The research also found many Valentine’s may receive a sex toy wrapped in red this Valentine’s Day.

The survey revealed 74% of both women and men would “Love” to receive a sex toy as a gift. Another 26% thought it sounded fun, and no one in the survey found the idea objectionable.

The survey established of those participating in the survey 24% already owned 1 or 2 toys, 56% owned 3-6, 11% owned “Gobs” of toys and 9% don’t currently own a sex toy.

Regarding the question “What is your favorite sex toy?” respondents had a fill-in-the-blank response, not a multiple-choice answer. They wrote in the following choices:
17% Rabbit Vibrator
11% Glass Dildo
10% Vibrator (Non-Specified Type)
8% Love all sex toys
7% Sex Swing
7% Strap On Dildo
6% Bullet Vibrator
5% Dildo
4% Cock Ring & Vibrating Cock Ring
4% Anal plug or bead
3% Cyberskin Sex Toy
20% other toys or none yet

“We were surprised by several of the results,” said Ron Jacks partner at PleasureMeNow.com. “One result that amazed us, even though our survey was taken on our adult toy website, was that everyone found receiving a sex toy as an appealing gift. Another result that raised several eyebrows here was how many straight men indicated their favorite sex toy was not for use on themselves but rather for use on the women in their life. Of the total men surveyed, 16% indicated their favorite toy was using a vibrator on their significant other with another 7% suggesting a glass dildo.”

618 people participated in the survey. 10% of the women and 7% of men described themselves as bisexual, and 4% of people indicated they were gay.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:53 PM   #66
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Kinky‘ thrills at Sundance

Kinky‘ thrills at Sundance
Staff and agencies
By Sura Wood

PARK CITY, Utah (Hollywood Reporter) - "Kinky Boots," a crowd-pleasing British import based on a true story, might be this year‘s "The Full Monty."

After a festival screening here, Miramax‘s perky, very English comedy with rousing musical numbers, about a struggling Northamptonshire shoe company and the drag queen who comes to its rescue, had the audience on its feet. If the film draws the audiences that flocked to "Full Monty," a confident directing debut by Julian Jarrold, it could rack up good numbers.

After Dad dies, Charlie, played by pallid actor Joel Edgerton , takes over the failing family business Price Shoes. Sooner than you can say Gloria Gaynor, he meets Lola ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ), a transvestite with a keen business sense, a solid set of values and a larger-than-life presence -- think Naomi Campbell on steroids.

After Charlie recruits Lola to advise at the factory, her presence, among manly men, raises questions of masculinity and femininity. Ejiofor steals every scene as he vamps his way through brassy disco numbers in wigs and thigh-high, spike-heeled boots, the very boots that eventually put Kinky Boots on the runway in Milan.

Anyone with a shoe fetish will surely experience a natural high. A multitasker, Lola helps salvage Charlie‘s love life and shed his years of inhibition -- almost -- while she‘s at it. "You coming all this way to see me," she coos. "I feel like Oprah."

Costume designer Sammy Sheldon gets the trashy chic outfits for Lola and her dancers just right. Danish cinematographer Eigil Bryld‘s palette of grays and sienna evoke the world of fantasy and this is, after all, a fairy tale.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #67
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Woman Says City Can't Stop Her Bondage Business

Related To Story
Melyssa Donaghy

Woman Says City Can't Stop Her Bondage Business

INDIANAPOLIS -- A woman who runs a bondage and discipline business in her home filed a legal response Friday to a city lawsuit against the enterprise, arguing the city has no right to close it.

The city in November filed a lawsuit against Melyssa Donaghy, asking a court to close her home business in the 4100 block of Central Avenue, saying it violates zoning regulations.

The city argued that the business deals with "sexual torture" and masochistic activities. The lawsuit alleges that Donaghy, also known as "Miss Ann," operates a dungeon in the home's basement and charges men hundreds of dollars to dress like women and be subjected to bondage and acts of degradation.

Donaghy on Friday went to court to respond to the lawsuit. She said that her business is non-sexual and that she isn't violating zoning laws.

"People in my neighborhood know what I do. They obviously have no problem with it," Donaghy told reporters. "I continue to work. Many of the people in the neighborhood are my friends and regularly attend parties in my home. Until the mayor needed a photo op, there was really no issue."

In December, Mayor Bart Peterson held a news conference in which he outlined the city's attempts to close Donaghy's business and other establishments. Donaghy attended that event and tried to ask questions along with reporters, but Peterson refused to answer her, except to say that the press conference was for the news media.

The city of Indianapolis alleges that Melyssa Donaghy is illegally running a sexual torture business from her home. According to her Web site, Donaghy practices domination and submission arts in her basement.

Donaghy said last year that her business is educational and promotes "a non-promiscuous lifestyle and respect for women."

The city said its lawsuit was filed after an undercover Indianapolis police officer went to the home in September. He reported being forced to get down on his hands and knees and kiss Donaghy's boots and feet.

The officer also said he witnessed the use of spurs, whips, chains and clamping devices, and that he was subjected to degrading conversation.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #68
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Duchess displeases the dominees

Duchess displeases the dominees
The Pretoria News ~ South Africa
By Zelda Venter

The Duchess is back with her cat-o'-nine-tails in hand, pleasing the city's male executives who are dressed in women's clothes - and all this a stone's throw away from the neighbouring Doornkloof Ned Geref Kerk.

The goings-on are causing much displeasure among church fathers, who claim that the house in the quiet suburb of Doringkloof in Centurion - where many men can unwind and be entertained - belongs to the church.

The church said in papers filed at the Pretoria High Court that the house in South Street was one of its manses and that it was at a stage occupied by one of their dominees.

Another dominee, it is claimed, was due to move in soon.

She maintains she is not running a brothel
The church will ask the court next month for an order to have Marianne Ellis and her husband Dolf vacate the premises immediately.

Dr Gerhardus Oberholzer, one of the dominees, said the church rented the house to the Ellis couple because at that stage the church did not need it.

He said the understanding was that the couple would move once the church needed the premises. As has now happened.

He said the Ellis couple were told to move by June last year, but they refused to budge.

Marianne Ellis, who calls herself a homemaker in court papers, but who is also a "dominatrix" by profession, said before they moved in, someone else rented the house.

'Others just want to talk'
She said the house was thus not exclusively used as a manse.

She said the understanding was that she and her husband would occupy the house on a long-term basis, with the option to buy the premises. Ellis said they had spent a lot of money refurbishing the house.

Meanwhile, she is happily cracking the whip in the house.

The couple is of the opinion that her "service delivery" in the house was never the reason why the church brought the application, but they say this will now give the church "more ammunition".

It recently emerged that Ellis is providing certain services to men in her neat home.

But she maintains she is not running a brothel.

She is a dominatrix who caters to tastes in cross-dressing, gives "discipline" when asked for and sees that clients' fetishes are satisfied. She even provides therapy to couples.

"There is no sex here. There is not even a bed. Where will I have sex? I do not wear leather and boots. I wear chic evening gowns."

Ellis showed the Pretoria News her extremely neat "fantasy room" and cupboard where she keeps her and her clients' outfits. She designs these herself.

She learned the tools of her trade in London from a dominatrix who wore leathers.

"I told her I would never wear that, but that I would only wear evening gowns. They then said: 'This one is a Duchess', and that is where I got my name from."

Ellis has a selection of clothes, including big pink panties and stilettos in sizes eight and nine for her male cross-dressers.

"They love to wear frilly panties, petticoats, stilettos and bras. Some even bring their own clothes and leave them here."

She said her clients were mainly young executives who did not get enough attention at home.

"During the day they are the boss. They just want to be themselves for an hour. They are tired of making the decisions and then I make it for them."

Depending on their request, Ellis usually puts a collar around their necks and fastens them to the table leg. With whip in hand she then orders them to tidy her cupboard.

"Some want to wash my dishes and others are desperate to wash my clothes. Others just want to talk. Most are desperate just to be touched. I also apply make-up to my clients. I usually ask: 'Do you want to look like a hooker or like a lady?'"

Ellis said she also specialised in bondage, where she straps the client's arms and legs to a table in the middle of the room and then whips them. She caters to all their needs, but sex is a definite no-no.

Dolf, a senior legal consultant, is also adamant about that.

"Nothing underhand happens here. My office is next door and I would know."

Dolf was the founder member of the Doornkloof Ned Geref Kerk 35 years ago and he and his wife try never to miss a Sunday sermon.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:09 PM   #69
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The double life of Lee Tamahori

The double life of Lee Tamahori
New Zealand

Kiwi director Lee Tamahori faces fresh humiliation as revelations of his double life emerge.

The Once Were Warriors film- maker was last night lying low in the wake of embarrassing allegations that he was caught dressed in drag trying to sell himself for sex to an undercover police officer in Los Angeles.

Residents of Tolaga Bay, north of Gisborne, where Tamahori has a house, were yesterday protective of the Hollywood director and reluctant to talk to the media about his arrest.

One said Tamahori's private life was his own business and when he visited he was laid back and "no trouble... he comes and goes, he's no problem."

Another who had done some work around Tamahori's homestead - a 770ha farm which he described as a "magic spot" right by the beach - said he was a good boss who invited him in for a cup of tea and "didn't put on like he was a big movie star".

Los Angeles sources close to the acclaimed 55-year-old say Tamahori is known to enjoy wearing latex and frequenting fetish clubs with his girlfriend, Croatian actress Sasha Turjak.

They say he also enjoys dressing up in uniforms and allegedly once took Turjak and another girl to his hotel bedroom.

Charges were laid against Tamahori in Los Angeles on January 8 after police say he donned a black wig and an off-the- shoulder dress to approach an undercover officer with offers of performing a sex act for money.

"No one was surprised when Lee was arrested for a sex offence," said a friend of Tamahori in LA.

"He's always been kinky in his private life, but the transexual thing was a shock. He's never shown any interest in men sexually."

The friend said during filming of the Bond movie Die Another Day, Tamahori used to dress up in latex and go to fetish clubs with Turjak.

"He was a regular on the scene and it was an open secret. He definitely liked the alternative side of sex with black, tight latex costumes, uniforms and so on...

"But the amazing thing is he is a really professional director and his fetishes never spilled into work. He is the consummate professional and very well respected in Hollywood. Everyone knows his sexual likings and no one really minds because he's such a great guy."

A woman at the home listed to Tamahori in Los Angeles - believed to be his ex-wife - yesterday reacted furiously as she was approached about the scandal. The middle-aged woman refused to speak and slammed her door shut.

A next-door neighbour - who asked not to be named - said the couple had split but remained close friends.

"I could not imagine him doing something like that," the shocked neighbour said. "I see him here often and he's very nice." Police have caught other Hollywood stars in the same red-light district where Tamahori was arrested.

Los Angeles Police spokesman Jason Lee said: "The sting Mr Tamahori was caught up in is part of our ongoing operations in West Hollywood to stop prostitution in the area."

Actor Hugh Grant was arrested in the same area while receiving oral sex from prostitute Devine Brown in his car in 1995. And in 1997 comedian Eddie Murphy was accused of picking up a transsexual male prostitute in the same street.

"It's not like we go out with the intention of targeting stars," said Lee. "In fact, the arresting officer had no idea who Mr Tamahori was - especially with him being dressed up as a woman."

Tamahori's next court appearance is on February 24. He has been freed on $US2000 ($2900) bail, and faces up to six months in jail and a $US1000 fine if convicted.
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Spanking suspect may get plea deal

Spanking suspect may get plea deal


Sexual contact charges filed against a convicted sex offender accused of spanking and giving "hernia exams" to three adult participants in a Morristown-run drug and alcohol center will be referred to a Morris County grand jury, authorities said Wednesday.

But the criminal charges against 72-year-old Miller Road resident Terence Michael Lynch could be resolved before the grand jury acts if he opts to accept a plea offer.

At Lynch's first hearing in Superior Court, Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood said county Prosecutor Michael Rubbinaccio will directly review any plea offer that is extended to Lynch in upcoming weeks.

Lynch -- who was in state prison from 1990 until May 1997 for spanking and fondling male teenagers at a school he ran in Mendham Township -- stood silently beside defense lawyer Peter Gilbreth at Wednesday's minutes-long hearing. He was charged on Dec. 6 with having sexual contact with three men he supposedly was counseling while serving as a volunteer at the Morristown-operated Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Program on Spring Street.

Lynch already entered a plea of not guilty when he appeared for an initial hearing in Morristown Municipal Court after his arrest in December. He has been free on his own recognizance.

Electronic trail

Lynch now is wearing an ankle bracelet that keeps state parole authorities apprised of his whereabouts. Though he is not on parole, he was classified upon his release from prison as an offender at the highest risk of committing another sex crime, under Megan's Law. Neighbors were alerted to his release.

This Tier 3 status under Megan's Law made him a candidate to wear an ankle bracelet under the state's new global positioning satellite program to track sex offenders, started on a pilot basis in August. He was supposed to be fitted with the bracelet sometime this spring or summer. But published accounts last week of Lynch's new arrest prompted parole officers to go to his home late Friday to attach the bracelet and give him the transmitter device that enable satellites to track his whereabouts, said Edward Bray, acting deputy executive director of the state Parole Board.

Gilbreth said Lynch did not make a fuss when the bracelet was attached. He is forbidden to take it off.

"He's been very cooperative, but all the publicity has been hard on him," Gilbreth said outside court. "His focus right now is on resolving the case."

Friendly support

The attorney said Lynch lives with his ailing wife, Judy, and that the couple have no children. Lynch's home, assessed at close to $1 million, is up for sale.

Gilbreth said Lynch also has received numerous letters of support from friends, particularly those he knows through church activities. Authorities have said that Lynch is a member of Assumption Church in Morristown and frequently swam or exercised at the gym at Headquarters Plaza in Morristown.

He went to prison for fondling, giving enemas to and paddling boys on their bare buttocks when he ran the now-defunct Chartwell Manor school in Mendham Township. When Lynch was freed in May 1997, his parole officer made the unauthorized decision to refer him to the Beginnings program to start a general equivalency diploma program. His parole ended in September 1998, and Beginnings kept him on as a volunteer before asking him to leave in April for reasons unrelated to the current charges.

There, between 2003 and last March, he allegedly spanked one participant's bare behind as punishment for failing a urine test and gave "hernia exams" to two other men. One man told police he submitted to the hernia exam because Lynch represented himself as "Dr. Mike," leading him to believe that he was a medical doctor. Authorities said Lynch says he received a doctorate in prison.

Response to news

The news of Lynch's arrest reached Trenton, and officials in the state Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services, learned that Beginnings was not licensed to provide substance abuse treatment. Town Business Administrator Peter H. Pelissier on Tuesday ordered the program to stop any services that could be construed as drug or alcohol treatment or counseling.

Pelissier and Mayor Donald Cresitello said the Beginnings program will continue to function only as a referral center for people in need of treatment but that it will be moved to offices at town hall as soon as possible.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:10 PM   #71
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Bondage Unmasked

Bondage Unmasked
Nashville’s BDSM community says it’s being flogged for following its passions, but there’s little evidence law enforcement is paying attention

by William Dean Hinton

When she was in her early 20s, Sheri began hanging out in swingers’ groups to find her niche. From swingers’ groups she graduated to orgies, then to the Nashville Dungeon Society, where she spanked a few women with a leather flogger she’d bought. When she was 23, her male roommate forced her to spend most of an evening at a swingers’ party on her knees, getting up to visit the bathroom or get a drink only when she asked permission. The submissive turn-on for Sheri, who has a naturally dominant personality, was powerful. “He gave me a look that scared the shit out of me,” she says. “For me to submit was a big thing. The feeling of someone taking control of me was just phenomenal.”

Sheri, who asked that her last name not be published, also has satisfied her dominant-submissive urges through role-playing games like those based on John Norman’s Gor novels, in which female sexuality is enhanced in an alternative world through the enslavement of women. Sheri’s forte, though, seems to be the role of dominatrix.

She says she excels at bringing down submissives who can’t take the pain she inflicts—but she adds that, hey, she’s a considerate, pain-inflicting flogger. Instead of having her submissives express suffering verbally, which is typical, Sheri allows them to employ special hand signals so they won’t be exposed and embarrassed for having a low pain threshold.

Meanwhile, she even teaches her tormenting talents—again, with what passes for care among people beating the crap out of each other—offering lessons for men in how to dominate their wives without getting too rough.

Two years ago, Sheri hosted a weekly BDSM night at a swingers’ club on Division Street. (BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism. BDSM can involve physical or mental subjugation.) The club was designed as a typical bar, with a large main room pumping Enigma and other electronica music. Several smaller rooms contained equipment of the bondage trade: a St. Andrew’s cross, throne, swing, spanking bench and wooden stockade. Sheri attracted a group of about 50 people, which, inside the enormous swingers’ compound, made the crowd seem, well, puny. The bondage group met on Thursdays, which wasn’t the most convenient night. And Sheri was planning to marry. So she shuttered her bondage night in November 2004.

She has since decided to try to relaunch her club, this time based on ideas she’s gathering from dungeons in Europe. She’s wondering, though, how much harassment she’ll receive from local law enforcement and the feds, who seem to be more active in targeting adult-oriented businesses than they were even a few years ago. Nobody’s been arrested in Nashville strictly on bondage charges—indeed, there doesn’t appear to be a chargeable offense committed in dungeons across Middle Tennessee since most role-playing is conducted by consenting adults and doesn’t generally involve penetration.

Even so, Sheri is worried about what will happen to her and her patrons. “They are starting to march against our rights,” she says, pointing to the 40 adult businesses closed by Metro government in the last few years. “If they are going from bookstores to nightclubs, who’s next?”

Such concern may seem ironic for people whose currency is victimization. In any case, Sheri isn’t the only one worried about the local BDSM community. In the den of a two-bedroom home near Opryland, a small group of middle-aged bondage enthusiasts—who aren’t, by the way, the perfect models for doggie collars and leather thongs—say they are among the few in the BDSM community willing to talk to reporters anymore. (Sheri wasn’t present at this meeting.) Everybody else involved in BDSM is too afraid of police and the feds, they say. They admit they might be paranoid, but they point to Nashville police targeting adult businesses and U.S. Code 2257, which the Department of Justice has enforced to shut down websites, especially those containing child pornography.
photo: ericengland.net

“We’re making headway in showing people we’re taxpayers and churchgoers,” one of the people in attendance said. “But there are still those who think we’re the bogeymen.”

But there’s as much proof that Nashville doesn’t care nearly as much about these bizarre fetishists as the whip-wielding set claims. Susan Niland, a spokeswoman for the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, says prosecutors don’t like to go after BDSM groups because of the consensual nature of the acts, most of which don’t involve sex at all. She says local prosecutors can’t remember the last time they handled a case strictly regarding bondage or masochistic acts.

Karl Dean, Metro’s director of law who has worked with police and code enforcement to shut down many of the county’s adult businesses, says all the targeted massage parlors, saunas and bookstores were involved in the prostitution trade. “None of them had anything to do with bondage,” he says. And there was no attempt to target businesses because of content—gay or lesbian establishments, for example. “We weren’t trying to make any kind of commentary,” Dean says. “If there’s prostitution going on, it’s illegal.”

Even Al Woods, well known in adult entertainment circles for running a Nashville’s swingers’ club and pleading guilty in 2004 to promoting prostitution and money laundering after police raided his First Amendment book store, says the only punishment the BDSM crowd is experiencing is in their own dungeons. “I don’t think police are concerned about what consenting adults are doing as long as they’re consenting,” he says.

Eli Coleman of the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota says the feds have largely used U.S. Code 2257 to target child pornographers. He has heard of no national movement to target the BDSM crowd.

Kate Redmon, an Ohio attorney and member of the National Leather Association and National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, says some in the BDSM crowd have moved underground, though they probably had no reason to. Bondage queen Midori shut down her website because the feds are requiring webmasters to keep model information and releases on file. Redmon says very few bondage enthusiasts will ever be targeted, especially if they don’t engage in sex while enacting bondage scenes. “Prosecutors really don’t want to pursue these cases unless you’re actually having sex or getting a blowjob or something,” says Redmon, who classifies herself as a dominant female.

The Coalition for Sexual Freedom is helping to defend a Florida man, Christopher Wilson, accused of 300 counts of pornography for allowing graphic images to be uploaded to his website, nowthatsfuckedup.com. Some of the images include bondage. But even bondage fetishists would probably get a little queasy looking at these pictures. One showed a woman hung by the neck until she lost control of her bladder. Another showed a woman with her breasts nailed to a park bench.

According to Larry Walters, Wilson’s attorney, Wilson wasn’t targeted because of those stomach-churning images. Rather, Wilson had allowed American soldiers to post and comment on battle scenes from the Iraqi front, activity that newspapers and television crews began to publicize. “Had he not been subjected to media attention, he would not have stood out,” Walters says. “He would have been doing what lots of other people are doing.”

Walters, a First Amendment attorney who handles adult-oriented clients in Central Florida, says very few, if any, BDSM sites have anything to worry about. “Prosecutors are looking at sites with actual violence, blood play, scatology, forcible rape—things that don’t play well with juries,” he says.

Nashville’s BDSM crowd, in other words, shouldn’t give much thought to pulling out the whips and spanking benches again. It looks like the paranoia—just like the joy of pain—is all in their heads.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:20 PM   #72
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Group looks for approval ~ Safety of bondage an issue

Group looks for approval
Safety of bondage an issue

By: Alia Orras

Sean Shannon, a graduate student majoring in English, is trying to start a campus bondage group called UT Un/Gagged

Between the tying up and the sadomasochism, UT administrators are voicing concerns over the possible "safety issues" a campus bondage group could pose.

Sean Shannon, a graduate student majoring in English, recently submitted a constitution for a potential bondage, discipline and sadomasochism organization to be called UT Un/Gagged.

Its aim is to support the safe practice of consensual sex that involves pain, binding, dominance and submission.

The group has run into a roadblock, though, on the desk of Student Life Vice President Kaye Patten Wallace

"In reviewing it, I had some concerns about it," Patten Wallace said. "I think there's a real fine line between education and practice. I'm concerned about safety issues and the university's liability."

The potential group, which has yet to attract the official 10 members required under the criteria, has nonetheless caught the attention of UT administrators who worry its activities may not comply with the law or the school's mission.

Qualms about a BDSM group's intentions came as no surprise, Shannon said.

"My main concern at this point is that the university provides an open forum so both sides can get their opinion heard," she said. "It's my hope that they contact me."

Those issues are still under review by Patten Wallace and have yet to be put before President Dan Johnson for evaluation.

Students have a right to convene for the sake of a common interest, but it's yet to be seen "whether this [group] meets the values that are expressed in the university mission statement in terms of respecting human dignity," said Pat Besner, interim associate vice president and dean of students.

"From the intention that I've seen … their interest is promoting safety," Besner said. "I'm not in the business of making value judgments, so long as it meets the laws and student code of conduct and the spirit of the institution's values. Because we recognize a group doesn't mean we [have to] endorse their activities."

The delay in approval signifies a new kind of discussion about student sexuality and what role a university plays in officially recognizing practitioners of BDSM, like Shannon, in the arena of education.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:24 PM   #73
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Bawdy work/bodyplay

Bawdy work/bodyplay
Melora Koepke

A highly unlikely source of pleasure

Hour examines the fetishistic nature of everyday body care services

If you harbour a proclivity for bullwhips, PVC, waterplay, BDSM, or your tastes run pretty much up any other alley serviced by what is commonly called the "fetish scene," a city like Montreal (especially Montreal) has a plethora of clubs, nights, stores, web services and other outlets to feed your desires. But even for those of us uninitiated (and/or uninterested) in the vagaries of the fetish scene per se, for whom such clear-cut sexual "preferences" are not necessarily prevalent, there are certain types of bodywork that can still get the juices running.

One friend of mine, S., looks forward to her yearly gyno visit with her physician - a Patti Smith look-alike who loves horses and has a particularly toasty touch with a speculum - with unwholesome anticipation. Similarly, when I was a preteen in the '80s, my friend's older brother would come home from the hair salon and lock himself in the bathroom where, my friend whispered to me, he was doing more than admiring his spindly Robert Smith coiffure.

Oddly, not only are leather corsets practically accepted attire at Opera de Montréal galas, other, more everyday fetishes are also beginning to see the light of day.

Of course, if my friend were to voice her enjoyment of her annual cervical inspection to her doctor, she would be entering into seriously inappropriate, even legally dodgy territory. And nobody is suggesting that you should start waggling your tongue at the stylist's apprentice who massages your scalp next time you go for a haircut.

Suzie*, a Montreal stylist at a reputable salon, is not the least bit surprised at the prospect that she is, unknowingly, providing a sensual service. "Sometimes you can see it in the way they roll their eyes when you lather them up," she says. "It makes sense - after all, the scalp is a very sexualized area, but it's often ignored - I mean, don't you wish your lover would spend more time playing with your hair?"

Manjico*, a local tattooist, takes my suspicion into the realm of science. "Tattoing is like anything - it's a ritual, like [a sex ritual] or a drug ritual, not that different from shooting up in that regard," he says.

"In a proper tattoo shop, you're basically providing minor surgery. You have the whole kit and caboodle, gloves, sterilizers, tools - and everything is very, very clean, I think that lulls a lot of people... it's an intimate environment, but it's all about you - the whole environment is focused on you and making you happy. Who wouldn't fetishize that?"

Similarly in the realm of pain, pleasure and spa treatments, consider hot wax treatments. A recent visit to the online sex magazine Nerve featured an erotic short story about a waxer who eased her client's pain with a little digital-genital contact. It occurred to me recently that no lover or gynaecologist will probably ever be able to lie a person down spread-eagled, hold their knees open, and then ask them to "turn over, and hold [your] ass open," all the while coaxing them to endure minor physical torture, the way Natasha* does when she administers a Brazilian, and make it not seem weird at all. "I do, like, 75 of these a week, I have seen more vaginas than most men ever do in their lives," she once told me with customary matter-of-factness. "What's there to feel weird about?"
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:27 PM   #74
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Game Theory

Game Theory
Aaron Delwiche on digital culture

A more perfect union

Eight months ago, a Netherlands-based computer programmer published a chunk of code that allowed gamers to access hidden sexual content in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. News of this development quickly traveled from the blogosphere to the mainstream press, forcing the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB) to change the game’s rating from “Mature” to “Adult.” Distributors across the country immediately pulled the title from their shelves.

It might seem strange that soft-core sexual content generates more outrage than explicit game mechanics that reward carjacking, armed robbery, rape, and mass murder. However, as Americans, we should be accustomed to our nation’s confusing and contradictory attitudes about sex. This is what happens when pot-smoking, free-thinking libertarians (a.k.a. “the Founding Fathers”) and dance-censoring, witch-burning Puritans come together to form a more perfect union.

Players have found countless ways, from conventional to transgressive, to make Second Life a sex-filled life.

Wood cuts, off-set printing, Polaroid cameras, ASCII text, scanners, laser printers, three-dimensional modeling software, web cameras, hidden cameras, and mobile telephones are just a few of the technologies that have been pressed into the service of desire. Throughout history, libidinous entrepreneurs have devised new ways of wedding lustful impulses to communication technology. In 1839, a French inventor patented the process for creating early photographs known as Daguerreotypes. In less than a year, artists were using the technology to create visual erotica. In 1895, the Lumière brothers exhibited the first motion pictures in the basement of the Grand Café in Paris. One year later, Le Bain (The Bath) would become the first film to feature erotic nudity.

When this history is taken into account, the most amazing thing about sex in video games is the fact that it has taken so long to get here.

At the outset, we should acknowledge that minors should not have access to sexual game content. When we discuss sex and games, we are talking about entertainment designed for adults. Luckily, thanks to a wide range of technologies for identity authentication, adult-oriented video games are far more secure than the copies of Maxim and Cosmopolitan found on the rack of your local drug store. And, as with printed erotica, the quality ranges from sexist and sleazy to sensual and sophisticated.

We can begin by scraping the bottom of the barrel. Virtual Eve and Virtually Jenna are two unimaginative attempts to give inflatable sex dolls new life in the digital era.

“You direct the action,” screams the explanation on the Virtual Eve site. “Choose from over 16 animated hard-core sex positions ... Think it. Do it.”Virtually Jenna is practically the same game as Virtual Eve with one key difference: It features celebrity porn star Jenna Jameson. “Whenever you want,” promises the membership pitch. “Wherever you want ... There’s nothing she won’t do to keep you coming back for more.” Combining hackneyed porn clichés with impressive graphics and a blatantly misogynistic desire to control women, these sex-doll games are certain to be wildly successful.

A second batch of adult-themed games revolves around dating and on-line sexual encounters. In Naughty America, players can have steamy encounters in virtual alleys, nightclubs, loft apartments, and outdoor cafés. The action takes place publicly or privately, and the game’s developers also offer free background checks for gamers who want to meet up with their playmates in the real world.

Sadly, the screen shots for this game are marred by paint-by-numbers cultural stereotypes. A young Asian woman struts provocatively in a revealing schoolgirl outfit and an African-American avatar staggers under the weight of ludicrous amounts of bling.

Delivering a similar concept to a different audience, My Gay Sim Life is a virtual bathhouse for gay and bisexual men. The game models its chat rooms on real-world locations such as the Castro Theater and Harvey’s Restaurant (a San Francisco landmark). In a brilliant marketing move, the developers promise to host on-line weddings officiated and witnessed by game residents.

Players searching for less-conventional experiences can find them in the game Second Life. Sexually oriented players have used the game’s powerful modeling tools to create custom clothing that makes it appear as if their avatars are completely nude. A company called Xcite! is now marketing interactive genitalia encoded with intelligent bits of computer code. These virtual genitals now respond in “appropriate” ways to the clicks and caresses of on-line sex partners. The company’s product line also includes floggers, balls and chains, blindfolds, and other toys for the BDSM community.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, our cultural conversation about these games will be strengthened by acknowledging that all forms of interactive sexual entertainment are not the same. Some games stress control and domination, while others emphasize playful interaction between consenting adults. Some titles tap into tired representations of beauty and sexuality, while others encourage imaginative, unbridled sensuality.

As with art, the definition of “sexy” is different for everyone. If you’re at home alone on Valentine’s Day, why not check out some of these titles? You might just find someone whose erotic sensibilities fit well with yours. •

By Aaron Delwiche
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:32 PM   #75
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Woman loses plea for order of protection after admitting lifestyle

Woman loses plea for order of protection after admitting lifestyle
The Telegraph 02/10/2006

EDWARDSVILLE -- A judge denied an order of protection sought by a Bethalto woman after a lawyer introduced evidence Thursday that she had entered a "consensual slavery contract" as part of her sexual lifestyle.

The lifestyle included whipping, paddling, bondage and restraints, said the Bethalto woman,Berta "Jean" Webb, in her testimony.

"It’s a consensual act of love, part of our lovemaking," Webb testified in Madison County Circuit Court. "It’s a form of lovemaking most people don’t understand. It’s done in an atmosphere of calmness and trust."

She called it the "B.D.S.M." -- or "bondage, discipline, sadomasochism" -- lifestyle.

Webb said that her boyfriend, Terry Lee Meyer of Bethalto, crossed the line into abuse Jan. 11 when he either hit or shoved her and she was knocked unconscious. She was seeking a court order that would have barred him from going near her.

Associate Judge David Grounds, who at one point ordered all the children out of the courtroom, denied the petition for an order of protection on the basis that Webb did not meet her burden of proof that the incident on Jan. 11 rose to the level of abuse.

"Physical abuse is more than a simple battery," he said.

Attorneys Don Groshong, who represented Meyer, and Miranda Nickelson, who represented Webb, spent most of the hearing arguing about Groshong’s contention that the Jan. 11 incident was a form of contact incidental to the type of lifestyle agreed on in the "contract."

Webb testified that she and Meyer met on the Internet about five years ago and that she moved in with him about two years ago.

She said they had been arguing off and on all day on Jan. 11 and that he hit her, causing her to hit her head against a door. He ordered her to leave his house, but she had been knocked unconscious and could not leave for about four hours, she said.

Finally, Meyer called police to have her arrested for trespassing, and she told officers about the abuse, she said. Eventually, she left the house but moved into another house owned by Meyer and occupied by friends of hers, she said.

Groshong got the contract entered as evidence over Nickelson’s objections.

Webb agreed that she had signed it a few months after she moved in with Meyer.

She also admitted signing an agreement with Meyer that she would not prosecute him for any harm that came to her. That agreement was his idea, because he became concerned about some of the things he was doing to her, she admitted.

Meyer testified he kept all the agreements in a safe deposit box. The "indemnification" letter was for his legal protection, he said.

Webb also admitted signing an agreement that she would allow Meyer to force her to stay at his home and not allow her to leave.

"She wanted it understood without question or doubt that I would not allow her to leave," he testified.

Meyer also testified that she signed and gave a letter to her doctor that any welts, bruises or red marks were the result of consensual lovemaking and not abuse.

Webb testified that she also agreed that, under the contract, she did not have the right to end it, but she also stated that she was aware the contract was not enforceable.

Groshong acknowledged the contract was not legally binding but offered it as evidence of the type of lifestyle that Webb had agreed to participate in.

The judge denied Groshong’s attempt to introduce into evidence a paper copy of a Web page that Webb set up. On that page, she offered to be the dominant member of a relationship, as opposed to the submissive one, the opposite of her relationship with Meyer.

On the Web page, she claimed to be "an expert in spankings," Webb admitted.

She admitted the spankings and whippings she received were very painful and that she also had given permission to have her arms and legs bound and to be locked in a closet.

However, Webb said the Jan. 11 incident she complained about was done in "anger" rather than in "fun."

Meyer testified that some of the unusual acts were planned and controlled but that others were spontaneous.

Webb admitted that while Meyer called her bad names on Jan. 11, she also sometimes got mad and called him names.

She added, "I called him ‘Master’ every day. That was his title."

Meyer declined to comment after the hearing.

Webb said after the hearing that she had been knocked unconscious several times.

"Most people don’t understand the difference between the BDSM lifestyle and physical abuse," she said.
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