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LGBT rights

In the days following the slayings of 49 people at a gay nightclub, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community pulled together in prayer vigils and benefit drag shows and basked in a broad showing of support many said they had never experienced.

For Victor Guanchez, that support was personified in President Barack Obama, who met Thursday with survivors at a sports arena in downtown Orlando. Guanchez, 24, was working at Pulse early Sunday when the shooter came in. He was hit in a leg but survived by diving under the bar he tended.

With his right foot in a walking cast, Guanchez attempted to stand as the president approached. Obama told him it wasn’t necessary, that Guanchez was strong and would recover well.

Guanchez said he was encouraged by the visit and the wave of well wishes he had received from around the world. He said he hoped the response would be a turning point for the way Americans view LGBT people.

“Everybody has their own mind. But with the [shooting], we are just one mind. And that will change everything, I think,” said Guanchez, speaking Friday from a hospital bed, a blanket draped over his legs.

Whether the groundswell of compassion Guanchez felt translates into change is unclear. The worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history will be closely followed by the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that gay marriage is a constitutional right. LGBT advocates, taking stock this week, said the push for equality was far from over.

Job bias based on sexual orientation remains legal in many states. Some businesses are pushing for laws allowing them to reject LGBT customers.

And the most recent Justice Department survey found 57,000 people who said they were victims of sexual orientation-based hate crimes in 2014.

“Most Americans don’t realize how many of these crimes there are,” said Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, an advocacy group.

Beth Littrell, an attorney with the Lambda Legal advocacy organization, said it was a precarious period.

“The anti-LGBT rhetoric that has erupted since the marriage decision inevitably fuels the kinds of actions and prejudice that lead to tragedies,” she said.

People “who have relied on the law to keep minorities in their place no longer have the law to treat them unequally,” she said, “and if the law can’t discriminate, sometimes people take it into their own hands to enforce discrimination.”

Littrell said Lambda Legal was pushing for state and federal legislation workplace protections.

“We’re fighting battles in every state in every legislature this session,” she said.

NEW HOPE

For Raymond Michael Sharpe, the massacre brought back memories of the HIV/AIDS crisis, which was dawning in 1983, the year he came out.

“It was devastating,” said Sharpe, 55. “All the bars got boycotted on and off for years because people thought that they were going to catch HIV from the bartenders.”

On Wednesday night in Orlando, the response to tragedy was very different at Southern Nights, another Orlando gay club where Sharpe works.

Hundreds packed in for a benefit to raise money for Pulse employees. Pulse founder Barbara Poma made an appearance, hugging supporters and lip syncing to “One Love” by David Guetta featuring Estelle, alongside more than 40 drag queens, some of whom had come from as far as Ohio and New York.

Sharpe noted that, for some, the response to the shooting and the ensuing support for the LGBT community in Orlando was hopeful and very personal: Some younger friends had come out on social media for the first time in the aftermath.

At the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida in Orlando, one of the people answering the telephones this week was Thalia Ainsley, 67, a veteran who enlisted because her family believed military service might “cure” her of identifying as a woman. She lost a leg in the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. After spending much of her life as a man deeply withdrawn, she began hormone therapy last year to transition to womanhood.

After the shooting, Ainsley said she fielded scores of calls at the center from LGBT people seeking counseling, a few hostile calls and far more from well wishers.

“It’s like the consciousness of the whole world is being lifted,” she said, “and the LGBT community is being seen as human beings now, instead of just an issue that people argue about.”

(Additional reporting by Ned Parker and Mimi Dwyer; Editing by Lisa Girion and Cynthia Osterman)

Love will Prevail

 

Transgender beauty queen

Newly crowned Miss Tiffany's Universe Thailand 2016, Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin (C), celebrates with first runner-up Minanan Santap (L) and second runner-up Lananda Wattanasivilaikun (R) during the annual transgender beauty contest. Photo EPA/Diego Azubel

Newly crowned Miss Tiffany’s Universe Thailand 2016, Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin (C), celebrates with first runner-up Minanan Santap (L) and second runner-up Lananda Wattanasivilaikun (R) during the annual transgender beauty contest. Photo EPA/Diego Azubel

Bangkok [EFE]

One of the world’s largest transgender beauty pageants Miss Tiffany Universe Thailand has crowned Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin as Miss Universe Thailand 2016.

She beat 29 other aspiring queens at the extravaganza in Pattaya city of Chonburi province on Friday night.

Jiratchaya is a model and fashion designer who formerly studied dental health at Srinakharinwirot University, and is the face for beauty centres such as the Atom Clinic in Bangkok, according to her social media profiles.

The Miss Tiffany show has been held annually since 2004 in Pattaya at the Tiffany’s Show Theatre, known for its transvestite cabaret shows, and has been hailed as a mark of tolerance in the majority Buddhist nation.

To be eligible to enter the contest, participants must be aged between 17 and 25 and born male, though they can be at any stage of gender reassignment and surgery.

‘The Board of Directors selected from the beautiful women from across the country, 30 finalists under the theme of “Lifespiration”,’ the organisers posted on their Facebook page, explaining that the contestants had to prove their beauty, brains and personality were inspiring to others.

As well as being dubbed the most beautiful ‘third gender’ in the country, Jiratchaya received a cash prize of 150,000 baht ($A5821), an 800,000-baht car, and vouchers for aesthetic treatments at hospitals valued at more than 110,000 baht.  Becoming the Transgender beauty queen of Thailand is a great honor.

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Sex Worker

Sex Worker and LGBT Rights

The fact that many LGBT people end up in sex work is an issue often overlooked rather conveniently by many activists and charities. Sex work is still talked about in moralizing terms, and the LGBT community has sought to paint the picture of LGBT identities as being respectable as a way to win rights such as marriage and other basic rights.

The image of the LGBT world in recent campaigns has been that of white cisgender gay people in long term relationships, often with children. It’s a one dimensional idea that aims to show queer people as hetero-normative and matching the moral virtues of conservative bigots. That kind of tactic does little to recognize the humanity of LGBT identities and it also leaves a lot of good people behind.

Over one-quarter of homeless youths identify as LGBT, and many more live in severe poverty or face discrimination from employment, particularly if they are transgender. The lack of options due to the prejudices of society means that LGBT people are more likely to depend on sex work as a form of income, particularly trans people.  This is very evident in less developed counties such as the Philippines.

“It is plainly hypocritical for LGBT activists to fight for bodily autonomy but deny it to sex workers.”

Arguments to criminalize the trade are quick to dismiss the basic fact that any laws against sex work would further punish the most vulnerable. It would not solve the basic issues such as poverty and discrimination that LGBT people are at risk of experiencing. It definitely would not stop abuse and exploitation, but would merely drive sex work underground and make it incredibly difficult for sex workers to access support if they were harmed during the course of their work.

LGBT people in poverty and with limited options in life aren’t going to give up their one form of income.  These human beings would be just in more danger of being abused, rapped and  from being arrested.

In terms of ideology, the two movements are not so far apart. The baisis of the demand for LGBT rights is the idea that all people should be granted autonomy over their lives and bodies, that anyone should be allowed to sleep with whom ever they choose and that it only concerns the people in the relationship and not the government or bigots. The very same idea is at the core of the fight for sex workers. Why should they not be granted the same freedoms? Why should they not be allowed to have sex with who they choose?

People enter into sexual relationships for all kinds of reasons. It is rarely a fairy-tale of two people falling in love and living happily ever after.. Sometimes it is for fun and pleasure, however many engage in survival sex of some form, whether it be to keep a roof over their head, food to eat or to not face crushing debt all alone. Many have sex because it’s simply a way to shut their partner up. The list is endless and every reason is valid. The only issue is that the people having sex are consenting to it and anything else is an arbitrary moral judgement which no one has the right to make.

“If we want to be free then we must support the right of all consensual sex.”

Sex work and LGBT rights battles are about the liberation of our bodies, hearts and souls. It is simply hypocritical for LGBT activists to fight for bodily autonomy, but deny it to sex workers.  Given the huge numbers of people within the community who engage in sex work, it also throws a lot of LGBT people under the bus.

While prejudice remains over who people choose to have sex with, then we have not obtained sexual freedom and it also wavers on the edge of perpetuating prejudice for LGBT lives and relationships. If we want to be free then we must support the right of all consensual sex. If we want to protect sex workers then we need to listen to them and work out what will be effective and keep them safe.

Sex work is as old as LGBT identities and it isn’t a form of trade that is going to stop any time soon. The sex trade is as ole as mankind, so the choice is clear: either we put punitive ideologies first or people.

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Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Mimi Faust And Chris Shed Light On  Their Surprising New Lesbian Relationship – Friends And Family Very Shocked!

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Mimi Faust And Chris Shed Light On Surprising New Lesbian Relationship - Friends And Family Shocked!

Is Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Mimi Faust a lesbian? Talk of Stevie J’s baby-mama Mimi Faust being interested in girls as well as guys have been floating around for several years. But, the shock value was still pretty strong when Mimi Faust introduced her new “boo” Chris during the Season 5 premiere of Love & Hip Hop this month – and it turns out Chris’s real name is Christina.

Of course, Mimi’s friends and family, as well as Love & Hip Hop fans at home, were totally shocked by the big news. But, the shock was automatically followed by much confusion. Yes, Mimi Faust is dating a woman named Chris, who is actually named Christina. However, if you ask Mimi and Chris, they are absolutely not lesbians.

So is Mimi Faust a lesbian or not? Well, Mimi tried to set the record straight in Episode 2 of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta this week. Faust explained to her BFF Ariane that she is not technically a lesbian – because Chris is not technically a woman. As far as Mimi is concerned, she is still straight and only attracted to men, but Chris is basically a man.

Don’t get this confused though, Chris is nothing like newcomer D. Smith who is in the process of becoming a man. Chris is going to keep her female body parts – she just “identifies as male.” Yeah, we can see why everyone at home is a bit baffled by Mimi’s new relationship. Hopefully this sheds some light on the situation.

So, after all, Mimi Faust is not gay, because her boo Chris identifies as a man – in a woman’s body. What do you think of Mimi’s shocking and confusing new relationship? Really, how cool is this!! Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Image credit to Instagram

Webcam Relationships and Virtual Sex is a Great Option for Some?

 

A webcam porn site featuring most women from non-Western countries that gets the most views. What does that say about American girls?

Who would have guessed that porn only accounts for 4% of the internet? – but this part stood out:

So what’s the most popular porn site on the planet?

The single most popular adult site in the world is LiveJasmin.com, a live webcam site which gets around 32 million visitors a month, or almost 2.5% of all internet users!

You’re telling me a webcam site is more popular than PornHub?

LiveJasmin is the most popular adult site on the web by a huge margin.

DianaHayes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s interesting that what men prefer the most is watching women strip on a webcam and being able to talk to them while they do, telling the women what they want to see. Once this became available (through high-quality broadband streaming of webcam video) it just shot to the top of popularity; it’s even more popular than the tube sites like PornHub and RedTube.

The primary attraction is these performers are live in real time, wherever they are in the world.

The fact that 2.5% of the billion people on the internet are using LiveJasmin each month is pretty extraordinary.

A global phenomenon! Where do the webcam women come from?

Almost all of the webcam girls are from eastern Europe or southeast Asia.  Free Chat Rooms with Webcam For Adults is becoming the most popular activity of its kind on earth.

Not only are there super hot women, there are guys, transgender girls and the list goes on.  This side will keep customers captivated for hours for free.

There is absolutely no cost to participate, watch and chat with these lovely performers.  Only when a viewer decides to enter the entertainers private chat, that the charges happen.  It typically starts at about $2 bucks a minute and depending how long it take to get off, it can be very reasonably priced entertainment.

This is a great way to meet very sexy people and have hot safe sex online!  Free Instant Webcam Chat.

Disney Princesses re-imagined as sexy pin-up models by artist Andrew Tarusov!

Disney Princess remagined as racy models

Another moment of ‘I can’t unsee what I saw’ on the internet. Our love for Disney and especially its princesses might have made us overlook few immoral things but this particular re-imagination series of pictures by Los Angeles based artist Andrew Tarusov is just too hot to handle. The nostalgic part of our childhood, the Disney Princesses including Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Merida, Jasmine and Rapunzel seemed to be ruined as he sketches them as sultry, hot and racy pin-up models. This video by YouTube channel ThinkTank discusses has garnered 1,708,065 views. ALSO SEE: 10 Stunning Pictures of Disney Princess in Modern Avatars Will Leave You Spellbound.

Disney Princess remagined as racy models1

Disney Princesses re-imaginations are quite a thing for aspiring artists and at the same time it is hit on internet. We have seen them as 21st century modern girl avatars, Indian brides, mermaids, real life sizes, moms to efffing Star Wars. We have also seen them imagined as shady Fifty Shades of Grey picturisation and following on similar lines is this scantily dressed portrait series by LA-based artist is outright disturbing. ALSO SEE: 13 Disney Princesses re-imagined as Anime characters.

Disney Princess remagined as racy models12

Artist Andrew Tarusov has given an unnecessary twist to innovate little girl’s favourite characters and turned them into a middle aged man’s fantasy. We see Ariel in human form showing off her long legs as sea crabs tries to save her modesty by covering her tits. Moving to another sketch, we see Belle with a submissive Beast as the next picture depicts a barely dressed Snow White in bed with one of the Seven Dwarfs. ALSO WATCH: These women get redrawn as Disney Princesses! Watch video for priceless reactions.

Disney Princess remagined as racy models123

The surprise (read: shock) does not end as we see Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty lying unconscious as Prince Phillip slyly watches her. This raises the never-ending debate of taking consent. The first African-American Disney Princess Tiana who loved her for being ambitious and courageous is also shown in poor light. Probably the most horrific of all sketches is that of Rapunzel who is shown lying naked on the couch with her shining golden hair covering her modesty. While the sketches are actually beautiful but the idea behind seems to be definitely lacking any motive.  ALSO READ: Bollywood actresses as Disney Princesses!

Disabled dating on Tinder: ‘People ask if I can have sex’

Michelle Middleton: ‘I’d never been in that situation where I had to try to sell myself and cerebral palsy to someone who hadn’t met me.’ Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

“I cut my wheelchair out of any photo I put on Tinder,” says Courtney Hall, a 19-year-old sixth-form student in Banbury, Oxfordshire. “It’s like, then they can get to know me for me.”

The swipe function of Tinder may have become synonymous with criticisms of a more shallow, disposable take on dating but, for Hall – who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy – downloading the app last year was a chance to free herself from the snap judgments she has had to deal with offline.

“I never get approached in bars when I’m out with friends, where a guy can see me in person,” she says. “I feel as if they look at me and just see the wheelchair. Online, I [can] speak to them for a day or so before revealing anything.”

Courtney Hall’s Tinder profile picture.

Last month, Tinder users took to social media to expose the discrepancy between their Tinder photos and what they really look like – think flattering angles, body-con dresses and blow-dries, versus double chins, coffee-stained T-shirts and bed hair. Unknowingly, a fleeting trend pointed to the dilemma that disabled online daters routinely find themselves in: do I show my disability in the photo? And, if not, or for the many people whose disability isn’t visible: when do I tell someone I’m disabled?

Michelle Middleton, 26, from Liverpool, has cerebral palsy and walks with a limp – but, as she rarely uses a wheelchair, there’s no obvious “giveaway” in a photo.

Unlike Hall, Middleton – who has been on Tinder for a little under a year but hasn’t logged in for a month – seems to miss the simplicity of meeting someone face to face in a bar.

“Then, as soon as they see me walk, they know. Online, because they can’t see you, you have to force it,” she says. “You never really know how to get it into conversation.”

Middleton, who is currently setting up a disability awareness business, speaks with a straight-talking confidence but, online, she found herself trying various methods to broach the subject. When she first joined, she opted for trying to “get to know them first” – messaging someone for about a week before talking about her disability – but after one man responded by accusing her of lying, she felt she had to “get it in” quicker.

She says she’ll always remember the first guy she told. “It was so awkward,” she laughs. “I’d never been in that situation where I had to try to sell myself and cerebral palsy to someone who hadn’t met me. His first question was: ‘Oh, right. Does it affect you sexually?’”

Google the phrase “Tinder sex messages” and it’s clear that you don’t have to be disabled to get this particular kind of attention. But being a disabled woman often means facing men who have a particular fixation on disabled sexuality – whether they’re on or offline.

Hall tells me one reason she tried online dating was that men in bars kept buying her drinks “only so they could ask about her disability”. Now, on Tinder, she finds that, after she tells men she’s disabled, they often reply to ask if she can have sex.

“That’s the first thing that pops in their minds,” she says. “Would you ask that if I didn’t use a wheelchair?”

Michelle Middleton’s Tinder profile picture.

Middleton tells me she thinks she has now received “every awkward and patronising question” online. Do you have sex? Do you look really bad when you walk? Would you have to bring your wheelchair on our date?

“My best was: ‘Ah, so that’s why you’re single then?’”

But Hall remembers the positive responses just as much. “There was a great guy from Tinder I dated last March. We went to see Jurassic Park on a date and I had a fit in the cinema. I vomited on myself and him!” she laughs.

“His reaction wasn’t: ‘Oh, my God, that’s disgusting.’ It was: ‘Oh, my God, how can I help her?’ You don’t expect that, but it’s nice when it happens.”

They broke up a few months later but Hall is confident that the relationship didn’t break down because of her disability.

She adds that she had waited two weeks to tell him she was disabled. “That’s the longest I’ve left it, actually,” she says. “I really liked him. I thought: will this change things?”

That fear is understandable. Last October, after being on Tinder for eight months, Middleton got to know someone who wasn’t bothered when she told him about her disability. But once they got offline – meeting in a pub one evening – things seemed to change.

“The date seemed to be going well until he asked me why I’d said I had a mild disability,” she says. “I asked what he meant. He said: ‘Oh, come on, babe, you said you limped and it was mild, but that’s a lot more than a limp and definitely not mild. There’s no getting away from that!’ He saw nothing wrong in what he’d said. I was so shocked that I immediately left. You wouldn’t say to a fat person, Oh, you didn’t say you were that fat.”

Andy Trollope: ‘I always make sure my first picture makes it abundantly clear I use a wheelchair.’ Photograph: Adrian Sherratt for the Guardian

As with any form of dating – for disabled or non-disabled people – there’s a large element of searching for gems while trawling through a sea of human beings who are best avoided. But many of the negative reactions stem from ignorance or awkwardness around disability – or simply unfamiliarity with even speaking to a disabled person.

This month, the disability charity Scope ran a poll of 500 people in the UK asking: Have you ever been on a date with a disabled person who you met through a dating website or app? A little more than 5% of people said “yes”. Previous research also showed almost eight out of 10 people in Britain have never invited a disabled person to any social occasion. Add dating and sex into that equation and the belief that disability equates to being sexless, different – or inferior, even – can feel a powerful prejudice to tackle.

Andy Trollope, 43, was paralysed from the chest down in 2009 after a motorcycle accident. He says he had a lot of “good sexual relationships since becoming disabled” but, in 2012, after being single for a while, he decided to try online dating. He didn’t want there to be any doubt that he was disabled.

Andy Trollope’s Tinder profile picture.

“I always make sure my first picture makes it abundantly clear I use a wheelchair – a full front shot,” he tells me. “Me in a pub or playing sport or whatever, but where you can see the chair.”

Unlike Hall and Middleton, he signed up to Plenty of Fish and Match.com as well as Tinder. He says he found each as frustrating as the other. “I could see loads of people had viewed my profile, then I’d message and get no reply. I was spending literally hours on the sites – for two years – and I got two dates out of it. It must be because of the wheelchair.”

Trollope stopped using the sites after meeting someone on a night out, but, by the end of his time on dating sites, he had put up a line on his profiles that said: “Yes, I’m in a wheelchair. Yes, I’ve dealt with it.”

“I wanted to make clear that, yes, I enjoy my life,” he says. “I actually messaged people back [after they’d viewed my profile] and asked: ‘Can you be honest, is it because I use a wheelchair?’ I got no replies.”

Hall similarly craves honesty. “Something I find annoying is when I ask if they’re OK with disability they say ‘yes’, but further down the line, when talking about actual dates, they say they just felt guilty. They didn’t want to say the reason they didn’t want to date me was because I use a wheelchair,” she says. “They think they can’t handle it – which is fine, because disability can have an impact. But they’ve just wasted my time.”

“Sometimes you think, ‘Why am I on here?’ But then you meet a nice guy,” she says, smiling. She has been talking to someone new on Tinder. “I told him after we’d been speaking for a day,” she says. “He told me his sister has cerebral palsy. I wasn’t expecting that.”

The future of sex tech is already here

By Mary Emily O’Hara on February 14th, 2016

This article contains sexually explicit material.

With each passing year, sex toys bring us closer to the sort of future that science fiction has always promised would come. OK, maybe most of the popular sci-fi films and novels didn’t really mention sex toys. Nevertheless, the future of sex tech is here—and these aren’t your mother’s dildos.

Similar to the way that porn companies were among the earliest adopters of the Internet, pushing its development and helping create one of the first online markets, the sex toy industry is often teeming with next-generation tech and experimentation. Why? It’s a $15 billion industry—at least that’s about how much was spent in 2014. By 2020, researchers have predicted, it could pull in about $52 billion a year.

New sex toy startups rear their innovative heads all the time, and the products aren’t just getting techier: They’re also winning design awards. In 2014, LELO’s ORA oral sex simulator for women was nominated for a Cannes Lion award for best product design, making it the first sex toy ever nominated in the prestigious annual festival of creativity.

LELO_ORA

LELO ORA Lelo

Today’s sex toy shops can feel like beautifully arranged galleries (museums, nearly) of design and innovation staffed with helpful, respectful sex educators. The new sex toy shopping experience might include a weekend workshop on rope play; a tasting session of organic, aloe-based lubes; or it might even be something that happens entirely online, from start to plugged-in cybersex finish.

That being said, the new sex toy market can be intimidating. It’s packed with products in a range of price points, and some of the emerging technology seems like stuff you’d need an MIT degree to truly understand. But with a few guiding lights—and perhaps a bit of financial investment—sex tech can be so very worth it.

To make Valentine’s Day even more thrilling this year, we broke down some of the new sex toys into categories and helped explain what it is they actually do.

Goodbye, batteries

One of the most significant changes to the world of sex toys is the decline of batteries. In the old days, a lady might settle in for a little solo time with her vibrator only to discover that it had run out of juice after its last romp. The inevitable decision between running to the store for emergency sex batteries and just giving up and going to sleep usually resulted in the latter.

Today’s vibes are largely USB-compatible, meaning you can either plug them into your computer (handy when already watching porn online) or into the same charging brick used for your phone. Even the smallest vibes, like the new bullet from Crave, depend on USB charging—which is excellent, as tiny bullets tend to only take one battery and hence always run low.

On Crave’s presale page, where 500 of the 24k gold- and silver-plated toys sold out in three days, the company calculated the money customers save on batteries alone. Approximately $1,257 in batteries would be required to run a traditional bullet vibe for 250 hours, whereas the USB charging model costs little more than its initial ticket price.

Not only is a direct current replacing batteries in sex toys, electricity itself has become more common as a pleasuring device via the rise of e-stim toys. E-stim (short for electrical stimulation) is the erotic equivalent of the kind of TENS unit a chiropractor might use to tighten and relax a patient’s back muscles. While the basic premise of using electricity to spur orgasm is the same, direct electricity via e-stim toys has a very different feel—one that isn’t for everybody.

Approximately $1,257 in batteries would be required to run a traditional bullet vibe for 250 hours, whereas the USB charging model costs nothing more than its initial ticket price.

Some of the newer e-stim toys, like Mystim’s Charging Chester dildo, have the option to be used with or without the electrode attachments. It’s a gentler introduction to the world of e-stim compared to more BDSM-focused products like the E-Stim Ultrasound Micro, a tiny rod that is inserted into a man’s urethra for a special kind of electric torture. For those who want to experiment with e-stim without literally shocking the most sensitive parts of their bodies, there’s JimmyJane’s new e-stim glove, the Hello Touch X. With an interchangeable set of finger pads that offer either traditional vibration or direct electro-stimulation, the glove looks like some kind of weapon from a science-fiction movie but actually turns you into Edward Vibratorhands—an option for those who want to retain a sense of direct touch, or users who prefer their own fingers over a disembodied phallus.

DIY sex toys

With an increasingly flooded market, sex toy manufacturers are starting to play with ways to give the consumer added control over their highly personal products. In 2015, Je Joue introduced the Ooh “pick ‘n’ mix” line, allowing buyers to build their own Frankendildo by choosing a motor and an assortment of silicone sleeves. Another highly personalized sex toy is the IziVibe, a subtly travel-friendly smartphone case that turns your phone into a vibrator.

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Je Joue Fifi Rabbit Vibrator Je Joue

Soon, truly dedicated orgasm fans might be printing their own toys at home. The Dildo Generator, created by a Berlin-based programmer, is a template for 3D printing at home or commercial 3D printers. However, there is one caveat: The hard PLA (polylactic acid) typically used to create plastic 3D printed toys isn’t exactly comfy for vaginal insertion, so the process necessitates medical-grade silicone and the use of molds.

Even the pulse patterns of vibrators are now customizable nowadays. For instance, sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe’s products come linked to a companion app that allows users to write the code, in a way, of their own orgasm. The We-Connect app presents the vibration as a wave motion that users can individualize with a few pinches and zooms—then collate a series of such waves to create a sort of vibration symphony.

Teledildonics: The future of sex is connected

While all of the physical changes to sex toys are exciting, it’s the new leaps in connectivity that are truly transforming how we use what used to dryly be referred to as “marital aids.” With the onset of teledildonics—sexual social networking, virtual reality, and companion apps—couples can use technology to have cross-continental sex and those flying solo can find sex partners online without ever having to touch them IRL.

Vibrators often seem like a solo proposition, but today’s new vibes are almost all Bluetooth-ready, and some are even compatible with apps and online networks. JimmyJane’s Form 1 waterproof vibrator is an exceptionally quiet wearable vibe, the size of a finger, and is powered by a palm-sized Bluetooth remote allowing for subtle, secret control by a partner.

Jimmy_Jane

Jimmyjane Form 1 Jimmyjane

Taking Bluetooth capability one step further, We-Vibe’s paired app also allows couples to log in together to create a more interactive experience. The We-Connect app syncs with the company’s vibrators, like the new Nova—a double-pronged insertion toy with a clitoral stimulator—via Bluetooth. Once the Bluetooth-enabled toy is online, the user’s special friend can log into the app from anywhere in the world and control the vibe’s functions with the touchscreen wavelike animation. The partner can also write custom vibrations from afar and the app includes a chat feature and video sharing.

Privacy concerns are at the forefront with teledildonics. If dating sites like Ashley Madison and the nude selfies in our cloud storage accounts are vulnerable to hackers, who’s to say that a record of one’s personal vibrator preferences couldn’t suddenly become public? To this, We-Vibe spokesperson Tristan Weedmark said that the company’s app was designed with vulnerability in mind.

“All in-app partner communication (instant messages and photos) are cleared after a partner session (similar to Snapchat), nothing is stored or saved,” wrote Weedmark in an email to the Kernel. In addition, the app is PIN-protected with a “discretion lock” that users can enable, and, “[a]ll data transmitted by the device and the app is encrypted and our servers are protected behind secure firewalls.”

While some horny lovers prefer to interact with other human beings (albeit with the assistance of tech toys), others just want the full experience without the messy dating aspect. The latter type seems to be increasing: The new virtual reality sex toy company VirtuaDolls saw unprecedented demand when its Indiegogo campaign raised nearly $20,000 in just two days and was swamped with so many orders it had to briefly shut down in early February to reassess.

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We-Vibe Nova We-Vibe.com

The VirtuaDolls crowdfunding campaign promises a silicone sleeve “controller” similar to a flashlight—except this suction device snaps onto an Xbox controller, pairs with an Oculus Rift headset, and comes with a companion porn game called Girls of Arcadia. So many men want to have virtual sex with animated characters that respond to the movements made with the sex toy, the company’s “Early Bird VirtuaDolls Bundle” sold out almost immediately. The existing adult industry is banking on the new tech to be a huge success, too: Porn star Alex Chance tweet-teased a possible starring role in a VirtuaDolls game:

And virtual reality startup Dogma360 also took to Twitter to crowdsource the reaction to a potential virtual strip club:

Another new invention poised to transform virtual sex is also still in the beta testing phase. Frixion is a “sexual social network” that employs “advanced peripherals [using] bidirectional force feedback telemetry to create simultaneous one to one motion and resistance between your and your partner’s device.” What? Basically, it’s a social network that connects to IRL toys and allows people to safely have sex with total strangers that they meet on Frixion—or, it’s yet another way for long-distance lovers to get it on. The company calls itself a “haptic social network,” and it’s banking on the incoming explosion of VR sex tech; rather than limit virtual reality eros to interactions with game characters, why not log on to the Facebook of fucking and see who else happens to be plugged in?

• • •

The terrain of today’s sex toys is futuristic indeed. And not every new bell and whistle invented by designers is actually going into products designed solely for pleasure. The Lovelife Krush is a vaginal Kegel strengthener that pairs with an app to measure increased muscle tone and endurance, and even provides the ability to control pulse and squeeze patterns. For guys, Fitbit-ish penis rings like Lovely and Sexfit measure the calories burned during sex while also offering the blood flow constriction and thus, increased erection life offered by traditional cock rings.

All in all, what is really cool (or disturbing, depending on your perspective) is the way that the new dawn of sex tech increases the options for safely interacting with other people sexually. In the future, you may never have to leave your couch to get laid. The virtual reality, networked, remote-controlled sex toys of the future are a lazy germophobe’s dream.

Now that is a turn-on.

Illustration via Max Fleishman

A version of this story originally appeared on the Daily Dot on Feb. 9, 2016.

Will These Two Just Fuck Already?

Will These Two Just Fuck Already?

I’m beginning to fear that one day very soon, Ciara is going to explode. And no, I don’t mean on the charts. She and Russell Wilson, her boyfriend of nearly a year, have not yet had sex with each other, and it appears her horniness is reaching a dangerous level that could result in the first documented case of spontaneous human combustion.

These two sexy people publicly discuss their abstinence more often than I publicly discuss Jessica Chastain, but over the past few months their tone has transformed from passionate (and almost endearing) to bleak as hell. Last summer, Ciara referred to it as an “awesome challenge,” and Wilson called it a divine mission—telling a San Diego church that God literally spoke to him and asked for his celibacy as some kind of personal favor.

But the thrill of being challenged by God appears to have worn off, because Ciara’s lack of a Russell Wilson-induced orgasm is inching her sex drive closer and closer to DEFCON 1, and I’m beginning to fear for her safety. In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, she said:

“It’s going pretty good. We’re hanging in there. I’m not gonna lie. I’m human, so it is not easy, especially when I look at him and I think he is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen — that I’ve ever laid my eyes on, to be honest. I’m like, ‘Look the other way! Look the other way!’”

She continued, explaining how they handle abstinence:

You get to hug and you get to have a nice good kiss, but you have to be careful not to go too far so you don’t end up in the place you’re trying to avoid being in. Strong, strong, strong, strong! Just the strongest resistance to temptation.

Imagine not being able to look at your smoking hot partner out of fear that doing so will make you want to have sex with them. Imagine meeting Barack and Michelle Obama, getting home, and going straight to sleep. Back in the good old days, this disconnect between desire and religion would be solved by a quick wedding that ended in either long-term resentment or divorce, but Wilson and Ciara aren’t even doing themselves the favor of a Vegas elopement. They’re just choosing to look away from the horniness and ignore the message etched on their DNA that says, “Do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it.”

Though there’s no way of knowing for certain whether or not Ciara and Wilson have found other, more private ways to deal with their unstoppable horniness, the way they discuss their all-encompassing need to fuck each other suggests—to me, at least—that neither of them have achieved orgasm since the start of their relationship and they’re both in a state of hysteria. (I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume people who believe God herself requested their celibacy also believe masturbation is a sin.)

Russell. Ciara. Can you please do yourselves (and your fans) a favor and get it over with? God is almost certainly impressed by your efforts, and has probably been elbowing angels and saying, “Can you believe these two still haven’t done it?” since early last fall. In fact, I bet all the angels and saints are in a heaven-wide pool on when you two finally seal the deal, and I bet Mary has already lost.

So. For your own safety, just fuck. I’m sure it won’t take more than a minute or two.

Image via Getty.

 

Why Do Millennials Love Faux-Incest Porn So Much?

I you’re a adult who watches porn and you’re not familiar with the term “fauxcest,” you’re probably still familiar with the concept. In fact, you’re probably very familiar — and have maybe even jerked off to it (more than once). 

F, or fictional incest porn, has been one of the fastest growing X-rated genres in recent years

The meteoric rise of fauxcest is reflected in porn’s top charts, award nominations and sales figures, according to Jeff Dillon, vice president of the adult content site GameLink (NSFW). Dillon told Mic the trend isn’t without historical precedent: Incest has been a notable niche in the adult entertainment world since the release of the successful Taboo series in the 1980s, not to mention a fixture of high school English syllabi pretty much since Oedipus Rex was translated. 

But Dillon told Mic fauxcest porn didn’t make a comeback until about two years ago, when the adult studio Forbidden Fruits Films reinvigorated the genre. Since then, adult entertainment has been inundated with it. 

“To say it has increased in popularity 1000% would be an understatement,” Dillon said. “Once other studios saw the demand for this type of content they started to produce the family role-playing movies to meet demand.”

And who, exactly, is driving the demand for this content? Why, millennials, of course. 

Given the near-universality of viewing incestuous sexual relationships as taboo, it seems unlikely tha the trend is clear: Millennials are into fauxcest. 

Source: Mic/Pornhub

GameLink is just one of the adult content providers to find that young adult consumers are seeking out family role-play scenarios; in July  reported that millennials disproportionately looked for porn with stepsiblings and other family members, with some of the most popular search terms including “mom,” “MILF” and “stepsister.” Dillon also noted that family role-play remains one of the top categories millennials watch on GameLink, and in 2015, fauxcest titles accounted for nearly 1 in 10 purchases made by young adults who visit the site. 

But according to Bree Mills, head of production at the adult studio Gamma Films and a producer for the lesbian erotica site Girlsway (NSFW), we’re also being drawn to fauxcest even when we’re not quite looking for it. Mills told Mic that for about a year, family role-play porn has been steadily growing in popularity among her site’s millennial viewers, many of whom come to Girlsway via banner advertisements on tube sites — the places we’re initially visiting to watch (pirated) porn.

“The way tube sites are designed is through many quick, 30-second video ads and through clips,” Mills explained. “For [porn] companies, the way they’re primarily advertising is through that video banner — something that’s going to get your attention. It’s a lot easier to get attention with some sort of storyboard.

In Mills’ experience, portraying a snippet of a fauxcest scenario in an advertisement has proven to be a successful shortcut for bringing in viewers, in part because the storyline is easy to grasp. “A lot of the type of content has been driven by the fact that it’s much easier to sell something when there’s a story to sell,” she said. 

Bree Mills, head of production at the adult studio Gamma FilmsSource: Mic/Getty Images

That would essentially mean that millennials’ interest in family role-play porn could be chalked up to the way our generation consumes adult content — online, predominantly via tube sites — and the way the industry has responded to our consumption patterns. The fact that viewers then stick with those plots, however, indicates a deeper fascination with watching family dynamics, manufactured or not, play out in porn. 

The question, then, is where that fascination comes from — and the answer could well be unique to our generation and the world we’ve grown up in. Sociologist Chauntelle Tibbals, author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society and Adult Entertainment and frequent Mic contributor, believes it could have something to do with the same social influences that have made millennials one of the most open-minded demographics to date, not to mention our generation’s unprecedented access to information (and pornography) of all kinds. 

“Historically, as well as culturally, part of what makes porn titillating is its ‘taboo’ factor,” Tibbals told Mic. “And today, though talking about sex openly has become no less challenging … our digital access to sex via porn has perhaps made porn itself less taboo. It’s not surprising then that fantasy depictions of more taboo sorts of sex start to emerge as a focus of interest.” 

She noted that when it comes to fauxcest, our interest is also likely reinforced not only by the plethora of such content in adult entertainment, but in the mainstream as well — think Cersei and Jaime Lannister of Game of Thrones. “It could be that seeing ‘taboo’ sexual narratives depicted on nontaboo, mainstream platforms gives viewers a sort of permission to explore overtly erotic, hardcore content more fully,” Tibbals said. 

Ito Mills, it represents “a growing leniency toward edgier content, which definitely benefits those who are producing adult content because it’s less of a gap.”

“Part of what makes porn titillating is its ‘taboo’ factor.”

Of course, our sexual open-mindedness is still merely relative; pornography remains taboo, and incest unthinkable. (For an example of the latter, simply look to the public response to recent media coverage of genetic sexual attraction.) 

Porn about incest (or otherwise fraught sexual family dynamics) seems, then, subversive and hardcore; it’s the titillating thing to replace the last titillating thing. And that’s exactly what draws people in, according to Dana Vespoli, a porn performer and director for the adult company Evil Angel (NSFW). 

“A lot of [the fauxcest boom] is a reflection of what our preoccupations are in mainstream society,” Vespoli told Mic. “[But] because of what people typically do when they watch this content (i.e. masturbate), it’s a more primitive response. People are fighting against whatever rigid boundaries are in their lives. It’s the need to break against convention and feel free in a safe and legal place.” 

Vespoli likened the explosion of family role-play porn to the popularity of fast food, claiming that scenarios that are readily identified as taboo are most likely to appeal to viewers’ desires the fastest, and therefore most likely to be successful. 

Dana Vespoli, a porn performer and director for the adult company Evil Angel Source: Mic/Wikimedia Commons

T and one that, as GameLink’s Dillon pointed out, has cycled through adult entertainment before. “Falling in love with an older woman, particularly young men with an Oedipal complex, is kind of as old as time. The fact that millennials are interested in it now is just partly that that type of fantasy is cycled back into pornography in general,” Mills explained. 

Mass media and the internet have given today’s young adults access to more good stories than we could ever possibly consume, whether they’re on Netflix or RedTube, along with the ability to indulge in whichever ones we want, whenever we want.

“People are starved for good story-driven content, and family role-playing is some of the best story-driven content being produced right now,” Dillon said. “The market is flooded with gonzo-style porn, which is pretty formula, the same models with the same sex positions. I think for an oversexed generation like millennials, they need to be engaged mentally before they are sexually stimulated.” 

Our interest in fauxcest could be borne of an oversaturated porn market, an evermore progressive mainstream or the cyclical nature of adult content, or it could be yet another repercussion of living our lives on the internet.

Or maybe, Dillon added, it could all be way, way more simple than that. 

“We all grew up with that one friend who had the hot parent that we fantasized about,” he said. “For millennials, that fantasy is still a recent memory.”

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