Iceland’s government is considering introducing internet filters, It would be the first Western country to ban online pornography. It is illegal to print and distribute pornography in Iceland but the
law has not been updated to cover online material. Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland’s interior minister is drafting legislation to ban access to adult material, which it is argued is harmful to women and children.
Residents in the Japanese town of Okuizumom are requesting changes to the town’s replica statues of the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s David – they
want them to be given knickers! Residents are worried the statues will frighten children. Town official Yoji Morinaga commented, “They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children.”
What is the average American
porn star like? Jon Millward spent
months analysing data from the
Internet Adult Film Database and
discovered that American adult
performers are most likely to be
white brunettes, 5’ 5” tall with an
average size bust of 34B. Most are
22 years old when they debut and
generally last three years in the
industry. 87% have done facials;
62% have performed anal but only
53% have taken part in interracial
scenes. US porn stars are most
likely to be born in California; the
most common porn star name is
This week, the satirical news site The Onion found itself in hot water over a tweet in which it referred to the nine-year old actress Quvenzhané Wallis as “kind of a cunt, right?”
The whole point of the joke was, of course, that little Quvenzhané is all kinds of adorable and therefore anything but. Many people took exception to it, and it’s not that hard to see why.
By and large, cunt is regarded as the most offensive insult you can term a woman. It was not always so. In the 13th century it was a standard anatomical term, and interchangeable with vagina. However, over the next few centuries it fell out of favour, and by the Victorian 18th century, the word was regarded as strictly taboo.
When we call someone a cunt, twat, dick, prick or a pussy, the power of the insult lies in the reference to the human body’s fiddly bits. However, you could argue, and many people have, that words referring to the genitals should not be seen as inherently insulting and that by doing so, we betray a deep-seated problem with sex and sexuality.
To reclaim these words as positive would – in a small way – contribute to a society with a healthier attitude to sexuality. But reclaiming words is no easy task, especially when they have a long history.
During the 2011 Slutwalk protests the term slut came under the spotlight. Of the many debates the movement engendered one of the most heated was whether or not slut could be reclaimed as a positive badge of identity, much like how queer has been shorn of its pejorative connotations.
It is possible, but it is worth bearing in mind that queer had been used as a derogatory term for less than one hundred years before being reclaimed – its first recorded usage is an 1894 letter written by Oscar Wilde’s nemesis, the Marquess of Queensberry. Slut has a much longer history and has been used to designate a promiscuous woman for about 450 years. Slut is of doubtful origin, but the earliest reference to it comes from as far back as 1402 – referring to an untidy woman.
The Onion has since apologised for the tweet and it was obviously meant as a joke. From an Irish perspective it may not seem like bad taste, or a gag that fell flat and therefore not such a big deal, but using the term in reference to a young African-American girl has implications we wouldn’t necessarily understand. Writing in The Rumpus, Roxane Gay noted that young black girls are regularly seen as hypersexual. In such a context, The Onion joke fails as satire because it reinforces a negative stereotype instead of holding it up to ridicule.
Since it refers to a body part, much like elbow or nose, theoretically it should be possibly to reclaim the word cunt and give it a positive spin – or at least remove its stigma. After all, we don’t use the proper names of genitals as insults. Obviously we could – “You sir, are a penis!”
I’d like to live in a world where cunt wasn’t an insult but seen as a positive term for a part of the female body that is a source of life and pleasure. But even if it were a sex-positive term, it would still be wrong to use it in reference to a nine-year old child – particularly in a widely read media source. First off because it is wrong to use sexualised words with reference to children; and secondly, because using the media to bash a child, even a famous, successful one, is just plain nasty.
One in seven people have sexted the wrong person. That’s according to a survey done by a mobile phone insurance company.
Hmmm… I have my doubts. Let me explain why.
Apparently the “wrong” people were as follows:
Friend – 37 percent; Ex-partner – 25 percent; Colleague – 17 percent; Family member – 9 percent; Stranger – 7 percent
To send a suggestive message, or worse still, a picture, to a family member is presumably a mistake… at least one hopes so. Ditto a stranger. But a friend, ex or colleague? I bet a good deal of those were “accidentally on purpose”, a sort of “Look what you could be having!”
I could be wrong of course. And in fairness I did send a somewhat embarrassing text to a (sort of) stranger once. I had to meet somebody for work and put his contact details into my phone. The night before the poor man received as message from me that was something along the lines of, “I’m really looking forward to seeing you. Love you lots! xxx”. “Not sure I love you. Who is this?” came the response. Ah oops! I explained that the message had been for my mother (which was true. I love my mammy you know and was due home the following week). Luckily he believed me, or chose to, but the meeting was rather embarrassing nonetheless.
A friend did accidentally sexted me, and I am pretty sure it was a mistake. My phone beeped and there was a message from Ben. Two seconds later Ben rang.
“That message I sent you – have you opened it?” he asked. I hadn’t – he’d not given me much of a chance.
“Please don’t,” he asked. He wouldn’t explain why but made me promise to delete it without looking at it. Naturally I was curious, but I did as he asked. He sounded so stressed. The next time I saw him he asked me again if I had looked at it, repeatedly, and finally accepted my assurances that I hadn’t. I kind of wish I had. It must have been quite something…
I’ve said it before – vaginas are like snowflakes, no two of them are exactly the same.
Of course, the lady bits you see in most mainstream porn tend to have a standard look. Which is fine in itself, but it does give both women and men a false idea of what labia should look like.
So what do you do if you are worried that you’re too big, too lopsided, too untidy or just wrong? You could try submitting a photo to a Tumblr site called “Large Labia Project”. The idea is to help women get over body shame by getting positive feedback from others. And the site hopes to challenge preconceptions of what labia look like and promote the fact that there is plenty of genital diversity that is perfectly healthy, normal, beautiful and sexy.
Durex have been quizzing Irish people to find out what they think about Valentine’s Day. Here’s what we had to say:
• Valentine’s Day is important for 55 per cent of us who believe it is a good opportunity to show their partner how much they love them
• However, 40 per cent of men either don’t notice Valentine’s Day or think it is over commercialized. Can’t argue with that.
• 1 in 3 women hope a secret love interest will surprise them to make Valentine’s Day as a single more exciting. Keep dreaming ladies…
• 22 per cent have scored a random so they have someone for Valentine’s Day. This rises to 41 per cent of people in Ulster compared to 20 per cent from Leinster (excluding Dublin)
• 21 per cent of men have scored a friend so they have someone on Valentine’s Day, compared to 13 per cent of women
• 37 per cent of us would have no-strings sex with a friend on VD if it was guaranteed that nobody else would know.
• For almost half of Irish men and women (48 per cent), the perfect Valentine’s Day would be a dirty weekend away
• 25 per cent of men would choose sex as the perfect Valentine’s gift, compared to just 11 per cent of women
• A quarter of women (25 per cent) would say a romantic home-made dinner is the perfect Valentine’s Day present
• Almost 1 in 3 Irish men and women (29 per cent) have dressed up in fantasy costumes for Valentine’s night
• The most popular fantasy to enact as a Valentine’s surprise is the naughty school girl (23 per cent), closely followed by a sexy nurse at 18 per cent
• 43 per cent of women have used handcuffs during sex on Valentine’s Day compared to 27 per cent of men who have done the same
• More than half (53 per cent) have used massage gels on Valentine’s Day, while 47 per cent have tried a sex toy and 46 per cent pleasure enhancing condoms
World Aid’s Day take place on 1 December and in the lead up to it Durex are donating one free condom for everyone who gets involved on Facebook or Twitter.
To donate a condom to help stop the spread of HIV/Aids, log on to Facebook and share the Durex World Aids Day image or video (available on www.facebook.com/durex.ireland) or use he Twitter hash tag #1share1condom.
Your donated condom will be sent to the Dublin Aids Alliance, which does great work in sexual health education and combating HIV?transmission.
The campaign runs until 1 December.
Hmmm… I can’t think of any erotic novel I would like to read less than one starring myself. But if you feel differently U Star Novels is giving men and women the chance to star in a personalised erotic tale. The choice is between a vampire themed story or a Regency romp. U Star asks for personal details such as hair colour, favourite music, food and your tastes in lingerie to make the novel more authentic, although it is hard to see how vampire shenanigans could ever strive for realism. The books cost £24.95 for a paperback and £14.95 for an e-book.
A YouGov has found that almost 80% of UK adults with children living at home are against the idea of a default internet porn filter. The UK government is seeking clarification on people’s views on three possible systems of regulating online adult content. The Opt-In option would block porn but allow adults to opt-in for it; Active Choice would allow users the choice of having filters and blocks installed; Active Choice Plus would merge the two, blocking some sites automatically but allowing users to have these unblocked if they so wish. While the survey suggests most adults are not keen on filters, a petition demanding that internet service providers block porn has attracted around 110,000 signatures.