• Musings

    The academic study of porn

    Illustration by AnotherExample.

    Taking an analytical eye to porn is not new. When feature-length porn films began playing in movie theaters in the 1970s, some feminist scholars and activists reacted with disdain, arguing that porn was inherently objectifying. Others disagreed, leading journalist and activist Ellen Willis to coin the term “pro-sex feminism” in 1981. Around this time, film scholar Linda…

  • Musings

    What it’s like to be professionally cuddled

    You may have seen the headlines. Woman Opens Professional Cuddling Shop, Struggles to Keep Up with Demand. Woman Opens Cuddling Shop And Gets 10,000 Customers In The First Week. But if that seems fishy, it is: that figure would amount to less than 1 minute of cuddling per customer, with the cuddler working non-stop, 24…

  • Musings

    A productivity app for the poly community

    The Poly Life app

    The single biggest myth that polyamorous people have to dispel constantly: it’s not all about sex. Being in a non-monogamous relationship does not translate to “orgy.” In fact, most of the time it just translates to “tons of communication and inordinate use of Google Calendar.” That’s why the new phone app The Poly Life has two…

  • Musings

    Good porn for women: it exists!

    Cover of Erika Lust's film, Handcuffs

    Journalists, especially those not familiar with the adult industry, can sometimes make sweeping statements that aren’t exactly correct. For example, it is common for a mainstream journalist or blogger to off-handedly lament that there is no porn out there for women. That’s what happened when Nikki Gloudeman wrote an article at Ravishly arguing that she…

  • Musings

    Early Playboy pinups revisit the camera

    Dolores Del Monte, Miss March 1954

    The first issue of Playboy came out in December of 1953. The pioneering models who graced its pages in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s are now entering into their golden years. NY Mag caught up with a handful of them to ask them their thoughts on the experience — and take beautiful new photos…

  • Industry spotlight,  Musings

    Thrills and mundanities on a queer porn set

    What goes on behind the scenes of a queer feminist porn shoot? According to Anna Pulley, writing for Alternet, performers ogle cat photos, knit scarves in the colors of the bisexual flag, and shoot the breeze about fisting censorship and breast milk pumping. The kitchen is well-stocked with coffee, fruit, and chips, and Feminist Porn…

  • Musings

    The glory of sex-positive emojis

    Gone are the phallic fruits and suggestive winky faces — four designers in California have just upped the ante on sexy emojis. Their project, Flirtmoji, consists of tons of adorable yet provocative icons that can be pasted into any phone messaging app. In it, you’ll find everything from wiggling Jell-O and heart-shaped hot tubs…

  • Musings

    What does being a sex researcher really entail?

    Dr. Debby Herbenick, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Dr. Kristen Mark, and Sarah Merrill

    Ask the average person what a sex researcher does, and they’ll likely guess that researchers watch people have sex in a lab. The truth is, sex researchers don’t usually come that close to their subject — but they still love their jobs and are producing excellent and insightful work (which we have highlighted on this blog many…

  • Musings

    Japanese vulva artist jailed, but undeterred

    Megumi Igarashi, pseudonym Rokudenashiko

    If you need a new hero, look no further than Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, pseudonym Rokudenashiko (“good-for-nothing girl”). The 42-year-old sculptor and illustrator launched a crowdfunding campaign last year to raise money to create a “pussy boat,” a kayak formed in her vulva’s image. The campaign was wildly successful, and as a token of…