America’s Most Wanted

Public shaming isn’t my thing, so I won’t link to the mugshot which accompanies this. But I couldn’t help but be entertained by the short description of “alleged” events that lead to this woman being arrested. I had to share.

[A 34 year-old woman] alledgedly drank a few drinks at the Thirsty Turtle Bar in Sarasota, then entered the mens’ room before deciding to come out of her shell by shedding her clothes and returned to the bar stark naked.

~ South Florida Sun-Sentinel

There’s enough information here to pique your curiosity but not nearly enough to satisfy your imagination. So let the lurid speculation begin.

How does that make you feel?

I haven’t had a good rant in ages, so…

A study published in Psychological Science says:

Greater Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Earlier Sexual Debut and Increased Sexual Risk Taking

Abstract

Early sexual debut is associated with risky sexual behavior and an increased risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections later in life. The relations among early movie sexual exposure (MSE), sexual debut, and risky sexual behavior in adulthood (i.e., multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use) were examined in a longitudinal study of U.S. adolescents. MSE was measured using the Beach method, a comprehensive procedure for media content coding. Controlling for characteristics of adolescents and their families, analyses showed that MSE predicted age of sexual debut, both directly and indirectly through changes in sensation seeking. MSE also predicted engagement in risky sexual behaviors both directly and indirectly via early sexual debut. These results suggest that MSE may promote sexual risk taking both by modifying sexual behavior and by accelerating the normal rise in sensation seeking during adolescence.

Sex, psychology, and the movies all rolled up into one. I find this stuff fascinating. But just the abstract of the study isn’t enough. It gives a basic idea of the findings but I want to know more. What was it they discoverd to base these conclusions on? So I went “a-googling”. I know I’m not going to find the study because that will be behind the journal’s pay-wall and even if I did find it I probably couldn’t be bothered to wade through all the data and jargon. I needed someone to interpret it for me.

Here’s a press release about it, this is from The Dartmouth, and here’s something from RH Reality Check. All interesting reads.

But I don’t want to talk about Greater Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Earlier Sexual Debut and Increased Sexual Risk Taking. This is my blog and I want to talk about me, Me, ME! What I want to ramble on about is my reaction to the study. When I first came across it I didn’t believe it. The postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri and four other professors who carried out the study were wrong. I knew they were wrong because… I knew better!

Once the “I knew better” thought had sunk in, I calmed down and started to think about this more rationally and came to the rational conclusion that I had become one of those irrational people who throw out any rational science that doesn’t agree with their way of thinking. We won’t mention names but you know who they are.

Me, one of them? Oh, the shame of it!

But I also don’t think I’m totally to blame. This science mumbo-jumbo is complicated stuff. Most of us aren’t knowledgeable enough, qualified enough or interested in it enough to dig up all the information, evaluate it and then come to some sort of reasoned conclusion. We poor ignorant slobs, and poor science itself, relies on “media” outlets to study, interpret and then feed us those bites size chunks which are easy enough for us to understand. But the reliance on such organisations quite often leads to the trivialising, embellishing, ignoring and misinterpreting the results just to get a good juicy piece which will go nicely with the “Cat up a tree” story.

Do I have to mention that if it involves anything of a sexual nature then the hype gets cranked up even more?

But it isn’t always the media’s fault (Poor media, always gets blamed for everything). Sometimes it’s the fault of science itself and those who are producing these studies. Does anyone expect an anti-XYZ organisation to produce any results other than those that prove XYZ is very bad and should be stopped, banned or made illegal? Everybody seems to lie and fit the facts to suit their own agenda. The problem is when they do this with the assistance of the scientific method it becomes harder to spot.

Also, lets not forget this study had the perfect storm of kids, sex and movies. Is there any other convergence of subjects that would bring out the “Crazies” more? So it’s no surprise when I read, “It’s bad” I immediately doubted the findings and, pretty much, the integrity of those who carried out the study.

Dear Ross O’Hara, psychology professor Rick Gibbons, psychiatry professor Meg Gerrard, epidemiology and biostatistics professor Zhigang Li and pediatrics professor James Sargent. I’m sorry and I sincerely apologise. *Hugs & kisses*

But now I’ve got that off my chest can we get back to blaming the media. Because when I was doing my “a-googling”, this headline on U.S. NEWS popped up.

Kids’ Sexual Behavior Influenced by Movie Scenes

Watching films with sexual content at 12 to 14 linked to risky ‘sensation-seeking’ personality

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) — Sex scenes in movies influence teens’ sexual behavior, new research suggests.

They do say, “Suggests” and right at the bottom also:

While the study authors pointed out that the research does not prove a direct causal effect of movies on sexual behavior

But contrast their headline with quotes from The Dartmouth article, from the guy who actually did the study.

The biggest limitation to the research, however, is that it was not an experimental study, so the data can be used to prove correlation but not causation, he said.

“We can’t say for sure that watching these movies is causing changes in behavior,” O’Hara said.

And finally:

[College Health Services Director Jack] Turco said, however, that the correlation found in the study could be based on other factors, such as the children’s socioeconomic status or the strictness of their parents.

My point is, if I haven’t made it clear, the study talks about “Correlation” while U.S. NEWS makes it out like it’s “Causation.”

*Waves ranting stick around*

The problem with science news is it’s become a form of entertainment instead of being informative and educational. Stop dumbing it down then sexing it up just so you can slap it in next to the celebrity gossip. This is not how you inform the public and it certainly does science no favours.

Oh, and one last thing before I put away my ranting stick. Why did U.S. NEWS illustrate the story with this photo?

Keep your eyes on the road!

Are we to infer, the risky behaviour “Associated” with watching sex scenes in movies is not just limited to sex, but also “Associated” with bad driving?

Hands off the breasts

I’m feeling tired and grumpy. It’s been a long day since the helicopters and windmills woke me early this morning. While they may be needed to save the orchards from frost damage they also do a great deal of damage to my precious sleep schedule. They kept roaring away until I’d had enough and was forced to get up and watch the sun rise over frost covered roofs with only a consolation mug of coffee to ease my sleep fuddled mind…

Do you know what “Boobs on bikes” is?

…a mostly annual parade of topless men and women riding on motorcycles through large New Zealand cities […] most prominently Auckland

Don’t let anyone say that we Kiwi’s can’t do culture.

So I was horrified to read the headline Political parties united on nudity.

A pre-election survey by the Family First lobby group has found Mana Party leader Hone Harawira joining hands with Winston Peters of NZ First and Colin Craig of the new Conservative Party to support amending the Crimes Act’s definition of “indecent acts” to prevent “offensive public nudity eg, ‘Boobs on Bikes’.”

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I congratulate myself (Gives oneself a pat on the back). I say this because I am so proud that my first thought on reading this story wasn’t “Oh shit! They gonna ban the titty parade!” No, my first thought was the response any mature and enlightened person would have:

BOOBS AIN’T OFFENSIVE, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Now I have a few rules that I always try to live by. One, is to always use a condom. Another is never eat anything while it’s still alive. A final one, which applies here, is never-ever have anything to do with any organisation which has “Moral” or “Family” in its title. This usually implies they want us to live by their rules pertaining to “Family”and “Morality”… and to that I say, HUMPH!

Now I’m not going to argue BoB is the most tasteful of events and I understand it isn’t everyones cup of MILO. However I don’t think changing the law to potentially criminalise 50% (more if this includes man-boobs) of the population is a proportional response, just to ban an event a great many people do turn out to see. It seems a complete over reaction and more to the point:

BOOBS AIN’T OFFENSIVE, MOTHERFUCKERS!

At this moment in time bare breasted women are not an indecency in New Zealand and there is no need for this to change. Do I really need to go through the whole spiel of naked breasts don’t cause earthquakes, mentally scar small children or cause colour-blindness in dogs. Sure they are beautiful and sexy and we all want a handful, mouthful and faceful of them at certain times. However at others we can control our urges and let women be who they want without falling face first into moral hysteria and discriminate against them.

BOOBS AIN’T OFFENSIVE, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Now I’ve never been a big boob-man myself (pun intended). I admit to likeing  a bit of cleavage but that’s because it looks vaginal in nature. I don’t get why some people seem to obsess over size. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, “It isn’t the size of a womans breasts that’s imporant but whether or not she will show them to you.” Lets be honest, in this day and age, If a woman shows you her naked breasts there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to get laid. I’m not saying it’s guaranteed (Never presume) but odds are if she shows you her breasts you are also going to get an up close and personal view of her other “Best Bits”. So while breast is best… VAGINAS ARE FUCKING AWSOME!

Have I told you before about my drunken theory about women and breasts? Over a late night drinking session I came to the conclusion that women are like going to the movies and their breasts are like trailers. Sure there are all different kinds and they are fun and exciting and we all love them BUT they are not the reason we go there. That reason of course is the “Main Feature” and depending on who I’m talking to that could either mean a woman’s intelligent, beautiful and awe inspiring mind… or her vagina… it depends what kind of mood I’m in.

Damn it! I’m off topic again! Oh right… BOOBS! Breasts are great so leave them alone… unless she says you can touch them… then, knock yourself out. Then go register to vote so those breast banning bunch get buggered come election day.

What I did in the shower this morning: Part one

I was in the shower this morning thinking about sex… Hmm… Maybe I should rephrase that? I was in the shower this morning thinking about the coverage the New Zealand Herald has been giving to sex education, over the last couple of days.

On Monday we had Too much ‘grubby stuff’, so dad steps in and Sex ed shock for angry parents. Then on Tuesday it was Readers up in arms over sex education and the abysmal Sex at 14 – I learned all about it in class. We don’t need to go into detail about the articles as they are the standard “Someone think of the children” type rhetoric. We’ve seen it all before and it’s clichéd and near comical but in a sad kind of way.

Yesterday, his story generated more than 140 emails to the Herald, the vast majority of them from “shocked”, “disgusted” and “horrified” parents and grandparents who say schools are going too far.

No, I want to wildly speculate about the articles writer and why she went in the direction she did. Does she believe in what she is writing or is this just a case of creating some controversal product to generate a large number of page views? Is this kind of social conservatism a corporate policy? If so is it because of a genuine conservative management enforcing their values on the paper or simply to shamelessly pander to the conservative beliefs and fears of its readers?

Surprisingly today’s (Wednesday) articles didn’t really answer these questions. Not that I was expecting them to. There is an opinion piece, Dr Katie Fitzpatrick: Youths need quality sex education to counterbalance the previous articles. I presume it’s there so the Herald can claim they are giving voice to all viewpoints. The other article is written by Elizabeth Binning who has penned all the others and it could be seen as an attempt to redeem herself as a decent journalist and human being by sighting some facts and fairness. It starts out well enough by declaring in the headline Good sex education works – studies and with the opening paragraph of:

Good quality and comprehensive education programmes in schools can delay the first time a teenager has sex and reduce risk-taking behaviour, international studies show.

It ends however with the message that while International research shows good quality sex education programmes do work unfortunately here in New Zealand:

A 2007 ERO report into the teaching of sexuality in years 7 to 13 found “the majority of sexuality education programmes were not meeting students’ needs effectively”.

Now if you were a cynical person you might assume this final knife in the back to New Zealand sex education could just be the coup de grâce from a journalist who has been carrying on a one sided hatchet-job for the last three days. However since I’m not a cynic I believe that our Elizabeth has in fact been laying the ground work for not just debate on the subject but is calling for a coordinated and comprehensive sex education program throughout Nrew Zealand schools. It’s the only logical purpose I can find in this collective of terrible articles.

The furore coming from outraged parents over the last few days is proof that some people do not like their kids being taught about sex and are not shy in expressing it. It is these people who will get the most attention from the press and the schools who ultimately decide on what kind of sex education is taught. It’s these people who are the problem and Liz makes this subtly but abundantly clear by pointing it out not once…

The Ministry of Education […], said that while schools could decide on the kind of sex education they taught, they were expected to consult their communities first.

…but twice.

In New Zealand schools can decide the kind of sex education they want to teach, as long as they consult their communities first.

I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to believe it would only take a vocal few from the “community” to derail a sex education program, they are unhappy with, to the point where it is no longer effective.

The result is widely varying degrees of education from school to school – with not all of the programmes necessarily reaching the “good quality and comprehensive” threshold.

So what is the answer? I have no idea but it certainly must be a joint effort between the Ministry of Education creating a range of effective programs and the schools and communities that implement them. It is also abundantly evident that parents who want their kids educated and protected must raise their voices in an equal manner against those who just want to hide themselves and their children from modern life and the reality of human sexuality.

So Liz, I tip my hat to you. At the beginning I thought you a professional “Troll” that put the biggest internet “Trolling Trolls” to shame. However on careful reflection it seems you are in fact an intelligent and gifted journalist who understands the power of the media to start a public debate. Elizabeth Binning, I applaud you for your committment to better sex education for New Zealand children and for the brilliance of your writing to further this cause.

I'm “shocked”, “disgusted” and “horrified”. Even I didn't get an "E" in maths.

Here’s my take on the “Royal Wedding” and then no more shall be said.

Is it possible to use the word “cringe” and “New Zealand Herald” in the same sentence?

The answer of course is an emphatic “YES!” and it can be done oh so easily.

I was pretty much expecting it when reading about New Zealand Prime Minister John Key saying we “…would support moves to change the royal line of succession rules and allow a first-born daughter to become Queen…” I say “expecting” because no one seems to write about the royals without falling into either a republican stance, that has you rolling your eyes as they froth at the mouth, or the teeth aching sugariness of certain weekly magazines, who make their money talking about some royal fashion faux pas or having a shocking photo exclusive of someone related to the Queen coming out of a supermarket with a carton of milk.

I bring this up because I wrote a rant about royal female succession back in August 2009 when they were then talking about it. I know the wheels of government and constitutional change turn slowly but you’d think they would be a little further along than just “having consultations”?

Maybe because it’s Monday or because it’s grey and raining but this has annoyed me some. Surprisingly it’s neither the Herald nor JK who has irked me but UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Considering he’s in charge of constitutional reform and because of the nature of the subject you’d think he’d choose his words more carefully.

“…it’s worth considering whether we change the rules…”

“I think it is worth thinking about, I think it is worth talking about.”

I do not like your tone, Cleggy!

I could now go into a spiel about monarchy, republicanism, constitutional reform and distinct national identity but I won’t because this isn’t what the rant (part two) is about. It’s simply about the fundamental right to be treated equally whatever your sex and it shouldn’t be something to debate. Yes I know we are talking about the wealthy and privileged but the sex you’re born with should not decide whether you are more privileged than someone else (let’s leave that to money and good looks). It shouldn’t be a case of “considering” or “thinking” either which sounds like “We may or may not do it” but more the inevitable of “doing” and “changing.”

But maybe I’m being too hard on Cleggy. He does say he’s in favour of change. So why isn’t there more certainty in his words?

The British monarch is head of state of 16 commonwealth nations and any change to the line of succession would require legislation in all these countries. Discussions with them have started.

I know the world is a busy place and governments have a lot to do and this may not be as important as saving economy’s from sliding into the pit but it has been around a while so why isn’t there more consensus? Maybe because it’s Monday and raining and I’m feeling very cynical but I have this paranoid suspicion that “Discussions” means someone is holding things up by saying no. Maybe not everyone is as enlightened as us (wipes sarcasm from keyboard) and while it worries me I’m also, honestly, not very surprised. Depending on how you look at it the sex of the Head of State is either the most trivial or most important issue there is and I just wish we were at a point in time where it wasn’t an issue at all.

On that point here endeth the rant.

But on a final note I’d like to convey my best wishes to Kate and William for their upcoming big day. Not because one day they’ll be Queen and King and he the Head of State but simply because they are two people getting married and I’m happy for them and they deserve as much happiness as everyone else.

Porn in the Library: A moral and ethical dilemma.

I don’t consider myself a prude, maybe slightly submissive with an overtly kinky streak, but certainly not a prude. But a story on AVN had me hunting through the desk draw for my righteous indignation. I couldn’t find it so had to settle for shaking my fist at the screen like Grandpa Simpson and bemoaning “Why won’t someone think of the children.”

It wasn’t about the fertility-friendly lubricant with a name that gives me the willies. Pre-Seed may be an accurate moniker but sounds like something you would only use in a sentence in conjunction with the term “Fertile and fruitful loins.”

No, what got me going was the Los Angeles City Council Committee Tackles Library Porn story.

Committee members are being asked to consider a motion filed Jan. 21 by Los Angeles City Councilman Ed P. Reyes that was inspired in part by an indecent at the city’s Chinatown branch of the public library, during which porn being watched by someone on the library computer was seen by other patrons.

As this is set in the US there is the issue of censorship and first amendment rights which I’m not going to get into. No, I want to bitch about the non-geographical issue of the morality (Shock, Horror) behind it. I use the “M” word because my initial reaction was an emotional one. “This is so very wrong!”  I didn’t have a logical argument as to why but simply felt the line of right and wrong had been crossed. Of course this line is totally subjective and since it’s my rant I get to decide where it’s drawn and what colour crayon to use.

So why so outraged? It can’t be I think books shouldn’t be associated with porn. When growing up where else was I going to find it? Authors: Harold Robbins, Shirley Conran etc. were my go-to people for smut and let’s not forget those publishers of filth Mills & Boon. I’m not kidding! I read enough to know if you wanted the sex scenes then 95% of the time they could be found between pages 95-110. While I truly believe that books are “sacred” (and manifest symbols and depositories of the imagination and knowledge) I don’t think it’s wrong to stick them under the legs of a table to raise it to a precise height so you can stand comfortably while banging away at a chick.

It can’t be I think a library is a sacred place. I remember my brother once telling me he had sex in a church and I thought that was totally cool. I’m not sure if he misplaced his virginity at the same time but I do remember he said, “sex in a church.” Not the sort of thing you’d forget, is it?  So if “sex & church” is OK then why would I be bothered by porn and a library?

It’s not the issue of looking at erotic images in a library either because who hasn’t done that (puts hand up)? If you get a little worked up then you nip to the toilet for a quick tug or diddle and job’s a good’un (quickly lowers hand). I hear having sex in a library is part and parcel of university life (if you believe the stories) but that usually happens hidden away in the stacks and you don’t find under-age kids there.

Maybe it’s simply because I consider watching porn directly associated with masturbation and something to be done in private. Now it would be fine to do in a public space if the public was watching voluntarily and of a legal age. But if they are not then you are forcing your sexuality on others and there are a few nasty words for that sort of thing along with a well deserved criminal record.

So in conclusion, and to make myself perfectly clear, watching porn in a library is wrong and you should not…

Hang on I just realised I’ve been talking about the act and not the person who does it. It must take some real balls or not give a major fuck to view porn where everyone else can see. Although it’s not stated in the article I assumed it was a man. What if I’m wrong and it was a (slightly dominant with an overtly kinky streak) woman. Would that make a difference?

So in conclusion, and to make myself perfectly clear, watching porn in a library is wrong and you should not do it but if you are a woman could I please have your number or email address?

Americans fap and stockpile orgasms in preparation for masturbation being made illegal.

Not yet at least. I don’t pay much attention to US politics. I skim The Huffington Post, Washington Post, New York Times and a few others, but only so I can understand what Jon Stewart is raging against on The Daily Show. But the news of Christine O’Donnell winning “the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Delaware,” has made me sit up and pay attention.

Now we all know that the US has its fair share of uptight freaks that rail against all things to do with fucking. But we’re so blasé towards the anti-gay, anti-sex education, anti-premarital sex, and anti-porn nuts that we carry on with our fornication and pretty much ignore them. But for this shameless woman to be anti-masturbation is just going too far. That’s… That’s… Well that’s just sick. What kind of degenerate and sick pervert could have anything against…

  • Spanking the monkey.
  • Flicking the bean.
  • Tugging your todger.
  • Muffin buffin’.

…or plain and simply stimulating ones erogenous zones and sexual organs for the pleasurable purpose of inducing an orgasm?.

It will not stand! United States of America please take heed. If you do not stamp out this vile abomination against freedom and all that is horny holy then we will be forced to take swift and decisive action. Cease this crusade against “Wanking” or Her Majesty: Queen Elizabeth II and her loyal subjects the Illuminati United Nations (in their black helicopters) will do it for you.

Oh, and have a nice day. :-)

Just remember, as Oscar Wilde once wrote:

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

So grab your lube and your favourite toy and go give yourself some romance.