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Sex Positive
Sexuality as a human right.
Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
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A 'monumental' win for marriage rights in New Mexico

A 'monumental' win for marriage rights in New Mexico | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

The decision came in response to a legal fight launched by a Jen Roper, New Mexico woman with cancer, who wants New Mexico to recognize her longtime partner, Angelique Neuman, on her death certificate. Judge Malott not only agreed, he went further, incorporating a related case in which several same-sex couples sought marriage licenses.

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Open Letter: Kate Bornstein to Chelsea Manning

Open Letter: Kate Bornstein to Chelsea Manning | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

The trans pioneer reaches out to the recently sentenced whistleblower


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So you think you know what a sex worker looks like?

So you think you know what a sex worker looks like? | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

[M]ostly, sex workers look like any ordinary joe, cellulite, disproportionate bodies, a range of colour, caste, social background, political intent. A range of reasons. A range of experiences.


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Gracie Passette's curator insight, August 26, 2013 11:10 PM

Speakeasy video too

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Two Spirit People

Two Spirit People | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

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How Not to React to the News That Bradley Manning Is Transgender

How Not to React to the News That Bradley Manning Is Transgender | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

This morning's big news story/pounding headache is courtesy of convicted spy Bradley Manning's announcement that she wishes to live the rest of her life as a woman/the internet's predictably sh***y response to that announcement, respectively.


[more]


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US: Hawaiian faith leaders sign resolution calling on passage of equal marriage law

US: Hawaiian faith leaders sign resolution calling on passage of equal marriage law | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
More than a dozen faith leaders in Hawaii have signed a resolution calling on lawmakers to pass a law to legally recognise same-sex marriages.

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Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner May Get Married After 42 Years Together

Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner May Get Married After 42 Years Together | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Actress Lily Tomlin and her partner, writer Jane Wagner, may finally get married after 42 years together now that same-sex marriage is legal.


Tomlin told E! News that she and Wagner are "thinking" about getting married now that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been ruled unconstitutional and Proposition 8 has been struck down. The women, who met in 1971 and started dating shortly after, didn't think they would see such a milestone in their lifetime.

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The sex worker stigma: How the law perpetuates our hatred (and fear) of prostitutes

The sex worker stigma: How the law perpetuates our hatred (and fear) of prostitutes | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Our society turns a blind eye to the murder of sex workers, deeming them less than human. Why is that?

 

...Twenty years ago I first asked two questions that continue to unsettle me today. The first is answerable: What does a woman who sells sex accomplish that leads to her being treated as fallen, beyond the pale, incapable of speaking for herself, discountable if she does speak, invisible as a member of society? The answer is she carries a stigma. The second question is a corollary: Why do most public conversations focus on laws and regulations aimed at controlling these stigmatized women rather than recognizing their agency? To that the answer is not so straightforward.


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Feminist Porn Depicts Sexuality's Unruly Side Too

Feminist Porn Depicts Sexuality's Unruly Side Too | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

As this type of porn gains visibility, it reflects a greater demand for explicit sexual representations among women, where sex isn't always a "ribbon-tied box of happiness and joy," say editors in this excerpt from "The Feminist Porn Book."


...With the emergence of new technologies that allow more people than ever to both create and consume pornography, the moral panic-driven fears of porn are ratcheted up once again. Society's dread of women who own their desire, and use it in ways that confound expectations of proper female sexuality, persists. As Gayle Rubin shows, "Modern Western societies appraise sex acts according to a hierarchical system of sexual value." Rubin maps this system as one where "the charmed circle" is perpetually threatened by the "outer limits," or those who fall out of the bounds of the acceptable.


On the bottom of this hierarchy are sexual acts and identities outside heterosexuality, marriage, monogamy and reproduction. She argues that this hierarchy exists so as to justify the privileging of normative and constricted sexualities and the denigration and punishment of the "sexual rabble."


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The book can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/155861818X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=155861818X&linkCode=as2&tag=glamkitllc-20

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California Becomes First to Pass Historic Transgender Law

California Becomes First to Pass Historic Transgender Law | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

California Gov. Jerry Brown made history in the transgender community by signing the first U.S. law to ensure transgender students equal access to the facilities and activities consistent with their gender identities.


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Hypocrisy, Hate and Harm #no2h8splc

Hypocrisy, Hate and Harm #no2h8splc | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

[This] is what happened when a bunch of RadFems righteously took over the offices of the Ladie’s Home Journal because it was a vector for promoting false stereotypes about women. Protesting negative stereotypes of cisgender women in the media has a long and proud tradition among feminists.

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Porn Sex vs Real Sex: The Differences Explained With Food

If you've ever watched porn, and if you've ever had sex, you know that the two are very different. But what are the differences, specifically? Whet your appe...
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This is so fabulous!

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Have an orgasm instead of doing a crossword, it's better for your brain, says scientist

Have an orgasm instead of doing a crossword, it's better for your brain, says scientist | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
Orgasms could be better for our brains than doing a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle, an academic has claimed.

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As Obamacare’s Birth Control Benefit Hits Its One-Year Anniversary, It’s Helping 27 Million Women

As Obamacare’s Birth Control Benefit Hits Its One-Year Anniversary, It’s Helping 27 Million Women | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

One year ago, one of Obamacare’s most popular provisions took effect — the rule requiring insurers to cover women’s preventative health services, like birth control and Pap smears, at no additional charge. Through this provision, Obamacare has helped prevent women from continuing to pay disproportionately more for their health care than men do, since women are no longer charged a co-pay for the wide range of preventative services they need.

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Kerry Has Big News For Same-Sex Couples

Kerry Has Big News For Same-Sex Couples | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

The US will immediately begin considering visa applications of gay and lesbian spouses in the same manner as heterosexual couples, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.


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Misinformed Media Touts Bogus Sex Addiction Study

Why the media takes one bad study and distort its conclusions for shock value.

By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S and Stefanie Carnes PhD, CSAT-S

July 24, 2013


In a nationally distributed study published last week, a group of researchers argued that what is often termed as “sexual addiction” could be better understood as a pathological variation of “high sexual desire.” After the publication of this article, a multitude of media outlets suggested that the conclusions of this study demonstrate that there is no scientific basis for the diagnosis of sexual addiction. This has occurred despite the study being the first of its kind, riddled with methodological errors, and at best inconclusive with its findings. Nevertheless, it continues to get a lot of media attention, most likely because it addresses problematic human sexual behavior, which is always a media attention-getter.


In the study, researchers monitored the brain activity (using EEG technology) of 52 men and women who self-reported as having “problems controlling their viewing of sexual images.” The researchers then asked these individuals to look at more than 225 still photos - pictures of everything from violence to people skiing to men and women being sexual together - while the EEG measured their brain activity. Participants also completed several questionnaires about their sexual desire and activity. Essentially, researchers were looking for a correlation between EEG readings and the participants’ scores on the various questionnaires, thinking that any correlations might shed light on whether problematicporn use is caused by addiction (which is in essence a neurobiological dysfunction) or merely a high libido.


Since the study’s release, critics have cited numerous flaws in it, including concerns that the sample group differed significantly from treatment-seeking sex addicts and that the individual test subjects were not screened for other possible co-morbid conditions that could have interfered with the results. Additionally, there are serious questions about the strategy used to score one of the instruments in the study, which likely invalidated the measure and distorted the statistics. Basically, the researchers’ determination of a subject’s hypersexuality was primarily based on that individual’s responses to questions about having sex with a partner, whereas the brain scans were used to monitor solo sexual activity. As any sex addict can tell you, there is a huge difference in how most of them feel about and respond to in-the-flesh sex versus on-the-screen activity. The most readily apparent methodological error was the research team’s misuse of the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI). Oddly, the researchers decided to use only part of this comprehensive questionnaire - inexplicably ignoring the questions about solo sexual activity, which, once again, was the exact activity they were monitoring with the brain scans.


Feeling confused? So are we.


Furthermore, the pre-screening of test subjects was wildly inadequate. The study lumped anyone who reported “issues with porn” into the same category. This means that some of the subjects were not likely porn addicts, while others may have been severely addicted. Adding to the quagmire is the fact that the researchers chose vastly different test subjects - men, women, heterosexuals, and homosexuals - and then showed them all the same heterosexually oriented sexual images (when clearly a gay participant would not respond to heterosexual images in the same way). In addition, the test subjects were shown only still images - hardly the streaming HD videos and live webcam shows that most were likely used to using.


Another criticism is the authors’ reliance on EEGs to measure subjects’ brain activity. Yes, EEGs are a useful scientific tool, but only to a certain extent. The simple truth is EEGs measure brain activity from the outside of the skull, making them the neurological equivalent of a blunt instrument. This is hardly definitive when looking at the complicated interplay of the numerous brain regions involved in the creation and expression of sexual desire (rewards, mood, memorydecision-making, etc.)


So, in a nutshell, this study is inconclusive at best, with conclusions drawn by the authors that don’t correlate to the data.


At least the researchers are not overtly indicating that the issue doesn’t exist. Instead, they argue that the problem is not an addiction and that conceptualizing it as “high sexual desire” would be more accurate. However, these researchers did not study the same areas of the brain or use the same technologies that have been utilized in previous research looking at process (behavioral) addictions. In an article released in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, Dr. Donald Hilton summarizes much of the brain research that does lead scientists to believe that sex (and other natural processes) can be addictions. For a thorough review of this scientific literature see his article here. None of the brain regions looked at in Dr. Hilton’s work or the studies he cited were discussed or examined in the recently released study.


Amazingly, despite the study’s poor design, bad execution, and obvious limitations, the authors chose to formulate misguided conclusions and publish, even sending out an international press release touting their “achievement.”


Dr. Hilton argues that we are on the brink of a paradigm shift in our conceptualization of process addictions. He states, “During the shift, crisis and tension predominate, clouding the significance of the shift in the present. Nevertheless, the new combined paradigm that amalgamates addictions to both substances and processes is beginning to assert itself.” This assertion is evidenced by the fact that in the PubMed literature database the term “sexual addiction” is used almost three times as often as any other term that describes the disease. So is this current media frenzy simply part of the “crisis and tension” clouding our view during the midst of a shift?


Why is it that when two excellent articles come out, one supporting the addiction framework and one questioning it, that the media hones in on one and distorts its conclusions for shock value? What are the resulting repercussions for the tens of thousands of patients whose reality is denied and invalidated? In the 1980s sex addicts were told by mental health practitioners that their problem didn’t exist. Well, it did exist, and because therapists didn’t help them they created their own support groups, and now that network of “S-fellowships” provides critical, free care to tens of thousands of people daily. So while we as clinicians can continue to argue whether this is an addiction, a compulsion, an impulse control problem, or high sexual desire, we should not be arguing that the problem doesn’t exist. And the media shouldn’t either.


A similar phenomenon occurred with alcoholism at the turn of the century. Alcohol addiction was seen as a “moral failing” brought on by a “lack of willpower.” It wasn’t until many years later, when we began to fully understand the disease concept of addiction, that it became better understood. So why is it that society would rather call sex addicts “womanizers” and “schmucks” than use a paradigm that is helpful?


So, let’s consider the repercussions of our labels… So far we have sex addiction, sexual compulsion, impulse control disorder, hypersexual behavior disorder, out-of-control sexual behavior, problematic sexual behavior, and now a new one: high sexual desire. Using the label “sex addiction” rather than the others has a multitude of advantages. First, it is the language that the clients speak. Clients do not come to therapybecause they think they have “hypersexual behavior disorder,” they come because they are “sex addicts.” Second, it is the term most often used by physicians. Third, by using an addiction perspective you can reduce the shame, normalize the behavior, provide lots of ancillary resources and materials, and immerse the client in a community of support that involves accountability and taking responsibility for one’s behavior. In contrast, how are we as therapists to effectively help a patient with his or her “high sexual desire”?


And when did high sexual desire and sexual addiction become mutually exclusive concepts? Simply put, diagnosing a person as having a high sexual desire does not rule out sexual addiction. In fact, the research discussed above does nothing to refute the concept of sexual addiction and the growing body of literature that supports that idea. Either way, until a definitive ruling is out, let’s stick to the label that’s clinically useful (especially since it looks like the majority of the existing research supports that paradigm).

 

Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development with Elements Behavioral Health. A licensed UCLA MSW graduate and personal trainee of Dr. Patrick Carnes, he founded The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles in 1995. He has developed clinical programs for The Ranch in Nunnelly, TennesseePromises Treatment Centers in Malibu, and the aforementioned Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.He has also provided clinical multi-addiction training and behavioral health program development for the US military and numerous other treatment centers throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.


Dr. Stefanie Carnes, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT approved supervisor. Her area of expertise includes working with patients and families struggling with multiple addictions such as sexual addiction, eating disorders and chemical dependency. Dr. Carnes is also a certified sex addiction therapist and supervisor, specializing in therapy for couples and families struggling with sexual addiction. Currently, she is the president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. She is also the author of numerous research articles and publications including her books, Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex AddictsFacing Addiction: Starting Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs, and Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

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BuzzFeed • Everything you wanted to know about transgender...

BuzzFeed • Everything you wanted to know about transgender... | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
Everything you wanted to know about transgender people but were afraid to ask. 
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Suzy Favor Hamilton Shouldn't Be Shamed For Turning to Sex Work

Suzy Favor Hamilton Shouldn't Be Shamed For Turning to Sex Work | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

In 1983, the Big Ten Conference established a women's Athlete of the Year award and later named it after Suzy Favor Hamilton, a University of Wisconsin middle distance runner and alumna who followed her illustrious college career with three appearances in the Olympic Games. She was more than qualified to have her name attached to such a prestigious award. Unfortunately, the conference announced on Tuesday that her name would be removed from the award after it was revealed in December that Favor Hamilton had worked as an escort since 2011.


"I do not expect people to understand," she wrote on Twitter, "but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression." She added that her husband knew about her work and didn't approve of it.


But something that the Big Ten needs to realize — along with the rest of the country — is that sex work is one of the most stigmatized professions in the world.


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Transgender women of Paris in the Fifties and Sixties

Transgender women of Paris in the Fifties and Sixties | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
  These beautiful photographs of transgender women, in Paris from the late 1950s and early 1960s were taken by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, who traveled to Paris in the late-fifties, where he hoped to create a new kind of night-life...

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Margaret Cho’s Laughing Orgasms

Margaret Cho’s Laughing Orgasms | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

This is kind of fun: in the most recent installment of Hysterical Literature, Margaret Cho keeps breaking out in squirming giggles and laughter as she orgasms — and eventually drops her Kindle — while reading aloud at the table...

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Deanna Dahlsad's curator insight, July 18, 2013 2:59 PM

From Hysterical Literature http://hystericalliterature.com/about/ :


Hysterical Literature is a video art series by NYC-based photographer and filmmaker Clayton Cubitt. It explores feminism, mind/body dualism, distraction portraiture, and the contrast between culture and sexuality. (It's also just really fun to watch.)

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What 10 Old People Think Of Gay Sex

What 10 Old People Think Of Gay Sex | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

"This one of the best things I have watched in a long time. Maybe it’s that I was expecting it to be horribly offensive, and I think that’s actually what they’re trying to address– that there is a stigma that people of generations that aren’t ours are rather unaccepting of the LGBT community.


Now while that may be true of some people, it certainly isn’t for all, lest we forget that they are even members! Something else to note is some of the terminology they used that I’m not sure we’d consider PC these days, but hey, one thing at a time."

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How America Interrupted Wilhelm Reich's Orgasmic Utopia - VICE

How America Interrupted Wilhelm Reich's Orgasmic Utopia - VICE | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
How America Interrupted Wilhelm Reich's Orgasmic Utopia
VICE
If the American public wasn't ready for Dr. Freud, then how much less prepared would they be for Dr.

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Nepal's Third Gender

Nepal has just completed its first national census that officially includes a third option in the gender categories that citizens can select, opening the way...


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CMT 'Open for Business' Panel Addresses LGBT Issues, Future of the Workplace

CMT 'Open for Business' Panel Addresses LGBT Issues, Future of the Workplace | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

The panel, appropriately titled “Open for Business” was a part of CMT's way of celebrating National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,...


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WATCH: Trailer For New Animated Movie Makes History By Featuring Same-Sex Parents!

WATCH: Trailer For New Animated Movie Makes History By Featuring Same-Sex Parents! | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
Laika, the same company that brought us "Coraline" and last year's Oscar-nominated "Paranorman," returns with the trailer for their next feature, "The Boxtrolls." Anyone who saw "Paranorman" (co-directed by out director Chris Butler) knows the...
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Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
An opinionated woman obsessed with objects, entertained by ephemera, intrigued by researching, fascinated by culture & addicted to writing. The wind says my name; doesn't put an @ in front of it, so maybe you don't notice. http://www.kitsch-slapped.com
Other Topics
A Marketing Mix
Adventures in advertising and marketing - the contemporary, the historical, and the hysterical. http://deanna.dahlsad.com/
Antiques & Vintage Collectibles
Collecting old things; heirlooms and new to you things! Companion to http://www.inherited-values.com/
Colorful Prism Of Racism
Racism past and present. Companion to http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/colorful-prism-of-racism/
Consumption Junction
Consumerism meets marketing; who & what manipulates the free market of goods & services. See also: http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/ze-big-mouth-promotions-stuff/
Crimes Against Humanity
From lone gunmen on hills to mass movements. Depressing as hell, really.
Cultural History
The roots of culture; history and pre-history.
Dare To Be A Feminist
I do. http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/hey-sister-can-you-spare-some-social-change/
For Art's Sake-1
Art, crafts, and the people who make them. To inspire and purchase. Companion to http://www.ululating-undulating-ungulate.com/
Herstory
History as this woman sees it. The serious, the kitsch, the opinionated. Companion to http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/
In The Name Of God
Mainly acts done in the name of religion, but also discussions of atheism, faith, & spirituality.
Kinsanity
Let's just say I have reasons to learn more about mental health, special needs children, psychology, and the like.
Kitsch
Mostly vintage and retro "badness" but you can decide how delicious it is. http://www.kitschy-kitschy-coo.com/blog/
Nerdy Needs
The stuff of nerdy, geeky, dreams.
Readin', 'Ritin', and (Publishing) 'Rithmetic
The meaning behind the math of the bottom line in publishing and the media. For writers, publishers, and bloggers (which are a combination of the two).
Sex Positive
Sexuality as a human right.
Vintage Living Today For A Future Tormorrow
It's as easy to romanticize the past as it is to demonize it; instead, let's learn from it. More than living simply, more than living 'green', thrifty grandmas knew the importance of the 'economics' in Home Economics. The history of home ec, lessons in thrift, practical tips and ideas from the past focused on sustainability for families and out planet. Companion to http://www.thingsyourgrandmotherknew.com/
Visiting The Past
Travel based on grande ideas, locations, and persons of the past.
Walking On Sunshine
Stuff that makes me smile.
You Call It Obsession & Obscure; I Call It Research & Important
Links to (many of) my columns and articles.