Most of what 29-year-old Jonah Falcon had done up to the moment he shocked America in 1999 had been hard-earned. But the one thing that got him notoriety was something nature arbitrarily bestowed on him: an enormous penis. Despite getting a number of parts before the media got wind of his endowment, Falcon wouldn’t come to the public’s attention until he appeared in HBO’s Private Dicks: Men Exposed, a documentary about the human penis.
Pornography is a form of entertainment created for the purpose of arousal, but in many cases, in can serve also as a way of looking at our evolving social, economic, and gender attitudes. In a sense, pornography is an artifact as tangible as a culture’s earthenware, and never has this been more clear to me than in a recent clip released by Girl Bullies, featuring the abuse of subjugation of a male performer portraying a Google employee.
When the trade magazine Adult Video News, better known as AVN, was founded in 1983, there was very little in the way of attention from the mainstream media when it came to issues facing the adult industry. That’s no longer the case — we now live in a world where sex is often reported in high-profile, mainstream places. What does that mean for AVN and properties like it?
Over the last week, four Americans, two Canadians and two Australians have been detained in separate incidents (and various stages of undress) at Machu Picchu. Outraged, the Ministry of Culture in Peru called the trend a threat to Peru’s “cultural heritage,” and imposed regulations that could very well save the historic site.
A U.S. citizen was detained by Customs and Border Patrol agents without grounds and interrogated twice over the course of five hours, a recent lawsuit reveals. She was asked personal questions about her relationship with a foreign national friend who was legally visiting the U.S. on a business visa, including whether they were sleeping together. The agents said they had access to their year-long e-mail exchanges. What had the guy done to get this much attention? He must have done something, right? Nope.
Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ hoped to use the still frames they captured from millions of Yahoo chat users to develop facial recognition software in order to monitor targets and ferret out new ones. But what they discovered during Optic Nerve shocked them: “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.”
I’m fond of joking that we haven’t seen Love in L.A. since that incident on the back forty in ’39. As it turns out, it may not really be a joke. According to Facebook, Los Angeles is the second best city in the nation for singles. And by “best,” they mean that if you want to be single and stay that way, the City of Angels is the place to be. Raise your hand, Angelenos, if you needed an official report to tell you that.
For the past four years, the dating site Match.com has been conducting a survey to keep its hand on the pulse of the American single. In 2013, they teamed up with ResearchNow to get the skinny from 5,329 singles. Everyone’s reported on this already, but they all seemed obsessed with how people apparently all want to fuck at 10 o’clock at night and how Android users seem to have more sex. These are probably the least interesting things about this survey. Let me show you the rest.
I always rag on Facebook for chasing Google’s taillights. Indeed, when the competing social network launched almost three years ago, Google+ had three options already in place: male, female and other. But including “other” among gender options is only a vague acknowledgement, a baby step at best. What Facebook did today when it added some 56 gender options is take a bold leap forward.
My mother had arrived at the cathedral altar wearing white, the traditional symbol of purity, and not been struck down by an angry deity. But she was very aware, too, that punishment for failing to comply with cultural norms wasn’t necessarily meted out by a furious god, but rather by people. As a result, while I didn’t get the message that I had to be a virgin until marriage, I did get the message that it was important not to give people reason to believe I wasn’t.