I wasn’t cybering long before it occurred to me that one day, we’d be able to connect sex toys to our computers and actually feel one another. I’ve held on to this idea, looking over every technological and pleasure offering for some twenty years, watching the pieces fall into place, getting closer and closer. We’re so close now, I can almost taste it.
Everyone is currently reporting that Pope Francis blessed a parrot belonging to a porn star. I’m trying to understand what is so newsworthy about that. Is it surprising that people of Catholic faith come to the head of their church to have things blessed? Is it surprising that a sex worker would have a pet? Or that a sex worker would have faith? Is it surprising that a sex worker would be able to approach the Pope without being smote by a vengeful deity?
If ever there is a story that can illustrate the importance of mathematics in everyday life, this is it. One day, math grad student Chris McKinlay decided to stop using OKCupid like everyone else and worked out a way to use math to find himself the best matches. This is how he went about it — and how such an approach becomes a little limited once the mathematician is forced to go out in the field!
Facebook’s algorithms are working a little too well. Just the other morning, it suggested that I poke three men with whom I had covert relationships over the course of the past five years — some not even connected to me on Facebook. While considering all the things that could possibly go wrong with something like this, my eye caught the People You May Know section. I can just imagine Facebook urging that I add my husband’s mistress one day. “But he knows her!” the algorithm will insist. “They talk all the time!”
For decades, governments and groups have worked to inform the public about sexually transmitted infection, often resorting to terrifying imagery. The ads might have brought people’s vulnerability into the forefront of their minds, but they dehumanized and reinforced stigma against people living with sexually transmitted infections. When New York photographer Andrea Brough decided to do a photo series narrating the story of a couple grappling with a positive test result, she wasn’t thinking about the history of sexual health ads. She only knew one thing: she didn’t want to be preachy.
U.S. states known for the faith-based conservative beliefs of their denizens have a higher rate of divorce than more liberal states. Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas and Philip Levchak at the University of Iowa went county by county, taking notes of divorces in 2000 to answer why this is the case. Their findings suggest that one of the strongest factors predicting divorce is the number of conservative or evangelical Protestants in one’s county.
The former Arkansas governor-turned-talking head Mike Huckabee had a completely unsurprising song and dance routine today at the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting. He said that any woman who wanted access to birth control is one helpless to control her libido. This comes only weeks after it was discovered that Medicare considers the failure of a male to exercise his libido an “injury” deserving of complete coverage, even as hearing aids aren’t.
The intent to make the subset of men interested in the revamped My Little Pony franchise acceptable to the mainstream has ignored a very real — and often vilified — aspect of “brony” culture: sex. The outlet for self-expression created by this fandom is vast and, as with other fandoms, this will necessarily include the natural biological aspect of sex. The reaction to this, however, has been overwhelmingly negative. A whole new word has been created for them to set them apart from brony culture: they’re cloppers.
Last September, Michigan’s Grand Valley State University removed a pendulum sculpture after several students used it to emulate the music video “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, in which the pop singer rides the steel ball used in demolitions. But the students at Grand Valley State aren’t the only ones parodying the music video. From evolution to Chatroulette, here’s a rundown of some of the best ones yet.
Grantland’s story “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” has created a sensation online for its questionable reporting on Essay Anne Vanderbilt, who took her life shortly before the publication of the piece, quite possibly as a result of fear of what its exposure would bring. For those who have not yet read the piece, the author, Caleb Hannan, outed the creator of the Oracle GX1 putter as a transgender woman, both on the piece which ran after her death and before — to one of her own investors.