Wrong Condoms For These Olympics

From NPR:

Olympian Caroline Buchanan, a BMX rider from Australia, posted a photo of a bucketful of “Kangaroo condoms” (tagline: “for the gland downunder”), in what might have been seen an innocent homage to her homeland.

Turns out, Olympics organizers aren’t big on that kind of thing. In fact, there are “brand police” looking for attempts at ambush marketing at the London Games.

“We will look into this and ask that they are not handed out to other athletes because Durex are our supplier,” a spokeswoman said, according to The Guardian.

One of the big stories of this year’s Olympic Games has been how the organizers have been enforcing their brand rules. A continuing question from Olympics to Olympics is how much these hot, well-toned bodies are doing sex things when they aren’t jumping over things or running very fast.

Here, both of these concerns come crashing into each other, boning versus branding. It would almost be nice to see an uprising of sex-crazed athletes, throwing off the shackles of their corporate oppressors. But then again, Durex did supply 150,000 free condoms for these games.

The Weirdness Of Kim Jong-un Having Sexy Thoughts

From an AP report posted to the Guardian:

A mysterious young woman appearing at the side of North Korea’s new leader is the subject of speculation she could be Kim Jong-un’s younger sister or even wife, but Pyongyang has released no details.

The very brief mention of Kim Jong-un potentially having a wife sent my head spinning. Not for thinking of what a wild time it must be for all the North Korean gossip columnists. No, it’s more personal, since for whatever reason I have a lot of trouble imagining Kim Jong-un as a sexual being in any capacity. It was the same thing with his dad, Kim Jong-il, too.

Other heads of terrible dictatorial regimes have desires I can at least fathom. Anyone could just look at Muammar Gaddafi and know that he’s into some things. But some combination of their drab attire and their habit of blankly looking at things doesn’t speak to a well of romantic desire in them. At this point, I think taking on the leadership of North Korea means you have that charcoal uniform stitched to your body and all naughty thoughts — beyond screwing up your country on a daily basis — funneled into the repression area of the brain.

Headline Of The Day*

“Science Or Sex: Which Does The Right Hate More?”

Oh, but conservatives hate BOTH ever so much. Must they choose?

Anyway, here’s this from Salon:

A principal in Onalaska, Wash., was accused of “raping” her fifth-grade students. Not actually — this isn’t a case of, you know, rape-rape but rather rape as an inappropriate metaphor: “rape” by sex ed. James Gilliland, the parent of an 11-year-old girl who took C.J. Gray’s class on the birds and the bees, told Seattle’s KING 5 News: “It’s basically the same as raping a kid’s mind and taking their innocence.” What got this father and other parents so fired up? In a recent lesson on HIV, Gray answered a student’s question about what oral sex and anal sex are. Onalaska superintendent Scott Fenter told KING 5, “She only gave factual information, no demonstrations.” Gray herself told Centralia, Wash.’s Chronicle, “It was very factual and it was dropped. I did not demonstrate it.” Yes, despite at least two parents likening her answering of kids’ questions to child molestation — and others inundating her with angry phone calls and letters — she did not actually demonstrate the act; there were no photos or videos, either. It was just a matter-of-fact explanation of the basic mechanics.

Yeah, whatever. Ignorant parents are encouraged to freak out and shield their children from facts thanks to a sick culture created by vicious, deranged conservative pundits. Nothing new here.

Although: “Onalaska”? Really? Nah, no place with a lame-parent sex-freakout controversy could be called that. Somebody’s shittin’ me.

*Technically, this headline is from yesterday. Anyway.

Berlusconi And The Burlesque Obama

The National Post put this Reuters report up on their site. And it’s something. Not a surprising thing, but definitely something. The opening:

One of the young women who attended Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties told a court on Friday that she dressed up as a burlesque version of U.S. President Barack Obama to entertain the former Italian prime minister.

In testimony during a trial against the 75-year-old Berlusconi on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute, Marysthell Polanco said she had also dressed as prosecutor Ilda Boccassini.

At least Berlusconi’s consistent — everything in his world is viewed through the lens of sex. For an example, see the time when he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel an “unfuckable lard-arse”. A real charmer, that guy.

I’m trying to decide what kind of bio-pic he deserves. I’ve narrowed it down to two options: one, the wildly inappropriate sex farce that his life kinda already is, or two, an intense, Freudian drama that would have art-house directors lining up around the block to take a crack at it.

At least we know what the soundtrack would be.

Sexy, Sexy Old People

Great minds think alike. Some of my friends and I recently created a bracket to decide who the cutest boy is. We’re about to launch into the first round, where 32 guys will face off.

Now, I see the AARP probably held a similar competition recently, as their magazine posted their “21 Sexiest Men Over 50” list.

There’s some overlap with our list — their 21 features a few guys from our long list and two, George Clooney and Colin Firth, who made it into our final 32. By their descriptions, they find activism very sexy.

The AARP’s writers talk with some of their sexy men, including Yo-Yo Ma, who says that “deportment, comportment, grace, spunk and character” make a person sexy. “Age is not a factor.”

Pick of the Day: Science Pub

Each month at Bushwakker, a faculty member from the University of Regina presents a talk on some aspect of science. The talks start at 7 p.m., although people generally congregate earlier for food, drink and conversation.

Tonight’s presentation is by biology prof Chris Somers. The title is Sperm is Cheap: Mating Systems in Animals and Parallels in Humans.

I wouldn’t want to speculate too much on what Somers will be discussing, but it presumably has something to do with the different biological constraints that males and females operate under. It’s not that these constraints predetermine every aspect of our behaviour, but they certainly do influence it.

As part of their biological make-up, males produce millions of sperm a day — each one capable of impregnating an egg from a female and producing off-spring. Females, conversely, have much more limited reproductive capacity. In human terms, they ovulate once a month, and if they become pregnant they’re rendered infertile until they give birth, and even for some time afterwards if they’re breast-feeding. So the stakes for females are typically higher than for males.

We live in the year 2012. But all these biological drivers were set in motion millions of years ago. And I imagine Somers will be discussing how they continue impact on our behaviour.

And now for a slightly more humourous take on the whole situation here’s a link to a classic scene from Woody Allen’s 1972 comedy Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask).

Outrage In the Nation’s Capital!

Last summer, the Saskatchewan Science Centre hosted a touring exhibit called Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition. It was organized by the Montreal Science Centre with the goal of providing pre-teen children and teenagers (and any adults who were interested, too) with straightforward information about human reproduction and other aspects of sexuality.

You can read Carle Steel’s take on the exhibit here.

The exhibit opens Friday at the Canada Science & Technology Museum in Ottawa, but it’s already apparently generated a fair bit of controversy. No less a personnage than federal Heritage Minister James Moore has waded into the fray, chastising the museum for daring to host the exhibit which he said is an affront to, you guessed it, “taxpayers”.  He also stated that it was contrary to the museum’s mandate to “foster scientific and technological literacy throughout Canada”.

If there’s one thing the Harper Conservatives are expert at fostering it’s scientific literacy, so I’ll yield to his judgment on that point. In a statement released by his office, Minister Moore encourages Canadians who feel as he does to besiege the museum with complaints about the exhibit — which was assembled with the help of teachers, nurses, doctors and sexologists.

In the Ottawa Citizen article linked to above, Saskatchewan Science Centre director Sandy Baumgartner is quoted as saying that when Sex was in Regina last summer it caused nary a ripple of concernObviously, our three Conservative MPs Tom Lukiwski, Ray Boughen and Andrew Scheer were totally asleep at the switch and failed miserably in their sacred duty to protect the impressionable youth of Regina from disgusting material like this by launching their own vitriolic attack on the Science Centre. Shame on them, I say.  

Now What Will Rich, Cowardly, And Straight Americans Say To Get Out Of Military Service?

Now that the Pentagon says that it’s fears about gays in the military have turned out to be mostly unfounded.

(Reuters) – After years of worrying what might happen if openly gay troops were allowed in the military, the Pentagon said on Thursday there had been no impact on morale, readiness or unit cohesion in the eight months since the ban on homosexuals was lifted.

Maybe that’s why Republicans have turned their sights from attacking gays to attacking single and sexually active women. They’re running out of minorities to attack.

Did I Really Need To Know This?

According to this celebrity gossip site, Molly Ringwald, Brett Easton Ellis (the author of the controversial book American Psycho — I tried reading his first book, Less than Zero and gave up because reading about coked-out a-holes is boring because, well, they’re coked out a-holes), and Rielle Hunter (better known as the woman who Democratic Party presidential candidate John Edwards left his cancer-dying wife for during the 2008 campaign) had a threesome in the 1980s.

Are we richer for knowing this? Well …

Edit: Oh yeah, the Daily Mail has the story. They could have done better. Better than Brett Easton Ellis, that is.

Rosie Has Another Top Six. Don’t Get Up To Thank Him

1 IT ONLY MAKES SENSE, SOMEWHERE Minnesota senator: Birth control pills and RU-486 are evil because they promote sexual promiscuity in women. But Viagra? Nectar of the gods!

2 THE FIACCO FIASCO Monday’s report to Regina city council pretty much says that the last five years of planning for a multi-purpose facility on the old rail yards was a waste of time.

3 CLOTHES MAKE THE FOOTBALL TEAM (RICHER) The Saskatchewan Roughriders have had eight different uniforms since 2005 –- the regular home and away, the green retro third jerseys, the white retros, the black jerseys, the 1966 throwbacks (home and away) and the centennial red and blacks. But keep shelling out, Rider fans: the new golf shirts jerseys are now available.

4 MORE ABOUT GWYNETH PALTROW’S SEX LIFE THAN YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW As well as Zoe Saldana’s and Jane Fonda’s. Sarah Silverman? Well, that’s different.

5 PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN IN CANADA ARE TERRORISTS IN THE OPINION OF THE HARPER GOVERNMENT When Peter Kent gets his head out of his ass, he should be reading what has happened to Louisiana and Alabama fisheries in the wake of that oil well blowout two years ago.

6 SO MUCH FOR HARPER GOVERNMENT BEING TOUGH ON CRIME And so much for Conrad Black’s pledge to turn his back on Canada.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN First song on my iPod this morning: Joan Armatrading, “Drop The Pilot”.

Rosie’s Six In The A.M.: Motorhead Is More Fun To Be Around Than Ted Nugent But You Knew That Already

1 YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING What’s the difference between Lady Gaga and a Wild Rose Party of Alberta candidate? Lady Gaga is the one who has the courage of her convictions. And probably knows more about science, too. And if Lady Gaga were Alberta’s premier, the mayors of the province’s two largest cities would probably be a lot prouder of being Albertans than they would if the Wild Rose Alliance wins.

2 SOME FATHER’S DAY If you’re a guy wearing a red mohawk, black pentagram gauges, and viper piercings, who attended a Motorhead concert in Chicago recently, and you had incredible sex in the bathroom with a woman wearing blue hair, silver tube top, fishnets, and knee-high black biker boots … congratulations, you’re a daddy.

3 CAT SCRATCH FEVER? Mitt Romney wanted this guy’s endorsement that badly? Buzzfeed has 10 reasons why everybody should just stay away from the man whose most intelligent song was titled ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.”

4 BUT THE RATINGS … Someday we should have a quiz: was this done in the Hunger Games arena or during a game in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

5 THE THINGS PEOPLE IN VEGAS WOULD HAVE DONE TO GET WHITWORTH TO VISIT How close did Las Vegas get to having a full-scale replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise starship built on the Strip? Closer than you think.

6 SAD TIME AT THE TORONTO STAR One of Canada’s finest sports journalists, Randy Starkman, has passed away.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN Levon Helm’s cancer has reached a point where all they can do is keep him comfortable. (By the time this posted, I fully expect to hear that he has passed away at the age of 71.) I don’t know when this was recorded, but here’s Helm and a group of musicians, including Steve Earle, at a live performance at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. There’s more people on stage than live in some Saskatchewan RMs…

Anti-Prostitution Laws Swept Aside in Ontario

The Court of Appeal for Ontario today struck down as unconstitutional a few of country’s anti-prositution laws. Arguing that the state is placing its citizens in danger with its laws,  the unanimous decision legalizes both brothels and the hiring of security and support staff.  It also makes it illegal for pimps to exploit prostitutes for financial gain. The law against communication for the purposes of soliciting was kept intact, a decision two of the five judges dissented in their written decision.

The court heard reams of arguments from all over the map. Some feminist groups sided with religious organizations to try and keep the laws in place. A lawyer for the Attorney General argued that it wasn’t the state that was endangering prostitutes, but the act of prostitution itself (implying that it’s their choice.) A few conservative groups brought up the issue of morals, that the state will be encouraging people to act immorally if these laws are withdrawn. This argument seems especially outdated. The days when a strong, shared sense of morals (Sex outside of wedlock is bad! Paying for sex even worse!) takes priority over women’s lives is, hopefully, a thing of the past.

A National Post column argues that liberals (and the “liberal media”) think of the sex trade as an occupation like any other, that the women in it are there by choice and whistle proudly to work. Little do these lefties know, the writer Barbara Kay points out, that the sex trade is an exploitative, violent enterprise that should be legally discouraged at all costs. She even talked to a real prostitute who agrees with her! Of course, this representation of the “liberal” viewpoint isn’t completely accurate. She presents an opposing argument in an erroneous light just to strengthen her point. Or maybe she just doesn’t get it. Even “liberals” admit that many sex workers are out there on the streets in a state of desperation, feeding drug addictions or trying to get out abusive homes.

For the Court of Appeal, and for many “liberals,”  it comes down to a question of harm reduction. Women are being assaulted, many are killed. What can be done so that fewer people die? How can the laws be adjusted to help protect people who, although engaged in illegal activity, are still Canadian citizens? Today’s ruling is their answer.

But it’s up to Parliament now. As the three majority judges wrote in their decision, if the government tries to save the prohibitions, it “implies that those who choose to engage in the sex trade are… not worthy of the same constitutional protection as those who engage in other dangerous, but legal enterprises.”

A Delicate Post-PSOTW Discussion

Sniff. Does this ever take me back to my days in Catholic school. I remember when our religion/sex ed teacher — Dr Dan, we called him — explained to us that masturbation isn’t a sin if you aren’t aware of how wrong God considers it, but once you do, the very next time you play “Strangle the Bishop” you’re consigning yourself to the fires of Hell.

“Well, why did you have to go and tell us, then, you bastard?” I should have asked at the time but didn’t.

That said, I actually had a pretty good time at Catholic school all things considered (I’m not an atheist because of some big traumatic experience with religion but rather because there’s no God), but that Dr Dan was a serious killjoy.

Of course, now that RealCatholicTV has shown me how masturbation is the beginning of the collapse of Catholic morality… well, someone please pass the tissue.

Shame

Going to skip Pick of the Day today in favour of giving everyone a head’s up on a movie that’s coming to the RPL Theatre this weekend. Directed by Steve McQueen, and starring Michael Fassbender and Cary Mulligan, Shame didn’t get much love from Academy Award voters. They were perhaps discomforted by its challenging subject matter of sexual obsession/addiction, but our resident film expert Jorge was mightily impressed (check his review in the upcoming March 22 issue of prairie dog if you don’t believe me). And Shame was a hit at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Shame screens Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Friday and Sunday at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer.

Heed Purity Bear

To battle the surging tide of salacious material on the internet, here’s some video material to bolster one’s chastity.

First up, the song Amo a Laura, which is, as best as I can tell, a spoof from Spanish MTV. Still, the message is sound….

And in case your loins are still insufficiently fortified, what follows is not a spoof. Not a spoof at all….

Sex-Phobic Dinglenuts Who Hate Planned Parenthood Be Craaazy

Do you have any doubt that the extremists out there attacking Planned Parenthood are psychopaths? Watch this video by the Catholic American Life League, and have thy doubts removed.

So Planned Parenthood is spreading pornography to get kids addicted to sex so they’ll buy birth control and have abortions. Oh and Planned Parenthood also encourages them to be gay. Have I got that right? Good. You know, people this batshit insane should probably be under doctor’s care, not out there influencing public policy and making smart people hate religion. Get help, freaks.

Via Slog.

UPDATE: This post has had its headline re-written like 27 times, and I’m still not happy with it.

The Case For Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy (aka, reparative therapy) is a system that’s supposedly able to reorient someone’s sexuality. You’ve probably heard about certain ministries that claim they can turn gay people straight.

Now, I understand it’s extremely controversial — especially considering studies suggest it has caused many people a lot of emotional and psychological harm. But I believe in keeping an open mind and approaching things scientifically, and I have to admit, this is the best case for conversion therapy I’ve ever seen.