The vast gap between how the US and Europe think about teens & sex

milkboys Articles, Films & Cinema 7 Comments

Eighth Grade is a highly-acclaimed coming-of-age movie about a 13-year-old American girl enduring the trials and tribulations of modern adolescence. But while teenagers in the US might well relate to the movie’s heroine, they won’t be able to see the movie in theaters—unless they’re at least 17 or accompanied by a parent or guardian. That’s because the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave the film an R rating for “language and some sexual material.”

There aren’t many other ratings to compare that against. The movie has only been shown overseas in two countries–the United Kingdom and Canada. But in Canada, Eighth Grade was given a 14A rating, meaning that everyone older than 14 can see it without an adult. Meanwhile, the movie played at the London Sundance film festival, but hasn’t yet been released for commercial viewing in the UK. The British equivalent of the MPAA, the British Board of Film Classification, hasn’t yet rated Eighth Grade, but it’s a good bet that, when it does, the movie will be rated more leniently.

Scene from the Swedish teen film The Ketchup Effect

The discrepancy in Eighth Grade’s Canada and US ratings is symbolic of the difference between the US and the rest of the world, according to the movie’s director Bo Burnham. “There seems to be a strange double-standard between sexuality and violence,” he tells Quartz. “It’s a little weird how much violence you can have in a PG-13 movie.” That’s because, as Charles Bramesco argues in a recent piece for Vox, movie ratings reflect what a culture deems acceptable content for children. And the US and Europe are on very different pages about what they view as child-appropriate.

Read on…

Periodical Political Post *69

milkboys News 2 Comments

Queer News

Other News

First Russian Teen found guilty under Gay Propaganda Law

milkboys News 15 Comments

On August 7, a 16-year-old Russian teenager became the first minor found guilty under the country’s absurd “gay propaganda” law. The boy was accused of publishing homoerotic pictures on the Russian social network VKontakte. But the Russia LGBT Network suspects that his conviction is actually connected to the teen’s LGBTQ activism rather than the photos themselves.

According to the Russia LGBT Network, a July 24 report filed by the Commission on Minors and the Protection of Minors’ Rights said that the teen published “some pictures of young men whose appearance (partly nude body parts) had the characteristics of propaganda of homosexual relations according to the expert opinion.” The teen was fined 50,000 rubles ($762 US) as punishment.

The Network suspects Russian law enforcement agencies of paying special attention to the teen because last May he helped stage a public performance entitled Gays or Putin. The performance attracted public attention and was even discussed in the Russian federal legislative assembly.

The boy had submitted 12 applications to city administrators for permission to stage the performance. The city refused to grant him a permit. He also tried to organise a local Pride parade.

He was reportedly denied access to a lawyer after his arrest and, as a result, refused to testify at his trial. The Network says that the trial failed to prove that he posted the photos in question. They also add that an appeal is under consideration.

In 2013, Russia passed it infamous national law banning any public displays of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.” The gay propaganda law caused a massive outcry as Russia began to crackdown on LGBTQ activism online and off.

In addition to the gay propaganda law, Russia has an ongoing campaign of kidnapping, torturing and murdering occurring against LGBTQ citizens in Chechnya.

Tender Friends

milkboys News, News & Opinions 10 Comments

What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, but what happens in the dugout stays on national TV if the camera happens to be pointed that direction.

While battling it out with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves players Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies took a breather off the field, sharing an adorable cuddle and tender head caress.

The clip began to circulate on social media with many users critiquing the “uncomfortable” embrace. The negative feedback prompted a dialogue around toxic masculinity and why some men are unable to express emotions positively and healthily.

The religious Right appears intent on criminalising Gay Sex again

milkboys News 30 Comments

With Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings coming up, it’s important to underscore that some anti-LGBTQ leaders appear to be going for the brass ring, far beyond just dismantling marriage equality. They’re signaling they want to see the Supreme Court allow states to once again ban sodomy.

The reality of that may sound crazy and horrifying, but just a year and a half ago, many things sounded crazy and horrifying. The U.S. is separating children from their parents at the border (and dragging its feet on reuniting them, even under court order) and the president of the United States publicly sided with a longtime adversary over American intelligence, which he continues to attack. And it appears Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

So anything can happen.

Banning gay sex is something he likely believes is constitutional. Unlike Justice Anthony Kennedy, the leader on gay rights on the court, Gorsuch is, as the respected NPR Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg and her colleague Lauren Russell described him, a “self-proclaimed disciple of [the late Justice] Antonin Scalia’s crusade” of originalism: taking the Constitution literally as those who wrote it in its time presumably intended.

Gorsuch revered Scalia, who, drawing upon originalism, wrote a blistering dissent from the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which threw out sodomy bans ― for which Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Kavanaugh, who sits on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is an originalist too, and he’s someone the Christian right is counting on to halt in its tracks a Supreme Court that, as Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association wrote after Kavanaugh’s nomination two weeks ago, “just in the last two decades alone … has dramatically reversed its own precedents on the criminalization of homosexuality [and] the legality of same-sex marriage.” Fisher wrote another column this week solely focused on sodomy, claiming that “it has become obsessively important to gay activists to pretend that God actually approves of their behavior.”

Read on…

Grindr wants people to be Kindr

milkboys App, News 13 Comments

Grindr, a premiere sex and dating app for queer people (though men comprise the platform’s predominant user base), has launched what appears to be a new initiative, according to a slightly cryptic post to the brand’s official Instagram account. The post features audio messages of intertwining various voices. One such message is someone saying, “When [someone] says to me that I don’t date black people… that can be referred to as sexual racism.” There’s a logo reading “Kindr,” using Grindr’s logo.

*sound on* 🔊 It’s time to play nice. Dropping September 2018.

A post shared by Grindr (@grindr) on

Grindr has faced criticism from users since its inception from those who have been subjected to types of mistreatment — including, in some cases,violent anti-gay hate crimes — based on the notions of individually defined sexual preferences, usually by cisgender men.

Some users have sworn off the app completely due to experiencing discrimination, and, as mentioned, Grindr is no stranger to criticism, or even lawsuits, around what constitutes acceptable free speech, and best internal practices for monitoring forms of hate speech without censoring sexual preference.

It’s tricky, and only time will tell how this all shakes out, but if Grindr pulls off its Kindr campaign with tangible results, it may actually be something of a revolution in the queer community. This also comes on the heels of trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf’s announcement of her involvement with Grindr, after publicly acknowledging the platform’s need to call out racists and transphobic users.

(German users might face some uncomfortable questions once people see an app called Kindr on their phones though…)

Summer Penis?

milkboys Articles, News 10 Comments

We’ve all heard about “shrinkage,” but there’s a theory that a penis grows larger in warmer weather, too. As the temperature rises, some people swear they get “summer penis,” adding a few cm in length and girth down below. An article in MEL magazine explored this phenomenon, quoting several Reddit users who say the heat led to bigger penises, better erections and larger testicles.x

“Bigger dick in summer and smaller in winter?” posted a Redditor named Guillermo in 2016. “Anybody notices size fluctuation during the year? I know mine is bigger, I have better erections in the summer and I also tend more to of a shower instead of a grower. In the winter, it is the exact contrary. Why is that? More heat = better blood flow? Does that happen to you guys also?”

A number of users piped up to agree: One claimed that in deep winter his penis is about two inches soft. In the hot months, though, it can swell to twice that size (even larger “if I don’t masturbate for a few days”). Another revealed that he had “summer balls”: “I mean, when it’s hot they like to go down like if they were trying to get to my knee. In winter or cold days they look like a little hard brain.”

Of course, people have been scheming to upsize their shlongs for centuries, but there may be some science to summer penis. “When it’s hot outside, you may take in more water, which may in combination with the sweating make it appear like your body or skin is bloated,” urologist Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt told MEL. “And that may give you the perception that things are larger.”

And, just like blood vessels contract when confronted with cold, they expand when warm to regulate heat. “The warmer the ambient environment, the more the blood vessels dilate, and the warmth allowing vasodilation increases blood flow,” urologist Dudley Danoff says. “So if we think of the penis as these two sausage casings that fill with blood, and the one channel that carries the urine, then the sausage casing will swell and expand to its genetic limit depending on the volume of blood. The increased blood flow will increase, and the corpora [the erectile tissue] will be expanded, and the penis will be ‘larger.’”

Unsettling metaphors about sausage aside, Danoff says the increased blood flow wouldn’t hold true when the penis is flaccid, but Dr. Jesse Mills director of the Men’s Clinic at UCLA disagrees. Mills has told Health.com, “penile size in the flaccid state is purely a function of how much blood flow is circulating in the penis. The warmer the environment, the more ‘show’ a man is going to have.”

Periodical Political Post *68

milkboys News 20 Comments

Queer News

Climate News

Gay Teen gets kicked out by Parents, still finds Success

milkboys News, News & Opinions 17 Comments

For almost all kids the senior year of high school is fraught with stress, obstacles and challenges. But its safe to say most teens don’t have the year Seth Owen just faced: In the middle of his sophomore year in Jacksonville, Florida, his father decided to take an unapproved dive into his son’s cell phone, and in doing so realised Owen was gay.

His Christian parents gave him an ultimatum: submit to so-called “gay-conversion therapy” and attend their anti-queer church or leave the house. Speaking to News4Jax, Owen explained, “They made it clear the intention was to make me straight.”

While he continued to live with his parents, Seth found reasons to stay away from home. From after-school programs to swimming, Owen says he felt like he was “doing something good with the struggle instead of doing something damaging.” When he finally put his foot down about the anti-LGBTQ church, he was forced to move out this past February with no financial or emotional support from his parents.

“I was really, really upset,” Owen shares. “It was extremely hurtful to know that I was walking out that door not knowing what lay ahead and feeling I don’t know how to explain it, it was devastating, absolutely devastating.”

Sleeping on friends couches and holding down jobs to support himself, Owen did what seems almost impossible: he maintained a 4.16 GPA becoming the co-valedictorian of First Coast High School’s class of 2018.

Owen had already been accepted to Georgetown University receiving a $50,000 scholarship. But, the remaining $27,000 of the $77,000 annual tuition was to be covered by his parents. With no support in sight from his parents, one of Owen’s teachers created a crowd funding campaign that received more than twice as much money as needed.

“I don’t think thank you is good enough,” Owen says. “Of course I am extremely grateful, but I think thank you doesn’t say it. Now it’s time to pay it forward.” With an inspiring attitude, Owen says he plans to become a defence attorney for neglected teens who find themselves in situations like his.

Research found that American kids & teens that are queer are twice as likely to face homelessness than straight youth, and those who are homeless are at a significantly higher risk of violence and death compared to straight youth.