Straight Pride or: When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression

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Imagine for a second that you’re straight. That you never had to “come out” and confess who you love like it’s a dirty secret. That you never had to endure bullying because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. That people like you were never discriminated against, locked up in prison or even murdered in many countries all over the world.

You could just sit back and enjoy living in a world that’s made for you. Alternatively, if you’re a petty asshole, you could get upset of the queers having one day a year where they get to have a big party in your city and celebrate their community.

A bunch of “men’s rights activists” from Boston decidedly fall into the latter category. The city at the American East coast is set to host a Straight Pride parade in August because apparently the world will end if not everything is about straight people literally all day, every day.

The parade website claims: “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement and hate.” The website specifies that all are welcome at the event except “Antifa,” because fighting Nazis doesn’t align well with being straight or something.

Mark Sahady of the right-wing group Resist Marxism is one of the organisers behind the march, alongside pro-Trump Republicans John Hugo and Chris Bartley.

In a Facebook post, Sahady claimed: “It looks like the Boston Straight Pride Parade will happen. We filed a discrimination complaint and it appears the City of Boston understands they would lose in litigation. The city is now working with us on the parade. We will have the streets closed and be allowed floats and vehicles.”

It’s not the first attempt to host a Straight Pride event, though most previous efforts have failed to garner more than 10 attendees.

Lasting Marks

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The story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain was told by the police, the prosecution and the tabloid press — but not by those in the dock.

Lasting Marks is the story of a group of men, brought together through their shared sexual desires, and the vice investigation (named ‘Operation Spanner’) that followed when the police acquired a video tape of these acts being performed, Lyne delves into a somewhat forgotten, historic case in this informative and engaging film.

Shaving your pubes can be a dance on the razor blade

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Like most people of my generation I started shaving “down there” just two-ish years after getting anything to shave. And like most people I paid the blood price every now and then for chasing the silly dream of eternally youthful looks. Trimming or shaving your pubes can be a dangerous business, we all know from experience. But there’s also an actual study to support this thesis.

Combing through survey responses from a representative group of 7,456 American adults, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 76% shave or trim their pubes. Of those, one in four reported injuring themselves at least once in the process.

Minor lacerations were the most common type of injury, accounting for 61% of those reported, followed by burns and rashes. But 1.4% of groomers reported severe enough injuries to require medical attention. That includes antibiotics for infections or surgical interventions, such as stitches and incisions to drain an abscess.

With the data, published in JAMA Dermatology, the researchers hope to draw attention to the hairy problem—and pluck out factors that may contribute to injuries.

Diving down into the data, they examined the specific bits most likely to get nicked during a grooming. Unsurprisingly, people who whittled around their dicks were most likely to injure the scrotum and penis and less likely to injure the perineum, inner thigh, or anus. People with vaginas were most in danger of harming the pubis (the region above the vagina), the inner thigh, and vagina itself. They were less likely to injure the perineum or anus.

Groomers reported using all manners of pruning tools—electric razors, nonelectric razors, wax, scissors, laser hair removal, electrolysis, or “other.” But this didn’t seem to matter much; no one method was linked to a higher risk of injuries. That said, waxing seemed to be linked to a lower risk of repeat injuries. Also inconsequential to injury risk was how hairy a person rated themselves—the hairiest didn’t endure more harm, the researchers found.

What did seem to matter was the frequency and extent of grooming. People across all genders risked more injuries with more grooming sessions—moving from monthly to daily routines—and if they aimed to snip out all the hair down there.

In terms of what increases the chances for a serious gash, researchers found two factors: lying on your back, rather than squatting, standing, or sitting during grooming; and having someone else do the grooming.

Most groomers—94%—reported doing the handiwork themselves. But 8.5% reported having their partner groom them, 3.9% reported professional grooming, and an intriguing 0.5% were “groomed by a friend.”

The researchers note that their study has limitations, including relying on people’s admissions and memory. It’s possible that minor injuries are underreported based on faulty memories while some more severe situations were omitted out of embarrassment.

Still, the authors say, it’s clear that pubic primping is widespread and injuries are common. “Thus, injury-prevention efforts are necessary,” they conclude. They hope that the data helps clinicians tease out patients who are at high risk of injuries and come up with “clinical guidelines or recommendations for safe pubic hair removal.”

Photo by Personwithfetishes

Periodical Political Post *102

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Alabama public TV bans cartoon episode to protect kids from learning that gay people exist

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Alabama is in the news a lot lately. It’s one of these states with stricter abortion laws than Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. But while kids in Alabama are never too young to birth the children of their rapist, they are apparently too young to know that gay people exist.

The first episode of the 22nd season of the kids’s TV show Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his aardvark partner, Patrick. Alabama Public Television refused to run the epsiode. Instead they showed an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere.

In a statement to AL.com, APT programming director McKenzie explained the broadcaster’s decision to not air the episode.

“Although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards – parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the “target” audience for Arthur also watch the program.”

In 2005, an episode of an Arthur spinoff, Postcards from Buster, was pulled by APT because it featured a girl with two moms. APT didn’t run that episode either, citing the same “trust with parents.”

Arthur creator Marc Brown responded a day later:

“I’m really proud of that episode. And I will defend it to anybody who wants to talk about it. Why shouldn’t their teacher marry another man? We all know people who are gay, who are trans, and it’s something that is socially acceptable. Why is there this discomfort that it takes a leap into our national media?

I don’t want children or people who are different to feel excluded. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in. And we want children to be educated so they can see there’s not just one type of family. Everyone should feel represented. I think we did that with Arthur.”

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South Africa follows UK with proposal to block porn by default

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South Africa it on track to follow the UK’s example by implementing an online porn block. In a report released last month by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) titled Pornography and Children, provisional recommendations were made to block all digital pornography. However, while the UK is approaching things by requiring websites to verify the identity of users, the SALRC proposal suggests “all devices (new and second hand) be issued or returned to a default setting that blocks inappropriate content.”

The proposal also emphasises that anyone who uninstalls or works around the default block setting, allowing a person under the age of 18 to access adult content, would be guilty of offence.

The suggestion coincides with the upcoming UK Digital Economy Act changes, an age verification system that will come into action July 15 in the UK. The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport has taken several years to come up with an Age Verification solution, which was ultimately outsourced to the British Board of Film Classification, and has thrown up many concerns regarding data protection.

The SALRC not only proposes rules around default settings on devices, but also seems to seek to emulate the UK, where all major adult porn sites are blocked and there is an opt-in option for proof of age, either via uploading your ID or retrieving a “porn pass” from a public store.

Whatever the outcome of the South African ‘porn block’, there seems to be a misguided consensus that blocking adult content is the solution for protecting those under the age of 18, with the UK as the guinea pig. In reality, these blocks will only make the situation worse.

Periodical Political Post *100 (Good News Edition)

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Teen says parents installed cams to keep him from masturbating

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A teenager from Alaska took to Reddit to ask for legal advice after his parents installed security cameras in his bedroom and bathroom. The 15-year-old was caught masturbating by his dad after which his parents made him promise that he would no longer touch himself.

According to the teen his family has a rather outdated attitude towards sexuality. They believe that any sexual activity before marriage is taboo. He was also not allowed to participate in his school’s sex ed classes.

His dad told him that he will check the cameras daily to hold him to his promise that he would no longer masturbate. Something that, if true, would be illegal in most countries of course.

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Four conclusions from studying the most popular gay porn

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Dr. Joseph Brennan is a media and communications professor at the University of Sydney and has done an extensive amount of research on gay porn, particularly how it’s marketed and its reception.

“Beyond talk of the ‘pornification’ of gay culture or the mainstreaming of gay porn,” he said in an interview, “I believe more simply that gay porn has played a historically important part in our community.” He has published a handful of papers on the topic. Here are four things he has learned during his research.

1. Guys with smaller penises tend to be marketed as ‘feminine’ bottoms in porn.

This matters for two reasons: First, it stands in opposition to reality, in which desire — rather than penis-size — determines a partner’s sexual role.

Second, Brennan found that tops in porn are frequently described as “masculine,” “aggressive” or “take-charge,” while bottoms are described as “boyish,” “slutty” and even “hysterical.” These descriptions reinforce gender stereotypes that depict bottoms as more feminine. Such stereotypes affect the perceptions of gay porn viewers and perpetuate porn scenes that exhibit the same sexual dynamics over and over again.

2. Viewers like “abuse” and “exploitation” porn, unless it’s too real-looking.

While researching gay porn news sites, Brennan found that “sites with graphic rape simulations and themes of exploitation seem to thrive online.” One such site is Boys Halfway House, a site where the camera uses a first-person point-of-view to put viewers in the role of a predatory social worker preying on poor, younger boys in need.

Gay porn viewers get turned on by taboo power dynamics, but Brennan adds, “Viewers make distinctions between ‘good’ (stylised) and ‘bad’ (uncomfortably realistic) abuse porn.” A recent article on this study concluded, “There seems to be a fuzzy line that, when crossed, makes viewers feel like they’re participating in rape culture.”

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