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September 30, 2009

Dumb Things Guys Text

What's up hun long time no talk

Who is this?

It's [Dumb Guy] from [Bar].

Oh. yea, I deleted your number after you said "I'll call you tomorrow" & then I didn't
hear from you for over a week

my bad So what's new

My bad? You're thirty years old and you think "my bad" is an acceptable response? No matter what the situation, grown men should not use "my bad" as an apology when talking to another adult.

September 29, 2009

I'm lucky my daughter is still alive!

It's been a long time since Lil' Lilith was a baby... so I haven't really thought about baby proofing in a while. We're thinking of finally getting a puppy this year, so I was searching for gates for doorways and stairs and accidentally came across a site with baby gates instead.

It's really the same function (and those are much cuter!) so I gave the site a quick browse to see if there was anything else that crossed from child safety tips over to my personal puppy protection program. And wow was I in for a surprise! I didn't realize how many safety precautions really need to be taken nowadays to protect little kiddies. In fact, it's apparently a miracle that Lil' Lilith survived infancy at all.

Did you know that baby proofing goes beyond just outlet covers and baby gates? Apparently I should've had child safety locks on not just the cabinets and drawers, but also on the windows, toilet, the stove, the washer/dryer, and all other major appliances.

Did you know they actually have something called a "TV guard" that stops kids from pushing the buttons on the television? That seems like it could come in handy whether you have kids or not. Baby monitors now come in video. And you can get a "key finder" for your kid! It's called a Toddler Tracker. (No joke, it's a real thing - and it's friggin cute.)

Giggle Bug Toddler Tracker (from KidSafe)

And then of course, there's all the super cute stuff that not only keeps the kids safer, but just makes parenting a little more fun... like Snazzy Baby Knee Pads, Tub Time bumpers or Tubbly Bubbly bathtub spout covers. Too cute!!

I'm really upset at all of my so-called-friends who never got me anything as cool as that stuff, not even a portable night light when I was pregnant with Lil' Lilith. I feel seriously gypped. You all suck. You're lucky my daughter is still alive. If I ever have another kid you are totally not invited to my baby shower.

Photos, links, and the cause of my kind-of-sort-of-wanting-to-have-another-baby feelings, all courtesy of Kidsafeinc.com. (Please God, let those feelings pass... quickly!)

The Vampire Diaries: True Blood Lite?

Okay so we tried to watch Vampire Diaries... (still nursing that True Blood dependency). We've watched a few episodes so far and while it's not the worst show in the world, it is pretty cheesy.

At first it struck us as a little bit of a Twilight rip-off, but then we found out that the books that it's based on were written several years before the Twilight books, so who knows, maybe Twilight ripped them off? We'd like to pretend that that's true. (Although the truth is the fact that they've turned these books into a TV show now, of all times, is probably in an attempt at winning some of the Twilight audience. Yep, those sexy teenager vampires are hot right now!)

The Vampire Diaries is pretty tame compared to True Blood. It's basically "True Blood Lite" or "True Blood Teen". And okay, maybe it's not fair for us to compare it to True Blood - it's on a totally different network, based on a totally different story from a totally different set of books, and has a totally different target audience. But we can't help it. We miss True Blood and therefore we're unable to watch any vampire show without comparing it.

So instead of giving the show an actual review (which would end up being totally biased and True Blood-centric anyway) we've decided to just prepare a comparative guide... to see how The Vampire Diaries measures up against True Blood, Twilight and one of our old favorites Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Obviously there are some minor spoilers in here, but if it means that much to you, then you shouldn't be reading reviews anyway... you should just be watching it already.

[Read More: The Good Authority]

That's Gay: Coming Out

It's been way too long since we posted one of Infomania's hilarious That's Gay segments. Since we've been watching even more TV than usual lately, we got an extra kick out of the latest installment on how TV shows handle 'coming out' moments...partly because we watched almost all of these classic moments when they first aired. Enjoy!

September 28, 2009

Celebrity Nomads

So I was reading some of the coverage on the gossip sites of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's quickie wedding, which of course everyone on the planet is supposed to care deeply about, and I was thinking that with the way that celebrities (and "celebrities" like the Kardashians) are constantly hooking up, shacking up, getting married (sometimes), getting bored, breaking up, moving out, and then starting the process all over again a week later with someone new, Los Angeles Movers must really have it made. There can't be any shortage of people moving, even in this economy - Khloe's going to be moving in with Lamar months before most girlfriends would even get a drawer in their boyfriend's bedroom, but after all, that's how celebrities roll.

Or there's the alternate pattern, where the celebrity power couple gets together and immediately starts having lots of adorable celebrity children, which also means lots of moving around - either you're moving to an even bigger house than you already lived in so that little Sparrow and Bronx will have enough rooms to play in, or you're moving into and out of the country to try to protect Apple's privacy, or you're moving around to all of the various countries around the world that you've adopted kids from. Again, the best Los Angeles Moving Company is sitting pretty. The packing services probably come in pretty handy too, since you know that all of the Kardashians are far too busy with their careers to pack up their own belongings.

I wonder if celebrities chat with their famous friends about which companies do the best job of discreetly hauling around all of the designer clothes and chandeliers and plasma TVs the way the rest of us might talk about where to get the best pizza in town or which Starbucks has the friendliest baristas. Either that, or there are a lot of personal assistants doing a lot of research, because I doubt that Angelina and Brad are doing their own 'Moving Company Los Angeles' searches. But I bet Kathy Griffin totally would.

Okay, no she wouldn't, she'd make Tiffany do it. Maybe when we're rich and famous enough to become bi-coastal and own multiple homes, we'll report back on this for everyone.

*Info about a real L.A. moving company to back up our crazy theory brought to you (and to us non-celebrity New Yorkers) by Melrose Moving.

September 26, 2009

What the hell is Asian Culture?

Recently someone posted on message forum about sexual fetishes and they referenced our blog about the Asian trophy wives article in Marie Claire in relation to the so-called "Asian fetish". An excerpt:

According to the urban dictionary there is the WGF (white girl fetish) but no BGF (black guy fetish). Certainly some women have interests such as a man in a uniform but I have never heard that refered to as a fetish. What about a money fetish, oh wait, is that a fetish or a prostitutue? How about a hockey player fetish. It doesn't exist but a nurse or school teacher fetish does. Then there is the lead singer fetish, oh wait that is a groupie. As for me, I like fish-net stockings on a woman (any race) but then again I like many things on a women. Do you have an opinion?

Yeah, it's scintillating stuff.

I pointed out that sexual fetishism typically refers to inanimate objects, so it's kind of offensive to talk about having fetishes about types of people. I also pointed out that having a "type" or preference doesn't necessarily mean you have a fetish. We all have characteristicss that we're attracted to in a person, but calling it a fetish sort of implies that those characteristics take precedence over the actual person.

Yes, it's true that sometimes sexual fetishism is "trivial", i.e., "low-level" fetishism not at the paraphilia level, so theoretically you could consider having a preference for Asian women a fetish, but mainly if the attraction is specific to their "Asian-ness", e.g., their physical characteristics or perhaps some illogical obsession with Asia, but that in and of itself would be based on generalizations and stereotypes. (I don't claim to be an expert on sexual fetishes, so I may not be correct on some of that... but I was giving my opinion on the subject.)

The original poster responded with this:

I had a room mate (white guy) in college that loved Asian-ness. This included food, music, and of course the Asian women. It wasn't like he was chasing them only for sex, he really got into the whole culture.
I was, of course, a little annoyed at the generalization and the Western-centric concept of the fictional homogeneous "Asian culture".

Then the conversation then took a crazy turn into a debate about racism and generalizations and ethnocentrism. It's not the most exciting conversation I've ever had, but we felt it was worth sharing because so many people really just don't get that stereotypes and generalizations are wrong... even if they're positive or well-intentioned. Generalizing all Asian peoples as if they're one homogeneous exoticized group is not a compliment.

That's one of the most annoying typical "white guy" stereotypes. What is "Asian culture"? You realize that Asia consists of so many different countries and and different cultures, right? Even though they "all look alike" to ignorant white people, there are huge differences between different Asian ethnicities and nationalities. It's like saying "European culture and music and food" without recognizing the vast differences between, say, Poland, France, and Italy.
There is little unity or common history for many of the cultures or peoples of Asia. In fact, even wikipedia described the concept of a "culture of Asia" as:

the artificial aggregate of the cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, religions, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric perspective, of Asia. [emphasis ours]
But he clearly didn't get what I was talking about.

The college had International clubs such Japanese, Chinese, Korean that he participated in. He often attended their social events and had a genuine interest. I would say that is an interest in Asian culture. I don't see how that is stereotyping anyone.

Japanese culture, Chinese culture and Korean culture are each really different from each other, as are the cultures of many other Asian countries. The term "Asian culture" in and of itself is a stereotype, because it is dependant on the assumption that Asians are all the same (or similar) and have the same culture. They do not. You could say, he was a fan of certain Asian cultures, maybe... but there is no actual such thing as "Asian culture" so the term is a generalization.

That's like saying "Caucasian culture"... when obviously there are vast differences between, say, Italian culture and German culture. I think I already explained this.

Then using your logic African culture is based on sterotypes and should be avoided. Really?

I'm not sure if he meant that we should avoid using the term "African culture" or if we should just avoid African culture altogether... but either way it was a stupid thing to say.

It's not my logic. It's reality. Asia is a huge place with many different cultures. The term "Asian culture" makes the generalization that they're all the same/similar.

I already explained this twice. What don't you get? Do you really think that the culture of the Phillipines is that similiar to the culture of China or the culture of North Korea or the culture of Cambodia or the culture of Timor, etc...

The term "African culture" is also a generalization, because there are over 50 countries in Africa and while there are some similiarities there are also many vast differences. Compare Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon, and Mali. Even within one country, there are so many different cultures.

It's a common thing for people (especially white Americans) to lump all the "Other" categories of people together, but they're not as similar as we think. It's ethnocentrism and it's wrong. Instead of continuing to argue that this stereotypical ignorance is okay, why not actually open your mind and learn why it isn't?

Having an open mind in my opinion means recognizing and accepting that different people have different views on the same subject. There are many reasons why two people will come to a different conclusion regarding cultural characteristics that cross regions. Accepting that other people have a different point of view and not dismissing them is being open minded.

Ah, okay so now I'm the one who is closed minded. I'm so closed minded about his prejudices! Well I guess if you're going to redefine ignorance as "openmindedness" then I am closedminded.

No. Accepting - and defending - a stereotypical, generalizing, and (even, in some cases, racist) opinion is not being "open minded".

I know people who think it's okay to call anyone Asian "Chinese". I know people who think that black men are inherently more violent than white men. I know people who think that Jewish people are cheap. I'm not making these up to demonstrate silly stereotypes - I really know these people.
I consider myself to be relatively openminded, but I don't have to "accept" their racism and prejudices.

I "recognize" that you and your friend probably came to your ignorant "views" on Asian culture innocently and with good intentions... and that you're not trying to offend anyone. But it doesn't mean you're right. If someone with more knowledge on a subject tells you that what you're saying is stereotypical and offensive, who are you to tell them that they are wrong? When did you get to decide what offends other people and what's the appropriate nomenclature to use for a culture that is not your own?

This isn't the same as say, me accepting that you think the Mets are better than the Yankees. I don't have to accept your ignorant defending of racist notions.

Just to be clear, I'm not really that accepting of the opinion that the Mets are better than the Yankees, but it was a good example.

Again... "Asian culture" encompasses so many different, dissimiliar cultures that the term in reality makes no sense. Yes, it's used academically as shorthand - but within any of those "Asian Studies" programs you would likely learn about the differences within "the Culture". To say you're a "fan" of it, as a whole, without knowing about most of the countries and cultures included, is a generalization. Asia is more than just China, Japan, and Korea.

Not everyone on the planet will be offended by it, but that doesn't make it any less of a Western-centric notion. If your friend is a fan of Chinese and Japanese music, food, literature... great for him. But if he's into "Asian-ness" and thinks that Chinese and Japenese culture is somehow similar to the rest of Asia, then he's prejudiced. It doesn't matter if your stereotypes and prejudices are positive ones, they're still wrong.

The same goes for "African culture". Just because some white Americans think that Asia and Africa are "exotic" and "cool" doesn't mean it automatically makes sense for all those vastly different cultures to be grouped together merely because of geography and skin color.

I have an open mind about the fact that your and your friend's ignorance on this subject doesn't mean that you're both racist assholes. But if you're going to continue to defend this antiquated, ethnocentric point of view as totally cool and correct... no, I'm not going to open my mind to that. The fact that you're not learning anything from this only proves that your mind isn't as open as you think it is.

Some cultural characteristics cross regions such as the Celtic culture but that does not dismiss the unique cultures that developed within that region. By referencing Celtic culture does not stereotype all Irish and Scottish as the same. Just in the same way when someone uses the term "Italian culture" one should not assume they are stereotyping all Italians as being the same. Regions such as Siciliy and Tuscany are very different. A person who likes Italian culture is not sterotyping all Italians.
It's interesting that he chose Sicily as part of his example. Sicily isn't considered to have the same culture as the rest of Italy. "Italian culture" typically refers to the culture of mainland Italy, as Sicily is an autonomous region and was once its own kingdom. If you were to compare, say, the cultures of Tuscany and Umbria... they're not exactly the same, but they're similar enough to put under the umbrella of "Italian". There's a national association and history. (And even Sicily's culture is closer to the rest of Italy's than say... that of Poland or England.)

But Italy is one country. Are you really suggesting that the differences between Sicily and Tuscany are as vast as the differences between the Phillipines and China and Cambodia and Timor? A more appropriate comparison would be comparing North Korea and South Korea. What you're doing is more like comparing Tuscany with Bucharest or London or Athens.

Celticity on the other hand, is different. The term refers to the cultural aspects in common among the various "peoples"... it doesn't actually assume any similiarities that aren't there (which is something the phrase "Asian culture" does).

The Celts were a real group of people - a group of tribes whose land ranged across many countries. References to "Celtic culture" usually refers to their culture or to the shared aspects of the various cultures within, such speaking a Celtic language. (Occasionally, it is used as an umbrella term to refer to the culture/s of the descendants of the Celts... and in that case, there are groups of people who object to it because of the generalization.)

The key word to me that you wrote is ASSUME. A phrase such as "Chinese people" doesn't assume anything to me even though they just grouped over one billion people together, a group larger than Africa and Europe. If the person using the phrase surrounds the statement with stereotypical words such as "all Chinese people" then it is clear they are stereotyping. The problem isn't the phrase such as Sicilian, Irish, or European. The problem is the person's meanings. When it comes to racism and such I look for the meaning and intentions and I don't differ between a national border vs region. I recognize that others may see if differently.

What the hell is he even talking about? He keeps coming back to the issue of people, when we're not talking about individual people, we're talking about a people. "A person who likes Italian culture is not stereotyping all Italians" ... "all Chinese people". He just doesn't get it! He doesn't understand the difference between a historical society concept like "culture" and people on the personal level.

Actually, what I wrote was "doesn't assume". The key word is doesn't. "Celtic" is different because it refers to the similiarities of the different Celtic tribes that preceded Ireland, Scotland, etc. It doesn't suggest that Irish culture and Scottish culture today are that similiar, but rather recognizes the background that they used to share.

The phrase "Chinese people" doesn't assume anything other than national origin (China). The phrase "Asian people" shouldn't assume anything other than geographical origin (the "Asian continent") or perhaps physical "race". But we're not talking about people, you were talking about culture and there is not one culture that encompasses all of Asia.
I put the term "continent" in quotation marks because geographically Asia is not actually a distinct continent, but rather, a region divided into more natural geographic and cultural subregions (such as East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, etc.)

The phrase "Asian culture", especially in the way that you used it, does make the assumption that there is one Asian culture, singular, rather than several different distinct cultures within the several different distinct countries within the "continent" of Asia. It's a Western-centric perspective to see Asia as a cultural aggregate instead of recognizing the many different groups within the region. You are "other-ing" them.
I understand the point you're trying to make about intentions and meanings, but good
intentions don't make incorrect or offensive terminology any less incorrect or any less offensive. If you truly do have such great intentions then stop trying to perpetuate these age-old stereotypes and listen to someone when they're telling you that that's what you're doing.

Yet again, another white person who thinks they're allowed to stereotype people - as long as they're doing it in an allegedly nice way.


September 24, 2009

ABC Loves Cougars - As Long As They're Fictional

We already know how the One Million Moms feel about cougars. So of course, we were surprised that they hadn't (yet?) taken any action against the new ABC show Cougar Town... especially since they already bashed its lead-in show Modern Family without having even seen it.

Cougar Town follows the story of a recently divorced single mother as she "explores the honest truths about dating and aging in a beauty and youth obsessed culture" and stars Courteney Cox.

Even more surprising than the fact that we haven't received any OMM action alerts yet... is that ABC is being a little bit anti-cougar themselves! (Or, you know, anti-real-cougar.) Apparently the dating website CougarLife.com tried to run a commercial during the show, but ABC said they didn't feel it was "appropriate". The website's founder Claudia Openkelder released a statement:

It appears the executives at ABC seem a little too insecure to allow the notion of real world cougars to exist anywhere other than in the realm of fiction. [via PerezHilton.com]

Frankly, I'm surprised that ABC is being so hypocritical. They obviously realize that cougars are totally in right now (as far as TV/movie trends go, they're right up there with widowers and gigolos) or they wouldn't be airing Cougar Town in the first place.

So what was so inappropriate about the commercial?

I don't know. Maybe the fact that it portrays an older woman as an object of lust for younger men makes some people uncomfortable...? But if that's the case, then why are they watching Cougar Town? And the show itself is way way way more sexually explicit than the commercial is... so what's the problem?

Executive Producer Kevin Biegel has described the show on the ABC website:

I’ve always been surrounded by very, very strong women—my mother, my sister, my wife—and I always wanted to write something that would both honor them and take advantage of their stories. [...] I love that our show is about a women [sic] confidentially and honestly discussing aging, dating and life, and if I can promise you anything it’s that we won’t pull any punches and gloss over some of the uglier, harsher truths.
Hm. So ABC isn't going to pull any punches or gloss over the truth on their TV show, but they will do it about the fact that real life cougars do exist outside of their television fantasy land?

You'd think that ABC would be trying to cater to the strong, confident cougar demographic as much as possible. (The fact is that women over 40 is a huge demographic - one that has enormous spending power.) They're probably going to be a big percentage of the audience of Cougar Town, so you'd think ABC would want to air commercials designed with them in mind. At the least, it would be nice to see some ads geared toward older women that weren't for anti-aging products or home cleaning supplies.

Unless of course, cougars are actually the butt of Biegel's joke. Does he - and the rest of the ABC bigwigs - think that cougars are "good TV" but not worth taking seriously as TV viewers?

As a cougar-in-training or "Cougar Pup" (don't ever call me a "Puma" or I'll scratch your eyes out), I've found that a lot of cougar humor can toe the line of funny and offensive. The concept of sexy older women dating (or just seducing) younger men has been around for ages in movies and television shows... from Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate to Samantha from Sex and the City.

As with the whole MILF movement (the cougar's previous incarnation that gained popularity with Stifler's mom in American Pie) movies and TV shows often bounce back and forth between adoration and ridicule over the concept of an older woman daring to still be sexy... and sexual.

I also recently watched the pilot episode of the new CBS show Accidentally On Purpose (and that's exactly how I watched it, accidentally... on purpose). It has a very different storyline but a similar sentiment: an "older" (she's 37) woman, played by Jenna Elfman, finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with a younger guy... and then hijinks ensue! My favorite part of the episode came when the saucy sidekick (Ashley Jensen) responds to use of the word "cougar" with "I prefer the term lynx or ocelot." Maybe CougarLife.com can advertise on CBS instead.

It's time that we put to rest the stupid, sexist double standard that makes it acceptable for older men (or manthers) to date younger women while still shaming the older women who date younger men (or cubs). That's basically the message in Cougar Town so it's pretty stupid for ABC to refuse to back that up with their advertisers as well.

Edited: Some people have contacted us to let us know that the CougarLife.com commercial did run(we watched it online so we missed it). However, after some further investigation we learned that it only ran in some areas. The site's founderClaudia explained:
ABC corporate DID reject airing the commercial but some locally owned ABC stations didn't agree with the corporate positioning and decided to run it.
Hope that clears everything up.

September 23, 2009

The One Million Moms Against A Modern Family

Remember a few days ago when I said that it seems like the One Million Moms are just phoning it in with their action alerts lately? Well, I spoke too soon. This week, the Moms are targeting the new ABC comedy Modern Family, which premieres tonight. It doesn't seem like they actually bothered to watch the premiere before condemning the show, but thanks to an advanced screening offer from Television Without Pity, I was able to watch it earlier today so that I'd know just how wrong the Moms are this time.

Let's break down their barely-there action alert:

Let ABC know you will not be watching 'Modern Family'

ABC's new comedy "Modern Family" series premiere is Wednesday, September 23rd at 9:00/8:00 central. ABC claims "Modern Family" will be their # 1 show, but most Christians would disagree.
It's nice of the One Million Moms to appoint themselves as the spokeswomen for "most Christians", and I also enjoy the implication that every TV show on the air has to have the Conservative Christian Stamp of Approval. But I don't quite understand how they're going to "disagree" with ABC's claim that Modern Family is going to be a #1 show. If ABC was saying this was their "best" new show, it would make more sense, but "#1 show" claims usually refer to popularity. (Although I'm sure ABC would also say that the show was great and hilarious and all that stuff.) How are the Moms able to magically "disagree" with the ratings for a show that hasn't premiered yet?
ABC has labeled this program as "One Big, Straight, Gay, Multi-cultural, Traditional, Funniest New Comedy of the fall." ABC wants you to laugh with ALL of America by watching what they call "America's funniest family."

Parents are outraged! The three households, which they call one "unique" family include:

• A homosexual couple.
• These two men adopt a daughter from another country and cultural background.
• A somewhat traditional couple with three children.
• This husband/father is attracted to his sister-in-law.
• She is from a different nationality which they poke fun of and recently married into this family to a man much older than her, and she already has a teenage son.

Wow, gay and multi-cultural? No wonder the Moms are outraged. Of course they have a problem with the fact that the gay couple adopted a baby, but apparently it's also a problem that the baby is "from another country and cultural background". It's also a problem that the father of one of the gay men is married to a younger woman who is also "from a different nationality". (Her "teenage son" is actually only 11, not that it really matters - his age is mentioned in the premiere that the Moms didn't bother to watch.) Yes, this white family has now been adulterated not just with homosexuality but also with not one but two different "cultural backgrounds". What a nightmare. I wish that this action alert had provided some more details as to why a "multi-cultural" family is so terribly offensive and outrageous, because without those details I'm forced to conclude that the One Million Moms are a bunch of ignorant bigots, and I just hate to do that.

The program is confusing to adults, and will be for the children in the show and those who may see it. ABC took every non-traditional issue and rolled it into this one family they call "modern."
Is it really so confusing? Lot of people have big, crazy, complicated families. Oh, wait, I get it - "confusing" is code for 'I'm afraid my kids might see this show and get the insane notion in their heads that there are lots of different types of families out there and that's actually okay'. Also, they act as if there's a value judgment attached to a word like "modern", which isn't necessarily the case. Whether the Moms like it or not, there are lots of "unique" families out there in the world today.


Let ABC know you and your family will not be watching the series premiere of "Modern Family" and any episodes following.

Send ABC an email stating you are outraged by this new program and are highly offended by the homosexual content and the inappropriate age difference of spouses.
We knew that the Moms would object to the gay content in the show as they always do, and they even threw in some bonus racism to spice up this particular action alert. But yes, in case you missed it earlier, they are actually now even deciding for the rest of us what constitutes an "appropriate" age difference for married couples. Where would we all be without their guidance?

As I said, I watched the premiere of Modern Family, and I thought it was okay - not really my thing, but kinda cute and relatively harmless. There are lots of stereotypical TV characters and plots going on: there's the 'spicy Latina', who says stuff like "you live down here, but I live up here!" when her husband tells her she should try to be less "emotional"; the guy who thinks he's the "cool dad" but really isn't; the drama queen gay guy; the mom who used to be slutty and wants to make sure her daughters don't follow in her footsteps; and the grumpy father with an Archie Bunker streak who just (maybe, possibly) has a heart in there somewhere.

I could understand it if some people were bothered by the depictions of some of the characters on this show (although I'd probably give them the benefit of the doubt for a few more episodes rather than judging too much on one half-hour episode), but as usual what offends me is the list of things that the One Million Moms have deemed "outrageous" or "inappropriate". The OMM's claim that the only normal families are the ones that are white, heterosexual, and Christian - and oh by the way, no inappropriate age differences or cultural backgrounds please! - is way more offensive than any goofy sitcom could ever be.

We Wear Our Sunglasses at Night

Just when we thought summer was over, we've had some really warm days here in the last week or so, which means we haven't put away the sandals and sunglasses quite yet. So when we went to the movies last weekend and we walked in to an empty theater, we started joking that we should leave the sunglasses on and pretend to be celebrities at an important private VIP screening of some special film. (This would also be good practice for when we're rich and famous in the very near future.) And then we remembered the Sunglasses Guy.

We met the Sunglasses Guy out at the bar one night over the summer. He was wearing his sunglasses at the outdoor bar...after midnight. After talking to him for awhile we concluded that that was probably just standard practice on his home planet. For example, he would come over and introduce himself and talk to us for a few minutes, then he would walk away, and about ten minutes later he would come back over...and introduce himself again and start the whole process over. So of course when we said to him "so, you're wearing your sunglasses at night, huh?" he had no clue what we were talking about. No love for Corey Hart at all.

It's really not easy to pull off the sunglasses at night look. Lens color is important, for one thing. Sunglasses Guy had lenses so dark that it was unlikely that he could really see anyone, so it made sense that he was introducing himself over and over. If we were going to wear our sunglasses at night, we'd probably just stick to some basic aviators. Or, you could go the opposite way and go with something really bold, like a pair of really oversized sunglasses, or maybe heart-shaped sunglasses for that Paris Hilton classy look, or maybe some cat eye sunglasses for that retro sexy librarian sort of a look. Cause if you're going to wear sunglasses at night, you might as well own it and let everyone know that you're keeping track of the visions in your eyes.

September 22, 2009

Cosmo Quickie: Fake STD Revenge?

In the October 2009 issue of Cosmopolitan, "The Naughtiest Thing I've Ever Done" confession-of-the-month...
I was 18 and a virgin at the time, and things got serious quickly. [...] Little did I know, he was a secret slimeball.
How do these people get these articles published? How!? Every month's "confession" is stupid - and likely fake - but this one just made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

About seven months into our relationship, I noticed that a few girls were acting weird around me at work. I knew a lot of them had crushes on Drew, so I figured they were just jealous. But one day, another coworker pulled me aside to tell me that she had heard rumors Drew had hooked up with those girls. I surreptitiously investigated the claims and found out that Drew had kept himself busy, sleeping with five girls at work while we were dating.

I was devastated and, even more than that, pissed. This douche bag had been telling me he loved me while sleeping with chicks we worked with who, ahem, weren't even that cute. [emphasis ours]

Wait... what difference does it make if they're not "that cute"? Would it be better or worse if they were cuter? I know she's mad that they slept with her man, but still... isn't that a little bitchy?
I debated for a few days about what to do and decided against an unsatifying confrontation. Instead, I got even. I had taken acting lessons in high school and could cry on cue. So I called Drew and turned on the waterworks. I told him I had just gotten back from the doctor, and she suspected that I had an STD. Since I had been a virgin when we met, knew he wouldn't blame me. Despite his cheating ways, he was a semidecent guy, and I knew that he would feel obligated to call the other girls right away and tell them to get tested.
Hm... I'm sorry, but this doesn't make sense to me. In order to get even with him, she pretended that she had an STD. If he's such a slimeball, then how could she be sure he would "feel obligated" to inform his other sex partners? (I mean, doesn't the fact that he had other sex partners in the first place kind of refute that whole "caring about your partner's health" thing a little bit?) And why would anyone who was cheating on his girlfriend inform their extramarital partners of a "suspected" STD until it was confirmed? Why get in trouble before you have to be?
And why was she so sure he wouldn't blame her? Yes, she was a virgin when they started dating... but one of the best ways for a cheater to deflect attention off of their dirty deeds is to blame the other person. I've dated enough cheaters to know how they work - the worse their infidelities, the more suspicious and jealous they are.
Throughout the next week, I saw multiple girls pull Drew aside at work and curse him out. Turns out, they didn't know about one another and were upset to learn they were just another notch on his bedpost. Part of me felt bad for stressing them out, but given that they had screwed a guy who they knew had a girlfriend, I figured they had it coming.
This part is also... um, quizzical. These girls knew they were screwing someone who had a girlfriend. Yet they're shocked and upset that that he was also screwing someone else? Hello... he was cheating on his girlfriend! You think he was being faithful to you? Yeah, of course, you were another notch on his bedpost... you weren't his fucking girlfriend, that was your coworker!
A few days later, I called Drew and told him that my doctor had called and said everything was fine - it was a false alarm. I never let him know I knew he cheated (I thought my revenge was good enough) but told him it was best if we stopped dating.

We continued working together for another year - a very lonely 12 months for Drew. Once word spread that he'd had an STD scare, no one would go near him. He went from being fawned over to not being able to get any girls on the job.

Somehow the STD scare made him an untouchable, but no one cared that she had the same STD scare? She took a pretty bad gamble on that one. Everyone knew they were dating... so wouldn't everyone assume she had the same scare? If anything, she was the only woman at the store that everyone knew had slept with Drew (vs. the other women there who it was rumored he'd slept with). How could she be so sure he wouldn't blame her to everyone? Plus, since when is a "scare" such a turn off? (It's 2009 - even an actual STD isn't always the end of the world.)

Why is this in Cosmo magazine? What lesson can we, as readers, learn from this story? Is this a cautionary tale or a "you go girl" empowerment story?

There is nothing to celebrate about a stupid passive aggressive prank like this one. She should have confronted him for cheating on her, instead of letting him think he got away with it. Revenge is so much sweeter when you can take credit for it. And as far as revenge goes, it's pretty tame. She let him think he had an STD for about a week. Big deal. (She should've at least made him go get tested and have a Q-tip shoved up his penis). He became an "untouchable" at work, but there are other places to meet women. I bet he wasn't nearly as lonely outside of work as she thinks.

The news that should have spread was that he cheated on her. STDs can go away with antibiotics but you know the saying "once a cheater, always a cheater". (I'm not necessarily saying this is true, but plenty of people certainly feel that way.) I would've told off the girls who were sleeping with him too. I'm not a fan of slut-shaming, but lying and cheating are worth feeling ashamed of.

I'm really starting to be convinced that Cosmo will print just about anything. I swear, that magazine is all just filler to fit between the advertisements.

September 20, 2009

Get naughty tonight... but not too naughty!

Sigh. We really don't want to become known as "that blog that writes about Cosmo's sex tips all the time" but alas... we're at it again. (It'd be easier for us to avoid it, if only Cosmo would quit printing this nonsense!) So we've decided to just make it a recurring series...

Every month Cosmo has some numbered story about the best possible sex tips ever! Last month's big sexy cover teaser was "50 New Sex Tricks" (known around here as "Things To Do To His Penis"). August 2009 was "Guys Rate 125 Sex Moves", while July was "100 Sex Questions".

This month the big cover story is "Bad Girl Sex: These 12 Moves Will Show Him Your Really Naughty Side. We Call Them the Dirty Dozen".

Oh yeah?

Get Naughty Tonight.

Almost all men dig a little dirty between the sheets. So these 12 taboo moves should really drive him loco with lust.

Think of the naughtiest trick you've ever tried in bed. Now imagine bumping up the intensity so that it was even ballsier. Pretty. Freakin'. Hot. That's the idea behind our dirty dozen - 12 wicked moves that go from kinda kinky to beyond bad girl.

Ooooh taboo moves. Even more intense and ballsy than the naughtiest trick we've ever tried! It must be some really naughty, kinky stuff! Oh wait, it's Cosmo... so their crazy, bad girl moves are probably pretty tame and boring.

Try a Bit of Bondage

Getting tied up instantly boosts the sexual energy because it brings in the element of vulnerability.
Naughty move: Lie on the bed with your hands tied together, and let him devour you. Have him start with a tease by holding his first and second fingers in a V, placing them on either side of your clitoris, and massaging in a scissoring motion. Then he can use side-by-side motions with his tongue to get you really worked up.
Yep. Nothing says "submissive" like instructing your guy exactly how to touch you. Oooh baby, tie me up and you can totally be in control tonight... so please read these very specific instructions on how to do the scissors move on my clitoris.

Even naughtier move: Have him tie your hands with a scarf and hang them on a hook on his door (the kind you would hang your coat or towel on) before he tantalizes you with oral. Since you'll feel totally like his sex toy, you can add to the arousal or being restrained by begging him to "release" you and let you orgasm.

This is supposed to be naughtier than the naughtiest trick I've ever tried? Really? I understand that being tied up at all is a huge step for some women, but isn't it a little presumptuous to assume that every woman reading Cosmo has never tried bondage before? Sorry, but after you've been flogged while handcuffed to the bed with a ball gag in your mouth... well, let's just say that having your hands tied in a scarf isn't exactly going to amaze and thrill you. (And the truth is, that's just the stuff that I've tried - I'm still what you'd call a BDSM novice - which doesn't even come close to the really hardcore kinds of bondage that some people are doing right now.) It isn't necessarily bad advice - it isn't exactly shocking either.

Give Him a Peep Show

Much of arousal is driven by what we see - especially for guys. "Many men love watching a woman get turned on."

Naughty move: On a night your guy is coming over to hang out, masturbate alone just before you're going to see him, but don't let yourself climax. [...] Then describe for him what you've been up to. He'll put together an irresistible mental image of you self-pleasuring that will build his desire so that when you have sex, it'll be an incredible release for you both.

Wait... weren't they talking about showing him something hot? Do "mental images" really apply? Hey honey, guess what I did today! Wouldn't a better move be to masturbate in front of him? Oh wait, that's probably the "even naughtier move"...

Even naughtier move: Before a date, entice your guy over to your place early, and let him watch you masturbate before you leave for the evening, telling him he can have his turn later. [...] Don't let him interrupt. Instead tell him you expect him to finish where you left off when you get home.

Yeah, I can see it right now: Make him watch you masturbate, get him all hard and turned on... and then make him go to dinner and a movie with blue balls.

Handle His Package

Usually for foreplay, you touch him so he's hard, but stroking him until he climaxes is rarely the main event. "Once a couple starts having sex, hand jobs often stop."

Naughty move: Surprise him with a hand job when he least expects it. While he's chilling on the couch, cuddle up next to him, trail your fingers down his chest, and unbutton his pants. As you grab him, whisper that you're doing all the work this time.

Okay, okay... we get it. Handjobs are making a comeback, but um... they aren't exactly what I'd consider kinky or taboo. No matter how much love people may have for the handjob, it's never going to be considered the "naughtiest trick you've ever tried" (unless maybe you're 12). And we don't want to offend anyone again, but the truth is if we told one of our guys that we were going to do "all the work" they would definitely be expecting... a different kind of job. Yeah, they'd be "surprised" alright.

Even naughtier move: Don't only shock him with sexy stroking - also do it when he can't possibly react the way he wants to. The next time he's on the phone, come up behind him, unzip and go to work.

Nothing is hotter than a handjob while you're on the phone with your boss... or your grandma... or your dermatologist.

Have Stranger Sex

When you pretend you're someone else, you completely change the rules. For one, you both naturally become much more daring as you act. Also, you have to be creative to play the part, and that means coming up with all sorts of naughty things your character might be into.

Naughty move: Pretend you and your guy are complete strangers. Set up a time for both of you to be at the same bar, and play out the scenario like you're meeting for the first time. Before you approach him, flirt with a few guys (totally innocently). Then make your way over to him, and introduce yourself as whomever you want to be - like Annette, the sexy exec on a business trip. Let others overhear your conversation, since some of the fun is performing for an audience.
The only catch about this one is if you're a really terrible actress it's not going to be as hot as you want it to be. Our advice is to try it at home first before going public with your "performance".
Even naughtier move: Role play like one of you is unexperienced and needs sex lessons. Have the novice write down what they want to learn, like how to perform oral sex, masturbate, or be taken from behind.
I don't think it's a bad idea to try the naughty school girl game... but write it down? Really? Logistically it just seems... awkward. Wouldn't it be hotter to ask for a sexy lesson instead of having to hand in a written assignment? And you better make sure you recycle that homework sheet when you're done or the next time you have friends over they're going to wonder what classes you've been taking. (Also, kudos Cosmo for using the word "unexperienced" instead of "inexperienced". Way to go against the grain.)

Test-Drive Twist, Torrid Positions

Nothing screams naughty like providing a view and finding new angles neither of you is used to.

Naughty move: Take the action to the couch. Have him stand and enter you from behind as you kneel on the cushions.

Well first of all, thank God for that last tip where we were advised to ask our partner to teach us how to take it from behind. We knew that one would be useful! Phew. Okay... I know some people are strictly missionary, but is having sex standing up really a twisty, torrid position? And since when is the couch an outrageous place for sex?
Even naughtier move: With him in a seated position, straddle him, then place his hands on your hips to keep you secure, and lean all the way back so that your head is down by his feet. You can put your hands on the floor for extra support, then rest your feet on the back of the couch.
And then when all the blood is rushing to your head and you get that terrible headache... it'll be extra sexy! (Even better when you can't move your neck properly for the next three days after being stuck in that awkward position.) Also, this move requires a lot of trust in your partner's ability to not drop you on your head.

Plan a Sneak Attack

Ambushing your guy turns you into a total sex vixen who can't get enough and makes him feel extremely wanted.

Naughty move: Guys expect morning sex before they get out of bed, so he'll be totally shocked if you jump him when he gets out of the shower. Slip into the bathroom and position yourself naked on the sink so he's surprised by the stunning scenery when he pulls aside the curtain.
Okay there are a few things wrong with this idea. How are you supposed to sneak into the bathroom without him hearing you and sit on the sink without him seeing you? And don't you think he probably locks the bathroom door behind him anyway? (Plus, I'm never going to secretly sneak up on a guy while he's in the bathroom... you never know what you might accidentally hear... or see... or smell.) And do you really want to have sex after the shower? Then you'll have to take another shower to get re-clean. Isn't it a lot more fun in the shower anyway?

Plus, not every sink is built to withhold that kind of action and that's how accidents happen. (Although calling in a contractor and a plumber for a sexy foursome could be kind of fun).
Even naughtier move: Meet up for dinner after work. Wait until you've been seated, then tell him you forgot something in the car and will be right back. Once you get outside, text him that you need his help with something. When he comes out, pull him into the car and go at it.
Okay, car sex is kind of hot sometimes... but don't you think the restaurant is going to give up your table while you're out fucking in the parking garage? This move also relies on the presumption that he's going to a) actually get your text, b) actually leave the restaurant to "help" you with your mystery problem, and c) not be pissed off when he gets out there.

We're not trying to knock Cosmo's advice - well, okay of course we are - but we're not saying it's all necessarily bad advice. (And his isn't meant to ridicule anyone for whom these activities really are kinky, shocking or "the naughtiest sex trick ever" because it's totally okay to be new to this kind of stuff. If Cosmo can help you expand your horizons to better sex, more power to ya.)

But at the same time, this is 2009; bondage and roleplaying, etc. aren't these terrible taboo things anymore. Various sex acts are becoming more and more mainstream everyday (the fact that Cosmo is writing about this at all, is evidence of that). So it just feels a little unimaginative that giving a handjob or having sex on the couch are being described as these outrageous bad girl behaviors... and it's pretty stereotypical to assume that the majority of Cosmo's "fun, fearless" readers have never tried anything so naughty and intense.

The article would be way less annoying if they just described these move as "some fun sex tricks you can try" instead of "naughtier than the naughtiest trick you've ever tried in bed". Yawn.

One Million Moms Target Glee

Apparently the One Million Moms have squeezed all that they can out of their protest of Secret Life of the American Teenager, so they went looking for a new teen show to be horribly offended by, and they found Glee.

I have to admit that at this point we basically use OMM as a reverse recommendations system. If they're offended by something, we'll probably like it. So when I found out that they were describing Glee as "extremely inappropriate...obscene...vulgar...far from a family-friendly program", I immediately went to Hulu and watched the first two episodes. The show is really cute and fun and I've added it to my DVR. Thanks Moms!

Here's the action alert. The alert is based only on the second episode of the show - we received it the day before the third episode aired, and it's clear that they didn't watch the pilot, which is pretty harmless.

'GLEE' is not another 'High School Musical'

There is singing and dancing in FOX's new television program "GLEE," but this is no "High School Musical." It is far from a family-friendly program. "GLEE" is another show targeting children and teens.

From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck," comes "GLEE," a new series which follows an optimistic teacher attempting to save their high school's Glee Club. "GLEE" is not as graphic as "Nip/Tuck," but just as offensive.

The music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate especially for school activities. The choreographed routines are obscene and contain vulgar dancing which they perform for the student body.

The writers mock Christianity when the principal tries to discipline the Glee Club by having them select their music from a list of songs with either "Jesus" or "balloons" in the title which they translate as punishment.

Similar to most teen shows today all the students can talk about is s*x. Male students discuss grinding, erupting, and how girl's skirts are so short they can almost see their ovaries.

Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room."

This is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode.

Let's review some of the high points or should we say low points of this action alert.

~Glee isn't High School Musical - Often the One Million Moms complain about "inappropriate" shows being on stations that are supposedly family-friendly. This is a big part of their issue with Secret Life, which is on ABC Family. But Glee is on Fox, not ABC Family or Disney. So while they may be targeting teens with Glee, I don't think it's accurate to say that they're targeting young children or claiming to be a more family-friendly show than they are. The show is rated TV-PG - that means "Parental Guidance Suggested", ladies - and I checked the most recent episode and the rating specifically indicates "some suggestive dialogue" and "some sexual situations" in addition to the TV-PG. So again, the show isn't pretending to be something that it's not, and parents are getting an honest assessment of the show up front to help them decide whether to let their kids watch it. So what's the problem?

~Glee is just as offensive as Nip/Tuck - Seriously? I'm not even going to bother with that one, because anyone who's ever watched even one episode of Nip/Tuck knows how ridiculous that comparison is.

~The writers mock Christianity - It seems like a real stretch to say that the scene where the principal gives out the list of approved songs for the Glee Club is "mocking Christianity" just because there's a silly joke involving Jesus. The point is that the songs aren't exactly rocking Glee Club material, not that Christian music is horrible or that Christianity is stupid. Personally, I like to think that Jesus has a sense of humor and, as Kathy Griffin says, bigger fish to fry.

~S*x strikes again - The alert mentions all of the "offensive" sex talk and the sexy dance routine in the episode, but I'm shocked that they didn't single out Rachel's speech to the 'celibacy club' about how it's stupid to encourage abstinence-only in teens because it's doesn't work, so they should be talking about contraception instead. (I imagine the cheerleader who reacts to this by saying "don't you dare mention the C-word!" as a future Million Mom in training.) When Rachel ends by saying "girls want sex just as much as guys do", I imagine heads exploding in the OMM viewing room. And I can't wait to hear their thoughts on the Acafellas' performance of "I Wanna Sex You Up" at the PTA meeting in the third episode.

~Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room." - Only ONE student says this, and she's one of the obnoxious cheerleaders. In the scene it's presented as the bitchy girl making a rude and bitchy comment to her teacher, not as if it's a normal thing that any of the students might say.

This is such a thin list of "offenses". I think the Moms are really grasping at straws this time. And it's not like there's a shortage of shows that OMM could protest if they wanted to. Haven't they ever seen Gossip Girl? (Actually, our guess is that they just have the entire CW network on a black list and consider it a lost cause.)

It's also funny how they don't even really bother to flesh out some of these action alerts with a lot of details anymore. They say that "the music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate" but don't bother to specify which songs they were offended by. (What, they got no love for Journey?) Then at the end they say "this is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode". Well, if that's the case, why don't they list some more? (Don't tell me that gag reflex joke went over your heads, Moms.) It's like they're at the point now where they feel like they can say 'trust us, this is horribly offensive, you should protest it' without really justifying it.

I also have to say that I'm surprised they didn't really say anything about all of the gay content in the show - Rachel having two dads, the glee club having a gay member, etc. Maybe they wanted to save something for the next action alert, and if so you know that we'll be there to pick their arguments apart. In the meantime, check out the pilot episode of this inappropriate and offensive show that we love:

September 19, 2009

Author's Alliteration Assailed!

A couple of days ago, someone left a comment so bizarre and random on one of my brother's guest posts that...well, there are no words. But luckily Astaroth was able to find some, so I'll let him take it from here.

As someone who has an internet connection and a masochistic streak a mile wide, I occasionally read the comments sections on websites. I think a really intriguing study could be done on the degeneration of society just by observing how long it takes a site's commentators to devolve into mindless, gibbering idiots whose only goal in paying every month for internet service is to publicly lambaste another human being until he or she actually begins to hate being alive. Sites such as Newsday might be able to manage a month, maybe three, before reaching their current level of debasedness (<- I made this word up, but it works so I don't care nananananana). Youtube, considering it acts only as a medium for the commentators to post media themselves, would manage maybe a week before spiraling into a black hole of idiocy and dragging the rest of the internet with it. Cracked.com managed maybe 15 seconds, but I think they expected the worst to begin with so maybe they don't count.

However, I was utterly shocked to find a comment so inane, so completely RANDOM attached to this blog that I was dumbstruck searching for an explanation. My colleagues (read: overlords) did little better than I, and so I embark upon an attempt to deconstruct this enigma in the hopes of finding enlightenment in the chaos of internet comments. Please note that my brain has been addled by spindle painting today, so bear with me.

First, the comment:
Her whole family is preditory. That father of hers complaining HARD about his $150,000/year salary.
Now we all know where she gets it.
Should be automated anyways. You let the blacks in New Orleans off.
Barely skilled labor.
Reincarnated as milking cows, ironically.
Let's go piece-by-piece here, lest anyone's head unintentionally explode from the sheer randomosity of this gem. "Her whole family is preditory," eh? Well that's a damn shame. Wait, who the hell is she? Was I mistaken for a woman? That puts a very interesting spin on my article about the topless coffee house, what with the declaration of my manhood and all. Perhaps they meant my sister? That makes a little more sense, although I don't think she talks about private things such as our father's income. Also, if that's the right route and I am being accused of preditoriality (see, I can make up words too, Mr/Ms Commentator Person!), I'd like to know exactly what that is in case I'm ever charged with it. Perhaps s/he means "pre-editory" and just felt like saving us a letter? Well, pre-editory seems kind of redundant, since editing before is...well, editing! Speaking of editing, this whole piece could've used a little work, at least a once-over or something. Anyway, let's move on.

"Now we all know where she gets it." Who in the what now? We still don't know who "she" is, or what she's getting. The aforementioned preditorialism? Or a cut of that moolah? Maybe she's getting a present! I know I'd like a present. Hey, how about a free coffee at that topless place? Oh wait, we can't go there because it burned down. THANKS FOR THE REMINDER, MS/MR/ROBOT COMMENTATOR PERSON! I'm going to go cry in a corner, excuse me...

Okay, I'm good now. Really, I can type and choke back tears at the same time, it's okay. Besides, our alien commentator from Neptune (seriously, I checked the IP address) offers these words of encouragement: "should be automated anyways." Don't you feel better know it should be automated? I've always thought that myself. Unless we're talking about the topless serving of coffee, that really can't be automated without messy results. Although I'd make a mint in the potential therapy cases! I can see it now: "I'm just so confused Doctor, she was standing there all shiny and pneumatic, I just couldn't help myself!" Shit, Robotic Sexual Confusion Syndrome will be my baby, nobody touch my acronym!

While I'm on the phone with my lawyer to get this name patented, might as well keep going. "You let the black in New Orleans off." Here, I really can't fault Neptunian Robot Commentator, I did allow the black in New Orleans to just slip right through my fingers. Of course, I don't know whether our friend means a sticker that reads "New Orleans" that I didn't care for properly, or the entire Black population of the city. No offense folks, but have you been to New Orleans? I'm pretty sure anyone there could take me in a fight, so I'm not in a position to be enforcing anything down there. That five-year old? Totally kick my ass if I tried to keep him from riding his tricycle. So I apologize for my failings as a non-letter-offer, but I'm only human dammit! As opposed to our commentator, but I digress.

Gonna combine the final two for brevity's sake (yeah, clearly I had brevity's best interests in mind with this article.) "Barely skilled labor. Reincarnated as milking cows, ironically." Okay, you lost me here, what in the hell are you going on about now? Am I the barely skilled labor? Are we still talking about New Orleans? Because in New Orleans I would be barely skilled labor, unless you needed an assistant to make gumbo or something, I watch the Food Network after all (I apologize to ESC for any loss of New Orleans based readership for my careless association of the city with gumbo, truly a gaffe on my part). Are the topless baristas the barely skilled labor? 'Cause they're still more skilled than I am, can't make coffee for shit. Oh no, the tears again! Don't cry, suck it up, there you go...

Wait, reincarnation? Why would barely skilled labor come back to life as prized livestock? You know, if it weren't for those reincarnated milking cows you and I would have bones too brittle to type or read the internet! Well, except for the commentator, who is clearly a robot and thus has no need for calcium. OR DOES IT?! Is this all a ploy to dissuade us from drinking the milk of reincarnated cows, so that the Neptunian Robot can gain its life sustaining calcium and secure its bid for world domination?! I have you all figured out now, fiend! A battle to the death it is!

...or, you know, maybe they posted on the wrong blog. Could be either one, really. Does this mean I have to return the pitchfork?

Cosmo Quickies for October

There are a few articles from this month's issue of Cosmopolitan magazine that definitely need to be addressed (and well, mocked) but for now, here are some Cosmo Quickies from October 2009...

  • Hooking Up
In Cosmo's "Hot Sheet" the #1 trend on the rise is... gigolos. (Specifically, Thomas Jane's character on Hung and Dustin Miligan's character in the new movie Extract.)Yep, male prostitutes are totally in right now. I wonder if this would be featured in the magazine if it was female prostitutes?
  • Magazine Filler
Why does Audrina Patridge get an entire page in Cosmo? Or you know, why is she in Cosmo at all? Or... why is she in any magazine?
  • Sexy vs. Skanky
On the sexy side is "Being edgy" and on the skanky side is "picking wedgies". Oooh! Rhyming is fun! The photo is a lovely ass-shot of Victoria Silvstedt, apparently at the beach. What we find skanky is the fact that the papparazzi are taking up-close photos of Victoria Silvstedt picking her wedgie and Cosmo magazine felt the need to print it. Yeah, that's skanky.
  • Speaking of dumb advice...
In "The Guy Report", there's a little section called "Dumb Advice Guys Are Getting", that features a piece of dating advice from some website for guys. Pot kettle black much, Cosmo?
  • When He Eats Too Fast
"If he routinely finishes his meals long before you do, being in sync and savoring your relationship may not be priorities for him." Or... maybe he's just a fast eater. Or maybe you're a slow eater? Yes, it's true that people's actions can sometimes be indicative of deeper things... but come on.
  • The Shoulder Pad Debate
In the September issue they advised us not to wear big shoulder pads because it would make us look manly. Now in October "bigger, bolder shoulders" are in because they project an "in-control image". Thanks for the tip Cosmo!
  • Hairy Hotties
More filler! A full-page collage of male celebrities who are "displaying their stubble and chest pelts" and are "sporting man jungles". Only... they're kind of not. It's like if a guy forgets to shave one day he's considered hairy now? I mean, the list includes a Jonas brother (Kevin) for chrissakes!
  • Cosmo Sex Mad Libs!
In "The Two Hottest Things You Can Say in Bed", it is recommended that you say "I love it when you [verb] my [body part]." Not that it's necessarily bad advice, but did they really need to create a formula to make us understand? (The other hottest thing you can say is "I'm coming".)
  • Strippers are not Hookers
In "What He's Really Doing at a Bachelor Party", Cosmo warns readers:
"...dudes in their 20s are more likely than their older friends to along when, say, the stripper is doling out private performances in the bedroom."
So... now strippers are also prostitutes? What kind of "private performances" are they doling out in the bedroom?
  • Doctors Who Hate Hyphens
Travis Stork, MD, of The Doctors discusses some "Sex 911" scenarios and makes up some words! Sorry, but "extravigorous", "postsex" and "midbooty" are not real words - at least not without some spaces or hyphens thrown in there.
  • The Truth Comes Out!
Cosmo does think that the Jonas Brothers are cheesy!! They admit it! In "The Crazy Way We Met" they wrote "We're all for a good romance, but most are cheesier than a Jonas Brothers song." Oh snap! But I guess this begs the question why are you always printing pictures of them then!?
  • Being Cocky
Eight times when it "pays to be cocky"... #8 is when "you are redesigning your company's Website... and have no freakin' idea what you're doing." Um... if you have no freakin' idea what you're doing, maybe it's not the time to be cocky. It goes on to compare it to learning to ride a motorcycle... "the people who lent you the motorcycle or hired you for the job think you can do it... and are they idiots or are they right?" Um, if they loaned their motorcycle to someone who doesn't know how to ride or hired someone who isn't qualified... then they are idiots.
  • Shocking Information
"If you quit the Pill, use another birth-control method ASAP." Really? You think? I'm shocked. Really? If I stop using my current method of contraception... I should start using another right away or risk getting pregnant? Wow. More obvious advice on the very next page: "Take a sick day if you have a cold or the flu. You will recover quicker and won't give it to coworkers." What would I do without your awesome never-would've-thought-of-that advice Cosmo!?
  • Inquiring Minds Want To Know
Cosmo answers the long-pondered question "is it safe for my guy to shave down below?" Um, duh... why wouldn't it be? There's no logical reason to think it would be any less safe than a woman shaving "down below". They even advise using this amazing invention called "shaving cream". Wow, what will Cosmo discover next... lube?
  • Improper Use of an Undergarment
Honestly... we can't come up with any commentary on this one that's funnier than the actual text so here it is:
Use Your Thong as a Hair Tie
There are few things guys like more than long hair, women's underwear, and sex. So combine all three!
If things are getting hot and heavy, stopping the action to go search for a ponytail holder will kill the mood. So instead, grab - or take off - your underwear. Simply fold the crotch up so that the thong forms an open circle, twist your hair into a low pony or bun, and use your panties like an elastic band to secure your locks.
Yeah. They actually wrote that.
  • Working Hair
There's an entire four-page spread on Hair That Says "Hire Me". Four. Whole. Pages.
  • Fun Fearless Way to Meet a Guy
They recommend grabbing an old receipt from your purse, rushing up behind a cute guy on the street and exclaim "I think you dropped this!" I just reached into my bag and pulled out my receipt for Kathy Griffin's book from the night of the book signing. Somehow I don't think that's going to believable when I approach a random straight guy on the street claiming that I think he dropped it. But it would be an awesome excuse for a gay guy to start a conversation.
Thanks again Cosmo! You never let us down!

September 18, 2009

The Handjob Controversy Continues...

So apparently someone from Feminists With Female Sexual Dysfunction was really ticked off by our handjob blog... and well, okay we don't blame her. We might have been a little hard on the handjob (no pun intended), but a lot of what she's suggesting we said/meant isn't exactly accurate to how we really feel. So we figured rather than try to post this all as a comment, we'd just respond here and hopefully clear it up.

[...] this time, the message that I’m still doing sex wrong comes from Evil Slutopia, a feminist/sex-positive/slut blog written by the Evil Slut Clique (ESC.) [emphasis ours]
As soon as we saw that line, we knew we were in trouble... because we knew that the author was misreading us from the start. Anyone who is a regular reader of Evil Slutopia might have noticed that we are very openminded about sex - and all forms of it - so it shocked us that anyone might think that our playful mocking of handjobs could somehow translate to "you're doing sex wrong!" But when we re-read our own blog, we noticed how maybe someone could misinterpret what we wrote.

Now yes, we poked fun (no pun intended) at the handjob... but it wasn't meant to be malicious. The inspiration for the handjob blog came from our blog about lube:

You can also use lube to "surprise him with a hand job" - you know, for anyone that still actually gives handjobs.
All of the comments were in praise of the handjob and we were surprised that they were still so popular. Our point wasn't that it was bad or wrong or immature, but just that it was a surprise to us, mainly because we had not experienced this phenomenon in our lives nor had we heard much about it from our friends and partners up until recently.

From Feminists with FSD:

The ESC looked for what other people are saying about giving handjobs – when they can actually find people who freely admit it. The clique does not take the time to consider that, maybe views like the ones they harbor, make it more embarrassing to come out openly about expressing sexuality in that way.
Actually, the whole reason we were inspired to write about the handjob was because so many people did freely admit it and therefore wanted to further investigate. We don't think handjobs are embarrassing... It's understandable that not everyone feels comfortable discussing their sex lives, but we weren't exactly born with the "shame gene" that others may have (as many regular readers have surely already noticed). So to us it was like "Oh, you do this too? Okay... we'll write about it then."

I notice that oral sex is mentioned over & over as a one-up from handjobs. I’m often willing to enjoy this kind of sex, too, yes. But there are times when I don’t want oral sex. Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I have a headache & moving my head around is going to aggravate it too much. Maybe we already had oral sex and are in the mood for something different. Maybe I don’t need to justify my reasons at all. Maybe there is no reason.
This confused us a bit. We didn't think we mentioned oral sex that much (although we - and our readers apparently - are big fans). We did find it odd that a few commenters were defending handjobs in the context of blow jobs, because we don't consider using your hands during oral sex to be an actual handjob. (One of our commenters put it best "if you're putting your mouth on it, then it's not a handjob anymore... it's a blowjob!")

However, this was really off base and needs to be replied to:
But perhaps any reason I could give will run too close to one of the ESC’s friends, who,
once explained to us that she found handjobs useful for those times when she was with a guy that she “wouldn’t want to give a blowjob to”
To which the ESC responds with,
Either you want to be involved with the penis or you don’t… If he’s too gross for you to go down on, then why are you hooking up with him at all?
“Either you want to be involved with the penis or you don’t…” “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” Maybe my reluctance to give of myself wholly to my partner’s penis, doesn’t actually have much to do with him at all. Maybe he’s not “Gross.” Maybe it’s all me… does that mean I should abstain from so much as starting any sexual activity? Would that be leading him on?
Wow. That was not what we meant and it's definitely not how we feel. It comes down to the author just completely misunderstanding what we wrote. Re-read what we said about our friend: "when she was with a guy that she 'wouldn’t want to give a blowjob to'."

We're not talking about times when you just don't feel like giving a blowjob or someone who just doesn't like to give blowjobs... No, we're clearly talking about drawing the line between the guys you would give a blowjob to and the guys you wouldn't want to give a blowjob to. The distinction for our friend was whether or not he was too gross to give head to. That wasn't our assumption. That was what she meant. We're not judging where she draws her line, but it was still puzzling to us because if he's so gross that you don't want to put your mouth on his penis... why are you willing to be involved with his penis at all!?

It's really surprising and upsetting that the author has suggested that we were in any way saying that you shouldn't "start what you can't finish" (not sure why she put that one in quote marks - it wasn't a quote of ours) or that you're leading him on if you don't give of yourself "wholly". This is especially offensive because of how strongly we feel about (and how often we write about) rape and violence against women. We would never suggest anything like that and are shocked at even the implication.

In fact, it was with this point of view (that you should never feel obligated or pressured to do anything, no matter what the context) that we critiqued Advice Bootcamp's "advice" to give your man a handjob whenever he wants one.

The ESC was taken aback by this. This is relationship advice? I myself am reluctant to issue any “You should do x” proclamations on this blog, since I know that "Shoulds” never apply to everyone. [...]
AdviceBootcamp does not openly identify as having FSD and it is not my place to say that she does. But I recognize that in this case, she has found a way of coping with something that otherwise bothers her.
The ESC tries to understand where Advicebootcamp is coming from…
Aha! It makes a lot more sense to lend your man a hand “whenever he wants”, if you’re refusing sex to him on a regular basis. (We’re not saying anyone should ever have to have sex or substitute a handjob for sex out of guilt, and we’re not making light of any issues or circumstances that might cause low sex drives or sexual incompatibility in a relationship. We’re just saying that her suggestions seemed pretty sexist and ridiculous without that background info but now make a little more sense.)
If it makes more sense with that background information, then why bring it up at all? And why handle it so clumsily?
It makes "more" sense, in that she would want to give her man a handjob anytime he wants, if she felt guilty (or otherwise unhappy) about her low sex drive. We still don't agree with her advice, because regardless of your sex drive, your sexual dysfunction, or your personal preferences... you should never have to give your man anything "anytime he wants it".

Advice Bootcamp says upfront in her blog that she tends to "trend towards sexism" and this advice is surely sexist regardless of the context. We simply understand it somewhat more within the context.

We brought it up because while the author of the Advice Bootcamp blog may or may not have sex "issues" (we aren't clear what they are and we won't speculate whether or not they fall under the umbrella of "FSD" or not) the Advice Bootcamp blog is not an FSD blog. It does not offer advice for women with sexual dysfunctions or low sex drives. It is meant to be a general advice blog - for anyone - and therefore we felt this advice was, um... interesting, at best. However, we did think perhaps there was some merit to the alleged "healing power" of handjobs.
So now, I’m “Refusing sex to him [my boyfriend] on a regular basis,” by not having, the kind of sex that the ESC tells me is “more grownup kinds of sex.” Whatever that even means. Is the childishness of the handjob anything at all like Sigmund Freud’s assertion that only sexually immature women have clitoral orgasms, and that real, mature women can have vaginal orgasms from penetration alone?
Again, our words are taken out of context and/or misunderstood. The phrase about "more grown up kinds of sex" was used elsewhere in the blog, not in response to Advice Bootcamp, and was used in jest, in relation to our earlier joke about how we thought that only teenagers still gave handjobs and also as a nod to those who feel that intercourse is for grownups. It was certainly not in relation to anyone with a sexual disorder or dysfunction (nor was the term "refusing" meant to represent women with FSD, but rather a situation more like Advice Bootcamp described: where your partner's sex drive is simply greater than your own).

We can understand how this may have come off as rude or dismissive and for that we apologize, but it was never our intention. But at the same, it's a blog about handjobs... it was obviously meant to be lighthearted and silly.

She took also took objection to our use of the terms "sexless" and "normal". "Sexless" was used in response to Advice Bootcamp's apparent definition of sex (since she refers to the handjob as an alternative to sex and her relationship's near lack of sex). We don't personally consider vaginal-penile intercourse to be the only way to have "sex" but in the context of the topic it was used, well, as shorthand (pun intended) for intercourse.

As for "normal" - if you read the full blog you'll notice we only used it in quotation marks. It was meant to counter Advice Bootcamp's apparent feelings that her sex drive was somehow inadequate or abnormal. If we actually felt that she was abnormal, we wouldn't have put quotes around the word. ("Normal" is definitely a loaded word, but then many are equally offended by the term "dysfunction".) We understand that perhaps this was a poor choice of words on our part and apologize for that.

But alas, a handjob, in and of itself, is inadequate as sex play. From a comment left by one of the authors:
We did say that we’ve used the handjob as part of foreplay. It is merely the handjob for the sake of handjob that mystifies us.
Foreplay. As in, something leading to “Real” sex, rather than something to enjoy by itself. Something that must inevitably lead to more.
It's important to note that the quote she attributes to us (Lilith) was from a comment, not the blog itself. Why? Because it was in response to another commenter and therefore is better understood in the original context. In the blog we had mentioned that we personally don't give a lot of handjobs:

We've had lots of different kinds of sex over the years... but we've rarely given handjobs simply for the sake of giving handjobs. (Typically they are a very brief part of foreplay only.)
This is not a judgment. This is merely an explanation of our own behavior. A reader seemed to have missed that point and commented:

[...] a "blowjob" can be a part of foreplay and doesn't always mean starting and ending with purely blowjob activity.. but you are judging the hand job all on it's own instead of also as a part of a (hopefully) more complex, exciting, and creative event that involves many different activities and positions?
So we pointed out that we did in fact mention the use of the handjob in foreplay. We weren't saying that was the only acceptable use - but simply it was the extent of our experience on the subject. We've rarely had men who wanted a handjob - and that's only a handjob - when there were other "activities" available to them. In no way do we judge those who feel differently; we can only recount our personal experiences with men.

The intention of the blog was not to mock or shame those who have different experiences, but rather to hear the other side... a side that we're not familiar with. And okay, maybe we did it with a little extra sarcasm and snark, but you know, that's kind of our thing. I think it's safe to assume that a group who calls themselves "evil sluts" has a sense of humor about our sex lives (perhaps a warped one at that) and about what other people might think of our choices. It has never been our place to judge anyone else's choices. We apologize to Feminists with FSD and anyone else who may have felt that's what we were doing.