South African doctor invents "anti-rape" female condoms with "teeth"

Sonnet Ehlers, a doctor in South Africa, has designed, patented, and manufactured an "anti-rape female condom" with the unambiguous brand name Rape-aXe. Women who believe they are at high risk of being raped insert the device into themselves like a tampon, and wear it around indefinitely as a form of protection when anticipating risk. The "teeth" inside cause intense pain and potential injury to a male upon penetration, and basically clamp down, making exit from the device painful. The thing does leave damage. Snip:

Ehlers said she sold her house and car to launch the project, and she planned to distribute 30,000 free devices under supervision during the World Cup period. "I consulted engineers, gynecologists and psychologists to help in the design and make sure it was safe," she said. After the trial period, they'll be available for about $2 a piece. She hopes the women will report back to her.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. The design is ingenious, and it's certainly an interesting thing to talk about in a blog post. But I think I agree with the concerns of critics who say the device isn't a real solution to the problem of rape, and I worry that it could place the women who use it at higher risk for violence from men who find their "parts" trapped in the thing. Without getting too graphic here—other forms of sexual assault are still possible. And beyond that, the idea of carrying this thing around inside one's body is very strange:
It's also a form of "enslavement," said Victoria Kajja, a fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the east African country of Uganda. "The fears surrounding the victim, the act of wearing the condom in anticipation of being assaulted all represent enslavement that no woman should be subjected to."

"It not only presents the victim with a false sense of security, but psychological trauma," she added. "It also does not help with the psychological problems that manifest after assaults."

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Stone Age dildo unearthed in Sweden?

Stone-age dildo unearthed in Sweden? Best part of the article is the photo of the object next to a ruler. Snip: "Perhaps instead of, or in addition to, its sexual purpose, the object may have been used as a tool, such as to chip flakes of flint, [the archaeologist] suggested. One end is shaped into more of a point, he said. It's not immediately clear whether the tool would have been one most likely to be used by men or women or both. 'If it's a tool and it's also shaped like a penis, it could be an item where you want to discuss gender questions." (thanks, Steve Silberman)

A lust letter to NYC's indie burlesque scene (photos)

Jeff Simmermon's homage to the NYC indie burlesque scene, in text and photographs. Here's a large Flickr gallery, and here is a blog post.

Aziz and her dignity (a Boing Boing guest-dispatch from Pakistan)

Since it’s pride week, I thought I’d share a small story about the disenfranchised transgendered community here in Karachi.

Ashi stands by the door of the shared house where she lives with Aziz and Nighat.

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Porn Valley "samurai sword" slasher (and web designer) played Obama in adult film


Following up on yesterday's Boing Boing post about a part-time web designer/part-time adult film actor who—using a prop "samurai sword"—is believed to have stabbed several porn biz co-workers, killing one and causing so much damage to another's hand that it may be amputated.... Susannah Breslin reports:

erec.jpg AdultFYI [NSFW] reports that Stephen Hill [...] played President Barack Obama in a hardcore adult movie.

That movie is “Palin: Erection 2008,” and it was produced by Milton “Todd” C. Ault, III, the CEO of Zealous Inc. who was sued by several hedge funds after it was discovered Ault was funneling their moneys into making porn movies and a planned swingers retreat in the Catskills and not an “integrated global community of trading partners,” the New York Daily News reported last year.

Porn Valley killer played Obama in porn spoof (True/Slant)

Related, from LA Times today: The murder victim is identified. His name was Herbert Hin Wong, and he was born in China. There's a manhunt on for the suspect.

Inset, above, Hill (credited as Steve Driver) and a co-star Raquel Divine on the cover of the DVD for the adult film in question. A quick Google for "Palin: Erection 2008" yields many NSFW torrents, video clips, and images, but I will not be linking to them.

Sex, technology, and diabetes

"A $6,000 insulin pump with an on-board computer chip is not alluring. Neither is the white mesh adhesive patch on my naked abdomen or the length of nylon tubing that connects the patch to the pump. There is only illness, and there is no way to make that sexy. After several years as a medical device wearer, I know."
Those are the opening sentences of "Tethered to the Body," an essay the writer and teacher Jane Kokernak wrote about her adjustment to wearing an insulin pump and its affect on her sense of sexual self. It connects disability and sexuality in novel and moving ways (it also introduced me to the term "disability erotica"). The essay, which originally appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, has been reprinted in A Sweet Life, a site for the "healthy diabetic." The story is close to me for many reasons. I'm diabetic, too, although I am not insulin-dependent, and, more important, Jane is my wife, so the sex she's talking about in the essay is with, well, me. You may wish to consider my recommendation with that in mind, but I guarantee you that this will be the only piece you ever read in which the two tags are "Insulin Pump" and "Sex."

Stupid, draw back your bow


In my spam: boner pill fantasy art. This is a real image that adorned a spam email message from a Chinese meds site.

Thinking off

Big Think video: "According to Rutgers psychology professor Barry Komisaruk, some women are able to achieve orgasm through mental activity alone. What can their brains tell us about the neurological basis of sexual pleasure, and can these discoveries help patients who are unable to orgasm at all?"

Yves Béhar's seven-hour vibrator


Yves Béhar (who is in an epic struggle with Marc Newson to claim the title of "sexiest industrial designer alive") designed this vibrator. It looks like a Miyazaki cartoon creature.

The Form 2 takes a two-pronged approach to the vibrator, giving its user what they're calling "Sensation in Stereo." The "ears" can be positioned independently like a Gumby action figure for maximum, um, range, and the entire thing is made from phthalate-free platinum silicone to be completely waterproof. There's even a cute iPod-esque docking station for charging and it can operate UP TO SEVEN HOURS on a single charge.

A New Vibrator by Yves Behar Arouses Our Interest

Duke University official concerned that sex toy study will make students want to "just sit around and masturbate"

A Duke University study on sex toys has the University's Catholic Center director worried that female students will "just sit around and masturbate."

Life Lessons from the Vogelkop Bowerbird


Lesson 1: When choosing gifts for your date, remember that girls prefer flowers to piles of fungus-ridden dung.

You know how some movies or TV shows are painful to watch because you see that a character is making some awkward mistake and you just know it will end horribly? This BBC video is similar. I kept thinking, "No, Mr. Vogelkop Bowerbird! Don't give her that! You'll never get mated!" But, honestly, I was thinking that at the flower-power fellow. Foolishly, I'd assumed that the lesson here was going to be something along the lines of, "Birds like things humans find repugnant and isn't that interesting."

Instead, the lesson turns out to be, "Everybody poops, but that doesn't mean they want to receive it as a gift."

VIDEO: Inside the Love-Den of the Vogelkop Bowerbird, BBC Life

Image courtesy the BBC, via Adam Abu-Nab

Transgender papaya

Transgender papaya: scientists change the sex of a tropical fruit to help farmers. With papaya, there are three options: male, female, "intersexed." The latter taste best, but don't breed so well. (via oxbloodruffin)

Homophobia in Venezuela

Police in Venezuela are rounding up gay/lesbian/bi/trans folk into vans and hauling them to jail by the dozens, according to reports. "Our IDs and mobile phones were taken away, we were beaten, [and] our sexual orientation was insulted." (Thanks, Antinous)

Will the Duggars Inherit the Earth?

In which I am inspired by a snarky comment on another blog.

My normal routine involves a fair amount of procrastination, but I tell myself that’s OK (really), because sometimes it leads to work ideas.

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Guy in Egypt orders "artificial hymen kit" over the internet, blogs about it

hymen.jpgNews reports earlier this month created a global stir around an odd "made in China" product marketed to the Middle East - cheap artificial hymens. They're intended for use by brides who feel compelled to fake virginity, in countries where not being a virgin at marriage is a very big, very bad thing. Conservative Egyptian politicians wanted to ban the product. One curious (male) blogger in Egypt decided to order one.

Mohammad Al Rahhal picked up the contraband gyno-goods at his local post office in Egypt:

it had been opened by various puzzled customs and postal employees who, at a loss, defined the product in writing as "containing an unknown red liquid" - and awaited my description.
Al Rahhal told inspectors it was "cinematographic make-up," and took his hymen home.

Marwa Rakha over at Global Voices has more from Al Rahhal's product review (he explains how it works, sort-of NSFW if only for use of anatomically specific language). Also, a report at the UK Guardian.

Spoiler: Al Rahhal's verdict? This thing, and the thinking behind it, are totally stupid. "Morality is worst interpreted by anatomy," he says. Bravo, dude.