Big Bang: the "stupid patent" on teledildonics has expired

Twenty years ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 6,368,268: "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks," a minor classic of a majorly fucked-up genre, the bullshit tech patent that simply adds "with a computer" to some absolutely obvious and existing technology or technique. Read the rest

FDA warns companies: stop selling quack "vaginal rejuvenation," adds, "People, please don't do this to yourselves"

The FDA has sent warning letters to seven companies selling quack "energy based" vaginal rejuvenation "therapies," in which repurposed laser and radio-frequency-based tools that are used to remove warts and precancerous growths are used to scorch peoples' vaginas, a process that is claimed to have benefits for sexual dysfunction, urinary problems, dryness, "laxity," itching and a host of ills. Some of these companies specifically target breast-cancer survivors. Read the rest

Android's keyboard will no longer autocomplete "sit" with "on my face" thanks to me

Last week, I sent an SMS to our babysitter that said, "Hey, are you free to sit on," and rather than offering autocomplete suggestions like "Saturday" or "Friday," the default Android keyboard suggested "on my face and." Read the rest

LISTEN: Audio of Trump & Cohen talking Playboy model payoff

Donald Trump can be heard on an audiotape released by CNN tonight talking with his former fixer/attorney Michael Cohen about how to purchase the rights to a Playboy model's story about an affair she says she had with Trump years earlier. Read the rest

Sex-robot has "family mode" switch so kids can play with it. Ethicist says it is "profoundly damaging" to children

Aarran Lee Wright, 36, a married man and father of two young children, says his sex-robot can be switched to "family mode," for G-rated playtime with the kids.

From the NY Post:

Wright revealed that his children, aged three and five, play with Samantha and watch TV alongside her. And his wife said: “I am not worried she will replace me. She is just someone there like a family member.”

Now a group of professors have slammed the idea of a family-friendly sex robot as “damaging” for kids.

“Children will imitate machines if brought up by them,” Kathleen Richardson, professor of ethics and culture of robots and AI at De Montfort University, told New Statesmen.

“A daughter is going to grow up and think maybe this happened because Mommy wasn’t beautiful enough – am I?

“They’ll learn that women only have certain uses. Then they start to use that as a template for how they interact intimately with others – this is profoundly damaging.”

NSFW video:

Image: HAVC pipes by F. Javier Ballester/Shutterstock Read the rest

Sky blue, water wet, porn filters don't work

In Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material, two researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute reveal their empirical findings on the efficacy of porn filters -- the online systems that are supposed to stop users from seeing sexual images, videos, and text. Read the rest

China announces crackdown on ASMR videos as pornographic

In the five years since I first wrote about "Autonomous sensory meridian response" (ASMR) a folk-neurological condition that describes the pleasant shivers some people experience when hearing certain soft noises, ASMR has gone mainstream -- my ten year old daughter describes the texture of the slime she makes as "really ASMR." Read the rest

What makes a woman? New documentary seeks answers

Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf hosts the new Channel 4 documentary What Makes a Woman? Science and society are grappling with the complex and contentious topics of sex, sexuality, and gender. New research and evidence demonstrate that simplistic binaries are more complicated than previously believed. Read the rest

"World's Largest Orgy" no longer hosted at Las Vegas Embassy Suites, but it's still on, now with more science

Menage Life's world's biggest orgy on June 2 will move from an Embassy Suites hotel in Las Vegas to the Erotic Heritage Museum. Menage Life said the change is due to “increased interest in the event." Embassy Suites management told the Las Vegas Weekly that "while Sin City 8 room guests are welcome to stay there, the previously scheduled events outside of the orgy—including the seminars and parties—are no longer permitted at the hotel." No matter who made the decision to relocate the orgy and other events, Menage Life says that the new location for the sex party makes it possible to do some science among the carnal chaos! From the Las Vegas Weekly:

According to today's news release, Erotic Heritage Museum Executive Director Dr. Victoria Hartmann will conduct a qualitative research project during the orgy to help fill holes in the study of the evolution of group sex. And a museum documenting the history of sex is a natural to exhibit a history-making sex event—provided, of course, the participants bring their own sex toys and leave the ancient Chinese ones in their glass case.

“We are excited to be working with the Erotic Heritage Museum on this historic opportunity!” Menage Life founder Sante Suffoletta said in a statement. “We are both aligned in our view that consenting adults should be able to fully express their sexuality without fear or shame."

Read the rest

"Dirty jokes" found in Anne Frank's diary

There was more to Anne Frank's diary than we once thought. Two pages, which were previously covered in a brown masking paper, have been revealed by researchers at Dutch museums. The pages contained "four risque jokes and candid explanations of sex, contraception and prostitution" written by the Jewish teen, according to The Guardian.

The Anne Frank Museum, the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands used digital technology to show the writing on the pages.

They photographed the pages, backlit by a flash, and then used image-processing software to decipher the words, which were hard read because they were jumbled up with the writing on the reverse sides of the pages.

In the passage on sex, Anne described how a young woman gets her period around 14, saying that it is “a sign that she is ripe to have relations with a man but one doesn’t do that of course before one is married”.

On prostitution, she wrote: “All men, if they are normal, go with women, women like that accost them on the street and then they go together. In Paris they have big houses for that. Papa has been there.”

Anne wrote her diary while she and her family hid for more than two years. The family was provided with food and other essentials by a close-knit group of helpers, until 4 August 1944 when they were discovered and ultimately deported to Auschwitz.

Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived the war.

Read the rest

Kickstarting "Drawn to Sex": Oh Joy Sex Toy's sex-ed book

A couple months back, I was delighted to learn that the good, good people at Oh Joy Sex Toy were launching a sex-ed book aimed at explaining the basics, ins, outs, whats and wherefores of sex "for those looking to learn about sex and wince at our bad dad jokes." Read the rest

The UK's surveillance regulator changed names and dropped its domain, which is now squatted by a premature ejaculation scammer

The Interception of Communications Commissioner was a watchdog created by the UK government to produce annual reports on the government's use of its surveillance powers; in September 2017 that function was folded into the Investigatory Powers Commissioner Office (IPCO) as part of the Snoopers Charter, and the UK government let the iocco-uk.info domain lapse. Read the rest

Emotional labor watch: "Closers" flirt on behalf of men who use Tinder

Closers are paid $1.45/session to log into (usually) men's dating-app accounts and flirt with the women in their queue for 10 minute stretches, as part of a gig-economy company called Vida (Virtual Dating Assistants). Read the rest

The upside of big tech is Russia vs Telegram, but the downside is Cloudflare vs SESTA

Yesterday, I wrote about the way that tech-sector concentration was making it nearly impossible for Russia to block the encrypted messaging service Telegram: because Telegram can serve its traffic through giant cloud providers like Amazon, Russia can only block Telegram by blocking everyone else who uses Amazon. Read the rest

New York judge admits to repeatedly breaking into young woman's home to steal her dirty underwear

Suffolk County District Judge Robert Cicale is facing up to 15 years in prison after he was caught breaking into the home of a neighbor and stealing a 23-year-old woman's dirty underwear; the judge says he was gripped by an "urge," and his lawyer assured the press that his client's "reputation throughout the court is stellar. Every judge, every lawyer respects him." Read the rest

The business-logic of Silicon Valley means that it can only make creepy, surveillant, pointless "smart" sex toys

People who buy sex toys generally want "high-quality, ergonomically designed toys that are intuitive to use," but Silicon Valley keeps delivering "innovative" and commercially unsuccessful sex toys whose selling-points are their "flashy apps and connectivity." Read the rest

Once-a-day birth control pills for men are one step closer to being a thing

I'm getting a vasectomy this summer. I'm 42 years old and neither I nor my wife want kids. It's time--at least for me. I know that going under the knife isn't the right choice for a lot of guys. The good news is that, according to Gizmodo, there's been a promising development in the area of male birth control.

It seems that research teams at UCLA and the University of Washington may have come up with a drug that's just as effective as the pills that many women have been popping on a daily basis for years. The drug compound, called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) could allow men to take responsibility for themselves and their partners beyond what a condom can offer:

Researchers gave DMAU to a hundred healthy adult volunteers from the ages of 18 to 50. Volunteers were given one of three varying doses of DMAU, and in one of two different formulations, in a capsule with either castor oil or powder. Five volunteers from each dosing group were randomized to receive a control placebo as well. The trial lasted for about a month, with each volunteer being told to take a daily pill with food. Eighty-three men finished the entire regimen.

By experiment’s end, the volunteers who took DMAU experienced a drop in their levels of testosterone and two other hormones involved in producing sperm, which was starkest in those who took the highest dose.

Best of all, those involved in the DMAU study suffered no adverse effects--at least in the short-term. Read the rest

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