News and Education

The scene at Occupy Cal last night (VIDEO)

|
(0)

Students at the University of California at Berkeley voted overwhelmingly to reestablish an Occupy encampment at the university's Sproul Plaza yesterday, Nov. 15, following a student strike and Day of Action packed with marches, rallies, and student protests called in response to a police crackdown on Occupy Cal's first attempt to set up tents Nov. 9.Read more »

Author Christopher Ryan and the socio-evolutionary reasons for non-monogamy

|
(0)

Love your partner and love to fool around with other people? Author Christopher Ryan says that’s perfectly natural. A psychologist and historian who insists that human beings are not cut out for sexual monogamy, Ryan's hitting SF next week (Wed/9-Thu/10) to talk about the evolutionary reasons for why that's so. Read more »

Get on the bus: St. James Infirmary's new sex worker PSAs are

|
(3)

St. James Infirmary has been providing free, non-judgmental medical and social services for sex workers since 1999. This week, it’ll take the next step. The clinic is putting ads up in Muni buses throughout the city this month meant to educate and inspire Muni riders throughout the city.  

But the campaign, entitled “Someone you know is a sex worker,” won’t be seen on a billboard near you. The ads, which feature actual sex workers, were rejected outright by both Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor before transit ad company Titan 360 agreed to the bus campaign. Read more »

Oakland to be soaked in Moregasms

|
(0)

Heads up, fans of informative playfulness: Babeland co-founder Rachel Venning will be at Diesel Books in Oakland on Tues/16 to read from and sign copies of her latest book Moregasm, a guide to getting more from our sexual forays.

The majority of mainstream sex guides currently available follow a formula I've never understood, which is to feature real people in the cover photo and then nowhere else in the book. These ludicrous covers, mostly featuring underwear-clad models in suggestively prone positions, are a source of embarrassment at the cash register, but a worse offense is found inside. Upon opening the book the reader discovers, rather than any useful or instructional photos, a slew of black and white diagrams in stick-figure detail accompanied by text that is generally inscrutable. The sexual acts are described in ways that are alternately clinical and deliberately vague, peppered with medical terms like "vasocongestive arousal" along with meaningless Cosmopolitan-isms about revving engines or raising temperatures or similar banalities with which we are all familiar.

Taking this convention into consideration, Moregasm happily does the opposite.

Read more »

This Saturday, give your Valentine the gift of ... VD?

|
(1)

In honor of Valentine's Day, a series of parochial films called "Love, Sex, and Venereal Disease," presented by Oddball Film and Video, will premiere at 275 Capp Street on Saturday/13. Local filmmaker Stephen Parr runs the enterprise, and Oddball's public showings are compiled from Parr's enormous archive of offbeat film stock footage.

"Love, Sex, and Venereal Disease" is a motley repertoire. Included are films like "VD Attack Plan," a Disney animation about syphilis and gonorrhea, and the judicious "Social-sex Attitudes in Adolescence," which assures viewers that, being merely a phase, teenage gayness is not to be feared. There is also "Lot in Sodom," a 1933 avant-garde interpretation of the well-known Biblical story, and "The Innocent Party," about a lascivious teen whose past is checkered by venereal disease.

Read more »

alt.sex.column: Ars longa

|
(0)

andrea@altsexcolumn.com

Dear Andrea:

I'm 43, good-looking, and reputedly sexy, funny, and easy to hang out with. I got laid almost daily in my 20s. But my last steady relationship was in 2007. My confidence is at an all-time low. I masturbate way too much to movies with Asian women and men who are hung to the floor, which makes me feel very small. I'm in a bad place right now and I don't see the point of approaching women since I won't be able to satisfy them like in the movies. Read more »

The Sexy Professor speaks at City Lights

|
(0)

Literary critic, Stanford professor, and sexy-brainy scholar Terry Castle will be speaking at City Lights Books on Tuesday, Feb. 9, about The Professor and Other Writings, a series of meditations on topics ranging from Art Pepper to the Polermo catacombs to Susan Sontag. When read together, the essays coalesce into a singular, fearless new memoir.

Castle has produced an incredible body of literary criticism and, in her work, she often explores the complicated relationship between literature and sex. Books like The Apparitional Lesbian and The Literature of Lesbianism examine depictions of love between women in the Western literatary canon. Boss Ladies, Watch Out: Essays on Women, Sex, and Writing investigates female sexuality in works by famous women writers.

But don't let the lit theory put you off. Even those allegedly allergic to theory will enjoy the candid, intelligent essays in Castle's latest work. Her intellectual gifts are obvious -- even her informal pieces have the pleasing effect of making their reader feel smarter -- but Castle remains accessible to a wide audience. In fact, her writing seems targeted at those who exist on the outskirts, or even outside, of the literary cognoscenti. Castle makes no secret of her distaste for the "preening and plumage display" of current day literary criticism, or what she calls "jargon-ridden pseudo-writing," and her informal pepperings of middle- and low-brow references throughout The Professor add to Castle's likableness. None of my college professors would ever (admittedly) discuss the "hotitude" of famous Hollywood stars; neither would they (admittedly) jam out to bass-bomping hip hop on their iPods.

Read more »