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"The ‘Fifty Shades’ effect: How a kinky novel boosted the sex industry"

on Friday, 18 January 2013. Hits 501

Yahoo! News

It takes a lot to stop traffic on the floor of the Adult Entertainment Expo, the porn industry’s premier convention. But shortly after noon on Thursday, near dozens of scantily clad adult-film stars and tables of sex toys that would probably make even the most enterprising of lovers blush, a crowd gathered, riveted.

A woman, dressed in a hot pink corset and matching lace underpants, had decided to try out one of the more buzzed-about products that debuted at the expo: the Orbit Bed. Featuring a frame in the shape of a cradle, it allows its occupants to rock back and forth. Priced at $3,600 for the queen size, the bed also features red satin ties that allow partners to tie each other up.

As the woman rocked and forth, dozens of people stopped dead in their tracks to stare—including a man and a woman who quickly moved to inquire about the bed.

“Soft bondage is really hot right now,” explained Rick Lockett, a vice president of Liberator, an Atlanta-based company that created the bed and markets what it calls “bedroom adventure gear.”

Despite the still-shaky economy, Lockett said business has been booming—a rise he credited, in part, to the popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the New York Times' kinky best-seller about a young woman’s submissive relationship with a sexually adventurous businessman. The erotic novel and its sequels have sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, thanks to its popularity among female readers—many of whom have been inspired to be more daring in their own bedrooms as a result.

Virtually everyone at the expo this week spoke fondly of the “Fifty Shades" effect on the adult entertainment industry. Amid concerns about declining profits—partly because of the overabundance of free porn on the Internet and a market flooded by cheap sex toys—the book prompted a new surge of interest in adult products by people suddenly eager to embrace different sides of their sexuality.

“People, as we evolve, are becoming more sexually open and more socially acceptable of sex,” said James Deen, one of the industry’s most popular male performers. ...

Sneak Peek: Watch the First 5 Minutes of the New Season of Our America

on Friday, 18 January 2013. Hits 731

Opera Winfrey Network

Lisa Ling goes beyond the best-selling fantasy novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, to explore the real world of BDSM: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sado-masochism. What she finds is a kinky truth far more complicated than fiction.

Watch the first 5 minutes of the season premiere before its television debut, then, tune in for the premiere of Our America with Lisa Ling on Tuesday, January 22nd at 10/9c, only on OWN.

"University of Toronto student group hosts “epic sex club adventure”"

on Wednesday, 16 January 2013. Hits 487

Toronto Sun

It’s being billed online as an epic student sex club adventure — and in other corners of the web, a student orgy.

The University of Toronto Sexual Education Centre (SEC) is kicking off its annual Sexual Awareness Week next Monday at Oasis Aqua Lounge, a downtown club that bills itself as a water-themed adult playground, where swingers are welcome and sex is allowed everywhere but the hot tub.

“U of T is holding an orgy, and you’re invited! You just need your student ID” one Reddit user posted in a University of Waterloo forum.

“Our executive director made it very clear that this is not an orgy, we’re not funding an orgy,” says external education and outreach co-ordinator Dylan Tower, 22, as he sits inside the sixth-floor office of SEC. “People are allowed to have sex on premise … there is not any type of ‘You should be having sex when you’re here.’ It’s very much, come and enjoy the space, there’s no prodding or pushing in that direction.”

The event begins in the daytime, and organizers are asking students to keep their clothes on until 7 p.m., when the “party becomes clothing-optional so you can get naked with all your new friends.”

SEC is an affiliated levy group of the University of Toronto Students Union. Undergraduate students pay .25 cents a term for the services, and can opt out if they choose.

The group’s mission is to foster a sex-positive attitude in the greater U of T area, by offering information, programming, safer-sex supplies, and peer counselling in a welcoming environment. Their sexual awareness week includes a discussion on sex positivity, an interactive sex toy demonstration and an afternoon of pornography. The first event is the party at Oasis: the organization rented the club and lowered the price to $5 a person. (Admission for couples is normally $80.)

Tower said it is a safe and cheaper way to introduce curious students to the sex club scene in Toronto. The group plans to provide a “myriad of safer-sex supplies” so “everyone can be as safe as possible” and volunteers will circulate to “make sure everyone is respectful and having the best experience Oasis has to offer,” he posted online, addressing concerns.

The club is four storeys of easy-to-clean surfaces, with sanitizing wipes, baskets of condoms, and lots of places to mingle, including the back of a hippie van and a heated pool.

“I’m not in the lifestyle. It’s not for me, but I’m the owner, and it makes people happy,” said Jana Matthews, as she gave a tour of the facility on a quiet Monday afternoon.

Matthews said people like to visit the club because it is a safe space where there are rules and etiquette, but no judgment. Some people like to watch and be watched; other couples keep to themselves; some people go as a group and have sex with each other. Everything has to be consensual. Single men are only welcome one night a week. For the U of T event, there aren’t the same restrictions. Students are allowed to bring one guest, but must have their student ID cards. ...

"Missouri man admits grooming young woman for sadomasochism"

on Wednesday, 16 January 2013. Hits 464

Kansas City Star

A Lebanon, Mo., man accused of sexually torturing a young woman for years admitted Tuesday that he groomed her for a life of bondage and sadomasochism.

Edward Bagley Sr., 45, agreed with prosecutors to serve a 20-year prison sentence.

His guilty plea to using the Internet to entice a minor for illegal sex eliminated the need for a trial, which was to begin next month. In his plea agreement, Bagley admitted that the government could prove he had subjected the woman to harsh treatment for years.

In return for the plea and Bagley’s agreement to a long prison term, prosecutors agreed to drop other serious charges, including counts alleging conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking and document servitude. The agreement also spares Bagley’s young victim from having to testify at trial, though she can speak at sentencing if she chooses.

U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson said in a written statement that Bagley’s plea brought “closure to a shocking and horrific case.”

“Six defendants now have been brought to justice for their roles in the brutal sexual torture and enslavement of a young woman who was just a teenager when the victimization began,” Dickinson said.

Defense lawyer Susan Dill noted, however, that her client pleaded guilty only to a narrow violation.

“My client did not sexually torture or enslave anyone, nor did he plead guilty to a charge based on that,” Dill said.

U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple said he would delay formally accepting the plea agreement and binding 20-year sentence until after the court’s probation office prepares a pre-sentencing report.

The plea capped more than two years of hard-fought legal maneuvering.

“What is your plea, guilty or not guilty?” Whipple asked.

“Guilty, your honor.”

He also acknowledged knowingly inducing his victim to engage in prostitution and other sexual activity while a minor.

Prosecutors accused Bagley in September 2010 of abusing his victim for much of the previous decade. Prosecutors at the time called the allegations “among the most horrific ever prosecuted” in western Missouri federal court. ...


Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/15/2636964/missouri-man-admits-horrific-years.html#storylink=cpy

Update on the Ed Bagley Case

on Tuesday, 15 January 2013. Hits 569

Jan 15, 2013 – Today Ed Bagley pled guilty to Use of an Interstate Facility to Entice a Minor into Illegal Sexual Conduct in U.S. District Court. Bagley admitted in his plea agreement to many of the nonconsensual, violent behaviors with a minor that the prosecution claimed he did. The maximum penalties the Court may impose are: not less than ten years imprisonment and not more than life imprisonment.

The NCSF supports the rights of consenting adults to engage in BDSM, and strongly condemns those who commit violence and engage in non-consensual activities or in sexual activities with minors. We commend the Assistant DA’s office for their focus on consent, and for supporting the Female Victim in her complaint.

NCSF encourages everyone to remember that the millions of consenting adults who engage in BDSM activities should not be confused with Ed Bagley and his co-defendants’ crimes.

"Why Kink Matters"

on Tuesday, 15 January 2013. Hits 392

Huffington Post

When James Franco approached us about producing a documentary on my company last year, I was flattered -- but hesitant. As the founder of Kink.com, the largest producer of fetish and BDSM pornography in the world, I've seen a lot of harmful misconceptions construed about the company, and BDSM in general. Next week, the documentary, kink, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It will be controversial, but I hope that it starts a conversation about sex and sexuality that goes beyond the walls of the Kink.com Armory.

Fifteen years ago, I started Kink.com out of my dorm room at Columbia Business School. I had been studying for a Ph.D. in finance, on my way to becoming a professor or Wall Street bond guru, but had always wanted to run my own business. After stumbling onto a newspaper article about a firefighter who was making thousands of dollars selling adult pictures over the then-novel Internet, it became clear that I could make a living creating fetish porn -- a genre that speaks to me personally -- and I jumped at the opportunity. But for me, porn has never been just a business -- it's about providing access for hundreds of thousands of people like me whose fantasies live outside the bounds of conventional sexuality.

I grew up with an intense desire to be tied up. Indeed, as a young child I remember getting turned on by cowboy and Indian movies where someone was being restrained. When walking home from elementary school, I remember gazing at a pair of handcuffs in the window of an Army supply store. However, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I discovered erotic bondage magazines in seedy London sex stores, which lead me to the conclusion that maybe bondage could be enjoyed with a consenting partner. Maybe, I reasoned, there was nothing actually wrong with me! I struggled to find others to continue this dialogue. Several years later when I began frequenting S/M clubs in the dead of night, I recall all the patrons wore only black leather and many had a secondary "scene" name for anonymity. Even then, it struck me that kink probably had a far wider appeal than those willing to frequent these clubs and I was confused by the shroud of secrecy.

As someone who has grown up with these feelings, I believe that the widespread availability of erotica depicting diverse sexual acts is a very good thing. Anyone with a fetish is likely to find content that appeals to them specifically and thus feel less isolation, shame or confusion. Such negative emotions about sexuality are not healthy for any of us.

The work we do at Kink.com focuses on a subset of those activities encompassed under "BDSM" (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, and Sado Masochism) -- which is in turn a subset of the broader idea of sexual "kink." As a commercial enterprise, our products gravitate toward that which sells -- beautiful people, elaborate sets and props. Having said that, authenticity to the underlying fetish has always been very important to us, and making porn is not merely about money. ...

Guest Blog: A Camera Code of Conduct for Kinksters

on Saturday, 12 January 2013. Hits 373

By Tiffany D. Jones, M.A.

Part of the intrigue of kink is attributed to its marginalized position in society. Although some players are active members in the scene and not just participants in a particular scene, others prefer a private, intimate domain for play. Regardless of your preference, just as safe words are a necessity, so is safe play in terms of considering the risks of unintended public exposure. Dungeons provide an implied safe place to play in public but sometimes that is not enough. We must insist on and develop rules that minimize all risks, including those activities that may damage us physically, socially and professionally.

In a digital world with camera phones, social networking sites and the internet, we must rethink how we play and with whom. The risk of exposure for some is a fetish in and of itself. However, there are ways to play with this notion while liming the actual dangers. For example, during a scene when one threatens to take photos, pretend to do so and take photos of background objects instead. Your blindfolded partner will hear the click but the result, a photo of the floor for example, with not have the same potential negative consequences.

When we are wrapped up in a scene and safe with our partner, we must still consider the future. Some relationships turn sour, people get angry and tempers flare. A fun night of picture taking could turn into a nightmare resulting in custody battles, job loses, and damaged reputations.

When you are playing, wherever you are playing, establish a phone and camera free zone. Have attendees, you and your partner included, put phones in a container prior to entering the play space. Where some players are open with their identity, others are more private. Be cognizant of people’s preferences.

Even the most innocent picture can speak a thousand lies. Recently, I attended a sexuality conference where chose to go to a session on BDSM. At the end of the lecture, the presenter demonstrated a live BDSM scene. While there was no nudity, nor violence, the scene did include flogging. Video cameras were rolling throughout the room and people were taking pictures in abundance.

A problem arises when pictures don’t come with captions or explanations. If someone attending this professional event was photographed watching this scene, without the context, an individual could be outed without even participating in kinky sex. Their professional and/or personal life could be irrevocably broken.

Whether you are participating and playing, or learning and observing, create a code of conduct that minimizes the risk, and maximizes the experience. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Tiffany Jones, M.A. is a registered psychotherapist and has been a sex and relationship coach for the last 11 years. She started Denver Sexology LLC in 2005 to help individuals and couples who are struggling with intimacy issues and seek to improve their sexual satisfaction. She is a kink friendly professional. www.DenverSexology.com

 

"Teacher case exposes Internet's sinister side"

on Tuesday, 08 January 2013. Hits 470

LFPress.com

It’s a great networking tool, a way to build connections to people with similar interests.

But the Internet can also act as a gathering place of a more sinister kind, a kind of dingy underground meeting place for people out for blood who find like-minded deviants.

From dating websites such as Plenty of Fish and lavalife to the more fringe sites such as Fetlife, where members meet up or talk about their love of bondage, bestiality and sadomasochism, the online world has become home to plenty of subcultures.

Fetlife is one of the social networking sites that Tanya Bogdanovich, 31, and Michael MacGregor, 19, appear to have frequented.

They also appear to have profiles on a site called “Kinky Cougar Connection” and “Brother/Sister Love.”

The two are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sarnia schoolteacher Noelle Paquette, 27. The allegations against the pair haven’t been proven in court.

Paquette went missing after leaving a New Year’s Eve party in Sarnia. Her body was found Jan. 2 in a woodlot on Mandaumin Rd.

“In some instances, acting out a fantasy with a paid or consenting partner, prior to committing a sexual crime with a stranger, can be a part of the evolutionary process between fantasy and violence,” said retired OPP criminal profiler Jim Van Allan, who now runs Behavioural Sciences Solutions Group Inc.

“Some offenders ‘role play’ as a behavioural tryout or rehearsal of a planned crime.”

Van Allen is not involved in the case.

The profiles on Fetlife that appear to be Bogdanovich and MacGregor’s contain graphic images of the two and discussions of the pair engaging in violent sex acts with each other and documenting their shared obsession with rape and torture.

“The Internet has certainly increased the networking capabilites of people,” Van Allan said.

“It plays a major role in people coming together. I would say the Internet goes to facilitate and enable social interaction, but it’s not what makes people dangerous.”

The vast majority of people involved in the bondage, bestiality and sadomasochism community are not violent outside of the subculture, said James Quinn, a researcher at the University of North Texas who has studied sexuality, deviance and crime.

“They’re going to work within the community to act out their fantasies,” he said. “We don’t know yet if people go to their sites because that’s what they’re attracted to or if they become attracted to that kind of thing because they go to those sites.”

It’s possible Bogdanovich and MacGregor may have met on a cougar website, given the large age difference between them, Quinn said.

“Sometimes, there’s just a bad combination of individuals,” he said. “There’s a dynamic of ratcheting up the level of intensity of the thought and the behaviour. The Internet just probably served as a communication device here.”

In some crimes, the Internet acts as a tool for boasting about crimes or displaying one’s fantasies. ...

Latest Reader Comments

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