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"Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q, no longer with CBC"

on Tuesday, 28 October 2014. Hits 321

Radio host abruptly went off air last week

CBC

CBC's relationship with Jian Ghomeshi, host of the cultural affairs radio show Q, has ended, the network announced Sunday.

"The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well," the network said in a statement.

CBC ended its relationship with Ghomeshi earlier on Sunday, said spokesman Chuck Thompson.

Late Sunday afternoon, Ghomeshi posted a lengthy message on his Facebook page in which he claimed that he was terminated by the broadcaster because of the risk of his "private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer."

The Toronto Star published a story on the topic.

In the Facebook post, Ghomeshi details a relationship with a former girlfriend that apparently included "forms of BDSM," saying that he ended the relationship at the beginning of this year.

“After this, in the early spring there began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.”

Ghomeshi said he has “always been interested in a wide variety of activities in the bedroom” but only those that are “mutually agreed upon” and “consensual.”

Ghomeshi said he was open with CBC about the matter because he wanted his bosses to be aware of the situation, but has "never believed it was anyone's business" what he does in his private affairs.

"CBC has been part of the team of friends and lawyers assembled to deal with this for months," he wrote. "On Thursday I voluntarily showed evidence that everything I have done has been consensual. I did this in good faith and because I know, as I have always known, that I have nothing to hide. This when the CBC decided to fire me."

Ghomeshi added that CBC executives told him "that this type of sexual behaviour was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC."

He also writes in the post that the CBC received no formal complaints or allegations. ...

"Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor, in Black and Blue"

on Saturday, 25 October 2014. Hits 411

As more people embrace their inner kinkster, doctors need to know the details to provide quality health care. This… can be complicated.

Daily Beast

by

 

Recently, Claire Conrad, 36, found herself trussed up in stirrups—and not in a fun way. Conrad was at the ob-gyn to check to see if, as the Maryland resident likes to put it, “My cervix is trying to kill me.”

She’d had an abnormal pap smear, and was getting a colposcopy to make sure it wasn’t cancer. In the process, Conrad, who asked that her real name not be used, was coming out to her ob-gyn as kinky. It was plain as the purple and black caning marks on her legs.

Conrad, you see, is in an open marriage and enjoys a little submission and a little pain with her sex.

When her doctor blurted out, “Oh! You are bruised,” Conrad figured it could have been worse. Still, she left the appointment with the clear sense that the staff would be gossiping about her after she’d gone. If she ever had a caning session that broke the skin and became infected, she said she’d think twice about going back to her doctor.

“That’s a tough one,” she said. “If I had been injured, I don’t think I would be comfortable with talking to my doctor about it. Even if I did, I don’t know if I would be honest about what happened.”

Conrad’s not alone. Preliminary research finds that fewer than half of all kinksters are out to their healthcare providers about their kinks—and that’s in the San Francisco Bay Area, a notoriously kink-friendly place. Among those that are out, almost everyone anticipated being stigmatized, prompting them to hide aspects of their behavior that could impact their health. And while the medical field has gotten better about understanding sexual minorities, there’s still a distance to go before kinksters like Conrad feel comfortable in medical offices around the country.

“Up until now, it’s been a don’t-ask-don’t-tell kind of situation,” said Dr. Jess Waldura, lead investigator of The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (TASHRA), which plans to conduct a nationwide survey in 2015. “We need to destigmatize kink so providers can think straight when we’re confronted by it.”

The New Don’t-Ask-Don’t Tell

In the past year, Dr. Mike Lesniak has noticed a trend: His urgent care clinic in rural Pennsylvania was the go-to place for kinksters to get their wounds treated. He figured that was because the clinic wasn’t set up to document injuries in a way that would be admissible in court. And because he wasn’t their primary care doctor, they wouldn’t have to worry about looking him in the eye next time they needed to have a sinus infection checked out.

The experience left Lesniak in a quandary. He wanted to make sure the wounds were consensual. And he’d want to make sure that, if they were, they were being made safely.

“Sometimes, they’d say, ‘Everything’s OK,’ and you could tell it was. Other times, the response would be, ‘Everything’s OK,’ but you would get the vibe that there’s no way that everything is OK,” he said. “I try to delve into what they are doing so that I can assure myself that they are acting safely. And if not, then I can help them adjust some things to be safer.”

Kinksters’ reticence makes sense. Before 2013, people interested in bondage and discipline or sado-masochism (BDSM)—that is, getting an erotic thrill from being tied up or tying someone else up, or hurting someone or being hurt by someone—were treated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of psychiatric care, as a mental disorder that could then be used in court to remove children from kinkster parents, among other things. Today, the DSM defines BDSM as a kink that only becomes a disorder if it’s causing distress or dysfunction.

The problem, said Dr. Charles Moser, a San Francisco-based internal medicine physician and perhaps the leading researcher on kink in healthcare, is that it’s up to a doctor to determine if a kink is causing distress. If the doctor is biased, he may still classify it as a disorder that can lead to legal repercussions.

Shame-Free Care

It’s a shame because, though because the majority of the 120 self-identified Bay Area kinksters Waldura recruited for the initial study said it’s important to be open with one’s providers about one’s kink, fewer than half actually were. And many said they had physical and mental health needs associated with their kinks.

Those needs varied depending on where respondents were in the kink universe. You’d expect submissives and masochists to sustain more injuries than dominants and sadists—but neither tend to bring their concerns to physicians, said Moser.

Moser had made a practice of treating the kinky. Sometimes this means talking about hepatitis A and B vaccines and risk for hepatitis C infection with someone participating in blood play, or talking about how to reduce risk of infection if someone is playing with needles. More often, thought, it’s high blood pressure, diabetes and other typical health needs that go unaddressed when kinksters delay care to avoid provider bias.

“I always say that people have more accidents on the way to and from the play party than at the party,” said Moser, author of Healthcare Without Shame.

Avoiding care can lead to the same kind of health disparities experienced by anyone who delays care: unchecked diabetes, for instance, or undiagnosed high blood pressure, which put people at higher risk for major health problems like kidney failure or heart attack.

And while other research indicates that kinksters may be more mentally healthy than their vanilla counterparts, the TASHRA participants said they experienced fears around talking to therapists about their kinks. ...

"From gang bangs to glam: How Kink.com is remaking itself as a lifestyle brand"

on Friday, 24 October 2014. Hits 349

The BDSM site halts its most extreme offshoots in hopes of pushing into the mainstream

Salon

by

 

In a surprising move, BDSM porn company Kink.com has suddenly stopped production on two of its most “extreme” sub-sites. CEO Peter Acworth tells Salon the company is halting filming on the wildly popular Public Disgrace and Bound in Public. Both series were shot with a public, and often participatory, audience — and as such, generated attention and criticism. (You can read about my experience witnessing a Public Disgrace shoot here.) The company is also rebranding HardCoreGangBangs as FantasyGangBangs, while putting a stronger emphasis throughout the series on consent.

At the same time, Kink is ramping up its educational efforts, in the form of video demonstrations of and sexuality workshops on everything from fellatio to dirty talk to rope restraint. Increasingly, Kink will be welcoming the public into The Armory, the company’s historic castle-like building in San Francisco, for events kinky and otherwise. Their massive drill court? Acworth is hoping the NSFW venue will become host to SFW conferences.

It’s hard to know what this story is really about. The proliferation of free online porn? (After all, with porn profits plummeting, alternative revenue streams are a smart move.) The success of activists in putting pressure on pornographers? Censorship through political pressure? The coming-of-age of a popular porn company? The mainstreaming of BDSM? Whatever it is, it certainly seems reflective of the time we’re living in.

This decision comes after a spot of bad press. Last summer, former porn performer Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV after filming a Public Disgrace shoot. The transmission did not happen on set, but the incident amounted to a lot of negative P.R. for Kink and the porn industry as a whole — especially after Bay reported that her costar got a cut on his penis during filming but the shoot continued. Acworth says the decision to bring the series, along with Bound in Public, to a halt isn’t driven by that, alone, though. Instead, he says it’s an attempt to be more inclusive, and to better fulfill the company’s aim of “demystifying alternative sexualities.” It’s also part of a new push to turn Kink.com into a lifestyle brand à la Playboy.

I spoke with Acworth by phone about the future of the porn industry, condom activism and turning Kink’s naughty logo into the contemporary equivalent of the Playboy bunny.

Tell me about this recent decision to shut down two of your sites.

We’ve essentially stopped shoots on both sites that would have a public audience. That is to say, Bound in Public and Public Disgrace, and we are changing Hardcore Gangbangs to be much more explicitly the fantasy of the female participant. It’s a rebrand. Behind the scenes, these larger scenes with lots of people were quite frankly controlled, but nevertheless they look like they’re not controlled. We’ve been attacked in that manner in the past. It’s difficult to defend, as much as if you would actually speak to the people who were there, or speak to the crew, we could explain how the situation is controlled, but the outside view may be a little more difficult at first view. The mission of the company is to demystify alternative sexuality. Most people are just figuring out what their sexuality is, so we want to open the door to them. If the first thing they see is super-extreme, it doesn’t fulfill our mission as well.

What kind of criticism were you facing, was it mostly in the condom debate?

Certainly. We know that the people concerned didn’t actually contract HIV on set, nevertheless, the last shoot that the individuals last summer were in happened to be at Kink. We suffered a great deal of negative P.R. over that whole issue, and the fact that Kink.com was one of the companies that signed up to fight that new legislation. It made us a scapegoat for a lot of negative publicity.

I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily the primary driver behind this. In general, we’re wanting to become a lifestyle brand and that’s been the vision for some time, even before these things last summer. We’re in the process of rebuilding our backend infrastructure and the engine that powers the sites and it’s entirely possible to sell products — for instance, you can click on a movie and see what items we used on a movie and put them in the shopping cart and check out. We’re wanting our logo to be sort of more of a lifestyle brand than just known for the movies we make. ...

"The perils of polyamory"

on Friday, 17 October 2014. Hits 250

A poly partner who now wants monogamy, an accidental triad, and more

Chicago Reader

by Dan Savage

QI'm a married 28-year-old male. My partner and I are conflicted over the level of openness in our relationship. She describes herself as "postmononormative." I consider myself GGG. While I know that she wants me to be her life companion, she has expressed a need for novel experiences that may not include me. While I accept that there is no essential link between erotic love and long-term partnership, I reject the polyamorous notion that love is limitless—when she's misinterpreted conversations and transgressed boundaries, it has always coincided with the neglect of our own relationship. I have given up seeking the moral high ground and just want to find a solution. Should I have polyamorous relationships of my own? Or should I focus on cultivating shared erotic experiences with my partner? And do her transgressions mean that the boundaries we've set are not explicit or generous enough? —Nonnormative Problems

AI don't think retaliatory polyamory is healthy or sustainable. ("I don't want to have other partners, but if you're going to have other partners, then so am I! Let's see how you like it!") And while you can focus on cultivating shared erotic experiences, NNP, your partner has made it clear that she needs—and intends to have—novel experiences that don't include you. And while her transgressions may mean the boundaries you've set aren't explicit or generous enough, NNP, it's likelier that your partner gets off on transgression. Some people do.

I think you're confused, NNP, and your confusion stems from the fact that your partner is negotiating with you about her nonnegotiable terms. She's going to do who and what she wants whether you like it or not, and she's going to hide behind "postmononormative" labels and claims that conversations were misinterpreted if that's what it takes. Accept her terms or divorce her ass, but stop deluding yourself. ...

"For College Students, 'Consent Is Sexy'"

on Thursday, 16 October 2014. Hits 379

Huffington Post

By Kira Brekke

California's new "affirmative consent" law is setting a different precedent for how college campuses handle sexual assault cases.

This landmark law mandates that both partners issue "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity." It acknowledges that fear or other factors may prevent a potential victim from saying "no" to sexual activity, so it shifts the burden to obtain consent to what would be the possible perpetrator.

So what does this mean, and what are the implications of the law? The Huffington Post's Senior College Editor Tyler Kingkade and HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Tuesday spoke with Julia McCarthy, a sophomore at UCLA, and Northwestern University student William Altabef about how to make consent sexy, and what the law means for students.

Despite criticism, students like Altabef believe it's totally realistic to ask for consent in a sexy way, as he explains in the video clip above. ...

"Bashara repeatedly lied to wife and mistress, jury told"

on Thursday, 16 October 2014. Hits 272

Detroit Free Press


by Elisha Anderson

 

Bob Bashara lied to his wife about his whereabouts when he attended BDSM — bondage, discipline, sadomasochism — parties with his mistress.

His wife, Jane Bashara, wasn't into the lifestyle and wouldn't understand or condone it, so he kept it from her.

The topic of divorce came up at Bashara's dungeon in Grosse Pointe, and Bashara made a comment that stuck with Patrick Webb.

"Sometimes I think it'd be cheaper to kill the bitch," Webb, who frequently hosted BDSM parties, recalled Bashara saying in 2009.

Webb revealed those details—along with Bashara's plans with his former lover, Rachel Gillett— when he testified in Bob Bashara's murder trial Wednesday.

The 56-year-old Grosse Pointe Park man is accused of directing his former handyman, Joseph Gentz to kill his wife in January 2012.

Webb testified under cross examination that at the time, he didn't think much of the comment Bashara made and said people were joking around when he said it.

"I took it just like any other blue-collar American would take it," Webb said. "It's just blowing off some steam. Did I put any weight to it? No."

Less than three years later, a tow truck driver discovered Jane Bashara's Mercedes SUV dumped in Detroit—her lifeless body was slumped in the backseat.

Prosecutors have said Bashara planned a new life with Gillette and said the "relationship was the motive for the crime." ...

In another email, Bashara told Gillett he could not imagine a life without her and said he was ready to make a "life-changing event."

"I am your man," he wrote. "You are my woman. I remain Master Bob."

The two attended dozens of BDSM parties together that Webb hosted, according to testimony.

Bashara though was always concerned about his private affairs being known in public, didn't want to be outed in his community and was paranoid over any pictures taken of him, Webb testified.

"He has mentioned that he has to keep these things private from his wife," Webb said.

Bashara, he said, expressed feeling trapped in his marriage and wanted to spend more time with Gillett.

"He wanted to do more in the BDSM community," Webb testified.

He took the stand on the second day of testimony in the high-profile trial that is expected to continue with Gillett's testimony Thursday morning.

"Vanilla Sex: A Perfectly Fine Way to Fuck"

on Wednesday, 15 October 2014. Hits 975

Gawker

by Monica Heisey

 

Kinky sex is back. Again. As Laura Antoniu, author of popular erotica series The Marketplace puts it, "the mainstream media 'discovers' kinky sex every 10 years or so." This time around, the discovery has been linked to more than a few sources: Rihanna, "the Internet," smartphones, and almost inevitably, the 100 million copies sold worldwide of 50 Shades of Grey.

Quietly accompanying these resurgent think/kink pieces is coverage of kink's less-sensational sister: vanilla. Media discussion of vanilla sex tends to take the form of escape routes: "15 Ways To Turn Vanilla Sex Into Mind-Blowing Sex," "Top 6 Ways To Add Color To Vanilla Sex," "No More Vanilla: 8 BDSM Moves To Try Now." Occasionally you'll find a spirited "In Defense of Vanilla Sex" but the very premise of these pieces suggests that this type of sex = zzzzzzzzzzzz.

So what's the problem with vanilla sex?

That depends on whom you ask. The issue with understanding vanilla—the supposed "standard," mainstream version of sex—is that its definition is relative. Initially used by the kink community to indicate (in what seems to have been a largely non-judgmental way) the "norm" from which they deviated, it is now widely used as a catchall phrase denoting sex free of the bells and whistles of kink. No toys, no power play, no costumes, no imagined identities, safe words, or porn. It is generally imagined as missionary-style sex in the dark between a monogamous, white, heterosexual couple, with minimal foreplay, some quick (but not too quick) P-in-V intercourse, and at least one (but certainly not more than two) orgasms. The kind of sex The Cleavers probably had, if they had it at all.

There's not much to work with because vanilla is defined by what it isn't, rather than what it is. It is perhaps because of this definition-ingrained lack that self-help books and relationship therapists and articles constantly suggest you "spice up" your vanilla sex life by taking a page out of EL James' terrible yet ubiquitous book. Feeling like things are lagging in the bedroom? Buy some silk boxers! Tie him up! Have you thought about handcuffs? In an especially hot take, the Huffington Post suggests: "be different" (this seems to mean the application of a temporary tattoo).

Not a notoriously imaginative bunch to begin with, the vanilla-identified sex havers of the world are buying the suggested sex toys and other accessories in droves, reinforcing the time-honored truth that making people feel ashamed of themselves is a great way to sell basically anything.

The problem, of course, is that buying a riding crop for a night doesn't make you enjoy getting spanked. Sexual preference can't be faked (at least not well or to everyone's mutual pleasure), and the couple playing around with a set of fuzzy handcuffs might get some thrill out of feeling "bad" for an evening, but those cuffs will quickly end up in the junk drawer with the all the crumpled receipts and paint stirrers (incidentally a fantastic DIY stand-in for spanking paddles) if it's just not their thing.

The absolutism of the fight against vanilla sex (it's never just like "have fun with it!") suggests a total lack of awareness re: the actualities of the kink community. As even a light bondage enthusiast could tell you, 50 Shades of Grey is not an accurate representation of BDSM, let alone a reliable representation of the entire realm of kinks out there. To say someone is either kinky or vanilla is to ignore the incredibly varied world of fetishes and preferences nestled under the umbrella term "kinky." It's a logical extension then, that the same is true of vanilla. Not everyone who is into power play is into water sports; not everyone who likes it missionary likes it with the lights off. ...

"Former friend of Bashara testifies about BDSM lifestyle"

on Wednesday, 15 October 2014. Hits 231

Fox News 2

DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) - Robert Godard was the first witness in the Bob Bashara trial for the murder of wife Jane on Tuesday.

Godard was a former long-time friend of Bashara's, who Bob had introduced to the BDSM lifestyle.

It is an alternative lifestyle Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans asked him to explain.

"It's very hard to explain," Godard said.

"Does that stand for bondage-discipline-sadomasochism," he was asked.

"Yes," Godard said.

Godard replied in questioning that in the lifestyle people are submissive people and others considered dominant, which he also referred to as slaves and masters.

After being asked what role Bashara had, Godard said: "He was a master. He did have a dungeon, yes."

Godard testified that Master Bob had a slave and it wasn't his wife.

Did you meet somebody named Rachel Gillette?

"Yes, one of Bob's slaves," Godard said.

Lindsey asked if Bob had several slaves, to which Godard said yes.

Prosecutors say it was Rachel that Bashara was planning a future with.

"After his kids were out of school, he was going to leave her and make his life with Rachel.

"There was a house there were going to be purchasing somewhere in Grosse Pointe and they were going to make a life together and live in that house." ...

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