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"S.F. sex-harassment lawyer accused of rape"

on Sunday, 21 August 2011. Hits 824

SF Gate

A San Francisco employment lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases has been charged with rape and other crimes for allegedly attacking three women who came to his apartment in response to his Craigslist ad for rough sex.

Robert Michael Hoffman, 50, allegedly sexually assaulted a 36-year-old East Bay woman in March, a 19-year-old San Francisco woman in June and a 25-year-old East Bay woman earlier this month. The allegations include rape, sexual battery, forced oral sex and one count of false imprisonment.

Hoffman is being held at the County Jail in San Francisco on $3 million bail.

His lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, said the women had all come to Hoffman's Van Ness Avenue apartment to engage in what his ads in Craigslist's "Men Seeking Women" section billed as dominant-submissive sex.

"His ad clearly said he was seeking dominant sex with submissive women," Hanlon said. "It talked about getting controlled, getting hit and getting their hair pulled."

In at least two cases, the women had sex with Hoffman voluntarily before the incidents in which they accused him of sexual assault, Hanlon said.

Hanlon said the three women, along with a fourth alleged victim, had gone to police accusing Hoffman of having assaulted them in his apartment, but that the district attorney's office declined to file charges until the most recent case. Prosecutors have not filed charges related to the fourth alleged victim, whose accusations predate the other women's.

Hoffman was arrested Aug. 5 and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney George Gascón's office would not comment on why the office had initially declined to file charges against Hoffman when the first three women came forward. She said prosecutors were still reviewing the accusations that the first woman lodged against Hoffman last year. ...

"BDSM & Rape: What Now?"

on Sunday, 21 August 2011. Hits 1094

Charlie Glickman: Adult Sexuality Education

About a month ago, Kitty Stryker wrote a piece for the Good Vibrations Magazine, I Never Called it Rape: Addressing Abuse in BDSM Communities, in which she opened up a really important topic. It’s one that’s been simmering for a while and now that it’s come up in such a public way, there’s been a lot of different responses. There’s been the predictable set of comments, both on the Good Vibrations Magazine and on Fetlife (a social networking site for the BDSM crowd).

Some folks are making excuses for doms who assault their subs, some people are asking why people who have been assaulted don’t report it, and a few are trying to find ways to make room for both BDSM and rape awareness. I’m sure that there are other ways that people are responding, but those are the most common ones I’ve seen.

This is an issue that the kink community (if I can use that term to describe such a wide-ranging and diverse crowd) has been avoiding for a long time. And I understand why- if it comes to the surface, it gives a certain weight to the arguments that many anti-BDSM folks make about kinky sex being all about rape. But one thing that few BDSM folks seem willing to acknowledge is that, yes, some people are drawn to BDSM because it gives them an excuse to hurt others. To be 100% clear, I’m not talking about the kinds of intense sensation that some people enjoy, especially in the context of erotic energy (with or without genital stimulation). I’m talking about the people who take advantage of a newbie’s naïveté and tells them that “this is how this works.” I’m talking about the people who push someone past their limits without negotiating that. I’m talking about people who use BDSM as an excuse to violate boundaries under the guise of being Lord Domly Dom®. I’m talking about people who don’t care about the consent of the other person.

In addition to those folks, there are also situations in which a top is clueless or selfish. Malice isn’t the only reason people cross boundaries, and these other motivations don’t change the impact of the experience on the person who’s been assaulted. I’m certainly not suggesting that “I didn’t mean to” is an excuse. And I do think it can make a difference in how we choose to respond.

Unfortunately, in addition to the tendency of marginalized communities to avoid “airing their dirty laundry in public” (and yes, BDSM folks are marginalized, even with all of the S/M imagery in the media), there are a lot of dynamics that reinforce this setup. I think it’s important to look at them in order to deal with them, although I don’t expect that this is a complete list. ...

 

 

"BDSM's Dirty Secret – The Real Risk of Kinky Sex"

on Tuesday, 16 August 2011. Hits 1219

SEXIS

As kinky folks, most of us have heard of the risks associated with certain activities we like: rope cuts off circulation, bruises invite suspicion and speculation, infected wounds or bites just plain suck and breath play can flat out be deadly... but there's more.

 

"HBO Documentary Series Presents - Gloria: In Her Own Words, preview"

on Monday, 15 August 2011. Hits 434

Monsters & Critics

I was a little girl when Gloria Steinem came on the scene. My mother was an early N.O.W. member in Massachusetts, and a subscriber to Steinem's MS. Magazine.

Gloria was the sexy feminist; the one with long back combed hair, nails and was always a chic understated fashion icon. She was the kind of feminist that made men soften, important men like Henry Kissinger.

Gloria was a feminist at a time when women were invisible on the news, or high up in corporations. As a nation we were coming out of out "Mad Men" Joan Holloway imprint and diving headfirst into the woman's user manual, "Our Bodies Ourselves" and Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and the ERA amendment. ...

The subject of the "Mad Men"-inspired network dramas for fall, specifically “Pan Am” and “The Playboy Club,” both set in the ’60s, about stewardesses and the Playboy bunnies, and “Charlie’s Angels,” another new series coming was broached.

Steinem shared her thoughts.

"The hierarchical response has two poles: The very worst men are into sadomasochism, and the very best men are into nostalgia. So I think this is like the nostalgia industry. It’s like the World War II industry. It’s the last time we were really right. So someone told me that we had actually put more money into making films and television series about World War II than we put into World War II. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it would be interesting research to figure out. It sounds true, right? But it is a problem; I agree." ...

"Second Life revenues at $7M per month, $100M per year"

on Thursday, 11 August 2011. Hits 347

Macgasm

The rumors of Second Life’s demise are apparently somewhat exaggerated as Linden Labs, creator of the popular virtual world, announced that profits are comfortably over $100M per year and that Q1, 2011 was their best quarter to date. The online 3D community that looks like a game (but isn’t a game) arrived in 2003 and has been the subject of both accolades and ridicule by the media and gaming community alike. Carrying both the promise of a free frontier for innovators and creative thinkers as well as a stigma for giving seedy, weird sex fantasies a place to take root, Second Life does not give the users missions or objectives the way a typical game would. Instead, the user has tools with which to interact with a virtual world and is free to develop their experience there according to their own personal interests and level of commitment. Within it, a virtual economy exists that turns real US dollars into an in-world currency called “Lindens” (worth roughly $4 USD per $1000 Lindens) and encourages trade and commerce.

Second Life surprises the tech world with its longevity (the most common reaction you may find is “that’s still around?”), but has also failed to revolutionize real-world business and education the way some interested and possibly over-excited tech pundits predicted. Never the less, news of strong revenues has raised an eyebrow or two, proving that money can be made by giving people a chance to dress up like demon werewolves who dance to techno music at BDSM clubs.

"Hot spots for next year’s vacation"

on Thursday, 11 August 2011. Hits 1093

Bluffton News-Banner

We get some great emails here at the News-Banner.

One last week informed me that according to the website AlterNet.com, one of the smaller towns in Indiana has the distinction of being the kinkiest city in the United States.

(And it was interesting to find out just who on our staff already knew of the town’s “charms” - although they assure me that it’s “by reputation only!”)

Roselawn, just a little northwest of Rensselaer - or southeast of Chicago if you prefer, actually beats out New Orleans and Las Vegas for the top honor. The town apparently boasts a thriving (and family friendly!) nudist resort, the Ponderosa Sun Club, which hosts a yearly pageant called “Nudes-A-Poppin,” emceed by none other than “famed” porn star Ron Jeremy.

(Does the fact that I’ve never even heard of him mean I’ve missed out on something?) ...

Continuing the prominence of mid-west locations on the list, the AlterNet list ranks Chicago itself at ninth.

If intellectual activities are your thing, you might be interested to know that for three days each October, Chi-Town’s Kinky College (a “Pansexual BDSM Institute of Higher Yearning”) allows you to get your masters’ (or master’s) degree in all things kink.

Now wouldn’t that look great on my resume?

If, like me, you’re really into culture and history, you can also check out the Leather Archives and Museum in Rogers Park. LA&M is a library, museum, and exhibit space devoted to leather, sadomasochism, and alternative sexualities. It also hosts erotic film screenings and houses a collection of old time sex toys and lascivious devices.

Quimby’s bookstore boasts an extensive collection of erotic comic books and magazines, and to help you relax after a hard day of study there are three nearby leather-friendly bars, Touche, Jackhammer and the Granville Anvil.

Chicago hosts “Shibaricon,” an international rope bondage conference. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend as I’m tied up that week!...

"James Franco is Directing a Documentary About Porn Megasite Kink.com"

on Thursday, 11 August 2011. Hits 628

Indie Wire

James Franco’s latest project is making a documentary about BDSM and fetish porn site Kink.com. [Warning: Link is oh so very NSFW].

On “Conan” to promote “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Franco doesn’t mention the Kink.com site by name. However, he briefly describes the project: “I’m making a documentary about pornography,” he said. “There’s this amazing facility in San Francisco. It’s at this old armory and they do everything in house, they build their props in house, so I’m making a documentary about that.”

Kink.com was formed in 1997 by Peter Acworth while he was earning his PhD in finance at Columbia University. When the site became successful, he dropped out of the program. Kink.com bought the San Francisco Armory in 2006 for $14.5 million for use as a production studio, despite local protests and opposition from mayor Gavin Newsom. The city later ruled that Kink.com didn’t violate any laws or zoning requirements.

Presumably, TBS (and 20th Century Fox) wouldn’t want Kink.com sharing in their airtime. However, Kink.com may also be trying to keep the project under wraps. A tweet from Kink.com actress rain degrey from June 26 read: “Kink.com is all aflutter today because James Franco is here shooting his new movie. All these girls want to f*ck him! lol.” However, the tweet was later deleted.

Franco told Conan O’Brien that he’s long had an interest in porn and those who make it, but quickly learned that it wasn’t one of his talents after he and a girlfriend shot footage of themselves having sex. ...

"State ends fight against 'beatdowns'"

on Wednesday, 10 August 2011. Hits 388

Tampa Bay Online

The Florida Boxing Commission has dropped a cease-and-desist order issued in April against the Shefights.net website that features women pummeling homeless men and other male volunteers.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation said investigators determined the "pugilistic events" depicted on the website do not fall under the commission's jurisdiction because they don't meet the definition of a boxing match.

The commission originally was in the corner of attorneys suing the site's creator, J.P. Florida Productions LLC, on behalf of two homeless men in St. Petersburg who were paid $50 for submitting to "12 minute beatdowns" by women trained in mixed martial arts.

The beatings, which took place in the garage of a condominium near Tropicana Field this year, involved punching, kicking and whipping.

Attorneys from Southern Legal Counsel Inc. representing the homeless men allege one of them was hogtied and suffered broken ribs and a dislocated jaw.

The website's attorney described the bouts as a form of sadomasochistic expression.

"This is not a boxing match by any imagination," said attorney Luke Lirot, who represents Shefights founder Jeffrey Williams. ...

Latest Reader Comments

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    luisa

    22. February, 2011 |

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