‘Tis the season of year-end highlight lists. I’ve already shared my food highlights, but this food-writer-by-day and sex-educator-by-night (or something like that) has been thinking about the year in sex as well. With a look at the national scene and a little local (and also a food-flavored) finish, here are some highlights of the political and cultural climate related to sex for 2011, along with a couple of toy recommendations to take you into 2012.
1. As a sex-positive sex educator, I simply adored this “I Have Sex” video from the students at Wesleyan University (Connecticut) in support of Planned Parenthood:
2. Why the need for a video? Simply put, the war on women (and, underlying it, the war on sex) is as strong as ever. This was another year of a war against contraception, with the Obama administration contributing by allowing politics to trump science in restricting access to emergency contraception (Plan B). In a piece of good news (giving some faith in humanity), voters in Mississippi voted against Amendment 26, which would have defined a fertilized egg as a human being.
3. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed. Just last week, we witnessed a lesbian couple sharing the honorary first kiss at a Naval homecoming. The earth still stands intact. Meanwhile, gay marriage hasn’t undermined the institution of heterosexual marriage, though in a preemptive strike, Minnesota’s gay and lesbian community apologized to State Senate Majority leader (and rabid anti-gay politician) Amy Koch for causing her extramarital affair with a staffer, and her subsequent resignation.
4. As the fight for gay marriage continues (and backslides in Iowa), nearly everyone wants to adopt Zach Wahls. His brave, intelligent, and emotional testimony is a must-watch:
5. Every weekday morning, I put a “Greed, Oppression, Perversion” (get the acronym?) posting on my Facebook page. For this year-end column, I was going to list all of the so-called “family values” Republicans who’ve been caught in the act of same-sex sexual behavior. But there are simply too many hypocrites. Instead, I share this rant from Richard Coughlan (NSFW). And, in a sneak peek of 2012, can you believe that hypocritical pastor Ted Haggard will be appearing on Wife Swap? Family values, indeed.
6. Herman Cain: Further evidence that Republican men don’t want women to have sex, unless it’s with them.
7. Anthony Weiner: Because Democrats can be wieners, too.
8. Speaking of which…locally, I faced opposition to sex education from an unexpected source. Alex Corcoran, publisher of Edible Seattle, censored my articles about sex and food, resulting in my resignation as a writer for the magazine. This episode reaffirmed my commitment to my work as a sex educator, as I realized that even “allies” can sabotage our society when they are uncomfortable with their sexuality, contributing to our anti-sex culture. (See more, including the absurd editorial cuts, here.)
9. On a more sex-positive local note, Tiberio Simone teamed with photographer Matt Freedman to put together La Figa: Visions of Food and Form. This is real food porn! In this era when anyone can gratuitously use sex to sell themselves and their work, Simone is sincere in looking at the connections between sex and food.
10. Finishing on a food-related note, I have a couple of favorite “toys” to recommend. (By the way, this year marked the debut of baconlube, which I can now report is pretty potent stuff that will probably appeal only to hardcore porkophiles.)
For those looking for couples-friendly hardcore videos, a visit to Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot led to revelations about Recipe for Romance, a new release that is part of New Sensations’ Romance Series. From my write-up: “It’s the story of two people in the catering business who create chemistry–for their clients, and (ultimately) for each other.”
And speaking of couples, if you’re looking to share good vibrations and excitations, look no further than the Zini Deux, which shares the same premise of mutual pleasure as a cupcake.