The Sexies Are Out!

The winners of the Sex Positive Journalism Award (The Sexies) have been announced!!! And here they are:

News or feature (daily newspapers): “Never Too Old for Sex,” by Jill Bauer, Miami Herald

News story (other general-topic news publications*): “Hysteria, Exploitation, and Witch Hunting in the Age of Internet Sex,” by Debbie Nathan, Counterpunch

Feature (other general-topic news publications*): “Naughty Nursing Homes,” by Daniel Engber, Slate

News or feature (sex-themed news publications): “Sex in Iran,” by Pari Esfandiari and Richard Buskin, Playboy

Opinion (all news publications): “Abstinence 1, S-CHIP 0,” by Amanda Robb, New York Times

Column
(all news publications): Between the Briefs, by Alysha Rooks, Res Gestae, University of Michigan Law School

From the Sexies Site:

More often than not, sex seems to fall outside of the media’s standards for objectivity and fairness: The spectrum of sex-education opinions is assumed to run from abstinence-only to abstinence-primarily. Science-based information on sex, sexuality, and the diversity of human sexual practices is lacking, and sometimes misleading conventional wisdom is reinforced. A man in a court case who participates in BDSM is described as having “unsavory habits” and a professional domme is described as an “admitted” dominatrix. No sources are sought to counter the government officials who proudly describe how they are manipulating local ordinances to shut down a sex toy store or a venue that hosts “swingers” parties. Stories that treat sexuality as something other than a problem or prurient curiosity are few and far between.

Many, many more details here, and the criteria are listed here.

Hat Tip: Jake.

Comments

  1. #1 JanieBelle
    June 17, 2008

    If I may, please allow me to plug Sex in the Public Square, a blog by Elizabeth Wood and open to public contributors, as a good sex-positive news resource in more of a grass-roots vein.

    Besides news and events, you can often find some really interesting interviews with sex-workers and activists there.

    Full disclosure: I’m a past contributor to SitPS, though I haven’t been terribly active in a while.

  2. #2 JanieBelle
    June 18, 2008

    Further discloser:

    Not to contradict myself, but I just contributed an article there (first time in ages).

  3. #3 Neil
    June 20, 2008

    I don’t have a problem describing a participent who enjoys BDSM as having ‘unsavory habits’, its much more polite than describing them as a sad sack who gets turned on by hitting women.

    Ofourse its all the fault of ‘government officials’, I mean no one could possibly come to the conclusion that violent sex is repulsive.

    Must be somthing wrong with them.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    June 20, 2008

    Neil, I couldn’t agree with you more–at least that last line. You make an excellent case for the need for more frank, public discussion of sex. And proofreading, but that’s a bit off topic.

  5. #5 JanieBelle
    June 20, 2008

    I don’t have a problem describing a participent who enjoys BDSM as having ‘unsavory habits’, its much more polite than describing them as a sad sack who gets turned on by hitting women.

    …and fortunately, I don’t have a problem describing a non-”participent” who doesn’t enjoy BDSM as having ‘vanilla habits’. It’s much more polite than describing him as a boring, closed-minded, judgmental busy-body sad sack who can’t get turned on by anything more adventurous than his mom’s JCPenney catalogs.

    Of course it’s all the fault of ‘sick people who don’t have a stick up their ass’. I mean no one could possibly come to the conclusion that a strict diet of Neil-approved vanilla sex is boring, unexciting, repetitive, unimaginative, uncreative, (did I mention boring) or tiresome.

    Must be something wrong with them.

  6. #6 Corporal Kate
    June 20, 2008

    Neil, what a lovely name, kitten. So perfectly suited to you.

    Janie Love, don’t be so hard on little Neil. He can’t possibly understand domination. Some people are just naturally submissive, and need direction. There’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously it’s just direction he’s never gotten properly, and he’s still a little nervous and frightened. He’s frightened of us, and of himself. We just have to be gentle with him at first, and coax him out of his closet. Trust me on this, I’ve seen it a hundred times.

    Neil, kitten, find Janie’s email address at her blog, and write me a little note. Be respectful and address me properly. Tell me that you’d like me to help you with your fear and self-loathing, and we’ll get you right as rain. If you can take that first step beyond your fear of the unknown, I’ll give you exactly what you need, and what you’ve been secretly dreaming of. I promise, you’ll never be the same.

    Do be sure to include your friend, Bob. His laces need a bit of loosing, too.

    I expect to hear from you, both Neil and Bob, by tomorrow midnight.

    Until then,

    Mistress Kathryn

  7. #7 Corporal Kate
    June 21, 2008

    The clock ticks, little neil.

    I’ve already heard from bob, but that little “us” play does not wash with me. You have to write your own note. Do not test me on this again. Will you let him come alone and allow your fear of yourself to rule the remainder of your life? Will you spend all those years cowering from yourself?

    I do not give second chances, neil. You have less than two hours. Send me a note and become who you really are, or watch the clock tick past midnight and be miserable forever.

    It’s now or never, neil.

    Just do it, neil and bob,
    Mistress Kathryn

  8. #8 themadlolscientist
    June 22, 2008

    Neil says:

    I don’t have a problem describing a participent who enjoys BDSM as having ‘unsavory habits’, its much more polite than describing them as a sad sack who gets turned on by hitting women.

    I don’t have any personal experience to back this up, but I’ve been told it’s a lot more fun to be a sad sack who gets turned on by having women beat him up. (In a corresponding vein, I know of a few men whose asses I’d really enjoy kicking. But I think Corporal Kate could probably do a much better job of it.)

    Meow! =^.^=

  9. #9 Corporal Kate
    June 22, 2008

    madlolscientist, I’m thinking that you would make a very good student.
    ;)

  10. #10 Neil
    June 24, 2008

    JanieBelle, so vanilla is boring, uninteresting, and repetitive, whereas violent sex is really cutting edge and so thought provoking. Give me a break, if the best someone can think of when faced with a willing partner is to hit, humiliate or brutalise them, they show a staggering lack of imagination.
    Sadism is a one trick pony, its narrow definition of what is interesting is so closed its almost retentive. No give me Vanilla anytime, it offers a wide range of delights and pursuits, it does not demand adherence to a stringent and arrogant dogma, and it does not give free reign to sad sacks who celebrate the worse aspects of humanity.

    Thanks for the compliment about my name Kate; Neil is short for Cornelius from the Latin. It may amuse you to find what it means.

    The age-old argument ‘you do not understand’. I don’t understand paedophilia either Kate, tell me is there something I am missing there too? You see the problem is worse than you imagine, I do understand. I have heard all the argument and read all the defences and come to the conclusion that it is the biggest load of nonsense since L Ron Hubbard invented Xenu. Of course ‘coax me out of the closet’ and I will have an epiphany and discover the hidden abuser within.

    Isn’t that convenient, everyone has a hidden abuser within but they don’t know it yet. Just listen to the dogma and the shadows will be cast from thine eyes and you will be transported to a paradise where abuse is the ultimate celebration, only available to those who truly believe. Does that remind you of one of those fundamentalists who promise enlightenment but deliver abuse, their narrow interpretation is the only truth and only available from them?

    Tell me Kate have you ever read the fairytale of the Emperors New clothes?

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    June 24, 2008

    Neil, Kate said nothing about “everyone.” Nor did she say anything about what her ultimate celebration is.

    She did point out that you seem terribly interested in one tiny aspect of other people’s sex lives, to the point that you can only see one letter in BDSM. Then she generously offered her help with your little obsession. Turn her down if you like, but don’t compound your display of ignorance with bad manners.

  12. #12 Corporal Kate
    June 24, 2008

    So much pent up anger, kneel. No, silly little kneel, you are not a Dominant type, no matter how much puff out your chest and proclaim your manhood. There is nothing there for you to discover.

    You’ve done a fine job of showing where your proclivities lie, with so much projection and obsession dripping from your words. I don’t think there is a single question in anyone’s mind where you belong, kneel.

    Let’s see your word choices here…

    violent sex
    cutting edge
    provoking
    hit
    humiliate
    brutalise
    pony (I hadn’t picked up on that particular proclivity the first time, neil you dirty boy)
    retentive
    demand adherence
    stringent
    does not give free reign
    sad sacks (I’m so sorry your sack is so sad, neil. Genetics, get over it and stop obsessing, nobody cares.)

    I think you can continue the exercise on your own, at this point.

    Little neil, nobody demanded strict adherence to any dogma. You were given a choice, same as anyone else. Y’know, exactly what you’re arguing against, neil. Funny that you bring fundamentalists into the conversation. Is that what you want, neil? Having fantasies of being spanked by a nun or Jimmy Swaggart?

    I don’t really care if you understand me or my sexuality, neil. You misunderstand my intent. The point is that what I do with consenting adults is none of your goddamed business, and doesn’t need your approval. You’re free to drool on mommy’s catalogs for the rest of your life, neil. Doesn’t bother me a bit. I won’t even walk around public spaces denigrating catalog wankers.

    And I am free to revel in my own sexuality with whomever chooses to join me.

    Please with the pedophilia. Such a weak argument. Much like your fundamentalists who whip out Hitler from their pocket at every turn, it’s indicative of a tiny mind, afraid to think, that screams for its howitzer and nuclear warheads at the first sign of opposition, to intimidate others into capitulation.

    Unfortunately neil, your howitzer is limp, and you’ve only got blanks.

  13. #13 JanieBelle
    June 24, 2008

    I’m about sick of that argument.

    Anyone who reads Nabakov is a pedophile.
    Anyone who prefers their partner well groomed is a pedophile.
    Anyone who explores BDSM is a pedophile.

    It’s moronic Reductio ad Pedophilia

    I’m declaring Kate’s Law.

    Once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned pedophiles has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress

  14. #14 JanieBelle
    June 24, 2008

    (and is probably a pedophile)

  15. #15 Neil
    June 25, 2008

    Interesting debating style Katherine (I use the capitalisation not as some form of veneration but because it is simple good manners and grammatically correct, besides I gave up playing childish games when I left primary school)

    Any one who questions your choices is castigated in the foulest manner because no one could possibly hold any opinion other than your own. You could give Bin Laden lessons in intolerance, and then to transpose your narrow minded fundamentalist approach on to anyone who dares to criticise your dogma demonstrates breathtaking arrogance.

    Did you know that most sadists are also narcissists? I think you are proving a point here Katherine.

    I don�t care what you choose to do Katherine, what I will do is give an opinion about your choices when you come into an open discussion teaching your prejudices. Everyone is allowed to hold an opinion aren�t they? Except by cults that is.

    What is it about my opinions that scares you so much Katherine? Is your dogma built on such shaky ground that you are terrified that the whole stinking mess will come crashing down when the harsh light of criticism is brought to bear? Your sad and pathetic attempts at belittling me, although may do something for you, only goes to show that you are terrified of your dogma being discussed.

    I promise you Katherine I couldn�t care less what you say about me, it�s a window into your soul not mine, but and next time you do it don�t forget to stick your tongue out and say Na Na-Na Na.

    Then the best of the lot, you break Godwin�s law, and then Janniebell builds a straw man, blames me for something I never said and accuses me of breaking the same law!

    To recap you accused me of not understanding, I said I didn�t understand Paedophilia either, am I missing something there as well (note I did not accuse you of being a paedophile, my comparison was deliberately extreme I was simply making a point that just because someone doesn�t understand something does not mean it is right) Try reading what is written.

    If you wish to discuss this I am more than willing too, but please can we do it in a civil manner, after all we are supposed to be adults aren�t we?

  16. #16 Neil
    June 25, 2008

    JannieBell its spelt Paedophile, and no the mud will not stick. Scraping the barrel is not a good debating tool, it only makes you look foolish.

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    June 25, 2008

    Neil, when I said ignorance up-thread, I meant it. Do try to tell the difference between roles taken on between consenting adults for sexual gratification and anything practiced on the unwilling. Then check an American dictionary. Then try to come to terms with the fact that everyone else can see that you’re engaging on this thread only with the people who are offering you what you claim to despise.

  18. #18 JThompson
    June 25, 2008

    Neil:
    You didn’t say she was a paedophile, but you did compare BDSM to it in terms of relating to it.
    Were you saying you consider being aroused by children the same as being aroused by whatever all BDSM encompasses? (I know some of it, but not a lot. More than you do, apparently.)
    What two (or twenty)consenting adults do is hardly comparable to that.
    Or to spousal abuse.
    Calling someone that engages in what you consider deviant sexual behavior names is pretty much a good way to end up with a salvo fired at what they consider your boring sexual behavior.

    The smart thing to do would’ve been to have taken them up on it.
    To be perfectly honest, I was actually considering chiming in on your side to see if they’d make me the same offer.

  19. #19 Neil
    June 25, 2008

    I see Stephanie, Kate and JannieBell insinuate that I am dealing with things that I am just not able to grasp, whereas you simply imply that I am stupid. I don’t know which stance is more insulting.

    Don’t you understand that it is perfectly reasonable and rational to come to a different opinion to yours after looking at the same evidence? I am not demanding that you change your opinions to mine; I am providing an opinion that counters the arguments presented in this thread.

    I don’t expect you to be happy with anyone who questions your obviously sincerely held beliefs, but I do not castigate you or your intelligence simply because I disagree with you. Its obvious that Kate, Jannie and yourself are clever people, my opinion is that just because you are intelligent does not stop you from believing in what I consider to be utter nonsense.

    I disagree with your controversial beliefs, but I do not accuse you of being ignorant because I disagree with you. However I would point out that accusing people of stupidity simply because they do not share your beliefs smacks of totalitarianism.

    You have no idea why I am here but your supposition is very wide of the mark.

  20. #20 Neil
    June 25, 2008

    JThompson

    No I did not compare BDSM to Paedophilia. The stock answer seems to be ‘if you do not like BDSM you do not understand it’. There is no possibility that somone could understand the reasoning and be critical.

    I don’t understand 9/11 conspiracy theorists, I dont understand how anyone can pay to believe in Xenu. I don’t understand murderers. I am not comparing these to BDSM, I am simply saying that accusing me of not understanding something does not make that thing legitimate.

  21. #21 Neil
    June 25, 2008

    JThompson

    No I did not compare BDSM to Paedophilia. The stock answer seems to be ‘if you do not like BDSM you do not understand it’. There is no possibility that somone could understand the reasoning and be critical.

    I don’t understand 9/11 conspiracy theorists, I dont understand how anyone can pay to believe in Xenu. I don’t understand murderers. I am not comparing these to BDSM, I am saying that accusing someone of not understanding something does not make that thing legitimate.

  22. #22 Stephanie Z
    June 25, 2008

    Neil, you might also want to look up ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is reparable. Not repairing it is kind of stupid.

    I do agree that people can have perfectly valid divergent opinions, particularly about sex. I disagree that describing someone else’s opinion as “‘unsavory habits’” is remotely polite. The rest of this is about why you think your opinions are the ones that should be used to narrowly define “normal,” particularly when the research suggests otherwise. I fail to see how advocating for acceptance of multiple opinions is “totalitarianism.”

    And by the way, I think you’re here for several complex reasons. The only one that would surprise me is if you were say, “Ha, ha. Just kidding. Kate, let’s go have a drink.” I’m just pointing at your behavior.

  23. #23 Neil
    June 27, 2008

    Stephanie you are absolutely convinced that yours is the only truth concerning BDSM, and anyone like myself who questions it is ignorant. The only way out of this ignorance is to educate myself so that when I accept the truth about BDSM I will break the bonds (no pun intended) of my ignorance.

    This viewpoint allows no possibility that anyone can form an opinion contrary to yours without being ignorant (again)

    My point is that this stance, your belief in a set dogma which is only understood by your group and only available to the ‘enlightened’, is exactly how fundamentalist groups work. Its interesting that many groups which set themselves up as accepting ‘differing opinions’ (Nuage) are beginning to show the same dynamics of fundamentalist groups especially to anyone who questions them.

    Critical thinking is really important, people claim to believe in government mind reading satellites and sit in the house with tin foil on their head, others claim to have been abducted and experimented on by aliens. Its absolutely their right to believe this, but if we simply accept ‘differing opinions’ without exposing to them to a modicum of criticism then we end up accepting opinions which are transparent nonsense.

    Violent and abusive sex as some higher form of consciousness only available to the intelligent? This is a controversial claim. I make no apologies for being impolite about people who in my opinion celebrate an aspect of human nature that encourages the most unpleasant qualities in society. No I am not saying I am right and you are wrong, or that society is more ‘normal’ than you. I am saying that whilst you have a right to believe in what you want, others also have a right to look critically at your arguments and say ‘Yuck’, that is a perfectly rational opinion to hold and is not held because they are ignorant.

  24. #24 Stephanie Z
    June 27, 2008

    Neil, I call you ignorant not because you find BDSM icky but because you’ve made several statements about sadism that don’t reflect the reality of how it’s practiced or by whom. There is scientific literature on the subject, published by people who have taken a critical look at it. You sound like a creationist when you point at the science and call it dogma and belief.

    And for the record, the Enlightenment is an historical period. You’re the only person here using the word otherwise.

  25. #25 Corporal Kate
    June 28, 2008

    If you wish to discuss this I am more than willing too, but please can we do it in a civil manner, after all we are supposed to be adults aren�t we?

    Neil, you preempted civil discussion with your very first remark. You came in here with a bully’s swagger, spout off about something you admit you know nothing about.

    You asked for every bit of mockery you got. Now you want an adult conversation?

    Ok, let’s take a few Neil quotes from this thread:

    Neil, on BDSM, despite his lack of experience with it:

    I don’t have a problem describing a participent who enjoys BDSM as having ‘unsavory habits’, its much more polite than describing them as a sad sack who gets turned on by hitting women.

    Again, arguing from a position of ignorance about BDSM:

    Give me a break, if the best someone can think of when faced with a willing partner is to hit, humiliate or brutalise them, they show a staggering lack of imagination.

    Neil, going for the Big Bully Gun of Intimidation, comparing BDSM between consenting adults to pedophilia (spelled just fine, thank you – buy a dictionary):

    The age-old argument ‘you do not understand’. I don’t understand paedophilia either Kate, tell me is there something I am missing there too?

    Neil, admitting his utter lack of experience, and going for the Other Big Bully Gun of Intimidation:

    You see the problem is worse than you imagine, I do understand. I have heard all the argument and read all the defences and come to the conclusion that it is the biggest load of nonsense since L Ron Hubbard invented Xenu.

    Neil, beating the holy shit out of his own blow-up (straw) man:

    Isn’t that convenient, everyone has a hidden abuser within but they don’t know it yet. Just listen to the dogma and the shadows will be cast from thine eyes and you will be transported to a paradise where abuse is the ultimate celebration, only available to those who truly believe.

    Neil, again with the big scary comparisons to shut down discussion with intimidation:

    Does that remind you of one of those fundamentalists who promise enlightenment but deliver abuse, their narrow interpretation is the only truth and only available from them?

    Neil, projecting:

    Any one who questions your choices is castigated in the foulest manner because no one could possibly hold any opinion other than your own.

    Neil, can’t discuss results to … yeah, big scary comparisons to intimidate blah blah blah… Neil, didn’t you mention something about a “One trick pony” a while back?

    You could give Bin Laden lessons in intolerance, and then to transpose your narrow minded fundamentalist approach on to anyone who dares to criticise your dogma demonstrates breathtaking arrogance.

    Oh look, I’m wrong because… I’m now a sadist and a narcissist, with neither assessment having any relation to reality. Let’s see how many logical fallacies we can roll into two sentences…

    Did you know that most sadists are also narcissists? I think you are proving a point here Katherine.

    (at least three)

    Again with the big scary intimidation gun:

    I don�t care what you choose to do Katherine, what I will do is give an opinion about your choices when you come into an open discussion teaching your prejudices. Everyone is allowed to hold an opinion aren�t they? Except by cults that is.

    Neil, you haven’t even put an argument forward yet, let alone shown an iota of evidence. So far, every thing you have said is “BDSM sucks. If you disagree, you are just like a pedophile, a fundamentalist, a Scientologist, a sadist, a narcissist, a cultist, and a spousal abuser.”

    And now you suddenly want to have a discussion with the adults.

    OK, so what would you like to discuss with us, Neil?

    First you decide you’re insulted because your ignorance, blatantly displayed by your own verbiage thus far, is pointed out.

    Neil finally gets around to mentioning evidence, but sadly presents none:

    Don’t you understand that it is perfectly reasonable and rational to come to a different opinion to yours after looking at the same evidence?

    Uh, what’s being pointed out to you Neil, is that we’ve been asking you this exact question since you showed up with your bucket of mud.

    Neil, stumbling to explain all the shit he’s been slinging:

    I am not demanding that you change your opinions to mine; I am providing an opinion that counters the arguments presented in this thread.

    ORLY? And why should anyone give a damn about your opinion, formed in admitted ignorance, about what other consenting adults do in their bedrooms? You’ve not countered anything, Neil. You’ve done nothing to this point but hurl the biggest insults you can think of at people whose sex life doesn’t conform to your narrow little window.

    Fluff and air:

    Its obvious that Kate, Jannie and yourself are clever people, my opinion is that just because you are intelligent does not stop you from believing in what I consider to be utter nonsense.

    “Believing in”? Where the hell did that come from? We like sex, we like it rough and passionate sometimes. The only one espousing a belief system here is you, Neil.

    Again, with the big scary gun:

    I disagree with your controversial beliefs, but I do not accuse you of being ignorant because I disagree with you. However I would point out that accusing people of stupidity simply because they do not share your beliefs smacks of totalitarianism.

    Presumption:

    You have no idea why I am here but your supposition is very wide of the mark.

    The evidence would seem to indicate that you are here to insult people who have sex lives you don’t approve of, and bully them back into the closet. Ain’t gonna happen, Neil. I suggest you find someone else to try to bully.

    Neil, lie:

    No I did not compare BDSM to Paedophilia.

    Yes Neil, you did:

    I don’t understand paedophilia either Kate, tell me is there something I am missing there too?

    Neil, who flunked logic:

    I don’t understand 9/11 conspiracy theorists, I dont understand how anyone can pay to believe in Xenu. I don’t understand murderers. I am not comparing these to BDSM, I am simply saying that accusing me of not understanding something does not make that thing legitimate.

    Not one person here has made the argument that BDSM is legitimate because you don’t understand it. You haven’t made any argument at all, just spit bile and raged against other people’s sex lives.

    Janie has a favorite expression for the entirety of Neil’s latest offering:

    Stephanie you are absolutely convinced that yours is the only truth concerning BDSM, and anyone like myself who questions it is ignorant. The only way out of this ignorance is to educate myself so that when I accept the truth about BDSM I will break the bonds (no pun intended) of my ignorance.

    This viewpoint allows no possibility that anyone can form an opinion contrary to yours without being ignorant (again)

    My point is that this stance, your belief in a set dogma which is only understood by your group and only available to the ‘enlightened’, is exactly how fundamentalist groups work. Its interesting that many groups which set themselves up as accepting ‘differing opinions’ (Nuage) are beginning to show the same dynamics of fundamentalist groups especially to anyone who questions them.

    “That shoe is on the wrong foot.”

    No Neil. The point was to mock you because you were being an asshole. The point Neil, what we would all like you to consider, is that if you are ignorant on a subject, like the sex lives of other consenting adults, perhaps you shouldn’t walk into a discussion spouting your ignorance and insulting other people with nasty little insinuations about pedophilia and cultists.

    You are welcome to have whatever kind of sex you choose, and I won’t mind a bit. I won’t insult you unless you start insulting me, which is exactly how you rolled in here, and have yet to desist. I won’t even point out what an ignorant, asinine, contemptible, closed minded, unjustifiably arrogant, projecting, boorish dickhead you are.

    I’m good like that.

    But if you come in here spitting and insulting people with your opinion, you can expect to receive ten fold what you give.

    We are just as entitled to express ours as you are yours.

    Now, would you like to finally come sit at the grown-up table? Is there something you’d actually like to discuss, some evidence or basis for your opinion you’d like to set upon the table for all of us adults to talk reasonably about?

  26. #26 Rystefn
    July 4, 2008

    Awww… It looks like I missed the party.

    And here I was going to make a comment on

    if the best someone can think of when faced with a willing partner is to hit

    Because that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a partner much of the time.

    and

    Did you know that most sadists are also narcissists?

    …being a narcissistic masochist, I’m curious what he would have had to say on that subject…

    Oh well, too late now, I suppose.

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