Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Teenage Wasteland

Sad and comical....

I was speaking with a friend this weekend regarding her teenage daughter.

Darlene said she was getting a little nervous about the boy her daughter, Cheryl, was dating. They're fifteen and have been dating "a while". This means about six months to the teenage mind.

Cheryl came along while Darlene was very young, and this had led to one of the not-quite generation gaps between parent and child. Still, Dar is a rather progressive mom who has been upfront about sex for some time.

Apparently it came up in conversation that Cheryl believes that while sex is not yet ok, oral (sex) is something she is considering.

Holy hell! Guess that means homosexuals and have never really "had sex" and that a $10 chore on The Block isn't anything for a worried spouse to ever be upset over. [ed- Going to need to have a talk with that girl]

Okay, after Dar and I stopped giggling over that misapprehension, she continued. Dar asked if Cheryl had been masturbating, to which the lovely young lass blushed bright read and shook with nerves.
She doesn't, she hasn't, that's weird.

So, putting a fifteen year old cock between your lips isn't weird, but learning how to get yourself where you need to be is? Chalk that up to the difference between boys and girls, I suppose.

I pointed out that perception probably comes most from her friends and media. While Darlene has done a hell of a job arming her little girl with useful information, giggly little girls think it's icky and have done a pretty good job of undoing the good works.
It's the most basic part of the sexual sickness in this society. Breaking down that most basic taboo against self-pleasuring is going to be the hardest part. After that, the rest should be easy.

After all, who's gonna argue when they fully understand they could be somewhere else whacking off?

Before I close with a quote, gotta give props to MidwestTeenSexShow.com for their great podcasts. These people are doing good works and could use any spare scratch you have to keep educating our youth with REAL sex education.

Oh, that Quote-
"Masturbation is safe, clean and you don't have to go home in the cold (but it's lonely)."
Robert Anson Heinlein, from Time Enough for Love

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Those Romans knew how to plan a good party.

An article on "The Straight Dope" came to my attention today.

"Pay for Play: Did the Romans issue sexually depictive tokens for use in foreign brothels?"
The use of tokens or other counters in various sex-for-pay setups — as advertising to prospective johns, to keep track of how many had been served and by whom, to
keep cash out of the workers' hands, etc — wasn't uncommon in the past; examples
abound from the American frontier, Boer War-era South Africa, and turn-of-the-century Manhattan. In 1919 Upton Sinclair described learning in his youth of a system under which a brothel patron would pay a cashier up front and receive a so-called "brass check," a token he could subsequently redeem for a sex worker's services.
So if something similar was going on in ancient Rome involving the racy coins known as spintriae, it wouldn't be much of a shocker. After all, the Romans, who were nothing if not well organized, enjoy a richly deserved rep for ingenuity in logistics-oriented fields including architecture, engineering, and military strategy; it makes sense to suppose they could have devised a token system to streamline the economics of prostitution, had anyone seen the need.

This makes for a rather interesting duality to consider - highly regimented organizational system for arranging kinky sex acts.
The article goes on to point out that the reverse of these coins indicated a number, suspected to be the price paid for the acts depicted on the obverse of the coin. A survey of modern sex workers did find the acts with the higher numbers on the back of the coin did match to the services for which they charged a higher rate.

These coins, however, give an interesting idea or two... Those would make for a great set of gaming chips that could be paid off after a good round of friendly gambling with various indulgences.

The rest of the article can be found at: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/080118.html

If you'll excuse, I need to figure out the latin for "Is that a spintria in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

'Swingers' in Primetime and the WGA Strike

I've become really cautious about television over the last couple of years, so much so that I've started really digging into the backgrounds of new shows to feel them out. Being burned with enough good shows being piddled on by the networks a few times has made me tetchy.

So, Swingtown- could be great for the not-necessarily gay alt life/lovestyle crowd, but I'm not betting on it.

Here's the short skinny: Swingtown is being produced and directed by Michael Kelly: did great with Rome on HBO, but also brought us Big Love. Big Love was really not a positive, nor even really honest look at poly(agamy). I only watched a few episodes but it came across to me as a scripted circus sideshow. Scripting and acting talent might have been good, but as an observation into a nonmonogamous lifestyle, it was pretty unjust.

The early press release from CBS when the show was first picked up said: "'Swingtown,' an ensemble drama set during the 1970s about the impact of sexual liberation."
The plot outline from IMDB as provided by CBS is "As America celebrates its 200th birthday, two generations of friends and neighbors in a Chicago suburb explore new freedoms and seek connections with each other in the midst of the socio/sexual revolution."

Buzzwords - Sexual Liberation, Freedom, Sexual Revolution. They're selling the sex even before the pilot hits the air.

BTW- Dare to Grok gets big props on his FAQ posting for Swingtown on IMDB for his definition of the differences between swinging and polyamory.

Last season, CBS had an episode of Cold Case which featured a key party as the catalyst for a murder. While tasteful in their handling of the party, all of the revisited characters who maintained the poly/swing lifestyle were painted as creepy, crude, self absorbed individuals. This season, NBC's Journeyman also had an episode that featured a Swing Party as the catalyst for many bad things happening - namely a teenage girl running away from home, joining a drug addled cult, and being killed in a shootout during a liquor store robbery - all from the "horror" of finding out her parents were swingers. All evidence to date from the Networks, Swingtown isn't a hopeful looking prospect.

Some other stuff about the WGA strike and television this season -- The big networks have pulled a rather interesting stunt to keep new programming going this year, in expectation of a strike. The end of last season a lot of new shows were picked up (and one resurrected from cancellation) and filming was sped up through the summer and fall to get as many episodes "in the can" before the contract deadline as possible. This benefitted both the Networks and the writers as they will all still make money from the episodes as they air. That's normal. What isn't is the number of shows that made it through to the midseason break. There was only one new show cancelled this fall - Viva Laughlin.Looking back, typically 25% of new shows don't make it through their first six weeks, and Viva Laughlin made it to 8 before being cancelled. Even the much reviled CBS offering "Kid Nation" has been running without interrupt, despite all the negative comments from Child Advocacy Groups, the general public, and even the State of New Mexico investigating violations of state Child Endangerment and Child Labor laws.

Heroes ended early. Journeyman ran out all the filmed episodes. There are more "midseason replacements" scheduled this year than any two typical years. There are new primetime game shows and American Gladiators has been reborn for primetime. Networks aren't cancelling their normal volume of new shows.

Why? They're doing everything they can to fill timeslots during the strike, and they planned ahead for it. If the strike ended tomorrow, there still would not be enough time to film any more episodes of any show that started the first half of this season. We, as television viewers, are not going to get any new episodes of our current favorites until the fall.

The only exceptions are Jericho fans who've been lied to repeatedly by... you guessed it, CBS... as to when that show will be coming back on the air, cable shows which start their seasons in the spring as opposed to the fall, and a handfull of others, like Medium, that were pushed back by the networks as proven hold-out shows to start midseason.

Anyway...We'll probably see Swingtown in March, as the thirteen week ordered run will hit the May Sweeps toward the end of the season's run. As they've been billing it, it's all about the sex. These are television networks. They're no longer in the business of entertainment, they're in the business of making money. Sweeps is about setting advertising dollars for the coming season. Freak Shows and Circuses draw attention, and people pay thier nickels to see the bearded lady, the midget tightrope walkers and the egress.

I hope I'm wrong, but I really don't expect Swingtown to be anything worth watching, and the fallout will probably require major damage control from the poly/swing/kink communities and sub-culture elements as it airs.

What are we doing here...?

Merriam-Webster defines -

Main Entry:
1 : a minor show offered in addition to a main exhibition (as of a circus)
2 : an incidental diversion or spectacle

Main Entry:
\m-naj-rē, -na-j- also -nazh-rē, -na-zhre-\
French ménagerie, from Middle French, management of a household or farm, from menage
1 a: a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
b: a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition
2: a varied mixture

Combining the two we have an incidental spectacle of varied exhibition.

You can call me Galahad.