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Weekend Review
Week at a Glance

[HOT] Kill Bill. If Jesus were a ninja warrior, this would be the second coming.

[NOT] Governor Schwarzenegger. Once, we had a friend who would go to museums, look at the abstract expressionist art and say, “This is bullshit. I could do this.” That’s pretty much what there is to say about the world right now.

[HOT] Stealth nudity. UK papers report on rise of “reflectoporn:” exhibitionists exhibit themselves via shiny objects they’re hawking on eBay.

[NOT] Virginity in China. Reports indicate that only one-third of Chinese brides are virgins when they get married, down significantly from a decade ago.

Image of the Week

In Topeka, Kansas, this sculpture of a Catholic bishop is drawing ire because its helmet resembles . . . well . . . we’re not sure. But if we find our notes, we’ll issue an update. The brass piece, titled “Holier Than Thou,” is part of a group of works on display at the campus of Washburn University.

I (Heart) Male Hormonal Birth Control

Any woman who has spent twenty minutes crawling across a sticky bar floor looking for a dropped birth-control pill will rejoice with me upon hearing this week’s news: a new male hormonal contraceptive has been developed, and reportedly it’s 100% effective. The contraceptive is a combination of shots and implants which use testosterone and progestins to turn off sperm production. TWR recently mentioned this to a male friend; he got all weird and started talking about “his boys” like the sperm were very short people.

Here are my two favorite things about this:

1) Greater equality in responsibility and options for contraception.

2) Fewer girls saying, “Oh, remind me to take my pill” every five minutes because they want you to know they are having sex. We’ll be able to respond, “Bitch, if you can’t remember, put your boyfriend on it.” — Carrie Hill Wilner

Blue Balls

The key to running a successful business: know your market. Brothels in Melbourne, Australia, are recruiting extra BDSM specialists to satisfy the sexual “needs” of British tourists attending this weekend’s Rugby World Cup. I’m not sure what the logic is here. Just because you like watching two dozen men bend each other’s limbs into unnatural configurations, it doesn’t mean you’re looking for an equally painful experience in bed. But what do I know; I don’t run a brothel. “The upper classes in England, we know that they like spanking,” said Robbie Swan, a spokeperson for an Australian sex-work organization.

Interesting sidenote: Australian madams are no dilettantes when it comes to satisfying the needs of their international clients. Last year, Melbourne’s finest worked their fingers literally to the bone when a warship of U.S. soldiers docked after an extended tour in Afghanistan. More recently, employees of a Sydney brothel greeted a visiting Argentinian soccer squad with signs saying: “Care for a ruck?” which is a vaguely suggestive-sounding rugby term for a scrimmage. — Grant Stoddard

English is for Filthy-Minded Punks

Just the other night, TWR was lying in bed, wondering how we managed to communicate before the phrase “tapped that ass” achieved common usage. Thankfully, our impression that the English language is at a sexual peak has been confirmed. According to the Language Report, a semantics update published by Oxford University Press, English has been “sexed up” in the past century. (Inexplicably, phrases such as “ladyboy” and “speed-dating” were cited as evidence.) Author Susie Dent explains: “New words are very telling of what we are thinking. But all sorts of things like grammar, idioms and rhyming slang are equally eloquent of what our preoccupations are.” So basically, the words we use express what we’re thinking about? Lemme process that.

Revolutionary.

— Carrie Hill Wilner

Newswire

Seeking more visitors, Shanghai sex museum relocates to an all-girls high school.

Norse journalists assigned police protection after satirical article about sex with Muslim women sparks violence.

Serial Internet sex fiend unwittingly sends nude picture to girl with his own name and address written on the back.

Racy underwear ad manages to cause minor scandal in … France?

What Kimmy’s Mom and the Vatican Have in Common

Once TWR was babysitting our three-year-old niece Kimmy, who would not shut up. We asked her if she wanted some ice cream — figuring that if we gave her a whole gallon that was really frozen, it might occupy her for a while — but she recoiled in horror. Apparently, her mother had told her that frozen desserts contained bugs which, when ingested, would devour her from the inside out. No joke.

We chalked that one up to questionable parenting, but this week we were reminded that you’re never too old to be fantastically deceived by people who want you to behave a certain way. Apparently, the Vatican (which, for our purposes, roughly corresponds to Kimmy’s mom) has issued warnings in AIDS-stricken countries (Kimmy) that people should not use condoms (ice cream) because they contain tiny holes that AIDS can pass through (organ-devouring bugs).

The president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal
Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, stated, “The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller
than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’
that is formed by the condom.” Meanwhile, the archbishop of Nairobi,
Raphael Ndingi Nzeki, said: “AIDS . . . has grown so fast because of the
availability of condoms.”

Meanwhile, I’m banging my head against a wall. — Carrie Hill Wilner

Four Play

Mark Ridgewell, a forty-four-year-old executive from Gloucstershire, England, recently sent a beautifully worded email to the woman he was dating. He also managed to CC: the note to three other women he was having “exclusive” relationships with. A simple email snafu begat a spectacular ambush. Noticing the other recipients of the email, the four women began corresponding with each other and set up a sting at Ridgewell’s local pub. One of the women took him there for dinner. Once the joint was suitably filled with his friends and neighbors, the other ladies burst in and gave him an epic dressing-down. Ridgewell, who had gone as far as proposing marriage to some of the women, claimed that the fantastic four were “just friends” and that the sting operation had “victimized” him. Note to cheaters: familiarize yourself with the BCC: function! — Grant Stoddard

Unnerved

Commentary on something that bothers us.

Ann Marlow is trying to give oral sex a bad name. In her recent Salon article “No Intercourse, Please: We’re Enlightened,” the novelist argues that today’s young men “no longer have the sexual authority to please a woman.” “The collapse of the patriarchy was supposed to make women happy,” she writes. “We were supposed to get more sex, freer sex, better sex, more loving sex and better relations between men and women.” Instead, women are “having worse sex than their grandmothers.”

What’s to blame? Cunnilingus! Marlow argues that feminism created a breed of men who believe it’s their job to travel downtown — and they secretly resent it the whole time: it’s “what American women say they want, and they have trained their men to do it.” In Marlow’s view, oral sex isn’t even that satisfying, and women often “fake the clitoral orgasms their boyfriends congratulate themselves on having the sensitivity to bestow.”

In general, ideology doesn’t serve good sex, but Marlow’s proposed solution to this imagined problem is laughable. “Women who want a man to do what only a man can do in bed have to stick to over-40s or men from the Third World who haven’t heard that they’re supposed to pretend to like cunnilingus.”

Maybe we’re too “post-patriarchal” to know what’s good for us, but really — are women who are unwilling to camp outside the INS having “worse sex then their grandmothers?” As far as Marlow’s concerned, women aren’t getting more head because it feels good or because we can; instead, “the heterosexual act of love” (get ready for a serious Danielle Steel moment . . . because it’s coming) “does involve women literally putting themselves in the power of men. And we no longer trust ourselves enough to do so.”

We’d imagine that a champion of fucking would define it in an interesting and nuanced way, but Marlow’s not really a champion of anything. Instead, she knocks the advances of first-wave feminism — i.e., the creation of a generation of women unafraid to ask for oral sex — while adopting the unwieldy, reductive definition of intercourse used by that movement’s least palatable thinkers. She’s frustrated — she’s not dating young men, so she knocks their pussy-eating tendencies instead of admitting that maybe (maybe!) they’d rather not fuck a middle-aged woman with a patronizing attitude toward them, their sexual proclivities and their ability for personal disclosure. This frustration (and an apparent inability to orgasm clitorally) gets projected onto a generation and a sex act, which she inaccurately conflates.

“No one,” Marlow claims, “loses control, loses track of where they are, forgets that music is playing, screams or weeps when someone performs oral sex on them.” Well, shit, that’s good to know. We must’ve been doing something wrong. Look, Ann, before we throw in the towel … there’s this one guy I dated in college. Maybe you’d like his number. — Carrie Hill Wilner

About TWR

The Weekend Review is Nerve’s roundup of news about sex, relationships, culture and whatever else we find interesting.

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