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Weekend Review
Fight for your Shi’ite to Party

Although in the West we’ve grown accustomed to people getting away with murder — both figuratively and literally — in Iran it takes a lot less provocation to get folks in some deep doo-doo. In a scandal that blew up like a Palestinian undergrad, Iranian police arrested dozens of party goers in Tehran last week and charged them with heinous crimes ranging from mingling with the opposite sex to dancing. The conservative local newspaper Jam-e Jam Daily (not to be confused with Iranian hip-hop festival Summer Jam-e Jam) said 120 people were arrested at three private gatherings in wealthy districts of the capital. Another newspaper, Abrar, reported that eighty-eight young revelers were punished with prison sentences, flogging and fines. Under laws implemented after Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, unrelated women and men are not allowed to dance together or come into physical contact. However, correspondents say Western-style parties are frequently held in private homes in Tehran’s moneybagged neighborhoods. In this case, Abrar reported, those detained — said to be aged between eighteen and twenty-one — were celebrating their entrance to university. Not even the rich and famous can escape the long arm of the law; last week a well-known Iranian actress was taken to court for kissing a director on the forehead and shaking his hand in public during a film awards ceremony. Local authorities are sure to have a huge task on their hands, what with Western influences becoming more pronounced in the region and fun threatening to break out at the merest hint of a bare ankle and a bottle of Zima.

Mayor Goes Ape Shit

Arrange these components into a news story: a mayor, the town of Hartlepool, a monkey suit, lesbians, the local soccer team and Napoleon Bonaparte. Hartlepool — the ancient coastal town in the northeast of England — is famous for one thing: During the Napoleonic Wars a ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast; when the locals, fearing an invasion, turned their attention to the wreckage that had washed ashore, they discovered one wet and sorrowful looking survivor — the ship’s pet monkey, dressed to amuse in a military-style uniform. The fishermen questioned the monkey, holding a trial right there on the beach. Quite possibly under the influence, and working only with crude stereotypes, the locals came to the conclusion that the monkey was in fact a Frenchman, and worse, a spy. Oh, how the crowd cheered as the unfortunate simian was shaved, tortured and lynched. Fast-forward to 2002: H’angus (get it?) the monkey is the beloved mascot of Hartlepool’s equally clueless soccer team. Stuart Drummond was the man in the monkey suit for the team’s games until he ran for town mayor “as a joke” and astonishingly won by a wide margin. Mr. Drummond’s monkey business pre-dates his faux-political aspirations. As H’angus he first hit the headlines when he was banned from Scunthorpe United for simulating sex and then got in a fracas at Blackpool for shagging a blow-up doll in front of the home team’s fans. When Mayor Drummond was caught at a local lesbian sex show this week, it can’t have come as a terrible shock. Learning his mayoral responsibilities ad hoc, twenty-eight-year-old Drummond told reporters. “It was an error of judgment and I apologize if I have offended anyone. I now realize it is inappropriate to be associated with events like this.” Ian Cameron, one of the candidates Mr. Drummond beat in the election, said: “He is young and single. But there will be people who voted him in who will feel let down by what he has done.” Not least one of the eighteen-year-old lesbian performers who was positively scandalized. “I wouldn’t have thought a man of his standing would have turned up at a place like that,” she said wiping a tear from her eye. Michael Bloomberg, be warned.

Park & Ride

In a related story (sorta) Mayor Corneliu Olar of Horea, Romania, may not be trying to pick a fight with Disneyland, but his new theme park is definitely challenging the House of the Mouse for the designation of “happiest place on earth.” Olar’s brainchild, a “sex park,” has been serving up big bags of sugary-sweet hot ‘n’ randy to the residents of the tiny village (which hopes to grow into a full-on town in the near future) for the past few years. And now, reports indicate that since its opening, the birth rate has more than doubled. Known locally as the “Valley of Happiness,” the park is built on a site that was once the village’s backwoods make-out zone of choice. It now comprises cabins, kitchens, and a telephone — Horea’s only? — for calling erotic chat lines. “We wanted to offer them an adventure they would never forget,” said Mayor Olar, who is practically bursting with pride over the park’s popularity. “My mother told me I was procreated here,” said area man Dumitru Neag, adding that, “I myself had this experience.” Not that the park has been without its problems. “It’s a Small World” and “Maybe Tomorrowland” remain virtually unpatronized.

Nuts & Bolts

She might have said, “Is that a bad sunburn or an outward sign of sexual arousal brought on by my hot-ass presence?” But, no, she had to scream, he had to run, and the local constabulatory had to put in an appearance. This, ladies and gentlemen, is another case in which you, Nerve readers, benefit from an otherwise bizarre and extremely naked situation. To wit: the naked lady in question was getting her ‘taters baked at a Greeley, Colorado, tanning salon when she spotted a pair of arms hanging out of the neighboring booth. Each hand held a small mirror with which her neighbor could see her well-lit body. On the other end of the offending arms was one Joseph Mueller, doing his best to prop open the top of his tanning capsule and enjoy a little “sun stroke.” His deception discovered, the tumescent Mr. Mueller made for the exit without stopping to dress. According to witnesses, he ducked into a car in the parking lot and sped off, only to be easily apprehended by police after salon employees found his name on the sign-in sheet. Are there that many guys driving around naked in Greeley, Colorado?

Additional research, puns, wordplay and double entendres supplied by Jim Jazwiecki.

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