Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design. Also note that invariably when we design something we often make it better for everyone.
So Congressman Anthony Weiner, the very liberal and outspoken politician from New York’s Ninth Congressional District, has been all over the news and the blogs. He got caught sending intimate images of himself to women (well and accidentally to all of his twitter followers). He never met up with any of the women, he claims, and his wife has known of his behavior since before their marriage. But politicians have been our favorite lambs of sacrifice for their misdeeds and Congressman Weiner is no different… well sort of.
The Republicans are jumping for joy, calling for the Congressman to step down in disgrace; like I said he’s a very outspoken liberal. And Democratic Congressmen, when asked at public events by the press, have also questioned his remaining in his office. But Congressman Weiner won with 60% in his district. And, according to a recent poll in his district 56 percent of those interviewed said that Weiner shouldn’t resign, while only 33 percent said he should (12 percent said they hadn’t made up their minds). Looks like he’s right about in the same position he was when he was elected.
But sexting??? Is that really a sex scandal? OK, I totally agree I don’t want pictures of some guys wiener being sent to me on Facebook, Twitter or email. And if it was a consensual arrangement with his wife, what business is it of ours. From what the so apparent “victim”, a young college student who was twittering with him about their similar political views, has said- while she certainly didn’t want the image she also doesn’t want him out of office for it. Hell the black jack dealer asked for the pict.
Yesterday, Alec Baldwin, fellow New Yorker, and rumored contender for New York City Mayor, gave a pass to the Congressman. He wrote:
Weiner is a modern human being. So he ensnared himself in things that modern humans do.
And lets face it, most 20,30 and 40 somethings with cell phones and IM have done some pretty silly sexual things pretty identical to what Congressman Weiner did. I know when my last marriage was lacking, I certainly did.
I told my husband, who hadn’t heard of the new story, about it yesterday. He reassured me he hadn’t sent anyone pictures of himself; that he wouldn’t know where any indiscreet images of himself were and that the only image he could even recall I had taken. We both laughed.
The residents of New York’s Ninth District appear to stand behind their congressman in solid formation.
Que sera sera and we watch our culture adjust.
And the story continues…
House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi and the National Democratic Party Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz have both asked Weiner to resign. He’s claiming he won’t but he will seek treatment.
Meanwhile, and this perhaps a little closer to my blog- May 9th Jon Stewart and The Daily Show fashioned a Penis Wheel.
This prop shows all the real stories that are being ignored while we play out a sexting scandal. And the official dildo of the Penis Wheel is none other that Tantus’ own Hank.
That’s right, purchased at The Pleasure Chest in NYC, they choose an American made toy to play with; one that is non toxic and if it hasn’t been harmed in rigging up to the Penis Wheel, may be handed off to some lucky intern. Please if you are the person who ends up with this wonderful toy, we at Tantus recommend you boil it for 6 minutes before use. You never know what happens backstage, but I’m happy you choose Tantus.
I promise I’ll rarely talk about porn here at metisblack.com. I don’t think it’s part of the sex toy industry except as a branding mechanism for some companies that lease porn studio names, personality images or names, or some other sort of co-brand marketing idea- oh and for props. And I’ve been very vocal about this in the past, Tantus doesn’t see itself as part of the adult entertainment industry.
That said, Jiz Lee wrote a really interesting article about safe sex and porn from a perspective most don’t hear about- queer porn.
Current events have Cal-OSHA questioning labor practices of testing for disease and then having unprotected sex for money. The larger porn studios have had bad consumer sales when they tried integrating safer sex practices into their videos. So you have politics trying to clean up, and/or protect independent contractors who may or may not know the risks they are taking vs. studio moguls and their employees (independent or otherwise) that are trying to keep the profitable rules they have played by in the past.
Jiz writes “What’s wrong with barriers?” and that is a huge question.
From a queer SF perspective, barriers can be sexy as hell. Gloves, dental dams and condoms are tools that can be compared to lingerie or, yes, to sex toys by the right performer in the right circumstance. Sexy is someone who wants to make sure your safe, who wants to protect themselves. Sexy is someone confident and who feels great about what their doing. But, I’m from the SF Bay Area originally. Others see it totally differently.
Is being able to have risky behavior the same as having the Right To Choose? And yes, though I know it will be controversial and I’m not sure what I think of it, is it an extension of Roe vs. Wade?
I wonder who has the right to be a slut (male or female) and act instinctively and recklessly.
Culturally, porn is the place where we are allowed to be in a make believe world with no consequences. There are no pregnancies in porn (unless it centers on the woman being pregnant and someone gets off on that fetish), and likewise there is no HPV, no HIV, no Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Herpes or Crabs. Porn doesn’t include the scene from 2 weeks, 2 years or a decade after the debauchery. After all it’s just porn.
I have fantasies that I masturbate to that would be considered unsafe. How different is a video of others living out a fantasy?
AIM, the testing organization for the porn industry which was recently closed down, did a remarkable job at screening the actors who were at risk. The rate of disease within the porn community compared to the general population was miniscule. Which is why when the question has gone to the politicians every activist serving HIV and AIDS patients complain. And perhaps they are right; we make mountains out of 3 when there were over 63,000 people living in LA County with HIV or AIDS at the beginning of 2010.
It’s an interesting moment in history. What would the Roman’s do?
So there is a very nice online story on the history of sex toys that just came out a few days ago. And the early history is really amazing. But what really is interesting to me is the players who aren’t mentioned.
In traditional sex toy media, you couldn’t tell this tale without mentioning the big boys- mainly Reuben Sturman who in 1976 started Doc Johnson as an expansion of his magazine and pornography production and distribution. Ted Marche, who is included in the story, was a big part of Doc Johnson- it was his factory in fact and his expertise that is “Doc Johnson”; this was after a wire in Marche Manufacturing toy tore a man’s colon and subsequently the court award the victim $14 million. In the tall tales heard in the bars at trade shows, Reuben Sturman is legend; Ted Marche is forgotten.
But the story that really surprised me, that was missing in this history which centers on better toys and materials, is that of Gosnell Duncan the man who first made dildos from a healthier material- silicone. Skipping Scorpio Products and Duncan’s contribution to sing praises of Vixen, Fun Factory and yes even Tantus seem odd to me. But perhaps those that are more vibrant in the marketplace are those that will be written about.
Very few bloggers have managed to be a part of the sex toy industry where they are privy to this kind of oral history. Their perspective is in the here and now. They don’t have the connections to speak to the old timers and catch those history lessons. Their resources are online such as Wikipedia and a few articles that google can find and that have the right tags. The industry hides it’s indiscretions and tarnish as sex toys become more and more mainstream. Highly polished press releases become all we know and can talk about.
History is written by the victors, it is said, making it totally subjective. Who will be the victor here? Seems the message will be the bloggers and some facts will die with the veterans.
Reuben Sturman’s story ended in prison, with tax evasion and later, from crimes within prison, extortion. He died in a federal prison in Lexington Kentucky in 1997.
Gosnell Duncan’s products can still be purchased at Eve’s Garden in NYC, which was their first vendor and the original feminist sex boutique. I think Mr Duncan is in his 80′s now and lives in New York.
I have a very clear memory of being in the library during Jr High, middle school, and browsing an oversized dictionary, one of the dictionaries that isn’t moved, that sites in its dedicated stand at the edge of the broad study tables, and finding the word Dildo /dɪldəʊ/.
Now, I don’t know why the experience of word discovery in this case stuck with me. I don’t have any other recollections of discovering a word. But at the time my mother was dying and maybe, just maybe this was a find that was clearly “adult” yet not just a swear word I’d been saying for years. It wasn’t a word to use for shock purposes but it was clearly a word only adults must know.
I can’t recall actually saying it to people. I don’t recall masturbating at that point in my life, and I know I didn’t set out to create one. But I do remember taking it like a proverbial feather and sticking it in my cap for use later. Who’d have thought you could create a viable, thriving business based on the discovery of a word.