Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Masters Student. Sexuality Educator. Bossy Femme.

Recent posts

Another Tacky Headline: The Media Outing of Alisha Smith, Lawyer and Purported Fetish Worker

In a culture in which celebrities regularly don latex or leather and talk about kinky sex, our media outlets still have a way of trying to keep the average individual’s sexuality in check when it comes to private sexual behaviors. Tabloids such as the New York Post has a long history of taking pieces of schoolyard-like gossip and treating them like news articles, especially when it comes to women’s sexuality. In the last year alone, the Post has thrown the title of “hooker” at no less than three women in its headlines, one of which was a murder victim, and even managed to get the frontpage headline of “Crazy Stox Like a Hooker’s Drawers…UP, DOWN, UP,” complete with a photo of a lady in red, to fit what might otherwise have been a piece about the fledgling economy. The Post, it would seem, has got sex (and sex workers) on the brain. The latest victim of the the Post’s sharpened tongue is a lawyer for the state Attorney General’s office, Alisha Smith, who was suspended without pay from her position, following the Post’s inquiry regarding her participation in BDSM activities in her off hours. Continue Reading →

The Fight Between the Village Voice and Ashton Kutcher: What Really Matters Here

Back in March, I published an article entitled “Ashton and Demi Tackle Child Sex Trafficking, One Problematic YouTube Video at a Time.” It was about Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s project the DNA Foundation and its questionable YouTube PSAs, which used gender stereotyping and unsettlingly inappropriate humor to, as Kutcher put it, “create a cultural shift around the buying and selling of humans.” Watching other media response to these videos, I felt relatively alone in the opinion that these videos were extremely harmful. Most media outlets either glibly shot off the press released-version of what was happening or dismissed Kutcher and Moore’s effort as, well, just plain silly (and justifiably so). Nothing deeper about the DNA Foundation’s PSAs or the patchworked research materials on their website was basically unexamined. Continue Reading →

Ashton and Demi Tackle Child Sex Trafficking, One Problematic YouTube Video at a Time

If you haven’t seen it already, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have founded an organization called the DNA Foundation (or the Demi and Ashton Foundation), designed at targeting the issues of child sex slavery and trafficking. To promote their message, they’ve released a series of Funny or Die-like PSAs (Kutcher’s words, not mine), starring other famous celebrities, including Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz, Eva Longoria, Jessica Biel, Sean Penn, Jamie Fox and Drake. It’s a star-studded cast, looking pretty foolish and ultimately, painfully missing the point. See, the PSAs show men doing goofy things, like buying new socks instead of washing the old ones (because “Real men know how to do laundry”), or fighting a robot on the street (because “Real men are distrustful of robots”). Then in each, a short sketch ends with “Real men [do this]. Continue Reading →

Genitals in the Wilds: It Looks like a C**k!

I certainly seen my share of phallic images bouncing from the necklaces of bachelorettes in the East Village (a point not entirely absent of its own cock-like shape, considering its location on the isle of Manhattan) every weekend, but I’ve yet to come across such a compilation of genitals in the wild as this one: Ben and Jack’s It Looks like a C**k! I love that these authors have turned the guessing game of “Does that really look like a…?” in daily life into an amusing stocking stuffer, shower gift or tabletop display. Certainly something to get the conversations going! See more Genitals in the Wild photos. Continue Reading →

Deviant Intentions: An Interview with Whore! Magazine

At a recent Sex Bloggers Calendar release party in NYC, I met some amazing people from the world of sex blogging, sexuality education and sex work. But I especially had the privilege of meeting the creative minds behind Whore! Magazine, an amazing group of people I’ve been following on Twitter and in the Blogosphere. Ginger Murray, the Editor in Chief of Whore!, was gracious enough to sit down with me and offer me her thoughts on what is sure to be an interesting force in the editorial world: Continue Reading →

Maura Kelly, Marie Claire and the Sizist Attack Fallout

In case you hadn’t already heard, Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly is in a whole heap of trouble for a recent post regarding the TV sitcom “Mike and Molly,” which stars two people who met and fell in love at an “Overeaters Anonymous” meeting. Despite having never seen the show, Kelly recently posted a blog entitled “Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV?),” in which she made such statements as “I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other…because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything,” then compared being fat to being a drunk or a heroin addict. Continue Reading →

Etsy’s Breast Cancer Awareness Products

As a self-proclaimed online shopping addict, I love getting Etsy’s daily emails, showcasing a round-up of themed items that are currently selling on Etsy. But I was especially pleased to see their “Breast Cancer Awareness” email, highlighting items that were also donating funds to breast cancer research and advocacy groups. My personal favorite? Continue Reading →

A Pearl Necklace of a Permanent Kind

I saw this piece from designer Leah Piepgras via Jezebel and was genuinely amused by the notion of it: a sterling silver representation of what semen looks like, adorning the neck? Kind of witty, I’d say. Piepgras describes the design on her site as “a visual marker of chaos turned perfection through an act of beauty and lust.” Continue Reading →

Candy Magazine Does It Again! Crossdressing James Franco

As if I wasn’t already interested enough in what Candy Magazine was up to (not to say anything about how interested I was in what James Franco was up to), the cover of the Fall/Winter edition of the magazine has a heavily made-up and 80s power-suited Franco, a photograph shot by the known fashion and celebrity photographer Terry Richardson. Franco has made buzzworthy news recently, after discussing his sexuality with The Advocate in an issue of which he also appeared on the cover; he’s also engaged in some other “questionable” public events, such as the french kiss with Adam Lambert on SNL following his role as a gay youth in the gay activist film Milk. Continue Reading →