Recent posts

Implications Of The Net Neutrality Ruling For Sex Education

If you haven’t heard much about what the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on net neutrality recently, this New York Times blog provides a clear run-through of the ruling. Basically, the ruling states that internet service providers (like Verizon) are not required to handle all internet traffic equally. Internet content creators can pay the service providers to move their content through the channels more quickly, thus providing preferential treatment to those internet content providers who have more money. The implications of this for sex education – and for the internet world of sex in general – are disturbing. If certain sites are loading faster, that might dissuade internet users to go out of their way to find other sites. Continue Reading →

Thoughts On The Porn Sex Vs. Real Sex Video

Some of you may have seen the porn sex vs. real sex video going around recently. By using fruits and vegetables to stand in for human genitals, it cutely addresses some of the misconceptions about sex that people may be getting from watching pornography. But the video is worth discussing for the assumptions it embeds, too. As blogger flexibeast points out, the video doesn’t define porn (so it could include amateur as well as professionally-produced entertainment), and assumes that only people with gender identities matching their genitals are involved. Continue Reading →

Studying Something Is Not Condoning It

The 2014 debut of a new academic journal called Porn Studies (to be published by Routledge) has already created ripples: a petition is circulating to replace the board of editors with a more “balanced” membership, because apparently the current board is too “pro-porn.” I believe it’s important to study any and every aspect of human behavior, including (duh) the sexual. And it’s also important to note that studying a phenomenon is not the same thing as condoning it. We need better data on all kinds of sexual behavior before we can make sensible policies about it. However, as this Guardian article points out, there are potential links between the ready availability of violent pornography and violent sex acts in real life, which an entirely pro-pornography board of editors might miss if they end up being too biased to publish articles on all aspects of pornography. Continue Reading →

Data Visualization And Adult Performers

For a neat look at how data visualization can illuminate sexual subcultures, check out Jon Millward’s Deep Inside: A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars and Their Careers. By extracting data from the Internet Adult Film Database, Millward was able to statistically analyze trends in the adult performers’ ages, ethnicities, weights, performing names, and so on. Among other interesting tidbits (such as the fact that the average female performer’s hair is brown), Millward notes: “So when I hear somebody claim that porn is ‘degrading’, I can’t help but ask: which porn? Is an anal scene involving three men and one woman more or less degrading than a scene in which three women have sex with strap-ons? How about a solo scene in which a woman appears alone? Continue Reading →

Can Porn Cause Headaches?

I recently found an article about a man who gets severe headaches from watching porn. Now, some people get headaches post-orgasm, whether porn was involved or not, so I was intrigued. The man in question is 24 years old, and typically when he has been watching pornography for 8-10 minutes he gets a headache so severe, he needs to stop watching. In this man’s case, it is speculated that his headaches are, “caused by changes in the pain-sensing nerves in the face and jaw, along with increased pain sensitivity due to ‘a heightened emotional state associated with viewing pornography.’” The article also states that there is still much that is unknown about headaches that occur with sex. The cure for the man in the article? Continue Reading →

Indonesia: Defining Porn In Order To Ban It, Plus Mini-Skirts Cause Rape

A series of new Indonesian laws would set criteria for defining pornography in order to ban it, as well as outlaw immodest clothing for women based on the belief that women’s attire is what causes them to be targeted by rapists. I hardly know where to begin with this set of erroneous assumptions – and yes, I acknowledge that religion, specifically various sects of Islam, is important in the situation and adds a layer of complexity which I will not be able to fully address here. However, I bring up this news story in order to educate our American readership about global events, and also to point out some parallels in our supposedly-more-enlightened country. So, first: how do we define pornography? We have been there, done that in the US, without much success. Continue Reading →

Conservatives Watch More Pornography In The US

According to this report, the states that have the highest levels of pornography consumption are also the most politically and religiously conservative. The explanation offered thus far is that anything that is repressed – as sexual desire, in this case, is repressed as immoral, sinful, or evil – simply becomes more desirable due to human nature. The hypocrisy is a bummer, since it appears that the people who want to police the behavior of others the most are incapable of being honest about their own desires and needs. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

The Pros And Cons Of The .XXX Domain


The .XXX domain is here. For some, the official grand opening of the domain was the perfect way to kick off the month of December (Christmas came early for the adult entertainment industry – yes?). For others, the debut was a panic-filled race against the clock, hoping to snatch up any domain names in order to secure one’s identity/reputation. When I first heard of the news, I thought that the creation of the .XXX domain sounded like a wonderful idea. In my eyes, it could serve as a unique touch to a website – differentiating your adult site from the rest of the crowd. Continue Reading →

James Deen: The Boy-Next-Door Of Porn

I recently had the pleasure of reading a rather intriguing feature on male porn star, James Deen. And honestly, I liked the text so much that I literally felt obligated to share it here on MSP. So who exactly is James Deen? Well according to the feature, James Deen “is 5’8″ and 150 pounds. He has wavy brown hair, bright blue eyes, and day-old stubble. He tweets about bacon, hot girls, and his difficulty finding time to shower. Continue Reading →

Erotica: Recommendations and Ruminations

In my quest to research and read more about all aspects of sexuality–and also find some good, entertaining erotica to read–I’m happy to have found a site called Adventurotica, which features not only erotic fiction but also essays about various sexual topics. While as a scholar I’ll read darn near anything out of curiosity or to analyze its social relevance, as a sex-positive feminist I am deeply concerned with how the fiction I read presents sexuality: is sex something that just happens to women, something that women actively pursue, or what? I’m pleased with how the authors at Adventurotica represent women’s desire (and men’s, too!) as fluid and something to be explored and enjoyed. Ranging from short stories to serialized novels, from vanilla sex to increasingly kinky scenes, the fiction is overall fun, and well-written too (thank goodness, since I can’t get into a story if it’s poorly written!). So while the fiction is neat, I also really dig the analytical essays, for instance, this one on the difference between erotica and porn (hint: it’s more subjective than you think!). Continue Reading →