Posts Tagged “Sex”

04w44:1 The Status of Sex

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 44 number 1 (the status of sex)


Roughgarden Interview | The Current
“It’s a rite of passage between parent and child. For generations, the story of the birds and the bees has been an efficient way to answer complicated questions, such as ‘where do babies come from?’ And why do males and females get together to make them? Now some scientists are arguing that we’ve only been telling a part of the story. In her new book Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People, Joan Roughgarden argues that the animal and human world is way more sexually complex than we thought it was—especially when it comes to orientation and gender. She’s a biology professor at Stanford University, who has also discovered that, in fact, homosexuality is common in 3-hundred species—-from lesbian lizards to bisexual Bonobo chimpanzees. Joan Roughgarden was in San Francisco, California. ” Real Audio file (20:06min)

Glad to be asexual | Sylvia Pagan Westphal
“Discovering our sexuality, we are told, is a perfectly normal process that must be celebrated[…]co ncepts such as celibacy or abstinence work on the implicit assumption that we are deliberately rejecting sexuality. Doctors tell us that if we lose interest in sex we must seek help with the problem. Unsurprisingly, one of the hardest things about being asexual is convincing other people that there is nothing wrong with you. Tell someone on the street that you are asexual and they’ll stare at you in disbelief, says Jay. The immediate supposition is that you’re just a late bloomer, he adds. “

Survival of genetic homosexual traits explained | Andy Coghlan
“The researchers discovered that women tend to have more children when they inherit the same – as yet unidentified – genetic factors linked to homosexuality in men. This fertility boost more than compensates for the lack of offspring fathered by gay men, and keeps the ‘gay’ genetic factors in circulation. The findings represent the best explanation yet for the Darwinian paradox presented by homosexuality: it is a genetic dead-end, yet the trait persists generation after generation. “

Platypus sex is XXXXX-rated | Rachel Nowak
“In most mammals, including humans, sex is decided by the X and Y chromosomes: two Xs create a female, while XY creates a male. In birds, the system is similar: ZW makes for a female, while ZZ makes for a male. But in platypuses, XXXXXXXXXX creates a female, while XYXYXYXYXY creates a male. In other words, rather than a single chromosome pair, platypuses have a set of ten-chromosomes that determine their sex”

————————— ————-
To remove or add yourself to this list, go here

emailed by Timothy on Monday 25 October 2004 @ 5:02 PM

04w08:1 Nazi Porn

by timothy. 0 Comments


High-definition porn has arrived. That’s bad news for HDTV. | Brendan I. Koerner
“The HDTV microscope could kill the fantasy that the adult industry peddles. Hollywood is already learning this lesson the hard way: HDTV has revealed that some glamorous stars look a lot more pedestrian than we’ve been led to believe. And the makeup tricks that protect the aging and less-than-perfect are easy to spot in HDTV. When technology pundit Phillip Swann first saw the Charlie’s Angels movie in HDTV, he was taken aback by Cameron Diaz’s appearance. ‘Diaz looks like a different person,’ he marveled in the pages of Television Week, noting that her face has been ravaged by acne over the years. ‘She’s still very pretty. But to be very frank, I doubt that she would make People’s ‘Most Beautiful’ list.’ ”

The Eloquence of Pornography | Laura Kipnis
“Pornography should interest us, because it’s intensely and relentlessly about us. It involves the roots of our culture and the deepest corners of the self. It’s not just friction and naked bodies: pornography has eloquence. It has meaning, it has ideas. It even has redeeming ideas. So why all the distress? […] Despite knowing this, it’s difficult to envision contemporary pornography as a form of culture or as a mode of politics. There’s virtually no discussion of pornography as an expressive medium in the positive sense — the only expressing it’s presumed to do is of misogyny or social decay. That it might have more complicated social agendas, or that future historians of the genre might produce interesting insights about pornography’s relation to this particular historical and social moment — these are radically unthought thoughts.”

Porn und Drang | Luke Harding,11710,1146258,00.html
“Before submitting his manuscript to his publisher last summer, Kunkel had researched long and hard into one of the most subterranean aspects of the Nazi era – a series of erotic home movies known as the Sachsenwald films, shot secretly in 1941. Officially, pornography was forbidden under the Nazis; in reality, however, the films were not only screened privately for the amusement of senior Nazi figures, but were also traded in north Africa for insect repellent and other commodities”

The death pit | Janina Struk,11710,1131825,00.html
“Finally, whether the scene was photographed at Sniatyn, Bochnia, Sniadowo, Lodz or Drohobycz – towns hundreds of miles apart, or in Latvia or the Soviet Union or somewhere else, and whether it was taken in 1939, 1941, 1943 or 1944, we do not know. So what does it tell us? In a sense, it says everything. That the Germans and their collaborators took photographs of their crimes to keep as mementoes and trophies. That brave resisters smuggled such images out of their occupied countries to provide evidence of Nazi atrocities. That the Holocaust has at times been promoted, at other times suppressed, as a central story of the second world war. That the death pit image has been made to serve the propaganda purposes variously of the Nazis, the resistance and the Warsaw pact. That curators, documentary makers and publishers have been remarkably promiscuous and cavalier in their appropriation of it as evidence for whatever story they intend. But in another sense, it tells us nothing. We have no certain knowledge of the perpetrators and the victims. Of the lives of the old man with the shoe and the young boy with the hat whose last moments we presume to witness, we will never know anything ”

To remove or add yourself from this list, email

emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 17 February 2004 @ 1:30 PM

04w07:4 Happy Valentine's Day

by timothy. 0 Comments


This is your brain in love | Carlene Bauer
“So here are the basic characteristics: You lose a sense of self, your edges become porous — this person almost invades, but it’s a very pleasant invasion. Then there are mood swings — real giddiness and ecstasy when things are going well, but if you don’t hear from him via e-mail or phone, there’s despair. But the main characteristic for me is obsessively thinking about the person. When I was interviewing people to put into the fMRI machine, the first thing I asked them was how long they’d been in love, because I wanted them really crazy — I wanted them in the beginning stages, because these machines are expensive, they’re time-consuming for everybody. So they had to be absolutely nuts…”

I get a kick out of you | The Economist
“[…] Understanding the neurochemical pathways that regulate social attachments may help to deal with defects in people’s ability to form relationships. All relationships, […] rely on an ability to create and maintain social ties. Defects can be disabling, and become apparent as disorders such as autism and schizophrenia—and, indeed, as the serious depression that can result from rejection in love. […] For a start, a relatively small area of the human brain is active in love, compared with that involved in, say, ordinary friendship. ‘It is fascinating to reflect’, the pair conclude, ‘that the face that launched a thousand ships should have done so through such a limited expanse of cortex.’ […] Parts of the brain that are love-bitten include the one responsible for gut feelings, and the ones which generate the euphoria induced by drugs such as cocaine. So the brains of people deeply in love do not look like those of people experiencing strong emotions, but instead like those of people snorting coke. ”

Good Vibrations | Judith Warner
An article about Love and Hope, reviewing the work of Helen Fischer, described in the articles above, and Jerome Groopman’s The Anatomy of Hope : ” ‘There is an authentic biology of hope,’ Groopman writes. ‘Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry. Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation, and motor function. During the course of an illness, then, hope can be imagined as a domino effect, a chain reaction in which each link makes improvement more likely. It changes us profoundly in spirit and in body.’ NOTE: This article requires registration. Use login: ‘’ password: ‘access’ (courtesy of”

To remove or add yourself from this list, email
emailed by Timothy on Saturday 14 February 2004 @ 3:42 PM

04w04:3 Porno vs. Theory

by timothy. 0 Comments


The Porno-ization of American Media and Marketing | T.L. Stanley
“He’s the latest, but by no means only porn star to grab attention in the mainstream media. He is part of what some trend mavens say is the new ‘porno-ized’ America, which seems to be enthralled with people who were once marginalized in a business that has always been the black sheep of entertainment. ‘It’s a way to prove your liberalness to not be freaked out by porn,’ said Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide. ‘People are decidedly more open now.'” ”

The self-critic | Matthew Price
“Has theory succumbed to the same fate? That is the opinion of one of Britain’s best-known public intellectuals, the Marxist critic – and formidable theorist himself – Terry Eagleton. In his new book, After Theory (Basic), Eagleton administers last rites to today’s theoretical enterprise. ‘The golden age of theory is long past,’ he intones, reminding us that the best work of its titans – Barthes, Derrida, and Foucault; Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva – is now several decades old. ‘Rather like Nietzsche thought God was dead but we pretended for quite a long time that he was still alive, I think the same for theory,’ Eagleton said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Derry, Northern Ireland. ‘It’s actually been dead for quite a while; but we’ve been sort of behaving as though it isn’t.'” ”

Theory in chaos | David Kirby
“Specifically, says theory’s reformed bad boy, ‘[theory] has been shamefaced about morality and metaphysics, embarrassed about love, biology, religion and revolution, largely silent about evil…’ And that, as Eagleton says, ‘is rather a large slice of human existence to fall down on.'”

To remove or add yourself from this list, email
emailed by Timothy on Friday 30 January 2004 @ 3:35 PM