Category Archives: Sex and Sexuality

Sex and sexuality research and information

New Gaydar Study: Bogus Science?

[Important updates below!]

A brief complaint published in the Edmonton Journal caught my attention when it claimed to have spotted some bogus science. [The article in the Edmonton Journal has since been taken down.] A psychology paper out of Washington University and Cornell University was published on May 17th, saying that the colloquially-famous “gaydar” may in fact be real. That is, an innate tendency for people to know whether or not someone is gay. Some people say you can tell by the way they walk, others say you’ll know by the way they talk, but this paper said that even a simple glance at a picture is enough to detect sexual orientation. Is this true?

Posted in Psychology, Science, Sex and Sexuality, TED | Tagged | 6 Comments

New Model Restriction Law a Major Victory for Body Image

Who decides what is sexy? The interesting thing about the fashion industry is that there is no simple answer. Fashion designers would love to say “I decide what is sexy,” but that’s like giving a teacher all the credit for a student’s success. As the late American costume designer Edith Head once said, “A designer is only as good as the star who wears her clothes.” So no matter how beautiful an article of clothing is, it won’t matter unless someone wears it. What designers make depends on what people wear, and what people wear depends on what is being made. This cyclical interaction makes it hard for experts to predict what will be popular, making most people feel unqualified to make predictions. However, when it comes to the models themselves, everyone has an opinion on what is sexy. Since models are getting skinnier, it is distorting the ideal of beauty into an unrealistic and unhealthy image for many young girls. The only way to break the spell of shrinking models and a dangerous image of beauty is by doing what Israel has just started doing: Restricting overly-skinny models from modelling.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Sex and Sexuality | Tagged | Leave a comment

Models are Getting Smaller but Everyone Else is Getting Bigger

When it comes to fashion marketing, manipulating the waistline isn’t exactly magic, but it sure is a vanishing act nowadays. Exhibit A: Cindy Crawford (above). Yikes! Just look at her. Today’s advertisers would tell her to come back after losing 10 pounds. She must have “let herself go,” they would say. That’s because the models of today are much smaller than the models of a generation ago. By the looks of the current state of the fashion industry, the meaning of “plus-size” should be “normal,” whereas the meaning of “normal” is essentially “anorexic” for models. Many people are worried about the message this sends to girls who aspire to have what our culture unfailingly insists on attaining – beauty.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Media, Psychology, Sex and Sexuality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 2: Visual Novels

In Part 1, we looked at how simulation games appeal to players. Being the social creatures that we are, gamers often like to engage with others, even in the virtual world. We saw how dating sims are often – but not always – intertwined with “eroge,” (“erotic games”) and how there have been many successes and failures with the genre. Now we’ll turn our sights on the “visual novel” format, which are prevalent in practically every modern dating sim. We’ll look at how the reputation of this gaming genre has been tarnished, and why they continue to be made despite that.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality, Video Games | 1 Comment

The Master of Your Own Domain Name – What .xxx Porn Sites Mean For Us

Pornography just got a little more accessible; as if we needed it.

A few days ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – who oversee many things on the internet – approved the domain “.xxx” to be added to the web. It will join the ranks of .com, .net, .tv, and other URL suffixes. The ICM Registry was responsible for its inception, much to the anger of website owners, marketers, and basically anyone with a brand to protect. So what exactly does this new domain name mean for us?

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Sex and Sexuality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 1: Dating Sims and other Simulations

“Thank you for saving me!” she says, planting a kiss on the hero’s cheek. Indeed, the hero who saves the damsel in distress had become the fantasy many gamers wanted to live out in their video games. Of course, books and films had the same appeal – people identified with the heroes, and liked to see the happy ending where “the good guy gets the girl at the end” (though it doesn’t always work out that way). But it’s the virtual world that allowed people to experience and overcome the challenges themselves. They could make mistakes without real risk, while feeling the accomplishment of completing their task. Then, in the 1980′s, game developers started to wonder: Instead of making “getting the girl” the end result, why not make that the entire game? And so we have today a wide selection of what are known as “dating simulation” games.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality, Video Games | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Barbie Effect

Everyone knows that Barbie isn’t a particularly realistic-looking doll, and much has already been said about the notion that Barbie promotes an unhealthy and ridiculous ideal of beauty that women can’t possibly live up to. But that doesn’t stop many of them from trying. If you watch enough TV, I imagine you may have seen some of the women who have taken these ideals to the extreme. But aside from the outliers, how has the introduction and continuation of this doll affected the general population?

Posted in Activism, Biographical, Culture, Media, Psychology, Sex and Sexuality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2011 Official Playboy Sex Survey

In 1983, Playboy Magazine did what only a small number of people had done – they surveyed the hell out of people about sex. Over the course of five issues, they reported results from a survey of 65,396 male and 14,928 of their readers. Earlier this year, the results of Playboy’s new 2011 edition were published, and while the number of respondents only surpass ten thousand this time, they likely still represent the greater population and serve as an important reference, as we’re living in the digital age. In collaboration, Harris Interactive also interviewed thousands of average Americans (not necessarily Playboy readers) and came up their own data. Some of these results will definitely surprise you.

Posted in Culture, Psychology, Sex and Sexuality, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2011 Sex Survey from Tokyo, Japan

Timeout Tokyo (TT) published the results of a recent sex survey to Japanese and non-Japanese people alike, some of which were quite interesting and surprising. Questions pertained to opinions of approaches, foreign relations, public sex, etc. This article will serve to show some of the opinions of the respondents, as well as demonstrate many of the limitations or flaws involved with surveys.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality | Leave a comment

The Science of Condoms – Pornography, Japan, and Beyond

In the past year, we have seen our fair share of headlines on the decline of condom usage, ranging from America and Finland, all the way to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, even the porn industry has been engaged in a dialogue on whether or not porn actors should be using contraception. You’d think the world would have learned the benefits of condom usage by now, but the fact that there’s even a discussion about this means that there are still people who need convincing. Here in Japan, some professionals are going to great lengths to promote condom usage, including one adult charity event that set out to “save the earth.”

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Medicine & Health, Psychology, Science, Sex and Sexuality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment