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Date archive for: April 2012

Indecent Exposure

I hate things that make me sound like I’m 90 years old. And that’s what online porn is doing. Beckoning our teenagers from their laptops, iPhones, and tablets, X-rated Web sites are causing me to curse technology and pine for the good old days when smut knew its place: on the pages of a shrink-wrapped girlie magazine on the periodicals shelf of your neighborhood 7-Eleven.

Back in my day, we pored over dog-eared Playboys, passed around Penthouse letters, and stared agog at warbly VHS tapes of Deep Throat — all lifted from our parents’ stash. Or our friends’ parents’ stash. Or our parents’ friends’ stash.

We had to work hard to see porn, and I’m not complaining; we had quite the work ethic. But today’s teens have to work hard not to see it. It’s free, it’s abundant, and it’s a single click away. Most of it is explicit, and much of it (what? I conducted a study) is so in-your-face graphic that you have to wonder if it’s intended to turn off the viewer.

Our teens — and, in some cases, ick, our preteens — are looking at this stuff. It’s not a question of if or when. They. Are. Looking. And how can you blame them? It’s a fascinating alien world. A big-box toy store. A freshly stocked cookie jar. I think it’s healthy for teens to explore their sexuality, and at least on-screen you can’t catch anything. Or create anyone.

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Coregasm

I feel a lot of different things when I exercise: tired, resentful, inflexible. Hungry, gangly, territorial. Sometimes I feel excited about the bowl of Fruit Loops that I will suck down guilt-free when I get home, and occasionally I feel sexy, like a badass backup dancer in a Beyoncé video. Most often — about 15 minutes into any given workout, and again at 24 minutes, and 37 — I feel that I’ve had enough and that it really should be over by now.

Here’s what I never, ever feel when I exercise: toe-curling ecstasy.

Researchers at Indiana University report that some women actually experience orgasms while working out. A study at the school’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion surveyed 124 women who claim to have been sent into paroxysms of pleasure while exercising — during spinning or yoga class, in the weight room or swimming pool, and while climbing poles or ropes (which makes me picture the word “climb-ax,” which makes me giggle stupidly).

The media is calling these episodes “coregasms” because they’re most often brought on by abdominal exercises — especially multiple sets of rigorous crunches. But let’s call them “gymnasms” because it’s crazy fun to say; try it.

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