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Nov 25 2013

The Future of Condoms

0

by thepleasurechest

condom with tabs

It’s an exciting time to be a condom user.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded eleven $100,000 grants to scientists who designed condoms that people might be more likely to want to wear. The grants will fund research into the condoms’ safety, efficacy, and manufacturability. After eighteen months, the winners can apply for a million dollar grant to go toward production and clinical trials.

The winners sound amazing and/or bewildering. One team made a more skin-like condom out of collagen from beef tendons and fish scraps. Another designed a condom out of a material that clings to the skin, so that the condom doesn’t have to fit so tightly in order to stay on. Others are creating new, more effective applicators. You can read the full list here.

h/t NPR

Nov 22 2013

Detecting Toxic Toys

5

by thepleasurechest

Dildo sex toys are pictured during the 14th "Venus" erotic fair in Berlin

Yesterday, Bitch Media ran a piece about the lack of government regulation in the sex toy industry and how this leads to the sale of sex toys made with potentially toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, this is a real problem – one that’s old news for us. Sex toys are not regulated by the FDA, and many of them are made with phthalates: plastic-softening chemicals that have been linked to all kinds of icky health problems.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid toys with phthalates. The article mentions using a flame test – lighting a match and holding it against your toy – to determine whether a toy is 100% silicone or not. Silicone toys are non-porous, hypoallergenic, and phthalate free, which makes them totally awesome, and most silicones won’t melt when you hold a match up to them. Still, this isn’t the best solution, since a) not all phthalate free toys are silicone and b) you’d probably rather find out whether your toy is safe *before* you buy it, take it home, and set it on fire.

Instead, here are a few of our tips for buying a body-safe toy.

1) Read up on materials before you buy. This is a good place to start, but it isn’t foolproof, since manufacturers aren’t required to list exactly what’s in each toy. (So, you could buy a toy that’s labeled “silicone” and which is, in fact, only 10% silicone and 90% pure evil.)

2) Do a smell test. The best way to tell if a toy has harmful chemicals is to sniff it. Toys with phthalates will smell kind of cough syrupy, like your plastic toys used to when you were a kid. (Phthalates are now illegal to use in children’s toys, which tells you something.) Even a faint, baby powdery smell tells you that there’s something to be wary of. The most body-friendly toys won’t smell like anything.

3) Ask one of us! The Pleasure Chest staff are a bunch of toy safety nerds, and we can point you toward several brands who make durable, totally safe, high quality products.

Nov 22 2013

The Saddest Dildo in the World

3

by thepleasurechest


You guys, this is the magic of cinema. The addition of a soundtrack turns this video of a dildo riding a baggage claim carousel into a heart-rending meditation on alienation, ennui, and fear of mediocrity.

Or, hey, it’s a dildo riding a baggage claim carousel. Still good!

h/t Elite Daily

Nov 20 2013

Transgender Day of Remembrance

0

by thepleasurechest

Trans* pride flag outside our West Hollywood store

Trans* pride flag outside our West Hollywood store

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we memorialize those who have been murdered over the last year because of anti-trans* hatred. The event is held this month every year in honor of Rita Hester, who was killed on November 28, 1998.

Vigils will take place all over the world, including New York, Chicago and West Hollywood. Find an event near you here.

We continue to celebrate our community, and we encourage you to read further and engage as much as you can in education and advocacy. Here are a few resources to start with:

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance website

Transgender Law Center

A great primer on speaking to and about trans* people without being a jerk, from Buzzfeed.

“It’s Transgender Day of Remembrance: Let’s Celebrate Trans* Lives and Accomplishments,” from Autostraddle, celebrates trans* people’s triumphs during the last year and links to a lot of additional articles.

Nov 19 2013

Sex FAQ is here!

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by thepleasurechest

Here at The Pleasure Chest, we spend a lot of time talking to people about their sex lives. Consequently, we also spend a lot of time answering a pretty short list of questions. While we’re always happy to answer them in person, we thought that you might appreciate some quick and dirty answers to our most frequently asked questions. Read them all here.

Nov 18 2013

Tristan Taormino on Feminist Porn

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by thepleasurechest

tristan taormino porn

We were honestly surprised to see that Cosmopolitan recently featured an interview with wildly prolific educator, author and pornographer Tristan Taormino, in which she answered questions about feminist porn. Normally, Cosmo’s sex writing is more “Ten Tricks to Please Your Man” and less “What role do you think mainstream porn plays in the sexualization of men?” but this interview really impressed us.

Says Taormino,

Feminist pornographers are committed to gender equality and social justice. Feminist porn is ethically produced porn, which means that performers are paid a fair wage and they are treated with care and respect; their consent, safety, and well-being are critical, and what they bring to the production is valued.

We recommend that you check it out, both as a primer on feminist porn and for Taormino’s recommendations for the feminist porn novice, including The Crash Pad series and her own Rough Sex films.

Then, if you want to hear more from Tristan Taormino, watch her interviews on Sex is Back, our new storytelling campaign.

Nov 15 2013

Let’s Talk About Sex With Robots

0

by thepleasurechest

vr tenga

Adult toy designer Tenga has teamed up with the makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to create the VR Tenga, which synchronizes the movement of a robot arm holding a Tenga masturbation device with visual stimulation from the headset. Essentially, you’re watching porn while a robot gives you a hand job, but the possibilities are exciting. If they continue to develop this technology, people with unrealizable fetishes could finally act on them. Enjoy sex with dragons, lamia, or the mythical creature of your choice!

If it’s having sex with a robot that appeals to you, we’re sorry to say that the VR Tenga is not yet widely available. On the bright side, you can always spray paint some boxes silver, dress your partner as a robot, get your own Tenga cup, and go to it!


Watch this video to see the VR Tenga in action.

h/t The Huffington Post

Nov 15 2013

Can You Get Herpes From Library Books? (No, but we’re glad you asked.)

0

by thepleasurechest

Copies of the book "Fifty Shades of Grey

Here’s the story: two university professors in Belgium ran toxicology and bacteriology screenings on the ten most borrowed books at the Antwerp library. Fifty Shades of Grey contained traces of herpes. (They didn’t say whether it was HSV 1 or 2.)

Don’t panic. The traces of the virus weren’t enough to infect anyone. You’re not going to catch an STI from your library book.

Still, this seems like a good time for an etiquette lesson: if you are going to masturbate while reading a book, please buy your own copy. Do not make out with your library book. Do your best not to get your bodily fluids on your library book. It’s common courtesy. 

You might also take this as a lesson in common sense: consider buying your own erotica and using the library for less bodice-ripping books.

On the other hand, you might want to be more careful about library books in general. The Belgian professors found traces of cocaine in every single one of the books they tested – not enough to get you high, but enough that you could fail a drug test after handling one of the books. If you have a drug test coming up, consider using latex gloves with your library books.

h/t Time


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