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May 10 2013

Mother’s Day Cards For Everybody

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by thepleasurechest

mamasday

As you probably know, this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. If you’ve scanned the “Mother’s Day” card selection at your local store, you might have noticed a lack of diversity. Hallmark hasn’t caught up with the rest of us. That’s why the folks at Strong Families designed these beautifully-illustrated, colorful and inclusive “Mama’s Day” e-cards.

Strong Families calls itself “a home for the 4 out of 5 people living in the US who do not live behind the picket fence—whose lives fall outside outdated notions of family, with a mom at home and a dad at work.” The organization supports families defining themselves “across generation, race, gender, immigration status, and sexuality.” Cool!

You can read more about their work and pick out a card for mom on their site.

Apr 29 2013

Know Your IX

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by thepleasurechest

In 2010, a study by the Department of Justice found that 1 in 4 women will become a victim of rape while attending college. Given this reality, it’s disturbing that so many universities seem unwilling or unable to address rape culture on campus. Student activists from around the country are starting to push back, demanding more education about rape, more support for survivors and better training for people handling sexual assault claims.

Their cause got a boost in 2011 when the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to all colleges clarifying that “sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.” The 1972 law has been at the center of numerous battles over equality in college sports, but is now fueling anti-rape organizing on college campuses.

ixThe activist collective Know Your IX has launched a national education campaign to help students understand their legal rights. They’re currently raising money to launch a website, a social media campaign and print advertising in student newspapers, before the start of the fall school year. If you’d like to help, check out their Indiegogo page and share the link to this video.

 

Apr 09 2013

The Trans 100

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by thepleasurechest

trans100

Just over a week ago, trans folks and their allies marked the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Today, awareness of trans activism gets another big boost with the publication of the Trans 100, a diverse list featuring profiles of 100 trans folks making a difference in their communities.

The brainchild of We Happy Trans’ Jen Richards and Antonia D’orsay, executive director of This Is How, the Trans 100 represents an effort — which will hopefully be reflected across the LGBT community — to break down implicit (and explicit) transphobia in media coverage by highlighting the diversity of trans Americans.

We’re proud to see a few folks we know on this list and inspired by the many we have just learned about. See the whole list at Buzzfeed.

Mar 05 2013

Carry a Condom & Go To JailNYPD’s War On Sex Workers

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by thepleasurechest

Did you know that you can be arrested for carrying condoms in New York City? This outrageous fact comes courtesy of a Vice article about the NYPD’s criteria for identifying potential sex workers. In practice, not just anyone is targeted by the police for such arrests.

But say you’re a sex worker or a queer kid kicked out of your home. Say you’re a  trans woman out for dinner with your boyfriend. Maybe you’ve been arrested as a sex worker before. Maybe some quota-filling cop thinks you look like a whore.

Then you’re not safe at all.

The article points out that New York City distributes free condoms to promote safe sex, but also uses them as evidence for arrests. How can the same city punish people for trying to protect their own health? A proposed law to ban the use of condoms as evidence by police and prosecutors was introduced in 1999, but hasn’t gotten enough support. Advocates for the rights of sex workers are hoping to change that. You can find out more here.

 

Feb 26 2013

Tristan Taormino on Feminist Porn

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by thepleasurechest

Last week, we highlighted Sinnamon Love’s contribution to the The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. Now there’s a great interview on Salon with the book’s editor Tristan Taormino, discussing her experiences in the porn industry and the ongoing debates within feminism about the potential for porn. It’s worth reading. Also, check out this excerpt from a video interview with Taormino when she visited our store in 2011.

 

Feb 19 2013

Sinnamon Love on Beinga Black Feminist Pornographer

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by thepleasurechest

A few years ago, I sat on a panel with notable feminist academics and a femi­nist pornographer—all of whom were well-respected. I was put on the spot when asked, “Do you consider yourself and your work to be feminist?” I didn’t know how to answer. I tried to steady my voice as I replied, “I’ve never really given that any thought.” The other panelists gave their view of my work and what they knew about me… but the question, which I had to answer for myself, remained: “Am I a feminist?”

Today’s must-read is a revealing article by Sinnamon Love on her journey in the porn industry. Check it out.

Oct 09 2012

You Don’t Know DickThursday Night at El Cid!

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by thepleasurechest

This Thursday, October 11th, you are cordially invited to test both your brains and vocal chords at…

YOU DON’T KNOW DICK.

Wait, was that insulting? Good, then bring that competitive spirit to the trivia floor and go toe-to-toe with queers of all kinds to win…

▼PRIZES GALORE!▼

From THE PLEASURE CHEST / OUTFEST & LOCAL QUEER BUSINESSES

And most of all, you’ll win the crown and bragging rights for knowing the most DICK!!

▼HOSTED BY THE AMAZING KATE GILBERT!▼

2 rounds of trivia starting at 9:30pm. Play one or both rounds. Prizes after each round, with a grand prize winner determined at midnight. Followed by Karaoke until closing time.

▼DINNER/TAPAS + SPECIALS SERVED TO YOUR TRIVIA TABLE!▼

New Chef and dinner menu/ Dinner starts at 8

▼QUEERAOKE HOSTED BY SPECIAL GUESTS▼

+ DJ AUTOMATON SAILS YOU THRU EVERY WAVE OF
FEMINISM WITH ‘NAME THAT TUNE’ AND OTHER DOOZIES.

Gawkers, Cheerleaders, and Wingmen welcome

See you at…
El Cid
4212 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90029

Aug 13 2012

Join Us at CatalystConSeptember 14th-16th in Long Beach

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by thepleasurechest

The Pleasure Chest is pleased to be a sponsor of CatalystCon on September 14th-16th in Long Beach.

CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk about and treat sexuality.  It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity.

The fundamental principle of Catalyst is that knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting changing  conversations.

Catalyst’s lineup of speakers reads like a “Who’s Who” of sex positive activists and educators, and the diverse schedule of sessions includes everything from “Creativity for Radicals” and “Feminist Perspectives on Fifty Shades of Grey,” to presentations on hip hop, spirituality and sex work.

There’s also an evening of entertainment planned for Saturday night with a documentary screening, dirty bingo with Ducky Doolittle and Bawdy Storytelling. Check out the complete schedule for more information.

Interested? We encourage you to register soon, as the fees are set to increase on September 1st.

 

Jul 23 2012

YouTube Censored Our Nina Hartley Interview

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by thepleasurechest

 

Today we logged in to our YouTube account only to be greeted by the warning screen above. Our 2010 interview with adult film legend Nina Hartley had apparently been flagged for violating YouTube’s community guidelines. Upon review, someone at YouTube removed the video and issued us a warning that our account could be suspended or even terminated if we continued to violate this vague policy.

We’ve watched and re-watched our brief interview with Ms. Hartley and we don’t see how it violates the rules against “nudity, pornography or sexually provocative content.” We think it should be covered under YouTube’s exception for “documentary” content, since Ms. Hartley is discussing the popularity of “MILF porn” in a historical and sociological context, not describing sex acts or promoting any specific porn movie.

Readers of our blog may be aware of our past troubles with censorship, particularly on Facebook where a workshop on cunnilingus was flagged for removal and where the words “bondage” and “anal” have been  blocked in event titles. In October of 2010, we also learned that our company’s name was part of a distinguished group of words, phrases and names placed on the Google Instant blacklist, a mysterious list which, among other head-scratchers, continues to block suggestions for “bisexual.”

We know that Google owns YouTube and we appreciate they they want to prevent the popular video sharing site from becoming a porn free-for-all. But we must sincerely ask if our Nina Hartley video is really a violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Judge for yourself. We’ve posted the banned clip on Vimeo. You can watch it above.

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Jun 05 2012

Our NY Staff Discuss 50 Shades on Fox News

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by thepleasurechest

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is a full-on cultural phenomenon. It’s bringing kinky sex and bedroom bondage to the masses. And who better to lead the kink-curious safely into the wide world of bondage and discipline than us?  Here’s a great local Fox News (!) segment on how our New York store is meeting the demand,with a series of free classes for the masses. Featured in this clip are store manager Brandon and Sex Specialist Hana, who will teach the next Fifty Shades of Pleasure workshop on Wednesday, June 11th.