800.753.4536
Discreet Shipping

The Pleasure Chest is the oldest and most trusted sexuality boutique in the country, and we understand the importance of discretion. We ship every order in a plain brown box, with PC LTD on the return address. PC LTD (not The Pleasure Chest) will appear on your credit card statement.

Your purchases
are protected by

Politics

Archives

Categories

May 20 2011

Best of the Chest

0

by thepleasurechest

Here’s what we liked, shared, Tweeted, Tumbld and LOLd about in the week’s sex stories.

  • SNL reunited the Ambiguously Gay Duo in an episode called “The Dark Clenched Hole of Evil.” Very funny, even though, as Queerty points out, this fabulous franchise need some schooling in male bisexuality.

Speaking of ambiguous gayness…

  • Another watershed in gay rights: Cuba in transition. Check out this slideshow from the island nation’s 2nd annual Miss Trasvesti drag beauty pageant.
  • After tabloid reports that an A-list celebrity is being sued for spreading herpes, Salon explored the awkwardness of disclosing (and not disclosing) one’s STD status. Honesty, no matter how difficult, is always the best policy.
  • While we’re on the subject of lying, no good men, WTF made us LOL.

Want some bling for your thing?

A Cat-5 o' nine tails?

  • To accessorize those naughty fantasies, Boing Boing suggests this whip for all the kinky computer nerds out there.

  • “My vagina prefers male pronouns.” So begins this provocative poem/affirmation from vlogger Simon.

  • Feminist Frequency examines the Evil Demon Seductress in popular culture. Sexy? Or just sexist?

  • Artist Debbie Grossman: “Imagine an America in which all-female families survived the Great Depression raising children and farming homesteads in the absence of men (and in the absence of today’s detractors to gay marriage.)”
  • WebMD reported on the health benefits of sex. In response, Dr. Ruth tweeted: “I hate when people ask me how many calories are burned during sex. If that’s a reason for having sex, then you’re missing out big time.”

Tell us on Twitter. Follow our LA, NY and Chicago feeds!

 

May 13 2011

This Week’s Best of the Chest

1

by thepleasurechest

Each day, we try to post amusing, informative and unusual links and articles covering the wide range of human sexuality. If you like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you’re probably already familiar with our daily feeding frenzy. For those who don’t, we decided it would be fun to post an end o’ the week review of the stuff that got our attention on the internet. This is the week’s best links from your friends at the Chest.

The Daily Show – Minneapolis Is the New Gay
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

  • Speaking of San Francisco, The Daily Show this week asked “Is Minneapolis gayer than San Francisco?”

Who's your daddy?

  • “For some reason I thought there were other lesbians who felt that way and that was just a part of that community. Then I realized, that’s not what being a lesbian is — that’s what being transgender is.” - Chaz Bono, on the difference between gender and orientation and his path to becoming a man.

 

  • We’re not sure how we missed this, but last month some enterprising safe sex advocates staged a most unusual stunt at the Washington Monument. Keep America safe!

  • The Good Men Project asked the perennial question: Does Size Matter? We don’t know, but Lady Gaga’s giant penis stilettos are the only reason we’d ever tune in to watch American Idol. Too bad those heels at the Fox network censored them.

The boner machine?

 

  • Finally, though this happened 10 whole days ago, we can’t resist mentioning that one of our music heroes, Black Francis (yes, from Pixies!), randomly tweeted us to say “I just got turned on.” And we don’t think he’s talking about his guitar amp.

If you also get aroused by seeing sexy stuff in your daily feed, you can follow our LA, NY and Chicago stores on Twitter.

 

 

“For some reason I thought there were other lesbians who felt that way and that was just a part of that community. Then I realized, that’s not what being a lesbian is — that’s what being transgender is.”

Apr 01 2011

Q & A with Liz Canner, Director of Orgasm, Inc.

0

by thepleasurechest

Liz Canner

Starting tonight, Los Angeles and San Francisco audiences will have a chance to see the documentary Orgasm, Inc. The film has been described by ABC News as a “a serious, but sometimes comical look at the medicalization of women’s sexuality.” We were honored to discuss the movie with its director Liz Canner, on the eve of its Hollywood premiere.

I understand you researched this subject for nine years. Could you please explain a little about the background and at what point you decided to make a movie about it?

After over a decade of producing documentaries on human rights issues such as genocide, police brutality, and world poverty, the violent images from my movies were giving me nightmares and making me depressed about the state of humanity.  In order to change the script in my head, I decided my next project would be about something that was not painful. Pleasure itself seemed like a safe topic, specifically, the history of the science of female pleasure.

Then, strangely, while I was in the middle of shooting the movie, I was offered a job editing erotic videos for a pharmaceutical company that was developing an orgasm cream for women.  The videos were to be watched by women during the clinical trial of their new drug.  I accepted the job and gained permission to film my employers for my own documentary.  I thought the experience would give me access to the secretive world of the pharmaceutical industry and insight into the latest scientific thinking about women and pleasure.

I did not set out to create an exposé, but what I uncovered at work compelled me to keep filming and investigating.  This insider perspective allows the film to scrutinize the culture within the pharmaceutical industry which has been perverted to place the drive for profit above our health. So much for pleasure…

Has there been any response to your film from the pharmaceutical industry?

There have been quite a number of responses from the pharmaceutical industry. One of the most immediate ones was when we showed Orgasm Inc. at Lincoln Center in New York. A woman who works for the pharmaceutical industry stood up and denounced the film.  The audience grew annoyed with her and booed her down. It was quite a tense moment.

Do you believe that there is such a condition as female sexual dysfunction (FSD)?

The media talks about female sexual dysfunction as if it always existed – when in fact it was a term that came about in the late 1990s. When Viagra was released it was such blockbuster drug for men that companies like Pfizer began to think that there was also a big market for women for Viagra.   The problem was, in order to clinically test a drug, the FDA required that there be a clearly defined disease. Pfizer and a number of other drug companies sponsored the first meetings on FSD.  In the end, 18 of the 19 authors of the definition of the disease had ties to 22 drug companies.  This definition is extremely broad: Almost any sexual complaint you have, whatever causes it, will fall into this disease category.

It’s a bizarre disorder because you have to self-diagnose and you have to be distressed by it. So in other words, if you never felt an iota of sexual desire in your life but it didn’t bother you, you don’t have the disease. If you never had an orgasm, but it didn’t bother you, you don’t have the disease. There are real physiological conditions that can cause sexual problems such as hysterectomies and diabetes. I think that we can’t ignore that. But for the most part,  most of women’s sexual problems are caused by socio-cultural conditions like past sexual abuse, relationship problems and stress due to over work.

What are your feelings about Viagra and its popularity? Do you see a difference between the ethics behind Viagra and the rush to market a comparable product to women?

In Orgasm Inc., I followed the pharmaceutical industry over a period of nine years as they raced to develop a female Viagra.  They kept claiming they were developing a magic bullet but most of the products did not work much better than a placebo (sugar pill).  In fact, when I filmed the hearing for Procter and Gamble’s testosterone patch Intrinsa, one of the doctors on the FDA panel suggested to P&G that they should consider developing a placebo for women instead.  He said that it worked almost as well and there were no awful side effects.  Jokes aside, unfortunately, many of the drugs under development have had potentially horrific side effects including breast cancer, and cardiovascular problems.  Many of the drugs that I began following a decade ago either were not approved or dropped out of the race because they did not work.  It’s interesting to note that the only thing that has been FDA approved for female sexual dysfunction is an over-priced sex toy that sucks and vibrates your clitoris.  You can only acquire it through a prescription from your doctor.  Or you can go to your local sex toy store and buy a similar device that costs much less and you don’t need to have a disease to get it.

What is the strangest “solution” or product you encountered to treat so-called FSD?

The Orgasmatron was the most extreme product that I encountered to cure FSD.  Unfortunately, it was not the machine from Woody Allen’s Sleeper but an electrode inserted into the spine and controlled by something that looked like a remote control.

How do you think women can best promote their own sexual health and happiness?

First of all, it is important to know that 70% of women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm during sex.  This speaks to the importance of using things like vibrators to enhance sexual experience.  If women feel uncomfortable with sex toys, there are sex coaches like Betty Dodson and sexperts like Kim Airs that can help them.  Also, sex therapists such as Dr. Leonore Tiefer in New York City have helped women overcome trauma from past sexual abuse and given them tools to communicate better with their partners.  There are lots of good books that provide lots of valuable information about sex such as Our Bodies Ourselves.  The key is to take the time to find out what makes you feel good.  Sexual experience is very individual and like with art or dancing – there is no “normal”.

In the press you read, “men have their Viagra, women want theirs too.” I’d love to know which PR firm came up with this slogan because it is very effective. The question is what do women need Viagra for?  As I’ve mentioned most of women’s sexual problems are not caused by a physical medical condition but are the result of socio-cultural issues.  So, I think the only way that most women will be satisfied with their sex lives will be if they can take a product that makes them feel comfortable about their bodies; that ends sexual abuse towards women; that creates equality in the workplace; that creates equality in relationships; that gives women good sex education so they can fully know about the clitoris and about how their bodies function. Why can’t we take a pill like that?

Orgasm Inc. opens tonight at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco.

Mar 03 2011

Is cunnilingus obscene? Facebook says yes.

3

by thepleasurechest

As many of you know, The Pleasure Chest hosts free educational workshops at all three of our retail stores. The workshops are an opportunity to share practical information about safer sex, from kissing and masturbation to oral sex and BDSM. We’ve been posting our workshop announcements on Facebook, without a problem, ever since we started our account on the social networking behemoth.

Yesterday, we received a disturbing notice informing us that the event announcement for one our workshops had been removed, for violating Facebook’s Terms of Use agreement. Here’s the key passage:

“The event ‘Pleasure Her Perfect: Going Down’ has been removed because it violated our Terms of Use. Among other things, events that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed.”

The notice also warned that:

“Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled.”

We can’t imagine how an invitation to a class on oral sex, posted for the benefit of people who have opted-in to our feed, could be “hateful” or “threatening,” so we can only assume that Facebook finds the event description “obscene.”  (A screenshot of that description is below.)

If so, this wouldn’t be the first time that Facebook has targeted sex educators for censorship. Last year, both Self Serve and Violet Blue found their pages disabled by the site’s anonymous guardians of morality. And just last month, we discovered that we were unable to post a workshop announcement with the title “Anal Pleasure 101″ because the word “anal” made the listing “not valid.” We solved the problem by spelling the offending word “An*l,” which is kinda funny, since the asterisk reminds us of a butthole!

It’s not just sex educators who have had trouble. Facebook is an ongoing battle with users who post photos of breastfeeding! (We’re not kidding.)

We’re really not sure why this particular event posting roused the Facebook sex police. On any given day, our Facebook feed is much racier than our own profile page. Yes, we even see a fair amount of porn, posted regularly by our friends in the sex industry. So, what gives?

Perhaps the societal doublestandard that considers cunnilingus more taboo than fellatio is to blame. An upcoming Blowjobs & Beyond workshop remains on our events tab (and y’all should definitely check it out!) Cunnilingus in the movies often gets slapped with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA, while depictions of men getting head typically pass with an R-rating.

We might also ask why oral sex is considered obscene, while this apparently isn’t. The bottom line is that we can’t read Mark Zuckerberg’s mind, and finding out which words or images triggered a specific act of content removal is all but impossible. Our only recourse is to tone it down, cross our fingers, and hope we don’t get our account disabled or deleted.

In the meantime, are you following us on Twitter (NY, LA, Chicago) yet? Because Twitter definitely isn’t trying to defriend the sex industry.

Mar 01 2011

Forbidden gay kiss lost in the Bermuda Triangle of man love at the Oscars!

1

by thepleasurechest



The kiss you missed.

Did you watch the Oscars? We know, it was lethally dull. But do you remember that exciting part where Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem danced and then kissed? Missed it?

That’s because the show’s producers hit the gay panic button and went to Defcon 4, cutting away to an extended shot of the hetero-approved, object of lust, Penelope Cruz. We can’t pass up noting the irony that Ms. Cruz (once romantically linked to a certain Mr. Cruise) was employed as a quickie beard for the most painfully straight Oscars telecast in years. (And no, we don’t count James Franco’s drag gag as a victory for queer visibility.)

In other gay Oscar news, Best Director winner Tom Hooper said we has surprised to learn that the location used for his Best Picture winning The King’s Speech was previously the site of a gay porn set, but added: “It was the right set for me and it was the right set for them.” During his acceptance speech, Hooper credited the “triangle of man love,” between himself and stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush for the film’s success.  No gay panic there!

Let’s hope that someday the Oscars and Hollywood catch up with Hooper and the rest of America on comfort with gay relationships.

Jan 21 2011

Obama Condoms. Turn On or Buzz Off?

2

by thepleasurechest

Don’t have a cow, but it looks like our readers actually wanna see The Simpsons porn parody. In last week’s poll, 55% of voters got sprung for Springfield smut, while the remaining 45% simply wanted Homer to keep it in his pants. We’re sure the movie got a boost from its creator Lee Roy Myers who tweeted the poll to his followers. Mr. Myers’ politicking is fine by us, and the people have most definitely spoken. That’s democracy. D’oh! You can expect to see The Simpsons porn parody in our DVD section in the near future.

Speaking of democracy, this week’s contestant on Turn On of Buzz Off is the Obama Condom. That’s right, cause nothing quite sets the mood for sexytime like a heated political argument.

Consisting of a Crown condom wrapped in a cardboard sleeve, the Obama Condom comes in three different designs, each bearing its own slogan:

“Hope is a Not a Form of Protection.”

“The Ultimate Stimulus Package.”

“Use With Good Judgment.”

We hope the condoms aren’t quite as stale as the jokes. Obama Condoms are made by a company called Practice Safe Policy, which, to be fair, also makes condoms poking fun at Sarah Palin and John McCain. When it comes to adult products inspired by President Obama, these condoms are relatively tame. A company called Head O State already makes an Obama dildo, while in China, you can get an Obama love doll.

Even though products like this are common, we suspect that some of you won’t be voting for the Obama Condom. If you saw a lover whip one of these out, would you stage a filibuster? Whether you lean left in the bedroom or are simply bipartisan curious, it’s time to go the polls. The Obama Condom. Turn On or Buzz Off?

Jan 17 2011

MLK, Jr. on the Importance of Family Planning

1

by thepleasurechest

For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command.- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s activism for civil rights, against war, and for the struggle of poor people. But did you know that he also supported family planning clinics? In 1966, King was given Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, named for that organization’s founder. King believed that having access to birth control and family planning was essential to self determination and economic justice. The entire text of King’s acceptance speech can be found here.

Jan 13 2011

Gaypocalypse Now!

4

by thepleasurechest

We had a little fun circulating this news story on our Facebook and Twitter feeds today:

Pat Robertson: Snow Is God’s Way of Punishing Americans Planning To Drive To Do Something Gay

Rev. Pat Robertson sparked controversy in today’s broadcast of his “700 Club” program when he claimed that God created the blizzard currently battering the Northeast “to punish Americans who were planning to drive to do something gay.”

Explaining his theory, Robertson said, “Because of the bad road conditions the Almighty has made, any gay activities that people were planning on doing will have to be postponed by a day or two.” Additionally, he argued, God shut down major airports in the New York area “so that people who were hoping to fly to do something of a gay nature would have to take a train or a bus, so it might be days before the gay thing they were going to do could occur.”

As for the millions of straight people in New York City who were also grounded by the bad weather, the televangelist said, “I think God probably wonders: If these people are really straight, then what are they doing in New York?”

If you guessed that this is a joke, you’re right! The article is a prank by Andy Borowitz– but it had us fooled for a hot second, because it isn’t hard to imagine Robertson saying something this stupid. You might recall he once warned that if Disneyworld continued to host Gay Days, “The Happiest Place on Earth” might be punished with earthquakes, or even a meteor (!) This is truly one of those cases where satire is so believable, it could easily pass for truth. Check out this priceless collection of the right Reverend’s wrongest statements of all time.

Speaking of natural disasters, perhaps you’ve heard about the mysterious news reports of birds falling from the sky all over the world. Well, according to crackpot religious prophet Cindy Jacobs, we can blame it on the gays.

Sadly, this one isn’t a prank. But at least it gave Anderson Cooper a chance to issue this smackdown on CNN.

As long as there are haters like Robertson and Jacobs blaming everything on gays, there will be a place for the pranksters and the satirists. We don’t know what God you believe in (if any), but one thing we know for sure is “God Hates Signs!” Now, go out there and have lots of gay sex. It’s 68 degrees in West Hollywood, and we want to make a snowman. So, get busy!

Nov 22 2010

It’s a miracle! Pope endorses condoms*

0

by thepleasurechest

UPDATED: Pope says condoms OK for female and transsexual prostitutes too!

*For male prostitutes


It’s true! In an interview with a German journalist, Pope Benedict appeared to contradict the Vatican’s long-standing opposition to condoms.

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”

Benedict went on to say:

“(The church) of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but in this or that case, there can be nonetheless in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality…”

Though he doesn’t yet sound like Susie Bright (she’d make a great Pope!) we’re delighted to see the pontiff jump on the safer sex bandwagon. What next? Will the Vatican stop damning the dental dam and declare flavored-lube a sacrament? We can always dream!

The Pope says "Put a Crown on it!"

Benedict didn’t comment on the use of condoms to protect against pregnancy or to prevent the spread of other STIs. The Church has long encouraged abstinence or “natural family planning” for hetero couples.

So, you may wonder, are condoms an effective form of birth control and protection from STIs? Does the Pope wear a funny hat?