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Sex/Romance

Director Tatia Pilieva recently released a video showing 20 strangers who were paired up and then asked to kiss each other. The video quickly went viral, with currently over 37 millions views on YouTube.

But now the video is being outed as a kind of hoax because while it is true that the people were all strangers to each other, they were also professional performers. And the whole video was an ad for clothes, paid for by Wren Studio which is promoting its "Fall 14 collection".

Amanda Hess writes for Slate:
The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it's really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It's like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.
 
In an interesting parallel, Robert Doisneau's famous 1950 photo of a Parisian couple kissing, titled "The kiss at city hall," was also staged by professional models. Doisneau revealed this in 1993 after a couple who claimed to be the pair in the scene sued him, seeking compensation for the use of their image.

Categories: Sex/Romance, Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 13, 2014
Comments (0)
A "missing love" flyer has been posted at various NYC subway stations. A note at the bottom of it asks, "Please help me find my missing love by uploading photographs of possible suspects to instagram and twitter using the hashtag #missinglove."


It seems romantic (and timed for Valentine's Day), and people have been Tweeting words of encouragement, hoping this woman finds her missing love.

However, it may not be real. Or maybe it is.

The person behind it is artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila who calls it an "art action" on the Facebook page she created for it.

In response to people on Twitter who are confused whether it's fact or fiction, she's responded that it's "the both!! art and reality!!" So take your pick.

[via gothamist]
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 10, 2014
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In Japan, it's a Valentine's Day tradition for women to give handmade chocolates (Honmei choco) to men they have romantic feelings for.

This year there's a rumor circulating on Twitter, claiming that many young women are mixing their own blood into the chocolates, in the belief that this acts as a kind of love spell that will ensure their feelings are reciprocated.


The rumor gets even more stomach-turning, because there are also claims of mixing menstrual blood, saliva, fingernail clippings, and pubic hair into the chocolates. Japancrush.com has posted many examples of these Tweets.

Is there any truth to these rumors? That's hard to know. It's certainly possible people would do something like this. But one hopes that all the Tweeters claiming to have done this are just bluffing.

However, it's worth noting that the central premise of the rumor is correct. Blood has been used for centuries as an ingredient in love spells. It's part of Blood Magic. In addition, blood (as well as every body part imaginable) was used extensively as an ingredient in western medicine up until the Victorian period. The historian Richard Sugg recently published an interesting book about this widespread practice of medicinal cannibalism.

So it's plausible that some young women would act upon these ancient folk beliefs and add a little something extra to the chocolate.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Feb 07, 2014
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BBC News has delved into the mystery of "penis captivus," aka "cohesione in coitu," aka couples getting stuck together during sex. It tries to determine whether this can really happen, or whether such reports are just an urban myth.


According to legend, the gods Mars and Venus once got stuck together, as depicted in this 16th century woodcut by the artist Raphael Regius

Dr Aristomenis Exadaktylos of Switzerland, in a recent radio interview, declared it to be an urban myth. But other doctors aren't so sure. Dr John Dean, a "senior UK-based sexual physician," says that it's a rare phenomenon, but insists it can happen. Although he hastens to add that it's a problem that usually resolves itself within a few seconds as muscles relax.

However, most reports of the phenomenon are highly anecdotal and seem to be more myth than reality. For instance, the BBC offers a description of a 1372 case in which the problem supposedly lasted an entire day... a claim that stretches credibility:
In 1372, Geoffrey de La Tour-Landry related how a voluptuary named Pers Lenard "delt fleshely with a woman" on top of an altar of a church, and God "tyed hem faste togedre dat night". The following day the whole town saw the couple still entwined "fast like a dogge and biche togedre". Finally prayers were spoken and the couple's prolonged intercourse came to an end (although they were obliged to return to the church on three Sundays, strip naked and beat themselves in front of the congregation).

Accounts of the phenomenon also often mix in a moral message by suggesting that the problem only afflicts adulterers, because the fear of detection strengthens the force of the woman's muscular spasm. So "Recent media reports of penis captivus - in Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Philippines - all concern adulterous couples." The notion that the problem is somehow a punishment for adultery is, of course, nonsense.

Finally, what would be the medical treatment for this problem? The 17th Century Dutch physician Isbrand van Diemerbroeck offered cold water as a cure:
"When I was a student at Leyden there was a young Bridegroom in that Town that being overwanton with his Bride had so hamper'd himself in her Privities, that he could not draw his Yard forth, till Delmehorst the Physician unty'd the knot by casting cold Water on the Part."

If cold water doesn't work, chloroform historically seems to be the next most popular solution. But I assume any muscle relaxant would remedy the situation.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 03, 2014
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In an article about the growing popularity of festivals in China (they're popular because they make lots of money for local governments), China Daily called attention to a false rumor about the existence of a "Breast-Touching Festival" in Yunnan province:

According to rumors circulating on micro blogs and Internet chat forums, the Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province was considering applying for world cultural heritage status for a "Breast-Touching Festival". During the three-day festival in the lunar month of July, young women would expose one breast for any man to touch. Those whose breasts were touched would take that as an auspicious sign. Later, however, the Chuxiong government rejected the posts as purely fabricated.

Turned out there was a wikipedia page about this festival. The page had been on wikipedia for over a year, but it was deleted soon after the festival was identified as a hoax. The page is now preserved on Wikipediocracy. More info at dailydot.com.

Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 31, 2013
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I recently posted about how the imaginary girlfriend business is booming, with plenty of companies eager to help guys who want to pretend that they have a girlfriend. But Japanese photographer Keisuke Jinushi has some strategies for the more DIY-minded. On his Facebook page, he's been posting photos that appear to show him interacting with his girlfriend, but, in reality, are all self-portraits. And, for those who might want to imitate his techniques, he also shows how he created the photos. [via CNN]







Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 07, 2013
Comments (1)
The premise of Invisible Girlfriend is that if you need to pretend that you have a girlfriend (for instance, if a guy is trying to hide the fact that he's gay) this company will provide you with convincing proof to back up your story.


Matt Homann, its founder, says, "This is the business of helping [clients] tell a lie — we’re thinking of it more as a shield — to have the excuse ready in hand and not have to be uncomfortable." [BuzzFeed]

Fake girlfriend services are not new. I've posted about quite a few of them here, including FakeGirlfriend.co, Cloud Girlfriend, Girlfriend Hire, and ImaginaryGirlfriends.com.

This market niche seems to have become quite crowded.







Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 27, 2013
Comments (2)
Doriana Silva says she was hired by Ashley Madison (that matchmaking service that caters to people who want to have extramarital affairs) in order to type up 1000 fake female profiles for the company's new Portuguese-language website. Doing this, she claims, led to severe wrist and forearm pain, and she now wants compensation, to the tune of $20 million.

Ashley Madison admits it hired Silva, but dismisses her claims as frivolous. It points out that one of Silva's recent facebook photos shows her jet skiing during a vacation, apparently unhampered by severe wrist pain. [When will people learn that if it's on facebook, everyone can potentially see it?]

As for the idea that their website includes fake female profiles? Why, the very notion shocks and appals them! "Our service is 100% authentic, as described in our terms and conditions, and we resent any implication otherwise."

However, the company hasn't explained exactly what Silva was doing during her brief period of employment with them. [links: Toronto Sun, Ashley Madison]
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 13, 2013
Comments (0)
A bizarre love triangle. Wang Pai and Lili struck up a romance online, but when they first met in real life, they realized that, oops!, they were father-in-law/daughter-in-law. Even worse, Wang's son, Wang Jai, had tailed his wife to her rendezvous. The whole mess ended in a brawl, leaving Lili with missing teeth and Wang Pai with a serious head injury.

This story was first reported recently by the Heilongjiang Morning Post, and then by ChinaSMACK, the Daily Mail, and a whole bunch of other news outlets.

But the Heilongjiang Morning Post, realizing the entire tale was a hoax invented by Wei Hongji, a reporter with Muleng Television, has posted an apology.

It isn't the first time we've seen one of these tales of online (or penpal) lovers who meet and realize they not only know each other, but are family.

It's the premise of Rupert Holmes's Pina Colada song from 1979.

And back in 2005, a story circulated about two cyber lovers in Jordan (Bakr Melhem and Jamila) who used the online aliases 'Adnan' and 'Sanaa'. Upon meeting, they realized they were husband and wife. In 2007, the exact same story recirculated in the news, but with Adnan and Sana relocated to Bosnia.

I'm pretty sure there have been other examples of this story reported as news. I just can't remember them right now.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 31, 2013
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"Is Sparky a sex addict?" the website petcondoms.org asks visitors. "Spot the signs!" The site also offers advice on "how to put on a pet condom".


A few clicks on some of the links soon reveals that, no, this site isn't really selling pet condoms. It was recently launched by the San Francisco SPCA as a way to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. The point being that trying to put a condom on your pet is an ineffective way of preventing unwanted births.

It's actually not the first time the internet has seen a website about condoms for pet. Back in 2005 the site dogcondoms.com launched, followed in 2008 by doggycondoms.com (which now seems to have gone belly up).
Categories: Sex/Romance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 10, 2013
Comments (0)
A 35-year-old Austrian woman advertised herself as a dominatrix, promising strict discipline to clients willing to pay. It took the men who responded to her ad a week to realize that instead of getting sexy punishment, they were being made to do work around her farm (chopping wood, mowing the lawn) while dressed in black fetish gear. They were paying for the privilege of doing farm labor. [spiegel]
Categories: Scams, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Sep 18, 2013
Comments (2)
Strange thing for a US congressman to have been claiming. Especially since, according to reports, Fifty Shades of Grey isn't even in the prison library at Guantanamo.

Guantanamo Fifty Shades of Grey claim denied by lawyer
BBC News

A lawyer for a detainee at Guantanamo Bay's highest-security section has rubbished reports that Fifty Shades of Grey is a favourite read among inmates. A US congressman made the claim last month after visiting Camp 7, saying it showed the inmates were "not exactly holy warriors".
Lawyer James Connell says guards this week gave a copy of the erotic novel to his client, possibly as a joke. But 9/11 accused Ammar al-Baluchi had no interest in the book, he said.
Categories: Books, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 22, 2013
Comments (0)
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