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Entries in Sexuality (15)

Friday
Nov302012

Harvard Approves Campus Kinky Sex Club

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Fifty Shades of Grey has hit the Ivy League as Harvard University, home to some of the nation’s top scholars, sanctioned a student bondage and kinky sex club on campus Friday, according to The Crimson.

“Harvard College Munch” started as seven students meeting during their lunch hour to discuss quirky sex interests. Now, it’s grown to 30 members, and is one of 15 student organizations that will be approved by the Committee on Student Life.

“The impact on campus will be that students who feel outside of the sexual mainstream will now have a safe space to talk about their interests, to feel socially validated, and to build a community,” Harvard psychology lecturer and a sex columnist Dr. Justin Lehmiller, told ABC News.

Students interviewed within the group were granted anonymity by the school paper. The founder, referred to as Michael, says recognition by Harvard’s administration means members will be able to put up posters for events and recruit around campus.

“It’s a little hyperbolic for me to get teary-eyed and paternal about sophomores, but it’s really a joy to see the experience they will have now,” Michael told The Crimson.

Another member, known as Mae, told the student newspaper that finding a “kink” group meant finding a home on campus.

“I didn’t think that anyone was even remotely interested [in kink] on campus,” Mae said. “It’s a community where you can feel safe, and you can feel comfortable talking about [kink].”

“Kink” is most commonly used to refer to BSDM: bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism.

“But keep in mind that BDSM interests are very broad and that the really extreme activities people typically associated with BDSM are actually quite rare,” Lehmiller said.

Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal says the university recognizes 400 independent student organizations, which must comply with a number of requirements, “ranging from submitting an organizational constitution to agreeing to the nondiscrimination and anti-hazing policies.”

“The college does not endorse the views or activities of any independent student organization,” Neal told ABC News. “Rather, it ensures that independent student organizations remain in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Handbook for Students.”

“Munch” applied for official recognition last semester, but had problems with their constitution and finding a stable adviser.

The organization also created a safety team of people who direct students who have faced abuse or trauma to appropriate resources on campus.

“Pretty much everyone who joins this club always thought they were alone,” Michael told The Crimson.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct252012

Porn Before Puberty? Film Explores Childhood, Parenting in Sex-Saturated Culture

Sexy Baby(NEW YORK) -- "Is this slutty?" Danielle, having just put on a skirt, asked her friend Winnifred. Lady Gaga's "Monster" played in the background. "Just dance but he took me home instead/Oh oh there was a monster in my bed," the girls sang along.

"That's a good length," Winnifred answered. "It's short, but in a cool way, not, like, a slutty way."

Winnifred and Danielle are modern-day 12-year-olds. But they're not playing dress-up -- they're getting ready for a Lady Gaga concert.

Winnifred carefully curates her online profile, pushing her budding sexuality to jack up her Facebook "likes."

The documentary Sexy Baby, which was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows Winnifred's adolescence from age 12 to age 15, and delves into the world of porn before puberty. Winnifred's journey in the documentary reflects that of many pre-teens today, and through her eyes parents worldwide get a glimpse into the hyper-sexualized culture their children are facing today.

"I know I look like I'm down to f---," Winnifred says in the film.

The film explores how much social media adds fuel to the hormonal fire. Winnifred posted a revealing picture of herself with her bra showing. Why?

"It's awkward, and we're getting messages from everywhere that are saying, 'If you dress this way, you are going to be either treated well or you're gonna feel powerful,'" Winnifred told ABC News' Juju Chang.

Sex is power, and that's how a lot of girls and boys seem to feel these days.

Winnifred's mother, Jenny Bonjean, is a feminist who says she's trying to raise an uninhibited, empowered girl.

"My message to my daughter is, sexuality is a wonderful, beautiful thing. You should embrace it. ... It's not the only type of power you're gonna have. Unfortunately, it is in the culture the first power that they feel ... where 13-year-old girls can have influences on grown men," Bonjean-Alpart said.

"You don't think they realize that?" she continued. "It feels good to have power. ... You don't want to abuse it. Don't take it for granted. You need to find a balance."

Winnifred's father, Ken Alpart, described the two reactions he and his wife have to balance.

"We don't necessarily want her to dress certain ways," he said. "At the same time, we are raising our child to be an independent thinker."

Jenny Bonjean argued that early freedom could help prevent extreme acting out later on.

"We all know those women that went to college that had really, really strict parents who didn't let them experiment with anything, and they went wild in college. ... Girls gone wild, you know, is a phenomenon, and so many of those girls come from households, in my opinion, where they were tamped down on."

The risk is that allowing a child too much freedom to express her sexuality can lead her to act on it.

"I can put a very sexualized photo of me on Facebook and make it so my parents don't know, but every guy at my school does," Winnifred said. "So that does become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because when you make yourself look a certain way, people are going to expect you to be that way."

"I can make your bed rock," Winnifred, then 12, sings in the film. The song is rapper Li'l Wayne's "Bedrock."

Did she and her friends know what the song was about?

"We did realize how obscene it was [when we sang it in the film]," Winnifred told Chang. "I think because it was so mainstream, it wasn't shocking to us. ... If you hear that song f---ing three times a day for two weeks, they're easy to understand -- even when you are 12 or 13."

Music is just the beginning. Pornography itself has become mainstream and ubiquitous -- accessible even to kids.

"When I can reach into my back pocket [for my smartphone] and basically pull out some porn ... you can't really blame a bunch of children for not understanding how to deal with that," Winnifred said.

Winnifred said that when she was in eighth grade, boys watched porn on their phones at school.

According to the award-winning filmmakers of Sexy Baby, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, one in every five kids between ages 9 and 11 has watched porn. They hope their film will start a conversation between parents and their kids about how to maneuver the sexualized social media world.

The film includes a former porn star named Nicole who is an unlikely voice of reason about what porn sex is and isn't.

"It's definitely not making love," Nicole says. "Making love is the kind of sex that you wanna cry afterwards, just because it's so beautiful, and so emotional, and so powerful."

According to Sexy Baby, 30 years ago, 40 percent of adults said they watched porn, and now it's 80 percent.

Nicole, the former porn star and stripper, told the filmmakers she used to have to drive far and wide to find an adult store at the mall to buy her strip-club outfits. Now, she said, she can walk into any mall, look in the windows and stripper clothes and shoes are everywhere.

Perhaps ironically, given the "pornification" of America culture, the filmmakers are editing a tamer version of Sexy Baby for educational use -- to spark the healthy dialogue they see as vital.

Winnifred agrees. "I think if parents are able to talk to their children, and their children are able to feel comfortable talking about what real love and real sex later on is, I and most of the kids I know would trust our parents over two porn stars that we've never met."

Watch the full story on Nightline Thursday night at 11:35 p.m. ET


'Sexy Baby' is playing in theaters in New York and Los Angeles and will be available on iTunes and Movies on Demand Nov. 6. A 60- minute educational version for children 14 years old and up is available too. For more on the documentary, go to sexybabymovie.com.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep172012

'Sextember': TV Viewers See Diversity Between the Sheets

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Human sexuality is as varied as the features on our faces.

Annie purportedly has the largest breasts in the world -- size 102ZZZ. Cristian was born with a condition called gynecomastia, which is an overgrowth of breast tissue, causing his chest to grow to a B-cup breast size.

This month, Discovery Fit & Health airs Sextember, highlighting its most intriguing stories about those with odd physical characteristics and erotic yearnings.

The series, which airs Sunday at 9 ET, takes a look at sex, love and intimacy.

"I think the greatest thing about Sextember is that it allows a dialogue," said Ty Tashiro, a psychologist and researcher in sexual health from the University of Maryland and a consultant for Discovery. "It lets us know there is diversity in the way we are built and the things we want and how we function."

Trent, in the episode, "The Inseminator," has been running a one-man sperm bank out of his living room for the past six years. In high school, he took a vow of celibacy in order to donate his body to scientific pursuits.

So today, he helps childless couples get pregnant, protecting his sperm so it is optimal for fertilization. Trent is still a virgin, but with 15 children.

Josh and Jasmine flip homes for a living. But what happens when they show their own house, which is filled with sex furniture?

Other episodes include: "Dominatrix in Training," when Megan decides to reveal her kinky side; and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal hosts "Why Is Sex Fun."

Sleep orgasms and sleep sex are also slated for Sextember.

"People have different ways of gratifying themselves and enriching their lives," Tashiro said. "Having tolerance for diversity is a good thing."

The recent popularity of the erotic book, Fifty Shades of Grey, illustrates a more open attitude toward what was once considered kinky sex.

Those who actually engage in sado-masochistic behavior are a "substantial minority," according to Tashiro, who has been a consultant on the Sextember series.

"In the U.S., we tend to culturally talk less openly about sexual activity, especially when it falls outside the normal range of sexual behavior," he said.

Those who are different, "tend to keep it to themselves," he said. But when researchers ask anonymously, "there really is a great range."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep122012

Sexual Arousal Dampens 'Ick' Factor

Eyecandy Images/Thinkstock(GRONINGEN, Netherlands) -- If you're turned on, you're less likely to be grossed out, at least according to a new study.

The small study published Wednesday in the journal PLoS Online asked a total of 90 European women to perform tasks that had an "icky" element to them, such as drinking from a cup containing an insect or wiping their hands with a used tissue. Some of the women were shown an erotic film. Others did not see the film.

Women who were sexually aroused felt less disgust when doing the tasks than the participants who were not sexually aroused, the researchers found. The findings suggested sexual arousal decreases women's so-called disgust response, they said.

Why might this be important? The experiment came about because the researchers realized that sex involves smells and fluids that can be repulsive.

"This results in the intriguing question of how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all," wrote study lead author Charmaine Borg, a PhD. student with the faculty of behavioral and social sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

"These findings can indicate that lack of sexual arousal may interfere with functional sex, as it may prevent the reduction of disgust and disgust-related avoidance tendencies."

Believe it or not, the role of sexual arousal on our feelings of disgust is of great interest to sex experts.

"I think this study is interesting in that it helps support the idea that sexual arousal lowers inhibitions and often enables one to participate in activities that they might normally find disgusting or off-putting," said Dr. Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and author based in New York City who was not involved with the study.

While the study involved women, the same findings are probably true for men too, wrote Borg.

"In view of the previous research and our data, I am confident that male participants would have a very similar response as our women participants," Borg told ABC News.

The study may help people who suffer from sexual dysfunction disorders, and the findings may also help therapists someday understand how to deal with sexual incompatibility between partners.

"It's not uncommon for people to say that the idea of having sex with [a] spouse or long-term partner is gross," said Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of "Sex Made Easy."

"It's a very sad experience for many people," she said. "Many people say, 'I love this person but I feel turned off, I feel repulsed by it.' ... We don't understand that switch, especially when they clearly love and care for that person."

As for people who do not struggle with such issues, the findings may still explain how the prospect of sex still appeals.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug152012

'Looners' Substitute Balloons for Love, Sex and Intimacy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For children, balloons can make the heart soar, but when an adult tucks his balloons into bed at night, he could be considered a "looner."

Dave, a former piano teacher from outside Little Rock, Ark., thinks of his balloons as his children. And he has fathered 65,000 of them. He cuddles them and coddles them, but insists the relationship is purely platonic.

"Some people think I am doing something else with them, but I am not," he says. "I am pure in my life -- I keep the balloons the same way."

Dave is one of four stories that will air on National Geographic Channel's series, Taboo, which airs Sunday, Aug. 19 at 10 p.m.

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Each night, he tucks one under his shirt and sleeps with the chosen balloon. "They create a world of sleeping on clouds and I want to feel the love emanating from these beautiful, beautiful balloons," he says in the episode.

"It feels so warm and your heart just reaches out to [them]," he says. "I believe these are my children. They are a part of who I am ... and make a part of my so-called family."

Loving balloons seems harmless enough, but Dr. Rebecca Beaton, director and founder of the Stress Management Institute, said attachment to objects can be considered a mental illness if it interferes with daily life or causes great stress.

"I presume he has some difficulty with relationships with other people if he has a balloon under his shirt," said Beaton, who has never treated Dave.

"It feels like intimacy but it's not a real human and humans can hurt you," she said. "It's safer with an inanimate object … They don't feel so alone."

Humanizing objects is not that uncommon, she said. Chuck Noland, the Fed Ex executive played by Tom Hanks in the 2000 movie Cast Away, was best friends with his volleyball. Of course he was a castaway on a desert island.

Men also have close attachments to blow-up dolls. And just like balloons, these objects "from a kinesthetic perspective are like a human body -- kind of soft and have some characteristics like a person."

Dave may insist that he isn't sexually attracted to his balloons, but there are many who are, according to licensed sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson, who is director of Sexual Health at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

These attractions are defined paraphilias by the psychiatric Diagnostics and Standards Manual (DSM5) as "intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors generally involving nonhuman objects."

Anderson consulted in a similar series from TLC, Strange Sex, which featured Christopher, a man who pops balloons for sexual pleasure.

Christopher's fetish was so intense, he moved from Rutland, Vt., to New York City to explore his balloon fantasies with others so inclined.

"A fetish is when a person prefers an object to a live person, and it becomes a requirement for a sexual response," she told ABCNews.com in an interview about a man who had a fetish about suckling his wife's breast milk and getting her pregnant. "I have seen that with fur, rubber, diapers, bugs -- even car fetishes -- anything you can think of, there is a sector out there."

One of her patients fell in love with an inflatable duckie he found on the beach as a child. By the time he reached puberty it became sexual. "Some imprinting goes on and hard wiring and it's extra difficult to change it," she said of those with fetishes.

As for Christopher, he demonstrates his erotic love of balloons. "All I want to do is pop it," he says of his favorite orange-colored balloon. "This is going to be epic. As it gets bigger, I get a little anxious and a little nervous, you know, then really excited."

With a loud bang, he exclaims in the TLC episode, "I guess pretty much all balloons deserve to die."

His favorite trick is "necking" the balloon. When it gets to 14 or 15 inches in length, Christopher holds the balloon and stretches out the neck.

As a child he remembers coming home from school and pleasuring himself with a balloon.

"When it finally popped, I found I was most attracted to the balloon itself," he says. "I think it's calming, and it's important in my life."

What Christopher really wants is to share his love of balloons with a woman.

And that, says psychologist Beaton, is exactly the point. Attractions to objects like balloons are often just "coping mechanisms."

"They are using the balloons to fill the need for intimacy," she said. "We try to help them find other ways of getting those intimacy needs met and helping them to realize that they can self-soothe and gradually start to change."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul052012

Gay Dads Sue; Health Club Reverses Stand on Memberships

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a lawsuit was filed against the Roanoke Athletic Club by a same-sex couple for offering them a "family membership" then revoking it, the club today changed its policy.

Will Trinkle, 54, and his partner Juan Granados, 40, filed a lawsuit against the club on June 27 for breach of contract and were seeking to have their family membership reinstated.

The Virginia couple, who have been together for eight years and have a 2-year-old son Oliver, said the club had discriminated against them because they are gay.

But today, the RAC posted a new policy on its Facebook page: "A household consists of a primary member and up to one additional household member that permanently lives in the household, and any of their dependent children under the age of 22 who also reside in the household on a permanent basis ...Club dues will not change; dues for the Household Membership will be the same as the Family Membership it is replacing."

"It is really defined on Facebook," an RAC club spokesman told ABC News when asked if they now offer discounted memberships to gay families. "That is definitely what it says -- for public knowledge."

The athletic club is owned by Carilion Clinic, one of the region's largest medical providers. They have a company-wide nondiscrimination policy that bans bias on the basis of sexual orientation.

Eric Earnhart, spokesman for the parent company, Carilion Fitness, told ABC today said, "We have not yet received lawsuit information and can't comment on litigation."

Trinkle, a real estate agent, and Grenados, a marketing director, alleged in their lawsuit that they had been mistreated because they were same-sex parents.

"Actually it was like someone punched us in the stomach," Trinkle told ABC. "It's from a place we couldn't imagine that there would be this kind of discrimination and this kind of attack. We have come a long way but this shows we still have a long way to go."

ABC News was unable to reach the couple or their lawyer John P. Fishwick Jr., to find out if they would now drop the lawsuit.

At the time, they had been told they could not have a family membership because the club defined family as "husband, wife and their children ages 21 and younger living at home."

Without the family rate of $112 a month, each of the partners would have had to pay $69 for a total of $138 and their 2-year-old child would be included, according to the club.

The couple said their initial acceptance, then rejection, was the basis for the lawsuit and they are seeking enforcement and compensation under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

Trinkle said he had recently moved his offices and decided to join the club so he could use the RAC on lunch breaks and his son Oliver could swim in the pool.

On May 15, Trinkle applied for membership at RAC and was encouraged to sign up for the "family" option. The couple filled out the application truthfully, including listing the "member name" and "spouse name" and Oliver Trinkle Granados as their "dependent child."

"There was no ambiguity," he said.

The initiation fee was $50 and the first month's membership was $112, he said. Both were posted to his credit card.

The couple began to use the facilities, but on May 23 Trinkle got a call from the director of operations that the club had made a "really big mistake," and they did not meet the definition of family, the lawsuit alleges.

"We tried to resolve this with Carilion's leadership," said Trinkle. "We were not only told that they were sticking with their decision to kick us out, but because of us, they were 'tightening policies' so no families like us would ever 'get as far' as we had."

The lawsuit alleges that the RAC manager in reviewing their application thought that Granados was "Juanita" and not "Juan."

A petition on Change.org has called on the owners of the club to allow same-sex families to get memberships. So far it has 40,000 signatures.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul032012

My Three Daddies: California Eyes Multiple Parenting Law

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- California, the battleground state for the arguments for and against same-sex marriage, is now considering an unconventional law that would allow children to be legally granted more than two parents.

The bill -- SB1476 -- would apply equally to men and women, and to homosexual or heterosexual relationships. Proposed by State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, it has passed the Senate and awaits an Assembly vote.

Leno cites the evolving American family, which includes surrogacy arrangements, same-sex marriages and reproductive techniques that involve multiple individuals.

"The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than 'Ozzie and Harriet' families today," Leno told the Sacramento Bee, which first reported the story.

"We are not touching the definition of a parent under the current law," said Leno. "When a judge recognizes that a child is likely to find his or her way into foster care and if there is an existing parent who qualifies as a legal parent, why not have the law when it is required to protect the well-being of the child?"

Parents would have to qualify under all legal standards and agree on custody, visitation and child support before a judge could divide up responsibilities.

Several other states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine and the District of Columbia, recognize more than two parents.

"Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who have been a child's parent in every way," says Leno in his fact sheet on the bill. "For example, a child raised from birth by a biological mother and a non-biological father may also have a relationship with his or her biological father.

"In such a situation, the child may consider both adults in the home to be parents, as well as his or her biological father. In such a case, it may be in the child's best interests to have a legally protected relationship with all three of the parental figures in his or her life."

Glenn T. Stanton, director of Global Family Formation Studies for the conservative group Focus on the Family, argues that the bill appears to advocate for children's rights, but in reality gives adults legal protection to create "radical families."

"We hear all this celebratory talk about 'new families,' but there is no sociological, psychological or medical data showing any of these new family forms have served to the elevate the general physical, mental, educational or developmental well-being of children in any meaningful way," said Stanton. "That job is best done for children by their own mother and father," he said.

But Leno argues that a new law would address more than just same-sex families, including one in which a man raises a nonbiological child with a woman, but the child also has a relationship with the biological father.

A lesbian couple, for example, might also want to include a male friend who provided sperm for the conception of their child as a legal parent.

Leno maintains that it is in the best interest of a child to designate multiple parents to provide financial support, health insurance and other state benefits.

Not to do so can have "disastrous emotional, psychological, and financial consequences for the child," according to Leno.

Such a law might serve not only same-sex families, but adoptive ones as well, where there may be a relationship with a biological parent.

However, Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said situations where the law might be applicable are "pretty limited."

"Most people don't aim for this and don't need it," he said. "It's an arrangement that's created for specific circumstances -- but I don't see a big trend here."

"People in the adoption world get very concerned about a law like this," said Pertman. "One of the concerns they have about open adoptions is co-parenting and it simply is not. There are circumstances where there is a real need and individual cases where it serves the needs of the child. That should be the focus, to have a law that permits the child to get what he or she needs."

And some legal experts in California question the impact of such a law on an array of issues like tax deductions and wrongful death suits.

Leno acknowledges that the law might be applied in "rare circumstances" and only when it is required "for the best interests of the child."

"Some of the hyperbolic corners of the opposition are suggesting there could be four, six or eight parents," he said. "But I think that it will not be used when a child has too many parents, but when there are too few."

The bill was co-sponsored by the University of San Diego School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

College Freshmen in California Asked to Declare Sexual Orientation?

Hemera/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- College freshman entering the University of California system next year could be asked to identify themselves as gay, straight, bi, or transgender when they accept their admissions offer.

The system’s Academic Senate initiated the proposal, which would add a question to the statements of intent students fill out when deciding to go to the University of California. The statements already include a host of identifiers such as race,  gender and ethnicity.

The question will not be asked on applications to the schools because students may feel uncomfortable filling out the forms in front of their parents, according to Robert Anderson, chair of the senate.

“Sexual orientation is a part of diversity and cannot be ignored,”  Anderson said after the proposal was passed,  according to the UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin.

“It’s past time for this,” he told ABC News.

Collecting data on sexual orientation among undergraduates, graduate students, staff and faculty could help the school ensure there are services in place for LGBT members of the community, he said.

The senate was spurred to pass the bill by California state government, which already mandates that community colleges and California state universities collect information regarding students’ sexual orientation. It has been requested by the state that the UCs also collect this demographic information, Anderson said.

Many LGBT students told the student newspaper they thought the proposal was a good idea and would help lead to more benefits for LGBT students.

“The data may not be accurate, but something is better than nothing,” Marcus McRae, a senior who heads the student Queer Alliance, told the paper. McRae noted that UCLA’s LGBT center was very beneficial to him when he arrived on campus.

Anderson was not sure whether the information would factor into roommate assignment decisions for incoming freshmen.

The proposal comes at the same time that a college student from the opposite coast, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is on trial for allegedly spying on and intimidating his roommate for having a gay sexual encounter. Dharun Ravi, who is accused of a hate crime, tweeted messages about his suspicion over his roommate’s sexuality, “F*** MY LIFE/He’s gay,” and told friends that he “[s]aw my roommate kissing a dude. Yay!”

The suicide of Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, and trial have sparked public outrage at gay-bullying among students.

The proposed policy at the UC system will be decided by the school’s provost, Lawrence Pitts, who is assembling a group to study the ramifications of such a policy, according to the Daily Bruin. The system has not yet announced when Pitts will issue a decision.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar012012

Condom Codes Let Users ‘Check In’ to Safe Sex

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest(NEW YORK) -- Call it the digital version of a tie on the doorknob. A new website lets the tech savvy tell the world when (and where) they’re having safe sex.

To celebrate National Condom Week (Feb. 14 to Feb. 21), Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest dispersed 55,000 condoms at community colleges and universities in western Washington. Each condom wrapper had a sticker with a QR barcode, which could be scanned with a smartphone to check in to wheredidyouwearit.com to  let people know they’re having safe sex.

“Wheredidyouwearit.com is like Foursquare for people who don’t want a sexually transmitted infection,” PPGNW said on its website.

Visitors to the site can spill the details of their latest sexual encounters -- anonymously -- providing their gender, sexual orientation, age and location at the time of their tryst.  The location can be a street address, or get somewhat juicier with such details as "Kitchen," "the Great Outdoors” or “In a hot tub.”  Visitors can also note whether they’ve talked with their partners about condom use and STDs.

The site’s interactive map keeps exact locations somewhat hidden, marking a check-in within three or four blocks of the actual location.

According to the site’s map, the condoms have already traveled from coast to coast and to six continents.

Nathan Engebretson, PPGNW’s new media coordinator, said the site has already had 65,000 visitors and 4,500 check-ins, with 20 percent of the traffic coming from mobile devices.

While the project may seem to be just another social media example of TMI, Engebretson said the point was to get people talking about safe sex, and to “normalize” and celebrate condom use.

“This isn’t about bragging. It’s not about digital notches in your bedpost,” Engebretson told ABC News. “Even if people have no desire to check in, they’re still getting the sense of how many people like them use condoms.”

PPGNW’s target audience was college students and 20-somethings, a group more likely to use social media -- and condoms. A 2010 study from sexual health researchers at Indiana University found that U.S. teenagers and young adults were more likely to use condoms during sex than Americans over age 40.

But Engebretson said PPGNW wants to know more about what makes people use condoms, or not. He said the next phase of the project would be to analyze the data from various groups and tailor a marketing campaign to work more condoms into sex for those people.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb012012

'Knock Off’ the Hate Speech, Says LGBT Super Bowl Ads

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time ever, gay-rights advocates will launch a sassy advertising campaign aimed at football fans in the most macho of American venues -- the Super Bowl.

Four award-winning public service announcements feature various celebrities telling teens to “knock it off” when they overhear them using the ubiquitous line, “That’s so gay.”

The videos will be strategically placed on a screen at the entrance of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., to be viewed by Super Bowl ticketholders on Feb. 5.

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In its newest ad, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, has garnered cooperation from the NBA and Phoenix Suns stars Grant Hill and Jared Dudley. The NBA is the first professional sports league to address antigay language among teens.

The campaign -- Think Before You Speak -- was created by ArnoldNYC and Toronto-based Grazie Media donated the airtime. The PSAs were funded by GLSEN, whose mission it is to ensure safe schools for all students.

Launched in 2009, the PSAs coincide with national concern about homophobia and school bullying and have received accolades from the Ad Council.

“The casual use of ‘That’s so gay’ is very common and rampant and often leads to more overt forms of harassment,” said GLSEN spokesperson Andy Marra. “This audience may not even see it as a problem.”

The first three videos have been distributed to local markets and have generated more than 387 million impressions and $25 million in donated ad time, according to GLSEN.

“It’s a new audience for us to reach,” said Marra. “The tone and feel is a good fit. The ads are not confrontational -- but very disarming and spark a conversation. That is the intention.”

Think Before You Speak features humorous TV PSAs with celebrities interrupting teenagers who use the term “that’s so gay.”

In one video, celebrity Hilary Duff switches the tables on two girls picking out dresses in a store, scolding them for equating gay with “bad.” In another, Wanda Sykes chastises adolescent teens eating at a pizza restaurant.

Last year, GLSEN unveiled its sports project, “Changing the Game,” which specifically addressed name-calling and bullying in physical education and sports settings.

“LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) athletes are in school and we want them to feel safe and come out and be open and honest about who they are. It's a challenge because of the climate in many PE settings,” said Marra.

According to GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate survey, three-quarters of LGBT students hear slurs such as “faggot” or “dyke” frequently or often at school and nine in 10 report hearing anti-LGBT language frequently or often. Homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay” are the most commonly heard type of biased remarks at school.

Research shows that these slurs are often unintentional and simply a part of the teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, according to GLSEN.

Ad Council research found that the campaign has shown a shift in attitudes and behaviors among teens and their language.

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