Slate, that bastion of current events and culture, tackles all the horny topics one could think of in their Sex Issue this week and thanks to the online magazine's editors and writers, we've learned a lot! Starting with...
Brothers Can Be Sexy!: "The Best of 'Human Nature' Sex Stories of 2007" has us pondering incest and the rules surrounding it. Saletan (again!) writes about everything from the abolition of menstruation to virgin shark births in this roundup, but his last item on a German brother-sister couple is what caught our eye. The couple is challenging the laws which say incest is illegal, arguing that such laws are outdated and that they violate their civil rights. They claim that their incestuous relationship is no different than any other coupling because they were not raised together and plus, they aren't planning on having more children.
There's No Shame In Liking 'Em Young: Slate writer William Saletan's external monologue about what the age of consent should be bounces around from 12, to 16, to 25, depending on physical and emotional maturity factors. Some girls are still making their Barbies hump at 14, while others are getting finger-banged in the school parking lot. The point is, the age of consent varies from person to person but certainly there's a difference between a moderately intelligent 16-year old choosing to have sex with her college football-star boyfriend and her older brother doing the nasty with his 13-year old neighbor. The line has to be drawn, albeit maybe a little bit off from where it currently sits, at 17.
"Big" Butts Are Popular, Have Racist Undertones: Despite what Glamour's Suze Yalof-Schwartz says, women have always wanted bigger, rounder, fatter asses and she should just get with the times. However, Feministing clued us in to a slight problem with the slideshow Oh, That Darling Derriere — it seems that, in addition to not showing any men with plump hineys, they also have included an icon of racism, Hottentot Venus (a Khoikhoi woman who was a sideshow attraction in 19th Century Europe) without giving any context about her place in history (aside from her prominent rump).
Kinsey, Schminsey: He may have been the first sex researcher to pols thousands about their desires, but he wasn't the most accurate, especially since he seemed to choose people who were neither representative of the American population at large. However, this reminds us of what has to be the most thorough pleasure poll we've ever taken (again and again and again) — the Purity Test, that blush-producing fun-filled activity in college dorm rooms everywhere. Take it again and relive the scandal.
Mad Cow Disease Is Not An STD: But the government thinks it is. Swedish sperm is hard to come by in the US nowadays. Unless you're Paris Hilton's mouth, of course.
People Still Think That Gardisil Is A Free Pass To Prostitution: The debate rages on between intelligent people and morons as to whether giving the HPV vaccine to teenagers is a necessary precaution in a cancer rampant world or just another excuse for dirty teenage whores to have sex.
Seniors Are Having Trouble Having Sex: Nursing homes are totally cock-blocking your grandma and grandpa from doing the nasty, even though a survey of 75 to 85 year-olds showed that most of them were still getting it on on a biweekly basis.
Vibrators Used to Look Way Scarier: The Rabbit freaks us out a little, but Not Your Grandmother's Vibrator, a slideshow of vibrators past and present, demonstrates that a frisky little bunny is just adorable compared to the heavy machinery and drill-like contraptions from yesteryear. Note: Vibes didn't always look so phallic!
There Are No (Sex) Answers, Only (Sex) Questions: Or something. Long-time sexperts, from Dan Savage to Dr. Ruth, reveal what decades of doling out sex advice hasn't taught them. Apparently, there's a lot!