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A.V. Flox
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A.V. Flox

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On the first day of classes at the University of Texas at Austin, students protested a law allowing concealed handguns on state college campuses by carrying around sex toys. I don't get the logic either, but we can't say their efforts didn't succeed -- the protest reached the New York Times.

On Wednesday, student organizers distributed brightly colored dildos to hundreds of students gathered to protest the law that took effect the first of August.

It is only semi-legal to carry sex toys around in public in Texas. What separates legal from illegal is whether the person carrying the sex toy might be perceived as behaving obscenely. As we all know, this is no safety. However, for the time being, police are allowing students to protest in peace.

No word on whether any sex toy manufacturer contributed to the effort by donating sex toys.
Clinton Hammond's profile photoCindy Brown's profile photoMichael Verona's profile photoTom Nathe's profile photo
Hopefully the dildos are shooting blanks. And I don't mean the sex toys.
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Excerpt: In July, Purvi Patel’s controversial 2015 feticide conviction was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court vacated Patel’s original 20-year sentence for feticide and felony child neglect and instead sentenced her to a lesser felony that carries a three-year sentence. At the time of the appeals court’s decision, the state of Indiana signaled that it would likely appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, but the deadline for the appeal to the higher court was Monday and the state failed to make a request.

Patel, now 35, was arrested in 2013 after she went to the hospital for profuse bleeding. While receiving treatment, she acknowledged that she had given birth to a 24-week-old stillborn at home and disposed of its body. After it was discovered that she purchased abortifacients online, the state charged her with feticide. Toxicology reports found no trace of the drugs in either her body or the fetus’ body.

The state prosecuted Patel under a 1979 law that had previously been used to prosecute those accused of attacking a pregnant woman. The Indiana Court of Appeals called the state’s prosecution an “abrupt departure” from the law’s intended and historic use. “The state’s about-face in this proceeding is unsettling, as well as untenable,” the court wrote in its ruling.

Though Patel’s ordeal is close to over, her case is a disturbing reminder that the ideology of “protecting women”—the familiar cri de coeur of anti-choice legislation—can easily be used as a bludgeon against them.

In July, Purvi Patel’s controversial 2015 feticide conviction was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court vacated Patel’s original 20-year sentence for feticide and felony child neglect and instead sentenced her to a lesser felony that carries a three-year sentence. At the time of the appeals court’s decision, the state of Indiana signaled that it would likely appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, a decision they have reconsidered. T...
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I guess you're more charitable than I am - I've never thought those laws were to protect women. I've always believed the laws prosecuting twice for attacks on pregnant women (once for her, once for the fetus) were just a stepping stone on the path to fetal citizenship and the end of abortion rights.
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A.V. Flox

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Silly attempt to smear Donald Trump digs into his grandfather's apparent brothel business during the Klondike gold rush in Alaska, turns up a bit of interesting history.
The appetite for bluster and superlatives displayed by Donald Trump must be genetic: his grandfather joined the Klondike stampede and operated a series of restaurants and hotels, invariably boosting them as the “newest, neatest and best equipped north of Vancouver.”
Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photoJavier Barberena's profile photoBenjamin Rice's profile photo
who cares- he is a shallow clown probably trying to make a new reality TV series. this has been over for a while. now if there were a viable 3rd party candidate running it might get fun.
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Most of us tend to think of pornographers, and porn law, as being about one very specific set of people: namely, those who make a living recording people fucking and selling or freely distributing the resulting photos and video. But in the eyes of the law, it’s not quite that simple.

As technology has made it easier for anyone to create and distribute dirty pictures and videos, it’s become harder to see where the pornographers end and the rest of us pervs begin—and that could mean that the aggressive laws designed to crack down on “evil” pornographers could potentially spill over into the lives of ordinary citizens.
Time to stop seeing pornographers as some discrete, pervy part of the population.
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cut off the sex organs of censors.
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The subcultural roots of the usage of the word "Daddy" in a sexual context were a hot topic of conversation on Twitter this weekend! It started when Shanley Kane -- a woman who writes about her experiences as a member of multiple marginalized communities in the tech industry and provides a platform for other marginalized people to share their own -- kicked off a rant on the social network calling attention to the increasing number of non-kinky, straight people who now seem to be using the term in a sexual context. In a sequence of tweets, Kane mentioned the queer origins of the term, as well as its usage among a subset of survivors of abuse who have found healing in BDSM.

The call for people to consider the queer origins of BDSM and acknowledge survivors in the community resulted in a furor of massive proportions. Shane was accused of censoring and shaming straight people who use the word "Daddy" during sex, and of suggesting that everyone who participates in BDSM is a victim of abuse. Very quickly, the conversation was reframed as an illustration of the excesses of social justice warriors, who can't even let people enjoy their sex lives. Even now, people are having a blast ignoring the debt those of us who enjoy BDSM owe to the queer community, under the hashtag #daddygate.

The focus on the tone that these comments took has obliterated the point of the comments: acknowledging the contributions made by the queer community to BDSM. Acknowledging these queer roots matters because the increased popularity of BDSM has impacted queer visibility in many places. As gay and lesbian bars close, kinky spaces proliferate, not many of them seen as welcoming to LGBTQ folks. The masculinity policing inherent to a lot of straight culture plays out in a number of kinky spaces, too, with submissive and switch men being made to feel unwelcome, and submission being framed as interchangeable with femaleness. (The kinky community isn't a monolith, so this varies by community, but in some communities, this is a real thing.)

Additionally, the increased popularity of BDSM has made kink media representations very straight. That straight BDSM media exists isn't bad; it's its overshadowing of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans BDSM media that is a problem. When I say "overshadowing," I don't mean that I'm cross that straight BDSM media gets more readers and viewers. I support all adult content creators and am glad that they are able to financially benefit from their work. But this popularity means that creators are economically pressured to remain within straight representations in order to make a living. The New York Times best-selling author Katie de Long has written poignantly about the pressure she feels to avoid bisexual and lesbian depictions in her erotic works, despite her longing to tell these stories as a bisexual woman:

The price of having something go mainstream is dilution and fragmentation. Many people were upset about the way Kane communicated her feelings in her comments, but in order to understand why someone might be angry by the mainstream use of a word, we need to step outside of ourselves and remember that the price of going mainstream isn't paid by those outside the marginalized communities who laid the groundwork. Words popularized within certain communities, especially marginalized ones, are a signal of welcome and safety. The mainstreaming of the use of "Daddy" and other kinky or queer terms has impacted many LGBTQ and BDSM folks' signal-to-noise ratio. As Arden Leigh points out, it is no longer possible to assume that those using "Daddy" or many other kinky or queer terminology are necessarily allies, welcoming or safe.

This can have real-world implications for people in these communities. The dilution of something once perceived as certain can be extremely frightening. To fail to see this as a threat that someone may express anger about is to fail to recognize that person's feelings of isolation. This is a legitimate fear.

It's important to remember here that you're not a bad person just because someone feels negative things about something you do with consenting people. You're not responsible for other people's feelings. You're responsible for your actions. However, negative feelings are an invitation for you to consider a different worldview. If you have the bandwidth to accept that invitation, you should. If you do not have it right now, that's okay. You're okay.

In the case of the mainstream sexualized use of "Daddy," what is being communicated here is fear about the loss of a word that, to this person, once represented welcome and safety. This is a legitimate fear. This is the cost of increased normalization of BDSM, which is why remembering its queer origins matters -- and helps.

This conversation about the queer origins of BDSM isn't about shaming. It's not about feeling guilty. It's about remembering -- or learning. Many came before us, trailblazing in areas that were considered perverse so that we may enjoy our kinks in greater safety and peace. The queer folks who normalized BDSM deserve mention, deserve to be known, deserve to be remembered and seen.

Let's do that.
Chris Vanderkolk's profile photoGarritt VS's profile photoThew Raslletem's profile photoMiriam G's profile photo
I think someone can be understandably hurt and still factually wrong. That's how I feel about Kane's tweet. I'm never going to support policing other people's sexual expression, which is what the tweet comes across as doing. There's also actual documentation of use of Daddy in straight sexual contexts prior to the existence of the leather scene, and certainly there's plenty of documentation of BDSM existing in straight context.

(I'd also argue that it has never been safe to assume that using certain language marks a person as an ally or a space as safe. I think that's a challenge that has always marked niche communities)

I'm also not convinced that Kane was referencing the issues you were about heteronormativity in BDSM spaces or gender stereotype enforcing, but if she was, I don't think she chose an effective way to do it.
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A.V. Flox

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Every year, Buzzfeed rounds up all the things women are told they can't wear. Here's the list from 2015. Unlike 2014, we made it last year year without any new outright bans on trousers, though mandatory "feminine" dress prevailed in formal occasions on one instance.

The eagerness with which the world polices the female body is truly outrageous, especially when you look at all these things at the same time. The message we're sending is chilling.
frank alfar's profile photoSteve S's profile photomichele cull's profile photoTamika Johnson Swope's profile photo
Please Note: I am not a Parent, but my Father was and he was not a religious man; however, he still had to set rules for me to navigate the very things that is the topic! First, I always wore a robe over my pajamas, with Brother's in the house! Two: do not hang with 10 year old girls Twerking! I tried to save them, but there you go! I can count my girlfriends on one hand! Three: sometimes he was lenient, by going with what was hip, so he would let me wear the short skirt, provided i had stockings or leggings! And he had a series of test I would have to ace prior to leaving the house! Moving on! I believe this snippet of my privileged life should give a life line to those that understand his way of thinking! That's enough to get you started, but all this fuss about clothes in a world where sex sales or dressing tight is said to be the thing that makes us all be a walking, breathing contradiction. I mean who is in charge of the programming at the house! That's right, good ole parents! Moving on! The hijab/niqaba is for people that has been to the point where: maybe if they don't see my face: I can make it home safe! Phenotype is a weapon of choice! Media makes people that wear this seem like Terrorist and perhaps that may/or may not be the case: perceptions perceived and received by those who take offense and don't understand the reason! I wanna cover up with all the dirt done to me in great ole America, but it is not about me;I wanna talk about somebody else tonight! If you want someone to change to make you comfortable: you could at least make the transition pleasant! All boy schools with a class on how to not be a bully and abusive to women! All the teachers are men! Everybody that comes in that school is a Man! That's right fellas, you are going to have to go to the parent/ teacher conference with your son, male teachers! All girl schools! Everybody coming thru: that's right, all women coming thru. There are plenty of female plumbers, mechanical engineers! Then when Spring comes: have a formal and all these regulations of being a decent human being is a part of the manual to be in that particular school! It should be mandatory that the Parents go thru these regulations with school officials T-shirts, halter tops, etc! If you don't like it:. Find a school that does. If you accept that baby girl shows up with a halter. School fines the parents! Boy comes to school with a derogatory shirt toward women, girls, homosexuals...fined! Even public have rules! Know the difference! Night...bye
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Upping your pleasure game in the vaginal department. 👌👌👌
According to a 2015 survey by Cosmo, only 57 percent of women can orgasm during sex. But when it comes to how often the male partners of these women orgasm, we’re looking at a whopping 95 percent. So unfair, right? Although there are many reasons why a woman can’t orgasm during sex, much of it
Olivier Malinur's profile photoScott Carpenter's profile photoGreg Cunningham's profile photo
A good list, even for guys. A consistent rhythm for a good duration with the tongue and edging if you pay attention well. Everyone's different psychologically more than physically.
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Excerpt: Perhaps the most confounding part of “Yankee Doodle” is its opening. To the average listener, the first verse appears to describe an American man who confuses a feather for a piece of pasta: "Yankee Doodle went to town / A-riding on a pony / Stuck a feather in his cap / And called it macaroni."

The “macaroni” in question does not, however, refer to the food, but rather to a fashion trend that began in the 1760s among aristocratic British men.

On returning from a Grand Tour (a then-standard trip across Continental Europe intended to deepen cultural knowledge), these young men brought to England a stylish sense of fashion consisting of large wigs and slim clothing as well as a penchant for the then-little-known Italian dish for which they were named. In England at large, the word “macaroni” took on a larger significance. To be “macaroni” was to be sophisticated, upper class, and worldly.

In “Yankee Doodle,” then, the British were mocking what they perceived as the Americans’ lack of class. The first verse is satirical because a doodle—a simpleton—thinks that he can be macaroni—fashionable—simply by sticking a feather in his cap. In other words, he is out of touch with high society.

But what is fascinating about those fashionable British macaronis is how quickly they fell out of favor—and how, within a decade, a word that once denoted worldliness became synonymous with excess and male femininity.
Meet the stylish gender-role rebels of 1770s England.
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If it's good enough for Tom Bombadil, it's good enough for me 
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The best-selling author at the heart of America's 1990s abstinence "purity" movement is reconsidering the lessons he taught millions after learning the many ways his works have damaged people and negatively impacted relationships.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye opens with an unforgettable scene. A bride is walking down the aisle toward her beloved on their wedding day. Stained glass, st ...
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Tren C
... like homosexuality is rare enough people still forget about it +Mike DeSimone​?

That was rhetorical. My point is that I dont understand the reason for your comment. Was it to minimise what I said or enhance it? 
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This is awesome. 🙌🙌🙌🙌
A record number of openly LGBTQ athletes headed to Rio for this year's Olympic Games. Here are 25 who left Brazil with gold, silver or bronze.
Boško ™'s profile photoRamón González's profile photoKee Hinckley's profile photo
Happy to say that my sister-in-law's wife was one of them four years ago. (And she should have been too, but that's another story.)
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Rachid Nekkaz, 38, a real-estate businessman based in Paris, traveled to Belgium on Wednesday to pay 100 euros for two women fined in the first case in the country since the law against head coverings was adopted there. He's set aside a million euro of his own money to pay the fines of women criminalized for wearing head and face coverings.

“I'm in favour of a law to convict a husband who forces a women to wear the niqab and who forces her to stay at home," Nekkaz said. "But I'm also for a law that lets these women move freely in the streets, because freedom of movement, just like any freedom, is the most fundamental thing in a democracy."

The same day, he paid a 75 euro fine for a woman in the north-eastern French town of Roubaix.

“I am calling for civil disobedience,” he told FRANCE 24. “I am telling women to not be afraid to go out wearing their veils. And by paying the fines, I am neutering the law, rendering it inefficient and pointless, showing that it doesn't work. It is a humiliation for the politicians.”

This is ally work, right here. 👌👌👌
Rachid Nekkaz has set up a million euro fund to pay fines for women who choose to wear the full Islamic veil in countries, like France, where it is against the law to do so in public. A French businessman has set up a fund to pay fines for women who wear Islamic veils or…
Clinton Hammond's profile photoCrystal Diaz's profile photoOmar Shareef's profile photoCulture Monroe's profile photo
It is a woman's choice to dress how she chooses. If she wants to wear only a panty and a bra or run around in a burqa she is free. Here is to freedom.
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Excerpt: "Bail practices that incarcerate indigent individuals before trial solely because of their inability to pay for their release violate the Fourteenth Amendment," the Justice Department said in a friend of court brief, citing the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection.

The filing came in the case of Maurice Walker of Calhoun, Georgia. He was kept in jail for six nights after police arrested him for the misdemeanor offense of being a pedestrian under the influence. He was told he could not get out of jail unless he paid the fixed bail amount of $160.

"Fixed bail schedules that allow for the pretrial release of only those who can play, without accounting for the ability to pay," the government said, "unlawfully discriminate based on indigence."
Holding defendants in jail because they can't afford to make bail is unconstitutional, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Thursday.
terry Hershberger's profile photo
Don't go to Alabama you will stay in jail until bail hearing if your from out of state they they don't believe in the 14 amendment they believe in keeping their jails full they get paid by state,county,and federal gov.I know of a situation now in practice a sitting judge owns the land and the sheriff owns the jail and makes the bank payment off the backs of inmates
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Velocitus delectibus.

I'm AV -- that's pronounced like the letters A and V. Most people call me that, but a few prefer the less familiar Flox, which is pronounced like you would if you were talking about various flocks of birds (see? it only looks complicated). You may call me either of these things. 

I'm a writer. I've written for a variety of publications, including the Village Voice, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Gizmodo, and Vice. My main focus is sex -- the norms around it, the organs we use, the health issues that affect it or are a consequence of it, the way governments and private companies want to control it and the way we express ourselves around it, the markets that exist to cater to it and the labor issues within them, and so on. Sex touches everything. You would be amazed how many incredible disciplines I get to explore writing about sex. Not too long ago, I was buried under a stack of papers about 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing! (Why? Because vagina. You can read the piece on Vice.).

Besides writing, I have edited blogs about relationships and science for the Village Voice and, a women's network that was reaching 90 million monthly visitors by the time it was acquired by SheKnows Media last year for a reported $35 million -- more than AOL paid for TechCrunch just four years prior. 

My content here on Plus will reflect my beat, but please note that in general, my posts and shares involve more analysis than titillation. I have analytics, I can see how many of you browse on the clock! No judgment -- I'm honored, actually. But because of this, as a rule, I do not publish images or articles that contain preview images that are not "safe for work" (that is, anything that may make a colleague feel uncomfortable in a workplace) and I strive to let you know when a link I have shared contains this type of imagery so you don't click it without knowledge.  

I am not opposed to pornography, but I do believe in consent -- I do not want to expose anyone to visually sexual content unless they explicitly opt-in to see it. So if sexy imagery is the sort of thing you're looking for, you won't find it here. However, feel free to visit my NSFW love letter to desire on Tumblr. It is overflowing with various degrees of graphic depictions of cisgender, heterosexual sex that I find pleasing. (If cis/het isn't you, try a Tumblr-wide search for a keyword that better speaks to you. Some of the best gay yiff I've ever seen is on Tumblr. And if you do not know what that is, don't look it up at work!)

I also use content warnings, since some of the things I share touch on things that you may not want to read about right then (assault, unsettling health conditions and accidents, etc.), and spoiler alerts. 

A lot of people follow me as a resource on issues of sexuality, so I try to keep my social media channels focused, but people are multidimensional and I am no different. Google Plus is where I am most focused. If you want a slightly more varied feed with more snippets from my life, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter

My Instagram has first publishing rights to much of my life's imagery, so if you like pix, I strongly recommend you find me there. (My Instagram account does not disseminate sexual imagery, but I do post images from events I attend and sometimes these events are adult industry conferences. Don't follow me just for that, though -- I am not all work and no play, so, yeah, you may get to see awesome candids of porn stars, but you'll also have to suffer through, like, a million videos and pictures of an octopus trying to make an escape from its tank at the California Academy of Sciences, or the bacula collection at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Also, bugs. I love bugs.)

Pinterest is where I put cool stuff that I find online. A number of my boards are dedicated to cool products -- and, yes, one of them is devoted entirely to sex products. Go take a look and see if there is anything worth following. (I also have a community here on Plus called The Desire that I hope to develop into a destination that combines relationship resources and awesome products. If you are interested in that, go ahead and request to join.)

I maintain a complete list of my profiles across the social networks I use on About.Me. If you need to reach me, though, your best bet is to mention @avflox on Twitter. I only receive messages from people in my extended circles here and on most other social platforms, so I may not even see that you tried to reach me if you private message me. On Twitter, though, I see everything -- and it's more reliable than taking your chances with an e-mail web form. But if you don't tweet or you want to stay on the DL, you'll probably want to take your chances with that web form or the e-mail option on About.Me (you don't need to create an account to use it).

I never thought I'd have to mention this, but seeing how many users on this network believe the existence of my profile indicates my sexual availability, allow me to clarify: I am not here to sexy chat with you. I don't usually flirt, even with people I like. I consider joking around an intimate thing so unless we have interacted a few times, I may not respond to your joke. Or at least, I may not respond well. I hate compliments. I reserve the right to delete comments that veer off topic or otherwise blemish my stream. Repeat offenders are blocked and immediately forgotten.

Regarding the many nude photos of me that exist and are said to cause so much "confusion" -- I took them, had them taken, sent them to someone, or posted them myself for my jollies. Personally I think that they represent a woman who is comfortable in her skin, in touch with her body, unashamed of her femaleness, and unwilling to censor it. I am flattered if you have derived some pleasure from their existence, but please note that their existence has nothing to do with you. I did not take them for you. I did not post them for you. I probably don't even know you! They're not for you even if I do know you! (Except you, Grandma, because you made me read Simone de Beauvoir when I was, like, seven and I owe you everything.)

So please -- do not wander onto my spaces online and expect that behaving in an overly familiar fashion is going to endear you to me. We do not have a deep meaningful connection because you saw me naked. Everyone has seen me naked. You are a unique snowflake, but it is not for this reason. 

Nothing I wear or don't wear is license for anyone to treat me like I am a thing that exists solely for their personal entertainment. I am a living organism -- I exist for myself. Just like you. And like you, when I post about something, I want people to comment on that something, not wax poetic about what they want from me. 

I mean, look, I get it. We all have urges. I understand this. I too have seen a picture and thought, "OMGWOULDBANG!!!1!" You are not damaged or monstrous for this. What I am saying is that writing this out as a comment on a person's social stream is not a successful strategy, and doing it when that's not even the topic is outright maladaptive. As someone who writes about getting laid, I feel I am uniquely positioned to speak on this topic, so you should pay attention.

Anyway, if for some incomprehensible reason you should wish to seduce me: go for my brain. Flattery is boring. Negs are like little gnats. The biggest compliment you could pay me, the most disarming level attention you could bestow upon me, requires that you only take the time to read something I've posted and have a brilliant conversation about it.

You don't need to be witty or "alpha" or otherwise a perfect specimen of the gender you identify with. You just need to share your views and tell your stories. Treat me like a human and show me your human. Hottest thing ever.

Bragging rights
Some muses inspire artists. I prefer scientists. "You know what you are? You're an idea Hydra. Discuss one idea, and two more grow." -- Fraser Cain
Journalist; columnist; editor
  • Village Voice Media
    Web Editor, 2010 - 2011
  • BlogHer
    Contributing Editor, 2008 - 2010
  • BlogHer
    Section Editor, 2011 - 2012
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