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A.V. Flox
Worked at BlogHer
Lives in Silicon Valley
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A.V. Flox

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This had all the makings of a wicked good feminist screed about mainstream porn mostly ignoring female desire but it didn't fully go there, which disappoints somewhat. It's still a great springboard for conversation, however.

The complaint about not feeling any physical stimulation while watching virtual reality porn is a little gratuitous, since we're all aware simulation can only go one step at a time (but advances here are already happening!). The the key thing though is that, yes, the offerings will be initially populated by fantasies catering to the heterosexual male gaze -- at least until gay porn gets more invested in the game. (If Pornhub's insights are any indication, a nontrivial fraction of women will happily make do with that.)

This is a reminder that we need to seek out and empower the indie porn industry, especially women, trans folk, minorities, and people of varying sexualities and sexual expressions within it.
Werner Herzog believes that virtual reality is getting ahead of itself. “It looked OK, but you get tired of it fairly quickly,” he told the New Yorker ...
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+A.V. Flox - "I like meat shots."

Oh, I immediately pictured a shot glass filled with raw ground beef, and...ugh. Nonlinear thinking, for the ... eww.
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In the past five years, more than 100,000 British men have done webcam shows for money. Now the BBC is going in-depth in a documentary. 
Documentary which goes inside the multi-billion-pound global male webcam industry.
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 was released in May 2013, its contents marking a dramatic improvement for people who practice BDSM. The final language states: “A paraphilia is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder, and a paraphilia by itself does not necessarily justify or require clinical intervention.”

“Now we are seeing a sharp drop in people having their children removed from their custody,” says Susan Wright, founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). Since the change, according to the NCSF, less than 10 percent of people who sought the organization’s help in custody cases have had their children removed, and the number of discrimination cases has dropped from more than 600 in 2002 to 500 in 2010 to around 200 over the last year.
A history of the fight that got kink de-classified as mental illness
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It sounded like a really cruddy edition, in the main, but I really hope the next revision preserves this part, or that it gets folded back into the DSM-IV (which a lot of people are still using.)
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The most important things I know about anal sex, I learned from bottoms. (This video is fun and informative, though probably not safe for work, though it involves no actual nudity.)
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+A.V. Flox​ using an enema significantly reduces the chance of shit happening, though :)
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Pants are for amateurs. Some winter sculptors prefer more, shall we say, dynamic subjects.
It seems that a lot of folks in the United States are getting pounded pretty hard with the white fluffy stuff. So what do you do when you’re snowbound with nuthin’ to do all day? Why not build a “rude” snowman? C’mon, your neighbors will love you for it! Trust. And not only your neighbors, but your co-workers too! I’m assuming the snowmen and snow-women doing the nasty on the hoods of cars was an unexpected surprise for an office mate. I’ve c...
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It started fairly innocently: comedian Elijah Daniel was tipsy, working on a satirical piece from the point of view of a lover of the Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, when he decided to take the concept to its logical conclusion. Drunk, he told his Twitter followers he would turn it into an erotic novella. Egged on by the seeming roar of the Colosseum, Daniel wrote through the night. Four bottles of wine later, the book was on Amazon.

It's the story of a hotel bell boy seduced by the scent of toupee glue, who finds himself mesmerized by the skyscraper in Trump's pants. The bell boy's name tells you everything you need to know about the point-of-view: Elijah.

It's been climbing the Amazon charts all morning. Spoiler alert: the revises may be the best part.
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+A.V. Flox No, it's not.  I didn't mean to imply it was.  

It's just that my stream is full of posts mocking Trump, and I get the impression sometimes that it makes people feel safe. Like they go, "How can anyone vote for this clown.  He's ridiculous.  Everyone I know think he's ridiculous."

Of course ,he is, but there's quite a few people just as ridiculous as him, and not a few people either.  I don't mean to single this post out, but it's like the 80th "Trump is a moron" post in my stream today.  
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During her tour of Sundance virtual reality (VR) experiences, Andrea Mandell experienced Across the Line, which transported her for six minutes to a Planned Parenthood health care clinic parking lot.

"I walked past irate picketers at planned parenthood," she writes.

Executive director Dawn Laguens told her that the creators of this hard-hitting VR offering hope that it encourages legislators to think about "what women experience as they try to access health care, and especially abortion, in this country."

Director Brad Lichtenstein called VR an important empathy tool. "There's no way to really convey [these women's experiences] unless you put somebody right in the middle of what it feels like," he said.

(Via +Robert Anstett​)

Between bombings and bugs, it got real.
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Any bets that it just becomes a training tool by the shitheads doing the harassment? Sort of a pre-game training to help them most effectively terrify, guilt and shame their targets.
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Robot culture is human culture: our fears of technology are our fears of one another made synthetic flesh.
The interrogation of the robot’s motives interrogates its algorithms, its programmatic lineage, its manufacture, the factory of its origins, the mountains from which its metal was mined.
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+Yonatan Zunger did we ever get a similar episode for ST:VOY's Doctor?
All I remember is that even though the other EMHs shared most of the coding with Voyager's Doctor, Starfleet had no issues reassigning them as plasma scrubbers, if we have to believe their creator Zimmerman.

Makes me wonder if humanity would indeed react differently between creating a single sentient creation/being, or a multitude. 
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In certain parts of the Bay Area, we have developed a culture of constant vigilance in our neighborhoods that has turned relatively low-crime areas into outright unsafe spaces for families of color. Thanks to movements like #blacklivesmatter, people whose privileges enable them to count on police when something is wrong are beginning to think more critically about whether or not to call in police when the slightest thing seems amiss. This app tries to answer the question of what we may do instead in situations that don't represent an active threat.

But more intriguing is its potential application for criminalized populations, such as sex workers, who may be able to employ it to better keep themselves and one another safer as well as informed about all kinds of incidents, including interaction with vectors of state violence such as police and social services.
We live in a world where we are forced to pay for services that are unreliable, corrupt and brutal. We are taught from a young age that you pick up the phone and dial 911 at the first sign of trouble. But sadly, we increasingly see the responders to our pleas for help showing up and making ma
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+Gretchen S. I've gone as far as recording my view, then deleting later after nothing noteworthy occurred.  Twice now, I've felt like another citizen was possibly being bullied on the sidewalk. In neither case did I have any idea why, so a recording should have been protective for both sides.
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There has been much talk about "open marriage" and "open relationships" in recent years, with some even paradoxically dubbing non-monogamy "the new monogamy." In this open-marriage conception of non-monogamous relationships, there is still a central, committed (often legally married) couple, who allow one another to engage in purely sexual (or at least quite casual) outside relationships. Generally, any discussion about the benefits of such practice revolves around how it strengthens and/or reinvigorates the central couple in question. I want to be perfectly clear that I don't see anything wrong with strictly sexual non-monogamy so long as it's genuinely fulfilling and consensual for all involved, including the outside partners. But for those of us living in polyamorous families, it can be incredibly frustrating when people use those concepts of open marriage to make assumptions about the structure of our relationships.

Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in what ultimately still amounts to monogamous terms. There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word "polyamory," by definition, means loving more than one. Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core "couple" at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the "man" in the relationship and the other must be the "woman." After all, both of these misunderstandings result from people trying to graft their normative conceptions of love and relationships onto people who are partnering in non-normative ways. It seems that it is somewhat easy for many people to acknowledge that humans are capable of loving one person and still enjoying sex with others (assuming, of course, that the terms of their relationship make such behavior acceptable). But it is much harder for people to think outside the fairy-tale notion of "the one" and imagine that it might be possible to actually romantically love more than one person simultaneously.

The unfortunate result of this is that, for those of us in more than one serious and meaningful relationship, the world around us insists on viewing one of those relationships as less valid than the other, especially when one relationship happens to predate others. I have been with my husband for 17 years, legally married for 11. But I am also deeply in love with and committed to my boyfriend of two and a half years, and it hurts that people make assumptions about that relationship simply being something frivolous and recreational outside my marriage.


Over the past few years, polyamory has become a more widely known term and practice. And perhaps inevitably, certain misconceptions and misunderstandings about what "polyamory" means have become wi...
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Thanks for sharing :-)
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Married couples in low- and middle-income countries around the world that use contraception are having more frequent sexual intercourse than those that do not, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. (Via +Jason Goldman​)
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Vasectomy FTW.
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Bubble zones that keep anti-abortion groups from harassing patients are being dismantled around the nation: https://www.slantnews.com/story/2016-01-24-what-its-really-like-to-be-an-abortion-clinic-escort
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There is a VR a for that with a Syrian refugee camp. You can use Google Cardboard to view that one.

+Scott Foust​
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Velocitus delectibus.
Introduction

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 mostly blog at +Slantist. 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 BlogHer.com, 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 unsafe in their 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 issue trigger warnings 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. You've been warned.)

Pinterest is where I put cool stuff that I find online. The first four 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-mailing 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 at least consider it. 

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.

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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
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Journalist; columnist; editor
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  • BlogHer
    Section Editor, 2011 - 2012
  • Village Voice Media
    Web Editor, 2010 - 2011
  • BlogHer
    Contributing Editor, 2008 - present
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