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A.V. Flox
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A.V. Flox

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If you never got a chance to receive Charlotte Shane's incredible letters, this is your chance. She's looking for contributions to turn her beautifully-worded mailing list musings on love, life, body image and sex work into a book. Follow the link to "Prostitute Laundry" on Kickstarter.
Charlotte Shane is raising funds for Prostitute Laundry on Kickstarter! All 56 collected letters from writer and escort Charlotte Shane's ephemeral email project about sex, love, and money.
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A.V. Flox

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How condoms are made.

(This video involves no sexual depictions, but may nevertheless be deemed "not safe for work" in your place of employment or coworking space).
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I'm surprised that the forms are glass rather than something more durable like stainless steel. I was also surprised at the number of people doing jobs like putting things in boxes, especially in such a modern, automated facility.
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A librarian banned a book to get the community to think critically about how easy and arbitrary it is to remove titles from American libraries. The response was not entirely disappointing.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), since 1982 more than 11,300 books have been challenged for various reasons (being sexually explicit and promoting a "homosexual agenda" are among the many reasons a book can be challenged). In 2014, there were 311 challenges reported to the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. Many more go unreported.

In the library world, access to information is a human right, not to be tampered with or controlled in any way.
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+Cass Morrison, we certainly don't teach citizens the avenues to do that. In many cases, there aren't any, so I don't think we should blame the public. We should educate and empower them.
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Anti-harassment activists take issue with UN report that blames online harassment on pornography and sex workers.

“Sex trafficking, sex work, and pornography should not have been included in a report about online abuse,” said anti-harassment activist and founder of Online Abuse Prevention Initiative, Randi Lee Harper. “It was a distraction from other valid concerns that should have been covered more thoroughly, and furthermore, it was a call for censorship. It is becoming clear that certain groups are willing to fly the flag of online abuse on their pet causes, such as banning pornography or wanting to remove the safety of anonymity.”
Controversial United Nations report comes under fire from anti-harassment activists.
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+Ross Fraser, I feel terribly about the continued and unjustifiable military action abroad, and its attendant evils such as murder, as well as with the militarization of law enforcement at home and its oppression and murder. I'm unaware that the U.S. government owns any social network, though its policies certainly affect those that exist.

None of this however, is relevant to this thread. While I can understand why these things are on your mind, I kindly ask you to either use your own space to discuss them or find conversations about these important issues.

Thank you.
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Tube sites are killing porn, but a handful of innovators are exploring ways to keep the industry solvent. Among them are adult site owners Colin Rowntree and his wife Angie, who are building the Google of porn, and hoping to recreate the success of AdWords through it.

Meanwhile, performers Stoya and Kayden Kross have launched TrenchcoatX, a "curated smut" site that enables viewers to preview clips and buy individual scenes.

Performer Veronica Vain has a more conventional idea: product placement. She is hoping to broker relationships with edgier brands that are interested in being placed front and center in steamy scenes. In addition, she wants to get into the streaming game with Bangbox, which will work on the Hulu model, and curate content based on user preferences, like Netflix.

TED-regular Cindy Gallop has MakeLoveNotPorn, a site that focuses on a "real" sex aesthetic and relies on user-generated content, but more important is her campaign to destigmatize adult content and encourage technology companies and venture capitalists to invest in what she calls "sex tech."

Last is Brian Shuster, an industry veteran who runs Utherverse -- think SecondLife, only adult-focused. He believes the future of the industry is in virtual reality and teledildonics. 

Left out of the conversation are independent porn producers who are leveraging crowd-funding avenues to create the kind of porn content that Big Porn doesn't yet make. Among them are Pink & White (which is currently working on a porn noir thriller -- with a queer cast comprised of women of color, to boot!), Four Chambers (which makes aesthetic, high-brow porn filled with references to Bataille, Foucault, and quantum physics), and Trouble Films, which specializes in inclusive, body-positive hardcore.

Also missing is the adult-focused crowd-funding platform OffBeatr and the adult Android market and adult content distributor MiKandi, which are making it possible for adult content creators to earn a living selling their creations. 
Porn has long been a driving force in tech and internet innovation, but the industry now finds itself in unprecedented danger thanks to piracy and free "tube" sites. These are some of the...
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+Walther M.M., the linked CNBC piece notes "The porn industry, as a whole, is thought to generate roughly $14 billion in revenue per year, but revenue from films has been shrinking, due to piracy and an abundance of free content on the Internet." This figure is not attributed to anyone at all.

Additionally, it's important to determine what is being considered when tallying this figure: how much is revenue from actual porn sales and how much is revenue from advertising on tube sites or other domains, or brand licensing (like the Playboy bunny, for example)? Does the figure involve health costs for performers? What about adult "novelties," such as sex toys? What fraction of this is actually porn sales? This matters, as huge figures don't necessarily mean the people involved in creating adult content are raking in any of the dough. 
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The crowdfunding site Patreon, which is popular among adult content creators, has been hacked. A statement from the site indicates the hackers made off with a number of creators' and donors' billing and mailing addresses, among other information. 
Yesterday I learned that there was unauthorized access to a Patreon database containing user information. Our engineering team has since blocked this access and taken immediate measures to prevent future breaches. I am so sorry to our creators and their patrons for this breach of trust. The Patreon team and I are working especially hard right now to ensure the safety of the community.There was unauthorized access to registered names, email addres...
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While the leaking of names and physical addresses is extremely hard to mitigate, and I'm concerned for those vulnerable to such leaks (to the point where, if there's anything I can do, I'll be happy to, if I only knew where to start)... there is also a continued threat from phishing emails, which, because of this leak, can now more effectively target Patreon users.

Using the leaked information, an attacker can send an email saying, for example:

Dear A. V.,
Your account on Patreon has been suspended due to unusual activity. To reactivate your account please reset your password using this phishing site official form.

Phishing attacks like this work far too often.  Never click a link from an email unless you specifically initiated the email yourself.  Always be suspicious of anyone asking for a password, including legitimate login forms (check the URL, at the very least).  Never reuse your password on different sites. (Use password management software. It's not 100% secure, but it's vastly more secure than reusing passwords.)

Remember, your email credentials are effectively a skeleton key to your personal life, including everything that was leaked from Patreon and more.

Unfortunately that's as far as I can be of any direct help here, is to remind people of phishing scams and password discipline.  I know that the problem of leaked physical addresses is so much worse for those in adult industries, especially due to law enforcement's habit to victim blame or to engage in harassment themselves...  If there's anything I could do to help, I'd be happy to, and regardless of what I can do, everyone has my deepest sympathies.
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The sex toy manufacturer +LELO​​ has just released the Lily 2, a scented sex toy. The device comes in three scents: Lavender and honey; rose and wisteria; or bordeaux and chocolate. The company selected the scents because they believe them to have "aphrodisiac" qualities. These claims are not supported by any science, but that never stopped anyone. Besides, smells -- if we happen to like them -- can be pleasing in their own right.

(This site is not safe for work, as ads can be fairly graphic.)
LELO has revealed LILY 2, an aphrodisiac-scented sex toy.
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Surely the smell changes after a few uses... 
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The recent changes to prostitution laws in Canada perpetuate a cycle of paternal systemic victimhood. If you find yourself in survival sex work or you choose sex work as an alternative to the state's colonial supports/oppressions, the state will punish you. It will continue to regulate and constrain the safe choices or the agency you could exercise within sex work as well. Despite what supporters of the new prostitution laws say, these laws do not decriminalize _any_ part of the transaction; the government just reenacted similar laws that were struck down and criminalized other actions surrounding the selling/trading of sex, including advertising.

Since the passage of Bill C-36, the state has created an impossible legal landscape for sex workers and sexually exploited youth to navigate and prioritize their own safety. The criminal code is now less conscientious in prioritizing safety and security, and more punitive for Indigenous women and girls, than it was before the _Bedford_ decision. We have seen an over-criminalization of Indigenous women and girls since the passing of these laws. 

#MMIW #MMIWG2S #Canada #BillC36 #sexwork

Colleen Hele, Naomi Sayers, and Jessica Wood on the numerous crimes and acts of violence committed against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
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So sad smh
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A.V. Flox

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Designer Rick Owens just made the position 69 into a fashion statement:
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+Gretchen S., as a kid, my mother made me a costume as a bunch of grapes once. The grapes were balloons, so I could not sit, either! 
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Whenever pornography becomes more available, it sparks a moral panic. After the advent of girlie magazines in the 1950s, and X-rated rental films in the 1980s, campaigners claimed that porn would dent women’s status, stoke sexual violence and lead men to abandon the search for a mate in favor of private pleasures. Disquiet about the effects of online pornography is once more rising. Because of smartphones, tablets and laptops, hardcore material can be accessed privately by anyone. The result is that many teenagers today have seen a greater number and variety of sex acts than the most debauched Mughal emperor managed in a lifetime.

Too little is known about porn in particular and sexuality in general to judge what effect this will have. Prudishness and fear of controversy mean that funding bodies often shy away from sex studies. A survey in 2013 by British researchers found more than 2,000 papers related to the effects of porn on teenagers. Only 79 based their conclusions on solid evidence.

These papers offer some comfort to those worried about anti-porn campaigners’ most alarming claim. Online porn is not producing a generation of zombies unable to relate to the opposite sex, and porn addiction, if it exists at all, is very rare. And the worriers’ fears were not borne out in the past: since the 1950s women’s status has improved; rape has become rarer; and couples have continued to meet and fall in love. But there is some evidence that porn’s newfound ubiquity is shifting sexual mores. Researchers who have listened to teenagers talk frankly report that, for many, porn is the main source of sex education. Even those who have not viewed it have heard plenty about it from friends. It is shaping their expectations of sex—and what they go on to do.
        IN THE 1990s, when the internet was for nerds, as many as half of all web searches were for sexually explicit material. That share has...
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"The result is that many teenagers today have seen a greater number and variety of sex acts than the most debauched Mughal emperor managed in a lifetime."

I completely love this sentence. It feels like a technological progress report.
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The hashtag #NoHymenNoDiamond has been making the rounds on social media again, primarily among religious types and men who believe that women who have sex don't make suitable long-term partners. (You can read more about that, and the hashtag's origins here:

The piece below explains what I feel about assigning value to women based on sexual inexperience. 
My mother had arrived at the cathedral altar wearing white, the traditional symbol of purity, and not been struck down by an angry deity. But she was very aware, too, that punishment for failing to comply with cultural norms wasn't necessarily meted out by a furious god, but rather by people. As a result, while I didn't get the message that I had to be a virgin until marriage, I did get the message that it was important not to give people reason ...
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+Gretchen S., yay, horses! 
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The UN report on the online harassment of women is full of anti-sex work rhetoric. The takeaway is that commercial sex and pornography cause men to harass women. These claims have no basis, yet appear time and again, promising safety to "good" women at the expense and dehumanization of sex workers.

The irony is that this approach doesn't only hurt sex workers, but perpetuates a stigma that can and is leveled against all women, to dehumanize and silence.
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TS Bray
Blaming the victims is easier than facing the facts and dealing with the real problems.
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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 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, 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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