Sex

Just where is the line to be drawn?

This is one of those difficult ones:

A man has been charged in connection with “sex for rent” allegations in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.

Christopher Cox, a landlord from Cranleigh, in Surrey, is due to appear in court next month to face two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.

The charges follow a dossier of evidence that was passed to Surrey Police in 2019 following an ITV investigation for a Jeremy Kyle programme.

The phenomenon of ‘sex for rent’ emerged several years ago with claims that unscrupulous landlords were using the housing crisis and soaring rents to entice desperate and homeless women to sleep with them in return for free or cheap accomodation.

Really not sure that “you can share my flat if you share my bed” is one of those things that can or should be illegal.

Further, if someone does voluntarily make the trade – it’s not wholly and entirely unknown among humans for sex to be offered as a way of gaining something that is not-sex – then defining when this is to be illegal would seem to be fraught with problems.

Senior crown prosecutor Claire Prodger said: “Following an investigation into so-called ‘sex-for-rent’ allegations, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) has authorised Surrey Police to charge Christopher Cox with two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.

Clearly there will be cases at the other end of the spectrum too. “You can have this flat if you Tom for the rent” etc.

But where is that dividing line to be usefully drawn?

Well, umm

How to explain this Honey:

What’s so “unsexy” about asexuality?

“Sexy” is lubricious, gusset dampening, wood making.

Someone who’s entirely uninterested in the whole subject ain’t.

So much for dating apps then

At the end of 2019, Nelly Sutro was living in New York, facing the fast-paced grind of city dating life. Fed up with apps, ghosting and rushed drinks with strangers after work, she complained to her friend Lina about the situation.

Unbeknown to her, Lina had been in touch with another friend, Ryan Lacey, who was based in Germany for his US army job, and also struggling to meet someone. “She connected us on Instagram and suggested that we chat,” says Nelly. “She thought we’d be really good together.”

The pair hit it off but

OK, new tech and all that, but still friends making the introductions.

Certain physical characteristics

A Turkish court has sentenced the leader of an evangelical sex cult to one thousand years in prison for a litany of sexual offences and fraud.

Adnan Oktar, who promoted creationism on his conservative Islamic TV channel, was known for surrounding himself with scantily dressed women whom he called his “kittens” before his arrest in 2018.

A quick images search for Mr Oktar plus “kittens” shows that he was in favour of certain physical characteristics. Few of them were likely to drown face down.

There might be no meaning to this at all. Or perhaps Mummy weaned him a little early.

This might not be such news

With the Covid crisis putting paid to New Year’s Eve celebrations and many other opportunities to seek romance in person, dating apps have thrived.

But while such tech has long been associated with hookups, a study suggests those who couple up after swiping right have as satisfying a relationship as those who met via traditional encounters – and might even be keener to settle down.

“We actually find that in certain ways couples that met through dating apps have even stronger long-term family formation or relationship intentions than other couples that met either offline or through other digital ways of meeting,” said Dr Gina Potarca, author of the research from the University of Geneva.

People who actively set out to find a relationship have more interest in a relationship than those who bumble through life and perhaps just bump into a relationship.

We might even mutter something about revealed preferences here…..

Well, no, not really

There’s plenty that Bridgerton gets wrong about the Regency – in the first half-hour alone, we have young women referred to as “the Right Honourable” rather than “the Honourable”. One area where it almost gets things right, though, is just how much sex everyone is having.

Well, sorta.

According to The Secret History of Georgian London by Dan Cruickshanks, during the Georgian period one in five women in London was earning a living by working as a prostitute.

That book – yes, I’ve read it – is nonsense. The numbers just don’t add up. There never are enough men looking for paid nookie to support 20% of the female population. Not as prostitutes that is.

There’s a lingering perception today that before the Sixties, sex was something that gentlemen did, to their shame, with wenchy types, and that grand women had to suffer through when they became wives. Of course, this is largely untrue. Humans have always been humans, and we’ve always had the same urges. Admittedly the advent of contraception made life somewhat easier for those who wanted to indulge in extramarital bonking without becoming a parent, but it’s a complete fallacy that sex didn’t exist before 1969.

The auctioning of virginity was commonplace. The famous courtesan Charlotte Hayes, who lived and worked in London in the mid-1700s, a little before Bridgerton is set, sold her virginity for £9,000.

Well, no, not really. The sale of virginity when going on the game was indeed a part of going on the game. But that’s a useful illustration of something important about the age. Virginity was considered important. In fact, for a woman about to get married for the first time it was essential in most classes. For humans have always been humans and paternity of children mattered. Thus the complaints of a woman being “ruined” if promised marriage if and then she does and the marriage doesn’t arrive.

That vibrancy of sex life being celebrated did exist, sure. But among those who had been married already – among the women that is – and usually after they’d dropped a sprog or two.

Much more interesting than just the claim that the past was randy like the present are the observations about how it differed in the expression of the randiness.

Where does the line come from?

What struck me during our conversation was just how much the pandemic has pushed so many of us to rethink the ways we define our lives. Jo has been out and vocal about their bisexual and nonbinary identities for some time now, but non-monogamy was something they could only really consider when they were forced inside with their thoughts — and a husband who gently asked whether they wanted to explore other options for romantic and sexual fulfillment.

There is a temptation in queer spaces, I think, to define so much about our identities on a granular level. But Jo has found a liberation not just from practicing non-monogamy but also from practicing it in a way that feels true to who they and their husband are as people. “The way that I’m going about non-monogamy has nothing to do with how people think non-monogamy should be done. The way that I’m doing it is what feels right to me, and what feels right to my partner and everyone else involved,” they told me.

Is it Judy Dench in a Bond or something? “In my day we just called it shagging around”?

This is a surprise

Oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov’s lover was beauty queen half his age

So Miss Adamova, what first attracted you to the billionnaire Farkhad Akhmedov? It being possible to note two points that might have interested him….

Seriously now, rich bloke gets popsie is hardly news, nor that popsie seeks rich bloke. This is human beings we are talking about here.

Kinky

How The Archers does a sex scene: a plastic raincoat and two baking trays

Just trying to work out how you’d actually use such……ah, that’s on radio, isn’t it?

Group sex is compulsory now

The organiser of an all-male orgy in Brussels attended by a key lieutenant of Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister who is opposed to gay rights, has said that compulsory group sex and no condoms were the only rules.

OK, it’s only compulsory at a certain type of party but still…..

“Suddenly my whole living room was full of cops,” he said. “They immediately started shouting, ‘ID card! Now!’ But we weren’t even wearing underpants. How the hell could we quickly pull out our ID cards? That only made the officers angry. They were very unfriendly and said mean things about gays.”

Mean things, eh?

Why the hell did the police stop this?

An MEP tried to escape through a window after police raided a 25-strong, mostly-male sex party in Brussels’ city centre for breaking Belgium’s coronavirus rules.

József Szájer, a Hungarian politician and founder member of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, reportedly injured himself jumping out of the first floor of a flat above a bar, where the lockdown orgy was being held.
….
Belgian media reported two EU diplomats at the sex party,
….
“We interrupted a gang bang,” a police source told local media

Leaving them to consensually fuck each other sounds more sensible than returning them to work where they’ll screw the population, doesn’t it?

Except for thee and me

Today there are no longer any mainstream services, groups or even dating apps that are exclusively for those who are same-sex attracted. Many LGBT organisations today campaign, in effect, against the right to be homosexual. This is because transgender politics calls for people to be recognised for who they claim to be internally, not for the sex of their bodies. The result is that, this year, ‘Chiyo Gomes’ – a female who has had a mastectomy – is a finalist in next year’s Mr Gay UK competition. Furthermore, despite the female biology and lack of penis, in Britain today it could be construed as a hate crime to refer to ‘Chiyo’ as a straight woman rather than a gay man.

As PJ O’Rourke pointed out sometimes the gender or even sex differences don;t matter, as when trading bonds. Sometimes they do, as when making babies.

Having sex is more of a leisure activity than a making babies one – even in a world without contraception that’s true – but biological reality still strikes as something fairly important in such activity, no?

Brothel owning ain’t this profitable

Given that we have an industry expert around here:

Three weeks ago, police entered a brothel in south-east England after receiving intelligence about criminal activity there. Inside, they found eight Romanian women wearing face shields and masks, and laminated Covid-19 health and safety sheets on the wall. An industrial-size bottle of hand sanitiser stood by the front door.

“On the surface, this did not look like a place where criminality and sexual exploitation was taking place,” says Cristina Huddleston, a trafficking victim support specialist who joined the raid that evening.

Instead, the police investigation found that the brothel and the women inside were under the control of a criminal gang, which was also running at least three other premises where Romanian women were being exploited. It is estimated that just one of these brothels would have brought over £1m in profits every year.

Err, no.

According to UK modern slavery statistics, the number of sex trafficking victims

Trafficking is, by definition, involuntary. And these are not sex slaves. They might not be on all that good a deal – hey, capitalism and all that, the farmer also makes 3 p a loaf – but they’re not slaves.

“The majority of UK sex work is done independently and consensually, but when it comes to criminality there is an agile, extraordinarily efficient business model that has made the UK a primary destination for traffickers and pimps bringing women in from eastern Europe, particularly Romania,” Huddleston told the Guardian.

A pimp is not a slave owner.

Earlier this year, a report on Romanian human trafficking gangs by Radu Nicolae, a Romanian academic at the Syene Centre for Education, used interviews with more than 20 convicted Romanian traffickers to unpick the financial model used to control and then profit from criminal sexual exploitation.

It estimates that in the UK, each woman controlled by a third party could earn between £500 and £700 a day for her trafficker through multiple client visits. Traffickers who had operated in the UK told researchers they earned at least £12,500 a victim every month, or £135,000 a year.

Revenue and profit are not, as some might understand, the same thing.

“Many times the women travel here independently on budget flights, knowing they are going to work in prostitution,

They’re conflating the international movement of labour with slavery.

Because, obviously, after Pentameter we find that there’s no actual sex slavery going on. So, if we’ve teams of antu sex slavery peeps they’ve got to find something to do, don’t they?

In one way this is entirely fine

Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain, head of communications, were told by the prime minister to quit amid fears that they would “poison the well” if they were allowed to remain in post until the end of the year, as planned.

Their departures represent the conclusion of a vicious power struggle at the heart of government in which the two trusted aides were pitted against the prime minister’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who led moves to oust them.

Change advisors, why not? They are, after all, advisors. Sure, I sign up for much of the Cummings agenda but still, they are advisors, not the elected.

But then there’s the other part. Why or how does Carrie have any power here? And that she’s bonking Boris might be the correct answer but it’s hardly right for this age of strong, independent and feminist women, is it?

An entirely useful lesson we might think

Even, a necessary lesson:

School girls have been propositioned by men in the UK’s first official red light district, an academy chief has warned as he says he has “grave concerns” about children’s safety.

Pupils as young as 13 have been asked whether they are “open for business” while walking to school, according to Sir John Townsley, chief executive of The GORSE Academies Trust which runs 11 schools in Leeds.

Young women are going to spend a decade or two of their lives being propositioned. True, much of it will be asking for uncompensated, unpaid, activity and sometimes they’ll even be interested themselves. Getting the lesson in early that men will ask seems a useful part of an education.

A euphemism I’ve not seen before

Three weeks after she returned home, Ian visited on her birthday weekend. “I was definitely very impressed by Linda. I drove 221 miles to see her,” he says.

Before he arrived Linda still thought of the relationship as a friendship, but it was soon clear that there was romantic chemistry. “I’d invited friends for dinner on the Saturday evening in case things weren’t working out well with Ian’s visit. All through dinner, we both just wished they weren’t there.”

They became a couple that weekend

Sure, shagging is part of that process but it’s hardly, in the modern age, quite the defining one, is it?

Testicle sized and polyamory

Just a little thing:

The competition to elect New Zealand’s bird of the year has intensified with a vote-rigging scandal and an adult toy store endorsing a small, polyamorous bird with unusually large genitals.

Fair enough. And the large testicle size does seem to be linked to the polyamory bit. Whether of the polygyny type – produce enough to get the job done – or the polyandry – there’s a competition going on there.

The relative size of testes is often influenced by mating systems.[42] Testicular size as a proportion of body weight varies widely. In the mammalian kingdom, there is a tendency for testicular size to correspond with multiple mates (e.g., harems, polygamy). Production of testicular output sperm and spermatic fluid is also larger in polygamous animals, possibly a spermatogenic competition for survival. The testes of the right whale are likely to be the largest of any animal, each weighing around 500 kg (1,100 lb).[43]

Among the Hominidae, gorillas have little female promiscuity and sperm competition and the testes are small compared to body weight (0.03%). Chimpanzees have high promiscuity and large testes compared to body weight (0.3%). Human testicular size falls between these extremes (0.08%).

Humans appear to be slightly polyamorous but not very much.