Swedish Sex Toys

OK, so this is good for a giggle.

Sweden is famous for breaking sexual taboos, so barely an eyebrow was raised when state-run pharmacies began to sell over-the-counter sex toys this summer, alongside the more conventional headache pills and hot water bottles.

Now the shops are being hauled before the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman, the government referee on sexual discrimination, after two men complained that the erotic toys – the bestselling are vibrators and vagina love eggs — are all for females and these toys discriminate against males.

The pharmacy chain, Apoteket, had a “misguided and untrue view of sexuality whereby a woman with a dildo is seen as liberated, strong and independent, while a man with a blow-up plastic vagina is viewed as disgusting and perverted”, said one of the petitioners.

However the discrimination laws do lead to some entirely ludicrous results:

Dating services also have to charge the same for males and females.

There are always vastly more men than women on such sites. It\’s thus entirely rational to charge men more and women less.

Bravo! Bravo!

Kids these days… They need to understand that hardcore internet gangbang porno videos are merely for light entertainment, and are not step-by-step instruction manuals for the making of sweet love to young ladies.

This had to be researched?

"Beer goggles" really do work, according to researchers who claim to have proved for the first time that people look more attractive after a drink.

I\’m sure that this says something about the researchers more than the real world. Anyone who had a mildly adventurous youth (whether interms of booze or sex) would confirm this, surely? Only those who didn\’t would even want to test it.

Or perhaps I\’m being unfair about science students. Perhaps it\’s actually evidence of a real thirst for science itself…..yes, everyone knows it but finding out why is important?

John Edwards and Rielle Hunter

Yup, it was all true.

Well, maybe and maybe not. Now the two things are, is he the father of the child? Further, do we actually believe this about the payoffs?

He insisted he had "not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby".

A televised confession by Mr Edwards taped by ABC News, which had been investigating the affair, was due to be broadcast late on Friday night.

Fred Baron, the chief fundraiser for Mr Edwards, indicated that money had been given to Ms Hunter and Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide, who is married with children, who has said he is the father.

"I decided independently to help two friends and former colleagues rebuild their lives when harassment by supermarket tabloids made it impossible for them to conduct a normal life," said Mr Baron, a Dallas trial lawyer.

Up to you really.

One thing that is really going to grate amongst the more po-faced American journos is that once again it was the National Enquirer the broke the story while they all looked the other way as if someone had just farted at the dinner table.

Sex Advice

I do wonder sometimes. Here\’s a piece on sex and childbirth.

OK, the set up is that the woman has gone off sex a bit after having the child. Nothing unusual there at all. The bloke\’s a bit miffed by this, nothing unusual there at all either.

The advice? Get him to care for the baby a bit.


Look, \’e\’s not miffed because there\’s now three of them, he\’s miffed because he\’s not getting any. Why not tell her to lie back and think of England occasionally to keep him happy?

After all, we all do things in a relationship that we\’re not all that keen on, just to keep the relationship going, don\’t we? I\’ve been clothes shopping for example…..


1. Men do not like tits because they buy Zoo. Men buy Zoo because they like tits.

We can demonstrate this by means of a simple thought experiment. Zoo was launched in 2004. Hands up if you ever thought about tits before then. Yes, one hand will do.


Oooh, Dear

Not sure about this you know:

In a keynote speech Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, condemns the so-called "lads magazines" for encouraging men to view women as mere sex objects.

"Our strategies for dealing with teenage pregnancy need to be focused more on young men and their responsibilities," he will say.

"That\’s why I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men\’s magazines targeted at younger males.

"Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available."

We know that newspapers chase the prejudices of their readers rather than create them. It would seem therefore to be logically at least likely that magazines do the same. So it\’s not that these offerings cause lads to think of women in such terms, rather that they do and are willing to pay to have such prejudices pandered to.

All of which rather means that once again a politician has got confused between causes and effects.


Gee, Ya Think?

Last year, 49,484 women their second termination, while 11,136 had their third and 2,605 their fourth.

Some 52 women had their seventh abortion, and 29 their eighth.

Campaigners say this shows that some women are using abortion as a method of contraception ( altough technically of course it is post-contraception).

Ya think?

Erm, Zoe?

Some might suggest young people are taught abstinence but even investing $1bn in "abstinence-only" sex education across the US has not prevented young people delaying having sex….

That\’s actually the point of the $1 billion, isn\’t it?


Sex Trafficking Figures

I\’m not wholly convinced by these figures:

The Home Office estimates that there are between 6,000 and 18,000 trafficked women and girls being forced to work as prostitutes in the UK.

The number of "traffficked" women I have no problem believing. The number working as prostitutes I hae similarly no problem believing. It\’s the forced part that I\’m not sure about.

As Gary Becker pointed out decades ago those who work as prostitutes face a huge cost in terms of their own social capital losses when they do so. It\’s therefore entirely unsurprising that some (many?) do the work outside their home community. Given the greater mobility of the population in general these days as opposed to even a few decades ago it would gain not be surprising that people moved country rather than just city to do so now.

So the question is what is the confabulation of these two things? Those forced into prostitution and those who have voluntarily moved? Those voluntarily moving might well have been "trafficked" in the sense of a network existing that aids them in finding an appropriate brothel or massage parlour.

As I say, I don\’t really trust those figures for they seem to be adding two rather different things together to get a nice high total.

Deeply Unsurpising

Stubble is the way to win a woman’s heart, a study has shown. Researchers found that women are more attracted to men with stubbly chins than those with clean-shaven faces or full beards.

Women participating in the research rated men with stubble as tough, mature, aggressive, dominant and masculine – and as the best romantic partners, either for a fling or a long-term relationships.

Men like women who show off their tits: women like men who show off their own secondary sexual characteristic.

Bit of a shocker really, ain\’t it?

Child Abuse

Libby Brooks has a decent piece on a method of stopping child sex offenders from, well, reoffending. There\’s an earlier Guardian piece about it here and something I wrote on it here.

Started by the Mennonite Church in Canada and taken up by the Quakers here, at its simplest volunteers become the social support group for those offenders released from prison. My impression is that it works almost by social shame, or the desire not to let down those in that new social circle.

However is does work in detail, on the larger scale it works incredibly well. Reoffending rates are usually something like 70%. Of the 49 who have joined those Quaker run programmes in this country, not one has reoffended.

It works, which is really something rather wonderful.

But I have to admit to a certain sadness at this news:

Now, with further Government funding, Circles is expanding across the UK, with the Quakers taking a back seat. This is no longer a faith-based initiative, with volunteers presenting from all strands of society.

Yes, I\’m afraid that I\’m a terrible cynic. I just worry that something which moves from being embedded in a local community (and works precisely because of that) will turn completely to shit when run nationally by the State.

Turning to other matters:

According to the most recent study, between 16% and 20% of all children in this country experience some form of sexual assault before they reach the age of 16.

No, sorry, I don\’t believe that at all. Not unless we\’re using so wide a definition of "sexual assault" as to be meaningless.

Paul Newman

Is often asked:

How have you stayed married so long?


The eyes soon settled on Jacqueline Witte, a tall blonde actress who, in 1949, became his first wife, and the mother of his first three children.

And then.

He broke through with a starring part in the 1953 Broadway production of William Inge\’s Picnic, and it was during the run that he met Joanne Woodward, a blonde, delicate-featured actress from Georgia, who was in the cast as an understudy and became his second wife.

It would appear that the secret to a long marriage is thus to have two, the first as a trial so that you can actually work out what it is that you really want in a mate.

I\’m sure that\’s a comfort to first wives everywhere.