Throwing a little fleshlight on the matter: more maps and data

We’ve been a bit swamped here at Bookkake towers lately, and although we have some fun, homegrown stuff to share with you shortly, we just wanted to flag up a couple of additions to our Cartography of Human Sexuality thread, which you may remember from our previous post on Sotadic Zones and other possibilities.

LoveHoney, one of the largest UK retailers of adult toys and films, have just released their own Sex Map (above), mapping purchases from their store to different towns and cities across the country. So, we know that Upminster, a suburb of London at the end of the Piccadilly line, is the “sexiest” place in Britain (opinions on what defines sexiness may differ). Well, we know sex is suburban, but according to LoveHoney, the good people of Upminster spend 9.5 times the national average on their sex lives overall, including 17 times the national average on Adult DVDs and 14 times the national average on “Sex Toys for Couples” (we won’t argue with that definition, although many of the bestselling products would appear to be designed more with the single suburbanite in mind).

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Posted October 27, 2009 | Comments Off on Throwing a little fleshlight on the matter: more maps and data.

Trip Report: Lairs of Cthulhu: Archaeology, Myths and Mysteries in the fiction of HP Lovecraft

Last night, I was privileged to be in the audience for a lecture by James Holloway, a PhD student in a graduate of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, at Treadwell’s esoteric bookshop. Holloway talked about the intersections of archaeology and the HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, two subjects he is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about. It was a fascinating and highly enjoyable evening, and what follows are the rough notes I made of the evening. This is my paraphrasing of what he said, and all errors are mine (and – update – James has added his own disclaimer in the comments).

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Quantum Obscenity, and the networking of desire

A good, if a little vague, article by Maureen Freely in Saturday’s Guardian brings together two recent news stories in an examination of our changing attitudes to children, art and sexual offences: the arrest of Roman Polanski for a 1977 assault on a minor (on which Steve Lopez writes convincingly, and approvingly, in the LA Times) and the removal of an artwork by Richard Prince from the Tate’s new Pop Life exhibition.

The artwork in question is a reproduction of a 1975 fashion photo of a nude, oiled and heavily made-up 10-year-old Brooke Shields – the same child who appeared naked on celluloid at 12 in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby (available on Amazon), and at 15 in a TV jeans ad with the strapline: “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” (Christopher Turner has a good history of the piece in the same newspaper.)

There’s no question as to the artistic merit of the piece: Prince’s appropriation is a direct questioning of sensuality versus sexuality, of the morality of art and the placing of responsibility for interpretation (Its title, “Spiritual America”, refers to an Alfred Stieglitz photograph of a gelded horse, referencing the breakdown of discussion of sexuality in society). Does the offence, the implicit lust, reside with the artwork, or the viewer? The Metropolitan Police are clear on the issue, or at least, on their opinion of the issue.

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Posted October 5, 2009 | Comments Off on Quantum Obscenity, and the networking of desire.

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