Wednesday, April 20, 2005

SexGeeks: SexGeeks Goes Indigenous

In this installation (~29MB, ~1hr), semi-pro anthropologist Jeremy Stone joins Lindsay and Rob to talk about sex and sexuality in other cultures. From cross-dressers that were required by Native Americans to build a particular lodge, to the sexual training of boys in another culture, to the concept of the "uncleanness" of women, join us for a peek at sex around the world.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sexgeeks: Transgenderism, sex-related podcasts, and listener mail

I'm posting the newest SexGeeks installment (~37MB, ~1h 20m) without all of the supporting links et al because it's been a while since the last show and I'm not yet sure when I'll have gone through and found all of the links we mentioned and didn't want to delay the show any longer.

So, I'll update this post with notes as I complete them, meanwhile I hope you enjoy the show!

(PS, we're about to get on a regular schedule for making these shows so you'll better know when to expect them.)

Notes as they get updated:
Rob mentions the radio show Gender Talk which focuses on transgender-related issues. Gender Talk has recently become available in podcast form (the podcast feed is in the upper right corner of the home page).

We discussed a recent installment of Tech Nation (available in podcast form from the wonderful IT Conversations site, were Deborah Rudacille talks about the complexity of gender.

Lindsay mentioned Koan Bremner's CrossOver podcast, where Koan has occasional audio snippets about her experience being transgendered.

We opened a new delicious accout where anyone who listens can add links for everyone else to see. The user name is: imasexgeek. You'll have to listen to the show to get the password ;)

We had a wandering discussion of other sex-related (from gender to kink) podcasts. Here are the ones we had actually listened to:

  • Graydancer's Rope Weekly (watch for our next podcast which will have an interview with Graydancer in it)

  • Cunning Minx's Poly Weekly - Polyamory-oriented content

Rob get's diverted briefly and mentions a bit of news that's been circling the Internet about how abstinence programs appear to generate the same occurance of STDs in the programs' participants as non-abstinence programs. One article mentioning this can be found here.
More podcasts:

While we were talking about podcasts we were browsing the sex and gender catagories of

Here's the blog post from listener Hampton that we were talking about so you don't have to go find it (we're convenience oriented around here):

I'm a young gay male in a semi-open relationship with the intent to marry (at first opportunity).

Anyhow, I was a bit taken back by the comments about swingers. I don't label our relationship as "swinging"... more "open". I often argue with myself about labeling, because I use the term "semi-open"...

To explain, we have yet to have sex apart from each other, but haven't barred it. We do have a threeway about once a season. We barely ever party or go out drinking. But we're mostly homebodies and completely in love. I'm often at a loss to really define us. Some in an open relationship fuck around daily. Some do it yearly. Some do it together, apart, etc.

I just didn't like the way that couples that play were portrayed. I don't really feel that you guys have personal feelings on it, but it was just not talked about a lot.

Personally, poly-amoury is something I'm not sure about. I like to be the only one in love with my fiancee. I'd be far more jealous of a date than a fuck.

That being said, I often wonder about the positive affect that romantic affairs (secret) have on straight marriages.

I don't know. I'm completely rambling. I spend an awful lot of time considering the philosophy and the social influences on how we see sex and love. I want to find the truth behind it, because I have a feeling a lot of social ideas force into our ideas of love and relationships.

I think this should be an entire show. I wish I lived in Portland.... wherever.... I'd so be on the show to talk about this. I swear I'm more logical when I'm speaking.

What about me recording an essay on my experiences with this, etc?

Here's the email we got from an engineer listener about Lindsay's call for a good cunnilingus toy:

Back on the February 13th 'cast, Lindsay asked specifically for a
gadget that simulates cunnilingus. It came up again March 22nd in the
discussion of machines, but I didn't hear that you had found anything.

The only thing remotely like an oral stimulator I've ever seen are the
"tongues" like these: (Lily) (mini-tongue)
which are essentially indistinguishable from vibrators. I don't have
the impression that either of these devices is remotely like the
experience of a partner, even to the extent that some of the machines
are remotely like a partner using a penis.

I started thinking about this problem from an engineering standpoint
(hey, that's what I do for a living, though I mostly build software
systems that run hardware) and I was struck by how constrained
existing machines are.

The machines at the website you mentioned are, mechanically, 1-D
devices, though the chairs move somewhat in 2-D. Using a good partner
is at least 2D with significant force-feedback, though an inept or
passive partner, particularly woman-on-top positions, can be
effectively 1-D with off-axis pressure controlled by the receiver.

My experience with cunnilingus (necessarily as the stimulator rather
than the receiver) is that it requires 3-D motion, is adaptive both
with regard to force and "cycle" speed, and relies on cues that
involve the recipient giving aural and manual feedback. I know I also
switch from a generally linear to more circular motion at various

As a purely mechanical problem, this seems intractable. The desired
force and motion on the target, and even the location of the target,
varies over time and may not be detectable at the target site.
(Effective aural cues are nearly impossible; manual control probably
works for force, but not for motion control.) Particularly as the
onset of orgasm approaches, both force and the 3-D motion need to
change but quickly stabilize. (In some cases suction is also applied,
though reflecting on it, this is not always true.)

This seems the kind of problem that is complex, but at least
tractable, for a 4 or 6 degree of freedom robotic system with a
combination of force-feedback, perhaps a remote sensor system, and a
simple-to-operate (because you're distracted) user interface.

Of course, with a computer interface the control system can be
arbitrarily complex, and the techniques for controlling a motion base
are very well understood. (This makes me look at the Disney "Star
Tours" ride in a while new way, but it's the same problem.) Since I'm
a nerd, I'm of course thinking in terms of general purpose hardware on
which I can layer different software control laws and feedback
systems. A really good predictive orgasm sensor would be helpful.

But since I'm an engineer, I'm also interested in existing best
practices and reusable components. So, did you get any pointers from
other listeners?

Here's the artile discussing scent and attraction in greater depth and that mentions a possible relation between birth control pills and attraction.

While we were talking about female circumcision, Lindsay mentioned the extensive Wikipedia entry on the subject.

Mark Savage's silicone-enhanced member was mentioned again.

We again sing the praises of

Finally, Rob mentions the fascinating and wonderful McGraw-Hill Human Sexuality Image Bank.