Bleats

Hey, Dudes, Sneakily Taking The Condom Off Is Assault And Just Stop Doing It

Australia, it's time to fall back in love with the humble franger.

It shouldn’t really need saying, but condoms are awesome.

Using them generally means that there’s some sex-doing going on, which is generally a fun sort of a thing, and when used correctly they’re great for preventing pregnancy and helping prevent the spread of STIs.

According to a new report out of Monash university of people that have sex with men, one in the three women and one in five dudes had their partner de-condom themselves during sex.

Gif makes a good point.

And given that 75 per cent of young Australians are having condomless sex as it is (mainly partnered, but a third of whom barebacking with casual partners), it’s amazing that we’re not seeing a massive spike in sexually transmitted diseases and oh wait we are dear god how are any of us even alive?

And removing the condom during sex should fall under the umbrella of sexual assault, but it’s legally still something of a grey area. And “grey area” is not a term that should be applied to anything sexual.

A starting point would be to make it a crime in itself, because saying yes to safe sex is not remotely the same as saying yes to absorbing someone’s mysterious personal fluids.

So let’s start again: condoms are great, practical, low-risk high-effectiveness ways to prevent pregnancy and disease.

But also, if you’re the sort of a dude that is prepared to put your partner at risk for literally a couple of minutes of action which you’re already getting (and which, if you’re any good at doing the sex, should be feeling pretty spectacular in any case), then you literally have no business being up in anyone else’s business.

And be advised that men who refuse contraception are correlated with other abusive behaviours, meaning that this is a giant red flag.

Again: dudes. Be better.

Moby And Natalie Portman's Non-Relationship Is Uncomfortable But Not Unfamiliar

Hot tip: if the person you used to date didn't think you were dating, you weren't dating them.

Moby has just released the second volume in his autobiographical series and has attracted much interest with the hitherto-unknown tales of his short-lived relationship with Natalie Portman, back when she was 20 and he was 33. They went to parties, they kissed under oak trees, but after a few weeks she distanced herself and the great love story was not to be.

And this tale of celebrity love came as a bit of a surprise to everyone, including Natalie Portman.

She wasn’t aware that she was in a relationship with Richard Hall. She does, however, remember a musician in his thirties creeping on her when she was just 18, though.

“I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”

Let’s face it, she’s no stranger to sex pests.

And Lordy, this isn’t uncommon with older men looking to up their stats regarding their sexual awesomeness. In fact, it isn’t even uncommon in the book – Lizzy Grant, aka Lana Del Rey, also refutes Moby’s claim that they dated.

Moby took this well. Sorry, I mean he decided to tell her that no, she was the one who was mistaken – about a great many things.

Oh, where to start?

Seeing Moby boasting – even in a self-deprecating way – about how dope he was about pulling gorgeous young women, especially young artists who would have been flattered by the attention of an established figure like himself – reeks of hideous insecurity mixed with a toxic entitlement.

But most of all, who the hell tells someone that they’re wrong about whether or not you were in a relationship?

Especially when everyone’s going to look at the debate and go “say, who has more cause to buillshit in this situation – the fading musician boasting about pulling young hotties, or the established actor who was barely an adult at the time?”

Apologise and move on, dude. Seems like you’ve already creeped her out plenty.

US Anti Sex Work Laws Are Now Putting Australians At Risk And Also Deleting Your Sexy Artwork

If you ever use the internet for sexy times, professionally or otherwise, US laws have made it harde… well, more difficult.

Let’s have a little talk about sex work in Australia.

Like most controversial things, it’s governed by different laws from state to state – from a regulated legal industry in NSW and Victoria to the criminal-but-regulated system in Queensland to the strange situation in SA where sex work is technically legal but “living off the earnings of prostitution” is not.

And things have just gotten a lot less safe for Australian workers, and it’s not even because of Australian laws. It’s because of the US.

And look, there’s a reason that sex work is snickeringly called The Oldest Profession. It’s existed forever and everywhere.

Thus any discussion of it should acknowledge that there’s no choice between a society with sex workers therein and one where sex work does not exist. The choice we have is between a society in which sex work is safe, and one in which it is not.

So, with that in mind: a pair of laws called FOSTA/SESTA passed in the US last year (they’re acronyms for laws called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) which purported to be all about fighting sex trafficking by limiting content online.

Like this.

The outcome, however, was to make any site which carried content considered to be in any way connected with the sex industry criminally liable as aiding sex trafficking, regardless of whether they put the content up themselves or even knew it was there.

Suddenly sites were legally responsible for all user-generated content – and that’s a terrifying precedent to set for the internet.

The effect was immediate. Craigslist killed its adult listings. Fetish communities on Tumblr suddenly found years of art and photos deleted. And it’s also why Facebook Business pages suddenly gave you a bunch of new conditions about what boob’n’bum content you could and could not put up.

Et tu, Facebook?

And it’s even gone offline, with reports that some US hotels (notably the Marriot chain) started preventing unaccompanied women from drinking in their bars lest they be… sex traffickers, or something? That’s just nuts.

But thanks to the international-yet-US-centric nature of the interwebs, the issue has spread to Australia too. Local workers – even in states where sex work is entirely legal – have reportedly found their Gmail accounts shut down and their professional webpages deleted, if using a US hosting service.

And the internet is where workers meet and vet their clients, as well as sharing information with one another about clients which might be dangerous. There used to be a website specifically dedicated to this – Backpage – which was one of the first sites to shut down.

While we can’t really do anything about US law, it’s worth noting that legislation to decriminalise sex work in Queensland is currently before the parliament, and SA has been sitting on decriminalisation legislation for a year now with little sign of progress.

And again, you don’t have to support sex work per se to think that the people working in it should be able to do so safely, any more than you need to think coal mining or telemarketing is a terrific idea to want workers in those industries to be protected from injury and death in the course of their day to day work.

As Gala Vanting of peak industry body Scarlet Alliance’s told 10 Daily, “Attempting to make an entire industry invisible is a terrible way to prevent exploitation within it, and an excellent way to increase it.”

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