April 2013

Bill Gates poses better condoms challenge

No glove, no love! If only that were an easier rule to live by.

Such a utopia might not be far off, depending on who rises to the challenge issued by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for designers to create a better condom.

The purpose is to find the next generation condom – one that’s not only more effective, but more likely to be used, according to their goal: “What if we could develop a condom that would provide all the benefit of our current versions, without the drawbacks? Even better, what if we could develop one that was preferred to no condom?”

Matters of size

A study led by Brian Mautz, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Ottawa, suggests that, in at least one facet, size does matter. Researchers showed 53 computer-generated images of male bodies varying in penis length, hip to shoulder ratio, and height to 105 women, asking them to rate each. Those figures with larger penises were found to score considerably higher, with size influencing attractiveness about as much as height.

Don't go preordering the Dildomaker

Sad, sad news for anyone who was excited about the image of the Dildomaker circulating online. The conceptual device that essentially works as a pencil sharpener to turn almost any object into a dildo, is not going to be produced anytime soon. At least not by its designer, Francesco Morackini, who stressed that he uses industrial design to create “useless” art objects.

BC sex workers want a say in Supreme Court battle against prostitution laws

Sex workers in BC are asking to be heard in the Supreme Court case to decide whether prostitution laws are unconstitutional. Kat Kinch, a lawyer representing the sex workers and advocacy groups wishing to intervene, says that the current case does not focus enough on those women who are forced to enter the sex trade for survival, and thinks their evidence will strengthen the case.

Kinch expects to hear if they will be granted intervener status in May.

New Brunswick seeking partners of HIV positive man using Manhunt

New Brunswick officials are attempting to track down the approximately two dozen previous sex partners of a man who recently tested positive for HIV. Chief medical officer Dr. Eilish Cleary told a news conference that the man was having unprotected sex with contacts met through the anonymous dating site manhunt.net, and advised those using the site to use precautions to lower the risks. She also said that the Health Department has no reason to believe he was deliberately putting anyone at risk.

Children of the Street Society releases anti-sexting ad

BC-based charity, Children of the Street Society has a new ad (paying a creepy homage to Amanda Todd’s video) aimed at teens to discourage them from sexting. The video depicts a young woman holding signs that tell a story of sending a nude photo to someone she trusted, only to have it shared.

Tokyo's first women-only sex bar

Instead of liquor bottles, display cases full of vibrators line the wall behind the counter at a new bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya district dedicated to female masturbation. Love Joule is a safe space for women to talk about mastubation, away from cultural shame and taboos, with a no-boys-allowed policy that prohibits men from entering unless they are with a woman.


Alberta vocal coach uses vibrators to help singing students

A drama professor at the University of Alberta is receiving attention for his unusual vocal coaching technique: sex toys!

Davis Ley uses handheld vibrators against the throats of his students to help them reach higher octaves, instead of massaging the larynx with his fingers – the method used by speech pathologists to relieve tension. Ley has employed this technique on 150 people with no reported side effects, aside from an increase in phlegm (mmm, sexy).