The OC Art Project features nude and semi-nude photographs of hot guys, members of the Orthodox Church that support social tolerance! The primary goal is to demonstrate that Orthodox believers do not all fit the backward, hidebound stereotype portrayed in the press but rather are regular people with passions, preferences, interests and desires.
He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake – it’s officially full blown Christmas season, boys and girls and everyone else in between. Whether you enjoy the Christmas spirit or just the spirits, whether you’ve been naughty or nice, check out this list of special holiday kinks to try out in the bedroom!
If you’re into big ‘ol bears, X-mas brings you the biggest and oldest of them all: Santa Claus. On the other hand, Santa doesn’t have to be large or old to roast your chestnuts—I mean gay porn has tons of hot 20-somethings prancing around in oversized (and usually unbuttoned and ill-fitted) Santa robes and beards. So grab some Santa garb off of Amazon and get to it!
Being Santa’s little helper can be a festive rendition of dominance and submission. If you’re new to the BDSM spectrum, I would suggest keeping it light at first (and make sure you have a safe word). Experienced kinksters can amp it up with holiday ribbon bondage and toy testing.
GINGER PENIS COOKIES
If you have a ginger as your partner this one is a piece of cake. Baking as foreplay, who’d have thought? Penis cookies are a classic, and while you’re at it throw in some jingle balls. Are you extra raunchy? Well, I’m sure you can think of something hot to use as icing too…
CHRISTMAS SEX WISH-LIST
This is an easy one for anyone. Think of a few new things you want to try (or haven’t gotten enough of lately) and start checking off the list throughout the month. It’s like your own sexual advent calendar, but instead chocolates you get pleasures of the flesh—how sinful of you! It’s also an easy one for singletons to enjoy while looking for some memorable holiday hook-ups.
Are you into pup play? If you are, then why not be one of Santa’s favorite reindeers for the night and get sleighed. (I know, so many Christmas puns, but you did click on an article about Santa sex, so…) Pup play is really about releasing the Id—our inner hedonistic animal—but it’s also a sub-dom situation where the dom master has all the control and the sub pup relinquishes all of his own. In any case, reindeer play translates well with pup play and all of its erotic accessories.
“Poppers” is a slang term for amyl nitrites, historically inhaled recreationally by the gay community during sex. The high is intense, but momentary, something you don’t have to commit to for any longer than ten, crazy seconds.
According to drugs.com, inhaling nitrites relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body (including the sphincter muscles, making it particularly helpful to gay bottoms.) “Poppers cause the vessels to dilate, resulting in an immediate increase in heart rate and blood flow throughout the body, producing a sensation of heat and excitement that usually lasts for a couple of minutes.”
As explained by Dr. Lucy Robinson, Sussex University history lecturer: “If you trace the bottle of poppers through late 20th-century history, you trace the legacies of gay culture on popular culture in the 20th century. We wouldn’t have had rave, disco or club culture as we know it today without the gay community.”
Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton, a Scottish physician, originally pioneered amyl nitrite use to treat angina pectoris, a heart condition marked by chest pains and shortness of breath. It dilated blood vessels, causing the heart to get more oxygen and thereby relieving the pain. One of the side effects, however, was a dizzying burst of euphoria.
The drug was originally packaged in small, mesh-covered glass vials, which could be crushed with the thumb and fingers and the vapors inhaled. The vials became known as “poppers” because of the sound they made when crushed. To evade anti-drug laws, poppers are often labelled as room deodorizers, leather polish or tape head cleaner.
While severe addiction to poppers is relatively rare, explains treatment4addiction.com, it’s often abused by addicts in combination with other mind altering chemicals. “Severe consequences could arise, including asphyxia, neurologic dysfunction and carbon monoxide poisoning.” As Paul Nelson, a clinical sexologist at The Men’s Sexual Health Project in New York, warns, “If someone is using vasodilators for erections (i.e., Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) they shouldn’t use poppers because ED drugs substantially lower the blood pressure. Since poppers are another intense vasodilator, the combination can be lethal.” To wit: In 2010, Atlanta gay activist Greg Barrett died after inhaling poppers while on Levitra.
In 1988, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission banned the sale of butyl nitrite, but manufacturers managed to stay a step ahead of the feds: each time a specific formula was banned, they would adjust by altering the chemical composition slightly. As of 2002, the newest popper was cyclohexyl nitrite, commonly sold in head shops as a cleaner for VCRs.
While a recent survey found the use of poppers to be 25 times more common among gay men than straight ones, increasingly, young, straight people are hopping on the amyl train. As Isabelle Kohn explained in the Rooster last year, “Since everyone has a butt that may or may not benefit from poppers’ relaxing effects, and young people are having more anal than any recorded generation in U.S. history, they’ve recently started trending amongst young, straight people who are just now catching on to the vogue the gay community championed back before the dawn of time.” That’s because, in addition to making people’s butts feel more accommodating, poppers also relax the muscles of the vagina and throat, too, making them fit for use across all sexuality spectrums, in spite of their traditional history as a gay man’s game.
I don’t really hear the term “high maintenance” bandied about as roll of caution tape on women anymore. I’m not sure when it lost traction, but in the last decade, I’ve heard far more references to women who are “crazy” or just “drama.” Maybe it’s a dated term, as its major pop culture moment comes from (and likely remains for eternity) that scene in When Harry Met Sally.
In it, Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) are both watching Casablanca together on the phone when Ingrid Bergman appears onscreen.
“Ooh, Ingrid Bergman,” Harry says. “Now she’s low maintenance.”
“Low maintenance?” Sally asks, as if she’s never heard this categorization.
He tells her there are only two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance. “Which one am I?” she asks naively.
“You’re the worst kind,” he says. “You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.”
When pressed to explain, he gives her these examples:
Harry: You don’t see that? Waiter, I’ll begin with a house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. “On the side” is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know — high maintenance.
I just want it the way I want it is the most succinct definition of a high-maintenance woman. The what and the how might change (and boy do they!), but it’s all laddering up to the same impossible standard. She’s picky about food, engagement rings, attention, has no chill, is not laid-back. She is not a fun hang, because things have to be a certain way or else. And what’s more, it’s never enough. No matter how much you cater, tend and comply, it’s never ever enough for the impossible-to-make-happy woman.
We all come with certain factory settings. Too much work is totally subjective, and one man’s high-maintenance nightmare is another man’s dream girl. (For what it’s worth, some men totally dig high-maintenance women. They see them more as women who know their value.) But we can draw a few reasonable based on being alive in the world: Generally, women are the ones who are expected to put in a lot of work, or emotional labor, into relationships to keep them going. Generally, men aren’t.
It’s not entirely your fault, guys. Gender programming tells us that it’s a woman’s job to do the work of communicating and nurturing the relationship. And this is a message women receive practically in utero: Be sensitive, kind, accommodating and caring. Put others first. Don’t be selfish by demanding things your way. The only women who don’t get this message are spoiled — that is, high maintenance. Likewise, men are generally not raised to cater to and consider others at the expense of themselves. Be polite? Sure. But make a romantic relationship your main priority? Not so much. Any woman who demands you do? Kind of a nag. Thus the recurring joke: What are the four worst words you can say to a guy? “We need to talk.”
But what all these descriptions ignore is that men do all this, too.
A study a few years back found that roughly 20 percent of women said their man was high maintenance. Those behaviors included: throwing a fit when they didn’t get what they wanted, needing to be told they were loved several times a day, often running late, and spending a lot of time in the bathroom getting ready. They can be exceptionally insecure and needy, consumed with their appearance, jealous, controlling and temperamental.
In recent years, a number of articles have also begun to warn against the high-maintenance man who needs a lot of pampering and attention. Chalk it up to relaxed gender roles, but if a man can be a Groomzilla, you can best believe he can be a handful in every other way.
In other words, yes, high-maintenance people exist, and they are everywhere. Researchers have even come up with a kind of test for people who have a very pronounced Need for Drama (that’s actually the official psychological term). And there’s nothing wrong with calling it out, avoiding it, or loving it until death do you part.
All we ask is don’t make the mistake of applying it to just one gender. If we’ve learned anything by now, it’s that women don’t have the monopoly on being “A LOT.”
This year has been called the “year of the woman,” but that doesn’t historically signify much real change: The first “year of the woman” was in 1992, so called because it heralded the election of an unprecedented number of new female senators. There were — count ’em — four. Even today, the United States – as well as many other nations – has never had a government where women hold parity.
We tend to hear about female power most often in terms of what it won’t do. Electing women won’t end all sexism everywhere, or get money out of politics, or even guarantee that every individual female politician is someone you agree with or like. We are only able to speak about female power this way — in terms of what it might do or could do or wouldn’t do — because we’ve never actually seen it. Female power is something to speak of in the future conditional tense; it is science fiction. It’s significant, then, that we so often choose to imagine female power as disappointing or dystopian — as if a “representative” democratic government where 51 percent of the population is not meaningfully represented weren’t dystopian in its own right.
Bills outlawing abortion have become increasingly cruel; birth control access is increasingly endangered; the death penalty for abortion doctors and patients is very much on the table. We need representatives who will fight for reproductive justice as if their own lives are on the line, which is more likely when they actually need (or have needed) these services. Women cannot gain legislative power by persuading men to treat us better.
Electing women isn’t just a symbolic gesture, it’s also the right policy decision. The reason to elect women is that we are more than half of the country and should be more than half of the legislature as well. It’s 2018. Maybe that reason is finally good enough.
OC Art Project invites you to check out our online store, at www.orthodox-calendar.com. Any purchase made from our store will grant you the opportunity to contribute to the fight for gender equality in Romania and beyond. You have the chance to do good, without much effort. For more information, please see our online campaign, at www.orasul-meu.com/svaw. Thank you for your continued support!
Men are generally far more complicated than anyone gives them credit for. We can never get enough reminders that men are human, too. Psychology professor Robert Schweitzer was trying to find out why men get postcoital dysphoria, or PCD – basically, feeling sad, after intercourse.
Schweitzer’s research is enlightening: Some 41% of men have experienced PCD in their lifetime. About 20% had experienced it in the last four weeks. Around 4% said they experienced it “most or all of the time.”
The reasons are typically one or more of the following: psychological distress, past trauma or dysfunction. Schweitzer notes that the results show that the male experience in the resolution phase of intercourse are not always positive, and “may be far more varied, complex and nuanced than previously thought.”
This supports the notion that all men are not, in fact, prowling horn-dogs who will do anything to get laid and who put little other thought into the act than simply scoring another notch. While this research is only the beginning, Schweitzer says it’s a start to understanding what will help men have better experiences, and how we might manage PCD when it comes up.
Against a backdrop of increasing hostility and often violent resistance towards homosexuality from nationalist and religious groups, Polish artist Karol Radziszewki has spent more than ten years researching and producing a growing archive of queer histories from eastern Europe, a project which has become the centre of his artistic practice.
He funded DIK Fagazine in 2005, the first arts publication in Poland dedicated to the exploration of contemporary homosexuality and masculinity.
DIK Fagazine sought to locate homosexuality within the context of post-communist eastern Europe. DIK Fagazine offers a first-hand perspective on homosexuality and queer issues from those who have lived under communism.
Soon, the magazine evolved to become more archival and research-based; Karol began to travel across the region, meeting people and recording untold stories.
As Karol says, “it is typical in eastern European countries — in Poland, Ukraine, Romania, for example — for politicians and people to think that the gay thing is something that comes from the West. So if you join the European Union, you bring sodomy to the country.”
DIK Fagazine became a tool to represent the often invisible queer histories of the region, to “search for our local queer ancestors and prove that it’s not something fashionable, it’s not something new.”
Karol has travelled from Poland to Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, Croatia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic and Hungary, recording oral histories with the people he meets to collect case studies of their lives. The interviews often move from anecdotes of homophobia or love stories to cruising spots, gay clubs and the early histories of gay magazines and organisations as told by those involved. Some issues are monographic, focusing entirely on one country.
Unsurprisingly, the material he has gathered often goes far beyond what he can use; thus, in 2015, he founded the Queer Archives Institute. Karol has considered gathering all the material onto a vast online platform.
A couple of recent exhibitions of the Queer Archives Institute, including most recently at Centrala in Birmingham, have given him the opportunity to experiment with how to display his research. Arranged as a collage, he juxtaposes a selection of contemporary documents with older archival material, texts and his own works.
Karol is one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting artis and we’re definitely gonna keep a close eye on him!
In a surprise victory for human rights in Romania, a referendum which sought to preemptively ban gay marriage has failed spectacularly. Romanians surprised the world, managing to organize themselves exemplary in a generalized, nationwide boycott.
For the referendum to have been considered valid, 30% of voters — or 5.5 million people — were required to participate. Instead, the turnout was only 20.4%, significantly less than the required baseline.
The referendum was a desperate attempt by the ruling Social Democratic Party, mired in a series of corruption scandals, to distract Romanians’ attention from rampant government corruption.
The government did everything in its power to make sure its referendum would pass. It spent more than 40 million euros of taxpayers’ money on preparations, extended the voting period from one to two days in order to increase the participation rate, and even lowered the required participation threshold from 50% to 30%, just to be sure. Days before the vote, it relaxed anti-fraud monitoring and limited options for challenging the result.
The two-day plebiscite was triggered by religious and conservative groups that gathered 2,6 million to change the current gender neutral definition of the family in the Romanian Constitution, to exclude LGBT people. The Romanian Civil Code already bans same-sex marriage and the 40 million euros referendum would not have affected this law.
These groups had support from the US-based Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defending Freedom, designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was also backed by the powerful Orthodox Church, which has long lasting ties to Russia, and all but one parliamentary parties.
Civil society groups have encouraged people to boycott the ballot, with several companies and popular musicians and artists following. A library chain even offered a book discount over the weekend for those who wanted to stay in and read rather than vote.
Despite the government keeping polling stations open for two days and the country’s powerful Orthodox Church making efforts to mobilize supporters, Romanians didn’t show up to vote.
In the end, only 3.7 million people showed up to the ballot boxes – barely more than the signatures gathered – and not all voters voted in favor of the change, which raises further questions on the validity of the signatures.
The referendum is over. It’s unclear at this stage what the Coalition will do next. But they are supported by powerful international forces, and won’t give up their fight for influence.
Romanians have been protesting for change in extremely large numbers for years now. What they managed to stage this weekend is an incredible feat, an example of successful, peaceful civil disobedience.
Having had a long experience with propaganda and disinformation under the Soviet regime, Romanians to all bigots were able to see through the PSD smokescreen and delivered the government a collective “fuck you”.
More importantly, they rejected interference in their democratic process from international ultra-conservative groups, proudly proclaiming and upholding their democratic values – something even established democracies, like the US and the UK, have so far failed to do.
Dan Barna, leader of opposition party, said Romanians showed they are more European than their leaders.