March 17, 2010
Happy Saint Patrick's Day
In continuing my month-long celebration of my birthday, I'm watching really bad movies today, such as "Leprechaun 3". This piece of dreck included a really bad Limerick:
There was an old man of Medrass
Whose balls were made out of fine brass.
So in stormy weather
They both clanged together
And sparks flew out of his ass!
I really want to see "Leprechaun In The Hood" but it's not showing on SyFy today. That movie is such a train wreck. I bet Ice-T, who stars in it, can't make it disappear no matter how many episodes of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" he is in.
Here's another gem from "Leprechaun 3". I can't believe I'm watching this. I must be really bored...
Loretta: Who the hell are you?
Leprechaun: I'm a leprechaun me lass, and I'm gonna make you pay.
Loretta: What do you want?
Leprechaun: Your boobs are big. Your butt is small. But still you're in for quite a fall.
Loretta: What are you talking about?
Leprechaun: Oh, well didn't you hear? Bigger is good, but jumbo is dear. I'll give ya boobs that'll come out to here.
So, today it's bad leprechaun horror movies and drinking iced coffee. I'm finished my work for the day, including two reviews, so I can relax now. Maybe if this movie really fries my brain I'll work on my novel. Or not.
Sex Toy Review: Berman Aphrodite Rechargeable Vibrator
I'm very impressed with the Aphrodite vibrator because it has the level of intensity in vibrations that I like, it's rechargeable, and it even warms after a few minutes. This isn't the first Berman toy I've reviewed. Click here for my review of the Berman Selene Vibrating Clit Pump, another fine product.
I like the warming quality of the Aphrodite vibrator. It feels great on my lower back when I'm a bit sore. It also works wonders on my hips when they're on fire after working out. The head of the Aphrodite vibrator turns red on the side that warms. It warms only on the slow vibration speed but that is perfectly fine. I like it that way.
The faster vibration speed doesn't have a warming element but the vibrations are intense and very pleasant. I use the slow speed for muscle relaxation and the faster speed for erotic massage.
The three sleeves give the Aphrodite vibrator even more versatility. I like to use the rounded tip sleeve on my erogenous zones, especially my clit. The direct pressure with the vibrations is very stimulating. The nubbed sleeve is great for body massage, especially when alternating with the warming element. The smooth sleeve is also good for general massage or erotic stimulation if you don't want extremely direct accuracy you get with the rounded tip sleeve.
The only thing I didn't like about the Aphrodite vibrator is that it's a bit heavy. I had to alternate hands when using it because my forearms kept cramping. It's not overly heavy, though. I suppose I could think of using it as a way of exercising my arms. I'll be buff in no time.
The Aphrodite vibrator is now one of my favorite vibrators. It's a classic muscle massager with multiple uses. I also like that it's rechargeable. I'm hooked on rechargeable sex toys now. They're my favorite.
Classic Porn Review: Behind The Green Door
Behind The Green Door is one of the classic porn films that I have not seen - until now. I've seen many of the classics including "Deep Throat" and "Debbie Does Dallas" but Behind The Green Door somehow made it past my radar.
The star of Behind The Green Door is Marilyn Chambers, who also was known as the Ivory Snow Girl. Her wholesome image on the Ivory Snow box (shown below) definitely squicked out the company when the porn movie came out at about the same time the ad campaign started.
Once Behind The Green Door was released, Ivory pulled the soap boxes from stores because Chambers' face was on them. The cognitive dissonance between Chambers being sucked and groped by a group of women preparing her for the first man to enter the scene and the sweet innocence of her image on the Ivory Snow boxes was a little too much for the company to take. Chambers said in an interview that she is convinced the only reason became Behind The Green Door became so infamous and made so much money was because she appeared on the Ivory Snow box. The movie was released the same week the Ivory Snow box hit the shelves. Chambers was right in saying you can't buy that kind of publicity. The juxtaposition was too enticing to resist.
Classic porn movies had plots, or at the very least had some sort of purpose and story line. The story of Behind The Green Door was of a kidnapping of a young woman (Chambers) to prep her for her ultimate sexual experience in a private club for men and women that existed behind a green door, hence the title of the movie. The first thing that struck me about the movie was how quiet it was. There was no cheesy boom-chica-boom-boom soundtrack. The only sound I heard was the sucking and soft moans coming from the people on the stage and the people watching in the audience. Chambers herself seemed to be a bit detached from it all, and in that interview she admitted she was high on pot for most of the filming. Drug use is a big problem in porn, as is drinking. Chambers eventually joined AA and cleaned up her act, but she didn't have the drug and alcohol problems that killed many classic porn stars. She said smoking pot was the only way she could get through filming. That was a very telling thing for her to say. Apparently, it was her first porn movie and she was only eighteen.
When she auditioned for Behind The Green Door she didn't know it was a porn film and when asked she initially didn't want to film nude. When the Mitchell brothers explained the story behind the movie she became intrigued and signed on. She regretted that modern porn has no story. The reason could be that in the earlier, more talkative porn movies people would fast-forward to the sex scenes and get off on them. So, modern porn is all sex, no plot, no story, and not much talking.
Behind The Green Door starts out with Chambers being kidnapped and spirited off to a private, elite sex club where she is prepped by women for her first appearance in front of the audience. I read that Chuck Traynor (Chambers' husband, Linda Lovelace's ex, and their producer) liked voyeurism so it's only natural that watching a young woman be ravaged by groups of people would be the subject of one of his films. Chambers is brought out in front of the audience and a group of about a half dozen women stroke and suck on her, working slowly to sexually arouse her so that she's ready for penetration by the man who enters the scene quite a long time into the movie (boxer Johnny Keyes). This may be the first inter-racial scene in porn since Keyes is black and Chambers is white. There is no music until Keyes enters and then a jazz soundtrack starts. Otherwise, all I heard were the sounds of people stroking and sucking. It's actually quite hypnotic to watch. The crowd looks on but no one does anything until later.
Then, after Chambers has her climax (which looked fake to me - her orgasm must have lasted all but ten seconds), it's her turn to do the servicing. She jerks off two men sitting in sex swings and sucks off another man in front of her. By now the audience members are quietly feeling up each other and themselves, and there is some group sex. No one approaches the stage. Chambers' role is to be viewed as she is being ravished.
The famous seven minute come shot looked like an LSD trip. It's done in slow motion with jizz spurting from a cock to fall all about Chambers. Not much of it lands on her face. The background colours looked like a Peter Max print, keeping in mind this movie came out in 1972. It was totally tripped out psychedelic and also hypnotic to watch.
What I liked about the movie was that everyone looked real. There wasn't the polished, silicone, waxed slickness of modern porn. There were fat and thin people, hairy and bald, young, old, and middle-aged. Chambers herself is on the small side, slim with small breasts. She has a girl-next-door look about her that is very appealing and obviously that quality was important to Behind The Green Door. There was also plenty of pubic hair - something you don't see in modern porn. Since I grew up with the classics, I prefer seeing a bush of pubic hair to the waxed and shaved look. It looks more natural to me.
This was also my first time trying Video On Demand (VOD) and it was very enjoyable. I liked watching the movie on my computer. The controls were easy to use and the movie watching experience was easy and enjoyable. If you've never tried VOD before I highly recommend it. Store your movies on their own separate drive so you have plenty of disc space to hold them. Behind The Green Door was only one movie available on VOD. I found "Debbie Does Dallas" and "The Autobiography Of A Flea", two more classics I'm looking forward to seeing in the near future. There are lots of different kinds of movies available that you can access at the click of a finger. It's that easy.
It's been a real treat for me to review classic porn. I'll likely review some more in the near future.
March 14, 2010
Maryland's Roadblock To Helping Victims Of Abuse
[Reprinted with permission from Eileen King.]
By Eileen King
Sunday, March 14, 2010; C05
The Maryland House Judiciary Committee has a reputation for being not only a place where good bills go to die but also where witnesses can expect little sympathy for having suffered from violent or sexual crimes. The committee's worst tendencies were in evidence once again during a Feb. 25 hearing on a bill to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe from their abusers.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Sue Hecht (D-Frederick) and Sen. Jennie Forehand (D-Montgomery), would have changed the burden of proof from "clear and convincing evidence" to "preponderance of the evidence" for final orders of protection, the same standard in place for the vast majority of other civil actions in Maryland, including tort actions for large damage awards, child abuse determinations and custody decisions. Maryland hangs on obstinately as the only state to adhere to this high standard of proof.
Predictably, the bill was killed by the committee.
Our witness was Amy Castillo, a Montgomery pediatrician who did everything she could to protect her three children, including getting a temporary protective order on Christmas 2006 after her husband, Mark, told her that "the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children and not me." On March 29, 2008, Mark Castillo followed through on this threat, drowning Anthony Castillo, 6, Austin, 4, and Athena, 2, in a hotel bathtub.
Amy Castillo came to Annapolis to tell the members of the committee about her unsuccessful attempts to get a final protective order against Mark Castillo. She told them about his behaviors, threats, mental health problems and refusal to get the help he needed, and about her grave fears for her and her children's safety.
This testimony was met with something worse than indifference. Referring to a transcript of the final hearing on her request for an order of protection, Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) attacked the rationale for the bill, stating that Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr. had substantial problems with Amy Castillo's credibility. In tones that were anything but kind, Simmons declared that he wouldn't read verbatim what the judge said because he didn't want to "embarrass" Castillo. The exact nature of this "embarrassing" information -- presumably the fact that she submitted to her estranged husband's demand for sex, something not uncommon in such cases -- was left to the imagination of those present.
In his zeal to discredit the mother of three murdered children, Simmons seemed to forget that Dugan had been tragically wrong when he disregarded Amy Castillo's fears for her children's safety and bought the arguments made by Mark Castillo and his lawyer. Simmons's flawed logic: The judge found reason to question Amy Castillo's credibility, so it was her fault that she didn't get the protective order. Simmons expressed doubt that Castillo could have met even the preponderance standard, suggesting that changing the legal threshold wouldn't have helped save her children. And this is why other at-risk or abused children should be denied protective orders?
Amy Castillo's case illustrates a point made by Joan S. Meier of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project at George Washington University Law School: "The higher the burden, the more the risk of error is placed on the alleged victim or protective parent. The burden is a direct reflection of whether you believe the majority of petitioners are lying, or not. If you don't, this burden is inappropriate because it privileges abusers over victims."
Feeling they have nowhere to turn, parents are condemned to wait helplessly for the next violent or abusive act. Try this thought experiment: Imagine that your child has met the preponderance standard for abuse but a judge says that is not enough for a protective order to keep the child from the abuser. Imagine what it would be like to live knowing that you or your children are at lethal risk but that you can get help only if you or the children are hurt badly enough.
This is not the first time that a House Judiciary Committee witness was treated in a manner that many observers found offensive. It is also not the first time the committee killed a bill that would have increased protection for victims of family violence and abused or at-risk children. From the questions they ask, the anti-victim positions they take and the bills they kill, it appears obvious that the committee's most outspoken members are aligned with the defense bar.
It is high time for some review and oversight of this committee, its leadership and composition and its commitment to the public welfare of Maryland's most vulnerable citizens: victims of crime and our children.
Eileen King is regional director of Justice for Children's Washington office.
March 13, 2010
More On Maryland Legislator's Sad Cave-In To Anti-Domestic Violence Propaganda
The Maryland Legislature killed a bill this month that would have brought Maryland's restraining order policies into line with every other state in the Union. Remarkably, in Maryland, a victim seeking help is required to prove her case with "clear and convincing" evidence, a higher standard than "preponderance of the evidence", which is the universal standard for civil disputes. There can be only one reason for this absurd requirement: that Maryland legislators believe that women frequently lie when they allege abuse. Under the "clear and convincing" standard, even if it appears to be more likely than not that it's the victim telling the truth in a "he said, she said" situation, the victim still loses.
The legislators who voting against the bill [listed here]; if they did this, that can only mean that they have fallen for propaganda that leads them to believe that women who claim abuse (testify in court) are less credible than men who deny abuse (testify in court). That's not a level playing field, and it's an absolutely unacceptable attitude for a legislator to hold.
Important Information About "False" Allegations Of Domestic Violence
Bona fide false allegations of domestic violence are rare. They account for only about 8% of all allegations of domestic violence. These facts have been overshadowed by propaganda coming from father’s and men’s rights activists in Maryland who say that false allegations of domestic violence are rampant, especially in custody cases, and that women frequently file for protective orders in order to gain an upper hand in divorce. None of this propaganda is true.
Please see these excerpts from papers about domestic violence and protective orders for the facts about both:
Rita Smith (NCADV) & Pamela Coukos (PCADV), “Fairness and Accuracy in Evaluations of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Custody Determinations”, The Judges Journal, Fall 1997, Pp. 38-56:
“(…)Although both common sense and the prevailing legal standard dictate careful consideration of evidence in domestic or family violence when determining custody, allegations of domestic violence and/or child sexual abuse made during a divorce or custody proceeding are not always taken seriously. These allegations often are wrongly perceived as false because they are asserted in a contentious environment and because of the widespread myth that parents fabricate domestic violence and child abuse allegations in order to gain an advantage in court. When combined with the misuse of psychological syndrome evidence, the perception that a parent has fabricated the allegations often results in unfair retribution against the reporting protective parent. (…)
Using unscientific “syndrome” evidence can have serious consequences, and according to the American Psychological Association, in domestic violence cases, “psychological evaluators not trained in domestic violence may contribute to this process by ignoring or minimizing the violence and by giving *inappropriate pathological labels* to women’s responses to chronic victimization.” (APA, Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, 40 (1996)) The protective parent’s mental “impairment” can be used to portray her as a less fit parent, and justify granting custody to the batterer. She may have to attend on-going mediation or marriage counseling with her abuser, endangering her further. In a worst case scenario, the diagnosis can result in the protective mother’s loss of the child to foster care and even the ultimate termination of her parental rights. This can result in placement of the child back into the custody of the abuser, endangering the child further.
Unscientific syndrome theories also feed on a serious misperception of the rate of false accusations. In its Report of the Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, the APA confirms that, “false reporting of Family violence occurs infrequently… reports of child sexual abuse do not increase during divorce and actually occur in only about 2 percent to 3 Percent of the cases… even during custody disputes, fewer than 10 percent of cases involve reports of child sexual abuse (APA Report, 12). If Parental Alienation Syndrome were as common as Gardner reports – 90 percent of his caseload – then the reporting of abuse should be much more prevalent. Furthermore, the overall reported rates should be dramatically higher in cases where custody is an issue as compared with the general population of families. But studies examining this comparison do not find significantly higher rates of any abuse allegations raised during divorce or custody proceedings. (Cheri Wood, “The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Dangerous Aura of Reliability”, 27 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1367-8, n. 7 1994) Moreover, these studies find only a very small rate of fabricated allegations in this context. (Nancy Thoenes & Patricia G. Tjaden, “The Extent, Nature and Validity of Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody/Visitation Disputes”, 14 Child Abuse and Neglect 151, 161-2 (1990) As the APA documents, “when objective investigations are conducted into child sexual abuse reports that surface during divorce or custody disputes, the charges are as likely to be confirmed as are reports made at other times.” (APA Report, note 8 at 12)
MYTH: Restraining Orders Are Easy To Get.
All A Woman Need Do Is Lie Or State That
She Is Afraid, And She Can Force An
Innocent Man Out Of His Own Home
The WBA Law Journal
May, 1999, Vol. III No. 1
Why Attorneys Should Routinely
Screen Clients for Domestic Violence
By Pauline Quirion, Esq.
In the recent landmark decision, Custody of Vaughn, the Supreme Judicial Court has observed that “[t]he very frequency of domestic violence . . . may have the effect of inuring courts to it and thus minimizing its significance.” A 1994 study of batterers based on the database used to track restraining orders concluded that:
[t]he high frequency with which RO’s [sic] are issued might lead some skeptics to assume that these orders are granted too easily for minor offenses and almost any man is at risk of being a defendant. The data from the new RO database in Massachusetts reflect otherwise. Men against whom RO’s have been used are clearly not a random draw from the population. They are likely to have a criminal history, often reflective of violent behavior toward others.
Research suggests that false reports of family violence occur infrequently. Although many believe that women especially will lodge false charges of child abuse or battering against their spouses in an effort to manipulate or retaliate, the rate of false reports in these circumstances is no greater than for other crimes.
Most batterers minimize and deny the frequency and severity of their abusive conduct. Similarly, victims often underreport and may minimize the abuse. They may be embarrassed or fear that disclosure will lead to retaliation by the abuser, financial hardship or personal stigma. In addition, some practitioners fail to appreciate that abuse cuts across all class lines and stereotype abuse victims as primarily indigent. These dynamics make it easy for an untrained practitioner to gloss over information pointing to domestic violence and which may be relevant to a client’s case or continued safety.
Remember Them In November
Washington Post - Sunday, March 7, 2010: AS EXPECTED, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee wrongly killed a bill on Thursday that would have made it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain protective orders. H.B. 700 would have brought Maryland into conformance with the practices of every other state in the country. As an election-year service to voters, here is the 15 to 6 vote:
Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George's) did not vote, as is the general practice.
Against: Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore), Benjamin S. Barnes (D-Prince George's), Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore), Frank M. Conaway Jr. (D-Baltimore), Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), William J. Frank (R-Baltimore County), J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County), Kevin Kelly (D-Allegany), Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's), Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel), Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George's), Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore), Todd L. Schuler (D-Baltimore County), Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) and Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil).
For: Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery), Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery), Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery), Susan McComas (R-Harford), Kriselda Valderrama (D-Prince George's) and Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery).
Remind Maryland lawmakers that domestic violence victims will not forget how they have been pushed to the side once again. Here are links to information and contact info on the legislators who voted against this important bill.
Michael Smigiel Sr.
J. B. Jennings
Donald Dwyer Jr.
Frank Conaway Jr.
March 10, 2010
This Sunday Is Steak And B.J. Day! Let's Celebrate!
Believe it or not, there is actually a holiday called "Steak and B.J. Day", which is the dudebro's answer to Valentine's Day. This "holiday" has been around since 2002, and I missed out on all the fun. It's exactly one month after Valentine's Day on March 14. It's obvious what the gist of the holiday is, but in case you are totally dense here's the blurb about the day from the Steak And B.J. Day web site.
You know the drill. Every 14th of February you get the chance to display your fondness for a significant other by showering her with gifts, flowers, dinner, shows and any other baubles that women find romantic. Every Valentines day you rack your brains for that one special, unique gift that will show your wife or girlfriend that you really do care for them more than any other. Now ladies, I'll let you in on a little secret; guys really don't enjoy this that much. Sure seeing that smile on your face when we get it right is priceless, but that smile is the result of weeks of blood, sweat and consideration. Another secret; guys feel left out. That's right, there's no special holiday for the ladies to show their appreciation for the men in their life. Men as a whole are either too proud or too embarrassed to admit it.
Now that sounds like fun. You know what else is special about March 14?
It's my birthday.
Yee hah! I'll get my birthday lobster and my husband will get his steak and B.J. Ha!
You can even get a card for your man on this special day. The Steak and B.J. Day web site has fifteen different cards for you to choose from with sweet, romantic sayings like this:
It's March 14th
And love's in the air.
Now cook me a steak
And I'll come in your hair.
Isn't that a hoot? Don't miss out on the fun! Celebrate Steak And B.J. Day this Sunday with a succulent porterhouse for both of you and a B.J. for him. You won't be sorry.
March 08, 2010
Read My Posts At The New Ms. Magazine Blog
I am on the team of the new Ms. Magazine blog, where I write about sexuality and anything else that strikes my fancy. I haven't written anything outright feminist in a very long time, so it's good to be on board. I will certainly be an unusual voice, considering my history as a motherhood/family law activist and my current work as a sex writer and erotica/erotic romance author. My first blog post is a repost about my Alternet article about how we need to get over the G-spot. Here's the link:
My second post, which is not up yet, is about the book "Ultimate Curves", erotic fiction about big, beautiful women. My short story "The Beautiful Move In Curves" appears in that book.
Coming soon: a satirical article about "Steak And B.J. Day", the men's answer to Valentine's Day. It also happens to be on my birthday. I'm going to have fun with that one.
Here's the press release for the new Ms. Magazine blog.
March 04, 2010
Erotic romance writer Kissa Starling tagged me to play this fun little game. I’ll post seven items about me, only TWO of which are true. The others are “little white lies”. Can you guess which two are true?
1. I almost asked actor Daniel Baldwin out on a date, but I chickened out.
2. I can't swim.
3. My favorite beer is Chimay Ale.
4. I used to date the curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
5. I am agorophobic.
6. I'm related to H. L. Mencken.
7. I like to date younger men.
So, can you guess? Take your try in comments!
"Enough" by Gravity Kills
I'm in the mood for some Industrial, so here's "Enough" by Gravity Kills.