The 2016 Sex Issue

  • Baltimore gets a new sex-education program

    Baltimore gets a new sex-education program

    The federal government gave Baltimore $8.5 million  to revamp its sex-education curriculum last year. Depending on who is asked, the money is: a) just being used to enhance an already comprehensive sex-ed program that is taught in every city secondary school, as mandated by the state (Baltimore...

  • Sex in the City

    Sex in the City

    More than half of the city’s high school students report being sexually active, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The good news is that more students are using some kind of birth control. Teen birth rates in the city dropped by a third between 2009...

  • Sex in the States

    Sex in the States

    Every year the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) puts out a legislative report that is a gold mine of information—and gives the lay of the land nationally when it comes to sex-ed programs. This year, SIECUS noted that only 22 states and Washington, D.C. require...

  • Baltimore high school students talk about gaps in sex-ed

    Baltimore high school students talk about gaps in sex-ed

    Last week I had a conversation about sex ed with three of my son’s friends who are all seniors at Baltimore City College high school. It’s not a scientific survey, of course, just a way to take the temperature, to find out what students are learning in their health classes—and perhaps more important,...

  • Most Wanted: JHU students clamor to get into Dr. Kraft's 'Human Sexuality' class

    Most Wanted: JHU students clamor to get into Dr. Kraft's 'Human Sexuality' class

    Early morning classes are a tough sell for college students, but if you’re one of the 25 Johns Hopkins University seniors who beat out the wait list for Human Sexuality, you’re up early talking about sex toys, analyzing BDSM practices, and debating new female-arousal medications like Flibanserin....

  • Animal Magnetism: 'Sex at the Zoo' offers an atypical Valentine's day date

    Animal Magnetism: 'Sex at the Zoo' offers an atypical Valentine's day date

    At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, some residents—of which there are more than 1,500—are so copious in their copulating they’ve earned a bit of a reputation, such as Lou, a sitatunga, who was transported to Baltimore from San Diego due to his reliable relations with the ladies. (But hey, he’s discreet....

  • The Buff Dude Wing: Marsden Hartley's 'Flaming American' at the BMA

    The Buff Dude Wing: Marsden Hartley's 'Flaming American' at the BMA

    What art, literally or figuratively, gives you a boner? How about the muscular mini-fridge-sized Gods found in William Blake’s closed circuit paintings and engravings? Or the heaving, mostly hairless dad-bod of Prometheus as depicted by Rubens? One friend of mine describes being deeply aroused...

  • Sexy Jesuses: The hottest messiahs at the Walters

    Sexy Jesuses: The hottest messiahs at the Walters

    The Roman Catholic Church’s two-thousand-years-long marketing campaign runs under the basic tenet of advertising: People will flock to pretty stuff. Hence the gilded, towering architecture, expensive commissioned frescoes, and stylish clerical wardrobe. We’re told this pricey splendor was created...

  • Our Human Skin: On Rihanna, Louise Bourgeois, and vulnerability

    Our Human Skin: On Rihanna, Louise Bourgeois, and vulnerability

    “I can’t feel my body now/ I separate from here and now” are two lines from the song ‘Never Ending’ off of Rihanna’s new album “Anti,” which I have been listening to on repeat since it came out. ‘Never Ending’ is a subdued but steady track that holds its own—even in the second half of an album...

  • Sex-Toy Life Hacks: Alternative uses for vibes, lubes, and more

    Sex-Toy Life Hacks: Alternative uses for vibes, lubes, and more

    “I need a butt-plug bin,” I said recently, in all seriousness. I’ve reached into my makeup bag for lipstick and pulled out a bullet vibrator. I’ve used a riding crop to fish a sock out from behind my bed. Point being, as a sex blogger and toy reviewer, I have a lot of sex toys, and whether by laziness,...

  • Work It: sadpapsmear talks art, stripping, and internet intimacy

    Work It: sadpapsmear talks art, stripping, and internet intimacy

    A pair of lamp-lit, light-skinned hands are the subject of one video; they’re delicate and femme, acrylic nails painted bright shiny red. The person shows off their hands to the camera, getting up close and moving back, fingers caressing each other over and over throughout the one and half minute...

  • Fucking Art: Toward being more mindful of what sex toys go inside you

    Fucking Art: Toward being more mindful of what sex toys go inside you

    “Do you respect wood?” -Larry David What makes an object sexy lies somewhere in between the eye, the mind, and the hoo-ha of the beholder. Even sex toys are not just arousing because of what they can do to us. When they’re more considerate of the tenets of design and aesthetics, they can inspire...

  • Clicking and Streaming (and Humping and Moaning): Three sexy movies to stream

    Clicking and Streaming (and Humping and Moaning): Three sexy movies to stream

    Taxi Zum Klo Directed by Frank Ripploh Currently streaming via Netflix Released around the same time as William Friedkin’s “Cruising” and the first Mad Max—two films about the hetero-nuclear family getting wrecked by the warping homoerotic brutality of daddy dom leatherhood—Frank Ripploh’s autobiographical...

  • Dear Diary: Emily Lindin's 'Unslut' exposes slut-shaming

    Dear Diary: Emily Lindin's 'Unslut' exposes slut-shaming

    Emily Lindin’s middle school diary is not so much an emotional rollercoaster as a runaway train speeding through a nightmarish Boschian hellscape, frequently interrupted by sparkling yet anxiety-inducing preteen fantasies and ‘90s pop-inspired poems. Published in the book “UnSlut: A Diary and Memoir”...

  • James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    I want to believe in James Franco. For those readers who are new to the figure of Franco the artist, the actor-cum-poet has been part of the literary conversation since his collection of short stories, “Palo Alto,” was published by Scribner in 2010. Much of this conversation has been skepticism,...

  • Field Tripping: Sex Shopping

    Field Tripping: Sex Shopping

    I teach gender and sexuality studies for a living, and that means I talk about sex all the time. Well, sort of. Like the rest of culture, I talk about it, but I also don't talk about it. Sex is everywhere, in all the pop songs and movies, at the end of every prom (or so I hear—I never went to prom),...

  • Orgasmic crab dip and the gender politics of dining at strip clubs

    Orgasmic crab dip and the gender politics of dining at strip clubs

    The first strip club I ever went to was in Prague, in a part of town called Wenceslas Square that’s now mostly populated with touristy bars and shops and strip clubs. This particular one didn’t have a cover charge, and the club, located down a flight of stairs, had as many chairs and small tables...

  • Contact Sheet: Baltimore Kink

    Contact Sheet: Baltimore Kink

    For City Paper's 2016 Sex Issue, we discreetly put out a call to the city's fetish and kink community. The response was pretty great. The participants had a blast in our office studio. These portraits are but a tiny swath of the city's diverse community and is no means meant to represent the fet/kink...

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