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Top 10 Pop-Culture Gender-Benders

October 5, 2012

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We’re not going to focus on the negative portrayals of transsexuality, like in PSYCHO and SILENCE OF THE¬†LAMBS and last year’s thankfully cancelled WORK IT television sitcom. And we’re not focusing on the history of¬†transitioning stories that takes us all the way back to the 1930s when an intersexed, Bohemia-born¬†Zdenka Koubkova¬†went from female running/jumping¬†champion¬†to male cabaret performer. Nor are we going to look at transgender¬†issues in the news, like when the Girls Scouts of Colorado let their first transgender girl into the organization last year or when, two years ago, a¬†federal court ruled in favor of a woman who was fired from her job after coming out as trangender. Nope. We’re simply looking at the top ten positively positive, purely¬†pop-culture gender-bending movies,¬†moments¬†and movers & shakers of the past few decades:

10. “Lola” by the Kinks
Considered one of “the greatest 500 songs of all time” by Rolling Stone magazine, 1970′s¬†”Lola” dealt with a straight man falling for a transgendered woman without jokes or judgment: “Girls will be boys and¬†boys will be girls / It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world except for Lola / Lo-lo-lo-lo-Lola.”

9. RuPaul 
Perhaps it was RuPaul’s loveableness that made 1990s America embrace him with both arms. There’s¬†a seamlessness, a naturalness to his drag-queenness that has kept him in the pop culture limelight for twenty-years, with five albums, two hosted TV shows, countless movie and TV appearances, and even a MAC modeling¬†contract under his bedazzled belt.

And he didn’t care if you referred to him as¬†he¬†or¬†she.¬†As he wrote in his autobiography:¬†”You can call me¬†he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee;¬†I don’t care! Just as long as you call¬†me.”

Runner-up: Amanda Lepore.

8. The movie “Boys Don’t Cry”
There are a ton of decent movies which involve issues of transsexuality — probably a lot more than you think, but¬†frankly still not enough. Many of them involve men in drag and focus on the straight characters’ points of view, which¬†unfortunately keeps the transgendered person squarely in the detached and alienated category of “other.”One of the most successful, almost mainstream movies to really get inside the head (and body) of its transgendered¬†character was 1999′s BOYS DON’T CRY, based on the real life of Brandon Teena, an intersexed teen who¬†identified and lived as a man until he was beaten, raped and killed by male acquaintances after they learned of Teena’s¬†female¬†anatomy. The film got critical acclaim,¬†won 43 awards (including Oscar’s Best Actress for Hilary Swank’s portrayal of¬†Teena), and was nominated for 27 others (including Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress for Choe Sevigny’s portrayal¬†of Teena’s girlfriend).

By telling a heartfelt star-crossed love story that people related to on a human level, it made a convincing case for¬†wider acceptance and tolerance of sexual diversity — in an intimate way no film had before.

Runner-up: The Crying Game (stay tuned for our Top 10 list of Transgender Films)

7. Ellen DeGeneres 
It’s not just that she’s a successful lesbian celebrity. It’s that she’s America’s sweetheart¬†and she runs a media empire that almost rivals Oprah and she’s legally married to a typically¬†femininely gorgeous Hollywood actress and she dresses in androgynous clothing with extremely sensible¬†shoes (this last point being the most significant and impressive).

6. Buck Angel 
You know a cultural issue has become accepted and mainstream (or at least is on its way to¬†becoming accepted and mainstream) when it gets its own successful porn star. Buck Angel, a.k.a. “The Man with¬†the Pussy,” is a transsexual adult film producer and performer, the only FTM one who’s ever won AVN’s¬†Transsexual Performer of the Year Award.

5. Gender-bending super models 
Maybe it was inevitable that the fashion industry would be a safe haven for¬†gender-benders, since 90-pound female models are inescapably androgynous (look ma, no boobs!) Recent and¬†notable models include the androgynous Andrej Pejic, the transexual Lea T, and the lesbian Jenny Shimizu (who’s¬†had relationships with Madonna, Angelina Jolie, and Ione Skye) — all of whom appeared in the fabulous gender-bending promo for last year’s “Fashion Forward” fundraiser for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. ¬†As RuPaul would say,¬†they workit.

Read items 4 through 1 on The Sundance Channel



Top 10 American Sex Scandals

August 14, 2012

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Sex scandals are as American as (sticking your wiener in an) apple pie. (Or should we say your Anthony Weiner?) The really unforgettable scandals leave us with a particular phrase or image burned into our brains. We could be a hundred years old and senile and we will still be able to recall Lorena Bobbitt tossing her husband’s penis out the car window; Clarence Thomas asking Anita Hill about a pubic hair on a coke can; and an astronaut driving hundreds of miles in a diaper to confront the lover who spurned her. Here are our nominations for the top ten sex scandals in this nation’s history, organized by the categories in which these events most often seem to occur. God bless (or should we say God save) America!

10. SPORTS: The Yankee Swap

In 1973, two star Yankee players, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, held a press conference during spring training to announce they were swapping lives. It started as a joke during a double-date with their wives (hey, it was the seventies) and suddenly they were agreeing to a full-on wife-swap. Initially they just knocked boots for an evening… but eventually they decide to swap permanently — including kids, pets, the lot. Mike didn’t last long with Fritz’s former wife, but Fritz and Mike’s wife are still married today with four children of their own. Guess that Yankee doodle diddling was dandy.

Sports runners-up: Duke Lacrosse; Jerry Sandusky (we feel queasy just typing his name); and Tiger Woods (enduring image: a reporter from the National Enquirer secretly stealing the bloody tampon that one of Tiger’s mistresses removed and tossed in a parking lot in order to have a quickie with the golf legend).

9. STATE POLITICS

(a) The (Hypocritical) Democrat Edition: Eliot Spitzer
This New York governor was trapped by the very measures he put in place to crack down on corruption! Oh Client 9, is their no limit to your hubris? We’re extra pissed at Spitzer because we always thought he’d make a pretty fine U.S. president one day. Then again, second acts seem to be increasingly common in this country…

Runner-up: Anthony Weiner’s wiener. Tweeted.

(b) The (Hypocritical) Republican Edition: Larry Craig
Three words for you: wide-legged stance. And therein lies the most ridiculous defense of sexual behavior in the entire history of this nation, so far as we are concerned. The Idaho senator with a record of anti-gay legislation was charged with trolling for gay sex in an airport men’s room. It must be tough being gay when you’re a homophobe.

8. COULDA-BEEN-A-CONTENDER POLITICS: John Edwards

We’re not sure which cost North Carolina Senator John Edwards more potential presidential votes: the fact that he impregnated his mistress (and then used campaign funds to try to hush the matter up and also had a campaign aide falsely claim to the be father) while his wife was suffering from breast cancer — or the fact that he regularly spent $500 on his haircuts.

Runners-up: Gary “Monkey Business” Hart and Jerry Springer. (Did you know that back in the seventies, before he conquered daytime television, Springer had a bright and shining career in politics? He had to resign from his Cinncinati city council seat after getting busted for writing a personal check to a prostitute. A personal check, dude — seriously?)

7. HOLLYWOOD: Heidi Fleiss, Hollywood Madam

By 27, Heidi Fleiss was running an infamous prostitution ring in Hollwood with a seriously A-list group of clients. She made millions a year until she was busted and sentenced to seven years in prison (though she only served two months in prison, then three years in a halfway house). But she never named names — saying, “That’s not my style” — and to this day, so far as we know, the only celebrity confirmed in her little black book is Charlie Sheen (and we’re pretty sure he announced that himself).

Runners-up: Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian’s sex tapes; also, Ingrid Bergman, who may not have been born in the U.S., but was called “an instrument of evil” on the floor of the U.S. senate after cheating on her husband with (and getting pregnant by) director Roberto Rossellini in 1950.

6. RELIGION: Jimmy Swaggart Calls the Kettle Black

Back in 1986, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart used his screen time to attack fellow televangelists, Marvin Gorman and Jim Bakker, for having affairs. Gorman then hired a private investigator (oh, those forgiving evangelists!) to uncover Swaggart’s own dalliances with a prostitute.

Swaggart teared up on TV, saying, “I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God’s forgiveness.” Three years later, he was busted with another prostitute. We hope those seas of God’s forgiveness run real deep.

Runners-up: Ted Haggard (preached against gay marriage to millions while paying for gay sex and crystal meth); also the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child rape by priests (which would be more than a runner-up except for the fact that the U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on this sex scandal).

Read the next five entries at SUNfiltered



The Secret Sex Life of Tennis

July 9, 2012

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Okay, so maybe it’s not the first sport you think of when you think of sex appeal. But look a little closer and you’d be surprised to see how much sex there is in tennis. (Though will someone please tell Nadal that biting trophies doesn’t make anyone think of sex, and actually just makes us all a little bit uncomfortable.)

  • Roger Federer’s Cardigan: The world champion basically gave the cardigan¬†its sex appeal back — which had been missing ever since Mr. Rogers first donned a cardigan. We happen to think this is a good thing.
  • Mixed Doubles: Hello, best euphemism ever for swinging! Also, we can’t think of a better way to segue into a little casual spouse-swapping with the neighbors. It’s sweaty foreplay.
  • The Grunters: If you close your eyes during a match amongst players like ¬†Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, or Rafael Nadal, you could swear you were watching a porno. We’re pretty sure that at least one person out there on the Internet gets off on doing this.
  • The Housewife’s Tennis Coach: The tan young tennis coach clad in all-white is eternally appealing to rich housewives the world over, if you believe the hundreds of novels, movies, and TV shows that have used this cliche as a plot device.
  • Love Means Nothing: In a game where “love” literally means nothing… then sex has to mean everything, right?
  • Justin Timberlake’s Booty Call Metaphor: “[Sex is] a physical act, like playing tennis” Justin Timberlake said in FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (2011). “Two people should be able to have sex like they’re playing tennis.” Mila Kunis responds, “Yeah! I mean, no one wants to go away for the weekend after they play tennis.” Justin: “It’s just a game. You shake hands, you get on with your shit.” From this point on in the movie, “Wanna play tennis?” is their code for a booty call.
  • Ball Boys and Ball Girls: It just sounds dirty, okay? And that’s as far as we’re willing to go, given that most of them are underage.
  • Boris Becker in the Broom Closet: Who could forget how the German champion impregnated a waitress during a quickie in a broom closet in a London restaurant? (Though we’d like to forget that this happened while his pregnant wife was in the hospital with early contractions.)

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



25, a New Erotic-Fashion Mag

July 5, 2012

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Model Anja Rubik’s new editorial endeavor just launched:¬†25 Magazine¬†is a high-end fashion magazine, out biannually, that’s dedicated to the erotic perspective of women. In an¬†interview with New York magazine, Rubik explained¬†the sex concept:

It was bothering me how the world is nowadays ‚Äď how we approach nudity and sexuality and beauty. I thought it was really, really wrong, and I wanted to create something that goes back to the erotica of the seventies. I was searching for inspiration, and I looked at this magazine Viva, from the late sixties and early seventies, that inspired me. It was a Penthouse publication for women. I thought it was so beautiful and innocent, and very sensual and erotic, but all in very good taste. What happened to all of that? Nowadays, sex and nudity is either so vulgar or so prude. So I wanted to create something inspiring, and beautiful, and sensual, to get people to think in a different way.

The debut was shot exclusively by female photographers: Annie Leibovitz, Ellen Von Unwerth, Paola Kudacki, Emma Summerton, Corinne Day, Camilla √Ökrans… But don’t you dare call it feminist: Rubik says “I would hate anyone to say that the magazine is feminist. I would hope that a man can enjoy it as well.” Because anything “feminist” could never be enjoyed by men. Ugh.

The website features a few video teasers for the magazine, some behind the scenes images and the NSFW Kanye West video promoting the magazine, which sex-tech guru Violet Blue has a pretty awesome take-down of:

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



The Final Word on Vajazzling?

June 21, 2012

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photo via flickr

When Jennifer Love Hewitt went on Conan recently, he asked her about vajazzling — the act of adorning one’s genitals with crystals — and she responded,¬†¬†”It makes you feel saucy, and I don’t know, it’s kind of fun to walk around and just think that nobody has any idea how shiny it is down there!”

Here’s the thing, J.Love: You invented the freakin’ term vajazzling (yes, we’re a little jealous). And you talk about it all the time. (Yes, we know that’s because annoying celebrity interviewers keep bringing it up.) Which means that everybody knows exactly how shiny it is down there.

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep on adorning your bad self. But we just thought you should know.



Top 10 Celebrities with the Best Porn Star Names, Round 2

May 30, 2012

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photo via AMC

In response to our post “Top 10 Celebrities with Awesome Porn Names,” we got enough great additional ideas to warrant round two!

1) January Jones (thx to Sofia)

2) Whitney Cummings (thx to ThisGuy)

3) Cobie Smulders (thx to Sage)

the next 4 thx to sr123:

4) Dick Armey (ed note: after all, the guy is a total dick)

5) Andy Dick

6) Tom Cruise

7) Pretty much the entire ’88 Bears, namely:¬†Dick Butkus

and the rest are from us, we couldn’t resist:

8) D.L. Hugely (in this case, the “g” would not be silent)

9) The Bush Twins

10) Magic Johnson (of course)



The Best Commencement Speech of 2012

May 29, 2012

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Commencement season is wrapping up and everyone’s coming out with their “Best Commencement Speeches of 2012″ lists — all with the usual suspects, of course: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg, Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Oprah Winfrey… yeah, yeah, yeah, a few jokes, some heartfelt platitudes, lots of security.¬†Yawn.¬†But our hands-down absolute favorite of 2012 — and one you won’t find on most of these lists — is comedian¬†Eugene Mirman speaking at his old alma mater Hampshire College, that flaming liberal hipster college that let’s you choose your own major. He chose to major in comedy. This speech proves it actually worked. And how can you¬†not¬†adore a keynote commencement address that includes the phrase “fuck that”?

Read the next part, in which Lo unsuccessfully tries to gain some celebrity by dropping names



Guess the Celebrity Casual Sex Quote

April 11, 2012

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photo via “The Voice”

Most of the time when celebrities are interviewed, they blab on about how talented the director was or what their craft means to them (yawn). But every now and then they’ll open up about something a little more racy. See if you can match up the following celebrities to their quotes about casual sex. (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.)

a) Russell Brand; b) Helen Mirren; c) Chelsea Handler; d) Madonna; e) Megan Fox; f) Drew Barrymore; g) Karl Lagerfeld; h) Cameron Diaz; i) Jake Gyllenhaal; j) William H. Macy; k) Shirley MacLaine; l) Colin Farrell; m) Joan Rivers; n) Jennifer Lopez; o) Elizabeth Taylor; p) Christina Aguilera (lyrics); q) Katy Perry; r) J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye); s) Lady Gaga; t) Jessica Alba

1.¬†”If you can’t get to know somebody, you shouldn’t be having sex with them.¬†It’s okay at this point, in this day and age — we have grown up and we now know that¬†we can’t be that free with your love.”

2. “I’ve¬†only slept with men I’ve been married to. How many women can make that claim?”

3. “We thought sex was free. Sex is not free. There’s a price to be paid emotionally, physically, even legally. Sex isn’t a casual thing. It’s a huge thing.”

4. “I think casual sex some people are into, I definitely have been in my life at times. I think you find other things more important as time goes on.”

5. “I don‚Äôt think a girl‚Äôs a slut if she enjoys sex. I could have a one-night stand, and I‚Äôm the kind of girl who looks over in the morning and is like, ‘Do¬†you really have to be here?’ I don‚Äôt need to cuddle and do all that stuff because I know what it is and I don‚Äôt try to make it more. I feel like a lot of¬†women try to make it into more, so they don‚Äôt feel so bad about just wanting to have sex. I don‚Äôt really have a problem with wanting sex. Never¬†have.”

6. “A man can sleep around, no questions asked, but if a woman makes nineteen or twenty mistakes she’s a tramp.”

7. “For me, it‚Äôs not a past time, going out and¬†meeting people¬†and trying to¬†hook up with people. That actually makes me feel disgusting. From a really early age, I was really¬†sensitive to that. Getting your flirt on is the best thing in the world, but when it comes to¬†sharing¬†bodily fluids with a¬†person¬†I don‚Äôt know — no thank you.”

8. “I‚Äôve always been a firm believer that casual sex is a good thing. There is too much fun to be derived from it for it to be anything but good.”

9. “I wasn’t into sexcapades, although I tried it once. I had three people in one day.”

10. “Sexuality and love can be different things. I can be attracted to a woman sexually, but it doesn’t mean I want to be in love with a woman. If I’m going to be with a woman sexually, it doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. We put these restraints and definitions on people, but it’s hard to define. ”

11. “A friend of mine once said, ‘You are devoted to your lover, but she has a thousand faces . . . If she’s not there, you must call her, for you have to see her . . .¬†three, four times a day — making love with your lover of a thousand faces.’ That’s how he described my epic promiscuity.”

12. “I personally only like high-class escorts. I don’t like sleeping with people I really love. I¬†don’t want to sleep with them because sex cannot last, but affection can¬†last forever. I think this is healthy. And for the way the rich live, this is possible. But the other world, I think they need porn.”

13. “I do think, as a rule, when two friends have sex it really creates a bit of a pickle. But, pickle or not, no regrets. Delightful pickles.”

14. “I can never have sex with someone that I don‚Äôt love, ever. The idea makes me sick. I‚Äôve never even come close to having a one-night stand. I‚Äôve only been with two men my entire life ‚ÄĒ my childhood sweetheart, and Brian.”

15. “Everyone¬†probably thinks that I’m a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I’d rather read a¬†book.”

16. ‚ÄúPeople equate sexy with promiscuous. They think that because I’m shaped this way, I must be scandalous — like running around and bringing men into my hotel room. But it’s¬†just the opposite.‚ÄĚ

17. ‚ÄúI think we can all agree that sleeping around is a great way to meet people.‚ÄĚ

18. “If you look back in history it’s a common double standard of society. The guy gets all the glory the more he can score while the girl can do the¬†same and yet you call her a whore. I don’t understand why it’s okay [that] the guy can get away with it and the girl gets named.”

19. ‚ÄúThe Playboy Mansion, coke, and the rise of all that — Guccione and Hefner always pushed it as liberation, but it didn‚Äôt seem like that to me. That was women obeying the sexualized form created by men — though maybe we always do that, because we want to be attractive. But I was kind of a trailblazer because I demanded to do it my own way. I‚Äôd say, ‚ÄėI‚Äôm not having it put on me by someone else.‚Äô I didn‚Äôt want to be the sort of puritanical good girl with a little white collar who says, ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt shag until you get married.‚Äô‚ÄČ‚ÄĚ

20. “Sex is something I really don’t understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are. I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break¬†them right away.”

*

*

*

ANSWERS:

1) s – Lady Gaga; 2) o -Elizabeth Taylor; 3) j – William H. Macy; 4) i -Jake Gyllenhaal; 5) t – Jessica Alba; 6) m – Joan Rivers; 7) q – Katy Perry; 8 ) l – Colin Farrell; 9) k – Shirley MacLaine; 10) h – Cameron Diaz; 11) a – Russell Brand; 12) g – Karl Lagerfeld; 13) f – Drew Barrymore; 14) e – Megan Fox; 15) d – Madonna; 16) n – Jennifer Lopez; 17) c – Chelsea Handler; 18) p – Christina Aguilera (lyrics); 19) b – Helen Mirren; 20) r – J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

‚Äʬ†This post¬†is a part of Sundance Channel‚Äôs¬†SUNfiltered Blog
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Top 10 Celebrities with Awesome Porn Names

March 8, 2012

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A recent article in Salon about trends in porn names (disturbingly, there is apparently a “direct correlation between trendy baby names and porn stars‚Äô names”) got us thinking about celebrities whose names are perfectly designed for a post-career-slump porno. Here are our top 10 favorite male and female celebrities with porn names:

  1. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (she even spells Tiffani with an i!)
  2. Tiffani Thiessen (sorry, Tiff, but your new “grownup” moniker is barely less porny than the original)
  3. Britney Spears
  4. Scarlett Johansson
  5. Megan Fox
  6. Demi Moore (the “classy” porn star name)
  7. Lisa Bonet
  8. Evangeline Lilly (the “sophisticated” porn star name)
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. Courteney Cox

Read the men’s Top 10 list at SUNfiltered



The Oscars: If the Academy Weren’t So Afraid of Sex

February 27, 2012

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photo via Flickr

When the Oscars primarily entail being lectured by a bunch of narcissistic celebrities about how awesome and important their jobs are, when the highlight is Sacha Baron Cohen spilling the Bisquick ashes of Kim Jong Il all over “Bryan” Seacrest’s $1000 suit on the red carpet, and when the most scandalous moment of the night revolves around determining whether J. Lo is accidentally (or purposely?) showing areola or not, then you know you’ve got to make things a little more interesting. Here’s how: imagine what movies would have won if the Academy wasn’t so afraid of sex:

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy –¬†for her portrayal of¬†unbridled, uninhibited, unapologetic sexuality outside the strict boundaries of “ideal” femininity.

Best Documentary: PINA –¬†for their shirtless, muscular, sweaty dancing, aw yeah.

Best Animation:¬†CHICO & RICO –¬†When there’s kissing in the sample footage, there’s little doubt which is the sexiest animated film.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer –¬†They actually got it right.

Best Original Score: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY –¬†It’s the only soundtrack you’d want to do it to. Okay, you wouldn’t actually want to do it to it. But it’s the only one that captures the drama of sex. Sort of.

Read the rest of this post, including Best Song, Best Actress and Best Oscar Moment, on SUNfiltered