Scientific American summarizes research published in the academic journal Current Biology. Female Insect Uses Spiky Penis to Take Charge. Subheading: “A cave insect’s marathon sex sessions extract nourishment along with sperm from a reluctant male.” Did that grab your attention?

In desolate caves throughout Brazil live insects that copulate for days, the female’s penetrating erectile organ sticking fast in a reluctant male’s genital chamber until he offers a gift of nutritious semen.

Is it weird that I find that opening sentence incredibly hot?

More detailed description of Neotrogla sexual practices later in the article:

When the flea-sized winged insects mate, the female mounts the male and penetrates deep into a thin genital opening in his back. Membranes in her organ swell to lock her in, and multiple spiky spines act as grappling hooks to anchor her tightly to the male. (When researchers tried to pull apart two mating insects, the female was gripping so tightly that the male was accidentally ripped in half, leaving his genitalia still attached to the female.) The tip of the female’s penis fits neatly into the male’s genitalia to allow her to receive a large, teardrop-shaped sperm capsule over their 40–70 hours of copulation.

The part about the “grappling hooks” doesn’t sound so appealing. But otherwise, yowza.

The article notes that the researchers are now “working to establish a healthy population in the lab, but the biggest challenge will be finding a suitable food to replace the cave-bat droppings”. OK, the infatuation is fading, these bugs are starting to gross me out.

The research team includes scientists from Japan, Brazil and Switzerland. They have identified four separate species of Neotrogla.

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Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery is hosting “Gardens of Pleasure: Sex in Ancient China, An Exhibition of the Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection” through May 3, 2014.

Good article about the show: “Erotic art offers glimpse of China’s ‘lost’ sexual philosophy” by Aaron Tam for AFP.

Dutch art collecter Bertholet has been collecting these pieces since his student days in the 1970s. He provides some background on classical Chinese erotic art:

Such explicitness should not be considered crude or pornographic, instead representing harmony with the Taoist philosophy that thrived in China before the communists took power and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

“Chinese art is so different in its expression than other erotic expressions because it has a philosophical background,” said the 61-year-old, adding that Taoism sees sex as a path to happiness and longevity.

Many paintings are set in gardens, representing the Taoist aspect of being at one with nature, the collector said.

The Sotheby’s media guide (PDF) to the Bertholet exhibition has photos of several pieces. Proving that prudishness comes in many varieties, the guide actually pixellates out the naughty bits in some reproductions.

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Wow, that sure looks like one woman doing another woman with a strap-on. There really is nothing new under the sun.

More images from the Gardens of Pleasure exhibition:

ASEAN China Centre: 10 photos
China Daily: 8 photos
AFP: 90-second video

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TMZ reveals a most unlikely national crisis.

Demand is going through the roof for gymnastics-strength shower rods — all thanks to “Love & Hip Hop” star Mimi Faust’s sex tape acrobatics — and Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart are struggling to keep up.

We called employees at each of the major retailers (from Georgia to Cali [editor’s note: that’s short for California) and we’re getting the same story — ever since the trailer for Mimi’s sex tape came out, people have been racing to purchase their own super-strong shower rods to recreate the Mimi experience.

And supplies are running out.

Entertaining but unlikely.

For one thing, the Mimi Faust sex tape — officially titled Mimi & Nikko: Scandal in Atlanta — has not even been released yet. It will debut Monday, April 21.

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TMZ does say that it’s the trailer that’s causing the shower rod buying frenzy. But how many people have seen the trailer? Vivid had its YouTube channel terminated, part of a general porn purge by YouTube. You can watch the (explicit) trailer at the Vivid.com previews page.

And one more thing: if you go buy a strong shower rod in hopes of swinging on it during sex, make sure you know what the fuck you’re doing when you install it. I wouldn’t trust anything I installed myself.

Maybe I’m overscrutinizing this story.

Lots more celebrity sex tape coverage at our BFF site Internet Celebrity Sex Tape Database.

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Here’s a heart-warming wonders of modern science story out of Mexico. Engineered vaginas grown in women for the first time.

Doctors attempted the experimental surgery 4-8 years ago on four Mexican teenagers suffering from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome. Women with MRKH have normal vulvas and ovaries, but their vaginas and uteruses are undeveloped or absent.

According to the study published in Lancet, all four women now have “fully functioning sexual organs”.

The process used to create and implant the lab-grown vaginas is mind-blowing (not a recognized scientific term, but appropriate here I believe):

Atala and his colleagues removed a small part of the vulva from each woman and grew the cells in the lab. After about four weeks they had enough cells to begin to lay them on to a degradable scaffold one layer at a time “like the layers of a cake”, he says.

The challenge was how to get the cells to grow to the right level of maturity in the lab, says Atala. You need to make sure that the cells are mature enough so that when you implant them into the body, they can recruit other cells in the body to form tissue that includes nerves and blood vessels.

[The] team used MRI scans to calculate the appropriate shape and size of the scaffolds for each patient. After cells had established themselves on these scaffolds, surgeons created a cavity in the abdomen and inserted the engineered vagina. It was then stitched in place, connected at the top to the uterus.

The vagina was fully developed after six months, and the women were able to menstruate and have sex.

New Scientist posted an 80-second video (SFW and thoroughly unarousing) of the procedure to YouTube:

The same basic technique has been used to grow other organs in a lab, like nostrils and windpipes. No doubt the possible applications will become more advanced over time. What a glorious age we live in.

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The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 67-27 against a bill which would have overturned the state’s sodomy ban. So sodomy is still technically illegal in Louisiana, despite the fact that the Supreme Court made it illegal to make sodomy illegal more than a decade ago.

A legislative committee approved the legislation last week and sent it to the full House for a vote.

As you might expect, the voting ran mostly along party lines. 24 of the 27 repeal votes came from Democrats, while 55 of the 67 keep-it-illegal votes came from Republicans.

Republicans talk a lot about small government, getting big government off our backs, etc. What could be more “big government” than the idea that government has the right to dictate what sex acts you can and cannot perform even in private among consenting adults?

Of course, the Louisiana sodomy ban remains unconstitutional, just like every other state anti-sodomy law. The US Supreme Court made that clear in the Lawrence v Texas ruling in 2003. But that hasn’t stopped bigots from trying to enforce the old laws. From the Times-Picayune:

The law remaining on the books came under national scrutiny last summer when East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriffs’ Deputies used the statute to arrest men who agreed to have sex with undercover male law enforcement officers. The District Attorney declined to prosecute the men, and the sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, under intense criticism, later apologized for the arrests.

Dan Savage proposes that journalists press those 67 legislators whether they obey the law they just affirmed.

Yesterday’s vote could lead to some highly entertaining press conferences if political reporters have the nerve to ask the obvious followup question of those 67 lawmakers: “Have you ever given or received a blowjob?” So there’s a potential silver lining here.

Dan Savage also encourages Twitter users to ask the same question.

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The 11th annual China Adult Care Expo — also known as the China International Adult Toys & Reproductive Health Exhibition, or more simply the Shanghai Sex Expo — took place last weekend in Shanghai.

TimeOut Shanghai explained in its preview, “the Adult Care Expo is one of Asia’s largest sex toy and adult industry get togethers with over 100 exhibitors expected to be showing off their wares. … In addition to all manner of sex toys and sex health products, you can expect lingerie shows, guest appearances from Japanese actresses and a display of ‘Chinese sex relics’ alongside educational programmes related to AIDS/HIV and reproductive health.”

Youth.cn has a gallery of 15 photos from the event. Raciness but no nudity — the site’s editors even saw fit to pixellate out a glimpse of mannequin nipple.

Many photos show the same basic tableau, one or three lingerie-clad pretty women on stage surrounded by scores of tightly-packed men holding up cameras. I like pretty women but hate crowds, so this doesn’t look all that fun to me.

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For a change of pace, here’s a tightly-packed group of inflatable dolls surrounded by one guy with a camera.

shanghai-sex-expo-2014-blowup-dolls

Someone posted a two-minute exhibition walkthrough video to YouTube. Someone else filmed a booth girl holding a vibrator for two minutes.

Smart Shanghai ran a similar gallery from the 2012 ADC Expo. I think I recognize some of the same dolls.

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Inserting Eels Up Your Butt: A Beginner’s Guide

April 15, 2014

There’s a famous urban legend about a male celebrity who once put a live gerbil in his rectum. Not a true story, of course. Probably not. But there’s no doubt that people have slipped all manner of strange things up their butts, penises and vaginas. Why? Because people are horny, people are weird, people have […]

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Finnish postal service to issue Tom of Finland stamps

April 14, 2014

Itella Posti, the Finnish postal service, will release three stamps honoring Tom of Finland later this year. The official announcement celebrates the work of Touko Laaksonen, “one of the most well-known Finnish artists around the world”: His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, […]

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Erotic Wall Painting and Statuary in the Ajanta Caves

April 11, 2014

BBC News has a long, fascinating article by William Dalrymple about the Ajanta caves. “On the walls of a line of 31 caves dug into an amphitheatre of solid rock, lie the most ancient and beautiful paintings in Buddhist art, the oldest of which date from the 2nd Century BC.” The site lies in a […]

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Regarding Sex Blog History

April 11, 2014

Dangerous Lilly and Eros Blog and Susannah Breslin and Eros Blog again recently wrote about the early history of “sex blogs”. One recurring question: Which was the first sex blog (assuming we can agree on what “sex blog” entails)? Other luminaries like Debra Hyde and Dan Lyke have weighed in. This blog was mentioned. For […]

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