Auckland 'researchers' have been awarded almost $800,000 to study pornography.
The $790,000 study by University of Auckland staff will look at the relationship between pornographic movies and people's real lives, examine our views on it, how it reflects and impacts society, and will include studies on young men and women, an
art exhibition, an interactive website and a public symposium.
When the grants were publicly announced, the pornographic study wasn't among those highlighted and on a full-list of grants it is innocuously described as a project examining public engagement towards a more inclusive and equitable society . Marsden Fund Council Chairman Professor Peter Hunter said no attempt was made to disguise the study, but admitted the project's working title was changed.
Writing about the project in the The University of Auckland News, Associate Professor of Psychology, Nicola Gavey, said after years of researching the cultural norms underpinning rape and with an ongoing interest in sexual violence
prevention it has become clear to me that we collectively need to think a lot more carefully about the issue of pornography .
Gavey wrote despite widespread use, pornography occupies an awkward position when discussed publicly. But Gavey's position is more clearly signposted by her books eg Just Sex?: The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape.
Gavey is conducting her research along with psychology colleagues, Ginny Braun and Octavia Calder-Dawe, and Linda Tyler from the Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery.
It rather seems that the 'results' of the 'research' have already been decided, the description of the work is hardly what one could call open minded:
Calder-Dawe will work with groups of young men and women, to explore the ethical dilemmas posed by exploitative and aggressive forms of pornography .
And in a wider collaboration, the group, along with artists and activists, will host an exhibition of artworks that call into question the prejudicial gaze of mainstream pornography .
Dr Kim McGregor, Director of Rape Prevention Education, said it was fabulous an academic of Gavey's pedigree would research such a complex topic . She says given the known links between pornography and sexual violence Gavey's work
was very important.
Hamilton city leaders are facing a backlash over their move to ban the Erotica Expo on moral grounds. City councillors have vetoed
an approach from the expo's promoters to book the Claudelands Events Centre for next March.
But the call has stunned many residents who say the decision should have been a financial one and that councillors had no mandate to make moral judgments on their behalf.
The councillors' vote - by nine to one - has prompted a huge online reaction, overwhelmingly critical of the decision. Most people wanted the right to make up their own minds whether to attend.
Erotica opponent councillor Dave Macpherson has defended his part in the decision online:
To all those who think council should allow the Sexpo at Claudelands - why would you support the right of an outfit whose only objective is to make money out of exploiting women? I'm proud to be the mover of the motion to prevent that.
But scores of residents have waded into the issue in online forums, accusing the councillors of forcing their morality onto ratepayers. Advertisement In a Waikato Times facebook poll, 111 of the 115 people who answered said the expo should have
Meanwhile, the Erotica expo's promoters are still mulling over their options after obtaining legal advice that the councillors' decision could be open to challenge through the courts.
Whilst sex shops in the Czech Republic still retain a sort of taboo, both customers and shopping
centre owners are beginning to perceive them as interesting additions to the high street.
The market for erotic goods has made huge progress in the last twenty years. Whereas previously it was associated primarily with porn tape rentals and men prevailed amongst their customers, these days the product range is oriented more towards
cosmetics, erotic lingerie, pheromone perfumes, massage oils, erotic aids and toys. The clientele has changed dramatically as well. Women or couples account for 80 percent of customers nowadays, says Ivan Michnevic from Cushman &
Wakefield's Retail Team.
However many landlords still refuse to let shops selling erotic goods into their centres, for various reasons. The most common reasons cited are concerns about the response of customers or adjacent shop owners. With some centres, this may also
stem from their codes of conduct that preclude such ranges of goods.
International sex shop companies have had little impact in the Czech Republic. There is only one firm in our country that has been capable of building a network of shops all over the country under the Erotic City brand. Its competitors are
individual shops which, however, are not networked. At this point, we have no knowledge of any international chain preparing to come to the Czech Republic, says Ivan Michnevic.
Erotic City has 75 shops in the Czech Republic today, 11 of which are in shopping centres. For the future, the company plans on further expansion into shopping centres in the Czech Republic as well as Slovakia.
I am convinced that the Erotic City concept in shopping centres is decent and does not agitate anyone. We have encountered no negative responses from landlords or centre management in the shopping centres where our outlets are located, says
Vladimir Jelinek, Development Director of City Relax, the operator of the Erotic City shops.
Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
24-27th November 2011.
Two Sexpo billboards have been vandalised in the run up to this month's sexuality lifestyle show in Melbourne. A large banner across a freeway and a standard billboard were both slashed with a sharp object on Wednesday night amid the chaos of the
storm front that hit Melbourne.
Sexpo organisers have replied to the attacks in a Christian manner by turning the other cheek and offering the perpetrators a free stand to publicise their beliefs to Sexpo patrons.
Australian Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, said that when freedom of speech and expression was under attack the best response was one that involved offering more freedom rather than less. We will not prosecute those who damaged the signs and
there will be no reprisals, only the chance for these people to increase their free speech opportunities , she said.
Ms Patten said that the attacks were indicative of a more intolerant Australia. Racial, sexual, religious and lifestyle intolerance are increasing in Australia as more politicians seek to stamp their personal views on the people they
represent , she said. These attacks on sex and lifestyle choices by religious and feminist extremists are a concern for the future direction of Australia .
From a nutter point of view but interesting nonetheless
by Febriani Sihombing
Last week, Japan saw the release of an erotic indie game called Kawaii Imouto ni Rizumu ni Awasete
Koshi wo Furedatte (So I heard I Can Make My Little Sister Swing Her Hips to The Rhythm!)
The internet community was shocked and amused by the game, which boasts a right hand free-mode feature, blatantly proclaiming to the world, that anyone buying this game will probably want to heh hem...pleasure themselves with one hand and
play with the other. But of course, an erotic game would fail as an erotic game, if you cannot fap on it, or so I read on an erotic gamer's blog. Needless to say, the release of the game was big news on Japanese Twitter that day.
Erotic or R18 games refer to games with sexually explicit contents. Games that depict violence and or politically/culturally sensitive topics are not called R18, if they do not center on love simulation with sexual themes.
Erotic games started in the 1980s, but quickly expanded to the variety we know today. There are a lot of variations in erotic games, from simple hardcore porn, where the aim of the game is to have sex with your targets, to the beautifully planned
love simulation RPG games, which have a proper plot and sex with the targeted character forms only a small highlight part to prove the characters' eternal love. Most erotic games use anime style graphics, but cover all genres, including
simulations, RPGs, shooting games, rhythm games, you name it. I think I can guarantee that there's an erotic game for almost every existing genre.
So even though I've heard about these games before I came to Japan, I didn't realize how many there were or how popular they are. The sheer variety means guys could never feel they're lacking in porn games. My initial thoughts were that if most
erotic games use animated cartoon-style graphics for their characters, it's not really harming anyone, but then I began to wonder.
They're a feted society couple, who just happen to be purveyors of porn. So how do Malcolm Day and his wife, Bree Maddox, mix
respectability with raunch? Jane Cadzow meets the adult-industry entrepreneurs in their home town of Perth.
Day and Maddox could have told us that. Both have campaigned against Australian censorship laws that make it an offence in all states to sell X-rated videos (but not to own them). Adultshop and other porn retailers are forced to fill online orders
from warehouses in the ACT, where selling them is legal. The whole thing is crazy, says Maddox. Videos like Hand Job Honeys and Slutty and Sluttier may not be great art, but I don't understand how watching two people have consensual sex is any
more unhealthy than watching someone's head get blown off. Surely people have nightmares after watching horror films. I've never watched a porno that I've had a nightmare about. She pauses. And I've seen a lot of porno in my life.
Many in the business bypass the classification system altogether. Day says it is impossible to compete with the influx of pirated hardcore movies brought in from overseas and sold everywhere from sex shops to petrol stations. At any rate, DVD
sales - once the mainstay of porn merchandising - have fallen dramatically in the past few years, as consumers have turned to the mass of material available free on the internet, much of it produced by enthusiastic amateurs.
For Day, the challenge is to make up lost income. Having ruled out expanding into brothels, he is launching a chain of stores catering specifically for women - lots of lingerie, some discreetly displayed sex toys. Quite classy, he hopes. Perth's
first Brigitta store is due to open next month at Westfield Whitford City Shopping Centre. More will follow next year, and he intends to take the concept interstate: Our plan is to open stores in Melbourne and Sydney in 2013.
A proposal for a tax on porn sites that would benefit the local film business is gaining support in Hungary.
Laszlo Simon, member of parliament for the ruling center-right Fidesz party, has backed an initiative sponsored by the rival liberal LMP party to tax the local porn industry to generate revenue for the cultural fund that backs local arthouse pics.