Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Excellent Example of Why We Have to Be Sceptical About Information on the Web

I was just searching for information on research regarding the use of food oils as personal lubricants when I came across this gem of a website:

This is scary stuff kids! First of all, the reason I landed on this site is that google pulled this up under 'personal lubricants, medical references' - underneath the title in my search list was this 'The references below clearly show that natural personal lubricants that use plant oils and vegetable oils are recommended for all forms of sex play by Gynecologists, Obstetricians, Medical Research, Medical Hospitals and Universities and other qualified sex and relationship advisors.' So I clicked on it without reading the name of the website.

On this page are numerous 'medical references' which support the idea that food oils in the vagina are a good idea. I didn't even notice that this site is selling an oil-based lubricant until I read a few of the medical references. They all come from gynecologists and other health practitioners so one might believe that these people know what they're talking about. But I know from experience that just because you're a doctor, even a gynecologist, doesn't mean that you know anything about lubricants. In fact, I would venture to say that the vast majority of physicians know very little about the safe use of lubricants - they are usually coming to me for that information!

Here, on this page is the proof that some of them don't know what they're talking about. Here's a quote listed from The Virtual Hospital-University of Iowa "The use of latex condoms with a vegetable oil as a lubricant is suggested to protect your skin. Petroleum-based lubricants may affect the integrity of condoms when used for birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Our experience has not found this to be a problem with vegetable-based oils." Excuse me? I certainly have! If you put any oil on a condom, be it food oil or synthetic oil, it will break. Fortunately the virtual hospital adds this "However, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that condoms not be used with any oil based lubricants for birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted infections." Nice of them to throw that in there.

The site actually contradicts it's own claims by then including this note from gynecologist Dr. David Gerber "Please note: Vegetable oil cannot be used with latex condoms (causes breakdown of latex and the condoms break)."

There's also this gem "I think it's a good time to experiment with different products for lubricant. Some people use almond oil, coconut oil, or Crisco [oil] if you're not worried about condoms." Kara Nakisbendi, M.D. Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Crisco? Crisco?????? Are you kidding me? But she is a board certified Obstetrician and if she tells you to put Crisco up your vagina, it must be okay, right?

They don't mention silicone lubes at all except on another page on 'nasty ingredients'. There, you'll find this warning 'Silicone, much like mineral oil, coats the skins surface. A product in the UK uses dimethicone to destroy head lice'. This makes it sounds as if silicone lubes have DDT in them. They don't explain why there is dimethicone in the lice treatment. If you go to the page they cite as a reference, you find out. 'Instead of poisoning the parasites by chemical means, the dimeticone in Hedrin lotion works by physically coating the lice. This stops them moving and feeding and also prevents them from being able to excrete excess water. Both actions kill the lice. Head lice cannot become resistant to the lotion because it works in this physical way.' So really, the dimenthicone is an inert, gentle, and safe way to keep to lice from feeding and procreating without exposing the person to harsh chemicals. The action of the dimethicone - coating and protecting, is actually something you might want in a lubricant. What's nice about dimethicone is that while it does coat the skin, it does not allow anything through while it's there, nor does it bind to anything, so it will not promote infection. They don't mention that on this site because they are trying to convince people not to buy silicone lubes.

They also list Polyquaternium 15 and Carboxymethylcellulose as ingredients in silicone lubes. I have never seen a silicone lubricant with these ingredients. Silicone lubes almost always contain only silicone - with the occasional exception of vitamin E or Aloe. If it has anything else, it's not a pure silicone lube. Apparently the people who make this lube don't know that.

There are dire warnings about how irritating carboxymethylcellulose is but really, it's a synthesized fiber that's considering safe for use in food products and even eye drops.

So do be careful about trusting what you read on the net. The thing that gives this site away is the roughness of the design (lack of professional presentation) and the fact that the references are so vague and spotty. But if you take just one glance at it, it looks like good information from knowledgeable sources - after all, all of their references are doctors.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Gift List for the Kinky and Hard to Buy For

My column in VUE this week is not posted on the website, so I'm posting it here so you can read it on-line - you can catch the printed version this week until Thursday.

It’s gift-giving season yet again so I spent this week searching for gift ideas for all of you who are stumped for something for that special, somewhat kinky, someone who has everything. If a gift card just isn’t going to make the lasting impression you’re hoping for, here are a few things that definitely will.

For the gadget lover, there is the Little Rooster vibrating alarm clock. This tiny clock actually fits right into your panties. Instead of awakening to a loud obnoxious alarm, you’ll feel a warm tingling between your legs. Press the snooze button and the vibration will continue just until your 9 minutes snooze is over. Somehow I’m thinking this would make you want to stay in bed rather than get up.

For the horror movie fanatic, check out the Fleshlight Freaks. This line of dildo and masturbation sleeves is inspired by our favorite horror movie creatures. There is the Zombie, with decaying flesh and open wounds. The Vampire sports a batwing vulva, or you can choose the mouth version with sexy pointed fangs. The Frankenstein models looks like they’ve been stitched together from many different body parts, and the Alien is blue with two heads instead of one. There is a female and male version for each monster. No, I am not making this up.

For the political junkie, why not pick up an official Barak Obama dildo? Shaped in the likeness of the president of the United States, these dildos come in your choice of presidential gold or democratic blue. You’ll be pleased to know that the ‘Head of State’ dildo is phthalate free. And no, I’m not making this one up either.

For the hard to buy for pet, why not their very own love doll? The hot doll is a soft and sturdy dog-shaped companion for your faithful friend to hug and love and, well…you get the picture. The hot doll comes in a variety of sizes from Yorkie to Golden Retriever.

For the festive fashionista, 3 Wishes has a variety of Christmas themed lingerie. Choose from sexy snowman with hat and plaid scarf, naughty toy soldier, or raunchy reindeer complete with antler headband and jingle bell collar. Just don’t go to Canada Post website for a link to the raunchy reindeer costume, they took that down months ago.

For the perfectionist, or perhaps the easily confused, Pipedreams has finally solved the pesky problem of losing your way when you’re going down. The Oral Sex Light looks like a microphone headset but instead of a mic, it holds a small light so you can see what you’re doing while you’re down there. This one would also be great for those with Rockstar fantasies or anyone who gets turned on by the guy who demonstrates the ShamWow at the mall.

For a great gift set, why not pair the Oral Sex Light with the Oral Sex Snorkel? This little gadget, consisting of a nose plug connected to two long tubes, allows you to “breathe normally while giving her a long lustful licking she’ll never forget.” Sexy!

For the fantasy geek, Bad Dragon makes a range of dragon-inspired dildos. You read that right. These are artist conceptions of dragon dicks. If dragons aren’t your thing, you can also get whale or dolphin penises, and even masturbation sleeves in the shape of horse vaginas. While it may sound a little out there, these toys are actually beautiful, in a disturbed sort of way, and they are all made of 100% silicone. They are definitely something the average dolphin-lover will not have in his or her collection and it’s much more useful than sea world snow globe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lawsuit Launched over .xxx

Way back in July, I wrote a post about the potential launch of .xxx, a new top level web domain. In order to bring anyone who hasn't heard about this up to spead, here are the relevant pieces.

'So here's the deal. An internet domain registry service called ICM has been trying to get the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbering to approve their proposal for a .xxx top level domain, to be used solely for adult content. This idea has been brought forward to ICANN and others many times in the past, but this six year battle that ICM has engaged in is not only to have the domain established but for ICM to have exclusive rights over it - ie. if you want an .xxx domain, you'll have to pay ICM and only ICM. ICM, and the proponents of this idea claim that it will help internet users avoid unwanted adult content and will help protect children from incidental exposure. They say that it will make filters even more effective because parents can simply block the entire domain.

But if use of the domain is voluntary, will it really make a difference. A .com domain costs anywhere from $7 to $20 a year so what will likely happen is that adult site owners who have a .com right now will simply add a .xxx to increase their traffic. They won't drop the .com. So bam! We've just doubled the number of porn addresses on the web! Great way to control kids access to porn. Not only that, but then everyone will know that there is a virtual goldmine of porn over the .xxx rainbow. Type in and you're sure to come up with some porn. So does this make it easier or more difficult for kids to access porn.

It seems obvious to me that this is nothing more than a money grab. ICM has spent $10 million so far to make .xxx a reality. Yes, you read that right, $10 Million!! So guess how much they expect to make from it? As mentioned before, a .com domain name is, at most, $20 a year. ICM does not state, on their website, how much the domain will actually cost but a rep. from the Free Speech Coalition said she has heard estimates of anywhere from $50 to $275/year. Why so much more than .com? It's because you can only get it from ICM so they can charge whatever they want. The president of ICM did say in the interview that they expect to make up to $150 million a year from .xxx! He said that they already have 156,000 domain names parked - so if all of those end up paying their $50, that's $7.8 million in their pockets before they even start!'

Well, the establishment of .xxx went ahead - in fact, registration opened to the public just yesterday. But, as I could have predicted, the porn industry is fighting back. Some of the biggest on-line providers of adult content launched a lawsuit a couple of weeks ago claiming anti-trust and anti-competition violations.

I say good on them. It's obviously and patently unfair to open up this massive public domain but restrict access to the profit from it to only one company. I hope ICANN and ICM lose and lose big. The problem is that lawsuits take forever. In the meantime, ICM will make a boatload of money and owners of adult sites will have to make the choice of whether to put out or lose out.