Media Update – August 21, 2003

1. Leather-bound librarian provided ‘sadistic, yet caring’ services online
2. Locals shocked after police arrest pair in S&M raid
3. Swing away! Lifestyles Convention unites wife-swappers, sex-watchers
4. Sex and the Student Body
5. Rubber Maids

1. Leather-bound librarian provided ‘sadistic, yet caring’ services online

2. Locals shocked after police arrest pair in S&M raid

3. Swing away! Lifestyles Convention unites wife-swappers, sex-watchers

4. Sex and the Student Body

5. Rubber Maids

"Leather-bound Librarian Provided ‘Sadistic, Yet Caring’ Services Online"

By M.L. Lyke

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter

August 16, 2003

The town librarian, in sweet summer straw-hat, approached a stranger outside the library door, where a taped-up poster showed a goofy big-eyed pup advertising the kids’ book "Hugs and Kisses." The woman beamed a warm, jolly smile in welcome. She bolted when she learned yesterday’s visitor was a reporter.

Valerie Shahan, hired in June to run this little town’s new library, made headlines earlier this week when her private life as Lady Jane Grey was made public in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Lady Jane Grey, Shahan’s alias, is the star of a kinky Web site that describes her as "sadistic, yet caring" and promises "she will transform you into a weak-willed toy for her pleasure."

"If she can keep that business to herself, and her private life doesn’t interfere with her job, that’s one thing. But if she associates with kids." McAdam paused. "I don’t know if I’d want to see children influenced by someone with that kind of behavior." [cont]

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Locals shocked after police arrest pair in S&M raid Northeast Philadelphia News Gleaner By Michael J. Mishak August 21, 2003

Many stood in disbelief last week as the Police Department’s Vice Enforcement Unit raided the residence, a staging area for sadomasochistic practices, and arrested two women for prostitution and related charges.

For the second time in just more than two years, Michelene Nelson, 49, was arrested for operating an S&M parlor and promoting prostitution in Tacony. Jill Shapiro, 21, was arrested and charged with prostitution, criminal solicitation and criminal conspiracy.

Acting on their own intelligence with the assistance of Tacony Town Watch and concerned neighbors, the police Vice Unit began its investigation in February, said Lt. Charlie Green… According to Green, bondage practices between consenting adults are not illegal, but "sexual gratification for money is prostitution."

The apartment’s medical room held the most disturbing evidence, Green said. Police recovered syringes, catheters, clamps, vices, enemas, heavy-duty close pins, mouse traps and gas masks, he said. Police also recovered several photographs.

"It was really, really alarming," Green said. "I’ve been on the job for 22 years, and this kind of thing gives you the creeps." Other pictures documented genital torture and piercing. "She’s a very mean woman," Green said. "Not very pleasant at all." [cont.]

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"Swing away! Lifestyles Convention Unites Wife-swappers, Sex-watchers"

By Newt Briggs

Las Vegas Mercury

August 14, 2003

Call them anything you want–open-minded adults, lifestylers, the sexually enlightened–but, please, don’t call them swingers. Not that there’s anything wrong with swinging per se, it’s just that the label "swingers" has gotten kind of a bad rap of late–as if, for example, a man in a committed relationship ought to feel ashamed about wanting to watch his wife make love to a bevy of other, similarly inclined gentlemen. Or what about the faithful house-frau who occasionally wants to indulge herself in the tangy flesh of the forbidden man-fruit? Is that some kind of a crime? Should she be made to parade around in some sort of–I don’t know–scarlet letter?! Last time I looked, this was America not Afghanistan.

"There’s definitely a certain hypocrisy in America today, especially among our political leaders," said Gary Booth, director of public relations for The Lifestyles Organization–the United States’ largest swingers association and sponsor of last weekend’s Lifestyles West Convention at the Aladdin Hotel-Casino. "One of the things our current administration likes to boast is that they favor less-intrusive government. I mean, who are they kidding? What could be more intrusive than someone trying to regulate the activities in your bedroom?"

It should be noted, however, this libertarian rhetoric goes only so far–especially when it comes to meddlesome journalists scribbling furiously on their notepads. After little more than an hour milling about the convention center and speaking with participants, I was confronted by security, accused of taking pictures (I wasn’t carrying a camera) and–even after presenting evidence of press affiliation–escorted outside. According to Booth, who readmitted me a half-hour later, it was an overreaction inspired by events of previous days. "We’ve had some situations during the past couple nights where we’ve had the gaming board or vice coming in and looking for things. Of course, they haven’t found anything, but we’re being very cautious."

Still, it makes you wonder about the extent to which event attendees believe their own espoused principles. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." In other words, if you want to swing then swing away, but don’t pretend you’re striking a blow for freedom as you blatantly flaut the Bill of Rights. Now who’s kidding themselves?" [cont.]

"Sex and the Student Body"

By Elizabeth Ehrenberg

In These Times

August 15, 2003

My first week of college I enjoyed my first dose of smut. The source? Squirm: The Art of Campus Sex, Vassar’s erotic magazine, which is replete with salacious prose, poetry, and photography created by and for the student body.

And Squirm is not alone. As Katha Pollitt noted in a recent article for Le Monde, "On the university campus today sex-positivity rules."

Swarthmore publishes its own erotic magazine, Untouchables. Oberlin throws an annual all campus party called "Safer Sex Night," which includes everything from free condoms and lube to demonstrations of S&M. A group of Smith students started a porn Web site called, and, a popular sexual health Q&A forum, originated at Columbia University.

Sex-positive culture has also surfaced at public universities, yet funding at these institutions has become a point of political contention. In response to events at Penn State, which included a lecture by transgendered author Patrick Califia-Rice, State Rep. John A. Lawless tried to block funding and complained that "[these] events shouldn’t be occurring." [cont.]

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"Rubber Maids"

By William Norwich

New York Times

August 17, 2003

While fall fashion’s most commercial news is that everything ladylike is all the rage, there are other sides to the season’s story, other voices, other boons. For instance, latex and rubber wear are begging for attention, a sort of rebel yell. From subtle to ”genius” suggestions in the collections of Julien Macdonald, Helmut Lang and Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga to more overt displays in skirts, tops and thongs by John Galliano for Christian Dior, it is latex here, latex there, S&M lite everywhere.

Something aroused this particular fetish. Maybe it was Annie Leibovitz’s photograph of Cameron Diaz, accessorizing a black Gaultier suit with red rubber surgical gloves, in Vogue that got everyone thinking. Maybe it was a disease like SARS that prompted the jet set to seek, through fashion, a second, protective skin. Or perhaps it was the emerging cult of Gaelyn and Cianfarani, young designers whose clothes include pieces made from recycled rubber.

Maybe it is the continued influence on fashion of "The Matrix," rekindled by the release of its sequel, "The Matrix Reloaded," with its style message amplified, no doubt, by revelations about the personal life of one of its directors, Larry Wachowski, who recently left his wife of nine years to pursue a relationship with the dominatrix who accompanied him to the Cannes Film Festival. [cont.]

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