Media Update – August 29, 2003

1. Dominatrix: I'll whip courts over sex rap
2. S&M fans gain pleasure from pain
3. N.C. sodomy law still enforced despite ruling on Texas measure
4. Two indicted for allegedly distributing obscene materials
5. Women on the Edge

1. Dominatrix: I'll whip courts over sex rap
2. S&M fans gain pleasure from pain
3. N.C. sodomy law still enforced despite ruling on Texas measure
4. Two indicted for allegedly distributing obscene materials
5. Women on the Edge

Dominatrix: I'll whip courts over sex rap
By Dana Difilippo
Philadelphia Daily News
August 27, 2003

MICHELENE NELSON is a dark-haired, dagger-nailed dominatrix who pounds paying men into whimpering submission. Next month, she hopes to make the court system whimper when she challenges her recent arrest on prostitution charges…

Her case highlights a growing conflict between privacy champions, who see S&M and related practices as civil-liberty issues, and crime-fighters, who see them as deviant sex behaviors that pose public-health risks. Her case is set for Sept. 23.

"If you're worried about STD's [sexually transmitted diseases] and other public-health issues, that's one thing. But S&M fetishes and cross-dressing are the ultimate safe sex, because you're not exchanging bodily fluids," Wright said. "The government should get out of our private spaces. What consenting adults do in private is really nobody's business."

"If two consenting adults decide they want to engage in that type of activity, that's fine, that's legal," Green said. "Paying for sexual gratification is not." [cont]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/6627177.htm
To respond, go to: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/contact_us/feedback_np2/
and cc: difilid@phillynews.com

S&M fans gain pleasure from pain
By Rose DeWolf
Philadelphia Daily News
August 27, 2003

By day they wear three-piece suits, lab coats and uniforms, and bark out orders to subordinates. But at night they cede all their power to whip-wielding, insult-slinging dominatrices to get their kicks.

Followers of sadomasochism are "believe it or not, often high-powered executives, very authoritative males who get a high out of relinquishing control," said Chris Fariello, senior staff therapist at the Penn Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. "They get turned on sexually by being submissive to the dominatrix, and then may go home and have sex with their wives, or other people, or by themselves. Or they may find the sadomasochism sexually gratifying by itself."…

"But, at the same time, it's safe. Commercial establishments have limits. The women who do this want to protect their livelihoods. They are not going to get the reputation that clients are seriously harmed." In that sense, Samuels said, going to a commercial place is safer than simply picking up a fellow S&M enthusiast in a bar. [cont]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/6627178.htm
To respond, go to: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/contact_us/feedback_np2/
and cc: dewolfr@phillynews.com

N.C. sodomy law still enforced despite ruling on Texas measure
By The Associated Press
News & Observer (Raleigh)
August 25, 2003

Police and sheriff's deputies are still enforcing North Carolina's crime against nature law despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a similar Texas law prohibiting homosexual sex. The North Carolina law is defined to ban oral or anal sex between unmarried couples. Critics contend it has been used to criminalize gay relationships and discriminate against homosexuals.

Law enforcement officials said they continue to use the law because it is their only way to make arrests for prostitution that involves oral sex, which isn't covered under the state's prostitution law.

Prosecutors also bring crime against nature charges against people who have sex in public, which other state laws don't specifically prohibit. A charge of indecent exposure would not necessarily apply because it's a crime to be naked in public only if seen by a member of the opposite sex.

John A. Maxfield, legal adviser to the Wake County sheriff, and Dawn Bryant, Raleigh's police attorney, have told officers they can continue to charge people with crime against nature as long as the activity occurs in a public place. [cont]

To read this article, go to:
http://newsobserver.com/nc24hour/ncnews/story/2810737p-2598037c.html
To respond, write to: forum@newsobserver.com

Two indicted for allegedly distributing obscene materials
By Dan Nephin
Philly.com
August 7, 2003

A California couple and their company were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly distributing obscene materials and federal authorities said more prosecutions are planned after years of lax enforcement.

Robert Zicari and Janet Romano, both of Northridge, and their company, Extreme Associates, were indicted for distributing three videos to Pittsburgh through the mail and six images over the Internet, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said Thursday.

"The lack of enforcement of our federal obscenity laws during the mid- to late-1990s has led to a proliferation of obscenity throughout the United States," Buchanan said at a news conference Thursday.

She was joined by U.S. Postal Service and Justice Department officials and Vance Proctor, captain of the Los Angeles Police Department's organized crime and vice division, all of whom participated in the investigation, which began more than one year ago. [cont.]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/6480317.htm
To respond, go to: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/contact_us/feedback/

Women on the Edge
By Silja J.A. Talvi
Alternet.org
August 28, 2003

In the early part of the 21st century, American women find themselves at a powerful, transitional place in the history of gender and sexual identity. The third wave of feminism is already here, as the brave offspring of the women's liberation struggle of the '60s and '70s. In each permutation, feminism has more broadly represented American women's concerns, with the third wave speaking out most strongly about the inextricable intersections of racism, classism, homophobia and sexism…

These are the women "on the edge," pushing and pulling at the inner and outermost definitions of femininity, feminism and womanhood. In doing so, they are rebelling not just against the dominant culture, but against a feminist culture that can be just as proscriptive in defining what is "normal."

BDSM practitioners play – emotionally and physically – with boundaries of gender, power and dominance. These are, perhaps not so coincidentally, the kinds of concepts that feminists have been analyzing and dissecting for decades. But within the more mainstream feminist movement, BDSM and particularly sexual submission, is often thought of as a regrettable byproduct of internalized sexism – even as a manifestation of self-hatred.

Why should gay men have a culture that supports access to these kinds of sex play, asks Klorman, while lesbians and feminists are more likely to frown on such expression than to support the pursuit of a woman's sexual satisfaction in whatever form it might arrive? [cont]

To read this article, go to: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16666
To respond, go to: http://www.alternet.org/feedback.html

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