Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The sex therapist will see you now

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Therapy is for the brave. Baring your soul to a stranger is not for the faint of heart. Sex therapy is often an even more emotionally vulnerable experience. Many people turn to sex therapy precisely because their urges, fantasies, or behaviors are so shameful that they can't bear to confide in their friends, family or partner. Now imagine putting all of that confusion and hurt on public display.

Chris Donaghue, sex therapist and host of Logo TV's Bad Sex, says his goal is to release people from the shame they experience. He gets emails from fans all over the world who respond to his pro-sex stance and long for his anti-shame message. Although he began his career as an addictions counselor, he says it never felt like a good fit. Sex addiction counselors are trained in addictions, but not sex. He believes the sex addiction model is "horribly shaming" and based not on health but on value judgments.


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Monday, November 18, 2013

PFLAG Gaston hosts Janice Covington

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

PFLAG Gaston has grown from a handful of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to a dynamic group of activists engaging their community. Founded in 2009 by Amy Sifford and Robert Kellogg, the group is now a visible participant in community events, such as the Downtown Gastonia Zombie Walk and Food Drive, Run for the Money and Taste of Gaston. A recent summer picnic sponsored by the group at Stowe Park in Belmont drew over 40 attendees, perhaps due to the appearance of Fortune Feimster. Feimster is a Belmont native who now lives in L.A. doing comedy and regularly appearing on Chelsea Lately. Feimster's mom Ginger is the current PFLAG Gaston president.

To fulfill its mission to spread education, support and understanding, PFLAG Gaston has been intentional about reaching out to local churches, the media and the health department. It has also supported the development of gay-straight alliances at area schools; there are GSA's at Highland School of Technology, Forest View High School, South Point High School and Gaston College. Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for LGBT youth is just one of the issues that members are passionate about.

In an effort to inform and educate on trans issues, PFLAG Gaston invited Janice Covington to speak at their next meeting, which is Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 258 W. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia. Janice is a well-respected activist in the Charlotte area. She was honored with this year's Harvey Milk Award at Charlotte Pride for her work raising awareness of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and her election as North Carolina's first openly transgender person to represent the state at the Democratic National Convention.

Some people quietly complain about injustices and wait for someone else to make things right. Not Janice. She makes people pay attention to what's wrong in the world. I recently spoke with this self-described "radical." (This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.)

  • Courtesy Janice Covington
  • Covington

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque left me underwhelmed - and depressed

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

"It's going to be trashy." That was the description a small group of 30-something women gave me when I asked them how that night's SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque was going to compare to the Dita Von Teese show I had seen at the same location, The Fillmore, a month prior. The talkative one predicted that the SG show was going to be "totally different - they get completely naked and make out with each other." She leaned in a little closer to me, "They're a big deal with lesbians."

Judging from the crowd, the SuicideGirls appeal to plenty of heterosexual men too - and not just the pierced and inked guys. Everybody has their fantasy girl and for some, it's a small-chested 22-year-old with neon green pig-tails and a tattoo of the Millennium Falcon on her thigh.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I am the Catfish

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

In the interest of pseudo-scientific research, I created an online dating profile for an attractive woman who was looking for nothing more than a good time. The response was overwhelming. I tried to return the emails as they came in but it became too time-consuming. In less than five hours, I received emails from 100 local men anxious to meet this brunette beauty. The sheer speed at which the response came was laughable.

I created the fake profile based on a few simple tips from the pros:
1. The pictures should be flattering, but realistic
2. Keep the biography portion short and light-hearted
3. Keep your interests generic and vague
4. Be fun and positive


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Friday, November 8, 2013

Get close with Catalyst

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Does the world need another hook-up app? Peter Simmons thinks so. This week, his Raleigh-based startup launched Catalyst - "the social network that goes out with you."

Catalyst attempts to set itself apart from other location-based social apps by touting its unique features. First, unlike other apps that identify users by general locations or within a certain radius, Catalyst users will check-in to a precise location. Instead of just knowing who is in Uptown on Saturday night, or even who is at the Epicenter, you can know exactly who is in the same bar or club as you are. Second, the app protects privacy by only disclosing mutual "likes." The hottie at the bar won't know you've got your eye on him unless he's likewise fond of you. From there, it's up to the two of you to make the connection. Third, selfies aren't original, but Catalyst hopes that a daily prompt to take a selfie will assure users that the user profiles and pictures on the app are real and recent.


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Video: TEDx talk on the importance of orgasmic meditation

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

An orgasm a day keeps the mental health doctors away, or so it would seem from Nicole Daedone's theory on Orgasmic Meditation. In the below TEDx talk we recently discovered, Daedone discusses how she discovered Orgasmic Meditation and why she thinks the practice is as beneficial to a person's well-being as any other form of meditation or exercise. In its most basic form, Orgasmic Meditation involves a partner stroking the upper left quadrant of the woman's clitoris lightly for around 15 minutes. In essence, the practice focuses on the importance of connecting through orgasm.

Nicole Daedone is the founder of the OneTaste Movement and the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. Discover more about Daedone at

To read more of Shawn Alff's writing, visit CL's sister paper in Tampa. You can also reach him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or email him here.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Sex and pregnancy

Posted By on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

It is my good fortune to call Lugenia Grider a colleague and a friend. We have taught several classes together, and I value her expertise as a doula, lamaze instructor, lactation peer counselor and women's health educator. She has a heart for helping women navigate a beautiful, but scary, season of life: pregnancy and new motherhood. More than anyone I know, Lugenia answers the questions and concerns of anxious parents-to-be, which is why I asked to her help me answer my own Q&A.

  • Tatiana Vdb (flickr Creative Commons)

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