A tidal wave of shock has fallen over the sex community, but all is not lost. There are many different stories out there. Of course, we'll keep tabs of the big one, but let’s keep looking for the small stories, too.

Fallen, False Idol

There is no way to discuss the week in sex news without tackling that big, awful elephant in the room that is James Deen.

The poster boy of porn, the acclaimed male feminist, the money making machine has been accused by multiple women, first his former partner Stoya, of sexual assault in many different instances over the years. Some will find these allegations shocking, heartbreaking, libido-crushing, and financially devastating. James Deen was not just an institution on film, but also to the industry as a whole because of his star power. Product lines, affiliate deals, and the much-discussed crossover potential of the “boy next door” had people lining up and salivating - in different ways.

In the coming weeks, much will be written and discussed about the porn industry, but let’s remember something and keep this idea forefront: awful things happened to women. Women who, because of this man’s standing, reputation, and clout, were unable to come forward until Stoya broke her silence. Women who didn’t think they’d be believed now need to be heard. There are naysayers out there with bullshit conspiracy theories and opinions that I refuse to give voice to. Rather, the voices of Stoya, Tori Lux, Ashley Fires, Amber Rayne, Kora Peters, Joanna Angel, and Nicki Blue are those voices that require our attention. It is time to believe women and not fall back to the same old terror tactics that have forced other women into silence for so long.

Personally speaking, I do not want, at this point, to hear from Deen himself. There’s a reason he was a big star - he’s pretty damn charismatic. If anyone can sway people, he can. These stories of vicious behavior, when translated by a well-spoken aggressor, could be shifted and twisted. There is a time and place for critical thinking, weighing of opinions, and looking at both sides. As is so often the case, that balance has not been equal for all. I am fine with an imbalance that weighs heavily in favor of the stories of the women.

This could be a time when people finally learn to listen to women who've been assaulted first and foremost. Is this harsh? Yes. Go back and read the terrible things James Deen is accused of doing. Is it still harsh? Consider the vast, never ending history of violence towards women compared to the very low instances of fake rape claims. Really, it isn’t harsh at all.

We’ve seen this all too often to take it lightly. As a cis man, it would be easy to ask people to not paint all men with the same brush. Yet, that’s impossible. Too much damage has been done.I stand with victims and survivors. I stand with women. I stand with Stoya, Tori, Ashley, Amber, Kora, Joanna, and Nicki. I implore all other men to also stand up. End violence. End rape. End rape culture. End toxic masculinity. And don’t sit back down until change has been established,

Confused About Pleasure

From situations like the one above comes the need to examine this next article. Because, seriously, there are just so many things wrong with the ideas that form “men’s sex.” There was a point in time where hoping to please your partner was actually a simple concept. You just wanted to please your partner. That's it. That's all. No angle, no subtext.

Yet, as so often happens, this caring idea gets diverted into being all about him. The three ideas Ginny Brown explores over at Everyday Feminism - focusing on his achievement, pleasure for his enjoyment, and gold star-ism - are all something that can be easily slipped into whether you’re genuinely trying to help your partner to pleasure or just think you’re being genuine. These are messages that are put on men: that this is how they need to act. However, everybody’s sexual response and enjoyment is their own. Communicating how your and your partner’s pleasures can best interact and cooperate is such an important conversation to have.

Let’s remember that there are some good things about sex too!

A Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss

So many words have been written about the seemingly simple act of kissing. Whether it's your first time connecting or just one of many you’ve experienced over a lifetime together, the joining of lips remains a special part of our human connection. As the inimitable Sandra LaMorgese, PhD reveals, kissing does a lot more than just convey emotion and intimacy. Kissing can improve our health and psychological well-being. We’re talking everything from the immune system to tooth health to blood pressure to self-esteem and much more! As LaMorgese notes, we might, too often, focus too much on getting to the sexytimes and forgetting the kissyface times. So, let’s slow it down, pull up close and pucker up!

Procreation With a Pro

Most of us grow up with the idea, whether we tell it to ourselves or with someone else telling it to us, that we will one day find our place in the world. That we’ll have a role, find a goal and excel at something. And Ed Houben, a fellow in the Netherlands, has certainly found the thing that sets him apart by having fathered 106 children. The Babymaker, as he has been affectionately dubbed, has been on the job for about 15 years, first providing sperm medically and then moving into being an active donor. It is the active donor part that might get some people a little flustered, but it is actually quite refreshing to hear that so many people are accepting of conception through actual sex - even if it challenges relationship models, structures and expectations.

Let Your Mind Wander

“If sex is the lens through which I view life, then fantasies are how I keep that lens polished.“I love these words. Let them run around in your head a bit. The inimitable Malin James has, in this post about the value of fantasy, affirmed the crucial ability of our imaginations to explore our interests, to pull from the world around us the bits and fragments that might inform our evolving sexualities. Maintaining an active fantasy sex life is just as important as maintaining a physical one. Fresh new ideas and reimagined oldies-but-goodies are the spark of new flames.