It has been a hard week in the sex community, and there is still much to be resolved. Check out some of the of the most interesting sex stories we dug up this week.

The Bowie Situation

There may not be a more explosive combination than grief and anger. The sudden death of pop culture and music icon David Bowie exposed the acute rawness of both these emotions in the sex community. While sadness reigns for the loss of a man who was a hero to some, a nerve was struck in others who were triggered by the kind words being shared about the same man who had a significantly troubling past. While some lauded Bowie for the effect he had on sexuality, others reminded us of his problematic sexual dealings in the past. Yes, Bowie had an indelible effect on culture for his proud advance of queer sexualities, but as an adult he also had sex with teenagers. This revelation (many folks were not aware) sparked furious debate about consent, victimhood, rape culture, allyship, grief, and much more. I do not honestly remember another time when the sex community was so divided. Many thought-provoking and emotional pieces were written, and I suggest you explore many of them for all sides of these important issues. I will direct you to this excellent, nuanced, and valuable work on the troubling legacy of David Bowie by Aida Mandulay that captures so many of the thoughts that troubled the community.

Drying Up Lube Myths

Despite the difficult feelings about Bowie, let’s not forget that the sex community is a true force and a community in the truest sense of the word. When you try to mess around with sex-related stuff, you’re likely to hear it from this strong collective. You know, like when you make a claim that your lube can “protect users from sexually-transmitted infections (including HIV), precancerous cell growth on the cervix, treat yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, alleviate menstrual cramps, and ease vaginal dryness.” Basically, this company claims to have invented vaginal wonderstuff. But can they back up their claims of being the greatest lube ever? Not at all, and a number of sex bloggers have been calling the parent company, I Believed After Using It, out on Twitter for making such preposterous statements. While this story might be as much of an indictment of the FDA for allowing this stuff to be classified as a cosmetic product, a company that dares makes such claims without proof and documentation is astonishing.

Breakups 101

One of the hardest parts of a relationship is realizing that it needs to end. Regardless of whether you are the person instigating the break-up or the person being broken up with, the end of something that once contained promise has to sting. Unfortunately, ending a relationship is something we are not taught to do. Instead, we learn from teen comedies and rom-coms. You know, because there are always hi-jinks and hilarity to be had when you’re breaking someone’s heart. Rather than taking your lead from John Hughes, check out this fantastic guide to breaking-up like an adult by Dr. Timaree Schmit. I concur that these interpersonal skills and tips should definitely be taught in sex education classes in school.

Positive Movements for DSM

It is natural to have some fear when you are exploring new kinks. Will you like it? Will it hurt too much? Will you be classified as mentally ill for participating in a consensual sex act? That last one was, for a time, a distinct fear if your activities somehow became known and could be used against you. That’s because for a long time, according to a great piece in The Atlantic last week, many different sexual activities and sexualities were classified as problematic in the long-controversial DSM. As the main guide for assessing mental health, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has a storied history when it comes to sex that seems to be improving with each new edition. Yet, it wasn’t until the release of DSM-V that folks were no longer considered to be mentally ill if they chose to participate in consensual sex acts outside the mainstream. That's still pretty shocking considering how long people have been experiencing and enjoying kinky activity. Hopefully the understanding of kink continues with each new edition of the DSM.

Virtually Hot

Have you ever had a knock-your-socks-off sexual experience with the sexy babe of your choice ... while actually all alone, on your couch? If you’re a fan and player of MMO (massively multiplayer online environments), there’s a good chance you've given some virtual sex play a try...or at least thought about it. While these digital playgrounds, such as Second Life, have existed for over a decade, their sexytime potential is now increasing in popularity. But don’t go opening a new tab and getting too excited; you can’t just log in and get off. As M. Christian notes in a recent article on Future of Sex, there is a lot to do before your avatar will be ready to bask in the digital afterglow. Perhaps the most important thing to remember about virtual sex is that despite the moans that technology is driving us apart, communication is still as key as it is in “real life.”

In the Gutter?

I recently participated in a reading event where I regaled the audience with tales of my past masturbating in porno booths. Sometimes, I really miss those days because I am a big proponent of adventurous sex amory. This past week, I read a story of a masturbation booth in Manhattan! Under the pretext of providing relief for working stiffs, this little street-side hovel comes complete with a laptop to facilitate your wank. It might be a better option than, you know, actually masturbating at work. Curiously, the contraption seems to be entirely focused on men needing to recharge and refocus with the help of some solo afternoon delight. Why are women excluded? Wouldn’t they also want to partake?