We’re halfway through 2016, and what a year it has been in the world of sex. Lots of heartbreak, lots of hope. At times, it has felt like the bad has outweighed the good. That heft can be overwhelming. Here’s looking to a better second half. Let’s make it sexy and satisfying.

Alcohol and Consent: Shaken, Not Stirred

This is my front-runner for most important sex writing of the year.Lux Alptraum explores our complex relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual consent because it can be serious problem. Not always, but sometimes. Whether you’re a drinker yourself or someone who has sex with people who drink, the lines of consent, already unnecessarily fuzzy in our society, become even more confused when seen through beer goggles. We’re still reeling from the Brock Turner case, but it did raise questions that we need to work through. Lux’s own story and the stories of other contributors give a much better understanding of the types of considerations that we all need to make when it comes to having sex when one, both, or all of us are intoxicated.

Time Well Spent?

How much time do you think you've spent having sex? Do you think your number is higher than average? Do you wish it were? A recent study determined the (estimated) actual time we spend having sex over the course of our lifetimes. Some might be dismayed to learn the number isn’t very high. After interviewing people from all over the world (a good representation, actually), researchers looking into how much time we spend on physical fitness determined that we spend about 0.45% of our lives on erotic exercise. That works out to 117 days. Now, some might look at that number and bemoan that it doesn’t seem that much in comparison to other activities, but just imagine if you were to try it for all 117 days in a row! Kidding aside, this type of study could be a very interesting jumping point for other metrics that could help us understand more about our relation to sex.

Summer Lovin'

Could there be any skewing of the numbers if people live in warmer climates or if they spend more time having sex during summer months? Some people love summer sex. Some folks don’t like it at all. Hot, sticky, too humid, it does have some serious problems. However, if you do like some summer lovin’, here are some really fun tips to take your summer sexytimes to scorching levels. As a sun bum myself, I am looking forward to trying some of these ideas out, like an outdoor shower. Fortunately, this article didn’t mention beach sex as advice. Sand is not fun!

HeteroHashtagFail

Has anybody else been following the fun of #HeterosexualPrideDay? And by fun I mean how we have to laugh or else we’ll cry? The Pride movement is nearing its 50 year anniversary. It has been almost half a century since queer took on the New York City police at the Stonewall Inn. There were riots. There were fights. There was violence. All in the name of liberation, love, community, and the ability to just be us. So, to see people who have experienced zero oppression in the world talk about “needing” a day because the queer community has there’s is galling and offensive. And foolish. So, instead of being lured into rage, take solace in the fact that our humorous spin is much more impressive than their attempt at “equality.”

Short Changed

The idea of being attracted to specific features in another human is wildly contentious. At what point is your “type” just an attraction that can then morph into some kind of discrimination? Obviously this is a heavy subject that navigates race, privilege, and many other serious concerns. I was surprised to read about the discrimination against short men. Okay, I’m not surprised in some respects. I’m a short guy and other guys have long looked down on me and what I might be able to physically accomplish. Yet it was interesting to learn how many women specifically look at a man’s height on dating and matchmaking sites. Of all the things we do and do not like about other humans, their vertical constraint seems one of the least important physical attributes to focus on. I can’t help it; this just doesn’t measure up.

Building Bodies

Every time there is a glimpse into the everyday machinations of the sex world and industry, people get flustered. A little while back, titillation tweets went into overdrive when photos from a sex toy factory showed workers dipping dildos in colouring. Isn’t it funny that PEOPLE work there handling DONGS all day long?!?! Well, no, it isn’t. How did you think these things were made? Are they just born of sexual goodwill and spirit? No, they’re made in a factory just like most of the products you use every damn day. It isn’t naughty. It is work by good people making a living. So why the shock and awe at the video shot at a sex doll factory? I’ll give a little on this one, because people do imbue more onto sex dolls because of their life-like characteristics. However, What did everyone think happened in this place? Parts, goop, frames...it may not be a pretty process, but the end results sure can be.