I am completely thankful for balance this week. Some pretty outlandish sex stories have come down the pipe lately. Fortunately some other fantastic considerations of sex have balanced things out. Let’s start with the wacky and lead to the wonderful.

Three-Breasted Woman

The interwebs were all abuzz with the story of the Florida woman who paid $20,000 to have a third breast installed on her chest. Now, this titty tale has been pretty much debunked with a report that she had once filed a stolen baggage claim for luggage that was carrying a three-breast prosthetic. However, these shenanigans speak to larger implications. Should people be allowed to cosmetically alter their bodies to this extreme? Of course, the idea of altering our appearances is nothing new...so why all the hubbub about a third boob? We can make the other two as big as we want...so why can't we add a third? And if doctors ever figure out how to add length to a penis or even a second penis, people will be all over that surgical option.

Vulva Cookies

Okay, militant surprise tactics aside, do you think a class of second graders should be offered vulva-shaped cookies? The mother volunteer clearly went about offering this lesson in positive anatomy appreciation incorrectly, but what about the message? Would it be beneficial to kids to normalize and potentially celebrate vulva, penis and any other parts with things like sugary treats? From what I read, the cookie mom was vilified, but at the same time I saw a great article by another mom who is frustrated by her child's teacher saying her daughter shouldn’t say the word "vagina" at school. So, which way do we go here? Had the baker mom been more congenial in her approach and then denied, would there still be backlash or would we have been applauding her?

Behind Bars

I don’t want to say we have a glamourized version of prison sex, but media has certainly distorted the reality of what inmates are actually getting up to behind bars. This excellent article on the various types of sex and sexualities that exist in the penal system is frightening and hilarious at the same time. Having spent 10 years incarcerated, Daniel Genis saw and heard of all manner of sex in the big house. Prostitution, hidden handjobs, rape, incidental sex, increased rates of HIV, conjugal visits. Even an ingenious hook-up behind a pop machine. Movies and tv tell us that prisoners live in fear of being bent over in the shower or getting cornered in a lonely hallway. Turns out, prison sex is much more complicated.

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Rookie Sex Toy Shopping

Buying your first sex toy can be a frightening, puzzling and downright intimidating endeavour. Depending on where you go, you could end up standing before a giant wall of dongs, straps, buttons, plugs and other things you just have no idea what the hell they are. We have such a fear and stigma around sex, I bet many people go in and out of sex shops several times before ever making a purchase. Stumble blindly no more, toy shoppers! Cara Sutra has put together a fantastic guide to buying a sex toy depending on your gender, sexuality and relationship status. Her advice is thorough with numerous examples and her inclusive writing is a breath of fresh air. Most posts about sex toys revolve around cis and heterosexual people. Fortunately, Cara knows many, many people like to expand their toy boxes.

Can you help your partner through a break-up?

Polyamorous relationships are difficult for some people to understand. And I don’t just mean those who aren’t in them! Given that there is no handbook to understanding poly, there are bound to be many different situations that come up that are new to deal with. Such as helping your partner deal with the end of another relationship. Louisa Leontiades explores this potentially challenging situation. A major part of polyamory is trying to attain and maintain a feeling of compersion—a happiness for your partner’s happiness with another partner. Is it compersion, then, that will help you help your partner when their other relationship falls apart? How will it feel for you to be that person to help?

Group Sex Parties

When you host a party, you need to worry about snacks, music, seating, making sure nobody drives home drunk and noise complaints. When you host a sex party, there are a few more things you need to consider. In this look at some major, mostly public, pervy soirees, we quickly learn that punch and chips have to take a backseat to more complex considerations such as all guests feeling safe and comfortable. Having only attended a few private parties with limited guestlist and one public club, it is marvellous that organizers are out there creating these happy, consensual spaces for people to explore their sexual identities. The diversity of themes and venues speaks to our joint collective desires of community and sexy times. And it is just a total score if they’d offer snacks too.