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Thursday, May 6th, was International No Diet Day, but as gwen @ Sociological Images reports, some news outlets seem to have missed the point. ” Perhaps illustrating the article with an image of a slender body indicating a significant amount of weight loss wasn’t the best choice?”

Lena Chen, also known as Elle @ Sex and the Ivy graduates this month from Harvard (congrats!), and as part of her senior thesis on evolution of the virginity ideal, she held a one-day conference on Rethinking Virginity. You can find a round-up of related blog posts and media coverage at Sex and the Ivy. If rethinking virginity is your thing, I totally recommend clicking through and checking some of the posts out. For a nice thumbnail recap, check out Feministing’s list of ten virginity myths that were discussed (and debunked) at the conference.

On the not-so-positive side of things, Femocracy @ Feministing Community muses about why media stories about rape so often get it wrong, while Jacelyn Friedman @ Salon analyzes how CNN took her anti-slut-shaming talking points and made her sound like a prude. “The woman on the television screen looked and sounded a whole lot like me — in fact, she was me — but she appeared to be saying things that…I would never say. This is what it’s like to see yourself quoted out of context and turned into a sock puppet on national TV.” Friedman was allowed to follow up with a counterpoint which you can read on the CNN blog.

Mary Elizabeth Williams @ Salon also muses upon the perilous balance teenage girls (in particular) must strike in our culture between youthful testing of boundaries and behavior that will earn them the status of social pariah in Miley Cyrus: Not a girl, not yet a Britney. “Very few people ever transition seamlessly from cute teen to mature adult – whether they’re an ordinary girl or Disney’s biggest princess. Cyrus, like anyone who’s ever been 17, has a right to stumble and look silly. But if you’re going to tell the world you can’t be tamed, maybe you should consider doing it in a way that doesn’t look so painfully contrived.” Sady & Amanda @ The Sexist discuss.

In other awkward bids for attention, Andy Wright @ AlterNet reports on the six strangest things men have done in the quest for the perfect penis.

lisa @ Sociological Images offers us an intriguing set of graphs showing trends in the social acceptability of homosexuality and prostitution in selected Western nations and offers five possible explanations for the disparity between the two (homosexuality steadily more acceptable, prostitution not so much).

Not all Christian fundies are opposed to sex, they just want to make sure it’s God-approved sex. Sadly, it is often difficult to find those God-approved sex toys without being subjected to icky non-Christian depictions of sex. Never fear! As Cath Elliot @ The Guardian reports, these Christian sex enthusiast can now shop at Christian Love Toys, an online sex you store for those with vanilla tastes.

Tracy Clark-Flory @ Salon, however, reports on the limits of Christian sex. “Sex addiction” has, of course, been a topic du jour for Christian conservatives long and long. At Dirty Girl Ministries, however, they tailor the message specifically for “impure” women: “On the Dirty Girls Ministries message board, visitors swap tips for keeping on the straight and narrow — for example, wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it every time an impure thought crosses your mind.”

Let’s just not hope that particular Dirty Girl isn’t into a little pain with her pleasure.

And finally, via Hanna, comes this lovely blog post on How to Be Attractive (“First, remove some of the mirrors in your house.”)

*image credit: “Siege” by Clayton Cubitt. Hat tip to Hanna this week for finding the image for this post, via Warran Ellis’ blog.

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