sex

The Informer

Features

Comments

Spotlight: John Irving’s new novel In One Person is an epic tale of bisexual bawdiness

John Irving

(Image: Matthew Tammaro)

John Irving writes big, blustery novels full of larger-than-life characters and sex in all its acrobatic and often scandalous manifestations. His first bestseller, 1978’s The World According to Garp, featured the rape of a dying soldier by his nurse, a cross-dressing former football star and an act of oral sex that ends in accidental castration. His next, The Hotel New Hampshire, had brother-sister incest and a polyamorous woman in a bear costume. No wonder Irving’s books have occasionally been the target of ban-happy religious groups. In One Person, his heartbreaking and comic new novel, is a fictional memoir by Billy Abbott, a writer who realizes very early on that he is prone to “crushes on the wrong people”—as a kid, he is as interested in bedding Jacques, his school’s star wrestler, as he is Miss Frost, the town’s eccentric librarian. Abbot is bisexual, though he rejects the idea that any label can contain the whole complicated mess of a person’s sex life. He witnesses America’s sexual revolutions and counter-revolutions, from the repressive 1950s to our era of militant sexual identities. It is Irving’s most political novel yet, and yet still infused with his signature brand of literary lust. In One Person frequently plunges to near-pornographic depths, though its impact is always felt above the waistline, in the head and the heart.

BOOK
In One Person
by John Irving
On shelves May 12

The Goods

Shopping

1 Comment

Check out Victoria’s Secret’s sexually suggestive Toronto Blue Jays–branded loungewear

Have you ever thought, “hey, I’m at a Toronto Blue Jays game, I wonder if the cute boy sitting behind me knows how much I’m into sports?” Not to worry, Victoria’s Secret Pink has decided to create a collection of Blue Jays–branded loungewear that bears sayings like “Play Ball” and “Three Strikes and You’re Out.” Not only will you be able to inform observers that you’re familiar with the sport of baseball, but you’ll be able to let a potential suitor know your personal philosophy on dating and indicate interest in having sexual intercourse. Innuendo—Victoria’s Secret gets it!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

1 Comment

The Pick: The Mechanical Bride, a new documentary about sex dolls (and the men who love them)

(Warning: the trailer contains mildly NSFW images of sex dolls without clothing and, at times, heads)

Last week, we recommended an opera in which a man falls in love with an automaton. This week, we’ve got the real thing. The Mechanical Bride, showing this Sunday at Hot Docs, delves deep into the bizarre world of sex dolls, fembots and the men who love them. The film is packed with grotesque imagery—Realdolls being groped at a sex show, disassembled body parts in a workshop—but it’s also surprisingly nuanced, venturing deep into the ethics and science of the subculture.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

Comments

A federal government appeal jeopardizes Toronto’s bawdy house plans

Not just yet, Toronto. Not just yet (Image: Larry Page)

All the talk about where to put brothels in the city (and how to make money off them) may have been a tad premature—the federal government has made the not-very-surprising decision to appeal the Ontario court ruling to decriminalize bawdy houses, which was supposed to take effect 11 months from now. The Harper government is also appealing the decriminalization of living “off the avails of prostitution” in non-exploitative situations, which was set to take effect within days. If the the Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear the appeal, the face off between the Harper government and the lawyers acting for the sex workers pushing to soften the province’s laws regulating prostitution likely won’t happen until late this year, or early 2013. Though some say the government’s chances of overturning the Ontario ruling are slim, we wouldn’t open a Bunny Ranch bordello VIP account just yet. [Globe and Mail]

The Informer

Culture

2 Comments

VIDEO: A longer, somewhat more informative Cosmopolis trailer (sex and guns included once again)

In this second trailer for David Cronenberg’s summer blockbuster Cosmopolis, we see an incredible number of quick cuts that don’t, sadly, reveal too much information about the film. We learn that Elise Shifrin (played by Sarah Gadon) has a keen sense of smell, since she tells Eric Packer (played by Robert Pattinson) that she smells sex all over him. It’s also made very apparent that Juliette Binoche is still an amazing beautyher character Didi Fancher rolls around seductively on the floor of a limousine in her bra and panties, and we aren’t the least embarrassed for her. Toronto locations to note include the Canon Theatre (now Ed Mirvish Theatre) and The Lakeview, and while we’re sure there are more to note, we were a bit distracted by the insane amount of violence packed into this one-minute-and-55-second trailer.

The Informer

Politics

Comments

Giorgio Mammoliti has some more ideas on brothels (like how to make money off them)

The dream is over (Image: Like_the_Grand_Canyon)

Giorgio Mammoliti (who seems to be everywhere this week) has a few more thoughts about Toronto-area brothels—specifically, how the city could profit from them. In a letter to Cesar Palacio, who heads the licensing and standards committee, and Peter Milczyn, who oversees planning and growth management, Mammoliti argued the city should levy fees from now-legal bawdy houses like the Bunny Ranch brothel (coming soon to a neighbourhood near you!). He thinks a $15,000 annual licensing fee for each bordello worker would do the trick. Those fees, Mammo told the Toronto Sun, could help keep criminals, pimps and sex traffickers out. Also, Toronto needs to act fast to take control of the brave new world of legalized brothels, since currently there aren’t many zoning or licensing regulations in place (or, as he told the paper, “Toronto has got caught with its pants down”). The councillor also took the opportunity to make it clear that he no longer wants to turn the Toronto Islands into a red-light district. Funnily enough, he realized that wasn’t one of his better ideas. [Toronto Sun]

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

The trick to getting your way at city hall: always bring strippers

(Image: litonali)

What a week of debauchery at city hall. First, Giorgio Mammoliti revived his idea for a red-light district on Toronto Island, and then, this afternoon, a stripper wearing black patent vinyl shorts did a little pole dancing for Toronto’s licensing and standards committee. Apparently, the city’s strip club owners want the committee to review its adult entertainment regulations to clearly define what constitutes “prohibited sexual contact,” and they brought along the lovely Viviana to help make their case. Though Doug Holyday thought it unseemly and Mike Layton called it “a new low,” the floorshow appears to have worked: the committee unanimously voted in favour of the review. Sadly, Mammo missed out on all the fun. Read the entire story [CBC] »

The Informer

Random Stuff

9 Comments

Now that brothels are legal, Giorgio Mammoliti (once again) wants to put some on Toronto Island

(Image: Like_the_Grand_Canyon)

The province’s Court of Appeal legalized brothels in Ontario yesterday, sparking celebration, awkward headlines and some political opportunism from one Giorgio Mammoliti. Surprised? Neither are we. The landmark ruling is gives the go-ahead for brothels, though communicating for the purposes of prostitution will remain illegal.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

VIDEO: Cosmopolis has sex, guns, Robert Pattinson, more sex and more guns

Here are our first observations after seeing the trailer for David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis: There’s nudity, guns, night clubs, giant monsters and Sarah Gadon. (Oh, and Robert Pattinson shoots himself in the hand.) Whew!

The Informer

Features

10 Comments

Jan Wong: Why aren’t schools teaching kids about the pleasures and perils of sex?

Body Politics

The answer is simple: our curriculum is shamefully outdated, and the Liberals are too scared to fix it

Adam and Eve nibble an apple from the Tree of Knowledge and suddenly realize they’re both naked. Unfortunately, sex ed isn’t part of God’s plan, and He evicts them from the Garden of Eden. These days, some folks in Toronto are acting quite God-like themselves, insisting that the next generation live in innocence and ignorance. Heaven forbid our youth get to know themselves in the Biblical sense.

Our public schools are under attack by an evangelical Christian organization called the Institute for Canadian Values, whose leaders believe, as a basic ideological tenet, that teaching up-to-date sex education in schools will corrupt and confuse our children. The institute is run by a man named Charles McVety, who is quite skilled at getting media attention. Shamefully, most journalists have checked their brains at the door, blandly covering the institute’s actions and claims without questioning their legitimacy or standing up against the influence of the church on the state.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

1 Comment

The L.A. Complex, episode 4: pearl necklace and birthday hate sex

The L.A. ComplexEpisode 4

What kind of world is it where a little amateur pornography can ruin your chances of dancing in a Willow Smith video? Spurned by society for her appearance in Ricky Lloyd’s sex tape (all we heard was smooching), aspiring dancer/part-time stripper/full-time crazy-eyes Alicia takes a meeting with an adult film company, despite Nick’s reservations. (“It’s just sex,” she says.) More from LaLa land after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

Comments

Editor’s Letter (February 2012): why Ontario schools should talk about homosexuality in the classroom

When I was in the sixth grade, a health instructor employed by the board of education was parachuted into my classroom to talk about puberty. She arrived with two life-size felt cut-outs of naked, child-like bodies—one male, one female—which she hung on the blackboard. After a brief preamble, she asked the class to name the changes bodies experience during puberty. Kids tentatively put up their hands, offering ideas: “Girls grow breasts,” and “You get pubic hair,” and “Boys grow moustaches.” After every correct answer, the health instructor dug into her bag and, without even a sprinkle of humour, extracted small felt swatches of pretend armpit hair and cushiony stuffed pretend breasts. As she Velcroed them onto the nude figures, we watched the nameless doll figures grow up before our eyes.

By that point, a few kids in the class were already going through puberty, so most of this wasn’t news. But it was helpful to have the subject released from behind a cloak of confusion and shame. The rest of my preteen sexual education was provided by Sue Johanson, who was a sex educator in North York classrooms before she became a media personality. On her Sunday night call-in show, she took all questions seriously, no matter how goofy, offering frank answers. She believed that everyone had the right to enjoy sex, safely and sensibly, and I can’t imagine a better way to learn about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

The L.A. Complex, episode 3: sex tape on the second date edition

The L.A. ComplexEpisode 3

In Hollywood, you gotta fake it till you make it. In this episode we learn that the now-agentless Raquel likes to network at AA meetings (she doesn’t have a drinking problem, she says as she chugs a bottle of vodka in the afternoon) so she can pick up moneyed dentists for production funds. Abby grins and bears it when her guest star role as a prostitute is downgraded to the silent part of a corpse—body bag zipped all the way up. (“Breathe shallow, dead hooker.”) And, in the most painful scene of The L.A. Complex yet, there’s a sex tape made with the ex-child star character. Find out who gets naked with a has-been in our TV brief after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

3 Comments

Republican mayor Greg Davis outs himself at a Toronto gay sex shop

Republic mayor Greg Davis (Image: G W Bush)

While there’s no easy way for a family-values Republican to come out of the closet, getting caught spending taxpayer dollars on a trip to “Canada’s premier gay lifestyle store and sex shop” probably isn’t how most would want to do it. Mayor Greg Davis of Southaven, Mississippi, was forced to come clean Thursday after a Memphis newspaper confirmed that he charged the city for a whole slew of personal stuff, including $170,000 worth of liquor and expensive dinners and, yes, $67 for unnamed merchandise at Priape in Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

Toronto media get very, very excited about an intoxicated couple making whoopee on the TTC 

The Toronto Star dropped a cheeky “Ride the Rocket” joke; BlogTO played on the “mile-high club; Newstalk 1010 spoke of “bunnies” and “knickers;” OpenFile succinctly stated “What? How? For the love God, why?” And the Toronto Sun did this—on its front page. Bless.