SEX Future sexologists will pinpoint the 2000s as the decade in which the sex toy industry finally crawled from its toxic swamp toward the green light. Before now, mainstream sex toys were garish in appearance, sloppily constructed, and intended to be dumped in a landfill after a few months of use. Made in shady overseas factories by exploited workers, many contained chemicals, like phthalates, that have been linked to cancer and were powered by frequently disposed-of batteries. Read more »
The Green Room of the San Francisco Veterans Building has been taken over for the night by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charity organization that mashes Catholic imagery and drag, perhaps San Francisco's most iconic gay group. But among the drag queens and leather daddies are military veterans in garrison caps and vests decorated with medals.
This is the Sister's bingo night, an event to raise money for the various nonprofit organizations the order supports. Read more »
San Francisco Police Department officers have added a controversial tactic to their aggressive raids on house parties (see "Fun under siege," 4/22/09): they're seizing laptop computers from DJs at the events.
While SFPD officials deny the laptop seizures is a new policy, they admit it has been condoned by Police Chief George Gascón, who took over in August and last month told the Guardian's editorial board he wants to make the SFPD more transparent and accountable to the public (see "New coach, new approach," 10/14/09).
December’s not an easy time to be Jewish. Semites are surrounded by cultural references that have nothing to do with them. Gentiles assume that anyone of Jewish heritage cares to celebrate Hanukkah (many don’t) and that it’s as important a holiday to Jews as Christmas is to Christians (it’s not). Half-pint Heebs must watch their peers get heaped with expensive gifts or swept away to elaborate family gatherings during school vacations while they sit at home with eight days worth of chocolate coins and nothing to do. Read more »
We alter our schedules, our menus, and even our cocktail choices during the winter months. Why not our beers too? In fact, old world monasteries (which functioned as both breweries and spiritual centers) have been making commemorative holiday beers since monotheism was invented (and pagan producers long before that). Read more »
Gang, put away those Halloween costumes 'cause it's that time of year again: gift list time. And oh lordy, do we Americans love us some holiday season! It's gotten to the point that the annual orgy of consumerism, though somewhat abated this year (the National Retail Federation says projected per-person spending will fall to a piddling $682.74), has become an important crutch for our gimpy economy. Basically your ducats make a difference. With that in mind, the question becomes: what kind of difference are they making? Read more »
The phrase "less fortunate" takes on new meaning in times like these, when everyone's bank accounts and job opportunities seem more bleak than they used to. But according to the clichéd-yet-still-beneficent spirit of almost every holiday story ever told, this is the perfect time of year to contemplate those who truly are less fortunate than we are. (Cupboards full of ramen? Sucks. But having cupboards in which to put ramen? Rocks.) Why not get some perspective by giving your time and energy to those whose straits are even more dire than yours? Read more »
I have to admit it. I love Christmas. I don't mean the day, or even the presents, though those both have their charm. But I love the whole damn holiday season and everything that comes with it. Little white lights wrapped around trees downtown, fake icicles dangling from apartment windows, plastic nativity scenes in storefronts and Muzak versions of "The Little Drummer Boy" playing in elevators. I like spray snow and real snow and cheap batting that's meant to look like snow. Read more »