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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Church 'does not own marriage'

Church 'does not own marriage'

Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone said marriage was "owned by the people"
The Church does not "own" marriage nor have the exclusive right to say who can marry, a government minister has said.
Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said the government was entitled to introduce same-sex marriages as a "change for the better".
The Liberal Democrat was responding to comments by Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, who said that "not even the Church" owns marriage.
But Lord Carey accused her of putting an "unwarranted slant" on his words.
Ms Featherstone's comments come as ministers prepare to launch a public consultation on legalising gay marriage next month.
Traditionalists want the law on marriage to remain unchanged.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Featherstone said: "Some believe the government has no right to change it (marriage) at all; they want to leave tradition alone.
'Reflect society' "I want to challenge that view - it is the government's fundamental job to reflect society and to shape the future, not stay silent where it has the power to act and change things for the better."

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Ultimately it's about the freedom of a small group of people to be treated in exactly the same way as everyone else”
Ben Summerskill Chief executive, Stonewall
Her comments came after Lord Carey, a critic of plans to legalise gay marriage, said "not even the Church" owns marriage.
She said: "(Marriage) is owned by neither the state nor the Church, as the former Archbishop Lord Carey rightly said.
"It is owned by the people."
But Lord Carey told the Telegraph: "When I said that not even the Church owns it (marriage), I meant that the Church has no authority to change the definition of marriage as far as Christian thinking is concerned - there is a givenness to it.
"Lynne's logic implies the will of the people is sovereign.
"So let's suppose that in 10 years' time it is proposed that, as people are living in multiples of four, we may call that marriage also."
Ms Featherstone also appealed to people not to "polarise" the debate about same-sex marriages.
'Underlying principles' "This is not a battle between gay rights and religious beliefs," she said.
"This is about the underlying principles of family, society and personal freedoms."
Lord Carey Lord Carey held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002
Civil partnerships give same-sex couples the right to the same legal treatment across a range of matters as married couples but the law does not allow such unions to be referred to as marriages.
Earlier this month, Lord Carey said legalising gay marriage would be "an act of cultural and theological vandalism".
The Church of England said in December it would not allow its churches to be used for civil partnership ceremonies unless the full General Synod, the Church's governing body, gave consent.
It said it would not host them just as a "gentlemen's outfitter is not required to supply women's clothes".
The announcement came after a new law allowing civil partnership ceremonies to be conducted in places of worship in England and Wales comes into effect.
The Roman Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales said this month that the government's proposals to create civil partnerships for same-sex couples would "not promote the common good", and that it strongly opposes them.
'No monopoly' The government will open a consultation on the issue of same-sex marriages - as opposed to civil partnerships - next month. A similar consultation was conducted by the Scottish government last year.
Mike Judge, of the Coalition for Marriage, a campaign group which is against the government's changes, said the Church "does not have the monopoly on marriage" but the government "does not own marriage" either.
"I don't think Lynne Featherstone should be bulldozing ahead with plans to redefine it," he told the BBC News Channel.
He added that it appeared the government's consultation was "just going to be about how we redefine marriage, not whether we redefine marriage".
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, a gay rights charity, said the issue was not about religious freedom, nor was it party political.
"Ultimately it's about the freedom of a small group of people to be treated in exactly the same way as everyone else," he said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Liberal sex laws by 2015 on the table

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday February 20, 2012 – The abolition of buggery and prostitution laws by 2015 is being considered by some Caribbean countries striving to achieve their Millennium Development Goals.

This according to a senior United Nations (UN) official who said the countries, mostly former British colonies that are Caricom member nations, are faced with potential political and religious fall-out as a result.

UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS to the Caribbean, Dr. Edward Greene, said at least 20 per cent of some Caribbean countries were gay, and stressed that a culture shift must be considered.

He joins others in the view that prohibitive laws forces commercial sex workers and Men who have Sex with Men to go underground, making it difficult for them to access HIV education, diagnosis and treatment.

According to him, the Caribbean plans to take a two-pronged approach to the situation, and will include rallying support from Champions for Change, faith-based organisations and women’s groups, and on the premise that regional laws are more easily acceptable.

But with politicians fearful of taking a stand which may be unpopular among voters, or upset the religious organisations, Dr. Greene said experts proposed to produce a research paper on the impact of decriminalizing such activities in other countries. “In that way politicians in each jurisdiction would be better insulated from criticisms,” he said.

He is calling on Caricom member countries to take a regional position as it relates to the revamping on such laws, and which will also be in keeping with international trends. “That way we save national politicians from having to put forward these views as if they were theirs,” said Dr. Greene, a former Caricom Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development.
He added that the Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS was drafting a model legislation for the past five years.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Whitney's REAL tragedy was giving up her greatest love of all - her female partner Robyn Crawford


By Peter tatchell


I met Whitney and her female partner at the Reach Out & Touch HIV vigil in London in 1991.
Whitney spoke movingly in support of people with HIV, at a time when many other stars kept their distance. Her support was much valued.
She advocated the welfare and human rights of people with HIV. It was a  commendable stand.
Hugs: Whitney, left with Bobby Brown, mother Cissy and Robyn Crawford
Hugs: Whitney, (left) with Bobby Brown, mother Cissy and (right) Robyn Crawford who many believe to be her one true love
I have, in the past, declined to name Whitney’s female partner. But most of the media have since named her as Robyn Crawford.
 
When I met them, it was obvious they were madly in love. Their intimacy and affection was so sweet and romantic.
They held hands in the back of the car like teenage sweethearts. Clearly more than just friends, they were a gorgeous couple and so happy together. To see their love was infectious and uplifting.
Gay rights campaigner Peter met Whitney at an HIV vigil in London in 1991
Gay rights campaigner Peter met Whitney at an HIV vigil in London in 1991
Whitney was happiest and at the peak of her career when she was with Robyn. Sadly, she suffered family and church pressure to end her greatest love of all.
She was fearful of the effects that lesbian rumours might have on her family, reputation and career. Eventually she succumbed. The result? A surprise marriage to Bobby Brown.
The marriage was a disaster. Bad boy Bobby was never her true soul mate. Giving up Robyn – they’d been inseparable for years – must have been emotionally traumatic. 
Whitney’s life started going downhill soon afterwards. Previously wholesome and clean-living, she went on drink-and-drug binges – evidence of a troubled personal life and  much unhappiness.
It seems likely that the split with Robyn contributed to her substance abuse and decline.
There is a known correlation between denial of one’s sexuality and a propensity to self-destructive behaviour. Homophobia undoubtedly added to the pressures on Whitney and hastened her demise.
Soon after her very sad death, I was quoted as saying that Whitney was happiest when she loved a woman. Some fans accused me of ‘insulting’ and ‘smearing’ her.
But there is nothing shameful about a woman loving a woman. It’s not dirty or sordid and shouldn’t be kept hidden.
Surprise: Bobby Brown hinted in his autobiography that Houston had married him to dispel lesbian rumours
Surprise: Bobby Brown hinted in his autobiography that Houston had married him to dispel lesbian rumours
I did not out her as lesbian/ bisexual. She semi-outed herself by dedicating her albums to Robyn.
Years ago, she was outed by Bobby’s sister, Tina, and by her former bodyguard, Kevin Ammons.
Bobby Brown hinted in his autobiography that she married him to dispel lesbian rumours: ‘I believe her agenda was to clean up her image . . . The media was accusing her of having a bisexual relationship with her assistant, Robin [sic] Crawford . . . that didn’t go too well with her image. In Whitney’s situation, the only solution was to get married . . . [to] kill all speculation.’
Telling the truth does not besmirch Whitney’s memory. It honours the most important relationship she ever had.
What’s wrong is ignoring or denying the one love that made her truly happy.
Homophobia contributed to Whitney’s fall.
I want to see a more tolerant society where people don’t feel the need to marry to deflect rumours of homosexuality, and where they are not driven to self-destruction because of their inability to accept and express their love for a person of the same sex.
Achieving this goal would be a fitting tribute to Whitney Houston.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

images



Washington state makes 7: Governor signs gay marriage law


Same-sex-marriage-lzcn22pd
"My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow!" state Sen. Ed Murray declared Monday as Washington became the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
In a boisterous ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia, Gov. Christine Gregoire -- a Catholic who weathered strong opposition, including a last-minute "action alert" from the state's Catholic Church leadership -- signed legislation to give same-sex couples the same right to a marriage license as anyone else.
"Look into your hearts and ask yourselves: 'Isn't it time?' " said Gregoire, as cheering supporters chanted "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
"We did what was just. We did what was fair. We stood for equality, and we did it together, Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a number of our faith organizations. I'm proud of who and what we are as a state," the governor said.
MAP: Gay rights timeline
There was a decidedly festive mood at the statehouse, where the debate in the state Legislature -- which approved the bill on split votes in both houses -- had been measured, lacking the name-calling and fireworks that often characterizes the issue.
The legislation exempts churches, religious institutions and members of the clergy from participating in same-sex marriages if it goes against their beliefs -- a compromise aimed at hundreds of churches whose members phoned and emailed lawmakers in an attempt to defeat the bill. Several faith organizations signed on in support of the measure, however, Gregoire noted.
"Years from now, our kids will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but those of us who lived through the last 20 years appreciate how challenging this has been," said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, who sponsored the bill through its contentious charge through the Legislature. On Monday, he introduced onlookers to his "future husband," a former high school administrator who stood on the sidelines cradling one of the couple's four children.
The issue is far from over, however. Conservative and religious leaders have vowed to begin collecting signatures on a referendum to overturn the new law. The statute, slated to take effect on June 7, would be held in abeyance if referendum proponents succeed in placing it on the November ballot.
"Much hangs in the balance over the next few months. This is a time for people of faith to work together," Gary Randall, president of the Faith & Freedom Network, said in an appeal to supporters. He added in another statement: "This is a dark day for people of faith and those who honor natural, traditional marriage. It is a tipping point for the state."
A separate initiative proposal to define marriage as occurring between one man and one woman is also pending before a judge in Thurston County, and could also make its way to the ballot. "Right now, the condition of marriage is an unmitigated disaster and needs a lot of reform, but we need to begin that reform with an accurate definition," the proponent of that measure, Stephen Pidgeon, said in an interview. Opponents of the new law were scheduled to meet with presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who was traveling to Washington on Monday as part of his presidential campaign. Santorum was planning a public address later in Tacoma in which same-sex marriage opponents hoped he would discuss the new Washington law.
But Gregoire and other supporters of the measure expressed confidence that Washington voters, who backed domestic partnerships on a 53%-47% vote in a 2009 referendum, will support the new law as well.
"We know that it's going to be a hard campaign, and we're going to have to fight really hard to protect this victory, but we believe we can be victorious in November," Zach Silk, spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, told the Los Angeles Times.
Washington joins six other states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont -- plus the District of Columbia in legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. An additional eight states, including California, provide same-sex couples with access to state benefits and responsibilities offered married couples, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.
The New Jersey state Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill on Monday, but the ultimate outcome in that state was expected to be much different. Although the Assembly is expected to approve the measure, Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

boots


Gay Dating for The Average Joe

Gay Dating for The Average Joe


Gay culture highlights youth, muscle, and good looks as valuable assets and commodities when it comes to sexuality and relationships. All one has to do is turn the pages of your favorite gay newspaper or magazine (that doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual in nature) and you’ll be distracted by photographs and advertisements of attractive men with chiseled bodies oozing sex appeal to titillate the senses. Or log on to any dating or personals site on the Web and you’ll find hosts of men demanding youth and rugged masculine good-looks as personal requirements in their profiles to consider even corresponding or chatting with them.
The harsh reality of the worldwide gay community and society at large is that physical attractiveness is deemed a significant value and those who fit the mold of how this description is defined are admired and rewarded with social privileges and positive reinforcement. This isn’t to say that being a “hottie” is all it’s cracked up to be…they can struggle in the dating realm as well as they are often times pigeonholed with superficialities or viewed solely as sexual objects. Dating hardships for the “very good-looking” (VGL) could be a whole separate article! But it can often times be a different experience for those who do not espouse the redeeming qualities or status awarded to those labeled as “beautiful” by cultural standards. So what if you are a single gay man who might be lower on the “hotness scale” because of your physical appearance and looks, your age, your weight, or because you may have a disability? It can feel like your worth in the gay community means nothing and it can undermine your confidence in your dating efforts…but only if you let it! This article will offer some insights and tips for helping the Gay Average or Not-So-Average Joe navigate through the sometimes cruel dating waters of the gay community to maximize their success as single men on the hunt for Mr. Right. This isn’t intended to be a Pollyanna approach to the situation because the cold reality is that it is unfortunately more challenging and competitive for those that don’t necessarily fit the prototype of “VGL”. But it’s also not a lost cause! As you will see, developing and accessing a positive self-esteem and sense of sexiness that we all embody, no matter who we are or what we look like, goes a long way toward attracting the attentions and affection of a significant other.
Top 10 Dating Guidelines & Tips for the Gay Average Joe & Compatriots
1. Give Off Those Good Vibrations
I read lots of blogs with men voicing their disdain at not being given a chance by other guys because they feel they don’t “measure up” in the looks department. While it is true in many cases that an attractive face can get one noticed and “in the front door” more quickly, don’t underestimate the power of your personality and presentation. Many men who feel jaded and frustrated by their unfruitful dating efforts tend to unwittingly emit a negative vibe in their interactions with others. They wear their hopelessness on their faces and in their body language and end up sabotaging themselves because people can smell this kind of negativity a mile away and will retreat from making contact, reinforcing the sense of alienation they then feel and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if you’re not feeling particularly spunky, work hard at making sure you project a positive self-image and energy. It’s all in how you carry yourself. While a cute man can turn heads, there’s nothing more magnetic than a man with a jovial spirit and great sense of humor. It makes you want to get to know him.
2. Confidence is a Turn-On
Along the same lines, there is nothing sexier than a man who exudes inner strength, confidence, and self-assuredness. It shows that he has his life together and enjoys being alive. Even if you have self-consciousness about your looks, have confidence in something-anything! And then don’t be shy about it. By feeling proud of yourself and/or your accomplishments and then by finding ways to express that security intrinsically and through your actions and demeanor, men won’t be able to help but take notice.
3. Repeat After Me—”I Am A Good Catch!”
Attractive men, inside and out, possess a healthy dose of positive self-esteem. They like who they are and recognize that their worth is not dependent on their appearance. They have many other parts to themselves that make them who they are. The cliché statement, “You must love yourself before anyone else can” is very true. Negativity and pessimism are men-repellants, so start work immediately on countering any negative self-talk and recognize the unique talents and gifts that you possess that make you a good person and a good date. Internalize the affirmation, “I am a good catch!” and start acting like it rather than focusing on your unfulfilled dating card. You become more attractive to men when you believe in yourself and consider yourself to be quality boyfriend material.
4. Unattractive Re-defined
So you don’t think you’re attractive enough? Wrong! Everyone has something about them that is attractive. Capitalize on what is attractive about you and recognize that which is truly ugly—ignorance, superficiality, mistreatment of your fellow gay brothers in any form or fashion, low confidence, self-degradation, cocky attitudes, excessive and superficial focuses on physical appearance, depression, etc. These are the things that are the epitome of unattractiveness and will send men running in the opposite direction. Rather than focusing on looks, try to work on identifying any personal “undesirables” you may possess and aggressively work to eliminate them from your personality and behavior to catapult you into interpersonal sophistication and savvy.
5. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Being an “Average Joe” in guy/guy relationships tends to be more challenging than our lesbian and heterosexual counterparts because men are more visual creatures. Whereas women traditionally may be more prone to “overlook” physical attributes for more qualities of substance, men in general are more attuned and turned-on by what they see. Invest in your health and body by exercising and eating right, getting enough rest and relaxation, and integrating more wellness into your lifestyle. Not only will you be taking better care of yourself, but you just might secondarily be adding more appeal to the male tendency toward the visual with your healthier appearance. Nice clothing, a trendy haircut, and sharp accessories can also help to turn heads. Accentuate your looks with things that speak to your unique style and personality. We men are competitive by nature, so making yourself stand out in a way that is authentic and genuine to who you really are can go a long way toward getting yourself the right kind of attention from the right kind of men who will appreciate those particular attributes.
6. Embrace a Sense of Gay Pride
Many men, average or not, struggle with dating because of issues with their sexual identity and masculinity. Internalized homophobia and common male deficits in dealing with feelings and sensitivity can be huge barriers to attracting and maintaining healthy intimate relationships. These things can get in the way of becoming more emotionally intimate. A gay man who is proud of his homosexuality and not afraid to express this part of his identity adds a whole new element to the definition of attractiveness. Having good social skills, emotional intelligence, and effective communication skills are additional assets to drawing in the right kind of men you may be looking for.
7. Stop the Comparison Game
Another symptom of the “Average Joe” syndrome is that these men commonly compare themselves to other men and judge themselves critically in how they “measure up” to Adonis-like guys. This is extremely self-defeating because it’s unfair to compare one aspect of onself (looks) to someone else’s physical appearance. We have to look at the whole person, the entire package. There are some very physically-pleasing-to-look-at guys out there who are very unattractive in spirit and personality. Stop objectifying yourself and others and becoming prejudiced by looking at things as being “good enough” in only one capacity or human trait.
8. Different Strokes for Different Folks
Never forget the fact that not everyone is attracted to the model-boy or porn-star type. Everybody has different attractions, tastes, and preferences in men. While you may feel like you’re in the minority a lot of the time, it’s important to have faith that there really is somebody out there for everybody and it’s just been a little more challenging finding the right timing, situational contexts, and geographical placements to put the two of you together.
9. Bring Out the Sexiness Factor!
Every human on this planet is and has the capacity to be sexy, no matter what one’s appearance. If you can tap into this feeling, it will radiate and charm the pants off of people (figuratively, and sometimes literally too!). A good heart and a healthy mind are totally sexy. If you can integrate all of these tips into your repertoire and express them, people will be drawn to your energy. Just like “The Law of Attraction” states…you will attract what you put out there. When you feel good about yourself and what you have to offer and can translate that in your mood, spirit, and behavior, your appeal to others will increase. While looks can certainly be a component, sexiness is really about attitude. If you give yourself permission to access and unleash it, it can really be a guy magnet.
10. Live Life to the Max!!!
Finally, and most important of all, live your life! Stop dwelling on your appearance and don’t make your happiness contingent solely on your dating life. Make the most of what you have, develop your inner resources and social capabilities, and enjoy your life. Recognize the things that you do and don’t have control over and practice the art of self-acceptance. By taking the emphasis off of your looks and channeling those energies into living a full life, you’ll definitely be living with more meaning and passion that will likely bring about more good tidings for you. Your inner beauty and magnetism will shine through when you’re having a blast living your life. You are beautiful!

Valentines Day: Are You Ready To Date

Valentines Day: Are You Ready To Date

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, romance is in the air, and the urge to find a boyfriend and settle down is stronger than ever. Whether you’re diving back into the dating pool after a break up, getting ready to test the waters for the first time or somewhere in the space between, the first thing daters often ask is how to find the right guy. But maybe the real question is this: Are you really ready to date? If so, then arm yourself with your best assets. Take a moment to examine the most import thing you’ll bring on your quest to finding Mr. Right—yourself!
Clarity Is Key
A lot of people say they want to settle down but when push comes to shove they really don’t. So ask yourself: Are you looking for that special someone or are you happy playing the field? Knowing what you’re ultimately hoping to find will help you set expectations. After all, you can’t be on the same page as someone else if you don’t even know what page you’re on. Be honest with yourself and others about the level of relationship you’re ready to have and your dating life will be much happier in the long run.
Timing Is Everything
It’s great that you have a variety of interests and keep busy with a ton of extracurricular activities; investing in yourself isn’t just fun, it’s important as well. However, if you’re always consumed with other commitments, no one is going to get to know you and realize that you’re a great catch.  So make sure that you’re ready to give up some “me time” to invest in potential “we time.”
Beneath the Surface
Beyond physical attraction, it’s even more important to know what you’re looking for on a deeper level. What type of guy is the best fit for you? Do the two of you share a lot in common, or is he your opposite in every way? Should his love of sports rival yours, or is it enough that he loves spending time with you at the game? Remember, the fact that he’s hot might be what caught your eye initially, but a pretty face won’t fix poorly matched personalities. If you’re serious about dating, you’ve got be on the lookout for more than the next handsome hunk, but a potential best friend as well.
Know Yourself
Confidence is sexy, and knowing the qualities that make you a great date will help inform your dating decisions down the line. Focus on the positive and stay away from a negative headspace. Know what you bring to the table and embrace the fact that no one, not you or anyone you date, will ever be perfect. Be clear about what you like and what you don’t, but remain open to new experiences and different points of view. Be gentle with others and yourself as well. Remember, you aren’t just looking for that great catch, you are one as well!

First Time Advice for Gay Anal Sex

First Time Advice for Gay Anal Sex


Anal sex is often seen as the definitive form of gay love-making. You might think, and be pressured to think, that if you’re not doing it, be you top, bottom or versatile, you must be some sort of second rate closet case. But is it for you? It can hurt (a lot) at first, comes as something of a shock to the system, and might well be termed an acquired taste. If you fancy it, here are a few tips on how to begin to acquire it.
Spend time on your own discovering your anus before having sex with others. Run a bath and get naked. Go to the toilet. Then put some lube on a finger, work it around the outer anus, stay there awhile, and start pushing it in.
The sensations you get might already be quite intense. If you’re unsettled, use your other hand to masturbate and reassure yourself with feelings with which you’re familiar. Allow yourself to enjoy the new feelings. Relax and feel free to fantasise. Explore and get a sense of the shape and texture inside you. Then, when you’re comfortable, try inserting a second finger. Be careful, but rest assured your anus can certainly cope with this.
When you withdraw you might feel you want to defecate again. This is normal. Probably nothing will happen. If anything does, don’t worry. It will clean up when you’re done and there’s no shame attached. It’s just a reflex reaction.
You might also want to experiment with something more life-size. If so, use a proper dildo – not a deodorant canister or a cucumber. You don’t want to scratch the lining of your anus or have something nasty break off in there. And, yes, the guy in the sex shop may well take one look at you and know exactly where it’s going to end up. But so what? He’s seen it all already. Just acknowledge to yourself that you’re doing this as part of your exploration of yourself as gay.
When using the dildo, begin again with your fingers and use a lot of lube. You need to find a relaxed position. Sitting with your ass to one side can work well. If you’re standing, make sure your legs remain relaxed. If they tense, the sphincter will follow. Push it in slowly. Don’t force it. Don’t sit on it.
When you encounter resistance, pause, relax. If you push your anus towards the dildo, as if you were pushing faeces out, you might find you open more easily. Still, however gently you go, you can expect a pop. There might well be a moment of pain. After this, the rest will probably slip in a lot more easily.
The sensations that follow are complex. When you relax, the pain will probably abate and give way to a sense of elation. It can feel breathtakingly high, as if every connection in your body and brain just started firing. Your instinct might be immediately to masturbate and cum in a way more dazzling than you ever have before. One thing you are doing now is learning to ride this pleasure.
Move the dildo slowly and give yourself time to get used to it. It might be that’s enough for the moment, or it might be that you want to experience a faster pace – the pace of sex – and for as long as it would take a man fucking you to cum. If it’s the latter you want, be careful. The dildo can go as fast and as hard as you make it and experience no pain of its own. In other words, a dildo is NOT the same as a penis. Also, the loose skin around the shaft of a penis will lessen the friction on the anus, even though the head might be pumping quite hard and your buttocks might be getting a pounding.
Get ready to make some noise, and some pretty weird facial expressions. The feelings may become intense to the point of mindlessness. You might start groaning, shrieking, gurgling, sobbing…There comes a point when it is as if there is a barrier to cross. The feeling of being about to explode might make you stop. Or you can cross that barrier to find a further degree of elation.
At last, there is a point where you level out. It is as if a plateau has been attained and no further ascent is possible. You might want to stay there a little while, as it were to admire the view, then pause and prepare for the final shock, which is when you withdraw. It is possible you might make a mess. In order not to feel anxious about this, have a towel down or do it over a toilet or an easily cleaned surface.
Be aware that, after the high, there is a downside. After using a dildo, just as after having sex, your anus might take time to close. You might need to spend time sitting on the toilet relaxing and calming down. Also, the mess you might make risks leading to feelings of shame and humiliation. Mentally, you might feel unfocused and ‘spaced’ for hours to follow.
And when you first have anal sex (with a condom and water based lubricant of-course) be prepared to make further discoveries. On the one hand, if you’re the bottom, you are showing that man something intimate about yourself. You are experiencing ecstatic sensations – and making those noises and faces again – with him watching you. And you have to want him to do that. On the other, you’ll be seeing someone else working his way towards orgasm differently from what you’ll have seen and shared when masturbating or giving and receiving head.
Be prepared for the feeling of passivity. If you resist being passive and wanting him to do it to you, perhaps thinking that makes you less of a man, then, no matter your preparation, you’ll be in for a bad time. But if you accept all the feelings involved in having anal sex, then it can be wonderful.

Meet India's first transgender pastor

Meet India's first transgender pastor

Meet India's first transgender pastor

Shunned and traumatized as a youngster, 25-year-old Bharathi now preaches to a congregation of 45 respectful parishioners, including 14 families, as India's first transgender pastor.

Bharathi, who completed her bachelor's degree in theology last April, has been a pastor at the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) branch in Chengalpattu, on the outskirts of Chennai, for the past eight months.

The pathbreaking move by the ECI, which has more than 100,000 followers across India, coincides with evangelical denominations in other countries, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, deciding to allow transgenders as pastors.

'Acceptance was a dream'

Raised as a boy and taunted at school, India's first transgender pastor Bharathi is now called to preside over baby showers and christenings, though conducting weddings is sometime away. Bharathi conducts service in Tamil and English every Sunday, "administers communion" to her parishioners, and is training another transgender to become a pastor. She says her parishioners' acceptance of her has touched her deeply.

"I have conducted two baby showers for families and even named a child. Though I do not have a licence to conduct a wedding, a parishioner printed my name on his wedding invitation," says Bharathi.

Bharathi says such societal acceptance was once just a dream for her and continues to be a dream for thousands of transgenders across the country. "I have formed a team to work with me among transgenders in Chengalpattu, to bring them into the church and help them stay out of trouble," she says.

Bharathi, whose family assumed she was a boy at birth, says she had had a harrowing childhood. "I was very feminine and my classmates and neighbours would make fun of me. I became a loner and could not even complete Class 12," she says.

When Bharathi was 10, she says an "angel" entered their home. "A sister at a church near our home took pity on me and took me in," she says. The church soon became Bharathi's home and she decided to embrace Christianity at the age of twelve. "I started reading the Bible and praying in church every day. I converted when I was 12 and was baptized a few years later in 2000."

"Society generally ostracizes the transgender community, but Bharathi has an opportunity to preach to an entire community. It is something everybody is proud of," says Devi, a transgender who has adopted Bharathi as her daughter.

Bharathi, who left home more than seven years ago, visited her family two months ago. "I had resolved to return to my family only after reaching a position of repute. When I returned, my parents were proud of me."

A sister at a church near my home took pity on me and took me in. I started reading the Bible and praying in church every day. I converted when I was 12 and was baptized a few years later in 2000.

Are Gays Being Censored Online?


Are Gays Being Censored Online?

By: Joe Thompson
2.9.2012
Last night designer Andrew Christian sent out an open letter to YouTube regarding both the removal of their "Pink Paradise" video and the blocking of the company's video channel for two weeks. At the same time, UK website PinkNews posted a story about the Facbeook fan page L’Homme du Jour (Man of the Day), which features sexy male model photography for a primarily gay male audience. The picture that got the site suspended is of model Leo Silva in a black bikini (top graphic, bottom right image) that was taken by Brazilian photographer Antonio Bezerra; evidently someone complained that it was too lewd, so Facebook sent the page admins a note saying it broke the social network's community standards rules in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
“I think that the removal of this image is outrageous, we live in a modern society where people (and especially women) are allowed to wear even skimpier and even less than what is shown in this image," L’Homme du Jour's Ray Clark said to the online pub. "This image contains no nudity nor is it sexually suggestive." While the page became live again a few hours later, Clark explains, “On numerous occasions we have advised Facebook that we are committed to adhering to their community standards and have asked them to clarify exactly what is and isn’t acceptable, but of course they remain mysteriously silent on the issue.”
Ask around and you'll probably hear similar stories. While working at Unzipped Media we constantly noted adult companies like Raging Stallion Studios having their fan pages blocked. That's not too surprising, because even though the images they displayed weren't precisely pornographic, the pictures' settings, marketing language and fan-generated copy surrounding them were definitely for mature audiences. But Facebook also blocked OutServe, the gay military page, and pulled an image from the Dangerous Minds' page because it was considered “sexually suggestive” and “abusive,” even though it was a picture from the UK soap opera EastEnders (top graphic, bottom left image). YouTube took a similar tact with Unzipped, yanking a video interview with Beau Breedlove where the young man discussed having an affair with Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams. In all these cases there was nothing pornographic about the content, but some anonymous person was offended by it, reported the image or video to the website admins, and that was enough for censorship.
As blogger John Aravosis wrote when discussing the Facebook / OutServe situation, “This is starting to reek of an anti-gay action by the fake complainant, and we can’t have Facebook setting up a precedent where they pull down the pages of legitimate gay groups every time a homophobe makes up a lie.”
Designer Andrew Christian seems to agree with that sentiment toward YouTube. In his letter he states, "We're disappointed and confused about [our video's] removal for inappropriate content when there are hundreds of thousands of videos featuring overtly sexual female imagery. We are a company that only produces menswear, and it feels unfair that our ads are held to different standards for featuring the male body." Indeed, to support this point, Christian lists 14 links to heterosexual videos that violate YouTube's community guidelines. He continues with, "There is no doubt in our mind that there would be no issue if the exact same video was posted with female models instead of male. Are you being homophobic or is it something else?"
Check out Christian's video, now hosted on Vimeo, and let us know if you think it should have been yanked. Then ask yourself, are we dealing with homophobic people, a public that is uncomfortable with sexy male bodies, or both? And how do we as a progressive community change that situation?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Facebook group censored for alleged 'indecency' over THIS image

Facebook group censored for alleged 'indecency' over THIS image

A Facebook group which posts daily pictures of men to gay subscribers has been censored by the social networking site over claims of indecency.
16
news.PinkPaper.com
lhommeimage A Facebook group which posts daily pictures of men to gay subscribers has been partly restricted by the social networking site over claims of indecency.

L'Homme du Jour, which has almost 5,000 members, today had administrative access blocked for three days because they posted the image you can see here in this story.

The picture, by photographer Antonio Bezerra, may have been blocked by the site's automated system because it has hints of pubic hair on display, although this has not been confirmed.

The restrictions mean that the group's creator, Ray Clark, currently cannot upload any other images or interact with users.

However, the page is still active and can be accessed by subscribers. They can also still view all other previously-uploaded (and approved) images.

Speaking to PinkPaper.com, Clark says he has been left perplexed by the move. He told us: "We never post any nudity or porn... we upload mainly models from around the world. Any images which do contravene (even slightly) Facebook's community standards we cover with a 'Censored' label and this seems to be OK."

He added: "We don't think this contravenes Facebook's community standards."

Facebook claim to have a strict "no nudity or pornography" policy.

We contacted the press office at Facebook to ask why the image had been flagged as inappropriate.

They implied that the same rules apply in equal measure to all uploaded content.

"We can confirm that the content was removed because it broke Facebook's rules as set out in our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: www.facebook.com/terms.php," they told us.

Previously, in a separate issue, Facebook have been criticised for not responding quickly enough to anti-gay content.

In October 2011, we reported that a page on the social networking site encouraged the persecution of gay people in Jamaica. The page – entitled Bun Batty Man, Str8 Pumz Mi seh – only had forty-four 'likes', but its content was explicitly homophobic and regularly updated.

Featuring an icon of two men with a red line through it, other images on the site include a screen-grab of a conversation between two men, the Stonewall poster 'Some People Are Gay. Get Over It' and a graphic photograph of a defenseless man being beaten by a gang of women.

The group - which has since been taken down – was allowed to be created and function before it was closed.

Although Facebook do not permit pages or groups which promote hatred or violence, the system is often reliant on fellow users flagging up such content.