S.A.A. Extra: Michigan Same-sex Marriage Ban Continues

(3/28/14)  From CNN:  A federal appeals court decided Tuesday to continue the stay of a judge’s ruling that struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, meaning that gay and lesbian couples cannot marry in the state while the appeals process unfolds.

Read the full story here.

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S.A.A. Salutes: Dave the Raw Food Trucker

SAAdaverft(3/24/14)  An active, healthy sex life is the result of many things coming together in a balanced way.  Some things might be beyond our control at any given point (for example, the mood of your partner) but there are plenty of aspects we can manage if given a little thought and planning.  The thing is, that takes effort, discipline and know-how, the latter of which could be problematic if you don’t know what you don’t know.

So, here’s a simple question:  How would you like to be pushing 60 and have a better sex life than when you were in your 20s?  If that sounds good–and more to the point, if that sounds too good to be possible–then get ready for the feel-good story of the year.

Dave Conrardy is probably a name that most are unfamiliar with, but his inspirational story is one that deserves more widespread attention.  In 2006, the over-the-road trucker was in his early 50s and closing in on the end of the road–literally.  He weighed over 400 pounds, had diabetes and arthritis and was suffering from the early phases of kidney failure along with stage 2 colon cancer.  Needless to say, his sex life was almost non-existent.

At a point like that, it probably would have been very easy to just blame the multitude of circumstances and ride it out downhill.  Instead, Dave went a different way and took direct charge of his fate in a small, simple way that produced huge, remarkable results:  He started eating raw, organic foods.

Now, maybe that doesn’t sound overly sexy or even productive given the situation, but let’s cut to the chase and see what happened:  Within three months, he lost 100 pounds.  Within six months, he was down 170 pounds and his cancer had vanished.  Within that same year, his kidneys stopped leaking proteins into his blood and within 18 months, he had lost over 230 pounds.  And his sex drive?  Dave very candidly notes that it’s better now than when he was in his 20s and all without the use of any performance enhancing drugs.  Take THAT, A-Rod!

The truly remarkable part of Dave’s story isn’t just about how he literally turned his own life around for the better, but how he’s using that experience and knowledge to help others.  In addition to being a sought-after inspirational speaker around the world these days, “Dave, the Raw Food Trucker” as he’s known in front of audiences just published a concise book designed as a beginner’s guide to improving sexual health and well being though raw organics.  It candidly provides more details about his personal journey along with simple tips and advice for people who want to gain a better understanding of the potential benefits involved.  His down-to-Earth style not only provides an inspiring read, but also serves to make the information and philosophies both accessible and interesting.  In short, it’s a wonderful way of going beyond his personal success and reaching out to anyone who might also benefit.

To celebrate Dave’s achievements and in his spirit of doing for others, Sex Across America will make a PDF version of the booklet available for free to anyone who would like one.  Simply email us at admin@sexacrossamerica.com and please note “Request for Dave’s Book” in the subject line.

To learn more about and to connect with Dave, the Raw Food Trucker, here’s a link to his Facebook page

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S.A.A. Extra: Underground Sex Economy Thriving

(3/21/14)  From the Urban Institute:  “Sex sells” does little to explain the multimillion-dollar profits generated by the underground commercial sex economy. From high-end escort services to high school “sneaker pimps,” the sex trade leaves no demographic unrepresented and impacts almost every major U.S. city. What we know about the underground commercial sex economy is likely just the tip of the iceberg, but a recent study attempts to unveil its size and structure while documenting the experiences of offenders and law enforcement.

Read the full report here. (Link will open a PDF file of the report, which was funded by a $500k grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.)

Additionally, for a rational, alternative interpretation of the report’s findings, check out this response from the Sex Workers Outreach Project (Las Vegas).

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Belle Knox Reenergizes Empowerment Debate

(3/17/14)  The recent furor surrounding Duke University sociology major turned part-time porn star, Belle Knox, is now morphing into an old and familiar polarization.  What started out simply as a sensational headline over being betrayed and outted by a college classmate has quickly segued into a much broader discussion that is reminiscent of one that has raged on for years and basically focuses on a single question: Is a woman who chooses to work in adult entertainment empowered or is she just setting herself up to be exploited?

Before continuing–and in the interest of full disclosure–we’ve had the pleasure of working with Belle recently during an upcoming Fallen Angel production in association with Adam & Eve Pictures.  Our impression is that she is a confident, self-assured and intelligent young woman who is positively embracing her sexuality while simultaneously using it for productive gain.  Equally impressive is that she is standing by her choices very publicly in the face of relentless judgment and harassment, and her courageous, out front stance will no doubt have a tremendous impact on a much broader scale when it comes to combating bullying in general.  All of that said, while her story is at the core of what has recently reignited the empowerment debate, we believe this should be less about her personally and more about objectively tackling the overall subject as it applies across the board.

With that in mind, much of the history in this particular debate stems from the fact that control of the adult entertainment industry has traditionally been patriarchal in nature.  Even among women who genuinely enjoy productive careers in it, there is significant difference in opinion over whether they have true empowerment in a situation that is, at its core, controlled by men.  Over and over and over ad nauseum, we hear one position claiming that the basic choice is the most empowering one–that women who choose to act in adult films are simply using their sexuality as an asset to support themselves and improve their overall quality of life–while the opposition opines that the basic choice leads to degrading subjugation by men.  It’s an old argument that has raged on for many years with plenty of valid opinions on all sides but no real resolution.

Here’s the thing:  The differentiating premise is now outdated.  While it used to be true that men unanimously had a firm grip on the industry, the rapid progress of the internet has democratized the model much in the same way it has for a multitude of other businesses.  Today, women from just about every background and culture are filming themselves living out their own fantasies and broadcasting them globally.  For some, it’s a powerful means to avoid poverty while for others it’s simply a way to freely express their sexuality and pleasure.  Many don’t even draw the distinction and simply see it at something with tremendous potential that they can control on their own terms.  No matter the motive–and as is the case with many other legitimate endeavors–previously existing glass ceilings didn’t even need to be shattered.  They were simply made irrelevant through–you guessed it–empowerment.

So, forget the outright hypocrisy of those feigning to champion women’s choice while vilifying women for their choices.  Forget the archaic posturing rooted in premises that are no longer valid.  Sure, deeply ingrained values and solidly entrenched positions are tough to give up, but for all intents and purposes, the empowerment question is sufficiently answered.  Don’t you agree?

(We welcome all rational points of view on the issue, both for or against.  All civil responses will be published in their entirely, so join the conversation and let us know your thoughts.)

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