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The Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen

What happens in cyberspace does not stay in cyberspace…

In the Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen, everyone in a small town is searching for something online. Love. Sex. Popularity.

What they don’t realize is the internet is a masquerade. Video cams play tricks with your eyes. Online chat rooms strip away anonymity. Self-deception is disguised as the truth. Inevitably, cyberspace exacts a price when people are no longer able to hide.

Challenging and thought-provoking, Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen takes a provocative, unflinching look at the internet and the impact of the image we project online. Exploring the dangers of cyberspace, this compelling play unravels the intertwining lives of a family, exposing their lies and tracking their downward spiral while shedding a light of compassion and wisdom. For more information, visit or follow Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen on Facebook.

Limited engagement only: February 28, 2013 – March 17, 2013 at the Access Theater (380 Broadway at White Street, 4th floor)
Performance schedule: Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00PM and Sun at 7:00PM

$15 tickets (reg. $18) with MoSex discount code: CYBERQUEEN
Purchase tickets online, call (800) 838-3006, or visit the box office of the Access Theater on the day of the performance.

Offer subject to availability and may be revoked at any time. Blackout dates may apply. Not valid for prior purchases and cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. All sales final; no refunds or exchanges. Telephone and internet orders are subject to standard service fees.


Sexualpedia Part 1: Why Do I Like the Things I Like?

Why do you like to read paranormal romance novels? Why do you like to look at pictures of girls smeared with mud? Why do you find Adam Lambert so strangely alluring? Why do you get turned on reading stories about men who turn into women? Why do you find yourself compulsively downloading bukkake porn?

This is the first in an open-ended series of articles that will explain the source of many common erotic interests using neuroscience, biology, and online behavioral data. The goal is to provide you with a clear understanding of why you like the things you like—even if these things are embarrassing (they shouldn’t be), strange (they’re probably quite common), or befuddling.

Whether you are a heterosexual woman who finds Brokeback Mountain to be intensely arousing or a heterosexual man who searches PornHub for the largest penises you can find, this series is intended to provide you with knowledge and reassurance.

While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty.

—Sherlock Holmes, Sign of the Four

Though sexual behavior is infinitely nuanced and complex, influenced by culture, experience, mood, free will, and what you gobbled down for breakfast, sexual desire appears to be bounded. The things that turn us on can be broken down into specific sexual cues. Our sexual cues are analogous to our taste cues (sweet, sour, salty, savory, bitter, possibly others): hardwired predilections shaped by evolution that perform specific functions and deliver varying degrees of pleasure. Even though human cuisine is infinitely variable, everything we eat can be resolved into its constituent taste cues. (Oreo cheesecake and baklava both trigger our taste for sweetness.) Similarly, though human sexual tastes are infinitely variable, everything that turns us on can be broken down into their constituent sexual cues.

There is one important difference between our gustatory tastes and sexual tastes, however. Whereas men and women share the same gustatory cues—lemons taste sour to all of us—men and women exhibit very different sexual cues. For this reason, each article in this series will address either a male sexual interest or a female sexual interest since they each require different kinds of explanations.

On the other hand, gay male sexual tastes are mostly identical to straight male sexual tastes, so a single explanation will suffice for both; for example, straight men’s interest in women’s feet can be explained in the same manner as gay men’s interest in men’s feet. Lesbian and heterosexual women’s sexual tastes also mostly share the same explanations. There are exceptions, of course.

Our understanding of sexual desire is derived from research in sexology, neuroscience, primatology, social psychology, neurology, community health, and an enormous quantity of online sexual data, delineated at the end of this article. This online data supplied us with many useful tools for understanding the relationships between different sexual cues, including the following two graphics.





They may look like constellations of the celestial heavens but they are actually constellations of human sexuality: correlation maps. The first visualizes the correlations between different sexual interests within individual search histories on the AOL search engine. The second visualizes the correlations between different tags on videos on PornHub. In the articles that follow, we will be discussing the significance of some of these correlations—such as why incest and bestiality seem correlated, and why an interest in feet and an interest in bondage seem correlated.


Online data used for the Sexualpedia:

Web searches (Dogpile; AOL; Excite; Google;
Individual search histories (AOL)
Website traffic (Alexa, Quantcast, Compete)
Website names
Erotic stories (Literotica, nifty,, fictionmania, Hindi)
Fan fiction stories (,
Digitized romance novels (including erotic romance)
Delicious tags
Erotic images and videos (, PornHub, xhamster, many others)
Personal sex seeking ads (craigslist)
Online dating site survey and user data (OKCupid)
Adult site-specific data (PornHub,,, others)
Credit card processing data (CCBill)
Other niche data (Webcam sites, adult star details, pirated porn downloads, others)
Most of the data was gathered in 2010. Since then, the number of porn subscription sites have dramatically diminished, while tube sites now dominate online visual erotica.

Meet the Bonde Das Maravilhas

Meet the tween queens behind Brazil’s butt training meme.

I first heard about the Bonde Das Maravilhas (literally “Train of Wonders”) last year from a lady giving me a bikini wax in Copacabana Beach. When she found out I like funk music, she told me I had to check out this group of girls on YouTube her daughter wouldn’t stop talking about, called the Bonde Das Maravilhas.

This was January, 2012, and MC Boom’s Treinamento do BumBum (literally “Butt Training”) music video was starting to making the rounds on YouTube. But his view count paled in comparison to the butt-training meme it inspired. Search for “treinamento do bumbum” and you’ll find thousands of videos of girls doing the butt training dance.

One video stands above the rest. Thaysa, Thalia, Rafaela and Karol of the Bonde Das Maravilhas have an extra couple of zeros behind their view count. Why have almost five million people watched it? Is it the apathetic-chill dance vibe? The surreal effect of pixelated video resolution on concrete? The charm of the Maravilhas?

I had to meet these girls. So I found the Maravilhas on Facebook, and since they’re all still in high school, I got permission from their manager (and Rafaela’s mom) to interview them. On a rainy day last January, I took a ferry across Guanabara Bay to meet them in their home town of Niteroi, a city best known for being across the bay from Rio.

The Maravilhas in Niteroi, January 2012

Thaysa, Thalia, Rafaela and Karol were 13, 14, 15 and 16 when I interviewed them. A year later, they’ve seen half a dozen videos top the million view count on YouTube, they’re still crushing it dancing at local funk parties,  they’ve started making music videos, and they’re all still underage.

If you feel uncomfortable watching girls this young shake it like that, that’s precisely the point. Hugo Schwyzer calls out our anxiety about premature sexualization in Jezebel:

Rather than listen to young women themselves, too many adults fixate on one of the great worries of our era: that girls are the victims of premature sexualization. The anxiety about sexualization ends up becoming the only lens through which well-meaning adults see teen girls and their clothes. That’s a huge mistake.

So let’s look at the Maravilhas through a second lens too: as they see themselves.

Watch my interview with the Bonde Das Maravilhas, from their rise to internet fandom to what grandma thinks, mixed up with samples of their hottest YouTube videos. This is a RioChromatic original production.

Bonde Das Maravilhas from RioChromatic on Vimeo.

Want to kill the next half hour watching Bonde das Maravilhas videos? Head to for the playlist.

Read more about Rio sex culture on the MoSex blog.

The video in this post includes samples of the following YouTube videos:

Montagem – Bonde Das Maravilhas Eo Mundo Se Acabando [K1Absoluto] – thalia almeida

MC Boom – Treinamento do bum bum [ 1080p – HD ] – funkneurotico


Bonde Das Maravilhas Ensaiando –  Germano Costa

Mc Nego do Borel e Bonde das Maravilhas – Ao Vivo no Olimpo – 17/08/12 – MedleyAoVivo(Originally taken from a video called “4 videos de bonde maravilhas” that has since been removed from YouTube. This video is of the same show with MC Nego at Olimpo.)

Bonde Das Maravilhas – Senta Senta Vai Senta – TraKinasPem

Bonde das Maravilhas – Brincadeiras das Maravilhas (CLIPE OFICIAL) – DJ KLEBER’IGOR – Kleber igor


Bonde das Maravilhas – Documentário ( TOM PRODUÇÕES ) 2013 –  Tom Produções

Making Dildos

What if a pencil sharpener had a bigger hole…and it wasn’t for pencils.

NO! Jeez, I’m not talking about putting your junk in there!!!!
What the hell is wrong with you people!?

This “sharpener” doesn’t sharpen, as much as make regular objects dick-shaped. So you can use em as a dildo! :D

Yes, this is an Art but, I bet a Kickstarter for the same idea would make bank.

Check out the full series of dildo’ed objects and the artist statement here:

Francesco Morackini


Virginity for Valentine’s Day // Reigniting The High Of Love // Lesbian Cuckolding

Have a question for Ms. M.? Email:

Follow Ms. M. on Twitter and Facebook.


Ms. M.,

I’m still a virgin. I’ve been dating the same guy for seven months and he is a virgin too. My mom always told me having sex before marriage was okay as long as I love the person. We say I love you, but I don’t really know if I truly love him. I plan on moving across the country for college next year and he plans on staying here to work at his family’s business. I’ve decided I don’t want to go off to college still a virgin. Most of my friends have already had sex and I always feel like I’m missing out on something when they talk about it. I think I want to give my boyfriend my virginity for Valentine’s Day. Is there anything I should know first to prepare? Do you have any pointers or tips for first timers?


What an exciting idea, Ready! One thing is for sure, Valentine’s Day, 2013 will always be a benchmark in your book!

While parents and older generations like to put the idea in our heads that sex is only deemed acceptable if you love someone (or the more antiquated view—only if you’re married), it’s simply not true. Sex and love are two different things, even though they go quite nicely when paired together. You can be madly in love with someone, and still fantasize about, or be driven to have sex with someone else. This is completely human. This is completely normal. The key is to always be honest with yourself, your partner(s), and not hurt people along the way.

Sex is perfectly acceptable when you desire to have it, if you’re safe and responsible, and if you’re with someone who is respectful of you, your body, your needs, and your pleasure.

But I would advise you be respectful of your own pleasure first. Can you orgasm when you masturbate? The first step to loving yourself is to give yourself a little lovin’. You won’t have an orgasm with a guy if you can’t give one to yourself. Your orgasm is not some gift he gives to you; it’s the gift you give to yourself, and he gets the honor of being present and a part of it when you do. Next, to prove he is respectful of your body and your pleasure, have him get you off with his hands or his mouth before you let him go inside of you. If all women made this a golden rule, the world would be a much better and happier place. Why risk STDs or pregnancy if you’re not even going to orgasm?

Oh wait, you’re curious. You said it yourself, you don’t want to go off to college a virgin and you feel like you’re missing out on something. And you know what? That’s really effing cool of you. In all honesty, I don’t think most girls loose their virginity to cum. I think most of them hope it will make a guy like them more or commit more. You, however, with your perfectly healthy curiosity are in the best possible scenario—in control and aware of what you want and why you want it, which doesn’t involve using sex to manipulate your boyfriend or the relationship.

You should know it’s not going to be fireworks and orgasmic explosions your first time. The best part of it will probably be the foreplay and kissing before penetration, then the cuddling after you’re done. My first time was awkward, I bled, and it hurt. It hurt really badly. But I did it again the next day, and the next day. It’s kind of like learning how to ride a bike or water ski. You have to practice, and it might hurt the first few times, but you have to keep going. Loosing your virginity may seem like an event, but remember, this is only the beginning to the process of your sexuality. It’s like opening a door to a magical land that has yet to be discovered and explored. You must keep exploring.

Make sure you both know how to use a condom properly—from how you open the wrapper, to how you put it on him. They are only effective if they are used the right way. If I were you, I’d go with a lubricated condom, and have some water-based lube nearby. Sliquid is a great brand, and the one I would recommend.

Don’t worry about whether or not he thinks your thighs are fat or if he sees that pimple on your bum or what he thinks of how your pussy looks. He’s going to be so excited that his rocket ship penis is about to blast off into your supernatural slit of galactic outer space, he’s not going to pay attention to whatever it is about your body that makes you insecure. We all have something we’re insecure about—even him—so brush that dirt off your shoulder.

Be sure you’re relaxed and in a safe comfortable environment. Don’t just go for it. Take your time. Spend a long time kissing and working your way up to that moment. Giggle along the way—it builds intimacy and comfort. When you do finally go for it, breathe deep. Don’t clinch. Let go. Relax.

And remember, sex is like Chinese food: you can have it once and it’s God-awful horrible and you think you never want to have it again. But don’t let it turn you off forever. Be open to trying it again with someone new, somewhere new, because I promise you there’s an infinite amount of variation out there in this world and you’re sure to find at least one where you can’t seem to get enough.

Love Always,

Ms. M.


Dear Ms. M.,

I’ve been married for six years to the same man. We’re happy and active in our sex life. But lately it feels kind of boring, like we’re in a rut. The sex is great but also routine. I think we’re too accustomed to each other. I was wondering, can you suggest anything we can do in our sex life or otherwise, that might give us that feeling of being newly in love again? I miss that.



Dear Donna,

Love and sex! Two different things, but great when they go together—kind of like strawberries and champagne. I was recently on a Real Love panel with the ever-so-brilliant, Dr. Helen Fisher. I’ve followed her work for years, as she studies the science of romantic love and the brain in love. So when I finally met her, I was more than excited to introduce her to Mr. M. and credit her for teaching me what I know about keeping that spark alive. I was thrilled to confess that I have used her scientifically proven trick to boost that being-in-love feeling: novelty. Doing something completely new, thrilling, and risky together boosts dopamine in the brain. And dopamine is the chemical that gives you the feeling of being high on love.

A couple of years ago, Mr. M. and I were on an evening flight on a mostly empty small plane. There weren’t people sitting around us, so when the flight attendants were required to be seated for landing, I went down on him right there in the seat. No blanket over my head, just me giving him head. He finished just as the wheels touched down.

Another time, we were walking from our apartment to Grand Central Market to do some shopping. I grinned, grabbed his hand, and told him to follow me as I took him on a little surprise detour. We walked into what was then, the Helmsley Hotel on 42nd Street, past the front desk agents and onto the elevator. We got off on a random floor, walked into a stairwell, and had sex. Then there was the time we made love on the twirly stairs inside the lighthouse on Isla Mujeres overlooking the ancient Mayan ruins. Once he went down on me atop Mont Royal—I was wearing a skirt with no panties and thankfully, it was summer in Montreal and not too cold. There was a pebbly beach in Sitges, Spain and a sandy beach on an early spring morning in Amagansett. Another time we rode our bikes out into a field of blooming yellow flowers in Bath Spa, England, then rolled around making love in them. There was the roof of his parents’ house … lots of roofs actually. I can’t even get started on the numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants where we’ve frolicked … oh, and once in a library. At home, there is not one inch of surface area that hasn’t seen us naked. We especially like the kitchen, though I’d advise never messing around after chopping hot peppers. Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire ain’t got nothin’ on a body part that’s encountered the fiery juice of a jalapeño.

I would hope all couples incorporate such spontaneity into their sex lives because it also boosts the dopamine, which boosts that feeling of being in love. Lingerie and candles are fine and sexy, but they’re not going to give you or your partner as big of a thrill as doing something novel or even risky together. If my experiences are a little too dangerous for you, then try something like renting a limo and taking a romping ride around town. Or check out day use hotels, get a room for the day, invite him over, and surprise him with a role-play scenario. Try to make part of the routine to never have sex the same way twice in a row.

It’s important to remember though, novelty doesn’t always have to be sexual. You could go on a hot air balloon ride, sky diving, bungee jumping, or just do something new and out of your element together.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Ms. M.


Help Ms. M.,

I am worried. I have this fantasy about my girlfriend that plagues me. I am a thirty-three year old lesbian living with my girlfriend nine years my junior. Like me, she has always been aware of her sexuality. But unlike me she has slept with a man. Actually, he was the last person she slept with before we got together.

They both worked at the same spot bartending and the hours were gruesome. At four in the morning after doing shots and drinking on the job she would usually go sleep at his place because it was two blocks away versus her commute home which was over an hour. They would continue the party at his, and inevitably wound up sleeping together. This went on for nine months. She practically lived with him. It all ended when he confessed he was in love with her. She told him it wouldn’t ever work because she couldn’t love him the same way he loved her.

I knew her and went to the bar where she worked with him for months before she and I got together. We were friends. We always had chemistry. When we finally got together, the sex was explosive. I’ve never experienced anything that comes close. A few months in we bought a strap-on and I began fucking her with it. When I do she cums harder and more intensely than any other way we have sex. It turns me on so much I usually orgasm from watching and feeling her orgasm.

The thing is, now I can’t stop thinking about seeing a man fucking her. I have never in my life been attracted to a man and I don’t have any desire to have sex with one. But I can’t help but fantasize about a man fucking her from behind while she’s going down on me, feeling her face fuck me with each one of his hard thrusts. I wonder what she would taste like with a man’s juices inside and outside of her. I fantasize about eating a man’s cum off of her. I think about walking in on her and catching her fucking a man behind my back. These thoughts make me cum harder and more intensely than anything I’ve ever experienced. They are my go to thoughts when I masturbate and always when we’re fucking. The thing is, I’m not sure if I want to try this in real life. Part of me is scared she might like being with a man so much she will leave me, even though we have a great relationship and we’re madly in love. I’ve only shared this with my best guy friend who laughed and told me I was a cuckold. He said I should tell my girlfriend, but I am afraid she will feel degraded or actually want to try this, and I don’t know if I’m ready or if I could handle that. I definitely don’t want to ruin our relationship. Is there a science behind cuckolding? Do you think I’m a cuckold? Should I tell my girlfriend about my fantasies? Do you think we should try them? Is something wrong with me? I am tormented holding all of this inside.

My Dear,

I am so sorry to hear of your torment. You’ll be relieved to know nothing is wrong with you. You’re absolutely fine! Everyone who has a healthy imagination has fantasies, even the non-sexual kind. So stop beating yourself up and stop being so hard on yourself.

As far as cuckolding, yes there are quite a few theories behind it which extend far beyond cuckolding being just another category of videos on a porn site. The cuckold is so turned on and titillated from seeing his hot wife getting railed by a stud, or super stud (typically with a much bigger cock), that the cuckold’s feelings of jealousy dissolve. Some theories suggest there is a sperm-competition drive: seeing his hot wife being pleasured by the stud with a bigger longer-lasting cock makes the cuckold’s balls more productive thereby granting the cuckold a stronger orgasm. Another theory is that the cuckold has a subconscious desire to submit to a bigger cock, and therefore in his mind, the way to do that is to give his hot wife to the stud with the bigger cock. And then there’s the whole delving into matriarchal societies in relation to cuckolding but I’m not going to go into all of that here.

Because Darling, I actually don’t think you’re a cuckold. I think what’s really happening here, from your email and all the background information you’ve given me, is that you’ve fetishized your girlfriend’s past. You’ve sexually processed what she went through, but you haven’t processed it emotionally. Maybe that’s because it’s difficult for you to fully understand why she would ever sleep with a man if she’s a lesbian. And I bet that scares you a little. And that’s why it also turns you on. In the field of fantasy research, it is commonly known that what scares us a little is often the precipice of what turns us on the most.

I’ll tell you about something I went through when I was much much younger, in my early 20s. I was dating an older guy who was a big shot hedge funder. They’re a dime a dozen in Manhattan, especially when you’re a barely 21 hottie. We had great sex, albeit, it usually involved a lot of alcohol and cocaine. One day he was really high and looking through folders on his computer searching for old pictures to share with me. He mistakenly opened one called TR-Investments, which from the name, I assumed involved his work. WRONG! It was his stash of tranny porn—an entire folder devoted to nothing but movie clips of trannies he had downloaded from the internet. And instantly, I became insecure. I was threatened. I wondered if he was gay. I wondered if he needed something sexually I could never give him.

Add time, more alcohol, and more cocaine, and the next thing I know, I’m watching tranny porn left and right—with him and on my own.

We broke up. I still watched tranny porn. I even had sex with a stunningly gorgeous one I had befriended, who was fully functional and had great tits. (Gay men, I know you’re judging me right now—you always do.) I lived out the fantasy, but it wasn’t as exciting as I had built it up in my mind to be. I too, had sexually processed something I couldn’t understand, which manifested itself into a fantasy. And when I tried that fantasy in real life, it wasn’t all that. I haven’t looked at tranny porn in years. It does nothing for me now.

I happen to think fantasies are much healthier if they go through phases, if you explore them, because when you evolve, so do they. Being stuck on the same fantasy your entire life can’t be healthy … or satisfying.

Should you tell your girlfriend? Absolutely. Keeping your fantasies locked in and all to yourself is not fully sharing who you are with your partner. It’s a recipe for torment, because while you’re having sex, your mind is playing a movie of something else to get you off, and you’re not being fully present in the moment, fully enjoying your lover. That’s not fair to either of you!

How and when you tell her is the important part. For example, I wouldn’t blurt out, “I want to see a big cock pumping you from behind,” during sex. But what you can tell her, perhaps over dinner or whilst snuggling together on the couch, is that feeling her cum when you’re using the strap-on makes you more turned on and excited than anything you’ve ever experienced. And so you wonder if she ever misses being with a man. See where the conversation goes from there. If she says no, I suppose that’s good for you, and if she says yes, I suppose that’s good for your fantasy. Either way, having this conversation is going to be a catalyst for your relationship to grow, whether that growth is sexually, emotionally, or intimately.

The place all couples should strive for is a place where you can openly and honestly share your fantasies, and even talk them out during sex. Does it mean you’ll try it in real life? Not necessarily. And if you do, it might not turn out to be as exciting in real life as you’ve built it up to be in your mind.

Mr. M. and I tell each other everything. We talk out our fantasies during sex. But it takes two truly secure people in a secure relationship to do this. Being open and honest is a constant test of how strong you are together. And you know what? Sometimes I tell him things or show him porn clips he is so not into and he just shakes his head and laughs. And that’s okay. No two people are the same. No two people like all the same food or all the same music, and therefore, no two people are going to be 100% into the same fantasies 100% of the time. It amazes me how many people profess their unconditional love and acceptance of one another, but then their actions don’t align. Use laughter and acceptance as building blocks, not judgement and definitely not mockery.

It’s helpful if you have a close group of friends to tell things to as well. The more fearlessly authentic you can be with others, the more you finely tune yourself, and the more you let go of shame and accept yourself. Fine self-tuning is a constant process. You don’t just tune a guitar once, and expect it to stay that way forever. Working to keep it in tune while you play is key to making beautiful music, and working to keep yourself constantly in tune is the key to making a beautiful satisfying sexual evolution.

So tune away. Practice having more real conversations with your guy best friend—he sounds good for you. Laugh, especially at yourself. And talk to your girlfriend already! Stop holding this stuff inside that’s tormenting you. If you don’t accept your authentic self, who will?

Love Always,

Ms. M.


Have a question or comment for me, Ms. M.? Email:

Be sure to follow me, Ms. M.! Twitter my clitter or find me on Facialbook!

Stronic Eins Contest & Giveaway

UPDATE: Congratulations, Olivia, on the winning caption:

“Even though she had been told that she couldn’t get pregnant from vibrators, Jane loves the newborns more than anything.”

Thank you everyone for participating. Please stay tuned for our next giveaway. And now…time for the great Stronic Eins race! Who will win?


Vibrators are so last season.

For the month of February, we’re teaming up with Fun Factory to turn the Museum store into a space dedicated to a revolutionary new sex toy.

Stronic Eins

Say hello to the Stronic Eins.

Using magnetic technology to create strong pulsing thrusts, the Stronic Eins is the first of its kind on the market. With ten different stimulation rhythms, the sensations are endlessly customizable, and its controls are simple to learn and use. According to a survey led by Fun Factory last November, 87% of women who have used a vibrator prefer a pulsator after trying one…

SHARE YOUR CAPTION FOR THIS PHOTO IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND ENTER TO WIN YOUR VERY OWN STRONIC EINS. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. Offer valid in the U.S. only.

Photo credit: Fun Factory USA

Photo credit: Fun Factory USA











On Thursday, February 14th, we’re extending our opening hours from 10:00am to 10:00pm with the last ticket sold at 9:15pm. With each full priced admission, visitors will receive a Valentine’s Day kit filled with unique gift items.

Glass Rose Icicle No. 12

Glass Rose Icicle No. 12


      Complete the store experience by heading to the MoSEX photo booth to snap some playful pictures.

  • Then come on downstairs to the Museum bar, open for canoodling and serving sparkling infused cotton candy cocktails, aphrodisiac-inspired drinks and punches, sweets and savories.



VDAY Museum of Sex

Photo credit: Featured image photo collage by May Lin Le Goff.


What Do Shemale Porn and the Twilight Novels Have in Common?

[ This article is based upon the 2012 Idea City talk “What do shemale porn and Edward Cullen have in common?” ]

During our expansive exploration of sexual desire, we encountered a number of popular erotic interests that defied academic predictions and evolutionary theory. For example, among heterosexual men, the stunning popularity of shemale porn (sometimes referred to as futanari), incest porn, and bukkake porn, three of the most searched for erotic genres in the world. Among women, slash fan fiction (romantic and erotic male-male stories), incest stories, and the phenomenal global popularity of paranormal romance, whose leading example is Stephanie Myers’ Twilight novels.

As computational neuroscientists, we turned to the design of the brain to attempt to explain these prevalent yet baffling erotic tastes. In particular, we considered the operation of “sexual cues,” hardwired sexual taste predispositions analogous to our hardwired gustatory tastes. Just as our brains come hard-wired with five different taste cues—salty, sour, sweet, savory, bitter (some researchers add metallic and fat), our brains also come hard-wired with a finite set of sexual cues. However, though male and female brains share the same taste cues, our brains come loaded with entirely different sets of sexual cues. It’s as if the male brain has salty and sour cues, and the female brain has bitter and sweet cues. If we each tasted the sexual equivalent of peanut brittle, a man would report a salty flavor while a woman would report its sweetness.

In previous computational neuroscience research, we had modeled how the brain manufactured optical illusions, such as the enigmatic Mona Lisa smile, by simultaneously juxtaposing two different visual cues to create a strange and beguiling gestalt that was perceptually “more than the sum of its parts.” (In the case of the Mona Lisa smile, da Vinci juxtaposed a low-frequency grin with a high-frequency flat expression to produce the beguiling smile that seems to appear or disappear depending on where your eyes come to rest on the painting.) Our brain can also be tricked by gustatory illusions: restaurants like Chili’s and T.G.I.Friday’s hire food engineers who craft culinary concoctions that combine different gustatory cues (salty, fatty, sweet, crunchy) into irresistible gustatory illusions that promote what the food industry calls cravability, such as Chili’s Texas Cheese Fries or Cheesecake Factory’s Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake.

It appears that our brains might also be tricked by erotical illusions. By combining (or distorting) multiple sexual cues into novel gestalts, it’s possible to evoke bewilderingly intense sexual arousal. Male erotical illusions are mostly visual, since the male sexual brain consists primarily of visual cues. Female erotical illusions are mostly psychological, since the female sexual brain consists primarily of psychological cues.

Erotical illusions account for one of the most popular and baffling sexual interests of heterosexual men: shemale porn. (Many transsexuals find the term “shemale” offensive when applied to an individual, though this is the common term for the genre within the adult industry.) Figures in shemale porn feature the body of a woman and a penis, often a large one.

In Japanese anime, transsexual characters are known as futanari. Futanari porn reveals exactly what appeals to straight men about shemales. Futanari characters are drawn with hyperfeminine bodies, typically very young, with large round breasts and hourglass figures, large eyes with long eyelashes and beautiful faces. They also possess giant horse-sized penises. Typical futanari features schoolgirls with giant protrusions beneath their plaid skirts, teenage girls with pink hair and a bulge in their jeans, slender ballerinas in tutus and sporting erections as long as their slender legs.

Recently, contemporary adult webmasters have found ways to manufacture “artificial shemales” that do not involve the use of actual transsexual actresses. The women are voluptuous and curvy, with enormous strap-on dildos that look like authentic if colossally oversized penises. The site is full of scenes of attractive, busty women stroking their giant artificial manhood.

The site makes the erotical illusion very clear: anatomical cues of femininity juxtaposed with the visual cue of a penis. (The penis is a prominent sexual cue for many heterosexual men.)

What about the opposite? What about someone with strong muscular arms, tattooed biceps, a bald head, a beard—and a vagina? The most famous transsexual male porn star is the cigar-puffing Buck Angel.

Buck Angel combines a number of visual cues of masculinity with the single feminine cue of a vagina. Straight men express no interest in Buck Angel, and some find him disquieting. But many gay men find him extremely intriguing. The sexual brains of most women, however, do not respond to Buck Angel as a visual erotical illusion. Instead, erotical illusions comprised of psychological cues are more effective at tricking the female sexual brain—such as paranormal romance.

Some of the psychological cues that consistently appear in the hundreds of thousands of female-authored erotic stories and the thousands of digital romance novels we analyzed include heroes who are alpha males (strong, confident leaders), intelligent and experienced, willing to protect women from physical harm, desired by many women (though they only love the heroine), who lust intensely after the inexplicably irresistible heroine, who hide a secret tender side, and whose aggressive nature is tamed by the heroine’s love. It turns out that these cues are all whirled together and amplified in the stories of paranormal romance.

Consider Edward Cullen, the vampire hero of Twilight. Since he is a vampire, he has the body of a 17-year old hotty—but the experienced, mature mind of a 107 year old. He is the ultimate alpha: an immortal warrior dispatches human bullies with ruthless ease, rescuing Bella Swan time and again. All the girls at Bella’s high school have crushed on Edward—but he is only interested in Bella, because of her inexplicably delicious smell. He lusts after Bella—literally, since he lusts after the blood coursing through her veins—but demonstrates his love for Bella by not acting on his primal urge to rip open her neck and drink her blood. Cullen is an Oreo Extreme Dream Cheesecake for the female sexual brain: a superalpha who eternally lusts after one uniquely special woman, but who forever demonstrates his kind and loving heart by not acting upon his savage impulses—at least, not when he’s around his beloved; he’s free to release his barbaric side when challenged by villainous opponents.

Unlike women, men are not aroused by romantic stories of vampire women with youthful bodies and elderly minds. The male sexual brain does not process the same sort of literary erotical illusion.

Erotical illusions make vivid one of the most fascinating aspects of human sexuality: that much of sexual arousal results from the integrative sorcery of our imagination. For more, watch the 2012 Idea City talk “What do shemale porn and Edward Cullen have in common?”

Dr. Ogi Ogas received his PhD in computational neuroscience from Boston University and was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow. His writing has been published in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Wired, Baltimore Magazine, and Seed.  He used his knowledge of cognition to reach the million dollar question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and battle Ken Jennings in the finals of Grand Slam.

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The Deadliest Snatch

Sex has been used to facilitate murder many times before but, never like this…

A Brazilian woman poisoned her vagina in hopes that her husband would go down on her and die. Her plan was thwarted when he complained of a “funny smell” when he went down and took her to the hospital to get checked out.

Sadly, the article is more academic than comedic but, if you’re curious about the history of evil vaginas, including the Brazilian one above, read this article.