Tag: sex

Caitlyn Jenner tipped to star in Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That

Caitlyn Jenner tipped to star in Sex and the City

Caitlyn Jenner is being tipped to make an appearance in the Sex and the City reboot. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)

Caitlyn Jenner is being tipped to star in HBO Max’s upcoming Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That in an effort to bring some diversity to the show.

The reboot of the classic series was confirmed on 10 January, with Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis all set to reprise their roles – but Kim Cattrall, who played fan-favourite Samantha Jones, will not be making an appearance.

Much has been made of the lack of diversity in the original run of Sex and the City, which closely followed four white, cisgender, middle-class women as they explored relationships and sex in New York City.

Ever since its original run, fans have been criticising the show for its general failure to represent LGBT+ characters and people of colour in meaningful ways – and many have wondered if And Just Like That will right those wrongs.

Caitlyn Jenner would be ‘perfect for an appearance’ in reboot

Now, an insider has told The Mirror that bosses working on the show want it to be as diverse as possible – and Caitlyn Jenner is being touted as a perfect fit to appear in the new series in an effort to make it more inclusive.

Caitlyn has been a media fixture in one way or another for going on 50 years. She’s really perfect for an appearance.

The insider said that Caitlyn Jenner, who came out publicly as transgender in April 2015, could have a cameo appearance in the Sex and the City reboot.

“Caitlyn has been a media fixture in one way or another for going on 50 years,” the insider said. “She’s really perfect for an appearance.

“They want new faces for the show, but they want people viewers actually know and care about too.”

The news comes as Jenner revealed that she hasn’t become a “spokesperson” for the trans community because many see her as being too “controversial”. 

In an interview with The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast, Jenner, 71, said that her background and political beliefs meant she did not receive the warm welcome into the trans community that other public figures, like Elliot Page, did.

Jenner remains a Republican, despite the fact that Donald Trump dedicated much of his presidency to rolling back LGBT+ rights.

Sex and the City spin-off will be made later this year

And Just Like That will comprise of 10 half-hour episodes and is scheduled to kick-off production late spring in New York City, US. Parker, Davis, Nixon and Michael Patrick King will executive produce.

“The new Max Original series is based on the book, Sex and the City, by Candice Bushnell and the original TV series created by Darren Star,” a statement from HBO Max’s parent company WarnerMedia read.

“The series will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.”

DeVos’ Department of Education Says Transgender Students Not Protected; Must Be Treated According to Biological Sex

DeVos' Department of Education Says Transgender Students Not Protected; Must

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made sure she struck one more time at LGBTQ youth as she stepped down last week, with her department issuing a memo saying that “gender identity” was not protected under laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sex, and that schools are within their rights to misgender transgender students and force them to participate in programs and use facilities based on their biological sex.

Broken pencil

The memo (PDF), from Kimberly Richey, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Education’s (DOEd’s) Office for Civil Rights, says the term “sex” in Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal taxpayer money, is defined only as “biological sex, male or female.” This means, among other things, that it’s okay for schools to ignore a student’s required pronouns and to ban them from participation in an activity meant for someone of the “opposite sex”:

We believe a recipient [of funds from the DOEd] generally would not violate Title IX by, for example, recording a student’s biological sex in school records, or referring to a student using sex-based pronouns that correspond to the student’s biological sex, or refusing to permit a student to participate in a program or activity lawfully provided for members of the opposite sex, regardless of transgender status or homosexuality.

Additionally, the memo says that Title IX requires schools to have transgender students participate in athletics and use school bathrooms and locker rooms according to their biological sex:

We believe the ordinary public meaning of controlling statutory and regulatory text requires a recipient providing separate athletic teams to separate participants solely based on their biological sex, male or female, and not based on transgender status or homosexuality, to comply with Title IX…. [and] requires a recipient providing “separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” to regulate access based on biological sex.

Under Title IX, it says, schools may also legally consider only biological sex, and not lived gender, in admissions to single-sex institutions; single-sex housing; membership in social organizations like fraternities, sororities, and the Girl Scouts; “separate mother-daughter and father-son activities;” single-sex classes and extracurricular activities, including human sexuality classes and physical education classes involving contact sports.

The memo is framed as a response to Bostock v. Clayton County, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was one of the few good things to come out of 2020. That ruling says that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex, also necessarily prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Title IX was also enacted (in 1972) as a follow up to the Civil Rights Act. The DOEd memo looks at how Bostock may also have impacted the way Title IX is interpreted, with the DeVos DOEd concluding that it doesn’t—and doubling down on an interpretation of Title VII that ignores and harms transgender students.

One area where Bostock may offer some protections to LGBTQ students, the memo says, is sexual harassment:

Consistent with Bostock, harassment on the basis of a person’s transgender status or homosexuality may implicate that person’s biological sex and, thus, may at least in part constitute “conduct on the basis of sex.” Accordingly, unwelcome conduct on the basis of transgender status or homosexuality may, if so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity on the basis of their transgender status or homosexuality, constitute sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.

That’s little solace, though, when other policies are designed to exclude and ostracize, potentially stirring up harassment. Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that “The memorandum refusing to apply Bostock to federal education law is unconscionable and legally flawed.”

Although the memo is dated January 8, one day after DeVos’ resignation, it must have been in preparation for some time before then—and really comes as no surprise. In 2017, the DOEd withdrew guidance instituted by the Obama administration, which had said that discrimination against transgender students on the basis of gender identity violates Title IX. While guidance doesn’t create new law, it clarifies how the relevant federal departments will evaluate whether a person or institution is complying with existing law.

Now, DeVos DOEd is leaving the government with guidance that will cause harm to transgender students by not letting them live their truths and make them more vulnerable to bullying and harassment. (If you think a trans girl won’t get harassed if she’s forced to use the boys’ bathroom, you’re fooling yourself.) In her resignation letter, in which she condemns the “violent protestors” in the capitol, DeVos said, “Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us. I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgement and model the behavior we hope they would emulate.” She would do well to consider how those words apply in other areas as well.

Joe Biden’s website however, promises: “On his first day in office, Biden will reinstate the Obama-Biden guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence Administration, which will restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity. He will direct his Department of Education to vigorously enforce and investigate violations of transgender students’ civil rights.” January 20th can’t come soon enough.

Sex & The City return confirmed with teaser video shared by leads / Queerty

Sex & The City return confirmed with teaser video shared

The TV return of Sex & The City is happening. Sarah Jessica Parker, 55, posted an Instagram video last night in her character of Carrie Bradshaw. A montage of shots of New York City is cut against a shot of a computer screen.

The words, “I couldn’t help but wonder…” are typed on the screen. This was a recurring phrase her character used when writing her columns on single life. They’re followed by, “And just like that…”, before “‘The story continues…”

A logo for HBOMax follows, with the hashtag, #SATCNextChapter. In a caption accompanying the video, Parker wrote: “I couldn’t help but wonder… where are they now? X, SJ”

The same video was posted by co-stars Kristen Davis, 55, (Charlotte) and Cynthia Nixon, 54, (Miranda). However, it was not shared by Kim Cattrall, 64 (Samantha), who has already stated in interviews that she was happy not to be included in negotiations about a return of the show.

Related: Twitter is NOT into the idea of a Samantha-less “Sex and the City” reboot

According to USA Today, the 10-episode TV series will have the title And Just Like That. Former writer and director Michael Patrick King will return to executive produce the show, alongside Parker, Davis and Nixon. However, the original series creator, Darren Star, will not be returning. A new showrunner has yet to be announced.

And Just Like That will focus on the women’s lives as, “they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s,” according to an HBO Max news release.

Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max said about the new show: “I grew up with these characters, and I can’t wait to see how their story has evolved in this new chapter, with the honesty, poignancy, humor and the beloved city that has always defined them.”

The statement made no mention of Kim Cattrall or her absence from the show.

Based on Candace Bushnell’s 1996 book, the original Sex & The City ran from 1998 until 2004, and returned for two movies, in 2008 and 2010. A prequel series, The Carrie Diaries, with AnnaSophia Robb as young Carrie Bradshaw, ran for two seasons on the CW starting in 2013.

In 2017, Cattrall said she had turned down the offer of a third S&TC movie, resulting in Warner Bros deciding not to proceed with the project. It’s believed the other lead actresses were disappointed by Cattrall’s decision.

Parker told TV Extra in September of that year, “It’s over. We’re not doing it… I’m disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but I think more so for that audience that has been so vocal about wanting another movie.”

Later that same year, Cattrall said she would “never” appear in another Sex & The City movie. She told Piers Morgan during a TV interview she had “never been friends” with her co-stars and confirmed there had been tension between her and Parker.

Related: Here’s everything we know about the “Sex and the City” follow-up TV series

The Sex & The City reboot will begin shooting in New York in the late spring. No premiere date has yet been announced.

Gay father shares wholesome sex advice with his gay son / Queerty

Gay father shares wholesome sex advice with his gay son

Gay father and gay son Craig and Austin
Craig and son, Austin (Photo: Cut/YouTube)

A gay dad is being praised for his parenting skills and the support he shows his son. The two men took part in the video series Truth or Drink for media brand, Cut. The older man, Craig adopted his son, Austin, when the boy was 13. Austin’s current age is not given but we’d guess he’s in his early 20s.

In the video, Austin says he was “noticeably gay” from a very young age. He explains that his biological parents were homophobic. He says his mom was a drug addict and he was removed by authorities and then adopted by Craig and his partner.

Related: Gay dad shuts down inquiry about whether he wants his son to like guys or girls

Craig says that when he first adopted Austin, it took some time for trust to be established, and it took around a year and a half before the youngster really began talking to his new parents.

“He watched us. He started to trust us. And then he started blooming into this beautiful, amazing, artistic creature,” says Craig.

The two men discuss what they think of the label “queer” (Austin says he doesn’t have a problem with it but Craig says it still has too many painful connotations for him to embrace it), before moving on to more candid questions.

Austin asks his dad who his first queer crush was, and Craig reveals it was Rob Lowe in the movie, About Last Night.

Asked what the “queerest thing” each had done, Austin reveals Craig used to be a “well-known” drag queen. Craig says the queerest thing he sees Austin doing is showing his “butt flaps on Instagram.” However, Craig says this doesn’t bother him: “The queerest thing? I don’t think of you on those terms. I think of you as my kid out there living his life.”

One thing both men declined to answer, opting for a sip of drink instead, is whether they’re top, bottom, or versatile.

Instead, they do opt for answering “Who’s the oldest person you’ve dated.” When Austin reveals he’s had sex with a man in his 50s, Craig shoots back, “Was that for money?”

“Shut up!” replies a mock-offended Austin, before adding, “Fifty-year olds on the West Coast really know how to preserve themselves.”

Related: Gay dad is furious when his son gets a tattoo — until he sees what it is

“Do you have any sex advice for me?” Austin asks next.

“Absolutely,” replies Craig. “Enjoy it. It’s not bad. It’s one of the most potent and beautiful things two people can ever share.”

“Well, sometimes there’s more than two,” replies Austin knowingly, to his father’s shock.

Austin shares memories when he felt threatened or unsafe because of his sexuality, which concerns Craig but is something he can relate to, having also lived somewhere that takes a conservative view of same-sex relationships.

Craig becomes emotional when he asks Austin, “Was I a good parent to you when you were growing up? What could I have done differently?”

Austin replies, “No parent is perfect, whether you’re gay, straight … I’m happy for everything you’ve done for me and I wouldn’t ever change anything about that. As of right now, where I am in my life, I’ve never been more happy and more comfortable in my own skin.”

The response to the video online has been overwhelmingly positive.

“He seems like such a caring and good father,” says one man on YouTube. “I am heterosexual myself and my father died when I was 3 years old and I would have loved to have a supporting father like this.”

“This father deserves an award,” said another. “Dude made my heart twist and I’m a straight dude with no children.”

“If all dads were this caring we would have flying cars by now,” added another impressed viewer.

Several others … well, they just wanted to know the name of Austin’s Instagram account!

Find Your Sexual Persona with the Queer Sex Personality Quiz

Find Your Sexual Persona with the Queer Sex Personality Quiz

When you hear the word “sexuality,” you think “sexual orientation,” but that’s only one slice of your personal erotic pie. You probably have some sense of which gender(s) rev your motor, but that doesn’t say much about your overall proclivities. Are you a daring queer kinkster, or are you a little more subdued? Do you flirt to win, or do you prefer a lingering chase? You might call yourself a “top” or  a “bottom” or a “sub,” but there’s a whole lot more to who you are between the sheets. 

Take this queer sex personality quiz to find your sexual persona and the perfect toy to suit your sexual spirit. Learning to embrace your true erotic personality is the perfect quarantine activity, and sex toys are the perfect tools for unlocking your erotic imagination. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error find the right sex toy for you, but this quiz will help you find your way to a toy that matches your vibe.

You can order all of these toys from HolyFour, a queer-owned, online sex toy retailer committed to helping you shop for pleasure tools in a friendly, judgement-free zone. Use the discount code AUTOSTRADDLE for 15% off!

Okay, queers. Are you ready? Let’s vibe!


The Fallen Tracee and Sex Industry Labor Rights in “The Sopranos”

The Fallen Tracee and Sex Industry Labor Rights in "The

Outside of the Bada Bing Club Tracee lights a cigarette, soon to be followed outside by Ralphie, her lover and effectively her boss; he works with and for the owner and famed New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano. Tracee had insulted Ralphie’s manhood inside the club in front of his friends, in most ways a lover’s quarrel. Ralphie plays a doting lover, putting forth ideas of suburban homes and their child that Tracee is pregnant with. Ralphie then switches to extreme cruelty, expressing that he hopes it isn’t a girl so she won’t end up a “cocksuckin’ slob just like her mother.” Tracee pushes, screams, and punches Ralphie in the face in anger, only to have her whole body slammed against the metal roadblocks and head caved in by Ralphie’s fist. Ralphie later claims that Tracee “fell,” which, to Tony Soprano’s credit, he calls bullshit on. But Tony exclaims that Ralphie was “disrespecting the Bing” — the club, not the woman — and even in death Ralphie blames her. “It’s my fault she’s a klutz?” When her dead body is discovered, Tony and the other mobsters at the Bing stare over her body. Tony exclaims, “Twenty years old, this girl!”

The University episode of The Sopranos is one of the most controversial episodes of the entire series due to the graphic nature of Tracee’s death, having resulted in an uptick of HBO subscription cancellations — at least according to the actress who plays Tracee, Ariel Kiley. It’s the only episode within The Sopranos in which the audience can see how the New Jersey mobsters that make up Soprano’s men interact with their employees at the Bada Bing Club. It’s not that the Bing isn’t featured in The Sopranos otherwise; quite the opposite. The Bada Bing Club is in almost every episode, serving as a space for Tony Soprano’s men to not just make money but also to take out their own lack of emotional regulation on the club’s employees, from the bouncers to the dancers. But the University episode is the only one in which any of the dancers actually talks in any meaningful way; where she’s more than just an intro shot while dancing or background as grown men play at big crime. Tracee, the only named and personified stripper of the Bada Bing Club, is often brought up as an example of how The Sopranos treats women horribly — which is also true. Women are treated horribly on The Sopranos, but the reality is that if one only takes away from The University episode that the show has a problem with misogyny, well they would be actively ignoring the fact that Tracee’s murder at the hands of Ralphie didn’t just happen because she was a woman, it happened (and is excused in the world of The Sopranos time and time again) because she was a sex worker.

Every aspect of the targeted violence against Tracee, outside of the systemic violence of poverty and misogyny, happened to her directly due to her work at the Bada Bing Club. Violence from her bosses (Silvio punched her in the face because she didn’t show up to work for three days, and her lover Ralphie, a made man, technically is one of her bosses), coercive sex with a cop, and her eventual gruesome murder — which is of course then covered up quickly. Her death is but a plot point to make Tony seem sympathetic through his emotional connection to her death — but the way he justifies his interest in her death is because it “disrespected the Bing” and he constantly underplays throughout the whole third season (and into the fourth) the clear impact Tracee’s death had on him. Tracee’s death is used as a plotline for Tony’s humanization. Their connection, however minor, had an impact on Tony and him holding a grudge towards Ralphie for her death is meant to humanize Tony. As Tony is a narcissist though, it’s much more likely that he was using even her dead corpse as a way to have attention and command power. That’s not to say he didn’t care for her on some level; but that if he really cared for her, wouldn’t she have had better working conditions in the club? For some reason he couldn’t admit to the shame of grieving a whore, which is what he’s reminded of every time he would bring up her death. “But Tony, she was a whore.”

It’s difficult to watch the scene where Ralph kills Tracee for basically anyone with a stomach – and a heart – but as someone who had been literally beaten by a client while working in an abusive dungeon, watching that episode wrecked me. Not because a woman had been murdered on the screen but because a sex worker had, so brutally, and her blood-coated body was voyeuristically stared at by everyone. There is no other woman on the show who is beaten so brutally; there’s none other whose death is meant to be a statement on her life. Men in The Sopranos aren’t known for necessarily treating women amazingly but the levels of targeted disgust, control, and humiliation that was extended to Tracee would never have happened to a non sex-working woman on the show. It’s also interesting to note that Ariel Kiley, the actress who portrayed Tracee in the show, blogged that James Gandolfini himself actually made the decision to exclaim after Tracee was murdered, “Oh god, so young, only twenty years old.” The original screenplay actually had Soprano telling his men to be careful to not get blood on the carpet they were rolling her body up in. Gandolfini was right to know that the audience would react poorly to his character going the uncaring route, so instead they attached Tracee’s death to some kind of indicator of Soprano’s morality. Like yes, he is a mobster, but look at his unspoken grief? When he finally beats Ralphie to death over an abused horse (in the eleventh episode of season five, The Test Dream, which resulted in a write up in The Baltimore Sun mourning Ralpie’s death), he screams “You fucking killed her!” and we all know he’s not talking about the horse.

Even good criticisms of the show’s misogyny in this episode (and generally), do not really emphasize the fact that Tracee was a stripper. When they do, it’s always to fall into the Madonna-Whore Comparative narrative of Meadow, Tony’s daughter who loses her virginity in the same episode, and Tracee being painted of course as this victim of circumstance. The audience is meant to grasp that Meadow has been given every opportunity in life, both educationally as well as within her romantic and familial relationships. She goes to Columbia, she’s able to pursue men at her own pace sexually and she has her mother Carmela, Tony’s wife, who can offer her support. Tracee, on the other hand, grew up with an abusive mother, has a child by the age of twenty (she was pregnant with a second child at the time of her murder), and works in an exploitative working environment The Bada Bing Club. To be clear, there is nothing inherently exploitative about stripping (nor sex work in general), but the working conditions of that specific club were atrocious.

There is a lot to be said about the odd parallels of various kinds of organized criminalized labor and the often gendered (even though, not always) differences of the work, the fact that the Bada Bing Club itself serves as almost a junction of mob crime along with stripping. It’s interesting that in the world of The Sopranos their work is completely respectable, despite the body count, while with Tracee in her contexts the route that The Sopranos chose to go, instead of a thorough exploration of how these worlds intersect, the route of doom for the “fallen woman,” while their made men get big homes and outwardly happy families. Sex work is often a way for people to work their way out of poverty into levels of financial stability; Tracee was denied this dream and even have it laughed in her face right before she’s murdered.

The working conditions at the Bada Bing Club are obvious from the get go because the bouncer of the VIP room directly states that if you want to go to the VIP room and make a couple grand, you have to pay out to him AND give him a blowjob. This conversation happens twice, in the beginning of the episode and after Tracee’s murder, while the bouncer talks to the new girl hired (it’s implied she was hired to make up for the loss of Tracee in the money pool). This is also a very clear sign of an abusive working environment when you’re a sex worker in a managed space, not just the demands for extras but the fact that often the workers are so in and out that it’s barely noticed when they are gone.

If you work in a semi-criminalized to fully criminalized work environment, there is often no way to organize as workers, or organizing is perilous. There are no sort of protections of any sort and often the law is against you, which can be seen by the scene of Ralphie rawing Tracee as she’s forced to suck the cock of a gross cop. It’s common for sex workers to be raped by cops, both by going undercover as clients and arresting them afterwards, as well as extorting money or threatening arrest. In a study mentioned in a SWOP USA report in New York City, up to 17% of sex workers interviewed reported sexual harrassment and abuse, including rape, at the hands of the police. The likelihood of cop harassment increases if you work outdoors and are at a higher threat of surveillance; however, it can and does happen in managed spaces as well with a Chicago study referenced in the same report 30% of erotic dancers in managed spaces and 24% of street-based sex workers identified a police offer as their rapist.

When they include the brief scene of Tracee being eiffel towered with Ralph and the cop, they expressed the clear relationship between law enforcement and abusive working environments in sex work. Margaret Prescod, Founder of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, was correct in declaring that law enforcement was designed to “uphold men’s power over women in order to uphold their own power over everyone.” Even though she may have been referring to law enforcement’s tendency to ignore the serial murders of Black sex workers in Los Angeles in the 1980s at the hands of The Grim Sleeper, it’s important to be reminded that when sex workers are murder victims, especially those who work outdoors under high police and societal surveillance, their cases are labeled by law enforcement NHI, or “No Human Involved.” This term is often also used for those who are houseless or have a history of chronic drug use.

When Tracee is found dead by Ralphie’s hands, they know they have no reason to worry, because no one is coming to check up on her. The tail end of the episode shows girls gossiping at the Bada Bing about what they think could have happened to Tracee: “I heard she went outside with Ralphie and never came back.” Her co-worker replies, “Do yourself a favor, keep what you hear to yourself.” Sometimes working conditions can feel hopeless; it can feel safer to watch your own neck than show solidarity with your fellow worker. But also one can hardly blame other sex workers for trying to navigate a managed space in a criminalized system. It took me a long time to move past the fact no one came and checked in on me when I was being beaten, despite my audible yelling rooms away. It took me an even longer time to rightfully place the blame on the owner who allowed the man that beat me to return to the dungeon, even begging me to allow him a chance to “apologize” for crossing my boundaries. Managed spaces that toe the line between the civilian and criminal worlds, a part of the demimonde if you will, create difficult conditions for labor organizing because the only recognized labor deserving of protections in the eyes of society is labor that isn’t criminalized. This is seen in how the club operates with law enforcement to keep the status quo, to keep the club worker in line and silent, still allowing 50% of the profits to go to men who aren’t even in the room half the time. Envisioning a world where Tracee isn’t murdered, gets radicalized and tries to organize the club, we know Tony would have her clipped, so it’s ironic that her death is used to highlight “Tony’s Humanity,” when in all reality even if Tony did care for Tracee, he cared about his bottom line more.

The facts are that Tony Soprano made Ralphie a Captain, promoting him in the structure of the mob, after murdering Tracee, even if it was only because he felt he had no other option. Despite Tony’s disgust for Ralphie, again he chooses what he’s “supposed” to do for his business instead of processing his anger over Tracee’s death. Ralphie got to wipe Tracee’s murder out of his life, her presence barely noticed when gone, just another body on the long list of bodies that exist in the wake of the New Jersey and New York City mobsters. Tracee never gets a funeral.

But unlike the other bodies on that long list, Tracee existed to fill an archetype: the hooker with a heart of gold, the woman fallen from grace, Tony’s make-shift daughter, the whore to Meadow’s madonna. She is written so as to be pitied, a poor girl with a hard and bluntly ended life. It is also very clear from the get go that we are not to expect good things for her — after all, every time Tracee’s onscreen it’s for the audience to be reminded of how her fate is inevitably, irrelevant of what it is, completely out of her control. Either she stays at the club after an abortion, marries Ralphie, has the kid, and really gets that dreamy suburban existence never promised to girls like her, or she ends up staining some mobster’s carpet. Maybe it’s due to the brevity of her character’s presence on the show, but Tracee’s character was never allowed the nuance for an attempt at autonomy or control; she is ripped from the chance therefore forever stuck as a disposable whore to the criminals of the mob. Criminals who also approach each other with various levels of disposability, but allow real grief to coexist with that. They might kill each other but they’ll show up at the funeral and make sure their wives are taken care of after the fact — what of Tracee’s family? The Sopranos chose to let her stain the carpet but she could never get a normal good work environment nor could she lift herself up outside of poverty into some sort of middle class wet dream. Representations of sex workers in television so often exist to remind us that horrible things are not only expected for us but inevitable, excusable, and necessary for story development. When Tony Soprano has to grasp his grief over Tracee’s death, he can only comprehend his pain in the personification of Tracee through a horse named Pie-Oh-My. It’s telling that the only acceptable thing to grieve in his world is his dead horse; whenever Tracee is brought up mournfully, people downplay her death with her status as a sex worker.

When will the day come where we have representation in which we are not dead at the end, abused, or exploited? When will we have our days in the sun, with stories of joy and community? In some ways The Sopranos portrayal of Tracee did allow for levels of connection to sex working characters that many audiences usually wouldn’t have had at that time (the episode aired April 1 2001; Tracee died before 9/11). However, even the things that they use to humanize her are based in pity for her life. This often happens in portrayals of people who trade sex: they’ve gotten caught up in something outside of their control, they’re going to be harmed, and even if they have a heart of gold, they’re going to be victimized in some way. In reality, even though there are people who are survivors within the sex industry, the things that lead to victimization is the combination of criminalization, stigma, and poverty. Imagine a world where Tracee wouldn’t have had to suck that cop off because she wouldn’t have had the law at her throat for saying no. Imagine a world where she could sue Silvio for punching her in the face. There are so many creative and innovative routes a person’s life can take; so why do so many media portrayals attempt to decide our destinies for us? I would love to know in the current timeline in The Sopranos reality if the Bada Bing still exists and if the dancers have more control of the business now; I want a Bada Bing Club Collective. The Sopranos is an amazing story that still rightfully grips audiences to this day, but imagine an alternative world where Tracee survived, where she got revenge on Ralphie and Tony let her walk scot free. Imagine if our liberation was a plotpoint instead of our demise? The Sopranos wasn’t willing to.

What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Sex Life

What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Sex Life

Astrology is a fun thing to think about for many people, and for every person who thinks it’s utter garbage there’s bound to be someone who uses their astrological signs to make many important life choices. Personally, I think it has as much power over you as you allow it – just like any other “alternative” sciences.

So, what does this mean for you? Your choice to believe in astrology or not is purely a personal decision. If you find correlations that help you, that’s great! Everyone needs something to believe in, and if astrology is your thing, the following “sex horoscopes” may help guide you on your path to sexual fulfillment for this month.


Aries (March 20 – April 20)

Aries, if you’re single, you should expect a great deal of new encounters this month – some may even call them adventures on their own! On the 9th, Mercury goes direct, which promises that your love and sex will be truly exciting. Later in the month, Mars joins with Venus to entice the prospect of new dates and sexy fun. If it seems like your romantic interest isn’t feeling the same way about you, rest assured that they’re probably just shy. Make the first move and you will be rewarded.

For the Rams in a serious relationship, the full moon brings a blossoming of your love, so you should plan for new romantic encounters with your love. This will lead to the passionate sex you’ve been dying for, and makes for a perfect excuse to look for that sexy Halloween costume you’ve had your eye on. Not big into Halloween? That’s fine, just take advantage of the current influx of costumes to pick out an outfit that’s only for your partner to see.


Taurus (April 20 – May 21)

In the second half of the month, the shroud that’s been covering your sensuality should be lifted, and you have plenty of time to approach that new boo you’ve been eyeing. Make that date – you’ve got a great deal of luck coming to you this month. Make sure you don’t use this as an excuse to over-spend on your dates, though; this isn’t the way to win their affections.
Committed Bulls, the cooler weather will no doubt bring back the spark that you’ve been repressing lately. It’s a great time to get frisky with your lover – maybe even get the Halloween treats and costumes into the mix for some special holiday fun.


Gemini (May 21 – June 21)

Gemini, this month brings you personal satisfaction and a great deal of pleasure. Your intelligence and charm will help you win over that woman you’ve been pursuing. Your judgment will be clear and your sex drive will roar because of it. You’ll be able to accurately discern who is interested in you sexually, and use this to your full advantage this month. However, towards the end of the month, this will begin to taper off, and you’ll be more inclined to connect with your family than to seek out a new flame – don’t resist this urge!

If you’re in a committed relationship, your dual spirit will lead you to a deeper personal connection with your partner. Take some time to get to know her better – even if you’ve been together years, there’s no doubt a lot more to learn about her. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this is a good time to seek out new friends, as the wavering in your sex drive will ensure that your attention can be focused on being a good friend and partner, rather than focusing on your sexual needs.


Cancer (June 21 – July 23)

For most of the month, you should be focusing on taking care of your body. This can be particularly difficult with the abundance of candy that’s present everywhere right now, but you must be diligent. Take some time to work on your emotional bonds, and it will translate to a better sexual experience around the 22nd. Don’t plan for any dates on the 27th, as the full moon may interfere with your plans and lead to heartbreak.

Love and sex are both a bit of an investment this month for all Crabs. Exercising with your love interest or partner could prove beneficial, as it will help to regulate your emotions and clear your mind. You will be rewarded for your focus and dedication with the glorious conjunction of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter towards the end of the month.


Leo (July 23 – August 23)

Your animal magnetism will shine bright this month, Leo, and you will be showered with affection. Consider making those changes you’ve been thinking about in regards to your wardrobe and your hair style – these will dazzle your new date. You could try a Halloween shopping date and choose a fun costume for yourself and your new partner – then tempt them to bring it to the bedroom for some extra sexy fun.

For the Lions in a committed relationship, you should put your effort into your relationship right now. Take some time off work, if at all possible, and spend that time with your partner. Get a fun new costume or outfit and parade yourself to your partner – she’s sure to love it. With Halloween so close, the full moon on the 27th promises to be a fun time for a private rendezvous in costume – what do you have to lose?


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Virgo (August 23 – September 23)

During the beginning of the month, you probably encountered some stress and hectic emotions. Rest assured that this is over for now and you can begin to relax. The alignment of Mars and Venus assure that your sexual appetite will boom – you should seek out a new partner and plan a great date. It’ll definitely net you the results you’re looking for.

If you’re in a committed relationship, it’s a good time to rent a sexy movie or read an erotic novel with your love. This activity will bring you closer as a couple and allow you to bring back the spice.

Consider planning an unforgettable evening, including a candlelight dinner, around the 27th – your partner will thank you accordingly!


Libra (September 23 – October 23)

Libra, this month has some few surprises up its sleeve for you, especially as it pertains to sex and love. You should expect some good news sometime soon – but don’t forget to set aside some attention to the important matters like your bills. The alignment of the planets right now will lead you to focus on your lustful thoughts, but you must not neglect the other aspects of your life.

For my committed Libra friends, this means that you should plan on a more romantic tone with your lover, and allow things to progress naturally. Don’t try to push the sex as you can get wrapped up in the moment and cause an argument. In fact, that argument may be inevitable – and it has the potential to translate to a bigger problem down the line. Don’t neglect your partner’s needs, or your financial responsibilities during this time or you can seriously regret it in the near future.


Scorpio (October 23 – November 22)

Scorpio, this month is going to be thrilling for you. There will be plenty of opportunities for new sexual escapades, so you shouldn’t ignore these chances. You will have a great deal of charisma working for you this month, and the sexual power will flow through you better than ever.

Committed Scorpio lovers, your partner will surprise you with an increase in passion. Don’t let your jealousy ruin this extra love right now. Your partner deserves the same love they are giving to you. Especially toward the end of the month, your temper may be short, and you will have to control yourself to ensure you don’t make any silly mistakes.


Sagittarius (November 22 – December 22)

This month is a great time to sweep your lover off her feet with a romantic getaway. It doesn’t matter if you’re whisking her off to a tropical beach or simply visiting the local farm for some apple picking and pumpkin carving. Go shopping for some new clothes and buy those tickets!

For single Sagittarius ladies, this month invites you to take a new date to somewhere you’ve never been. You should try to travel as much as possible, and try new things. Splurge on something you’ve been eyeing for awhile, and take that new date to the restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Consider taking her on a road trip – the alignment of the planets this month almost guarantees that your rendezvous will result in a satisfying sexual experience before the end of the month.


Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)

Single Capricorns should avoid dating any new partners at the beginning of the month, as Saturn has an uneasy alliance with Uranus for a good portion of the month. This can cause some problems in a new relationship, and it’s likely to factor into your love and sex life for the month. It should clear up around the 22nd.

If you’re already in an established relationship, however, you can use this time to deepen your bond with your partner. Watch an old movie or read a book together, and ensure that you are there for each other during this time. Make sure you are guarding against depression as emotions are likely to fluctuate throughout the month.


Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

The month of October is a great time for Aquarius to meet new people, as there will be plenty of parties (which you love!) and dating will be an adventure. The last week would be a great time to invite that special new person in your life to a fun party – whether it’s planned by a friend or by you yourself.
For my lovers, use this time to get into the Halloween spirit with your loved one. Pick out fun and sexy costumes for each other, unpack the decorations, and get to planning the perfect witchy bash for the spookiest night of the year. This social energy will translate to a charge in your sexual chemistry, and your sex life is bound to see a spike this month.


Pisces (February 18 – March 20)

Love and sex are on the up-and-up for you this month. Your anxieties will begin to fade away, which will allow you to connect with someone special towards the end of the month. If your anxiety hasn’t melted away completely yet, don’t worry – push yourself past it and the right person will come find you.
Fish in a committed relationship should take care that they are not overspending this month, as there are plenty of romantic activities you can do with your partner for much cheaper that will still allow you to harness the sexual energy building this month. Go for a walk and hold hands, roll around in some fallen leaves together, or share a bucket of popcorn at the movies – and then enjoy the sexual spark when you return home.

See the hyper homoerotic film that made Harris Dickinson a sex symbol / Queerty

See the hyper homoerotic film that made Harris Dickinson a

Beach Rats

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Sweaty: Beach Rats

Harris Dickinson made a splash with his debut performance in Beach Rats, the darling of the 2017 film festival circuit. Given that he spends the movie half-naked, it’s not hard to see why.

Beach Rats follows the life of Frankie (Dickinson), a beach-loving bodybuilder that enjoys hanging with his other shirtless buds, going on dates with his girlfriend while secretly meeting up with other men for sex and drugs. For Frankie, the double life allows him to compartmentalize his own attraction to men; in essence, he can lie to himself. As his thirst for sex and drugs grows ever stronger, though, Frankie’s dual identity becomes harder and harder to mask, and threatens to upend his carefully cultivated image.

Writer/director Eliza Hittman approaches Beach Rats with a near-voyeuristic style; we often feel like a fly on the wall watching Frankie on his quest for sex. The film also has a surreal quality about it. At times, Hittman floods us with dreamlike images that reflect Frankie’s own flood of emotions. Elusive, sensual, and erotic, we recommend Beach Rats for the story.

The shirtless boys are just an added bonus.

Streams on Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes and VUDU.

(Another) history of gay sex, told in convenient movie form / Queerty

(Another) history of gay sex, told in convenient movie form

Gay Sex in the 70s

Welcome to Screen Gems, Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Eye-Opener: Gay Sex in the 70s

For most of us, the 1970s represents an idyllic age, a time after Stonewall granted LGBTQ people more visibility and freedom before the scourge of AIDS brought it all crashing down. Gay Sex in the 70s, the explicit documentary by director Joseph Lovett, eulogizes and defies the period, and the explosion of gay sex that came along with it. Featuring interviews with writer Larry Kramer, photo Tom Bianchi, animator Robert Alvarez, and more, the film reconstructs the era when queer culture thrived around bars, clubs and bathhouses, and an attitude of sexual freedom not seen since. For most of us, it’s the closest we will ever get to the real thing.

Nostalgic, sexy and frank, Gay Sex in the 70s offers up a crash course in a chapter of LGBTQ history, and one told in rare detail. We recommend it to anyone that has ever danced to disco…and because we always recommend gay sex to anyone.

Streams on iTunes & VIMEO.

 

John Voight is a sex worker on the make. But is he gay? / Queerty

John Voight is a sex worker on the make. But

Welcome to Screen Gems, Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Debatable: Midnight Cowboy

Director John Schlesinger came out to the world (well, kinda) with this gritty drama about New York street hustlers dreaming of a better life. Some critics have hailed Midnight Cowboy as a seminal queer classic. Others have labeled it one of the most homophobic movies ever made.

The story finds the naive Texan Joe Buck (John Voight) arriving in New York City to live the high life…as a low rent male prostitute. Upon arrival, he crosses paths with the ragged street man Ratso (Dustin Hoffman) who first cons him before offering to act as an advisor and surrogate pimp. A strange bond develops between the pair as they begin to dream of a life outside the city in the idyllic tropics of Maimi.

Midnight Cowboy remains the only X-Rated movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Schlesinger, likewise, took home the trophy for Best Director. Contemporary critics read the film as a gay romance, and Schlesinger unquestionably views Joe and Ratso through a queer lens. That said, modern appraisal of the film both lauds it for its portrayal of a same-sex relationship (albeit a chaste one) and deride it as a homophobic nightmare. In all honesty, we can see it both ways: Joe and Ratso do have an odd devotion to one another, and Joe does seem to take easily to servicing male clients. On the other hand, the Joe/Ratso coupling has all the hallmarks of a dysfunctional relationship, and flashback scenes of Joe getting raped could imply that he isn’t gay; rather, he’s trying to cope with sexual trauma.

In any case, we recommend Midnight Cowboy both as a historical artifact, and as a controversy which invites debate. Where do you fall in the appraisal? Watch and find out.

Streams on Amazon, YouTube, VUDU and iTunes.