Best and Worst of 2003

Best Queer Moment: Despite protests, the Episcopal Church confirmed the Reverend Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay bishop in the church's history.

The Backfire Award:The American Family Association launched an online poll about gay marriage with the hope of presenting proof of America's anti-gay venom to Congress in the form of statistics. But pro-gay-marriage activists rallied and came out ahead; the site is still taking votes (afa.net/petitions/marriagepoll.asp).

Best Legal Victory(tie): Queer marriage and sodomy legalized! The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the ban on lesbian and gay marriage was unconstitutional, thus clearing the way for homo marriage in the state and going beyond Vermont, where same-sex civil unions, but not marriages, are legal. And in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law banning private consensual sex between same-sex adults—a decision that impacts all states with sodomy laws still on the books.

The "What Is It With Texas?" Award: George Bush's home state uses its resources for important crime fighting: getting dildo peddlers off the street! Joanne Webb was arrested for selling sex toys to two undercover police officers in a sting operation (hello?) in Cleburne, Texas. Webb is a consultant for Passion Parties, a company that produces in-home sex toy parties, à la Tupperware gatherings. She could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Best Sex Worker Purchase: Savvy booty-shakers alert! Just a few years after starting the only union for strippers, the dancers at the Lusty Lady in San Francisco bought the business, making it the only worker-owned cooperative peep show in the country. That's what I call putting your money where your coochie is.

Most Humorous DIY Sex-Ed Experiment: Six 13-year-old British schoolboys in southern England were rushed to the hospital after taking Viagra at lunchtime. The Sun newspaper quoted a source at the school as saying, "By the time the afternoon lessons began, there was no hiding what they had done." All received a "stiff" penalty for violating the school's anti-drug policy: suspension.

Best Gender Performance by a Pop Star (tie): Whether he's the love child of Nicole Kidman and K.D. Lang or a female-to-male transsexual (look at those dainty hands, people!), Clay Aiken has given sex appeal to geeks, fey boys, and girly-but-straight guys everywhere. Similarly, man-fucking rocker Pink continues to be one of the coolest and butchest women, making music and being a girl on her terms.

Sexiest Use of Pasties and Punk Rock: The goth, pierced, and tattooed lovelies of underground-no-more suicidegirls.com announced their first national burlesque tour. The acts are inspired by the sex-positive pinup site, featuring music from Björk and Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as the winner of their indie-rock contest.

Hottest New Porn Couple: Speaking of multiple interpretations of the Sex Pistols, Rob and Rachel Rotten (rachelrotten.com) have paved the way for an entirely new genre of porn with the first ever punk-rock porno Little Runaway, featuring punky (and I don't mean Brewster) performers and the bands Di, US Bombs, the Sick, and 100 or so Punks. Rachel Rotten's working a killer Betty Crocker-Betty Page combo; it's no wonder Jenna Jameson handpicked her to do in the Vivid remake of The Devil in Miss Jones. Thus far, the only guy she fucks on-screen is her inked, Mohawk-sporting husband, who has the word POISON tattooed on his dick. Yup, they are serious.

Best Sex (Spoof) Awards: In response to the seemingly endless list of AVN Award nominations (93 categories, over 1,200 nominees), porn PR maven Carly Milne enlisted some colleagues to acknowledge the more inventive side of smut flicks. The First Annual Pornblography Awards recognize such important contributions to the adult-film industry as: Performer Whose Sex Noises Most Closely Resemble the Sounds of a Tortured Farm Animal (Lexington Steele), Most Gaping Asshole to the Point It Stopped Being Sexy and Started Being Gross (Mila), and Best Drool (Belladonna).

Best Dyke Quote in Worst Dyke Article: In an otherwise muddled and poorly researched New Yorkmagazine piece about the phenomenon of the emerging lesbian identity "boi," Ariel Levy quotes interviewee Deborah about her love of butch-femme relationships and her difficulty in finding a good butch: "I've gotten to the point where I see men on the street and go Damn. If that were a woman? That's how far I've been pushed in this city: I look at pictures of Johnny Depp longingly and think, If only you didn't have a penis." So brilliant!

The "Wow, Cocks Are More Various (and Sensitive) Than I Thought" Award: Retailer Condomania began marketing They-Fit condoms, the only custom-sized prophylactics that come in a wad-blowing 55 different sizes. How does one know what size he is? By measuring length and width with the "Fit Kit," a ruler that, incidentally, does not show inches, but nonsequential letter and number codes like S77 or B17, which is also how They-Fit condoms are sold.

Best Full-Frontal Male Nudity and Best Sex Scene in a Mainstream Movie: Kudos to William H. Macy for nearly showing it all in The Cooler, and for diving on Maria Bello's muff as if it were his last meal. When was the last time you saw a man go down on a woman for more than one second in a Hollywood movie? According to Premiere magazine, director Wayne Kramer had to cut a few seconds off the oral-sex scene in order to secure an R rating, so I for one cannot wait for the DVD!

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