Best and Worst of Sex 2007
Best TV Love Triangle: The ultra-soapy Dirty Sexy Money is about the Darlings, an über-wealthy and even more dysfunctional New York family. Attorney General Patrick Darling (played by William Baldwin) is having an affair with a woman named Carmelita, but Carmelita is no ordinary woman: She's the first transgendered woman to be both a major character in a network drama and to be played by an actual transwoman, the legendary Candis Cayne. Cayne is divine in the role, which never once devolves into the stereotypical "tragic tranny." Plus, she gets to kiss and cuddle lots with Baldwin, who is believably smitten with her. When Patrick's wife Ellen discovers the affair, she insists that the three of them sit down and negotiate arrangements for a consensual open relationship, wherein the women take charge of getting their needs met. This happy, progressive love triangle doesn't last for longEllen soon shoots Patrick in a fit of jealous rage. But it was great while it lasted, and it is a nighttime soap opera, after all.
Worst Legal Ruling: By refusing to hear the appeal in the case of Sherri Williams v. Attorney General of Alabama, the Supreme Court basically upheld Alabama's ban on sex toys in the state, which prohibits the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value." Williams has fought for Alabamans to be able to buy dildos, vibrators, and other toys for eight years, and says she will continue to: "My motto has been they are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand." Former gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall is proposing that people send sex toys to Troy King, the state attorney general of Alabama, to encourage him not to waste money prosecuting sex-toy shops.
Best Perversion of a Common Household Appliance: British sex-toy company Love Honey began selling the Tingle Tip Electric Toothbrush Clitoral Stimulator, which turns an electric toothbrush into a vibrator for your lady parts. After the Love Honey site posted a picture of the Tingle Tip atop an actual Oral B toothbrush, Procter & Gamble lawyers sent a 66-page cease-and-desist letter warning them to take it down or else. Love Honey complied, but the company continues to sell the attachment, which could help Alabama vibrator-lovers slip under the radar.
Greenest Recycling Program: Not sure how to properly dispose of your favorite sex toys once they're worn out while at the same time remaining good to the planet? This year, Love Honey spearheaded the Rabbit Amnesty program to help people recycle their old Rabbit Habit vibrators and get a new one at half-price.
Dumbest Anti-Porn Campaign: Right-wing organization Morality in Media dedicated a week to the WRAP (White Ribbons Against Pornography) campaign, asking people to wear white ribbons to increase awareness about the horrors of pornography. Along with ribbons, communities were encouraged to produce programs like a sing-along for elementary-school children called "Protect Their Minds" and a garbage-can labeling campaign with "We CAN Keep Our Minds Clean" stickers. Other national organizations joined inmy favorite was Citizens for Families, which posted the following reminder on its website: "In Utah, White Ribbon week will be during the months of February or March, so as not to conflict with Green Ribbon week, Red Ribbon week, and Family Week."
Buffest Business Trend: While there's always been a flourishing nudist industry on the fringe, the scene is finally getting some visibility in the mainstream business world. Skinny-dippers up north took their case to court and won, as the British Columbia Supreme Court upheld the right of Canadians to skinny-dip at private facilities, including swims held at municipal facilities. In the Netherlands, the Fitworld gym in Heteren introduced "Nudifit," where members can work out on Sundays without those pesky gym shorts. Naked Yoga for men has caught on in several major U.S. cities, from Austin to San Diego, allowing guys to do downward-facing dog with their dicks out. Naked Yoga NYC is one of the first places to offer multi-gendered clothing-free classes.
Biggest Real-Estate Move of the Year: Kink.com owner Peter Acworth bought the State Armory and Arsenal building, a 200,000-square-foot landmark in San Francisco's Mission District, to house his $20 million Internet BDSM empire. Despite protests from neighbors and anti-sex press coverage, neither deterred the sale of this historic property, which Acworth converted into studios and offices for his network of sites, including fuckingmachines.com and wiredpussy.com. He's since proposed adding kinky condos to the building, equipped with webcams and live feeds so people can watch online.
Worst Use of Taxpayer Dollars: The Department of Defense admitted that it used the Threat and Local Observation Notices anti-terrorist surveillance program (TALON) to spy on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender activist groups, collecting names of demonstrators and protestors. The program spied on GLBT groups from NYU, SUNY Albany, and UC Berkeley, among others. A Pentagon spokesperson said the database was shut down in Septemberhowever, the data was not destroyed, but instead forwarded to the FBI.
The Reverse Reverse-Cowgirl Award (for Crossing Over From Hollywood Into Porn, Instead of the Other Way Around): Who knew, when I first introduced this annual award, that more people would make themselves eligible every year? From the crowded field of 2007, we have: Kim Kardashian, daughter of the late OJ lawyer Robert Kardashian and now star of her own E! reality show; someone named Jennifer "Toastee" Toof, who starred in VH1's Flava of Love and Charm School; and two rumored-but-not-yet-released sex tapes of American Idol contestants Olivia Mojica and Jessica Sierra (and should we count that Antonella Barba blowjob video?). I've got to give top props to the Long Island Lolita herself, though: In some ways, Amy Fisher was simply destined to make a homemade sex video with a soon-to-be ex-husband and have it released by Red Light District.
For more of Tristan Taormino's work, please visit Puckerup.com.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.