Sex Robots & Vegan Meat by Jenny Kleeman review – the future of food, birth and death? | Science and nature books – Blog – 10 minute

In a plain factory building in the San Marcos hills, north of San Diego in California, a technological revolution is under way. There, a team of AI experts are developing a new brand of woman that can smile, flutter her eyelids, make small-talk and remember the names of your siblings. Harmony – for that is her name – is a cut above your average sex doll. More than merely a masturbatory aid, she is a friend, lover and potential life partner.
In Sex Robots & Vegan Meat, Jenny Kleeman examines the innovations that promise to change the way we love, eat, reproduce and die in the future. “What you are about to read is not science fiction,” she warns in her preface. “We are on the brink of an age when technology will redefine … the fundamental elements of our existence.” First on her list of apocalyptic developments is the production of AI-enabled, animatronic sexbots, which, depending on your viewpoint, provide warmth and comfort to socially isolated men or allow misogynist incels to live out their rape fantasies. Her research takes her to Abyss Creations, the throbbing heart of the industry where hyperrealistic dolls are created complete with custom-made hair, nipples and vaginal inserts.
The company is presided over by Matt McMullen, a would-be rock star so pleased with himself that he has fashioned one of the few male sex dolls in his own image. For him, Harmony – now in her sixth iteration of hardware and software – is his crowning glory. Not only does she make moaning noises during sex, her vagina has its own heating and lubrication systems. When she is complete, McMullen explains, she will “know your favourite sex position, how many times a day you like to have sex, what your kinks are”.
Kleeman, a journalist and documentary-maker who specialises in tech and social affairs, makes a compelling and thoughtful attempt to understand where such inventions might lead us. Her book is less a pearl-clutching polemic against progress than a concerned squint at what the future might hold.

McMullen loftily recalls his early years experimenting with latex ‘as if he were Rodin rather than the man behind the RealCock2’

Along with the burgeoning industry in sexbots, she investigates the race to produce “clean meat”, a lab-grown food made from animal cells that, if all goes according to plan, could render the world’s multitrillion dollar farming industries all but redundant. Also the “bio-bag”, an artificial womb that could make childbirth as straightforward as “opening a Ziploc bag”; and the growing market for suicide kits, which promise a quick and painless death for the elderly. So she meets the entrepreneurs creating beef burgers and salmon sashimi in petri dishes, the scientists masterminding extra-uterine devices, and Philip Nitschke, the so-called “Elon Musk of suicide” and architect of Sarco, a 3D-printed euthanasia device that allows people to administer their own death using liquid nitrogen. Kleeman approaches her subject with a winning scepticism. When McMullen loftily recalls his early years experimenting with latex and the female form in his garage (“I found that sculpture was my medium”), she privately notes how he talks “as if he were Rodin rather than the man behind the RealCock2”.
A running theme in Sex Robots & Vegan Meat is humankind’s desire to circumvent potentially catastrophic problems with shiny new products; as Kleeman puts it, “rather than dealing with the cause of a problem, we invent something to try and cancel it out”. We know the meat industry is cruel and environmentally toxic but giving up burgers and chicken nuggets for the greater good is, it seems, too much to ask. Similarly, the sex doll industry seeks to sate the desires of men who cannot relate to, or actively loathe, women. A few therapy sessions would be a lot cheaper than a self-lubricating sex robot, but that would require McMullen’s customers to address their hang-ups, and where’s the fun in that?
It’s important to know that, of the innovations discussed here, no functional versions currently exist. So is Kleeman worrying us over nothing? Not entirely, since it seems likely they will go on the market one day, even if there’s no guarantee they will be desirable, let alone affordable. Reading her book, you are left dismayed not so much by what lies ahead as by the current reality of the men with planet-sized egos vying with one another to control birth, food, sex and death. It’s a habit that’s as old as the hills.
• Sex Robots & Vegan Meat is published by Picador (RRP £16.99). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.

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From Sainsbury’s to sex toys: Lovehoney CEO on taking the bedroom brand into the boardroom- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Nine months ago, Sainsbury’s former marketing boss Sarah Warby joined Lovehoney as its first ever chief executive. Though still navigating the change from supermarket shelves to sex toys, Warby has found herself at the coalface of one sector experiencing a boom on the back of Covid-19.
Since people around the world have been asked to stay at home, the sex toy industry has seen a steady increase in sales. The Guardian reports, for example, that Adult Toy Megastore’s sales of sex toys in New Zealand have tripled during the first four weeks of the country’s lockdown. In Denmark, Colombia, Italy and Canada the story is much the same, while in the States one retailer, Tracy’s Dog, claims that as many as 57% of people it surveyed planned to make a sex toy purchase during the pandemic. In the UK, sales in the category have risen 13% according to Womaniser.
This is not a phenomenon that Warby could have anticipated when she joined Lovehoney in August 2019. A marketer by trade, she spent most of her career in the more predictable worlds of Heineken and Sainsbury’s, leaving the latter in 2018 to launch fintech brand Hyperjar in an effort to get back to what she enjoyed most – working for fast-pace, high-growth startups.
“I was more of a general manager by the time I left Sainsbury’s,” she says, speaking to Tempemail prior to the lockdown. “So I got to that point of having spent most of my career saying, ‘I don’t really have that burning desire to be a CEO’. But actually, when I was approached about one, it was like, ‘yes, I do’. It felt like a very natural progression.”
Lovehoney has offered the former ad boss a brand with the ability to innovate, coupled with massive potential for international expansion. She currently manages a team of 300, predominantly operating out of the UK but with offices in Australia and the United States.
‘Fun fulfilment’
The company was founded nearly 20 year ago by DJ Neil Slateford and journalist Richard Longhurst. Amid the e-commerce boom, it quickly carved a unique place for (mainly) women to go in their search of “sexual fulfilment” at a time when the adult industry conjured images of men in macs in the dodgy bits of London’s Soho.
Though Slateford and Longhurst never intended to become champions of the female sexual experience, the site ultimately evolved to become exactly that. It sells a variety of sex toys but also houses a forum to encourage open conversation about sex and a host of detailed buyer’s guides and how-to videos aimed at giving people the confidence to experiment.
“It’s that positioning of being helpful and being about happiness,” says Warby on the “phenomenal” success it has achieved in the past few years. Sales in 2018 rose 13% and it now has over 250,000 independent customer product reviews and a forum with hundreds of thousands of contributors. In the UK alone, it serves 2 million customers and has sold over 6m products.
Since Covid-19 hit, it has remained open for business and sales continue to be “strong”, increasing year-on-year – though the retailer declines to put an exact figure on the uptick.
However, it does say that demand for products such as couple’s toys is on the up – not surprising given that 80% of Lovehoney’s customers are in relationships. Sales of “quiet toys” and sex toy kits are also up.
But marketing during this time remains tricky. PR and word of mouth powered the company’s early growth. Since then it has dabbled in events, pop-up shops and even podcasting, but the bulk of its ad spend goes towards performance marketing – “more than I’d like,” says Warby – and a bit of TV, mostly post-watershed entertainment shows.
With consumption of social media on the rise since Covid-19 gripped the world, an obvious place for many retailers to invest their tightening budgets has been on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok. But that’s not an option for Lovehoney.
“We are not blessed with the full canvas open to us,” she continues, politely describing the social platforms’ position on the advertisement of adult products on their real-estate as “interesting”. It’s evident she believes it anything but.
“I’ve got no choice other than to respect that and try to work within and around the restrictions. To me, it’s confusing that you can show certain images and not others. It feels very unfair and rather illogically skewed that it’s perfectly okay to advertise… well, I probably shouldn’t point to things you can advertise. But some of the categorizations of what is and is not acceptable seem very, very odd. I would love to work with those platforms to say, ‘well, why couldn’t you show these images?’
“I would never want to sound overly politicised about this. I’m a great believer that common sense will prevail. The more of us voicing our opinion that there’s something healthy and wholesome to be talked about and that female fulfilment, sexual happiness and joy is not something to be hidden away or branded a taboo, the better. The more common sense conversations we can have, the sooner we will accelerate towards a tipping point with decision makers wising up. I doubt we’re the only industry that thinks that they are a little hard done by some of the editorial choices that the platforms make. The platform users ultimately vote with their feet, and if they feel that things are being denied them or censored in a way that they don’t like, ultimately, they’ll go and find a platform that does do the job that they want it to do. It’s market forces and they will respond to that. They’re just being very slow so we need to keep pushing.”
Meanwhile, any thoughts of bolstering its marketing in the States to take advantage of the coronavirus-induced interest in sex toys comes with its own set of problems – problems that Warby, in her short tenure at the company, has learned to walk away from.
“Some [media] will run a copy, some won’t. And sometimes they’ll say, ‘we’ll run your copy if you take out all references to sex toys’. Well, we’d rather not run a copy. We’re very proud of what we do and I’m not going to pretend I’m not proud of it just to be allowed to air an advert.”
Plans post-Covid?
While the company’s media plan before, during and after coronavirus is of keen interest to Warby given her past experience, she’s quick to praise its marketing chief Helen Balmer and asserts that she has to remind herself that ”marketing is no longer in her job title” and to take a hands-off approach unless otherwise asked.
Instead, she says that as chief executive “all the clichés are true” and her time is mainly spent hoping she’s prioritising the right thing. “It sounds really simple, doesn’t it? But actually, it’s hard to do. There’s always so many things where you’d like to add a bit of value but there’s something else that probably needs more focus.”
Warby describes life now as a “constant triaging of everything that comes into my brain“. It’s unlikely that the past six weeks have done much to alter that state of being. Pre-lockdown, she was already accustomed to back-to-back daily briefings for office-based employees, the same for warehouse-based colleagues, and then repeating those same updates for those in its US and Australian outposts.
“The guys have got very used to me doing a briefing, but the webcam is quite high up so they can’t actually see that in my pyjamas,” she jokes – a familiar situation most executives have will have found themselves in recently.
Back in March, her priorities for the year ahead comprised a steady expansion of its services into new markets and taking a greater share of those in which it already operates. It remains to be seen if the pandemic will accelerate or decelerate those plans.
“In the more mature markets, we’re having conversations about opening up new routes to market,” she said at the time. “I don’t necessarily mean our own stores, but finding other ways that people can access the brand, like selling through partners. We’re looking for much more collaboration. We recently started stocking in Boots, for example, and that’s working really well.”
Having come from traditional retail, she knows that supermarkets and other mainstream outlets will need convincing to stock sex toys. But the numbers stack up and the appeal, for them, is in the incremental revenue Lovehoney can deliver at a time when every sale though tills will help high street retailers get back on track. “Buying a vibrator doesn’t mean I won’t buy broccoli today. It’s not substitution or mental accounting. There’s a mental money pot that people will spend on our products that was never going to go to another retailer.”
The big sell into these companies is that Lovehoney is, increasingly, an “everyone brand”. From the younger cohort with no sexual inhibitions to couples and older consumers (“I got a letter from a 70 year old woman saying ‘I bought by first vibrator and you’ve changed my life’”) there is no section of society that the sex toy retailer doesn’t want to cater for.
For Warby in 2020, coronavirus or not, the mission is to show that it is leading in the pursuit of sexual happiness.
“We’re all loosening up a bit, relaxing our attitudes and welcoming the idea that a happy, healthy sex life has enormous benefits elsewhere in life. People who use sex toys have happier sex lives and people with happier sex lives have happier lives. These conclusions are not difficult for people to draw. So it’s becoming a more mainstream thing,” she says.
“There is a liberal wave in society that’s great for us and Lovehoney is riding that wave because of the immense quality of the products that we make and sell.”

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Make Love Not Porn boss Cindy Gallop on why now is the time to invest in sex tech- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As the Covid-19-imposed lockdown rumbles on, there has never been a better time to invest in sex tech, according to Make Love Not Porn founder Cindy Gallop.
The former chair of BBH New York says her user-generated, crowdsourced video-sharing platform — which curates videos of people having ‘real world sex’ as an antithesis to modern pornography — told Tempemail her business has seen an increase in daily revenue over the past month.
”That’s significant because we’re still bootstrapping,” she said. ”We don’t have funding to do paid-for promotion, but our income [from paying members] is increasing anyway. That reason is why investors should be falling over themselves to get in touch with me pronto. The world is more in need of love, intimacy and human connection than ever before.”
Make Love Not Porn continues to count the US (where it’s based) as its largest market. However, amid a global lockdown it’s highest traffic sources are coming from countries including UK, Canada, Germany, India, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. “India is our fifth highest traffic source and we don’t market ourselves in that country,” Gallop revealed.
She continued: “I believe it’s important to take a positive and constructive approach to this tragic situation we find ourselves in. Out of adversity comes opportunity.
”It is only when things break down that a new model and new way of doing things is enabled. And this is especially good news for all those of us who were never in the status quo to begin with. The time for sex tech is now and Make Love Not Porn’s time has come.”
Known for her fearless entrepreneurial shtick about the lack of funding and business investment in the adult industry, Gallop has been firm in her rally for what she describes as a ”social sex revolution”.
Frustrated with how hard it was to find backing for such a business, Gallop announced she would launch her own $200m sex tech fund in 2017, which she says will fund radically innovative sex tech startups including businesses by female founders and designers, as well as dating apps.
A ‘new world order’ of dating apps
As for the dating apps of today, Gallop believes they are marketing themselves all wrong.
“It’s ludicrous that dating apps like Tinder and Grindr refuse to admit that people use them to have sex,” she asserted.
”They will avoid any mention of the term ‘hookup culture’. The problem here is that when [a business like that] doesn’t admit that people use their apps to have sex – and that it is entirely natural – then they don’t proactively design for it. They don’t design for good sexual values and good sexual behaviour. And that is why as a straight woman on dating apps, I’m greeted by a slew of introductory dick pics.”
Gallop, of course, has a vision of a “new world order dating app” that will not emulate the male-centric gaze reflected in the likes of Tinder (with its ”all-male founding team, all-male development team, all-male funding from VCs and until very recently an all-male board”).
Gallop went on: “We have to remember women enjoy sex just as much as men and men are just as romantic as women.”
So what if it had been Peter Stringfellow and not Gallop that had launched a site like Make Love Not Porn? Would that have received a more favourable reception? “A man would never have come up with the concept,” Gallop responded.
While her aim with Make Love Not Porn has been to normalise sex for the masses, the former ad exec also continues to battle straight-jacketed sexual attitudes.
“I tweet about a whole range of things – from business to feminism to sex to Make Love Not Porn. For years I’ve observed that my tweets and posts about sex are read, but they are never liked, shared and retweeted at the same level as anything else I put out there. That’s because of fear of what other people will think. However, the same tweets will get 25,000 impressions.”
She has, however, noticed a change recently. “There has been more and more willingness to share my posts. And I find quite ‘serious business people’ that I will not necessarily have expected to want to retweet a post about how now is a good time to come and become a Make Love Not Porn star. What that says to me is that in this situation of global unity, we’re all going through the same things.”
Gallop took a parting shot at the ad industry itself, saying there was a huge amount of money to be made for brands that took women seriously.
Lamenting at the continued lack of diversity in the white male-run world and an industry that is ”collapsing awfully”, she concluded: “You need our innovation, you need our disruption, and you need our lens on how to sell to us. Sit back, listen, ask and do what we recommend, and you will own the future of industry.”
You can watch the full interview with Gallop here. You can also view more content from Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival here.

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Nandos-inspired sex slang used by girls as young as 10 | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

If a child texts about enjoying “peri peri” or “coleslaw”, parents may be unnerved to discover they might not be talking about a family meal out.
An internet safety service which has monitored the online interactions of over 50,000 children has discovered that girls as young as 10 are using code words drawn from the Nando’s restaurant menu to obscure explicit sexual conversations.
SafeToNet has screened over 65m texts sent since November and found that girls aged 10 rather than teenage boys, as they had expected, use the most explicit and potentially harmful sexual language.
“We weren’t expecting to see that,” said Richard Pursey, founder and chief executive of the service which monitors popular messaging apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as well as Instagram and Snapchat. “We thought it would be more likely to be boys than girls and in the 12 to 13 age group.”
As well as overtly graphic terms, they use “peri peri” to mean a well-endowed male and “coleslaw” to mean a bit on the side, he said.
The SafeToNet app looks for language indicating sexual talk, abuse, aggression and thoughts about suicide and self-harm. It applies a threat level to each and 10-year-old girls were the most prominent in category 3 of sexual references, which relates to the most explicit and harmful language.
In December it emerged that more than 6,000 children under 14 have been investigated by police for sexting offences in the past three years, including more than 300 of primary school age.
But Pursey said: “We don’t think it is as sinister as it seems. We think it is a right of passage and is related to that rather than actual sexual activity.” He said the high incidence of sexual language appeared to coincide with girls texting in large groups of other girls.
SafeToNet also found that while girls in general use more sexually explicit language than boys, boys are more abusive and aggressive, and children fear bullying the most on a Sunday evening.
The analysis provides a window into the often hidden online lives of eight to 16 year olds. Half of 10-year-olds now own their own smartphone and ownership doubles between the ages of 9 and 10, according to the regulator Ofcom.
Parents’ concerns about how social media can trigger self-harm have risen since the death of Molly Russell, who took her own life at the age of 14 in 2017 after viewing posts about self-harm and suicide on Instagram. Almost half of parents of children aged five to 15 are now concerned about their child seeing content which might encourage them to harm themselves, the regulator found.
The app screens children’s texts and warns them when they are engaged in risky online behaviour, sometimes blocking their device from sending a text. It provides parents with a report about the level of risky language their children are using, but does not reveal what they actually said.

As worrying as the findings may be for parents, there was a glimmer of hope in that when children spend more time with their families and screen time drops, so does some risky behaviour.
“Saturdays are very busy for families and we can tell that on Saturdays the aggression drops,” said Pursey.
SafeToNet employs a team of linguistics and psychologists specialising in online behaviour to programme the algorithm that screens texts. The system uses artificial intelligence to contextualise what users are typing so it only flags phrases if they are being used in a way that indicates potentially harmful behaviour.
If someone wrote “Raheem Sterling killed it last night against Real Madrid”, there would be no warning but if someone wrote “Go kill yourself” the screen would flash red and it wouldn’t allow the user to send the message. The system notices patterns that might indicate risk. Rapid exchanges of short texts can indicate bullying or sexual dialogue. And it picks up on “leeting”, the tactic of adjusting spellings so “hate” becomes “h8” and “awesome” becomes “4W3S0M3”.
A message that calls someone an “idiot” could flash amber to warn the sender that it might not be wise to send it. Worse language might trigger a red light and block its dispatch.
“It is trying to educate the child in real time,” said Pursey.

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From sex parties to SSPs: inside Killing Kittens’ media platform- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Killing Kittens, the social brand famed for its sex parties, has grown its community to 180,000 members and raised more than $1.5m in capital, despite being effectively blocked from advertising online. Frustrated by the status quo, it’s unveiling its own ad-supported media platform, backed by a raft of fellow ‘adult safe-for-work’ brands.
It was never just about the orgies.
For Emma Sayle, the founder of Killing Kittens, the glamourous, elusive parties – parties behind headlines such as ‘NAKED BODIES EVERYWHERE’ and ‘Welcome to my ORGY’ – were always meant to be part of something bigger.
He goal was to create a safe space and community where women could explore their sexuality. The offline came first when, in 2005, she began hosting masked, ticketed parties in London where female attendees made the first move and nothing was off limits.
Then came international expansion, the roll out of new events and the expansion Sayle’s team. But always on her roadmap was the creation of a digital space – a social network where Kittens and ‘Toms’ (the men in the community) could chat online in an ecosystem that was sexually liberated but distinctly removed from the world of porn.
“I remember we had a really basic kind of community on like a Web 2.0 social network right from year two,” says Sayle. “There was always some kind of online forum chatroom, but it was always the bane in my existence because we went through about three different tech partners.”
Sex and tech’s cold war
These vendors were unreliable and skimmed money from the company. Sayle, who has gone on to build other platforms such as Sistr and Safedate, would have selected more reputable suppliers had they wanted to work with her.
The adult nature of the KK has meant the compliance execs of the tech world have essentially walled it off from their businesses, terrified of erroneously being associated with porn or sexual exploitation.
The digital advertising industry hasn’t proven to be any more open-minded.
“As soon as you hit anything that’s semi-adult, you can’t do anything that you know works on digital,” says Hadleigh Bolt, KK’s chief operating officer. “That’s a massive problem everyone [in the sextech industry] has at the moment – no-one can actually do anything to grow their businesses in the normal way.
“We can’t do PayPal. We got approached by Google to join their ad accelerator, but couldn’t get it past compliance. The likes of Facebook and Instagram have taken anyone who wants to have an adult conversation and kicked them off. So, where do you go?”
KK could have turned to something like TrafficJunky, which serves ads to the likes of Pornhub and RedTube. But Sayle was determined to preserve the brand’s premium positioning, one that could easily be undermined by an ad placed next to a video of spurious ethical origin.
So the company kept growing through the oldest marketing platform there is – word of mouth – all while chipping away at the tech platforms and building a better app.

The new app accommodates brands such as MysteryVibe

Two things then happened: the #MeToo movement boosted the requirement for female empowerment in the sexual discourse, and Google and Apple relented – sort of. KK was finally allowed to advertise its platform in their respective app stores (“I don’t know what’s changed,” sights Bolt. “They don’t tell you.”).
The app, which will officially launch out of beta in Q2 2020, is a hybrid of Facebook, Bumble and Eventbrite. Members of the community can meet through icebreaker questions, send messages, arrange dates and even purchase tickets to the next KK party.
Brands have also been given space on the platform through both native pages and in-app advertising. KK has been targeting ‘adult safe-for-work’ brands that have been plagued by similar marketing frustrations; namely, lingerie, sex toy and alcohol companies that have been prevented from spending money the way they’d like to with the publishers and the duopoly.
More than 30 are lined up launch. And while KK won’t provide them with the reach of Google Search advertising, it will offer advertisers a niche, engaged audience and a hands-off approach to content moderation.
“We know [members’] age, where they’re from, what their sexuality is, what they’re looking for, what desires and kinks they have … and what they’re searching for,” explains Bolt. “So it will probably cost a lot more in CPM to work with us, but you’ll get a direct hit on who’s likely to buy your product.”
Adds Sayle: “It’s like spearfishing, rather than throwing out a whole net.”
Clawing in talent
The next step for KK is growing its digital community in the run up to a Series A funding round coming up in the latter half of the year. AppStore and Google Play optimization will be supported by SEO, branded content, PR, out-of-home and partnerships with the likes of the Museum of Sex.
Sayle hopes to do the bulk of KK’s own marketing in-house. But finding the talent has proven to be yet another challenge.
“We spent a good eight or nine months trying to recruit internally for digital marketing and performance marketing people,” she remembers. “We got these incredible CVs and people recommended, but for all the [digital] ideas they had, we were like, ‘We’re not allowed to do that, and we can’t do that’.
“Everything they wanted to do [in digital], we couldn’t. So, we have this hole of talent in-house that we’re struggling to fill.”
After nearly 15 years of struggle against the fairly puritanical Silicon Valley set, is it really all worth it? Couldn’t Sayle just stick with the parties, and brusquely tell digital media it’s not on the list?
No, she says, because Kittens are “stubborn and bloody-minded”.
“When we launched it was all about going, ‘This isn’t right’ and creating something that was disruptive.
“It’s the same now with the digital side of it. We know what we need isn’t out there, so we’re going to make something out there. It’s as simple as that.”

Tempemail , Tempmail Temp email addressess (10 minutes emails)– When you want to create account on some forum or social media, like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok you have to enter information about your e-mail box to get an activation link. Unfortunately, after registration, this social media sends you dozens of messages with useless information, which you are not interested in. To avoid that, visit this Temp mail generator: tempemail.co and you will have a Temp mail disposable address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This email will expire after 10 minute so you can call this Temp mail 10 minute email. Our service is free! Let’s enjoy!

To learn about sex ed, vaping, and viruses, just log on to TikTok: the doctor is in- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

For decades, sex education in the classroom could be pretty cringeworthy. For some adolescents, it meant a pitch for abstinence; others watched their teachers put condoms on bananas and attempt sketches of fallopian tubes that looked more like modern art.
On TikTok, sex ed is being flipped on its head. Teenagers who load the app might find guidance set to the pulsing beat of “Sex Talk” by Megan Thee Stallion.
A doctor, sporting scrubs and grinning into her camera, instructs them on how to respond if a condom breaks during sex: the pill Plan B can be 95 per cent effective, the video explains.

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The video is the work of Dr Danielle Jones, a gynaecologist in College Station, Texas, and so far has racked up over 11 million views. Comments range from effusive (“this slaps”) to eye-rolling (“thanks for the advice mom” and “ma’am, I’m 14 years old”).
“My TikTok presence is like if you had a friend who just happens to be an OB-GYN [obstetrician-gynaecologist],” Jones says. “It’s a good way to give information to people who need it and meet them where they are.”

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Jones is one of many medical professionals working their way through the rapidly expanding territory of TikTok, the Chinese-owned short-form video app, to counter medical misinformation to a surging audience. The app has been downloaded 1.5 billion times as of November, according to SensorTower, with a mostly youthful audience; 40 per cent of its users are aged between 16 and 24.
Although medical professionals have long taken to social media to share healthy messages or promote their work, TikTok poses a new set of challenges, even for the internet-adept. Popular posts on the app tend to be short, musical and humorous, complicating the task of physicians hoping to share nuanced lessons on health issues like vaping, coronavirus, nutrition and things you shouldn’t dip in soy sauce. And some physicians who are using the platform to spread credible information have found themselves the targets of harassment.
Dr Rose Marie Leslie, a family medicine resident physician at the University of Minnesota Medical School, says TikTok provides an enormous platform for medical public service announcements.
“It has this incredible viewership potential that goes beyond just your own following,” she says.

It’s been inspiring to see doctors and nurses take to TikTok in their scrubs to demystify the medical profession
Gregory Justice, TikTok head of content programming

Leslie’s TikToks on vaping-associated lung diseases drew over 3 million views, and posts on the flu and HPV vaccines also reached broad audiences beyond her hospital.
Striking a chord on TikTok, Leslie says, means tailoring medical messaging to the app’s often goofy form. In one post, she advised viewers to burn calories by practising a viral TikTok dance. She takes her cues from teen users, who often use the app to offer irreverent, even slapstick commentary on public health conversations. She notes one trend in which young TikTokers brainstormed creative ways to destroy your e-cigarette, like running it over with a car.

TikTok’s executives have welcomed the platform’s uses for medical professionals. “It’s been inspiring to see doctors and nurses take to TikTok in their scrubs to demystify the medical profession,” said Gregory Justice, TikTok’s head of content programming.

Jones, the gynaecologist, says she hopes the platform can help young people develop trust in medical practitioners and view them as more accessible. “Back in the old days, there was a town doctor and everyone knew where he lived, and you traded milk and eggs for healthcare,” Jones says. “You had trust in your doctor because you trusted them as a person first.” TikTok, she says, can help to humanise doctors – she’s seen that some of her own patients feel more comfortable with her because they have seen her playful social media posts.
But some doctors are also encountering responses to their videos that they did not expect.
Earlier this month, Dr Nicole Baldwin, a paediatrician in Cincinnati, Ohio, posted a TikTok listing the diseases that are preventable with vaccines and countering the notion that vaccines cause autism.
Her accounts on TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp were flooded with threatening comments, including one that labelled her “Public Enemy #1” and another that read, “Dead doctors don’t lie.”

A team of volunteers that is helping Baldwin monitor her social media has banned more than 5,200 users from her Facebook in recent weeks.
Baldwin says she started out feeling enthusiastic about the opportunity TikTok provides to educate adolescents, but her experience with harassment gave her some pause.
“There’s a fine line physicians are walking between trying to get a message out that will appeal to this younger generation without being inappropriate or unprofessional,” Baldwin says. “Because of the short content and musical aspect of TikTok, what adolescents are latching on to is not the professional persona we typically put out there.”

A spate of recent TikToks have further stirred questions about the potential for the app’s abuse. One recent TikTok post featured a medical professional speculating – as she lip-synced to the Rex Orange County lyric “how could I ignore you?” – that her patient’s chest pain could have been caused by cocaine. Another showed an emergency room doctor mocking patients who sought treatment in the ER rather than from a primary care physician – like going to A&E instead of a GP.

With a young audience, it’s really important to make sure that the content getting out is professional and accurate
Sarah Mojarad, lecturer

Sarah Mojarad, a lecturer who teaches a course on social media for scientists at the University of Southern California, says she has seen physicians either “bashing their patients” on the app or “whitecoat marketing”, a term that refers to the use of medical prestige to market inappropriate products like unauthorised supplements.
The youth of TikTok’s audience also raises the stakes when medical professionals misuse the platform.

“With a young audience, it’s really important to make sure that the content getting out is professional and accurate,” Mojarad says. “People may think some of it is medical humour, but it impacts care.”
TikTok’s community guidelines state that the platform does not permit “misinformation that may cause harm to an individual’s health, such as misleading information about medical treatments”. The company expanded its rules of conduct last month, as its user base has grown.
Some physicians worry that TikTok’s brief, playful clips can blur the line between general education and patient-specific medical advice.

Dr Austin Chiang, a gastroenterologist and chief medical social media officer at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, says he has been asked about specific symptoms on TikTok and has to refer users to established medical sources or directly to their doctors.
Dr Christian Assad, a cardiologist in McAllen, Texas, says he sometimes scripts his TikToks, given the potential for confusion when he compresses a 60-minute talk on low-carbohydrate dieting into a 60-second musical clip.
Ignoring the platform isn’t an option, especially given the prevalence of disinformation on the app, Chiang says. Two of his more popular posts have countered the use of essential oils to cure diseases and exposed the failings of the celery juice fad diet.

“If we’re not there to be a voice for evidence-based medicine, who’s going to do that for us?” Chiang says. “Anti-vaxxers are already using social media to their advantage. By putting doctors on social media, we’re able to be a source of more accurate information.”

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Still, for doctors turned influencers, the TikTok learning curve can be steep. Dr Matthew Schulman, a plastic surgeon in New York, says the slightly older users of Instagram and Snapchat have been vital to his private practice, helping to drive roughly 80 per cent of consultations. He often streams live from the operating room. “Buttock augmentation is really popular on social media,” he says.
But TikTok has presented him with cause for additional concern. The virality upside is massive: a post he made earlier this month discussing celebrity clients drew over 6.8 million views. But as he has watched his 10-year-old daughter use the app, he realised that he must exercise more caution in producing content.
“The demographic of TikTok is very young, and as a plastic surgeon I don’t feel comfortable marketing my services to children,” Schulman says. Simultaneously, he knows the app is growing fast. “I don’t want to be caught playing catch-up. In two or three years the platform could change, and if I already have an established account, I’m ahead of the game.”
In the meantime, he says, he relies on top-notch TikTok editors – his kids.
© New York Times

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Four Seasons Condoms campaign wants Australian millennials to have more sex- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Four Seasons Condoms wants millennials in Australia to start having safe and healthy sex again with the introduction of an in-pack education kit.
According to the condoms brand, there is a “millennial sex recession” as statistics reveal that young adults are having 50% less sex than their parents’ generation.
It wants to change this through a campaign called “Generation Intervention” and created by CHE Proximity. The campaign introduces the Generation Intervention Pack, a limited-edition educational kit designed to equip parents to be surrogate-sex therapists and encourage their adult children to have sex.
The pack was created in collaboration with sexologist Jacqueline Hellyer and contains 52 Ice Breaker cards for parents to have a conversation with their adult children, with the aim of helping them to navigate the world of modern dating and the understand the mental benefits.
There is also “The Talk 2.0” for parents to check-in on the wellbeing on their adult children and discuss the social and emotional issues that may be affecting their libido. Once ‘The Talk 2.0’ takes place, parents are encouraged to hand over the pack and its contents so they can be used by their adult children.
Each pack contains three sizes of condoms from the Four Seasons Naked range, lubricant, female pleasure gel and a vibrating toy.
Four Seasons Condoms also engaged parents of influencers to help their famous influencer children to explain how “Generation Intervention” could be done.
Working with YouTube and Twitch star Oren Hipwell, comedian and celebrated podcaster Tom Armstrong, and The Daily Talk Show, parents were filmed in real-time intervening and questioning their children on their sexual behaviour.
The three films will live on influencer sites and on the Four Seasons Condoms social pages.
“Young people are facing more barriers to sex than ever before. Increased social media is depriving them of real human connection and usage can contribute to feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression,” said Michael Porter, the sales and marketing director at Four Seasons Condoms.
“With almost a quarter of young people in Australia facing mental health challenges we wanted to make sure that we created a moment this year where parents could sense check how their children are doing.”
“Low libido can be an indicator of a wider problem and there’s no one better equipped to have this conversation than parents. Although they may not know it, they are the experts.”

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Sex, snoring and endless loo paper: the gadget show catering for your every need | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Name: Kamasutra bed.
Age: Well the Kamasutra itself, the Sanskrit text on sexuality, is about 2,400 years old. This bed is more recent. In fact, it is yet to come on to the market.
Appearance: It changes, depending on what you want it to do.
I’m tired. Can it just be flat like a normal bed so I can go to sleep? Well, this is where the bed can help. At the flick of a switch, it will change shape to help you contort your body without too much effort and try out some adventurous new positions.
You mean there are more than two? There are 64 in the Kamasutra. Some people claim many more. Shall we kick off with Janukurpara?
Not unless it’s something to eat. Reverse Cowgirl? Yee-haw …
Stop it. If I were interested – which I’m not – where would I find one of these beds? CES 2020 in Las Vegas.
The massive marketing event, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, where tech companies show off their latest innovations? That one. And, for the first time in its 52 years, the conference is allowing companies that make sex toys to exhibit them on the show floor. Maybe you would be interested in an interconnected smart vibrator?
Hmmm, maybe. Or a hands-free air-blowing oral-sex simulator?
What, so I can drive at the same time? Erm, actually, I’m not sure if that’s allowed. It may vary from country to country, so you will need to check.
Is there anything that isn’t to do with sex? Yes, most of the exhibits have nothing to do with sex. For example, there is a Bluetooth-controlled toilet paper robot, the Charmin RollBot, which works via an app on your phone, which will deliver loo paper to you.
What happens if you haven’t got your phone on you? Don’t be ridiculous, it’s 2020, no one goes without their phone.
It’s almost as if it is more about what techies can do than what people want or need. Maybe you want or need Ballie, a tennis ball-sized robot, packed full of tech, that will roll after you as you potter around the house?
Can I have sex with it? No! But there are other more human robots and avatars that can provide companionship, if not everything …
Zzzzzzzz. Hey, CES can help with that. A Korean company has produced the Motion Pillow, which is loaded with sensors that automatically change the position of your head to stop you snoring.
Do say: “Wake up! Fancy a quick number 36? Do it on your phone.”
Don’t say: “I’ve got no charge left, and a headache.”

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Walmart’s Vudu adds Family Play feature so viewers can skip sex, violence and substance abuse – gpgmail


Vudu, the streaming service owned by Walmart, announced a new feature today that will make it easier for viewers to avoid sex and violence in movies.

Anyone who’s watched an R-rated movie on broadcast television or on an airplane is probably familiar with films that have been “edited for content,” but Vudu’s new Family Play option gives viewers more control over what they find objectionable.

Specifically, they can turn filters on and off for sex/nudity, violence, substance abuse and language. In the first three instances, Vudu will skip the relevant scenes, and in the case of strong language, it will mute the dialog. The feature is already supported in more than 500 films.

At an advertiser event in May, Vudu leaders suggested that they will stand out from the other streaming services by creating content that can be watched by entire families, with Senior Director Julian Franco declaring, “We’re not just going to be programming for Williamsburg and Silver Lake.”

It sounds like Vudu has similar ambitions for all its original content. In a blog post today, Vice President Scott Blanksteen wrote:

With so much content available and more people watching, what if we could also be a streaming service that provides a great, safe viewing environment for families? What if we could provide our customers the flexibility to ensure that content and the Vudu experience are appropriate for everyone in the family to watch, including the youngest of viewers – kids?

A streaming service called VidAngel ran into legal trouble (and eventually declared bankruptcy) a couple of years ago when it tried to sell movies that were edited to be family-friendly. However, where VidAngel was operating independently to decrypt and edit DVDs, Vudu told Variety that it’s working with the movie studios.

Vudu also says it’s partnering with advocacy group Common Sense Media to provide ratings and reviews “from a parent’s perspective,” and to create a kid-friendly viewing mode. And it’s launching its first original series today — a remake of “Mr. Mom,” with new episodes streaming every Thursday.


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Tech startups want to destigmatize sex – gpgmail


Sex, despite being one of the most fundamental human experiences, is still one of those businesses that some advertisers reject, banks are hesitant to financially support and some investors don’t want to fund.

Given how sex is such a huge part of our lives, it’s no surprise founders are looking to capitalize on the space. But the idea of pleasure versus function, plus the stigma still associated with all-things sex, is at the root of the barriers some startup founders face.

Just last month, Samsung was forced to apologize to sextech startup Lioness after it wrongfully asked the company to take down its booth at an event it was co-hosting. Lioness is a smart vibrator that aims to improve orgasms through biofeedback data.

Sextech companies that relate to the ability to reproduce or, the ability to not reproduce, don’t always face the same problems when it comes to everything from social acceptance to advertising to raising venture funding. It seems to come down to the distinction between pleasure and function, stigma and the patriarchy. 

This is where the trajectories for sextech startups can diverge. Some startups have raised hundreds of millions from traditional investors in Silicon Valley while others have struggled to raise any funding at all. As one startup founder tells me, “Sand Hill Road was a big no.”

A market worth billions or trillions?




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