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Porn: harmless entertainment or harmful to women?
Porn: harmless entertainment or harmful to women?

Postscript to porn interviews

March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at OnMilwaukee.com as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We're taking a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don't worry, parents, we'll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as OnMilwaukee.com turns a pale shade of blue for seven days.

As you probably gleaned by now, this past week was Sex Week on OnMilwaukee.com, and we published an array of articles including interviews with local women working in the adult entertainment industry. The interviews are, hopefully, provocative and entertaining, and above all, non-judgmental.

But Dr. Sara Johann, who sent me a couple of e-mails during Sex Week, believes pornorgraphy is detrimental.

Johann is the author of "Sourcebook on Pornography," and she believes exposure to porn can lead to rape, abuse and domestic violence. Johann has appeared on "Sally Jessy Raphael" as an expert, testified in a death penalty case and taught abuse clinics around the country.

I asked Johann three questions about the porn industry, and here are her responses:

OnMilwaukee.com: In your opinion, how does porn lead to violence and domestic abuse?

Sara Johann: My book cites hundreds of examples. (Make) a quick call to the Milwaukee Police Department sex crimes unit and ask the question of how often pornography is found to be involved in rape and molestation cases might also help you (understand) this issue.

OMC: What is porn?

SJ: I spent large portions of the five years of research and writing my book, as well as a year working on proposed laws on that topic as an attorney working for the Wisconsin Legislature and finally came up with a very detailed definition of pornography in my book …  Pornography is a hate crime which primarily targets women for abuse and hat…

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Yeah, sure, a six pack is sexy, but other qualities are even sexier to me.
Yeah, sure, a six pack is sexy, but other qualities are even sexier to me.

How sexy changes with age

March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at OnMilwaukee.com as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We're taking a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don't worry, parents, we'll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as OnMilwaukee.com turns a pale shade of blue for seven days.

As a teenager, I remember finding people sexy based solely on their appearance. If they had the right clothing and the right look, they topped the list of attractive people in my book.

A s I got older, other qualities, like intelligence and sense of humor, became equally as important in the attraction equation.

Now, in my 30s, a lot of the people I find sexy are even less conventionally hot. To me, confidence is the sexiest quality of all, followed by realistic optimism – not too optimistic, but not too jaded, either.

I also find men who are great fathers to be quite sexy, particularly proud guys wearing their babies in baby carriers. Oh, don’t even get me started on the sexy dad topic …

Now I wonder what I’ll find sexy as I get older. I remember my husband’s grandma being interested in a particular gentleman because he was one of the last men she knew who could still legally drive.

What do you find sexy?

The M&M / Mars company has used the Legend of the Green M&M in marketing messages since 1997.
The M&M / Mars company has used the Legend of the Green M&M in marketing messages since 1997.

Green M&M's: the original Viagra?

March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at OnMilwaukee.com as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We're taking a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don’t worry, parents, we’ll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as OnMilwaukee.com turns a pale shade of blue for seven days.

When I was about 9, a neighbor kid told me, while shoveling handfuls of M&M's into his mouth, "The green ones make you horny." I remember feeling extremely astute that I knew what "horny" meant -- it was a word I had only recently learned -- and then I continued to wonder for years whether or not the green candy makes you randy.

Last week, in preparation for Sex Week, the staff of OnMilwaukee.com ingested aphrodisiacs and wrote about the affects in an article, but the green M&M was not tested. Perhaps the green M&M theory is more of an urban myth, like the story of the kid who mixed the soda and Pop Rocks and died. However, green is a color associated with healing and fertility, so perhaps there is a shred of truth to the whole shebang.

According to Snopes.com, consumers started the green M&M conspiracy in the '70s, and the M&M / Mars company claims to have had nothing to do with it. Interestingly, within the last decade, the company embraced the theory of the lusty green one, and last year sold bags of green M&M's for Valentine's Day.

I admit, I ate a bunch of green M&M's once and nothing happened, but maybe I didn't eat enough of them. Or maybe I had a headache. The most important thing to remember is not to eat the red ones, because everyone knows those give you cancer.

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Bettie Page, circa 1955.
Bettie Page, circa 1955.

Ode to Bettie

March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at OnMilwaukee.com as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We take a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don't worry, we'll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as OnMilwaukee.com turns a pale blue for seven days.

It couldn't be Sex Week for me without writing something about Bettie Page. The '50s pin-up girl who eventually became a kitschy, cultural icon passed away in December from pneumonia. She suffered a heart attack the week before her death, and never regained consciousness.

I've been a big fan of Page for years. I have rocked the "Bettie bangs" on and off since high school and, eerily coincidentally, went as Page this past Halloween, just six weeks before she died.

Like many of her fans, it wasn't until her passing that I found out the sordid details of her existence after she stopped posing for the cameras. Her life, which started out sad due to her father's molestations, ended in the same way.  After Page's death, a slew of articles reported that she was riddled with mental illness, divorced multiple times and prone to violent behavior.

I refuse to remember Page this way.

To me, Page was a symbol of sexiness, but even more so, a symbol of strength and choice during a time when most women were tied down with whippersnappers rather than tied up and cracking whips.

Page was shameless -- at least she appeared this way on camera -- and shame is a nasty emotion that's bound to low self-esteem and controls many women's lives. Page beat the crap out of shame. Squelched it with the heels of her stilettos.

But Page also had a sweetness that made her even more appealing and interesting. When I see Page's image on a mug or a T-shirt or a Zippo lighter, I always think two things about Page: …

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