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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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"Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle was published in 1977.
"Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle was published in 1977.

Remember this book about the birds 'n' the bees?

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.

Earlier this week, the OnMilwaukee.com Parent Posse weighed in on their thoughts about talking about sex with children. As my sons get older, and start asking more and more questions, I am preparing for the Big Talk.

I started researching kids' books about sex, thinking maybe a visual aid or two will be helpful when the time comes. A friend recommended "Being Born" by Sheila Kitzinger, which provides amazing photos of an embryo growing inside the womb.

Also, I came across the book "Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle, best known for his book, "A Year in Provence." I remembered reading this book as a kid, and was surprised to see it was still, after all these years, considered to be a top choice by many parents and educators.

I requested this book from the library, and plan to screen it as a possible book to share with my kids someday. I am looking forward to seeing it, because I still remember some of the cartoon-ish drawings in the book that, if memory serves, add a lightness to the potentially heavy subject.

Constance Money plays a hooker named Misty.
Constance Money plays a hooker named Misty.

Sex Week cinema: "The Opening of Misty Beethoven"

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 received this assignment -- to write a blog about my favorite sexy movie -- I decided it was time to review some new porn and perhaps find a new fave.

After Googling around a bit, I decided to get the advice of an expert, so I called the erotic shop A Woman’s Touch and spoke to "pleasure specialist" Emily Jansen.

I asked Jansen to recommend sexy films, and she readily made a few suggestions. Her first suggestion was the Comstock Film series, which features real couples -- both gay and straight -- discussing their relationship followed by a sex scene.

She also suggested the Chemistry series, which takes the reality TV concept to the adult entertainment world. In this series, adult film stars meet in a house filled with sex toys and spend 36 hours exploring all of their sexual options.

However, I decided to check out her final suggestion, "The Opening of Misty Beethoven." Jansen described it as a "classic remake of ‘My Fair Lady’," which piqued my interest. I also read it was pornography meets "Pygmalion," and I was sold.

The film, released in 1975, is about a sexologist (Jamie Gillis) who attempts to transform a hooker, Misty (Constance Money), into the role of a sex goddess who spreads passion to a variety people. The film has more plot than most pornos, and the comedic writing is actually successful at times.

"The Opening of Misty Beethoven" was  the first pornographic film to feature a woman dominating a man with the help of a sex toy. …

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Brad? Angelina? Jessica? Carmen? Justin? Taye?
Brad? Angelina? Jessica? Carmen? Justin? Taye?

Who's your celebrity "freebie?"

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.

In an ancient episode of "Friends," Ross  makes a "freebie list" of celebrities he would like to have his girlfriend Rachel’s blessing to have sex with if the unlikely opportunity presented itself.

This semi-famous episode prompted couples over the last decade to make similar lists. For the most part, the lists are made jokingly, however, if the opportunity really did arise, it would be fascinating to see what happened.

Spouse 1: You’re not going to believe this, honey, but I ran into Natalie Portman at karaoke last night and we really hit it off and she mentioned she’d like to have sex with me.
Spouse 2: Well, dear, I’m gonna have to say "go for it" considering she’s on the top of your freebie list. Which reminds me, I just added Danny Gokey to mine.

My husband and I made a list like this over cocktails many years ago, and topping the list for both of us was punk / folk musician Ani DiFranco. If memory serves, I think I also listed Johnny Depp, James Spader (not the modern day, puffy Spader, but the "Sex, Lies and Videotape" version of Spader) and rocker Lenny Kravitz.

How about you? If you could have a celebrity "freebie," who would it be?