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  1. BBC News: "Some couples may disagree, but romantic love lasts little more than a year, Italian scientists believe. The University of Pavia found a brain chemical was likely to be responsible for the first flush of love. Researchers said raised levels of a protein was linked to feelings of euphoria and dependence experienced at the start of a relationship. But after studying people in long and short relationships and single people, they found the levels receded in time." That may be so, but there's plenty of ways to reinject some passion into your long term relationship - Lovehoney has thousands of products with which to surprise your man and a ton of better sex books to help you find inspiration on how to keep the home fires burning…

    The Guardian: "When a young man masturbates, exactly how distracted does he get? An experiment performed on students at the University of California, Berkeley aimed to find out."

    If your partner's getting a bit too frisky for you to handle, why not get him this new gem from Japan - the Mechanical Masturbator. This super sleek robot comes complete with an appropriately shaped rubber hand and will perform automated erotica on the male member without anyone else needing to move a muscle. Take a look at the pics of the MM on the Tokyo Times blog and the inside story on this new triumph of Japanese engineering. It's a snip at 34.500 yen- that's about 168 quid…

    The Times did a nice article last Christmas about how vibrators have become much more fun for women, casting off their previously seedy image. They even mentioned Lovehoney, although that's probably because we sent them a Hitachi Magic Wand to play with. It's worth perusing Suzi Godson's piece for a quick run down on the rise of the vibrator from its first incarnation as a medical device in the late 1800s through to the panoply of fun we've got these days. has a great article on what men should know about women if they want to get some good loving. Worth leaving open on your lover's laptop so they get the message. When it comes to good sex, you can never have too much information for getting it right. If you want to explore more, we've got a cracking range of better sex books to browse and really put a smile on your partner's face.

    File under Deeply Weird: Sky News reports that "a teenager has been charged with indecent exposure after he was caught trying to have sex with a female mannequin on display at an arts centre. Security guards found Michael Plentyhorse, 18, sprawled with the dummy on the floor with his trousers and pants down. Police spokesman Loren McManus said: 'There was inappropriate activity between him and the mannequin. That's the only way I know how to put it.'

    Possibly coming soon to a theatre near you:

    "Despite my appreciation for tried-and-true classic theater from the likes of Sophocles and Shakespeare, this reviewer left "Chicks With Dicks," written by Chicago playwright Trista Baldwin and directed by Bloomington Playwrights Project's Artistic Director Richard Perez, speechless.

    I flipped my notebook to the last page as the audience exited and wrote the first words that came to my mind. "Fucking wild," I penned.

    "Chicks With Dicks" took the audience on the most maddening ride my eyes had ever witnessed. The play, set in the Hoosier heartland town of Bedford, offered the audience a bosom of biker babes, radioactive feminine sexuality and a glimpse of American life akin to a B-parody kung fu fighters crossed with a pissed-off chick flick."

    Full story at

    Time for a bit of culture. The Scotsman On Sunday offers a chunky review of Alyce Mahon's new book "Eroticism And Art":

    "Where should we draw the line between what is obscene and what is culturally enriching? More books have been written on the subject than perhaps any other in art. But still it continues to haunt us.

    The latest author to throw her hat in the ring is Cambridge academic Alyce Mahon, who, as the publicity so coyly puts it, is "a woman". This is not really so revolutionary. Some of the most stimulating writing on the subject produced in the past 30 years has been by women, notably Andrea Dworkin. Where Mahon supposedly differs from her predecessors is that she sets out to address her topic without a specifically political agenda.

    Far from adopting the classic feminist critique, she seems to be attempting to be objective. This, of course, is no less than we would expect of a 21st-century art historian, and her book, despite being fundamentally flawed, makes for a read that is pacy and questioning." "

    Read the full review at The Scotsman's site - and if you're interested in erotic art, go visit The Erotic Bookshop for a fine selection of books.

    Sex therapist Cay L. Crow has come and said what everyone knew anyway - having a fiddle with yourself is a good practice to get rid of stress. As this article in The Ranger notes: " 'Masturbation is a great way to relieve stress,' sex therapist Cay L. Crow said in an interview.

    'It also is a great way to mediate anxiety. It’s a great stress relief, especially during midterms and finals,' Crow said.

    Crow, a licensed professional counselor, teaches sexual education classes for Forbidden Fruit, a woman-owned, women-operated business serving the community. Its mission is to help create erotic self-awareness and improve intimate communication in relationships."

    The article goes on to give a pithy potted history of masturbation, including all the fire and brimstone stuff from Victorian physicans that reckoned it would make you go blind. Clearly they were in need of a Fleshlight.

    Great quote from a Times interview with the lead actor from political skit The Thick Of It: "Peter Capaldi is as far away from Malcolm Tucker - the Downing Street "enforcer" - as The Thick of It is from Yes Minister. Even Tucker's publishable barbs are borderline watershed - his favourite ministerial put-down is: 'He's as much use as a marzipan dildo.'"

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