It all started with a video of a guy wearing bright colored athletic gear in a sparse room laughing uncontrollably with a bunch of other guys on top of him. New Zealand journalist David Farrier received a tip about “Competitive Endurance Tickling” and started looking into it and tweeting about it. Farrier reached out to the company sponsoring this “competition” and releasing videos of it—Jane O’Brien Media—and received a refusal to participate in his coverage, on grounds that Farrier is a “homosexual journalist” (he’s actually bi, though). Farrier and his straight friend Dylan Reeve kept digging and the response from Jane O’Brien Media turned even more hostile. Farrier and Reeve were on the path to uncovering the truth behind the operation and its seemingly exploitative nature. Soon, they would be pulled into the world of tickling for profit, blackmail, bullying, and international schemes.
A Gronking to Remember, the first book in Lacey Noonan’s erotic novel series about Patriots tight end and white Shrek Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, arrived in January to thrill a nation hopped up on playoff football and Fifty Shades of Grey. But it did not thrill one couple, whose engagement photo was featured on its cover, next to Gronk’s approving, possibly horny smile.
Backdoor Teen Mom Farrah Abraham is spending her 14th minute of fame promoting the first book in her Celebrity Sex Tape trilogy(!) of erotic novels, based on the "private" sex tape she made with porn star James Deen. Advance reader copies of In The Making have arrived, and they confirm what you already suspected: Life is suffering and everything is terrible.
"I always try to write songs so that they could be read on lots of different levels, so you could appreciate them superficially and then if you go deeper you could see something else," Madonna told British TV's Jonathan Ross in 1992, promoting her Erotica album and Sex book. This was the puffing of a now frequently bared chest or maybe autofellatio from a woman who had recently told Vanity Fair, "I think I have a dick in my brain."
Have you heard about Fifty Shades of Grey? It's the hot new thing on the literary scene. The New York Times reports that bookstores cannot keep up with demands for the smash hit novel, which was published by an independent press in Australia. Perhaps that's why Fifty Shades of Grey is number one on the e-book fiction bestsellers list, and number three on Amazon.com's bestseller list. The people have spoken, and they demand more porn.
"Obsession uses vocabulary and describes activities of a sort that readers of The New York Times are usually shielded from," Charles McGrath blushed in a story from today's Grey Lady, before going on to enumerate the risqué "activities" in question, including "scenes involving dildos, whips, silken cords and golden nipple clamps, not to mention an ebony, smooth-backed Mason Pearson hairbrush purchased at Harrods." What was the occasion for offending the sensibilities of the most cosmopolitan readership this side of the Atlantic? Gloria Vanderbilt, of course. If a regular author were to write "erotica" involving "mint, cayenne pepper and a fresh garden carrot... deployed... in ways never envisioned by The Joy of Cooking," the Times might turn up it's nose. But when the 85-year old blue blood who birthed Anderson Cooper decides to write a novel involving "a five-story Brooklyn sex mansion where most of the orgies take place," it's suddenly interested. Fair enough!
If we saw our mother spreading her legs on billboards and in the window displays of old-fashioned CD stores, we'd probably either disown her, change our names or move to Mars. Unless, of course, she was Madonna. Then we might just have to put the poster up in our rooms. Madge is turning 50 this year, and she's not letting that stop her from putting out her single most explicit album cover to date. Even Erotica's open lips and Confessions On A Dance Floor's spread eagle from behind don't compare with the artwork for Hard Candy, which features the B12 shot lover posing as an S&M-inspired boxer (of sorts) waiting to "kick your ass" (just as Madonna promised the album would do). But just because Madonna's putting it all out there now doesn't mean her more suggestive covers weren't ten times sexier.
• A new movie about Truman Capote, this time with poorer acting but gayer kissing. [Yahoo]
• Christina Milian, strapped for cash, sells clothes on eBay. The public, strapped for interest, shrugs. [TMZ]
• Norwegian police recover Munch's "The Scream." World's coffee mug and mousepad manufacturers breathe sigh of relief. [CNN]
• Before he starred in How to Eat Fried Worms, 12-year-old child actor Austin Rogers starred in Fuck Factory, which, funnily, also had a lot of worm eating in it. (badump-cha!) [dig]
• Some advice for college freshmen. Oops, we forgot you already know everything already. [Play]
• Sports journalist calls speed skater a weirdo. Speed skater's mom calls journalist's mom to make sure she knows what her son did, inadvertently making speed skater look like more of a weirdo. [Deadspin]
• A New York Supreme Court judge has prohibited the sale of the UES property blown up by the late Dr. Nicholas Bartha, thereby keeping Bartha's ex-wife from making the money he blew the house up to keep her from making in the first place. Bartha's ghost would totally love to make some pottery with the judge while listening to "Unchained Melody," if the judge is up for it.[NYP]
• Like that book we found in our mother's side table that made us very uncomfortable for, like, a month, but with a better soundtrack. [hipsterotica]