“Why Didn’t She Leave?” How Our Culture’s Bad Ideas About Sex Create an Aziz Ansari Situation

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 Why didn’t she just get out of there as soon as she felt uncomfortable?

That is the question that has been up for debate ever since Babe.net released its exposé on Aziz Ansari. Journalistic issues with the piece aside, what has come forward through it is that, when it comes to the sexual realities between men and women, there is a disconnect.

Now, before anyone starts with the “this never happened to me” stuff, I get it, but I’m speaking in general. So if you have been having amazing, consensual sex your whole life, or if you have never felt the need to placate a man sexually because you didn’t have the tools to get out of that situation, good for you. And I don’t mean that sarcastically—seriously, that’s good for you. Despite what some would believe, being a feminist doesn’t tune you into a special radio frequency that turns you into Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (I wish). We are all the product of our shared culture, and our shared culture has some backward ideas about sexual politics.

In a wonderful article in The Week, author Lili Loofbourow tackles the narrative that has been going back and forth in the wake of the Aziz Ansari story, including the idea that “this is is just how men are, and how sex is.” I always find this idea that women are attracted to aggression to be a funny one, because, for one thing, women are not a monolith. We have nuances—shocking, I know. Also, yes, there is something sexy about a man who seems slightly “dangerous” or “rogueish” or at the very least confident in his own skin. That is not the same as someone grabbing you out of nowhere or invading your personal space.

This idea that men are naturally aggressive because of biology, and they can’t help it, always seemed to me to be more sexist and damaging towards men than anything its proponents believe feminism has done. There was a lot of disingenuous concern that not holding Grace to impossible-to-meet standards for how people thought she “should” have acted was infantilizing her, from the very same people who seem really quick to throw out pseudo-scientific explanations that men can’t control themselves because of their testosterone. The double standard is painfully obvious.

Loofbourow spins this talk about biology to focus on the biological realities of women, especially pain during sex that “research shows that 30 percent of women report pain during vaginal sex, 72 percent report pain during anal sex, and ‘large proportions’ don’t tell their partners when sex hurts,” adding, “At what point does sex magically transform from enduring someone doing something to you that you don’t like — but remember: everyone agrees you’re supposed to tolerate it — to the mutually pleasurable experience everyone else seems to think it is?”

This was a question I had a lot during my early sex life. Even when it wasn’t painful anymore, I was always wondering, When is it going to feel good? The reality is that learning how to have good sex is a process, and you have to have a partner who cares about being with you and not just getting off. They help you realize what you like, what you don’t, and how to reach that climax.

Despite how sexually empowered and independent women have become, there are still things we have been socialized to expect from a sexual encounter. When I spoke to my girlfriends about Grace we all had a Grace-like story: going over to someone’s house, thinking we wanted to have sex, but then realizing we weren’t really into the whole thing, but feeling like there was a pressure to do something. There were no locks on the door or menacing music in the background, but there was that old saying in our minds: “When you go over to a man’s house, he is expecting one thing.”

I’ve heard that phrase shared on The View and many other places. You know what? Fuck that. Just because a woman goes over to a guy’s house does not mean he should be expecting sex. This is 2018, and we still have to act as though telling a man no is the worst thing that can happen? That “blue balls” is such a tragic occurrence it if we don’t at least touch it, we are being a tease? Sex is not something anyone is entitled to.

According to Andrew Sullivan, who Loofbourow references, the effects of #MeToo will cause young men to reject equality, go to the alt-right, and rail against feminism because they “will begin to ask questions about why they are now routinely seen as a ‘problem,’ and why their sex lives are now fair game for any journalist.”

Excuse me? WOMEN’S SEX LIVES HAVE BEEN SEEN AS FAIR GAME SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME!

I can understand if Sullivan was saying that we have done a bad job of educating men on how to engage with women—that we have fed them poor role models and they are now being thrown into a really complicated conversation with few tools as to how to engage with women and this issue in a way that is healthy for everyone. But, let us not act as though the sexual issues facing women have historically been given equal attention as they have for men. A woman’s sexuality has always been used against her.

The takeaway from the Aziz Ansari article should be that we have failed, even in 2018, to have healthy and productive conversations about sex, pain, pleasure, and all the ways a woman is saying no.

(via The Week, image: Shutterstock Inc/By TORWAISTUDIO)

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It’s Women Who Are Hurt Most When the #MeToo Movement Is Treated Like Clickbait

#metoo, me too, sexual harassment

Since this current awards season has been dominated by conversations regarding #MeToo and #TimesUp, I’ve found myself repeatedly surprised by how many men seem ill-equipped to respond to questions on the subjects of sexual harassment and abuse in their industry.

Male actors and other Hollywood players are, likely, unaccustomed to being asked these questions in the first place. While women certainly should be at the center of this conversation, they have also largely been asked to answer for men’s behavior. It’s why women are asked about their feeling on Woody Allen, but men, for the most part, are not. (Some men have chosen to volunteer their feelings, but are asked to supply them far less.)

It’s why Alison Brie was asked during a red carpet interview to comment on allegations against her brother-in-law James Franco, but James and Dave Franco were not.

So I get it, men aren’t used to having to answer questions like “would you work with this alleged serial abuser again?” or “what are your thoughts on the women coming forward against [name a dude, take your pick]?”

However, in the last week, there’s been a surplus of headlines recounting quotes from male celebrities whose lack of thought on these issues is surprising. It’s not like they don’t know by now that these questions are a possibility. And it’s most definitely not like they don’t have publicists and managers coaching them in their interview soundbites, especially during an awards season.

Still, we get headlines like these:

Those are all awful quotes, but what’s most upsetting is that if you read past the headlines, some of the quotes are presented horribly out of context. For example, Joel McHale said pretty much exactly what that headline states. He was quoting Ashleigh Banfield, who wrote the pseudonymous “Grace’s” story off as a bad date, but he agreed,  “If someone had a bad date, then it was a bad date.”

Soderbergh, on the other hand, was saying pretty much the opposite of how that headline makes him sound.

(William H. Macy, for his part, seemed to fall somewhere in between. He seemed mostly to be clumsily inarticulate and inexcusably unprepared.)

It can be difficult to cram a nuanced sentiment into headline length, but some of these seem to suffer more from a deliberate flattening. It’s the clickbaitification of the #MeToo movement.

While it’s important for men to have to think about these issues, it’s also necessary for those asking the questions to do so with care and respect. I’m not talking about care for the feelings of those being asked (although I would hope that’s a given) or for the accused. I’m talking about respect for the victims of sexual assault and harassment, who should be at the center of these questions but instead, are often not even an afterthought in the quest for salacious stories.

The rush to be the reporter who uncovers the next Bad Man has to remember there are real humans, real victims, at the core of that story.

The Guardian had a piece this week about the games industry’s potential #MeToo reckoning, and the hurdles that have to be overcome before that can happen. And while the headline reads “The video games industry isn’t yet ready for its #MeToo moment,” what it actually describes is an industry–or women in an industry–who are beyond ready, but who aren’t being treated with the respect their stories deserve.

The New York Times investigation into Harvey Weinstein represented over a year of work and trust-building. You don’t just pull this kind of reporting out of a hat. Women in the games industry, meanwhile, are being approached as potential leads rather than as people who might have been through something horrible.

This is a community of women that suffered through Gamer Gate, who spoke out about the demons in their industry, and who were never given the spotlight they deserved.

But now reporters are now scrambling to uncover sexual misconduct in all fields, and in the process, many are displaying a disturbing lack of interest in the humanity of the survivors they’re discussing. The woman who told spoke to Babe.net about her experience with Aziz Ansari deserved better than what she received from her partnership with inexperienced journalists. The very real women who fear career backlash or exclusion from their fields deserve better than to have all nuance removed from the quotes of their colleagues.

We’ve heard the arguments that all crimes and forms of misconduct are getting lumped together, that the #MeToo movement doesn’t respect nuance or circumstance. But this backlash, like so many things, is designed to protect the men in question.

As we keep saying, women know the difference between rape and harassment, between a ‘Weinstein” and an “Aziz.” Most of us have lifelong experience discerning the different types of creepy men in our lives; we know where the differences lie.

Reporters covering these stories need to make sure they do justice to the victims coming forward to tell them. And as the backlashers lament the “lives ruined” by a potential lack of care an nuance in how these stories are covered, they could at least ask if they’ve thought about whether that concern extends to the survivors at their center.

(image: Shutterstock)

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This Video Hilariously Imagines Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek

Our friends in geekery over at Nerdist have put together a speculative Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek, using existing footage from the original series.

While I’ve joked in the past about how Tarantino’s Star Trek movie will finally let Bones swear a blue streak and see Kirk and Spock making heads explode with well-aimed lasers, Nerdist took all of the Tarantino tropes and ran with ’em at warp speed.

As funny as this is, what’s remarkable to me is just how much viable footage from TOS there was to mashup for this parody. I’ve watched the entirety of the original series several times, but even I’d forgotten about the proliferation of machine guns, Nazis, and Kirk and Spock in Pulp Fiction-esque suits that makes this work so well. This video is the product of a mind that knows its Star Trek and its Tarantino well.

While the mashup is all a wonderful in-joke, the real, R-rated Tarantino Star Trek is bound to use some of the director’s trademark motifs. And since Tarantino has expressed his admiration of Star Trek time travel episodes, the parody could be more on the money than not. Who knows where and when he could end up taking us?

(via Nerdist, image: screengrab)

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What’s Your Current Fandom, and Why?

Let’s check in with what we’re obsessing over at the moment.

By its broader definition of “the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something,” the word fandom is pretty inclusive: using this metric, most people would qualify as being in a fandom. But it takes on different connotations for those of us who become so devoted to a media property—or band, or sport, or comic, or videogame—that we devote a good deal of our free time to talking about it with like-minded people, creating transformative works around it, and lining our desk with related Funko figurines.

It’s been a minute since I had an all-encompassing fandom obsession that took over my brain to the exclusion of all else, but right now I’d say that I spend the most time in MCU fan circles and consuming the fanworks that emerge therein. It always boggles my mind how much effort and artistry so many people put in out of sheer love: gifmakers who have high-quality gifsets ready in what feels like 10 seconds after a trailer’s debut, meta-writers who break down histories and generate theories for characters, fanfiction and fanartist creators who turn their talents to expanding the boundaries of canon.

I love finding talented creators and artists to share with you here on The Mary Sue, so I want to know what’s currently dominating your brain. Not to mention, since the commenters here tend to have excellent taste, this could really help me out in figuring out what to watch/read/play/listen to going forward.

According to Tumblr’s official fandometrics, a few of the currently most-reblogged and tagged and talked about “ships” and properties are things I’ve never heard of or seen go by in my own little corners of fandom.

Here are this week’s top ships, movies, TV shows, and videogames on Tumblr:

Are any of these your current faves, or is your attention somewhere else? Why and how did you fall in love with it? Talk to me in the comments. Link me to the good gifs.

(via fandommetrics, image: Marvel, fandommetrics)

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Reality romance rumours: What’s REALLY going on with Amber Davies and Pete Wicks after those kissing pics?

Here’s what’s happened so far…

TOWIE’s Pete Wicks has faced a load of speculation after whispers began circulating that he’s getting cosy with Love Island stunner Amber Davies.

But while the stars recently denied their supposed flirting, photos have now emerged online of the stars KISSING.

So it’s fair to say we’re all a little bit confused…

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It all started when the reality pair were spotted sharing a night out at celeb hotspot Sheesh in Chigwell last month.

#RocWednesdays … #SheeshGirls … #SheeshBoys …

A post shared by Sheesh Chigwell (@sheeshchigwell) on

Taking to her Instagram stories, a pal of the newly single duo had shared a fun video of the evenings happenings, in which Amber and Pete appeared to be getting along like a house on fire.

And Pete – who recently split with Megan McKenna – spurred speculation on further after he shared a Tweet suggesting he’d had a very good evening. Hmmm…

Unfortunately, 20-year-old Amber ruined all of our reality-couple dreams when she later hit back at the claims on social media.

More: ‘Absolutely amazing!’ TOWIE’s Pete Wicks praised by fans after heading overseas to shut down a dog farm

Sharing a funny GIF, the Love Island lady wrote: ‘Waiting for the day you can chat to the opposite sex without it being a new current love interest’.

However, the rumour mill has started all over again this week after the pair were spotted looking very cosy as they enjoyed a break from the NTAs in the smoking area.

Amber was even seen with her arms affectionately on the Essex lads’ shoulder as they spoke. Interesting…

But a spokesman for Amber soon laughed off the romance rumours, telling Mirror Online: ‘They’re nothing more than friends and never have been.’

While Pete left his very own fiery Twitter message rubbishing speculation of ‘secret dates’. Eeek!

But in a final turn of events, pictures have now emerged online showing 29-year-old Pete and LI babe Amber KISSING.

In screenshots obtained by The Sun, Amber can be seen with her arm around Pete’s neck as he goes in for a kiss.

The snog was reportedly posted on Amber’s Instagram stories on January 4 but deleted just minutes later. Ooo er…

Pete and Amber are yet to comment on these cheeky snaps, but we have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this.

The post Reality romance rumours: What’s REALLY going on with Amber Davies and Pete Wicks after those kissing pics? appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Which celebs are rumoured to be joining the show?

We are SO excited

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will return as hosts of Strictly Come Dancing in 2015

So, it might have only been a few weeks since Joe McFadden lifted the Strictly Come Dancing trophy – but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about next years series, right?

OKAY we can admit it, we’re TOTAL keen Strictly beans.

Strictly Come Dancing

But it looks like we’re not the only ones, as the dancing rumours have already begun with whispers of who could be joining 2018’s star-studded series.

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With no official line-up being released until the end of the year (and that’s far too long) – we’ve pulled together all the famous faces we could maybe (hopefully) expect to see on our ol’ box next November.

Rumoured Strictly line up: Nadia Hussain

Since winning Great British Bake Off in 2015, Nadiya’s telly career has gone from strength to strength. She even baked for the Queen…

But now it looks like the baking champ could be about to trade her oven gloves for dancing shoes, as BBC bosses are reportedly desperate to sign her up for the show.

A Strictly source told The Sun: ‘Producers have openly said how much they would like to get Nadiya on the show.

‘Nadiya is a big fan and loved getting the star treatment at the weekend. They pulled out all the stops and made her feel at home.’

Rumoured Strictly line up: Ross Kemp

We might be used to seeing Ross Kemp playing Phil Mitchell’s hard-faced brother Grant on EastEnders, but could we be about to see him in a whole new light?

Yup, the actor-turned-documentary-maker confessed he almost took to the ballroom last year.

‘I have been asked before,’ he told The Sun.

‘I was going to do it. Then I got home from Camp Bastion after being shot at and thought: “No, don’t be so silly.”‘

And that’s not the first time he’s sparked excitement, after Ross previously told the Loose Women panellists: ‘Never say never.’ If that’s not a hint, we don’t know what is!

Rumoured Strictly line up: Samantha Womack

After her EastEnders character, Ronnie Mitchell drowned in a New Year’s Day storyline back in 2016 apparently Samantha is keen to star in Strictly’s next series.

‘Sam didn’t want to do Strictly while on EastEnders but now she has more time on her hands it was a very appealing offer’, a source told The Sun.

‘It’s too early for contracts but she’s keen and the show are keen so it’s pretty much a done deal.’

Rumoured Strictly line up: Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby fans have been desperate to see her on Strictly for years, and just a few weeks ago the mum-of-three revealed that she WILL do the show – but on one huge condition.

The presenter admitted live on This Morning that she’d take to the ballroom IF co-host Phillip Schofield agrees to enter the I’m A Celebrity jungle.

OKAY, this needs to happen…

Rumoured Strictly line up: Cheryl

It might be a bit of a stretch convincing Cheryl to learn the Salsa with Anton Du Beke, but if new head judge Shirley Ballas gets her way, the mum-of-one will be joining the line-up.

‘I think Cheryl Cole would be amazing’, the 57-year-old said. Agreed!

Rumoured Strictly line up: Gemma Collins

Remember when TOWIE star Gemma plunged into a trap door at the BBC Teen Awards? Of course you do – it’s literally iconic.

However, after seemingly gearing up to SUE the BBC following the onstage tumble, Gem hinted she might bring legal proceedings to a halt IF she’s given a spot on Strictly.

‘All will be forgiven with the BBC if they give me a slot on Strictly next year’, she told Ben Shephard on This Morning.

Although judge Craig Revel Horwood might have just scarpered our dreams of seeing Gem on the dancefloor, as he recently said the Essex babe wasn’t ‘high calibre’ enough for the show… ouch!

The post Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Which celebs are rumoured to be joining the show? appeared first on CelebsNow.

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‘Mums love to hate!’ Gaz Beadle’s girlfriend Emma McVey hits back after HUGE post baby weightloss sparks backlash

Emma has replied to her haters

Geordie Shore star Gaz Beadle and his girlfriend Emma McVey have been sharing some adorable snaps of their newborn baby Chester since becoming parents last week.

Seriously, check out their baby-filled Instagram pages ASAP…

But Emma’s latest mummy snap has caused quite the stir online after she was criticised for revealing she’s lost all her baby weight just 10 days after giving birth.

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Alongside a picture which showcases her slim figure while holding her adorable little one, Gaz’s girlfriend confessed to fans how she managed to shed almost two stone so quickly.

LINK IN BIO 🙋🏻 I’m back to my original weight and shape in 10 days! I swapped from my energy and maintenance shakes to the fat loss ones the past 7 days so a huge thank you to herbalife…this is one of the main reasons me and @gazgshore have decided to team up with them (don’t want him having a dad bod) 😜 I gained a total of 28lbs which was a good amount of weight for me and Chester who was 6lbs2. You all had so many questions about the shakes I posted and had throughout my pregnancy so I’ve decided to start sharing my journey with you alongside my healthy meals and snacks! THIS IS NOT A SHAKE ONLY DIET. I specifically had shakes for the nutrients and energy they gave me and of course the fat loss ones because who doesn’t want to get back to their original shape after pregnancy?! 🙋🏻 I still stuck to a balanced diet and ate 3 meals throughout the day from @prepfooduk 😋 follow the link in my bio to see all of the programmes including the fat loss one I’ve just done myself 🙌🏼 SAFE WHILST BREASTFEEDING 😍

A post shared by Emma McVey (@emma_jane1392) on

However, Emma’s post sparked controversy among her 505k followers, with some branding her message ‘irresponsible’, for ‘putting unnecessary pressure on new mums’.

More: Geordie Shore star Gaz Beadle announces baby boy’s adorable name

‘Not a realistic post to be honest, nor is this a positive thing to post for young idealist women who follow you. Sorry I never post negative responses but this has annoyed me’, slammed one user.

While another said: ‘This makes women who don’t ‘snap back’ feel like crap! Not being rude but these ‘celebrities’ also have help to hand as well as nutritionist and PTs not realistic for working class families either!’

Following the online backlash, 25-year-old Emma has now taken to Instagram with another message for her fans.

Sharing a clip of all the negative comments left on her post, the new mum wrote: ‘No I don’t post to make women feel rubbish. I post because I was asked numerous times what ingredients I use. Sorry for replying to people.’

She also added: ‘The mums living on chocolate and takeaways just love to hate’.

And it looks like her reality star boyfriend is also annoyed by the reaction to Emma’s weight loss, and according to The Sun he took to the comments section with a VERY fiery reply.

‘All the negative comments are coming from people who when pregnant used the excuse to eat everything under the sun because they were (eating for 2) had a kid then realised s**t I can’t shift this weight…’, Gaz reportedly wrote.

‘No one is saying bad stuff to you for feeding your baby unhealthy s**t throughout your pregnancy (take aways, chocolate, pizza) yet you hate on someone eating healthy throw there’s. Jesus.’

Before adding: ‘Women I will never understand you have all lost the plot… and it’s easy to lose that weight etc. It’s called not being lazy and doing something about it but if commenting on here makes you feel better then crack on. Rant over.’ Eeeek!

Let us know what you think @Celebsnow!

The post ‘Mums love to hate!’ Gaz Beadle’s girlfriend Emma McVey hits back after HUGE post baby weightloss sparks backlash appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Go Pricey! Katie Price set to take on HUGE challenge in wake of mum’s terminal illness

The glamour model is ‘proud’ to be doing this

Katie Price on ‘Loose Women’ TV show, London 4 January 2018

Katie Price is about to embark on a brand new challenge as she’s announced that she’s taking part in this year’s London Marathon in honour of her mum Amy.

The Loose Women star has decided to compete to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation following Amy’s diagnosis with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a terminal condition that causes scarring on the lungs which makes it difficult to breathe.

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MORE: Katie Price shares adorable video of Bunny as she reaches a BIG milestone

Katie, 39, was left devastated by the news of her mum’s illness and hopes to raise awareness through her fundraising task.

‘My mum means the world to me and the news of her diagnosis was a huge shock,’ the mum-of-five tells The Sun. ‘I am proud to be running the London Marathon to raise awareness and vital funds for the British Lung Foundation.

‘One in five people in the UK are affected by lung disease and millions more are at risk.

‘Running 26 miles may seem like a big challenge, but it is nothing compared to what my mum and others living with IPF and other lung conditions go through every day.’

Amy, 64, is very proud of her daughter for taking on the feat and hopes it will help to bring IPF into the spotlight.

‘Many people have never heard of the condition until they are diagnosed with it. This needs to change,’ she says. ‘I am so proud of Katie and her fundraising effort.’

This year’s London Marathon will take place on Sunday 22 April.

Fortunately Katie has some experience as she previously took part in the 2009 event with ex-husband Peter Andre, though had to struggle through it due to a knee injury.

Peter Andre and Katie Price in Celebrity London Marathon runners

It comes after the glamour model broke down in tears when discussing Amy’s condition during an emotional appearance on Loose Women last month.

Amy was given three to five years to live when she was diagnosed but Katie wept as she discussed how her mum’s condition had deteriorated.

‘My mum’s going to die and I just don’t want her to die,’ she tearfully said. ‘She’s getting worse. She’s having to sell her house now because she can’t get upstairs.’

However, Katie revealed when she returned to the show in January that she’s been having therapy to learn to cope with it all and is feeling more positive as a result.

Here at Now we’re sending lots of luck to Katie ahead of her fundraising challenge.

The post Go Pricey! Katie Price set to take on HUGE challenge in wake of mum’s terminal illness appeared first on CelebsNow.

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TOWIE NEWS! Chris Clark confirms show exit – but is his relationship to blame?

Chris has revealed the real reason why he’s been axed

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock (9141703y)
Chris Clark
‘The Only Way Is Essex’ TV show filming, The Old Regent Ballroom, Stanford-le-Hope, UK – 18 Oct 2017

TOWIE may have been off our screens for a few months, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped talking about it.

Nope, with filming set to kick off again soon in Essex, the rumour mill has been non stop as to which stars will be returning and which stars won’t… Eeek!

TOWIE news

But after we reported that Chris Clark wouldn’t be back on the popular ITVBe show, he’s now confirmed his exit putting it down to a ‘mutual’ decision between him and show producers.

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Speaking to OK! Online about the rumoured ‘cull’ of seven TOWIE cast members, 23-year-old Chris revealed he’s left on ‘good terms’ with bosses after two years and hinted that the door is ‘always open’ for him to make a comeback.

‘We have ended on such good terms, they have always said to me that the door is always open and there’s always that connection with my brother [Jon Clark],’ he said.

Blood is thicker than water and all that @jbclark_

A post shared by Chris Clark (@chrisjclark_) on

‘If he ever needed me, or he needed someone to comfort him in a scene, or anything like that, or if he’s having a tough time – I would be happy to!

More: OMG! Gemma Collins shares hilarious TOWIE throwback clips – and she looks SO different!

‘That’s nice about the fact it was mutual, because there was no dissing.

‘So the door is always open, I think if Jonathan ever needs me, I would be there for him – never say never!’

However, despite insisting that there’s no hard feelings between him and TOWIE bosses, the reality pro did hint that his relationship with fellow cast member Amber Dowding played a big part.

‘It’s very dramatic and it plays on people’s relationships, and I’m quite stable in my relationship with Amber’, he said.

‘We’ve just moved out and everything is going well. I just feel like I couldn’t bring anything else to the table, as in dramatically.’ Interesting…

And it looks like Amber and Chris aren’t the only stars to be shown the TOWIE door, as show favourites Mike Hassini, Jack Rigden, Jordan Brook, Maddie Hooper and Ruby Lacey are also thought to be leaving when filming starts up again in March.

We desperate to find out!

The post TOWIE NEWS! Chris Clark confirms show exit – but is his relationship to blame? appeared first on CelebsNow.

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#ChildhoodRuined: The Man Who Played Barney Is Now a Tantric Sex Therapist Who Helps Women Achieve “Mind-Blowing Orgasms”

The name David Joyner may not ring any bells, but the popular children’s TV character he played for over a decade sure will.

Joyner, who played Barney from 1991 to 2001 (FYI: Joyner dressed up in the costume and was responsible for Barney’s physical motions, while actor Bob West provided the voice), recently sat down with VICE for an interview, in which he revealed that he pays his bills these days by working as a “tantra massage specialist and spiritual healer.”

After Joyner left “Barney & Friends” in 2001, he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to act. He’s appeared on popular TV shows like “Shameless,” “That 70’s Show,” “24” and “The Young and the Restless.” According to Vice, he also graduated from ITT Technical Institute and worked as a software analyst for Texas Instruments.

Joyner, now 54, exclusively works with about 30 female clients he calls “goddesses” with the goal of fully releasing a woman’s “blocked energy.” A full session—which includes a ritual bath, chakra balancing and a massage that ends with “mind-blowing orgasms”—lasts between three and four hours and costs $350.

“When the lingam [penis] and the yoni [vagina] meet, there’s a certain energy that takes place that hands on the body alone cannot create,” Joyner, who focuses on about two to four women per week, told Vice. “Even through G-spot massage, it’s still not the same energy that flows.”

While Joyner’s new occupation seems like a far cry from anything we expected to hear about the man who once played Barney, Joyner says becoming a tantric sexual healer was a natural transition for him. In fact, Joyner says his tantric training came in handy when he would have to be in the 70 pound Barney costume, which could reach temperatures up to 120 degrees at times.

“A lot of the elements of Barney were a lot of the things I was training within tantra,” he explained. “I always said it was never an accident, and that I was meant to do this character. The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love. Everything stems, grows, and evolves from love. Even when you have emotionally blocked energy, the best way to remove it is to remove it with love, and then replace it with God’s divine love. Love heals and allows you to continue to grow.”

This takes the “I love you, you love me” song to a whole ‘nother level, right?

Joyner added, “Before I got into the [Barney] costume, I would pray and ask God to allow his loving divine spirit to flow through me through the costume and let that draw the kids. That energy would always draw them in. Children are more connected spiritually than [adults]. A lot of times when I see infants and I’m out and about at the grocery store or whatever, they start staring at me. I make the joke, ‘You know who I am.’”

The mission statement on his website tantraharmony.com states: “Connecting your mind, body and spirit together as one, in perfect harmony. Achieving a higher and more blissful state of awareness to your sexuality, and who you are as a spiritual being.”

Joyner says he doesn’t use condoms with his clients because they “block the energy,” though he routinely provides his STD test results to prospective clients, who are also asked to disclose any STDs in a signed consent form before their first session. According to other tantra coaches, however, these methods are highly unorthodox.

Kaya Kwan Yin, a tantra life coach with more than 100 hours of training who works primarily with male clients, says the idea that condoms could “block energy” sounds “shady” and “ridiculous.” She told Vice, “Tantric sex can happen with your clothes on. What typically looks like penis and vagina penetration is often referred to as ‘full union’ in contemporary practice. Sexual energy penetrates clothes, condoms, countries, and beyond. Having sex with clients in the world of tantra is more of an anomaly than the norm.”

Joyner, however, doesn’t share that belief with Yin. “Once the lingam is inside the yoni, there’s a technique where you don’t even move,” he said. “You’re harmonizing spiritually and consciously, as you’re looking into each other’s eyes, and you’re feeling each other’s energy take place. This is about energy moving up,” which he says goes beyond the realm of physical sex and into spiritual sex. “A lot of women have never really had spiritual sex,” Joyner said.

For those unfamiliar with tantra, Matthias Rose, a certified tantra educator with the Source School of Tantra and founder of the Moksha Tantra Center in Seattle, describes it as “a spiritual science of consciousness. Its goal is to liberate us from the unconscious programming that keeps us from recognizing the divinity in ourselves and all beings.” He added, “If there is corruption, it came about in the marketing of books, videos, and ultimately escort services that all began to use the word tantra as a shorthand for ‘mindful sexuality.’ Sex sells, so… there you have it.”

Rose says he “strongly” disagrees with Joyner’s method of tantra sex therapy. “I can’t say there’s never a place for intercourse; it’s part of the tantric toolset, but in a client/practitioner relationship, it’s almost always never needed—particularly for healing purposes.”

Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist and professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, also disagrees with Joyner’s practice, especially the fact that he has unprotected sex with his clients. “Even porn stars in California use a condom,” she says. “It’s the law. For him not to use condoms is medically unethical and irresponsible. This is outrageous and far outside the standard of care.”

Whatever Joyner is doing, his clients seem to be enjoying it.

From Vice:

Joyner began his current practice in 2004, and finds clients any number of ways, from word of mouth to converting women he’s met on Tinder into believers. He sees clients in their homes all over LA, from Brentwood to Long Beach to deep in the Valley—and even out of state. His website contains several “Goddess Testimonials,” each more breathless than the last in its effusive praise of Joyner and the benefits of sessions with him. Joyner says that before or during his initial consultation with a client, if he feels they’re not ready for, or can’t handle the spiritual experience—or are simply looking for a physical release—he will not take them on.

One client, Lisa, 50, who like Joyner’s other clients preferred to use a pseudonym to maintain privacy, said by phone that she found Joyner through Tinder. She had intercourse with him around the third session and described it as a “spiritual awakening.” She’s now been a client for three years. She says it took her a few sessions before she was comfortable enough with Joyner to have intercourse. “It wasn’t as if I felt like I had to have a full session to get there, but then again it was like, maybe I do,” she says. Lisa has also occasionally insisted that Joyner wear a condom when they have sex.

Another client, Indigo, 53, works as a nurse. She spends her life caring for others, she told VICE by phone, and considers her sessions with Joyner time to focus on herself. “I didn’t go all the way the first time, because he could feel my hesitation,” she says. “But after the first few sessions, I started to really let go.”

None of the three clients VICE spoke to, provided through Joyner, say they felt pressured or coerced into sex with Joyner, who also vehemently denies anything of the sort. Joyner has no claims filed against him for sexual harassment or coercion for sex in Los Angeles, according to a statement provided to VICE by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Now, you might be thinking, “This sounds like prostitution, and it can’t be legal, right?” In the state of California, massage with the intent of arousal is considered solicitation. So to protect himself, Joyner consulted with a police officer friend to help him write a contract that all of his potential clients are required to sign stating that they’re not law enforcement or part of a sting operation. Because the first session is free, the lack of money being exchanged constitutes legal consent, which, he contends, is his legal loophole.

But, according to California defense attorney Jonathan Kelman, the fact that Joyner charges for subsequent sessions means that if a client happened to complain to authorities, he could be charged with prostitution, if said session included intercourse or massage with the intent of arousal. “You can’t legally have sex with someone in exchange for money,” Kelman says. “If I have a client who gets arrested for exchanging a Big Mac for sex, that’s, by definition, prostitution.”

Joyner, however, is adamant that his practice is fully compliant with California law. “Not all of my sessions have sex or ‘spiritual intimacy.’ It’s only in the full sessions when someone is ready to take the sexual energy to a higher level,” he said. “Because then it’s about understanding that when the lingam and the yoni connect there’s a spiritual exchange that takes place, not physical pleasure. It’s not about sex or trying to coerce someone into having sex. It’s about removing emotionally blocked energy.”

Stephen White, the head writer of “Barney & Friends” from 1992 to 2005, told Vice he thought tantra sex therapy was an “interesting transition” for Joyner’s career, but added that he knew Joyner was a “very spiritual guy.”

White said, “When I found out the detail of what’s involved in tantra, I was surprised. I thought it was an interesting transition for Barney. It’s kind of still the ‘I love you, you love me’ deal, but different. I don’t judge or anything, but that’s a side of David I didn’t know.”

If after reading this you feel as though your childhood has been ruined because Barney is now having unprotected tantric sex with dozens of women who he considers “clients,” you’re probably not alone. However, Joyner has clearly moved on from his past as a children’s TV show character.

“Barney was beautiful. Barney was very, very good to me,” he said in an interview with Business Insider last year. “I loved being Barney. I loved everything about being Barney. But that chapter is gone.”

#ChildhoodRuined: The Man Who Played Barney Is Now a Tantric Sex Therapist Who Helps Women Achieve “Mind-Blowing Orgasms” is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor

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