The Art of Virtual Travel: A Sordid History of the Rocking Chair

Hunter Dukes

While moral and spiritual comfort arrived in English through Anglo-Norman, our sense of comfortable as being physically content, relaxed and reclined, appears in the late 18th century. Soon after, a type of French easy chair, the confortable, became popular at home and abroad. What made it cozy? The systematic use of springs, hidden beneath inflated upholstery. In the 1800s, it was still possible for J.C. Loudon to claim that “the effect of spiral springs as stuffing has been long known to men of science; but so little to upholsterers, that a patent for using them in stuffing was taken out, some years ago, as a new invention.”

The Story of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses: From Contraband to Masterpiece

Lee Polevoi

Modern-day readers of a novel published in 1922 and banned as “obscene” in Europe and America might legitimately wonder what all the fuss was about. Almost a century later, in a culture saturated by explicit references to sex, masturbation and everything in between, the international uproar over references to sex and bodily functions in James Joyce’s Ulysses seems hard to imagine. But, as Kevin Birmingham illustrates in his engagingly written “biography of a book,” the 720-page, epoch-defining work changed both the way novels are written and the way novels are read. 

For the Love of Money: Why Noel Biderman Banks on Infidelity

Stephanie Stark

Biderman is the founder and spokesperson for Ashley Madison, a website built to facilitate marital affairs, which is banned in South Korea and Singapore. A Toronto native with a degree in economics and a background as a sports attorney in the United States, Biderman comes off as extremely typical. He has a wife and two kids, and maintains that he is in a monogamous relationship-- and adds that there hasn’t been one interview where he has not had to answer that question. 

Miley Cyrus’ Sexual Politics

Mary Kinney

 Cyrus came from the world of Disney, growing up as Hannah Montana, and was supposedly contractually obligated to keep her hair long. The VMAs has historically been a breeding ground for “shocking” sexual stage work. Cyrus’s twerking was definitely sexual, but was it sexy? She came out of a bear and stuck her tongue out: the statement wasn’t sexy, but the gesture of sex in pop culture will, almost without fail, make audiences’ jaws drop

I Heart My App: Welcome to the World of Modern Dating

Gabriella Tutino

With the rise in popularity of mobile dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr, Lulu and others, this isn’t uncommon behavior. A 2013 PEW Internet study about online dating and relationships reported that 11 percent of American adults have used an online dating site or mobile app, 66 percent of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met online, and 23 percent of users have met a spouse or lifelong partner through online dating. 

Sex and the Syrian Revolution

Reem Haddad

The sheikh, who lived in Ain Tarma had urged everyone to Jihad, her husband told her, but Jihad apparently took on many faces. One could take arms and fight or one could help finance the fight and if neither were possible, then one could still do Jihad –”Jihad Al Nikah,” which translates roughly into English as sexual Jihad. One could and indeed should (for it was a God-ordained duty) marry the young widows of all the men who had lost their lives in the fight. 

Paul Janka and the Art of the Pick-Up

Evan Bleier

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Janka’s parents divorced when he was young. Somewhat of a wallflower in high school, Janka was raised primarily by his mother and had more success with swimming, soccer and studying than he did with the opposite sex. That’s all in the past. Now Janka is a recognizable face in the Pick-Up Artist community, a collection of alpha-male teachers, mentors and advisers all helping less confident men to answer one question: How can I have more sex with women?

Why the ‘Twilight’ Obsession Rages On (and On)

Rimpa Khangura

It’s not just a legend; these mysteriously mortiferous creatures really do exist, albeit in our book stores and movie theaters, but that is enough to spawn a billion-dollar-based industry. From Count Dracula to Edward Cullen, vampires have remained a mysterious source of intrigue amongst audiences.  But the real question on everyone’s mind is  why exactly the Twilight franchise is so popular?


From Ishtar to Harriette Wilson: A Scholarly Review of Prostitution Through the Ages

Rachael Jennings

What does it mean to be a “prostitute”? In terms of nomenclature, where are the distinguishing lines drawn, and where do societal representations, judgments and perceptions of “harlots” shift? When does seduction, service or servitude become the primary motivation for a woman/man of the night—and how, specifically, do different cultures remember or revere these individuals?

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