As the year winds down, we at Liberator took a moment to reflect on the past year—and it was a doozy. From twerking to Tindering, 2013 ushered in new ways to talk about, look at, and experience sex. We celebrated as marriages were made legal, media explored sexual ideas and depths, and the world as a whole began conversing about sex in open and exciting ways. Take a look back with us at some of the highlights of the year, from Miley to Measure B, and join us in our goal to make 2014 an even more sex-positive year.
LOVE IS LOVE, NOW PROVEN IN COURT
Love and equality were celebrated internationally as same-sex marriage became legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia, as well as sixteen countries. In addition, DOMA was struck down, Prop 8 was repelled, and the President used the phrase “our gay brothers and sisters” in his inaugural address.
POLITICIANS CONTINUE TO THINK WITH THEIR OTHER HEADS
Taking the idea that if ‘you’ve got it, flaunt it’ too far yet again, Anthony Weiner found himself at the center of another sexting scandal, which would eventually cost him the race for Mayor of New York.
A SENATOR FROM TEXAS AND HER TENNIS SHOES MAKE HISTORY
On June 25, 2013, Wendy Davis held an eleven-hour long filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, legislation that would create new abortion regulations in Texas. The filibuster played a major role in Senate Democrats’ efforts to delay passage of the bill beyond the midnight deadline for the end of the legislative session. In October of that year, she announced she would run for Governor of Texas in the 2014 election.
THE POPE TAKES THE PRESSURE OFF
Pope Francis commented that the Catholic Church is obsessed with abortion, same-sex marriage, and birth control, stating that “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” and that the church should focus on other issues, such as helping the sick and impoverished.
GERMANY EMBRACES THE MIDDLE SEX
Germany offered a third gender option for birth certificates. Now parents can opt for the term “intersex” to describe those children who are born of physically indeterminate gender.
THOSE WITH SEX TAPES CAN BREATH EASIER
California passed a law making “revenge porn” illegal, which is when an angry ex-posts nude picture on the internet for the purpose of public shaming.
HIV SCARE SHOCKS THE PORN INDUSTRY
The porn industry was shut down three times this year, once due to an actor lying about testing positive for syphilis that caused a three-week halt on all production, and twice more after four actors tested positive for HIV during routine screenings.
LESBIANS ARE THE NEW BLACK
Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black” also gave viewers lesbian sex to talk about, adding steamy drama and shower scenes to America’s queues.
SAFE SEX BECAME SEXIER
“Measure B,” a Los Angeles County ordinance “requiring producers of adult films to obtain a County public health permit” and for “adult film performers to use condoms while engaged in sex acts” was put into effect this year, much to the chagrin of those in the porn industry.
LIBRARIES MAKE US HOT, TOO
The UK has decided that all ISPs must deploy opt-in pornography filters so that children are not by chance or mishap exposed to “legal hardcore porn” in the words of the Prime Minister, David Cameron. However, the filters have had disastrous results, including blocking the websites of the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and several websites of Parliment members and politicians. The actual websites featuring porn, however, have found a way to get through, and a third-party extension has already been released for Chrome that disables the filter, appropriately named “Go Away Cameron.”
SEX EDUCATION GETS AN ADVOCATE
Elizabeth Smart published her memoir “My Story” and has come out against abstinence-only sex education, saying that she was taught that having sex made you a “chewed-up piece of gum” and that “nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away. And that’s how easy it is to feel you no longer have worth.”
BIGFOOT GETS NO LOVE
Amazon takes a stand against “monster porn,” sending such titles as Cum For Bigfoot and Milked by Aliens back to “draft mode” within their online self-publishing platform until the books met certain content guidelines.
BUT THAT T-REX IS LOOKING PRETTY GOOD
In the realm of disturbing fiction, dinosaur erotica hit shelves without a hint of irony.
BLUE IS ALSO THE HOTTEST COLOR
The film Blue Is the Warmest Color, starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, made headline news with its extended lesbian love scenes and revelations of on-set drama. Graphic novelist Julie Maroh, whose book the film is based on, was blunt in her denouncement: “It appears to me this was what was missing on the set: lesbians.”
Showtime’sMasters of Sexmade the lives and research of the pioneering William Masters and Virginia Johnson duo into prime-time viewing. Their research into human sexuality opened up the dialog for frank discussions on what goes on in the bedroom.
PORN ACTOR GOES MAINSTREAM
Lindsay Lohan and porn actor James Deen starred together in The Canyons, an erotic thriller-drama film directed by Paul Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis. The result was not well-received, but Lohan did receive some praise from critics for her performance.
CHRISTIAN GREY COMES TO LIFE
FIfty Shades of Grey started filming, after an unceremonious cast-change of the leading man. Housewives everywhere rejoiced.
WOMEN’S MASTURBATION STILL TOO MUCH FOR TV
Reign, a CW drama about the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots, cut out a scene depicting female masturbation because it was considered too scandalous.
TEEN MOM BECOMES PORN MOM
Farrah Abraham, reality TV star of Teen Mom, released the porn Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom, shot with James Deen. Abraham tried to pretend the video was leaked and that she’s been dating Deen, but the lie was quickly squelched.
THE LEGEND LIVES
Ron Jeremy, an adult film actor ranked by AVN at number one in their “The 50 Top Porn Stars of All Time” list, suffered an aneurysm near his heart and underwent an operation that nearly killed him.
MAKING FRIENDS IN THE DIGITAL AGE
2013 saw a slew of hookup apps, like Tinder and Pure, which allow users to connect with and chat up potential partners who also have the app in their area. Down, which changed its name from Bang With Friends after a trademark dispute with Zynga, managed to secure $1 million in funding. Spreadsheets claim it’ll help you measure your sex life, but what it really measures is how loud you are in bed.
NUDE PICS SURFACE FOR YET ANOTHER DISNEY STAR
Former Disney Channel star Dylan Sprouse had nude photos of himself leaked onto the internet by a third party. Rather than denying the photos, he admitted publicly that he made a mistake in trusting this third party and joked that he was getting the nudes on a T-shirt for himself.
KEEP IT ON THE FIELD, PLAYER
AJ McCarron played an impressive game at the BCS championship in January, but it was his girlfriend, Katherine Webb, that got all the attention. ESPN announcer Brent Musburger was criticized for his on-air fawning over Webb after he called her a “beautiful woman” when the cameras focused on her on in the stands.
2013: THE YEAR OF THE TWERK
And, of course, Miley Cyrus twerked and wrecked her way through the year, creating a new image for herself and causing a nationwide discussion about slut-shaming.