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David Bierman 2021-06-29
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It's been a while since we had a serious new competitor in the webcam market, but Dell has plans to overthrow Logitech, Microsoft, and Razer.
collect
0
David Bierman 2021-03-28
img
A 22-hour flight and a two-week hotel quarantine showed me how Australia keeps COVID-19 in check, and what it means for the rest of us.
collect
0
David Bierman 2020-09-04
img
Transparent condom placed on banana. concept of sexual protection

You’re reading Sex Diaries, a HuffPost UK Personal series about how we are (or aren’t) having sex. To share your story, get in touch on [email protected]

Like so many people going through school in the Noughties, I got my sex education from playground rumours and science books – and, eventually, free porn. 

When we did have any classes, teachers would shuffle about at the front of classrooms, red-faced, waving around bananas and condoms. The (only) message they hammered home? Unless you want a baby or a mysterious disease, leave sex well alone. 

When sex was spoken about in the classroom it was always about the physical act of a man and a woman getting intimate and the possible implications of that (again: babies and STIs.) Pleasure and consent weren’t mentioned, and anything other than a penis penetrating a vagina wasn’t touched upon – not to mention LGBTQ+ relationships, which were, of course, entirely off the syllabus.

In truth, I always thought sex was something that was done to women. When you’re 14, curious, and immersed in a world of free porn where women are repeatedly told they’re going to be ‘fucked’, it’s hard not to think that way. It never occurred to me that as an active participant in my own sex life I deserved to enjoy it. 

I still remember the first time I kissed someone I didn’t want to – I was 16, and we were in the bathroom at a house party. Afterwards I debriefed with my friends and we came to the conclusion that it was probably fine, it was what he wanted, and we let the moment pass. When I left for uni and people would try and put their hand up my skirt in queues for the bar, I didn’t say anything either. It was ‘just what happened’ and I ‘should probably take it as a compliment’. When someone tried to touch me without my consent while I was sleeping at a friend’s house, I simply got up silently and moved away. 

Free porn taught us that sex is a performance – and that means finishing on demand so as not to hurt your partner’s feelings, whether it’s real or not.

I’m smart, independent, and pretty outspoken. I’ve called myself a feminist since I was old enough to pick up a Roxane Gay book. But looking back over the innumerable times that I’ve been touched without consent or gone along with getting with someone ‘because it’s the right thing to do’, I never connected that what I learned about sex growing up may have dictated how I engaged with intimacy as a teenager and adult. 

This month hopefully marks a change. From September, all secondary schools will be required to teach sex and relationship education. This is so much more than teaching pupils about where babies come from – so much changes during your formative years and while learning about safe sex and physical changes to your body is incredibly important, giving kids the knowledge and space to work out what’s acceptable, what consent looks like, and where to turn should they need help will make a massive difference in how they feel about their sexuality later down the line. 

Critics say there should be age restrictions on what students learn, as if there isn’t a whole world of free porn out there, accessible at the click of a mouse. However, when two thirds of young women and girls have experienced unwanted sexual attention or harassment in public places such as at bus stops, parks or on the street, giving them the power and knowledge to know that’s not acceptable and that they don’t have to put up with it is life-changing.

If sex education doesn’t change, then the weird attitudes towards consent and respect that I lived under won’t either. Behaviour is taught and it’s little surprise that one of the main things my friends were resolving not to do in 2020, as grown adults, was fake any more orgasms. Free porn taught us that sex is a performance – and that means finishing on demand so as not to hurt your partner’s feelings, whether it’s real or not. 

The shame, scariness, and embarrassment that I attached to sexuality is pretty much gone. I’m a prouder, more confident person for it.

The good news is there’s now an uprising of young sex educators, certified therapists, counsellors, and people who work in the sex industry who’ve basically stuck a middle finger up at the poor sex education many of us have received. Social media has become a haven of sex positivity, with people like Africa Brooke, Hannah Witton, Reed Amber, and Florence Bark teaching me that getting in touch with my sexuality might be messy and painful, but it’s also the most fulfilling thing I could do.

Undoing everything I learned about sex while growing up, and revisiting painful intimate experiences, hasn’t been a walk in the park. It sounds silly but I’ve literally read books on how to redefine sex, and ways to prioritise my pleasure. Thanks to all that, the shame, scariness, and embarrassment that I attached to sexuality is pretty much gone. I’m a prouder, more confident person for it.

But prevention is always better than a cure. If schools taught our kids about consent, pleasure, and the emotional side of getting intimate with someone it may save them the traumatic experiences of figuring it out themselves. I know first-hand what prioritising pleasure and consent can do for your confidence and sense of self. 

Alice Broster is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter at @alicebroster1

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

collect
0
David Bierman 2019-10-18
img

All those celebrity look-alikes you’ve been seeing on your timeline Thursday come courtesy of the internet’s latest collective obsession: Gradient, a barely week-old photo editing app that went viral after a few choice influences promoted this new feature on Instagram.

The whole thing feels like déjà vu of earlier this year when everyone was using FaceApp’s AI tech to morph the age of their selfies.

And while, unlike FaceApp, Gradient may not ask you to sign away the rights to your face, it still does some pretty shady shit.

Particularly where your bank account’s concerned.

One thing Gradient does manage to get right, though, is in exposing Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of the failed blood-testing company Theranos, for who she really is:

I mean, have you ever seen Holmes and Mark Zuckerberg in the same room at the same time?

collect
0
David Bierman 2021-05-28
img
Commentary: Chatter about the origins of COVID-19 has ramped up, as calls for investigation into the lab leak theory grow louder.
collect
0
David Bierman 2021-01-22
img
This week, we round up tips for staying organized, energized, and mostly sane as we all ride out the rest of the pandemic.
collect
0
David Bierman 2020-08-26
img
Kingdom Hearts returns with a new rhythm-action game featuring familiar tunes
collect
0
David Bierman 2019-10-11
img

Apple has officially begun testing a feature that allows users to explicitly opt out of sharing audio recordings to improve its Siri voice assistant.

The update — available as a beta for iPadOS 13.2, iOS 13.2, Apple tvOS 13.2, WatchOS 6.1, and MacOS 10.15.1 — will also make it easy to delete their Siri and Dictation history, allowing users to erase all the Siri data Apple has on its servers.

These new options can be accessed right from the Settings app:

Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Improve Siri & Dictation

Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History > Delete Siri & Dictation History

In addition to offering an explicit opt-in, Apple has promised that only employees, and not contractors, will be involved in reviewing the audio clips.

collect
0
David Bierman 2021-05-14
img
And that's (mostly) a good thing.
collect
0
David Bierman 2021-01-20
img
Bidets are more cost-effective, hygienic, and environmentally-friendly than toilet paper. Here are the best bidets in 2021.
collect
0
David Bierman 2020-08-18
img

It’s now been over a year since one of the most divisive finales in TV history, as Game Of Thrones’ controversial last series came to an end.

As you no doubt recall, those last few episodes split fans right down the middle, with some of the most disappointed even setting up a petition for the whole thing to be rewritten.

But while many cast members have spoken out to condemn the petition, former star Charles Dance has admitted he’d actually sign it himself.

The Bafta-nominated actor played Tywin Lannister in the first four seasons of the hit fantasy drama, until he was killed by his son Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) in the last episode of series four. 

Charles Dance in character as Tywin Lannister

Speaking to PopCulture.com, Charles revealed that he remained a Game Of Thrones fan long after his character was killed off, but was less than impressed with how the show concluded.

“Well if there was a petition, I would sign it,” he explained. “I mean, I saw it. I continued to watch the whole series even after I’d been killed off in the lavatory. Because I just thought it’s a fantastic television show, you know? I was very lucky to be part of it. I loved it; there were storylines [where] I wanted to know what was going to happen to these people.”

He continued: “I know that the finale satisfied a lot of people. It also disappointed a lot of people, and I’m afraid I am in the latter camp.”

Charles Dance at the premiere of The Crown last year

Charles added that while he feels executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss “raised the bar when it came to television screenplay writing”, he was ultimately “underwhelmed” by how things turned out.

He previously claimed he’d been left “confused” by the direction the shows took the writers in for its final series.

Since leaving Game Of Thrones, Charles played Lord Mountbatten in the most recent series of Netflix drama The Crown.

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0
David Bierman 2019-10-03

So, who populates this rogue’s gallery of polygonal evil-doers who cast long, menacing shadows across our PC monitor screens?

The story of his downfall is strikingly well-told in Blizzard’s epic RTS Warcraft III – don’t forget the ‘Reforged’ reboot is due soon – and it’s the engaging depiction of this fall from grace and slide into villainy which earns Arthas the honor of kicking-off our list.

And that seriously creepy voice, afflicted with an odd speech impediment, perfectly captures Karras’ unhinged nature, and when combined with the content of his religious ramblings about the builder and ‘cleansing’… for us, this made him a truly disturbing villain.

Her lines are brilliantly scripted, but what makes her interjections truly chilling is not just the frayed sanity of the content, but the sheer genius of her wavering, pitch-shifting, echoing and glitchy voice.

“It is my will that gave you your cybernetic implants, the only beauty in that meat you call a body.

This more-than-colorful character is the villainous star of Borderlands 2 and Tales from the Borderlands, and makes quite an impression.

collect
0
David Bierman 2021-05-05
img
Thinking about buying a wood-fired smart grill with Wi-Fi? Here are some things to consider based on my experience switching from a gas grill.
collect
0
David Bierman 2020-10-26
img
But wait—does that mean I'm addicted to the blocking software?
collect
0
David Bierman 2020-08-12
img
Since Facebook announced a ban on June 30, more than 100 new groups have formed
collect
0
David Bierman 2019-09-05
img

That was the verdict on social media in 2017, when the gathering was still new and Londoners were still new to the unexpected joys of being surrounded by fellow podcast obsessives.

And I certainly feel that same way about podcasting," says Zoë Jeyes, producer and programmer of the festival.

Ofcom found that 18.7% of people in the UK listened to a podcast every week in 2018.

And if you're prepared to go and see your favorite podcast recorded live?

The biggest American podcasts represented at the festival include The Cracked Podcast, the surreal Beef and Dairy Network, and Chris Gethard's Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People.

Homegrown shows on offer include Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, the award-winning Have You Heard George's Podcast?

collect
0
David Bierman 2021-06-29
img
It's been a while since we had a serious new competitor in the webcam market, but Dell has plans to overthrow Logitech, Microsoft, and Razer.
David Bierman 2021-05-14
img
And that's (mostly) a good thing.
David Bierman 2021-03-28
img
A 22-hour flight and a two-week hotel quarantine showed me how Australia keeps COVID-19 in check, and what it means for the rest of us.
David Bierman 2021-01-20
img
Bidets are more cost-effective, hygienic, and environmentally-friendly than toilet paper. Here are the best bidets in 2021.
David Bierman 2020-09-04
img
Transparent condom placed on banana. concept of sexual protection

You’re reading Sex Diaries, a HuffPost UK Personal series about how we are (or aren’t) having sex. To share your story, get in touch on [email protected]

Like so many people going through school in the Noughties, I got my sex education from playground rumours and science books – and, eventually, free porn. 

When we did have any classes, teachers would shuffle about at the front of classrooms, red-faced, waving around bananas and condoms. The (only) message they hammered home? Unless you want a baby or a mysterious disease, leave sex well alone. 

When sex was spoken about in the classroom it was always about the physical act of a man and a woman getting intimate and the possible implications of that (again: babies and STIs.) Pleasure and consent weren’t mentioned, and anything other than a penis penetrating a vagina wasn’t touched upon – not to mention LGBTQ+ relationships, which were, of course, entirely off the syllabus.

In truth, I always thought sex was something that was done to women. When you’re 14, curious, and immersed in a world of free porn where women are repeatedly told they’re going to be ‘fucked’, it’s hard not to think that way. It never occurred to me that as an active participant in my own sex life I deserved to enjoy it. 

I still remember the first time I kissed someone I didn’t want to – I was 16, and we were in the bathroom at a house party. Afterwards I debriefed with my friends and we came to the conclusion that it was probably fine, it was what he wanted, and we let the moment pass. When I left for uni and people would try and put their hand up my skirt in queues for the bar, I didn’t say anything either. It was ‘just what happened’ and I ‘should probably take it as a compliment’. When someone tried to touch me without my consent while I was sleeping at a friend’s house, I simply got up silently and moved away. 

Free porn taught us that sex is a performance – and that means finishing on demand so as not to hurt your partner’s feelings, whether it’s real or not.

I’m smart, independent, and pretty outspoken. I’ve called myself a feminist since I was old enough to pick up a Roxane Gay book. But looking back over the innumerable times that I’ve been touched without consent or gone along with getting with someone ‘because it’s the right thing to do’, I never connected that what I learned about sex growing up may have dictated how I engaged with intimacy as a teenager and adult. 

This month hopefully marks a change. From September, all secondary schools will be required to teach sex and relationship education. This is so much more than teaching pupils about where babies come from – so much changes during your formative years and while learning about safe sex and physical changes to your body is incredibly important, giving kids the knowledge and space to work out what’s acceptable, what consent looks like, and where to turn should they need help will make a massive difference in how they feel about their sexuality later down the line. 

Critics say there should be age restrictions on what students learn, as if there isn’t a whole world of free porn out there, accessible at the click of a mouse. However, when two thirds of young women and girls have experienced unwanted sexual attention or harassment in public places such as at bus stops, parks or on the street, giving them the power and knowledge to know that’s not acceptable and that they don’t have to put up with it is life-changing.

If sex education doesn’t change, then the weird attitudes towards consent and respect that I lived under won’t either. Behaviour is taught and it’s little surprise that one of the main things my friends were resolving not to do in 2020, as grown adults, was fake any more orgasms. Free porn taught us that sex is a performance – and that means finishing on demand so as not to hurt your partner’s feelings, whether it’s real or not. 

The shame, scariness, and embarrassment that I attached to sexuality is pretty much gone. I’m a prouder, more confident person for it.

The good news is there’s now an uprising of young sex educators, certified therapists, counsellors, and people who work in the sex industry who’ve basically stuck a middle finger up at the poor sex education many of us have received. Social media has become a haven of sex positivity, with people like Africa Brooke, Hannah Witton, Reed Amber, and Florence Bark teaching me that getting in touch with my sexuality might be messy and painful, but it’s also the most fulfilling thing I could do.

Undoing everything I learned about sex while growing up, and revisiting painful intimate experiences, hasn’t been a walk in the park. It sounds silly but I’ve literally read books on how to redefine sex, and ways to prioritise my pleasure. Thanks to all that, the shame, scariness, and embarrassment that I attached to sexuality is pretty much gone. I’m a prouder, more confident person for it.

But prevention is always better than a cure. If schools taught our kids about consent, pleasure, and the emotional side of getting intimate with someone it may save them the traumatic experiences of figuring it out themselves. I know first-hand what prioritising pleasure and consent can do for your confidence and sense of self. 

Alice Broster is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter at @alicebroster1

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

David Bierman 2020-08-18
img

It’s now been over a year since one of the most divisive finales in TV history, as Game Of Thrones’ controversial last series came to an end.

As you no doubt recall, those last few episodes split fans right down the middle, with some of the most disappointed even setting up a petition for the whole thing to be rewritten.

But while many cast members have spoken out to condemn the petition, former star Charles Dance has admitted he’d actually sign it himself.

The Bafta-nominated actor played Tywin Lannister in the first four seasons of the hit fantasy drama, until he was killed by his son Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) in the last episode of series four. 

Charles Dance in character as Tywin Lannister

Speaking to PopCulture.com, Charles revealed that he remained a Game Of Thrones fan long after his character was killed off, but was less than impressed with how the show concluded.

“Well if there was a petition, I would sign it,” he explained. “I mean, I saw it. I continued to watch the whole series even after I’d been killed off in the lavatory. Because I just thought it’s a fantastic television show, you know? I was very lucky to be part of it. I loved it; there were storylines [where] I wanted to know what was going to happen to these people.”

He continued: “I know that the finale satisfied a lot of people. It also disappointed a lot of people, and I’m afraid I am in the latter camp.”

Charles Dance at the premiere of The Crown last year

Charles added that while he feels executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss “raised the bar when it came to television screenplay writing”, he was ultimately “underwhelmed” by how things turned out.

He previously claimed he’d been left “confused” by the direction the shows took the writers in for its final series.

Since leaving Game Of Thrones, Charles played Lord Mountbatten in the most recent series of Netflix drama The Crown.

David Bierman 2019-10-18
img

All those celebrity look-alikes you’ve been seeing on your timeline Thursday come courtesy of the internet’s latest collective obsession: Gradient, a barely week-old photo editing app that went viral after a few choice influences promoted this new feature on Instagram.

The whole thing feels like déjà vu of earlier this year when everyone was using FaceApp’s AI tech to morph the age of their selfies.

And while, unlike FaceApp, Gradient may not ask you to sign away the rights to your face, it still does some pretty shady shit.

Particularly where your bank account’s concerned.

One thing Gradient does manage to get right, though, is in exposing Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of the failed blood-testing company Theranos, for who she really is:

I mean, have you ever seen Holmes and Mark Zuckerberg in the same room at the same time?

David Bierman 2019-10-03

So, who populates this rogue’s gallery of polygonal evil-doers who cast long, menacing shadows across our PC monitor screens?

The story of his downfall is strikingly well-told in Blizzard’s epic RTS Warcraft III – don’t forget the ‘Reforged’ reboot is due soon – and it’s the engaging depiction of this fall from grace and slide into villainy which earns Arthas the honor of kicking-off our list.

And that seriously creepy voice, afflicted with an odd speech impediment, perfectly captures Karras’ unhinged nature, and when combined with the content of his religious ramblings about the builder and ‘cleansing’… for us, this made him a truly disturbing villain.

Her lines are brilliantly scripted, but what makes her interjections truly chilling is not just the frayed sanity of the content, but the sheer genius of her wavering, pitch-shifting, echoing and glitchy voice.

“It is my will that gave you your cybernetic implants, the only beauty in that meat you call a body.

This more-than-colorful character is the villainous star of Borderlands 2 and Tales from the Borderlands, and makes quite an impression.

David Bierman 2021-05-28
img
Commentary: Chatter about the origins of COVID-19 has ramped up, as calls for investigation into the lab leak theory grow louder.
David Bierman 2021-05-05
img
Thinking about buying a wood-fired smart grill with Wi-Fi? Here are some things to consider based on my experience switching from a gas grill.
David Bierman 2021-01-22
img
This week, we round up tips for staying organized, energized, and mostly sane as we all ride out the rest of the pandemic.
David Bierman 2020-10-26
img
But wait—does that mean I'm addicted to the blocking software?
David Bierman 2020-08-26
img
Kingdom Hearts returns with a new rhythm-action game featuring familiar tunes
David Bierman 2020-08-12
img
Since Facebook announced a ban on June 30, more than 100 new groups have formed
David Bierman 2019-10-11
img

Apple has officially begun testing a feature that allows users to explicitly opt out of sharing audio recordings to improve its Siri voice assistant.

The update — available as a beta for iPadOS 13.2, iOS 13.2, Apple tvOS 13.2, WatchOS 6.1, and MacOS 10.15.1 — will also make it easy to delete their Siri and Dictation history, allowing users to erase all the Siri data Apple has on its servers.

These new options can be accessed right from the Settings app:

Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Improve Siri & Dictation

Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History > Delete Siri & Dictation History

In addition to offering an explicit opt-in, Apple has promised that only employees, and not contractors, will be involved in reviewing the audio clips.

David Bierman 2019-09-05
img

That was the verdict on social media in 2017, when the gathering was still new and Londoners were still new to the unexpected joys of being surrounded by fellow podcast obsessives.

And I certainly feel that same way about podcasting," says Zoë Jeyes, producer and programmer of the festival.

Ofcom found that 18.7% of people in the UK listened to a podcast every week in 2018.

And if you're prepared to go and see your favorite podcast recorded live?

The biggest American podcasts represented at the festival include The Cracked Podcast, the surreal Beef and Dairy Network, and Chris Gethard's Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People.

Homegrown shows on offer include Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, the award-winning Have You Heard George's Podcast?