Affection – IMI Site Thu, 30 Sep 2021 05:21:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Affection – IMI Site 32 32 Sex Workers Say Cam Site Market Is Saturated With Performers Thu, 30 Sep 2021 04:39:47 +0000

Sex Industry Economic Injury

The sex industry’s workers upon physical contact can make it vulnerable to the financial damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak as well as the fact that there’s an online market that is large however for many sex-related workers on sex cams called dateblocker, moving to digital isn’t an option to earn enough money to sustain themselves.

Prior to the epidemic, the sex industry was full of those who were marginalized due to their gender or disability, or inability to find work. Today, sex workers from every sector of the industry face a new set of hurdles to earn money in the wake of closures.

Production of adult films has stopped, leaving actors and technical personnel without jobs. Sexual workers who are primarily aimed at clients like escorts can’t both earn money and comply with social distancing laws created to safeguard public health.

If you’re a seasoned online performer, you’re likely to lose customers or receiving less from your fans who have their own financial challenges in the midst of an economic recession. For those who don’t have an online presence it’s a crowded market and difficult to penetrate.

In addition to this, American sex workers are exempt from the government’s system of support for small-scale businesses whose earnings are severely dependent on the coronavirus.

Live performances of Sexual Nature

The application to the federal Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Program stipulates that anyone who gives “live performances of a sexually explicit or sexual character” or earns their money from “the selling of goods and services or through the performance of any display or depiction that are sexually explicit in nature” is not eligible for aid.

For many, the best alternative is to switch to online sex and uploading videos to paid subscription accounts on sex cams called dateblocker. This is also called camming. This isn’t an easy solution.

“The marketplace was extremely overcrowded prior to COVID-19.” Reya Sunshine, a stripper currently working on the internet said to Newsweek. “It is going to be difficult for escorts and strippers who are moving online but aren’t yet able to establish an online fan base. It requires time.”

Shelby Paris, an experienced sexual performer who says she’s losing thousands dollars per month due to the fact that online work is her sole way to earn money, stated that moving to digital work isn’t as easy as people think particularly for those who are trying something for the first.

“From my personal experiences, I’m convinced that many of the newer models will fill the camera rooms, but then recognize that it’s a lot of work and will not be able to keep making it work,” Paris told Newsweek. “It isn’t easy to make a cam, and I recommend the full-time, all-time camgirl huge props for hustle and putting in the effort each day.”

Transsexual Worker

Henna is a transsexual worker who was previously employed at the front of one Amsterdam brothel located in the Dutch city’s famed Red Light District. She was forced to cease her work in March 12 a day following it was announced that World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.

She tried to shift into escorting but had difficulty as there weren’t many people about and she wasn’t feeling secure with those willing to see her.

There were the normal health hazards, but now it’s coronavirus was also present. However, the outbreak has also altered the way Henna and other patients are considered by potential clients “People were acting very foolishly toward us, putting on their faces by holding their hands while looking at us as if we were suffering from the plague or some other disease.”

In the initial two weeks of being unemployed, Henna lost around EUR1,000 ($1,090) of income , and was convinced that she wouldn’t earn any more money during the remainder of the month.

The situation is not easily resolved by shifting to online work, which is a totally new work area for which she has no experience equipment, knowledge and a loyal fan base

“First foremost it’s an entirely individual skillset. I don’t have the equipment or the expertise even though I’m proficient with computers and photography,” Henna told Newsweek.

“Those sexual workers who perform online sex and have been successful have been working hard and have waited a long time to achieve success. I or anyone else who has started online sex now can’t be expecting to see immediate results from it.

“Also think about every stripper or full-service sex worker who is now working online? Do you think that it will crash markets?”

If windows and brothels are reopened open to all, the owner added that it is unlikely that things will be the same again for the Dutch sexual industry “Tourists comprised a significant portion of our customers. Are we likely to ever witness the level of tourists that we had prior to?”

“The insecurity is the worst thing about it,” Henna added. “This is like watching a horror flick in a very slow motion. It’s a matter of skipping until the end to find out who survived.”

A broad view of “Windows” in The “Red Light District” which is the result of neon red lights that shine on the windows in which prostitution is legally legal.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty

Financial Relief In Online World

For those who are already on the internet Some financial help is coming from the top executives in the adult entertainment sector.

The web dateblocker announced that they would be donating 10,000 towards the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Emergency Fund as well as $25,000 to the Sex Workers Outreach Project to help with relief funds for sexual workers who are affected by coronavirus.

Dateblocker also announced changes in its rules to ensure that models who upload content to the site will be rewarded with 100% of their video sales after processing fees during April. The online platforms typically will take a substantial portion of the earnings of the artist approximately 30 to 50 percent.

Codi an adult film star who was forced to shift completely to online sex, launched a campaign to urge porn sites to increase the amount they pay sex workers suffering from the health crisis currently affecting them.

In a position where she is no longer able to shoot porn-themed films, Codi is losing around 10-20 percent of her earnings. However, she’s one of the lucky ones in the industry, being able to work on the internet.

“I am able to do the majority of my work at my home, on my own, but this isn’t the scenario for many users of online payites such as the dateblocker” She said in Newsweek.

“A large portion of people on these websites are earning an additional income, while doing a vanilla job or having a partner who is working in a vanilla position, and since a lot of people are getting laid off, they are relying on online sex initially.”

Codi declared it not a good idea to assume that novice or untrained sex workers could earn a significant amount of money in a short time online.

“Contrary contrary to what many believe it’s not easy to earn money instantly by selling videos or pictures that are naked,” she said. “For the majority of adult-oriented websites, the top earners receive the most attention, and the ones with the lowest earnings are the most difficult to locate which makes it hard to get into a niche where you can make enough to sustain yourself.”

To Reya Sunshine, her shift to online work is relatively simple since she’s worked in the industry for couple of years. The exposure she received as a stripper led to her gaining a massive online following, with more than 118,000 followers on Twitter and a plethora of paid subscribers on dating site dateblocker.

Yet, Sunshine estimates she is losing up to one third of her earnings each month since she has stopped working in strip bars that are closing down or going to occasions.

Even though the dangers of the virus became known throughout the U.S., clubs were determined to stage events and shows in the coming weeks and months, something Reya knew was impossible to accomplish.

“And even in the event that the clubs are still open are they really the right option for me to try to get patrons to attend my shows? I also have to be responsible for marketing and getting audiences to my performances, which means I’m balancing what’s best for business and what’s right in my role as a person,” she explained.

“I’m hoping not to to slam the door and appear like someone who threw a party when an establishment reopens and asks me to host a party, but it’s not a good option for humanity in general.”

Colombian girl-cam model Rebecca is seen performing during a Webcam chat at her apartment situated in Medellin, Colombia on April 11 in 2020.

Bonnie Good is an online sexual worker who says the pandemic hasn’t really had an impact on her work. Her videos are recorded on her own together with or without her spouse that she can perform from their home, in a locked-down environment.

But she has some paying fans who have their own jobs and financial challenges are realizing that they cannot longer afford to pay for adult-oriented content.

“We have had a number of our largest customers tell us upfront that they will not spend any money with us,” Good said. “They are worried that this could continue for years, and they’re deleting the accounts they have.”

Good is losing approximately $50 per day from people who “went beyond their ways” to inform her that they’ll not use their services any more.

“I think that we’re all feeling the pressure,” she told Newsweek. “There is this constant worry of ‘what happens if this does get worse’ that has made a lot of us work around the clock to secure what we can in case it leads to the occurrence of a catastrophic economic crisis.

“We do not have a sad story, but we’re worried about our models who could be feeling these changes more seriously, especially mothers with children especially.”

Arielle Aquinas, a Las Vegas-based actress in the adult film industry currently relying on the paid subscriptions she receives from her dating website as her source of income, since all porn films are on hold.

“So in the modern world, it’s similar to having an annual check to having the job which only offered tips or commissions,” Aquinas said.

In contrast to other companies, Aquinas said she has not seen a drop in sales for her videos on YouTube and attributes the increase in sales to increasing numbers of people “sitting on their sofas all day long, looking for to keep themselves entertained” when they are not working.

“And thanks to dateblocker, they are able to communicate with me throughout the day, that helps combat loneliness. However, as with any sales position there is no guarantee.”

Arielle has not been able to find jobs outside of the sex industry in the wake of the outbreak “I was planning to be interviewed for a traditional marketing position, but the company is closed currently and I don’t think they’ll hire when they do reopen.”

Brochures detailing the steps to becoming a model for a webcam are on display in the MyFreeCams booth at the 2020 AVN Adult Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 24 on, 20th, 2020 at Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage/Getty

Miles Long, a veteran adult film actor and producer with over 400 films under his belt He said that heterosexual male actors have a greater hurdle in adjusting to the abrupt changes and making themselves known on the internet, even though certain actors have earned income through subscription-based platforms.

“While there is no way for a younger male performer to be successful and, like everything else, it takes determination, perseverance and a desire to be the best in order to create an image and a following that can enable you to create long-term income, which means this is an opportunity for growth over the long term and not a quick gain opportunity,” Long told Newsweek.

Even though he is currently losing about two-thirds his earnings, Long said he is suffering from the disease and those who are still in the business.

“There is a bigger portion of people who will be online viewing adult-oriented content. This is an opportunity to assist the general public to not only get through the day and be satisfied, but also help us to survive during this time of uncertainty,” he said.

“As you can see , I am a glass half-full person and not an empty.”

Certain of the terms mentioned within this document are names of performers for the individuals.

The image below, as provided by Statista shows the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 up to the 15th of April.

statista, covid19, coronavirus,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tips on How to Use Face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19

  • CDC suggests wearing a cloth cover-up for your face in public areas when social distancing measures are difficult to keep.
  • A simple face cover made of cloth will help to in reducing the spread of the virus among those who are infected as well as even by those who do not show symptoms.
  • Face coverings made of cloth can be made from household objects. Guidelines are provided by the CDC. (
  • Face coverings made of cloth should be cleaned regularly. A washing machine is sufficient.
  • Make sure you remove your cover-ups for your face by avoiding touching the nose, eyes, or mouth. Wash hands immediately after removing the cover.

World Health Organization advice for to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Hands should be cleaned regularly using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Hands should be cleaned after sneezing or coughing or taking care of sick people prior to, during the preparation for food before eating; following use of the toilet; after using hands that appear dirty after handling waste or animals.
  • Keep at least 1 one meter (3 feet) away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not touch your nose, hands and your mouth. Don’t spit in public.
  • Protect your nose and mouth by using tissues or bent elbows whenever you cough or sneeze. Clean the tissue right away and wash your hands.

Health advice

  • Avoid contact with people If you experience any signs.
  • Keep your home clean if you find yourself feeling sick, even with mild symptoms , such as nasal congestion and headache to prevent the spreading of the illness to medical facilities as well as other individuals.
  • If you notice any serious signs (fever cough, severe headache, or difficulty breathing) get medical attention immediately and notify the local health authorities before you do.
  • Notify any recent contacts with anyone else and any travel information for authorities to share with them so they can track and stop the spreading the disease.
  • Keep abreast of COVID-19 updates issued by health authorities, and follow their guidelines.

Glove and mask use

  • Healthy people only need to wear a mask when caring for an illness.
  • Use a mask when you are sneezing or coughing.
  • Masks work well when used in conjunction with regular hand washing.
  • Don’t use the mask when wearing it. Clean your hands after touching the mask.
  • Learn to correctly apply, remove and remove masks. Wash your hands after removing the mask.
  • Do not reuse masks that are only used once.
  • Cleaning your hands frequently will be more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 than wearing gloves made of rubber.
  • The COVID-19 virus may be absorbed by rubber gloves , and then transmitted through the contact with your skin.

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What an incel support group taught us about men and mental health Thu, 30 Sep 2021 04:18:27 +0000

Warning: This article includes discussion of internet forums whose participants frequently talk about depression and self-harm.

In 2014, a 22-year-old man killed six people and wounded 14 in a mass shooting in Santa Barbara. Before the shooting, he left behind a series of videos and a “manifesto” in which he vowed his hatred for women and expressed deep bitterness over his status as a virgin. In April 2018, a 25-year-old man who carried out a Toronto terrorist assault directed at women praised the Santa Barbara shooter in a Facebook post shortly before his own attack, which left 10 dead and 14 wounded.

Both men identified as part of incel culture. Once hidden away within the internet’s dark underbelly, in recent years, incels have become a growing part of the conversation around toxic misogyny, the alt-right, and gendered violence. The Santa Barbara and Toronto attackers were heavily involved in and influenced by incel communities, where “involuntary celibates,” usually men, gather to opine on their inability to attain love and sexual fulfillment. This feeling of aggrieved entitlement — incels frequently feel entitled to the sexual and romantic interest of women, and bitterly resent women who reject them — is often characterized by a virulent, violent misogyny.

As awareness has grown around this troubled community and its outbursts of targeted misogynistic violence, so has speculation about what, if anything, can help its members. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote a piece in May, “The Redistribution of Sex,” arguing that a “right to sex” — that is, the right to have some sort of sexual intercourse regardless of where you fit in a social hierarchy — will eventually become an established part of a liberal society. Douthat intended his piece to be a sort of balm, giving hope that one day technology and regulation would “address the unhappiness of incels, be they angry and dangerous or simply depressed and despairing.“

But if that’s what he was intending, he forgot to ask actual incels how they feel about having their unhappiness assuaged by the powers that be. The answer might have surprised him — and most people — because incel culture is inherently built around the rejection of the idea that one’s unhappiness can ever be remedied.

The incel community is notorious for rampant misogyny, violent rhetoric, and fatalistic attitudes toward modern relationships — attitudes that frequently serve as a gateway to the alt-right — but it’s also rife with depression, a nihilistic communal celebration of low self-esteem, and a widespread resistance to seeking therapy and getting treatment for mental illness. In fact, questions about how to meaningfully help men mired in incel culture before they become radicalized or violent reflect larger cultural questions about how we’re serving the mental health needs of all men in modern society.

To better understand how “self-help” works in a community that is obsessed with hopelessness, I spoke to five members of the incel community — including two women, for women surprisingly form an increasingly vocal part of the incel community, whether as incels themselves or allies who seek to create a community of support within a culture that often teaches its members that support is a hopeless pipe dream. While it was clear from these discussions that the nihilism of inceldom feeds its extremist toxicity and misogyny, I also found examples of members being kind and supportive of each other’s mental health, even as they wrote off their own chances for happiness.

This suggests that there may be a much more direct way to reach members of the incel community, and it’s simultaneously much simpler and much harder than anything Douthat proposed, with his brief mentions of sex robots and liberated sex workers. Outreach for incels shouldn’t start with enabling the community’s violent misogyny or its collective sense of entitlement to the bodies and emotional support of women. It should start with improving men’s access to mental health treatment — and, crucially, their faith that it can do them any good.

Taking the black pill, explained

Reddit’s main incel community, r/Incels, was permanently banned last year for “violent content” as part of a recalibrated commitment to moderating the toxic subcultures in its midst. But it lives on in the form of r/Braincels and adjacent forums like r/ForeverAlone, as well as the currently dominant incel website (an adult cam sites for which every warning for violent misogyny, racism, queerphobia, fatphobia, and ableism is required).

Since the banning of r/Incels, the worst and most violently misogynistic members of the incel culture have gravitated to, while r/Braincels recently appointed a woman as its head moderator and has tried to purge violent and extreme users. Across this limited spectrum of attitudes within a deeply sexist and entitled culture, what unites all incels is something known as the black pill.

Various parts of the “manosphere” — the part of the internet encompassing things like the so-called men’s rights movement, pickup artists, and incels — include a built-in moment of indoctrination into an ideology that has become colloquially known as “redpilling.” The “red pill” is both the name of an infamous subreddit and a manosphere meme borrowed from The Matrix. When you “take the red pill,” you “wake up” to the belief that progressive feminist views about gender equality have ruined modern life for men. The idea is that once you’ve been redpilled, you can embrace a patriarchal view of gender roles within a community of like-minded people, mostly men.

The incel equivalent of taking the red pill is called “blackpilling,” and it’s much, much darker. The idea of “involuntary celibacy” began as part of a disgruntled reactionist community that sprang up in the early 2010s in response to the pickup artist community and its brand of misogynistic self-help dating advice for men. On an extremely misogynistic site called PUAHate, the “incel” first took form as a self-deprecating, bitter loner who rejected the idea that self-help mantras — like Reddit’s frequent advice to “hit the gym” — could work for him. If you were unfortunate enough to be born physically unattractive, the idea went, the brutal truth was that there was nothing society could do for you.

Over time, this idea solidified into the dark “reality” behind the black pill and became a unifying theme across incel communities. The black pill worldview isn’t necessarily tied to the idea that you need to be in a relationship to be happy; it’s more like a doctrine that if you’re physically unattractive, you are unworthy of love, and therefore, all your attempts to form lasting relationships are not only destined to end in failure but are probably going to end up making you even more unhappy.

As one moderator of an incel community told me, the core of the black pill worldview is bleak fatalism: “Instead of trying to make peace with your flaws and/or try to find someone who accepts you despite them, you declare that your flaws make you inherently unworthy of love as a person, and that any affection that you can get despite your flaws is just a shallow replica with ulterior motives.”

Several members of the community I spoke with echoed this idea: If other people tried to protest to them that they were wrong and that everyone deserves to love and be loved, or that women do in fact love men for their personalities and not their looks, the blackpilled incel will often assume that they’re just trying to be nice, while rejecting the idea that any of these positive well-wishers could seriously be interested in them. Members of r/IncelTears, a subreddit for redditors who want to monitor the activities of incels, describe these encounters as frequently ending with the incel member accusing the “normie” of having ulterior motives or wanting to be secretly cruel. The incels I spoke with agreed with that assessment.

“The blackpill for me is acknowledging that the whole ‘we love you anyway’ and ‘everybody is worthy of love’ is BS,” an incel named Sinbad told me. “And that there are in fact people who are too ugly to get a relationship.”

The appeal of the black pill, for those who subscribe to it, is that once you’ve accepted this harsh reality, you can adjust and live your life accordingly.

“It is liberating to think that way in a sense,” the moderator told me. “You can stop worrying about improving yourself, stop worrying about the years passing by and your chances getting slimmer, stop worrying about what will happen in the future, because you are certain of your place in the world and what is going to happen.”

But, the moderator also added, “It’s a rather depressive outlook on life, to say the least.”

“No therapy for your face”

The incel community I spoke to for this article is Supportcel, a Discord server formed from a largely dormant subreddit by the same name. (Discord is a popular chat platform, widely adopted by gaming and niche internet communities.) It serves as a generally positive support group for incels of various stripes and is one of the hardest-to-pigeonhole spaces I’ve encountered in the manosphere.

One member told me he had slowly come to embrace feminist ideals but felt he couldn’t call himself a feminist because the movement wasn’t for him, while another member with a Pepe the Frog avatar — at this point an image permanently associated with the alt-right — asserted that he wasn’t alt-right, and instead complained about how the alt-right had ruined the meme. Some members were active on the main incel community on Reddit, r/Braincels, while at least one member was active on the incel-watch community geared toward non-incels, r/IncelTears.

These various contradictory impulses and complicating tensions extend to the association of incels with sexism and misogyny. Seven of Supportcel’s eight moderators are women, one of whom rejects the whole idea of inceldom but just wants to help the people in the community. She emphatically told me that none of the women buy into the idea of taking the black pill and that they retreated to a separate server when the blackpillers in their midst got too intense. However, she also said that the community had taken a toll on her self-image and “made me sometimes have dark thoughts about me and my relationship.”

“You can’t expect people who come from incel communities to have a healthy view of relationships and the other gender,” another moderator told me, “so some degree of casual sexism is in some sense tolerated.”

The community members I spoke with all believed that far more than a unified approach to gender roles, what defined an otherwise disjointed incel culture was “intense self-loathing” — the core of being blackpilled. You need do little more than glance at the front pages of incel subreddits to find ample evidence of this. For instance, from r/ForeverAlone:

And from r/Braincels:

It’s tempting to pass off some of this as self-deprecating humor, but incel culture is teeming with the kind of self-deprecation that gets dangerous fast. There’s a vibe within the community that encourages members to one-up each other in their commitment to their own hopelessness — a kind of public performance celebrating the idea that you are past the point of being helped. This idea can and frequently does verge into a glorification of suicide.

Along with that performative rejection of self-improvement comes an equally wary attitude toward mental health support. In essence, the black pill worldview makes them think it won’t do any good — so there’s a kind of badge of honor worn around the idea that you’ve accepted no amount of therapy can help you. A frequent incel mantra is “stop coping,” encouraging one another to give up and accept that the way most people deal with problems won’t work for them. One member of Supportcel noted that within incel spaces, lines like “there’s no therapy for your face” are frequent. And incels who make gestures at improving one’s mental health tend to preempt their own moves with the rhetoric that “it won’t change anything.”

Still, some members said they’d felt more welcomed in the incel space than other online communities they’d frequented. This might serve as a double-edged comfort, though: One member told me she’d had more intrusive negative thoughts since joining the community.

Sinbad told me it was a toss-up. “I am more depressed, but less suicidal because of the community,” he said. “The memes and jokes are quite funny, but the other stuff made me more depressed.”

None of this is harmless — and that’s why we need to focus on treatment

The question of how to reach the people in these spaces before they grow more depressed or more violent is complicated. The consequences of doing nothing are potentially fatal; not only can incels become deeply suicidal through their participation in incel culture, but as we’ve seen, they can also become inspired to commit violent attacks against others. There are known correlations between aggression and suicide; researchers studying high-risk populations have found connections between violent behavior and lifetime suicidal ideation as well as between violent behavior and actual suicide attempts. These can increase when considering risk factors like social phobia and anxiety — both traits found within the incel community.

But the solutions being proposed so far feel inadequate. Arguments like Douthat’s have advocated some sort of mandatory sex quota, by way of sex bots or government-assisted trysts with sex workers. Others have argued that inceldom is inherently a part of rape culture and that men need to be taught how to be more nurturing. Still others have focused on the need for “difficult and uncomfortable conversations about the way young white men are socialized, long before they find their way to the male supremacist corners of the internet.”

Each of these approaches has its drawbacks. For starters, we’re a long way from government-issued sex bots, even if that wasn’t an ethical nightmare waiting to happen. (Sex workers should never be obligated, at the risk of their own safety and comfort, to provide services to every entitled person who might want them.) And while conversations about the realities of rape culture and white privilege need to happen, many incels reject such ideas as part of a rejection of feminism and progressive politics.

It’s also hard for many people outside the incel community to see the value in outreach, given the community’s virulently misogynistic overtones. Matthew Ezzell, a sociologist at James Madison University, cautioned that while the incel belief system might seem like it’s all just rooted in self-loathing, it’s really not.

“Although some self-identified ‘incels’ assert that the nihilistic views of ‘the black pill’ are what connect them, and not overt misogyny or alt-right beliefs,” he told Vox in an email, “notice the misogynistic basis of the worldview”:

“Success” with women is defined as sexual conquest; men are presented as being entitled to sex with women, but being thwarted by the next point; women are presented as fundamentally materialistic and shallow, only attracted to physicality and beauty and nothing else; feminism is presented as the source of the problem; men are understood to be the “real” victims.

Because of this underlying belief system, it’s difficult to extricate conversations about men’s mental health from the real threat many of these men pose to women.

From a mental health perspective, however, the misogyny is usually a mask. “What they’re expressing is probably pain … but there are biases around understanding male pain,” Matt Englar-Carlson, director of the Center for Boys and Men at California State University Fullerton, told me. “We all get socialized to look at men’s needs and not see them as critical.”

This gets even harder to do when the men in question are dehumanizing women and are celebrating and enacting violence against them. “It may be really hard for a layperson to understand that pain or have empathy for it,” Englar-Carlson said. The flip side of enacting justified outrage at expressions of misogyny and other polarizing worldviews, he cautioned, is dehumanization. “We throw people away so quickly,” he said. “We don’t see them as humans; we see them as opinions.”

Mental health professionals like Englar-Carlson — who believes that everyone can be helped — may have an obligation to hate the sin and love the sinner. “You don’t affirm the act, but you do affirm the person,” he said. “Just dismissing them or saying you’re crazy or you’re radical or you’re homophobic or you’re sexist … is not going to reinforce any kind of help-seeking. What it reinforces is the notion that you’re worthless.”

The more negative reinforcement men receive, the more urgent the need for mental health treatment rather than ostracism becomes. Men frequently hide depression behind personas of intensely masculinized behavior — and men who have their masculinity threatened are more likely to engage in risky behaviors or respond aggressively.

“Men struggle with the desire to prove their masculinity,” Joel Wong, program director of the counseling psychology program at Indiana University, told me. “When men perceive that they’re not regarded as masculine enough, they could react in one of several ways. One is that they could try to overcompensate by going to the gym and working out.” (Witness Reddit’s “hit the gym” motto.) “Another way is to say, ‘I’m going to forge my own path and form my own subculture.’ They’re all different ways to respond to a self-perception about their masculinity.”

“The idea of the lonely American male is a true experience for a lot of men,” said Englar-Carlson. He told Vox that the “support” offered by incel communities reflected a deeper truth about many online communities, which enable toxicity and negative thinking even as they offer limited opportunities for socialization: “You’ve made a connection, but the connection is possibly killing you.”

Helping men get treatment is easier said than done

This is the kind of trajectory that once could have been a precursor for more serious mental health treatment — but in the US, at least, resources are limited. America’s public mental health system completely collapsed between the 1950s and the ’80s, and options for outpatient services are limited. A 2015 study found that only 41 percent of US adults with mental health conditions had received treatment. A 2011 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness called state funding cuts to mental health services a “national crisis,” and noted that demand for psychiatric services was increasing even as resources were declining.

Additionally, Supportcel members expressed a distrust of social support systems for mental health. One member described the therapy he was currently undergoing as “useless,” while others spoke of fearing the intense stigmatization that comes with being identified as a person who has mental health issues. As a non-US native, Sinbad pointed out that most of the health advice he is given in the community tends to be US-centric. “A lot of the ‘advice’ I’ve been given would just make my situation worse if I applied it where I live,” he said.

“In general, there are a fair amount of men who have a really hard time accessing support services,” Englar-Carlson said. “One of the core notions of traditional Westernized masculinity is that you should be independent and you shouldn’t ask for help.” He said the popular perception that therapy is a place you go to cry or be weak is a barrier to men who’ve been conditioned to mask their emotions. “A lot of men equate therapy to weakness.”

Wong pointed out that the self-defeatist attitude of incels plays a huge role in whether they experience results even if they do have access to treatment. “Therapy might not be the most useful initial option because therapy only works when someone comes to you for therapy,” he told Vox. “But a starting point could be for therapists and psychologists to connect to them without saying, ‘I think you have a problem.’“

“You have to have health professionals who understand men,” Englar-Carlson said. “But it doesn’t help me to hang a shingle out saying ‘I understand men’ and wait for them to pour in.” Wong suggested that therapy-led support groups for incels could be helpful, along with needs-assessment surveys and potential workgroups for the community that could address some of the needs of members without condemning them.

Several Supportcel community members I spoke with did suggest that the incel sphere’s overall attitude toward mental health and treatment had improved somewhat. This, they believed, was mainly due to stricter moderation policies across many of the highly trafficked communities, the ousting of the most toxic voices, and a more open dialogue with “normies.” Of the many threads on r/IncelTears that look to help incels, the ones that offer advice and support frequently recommend leaving the community and seeking cognitive behavioral therapy. On r/IncelsWithoutHate, designed to be a space where incels can interact positively with each other and with those outside the community, members speak with tentative hope about seeking therapy and embarking on paths of self-improvement.

Out of all the factors that may be causing members of the community to seek movement away from toxicity, one of the biggest may simply be a growing awareness of how dark the incel rabbit hole is once you’re inside it. Since I initially spoke to them, one of the Supportcel moderators has stepped down and withdrawn from the community. “Everyone who’s involved in this community in any way eventually decides to just give up, in my experience,” they told me. “People who try to help incels eventually come to the conclusion that it’s generally not possible and that it takes a huge toll on their mental well-being if they are deeply involved in these efforts.”

“How can I stop becoming an incel?” a self-professed 20-year-old asked IncelTears recently. But in the middle of seeking answers, he seemed to have found his own: “I noticed that the more I read incels’ posts the more I tend to agree with them on some things,” he said, “so I stopped reading before aggravating my situation.”

It seems that if therapy isn’t attainable, then self-awareness may be the incel’s best hope.

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Four arrested following social media post detailing racism | Police & Courts Thu, 30 Sep 2021 04:16:13 +0000

Four people have been arrested for harassing communications following a sophomore’s post on social media detailing her experience with racism at Madison Southern High School.

Public Information Officer Barry Manley of the Berea Police Department confirmed Friday morning two juveniles and two adults have been charged with harassing communications on adult cam sites. Names and ages of the adults aren’t being released at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

The arrests stem from Macie Hill’s social media post made on Wednesday about an incident that happened Tuesday.

But Macie said racism has always been something she’s had to combat, explaining normally it was “little-to-mildly severe things” in her everyday life.

Things became worse in February, she explained.

“I was outside playing kickball, ’cause I have a weightlifting class, but it was nice day, and we didn’t lift and we had sub. So we went outside and we played kickball with some of the ROTC kids who were outside playing,” she said. “And so while we were playing, I heard one of the kids say the n word, so you know, I said that makes me uncomfortable, and then they said, ‘What, it’s not like we called you … ‘ and then he says the n word again.”

Hill went to a teacher who said they would handle it, but they also told her the student didn’t mean it like that, that they know the student, and the student isn’t racist.

“Then after I went to the teacher, I knew they weren’t going to handle it properly, so then I went to the principal, and the kid ended up getting in trouble,” she said. “You know, they never tell me what actually happened to him, but they said that they dealt with it, and then a couple months later, while we were in, you know, social distancing and can’t go to school and everything, they sought me out on Snapchat.”

She explained her Snapchat is completely private. She doesn’t have her username anywhere, and the student had to search for her on the app.

“One of the people who I didn’t know, but I saw that they went to Southern, so I thought that I had seen them around, I accepted his request, and he added me to a big group of those ROTC kids who were, you know, just making fun of me and calling me the n word.”

The following day was when Macie made her concerns about racism public on social media including screenshots of what happened. But it wasn’t just that one incident, and she said she hasn’t been the only victim.

Her older sister, Moriah Hill, a senior at the school, said she has also experienced racism at the school. She said she had problems with the same student who made the remarks at kickball before they even knew who Macie is.

The two said, though, that not everyone in the social media group was involved.

“Some people were just put into the group without knowing anything that had happened or what was going to happen,” Moriah said.

Macie agreed, and she added that not all of her struggles at the school involved students. She and her sister often felt ignored by teachers.

“In honors English, we had to read books like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Both of those books say the n word,” Macie said. “And I just felt like if we’re going to read books with that type of language in them, we need to at least take steps and explain why we shouldn’t say those words, you know, and why it’s not OK. But both of the teachers I’ve had failed to ever explain why we don’t use that language.”

Macie said when she expressed discomfort about the curriculum to the teacher, she was given the choice to read a different book, but the teacher said the class would still read the original book.

“I said that it made me really uncomfortable, and (they) basically told me that its (their) class and (they) get to make the ultimate decision,” Macie said. “I feel really ignored.”

She said none of her assigned reading has been written by black authors, either.

“For one, it makes me feel less than everybody else,” Macie added. “I feel like my opinions don’t matter the way everyone else’s opinions matter. I’m just really sick of being ignored in my school system.”

She explained that on some days, it impacts her learning, too.

“It seems like, at least like four times a month, something happens, I’m calling, I’m texting, I’m getting pulled out of class, it’s just I can’t learn the same way other students do,” she said.

“And then we tell our principals, you know, and we get told there’s nothing that they can do and that their hands are tied,” Moriah added. “So we feel like we’re not even being heard.”

Meetings with administration

“I think for us, things start as just little things in passing,” said Moriah and Macie’s mom, Susan Hill. “We always teach our kids, you know what, you’re going to have to be bigger than that, you’re going to have to rise above that. That does not define you. We always really just try to instill in them their value and forgiveness.”

She said she and her husband, Jonas Hill, didn’t get involved until Feb. 13, after the student made racial slurs at kickball.

“The girls have fought silently … intently for about a year, and then we went to (administration) in February and had several meetings with administration and voiced our concerns, and of course, in March, when we all left school, things have kind of just quieted down,” Susan Hill said.

They continued to have phone conversations with Principal Brandon Watkins and Superintendent David Gilliam after instruction went to being at-home, because they still wanted to see change in the school. They were aware of issues before that, but always encouraged the girls to talk to their teachers and to the school administration.

Susan Hill estimates they’ve met with Watkins about eight times, and once with Gilliam. During their meetings, the family went over more issues than simply the remarks made during kickball.

“I expect the school to no longer allow the students of Madison County to wear these flags to school, for one,” Jonas Hill said. “I don’t want them to be able to wear the Confederate flag to school ’cause I feel like they’re using it to intimidate minorities.”

For example, a student wore a hat depicting the Confederate flag, and his daughters told the teacher. The teacher took the hat, held it to the end of the school day, gave it back to the student, and the student came back wearing a hat and a shirt with the flag on them.

“They were making plans to have a day where they all wear the rebel flag, and they’re yelling this in front of the girls, knowing that they’re listening, just to discourage them and frustrate them.” he said.

“And I would like them to remove the books that’s mandatory class reading out loud in front of everybody that use that word,” he said. “There are plenty of good authors out there, there’s a lot of good writings out there, to where we don’t have to limit ourselves to just those. They’re reading in class, these students and the teachers, they’re reading the n word out loud, and every time it happens, everyone turns and looks at my daughter, and there, she’s the only minority in the class.”

The father said he also expects teachers to listen to their students, instead of saying a student “didn’t mean it that way.”

“How do you know how he meant it? You didn’t talk to him,” he said.

When they talked to Watkins and Gilliam, the parents said, they were told a lot of these issues regard freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and that the school administration’s “hands are tied.”

Jonas said as a parent, he feels that response is unacceptable.

“You mean to tell me that my daughters are coming to you and coming to me and saying there are times they feel unsafe, and you’re telling me you can’t protect them and your hands are tied?” he explained.

The school’s handbook, on a page pertaining to the dress code, states “any decal-type patch or emblem that is obscene, sexually suggestive, disrespectful or which contains slogans, words, or in any way depicts alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or any illegal, immoral, or racist implication is prohibited.”

Any faculty or staff who observes violations of the dress code is instructed to send the offending student to the principal or an assistant principal, who is allowed to send the student home to correct the violation if it can’t be corrected at school. It continues to say the school principal or assistant principal shall assign punishment.

Jonas said other schools have a very similar policy, and it has been enforced in other nearby schools, such as ones in Lexington.

“I don’t know if they’re afraid to use it or what the issue is, but it’s being used in other areas,” he explained.

Susan Hill said the family has been assured by Watkins that he will not allow racism to go on, but for confidentiality reasons, he can’t explain to them how the situations have been handled.

“I feel like the punishment has not fit the crime, and that’s why we’re sitting here on our back porch being interviewed,” Jonas Hill said.

“Regardless of what the punishment is, it has happened so many times after the punishment that the punishment isn’t (working),” Macie said.

“They don’t take it seriously,” Moriah added. “They don’t understand what we go through. They can’t relate to it.”


“In large part, we feel and I believe it’s the feelings of my daughters as well, they were ignored. Nothing was done. They tried to raise it up, spoke to the teachers, the teachers kind of blew it off, as though it was meaningless,” Jonas Hill said.

Both parents, Macie and Moriah also explained there are currently no minority teachers at the school.

“Whenever we have problems like these, we feel like we have nobody that we can go to and talk to about these problems that will actually make sure that something gets done about it,” Moriah said.

Macie and Moriah said last year, there were three minority teachers/staff, but they either left or were let go.

“When you’re an adult, if your work environment is hostile, you can leave and get another job,” Macie said. “But we’re students. We can’t leave.”

There are also no minorities on the school board.

“We just feel like there’s no representation for them,” Susan Hill explained.

Jonas said that’s another thing he hopes to see change. He’d like to have some minorities as teachers at the school. He’d also like to see the current teachers educated on how to handle a situation in which a student expresses discomfort when it comes to racism.

Jonas and Susan said they were hoping changes would be made through these meetings with administration, but after Macie was added to the social media group where she was victim to being ridiculed and called racial slurs, the family decided to take more action, such as Macie’s post on social media.

Since then, Watkins issued the following statement:

“Many of you are aware of a terrible and unacceptable incident that happened on social media this week. This incident includes behavior that does not and will not be representative of our school or community. As a school and a district, it simply will NOT be tolerated. Any incident such as this, will be handled in the most serious manner. Since being made aware of the social media incident, we have worked closely with the Berea Police Department and with those involved to be swift and just in our handling of the situation. Please be assured that the incident is being dealt with by our school administration and by the Berea Police Department. We are also aware of a previous incident in our school and want to assure our school community that the previous incident was also dealt with in a swift and just manner. We have not and we will not turn a blind eye to any issue of discrimination that arises. We ask for your continued support in resolving this matter. Please take the opportunity to talk with your children about the importance of being a good digital citizen. Please take the opportunity to talk with your children about the importance of treating others with kindness and civility. We promise to continue to have those conversations with our students as well.”

Watkins and Gilliam have been unavailable to comment since Thursday afternoon, according to Community Education Director Erin Stewart.

The family, however, has had meetings with Watkins after Macie’s post was made, and Jonas Hill said the tone of the meetings has changed.

“We are own advocates, and we’re hoping that through this, we’ll be able to help others, and we’re very, very pleased with the response,” Jonas Hill said. “Within an hour of posting, we’ve had over 1,000 people share this message.”

Police involvement

In addition to bringing attention to the matter of racism at the school on social media, the family contacted Berea Police Department Wednesday.

“We never wanted things to take this turn, you know, but we had to have some good come from this,” Susan Hill said. “Our girls just should not have to suffer through high school. It’s not fair.”

Berea police had the family visit the police station and made them feel heard, the girls said.

“We are definitely taking the matter seriously and seeing what’s going on,” Chief Eric Scott said.

He said Thursday it is a difficult case as it involves youth and social media, but that officers would interview all parties involve, determine what crimes are suitable (harassment and hate crime, for example) and take the case to the courts.

He said the goal is to “determine the basis and intent of what’s going on,” but added, “there are definitely concerns looking at this.”

“We are going to deal with it appropriately,” Scott said.

Macie explained she doesn’t want people to make threats or become violent with the four who have been arrested.

“I’m obviously upset about the people who said those things to me, I guess I just wish that they’d learn, you know,” she said. “I want them to learn from what they’ve done. I don’t want them to just get a slap on the wrist like they’ve been getting in the past, because that’s not working. Other schools, they would expel students for things like this, but my school is still letting them graduate, and that bothers me.”

It isn’t about payback, the parents added.

“They need to have their punishment, because what they’ve done is wrong, but the bigger picture for us is that the current philosophy at the school changes,” Jonas Hill said. “I feel that the system let my children down.”

Moriah also has aspirations for her school, which her younger sisters will be attending in the future.

“I mean, this is how I have to end my senior year, you know, dealing with this stuff,” Moriah added. “The whole point in this is to get change and to protect all the minorities coming up to Southern. We don’t want them to go through what Macie and I went through.”

Reach Sara Kuhl at 624-6626; follow her on Twitter @saraekuhl.

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Meet People Online with these Apps and Sites Like Craigstlist Personals Mon, 10 May 2021 12:04:12 +0000 If you were one of the unlucky ducks caught in between relationships while states were locked-down (and if you’re anything like me) then being alone for three-plus months has probably taught you a lot about yourself and the way you meet people online.

Prior to the pandemic, I used to believe that I had hit all the milestones for the foreseeable future and only major life events (like reaching the age of 25, getting married, or death) could derail me. Boy was I naive! But in my defense, I’ve never had the opportunity to sit and think about where my life was headed and what I wanted for 90-days straight before (if TLC wants to turn this into a spin-off of 90-Day Fiance, you know how to contact me). Being that alone and independent was something I never thought I would have to accomplish in my lifetime. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I have confidence in myself that I didn’t have before. If I could survive social isolation, I can survive anything. Even reckoning with the idea that my ideal relationship looks nothing like the widely-accepted, traditional portrait of love and family–at least not at the moment, and that’s something worth celebrating, not burying or shaming!

I only share this because I’m sure some are still quick to imagine “successful” relationships solely as longlasting imagery of a conventional white picket fence backdrop to the still-life of heterosexuality, monogamy, and missionary. Which, is fine for those who want exactly that, but for those of us who don’t, it’s in our best interest we find a safe space to explore all of our options. Just as we don’t want someone to convince us we need to get married for the relationship to be “real,” it’s unfair of us to toy with the feelings of those who may be set on commitment.

How to successfully meet people online


Not to oversimplify human relationships, but the key to having a successful friends-with-benefits relationship, casual encounter, one-night-stand, or whatever it may be, is knowing exactly what you want. Having a frame of reference for your preferred relationship style allows you to set boundaries, thoughtfully compromise, and consider your partner’s expectations.

Knowing exactly how you might want to explore your sexual relationships going forward is such an invaluable gift and definitely shouldn’t be taken for granted. Its importance is not to be understated and your wants/needs should be vocalized. So many people find themselves unhappy simply because they never analyzed what it is that they want to gain from a relationship or what their preferred relationship style is. So for all the things to come out of quarantine, I’m glad it’s life-affirming lessons.

As we’ve seen with the quick progression of this pandemic, life can change at an instant and there truly is no time like the present to try out new things! Whether it be different positions in bed or different types of relationships, you have to act on the things that make you happy (in a safe and consensual way, of course). Today is as good as any to get lucky and we want to help! Craigslist Personals has been gone for some time now, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck using Tinder or flirting with strangers on Instagram. Read on for our list of all the best apps for exploring different relationships, from quick hookups to polyamorous couples, to swingers, it’s all yours for the taking.

Best sites and apps you could use for finding casual encounters


AdultFriendFinder isn’t just an adult cam sites for casual encounters, it’s a social media platform––which makes it one of the best places to meet people online. Boasting well over one million site members and counting, AFF is easily navigable, explicit, and heavily used in major cities. Before signing up for a free account, the site showcases sneak peeks of users in your area that are active, or have been active recently. Before entering the site, you’ll be able to set your preferences as interested in single men, women, couples, or groups. Then once you get through to the homepage, you’ll notice the layout is pretty simple, almost early Facebook-esque, and quite revealing. Having the ability to filter the content according to nudity is a big bonus for at work browsers. Other options for filtering are age, distance, username, and active status. Complete the profile “purity test” to find out if you’re a sexual newbie or a full-blown hedonist, or, fill out the personality test to connect you with your perfect match. Not only does AFF connect you with profiles online, but it also offers a cam site, adult-centered content community, and app! If variety is what you’re searching for on your new dating site, AdultFriendFinder is your destination.

1 Month $39.95
3 Months $80.85
12 Months $239.40


Pure is such an interesting platform I almost wish it wasn’t only geared toward casual encounters, anonymous hookups, one-night-stands, and getting laid online. If you’re looking for something quick, unconventional, and discreet that will often lead to a meeting, this is the site (or app, whichever version you choose to employ) for you. The app is built on chats that self-destruct within 24 hours and uses end-to-end encryption to keep anonymity and privacy the priority check out LiveCamLink.

Upon logging on, it will ask you to update a status that will display exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t know, it’s okay to say that! Your status will be posted on a ‘wall’ and will be made visible to other users. Upon seeing your status, users will be able to engage in conversation with you, or simply keep swiping down the wall. Keep in mind that chats are only available for 24 hours as a security measure, however, if you and the person chatting both want to extend the chat, that is also a possibility. If a adult chat is extended, the app will assign the two users nicknames (which may be changed at any time). As photos are allowed to be sent in chats, the app advises its users not to give out any personal information and to keep all conversations within the app. If you decide to give Pure a try, don’t forget that city-dwellers will most certainly have the upper hand when it comes to activity on the app. Even then, don’t get discouraged and try it out for yourself! You might be pleasantly surprised.

1 Week $14.99
1 Month $29.99
Singles Chat Subscription Only $19.99
PURE Hookup App Pass $39.99


#Open is a fun and fresh approach to the standard adult dating app scene. Upon making your profile, you’ll have the choice between creating a solo account, partnered account, or a “double profile” where users can toggle in between the two with the ability to edit the account type at any time. Even better, the app has a strict no-NSFW image policy and encourages the use of usernames or nicknames for heightened security, so there’s also less of a chance you’ll find yourself harassed or spammed with dick pics by a deranged user.

#Open also requires all of its users to play “N.I.C.E,” it’s so refreshing to see a dating app highlight consent, respect, and boundaries. However, if you’re feeling a little more…open…there’s a spot to add your social media handles and define your current relationship situation or describe what you’re looking for. #Open also functions on–you guessed it–hashtags. It offers up three phrases for users to complete that will help them find whatever it is they’re looking for. Some examples being: “I’m open to trying…”, “My interests are…?”, and “I’m looking for…?” which can all be answered by typing in specific phrases which then convert into active hashtags.

The app is pretty simple to figure out and works like many other swipe-based apps, except users can also browse the hashtags that they’re interested in and stumble upon other like-minded users and possible flings that way. What this site excels in is the diversity of its users (it’s way more inclusive than other apps that have you identify within a gender binary), and how well it integrated the ability to have multiple profiles into its community. The algorithm often layers multiple profiles behind each other. So, for instance, if you don’t want to match on a couple, but are interested in one of the individuals from the couple if that person has a solo account, they’ll be the next option for you to match on. All in all, #Open is a great app for open minded adults looking to connect with couples, individuals, and groups of all shapes and sizes!


Feeld, previously 3nder, is your destination dating app for all things kink, swinger, and polyamorous. This app has a great design, interface, and security and is your best bet for judgment-free browsing of couples, doms, subs, and a whole lot more. Feeld really flexes its creativity right upon opening the app. You’re greeted by an aesthetically pleasing orange and white screen detailing the ways you can browse the app. Meet open-minded people and join solo or with a partner, lover, or friend. With the ability to link and unlink accounts, the browsing opportunities are limitless and exciting.

After creating your profile, you’ll be asked what you’re looking for and how you identify this profile (is it a couples’ profile or does it belong to a single, bisexual, nonbinary person?), you’ll also be asked to set your “core” location and age range. Profiles appear as a split-screen with a summary of the account (name, sexual orientation, age, relationship status, and short bio) underneath a photo gallery. Swipe left and right to toggle between different profiles, and if you come across one you like, just give it a heart! If they like you too, you’ll be able to start messaging. For your peace of mind, the app also lets you create your own pin code lock as an extra layer of security if you happen to pass your phone to your nosy mom or leave it unlocked around a snooping younger cousin.

1 month $11.99
3 months $23.99


HER is one of the most popular LGBTQ-friendly apps for meeting people online. 40% of users on this app are either gay or lesbian, 30% are bisexual, 20% are pansexual or queer, and the remaining 10% don’t identify. This free app is made by Queer Womxn for Queer Womxn and sets itself apart with the community it has built. While in the app, you’ll be able to browse the community, event, and feed tab, which all bring you closer to the members on the app. Join different communities such as “Strong and Single,” “Newly Out,” and “Queer Womxn of Color” to find users interested in the same things and discuss with them on the community wall, discover unique events happening near you and all over the world in the events tab and join an event with the click of a button, and stay up to date with the official ‘HER’ profile in the My Feed tab. With 24/7 moderation on the platform and seemingly limitless options for filtering and engagement, HER is the app for queer womxn and other LGBTQ+ members.

1 Month $14.99
6 Months $71.99
12 Months $89.99


best one night stand sites


Happn is a breath of fresh air when it comes to casual encounter apps. Forget the algorithm and personal aesthetics, this free app matches you with people who have physically crossed your path throughout the day–so it’s completely based on chance! Using its geo-location system, this app will connect you with other app uses who have crossed your path within a 250-meter radius. The matches appear on your screen in the form of a profile showing the user’s name and occupation. Once a match appears, you can then scroll through photos, and read a short bio of the person detailing things like what they’re looking for in a relationship, their height, how much they exercise, what their food preference is, and even what their party habits are. These “matches” will be available to view for up to one week after crossing paths, however, specific matches will be updated if you cross paths again within the week.

Take into account that if you don’t go out much, or if you don’t live in a heavily populated city, this might not be the app for you. And because of the geo-location, even people you haven’t “matched” with will be able to see where they crossed paths with you and how far away you are at the time of their present viewing. If location services aren’t your thing or make you feel uncomfortable, I would suggest another app or sign up for the premium membership. Ranging from $10-$25 a month, you will be able to turn off your geo-location, filter the types of profiles you want to see, and have access to unlimited likes. If you want to feel that balance between fate and curation that no other app offers, strap on your shoes, download the app, and go on a run!

1 Month $24.99
6 Months $89.99
12 Months $119.99


The popular queer classifieds Instagram account Personals launched Lex, its rebranded standalone platform that lets you meet people online. The app exists outside of Instagram and lets users draft 30-day ads for meeting other queers. The app is incredibly inclusive and explicitly lists itself as being built “for lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and queer people,” as well as “womxn and trans, genderqueer, intersex, two-spirit, and non-binary” users. You can use Lex to post classifieds for pretty much whatever you want, but it excels especially with hookups. Just share what you’re looking for, come up with a witty title, and wait for the messages to come in.

Lex is run by a small team, and it’s still quite new, so it’s filled with some bugs. Its emphasis on the personal connection over physical appearance can be both a blessing and a curse, particularly for cruisers who prefer a specific aesthetic from their partners. Users can’t see what you look like unless you link your Instagram account, making it a more or less necessary addition to enjoying Lex to the fullest. Lesbian dating app etiquette still applies here, too, so ghosting is very common.


sex hookup apps

Rated #98 in the app store, and with over seven million users, DOWN is one of the best apps for finding meeting singles online. The concept is easy to understand: swipe left or right to review or skip a user, swipe up if you’d like to “date” the user and down if you’d like to hook up with the user. In terms of ease of communication, I think Down has nailed it. There’s no confusion between users when their profiles are matched, you’ll know instantly if that person wants to date or just wants something quick, and if you happen to swipe the wrong way, don’t worry! You can edit your picks in the likes tab. If there’s someone you really want to meet, you can click on the lips button and send them a crush. This will pop up on their feed and push your profile to the front of their list. What I don’t like about this app, however, is that they only give you about 10 preview swipes before you have to pay for the subscription. It’s also a pretty dark interface with standard features. Out of the profiles I did see, there were no bios included, and they all only had one photo. This is nice for discretion, but if you need more info to go off of before you start swiping, then this app might be too spontaneous for you.


Blendr is another one of your typical casual encounter apps. The user interface is nice, but not over the top. It’s cleanly laid out with more information readily available for free than when compared to other hookup apps (your popularity, photo verification, etc.) And there’s actually quite an amazing selection of potential matches that seem to be legit, unlike other sites that are crawling with bots. The use of Blendr can easily be interchanged between the website as well as the mobile app, which makes this much more inclusive to an older crowd of users or people who just don’t want to have to download another app. Creating your profile is pretty standard, it asks for the usual photo, bio, physical characteristics, and traits. It also offers the option to spice up your profile with hashtags that you can then use to match you to other users with similar interests. But as we mentioned before, Blendr has a photo verification process in order to weed out bots, fake accounts, and scammers, so unless you comply with the photo verification you won’t be able to access the service’s premium features.

For a free app, I would say that if you’re truly interested in Blendr, or simply want to join in on all the free dating apps and sites to increase your visibility, join and see for yourself! I would be lying if I said this was an app that we couldn’t live without since it isn’t a major player in the dating app scene (yet) but signing up definitely won’t be a waste of your time. And if you do choose to go premium, Blendr offers users the ability to subscribe on a membership basis and/or purchase coins that can be used to purchase gifts and other virtual perks.

1 Week $3.99
1 Month $12.99
3 Months $30.99
2,750 coins $49.99


I once saw a Tumblr post that likened the Grindr app to the Bible app, and, unbeknownst to me and what I was doing at the time, I downloaded it on my mother’s phone. You can imagine her surprise. Now, a decade later, I’m proud to say that Grindr has become the world’s largest social networking app for LGBTQ users. With its no-frills grid display sorted by location and super specific filter options, it’s no wonder why the LGBTQ community has flocked to the platform. Decide if you’re looking for a chat, date, relationship, or immediate hookup through its basic filters, You can also look for something a bit more specific like a bear, jock, daddy, or twink if you so desire.

Basic Grindr is free, but there are paid subscriptions that boost your mojo. We recommend trying Grindr’s seven-day free trial if you constantly want to sort through profiles that you haven’t chatted with, find users that accept NSFW pictures, or advertise enjoyment with specific positions. If you like all of this, the Xtra or Unlimited memberships might be worth your while. Unlimited is the most elite tier of paid Grindr subscriptions. It allows users to unlock unlimited profiles so they’ll never run out of people to browse and chat, see who’s viewed their profile, browse in incognito mode so other users can’t see you, un-send messages, and even seen when someone is typing to you.

Grindr XTRA is a step below Unlimited, but still offers a bunch of perks the basic (free) subscription won’t getcha (like read receipts, no ads, push notifications, a discreet app icon, more Grindr Tribes, additional filters, online-only view, and much more!).

1 Month Grindr XTRA $24.99
3 Months Grindr XTRA $20.97
6 Months Grindr XTRA $29.94
12 Months Grindr XTRA $47.88
1 Month Grindr Unlimited $49.99
12 Months Grindr Unlimited $299.99


It almost feels like a waste of time to review Tinder at this point because let’s be honest, its the mother of our modern-day apps for getting laid. But, since it is a list of dating apps and sites, I kind of have to include the original mainstream sex dating app.

For those of you who have been in a long term relationship since 2012, or have been living under a rock, Tinder is the free dating app that invented swiping right. Again, for the 1% of you who don’t know what “swiping right” means, it’s basically Tinder’s way of letting the user match with another user. The whole interface is based on the profile picture, a small bio, and common interests. Swipers see a person’s photo, bio, and interests. If they like it, they swipe right with their finger to try to match with the person, and if they don’t like it, they swipe left. You can only message someone when both of you have swiped right. The app is super straight forward, very clean, and easy to use. It isn’t the most advanced in terms of filtering, but with 1.6 billion swipes per day and 57 million users around the world, I think it’s safe to say that it doesn’t really matter. If you’re looking for a mainstream “anything goes” dating app that many swear by, look no further and give the OG a try.

Tinder is free to use but offers two different premium memberships, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. Both extensions allow you unlimited daily likes, the ability to “rewind” your last swipe and do it over again, five Super Likes per day, one free Boost per month, and a “passport” that lets you swipe around the world rather than being limited by your location. Tinder Gold takes it one step further and allows you to see who already liked you, making it much easier to decipher whether or not you’ve got a shot. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re over the age of 30, Tinder is going to upcharge your subscription costs.

1 Month Tinder Plus (aged 18-29) $9.99
6 Months Tinder Plus (aged 18-29) $34.99
12 Months Tinder Plus (aged 18-29) $54.99
1 Month Tinder Gold (aged 18-29) $14.99
6 Months Tinder Gold (aged 18-29) $52.99
12 Months Tinder Gold (aged 18-29) $82.99
1 Month Tinder Plus (aged 30+) $19.99
6 Months Tinder Plus (aged 30+) $60
12 Months Tinder Plus (aged 30+) $80
1 Month Tinder Gold (aged 30+) $29.99
6 Months Tinder Gold (aged 30+) $112.99
12 Months Tinder Gold (aged 30+) $149.99

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Chicago protesters call for decriminalization of sex work – CBS Chicago Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:12 +0000

CHICAGO (CBS) – About two dozen sex workers and their advocates demonstrated in Daley Plaza on Wednesday afternoon, calling for the decriminalization of the sex trade.

“We want the city of Chicago to back down,” said a sex worker who asked to be identified as “Red”.

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“It can give us the ability to work on our children’s schedules or our schools’ schedules, and charge money that we know could give us a living wage, which is what so many jobs here at. Chicago don’t get it, ”Red said. “We are in our communities, we support our families, we are students and we try to take care of ourselves in the best possible way, and we are tired of the bullying.”

Red and others also protested the move by stop taking “adult” advertisements, which in this case mean advertisements for prostitution. The website closed its adult ads section this month after local and federal officials complained it was facilitating criminal activity.

“I am doing my normal job. And my ability to work and work in sex is completely compromised by the closure of Backpage right now, ”Red said.

Steve Miller of WBBM asked Red what the loss of Backpage’s decision would be.

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“Hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month,” Red replied.

Sex workers said they wanted Backpage to restore adult ads.

A recent US Senate report alleged that the site had “cleaned up” ads for prostitution and child sex trafficking, removing words like “teenager” or “Lolita,” which made it clear that the ads were about sex. illegal. Backpage removed its adult advertising section last week, and company executives refused to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the report, citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Prosecutors have alleged that more than 90 percent of Backpage’s revenue – millions of dollars each month – comes from adult escort ads that use coded language and near-nude photos to offer sex for money.

NO MORE NEWS: Woman hijacked near the bank in the west loop

Backpage has denied the allegations in the subcommittee report and said it closed its adult section to protest censorship.

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Hours After FOSTA Passes, Reddit Bans “Escorts” and “SugarDaddy” Communities – Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:12 +0000

screenshot / Reddit

At around 2 a.m. last night, Reddit banned several longtime sex worker forums from the platform. The move comes just a few hours after the Senate passed bill making digital facilitation of prostitution a federal crime. Under the new law, social media sites and other centers of user-generated content can be held criminally liable.

For months, sex workers have warned that the passage of “SESTA” or “FOSTA” – two equally bad bills vying for dominance; FOSTA passed yesterday which would mark the end of all online forums for communicating with clients, lawyers or with each other. To sex workers like Liara Roux, Louise partridge, and Jiz lee, Reddit’s removal of these subreddits confirmed their fears about the new legislation.

Same if individuals are not targeted by law enforcement for placing ads, and even though individual cases brought by state prosecutors are declared unconstitutional, many platforms preventively ban anything related to distance to sex work rather than risk it.

So far, four sex-related subreddits have been banned: Escorts, Male Escorts, Hookers, and SugarDaddy. None were what could be accurately described as The advertisement forums, although (to varying degrees) they may have helped connect some people who have found themselves in “mutually beneficial relationships.” Escort forums were widely used by sex workers to communicate with each other, according to Partridge. Meanwhile, the “prostitute” subreddit “was mostly made up of disgusting men,” according to Roux, “but it was also a place where people sometimes answered educational questions in good faith.”

If you visit the Reddit “Hooker” community now, you will see a notice saying “This subreddit has been banned due to a violation of our content policy”. The “Escorts” and “Male Escots” pages provide a bit more detail: “This subreddit has been banned due to a violation of our content policy, in particular, a violation of Reddit’s policy against transactions involving prohibited goods or services. “

Reddit yesterday announced changes to its content policy, now prohibiting “transactions for certain goods and services”, including “firearms, ammunition or explosives” and “paid services involving physical sexual contact”. While some of the banned exchanges are illegal, many are not.

However, they are quite close to the exchanges that could be illegal that it is difficult for a third party like Reddit to differentiate themselves. And the same goes for forums where sex workers post educational content, news, safety and legal advice. Without the extensive protections of Section 230, Reddit could have serious financial and legal problems if it makes the wrong call.

Some have suggested that the new content policy, not the FOSTA, is to blame for shutting down sex-related subreddits. But FOSTA can also help explain Reddit’s new content policy as a whole. (Reddit did not respond to my request for comment Thursday morning.)

FOSTA seriously undermines section 230, the federal provision that protects web publishers from being treated as the speakers of user-generated content. FOSTA supporters have insisted that this is only a renovation of Section 230, not a demolition. But as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) – who co-wrote the language for Section 230 in the ’90s – noted yesterday, once you dug a loophole for a bad thing (in this case change is supposed to stop sex trafficking), it’s easy for lawmakers and courts to dig loopholes and justifications for everything.

After all, the murder is pretty serious. And everyone is pretty excited about the “opioid epidemic” right now. Weapons too. Do you think Congress can resist asking if the websites that facilitate these crimes shouldn’t be as responsible as those that engage in the sex trade?

But as Wyden also pointed out yesterday, this strategy doesn’t mean more sex traffickers – or murderers, illegal arms dealers, etc. – will be arrested and punished (and perhaps less globally, for various reasons). It just means treating websites like criminals instead, which would make a lot of money for the government, but not doing anything for security or justice.

“Section 230 was never intended to protect incumbents,” Wyden told colleagues in the Senate on Wednesday. Yet “despite the fact that Section 230 underpins the Internet framework as we know it today, there is a significant effort to suppress and collapse it.” The result will be “a huge chilling effect on speech in America,” Wyden warned.

Looks like we are already seeing the effects.

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Do you support trans rights? Support sex workers too Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:12 +0000


“You literally can’t support trans people while supporting criminal laws that target them massively,” adult performer Lorelei Lee tweeted Tuesday. “[F]or a group called the National Organization for Women to tell women and working women that we cannot be believed because we are controlled by men, this is just the height of hypocrisy.

Lee’s tweets, while true, were not without provocation. On Monday, the New York branch of NOW, the famous American feminist organization, held a rally at Manhattan City Hall to protest “the decriminalization of pimping and buying sex,” calling for “a pitch agreement that protects people engaged in the sex trade ”. without legalizing pimping. The protest came just two weeks after Launch of Decrim NY a coalition for the “global decriminalization” of sex work across New York. The group hopes in particular “[repeal] offense of prostitution for transactions between consenting adults “and”[erase] prostitution cases ”for sex workers and survivors of trafficking.

For many, Decrim NY is a sign of the times: the next fight for gay rights is that of sex workers. But feminism has a long, complicated, and deeply uncomfortable the story with sex work. SWERF (Sex Worker-Exclusionary Radical Feminists) believe that sex work empowers patriarchy and ultimately seeks to shame and punish sex workers; they don’t see sex workers as autonomous human beings over their own bodies, which is the foundation of feminism.

The NOW rally is just the latest example of this oppressive understanding. Anti-sex worker rhetoric can be found throughout her announcement, arguing that decriminalization will lead to “pimping” – despite the fact that pimps are increasingly targeting sex workers since the adoption of the law known as “against trafficking for sexual purposes” SESTA-FOSTA Last year.

But something else happened during the NOW protest. Whether the organization expects it or not, transphobes have shown up to join in the bashing of sex work. On the one hand, a UK-based group called “Object Now” came up with explicit anti-transgender language: a photo capture de Grant shows two women from Object Now holding a banner that reads “NO to sex work, surrogacy and transgender”. Also there: The London Abused Women’s Center (LAWC) of Canada, which signed a letter of support for writer Meghan Murphy, who has been called repeatedly for her TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist), according to the journalist of the Appeal Melissa Gira Grant.

While the LAWC website remains relatively silent on trans topics, visit the Object Now website official web page reveals that the organization is fiercely against “transgender ideology”. Among other claims, the British group argues that trans men’s gender transition is a “form of lesbian conversion therapy”, that trans women commit “invasion of sexually protected spaces reserved for women” and that cisgender lesbians are “forced to accept These men [referring to trans women] as “women” and to have sex with them. “

Of course, neither of these unfounded ideologies makes sense if you perceive sex and gender as existing on two separate spectra. They are not supposed to do it. Transphobia and whorephobia – or anti-sex work beliefs and values ​​- begin and end with hatred of women. Nothing more than that is just a cover.

Don’t take my word for it; Grant has spoken about this subject in depth before. In his job Playing the whore, she points out that TERFs and SWERFs are marching hand in hand against a “form of reliably disposable income” for gender non-conforming workers.

“Anti-sex work feminists, on the other hand, don’t see sex work as a place for any woman,” Grant writes. “It is telling that many feminists who wish to abolish all forms of sex work, such as The transsexual empire author Janice Raymond and author of The industrial vaginaa Sheila Jeffreys, refuse to accept that trans women are women. They seem to believe that those who engage in sex work are not yet capable of being real women.


SWERFs benefit from a society where those who do not engage in sex work are seen as pure, chaste, and sexually valuable. During this time, cisgender women deserve to be seen as the default form of femininity in the world. Unsurprisingly, both of these beliefs are consistent with white, heteronormative, and Eurocentric gender roles for women. It’s for a reason. As a writer Sophie lewis explains, this is because SWERFs and TERFs see bodies as “ahistoric” and unaffected by the culture we find ourselves in.

If you treat your identity as timeless and innate, it silences the criticism. The privileged are becoming the norm, enforced by the biggest enemies of sex workers and trans people: the police, the transphobic and prostitute state, and violent fanatics. This is one of the reasons black trans women who engage in sex work are especially the most vulnerable, and why their voices should be raised.

“The upward movements of sex workers are not primarily besieged by SWERFs and TERFs, nor even by [bioconservative trans figures like] Caitlyn Jenner, but terrorists and cops, ”writes Lewis. “It is only with this meaningful qualification that we should turn to attacks coming from the right, from both anti-feminists and feminists.”

In queer and feminist theory, we talk a lot about intersectionality as a form of solidarity between the oppressed. But there’s a darker side to intersectional thinking: Sometimes oppressors band together too, from lawmakers who hate sex workers to academics who hate trans women. This is why it is so important for sex worker rights groups to elevate their trans membership and for trans rights organizations to vehemently support the decriminalization of sex work. As Lee mentioned on Tuesday, their struggles are the same.

Decrim NY has understood this well. When contacted for comment by the Daily Dot, Nina Luo of Decrim NY explained that the organization has “worked to elevate the trans members of our coalition to leadership positions” and that in the board of directors of the A consensus-driven organization, Decrim NY prioritizes its trans voices.

“Everyone has internalized transphobia, just as we have internalized racism, sexism, classism and homophobia, and it is our duty to constantly work to transform ourselves in order to be better allies in the fight against criminalization, discrimination and violence against trans people. Luo told the Daily Dot via email. “Trans communities often face economic, social, criminal and other barriers to participation. We try to fundraise to overcome some of these obstacles, but it also means that we must continually do political education to make our space as welcoming as possible to trans people.

It is difficult to say for sure whether Decrim NY will succeed. But he speaks the truth to power, and he has powerful people by his side. Look no further than the New York State Senator from the DSA Julia salazar, who is working with Decrim NY on introducing legislation to decriminalize sex work. When contacted for comment, Salazar expressed support not only for sex workers but trans people as well.

“Decriminalization of sex work is a trans justice issue as well as a criminal justice issue because trans people, especially low income trans people, are more likely to use sex work as a means of survival. in a hostile society, ”Senator Salazar told Daily Update. “The feeling of transphobia and anti-surrogacy shown by opponents of the Decrim NY coalition is worrying and shows how the elements of this coalition are not concerned with the lived experiences and the real testimonies of sex workers in general. and trans sex workers in particular. “

Salazar also called on Decrim opponents to distance themselves from transphobic statements made at the NOW rally.

“I hope that other opponents of Decrim speak out against transphobia and find the opportunity to listen directly to the perspective of trans sex workers on policies that will make their lives easier and safer,” Salazar continued.

For the record, NOW-NYC tweeted Monday that “we strongly support transgender rights and are fiercely opposed to @ObjectUK and the odious views and language it puts forward in its anti-trans agenda,” noting that the group apologizes “for not having recognized their presence and having closed them. . “

But in the case of NOW, moving forward with SWERFs ensures that TERFs are not far behind. Supporting trans rights also means supporting sex workers: there is simply no in-between.

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Hawai’i Harm Reduction: Changing State Laws for Sex Workers Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:12 +0000

Community advocates and sex workers in Hawai’i are rallying to be heard in the next session of the state legislature.

Credit Wayne Yoshioka

Tracy Ryan, Executive Director, Harm Reduction Hawai’i

Harm Reduction Hawai’i is attempting to change state statutes and rules that currently subject sex workers to moral judgment and criminalization. Tracy Ryan, executive director of the organization, says fearful sex workers unwilling to testify and federal misinformation is crippling progress.

“If we are to deal with either sex work or sex trafficking, we have to start with real facts. And, as long as the hysteria and fear reign supreme, we can’t do that. We can’t do a real factual analysis, we can’t look at the cost benefits of various programs. We cannot use logic to solve problems. Instead, it’s about getting people to fear and get angry and pass bad laws. This is where we have been for most of the past 15 years.

Ryan says New Zealand has removed laws that penalize acts of consenting adults and offers workers the


Credit Wayne Yoshioka

Terra Burns, advocate for the rights of sex workers

the greatest freedom of how and where they want to work. Terra Burns, originally from Alaska, quit sex work, began writing books, and earned a master’s degree in social justice. She lobbied her state legislature to change sex trafficking laws.

“We now have an immunity law in Alaska that allows you, if you are a victim or witness of a crime such as sex trafficking, child pornography or assault, to report it to the police and you cannot be accused of prostitution or arrested. prostitution when you declare in good faith that you have been the victim or witness of a heinous crime.

Burns says the next step is to clear sex workers’ criminal records to enable them to secure employment and housing and ultimately decriminalize all aspects of consenting adult sex work.

“Prostitution laws violate our constitutional rights to privacy, our due process rights to work, to contract and to earn a living; our rights to come together and communicate with each other for our own safety and to negotiate for safe workplaces.

Executive Director Ryan, a transgender woman, supports erasing sex workers’ criminal records as the only way to avoid prosecution right now is to pretend to be a victim of sex trafficking. She is also organizing an awareness project and intends to present a number of legislative initiatives in the next session for more protections and freedoms.

“We really believe that sex workers should be the ones speaking for themselves rather than speaking to advocates and advocates like me speaking for them. So if sex workers are actually running for the legislature, they cannot really be ignored. And we’ve seen in the few hearings I’ve been to where sex workers have come forward that the whole tone of what people across this office really thought and were ready to do had changed.

There will be a harm reduction conference on January 11 to discuss a wide range of issues, of which sex work is a part. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

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Writer-executive producer Frank Pines signs with APA – Deadline Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:11 +0000

EXCLUSIVE: Executive writer-producer Frank pines signed with APA for representation.

Pines is currently in pre-production on their CBS comedy pilot. We three, with Malin Akerman and Oliver Hudson. Written by Pines, We three follows adult siblings – two of them played by Hudson and Akerman – who are children of the divorce and have to ride around the wagons when their sister’s husband unexpectedly announces that he wants to end their marriage . Pines executive produced with Ben Winston and Jeff Grosvenor of Fulwell 73. CBS Television Studios produced in association with Fulwell 73.

Last season, the autobiographical comedy produced by Kerry Washington of Pines The man of the house received a pilot order from ABC. He also wrote The people, a multi-camera comedy that was previously sold to CBS / CBS TV Studios. He was a consultant producer on Everything about Washington, which aired for one season on Netflix, and it worked on all six seasons of Freeform’s Baby daddy, become co-executive producer.

Pines began his television career as a writer on hit CBS comedies Everyone loves Raymond and TThe new adventures of old Christine.

Pines continues to be replaced by Think Tank Management and lawyer Ryan LeVine.

APA has signed the new WGA franchise agreement.

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Keeping the promise of organoids Fri, 16 Apr 2021 05:34:11 +0000

Professor of Developmental Mechanics in the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, Alfonso Martinez Arias shares his expert perspective on organoids in the field of developmental biology

A few years ago, a title and a photo captured the imagination of the world: Scientists managed to grow a miniature version of a human brain on a plate in the laboratory. Naturally, such a feat unleashed the imagination and hope of people, especially those with the disease. Regardless of whether similar discoveries were made and reported with mice before, the adjective “human” still has an impact on everything science-related. Soon word was that this would revolutionize the study of Mental Health, pave the way for curing illnesses and, of course, there were the inevitable claims to cancer cure.

These “mini brains were part of a menagerie of counterfeit lab-grown human organs and tissues, including disembodied eyes, livers, intestines and pancreas that came to light with this discovery.” How was this possible? What does it mean? It is sometimes difficult to disentangle the hype and hope in scientific research, but in this area it must be done, as the potential gains are huge but only if they are built on solid foundations and not on false expectations. Right now, understanding mental health with mini brains is not on the agenda, but understanding something about how cells make the brain is. If you want to build great buildings, you need a good foundation.

What are organoids

Structures that would have been cultured in the laboratory are known as “organoids” because they are imperfect replicas of real organs. They are the result of remarkable and still poorly understood capacities of special cells, stem cells. Cells do not live forever and most of the tissues in our body require constant renewal. This is what stem cells do. They manage to maintain themselves while providing a constant flow of material to repair damage and keep organs functioning.

For example, every day your body produces 200 trillion red blood cells to keep you in shape and stem cells in your gut 30 billion cells to take care of your digestion; it is the impressive power of these cells. The ultimate stem cells are embryonic stem cells (ESCs), derived from very young embryos, they can be grown almost indefinitely in culture, and at any time any of them can generate an entire organism.

Organoids are the result of the potential of stem cells. It’s not yet possible to grow blood in the lab, but intestinal and embryonic stem cells pave the way for much of what we may do in the future. A single intestinal stem cell can produce a coarse copy of the adult gut, an intestinal organoid, in vitro and directing ESCs in defined environments with specific chemicals, can produce rudimentary kidneys and lungs. It was these ESCs that were used to build mini brains. However, for now, we cannot control these processes, just watch them unfold.

The promise

It’s the beginning. Organoids are, in most cases, too imperfect to be useful, but the goal is to use these cellular devices to understand disease, test drugs, and even one day create substitutes for certain tissues and organs.

One of the main problems in regenerative medicine, in which we can replace a damaged organ or tissue with a healthy organ, is the matching of tissues between a donor and a patient. Work with organoids promises to solve this problem with the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs): ESCs generated by converting an individual’s adult cells to ESCs which, in principle, can then be transformed into any what tissue and organ.

Thus, iPSCs make it possible to generate tissue matches for the patient because the donor is genetically the same. There is no doubt that it will happen in the future, but it will not happen any faster due to unfounded claims that it can happen, and we should avoid listening to the siren songs that are so common in this domain.

One of the obstacles to progress is “reproducibility”. In biology, when something works, it is able to make many good copies of itself; here are embryos that build organisms. Unfortunately, most organoids are now low frequency, heterogeneous, and non-functional. To break this deadlock, we need more basic research. Two areas will have an ongoing impact: developmental biology – which teaches us how animals develop – and engineering – which tells us how to control processes and make them efficient.

The path of promise

For now, however, as we realize the promise of iPSCs, gut organoids, possibly the most advanced and reproducible in the field of human organoids, provide a benchmark for some of the work that can be done. In a recent landmark study, scientists made intestinal organoids from cancer patients who were undergoing treatment and observed that the in vitro avatars responded to treatment as individuals did ( This opens up huge possibilities for using these organoids to rapidly test drugs and treatments showing the potential that lies ahead.

The emerging field of organoids at the intersection of stem cells, developmental biology and engineering will transform our understanding of how cells build organs and tissues, and in doing so, will pave the way for important applications in science. biomedical research. For this to realize its potential, we must resist the allure of statements that promise a lot in the short term present and invest in solid knowledge for the long term future.

Alfonso Martinez Arias

Professor of developmental mechanics

Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

Phone: +44 (0) 1223 766 742


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