Video by VICE

The FLDS broke away from mainstream Mormonism in order to continue the practice of polygamy. They established the community of Short Creek along the Utah/Arizona border to follow their beliefs in isolation. In 2011, their prophet Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison (plus 20 years) for sexual abuse of two of his child brides, ages 12 and 15.

VICE travels to Short Creek to meet with some of the young women who escaped from the cult, who have recently to returned to the town to try to rebuild a new life there.

By Matt Branham,

Find a place to read this alone and reel in some kinky knowledge.

There are a great many mysteries to life, and most of them have to do with the secrets behind the closed door of BDSM. Bondage and domination, sadism and masochism, BDSM is underground space between everyone’s bed, as twisted as it is dark. Now you can learn all the things you secretly want to know about BDSM. Get ready for 50 Shades of Mandatory. Just don’t forget your safe word if it gets too weird in here (Hint: “Bosco”).

By Morgan Harries,

Joseph Finegan is keen for everyone to know he’s just a normal guy who works at a nightclub and takes photographs in his spare time. It’s just that those photographs happen to be of guys having secretive sex parties, arranged through Craigslist and held in Manchester’s cheap hotels.

Last year, we asked Joe to write about his experience of taking the photos, and he got back in touch recently to let us know he’s releasing a book of his work. That book – Do Not Disturb – is out today, and Joe’s holding a pop-up exhibition at Doomed Gallery in Dalston tonight to celebrate its launch.

To see what’s changed in the year since we last heard from him, I gave him a call for a catch-up.

This podcast originally appeared on Life On The Swingset

By ,

For a long time there haven’t been many public role models to demonstrate healthy, high-functioning polyamory, in contrast to the many demonstrations of monogamy we see every day on TV, movies, and other corners of the media.

It’s easy to make mistakes when first venturing down the path of non-monogamy. This week, we take you through five common mistakes made by people first opening up a closed relationship or dabbling in polyamory.

By Alice Segel,

I cannot hook up with a guy to save my life. It’s not that I can’t get a guy to go out with me; I just can’t “close the deal,” so to speak. This is embarrassing, but if I’m being honest, I have not so much as kissed anyone in six months. Before that, I had long stretches of celibacy peppered with flings with guys who were only vaguely interested in me.

It was suggested to me by a few friends I might have something called “sexual anorexia.” According to Psychology Today, “Sex addicts ‘act out’ or ‘binge’ through promiscuity or high-risk behavior, sexual [anorexics] starve themselves by ‘acting in,’ denying themselves the pleasure of relationships, dating, loving touch, and genuine connection with others.”

By Kat Hamilton,

The very first time I experienced my version of perfection was when I met a gorgeous man in Monaco last year. He’s young, a multimillionaire (I mean, you have to be to live in Monte-Carlo), and during our date at the Hermitage Hotel terrace he made a comment during our conversation that he thinks biologically, deep down, all women want to be dominated. I raised my eyebrow at him and quickly disagreed. There is nothing about me, or my life that wants to be controlled by a man, outside of the bedroom. I left that last part out in my objection because quite frankly, I didn’t want to give him a bone in this debate that would only encourage his views on women being in a position of servitude. Little did he know, I was soaked all the way through my panties.

By Shanna Collins,

When it comes to the topic of BDSM, the topic is still relatively taboo. BDSM practices as a form of alternative sexuality is often stigmatized as deviant, unhealthy, and sensationalized (particularly with the campy novel and 2015 film release of E.L. James’s50 Shades of Grey) instead of being viewed as healing force that improves relationships. In a new insightful piece in Broadly, kinksters share their passion for blending energy work with BDSM practices, offering wonderful benefits for monogamous and vanilla sex lovers.

Video by The Young Turks,

Some are suggesting the strict rules of verbal consent involved in BDSM could help to reduce rape if it were taught in schools. Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, Grace Baldridge, and Josh Zepps, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“Could talking to students about BDSM culture help combat rape on college campuses? Psychology researcher Kathryn Klement thinks so.

Klement is the co-author of a newly published study out of Northern Illinois University, which showed that BDSM practitioners are less likely to believe victim-blaming myths or sexist stereotypes than the general population.

By Casey Gueren,

Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s your real primer on all things kink.

1. First things first: Here’s what BDSM actually stands for:

BDSM includes bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism & masochism (S&M). The terms are lumped together that way because BDSM can be a lot of different things to different people with different preferences, BDSM writer and educator Clarisse Thorn, author of The S&M Feminist, tells BuzzFeed Life. Most of the time, a person’s interests fall into one or two of those categories, rather than all of them.

By Sophie Saint Thomas,

Anyone into kinky sex invariably ends up with “battle wounds,” so to speak. Marks on your wrist if you’re into restraint play, bruises if you’re into flogging, flesh wounds if you and your partner are into more extreme BDSM acts such as branding, scarification, or other body modification. The vast majority of these injuries fade, but a few people want to get something a bit more permanent out of their sex lives—so they’ve turned to tattoos.

“It’s a big turn-on to give my pet kitten tattoos,” says Allan Crowder, a 33-year-old from Georgia who has given his 24-year-old wife, Virginia, multiple tattoos in the bedroom as part of their foreplay ritual. “It’s something about her being helpless yet so strong at the same time, her breathing and moans of pain and pleasure… that get me in the mood.” Virginia says that being tattooed by Allan brought them closer. “I feel that it strengthens my trust with him in our play. At the end of the day, my heart swells with happiness of the love we share,” she explains.

By ,

Every night I sleep with an eye mask, ear plugs, lavender essential oil, and a teddy bear. All four can be used for kink, but I don’t lead with that.

After some time with my husband, though, I can’t resist broaching the topic. “Would it be weird if I wore my blindfold when we have sex sometime?”

“Totally weird,” he responded. “Where is it?”

We all have a gift, and this is mine: Saying things others might be too shy to ever bring up, and helping others to do the same. I love the conversational space between discomfort and ease, and I’m fascinated by how the taboo can take that quarter-turn into the normal with the right window dressing.

By Sandra LaMorgese,

This one is for all the thrill seekers out there.

If you’re the type that likes to push boundaries, gets bored of the same old routines, and wants something new, taboo, and exciting, then I have two words for you: Edge Play.

Keep in mind, this isn’t for the faint-hearted. But, if a naughty, mischievous mood strikes you and your partner, edge play can add the perfect elements of spice and danger that will bring you and your partner closer and step up your level of sexual intensity. How so? Edge play brings you right to the brink of the deepest, darkest parts of the psyche, the places few people dare to tread.

By Shaunna Murphy,

We calculated exactly how much sex is in the “Fifty Shades Darker” trailer.

We all enjoyed our first look at “Fifty Shades Darker” via its full-length trailer on Tuesday (September 13), since watching two hot rich people wear masks and fend off their devious ex-lovers is pretty much always a great time.

However, a former colleague of mine later pointed out something I hadn’t quite realized was missing from this trailer, especially when compared to the steamy-as-hell trailer for the first “Fifty Shades” from back in 2014: sex. Riding crop-happy, blindfold, BDSM sex.