Who runs it: Dan Savage, the syndicated sex advice columnist, offers an alternative to the vanilla views of sexologists like Dr. Drew.
Why you need it: Dan Savage pulls no punches. His weekly column, Savage Love, has become a guidebook for navigating the uncharted territory of American's changing sexual landscape, and CL's Sex & Love site (see sidebar) features his past columns and his Savage Love podcast. Savage is a strong proponent of sexual fantasies and experimentation, so long as they're consensual and don't digress into the realms of abusive, predatory or risky behavior.
Why you need it: Ever ask yourself, "I wonder what a site featuring pictures and contact info for the country's up-and-coming sex bloggers in their underwear would look like?" If so, Indie Undies is your answer.
Tampa Fetish Party
Who runs it: Run by a man who only goes by Robert, the site was conceived as a nonthreatening forum to inform fetish lifestyle participants and those who are just curious.
Why you need it: The key to unlocking the mysteries of Tampa's underground fetish scene, Tampa Fetish Party links to fetish organizations around Tampa, including fetishcircuit.com, mastersquest.com, Tampa Bay Bondage Club and Women's Power Exchange. The site also offers information on a variety of fetishes, including bondage, catheterization, hanky codes and diaper domination, and provides templates for BD/SM and slave consent forms.
Who runs it: On-line ticket broker Ticketmaster bought match.com in 1999, a good fit for a company that knows how to operate a global site with regionally specific content. The match was also conceived as a way of pairing dating singles with local event listings.
Why you need it: When you're tired of getting kicked off of eHarmony.com because your profile doesn't match your expectations, it's time to try match.com. This service has a $20 monthly fee, but paying it is better than flipping through free personals ads from ex-cons and prostitutes on sites like craigslist.org. The fee also eliminates anyone who's too cheap to invest $20 a month in a relationship. Match.com is so confident in its product that if you have the type of profile that takes more than six months to find a taker, you'll receive a six-month free subscription.
Who runs it: FriendFinder Networks (formerly Penthouse Media Group) operates this adult dating site along with a variety of other networking sites like FriendFinder.com, Amigos.com and AsiaFriendFinder.com. The company is also responsible for publishing Penthouse and producing an array of adult videos.
Why you need it: Despite the name, this site has no pretense of matching lonely souls with kindred spirits in search of sunset walks and comfort food. Adultfriendfinder is dedicated to getting you laid. Most posts feature body shots from the neck down, and along with the usual profile questions the site also asks for relationship status and "endowment" (both length and width). This is the site's one flaw. Even if users were required to post a picture of their jolly-roger next to a ruler, dudes would still find ways to lie about their bulge. The site also includes a users' fee, but again, you get what you pay for. You can either pay a few dollars upfront to get access to locals who genuinely just want sex, or you can spend months on Facebook and Myspace, cultivating hookups by exchanging witty yet flattering comments on a profile that only offers pictures from the neck up. Adultfriendfinder profiles are discreet, which is vital if you're fooling around behind your partner's back.
Why you need it: Since the invention of the internet, the huddled masses have sat at home alone, crouched in the blue glaze of a computer screen with a waiting bottle of Jergens and a Kleenex box, searching for free porn that doesn't come with a rash of pop-up ads for male enhancement pills. It has taken some time, but the dreams and hard work of computer geeks have been realized in RedTube.com. This site dovetailed on the success of Youtube.com, featuring videos banned from mainstream sites. Clips are shown using Flash Player technology, which doesn't download videos to your hard drive, reducing the potential of contracting virtual STDs. RedTube was initially started as a forum for the peep culture to post homemade sex videos; u,sers still upload these videos, but the majority of the content is now professional pornography that, when showcased against amateur footage, makes you appreciate the amount of craft and art that goes into making sex look sexy. Videos are anywhere from one to 45 minutes long, and range in clarity from blurry to DVD quality. The database of porn isn't limitless, but it takes a true sex addict to exhaust the entire supply. New clips are posted daily and are organized in categories that range from Hentai to Wild & Crazy (see the clip of a woman who turned her ass into a flame thrower). The main downside to this site is the amount of time you'll waste on it (it took me several hours to "research" this blurb as I kept getting distracted). As with any site, be careful about clicking on advertisements that link to other pages, even if they promise live local girls waiting to chat. And please follow proper porn protocols: Lock your door, use only one earphone, erase your virtual memory and for God's sake don't view this site at work -- unless, like me, you're paid to do so.
National Sexuality Resource Center
Who runs it: The NSRC launched in 2003 with a single goal, to promote sexual literacy. They define this concept as "the positive integration, and holistic view of sexuality from a social justice perspective."
Why you need it: Although we here at CL like to boast about offering serious content dedicated to sex and love, we can't help but throw in more than a few articles and photos that are less than scholarly. If you're exclusively interested in authoritative content on human sexuality, the National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) has you covered. As well as promoting a happy and healthy sex life, the center focuses on presenting positive ideas of sexuality that counter the flood of adult content breeding on the Internet. Articles are based on research and facts rather than the witty opinions and anecdotes conceived in the deranged minds of sex editors like myself.
Adult Video News
Who runs it: This trade journal, based out of the San Fernando Valley, is operated by Paul Fishbein and Barry Rosenblatt. The magazine was started as a forum for rating adult films and tracking adult industry news. The company also hosts the annual AVN awards, the porn industry's answer to the Oscars.
Why you need it: Like RedTube, this site is definitely not safe for work. It caters to porn connoisseurs, offering the most comprehensive news coverage of the adult entertainment industry. Articles are updated daily, and feature everything from company mergers to insight into which congressmen are backing proposed vice taxes. Users will also find toy and video reviews, X-rated trailers and event listings. This site is required reading for anyone who follows the adult industry the way most people keep up with celebrity news.