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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:14 am 
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Majorca bars slammed over sex-for-drinks deal
by George Mills
3 July 2014

Two bars on the Spanish island of Majorca have come under heavy fire for allegedly offering women free drinks if they perform acts of fellatio on fellow customers.

The 'free drinks craze' — known as 'mamading' — caught the attention of local authorities after a video of one incident went viral online. This showed a woman at a club in the popular tourist destination of Magalouf performing acts of "mini-fellatio" of several seconds duration on young tourists, Spain's El Mundo newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Government of the Balearic Islands and the local town hall are now looking at possible action. But authorities also admit they are in a tough position because there are no legal measures they can take against the clubs. "It is morally reprehensible and humiliating for those who participate but it's an act carried out between adults who are free to do what they think is right, as long as there is no coercion," Isabel Llinás, the director of the island government's Women's Institute said. She added that the trend was "worrying" while conceding it appeared to be limited to a few bars in Magaluf.

But local bar owners are frustrated the sex-for-drinks offer has captured so much attention. The story "distracted attention" from the real problems of Majorca's Punta Ballena strip, which was the regeneration of the zone, one bar owner told El Mundo. "Institution and businesses are investing lots of money to improve Magaluf and its image and it's not fair that all this work is ruined by a few anecdotal stories about Punta Ballena during the summer months," another bar owner said.

In related news, local hotel owners in the fellow Balearic Island of Ibiza recently told The Local that a UK tourism safety campaign was "exaggerated" after it warned tourists not to walk home alone at night.

Source: The Local Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Playhouse club and Carnage Magaluf (not pictured), the firm organizing the bar crawl, will also have to pay a €55,000 fine. File Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

Magaluf 'oral sex' bar shut down
25 July 2014

A nightclub in the notorious Spanish holiday resort of Magaluf in Majorca has been forced to close for a year by local authorities following a sex-for-drinks scandal which made international headlines.

Playhouse club and Carnage Magaluf, the firm organizing the bar crawl and the sex games, will also have to pay a €55,000 ($73,000) fine following a police investigation. The sex for free drinks craze — known as 'mamading’ (from the Spanish word for oral sex) — caught the attention of local authorities after a video of one incident went viral online. The YouTube video showed an 18-year-old British holidaymaker performing performing fellatio on 24 men during the pub crawl.

Spain’s secretary of state Isabel Borrego had previously said such activities should not be "criminalized" and that they weren’t a police matter. But Majorcan authorities have grown tired of the appalling image the island is receiving from the incidents and have pointed the finger of blame at the “hoteliers in Magaluf who promote alcohol-fuelled tourism”.

On July 11th, Calviá mayor Manuel Onieva announced that companies organizing pub crawls will have to apply for a licence from Calviá Town Hall and pay fines if they surpass a 50-person limit. Onieva has also expressed his “absolute rejection” towards the so-called ‘mamading bars’.

Source: The Local Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:11 pm 
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Vilafranca’s town council representatives argue the bondage-themed hotel is "unsuitable" for the village. Shutterstock

Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
by Alex Dunham
29 July 2014

Spain's first bondage-themed hotel - equipped with a massive dungeon and all the latest gear – has been stopped from opening its doors by the local village authorities. The Local talks to the businessman behind the project.

The small Valencian village of Vilafranca, with only 2,500 inhabitants, would have gained notoriety on Friday had the opening of Spain’s first BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism) hotel gone ahead.

“With the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon in full swing, I saw a business opportunity that hadn’t been exploited yet in Spain,” the businessman, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Local. The entrepreneur rented out Vilafranca’s L'Om del Llosar hotel with plans to cater the roadside property to a ‘niche’ market, announcing the launch on Facebook for August 1st.

Renaming it the Roissy Castle in honour of the French chateau featured in classic erotic novel The Story of O, he has told potential guests they’ll “be able to enjoy games, flaunt themselves and share experiences with other visitors” in the twenty hotel rooms and four dungeons, three of which are private.

Vilafranca’s town council representatives aren’t too happy with the news however, arguing that it is “unsuitable” to “have an establishment of this nature in the village” and so close to the “chapel where dozens of people come every day to visit the village’s patron saint”. “Our restaurant and bar have been full of villagers since we opened at the start of the summer,” the savvy businessman told The Local. “It wasn’t until just a few days ago that one of Vilafranca’s online dailies ran a piece on our plans to open the sadomasochist hotel and this huge uproar began.”

Oscar Tena, Vilafranca’s mayor, has already begun the legal procedure to block the launch on the basis that the businessman doesn’t have the necessary paperwork to have a hotel and restaurant licence. “Four emergency lights and an extinguisher, that’s their excuse. The hotel’s proprietors were the ones who didn’t install them in the first place but they’re closely linked to the local town councillor. It’s abuse of office. I’ve spoken to my lawyer and we’re going to sue the town hall,” the businessman said.

Source: The Local Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:58 am 
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Spain's cold shower for sex and booze resorts
By Anna Cuenca
August 3, 2014

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British tourists sit in Punta Ballena street, in the Magalluf zone, in Calvia on Mallorca Island late on August 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jaime Reina)

Calvia, Spain (AFP) - Wearing only underwear and angel wings, three young women wiggle their hips to entice customers to enter one of the many nightclubs in Magaluf, a Spanish beach resort notorious for its sex and booze excess.

"We came to get drunk, basically. Everyone knows Magaluf is partying big time," said Bruce Stenning, an 18-year-old from London who came to the Mediterranean island of Majorca with five friends. "I came for the strippers," added one of his mates, James Pilkington, as he stood outside a bar on the Punta Ballena -- the heart of the resort's nightlife -- which advertised in English "the best lap dance".

Roughly 85 percent of the visitors to Magaluf come from Britain and Ireland, and little Spanish can be seen on bar flyers and billboards offering cheap drinks and theme parties. Shops sell souvenir T-shirts with the catchphrase "On it 'till we vomit".

But the local authorities -- who would rather attract upmarket tourists -- are calling time on Magaluf, with new rules to rein in the most dangerous and hedonistic antics.

Image
A young British tourist gestures in Punta Ballena street as he has fun in the Magalluf zone, in Calvia on Mallorca Island late on August 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jaime Reina)

The resort made headlines around the world last month after a video showing a young woman performing oral sex on several men on the dance floor of a nightclub went viral on the Internet. Local media reported that the nightclub was staging a contest which offered free drinks to women who performed the most fellatio in the least amount of time.

"My family were concerned about me coming here thinking that this was normal," said Sorcha Rafferty, a 19-year-old from Belfast with 13 friends. "Magaluf has got a reputation that people come on holiday here and have sex everywhere. And it's true!" added her friend Bryony Spence, 20, at a bar offering the vodka cocktail "Sex on the Beach".

'Sex-for-drinks' game

Following the scandal local authorities ordered the Playhouse nightclub where the sex-for-drinks game took place to be closed for a year. They also slapped the nightclub and a firm that offers pub crawls, Carnage Magaluf, which organised the game, with a fine of 55,000 euros ($73,000).

Magaluf has many such firms where a guide takes large groups of youths from bar to bar to enjoy unlimited drinks for a flat fee, and also take part in games that mix alcohol and eroticism. Most are organised by British businessmen, and some of them respect the law and some do not, said Montserrat Jaen, the tourism director general of the regional government of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands are fighting to end this type of "low cost" tourism which is restricted to "a few very small, concrete areas", she added.

Image
Two local policemen patrol in Punta Ballena street, in the Magalluf zone, in Calvia on Mallorca Island late on August 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jaime Reina)

Such resorts "are remnants and I think that in the long term they will convert" to the quality tourism that the Balearic Islands offer in many other places, she said. Just hundreds of metres (yards) away from the Punta Ballena strip and its rowdy bars, yachts bob gently in crystal clear waters.

People are never punished

Calvia, the municipality Magaluf belongs to, introduced a bylaw on July 25 to regulate pub crawls which sets limits on the number of participants. Five days later the municipality closed a second nightclub, this time for breaking the limit on the number of clients, said Joan Feliu, who is in charge of bar licensing at Calvia city hall.

Image
Young British tourists walk down Punta Ballena street as they have fun in the Magalluf zone, in Calvia on Mallorca Island late on August 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jaime Reina)

In a region that is dependent on tourism -- the Balearic Islands received 13 million visitors in 2013 who spent 12 billion euros ($16 billion) -- local authorities traditionally only fine companies not tourists. "People are never punished even though the law also stipulates a series of obligations for tourists," said Feliu. Another bylaw was recently introduced banning "balconing" -- jumping from one apartment balcony to another or from a balcony down into a swimming pool. Several youths have been killed or seriously injured in recent years due to the "balconing" craze.

Hotels also kick out guests who destroy furniture or attack staff. About 250 hotel guests were asked to leave last year for misbehaving, according to Joan Espina, the vice president of the Association of Hotels of Palmanova-Magaluf. "This has always happened, it happens now with these kids and it happened with their parents when they came in their day," he said.

Alcohol flows all day in Magaluf, beside swimming pools in the morning, on boat cruises in the afternoon and in bars and nightclubs at night. By dawn tourists can be seen fighting in the streets, throwing up, passing out, and in the most serious of cases, being stretchered off to hospital.

Despite everything, Sorcha and Bryony plan to return next year. "Of course!" they said in unison when asked if they would be back.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:46 pm 
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There have been 235 homophobic attacks in the first six months of 2014 in Spain. Photo: Curto de la Torre/AFP

Spain's gays biggest target of hate crimes
by Alex Dunham
28 July 2014

Spanish police have warned that the country's LGBT community have been the victim of more hate crimes than any other minority group, despite Spain being rated one of the world's most gay-friendly countries.

There have been 235 violent incidents in the first six months of 2014 in Spain which have been motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or identity. People with disabilities (124 incidents) and those of another race (also with 124 attacks) are the second and third largest minority group affected by hate crimes. These range from insults and threats to muggings and sexual attacks, including rape.

The southern Spanish region of Andalusia, the country’s largest and most populated, scored the highest number of violent incidents directed at the three groups previously mentioned.

An international 'morality poll' looking at 40 nations revealed last April that Spanish people were first in terms of acceptance of homosexuality. Madrid is also unofficially Europe’s gay capital, with the yearly Gay Pride celebrations drawing in huge numbers from around the world.

The latest police figures show however that a lot remains to be done to change the attitudes of a minority who feel threatened by the country’s LGBT community.

Source: The Local Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:05 am 
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victor wrote:
Image
Playhouse club and Carnage Magaluf (not pictured), the firm organizing the bar crawl, will also have to pay a €55,000 fine. File Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

Magaluf 'oral sex' bar shut down
25 July 2014

A nightclub in the notorious Spanish holiday resort of Magaluf in Majorca has been forced to close for a year by local authorities following a sex-for-drinks scandal which made international headlines.

Playhouse club and Carnage Magaluf, the firm organizing the bar crawl and the sex games, will also have to pay a €55,000 ($73,000) fine following a police investigation. The sex for free drinks craze — known as 'mamading’ (from the Spanish word for oral sex) — caught the attention of local authorities after a video of one incident went viral online. The YouTube video showed an 18-year-old British holidaymaker performing performing fellatio on 24 men during the pub crawl.

Spain’s secretary of state Isabel Borrego had previously said such activities should not be "criminalized" and that they weren’t a police matter. But Majorcan authorities have grown tired of the appalling image the island is receiving from the incidents and have pointed the finger of blame at the “hoteliers in Magaluf who promote alcohol-fuelled tourism”.

On July 11th, Calviá mayor Manuel Onieva announced that companies organizing pub crawls will have to apply for a licence from Calviá Town Hall and pay fines if they surpass a 50-person limit. Onieva has also expressed his “absolute rejection” towards the so-called ‘mamading bars’.

Source: The Local Spain.


An unedited version of the video can be seen here.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Ten Spanish sex expressions you won't find in the dictionary
20 August 2014

When it comes to matters of a sexual nature, the Spanish language is every bit as creative as you'd imagine.

While rustic themes get a surprisingly amount of coverage — Trip to the vegetable garden, anyone? — some of these Spanish phrases for hanky panky are downright weird (Want to play the rustic drum?). But what all of phrases here have in common is their colourful language and tongue-in-cheek nature.

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TO WET THE DOUGHNUT:
Yes, churros: those long, thick doughnut sticks we all love to dunk in chocolate and put in our mouths. Like most stick-shaped food, churros are euphemistically used to described a man's Johnson. 'Mojar el churro' means to have sex.

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TO KICK UP DUST:
If you want to get down and dirty with someone, then it could well be time to 'echar un polvo', or have a good old-fashioned shag. Saddle up folks.

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TO RUB THE SPRING ONION:
No brownie points for guessing what the veg is meant to represent. 'Arrimar la cebolleta' is an expression used to describe close physical contact between two people, kind of like dry humping.

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TO GIVE YOURSELF THE STRAW:
Despite what you might think, 'hacerse una paja' doesn’t have anything to do with going for a roll in the hay. Instead this is one of the most common slang expressions for masturbation.

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TO GO ON THE ICE CREAM CONE DIET:
'La dieta del cucurucho', as it is called in Spanish, is usually followed by the words 'comer poco, follar mucho' (Eat little, have plenty of sex). Whether eating wafer biscuits while engaging in tantric sex is scientifically proven to help weight loss we don’t know, but this funny rhyming expression is used a lot by Spaniards when joking about dieting.

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TO THROW THE JUNK AT SOMEONE:
It might sound a tad aggressive but 'tirar los trastos a alguien' actually means to flirt with someone in colloquial Spanish.

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TO SHOW SOMEONE WHERE CUENCA IS:
Legend has it King Philip The Handsome of Spain (1478-1506) had an observatory built for him to look out at cities surrounding Madrid on the horizon. It also doubled up as a love nest where he could keep his affairs hidden away from his wife Juana The Mad. As he escorted one young lady up the tower, he reportedly told guards “la voy a poner mirando a Cuenca”. They read between the lines and popularized the expression with its new hidden meaning: to have sex 'doggy style'.

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TO PLAY THE 'ZAMBOMBA' DRUM:
Watch pop-jazz star Jamie Cullum play the Spanish friction drum known as the zambomba (darle a la zambomba) and you will understand where this expression for masturbating comes from.

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TO TAKE SOMEONE TO THE VEGETABLE GARDEN:
Much the same as what taking a roll in the hay implies in English, ‘Llevar a alguien al huerto’ means to lead astray in the sexual sense.

Image
TO THROW ON THE HELMET:
A variant on ‘to kick up dust’, to ‘echar un casquete’ means something like to screw someone. Suffice to say it’s not the most romantic expression for sex ever, in Spanish or in any other language.

Photos: Shutterstock
Source: The Local Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 6:02 am 
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Spain to raise minimum marriage age from 14 to 16
By CIARAN GILES
May 8, 2015

MADRID (AP) — Spain is moving to raise the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 in a bid to boost protection of minors and bring the country in line with its European Union neighbors.

The legislation was approved by the lower house of Parliament last month and was sent to the Senate on Friday for debate and likely approval over the coming months. Spanish law allows boys and girls to marry at 14 with permission from a judge. Without such consent, they must wait until they are 18.

Spain has one of Europe's lowest minimum ages for marriage in the EU, with most members setting it at 16. Ana Sastre of Save the Children in Spain, which supports the change, said the proposal came after United Nations experts in 2010 urged Spain to address the matter.

The change will affect few. The National Statistics Institute says six 14-year-olds — two boys and four girls — got married in the first six months of 2014, while just one girl of 14 got married the previous year. "Fundamentally it's a measure of protection to avert possible forced marriages, sexual exploitation or offenses against children, especially girls," Sastre said.

Ana Berrocal, civil law professor at Madrid's Complutense University, said the change was necessary given that Spain, acting on another U.N. recommendation and pressure from child protection groups, recently raised the minimum age for consent to sexual relations from 13 to 16. Javier Fajardo, law professor at the University of Navarra, said Spain's low age limits were not unusual given that, in the past, most of Europe allowed marriage once a person could have children. "Today a person of 14 is seen as still a child while a century ago they could have been the head of a family, responsible and working," he said.

Source: Yahoo! AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Infamous Spanish resort Magaluf to clean up image, crack down on drink binges
June 10, 2015

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Tourists walk on the street at the resort of Magaluf, in Calvia town, on the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Joan Llado)

MADRID (AP) — Magaluf, the super popular Spanish resort notorious for the alcohol binges and drunken misbehavior of foreign tourists — mostly young Britons — is hoping a package of new municipal regulations will help clean up its image.

Top of the list are a bid to crack down on so-called "pub crawls" between bars, involving groups of 50 people or more; holidaymakers parading barely clad in the street; and people urinating in public in the resort located on Spain's Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Calvia, the town that governs Magaluf, issued the package of directives Tuesday, giving police the powers to break up groups drinking in public areas between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., and limiting the sale of alcohol to bars and restaurants between midnight and 8 a.m.

Holidaymakers not on the sea front or around pools must cover their torsos with T-shirts at least, while those caught urinating in public areas can face hefty fines.

Companies organizing pub crawls, in which groups of tourists pay a set fee to visit several bars in a row, will be allowed to run only one event a day and for a maximum of 20 people. Bars are also ordered to prevent clients taking drinks beyond the boundaries of their premises.

On Tuesday night, police patrolling the resort stopped people breaching the new laws but made no detentions. Many bar and shop owners said they were unhappy with the new restrictions as they feared they would affect their income.

The town hall said there will be an as-yet-unspecified period in which tourists will be informed of the regulations and during which fines, ranging from 750 to some 3,000 euros, will not be applied. The town hall also hopes to curb "balconing," in which some holidaymakers try to jump from apartment balconies into swimming pools, many suffering severe or fatal injuries.

Source: AP via Daily Journal.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:39 am 
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victor wrote:
Spain to raise minimum marriage age from 14 to 16
By CIARAN GILES
May 8, 2015

MADRID (AP) — Spain is moving to raise the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 in a bid to boost protection of minors and bring the country in line with its European Union neighbors.

The legislation was approved by the lower house of Parliament last month and was sent to the Senate on Friday for debate and likely approval over the coming months. Spanish law allows boys and girls to marry at 14 with permission from a judge. Without such consent, they must wait until they are 18.

Spain has one of Europe's lowest minimum ages for marriage in the EU, with most members setting it at 16. Ana Sastre of Save the Children in Spain, which supports the change, said the proposal came after United Nations experts in 2010 urged Spain to address the matter.

The change will affect few. The National Statistics Institute says six 14-year-olds — two boys and four girls — got married in the first six months of 2014, while just one girl of 14 got married the previous year. "Fundamentally it's a measure of protection to avert possible forced marriages, sexual exploitation or offenses against children, especially girls," Sastre said.

Ana Berrocal, civil law professor at Madrid's Complutense University, said the change was necessary given that Spain, acting on another U.N. recommendation and pressure from child protection groups, recently raised the minimum age for consent to sexual relations from 13 to 16. Javier Fajardo, law professor at the University of Navarra, said Spain's low age limits were not unusual given that, in the past, most of Europe allowed marriage once a person could have children. "Today a person of 14 is seen as still a child while a century ago they could have been the head of a family, responsible and working," he said.

Source: Yahoo! AP.

Spain raises minimum marriage age from 14 to 16 to boost child protection
23 July 2015

MADRID (AP) – Spain has raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 to boost protection of minors and bring the country in line with its European Union neighbors.

The legislation came into effect Thursday and follows recommendations from United Nations experts and child protection groups. Spanish law had previously allowed boys and girls to marry at 14 with permission from a judge. It was one of lowest minimum ages in the European Union, with most members setting it at 16.

The change will affect few as national statistics show only a handful of 14-year-olds were getting married each year.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:47 pm 
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Stunning Photos Capture Spain’s First Gay Police Wedding
8 September 2015

Image

Spain may have legalized same-sex marriage in 2005 (the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marraige), but it has only just celebrated the first ever same-sex marriage between officers in the country’s national police force this weekend.

Image

Newlyweds Chema and Jonathan met while serving in Spain’s Policia Nacional and have been together for five years. Saturday they became the first same sex police officers to marry in Spain, marrying in full dress uniform in the grand surroundings of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera.

“We are not the first gays in the police, we have lots of gay friends in the force,” Chema told Spanish radio station, Canal Sur Radio.

Image

Chema added that he hoped their wedding would help to achieve “normalization”. “If it helps someone who is being bullied in school for their sexual orientation to see it as something normal, then that’s great. It’s not something that should be hidden just because you belong to a particular institution,” he added.

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Source: The Gaily Grind.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 1:03 am 
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‘Sex roulette’ is the disturbing new trend for Spanish teens
By Dominique Sisley
11 May 2016

A dangerous new trend, in which teenagers have unprotected orgies with HIV carriers, is reportedly on the rise in Barcelona.

According to several reports in the Spanish media, the high-risk activity – more commonly known as ‘sex roulette’ – has been growing in popularity across the Catalan capital. Much like Russian roulette, the sex parties are aimed at people who want to add an element of danger to their carnal connections, by inviting (at least) one ‘secret’ HIV carrier to the group.

The trend, which is apparently practised by people of all sexualities, echoes the equally contentious ‘bugchasing’ movement; where gay men actively pursue the virus for sexual pleasure. This time, however, the rules are more open. For example, while some of these orgies are exclusive only to HIV carriers, others “offer blue tablets” that are supposed to prevent the contraction of the virus. “These are non-prescription drugs in Spain and therefore bought on the black market,” French radio channel Equinox explains.

According to Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic – which is currently treating around 100 HIV carriers a day – the rise of ‘sex roulette’ has also been linked to a spate of other sexual diseases in the city; including hepatitis C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It has also been connected to the notable decline in the amount of young people who are concerned with catching HIV (stats reveal that 24 per cent of 15-25-year-olds are “not afraid” of the virus).

But why, despite all the obvious dangers, is this disturbing trend so appealing? “Going to sex roulette parties is about the risk, partygoers think the higher the risk, the stronger the thrill,” says psychosexual therapist Kate Moyle. “In the case of sex parties the intense high is as you combine orgasm with high adrenaline. However the high is short term and the long term consequences are dangerous as not only is there the risk of contracting HIV, but other harmful sexually transmitted infections.”

It’s not the first time the media has reported on the ‘sex roulette’ trend, either. Back in 2014, La Vanguardia newspaper raised concerns about the number of straight teenagers indulging in these kinds of “high-risk” orgies; adding that they believed the craze had come “from Colombia”.

“We’ve become victims of our own success when it comes to treatment,” explains AVERT’s news officer, Caitlin Maron. “HIV treatment is much more accessible and effective in this era, and people living with HIV are living healthier lives and into old age. As such, many people may feel that becoming infected with HIV isn’t such a ‘big deal’.”

“Whilst the outlook for people living with HIV is certainly positive, it is still a life-long chronic condition, with treatment needing to be taken every day,” she adds. “Living with HIV can still be a significant challenge for many.”

Source: Dazed Digital

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 Post subject: Re: Spain and sex
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:40 pm 
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Politics killing the mood at Barcelona's storied sex club
by Alfons LUNA
11 November 2017

BARCELONA (AFP) - The sequined curtains of Barcelona's Bagdad nightclub have seen a few sights in their 40 years -- from red-lit sex shows to burlesque troupers hauling gas canisters with their genitals.

But the legendary nightspot, opened in the 1970s during Spain's swinging return to democracy, is now feeling the pinch from a new sideshow -- Catalonia's drive to declare independence. "It's because of the political crisis, all these images broadcast abroad," says Bagdad owner Juani De Lucia. "People are scared to come to Barcelona and I hope that changes fast."

The maitre d' reckons business has slumped 70 percent since Catalonia organised a banned referendum on independence on October 1, plunging Spain into a constitutional crisis. Normally a favourite haunt of tourists, businessmen and bachelor parties on the hunt for titillation, the mirror-lined club one recent day had just two sole punters on its cherry red seats, taking in an x-rated show that often requires audience participation.

Down the road, an avenue lined with theatres and cinemas is similarly bereft of visitors. In a reminder of the region's tumult, the face of a pro-independence actor, Quim Masferrer, appears on a poster for one show. "If we want a normal country, we need to have a normal life," he told local radio station Rac1.

De Lucia feels much the same. "When you live in Barcelona, you know you can come and go as you please, but people outside of the city don't realise this," she says. "Here many foreign women are getting frantic phone calls from their families."

Catalonia, home to 7.5 million people, Mediterranean beaches and world-renowned architecture, is Spain's most-visited region, attracting more than 18 million foreign tourists in 2016. But in just two weeks following the October 1 vote, tourism saw a 15 percent year-on-year drop off, according to employers' federation Exceltur.

The Bagdad, named to evoke the tales in "1001 Nights", was founded in December 1975, a month after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. The country's return to democracy hailed an era of sexual liberation in traditionally conservative Spain, including a surge in pornographic and erotic art, particularly in the film world.

It was during a trip to Hamburg's red light district -- around the lurid, buzzing Reeperbahn once home to The Beatles -- that De Lucia came up with the idea of her own hommage to hedonism. "I was super young. Just seeing all these amazing halls, the sex shops, the peep shows, I felt I was on another planet," she recalls. "Everything was open 24 hours, everything was legal."

With her husband she decided to let an old flamenco cabaret near Barcelona's Las Ramblas Boulevard owned by local screen luminary La Bella Dorita. She says it turned out a wise move. "There were lines of people waiting down the street. Back then you had to travel to France just to see 'Last Tango in Paris', so it was an impressive success."

The club has produced its share of legends, including famed porn actors Nacho Vidal and Marco Banderas and performers Kumar and Tiger Man, who perfected the improbable feat of lifting a 30-kilogramme bell and a gas canister by their penises.

Banderas admits he's "never seen such a slump" in clientele, but De Lucia is defiant. "Bagdad is over 40 years old, it's a solid business," she says. "It will still be here, you can't erase 40 years overnight."

Source: AFP

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Cutiepie Snoozikin Scrupelshrumpilstilskin's "major pain in the butt"
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