Hoax Museum Blog: Sex/Romance

Boyfriend was really a girlfriend

Almost too weird to believe: Gayle Newland says that for two years she thought she was meeting and having sex with her boyfriend, Kye Fortune... a boyfriend whom she never set eyes on because she wore a blindfold the entire time they were together. Kye insisted on this, saying he was ashamed of scars from a car accident and "anxious about the way he looked." But according to a criminal complaint Newland has filed, she eventually discovered that this "boyfriend" was actually one of her female friends wearing a prosthetic penis. She's now suing that friend for sexual assault. More info: telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015.   Comments (5)

Russian propaganda warns of gay indoctrination

Russian state TV, Rossiya-1, has been warning viewers of the moral decadence of the West by airing news footage that shows an American father indoctrinating his child into homosexuality by covering the kid's bedroom wall with gay pornography. However, the footage is obviously fake. It originally came from a sports paraphernalia company, Fathead, and showed a father surprising his son by decorating his wall with a massive photo of a monster truck. The footage was then altered by 4chan users to replace the monster truck with gay pornography. It seems clear that this is not a case of satire mistaken as news. It's a case of willful misrepresentation of satire for the sake of propaganda. [vox.com]

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014.   Comments (3)

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014.   Comments ()

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014.   Comments ()


First Kiss —

Director Tatia Pilieva recently released a video showing 20 strangers who were paired up and then asked to kiss each other. The video quickly went viral, with currently over 37 millions views on YouTube.

But now the video is being outed as a kind of hoax because while it is true that the people were all strangers to each other, they were also professional performers. And the whole video was an ad for clothes, paid for by Wren Studio which is promoting its "Fall 14 collection".

Amanda Hess writes for Slate:
The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it's really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It's like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.
 
In an interesting parallel, Robert Doisneau's famous 1950 photo of a Parisian couple kissing, titled "The kiss at city hall," was also staged by professional models. Doisneau revealed this in 1993 after a couple who claimed to be the pair in the scene sued him, seeking compensation for the use of their image.


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014.   Comments ()

Missing Love — A "missing love" flyer has been posted at various NYC subway stations. A note at the bottom of it asks, "Please help me find my missing love by uploading photographs of possible suspects to instagram and twitter using the hashtag #missinglove."


It seems romantic (and timed for Valentine's Day), and people have been Tweeting words of encouragement, hoping this woman finds her missing love.

However, it may not be real. Or maybe it is.

The person behind it is artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila who calls it an "art action" on the Facebook page she created for it.

In response to people on Twitter who are confused whether it's fact or fiction, she's responded that it's "the both!! art and reality!!" So take your pick.

[via gothamist]

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014.   Comments ()

Blood Love Spell — In Japan, it's a Valentine's Day tradition for women to give handmade chocolates (Honmei choco) to men they have romantic feelings for.

This year there's a rumor circulating on Twitter, claiming that many young women are mixing their own blood into the chocolates, in the belief that this acts as a kind of love spell that will ensure their feelings are reciprocated.


The rumor gets even more stomach-turning, because there are also claims of mixing menstrual blood, saliva, fingernail clippings, and pubic hair into the chocolates. Japancrush.com has posted many examples of these Tweets.

Is there any truth to these rumors? That's hard to know. It's certainly possible people would do something like this. But one hopes that all the Tweeters claiming to have done this are just bluffing.

However, it's worth noting that the central premise of the rumor is correct. Blood has been used for centuries as an ingredient in love spells. It's part of Blood Magic. In addition, blood (as well as every body part imaginable) was used extensively as an ingredient in western medicine up until the Victorian period. The historian Richard Sugg recently published an interesting book about this widespread practice of medicinal cannibalism.

So it's plausible that some young women would act upon these ancient folk beliefs and add a little something extra to the chocolate.
Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014.   Comments (1)

Stuck Together—can it really happen? — BBC News has delved into the mystery of "penis captivus," aka "cohesione in coitu," aka couples getting stuck together during sex. It tries to determine whether this can really happen, or whether such reports are just an urban myth.


According to legend, the gods Mars and Venus once got stuck together, as depicted in this 16th century woodcut by the artist Raphael Regius

Dr Aristomenis Exadaktylos of Switzerland, in a recent radio interview, declared it to be an urban myth. But other doctors aren't so sure. Dr John Dean, a "senior UK-based sexual physician," says that it's a rare phenomenon, but insists it can happen. Although he hastens to add that it's a problem that usually resolves itself within a few seconds as muscles relax.

However, most reports of the phenomenon are highly anecdotal and seem to be more myth than reality. For instance, the BBC offers a description of a 1372 case in which the problem supposedly lasted an entire day... a claim that stretches credibility:
In 1372, Geoffrey de La Tour-Landry related how a voluptuary named Pers Lenard "delt fleshely with a woman" on top of an altar of a church, and God "tyed hem faste togedre dat night". The following day the whole town saw the couple still entwined "fast like a dogge and biche togedre". Finally prayers were spoken and the couple's prolonged intercourse came to an end (although they were obliged to return to the church on three Sundays, strip naked and beat themselves in front of the congregation).

Accounts of the phenomenon also often mix in a moral message by suggesting that the problem only afflicts adulterers, because the fear of detection strengthens the force of the woman's muscular spasm. So "Recent media reports of penis captivus - in Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Philippines - all concern adulterous couples." The notion that the problem is somehow a punishment for adultery is, of course, nonsense.

Finally, what would be the medical treatment for this problem? The 17th Century Dutch physician Isbrand van Diemerbroeck offered cold water as a cure:
"When I was a student at Leyden there was a young Bridegroom in that Town that being overwanton with his Bride had so hamper'd himself in her Privities, that he could not draw his Yard forth, till Delmehorst the Physician unty'd the knot by casting cold Water on the Part."

If cold water doesn't work, chloroform historically seems to be the next most popular solution. But I assume any muscle relaxant would remedy the situation.
Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014.   Comments (1)

Photographing your imaginary girlfriend — I recently posted about how the imaginary girlfriend business is booming, with plenty of companies eager to help guys who want to pretend that they have a girlfriend. But Japanese photographer Keisuke Jinushi has some strategies for the more DIY-minded. On his Facebook page, he's been posting photos that appear to show him interacting with his girlfriend, but, in reality, are all self-portraits. And, for those who might want to imitate his techniques, he also shows how he created the photos. [via CNN]








Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013.   Comments (1)

Invisible Girlfriend — The premise of Invisible Girlfriend is that if you need to pretend that you have a girlfriend (for instance, if a guy is trying to hide the fact that he's gay) this company will provide you with convincing proof to back up your story.


Matt Homann, its founder, says, "This is the business of helping [clients] tell a lie — we’re thinking of it more as a shield — to have the excuse ready in hand and not have to be uncomfortable." [BuzzFeed]

Fake girlfriend services are not new. I've posted about quite a few of them here, including FakeGirlfriend.co, Cloud Girlfriend, Girlfriend Hire, and ImaginaryGirlfriends.com.

This market niche seems to have become quite crowded.








Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013.   Comments (2)

Typing fake profiles causes wrist injury (maybe) —
Doriana Silva says she was hired by Ashley Madison (that matchmaking service that caters to people who want to have extramarital affairs) in order to type up 1000 fake female profiles for the company's new Portuguese-language website. Doing this, she claims, led to severe wrist and forearm pain, and she now wants compensation, to the tune of $20 million.

Ashley Madison admits it hired Silva, but dismisses her claims as frivolous. It points out that one of Silva's recent facebook photos shows her jet skiing during a vacation, apparently unhampered by severe wrist pain. [When will people learn that if it's on facebook, everyone can potentially see it?]

As for the idea that their website includes fake female profiles? Why, the very notion shocks and appals them! "Our service is 100% authentic, as described in our terms and conditions, and we resent any implication otherwise."

However, the company hasn't explained exactly what Silva was doing during her brief period of employment with them. [links: Toronto Sun, Ashley Madison]
Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013.   Comments ()

The Peril of Cyber Romance — A bizarre love triangle. Wang Pai and Lili struck up a romance online, but when they first met in real life, they realized that, oops!, they were father-in-law/daughter-in-law. Even worse, Wang's son, Wang Jai, had tailed his wife to her rendezvous. The whole mess ended in a brawl, leaving Lili with missing teeth and Wang Pai with a serious head injury.

This story was first reported recently by the Heilongjiang Morning Post, and then by ChinaSMACK, the Daily Mail, and a whole bunch of other news outlets.

But the Heilongjiang Morning Post, realizing the entire tale was a hoax invented by Wei Hongji, a reporter with Muleng Television, has posted an apology.

It isn't the first time we've seen one of these tales of online (or penpal) lovers who meet and realize they not only know each other, but are family.

It's the premise of Rupert Holmes's Pina Colada song from 1979.

And back in 2005, a story circulated about two cyber lovers in Jordan (Bakr Melhem and Jamila) who used the online aliases 'Adnan' and 'Sanaa'. Upon meeting, they realized they were husband and wife. In 2007, the exact same story recirculated in the news, but with Adnan and Sana relocated to Bosnia.

I'm pretty sure there have been other examples of this story reported as news. I just can't remember them right now.
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013.   Comments ()

Animal Instincts Pet Condoms — "Is Sparky a sex addict?" the website petcondoms.org asks visitors. "Spot the signs!" The site also offers advice on "how to put on a pet condom".


A few clicks on some of the links soon reveals that, no, this site isn't really selling pet condoms. It was recently launched by the San Francisco SPCA as a way to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. The point being that trying to put a condom on your pet is an ineffective way of preventing unwanted births.

It's actually not the first time the internet has seen a website about condoms for pet. Back in 2005 the site dogcondoms.com launched, followed in 2008 by doggycondoms.com (which now seems to have gone belly up).
Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013.   Comments ()

The “Fake Dominatrix” Scam — A 35-year-old Austrian woman advertised herself as a dominatrix, promising strict discipline to clients willing to pay. It took the men who responded to her ad a week to realize that instead of getting sexy punishment, they were being made to do work around her farm (chopping wood, mowing the lawn) while dressed in black fetish gear. They were paying for the privilege of doing farm labor. [spiegel]
Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013.   Comments (2)

Fifty Shades of Grey not a Guantanamo favorite — Strange thing for a US congressman to have been claiming. Especially since, according to reports, Fifty Shades of Grey isn't even in the prison library at Guantanamo.

Guantanamo Fifty Shades of Grey claim denied by lawyer
BBC News

A lawyer for a detainee at Guantanamo Bay's highest-security section has rubbished reports that Fifty Shades of Grey is a favourite read among inmates. A US congressman made the claim last month after visiting Camp 7, saying it showed the inmates were "not exactly holy warriors".
Lawyer James Connell says guards this week gave a copy of the erotic novel to his client, possibly as a joke. But 9/11 accused Ammar al-Baluchi had no interest in the book, he said.

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013.   Comments ()

Wedding Hoaxer — Pinder Sondhi's wife was upset to find out that all of her husband's guests at their wedding were actors. He had invited fake friends, relatives, and even parents. His parents were played by an elderly couple who had agreed to do the job on the condition that "they would keep whatever gifts they received in the wedding."

Plus, Sondhi had told his wife that he was a banker. That wasn't true. And he was simultaneously married to another woman. He lived with wife #2 during the week, and wife #1 on weekends. [Times of India]
Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013.   Comments ()

The Proposal Rejection Prank — The Proposal Rejection Prank is a perennial favorite. Back in 2005 I posted about how a couple had developed a routine they were performing at basketball game halftime shows, in which the guy would propose to the girl in front of the entire crowd. But instead of saying yes, the girl would break into tears and run away. It never failed to get a reaction from the crowds.

The PrankvsPrank duo recently performed the identical stunt at various locations outdoors. Their resulting youtube video currently has over 4 million views.


Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments ()

Woody Hayes and the turtle —

Woody Hayes
At a recent Ohio Coaches' Convention, Urban Meyer told an interesting story about legendary Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes. The story involved an interaction between Hayes's genitals and a turtle. Here's the story, as Meyer told it:

"So I guess Ohio State had lost the bowl game, so Earl Bruce brings in Woody Hayes. I had been there just a week and I'm thinking, 'Holy, this is Coach Hayes.' I'm sitting in the back. Coach Hayes was not healthy at the time, but stands up and starts laying into the coaching staff about toughness. That we have no toughness in the program. That's why we lost the game. On and on and screaming, this old guy pounding the table. He says, 'We have no toughness, and the reason is because you're not tough. No one on this staff is tough enough, and that's a problem.'
"He reaches down and grabs this box, slides the top and there was something in the box moving around. He reaches in and he pulls out this turtle. He reaches down, this turtle's snapping and he says, 'I'm going to show you toughness.' He unzips his pants and takes out whatever he takes out. The turtle reaches up and snaps at him. You see the veins and the sweat (on Hayes). He screams at the coaches, 'That's toughness! That's f'n toughness!' He reaches down, pokes the turtle right in the eye and it falls off. He wipes the sweat off his forehead and says, 'That's the problem. We don't have anybody in this room tough enough to do that right there.
"(One assistant) raises his hand and says, 'Coach, I'd do this. Just promise not to poke me in the eye.'"

Meyer insisted repeatedly that the story was true, and apparently some people believed him, because the tale began to circulate online this week and OSU began receiving inquiries about it. Finally the OSU pr office felt compelled to send an email to the media advising them that, despite what Meyer may have claimed, the story about Hayes and the turtle was just a joke. [Deadspin, Yahoo! Sports]
Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2013.   Comments (1)

Slave Girl for $7.14 Hoax, 1959 — Here's an example of a rumor that swept through an African community back in 1959. The story appeared in The Bakersfield Californian (Nov. 10, 1959).


Slave Girl For $7.14 All A Hoax
MOMBASA, Kenya (UPI) — Crowds of Africans who wanted to buy wives for $7.14 each have been told by the government that those stories about slave auctions were only rumor.

Local official W.P.M. Maigacho had to issue an official denial of the rumors after men from outlying tribes twice gathered in the town of Tononka, expecting to take part in a slave auction.

According to the rumors, native girls from a local mission were being sold for the equivalent of $7.14. The purchaser could take the girl to Mombasa and marry her, the rumors said.

I don't know what $7.14 would be in present-day money. Nor do I know what $7.14 would have been in East African Shillings, which was the currency in use in Kenya in 1959. However, one can assume it was a bargain rate for a wife. It seems like a strangely specific number. Why didn't they round down to $7.00?

Of course, perhaps this news story was itself a hoax — something dreamed up by a bored reporter in Africa. I haven't been able to find any other accounts of the rumor to verify that it occurred.
Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013.   Comments (1)

The Diamond Club—an erotic literary experiment —

Justin Young and Brian Bushwood, of the NSFWshow podcast, were intrigued by the success of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. They were particularly impressed with how many books were selling well for no other reason, apparently, than that they looked Fifty Shades of Grey. So they decided to conduct an experiment — to find out whether an ebook could succeed simply by resembling Fifty Shades of Grey.

They came up with a title for their novel, The Diamond Club. They also sketched out a rough outline of a plot:

When Brianna Young discovers that Roman Dyle, the man she built a relationship and a multi–million dollar company with, has gotten married to another woman behind her back, she embarks on a journey to realize her dreams of professional and sexual revenge for everything she had endured at the hands of Roman.Brianna seeks her romance from The Diamond Club, an exotic gathering of the Bay Area's most attractive and interesting people, from angel investors and airline pilots to world–famous chefs and dubstep artists.

They singled out three qualities their novel would need to succeed:
  1. a cover that looked like 50 shades of grey
  2. lots and lots of sex
  3. characters with trendy jobs.
They attributed their novel to a fictitious author, Patricia Harkins-Bradley. But they enlisted the help of their readers to do the actual writing. In this way, none of the authors had read the entire book, and there was little cohesion between chapters. So they could guarantee that the novel wouldn't gain readers on the basis of its great writing.

Finally, and this was a key part of the experiment, they asked all their listeners to buy the book, priced at an affordable 99 cents, in order to push the book into the top 10% at iTunes. Their theory was that once the book broke into the top 10%, momentum would take over, and people (who weren't listeners of their podcast) would buy the book simply because other people were buying it.


It looks like their experiment has succeeded. The book has been hovering around in iTunes Top 10 List. It's also available for the nook and kindle. Reportedly, it's already earned Young and Bushwood close to $20,000.

Similar literary experiments have been conducted before. Back in 1968, Mike McGrady and his friends at Newsday first proved that a crowdsourced book could become a bestseller with their sex-filled novel, Naked Came the Stranger.

And even earlier, in 1956, deejay Jean Shepherd and his listeners proved that publicity alone could create demand for a (non-existent) book — I, Libertine.
Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012.   Comments (1)

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