Gender-Bending Down Under

Transgender symbolOn the slow road to public acceptance of transsexual, transgender, or intersex people, Australia is somewhat surprisingly pulling out front and showing other countries how it should be done. Australian citizens can now choose from three gender options when applying for a passport: male, female, and indeterminate. Those Australians who cannot and do not identify as completely male or female will now, under revised application guidelines released last week, be able to place an X in the space traditionally reserved for M or F. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd stated “This amendment makes life easier and significantly reduces the administrative burden for sex- and gender-diverse people who want a passport that reflects their gender and physical appearance,” and drew a collective sigh of relief from the island continents trans community. But what of the USA?

Like Canada, the United States permits citizens to change their identified gender from male to female and vice versa, but only after undergoing sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and providing proof with appropriate medical documentation. Even then, it’s still one or the other. Down Under, though, transsexual individuals only need to produce a letter from their medical practitioner that, according to the Australian passport office, states “that the person has had, or is receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to a new gender, or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth.”

Publicly funded universal health care, the best beaches in the world, remarkable wildlife, a diverse multi-cultural population, and now a place on the passport for the perennially misunderstood intersex population. No wonder they call it The Lucky Country.

Netbox, Quickflix, Vidster?

VideoBoxUnless you’ve been living in an Amish Paradise for the last few months, you’re probably aware that Netflix has been alienating and frustrating its remaining customers with price hikes, service changes, elapsed licensing deals, and generally tumultuous and upsetting behavior. Now CEO Reed Hastings has announced a split that will result in Netflix ceasing DVD rentals to provide streaming video alone, with new off-shoot company Quickster handling all physical media. Customers are outraged.

Over at VideoBox, on of the most consistently well reviewed adult video sites on the ‘net, and surely one of, if not the largest, customers are also voicing their dissenting opinions. Having months ago launched a trial beta version of something called VideoBox 3.0 (or VB3), the massively popular site only recently made the official switch to the new format. Customers have called the new, feature-laden design both a commendable innovation and a reason to leave the site:

    – “Please, let me know when you are sunsetting VB2 in time to cancel my subscription.” – Jim

    – “I don’t like the VB3 interface as it gives me less control over the content. This whole transition seems pointless.” – jfro21

    – “What pisses me of the most is vb3 is so slow compared to vb2 and it is a hassle to download anything. vb3 seems geared more towards streaming than downloading.” – Nathan

    – “Love the improvements, don’t think I’ll need to go back to VB2 anymore.” – TDK

    – “Love it, VB2 what?” – Dante

    – “Bravo guys. Now we’re cookin… Lubrication manufacturers everywhere are cheering increased sales projections.” –  Shawn

So, after months and months of revisions, modifications, and adjustments, it seems VB3 is on the verge of being VideoBox members’ only browsing option. While some will petulantly throw in their membership cards for try to find a comparable alternative (not likely), I’m willing to bet most will stick around for this exciting new phase of VideoBox’s continued domination of the online video porn game. It seems Netflix (or is that Quickster) could learn a thing or two from porn providers, after all.

Paradise in Phuket

Asian-themed website (and recent review subject of Mr. Pink’s) Thai Girls Wild doesn’t just offer a plethora of videos and photo galleries starring adorable Thai girls who are definitely DTF, it also functions as a visual guide to Phuket, Pattaya, and Bangkok for the horny tourist. With half-a-dozen galleries devoted to Beach Life, City Life, Night Life, Funny Life, and girls in Random Poses, as well as Beer Bars & GoGo Bars. These galleries paint a lush, exotic picture of Thailand’s three major cities with sun-drenched beaches, bustling shopping districts, and a flamboyant and vibrant nightlife offering visitors the chance to indulge in their most elemental passions. Oh, yeah, and the girls seem extremely eager to please.

Even more detailed is the tour guide found at SheMax, a five-site network devoted to Thailand’s famous kathoey (male-to-female transgender) population, which gives a thorough breakdown, in both image and written form, of where to go, what to drink, how much to pay, and how to find the hottest and most accommodating trannies in all of Thailand. Of course, this particular resource is better suited to those who don’t mind a little dick with their chick, but after six or seven shots of Sang Som rum, who can tell the difference?