In America, more than 80% of all males have been circumcised, in Europe that number is less than 20%. The World Health Organization puts circumcision right around ⅓ of all adult males globally. Circumcision is such a default in American culture that I think most of us are only recently waking up to the fact that we’re pretty much alone on this one, at least outside of majority muslim countries. And like the imperial measurement system, the NFL, the war on terror and cheez-wiz, Americans seem perfectly willing to barrel ahead without stopping to ask why no else wants to follow.
The difference between atheism and apathy for most of us seems to center on the hurts and bad habits caused by the virus of belief that has hijacked so much of our culture, our policies, even our thinking. After working in therapy, my client’s and my own, I’m convinced that one of the pervasive artifacts of faith is the need to constantly, painstakingly, justify our actions. To, in all things, be working towards some cosmic goal.
In 1964- more than 10 years after Playboy published their first issue sharing Marilyn Monroe’s naked pictures with the world and half a century before the beginning of the Secular Sexuality podcast, Chief Justice Potter Stewart was challenged with the rest of the United States Supreme Court to answer the question of whether or not a state, in this case Ohio, could outright ban a film on the grounds of obscenity. Stewart’s mind, reflecting the prevailing opinion of the time, was that the constitution’s protections of free speech did not extend to ‘hard-core pornography’ but that Les Amants (the lurid film in question) didn’t constitute hardcore porn, explaining only "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." Read More
A few weeks ago I was in the actual library part of The Free Thought Library, the ACA’s physical base of operations here in Austin. We were going over a recent episode of Secular Sexuality in which my guest, a yoga therapist, had managed to cause a collective eye roll of the audience by clinging to her “one foot in each camp” philosophy- pitting spirituality against science. Across the room I spotted a copy of Michael Pollan’s new book How to Change Your Mind and couldn’t help but laugh. I had just started reading my own copy and could now commiserate with the authors struggle as he tries to apply a scientific approach to understanding the effects of psychedelics on individuals and society at large. Read More
Impact play, or ‘spanking’ to you vanilla normies, is the quickest dividing line for separating out those who are ‘in the lifestyle’ and those who are becoming increasingly uncomfortable as this sentence progresses. Whether it’s a polite love tap or a pant splitting bruise, a smack on the ass is the international invitation to the pain for pleasure club. For those curious about taking a walk on the wild side and those already sore and squirming in their seats, it can be hard to put a finger, let alone an open palm, on why exactly this unpleasant act can have so much appeal. Hopefully I can shed some light on why they, or um, we, or perhaps you yourself, find this baffling and taboo enterprise so alluring. Read More
As a host on Secular Sexuality I get the chance to help people not only feel more comfortable but empowered by providing education on everything from condoms to pronouns. We get to be one of the few voices speaking about personal issues like opening up a relationship or embracing bisexual monogamy. We play games, follow sex in the news, and introduce all kinds of ways to be, to love and even to fuck. And yeah, we get to talk about porn, even the weird stuff (who knew Rick and Morty parodies would be so big this year?)