Spritzophrenia

humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Posts Tagged ‘sex’

Sex, God, Science and Music (Part One)

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 11, 2010

You say, “Don’t talk about Sex, God or Politics”. I say, “Why not? Let’s face it, we’re all interested in them”. Books I’ve dipped into recently include:

Sex At Dawn

“The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality”
Authors Ryan and Jetha say humans evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care and often sexual partners. Apparently this is against the mainstream scientific opinion. They use primatology, anthropology and other fields to argue that humans are not naturally monogamous and thus we should ease up a little in our sexual mores.

Despite centuries of religious and scientific propaganda, the basic illusions underpinning the supposed “naturalness” of the conventional nuclear family are clearly exhausted. … We need to seek peace with the truths of human sexuality. Maybe this means improvising new familial configurations. Perhaps it will require more community assistance for single mothers and their children. Or maybe it just means we must learn to adjust our expectations concerning sexual fidelity.
~ p 308

Bonobo monkey and friend

Bonobo monkey. Apparently we’re related. The Bonobo is the hairy one.

I’d like to mention that in New Zealand we have pretty good welfare for single parents which has led to big social changes, and I would argue, good changes.

Sex At Dawn‘s approach also seems fairly propagandist to me, but the book finishes abruptly and the authors acknowledge they don’t offer many solutions. They do have a far-too-brief look at open marriages, swinging and similar. In my admittedly tiny sample size of people I know who’ve tried “polyamory” as it’s now called, all three couples found it too hard, and even damaging to the primary relationship. Ryan and Jetha suggest that the positive evidence of successful polyamorous couples is hidden, as we like to be private about that sort of thing.

Some of the book’s use of the evidence has been criticised too:

As a primatology/anthropology graduate student, I’m SO glad to see this review! Just reading through this book annoys me because of the vast amount of inaccuracies and flaws. The positive reviews genuinely confuse me so it’s good to see a more critical reader. ” (Sarah Soffer)

and

I’ve studied primatology, evolution, and especially evolution of sex, so this book infuriates me too.

I nearly did not buy it as it is so ‘wrong’ but seeing how so many people have been uncritically accepting all these weak arguments I felt I had to read as much as I could stomach and try to at least make people think more critically and hopefully look to the literature themselves.” (L. Saxon)

Even if they’ve over-interpreted the research, it’s still possible some of their conclusions may be true, they aren’t the first to suggest we should just loosen up and relax our ideas around sexual fidelity. But as for how to include that in my own life? That’s a hard one, and I’m not sure I want to include them. Regardless, it’s a well-written, entertaining and interesting read. What are your thoughts?

Thanks to HappyGirl for lending me great books relevant to my research, or just plain interesting. Hey! What about the science and music? Check out Part Two.

Respond

Non-monogamy. What do you think?
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Posted in agnostic, ethics, Judaism, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Why The Kendra Wilkinson Sex Tape Should Make You Angry

Posted by spritzophrenia on June 1, 2010

Friend Hazey linked me to this, and it adds useful comment to my last post. Warning, it describes sex acts.

Here’s the main point the article makes:

This isn’t a sex tape, really. It’s that thing we talk about that happens to our young women. That thing that we, as grown-ups, write about and research incessantly and condemn broadly, but don’t remember so vividly. It’s right here on video.

…It’s that space where young women have discovered and perfected their sexuality and its value, but haven’t yet figured out how it’s empowering. They just know that it’s something people want from them; it’s something people expect from them. Something young men expect from them; something, perhaps, that young men haven’t learned how to ask for politely. It’s uncomfortable and new and everybody’s learning, and what happens, more often than not, is that the male partner’s desires come first and more forcefully, and the young woman is disrespected and disempowered and left with a sense that she’s less valuable and less capable of demanding respect and control than her male counterpart – a sense than lingers into her twenties and beyond, even though she might not recognize it as such.

This isn’t rape – not even close. And Kendra’s not even unhappy the whole time. But you can tell who’s in charge; you can tell who’s in control. It’s made clear. Kendra’s requests are completely ignored; she’s totally disrespected here, naked and exposed.

Kendra Wilkinson Sex Tape

On a lighter note, today’s TFUL*: Vocal group covers “Battery” by Metallica.
* Today’s Fun Unrelated Link.

Posted in ethics, ethics, Off Topic, Sociology | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Should I Stop My Son From Watching Porn?

Posted by spritzophrenia on May 26, 2010

*Warning: This post mentions a variety of sex acts. It’s your choice whether you read further*

I remember the first time I saw pornography. I was perhaps nine and a friend had got hold of some kind of magazine. There was a field of long grass next our school, and at lunchtime the three of us headed in there to peruse. The pictures were black and white, and not particularly explicit. I think I remember breasts. It was possibly a sex manual, or what is called soft porn these days. At that age I knew looking at these pictures was somehow exciting, titillating and forbidden, but I don’t think it scarred me for life.

In the 1980’s, my teen years, pornography was only available as magazines (and later, videos) and was hard to get hold of. Boys had to have the courage to purchase a magazine in person, and if you were obviously under age you’d be refused. It was just too embarassing, and I never tried. I did manage to view a few Playboys and Penthouses at a friend’s house when I was about 15. Playboy was generally soft-ish porn. Penthouse was more gynaecological and would sometimes show copulating couples, but it wasn’t extreme. Nevertheless, I made it into my 20’s having seen very few naked ladies, and what I did see was relatively tame compared to what one can now easily view online.

Now it’s 2010 and I have a twelve year-old son. These days, vast quantities of online porn are so very easy to find. It’s even possible to encounter porn without intentionally seeking it out. So far he’s still fixated on games, but it won’t be many more years before my young man takes more of an interest in girlies. I’m not a prude. I’m not against porn as such. But should I prevent my son from seeing it? I think so.

porn!

Here’s how I came to that conclusion

Is Porn Immoral?
Like I said, I’m not against porn in itself. That said, I do want to make a couple of caveats: I think some porn exploits some women and men, I don’t think the industry is squeaky clean. However, if the models and actors are paid and go into it of their own free will I think it could be an acceptable choice. For some people, pornography can become addictive, and it’s worth keeping that in mind. Some porn also contributes to sexism by teaching unrealistic ideas about sex and about women and men. See this post, and more on this below. These reservations noted, I don’t think porn is automatically wrong in every case. Also note I’m writing from a hetero perspective, but I’m sure similar ideas apply to gay teenagers and gay porn.

Porn is Fantasty
All porn is fantasy. There’s nothing wrong with fantasy, but particularly for someone inexperienced it gives an unrealistic idea of sex. In stereotypical “professional” porn everyone’s happy, overendowed, always orgasms and are eager to perform sexual acts that many of us would not find appealing. More on this in the next section. Then there’s the so-called “amateur” porn, which is still fantasy and often contains staged acts by paid models. Come on, how “amateur” are you if you’re a model with your own pay-per-view website containing hundreds of pictures and videos?

Porn gives some people an outlet to explore acts and situations they may never wish to enact in real life. But there’s really not a lot of discrimination on the average free porn site, which is potentially misleading for someone at an early stage in their sexuality.

The Quantity
I’m not against my son seeing pictures of naked women occasionally. I think it might even be good for him; once he’s sexually active he’ll know what girl bits look like. But there is so *much* porn out there. Does he really need to see thousands of images before he sees the real thing? Surely just a few is sufficient.

The Range
Tied in with the quantity is the range of material available. Several free porn websites I visited have categories like “Bizarre Porn” or “Torture Porn” right beside what one might call “vanilla”. Take your imagination, double it, and you’ll still find yourself surprised. Not everything is extreme kink or abuse, but it’s there. In addition, what seems to be common are activities that many couples would not engage in until they are older and more confident, if at all. From its frequency on porn sites, it appears that even in ‘ordinary’ sex, every copulation includes anal sex, and the man ejaculating on the woman’s face.

I’m not saying these acts are aberrant or wrong, simply that I don’t think they benefit a young mind. There is possibly an argument that it’s good to celebrate the full range of possible sexual expression. Perhaps promoting acts that many people haven’t tried may benefit a mature person’s sex life. However, I think it would only distort the view of someone younger.

Good sex involves consideration of your partner and mutuality. Most porn doesn’t explore this reality. “No thanks, i’m not into that” aren’t words commonly found in porn.

For all these reasons I think I’ll have to acquire some software to block porn sites. But there’s one more thing:

The Porn Talk
Even if I block porn sites on his home computer, it’s pretty much a given that my son will see some pornography, perhaps at friends’ houses. I’ve had the “sex talk” with him since he was young, he’s as educated about the birds and the bees as I think he needs to be for his age. However, I now think I need to have a “pornography talk”. I want to explain the points above, and that I really don’t think it will help his first sexual experiences to have a lot of those images in his head. In general, prohibition doesn’t prevent interest, therefore I have to talk to him as well.

As I concluded above I’ll have to acquire some software to block porn sites. I’m encouraged that a couple of other people I’ve talked to agree with me.

Respond

What do you think? If you enjoyed this, why not read my If You See the Buddha on the Road, Kiss Him.

Edit: I’ve been asked what software can be used to to filter the internet. I am not an expert, but here are my opinons:

* WOT is free and useful. It doesn’t catch everything, or actually stop you going to the site if you choose to override it. http://www.mywot.com

* There’s a useful list of porn-blocking software here
http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com

My research so far seems to indicate Net Nanny is the best, but I have not tried it. There are several other good ones too. I haven’t yet installed something on my system apart from WOT.

Berlin | Sex. (Good song, lewd lyrics.)

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Posted in ethics, Off Topic, Sociology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Alien Sex Cult!

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 21, 2010

I did say I was going to investigate sex gurus. How about a nudist alien cult that has a $20 million embassy in Jerusalem? I’d heard of RaĆ«lians, and had a vague acquaintance with their teachings. What I didn’t know is their sideline in sex games.

According to the Edmonton Sun “Former members of the RaĆ«lian cult say attractive members of the movement cruise strip clubs and bars looking for lonelyhearts who are offered free sex – and plenty of it – to recruit them into the organization.”

His very disillusioned ex-wife tells tells how Frenchman Vorilhon (the man now known as RaĆ«l) brought home hundreds of young women to have sex with during their 15-year marriage, and exposed his kids to “debauchery”.

Vorilhon, the balding man pictured at right wearing a bad Star Wars suit, was allegedly caught up in a spaceship operated by aliens known as “Elohim”, surprise surprise. Elohim is an ancient Hebrew word found in the Bible, as is “Yahweh”, the name of g0d and also of the alien who spoke to him in French. Vorilhon had dinner with Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed before being introduced to cloned women and having a sex party at his space apartment. No, I’m not making this up.

RaĆ«lians are very into science, are opposed to war and have allegedly already cloned a human. These days they also operate a website in support of porn stars. Apparently while he was away for “666 days” (yes, really) the aliens used a technique on Monsieur RaĆ«l to improve his intelligence, as the ultimate leaders of the earth will be a “geniocracy”. No comment.

Don’t get me wrong, they do have good things to say:

Take the perverted poseurs out of the equation and just focus on the true RaĆ«lian philosophy, and many atheists and skeptics will find a lot that they can get on board with. Science as a solution to the problems of the world is a great strategy. Advanced technology to improve health and longevity is a great thing too. Love instead of war, who can argue with that? Moreover, the RaĆ«lian Movement is probably less harmful than many other religions, since they don’t teach that your child can be cured of his cancer by telepathically appealing to a paranormal superbeing, and so far nobody’s ever fought a war or perpetrated a terrorist attack over RaĆ«lian religious differences.

After all, it’s rare for any movement or teaching to hold totally abhorrent or false beliefs. However, as skeptoid also points out, we can believe in science, oppose war and promote love without adding the flakey creation myth and stupid stories about aliens. Wikipedia has a balanced but cautious article, but for my money you can’t go past Skeptoid‘s very readable and humorous take on them.

I’m single right now. Any sexy Raelian’s want to induct me?

.

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What do you think? Do you, or someone you know, believe in aliens?

Posted in ethics, humor, humour, New Age, Sociology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Sex Cult Man Arrested

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 9, 2010

Goel Ratzon sits in a Tel Aviv jail accused of enslaving women in some kind of religious cult. The “Saviour” (as Goel means in Hebrew) is accused of various crimes and bizarre activities with the women in his harem:

The women tattooed his name and portrait on their bodies and gave their children his name – Saviour.
They spoon-fed the bearded, one-time healer as if he were royalty, brushed his shoulder-length white locks, sent him text messages when they were ovulating and slept with him at his bidding.

They turned over wages and welfare payments to him and lived in cramped, rundown Tel Aviv apartments with the children they bore him. According to police, he fathered some of his own daughters’ children.

With tongue in cheek Radar suggests that “assuming that the charges of enslavement, human trafficking, rape and incest are baseless, and that there is nothing untoward going on (other than the polygamy), could this not be considered an unorthodox but suitable arrangement if it worked for all of those involved?

As Brian Hines writes, there’s no perfect living master. Although perhaps his title begs the question? “I have no evidence of the perfect god-man” is not the same as saying “there is no perfect god-man”. Having been in a very mild sort of cult myself briefly I can see how easy it can be to get sucked into something which denies freedom of thought. Among other complexities I think there’s always some kind of power distortion going on in this sort of thing. It’s worth a browse of Guruphiliac from time to time, to remind ourselves of the number of charlatans and downright dangerous people out there.

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listening to Kraftwerk | Autobahn

Posted in agnostic, Hinduism, Sociology | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »