I don’t usually watch how many readers I have via Facebook’s Networked Blogs (check the right sidebar), but I have been recently because it’s been climbing steadily up and I’m about to hit 100 readers. Just yesterday, I was up to 97, but then after I put up the notice about starting to put up essays on Life on the Swingset, I’m down to 96. So, either there was a really big coincidence, or someone isn’t too happy about me publishing articles on a swinger site. Oh well, I’m not going to try to please everyone.
I do want to take this time to encourage those of you who haven’t followed Erosophia via Facebook’s Networked Blogs or RSS to do so now so that I can get an accurate idea of how many habitual readers I have. It takes about 5 seconds to do and it helps me to know how many people are reading my essays.
I’d also like to invite people to submit questions via Formspring or by e-mailing me at Jason(at)JasonStotts.com. I answer all the questions that come through, so if you have a question you’ve been yearning to have answered, especially about sex or Objectivism, this is the place.
I’d like to get over 100 readers by the end of the weekend, so if you haven’t signed up yet, this is the time to do so!
Update: I’m up to 98 now after only a couple of hours. We have 2 days left, so I’m pretty confident we can get above 100.
Update 2: As of Monday morning, we’re up to 101 readers registered through Networked Blogs!
Life on the Swingset is a blog and podcast website dedicated to getting good information out there about what it’s really like to be a swinger and on issues related to this. In an effort to expand the reach of Erosophia, I reached out to them about putting up some of my articles that are applicable to swinging. They were amicable to the idea and we set up a relationship where I’ll be posting the occasional article on LOTS, probably monthly, depending on how much time I have to write. My first article will appear this Friday, and I’ll update this post with the link to it when it does. [Update: Link]
Now you might be thinking, “But Jason, you’re not a swinger. What kind of advice could you possible give to swingers?” to which I would say that sex acts don’t change depending on the number of participants and so knowledge of, for example, prostate stimulation is not applicable to just one on one play and applies mutatis mutandis to group play. Certainly there are very substantial differences between monogamous and non-monogamous sex, but that doesn’t really affect the sex acts themselves. Furthermore, it’s not clear to me that I don’t have anything to say about swinging, just because I’m not a swinger. Frankly, I have lots to say about lots of things. That’s the beauty of thinking philosophically and in principles, there is nothing beyond the power of human reason.
I do want to add the caveat that while I think swinging can be done morally (link), I also think it can be done immorally. Furthermore, the fact that I endorse some of the information on the site does not mean that I am in complete agreement with anything that might be published there. My writing there implies only that I agree with their aim of furthering good information about sexuality and I support them in this; our relationship is purely ad hoc.
I’ll link to articles here on Erosophia as they appear on LOTS, so that you , my dear readers, won’t have to fear that you’ll miss a single word of my writing.
For anyone visiting for the first time from LOTS, I’d like to welcome you to my blog and I hope you’ll find something you like.
Playboy TV just started a new reality TV show called “Swing” about the lifestyle. What’s funny is that I actually know some of the people on the show, Ashely and Early, as they’re friends of friends. It’s interesting to see people you know on a reality TV show and it’s even more interesting to see people you know fucking on a reality TV show.
Playboy has the whole (uncensored) first episode up on their site as a preview for the series and I think it looks interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t even have basic cable, so I’m not going to be able to watch it as it airs. Hopefully, it’ll come out on DVD soon so I can check it out.
I’m driving a lot more than I used to and, obviously, spending a lot more time in the car. Usually, I listen to podcasts so that I can spend my time in the car thinking about interesting things, instead of simply listening to music. The problem is that now I’m spending more time in the car than I have podcasts and so I need to find some new ones.
Right now, my line-up of podcasts, mostly in order of preference, is:
1. Savage Love by Dan Savage
2. Sex is Fun!
3. Life on the Swingset
4. Peikoff’s Podcast
5. Rationally Selfish Podcast
6. The Objective Standard Podcast
I like each of them and they each have their strengths and weaknesses, but they’re not enough to keep me in podcasts during my commute. So I need some recommendations for podcasts or other intellectual things to listen to in the car. I would prefer that they are of a sexual, Objectivist, or philosophical nature. I wouldn’t mind listening to taped lectures, but frankly they are usually greatly over-priced and I can’t afford them.
Writer, speaker, and pornographer Tristan Taormino is coming to LA to give a talk about Anal Pleasure at The Pleasure Chest:
Tuesday February 22nd 8-10 PM FREE!
In her most popular workshop, one she has taught around the world for over 10 years, Tristan introduces you to the world of anal pleasure. In this funny, educational class, she covers a wide variety of topics, including: myths about anal sex; anal anatomy, the G-spot, and the prostate; basic preparation and hygiene; lubes, anal toys, and safer sex; anal penetration for beginners, and much more! Learn the facts about this exciting, yet often misunderstood, form of pleasure and get all your questions answered.
Class is held on a first come, first served basis so arrive early to reserve your spot! Registration not necessary.
I am definitely going to be attending this and I’m sure it’s going to be amazing. If you’re in the area and you want to learn more about anal sex, you should definitely check it out too. Also, you can meet me, if you haven’t already. If you’re going to be attending, let me know. You can send me an e-mail at Jason(at)JasonStotts.com or contact me via facebook or twitter.
I got an e-mail from a reader the other day about an interesting idea called “quirkyalone.” First, though, I’d like to point out that “Jason Stotts” is not a nom de plume, but is actually my real name. So, anyone writing me can feel free to address me simply as Jason, no other appellation is necessary or desired.
February 14 is “International Quirkyalone Day”. Of course the date was picked to contrast it with Valentine’s Day, but it’s not about feeling sorry for singles. The “quirkyalone” is an interesting concept that I feel describes me very well, and apparently many others feel the same way about themselves.
Being quirkyalone means enjoying the freedom and solitude of being single, while being open to the possibility of finding love. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this idea at some point.
I had never heard of quirkyalone before and so I followed the links to find out more about it. Wikipedia, which is, of course, omniscient, had this to say:
Quirkyalone is a neologism referring to someone who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple.[…] It started in 2003 as a “celebration of romance, freedom and individuality”.
From what little information I can gather, it sounds like people who are “quirkyalone” want to wait for the right person to date and don’t want to date people who they don’t think will be a good long term fit or even “the one.”
I think this is a terrible idea.
There is so much that we learn about ourselves, what we want in a partner, love, our preferences, our sexuality, etc., from being in relationships, even with the “wrong” people, that cannot be discovered by standing aloof from relationships and waiting for one’s Platonic ideal. There is simply no way to rationalistically learn about our needs for relationships, love, and sex except for by going out into the world and experiencing these things and reflecting on how they work for us. While I can know beforehand that someone who is abusive is ruled out prima facie, that really doesn’t tell me much. What kinds of traits do I want in a lover? What things annoy me? What are my boundaries? What are deal-breakers for me? There is simply no way to answer these questions except through experience and experience is precisely what one will not gain without going out into the world and having relationships.
On the other hand, I also think it’s a terrible idea to date simply in order to be in a relationship, solely in order to not be alone. This, I think, is much worse than standing aloof from relationships. There is much we learn about ourselves from being alone and if we are always in relationships, we may know who we are with John or Kim, but we won’t know who we are by ourselves. Furthermore, many people who are always in relationships are motivated by a fear of being alone. They are afraid that they won’t get the external validation they need in order to bolster their sense of self-esteem or perhaps they are afraid of what they might find if they were alone too much and forced to introspect too carefully.
The ability to enjoy spending time alone with only your thoughts to keep you company is a good one and leads one to a level of introspection that few people achieve. Through this introspection, we come to know ourselves much better and to understand our own needs and desires.
The ideal, as should be obvious, is to neither stand aloof nor to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship, but to date purposefully and with an eye to both the present and the future. To be alone when it makes sense and to have a partner when it makes sense. To do each in the right time and each with purpose. Furthermore, we should not count it a failure if a relationship doesn’t end in death. We are neither Christians nor mystics. We, as Objectivists, believe that sex should be tied to values, but that doesn’t mean we need to seek our platonic soul mates. If you have even a short relationship with another person and you both enjoy yourselves and learn more about yourselves, then this should be considered a successful relationship. Furthermore, just because a relationship ends in death, doesn’t make it successful. Many people stay in unhappy relationships only in order to say that they are still in relationships, so they can say that their relationship didn’t fail. But, truly, isn’t an unhappy and unhealthy relationship the only kind of failed relationship? There is nothing intrinsically valuable about a relationship that ends in death and we should not shoot for this as our ideal. Instead, let us shoot for healthy and happy relationships, as long as they may last.
Of course, this is not to denigrate long term relationships and I think there are values that you gain through long term relationships that you don’t have in short term ones, like a shared life and past. The sense of shared identity and intimacy that comes from a long term relationship cannot be equaled by a short term relationship and I might even go so far as to argue that this kind of intimacy is constitutive of happiness, but perhaps that’s an argument for another essay.
So, to return to quirkyalone, from what little I understand of it, it seems like a bad idea and a way to make oneself feel better about being alone. Instead, I think we should shoot for a balance in relationships and to learn from our experiences and count all of our happy and healthy relationships as successes, no matter their length. Of course, as I said in the beginning, I didn’t have much information about Quirkyalone to go on, so I may be off base on that particular. The rest, however, stands.
Although I know that many do not like Valentine’s Day, whether for good reasons like love should be celebrated everyday or shallow reasons like a hatred of cards and gifts, I think Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to remember our lovers and why we love them and to show them how much we care about them. Thus, I want to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day!