Archive for July, 2013

Erosophia Podcast #12: Masturbation

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In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, William, Joia, and Devin talk about Masturbation.

News

1. Justice for girl killed by religious parents (Update from Episode #7)

2. The victims of child pornography: the children (See also: It’s about Time! and It’s about Time)

3. Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage

Sponsor: Kasidie

Kasidie.com... Plays Well With Others.

Questions

If straight parents give birth to a gay child, and they can tell at an early age, can you give any tips to helping them deal with this? How would you best suggest that they embrace their child and help them understand that it isn’t their fault?

Check out: pflag.org (Parents, Families, and Friends, of Lesbians and Gays)

Send us your questions! Podcast(at)JasonStotts.com

Sex Tips

Growers and Showers: some penises grow and some show

Fun with Words

Algolagnia – love of pain during sex.  AKA masochism

See also: Venus in Furs

Tonight’s Topic: Masturbation

Masturbation can be a really great value in life.  You can learn about your sexual likes and dislikes, you can become sexually self-sufficient, it is very pleasurable, and it can even help you sleep.  Masturbation is not shameful, but is rather a normal and important part of human sexuality.  We should be proud of our bodies and the pleasures they give us.

Related Essays:

Getting Started with Male Anal Sexuality

On Male Orgasm and Prostate Play

On Pegging

On Pegging 2

Books to check out:

Betty Dodson’s Sex for One

Jack Morin’s Anal Sex and Health

Check out also:

www.redit.com/r/nofap

Subscribe to the Podcast

You can subscribe via iTunes or RSS.

Support the Podcast

You can support the show by making a donation via PayPal (see bar to the right) or Amazon Payment (or any other payment method you might want, just get in touch with us).  You can also use Erosophia’s referral link to Amazon to buy things.  You can sign up for Kasidie, the best lifestyle site on the web.  Or you can tell your friends and spread the word about the podcast on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to advertise on the Erosophia Podcast, please contact us at Jason@JasonStotts.com or on twitter via @ErosPod.

Check us out on facebook: www.facebook.com/ErosophiaPodcast

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News and Interesting Links

by Jason Stotts

1. How Tisha Schuller went from environmental activist to industry champion

The very interesting account of one woman’s complete reversal on a very controversial issue.  For more real information about fracking, visit Alex Epstein’s Center for Industrial Progress at: http://industrialprogress.com/

2. Pennsylvania Fracking Study Shows Chemicals Did Not Contaminate Water

On a related note: fracking does not contaminate water.

A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.

3. At Supreme Court, victories for gay marriage

I should have blogged about this a month ago, but I was in Yosemite and I didn’t have any internet for a week.  This is a very wonderful and important step forward to treating gays and bisexuals as real people with real rights.

* Note: please don’t say “gay marriage,” the issue is really about same-sex marriage.  Also, every time you say “gay marriage” a bisexual disappears.

In striking down a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court declared that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

In turning away a case involving California’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, the justices left in place a lower court’s decision that the ban is unconstitutional. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said he would order same-sex marriages to resume as quickly as possible.

4. Same-sex marriage becomes law in England and Wales

It’s nice to see that common human rights are being extended to same sex couples all around the world.

5. President’s family costs US 20 times what royal family costs UK

I knew Obama saw himself as royalty, I just didn’t know that he was costing us 20 times what the royal family costs! And that doesn’t even take into account the terrible effects he’s having on the economy.

6. 2 naked women caught swimming in ocean in Myrtle Beach, police say

It’s a good thing we caught these two criminal women who dared to want to swim naked in the ocean!  How dare they show their shameful bodies at midnight with no one around!  It is an affront to magical sky-friend!

But really, this is another instance of why it is so important that the law explicitly be for the protection of individual rights; because where there is no victim, there can be no crime.

7. When Lettuce Was a Sacred Sex Symbol

I just had no idea:

Lettuce has been harvested for millenia—it was depicted by ancient Egyptians on the walls of tombs dating back to at least 2,700 B.C. The earliest version of the greens resembled two modern lettuces: romaine, from the French word “romaine” (from Rome), and cos lettuce, believed to have been found on the island of Kos, located along the coast of modern day Turkey.

But in Ancient Egypt around 2,000 B.C., lettuce was not a popular appetizer, it was an aphrodisiac, a phallic symbol that represented the celebrated food of the Egyptian god of fertility, Min. (It is unclear whether the lettuce’s development in Egypt predates its appearance on the island of Kos.) The god, often pictured with an erect penis in wall paintings and reliefs was also known as the “great of love” as he is called in a text from Edfu Temple. The plant was believed to help the god “perform the sexual act untiringly.”

See also: The Lettuce of my Heart

8. Sex Addiction Does Not Appear To Be A Disorder, UCLA Study Says

I’ve long thought that the paradigm of addiction is completely the wrong way to think about issues regarding sex. This study shows that there are important neural differences between how the brain responds to this “addiction” and real chemical addictions.

The study involved 39 men and 13 women who reported having problems controlling their viewing of sexual images. UCLA scientist Nicole Prause and her colleagues monitored the volunteers’ brains while showing them erotic images.

“If they indeed suffer from hypersexuality, or sexual addiction, their brain response to visual sexual stimuli could be expected to be higher, in much the same way that the brains of cocaine addicts have been shown to react to images of the drug in other studies,” a UC press release on the study explained.

And yet, that did not happen. Instead of being caused by an actual disorder, hypersexuality may be a result of having a high libido, Prause said.

See also: Marty Klein‘s excellent essay “Why “Sexual Addiction” Is Not A Useful Diagnosis — And Why It Matters

9. Online pornography to be blocked by default, PM announces

In an ever-escalating battle with the US to see who can curtail the most rights of their citizens, the United Kingdom is planning on censoring the internet to block pornography. At first, it will simply be something that can be turned off (if you can figure out how).  Unfortunately, censorship always comes in small steps and must be resisted on principle. Once we have censorship, you can be damned sure the next thing to go will be criticisms of the government and rights immediately after.  Tyranny never arrives all at once.

10. Bono: Only Capitalism Can End Poverty

I never thought I’d be saying this, but Bono understands economics.

11. CDC Study Ordered by Obama Contradicts White House Anti-gun Narrative

Guns are just tools: they can be used to in self-defense or to commit crimes.  Luckily, most people are good and gun usage in our culture is primarily for good purposes, contra what anti-gun activists would tell you:

Obama had announced at the beginning of the year his push for three major gun control initiatives — universal background checks, a ban on “assault weapons,” and a ban on “high-capacity” magazines — to prevent future mass shootings, no doubt hoping that the CDC study would oblige him by providing evidence that additional gun control measures were justified to reduce gun violence. On the contrary, that study refuted nearly all the standard anti-gun narrative and instead supported many of the positions taken by gun ownership supporters.

For example, the majority of gun-related deaths between 2000 and 2010 were due to suicide and not criminal violence:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

In addition, defensive use of guns “is a common occurrence,” according to the study:

“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

Accidental deaths due to firearms has continued to fall as well, with “the number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents account[ing] for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

 

 

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Update on Eros and Ethos

by Jason Stotts

You may or may not have noticed that blogging has been a little sparse recently.  It has been and will likely continue to be for a while.  I’ve been devoting most of my writing time to working on my book Eros and Ethos and have been making a lot of progress.  I’m now up to 86,000 words and 2/3 of the chapters written!  It’s really exciting to see it taking shape and I’m going to continue to focus my time on it to try to get a complete draft before the end of the year.

While that means that there will be fewer posts on Erosophia, I’m certainly going to continue blogging regularly.  In addition to that, I’ve also been podcasting regularly now on The Erosophia Podcast with my co-hosts William, Joia, and Devin.  If you haven’t checked us out yet, you can do so via iTunes or RSS.  The podcast is taking off and we were recently featured on iTunes “What’s Hot” in sexuality podcasts.  If you have any questions for the podcast, feel free to send them to podcast(at)JasonStotts.com or via twitter to @ErosPod.

Want to help the podcast out?  We’d love a theme song!  Are you good at audio editing?  We could use some help with that too!

Anyway, I hope your as excited about Eros and Ethos as I am and I think you’ll find the wait has been worth it.

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Ayn Rand’s Anthem to Play in New York

by Jason Stotts

anthem

It’s no secret that Ayn Rand is one of my favorite authors and philosophers.  So, imagine my excitement when I found out that one of my favorite of her books is being made into a play!  Jeff Britting, who I first met  back in my interns days at ARI, has taken Anthem and adapted it for the stage.  Anthem is a really great book and is easily readable and the message is very easy to understand.  I don’t want to say too much about the story, because it’s a great story and it’s best to experience it yourself, but it’s set in a dystopian collectivist ideal world.

If you’re in New York, go see this play!  I would recommend reading the book first to really understand the play, but I’m sure it’ll be good either way. The website for the play is: www.AnthemthePlay.com

The press release is below:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Miller Wright / Justin Garascia at (212) 977-7800

THE AUSTIN SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS A STAGE ADAPTATION OF AYN RAND’S NOVEL ANTHEM TO BE STAGED ON THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NOVELOFF-BROADWAY AT THE BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER TO OPEN OCTOBER 4TH FOR A LIMITED 10-WEEK ENGAGEMENT

The Austin Shakespeare theatre company will present the New York premiere of Ayn Rand’s novel ANTHEM. Adapted for the stage by composer Jeff Britting, archives curator for the Ayn Rand Institute, the production is to be directed by Ann Ciccolella, artistic director of the Austin Shakespeare theatre company. Previews are to begin September 25at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City—opening October 4 for a limited ten-week run through December 1, 2013

ANTHEM is the story of a young man, EQUALITY 7-2521, who is born into a future world that has banished all individuality. Not satisfied with a world lighted by candles, EQUALITY fosters his love of discovery in an abandoned subway, a relic of the past. In solitude, EQUALITY rediscovers electricity and a new source of light. Above ground he meets and falls in love with LIBERTY 5-3000, committing a further “sin of preference.”

Originally conceived as a play while Rand was a Soviet university student, ANTHEM the book was written in America in the summer of 1937, during a break Rand took from the writing of her novel The Fountainhead. ANTHEM was published in England in 1938. Since its full American publication in 1961, the work has sold more than 5 million copies. As reported in 2010, ANTHEM was the most popular adult novel checked out of the New York Public Library system. The novel remains a favorite among youth and is the subject of the most popular high school essay contest in the world, with more than 19,000 entries annually. ANTHEM’s Off-Broadway staging coincides with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the novel’s publication.

The principle ethical-political issue in ANTHEM—and of our time—is individualism versus collectivism.

Is the individual the primary element of society, or is the group the basis of society? The play poses the questions: Do individuals have the right to think and choose their own goals in life—and pursue their own happiness? Or do the wishes of society determine the goals of individual lives—and is service to others the primary moral obligation among men?

When Austin Shakespeare produced Jeff Britting’s adaptation of Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM in 2011, the show generated sold-out and added performances.  Theatergoers came from other parts of the United States and abroad, and audiences were intrigued enough to participate in lively post-show discussions. Austin Shakespeare looks forward to the transfer engagement Off-Broadway at the Baryshnikov Arts Center which will comprise an entirely New York City-based cast. With a background very involved in music, Mr. Britting has incorporated a unique underscore throughout the production, making it an innovative theatrical experience for the limited ten-week engagement.

Ann Ciccolella is artistic director for the Austin Shakespeare theatre company, Ann has directed: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Noel Coward’s Design for Living, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, and Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart. Also Shakespeare’s: Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale and a Bollywood-inspired Twelfth Night for Austin Shakespeare in the Park. As a director at Zachary Scott Theatre, Ann directed: Cabaret, The Vagina Monologues, Full Gallop, Closer, Master Class, and Misery. Also for the annual Summer Musical in Zilker Park, she staged Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Other Austin directing credits include: Hedda Gabler, and Other People’s Money, as well as productions of her scripts as a playwright. Before moving to Austin, Ann served as associate director for Shakespeare on Wheels, from the University of Maryland Baltimore County for three years. For ten years, she led the Renaissance Theater Company as artistic director, producing and directing in New York and along the East Coast with shows ranging from Oedipus Rex to Cyrano de Bergerac. A frequent guest lecturer at the University of Texas department of Theatre and Dance, Ann is a graduate of NYU in dramatic literature, history of theater and cinema.

Austin Shakespeare is the only professional classical theater company in Central Texas. A nonprofit professional theater company, Austin Shakespeare operates under an Actors Equity Small Professional Theater contract.  A Resident Company of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin Shakespeare presents a season of plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. This season includes The Belle of Amherst, based on the life of Emily Dickinson, and Shakespeare’s Othello and As You Like It.

Jeff Britting is the archives curator for the Ayn Rand Institute. He holds a B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley, where he attended the university’s first course on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. He is the author of Ayn Rand, a biography in the Overlook Illustrated Lives Series published by The Overlook Press in February 2005. His essays “Adapting Anthem: Projects That Were and Might Have Been,” and “Anthem and the ‘Individualist Manifesto’” are included in Essays on Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”, edited by Robert Mayhew (Lexington Books in 2005). He associate-produced Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, a 1997 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature. He managed the Ayn Rand Archives from 1997 through 2011, when he began the first systematic preservation and arrangement of its Ayn Rand Papers and special collections. Mr. Britting also associate produced and composed the incidental music for the first stage production of Rand’s play Ideal. His special interests are music and drama.

ANTHEM  starts previews September 25 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater in New York City. Opening on October 4 Anthem will run through December 1, 2013. Tickets will be available through: www.AnthemthePlay.com or through Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111. The Baryshnikov Arts Center is located at 450 W 37th St between 9th&10th Avenues. Ticket prices range from $50-$69.

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Erosophia Podcast in “What’s Hot” on iTunes

by Jason Stotts

Imagine my surprise when a listener wrote to tell me to check out iTunes and see what podcasts are in the “What’s Hot” section for sexuality podcasts and I see a sexy little black logo!

iTunes What's Hot

(Click image for full-sized picture.)

I’m so excited!

Have you checked out The Erosophia Podcast yet? You can subscribe via iTunes or RSS and, of course, every episode will appear here on Erosophia.

If you’ve already checked us out and like what you heard, please take a minute to leave a review on iTunes and spread the word about the podcast.

Thanks for listening and making us a hit!

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Erosophia Podcast #11: An Interview with Stan and Wendy on Swinging

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In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, William, and Joia talk about swinging.  There’s also an interview with Stan and Wendy, two real life swingers about their experiences in the lifestyle.

News

1. Exodus International closes and apologizes

2. Kegels versus Squats

3. Lesbians marry across the street from Westboro baptist church! 

Betty Dodson – Sex for One

Sponsor: Kasidie

Kasidie.com... Plays Well With Others.
 Questions

I’m a married man, but knew i was attracted to men for a long time.  Through therapy I’ve been able to acknowledge the gay side of my sexuality and have been able to have a periodic relationship w/ another gay guy. This certainly means that i am bi-sexual.  However, my prescribing therapist says that i am “sexual” and should not necessarily use sexual orientation labels along the sexual continuum.  What do you think?

Tonight’s Topic: Swinging

Stan and Wendy talk with us about their experiences in the lifestyle.

Summary: Swinging can be a real value in your life, but there are dangers too.  There are lots of ways to approach swinging and some are going to be better fits for a couple than others.

Related essays:

An Interview with Swingers

On Polysexuality

Subscribe to the Podcast

You can subscribe via iTunes or RSS.

Support the Podcast

You can support the show by making a donation via PayPal (see bar to the right) or Amazon Payment (or any other payment method you might want, just get in touch with us).  You can also use Erosophia’s referral link to Amazon to buy things.  You can sign up for Kasidie, the best lifestyle site on the web.  Or you can tell your friends and spread the word about the podcast on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to advertise on the Erosophia Podcast, please contact us at Jason@JasonStotts.com or on twitter via @ErosPod.

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Question from a Reader

by Jason Stotts

I get lots of emails from readers asking for advice.  I always try to at least give them some kind of response and recently we’ve been answering questions on the podcast as well.  Most of the time I respond and never hear from the person again.  Sometimes we correspond for a while.  On some of the more interesting questions, those that I think could help others as well, I ask if I can post our discussions.  Usually people agree.  This is one of those problems.  Before you read my response and our ensuing discussion, think about what you would tell this person if they came to you for advice.

Continue reading ‘Question from a Reader’

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Happy American Independence Day!

by Jason Stotts

Declaration_of_Independence_(USA)

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because it has a very important meaning to it: the value of freedom and its necessity for a good life.  On the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, we are asked to remember the great struggle it took to win our freedom and how we should keep it.  Our Founding Fathers knew that throughout history governments had been the worst bane to their people and so they set up a system of government that provided only to protect the rights of the citizens, those explicitly enumerated in the Bill of Rights and all those not enumerated, and to constrain the government so that it could not grow to become the violator of our rights.  Our Founding Fathers set up a system to protect us from oppression and secure our freedom, from both foreign and domestic enemies.

Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals—that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government—that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens’ protection against the government.

Ayn Rand, “The Nature of Government

When we celebrate today, we should be glad of our freedom and resolve ourselves to stand up against the constant erosion of them by our government.  We are a free people and we must be constantly vigilant to remain as such.  Tyranny never arrives all at once, it comes in fits and starts and when it finally has arrived, everyone is surprised by it.  But, if we think in principles and act in a principled way, we can resist the rise of tyranny and act to restore our freedoms.  Consider that the man who works nearly half his life to pay for others is not truly free.  No one has a moral right to the products of another man’s labor and no one should be forced to sacrifice their lives and interests for others.  This is not to say one might not want to freely help others through benevolence, but benevolence is destroyed by entitlement and by having one’s money forcibly taken away.

And there’s the crux of the issue: America can only stand on an egoistic eudaimonist framework, but it is christianity that people try to insist is its proper moral basis.  But how can a free country be created on the moral basis of sacrifice?  It can’t.  America will continue to suffer and ultimately erode unless we can change the moral framework of the country and the zeitgeist.  Fortunately, I think this is already happening.  People are beginning to question why they must work five months out of the year for others while their own family suffers.  People are starting to rise up against the tyrannical programs that track and record all of our movements and history, when we are innocent and have committed no crimes.  People are starting to wonder why its acceptable to burden their children with lifetimes of debt to pay for generations they will barely know.  The worse the world gets, the clearer our case becomes and we must use these dark days to our advantage to show the consequences of failing in our struggle for freedom.

So today, honor our history, the Founding Fathers, and the greatest country ever conceived by man and resolve yourself to be a true American and take a principled stand for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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