Archive for January, 2014


by Jason Stotts

I don’t do a lot of book recommendation on here.  But, sometimes a book is so good that I just need to comment on it.  That book is Mindset by Carol Dweck.  The basic premise is that there are two fundamental mindsets in life: the growth mindset and the fixed mindset.  In the growth mindset, you believe that growth is possible, that if you apply yourself you can continually improve, no matter what the subject.  In the fixed mindset, you are what you are and you can do your best, but your best is a fixed quantity that cannot be changed.  This may not sound like an earth-shattering idea, but think about how it operates in your life.  Do you think intelligence is a fixed quantity?  The very idea of IQ was developed to measure changes in intelligence.  Do you think your moral character is a fixed quantity?  It’s not and the role of ethics is to help you in developing your character in the ways you want.  I seriously recommend reading this book and applying the ideas to your life.  I think you’ll be surprised, like I was, in how this very simple idea is having big impacts in your life.

If you want a more thorough review, check out: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives by Maria Popova.

Erosophia Podcast #18: Sex Work and Prostitution


In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, Devin, William, and Joia, interview philosopher Ole Martin Moen about sex work and prostitution.

Sponsor: Kasidie Plays Well With Others.

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Today’s Topic: Sex Work and Prostitution

What is prostitution?  Can it ever be moral?

Find out in our interview with philosopher Ole Martin Moen!

Ole Martin Moen’s paper “Is prostitution harmful?”

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.

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A special thanks to Jennifer Snow for editing today’s podcast!

Book Covers

by Jason Stotts

I’ve been thinking a lot about book covers recently, especially now that I have a draft of Eros and Ethos done.  I was talking with someone about what a good cover might look like and decided I’d try to figure out what I would want in a book cover.  So, I went to my bookshelf and emptied it into two piles: covers I liked and covers I didn’t.  I then had way too many covers in the like pile, so I thinned it out more.  I realized I still had way too many books, so I grouped what was left into three piles:

1. Good: I like the cover, but it has problems.

2. Better: I really like the cover.

3. Best: Covers that really do it for me

So, what follows is book covers I like and some reasons why.  Please forgive my lack of appropriate aesthetic vocabulary.  Oh, and if you click on the Amazon link and buy a book, you support my work.

Group 1: Good

The Philosophy of Erotic Love by Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins

– I like that the title is very easy to pick out.

– I like that the picture is appropriate to the subject

– What is with the hearts in the corners and the myriad fonts??



Perv: The Sexual Deviant in all of Us by Jesse Bering

– I like that the cover gives you a good idea what is going to be in it.

– I like how the title and author are very large and prominent.

– Something about the fakeness of the picture bothers me.



Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics by A.O. Rorty

– Really dislike the failure to use capital letters.

– Like how simply it is and how prominent the title is.



Heloise and Abelard by James Burge

 – Really like the colors

– Really like how the title is a medieval style to match the subject.

– I like the title being integrated into the picture.



Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

– Like how title is so prominent

– Like how subtitle is on cover

– Dislike interspersing of title and subtitle

– Like how image matches book content



Love for Sale by Nils Johan Ringdal

– I like how the picture matches the subject.

– Dislike how title and author have same color and are next to each other.



Essays on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead by Robert Mayhew

– Like that the title and editor is clear.

– Like that the picture is appropriate.


Group 2: Better

The Story of O by Pauline Reage

– I like how simple and direct it is: “This is a book. This is it’s title. This is who wrote it.  That’s all you need.”



Love in Abundance by Kathy Labriola

– I like the appropriateness of the picture and it being the whole cover

– I like the title being integrated into the picture

– Would prefer title and author larger



Bonk by Mary Roach

– A little busy for me

– Like the prominence of the title and author

– Why is the subtitle above the title?



On Nietzsche by Eric Steinhart

– Simple, clean, classic.

– Author should be larger.



Sperm Wars by Robin Baker

– Good cover for the content.

– I like the prominence of the author and title

– I like how the subtitle could be a book description and so heralds the title.



Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

– Simple, direct, no-nonsense cover.



The Fragility of Goodness by Martha Nussbaum

– On my copy, the cover is a beautiful deep hunter green.

– I like the prominence of the title and author

– I dislike that peach color on green.



Sexual Desire by Roger Scruton

– I like how clean it is and direct.



Little Birds by Anais Nin

– Simple, but very effective.

– Tells you what it is clearly and directly.



Three Plays by Ayn Rand

– Very clean and direct.

– Like the simple picture and prominent title and author.



The Sleep of Reason by Martha Nussbaum and Juha Sihvola

– I like the color and the placement of the info on the cover.

– I like the appropriate picture.

– I seem to like the “thirds” style covers.



Introduction to a Philosophy of Music by Peter Kivy

– Clean, direct, simple.

– Dislike failure to capitalize.  Would want author more prominent (font or weight, not necessarily location).


Group 3: Best

The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand

– Clean, direct, simple.

– Picture explains content.



Sex for One by Betty Dodson

– Really good use of picture and title.

– Really like the bottom bar and how it offsets the picture.



Sex Appeal by Paul Abramson

– Great integration of picture and text.



Orgasms for Two by Betty Dodson

– Good colors, good placement, good layout

– Picture describes content.



Not Passion’s Slave by Robert Solomon

– Really like cover overall

– Would take off subtitle badge and put title and subtitle above, with picture in center.



Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

– I don’t know why, but I really like this cover.



Aristotle by Werner Jaeger

– I really like the colors and the simplicity of it.

– It seems very distinguished.



The Selfish Path to Romance by Ed Locke and Ellen Kenner

– Really like the cover.

– Would remove green Ayn Rand bar, that’ll be clear when you read it and detracts from the clean cover.



Arousal by Michael Bader

– Really well done cover

– Perfect picture and integration of picture and text.



On the Genealogy of Morality by Friedrich Nietzsche

– This cover just seems so appropriate for this book.



A Treatise on Political Economy by Jean-Baptiste Say

– I love the deep blue of the cover and how direct it is: nothing superfluous.



About Love by Robert Solomon

– Really great placement of text and picture

– Really great picture.



Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

– This is one of my favorite covers.

– It’s so perfect for the book, I can’t even describe it.  Perhaps it’s the understated nature of it.



Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture by Marilyn Skinner

– This is another of my favorite covers.



Sexual Fluidity by Lisa Diamond

– Again, perfect integration of picture and text.



Marriage and Morals by Bertrand Russell

– I don’t know why I like this cover, but I really do.


Bloggers Now More Protected Under First Amendment

by Jason Stotts

An issue close to my heart is my ability to speak my mind freely on anything I want and to know that my first amendment right to do so protects me if someone doesn’t like what I have to say.  Unfortunately, the law and technology are never in sync and there has been some confusion about what kinds of protections bloggers have for the things that we say.

I’m happy to announce, though, that this issue has been resolved in the right way.  I’m not a lawyer, so read Popehat’s account of it here, where he says that:

The Ninth Circuit’s opinion protecting Cox’s free speech rights also protects your rights. The ruling means that if someone sues you for something you write or say, your First Amendment protections will not turn on whether a judge views you as a “professional journalist.” Rather, the same legal protections that have traditionally been applied to the New York Times will apply to you. That is a substantial comfort, particularly because many jurists are not familiar with things like blogs. The ruling also robustly protects your right to express how you feel, using vivid language, by maintaining that only provable statements of fact are defamatory, and hyperbole and rhetoric are not.

The whole context of the case is a very interesting read, but not entirely germane to the topic here.  You can also find a summary on Reuters.

Basically, I’m just thrilled that blogs are protected speech and that I won’t need to worry about accidental defamation when I criticize different people for their silly behavior or beliefs.

Best of 2013

by Jason Stotts

As we go into Erosophia’s 9th year, let’s take a step back and see what we did in 2013.

Last year was a very busy year for me and Erosophia.  Although Erosophia didn’t place in the top 100 Sex Blogs last year, there were still some really great things that happened and some really great articles.

Notable Things in 2013:

The most important thing that happened in 2013 was that I finished a draft of my book Eros and Ethos: A New Theory and Application of Sexual Ethics.  The link provides more detail, but it’s hard to believe it’s finally done in draft.  Now I just need to get an agent and publisher and get it published.  In a couple of days I’ll have a complete third draft done and I think I’ll be ready to start shopping it around.

I also started grad school in September for a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).  I’m doing the program at night, while working full time during the day, so free time has been rather limited.  If you want to donate to help me go to grad school, I’d love your help!

The Erosophia Podcast is also taking off and has been getting a lot of listeners!  It was even featured on the “What’s Hot” section of iTunes! You can find it on Facebook or on iTunes.  You can find Erosophia’s Facebook page here.

Lastly, I’d like to invite you to support Erosophia.  You can donate money via Paypal at the link on the right or by sending it to Jason(at)  You can also send an Amazon or Chase payment to the same address.  If you want to send a check or money order, write me there and I’ll tell you how.  I would also happily accept Amazon GC’s. If you can’t support us monetarily, please spread the word about Erosophia.  If my writings have helped you in any way, write me and tell  me about it.  Getting those emails is like spiritual fuel and it helps me to keep going.

Top 10 Essays of 2013:

10. On Homophobia

Is homophobia a fear of gays?  I think not.

9. Erosophia Podcast #4: Circumcision

In this podcast, we argue that genital mutilation, no matter how euphemistically termed, is immoral and should be illegal to be done to minors.  Why?  Take a listen.

8. Question from a Reader

I usually try to answer when you, dear readers, write me.  Sometimes those answers would be interesting to lots of people and sometimes I share these.  This is a cast of that.

7. Erosophia Podcast #14: Interview with Dr. Darrel Ray on How Religion Distorts Sexuality

The Erosophia Podcast interviewed the very interesting Dr. Darrel Ray on religion and sexuality.  I think it’s our best podcast yet!

6. The Forgotten Victims of Gun Control

In all of the debates about gun control, let’s not forget that women are the most hurt when access to guns is restricted.

5. Polysexuality and Cultural Acceptability

Polysexuality will never be socially acceptable while being ashamed of it and hiding in the closet.

4. On Threesomes

Moral and practical questions to ask yourself if you’re seriously considering having a threesome.

3. Ignorance and Myopia

Sometimes not knowing is a morally permissible error of ignorance.  Sometimes errors of ignorance are immoral.  With so much information available about sex today, is your ignorance about sex moral or immoral?

2.Sexuality and Privacy

There are good reasons and bad reasons to keep sex private; but, being completely “private” about sex to the point where you won’t talk to anyone about it can be immoral.  Not only that, the world would be a better and more authentic place if we were all more open about sex and sexuality.

1. The Fountainhead’s ‘Rape Scene’: a Case Study of Consensual Non-Consent

The Fountainhead’s “rape scene” is not, in context, a scene of rape at all.  One might even say that Roark could have been given no clearer invitation.  Further, i argue that we can understand what this kind of thing might look like in the real world through the idea of consensual non-consent.


Prior Years:

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009