Well adjusted sluttiness

There is an excellent post up at Feministe on sluttiness. I don’t have much to add since I just kept going “THIS” while reading the post. Go read it right now. Emphasis mine:

I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me. Sluthood gave me the time and space to nurse a shattered heart. It gave me a place where I could exist in pieces, some of me craving touch, some of me still too tender to even expose to the light. Sluthood healed the part of me that felt my body and my desires were grotesque after two years in a libido-mismatched partnership. Now I felt hot, wanted, powerful. My desire and enthusiasm was an asset, not an unintended weapon. Even now, with more time passed, now, when I am actually ready for and wanting a more emotional connection, sluthood keeps me centered. It keeps me from confusing desire and affection with something deeper. It means I have another choice besides celibacy and settling. It means I won’t enter another committed relationship just to satisfy my basic need for sex and affection. It gives me more choices, it makes room for relationships to evolve organically, to take the shape they will before anyone defines them.

This is post 38 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

New condom released by Trojan

This is sure to be the start of a new sexual revolution:

PRINCETON, NJ—Contraceptive manufacturer Trojan unveiled its new line of “No One’s Pleasure” condoms Wednesday, the first prophylactic specifically designed to intensify sexual dissatisfaction among bitter and resentful couples.

“We’ve always offered consumers a choice when it comes to protection, and we wanted to give emotionally distant partners an option that suits their lack of intimacy,” said Jim Daniels, vice president of marketing at Trojan. “That’s why we’ve developed the only condoms clinically proven to exploit performance anxiety, heighten discomfort levels, and prolong the petty arguments that allow couples to bicker needlessly all night long.”

There’s a lot of science behind it too!While it’s a great advance it sexual technology, hopefully I’ll never have to use them.

This is post 37 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Cafeteria Judaism

This is a guest post by Mark Webster. Again. His credentials this time include being a big Jew.

There has been a lot of talk about Cafeteria Christians of late, but there has not been much talk about my people, the kings and queens of double-think: Jews.

As a background, I grew up in a mildly religious home…which was, for the most part, fueled by my own desire to be more religious. I went to Jewish overnight camp for four years and day camp for six years before. I learned how to not just read my torah portion for my bar mitzvah, but actually learned how to read torah, chant the services, and a multitude of other things that now feel highly irrelevant to life as it stands.

For Jews, it is not merely a desire to follow only the laws that make sense to us, but how to interpret the laws such that we can still live our lives with the least amount of “change.” This post will delineate a few of the more major loopholes that Jews have found over the years.

1. Shaving:

In the bible, it specifically says, “27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Obviously, in modern day society, not only would this interfere with eating, but make you look RIDICULOUS!!! (Like this!)

Perhaps it was obvious to modern day Jews that this was not the face that people wanted to have associated with their religion…so they made a loophole. “G-d says this is the preferred way, but this is totally a kosher way to cut your hair and not look like a disgusting troll!”

2. Food

There is an old joke that goes something like this:

A young, talented rabbinical student would leave immediately after school every single day. Not even a word, just leave as quickly as possible. The rabbi, after a few weeks of being puzzled by his best pupil’s behavior, decided to follow him. The rabbi kept as quiet as possible as he followed the young man to a McDonalds, of all places! He watched in dismay as his student entered the premises and ordered a bacon double cheeseburger! Just as the student was hungrily putting the unkosher meal to his lips, the rabbi yelled,

“For the love of god, stop!”

The pupil looked most confused, “What’s the problem, Reb Harris?”

“Are you shitting me?! Look at what you’re eating! You couldn’t possibly get any more unkosher if you tried!”

The young man thought for a second, smiled and said, “Oh, but it’s completely okay! You taught us!”

“What?!” The rabbi was furious, “I have never said anything of the sort!”

The student rebutted, “Ah, but, it was observed by a rabbi!”


I’m bothered most, I think, by this hypocrisy. I know so many Jews who, when I enter their house, they scrupulously have two sets of…well…everything. Dishes, pots, sinks, and even refrigerators—and then go out to dinner and have a cheeseburger.

What is their excuse? They aren’t at home. I think that so many people feel that the home is where sanctity is important, so they don’t feel it’s as necessary to follow this outside of their house, or perhaps, they relish the chance to eat the unkosher food outside of the home.

3. Sabbath taboos

Now we get into some of the more bizarre loopholes that I have encountered, funny, all of them surround the most holy day of the week…the shabbos (sabbath):

1. Lifting things (eruv)

In the bible, it specifically talks about not being able to carry things around on the sabbath…which would mean everything from carrying keys in your pocket to a tissue would be, well, outlawed! Which is, at least, inconvenient, and, at most, ludicrous!

But we are a crafty people, and have come up with a way around this. If you take a
piece of string, and wrap it around your neighborhood, you are free to break this law because…well, I don’t have any clue. Honestly, this one has baffled me since day one. Why does a piece of string…or a wall, for that matter (which is what the string is used to represent), prevent god from getting pissed at you?

2. Turning on and off lights (timers)

Many Jew folk I know also have their lights on timers during shabbat because there is also a prohibition for CREATING THINGS…which includes creating…and destroying light. So, as a measure for you being able to function at night without having to spend the night with the lights on, we have decided to employ the use of timers on our lights. This allows us to have the lights turn on and off at reasonable hours BY THEMSELVES so we don’t have to, which means we aren’t breaking the laws of shabbos because we didn’t do it…except…who set the timer in the first place? Why doesn’t that count?

My question is…why make the loophole in the first place? Why not just redact the laws that we find so…uh…stupid? You KNOW you aren’t going to follow the rules because they’re asinine…otherwise you wouldn’t have made the loophole to begin with!

This is post 36 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.


From formspring.me: Is there anything you would encounter in your studies that you feel you might be squeamish about*?

There’s a reason why I’m not becoming a medical doctor. Well, one reason. I am very squeamish. I’ve always hated dissecting things in biology classes, no matter how much I logically tell myself why its worthwhile. When we had to dissect the fetal pig in AP Biology, I just drew everything while my partner gleefully ripped into our subject. Thankfully the only thing I had to dissect in college was potatoes, so I survived my lab classes.

I’m surprisingly okay with bleeding, but I hate hearing about injuries. Stories about breaking bones or destroying organs in a number of spectacular ways really freak me out. I have few stereotypically “girly” qualities, but one of them is flailing when people get graphic about medical situations. I hate being surprised by random injury photos in blogs.

And for some reason, I’m especially squeamish about wrist related injuries. I’ve never hurt my wrists, but they just seem like such a fragile part of the body. One cut and you’re doomed. A couple years ago my grandma fell and broke her wrist, and her doctor reconstructed it using cadaver bones and a giant metal contraption that stuck out of her wrist. She would gleefully come up to me, take off the clothe covering, and go “Look, I have a machine gun arm! Pew pew!”

Little did she know I already had a wrist-phobia, so seeing metal jutting out of it was not the most pleasant experience.

Do you have anything in your studies or work that make you squeamish? Or just particular things that make you squeamish in general?

*I think I may have interpreted this question too literally. Oh well, it’s late.

This is post 35 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

I’ve lost my mind

Mark: What do you call a melon who can’t get married?
Jen: A cantelope
Mark: No, GAY
Me: What do you call a man who sucks another guy’s cock?
Mark: Gay?
Mark: WTF

This is funny to me. That should illustrate how little sanity I have left. I have started to drink coffee mixed with white russian mix. No, this will probably not solve my problems.

Also, the internet on my computer keeps blipping in and out, so I’ve had to go downstairs to use my dad’s. After suddenly starting sneezing and losing the ability to breath, I remembered the cat sits right next to my dad’s computer. Cry.

This is post 33 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Dealing with condescending religious friends

From formspring.me: I have a friend who condescendingly asks me to “explain to him why god isn’t real”. I am not a confrontational person, and I don’t know how to say my part without stepping on his toes. Should I just be straightforward with him…almost harsh or avoid it?

You should do whatever you feel comfortable doing. If you’re not a confrontational person, you don’t have to confront him. Politely say something along the lines of “I don’t feel comfortable discussing a personal issue like religion because I don’t want it to come between our friendship. I don’t ask you about your beliefs, and I would appreciate it if you don’t ask me about mine.” If you want, offer to give him resources that will explain what atheist thinks, and say something like “I don’t want to debate, but if you want to understand my position these do a great job.”

I know why you may feel like you have to “say your part” since we’re in a minority and constantly stress how vocal atheists need to be – but you’ve done your part. Simply admitting you’re an atheist does more good than you may think. You don’t need to be an expert debater on top of that, especially when it seems someone is just looking for a fight.

Can anyone suggests particularly good summary pieces about atheism? Or maybe other advice you would give?

This is post 32 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

I get more weird emails

Though these formspring.me questions are much more important, so I’ll actually answer them:

How do you stop a bear ( grizzly) from eating a baby? Need an answer asap.

Obviously this bear is an atheist. Your only hope is to offer it something it wants even more, like definitive proof that God does not exist. Good luck.

I suspect my coworker is a bear. As someone who studies biology, how can I tell for sure? She is always playfully caressing me and leaving large gashes. She invited me over for fish and a movie. My parents would never approve of a bear daughter-in-law.

My friend Spelios offers his expert bear advice: “Paint your front lawn like an endzone. If they can’t enter it, they are likely a Bear.”

How do you get a bear to quit calling you after you sleep with it to stop it from eating a baby? I’m afraid simply ignoring her calls could lead to a mauling. Follow up biology type question, can a human and bear have a child together?

My friend Mark offers his expert bear insights: “Apologize and tell the bear that you prefer twinks.”

As for having a child together, I’m afraid it’s true. How else do you think we get talking bears like Yogi, Fozzi, and Ditka?

This is post 31 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

I get weird email

Well, technically they’re formspring.me questions. But they’re still bizarre:

Do you feel the urge to post a picture of yourself every time you ovulate?

What is your mean and standard deviation of the number of days between ovulation?

Did you start to ovulate on June 17? The picture of yourself online induce lots of signals in my ovulation-detection Bayesian neural net. Please let me know if you do because I’d like to know whether to reward or punish my neural net.

…I think this guy’s neural net needs to be punished for not picking up on what questions are socially acceptable.

Oh wait, it’s the internet. Social norms, lulz.

This is post 29 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.