I would define “meaning” as something larger than ourselves that gives a sense of purpose and direction to our lives. Having meaning in life is one of the key ingredients of happiness, because for most people a life worth living needs to have purpose in a larger context.
Meaning is also important as a foundation for ethics. Systems of values can be reduced to a few fundamental premises from which codes of ethics can be developed rationally. …
Even in sadomasochistic circles, figging has a reputation for being painful. In my experience, the sensation it produces varies from a pleasant warmth to burning pain, but it is still quite tolerable. For some people, it’s not strong enough, while others do not like it. Responses to the chemicals in ginger root vary considerably from person to person, just like some people love spicy food and others hate it.
To enjoy figging, you should be completely comfortable with anal play and be able to wear butt-plugs without problem. …
“To many women the menopause marks the end of their useful life. They see as the onset of the end, the beginning of old age. They may be right. Having outlived their ovaries, they may have outlived their usefulness as human beings. The remaining years may just be marking time until they follow their glands into oblivion.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), by David Reuben, MD
I hope this outrageous paragraph makes you laugh. For my wife Lilith Blackwell and I, it has become a family joke. We thought it would be…
Last January I played When I’m Sixty-Four on my birthday. I have been listening to that Beatles’ song since I was 14, wondering how I would be when I finally arrived to that age. Now, fifty years later, I think I would surprise my former self if he could see what I have become. I still free-dive, like I did when I was a teenager, although I prefer to play it safe and use scuba if I can. I ski the double-black diamond slopes and I lead 5.8 rock-climbing routes. I’ve just retired from a moderately successful scientific career and…
Q: Why is one partner not enough?
A: The answer will be different for each person. Here are some possibilities:
It was great to fall in love head-over-heels when I was 58. Middle-age men fall in love all the time, but they often pay a high price for it. Maybe they have been alone for a while. Maybe they just went through the heartbreak of divorce or the death of a loved one. Maybe they are cheating.
Not me. Polyamory allowed me to fall in love while continuing my long-term relationship with my wife. Ethically, without cheating, without lying, without secrets. I could fall in love with another woman while still loving my wife. And without risking our relationship.
Julia startles as she walks into the bedroom. Roger is a looming presence standing quietly by the bed, a giant statue of a man.
“Oh, wow! I didn’t expect to find you here.”
She sits on the bed to remove her shoes. The heels were a bit too high to wear in the office.
Roger does not respond. Julia becomes gradually aware of the way he crosses his arms over his chest, the way he stares at her.
He shuts the door. Then he comes to stand in front of her, arms still folded over his chest.
This is an ethical dilemma similar to the famous “trolley problem” featured in the television show The Good Place. Like other ethical thought experiments, it is designed to help us analyze the underpinnings of ethical ideas.
Here, I want to criticize the idea of Speciesism, which consists in “treating members of one species as morally more important than members of other species in the context of their similar interests.” […] “Notable proponents of the concept include Peter Singer, Oscar Horta, Steven M. Wise, Gary L. Francione and Ingrid Newkirk” (Wikipedia).
Although the accusation of speciesism is more often held against…
Some people say that they are into spanking, but not into pain. Because, you know, if they were into pain that would mean that they are (gasp) masochists! So they say that they like gentle spankings that are just “sensation”, not pain.
What does neuroscience have to say about that?
Pain is not just a strong tactile sensation. Believe or not, this was strongly debated for some time among pain scientists. Nowadays, it is clear that pain and tactile sensations are carried by different neurons, from the body all the way into the brain.
In just a few days, on February 23, it will be the 40th anniversary of a coup (known in Spain as the 23-F) that tried to reverse Spain’s transition to democracy and bring the country back to a Fascist dictatorship. Given the ongoing debate about whether the January 6th assault on the Capitol was a coup, it is interesting to reflect on what happened in Spain that day.
The entire government, the Senate, and the Parliament was taken hostage. The country was effectively decapitated.
On the evening of February 23, 1981, I was playing chess in the army barracks near…