Google

Subscribe
Enter your email address to receive notifications when there are new posts
Powered by BLOG ALERT
You will get emails when I post a new blog. You will not get them for any other reason. I post on average 4 times a month. Each email will have a link to unsubscribe. You will not get any spam from me or Blog-Alert.
 
Visitors

You have 923269 hits.

 
Latest Comments
 
Recent Entries
 
Category
 
Archives
 

Blogs I follow:
Fem·men·ist
The Briefing Room (White House)
The Future is Fiction
East Bay Bicycle Coalition
The Quiet Extrovert
Electrons and More!
Crystal Math
Green Eggs & Ham
Ghost Town Farm
DemonBaby
30 is the new 13
The Gubbins Experiment
 
Links
 
$0 Web Hosting
 
User Profile
Bakari
biodieselhau...
Male
Oakland, CA



 
Posted By Bakari

The Earth has been around about 5 billion years, life about 4 billion.
Half a billion years for animals, 200 billion for mammals.
200,000 years of humans.
For the first 192,000 years or so, the human population was under 10 million people world wide.
Increasing 10 fold took 6000 more years.
We rocketed from 100 million to a billion in just over 2000 years.
The next billion only took 120 years.
And then 30.
And since the 1950s, we have added a billion people every 13 years or so.

We are at around 6.75 billion people now.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Population_curve.svg

Its estimated that it will hit 9 billion in about another 30 years.
That new 2 and a quarter billion people will be our children.

We like to point to the 3rd world, to Asia and Africa, but in the measure that matters, the US is by far the most overpopulated country in the world, as well as one of the fastest growing.

Population is only an issue because of the finite resources the Earth can provide. If we had unlimited resources there wouldn't be any reason not to keep increasing indefinitely.

If everyone used the same amount of water, land, and energy, and caused the same amount of pollution as the average person in the third world, we would all be ok for a long time to come. Due to lack of ability, what we call poverty, people in the third world tend to use less than their share of world resources.
The average person in the first world uses 5 times more than the overall world average.
The average American uses 20 times more. Each of us uses about 20 times more water, 20 times more fuel and electricity, 20 times as much land to produce our food, produces 20 times more waste and pollution.
Which means that in the big picture, each of us counts for 20 people.

So our 305 million population may as well be 6.1 billion, far more than China's 1.3 billion. They would have to increase some combination of actual population and consumption per person by far before we could legitimately point the finger at them.

It also means that each child we have counts as 20 people, turning our fertility rate of 2.1 (already above the replacement rate of 2) into the equivalent of 42 per woman, 6 times higher than the highest rate of any third world country - and almost 17 times higher than the world average.

In the US alone there are 200,000 children waiting to be adopted.


It is one of the most basic and universal desires is to reproduce. How could it be any other way? Because if that drive weren't passed along genetic lines, our ancestors wouldn't have bothered, and we wouldn't be here to think about it.

There has been a widespread assumption that because it is natural and universal that therefor it should be considered a human right.

Our modern world does not resemble the savanna we evolved on. We also have biological instincts to eat whenever food is available in case it isn't tomorrow - and the result is rampant obesity - and a good number of us making the conscious choice to go against instinct and manipulate ourselves in ways that take into consideration the reality of our world. Violence is natural and universal, but we agree as a society that the costs are not acceptable and make the conscious decision to repress it, both as individuals and as communities.
Because, we can do that, we can think, and make choices.

To make wine or beer, you start with grape juice or grains and add microorganisms.
For them it is an incredible feast!

Character limited blog server; read the rest here: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/wine-barrel-population-and-parenthood.html


 
Posted By Bakari

I am so sick of dating.

I can't say it hasn't been fun.
Its been really fun. Many first experiences.

I have been asked out. I have gathered the courage to ask out.
Some time later I replaced courage with confidence.

I have learned an awful lot of things (and confirmed a few I suspected all along).
I learned just how different I am compared to so many of my peers in this area.
I learned finding what I am looking for is really hard.
I learned all the common stereotypes about gender and dating are totally false.
I learned people really do have sex on first dates (and not just desperate people, drunks, or players, but ordinary healthy well-adjusted people)
I learned women are just as superficial as men (just with height instead of weight)
I learned (at least for those whose standards start at 5'6" or less) I am much more attractive than I had thought I was.
I learned there is very little correlation between stated views on sex and actual comfort and enthusiasm in practice; and little correlation between visual sexiness and actual quality of performance.
I learned the single most important variable is that she is truly comfortable with her own sexuality.
I was shocked to learn how many people think that the actions of the female partner have little bearing on the overall quality of sex, or that being "good" can consist solely of how much she is willing to have done to her. I learned not everyone can match my stamina.
I learned people are much more forgiving of me for my infidelity than I am of myself (I decided against ever making that story a blog, but I have nothing to hide, so if you ask me I'll tell you about it)
I learned I can easily fall in love with someone I am totally incompatible with - in fact, I'm suspect that I have a tendency to do just that.
I have learned a lot about emotional responses and how rare it is to just be told, directly, when something I do is upsetting or annoying or offensive.
I learned just how guarded and polite people are, and how it breeds a sort of inadvertent falseness which I honestly never noticed before.

I have had sex with a number of beautiful intelligent compassionate women of various shapes and sizes and colors. People involved in social justice and environmental protection and education, younger than me, older, people who want to get married someday and others who think monogamy is an artificial social construct. More women in just this past year than I expected to be with in my entire life.
I've shared both physical and emotional intimacy with women who I could have conversations with and find myself questioning beliefs I've refined over a lifetime of thought and debate and felt totally confident about.
I've even fallen in love. It may have been with someone totally incompatible with me, but it was still nice to know for sure I still can.

It turns out that sex with someone who isn't my best-friend-and-long-term-partner is just as unfulfilling as I always assumed it would be. They were everyone of them someone I could consider a friend, a whole world of difference from one-night-stand or purely-physical affairs (the thought of which makes me feel a little sick inside). That just isn't enough.

I have not had a history of following through on this sort of thing in the past; perhaps a public pronouncement will aid my meager willpower - or at least discourage the women in my life from taking advantage of it:
No more sex on first dates, no matter how good that date is. Or second. Or third. No sex unless...

 

(due to character limit, please click here to continue)


 
Posted By Bakari

A friend of mine insists that I seem really gay (despite this friend being female, and us sleeping together).
As evidence she questioned someone I had just met, who agreed that whatever I was, she doubted it was straight.
As I found this more than a little strange, I proceeded to ask other people if they thought that when they first met me.
Responses mixed, but I was surprised to find some people agreed with their assessment.

The reasons I got included: that I seem comfortable with myself and others, in my own skin (mind you, I was in my own home at the time), and that I am not a sleazy slimeball.

I definitely consider those both to be very positive (and, I like to imagine, accurate) things to say about me, but it leaves an absolutely terrible implication for like, all straight men everywhere. 
Like, (aside from gay guys and me), they are all fake, all of the time (or at least around women), always trying to show off or prove something, I suppose, or one way or another acting (presumably for the chance to have sex with everyone they meet).
I have a lot of trouble believing that.

Having an inside pass, I do know that this is terribly common.  Disturbingly common.
But if it is perceived to be universal...
Perhaps this is why nice guys finish last.  Women perceive guys who are just regular, decent human beings as all being gay.

When I was younger I used to believe that everyone is naturally bi, and it is only social conditioning that makes us suppress it.  I was raised in an extremely liberal household by an openly bi former hippy who was totally honest and through in education on all topics. 
(A note for the anti-sex-ed folk: nothing can make sex less appealing to a young person than hearing about it in detail from one's mother.  Statistics show that repressive communities have a far higher teen birth rate.  I on the other hand waited until 21, and then only because the other person insisted).
I grew up not just watching but participating in the gay parade.  It was a while before I understood that a certain anonymous alcohol recovery support group was not in fact specifically for the LGBT community.  Many of my best childhood memories was of Camp Lavender Hill, where every kid was from a LGBT family.  So I was open-minded.
Then I got the opportunity to test the theory.
Turns out I was wrong.
It just doesn't do it for me.
Not at all.
Even years later, I tell myself I "should" be more open-minded.  Nothing can make me lose interest in sex faster than watching gay porn.

I am neutral on the gender tests I have taken, and I'm proud of that.  I may act effeminate by this society's standards - mainly because I am totally oblivious to the standards.  I probably wouldn't act the way I am "supposed to" even if I knew, but the truth is I don't.  When I think about it, I don't see what I could do that wouldn't be a blatant caricature of what it means to be Manly.  I think of flannel, a big belt buckle, beer, and slapping women I barely know on the ass.  I think of constantly challenging other guys to frivolous competitions and asking total strangers for her number on the sole basis of her being "hot".  Who does these things?  How can anyone take them seriously? 

(due to character limit, the conclusion can be found HERE)


 
Posted By Bakari

http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/the_gay_animal_kingdom/

 

At first I was going to comment directly on the article, but couldn't find a place for it.
Then I noticed the article is 3 years old.
Disappointing.
Then it occurred to me; that's exactly what my blog is for!  Remember?  Duh.

On to my comments:

This is a fascinating study and long over due research, which deserves far more attention that it's gotten for both social and scientific reasons.
However, I must partially object to the conclusions of this particular article.

It presents a false dichotomy.  None of the observed activities contradict the basic principals of Darwinian evolution, including sexual selection.  They may seem to contradict some assumed extensions of the basic mechanisms of evolution, but those assumptions are the things which must be thrown out, not the entire theory.

Sex serves a social function.  This is true not only in humans, but in a great many other species as well - generally those that are more complex, intelligent, and social.  This much is clear.
This does not mean sex is not also about reproduction.  It is not an either/or question.  To dispute that sex is primarily about reproduction, the survival of one's genes is just plain silly.

But simply maximizing number of offspring does not necessarily lead to the greatest number of survivors a few generations down.  Increasing the quality of a few offspring, and improving the environment they grow up in can be an alternate and potentially more successful strategy for grandchildren.  In a social specie where individuals are dependent on the group, any behavior which increases the cohesivenvess of the group has an adaptive advantage.

(this is only the begining - there is much more, including links to references, and irrelevant asides, not to mention a most gratifing conclusion (or at least the conclusion that gratification is perfectly ok) - unfortunately, my cheap blog editor piggybacking here on my website server space ("cheap" meaning "free") has a charcter limit for some unfathomable and ungodly reason, so in order to read the rest I am afraid I have to send you to my original blog, by having you click the following link: Gay Animals, Social Sex, and a Misunderstanding of Natural and Sexual Selection )


 
Posted By Bakari

What I was searching for doesn't seem all that extreme or strange.

Something where the female was in control, and the focus was on her getting whatever she wanted.
There is plenty of the inverse.  Too much.  There is also of course a healthy amount where no one is dominant, the majority in fact.
Female dominated (or FemDom for short) is shunted off to the side as a fetish, a subset of BDSM (bondage domination/submission sado-masochism).

Of course male dominated BDSM exists too, and occasionally is even pretty good (I am partial to sexandsubmission.com).  But there is also lots of male dominated porn which doesn't fall under the BDSM category.  Its regular sex, with no pain or bondage involved, but the guy is clearly in control of the situation, and his partner is there to please him.  In and of itself, I'd have no problem with that - so long as it were balanced.

In femdom, almost invariably, at some point the mistress dons a strap-on and penetrates her slave.  I realize plenty of real life people are into this, and that it can be pleasurable for the guy, an interesting fantasy for the girl.  But every time?  If the guy is only there to please her, whether he enjoys any part of the experience should be mostly irrelevant.  And she doesn't actually get any direct stimulation of her own from this act.  From the stand point of her sexual pleasure, it's kind of pointless.  It may be fun, but it's not exactly sex.  Were it really just an alternate form of sex, it would be common (or at least exist occasionally) in genres other than femdom.  That it is confined to that subset means there is an assumption that the act of penetration itself is not just masculine, but dominating.
And that assumption in turn implies that simply via their biology, women are inherently subjects in every sex act.

I have always subscribed to the idea that feminism is nothing more than the "radical" notion that women are people.  Not that women are men.  Not that women are capable of being men.  That women are people, and men are people, and, as Pete says in 'The Muppets take Manhattan, "Peoples is peoples".  Claiming that women are capable of doing anything men are doing is also the suggestion that men should be the standard by which people are measured.  Similarly, a woman should not have to artificially take on an approximation of male biology in order to be (or appear) strong, confident, or dominate.  One could just as easily re-think male penetration as female envelopment.
She just needs to be the one in control.

Its rare for their to be any ordinary penetration in femdom porn - you know, the one physical act which is, in the most literal sense, actually sex.
I admit that I am not, and never have been, a woman, but I tend to trust my partners, and in my experience, women don't just have intercourse for the sake of their partners.  They actually enjoy it.  Which leads me to suspect that, if she were given free reign to do whatever she felt like, it's not altogether unlikely that intercourse would be an item on the agenda.
This doesn't mean she has to cede control.  In fact, he needn't even have his limbs free.

[due to the character limit on this free blog platform, you will have to read the rest on my MySpace Blog, by clicking this sentence]


 
Posted By Bakari

I still do not put any real stake in sexual compatibility.
What I want is a partnership.
What matters most to me is being able to fully respect my partner, admire her.
I want us to enjoy each other, have fun together, teach each other, challenge each other, support each other.
I want intellectual and emotional compatibility.
I want shared values and priorities.
What matters to me is who she is as a person, not just what I get from contact with her.

It is very early, we have a lot to learn about each other; I can't say anything with any confidence. We haven't had a chance to talk about these things. I don't even know what she is looking for in terms of a relationship. I have always had a tendency to idealize people, to emphasize the good and overlook the bad, and especially now I am not in a proper emotional state to judge - that being said, I have not felt so positively about a new person so quickly since... well, actually, I don't think I ever have.
I am learning more and more exactly what it is that I want, raising my standards by having contact with various people who were each wonderful in their own way, and seeing those things which I might have thought I wanted, but turned out not to work for me.
As I became more selective, it has become harder and harder to find someone who held my interest. I tried not to even think about concepts like "settle"; a slippery slope atop depression.
When I was young the focus of my infatuations were completely random and baseless. It had more to do with accessibility, proximity, than it did on personality. I remember in junior high intelligence became a prerequisite. Then independent thinking.
Kathy, in the first year of high school was the first where looking back, I know exactly what I saw in her. Aside from my crush, she was also my best friend.
But then, she was my friend first. It was based on who she was, not just what she looked like or that she happened to be in my class. But my interest developed slowly, bit by bit.
And so it was with my ex-wife, Aileen. We became friends first, and for years after our first conversation I had not the slightest romantic interest in her. We had sex before we kissed. We still both considered our relationship to be friendship after we were sleeping together regularly. I felt that I loved her before I felt in-love. That was definitely a first. The feeling of love, not romantic, not passion, but caring deeply for a person, caring as much about another human being as you do about yourself, that does not come easily for me. I have felt it only very rarely, and usually transiently. She earned my love by being the wonderful person she is. We became partners, and romantic feeling developed with time. That made it no less real, no less strong. I felt as deeply in love with my wife as I did in any obsession before her. Combining the feeling of "love" with "in-love" produced an attachment so strong it is a wonder to me that I was actually able to function in the real world day-to-day. (It is actually a good thing that she didn't feel as strongly as I did, because we may very well have never left each others sides, and would in fact have not been able to function in the real world).

All this to say I don't especially value what most people today consider a prerequisite for a new relationship, a chemistry or passion or attraction...

[Actual blog no longer blocked at MySpace; just be aware, its gets pretty explicit]


 
Posted By Bakari

The Warren controversy is over the following statement:

"But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage."

People are, of course, up in arms about this, as apparently comparing gays to people who commit incest or polygamy is extremely offensive.

Why is it ok to claim incest and polygamy are inherently immoral or unacceptable?
There are a great many cultures where polygamy is practiced, accepted, and legal. Obama's father, in fact, was married to more than one woman, which is legal in Kenya.
We are talking consenting adults. You personally may not want to share your spouse. What reason do you have to deprive someone who does?
It is legal, right here in CA, for cousins to marry. Siblings are slightly closer than cousins genetically, which makes it slightly more likely that certain genetic illnesses which reside on regressive genes could surface if they had children together - but we aren't talking about having children. Our sexual morays were developed long before the advent of accessible, safe, effective birth control. Set aside that its gross and weird, and that you personally would never want to do it. There is no objective reason why two siblings, who are consenting adults, shouldn't have sex if they so choose. No one is harmed. It isn't immoral. Its unusual, (because our brains evolved before birth control. We naturally feel its gross, because its better for the gene pool to be mixed up), but there is nothing wrong with it.
So then, seriously, why shouldn't siblings be allowed to marry?

In different cultures and times the age of adulthood has varied. A great number of countries - and most US states - currently allow marriage at 16, several at 14 (including 3 US states), and a few at 12. In many cases this is below the age of adulthood. Warren did not specify pedophilia (which implies a prepubescent child) nor the age of the older person.

The real issues are about sex - in general - and whether it is inherently immoral when used for pleasure; and about tradition and whether it is a legitimate basis for, well, anything.

Warren was not necessarily talking about morality. As a Christian pastor, his beliefs, "morality", and understanding are all influenced by, if not directly based on, some book written thousands of years ago. Essentially, tradition for tradition's sake. It has nothing to do with reason, or actual morality (based on the harm or good done to real people), or common sense, or modern reality.

That is not an issue of Warren himself, or of conservatives, or of Christians. Really, its an issue of having ANY tradition or text, religious or otherwise, dictate truth to you. The real issue is faith verses reason. If you accept a Christian as legitimate leader, you don't get to line-item-veto those things you don't like. The Bible is not ambiguous on homosexuality. (In fact, its rather more ambiguous on incest and pedophilia, and clearly accepts polygamy).
Instead of demonizing one individual, why not focus on the source?

I happen to agree with pastor Warren 100%. Those things he mentioned ARE similar to homosexuality. They are different than normal, different than what most people do. They are about sex, and as such are automatically pushed toward being considered immoral in many peoples eyes, independent of whether or not anyone actually gets hurt. And they are not actually immoral in any way. Creepy, maybe, but not immoral.

I find the response to his comments to be far more offensive than his comments themselves.
Prejudice is prejudice. Progressives are supposed to be the enlightened ones.


 
Posted By Bakari

Amazing the amount of knowledge that there is even to be had, even more so that so much of it has been consolidated.

You learn the most interesting things, which you didn't even know you were looking for at first.

Here are a few of the things I would never have guessed, and have learned since yesterday:

1 In many countries/cultures around the world Santa Claus (or Saint Nick, or whoever) is accompanied by a demonic character, often named Knecht Ruprecht (Servant Rupert), or Krampus (Claw). While Santa gives gifts to good little children, it is the job of Rupert the Claw to punish the bad ones; slightly bad kids are hit with his cane or birch rod, very naughty children are likely to be put into his sack (like Santa's, but empty) and taken away.  A gentler version sometimes has him leaving behind coal or a bundle of sticks in lieu of the beating.
In Italy, in place of Santa is a woman who is an excellent housekeeper and host (and looks a bit like a friendly witch).  She set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost, and so instead wanders the world giving gifts to all the children she does find.

2 The island country we know as Taiwan is actually officially called The Republic of China (as distinct from mainland China which is officially The Peoples Republic of China).  In deference to the demands of communist mainland China (PRC) in the UN and other diplomatic settings it is referred to as Chinese Taipei (Taipei is the capital city).
The government / political party which controls Taiwan/Republic of China controlled all of China (mainland and Taiwan) between the time the last dynasty/emperors were overthrown and when the communist party took power, and technically, they still consider all of China to be legitimately party of their territory.
The original inhabitants of Taiwan were most closely related to Polynesians, with Chinese settling there as early as the 1200s.  It was later colonized by the Dutch for 100 years or so, before being defeated by the Chinese when it became a province of China for around 200 years, before being taken over by Japan around the turn of the last century, which controlled it until losing WWII.  AS the communists began to win the civil war only a few years later millions of Chinese loyal to the democratic/capitalistic government fled to Taiwan, ever since running an independent and autonomous - although officially unrecognized - country.
Today 98% of the population is ethnically Chinese (12% of whom have only been there since WWII), only 2% are actually aboriginal Taiwanese.

3 In ancient Greece some of the most politically influenitial and independant women, and the only ones to be educated, were hetaera, who were among other things, prostitutes.  They filled a somewhat similar role as Japan's geishas or Europes courtesans providing entertainment and all forms, including not only sex but everything from music and dance to intelligent conversation.  As with geishas, in some circumstances a hetaera could be purchased outright by a single individual - in one case the price being equivalent to 8 years average salary.
hetaera were the only females who participated in the conversations at Symposiums, a party which was a cross between a place for intellectual discussion and a drinking party.  It seems that in general men were far more likely to be in love with their hetaera than with their wives, whose purpose was primarily only procreation and the upkeep of a household, however, in love or not, they could not marry, as hetaera were never citizens.


 
Posted By Bakari

I went to see the exhibit where they dissect human cadavers, coat them in plastic, and display them in various poses in a cross between anatomy education and a morbid art form.

Two of my three companions skipped the section with embryos and fetuses, as well as a pregnant woman.

I found this surprising, as I found it among the most interesting of the sections there.

They said it made them uncomfortable (particularly in light of a job which involves pregnant women.)

I pointed out that they are, and interact with, people all the time, (like us, right then), and all the other dead people were people. But they felt it was different.

Although my third companion had not skipped this section, she found their aversion entirely understandable.

I've been thinking about that. People in general seem much more protective of pregnant women than anyone else.

Murdering a pregnant woman is seen as significantly more heinous than ordinary murder. A pregnant woman will cause people to give up a seat on the train who would not do the same for, say, an overweight person, or someone visibly tired, who may appreciate it just as much.

I suppose the roots may be biological, as embryos are delicate, or it may be social, but it seems pretty prevalent. The reason isn't important though.
Every person who feels this in someway should be able to understand the strong feeling of "right-to-lifers".
People who are against abortion are not misogynists, they are not advocating women be considered less important than men, or less in control of their bodies. They feel that life is valuable before birth. Apparently liberals feel this way too, just instinctively. When we argue that a several month old embryo doesn't have a brain, we are looking at a scientific issue. But in another, also objective, sense, there really are only two concrete lines that can be drawn - conception, and birth. Defining trimesters is very imprecise, and so in a way, a bit arbitrary. Of course if you believe (as most of the most passionate pro-life people do) that man is made in the image of God, then brain development is irrelevant, as the human soul is injected at the moment of conception.

I think this "reasoning" based on feeling may explain a good deal of (social) conservative views. Things like gay marriage, religion in schools and politics, porn and prostitution, sex-ed in schools, the death penalty, media censorship, or that every person should be responsible for themselves, what statistics say are irrelevant, what the practical consequences of a policy are are irrelevant.

On abortion we argue that a woman should have a choice in her reproductive choices. To a pro-life person this makes no more sense than arguing a mother should retain the right to kill her newborn. In each issue we put forth our own arguments, instead of addressing the issues the people we argue against raise.
Perhaps a more productive tactic would be to attempt first to understand our opponents view point, and then focus on education. Education of the science and statistics, but also of our own universal feelings. Anger management involves becoming aware of ones self. Irrationality management should contain the same. We need to acknowledge that we all feel unborn humans are valuable, and we all want rapists and murders put to death, we all feel homosexuality is a little gross, and that certain things shouldn't be said on TV.

 

<entire blog at MySpace>


 
Posted By Bakari

ok, first: I don't mean to imply any correlation what ever between the three topics.
They are totally independent, only there are overlapping themes, love with out sex, sex without sex, love with love. Plus, the two clips are from the same show. And as a final pun, his name is "Dr. Cox" which in the context of this blog amuses me more than it should at my age.

 

 


I really like this show. Its rare that a show can be so utterly ridicules, and still catch the heart and make suckers like me cry now and then. The situations are often fantastic, the personalities blown to super proportions, the visual gags and gimmicks childish, almost surreal in a way, and yet the feeling in the relationships is believable - you get the feeling the writers have felt the way the characters do. Most of them, most of the time, under all the fun and, all basically unhappy people. And it isn't so hard to sympathize with Cox gong back to his horribly dysfunctional relationship, to his deliberately psychologically abusive ex-wife. And you watch this; clearly he knows better. But sometimes, that's just how life is, and people are people.



Was it "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"? Yes, where the wife is jealous of her husbands relationship with his best friends, and he insists she corrupts the relationship they had by suggesting there was a sexual element to it. Maybe there really was, maybe there would have been in a more open society, and maybe neither. Bottom line, it shouldn't matter. Certainly part of the feeling of love evolved to coincide with sex, as a mechanism to hold a family unit together, to get us to care for our mates and young. But we are a social specie as well as one which mates long-term, and there is naturally love for family, for kin, for friends. It is perhaps our deeply internalized homophobia (and literally phobia, as in fear) which prevents more open man love, more heterosexual life-partners, (as a friend of mine explains his relationship with his roommate/friend). Because we assume that love implies sex, even though many of us can decouple the inverse. This subconscious internalization is so pervasive that even I, raised as I was my a openly bi former hippy, with my gender-neutral mind (according to the BBC / PBS online tests), and my liberal philosophy, am often made uncomfortable by the relationship between Turk and JD - not despite their both being hetero, but because of it. That makes it worse somehow, like I can accept homosexuality so long as its something *other*, but in that context, it makes me think abut my own male friends, and it becomes creepy.


Just like my third topic, which is sort of the inverse, but really just different.

 

I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I thought I might be able to learn to be rather good at fellatio, and that it was in a way unfortunate that I'm straight. She questioned whether enjoying giving head automatically makes a guy gay. My reaction was the same as yours - uh, yeah, duh, by definition! But then I thought about it a bit.

 

<entire blog at MySpace>


 
Posted By Bakari

Its the scientific term for species where the genders have non-reproductive body features which are distinct from each other. like a mallards green head or a peacocks tail.  The fiddler crab probably doesn't count because his giant claw is used directly for the mating process.  Many species the genders are both the same size, but differential size sexual dimorphism is very common.


In insects, spiders, microscopic animals, some sea life, a lot of variety exists, often the female is many times larger than the male, sometimes one gender lives symbiotically or even parasitically within the other for a life time, or males live only a few days while females live for months or years.

In the larger animals, the chordates, there are two primary strategies.  In some species, the males show off for the women, build a better nest, do a sexier dance, show off bright flashy colors, and the women get to choose. 

In others, the men threaten each other, fight if need be, and the winner gets his pick of women - or as many as he can handle, or even all of them.  I this case, it is purely a question of physical dominance.  It doesn't matter if he is ugly, or stupid, or mean.  As long as he's strong, he gets to mate with all the women, whether the other guys like it or not, not to mention whether the women like it or not.  Occasionally in some species, the women have affairs with certain less dominate males, risking the wrath of Brutus for themselves and their partners.

Sexual size dimorphism is present in humans.  The stereotype is that cavemen would hit a woman over the head, and drag her back to his cave.  Given our size difference, and the patterns of every other similar specie, there just might be some truth to that.

Most people assume that our size difference is meant to support a system in which women take care of young that are slow to mature (and by extension, takes care of the household as well) while her mate hunts. 

In truth, in most pre-agricultural societies a far greater amount of calories comes from gathering than from hunting. Gathering doesn't require a whole lot of strength. 
There are few if any examples of species where the male is much larger and stronger and he is monogamous and invests energy in taking care of his mate and children.  The animals where both genders raise the children together, like penguins, both genders are similar in size and strength.
A female taking care of young is in need of strength, in order to defend them from predators.
In the species where the males have muscles or antlers or horns, they use them on each other to win the right to claim women as their own.

 

<entire blog at MySpace>


 
Posted By Bakari

Now that I got your attention...

In the form most of us know and enjoy it, it is in fact a corruption, a perversion, of nature. Homosexuality, sodomy ( which technically refers to both anal and oral, hetero or homo), masturbation, the religious and the prudes are right in that respect.

Just like chocolate cake, ice cream, movies and roller coasters, drugs of every kind (aspirin for example), soft beds, gyms, clothing; what they have in common, we were smart enough to find something that has a particular effect on the body or mind, and find a way to exaggerate it, or produce the effect artificially.
We could not have evolved, originally, to eat prepared food. We would eat whatever grew. Acorns. Leaves. Roots. We invented grinding, adding water to create mush. Heating food. Now we have tortellini. Totally unnatural. We taste sweet, we like it, to get us to eat fruit. Not strawberry cheese cake. We have enhanced nature, found ways to stimulate pleasure zones.

Nature, our genes, only "care" about having the genes exist into the future.
It could be no other way.
Your body, your mind, it is nothing more than a vessel for carrying your genes. What you think of as your soul, your experience, your life, all of it is just an envelope, just packaging.
That's ok.
We have no claws, little teeth, no camouflage, no niche. Instinct is not enough to get us frail things to survive. We must have intelligence. And in order to have a goal, to direct that intelligence, we must have feeling.

And having both affords us the opportunity to take advantage of pleasure. We have no incentive to adopt our genes goal as our own (not counting the Mormons). There is only one goal which it makes any sense for us to adapt, and that is pleasure. (Not necessarily all in the selfish hedonistic sense, but then, being good to others, causing them pleasure, feels good. Ultimately, it is all about happiness, which in turn is gaining pleasure and reducing pain).
And so we use our intelligence to invent cooking, and to invent birth control. If sex didn't feel good, no one would do it, there would be no children, and we wouldn't be here to think about it. It has to, by default, for every specie that has free will.

Birth control is unnatural. So is abortion. The whole point of sex is babies. Undeniable. But unimportant. No one who objects on these grounds objects to our corruption of the rush of adrenalin intended for avoiding predators and cliffs that we get with roller coaster or sky diving on the equally true point that those are unnatural.

People figured out that sex feels good before the invention of birth control. Our collective minds have not caught up with technology.

 

Babies bring up social realities which are more complex than hedonism can take into consideration. We must care about them. Same as before - if we didn't, we wouldn't be here. We're too vulnerable while waiting for that big brain to develop. Sea turtles probably don't have any hang-ups around sex. Babies take a whole lot of resources. You want to know yours really is yours before you spend those resources. You want your genes, not your partners other lover's. You can't watch her at all times. From her point of view, there is no real incentive to be only with you. Maybe the guy with fewer resources has better genes. Or, in her mind, he looks better. Same thing. The problem is universal, and everyone's problem is solved by introducing the concept of adultery, and making it the gravest sin imaginable.

<entire blog at MySpace>


 
Posted By Bakari


I think, in a way, a relationship which is truly healthy is one in which both people gain something concrete and positive and which would be difficult or impossible to find anywhere else, where neither person hurts the other (or at least not much and not often) and they appreciate each other. In this case, each person knows not only the others' value to them but also their own value to the other.

In this case, being comfortable in their relationship, being confident of their worth, then the partners other friendships are not a threat. While the feeling of jealousy may be inevitable, the thought of it is not and generally the two reinforce each other, like how seeing the blood somehow makes the cut hurt worse. So that it is not a matter of one relationship being "higher" or better, but, I think, in a way it is being comfortable with being in an open relationship (meaning, sexually, not emotionally or rather relationship-wise) is the best possible sign that you are ready for commitment. It is only if you trust the other person enough that you are ok (it will always feel a little uncomfortable but ok overall) with them sleeping with someone else, that you know that you are not with this person just for the sake of commitment.

People want security, and there is always the possibility for someone better coming along for one's partner - and perhaps in a way it is better to commit for its own sake, but perhaps it would be better to be with that person who is better. It's not really a question with a right answer. But if it is not a concern, certainly that is ideal and so perhaps no one who wants commitment should become committed.


 
Posted By Bakari

Not anymore than a video of people eating is

If we lived in a society which said you may never eat in public, you must never cook for someone unless you love them, it is shameful to eat alone, etc. then people would get paid big bucks to eat on camera, and single guys would watch videos of people eating.

This would not make the eating movies an affront to human dignity.

Sex is natural. It is society which is an affront to human dignity.

I saw porn when I was a child yet, amazingly, I NEVER RAPED ANYONE!

Some of it is unrealistic, which is exactly the appeal.

Its like when you watch an action movie - you don't really want to rob banks or be in high-speed chases, but its fun to live vicariously through the movie for a while.

In grand theft Auto, you kill people many times a minute, are rewarded for doing so, but when they discovered that you could download a patch to reveal a clothed soft-core, non-explicit mini-game, the rating was changed to "adults only"

Personally, I believe this is a worse reflection on society than porn.


 
Posted By Bakari

Here's a tip:
Don't form an intimate relationship with someone you don't trust.

If they are cheating, that's a reason to leave.
But if you think they are cheating, and they in fact aren't, then that's a reason to leave too.

So you don't have to CATCH them. Just go.

As soon as you suspect it, just go, instead of drawing it out and making a big fuss.

 

(note:  As it turns out, mine was!  But, I can stand by my original idea because; 1 I didn't suspect, I still trusted her, 2 even after knowing I decided to stay with her, and if I had suspected and found out through snooping, I probably would have done the same.   Incidentally, it was rather complicated, with an originally semi-open relationship and a lack of specfic boundaries which led to something I would have been ok with getting more than a little out of hand.  While I support the nothion of open relationship in principal, I can't reccomend it to anyone in reality)