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Let’s TED About Sex

3 Dec

Today AVN is promoting Dr. Sadie Allison’s recent TEDx Golden Gate Park talk on their front page news scroll and on twitter. The talk–Fearless Giving: Turning Sexual Passion into Action–is really more about Allison’s own life than sexual passion. But if it makes you think to yourself yeah,  let’s talk about sex not to worry, TEDs got you covered!

There are a bunch of TED and TEDx talks on gender, sex and relationships available online, some more interesting than others but as a collection they provide some fun food for thought. If you are looking for a place to start check out these three:

In 2009 the hilarious and talented author Mary Roach gave a TED talk called 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm based on her fabulous book Bonk. Even if you’ve read the book or already know most of Roach’s weird and wonderful scientific facts she’s got fascinating examples and great comic timing.

MakeLoveNotPorn.com founder Cindy Gallop used TED2009 to launch her website with a short and funny TED talk on how her own sexual experiences have led her to promote a wider world view of sex than is offered by hardcore pornography. Even though her world view of sex seems to be fairly heteronormative and her world view of porn seems to be myopically mainstream, she made waves and started a pretty vigorous dialogue with her talk and the TEDxOxford followup this year.

The lovely and talented Dr. Debby Herbenick, a research scientist and sex educator at the Kinsey Institute, has given two great talks at her local TEDxBloomington. Check out Why Your Bed is the Ultimate Treehouse and Making Sex Normal for some smart, thoughtful and engaging reflections on sex in science and culture.

Love in the Time of Tulip Mania

3 Dec

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the WorldThe Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Definitely my favorite of the three Michael Pollan books I’ve read so far, The Botany of Desire is a relaxed, often thought-provoking and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny look at the complicated relationship between plants and humans. Pollan traces the human desire for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control through historical, cultural and digestive reflections on the apple, the tulip, the marijuana plant and the potato.

As the title suggests, The Botany of Desire is a little bit sexier than either The Omnivore’s Dilemma or In Defense of Food, Pollan’s obvious, passionate love for gardening, his pot-inspired (although he claims not literally) and often wandering musings and his liberal use of mythology and poetry as framing narratives for the biological make the book a lush and rich read. As in his other books, Pollan may stay on any given topic for a beat or two longer than is strictly necessary to make his point but if you enjoy the distinct quality of his voice as a writer and are happy to move lazily along this winding path through orchard, garden, hydroponic closet and laboratory the book definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Pollan’s reflection on “Darwin’s Ever-Expanding Garden of Artificial Selection,”–on the socio-biological history of the relationship between human and plant desires–lays a clear groundwork for his later books and his ongoing outspoken concern about how radical human intervention has the potential to destabilize the relationship in ways that have biological, environmental and health ramifications that we haven’t even begun to understand.

View all my reviews

Hello world, I’m hungry!

3 Dec

Hi everyone! As my “about me” promises, I’m just your average, friendly, neighborhood, city-dwelling, twenty-something lady. I may live here at https://menmeatmedia.wordpress.com/ but don’t let my address fool you: I also love ladies, veggies and good-old-fashioned books.

This is a little place for me to tell you about the things I consume that consume me. If you are what you eat, I’m surely just bacon! But if you are (and I think I am) the journey you take and the choices you make and the little bits of the world and pop culture and other people that you absorb along the way: well then I’m probably still mostly bacon but I’m a couple of other things too! I’ll be doing my best to share some thoughts on what eat and watch and fuck (and listen to and read and drink and explore and discover) and I hope you will too, so stop by often, comment frequently and thanks for reading!