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Posts Tagged ‘Sex Nerd Sandra’

I love my full-time job… May will mark my 12 year anniversary.  I work for a great company and work with great people and make decent money.

My actual work is mostly interesting too… but it does involve a fair amount of redundant work that can be rather tedious.  So to help occupy my mind when I go through the repetition I listen to various podcasts on iTunes.

And I recently discovered a new podcast I really like!  It’s called The Because Show, and it’s three women friends in their mid-30s who live in California talking about whatever—life, love, pop culture, sex, books, TV shows, movies, marriage, parenthood.  One’s a single mom who recently went through a divorce, the other two are married and I believe all have kids.  They’ve got great rapport and great voices… and as someone who loves women, their show is like catnip to me.  Check ‘em out!

I thought it might be fun to share the podcasts I listen to regularly:

SEX, LOVE, RELATIONSHIPS

Why You Suck in Bed—raw, raunchy and honest, I love listening just to see what crazy topics they may touch upon each week.  In particular I really enjoy the two women co-hosts, Dr. Stacy and Molly, who are both incredibly smart, sexy as hell and are open to talking frankly about anything.

Sex Nerd Sandra—Sandra is such a positive force, listening to her makes me want to pack up and move to California just for the slim chance to make friends with her.  She’s got an exuberance that’s infectious and fun, a driving curiosity to learn everything she can about sex and relationships and then to share it with her listeners.  I just love it!

The Because Show—I wrote about that above.

(The first two shows I don’t actually download and listen at work because they can get rather sexually explicit, so instead I download at home and listen to them during my driving commutes)

POP CULTURE

The Walking Dead ‘Cast / The Talking Dead / Afterbuzz TV: The Walking Dead:  I’m a huge fan of the TV show and have written about it a few times over on my TV blog (which reminds me, I need to fire that up again).  My favorite is The Walking Dead ‘Cast because there’s a woman  co-host which provides a great female fan perspective on the show, and the chemistry between Karen and Jason is really fun.  The Talking Dead is a good one too, I enjoy the recaps and the news and the geeky side-tracks Chris and Jason take.  Afterbuzz is light and fluffy and fun, and is available the fastest, actually showing up in the feed the morning after the show so I don’t have to wait to hear what people are thinking about this week’s episode.

Firewall & Iceburg Podcast:  two TV reviewers from  Hitfix.com discuss TV shows and occasionally other pop culture items.  They are both whip-smart, clever and often quite funny.

Talking TV With Ryan and Ryan:  Gives a male and female perspective on various TV shows, often with an emphasis on “geek/nerd” shows I love like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

TV Times Three Podcast:  Three TV critics – two regular hosts and then one host from rotating guests – talk about good and/or popular TV shows each week.  They have good TV news segments too.  The regular hosts have great voices and personality that shines through– especially Amrie who’s such a hyper spazz she just cracks me up listening to her.

Slate’s Spoiler Specials:  I don’t always get to see the movies (and occasional TV shows) these folks talk about, but when I do I like to check in on this podcast afterwards and see what Dana Stevens and her guest think of it.  Warning—the show contains SPOILERS, so listen after you watch.

POLITICS

The Young Turks:  hands-down the absolutely best source of political news, the hosts talk truth to power and unload with both barrels on Republicans and Democrats when its deserved (and it so often is).  They provide deep but easy to understand analysis about what the politicians and policies really mean.  The show has a progressive bent but it’s not biased and has no agenda other than getting at the truth.  They also mix in humor and a dash of pop culture and entertainment news as well.  This show is so good and indispensable that I gladly pay the membership fee so I can listen to the shows in their entirety.  Seriously the best ten dollars I spend each month!

Both Sides Now & KCRW’s Left, Right & Center:  Recaps of the past week’s political issues with smart and thoughtful commenters from the left and right, and a moderator to push back and keep the rants to a minimum.   Arianna Huffington, Mary Matalin, Ron Reagan, Eliot Spitzer, Robert Scheer, and David Frum offer up smart commentary from across the political spectrum.

I’ve actually got quite a few more podcasts I listen to occasionally, but these are the ones I listen to regularly.   How about you?  What podcasts do you listen to, and why?

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There were two things recently that kinda pushed the edges of the box of expectations I have being a newly single man in his 40s during 2012, as compared to the time when I was a single man in his 20s in the 1990s.

First was being contacted by a friend who mentioned to me that some women who are into BDSM might like what they read here on my blog.  When I replied that I thought I might be  a little… well, gentle for those ladies, she replied that she knows Doms who would totally love that.

That notion… well, it left me with a strange mix of surprise, bafflement, and a little dose of intrigue.  In my adult life so far, BDSM has been something that’s intrigued me not at all, and so I’ve never ever thought about doing anything along those lines, and no one that I’ve ever dated ever suggested it either.  And yet, with the surprise success of that book Fifty Shades of Gray, it occurs to me that there might be a lot more women interested in that sort of thing that I’d have thought… and what would I do if I ran across a great woman who, turns out, is into it?  While I’m not into pain or humiliation, if a woman wants to be dominant in the bedroom I can’t imagine being opposed to that.   Hmmmmm….

The other thing that’s been interesting to ponder is Polyamory.  I ran across this label and people who live this lifestyle nearly a decade ago from a few people I met on Livejournal, and it’s always been something that sounded interesting but unpractical.  I was married at the time, in love with my spouse, and I couldn’t imagine loving someone else at the same time as I was in love with her.  I mean, I know you can love lots of people, but being in love with more than one person at a time is something I couldn’t imagine then.

I can’t really imagine it now as a single man… my experience so far (granted, a rather limited experience) has been one in which, when I’m in love with someone, I’m all in.  But after listening to a recent podcast episode on Sex Nerd Sandra dealing with Polyamory (“Gold Star Polyamory“), it made me wonder… how would I deal with falling in love with a polyamorous person who loved me but also loved someone else?  My first impulse would be, if I’m not enough to be the only one then I should find someone else who didn’t insist on sharing… but if I loved her and I knew she loved me too, should I toss that away just because the relationship isn’t a conventional one?  I mean, I’ve been married and monogamous, I’ve got children.  I’ve had the conventional relationship checked off my bucket list.  Should I limit myself to trying to recapture something like that again if something different comes along?  I haven’t exactly had an overabundance of love connections in my life.

Also, between my full-time job, part-time job, writing and visitation with my kids it’s not like my life gives me a whole lot of time for dating.  Even if I were in a monogamous relationship I could only really offer her 2-3 nights a week of quality time anyway.  I know it would be hard having a relationship with a Poly person, and there would have to be a lot of honesty and communication to make it work, but it’s something I don’t think I’d be opposed to trying if she came along.

On a related note, I will say that the Polyamorous woman Sandra had on the podcast didn’t really do a good job representing the lifestyle as a positive choice.  She tried to paint it in a very highbrow and pseudo-intellectual way, but really came across as a very shallow and selfish person.  She made me think she was probably an Ayn Rand fanatic and applied that extreme libertarian philosophy to her personal relationships.  However, the gentleman Sandra had on there came across as a very smart and kind man, and the few Poly people I’ve met make me think that the woman there wasn’t exactly representative of the Poly community.

Definitely curious what you might think of this post, hit me up in the comments 🙂

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The other day Sex Nerd Sandra put up an interesting post on her blog called Sometimes a Girl Just Wants Good Head.  Here’s some of what she wrote:

I’m inspired by a play I saw tonight. Set in 1963, The Magic Bullet Theory was a fun who-shot-JFK ride rich with witty dialogue. One topic that came up several times was blowjobs. One man-character says “women were put on this earth for 2 reasons: to suck our dicks and take our balls.”

Now, contextually, that remark fit with the character and his point, so I don’t mean to get all up in feminism’s business, but it did stir something in my psyche. Later in the story during a fabulous montage scene, a blowjob is artfully woven into the dance number for a brief few moments.

That blowjob business got me a little, well, distracted. First in the hot kind of way. Then I got kind of mad. The passionate voice in my head said, “Why do I never hear women saying, ‘oh man, all I need right now is a good eating out,’ hmm? Why do I never get to see cunnilingus depicted in such a fun & casual manner? I’m not ALL flowers and cuddling, ya know!”

I’ve just never seen a woman portrayed that way. The character in the play receiving aforementioned head was a lawyer. He was a professional going about his job and having a little fun on the side. Good times all around. What if a woman were playing the part?

My first thought reading this was:  YES!  I would totally love to see that.  A woman lawyer professional having a little fun with a guy going down on her on the side.  Good times all around!

My second thought was… would we ever see such a role?

It’s hard to imagine now, especially in the context of a renewed assault on women’s rights we’re seeing in the political arena right now.  But I think we will, and likely sooner rather than later.  As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.  And if there’s any justice in this universe, this country will eventually shake off the Puritanical morals that put a real damper on expressions of female desire and sexuality.  Not to mention I’d imagine such a role done well would likely be a gigantic hit for whatever network was bold enough to try it.

(more…)

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I’ve mentioned before that I listen to an awesome podcast on Nerdist.com called Sex Nerd Sandra.

The other day she had a fun and thought-provoking episode called The Man Box where she interviewed a woman named Shira Tarrant.  Topics included: Owning Who You Are, Feminism, Sexy Consent, Alpha vs Beta Males, Dancing, Dial-up Modem Impressions and Sandra’s Bend-Over-Boyfriend experience.  Shira is an academic who’s written an interesting book Men Speak Out:  Views on Gender, Sex and Power.  Feminism from a male point of view.

Shira Tarrant is taking essay submissions for a revised second edition of her book.  She’s looking for first-person accounts of growing up male and identifying with – or questioning the ideals of – feminism.  Stories about pivotal moments in personal or political change are especially welcome.

I immediately thought about some of the writing I’ve been doing on this blog and what a great opportunity to get more exposure for my writing if I could find something that fit!  I’ve gotten some great feedback from women reading this blog saying they enjoy my perspective and my voice, so I was curious if there’s anything I’ve already written (with or without some revision and/or expansion) that might fit in with what Shira is looking for.

I’ve combed through my blog and I’ve got a couple that I think might work… but I wanted to seek your input as well.  Which if any of these do you think might be a great submission to Shira’s book?  Are there any favorites of yours that I neglected to consider here?  If you don’t think that anything I’ve written so far really fits, can you think of a topic that I might be able to write just for this book?

Below are links to some of my blogposts:

Being a Chill Co-Parent
Keeping a post-divorce relationship civil for the kids, and pondering how significant others might impact it.

My BFF
When your best friend is a woman.

She Would Be Strong, Not Stubborn
The strength of compromise and the toxicity of pride.

Spice of Life
My guest-spot on Simply Solo talking about looking forward to the new firsts you can look forward to in the aftermath of a breakup.

She’d Have Curves
My ode to a woman’s hips.

She’d Live and Love in the Moment
Contemplating whether I’d ever want to remarry.

She’d Be My Shelter, Shield and Sword
Longing for someone to face the world with.

Finally Meeting Alena
Taking a virtual friendship into the real world.

Failing the Sniff Test
Did The Pill throw a massive monkeywrench into my marriage?

She’d Savor Smooching
My ode to kissing.

She Would Speak Liberal
Wishing for a political gal with the gift of West Wing gab.

Deadline is March 30.  Thanks for your help!

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The other day I was listening to the awesome Sex Nerd Sandra podcast and she was talking with guest Dr. Christopher Ryan, the co-author of an  interesting book on human sexuality called Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality [the paperback is called Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships].  Basically the theory is that we human animals have a million years of sexual and social behavior that’s been hard-coded into our bodies and brains, with just a thousand year thin layer of “modern” notions of sexual and social behavior trying — often unsuccessfully — to paper over our natures.  If you’ve never listened to her podcast this is a great one to sample (though she’s got a wide variety of topic and show-styles outside of this interview show).

Among the many topics he touched on was one that kinda blew me away… and really hit home.  Basically he said studies have shown that birth control pills tend to suppress the chemical responses in women that draw them to particular men as mates… and also supress similar chemical responses in women that repel them away from particular men as mates.  After listening to the show I Googled up an article he published in 2010 about the topic (How the Pill Could Ruin Your Life), and here are some of the key things he brought up:

“In 1995, Swiss biological researcher Claus Wedekind published the results of what is now known as the “Sweaty Tee Shirt Experiment.”  He asked women to sniff T-shirts men had been wearing for a few days, with no perfumes, soaps, or showers. Wedekind found, and subsequent research has confirmed, that most of the women were attracted to the scent of men whose major histocompatibility complex (MHC) differed from her own. This preference makes genetic sense in that the MHC indicates the range of immunity to various pathogens. Children born of parents with different immunities are likely to benefit from a broader, more robust immune response themselves.”

“The problem is that women taking birth control pills don’t seem to show the same responsiveness to these male scent cues. Women who were using birth control pills chose men’s T-shirts randomly or, even worse, showed a preference for men with similar immunity to their own.”

Consider the implications. Many couples meet when the woman is on the pill. They go out for a while, like each other a lot, and then decide to get together and have a family. She goes off the pill, gets pregnant, and has a baby. But her response to him changes. There’s something about him she finds irritating-something she hadn’t noticed before.

Now, I think it takes a lot more to make and break up marriages than pheromones and whether someone is on the pill or off, but I’m also a firm believer that biochemical reactions in our bodies and brains drive a lot more behavior than most of us realize.  What blew me away though was that this was weirdly the perfect answer to what had been a rather perplexing ending to my marriage.

My ex and I had a really long, on-and-off-again relationship before we got eventually got married.  I was always under the impression that there was plenty of love between the two of us, but once we had our two kids (nearly back-to-back) it was like a light switched off with her, and everything I said, did, didn’t say, or didn’t do annoyed the shit out of her.  Built up over time, it was pretty impossible to stay together.

In the aftermath, trying to make sense of things and learn Life Lessons from it, I cooked up several theories that I thought did a pretty good job of explaining What Went Wrong… but none of them easily “fit” as a good answer.  That’s okay– life’s complicated, people are complicated.  Sometimes you can’t explain everything.

But… our relationship prior to children, which spanned about 11 years of-and-on, while up and down certainly did not seem to lack passion and love.  I’m pretty sure she was on the pill that whole time.  Stopped taking the pill to have kids… and everything went to hell between us.

Both my heart and brain tells me that such a simple answer can’t be right, but then I think of Occam’s Razor, the pill + bio-chemical responses… and damn if it doesn’t seem to fit what happened much better than my other theories.

I know there are things we could have done — should have done — differently that might have made a difference, but I find it both fascinating and appealing to think that perhaps our bodies just weren’t bio-chemically compatible all along, and we just didn’t know it until we wanted to have kids together.

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