Devil’s advocate series #2

Photo by kevin turcios on Unsplash, cropped by author

(See the series intro here.)

People lose their minds at the idea of someone having sex with an animal. It’s gross. It’s dangerous. The animal can’t consent to it.

Is it gross? That’s up to you I guess. Life is pretty gross in general and we all have to decide how to engage with that fact. We also get to decide whether we want to risk contracting diseases through our sexual activity.

Bestiality seems gross to me, too… but, honestly, there are some animals I’d rather fuck before some people. I’m sure I’d rather have sex with a dolphin than…

Devil’s advocate series #1

Washington Times

Every so often I find myself scratching my head at some of the things people stress out about. These stories are major headlines in the news and everyone seems to have a strong reaction to them.

I get why they’re controversial. They grab our attention, they make us upset; indeed, they are problematic to some extent.

The thing is: there is a lot of horrible shit going on in the world that poses a serious threat to our future. A lot of it has already been killing millions of people for many years. Can we worry about those things instead?

11 years after deconverting, this is still an issue

Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash

I remember being stopped at a red light with one of my relatives when I was a child. As we waited for the light to turn, a heavily tattooed couple walked past our car.

“Dana, promise me you won’t ever get tattoos, okay?” implored my relative.

I shrugged my agreement. Sure, why not? If that was the wrong thing to do, I wouldn’t do it.

I had always enjoyed my family’s praise for being the good Christian boy, the obedient one, the one who did the right things and had innocent friends. …

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

I wish the Law of Attraction worked as advertised. Global poverty would already be solved.

If you’re not familiar, the Law of Attraction posits the existence of a fundamental force in the universe that magnetically draws like to like, so if you focus on something (good or bad) your mind will have the same frequency as what you’re thinking about and it will be drawn to you.

I have friends who believe this. It’s popular. In my opinion, it’s easy to disprove with a few simple thought experiments.

If the universe has been bringing us good or bad things our…

Should we make promises we can’t keep?

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Marriage is seen as the pinnacle of romantic success. If you want to tell the world “I’ve found my person and we’re deeply in love”, what could be more suitable than a wedding?

Indeed — love is worth celebrating, and committed partnerships can be wonderful.

But marriage, as a legal, social, and religious construct, is a complicated thing. I can’t help but notice that people often approach it in unreasonable ways.

I got married as a naive 20-year-old Christian virgin. …

I thought I died and went to a scary afterlife; now I’m glad it happened

Photo by Michael Guite on Unsplash

When I was 23, I introduced my wife to magic mushrooms on a camping trip.

I had told her about my recent psychedelic adventures and she was curious to try it. I chose a campground that I thought would provide a pleasant environment for her first fungal experience.

We went on a waterfall hike and swam in a frigid creek. Back at camp, we set up 2 hammocks, and we each had music and headphones ready to go.

I soaked my 3.5g of psilocybe cubensis in lemon juice before eating them. I gave my wife a smaller dose. …

And how I‘m trying to change that.

Photo by christian buehner on Unsplash

My father is a baby boomer, and I grew up watching him act out many of the stereotypes associated with men his age.

Thy misogyny bothered me most.

My mom wasn’t an individual human with her own needs — she was a nanny, cook, maid, and sex object. As long as he supplied the money, she had no right to complain.

He had his first affair — with his secretary — when I was 2 and my mom was pregnant with my sister. He lied about it to my mom’s face. “I would never do something like that to you.”…

I thought I was doing all the right things

Photo by Adriana Velásquez on Unsplash

I was 10 years old when my mom moved out. I knew my dad had cheated on her.

I thought since they both loved Jesus, they could work toward forgiveness and reconciliation, and we could be a normal, happy family again.

Instead, they got divorced two years later, and I was shocked.

As an adult, I understand the divorce was about more than infidelity. It was the lies surrounding it, the manipulation, the lack of empathy, and poor communication. They got married soon after meeting and didn’t really know each other.

But in my black-and-white 12-year-old mind, the divorce was…

How my friend with schizophrenia lost his life

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash (cropped)

The first time I saw Alan* I assumed he was tripping on acid.

He was sitting on the steps of the coffee room. He looked out at the street quietly, except for when he would burst into laughter and sentence fragments for no apparent reason, with a wild look in his eyes. I smiled as I passed by him.

The coffee room — a casual local hangout in the small town I had just moved to — was owned by his mother, Anne, and she lived next door to it, in the same building. Alan was a regular fixture there…

How harmful are mushrooms compared to everyday treats?

Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Let’s imagine that I have created some chocolate candies infused with “magic mushrooms”, which contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin. Now I walk around and offer them to people.

I meet someone who refuses the candy because it contains a Schedule 1 drug, and breaking the law is wrong. They’d happily eat the chocolate without the mushrooms.

I meet someone else who sees the mushrooms as the only ethical ingredient. They’d love to eat the shrooms by themselves, but they can’t support the supply chain behind the other ingredients.

How can two people who want to do the right thing have…

Dana Spore

Thoughts on sexuality, drugs, and other topics that aren’t always perfectly comfortable to talk about.

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