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Human Parts
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Planet Soul

How to use sex as a spiritual practice

A photo of a woman with light shining from her eyes and mouth. The image is a dark blue/black shade.
A photo of a woman with light shining from her eyes and mouth. The image is a dark blue/black shade.

Recently, a friend of mine was telling me about an encounter he had with a woman he met on a business trip. They met at a conference and, apparently, there were some sparks. When he asked her what she was doing later that evening, she suggested he pick up some condoms and chardonnay. Thrilled that he could pick up both at a drugstore in California (we are not afforded that convenience here in Massachusetts and he is nothing if not efficient), he proceeded to his liaison that evening. He followed up by telling me that she later sent him a…


Lived Through This

An account of my war with Chantix

Dr. Lee is a startling woman. If I stood in the middle of a field with my mother on one end (a smile and open arms) and Dr. Lee on the other (rolled-up newspapers in each hand), and they both said, “Come here, boy,” without a second’s delay I’d bound my way over to Dr. Lee. Not for safety, not for comfort or health, and certainly not for a good ear-scratching. I’d do it out of pure, primal fucking fear. …


Lived Through This

It would be easy to feel sorry for myself, but I choose compassion instead

A year ago, in many respects, I was functioning like a thirtysomething gay professional man should. Decent writing job, decent sex, saving money, paying rent, paying bills, enjoying a view of the Pacific Ocean from my place, paying respects to my body by working out constantly so as to continue having more decent sex, paying off my still-gargantuan grad-school loans, eating all organic, eating plenty of fiber to keep my butthole clean, driving an eco-friendly car, and repeat.

Then I was let go from my job, and I ended up burning through all my savings and unemployment money, and then…


Fyre Festival consultant Marc Weinstein examines why smart people do stupid things

In my life, I have had the privilege of working with many incredibly talented, ambitious, and intelligent individuals across various industries. There is no shortage of smart people in this world, yet surprisingly there is no shortage of stupid decisions, either.

Why is this the case?

In his interview with Shane Parrish, Adam Robinson notes that stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence: “In fact, stupidity is the cost of intelligence operating in a complex environment. It’s almost inevitable.”

Nearly two years ago, I was presented with a unique opportunity to advise on what might have become one of the…


Humans 101

Intentional presence in everyday garbage fires

Odds are, you’re picturing someone cross-legged in an empty room, wearing athleisure pants and looking effortlessly chilled out. Mindfulness likely smells like a spa and tastes like a kale smoothie. It asks you if you’ve tried essential oils for your chronic pain. It probably has a bunch of well-organized, expensive highlighters for its Target notebooks.

When I talk to people about mindfulness — whether they’re clients at work, family, friends, my barista, some guy on the train — these are the images they tend to think of. …


Lived Through This

After overspending the advances on my books, I needed a strategy

Just looking at this title makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and my stomach roil. That said, merely wanting to puke when I declare my debt is progress. Six months ago, I couldn’t have typed that sentence, especially not for publication. I wouldn’t have even said it to myself, let alone to others. My debt was something I stared at in horror every time I opened my bank’s online interface, before I averted my eyes.

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Of course not. My debt was always there, like a funky mole between…


This Is Us

By listening — really listening — we can make space for marginalized voices in the motherhood conversation

We give each other power when we don’t try to fix one another’s problems. We don’t offer judgment. We listen. Each of us knows that we will never have it all figured out. When the time comes, we hold space for one another.

It’s a tradition I’ve seen passed down from my mother’s generation. When I was young, the mothers came over and they sat on the plastic-covered couch in the formal living room for reasons I wasn’t privy to. They brought food in Tupperware that they insisted my mom keep, and they sat. …


Humans 101

How trust can help you live authentically and spontaneously

I was sitting in my therapist’s office when I divulged, “I told him I loved him. I couldn’t keep it in any longer.”

“What did he say?” she asked.

“He told me he loved me too,” I replied. “But he had to say something back,” I added. “I don’t know if he really does.”

“Why don’t we take him for his word?” my therapist suggested.

Good idea, I thought. I hadn’t considered that.

It was easier for me to believe that the universe was in on a giant hoax to fool me than to take people for their word.

I’ve…


When it comes to flying solo, there’s nothing to be ashamed about

The first time I went to a concert by myself was in November 2014. The band was Jamestown Revival, a fantastic but then-mostly unknown country/folk duo from Texas. I was already a fan, but no one I knew in New York was interested enough to join me for an 8 p.m. show on a chilly Monday night. So I bought a single ticket, and as my co-workers began their commutes home, headed downtown to Bowery Ballroom. …


Humans 101

Don’t let your ego sabotage your relationships

“Don’t say it. Keep your mouth shut,” I told myself. “Nothing good can come from saying this out loud. Wait until you cool off, this is really not a big deal.” I tried to persuade myself to stay silent. My heart was racing, eyes narrowed.

Unfortunately, nothing I told myself could stop the words that came next. I spewed, out loud this time, to my partner, “Your daughter is a spoiled brat. I don’t know why you continue to coddle her. She acts like a petulant child.” He seemed shocked. I was even more surprised. …

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