I stand with sex workers, with pornographers, with artists of all kinds struggling to make something hot, something vulnerable, something raw and sickening and terrifying. If they fuck it up, well, at least they're a person, not some faceless sea of suits trying to get their arms down my throats to pull out my organs. Enjoy your popcorn movies, your Steven Universe and your X-Men comics, but ask yourself, what are you immersing yourself in by not reaching beyond those things? What is prolonged and overgrown childhood doing to your mind and to your moral sense of the world? Growing up is painful, yes, but if you want to learn to love, to open yourself up to others, to touch the deepest, rawest parts of your psyche and your sexuality, you're going to have to suffer.
It's just...jarring to see folks saying "and for the ace/aro folks, there's a cat!!" as though we don't and can't have relationships with people at all and have to confine ourselves to small animals.
Cut to 2021 and you might see the word deployed in contexts which could be generously described as “radically different” and less generously as “connected only by the most willfully wrongheaded and myopic conflation of experiences it is possible to imagine.”
"It's just...jarring to see folks saying "and for the ace/aro folks, there's a cat!!" as though we don't and can't have relationships with people at all and have to confine ourselves to small animals."
To paraphrase Patrick Califia’s introduction to the 1992 reprinting of his infamous erotica anthology Macho Sluts, nobody ever got beaten or raped by a book. This isn’t to say that someone cannot experience an intense emotional reaction to a video game like Boyfriend Dungeon, but such a reaction’s relationship to the social concept of consent is radically different than if such a feeling arose during an interpersonal interaction.
Also in 1992, Califia founded the leatherwomen's quarterly Venus Infers and published "Feminism, Paedophilia, and Children's Rights" in a special women's issue of the pro-pedophile scholarly journal Paidika. Califia has asserted that he 'support[s] Paidika and enjoyed working with the editors of this special issue'. Califia has criticised federal laws against child abuse imagery because it would have 'guaranteed that it [child abuse imagery] would disappear from the shelves of adult book stores'. In 'Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex', Califia criticised anti child abuse / anti child pornography laws because they are applied disproportionately to gay men, commenting that he 'knew several gay men who proudly called themselves boy-lovers'. Califia has asserted that all age of consent laws should be repealed, describing pedophilia as 'erotic initiation'. After becoming a parent, Califia reconsidered his stance on the age of consent and adult / child sex: 'I was naive about the developmental issues that make sex between adults and prepubescent children unacceptable,'; 'I've become much more cynical about the ability of adults to listen to children'; 'Perhaps because I am a parent now, I am less idealistic about the possibilities for an equal adult / child relationship,'.
I personally don't think "consent" should be attached to media experiences that I choose to engage in
Dogs that habitually hear a bell at chow time become classically conditioned to drool at the mere chime, as the physiologist Ivan Pavlov showed in the 1890s: Their brains learn to associate the bell with food and instruct the salivary glands to respond accordingly.
More than a century later, in a paper published today in Cell, the neuroimmunologist Asya Rolls has shown that a similar kind of conditioning extends to immune responses. Using state-of-the-art genetic tools in mice, her team at the Technion in Haifa, Israel, identified brain neurons that became active during experimentally induced inflammation in the abdomen. Later, the researchers showed that restimulating those neurons could trigger the same types of inflammation again.
“This is an outstanding body of work,” said Kevin Tracey, a neurosurgeon and president of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York. It “establishes that the classic concept of immunological memory can be represented in neurons.” Others before Rolls have suggested that the brain could remember and retrieve immune responses, he said, but “she proved it.”
Decades of research and everyday experience offer striking examples of the interplay between mind and body. Around the time Pavlov was experimenting with drooling dogs, the American physician John Mackenzie watched one of his patients develop an itchy throat and struggle to breathe upon seeing an artificial rose — suggesting that the perception that pollen was present was enough to provoke her allergy symptoms.
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