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I have always felt too much. I can never watch violent movies because they all seem too real, as if it is really happening. I put my fingers in my ears when the fire-trucks go by because the sound hurts deep inside. I am the one who’s squinting from the light on overcast days and who imagines the slightest twitch is a sure sign of terminal illness. I am one of the 20% of society that is considered a “highly sensitive person,” or HSP for short. …

As a white man I read tons and tons of articles on racism and sexism. Indeed, sometimes I think they're all I read. I don't think of myself as a person generally lacking in empathy; I manage I believe to be a good father, decent husband, concerned colleague and fair friend. Intellectually, I believe in fairness, equality and justice.

And yet I find most articles imploring me to be still more empathetic leave me emotionally empty. My wife and I have been discussing whether it's possible to teach empathy. The evidence seems to be equivocal depending on how you define…

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I’ve had mixed feelings about the #MeToo movement and the imperative to believe all women. While there have been many cases where the consequences for men have been well deserved, in far more than a handful of cases the punishment has been worse than the crime. Though on balance the tilt of the scales of justice has been positive, I believe it is unethical not to see how the lives of a good number of men have been unjustly destroyed by a false or negligent accusation.

The surface conflict of #MeToo, however, conceals a more important truth — that this…

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A few months ago, in March, I stepped down from a job as a Department Chair in the University where I teach. I think it was a mutual decision, but I sort of got fired too. The process of stepping down has made me think about and try to evaluate what I’m good at — where I add value. Right now I’m not really feeling it. There’s a bit of a crisis of confidence. I’m feeling shaky in my core self, I have some anger at my boss and the administration, and I’m working on re-establishing a strong, confident person.

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Once upon a time, not so long ago, I got a strange Couchsurfing request from a woman who didn’t want to be identified. She was, to put it mildly, a bit strange. She stayed at my place for a while and she made it quite clear that she was willing to have sex with me. But she prefaced her offer by making it clear that I needed to take her to dinner and buy her things before I would be attractive to her.

I don’t think my shock registered in my body language but it certainly registered in my mind…

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What does it mean, today, in our #MeToo age, when all of us are supposedly equal, to declare that one is moved, almost transcendently, by beauty? Is it permissible to wax poetic about the delicious curve of a buttock, the fine-grained smoothness of a craftsman’s wooden table, the sublime power of Milton’s poetry, or the connection to some divinity one feels when one is caught in the tessellated light of a cathedral’s rose-window?

Perhaps our discomfort lies in this — beauty stands in opposition our modern notions of egalitarianism; to claim something is beautiful is, by definition, to set it…

I have several different ways I want to respond to this article. The first is to ask: why only third and fourth wave feminism? Obviously these are the influential approaches for women today, but there is a notable absence, for example, of Marxist Feminist thought on the question of sex work. See for example Alexandra Kollontai and her ideas about free love.

I find it at least interesting that feminist analyses have given up on this sort of intellectual work, such that, for example, no one would question the idea that being a businesswoman is feminist. What if being a…

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Tonight Achilles, I will watch you sleep — the soft intake
Of air into your nostrils, the rising and falling rhythms
Your chest makes, assure myself for now you are still
Breathing. I will not lie next to you, nor curl my backbone

Under the soothing comfort of your chest, though I would
Like to. Beneath your closed lids, I see your blue eyes
Shining, still childish in their wonder, still straining to
Comprehend the cruelty of man. From your arm’s reach

Blood rivers flow, yet in battle you do not seem to fight.
Tonight Achilles, I will sit inside…

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Sex should be free…it’s that simple. Why? Because sex is about establishing a human connection; about merging two bodies into one, about being intimate. Whether it’s a one-night stand, a hookup, a short term relationship or a long term partnership, good sex is beyond price.

Money may well be a necessity for life, but when it merges with sex it makes sex cheap. Indeed, there is an inverse relationship between sex and money — the more you pay for it, the worse the sex will actually be. If you find yourself having to pay for sex you should bargain hard…

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[*The following piece is partly essay and partly a confession — it is in no way a solicitation for any service.]

If I put that much cash in your hands, right now, would you do it? Really — I’d like your honest answer. I’m not as young as I used to be — my beard is going grey, and the svelte figure of my youth has given way to the folds and wrinkles of middle age. My voice is still sonorous and my eyes still sparkle sometimes, but I am slow to warm up. …


Professor, sometime poet, working in education and father to a daughter and son.

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