The relationship between art and sex has always been a complicated one.

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Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

The sexual drive is a primal force in our species and as such maintains a near omnipresence in our modes of self-expression. Engaging in the time-honored philosophical debate of trying to draw lines between what is considered art, eroticized art, and pornography can be a fascinating, maddening, and ultimate fruitless endeavor. Justice Potter Stewart’s famous 1964 opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio stating “I know it when I see it” might be as true as it is pithy but it is also ultimately rather unhelpful.

Sexual materials in some form or other have been with us since our earliest recorded histories and while social and religious attitudes have swung from accepting and approving to harshly disapproving and repressive — especially in Western cultures — eroticized forms of expression have remained ever present. …


It is simply reveals and shares an existing a difference you might not have known about.

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Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

The term ‘coming out’ has become universally associated with revelations about one’s sexuality, and in recent years one’s gender identity as well. But when you strip it down the core concept it is actually something everyone does in their daily lives on a constant basis, sometimes in large significant ways but often in rather small almost unnoticeable ones.

At its very basest root ‘coming out’ is the emerging of something which was previously concealed. The sun comes out in the morning as the planet rotates shifting new sections of the globe out into open exposure to the sun. Animals come out of their dwellings to search for food. …


Understanding the source of a behavior explains the impulse. It does not excuse the actions.

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Photo by Nick Shandra on Unsplash

A crucial part of learning, growing, and reshaping harmful behavior either at the personal or societal level is understanding where the behavior is coming from. It provides context for the behavior, helps us to mitigate our response, and also guides the building of new approaches, habits, and processes to prevent harmful behavior from happening again.

Unfortunately, trying to understand why we do the things we do, or why others do the things they do, can be both one of the most difficult and most important things we ever try to achieve. Sometimes the answer can be embarrassingly simple and in other cases it can be enormously complex, layered with painful truths and unresolvable contradictions. …


Being alert for problems can be helpful but can also become habitual to the point of obsessive.

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Photo by Dapo Abideen on Unsplash

Trouble shooting is an essential skill for growth and development. We cannot overcome troubles if we do not first identify them and any change, either personal or societal, only happens after we recognize then address existing and potential problems. A discerning eye and critical mind are crucial assets but like all good things they can be taken too far eventually becoming problems themselves. Trouble shooting and perpetually finding fault are not the same thing.

Trying to affect any significant social change is a process fraught with all manner of challenges and obstacles to overcome. Two of the most important which are also incredibly difficult to achieve and manage are the breaking of silence and starting to integrate actual change once the problem has been recognized. The first can take generations or can happen in an instant, the second always takes far longer than we would like all the while remaining infuriatingly fragile. …


Complex problems can be caused all too simply but there are no shortcuts to unravelling them.

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Photo by Lauren McConachie on Unsplash

We are a paradoxical species in many ways but perhaps one of the more perplexing is the ever present war within ourselves between the desire for quick, easy, and simple solutions to our problems and our compulsion for excessively complicating the problems facing us. The first is driven by the natural impulse towards comfort and pleasure. The second is most often born of our quest for a sense of personal importance. Complicating a problem can be done quite simply and easily, solving it cannot.

There is nothing evil or weak or lazy about preferring comfort and ease to discomfort and difficulty. We harvest the low hanging fruit first, we take the route with the least twists and steep cliffs, we prefer spending time with people we find easy to get along with, we happily greet information which affirms our existing thoughts and feelings. Seeking and preferring comfort and pleasure is a natural impulse and is the prime motivation behind virtually all technological development. …


Convenience is a lovely thing but it can be highly corrosive to our character.

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Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

Buy it now. Express shipping. Same-day delivery. Something taking six to eight weeks to arrive is now viewed as a horrendous hardship, relegated only to transactions with the farthest flung corners of the world which can then most often be expedited for an additional cost. It took us a while to get here but the process beginning with industrialized manufacturing has now led to us clicking a button in our living rooms and expecting the package to be on our doorstep within twenty four hours. A pleasing technology-driven societal advancement. …


Freedoms will always have their limits. They have to.

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Photo by Melanie Dretvic on Unsplash

The idea of an absolute freedom is a wonderful concept. It’s the kind of ideal we all instinctively strive for in every aspect of our lives. We want the freedom to eat the foods we prefer, pursue careers we enjoy, spend time with people we like, make it through our days free of physical or emotional pain or threat of harm, to form more intensely personal connections with those we are drawn to, to worship or not as we prefer, to think our own thoughts, to speak our own minds. All healthy, natural, and reasonable desires we can all agree on. Trouble is we don’t live in our own isolated little bubbles with access to unlimited resources. …


We are capable of feeling multiple things simultaneously, even about the same subject.

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Photo by Rostyslav Savchyn on Unsplash

We can have a lousy day at a job we love. We can have a great day at a job we hate. We can love the song and loath the musician. We can agree with someone we despise. We can disagree with someone we love. We can love our country and feel it is behaving horribly. Not only are we allowed and able to have several different feelings and opinions about a single object we need to for the sake of our mental health and functioning.

Desiring simple answers is nothing new. The more vague and complicated something becomes the more difficult it is to understand and thus feel safe or certain about. We want there to be one answer to a problem and once found we want that answer to always work for every possible iteration of that problem without fail. We want to be able to label the things in our lives as either sources of happiness or of pain. If we know which are which we can eliminate all the negatives thereby removing all possible danger and uncertainty. …


Intolerant abusive behavior all too often excuses itself as devotion to faith.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It is a common staple in pretty much every story of someone outside of societal norms encountering discrimination, hatred, or abuse. Whether it is within their own family, a workplace, a community, a family they are beginning to join, or even within themselves the moment they use the phrase ‘super religious’ the image is clear. Vehement, unwavering, aggressive, judgemental, and abusive intolerance of anything outside a select set of rules and qualifiers. …


A bit of both, actually.

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Photo by cloudvisual on Unsplash

We lump diversity and inclusivity together in our common discourse about identity and social acceptance to the point we now treat the two terms as having almost the same meaning, inclusive practices are even listed as one of the dictionary definitions for diversity. They are certainly connected but more in a Yin-Yang interaction of opposites sort of way. When you look at their core meaning they are in fact opposing and counter-cancelling concepts.

To be inclusive is to draw disparate and disconnected entities into a unified whole, to combine many into one. To diversify is to separate and make distinct individual entities, to clarify how many different ‘many’s there are. As with all comparative descriptive paradigms you can’t really have the one without the other. …

About

Jeff Fox

A professional dancer, choreographer, theatre creator, and featured TEDx speaker with an honours degree in psychology, two black belts, and a lap-top.

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