Conventional wisdom dictates that nonmonogamous sexual relationships are morally bad, even if they are consensual. Today on The Provocateur, I talk to Nick Harding, a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Southampton, to discuss his case for why the conventional wisdom is wrong. We explore common objections to consensual sexual nonmonogamy – for example, the threat of falling in love with another sexual partner, the risks of sexually transmitted infections, the challenges of multiple parents – and why in Nick’s view these objections all fail. We also touch on the ethics of sexual infidelity and Nick’s argument for why in certain circumstances it may be morally permissible (if not morally required) to cheat on your partner.
You can listen to part one of the podcast here:
Part two is here:
Part three is here:
Anderson, E. (2012). The monogamy gap: Men, love and the reality of cheating. New York: Oxford University Press
Buss, D. (2016) The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. Basic Books
Easton, D. and Hardy, J. W. (2009). The ethical slut: A practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures, second edition. New York: Celestial Arts, Berkeley
Fisher, H. (2017). Anatomy of love: A natural history of mating, marriage, and why we stray. New York: Norton & Company Inc.
Taormino, T. (2008). Opening up: Creating and sustaining open relationships. USA: Cleis Press
In the final episode of our month-long miniseries for LGBT History Month, The Provocateur travels to Brazil, arguably one of the most important emerging markets at the moment as well as being a vibrant and dynamic country in its own right. While it may have hit the headlines most recently for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff – and the subsequent return to power of the main conservative faction in Congress, led by Michel Temer – Brazil also has a long and complicated history of colonialism, decolonisation and dictatorship. This has inevitably impacted on the ways in which LGBT people express their sexuality and how they are perceived by mainstream Brazilian society.
Today I talk to Bryan Pitts, a lecturer in history at the University of Georgia, for a fascinating look at the interplay of race, sexuality, nationality and democracy in contemporary Brazil. We discuss the historical context of the dictatorship years of 1964-1985 and the transition to democracy, the legacies of Portuguese rule, the thesis that sexual liberalisation has gone along with political liberalisation and the particular challenges facing transgendered people. We also talk about Bryan’s research on Brazilian gay magazines and gay sex tourism.
In the second of a short run of episodes focusing on LGBT topics for LGBT History Month, The Provocateur talks to Philip Freestone, a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Reading, about discourses of marriage and sexuality among men who have sex with men (MSMs) in contemporary mainland China. In particular, we focus on Philip’s interest in the recent explosion of matchmaking websites that set up marriages of convenience between non-heterosexual men and women and the ways in which this phenomenon reflects culturally ingrained understandings of homosexuality. Among other things, we discuss Confucian ideals of marriage and how they restrict non-normative sexual expression; the tension between public indifference towards homosexuality and private shame; the consequences of the one-child policy for the marriage market; and the potential for homosexual and bisexual men to exploit the traditional archetype of the effeminate scholar in Chinese conceptions of masculinity in order to contest heteronormativity.
You can listen to the podcast here:
If you are interested in getting in touch with Phil, feel free to email him at: P.J.Freestone@pgr.reading.ac.uk.
Altman, D. (1997) ‘Global Gaze/Global Gays’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 3(4), pp. 417-436.
In the first episode in a multi-part miniseries for LGBT History Month, The Provocateur talks to author and critic Michael Amherst about his forthcoming and as-yet-untitled book on bisexuality and the problems of representing bisexuality in society. We discuss issues such as bisexual erasure in contemporary culture, bisexuality as a continual process of ‘not knowing’ one’s sexuality and the complexities of categorising sexuality: should it be based on sex object choice or the sex act itself? Is sexuality political to the extent that those outside the norm of heterosexuality must describe themselves in the language of politics?
You can listen to the podcast here:
Note: This programme contains strong language.
Baldwin, J. (2014) The Last Interview and Other Conversations. New York: Melville House.
Goodman, P. (1972) Speaking and Language: Defence of Poetry. London: Random House.
____ (1994) Crazy Hope & Finite Experience: Final Essays of Paul Goodman, ed. T. Stoehr. Gestalt Press.
Halperin, D. (1990) One Hundred Years of Homosexuality. London: Routledge.
Munoz, J. E. (1994) Disidentifications: Queens of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Phillips, A. (2012) Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Ward, J. (2015) Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men. New York: New York University Press.