A different kind of sex change: See how quickly a society can shift its sexual attitudes

TED Blog

“The political and the sexual are intimate bedfellows,” says Shereen El Feki in yesterday’s talk. “That is true for all of us, no matter where we live and love.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1909]For five years, El Feki talked to people across Middle East about their bedroom behavior, and what she found over and over was a seemingly deep-rooted conservatism — in which any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is unacceptable. But as she shows, Arabic literature is rich with proof that the regional culture was once far more sexually open; erotic writing was produced even by religious scholars.

So what happened? El Feki points to the rise of religious conservatism starting in the 1970s — within the lifetimes of many people she interviewed. Such a rapid turnaround may seem improbable. But it happens all the time, and the past century offers many examples of societies that radically shifted their sexual attitudes…

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It’s like World War Two going off in my head. Barely sleeping. Anticipating another explosion. Another tick. Another movement from the enemy.
The enemy being, Me.
I am at war with myself. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Every nerve in my body heightened.
I can not sleep, nor eat. My stomach churning over on repeat.
I am not sure why this war is going on, just like every war out there on earth. But it’s happening, to me.

Medications. They numb it. Numb the pain, make me sleep. But they eventually ware off.

I was asked if I am happy, that answer is obviously, No. I am not happy, and I am not sure when I will be.

My body cries for more medication. More! More! More!
I can not take it much longer.
I can not take the numbness nor the pain.

I can feel myself dying. Slowly dying.

Heart Attack

When I got the text to call  my mother, I new something was wrong. She rarely ever texts me or tells me to call her. I was drinking that night with a buddy at a bar. I called my mom and she told me that my aunt had a heart attack. Immediately I started to freak out. I hung up the phone and went back into the bar. I drank the rest of the pitcher of beer while my buddy consoled me.

I called off work for the next day and headed back to my house. Had two more shots and passed out.

The next morning was unbearable, but I managed to  drive myself down to my parents, which was an hour away. I went to “Moose’s” funeral and then from there, to the hospital to see my aunt.

The whole time thinking, this is it, I could lose her. She is my second mom. She means so much to me that I couldn’t think straight until i saw her.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom, but I love my aunt too. My mom kicked me out when i was 19 and I moved into my Aunts house. It’s been a rocky relationship with my mother and I ever since and i think it always will be.

I stayed with my aunt the whole day until it was time for me to leave. I felt better after I saw her. She looked tired and weary and older.

Heart attacks run in my family, along with a lot of other medical problems.  I’m starting to realize, that if I don’t take care of myself, that I can be the one in the hospital having a heart attack. I don’t want that, no one does. It scares me.

I don’t want to see myself 20 – 30 years down the road in that position. I don’t want to see anyone I love in that position.

I’m starting to feel sick again.


The funeral. It was a cold day and stupid me was wearing shorts and a sweatshirt and hungover from the night before. I came to pay my respects in the best manor that I could. My father was a pallbearer and when he saw my brother and I crying, that’s when it hit him.

I honestly don’t know why I cried. I mean, I did know “Moose”,  but not like all the other people at this procession. I did not know how much of an impact he had left on everyone until he passed away.

He had a brain tumor, diagnosed over a year before his passing. He fought, every day for his wife Dianne and son Josh. For his friends and fellow brothers. Everyone was family to him and he fought for them, he fought for himself.

To see all of the firetrucks lined up on my parent’s street next to the church. To see all of the firefighters, and non firefighters, civilians standing by and watching as they took “Moose” inside the church. Watched as Firetruck took him away to the Cemetery, and as a fellow firefighter gave Josh his dad’s helmet. It was amazing. All the love and support he had and that he gave.

This man is my hero. My dad’s best-friend. A husband and father. A mentor. The fire chief. A friend of many.

He’s my hero because he never gave up. Not even in the end, that’s not how I see it. He fought long and he fought hard. The cancer is the one who won in the end but “Moose” never gave up.

R.I.P Ronny ” Moose” Wentzle


Unspoken Provocation

The Sir Letters

My Dear Passionate Sir,

I am really not sure where we were, but I think we were at the mall. I remember we stopped for some refreshments at a café. You ordered hot beverages for both of us and some food. I was sitting at a small, round table waiting for you. There was a little ledge to my right, upon which I propped my foot.

You returned with our victuals, and we started to eat in silence. I noticed you were studying me more intently than normal.  After a few moments of comfortable silence you looked at me very seriously and said, “If you don’t put your leg down, I am going to come across this table and do you right here and now.”

I blinked and blushed furiously (as you knew I would), but I did not break eye contact; the challenge was set. I picked…

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Why do we Exist?

I can’t really get this out of my head.

Why do we exist?

It baffles me all the time, when I look in the news on what’s happening. Why do we do the things that we do? Why do we exist?

We kill each other, WAR.
Love? It’s only a figment of ones imagination. Some say it’s a FEELING.
I think that they are mislead.

Yes I do love people, contradicting I know.
But I love people, my family, boyfriend, and friends. All people really, (even strangers.)
I love them because it’s a word and a feeling.
It’s an emotion!
To me feelings and emotions are completely different.

Emotions are a way of thinking.
Feeling is Physical.

So again I ask, why do we exist?

Do we exist because we


Or do we exist because of a book that was re-written over and over in time. Because of a story?

No I am not bashing religion, please get that out of your head.
You can go on believing and living in your religion.
I’m not an atheist either. I’m really not, I believe that there is something greater out there. Bigger than all of us.

So why do we exist?

Waking up

When I wake in the morning, I love seeing your beautiful face. Sleeping soundly as I get up and get ready for the day.
I try not to wake you, but I usually do. I say sorry and I love you and head out the door.

On the mornings that you are not there, my morning is off. I find you on the couch or the door to the other room locked with you behind it.

I think to myself, did I do or say something wrong? Or is it you not wanting to wake me in the middle of the night when you come to bed.
I ponder about it all morning at work.


Sometimes I find little notes in my purse and it usually explains why you didn’t come to bed that night. Apologizing for a fight or that you simply could not sleep. Each little note lights up my day.

I love waking up to you.

Love your sweet smile and your soft mumbled “I love you” as I walk out of the room.