A couple of years back, I wrote a piece called “Why Sex is Not Spiritual” for the SF Weekly arts blog, The Exhibitionist. It’s probably the best piece I ever wrote for them, and one of the best pieces I’ve written on atheism and sex. It got a lot of comments, many of them outraged and offended. The people who were most pissed off were New-Agey types, Wiccan, and so forth, so there weren’t many comments telling me that I was going to hell. Pagans don’t do Hell. They just kind of shake their heads with a certain passive-aggressive condescension that lets you know that you’re close-minded at the very best, and probably a patriarchal bigot at the very worst.
Anyway, the piece was provocative enough that it still gets comments. Today, it got two from the same person, who goes by the handle startigerjln. (Known henceforth as ST.) The first is some kind of pseudo-scientific garbage that conflates neurological stimulation and temporal lobe epilepsy with spirituality. (It’s not; feelings of transcendence and emotional highs do not demonstrate the existence of spirits or souls.) It’s the second one that first bewildered me, then pissed me off. [Read more…]