Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture
by: BenBella Books
Product rating: 5.0 with 3 reviews
It’s socially acceptable to spend a day watching sports or sitcoms, but it’s shameful and embarrassing to admit to the same about erotic media. Why is it that sex is so often deemed inappropriate” and considered something we must keep private or even ignore?
Our culture is afraid of sex. We feel the need to label what is normal and what isn’t, and as a result, we live in a relational and sexually unhealthy culture. In reality, far more harm is caused by labeling sexual expression as obscene” than by celebrating it.
In Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture, Chris Donaghue, PhD, explores and challenges the negative ideals that have warped society’s view of sex. Sex Outside the Lines is not a dogmatic rule book, but a valuable guide to help you on your journey to sexual self-discovery and, most important, self-acceptance. Donaghue encourages you to not only explore your capacity for pleasure, but to be proud of it and to take a look at how you could be living.
In his years of training in sex and couples therapy, Donaghue has developed highly successful methods for freeing clients from sexual hang-ups, enabling them to let go of shame and embarrassment. The goal isn’t to be normal”there is no such thing. Donaghue pulls apart cultural phobias with a sex-positive therapy practice, as well as a kind of sexual deprograming that helps people see and accept that the desires they haveeven if they don’t align with society’s expectationsare actually natural, healthy, and part of having a great sex life.
Sex Outside the Lines addresses our diversity, challenges conventional psychiatric wisdom as classifying perfectly normal behavior as disorders, and disregards conventional advice from leading experts. It isn’t advocating a liberal” approach to modern conceptsit is seeking to redefine them altogether.
Posted in Love & Romance Tagged with: Authentic, BenBella Books, Culture, Dysfunctional, Lines, Outside, Sexuality, Sexually
The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives
Product rating: 4.9 with 14 reviews
Cultural history at its best—the engaging, lively, and definitive story of the beauty, sexuality, ecology, myths, lore, and economics of the world’s flowers, written by a passionately devoted author and scientist, and illustrated with his stunning photographs.
Flowers, and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy ten million flowers a day and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth $30 billion dollars annually. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them.
Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, perfumes, while simultaneously bringing joy and health. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us—and animals, too—through their myriad shapes, colors, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful “super flowers,” plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture
fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers. Here, he integrates fascinating stories about the many colorful personalities who populate the world of flowers, and the flowers and pollinators themselves, with a research-based narrative that illuminates just why there is, indeed, a Reason for Flowers
Posted in Flowers Tagged with: Biology, Change, Culture, Flowers, History, Lives, Reason, Scribner, Their, They
Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel
by: B&H Books
Product rating: 5.0 with 5 reviews
Keep Christianity Strange.
As the culture changes all around us, it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority. That may be bad news for America, but it can be good news for the church. What’s needed now, in shifting times, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, we need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind: that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel, which is what gives it its power in the first place.
We seek the kingdom of God, before everything else. We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches. As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents. As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let’s do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down.
The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that’s no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let’s act like it. Let’s follow him, onward to the future.
Posted in Social Issues Tagged with: B&H Books, Culture, Engaging, Gospel, Losing, Onward, without
Kendo: Culture of the Sword
by: University of California Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 4 reviews
Kendo is the first in-depth historical, cultural, and political account in English of the Japanese martial art of swordsmanship, from its beginnings in military training and arcane medieval schools to its widespread practice as a global sport today. Alexander Bennett shows how kendo evolved through a recurring process of inventing tradition,” which served the changing ideologies and needs of Japanese warriors and governments over the course of history. Kendo follows the development of Japanese swordsmanship from the aristocratic-aesthetic pretensions of medieval warriors in the Muromachi period, to the samurai elitism of the Edo regime, and then to the nostalgic patriotism of the Meiji state. Kendo was later influenced in the 1930s and 1940s by ultranationalist militarists and ultimately by the postwar government, which sought a gentler form of nationalism to rekindle appreciation of traditional culture among Japan’s youth and to garner international prestige as an instrument of soft power.” Today kendo is becoming increasingly popular internationally. But even as new organizations and clubs form around the world, cultural exclusiveness continues to play a role in kendo’s ongoing evolution, as the sport remains closely linked to Japan’s sense of collective identity.
Posted in Japan Tagged with: Culture, Kendo, Sword, University of California Press