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Rachel Resnick on Sexual Exploration

Question: What role has bisexuality played in your life?

Rachel Resnick: Well, I think it’s gone through different phases, right? If we go back to that was so great that you brought up the Yale years, because that was a really interesting time, that was when I first felt that you could experiment, but I always felt more on this, you know, if there’s a spectrum. I mean, I love sex. I’m very open, I think sexually and I feel very lucky I don’t have any molestation or anything like that in my background, because I think that’s like [ugly], at least I don’t have that, speaking of Dickensian. But I always fell more on the spectrum toward heterosexual, but there was openness and there was, for me, I lost my mother to suicide when I was 14 years old and having had a rapture with her from the get-go, because of her issues, I think that there’s no question that this mother-daughter yearning and unfulfilled relationship played into the dynamic with other women, and that’s not the case for everyone. I became involved with this woman, and I believe that one of the aspects of it that was so different texturally was that I was learning to love myself as a woman and being open to a woman and that goes back to all those cultural stuff we’re talking about and women having this cultural double bind, I also fell in love with the woman with a person, but there is no question that that added another texture and dimension that was incredibly powerful. It was like coming to terms with being a woman and celebrating that.

 

Question: Was your celibate phase an important development for you?

Rachel Resnick: Certainly, after this experience, absolutely, yeah. I’m not saying that everyone who would want it or could deal with it but there was an openness that was absolutely a gift of recovering and I had two and a half years of celibacy, not intentional before that. I’d been about almost 4 years sober from, you know, again, it’s tricky when it’s you’re not stopping relating to other people, so it’s not as clear cut. I haven’t had a cigarette since, I haven’t had a glass of wine, but I have not felt that [fuzzy] thing in the same way, and I make different choices. But I needed two and a half years, who knew, of pretty much like because the sex really triggers me. I felt like I need two and a half years just to detox and it’s also about pattern. A lot of people make the mistakes that I made in their 20’s but they don’t keep making them, so I didn’t figure out that I was actually addicted to this until I was in my 40’s and had to face “Woh! What happened to having a child? Were of all these decades gone?” And that kind of brought it to the fore.

 

Recorded on: September 30, 2008.

Abstaining from sex for more than two years was an essential step for Rachel Resnick in coping with her addiction.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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R.P. Eddy wrote about a coming pandemic in 2017. Why didn't we listen?

In his book with Richard Clarke, "Warnings," Eddy made clear this was inevitable.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • In their 2017 book, "Warnings," R.P. Eddy and Richard Clarke warned about a coming pandemic.
  • "You never get credit for correctly predicting an outbreak," says science journalist Laurie Garrett in the book.
  • In this interview with Big Think, R.P. Eddy explains why people don't listen to warnings—and how to try to get them to listen.
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Creativity: The science behind the madness

Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

Videos
  • An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

Iranian Tolkien scholar finds intriguing parallels between subcontinental geography and famous map of Middle-earth.

Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
  • J.R.R. Tolkien hinted that his stories are set in a really ancient version of Europe.
  • But a fantasy realm can be inspired by a variety of places; and perhaps so is Tolkien's world.
  • These intriguing similarities with Asian topography show that it may be time to 'decolonise' Middle-earth.
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New study explores how to navigate 'desire discrepancies' in long term relationships

With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.

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Sex & Relationships
  • A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
  • Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.
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