SHMITA: IDENTITY, SEX & DIGITAL DESIRE
Promoting a year without sex??? No – that’s not the idea of devoting the seventh monthly FallowLab Salon to sex is all about – I reassured a friend via email just this morning.
The Sabbatical Year is about land, debts, sustainable living and cycles of health. What does sex have to do with it? everything. FallowLab’s mission is to explore the digital reality that can be improved and in better balance with our actual lives. And it’s hard to imagine the life erotic as it was before online. How well are we as a civilization doing with so much of our intimate erotic yearnings exposed and disposed of online?
Let’s find out – this month’s conversation includes cues from sexologist Esther Perel, reading some new ideas about sex online from WIRED Magazine’s recent issue devoted to digital sex, bringing in Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Program and be Programmed’, and consulting the rabbis on the wisdom of seasonal and more rhythmic living.
“Technology seems so cold. Circuits, processors, glass. The idea of mixing tech and sex can seem equally chilly: complicated devices, teledildonics, porn (so much porn). But that’s all wrong. Technology is changing everything about our sex lives, but there is nothing cold about it.
However visceral, animalistic, or fleeting, sex is, at its core, about human connection. And we now live in the most connected age in history. ”
Caitlin Roper, WIRED Magazine, Digital Sex Issue, March 2015
“The ritual of observing the Shmita year affords us an opportunity to live as if. By following the laws of Shmita we experience what it would be like to live in a world where everyone’s needs were taken care of and no one went hungry, where we respected the land as a living being deserving of rest, where resources were shared equally, and where we yielded to a power beyond our own needs and desires.”
“We must subject social media to the kind of scrutiny that has been applied to the design of gambling machines in Las Vegas casinos. As Natasha Dow Schüll shows in her excellent book Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, while casino operators want us to think that addiction is the result of our moral failings or some biological imbalance, they themselves are to blame for designing gambling machines in a way that feeds addiction. With social media—much like with gambling machines or fast food—our addiction is manufactured, not natural.”
Evgeny Morozov, The New Republic