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Sunday Reads: The Battle Over Celibacy, The Secret World of Saudi Skype Sex and Dog Custody Battles

And even more from the Week That Was

I’m desperate to own a dog. Sure, I’m barely in my 20s, but the thought of coming home from a bad day to a furry creature that’s totally jazzed to see me no matter what gets me every time. Not feeling like I’m ready age-wise is one of a few reasons why I can’t rescue the pooch of my dreams, though. For starters, my apartment doesn’t take pets, and even if it did, it’s too small for a dog anyway. And since my boyfriend and I live together, my dog would also be his dog, and what if we broke up? Deciding who would get to keep little Bella (that’s what I would name her) is a source of stress I — like couples on the outs everywhere — am hardly prepared for. So I’m going to hold off on dog-parenting — for now.

Must Reads

“Christians Are Upset That Incels Are Co-opting Celibacy”
Before incels and their particularly angry brand of celibacy, there were Christians and their pious form of celibacy. Abstinence is a core tenet of many Christians’ faith, an example of sacrifice and devotion to God, and reflective of a deep respect for marriage as a holy sacrament. For incels, though, abstinence isn’t sacrifice, it’s bondage, inflicted upon them by women (and Chads). Some incels have used this as justification for violence, and even mass murder. But because they share celibacy in common, Christians are looking to help incels move away from such a toxic subculture — and toward God. READ MORE

“The Young Saudi Virgin Risking It All To Have Skype Sex With Disabled Men”
Geneva Pegasus is a 21-year-old woman living in Saudi Arabia who lives out her fetish for disabled men through secret Skype sessions. It’s a dangerous act; were she caught, she says, “It would be bad.” But her situation highlights the complicated dynamics of “devoteeism,” a fetish for disabilities. For its disabled participants, the desire devotees feel can be problematic, because while some fetishists are interested in exploring a meaningful relationship, others like Geneva are far more interested in objectifying the person and their “helplessness.” READ MORE

The Week in Features

Boys & Brilliance
Though girls out-perform boys in nearly all aspects of education, groundbreaking new research shows that it’s boys who are more likely to be perceived as exceptionally smart. This perception is groomed in the classroom from a young age, where white and Asian boys are allowed to blurt out answers and interrupt lessons while girls must quietly raise their hands.

The Biggest Little Farm
Eight years ago, documentary filmmaker John Chester and his chef and cookbook author wife, Molly, decided to give up their hectic, stressful lives in L.A., and head north to start an environmentally conscious biodynamic farm. Now, Chester has released a documentary about life on that farm, its struggles and how the experience shaped both himself and his wife as people.

The “Tough Guys” of Early MMA
Before the UFC, there were the Yinzers. All the way back in the 1970s, Pittsburgh fight promoters Frank Caliguri and Bill Viola Sr. saw the potential for a pro MMA league when they created “Tough Guys,” a precursor of sorts to the UFC. Though it seemed like an underground affair, their fights were far more organized, policed and skilled than early UFC events. But unfortunately, the brand was quickly tarnished (through no fault of its own), and eventually, its fights were banned entirely.

Losing A Language
For the children of immigrants growing up in the U.S., there’s immense pressure to assimilate: Eat American food, wear American-style clothes, watch American TV, and perhaps most importantly, speak English (or you know, American). For many second-generation Americans, it’s that last one (i.e., abandoning their parents’ native tongue) that most feels like they’re losing a part of their identity.

Modern Dating in Tunisia
Tinder isn’t much of a thing in Tunisia. Instead, in order to meet people in such a conservative country, lonely men resort to a more scattershot approach: Farming female phone numbers through myriad sketchy methods and cold-calling women they don’t know in hopes of sparking a conversation — and potentially a relationship.

The Butt Behind Aneros
You can’t produce a, um, kick-ass prostate massager without first carefully testing it on some butts. In the case of Aneros, arguably the world’s most popular prostate toy maker, product testing falls not on multiple butts, but one single, solitary butt — the butt of Forrest Andrews. In fact, he’s tested, reviewed and approved prostate massagers for much of his adult life, including all of Aneros’ extremely popular product lines.

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