Books & Articles
Dr. Philip Zimbardo and I are co-authors of Man Interrupted (Conari Press, 2016); published in 14 countries. Man Interrupted is an elaboration of our 2012 TED polemic, Demise of Guys, which delves much deeper into the important discussion about young men and the complex issues and challenges they face in our changing social climate.
After doing extensive research on men's issues, I started a blog with sex therapist and friend Keeley Rankin called BetterSexEd to discuss issues around intimacy. BetterSexEd later turned into Plato's Ladder as Keeley's practice grew and my interests shifted.
One of my goals with Plato's Ladder is to help each sex develop more empathy for the other sex, and help bring men and women on a more balanced footing. I am pro-relationships and pro-family, which makes me, above all, pro-communication. I think the better we are able to discuss intimate topics, needs, and desires, the stronger our relationships will be.
I began a series of paintings called Orgasm Portraits when I was 20 years old; I started this project because I wanted to do a series of abstract portraits based on an experience that everyone could have and therefore, anyone could be a part of. I compiled 40 paintings and interviews into an ebook, which can be purchased here. It was actually this series that sparked my interest in men's issues - more on that here. Some portraits and interviews from this series can be viewed on the Orgasm Portraits page.
Other thoughts: my sense is that curiosity is the basis for happiness and all art is an expression of being alive. There are no options around death, we don’t get to choose whether or not we die. But every moment of every day that we are alive every one of us has the opportunity to express ourselves in a multitude of ways.
The undercurrent of my work is an attempt to demonstrate this concept of possibilities by producing my own individual expressions of being alive. For viewers, it is a subtle reminder that they too have access to different ways of expressing themselves. The intention is to inspire others to release themselves from any feeling of confinement that they have.
My philosophy around art mirrors my thoughts on politics - to encourage individual expression and curiosity. I'm always surprised when I hear how most artists and academics consider themselves "progressive" politically since the current liberal party supports the expansion of the government, an institution that has the ability - if it becomes too large and has too much control - to limit individual expression by creating and enforcing laws that censor speech and socially acceptable conduct. It's the same reason I am weary of any type of extremism because extremism is the opposite of balance - it inevitably requires rigid conformity and stifles the individual's ability to think and behave in a genuine way. And this much more closely resembles the stagnancy of death than the dynamism of life.