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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Cruel and selfish

Sexual assault no reason to boff boyfriend and bail on husband

Q: My husband and I have had an open marriage for the last two years. Up until five months ago, it was working beautifully. At that point, however, I was sexually assaulted by a former partner. Since that incident, I cannot stand sex with my husband. I completely flip out when he tries to initiate sexual contact. My skin crawls. I become panicked and feel repulsed. I just cannot handle it. Those times when I go along with it anyway leave me feeling enraged and disgusted.

I don't think this is completely unheard of for someone who was relatively recently assaulted, and I am considering therapy to help me work through it. The immediate "problem" is that I have no difficulty having sex with my boyfriend. In fact, the sex with him is amazing and leaves me feeling loved and whole and wonderful.

This is breaking my husband's heart. He has become incredibly jealous of my relationship with my boyfriend. He's depressed. He's angry. He accuses me of no longer loving him, and he wants me to stop sleeping with my boyfriend until our marriage is back to normal. I feel like a horrible person, but I just can't do that. I need that outlet. I need that support. And I admit I have a hard time believing that my husband and I will ever be able to go back to the way things were before.

I feel like I've already lost my former partner (fucked-up though that may seem) and my husband. It kills me to think about cutting out the one positive relationship remaining. On the other hand, I do love my husband — very much — and watching him suffer like this is unbearable. —Potentially Traumatized Sexual Deviant

A: I'm sorry that you were sexually assaulted — that's awful, PTSD, and I hope you went to the police and I hope you're pressing charges. But I also hope you know that being the victim of sexual assault is not a Get Out of Being a Human Being Free Card.

Just because you've been victimized doesn't mean you operate in an alternate moral universe where you're not obligated to take other people's feelings into consideration — particularly the feelings of people you profess to love and happen to be married to. Your first priority in the wake of your assault had to be your own physical and emotional safety, of course, but your behavior toward your husband is both cruel and selfish.

If you truly loved your husband and valued your marriage, PTSD, you would've put the boyfriend on hold and gotten your ass into therapy without having to be told. So from where I sit — on the Bloomington Shuttle, headed to the Indianapolis airport — it looks to me like you want out of this marriage. But instead of taking responsibility for wanting out — not in love with the husband anymore — you're playing the victim card while slamming both hands down on your marriage's self-destruct button.

To sum up, PTSD: You're being a total shit. Do you love your husband? Is your marriage a priority? Then start acting like it: Cut the boyfriend off — for the indefinite future — and get your ass onto a counselor's couch. If you're not willing to do those things, PTSD, then stop emotionally assaulting your husband and put both your marriage and him out of their misery.


Q:
I have two clits. How common is this? I have never been able to ride a bike because I have an earthshaking orgasm as soon as I get on the seat. I come on the bus — the soft vibrations are too much! Walking anywhere in tight pants gets me moaning. Is there anything I can do, or rub on myself, to avoid having multiple orgasms in public? —Two Much Fun

A: I've never heard of someone with two clits — but I haven't searched the medical literature or sought the opinion of an expert. And I'm not inclined to search or seek when a letter is so transparently fake. (Opaque fakes are fine; every letter that makes it into the column is a good hypothetical question — for every reader save one.) People whose genitals are different or ambiguous or terrifying — maybe that's not an extra clit but the tip of your parasitic twin's nose — frequently have questions and concerns, TMF, but multiple earthshaking orgasms aren't high on the list.

You don't have a single clit, TMF, much less two. You're a horny boy with a dick, an e-mail account, and an obsession with (or terror of) a woman's potential capacity for unlimited sexual pleasure. And I'm hoping — I'm hoping against hope — that seeing your letter in print isn't your peak sexual experience. But odds are...


Q:
I am a 47-year-old gay man who has a desire to be humiliated and degraded — by a straight guy! How do I make this happen? Do I just walk up to a straight guy and tell him I want to get on my knees and clean his shoes with my tongue while he spits on me and calls me names? Or that I want to eat out of a dog dish on the floor while he laughs at me? How the hell do I make this happen? How do I approach some straight guy with my request without getting beaten up? Please don't say, "Settle for a very straight-acting and straight-looking gay guy." I have tried that, and it doesn't work! The guy must be totally and completely straight! Otherwise, it's just not a turn-on for me. I'm so desperate that I'm almost willing to pay for it! —Worthless Piece Of Shit

A: Long odds: If you have a wide circle of sexually adventurous straight friends, WPOS, and you were open with all of your friends about your kinks in a friendly, nonthreatening manner, maybe one or two of your straight male friends might be indulgent (or perverse) enough to want to engage in a little role-play with you. (And, yes, it's possible to make someone feel threatened by offering to lick their boots and take their abuse.)

Somewhat shorter odds: Don't have friends like that? Well, there are a lot of BDSM groups and orgs out there that are mixed, i.e., they have gay, lesbian, straight, bi and trans members, and most host mixed play parties. Get involved with one, be open about your kinks, and you'll meet a few kinky straight male tops who would get a kick out of slapping you around.

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