Trending
Most Read
  • 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.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Summer Guide 2011

In (the) heat

The psychology, anthropology and politics of the summer fling

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: Photo: Bill Rauhaser, License: N/A

Photo: Bill Rauhaser

"Three on a Beach" by iconic Detroit photographer Bill Rauhaser appeared in The Family of Man, a photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen shown in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Find this photo and more in the beautiful book 20th Century Photography in Detroit, available at billrauhauser.com.


Summer Guide 2011
  • In (the) heat The psychology, anthropology and politics of the summer fling | 6/15/2011
  • Juggalos in the mist A retreat to the wilderness turns weird in a heartbeat | 6/15/2011
  • Killer prose By day, he's a Detroit business writer. On his time off, Tom Henderson is a chronicler of the sensational, the lurid | 6/15/2011
  • Feed your head Detroiter lit-lovers share their summer reads | 6/15/2011
  • Life's a beach Summer highs to look forward to | 6/15/2011

We're lust hungry. Scientifically, biblically, whatever excuse. We've been that way ever since some protohuman mounted another and they thrusted till something happened. And something did happen. It felt good. Nothing's changed. Nor will it. Look no further than your own kinky family, the celeb gossip feed, and scandalous political headlines for proof.

Some believe we're genetically inclined to fling, swing, and do the mess-around. What if some of us are? Can we deal with that?

We form intense bonds, emotionally deep and severely erotic. Sometimes for a lifetime. Sometimes a semester abroad, a long weekend at the cottage, or just a few minutes behind the bar. We are animals. Some of us even roar.

And it seems especially true in the summer.

According to psychologist and Sex at Dawn co-author Chris Ryan, (a familiar name for avid Savage Love readers) the summer fling isn't just pop song fodder, rather it's an innately human impulse. Written with his wife and co-author psychologist Cacilda Jetha, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, which was published last year, proposes short-term relationships as a staple in the human sexual diet.

Why take the time to enter into a relationship we know won't last? "Why not?" asks Ryan from his home in Barcelona. "The underlying premise is that only long-term relationships have value," he says. "But a fling offers pleasure, friendship, experience and escape from boredom. That's value."

While a fling can occur while single, attached or married, Ryan argues that marriage and morality are both mainly economic considerations that have little to do with our evolutionary predispositions: "Human beings evolved as promiscuous, casual sexual beings, much like chimpanzees and bonobos, our two closest primates," says Ryan, offering a string of primatological, anthropological and anatomical evidence. For instance: "That the testicles and penis are external points to the way our ancestors lived, that they had several consecutive and ongoing sexual relationships."

The cultural miscue, Ryan continues, is that many people think of the act of sex as primarily a means for reproduction. "Think about the ratio of sex acts to births for most human beings," he says. "A thousand to one? More? Just because you don't want to buy the restaurant doesn't mean you don't enjoy eating there once in a while."

For Ryan, we tryst instinctually. As long as nobody's getting hurt, we should all do the damn fling.

Other experts raise a warning sign.

Before her work at the Relationship Institute in Royal Oak, psychologist Stephanie Scott held a private practice in New York City, working with a hospital-based program to help people with personality disorders navigate relationships. Personality disorder or not, Scott cautions against the fling.

"The summer fling is an escape from reality and it feels good, but I can't condone it," she says. "Typically, somebody ends up getting hurt."

Scott believes most people who think they can set their emotions aside for a fling are only fooling themselves. "It's a euphoric feeling to go out and find someone attractive who is attracted to you. In the short term, it can give a strong boost of self-confidence," she says. "But once you have sex, the brain releases chemicals that promote bonding. Long-term, you're not obtaining the tools necessary to sustain a committed, emotionally intimate relationship."

Scott is also concerned that people who seek out flings are doing so out of fear of intimacy or in an attempt to re-create something that happened to them in the past. Either way, she's afraid they're not allowing themselves to invest in anything truly nurturing. "Or maybe they're trying to recapture the excitement felt in that early stage of love," she says, "But it's never fair to compare that short, euphoric period to the complicated realities of a committed relationship."

Ryan argues that there's nothing inherently exploitative about a fling. "In any type of relationship, if someone feels disrespected or abused, then it's obviously unhealthy," he says.

And as far as getting emotionally injured goes, Ryan points to the painful effects of people committing to something they can't actually commit to. "It might be because of the stage of life they're in or it just might be the nature of their own sexuality, but if you're not comfortable in a long-term, monogamous relationship and you're lying to yourself and someone else that you are, that's when people are going to get hurt."

Beth Hedva, a Canadian psychologist who specializes in sexology, is the author of Betrayal, Trust, and Forgiveness. She says that if a person is centered and understands their sexual nature, a condom and blunt communication can solve most issues that might arise around a fling.

"First, you must be very clear on what your intentions are. That must happen up front. Get it all out there. Second, you have to stress safe sex," says Hedva. "I think there's room for those conversations even within the moment of heat, lust, passion and desire," she adds. "When you're in that state of consciousness that conversation has the opportunity to be very erotic. The energy of intent behind asking this questions can actually build the desire as opposed to dampening it."

But she also warns that it's not uncommon for one partner to be more vulnerable.

"Deep down, one person might be seeking a true pair-bonding relationship where one won't be available. So when the fling comes to an end, they'll go through detachment, loss and, to a degree, mourning. In that sense, what can be a fine thing has the potential to be devastating."

It's possible that a person might be engaged in a fling and not even know it. Scott offers some red flags to look for:

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus