Unspeakable Vice

Unspeakable Vice

The “unspeakable vice” is that unfathomably horrid, shocking, and undignified thing we call sex. It is so terrible that we cannot even speak of it, at least not in polite company. This podcast will explore why it is so objectionable to talk about anything related to sex, what it does to our well-being to avoid this topic, and what we can do about it.

All Episodes

This episode summarizes a content analysis I did based on responses to the Lil Nas X video "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" released a couple months ago. The proud queer black artist made waves with this video ripe with religious symbolism, allegory. and allusion. Yet, notably, his identity was not roundly rejected.

May 20

22 min 3 sec

Sometimes the only way we can talk about a sexual topic is to joke about it. Jake helps me break down the merits of this approach.

Mar 25

26 min 27 sec

There is a presumption of heterosexuality in our culture, which means that everyone is straight until proven otherwise. I mean, when was the last time you saw someone come out as straight?

Mar 11

11 min 6 sec

Civil commitment is used to hold people who might commit crimes in the future. Black and queer people suffer the most.

Feb 25

20 min 52 sec

Queer people have more mental health problems than their hetero friends. Why? Is it because there's something bad about being gay? Or is there a problem with the way we think about sex and sexual identities? Kenneth takes a queer theory approach to this mental health issue.

Feb 11

17 min 15 sec

Flip Rodriguez announced to the world that he is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It was a weight lifted from him, and now he can help others navigate trauma by talking about his own.

Jan 28

29 min 1 sec

In this episode, I share some thoughts about a recent lawsuit involving Pornhub. I also mention Section 230 protections, since there have been recent calls to roll back this provision of the Communications Decency Act.

Jan 14

15 min 6 sec

A couple undergraduate students at Wayne State University started a student organization where students have a safe space to learn and talk about sex.

Nov 2020

32 min 49 sec

Women who commit sexual abuse are poorly understood, and this problem is a clear window into the assumptions about sex embedded in our social constructions of gender.

Oct 2020

20 min 5 sec

This is a conversation with the host of the Sex Communication Podcast, someone who is actually working to normalize open and honest conversations about sex. The Unspeakable Vice Podcast talks about why it is important, but she is actually doing it. We discuss some of the things that makes sex a difficult topic, the pros […]

Oct 2020

32 min 53 sec

This episode explores the idea that sexual categories have socially-defined meanings that evolve over time. Individuals develop their sexual self through telling their story to position themselves within these social definitions.

Sep 2020

10 min 21 sec

In masculine culture, sexual activity is often spoken of in terms of conquest. Donald Trump gives us a potent case study into how our society speaks about sexual assault.

Sep 2020

17 min 6 sec

Hélène Cixous urges women to write. She believes that women need to talk more about their sex in order to regain their power.

Sep 2020

18 min 5 sec

How we talk about sex shapes how sex is talked about. If that sounds like a circular argument, good, because I see our social understanding of sex as a feedback loop. The words we use, the meanings we ascribe to them, and the context in which they are given, all contribute to the way we and others understand the topics we describe. Words can be arbitrary, but they are no less important in communication.

Aug 2020

16 min 57 sec

The theme for this episode is that it’s OK to be uncomfortable talking about sex. Scratch that. It’s good to be uncomfortable talking about sex. Moving outside our comfort zones is how we learn and grow. Sergio G. Barrera is a doctoral candidate in American Culture and Latina/o Studies at The University of Michigan.Instagram: @gael_sin_barrera […]

Aug 2020

34 min 37 sec

This episode focuses on how prosecution of crimes affects how we understand and are able to communicate about sexuality.

Jul 2020

15 min 12 sec

The moment you have been waiting for is finally here! I don’t know if this counts as an actual episode, that’s why it is Episode 0, but at least it’s actual content! What follows is a quick introduction to what The Unspeakable Vice Podcast is all about. (Transcript) Hi, I’m Kenneth, and this is the […]

Jul 2020

7 min 8 sec