Ten Ways Social Taboos About Sex, Drugs and Death Scare Us from Learning the Truth

Posted: December 29th, 2012 | Filed under: drugs, heroin, LSD, marijuana, opiates, prostitution, You Will Die | 2 Comments »


In coordination with the January 1st release of the Feral House version of You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos, AlterNet published my article, “Ten Ways Social Taboos About Sex, Drugs and Death Scare Us from Learning the Truth.”

The ten harmful misconceptions caused by taboos covered in the article are:

1. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Jesus was against drug use.
2. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Few women choose to be sex workers.
3. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Drugs do not aid creativity.
4. Taboo: Excrement—Misconception: We go to the bathroom properly.
5. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Illicit drugs are exceptionally deadly.
6. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Jesus was against non-marital sex.
7. Taboo: Nasal Mucus—Misconception: Nose-picking is bizarre.
8. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Homosexuality is a choice.
9. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Drug dealers cause drug use.
10. Taboo: Death—Misconception: Modern medicine can save us.

Thanks to Kristen Gwynne (@kristengwynne) at AlterNet for running this unconventional piece.

2 Comments on “Ten Ways Social Taboos About Sex, Drugs and Death Scare Us from Learning the Truth”

  1. 1 Roger Evans said at 5:07 pm on September 27th, 2014:

    Re: Your “…TSA Kills …, You’ve overlooked a concern of mine: how much loss of life does it take to equal a crime? An half-hour loss per flight, say, times 28,537 daily commercial flights in the United States equals 1.6+ years of human life lost each day, assuming one passenger per flight. Multiply by 365+ days per year and the actual average no. of passengers per flight — the loss of life becomes staggering.

  2. 2 Alicia said at 1:43 pm on December 3rd, 2015:

    When I moved to the Middle East and saw how easily they speak about death and how well they halnde it, I realized that death is mostly a taboo topic in the US. One of the Arabs I knew lost his 19 year old brother in a foolish car accident. I consider myself a fairly open book type of person and people often share things with me that they usually hold back, but I was shocked by how well they openned up about it. I do believe that for Mormons it isn’t quite as taboo. Mormons say it is because families are forever… I don’t know the secret to this topic, but believing in some kind of after life might be the key. As for other taboo topics, the US is not known for having many. Too many Europeans view us as Jerry Springer-ish.