An excerpt from the opening of journalist Rebecca Dana's new memoir, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story. The book tells about the year Dana spent living in a Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn, with a rabbi named Cosmo, while working as a fashion writer for Tina Brown.
It's ten o'clock on a Tuesday night, a light rain is falling on the wide streets of Brooklyn, and I'm in my living room, strangling a rabbi.
This is the first time I've ever physically assaulted a man of God, and I have to say, it feels excellent. My fingers, with their chipped red nail polish, are digging into [...]
Eric Berkowitz's new book Sex And Punishment, out today from Counterpoint, is a fascinating survey of how legal systems over the millenia have attempted to regulate and police sex. In this excerpt, a discussion of the once-wide acceptance of same-sex unions between men in Europe of the Middle Ages.
Despite the risks, devotional relationships between men were common in Europe at the time, at least among the literate, and many of these affairs must have included sex at some point. Knights, aristocrats, and especially clerics left expansive evidence of their intense passions for male lovers, relationships that often ended in side-by-side burials. A letter from a respected monk–scholar [...]