Episode name: Kink on Tap 48 - They Call Themselves Gayglers Filename: kinkontap48 Duration: 112:48 Transcribed by: Rebecca Crane Notes: -- Blank lines ( _________ ) indicate audio was unclear or too soft to hear. -- [BRACKETS] indicate transcriber comments, best attempts at words that are unclear, or descriptions of non-spoken sound.
MAYMAY: This is Kink On Tap episode 48, recorded Sunday, July 4th, 2010. "They Call Themselves Gayglers."
EMMA: Kink On Tap is brought to you by donations from listeners like you. Thank you SO much for your support.
[INTRO MUSIC CONTINUES]
EMMA: Hi, welcome to Kink On Tap, the only netcast for the intellisexuals. My name is Emma Gross and I am joined once again by my co-host Maymay, who is currently attempting to open a wine bottle with a hammer and a screw.
MAYMAY: I am trying. I have done this before. It's July 4th, so Happy Independence Day, everybody. And I wanted to get some celebration here. I've got a Barefoot Muscato deliciously sweet wine and I'm-, this is the most genderfuck thing I think I've done all day, because I'm trying to open sweet wine with a hammer and a screwdriver. [LAUGHS] Which I learned how to do on YouTube. So, if I can do that-, if I can make that happen, that'd be great.
EMMA: It's not a screwdriver. It's a screw.
MAYMAY: Um, we couldn't get any American guests-
EMMA: And I have the same wine and it's delicious. And WITH us, possibly not drinking wine, is the very cool John Baku, creator of the kinky social networking site Fetlife.
JOHN BAKU: Hey, hey, hey! Fat Albert here! [LAUGHS]
EMMA: He's still John Baku. He's just telling lies today. It's one of those things. John, I understand that up there in our neighbor to the north, there's also some sort of celebration going on this weekend.
JOHN BAKU: Well, we had our July 1st, Canada Day. That wasn't this weekend. That was, like, last Thursday. And the Thursday before that we had, like, Quebec Separation Day. Oops! That's politically incorrect. We had-
MAYMAY: What's it called?
JOHN BAKU: We had St. Jean Baptiste. Otherwise known as Separation Day. [LAUGHS] But anyways. Amongst us English-speaking people.
EMMA: Excellent! I'm learning more and more about the Maple Leaf State with every passing day.
JOHN BAKU: I was gonna say, we don't have a state, but you mean the country. But okay, yeah, okay.
EMMA: Sorry, that's not a funny joke at all. Um. So, while May is-
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] I'm sorry. It's gonna work! I promise it's gonna work. Look, I'll put it on camera here.
EMMA: Look how hard he has to work to do this! If you could see the videostream right now, you would see May just, like, DEEP in concentration, attempting to screw a screw into a cork to open this wine. He's not usually working with his hands. He's not a big crafty guy, our Maymay.
MAYMAY: Only on you, Emma. Only on you.
JOHN BAKU: Hey. I know what you mean. I just got my first set of screwdrivers this week and my girlfriend is so impressed with me. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] I even bought a toolbox today. I bought my very first toolbox today and I called it my man-purse.
MAYMAY: Ah! There we go. See? It's coming out. You just have to screw-
EMMA: Can I tell you boys that I've had my toolbox for half a decade?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, my girlfriend's like, "I got one for my sixth birthday." And I'm like, "Well, aren't you cooler than me?" [LAUGHS]
EMMA: Unquestionably, my friend. Look at it! He's almost got it!
MAYMAY: This is way harder than it should be.
EMMA: No, he hasn't.
MAYMAY: But it works. It definitely works.
EMMA: No, he's really struggling with it.
MAYMAY: I've done it before. Argh. Okay! Man. This is a lot of effort for wine.
EMMA: Okay. [I'm not gonna give May instructions]. What I WILL do while May is struggling with this is read a very, very cool e-mail that we got from one of our listeners this past week which just blew both May and I away. It's like this-
[WINE CORK POPS!]
MAYMAY: Ah! Look, there you go. Did you hear the pop?
EMMA: I didn't. Did I hear the pop? Are we done? Are we ready? Can you drink now?
MAYMAY: I got the wine. Yeah. Go ahead.
EMMA: You can drink now. Alright.
MAYMAY: Cheers, everybody.
EMMA: This e-mail reads: "I'm a 30 year old male living in London and would like to tell you the effect your podcast has had on my parents, believe it or not. I have always considered myself having a fluid sexual identity but a firm gender identity. Over the last fifteen years, I have become more and more comfortable showing my true colors in public, although in private and among friends, that has never been an issue. The reason it took the amount of time it did was because of a very one-sided, though loving, childhood. I hadn't seen my parents for a few years in person because we were living in different countries. When I finally spent some time with them, they confronted me about the whole heap of ignorant abuse because, of course, they know what I'm up to. Word gets back. They were screaming, I was frustrated with their behavior and ignorance, it was all pretty bad. When I told them they had the wrong end of the stick and in some cases didn't even know where the stick was, my father replied, "So, how can you make me understand?" Unfortunately, at that point, I had to go out for a few hours for work. I threw my iPod on the coffeetable and said, "Listen to Kink On Tap!" and left in a rage. When I came home five hours later, they both greeted me crying. They had listened to your podcast and were extremely apologetic. We continued to have a very good conversation through the night. We talked about pretty much everything. And even though they might not understand or agree with everything I do, at least they're not afraid of it. Many conversations are sure to follow, but you've helped us start off. Thank you very much." And the e-mail is from someone named Gryphon. And I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing in and letting us know. That's pretty much why we do this, really.
MAYMAY: Yeah. What an amazing story.
EMMA: You've just vindicated the whole show. Thanks!
MAYMAY: Gryphon actually tweets at @GryphonSpeaks. And that story is now on kinkontap.com/about under our little praise list, because it was just such an awesome and heartfelt e-mail and, like Emma said, that's precisely why we do this. And it's so motivating to get those e-mails. When you speak, I feel like you're making real change. That's the kind of thing that really affects the world. So, thanks to Gryphon.
EMMA: [That was pretty great.]
MAYMAY: John, do you ever get thank you e-mails or thank you stuff or praise for running Fetlife? 'Cause I know Fetlife has changed peoples' lives.
JOHN BAKU: A bunch of hate mail and death threats. That's pretty much the story of my life.
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] You are a liar! I know you get good praise. C'mon. I've praised you.
EMMA: You must've gotten some thanks. If you haven't, then we'll thank you now. Thanks, John!
JOHN BAKU: Well, thank you. We definitely get our fair share of praise. And it definitely feels great when we hear-, I mean, basically, I started Fetlife for the simple reason that I didn't want anybody else to feel uncomfortable with who they were sexually like I felt when I was growing up. And if we were able to make one person feel comfortable with who they were sexually, I'd be like, "Sweet. Somebody doesn't have to go through the pain I went through. Mission Accomplished." So, when we get an e-mail like that, I'm like, "Ah, fuck. I definitely-, I was about to go to bed but I have enough energy to work for five more hours. Because I'm sure there's somebody else out there who needs to feel comfortable with who they are sexually."
MAYMAY: Yeah. So, for you who aren't familiar, if we haven't explained it, Fetlife is kind of like Facebook of kinky people. But it's made by kinky people and it's made for kinky people, yeah?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah!
MAYMAY: How would you explain Fetlife to someone who didn't know what Facebook was, though?
JOHN BAKU: Oh, wow. See, it's like saying, y'know, how do you explain food for somebody who's never eaten? [LAUGHTER] I guess it'd be difficult. But we know what Facebook is, so might as well make our life easier. But yeah, it's Facebook for the kinky community. Or, simpler, it's just a community online for kinky people to come together and talk and meet.
MAYMAY: Several people in the chat room have already said "Fetlife changed my life." "I found someone through Fetlife."
JOHN BAKU: "First awesome fuckbuddy I've ever had." [LAUGHS] I never had a sexual relationship with anybody I've met off Fetlife.
MAYMAY: Yeah, I haven't either.
MAYMAY: How would you qualify that, though? Like, how do you quantify what 1% is?
JOHN BAKU: Either…I'm gonna go to kinky heaven. Basically, my objective is to go to kinky heaven and live happily ever after.
MAYMAY: Well, you're probably there. You're probably there.
EMMA: I was gonna ask, do YOU get to choose which 1%? Or do we get to choose?
JOHN BAKU: Well, unfortunately, every time somebody comes up to me and is like, "Hey! You want your 1%?" I'm like, "Yeah. Sure." "Bend over." Like, DUDE! That's not the 1% I wanted! He's like, "Tough luck." I'm like, "Aww, I'm fucked. I said I should've been more-"
EMMA: That's rather the point. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: I should've been more crystal clear. I'll have to add the asterisk eventually.
EMMA: "1% of all your action at John's discretion."
JOHN BAKU: Yes.
MAYMAY: So, John, I wanted to talk to you about a couple things specifically, because we have an opportunity to talk to a service provider, specifically. Which is new for me. And several of these things that we saw in the news recently, I think are really relevant. One, for example, there was a really interesting commentary on Flibanserin, which is that pink Viagra drug supposedly for women in the New York Times. And it's created some stir. Camille Paglia, I think, is the way you pronounce the author's name of it.
JOHN BAKU: Okay…
MAYMAY: But one of the specific commentaries that I saw was from a site called Mom Logic and the author, a syndicated columnist, Bruce Sallen -- who seems to be a very nice guy, actually; he's corresponded with me on Twitter a bit -- is wondering, "Has social networking replaced sex?" And he asks, y'know, he just read the provocative piece in the New York Times. It struck him as very true and very sad, although I couldn't really figure out what Paglia was saying, honestly. And he asks, "Have we sunk to androgynous roles as men and women? Are we, you, having less sex? Are we men falling down on our jobs when it comes to making 'it' happen?" Y'know, "it" I imagine is "sex." As someone who created a social network, what do you think? Do you think social networking is replacing sex, John?
JOHN BAKU: Well, I think that's a boring-ass question to ask, simply because he's just basically replacing "social networking" with the word "X-box," with the word "video games," with the word "TV," with the word "bars."
JOHN BAKU: There's a certain amount of time in day and we can only do a certain amount of things. And, y'know, sometimes you play the X-box and you're having so much fun playing the X-box that you're not like, "Shit! I got nothing better to do, so let's go find a way to have sex." If I remember correctly, if you look at all the blackouts that happen, 9 months later there's-. Not all the blackouts that happen, but if you look at some of the bigger well-known blackouts that's happened, like New York City blacked out for two days-
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] Yeah. That was fun…
JOHN BAKU: You'll hear of people-, you'll hear about nine months later, there's a surge in pregnancies. It's just that there's competition for peoples' time. And people are just looking to be entertained and have a good time. Sex is one of those ways that people get entertained and have a good time! Having a scene is one of the ways people can have fun. Y'know, scenes don't mean sex. There's no penetration in scenes in some cases. And, come to think of it, in a lot of cases if it's a public scene. So, it's just like, yeah, it's just another way to have fun. Sometimes you just wanna fuckin' watch Home & Garden TV and Property Virgins reruns for six hours.
MAYMAY: Sometimes you're having sex WHILE you're watching Home & Garden TV, aren't you?
JOHN BAKU: I'M not! I just wanna-
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] You CAN though!
JOHN BAKU: 'Cause it's distracting!
MAYMAY: But you can.
JOHN BAKU: I wanna see the three houses that they saw and I wanna sit there and try to figure out what house they chose.
EMMA: I like judging.
MAYMAY: Judging the houses?
MAYMAY: I like judging the sex. "That was great. That was-"
EMMA: I'm more judgmental when watching Home & Garden TV than I am when having sex, I must admit.
MAYMAY: I just think you can combine them. I mean, you make a good point, John, about time and it's a limited resource. I think time is probably the most limited resource we have now.
JOHN BAKU: For sure.
MAYMAY: I mean, information is no longer a limited resource. Knowledge is becoming no longer a limited resource. Not even money is quite as-, I mean, they print more of it every day! As I learned from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
JOHN BAKU: So, when it comes to social-. They throw around the word "ADD" all the time. I have a diagnosis of moderately severe ADHD. I have a certificate on my wall right next to my Dyslexia certificate. "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." But, no, what I'm trying to say is-
EMMA: Why don't you have your certificates posted, May?
MAYMAY: I don't have certificates. No one's gonna accredit me for anything.
JOHN BAKU: So, truth be told is that maybe for some people, sex becomes mundane and a social network is a constant influx of information. It's like Twitter. People are sitting-, like, before Twitter there was RSS feeds. Before RSS feeds, there were mail. As soon as e-mail came out, I remember the first day I got my e-mail, I'd be pressing Send and Receive every five minutes 'cause I'm like, "Did I get new e-mail? Did I get new e-mail?"
MAYMAY: Repetitive information injury. They have a name for that. They have a name for that!
JOHN BAKU: Really?
MAYMAY: Yeah. Repetitive information injury. RII.
JOHN BAKU: So, I think social networks are very much like that. And sex, I mean, it's great 'n' all. Oh god. I don't know why I say this, it's gonna come back and haunt me, but I guess it could get repetitive. [LAUGHS] And it might be not as exciting as sometimes knowing what all your sixty-thousand friends are doing right this second. I dunno.
MAYMAY: I'm gonna go back to…why not just connect them all? I mean my take on it was, I think if you're doing-, if you're bored with anything, even if it's not sex, like, if you're bored with what you're doing, then you're not doing it right. Because there's no reason to be bored, see, 'cause you can change things. So, case in point, I mean, watch Home & Garden TV, have oral sex while you do it. There you go. Watch-, y'know, be on Fetlife-. Fetlife was MADE for sex. A social network made for sex-
JOHN BAKU: So, you're talented. I guess I'm just not talented. 'Cause I'm very-, like, I can only do one thing at a time. Otherwise, I get so distracted I don't do anything. So, I'm your typical dumb white man who's really useless. [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: Alright, lemme clarify, though. Well, lemme clarify. Because, sometimes, I can be a dumb-. I mean, I guess right now I'm doing-, I don't even know what the hell kind of gender signals I'm giving off, 'cause of this Moscato Deliciously Sweet wine, which is really very good, and I opened it, again, with a screwdriver which is, like, the most masculine thing I've done all day. I'm drinking it out of a freakin' plastic cup. [LAUGHS] So, I don't know if I'm, like, Bachelor #1 right now or, like, some sort of weird amalgamation of things. But my point is-
EMMA: Yeah, "some sort of weird amalgamation of things" is…
JOHN BAKU: I kind of see you like the Bachelor's Nerds vs. Hunks or something. And I'm trying to figure out what side of that fence you're on.
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] I don't even know. I don't know. But I'm mixing stuff, right? I've never drunk-, I've never done this before, is what I'm saying. I've opened the bottle like that. I've drank wine out of a glass like this. But I've never combined all three. And I guess, if I was gonna watch Home & Gardens and I was gonna have sex during watching Home & Gardens, I would probably be focused very much on the oral sex I was probably giving…I guess, Emma. Um. [EMMA LAUGHS] You should come over, by the way, Emma. We should do this.
EMMA: I'm workin' on it!
JOHN BAKU: Are you guys in a relationship?
MAYMAY: Well…yeah, that's another-, that's a whole other show.
EMMA: Oh, god. Look what you did! You opened that can again! [MAYMAY LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: You brought it up. I need to know! What's going on, you two?
MAYMAY: Well, it's very hard to get in oral sex when she's across the country. But what I'm saying is-
JOHN BAKU: Just so you know, Emma's turning red right now, which is a good sign. She __________.
EMMA: It's the wine!
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, it's the w-
EMMA: I do-, I will admit, I have kind of a big crush on May.
MAYMAY: Oh, man. This is-
JOHN BAKU: Me too. Catfight!
MAYMAY: Oh, this has going downhill hasn't it?
EMMA: Nope! Done! Mine! [LAUGHTER]
JOHN BAKU: Emma, y'know what? I'll let you win.
EMMA: Let? "Let" he says! Hahaha…
MAYMAY: I wanna finish my point, which was I would be going down, probably, on Emma and then she could be watching Home & Gardens and that could be more interesting for both of us.
EMMA: Here's the thing, though. For me the Home & Garden, like, your giving me oral sex takes away from my ability to really judge those houses and make the catty comments I wanna make. And my attempting to judge houses takes away from my ability to enjoy the fact that you are such a cunning linguist.
MAYMAY: Ahh. So, well, okay. So, that brings up the point that there is something to be said for a very focused and directed time commitment for sex. And that comes back to Bruce Sallen's point which is, y'know, he's saying, "Has social networking replaced sex?" I think that's a little bit of a sensationalistic title but the content of his article is probably more around, y'know, he quotes actually Paglia saying, "Meanwhile, family life has put middle-class men in a bind. They are simply cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women, blah blah blah." That's a little bit of, like, gender stereotyping that I'm not really happy about. But he does say that he uses the computer a lot, y'know, there's a lot of time being spent on the computer. His wife often says that he spends TOO much time on the computer. So, there's something to be said for just focusing your time on what you're doing. Doing one thing at a time, doing it well, whether that be sex or watching Home & Garden. [LAUGHS] I don't know how we got onto Home & Gardens, by the way.
EMMA: [LAUGHS] You started it. No, John started it!
MAYMAY: Was it me?
JOHN BAKU: No, it's my favorite channel. I watch it religiously.
EMMA: So, here's the thing that I found most interesting about this article is he's drawing very, very heavily from an article that was written in the New York Times. And the thing that I find most interesting-
MAYMAY: Yeah, but no one can figure out what the hell-, no one can figure out what the point of that New York Times article was. Like, every commentary I've seen about it was, "I'm not sure what Paglia's saying."
EMMA: Paglia's saying people are having less sex…and stuff. But what she's NOT saying is that this has anything to do with social networking. That was ALL this syndicated columnist whose name I just forgot. Help me out here, May?
MAYMAY: Bruce Sallen.
EMMA: Bruce Sallen. Sallen was just, like, "Clearly, Paglia is thinking about social networking!" And I'm thinking maybe Sallen is thinking about social networking. I feel like the only thing this really gives us a view of is his own feelings of guilt as to where he's spending his time other than the bedroom.
MAYMAY: Yeah, maybe…
JOHN BAKU: Is there any numbers that proves that with the introduction of social networking that sex has gone up? Er, that sex has gone down?
MAYMAY: No. None. None at all. In fact, most people-
JOHN BAKU: So, they're just all making up this shit, right?
MAYMAY: I don't think-
EMMA: Given know how many social networking sites double as dating sites, I would say yeah.
MAYMAY: But I don't think Sallen was claiming numbers here. And [I know] we're piling on this article. Just because it was a great article, I also wanna be clear, Sallen if you're listening-
EMMA: It was very funny.
MAYMAY: -your article was great and funny and that's why we're picking it up. So, [LAUGHS] hopefully you'll take this all in good jest, 'cause it was great. Um. But yeah, I don't think anyone's claiming numbers or anything. I just think that it points to what people are concerned about and clearly Paglia's concerned about certain gender roles. I mean, again, there's talk of "family life has put middle-class men in a bind." What? I don't know if family life makes men "cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women." That's a little out there.
JOHN BAKU: That's debatable.
EMMA: That sounds like the sort of thing you like to-. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: [LAUGHS] Is it really out there? Like, I'm not exactly sure I understand verbatim what he means but IS that so out there?
MAYMAY: What I'm saying is that I don't think that the leap from "now you're a family man!" to "now you're a cog in a domestic machine commanded by women" makes a lot of sense. I just think family life is a little bit more diverse than that.
JOHN BAKU: Oh, for sure, but everything's more diverse than that!
MAYMAY: Case in point!
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, every [single thing's diverse than that] but if we were to sit there and explain every single sentence how this is just a general statement but there is exceptions to the rule [MAYMAY LAUGHS] I mean, you would never be able to write anything! You gotta make generalizations. And I know, Maymay, you LOVE to pick at small things that somebody's said-
MAYMAY: That's true! [EMMA LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: -and just try to find, "Oh my god! I can't believe this person made a general statement like this that applies to 90% of the world!"
MAYMAY: Ohhhhh. [LAUGHS]
EMMA: Likewise, May himself NEVER makes sweeping statements to prove a point in any of his writing at any point.
MAYMAY: Point. Touché. Touché. You got me there. So, actually, that brings up a little bit of history, John. You had me once on the This Week in Kink podcast [JOHN BAKU LAUGHS] that you guys were doing. Is that what you're referencing there?
JOHN BAKU: No, not at all! I was just [talking in general] my experience with you. Don't forget, the first time we met was at Shibaricon, I think, right?
MAYMAY: Shibaricon back in 2009. Yeah.
JOHN BAKU: Yeah. I've been listening to you ever since. I've been following you slightly. And I'm a slight fan of Maymay. So, y'know, I've been following you.
MAYMAY: Oh, thanks. I'm a fan of [what you do.]
JOHN BAKU: I know what tickles you pink and I know what you go after.
MAYMAY: Ah. I do. I do go after the gender stereotyping, that's true. It's one of my-
JOHN BAKU: That's your passion and that's not a bad thing. You need to be passionate about something.
MAYMAY: Sure. Well, thank you! Well, so, hey. What happened to This Week in Kink? Because I know that some people who listen to this show actually started listening to this show because of This Week in Kink. And then This Week in Kink kind of fell off the radar a little bit. What happened with that?
JOHN BAKU: Do you want the truth?
MAYMAY: No, I want you to lie. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: Okay. Well, y'know, our ratings were so good that we just decided that…no. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] Y'know, the truth is that it's very important for me to be like Switzerland. And This Week in Kink was reflecting Fetlife in some cases badly. So, I didn't think that it was very beneficial for us to link the two.
JOHN BAKU: If that makes any sense. I can repeat it in probably better English. But, y'know, it was just-. Fetlife is Switzerland. We take no sides. We have no opinions. We just allow you to be who you are sexually. And then, on This Week in Kink, I'd make gross and disgustin-, I'd make gross generalizations. I'd make sweeping, obnoxious comments because that's just who I am. I like to have fun. I don't take myself seriously. But-
MAYMAY: But then people like me sometimes take you a little seriously. 'Cause we don't get sarcasm and humor sometimes.
JOHN BAKU: I'm not talking about- [LAUGHS] Don't take this personally! [MAYMAY LAUGHS] I'm not taking it back to you!
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] Okay. "It's not all about you, Maymay. God!"
JOHN BAKU: Seriously. So, and then I was just like, it was starting to concern me.
JOHN BAKU: And I was like, y'know what? First of all, it takes about one day out of the week for me to prepare and take care of it. And, as is, we don't have enough resources, enough people. Let's make Fetlife as good as it can get, and when we have more time, then we can look back. We were spreading ourselves a little too thin, as well.
MAYMAY: Right. [Tanya, I know] was working very hard on it, too. And, I mean, Emma and I both know how much work making media like this is.
JOHN BAKU: Right.
JOHN BAKU: And for us to do it well-, and I don't like doing things half-assed, I like things taken to the n-th degree, so I would've made a whole freakin' podcast network out of it and this and that and then, y'know, Fetlife would've suffered. Because there's only so much time in the day that we can spend on things. So, I wanted to get Fetlife right first.
MAYMAY: Well, that goes back to Sallen's point, doesn't it? Do one thing, do it well, focus on a thing that you do and do your best at-. Yeah. No, that makes sense. I think also it speaks well to how amazingly powerful media-making actually is in terms of swaying opinion, in terms of getting ideas out there, in terms of advocating for certain beliefs. And it sounds like you- Woo! Sounds like there's fireworks outside my building. That's gonna happen all day. That's gonna be fun. What was I saying? Oh. So, it sounds like rather than-, I mean, you almost stepped in that unintentionally with This Week In Kink.
JOHN BAKU: Uh…I mean, I'm a huge proponent of podcasts. I love podcasts. I listen to five, ten hours of podcasts a week. So, it was like a natural thing, because I love podcasts so much, to start one. Because as soon as I see somebody else do something, I'm like, "I can do that, too."
MAYMAY: Right. Yeah. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: A little bit like kinda what you did, y'know, you liked the idea of podcasts-
EMMA: Quite a bit like what he did. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: So, you ran with it and you made it your own and you did an excellent job on it. So, that's what I did and then sometimes I don't always think about the ramifications of what I'm doing beforehand. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] I just do it because it feels right.
MAYMAY: You're also a programmer, though. So, you have-, like me, I think we're of the same breed here. You have this optimistic sense of, "Oh, y'know, I'll buy that domain name and I'm sure I'll find the ten hours a week time that I'll need to make this project happen."
JOHN BAKU: Yeah. Y'know, it's one of those-, I think it's true in all entrepreneurs and not just programmers. Programmers, yes… But I think it's more entrepreneurs in the sense that-
JOHN BAKU: You can only be an entrepreneur if you're naive and stupid.
JOHN BAKU: Because all of the numbers are against you!
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, and as soon as you-
EMMA: I work with a lot of-
JOHN BAKU: Sorry, Emma?
EMMA: Finish your point, John?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah. As soon as you look at all the numbers, if you're a realist, you're just like, "Y'know, I'm just gonna go back to my 9 - 5 job and I'm gonna put in the 35 years, collect my unemployment, get into my RSSBs and I'll retire." 'Cause that's the only thing that kinda makes sense. If you're a realist.
EMMA: Yeah. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs in my job and what I realized is that most entrepreneurs of any variety -- be it a web entrepreneur like you two or someone who makes things with their hands -- FIRMLY believe in the 2000 hour week.
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] Yeah. And the no sleep.
EMMA: They always believe they can do something else. And half the time they can't do what they're already trying to do. But that's a great way to be.
JOHN BAKU: Yeah. My employees-, y'know, I'll call them my employees for the sake of this conversation, but they really are my family, but the people who work for me, it's not easy on them. [LAUGHS] I'm like, "What do you mean you can't do that ALL by the end of today?"
MAYMAY: Mm. Well, but that's one of the reasons why I love being able to support what I'm calling a sex-positive economy, which I think Fetlife is a huge part of, because you get to merge what you wanna do to stay alive -- and I use that word with all the connotations that I mean "alive" -- and what you do for a living in a very harmonious way, and I think that's beautiful and I don't-, I think it's something that a lot of people want and not something that a lot of people know how to go after.
JOHN BAKU: It's not even know how to get after. Nobody has the balls to go after it.
MAYMAY: Or the ovaries…
JOHN BAKU: At the end of the day, a lot of people are fucking weak. Aw, shit. This is live. Ahhh…
MAYMAY: No, it's fine. We don't cen-, no, we're not, like, FCC-. You can say whatever you want.
JOHN BAKU: No, I'm just worried about upsetting people. You remember I said, Maymay, I stopped This Week in Kink for a simple reason? [LAUGHS]
EMMA: We will-
JOHN BAKU: A lot of people are scared to go after what they want and the uncertainty of not knowing when your next paycheck. A lot of people can't handle risk. So, y'know, like Gary V. always says, you gotta go after what your passion is. If you love Smurfs, Smurf it up. Which is my fuckin' favorite thing. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] And our favorite thing is sexuality. Is kink. Y'know, anyway, I'm saying general 'cause yours is more gender, mine is being just more true to yourself and who you are sexually… Which-, there's overlap. Let's not get into the intricate details. But, yeah, so that's our thing. And we both went after it. Yours manifested itself as Kink On Tap with Emma. Mine manifested itself as Fetlife. And we were true to who we were. How many people are true to who they are? I would say… .000000 add a lot more zeros, one percent of people out there?
MAYMAY: Well, hopefully more. That's precisely why I wanna showcase people like you and why I wanna keep doing this show, because I think it helps people do what they love. And I think it helps people be their authentic selves. And I think it helps people not be afraid of being their authentic selves. As GryphonSpeaks-
MAYMAY: -their e-mail was a great showcase of. So, yeah, no, I couldn't agree more with you, John. I think that's completely accurate. _____________ [CROSSTALK]
EMMA: I was just gonna say, y'know, it's-, as much as like, yeah, I wish more people could get out there and have the ovaries to do what they love even though that could be really rough, [JOHN LAUGHS] like, you can't blame 'em for being afraid, y'know, as we bring up on this show all the time.
MAYMAY: No. It's not about blame, though.
EMMA: EVERYTHING in society is designed to make people afraid.
JOHN BAKU: But that's the separation between those who have amazing [lives] and those who don't. I'm not gonna be mean to people who can't overcome but, like, I've had girlfriends in the past who've said, "Oh, I'm doing amazing. I'm surviving." No, dude. Fuck.
JOHN BAKU: 99.999999% of people survive. Almost nobody thrives.
MAYMAY: Right, don't survive, thrive. Thrive. Live!
JOHN BAKU: Thrive. Thank you! We're both on the same page. It's like, thrive. I mean, YOU have 100% control of your destiny. Yes, you can come up with a hundred excuses. Y'know, maybe I had an easier life-, I had better family than you. Maybe I had X, Y, Z. But, y'know, if you look at the most successful people out there and you read their stories, 'cause that's what I've been doing ever since I was a kid, because I feel like the only way for me to be successful was to look at other peoples' lives and see how they achieve their success, man, they made sacrifices. They fuckin' made sacrifices-
MAYMAY: But not even-
JOHN BAKU: -like there was NO tomorrow.
MAYMAY: But I think a good interjection there is not just that they made sacrifices-. Or, rather, you gotta define "sacrifice" in that sense. Because, for instance, it's like one person's trash is another person's treasure. One person's sacrifice is not the other person's sacrifice, y'know? One person's pain is not another person's pain. One person's pleasure is not the other person's pleasure. And so, when people talk about sacrifice, although I'll agree with the sentiment there, I think that there's a difference to be drawn between-. Like, for example, when I quit my jobs, I may be sacrificing that particular steady income, but that's not really as much of a sacrifice to me as it would be if I was staying in those jobs that I didn't like, y'know what I mean?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, I mean, we're just saying it in different ways.
MAYMAY: Yeah. Fair enough. No, you're right. We are saying it in different ways. And, not to make it too American-centric, but look at when we're talking about this, too. July 4th, America's Independence Day?
JOHN BAKU: Ohh. Cliché.
MAYMAY: It's all about pursuit of happiness.
JOHN BAKU: "ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE! ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!"
MAYMAY: That's right! American dream. Pursuit of happiness. Go for it!
EMMA: -for it! Basically, I think, y'know, in life bad things will happen and harsh choices will have to be made. But I believe that you can do what you want, whatever you want, and be okay and it doesn't require giving up a lot. I believe in impossibly getting all the good things.
MAYMAY: But we're a bunch of-
JOHN BAKU: Wow. See, that I don't agree with.
MAYMAY: We're a bunch of optimists aren't we, though?
EMMA: Oh yeah.
JOHN BAKU: But I don't-, that I don't believe. 'Cause at the end of the day, what you're gonna do is you're gonna give up things that just don't mean a lot TO you and you've come to grips with the fact that they don't really mean a lot to you.
MAYMAY: The chat room is asking how old we are. I'm turning 26 tomorrow.
JOHN BAKU: I'm turning 33 this month.
MAYMAY: So, none of us are over 40, BlueGal-
JOHN BAKU: Do we need to be over 40?
MAYMAY: I don't think we do. I don't know why. Maybe you get more pessimistic with age. I'm not sure.
EMMA: Could be.
JOHN BAKU: I don't know, man, I've met some 20 year olds who're extremely pessimistic, like some 10 year olds, and I've met some 60 year olds who think they can-, the world's their oyster. I just think it's a matter of perspective.
MAYMAY: So speaking of-
EMMA: I gotta say, I've been getting less jaded since I was 11, so.
MAYMAY: Speaking of going for it, I wanna ask you this, John. Are you gonna get Fetlife.xxx?
JOHN BAKU: [LAUGHS] Y'know, I thought about that when you posted that article, like, "Should I get it before somebody else gets it?"
MAYMAY: Right. Defensively.
JOHN BAKU: [SIGHS] Y'know, should we get it? Yes. Do I wanna have it? Or-, no. Do I wanna use it? No. The whole thing is, I've been fighting tooth and nail to say that we're not a porn site. I don't wanna be clumped in with the porn site _________ [CROSSTALK]
MAYMAY: So we should say, just in case, for people who haven't-, who maybe didn't watch last time, that the .xxx is-, instead of .com there's a new top-level domain for Internet websites. Well, I guess websites. "Internet websites"- [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: So "top-level domain" for those people, it just means instead of using .com or .ca or .gov there's also gonna be .xxx.
MAYMAY: Yes. Thank you. Right. So, but it's intentionally designed for erotica or pornography or sexually-oriented content or adult-oriented content and the definitions thereof are incredibly vague, but a lot of people are thinking of getting .xxx in order to defensively register. There've been editorials that say even people like Disney are probably gonna consider it, so that no one steals Disney.xxx.
JOHN BAKU: They should. But the same thing goes with that they're gonna get .jp or .fu or whatever there is. Everybody's gonna defensively register to protect their brand. But there are problems with .xxx because all you're gonna do is, like, company filters are just gonna say, "Hey, now I don't have to know what sites they are. I just block anybody who's trying to get to .xxx!"
MAYMAY: Well, that's the fear.
JOHN BAKU: And, y'know what? Fetlife's a social network. It's not a place where people come to see porn. It's a place where people are gonna check their e-mail, just like they do on Facebook, so they can see what people are gonna go to do tonight. But because there's nude pictures on Fetlife in some other page, all of a sudden, "Oh my god, it's a porn site!" Not it's not a porn site! It's a totally different thing. We're dealing with credit card companies all the time. They're like, "Ohh, you gotta pay 15% transaction rate 'cause you're a porn site." I'm like, dude, a person who's coming onto Fetlife is not saying to himself, "Shit. Saturday night. I'm too lazy to go have sex with my wife" -- as your author previously stated [LAUGHS] -- or whatever it is…
MAYMAY: I don't think he used the word "lazy," I'm gonna say in Bruce Sallen's defense. We're piling on him! Wow. I'm sorry Bruce.
EMMA: Oh, just wait 'til we get to some of the other stories. He's gonna-, he comes out clean.
JOHN BAKU: Instead of choosing to go have sex with your wife, you decide to go online and spice it up. [EMMA LAUGHS] And in doing so, you smurf it up. Y'know, and it goes to smurf.xxx… Where was I going with that? Those people, it's very possible they're gonna say the next day, "Oh, shit. I never signed up to smurf.xxx. Somebody stole our credit card. We gotta change our credit cards." So, they charge 15% and crazy ass fees because it's a high-risk situation. I mean, Fetlife is not a high-risk situation. We have really ridiculously low chargeback rates. RIDICULOUSLY low. We're talking about one on average a month.
MAYMAY: We should say, also, it's free. I mean, you don't have to sign up for a credit card or anything. I have a Fetlife account. Fetlife.com/maymay is my profile. And it's just like a little Facebook thing and I actually don't use it a whole ton because Google can't access it. So, I'm not actually gonna sign into Fetlife right now, because this is a live broadcast and I don't want to show the inside pages to respect that privacy, because that's what I understand is the whole purpose for not allowing Googlebot, for example, to crawl the pages, yeah?
JOHN BAKU: That's right.
MAYMAY: Right. So. But you don't have to use a credit card. You don't have to sign up for anything. _________ [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: No, no. It's for people who support Fetlife. So, but we also have to pay those ridiculous rates even because, oh, we have naked pictures of women and men and everything in-between on Fetlife, so "You must be .xx. You must need to be filtered. And you must need to pay extra fees. Because I'm very shortsighted. Nakedness means adults-" or nakedness means…whatever. And it's annoying. So, we're trying our best to separate ourselves from the typical, stereotypical porn industry.
MAYMAY: And it's interesting, y'know, that's the perspective of a lot of both adult and non-adult-oriented-. [SIGHS] I don't even like the word "adult" because it's really "sexually-oriented." But, um-
EMMA: Which is ridiculous, by the way. How did our language take that horrible turn? That we can't use the word "adult" without meaning "sex"?
MAYMAY: I know. As if teens don't have sex.
EMMA: Right. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: That's a whole other story, right.
MAYMAY: Yeah, that's a whole other story. That's a WHOLE other can of worms. Not to mention the fact that we use, like, "childish" as thought it's some sort of insight-, er, insult. [LAUGHS] Insight! It should be an insight. Children do often have insight that adults don't. Anyway. [JOHN LAUGHS] It's true. It's true!
JOHN BAKU: It's true! It's true!
MAYMAY: It's true, it's true! I'm just gonna keep saying that.
EMMA: What were you trying to say before "it's true"?
MAYMAY: I don't remember. I lost my train of thought.
EMMA: Haha! Anyway, John, I gotta say, I really respect your decision for not-, or trying to avoid going to a .xxx. I think you've made the right call about how to define Fetlife as something that is, y'know, useful and interesting and a way for people to connect and talk about issues around sexuality, which doesn't mean it has to be eroticized and has to be pornographic.
JOHN BAKU: Oh, it ends up being extremely theoretical and extremely-
EMMA: It really does! [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: There's-, [LAUGHS] that probably came out wrong. We talk about, y'know, theoretically having sex and how one would go about doing it… No, there's a lot of discussions about gender, a lot of [sex] about roles, lot of-
MAYMAY: There's a huge feminist community inside Fetlife.
JOHN BAKU: Yes. From what I've heard. I can't keep up with the 16,000 groups but from what I've seen-
MAYMAY: [WHISPERS] Sixteen THOUSAND...
JOHN BAKU: -there's a huge feminist-, just like there's a huge-, a lot of different communities on Fetlife.
MAYMAY: Sooo, from technology to other technology, I wanna ask you guys about this. Have you guys noticed that Google is now adding higher pay rates for same-sex couples because-
JOHN BAKU: That was cool.
MAYMAY: Isn't this awesome?
JOHN BAKU: Yes.
MAYMAY: So, same-sex couples -- in America only, so far -- are paying more in taxes because they can't get legally married. And speaking of-. The notion that, for example, Fetlife has to pay more-. I didn't even know that! That Fetlife has to pay more for credit card chargebacks because you're sexually oriented? I wasn't even aware of that.
JOHN BAKU: Oh, we have to pay about 12 - 13% more in transaction fees, per transaction.
MAYMAY: Per transaction!
JOHN BAKU: Which, you go to a retail store and you say, okay, all of sudden you gotta pay 10% more in credit card fees? You wanna see how many stores or companies would go bankrupt?
MAYMAY: See, I knew Paypal had, like, draconian restrictions on sexually-oriented transactions but I didn't know that was just standard practice for the business.
JOHN BAKU: And kink is the next level. So, if it's typical sex, like y'know, you go to the [C.C. Bills] of this world who are really well-known in the adult community, you have a porn site, you go through [C.C. Bill] for the most part. They looked at Fetlife and they're like, "Ohh. No, no, no. This is way too far. This is kink. You're gonna have to remove everything that has to do with, y'know, daddy/daughter play. You're gonna have to remove everything that has a bruise on it. You're gonna have to remove, y'know, a ridiculous amount of things, otherwise we're not gonna be able to work with you." So, we had to go out of North America to do our transactions.
MAYMAY: Wow. And you're based in Montreal, though, right?
JOHN BAKU: I'm physically in Montreal, yes.
JOHN BAKU: But we have an employee in B.C.; London, Ontario…so, [SLF]'s in Ontario. James, my partner, is in B.C. Mark is in Louisiana. And we have our new Community Manager located somewhere in the States but I will not tell you who they are or where they're located.
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] Alright. Well, so, okay. So, I didn't know that about that being basically standard practice for credit card companies. But it's an example -- is what I was going for -- kind of an example of, it sounds like socio-economic or maybe economic discrimination is what it sounds like to me. It sounds like sex prejudice.
JOHN BAKU: It's called protecting your brand. If you were the head of American Express-
MAYMAY: Yeah, but I'm sure that they wouldn't protect their brand against-
JOHN BAKU: -would you want your logo next to certain things?
MAYMAY: Okay. But-
EMMA: I mean, if I was the head of American Express, yeah! But that's why I'm not the head of American Express right there.
JOHN BAKU: And then, all of a sudden, y'know, you get all the churches in the South or there's still a very, very strong religious groups in the States. Do you really want them to boycott your credit cards?
MAYMAY: Right. No. I understand.
EMMA: Well, that's why I'm not the head of American Express…
MAYMAY: But what I'm saying is that sounds prejudiced to me. It sounds like sex prejudice is what I'm saying. And I think that it's an example of many kinds of economic pressures that are fundamentally-
JOHN BAKU: Right.
MAYMAY: -based on cultural prejudices such as the notion that when you are married heterosexually, you pay less taxes. Which is true. And which is exactly what Google is trying to-, has been reported to try to equalize by paying same-sex couples more on their salary, so that the net result of their pay, because they pay higher taxes, are the same as heterosexual couples are.
EMMA: Can I say something that nobody's gonna like to hear?
MAYMAY: Go ahead.
EMMA: Fox News made a really good point about this. [JOHN AND MAYMAY LAUGH]
JOHN BAKU: Okay, what did they say?
EMMA: Fox News brought up-, so, a couple of other companies, including the very large Cisco Corporation and a hotel and restaurant chain whose parent company name I'm forgetting…have also instituted policies like this. But they made the distinction not between heterosexual and homosexual but between marriage and domestic partnership. And I think that's a pretty big deal. I think it makes sense that, y'know, there are a fair number of socially responsible or non-religious heterosexual couples who would like to get a domestic partnership rather than a legal marriage.
EMMA: And it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't receive benefits where same-sex couples in a domestic partnership would. I think that that limits choices and is a little less good.
MAYMAY: Okay, so let's back into this for a second, 'cause I think that's actually a really good point. But it speaks to a little bit more of the complicatedness of this particular choice on Google's part. Like, according to the New York Times, [READS FROM ARTICLE] "on Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners received domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," and this is from Tara Siegel in the New York Times. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." So, these are talking about health-care benefits, basically. Ironically. Back to health care. It all comes back to health care. Or robot sex.
EMMA: [LAUGHS] It's true.
MAYMAY: Um. [LAUGHS] Anyway! Google employees, known as Gayglers-
EMMA: [SNORTS] What!? Sorry. Continue.
MAYMAY: They call themselves "Gayglers". -brought up the issue, the company agreed that it wasn't really fair and so they decided to do something about it, and they decided to raise pay. But they decided to raise pay, as you said, specifically for same-sex partnerships, not all domestic-. "Co-habitation" I think is the word? I mean-
MAYMAY: To me, this is just like, "Wow. How outmoded is marriage?"
EMMA: [LAUGHS] __________ [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: Well, I mean, I come from Quebec where people don't get married anymore and the government, once you live with the girl for a year, you're considered married. [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: That's a de-facto spouse. That's being de-facto married, or something. It's like "de-facto spousehood" I think.
JOHN BAKU: They don't call it "marriage" but they call it, um, "conjoint"?
JOHN BAKU: We're a French province, so it's a French word. Yeah. I think you're "conjoint" and then all of a sudden, if you have kids with that partner, you get the same thing as a married couple. I think. I think it's pretty much equivalent. Because the French have _______…
MAYMAY: When I went to Australia, when I tried to get a visa to Australia, the reason I could get a visa was because I had been living with my then partner at the time, Sara, for like four years, or three-and-a-half years, and we had enough evidence -- by which I mean, like, shared credit card statements and shit -- that we were together enough. It's a weird process to try and prove to governments about your relationship. Like, that's just a bizarre process entirely. But-
JOHN BAKU: "We will send you pictures!"
MAYMAY: Yeah. [LAUGHS] It's like, "Do you wanna see us, y'know, doin'…stuff together? Here's us on my birthday! Here's a-," well. Not my birthday-.
JOHN BAKU: [LAUGHS] "This is three years ago. This is four years ago. Don't mind the guy in the background. He's Jerry. He sometimes joins us once in a while." [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: I mean, there are pictures of us on [the blogs.] So, y'know, but anyway. It's a weird process. But I managed to get a visa because I managed to prove my relationship with her and I hadn't actually looked into it, but I wonder now if it would've been different if she was a he. Because, legally, I got the visa as a de-facto spouse which, I think, has to be heterosexual.
JOHN BAKU: Well, at the end of the day, I think historically, governments always play catch-up, right? They wait for something to happen and be acceptable to society and once it's acceptable in society, they start adjusting. I mean, have you ever seen a government be pro-active in something?
MAYMAY: Umm, well they're not-, yeah, that's a good point. They're very reactive. Look, for example, at the FTC looking into Google for-, what're those? Those law suits for, um…
JOHN BAKU: Anti-competitive?
MAYMAY: Yeah, the anti-competitive AdMob lawsuits against Google. I mean, let's not-, as if that's the biggest problem. As if we shouldn't be looking at, say, I dunno, Merill-Lynch and Goldman Sachs and Lehman Bros and stuff like that, y'know?
JOHN BAKU: Oh, don't get me started. Fuck. Like, the banking industry is one MESSED-UP industry. These people have the right to steal money and people are going to jail for the stupidest things and these people are living in $30 million houses. I mean, it's sad.
EMMA: It's like getting Al Pacino[sic] on tax fraud. There's so many loopholes and it's such a poorly designed code that you get him on whatever you can get him on. 'Cause you can't get bankers on being nasty people. That doesn't work.
MAYMAY: Okay, but so-
JOHN BAKU: At the end of the day, the rich will always have the power and you don't go after somebody who's rich and powerful. It's one of those unwritten rules.
MAYMAY: Well, but isn't going after it any way you can exactly what Fox News did here, by calling Google out on not-. It's just so ridiculous, because basically, Fox News -- and it wasn't actually Fox News, it was the very staunchly anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family who Fox News is quoting -- THEY are saying that there's cases for a reverse-discrimination lawsuit against Google because of this, y'know, because they're discriminating against heterosexual couples who are not married. Which is amazing, coming from Focus on the Family, I think, because it's going after a very-obviously-trying-to-support-gay-rights stance that Google has by downplaying MARRIAGE, which Focus on the Family has been absolutely staunchly in support of. Do you see what I mean? Like, does that not strike you as just a little bit disingenuous?
EMMA: Yeah, no, y'know, the way I see it is, "That's an interesting point. I do believe that there should be equal rights for anyone who chooses a domestic partnership." That said, Focus on the Family and other heterosexual couples, OH MY GOD, you're not really being discriminated against! You have all the rights in the world. Suck it up for once.
MAYMAY: But even on a suck-it-up-for-once issue, I'm gonna say, like, while I agree with you-. They do a lot of sucking already. But they're saying is that-, basically, they're using our argument of marriage is kind of, like, this whole tax idea is kind of ludicrous for marriage. My whole argument is: Marriage as this kind of economically incentivized institution is outmoded. It no longer makes a lot of sense in the way that the world functions today. I mean, it used to, when women were property and when men bought women through marriage to get land and shit like that. That's no longer how things work.
JOHN BAKU: And some places in-between. I mean, some people still like the idea of getting married and living the rest of their life with one person.
MAYMAY: Which is FINE.
JOHN BAKU: Let's not insult the people who want the traditional life.
MAYMAY: But I'm not saying that that traditional life isn't something that's good to have…
JOHN BAKU: But you're saying is that traditional life has been outmoded since, y'know, women were property and you got land in return. I have friends who still have dowries-
MAYMAY: Do you really??
JOHN BAKU: -and have set-up marriages and they love it.
MAYMAY: Alright. Fair enough. What I wonder is whether or not the economic incentive for marriage made by governments -- or imposed, or enforced, or whatever terminology you wanna use in that particular case -- by governments is useful for something like a Gross National Product. I mean, I'm not an economist, but it strikes me as silly. Because in America, people very much marry for love. I don't know how it is in Canada, John. [LAUGHS] But in America, the idea is very much you marry for love and intimacy and then babies, right?
JOHN BAKU: Okay.
MAYMAY: So, where does the Gross National Product fit into that? And if not, why do we have a situation where we are incentivized economically to marry and then-, I just-, it doesn't make-
JOHN BAKU: But there's also incentives to have kids. Is there not?
JOHN BAKU: I mean, the more kids you have in Canada, the more child support you have.
MAYMAY: But why is that tied to marriage? But-, so my point is, why is that tied to marriage? Because th-
JOHN BAKU: And my point is, why should you be penalized if you choose to not have kids?
MAYMAY: You shouldn't be penalized if you choose not to have kids!
JOHN BAKU: Well, then why don't they get the money, too? I mean-
MAYMAY: I agree! No, that's exactly the point I'm making. I think-
JOHN BAKU: But I don't agree.
EMMA: You don't get the money too because kids cost money.
JOHN BAKU: The government is promoting certain actions. If you choose to go against those actions, so the fuck be it. But the government has-. I don't agree with the government. I'm probably an anarchist at heart, as James would say, but y'know, which is funny because I never thought of myself as an anarchist. I make fun of anarchists, but I talk like one. So, I hate the government. I have a huge disdain for the government. I don't think that they make the right decisions for people. But let me play up the opposite role. The government wants certain things. They want more people to have kids.
MAYMAY: Okay. Yup.
JOHN BAKU: So, they give incentives for people to have kids.
MAYMAY: Yeah. They want population-
JOHN BAKU: Just like entrepreneurship. Why should the government give tax breaks to entrepreneurs?
MAYMAY: Because they want- [CROSSTALK]
EMMA: Here's what I come to. There are things that are good or that can be seen by a government to be good for the nation. Having more citizens and therefore having children can be seen as being good for the nation.
MAYMAY: Children are our most valuable natural resource, don't forget!
EMMA: Legalizing your romantic relationship so that the taxes are easier for the government to deal with can be seen as good for the nation. But in America at least, and I just can't speak to Canada, our constitution says that we have separated church and state. And if we've separated church and state, then you've gotta give equal weight to any legally recognized relationship, not just to ones that are religious. And marriage is a religious institution and that's the only problem I can see with it.
MAYMAY: But you say "legally recognized."
JOHN BAKU: It's not [just a religious] institution, it's also a legal institution.
MAYMAY: Exactly! You say-
EMMA: I believe in the strong domestic partnership and the abolition of legal marriage. I think that marriage should be religious, and we should give ALL legal recognition of relationships the same weight.
JOHN BAKU: So, based on your definition of what you want, it works out perfectly for you. But when you get married, after you get married here in Canada, you have to go to City Hall and get a marriage certificate and have a legally binding marriage. 'Cause whatever happened in church was just for your family and friends.
EMMA: I think that you should get married in your church and go and get a domestic partnership. And you could also just go and get a domestic partnership. Regardless of who you are.
JOHN BAKU: That's kind of what you do here in Canada. But I understand-
MAYMAY: Well, Canada's obviously better. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: [Gay] marriages are legal here.
MAYMAY: Well, so-
EMMA: Alright, so Canada's better than the United States.
MAYMAY: But here's the thing. The other thing is that the legalities is like, y'know, John made a good point about the government earlier being reactive. Laws are even slower than the government. I mean, if the government is reactive and the government makes laws, then laws aren't going to catch up to anything until the government has already caught up to it, which is gonna take forever because the government is so reactive to these exact cultural issues. So, y'know, it's a long process.
EMMA: Here's the thing, fellas. This is an argument that people have been having for years and will continue to have for years and it doesn't get us any closer to talking about the six story statue of Jesus that got hit by lightning. [LAUGHTER]
JOHN BAKU: And it's all about that story. [LAUGHS]
EMMA: And that's what I really want to talk about.
MAYMAY: Alright, alright. Fine. Let's talk about Jesus.
JOHN BAKU: Before we get out to that and we follow your segue, I just want to state that I hope it didn't sound like I was against gay marriage or anything. I personally am hugely in favor of it. I find that whole Prop 8 bullshit was hugely disgusting. I was kind of playing devil's advocate in some places.
MAYMAY: I don't think that was unclear. I hope that's clear to our listeners.
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, all it takes is one person to misunderstand me-
MAYMAY: That's a good point.
JOHN BAKU: -or spill something on their headphones and mishear me.
EMMA: Guys, give John the benefit of the doubt for the course of this show or we're never gonna get anywhere. AND! Apparently, there was a six-story tall statue of Jesus that was recently struck by lightning while a nearby porn store was, of course, left completely unscathed. Which is brilliant.
MAYMAY: This is funny, yeah.
EMMA: It's funny. I actually heard about this first on NPR and the people who owned the Jesus were saying, y'know, "We will get on rebuilding it immediately!" and it brought out the medievalist in me.
JOHN BAKU: Wow, this is a story, eh? Fuckin' people. [LAUGHS] Like, all it took was some guy to say, "Oh shit. I got a deadline. I gotta write an article. Oh, look, there's a porn store across the street! Let's make a story about this." [LAUGHS] Like-
MAYMAY: It was a six-foot story tall statue in Ohio. It was struck by lightning. It burst into fire. Damaging a nearby church, but leaving the nearby porn shop totally unscathed. I think Ohio's pretty cool for having a church next to a porn shop, number one.
JOHN BAKU: Well, which counters the other rule that I think-, isn't there a new rule that states that porn shops need to be a certain distance from churches and schools…?
EMMA: That's in Missouri.
MAYMAY: That's Missouri.
JOHN BAKU: That's in Missouri. So, if you need to move to some place, you can move to Ohio with LeBron James. Please LeBron James stay in Cleveland. That's where you belong. As opposed to moving to Missouri. Who the fuck's in Missouri? What the fuck's in Missouri?
MAYMAY: I don't know what's in Missouri.
JOHN BAKU: Does it really have enough people to even be considered a state.
MAYMAY: Ooh. See, now you've just alienated all of our Missouri listeners.
JOHN BAKU: There's NOBODY from Missouri listening! They're all at church right now!
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] I'm sure someone's gonna write in from Missouri.
EMMA: That's not true! Oh my god! St. Louis! A major urban center with very cool people including a friend of the show, The Beautiful Kind, is in Missouri.
MAYMAY: That's a good point.
JOHN BAKU: That's right. St. Louis. Okay, you guys have the Blues. Yeah. You got the Rams. Okay. No. Are they still in St. Louis?
EMMA: Brilliant, brilliant ribs.
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. [LAUGHS]
EMMA: And draconian porn laws. Really? I did not know that. I do love, though, that the Jesus set fire to a church when it was struck by lightning.
JOHN BAKU: I think it's hilarious.
EMMA: Once upon a time, people would've taken that -- what would go down on your insurance as "an act of god" -- as a sign that maybe a giant idol of our savior is not what God prefers. But no, this is a freak of nature and we're gonna rebuild it right away. [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: Well, number one, it cost two-hundred-and-fifty THOUSAND dollars. So, it says in the article-
EMMA: It's six stories tall!
MAYMAY: Yeah, I know. "Church founder and former horse trader-" I don't know what that is. What's a horse trader? Trades horses, I guess.
JOHN BAKU: Somebody who buys and sells race horses.
EMMA: Somebody who buys and sells-, c'mon, yeah.
MAYMAY: Alright, well, whatever.
EMMA: __________________ [MUFFLED]
MAYMAY: [READS FROM ARTICLE] "Horse trader Lawr-," I'm sorry, "Lawrence Bishop and his wife paid $250,000 for the statue in an attempt to help people," according to Dana Chivvis who wrote this article. $250,000 could've been more helpful elsewhere, I'm sorry. Number one. Number two-. I mean seriously, you're gonna spend $250,000 again? That's gonna help people? On a statue? Number two, it sounds like what they're saying is that it wasn't a sign of God because "a similar incident in 2007 ripped the arm and hand off a Jesus statue at a shrine in Colorado. The nuns at the shrine said the bolt was a freak act of nature and warned people from gleaning any religious significance from it." So, it wasn't an act of god, Emma, according to nuns. When God strikes down Christian imagery, it is not an act of god, it is simply a freak accident. Unless God chooses to send a hurricane into, I dunno, we'll call it New Orleans, and that's because of abortion and gay people.
JOHN BAKU: So, I'm gonna go with-, from what I understand from you two, you guys are against religion in some way or form. Or at least people that are religious.
EMMA: No, we're against stupidity. And sometimes, but only sometimes, that goes along with religion. I by-and-large am FOR religion, because a lot of the time the messages within it are brilliant and inspirational and peaceful and good and just and kind.
MAYMAY: Whereas I AM very often against most things religious and I would say I'm against religion, but I'm not really against rel-, let me put it this way: I'm against any lack of self-reflective religious thought. And most religious thought that I've encountered is exactly like that. I mean, case in point, the Focus on the Family article, the Google article where Focus on the Family was like, "Yes, but heterosexual people should also-, who are also not legally married should get the tax." I'm like, "You've just contradicted yourself! You're being an idiot." So.
JOHN BAKU: No, I underst-, like, to go back to that, I don't agree with them but I understand where they're coming from because, y'know, they want to promote marriage so they said, "Hey, all of a sudden that promotion for marriage is now missing. So, you're kind of going against us." Which I kinda understood…
MAYMAY: I don't think that's the way they were framing that. That's not-, that wasn't my read of it. But, I mean, well, either way I think-. The one religion I do-, I've only heard good things about, actually, is Quakers. The Quakers.
JOHN BAKU: [You're talking about Crackers?] Hippies?
MAYMAY: Yeah! The Quakers. They _____ cool!
EMMA: They are pretty hip.
MAYMAY: I was raised in a Jewish day school. I hated it. HATED it. I don't like Christianity, although I do have a lot of Christian friends. Even some religious Christian friends. And I think they're pretty neat. And they have some really interesting things to say about love and-, although they typically modify religious thought. So, for example, I'll give you the Golden Rule example. Most of my Christian friends don't like the Golden Rule, they like something called the Platinum Rule. Which isn't, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Because that's a completely, in my opinion, an unethical thing to do unless that other person likes what you like.
JOHN BAKU: Good point.
MAYMAY: And often, as someone who does not like things from the mainstream, I have trouble with that. They like something called the Platinum Rule which is -- it's not a Star Trek reference -- it is "Do unto others at THEY would have them do unto you." Very simple.
JOHN BAKU: Okay, I've heard that one, too.
MAYMAY: But this very cool little modification, right?
JOHN BAKU: I do, though, think that the first one was kind of meant in the same vein, when the person wrote it. It just, y'know, ask you think about it more deeply, you're like, "Yeah, okay, there's loopholes."
MAYMAY: Yeah, but I don't care who wrote it. I care about the people who apply it now to people like me and are like, well, y'know, when someone applies the Golden Rule to me and they say, "I like X, so you have to like X" that pisses me off. And typically, that comes from people who follow the Golden Rule from a religious standpoint and that's why I get pissed off at a lot of those-
JOHN BAKU: So, what happens when you mix gold and platinum?
MAYMAY: Uh, you make an alloy. That sounds, uh, I dunno. What-?
JOHN BAKU: Because I like that alloy because, in some cases, what you want to do is you want to do the Golden Rule and sometimes the Platinum. 'Cause sometimes, what somebody wants to be done unto them is not what's best for them, but what you would do onto them is what's best for them.
MAYMAY: Hm! Well. I dunno. That gets into tricky issues of ignoring multiculturalism and-. Speaking-, y'know what? Let's talk about that, actually, because we have another story from-, I think it's Green Prophet. And this one-
EMMA: ______________ [CROSSTALK]
MAYMAY: -is about Islamic websites that offer halal adult sex aids.
JOHN BAKU: That's awesome.
MAYMAY: It's an interesting concept, "halal" being, y'know, the Islamic word for, I think, what Jews would call "kosher".
EMMA: That's right.
EMMA: Yes. That's right. Which is not, by the way, I should make clear for a lot of people who may have a misapprehension about this, that doesn't specifically relate to foodstuffs. Being halal or kosher just means following the rule of the religion, many of which do relate to foodstuffs, and there's a lot of rules within both Islam and Judaism about what you can and can't eat at any given time and it changes depending on the time of the day and the month and the year.
MAYMAY: Oh Emma, you're robotizing. You've gone a little, ah. You've turned into a robot.
MAYMAY: Plug in.
EMMA: I'm plugged in. Better?
MAYMAY: I don't think so.
EMMA: Yeah, I am.
JOHN BAKU: Yes.
MAYMAY: Oh, you are? Oh. Okay.
EMMA: As there were, at one point, many MANY more in Christianity. In Christianity, it used to be that every third day essentially was a fast day. And there were days on which you couldn't eat meat, you could only eat fish, etc. etc. There have always been-
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] BlueGal said, "Your dildo must have scales AND gills!"
EMMA: True! Otherwise it's not kosher.
JOHN BAKU: "You can only use this dildo every-
EMMA: WHY IS A DILDO A FISH!?
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] I like it.
EMMA: Um. But these words refer to all of the rules, which go beyond just the dietary restrictions, is the point I was getting to. Oh, look. My video froze.
MAYMAY: I'm sorry. I'll fix that.
EMMA: Thanks. So! Halal sex toys on the world's first Islamic sex site. And if you look at this site, you'll see a whole lot of different things. There's, y'know, a lot of the things that you find at the sort of big, off-the-highway sex stores, except there are no things designed for penetrative sex. There's no _____ [CROSSTALK]
MAYMAY: Well, that's why I bring it up though, because I want to talk a little bit about the multiculturalism things. These sex stores are expressly not supposed to be called "sex stores" according to their owners. It's not a sex shop, according to Ab-, um, I'm so sorry. I really do want to try to pronounce your name correctly but it's hard for me as a dumb American. [Abdullahzees-] I'm sorry, y'know, I'm just-
JOHN BAKU: So, we'll say, "the owner." Just to make life easier.
JOHN BAKU: But, I mean, I know exactly why they're doing it. I mean, isn't it pretty obvious?
MAYMAY: Doing what?
JOHN BAKU: They call themselves a sex store, they're gonna be burnt down or they're gonna have issues-
EMMA: Well, they're on the Internet.
JOHN BAKU: Or people-, y'know, or sometimes there's cultural things that you cannot do, so you find ways to make it more accepting so that people can get what they need, y'know. If in your country-. I'm not saying I know anything about the country. But let's say, hypothetically speaking, in the country, if somebody had red neon signs that says "COME GET YOUR DILDOS! 50% OFF" it wouldn't do so hot and you couldn't go in there for fear of somebody noticing you and shaming your family and burning down your house. I'm not saying this is the case. I'm making gross overgeneralization and a gross example. You would say, "Hey, maybe this is not the best way for us to own a store. Let's call it something else. Let's dumb it down." So that people could still get what they need, but get it on their own terms.
MAYMAY: No, I think that's exactly what these people are doing, which is why I think it's awesome! Right? So, these shops cater to the Islamic consumer. I'm quoting here from the article, "cater to the Islamic consumer whose passions can be enhanced without violating religious law." This is according to an article in the LA Times and in Green Prophet. These are religiously-themed sex retailers. They say, "It's not a sex shop in the Western sense, but a place to help married couples and only married couples enjoy sex to the full. [Kadijah Ahmed], 32 year old businesswoman and founder of [Dar Kadijah] in Bahrain says."
JOHN BAKU: I think you have pretty good pronunciations.
MAYMAY: Well, that time I did. I dunno. The [Abdulazees-], I'm sorry about that. That's a harder one. But thank you. Anyway. So, her shop includes things like edible underwear, conky- [LAUGHS] "Conky lingerie," I was gonna say. KINKY lingerie.
EMMA: I don't know what makes the lingerie kinky. I have not, um, found anything that looked-
MAYMAY: I know, right? Like, that's another whole…
EMMA: There's also stuff for bondage and role-play in there.
MAYMAY: In some but not others, and that's what's so interesting. 'Cause some of these store owners are saying, y'know, it's not okay for you to have, for example, the penetrative toys because that would violate religious law, because nothing other than presumably a penis can be entered into a vagina.
EMMA: I think it's a part of another human being is the idea.
MAYMAY: So oral sex is okay? I don't think so.
EMMA: I'm not sure. Hard to say.
MAYMAY: I don't think they'd be okay with that.
JOHN BAKU: That reminds me of a story I remember in the New York Times. I think the New York Times even had a video of it. Where, like, sex toys were being made -- especially kinky sex toys -- were being made in India and the people who were working at the factory were told that, like, the sex swing was really just a swing for laying on the beach and being comfortable on the beach.
JOHN BAKU: So, when the New York Times article author, whatever you wanna call him, was walking through the factory and asking people questions, like, "Yes, yes! This is for the beach! This is for that." And they had no idea what they were making.
MAYMAY: They just lied? Can you do that? Can you do that, really??
JOHN BAKU: Fuck yeah.
EMMA: No, you can't. No.
JOHN BAKU: Yes, you can. Why not?
EMMA: I mean, yes you can. But if the idea is to follow religious rules, then lying is really not the best way to go about it.
JOHN BAKU: Oh man, all religions are all fucked up. Don't start.
MAYMAY: You said it, not me. You said it.
EMMA: There you go!
EMMA: He said it.
JOHN BAKU: Well, I mean, c'mon. You look at every religion and in every religion there's people making millions and millions of dollars.
MAYMAY: Yeah, no, I agree.
JOHN BAKU: In the name of whoever.
EMMA: One of the things that I found really interesting is that one of the articles said, "Is this the beginning of the sexualization of Islam?" Which they thought would lead towards more rights and freedoms for women and children etc. "Or is this the beginning of the Islamization of sex?" Which the person writing this article thought could lead to scarier, more restrictive things. And I really think that's not a fair question or a useful question. I think, essentially, regardless of the restrictions that your religion puts on you, attempting to get more enjoyment out of the body of your partner is a good thing.
JOHN BAKU: But they also, all of a sudden, use the word "Islamic" as a negative thing. They're like, "Oh, they can-, is this Islam…" oh fuck, what did you say?
JOHN BAKU: "Islamicization, which is not a good thing." Y'know what, it could be both. Where it's-, and they're both a good thing. They're putting their own twist.
MAYMAY: Yeah, it depends on who's doing it.
JOHN BAKU: And they're gonna go at their own rates and they're gonna do it with their own ways.
MAYMAY: Right. It's not like, I mean, the Islamicization of sex is great if you are an Islamic devotee and wanna have great sex! Right? Merge the two things. Like we were talking about in the beginning of the show. We can sometimes merge, what was it? Home and Garden TV-
EMMA: And sex, apparently.
MAYMAY: And sex.
EMMA: We'd like to think.
MAYMAY: So, why can't people merge this stuff? I think you're right, John. I think that a-, why not? Why can't you have, especially on intangible things, why are we so stuck on this idea that you can't have your cake and eat it too? It's not a tangible thing!
EMMA: Here's something I-. This is another article that I really want to make sure we get a chance to talk about. Did you guys get a chance to read about the currently experimental birth control pill for men?
MAYMAY: Yeah, the-, what's it called? Bright Pill, yeah?
EMMA: It's called the "Bright Pill" off a play of Professor Haim Breitbart, which is the Israeli professor who's been doing the study on this. And, first of all, I'd like to say that I think that's pretty cool. Would you guys take it? John, would you take a birth control pill if you could take something that would essentially render your sperm unable to impregnate a woman for one to three months at a time?
JOHN BAKU: Well, I want to take my two-second answer and make it a two-minute answer. But, basically, I remember mentioning-. I mean, this is not the first time we've heard about this. We've been hearing about this for years. And I remember saying this to a woman. And they're like, "Fuck no. I would never trust a man to take these pills. If a guy told me, 'Don't worry, I'm on the pill,' I would-, I wouldn't feel secure whatsoever." But in another case-. I mean, for instance, one of my old business partners, he has a kid now that I'm very sure he's happy to have a kid, but he wasn't supposed to have a kid. The girl said she was on the pill but wasn't and fucked him into, y'know, making him believe this so they could have a kid together so they could move in together so they could get married.
JOHN BAKU: They're not happily divor-, well, not-miserably divorced, I think we'll call it.
MAYMAY: Not cool.
JOHN BAKU: So, I think that-, just like women have a choice to be able to make life choices, I think men should also have a life choice. So, if both of them take the pill, y'know, then there's definitely no way for them to get-. Well yes, there's some statistical-.
EMMA: It's very rare.
JOHN BAKU: I'm sure it's drastically reduced.
EMMA: It's statistically negligible. The interesting thing about this pill is it's not-. All of the female pills, ALL of them, have to do with hormone regulation. The only non-barrier method, non-hormonal method of female-centric birth control is an IUD in either plastic or copper and I believe some of those are actually hormonal as well. And these hormonal methods have sometimes a very serious toll on the women who take them. I remember being on one birth control method that literally made me feel like I was a prisoner inside my own body, like, observing the emotions I was having and being like, "That's NOT ME! I wouldn't get that upset about this!" And it was really nasty. This is not a hormone-based pill. This pill actually changes the mechanics of the sperm themselves. So, it doesn't change your testosterone levels or any of your other sex hormones, it just means that your sperm can't do that thing they do where they impregnate women.
JOHN BAKU: Sounds cool.
EMMA: Which is pretty cool. And you only have to take it once. It's not a daily pill like most of the female pills.
JOHN BAKU: Whaha!
MAYMAY: Oh, you take it once-
EMMA: You take it once and you're just not fertile for somewhere between one and three months.
JOHN BAKU: That's awesome. I mean, it's a little bit like some women have one of those pills where it's not daily but it's, y'know, once-
EMMA: Those are usually shots. I think there might be some pills…
MAYMAY: Well, but they're experimenting with shots on this one, too. So, this is-. The way this works -- and I'm far from a medical professional, so. What is it? "I am not a doctor." IAND -- is that it interferes with the mRNA, the messenger RNA, in the sperm's nucleus and thus prevents the synthesis of protein that keeps sperm alive in the uterus. So, you could-, ostensibly, you have sperm. They just can't live inside of a woman. And so, well, I should say "female-bodied person." And so they die before they have a chance to impregnate an egg. Or fertilize an egg.
JOHN BAKU: Cool.
EMMA: Right. That's the thing about-. I dunno if this is all that well known but, by and large, most of the time the vagina is a very, very hostile environment. It is highly acidic and just not pleasant for other organisms to be. That's part of how our body protects itself.
MAYMAY: Except tongues.
EMMA: Except tongues. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: And we still go down there, right? [LAUGHS] It's hostile! Hostile territory! Don't go in, don't go in!
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] It's great for certain things and not for others.
EMMA: It's true. I recommend all brave spelunkers who make it all the way down there. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] But, actually, when women are sexually aroused, that extra lubrication is much less hostile and is an environment that's much safer for sperm. But it's still not the best place.
MAYMAY: Well, that's evolutionary. It gives the woman at least some sort of choice to say, y'know, "I like this person. I would like to have your babies."
EMMA: The thing that I found most interesting about this article was actually not that-, well, I suppose the pill is most interesting. But what I found really striking was the terms in which it was put. Some quotes are, "An Israeli professor has created a new pill that could FINALLY place the responsibility for birth control with men."
MAYMAY: "Could finally." Right.
EMMA: And another one is, "This would allow partners to share the responsibility and let guys be in control of whether or not there were any surprises in the procreation department." Now, the second one can be true, because it's fair that a woman could say, "I got it. I'm on the pill." And the guy could trust her and choose not to use a condom and be in for a nasty surprise nine months later. But by-and-large-
MAYMAY: Less than that, hopefully.
EMMA: The truth is, in the end, and I'm sorry but it's true, the responsibility for birth control will always be with the female-bodied partner. Because the male-bodied partner is just not gonna get pregnant.
MAYMAY: So, the responsibility for BIRTH control is a very-, I think now even more perhaps importantly, we need to make that distinction between responsibility for birth control and responsibility for pregnancy control, right? Because I don't see how any new technology should or could remove responsibility from either individual, regardless of gender, or sex I should say, from having a responsible sexual encounter, period. The fact that that isn't always the case today is unfortunate, but does not mean that men have any less responsibility today than they do or did or will from any new technology that comes into being, in my opinion. I would take the pill if I could. Not because I wouldn't trust, say, you two. But because I would want to have that control and power of myself. That's why I'm so eager to try out these female condom things. Which is really not a great word anyway, because men can use female condoms -- "female condoms" in air quotes -- for things like anal sex, receptive anal sex, right? So, this notion-
EMMA: "Insertive condom" would be better.
MAYMAY: Yeah, I guess. Or receptive… No, you're right. Whatever. The point being is that I just don't see how a new technology should take away responsibility, or give responsibility, from one sex to another. I think that's an incorrect conflation of this concept.
JOHN BAKU: It allows you to control your destiny.
MAYMAY: Sorry, John. What?
JOHN BAKU: It allows you to control your destiny.
MAYMAY: Right! But now, so, in an individual sense. That's what I think is so empowering. I think that's great. I agree with you, Emma, that I don't like the way that that was phrased in the article, because it does make it seem like there's some sort of lack of responsibly that men have right now, and I think that's bullshit.
EMMA: Right. Essentially-
JOHN BAKU: It depends on the people, really. At the end of the day is that there are some men who take zero responsibility, and there's some women who take zero responsibility. They're all just-. Maybe I'm just in one of those moods where everything's just a gross fucking generalization. Where it's just like, y'know, women always feel like men take no control and don't really care and don't want to get married and settle down and all that bullshit. And then, y'know. Ah. Where was I going with this? 'Cause I kinda lost myself, like always. I think that there's something wrong with both the comment and what Emma-, and how Emma reacted to the comment.
MAYMAY: Well yeah, that's what I'm-
JOHN BAKU: Because Emma's like, "Oh my god, I'm not gonna-" She was kinda downplaying men and trusting men. And she was downplaying putting any responsibility on the mens' front. Hey, if a girl tricks me into having kids with them, fuck! Fine, I'm not the one who pushes the baby out, but my life totally changes.
MAYMAY: Well, that's why I draw a distinction-
JOHN BAKU: I want to be at every single recital. I want to be there at 3:00 in the morning when the baby cries. And all of a sudden, I just had a baby with someone I didn't like! But my life-
EMMA: John, your life totally changes. And I respect you immensely for that. But the fact is many, many mens' life just doesn't totally change and if you're the one wearing the-
JOHN BAKU: Many, many women are useless pieces of shit, too. I mean, that's what you just said. Men are like, "Many, many men are bad!" Yeah, well, many many women are not good parents. And yeah, their life might change, but it don't change the way they should, either. Because they end up being really useless parents.
EMMA: I would love there to be some sort of parental exam.
JOHN BAKU: At the end of the day, majority of people are not up to snuff, period. Do you know the stats on how many men care more than women? If you could throw me some stats, I'd love to!
EMMA: Stats on caring? Man, I wish.
JOHN BAKU: Stats on qualified parenting. Because you're making it sound like women, the gender women, ahh, not gender, the sex women-
EMMA: The only-. John. John. The only thing I'm saying is that women bear children. That's it. Women are-. I have nothing to say about who abandons their children, who mistreats their children, who walks away from their children, who cares about their children. The only thing I'm trying to say is that the people who HAVE the children -- that's it --
JOHN BAKU: Sure…
EMMA: -- are the people with the female bodies.
JOHN BAKU: So?
EMMA: And that means that'll-
JOHN BAKU: So?
EMMA: That means that it is a little bit easier -- not all the time, not everyone, not every man, not every woman -- but it's a little bit easier for men to-, male-, well, yeah, I'm gonna go with men, to take a procreative act with a little bit less intensity. But really, really, REALLY-. And trust me, I work with a lot of young, new, scared single moms who should've thought this through quite a while ago. REALLY, not all the time.
JOHN BAKU: Not to demean or belittle the fact that being pregnant is-, must be extremely difficult. It's one of those things that I'm never gonna ever feel. Part of me is happy. Part of me is really jealous. Maybe it's 'cause I'm just in touch with my feminine side and my dream every since-, y'know, most men when they were fifteen years old weren't looking forward to the day when they had kids. I've been looking forward to it for seventeen years. I wanna have eight kids. And, y'know, just like my father revolves his life, and so does my mother-. They were equal parents. It wasn't like my mother took care of us and my father just brought home the bacon. Yes, my father brought home the bacon, but my dad was the one who dedicated his life to us. I didn't see a difference between the man and the woman. To me, they were-, I was fuckin' the luckiest man in the world. I had two parents who equally cared, who equally sacrificed every single thing. So, to me, when I hear, "Oh, y'know, women x and men don't really care and walk away," all I think of is Jerry Springer, not what I'm used to or not what I've seen in my family or anybody else's family close to me.
EMMA: I dunno if you know what I've been doing for the last year. What I've been doing for the last year, largely, is reading to kids. Young kids. Very young kids. Kids under kindergarten age. And I put a huge amount of time of sorting through my library that I worked out of, through their children's book section, hours and hours of time finding books about kids and their dads. 'Cause they're not represented, y'know? There's a dad for every kid, somewhere. And there are not a lot of books about good dads. There are many more books about how mommy loves her baby. But I put a lot of time into finding books like a wonderful one, if you happen to live in Brooklyn anyways, a book called "Didi and Daddy on the Promenade". Lots of books that I put effort into. Which I'm bringing up to say I hear you and I can totally see how what I was saying was upsetting or offending to you. I believe in fatherhood-
JOHN BAKU: Aw fuck, I'm pissed! No. [LAUGHS]
EMMA: And I think it's great. And I've put-
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, no, I believe you.
EMMA: -what effort I can into counterbalancing a society that doesn't put enough emphasis on the positive aspects of fatherhood, by any means.
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, at the end of the day, we're all saying the same thing over and over and over again. But we all know that it'd probably make for a very boring podcast if we're like, "I don't agree with the way you said something, but we're 99% agreed with each other and we respect each other." [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: You're pushing buttons, John. It's cool.
JOHN BAKU: I'm saying these things because, y'know, it'd be a boring show if I didn't say anything.
MAYMAY: No, I-
JOHN BAKU: I'm just here for your ratings. That's all to say, I'm here for your ratings, baby!
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] You're helping our ratings, John. No, if I can jump back in for a second, 'cause I was like, "Ooh, this is heated." I think this comes down, again, to the distinction that I don't see people drawing, which is the distinction between birth and pregnancy, and the distinction between where responsibility lies between these things. And I think women have a very good point to make that they're not often acknowledged -- although I do hear you acknowledging it, John -- about the fact that pregnancy is a physiologically altering experience in ways that it is not so for men. And until and unless birth control pills or medical advances can have men carry live fetuses and then expel them through some orifice that gives them life, I don't think we're going to see an equal share of -- maybe "responsibility" is not the right word, but I guess "input" -- in the physiological effects of carrying a baby. And what that means is there needs to be a distinction between how people get pregnant and then what people do once women, or female-bodied people, are. And that's what I like about this notion of having both sexes, or all sexes -- because there's all sorts of intersexuality issues that I don't want to get, I'm gonna step in and somebody's gonna get pissed off at me about -- for having the sexes be able to take and control technical responsibility for what the outcome of their actions are. Which is why I support this pill. I would take this pill. I think the chat room makes a very good point in saying that there's an incredible amount of people -- probably men, I'll go with men -- who will feel emasculated by the notion of their sperm not being able to be fertile. And I think that's a problem. But that's cultural. And I think one of the other spins on this story-
JOHN BAKU: Cultural or psychological?
MAYMAY: Uh, yeah. Psychological too. I think it's hard to separate that psychologically to culturally, y'know what I mean? Like, for example, I have no problem-
JOHN BAKU: Name me one culture that wouldn't-
MAYMAY: -with the notion of my sperm not being fertile. I'll be like, "Fuck yeah! That's awesome. I don't want babies. Fuckin' sterilize me for three months. Go for it."
EMMA: _____ have a blast.
JOHN BAKU: Yeah… [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: No psychological negative effects there for me, maybe because I'm so counter-culture, I dunno. But I do think that it's hard to separate that particular culture from psychology. I also think, I mean, and I also think that the other part to this story for this pill is that women are upset that it doesn't have side-effects. [LAUGHS] Which I think is funny but, y'know, it's one of those, "Yeah, you kind of have been suffering a lot of side-effects for a long time for these sort of things."
EMMA: Yeah, but that doesn't mean- [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: Are women really mad about this?
EMMA: I think that's silly. [CROSSTALK]
MAYMAY: Say that again?
JOHN BAKU: Or they found a good quote. [LAUGHS] At the end of the day it's like, "Shit, man. Fuckin' men. They have it good again." I could see a woman saying that, because it's kind of funny.
MAYMAY: And they have. And I've seen the discussion around this article on Twitter and they've been saying that, and I think people love to complain about shit and I think that's a perfectly valid want and desire and a perfectly valid thing to complain about, I just don't think it's helpful.
JOHN BAKU: No, not at all. But I do have to go back a couple centimeters and, y'know, just to be metric for you Americans, and say, y'know, the-, as I think about this more, Emma has a lot of good points, especially about the fact that when a woman's pregnant, she can't run away from her womb. It's there. Yes, she can get an abortion. I guess that's one way of running away.
MAYMAY: Well, not all women can.
JOHN BAKU: But it's a very emotionally, ah, a very, very emotional-, not an easy thing to do. While a man can just walk away and turn a couple corners and then the pregnancy is not in their face. They're not dealing with the biological ramification of being pregnant, the morning sickness and this and that. They, y'know, if they really love that woman and they're committed to the relationship and they're really digging the fact that they're having a kid, I mean, [LAUGHS] "digging" is probably the wrong word but whatever. Y'know, they could try to relate, but of course they'll never feel, all they'll be able to do is run and get pickles and mayonnaise at 3:00 in the morning.
EMMA: The other thing worth saying is that a lot of what I reacted to is the idea that this pill would "finally let men take responsibility" and I was sort of like, "Actually!"
JOHN BAKU: Yes, it would! But it would allow them to take responsibility…
EMMA: Yeah, so do condoms!
MAYMAY: Yeah. That's the thing. Many technologies currently exist to allow men to take responsibility. It's not maybe quite as painless for men. It maybe isn't quite as pleasurable for men. I mean, there's certainly other side-effects. But that's the whole point is that there are side-effects on the other side of the fence too, and at least this article was not acknowledging that. And I think that's where a lot of the animosity might come from, personally.
JOHN BAKU: I agree with that.
JOHN BAKU: Let's move on, let's move on, because it's getting stale, bitches!
MAYMAY: Uhh…Let's move to the Missouri thing that we kind of touched on, because I wanted to get back to it, because this is another followup to a followup that we did last week. You mentioned this, John. The fact that Missouri senate bill SB586 is unsurprisingly passed. This is the senate bill that would require sexually-oriented businesses to…what is it? They would not be allowed to be within, y'know, near churches or-
EMMA: They are not allowed to be open within 1000 feet of religious institutions, schools, public parks, state licensed daycare centers, residences, and here's the clincher: other sexually-oriented business.
JOHN BAKU: Wow.
MAYMAY: Mm, alright.
EMMA: And there's no grandfathering.
JOHN BAKU: So, what's wrong with this?
EMMA: So, they all have to close.
JOHN BAKU: So?
MAYMAY: What was that, John?
EMMA: So, the economy's gonna go bust.
JOHN BAKU: What economy? [LAUGHS] You're telling me these are big, like, let me be a jackass again. Are these huge players in the economy?
EMMA: According to their legal action against this bill, they're a two million dollar industry.
JOHN BAKU: Two million dollars? What's fuckin' two million dollars?
MAYMAY: I dunno. If Missouri doesn't have a whole lot of people-, John, if Missouri doesn't have a whole lot of people in the state, that's a lot of money.
JOHN BAKU: Two million dollars is not a fuckin' lot of money. At a state level, it's not a lot of money. Two million dollars. I've heard of fucking, ah, governors building bathrooms for two million dollars in their houses. Two million dollars is not a lot of money. To you and I it is. But to a state, it's not a lot of money. A) Do I want a sex store near my residence? Hells no. Do I want near a daycare? A daycare my kid goes to? Hells no. Do I want-
EMMA: Why can't it be by another sex store?
JOHN BAKU: Okay. That, I understand why they're doing it but I don't agree with it. Y'know why they're doing it? They're doing it simply because they don't want, like on St. Catherine St. here in Montreal where every second store is a sex shop, they don't want, like-
MAYMAY: They don't want a red light district.
JOHN BAKU: They don't want a red light district. Now, 1000 ft is not that far, though, at the end of the day. Let's be realistic. How far is 1000 ft?
MAYMAY: So, the problem is that-
JOHN BAKU: A block? Two blocks?
MAYMAY: So, the problem is that many businesses will have to close now because they're not going to grandfather in. However, if I can just spin this just a little bit, what I found really interesting about this bill was upon this article's-, one thing that has not been reported on is that apparently there are not only restrictions on where these businesses can be, there's a lot more restrictions such as, and I quote, "other restrictions include prohibition of knowingly appearing nude at such businesses." Which makes me wonder, WHAT? There are restrictions against knowingly appearing nude? How do you unknowingly appear nude there?
EMMA: [LAUGHS] Non-consensual nudity is okay.
JOHN BAKU: Well that's where-
EMMA: If you have a two-way mirror in the dressing room and you charge people a buck a head to go and watch the models getting dressed before the show, that's okay!
MAYMAY: Are there no other laws that cover that?
EMMA: They aren't KNOWINGLY appearing nude!
MAYMAY: Are there no other laws that cover that at all?
JOHN BAKU: More importantly, what's the rationale behind that rule? And what exactly does it cover? 'Cause it just sounds funny.
MAYMAY: I don't-, y'know, I don't know. Let's see if I can actually find the text of the law. I have not seen the text of the full law, I've just seen reporting about it, which is really frustrating to me because I've been looking and maybe I just haven't been looking in the right place. So, maybe the chatroom knows how to get to SB586 in the Missouri _________, let's try this one more time. Yeah, there's a suggestion…
JOHN BAKU: So, do you guys think that there's something wrong with this law? Because I came in pretty strong.
MAYMAY: How'd it come up on-, did I just do a typo when I was searching for this last time? I found the bill first hit this time.
EMMA: Brilliant. Maybe it's just up and it wasn't up last time.
MAYMAY: "This act prohibits-" and I'm reading from the bill now. I must've had a typo before. "This act prohibits a person-" Or maybe I was looking at Google News. Anyway. "This act prohibits a person from knowingly appearing nude in a sexually-oriented business. No employee of such a business shall knowingly appear-" [LAUGHS] I'm sorry. "Shall knowingly appear in a semi-nude condition unless he or she remains on a stage-" Oh! It's this part! Okay. "-at least six feet from the patrons and at least six eighteen inches from the floor in room that is at least six hundred square feet. Also, such employees appearing semi-nude shall not knowingly touch a patron or the clothing of a patron."
JOHN BAKU: Okay. I mean it-, listen, I don't know enough to be able to really give a comment 'cause I don't own one of these businesses and understand how it affects me, but it sounds kinda kosher.
MAYMAY: It sounds like they're doing one of these no-touch things. I mean, "shall not knowingly touch a patron or the clothing of a patron." And BlueGal makes a good point that sex laws are worded to help police departments. I'm not entirely sure how this is helpful to police departments, but I'm not a policeman or a lawyer.
EMMA: It leaves things a little bit open and "knowingly" is a word that can really, y'know, if "knowingly" comes down to a stripper or a cop, people are actually going to believe the cop about what the stripper knew. And so, it's gonna lead to more arrests of people working in the sex business, for one thing.
JOHN BAKU: You're making an assumption. You're basically saying that cops are crooked right there.
MAYMAY: Oh, c'mon. Cops. Cops are believed more often-
JOHN BAKU: So you're saying- [CROSSTALK]
MAYMAY: Cops are believed more often than strippers EVERY day. Every day.
JOHN BAKU: But I also have a-, but at the same time, I also- [CROSSTALK]
EMMA: I'm not, no John, I'm not actually making any assumptions. I am saying that if it comes down to the word-
JOHN BAKU: Two different stories.
EMMA: -between a stripper and a cop, the cop will be believed. I'm not saying who's telling the truth.
JOHN BAKU: Okay. But why are you bringing it up? You bring it up because you have an agenda. You bring it up because-, because something, man. And I'm not gonna go into it, but there's something there.
MAYMAY: You're grumbly today!
EMMA: I bring it up because I think it's [an interesting] article.
MAYMAY: I thought it was funny.
JOHN BAKU: You bring it up-, why're you bringing up the fact that, "Oh, and then if it's a cop who's saying it and it's the word against the stripper, the cops are gonna be believed." What's up with that?
EMMA: I believe I was clarifying BlueGal's point in the chatroom that sex laws are worded to help the police. I was giving my take on what that brilliant chat roomer was saying.
JOHN BAKU: The-, I don't know about that part but whatever. But, y'know, I do… I dunno. There's many times I've, y'know, been to court cases with friends or whatever and there's been cops who stopped my friends and speeding tickets. My friends have given their story and they've won. And the cops gave a different story and they won. And I've also known some pretty fuckin' amazing cops out there. I wanted to be a cop a long time ago. Thank god I didn't become one. [LAUGHS] I'd've been a horrible cop.
MAYMAY: Cops. Cops are our friends. This is not about cops, John. I'm laughing at the wording. I think law is funny. I think the legal definitions of the way they put things here. "Also such employees appearing nude shall not knowingly touch a patron or the clothing of a patron." I think that's a funny way to phrase that. Because it does leave me wondering whether unknowingly touching a patron or the clothing of a patron is okay under this law, and what does that-
JOHN BAKU: Well, that covers I walk by somebody and I didn't realize I bounced into them-
JOHN BAKU: -and I don't want to get arrested for that.
EMMA: Right. I'm more interested in the idea of knowingly appearing nude and whether that does leave any legal loopholes for people unknowingly appearing nude, but I'm sure that's covered by another law.
MAYMAY: You can appear nude unless you're NOT on a stage at least six feet away from patrons and at least eighteen inches from the floor in a room that's at least six hundred square feet large. This is about stripping. Nowhere in this bill does it say "stripping." Let's find out. "Stripping." Nope. "Strippers." Nope. I'm searching. "Strip." Nope. It doesn't say anything about stripping. It talks about being and appearing nude. It doesn't talk about stripping. But I think we all know that if you're appearing nude in a sexually-oriented business, you're stripping.
JOHN BAKU: Sure.
EMMA: My question is: If there are currently two sexually-oriented businesses within 1000 ft of each other, how are they gonna arbitrate which one has to close? Because one of them now has to close. They can't both be open in that area.
MAYMAY: Yeah, that's weird.
JOHN BAKU: Fuck do I know.
EMMA: So, that's what I find interesting. Is because NO ONE is being grandfathered in, there's not even a clause saying, y'know, "the business that has more seniority, that has been established longer, shall be the one allowed to stay open." That's sort of like, how is that gonna happen? Because…
MAYMAY: Look, it's a blue law.
EMMA: I mean, maybe nowhere in Missouri are there currently two businesses within 1000 ft of each other, but it seems a little unlikely.
MAYMAY: That is not the case according [xbiz].com.
JOHN BAKU: So, the more important question, I mean, this part I thought was pretty boring, but the most important thing-, the more important thing, is do you guys agree with the fact that there shouldn't be a strip club or a sex shop -- which is I think that they're pretty much alluding to -- should be 1000 ft from a residential area, 1000 ft from a daycare, or 1000 ft from a church?
MAYMAY: No, I don't, I do not agree categorically that those geographic facts should limit the nature of businesses next to them. I think that that is one of those things that is a cultural sex prejudice. And I think that-
JOHN BAKU: Huh.
MAYMAY: I do. I mean, look, I don't want children to be inappropriately exposed to things they don't want to be exposed to-
JOHN BAKU: That's right.
MAYMAY: -just like anyone else does. I do not think that a blue law like this is an appropriate way to handle that situation. Because nowhere, of what I'm seeing from this, does that encourage the appropriate exposure to sexuality, which is necessary and is agreed that is necessary by every single sexologist that I've ever spoken to, even the ones that I would define as anti-sex. They say sex is healthy, sex is important, people should learn about it. What I don't see is how this law helps that.
JOHN BAKU: Okay, but you didn't read the whole law book to me and put it all together in such a way that the whole law-, this is just one specific law about how they don't think and they don't want sex stores and strip clubs, which I don't think a strip club is really a healthy way to be introduced to sex, based on the strip clubs I've been into.
MAYMAY: I didn't say that it was! I didn't say that it was.
JOHN BAKU: Or a sex store is really-, the majority of sex stores, I'm not sure that's the healthy way, either, of being introduced to sex.
MAYMAY: I didn't say that it was a healthy way. I'm saying that the assumption that it being next to a residence and thus- whoop! Lost Emma. I'll try and get her back. I'm saying that the assumption that having a sex store, which has a huge number of different variations, by the way-
JOHN BAKU: Sure.
MAYMAY: -necessarily means that you're gonna be introduced to sex inappropriately is the assumption I read into this law and which is the one I disagree with.
JOHN BAKU: So, I mean, it's easy to criticize. Do you have a better way of doing this?
MAYMAY: Of doing what?
JOHN BAKU: Of making it such a way that-, of-. So, you don't think this law should exist. So, you're also saying strip clubs should be right next to a residential street. And so should, ah-
MAYMAY: I'm saying the should be allowed to. I'm not saying they SHOULD be. That's-
JOHN BAKU: Well, if they're allowed to, then people will build them.
MAYMAY: Yes, they will! Because there's both economic and cultural incentive for that to happen.
JOHN BAKU: Then how's that good? How's that good for the price of housing around that area?
JOHN BAKU: How's that good for the price of housing around that area?
MAYMAY: Y'know, it would be fine for price of housing if people weren't so afraid of having strip clubs next to their doors.
JOHN BAKU: But y'know what? Look at what I do for a living. I still don't want a fucking strip club next to my house. When I have kids.
MAYMAY: Which is fine. And that's why there are other places to live, too.
JOHN BAKU: No, there's not! Because I build a beautiful house, I spend a pretty penny on a house, and then six months later somebody decides to do a strip club one block away from here, or one block from my kid's house that I just spent pretty penny to go to. Am I gonna pull my kid out halfway in the year because somebody decided to do that? No! That is not appropriate. I don't think it's appropriate. And that is the reason why laws exist.
MAYMAY: So, this is the difference between freedom from and freedom to again, right? You want freedom FROM being next to strip clubs. I want freedom TO have a business where you want to have a business. I mean, case in point, I live right now next to neighbors. When I have sex in my apartment, I'm pretty sure they can probably hear me. That could upset quite a number of people. Should I not have sex?
JOHN BAKU: No. In this case, there's no laws against that and I don't think that there's-
MAYMAY: Ah! So, should make a law against having sex inside that people can hear-
JOHN BAKU: There should be to respect your neighbors, and, and-
MAYMAY: So, my question is to you, then, should we make a law that disallows sex in peoples' personal homes or next to residences where people can hear?
JOHN BAKU: There's a difference between having sex between people-, having sex in your own domicile and then having a strip joint where the kid turns around to the parents and says, "What, Daddy, is this?"
MAYMAY: Alright. So you've put kids back into it. Which is fine. Y'know, maybe this law-
JOHN BAKU: Well, why do you think they're saying it? They're saying residence. They're saying schools.
MAYMAY: And churches. I mean, any number of other things.
JOHN BAKU: Churches I'm willing to… I'm questioning. But residential, no, I don't think that these things need to be near a residential area.
MAYMAY: I don't think they NEED to. I'm saying I don't see why they have to be forced to move-
JOHN BAKU: 'Cause if we don't put laws, they will end up next to it.
MAYMAY: Say that again?
JOHN BAKU: Because if we don't put a law, they will end up next to it. And I, after spending so much time building up my house, don't want to have to move. Because I don't think this is right for my kids. There's a time and a place for everything. Y'know? Like freedom of speech.
MAYMAY: And so I guess-, this is exactly what blue law vs red light district laws are, like, trying to-. There's clearly a cultural weight on what and when are these things appropriate and in what situations?
JOHN BAKU: A red light district is a specific district that's created for this and there's limits and boundaries. Just like there's a red light district, I think, y'know what, come to think of it, in Greece I don't know if there's laws and limitations. But Amsterdam, there are boundaries. So, if you decide to build a house in these boundaries, then you're asking for it. If you decide to build outside those boundaries, you're protected from it.
MAYMAY: [SIGHS] Huh. So…
JOHN BAKU: It's the same shit, different day.
MAYMAY: I'm not sure I follow that entirely, because it sounded to me a little bit like-. It's sounding to me a little bit like what you're saying is that we can make laws to change the nature of what currently exists to match what most people appreciate having next to or not next to them.
JOHN BAKU: There are certain cultural norms, okay? And I understand that you don't believe in cultural norms and that you have issues with cultural norms.
MAYMAY: I do.
JOHN BAKU: But there's certain things that are, y'know, in the suburbs you don't need a strip club next to a home. You go downtown, you decide to bring up your kid downtown, hey! It's a choice you made. And it's acceptable.
MAYMAY: Yeah, I guess that's what I disagree with because I don't see why-. I guess what I disagree with is that it sounds like you're supporting the notion of segregating specific applications of business into specific geographies. And that makes sense for things like, say, mining or things like natural resources-
JOHN BAKU: Hey! Why not? Why can't I mine next to your house?
EMMA: Here's a really good point that IAmCuriousBlue in the chatroom just brought up, which is that zoning is zoning. And most residential areas don't allow ANY businesses 'cause they're a residential area and what they're attempting to do is create a neighborhood just of homes and houses. And that makes sense.
EMMA: And I don't think that there should be an exception to those zoning rules for businesses that have a more sexual theme. The real question is what exactly this law says. And if you could read it again, is it a residential area or is it any residence? Because if you have managed to get yourself a zoning exception to have a residence in an area that is not generally residentially zoned, should the fact that you have chosen to have a residence there change the laws-?
JOHN BAKU: Well, y'know, next to a residence usually there is a shopping center, like a strip mall, right next to the residence.
MAYMAY: Strip mall, by the way. Can we just say, for a moment, strip mall. [LAUGHTER]
JOHN BAKU: There is some type of shopping center, strip mall, with like a cinema and a Dunkin' Donuts and a Tim Horton's or whatever, but they're right next to houses. In that same shopping center, I don't believe that, y'know, with times are tough and the person who rents out that space needs to rent out that space should be able to legally lower themselv-, oh boy. That's wrong. Don't get pissed off. I don't believe that they should be able to rent it out to a strip club. I just don't think so! I understand-
MAYMAY: It's interesting-
JOHN BAKU: -there is a time and place. I'm also respectful. I run one of the world's largest kinky social networks and it's arguable the largest kinky social network. I also am respectful of every single person around it. FetLife's closed. I don't make it, from an SEO perspective, I don't make it so that when kids search something they're gonna find somebody with their legs spread open or whatever it is.
MAYMAY: Oh no no, I hear you John, and I think you make a very good point. I think that our disagreement showcases a lot about specifically what these differences and the way these cultural attitudes affect the laws we make. My problem with such kinds of laws is that often we end up with tyranny of the majority. And that's not cool by me. I'm not okay with the notion that because most people think something, that the people who don't think that thing need to -- literally, in this case -- close the livelihoods. That's what I have a problem with.
EMMA: I think you guys straight-up-
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, first of all, we don't know [how many people are]-
EMMA: Honestly? Fellas?
MAYMAY: We know that some are because _______ reported that some are.
JOHN BAKU: Okay, sorry, Emma, go?
EMMA: I think, regardless of the technicalities of this law or any other law, you guys might not see eye-to-eye on this. And that's okay. 'Cause the whole point is that there's a whole bunch of different people and there's a whole bunch of different businesses and we need to find a way, the best way we can, to respect everybody.
JOHN BAKU: It's gonna be simple. The second that Maymay has a kid, I'm gonna open up on one side a strip joint with a big flashing [MAYMAY LAUGHS] picture of a woman opening up her legs, with a little sign: Zzzzt! Zzzzt! Zzzzt! And the other side, I'm gonna open up a sex shop. And I'm gonna see how long it'll take for Maymay to move out. And then I'm gonna-, as soon as he moves out, I'm gonna open another one next to him-
MAYMAY: Are you offering to have my babies, John?
EMMA: I tell you what, John. You're only gonna have to open up those first two businesses. May is not going to move. He is going to teach his kids what there is and let them make their own decisions-
MAYMAY: That's true.
EMMA: And that's how May is. AND it's not how everyone is. And not everyone should have to make that decision. And regardless we've been going on for nearly two hours, my friends, and we need to start wrapping this up.
MAYMAY: Can I just ask, though, John, are you offering to have my babies? [EMMA LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: Uh. If I could, y'know, I'd love for them to have your hair, so-
MAYMAY: Haha. Thanks.
JOHN BAKU: So, genetically-. And I'd like them to be skinner than I am. So, you might be just a match made in heaven there, big guy.
MAYMAY: Well, I'm gonna remember that. If I turn 40 and I still don't have babies, I will call you and hopefully by then, [SIRENS IN THE BACKGROUND] not only will there not be sirens around-
JOHN BAKU: I'll be 50, so it may be tough. [LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: Man. Sorry. Say it one more time?
JOHN BAKU: I'll be 50. I'm ten years older than you, dawg!
MAYMAY: Uhh… I'm sure technology-
JOHN BAKU: I'm 33. You're…24.
MAYMAY: I'm sure you'll still be fertile-
EMMA: He's 26!
MAYMAY: -and virile and as many as you ever are, John.
JOHN BAKU: I don't even know if I'm fertile now. Fuck, that's scary.
EMMA: And, y'know, if you guys choose to get married and work for Google, you'll get special rights. So, there ya go.
JOHN BAKU: And kudos to Google for doing that. And anybody who's bitching to Google for doing that, shame on you. It's really awesome that they're doing that, man. I am always impressed with Google. They never cease to amaze me.
MAYMAY: We should mention, on that note, Google wasn't the only one. There's also the Gates Foundation has already been doing this and so has CISCO which I-, is a company that I don't really like very much. But CISCO also does the exact same thing for same-sex couples, which is cool.
JOHN BAKU: I'm not surprised this is [not] happening at tech companies. Tech companies, I find, tend to be much more liberal-
MAYMAY: Yeah, I find that, too.
JOHN BAKU: -when it comes to sexuality and gender and so on and so forth.
MAYMAY: I do, I've found the same.
EMMA: So John, before we wrap up, there was a question WAY back at the very beginning of the show by BlueGal in the chatroom about the demographics of FetLife and I promised her that I would do what I can to ask that of you before we wrapped up.
JOHN BAKU: Sure.
EMMA: Do you know anything about the breakdown of FetLife users? Are there a lot more, y'know, dominants or specifically dominants of one gender or another looking for submissive people? Are there a lot of people who don't identify as dominant or submissive? Is it pretty even? Do you happen to know about that?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah, let me look at my stats page 'cause I love numbers, so I have some stuff.
EMMA: He's got numbers!
JOHN BAKU: I don't have combinations of things. So, submissive and dominant, y'know, 20.81% of people say they're submissive, 20.62 say they're dominant. So, it's pretty much even.
JOHN BAKU: On that front. I mean, fine, .19 there's a difference. But c'mon, for all intents and purposes? It's pretty good.
EMMA: It's pretty good. That's not statistically- [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: Switch is 16%. Unsure is 12.51. Kinkster is 5%. Master, 4.53. Slave, 4.42. So, master and slave are very close. None Applicable, 3.77. Fetishist, 3.57. Bottom, 1.92. Top, 1.84. So, again, very close between bottom and top. Mistress, 1.65. I don't think-, we don't really have an opposite of that, do we? What would be the opposite of Mistress? Master?
MAYMAY: Master, probably, I guess. That's really cool. That's-
JOHN BAKU: Well, master/slave…
MAYMAY: That's a little bit like there's someone out there for everybody, isn't there?
JOHN BAKU: Yeah. And Vanilla is 1.05%, which is interesting. And Sadist and Masochist is below that! With Sadomasochist. So, Sadist, Masochist, and Sadomasochist is .77, .72, .72.
EMMA: It's interesting. That's actually a telling point. Mistress Sexsmith brings up that it's Mistress/Slave and it's also Master/Slave. So, if you're seeing about equal numbers of both Mistress and Slave and Master and Slave, what you're actually seeing is a lower percentage of people who identify as the, essentially, bottom or submissive half of that relationship. Does that make sense?
JOHN BAKU: Uhh. Yes. So, it seems like-, so if you add Master plus Mistress, you have about 2% more than just Slave alone.
EMMA: Okay. Well, that's not much.
MAYMAY: What about locations in the world? Like, what's the most populous country on FetLife?
JOHN BAKU: So, I can go into Google Analytics and kind of tell you that, as opposed to pulling up… [MUMBLES] analytics. Instead of pulling up, y'know, the amount of members in each location based on what they say, which is not going to be as accurate and I don't really have, well, I just don't have a report of that, so. [LAUGHS] So, let me, here, traffic sources.
MAYMAY: Sweet. Thanks, John! This is interesting.
JOHN BAKU: It's the first time I've ever shared this information with somebody. Hold on.
EMMA: Check it out, guys! You got a John Baku and FetLife first. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] Right here on Kink On Tap. You heard it here first.
MAYMAY: Oh, now they're all-, now they're just, like, asking about all kinds of stats. Orientation… Do you have a blog that you write anything about this? I mean, is there-
JOHN BAKU: No, I'm dyslexic, so writing is a very difficult thing for me. As much as I'd love to blog. As soon as our Community Manager gets up to snuff, we will start blogging a lot more and we'll have them kind of take my ideas and their ideas and do things with it. Right now, unfortunately…
MAYMAY: That's exciting.
JOHN BAKU: It's extremely exciting for me. It's one of those things-, the one talent that I'm the most envious of is somebody who can write. And I think you tend to be very envious of people who do things that you can't do.
MAYMAY: But want to do. Yeah, I agree. _______________ [CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: 'Cause yeah, it's just like people with big penises. I'm very envious of them. [LAUGHTER]
EMMA: Me too!
MAYMAY: I'm-, yeah, not so much.
EMMA: But then I spent just a little bit of money and now I'm feeling okay on that front. [JOHN LAUGHS]
MAYMAY: Well, the chatroom is really saying, and I agree with them here, y'know, it would make a great section on FetLife, _______ says, for you to have a blog with data and numbers and just, y'know, anonymous numbers, I imagine.
JOHN BAKU: We've done it in the past. And we kinda sometimes put it in the FetLife Announcements. But I kinda got-, I guess I kinda got bored and I stopped doing it. So, United States has the most visits by far with over 3.6 million visits. Then below that, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, Ireland. Let me go just jump into the United States, 'cause you guys are racist and don't care about the rest of the world.
EMMA: True, we [are the ______ race].
JOHN BAKU: So, California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Washington, Pennsylvania, Massatoochets- [LAUGHS] ____ say that right. Massachusettes.
MAYMAY: Did you say, "Massachu-tits"? [LAUGHTER and CROSSTALK]
JOHN BAKU: -Georgia, and Virginia are our top ten.
MAYMAY: Georgia and Virginia.
JOHN BAKU: If you really want, I'll go up to 25. It's up to you.
EMMA: Half the states? I think we'll be okay.
MAYMAY: Save some of it for a blog post for your Community Manager because, ah, I'll subscribe to that instantly. That sounds like awesome statistics. And congrats on the success of FetLife. It's only been, what? Like a year, two years now?
JOHN BAKU: Two years and…six months as of yesterday.
MAYMAY: Wow. Well, congrats. It's a huge-
EMMA: Well done. Happy half-birthday, FetLife.
JOHN BAKU: Oh, can I give you one last stat? I just saw how to do a city.
EMMA: We would love you to.
JOHN BAKU: City would be more interesting. So, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago. Those are the top five.
EMMA: One more time?
JOHN BAKU: New York. Los Angeles. San Francisco. Seattle. Chicago.
EMMA: Really no surprises there.
MAYMAY: No surprise whatsoever.
JOHN BAKU: Followed by Atlanta, Portland, Washington, Houston, and Denver.
EMMA: Yup. No surprises. Excellent! Well, very cool. I wanna say thank you so much for coming to join us, John Baku. We had hoped that that would be particularly apropos because we figured you being a Canadian wouldn't particularly care about this holiday as much, but it turns out that you've got a holiday too, so I want to say especially thank you for taking time out of your Canada Weekend to talk to little old us.
JOHN BAKU: Any time. Just one last statistic, 'cause I'm Canadian, for some odd reason one of the most popular cities in the world for FetLife is Dartmouth in Nova Scotia. [LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: Which is a small-, well, not a small town, but Nova Scotia is…
EMMA: You're in Nova Scotia and you've got nothing else to do.
JOHN BAKU: I lived there for six months. I love fuckin' Nova Scotia.
JOHN BAKU: It's so beautiful.
EMMA: Oh, I-
JOHN BAKU: I lived in a town of 120 people where everybody knows your name and if somebody knocks on your-, I literally, somebody knocked on my door I'd never met, it's like, "Eh, I gotta go pick up fish. They're fresh. They just came in. Can I borrow your car?" I said, "Sure. Here's my car." I didn't know them. But they brought back my car. [LAUGHS]
EMMA: That's pretty cool.
JOHN BAKU: I love that shit.
EMMA: Shout out to Nova Scotia right here.
MAYMAY: Yeah. Y'know what that tells me? 'Cause I know, I KNOW-, we have Google Analytics for Kink on Tap, too. I know there are people who listen to this show who are from, y'know, Germany and Australia and guys, if any of you are in Nova Scotia, or even in other countries, write to us and let us know what's going on your little area of the woods. Subscribe to the Kink on Tap Community Links feed, which is where we get most of these stories that we picked up from, at KinkOnTap.com/Community/Links/Feed and you can get a lot of this information from going to KinkOnTap.com/About or Contact right at the top right of the site there. You can also join us live in the chatroom every 8-, oh man, 8pm Eastern and 5pm Pacific. I'm looking at it right on my screen and I have trouble remembering it, that's how much of this wine I have. [EMMA LAUGHS] And you can find that, get to this at Live.KinkOnTap.com anytime. The chatroom's always open.
EMMA: That's so true. It's pretty great.
JOHN BAKU: And if you're not on FetLife, don't join FetLife.
EMMA: Join FetLife. It's cool. Even I'm on FetLife and I hate social networking sites with a vengeance. But I figured I had to do it. So, I'm on FetLife. You can find me there at, ah, user helio_girl just like I am in the chatroom right now. I wanna say thanks, once again, to our amazing chatroom. You've been really smart and interesting this week, as every week, and brought up a lot of really good points.
EMMA: Kink on Chat-, uh, what?
MAYMAY: Kink on Chat? That'd be great. Kink on TAP-
EMMA: Kink on Chat! That's where I am right now.
MAYMAY: If you're not already subscribed to the show, go to KinkOnTap.com and click on the little "subscribe" link. It's RSS up at the top. You can also go to iTunes. There's an iTunes link and you subscribe in iTunes and anywhere, pretty much anywhere better podcasts are distributed.
EMMA: And if you're gonna go and subscribe to us on iTunes, that's a really great chance to review us on iTunes! So, that would make me a happy girl. 'Cause we love, love, love getting those reviews. Another thing you can do-, I know not everyone can do it and just reviewing us or just being in the chatroom is a great way to show your support, but it does take some cost to do Kink on Tap every week and if you can give a little bit, we even make it easy. We have some very small recurring monthly donations that you can just click on and it's a one-time thing. That just fills us with not only warm fuzzes but also the physical cash that we need to keep this show going.
MAYMAY: Yeah. Um. John, how can people keep up with you? I know you have a Twitter account. Is that a good way to stay in touch?
JOHN BAKU: I've stopped using it but if you do say my name, I get it piped into our chatroom, so I see it and there's a good chance I'll respond back to you. But firstname.lastname@example.org. You can ping me on FetLife itself at fetlife.com/johnbaku. You can send me telepathic messages. [MAYMAY LAUGHS] I get them, but I'm really bad at responding to them.
EMMA: He's not so strong on that one. [JOHN LAUGHS] You can find ME on Twitter as @helio_girl and my gorgeous co-host as @maymaym.
MAYMAY: M-A-Y-M-A-Y-M. Yep.
JOHN BAKU: That's not my Twitter account. You said gorgeous co-host.
MAYMAY: [LAUGHS] Gorg-, I wonder if gorgeous co-host is-
EMMA: You're my gorgeous guest. Silly boy.
JOHN BAKU: Oh, okay. Ohh, I'm sorry.
EMMA: Also, we have coming up next week, ah, who's been in the chatroom and brilliant this week, the very cool BlueGal.
EMMA: And hopefully she will also be joined by…a mysterious other guest! But we're still working on that. And one more thing before we totally wrap up. Tomorrow is Maymay's birthday.
MAYMAY: Ohhh, don't- [LAUGHS]
EMMA: As mentioned briefly, but I want to point it out officially and take a chance on air to say Happy Birthday, may.
MAYMAY: Thank you.
EMMA: It's been a pretty good run of 25 complete years now. That's a full quarter of a century. And I'm excited for the rest of it.
MAYMAY: Depends on when you start counting. 27 if, ah, 26 if you count from zero.
JOHN BAKU: Woot, woot! Happy Birthday.
MAYMAY: Thanks, John. Ah, yeah, thanks very much everybody. That's everything. Again.
EMMA: That's it.
MAYMAY: -Tap is done.
[OUTRO MUSIC STARTS]
EMMA: Oof! Long show.
MAYMAY: That was a really long show. But thanks, John! The chatroom liked your tenacity. I did. It's not every day I get to actually have a debate with folks.
JOHN BAKU: Y'know, it's not that-, I believed in what I said, so I did believe what I said, I just, y'know, I was trying to give you guys a different perspective.
MAYMAY: No, I appreciate it.
EMMA: That's great, man. It really is.
MAYMAY: Did you have fun? I hope you had fun.
JOHN BAKU: Nah, I had a horrible time. I wish I was racing my remote-control car right about now. But, y'know.
MAYMAY: Well, that's good. So, so…
JOHN BAKU: Unfortunately, sometimes I gotta do-, I gotta work sometimes.
EMMA: WE here in the You-Nited States are settin' off some explosives tonight! [MAYMAY LAUGHS]
JOHN BAKU: Y'know what? Thank you so much guys for putting on this podcast. I'm sure you _____ huge impact in a lot of peoples' lives and it's really, y'know, people like you who need to continue doing what you guys are doing. So, I'm really proud of you guys and I really think you guys are doing a great thing. Keep it up.
MAYMAY: Thank you. Well, I wanna say, because I said it on your podcast-
JOHN BAKU: I know how hard it is to keep it up. I know how many hours and time it takes. And tenacity, if I can steal that word from you. But just keep it up, no matter how hard it is, because you are changing peoples' lives.
MAYMAY: Thank you. And seeing you move forward with that This Week in Kink episode, very much in that, y'know, "Oh, I can do that too!" sort of sense, definitely wanted to credit you for giving me the kick in the ass I needed to make sure that this happened, so I appreciate that. Thank you.
JOHN BAKU: I'm happy you did it. Somebody had to do it and you are really a great person to do it. You're doing a really professional show over here and it's great.
MAYMAY: Oh, thank you. Well I hope that, um, I would love to have you back. Because I had fun. I know you had a horrible time, but frankly I don't care, so. [JOHN LAUGHS] So, because I had a great time, I'm gonna want you back.
JOHN BAKU: Alright. Sounds good. I promise. I'll come on your show again. Whenever you want. Whenever somebody doesn't show up last minute, you can always [LAUGHTER AND CROSSTALK]
[OUTRO MUSIC CONTINUES]
JOHN BAKU: I want a cookie, man! Hurry up!