Things I Read That I Love #16: Enjoy The Silence

HELLO and welcome to the 16th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about asexuality and phone booths! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are. The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

Women’s Novels (by Margaret Atwood) (May 1993), Harper’s –  “I like to read novels in which the heroine has a costume rustling discreetly over her breasts, or discreet breasts rustling under her costume; in any case, there must be a costume, some breasts, some rustling, and, over all, discretion.”

Lawrence V. Texas: How Laws Against Sodomy Became Unconstitutional (March 2012), The New Yorker – Really fascinating look at the legendary gay rights case — I actually had no idea who these people were until I read this.

Letter From Louisiana: Shelter and the Storm (November 2005), The New Yorker – Katrina refugees in Bayou Black, looking for the best path for starting over.

This Chart is a Lonely Hunter: The Narrative Eros of the Infographic (February 2012), The Millons – The history of infographics. Really cool stuff! Also has stuff about Nicholas Fenton, who our Design Director Alex really likes a lot. This isn’t a good one for Instapaper though ’cause you need to be able to see the pictures to understand it, so read it online.

The Grey Box: An Investigative Look at Solitary Confinement (January 2012), Dart Society Reports – I feel like I’ve been reading a lot about prison conditions and incarceration rates and stuff lately, it’s really horrifying. I can’t fathom Solitary Confinement. This country has issues.

Man-on-Man: The New Gay Romance Written By and For Straight Women (December 2009), LA Weekly“As for why a straight woman writes gay romance, Penley suggests, it has to do with body politics. Women’s bodies are a political and social battleground. Women are told how to behave, and whether or not they can abort fetuses. They are held to impossibly high standards of beauty. Maybe they write with men’s bodies, she theorizes, because those bodies aren’t as problematic as their own. Maybe men’s bodies are just easier.”

How We Lost to the White Man (May 2008), The Atlantic “From Birmingham to Cleveland and Baltimore, at churches and colleges, Cosby has been telling thousands of black Americans that racism in America is omnipresent but that it can’t be an excuse to stop striving. As Cosby sees it, the antidote to racism is not rallies, protests, or pleas, but strong families and communities.”

Enjoy the Silence (January 2012), The Morning News – Did you know people actually talk on their cell-phones in libraries now and nobody does anything about it? What’s happening to this world!?!!

Among the Asexuals (February 2012), The Guardian – “Annette has spent her life feeling misunderstood while simultaneously failing to comprehend what motivates those around her. When she wants to talk about politics, her colleagues want to talk about their “crappy husbands.”

Takeout Story: Behind Bulletproof Glass and Out on a Bike for a Chinese Restaurant in Mott Haven (October 2011), Capital New York – Honestly I thought the author unnecessarily inserted himself into the story for this one and sometimes sounded patronizing, but it was still really interesting. It also reminded me of Deliveryman’s Uprising (“For $1.75 an hour, they put up with abusive employers, muggers, rain, snow, potholes, car accidents, six-day weeks, and lousy tips. Not anymore.”), from New York Magazine in 2007.

Why the Super-Rich Love the UK (February 2012), The Guardian – “The capital of the UK has one of the world’s largest concentrations of the super-rich, and the reason for that is that we have chosen to have them here, as a matter of deliberate government policy.”

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.


  1. I have no words for that article on solitary confinement, it’s horrific what we do to prisoners.

    • yeah the worst thing is that even for the real hardliners who are like “whatever, they’re prisoners, they killed five children and deserve whatever is coming to them” — solitary confinement makes NOTHING better. makes absolutely not one thing better! it’s a guaranteed formula for making a person crazy whether or not they already were when they arrived. it all blows my mind, like 500 times. i see no benefit to it from any point of view. i also can’t imagine what happens to guards that spend their lives policing people in these situations, it must really fuck them up psychologically to be in that position.

      • it’s not even just “hardliners” who get solitary, either. Trans* prisoners are often placed in isolation because prisons can’t–or won’t–guarantee their safety among the general population, along with mentally ill prisoners and juvenile offenders who are charged and punished as adults (an all too frequent occurrence, especially among youth of color).

        And yet that’s not considered “cruel and unusual punishment”?

  2. Thank you for all of these. Absolutely enthralling. As a sidenote, I recently spent four days confined in a specialized hospital unit, with no contact with the outside world, no personal items, no freedom to move anywhere beyond my room and the short hallway immediatly adjacent to it. Towards the end of the four days I found myself losing touch with reality, and that was nowhere near the type of solitary confinement described in the article above. I cannot fathom the immense psychological damage solitary confinement does to those subjected to it. It’s almost as if the people running these prisons don’t want those lucky enough to be released to actually be rehabilited and functioning members of society. Theyre being set up to fail, because no person, no matter how resilient, can endure solitary confinement without being damaged by it in some way. I just can’t see how people think this is okay, except in perhaps the rarest of circumstances. Ugh. *end rant*

  3. Things I Read That I Love has become my most favourite post. I barely read your rundown of the article anymore and end up adding almost all of them to my instapaper thingywhatsit because I know you wouldn’t recommend it if it was shit.


  4. The Margaret Atwood piece was great, and the articles on Lawrence v. Texas and solitary confinement were both interesting and informative, but I had a few problems with the articles on asexuality and M/M romance.

    The article on asexuality was mostly good, but sort of glossed over romantic attraction. I’m not asexual, though, so I’m not exactly an authority :/

    The article on M/M romance was something I’ve seen a few times – first when it was published, and a second time when I ran across the massive wank that was had over it in fandom. Both times it was sensationalistic and offensive. As with asexuality, it’s cool seeing any attention at all given to it in the mainstream, but neither of the articles were really on point with their reporting.

  5. The article about solitary confinement is absolutely terrifying and surreal. Also if the super rich love the UK, Switzerland is their mistress because wealthy Brits have been emigrating in droves recently. There is so much money in Geneva and Zurich which are surprisingly small cities.

  6. Riese, I generally don’t comment, but I’d just like to thank you for your straightforward acceptance of us asexuals. AVEN is great but it doesn’t have amazing articles, and of course LGBTQ issues are a still dear issue to me even if I’ve figured out I’m probably not lesbian. :)

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