What is your own relationship with alcohol, and how has that changed over time? Is there anything about that relationship that you’re aware of wanting to change?

I'm 28 and I was Mormon until I was 27 (Mormons aren't supposed to drink alcohol) so I'm only starting to experiment with it a bit. I've never had more than one drink in a sitting so I've barely felt the effects of it. But I just like it as an accompaniment to some good food. I don't really plan on using it to change my mental state, just to add flavor to a meal.

How do your own relationships with other men, or women, play into your relationships with women, or men, or whichever?

I'm a straight man and I feel like I don't have any real friendships with men. I've always struggled to have male friendships. In the past, I have had female friends, but not really since meeting my wife 5 years ago. My wife is my only friend and that can be lonely for me and hard on her when all my friendship energy goes toward her.

Is there anything about yourself that you have come out about—or that you you haven't, but could, or would like to embody more openly? What has that coming out done for you—or, what could it do for you?

Yeah, I came out as exmormon to my parents. Leaving the church is a big deal. My parents said I was possessed by demons, evil, and stupid. They don't want me to have relationships with my siblings because I could "LEaD ThEm AsTray!" So on one hand the social rejection was so hard and made me angry and bitter, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like I live more aligned with my values. I can be my authentic self. I've felt more open and vulnerable with people because fuck it, I've got to be honest. Life is short and you could have the misfortune of being born into a cult and giving 27 years to it. So I just try to appreciate each day.

Do you have kids? How did you end up as a parent, or not? What has that been like for you?

I have two kids. Growing up Mormon everyone had like 5 to 7 kids so I just assumed I would have some. My wife and I stopped being Mormon and we stopped having kids. I love my kids but I don't think I was being completely true to myself when I chose to have them (under the influence of a cult). They are amazing little kids and I really love them, but I feel like my life is over in a sense and now I"m living for them. Which is fine. Maybe I'll get some more of myself back when they grow up some. Right now they're 3 years old and 10 months old so we're battling just to keep some semblance of sanity.

Is there anything that you have consciously given up—and what was that experience like?

I gave up internet for two years when I lived in Chile as a Mormon missionary. I also didn't have a cell phone during that time. Honestly I think I could use a break from those things again. It gave me the time to think really deeply about all kinds of things.

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1. Like everyone else, in Australia at least, binge drank from the age of 15 - 25 or so. I now drink to drunkness, have a dance and smoke cigarettes once or twice every 6 months. Seems to be working for me, but I would have no problem giving up alcohol forever.

2. The committed relationship I'm in necessitates me to turn down my open and flirty side, a trade off. My positive relationship with male friends who are soft and open-minded positively affects my committed relationship. My (mostly) healthy, committed relationship usually affects my relationship with my other friends positively. There are negative (needing healing and attention) sides to all of my relationships (including with myself) that no doubt affect all my other relationships.

3. That's a tough one. I came out about infidelity, which was extremely difficult. Looking back, I respect the way I handled it - although I still am ashamed of doing it. I am 31 - I still feel an implicit need to come out in the world more fully as myself.

4. I am 31, without kids. Having reached out to you via email to discuss in the past. I still feel like it could go either way and this creates stress for me most days.

5. I've never really admitted this, but I used to be addicted to smoking weed and binging porn and masturbation. I forcefully gave this up about 6 years ago, still relapse on the very odd occasion. It felt empowering but I still feel deep shame around my perversions of the past, which still arise in my mind fairly often. Before that, I gave up meat, which was a brave thing for me to do in my teens as my whole family turned against me for it but I stood my ground in my convictions. I no longer eat this way but respect how I navigated that.

6. I'd have asked Chris to save me a spot as official bowhunter at his commune.


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Had to get that in quick to secure first place in the comment section 🕺While listening I thought this is a great outline for an essay I want to write maybe even a book then you laid out the outline for me with your 6 questions. Amazing! On top of that you mentioned kiteboarding something I’ve been doing for 25 years preceded by 20 years of windsurfing. The answers to your questions are personal so I won’t answer them here in detail. Is there another way you could receive them? BTW I’m not holding a pistol at a gun range I’m taking a selfie smoking a joint listening to music wearing my fuck off T-shirt. Amazing how many laughs and smiles I get from it. Cheers!

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Ok, I'll answer your questions with brevity just to help you get this party started.

1. Love craft beer, drinking too much and would like to quit.

2. Men, one on one great, pack mentality sucks. Women, trouble.

3. Happy ending massage, loss of shame.

4. Two daughters two grandsons, Wife's ultimatum, difficult and rewarding.

5. Dreaming, awakening.

6. Questions.

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Great episode and so cool that I’m the first to comment

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@ChrisRyan I knew it was risky using that Yes song (Roundabout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwPWGUhEtP0) that you mentioned, for the same reason that I banished them to my personal list of least favorite bands back in the 80's—it's a never-ending eight-and-a-half-minute earworm that I woke up with this morning on repeat. I considered using the other song you mentioned during our visit (Dylan's Tangled Up In Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKcNyMBw818) but, to my surprise, I found that when I checked out the Yes song I kind of liked it... until I couldn't get it out of my head. Of course, the only way to cure that is to actually listen to the whole thing. The breakdown is great. The chorus bugs me. Thanks for taking me back there ;)

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In a good way 🙏🏻

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Can’t say anything in particular but I dare say my whole life flashed before my eyes 👀

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