An Ordinary Disaster
Brothers and Teachers
E08 / Sex is Better Sober with Kenyon Phillips

E08 / Sex is Better Sober with Kenyon Phillips

Human animals, addiction, marriage, surprise fatherhood, manhood, masculinity, money, the illusion of security, and getting our nose in it.

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with various brothers and teachers, including many fellow writers, all of which are part of the body of work surrounding my book-length memoir An Ordinary Disaster—one man's proof that we can all learn to listen to ourselves, and to act upon the inner voice of our self, our sanity and our soul.

Today, I'm talking with my friend Kenyon Phillips. He and I met through an ex of mine back in the years when I was going to New York on the regular for the conference business that I started in 2000 and sold in 2015. Kenyon struck me early on as one of the most unique people I'd ever come into close contact with, someone who was very much following his own path- and in full rock and roll style. Let's just say that i liked how he was living- and I still do.

As I was editing this episode I was thinking about how one way to look at this podcast is as an opportunity for me to work with people who have been my teachers, which also explains the song that I’ve used in the intro. I mean, look at this guy—you'd be hot for him too!

In the years since, he's gone from midnight cabaret musician and band leader to suburban family man and creative talent with his own podcast called Be Here Tomorrow and an emerging wellness project called CENTER. Kenyon is another man that I love and respect and that I continue to want to get to know more deeply, which is why I've invited him to be with us here today.

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Show Notes

What human amimals do—Nature Boner, high school sex and how his sex drive has changed as he’s become a father. Doing it for the tribe. Solitude vs loneliness. Sex is better sober.

How he went from being decidedly nonmonogamous as a king of New York night life to happily married with two kids in the country.

…being a “man” is…being a person… “I think my personhood—my manhood—is resting on my purpose-hood—and what is my purpose? My purpose is to be of service and to do it from a joyful place.”

“It’s important that you find a way to life a pleasant life, and in the best case, support other people that they also find the same. This is what it’s about. No matter in which form you put it in, which cultural background you put it in, that main idea is if you don’t find this way of reducing suffering of your surroundings your suffering won’t stop.” — @vedic_spirituality27 posted by Cat Power

Giving from the interest rather than the principal.

There are just so many experiences in life—and we don't get to have all of them. Fear of fucking it up. Happening into changing his mind about becoming a father—and then about having a second child. The primal fear of not being able to provide. How the view from the inside always seems normal—and how that view can change radically.

“the only thing constantly changing is change” — Lou Reed, The Raven, which refers to the poem by Edgar Allen Poe of the same name.

Fear of not having enough, not being enough. There’s no floor underneath us. “That’s my number one fear.” Staking our claim and seeking some sense of security.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” — Helen Keller, The Open Door

How money comes and goes. “It’s funny about money.” — Gertrude Stein. How rootlessness can be painful… and it’s an adventure. ‘I really thought that one day it would all just be easy sailing, and life just doesn't work that way. Once one challenge is met you're presented with the next tougher challenge.’

What does it mean to be a “man,” aside from having a penis? Choosing not to ‘play rough,’ and losing male friends because of it. Putting ‘what does it mean to be a man?’ in terms of what can a man embody? Embrace everyone on their own terms to “vibrate at the highest expression of their being.” The highest form of wisdom is kindness, and the greatest strength is gentleness.

How to embody a masculine energy that is entirely open. We need more examples of men who are doing it differently and doing it well → The author and Jungian scholar Thomas Moore. Cameron Shayne.

Curiosity vs your “one thing,” your hook. Curiosity is the opposite of reduction, it’s about expansion. Getting our nose in it.

You can find Kenyon at and his podcast Be Here Tomorrow is here on his own site, as well as on Overcast, Listen Notes and all the usual podcast services, and his healing arts project is called CENTER.

SEX IS BETTER SOBER is one of the messages that I got back in 2017, before I stopped drinking the following year. I could hear my intuition was speaking up more and more clearly, and so I made a series of t-shirts to make wearable artifacts of those messages, which are still available here

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Love reading?

You might enjoy some of my other writing on the subjects of masculinity, sex, fatherhood, and addiction, in particular Sex at Dawn, Live at Budokon.

Please stick around — I’ve got some questions for you…

  1. What’s your best story about having sex in the wild outdoors?

  2. How are manhood, personhood and ‘purpose-hood’ related in your own life experience?

  3. How has fear been a factor in your own identity and personhood?

  4. Have any great examples of people who embody positive masculine energy?

  5. Have you ordered your “SEX IS BETTER SOBER” shirt yet? You need one!

And finally, please don’t forget to let me know that you enjoyed this piece by mashing that cute little red heart ❤️down below ↓

An Ordinary Disaster
Brothers and Teachers
This show is a series of conversations with and about people who embody positive presence, talking about identity, addiction, depression, adventure, intuition, love, relationships, gender, sexuality—and becoming ourselves as much as possible. It's also an effort to honor people who who have been teachers, who I love and respect, and who I want to get to know more deeply. In short, a way to highlight people doing and being good in the world.