Our Own Lothlorien (Ep. 177 - Dungeons & Dragons)

This Week's Guest: Jeremy Crawford

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Imaging growing up to find that the fantasy worlds you envisioned as a kid aren't just real, but have been waiting for you to lead them. My guest this week is Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer for Dungeons & Dragons. We'll be talking about the witches, wizards, and elves who shaped his work in games, his relationship with his husband, and the queer content he now gets to insert in the world's most iconic tabletop game.

And BTW, I hope you'll join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat. I want to hear about the books, movies, music, and games that you and your fellow Sewers listeners are obsessed with. The livestream is on Saturday, June 30th at 2pm pacific -- there's a link at the top of the Sewers of Paris twitter feed, where you can set a reminder to get a notification when we go live. 

Huge thanks to everyone who makes The Sewers of Paris possible with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. There's rewards for folks who back the show -- just click "Support the Show on Patreon." Or you can support The Sewers of Paris for free by leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice -- that really helps people find the show. Thanks to Cappafeo who wrote on iTunes, "I came to the show through Queens of Adventure and I'm so glad I did."

Well, speaking of which! If you're looking for more queer podcasts, check out the show I host with some fantastically funny drag queens Queens of Adventure. We play an ongoing and very queer Dungeons & Dragons adventure full of action and suspense and shady banter. Season 1 just launched -- head over to QueensOfAdventure.com to subscribe.

And the Queens of Adventure live is coming to San Francisco for two shows on July 13 and 14. Come see drag queens playing D&D live on stage! Tickets are now on sale at QueensOfAdventure.com.

This Week's Recommendation: Affairs of the Heart

For this week's recommendation, take a look at the classical writing that Jeremy mentioned, lamenting the loss of queer culture in ancient Greece. The title is translated sometimes as "Affairs of the Heart," other times as "Amores," and also as "Erōtes," an it's a dialogue between characters debating the merits of same-sex affection versus opposite-sex.

Translations are easy enough to find online, though they're not exactly fast reads. There is a LOT to unpack, and my favorite parts are those that really seem to revel in sexuality -- such as this rather steamy description of men in their twenties: "The limbs, being large and manly, are hard, the chins that once were soft are rough and covered with bristles, and the well-developed thighs are as it were sullied with hairs. And as for the parts less visible than these, I leave knowledge of them to you who have tried them!"

There are also passages that will excite fans of homosupremacy: "For marriage is a remedy invented to ensure man's necessary perpetuity, but only love for males is a noble duty enjoined by a philosophic spirit. Anything cultivated for aesthetic reasons in the midst of abundance is accompanied with greater honour than things which require for their existence immediate need, and beauty is in every way superior to necessity."

That's followed, unfortunately, by some intense misogyny -- as it turns out, gay culture hasn't changed that much in 2000 years. As much as there is to enjoy in the text, there's a lot to critique, including the youthfulness suggested by repeated use of the term "boy." Still, it's a fascinating peek into attitudes toward sexuality in the 4th century, and it's not hard to imagine the same spirited conversation happening over brunch today.

Stuff We Talked About